Atheism Fine tuning Intelligent Design Naturalism

A “souls” argument against the fine-tuning of the universe?

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No, we hadn’t heard of it either. At Cerebral Faith, Christian apologist Evan Minton explains,

Recently, William Lane Craig debated atheist Michael Nugent in Ireland on the existence of God. One of the arguments that Dr. Craig employed was The Fine Tuning Argument for design. I’m going to assume that readers of this article already have some familiarity with the fine tuning, so in case you’re new to the God debate, or this website, or apologetics in general, I discuss The Fine Tuning Argument in this blog post here. In response to the Fine Tuning Argument, Nugent said the following:

“Theists believe that this God fine tuned the physical constants of the universe to allow life. But while these constants do allow life, they don’t seem to be related to that or indeed any purpose. And in any case, from a theist’s perspective, life doesn’t have anything to do with physical constants. It’s spiritual. It could exist alongside any sort of physical constants or even without any physical matter at all. The whole point of theism is that life is not bound to our physical bodies, or physical constants, but is spiritual in nature.”

This argument is one I’ve heard from atheists that I myself have encountered on the internet. In fact, it was even used by an atheist Hugh Ross debated on The Fine Tuning (though I forget the name of that atheist). What Nugent appears to be saying is that since, on Christian theism, man can exist as a mind without a body, as a spirit or ghost, then we need not have a finely tuned universe in order to exist. On the Christian worldview, life could have existed anyway no matter what kind of values the physical constants and quantities took. Everyone could have been created as just spirits. We all could run around as just bodyless ghosts. God didn’t need to finely tune the universe for us to exist.

I have to say, this is quite a poor argument (much like all of Nugent’s other arguments). The problem with this argument is that it doesn’t refute either premise of the fine tuning argument. Both premises of the argument still stand. More.

Arguments against the fine tuning of the universe do not need to be good arguments. They just need to be the right kind of noise in the right venues.

See also: Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

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21 Replies to “A “souls” argument against the fine-tuning of the universe?

  1. 1
    gpuccio says:

    I would say that the argument made here by Minton is impeccable. An example of very good reasoning.

  2. 2
    News says:

    gpuccio at 1, doubtless true but then Nugent didn’t set hm a very high bar did he… 😉 ?

  3. 3
    gpuccio says:

    News:

    I agree. But you know, there are bad ways even of dealing with a low bar… 🙂

  4. 4
    J-Mac says:

    I like Dr. Craig, because I have learned a lot from him about ID and how to defend it, but the “soul” thingy is one of his low points… Most evangelical religions have rejected this teaching 100 years ago… He can’t let go of it? I’m not the one to judge him just criticize him…

  5. 5
    harry says:

    God didn’t need to finely tune the universe for us to exist.

    That is true. God did in fact create incorporeal beings — the angels — whose existence does not depend upon the existence of matter.

    God also created sentient beings which can experience various stimuli. Experiencing requires an experiencer. The experiencer is the non-material component of living things. In humanity the experiencer is our rational, immortal soul.

    The physical dimension of sentient beings is quite complex and so unlikely to have come about mindlessly and accidentally that it is irrational to assume that that happened. Those familiar with the fine-tuning arguments and the fact that intelligent agency is the only plausible explanation for the emergence of the massive functional complexity of life realize this.

    It is as though God set the Universe up so that it would be evident that inanimate matter inexorably tends to disintegrate into a more likely state unless there is an intelligent intervention. Life’s existence was intended to shout out to us that there had to have been an intelligent intervention for it to come into being and continue to resist the inexorable tendency to disintegrate. Those capable of objectivity hear this shout. Those who don’t hear it suffer from self-imposed deafness. Lacking objectivity they believe what they desperately want to believe instead of what the evidence overwhelmingly suggests.

  6. 6
    Dick says:

    Re: #4 – I think J-Mac misunderstood (or I did), but Craig didn’t make the argument referred to in the post, Nugent did.

