Christian Theology, Biblical Theology

"You are no longer under law but grace; therefore, sin shall not have dominion over you" "The grace of God has appeared teaching men to say no to sin"

Divine Command Theory - Definition and Answer

Portrait of Socrates. Marble, Roman artwork (1...Image via Wikipedia

Divine command theory definition and answer. This classic question was first posed by Socrates: "Is something good because it is good or is it good because God(s) says it is good?" This was a problem for Socrates since in his day; the Greeks had a Pantheon of capricious cantankerous gods who couldn't agree on much. One god was not necessarily superior to another.

The dilemma was such that if one answered "the gods determine what is good", then we had an issue of caprice, and if one answered that "they commanded something because it was good"; then there was something outside of the gods that was greater than them. These were the horns of the dilemma.

This dilemma is not an issue with Christians, for we don't make any claims to defend every conception of a god; we are committed to defending the God revealed in the Old and New Testaments. I will not defend just any conception of God; especially the ones that are logically contradictory or incoherent.

Now this issue is not relevant to the Christian God, for the three persons of the Trinity are in complete harmony, agreement, and unity as the bible tells us; additionally the bible tells us that God's word never changes and He is not one to go back on His promises. the bible even tells us that it is impossible for God to lie, so if He commands something, we don't have to be concerned with any issues of caprice. What God commands comes from His nature and He is the standard of goodness.

To digress for a moment; this doesn't imply that God's nature is one of necessity in that He cannot act contrary to what He does; for if that were the case - there would be no virtue in God. We can count on Him as a person of His word and not caprice; however, He is the standard of goodness opposed to some natural law or else He to is subject to something greater than Himself.

But to say that somebody is bound by their nature is to simply say their conduct is consistent. Paul said that "we are Jews by nature and not heathen"; does this mean that there was some innate force or nature that forced them to act as Jews? He also said in Ephesians that we were by nature children of wrath. But his audience were children of wrath because of their choices to become enslaved to sin. Jesus said anyone who sins is a slave to sin. He didn't say that men sin because they are enslaved with a sin nature. This digression can be continued in the post on Original Sin - Arguments Against.
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