Sunday, January 1, 2012

Clark, Van Til, and the Knowledge(s) of Man and God

I have yet to see a more fascinatingly concise, if perhaps equivocal, assessment the Clark-Van Til controversy on the issue of how the knowledges of man and God relate than that provided by Robert Rudolph in his contribution to Gordon Clark: Personal Recollections (pgs. 103-104):


Gordon was absolutely insistent that we did know some of the same things that God knew. If not, he insisted, it would be impossible for us to know any truth at all! That 2 plus 2 equals 4 is true, he felt. Thus he insisted that in and of itself it is true as a statement without the necessity of examining another proposition. He carefully insisted upon a propositional concept of truth while Van Til insisted upon the fact that to have truth in one's mind that mind must be built upon other propositions. The truthfulness or falsity demanded that the individual proposition be held in the midst of certain other basic propositions that must be consciously present in that mind in order to correctly know truth. Now, of course, God knows every proposition in the context of all other propositions for Van Til, and, therefore, the limited human mind never knows it the way God does. Van Til had an expression, of repeated: "true as far as it goes," meaning, of course, that for that mind which holds all propositions in a system, the more complete the system, the more full the truth. With growth in the knowledge of basic propositions, the further than mind had the truth. Van Til's concept is that for relative human beings, they can have all needful truth but never perceive it as God does with his infinite knowledge of everything that affects any proposition. He charged Clark, therefore, with denying the incomprehensibility of God and Clark charged him with agnosticism since he that that for him it was impossible to know anything as God did. Clark wanted an absolute even if it were only in the single proposition.


This helped put into order some ideas that I've been mulling for a while:


Clark's argument is simple and effective: God is omniscient. What we know, then, must be what God knows. Self-defeating skepticism – to say nothing of questions such as what would constitute the real basis of union with Christ – is the alternative. Any proposition, which Clark defined as "the meaning of a declarative sentence" (Logic, pg. 28), is either true or false. Our mode and extent of knowledge may differ, but what man knows in comparison to what God knows is a separate issue from how [much] man knows in comparison to how [much] God knows.


That said, Rudolf's statement that "God knows every proposition in the context of all other propositions for Van Til" is extremely interesting, especially if taken in conjunction with Van Til’s denial that “[God’s] knowledge and our knowledge coincide at any single point” (cf. pg. 5, col. 3 here).


It is ironic that Van Til charged Clark with rationalism when Van Til held to the logical conclusion of Hegelianism. The doctrine of internal relations essentially states that “everything has some relation, however distant, to everything else” (link). If this is doctrine is true, as I think it must be – I may write a post on this later – then the question is begged as to how one can learn anything. I have argued (here, for example) that internal relations means that the source of knowledge must be an eternally omniscient being.


However, I do not think, as it seems Van Til did, that a precondition for the content of man’s knowledge to be univocal with that of God’s is that he too must know all relations. The definition of a subject may be the sum of that which may be predicated of it – and thus all subjects will relate to each other, positively or negatively – but contrary to Hegel, propositions rather than subjects are truth-bearers. So that men cannot attain comprehensive knowledge of a subject – such would require knowledge of the way in which the subject relates to all other subjects which, in turn, would require omniscience – does not mean men cannot know anything at all about a subject.


The problem may be that Van Til conflated knowing what a proposition means with how a proposition is known. In Rudolf’s analysis, for man not to know in “the way God does” or “as God did” is a bit ambiguous. It is true man doesn’t know “the way God does” insofar as man’s knowledge is discursive rather than intuitive. But does Rudolf additionally mean that Van Til didn’t think men “know some of the same things that God knew,” obviously a reference to the univocal meaning of a proposition?


If so – if Van Til did not think that man’s knowledge was univocal with God’s knowledge (as The Text of a Complaint implies) because men learn truth, and only portions at that – then it should be made clear that “analogical” knowledge and its devastating consequences can be avoided by noting that God can univocally communicate His eternal thoughts to man by divine illumination pertaining to what He has revealed in His word. This is the method by which a man comes to univocally know both the truth of propositions and, hence, the infima species of the subjects of propositions by which one subject is individuated from another. The issue then simply becomes a comparison of the extent of our knowledge [about a subject] to God's, and no Clarkian thinks he is omniscient. We are sanctified by God's word - the word of truth, not a mere analogy thereof.


Still, knowledge of certain propositions requires a context, as Clark himself notes in Today’s Evangelism: Counterfeit or Genuine? For example:


Page 66: There are many who in that day will say to Christ, Lord, Lord. And he will profess, I never knew you. Thus, clearly, a verbal profession of Lord is not saving faith. One must understand what the term Lord means. Further, as has already been pointed out, the name Jesus must be correctly apprehended. Confess that the Jesus of Strauss, Renan, or Schweitzer is Lord, and you will go to hell.


Page 85: Even the intellectual work of coming to understand a sentence requires assent and volition. It does not require assent to the truth of the sentence in question; but it requires a voluntary act of attention, and assent to the truth of other propositions by which its meaning is uncovered.


So I think Rudolf sells Clark short here. It is true that assent to the isolated statement “Jesus is Lord” does not necessarily mean that one knows its biblical meaning; he may be assenting to a falsehood. But the point is that one doesn't need to know the biblical meaning “in the context of all other propositions” in order to know what God knows. It is sufficient to know the infima species of the biblical subject “Jesus,” i.e. a minimal, finite number of propositions which would individuate “Jesus of Nazareth” from “Jesus of Strauss” et. al. Omniscience is not required. In fact, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that for a Scripturalist, the “context of propositions” in which the biblical meaning of the statement “Jesus is Lord” is properly understood is found in the very context of Scripture.

109 comments:

Joshua Butcher said...

One may also add that even if an individual man could become omniscient (or, perhaps just consider the human nature of Jesus Christ in the hypostatic union) it would not imply that his knowledge is identical to God's, unqualified. He could know as much as God knows, but he would have learned it, discursively, by revelation, etc. whereas God's knowledge is an eternal intuition (or something like).

Van Til and his followers confuse the content of knowledge with the mode of knowing. There can easily be "univocality" in the content of knowledge (I and God both know that 2+2=4), but never in the mode of knowing (I know by God's revealing it to me, He by virtue of intuiting it of Himself).

Ryan said...

Yes. I had to read Rudolf's analysis several times before I realized it could be viewed as portraying the two sides as simply talking past one another. I don't think this is possible - analogical knowledge isn't and can't be univocal knowledge for Van Til, which is the damning point.

I also tried to word my post in such a way that the [in]finitude of God's knowledge didn't become an issue, though it does have the implications you pointed out.

Drake Shelton said...

Ryan,

Glad to see you appealing to union with Christ in your clarkian apologetics. As a point I would like to suggest that our ontological-realist connection to christ is with reference to his divine nature not his human nature.

Three Types of Religious Philosophy (Jefferson Maryland, The Trinity Foundation, 1989) by Gordon Clark pg. 123 –Dogmatism-Realism

“To be sure, Christian dogmatism does not accept the unaltered World of Platonic Ideas. The Philonic Interpretation is better. [By the way Philo's construction posited the Ideas in the mind of God. DS] Still better is the replacement of Ideas (minus predicates) by propositions or truths…Christian dogmatism therefore must be realistic. The real object of knowledge is itself present to the mind…There are of course other thoughts, objects, or realities. Every Biblical Proposition is one. These never change nor go out of existence, FOR THEY ARE THE CONSTITUENTS OF GOD’S MIND…We know God directly for in him we live and move and have our being.”

This is clearly referring to God qua God not God become man. Our connection to Christ's humanity is representational and imputational, not realist- infusionist. So we don't want to confuse our realism and our representationalism.

Ryan said...

Yes: 2 Peter 1:3-4. However, I still think union with Christ still needs to be fleshed out in more detail, especially as it relates to the nominalism/legal fiction charge made by RCs. I was wondering what you might think of this, especially the part in bold:

"The Socinians, for example, reacting to the Reformation understanding of justification, felt that it was immoral to transfer the punishment which was due to the sinner onto a party who was innocent. Thus, although the theory was put forward in response to the justice of God, it was felt to be fundamentally unjust in itself. However, a view of salvation which sees it brought about by relationship with Christ, the key affirmation of the classic theory, immediately solves this problem, for just as husband and wife are often treated in law as one unit, so by virtue of the closeness of their relationship with Christ are Christ and the Christian also treated as one unit. Thus, it is not so much that punishment is transferred from one person to another in a substitution, or that one representative is punished instead of the rest, as it is that the unit as a whole bears the punishment due to the sin of the unit as a whole. Just as the Christian shares the life of Christ, so Christ shares the punishment of the Christian: both experiences are common. The union of the believer and Christ, as a union, is punished, and the believer lives eternally in union with Christ."

- pg. 231 The Atonement Debate

Drake Shelton said...

Ryan,

""The Socinians, for example, reacting to the Reformation understanding of justification, felt that it was immoral to transfer the punishment which was due to the sinner onto a party who was innocent."

Depends on how the word "transfer" is used. If he means "raetus culpa" I reject it. If he means "raetus poena" that's fine and no injustice is done because we are not accusing him of guilt for wicked deeds performed but affirming that as a wilful substitute he takes the guilt by way of imputation only.

Jesus bore our sins on the cross by his human body (1 Peter 2:24) which means he was subject raetus poena (Liable to punishment) not raetus culpa (Liable to guilt from wicked deeds performed) to the curse of God's law for us (Gal 3:13). In a section regarding how Christ was a curse Rutherford says,


"that is, what was penal in the curse and sin, and whatever was congruous and suitable to his holy person, that the Lord Jesus came under; sure as Christ took on him our nature so he changed persons and names with us legally; he was made the sinner, and the sinner made the Son; there was reciprocation of imputation here. Christ was you legally and by law, and ye are Sons in him. The Law was a bloody bond and our names and souls were inked with the blood of the eternal curse; but blot out (saith Christ) my bretheren's names out of the bloody bond, and write in my name, for the blood and the curse of God, and there was a white Gospel bond drawn up and the elects names therein"


God did not curse Christ but ***made him a curse, legally and by law***, not literally and by deed raetus culpa.

" Thus, it is not so much that punishment is transferred from one person to another in a substitution, or that one representative is punished instead of the rest, as it is that the unit as a whole bears the punishment due to the sin of the unit as a whole...The union of the believer and Christ, as a union, is punished, and the believer lives eternally in union with Christ."

I don't but it. Firstly, the word transfer is ambigious. Second, because it implies we satisfy for ourselves along with chist. Rutherford goes into detail on this in Covenant of Life that the elect never bear any satisfactory sufferings (even in their unconverted) but only evangelical sufferings.

Ryan said...

Thanks for the Rutherford quote.

"...Christ was you legally and by law..."

Which is possible due to our understanding of a realist-ontological union in which we are of one mind with Christ analogous to the way in which a husband is of one flesh with his wife, right?

Also, does Rutherford's statement imply that "we are Christ legally and by law" in justification?

Drake Shelton said...

Ryan

"...Christ was you legally and by law..."

Which is possible due to our understanding of a realist-ontological union in which we are of one mind with Christ"

According to his divine nature. Yes.


"analogous to the way in which a husband is of one flesh with his wife, right?"

One flesh. I don't know. You'd have to explain that to me. I'm satisfied to say that we can distinguish between our relationships to Christ's two natures. Divine-Ontological; Human-representational.

"Also, does Rutherford's statement imply that "we are Christ legally and by law" in justification?"

Yes. Again according to the human nature. The key is understanding how Christ is a mediator according to both natures. Romanists believe that he is a mediator only according to his human nature.

biblicalrealist said...

Our realistic union with Christ is with all that He is, both His human and His divine natures. These natures are inseparable from His Person. To be united to His divinity is to be united to His humanity. The divinity is what enables the union, but the humanity is what makes the union salvific.

To represent us requires that He be human as we are, but where the representationist errs is in thinking that such representation occurs outside of us. It does not. The humanity of Christ that represents us before God does so only from within us.

On the cross, Christ did not bear our guilt before God. Rather, He voluntarily bore a punishment equivalent to what remained ours even after the cross. It is only when the punished Man and the guilty man are united spiritually that the His punishment and our guilt are associated. In other words, it is only when we are united to the indwelling Spirit of Christ that His humanity represents us in such a way that we are seen as if it had been us on that cross.

By union with the humanity of Christ, the sinner gains to his credit the added set of human experiences that Christ brings to the union.

Ken Hamrick

Ryan said...

Hey Ken, thanks for stopping by. I think I agree with everything you wrote. I made similar points in this post, especially here:

//We can say we have been crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, and raised with Christ (Romans 6:1-11) when in us is the Spirit of Christ who unites us to Him (Romans 8:9-11).//

biblicalrealist said...

Glad to "hear" it, Ryan. Drake Shelton had commented: "As a point I would like to suggest that our ontological-realist connection to christ is with reference to his divine nature not his human nature... Our connection to Christ's humanity is representational and imputational, not realist- infusionist. So we don't want to confuse our realism and our representationalism."

So I just wanted to clarify that point. It is disputed as to whether or not the humanity of the glorified Christ is present in the believer. A. H. Strong and Nevin affirmed it, while Turretin and most Reformed deny it. Nevertheless, all acknowledge the indivisibility of the human and divine natures of Christ. Therefore, even if our ontological union is with His divine nature, it would be by extension an ontological union with His human nature. We are joined to the Person of Christ who is in us, and that Person is human as well as divine.

Ken Hamrick

Ryan said...

I hadn't noticed the discrepancy. When you referring to an ontological union with Christ's humanity, are you referring to the Christ's humanity as being consubstantial with ours or something else/more?

Drake Shelton said...

biblicalrealist,

"Nevertheless, all acknowledge the indivisibility of the human and divine natures of Christ."


>>>>This is ambiguous. What does indivisibility mean? There is clearly an ontological distinction at the level of nature between the natures so there is a divisibility. I affirm that the righteousness of Christ is defined in two aspects. John L. Girardeau says in, Discussions of Theological Questions, ed., George Blackburn (reprint,Harrisonburg, Va: Sprinkle Publications, 1886; Richmond: The Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1905), on page 482 concerning obedience understood as a son (Sonship) compared to obedience as a servant (Servantship),

“I am constrained to believe that while the two relations co-existed in Christ, and co-exist in the believer, they are not identical. The one is not sunk in the other. The two sorts of obedience springing from them possess in themselves considered, distinctive specific characteristics. They are, however, brought into consistency of one generic obedience upon the one person who obeys. Somewhat like the two natures in Christ, the two relations are brought into union with each other upon one and the same person, *******but are not interfused or blended*********** so as to lose their peculiar properties. And as in the latter case the personal obedience was undivided, so in the former…I can see no reason, therefore, for receding from the position, that the obedience of Christ as the mediatorial servant of the Father, a subject under moral law, grounded the Justification of his people as subjects of law, and that his obedience as a [eternal] Son grounded their Adoption as children in God’s house. The one entitles them to bow before God’s throne, the other to sit at God’s table.”

If the human nature is not personally united to the Logos it is impossible to become the righteousness of GOD IN HIM. 2 COR 5:21. In that sense they are indivisible in the sense that they are united personally/ontologially at the level of hypostases/person.

The obedience of Christ under the Covenant of Redemption is the obedience of his entire person.

Therefore, if your assertion is true, that "even if our ontological union is with His divine nature, it would be by extension an ontological union with His human nature" then our participation in the sonship of christ according to Christ's divine nature by extension would be the same obedience and relation as his human nature. This makes the object of participation in the human nature also uncreated. If that is the case then the idea of an imputed obedience performed in a temporal reality goers out the door. welcome back to anchorism.

biblicalrealist said...

Drake Shelton and Ryan,

I'm out of time today, and Sunday is busy. I'll be back Monday. What is anchorism?

Ken

Drake Shelton said...

biblical realist,


“To be united to His divinity is to be united to His humanity. ”

>>>>First, this is a confusion between nature and person. Second, this broad wash will end up with all sorts of consequences as I showed above. It basically blends all the aspects of redemption, especially adoption and justification.

“The divinity is what enables the union, but the humanity is what makes the union salvific.”

>>>With respect to what aspect of redemption?

“To represent us requires that He be human as we are”

>>>This is a confusion between numerical and generic unity. That Christ is consubstantial with all men is something generic not numerical.

“but where the representationist errs is in thinking that such representation occurs outside of us. It does not. The humanity of Christ that represents us before God does so only from within us. ”

>>>Then the idea of alien righteousness and imputed righteousness goes out the door. What you are arguing for is infused righteousness dude. What school of theology are you coming out of man? Lastly, what you are saying sounds a lot like the eastern view of Christ where his humanity is universal. Do you believe that?

“On the cross, Christ did not bear our guilt before God.”

>>>Again, this is eastern orthodoxy. I disagree. Isa 53: 10 But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, [l]putting Him to grief; If [m]He would render Himself as a guilt offering

“It is only when the punished Man and the guilty man are united spiritually that the His punishment and our guilt are associated.”

>>>>THIS IS INFUSIONISM! All of these actions in your statement are by imputation not infusion.

“In other words, it is only when we are united to the indwelling Spirit of Christ that His humanity represents us in such a way that we are seen as if it had been us on that cross.”

>>>I completely understand that an ontological identity with the person of Christ is required for redemption to make any sense. I am simply proportioning that to the divine nature of the person of Christ. However, once you deny the representational union for the ontological union you immediately remove the idea that he represents us.

Ryan said...

Having spoken with him several times, I don't think BR is advocating the idea that we are analytically justified, Drake. He is saying we are synthetically justified due to the ontological-realistic union we have with Christ. Turretin wrote that:

...when the sin of another is said to be imputed to any one, it is not to be understood that the sin is, purely and in every sense, foreign to him but that, by some means, it pertains to him to whom it is said to be imputed; if not strictly his own, individually and personally, then (communiter) conjointly, on account of community between him and its proper author. For there can be no imputation of the sin of another, unless it is based upon some special union of the one with the other.

- Turrettini Instit., Locus I. Q. ix. §§ 10, 11.

I think the same can be said of Christ's righteousness. His righteousness isn't utterly foreign to us; if it were, then with respect to justification we would be nominalists. However, if we are in Christ and Christ is in us (Romans 8:1-11), then He is able to function as our representative in a non-putative (real) sense.

Ryan said...

Or in other words, God can't forensically look at believers abstract from Christ and His righteousness with whom and which the believer is united.

biblicalrealist said...

Drake Shelton,

I can appreciate that what I've offered sounds strange. I assure you it is neither EO nor RC. Maybe I should start with the basics of where I'm coming from. Just for background, I'm a Southern Baptist, holding to what Warfield called the most diluted form of Calvinism (congruism). I do affirm that the alien righteousness of Christ is imputed to us for our salvation. However, I do not view imputation as something alien to substantial reality and existing only in the mind of God (nominalistic representation). Rather, I hold to Biblical realism, which is the recognition of a shared personal identity, effected by immaterial union or singularity of immaterial origin, which is sufficient in itself to account for the headships of Adam and Christ.

More broadly, Biblical realism is a paradigm from which God’s judgments and justice are dependent upon substantial reality—-a reality which He may sovereignly change but cannot justly ignore. It was from this paradigm that the principle of realistic union, and specifically traducianism, was arrived at. Rather than merely choosing to view men as if we were in Adam when he sinned, God designed Adam (and mankind) in such a way that all Adam’s descendants were actually in Adam in a real way (by immaterial union of origin). Conversely, God has no need to merely view us as if we were in Christ, since He provides believers with a real, immaterial union with Christ through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

This union with Christ is real and substantial. Christ is really within us, and is joined to us to such an extent that we are said to be "one spirit with Him" (1 Cor. 6:17). As the spirit is the core of a man, it is the core of a man's identity. When the Holy Spirit indwells the man, He creates a new man by joining the spirit of the man to the Spirit of Christ. They are not joined to the extent that either is lost in the other, but they are joined to the extent that the man's new identity is in Christ and his old identity is no longer valid in the eyes of justice. In fact, the believer is so identified with Christ that he is considered to have been crucified with Him (Gal. 2:20). Continued...

biblicalrealist said...

Continuing...

Christ brings His human past to the union, as well as His present, so that we are credited with all of His human accomplishments as if they were our own. His righteous life, His sacrificial death, His resurrection, become ours. In Him we are righteous. In Him, we were crucified and raised from the dead. He is our new spiritual identity (Col. 3:3).

The meaning of the word, justification, is clearly forensic. But the deeper question remains: is that forensic verdict an accurate and true assessment of the believer when united to Christ, or is it a nominal and putative designation of a recategorization within God's mind alone? The answer is found in our union with Christ. Are we joined to Christ in reality or in God’s mind alone? We are joined to Christ in reality to the extent that we gain His identity in the eyes of justice. In that sense, the "infused" identity does make us subjectively righteous (when the subject is the whole man, consisting of both the man and Christ in union), but only insofar as we are joined to Christ and it is His righteousness–-already accomplished in His human life–-that is the only righteousness in view.

However, when we are joined to Christ, we are not joined to the extent that either is lost in the other. The union is sufficient to make us one with Christ in the eyes of justice, but the righteousness that is now ours remains the righteousness that He lived and not any righteousness that we live out or accomplish–-in that sense it is still an alien righteousness. This infused identity is the substance and reality which our previous justification had in view.

In order for our spiritual union with Christ to result in a shared identity and credit for His human accomplishments, it must include union with His humanity.

Well, that's the basics for now. Tomorrow, I can more specifically address your posts.

Peace,
Ken Hamrick

Drake Shelton said...

Ryan,

“I don't think BR is advocating the idea that we are analytically justified, Drake. He is saying we are synthetically justified”

Ok, we have already cleared away the idea that the consubstantiality of Christ with the elect is not the issue. The issue is the elect’s relationship to the obedience of Christ’s human nature in time. I think you are confusing the genus of ethics and the genus of being. Obedience to law/righteousness/virtue is not in the genus of being but ethics. This is why I think it is erroneous to use ontological language with regards to justification. This is the major issue with Maximus the Confessor.

http://olivianus.thekingsparlor.com/concerning-orthodoxy/francis-turretin-john-owen-and-carl-trueman-refute-perry-robinson-s-and-daniel-photios-jones-maximianism-by-drake

“if it were, then with respect to justification we would be nominalists”

>>>No, because this issue does not speak to ontology it speaks to ethics.


“I think the same can be said of Christ's righteousness. His righteousness isn't utterly foreign to us;”

>>>>By “foreign” are you referring to ethics or being?


“However, if we are in Christ and Christ is in us (Romans 8:1-11), then He is able to function as our representative in a non-putative (real) sense.”

