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libevangelical
July 28th, 2004, 09:12 AM
Has anyone read the book "Searching For an Adequate God" edited by Cobb and Pinnock? It is a dialogue between open and process theologians and philosophers. The central issue seems to be the nature of divine power. Is it exclusively persuasive or is it primarily persuasive and sometimes coercive. The contention of process philosophy is that God being Spirit cannot execise direct physical control. God can only persuade physical entities to exercise such power. In other words, God has no hands except ours do do his will. Hence Creation out of nothing is an ontological impossiblity. I am an open theist myself. I have my own intuitions about how this ontological problem can be resolved but am not sure if I can say flatly that God as pure Spirit is capable of exercising direct physical control over his creation. I welcome your insights.

Chileice
July 28th, 2004, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by libevangelical

Has anyone read the book "Searching For an Adequate God" edited by Cobb and Pinnock? It is a dialogue between open and process theologians and philosophers. The central issue seems to be the nature of divine power. Is it exclusively persuasive or is it primarily persuasive and sometimes coercive. The contention of process philosophy is that God being Spirit cannot execise direct physical control. God can only persuade physical entities to exercise such power. In other words, God has no hands except ours do do his will. Hence Creation out of nothing is an ontological impossiblity. I am an open theist myself. I have my own intuitions about how this ontological problem can be resolved but am not sure if I can say flatly that God as pure Spirit is capable of exercising direct physical control over his creation. I welcome your insights.

Would a god who can exercise no direct control still be God? I mean I can influence people. Does that make me God?

STONE
July 28th, 2004, 09:58 AM
God can and does create all that we will ever see or experience.
How can the mind of man attept to limit God?

godrulz
July 28th, 2004, 10:04 AM
God does not create moral evil.

Open Theism has a few similarities with Process Theology, but has many more differences. Process falls short of the biblical model, while Open Theism seems to reconcile the relevant Scriptural evidence.

The Creator is distinct from His creation. He is transcendent and immanent:

Is. 57:15 He is the Almighty Father

"For this is what the high and lofty one says- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, BUT ALSO with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."

He is not an aloof Deist god, but can and does have relationship with us and intervenes in space-time history as He pleases. Nor is He a pantheistic god, literally in everthing.

Knight
July 28th, 2004, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by Chileice

Would a god who can exercise no direct control still be God? I mean I can influence people. Does that make me God?
This is not a accurate nor a logical reason to reject open theism.

A. Open theism does not state that God cannot exercise complete control, yet open theism argues that God chose not to exercise complete control. I often concede that God COULD HAVE completely ordained the entire future but that doesn't match what we read in the Bible and therefore I reject that notion.

B. Your point about you being able to influence people not making you God is a non sequitur. No one to my knowledge argues (nor should argue) that having influence is a strictly divine attribute.

freelight
July 28th, 2004, 10:32 AM
Originally posted by libevangelical

Has anyone read the book "Searching For an Adequate God" edited by Cobb and Pinnock? It is a dialogue between open and process theologians and philosophers. The central issue seems to be the nature of divine power. Is it exclusively persuasive or is it primarily persuasive and sometimes coercive. The contention of process philosophy is that God being Spirit cannot execise direct physical control. God can only persuade physical entities to exercise such power. In other words, God has no hands except ours do do his will. Hence Creation out of nothing is an ontological impossiblity. I am an open theist myself. I have my own intuitions about how this ontological problem can be resolved but am not sure if I can say flatly that God as pure Spirit is capable of exercising direct physical control over his creation. I welcome your insights.



