Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Abimelek the Puppet and Arminianism's Unloving God

Gen. 20:3 But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”

4 Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”

6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her."

Poor Abimelek probably thought he freely refrained from touching her, thought that he could have touched her but didn't. Abimelek might have even thought his future regarding Sarah was a garden of forking paths. His common sense belief didn't match reality, though; in fact, he ceased to be a moral agent at this moment. At this moment God ontologically changed Abimelek's flesh into felt, securing strings on him, and controlling him via "meticulous, anal retentive providence." At this moment, Abimelek became a puppet.

What's more unfortunate for some theologies is that it appears God can keep people from sinning without creating a "massively different world" from what we see now. Either he violated Abimelek's libertarian free will doing what he did, or he did not. If he did, he was able to do so conspicuously (contrary to the claim of some Arminian apologists). If he did not, then why doesn't the Arminian God do this more often? He can keep Abimelek from sinning against God and from touching Sarah while not keeping David Westerfield from sinning against God and from touching Danielle van Dam? Did God love Sarah more than Danielle? Did he like Abimelek more than Westerfield? What love is this!?


  1. In upholding the jury's recommendation of death, Judge Mudd recounted factors including the age of the victim, the fact she was taken from her home in the middle of night while sleeping and the breadth of the evidence.

    Judge Mudd also noted that Danielle's body was unclothed and that some teeth were missing, probably because of a trauma to her face. ''The weight of this factor is of enormous magnitude,'' he said.

    I'm guessing professor Olson would disagree with the judge and jury concerning capital punishment in this case.

  2. Papalinton -- I wondered where you disappeared to.

  3. Citation is from Genesis 20 rather than 21.

  4. Yep, sorry. Thanks for being the first comment that has something to do with the post :-)

  5. Preventing an action is not the same as controling one's thoughts, feelings, will, desire, or emotion.

    And God protected him because he was a righteous man, who would not have wanted to lay with her, if he would have known that she was married to Abraham. (Romans 8:28).