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Comments

Chris Gore

This is spot on excellent. I was waiting for this voice in the discussion.

Shane Kastler

Thanks Chris. I appreciate the kind words.

Joel Settecase

Great points. I will say that I think you could have been more gracious with how you represented the two men you were correcting. Did Furtick really say God "needs" is rather than simply loves us? And did Challies really say God is "under the Law rather than consistent with it? Those questions having been asked, I'll reiterate that I appreciated the post. That line about the law having been fulfilled for two thousand years: absolutely true! Thanks.

Adiel Corchado

Hi Shane. Are you sure that when Challies mentions the Law he is referring to the Law of Moses and not God's Law which is an expression of His character?

Shane Kastler

Joel – Challies said, “God is not a law-breaker but a law-keeper.” So yes, the implication he makes is that God is bound (or under) Law. My critique was accurate. And yes, Furtick’s entire point was that God is so desirous of us he would do anything (even break the law) to have us. Again, my critique is accurate. I believe both miss the point to a certain extent.

Adiel – As to your question of whether or not Challies meant “God’s Law” or “Moses’s Law” --- As a Covenant Theologian he would see them as synonymous to a degree. Covenant Theology teaches that the Ten Commandments are God’s eternal unchanging rule that is written on the hearts of all men. In other words, they see it as “God’s Law” (I assume that’s what you meant.) But the Ten Commandments are never described this way in the Bible, but rather they are a part of the Mosaic Law. Covenant Theology slices off a portion of the Mosaic Law and enshrines it as “eternal and unchanging.” Then they promptly change the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. So in answer to your question, Yes; Challies would see the Law of Moses (at least part of it) as “God’s Law.” But let’s say for the sake of argument, Challies sees “God’s Law” as being “love God and love your neighbor.” Many take this position based on Jesus’s declaration that the Law is summed up in these two commandments. My point remains the same. Is God bound to this Law? Is God bound to any Law? Or was Law created for man? What about the command to not eat of the tree in the Garden of Eden? If GOD ate of the tree would He have been sinning? Of course not. Commandments given to people, don’t apply to God. We probably all agree that God is perfectly holy and that Jesus lived a life of sinless perfection. But the point, I’m making (that I think both Furtick and Challies miss) is that Law was made for man. Not for God. God the Father killed His Son. And His Son was perfectly innocent. The Bible even says it “pleased the Lord to crush Him.” (Isa. 53:10) Was God the Father, then guilty of murder? Did God break one of the Ten Commandments? Furtick screams “Yes!” and Challies screams “No!” but they both make the assumption that God is under the Law. My argument is that whatever God does is righteous and holy because HE is the standard for what is righteous and holy. But He is not bound to live by any Law that He gives to man. This doesn’t make God a contradiction. It makes Him God! He gives life; and He takes it away at His good pleasure. We don’t have such rights. We have commandments He has given us to live by. But our GOD is the Heavens and “He does whatever He pleases.” (Ps. 115:3)

Thanks for the questions. I hope I was able to clarify my point somewhat.

Adiel Corchado

I agree that God is not bound by any law outside of Himself that He must submit to and either keep or break. And I most certainly agree that God does whatever He pleases. He is not under any Law!

God's nature is absolute and He always acts consistent with His nature. He cannot ever act in a manner that is inconsistent with His own nature. For example, He is truth and therefore cannot lie. But it's not that He wants to lie but there's some Law outside of Him that forbids it, but that rather He is always consistent with His own nature. Likewise "God is love" and so everything He does is always consistent with this glorious truth (even whatever things may seem unloving to His fallen creatures).

Now, to us His creatures God's nature is our Law, at least in some sense, isn't? God is holy therefore we must be holy. He is truth therefore we must be truthful. He is faithful therefore being unfaithful is sin. In essense, "God is love" therefore we must love Him and others and when we don't love we're acting contrary to His nature and are therefore in sin.

I think part of the confusion then has something to do with people conflating God's nature with the Law of Love. To say that "God broke the Law" would therefore mean "God acted inconsistent with His nature" and to say "God kept the Law" would mean "God acted consistently with His nature."

Thoughts?

Shane Kastler

Yes. Well stated. I agree with most of your sentiments. Although I would add this caveat to your statement "God's nature is our Law." There are some aspects of God's nature that we do not imitate (sovereignty, for example). I think that Furtick and Challies both miss the point with their presenting God's relationship to Law (of any kind). For Furtick to say "God broke the Law" and for Challies to say "God keeps the Law" -- Both statements show a certain amount of confusion. To say, as you did, that God always acts in accordance with His nature would be much more clear and accurate.

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