  7. 7
    Dionisio says:

    harry @5:

    Very insightful commentary. Thanks.

    Life’s existence was intended to shout out to us that there had to have been an intelligent intervention for it to come into being and continue to resist the inexorable tendency to disintegrate. Those capable of objectivity hear this shout. Those who don’t hear it suffer from self-imposed deafness. Lacking objectivity they believe what they desperately want to believe instead of what the evidence overwhelmingly suggests.

    You refer to two different states:

    a) Those capable of objectivity hearing the above mentioned shout.

    b) Those who don’t hear it suffer from self-imposed deafness. Lacking objectivity they believe what they desperately want to believe instead of what the evidence overwhelmingly suggests.

    Question:

    Is it possible for someone in the state ‘a’ to change to state ‘b’?

  8. 8
    Dionisio says:

    Dick @6:

    Yes, that seems to be the case.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm:

    lessee, an objector to theism sets up and knocks over a straw god then rhetorically suggests this undermines the force of theistic argument?

    Could he be ignorant of the Judaeo-Christian perspective that God has chosen to give enough of a sign within and without that we are not left a leg to stand on in turning our backs ungratefully?

    As in:

    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! . . . .

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. [ESV]

    Food for thought?

    KF

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    KF,

    Yes. That’s it. Thanks.

  11. 11
    harry says:

    Dionisio @7,

    Is it possible for someone in the state ‘a’ to change to state ‘b’?

    Yes. People can fall from grace:

    For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; its end is to be burned over.
    — Hebrews 6:4-8

    This makes it clear that people can fall from the light into darkness. By the way, the falling away referred to here that cannot be restored to repentance is persisting in refusal to repent. There is no sin too big for God to forgive except our refusal to repent, which is basically blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.

  12. 12
    Dionisio says:

    harry @11:
    That’s a very convincing argument. Thank you for answering my question.
    Ap. 22.21

  13. 13
    Dionisio says:

    harry @11:

    Here are a few commentaries on the text you referenced @11.
    This commentary is from the Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    6:4–12 This sober warning has been variously interpreted. Some understand the author to refer to genuine Christians who lose their salvation, but such a reading conflicts with passages that teach that those whom God has truly saved will persevere in faith to the end (John 10:28, 29; Rom. 8:28–30; “Perseverance of the Saints” at Rom. 8:30). Others interpret the warning as an argument directed against a Judaizing heretical sect, followers of a heresy serious enough that embracing it would lead to the loss of all hope of salvation. Another interpretation holds that the author is describing the apostates of vv. 4–8 in terms of their profession and the blessings they appeared to share with genuine believers up to the moment of their apostasy. Although Jesus saves completely (7:25) and has made perfect forever (10:13) those who hear His word with faith, the author exhorts the readers to prove the faith they profess by their perseverance. Without faith, proximity to God in the fellowship of His covenant people is no blessing; rather, it subjects apostates to more severe judgment.

    6:4 once been enlightened. That is, had the knowledge of God disclosed in the gospel message (10:26; John 1:9; 2 Cor. 4:4–6) and publicly confessed in baptism. In early Christian writings, conversion and baptism were sometimes termed “enlightenment.” The Greek word for “once” is prominent in Hebrews. It is used in connection with the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ in 10:2, 10.

    tasted the heavenly gift. Some see here a reference to participation in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Or the phrase could be paired with “enlightened” as a broad description of apparent conversion.

    shared in the Holy Spirit. They had some experience with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but it is not necessary to conclude that regeneration is specifically intended.

    6:5 powers of the age to come. Most obviously, the signs and wonders that accompanied the introduction of the gospel (2:4 note).