>>>>The words representative and real are opposites Ryan. You know this. On the issue of nominalism, the point is, is the object in the mind, the real truth or a representative of the truth?

“Or in other words, God can't forensically look at believers abstract from Christ and His righteousness with whom and which the believer is united.”

>>>Again, this is a confusion between the genus of ethics and the genus of being.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

“I do affirm that the alien righteousness of Christ is imputed to us for our salvation.”

>>>This is not reformed. The word “salvation” is ambiguous. The reformed position is that “the alien righteousness of Christ is imputed to us for our” JUSTIFICATION.

“ I do not view imputation as something alien to substantial reality and existing only in the mind of God”

>>>Because you are confusing the genus of ethics with the genus of being. You need to read this article here:

http://olivianus.thekingsparlor.com/concerning-orthodoxy/francis-turretin-john-owen-and-carl-trueman-refute-perry-robinson-s-and-daniel-photios-jones-maximianism-by-drake

As clarkians, we overlap the genus of being with the genus of epistemology (its not an entire mutual exhaustion but its pretty close) but not the genus of being with the genus of ethics.


“It was from this paradigm that the principle of realistic union, and specifically traducianism, was arrived at. Rather than merely choosing to view men as ifwe were in Adam when he sinned, God designed Adam (and mankind) in such a way that all Adam’s descendants were actually in Adam in a real way (by immaterial union of origin).”

>>>This isn’t going to work for you. Above you said, “ I hold to Biblical realism, which is the recognition of a shared *****personal identity******, effected by immaterial union or singularity of immaterial origin, which is sufficient in itself to account for the headships of Adam and Christ.”

Here is your problem. Our relationship to Adam is not personal. Turretin says, Institutes, Vol. 1, 9thTopic, Q.9

“XXX. He who was in Adam in no way, neither in power nor in act, cannot be said to have sinned in him. ************But although we were not in act and personally in him***********, yet we were in power, both seminally (inasmuch as we were contained in him as the root of the whole species, Acts 17:26) and representatively (inasmuch as from the order of God he bore our person and God made the covenant with the whole human race in him). Thus although we were not actually in Christ when he died for us, still his death is properly imputed to us on account of the union existing between us and him.” (pg. 625) (See Hebrews 7:4-10)

“This union with Christ is real and substantial. Christ is really within us”

>>>His human nature. So then his human nature is then omnipresent? You are now making my job pretty easy. This is a fundamental reason why you cannot say that the union with Christ’s humanity is ontological. It would then be omnipresent and not human. This also falls right into the hands of Roman Transubstantiation.
“The meaning of the word, justification, is clearly forensic. But the deeper question remains: is that forensic verdict an accurate and true assessment of the believer when united to Christ, or is it a nominal and putative designation of a recategorization within God's mind alone?”
>>>Again, the fact that you are using the word forsenic and nominalism in the same thought tells me you don’t get the distinction between the genus of being and the genus of ethics.

Ken, I live in Louisville, KY which is Southern Baptist Headquarters of the world and I am fully convinced that that seminary is the biggest waste of time and money and christian can spend. Those people have twisted your mind 100 ways from tuesday and your theological construction here is about as confused and nonsenical as I have read.

Drake Shelton said...

Ryan and Ken,

If I can press my point home further,let us consider what sin is. The Reformed view is that sin is a transgression of the law, and righteousness is obedience to the law (That is the Westminster Confession and here Ken may raise his eyebrows as he sees his dispensationalism flesh out away from Reformed theology into anchorism). Augustine had earlier tried to define sin with ontological terms saying that it was lower on the chain of being and therefore a metaphysical nothing. The East and most anchoretic systems operate off that definition. They see sin as something ontological which is why the atonement and redemption are something ontological, ergo Christus Victor and Theosis. The reformation rescued the law from this error. It posited sin as something ethical NOT ontological. Which directly implies that righteousness or righteous action is something ethical not ontological.

Ergo, the atonement while victorious is mostly a satisfaction of divine justice not a raising of one's ontology from a state of ontological mortality to immortality from this flowed forensic justification.

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"This is not reformed. The word “salvation” is ambiguous. The reformed position is that “the alien righteousness of Christ is imputed to us for our” JUSTIFICATION."

>>>Can you point to a single example where one was justified and not saved? You're speaking creedally and I was speaking conversationally (I didn't know this was a quiz :) ).

"Because you are confusing the genus of ethics with the genus of being. You need to read this article here:

http://olivianus.thekingsparlor.com/concerning-orthodoxy/francis-turretin-john-owen-and-carl-trueman-refute-perry-robinson-s-and-daniel-photios-jones-maximianism-by-drake"

>>>I read the link, but I still don't see how it applies or what your objection really is. I don't see how I have confused the genus of being with the genus of ethics. I agree that sin and righteousness are matters of the will and not of the substance of one's being. However, identity is of the substance of one's being--and, further, they sin and righteousness (even as acts of the will) are inseparable from the identity that commits them. It is not the substance of Christ that makes the believer righteous, but the identity of Christ's substance within the believing man that makes the believer righteous--not by substance but by identity. It is the identity that is gained by the presence of the substance.

It really doesn't need to be this complicated. Christ is righteous. The Spirit of Christ indwelling the believer in spiritual union gives the believer the righteousness of Christ by virtue of the shared identity.

"As clarkians, we overlap the genus of being with the genus of epistemology (its not an entire mutual exhaustion but its pretty close) but not the genus of being with the genus of ethics. "

>>>I have no idea what that means. Would you be kind enough to explain it?

"This isn’t going to work for you. Above you said, ' I hold to Biblical realism, which is the recognition of a shared *****personal identity******, effected by immaterial union or singularity of immaterial origin, which is sufficient in itself to account for the headships of Adam and Christ.'

Here is your problem. Our relationship to Adam is not personal. Turretin says, Institutes, Vol. 1, 9thTopic, Q.9

'XXX. He who was in Adam in no way, neither in power nor in act, cannot be said to have sinned in him. ************But although we were not in act and personally in him***********, yet we were in power, both seminally (inasmuch as we were contained in him as the root of the whole species, Acts 17:26) and representatively (inasmuch as from the order of God he bore our person and God made the covenant with the whole human race in him). Thus although we were not actually in Christ when he died for us, still his death is properly imputed to us on account of the union existing between us and him.' (pg. 625) (See Hebrews 7:4-10)"

>>>Turretin was inconsistent, and a nominalist. He used the terms of realistic union, but denied the substance. His "seminal union" was strictly physical and not immaterial.

Our relationship to Adam is not now personal, but as Augustine said, we all were that one man. Human beings are propagated as whole beings, both physically and spiritually. While the spirit of Adam has been propagated to all his descendants, the person of Adam is not propagated to us. Each propagated individual is his own person. But the spirit within is the seat of moral will, and that spirit sinned in Adam. You may disagree with traducianism, but there are and have been many respectable advocates, even among the Reformed.

I'll continue this soon...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Continuing...

"His human nature. So then his human nature is then omnipresent? You are now making my job pretty easy. This is a fundamental reason why you cannot say that the union with Christ’s humanity is ontological. It would then be omnipresent and not human. This also falls right into the hands of Roman Transubstantiation."

>>>His immaterial human nature might be omnipresent in His glorified state. I don't know. As I said earlier, Strong affirms that it is (and he does not get into any transubstantiation nonsense). Here's what Strong said: "Who and what is this Christ who is present with his people when they pray? It is not enough to say, He is simply the Holy Spirit; for the Holy Spirit is the "Spirit of Christ" (Rom. 8:9), and in having the Holy Spirit we have Christ himself (John 16:7 — "I will send him [the Comforter] unto you"; 14:18 — "I come unto you"). The Christ, — his humanity being separated from the divinity and being localized in heaven. This would be inconsistent with his promise, "Lo, I am with you," in which the "I" that spoke was not simply Deity, but Deity and humanity inseparably united; and it would deny the real and indissoluble union of the two natures. The elder brother and sympathizing Savior who is with us when we pray is man, as well as God. This manhood is therefore ubiquitous by virtue of its union with the Godhead. But this is not to say that Christ's human body is everywhere present. It would seem that body must exist in spatial relations, and be confined to place. We do not know that this is so with regard to soul. Heaven would seem to be a place, because Christ's body is there; and a spiritual body is not a body which is spirit, but a body which is suited to the uses of the spirit. But even though Christ may manifest himself, in a glorified human body, only in heaven, his human soul, by virtue of its union with the divine nature, can at the same moment be with all his scattered people over the whole earth..."

For my purposes, it is enough that the Spirit of Christ is in us, united to us in an identifying way--since Christ is both human and divine. His Person owns all that He is, and is inseparable from His humanity. Therefore, to be spiritually joined to His identity is to be joined to all His human accomplishment and history.

To be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Continuing...

"Again, the fact that you are using the word forsenic and nominalism in the same thought tells me you don’t get the distinction between the genus of being and the genus of ethics. "

>>>Maybe you are misunderstanding what I mean by nominalism. Mostly, I'm referring to a representationism that consists in mere arbitrary designation. It is the idea that, in the case of the headship of Adam or of Christ, the union involved need exist nowhere other than in God's mind. This is nominalism as opposed to realism, in which the union must exist within substantial reality in order to satisfy truth and justice. Turretin (T16, Q7, §VIII), in denying that faith is considered our righteousness "by a gracious acceptation," makes a comment that is germane: "For in the court of divine justice (which demands an adequate and absolutely perfect payment), there cannot be room for a gracious acceptation which is an imaginary payment." Just as there cannot be room in the court of divine justice for an imaginary payment, neither can there be room for an imaginary union on which to ground the efficiency and particularity of this payment. In order for the exacted payment to be applied to a particular sinner, there must be a real union between the two.

"Ken, I live in Louisville, KY which is Southern Baptist Headquarters of the world and I am fully convinced that that seminary is the biggest waste of time and money and christian can spend. Those people have twisted your mind 100 ways from tuesday and your theological construction here is about as confused and nonsenical as I have read."

>>>Well, it's hard to judge the whole of any system by jumping into the middle and examining a small part. You do seem too quick to jump to conclusions, though, considering how little has been provided for your examination. As for the SBC and the Southern Seminary, please don't blame them for my theology. I've attended no seminary, and I do not learn my theology from the SBC or from my local church. But I do have great respect for men such as Al Mohler.

More later...

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"If I can press my point home further,let us consider what sin is. The Reformed view is that sin is a transgression of the law, and righteousness is obedience to the law (That is the Westminster Confession and here Ken may raise his eyebrows as he sees his dispensationalism flesh out away from Reformed theology into anchorism). Augustine had earlier tried to define sin with ontological terms saying that it was lower on the chain of being and therefore a metaphysical nothing. The East and most anchoretic systems operate off that definition. They see sin as something ontological which is why the atonement and redemption are something ontological, ergo Christus Victor and Theosis. The reformation rescued the law from this error. It posited sin as something ethical NOT ontological. Which directly implies that righteousness or righteous action is something ethical not ontological. "

>>>Ken's raising his eyebrows at the limitless presumptions. Dispensationalism? When did we discuss that? When did I say that I defined sin as ontological? I didn't. Of course, sin is transgression. If you had asked, I would have agreed. Yes, sin is ethical--but identity is ontological. And I have not advocated any theories of Christus Victor or Theosis. Atonement is particular and substitutionary (a propitiation of God's justice), but it is effected by realistic union and not by nominalistic representation.

Peace,
Ken Hamrick

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,



"You're speaking creedally and I was speaking conversationally (I didn't know this was a quiz :) )."

>>>Alright this is gettiong pretty silly.

"and, further, they sin and righteousness (even as acts of the will) are inseparable from the identity that commits them. "

>>>So your answer is to simply re-assert your confusion between ethics and being?

"It is not the substance of Christ that makes the believer righteous, but the identity of Christ's substance within the believing man that makes the believer righteous--not by substance but by identity. It is the identity that is gained by the presence of the substance. "

""As clarkians, we overlap the genus of being with the genus of epistemology (its not an entire mutual exhaustion but its pretty close) but not the genus of being with the genus of ethics. "

>>>I have no idea what that means. Would you be kind enough to explain it?"

I'm pretty sure you don't get this and I'm not here to intsruct you in philosophy. You are going to have to study yourself.

"Turretin was inconsistent, and a nominalist. He used the terms of realistic union, but denied the substance. His "seminal union" was strictly physical and not immaterial.


>>>This is hilarious. Turretin was the most consistent Theologian I have ever read. You simply don't get the idea of imputation.


"It is not the substance of Christ that makes the believer righteous, but the identity of Christ's substance within the believing man that makes the believer righteous--not by substance but by identity. It is the identity that is gained by the presence of the substance."

>>>If personal identification is your principle of union, you are going to have some problems with original sin.

Robert Shaw commenting on 6.3-4 of the confession says,

“Another branch of original sin is the imputation of the guilt of Adam's first transgression. This is rejected by many who admit original corruption. By the imputation of Adam's first sin, ************it is not intended that his personal transgression becomes the personal transgression of his posterity**************; but that the guilt of his transgression is reckoned to their account. And it is only the guilt of his first sin, which was committed by him as a public representative, that is imputed to his posterity, and not the guilt of his future sins, after he had ceased to act in that character. The grounds of this imputation are, that Adam was both the natural root and the federal head or representative of all his posterity.”


But personal identification is the raison de etre of your view Ken. You don’t believe the Reformed view of Soteriology.

Drake Shelton said...

“not by substance but by identity.”

>>>False dichotomy. With regards to justification, it is neither substance or personal identification. It is ethical, forensic and federal, and representational.

“It really doesn't need to be this complicated. Christ is righteous. The Spirit of Christ indwelling the believer in spiritual union gives the believer the righteousness of Christ by virtue of the shared identity.”

>>That means that the union with Adam gives the believer the personal sin of Adam by virtue of the shared identity. If so, imputation is out the door and you are no longer left with an imputation of guilt but some kind of anscetrial sin and you are right back into anchorism.

“You may disagree with traducianism”

>>>I believe in traducianism Ken. You are simply confusing the genus of being with ethics.

“His immaterial human nature might be omnipresent in His glorified state. I don't know.”

>>>Your mask is lifted. Baptists truly are eggs that Rome laid.

“ This would be inconsistent with his promise, "Lo, I am with you," in which the "I" that spoke was not simply Deity, but Deity and humanity inseparably united; and it would deny the real and indissoluble union of the two natures.”

>>>Hold on. Are you actually arguing that Christ’s divine nature has to be localized because his human nature is?

“This manhood is therefore ubiquitous by virtue of its union with the Godhead. ”

>>>Ths posits the union between divine and human at the level of nature not hypostasis. You are an anchoretic Ken. Just face it.

“But this is not to say that Christ's human body is everywhere present. It would seem that body must exist in spatial relations, and be confined to place. ”

>>>You are getting desperate aren’t you ken?

“Atonement is particular and substitutionary (a propitiation of God's justice), but it is effected by realistic union and not by nominalistic representation.”

>>>That is the exact same thing that Origen said. If the atonement extends not by way of particular covenant but by way of personal (not substantial) ontological identity, then Christ saves all human persons. Maximus the confessor rejected this view and said that the atonement extends not by way of personal ontological identity but substantial identity. In this way immortality is infused to all human nature and then each person has a personal responsibility to believe in that which has been given. Now that all have immortality it is up to us to decide where we will spend it, heaven or hell. So either ontological view you take substantial or personal, you are out of the Reformed system and into anchorism.

You have got to be one of the most confused people I have ever met.

biblicalrealist said...

"Alright this is getting pretty silly."

>>>I'm glad we agree on that.

"So your answer is to simply re-assert your confusion between ethics and being?"

>>>Is your answer to simply re-assert your claim that I have confused ethics and being?

You had stated that, as clarkians, you "overlap the genus of being with the genus of epistemology (its not an entire mutual exhaustion but its pretty close) but not the genus of being with the genus of ethics." I asked you if you would be kind enough to explain what you mean by that. Your answer:

"I'm pretty sure you don't get this and I'm not here to instruct you in philosophy. You are going to have to study yourself."

>>>Wow. Aren't you like me, in that you know all these things by your own independent study, and not by formal education? And yet, not even Dr. Al Mohler (whose institution you earlier attacked as a waste of money) would have treated me with such superiority. He would have responded with at least a summary explanation.

Nevertheless, it's your objection and your philosophy--not mine. If you can't explain it, then it does not concern me. Considering the army of straw men that you've burned down thus far in this discussion, this objection is not likely to be pertinent even if you expanded on it.

I had stated: "Turretin was inconsistent, and a nominalist. He used the terms of realistic union, but denied the substance. His 'seminal union' was strictly physical and not immaterial." You failed to address the very inconsistency that I specifically cited. Instead...

"This is hilarious. Turretin was the most consistent Theologian I have ever read. You simply don't get the idea of imputation."

Rhetoric, but no substance. Was Turretin's idea of "seminal union" strictly physical (and not immaterial) or was it not?--or, are you unable to answer? If you don't understand what I mean, just ask. I am not above explaining it.

That's quite a large chip on your shoulder, Drake. I'll address your other comments tomorrow.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

"If personal identification is your principle of union, you are going to have some problems with original sin.

Robert Shaw commenting on 6.3-4 of the confession says,

'Another branch of original sin is the imputation of the guilt of Adam's first transgression. This is rejected by many who admit original corruption. By the imputation of Adam's first sin, ************it is not intended that his personal transgression becomes the personal transgression of his posterity**************; but that the guilt of his transgression is reckoned to their account. And it is only the guilt of his first sin, which was committed by him as a public representative, that is imputed to his posterity, and not the guilt of his future sins, after he had ceased to act in that character. The grounds of this imputation are, that Adam was both the natural root and the federal head or representative of all his posterity.'

But personal identification is the raison d'ĂȘtre of your view Ken. You don’t believe the Reformed view of Soteriology."


>>>As I said earlier, each individual has his own personal identity. Adam's sin does not become my personal sin. However, all men shared in the personal identity of Adam as long as we remained within him. If he had not propagated any descendants, and had been sent to hell for his sin, we all would have went there while still in him. As it is the spirit of a father that is propagated and not the person, both the person and the personal identity are left behind, so to speak, as the propagated individual is his own person with his own personal identity. The many were in the one only in the sense that the one became the many.

Samuel J. Baird [A Rejoinder to The Princeton Review, upon The Elohim Revealed, (Phila.: Joseph M. Wilson, 1860), pp. 34], a 19th-century Presby, also saw that union ("inbeing") with Christ was the ground of imputed righteousness, just as union with Adam was the ground of imputed sin. Although I do not agree with him on all things, he understood well why the idea of a shared identity through spiritual union with Christ is so consistently ignored by nominalistic representationists (blockquote):

"If the imputation of Christ's righteousness be founded in a real inbeing in him, wrought by the uniting power of his Spirit in regeneration, — if it is thus that we are brought within the provisions of the covenant of grace to our justification, it follows, (we will venture the word,) incontestably, that the imputation to us of Adam's sin, is founded in a real inbeing in him, by natural generation, by virtue of which we come under the provisions of the covenant of works, to our condemnation. But this, according to our reviewer [C. Hodge], is 'simply a physiological theory,' involving 'a mysterious identity,' which he cannot admit. Hence the necessity of ignoring the doctrine, in its relation to justification." (end quote)

To be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Continuing...

The excessively philosophical and naturalistic terms that are characteristic of most realists have served to obscure this parallel relationship of union to identity. Viewing the union in Adam as a union of species and a union of nature has hindered the recognition of the parallel of spiritual unions, and provided a reason for objections by the nominalists. John Murray [The Imputation of Adam's Sin, (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1959), pp. 33-34] makes such an objection (blockquote):

"The analogy instituted in Romans 5:12-19 (cf. I Cor. 15:22) presents a formidable objection to the realist construction. It is admitted by the realist that there is no 'realistic' union between Christ and the justified. That is to say, there is no human nature, specifically and numerically one, existing in its unity in Christ, which is individualized in those who are the beneficiaries of Christ's righteousness. On realist premises, therefore, a radical disparity must be posited between the character of the union that exists between Adam and his posterity, on the one hand, and the union that exists between Christ and those who are his, on the other... This sustained emphasis not only upon the one man Adam and the one man Christ but also upon the one trespass and the one righteous act points to a basic identity in respect of modus operandi. But if, in the one case, we have a oneness that is focused in the unity of the human nature, which realism posits, and, in the other case, a oneness that is focused in the one man Jesus Christ, where no such unity exists, it is difficult not to believe that discrepancy enters at the very point where similitude must be maintained. For, after all, on realist assumptions, it is not our union with Adam that is the crucial consideration in our involvement in his sin but our involvement in the sin of that human nature which existed in Adam. And what the parallelism of Romans 5:12-19 would indicate is that the one sin of the one man Adam is analogous on the side of condemnation to the one righteousness of the one man Jesus Christ on the side of justification. The kind of relationship that obtains in the one case obtains in the other. And how can this be if the kind of relationship is so different in respect of the nature of the union subsisting?" (end quote)

There is indeed a realistic union between Christ and the justified. As in Adam, this realistic union is a union of spirit. The parallel has an inverse quality: the spirit of Adam is propagated to all, while the spirits of the many are collected back into one head, Christ. We are generated out of Adam and regenerated into Christ. The "modus operandi" is that of a shared personal identity. While mankind was still within Adam, mankind shared the personal identity of Adam, and shared the ownership of his defining action (his sin). When a man is joined to the Spirit of Christ, he shares the personal identity of Christ such that he gains an ownership in His defining action (His obedience and death). We are joined to Adam's sin because we were joined to Adam at the time of his sin; but we are joined to Christ's death because we are joined to Christ now. Since Adam's "seed" are propagated by dispersion, it was necessary that we be united in Adam during his defining action. But Christ's "seed" are propagated by annexation, rather than by dispersion, and so we need not be united in Christ during his defining action. Unlike the case of Adam, when the Spirit of Christ is propagated to a believer, the Person of Christ is also propagated. It is not merely a spirit derived from Christ that indwells us, but the Person of Christ Himself. Therefore, it is sufficient for our ownership in His defining action that the Christ within us now is the same Christ who died on the Cross.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

As for the popular claim that only the first sin of Adam is imputed to mankind, we must ask, in light of Rom. 5:12, how many times can sin and death enter the world of men? One sin alone brought sin and death into the world. Once fallen, mankind could not fall again. Once sin entered, there was no longer any further entrance. Once Adam and Eve were mortal, they could not become any more mortal than they already were. Once their spiritual union with God was severed, they could not become any more spiritually dead than there already were. As for their descendants, those same consequences fall on us because of that same first sin--not because Adam was in some different representative capacity during the first sin that he was not in during subsequent sins, but merely because only the first sin was the first. The substantial reality of the situation here is completely sufficient to explain everything without the need for any artificially constructed representation.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"False dichotomy. With regards to justification, it is neither substance or personal identification. It is ethical, forensic and federal, and representational. "

You sound like Turretin (a compliment to you, no doubt). Turretin says (T16, Q3, §XV), "The act of one cannot be made the act of many, except by imputation." This is insufficient. The act of one cannot be imputed to the many according to truth and reality, except by uniting the one and the many in a personally identifying spiritual union. It is not enough for justice to be satisfied that a penalty has been exacted and requirements met: the sinner and Savior must be so joined together that justice is satisfied that the two are one in reality. God can sovereignly accept something less than this, but He cannot justly accept it.

