Does God do all things solely for love? Is it wrong to confront a non-Christian with the Law?
Should Christians angrily say others aren’t saying enough about God’s love? Did Christ die for love-as-ultimate-virtue?
And are some who say such things guilty — as all Christians are, to some extent! — of salvaging Scripture in favor of a spiritual System?
That seems the main question , underlying all the others, and the subject of ongoing discussion after last week’s column on Speculative Faith, Refuting universalism slanders of C.S. Lewis, part one.
Hello again, Derek — I will try to give some rebuttals and thoughts below.
Yet first, I must also note [...] that for a guy who talks a lot about God’s love, I don’t see a whole lot of that directed toward Christians who also read and seek understanding from the verses that do, indeed, say that the Lord is holy and just and indeed does all things to glorify Himself. Shouldn’t those who are pushing more of God’s “love” show that as much as talk about it?
Secondly, I shan’t try much to defend Todd Friel. He can be annoying. But so can a lot of Christians in this wild thing we call the Church. In the past several months I’ve had in-depth discussions with professing Christians who
a) lied about C.S. Lewis and Narnia,
b) insisted that “turn the other cheek” means letting a battered wife suffer and only pray for God to make the abuser repent,
c) lied about them Calvinists, saying they believed doctrines of demons, blah blah blah (whether you like TULIP or not, that’s just more slander — and yes this was the same guy who promoted letter a).
And yet all of them just might be saved anyway, if they adhere to the essentials of the Gospel. No one should “joke” otherwise just because we happen to disagree with them personally, or even if they still have active addictions or sins (such as to reactionary, System-based conspiracy theories) that are ultimately the Spirit’s job to rout out.
So let’s move past My Guys versus Your Guys, or what-have-you, and might we also move past the argument-from-outrage? You used that a lot in your response, but it’s ineffective against anyone who hasn’t already been persuaded by better means to believe as you do. I could use argument-from-outrage to “prove” anything: man didn’t land on the Moon, God isn’t real at all, it’s “unloving” for God to send anyone to Hell for any duration with or without some “second chance,” etc.
Instead, therefore, I’ll just keep asking you: have you been reading the Bible in a way that respects its authors and Author? Or have you — most Christians do, and I know I have, so there’s no greater shame in it! — read it to salvage for parts for other stories, or else spiritual Systems?
[W]hat you believe and or I believe and whether it Sounds Sensible is irrelevant here. The fact is that you haven’t attempted to prove your beliefs with Scripture and have wrongly accused me of elevating one Biblical truth over another or trying to find some Secret Knowledge. And yet your continual rejection of the idea that God to this day maintains righteous wrath against the unrighteous — offering a System supposedly supra Romans — is itself elevating one truth, in a System, above others.
A few other issues: yes, I’ve often heard the whole “you’re like the Pharisees” angle. Please do some checking into Scriptures such as Mark 7 and find the real reason Jesus couldn’t get through to the Pharisees. The bad ones didn’t give one crap about the real God’s honor, but hijacked God’s real Law and even made up their own in place of it. The Pharisees were all Law and no love, and that was their problem is the common view only because of repetition and propaganda, but doesn’t match Scripture.
I shan’t belabor that point here, though, only point you to God’s Law and Jesus’ Love at my nonfiction site if you sincerely wish to be challenged by an opposing view that actually shows that God’s real love is far greater than you’d say.