Free will or Soverign God in relation to righteous Prophets

In the Prophets there is a point at which God says “no more! That is it! I am going to punish you…I gave you the chance!”

There are times where the faithful and righteous followers of God intervened through prayer and God listened…God gave his people another chance.

Then there are times when God refuses to listen to even the righteous when the his people have broken the “threshold” (if it where). Then it is all God, no matter what the righteous followers do or say.

Of course the argument could go for or against either side…ultimately a Sovereign God is going to punish them eventually or ultimately the people were going to choice to sin and life a lifestyle of disobedience.

But I want to look at both sides of the argument and say that in the Sovereignty of God and in the responsibility of man –there is a balance! Through-out Scripture and in real life…

Sure Calvinists and Arminists can fight all they want but I want to look deeper and see that both sides have a point. Look at Scripture and see the balance.

No Carnivores in the Garden?

Here is something I have been thinking a lot about (off and on) since my recent visit to Creation Museum.

Carnivores did not exist until after the Fall of man.
The assumption is that no animals died until after God killed the first animal to cover the human beings.

And think about what this means….
All the animal kingdom were vegetarians!

What would a wolf, tiger, shark, etc look like without those sharp teeth?
What did they eat!!!
I am just imaging all the adaptations that were made after the sin…..

And on a philosophical level….
Do you think that flesh was not suppose to be food?

Ok, well after doing some more research and thought I am keeping my mind open.
The more I think about it that more I have been thinking that death among animals (without souls) could quite possibly have happened even before the Fall of man.

1. God created all animals of all kinds. (Including Carnivores). Genesis 1:24-25 states “And God made the beasts [chayyah] of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind.. and God saw that it was good. In many places in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word “chayyah” refers to animals that eat flesh. In Genesis 1:24 term seems to refer to an entire group of animals, contrasting “cattle” which are herbivores. This strongly suggests that there were already carnivores before the Fall.

2. the eco. system and overpopulation:
1.Unchecked reproduction would lead to nightmarish overcrowding in a matter of weeks or less.
2. Many organisms are obligatory predators.
3. Many animals have elaborate defense mechanisms against predators.
4. Countless small organisms are routinely killed as larger organisms eat and walk.
5. Many organisms die of accidental deaths.
6. For physical immortality, absolutely all aging would need to cease.
7. Physical immortality removes the need for reproduction.
8. Vital ecological cycles cannot work if organisms do not die.

3. Theologically this would still work: God killed the first animal to cover for humans sins, but it is a strecth to say he killed the first animal period.

The meat of either argument centers on the interpretation of these verses:

Genesis 2:16, which states that God told Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” A New Testament passage sometimes offered as support for the position is Romans 5:12 which states, “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin.”

Some assert that these verses indicate that no humans, animals, or plants died before before the Fall, and were created to be physcially immortal. Others allow plant death, on the grounds that God gave plants as food to us and other creatures (Genesis 1:29-30), or because plants are not conscious. Still others maintain that only humans were immortal before the Fall (Reem, 2005; Koukl, 2006). However, even if one interprets Genesis in a literal manner[1], when Biblical and scientific considerations are fully examined, the concept of “no physical death” is not well supported, and creates a host of theological, logical, and scientific problems. A more reasonable conclusion is that the verses in question refer to spiritual death, not physical death.

A lot of readings I will let you readfor yourself….

Did God create Carnivores on the 6th day?

It’s all about teeth… (THis one looks at both sides of the argument and has got me stumped. )
I think that all three ideas are feasible.

No phyiscal death before the Fall?

No human death before the fall? ( I like this arguement as well.)

Young Earth or Old Earth?

A recent question I came across sparked a rant…the question:
“If Biblical creationists believe that man and dinosaurs lived at the same time, where is the evidence?”
Answers In Genesis has a through article on this topic.
This has sparked my interests, even though I am still not sure if I agree with all of the conservative ideas and theories of Ken Ham and the guys at Answers in Genesis.

I recommend that you check out the article…

My highlight is the evidence from the Flood. And what I find very interesting is that both Young Earth and Old Earth Christians use the Flood evidence to support their arguments. This is so cool because even though, our time frames are quite different, it still goes to show that the evidence from the flood is so significant…how do non-Christians deal with it?

