Did Paul believe in Invincible Ignorance?

[quote=Romans 1] 18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
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Spoken very strongly. Your thoughts?

Peace,
javelin

It seems clear that he did not.

Mel

I’m not sure this passage of Romans contradicts invincible ignorance. The passage seems to me to illustrate a people who more or less chose to turn thier back on what Paul says, [should] "**have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. **

Invicible ignorance might be one who has clearly seen , to the extent they can based on the revelation they were given. In other words, the invincibly ignorant may be “**without excuse”, **in terms of what God has written on his heart, yet may be ignorant of other revelation that only a more formal education or circumstance he may have been exposed to. Such as the Gospel.

It sounds like Paul is refering to a people who turned thier back on what God has written on thier hearts, thus turning thier backs on Him.

By the way reading this scripture made me think of a certain very popluar radio talk show.

*They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. *

[quote=Mijoy2]I’m not sure this passage of Romans contradicts invincible ignorance. The passage seems to me to illustrate a people who more or less chose to turn thier back on what Paul says, [should] "**have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. **

Invicible ignorance might be one who has clearly seen , to the extent they can based on the revelation they were given. In other words, the invincibly ignorant may be “**without excuse”, **in terms of what God has written on his heart, yet may be ignorant of other revelation that only a more formal education or circumstance he may have been exposed to. Such as the Gospel.

It sounds like Paul is refering to a people who turned thier back on what God has written on thier hearts, thus turning thier backs on Him.

By the way reading this scripture made me think of a certain very popluar radio talk show.

*They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. *
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Exactly, he is addressing a particular group, who have intentionally turned their back on what God had written on their hearts.

[quote=Mijoy2]I’m not sure this passage of Romans contradicts invincible ignorance. The passage seems to me to illustrate a people who more or less chose to turn thier back on what Paul says, [should] "**have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. **
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[quote=Romans 1]since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
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I’m not sure what you mean. Paul appears to be saying that God has made Himself known to mankind - “what may be know about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them”. Those who rejected Him are under His wrath.

Right. And since God has “made Himself plain” to all, then all who have not accepted God have rejected Him.

Does invincible ignorance only apply to ignorance of Christ, not of God the Creator? That I could see as a way of reconciling the passage with the doctrine. People who accept God, but do not know of Christ?

:hmmm: I can see the connection…

Peace,
javelin

[quote=Superstar905]Exactly, he is addressing a particular group, who have intentionally turned their back on what God had written on their hearts.
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But if God had written it on their hearts, has He not written it on the heart of every human being?

Peace,
javelin

[quote=javelin]But if God had written it on their hearts, has He not written it on the heart of every human being?

Peace,
javelin
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Yes, he has. But what has he written? He hasn’t told everyone about Jesus, and he hasn’t told everyone about the Church. He has only revealed that he is. No man is without excuse, for God will accept any who seek him. If the knowledge of God is enough to damn a man, it is enough to save a man (by God’s grace of course).

Hi Javelin,

There are others on this forum who can probably give you a more accurate answer. But basically, I think the answer to the example you give above is true but not complete. I don’t think it applies only to the ignorance of Christ, yet it may include the ignorance of Christ.

A more general definition might be; people have written on thier hearts a knowledge that there exists a greater power of good then thier own pleasures and desires. They can choose this greater power or they can shoose to satisfy thier own selfish desires. Paul was addressing people who chose thier own over the greater, of which they knew but denied.

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