Just as Turretin misses the identifying aspect of spiritual union with Christ, holding out nominal imputation and inherent righteousness as the only two possible conclusions, he misses the identifying aspect of the spiritual union of origin in Adam, holding out nominal imputation and propagated sin as the only alternatives. From the same section, he says: "The condemnation (katakrima) to which the justification of life (dikaiosis zoes) is opposed, is not a physical, but a forensic and judicial act... Nor if we are constituted unrighteous and guilty by sin propagated from Adam, ought we at once to be justified by inherent righteousness communicated to us through regeneration by Christ because there is a very different reason for each..." On the Adam side, he denies traducianism, which provides not only the propagated results of sin but the propagation of a participative culpability in the original offense, through a shared identity of spiritual union in the original man. This shared spiritual identity in the union in the first man points us to the shared identity of the sinner and Christ in the new man.

Continued...

biblicalrealist said...

Continuing...

Baird [Ibid., pp. 32-33] comments on this parallel and the mode of identity (blockquote):

"We have seen the zeal with which the position is maintained, that the doctrine of imputation 'does not include the idea of a mysterious identity of Adam and his race.' By parity of reason it should not include the idea of a mysterious identity between Christ and his people. And accordingly, in the system presented in the review [by Charles Hodge, of Baird's book, The Elohim Revealed], the relation which in the Scriptures and our standards, the mystical union sustains to justification is ignored, and the doctrine represented as complete without it, and to the exclusion of it. 'Christ in the covenant of redemption, is constituted the head and representative of his people; and, in virtue of this federal union, and agreeably to the terms of the eternal covenant, they are regarded and treated as having done what he did and suffered what he suffered in their name and in their behalf.' According to our understanding of the Scriptures, it was provided in the eternal covenant that the elect should be actually ingrafted into Christ by his Spirit, and their acceptance and justification is by virtue of this their actual union to him. 'This principle is not to be so understood as though the character thus conveyed were the meritorious cause of the relations predicated; as if the believer were justified by the personal righteousness which he receives through the power of Christ's Spirit given to him. On the contrary, the union, which is constituted by virtue of the transmission of the nature, itself conveys a proprietary title in the moral and legal relations of the head; whilst the efficient principle which thus unites, is also fruitful in effects appropriate to the nature whence it flows. Thus, the sin of Adam, and the righteousness of Christ are severally imputed to their seed, by virtue of the union, constituted in the one case by the principle of natural generation, and in the other, by 'the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,' the Holy Spirit, the principle of regeneration. At the same time, the power by which the union is in these cases severally wrought produces likeness to the head.'" (end quote)

Ken Hamrick

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

">>>Is your answer to simply re-assert your claim that I have confused ethics and being?"

>>>It has not been refuted. Why should I need to do anything else?

"Rhetoric, but no substance. Was Turretin's idea of "seminal union" strictly physical (and not immaterial) or was it not?--or, are you unable to answer? If you don't understand what I mean, just ask. I am not above explaining it."

>>>Our seminal activity would be phyical but not in a vacuum. Turretin says, "yet we were in power, both seminally (inasmuch as we were contained in him as the root of the whole species, Acts 17:26) and representatively (inasmuch as from the order of God he bore our person and God made the covenant with the whole human race in him"

How then does Adam make us guilty? Girardeau says, ―he must have been more than a father.‖(CEA, 230-231) He was a public person, a federal representative (Not the reality) for his physical seed. The animal sacrifices were legal representatives for the people in the Old Covenant. They were efficacious as they were types of Christ. 2 Cor 5:14 says, For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: But I am not literally dead. I died in a representative. You call this nominalism and insodoing confuse the genus of ethics with being and deny scripture. The parallel as given in Romans 5 infers that it is the same with Adam: representatively.

"That's quite a large chip on your shoulder, Drake. I'll address your other comments tomorrow. "

A Baptist group, masquerading as Protestants, took my scholarship from school from me a month before I graduated college for becoming a Presbyterian. It has destroyed my life. You are a Baptist and so yes, it is a very large chip.

"Adam's sin does not become my personal sin. However, all men shared in the personal identity of Adam as long as we remained within him."

>>>You equivocation is neverending. Your first use of personal identity here is ontological and then your later use it representation if you have an inckling of a desire to remain reformed. I am about done here.

" If he had not propagated any descendants, and had been sent to hell for his sin, we all would have went there while still in him."

>>>What? If he had gone to hell he would not have had any children as you admit yet the children go to hell? What children? You are a bag of nuts dude.

"There is indeed a realistic union between Christ and the justified."

>>>I have already admitted this with respect to his divine nature. You're just typing now.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

BTW. I don't believe you when you said you read the Maximian article.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

In summary Ken, Traducianism is a theory which speaks to the being of man at the level of nature. Imputed guilt speaks to the person at the level of hypostasis.

You are confusing nature and person in seeking to collapse Traducianism on the head of imputed guilt.

Second, do you believe that original righteosness is a statement about man's being or his morals? That is do you believe that a created hypostasis starts out actualized in righteousness/virtue or sin? Or are you saying that they start out with a tendency to righteousness or sin and subsequently perform actual deeds of righteousness or sin?

When you understand the question you will understand the disticntion between the genus of being and the genus of ethics/morals. Westminster Confession 6.4 says, From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.

I go into detail about this in my article that you said you read so your request for me to explain it shows me you lied about reading the article.

Because of your devotion to lies, confusion, equivocation and outright dishonesty to even try to act like you are in the reformed sphere, I'm done with this conversation.

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

>>>I had asked, "Is your answer to simply re-assert your claim that I have confused ethics and being?" Your reply:

"It has not been refuted. Why should I need to do anything else?"

>>>Refuted? You have not yet presented anything approaching a cogent argument as to how your claim even applies to my view. As far as I can tell from your writing, this claim simply verifies that you do not comprehend the realistic idea of a shared identity effected by spiritual union. I have no doubt that you're just not getting this, and your knee-jerk, pontifical approach to this discussion has not helped your case.

I had earlier stated: "Turretin was inconsistent, and a nominalist. He used the terms of realistic union, but denied the substance. His 'seminal union' was strictly physical and not immaterial." You failed to address the very inconsistency that I specifically cited. Instead, you answered, "This is hilarious. Turretin was the most consistent Theologian I have ever read. You simply don't get the idea of imputation;" to which I replied, "Rhetoric, but no substance. Was Turretin's idea of "seminal union" strictly physical (and not immaterial) or was it not?--or, are you unable to answer?" Now, this is your answer:

"Our seminal activity would be phyical but not in a vacuum. Turretin says, 'yet we were in power, both seminally (inasmuch as we were contained in him as the root of the whole species, Acts 17:26) and representatively (inasmuch as from the order of God he bore our person and God made the covenant with the whole human race in him'..."

>>>Then you acknowledge that Turretin used the realistic terminology of "seminal union," but denied the whole substance of realism when he defined that "seminal union" in a way that is devoid of IMMATERIAL union. You have verified that Turretin was inconsistent on this, just as I said he was. Where then is the hilarity? You tried to mitigate the inconsistency by saying that our "seminal activity" would be "physical but not in a vacuum." Whatever nebulous ideas you might try to use to replace that vacuum, they do NOT include the realistic idea of an immaterial union. If there was no immaterial union of the whole human race in Adam, then God could not have made the covenant with the whole human race in Adam, since we were not there in Adam at the time. Either it is true that we were IN Adam in a real way within substantial reality (which is a realistic union), OR, we were IN Adam ONLY IN THE MIND OF GOD. The latter is not a seminal union but an imaginary union--not a realistic union but a nominal union.

To be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...




You continue your answer:
"How then does Adam make us guilty? Girardeau says, ―he must have been more than a father.‖(CEA, 230-231) He was a public person, a federal representative (Not the reality) for his physical seed. The animal sacrifices were legal representatives for the people in the Old Covenant. They were efficacious as they were types of Christ. 2 Cor 5:14 says, For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: But I am not literally dead. I died in a representative. You call this nominalism and insodoing confuse the genus of ethics with being and deny scripture. The parallel as given in Romans 5 infers that it is the same with Adam: representatively. "

>>>Rom. 5 is the most debated chapter in the Bible. Honest scholars admit that it can be validly understood in a number of ways, including the realistic understanding that we sinned "in Adam" in the realistic sense of an immaterial union of origin. Note that it tells us that by the one man's transgression the many were MADE sinners, and not merely viewed AS IF they had sinned--not RECKONED sinners, but MADE sinners. Note also that by the one Man's obedience many will be MADE righteous.

Girardeau was wrong, and simply affirming his nominalistic representationist views. The animals were not the legal representatives of the people, but only types that pointed to the one true Sacrifice, Christ.

TO be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

I had said, "That's quite a large chip on your shoulder, Drake." Your reply:

"A Baptist group, masquerading as Protestants, took my scholarship from school from me a month before I graduated college for becoming a Presbyterian. It has destroyed my life. You are a Baptist and so yes, it is a very large chip. "

>>>I appreciate you candor. Of course, you know that I had nothing to do with any of that. No one can destroy God's plan for your life. But bitterness can weigh you down and ravage a lot of good things in your life. I know something about that. Two years ago, God delivered me from forty years of deep-seated bitterness. When I was six (1970), my father, police chief of Rock Creek Ohio, was killed in the line of duty; and the perpetrators were never prosecuted. Then, when I was eight or nine, a seventeen-year-old male cousin moved in with us for the summer, and continually molested and raped me. I could not bring myself to reveal this publically until about 15 years ago. I chose to become bitter over these two things, and the resulting emotional damage made me unfit for college as a young man, failing my first year. Even though I was saved by the wonderful grace of God when I was sixteen, my problems remained. I was still bitter, though genuinely wanting to forgive the offenders. But that only transferred my bitterness to the world in general--to all the criminals and evil people out there. Eventually, two years ago, God spoke to me through a minister, and revealed to me some life-changing truths: 1) all bitterness is really bitterness toward God, since He is sovereign and allowed these things to happen; 2) As the guilty sinner that I was and have been, I deserved nothing but an eternity in hell; and 3) God can use terrible experiences to bring about the greater good, as well as to give me the capacity to minister to people who have suffered in similar ways. I repented of it, and I thank God that I have been "rage-free" since then. I hope God's grace will help you as well.

To be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

I had stated, "Adam's sin does not become my personal sin. However, all men shared in the personal identity of Adam as long as we remained within him." You replied:

"Your equivocation is neverending. Your first use of personal identity here is ontological and then your later use is representation if you have an inkling of a desire to remain reformed. I am about done here. "

>>>I never said that I was Reformed, except in the sense that all Protestants can be called Reformed. I am a congruistic Calvinist, as I said before, but that is the most diluted form of Calvinism (1-point). I hope you realize that realists are considered orthodox and there have been well-respected, such as W. G. T. Shedd, who are Reformed in every sense. According to Shedd, realistic union and representation are mutually exclusive ideas. As much as Hodge disagree with Shedd, he never claimed that his realism put him outside of the Reformed Church. Therefore, representationism is not required by those who "have an inkling of a desire to remain reformed."

There is no equivocation, here or elsewhere. You are stuck on the idea that there are only two categories, ontological and ethical, and (apparently) unable to comprehend the idea of identity and union of identity. Morality cannot exist on its own as if it there were some metaphysical cloud of morality to be dispensed and applied. You mentioned that sin is transgression, but only beings transgress. Transgression never occurs apart from being. This is not to say that the substance of being is somehow tainted with sin, which would be an ontological view of sin. Rather, it is to recognize that a being is either guilty of sin or not. The idea of substance cannot be applied to spirit in the same sense as the substance of the body is applied to the body. Because of the simplicity of spirit, spiritual substance is spiritual being. It is not a contaminated spiritual substance that we inherit from Adam, but our spiritual being that comes from him with a history of already having sinned. Since transgression cannot exist apart from being, than it cannot be transferred from one being to another across "nonentity." As Shedd said, the transfer of sin implies the transfer of that which sins (the soul).

If you are "done here," it will only be due to encountering a view that is not as easy dismantled as you had planned. You jumped into this discussion like a bull in a china shop, labelling and dismissing me at every false rabbit trail available. If that's the way you prefer to operate, then I can see how anything that slows that down would tend to drive you away.

I had said, "If he had not propagated any descendants, and had been sent to hell for his sin, we all would have went there while still in him." You replied:

"What? If he had gone to hell he would not have had any children as you admit yet the children go to hell? What children? You are a bag of nuts dude. "

>>>What I mean is that, although we were in Adam when he sinned, we are no longer in Adam. We were propagated out of Adam, and into the man, Seth (and every one of our forefathers, in succession, after him). The core of our being, our spirit, was not created "brand new" for us, but came from Adam's spirit. While it is true that I as an individual did not exist until I was conceived, it is just as true that we, as all mankind, existed in Adam and were propagated through every forefather, until our current existence as individuals today. If Adam had not propagated any descendants, then we all would not exist as individuals, but would still be "in" the man Adam (where ever he might be, heaven or hell). As Augustine said, we all were that one man. That's only nuts to those who don't comprehend it.

To be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"BTW. I don't believe you when you said you read the Maximian article..."
"...I go into detail about this in my article that you said you read so your request for me to explain it shows me you lied about reading the article... Because of your devotion to lies, confusion, equivocation and outright dishonesty to even try to act like you are in the reformed sphere, I'm done with this conversation."


>>>Such vicious personal attacks are unworthy of a brother in Christ (if indeed Christ is in you).

I did read your article, but for the life of me I could not see what made you apply such a distinction to my view. I've even gone back today, giving you the benefit of the doubt, and went over the article again; but I still find nothing germane in it. Feel free to criticize my inability to understand your point and your article, but don't embarrass yourself before our Lord by making rash accusations.

BTW, I have made no claims to being "in the Reformed sphere." I was quite up front about being a Southern Baptist, and a congruist.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"In summary Ken, Traducianism is a theory which speaks to the being of man at the level of nature. Imputed guilt speaks to the person at the level of hypostasis.You are confusing nature and person in seeking to collapse Traducianism on the head of imputed guilt. "

>>>Nature? Would that be man's material nature or immaterial nature? Obviously, it is the immaterial nature, which is the spirit of a man. Traducianism is exactly about spiritual propagation, and involves the immaterial union of mankind in Adam when he sinned.

"Second, do you believe that original righteousness is a statement about man's being or his morals? That is do you believe that a created hypostasis starts out actualized in righteousness/virtue or sin? Or are you saying that they start out with a tendency to righteousness or sin and subsequently perform actual deeds of righteousness or sin?
When you understand the question you will understand the distinction between the genus of being and the genus of ethics/morals. Westminster Confession 6.4 says, From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions. "


>>>Traducianists, or realists, do not need the artificial construct of original righteousness. Traducianists object that God cannot be the author of sin by creating sinful spirits (or souls), and further, that immaterial moral corruption cannot inhere in the physical body (which would be Gnosticism). This construct of original righteousness was adopted to remove the force of the argument that a newly created soul must come from God without moral taint else God is the author of its corruption. If Adam's righteousness prior to his sin can be seen as a gift from God, to be bestowed, taken away, or deprived, then God is not obligated to bestow this gift on the newly created souls of Adam's progeny.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was not merely about the knowledge of evil. Just as the sinfulness they encountered by eating the fruit was new to them, the righteousness that they would have earned by not eating the fruit would have been new to them. Righteousness, in finite creatures, must always be earned by someone within substantial reality. Even in the case of those who benefit from the imputed righteousness of Christ, that righteousness was earned by Christ Jesus. There is no such thing as an unearned human righteousness— it is an effect without a cause (for that matter, neither is there such a thing as an unearned condemnation). The probation of Adam was preparatory to his fulfilling of the role that God intended. But in order for Adam to be righteous, he would have to earn it through obedience; and if he passed the test, God would confirm him in righteousness forever. Even the angels went through such a probationary test, with one-third falling from heaven in sin. Every moral creature must be tested, because God demands righteousness, and it must be earned. And what is being tested, but the will? It is the will that obeys or disobeys, so that the will is indispensable to righteousness and sin; and this is the reality shown to us by the test in the Garden of Eden. In the case of man, every man was tested while still within the loins of Adam, and every man failed when Adam failed.

To be continued...

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

Until the command and the temptation were introduced into Adam’s and Eve’s existence, their will and God’s will were naturally in line— both God and man wanted the same things so there was no occasion for potential conflict between the two wills. By the giving of the command and the temptation of the tempter, the occasion arose where the congruity of man’s self-interest and God’s interests was challenged, so that a choice had to be made. Having never had to make such a choice before, Adam and Eve had never before made a moral decision. Choosing rightly would have earned them righteousness. Choosing wrongly earned them condemnation and immediate spiritual death. Either choice would have gained them the knowledge of good and evil. The knowledge did not come from the fruit (any fruit tree would have served the purpose), but it came from the knowledge gained by coming to the decision point and deciding either way. It was, in effect, the Tree of Moral Agency. By resisting temptation, they could have gained both an earned righteousness and the knowledge of good and evil. But they chose the other route— according to their free will and according to God’s plan.

Peace,
Ken Hamrick

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“>>>Refuted? You have not yet presented anything approaching a cogent argument as to how your claim even applies to my view.”

>>I have already stated, which you ignored,

“Ok, we have already cleared away the idea that the consubstantiality of Christ with the elect is not the issue. The issue is the elect’s relationship to the obedience of Christ’s human nature in time. I think you are confusing the genus of ethics and the genus of being. Obedience to law/righteousness/virtue is not in the genus of being but ethics. This is why I think it is erroneous to use ontological language with regards to justification.”

>>>>You keep wanting to turn the attention to the ontology of the person of Christ when the issue of justification is not the elect’s relationship to the ontological identity of the person of Christ in the genus of being . It is the relationship of the elect TO THE OBEDIENCE of the person of Christ in the genus of ethics.

I am not letting you change the subject to some straw man issue you want to force into this conversation. My claim doesn’t apply to your view in the sense that you are focusing attention on an issue that is meaningless on the reformed system.

“ Was Turretin's idea of "seminal union" strictly physical (and not immaterial) or was it not?”

>>>>Physical in a representational context. Very easy to understand. However, physical is not mutually exclusive to ontology. Physical death is an aspect of the passed curse.

“but denied the whole substance of realism when he defined that "seminal union" in a way that is devoid of IMMATERIAL union.”

>>>> This is another point at which you change the subject. Traducianism speaks to the *****origin of man’s soul******* in the genus of being. Seminal activity is referring to *******original sin******. It could be argued they are both in the genus of being because neither one involves personal activity but only natural being, yet here is your fallacy:

The activity of men in the act of Adam’s sin is referred to by turretin as power. This is physical yes but at the level of nature not hypostasis there was also the will of the soul which is the energy of the person. So my soul was in an abstract way a part of that power and activity of Adam’s transgression. So there is an immaterial aspect to the “seminal power.”

“If there was no immaterial union of the whole human race in Adam, then God could not have made the covenant with the whole human race in Adam”

>>>God did not make the covenant of works, if that is what covenant you are referring to, with the entire human race. He made it with Adam. The curse of this covenant extends to his progeny by way of a covenant through federal headship. Just like the blessings of the covenant of grace extend to the elect by way of covenant and decree. Otherwise you end up with a universalist extension by necessity of nature. If you try to make the ontological demand I have already shown you what problems you face with Origen, and Maximus the confessor.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

“OR, we were IN Adam ONLY IN THE MIND OF GOD. The latter is not a seminal union but an imaginary union”

>>>Again you are jumping from the relationship a human being has to adam with regards to *****his soul***** to the relationship a human being has with regards to original sin.

“>>>Rom. 5 is the most debated chapter in the Bible.”

Speculation. Has there been official research done on this? What are you talking about?

“including the realistic understanding that we sinned "in Adam" in the realistic sense of an immaterial union of origin. ”

>>>This statement shows the exact confusion I am talking about. Notice how you switch from talking about original sin realism, to origin of soul realism. A clear confusion between the genus of being and ethics.

“ For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

“Note that it tells us that by the one man's transgression the many were MADE sinners, and not merely viewed AS IF they had sinned--not RECKONED sinners, but MADE sinners. Note also that by the one Man's obedience many will be MADE righteous.”

>>>>The reformed view of original sin does speak to the genus of being and the genus of ethics. The positive aspects to original sin on the reformed view are the imputed guilt of Adam’s first actual personal transgression in the genus of ethics, and the corruption of nature in the genus of being, wherby the nature of man now has a tendency to sin in the genus of being. So your parallel doesn’t work because both genus’ are active in the making of a sinner. Secondly, justification is not the only aspect of salvation on the reformed view. There is also, sanctification where a realist infusion takes place and in glorification as well.

Edward White proves the forensic nature of the term “justification” and refutes the infusion theory in his Life in Christ Chapter Chap 18 sec. 1,
“(1) Prov. xvii. 15. ‘He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, they both are an abomination to the Lord.’ To infuse righteousness into an ungodly man cannot be an abomination to the Lord. The abomination is for a judge to declare innocent a wicked man persisting in his crimes.
(2) Luke x. 29. Of the lawyer who wished to work for salvation it is said, ‘He, willing to justify himself Did he wish to infuse righteousness into himself? He thought himself righteous already. He desired to have himself accounted as righteous, reputed innocent.
(3) In Genesis xliv. 16, Judah exclaims on behalf of his brethren, ‘How shall we clear ourselves?’ Not, how shall we make ourselves into good men? but, how shall we obtain acquittal from guilt, and be regarded as righteous?
(4) In Luke vii. 35, it is said, ‘Wisdom is justified of her children.’ Is righteousness infused into Wisdom? Is wisdom made righteous by her children? No. But wicked men bring charges against wisdom. Of these charges her children acquit her. They all declare wisdom to be righteous.
(5) In 1 Tim. iii. 16, Christ is said to have been ‘justified by the Spirit.’ Was Christ made into a good man by the Spirit? No. But He was crucified as a wicked impostor, false prophet, and sinner; and by His Resurrection He was declared righteous.
(6) In Luke vii. 29, the Saviour speaking of God says, ‘All the people and the publicans justified God.’ Surely publicans and harlots did not infuse righteousness into Him. By receiving John, they declared themselves to be sinners, and God to be righteous.

