The wages of sin is DEATH, but the free gift of God is lasting life in Christ Jesus , by Giovanni Camacho

Romans 9:17 to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, in order that I show my power in you, and that my name be proclaimed in all the earth.””

Isaiah 10: 15 “Shall the ax boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!”

We are told by many preachers that the non-elect will be conscious forever and that God will torture them forever. To quote one of these preachers: ” the immortality only for the elect scheme is contrary to the gospel, contrary to the truth, and contrary to God’s Everlasting righteousness.”

Romans 6: 23 The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is lasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This traditional position redefines death for sin (an objective legal standard which requires cessation of life function/cessation of consciousnesses as a wage delivered by God), into a subjective experience of pain for the sinner.

In other words, rather than being destroyed by He who can destroy both body and soul (objective standard/demand of the law), the majority tradition teaches that the non-elect sinner is instead necessarily preserved by God in full consciousness to be tortured subjectively with the impossibility of ever actually satisfying God’s righteous demand.

This tradition defines justice as not about what God requires [and will get] to satisfy His standard, but rather to what the sinner perceives, feels, and is unable to provide. In order to experience pain, one must be alive. Indeed, so much of the comfort expressed between human beings when it comes to death is the cessation of suffering. Many will comfort each other with the sentiment that at least the dead person is not suffering any longer.

Some would ascribe this belief to the false assumption that their loved one is now a ghostly “soul” carrying around a harp and a halo, though many others would conclude that their loved one has ceased to be in pain because of cessation of consciousness.

But what the sinner subjectively feels, even if caused by God, can never itself be justice, because justice is about satisfaction of God’s law which is an objective standard outside of the sinner. The demand of God’s law is what matters when it comes to measuring what is just, not the subjective experience of the sinner. To the extent that God’s law requires something, it is that something which must happen in history to satisfy the law.

IF death is DEFINED as the cessation of life and consciousness, them merely causing pain is insufficient to satisfy the requirement of divine law for death.

Ecclesiastes 3: 19 “For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.”

I was holding my dog when my dog breathed his last breath approximately one year ago. He was in my lap with a blanket underneath him as the vet pumped in the medication to overwhelm his system and kill him. It was an odd feeling to watch and feel the life literally leave him. He immediately began to lose that warmth of life that we all know and love from embracing others who have life. What I was left with was him, only dead. That was Frank in my hands, but he was dead. He could not feel me holding him. He could not hear me crying over him. He could not respond to me because he was dead.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.”
‭‭
The daughter of a close friend of mine died last year due to a genetic disease. We went to her open casket viewing, and there she was. Right there, except that she was not alive as I had seen her so many times before that. Her eyes and mouth had been glued shut, and she had makeup applied to make her presentable to the rest of us who likely would have been utterly horrified to see her prior to being “prepared for viewing.”

Death is something that many (at least seem to) embrace because of the belief that their true [and righteous] self is trapped inside, but my experiences with death have been horrifying and unforgettable.

No matter what one’s private reservations may be about “where” the deceased may be, the cold truth is that their death means that they inaccessible to those who are alive. “They have no knowledge of anything in the grave.”

Lots of mental gymnastics are exercised upon redefining “death” into “separation from God,” which is further described as sustained torture in various degrees, either in the presence of Christ and his angels or not. This is often premised upon the explicit claim or implicit assumption that man has a component to his being and composition which is inherently immortal and incapable of being killed.

This claim is further defended on claiming that because humans are
created “in the image of God” and that they are therefore have immortality as an inherent quality . In turn, this leads to the bizarre belief that human flesh is essentially a husk for a true being/essence, which is traditionally
seen as a “consciousness” awaiting “true reality” upon death of the
husk – a strange metamorphosis into a future experience, sometimes called
“eternity,” either pleasant or unpleasant. Many have been willing to
sacrifice their own flesh on the premise that such flesh is
essentially valueless because their “true home” is somewhere invisible
and inaccessible while trapped inside their body. Some haven’t
considered what the preacher in Ecclesiastes is saying in regards to
the value of life.

Even more mental gymnastics are spent on redefining the meaning of the
term “destruction” to reconcile it with keeping the non- elect alive forever because they have not been tortured enough yet. Because infinite torture demands that the non-elect sinner be sustained by God, “destruction” is preached as “separation.” This hardly makes contextual sense, much less logical sense. How is one who is sustained and tortured by God “separated”
from God? To the contrary, under the infinite torture model, it would
seem that those who have been “separated” have very much fallen into
the hands of an involved in time and place tormentor.

