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Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Quick Elaboration on Conditions, Logical Order and Causes

"Necessary conditions" is a philosophical phrase that deals with states of affairs. Take, If Y then X: That X is a necessary condition for Y means that Y cannot exist without X also existing, since Y is a sufficient condition for X.

1. If I'm regenerate, then I'm united to the risen Christ.
2. If I'm united to the risen Christ, then I'm regenerate.

1 means that it is impossible to have regeneration without union with Christ. It also means that the absence of union with Christ guarantees the absence of regeneration. This also means that the presence of regeneration guarantees the presence of union with Christ. The same sort of logic applies to 2.

Both 1 and 2 are true, yet neither proposition implies the logical order (or temporal order) of union with Christ and regeneration. Nonetheless, in both cases the consequent is a necessary condition for the antecedent; so in 1 what is indexed to the necessary condition, namely union with Christ, is that which is tied to a sufficient condition, regeneration. Most Reformed Christians do not have a conceptual problem thinking in terms of regeneration as being a "condition" for union with Christ (since they appreciate that regeneration is logically prior to union with Christ, or the means by which one becomes united to Christ). In 1, what type of "condition" is regeneration? Well, it's a sufficient condition in 1. Accordingly, if in 1 regeneration is a sufficient condition for union with Christ, then the "then" of the proposition, namely union with Christ, must be a necessary condition for regeneration - since the state of affairs of regeneration cannot exist without union with Christ. It is necessary, in other words, that union with Christ exist if regeneration exists. Causality and logical order is not even in view.

James teaches: If I'm justified, then I have good works, which is to say, good works are a necessary condition for one who is in a state of justification. Such a statement, although true, would be rather uninteresting to one who is inquiring as to whether another believes that good works are the cause or grounds of his justification. The same can be said of love.1 Corinthians 16:22

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Anonymous said...
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Reformed Apologist said...

I will allow your post to remain but only because I am prepared to correct you.

On a minor point, I don't put myself in the same category of the the elders you mentioned. On a more significant point, your pronouncements are way too sweeping and too dogmatic. They are being applied to more than just one man yet each person must be evaluated separately, which I am not prepared to do because I am not a session of one and I am not their "elder". Having said that, all I am in a position to do is find several of them guilty of a lack of understanding of Scripture, the standards and critical thinking, but I can go no further with the sweeping and conclusive condemnation. I cannot call any one or all of them "outside the camp" or "devils" but that does not mean several do not stand in the need of ecclesiastical admonishment.

Indeed, some of these men sow discord among the brethren on a regular basis. Obviously that's not good. Surely I believe that some have deep rooted spiritual problems. But, with all that in mind, I cannot go so far as you. Yes, I can say without hesitation that the many are obviously not apt to teach. It's interesting that the church, as far as I know, would seem to agree with this.

We can be grateful that these men comprise a very small number. I am personally grateful that I know of no pastor living who comes even close to sharing their view of faith, let alone the implications thereof.

Rest easy. Nobody takes them seriously.

Reformed Apologist said...

I'm going to leave my response but take your post out after all. Yours is a bit too strong, especially from an anonymous person. Sorry to have to censure you again. :)

humphrey said...

RA, Here is a comment (or something similar to it) left at the other site Friday evening (went into comment moderation and evidently won’t be posted since your most recent comments were posted subsequently).

[Just got back to this thread. I’m not SG. With regard to screen names, I infrequently comment in your threads; probably less than one thread a month and only threads that are interest to me. Check your records if you like. And, yes, I frequently change my blogger identity (probably weekly or biweekly) — never in the same thread. I’m more interested in arguments than identities. I will not comment on your (or RA’s) replies since this post has fallen well off the front screen.]

Anonymous said...

Roger the dodger thinks he chooses his beliefs and then points to his own irrational axiom to prove that to think otherwise is to make understanding impossible. Are all Clarkians fallacious?

Reformed Apologist said...

There is a reason their numbers ares so small. Their position(s) are philosophically incoherent, historically irrelevant and theologically incorrect. This is why their numbers are so small and they have no ecclesiastical backing. In a word, they're a non-issue. It's a pity that some are giving their lives to such a cause. They're deluded into thinking that they and only they have the truth. Otherwise, they don't realize how small their sect actually is.

Anonymous said...

"The problem with Ron’s argument is that it doesn’t address his contradictory “unbelieving believer”"

SG is obviously incapable of grasping idioms. Secondly, the idiom should be believing unbeliever. Unbeliever is the unsaved whereas believing references assent alone.

or his assertion that there are “non-volitional” assents.

SG does not grasp that assents cannot be chosen. He also does not grasp that his position is as
Arminian as you can get.

Ron doesn’t understand assent or belief. His position is logically impossible and anti-Scriptural and instead of dealing with that he wants to engage in irrelevancies.

Assertion or argument? SG would not know an argument if it stared him in the face.

I think a lack of acumen is more at work here than a lack of anything else. I cannot be sure though. He could just be a hardened sinner.

Anonymous said...

I see Gerety and Greenbaggins are going at it...again..

just another example of two guys not clever enough to define their terms. Neither knows what the other is saying and they do not get that. Gerety always reads things in the worst possible light which only compounds the problems.

Good job by the way correcting baggins on Louis B. He either missed it or is too proud to acknowledge your many fine points.