Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice


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In biblical times the harvest took place in three basic stages: 1. The harvest began with the firstfruits , which concerned the first fruits and grains to ripen in the season and were offered to the LORD as a sacrifice of thanksgiving Exodus , Later came the general harvest Exodus and, lastly, the gleanings , which were leftovers for the poor and needy Leviticus The Firstfruits. Paul described Jesus as the firstfruits here:.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead , the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. The General Harvest. This harvest includes physically-alive believers translated to heaven. Never again will there be in it [Jerusalem] an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years ; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child ; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. Depending on the species, trees can live less than a hundred years or up to a few thousand, but they ultimately die.

Also, some people died well short of plus years; for instance, Lamech died at Also, Psalm and 2 Peter show that a thousand years is like a day to the LORD, so the two gleanings occur only one day apart from the Divine perspective. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.

They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. This is the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. No, because Jesus Christ was resurrected at the beginning of the Church Age and believers will be resurrected bodily at the time of the Rapture while living believers will be translated; not to mention the resurrections of Enoch, Elijah and Moses as types , covered in Chapter Nine of Sheol Know.

How is the resurrection of the righteous the more honorable resurrection? Since this resurrection involves people who are in right-standing with their Creator, i.

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Because of the death and resurrection of the Messiah, Old Testament saints who were in covenant with God automatically become spiritually-regenerated at the time of their resurrection. Some might argue that the resurrection of the righteous, as just mapped out, is too complicated. Talk about adding to and taking away from the Holy Scriptures, a practice repeatedly denounced in the Bible see Revelation , Proverbs and Deuteronomy Getting back to our question: Is the resurrection of the dead too complicated? Daniel did the same thing in Daniel Take brain surgery, for example.

Is it simple or does it take years of schooling to master? How about computer technology, astronomy, world history, languages or law? How simple is the sewage system of any major city? How about the electrical grid of New York City? I could go on and on. As already established, the resurrection of the dead is one of the six basic doctrines Hebrews Now, think about it: If the topic of the resurrection of the dead was as simple as Augustine taught—that is, people just go to heaven or hell when they die to spend eternity in either bliss or torment—why would these people need to be taught the subject again?

Moreover, if it were that simple how could the believers not grasp it the first time around? Yes, the resurrection of the dead is a complicated subject, so what? The former is detailed in 1 Thessalonians and the latter in Revelation These signs include, amongst others: the global cataclysm of the Tribulation period itself Revelation , the revealing of the antichrist 2 Thessalonians , the two witnesses Revelation and the institution of the mark of the beast Revelation Notice what Jesus said:.

It refers to a phrase used in this passage:. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. You believe in God; believe also in me.


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Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. The coming wrath refers to the Tribulation and the Lord rescues the Church from it via the Rapture.

Keep in mind that, while the church at Philadelphia was one of seven first century churches that Jesus addresses in Revelation , these seven churches were picked by the Lord because they typify the seven kinds of churches that exist throughout the Church Age. Further support for the Rapture can be observed in what happens to John in the book of Revelation. These chapters cover the seven types of churches that exist throughout the Church Age.

John is representative of the church and just before the Tribulation he is taken up into heaven. Another thing to consider is that the church is referred to no less than nineteen times in the first three chapters of Revelation and not once on earth in chapters The church verse 14; also verified by 1 Thessalonians However, the existing church at the time of the Rapture before the Tribulation will have been snatched away. In other words, believers during the Tribulation embraced the gospel after the Rapture.

From its founding, American political thought had an enduring focus on justice. After considering the formidable contributions of Rawls to justice theory and some of its applications, we shall conclude this survey with a brief treatment of several post-Rawlsian alternatives. A key focus that will distinguish this section from previous ones is the effort to achieve a conception of justice that strikes a reasonable balance between liberty and equality. This led to a greatly developed book version, A Theory of Justice , published in , arguably the most important book of American philosophy published in the second half of the last century.

He also makes it clear early on that he means to present his theory as a preferable alternative to that of utilitarians. If you must decide on what sort of society you could commit yourself to accepting as a permanent member and were not allowed to factor in specific knowledge about yourself—such as your gender, race, ethnic identity, level of intelligence, physical strength, quickness and stamina, and so forth—then you would presumably exercise the rational choice to make the society as fair for everyone as possible, lest you find yourself at the bottom of that society for the rest of your life.

He emphasizes the point that these principles rule out as unjust the utilitarian justification of disadvantages for some on account of greater advantages for others, since that would be rationally unacceptable to one operating under the veil of ignorance.

Again, this is anti-utilitarian, in that no increase in socio-economic benefits for anyone can ever justify anything less than maximum equality of rights and duties for all. Thus, for example, if enslaving a few members of society generated vastly more benefits for the majority than liabilities for them, such a bargain would be categorically ruled out as unjust.


