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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Are Angels Ever Disobedient?
Not the fallen ones who followed Satan in his rebellion against God, but I am talking about the elect angels - the ones who dwell in heaven with God - do these ever disobey God, or perhaps obey him only partially?

I ask because when Jesus taught mankind to pray He taught them to ask God that his will would be done here on earth, just as it is done in heaven. Now, if angels are up in heaven giving imperfect obedience to God, then Jesus was praying that men would do their best here on earth as well. But if angels are perfect in their obedience, then Christ was praying that men on earth would obey perfectly, I might suggest - even from a perfect heart.

I believe that it is possible to obey with a perfect heart if one is "in the Spirit" - that God's will can be done perfectly on earth just as it is in heaven - providing one is "in the Spirit." I think Jesus assumed that when He was praying, that the Holy Spirit whom God promised would be sent, and that obedience would not only be possible, but even expected. Not imperfect obedience, but the kind of obedience God receives in heaven.

posted by Daniel @ 7:49 AM  
  • At 9:04 AM, October 03, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    I agree brother!

  • At 10:38 AM, October 03, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    I guess you'll have to go back to posting cute pictures to get any more responses?

    Us Canadians must be too deep for them Yanks. ;)

  • At 11:18 AM, October 03, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Pictures -do- help, but I think what often happens is people don't want to say one way or the other, either because they suspect a trap, or because they dare not decide anything that their conscience will have to answer for later. ;-)

    The trouble with stating an opinion on such a thing as this, is you might be called upon to defend it - and there are few people who want to go through all the bother. Better to just read and wait to see what comes up.

  • At 12:02 PM, October 03, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Yes, I think you are probably correct. It is sometimes humbling to admit you don't know the answer to a certain theological question.

    Perhaps we need to work on creating an environment whereby people can be honest with their questions and gracious with their answers.

  • At 1:46 PM, October 03, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    All it takes is a willingness to hear other people out, and gently introduce the truth to them - if it is truth, they will be convinced because it is true, and not because we are exceptionally good apologists.

  • At 2:18 PM, October 03, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    You already know my thoughts on this, Daniel...

    In regards to this particular question, I have seen this verse used to suport all kinds of things, but it really comes down to what is His will on earth, not everything on earth will be and is done in heaven, so what specifically was Jesus talking about...

    My answer is...that His Kingdom would come...and in full measure...and so this is why I cry

    Even so, come Lord Jesus

  • At 10:50 PM, October 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In answer to your question: "Are elect angels disobedient?" No they are not disobedient. The Westminister Catechism says regarding the third petition "We pray, That God, by his grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven." Not that we are to do this perfectly.

    Pete from the USA.

  • At 10:03 AM, October 04, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Pete - you close on an interesting thought - correct me if I am misunderstanding you, but you seem to be suggesting that submitting to the will of God should be done imperfectly? Perhaps you only mean that imperfect submission is acceptable? Or perhaps you really mean that you don't believe there is such a thing as perfect submission, or that such a thing is unattainable?

    I am concerned, since such a position can only produce a Christianity that at best justifies/tolerates disobedience, and at worst teaches that God expects a submission that He either cannot, or will not empower.

    We do well to rail against the idea that we can be entirely sanctified in this lifetime, or the idea that we can achieve some sort of "sinless perfection" - but we must not let the pendulum swing so far as to imagine that we cannot really submit to God with our whole heart - we not only can, we are expected to. Granted, we can't do it so long as we remain carnal - but we can submit when we are in the Spirit.

    Let me know if I read you wrong - I don't mean to jump on that as if I thought you didn't get it - rather sometimes I read things as though a person was saying something else; in this case I wanted to address what was likely one of those "something else" situations - just in case anyone is reading the meta and concluding that it is normative to be less than perfect in our submission to God, or that such slackness is acceptable based upon the flawed notion that submission is only imperfectly possible.

  • At 12:02 AM, October 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Okay I'll correct you, submitting to the will of God is done by us imperfectly not that we shouldn't want to perfectly do the will of God. But as sinful fallen creatures we do the will of God imperfectly even if we have our heart renewed. Its not a matter of desire its a matter of ability. Or as chapter 16 of the Westminister puts it: Notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him; not as though they were in this life wholly unblamable and unreprovable in God's sight; but that he, looking upon them in his Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections. The important thing to remember in the third petition is that we are to seek to do the will of God. And we are to do this with our heart, soul and mind. But I'm not going to fool myself (as you said) and believe in some sort of sinless perfection. I know I have to work out my salvation with "fear and trembling" because I still have to rise up and kill the old man every day and try to do the will of God with 100 percent of my being.

  • At 10:15 AM, October 05, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    What is this Westminster document? Throw it out and read the Bible, what are we doing making the teachings of man supersede the commands of God.

    Even our most sincere works are as filthy rags if done in human strength. God only accepts His Son and therefore only work done by the power of the Holy Spirit through Christ is acceptable unto God.

    Why must we always rewrite the Bible according to our own understanding. Forgive me for seeming harsh.

    God bless,

  • At 11:21 AM, October 05, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Peter - you are saying that as sinful fallen creatures even Christians can only do the will of God imperfectly regardless of their "new heart."

    I can appreciate that sentiment, I think I understand it fully, having lived it for years myself. I understand that it rises from a genuine heart that honestly wants to please God but has learned through sad experience that no amount of effort will ever deliver it completely from sin.

    Really, it is my own past testimony, and not only mine, but also the common testimony of modern, conservative, biblical scholarship. An opinion that takes years to form, not only because we live it, but also because our study has confirmed it.

    So I appreciate therefore how any opinion that is contrary to what you yourself have unearthed in your long and genuine struggle can only ring thin in your ears. Notwithstanding, and contrary to your experience and learning, I tell you that while perfect obedience is impossible for the carnal Christian, it is not impossible for one who is Spirit filled - and I would even say perfect obedience is "natural" and "easy" for the Spirit filled believer.

    I would hasten to add, that no one is filled with God's Spirit who isn't utterly surrendered to God moment by moment. If you walk by the Spirit, you will -not- fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).

    When Paul speaks of working out our own salvation - he isn't talking about salvation from hell - he is talking about salvation from sin. Not justification, but sanctification.

    I know this is going to fall on ears that are not used to hearing such things - but I tell you that we mustn't judge the spiritual from the perspective of the carnal.

  • At 12:10 PM, October 05, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Jim said "What is this Westminster document? Throw it out and read the Bible, what are we doing making the teachings of man supersede the commands of God."

    *Cough* harsh?

    Jim, the Westminster document was penned by godly men for the sake of protecting the church against error. God gave these men to the church, and while we must be "Berean" in regard to how we receive it, we don't want to reject what Christ has given to the church through them out of hand under the premise of scripture's sufficiency.

    The role of the teacher (and any document he or she produces) is to bring the student to the truth. While the truth is sufficient, and while it supercedes any teaching contrary to itself - it would still be folly indeed to toss out a document (such as the WCF) simply because it leans in several places upon its own theology.

    The problem with the WCF and documents like it is that people use them as though the document itself possessed that authority that we reserve for scripture.

    The reformation rediscovered the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone. Praise the Lord for that. But while the reformation was able to articulate that one doctrine perfectly - it failed to articulate how sanctification works exactly the same way - through faith, and not works - and it is that reason that documents such as the WCF fall short when it comes to sanctification.

  • At 1:07 PM, October 05, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Daniel, of course you are correct. My outburst of frustration stemmed from the use to which you described, that of assuming scriptural authority where it has none.

    As an historical document, it is probably quite fine.

    God bless,

    p.s. I hope your visitor will come back to continue the conversation.

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