Drake Shelton said...

continued quote...



In these passages—all the undisputed ones—in which the verb to justify is mentioned, we see clearly that to justify does not mean to infuse righteousness, or in any way to make just, but that it means to pronounce innocent, to declare righteous, to account or reckon righteous, to treat as righteous. In short, that, in the Bible, the forensic sense is the true sense.”

Therefore, I deny that justification is an ontological action upon man’s nature but

“It is, then, a moral change in the character of the soul, and not an ontological or physical change in its substance, which is the condition of salvation, and the present result of the indwelling of the Divine Spirit. ‘The Spirit is life because of righteousness ‘ (Rom. viii. 10). This is the answer to those who object that regeneration is represented by us as a physical change in the structure of the soul. We are not of those who so represent it. It is a change wholly spiritual.” (Edward White, Life in Christ, Chapter 20, Section 3)

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“The animals were not the legal representatives of the people, but only types that pointed to the one true Sacrifice, Christ. ”

>>>Wrong,

In Vol. 6 of his Hebrews commentary John Owen points out on page 443 the absurdity of saying that the animal sacrifices were not efficacious at all.
“Especially, the great anniversary sacrifice on the day of expiation was appointed so expressly to make atonement for sin, to procure its pardon, TO TAKE AWAY ITS GUILT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, AND FROM THE CONSCIENCE OF THE SINNER, THAT HE SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED ACCORDING unto the sentence of the law, as that it cannot be denied. This is that which the apostle declares that of themselves they could not effect or perform, BUT ONLY TYPICALLY AND BY WAY OF REPRESENTATION.”
HEB 10 IS SPEAKING OF THE SACRIFICES IN THEMSELVES. But typically they were efficacious and propitious as they figured Christ’s atonement. The blood of Jesus does not propitiate per se. It propitiates by representation. His blood represents his life (Lev.17:11). The Scriptures teach that “the wages of sin is death.” Thus what atones for sin per se is a death, not blood. However, by a positive law God has instituted that blood be the representative emblem of that death in political and ecclesiastical affairs. That God requires blood for remission is a positive law. Owen says,
“By the law, without shedding of blood,’ that is, in sacrifice, ‘there is no remission.’ Yet though that season be particularly intended, the axiom is universally true, and applicable unto the new covenant; - even under it, without shedding of blood is not remission…There seems to be an exception in the case of him who was so poor that he could not provide the meanest offering of blood for a sin-offering ; for he was allowed by the law to offer " the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour " for his sin, and it was forgiven him, Lev. v. 11-13. Wherefore the word…"almost," may be here again repeated, because of this single case. But the apostle hath respect unto the general rule of the law. And this exception was not an ordinary constitution, but depended on the impossibility of the thing itself, whereunto it made a gracious condescension. And this necessity ofttimes of itself, without any constitution, suspends a positive law, and gives a dispensation unto the infringers of it. So was it in the case of David when he ate of the shew-bread in his hunger; and as to works of necessity and mercy on the Sabbath-day: which instances are given by our Saviour himself. Wherefore the particular exception on this consideration did rather strengthen than invalidate the general rule of the law. Besides, the nearest approach was made unto it that might be. For fine flour is the best of the bread whereby man s life is sustained; and in the offering of it the offerer testified that by his sin he had forfeited his own life and all whereby it was sustained: which was the meaning of the offering of blood.” (Vol. 6 of Hebrews Commentaries, pg. 367-368)


“I am a congruistic Calvinist”

>>>You are not even close to Calvinist dude. You deny representationalism and therefore ipso facto deny imputed righteousness but only infused righteousness. That is Roman Catholic soteriology. BTW, which 1 point of Calvinism do you hold to?

If you think for one second that you have shedd in your corner you are nuts! You are confusing issues and metaphysical categories. Shedd would have nothing to do with what you teach.

“Therefore, representationism is not required by those who "have an inkling of a desire to remain reformed." ”

>>>Do you believe in the Covenant of redemption as explained by the sum of saving knowledge?

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“You are stuck on the idea that there are only two categories, ontological and ethical, and (apparently) unable to comprehend the idea of identity and union of identity.”

>>>I am very aware that there are other categories. I am stuck on how poorly you understand the two. With regards to identity you do not understand the Christian concept of personal identity as it is distinguished from the level of nature. As I showed earlier when I said,

“In summary Ken, Traducianism is a theory which speaks to the being of man at the level of nature. Imputed guilt speaks to the person at the level of hypostasis.You are confusing nature and person in seeking to collapse Traducianism on the head of imputed guilt.”

“You mentioned that sin is transgression, but only beings transgress. ”

>>>Wrong. Only persons transgress.
“This is not to say that the substance of being is somehow tainted with sin, which would be an ontological view of sin.”

So hold on. Are you seriously now admitting that sin is ethical and not ontological? If so you better delete about 50% of the statements you have made here.

“ Rather, it is to recognize that a being is either guilty of sin or not.”

>>>Wrong again. Sin can refer to tendency in the genus of being or actual transgression in the genus of ethics as a personal activity.

“ Because of the simplicity of spirit”

>>>>Oh goody, now your neoplatonism is beginning to flesh out. Simplicity of spirit huh? So you believe in absolute divine simplicity?

“It is not a contaminated spiritual substance that we inherit from Adam”

>>>If you mean that we receive no actual transgression, then I agree.

“Since transgression cannot exist apart from being, than it cannot be transferred from one being to another across "nonentity."”

>>>>Define transferred. Seems you are making the mistake of confusing a personal transgression in the genus of ethics with a tendency to sin in the genus of being.

“If you are "done here," it will only be due to encountering a view that is not as easy dismantled as you had planned.”

>>>LOL. You are a child dude. I took it apart piece by piece with no problems. You haven’t touched at least half of my statements here. You didn’t even touch the Origen and Maximus statement.

“What I mean is that, although we were in Adam when he sinned”

>>>>This is only abstract not concrete.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“We were propagated out of Adam, and into the man, Seth (and every one of our forefathers, in succession, after him). The core of our being, our spirit, was not created "brand new" for us, but came from Adam's spirit”

>>>>Agreed.

“we all would have went there while still in him." … If Adam had not propagated any descendants, then we all would not exist as individuals”

>>>>See you refute yourself. If there are no other individuals then there is no “all” in the first statement.

“>>>Nature? Would that be man's material nature or immaterial nature?”

Nature refers to necessary predication of a class. There can be material and immaterial aspects. In the case of man both soul and body.
The Idea of the Human Genus is defined as a mind with a will, and what is colloquially termed “emotions” (I have yet found an intelligible definition of emotion) combined with a body. The rational aspect is essential while the body is natural but strictly accidental.
The body is not actively hostile toward the human endeavor neither is the mind alien to this created physical realm but sin has corrupted it and introduced elements that are alien to its original creation. The essential attribute of man is his rational faculty while the body and man's original righteousness is accidental. Clark in his The Biblical Doctrine of Man clearly taught that human nature was man's rationality but this was combined with a body. In his book on The Incarnation (having no intention on teaching anything close to a Gnostic hostility to creation or human flesh) Clark makes the conclusion that a human person like Paul who was out of his body or in it he could not tell assumes that Paul’s human personhood was not dependent on his body. I agree. The body is natural to man, not in the sense that it constitutes man’s nature essentially in every context, or for what immediately follows the constituted nature but is natural in the sense that original righteous is that by which man was born with in this world and is agreeable to his nature and in this life essential.

“>>Traducianists, or realists, do not need the artificial construct of original righteousness. ”

>>>This is not Protestant. You then have a natural hostility between the elfish and spirit which needs an extra gift for balance. It’s Gnostic, anchoretic and from hell.

“ This construct of original righteousness was adopted to remove the force of the argument that a newly created soul must come from God without moral taint else God is the author of its corruption.”

>>>So then none of the Puritans could have come up with this seeing none of them believed that adam and eve came into the world with moral taint. And secondly, they didn’t believe that original righteousness or original sin were moral taint. Original righteousness is in the genus of being not ethics. And original sin is in the genus of being except for the imputed guilt but that is not their personal sin and so not moral taint. So you are wrong on both sides.

“the righteousness that they would have earned by not eating the fruit would have been new to them”

>>>Who said anything about earning righteousness?

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“Righteousness, in finite creatures, must always be earned by someone within substantial reality.”

>>>Really, can you show me a single person, outside of Christ who earned righteousness? Can you show me anyone at all who earned righteousness for themselves?

“There is no such thing as an unearned human righteousness”

>>>I can completely understand this statement coming from someone who is confused between a righteous constitution in the genus of being and personal righteous deeds performed in the genus of ethics.

“But in order for Adam to be righteous, he would have to earn it through obedience”

>>>You’re pelagian. Only pelagius believes in earning righteousness for oneself. This is not the reformed view. Adam was created originally righteous with Justifying Life. What was promised to Adam, was not something he did not already have. It was a security in that Life that he was already created with. Charles Hodge states,

“The one was called the Tree of Life, the other the Tree of Knowledge. The former was the symbol of life, and its fruit was not to be eaten except on the condition of man’s retaining his integrity. Whether the fruit of that tree had inherent virtue to impart life, i. e., to sustain the body of man in its youthful vigour and beauty, or gradually to refine it until it should become like to what the glorified body of Christ now is, or whether the connection between eating its fruit and immortality was simply conventional and sacramental, we cannot determine. It is enough to know that partaking of that tree secured in some way the enjoyment of eternal life...The symbolical and typical import of the tree of life is thus clear. As paradise was the type of heaven, so the tree which would have secured immortal life to obedient Adam in that terrestrial paradise is the type of Him who is the source of spiritual and eternal life to his people in the paradise above.” Systematic Theology, Vol 2 pg. 125

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

>>>To have you disagree or criticize my view would be expected. But I hold out hope that you will at least come to understand what you are disagreeing with. For example, you continue to wrongly label my view as infused righteousness and ontological sin. This is like Hodge's rebuttals of some of the Presbyterian realists of his day who dared to critique his wholly representationist scheme of peccatum alienum and justification without need for union (see Robert W. Landis, Original Sin, and Samuel Baird, The Elohim Revealed).

On the Adam side, Hodge could only comprehend two possibilities: immediate, gratuitous imputation, based on a sin wholly alien to us, or, mediate imputation, based on subjective corruption. Although both Baird and Landis (and Robert J. Breckinridge and William G. T. Shedd, as well) were speaking of a realistic identity of all men in Adam when he sinned, and thus sharing in his culpability and just consequences--and not at all of mediate imputation arising from inherent corruption, Hodge just could not wrap his mind around the concept. There is more to be considered than the alternatives of inherent corruption and gratuitous imputation: there is a participative culpability that is propagated when that which did willingly participate is propagated. This, Hodge was either unable or unwilling to comprehend.

In support of this fact that you are misunderstanding my view, I have already given you two excellent paragraphs from Baird, which went unanswered (as far as I can tell).

TO be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

Baird (bold mine; blockquote):

//
"If the imputation of Christ's righteousness be founded in a real inbeing in him, wrought by the uniting power of his Spirit in regeneration, — if it is thus that we are brought within the provisions of the covenant of grace to our justification, it follows, (we will venture the word,) incontestably, that the imputation to us of Adam's sin, is founded in a real inbeing in him, by natural generation, by virtue of which we come under the provisions of the covenant of works, to our condemnation. But this, according to our reviewer [C. Hodge], is 'simply a physiological theory,' involving 'a mysterious identity,' which he cannot admit. Hence the necessity of ignoring the doctrine, in its relation to justification..."

"...We have seen the zeal with which the position is maintained, that the doctrine of imputation 'does not include the idea of a mysterious identity of Adam and his race.' By parity of reason it should not include the idea of a mysterious identity between Christ and his people. And accordingly, in the system presented in the review [by Charles Hodge, of Baird's book, The Elohim Revealed], the relation which in the Scriptures and our standards, the mystical union sustains to justification is ignored, and the doctrine represented as complete without it, and to the exclusion of it. 'Christ in the covenant of redemption, is constituted the head and representative of his people; and, in virtue of this federal union, and agreeably to the terms of the eternal covenant, they are regarded and treated as having done what he did and suffered what he suffered in their name and in their behalf.' According to our understanding of the Scriptures, it was provided in the eternal covenant that the elect should be actually ingrafted into Christ by his Spirit, and their acceptance and justification is by virtue of this their actual union to him. 'This principle is not to be so understood as though the character thus conveyed were the meritorious cause of the relations predicated; as if the believer were justified by the personal righteousness which he receives through the power of Christ's Spirit given to him. On the contrary, the union, which is constituted by virtue of the transmission of the nature, itself conveys a proprietary title in the moral and legal relations of the head; whilst the efficient principle which thus unites, is also fruitful in effects appropriate to the nature whence it flows. Thus, the sin of Adam, and the righteousness of Christ are severally imputed to their seed, by virtue of the union, constituted in the one case by the principle of natural generation, and in the other, by 'the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,' the Holy Spirit, the principle of regeneration. At the same time, the power by which the union is in these cases severally wrought produces likeness to the head.'"// (end quote)

>>>I would be very much interested in you thoughts on the views expressed here, as it speaks directly to the differences between us.

To be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

Here [Landis, Original Sin, (Richmond: Whittet & Shepperson, 1884), pp. 44-45] is a sample of between Landis' "Augustinian realism" and the nominalistic representationism of Hodge (bold mine; blockquote):

//
On this whole subject, therefore, Dr. Hodge has affirmed, in regard to the teaching of the Reformed church, not only that which is without foundation, but that which is contrary to fact, and the misconception runs through all his discussions respecting it. He... claims that his theory of the gratuitous imputation of sin is taught in the doctrinal standards of our Church. He says: "According to this view, hereditary depravity follows as a penal evil from Adam's sin, and is not the ground of its imputation to men. This, according to our understanding of it, is essentially the old Calvinistic doctrine. This is our doctrine, and the doctrine of the standards of our Church. For they make original sin to consist, 1st, In the guilt of Adam's first sin; 2ndly, The want of original righteousness; and 3dly, The corruption of our whole nature." [Princeton Essays, First Series, p. 168.] The same is many times repeated in his Theology, from which we cite the following brief explanations: "His (Adam's) sin was not our sin. Its guilt does not belong to us personally. It is imputed to us as something not our own, a peccatum alienum; and the penalty of it, the forfeiture of the divine favor, the loss of original righteousness, and spiritual death, are its sad consequences." [Theology, Vol. II., p. 225.] "To impute sin, in scriptural and theological language, is to impute the guilt of sin. And by guilt is meant, not criminality or moral ill-desert, much less moral pollution, but the judicial obligation to satisfy justice." [Ibid. p. 196.]

Now, although there can be no rational doubt... that had the question been propounded to the Westminster Assembly, as to the meaning they attach to the term guilt, in the passage above cited by Dr. Hodge, they, one and all, would have answered, Guilt by participation (culpa participatione, to use the expression which then and previously was everywhere current in the Calvinistic church), and in which even the supralapsarian Rutherford would have joined; and although this explanation of the term in such connection is found everywhere existing in our theology, Dr. Hodge has utterly slighted and repudiated it as unworthy of notice; and on the most unauthorized assumption claims that the guilt referred to is that of a peccatum alienum, or Adam's personal sin alone. And in entire disregard of all the other statements of our standards affirming a community of guilt, and against all emphatic precedent in the acknowledged statement of the doctrine itself, persists likewise in claiming that the order of topics, as exhibited in this one place, is designed by the Assembly as a logical statement of cause and effect--the cause being Adam's peccatum alienum, and the effect being the universal depravity or corruption of his posterity. And having thus, by the merest petitio principii, asumed all this, he deduces the monstrous (if I may employ one of his favorite terms,) and equally false and baseless conclusion, that our standards support the theory of the gratuitous imputation of sin.// (end quote)

>>>"Guilt by participation (culpa participatione" is not a participation of the body, but a participation of the spirit (or, soul). From what little I have read of Clarkianism so far, you seem to severely minimize the idea of spirit, preferring instead the idea of mind. Is that an accurate assessment? Maybe that explains the difficulty in communication between us. For sure, we have different paradigms and presuppositions.

TO be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

You said that Shedd was not on my side, and yet, you have not addressed the fact that he did not hold to Adamic representation, but rather, to realistic headship. It is true that on the Christ side of the parallel, he falls in with the representationists, but on the Adam side, he agrees with me on much more than he agrees with you. Shedd [Dogmatic Theology, (Phillipsburg: P&R, 2003), Third ed., pp. 448-449] himself points out the inconsistencies of Turretin, as well (bold mine; blockquote):

//
Turretin marks the transition from the elder to the later Calvinism, from the theory of the Adamic union to that of the Adamic representation. Both theories are found in his system and are found in conflict. He vibrates from one to the other in his discussion of the subject of imputation. Sometimes he represents the union of Adam with his posterity as precisely like that of Chrsit with his people, namely, that of vicarious representation alone, without natural and seminal union. Adam's posterity, he says, "did not yet exist in the nature of things" when Adam's sin was committed and consequently "in the same way that we are constituted siners in Adam, even so we are constituted righteous in Christ. Now in Christ we are constituted righteous through the imputation of righteousness; therefore, we are constituted sinners in Adam through the imputation of his sin" (9.9.16). Sometimes, on the other hand, he teaches that Adam's posterity were "in the nature of things," having seminal existence in Adam, and for this reason the exaction of penalty from them is a matter of justice. The following is an example of this style of reasoning:

"In the imputation of Adam's sin, the justice of God does not exact punishment from the undeserving, but the ill deserving--ill deserving, if not by proper and personal ill desert, yet by a participated and common ill desert founded in the natural and federal union between Adam and us. As Levi was tithed by Melchizedek in the person of Abraham, so far as he was potentially in his loins, so that he was regarded as justly tithed in and with Abraham, who then bore the person of his whole family, so, much more, can the posterity of Adam be regarded as having sinned in him, seeing that they were in him as the branches in the root, the mass in the first individuals and the members in the head." (9.9.24-25)

This phraseology denotes more than vicarious representation. A representative, pure and simple, does not contain his constituents as the root contains the branches, as the first individuals contain the mass or species, as the head contains the members. Turretin defines Adam as the "stem, root, and head of the human race" (...9.9.23), but qualifies this, by saying that he was so "not only physically and seminally, but morally and representatively." But a representative proper could not be denominated the stem, root, and head of his constitutents.

Comparing this latter passage with the first cited, it is evident that Turretin oscillates between natural and representative union, sometimes relying more upon the one and sometines ore upon the other. While unwilling, with Augustine and the older Reformed anthropology, to rest the imputation of Adam's sin wholly upon natural union, he feared to rest it wholly upon vicarious representation. He felt the pressure of the dificulties attending a specific or race-existence in Adam and sought to relieve them by combining with the doctrine of natural union that of representative union. In so doing, he attempts to combine iron with clay. For the two ideas of natural union and representation are incongruous and exclude each other.// (end quote)

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...


>>>The elder Calvinism, described by Shedd, was implicitly realistic. While not adopting traducianism, their anthropology logically involved both an immaterial union (or, singularity) in Adam, as well as the immaterial propagation out of Adam. Shedd [Ibid., pp. 452-453] further describes the difference between the elder Calvinists and the later Calvinists (between whom Turretin marked the transition point) (bold mine; blockquote):

//According to the elder Calvinism, as represented by Paraeus and those of his class
, original sin propagated in every individual rests upon original sin inherent in every individual; original sin inherent in every individual rests upon original sin imputed to every individual; and original sin imputed to every individual rests upon original sin committed by all men as a common nature in Adam. On this scheme, the justice and propriety of each particular and of the whole are apparent. The first sin, which it must be remembered consisted of both an internal lust and an external act, of both an inclination and a volition, is justly imputed to the common nature because it was voluntarily committed by it, is justly inherent in the common nature because justly imputed, and is justly propagated with the common nature because justly inherent. This scheme if taken entire is ethically consistent. But if mutilated by the omission of one or moer particulars, its ethical consistency is gone. To impute the first sin without prior participation is unjust. To make it inherent without prior imputation is unjust. To propagate it without prior inherence is unjust. The derangement of the scheme by omission has occurred in the later Calvinism. The advocate of mediate imputation deranges it by imputing original sin as inherent, but not as committed either substantially or representatibely. The advocate of representative imputation deranges it by imputing original sin as inherent, but not as committed, except in the deluding sense of nominal and putative commission.// (end quote)

>>>Did you notice that last sentence by Shedd? It's worth repeating: "The advocate of representative imputation deranges it by imputing original sin as inherent, but not as committed, except in the deluding sense of nominal and putative commission."

That's all I have time for today. I just wanted to bring these citations up for your consideration. When I return, I will address the specifics of your posts.

Ken Hamrick

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


"To have you disagree or criticize my view would be expected. But I hold out hope that you will at least come to understand what you are disagreeing with. For example, you continue to wrongly label my view as infused righteousness and ontological sin."

>>>Since you already admitted that your views were the Jesuit congruist genre with a single point of Calvinism, I can think of few things more contradictory, I feel acquitted.

"There is more to be considered than the alternatives of inherent corruption and gratuitous imputation: there is a participative culpability that is propagated when that which did willingly participate is propagated. "

>>>I have already admitted an abstract particpative identification with Adam. I am a traducianist. You just bounce from origin to original sin so flippantly I don't give you unqualified broad brishes.

"In support of this fact that you are misunderstanding my view, I have already given you two excellent paragraphs from Baird, which went unanswered (as far as I can tell). "

>>>You can't tell very well because I addressed these issues multiple times already but I'll keep up the exasperting work of saying the same thing to you over and over again.

I have already stated that original sin has different aspects to it. Ontological and representative. I said, " The positive aspects to original sin on the reformed view are the imputed guilt of Adam’s first actual personal transgression in the genus of ethics, and the corruption of nature in the genus of being, wherby the nature of man now has a tendency to sin in the genus of being. "

So you have in the genus of being a particpative aspect.

"In the passage above cited by Dr. Hodge, they, one and all, would have answered, Guilt by participation (culpa participatione, to use the expression which then and previously was everywhere current in the Calvinistic church"

>>>The phrase 'guilt by particpation' can be ambigious. Do you mean that guilt is infused through the original of souls? If so I deny it. Do you mean that the guilt comes through a representive based on *******a concrete****** participative culpability? It seems you must for you collapse ontology upon personal identity. If so I deny it. Do you mean that the guilt comes through a representive based on *****an abstract******* participative culpability? If so I affirm it.