At times, arguing for the “dignity” or “free-will” of those being tortured is related to believing that humans are equal to God, or at least on some kind of chain of being. Living and suffering in “hell” is often presented in a manner in which God is functionally the jilted lover who will continue to execute His revenge on the wayward partner who wouldn’t play along.

This position is defended on several different grounds, most or all of
which focus on “infinite” characteristics of God. I’ve heard it said
that sin is in defiance of God’s infinite holiness/dignity, therefore
requiring infinite torture throughout “eternity.”

This is a non-sequitur for several reasons – God’s motivation for
justice is not tied to being offended by unrequited “love” or in the way a spouse might be offended at infidelity. Indeed, Romans 9 teaches that
both election and non-election occurred “apart from works” and that God’s
will involves the punishment of those who cannot resist His will. Paul
describes vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. God has already determined to display wrath apart from works. God is not a mob boss asking for loyalty or compliments.

Further, that God appointed Christ as a high priest means that God intended to decree sin (no need for a mediator where there is no sin) SO THAT He could judge the world. To that end, God uses humans as God’s instruments. Humans do not use God as their “tool”.

Acts 2: 23 “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and
foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless
men.”
‭‭
It is not for us to determine that God’s dignity demands that God engage
in the form of sustained torture as a historical result of acrimony justified by past betrayals. Human sin is one of the means by which God accomplishes God’s Holy purpose.

To what purpose would God forever torture those for whom God did not provide propitiation. I’ve argued that punishment for sin is not premised upon God’s passions, and that justice is about satisfaction of the law and not the subjective experience of the sinner. If punishment for sin was torture that never ends, there would be no logical demand for an intermittent death or judgment prior to the beginning of the torture. Indeed, there would be no basis for any person to die at all, but theoretically could remain sustained by God in the flesh and be
“providentially” tormented.

Jesus challenged his disciples in John 21 regarding John being kept alive until Christ’s return. If never-ending torment is the meaning of “death” and “destruction,” arguably no one would ever die, because they would need to be kept alive to endure the punishment.

Torture forever but never dead is based upon the non-scriptural belief that all humans have a component of their composition that cannot be killed, even by God. At bottom, torture never finished functionally denies that God will ever have justice over those who perish because God will be forever extracting what is due from beings which cannot die and therefore cannot give the law what it requires-their death. I think this claim to be as corrupt as claiming that sinners for whom Christ died will perish.

Hebrews 9: 25 Christ did not offer Himself to death many times, as the high priest enters the sanctuary yearly with the blood of another. 26 Otherwise, Christ would have had to die many times since the foundation of the world. But now Christ has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment— 28 so also Christ , having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

15 Comments on “The wages of sin is DEATH, but the free gift of God is lasting life in Christ Jesus , by Giovanni Camacho”

  1. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Since the punishment of the non-elect will never be finished, does
    that mean that the punishment of the non-elect will never be infinite?

    Since there will always be more to repay, does “I will repay” mean
    that “I will have never repaid”?

    To get back to Christ Himself, If duration of the pain is the real
    punishment, why was there any need for Christ to die after “infinite”
    punishment was accomplished?

    Does infinity mean “enough for everybody” or does it mean “never enough” ?

  2. Mark Mcculley Says:

    https://theneongaslamp.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/there-is-no-surplus-value-for-the-reprobate-in-the-death-of-christ/

    Not every person who is into ECT is “free-will”, therefore this is not a gospel issue, and therefore it should not be discussed (in public) at least not with sarcasm.

    The least you can do is to carefully consider what those on the other side of the issue have argued from Scripture

    https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=111814170575&fbclid=IwAR0CoHttMe_LaxFElmLf9nKSExzC0ZvNTlsYXJjZXLEndZ67MgABJxaMQtc

  3. Mark Mcculley Says:

    http://rethinkinghell.com/2018/03/28/infinity-divine-value-and-hell-a-rejoinder-to-jacob-brunton/

    James Spiegel —- it is certainly worse to torture a dog for an
    extended period of time than it is to make a rude gesture at another
    human, even though a human is a higher order of being

    http://rethinkinghell.com/2016/05/28/what-are-we-to-make-of-finite-sins-against-an-infinite-god/

    we are guilty because we sin
    we sin because we are guilty

    we die because we sin
    we sin because we die

  4. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Sproul—The importance of viewing the decree of reprobation in light of the fall is seen in the on-going discussions between Reformed theologians concerning infra-and supra-lapsarianism. Both viewpoints include the fall in God’s decree. Both view the decree of preterition in terms of divine permission.

