I’m going to evaluate this comment:
May 31, 2012 at 5:31 pm
Excellent… we are making progress. We are reaching the stage where one side (clearly not mine) is beginning to really sound desperate.
It’s desperate when Zawadi can’t defend his key assumption.
As I explained already, I didn’t appeal to Romans 2:14-15 as my key argument. It’s already a given and assumed that most people (unlike Steve as I have just come to know) recognize that there are universal moral principles. Many Christians talk about such universal notions.
I didn’t appeal to Romans 2:14-15 as proof that the Christian must accept this notion (since most people do already), rather I only cited it and the Qur’anic passage in order to show that Islam and Christianity have something in common in this regard.
This reflects Zawadi’s simplistic grasp of the issues. There are several basic distinctions he fails to draw:
i) Are there universal moral norms?
ii) Are universal moral norms intuitively accessible to everyone?
iii) Does Rom 2:14-15 attest (i)?
iv) Does Rom 2:14-15 attest (ii)?
v) Is the alleged injustice of penal substitution a universal moral norm?
vi) Is the alleged injustice of penal substitution intuitively accessible and universal?
For instance, (i) is an ontological or metaphysical claim. A claim regarding the existence of universal moral norms.
By contrast, (ii) is epistemic claim. Assuming universal norms exist, how do we know what they are? Is this intuitive? Is there universal knowledge of universal norms?
Likewise, the appeal to Rom 2:14-15 is an exegetical claim. In principle, you could affirm the existence and/or intuitive accessibility of universal moral norms while denying that Rom 2:14-15 bears witness to their existence and/or intuitive accessibility.
Or you could affirm the existence of universal moral norms, but deny that these are intuitively accessible.
Furthermore, Zawadi has yet to actually show that penal substitution is intuitively wrong. All we get from him is a repetitive, question-begging assertion to that effect.
For instance, even if we grant the existence of universal moral norms, and even if we grant the intuitive accessibility of universal moral norms, this doesn’t imply the further claim that penal substitution violates a universal moral norm. Zawadi’s contention is a non sequitur.
Zawadi needs to sort out what, exactly, his claim amounts to, then furnish supporting arguments. Thus far he’s failed on all counts.
Word of advice to Steve….. when you have “belatedly discovered” that you have misunderstood the intent of my statement, either admit it or just drop your argument.
I understand that Zawadi is flailing about for a face-saving exit from the corner he initially painted himself into.
Furthermore, just because the interpretation of that verse is disputed it makes no difference as I have already explained! It doesn’t matter if you limit it to gentiles.
Of course it matters. Zawadi made a universal claim, then cited Rom 2:14-15 to bolster the universality of his claim. If, however, the scope of the passage is confined to Christian gentiles, then it doesn’t attest universal knowledge of universal moral norms. In that event, the circumference of the prooftext is far smaller than the circumference of Zawadi’s sweeping claim. Poor Zawadi can’t even keep track of his own argument.
Steve said “The onus is not on me to establish the correct interpretation of Rom 2:14-15. Zawadi is the one who cited that passage to prooftext his argument. The onus lies on him to justify his interpretation.”
I already provided my argument by capitalizing and emphasizing specific words in the passage and relying on the apparent reading of the text.
Putting specific words in CAPS is not an argument. He hasn’t provided an exegetical argument for why we should accept his interpretation of the emphasized words.
For instance, 2:15 alludes to the Septuagintal rendering of Jer 38:33. So that has prima facie reference, not to universal moral intuition, but to the internalization of the new covenant–which only applies to Christians.
You would have to provide a proper explanation. Stop running away and hiding behind the “well there is a difference of opinion” defense.
Zawadi needs to do his homework. It’s not my job to do his research for him.
So……… basically you would admit that my argument could work on the millions of Christians who would take the interpretation I am referring to then, right?
It only works if it’s the correct interpretation–which Zawadi has yet to demonstrate. He doesn’t even know what the arguments are.
Yes, he believes in a doctrine, which is a violator of the humanly recognized principle that it’s unfair that innocents die in the place of the guilty. That’s the point.
Notice how Zawadi is assuming the very issue in dispute. He can’t reason for his position.