Drake Shelton said...

"From what little I have read of Clarkianism so far, you seem to severely minimize the idea of spirit, preferring instead the idea of mind. Is that an accurate assessment? "

>>>>I believe in a Dichotomist construction of man. Soul and Spirit can be used synonymously

a.Mat 26:38 Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." John 13:21When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me."
b. Mat 10:28 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
c. Luke 1:46 And Mary said:"My soul exalts the Lord, 47And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
Objections: 1. Hebrews 4:12 shows that soul and spirit are not the same but are divisible. Heb 4:12For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Ans. This proves too much, for if soul and spirit are two different things, then joints and marrow are as well and man is not tripartite and the mention of a heart at the end may argue for the five fold nature of man and not three.
2. 1 Cor 15:45 demonstrates a sharp distinction in soul and spirit. 1 Cor 15:45 So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL " The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
Ans. Scofield believed that the spirit is that intellectual part which knows, and the soul is the "seat of the affections." The problem with this is seen in 1 Kings 21:5 But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, "How is it that your spirit is so sullen that you are not eating food? Here, the spirit is described as the seat of the affections.
3. 1 Thess 5:23 demonstrates a trichotomy not a dichotomy. 1 Thess 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ans. Matthew 22:37 mentions heart, soul, mind; no body or spirit; Duet 6:5 mentions heart, soul and might; no body, spirit, or mind; Luke 10:27 mentions heart, soul, strength and mind; no body or spirit; which makes me curious as to why 1 Thess 5:23 is used while other verses assert many more properties. The issue is what these terms mean or refer to. I believe many of them refer to one thing.


"and yet, you have not addressed the fact that he did not hold to Adamic representation"

Are you saying that Shedd denied the idea of the Imputed guilt of Adam to all men in the Covenant of Works? You seem to talk as if any real particpation in adam rules out federal representation.

Shedd says,

"yet by a participated and common ill desert founded in the natural and federal union between Adam and us. "

That sounds ok but then he says,

"For the two ideas of natural union and representation are incongruous and exclude each other.// (end quote)"

Sounds like a contradiction to me.

" provisions of the covenant of works, to our condemnation. But this, according to our reviewer [C. Hodge], is 'simply a physiological theory,' involving 'a mysterious identity,' which he cannot admit. Hence the necessity of ignoring the doctrine, in its relation to justification...""

>>>I can understand Hodge's point though. You collapse everything onto personal identitiy. If that is the case, then there is no imputed guilt, there was a personal activity in Adam of all men in his sin. The only way to escape this is to say that the activity was abstract but the guilt of the sin is not imputed but infused making sin ontological.

Drake Shelton said...

18 Points Ken has not touched as of yet:


1. What does indivisibility mean when you said, " Nevertheless, all acknowledge the indivisibility of the human and divine natures of Christ."

2. How the humanity of Christ remains human and not omnipresent when the human nature is ontologically united to all the elect, and if you are a one point calvinist how it is uited to all men. If you take omnipresence then you deny consubstantiality.

3. If ontological union with Christ's divine nature demands an ontological union, due to indivisbility, with human nature then doesn't this mean that the entire Trinity became incarnate because the Persons of the trinity are indivisible? Turretin made a great point when he comments on the relationship of the entire Trinity to the human nature of Christ. He denies that the entire Trinity became incarnate. The human nature is incarnate, "mediately and in the person of the Son...Thus the incarnation is a work not natural, but personal, terminating on the person, not on the nature." (Institutes of Elenctic Theology Vol 2.13 pg. 305)

4. That you understand the disticntion between the believers relationship to the person of christ as disticnt from the obedience of Christ. i want a defintion of what you mean the righteousness fo christ. Here you seem to confuse it all,

""It is not the substance of Christ that makes the believer righteous, but the identity of Christ's substance within the believing man that makes the believer righteous--not by substance but by identity. It is the identity that is gained by the presence of the substance.""

I said,

>>>>You keep wanting to turn the attention to the ontology of the person of Christ when the issue of justification is not the elect’s relationship to the ontological identity of the person of Christ in the genus of being . It is the relationship of the elect TO THE OBEDIENCE of the person of Christ in the genus of ethics.

5. This statement: "Therefore, if your assertion is true, that "even if our ontological union is with His divine nature, it would be by extension an ontological union with His human nature" then our participation in the sonship of christ according to Christ's divine nature by extension would be the same obedience and relation as his human nature. This makes the object of participation in the human nature also uncreated. If that is the case then the idea of an imputed obedience performed in a temporal reality goers out the door. welcome back to anchorism."

6. You said, "“The divinity is what enables the union, but the humanity is what makes the union salvific.” So then are you admitting that he is a mediator on;y according the the human nature? Second With respect to what aspect of redemption?

Drake Shelton said...

7. That an internal righteousness is infused: You said, “but where the representationist errs is in thinking that such representation occurs outside of us. It does not. The humanity of Christ that represents us before God does so only from within us. ”

>>>Then the idea of alien righteousness and imputed righteousness goes out the door.

8. You said, “On the cross, Christ did not bear our guilt before God.”

>>>Again, this is eastern orthodoxy. I disagree. Isa 53: 10 But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, [l]putting Him to grief; If [m]He would render Himself as a guilt offering

9. You can never appeal to an abstract activity in Adam but only a personal activity in Adam because you said, “ I hold to Biblical realism, which is the recognition of a shared *****personal identity******, effected by immaterial union or singularity of immaterial origin, which is sufficient in itself to account for the headships of Adam and Christ.” This is then infused guilt or at best Adam's personal sin your own.

10. This exchange:

You said, “ This would be inconsistent with his promise, "Lo, I am with you," in which the "I" that spoke was not simply Deity, but Deity and humanity inseparably united; and it would deny the real and indissoluble union of the two natures.”

>>>Hold on. Are you actually arguing that Christ’s divine nature has to be localized because his human nature is?

11. This exchange,

“Atonement is particular and substitutionary (a propitiation of God's justice), but it is effected by realistic union and not by nominalistic representation.”

>>>That is the exact same thing that Origen said. If the atonement extends not by way of particular covenant but by way of personal (not substantial) ontological identity, then Christ saves all human persons. Maximus the confessor rejected this view and said that the atonement extends not by way of personal ontological identity but substantial identity. In this way immortality is infused to all human nature and then each person has a personal responsibility to believe in that which has been given. Now that all have immortality it is up to us to decide where we will spend it, heaven or hell. So either ontological view you take substantial or personal, you are out of the Reformed system and into anchorism.


12. Do you believe that a created hypostasis starts out actualized in righteousness/virtue or sin? Or are you saying that they start out with a tendency to righteousness or sin and subsequently perform actual deeds of righteousness or sin?

Drake Shelton said...

13. You need to address your confusion between traducianism and original sin. I had said,

>>>> This is another point at which you change the subject. Traducianism speaks to the *****origin of man’s soul******* in the genus of being. Seminal activity is referring to *******original sin******. It could be argued they are both in the genus of being because neither one involves personal activity but only natural being, yet here is your fallacy:

I understand that the tendency to sin which is a part of original sin is infused in the genus of being. But the guilt of Adam's personal transgression is imputed in the genus of ethics.

I also stated,

“In summary Ken, Traducianism is a theory which speaks to the being of man at the level of nature. Imputed guilt speaks to the person at the level of hypostasis.You are confusing nature and person in seeking to collapse Traducianism on the head of imputed guilt.”

14. This exchange, You said: “The animals were not the legal representatives of the people, but only types that pointed to the one true Sacrifice, Christ. ”

In Vol. 6 of his Hebrews commentary John Owen points out on page 443 the absurdity of saying that the animal sacrifices were not efficacious at all.

“Especially, the great anniversary sacrifice on the day of expiation was appointed so expressly to make atonement for sin, to procure its pardon, TO TAKE AWAY ITS GUILT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, AND FROM THE CONSCIENCE OF THE SINNER, THAT HE SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED ACCORDING unto the sentence of the law, as that it cannot be denied. This is that which the apostle declares that of themselves they could not effect or perform, BUT ONLY TYPICALLY AND BY WAY OF REPRESENTATION.”

HEB 10 IS SPEAKING OF THE SACRIFICES IN THEMSELVES. But typically they were efficacious and propitious as they figured Christ’s atonement. The blood of Jesus does not propitiate per se. It propitiates by representation. His blood represents his life (Lev.17:11). The Scriptures teach that “the wages of sin is death.” Thus what atones for sin per se is a death, not blood. However, by a positive law God has instituted that blood be the representative emblem of that death in political and ecclesiastical affairs. That God requires blood for remission is a positive law. Owen says,

“By the law, without shedding of blood,’ that is, in sacrifice, ‘there is no remission.’ Yet though that season be particularly intended, the axiom is universally true, and applicable unto the new covenant; - even under it, without shedding of blood is not remission…There seems to be an exception in the case of him who was so poor that he could not provide the meanest offering of blood for a sin-offering ; for he was allowed by the law to offer " the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour " for his sin, and it was forgiven him, Lev. v. 11-13. Wherefore the word…"almost," may be here again repeated, because of this single case. But the apostle hath respect unto the general rule of the law. And this exception was not an ordinary constitution, but depended on the impossibility of the thing itself, whereunto it made a gracious condescension. And this necessity ofttimes of itself, without any constitution, suspends a positive law, and gives a dispensation unto the infringers of it. So was it in the case of David when he ate of the shew-bread in his hunger; and as to works of necessity and mercy on the Sabbath-day: which instances are given by our Saviour himself. Wherefore the particular exception on this consideration did rather strengthen than invalidate the general rule of the law. Besides, the nearest approach was made unto it that might be. For fine flour is the best of the bread whereby man s life is sustained; and in the offering of it the offerer testified that by his sin he had forfeited his own life and all whereby it was sustained: which was the meaning of the offering of blood.” (Vol. 6 of Hebrews Commentaries, pg. 367-368)

Drake Shelton said...

15. Do you or do you now hold to Absolute Divine Simplicity? You said, "“ Because of the simplicity of spirit”

>>>>Oh goody, now your neoplatonism is beginning to flesh out. Simplicity of spirit huh? So you believe in absolute divine simplicity?"

16. Define your use of Transference here: “Since transgression cannot exist apart from being, than it cannot be transferred from one being to another across "nonentity."”

>>>>Define transferred. Seems you are making the mistake of confusing a personal transgression in the genus of ethics with a tendency to sin in the genus of being.

17. Address this exchange: You said, "“ This construct of original righteousness was adopted to remove the force of the argument that a newly created soul must come from God without moral taint else God is the author of its corruption.”"


>>>>So then none of the Puritans could have come up with this seeing none of them believed that adam and eve came into the world with moral taint. And secondly, they didn’t believe that original righteousness or original sin were moral taint. Original righteousness is in the genus of being not ethics. And original sin is in the genus of being except for the imputed guilt but that is not their personal sin and so not moral taint. So you are wrong on both sides.

18. Address you Pelagianism: You said, "“the righteousness that they would have earned by not eating the fruit would have been new to them” "

>>>Who said anything about earning righteousness?

“Righteousness, in finite creatures, must always be earned by someone within substantial reality.”

>>>Really, can you show me a single person, outside of Christ who earned righteousness? Can you show me anyone at all who earned righteousness for themselves?

“But in order for Adam to be righteous, he would have to earn it through obedience”

>>>You’re pelagian. Only pelagius believes in earning righteousness for oneself. This is not the reformed view. Adam was created originally righteous with Justifying Life. What was promised to Adam, was not something he did not already have. It was a security in that Life that he was already created with. Charles Hodge states,

“The one was called the Tree of Life, the other the Tree of Knowledge. The former was the symbol of life, and its fruit was not to be eaten except on the condition of man’s retaining his integrity. Whether the fruit of that tree had inherent virtue to impart life, i. e., to sustain the body of man in its youthful vigour and beauty, or gradually to refine it until it should become like to what the glorified body of Christ now is, or whether the connection between eating its fruit and immortality was simply conventional and sacramental, we cannot determine. It is enough to know that partaking of that tree secured in some way the enjoyment of eternal life...The symbolical and typical import of the tree of life is thus clear. As paradise was the type of heaven, so the tree which would have secured immortal life to obedient Adam in that terrestrial paradise is the type of Him who is the source of spiritual and eternal life to his people in the paradise above.” Systematic Theology, Vol 2 pg. 125

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"You are not even close to Calvinist dude... BTW, which 1 point of Calvinism do you hold to?"
"...Since you already admitted that your views were the Jesuit congruist genre with a single point of Calvinism, I can think of few things more contradictory, I feel acquitted."


>>>Now I'm a Jesuit? :) You just can't resist throwing those labels, can you? I'm not a Jesuit or a Molinist. B. B. Warfield on congruism (Monergism.com):

(blockquote)//A party has always existed even among Calvinists which has had so large an interest in the autonomy of the human will, that it has been unwilling to conceive of it as "passive" with respect to that operation of God which we call regeneration, and has earnestly wished to look upon the reception of salvation as in a true sense dependent on the will's own unmoved action. They have, therefore, invented a variety of Calvinism which supposes that it is God indeed who selects those who shall savingly be brought to Christ, and that it is the Holy Spirit who, by his grace, brings them infallibly to Christ,(thus preserving the principle of particularism in the application of salvation), but which imagines that the Holy Spirit thus effectually brings them to Christ, not by an almighty, creative action on their souls, by which they are made new creatures, functioning subsequently as such, but purely by suasive operations, adapted in his infallible wisdom to the precise state of mind and heart of those whom he has selected for salvation, and so securing from their own free action, a voluntary coming to Christ and embracing of him for salvation. There is no universalism here; the particularism is express. But an expedient has been found to enable it to be said that men come voluntarily to Christ, and are joined to him by a free act of their own unrenewed wills, while only those come whom God has selected so to persuade to come (he who knows the heart through and through) that they certainly will come in the exercise of their own free will. This type of thought has received the appropriate name of "Congruism," because the principle of its contention is that grace wins those to whom it is "congruously" offered, that is to say, that the reason why some men are saved and some are not lies in the simple fact that God the Holy Spirit operates in his gracious suasion on some in a fashion that is carefully and infallibly adapted by him to secure their adhesion to the gospel, and does not operate on others with the same careful adaptation.//(end quote)

>>>The one point I hold to is Unconditional Election, which I hold to as firmly as any Calvinist. Along with this, I hold to the sovereignty of God in His decree(s), and affirm that He is unfailingly carrying out His perfect plan in every detail in human history (macro and micro). As for the other four points...

TO be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...


I hold to total depravity, but with a view of the inability of the will as moral, and not natural (as described by Andrew Fuller, The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation). The difference between natural and moral inability is like the difference between a physically blind man and a man who reuses to open his eyes. For all practical purposes, both are equally blind and will fall into the ditch together. But the physically blind man has an excuse, whereas the other man does not. Essentially, this means that the inability of total depravity does not consist in that which provides an excuse, but rather, is due only to wickedness and rebellion of heart. Therefore, God's call for men to repent and believe is not calling them to do that which is naturally impossible for them, but is instead calling them to do what ought to do and (naturally) can do, but will with utter certainty refuse to do unless God's grace causes them to do otherwise. God's grace overcomes the unwillingness that will not otherwise be overcome. (For more, see: The Nature of the Converting Sinner; Untangling the Meanings of Will and Ability).

I hold to a Realistic Atonement, which is a very modified form of substitutionary atonement, and has some slight similarities with Shedd, Dabney and Fuller (a universally-applicable propitiatory sacrifice which is limited in application to only those whom God brings to faith, and is fully and particularly applied through union with Christ). (For more, see: Union is the Key to Understanding Atonement; The Blood that Runs Through the Body of Scripture).

I hold that grace is inevitable rather than irresistible. The question of resistibility is of two aspects: power and certainty. The misunderstanding of grace, and the perpetual debate about freedom of will, comes from treating both as one. If grace were irresistible from the standpoint of power, then there would be no freedom of will to resist it. But if grace is irresistible from the standpoint of certainty, then there is a freedom of will to resist it. The former is a question of ability, whereas the latter is a question only of ultimate outcome. To demand that freedom include not only the power to resist influences here in the temporal, but also the power to change the eternal plan of God, is to claim that one is not free unless one is made equal with God. Although it may be objected that, since certainty cannot be overthrown, then it is the same as a power over our actions, this is not so. Jesus' reply to Peter answers that very objection. Was Jesus' crucifixion a matter of certainty? Matt. 26:53-54, "Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?" Jesus affirmed that He could indeed appeal to the Father, and He would send more than twelve legions of angels. But He also affirmed the certainty of the Scriptures being fulfilled. That should well answer the claim that once something is made certain, there is no freedom to will against it, as if certainty and power were one and the same. The irresitibility of grace does not say that one cannot resist it; rather, it says that it is inevitible that one will freely choose to embrace it.

To be continued...

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

And for the last point, I hold to eternal security, as most Baptists do. Real, true salvation can never be lost. The charge of antinomianism is invalid, because Christ must indwell you to save you, and if He is in you, then He will transform you. Those who have supposedly "fallen away" demonstrated that Christ was not in them, and that they did not come to Christ in genuine faith. This reality of Christ in us is missing from the understanding of many believers today, resulting from the nominalistic emphasis on justification by faith and a salvation that is "imputed" in the far-removed court of heaven. (For more, see: Where the Nails Meet the Wood; Do You Really Know Christ?).

Well, I see I have my "18 points" cut out for me to answer. Thank you for the efffort thus far. Such discussions are time-consuming, and I've found few who have the attention span or interest to go this long. I will address all 18 points as time allows, beginning tomorrow afternoon (hopefully).

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"18 Points Ken has not touched as of yet:

1. What does indivisibility mean when you said, ' Nevertheless, all acknowledge the indivisibility of the human and divine natures of Christ.'"


>>>I mean no more and no less than what is orthodox: the two natures can be distinguished, but they cannot be separated into two persons. Whatever is true of either nature is true of Christ, to whom both natures belong. The divine nature cannot suffer or die; however, we cannot limit the suffering and death to His human nature as if His divine nature were not involved. Both are involved because both belong inseparably to the Person of Christ. How then can we say that the human nature of Christ is not involved in the spiritual union of Christ and the believer? Whatever involves one part of Christ involves the whole theanthropic Person of Christ.

"2. How the humanity of Christ remains human and not omnipresent when the human nature is ontologically united to all the elect, and if you are a one point calvinist how it is united to all men. If you take omnipresence then you deny consubstantiality."

>>>Christ is not united to all men, but only to those who believe. I do not know whether or not the immaterial, spiritual aspect of Christ's human nature is made omnipresent in His glorified state. To me, it remains a mystery. But as I said earlier, my view works either way. A. H. Strong (cited earlier) presents a valid, plausible position in which the divine nature enables the glorified immaterial human nature to be present with believers. Turretin (and those who agree with him) also present a position just as valid, that the entire human nature remains limited to the location of His physical body. But even in the latter view, it remains true that to be joined to Christ is to be joined to all that Christ is. If we are joined to Christ by means of only His divine nature, we are thus joined to His human nature by virtue of the union between the two natures.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"3. If ontological union with Christ's divine nature demands an ontological union, due to indivisibility, with human nature then doesn't this mean that the entire Trinity became incarnate because the Persons of the trinity are indivisible? Turretin made a great point when he comments on the relationship of the entire Trinity to the human nature of Christ. He denies that the entire Trinity became incarnate. The human nature is incarnate, 'mediately and in the person of the Son...Thus the incarnation is a work not natural, but personal, terminating on the person, not on the nature.' (Institutes of Elenctic Theology Vol 2.13 pg. 305)"

>>>As Shedd explains it [pp. 615, 641]:

(blockquote)///"...It was only the divine essence in that particular mode of it which constitutes the second trinitarian perswon that was united with man's nature...
...God the Son can assume a human nature without thereby incarnating the Trinity, because he assumes a human nature into the unity only of his single person, not into the unity of the three persons. He has the essence only in one mode; and the humanity is united with the essence in this one mode to the exclusion of the essence in the other two modes of the Father and the Spirit...///(end quote)

The uniting bond between the two natures of Christ is the Person of Christ. Both natures belong to the one Person. No one can be ontologically united to only one part of Christ without being ontologically united to the whole Person of Christ. With this understanding, then, I should revise my earlier statement ("Therefore, even if our ontological union is with His divine nature, it would be by extension an ontological union with His human nature") to read: Therefore, even if our ontological union is with His divine nature, such would be a union with the whole theanthropic Person of Christ, including His human nature, since the two natures are "inseparably joined together in one person".

"4. That you understand the distinction between the believers relationship to the person of Christ as distinct from the obedience of Christ. I want a definition of what you mean by 'the righteousness of Christ.' Here you seem to confuse it all,

//"It is not the substance of Christ that makes the believer righteous, but the identity of Christ's substance within the believing man that makes the believer righteous--not by substance but by identity. It is the identity that is gained by the presence of the substance."//

"I said,

'You keep wanting to turn the attention to the ontology of the person of Christ when the issue of justification is not the elect’s relationship to the ontological identity of the person of Christ in the genus of being . It is the relationship of the elect TO THE OBEDIENCE of the person of Christ in the genus of ethics.'"


>>>There is no ethical basis for attributing anything of the genus of ethics in one person to a different person without union between the two in the genus of being. Turretin's "moral union" has no moral basis without a union of spirit within substantial reality. Only the spiritual union between the believer and the Person of Christ provides that necessary ethical/moral basis for a shared identity in the eyes of justice. Without a real connection to the being of Christ, we would be left without any real connection to the obedience of the person of Christ. As for how the righteousness of Christ is defined, it consists in those attitudes and acts that He exhibited and performed throughout His human life in perfect conformity to God's law and holiness.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"5. This statement: Therefore, if your assertion is true, that "even if our ontological union is with His divine nature, it would be by extension an ontological union with His human nature" then our participation in the sonship of Christ according to Christ's divine nature by extension would be the same obedience and relation as his human nature. This makes the object of participation in the human nature also uncreated. If that is the case then the idea of an imputed obedience performed in a temporal reality goes out the door. Welcome back to anchorism."

>>>In "3" above, I said, "...I should revise my earlier statement ("Therefore, even if our ontological union is with His divine nature, it would be by extension an ontological union with His human nature") to read: Therefore, even if our ontological union is with His divine nature, such would be a union with the whole theanthropic Person of Christ, including His human nature, since the two natures are "inseparably joined together in one person"." You might find that more acceptable. I do not necessarily agree with Girardeau regarding his distinction between obedience as Son and obedience as servant, though. As eternal Son, Christ owed no obedience.