)==============Hi libevangelical,

I would say this of course brings up the age-old debate over free will and the extent of the sovereignty of will. It may be that since God gave man a certain liberty of free will that He has chosen by his own law/constitution not to impose his will on or coerce man ever....however his divine power/will is ever a persuasive influence of course. With process theology......Deity and Man are ever momentously unfolding and sharing in a continuous experience of sequences/events which include free will participation and therefore such transpirations are always 'coordinate'. Since the dynamic and free agency of man is ever involved in the creative process....Gods influence is primarily and always persuasive.
As far as divine power being sometimes coercive....such would be possible only in the arena of action where there is no interplay or engagement with free will beings - it would be a realm wherein the cooperative element of free will and creative participation is absent. However, because God has provided the inclusion of free will to sentient beings....this being part of His Will....He has willingly given up a measure of divine power in the grant of free will liberties to engage in the cooperative exercise of creation and experiential realities. In the case of God and Man....each have certain 'powers' and the dynamic of will appears to be inherent in these powers. I believe man is granted free will and shall have such liberty as long God wills such....as in accordance with the laws inherent is such bestowal. God remains omnipotent and omniscient still.......as His immanence and transcendence is omni-versal...He being God. However,...in the individual life of a soul....such liberties of free will as granted govern the souls station, condition and destiny as eternal constants.

I havent read the book, but look forward to continued dialogue in these matters,


peace,


paul

Rolf Ernst
July 28th, 2004, 11:10 AM
This thread shows that the OVers are swiftly descending the slippery slope they entered with their first heretical notion of openess.

That is what happens when men think they can discover God or determine any truths concerning Him by human reason, rationality, or logic.

STONE
July 28th, 2004, 11:56 AM
"He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou?"

STONE
July 28th, 2004, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

God does not create moral evil.
Open Theism has a few similarities with Process Theology, but has many more differences. Process falls short of the biblical model, while Open Theism seems to reconcile the relevant Scriptural evidence.
The Creator is distinct from His creation. He is transcendent and immanent:

"Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein..."

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. "

godrulz
July 28th, 2004, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by STONE

"He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou?"

Bible reference is important to establish contest (please).

godrulz
July 28th, 2004, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by STONE

"Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein..."

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. "

Evil is in the realm of morals (choice, wrong moral choice...it does not exist until a choice is made; God created things 'very good' and then their was a Fall that He was not culpable for) and not metaphysics (things). Evil is not a 'thing' that God creates. "All" is not always used in an absolute sense. e.g. 'everyone saw the play' does not mean that millions saw the play.

God created the universe, but He did not directly create the cars we drive, the thoughts and feelings we have, etc. He gave us the power to procreate and be creative. He does not directly make babies, we must be involved.

Again, verses for context. These verses do not contradict the many verses that indicate evil grieves God, and is not for His 'pleasure'. i.e. your interpretation of the inclusiveness of 'all' is incorrect as it contradicts the ministry of Jesus, God with a face, who opposed evil, and did not affirm it as God's will or 'creation'.

STONE
July 28th, 2004, 06:21 PM
To God all means some?
(I'm only searching your Theology.)

STONE
July 28th, 2004, 06:27 PM
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. (col 1:16-17)

godrulz
July 28th, 2004, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by STONE

To God all means some?
(I'm only searching your Theology.)

Do you believe God created moral evil? I believe He created Lucifer, not Satan. He created Adam and the earth and pronounced it 'very good'. Subsequently, due to the inherent nature of free will (God is not the only moral agent in the universe with a will), evil was introduced by other agents than God. Now, God did not say it is still 'very good', but He was grieved and regretted even making man. Evil is incompatible with the holiness of God.

Once again, evil is not a 'thing' (metaphysics), but it is in the realm of moral choice (non-existent until the choice made, and still not a thing).

The problem is not with the word 'all' (God created the heavens and the earth. Man creates plastic, cars, etc.). The problem is confusing morality and substance (things). They are not identical. God is the Moral Governor of the universe and uses moral laws to govern us. Nature is under the law of instinct, and inanimate creation is under the law of cause and effect. We cannot confuse or blur the distinctions between created things and the moral realm of love and relationship.

Hyper-Calvinism and predestination logically makes God responsible for evil, contrary to His revealed character. A wrong view of sovereignty leads to these conclusions and is not biblical.

Stone, are you in the Reformed-Calvinist camp? I believe the topic of evil has been discussed on other threads. We should focus on process issues here.

Knight
July 28th, 2004, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by STONE

To God all means some?
(I'm only searching your Theology.) Ask yourself... did God create Himself at creation?