Now my rant and what I am learning:
Some times I spend a lot of time on complex, non-essentials. Before I go into too much depth, I will admit that this is a non-essential. We as Christians are free to argue and free to agree to disagree…in the end it is not important. We are all going to be living together in Heaven in the end…in fact my step-dad chooses not to argue for any side because he brings up an awesome point, he said, “I choose not to answer your question, because it distracts me from what is truly important.” He relieves that sharing the Gospel message and living the laws of the Bible are what is truly important not debating specific theological issues. I

As far as non-essentials go this one is fun to talk about, very interesting…and I will say I am no expert. I am still struggling through this issue myself and am extremely open to all sides of the debate.
Here is what I know and think of each side so far….
Ken Ham and the extreme conservative…believe that 6 day Creation is literal and actually occurred in 6 days!
This I always find so interesting and no one has really given me a good answer so far, (…I have studied the Answers in Genesis website and I even visited the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio…), but I always think to myself…yes, but the word for DAY in Hebrew “yom,” has several possible meanings…(even Answers in Genesis will admit that.)

The conservative, young earth believers are so set on the literal meaning, they never really even addressed the other liberal theories. They pretty much ignored the idea that “yom” could be interpreted differently and instead merely gave me “If the earth were a billion years old then…” arguments. While, had not heard some of these external evidence arguments before (I was impressed by some of them) I still was left wondering…because I value the internal evidence of the Bible. And so far, I think it is still possible to go either way according to Internal Biblical evidence. We know that with God all things are possible, even an old earth scenario. Besides there is some great external evidence that they are also ignoring when they are making their philosophical conservative arguments. (But this blog post is not my time to get into all these arguments, sorry for wetting your appetite.) Creation Museum did do a good job though of presenting the Gospel, that was impressive and honorable, for a conservative or liberal theologian!

The staff at Apologetics.com did a show on this topic and they are Old Earth proponents. It was a little surprising to me, but I really liked their arguments. They used a lot more internal evidence from within the Bible. They gave the “yom” argument, as stated above but they also referenced several other Bible texts (one particular in Hebrews) showing how God’s idea of time is completely different from ours as humans! We have no idea for sure how long each “yom/day/time period” consisted of in Genesis. It might have been thousands or even millions of years between each “day.” One really strong point that stood out from their arguments was from Creation account itself….One the third ‘day’, God lets the plants bear fruit….(this will take more than 24 hours normally). After day five God lets the animals be “fruitful.” And agian after day six God allows man to be fruitful, produce things, and fill the earth…
THe question could be asked, did God creat them with fruit or did he LET them create fruit over time?
Now agian, using my own words agianst myself, God could have done it in 6 days, sure! All things are possible with God!

Finally my final point is that I want to side with the Bible above and beyond choosing sides or picking the most correct solution. Sometimes this makes me seem like a flip flopper (or more conservative on some points and more liberal on others) but this is partly because people look at issues with a false dichotomy too many times. When in reality the middle ground is sometimes best. Be open on issues but back your self in the Word of God!

irenic, respect


Today I am looking at C Michael Patton’s Parchment and Pen blog again.
And the topic of on of his recent posts: irenic. (Really the post is about more than the word: irenic. But I am focusing on the word irenic and not throughly looking at Michael’s post, because I am intrigued by it.)

Irenic- “adj.

Promoting peace; conciliatory.

[Greek eirēnikos, from eirēnē, peace.]”

Michael says “This does not involve compromise, but a willingness to engage issues fairly.” He goes on to talk about how we should conduct ourselves online (and off line) when dealing with theological beliefs and issues. Basically how to be assertive and respectful at the same time.

Here is an excerpt from Michael’s blog post:
“Here are some of the characteristics to being irenic in theological conversation and controversy:

  • You accurately represent all theological positions, even when you strongly oppose them.
  • Your tone of engagement comes from a humble respectful attitude.
  • Your primary goal is not to win an argument, but to contribute to understanding.
  • Your defense of your position recognizes that strengths of the opposing side.
  • You are gentle.

Here are two important Scripture references concerning how we are to engage in theological discussion irenically:

2 Timothy 2:24 “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” “

This is great advise. I agree with what he is saying. I think a lot of it is derived from personal experience, dealing with theology and controversial topics on a regular basis.

Synonyms for Irenic are :

Mollifying – To calm in temper or feeling; soothe, lessen the temper, soothe.

Appeasing – To bring peace, quiet, or calm to; soothe. Satisfy, pacify.

Pacifying – To ease the anger or agitation of. End war, bring peace.

Peace-making – settling disputes.

Assuaging – To make (something burdensome or painful) less intense or severe. To satisfy, calm.

Conciliatory – Tending to conciliate; pacific; mollifying; propitiating

Placatory – To allay the anger of, especially by making concessions; appease. Ease the anger.

Soothing – To calm or placate, ease, relieve, bring comfort.

Gentle – considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender. Not harsh or severe.

Not hostile

Not aggressive

Not pro-active

I think Michael is saying we should be fair and balanced. Show all angles of an argument even if we do not agree, contribute to the understanding, and not being aggressive about our arguments. He is not suggesting that we are too be so gentle and Placate that our arguments are not there at all. We should be assertive enough to make stand our ground on an issue, but we need to do it gently and be fair.