    6:6 if they then fall away. There is a kind of falling away that is irreversible (1 John 5:16). Christian salvation is final (10:4), and the decision to reject it, if made at a certain level, cannot be reversed. According to 1 John 2:19, anyone who makes such a decision was not really a member of the household of faith, although they may have seemed to be. Judas Iscariot is the clearest example of someone who participated in the coming of the kingdom, but did not enter it (Matt. 26:47–49; cf. Matt. 7:21–23). This warning is not to encourage speculation about whether others are irretrievably lost, but urges us to cling closely to the Savior ourselves. See “The Unpardonable Sin” at Mark 3:29.

    crucifying once again the Son of God. By renouncing their faith in Christ they declare that Christ’s cross is not a holy sacrifice for others’ sins, but the deserved execution of a guilty criminal (10:29). Such apostates have returned to a point where the Cross does nothing but condemn them as accomplices in murder (Acts 18:5, 6).

    There is an analogy between the once-for-all character of Christ’s sacrifice for sin and the believer’s symbolic participation in that crucifixion through baptism (v. 4 note). Christ’s sacrificial death cannot be repeated. In the same way, the believer’s participation in His death, sealed by baptism (Rom. 6:3, 4; Col. 2:12), cannot be withdrawn and then repeated.

    contempt. The apostasy described in ch. 6 is not a matter of private, internal doubt. It is the forceful, complete, and public rejection of a faith once confessed. As such, it has bad effects for others as well as for the apostate (12:15).

    6:7, 8 According to the prophetic imagery of the Old Testament, the ground is God’s people (Is. 5:1–7), and the rain falling on it is the Word (Is. 55:10, 11) or the Spirit of God (Is. 44:3, 4). The unproductive field is destroyed (Is. 5:4–6). See also Matt. 13:7, 8, 22, 23.

  14. 14
    harry says:

    Dionisio @ 13,

    I think as long as we have a free will we can choose to walk away from salvation.

    Think of it like a marriage. As the years go by it becomes less and less likely that the marriage will break up, but it is always possible. We all know people whose marriages broke up after their kids were raised and gone. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

    In the case of our salvation as a “marriage,” if it breaks up, it won’t be Christ Who leaves us, but us who leave Christ. God always honors our free will. If we leave Him and die before we repent we have eternally blown it.

  15. 15
    jstanley01 says:

    Dionisio @ 13
    The interpretation of a passage always has to be with respect to “to whom” a book or a section of the scripture is addressed. Similar to reading a letter. Reading a letter that is addressed to me, I will read it differently than reading one that is addressed to someone else.

    Hebrews is not addressed to the Church. The first two verses make clear to whom it is addressed:

    Hebrews 1:1-2 (KJV here and following)
    God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

    Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    The book of Hebrews, no surprise, is addressed to those of Hebrew ethnic and religious descent. And specifically to the Hebrews of the first century, the Jews.

    The Jews at the time of the writing of Hebrews consisted of two groups, Jews who believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and Jews who did not believe it, as indicated in Acts 21.

    Acts 21:20b
    …Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:

    Many thousands of Jews believed, but many thousands did not. So in order to address the Jews as a group, Hebrews had to be written with both in mind.

    Reading the verses in question in light of the above:

    Hebrews 6:4-5
    For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

    And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

    Were the Jews through their history so enlightened? Yes. Had they so tasted? Yes. Had they been made partakers? Yes.

    Verse 6
    If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    That is, if the Jews fell away from their previous enlightenment by rejecting the sacrifice of the Son as insufficient, it would be impossible to renew them again to their status of former times. Impossible, for they refused to believe that God had indeed spoken to them by His Son by “one sacrifice for sins for ever.”

    Verses 7-8
    For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:

    But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

    The rain came often upon the Jews during their history, and produced much fruit. But for the first-century Jews who were rejecting the provision by God of His Son, the warning is clear.

    Verse 9
    But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

    Of the first century Jews to whom the book of Hebrews was written, some thousands believed and some thousands did not believe. Of those who did not believe, some, with things like the exhortation of the book of Hebrews, would believe – Paul’s clear aim — but some would never believe.

