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Knowledge of God... Plain to know?

ignatius

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In the Epistle to the Romans 1:18-20:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. ~ New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ro 1:18–20). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

It appears that we should know God's attributes and nature. How are we to understand this in the light of God as a mystery?

Thanks before hand for your insights  ;D
 

theuerjb

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I personally consider faith to be a choice, rather than a self-evident reality.  If St. Paul is right, then there shouldn't be tens of thousands of religions and denominations in the world.  That's called the "argument from inconsistent revelations" by atheists, who use it to discredit theistic claims. 
 

ignatius

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theuerjb said:
I personally consider faith to be a choice, rather than a self-evident reality.  If St. Paul is right, then there shouldn't be tens of thousands of religions and denominations in the world.  That's called the "argument from inconsistent revelations" by atheists, who use it to discredit theistic claims. 
Peace Theuerjb,

Is it an argument for 'faith in God' St. Paul is making here? It appears to me that he is making a 'moral' argument here. He appears to me to be saying that we should 'in ourselves' know that God's Wrath is upon unrighteousness and ungodliness and that this moral truth of what is right and wrong is 'part of God' that is known to us...? I think we see this also in the Epistle to the Ephesians:

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. ~ New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Eph 5:6). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

I've read this many times but never thought much about it but I see a 'moral' argument here. It makes me think that 'to know God' is more of a moral knowledge than something ephemeral. What are your thoughts?

Thanks for commenting.  :)
 

theuerjb

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Brother Ignatius,

It seems to me that St. Paul is making three arguments for God's existence within this passage. 

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them;
In this verse he seems to be making an empirical claim utilizing the just-world hypothesis, which opines that people get what they deserve, e.g. God's wrath against the unrighteous.  This claim is questionable, because God apparently doesn't always exert his wrath within this world on the unrighteous.  Idi Amin, Josef Stalin, Kim il-Sung, and Kim Jong-il all died in bed.  But maybe he refers to the time after the Second Coming?

. . .  because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
I don't know what exactly to call this argument, I suppose that it is also an empirical argument from direct revelation. 

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Here he seems to be making an argument from ignorance for God's existence, i.e. "If God isn't real, then how did he make everything?" This is definitely the weakest argument for anything at all, in my opinion.

Yours in Christ,
James
 
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