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Swordsman
September 14th, 2004, 02:12 PM
OK? I gotta vent.

I try to be calm and I try to be patient with those that attribute their free will to how they were saved, but there are some times I simply can't be patient or cordial because this twisted sick, perverted ideology is sometimes too much to handle.

A so-called "Christian" friend of mine thinks when he was saved, that it was his own initiative and that God responded by saving him. He utilized his "free will" to choose God?!?!? Where in the world did he come up with this idea?

That is just plain unscriptural!

What ever happened to understanding that man is sinful? He does not seek after God. His mind is at enmity against God. No man is righteous. He was born into sin via the fall of man. He is a slave to sin.

How can one then jump from his wretchedness into complete salvation on his own?

IMPOSSIBLE! How dare one deny the power of God to have complete control of whom He chooses unto salvation. How prideful is man to think that he can take credit for his salvation?

This whole ideology of open theism/arminism/freewillism really proves man's downfallenness. It lessens God down to our puny platform of thinking. It makes God more humanistic and dilutes His power and grace.

jjjg
September 14th, 2004, 02:27 PM
God calls to all of us. Catholics call this actual grace and as Christ says no one can come to to unless the Father calls him to me.

At the same time it takes an act of will for us to accept Christ. Lots of people deny Christ. If it didn't take an act of will on our part then everybody would accept him and all would be saved.

Once we accept Christ we recieve sacramental grace at baptism.

Knight
September 14th, 2004, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman
A so-called "Christian" friend of mine thinks when he was saved, that it was his own initiative and that God responded by saving him. He utilized his "free will" to choose God?!?!? Where in the world did he come up with this idea?

That is just plain unscriptural! “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.� - Joshua 24:15

Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.�

That was easy.

Next?

Lucky
September 14th, 2004, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

A so-called "Christian" friend of mine thinks when he was saved, that it was his own initiative and that God responded by saving him. He utilized his "free will" to choose God?!?!? Where in the world did he come up with this idea?
Probably from Scripture. I'm going to point out you said/he said "God responded by saving him."

What ever happened to understanding that man is sinful? He does not seek after God. His mind is at enmity against God. No man is righteous. He was born into sin via the fall of man. He is a slave to sin.
Before salvation, I'd say yeah, that's a pretty good description of our state.

How can one then jump from his wretchedness into complete salvation on his own?
On his own? We are saved by grace through faith. You didn't say your friend said he saved himself, but that God saved him. (See bold words earlier in post.) Make up your mind, will you?

Knight
September 14th, 2004, 02:47 PM
:up: :lucky:

No open theist would say we "save ourselves" God is the only one that can do that. However we must choose for ourselves if we want to be saved.

We are responsible for our own eternal decision.

It's pretty simple really.

Knight
September 14th, 2004, 02:52 PM
Swordsman, you argue that we are not responsible for our own decision regarding salvation. Yet my guess is you would also argue that it IS our responsibility if we chose NOT to be saved. True???

So... answer this question....

Who is responsible for a man's decision to receive eternal damnation?

A. Man
B. God

elected4ever
September 14th, 2004, 06:02 PM
The call to salvation is a universal call.Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin. of righteousness and of Judgment. This is also universal. We could never come to Christ without first believing that we are just exactly what the Holy Spirit says we are.

Man has no knowledge of sin with out the seeking of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit seeks and saves man. The universal call to man is the Holy Spirit's seeking. The saving is the Holy Spirit's response to the responsive man. That is why confession and belief is required of man. Man must choose to respond to the Holy Spirit in order to be saved. Man cannot save himself. He has no means to do so. That is why we love God because He first loved us.

There is, however, no predetermination of salvation for a select few and the rest are predetermined to remain lost. Wither a person is saved or unsaved is basted on the response of the individual to the conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit. The choice to accept or reject salvation is an individual choice and the choice cannot be made by a surrogate. No One can make the choice for you. You are responsible for your personal choice.

:E4E:

kidd94
September 14th, 2004, 09:18 PM
God never intended that man, on the day of judgement, can ever stand before Him and say, "it's not my fault, you wired me this way"...

It's still ultimately OUR choice...

kidd94
September 14th, 2004, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

OK? I gotta vent.

I try to be calm and I try to be patient with those that attribute their free will to how they were saved, but there are some times I simply can't be patient or cordial because this twisted sick, perverted ideology is sometimes too much to handle.

