A while ago I posted a paper by Thomas Talbott, “False Prophets and the Abuse of Revelation”, which reveals our need to test all spirits including Calvinism’s. Most Christians are uncomfortable with this because it calls into question our simplicity for just accepting theological propositions. Over the last few years, in my journey to Universalism, I’ve encountered an idea which continues to present itself; the idea that human intuition is Humanism.
It seems there are Christians, who believe that for one to consider their own intuition, it is a form of Humanism; that is man’s view overrides scripture. Universalists have no problem listening to their own intuition or conscience. But when Universalists object to the hatred or Malevolence of God, Christians sound the “humanism” alarm. Often I’m told that I’m tickling my itching ears by measuring God’s word against my own. If God says he’s going to torture people for all eternity, then I’d better simply accept it and not listen to my own intuition.
As these issues are pressed, the more people argue that the Scriptures trump our intuition because our intuition is defective and can only be guided by scripture. So for many Calvinists, the thought (though as repulsive as it may seem) that God has predestined a great many to eternal torture, of which they could not choose any other, must be accepted on biblical grounds and the intuition must be bypassed (or altered). For many Arminains, the thought (as right as it might sound) that God has gambled up the objects of his love (since that’s the only way that love can exist), must be accepted on biblical grounds and human intuition must be bypassed. So if something appears evil to us or looks dark, we’re called by God to accept it anyhow. We’re called to curtail our intuition by allowing scripture to guide us rather than our own conscience.
So the question at hand is can, people outside of the bible really know what is good and what is bad? If we cannot tell what is good because we must be informed by scripture then why in Romans 1 does Paul write:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 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.
If man cannot know what is good (due to his total depravity) then how is it that since creation [prior to the scriptures being written] man has clearly seeing and understood God’s invisible qualities? If the scriptures are the only source for our knowing what is good or what is moral, then how is it that prior to the scriptures being written man knew?
It seems to me that God expects us to trust our intuition rather than bypass it. So when Arminians say, God gave free will and risked his children’s eternal status, I say my intuition tells me something’s corrupt about that. When Calvinists say, God determined that most people will end up in hell for all eternity and they have no other options, my intuition tells me there’s something corrupt about that aslo. And when Christians appeal to the trump card that the bible teaches either of those paradigms, I say “Perhaps it doesn’t and you’re defective interpretation is leading you down a corrupt path”.
I’m hoping that some people might understand the weight of Talbott’s essay. I’m hoping that some people will understand George Macdonalds statement that if something looks dark but others say it’s not, then trust your intuition; I agree. Not only so, I believe Romans 1 is evidence that prior to scripture or external to scripture, people know what is moral.
Does anyone have a response to my use of Romans 1 and human intuition? I’m open to any dialogue