    RC Sproul–The distortion of double predestination looks like this: There is a symmetry that exists between election and reprobation. God works in the same way and same manner with respect to the elect and to the reprobate. That is to say, from all eternity God decreed some to election and by divine initiative works faith in their hearts and brings them actively to salvation. By the same token, from all eternity God decrees some to sin and damnation (destinare ad peccatum) and actively intervenes to work sin in their lives, bringing them to damnation by divine initiative. In the case of the elect, regeneration is the monergistic work of God. In the case of the reprobate, sin and degeneration are the monergistic work of God. Stated another way, we can establish a parallelism of foreordination and predestination by means of a positive symmetry. We can call this a positive-positive view of predestination. This is, God positively and actively intervenes in the lives of the elect to bring them to salvation. In the same way God positively and actively intervenes in the life of the reprobate to bring him to sin.This distortion of positive-positive predestination clearly makes God the author of sin who punishes a person for doing what God monergistically and irresistibly coerces man to do. Such a view is indeed a monstrous assault on the integrity of God. This is not the Reformed view of predestination, but a gross and inexcusable caricature of the doctrine. Such a view may be identified with what is often loosely described as hyper-Calvinism and involves a radical form of supralapsarianism. Such a view of predestination has been virtually universally and monolithically rejected by Reformed thinkers.

    https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/double-predestination/

  5. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Is it human unbelief of the gospel that condemns them? Or were all sinners already born condemned?

    Bill Parker–What is Salvation, 29 –It is not the doctrine of election that bars sinners from salvation and going to heaven. It is man’s unbelief that keeps them from being saved….The truth of election does not teach that some unsaved sinners want to be saved.” 

    If you think the elect were never condemned, how can it be said that
    it’s unbelief of the gospel that causes the non-elect to be condemned? Many who never heard any gospel to reject are already condemned.

    One, “ they don’t want to be saved” does not change the fact that God never had any love or grace or provision of grace for the non-elect. This non-election will in fact keep any non-elect person from being saved. Two, the problem is that many of the non-elect want to be saved but not by means of God’s gospel. They want to find out that they are already justified before and without any faith in the true gospel. They want justification before God without any repentance from the false gospel.

  6. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Mark 2: 17 When Jesus heard this, He told them, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do need one. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    Romans 5:12   As guilt  entered the world through one man, and death through guilt, in this way death spread to all guilty through one man.

    Gospel error denies that Adam sinned alone, as a representative for
    all humans, even the elect. Gospel error teaches that the non-elect
    sin for themselves, and that no non-elect is ever finally condemned
    because of Adam’s sin

  7. Mark Mcculley Says:

    mark mcculley—Why use the word infinity when the Bible uses a word about what happens in history—-RESURRECTION!

    The non-elect will never be raised from the dead after the second death, which means the non-elect will never be justified, which means the punishment of the non-elect will never be enough. Indeed, the non-elect’s REMAINING DEAD is punishment, and this lasts forever.

    We know that Christ’s death was enough punishment for the sins of the elect imputed by God to Christ, not because of some theory of infinity, and not because we look at one of Christ’s natures and ignore the human nature, but because God raised Christ from the dead three days after Christ died. God justified Christ from the sins imputed by God to Christ The elect are also justified by Christ’s death as soon as God imputes them with Christ’s death. Some elect individuals were justified by Christ’s death before Christ died. Other elect individuals are justified by Christ’s death at later times after Christ’s resurrection.

