Archive for August, 2020


August 28, 20

The standard Christian doctrine of hell is that it is an Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT) for the damned, based on various passages such as Revelation 14:11 [And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night.].

One alternative belief is annihilationism – those souls will eventually cease existing. Passages used to argue this include Matthew 10:28 [Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in gehenna.].

At first glance, the two views seem to me mutually exclusive. One view says the damned exist forevermore, the other says they don’t. But what if BOTH of the above views can be simultaneously be true? Eternal torment of the damned, but also an eventual end to their suffering?

There is a way to make them mutually compatible: TOTALLY NOOB-LEVEL SCI-FI SPECULATION!

It is commonly postulated that time & space began when the Big Bang happened, which is when the material universe as we know it was formed. This would correlate to Genesis 1:1 [In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.].

But is there also an event where our current spacetime continuum no longer exists? Note the similar ‘heaven & earth’ terminology in Revelation 21:1 [Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away]. Remember the Big Crunch, anyone?

When this happens, ‘forever’ as a unit/subset of time also passes away. Note the wording of Revelation 14:11, it doesn’t say that the punishment NEVER ENDS or HAS NO END.

Perhaps the souls of the damned dead are annihilated together with their abode/medium of existence, in Revelation 20:14-15 [Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.] Assuming that those are part of our current spacetime continuum.

With all their dead loved ones and friends who did not accept Christ no longer suffering, believers who are transported to the new heaven & earth will not need to anguish over them any longer, as per Revelation 21:4 [He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.]

So here is my syllogism:

1) The damned will suffer conscious torment ‘forever’ (ECT is true);
2) The current spacetime that we exist in has an eventual end – it ceases to exist entirely;
3) Therefore, ‘forever’ as a subset of time also will cease to exist;
4) At which point there is no longer any ‘forever’ for the damned to suffer in (annihilationism CAN BE true without contradicting ECT being true).

This proposition needs a lot more refining especially on the Bible passages and physics angles, but that’s the gist of my idea.

I currently don’t affirm Annihilationism, in large part due to the ECT passages which seem to indicate the damned existing ‘forever’. But if my postulation works, then this is one way I could accept Annihilationism as true.


August 27, 20

n the past I was somewhat on the fence regarding whether the Sons of God (Bene Elohim) in Genesis 6 referred to angelic beings or just godly men (i.e. the line of Seth)… Or even as some interpret it, to human kings.

Dr Heiser has his own good reasonings that I like, but what really sealed the case for me is something I realized by myself: Call it the ‘Why Not Just Say So?’ argument:

If Genesis 6 is about the men of Seth’s line intermarrying with the women of Cain’s line, then why not just say so? If Genesis 6 is about polygamous human kings, then why not just say so?

By contrast, if Genesis 6 is about heavenly beings coming down to mate with human women, then Bene Elohim is EXACTLY the term to use for those beings!

Every instance of the particular phrase Bene Elohim (and related terms) in the Old Testament refers in context to nonhuman beings, either moderately or strongly: Gen 6:1–4, Job 1:6 & 2:1 (they are before God and Satan shows up), Job 38:7 (they watch God form the earth), Deut 32:8 (ESV), Psalm 29:1(Bene Elim), Psalm 82 (v6 “You are elohim, Bene Elyown”), Psalm 89:5-7 (Bene Elim in the skies).

For me, the above is the final nail in the coffin of non-angelic interpretations of Genesis 6 – together with the many other nails from other arguments.

NB: If you want to argue that the terms ‘Sons of God’ refers only to humans in the New Testament, the reason for that is here: SONS OF GOD IN THE OT VS NT

Donald Trump & Genetic Fallacy

August 27, 20

Never Trumpers and those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome have been the greatest object lessons in what it’s like to constantly commit Genetic Fallacy.

The Divided Nations – OT vs NT

August 27, 20

Compare these maps – first is the divided nations post-Babel, second is the territories from which Jews came from at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. What is missing in the Acts map?

