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Christianity and Narnia The Allegory of the Chronicles of Narnia (Religion and Narnia Discussions)

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  #11  
Old 04-04-2012, 07:25 PM
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The law is a tall bed we children can't climb up upon by ourselves. God graciously provided us with a step stool so we can make it up, yet IT'S STILL TALL AND IT'S STILL A BED.

Big horses are no less big because coach gave us a leg up. Heavy weights are no less heavy and no less a weight just because someone helps us lift them. And just because we took the elevator instead of the stairs makes the 18th floor not one whit closer to the ground.

So, why exactly did God do what he did? Of course I can't ask him, but it's ever so likely that--knowing as he did in advance what would happen--God went ahead and made us in his image and set his high standards knowing he would have to send Jesus to Calvary if anything good was to come of it. Which he did.

That's not breaking a covenant, that's Loving with a capital L.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:23 PM
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Ink, I think you're missing the point that it's the Covenant that makes us children. That's the mechanism that God used to adopt us: the New Covenant. The old covenants prefigured and prepared mankind for the New, but our adoption in Christ is by means of the "new and definitive Covenant".

And yes, it is a permanent bond - but that does not mean we'll all be with the Lord for eternity. As Jesus Himself warned us, our adoption is not a free ticket - we have to walk in that adoption and grow as His children. There's ample warning of this: the Israelites who presumed on their covenant relationship with God while walking in disobedience learned that the covenant has two sides, like I mentioned: the blessings and curses. As the author of Hebrews points out, the stakes are even higher for us.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:56 PM
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Inky, we all know how fond you are of grace. But were the law itself turned to some sort of anarchy, a free-for-all-sin-zone, grace would be much like a talisman to protect you against woolly mammoths and sabretooth tigers...a meaningless thing.

We have the staggering grace of Christ, but we need it because there is something it shields us from...the wages of sin. The D word. Death.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jonnylaw37 View Post
I think that is the case, at least speaking for myself.

I don't disagree at all. Although I think their is a covenant (through Christ, the NEW covenant), it is not one that we would ever be able to fulfill on our own (which is why the Father sent His Son in the first place, to fulfill that covenant for us).

However, I think it is important to note that we as humans must still make that covenant with God, through Christ. Just because Christ died for all, it does not mean that He has made a covenant with God for all. We must accept His gift and request that covenant on our behalf (which we refer to as salvation).

Without accepting Christ's gift, we cannot reap the benefits of the salvation covenant because we have not made that covenant.

Does that make sense?
Yes, it makes sense.
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Ink, I think you're missing the point that it's the Covenant that makes us children. That's the mechanism that God used to adopt us: the New Covenant. The old covenants prefigured and prepared mankind for the New, but our adoption in Christ is by means of the "new and definitive Covenant".

And yes, it is a permanent bond - but that does not mean we'll all be with the Lord for eternity. As Jesus Himself warned us, our adoption is not a free ticket - we have to walk in that adoption and grow as His children. There's ample warning of this: the Israelites who presumed on their covenant relationship with God while walking in disobedience learned that the covenant has two sides, like I mentioned: the blessings and curses. As the author of Hebrews points out, the stakes are even higher for us.
I acknowledge the stakes are higher -- I think I mentioned, for us it is a case of "be perfect as your Father is perfect." And even the Old Covenant was kept by God -- He preserved Israel as a people despite their dismal failure to hold up their end of the bargain. I think that the New Covenant is certainly no less powerful than the Old, which God kept even when His children totally broke the rules. But their whole idea was: we'll stay away from God and keep the rules, then we get some blessings (remember they didn't want God talking to them directly! They wanted Moses to go do the talking for them, and they'd just do what Moses said). Under the New Covenant, Christ, we are in face-to-face communication with God, relating to Him as a Father, not a scary God up the mountain we want someone else to approach for us. And it's only through Him we're counted as having kept the covenant, right?
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Inky, we all know how fond you are of grace. But were the law itself turned to some sort of anarchy, a free-for-all-sin-zone, grace would be much like a talisman to protect you against woolly mammoths and sabretooth tigers...a meaningless thing.