    Bottom line, if we interpret the verses in question as applying to those who the book is addressing, the Hebrews of the first century, the apparent contradictions with passages elsewhere addressed to the Church disappear.

  16. 16
    Dionisio says:

    harry @14:
    Thanks for the comments.
    Ap 22.21

  17. 17
    Dionisio says:

    jstanley01 @15:
    Thanks for your commentary.
    Ap 22.21

  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    jstanley01 @15:

    The scriptures say what they say and don’t say what they don’t say. There’s one valid meaning. There may be several interpretations of the same text, but only the ones that agree with the valid meaning should be acceptable. The main problem is to find the valid meaning. Obviously the author of the message knows what it means. The author may explain the meaning to someone else. If we know the author we may ask about the meaning. If we have an intimate relationship with the author we may ask about the meaning. The author may reveal the meaning to us.

    Here’s more on what you commented on:

    The Supremacy of God’s Son

    Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

    Hebrews 1:1-2 (ESV)

    This commentary is from the Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    1:1–4 The prologue introduces the two time periods in God’s speaking to His people: “Long ago” (v. 1) and “these last days” (v. 2). The Son’s coming marks our time period as the “latter days” of salvation promised through the prophets (Jer. 23:20; Hos. 3:5; Mic. 4:1; cf. 1 Cor. 10:11).

    1:1 at many times. The piecemeal character of prophetic revelation showed its incompleteness, just as the repetition of animal sacrifices showed that they could not remove guilt (10:1).

    in many ways. These ways included visions, dreams, and dark sayings (Num. 12:6–8, alluded to later in 3:5).

    God spoke. An important theme in Hebrews (2:2, 3; 4:12; 6:5; 11:3; 12:25).

    1:2 his Son. This revelation is qualitatively superior to that given through the prophets. Moses, the greatest prophet, was only a servant in God’s house; Christ is “over God’s house as a son” (3:6). The Son speaks, as the prophets did, but speaks as the Son whose revelation is final.

    heir of all things. The Son’s supremacy will be displayed at the end of history, for “all things were created . . . for him” (Col. 1:16). He is the firstborn (v. 6), the preeminent heir, whose enemies will be put under His feet (v. 13, citing Ps. 110:1). As God’s adopted sons through Jesus, we too are heirs (v. 14; 6:12, 17; Gal. 4:6, 7; Rom. 8:14–17).

    through whom . . . he created the world. The Son’s supremacy was displayed at the dawn of history, for “by him all things were created” (Col. 1:16; cf. John 1:3). The Greek word rendered “world” is lit. “ages” (also “universe” in 11:3), highlighting the successive periods of history in the created order. Vv. 10–12 quote Ps. 102:25–27 as testimony to the Son’s role in creation and His eternal permanence, in contrast to the created universe.

    This commentary is from NKJV Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible Notes:

    Many Jewish believers who moved from Judaism into Christianity soon found themselves persecuted by their countrymen. Some of them wanted to reverse course in order to escape suffering […]

    This commentary is from MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV)

    When the various NT books were formally brought together into one collection shortly after A.D. 100, the titles were added for convenience.

    1:1 various times. The meaning is “many portions” (as of books). Over the course of possibly 1,800 years (from Job, ca. 2200 B.C. [?] to Nehemiah, ca. 400 B.C.) the OT was written […]

    1:2 last days. Jews understood the “last days” to mean the time when Messiah (Christ) would come (cf. Num. 24:14; Jer. 33:14–16; Mic. 5:1, 2; Zech. 9:9, 16).

    Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

    Chapter 1
    In this chapter we have a twofold comparison stated: I. Between the evangelical and legal dispensation; and the excellency of the gospel above that of the law is asserted and proved, Heb. 1:1-3. II. Between the glory of Christ and that of the highest creatures, the angels; where the pre-eminence is justly given to the Lord Jesus Christ, and clearly demonstrated to belong to him, Heb. 1:4-14.

