Morning Musing: 1 John 4:15-16

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God – God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When I was in college I took a course in logic. I enjoyed most of it, probably because it was an intro course and didn’t delve in too deeply to the subject. If you go much past the surface, the study of logic can quickly begin to look like something out of an advanced calculus course with Ps and Qs and Rs and a variety of other letters and strange symbols and the like. At a basic level, though, it is good to learn how to both recognize and make good arguments. At the very beginning of the class, though, one of the first things you learn are some of the basic laws of logic. These laws appear more places than you might realize, especially in math. Now, I don’t even begin to suggest I understand any of this well enough to try and tell you much about it. But I at least recognize some of them still when I see them. One of these basic laws is called the transitive property. Why am I bringing all of this up today? Because it’s what John uses in his letter here and the implications are worth some attention.

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Digging in Deeper: Hosea 11:8

“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I surrender you, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? I have had a change of heart; my compassion is stirred!”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

In the world of philosophy, the branch dealing with the making and analyzing of arguments is called logic. We make jokes about whether or not something is logical, but the study of logic is a detailed and complex one. Logicians have explored it at a depth and breadth that will leave your head spinning if you aren’t formally trained. It is a philosophical discipline with which I have admittedly struggled (I can already hear the jabs coming…). But, even I can recognize that what God says here represents a formal logical fallacy. Let’s talk about why.

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