Statesboro, GA, USA
Me: And yet that kind of bare ontological relation to him, certainly doesn't mean that he approves.
Ron: Doesn't it?
No it doesn't. Is approving and allowing for the existence of something the same thing as approving or condoning it?
Remove error, misunderstanding, heresy or sin as possibilities and we would not only have a very different universe, Stephen, we would have a very different God.
I've never even suggested removing these things "as possibilites". Such a metaphysical overhaul would not even be thinkable in human terms. All I'm suggesting is that protest / dissapproval (against our own sins firstly) IS within the scope of human responsiblity. And if God does this very thing, within his own written and historical revelation of himself, then so may we ... albeit much more carefully, to make sure we're truly agreeing or disagreeing with him, rather than taking the knowledge of good and evil into our own hands.
A bird in flight also shows that it takes certain characteristics to fly ... there is exclusivity in the most "free" things you could ever observe. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that God's truth isn't spread wide and far, in ways we can hardly comprehend. I'm just saying that complete relativism doesn't mesh with the kind of world he created, nor with the kind of God he has declared himself to be.
Is that a lessening of Christianity? Or an expansion of the Christian God?
That depends upon what you mean. Syncretism or Catholicity? (And I don't mean Roman Catholicism, but an openness to truth whereever it is found). Frank Peretti once said, there are two ways to get rid of God, to say "God is nothing" (the creed of atheism), or to say "God is everything" (the creed of hinduism).
To imagine an infinite being limited to a single voice defies all sense of reason.
I think that's okay as long as you don't forget the unity and oneness of the great Monotheism you profess. Does infinite mean infinitely diffuse and contradictory like the 6 million Hindu gods? God has given his words to many many different messengers ... and yet there is a coherence and relatedness about it all. But coherence is not a necessary ingredient to the Eastern mystic, or the Western Relativist.
The book of Revelation says he speaks with one voice, and yet describes his voice as a voice "of many waters". Diversity is not what I'm against. But somewhere diversity trails off into the lie. And we don't need to be taught that the lie doesn't exist, under the misunderstanding that God made the lie too.