Your answer will make it clear "all things" has obvious limitations.

STONE
July 28th, 2004, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Ask yourself... did God create Himself at creation?

Your answer will make it clear "all things" has obvious limitations.
Not really.
God is not of the creation. The scripture makes it clear He is above all things.

STONE
July 28th, 2004, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

Do you believe God created moral evil? I believe He created Lucifer, not Satan. He created Adam and the earth and pronounced it 'very good'. Subsequently, due to the inherent nature of free will (God is not the only moral agent in the universe with a will), evil was introduced by other agents than God. Now, God did not say it is still 'very good', but He was grieved and regretted even making man. Evil is incompatible with the holiness of God.

Once again, evil is not a 'thing' (metaphysics), but it is in the realm of moral choice (non-existent until the choice made, and still not a thing).

The problem is not with the word 'all' (God created the heavens and the earth. Man creates plastic, cars, etc.). The problem is confusing morality and substance (things). They are not identical. God is the Moral Governor of the universe and uses moral laws to govern us. Nature is under the law of instinct, and inanimate creation is under the law of cause and effect. We cannot confuse or blur the distinctions between created things and the moral realm of love and relationship.

Stone, are you in the Reformed-Calvinist camp? I believe the topic of evil has been discussed on other threads.

Are your thoughts things, or what realm are they in?
I'm not of any camp except Christ.

godrulz
July 28th, 2004, 09:52 PM
Thoughts are real, but they are not 'physical things' (unless at a neurobiological level). We are spirit, soul (will, intellect, emotions), and body.

I think of things, substance, essence etc. as material. I suppose it depends on a definition of things (can be used in different senses?). Does God literally create every act, thought, and emotion in a human being (attempt to support a proof text that says God creates ALL things) or does He create personal, moral beings that can experience, relate, act, think, and feel inherent to who He has made them? We are children, not deterministic automatons/robots. Having personal, moral, and spiritual attributes makes us in the image of God (it does not make us god). It separates us from machines and inanimate creation. God alone is uncreated Creator, eternal, omni. x3, etc. Otherwise, we share in personal and moral attributes (but not in perfection).

What is the point you are raising about thoughts? This is probably a question for philosophy class, and not explicit in Scripture (apart from the above principles that I hope are consistent with biblical anthropology= nature of man). Is the issue you are raising to do with God's sovereignty in relationship to man's free will? or libertarian freedom vs compatibilistic freedom? etc.

I would hope we are all of Christ's camp, but we tend to have theological world views based on study or denominational influences. These views can sometimes lead to eisegesis (reading meaning into Bible) vs exegesis (pull meaning out). We all have influences, if we are honest.

STONE
July 28th, 2004, 10:44 PM
Godrulz, this subject may not be appropriate now. Thanks for your input.

godrulz
July 28th, 2004, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by STONE

Godrulz, this subject may not be appropriate now. Thanks for your input.

Fair enough. It does relate to Process vs Open Theism, so back to our main event...which is not catching on apparently (too Ivory Towerish?).

libevangelical
July 29th, 2004, 10:49 AM
One of my reponses to Process theology is that the doctine of the triune God makes God three worlds within Godself as well as three persons. I also wonder if Pinnocks' suggestion that God may be eternally embodied in some respect might be helpful in overcoming the claim that God cannot act coercively because God is exclusively immatterial Spirit. Could we conceive of Spirit in a less dualistic way which takes seriously God's interventing power or must we stick to a dualistic view of body and Spirit which requires the Supernatural to be telekenetic in it's actions upon material creation and thus anti-natural in the way which C. S. Lewis warns against? Or perhaps we need to combine a re-examination of the doctrine of creation out of nothing from a Biblical perspective with the Biblcial witness that angels are embodied creatures whose free will is in total harmony with God's and who serve as his intermediators?

godrulz
July 29th, 2004, 11:01 AM
I guess we need to read the book. Let us, in the end, stick to THE BOOK and its authoritative revelation vs speculative reasoning.

libevangelical
July 29th, 2004, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

I guess we need to read the book. Let us, in the end, stick to THE BOOK and its authoritative revelation vs speculative reasoning.