The third map is the spoiler!

NB: Taken from 36:38 onwards of this video:


August 27, 20

“Woman is God’s last and best creation.” – Me


August 27, 20

Braxton & Tim mentioned the Libet Experiment during their discussion of determinism:

The Wikipedia entry under Benjamin Libet describes the result of his experiment as ‘apparently conscious decisions to act were preceded by an unconscious buildup of electrical activity within the brain’ and ‘As of 2008, the upcoming outcome of a decision could be found in study of the brain activity in the prefrontal and parietal cortex up to 7 seconds before the subject was aware of their decision.’

The argument is thus made that this shows free will is illusory – we aren’t even aware of our ‘decision’ until after the ‘choice’ is already made.

However, if naturalism is not true and we do have souls, then this phenomena is easily explained.

The brain is an organic interface between the immaterial soul and the material body. When the soul makes a free, volitional decision it stimulates the brain in various areas – say, the conscious awareness section and prefrontal & parietal cortex.

Hence, just because the conscious awareness section seems to activate AFTER there is a buildup of electrical activity, does not neccesarily entail that the former is caused by the latter. Correlation does not imply causation. Neither should it be presumed that both are triggered by a purely physical, naturalistic driver originating elsewhere in the brain.

Rather, the non-naturalist can propose that both are the material brain’s reactions to being triggered by the volition of an immaterial soul.


August 27, 20

In the Old Testament, the terms ‘Sons of God’ or ‘Sons of the Most High’ always (or almost always) refers to heavenly beings (Gen 6:1–4; Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7; Deut 32:8 (ESV); Psalm 29:1, 82:1-8, 89:5-7).

Whereas in the New Testament, it always refers to human believers in Christ. Why is this so?

In the OT, the heavenly Sons of God were given charge over the divided nations of man post-Babel (Deut 32:8).

They obviously ruled unjustly, for they are castigated by The Most High (Psalm 82) who ends by saying that God Himself will arise to judge the earth.

Segue into the NT, where Jesus as God in the flesh has arisen. He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18), and we as His believers are given to right by adoption to be called Sons & Daughters of God.

This is why we will be given authority over the nations (Rev 2:26-27) and even angels (1 Cor 6:2-3) – we are the ‘new’ Sons of God, taking the place of the unrighteous OT Sons of God.

But we must take this privilege with seriousness – if the heavenly Sons of God could be judged and punished for not doing as the Father does (many passages), how much more so us earthly children if we do not do according to the Father’s will (Matt 7:21-23)?

NB: Taken from this video 46:26 onwards:


August 27, 20

The first image is a passage from Plato’s Critias detailing the belief of the Greeks about each nation having gods assigned to them – take note of the repetition of ‘allotment’.

Images two & three are from the Old Testament – again, note the usage of ‘allotted’.

In the fourth image, Paul at Mars Hill cites the Greeks’ own worldview to them (as is his common tactic) – and once, more, note the term ‘allotted’. It’s not just the Greek worldview – as the OT passages show, it’s also the Jewish worldview. The various nations each have their own pantheon of ‘gods’ by allotment, and this is determined by the Most High – the one true God that Israel knows as YHWH.

However Paul doesn’t just leave it at that – again as is his favoured tactic, he updates the Greeks on the state of things by proclaiming that the same Most High who set up the system has also decreed its replacement. Now all nations must turn from their petty gods to the one that the Most High has appointed to inherit all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).

And as the fifth image shows, that appointed one is God the Most High, Himself… Jesus Immanuel, God With Us. The allotted gods stand judged, and God arises to inherit the earth.

NB: Taken from various sections of this video but mainly 20:40 onwards:


August 26, 20

One of the foremost Bible scholars and theologians shares his view on this matter:

Full transcript:

Bishop Wright, you have suggested that God Elected Israel, this is a corporate historical Election. But does Scripture ever refer to individual soteriological Election, and if so where?