A so-called "Christian" friend of mine thinks when he was saved, that it was his own initiative and that God responded by saving him. He utilized his "free will" to choose God?!?!? Where in the world did he come up with this idea?

That is just plain unscriptural!

What ever happened to understanding that man is sinful? He does not seek after God. His mind is at enmity against God. No man is righteous. He was born into sin via the fall of man. He is a slave to sin.

How can one then jump from his wretchedness into complete salvation on his own?

IMPOSSIBLE! How dare one deny the power of God to have complete control of whom He chooses unto salvation. How prideful is man to think that he can take credit for his salvation?

This whole ideology of open theism/arminism/freewillism really proves man's downfallenness. It lessens God down to our puny platform of thinking. It makes God more humanistic and dilutes His power and grace.

How does one then know that they are saved vs. someone hobo walking the street...?

Clete
September 14th, 2004, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman
A so-called "Christian" friend of mine thinks when he was saved, that it was his own initiative and that God responded by saving him. He utilized his "free will" to choose God?!?!? Where in the world did he come up with this idea?

Swordsman! Welcome back! I haven't seen anything from you in a while.

First of all, are you suggesting that people who do not beleive in Calvinism do not believe the gospel and are therefore not "Christian"?

Secondly, if Calvinism is right and your "friend" has no free will, then wouldn't he have "come up with this idea" because God predestined that he would? Wouldn't you have to say, in order to be consistant, that your friend had been predestined to believe in free will?

Resting in Him,
Clete

cellist
September 14th, 2004, 09:45 PM
Our conversion is totally of God and not ourselves. This is basic Augustinian as well as Reformation theology. We are born into this world spiritually dead and so we will always reject Christ unless, by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Gospel, God creates faith and the new birth in us. I didn't decide to have faith. God gave me faith as a gift. Our salvation from first to last is a gift from him. It does not arise from us. And for the record, I'm not a Calvinist.

God_Is_Truth
September 14th, 2004, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

Swordsman! Welcome back! I haven't seen anything from you in a while.

First of all, are you suggesting that people who do not beleive in Calvinism do not believe the gospel and are therefore not "Christian"?

Secondly, if Calvinism is right and your "friend" has no free will, then wouldn't he have "come up with this idea" because God predestined that he would? Wouldn't you have to say, in order to be consistant, that your friend had been predestined to believe in free will?

Resting in Him,
Clete

of course, but he'd also have to say that he was predestined to be furious about it and predestined to vent about it and that you also were predestined to point out that consistency and that i was predestined to make this point as well :dizzy:

kidd94
September 14th, 2004, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by cellist

Our conversion is totally of God and not ourselves. This is basic Augustinian as well as Reformation theology. We are born into this world spiritually dead and so we will always reject Christ unless, by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Gospel, God creates faith and the new birth in us. I didn't decide to have faith. God gave me faith as a gift. Our salvation from first to last is a gift from him. It does not arise from us. And for the record, I'm not a Calvinist.

When you accepted this gift, what did you do then?

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 07:27 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Swordsman, you argue that we are not responsible for our own decision regarding salvation. Yet my guess is you would also argue that it IS our responsibility if we chose NOT to be saved. True???

So... answer this question....

Who is responsible for a man's decision to receive eternal damnation?

A. Man
B. God

Well, it was never man's decision to be damned. It is man's nature to love darkness and hate light. He didn't wake up one day and say "I think I wanna go to hell."

The doctrine of Total Depravity is vital to understand if a believer wants to grow to know the power and sovereignty of the Almighty God. And since man is depraved, he is unable to accept or understand God.

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 1 Corinthians 2:14

...both Jews and Greeks are all under sin as it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one'. Romans 3:9-12

So I think that explains very well who is responsible for our salvation. And you can only deduce that it is not man.

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 07:28 AM
Originally posted by kidd94

God never intended that man, on the day of judgement, can ever stand before Him and say, "it's not my fault, you wired me this way"...

It's still ultimately OUR choice...

For your sake, I hope God chose you.

kidd94
September 15th, 2004, 07:30 AM
How do you know you are elected then??

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 07:40 AM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

Swordsman! Welcome back! I haven't seen anything from you in a while.

:wave: Howdy Clete!


First of all, are you suggesting that people who do not beleive in Calvinism do not believe the gospel and are therefore not "Christian"?

No, I am not suggesting that. I didn't go into further detail about my friend. He comes from a unitarian background and is currently being misled by the writings of Boyd and Sanders.


