Category Archives: Christian Logic

Deduction simply applies the knowledge

Helped a friend work out a syllogism yesterday, regarding God’s absolute sovereignty or causality. The important thing to remember here is that deduction is an application of knowldge, or that is, deduction does not manufacture new information and then add it to the conclusion, which is what induction does. For this reason all induction is a non-sequitur, that is, all inductive conclusion are, “it does not logically follow.” By importing new information not from your source premises, you just ruined all validity.
Deduction simply applies the knowledge already stated to particular instances. If the bible says, all men have sinned, then to say this to the particularly man Oshea (Oshea has sinned), is simply “applying” the knowledge. It does not makeup or manufacture new information to shove into the conclusion like induction does. Thus, when the Scripture shows a doctrine that God is the ulitmaite sovereign and absolutely controls all things, then to “apply” this knowledge one would need to affirmed it on every particular instance.
G.1: All [things that happened/ens] are [ caused by God].
G.2.: All [Adam’s fall] is [a thing that happened].
G.3. Thus, [Adam’s fall] is [caused by God].
Or since this is about causality, or ontology, I personally put such into propositional arguments. Here, I would put an extra conjunction in the antecedent, and so it would technically be a Natural Deduction format, but for simplicity, we will look at it as a basic Modus Ponens.
H.1. If (P) God caused/s all things to happen, and (Q) Adam’s fall is a thing that happened, then (R) God caused Adam’s fall.
H.2. P and Q.
H.3. Thus, R

Falling With the Rocks, Sinking With the Waves

Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10 NIV)

I posted this verse yesterday; however, I wanted to make some points about it. The most obvious point of this passage that God is saying centers on a simple use of logic. God’s logic lecture is this: Category (A) and its necessary connections, is not the same category (B) with its necessary connections.  They are not the same; therefore, whether something is affirmed or denied in category (A), then it does not logically infer this other category (B) is affirmed or denied in the same way.

I happen to read this excerpt from Vincent Cheung yesterday, in which he was giving a similar logic lecture:

“We reject the positive thinking of self-help psychology. Yet there is a biblical faith, which indeed produces a positive outlook, and constitutes a spiritual and psychological power in the Christian. The two are different, and it requires some misunderstanding of both to mix them up. If you reject Budd[h]a, do you have to renounce Jehovah? What does one have to do with the other?”[1]

Psalm 91 says although 10,000 people perish at my feet, what does that have to do with me? There is no logical connection of 10,000 people dying right next to me, to me dying. The Psalmist is sitting under the shadow of God’s wing. He is in a different category, in a different location, in a different reality from these other people. Those people were under their own strength. He is under the promise of Yahweh to strengthen him and protect him. What applies to them, has no necessary connection to him. The Psalmist is logically saying this: “Even if there is no light in a deep cave, it does not logically infer that there is not a frog in my pond.” What does one have to logically do with the other?

Christians can forget that the consistency of this world we live, stands only on the word, and promise of God. God promised after the flood that there would be seasons on earth. This constant reality that the whole world revolves around, in which billions of people plan their calendars by every year, stands solely on the mere word and promise of God to do it.

Back to our verse. God is addressing a category error in the thinking of His beloved children. The mountains shaking is a different category of God’s promise being shaken. What does one have to do with the other? In the new testament this vast category difference is clearer. Paul tells us that we are (here and now) the righteousness of God. We are a new creation, so that the old has indeed past away, (past tense). Paul’s point is the old is gone, the new is here and now. You are already a child of God. Paul says he does not even consider Christians as mortals anymore, because they have been so drastically made into a new category of reality, in Christ. And as Vincent points out in “The “Already / Not Yet” Fallacy,”[2] the necessary consequent of being a new creation and a child of God is here and now, and not over there, and not some time in the future. Jesus’ resurrection of life, is not spiritual now and physical for later; rather, His lecture to Martha was that His resurrection is physical. It is for here and now. It is for those who believe.

So from now on we regard no one from a [human] point of view. …Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God… God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:16-18,21 NIV)

A good example of this is seen with Peter walking and then sinking on the water. Calm waves and stormy waves have no logical connection to the promise of Jesus commanding him to walk on the water. The only necessary connection of sinking in the water or walking on it that Jesus made was, “faith.” So what, if the whole world is shaken and stormy, the only necessary connection here for the child of God, is faith. God will do, what He said He will do.

It is interesting that many who think themselves spiritual have this necessary connection flipped upside down. They deny Jesus’ claim about the necessary connection of faith in the storm. To make it worse, they affirm the shaking mountains and stormy waves, infer that it is “God’s Will” for you to suffer, that it is “God’s will” for you to die with the 10,000. Their Satanic connection is for you to fall with the shaking rocks upon the mountain, and to sink in the stormy water, for the “glory of God.” Their condemnation is just..

As for us, let us sit in the secret place of Yahweh. Let us sit at His feet and be teachable children. Let us enjoy the safety under the promise of God’s wings. If we must, then let us cry out, “help my unbelief,” but let us never excuse our unbelief and then encourage others to join in our rebellion.