    Tianqi Wu–Sinners certainly offend God. God also speaks of Israel’s apostasy as marital infidelity. God speaks of himself as an Avenger for his own name. God’s wrath is God’s personal response to the creature’s sin that God decreed to happen.
    The idea of “infinite holiness/dignity” might need clarification, and the idea of “infinite torture” might need correction, but there is a basic truth here.
    (1) There is an incommensurable disparity between the personal worth of God and of man, due to the Creator-creature distinction.
    (2) Sin, the disobedience of God’s Law, is a personal affront to God (defiling his holy name), whether directly (by not loving God), or indirectly (by not loving man who is made in God’s image).
    (3) Retributive justice is fundamental to the punishment of sin. This means the punishment of the offender should correspond to the injury caused by the offense. Of the injuries caused by sin, the chief injury is the personal affront to God. Because God’s personal worth incommensurably surpasses man’s personal worth, no amount of punishment of man would be enough.
    Now, you might object that this conclusion “no amount of punishment of man would be enough” means God’s retributive justice never gets satisfied in the punishment of the non-elect, as Giovanni says later:
    “At bottom, torture never finished functionally denies that God will ever have justice over those who perish because God will be forever extracting what is due from beings which cannot die and therefore cannot give the law what it requires-their death. I think this claim has the potential to be as corrupt as claiming that sinners for whom Christ died will perish. ”
    However, consider what it means if God’s retributive justice gets satisfied in the punishment of the non-elect. It would mean the non-elect will be justified!

    mark mcculley—Putting out the label “nominalism” is not going to be an useful argument. I myself think we need to stress God’s righteousness as well as God’s sovereignty (even if don’t use “simplicity” to say that they are one attribute”. But you need not only to spell out the dangers of “infinity” talk but also find Bible texts which use the infinite concept, even in order “to do the needed correction”. Without that , what Giovanni Camacho is saying is simply true (not all the true, but necessary to be said).

    The trick for you I suppose is “enough punishment” not to satisfy justice enough to justify the non-elect but also a situation in which the “current punishment” is just. This is like “looking at outcomes” in “just war theory”. Tianqi , I think you will need to take one end of the dilemma—for example, saying that “the second death” by itself (without x amount of punishment before or after) does not satisfy God’s justice (and therefore should not be done, since it’s not justice)

    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/god-is-more-not-less-than-the-boss-of-us/

  8. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Tianqi Wu–This is going overboard in the direction of divine sovereignty/transcendence/impassibility to the point of nominalism. Sinners certainly offend God. God also speaks of Israel’s apostasy as marital infidelity. God speaks of himself as an Avenger for his own name. God’s wrath is God’s personal response to the creature’s sin that God decreed to happen.

    The idea of “infinite holiness/dignity” might need clarification, and the idea of “infinite torture” might need correction, but there is a basic truth here.

    (1) There is an incommensurable disparity between the personal worth of God and of man, due to the Creator-creature distinction.

    (2) Sin, the disobedience of God’s Law, is a personal affront to God (defiling his holy name), whether directly (by not loving God), or indirectly (by not loving man who is made in God’s image).

    (3) Retributive justice is fundamental to the punishment of sin. This means the punishment of the offender should correspond to the injury caused by the offense. Of the injuries caused by sin, the chief injury is the personal affront to God. Because God’s personal worth surpasses man’s personal worth, no amount of punishment of man would be enough.

    mark mcculley-So we need a situation in which there is “not enough punishment” to satisfy justice enough to justify the non-elect but also a situation in which the “current punishment” is just. I am remined of “looking at outcomes” before we formulate a”just war theory”. For example, should we say that “the second death” by itself (without x amount of punishment before or after) does not satisfy God’s justice (and therefore should not be done, since it’s not justice)

  9. Mark Mcculley Says:

    preacher soundbite—if we were to stop sinning now, we would never
    physically never die

    stop preaching speculation—unless Jesus comes, you are going to
    die—the first death of the non-elect is not the only punishment for
    them, and the first death of the elect is not punishment (nor the
    providence of sickness, but if the justified elect die from the covid virus, they are going to be just as dead as the non-elect until Jesus comes back to earth.

    If Jesus is not still dying on the cross, how is His death like that
    of non-elect people dying but never getting dead?

    Where does the Bible talk about “infinity”? And where does the Bible
    talk about the suffering before the death being “infinite”? When did
    the “infinite punishment” of Jesus begin and when did it end?

    If Christ only suffered an equivalent of “infinite torment in Hell”,
    does that mean that divine sovereignty (merely, only) “accepted” the
    punishment of Christ as enough or the same? https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/a-commercial-view-of-the-atonement/

  10. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Calvinist Attempting to Explain God’s election—“God the Son procured His Father’s favor” (Sonny Hernandez, High Calvinism, p 91)

    This is wrong. It’s backwards. God’s favor for the elect resulted in God’s redemption given by God the Son In His death as satisfaction of God’s law

    God’s election is not based on God’s foresight of Christ’s death for the elect
    Christ’s death for the elect is based on God’s favor to the elect in Christ

    God’s election is not because of God’s justice
    God’s election shows God’s nature
    it’s not only God’s justice but also God’s sovereignty that show God’s nature https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2018/06/03/gods-election-is-not-based-on-gods-justice/

  11. Mark Mcculley Says:

    mark: therefore Jesus is still being tormented on the cross, and will
    be always being tormented on the cross.—“He must have borne exactly what that eternal judgment will be.

