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December 12, 2010

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If the divine cause is infinite, then how could there be a controversy? If the great controversy is based on the war in heaven and the struggles of man against spiritual powers then the center of mass for the controversy is the creature. If the revelation of Christ exposes that we are nothing (For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Gal 6:3); then the idea that the creature can contend with God is an illusion, a deception. If the presumption of power by the creature results in ruin then the revelation is that there is no game, there is no controversy. How can the creature contend with the creator? Perhaps the war in heaven and the conflict of humanity is playing out to reveal this message. The creature who trusts in his own capability deceives himself to his own ruin and annihilation, while the creature who surrenders his life even to destruction to God finds life from the source of life itself (Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. Luke 17:33).

Well, the divine cause is infinite because God is infinite, although His actions within the world are not infinite. I think you are well making the point that the Great Controversy cannot be over the question of mere power. The primary cause of all cannot be met or overturned with the lesser power of His creation. Rather, it is over questions of the character of the One exercising that power, whether He truly has the best interests of others at heart, or whether Satan's accusations of arbitrariness and self-interest are correct. Christ's actions on the cross showed that God is worthy and merits the surrendering of our life to him.

A few observations:

1) We must not limit God by our ability to comprehend or define him.

2) An infinite God could have the power to choose to be affected by the actions of his creatures or choose to be indifferent to his creatures, not excluding other possibilities.

3) It seems plausible to me that God's Love (if indeed such exists) could affect how he chooses to exercise his Power.

4) Within the realm of human experience, an inevitable consequence of choosing to love someone else is choosing to be affected by their actions (including their responses to my attempts to show my love), which may in turn affect my actions.

5) It seems conceivable that God's Love might allow his creatures to affect to some extent how he exercises his Power. (Admittedly this is projecting human experiences into my concept of God.)

6) I concur with Nick that the Great Controversy motif would ultimately challenge God's Love, even more than his Power.

7) One might conjecture that a God who chooses to allow his creatures to affect his actions, without thwarting his ultimate purposes, would be even more infinite in purpose and capability than a God who cannot or does not so choose. (Before objecting to this usage of infinite, be informed that mathematicians have defined multiple infinities, some of which are supersets of others.)

Nicholas Miller wrote:

"This is shown by the fact that most grand conspiracy theories are immune from disproof."

Is the Great Controversy theory immune from disproof?

The Great Controversy is founded upon the premise of universal law and the preeminence of the creatures independent will. The conspiracy advocated is that Lucifer and God are gathering evidence that will prove their case in a celestial court where Lucifer has accused God of establishing an unjust universal law.
Asking if this theory is immune to disproof would submit this theory to experiment that is not within the control or the perception of humanity. The Great Controversy is not comparable to political conspiracy theories because it is based on an entirely different epistemology. Political conspiracy theories are based on historical evidence attributed to human agency but limited to speculation due to limited documented evidence but aggravated by a sheer suspicion of that documented evidence. The Great Controversy is a theory based on the absolute trust on the documented evidence (the Bible) but subject to the interpretation of that documented evidence. The trust in Scripture separates the theory of the Great Controversy from political conspiracy theories. If someone wishes to disprove the Great Controversy because they do not acknowledge the authority of Scripture then the whole discussion is irrelevant. It’s like disproving the JFK conspiracy by saying JFK never existed. There needs to be common epistemology in order to approach the Great Controversy theory: a shared trust in the authority of Scripture.
If the author of the Great Controversy claims that her interpretation of the evidence is absolute then disproof is precluded as a matter of faith that would make anyone who claims an alternate interpretation a heretic. Gratefully the author has not presumed such authority; leaving the Great Controversy open to disproof by the authority of Scripture.

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Memory, Meaning & Faith is a blog covering Christian history in light of contemporary issues.

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