This may be a good topic to discuss in more detail in a differnt thread but when we say "stick to the The Book" (as I would agree we ough to do) do we mean stick to an interpretation of the Bible which is out of harmony with the best scientific and philosophical thought or would the best scientific and philosophical thought help us to understand more clearly what truth is being communicated in Scripture and into what genre we might place the particular text communicating that truth?

Knight
July 29th, 2004, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by STONE

Not really.
God is not of the creation. The scripture makes it clear He is above all things. Hmmm... bummer.... you are right there and could so easily get the point but you choose otherwsie. :(

The point is....
You questioned OV'ers for insinuating "all things" had limitations yet everyone limits "all things" when it get's right down to it.

God wasn't created in "all things"

Love wasn't created in "all things"

Justice, mercy, morality..... none of those things were created in "all things". All of those things were in existence prior to the creation of the universe and man.

STONE
July 29th, 2004, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Hmmm... bummer.... you are right there and could so easily get the point but you choose otherwsie. :(

The point is....
You questioned OV'ers for insinuating "all things" had limitations yet everyone limits "all things" when it get's right down to it.

God wasn't created in "all things"

Love wasn't created in "all things"

Justice, mercy, morality..... none of those things were created in "all things". All of those things were in existence prior to the creation of the universe and man.
Not choosing otherwise, only having a dialogue (not one that I really want to have, as the fruits of the discussion do not always edify).
Love is another issue as the scripture is clear "God is Love".
Here you're proposing goodness is eternal. Even assuming this to be true, is it possible for something that was eternal (by our limited definition) to have been created?

Knight
July 29th, 2004, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by STONE
Here you're proposing goodness is eternal. Even assuming this to be true, is it possible for something that was eternal (by our limited definition) to have been created? Of course goodness must be eternal! For to say otherwise would being saying .... God wasn't always good.

You would assert that would you?

STONE
July 29th, 2004, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Of course goodness must be eternal! For to say otherwise would being saying .... God wasn't always good.

You would assert that would you?
The question is: is it possible for something that has always existed to have been created?
-For example: has heaven always existed throughout time, is it outside of time, or when was it created?

Knight
July 29th, 2004, 01:04 PM
Originally posted by STONE

The question is: is it possible for something that has always existed to have been created?
-For example: has heaven always existed throughout time, is it outside of time, or when was it created? Anything that has existed an eternity past by definition could not have been created.

I think now my point has been made regarding "all things".

P.S. Are you asserting that heaven has existed for an eternity past?

Turbo
July 29th, 2004, 01:11 PM
You don't have to get very far in the Bible to learn otherwise.

Knight
July 29th, 2004, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by Turbo

You don't have to get very far in the Bible to learn otherwise. :chuckle:

Clete
July 29th, 2004, 01:14 PM
Jos 10:12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. [Is] not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

Perhaps I am missing something but it sure does seem pretty obvious to me that God can control physical things. Nobody thinks it was Joshua that stopped the earth from spinning do they?

Resting in Him,
Clete

STONE
July 29th, 2004, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Anything that has existed an eternity past by definition could not have been created.

I think now my point has been made regarding "all things".

P.S. Are you asserting that heaven has existed for an eternity past?

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Yet the scripture says heaven was created.

I'm sure you've not established your point yet.

Turbo
July 29th, 2004, 02:06 PM
That verse does not say that the heavens have always existed.

Eternal can also mean eduring forever (in the future), never ceasing to exist.

Note that in that verse there is a contrast being drawn between the earthly house, which could be dissolved, and the heavenly house, which will never dissolve.

It is not talking about the creation (or origin) of the tabernacle, and it is not saying that the heaven was uncreated. It says heaven was "not made with hands." In other words, heaven is not man-made.

billwald
July 29th, 2004, 02:18 PM
>Would a god who can exercise no direct control still be God?

Sure, why not? Is God the top dog who aplways has to get his way? Can't God simply be creative and curious?

billwald
July 29th, 2004, 02:21 PM
>Of course goodness must be eternal!

