Implications for the Personal Nature of God


Given my last post, I though reposting this might be helpful. This post, in conjunction with the last one, I think can helpfully demonstrate the futility of the atheist objections they address.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Originally posted on Involuted Speculations:

Angry-Kid1. God is not a Person; God is Personal.
God,   according   to   the   Bible   is   a   tri­personal   Being.   What   sets   the   Christian   doctrine apart   from  unitarian   theologies   is   that   God’s   personhood   exists   independently   of   creation,   within   himself.   Jesus  explains   the   dynamics   of   the   Trinitarian   relationships   when   he   states:

“No   one   knows   the   Son   except   the  Father,   and   no   one   knows   the   Father   except   the   Son,   and   anyone   to   whom   the   Son   chooses   to   reveal  him.”

Implicit   to   the   statement   that   Christ   reveals   the   Father   to   whomever   he   wills   is   the   omniscience   of  the Holy Spirit who, according to Paul, “comprehends the thoughts of God” and reveals them to the elect. (cf. 1 Cor 2:10-11)

The   Father,   the   Son,   and   the   Holy   Spirit   know   one   another   perfectly,   act   in   unison   with   one  another,   and   created   and   now   sustain   all   creation   in   complete   harmony   with   one   another.   To   put   the   matter  briefly:  …

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Conditional Theism Refuted

empty_tomb11Conditional Theism

Many atheists tauntingly claim that they would believe in God if he unequivocally revealed himself in some miraculous display of power. This, however, just is not the case. Scripture teaches that all men are born with a knowledge of God sufficient to leave them without excuse on the day of judgment. If the inmate knowledge of God, which is self-attestingly immediate, personal, and unequivocally Divine in origin is rejected by the atheist, what makes him think he won’t also explain away the miraculous as merely a purely naturalistic anomaly? Frankly, the miracle test for the existence of God is as disingenuous as it is irrational.

Firstly, if one is an atheist, then one is a materialist. Ipso facto, any event is a “natural” event (i.e. a material cause-effect relationship that is, or eventually will be, “scientifically” explicable). Given that this is the case, what could possibly be considered miraculous? Nothing. The metaphysical system admits of no possibility of Divine interaction. The atheist who claims he will believe if God performs some miraculous event, then, is either hopelessly ignorant of the implications of his metaphysical system (i.e. naturalism/materialism) or he is dishonestly claiming to be open to the possibility that God exists. If all events are natural and scientifically explicable, then there can only be two kinds of phenomena, viz. the known and the unknown. For the atheist, any putatively miraculous event can only be properly understood as an unknown phenomenon which is now, or soon will be,scientifically explicable.

Secondly, assuming naturalism/materialism to be the case, all knowledge is derived, ultimately, from inductive reasoning. Consequently, all knowledge claims are always defeasible. Logically, there can be no truly closed definition of any event under the atheist’s consideration. This gives him an easy out when presented with any putatively miraculous event, seeing as he can always claim ignorance of either (a.)the event under consideration or (b.)his knowledge of how to deal with the kind of event under consideration. As a side note, moreover, the assumption of naturalism is self-defeating because it results in universal defeasibility. If a true proposition is indefeasible, and I argue that it is, then naturalism not only cannot yield truth about events we observe, it cannot yield truth about itself as a metaphysical system. Thus, if naturalism is true it cannot be true.

Thirdly, and more importantly, Scripture explicitly states that the unbeliever can only believe if God regenerates him from his state of spiritual blindness, deafness, paralysis, and death. The Scriptures that state this very clearly are the following:

“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.”[1]

“‘…I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house —  for I have five brothers — so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, butif someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”[2]

…And they led him away to their council, and they said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”[3]

So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”  Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.”[4]

“…because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.”[5]

The unbeliever does not fail to believe because he lacks evidence; he is dead and unable to believe. We must add to the above explicit mentions of the persistent unbelief of man, the implicit reiterations of this truth in places like Exodus, where Pharaoh challenges Yahweh, is met with the omnipotence of Yahweh, and yet refuses to believe.[6] Likewise consider Balaam, who is face to face with a talking donkey and yet remains blind to (a.) the fact that he is witnessing a miracle, (b.) the fact that an angel is standing in his way (i.e. another miraculous event), and (c.) the fact that he is being warned by God through these miraculous occurences of his oncoming judgment.[7]

Fourthly, and most importantly, the Scriptures tell us in no uncertain terms that “faith comesfrom hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”[8] Physical sight and hearing are given by God,[9] just as spiritual hearing and spiritual sight are given by God. Hence, Moses declares to the second generation of Israelites:

“You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.[10]

And as Jesus tells Nicodemus:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.


That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”[11]

The sinner comes to believe in the only true God solely through faith in Christ’s person and work. The Scripture says this rather explicitly in a number of places.