 

——-Endnotes——-

[1] Vincent Cheung. Sermonettes Vol. 2. 2010. Pg. 7

[2] Vincent Cheung. “The “Already / Not Yet” Fallacy.” From, TRACE. 2018. Chapter 2.

I say this sometimes for clarity, Vincent is the main pastor I read, and so I quote him often; however, I am not officially with him or represent him.

Revelation and Logic : Heirs with Christ

Romans 8:16-17, The Spirit himself confirms to our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer together with him so that we may also be glorified together with him. (LEB)

The NLT has this written more like a category logic, rather than how the LEB states in more in propositional format. However, the things being said are better stated as necessary category realities, rather than necessary “connections,” as in propositional logic. This is like the difference between metaphysics vs ontology; both indirectly imply other, but they are not the same thing.

This is another chain syllogism, like the one Paul makes a few verses later in 29-30.

This gives us a glimpse in the mind of God; into His goodness and boundless unmeritable favor given to His elect Children. What sort of inheritance does Jesus Christ get? Well, we get it to.

This also illustrates how truth claims cannot be observed but only revealed, so that category fallacies are not made. If one has a premise, “I am led by the Spirit of God,” and we know this is a positive thing, yet there is no way to conclude/infer into the category of “heirs with Christ” without being invalid and making fallacies. Thanks be to God, He has revealed such precious knowledge to us, so that we can make deductions and apply ourselves to them in hope; and we know Christian hope does not disappoint. This inheritance now include all sorts of things, even miracles (healings, resurrections, prosperity) and the power of God’s Spirit (Galatians 3:2-7).

All [those with the Spirits testimony] are [children of God].
All [children of God] are [heirs of God].
All [heirs of God] are [heirs with Christ].
Thus, all [those with the Spirit’s testimony] are [heirs with Christ].

The Fluidness Of Fluidness

Douglas Wilson commenting on the culture says,

Euro-centric Truth?
The central driving engine of all this current pomo madness is the idea that a commitment to fixed, objective truth is itself a Euro-Western form of racism and oppression. …”[1]

This has been my experience of the culture as well.

First. Their “fluidness,” is a revised version of the white Greek philosopher, Protagoras, and his skepticism and relativism. The exception is that instead of public debates of the Skeptics Vs Plato or St. Augustine, Protagoras’ philosophy is applied in a political strong-armed way. I do not use inductive historical arguments, but for sake of argument we are assuming it. The point is that they are using a Euro-centric philosophy to say Euro-centric philosophy is bad. Stupid.

Secondly, they cannot attack objective truth without using objective truth; otherwise, their attack would also be an endorsement of what they are attacking. But if they are endorsing my position, then they are celebrating the fact Jesus is Lord, and they are wrong and under God’s judgment.

For their position to be true it would have to be false at the same time. If they attack my position it would mean their mom is a fish, and all dogs are trees, therefore, all cars are fingers.

In addition, fluidness must be, well, fluid. For example, a position of progressivism to be true, then the foundation of “progress” itself would also have to progress. Maybe it has already done so? And so, for fluidness to be true as a foundational standard, then the standard must also be fluid, so that fluidness might already mean to be rigidness.

Moreover, if they wish to say, all things are fluid except fluidness, and since this cannot be validly inferred from the standard, it would mean they must appeal to a higher first principle to produce such terms and knowledge. Will it be irrational empiricism, that when used with science commits a triple fallacy, and itself also falls into skepticism? But skepticism denies the law of contradiction.[2]

Third. Because skepticism (and all its siblings of relativism, fluidness, etc) denies the law of contradiction, it means their epistemology gives no knowledge period. Forget abstract concepts of ethics, and truth, their epistemology cannot give them terms such as “sky,” “man,” “tree,” or “dog.” A contradiction both affirms and denies the same term, thus, they cancel each other out in an infinite regress. Thus, you cannot affirm or deny anything. You cannot affirm your own position or deny your opponents. It means if they are thinking anything, they are denying their own position. Also, the laws of logic are not only laws of thought, they are also laws of reality. Back to our point of affirming or denying. Skepticism does not allow one to affirm or deny anything, but, to even say this with intelligence, one must affirm it or deny it. They use the very thing their position denies. A more pragmatic example might help. If one tries to deny their own existence, (“I do not exist”), they are forced to use their own existence to do it. Their use of it proves it, despite what their lips say. Thus, reality stops them from doing a contradiction in this world. A contradiction is something that has no being in the mind or in the world. A contradiction is implausible with metaphysics.

Lastly, Christianity has a doctrine of logic, and intelligence. The Bible also says that all others are false, and only God has revealed truth. If they must borrow the things necessary for any intelligence from the Bible, and because it also says all others are false, it means they are false by logical necessity.[3]

—–EndNotes—–

[1] The Grace of White Privilege. Blog. Nov. 18. 2019.

[2] Also, did not this philosophy of empiricism come from David Hume, and thus is Euro-centric? Did not this Euro-centric philosophy drive much of the colonialism, and evolution and science-materialism; but I digress, because I do not rest my arguments on induction.