What if evil is eternal and goodness is recent?

STONE
July 29th, 2004, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by Turbo

That verse does not say that the heavens have always existed.

Eternal can also mean eduring forever (in the future), never ceasing to exist.

Note that in that verse there is a contrast being drawn between the earthly house, which could be dissolved, and the heavenly house, which will never dissolve.

It is not talking about the creation (or origin) of the tabernacle, and it is not saying that the heaven was uncreated. It says heaven was "not made with hands." In other words, heaven is not man-made.

The only new point I see you making here is "eternal" does not mean "eternal".

e·ter·nal ( P ) Pronunciation Key (-tûrnl)
adj.
Being without beginning or end; existing outside of time. See Synonyms at infinite.
Continuing without interruption; perpetual.
Forever true or changeless: eternal truths.
Seemingly endless; interminable. See Synonyms at ageless. See Synonyms at continual.
Of or relating to spiritual communion with God, especially in the afterlife.

n.
Something timeless, uninterrupted, or endless.
Eternal God.

Turbo
July 29th, 2004, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by Turbo

That verse does not say that the heavens have always existed.

Eternal can also mean eduring forever (in the future), never ceasing to exist.

Note that in that verse there is a contrast being drawn between the earthly house, which could be dissolved, and the heavenly house, which will never dissolve.

It is not talking about the creation (or origin) of the tabernacle, and it is not saying that the heaven was uncreated. It says heaven was "not made with hands." In other words, heaven is not man-made.



Originally posted by STONE

The only new point I see you making here is "eternal" does not mean "eternal".I didn't say that. I said that "Eternal can also mean eduring forever (in the future), never ceasing to exist."

Of course eternal can also mean "without beginning or end." But it can also simply mean "without end." It depends on the context.

Look at the dictionary entry you pasted (I added the numbers):


e·ter·nal ( P ) Pronunciation Key (-tûrnl)
adj.
1) Being without beginning or end; existing outside of time. See Synonyms at infinite.
2) Continuing without interruption; perpetual.
3) Forever true or changeless: eternal truths.
4) Seemingly endless; interminable. See Synonyms at ageless. See Synonyms at continual.
5) Of or relating to spiritual communion with God, especially in the afterlife.
Does the afterlife have no beginning?

(By the way, I would dispute the use of the phrase "existing outside of time" in any discussion about theology. That idea is not Biblical. In fact, it's irrational in any context. But that's another issue.)

Knight
July 29th, 2004, 03:25 PM
To add to Turbo's point....

Even we are eternal yet we had a beginning.

God on the other hand, lived eternally into the past AND eternally into the future.

godrulz
July 29th, 2004, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Knight

To add to Turbo's point....

Even we are eternal yet we had a beginning.

God on the other hand, lived eternally into the past AND eternally into the future.

The biblical concept is 'everlasting'. God experiences an everlasting duration of time. He is uncreated Creator, with no beginning and no end. He is eternal, which does not have to mean timeless.

We are everlasting, but had a beginning, but will live forever.

Time is unidirectional succession, sequence, duration experienced by any personal being.

libevangelical
July 29th, 2004, 05:10 PM
Ever feel like you step into someone's conversation and starting talking about something no one is interested in?

Turbo
July 29th, 2004, 05:26 PM
:confused:

Turbo
July 29th, 2004, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

The biblical concept is 'everlasting'. Yes, but the word eternal can be used interchangeably with everlasting to mean "enduring without end."

The Greek word that is translated as eternal in 2 Cor 5:1 (a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens) is aionios, and is often translated as everlasting. Like our word eternal, it can mean "without beginning or end" or simply "without end," depending on the context.

libevangelical
July 29th, 2004, 06:05 PM
My transmission in my 98 Taurus is going bad. What should I do?

STONE
July 29th, 2004, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Knight

To add to Turbo's point....

Even we are eternal yet we had a beginning.

God on the other hand, lived eternally into the past AND eternally into the future.

O.K, you agree something can be eternal and yet created.

