The serpent’s temptation of Adam and Eve gives every indication of being one in which man could obey or disobey God, and God desired obedience (Genesis 2:17). It also seems clear that the serpent’s effective temptation was a direct challenge to God’s call for man to live by faith based upon God’s worthiness and the essential dissimilarity between God and man. God knows everything infinitely, even sin, although He has never sinned, while man only knew about sin by trusting what God said prior to choosing to sin (Genesis 3:5). This dimension could include things like death (Genesis 2:17), temporary pleasures (Hebrews 11:25), and the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13), as well as all of the immitigable suffering from sin and death; things God knows exhaustively without needing to experience sin.[i] Continue reading
Twenty years ago, evaluating a Southern Baptist Church’s support for missions at the associational, state, national and international level was fairly simple—report the percentage of undesignated receipts forwarded by the church through the Cooperative Program and through their local association and you would have a pretty good idea if they were cooperating. Continue reading
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The very thing that makes love so romantic, mercy so tender, compassion so endearing, marriage so enchanting, and commitment so noble is the reality that the person could have chosen to do otherwise. The groom could have loved another, but chose this woman; mercy could have been withheld, compassion denied, marriage rejected, and commitment forsaken. Defining free choice in a manner that excludes otherwise choice in the actual moment of decision is almost indistinguishable from animal instinct. The only differences are concepts like the experience of deliberation, which in reality does not affect the choice set by determinative antecedents any more than if one compares it to determined instinct. Continue reading