Yes you do, unless you’ve got issues. You recognize that innocent people today can’t serve jail time for criminals. You know it’s unjust. You know that generally speaking, you can’t punish the innocent in the place of the guilty.
Notice that Zawadi has made absolutely no headway in presenting a rational case for his key assumption. He hasn’t moved an inch in that direction. All he ever does is to repeat the same assertion. He declares his position to be true.
You only choose to make EXCEPTIONS to this because of your faith.
That’s ironic coming from a Muslim epologist, as if his own positions aren’t dictated by his religious precommitments.
Just as with the animal sacrifices, you keep providing false analogies.
Animal sacrifice is not a false analogy. Zawadi appealed to a universal moral intuition. I cited a counterexample. He needs to show that cultures which practice animal sacrifice don’t view that as a way of “appeasing” the gods. If they do, then his intuitive argument falls flat.
My counterexample doesn’t depend on my agreeing with the rationale for animal sacrifice in various cultures. I’m merely citing evidence that undercuts Zawadi’s facile invocation of universal moral intuition against penal substitution.
Ken has done a good job addressing your analogies.
It’s futile for Zawadi to fall back on Pulliam. Remember, Pulliam and I had a lengthy debate on that very issue. That’s in the public domain. So Zawadi is in no position to treat Pulliam’s arguments as the final word on the subject.
Steve said “Let’s consider some Islamic examples. Take inheritance. A son inherits the estate as a birthright. It’s not something he earned. Not something he did. Rather, that’s based on his relation to a second party. What his father did.”
Take tribal chieftains or caliphs. If you’re the son of the caliph, you are born into a high social position. That’s an ascribed status, not an achieved status. That’s not something you deserve. Rather, that’s based on your relationship to a second party. Because of who your father is, you automatically inherit a high social standing.”
“you get the credit or blame for what a second party did. Something is credited to your account apart from your personal actions. What someone else did is functionally attributed to you, as if you yourself did it.”
How on earth any of these examples are analogous to the atonement is beyond me.
Of course, I didn’t have high expectations for Zawadi’s level of comprehension.
The child’s inheritance is an issue to do with rights of children over their fathers and the father’s duty towards his children.
Achieving a particular status due to being the son of a Caliph is not necessarily Islamic. If one looks at how Umar the second caliph ensured that his son was given no privileges simply because he was his son then one would see the true Islamic model. An honest caliph following proper Islamic guidelines would only hire qualified people and be fair.
i) Zawadi is too ignorant to grasp the distinction between ascribed status and achieved status. Notice how he talks about “achieving a particular status due to being the son of a Caliph is not necessarily Islamic.” But ascribed status is the opposite of achieved status.
A caliph’s son enjoys a prestigious social position, not by virtue of his personal accomplishment (achieved status), but by virtue of his relationship to a second party. His ascriptive status is assigned to him by the social system he was born into.
ii) In addition to his ascribed status, the caliph’s son can also acquire a measure of achieved status. For instance, he might distinguish himself on the field of battle.
But that’s in contrast to his ascribed status. He was born into a prestigious position. That’s not something he earned.
iii) Conversely, the caliph’s son can be banished, disowned, or passed over for another son. But that’s his to lose, not his to gain.
It’s not simply a matter of getting credit or blame because of what a second party did, rather it’s the transfer of GUILT from the guilty unto the INNOCENT, WITH THE INNOCENT BEING PUNISHED “IN THE PLACE OF” (NOT ALONG WITH) THE GUILTY.
I realize that Zawadi wants to default to that framework, but as I already explained, that’s a special case of a larger principle. To reject the special case, Zawadi has to reject the larger principle. Yet even Islamic society accepts the larger principle. Therefore, Zawadi can’t invoke universal moral intuition to the contrary.
It’s hard to take this seriously.
It’s hard to take Zawadi seriously.
It is common knowledge that all societies and cultures today recognize these principles. Someone or some group violating them does not disprove that.
Notice that Zawadi is intellectually impotent to defend his fundamental assumption.