    Verses 1-3

    Here the apostle begins with a general declaration of the excellency of the gospel dispensation above that of the law, which he demonstrates from the different way and manner of God’s communicating himself and his mind and will to men in the one and in the other: both these dispensations were of God, and both of them very good, but there is a great difference in the way of their coming from God. Observe,

    I. The way wherein God communicated himself and his will to men under the Old Testament. We have here an account, 1. Of the persons by whom God delivered his mind under the Old Testament; they were the prophets, that is, persons chosen of God, and qualified by him, for that office of revealing the will of God to men. No man takes this honour to himself, unless called; and whoever are called of God are qualified by him. 2. The persons to whom God spoke by the prophets: To the fathers, to all the Old-Testament saints who were under that dispensation. God favoured and honoured them with much clearer light than that of nature, under which the rest of the world were left. 3. The order in which God spoke to men in those times that went before the gospel, those past times: he spoke to his ancient people at sundry times and in divers manners. (1.) At sundry times, or by several parts, as the word signifies, which may refer either to the several ages of the Old-Testament dispensation—the patriarchal, the Mosaic, and the prophetic; or to the several gradual openings of his mind concerning the Redeemer: to Adam, that the Messiah should come of the seed of the woman,—to Abraham, that he should spring from his loins,—to Jacob, that he should be of the tribe of Judah,—to David, that he should be of his house,—to Micah, that he should be born at Bethlehem,—to Isaiah, that he should be born of a virgin. (2.) In divers manners, according to the different ways in which God though fit to communicate his mind to his prophets; sometimes by the illapses of his Spirit, sometimes by dreams, sometimes by visions, sometimes by an audible voice, sometimes by legible characters under his own hand, as when he wrote the ten commandments on tables of stone. Of some of these different ways God himself gave an account in Num. 12:6-8, If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known to him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses: with him I will speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches.

    II. God’s method of communicating his mind and will under the New-Testament dispensation, these last days as they are called, that is, either towards the end of the world, or the end of the Jewish state. The times of the gospel are the last times, the gospel revelation is the last we are to expect from God. There was first the natural revelation; then the patriarchal, by dreams, visions, and voices; then the Mosaic, in the law given forth and written down; then the prophetic, in explaining the law, and giving clearer discoveries of Christ: but now we must expect no new revelation, but only more of the Spirit of Christ to help us better to understand what is already revealed. Now the excellency of the gospel revelation above the former consists in two things:—

    1. It is the final, the finishing revelation, given forth in the last days of divine revelation, to which nothing is to be added, but the canon of scripture is to be settled and sealed: so that now the minds of men are no longer kept in suspense by the expectation of new discoveries, but they rejoice in a complete revelation of the will of God, both preceptive and providential, so far as is necessary for them to know in order to their direction and comfort. For the gospel includes a discovery of the great events that shall befal the church of God to the end of the world.

    2. It is a revelation which God has made by his Son, the most excellent messenger that was ever sent into the world, far superior to all the ancient patriarchs and prophets, by whom God communicated his will to his people in former times. And here we have an excellent account of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    (1.) The glory of his office, and that in three respects:—[1.] God hath appointed him to be heir of all things. As God, he was equal to the Father; but, as God-man and Mediator, he was appointed by the Father to be the heir of all things, the sovereign Lord of all, the absolute disposer, director, and governor of all persons and of all things, Ps. 2:6, 7. All power in heaven and earth is given to him; all judgment is committed to him, Matt. 28:18; John 5:22. [2.] By him God made the worlds, both visible and invisible, the heavens and the earth; not as an instrumental cause, but as his essential word and wisdom. By him he made the old creation, by him he makes the new creature, and by him he rules and governs both. [3.] He upholds all things by the word of his power: he keeps the world from dissolving. By him all things consist. The weight of the whole creation is laid upon Christ: he supports the whole and all the parts. When, upon the apostasy, the world was breaking to pieces under the wrath and curse of God, the Son of God, undertaking the work of redemption, bound it up again, and established it by his almighty power and goodness. None of the ancient prophets sustained such an office as this, none was sufficient for it.