“…no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”[12]

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through


…Christ…was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.[14]

No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.[15]

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.[16]

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.[17]

A conversion to true theism, belief in God through faith in his Son’s redemptive work, therefore, cannot be promised by the atheist. Nor should Christians expect that atheists will believe if God meets the atheist’s demands. Faith is a gift from God, not a human concoction. As the Scriptures declare:

…“I believe; help my unbelief!”[18]

This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”[19]

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.[20]

For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit…[21]

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake…[22]

The conditional theism of atheists is exposed by the Scriptures for what it is: An irrational and disingenuous ad hoc response to what he knows to be true. As Paul declares in Romans 1:18-23:

… the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ; faith does not come by God meeting the arbitrary demands of his enemies.

Soli Deo Gloria.


[1] Matt 27:42. These men, of course, refused to believe even after he had performed the greater work of raising himself from the dead.

[2] Luke 16:27-31. (emphasis added)

[3] Luke 22:66b-71.

[4] John 6:30-36. (emphasis added)

[5] John 8:45.

[6] See Ex 3-14.

[7] See Num 22:22-35.

[8] Rom 10:17.

[9] Ex 4:11: […]“Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, theLord?”

[10] Deut 29:2b-4. (emphasis added) See also, Pss 119:18 & Eph 1:16-21.

[11] John 3:3-6.

[12] Matt 11:27.

[13] John 14:6.

[14] 1st Pet 1:19b-21.

[15] 1st John 2:23.

[16] 1st John 5:12.

[17] 2nd John 1:9.

[18] Mark 9:24. (emphasis added)

[19] John 6:29. (emphasis added)

[20] Rom 12:3. (emphasis added)

[21] 1st Cor 12:8-9. (emphasis added)

[22] Phil 1:29. (emphasis added)

The Hopeful Cynicism of Mr. Robot

[image02Spoilers Abound! Just an FYI.]

The Really Interesting Bit, IMO

When I decided to start watching Mr. Robot, I didn’t expect much. After watching the first few episodes, however, I was struck by something unique about the show.

The concept of a brilliant, social outcast with various neuroses and a desire to “save the world,” I should note from the onset, is not what I found to be particularly compelling. This trope is, frankly, old hat. I also wasn’t won over by the loving, but misunderstood, drug addict girlfriend who makes Elliot Alderson (the main character of Mr. Robot) a “better man.”

What, then, was it that I found so compelling? The cynicism which gradually becomes clearer and clearer until it reaches its peak in the season finale.

You see, while Elliot is busy trying to take down the world’s biggest business conglomerate (E[vil]Corp), what he doesn’t realize is that Dark Army (an underground, mercenary hacker society that is helping him) is working with his target. There is no overarching purpose to Elliot’s hacking endeavors, in other words, just more corporate profiteering.

Elliot is a delusional paranoiac who sees and speaks with his dead father (Edward Alderson), forgets that Darlene (his accomplice in taking down E-Corp) is his sister (and tries to kiss her), and is generally off-kilter. Yet the real delusion, and one that the audience implicitly shares with him, is his belief that he can put an end to the tyranny of sociopaths who occupy legitimate(d) and illegitimate seats of power.

Whereas Elliot’s encryption of E-Corp’s data, and the erasure of all the debt incurred by those under E-Corp’s rule are meant to free citizens from the iron fist of economic servitude, the resultant fiduciary blank slate is welcomed by E-Corp’s successor. Why? Because it gives him a chance to build his own empire, to start afresh, to be the king and not a lesser noble in the kingdom.

Demolishing the infrastructure of corporations, and by implication governments, will not usher in an age of peace, prosperity, love, harmony, and equality. The removal of one despot will only usher in the next despot. The erasure of debts will only provide a vacuum which will need to be filled with – you guessed it – debtors and debtees.

The solution to these societal ills will not come about through an anarchic revolution.

image01Will There Be a Solution?

As far as the TV series is concerned, I don’t know if there will be a solution. What I do know, however, is that the show will leave the attentive viewer with a proverbial pebble in his shoe for the following reasons.

Firstly, note the ironic mirroring of E-Corp and f-society [Elliot and his hacker friends]. Both are faceless organizations which aim to destroy social infrastructures. E-Corp seeks to reify and commodify people, and thereby eliminate meaningful social relations; f-society seeks to eliminate corporate social relations [e.g. consumer/buyer, boss/employee, etc] and thereby restore meaningful social relations [i.e. natural social relations]. What is at issue is not the desire to destroy a social infrastructure in order to achieve certain group-specific goals. Rather, what is at issue is the fact that both groups are engaged in this kind of behavior. Which group’s goals are better? Why? Says who? If E-Corp wins, then tyrannical corporatism reigns over society; if f-society wins, then anarchism and the power vacuum raises its ugly lawless head [and there are some intimations of this taking place in Mr. Robot subsequent to f-society’s completion of its intended goal]. Neither anarchism nor corporatism have bright prospects for the future.