You really seem obsessed with this obscure term, anchorism. Since absolutely nothing in my view tends toward or advocates the use of monasteries, then the term does not apply.

"6. You said, 'The divinity is what enables the union, but the humanity is what makes the union salvific.' So then are you admitting that he is a mediator only according to the human nature? Second, with respect to what aspect of redemption?"

>>>No, Christ is Mediator according to the fact that He has both natures as the God-man. Men cannot be united in a spiritual union with only the divinity of Christ in such a way as to share in His identity. Apples cannot unite with oranges. It is the human nature of Christ that enables the believer to be spiritually united with the Person of Christ in such a way as to share in His identity. But without a divine nature, no human nature of any person can be spiritually united to a different person (much less innumerable multitudes). It is the fact of Christ's divine nature that enables Christ to bring His Spirit to the believer for an indwelling union. It is His divinity that brings Christ to us in a spiritual, indwelling way; and it is His humanity that ensures the requisite match (apples and apples) for a personally identifying union.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"7. That an internal righteousness is infused: You said, 'but where the representationist errs is in thinking that such representation occurs outside of us. It does not. The humanity of Christ that represents us before God does so only from within us.'

Then the idea of alien righteousness and imputed righteousness goes out the door."


>>>The spiritual union of Christ and the believer is sufficient for the believer to share in Christ's identity, but it is not so complete that either (Christ or the believer) is lost in the other. When viewed apart from Christ, the righteousness is indeed alien to the believer; however, the union is such that the believer is never apart from Christ. When the whole man is in view, that whole man now includes not only the spirit of the believer but also the Spirit of Christ. 1 Cor. 6:17, "But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him." As I keep repeating, we are joined to Christ in reality to the extent that we gain His identity in the eyes of justice. In that sense, the "infused" identity does make us subjectively righteous (when the subject is the whole man, consisting of both the man and Christ in union), but only insofar as we are joined to Christ and it is His righteousness–-already accomplished in His human life–-that is the only righteousness in view.
The indwelling Spirit of Christ does not infuse us with righteousness, but rather, gives us (by His presence in union with us) a title to His righteousness.

"8. You said, 'On the cross, Christ did not bear our guilt before God.'

Again, this is eastern orthodoxy. I disagree. Isa 53: 10 But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, [l]putting Him to grief; If [m]He would render Himself as a guilt offering"


>>>Christ bore our sin by bearing the penalty due for our sin, which happens to be universally the same for any sin(ner). Isa. 53 does not say that He "bore our guilt." We bear our guilt until either we pay the penalty or we are so joined to Christ that His bearing of the penalty comes to be seen as ours--as if we had endured it. That is why we remain guilty until conversion and are not born free from that guilt. If Christ did bear our guilt before God, then there would not remain any guilt on us from the point in time in which He died. Eastern orthodoxy, BTW, does not agree with the idea of penal substitution and divine retributive justice, as I do.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"9. You can never appeal to an abstract activity in Adam but only a personal activity in Adam because you said, 'I hold to Biblical realism, which is the recognition of a shared *****personal identity******, effected by immaterial union or singularity of immaterial origin, which is sufficient in itself to account for the headships of Adam and Christ.' This is then infused guilt or at best Adam's personal sin your own."

>>>If you understood realism, you would know that it is not a question about anything being "infused." It is about the propagation of that which chose to sin in Adam (whether one chooses to define that as nature or soul/spirit). The essence of human identity is not limited to individual identity. In every man except the first and Second Adam, there is what Shedd calls a "race-mode" of existence that precedes individual existence.

Perhaps I should expand this.
Prior to the conception of a child, only the person of the father exists. The person of the child does not exist until he is conceived; however, though the son did not personally exist in the father, he did spiritually exist in the father, since spirit and person are distinct. In all men except the first and Second Adam, human spiritual existence precedes human personal existence. This spiritual existence is impersonal only to those persons who will be propagated from it — it is not in any way impersonal to the individual in which it currently is. Adam was a simple man, in all ways like every other man, in that he had a single human nature that was completely individualized to him. Like every other father, Adam's nature was propagated to his children, and was individualized in them. Each child is his own individual person. Each child had a real, objective existence in Adam, but only as to Adam's spirit and not as to Adam's person or individuality which were not carried over to the children.

The one became the many. When it is said that we sinned in Adam, it is “we” only from the perspective of the many. Adam did not contain the many, but rather, the many were propagated from the one. Since the spiritual existence of the many did not begin with their individual existence, but instead, started with the individual existence of Adam, then how best can the “we” state the fact that our existence, spiritually, began in Adam — if not by saying, “We existed in Adam”? What is not meant by this is that a plurality existed in Adam, but rather, that the spirit that exists in plurality now existed back then as a single spirit.

To be continued...

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"9" continued...

Traducianists have held that all men had a real presence in Adam and thus a real participation in his sin. This is not participation in the common sense, of plurality, but participation in the sense that the single man who sinned has now become many who cannot deny the spiritual presence within him when he sinned — not presence of plurality but of singularity. This singularity has most often been described such that we were "numerically one" with Adam. All sinned while in Adam…all sinned in Adam’s sin…all participated in Adam’s sin. Only that which has spiritual being can sin.

A spiritual being is a single person, but personhood is distinct from spiritual essence or substance. In the Trinity, one spiritual essence is shared by Three Persons. It is not the person of my father that I inherited, but his spirit. And of course, he still had his spirit after I was propagated, and he was spiritually distinct and separate from me after I was propagated. It is important to understand that a man is more than a spirit. He is a spirit, a mind, and a body, with his own time and place in this world, his own memories, personality, and individuality. The acts of our fathers, including Adam, are only ours in the spiritual sense, corporately, and not ours in the physical or psychosomatic sense. What this means is that, basically, only the morality or spiritual significance of any particular act is involved when we say that one has done (or "participated in," so to speak) something within the loins of his father(s). Adam's eating of a piece of fruit was not what was passed on to us; rather it was his sin in the act that was passed on. Adam may have gotten fruit stuck in his teeth, but we cannot be said to have gotten fruit stuck in our teeth while in Adam. Only the spiritual is of any significance to future generations when it comes to the corporate, spiritual being "in the loins of" one's father(s).

The main reason for the significance of the spiritual acts of our forefathers is that the spirit is the seat of the will regarding moral matters. The will with which you and I make moral decisions for which we are held accountable is the will of the spirit within, and that spirit — will included — was propagated from Adam. Animals have no moral relation because they have no spirit, and thus, neither moral comprehension nor moral will.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"10. This exchange:

You said, “ This would be inconsistent with his promise, "Lo, I am with you," in which the "I" that spoke was not simply Deity, but Deity and humanity inseparably united; and it would deny the real and indissoluble union of the two natures.”

Hold on. Are you actually arguing that Christ’s divine nature has to be localized because his human nature is?"


>>>That was a statement from a blockquote of A. H. Strong:
(blockquote)///Who and what is this Christ who is present with his people when they pray? It is not enough to say, He is simply the Holy Spirit; for the Holy Spirit is the "Spirit of Christ" (Rom. 8:9), and in having the Holy Spirit we have Christ himself (John 16:7 — "I will send him [the Comforter] unto you"; 14:18 — "I come unto you"). The Christ, — his humanity being separated from the divinity and being localized in heaven. This would be inconsistent with his promise, "Lo, I am with you," in which the "I" that spoke was not simply Deity, but Deity and humanity inseparably united; and it would deny the real and indissoluble union of the two natures. The elder brother and sympathizing Savior who is with us when we pray is man, as well as God. This manhood is therefore ubiquitous by virtue of its union with the Godhead. But this is not to say that Christ's human body is everywhere present. It would seem that body must exist in spatial relations, and be confined to place. We do not know that this is so with regard to soul. Heaven would seem to be a place, because Christ's body is there; and a spiritual body is not a body which is spirit, but a body which is suited to the uses of the spirit. But even though Christ may manifest himself, in a glorified human body, only in heaven, his human soul, by virtue of its union with the divine nature, can at the same moment be with all his scattered people over the whole earth...///(end quote)

Strong didn't say that the human nature was localized. He did say that the physical body would be localized, but that the human spirit--being as immaterial as the divine nature--could be united to the divine nature in such a way as to be "with all his scattered people over the whole earth."

"11. This exchange,

//“Atonement is particular and substitutionary (a propitiation of God's justice), but it is effected by realistic union and not by nominalistic representation.”//

"That is the exact same thing that Origen said. If the atonement extends not by way of particular covenant but by way of personal (not substantial) ontological identity, then Christ saves all human persons. Maximus the confessor rejected this view and said that the atonement extends not by way of personal ontological identity but substantial identity. In this way immortality is infused to all human nature and then each person has a personal responsibility to believe in that which has been given. Now that all have immortality it is up to us to decide where we will spend it, heaven or hell. So either ontological view you take substantial or personal, you are out of the Reformed system and into anchorism."


>>>Christ only has a spiritual union with believers, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. There is no union, spiritual or substantial, with any others. Origen and Maximus were wrong, and I do not agree with them. Neither do I agree that we should have monasteries.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"12. Do you believe that a created hypostasis starts out actualized in righteousness/virtue or sin? Or are you saying that they start out with a tendency to righteousness or sin and subsequently perform actual deeds of righteousness or sin?"

>>>If by "hypostasis," you mean a human person, then let me point out that a person has both a body and a spirit, and both are propagated from the parent(s). While Adam was supernaturally created in both body and spirit, all of his descendants are naturally propagated. Sin and righteousness are spiritual matters. Adam was not created with any tendency, and neither was he "actualized in righteousness/virtue or sin." Adam's first moral choice actualized his spirit in sin and the correlating tendency. Had he chosen rightly, that choice would have actualized his spirit in righteousness, with the correlating tendency.

As for the descendants, we cannot say that the spirit "starts out actualized" because the spirit did not "start out" with the existence of this individual, but it started out in Adam. Nevertheless, we are conceived in a state of spiritual death (spiritual disunion with God), which makes us inherently self-centered (which is the essence of sin).

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"13. You need to address your confusion between traducianism and original sin. I had said,

'This is another point at which you change the subject. Traducianism speaks to the *****origin of man’s soul******* in the genus of being. Seminal activity is referring to *******original sin******. It could be argued they are both in the genus of being because neither one involves personal activity but only natural being, yet here is your fallacy:'

'I understand that the tendency to sin which is a part of original sin is infused in the genus of being. But the guilt of Adam's personal transgression is imputed in the genus of ethics.'

I also stated,

'In summary Ken, Traducianism is a theory which speaks to the being of man at the level of nature. Imputed guilt speaks to the person at the level of hypostasis.You are confusing nature and person in seeking to collapse Traducianism on the head of imputed guilt.'"


>>>You may say that it is "confusing nature and person," but nearly every realist disagrees with you--including all the "elder Calvinists" (as Shedd calls them, naming David Paraeus as an example), who were implicit realists, and held that the nature of all men had a real existence in Adam, sinned and became guilty in Adam, was made corrupt in Adam, and was propagated to all men with the guilt, culpability and corruption still inhering.

However, I don't agree with the extreme of the usual view (even among these realists) regarding Adamic imputation. Adam's sin is imputed to mankind exactly as it was committed within substantial reality — racially, not individually. The only individual involved in Adam's sin was Adam, and so he is the only individual to ever bear the weight of eternal condemnation and wrath for that sin. The rest of us committed Adam's sin while yet within Adam, and so we committed it not as individuals but as a corporate whole. God set the standard for eternal judgment as a matter of individual identity. Every individual is responsible and eternally accountable for his own deeds (Rom. 2:6; Ps. 62:12; Mat. 16:27; Prov. 24:12; Rev. 20:12-13; Ezekiel 18:20; Deut. 24:16).

Since Adam's sin was not my act as an individual, then neither am I individually condemned for it; but I do suffer consequences for it, as a member of the race that committed it. These consequences of racial imputation (such as physical mortality, spiritual death, working to survive, pain in childbearing, etc.) fall on the race in such a way that individual merit or demerit have no bearing. This racial imputation does not condemn any individual, but neither is any individual freed from its consequences in this life. Though Christ has propitiated God in behalf of the believer, and atoned for her sin, she still must suffer all the consequences of the racial imputation, since they neither affect her standing before God nor are affected by her standing before God. The imputation of Adam's sin to the race sees no one as an individual, changes no individual's standing before God, and cannot be changed by any individual. That is why believers still physically die, even though Christ has died in our place and "there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus..."

Ken Hamrick

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


">>>I mean no more and no less than what is orthodox: the two natures
can be distinguished, but they cannot be separated into two persons."

I never appealed to anything of the sort as two persons. i
distinguished participation between the two natures. So your appeal to
indivisibility is a simple diversionary fallacy.

"The divine nature cannot suffer or die; however, we cannot limit the
suffering and death to His human nature as if His divine nature were
not involved. Both are involved because both belong inseparably to the
Person of Christ."

>>>Assertion. By definition an eternal immutable nature cannot suffer. Even Cyril admitted this.

"How then can we say that the human nature of Christ is not involved
in the spiritual union of Christ and the believer?"

>>>You have to get your first premise off the ground before you come to a conclusion. THE NATURE’S ARE ONTOLOGICALLY DISTINCT.

"Whatever involves one part of Christ involves the whole theanthropic
Person of Christ."

>>> "Involves" is ambiguous. Do you mean there is only one agent/subject of activity in Christ? If so I affirm. What you obviously mean though by saying his divine nature was involved in suffering is completely stupid and now I'm reminded why i wanted to end this a long time ago. This would also aid the Romanists who see the humanity partaking of divine attributes in transubstantiation because you are merging the two energies in christ into one because you use the word "involve." THE NATURES IN CHRIST ARE ONTOLOGICALLY DISTINCT.

">>>Christ is not united to all men, but only to those who believe."

Agreed which is why I keep saying that you are confusing Christ's
personhood with his obedience. I said earlier, "The issue is the
elect’s relationship to the obedience of Christ’s human nature in
time." Here is your problem though. You deny limited atonement because
you are a 1 pointer. Limited atonement says that the obedience of
christ extends to THE ELECT by a covenant. You have called this
nominalism. What you are advocating is a limited atonement then that
extends to the elect ontologically and not by a covenant. Who in the
history of the church has taught this? Where is this in the bible?

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


"I do not know whether or not the immaterial, spiritual aspect of
Christ's human nature is made omnipresent in His glorified state. To
me, it remains a mystery."

>>>It has to be omnipresent because it must extend ontologically and not by a covenant. Then you must deny that his human nature is still human. It has left the realm of consubstantiality and now he cannot be our high priest and mediator.

"But as I said earlier, my view works either way."

>>>It works neither way. Ontological or covenantal extension is ruled out for you.

"If we are joined to Christ by means of only His divine nature, we are
thus joined to His human nature by virtue of the union between the two
natures.

>>>I’LL SAY IT AGAIN. THE NATURES ARE ONTOLOGICALLY DISTICNT. You keep asserting this but you are not proving it. Arguments. Arguments! please. If "Whatever involves one part of Christ involves the whole theanthropic Person of Christ" then by definition, the nature’s are not ontologically distinct. So then Christ is one incarnate nature. It’s Apollinarianism.

">>>As Shedd explains it [pp. 615, 641]:"

>>>All you did is rephrase Turretin's argument! What is this?

"The uniting bond between the two natures of Christ is the Person of Christ."

>>>That's sounds nestorian. So the person is a third thing? The word "bond" sounds very nestorian. I would like to see an orthodox theologian use this term. The orthodox position is that there is no bond made, there is an assumption of a generic humanity by a divine person. A hypostatization of a generic humanity by assumption. Is your mediator pre or post incarnation?

“ No one can be ontologically united to only one part of Christ without being ontologically united to the whole Person of Christ.”

>>>This is also ambiguous. The union between humanity and divinity in Christ is not ontological at the level of nature but ontological at the level of hypostasis.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“Therefore, even if our ontological union is with His divine nature, such would be a union with the whole theanthropic Person of Christ, including His human nature, since the two natures are "inseparably joined together in one person".”

>>>>If the union is ontological, then the union must be direct and immediate with reference to one nature and indirect, mediate with reference to the other. Otherwise you are falling prey to exactly what I am saying, one enfleshed nature: Apollinarianism. On my view the ontological union is to the divine nature of Christ and the person of Christ mediates the relationship to the human nature. I ma in no way denying that union to Christ is union to his entire person. I just don’t think you are dealing squarely with mediate and immediate agency.

“>>>There is no ethical basis for attributing anything of the genus of ethics in one person to a different person without union between the two in the genus of being.”

>>>I have already admitted this and proportioned it to his divine nature. How many times do I have to say this?

“ As for how the righteousness of Christ is defined, it consists in those attitudes and acts that He exhibited and performed throughout His human life in perfect conformity to God's law and holiness. ”

>>>That is ethical not ontological. You avoided this point totally.

“ As eternal Son, Christ owed no obedience.”

>>>Agreed. But he condescended and obeyed FOR US.

“You really seem obsessed with this obscure term, anchorism. Since absolutely nothing in my view tends toward or advocates the use of monasteries, then the term does not apply.”

>>>The term refers to an ethical system that was chosen over mosaic ethics. It is be definition an ontological system of morality rather than a juridical legal system of ethics. AS I have shown numerous times now, you constantly avoid the genus of ethics and collapse everything in the economia on the genus of being.

“>>>No, Christ is Mediator according to the fact that He has both natures as the God-man.”

>>>>So then both natures are salvific. You said only the humanity is salvific.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“Men cannot be united in a spiritual union with only the divinity of Christ in such a way as to share in His identity. Apples cannot unite with oranges. ”

>>>>At last, Aquinas arises. We are made in God’s image. This is a denial that God and man are apples and oranges. To go with your analogies, men are also apples. God is an apple eternally and intuitively. Men are discursively and temporally. If humanity and divinity are apples and oranges-metphysically incompatible then the hypostatic union is impossible. It is only when you see the Logos of man as uncreated that this becomes possible.

“It is the human nature of Christ that enables the believer to be spiritually united with the Person of Christ in such a way as to share in His identity.”

>>>Your anchorism arises. See you believe that the wall between God and man is ontology. I believe that the wall between God and man is ethical: SIN. To participate ontologically in the 2nd divine person is the design of my nature. But because of sin, there is a barrier. The human nature removes this ethical barrier by satisfying ethically the ethical demands of God. On your view, the human nature must perform an ontological task of raising human nature out of mortality through Christus Victor. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Your theology is eastern orthodox.

“It is His divinity that brings Christ to us in a spiritual, indwelling way”

>>>By Christ, do you mean his obedience or his ontological identity? You keep avoiding this issue and falling in line with Roman soteriology, time and again.

“ In that sense, the "infused" identity does make us subjectively righteous (when the subject is the whole man, consisting of both the man and Christ in union), but only insofar as we are joined to Christ and it is His righteousness–-already accomplished in His human life–-that is the onlyrighteousness in view.”

>>>That is Roman Catholic soteriology. You need to read Martin Luther’s views of alien righteousness, how the righteousness that we have is extra nos and how we are pieces of dung covered over by white snow.


“ If Christ did bear our guilt before God, then there would not remain any guilt on us from the point in time in which He died.”

>>>You are ignorant of rudimentary principles of reformed theology. The WCF says,

V. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect,[11] and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification:[12] nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit does, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.[13]

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“Eastern orthodoxy, BTW, does not agree with the idea of penal substitution and divine retributive justice, as I do.”

>>>I just think you are confused.

“sa. 53 does not say that He "bore our guilt.”

>>>How can a sacrifice be a guilt offering without bearing the guilt? I can’t believe I am spending this much time on you.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“ In the Trinity, one spiritual essence is shared by Three Persons.”

>>>That is modalism. The nature that is shared is generic not numeric. You do not understand the Nicene Creed.

“ It is not the person of my father that I inherited, but his spirit.”

>>>Numerically or generically/abstractly?

“This manhood is therefore ubiquitous by virtue of its union with the Godhead. ”


“We do not know that this is so with regard to soul. Heaven would seem to be a place, because Christ's body is there; and a spiritual body is not a body which is spirit, but a body which is suited to the uses of the spirit. But even though Christ may manifest himself, in a glorified human body, only in heaven, his human soul, by virtue of its union with the divine nature, can at the same moment be with all his scattered people over the whole earth...///(end quote)”

>>>So until you prove it you have no position. Wouldn’t your own argument militate against the fact that the human soul cannot be separated from the body?

“Strong didn't say that the human nature was localized. He did say that the physical body would be localized, but that the human spirit--being as immaterial as the divine nature--could be united to the divine nature in such a way as to be "with all his scattered people over the whole earth." ”

>>>That is still omnipresence. Even the immaterial satan didn’t admit to this as he mentions walking to and fro throughout the earth.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“Christ only has a spiritual union with believers,”

>>>>Then his work extends through a particular covenant and not ontologically. Therefore your union to the humanity cannot be ontological.

“ Adam was not created with any tendency, and neither was he "actualized in righteousness/virtue or sin."”

>>>You then have denied the reformed doctrine of original righteousness and you have posited Pelagius’ pure nature.

“Had he chosen rightly, that choice would have actualized his spirit in righteousness, with the correlating tendency.”

>>>He started with a pure nature and earned righteousness. You are a Full out Pelagian sir.

“Nevertheless, we are conceived in a state of spiritual death (spiritual disunion with God), which makes us inherently self-centered (which is the essence of sin).”

>>>Tendency to sin. So Adam has no tendency but his descendants do? Your theology is the messiest conglomeration of nonsense I have ever read. Baptistism truly is the worst thing that ever happened to the world.

“This racial imputation does not condemn any individual, but neither is any individual freed from its consequences in this life. ”

>>>This is right down the line of eastern orthodox ancestral sin. You are denying original sin.

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"14. This exchange, You said: 'The animals were not the legal representatives of the people, but only types that pointed to the one true Sacrifice, Christ.'

In Vol. 6 of his Hebrews commentary John Owen points out on page 443 the absurdity of saying that the animal sacrifices were not efficacious at all.