It’s simple. Where ever you go in the world today, you would see that people recognize that only the guilty are held accountable for their criminal actions. No judge in the world today would sentence an innocent man to jail in substitute of another for criminal offenses. If you talk to anyone or ask anyone whether it’s “fair” that a guilty person gets away with his crime because some innocent person happen to get his guilt transferred to him and suffered for it, they would say no.
For Steve to deny this would only demonstrate his desperation. This is common knowledge, which requires no proof. It’s like asking me to prove that universally people in the world today hate to feel pain and like to experience joy.
Let’s take an obvious counterexample. Throughout human history, many cultures practice human sacrifice to placate the gods. For instance, they have a bad crop. They assume the gods are punishing them for some communal offense.
So they select a sacrificial victim. They may go out of their way to select a worthy victim. Someone who’s pure. Chaste. To select a victim as bad as they are defeats the purpose. The innocence or virtue of the victim is a presupposition of the exercise.
They sacrifice the victim with the understanding that communal guilt will be transferred to the innocent victim. The victim is the empty vessel into which communal guilt is poured.
That’s commonplace in human history. Zawadi may say that’s wrong, but he can’t very well invoke popular consensus, for the very existence of this widespread practice illustrates the lack of moral unanimity. He can try to attack the practice on other grounds, but a populist appeal will backfire, for this is a transcultural phenomenon in time and place.
He can’t plausibly claim that this violates universal moral intuition, for the historical popularity of this practice furnishes prima facie evidence against the universality of the claim.
Incidentally, my counterexample isn’t contingent on my endorsing the pagan practice. Rather, I’m merely answering Zawadi on his own terms. Measuring his claim by his chosen yardstick.
Steve said: “If you honor the Son, you will honor those whom he has sent. If you dishonor those whom he sent, you thereby dishonor the one who sent them.”
Honoring the Son entails honoring the Father because honoring the Son means that you recognize he who sent him who is God. Honoring the son IS A REFLECTION of honoring the Father. It’s not that the honor given to the son was transferred to the Father.
Oh, but there is a transitive principle. You must honor the Son because he is his Father’s Son. Not only because of what he does, or who he is in himself, but because of who he is in relation to another.
Likewise, you honor the Father by honoring the Son. To honor the Son is to honor the Father in the person of the Son.
You must honor each one directly, but you may also honor each one indirectly by honoring one on account of another. That’s transitive.
As for dishonoring God, yes you would incur guilt because you committed a sin. Again, nothing to do with transfer here.
Zawadi is artificially isolating what I said from the context.
Sorry, none of your analogies work in showing that the guilty could get off the hook for their crimes, while the innocent suffer instead receive that guilt and suffer on account of it.
Perhaps Zawadi simply lacks the intellectual aptitude to absorb the distinction between a generic principle and a special case thereof. Ironically, Zawadi is the one carving out ad hoc exceptions. He’s acting as if transferred guilt is inherently wrong, but disregarding the fact that that’s a special case of a larger principle.
Again, the desperation continues.
Steve, do you have kids? Let’s assume you do.
If you found out that one of your kids did something really really bad. Are you going to punish the other kid and let that kid who did the wrong get off the hook?
Another example, let’s say somebody physically assaulted someone. He goes to court. The final ruling, which takes place is… the one who was physically assaulted decides to endure the punishment himself in the place of the person who committed the actual assault. Now… do you Steve think that is fair????
I could keep giving you examples till tomorrow, the point that I am trying to make is that CHRISTIANS THEMSELVES recognize the principle that THE GUILTY MUST PAY FOR THEIR OWN CRIMES. They only choose to MAKE AN EXCEPTION when it comes to Jesus.
i) As I already explained to him, that claim is demonstrably false. To repeat one example, later generations are sometimes cursed for the misdeeds of an earlier generation, or the patriarch who founded the clan. That’s Biblical. Bible-believing Christians accept that.
ii) In addition, Zawadi fails to distinguish between sin and crime. The major purpose of a penal code is to maintain social stability. Keep the criminal element from gaining the upper hand. So a penal code has a pragmatic dimension.
iii) But even in OT law, kinsmen-redeemers could make restitution for a second party.
