Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

Where a recovering ex-atheist skewers things with a sharp two-edged sword

What is love? Part 1: how to find the right answer

What does it mean that God is love, that he loves us, and that we are to love him? In part 1, I explain how we should approach this question, and why.

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Why won’t Randal Rouser answer some simple questions?

Calling Randal Rauser: why won’t you answer some simple questions?

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On the atonement, part 4: God’s desires frustrated?

Part 4 of 6, in which I interact with the objection that unlimited satisfaction requires that God be at cross-purposes with himself, entertaining frustrated desires which he cannot fulfill.

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Understanding God’s desires

A response to my friend Jim regarding the sincerity of Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37. This follows on from my previous argument from divine purpose, in which I rebutted the view that God intends to save all people but is prevented by human free will. Here, I address the dual question of whether my view leads necessarily to confusion or doubt about God’s word, and further interact with Jim’s proposed counter-solution of human autonomy.

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Catholic and Reformed views of God and Scripture: a correspondence

A response to an email from a Roman Catholic correspondent, critiquing his presentation of the doctrine of Scripture and the purposes of God.

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God and goodness: a new question from Victor Reppert

Continuing the discussion of God and goodness, Victor extends a request to Calvinists for clarification: “in virtue of what is the “God” of Scripture, as understood by Calvinists, thought of as good”? As always, I invite you to read the full article; but let me summarize:

If we reject the view that things are good simply because God has the power to say that they are, then in virtue of what do we say that they are good? To appeal to Scripture is to beg the question, because God wrote Scripture; so if he is in fact an omniscient fiend, then his saying that he is good is no guarantee that he is. If we reject the notion that God is good merely on the basis of his own fiat; and that we can know it based only on our own moral intuitions; then how can we know it? Since Victor has posed this question as a request rather than a refutation, let me respond in kind.

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God and goodness: a second reply to Victor Reppert

Victor has posted a further response in our ongoing discussion regarding the nature of good as presented in the Bible, and how it compares to our moral intuitions. I invite you to read it in full; it is not very long. I will quote only pertinent segments here. The gist is that (I) Scripture only indirectly addresses the question in which we are interested (is predestination good?); (II) it is only authoritative once we already believe in an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God, so a preexisting conception of goodness is logically necessary to belief in the Christian God; and (III) it is unclear the extent to which we can get precise meaning out of Scripture via historical-grammatical analysis.

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God and goodness: a reply to Victor Reppert

A couple of weeks ago, Victor Reppert posted an argument against compatibilism, and invited a general critique. This argument looks as follows (I’m paraphrasing since Victor’s original formulation had some typos):

1. If compatibilism is true, then God could have created the world in such a way that everyone freely does what is right.
2. If God is omnipotent and perfectly good, then, were it possible, he would have created the world in such a way that everyone freely does what is right.
3. But God did not create the world in such a way that everyone freely does what is right.
4. Therefore, compatiblism is false.

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Does God desire the salvation of all?

This article is the culmination of some discussion with hyper-Calvinist Ron Di Giacomo on the nature of God’s intentions towards the reprobate. In it, I argue that there is a sense in which God desires all people without exception to be saved, even though he has determined that he will only save his elect.

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God Is Love

One of the blogs to which I subscribe is ‘The Reformed Baptist Thinker’, who recently posted an article entitled ‘Bishop Carlton Pearson, “The Way I See It”‘. Briefly described is the announcement by this Pentecostal bishop that no one goes to hell. In his own words, In reality, hell is not such an intention of […]

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