[3] This is a modified argument I got from Vincent Cheung (Captive To Reason. 2009. 44). www.vincentcheung.com

Psalm 91:14-16 (Revelation & Logic)

Psalm 91

14 Because he loves me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will protect him because he knows my name.
15 He will call upon me and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue and honor him.
16 With ⌊long life⌋ I will satisfy him,
and show him my salvation.  (LEB)

The logical inference is simple. Stating this as a syllogism, (although it is more proper as a propositional argument), we have an A term, B, and a C term. That is, all (A) is (B) and all (B) is (C).  The difference with this and the typical syllogism is the multiple ands or conjunctions.  A simple conjunction is easy to prove with a truth table (see pic below). It does not matter if it is one extra “and,” or “many ands,” the validity will prove to be valid via truth tables—it does not matter if the conjunctions are (p) or (q) or (r). What matters is if all the extra conjunctions terms are true to begin with, which is the foundational issue with all syllogisms.

Instead of making a Natural Deduction or First Order Predicate logic with it—because we know the form is valid—will just put this into a basic Modus Ponens for simplicity sake.  Also, the logical emphasis seems to be on the causality or necessary connection and not merely a categorical inference. It is not merely a sufficient reason, but a necessary ontology to which God insures absolutely.   That is, by God’s causality Person X (A), will “necessarily” receive all the good (C) promised if they love and know Him (B).

Antecedent Premises:

(B) [ if a person loves God] and (C) [ …. know God’s Name]

Consequent premises

 D [then this person is a person God delivers]

and, E [… God protects]

and, F [… God answers]

and, G [… God honors]

and, H [… God satisfies with long life]

and, J [… God shows His salvation]

M.1. IF B & C, THEN necessarily results in D & E & F & G & H & J.
M.2. B & C.
M.3. Thus, D & E & F & G & H & J.

M.1. (B) If a person loves God and (C) knows His name, (D) then God will deliver him, and (E) protect him, and (F) answer him when he prays, and (G) honor him, and (H) will satisfy him with His salvation and  (J) will show him His salvation.
M.2. It is true that I do love God and know His Name.
M.3.  Therefore, God will deliver me, and protect me, and answer me when I pray, and honor me, and will satisfy me with His salvation and God will show me His salvation.

Multi Conju Rule ND

Logic & Scripture: Psalm 46:1-2

Psalm 46:1-2

The categorical reality of not fearing trouble.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear. NKJV

The NJKV footnotes this phrase “present help,” as an “abundantly available help.” That is, God’s helping his chosen ones is very near and there is an overflowing amount of it.

The syllogism here is a basic E.A.E. or (negative, affirmative, negative) argument. We are told there is a category of people who fear trouble—because they ought to, and because it is proper for them to fear trouble if they are weak and have no one to help them against stronger troubles. However, God’s chosen ones are helped by Almighty God. The God who created the universe in 6 days can help. But more than able to help, the Lord of angel armies has promised to do so for His chosen ones.  His help to them is overflowing and nearby. Since God is the greatest metaphysical and ontological reality, then there is no one, or no thing stronger.  And so, there is no trouble that is greater than God. God at His weakest is stronger than man at his best. God’s Son has already defeated death and sin. Jesus has already make a public spectacle of Satan. In ultimate level ontology the scripture says, all move, live and have their existence in God (Acts 17).

And so, the “middle term,” that separates God’s chosen ones from any fear of any trouble is that God is completely on their side with an abundance of available help for them. One verse that sum this up in another argument, in a much more than form is Romans 5:10). “For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son, (Rom 5:10 NLT).”  Also, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Rom 8:31-32 NLT).” This is referring to both spiritual and natural blessings. See James 5:13-15. Also, Jesus in John 14-16 says several of times, to ask for anything in faith and then you receive it. And in other places He says if you ask for a fish, then you get a fish. All the promises are yes and to God’s glory in Jesus, yes, even all those promises in the Psalm (etc.) about God being our help, because the N.T. interrupters them as being so. Also, we have been grafted into the blessing of Abraham (Gat. 3).

This argument is dealing not directly with ethics or axiology—although it is indirectly doing so; rather, it is directly dealing with metaphysics. Salvation and God’s blessings for His children is a sub-category under metaphysics and ontology. It is about how God uses His absolute creation of existence and His absolute control over causality toward this group of people called the chosen ones.

The argument it is not saying you “ought,” not fear; rather, it is stating a categorical reality for God’s children. It is like saying, Lions do not eat stars, and, trees do not use glass to make food. And, God’s children do not fear trouble.

G.1. No [ persons who God is their present help ] are [ those who fear trouble ].
G.2. All [ we ] are [ persons who God is their present help ].
G.3. Thus, No [ we ] are [ those who fear trouble].

Or in plain English. We do not fear trouble.

God’s Will Failed, Because of Non-faith

“But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him,” (Luke 7:30).

Sometimes when reading, “faith and or, health and wealth,” preachers I notice their complete lack of talking about God’s power and causality on the ultimate level. This goes so extreme at times it becomes an excommunicable offense. They will say things like “God does not give sickness, “ONLY,” the Devil.” They are referring to passages like Acts 10:38 when Peter said Jesus healed all those oppressed by Satan. This is indeed true; however, it is only regarding relative level ontology, not ultimate level causality. What they have correct is that Jesus mostly speaks on this level. Jesus says if you have faith, then the mountain will OBEY YOU. Your, faith saved you. Your, faith healed you. And let us be honest here, Jesus was and is, more God-centered than you. And he mostly speaks on this relative level ontology.