//Especially, the great anniversary sacrifice on the day of expiation was appointed so expressly to make atonement for sin, to procure its pardon, TO TAKE AWAY ITS GUILT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, AND FROM THE CONSCIENCE OF THE SINNER, THAT HE SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED ACCORDING unto the sentence of the law, as that it cannot be denied. This is that which the apostle declares that of themselves they could not effect or perform, BUT ONLY TYPICALLY AND BY WAY OF REPRESENTATION.//"


>>>A. A. Hodge [The Atonement (Memphis: Footstool, 1987), p. 138] writes:

(blockquote)///...These sacrifices secured the remission of the penalties denounced by the Jewish Theocratic State-Church law upon all sins, whether moral or simply ceremonial, except such as were committed "with a high hand." As far as this ceremonial State-Church penalty was concerned, these sacrifices effected a real expiation. But as far as the penalty attaching to the moral law, absolutely considered, was concerned, they were of course only symbolical of the principles upon which alone remission could be obtained, and hence typical of the one all-perfect sacrifice of Christ...///(end quote)

The elder Hodge writes [Vol. II, p. 509]:

(blockquote)///...Hebrews ix. 14, is especially important and decisive. The Apostle, in the context, contrasts the sacrifices of the law with that of Christ. If the former, consisting of the blood of irrational animals, nothing but the principle of animal life, could avail to effect external or ceremonial purification, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who was possessed of an eternal spirit, or divine nature, and offered Himself without spot unto God, avail to the purification of the conscience, i. e., effect the real expiation of sin...///(end quote)

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"15. Do you or do you now hold to Absolute Divine Simplicity? You said, 'Because of the simplicity of spirit...'

Oh goody, now your neoplatonism is beginning to flesh out. Simplicity of spirit, huh? So you believe in absolute divine simplicity?"


>>>Again, I mean no more or no less than what is orthodox. Robert Culver [Systematic Theology (Great Britain: Mentor, 2006), p. 63] explains it well enough:

(blockquote)///...Orthodox theologians generally affirm that the being or substance of God is simple. Then they try to explain and offer cautions. By simple or simplicity, we mean without parts. 'Every attribute is identical with God's being by reason of the fact that everyone of God's virtues is absolutely perfect in God' (Bavinck, p. 168). There is no variance in any one or all the attributes, for they are steadily the same... Any who doubt these affirmations (and in view of present mutterings of some writers on the fringe of orthodoxy there may be readers who do doubt) should be made aware of the uniform conviction of divine immutability among the ancient Fathers -- notably Augustine -- medieval school men, both Reformers and Roman Catholics, and on to present orthodox writers...
Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not three parts of God. They are three 'modes of subsistence', to use one of the phrases of the older Protestant dogmaticians. There is one mode of subsistence called Father, another called Son and another Holy Spirit. However, there is one simple undivided substance. The word 'mode' is employed not only by the post-Reformation Protestant scholastic theologians in this way but it is to be found in authors such as C. A. Hodge, Shedd, Strong and Pieper as well as the ancient Christian orthodox writers... The point I make here is that three Persons of the one, simple essence of God do not 'divide the substance'...///(end quote)

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

16. Define your use of Transference here: "Since transgression cannot exist apart from being, than it cannot be transferred from one being to another across 'nonentity.'"

"Define transferred. Seems you are making the mistake of confusing a personal transgression in the genus of ethics with a tendency to sin in the genus of being. "


>>>Nominalistic imputation, or, imputation devoid of any basis in substantial reality.

17. Address this exchange: You said, "This construct of original righteousness was adopted to remove the force of the argument that a newly created soul must come from God without moral taint else God is the author of its corruption."

"So then none of the Puritans could have come up with this seeing none of them believed that adam and eve came into the world with moral taint. And secondly, they didn’t believe that original righteousness or original sin were moral taint. Original righteousness is in the genus of being not ethics. And original sin is in the genus of being except for the imputed guilt but that is not their personal sin and so not moral taint. So you are wrong on both sides."


>>>Original sin encompasses both inherent depravity and Adamic imputation. It is one thing to posit that God imputes guilt to those who are innocent of the crime, but quite another to posit that God creates new souls with inherent moral corruption (or, moral "taint"). Representationists have fallen into many inconsistencies and errors in trying to explain away the latter. Some simply admit that God creates morally corrupt souls as a "most just" (?!) penalty for the sin of our divinely appointed representative. Some others attribute the moral corruption to the body, which is said to corrupt the newly created soul. Many, like Turretin (see T9, Q12, §VIII), have also been forced to suppose the presence in man of a mysterious thing that is neither spiritual nor physical--a mythical, metaphysical "something" -- that is supposed to patch this theological hole. Baird [The Elohim Revealed, p. 379] compares this invention to Manichaeism:

(blockquote)///...The first theory alluded to, has a singular similarity to the heresy of Manes, not only in attributing moral depravity to the corporeal frame, as such; but, also, in the recognition of an element in the constitution of man, which is neither corporeal nor purely spiritual. It is variously designated, as, "the animal and vital spirits," — "the dispositions of the body," — "the system of bodily appetites and propensities, with the fancy and imagination." These are not allowed to be attributes of the soul; for, whilst the soul is described as created, and without native impurity, these are recognised as descending from Adam, depraved, and operating to the depravation of the soul. On the other hand, they certainly are not matter, nor phenomena of mere matter. In both this and the heresy of Manes, there is the same contrast of the immediately divine original of the soul, as compared with that of the body. In both, there is the same doctrine of the soul's essential and original freedom from moral evil. In both, there is the same attributing of it to the material body; and the same associating with it of a tertium quid, which Manes represented as a sensuous soul, and the modern theory designates by the names of its several attributes, but describes in terms which identify it as the same. In both, this and the body are the agencies which embrace the soul as in a prison, and bring it under an involuntary and necessary defilement and guilt. "They having become irregular, excessive, and perverted by the fall," says a highly respectable writer, "do unavoidably corrupt the soul, and enslave it to sin."///(end quote)

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"18. Address your Pelagianism: You said, '...the righteousness that they would have earned by not eating the fruit would have been new to them.'
Who said anything about earning righteousness?"


>>>I did. In finite creatures, earning is presupposed by righteousness. In other words, righteousness has no real meaning apart from right attitudes, thoughts, and actions willfully chosen.

"'Righteousness, in finite creatures, must always be earned by someone within substantial reality.'
Really, can you show me a single person, outside of Christ who earned righteousness? Can you show me anyone at all who earned righteousness for themselves?"


>>>Remember: we were talking about Adam as created, and not yet fallen. Of course, no fallen man can earn righteousness. But do you really wish to contend that Adam was not created with the ability--had he so chosen--to earn his own righteousness? I know of no orthodox writer who denies that he had the ability. He freely chose the wrong, but he could have chosen the right.

As for Christ, why do you think that it was necessary for Him to become a man and live a righteous life, anyway? Was it not because human righteousness must be earned and as fallen people, we are hopelessly lost without it? Mankind lost all ability to earn righteousness when Adam sinned, but the earned righteousness of Christ can be given to us if we believe.

"'But in order for Adam to be righteous, he would have to earn it through obedience'

You’re pelagian. Only pelagius believes in earning righteousness for oneself."


>>>That's a cheap shot, don't you think? Would you really have us believe that someone with your knowledge of such fine theological distinctions as you've displayed in this discussion has trouble distinguishing between a Pelagian (who holds that all men are born with the ability to earn righteousness) and my view (that only unfallen Adam had the ability to earn righteousness)? Such tactics are more suited to political debates than theological discussions.

This is not the reformed view. Adam was created originally righteous with Justifying Life. What was promised to Adam, was not something he did not already have. It was a security in that Life that he was already created with. Charles Hodge states,

//“The one was called the Tree of Life, the other the Tree of Knowledge. The former was the symbol of life, and its fruit was not to be eaten except on the condition of man’s retaining his integrity. Whether the fruit of that tree had inherent virtue to impart life, i. e., to sustain the body of man in its youthful vigour and beauty, or gradually to refine it until it should become like to what the glorified body of Christ now is, or whether the connection between eating its fruit and immortality was simply conventional and sacramental, we cannot determine. It is enough to know that partaking of that tree secured in some way the enjoyment of eternal life...The symbolical and typical import of the tree of life is thus clear. As paradise was the type of heaven, so the tree which would have secured immortal life to obedient Adam in that terrestrial paradise is the type of Him who is the source of spiritual and eternal life to his people in the paradise above.” Systematic Theology, Vol 2 pg. 125//


>>>I'm aware that it's not the Reformed view. It should be evident by now that I disagree with the Reformed view on a number of things--particularly, with the whole representationist paradigm that has taken over that view.

TO be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

"18" continued...

You've quoted the father--let me quote the son [Atonement, pp. 73-74](bold mine):

(blockquote)///The federal relation to the law, on the other hand, has respect to a period of probation, into which man was introduced in a condition of moral excellence, yet fallible; and his confirmation in an immutably holy character, and his subsequent eternal blessedness is made to depend upon his obedience during that period. It appears to be a general principle of the divine government (1) that every moral agent is created holy, yet (2) in a state of instable moral equilibrium, and hence (3) that confirmation in an estate of stable holiness is a divine gift, above those included in the natural endowments of any creature, and always (4) suspended upon the condition of perfect obedience during a period of probation. As a matter of fact, this is precisely the relation to the law as a covenant of life, into which Adam (and all his descendants in him) was brought at his creation. He was created holy, yet fallible, and for a period of probation put under the law as a test of obedience. Upon this obedience his character and condition for eternity were made to depend. If he had obeyed for the period prescribed he would have attained the reward. The granting of that reward would have confirmed him in holiness, and by thus rendering him impeccable, would have closed his probation and removed him from under the law in this federal relation for ever, while his subjection to the same law, in its natural relation, would have been continued and confirmed. We know that the angels have passed through a probation not essentially different. They were created holy, yet fallible, for some did fall. And all who stood at the first appear to have been consequently confirmed in character and the enjoyment of divine favour; since there is no intimation that any have since fallen into sin, and since we cannot believe that it is God's plan that any of his sinless creatures should continue permanently or even indefinitely in that state of instable equilibrium in which they were created. We may therefore assume it to be a general principle of the divine government that every new created moral agent is introduced into being holy, yet fallible, and subjected to the law as a covenant for a period of probation, conditioning upon perfect obedience ultimate confirmation in holiness and divine favour for ever.///(end quote)

It sure sounds to me like Adam had much to gain for his obedience to the Law given to him.

Ken Hamrick

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

"14. This exchange, You said: 'The animals were not the legal representatives of the people, but only types that pointed to the one true Sacrifice, Christ.'"

>>>Your Hodge family quotes contradicted nothing I said. Here is your mistake: Your statement should have been "The animals were legal representatives of the people ****not per se****, but only as they typified the one true Sacrifice, Christ.'" You misrepresented me and I even made this statement so you wouldn't misrep. me: "HEB 10 IS SPEAKING OF THE SACRIFICES IN THEMSELVES [That is not efficacious in themselves-DS]. But typically they were efficacious and propitious as they figured Christ’s atonement. "

"Again, I mean no more or no less than what is orthodox."... Robert Culver [Systematic Theology (Great Britain: Mentor, 2006), p. 63] explains it well enough…

>>>>You gave no coherent answer to what I just asked you. "without parts" could mean many things. It could mean physical parts. it could mean a lack of faculties. It could mean no ontological distinctions at all. It could mean no mind-no thoughts. It could mean no distinction between nature and will. Who knows what you mean.
"'Every attribute is identical with God's being"

>>>So do you mean essence = existence? If so, can you show that to me from the Bible by either a direct statement or inference?

"There is no variance in any one or all the attributes, for they are steadily the same"

>>>So does "to be" mean the same thing as "to be a person"?
"Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not three parts of God. "

>>>This assumes that God is not the Father almighty maker of heaven and earth, an absolute hypostases, but that God means "divine nature". So God is a single subject/substance? And as he goes on to say the persons are merely, " 'modes of subsistence'", predicates in Aristotle’s category of relation. This is modalistic heresy Ken. If you believe this you will go to hell when you die. The Nicene Creed mentions none of this Ken. These are the traditions and doctrines of papal Romanism that the Reformers inherited from Aquinas.

"16. Define your use of Transference here: "Since transgression cannot exist apart from being, than it cannot be transferred from one being to another across 'nonentity.'"

>>>Then covenant promises and seals cannot be transferred from father to Son because these extend by way of what you call a nominalistic covenant. Therefore you cannot believe that God gave the covenant of circumcision to Abraham.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


“...Nominalistic imputation, or, imputation devoid of any basis in substantial reality."

>>>What is imputed in original sin, guilt, is in the genus of ethics not the genus of being and so the word nominalism is equivocal as I have proved numerous times now. I never said that transgression can exist apart from being. You have to be, before you can transgress. I understand that. All I'm saying is that being and ethics are not the same genus as you keep asserting over and over and over and over again.

"Original sin encompasses both inherent depravity and Adamic imputation. It is one thing to posit that God imputes guilt to those who are innocent of the crime, but quite another to posit that God creates new souls with inherent moral corruption (or, moral "taint"). "

>>>That's it. I have bent over backwards with you in this conversation now you are getting Matthew 23 treatment you stupid moron. I have told you over and over again that morality is in a different genus than being. The tendency to sin is in the genus of being not ethics and so not moral taint.

Your religion as a whole deserves its confusion. I don't know how I could have been more patient and long suffering with your theological trash and you just keep saying the same stupid crap over and over again and ignoring the fact that I have already spoken to these issues dozens of occasions now. You are not in the Reformed or Calvinistic Tradition by any stretch of the imagination. Your soteriology is Romanite to the core and the only thing you do believe the same as the Protestant scholastics is their triadology which I don’t believe because I’m a Clarkian. I’m otta here. Don’t expect me to reply here again.

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

If you don't want to discuss things any further, that's fine. There's no need to have a tantrum. Any time that a disputed issue is discussed by people of differing paradigms, patience is needed on all sides if it is to remain a civilized discussion. Paradigmatic presuppositions tend to make us think that the other guy lacks common sense or intelligence.

Let's look at the straw that broke the camel's back...

I wrote: //"Original sin encompasses both inherent depravity and Adamic imputation. It is one thing to posit that God imputes guilt to those who are innocent of the crime, but quite another to posit that God creates new souls with inherent moral corruption (or, moral "taint")."//

You replied:
That's it. I have bent over backwards with you in this conversation now you are getting Matthew 23 treatment you stupid moron. I have told you over and over again that morality is in a different genus than being. The tendency to sin is in the genus of being not ethics and so not moral taint.

It seems that I'm in good company in the use of the word "taint." Turretin (T5, Q13, §XVII):

(blockquote)///Although the soul is not materially from Adam (as to substance), yet it is originally from him as to subsistence. And as man is rightly said to beget man (although he does not beget the soul), so an impure progenerates an impure, especially (the just judgment of God intervening) that by which it was established that what he had bestowed upon the first man, he should at the same time have and lose for himself as well as his posterity. Now although it is curious to inquire and rash to define why God infuses a soul tainted with sin and joins it to an impure body, it is certainly evident that God did not will (on account of the sin of man) to abolish the first sanction concerning the propagation of the human race by generation. Thus the order of the universe and the conservation of human nature demanded it.///(end quote)

Turretin (T9, Q10, §XIX):

(blockquote)///Although sin is pardoned in the parents, still nonetheless it can be transmitted to their posterity because the guilt being remitted, the taint always remains; if not wholly, at least in part. Hence as a circumcised person begets an uncircumcised, so a believer and renewed man begets a corrupt and unrenewed. He does not generate by grace, but by nature (as from a grain cleared of chaff is produced a grain with the chaff).///(end quote)

Whether you return or not, I will continue to address the remainder of your points.

This discussion was not without value. You have introduced me to some interesting objections, and spurred me to look further into Clarkianism. For that I thank you.

May God bless you (the Luke 6:28 treatment),
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

On the Nature(s) of Christ

""Involves" is ambiguous. Do you mean there is only one agent/subject of activity in Christ? If so I affirm. What you obviously mean though by saying his divine nature was involved in suffering is completely stupid and now I'm reminded why i wanted to end this a long time ago. This would also aid the Romanists who see the humanity partaking of divine attributes in transubstantiation because you are merging the two energies in Christ into one because you use the word "involve." THE NATURES IN CHRIST ARE ONTOLOGICALLY DISTINCT. "

>>>A shared personal identity effected by immaterial (spiritual) union is the key to my system. What I have been striving to maintain in this discussion is that union with Christ is more than a mere union with His divine nature, as if His human nature is excluded from the union. A union with either nature of Christ would be a union with the whole Person of Christ, including every nature that belongs to that Person. (And, of course, a union without any substantial connection to either nature would not be a real union).

The identity of the Person of Christ owns all that the God-man experienced. Without the human experiences of that Person, we could not be united with Him in a way that shared in His personal identity.

You are correct that the divine nature, in itself, did not suffer on the Cross; but, the the Person of Christ did suffer on the Cross by virtue of the human nature that belongs to Him--and that Person is the same Second Person of the Trinity who is coeternal with the Father.

to be continued...

biblicalrealist said...

Continuing...

"I’LL SAY IT AGAIN. THE NATURES ARE ONTOLOGICALLY DISTINCT. You keep asserting this but you are not proving it. Arguments. Arguments! please. If 'Whatever involves one part of Christ involves the whole theanthropic Person of Christ' then by definition, the natures are not ontologically distinct. So then Christ is one incarnate nature. It’s Apollinarianism. "

>>>Let me be more specific: "Whatever ONTOLOGICALLY involves one part of Christ PERSONALLY involves the whole theanthropic Christ." Early on in this discussion, you said:

"Our connection to Christ's humanity is representational and imputational, not realist- infusionist. So we don't want to confuse our realism and our representationalism."

>>>By splitting the effects of the two natures of Christ in this way, such that Christ's divinity is connected to us on the principle of realism, while His humanity is connected to us only on the principle of representation and [nominal] imputation, you are separating what is inseparable. Biblical realism is the recognition of a shared personal identity effected by immaterial union. Even if the immaterial union with Christ is with the divine Spirit only, it is the Person of Christ that we are identified with by that union--and that Person brings to the union an insoluble ownership of both a human and a divine nature. All that is included in the identity of the Person to whom we are joined is applicable to the union. It is CHRIST that we are joined to, and not merely some divine nature--if the divine nature is the vehicle that enables the union, then still the object of that union becomes ours and not merely the vehicle. It is a Person that we are joined to, and all that is owned by that Person and is appropriate to our own nature we are given a title to as if it were our own. Since it is not appropriate to our nature to be God or Creator, then it cannot rightly be said of us that "we created all things in Christ." But since it is appropriate to our nature, it can rightly be said of us that we were crucified in Christ, that we were and are righteous in Christ, and that we are risen in Christ. A man did not create all things, but a man sits at the right hand of God in heaven, and so it can rightly be said that we are seated with Him in heavenly places. Our shared identity with Christ has its basis with the substantial presence of His Person in us, such that we "are one spirit with Him."

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

On Atonement and Union with Christ

"Christ is not united to all men, but only to those who believe."

"Agreed which is why I keep saying that you are confusing Christ's personhood with his obedience. I said earlier, 'The issue is the elect’s relationship to the obedience of Christ’s human nature in time.' Here is your problem though. You deny limited atonement because you are a 1 pointer. Limited atonement says that the obedience of christ extends to THE ELECT by a covenant. You have called this nominalism. What you are advocating is a limited atonement then that extends to the elect ontologically and not by a covenant. Who in the history of the church has taught this? Where is this in the bible?"


>>>I still do not agree with how you are understanding ontological union, since you still accuse me of holding to infused righteousness. As for union with Christ, it has long been understood as necessary for atonement. One Man cannot effectively die in the place of another without a union of some kind. The only question has been the timing and nature of that union. While the Reformed see the union as eternal and tied to election, I see the union as substantially spiritual and effected by the indwelling at conversion. The importance and centrality of union with Christ to Christianity is nearly universally taught. As for the details of my view, no one else has developed the doctrine in this way to this extent. Like you (from the articles I've read and videos I've watched at your blog), I am not afraid to stand alone at the call of God. Union with Christ, and its effects, are found throughout the New Testament. Union with Adam in the Old Testament also points to union with Christ by parallel.

TO be continued...

biblicalrealist said...

Continuing...

The union of believers with Christ is spiritual, and not merely legal or "federal." This union happens within substantial reality, and does not exist only within the mind of God. Rom. 6:3, "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" and, 1 Cor. 6:17, "But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him." It is not speaking of water baptism, but baptism into the Spirit, which happens at the point of saving faith. To be spiritually baptized into Christ is to be joined to Him so that the new believer and Christ are one spirit, and the result of this is that the new believer is joined to (or, baptized into) His death. As the spirit is the core of a man, it is the core of a man's identity. When the Holy Spirit indwells the man, He creates a new man by joining the spirit of the man to the Spirit of Christ. They are not joined to the extent that either is lost in the other, but they are joined to the extent that the man's new identity is in Christ and his old identity is no longer valid in the eyes of justice. In fact, the believer is so identified with Christ that he is considered to have been crucified with Him. Gal. 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." To be immersed into the Spirit of Christ is to be plunged into that flood of sufficiency that all His human experiences provide. To be baptized into Christ is to be baptized into His death.

Adam “was a type of the one who was to come,” because both Adam and Christ are the heads of their spiritual seed. We are not only physical descendants, but spiritual descendants of Adam. When Christ redeems us, He causes us to become the spiritual seed of Christ (Isaiah 53:10; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:12-13; John 3:3). We were united with Adam when he sinned, and death passed through to all of us. When we are united to Christ, we are united to His death, and life passes through Him to us (Rom. 6:1-14). The defining act of the one head brought death to his seed, while the defining act of the other Head brings the free gift of life to His seed

This is just a sample of the many places in Scripture that speak to this.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

On the Issue of Being versus Ethics

You really have sent me back to the books in this discussion. (As I said, this discussion has not been without value to me). This objection, regarding the supposed confusing of "genus of being with the genus of ethics" had me puzzled for a while. But I see now that this is the same classic objection of representationists to the realist position. The realists necessarily hold that it is not only a person who sins but the spiritual (immaterial) nature of that person that sins; therefore, the responsibility and resulting moral corruption belong not only to the person but also to the nature. The representationists typically object that sin can only be predicated of persons, and not of natures (sound familiar?). If this is your objection, it only amounts to registering your disagreement with realism, since it is an issue long-disputed between realists and representationists.

The fact is that there are two parts of human nature or being: spiritual (immaterial) and physical (material). Conscious moral agency is not predicated only at the level of person. Sin and righteousness are SPIRITUAL matters, and conscious moral agency comes only from the fact that we are spiritual beings. Without the human spirit, there would be no human personhood, no self-consciousness or God-consciousness, and no moral agency. The person is merely the individual mode of existence of this morally reponsible essence of being (or, substance of the spirit). Either you must posit that the person has capabilities that do not come from the natures belonging to it, or admit that the capacity of the person to be a conscious moral agent comes from the spiritual nature. If you admit the latter, then to demand that sin is only predicated of persons and not of natures would be simply to deny that the source of that capacity can be propagated in such a way that maintains a continuity of being and identity. In other words, it is a denial of the realistic tenet that there is more than individual identity of spiritual being, in that there is also a corporate mode of existence that results in a propagated responsibility for participation by way of union of origin. Who you are as an immaterial spiritual being did not begin with your individual existence, but rather, it began with Adam.