We have the staggering grace of Christ, but we need it because there is something it shields us from...the wages of sin. The D word. Death.
See, I am getting that people are afraid if they let grace have free reign, the church turns into a brothel -- everyone will take advantage! But that's the nature of grace: we all take advantage of it. That's what it's there for. That's what it is. It's not that we have to mix some law in with grace to toughen it up or people will go crazy and sin til they blow up -- it's that we have to overwhelm people with grace to the point where they want nothing else, and then they don't sin because they want Jesus so much more than they want anything else ...

At least this is what I have discovered on my journey.
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  #15  
Old 04-05-2012, 01:46 PM
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Yes dear, but what you're missing is the one obvious thing nobody ever mentions in the grace vs. good works arguements. Namely that ATTEMPTING to live a righteous life is part of the mechanism of ACCEPTING grace.

The acceptance of grace is not a magic incantation or a jab at the voting machine but is actually an ATTITUDE of acceptance. As such you can't "set it and forget it" the way you do your central heating and air.

As a believer in free-will salvation, I believe you can unaccept grace by holding grace itself in contempt. And a person holds grace itself in contempt when they think Christ died to make sin the new righteousness.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:23 PM
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You're overstating the case to say that Israel solely and only broke the covenant. Many did, but many kept it. Nobody kept it perfectly, which was what the covering blood of Yom Kippur was all about, and few kept it well, but some kept it well enough to be called "righteous" (see Luke 1:6 and Luke 2:25 for examples). It's certainly true that God took the lion's share of the burden, but that doesn't mean that all Israelites were solely and only depraved. Covenants are made to be kept; furthermore, covenants with God are kept with His help. He aids us in obeying.

Ink, you (like some Protestants I've spoke with) seem to have this mental rut that you fall into whenever one speaks of moral behavior. No matter how subtly and carefully one tries to explain it, you keep falling into the rut and responding accordingly. Therefore, I'll try the straighforward approach:

*ahem*

BEHAVING MORALLY DOES NOT CONSTITUTE EARNING SALVATION!!

The technical term for behaving morally is "walking in freedom". It is also known as "living out our adoption in Christ." Living moral lives is what our covenant relationship with God enables us to do. On the other hand, walking in immorality is walking in slavery to sin, and risking losing our way and wandering away from our home like the Younger Son did. This is pretty much the entire thrust of Romans 6. The idea that it doesn't matter what we do, because Jesus is just gonna luv us regardless is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer referred to as "cheap grace", and is a very dangerous path to walk.

Let me try to illustrate by analogy. Let's say I adopted an 8-year old menino da rua, a street child from the streets of São Paulo. He might have been on the street since age 3, living by his wits, and know nothing of how families work. He'd know nothing of trust, and constant care, and looking out for each other. He'd think he'd have to fend for himself.

I'd have to train him in how our family worked. At first it might be tough for him, because it would probably take the form of (seemingly) arbitrary rules: dinner promptly at 6:00, cleanup thereafter, homework from 7:00-8:30, then prayers, bath, and bed. Up at 7:00 to prepare for school, and so forth.

But obedience to these would not be what made him adopted. The adoption was what made him adopted; the rules were just so he'd learn how this family worked. In time they'd be removed because the lesson would have been learned. At first he might have to be told not to steal food and hoard it in his room, and disciplined when he disobeyed. In time he'd learn that he didn't have to steal and hoard because stealing is not only wrong but unnecessary - all the food in the house is his.

However, belonging to the household would ultimately be his choice. We might offer and try to convince and even restrain for a while, but ultimately if he chose to run away, there'd be nothing we could do to stop him. And the more he rebelled against the rules and refused to learn, the more likely he'd be to ultimately run away from the love and care. Running away wouldn't make him "un-adopted", but it would put him out of reach of our love so we couldn't protect him from the dangers of the street.