This divide over what “the Will of God,” means is a similar issue. It can mean 2 things. It either refers to God’s decrees (or causality, either by direct force, or to the ordering of what God causes, i.e. “ontology”) and to what God commands (ethics).  Luke refers to the will of God as His commandments. And let us also be honest again, Luke is also more God-centered than you. Luke is not saying the Sovereign God made a decree and the Pharisees used their own self-existence-power (ontology) and overpowered God’s causality (ontology) on the ultimate level. Rather, Luke is saying God has commanded all to repent and be reconciled to God, but the Pharisees “rejected God’s Command.” Ethics (i.e. God’s Commandments) is especially important because the Bible says so. Thus, talking about, ‘the Will of God,’ as His commands is a common and important part of Christian theology.

Thus, when a faith preacher says, “do not reject God’s Will,” or “do not miss out on God’s Will, by unbelief,” or “you will miss God’s Will,” or “you need to accomplish God’s Will,” he is correct in this. Jesus Christ, the most God-centered man who ever lived, spoke on this (ethics, relative ontology) level more than ultimate causality. Let that sink into your thick skulls.

Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God.” Thus, on this level God’s Will Failed, because of unbelief. There is nothing wrong in saying it this way. OR better said, God’s command failed to produce obedience in minds of unbelief.  It is saying the same thing.

I would recommend Vincent Cheung’s essay, “ “Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11.”[1]

Below is a small excerpt from that essay. Notice the “will of God,” is used differently.

1 Samuel 2:25

His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, [precept] for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death. [decree]…

Mark 3:35, For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother. [precept]
1 Peter 3:17, For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. [decree][2]

Paraphrasing Mark and Peter with a more direct meaning of the term “will of God.”

Mark, “Whoever obeys God’s commandments is my brother.”

Peter, “It is better if God causes you to suffer for doing good rather than evil.”

Obviously, the doctrine of God’s sovereign causality over all things, and His commandments revealed to man are quite different categories. To make an equivocation here is a huge category fallacy. It would be like saying my invisible thoughts and rocks are the same category; therefore, all rocks are invisible. It would directly violate the basic laws of logic. It would make all inferences from scripture to be invalid.  If categories were to be violated like this, then it would thrust knowledge into skepticism. Yet, skepticism denies the law of non-contradiction. To be true, it must be false.

Look, what happens if we mix categories up?

If God caused(ultimate ontology) the Apostle Thomas to not believe Jesus’ resurrection, then it is right(ethics) for Thomas to not believe what Jesus commanded to.

God did indeed, referring to ultimate level causality, cause Thomas to doubt. However, to infer an ethic from God’s causality like this, is voodoo, witchcraft divination. It is David Hume empiricism in full display.

Or,

“If God caused(ultimate) Elijah to fail 6 times in his prayer (or your prayers) for rain, then it is not God’s Will (ethic) for Elijah to pray for this miracle and receive it (or yours).” Right?

Or,

“If God caused (ultimate) the disciples to not have enough faith to heal the father’s boy (or caused you to), then it is God’s Will (ethic) for God not to heal the boy (or heal you).” Right?

God did cause the disciples to have a lack of faith, in the ultimate sense, but to act like a voodoo witch-doctor and conclude, it must not be God’s Will to heal the boy, is superstitious rebellion, because Jesus turned around and healed the boy anyway.

OR,

“If God caused (ultimate) Satan[3] to temp David to take a census and God caused David’s heart to be weak (ultimate) to this temptation, then it is God’s will (ethic) for David to take it.” Right?

Or,

“If God caused (ultimate) the leaders of Israel to give a bad report of the Promise Land, then it is God’s will (ethic) for them not to take it.” Right?

Or,

“If God said No, and God gave the Canaanite woman a correct theological reason for not answering her prayer, then it is not God’s Will (ethic) to answer her prayer (or yours).” Right?

You realize how dumb that is, right? You realize if the saints in the Bible where to play this witchcraft, empiricist-superstition with God’s Word, they would have never become heroes of faith.

It is always God’s Will to heal, (it is part of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus, Isaiah 53), because it is His standing “commandment.” James 5:14-15, “Are any of you sick? You SHOULD … pray … in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.”[4] The word “should,” is an ethic. You should or ought to do this or that. Thus, it is the Will of God, for you.

Stop playing satanic witchcraft, and start obeying the Will of God; start accomplishing the Will of God, in your life.

 

———Endnotes——–

[1] It is also found in his book, “Sermonettes Vol. 8, chapter 4.” 2015. Pg, 22-32.

[2] Vincent Cheung’s essay, “Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11.” (www.vincentcheung.com). It is also found in his book, “Sermonettes Vol. 8, chapter 4.” 2015. Pg, 22-32.

[3] I am not talking about allowing here, for there is no such thing with God, relative to Him directly causing all things by His own power. There is no such thing as secondary causation, relative to God’s direct causation.

[4] Emphasis added by author.

