Thursday, June 02, 2005

Definition Thursday

With all the hussle and bussle of trying to get ready to leave for Brazil, I had forgotten about this week's definition. However, I've remembered now. So, the last definition thursday before the Fall is:

ontological argument


Joe L. said...

Here is a good definition, at least that I could come up with. It is found here:

Wow, Brazil. Sounds like a great opportunity for the summer months. Have a safe trip!

Rich Blessings in Christ,

Daniel said...

I actually know this one. The ontological argument was formulated by St. Anselm. Basically it's that since we have an idea of a perfect being, that being must exist by necessity.

Shelley, my wife, wants to know what part of Brazil you're going to? She lived Belo Horizonte, Brazil for a year. She also went to Brazil on a couple of missions trips.

Daniel Mann said...

Joe! Your not suppose to cheat! Julianne looks very down on that.Someone explain to joe the rules....Just giving you hard time Joe.

This one was way to easy. I got one for ya! How about supralapsaianism or infralapsarianism which view do you hold too? I bet you anything Julianne, that you cannot stop yourself from looking this up. Your just too curious. No one tell Julianne, What they mean. Trixs is for kids.Ha!!!

Julianne said...

Daniel're in a weird mood tonight!

Julianne said...

As for your supra/infra question, I'm not sure if I fall into either one. Why couldn't God have decreed election and the Fall and the creation of the world simultaneously? God is outside of time. Is there a term for that?

Julianne said...

“God's decree should not be exclusively described . . . as a straight line to indicate a relation merely of before and after, cause and effect, means and goal; but it should also be viewed as a system the several elements of which are coordinately related to one another. . . ."


Julianne said...

Thanks, Joe. Yes, that is a good definition.

Daniel, you can tell Shelley that I am going to Santarem, Para. I'll be mostly on the Amazon and Topajos Rivers. I have a friend in Belo Horizonte. I'll bet she loved Brazil. It is such a beautiful country. Tell her hi for me.

Daniel Mann said...

Julianne, is that So?

I want to contest to last weeks word meliorism. Since you say that the definition came from an out of print book. It probably came from an antiquated book with an archaic meaning.I'm just kidding!!!

Hey! Did you see that 'The Valley of Vision' a collection of puritan prayers & devotions, is coming out on CD ,read by Max McLean?

I had to buy another(The valley of Vision) after Brazil trip, since I think I left it there. Good stuff people!!!

Blessings,on your exams tomorrow.

Daniel Mann said...

There is Julianne, also another variant view of lapsarian called Amyraldianism.Which I know you don't believe. These three definitions are logical prioritizations of the decrees, not a chronological order of events. Was man as creatable and liable to fall, or man created and fallen. The main diffrence between these views is not just about the order of the decrees but rather if we take into consideration the fall and original sin in the doctrine of predestination.

Supralapsarianism means literally,"above the fall," the decrees are positive,coordinate decrees of God. There by God chooses who will be saved and those who will be damned, a fully double predestination.

Here is the order of supralapsarian
1.The decree to save some and to condemn others.
2.The decree to create both the elect and reprobate.
3.The decrees to permit the fall of both classes.
4.The decree to provide salvation only for the elect.

Infralapsarianism literally means "below"/"subsequent to the fall. It argues that predestination is the "positive decree of God by which He chose in Christ those who will be His eternally. They hold to view that reprobation is a negative act of passing over the rest of mankind, leaving them in their own sins to their damnation.

The infralapsarian order.
1. The decree to create human beings.
2. The decree to permit the fall.
3. The decree to save some and condemn others.
4. The decree to provide salvation only for the elect.

Infralapsarian's speak of sigle-predestination: the decree of election. No mention of a decree of rejection of the non-elect. They are instead the subject of God's general will and/or providence.

Are you following me?
Now,I had all this discussion with a Westminster Graduate. He said it's a big debate. I said the same thing to him as you commented "Why can't God decree election/fall/creation simultaneously. Great minds think alike right? ...But once you know what the debate is about there is more to it than that.
Yes, God is out side of time. He is eternal and transcendent.

I have been reading about the Westminster Devines and what particular doctrines and heresies they where fighting against in their day.The Supralapsarian's and the infralapsarian's battled it out. Neither one was considered heretical. There was no confession statement to refute either view. However, there were negative statments against Molinism and Arminianism.

