Thursday, July 26, 2012

Love and Hate in Romans chapter 9

As seen from the Energetic Procession blog:

In regard to Romans 9, there are three things on should note: the matter of the love of God, the question of Providence in working out Salvation, and lastly, what is specifically meant by “predestination.” First, the matter of God’s love and God’s opprobrium. God’s love, as everyone will confess, is eternal, for after all, God is love. But His hatred is not, not unless, that is, you have fallen into what has been termed the Origenistic problematic. Origen, the brilliant second/third-century father was influenced by middle-Platonism, and was a contemporary of the founder of NeoPlatonism, Plotinus. He and Plotinus had the same teacher in Alexandria, Ammonius Saccas. The starting point for both Origen and Plotinus was the ineffable singular unity of God (for Plotinus, “The One,” in Greek, to hen, which is neuter in form). For Origen, the eternality and unity of God was primary, and all that God was, he was eternally. Thus He was both Eternally Father with the eternally-begotten Son. (He was the first theologian to use the term “the eternal generation of the Son.”) But this comes at a cost: if God is creator, He is eternally so, and creation becomes eternal. Origen, moreover, was hard pressed to distinguish the eternal act of creation from the eternal act of begetting, for were we to begin with the unity of God, how can we distinguish acts (though Origen did seek to do so). In respect to the love of God, it would seem, hate becomes systemic of the divine nature as well. Origen reasoned that for God to be all-powerful, there must be something against which his power stood; for him to be infinite, His infinity must be opposed to finitude. We can see in this a dialectic of opposition, which would then entail that his love, while having an eternal object of love (and for Christians love is an energy within the Trinity and ultimately among us creatures), this same must be true of his hate. Origen really doesn’t comment on this, and later theologians have seen that God’s hate is but the disposition of God toward that which is not of Him, namely, sin. (Origen’s thoughts on all of this is in his On first principles.)
But Origen’s theology in these matters was condemned by the Church. God’s hate, such as it is, is not eternal (and neither is creation), but a response of his justice and love toward the corruption of His creation. This can be seen at the beginning of Dante’s Divine Comedy, for when Dante enters Hell he reads “eternal love created me.” Thus the love and hate of Jacob and Esau cannot be linked to the eternal purposes of God, in that the hate of God, like God’s creation, are acts of God in His relationship to time.

To read the rest please visit Energetic Procession.


Drake Shelton said...

Calvinism is Not Heresy; A Defense of Reformed Theology Against the Attacks of Eastern Orthodox and Romanist Apologists

Jnorm said...

Drake, I read your comments on called to communion the day you posted them on there. I read all the comments on that blog post.

And even then I knew that your comment # 137 didn't answer what the 6th Ecumenical council implied. Nor did your comment # 137 totally free Calvinism from the charge that we often throw at it.

What do you think the Monothelites believed in regards to the human will of Christ? Your comment # 137 actually proves our point for us (you really did prove our point in that comment).

The only thing you freed Calvinism from was in regards to synergy after regeneration, and that only for some Calvinists for not all Calvinists agree on this point. And so can you really defend all forms of Calvinism from this charge?

Also a huge chunk of your 58 objections are also not really a problem for us.

1.) We don't have a Manichean view of man and sin. This is one of the easier ones to respond to, but you have many like this in your 58 objection list.

2.) We can also easily answer your Eastern Orthodoxy is Antinomian charge.

I could go on and on and on about a good chunk of your 58 objections.

You listed alot of articles on your page, but how many existing Calvinists today actually believe like that? Yes, these are things you believe, but how many Calvinists in America believe exactly like you in all these points?

At the end of the day, from what I'm seeing, you can only defend yourself and your own personal views and not necessarily the whole Calvinistic tradition as a whole.





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