Does God exist merely within time (past present futre)?

Turbo
July 29th, 2004, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by STONE

O.K, you agree something can be eternal and yet created. Knight is giving an example of the type of eternal that means "without end," rather than "without beginning or end."

"The heavens" is another example of something that is created (Genesis 1:1) but is eternal in the sense that it is "without end" or "everlasting" (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Of course God can create things that are without end. But it would be irrational to say that God can create something that is without a beginning.

You have not acknowledged our point that sometimes "eternal" simply means "endless." Knight's example was an illustration of this point.



For clarity's sake:

Do you now concede that sometimes eternal means "without end," even though at other times it means "without beginning or end"?

or

Do you maintain that eternal always means "without beginning and without end"?

STONE
July 29th, 2004, 08:44 PM
All things that are created have a beginning. I haven't suggested otherwise.

I ask at what point in time was heaven created?

-and-

Does God exist only within time (past present futre)?

Turbo
July 29th, 2004, 09:45 PM
Originally posted by STONE

All things that are created have a beginning. I haven't suggested otherwise.

I ask at what point in time was heaven created?

-and-

Does God exist only within time (past present futre)? God created the heavens on day one of Creation. It's recorded in the very first verse of the Bible.

God did not create time. The Bible describes God existing and operating "in time." We read in Genesis 1 that God created over the course of six days, then He rested on the seventh day. (If God existed outside of time, He could not create and then not create.) No where in the chapter (or anywhere else in Scripture) do we read of God creating time.

God is not limited by time in that He has always existed and will always exist, and there is no limit to what God can do in any given amount of time. But He still experiences sequence and duration, which is really all that our idea of time describes.



Now, please answer my question:

For clarity's sake:

Do you now concede that sometimes eternal means "without end," even though at other times it means "without beginning or end"?

or

Do you maintain that eternal always means "without beginning and without end"?

godrulz
July 29th, 2004, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by libevangelical

My transmission in my 98 Taurus is going bad. What should I do?

Fix it or sell it.

STONE
July 29th, 2004, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by Turbo

God created the heavens on day one of Creation. It's recorded in the very first verse of the Bible.

God did not create time. The Bible describes God existing and operating "in time." We read in Genesis 1 that God created over the course of six days, then He rested on the seventh day. (If God existed outside of time, He could not create and then not create.) No where in the chapter (or anywhere else in Scripture) do we read of God creating time.

God is not limited by time in that He has always existed and will always exist, and there is no limit to what God can do in any given amount of time. But He still experiences sequence and duration, which is really all that our idea of time describes.

Now, please answer my question:

Eternal can mean from now and forever.

I am addressing something always existing, and yet being created.

Going back to your reasoning:

God created the first day, but not time. What part of time existed before the first day?
-and-
If god only exists within time, then does he only exist between the first and last day?

STONE
July 29th, 2004, 10:48 PM
There is no reason to drag this through.
It is innevitable.
All exists within God, and is under his discretionary control.

libevangelical
July 30th, 2004, 06:38 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

Fix it or sell it.
Wow...glad I could write something interesting enough even if it is off topic to get a response. Thanks godrulz:thumb:

libevangelical
July 30th, 2004, 07:03 PM
Can open theism be conceived as an orthodox theology? If not, why?

godrulz
July 30th, 2004, 11:34 PM
Originally posted by libevangelical

Can open theism be conceived as an orthodox theology? If not, why?

It is orthodox on the essentials. It is more about the openness of God's creation, than the 'openness of God'. Issues like the nature of time and eternity, relationship between sovereignty and free will, etc. are in the realm of biblical philosophy and are not systematically, definitively answered in a single Bible verse.

Open Theism is not traditional, classical theology in areas of foreknowledge, strong immutability, etc. The question is which theological system is least problematic and most biblical.

Open Theism can be conceived more as a subdivision of Armininianism than Calvinism (with Enyart's qualifications acknowledged...it differs from Arminianism in the area of exhaustive foreknowledge, etc.)

Traditional Reformed-Calvinists will consider it as or more heretical than Arminianism.