    Sinclair Ferguson–“The New Testament sees complete harmony between the intermediate state and the final state in terms of the experience of God which men and women have.

    mark: And the harmony is that death is not the end of experience, but instead that death is an experience that you keep experiencing, and therefore words like “destroy” and “perish” are misleading. Instead of the Romans 2 idea that we seek immortality, Ferguson’s idea is that we all already have immortality because we are all created in the image of God https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/did-jesus-talk-more-about-gehenna-than-he-did-about-the-kingdom-from-heaven/

    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/where-is-that-objective-righteousness-which-saves-us/

    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/does-penal-satisfaction-mean-that-gods-law-gets-the-last-word/

  12. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Adam Kostsko—The more it became impossible to escape the suspicion that the devil had been set up. It was as though God NEEDED there to be evil and hence set up an impossible, meaningless test so that he could have someone to blame for it. Augustine comes close to saying this more or less outright, when he claims that the existence of evil enhances the beauty of creation, just as line and shading enhances a painting. Indeed, the overall emphasis of his discussion is less on making sure that God is not responsible for evil than figuring out how God can MAKE SURE there is evil. For instance, if God had directly created the demons as evil, then they wouldn’t be evil at all—they would simply be following their nature.
    https://itself.blog/2016/09/27/neoliberalisms-demons-a-lecture-transcript/

  13. Mark Mcculley Says:

    if God made two lumps from one lump, does it really matter what you say about that first lump?  If the original lump was not righteous, was it neutral without sin? 
    If God loved somebody before they were justified, does it matter much if you say that they were already justified before God loved them?
    I think so. You can’t say both—if God loves before justification, then God does not love because of justification
    On the other hand, if God cannot do or decide anything before God does and decides anything, how important can these questions be?
    How important is it to say that God does some stuff AFTER God decides to do the stuff? How much does it matter if you say that Adam was not a sinner before Adam sinned? 

    How much does it matter if you say that God loved somebody before God elected that person? 

    Some think that the problem people are trying to avoid is the question about the timing of when a person is “in Christ.”
    The non-Calvinists say that election is only about god’s plan to save
    those who get into Christ through belief. The eternal justification
    people respond with “I was always in Christ.”

    he elect “in Christ” BY ELECTION before Christ died for them, but
    they were “in Christ” by either justification or regeneration before.
    But the ej folks don’t make the mistake of confusing God’s plan to
    regenerate with the actual regeneration in history…they make it with
    the decree to justify and actual justification, and make the
    distinction between “in God’s mind” and “in us”, as if to say God’s
    mind about our regeneration is different from God’s mind about our
    justification. But their arbitrary division into “realms” lets them not
    think about the things they don’t want to think about. What puzzles me is the willingness to write about stuff they don’t really want to talk
    about—I understand settling old scores with people who left your
    church, But I don’t see where disagreement about “two natures” has
    anything to do with insisting that the elect never needed to be
    justified and insisting that Christ “was never under wrath” —in any
    case, I agree with Scott Price that Gods election in Christ was not
    based on God’s foreknowledge of God’s justice (as john Pedersen is
    teaching) . God elected some sinners in Christ, and only because of
    that, sent the Surety to die for them. It was no part of the death of
    Christ to cause God to love the elect .The very fact of Christ
    becoming incarnate on earth at all was proof of the divine love for
    the elect. The business of the justifying atonement, therefore, was to
    propitiate the God who already loved the elect.
    I John 4: 10 God’s love consists in this– not that we loved God, but
    that God loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our
    sins.