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Rawls proceeds to develop his articulation of these two principles of justice more carefully. The lexical priority of this first principle requires that it be categorical in that the only justification for limiting any basic liberties would be to enhance other basic liberties; for example, it might be just to limit free access of the press to a sensational legal proceeding in order to protect the right of the accused to a fair trial.

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For example, the office of the presidency has attached to it greater social prestige and income than is available to most of us. Is that just? It can be, assuming that all of us, as citizens, could achieve that office with its compensations and that even those of us at or near the bottom of the socio-economic scale benefit from intelligent, talented people accepting the awesome responsibilities of that office. Most of us today might be readily sympathetic to the first principle and the equal opportunity condition, while finding the difference principle to be objectionably egalitarian, to the point of threatening incentives to contribute more than is required.

Rawls briefly suggests that his theory of justice as fairness might be applied to international relations, in general, and to just war theory, in particular ibid. Rawls applies his theory of justice to the domestic issue of civil disobedience. No society is perfectly just. If the severity of the injustice is not great, then respect for democratic majority rule might morally dictate compliance. Ultimately, every individual must decide for himself or herself whether such action is morally and prudentially justifiable or not as reasonably and responsibly as possible.

The acts of civil disobedience of Martin Luther King to whom Rawls refers in a footnote seem to have met all the conditions, to have been done in the name of justice, and to have been morally justified ibid. A just society must protect basic liberties equally for all of its members, including freedom of thought and its necessary condition, freedom of expression.

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But, in a free society that protects these basic liberties, a pluralism of views and values is likely to develop, such that people can seriously disagree about matters they hold dear. These may be religious like Christianity or philosophical like Kantianism or moral like utilitarian. Yet a variety of potentially conflicting comprehensive doctrines may be such that all are reasonable. In such a case, social unity requires respect for and tolerance of other sets of beliefs. It would be unjust deliberately to suppress reasonable comprehensive doctrines merely because they are different from our own.

Thus, for example, a Christian Kantian and an atheistic utilitarian, while sincerely disagreeing on many ethical principles, philosophical ideas, and religious beliefs, can unite in mutually accepting, for instance, the American Constitution as properly binding on all of us equally. This agreement will enable them mutually to participate in social cooperation, the terms of which are fair and reciprocal and which can contribute to the reasonable good of the entire society.

Near the end of his life, Rawls published The Law of Peoples , in which he tried to apply his theory of justice to international relations. Given that not all societies act justly and that societies have a right to defend themselves against aggressive violent force, there can be a right to go to war jus ad bellum. After hostilities have ceased, just conquerors must treat their conquered former enemies with respect—not, for example, enslaving them or denying them civil liberties.

Rawls' Mature Theory of Social Justice

More generally, Rawls applies his theory of justice to international relations, generating eight rules regarding how the people of other societies must be treated. What is most interesting here is what Rawls refuses to say. While different peoples, internationally speaking, might be imagined in an original position under the veil of ignorance, and Rawls would favor encouraging equal liberties and opportunities for all, he refuses to apply the difference principle globally in such a way as to indicate that justice requires a massive redistribution of wealth from richer to poorer societies Peoples , pp.

His views on international aid seem so well worked out that, ironically, they call into question part of his general theory of justice itself. It does not seem plausible that the difference principle should apply intrasocietally but not internationally. The problem may be with the difference principle itself. It is not at all clear that rational agents in a hypothetical original position would adopt such an egalitarian principle. Thus we could satisfactorily specify the requirements of an essentially Kantian conception of justice, as requiring respect for the dignity of all persons as free and equal, rational moral agents.

While less egalitarian than what Rawls offers, it might prove an attractive alternative. To what extent should liberty be constrained by equality in a just society?

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This is a central issue that divides him from many post-Rawlsians, to a few of whom we now briefly turn. They will represent six different approaches. We shall consider, in succession, 1 the libertarian approach of Robert Nozick, 2 the socialistic one of Kai Nielsen, 3 the communitarian one of Michael Sandel, 4 the globalist one of Thomas Pogge, 5 the feminist one of Martha Nussbaum, and 6 the rights-based one of Michael Boylan. As this is merely a quick survey, we shall not delve much into the details of their theories limiting ourselves to a single work by each or explore their applications or do much in the way of a critique of them.

But the point will be to get a sense of several recent approaches to developing views of justice in the wake of Rawls. Both are fundamentally committed to individual liberty. First, anyone who justly acquires any holding is rightly entitled to keep and use it. Second, anyone who acquires any holding by means of a just transfer of property is rightly entitled to keep and use it.

It is only through some combination of these two approaches that anyone is rightly entitled to any holding. But some people acquire holdings unjustly—e. So, third, justice can require the rectification of unjust past acquisitions. People should be entitled to use their own property as they see fit, so long as they are entitled to it.

Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice
Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice
Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice
Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice
Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice
Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice
Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice Foundational Doctrines 8 - Eternal Justice

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