God’s Revealed Definition for Christians

Leave the Past Behind

(Kenneth Copeland, “Faith to Faith, devotion)

…But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

– Philippians 3:13

Failures and disappointments. Aches and pains from the past that just won’t seem to go away. Most of us know what it’s like to suffer from them but too few of us know just what to do about them. So we limp along, hoping somehow they’ll magically stop hurting.

But it never happens that way. In fact, the passing of time often leaves us in worse condition—not better. Because, instead of putting those painful failures behind us, we often dwell on them until they become more real to us than the promises of God. We focus on them until we become bogged down in depression, frozen in our tracks by the fear that if we go on, we’ll only fail again.

I used to get caught in that trap a lot. Then one day when I was right in the middle of a bout with depression, the Lord spoke up inside me and said:

Kenneth, your problem is you’re forming your thoughts off the past instead of the future. Don’t do that! Unbelief looks at the past and says, “See, it can’t be done.” But faith looks at the future and says, “It can be done, and according to the promises of God, it is done!” Then putting past failures behind it forever, faith steps out and acts like the victory’s already been won.

If depression has driven you into a spiritual nose dive, break out of it by getting your eyes off the past and onto your future—a future that’s been guaranteed by Christ Jesus through the great and precious promises in His Word.

…Instead of looking behind you and saying, “I can’t,” you’ll begin to look ahead and say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me!”

 

Oshea

Whether Kenneth knows this or not he is doing fantastic deduction here and avoiding logical superstitions. He puts to shame most of the educated reformed and Christian elites in this one simple devotion.

I will not go long into explaining logic here; however, one or two quick points will be helpful. In logic class or a book on logic, one will soon learn the principle that after one defines a term, they must be consistent to it, or else one will end up in a formal fallacy of a “4 term fallacies,” or informal fallacies such as equivocation.

For example If I say, “ (1) No non-men are smart. (2) All women are non-men. (3) Thus No women are smart.” The issue here is that I changed or equivocated the meaning of non-man (as mankind) from my major premise to just males in the minor premise. By doing this I can make the Bible to superstitiously say whatever I want it to.

Jesus is famous for pointing this issue out in a deduction to the Jewish leaders about the resurrection. Jesus’ deduction hinged on the fact He was consistent with the present tense verb (“I am,” and not I was) in the argument or application of knowledge.

Kenneth correctly points out that past tense, is based off “your” observations. It is merely a descriptive statement about the past. Yet, the promises of God is a truth claim about the present and future.

In other words, saying “[Oshea] is [he who has failed on moral x],” is invalid (equivocation) to say in present or future tense “[Oshea] is [he who will fail on moral x].”

To bring this some context, this is one of the many issues with having empiricism/observation as a starting point for knowledge. To make a statement about past observations to then make a present tense or future tense conclusion is always a logical fallacy; it is always superstitious. To say, “The sun is that which has always risen. The sun is that which as risen today. Thus, the sun will rise tomorrow,” is superstitious nonsense. It is the same as saying, “All trees are organic. Oshea is a tomato. Thus all dogs are clouds.”  Both arguments are making many fallacies, but the biggest issue is the ontological one of “category error.” God’s consistent control over reality stops you from obliviating categories. Example, try saying “I do not exist,” without using your existence? It is ontologically impossible. A radio wave might pass through your desk, but your face is not a radio wave. This is one reason, why you do not slam your face as hard as you can into your desk, because your organic face would not harmlessly pass through it like a radio wave. A radio wave and an organic body are not the same categories.  Past tense is not the same category as future tense. If you do not have the knowledge of future tense given to you up front (as truth), you cannot morph it into the conclusion without being superstitious and irrational.

To put this simply, the problem with saying, “I have failed this many times, thus, I will fail again,” is that you are an empiricist, which is to say, you are an atheist. You are an atheist because your starting point for knowledge is man’s speculations and not with God’s revelation. All the logical irrationality of empiricism is now part of your reasoning. The more foundational issue here is that empiricism contradicts the Scripture as an epistemology. And thus, it is a point of choosing which God will you submit to and worship. Will you submit to God and start with the knowledge He has revealed, or will it be “your” observations (empiricism) and your superstitions (irrational)? Will you be a Christian or will you be an atheist (empiricism).

People often miss these technical points I brought up here, because it involves God’s good promises about aspects of our lives that some are rather emotional about. God’s good promises for overcoming besetting sins, or healing is God’s revealed definition for Christians just as much as this is God’s definition about the weather,  “I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains… there will be summer and winter, day and night.” ( NLT Ge 8:21–22). This is God’s definition about the earth He created. God’s promises are definitions about His elect. The added layer that sometimes confuses people is the context of relative level ontology. That is, they must believe to receive the completeness of the promises.