Secondly, Dark Army and E-Corp are business partners, faceless entities that manipulate social revolutionaries like Elliot Alderson and his hacker friends to further exploit the masses. Elliot is, in a very real sense, a papier-mâché savior deluded by an ideology no one with power takes overly serious. If the corporate profiteering is what drives not only the despicable business practices of E-Corp, but the very overthrow of E-Corp itself (apart from Elliot’s knowledge!), then is thereany hope for a viable sociopolitical solution to the seemingly impenetrable corporatism/anarchism binary? It would seem that there can be none.

baYou Must Be Born Again

Nevertheless, the cynicism of Mr. Robot, ironically, is hopeful, for it underlines a basic Scriptural truth: Man is depraved. Fallen man cannot construct a sociopolitical future that is not rife with errors (accidental and purposeful), powered by frivolity and greed; even if he could, he would remain errant, driven by base and sinful desires, out for only himself (even in his “better” moments of feigned altruism), and willing to destroy the lives of others in order to achieve his goals. Mr. Robot, at least in this first season, openly comes to terms with the depravity of man. As Elliot’s paranoiac hallucinations, selfish motivations, and irresponsible actions are unveiled episode by episode, the viewer is left trusting no one, becoming paranoid, realizing that he has invested a fictional madman with the fictional future of a fictional America.

Interestingly, Mr. Robot acknowledge what many professing Christians don’t – Men must be born again if (a.)they are to see the kingdom of God and (b.)they are to enter the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God will not be seen by the spiritually dead, nor will it be entered into by the spiritually dead, but is given freely by God to the Bride of the Lamb of God (i.e. the Church universal).

Today, as the world stands on its hind legs in rabid opposition to the children of God, there are many who desire desperately to usher in the kingdom of God, to see it established on earth, to have Christ reign as a “bread king.”[1] There are many who erroneously believe that by changing the political structure of a society, the kingdom of God will be established progressively, restoring a kind of heaven on earth eventually.

Yet what does the Scripture say?

Unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.

Unless a man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

And this rebirthing is not a human act, but Divine. The kingdom is neither seen nor occupied by unbelievers. The Christocracy to come, in other words, will be one in which all of Christ’s subjects are regenerate believers. The kingdom to come will not be part of this present age, which even Mr. Robot recognizes is fraught with sociopolitical problems stemming from the depraved heart of man. Instead, the kingdom of God is the age to come, where anarchism and corporatism are extinct, for God’s glory will be the single goal of all of the kingdom’s occupants.

This is what Mr. Robot doesn’t address, because it cannot. The hopes of secular society are withinthis present age, in the establishment of better laws, in a more faithful execution of justice.

The hope of the Christian Church is in the coming King Jesus, not social activism, where sin and unrighteousness and wickedness are dealt with once and for all.

Soli. Deo. Gloria.


[1] See John 6.

The Triunity of the Proposition: Subject, Predicate, Copula

trinityThe Ontology of the Proposition

A proposition is an assertion of something about something. More clearly, a proposition articulates a relation between a subject and a predicate. A proposition, then, consists of three distinct but inseparable elements, viz. (i.)the Subject Term (ST), (ii.)the Copula (C), and (iii.)the Predicate Term (PT). In everyday expression, our assertions are either affirmative or negative. The proposition “John is good,” for instance, is an affirmative assertion; the proposition in question affirms that John is identifiable as good. The negation of the goodness of John would be the proposition “John is not good,” denying that John is identifiable as good.

Ontologically, however, the situation seems to be different. For example, I may deny that p, where p is the proposition “John is good,” but the resulting proposition ¬p, viz.  “John is not good,” would be logically equivalent to affirmative proposition, p1: “John is a member of the class of not-good things.” Ontologically, therefore, the proposition seems to be essentially affirmative.

The ST-PT  relation is a relation of identity between a distinct ST and a distinct PT. For example, the proposition “John is good ” identifies goodness and John. More elaborately, the proposition means something like “John is a person who performs good actions.” The relation of identity is modal, therefore, relating an ontological John with some distinct demonstration of his ontology.

John as the ST, and John as the implicit ST of the PT, therefore, is essentially identical, but differs with respect to the demonstration of his goodness.

The Takeaway

One in essence, yet three in distinct members, the proposition reflects the unity and difference in the Trinity. As the Father is explicated by the Son, so the subject is explicated by the predicate. As the Spirit of God reveals the Father-Son relationship, so the copula reveals the subject-predicate relationship. As the Godhead is inextricably One in essence, so too the proposition is inextricably one.