Charles Hodge on Pantheism

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by BayouHuguenot, May 13, 2018.

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  1. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Relevance for today: basically the same as Hinduism or New Age (connection to Alice Bailey, Lucis Trust).

    My pagination is from the 2011 Hendrickson Reprint, vol. 1. These theses can double as both explanation and expose. If Pantheism is true, then the following entail:
    1. Precludes the idea of creation, as the Infinite, which is eternal, could be either matter or spirit or both (301).
    2. Denies the personality of God (302). "Personality as well as consciousness implies a distinction between self and the Not Self."
    3. Man is not an individual subsistence or person, but only a moment in the life of Geist.
    4. As man is "only a mode of God's existence, his acts are the acts of God, and as the acts of God are necessary, so are man's. This means no freedom of choice (303).
    5. It deifies evil (307ff). Here Hodge quotes (but does not translate) some German pantheist. He then remarks, "Such a sentence as the foregoing has never been written in English, and, we trust, never will be." If God be everything, and if there be a Satan, God must be Satan.
    6. As it denies the distinction between virtue and vice, only power in religion is left (314; here Hodge is speaking of Hindu pantheism).
    7. It renders rational religion impossible as it denies that the Supreme Being can be a person, and denies the distinction between subject and object (338).
  2. ReformedChristian

    ReformedChristian Puritan Board Freshman

    I always found premise 5 as the death nail to Pantheism. Given they view the universe is God and a part of God, if the universe is in a constant state of flux and change how do they know God cannot go from sudden good to evil?, let alone how do they know they are not being deceived? We know based on Scripture God is not evil, cannot sin or lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18), but he can use evil for a greater good (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11; Genesis 5:20). Since there is no distinctions between God and Creation or Good and Evil they have no standard this is why they have to say evil is an illusion, if that is the case then that also renders all the purposes of suffering in religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism (Karma) and the achieving of nirvana and oneness with Brahma as useless.
  3. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Pantheism and post-Hegelianism cannot deal with modern mathematics. William Lane Craig pointed this out. Their view of "The Infinite" is silly and no one in modern science or math talks like that.
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