Paragraph 3.2 states;"Although God knows whatever may or can come to pass upon all supposed condictions, yet hath he not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such condictions" The Westminster divines;they added this paragrph as specific refutation of Arminianism and Molinism.The Synod of dort refuted Arminianism in 1619.The divines denied one of the main Arminian tenets of their soteriology with the assertion that God has "not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future." The second half of this passage refutes the heretic Luis de Molina (1535-1600)and the Jesuits, they asserted that God based His eternal decrees upon middle knowledge.That God knows how individuals will react to every imaginable situation.God then arranges history in such a way that each person freely responds to the situations brought before Him. So,God can arrange a persons salvation, not based upon an absolute decree.

Anyhow, The 'Middle knowledge' view has absurdities, such as if created things have a fixed futurition prior to every divine decree than how in the world, can it suffice to produce futurition, if it resting on the condiction of the decree, which is not actual but possible? Does that make sense to you all? I can try to clarify, or re-write a dozen other ways. But I have taken up a lot a space as it is. I'll see if any ya have any comments to respond too.

Soli Deo Gloria

Julianne said...

Daniel, good post. I think I'm getting an understanding of it. I had always thought it was a time thing. Thanks for a better description of them. With that understanding, I think I am a supralapsarian. Where do you stand?

Interesting also, about the history of Molinism and "middle knowledge."

Joe L. said...

Whoa, tough crowd. :-)

No, really, I won't cheat next time. That will be in the Fall, so I'll have to break out Webster's now to get verbose enough to participate in the future. :-)

Grace & Peace,

Daniel said...


Have fun in Brazil. Shelley's really jealous.


I'm not sure that I understand all of the implications of the Supralapsarian/infralapsarian debate. It's really beyond the scope of solid exegesis. It deals more with philosophical theology.

In the end, it's important to remember that theology doesn't do us any good unless it changes our lives. I think that James would concur. It's a sad fact that after the Synod of Dort, Calvinist leaders they executed an Arminian leader just to demonstrate that they had a great understanding of God's grace. I think that the Apostle James would be appalled.

That's why I would be real careful with the word "heretic." I disagree with Calvin's theology on several points, but I wouldn't call him a "heretic" by any means. There are areas that I disagree with Arminius but I would call him a "heretic" either. As we pursue the truth, these sort of words end the conversation, which is needed to have a better understanding in the long run.

Daniel said...

"I wouldn't call him a 'heretic' either. " That really changes the meaning of that statement. I really need to prove read my posts. :)

Daniel said...

*proof read


Daniel Mann said...

Hey Joe! Your alright! You like coffee, Derek Webb, and Thomas Watson. Great ideal about breaking out the Webtster.... But a theological word dictionary would be better. oh no! I am helping you. Go ahead and stick with the Webster. By the way, is the movie "To end All Wars" good? I heard it was very good. I saw it on your list.

Julianne, Yes! it is not a TIME thing, because God is outside of TIME and His decrees are outside of TIME. They only effect TIME and space. Your stuck in TIME and space. by the way may you again have a good refreshing TIME in Brazil in Christ. I Lean toward Supralapsarianism at this moment in TIME. As I am still learning about the views, and of couse,(always reforming). I believe in double predestination.

Daniel, I do believe in being careful with the word heretic.I fear God and I know someday I shall give an account To Him. I do not want to be guitly of making a
a charge against Gods elect.
However, I am not afraid to use the word, even though much of the post-modernistic church today is afraid of it and does not want to offend anyone. Instead we sell alot of the heretics books in are so called "Christian book stores".

I Have a jealous hatred for any thing that tries to steal my affections for Christ, and His sacred word. I abhor any wicked way, that raises its self up, against the nointed one Christ Jesus. Should not all Christians? "To error is adultery of the mind" (Thomas Watson). To be in error is sin. Why would you hold to a view such as Molinism (media scientia or "middle knowledge) when it was derived from a heretic. Luis de Molina (1535-1600) Born in spain in 1535. Became a member of the Jesuit order (the society of Jesus). A Catholic order. They took an oath to serve the pope (pope Paul the third 1540). The Jesuit mission was a "counter reformation" by declaring war on the true Christian faith. They believed in the doctrine of the co-redemptress Mary. They martyred William Tyndale, calling him a heretic for denying the freedom of the will and for publishing the New Testament in English. Then later Jacobus Arminius became a private student of the writings of Luis de Molina. I could go on in all the essentials of the faith that Luis de Molina denied.So Why would you believe a system derived by a Heretic? Who taught this middle knowledge before Luis de Molina. Is this the faith that we are to contend for? Who in church history taught these things? You want practical theology, then where are your evanglists,pastors,and martyrs from Church history that taught middle knowledge? Who are they?