Consider the Christians who were sick and dying that Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 11. Paul said God did this because of the dishonor they were doing to Jesus through the Lord’s supper. Paul also says God killed and made them sick (judged) them so that they would not be eternally condemned with the world. These Corinthians are the righteousness of God, as Paul says in chapter 5. It is a categorical fact by God’s definition and power. However, those who died or were currently sick, failed to fully believe the promise of what this meant. That is, there are some aspects of our being adopted and being made the righteousness of God that is intuitive or automatic to faith when we are born again; however, there are further aspects of growing our faith that is acquire by faith taking hold of the promise through maturity.  Paul’s encouragement was to stop sinning so that they would stop being killed off and made sick by God.  Thus, it was not God’s Will for them to be this way. God’s will is our sanctification, not gross sin. God’s will is for our healing not death and sickness. Christian ethics (i.e. God’s Will for us) is what God commands. This exhortation in James is perfect for them and for any in their shoes, “they will be healed, and they will be forgiven,” (James 5:15). James, as does Isaiah 53 and Psalm 103 and other places, puts the forgiveness of sins and healing together in the same gospel, and same atonement benefit. If you negate one you negate the atonement, for both are produced by the same Jesus in the same atonement. And so, weak faith will lead you to fail in accomplishing God’s will. Weak faith will lead you to fail in aspects of ministry, and so on.

It is odd, when the religious elite Christians mock someone like Kenneth, but when it comes to applying God’s promises and truth to our everyday life, he puts them to shame through fantastic systematic theology, Christian epistemology, logic and application. Kenneth, as least here, leaves empiricism and human superstitions behind and starts with scripture as his epistemology and uses systematic theology, to then validity apply God’s definitions to himself. If he is wrong in other aspects of doctrine, it is correct here.

I will be the first person to happily recommend logic books for any Christian to read, but if after all the book reading and systematic theology you find you cannot believe God’s good promises for your life, you seriously messed up something. You failed Christianity. Faith is God’s love upon a person; it is His public support of a person. God’s good promises, even ones like health and wealth is God’s definition of His children. What good is it, to say you believe in God’s overall sovereignty and truth to define the world, but reject God’s definitions when it comes to you? What a worthless piece of trash. ‘You,’ are ‘you.’ If you reject God’s definition of you, then it matters little that you believe God is truthful when He defines what a dog is. Since you mentally assent God gives a definition of a dog, then maybe that’s why you eat your own vomit of superstitions and speculations, like a dog. As for the rest of us, we will mentally assent to God’s good promises and receive them. Keep your empiricism and atheism to your vomit pit. God’s promises are for me, and I will take them by faith, with or without you, because they are God’s definition over me. God is the all sovereign God, who is able to say, ‘what have you done, why did you make me this way”? God is the Potter and I am the clay, and so, who am I to resist God’s definition over this aspect of reality, called ‘His Elect’?

The Order of the Divine Decrees

This is cannibalized from my now retired book: The Divine Decrees(2007, 2013). This book was mainly about going over Jonathan Edwards book: “The Divine Decrees in General and Election in Particular.” I showed how Edward’s was a supralapsarian in the doctrine of God’s decrees broadly, but tried to make a hybrid in the particular points. Therefore, Gordon Clark and Vincent Cheung[1] are better at teaching on this topic, for they are consistent to a logical order. Thus, this original appendix was the result from studying all three individuals. 

This is an important aspect of Christian ontology and so I wanted to put a basic essay on this topic here. The order of the God’s decrees is in philosophy jargon, the logic of ontology. It is the logical order of how God directly controls all reality.

 

Defining the terms:

With the assumption that most who have an interest in this Biblical doctrine will know the terms supralapsarian and infralapsarian, I shall move on; and if you do not know, these will be explain in context through other terms.  These terms are loaded terms and so I will prefer not to use them, but I do mention them so that some might have a vague reference point of where I am coming from.  The lack of this distinction of God’s purpose or goals and historical execution[2] has caused more than a small amount of confusion.  Let us remedy this.

When God’s decrees are laid out from Top to bottom or that is, when they are laid out from the perspective of what God chose as His goals first, then we call this the, “Purpose perspective.”  This is what some know as supralapsarian.

When God’s decrees are laid out from the Bottom up or that is, when they are penned down from the perspective of executing His goals we call this, “historical perspective.”  Although, in the truest since this is not a description of decrees; rather, it is the execution of the decrees: that is, it is the historical execution of God’s intended goals.

 

In our reach for a complete biblical understanding of God’s decrees we need to have the purpose order, for it is the natural meaning of decreeing or planning.  The perspective of God’s “purpose” is greater not only because it is the natural meaning to plan something, but also the historical order is derived from it.  In fact, when we think about an all Sovereign God planning, (not reacting) is this not in terms of choosing ones goals first?  This is why the perspective of God’s goals or purpose in the Decrees are so important and to which the Bible addresses.  I would even go as far to say the historical perspective of God is an incorrect doctrine, if left by itself, because in light of an all Sovereign God “decrees” naturally point to purpose rather than history.  Without the “purpose” perspective in the decree the historical perspective turns God into a God of reaction rather than a God of total sovereign design and working out His original intended goal from top to bottom.  Likewise, without the historical, the purpose perspective looks incomplete for the God’s decrees regard why and how God ordered public reality.

Regarding the purpose or goal perspective what God chose as His first goal is last in execution, and what God purposed last in his goals comes first in execution or history.  I will explain this more.