That's all for now.

Ken Hamrick

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,
"A union with either nature of Christ would be a union with the whole Person of Christ"

>>Because you believe they are not ontologically distinct.

“Let me be more specific: "Whatever ONTOLOGICALLY involves one part of Christ PERSONALLY involves the whole theanthropic Christ." Early on in this discussion, you said:"

>>>Equivocation. person is something ontological. There are two types of ontology in this context: 1. Nature. 2. Person.

"you are separating what is inseparable"

>>>Because you believe the nature's are not distinct. Separation is not the same thing as ontological (at the level of nature) distinction. On your logic, since the nature's are inseparable, if the human nature suffered then the divine nature suffered.


"But since it is appropriate to our nature, it can rightly be said of us that we were crucified in Christ"

>>>LOL! So you were *****really***** crucified weren't you and not in a legal way and by way of representation? BTW it does not say in Christ it says WITH Christ.



"One Man cannot effectively die in the place of another without a union of some kind. "

>>>He was me in a legal way, because what he was doing was legal/juridical not ontological, thus PSA. You need to convert to eastern orthodoxy dude. You don't get the Reformed view of soteriology. If the union is not legal and representational then the Covenant of Redemption is by definition impossible. The Covenant was made with Christ in eternity representing the elect. On your view the elect would have to be ontologically united to Christ in eternity when he made this covenant.

"Union with Christ, and its effects, are found throughout the New Testament."

>>>With respect to the Covenant of Redemption? With respect to PSA? Where?

"The union of believers with Christ is spiritual, and not merely legal or "federal."

>>>Proportion the two between the natures and you have both. Not some myopic nonsense.

"1 Cor. 6:17, "But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him." It is not speaking of water baptism, but baptism into the Spirit, which happens at the point of saving faith."

>>>You assume that is the human spirit.

"If you admit the latter, then to demand that sin is only predicated of persons and not of natures would be simply to deny that the source of that capacity can be *****propagated***** in such a way that maintains a continuity of being and identity. In other words, it is a denial of the realistic tenet that there is more than individual identity of spiritual being, in that there is also a corporate mode of existence that results in a propagated responsibility for participation by way of union of origin. Who you are as an immaterial spiritual being did not begin with your individual existence, but rather, it began with Adam. "

>>>I never said that an actual transgression was propagated.

Drake Shelton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drake Shelton said...

Ken, if an ontological union to the person of christ respecting his divine nature is impossible because as you say, "Men cannot be united in a spiritul union with only the divinity of Christ in such a way as to share in His identity. Apples cannot unite with oranges" and if union to one nature demands the exact same type of union with the other, then if we are ontologically united to his HUMAN NATURE, we would then on your own logic be ontologically united to his divine nature.

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

I had stated: "A union with either nature of Christ would be a union with the whole Person of Christ"

You replied: "Because you believe they are not ontologically distinct."

>>>The two natures in Christ are, by analogy, as distinct as the soul and body in a man. I think C. Hodge explains it well, Vol. II, pp. 378-380:

(blockquote)///The most mysterious and most familiar fact of consciousness and experience is the union of soul and body in the constitution of our nature. According to the common faith of mankind and of the Church, man consists of two distinct substances, soul and body... The substance which we designate the soul, is immaterial, that is, it has none of the properties of matter. It is spiritual, i. e., it has all the properties of a spirit... The substance which we call the body, on the other hand, is material. That is, it has all the properties of matter and none of the properties of mind or spirit.
...The second fact concerns the nature of the union between the soul and body. It is, (a.) A personal union. Soul and body constitute one individual man, or human person. There is but one consciousness. It is the man or person who is conscious of sensations and of thoughts, of affections of the body and of the acts of the mind. (b.) It is a union without admixture or confusion. The soul remains spirit, and the body remains matter... No property of the mind is transferred to the body; and no property of the body is transferred to the mind. (c.) Nevertheless the union is not a mere inhabitation, a union of contact or in space. The soul does not dwell in the body as a man dwells in a house or in his garments. The body is part of himself, and is necessary to his completeness as a man...
...The person is the possessor of all the attributes both of the soul and of the body. We may predicate of the man whatever may be predicated of his body; and we may predicate of him whatever may be predicated of his soul. .. Whatever is true of either element of his constitution is true of the man... As in virtue of the personal union of the man, so all the acts of either are the acts of the man...
...The union of soul and body in the constitution of man is the analogue of the union of the divine and human nature in the person of Christ. No analogy is expected to answer in all points. There is in this case enough of resemblance to sustain faith and rebuke unbelief...///(end quote)

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

I had stated: "Let me be more specific: 'Whatever ONTOLOGICALLY involves one part of Christ PERSONALLY involves the whole theanthropic Christ.'"

You replied: "Equivocation. Person is something ontological. There are two types of ontology in this context: 1. Nature. 2. Person."

>>>Again, let me refer to Hodge, whose explanation is clearer than mine, Vol. II, pp. 389-392:

(blockquote)///...The first important point concerning the person of Christ is, that the elements united or combined in his person are two distinct substances, humanity and divinity; that He has in his constitution the same essence or substance which constitutes us men, and the same substance which makes God infinite, eternal, and immutable in all his perfections. The second point is, that this union is not by mixture so that a new, third substance is produced, which is neither humanity nor divinity but possessing the properties of both... Christ's person is theanthropic, but not his nature; for that would make the finite infinite, and the infinite finite...
As therefore the human body retains all its properties as matter, and the soul all its attributes as spirit in their union in our person; so humanity and divinity retain each its peculiar properties in their union in the person of Christ...
The union of the two natures in Christ is a personal or hypostatic union... It is intended to affirm that the union is such that Christ is but one person. As the union of the soul and body constitutes a man one person, so the union of the Son of God with our nature constitutes Him one person. And as in man the personality is in the soul and not in the body, so the personality of Christ is in the divine nature...
...The person is the... partaker of the attributes of both natures; so that whatever may be affirmed of either nature may be affirmed of the person. As of a man can be affirmed whatever is true of his body and whatever is true of his soul, so of Christ may be affirmed whatever is true of his human nature and whatever is true of his divinity...///(end quote)

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

I had stated: "you are separating what is inseparable"

You replied: "...On your logic, since the nature's are inseparable, if the human nature suffered then the divine nature suffered. "

>>>It was not the divine nature that suffered, but the divine Person. Once more, I find nothing disagreeable in Hodge's description, Vol. II, pp. 394-395:

(blockquote)///...As a man is one person, and because he is one person all his acts are the acts of that person, so all the acts of Christ are the acts of his whole person...
Such being the Scriptural doctrine concerning the person of Christ, it follows that although the divine nature is immutable and impassible, and therefore neither the obedience nor the suffering of Christ was the obedience or suffering of the divine nature, yet they were none the less the obedience and suffering of a divine person. The soul of man cannot be wounded or burnt, but when the body is injured it is the man who suffers......///(end quote)

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

I stated earlier: "No, Christ is Mediator according to the fact that He has both natures as the God-man. Men cannot be united in a spiritual union with only the divinity of Christ in such a way as to share in His identity. Apples cannot unite with oranges. It is the human nature of Christ that enables the believer to be spiritually united with the Person of Christ in such a way as to share in His identity."

You initially replied: "At last, Aquinas arises. We are made in God’s image. This is a denial that God and man are apples and oranges. To go with your analogies, men are also apples. God is an apple eternally and intuitively. Men are discursively and temporally. If humanity and divinity are apples and oranges--metphysically incompatible then the hypostatic union is impossible. It is only when you see the Logos of man as uncreated that this becomes possible. " You later added: "...If an ontological union to the person of Christ respecting his divine nature is impossible because as you say, 'Men cannot be united in a spiritual union with only the divinity of Christ in such a way as to share in His identity. Apples cannot unite with oranges' and if union to one nature demands the exact same type of union with the other, then if we are ontologically united to his HUMAN NATURE, we would then on your own logic be ontologically united to his divine nature."

>>>By "apples and oranges," I was not referring, necessarily, to an incompatible ontology, but to an incompatibility of identities (which is why I qualified the statement with "in such a way as to share in His identity"). As you rightly point out, we are made in the likeness of God, so that spiritual union with God is not only possible but the intended design of human beings. However, a union with divinity alone (short of the hypostatic union of a divine incarnation) does not include the power of a shared identity. Our spirit is human and finite. This is why it was necessary for the Son to take on a full human nature including a human spirit. God's Spirit alone in a human body would not qualify as a man, because the divine Spirit has no capacity for human identity in and of Himself alone. God alone cannot be anything other than God.

To be continued...

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

If God's divine nature alone were to join with a man in such a way as to share identity, it would have to be a hypostatic union in which a human nature is assumed. Even so, the human identity would still come from the human nature--the human righteousness would still consist only in the righteous acts, attitudes and thoughts of the human nature. In the hypostatic union of Christ, the righteousness of His divine nature is manifested through the acts, attitudes and thoughts of His human nature. In this way, the righteousness of God took on a human form and became compatible with our need. Contrary to Osiander, it is not merely the eternal righteousness of the divine nature that saves us (as if the temporal, human righteousness of Christ could be discarded). As finite men, we could no more have divine righteousness in and of itself than we could have omnipotence. The Person of Christ had divine righteousness from the first moment of His incarnation (indeed, from eternity past); but He had no human righteousness until He earned it through the thoughts, attitudes and actions worked out through the daily business of a real human life.

As sinners, each of us lack two things that are necessary for our salvation. We lack the experience of having lived a righteous human life from cradle to grave; and we lack the experience of having endured the complete wrath of God against our sin. Unless the Son of God took on a full human nature and accomplished these two experiences as a man, these experiences would not match up with our identity and our need. But--Praise God!--He did accomplish them in full humanity. This empowers Him to impart these experiences to us just as if we had accomplished them, by spiritually joining His Spirit to ours, which unites our human identity to His.

It is the inner man, and not the outer man, that determines human identity. When Christ indwells a believer, a new man is made from two. No longer Ken Hamrick, I became Ken-Hamrick-in-Christ and my life is now hidden in Christ. When the Spirit of His Person was added to my being, I gained a proprietary title to all of the human spiritual experiences belonging to His Person. God does not, out of mere sovereignty, declare that the sinner has the righteousness of Christ, in contradiction to substantial reality. Instead, God sovereignly creates just grounds in substantial reality to see us with the righteousness of Christ. God does not see me---in and of myself---with any rightouesness whatsoever. He only sees me as righteous due to union with Christ.

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

I stated: "Conscious moral agency is not predicated only at the level of person. Sin and righteousness are SPIRITUAL matters, and conscious moral agency comes only from the fact that we are spiritual beings. Without the human spirit, there would be no human personhood, no self-consciousness or God-consciousness, and no moral agency. The person is merely the individual mode of existence of this morally reponsible essence of being (or, substance of the spirit). Either you must posit that the person has capabilities that do not come from the natures belonging to it, or admit that the capacity of the person to be a conscious moral agent comes from the spiritual nature. If you admit the latter, then to demand that sin is only predicated of persons and not of natures would be simply to deny that the source of that capacity can be propagated in such a way that maintains a continuity of being and identity. In other words, it is a denial of the realistic tenet that there is more than individual identity of spiritual being, in that there is also a corporate mode of existence that results in a propagated responsibility for participation by way of union of origin. Who you are as an immaterial spiritual being did not begin with your individual existence, but rather, it began with Adam. "

You replied: "I never said that an actual transgression was propagated. "

>>>Neither did I, per se. What is propagated is the spirit that actually trangressed. Let's look again at what you did say in earlier exchanges...

To be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

I had earlier stated: "Either it is true that we were IN Adam in a real way within substantial reality (which is a realistic union), OR, we were IN Adam ONLY IN THE MIND OF GOD. The latter is not a seminal union but an imaginary union--not a realistic union but a nominal union."

You replied: "Again you are jumping from the relationship a human being has to Adam with regards to *****his soul***** to the relationship a human being has with regards to original sin. "

>>>You seem to treat imputed sin as if it has no more to do with the origin of the soul than with the origin of the body. Only if it is assumed that sin can be separated from the soul and putatively applied by divine fiat can the origin of all souls in Adam be dismissed as having little to do with original sin (imputed). But as a Biblical realist, I do not share that assumption. C. Hodge [The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review, for the Year 1860. Vol. XXXII (Phila.: Peter Walker), p. 866] makes a startling admission that contradicts his usual representationist views and bears on this issue. His comment was expressing an objection against traducianism that Jesus' human soul would then be guilty of original sin, since it was propagated from Mary and thus, from Adam (bold mine):

(blockquote)///...If we, because we are descendants of Adam, are partakers in his apostasy, why is not Christ, who also was a descendant of Adam, also a partaker in that crime? If it is morally chargeable on us, on the ground of community of nature, why is it not in like manner chargeable on him? Dr. Baird's answer to this difficulty is again a denial of his theory. He refers to the mystery of the miraculous conception. But this does not avail him. It is indeed supposable (even on the theory of propagation) that the pollution of our nature was removed by "the power of the Highest," before its assumption into personal union with the Son of God. But guilt cannot be removed by power. If a man commits a crime he is guilty, and even Omnipotence cannot undo the deed. If it is true that we apostatized in Adam, Omnipotence cannot make it untrue. And if it is true that all who partake of Adam's nature shared in his appostasy, and are morally chargeable with its guilt, then it must be true of Christ. That his human nature sinned in Adam is a simple fact of the past, according to the theory in this book, and all the power in the universe cannot make it no fact...///(end quote)

If guilt cannot be removed by power alone, then it cannot be imputed by power alone. If it is true that a man who commits a crime "is guilty, and even Omnipotence cannot undo the deed," then it is just as true that a man who begins his existence without having committed any crime cannot be guilty, and even Omnipotence cannot impute the deed. If it is not true that we apostatized in Adam in a real, spiritual way, then Omnipotence cannot make it true. If my spiritual nature and your spiritual nature did not sin in Adam then there is no such fact in the past--and all the power in the universe cannot make it a fact!

Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

I had also stated: "Honest scholars admit that [Rom. 5:12-19] can be validly understood in a number of ways, including the realistic understanding that we sinned "in Adam" in the realistic sense of an immaterial union of origin."

You replied: "This statement shows the exact confusion I am talking about. Notice how you switch from talking about original sin realism, to origin of soul realism. A clear confusion between the genus of being and ethics. "

The reason that soul-origin and original sin cannot be as distinct as you try to make them is because the former is the only just ground for the latter--not as some nebulous "soul energy" abstraction but as the willful participation of the spiritual nature of all mankind. The sin is not theirs because it is imputed, but rather, it is imputed because it it theirs. If it is not theirs in a real sense, from facts within substantial reality, then it is not just for the guilt or penalty of Adam's sin to be applied to them. God is not disconnected from substantial reality: truth corresponds to reality, and God does not lie but is always a God of truth. If a man is to be condemned and sent to hell within substantial reality, and not merely seen within the mind of God as if he were in hell, then the crime for which he is sent there ought to be one that he has committed in reality and not one of which he is guilty only within the mind of God.

To be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

This is why the representationist must have God's justice swallowed up by His sovereignty. Biblical realists understand that God’s judgments and justice are dependent upon substantial reality—a reality which He may sovereignly change but cannot justly ignore. The denial of this importance of this reality to justice often causes representationists to make inconsistent statements, such as the one by C. Hodge, above. A. A. Hodge makes an equally inconsistent admission that moral distinctions are not the mere product of divine will [The Atonement, pp. 58-59](bold mine):

(blockquote)///This [the holiness of God], be it observed, is predicated of the unchangeable constitution of the nature of God, and not merely of the divine will. (1.) When God commanded the Israelites to be pure, the reason assigned is not "because I so will it," but, "for I am holy." (2.) If moral distinctions are the mere product of the divine will; if they exist only because God wills them to exist, and if they are what they are simply because he wills them to be so, then the proposition that God is holy conveys no meaning. It is only equivalent to saying that he is as he wills to be; and would be just as true when asserted of a wicked as of a holy being. (3.) Although God is most willingly holy, yet holiness is with him no more optional than is existence... (4.) Our own elementary intuitions give us moral distinctions which are seen to be absolute, eternal and necessary. It is essentially repugnant to their character to conceive of them in any sense as contingent. They have their norm in the eternal and necessary nature of God.///(end quote)

To be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

By denying that mankind's union with Adam, on which is grounded the imputation of Adam's sin, was anything other than a union within God's mind alone, representationists deny that there can be any valid ground for objecting to the immorality of holding as guilty those who did not in any real way commit the crime. Thus, nominalism by necessity holds that the justice and morality of God's dealing with man are sovereignly defined according to His will. Whereas the realist holds that God does something because it is right, the nominalist holds that something is right because God does it.

It all comes back to the importance of substantial reality. Any thinker may bring guilt on himself by thinking what he should not, but no thinker can bring guilt on others merely by thinking--not even God. Identification or representation that is merely of the mind, such as federal representation (in its usual, putative form), cannot be accurately called "real." Reality exists even in the absence of any thoughts regarding it; whereas, federal representation is claimed to exist even in the absence of any reality regarding it. Realistic union is the most Biblical way to acknowledge the rightful place of reality in theology, because it acknowledges the reality of mankind's union in Adam, as well as the reality of the believer’s union with the Christ who is fully man and fully God.

Ken Hamrick

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,


First I wanted to correct something. You said, “ Like you (from the articles I've read and videos I've watched at your blog), I am not afraid to stand alone at the call of God”

>>>We are nothing alike in this respect. If you examine my terms of communion on my blog, I am standing with either universally recognized ecumenical councils (Nicea-325) or internationally recognized councils (Westminster). Unlike you, these issues are not ideas that I invented in my living room.


“The two natures in Christ are, by analogy, as distinct as the soul and body in a man. I think C. Hodge explains it well, Vol. II, pp. 378-380:”

Hodge’s first problem is explaining how a person can be separated from their body after death and remain human. 2. The union in Christ is not at the level of nature but hypostasis. When Hodge says, “the union of the divine and human nature in the person of Christ.” Is unorthodox. Constantinople 553, The Capitula of the Council VII
"If anyone using the expression, "in two natures," does not confess that our one Lord Jesus Christ has been revealed in the divinity and in the humanity, so as to designate by that expression a difference of the natures of which an ineffable union is unconfusedly made, [a union] in which neither the nature of the Word was changed into that of the flesh, nor that of the flesh into that of the Word, for each remained that it was by nature, the union being hypostatic;”

“You replied: "Equivocation. Person is something ontological. There are two types of ontology in this context: 1. Nature. 2. Person."”

Hodge did not help you. Is hypostasis something ontology or not? If yes then you admit your error. If no, you cannot believe the hypostatic union.

“>>>It was not the divine nature that suffered, but the divine Person. Once more, I find nothing disagreeable in Hodge's description, Vol. II, pp. 394-395:”

Again Hodge did not help you. The nature’s are ontologically distinct at the level of nature but at the level of person the human nature unites to the divine PERSON of the Logos.

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

There's just one more thing that I would like to add at this point. A covenant is not -- in and of itself -- a foundation for morality or the ground of justice. Nominalistic representationists tend to want to define morality by covenantal terms alone, and to use that as the ground of justice -- as if the mere stipulation of something in the terms of a covenant was enough to establish it as a moral foundation. However, covenants are only made within the larger framework of the moral standards of God, which are written on the hearts of every man. The moral foundation of any covenant lies in this greater framework of the moral standards of God, and no covenant is its own moral foundation. The covenant relates to justice in the same way that it relates to this framework. It is never enough to claim that some act is right or wrong merely because it is specified in the terms of the covenant. Rather, some act is right or wrong only as those covenantal stipulations are supported by the framework of God's moral standards. In the case of covenantal requirements relating to an otherwise amoral act, such as dietary restrictions, the immorality is founded only in the fact that it is immoral to break a covenant -- to fail to keep what one has promised to keep. If the covenant is with God, then disobedience is also involved. But the immorality of failing to keep one's covenant promise does not come from the covenant itself, but from the framework of God's moral standards.

Covenants cannot contradict God's framework of moral standards. A covenant may stipulate that an amoral act is prohibited, but it would never be valid for a covenant to prohibit what is righteous. A covenant that commanded, "You shall not love the Lord your God with all your heart... on pain of death, etc.," would not be valid. Neither can a covenant demand what is wrong, such as requiring the covenant member to blaspheme God three times per day. These extremes illustrate that covenants do not supply their own moral basis, but must be set within (and dependent on) the greater moral framework. In these extreme examples, it would be immoral to keep the covenant and righteous to break the covenant.

To be continued...
Ken Hamrick

biblicalrealist said...

Drake,

Continuing...

This is important for understanding the covenant with Adam and the covenant of Redemption with Christ. It means that the representationist cannot find the ground of justice for Adamic imputation in the covenant itself. It is often claimed that God stipulated in the covenant with Adam that whatever he gained or lost, by way of benefit or penalty, would be gained or lost for all his posterity also. But the mere stipulation in the covenant is not enough for just ground for inflicting a penalty on people who had no other tie to the criminal than mere physical relation. The greater framework of God's moral standards utterly reject holding the innocent guilty. Therefore, there must be some other tie in substantial reality in order for this stipulation to be supported by God's moral standards. This is where the Biblical realist finds the necessary tie in the immaterial propagation of man (and its resulting immaterial union of all men in Adam in such a way as to make them corporately responsible even in that moral framework that needs no covenant).

You have objected that the idea of covenant would not work under this realistic scheme -- particularly, the covenant of redemption. Although representationists/covenantalists tend to speak of the covenant of Redemption as if they had read the "document," and authoritatively declare all the stipulations, much of what is claimed is speculation. I don't deny the covenant's existence, but I do deny that the particularity is tied to the sacrifice of Christ is such a way as to limit its applicability. The covenant itself cannot serve as a sufficient tie between Christ and the elect in order to credit them with His atoning death and righteous life. Sin and righteousness, as well as the penalty and award for each, are matters of God's moral standards, which exist outside of any covenant and cannot be changed by any covenant. If one man's penalty for sin is to be expiated by another Man, and if one Man's righteous life is to be credited to another man, then -- according to the framework of God's moral standards -- there must be some supernatural way of joining the two to the extent that the two actually become one in substantial reality. The covenant may promise that they will be viewed as such, but unless the covenant is backed up by the larger moral framework, it will be invalid. And that larger moral framework is always according to truth and never contradicts substantial reality.

Ken Hamrick