Secondly, if Calvinism is right and your "friend" has no free will, then wouldn't he have "come up with this idea" because God predestined that he would? Wouldn't you have to say, in order to be consistant, that your friend had been predestined to believe in free will?

Resting in Him,
Clete

I would have to agree with you on this.

To some people God doesn't grant the truth and blinds them so they may believe in false doctrine. In John 12, Christ tells why the people did not believe and he quotes from Isaiah, 39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by kidd94

How do you know you are elected then??

I believe that I was dead to my sins and unable to come to Christ on my own. (Ephesians 2, Romans 8) I believe that God provided a way of salvation from my sins through the blood of His only Son Jesus Christ. And I believe I have been united to Christ by faith, a faith I did not develop, but received as a gift of God's saving grace. I believe my sins are paid for and that righteousness has been imputed upon me as though I had never sinned (Galatians 2).

And that is what unconditional election is all about. He chose me. He plucked me out of the fire. A damnation I fully deserve. But God saved me. And I owe every facet of my life to Him.

That one word - grace. If only modern-day believers really understood what it really means.....

cellist
September 15th, 2004, 08:14 AM
Originally posted by kidd94

When you accepted this gift, what did you do then?

Faith is trusting in the work of Christ for my salvation. I do not ever remember saying to myself; "OK, now I am deciding to believe." I was simply listening to preaching and I was overwhelmed by the the love God had shown me in Christ and I found I was trusting in that for my salvation and had a new desire to obey him. I new very little theologically, but I had a new trust and love for God. I think if we are all honest with ourselves, we will admit that we never actually "decided" we would have faith. This also squares with what the Scriptures say about us being dead in sin, and God making us alive (Eph), comparing our conversion to raising us from the dead. Or in John where it says that those who received him were born not of the will of man, nor of the flesh but of God (Jhn).

kidd94
September 15th, 2004, 08:28 AM
Originally posted by Swordsman

I believe that I was dead to my sins and unable to come to Christ on my own. (Ephesians 2, Romans 8) I believe that God provided a way of salvation from my sins through the blood of His only Son Jesus Christ. And I believe I have been united to Christ by faith, a faith I did not develop, but received as a gift of God's saving grace. I believe my sins are paid for and that righteousness has been imputed upon me as though I had never sinned (Galatians 2).

And that is what unconditional election is all about. He chose me. He plucked me out of the fire. A damnation I fully deserve. But God saved me. And I owe every facet of my life to Him.

That one word - grace. If only modern-day believers really understood what it really means.....

Ok.

So your "pre-belief" state was what? A sinner who knew nothing of God. A sinner that did not know he was a sinner?

You had to have had some type of "belief" system before you "Believed", right?

So how did you know that you went from a "sin" state of belief to a "saved/elected" state of belief

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 08:50 AM
Originally posted by kidd94

Ok.

So your "pre-belief" state was what? A sinner who knew nothing of God. A sinner that did not know he was a sinner?

Correct. :thumb:


You had to have had some type of "belief" system before you "Believed", right?

Nope. :nono: Believe in what? The things of this world? OK. You could say I was once lost shaped by worldly things. But now I'm found. Was blind, but now I see.


So how did you know that you went from a "sin" state of belief to a "saved/elected" state of belief

The invasion of the Holy Spirit upon my life making me realize I was a sinner and that I offending the Almighty God. I was moved to confess my sins, and was told that when I did, He would forgive me and make me righteous like His Son.

Knight
September 15th, 2004, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by Swordsman

Well, it was never man's decision to be damned. It is man's nature to love darkness and hate light. He didn't wake up one day and say "I think I wanna go to hell."

The doctrine of Total Depravity is vital to understand if a believer wants to grow to know the power and sovereignty of the Almighty God. And since man is depraved, he is unable to accept or understand God.

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 1 Corinthians 2:14

...both Jews and Greeks are all under sin as it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one'. Romans 3:9-12

So I think that explains very well who is responsible for our salvation. And you can only deduce that it is not man. Uh... we already know you think man has no responsibility in his choice to accept Christ.

That isn't what I asked.

I would like you to be consistent and admit that man also has NO responsibility in his decision to NOT choose Christ.

What's a matter? Cat got your tongue? :)

God_Is_Truth
September 15th, 2004, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Uh... we already know you think man has no responsibility in his choice to accept Christ.

That isn't what I asked.

I would like you to be consistent and admit that man also has NO responsibility in his decision to NOT choose Christ.

