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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Creature/Creator Distinction in the Moral Law of God: Gordon H. Clark Quote of the Day

True it is that if a man, a created being, should cause or try to cause another man to sin, this attempt would be sinful.  The reason is plain.  The relation of one man to another is entirely different from the relation of God to any man.  God is the creator;  man is a creature.  . . . God has absolute and unlimited rights over all created things.   --  Gordon H. Clark



The following is quoted from Gordon H. Clark's section on "God and Evil" in Christian Philosophy:  The Works of Gordon Haddon Clark, Volume 4.  Reprint.  (Unicoi: Trinity Foundation, 2004).  Pages 268-269.   See Trinity Foundation.

"The distinction between first and secondary causation -- explicitly maintained in the Westminster Confession -- has not always been appreciated, even by those who are in general agreement.  John Gill, for example, who is so excellent on so much, failed to grasp the distinction between the immediate author and the ultimate cause.  For this reason there are some faulty passages in his otherwise fine work.  Such is the difficulty of the problem and so confused are the discussions from the time of the patristics to the present day, that some of the best Calvinists have not extricated themselves completely from Scholastic errors.  Not only Berkouwer, but even Jonathan Edwards, in spite of Calvin, still spoke about God's permission of sin.

"When, accordingly, the discussion comes to God's being the author of sin, one must understand the question to be, Is God the immediate cause of sin?  Or, more clearly, Does God commit sin?  This a question concerning God's holiness.  Now, it should be evident that God no more commits sin than he is writing these words.  Although the betrayal of Christ was foreordained from eternity as a means of effecting the atonement, it was Judas, not God, who betrayed Christ.  The secondary causes in history are not eliminated by divine causality, but rather they are made certain.  And the acts of these secondary causes, whether they be righteous acts or sinful acts, are to be immediately referred to the agents; and it is these agents who are responsible.

"God is neither responsible nor sinful, even though he is the only ultimate cause of everything.  He is not sinful because in the first place whatever God does is just and right.  It is just and right simply in virtue of the fact that he does it.  Justice or righteousness is not  a standard external to God to which God is obligated to submit.  Righteousness is what God does.  Since God caused Judas to betray Christ, this causal act is righteous and not sinful.  By definition God cannot sin.  At this point it must be particularly pointed out that God's causing a man to sin is not sin.  There is no law, superior to God, which forbids him to decree sinful acts.  Sin presupposes a law, for sin is lawlessness.  Sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God.  But God is 'Ex-Lex.'

"True it is that if a man, a created being, should cause or try to cause another man to sin, this attempt would be sinful.  The reason is plain.  The relation of one man to another is entirely different from the relation of God to any man.  God is the creator;  man is a creature.  And the relation of a man to the law is equally different from the relation of God to the law.  What holds in the one situation does not hold in the other.  God has absolute and unlimited rights over all created things.  Of the same lump he can make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor.  The clay has no claims on the potter.  Among men, on the contrary, rights are limited."
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Reasonable Christian Blog Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 1662 Book of Common Prayer

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