The controversy continues...

The recent dealings of Boyd and Pinnock with the Evangelical Theological Society (see Christianity Today Jan./2004) are insightful.

libevangelical
July 31st, 2004, 06:52 AM
Now same question about process theology...Can it be conceived of as an orthodox theology?

add yasaf
July 31st, 2004, 07:13 AM
If God can only do what man can do, then God could not have become incarnate, or it can not be truthfully said that God swore by himself to do something, when in reality it was conditional.

libevangelical
July 31st, 2004, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by add yasaf

If God can only do what man can do, then God could not have become incarnate, or it can not be truthfully said that God swore by himself to do something, when in reality it was conditional.
As far as I know process theology never makes this claim of limitation on Divine power.

add yasaf
July 31st, 2004, 09:38 AM
God forced the embryo of the human part of Jesus to be intertwined with the divine. For people who believe abortion is wrong, the baby does have a voice.

add yasaf
July 31st, 2004, 09:49 AM
Process theology does not believe in the Trinity



Pittenger - The deity of Jesus does not mean that he is an eternally preexistent person, but refers to God's act in and through the life of Jesus, who incarnated and transformed the whole of Israel's religion and became the eminent example of God's creative love which is at work universally.


Cobb -- Cobb emphasizes a Logos Christology. The Logos as the primordial nature of God is present (incarnate) in all things in the form of initial aims for creatures. But Jesus is the fullest incarnation of the Logos because in him there was no tension between the divine initial aim and his own self-purposes of the past. Jesus so prehended God that God's immanence was "coconstitutive" of Jesus' selfhood.

godrulz
July 31st, 2004, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by libevangelical

Now same question about process theology...Can it be conceived of as an orthodox theology?

I imagine there are Process theologians who are believers, but it is more outside orthodoxy. It minimizes the distinction between Creator and creature, and leads to a form of pantheism. Some of the ideas are contra/extrabiblical. The questions we need to ask Process believers should relate to the essentials of the Faith: Deity of Christ, atonement, resurrection of Christ, etc.

Open Theism has similar ideas about God being responsive, creative, and dynamic as opposed to static and absolutely unchanging, but it develops its ideas more from Scripture and less from philosophy. Process is more philosophically speculative and less from the authority of revelation.

Pinnock is evangelical, but has some ideas that push the envelope. In his writings, he distances Open Theism from Process after recognizing some similarities, yet he may adopt some philosophical ideas from it more than someone like Boyd might.

I suppose there are varieties of Process from conservative to liberal (cf. denominations). Some may try to reconcile evangelical theology, while others may be unorthodox as the above post shows. They do not have one statement of faith in common.

billwald
July 31st, 2004, 10:11 AM
"Can open theism be conceived as an orthodox theology?"

Yes, because it does not conflict with the ecumenical creeds.

freelight
July 31st, 2004, 11:47 AM
Is what is conceived as an 'orthodox theology' necessarily true or praiseworthy?

- not necessarily.


As one who finds affinities with some basic logics within process theology....such certainly is more philosophically satisfying than a rigid theism that does not allow for philosophic flexibilities. Theology without philosophy is less wholistic and progressive than with it IMO. So I hold to the logics of a theosophical view of the advance of progressive truths (unfolding more and more into a wholistic vision of the fullness of universal Truth).

As such...I hold the view that God in certain aspects of his conditional nature....grows, expands and experiences all creation (things/beings) - this is not kin to pantheism...but panentheism. God in his unconditional nature of course...remains absolute, independent.....yet in his conditional nature and union with all creation which is in Him....he participates and experiences the whole of creation - He is in his creation...and his creation is in Him. In this inner-mergence.....creation realizes with-in Creator......Creator realizes with-in creation. The fullness of experiencial being cannot be realized apart from this innate relational inter-dependence.



paul

billwald
July 31st, 2004, 11:56 AM
"Is what is conceived as an 'orthodox theology' necessarily true or praiseworthy?"

It is all we have to work with until Jesus returns. Anything else is "re-inventing the wheel."

The only other option is to canonize the newly discovered gospels such as the "Gospel of Peter." Only an ecumenical council can do that and none is currently possible.

I am convinced that Jesus never intended to begin a new organization but to reform Juadism from the inside.

I am convinced that Paul was teaching a bogus Gospel but after the Temple was destroyed Paul's faction won control of the existing organization. The side that wins the war writes the history books and the Bibles.

Turbo
July 31st, 2004, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by billwald

I am convinced that Paul was teaching a bogus Gospel but after the Temple was destroyed Paul's faction won control of the existing organization. The side that wins the war writes the history books and the Bibles. You mean guys like Peter and Luke (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=485009#post485009)?

libevangelical
July 31st, 2004, 03:05 PM
Thank you for your thoughtful replies. Process theology is panentheist but not pantheistic. Cobb does stress a Logos Christology which makes Jesus the ultimate constitution of the initial aim of God found in all creatures to maximize enjoyment. Cobb seems in his most recent work to binitarian. I am not as familiar with Pittenger but I wonder if by person he means the human nature of Jesus, thus keeping him on basically the same channel as Cobb. There are process theologians who are attempting to explore the doctrine of the trinity (Trinity in Process ed. bracken and Suchocki). It seems to me that within Process theology the trinitarian doctrine is neither essential nor contrary. As for winners writing history and Bible...that is true to a certain extent....but their appear to be several winners in the Bible, not just Paul.

libevangelical
July 31st, 2004, 04:59 PM
As for an orthodox theology being praise worthy, it is so only because it keeps us in the same family. This does not preclude ongoing revelation or the movement of the Holy Spirit outside of the covenant community. God is receptive and transformed by our deeds and thoughts and convictions but God remains the same Triune God whose love is perfect in giving and receiving as both open and process theology assert.

Turbo
July 31st, 2004, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by libevangelical

God is receptive and transformed by our deeds... :noway:

libevangelical
July 31st, 2004, 05:37 PM
any further coments turbo?

freelight
July 31st, 2004, 07:20 PM
The Urantia Book(UB) espouses a cosmic theology that has at its core some essential affinities with process theology (in some and particular aspects). I have found some very profound concepts in the UB....particularly the aspect called 'God the Supreme' - this is the evolving conditional aspect of God that experiences the whole of all creation ...and is the ever growing summation of all experience in the time-space worlds. Higher levels of Deity-Being exist above God the Supreme...being God the Ultimate and God the Absolute (it covers many wonderful aspects of Deity)...yet are all relational...as there is only Deity-Being thru-out. Also I have found it contains one of the most profound commentaries on the Trinity and the inter-relations of these divine persons I have ever read.

http://www.ubfellowship.org/index.html


I am well aware that the UB is an extra-biblical revelation and has some unorthodox views in contrast to orthodox christianity. However, I note its affinities with process theology.....and that its concept and teaching on Deity allows for infinite expansion and growth of God and creation in an open-ended Universe. By 'growth of God' it is not intended to mean God is not already whole, perfect, self-sufficient.....but that in the process of creation....He is expanding His realization/experience of all that is be-ing and be-coming in the evolving Universe...being worlds without end.


paul

Turbo
July 31st, 2004, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by libevangelical

any further coments turbo? :o Sorry, libevangelical. I forgot or somehow missed where you said you were an Open Theist in the first post. I was thinking you were trying to dismiss Open Theism by lumping it in with Process Theology, as some of those who have responded have tried to do.

Thinking that you were a Calvinist or an Arminian, I was surprised that you said "God is receptive and transformed..." It's not something you expect to hear from someone who believes God exists outside of time in "the eternal now."

Again, sorry for the mix-up.

Turbo
July 31st, 2004, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by libevangelical

Ever feel like you step into someone's conversation and starting talking about something no one is interested in? So, what exactly were you alluding to here? Was it the whole exchange about the definition of eternal? Or did it start when we were discussing what is included when we started discussing what it means to say that God "has created all things" (i.e. did God create wickedness)?

Were you hoping the discussion would focus more on Process Theology, specifically?

Just curious...