What's a matter? Cat got your tongue? :)

slightly off topic, i just want to say congrats to knight on reaching 10k posts!

way to go :thumb:

Knight
September 15th, 2004, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

slightly off topic, i just want to say congrats to knight on reaching 10k posts!

way to go :thumb: Look at that purple star glimmer! :D

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Uh... we already know you think man has no responsibility in his choice to accept Christ.

That isn't what I asked.

I would like you to be consistent and admit that man also has NO responsibility in his decision to NOT choose Christ.

What's a matter? Cat got your tongue? :)

C'mon Knight. You know I will not bow out and fit into your ideology on that.

Man has a responsibility if he rejects God. And he will be judged accordingly and cast into the Lake of Fire.

The flip side to the coin is that when God chose particular men unto salvation, they weren't responsible for that choosing. God even gave them the faith to believe. They could not resist His sovereign election. That IS the defining point of the word grace, and how misunderstood it is among modern-church goers.

There is nothing a man can boast about when it comes to his salvation. Arminians/Open Theists believe you can though. I would argue that they have no idea as to what grace is. But you go to their churches and they preach a "Salvation by Grace." (a twisted form of it)

Knight
September 15th, 2004, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

C'mon Knight. You know I will not bow out and fit into your ideology on that.

Man has a responsibility if he rejects God. And he will be judged accordingly and cast into the Lake of Fire.Uhg.... why is it you Calvinists cannot find it within yourself to answer that question consistently?????

If man can do nothing of himself (which you assert) it only follows he has no responsibility in his eternal destination for heaven OR hell.

So there you have it folks yet one more in the long line of Calvinists that assert man has no ability to make a choice.... but IS responsible for the choice as long as it's the WRONG choice. And therefore God has predestined the majority of souls to hell and to be held eternally responsible for a choice they had no ability to affect. :kookoo:

You continue...
There is nothing a man can boast about when it comes to his salvation. Arminians/Open Theists believe you can though. I would argue that they have no idea as to what grace is. But you go to their churches and they preach a "Salvation by Grace." (a twisted form of it) LOL... it would be more fun to debate you if you actually understood the arguments.

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Uhg.... why is it you Calvinists cannot find it within yourself to answer that question consistently?????

You mean consistant with your perception of it. :chuckle:


If man can do nothing of himself (which you assert) it only follows he has no responsibility in his eternal destination for heaven OR hell.

Book, chapter, verse please.


So there you have it folks yet one more in the long line of Calvinists that assert man has no ability to make a choice.... but IS responsible for the choice as long as it's the WRONG choice. And therefore God has predestined the majority of souls to hell and to be held eternally responsible for a choice they had no ability to affect. :kookoo:

And it would be more fun to debate you if you actually understood what Calvinism teaches about predestination. But I would expect nothing less from one of Enyart's sheep.


You continue... LOL... it would be more fun to debate you if you actually understood the arguments.

Great comeback! Did that make you feel good to say that to me? Or were you just out of words and felt the need to sling a little mud my way?


Let me ask you something now.

With everything in your life up until now, are you accountable for? If so, did you choose to be born? Did you choose to be born in the USA? Did you choose your personality/character traits you have? What about your parents? Did you choose how you would be reared?

kidd94
September 15th, 2004, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman
I was moved to confess my sins, and was told that when I did, He would forgive me and make me righteous like His Son.

You were moved to confess your sins. At any time prior to this moving, did you decide that you should move to confess your sins?

See what I am getting at is that there has to be at one point in time, when you conciously decide that yes, I am a sinner, I am lost, going to hell, that you decide that you want to remove yourself from that condemned state by accepting with your heart and proclaiming with your mouth that Christ is Lord.

The words you use SM sound as if everything was done unconciously... As if you went to bed one, and got up the next morning and realized you were saved. The whole experience of getting saved was almost like a dream. As if you had no control over the circumstances at all.

Knight
September 15th, 2004, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

You mean consistent with your perception of it. :chuckle: I mean consistent as in using logic.

You continue...
Book, chapter, verse please.:ha: Your theology isn't in the Bible! That's the point.

You continue...
And it would be more fun to debate you if you actually understood what Calvinism teaches about predestination. But I would expect nothing less from one of Enyart's sheep.:confused:

Have I mentioned Bob? No?? I haven't have I?

I expect an apology and a retraction. That was beyond rude.

You continue...
Let me ask you something now.