Take for example a kid after thinking about life decides he wants to be a great baseball player.  This is his first “purpose,” or goal that is.  His second choice to support the first is that he needs to be an All Star baseball player, so that he can be a great player.   Thus, his third choice in purpose is to get great averages in hitting (etc.) so that he gets chosen to be an All Star.  His next is purpose is to be drafted to play in the Major League.  His next purpose is to start playing baseball at his local high school.  See, what he first intended was accomplished last in order, while that which was purposed last was accomplished first in history or in execution.  Ecclesiastes 7:8, “The end of a thing is better than its beginning,” because the end was the original goal.

This analogy with the baseball player is in the perspective of “purpose.”

 Now back to purpose and execution.                                          

For the sake of argument, what is important is that both are to be taught from scripture and that the “purpose” be ordered Top to Bottom and the “historical” be ordered from Bottom to Top. The purpose order needs to be shown as the natural meaning of God Decreeing and the historical order as the effect of this being executed.  The lists need to make sense when read in either direction, whether from the perspective of purpose, or from the perspective of execution. (Or in an argument, The purpose (p) is the antecedent, and the historical is the consequent(q))  Furthermore, the decrees encompass all things, so it is impossible for a simple list to include everything.  Depending on what topic or doctrine I was teaching on I could focus or bring to light these in the decrees: both in the purpose or historical.  What needs to happen is someone puts emphasis on God’s election in a historical perspective and then they emphasize God’s election in the purpose perspective in another sermon or book, then the ordering needs to agree with each other.

Below is a simple list of decrees.  The first section is from God’s Purpose perspective (top to bottom) and the second is the Historical perspective (bottom up.)   You will see how the second list mirrors the first so that what is decreed first in Purpose is executed last in order Execution.

 

TOP DOWN, ORDER of PURPOSE

1.) Glory.  God decrees out of delight in Himself, to create the full displaying of His Glory in a public creation. God decrees to do this particularly by creating the world for His Son: that is, for His Son to be the only living fountain, the Head, the first born, central axis, the Preeminence in all things in His public universe; the invisible God glorifies Himself by making His Son the Public Supremacy.

2.) Jesus Christ.  God decrees to elect Christ to become the Central public-Person; that is, He becomes the preeminence before a public audience. Therefore, God decrees to elect His Son to be the uniting-savior  for a special group, and likewise for the sake of this first group God elects Christ to be a Rock for which another group will be crushed upon.  His uniting-mercy given to one group will lead them to be in the perfect place live in public-joyful love to Christ, and the damnation for another group will support this.  Thus, Christ is elected to be glorified as the central dividing line for all public minds, both human and spiritual, because by this Christ becomes the Central pubic Supremacy.

3.) Election. God then Decrees to unconditionally elect and give infinite happiness to a certain number of persons by unconditionally electing them for and through His Son for salvation; and furthermore, by this they are given both existence and the guarantee for eternal happiness, for from infinite happiness by them being for His Son’s glory by being in His Son, God thought of a certain number.  Furthermore, God elects a certain number of others who He will not show His love to; rather, He decrees to support those in His Son those this certain number: this supporting is by having His wrath and justice displayed one day in them. (Before the twins were born or had done good or bad choices it is written: Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.)  Both will be, for there is no other power in the metaphysical.

4.) The Fall. To imprison the whole human race to the slavery of sin and disobedience—so that the pervious decree of unconditional elect practically works out, so that the previous decree of Jesus’ public Saving and judging comes into fruition, so that Christ becomes the central-public-supremacy in a rejoicing public audience who are untied to Him.

5.) Creation. God decrees to bring into being a grand universe suitable and perfect for the grand exhibition of God’s glory through Christ’s public supremacy.

 

BOTTOM UP, ORDER of EXECUTION

6.)  Creation.  God decrees to bring into being a grand universe suitable for the grand displaying of His glory; a gift worthy for His only Son, by giving Christ public supremacy.

7.)  The Fall. God decrees to imprison the whole human race to the slavery of sin and disobedience, by creating Adam in such a way he would not be able to rest all temptations.
8.)  Election/calling.  I say election, but at this point, because we are in history it would be more apt to call it summing or calling.  God now elects or summons for mercy from the disobedient human race the particular people, whom He decreed originally to crown with His infinite love.  Furthermore, to fulfill His election of the reprobate, God now chooses the level of wickedness that each vessel of wrath will fall while on earth.

9.)  Jesus Christ.  In order to accomplish the election of Christ, God calls His Son, to come into the world and provide perfect righteousness, complete forgiveness, and the purchasing of the Holy Spirit for so by this costly mercy and special uniting the elect becomes the perfect audience to ascribe the best eternal love and public praise unto Christ’s supremacy: and likewise, God calls Christ to be a rock for which the non-elect will be crushed upon for the praise of His Son’s supremacy.  The result is that Christ becomes the historical and future center point of the universe before a public audience best suited for His praise, by their enjoyment of Him.

10.)  Glory.  The sending of His Son a second time for the final and compete separation of the people of wrath and children of His love, so that Jesus will have all evil closed off from His presence and the final intimate gathering of His chosen people (and all elect creatures) to Himself—to the Father.  In this Jesus truly becomes the Public Supremacy before all public eyes, and in becoming so He (the image of the Father) causes His invisible Father to be glorified as the Supremacy.

