Sunday, June 06, 2010

A Triabloke Molests 1 John 2:16

A Triabloke wrote the following that I thought was interesting.

Some Arminian epologists have been using 1 John 2:16 to argue that in no sense can the origination of a sinful action be determined by God. That is because John says those things don't come "from" the father. 

That is an odd statement. While I certainly cannot account for all Arminian arguments regarding the passage, I do not think I have ever encountered that argument. The source for the statement was not provided so I can only work with the Triabloke claim which strikes me as a straw man set up solely for the purpose of burning in some perverse joy. Here is the passage in full context.

"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1Jo 2:12-17 AV)

Rather than a discussion of the Calvinist philosophy of determinism, the passage in question is contrasting the carnal desires of the world with that of the love of the Father. Wesley framed verse 16 as:

…The desire of the flesh - Of the pleasure of the outward senses, whether of the taste, smell, or touch. The desire of the eye - Of the pleasures of imagination, to which the eye chiefly is subservient; of that internal sense whereby we relish whatever is grand, new, or beautiful. The pride of life - All that pomp in clothes, houses, furniture, equipage, manner of living, which generally procure honour from the bulk of mankind, and so gratify pride and vanity. It therefore directly includes the desire of praise, and, remotely, covetousness. All these desires are not from God, but from the prince of this world…

http://wesley.nnu.edu/john_wesley/notes/1John.htm#Chapter+II

While some Calvinist eisegesis practitioners may wish to make hay over a far fetched application and strawman of their own construction, they tend to look foolish doing so. The contrast between the world (outside of Christ) and abiding in Christ is what is intended with the passage. It is how most Arminians understand the passage and teach it.


 

9 comments:

bossmanham said...

I think this is why a few of us have been using it as a proof text against determinism; because it is so obvious that these sins are foreign to the person and character of God. How could He be the ultimate cause of these things if they aren't from Him?

A.M. Mallett said...

boss,
I don't have any objections to someone using that passage as a secondary resource for such purposes but the context of the passage seems to serve another purpose. It strikes me, as Wesley noted, to be a contrast between abiding in the Spirit of God vs. walking after the ways of the world. I fully agree it is antithetical to the revealed character and goodness of God but is it a strong argument against Calvinist determinism?
As for the Triablokes and their straw creations, well, that is mere entertainment in the trenches.

bossmanham said...

I understand the context of the passage isn't dealing directly with moral responsibility, but about turning from worldly lusts. However, I don't see why it isn't appropriate to point to the divine determinist and say, how could we take this verse seriously if God is the one who made the lusts necessary; if He is the one that caused the lusts?

A.M. Mallett said...

Boss,
As a secondary argument, I'm comfortable with it. Perhaps I was hasty with my comments.

bossmanham said...

No you're fine. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't way off base. I don't want to use the scriptures inappropriately.

Paul Manata said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A.M. Mallett said...

Mr. Manata, the Triabloke Cartoon Network does not meet our community standards of decency to allow your post to remain on this board.

Paul Manata said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A.M. Mallett said...

Mr. Manata, you did not understand. The Triabloke Cartoon Network does not meet our community standards of decency to allow your post to remain on this board.