    (2.) Hence the apostle passes to the glory of the person of Christ, who was able to execute such an office: He was the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person, Heb. 1:3. This is a high and lofty description of the glorious Redeemer, this is an account of his personal excellency. [1.] He is, in person, the Son of God, the only-begotten Son of God, and as such he must have the same nature. This personal distinction always supposes one and the same nature. Every son of man is man; were not the nature the same, the generation would be monstrous. [2.] The person of the Son is the glory of the Father, shining forth with a truly divine splendour. As the beams are effulgent emanations of the sun, the father and fountain of light, Jesus Christ in his person is God manifest in the flesh, he is light of light, the true Shechinah. [3.] The person of the Son is the true image and character of the person of the Father; being of the same nature, he must bear the same image and likeness. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness, of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness, of the Father; for he hath the nature and perfections of God in him. He that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father; that is, he hath seen the same Being. He that hath known the Son hath known the Father, John 14:7-9. For the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the Son; the personal distinction is no other than will consist with essential union. This is the glory of the person of Christ; the fulness of the Godhead dwells, not typically, but really, in him.

    (3.) From the glory of the person of Christ he proceeds to mention the glory of his grace; his condescension itself was truly glorious. The sufferings of Christ had this great honour in them, to be a full satisfaction for the sins of his people: By himself he purged away our sins, that is, by the proper innate merit of his death and bloodshed, by their infinite intrinsic value; as they were the sufferings of himself, he has made atonement for sin. Himself, the glory of his person and nature, gave to his sufferings such merit as was a sufficient reparation of honour to God, who had suffered an infinite injury and affront by the sins of men.

    (4.) From the glory of his sufferings we are at length led to consider the glory of his exaltation: When by himself he had purged away our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, at his Father’s right hand. As Mediator and Redeemer, he is invested with the highest honour, authority, and activity, for the good of his people; the Father now does all things by him, and receives all the services of his people from him. Having assumed our nature, and suffered in it on earth, he has taken it up with him to heaven, and there it has the high honour to be next to God, and this was the reward of his humiliation.

    Now it was by no less a person than this that God in these last days spoke to men; and, since the dignity of the messenger gives authority and excellency to the message, the dispensations of the gospel must therefore exceed, very far exceed, the dispensation of the law.

  19. 19
    jstanley01 says:

    Dionisio @ 18

    Interesting commentary, thanks.

    In light of a discussion regarding the verses in question in Hebrews chapter six, reading “the dignity of the messenger gives authority and excellency to the message” reminds me of the parable in Luke 20:9-15.

  20. 20
    Dionisio says:

    jstanley01 @19:

    That’s a good reference to a very important point. Thanks.

    We should test everything and hold what is good.
    But we need true wisdom in order to understand things well.
    There’s only one valid source of true wisdom.
    I still lack much wisdom, because I have not pursued it as strongly as I would have liked to and have not asked for it as persistently as I should have done it.

  21. 21
    jstanley01 says:

    Dionisio @ 20

    Both the interpretation and the application of scripture, and how the two relate, are important subjects for the “workman” who is in pursuit of “rightly dividing the word of truth” according to what II Timothy 2:15 commands. In light of which subject, among others, I would heartily recommend a book by E.W. Bullinger (1837-1915), How to Enjoy the Bible. It is available from Pilkington and Sons…

    http://www.pilkingtonandsons.c.....rBooks.htm
    (scroll down)

    …A unique introduction to your study of God’s Word. You’re guided in the adventure of open and honest study of the Scripture from within — allowing it to speak for itself. Twelve practical principles make inductive Bible study come alive. 464pp. PB $19.95

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