procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, February 26, 2007


on sunday it was mark's turn. as previously intimated, he took us thru what the bible has to say about sin.

personally the hardest thing was working out the paradox between total and utter depravity. that is to say, all of us are infected with the curse, in many ways like one bit of yeast affects the whole loaf. (c/f Romans 7:18)
this therefore implies that anything we do is tainted by sin. that would explain why isaiah claims all his works to be but filthy rags (64:6). but, being dead to sin, clothed in Christ's righteousness, are we therefore unable to do nothing that could be described as good, that is free from that curse, as, after all, we are created in our good God's good image, who sends his rain on both the righteous and the wicked.

the answer, it seems, is no, there is naught you can do untainted by sin. AND yes, as you died with Christ, we now walk in newness of life.

the struggle to synergise this seeming antinomy would explain the negative press John Piper received (for saying John Piper doesn't just do bad things. John Piper is bad.), as well as the papist finger-wagging at Luther's encouragement to a friend (to sin boldly).

now if someone could just explain the seeming monergism of judgement i see in Romans 1-2 (particularly the pattern explicit in 2:6-11 mirroring that in 1:18-31) i could move on...

i'm looking forward to the next WaSaBI on the Cross (and what it has to do with eschatology).

stay tuned...

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Mark said...

I think the point is that in Christ, God accepts our "good work", despite it being tainted with sin. That is why we were created anew in Christ - to do good works (Eph 2:1-10). Those who do not have the Spirit, who are in the flesh, cannot please God (Rom 8:7-8). But we have the Spirit (Rom 8:9!

8:32 am  
Blogger Mark said...

Doug - what do you mean by:

"now if someone could just explain the seeming monergism of judgement i see in Romans 1-2 (particularly the pattern explicit in 2:6-11 mirroring that in 1:18-31) i could move on..."


8:36 am  
Blogger psychodougie said...

mark1 - yeah yeah, but nonetheless, all our good work is still skubulon-coloured, is it not?
it is acceptable not because it is "good" (in the sense that it is without sin). it is acceptable rather, as you put it, because of Christ's substitutionary atonement. we still do not do "good" work. i think.

mark2 - as i read it, it seems that the unrighteous are actually punished because of their evil deeds. sure, they are given over because of their own sinful desires, BUT it still remains that they are punished for what God has given them over to do, that is, their evil deeds. (this is the romans 1:18-31 bit)
as we keep reading, it seems that then the same pattern is followed: the sovereign God giving people over to do good works, and the good works are actually what is being judged.
therefore, to say that we are judged on works alone, heretical as it sounds, seems to be consistent with the pattern Paul is putting forward in Romans.

so the monergism of judgement would be our works. yes, that God has given us over to, but works nonetheless.


3:22 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

re: Mark#2

The basis for final judgement for all people is works. But for those in Christ, Christ's righteous works are reckoned or debited to their accounts (Rom 3:21-4:25). Therefore God can declare us righteous, despite us still being sinful.

The only other alternative I can see to make sense of a works-based judgement for all still doesn't sit comfortably with me: that Christians are judged on the works that flow out of their faith in Jesus. That seems to make sense of James 2 and passages which talk about the judgement of Christians by their works (eg. 2 Cor 5:10). But to put it this way, makes me uneasy.

For it is by grace through faith, not by works, that we are saved (Eph 2:8-9).

4:24 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:25 pm  
Blogger byron said...

Doesn't the difference between total and utter depravity imply that it is not just Christians (who have the Spirit), but all humans who can still do things that are good (not perfect, still tainted by sin, but a long way from worthless)? That is, the world and humanity remains fundamentally good (despite there being something wrong with everything)?

11:31 am  
Blogger psychodougie said...

yes. think esp. revelation 8:7 -
The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
not all is destroyed - infact only a third.
this may mean something else, but my preliminary thoughts are regarding the innate goodness of what we, spirit-filled or otherwise, are able to do.

10:55 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home