    God changing their wills before people believe the gospel
    is also included
    in the gospel
    which is not only about Christ’s death alone
    but also about calling and faith as the result of Christ’s death
    is the gospel that God changes your will or is the gospel that God
    puts the guilt of the elect on Christ?
    or is it both/also?
    God changing their wills before people believe the gospel is also
    included in the gospel
    which is not only about Christ’s death alone
    but also about calling and faith as the result of Christ’s death. But
    one gospel error denies this by saying it’s “self-involving”–ie, it’s
    talking about us, our need to believe, the command to believe, the
    inability to believe, and etc

    Matthew 7:23 God never knew
    I Peter 1:2 according to the foreknowledge
    Acts 2:23 sure, foreknowledge is God’s plan —but the plan is only
    because of God’s love—God chose those God loved

  14. Mark Mcculley Says:

    are there other moral obligations beside submitting to God?
    if God is timeless, how do you know if anything really happens in God’s creation history?
    If God is not a “something” there now, how could God’s creation be not nothing but something?
    Is evil nothing?—is evil a lack of something?
    God did not “need” worship or obedience—-God did not “need ” to “display God’s glory”
    if creation out of nothing by God was for no meaningful cause or reason, then certainly also evil and sin have no cause or reason—just as there is no cause or reason for God’s loving those God loves

  15. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Donald Macleod–Granted that there cannot be mercy without need, how can it be that there is mercy for some of the needy and not for others?

    Click to access 03-2_47.pdf

    Macleod—Assigning God’s love to his will does not mean that it
    is capricious or without reason, or an act of ‘pure will’ in the
    Scotist sense, but simply that the origin of God’s love is not due to his reaction upon learning of human sin and misery, but is a determination of his will which is wholly in accord with his character

    According to the doctrine of limited atonement the elect do not experience God’s justice as it concerns them, for it is satisfied by the atonement of Christ for them. All are liable to punishment for their sin, but only some are punished since the elect are ‘punished’ in Christ their substitute.

    So it is not that some experience both love and justice while some
    experience justice only. lt is rather, according to the doctrine, that some experience love, some justice, neither both and each one or the other. The inequality is thus symmetrical, and the incidence of divine love and justice does not provide the least reason for supposing that those who hold this view hold that justice is essential to God while love is arbitrary,

    If God cannot but exercise mercy as he cannot but exercise justice,
    then its character as mercy vanishes. If God has to exercise mercy as God has to exercise justice then such ‘mercy’ would not be mercy. For the character of mercy is such that each person who receives it is bound to say ‘I have no right to what I have received. It would have been perfectly consistent with God’s justice had I not received it’. And so in this respect the logical character of mercy is vastly
    different from that of justice. A justice that could be unilaterally
    waived would not be justice, and mercy which could not be unilaterally waived would not be mercy.

    An employee who thought that because his employer owed him wages he also owed him a gift as well would reveal that he had not properly understood what a gift is.

    McLeod Campbell appears to wish to maintain that (1) Each of God’s
    attributes e.g. his love and his justice, is necessary to God. That
    is, each of God’s attributes is possessed essentially by God; if God
    lacked any of these attributes he would not be God just as if I lacked
    the attribute of being a person I could not be me. Lurking behind (1)
    is the further claim that God is simple, that (2) Each of God’s
    individual essential attributes is identical with each other of his
    individual essential attributes. If God is simple then divine love is
    divine justice, divine justice is divine wisdom, and so on. While (1)
    does not require (2), clearly enough (2) requires (1), and McLeod
    Campbell seems to assume . he does commit himself to
    the following:

    (3) The unequal exercise of distinct attributes can only be the result
    of arbitrariness. And so, on the assumption that arbitrariness in God
    is undesirable (and indeed logically impossible if divine simplicity
    is true, sin~e freedom from arbitrariness in the exercise of any
    attribute must entitle freedom from arbitrariness in the exercise of
    any other, since each attribute lS the other)

    Thus, If infinite love and infinite justice are essential attributes of
    God, it would follow from ( 4) that God’s love is exercised on exactly
    the same number of people as his justice. If his justice is experienced by all then so must his love be. So far so good. It is a
    fact about logic, however, that one cannot call a halt. to an argument
    when one pleases. Adopting an argument is not like callng a taxi.

    Such an argument has unwelcome consequences for McLeod Campbell’s own view. ( 5): Any attribute necessary to God is necessarily exercised by God equally on all on whom it is logically possible to exercise it. What (5) says is that not only if arbitrariness is to be avoided must the divine attributes be exercised on all, they must be exercised equally upon all.

    The so-called ‘scandal of particularity’ is not only a so-called scandal about God’s redemption of sinners, it is also a so-called scandal about his creation of the universe. Why is it that
    a God who is loving and wise, and necessarily loving and wise, should ordain a universe with manifest angularities? Why is it that some are strong, some weak, some male, some female, some healthy, some diseased, and so forth?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: