Saturday, December 18, 2010

None Good But One

You may have noticed Ryan Anderson challenging the Bible on its teaching that none are good and all have gone astray and deserving hell. You can read his feeble attempt in the comments of my post: FacePalm of the Day #35 - Debunking Christianity: The Free Will Fumble: Why Christians Treat it Just Like They do With Unanswered Prayer. One of his arguments is that we can see unborn-again people acting morally and doing morally good things. Ryan misses a big point. The Bible is not saying that unregenerate people do no good things. The Bible says no one is good. That is a difference. Just because a person does a good thing here-and-there does not make that person good. He accused me of changing the definition of "good" after several back-and-forth comments where he asserted that "good" is what he says it is because he says morality is relative. Interesting that he says he can define "good" as he sees fit but then denies me the same "right". However, I'm not making up my own definition I'm using the definition in the Bible. I will take two examples: from the Bible.

The first three examples are taken from a single story. A rich young man came to Jesus and addressed him as "Good Teacher:" Jesus answered the man by calling attention to what he called Jesus. Notice that Jesus does not say "Don't call me 'good'". Instead he says, "None is good but God". By calling Jesus good in the sense that God is good, and Jesus not denying that, Jesus showed who He is! Next point: would anyone really try to argue that Jesus is defining "good" the way Ryan and most people do? Or is Jesus pointing to being holy and pure and never making mistakes or doing the wrong thing? The latter is the way I have been using the word "good". Jesus was not the only one who used the word this way.

Paul is my second example.

WE can see how Paul uses "good" and interesting enough he quotes Isaiah. Again is anyone really willing to say that Isaiah, Jesus, Paul, and all the rest of the Bible is suggesting that sinners do good things? I hope not. The context is "good" according to God's ultimate objective standard. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 7:11 which says:

So can evil people do good things? According to the Bible: Yup. The same word ajgaqovß tranlated "good" is found in all the passages I referenced. Transliterated to English the word is "Agathos". So Ryan's objection has no traction.  The bottom line is that no human being is capable of standing before the Holy God in his/her own righteousness because apart from Jesus Christ we have no righteousness worthy for comparison. Without Jesus,.we deserve hell. Jesus is our propitiation and our only hope. There is only one way to God and Jesus is it.

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  1. So can evil people do good things? According to the Bible: Yup.

    Not really interested in what the bible claims people like Paul or Jesus or Isaiah said, I'm talking about what you said.

    And I quote...

    There is no good in us.

    Stands to reason if there is no good in us, we cannot do good, even just "here-and-there".

    Or were you just over reaching with that statement as you often do? Or were you using the "relativistic wishy-washy" version of "good" in typical apologetic fashion to conflate it with the theological meaning of "good"?

  2. I said nothing less than what the Bible says. Like it or lump it. That is what it says. I haven't made up any new or different definition. You are the one who argues that the meaning of "good" is relative and I'm saying no such thing. The relativistic wishy-washy definition of moral truths are your department.