Steve’s BIG MISTAKE is that he thinks that because of this EXCEPTION, that means that he considers himself and other Christians as not viewing the transfer of guilt to the innocent to be something wrong. No, no…….. the reality is that they do recognize that it is wrong, but they tell themselves that God is an exception. So the REALITY of the matter is that they are going against this established moral principle (that the innocent shouldn’t be punished as a substitute for the guilty). So Steve can’t simply reply back saying “In some cases it’s wrong, while in some cases it’s right. It’s not inherently wrong or right.”
i) The innocence of Christ is a presupposition of the atonement. If Christ were a sinner, he couldn’t atone for the sins of another, or others. If he were actually guilty, he couldn’t assume the guilt of others. If you rub a dirty dish with a dirty washcloth, you’re not making the dish cleaner, but dirtier.
ii) God would not be the exception. Rather, that would be a different principle, supervening on another principle–even if we assume Zawadi’s contention for the sake of argument.
Steve arrogantly refuses to concede that he misinterpreted my position.
Zawadi arrogantly assumes that he speaks for Islam rather than Al-Ghazali or Ibn Khaldun.
Sorry, but you’re the one using the word forgiveness in a way contrary to the norm.
I pointed out that Zawadi is committing the word-concept fallacy. Every time I do that he responds by repeating the same fallacy. At least he’s consistently mistaken. I’ll give him that.
Oh I could just feel the love coming out of you! I was referring to you as my brother in humanity (which you are whether you like it or not) and I said it to be friendly.
No, he didn’t say it to be friendly. He said it to be patronizing. Zawadi may be many things, but friendly isn’t one of them.
The “not the same person” bit won’t help Steve. The fact is that sins are either forgiven or they are not.
The sins of Christians are forgiven.
If sins are forgiven then that’s their account.
That’s Zawadi’s arbitrary dictate. Once again, he’s not arguing for his contention. He simply declares his position to be true.
If sins are not forgiven, then they would be accounted for by punishment. They can’t be both.
Of course they can be both. Christ was punished for my sins in my stead. Hence, I won’t be punished for my sins. I’m a forgiven sinner, all thanks to Jesus.
If Steve’s sins were merely transferred to Jesus and accounted for by Jesus being punished, it makes no sense to say that Steve has been forgiven his sins.
It makes perfect sense. God won’t punish me for my sins. Rather, he has remitted my sins for Jesus’s sake.
Rather, we say that Steve was shown mercy not having to retain his sins and was given the ability to pass them along to someone else.
More than shown mercy. Rather, I’ve been justified in Christ, on account of his righteousness.
However, his sins weren’t “forgiven”. They didn’t disappear into thin air. They weren’t pardoned or brushed aside. Someone else had to take the heat for them. An innocent person unfortunately.
“Forgiveness” means your sins “disappear into thin air”? That’s just Zawadi’s made-up definition.
You’ve change the definition of forgiveness. Find us one single dictionary, which exists that wouldn’t contradict how you reconciled forgiveness of sins with the atonement.
Find us one example of how your utilization of the word forgiveness here is something we could relate to in our common day usage of it?
i) To begin with, I don’t know of any dictionary that defines “forgiveness as “your sins disappear into thin air.” Perhaps Zawadi consulted The Mickey Mouse Dictionary of Muslim Usage.
ii) Second, I don’t know of any dictionary which lists penal substitution as an antonym for forgiveness.
In my post I said “John Calvin and other reformed scholars such as Charles Hodge, John MacArthur, RC Sproul, John Piper and others insist that mere corporeal death wouldn’t have been sufficient, but that Jesus during his hours on the cross must have truly been separate from God the Father and that his soul endured such trauma.”
So unless you are denying that they took this position, I seen no reason to cite. Are you denying that they said that Jesus was separated from the Father?
i) Zawadi hasn’t quoted them using the language of “separation.” And I have to reason to think Zawadi has actually read them. By his own admission, he’s getting his information second-hand from Pulliam.
ii) And even if they did say that, it’s just a metaphor.
I still don’t understand. Please provide me a clear answer. Here it is again… “What I don’t understand is that the wage of sin is spiritual death. Spiritual death is separation from the presence of God, correct? So, shouldn’t then Jesus must have been separated from God the Father if he bore our sins?”
