Friday, August 10, 2012

John Locke's Faith

I found Locke's Adversaria Theologica on google. It is, I believe, the most clear evidence of Locke's faith. In public, Locke distanced himself from the unitarians, and in public refused to be included among them. Why? His welfare depended on it. Adherence to the Trinity was still established law in 17th Century England. However, in the process, he dodged questions about essential doctrines of Christianity to keep out of trouble, and at the same time, proclaimed telling the truth was noble. Locke was no Algernon Sidney. Sidney was orthodox, a martyr, a freedom fighter for liberty, who was executed at the hands of Charles II in 1683.

No Christian, including any orthodox evangelical pastor would ever do what Locke did in the Adversaria. He writes extracts, "for and against" the Trinity, but it's 98% pro-unitarian. What he writes he subscribes to, given he writes only three passages that support Jesus' Deity. What about John 8:58, where Jesus claims He is God, "Before Abraham was, I AM" taking the same name written in Exodus 20, of self-existent one, given to Moses at the burning bush? Not to mention the Eternal Holy Spirit.

Acts 5:3, "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Hebrews  9:14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Acts 20:28, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
Hebrews 1:2-3,"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power. [Jesus Christ holds all the atoms together by His Word]
II Cor 5:19, "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Col 2:8-9, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 1:14-19, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God..For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.
Phil 2:5-7, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. [bold face mine] 

Furthermore, David speaks of the Messiah as God, and Micah writes the Messiah would be Eternal, not just a man like the Jews believe:
Psalm 45:7, "Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Micah 5:2, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Are these all interpolations? Did Locke forget them? There are other examples in: Revelation, Jude, John, 1 John, 2 John, Luke, etc.

The scriptures Locke uses supporting a unitarian deity can be refuted. For instance, "Because it subverts the unity of God, introducing three gods." Why would he say that? Polytheism is anathema to the Bible. The Trinity isn't three gods, it's three persons of one God. Arianism is polytheism--that Jesus is Divine, but has a different nature than God is two different natures. It isn't even a rational argument. His other excuses promote the same absurdities that contradict scripture and reason. For example, Locke quotes Mark 12:29, "The Lord our God, the Lord is one" to support the unity of God, yet the hebrew word for "one" is a plural word, found in the shama. There are Arian arguments all over the place, including, "else there would be three unmade Lords" etc. Locke clearly rejects the Trinity because he can't understand it. He is not supposed to understand the Godhead, nor can we understand it. The Trinity does not violate reason, rather, it is above and beyond our reasoning.

Here is the pertinent information in Locke's Reasonableness:


If you will have the truth of it, sir, there is not any such word in any one of the epistles, or other books of the New Testament, in my bible, as satisfying, or satisfaction made by our Saviour; and so I could not put it into my “Christianity as delivered in the Scripture.”.. But you will say, satisfaction, though not named in the epistles, yet may plainly be collected out of them. Answ. And so it may out of several places in my “Reasonableness of christianity,” some whereof, which I took out of the gospels, I mentioned in my vindication, p. 163, 164, and others of them, which I took out of the epistles, I shall point out to you now: as p. 41, I say, the design of our Saviour’s coming was to be offered up; and p. 84, I speak of the work of our redemption: words, which in the epistles, are taken to imply satisfaction. And therefore if that be enough, I see not, but I may be free from betraying christianity; but if it be necessary to name the word Satisfaction, and he that does not so is a betrayer of christianity, you will do well to consider, how you will acquit the holy apostles from that bold imputation; which if it be extended as far as it will go, will scarce come short of blasphemy: for I do not remember, that our Saviour has any-where named satisfaction, or implied it plainer in any words, than those I have quoted from him; and he, I hope, will escape the intemperance of your tongue. [bold face mine]

--The Reasonableness of Christianity

Moreover, in the Reasonableness, Locke's penalty for Sin is physical death. He omits the most important part--spiritual death. The words he uses: offered up, and redemption, is not the satisfaction the Bible speaks of. Locke rejected the true meaning of these scriptures, or was ignorant of them:

Romans 5:10-12, 14-21
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment (Spiritual death) was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." [bold face mine]

Original Sin is spelled out in Scripture. Paul names Adam, as our Federal Head, our former representative, replaced by the last Adam, Jesus Christ the Righteous. Paul links atonement with "judgment was by one (Adam) to condemnation." Th Vicarious Blood Atonement satisfies God's wrath from eternal judgment. A temporary judgment means God is eventually approving our sin. His justice must be perfect, in order for God to be Love, Justice, and Mercy at the same time. Locke never uses "atonement" in the Biblical sense. He uses it twice for "forgiveness."

And here:
 I desire those who tell us, that God will not (nay, some go so far as to say, cannot) accept any, who do not believe every article of their particular creeds and systems, to consider, why God, out of his infinite mercy, cannot as well justify men now, for believing Jesus of Nazareth to be the promised Messiah, the King and Deliverer; as those heretofore, who believed only that God would, according to his promise, in due time, send the Messiah, to be a King and Deliverer. [bold face mine]
Belief is not the issue. Rejection of the fundamentals is issue. Then he writes this in his Second Vindication:

All these truths, taught us from God, either by reason or revelation, are of great use, to enlighten our minds, confirm our faith, stir up our affections, &c. And the more we see of them, the more we shall see, admire, and magnify the wisdom, goodness, mercy, and love of God, in the work of our redemption.
Why would Locke omit Justice? Locke talks about repentance all over the Reasonableness. Yet, why would he mention repentance if not to get right with God, to escape God's judgment?
The most fundamental essential in Christianity is assent to how our sins are forgiven. The Bible is clear, Jesus Christ's Blood atones for sin, just as He forshadowed the Old Testament blood sacrifices for Sin. It isn't Christ's death and God's mercy through faith in His death and resurrection that justifies. This appears to be what Locke believed, which is why he continued to defend himself from the orthodox clergy. Locke did not speak about satisfaction for sin as the Bible describes it, where Christ is High Priest, making sacrifice for our sins. Locke ignored this.

In order to atone for mankind's sin, sinless blood is required, and only God as a human being could have sinless blood and represent us at the same time--to die and atone for sin. This is what biblical satisfaction means. Satisfying for sin for what purpose? To appease God's wrath. For the wages of sin is death--not just physical death, but Spiritual death--something Locke neglected in the Reasonableness. Every human being is a Triune being--flesh, mind (soul), and spirit, whereby Original Sin has corrupted our Spirits. By faith in Christ's satisfying work on the Cross, God's wrath is appeased, by Grace, through faith, not by works, lest any man should boast.

God cannot be merciful in the way John Locke or unitarianism believed. That         would nullify God's Holiness, and perfect justice, and make God a partner with Sin. 

Either Locke was most likely unitarian, with poor methodology.

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