Sunday, July 21, 2019

Possible world semantics and the necessity of all that is in God

[continued from here]

Possible world semantics is a logical device dealing with the concepts of possibility, necessity and contingency. It has no relation to multiverse theory as espoused by certain cosmologists. In the scenario of possible worlds, something is necessary if it must happen and will happen in every possible world. Something is contingent, meaning it could be otherwise, when it does not happen in some possible worlds. Something is more or less possible if it is likely to occur in more possible worlds or less. The issue of hypothetical necessity is a necessity that depends upon other contingent factors. Thus, if X is hypothetically necessary dependent on factors Y and Z, then, in every worlds in which Y and Z are present, X is always present. If either Y or Z is not present, then X may not be present.

This issue of possible worlds is vital when we deal with divine necessity. It is true that the necessity of God who will create if he chooses to do does not imply a necessary creation. But the question is: Is there any possible world whereby God, after going through the decree, chooses NOT to create? Now, for those who are stuck with the idea of the Eternal Creator, God is always Creator and eternally so. Therefore, there can be NO possible world whereby God chooses not to create. Why this is so is because the decree is eternal and necessary. And since God has no parts (simplicity), God is His decree. "All that is in God" is God, in the fullest sense of the term. It is not possible, under classical theism, to split the necessity of one and the other. One can differentiate them, in the same way as we differentiate the attributes of God or the two natures of Christ, but one cannot separate them.

Therefore, while creation is contingent and the decree to create contingent, under the necessity of consequence, when we incorporate simplicity into the picture, creation becomes necessary because God's decree cannot be otherwise. If in every possible world, God must create, then it means that any "contingency" of creation is a contingency in name only. Creation is "contingent" on the fact that God can be not God, and this type of contingency is mathematically equivalent to describing probability with imaginary numbers (e.g. There is a 5i % probability that God is not the Creator)—the whole thing is ludicrous!

Thus, the logical implications of classical theism leads to a necessary creation. And not only that, but it leads to a necessary Fall, a necessary Flood, a necessary anything in redemptive history. It makes God to not only be the Eternal Creator, but it also leads to the doctrines of Eternal Justification, and one wonders how one avoids an Eternal Glorification also.

Which brings me to the issue of Jesus as one's personal Savior. It is evidently true from Ephesians 2:1-4 that we were all once sinners under the wrath of God. Conversely, when we have faith in Christ, we became under the grace of God. For Scripture to make any sense, it MUST mean that the status of a sinner prior to faith in God is one of wrath and condemnation, and the status of the sinner upon faith in Christ is one of grace, being justified and sonship. The change in status is not a mirage but a real thing! Jesus thus become my personal Savior WHEN I have faith in Him, whereas prior to that, He was not my personal Savior! Or are we going to argue that Jesus was the personal Savior of the elect while they were still under the wrath of God, in total contradiction of Ephesians 2:1-4? Must we massacre the clear teaching of Scripture in order to fit in nicely with the presuppositions of classical theism?

My questions for these classical theists like Chia are as follows:

  1. Do you believe that the unregenerate elect prior to faith had Jesus as their personal Savior?
  2. Do you believe that elect sinners were once children of wrath just like unregenerate reprobates? Please exegete Ephesians 2:1-4 in your answer.
  3. If you answer that the unregenerate elect prior to faith in Christ did not have Jesus as their personal Savior, and agree with me that the unregenerate elect were once children of wrath, please tell me how Jesus is the personal Savior of the regenerate elect if there is no "becoming" with God at all.
  4. If you reject the idea that Jesus is a "personal" Savior, then please state whether you believe that Christ came to save individuals, or did He come to save groups of people. If you believe that He came to save individuals, then how does that not make Him the personal Savior for each individual? If he came to save groups of people, then how do you explain the individual mandate of having personal faith in Christ for salvation? Along this line, please inform me whether you think personal faith in Christ is necessary for salvation, or we are just saved because of our "elect status."
  5. More generally, please tell me how do you read the dynamic interactions of God with His people throughout history. Is everything there purely anthropomorphism and anthropopathism? When God expresses His love for His people, is that genuine, or merely anthropopathic? When God experienced anger at Israel for disobedience, is that genuine anger, or merely anthropopathic?
  6. If God does not "become" in any sense, then please explain the covenantal language of God: "I will be your God and you will be my people." Was God lying when He said that and actually what He meant was: "I have always been your God but whether you are my people depends on whether I have foreordained you before the foundation of the world"? It is to be noted that the verb "to be" in the future tense indicate ""becoming"! Was God wrong in His covenantal language?

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