 

Scripture:

Ephesians 1:9, “having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him.”

Colossians 1:18, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence (Supremacy).”

1 John 4:9, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Proverbs 16:4, “The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.”

Romans 9:21, “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 (namely) that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.”

Romans 11:27, “For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election, they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!  “For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?” “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

 

—–Endnotes—–

[1] I would recommend, Vincent Cheung’s essay, Supralapsarian. This essay is from this, Systematic Theology, book.

[2] This particular two word contrast of ‘purpose vs execution’ about ‘top down and bottom up,’ I got from Vincent Cheung, see chapter on Supralapsarianism, in Systematic Theology: 2010, pg 114-118.

The God of All Things

1 Kings 20:23,28

“Meanwhile, the officials of the king of Aram advised him, “Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they.

…The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the Lord.’”

God, the creator of all things, was not pleased when one of His created things  said, “God is only the God of part; His value is only partly; His power is only partly; His domain is only partly; His creator rights have limits; His ability to protect those who serve Him is partly.” The human superstition is easy to see here. Not using knowledge, but starting with the kingdom of self (speculations from the self, i.e. empiricism), this official produced superstitions that were false, invalid and wicked. The premise that “God is the God of hills,” does not validly conclude “God is not the God of the valleys.” The correct premise when starting with God’s revelation is that God is the God of all things; The creator of all things; the predestined order-er of all things; the present controller of all things (etc.). A valid conclusion from this would be the following. Thus, if God is the God of all things, then God is necessarily the God of the hills, valleys, sky, water, invisible heavens, and even such things as evil and sin, and whatever is part of reality.

It is easy to see the mistake in epistemology(speculation) and logic(superstition) this pagan made; however Christians overlook the same type of mental blunders they make in the same categories. Consider how the Apostle Peter made a similar mistake on the water.

Matthew 14:29-31 NLT

“So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?””

As said before, if God is the God of all things, then God is the God of the calm waves, as much as He is the God of the stormy waves. When Peter saw the stormy waves, he concluded this: Jesus is the God of the calm waves, but Jesus is not the God of the stormy waves. The proof of this is that Peter sank when Jesus (as Peter’s Master) commanded Peter to come to Him. The choice is now gone. It is not a matter of mere suggestion. It was God’s Will for Peter to walk on the water, because the phrase “God’s Will,” in context of ethics is about obeying God’s command.[1] It was God’s Will for Peter to walk on the water; however, Peter’s doubt made him fail to accomplish God’s will in this moment. Jesus rebuked Peter for this failure to accomplish God’s command. The problem that caused this failure was not believing what God said about reality. God said about reality, “if you believe Me you can walk on water.” When Peter saw the stormy waves, He in essence became an empiricist, and then made up a human speculation about reality. The kingdom-of-self was his starting point of knowledge and not God’s word. In addition, the conclusion was also logically invalid; this illogical leap was superstition. The premise, “the waves are stormy,” cannot validly conclude that, “I cannot walk on stormy waves,” or “God cannot help in stormy waves,” (etc.). This is wicked superstition and just outright stupid.

Do not be so quick to lookdown at the foolish pagan official, if you play the same game with God. God is the God of invisible-spiritual things like forgiveness, but not the God of visible-healings. God is the God of the Hills, but not the God of the valleys. God is God of restoring my invisible soul, but He is not the God of restoring my visible finances. Despite the doubts and superstitions, God is the God of all things. His promises apply to all areas of life, both spiritual and physical. James 5:15 (NLT), “Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven (Compare with Isaiah 53 and Psalm 103).” Therefore, the issue is not God’s complete sovereignty, and not God’s loyal love, and not God’s sovereignty in keeping His promises just like He said; rather, the issue is that men start knowledge with themselves (empiricism) and then make wild invalid superstitions from these speculations.

Rather than playing games with life, why not operate with reality and start with God’s knowledge and believe Him? Why play games like an irrational empiricist, when knowledge about reality has already be revealed? God’s promises for His children are for all of life, and they are wonderful promises. God is for us. God is for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. In Jesus, as our atonement, all the promises are an answered ‘Yes,’ to the value of God’s Name, and for our joy in Him. God is the God of both the calm and stormy waves. In God’s promise, you can walk on them both. This is the glory that belongs to the heirs of faith. This is the power the belongs to those hidden with Christ right now, at God’s right hand. This is what is available to those who are the righteousness of God. God is the God of all things; and all things have been GIVEN TO YOU; you are Christ’s; Christ’s is God’s (1 Corinth. 3:22-23).

——-Endnotes——-

[1] Regarding ontology, God caused the stormy waves as much as Peter’s doubt, but this causality does not negate the separate category God’s command and Peter’s responsibility to obey God’s command. The same is with a husband whose prayers are hindered due to his mistreatment of his wife. In the ultimate ontology, God caused the husband to behave this way; however, this does not negate the different category of ethics. On this level of command, it is God’s Will for the husband to treat his wife with love, and not have his prayers hindered. Accountability is based on God’s command, and not on God’s causality.
What has been a big help to me understanding this doctrine is Vincent Cheung. See, Healing and The Atonement, and “Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11.”