Obeying God

July 16, 2007

Dear pony,

Thank you for visiting my church again. Looking forward to having you with us again. šŸ™‚

This is to follow from my “dun mind” comment on the solemnity of the church service- i believe my answer then, was that is because i believe that is the manner of worship that God likes or find acceptable.

This, i guess, is related to the divine command ethics:

In “Autonomy and Theological Ethics,” Robert Adams discussed four types of people:

1 The autonomous Nazist soldier: who kills because he believed (or rather act on the false belief) that Nazism is correct.

2.The conscientiously obedient Nazist soldier: who kills because he is following order.

3. The autonomous relief worker: who stops relief to the poor to go to corrupted authorities

4. The conscientiously obedient relief worker: who did nothing to stop relief to go to corrupted authorities.

1 and 2 are attitudes towards evil; whereas 3 and 4 are attitudes towards good.

Adam goes on to say that forĀ an evil cause, it does seem that an autonomous person is more blameworthy; whereas for a good cause, an autonomous person is instead praiseworthy.

This then goes on to show that the obedience to God, which is something good, should be more praiseworthy if it is autonomous. Thus a person should believe in the moral truth because of the truth itself, rather than because God commands so. (Blind obedience, in his lexicon, is termed as “heteronomy.”)

However, he later coined a term used by Paul Tillich, called “theonomy:” “Theonomy asserts that the superior law is at the same time, the innermost law of man himself, rooted in the divine ground which is man’s own ground.” (p126) and concludes saying “the theonomous person may love his moral principles for their own sake, but believe that they owe their status as moral principles wholly or partly to their divine sponsorship.” (p127)

Ā Consider Gal 5:22-23:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. ”

Given these fruits, I believe a solemn manner of worship aids in the cultivation of Christian character, andĀ desirable as endsĀ itself, even if it is not commanded by God.Ā šŸ™‚



  1. i see, herring. The idea of theonomy sounds interesting and i need to reflect more on it. but if you suscribe to theonomy, wouldn’t you need to believe that X would not be desirable as an end in itself if it hasn’t been commanded or sponsored by God? is there some way out or are you not a theonomist? hmm… well…

  2. Wa you trying to confuse me right:

    [-ve] you need to believe that X [-ve] be desirable as an end in itself if it [-ve] been commanded or sponsored by God..

    For a start, i dun even know my answer should be a ‘yes’ or ‘no’…

    In the name of the galapagos iguanas, I hereby beseech you to rephrase your sentence. šŸ™‚

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