That's what behaving immorally is: running away from the household of God. We're made children of the household in Christ, but there's a way His children behave: in charity, grace, and courtesy. Behaving uncharitably won't "dis-adopt" us, because nothing can do that, but the danger lies within us. Sinning distorts our vision and warps our perspective. Ultimately it can cause us to see God as the enemy, and deceive us into thinking true freedom lies Out There. We can run away and end up feeding on pig slop - and not come to our senses in time.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:23 PM
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As a believer in free-will salvation, I believe you can unaccept grace by holding grace itself in contempt. And a person holds grace itself in contempt when they think Christ died to make sin the new righteousness.
I concur, and also with PotW's big red statement

I would like to point out this though:
Remember when the White Witch came to claim Edmund's life? The law required a death, and Aslan gave His instead of Edmund's. However, He did not give His life and then magically rise from the dead. He gave His life to fulfill the law, which required death. In so doing, He fulfilled another law which caused death to turn backwards. Although He did rise from the dead, He did so whilst working fully within the 'law' (the Deeper Magic).

I think this is the way God works, as well as His salvation. Although His gift is free, we must accept it. Edmund did not receive His salvation until he was returned to the fold, and thereby requested Aslan's help. BUT he still had the option to go back to the Witch, if he had wanted. Aslan did not force Edmund to come back and receive His salvation.


Same thing in real life: we can always go back to sin, but with Christ's help and forgiveness (and Grace ) we can receive salvation from death. We still have the ability to go back into sin, so we must guard our spirits. Although there is a New Covenant (or new law), we still have to operate within it, even if Christ is its creator.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:58 PM
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Not buying it, y'all. I don't think, as believers, we can go back to sin. There's no sin for us anymore. We're forgiven. Period. Could I mess up what God did for me? That would put a lot of power in my hands.

Anyway this is what I am getting from my journey with Jesus. I do see what y'all are saying. I just think that there's a point when a believer really trusts grace to do what it promises, trusts love to be as endless as God (who is love), and the rules don't matter anymore. But as I say, this is what I am getting from my journey with Jesus. Others may be getting something completely different.

Richard Rohr recently reminded me that in a progression of morality, we can only ever really understand about one level above where we are -- if someone from two levels up hollers down to us what he's experiencing, it's all garbled to us. So perhaps we're just speaking to each other from such different depths of God's love that we can't understand one another. Eventually we will.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:38 PM
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I don't hold to the Calvinist doctrine of Irresistable Grace, a doctrine from a tradition that would look down its nose at your statements too, Inky, so it's not like I'm setting us up for a wizard's duel.

Since I don't hold to Irresistable Grace, it is possible for someone to turn away. This is something you don't accept, and probably because you're not the kind of person who would want to do it. But remember Lucifer's eons of being in the presence of God and studying his truth, and be warned that "set it and forget it" is not part of God's kingdom. He did not even have the excuse that he inherited the fall of man. He INVENTED it, and voluntarily, and this from most likely more than ten times ten levels above either you or I.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:06 PM
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Inky, perhaps since you are so "drunk on Christ" (for lack of a better phrase ) that you cannot even fathom going back to a life of sin. I'm not saying you are in any spiritual danger or even that you are wrong (though I can't say I agree with that idea).

But like Mr. Badger explained- even Lucifer, who God made to worship Him and who lived in the very presence of God every day, was able to fall into sin and be forced from the presence of our Holy God.

If you wouldn't mind clarifying, do you believe that a "true" Christian cannot sin? Do you believe if a Christian does commit a sin (let's say murder) that they were never a true Christian to begin with?

And assuming that doctrine to be true, do you then believe that nothing you do is wrong? I'm not trying to be judgmental, please understand, I am just trying to fully understand your belief

God gave man free will which is how we got into sin in the first place. Why would God give man free will to sin, then take it away once we accept His grace? If He takes away our ability to sin, then we are no longer truly worshipping from our hearts because He has taken away our ability to choose to do so. I do not think one's ability to sin diminishes God's ability to forgive and extend grace.

Recall Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 15:31 - "I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."

Yes, even Paul admitted that he had to repent daily, killing his own sinful flesh to take up a life in God's grace
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