Repeating a confused question does nothing to advance the discussion. If Zawadi wants an answer, he needs to convert his metaphors into literal propositions. Metaphors aren’t true or false.
Steve, enough with the arrogance. Admit when you are wrong. Here is what I originally said “I’m curious to know where the New Testament teaches that Jesus was propitiated, for I only see the Father being mentioned as having his wrath appeased in Romans 3:25. Where does it mention the same for the Son and Spirit?”
Tell me Steve… where did I demand that the specific word propitiated be presented in my words above? Please…….. this time don’t be arrogant and dishonest. If your ego is too high to not allow you to admit that you accused me of something incorrect, then the least you could do is ignore this bit, but please stop ruining your credibility by continuing to insist upon your failed attempts.
i) As usual, Zawadi can’t keep track of his own argument. He used the word “propitiation” in in question. He also cited a text of Scripture where “propitiation” is the English synonym for the Greek counterpart (hiliasmos). And he demanded other NT examples which say the same thing about the Father and the Spirit.
ii) Also, for Zawadi to appoint himself the arbiter of credibility is, itself, lacking in credibility.
No excuses this time Steve….. I am asking you to show me where the New Testament that teaches that Jesus was propitiated (NO, I AM NOT LOOKING FOR THE EXACT WORD, JUST THE CONCEPT, HAPPY NOW? CLEAR ENOUGH FOR YOU?????).
A classic example of the question-framing fallacy.
Look at Steve’s desperation. Steve said “If the Trinity is based on Scripture, then an inference from Trinitarian theology is implicitly Scriptural”.
Notice how Steve is arguing that just because he could infer the Trinity from scripture, then that would also logically necessitate that whatever doctrines are necessary for the Trinity should also be present in this scripture.
Yes, that’s the nature of a logical implication. Pity that Zawadi lacks the intellectual aptitude to appreciate something that elementary.
This is nothing more than a typical fundamentalist trying to escape reality. So basically if someone were to attempt to show that the Trinity is problematic in light of scripture then Steve would simply dismiss the argument by saying “Well… whatever we human beings infer from the Trinity must definitely be taught in scripture!”.
i) To the contrary, if the Trinity is logically inferable from Scripture, then it’s not problematic in light of Scripture.
ii) Moreover, my argument wasn’t that the Trinity is logically inferable from Scripture (not that there’d be anything wrong with that). Rather, this was the structure of my argument: If the Trinity is Scriptural, then whatever is inferable from the Trinity is Scriptural. A logical implication has that transitive property.
I’m sorry, but Steve has not put forth any argument demonstrating how just because the Bible teaches the Trinity (ONLY for the sake of argument of course, I’m just playing along here), then this would necessitate that THE BIBLE also TEACHES that all three persons in the God head required propitiation. Scripture, only talks about the Father. How about the other two???
Steve may wish and dream and hope and desire that he could insert his assumptions and personal inferences of the Trinity into scripture, but the reality is that he can’t. Sorry Steve.
Since Zawadi is logically challenged, it would be futile to reason with him.
Steve said “Observe how Zawadi is equivocating in this very paragraph: “God didn’t punish his divine nature…God punished himself.””
Who said that “Himself” has to be his divine nature?
Once again, Zawadi can’t follow his own argument. He didn’t merely use the pronoun, but the pronoun in conjunction with the noun: “God himself.” Is Zawadi going to drive a wedge between “God himself” and God’s nature (i.e. “his divine nature”)?
The argument is that the belief that God had to attain human flesh and punish that flesh in order to have his wrath satisfied is………… well you fill the blanks. Is it absurd or foolish?
Actually, it’s heretical. The Apollinarian heresy.
Contrary to Zawadi’s ignorant misstatement, the Incarnation involves the Son assuming a rational soul as well as a human body.
Don’t get offended.
Zawadi’s ignorance is entertaining rather than offensive.
Paul himself said that such a doctrine would sound foolish to Gentiles. That’s strange though. Why would God have us human beings believe in something, which sounds so foolish and is so against our natural beliefs and intuitions?
It’s not against our natural beliefs and intuitions. Rather, it’s against our fallen beliefs and intuitions.