May we all contend for the faith that once for all delivered to the saints.Jude 1:3

Daniel said...

Calvinist Alvin Plantinga came to same conclusions without even reading Molina.

If we want to continue our evaluation of Bible doctrine based on the imperfections of different men, why do we take a look at Augustine. The guy invented purgatory along with sacramental salvation. Catholics like him just as much as Calvinists do.

Joe L. said...

Daniel (Mann),
To End All Wars is an excellent film. The screenplay is by Brian Godawa, a Christian who is well known in Hollywood for his strong Christian convictions, and for his movie reviews.

The film is rated R for depicting the harsh realities of WWII. That said, I would not hesitate to recommend this film. The redemptive message in the film is awesome, and it is well made. I was expecting a low quality film, but was pleasantly surprised. Go rent it!!!

I don’t know Daniel, I have a facsimile edition of Noah Webster’s original 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language. There are a lot of theological terms in there, back when the general populace actually knew a thing or two about the Bible. :-)

In Christ,

Julianne said...


The 1828 dictionary is really good.

Daniel and Daniel,

Interesting conversation...

"I Have a jealous hatred for any thing that tries to steal my affections for Christ, and His sacred word. I abhor any wicked way, that raises its self up, against the nointed one Christ Jesus. Should not all Christians?"

Nice, Daniel (Mann).

Daniel Mann said...

Thanks Joe, for the thumbs up on the movie. I just watched a really dumb movie. "Dinotopia" I got hooked. I don't watch movies much. Now I know why. Once I start watching a moive I get into it and I have a hard time walking away.(even when at home). This movie was full of pagan and liberal notions. Terrible acting. Stupid plot. All I can say is why? Why? Why Did I waste my time?

Daniel,I find that Alvin Plantinga came to the same conclusion as Molina without reading any Molina's work laughable. He came up with the same view with the same two verses (As proof-text for middle knowledge). He read none of Molina's work nor his followers, none of the Jesuit's writings. Come on! If this be true plantinga is a terrible lazy Philosopher. How can you be considered a philosopher and teach it, and teach church history and not have read Molina? It is not consistent with his articles I have read. I have read some of Plantinga's writings. He is not a Calvinist. He has changed camps many times. He does not hold to Calvinist doctrines. Even though at one time he seem to have.

For the record I have read some of William Lane Craig's books. I own some. Many years ago I watch him debate an atheist. I have read and I am currently reading books both on open theism and Molinism. So,I think I have a pretty good grip on what both teach. I like to read both sides to any given issue.

The reason I have not yet dived into texts of scripture is because...

1. I don't want to use the bible as artillery. I give three verses and you give four. I give five you give six or vice versa. The kingdom of the cults do this.

2. It is best to go first where the doctrine was first taught, where it orginated from. Such as if, I were talking to a Mormon I would go to the writings of Joseph Smith. A Jehovah witness- Charles Taze Russel. A Muslim- Muhammad. Molinism- Luis de Molina.

3. I believe God is working through His church providentialy. Hence church history is important when interpreting to see if what we are teaching is new and/or diffrent than what other children of God have contended for.

You said ..."if we want to continue our evaluation of bible doctrine based on the imperfections of diffrent men, why do we take a look at Augustine.

Are you saying Luis de Molina only had imperfections? Was not Molina a heretic? He and the Jesuit's responible for martyring thousands and thousands of Christians. Are you equating him with only mere imperfections? Molina took an oath to radicate the reformation and the people who led it. He called the reformers heretics. Augustine was not a heretic. Yes He had some strange doctrines. But Calvinism can be trace back much futher, clear back to the apostles. Read John Gills book.
The burden of proof is on you. Because the church all long was teaching Calvinism until it was challenged, by people of the likes of Molina and other heretics.

Frank Martens said...

Wulp, here's my 2 cents...

I'm going to write a book someday titled "Adam and Eve's Free Will" (Sarcasm is to be read into that of course :).

Have a great week.


Julianne said...

Nice, Frank. :)