Originally Posted by jmp
Your understanding of God's power isn't orthodox. You are effectively claiming that God's omnipotence consists in His ability to do all and only exactly what He has done. God was not powerful enough to create Adam with an extra hair, nor powerful enough to create an extra angel;
I reject your erroneous charge that my understanding of God's power is unorthodox.

1) I never said that God is incapable of doing things which He hasn't already done. This is a very general statement of God's providence and Omnipotence. God can do ALL that He purposes. You asked a specific question concerning the creation of man. That God could send 1002 angels rather than 1000 is another matter.

2) Since what God has created was that which pleased Him, was that which He purposed in Himself, which was evidently that which best glorified Him, anything other than what He has created would then of necessity be inferior.

3) It is impossible that God could create anything that was not in perfect harmony with His being and nature and which He willed to do according to His eternal council and good pleasure.

4) Since God created man after His own image and Christ took upon Himself the form of man, Who is the express image of the Living God, the effulgence of His glory, within Whom the whole Godhead dwells, it must be true that a human with antlers was decidedly not something which God considered to be the perfect representative of His glory, and thus He could not have created such a creature as it would have been incapable of glorifying Himself perfectly.

The argument is not dissimilar to that of Total Depravity where a depraved sinner cannot because he wills not. And He wills not because he cannot. God cannot create that which is less than perfect for God all that is pleasing to God is that which glorifies Himself and thus He only does that which is His good pleasure. The most well-known expression of this truth is that God cannot sin because it is contrary to His nature. This same truth applies to your philosophic musing. I'm not about to try and second-guess what God could have done. For to do so is to make oneself equal with God. We are to think God's [revealed] thoughts after Him and not to try and think God's secret thoughts with Him. (Gen 3:5)

2 Corinthians 10:5 (ASV) "casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;"

Bottom line, I am in full agreement with Turretin's statement. I am however, in disagreement with your statement(s) that God considered other universes, worlds and scenarios within them before deciding upon the one we have and that could have created man with antlers.

Lastly, and contrariwise your use of "character" to describe why fallen man is without the ability to do good is not exactly "orthodox". Character is the outward expression of a man which even a fallen man can change. A business man can be said to be unethical in his business practices and he is known as having an unethical character, i.e., he is known to be unethical. However, this man is certainly capable of changing the way he does business and in so doing change his character.

The historic/traditional description of fallen man is that he has a depraved nature and not a bad character. The former speaks about the root of man and not the fruit of man as being the causal agent. Thus, what is needed is not a change in the quality of the fruit but the tree itself needs to be changed; bad trees ONLY produce bad fruit vs. a good tree produces good fruit. Thus, a man with a depraved/corrupt nature is unable to remedy his situation for the corruption prevents one from doing so or from even desiring to do so. That men hate the consequences of their sins, they do not hate themselves for being sinners, even on the human level. What is needed is not a cosmic psychologist who can mold the man's character but rather a sovereign God Who can perform radical spiritual surgery whereby the corrupt nature is removed and a new spiritual nature is implanted (created) which then produces a change in character.

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simul iustus et peccator

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