Election, the trouble is here as with several of these other debates, that the words which are used – sometimes rather infrequently in Scripture itselfhave become technical terms within Christian dogmatic theology.

This is the point that I have quoted and I’ve seen quoted back at me from Alister McGrath’s book on Justification, where he admits that – at least from Augustine onwards – the church has used the word and the language of Justification to denote something subtly different from the rather specific job that that word has in in Paul himself.

And so with Election, in Romans 9 Paul talks about God’s purpose in
Election in relation to individuals. And that’s a tricky one, because what he’s doing there = and it’s significant we haven’t actually talked very much about Romans 9 yet, but it’s a very, very important passage – is that, there he is arguing that when you tell the story of the history of salvation or whatever you want to call it…

Starting with Abraham, it isn’t simply that all members of Abraham’s family are part of that covenant family through whom God’s purpose is to be accomplished. But that God selects from within that, and that’s when he says that God’s purpose in Election might stand – not according to works but according to the call. So you get Isaac not Ishmael, Jacob not Esau.

And so far the book of Jubilees would agree, but then beyond that of course it gets narrowed down further and further and further by Paul, following the prophetic tradition. Until two thirds of the way through chapter 9, you have “If the Lord of hosts had not left us sperma, a seed, we would have been made like Sodom or Gomorrah”. Which is a quote from Isaiah 1, of course.

So what you’ve what you’ve got there is something to do with the choice of individuals to carry that purpose forward. And Paul does not address the question that we who have read Luther and Calvin and indeed many others before and since – Aquinas for instance – always want him to address. Which is the ultimate Predestinarian question: Does God actually, before all time, determine that certain persons will be Elected, Chosen, Predestined for salvation?

He seems determined to stick with his question which he’s much more interested in. Which is how God’s redemptive historical plan is being carried forward through the people of Israel. And then within that, in relation to specific individuals as it’s getting narrowed down – so it, even there that’s as close as I think we can get – but even there that isn’t about what we would mean if we said the phrase the Election of individuals. Because that’s within that larger context.


With much further elaboration here:


See also related on Romans 9 and purpose:









See also more examples of using key words in ways that the Bible doesn’t:





Video going through every word translated as Election or Chosen etc, showing that it’s always about purpose rather salvation:

Follow up to the above video:


August 26, 20

Logical syllogism as follows:

1) Self-professed Christians hold to a variety of mutually exclusive soteriological views (i.e. only one can be correct, the other views are false).

2) Exhaustive Divine Determinism (EDD) is true, God causally makes people hold to their beliefs.

Therefore, logically deduced from the above two Premises:

3) God causally makes some self-professed Christians hold to false beliefs.

At this point, stop to consider rejecting any of the above premises. Premise 1 is undisputable. Many (most?) people will reject Premise 2, some of them using the logical deduction of Premise 3 as a reason to reject Premise 2.

Those who affirm EDD will not reject Premise 2 since it is their systematic. But if so, then the logical deduction of Premise 3 means that God is causing some Christians to hold false beliefs, which seems strange. Why would God cause His Elect, regenerate people who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit to affirm falsehood?

The solution to this conundrum is to introduce Premise 4:

4) Many self-professed Christians are in fact not really saved.

Premise 4 allows Premise 1+2 = Logical deduction 3 to stand, but without God decreeing for His saved people to affirm falsehoods about salvation. Those who affirm the ‘wrong’ soteriological system are simply unsaved.

If the correct systematic is Calvinism, then those who are unsaved are Reprobates. Like all Reprobates, they believe various falsehoods and delusions sent by God (including but not limited to Evanescent Grace which makes them mistakenly believe they are Elect who really do put their faith in Jesus).

This could be one reason why some hyper-Calvinists consider as unsaved all those who do not affirm the full 5 Points (or even 7 Points, see Marc Carpenter vs James White).

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