With everything in your life up until now, are you accountable for?Huh??? That didn't make sense.

You continue...
If so, did you choose to be born? Did you choose to be born in the USA?No... and no. So what?


Did you choose your personality/character traits you have?To some extent yes. So what?


What about your parents? Did you choose how you would be reared? To some extent yes. And my parent had a great deal of responsibility in those decisions. So what?

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by Knight

:ha: Your theology isn't in the Bible! That's the point.

:thumb: Keep reading your Bible, partner.


:confused:

Have I mentioned Bob? No?? I haven't have I?

I expect an apology and a retraction. That was beyond rude.

You are a follower of his aren't you?

OK then. How was that rude?

Let's move on.....


Huh??? That didn't make sense.

I asked you are you accountable for everything in your life up until now and you don't understand the question?

Its just a question Knight. I'm not drilling you.


No... and no. So what?

So you admit you didn't choose to be born nor where you were born. Good. At least you understand that.


To some extent yes. So what?

I don't agree here. Your personality traits are yours whether you like them or not. They make you who you are. I don't think you woke up one day and decided you wanted to be a belligerent, homosexual bashing open theist. It was obviously in His divine plan.


To some extent yes. And my parent had a great deal of responsibility in those decisions. So what?

And I disagree here as well. You made no choice at all in your childhood how your parent would rear you.

My point is, is that its all by the grace of God we are who we are. Its by the grace of God I wasn't born in Afghanistan. Its by the grace of God I wasn't reared by two lesbian moms. Its by the grace of God my parents taught me Christian values at a young age.

So you see, grace goes a long way. It isn't something us puny little humans can decide to get. If you believe that, then you don't understand grace. Simple. Accept it. Embrace it.

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by kidd94

You were moved to confess your sins. At any time prior to this moving, did you decide that you should move to confess your sins?

No.


See what I am getting at is that there has to be at one point in time, when you conciously decide that yes, I am a sinner, I am lost, going to hell, that you decide that you want to remove yourself from that condemned state by accepting with your heart and proclaiming with your mouth that Christ is Lord.

And that merely was my response to the faith God granted me. I did not initiate my salvation. He did.


The words you use SM sound as if everything was done unconciously... As if you went to bed one, and got up the next morning and realized you were saved. The whole experience of getting saved was almost like a dream. As if you had no control over the circumstances at all.

Ah, but the dream has yet to begin. I long for the day He comes back to take His saints with Him.

My control only goes as far as God allows it to. His grace was irresistible.

Knight
September 15th, 2004, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman
My point is, is that its all by the grace of God we are who we are. Its by the grace of God I wasn't born in Afghanistan. Its by the grace of God I wasn't reared by two lesbian moms. Its by the grace of God my parents taught me Christian values at a young age.And then isn't the flip side true as well (according to you that is)

Wouldn't it also be accurate to state (from your perspective.....)
My point is, is that its all by the grace of God we are who we are. Its by the grace of God that some people are born in Afghanistan and become terrorists. Its by the grace of God I wasn't some people are raised by two lesbian moms. Its by the grace of God some peoples parents taught them no values at a young age and later became wicked adults.Isn't the flip side a logical extension of your theology?

If not.... why not?

kidd94
September 15th, 2004, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman
And that merely was my response to the faith God granted me. I did not initiate my salvation. He did.


Why did you choose to respond?

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by Knight

And then isn't the flip side true as well (according to you that is)

Wouldn't it also be accurate to state (from your perspective.....)

My point is, is that its all by the grace of God we are who we are. Its by the grace of God that some people are born in Afghanistan and become terrorists. Its by the grace of God I wasn't some people are raised by two lesbian moms. Its by the grace of God some peoples parents taught them no values at a young age and later became wicked adults.

Isn't the flip side a logical extension of your theology?

If not.... why not?

Actually you're nearing the target but still missing. It really isn't by the grace of God those things occur, but it is by the will of God. He only extends His grace to His beloved, not to the damned. And I'm pretty sure you agree with this, my dear friend Knight.

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by kidd94

Why did you choose to respond?

I'd use a different word over "choose". Because I didn't choose. I responded because the gift of faith was imparted to me and His grace pulled me in like a tractor beam. I couldn't resist His loving, saving grace.

What are you trying to prove here anyway? That one can freely choose God? You Arminians have been trying to do that for centuries.

kidd94
September 15th, 2004, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

I'd use a different word over "choose". Because I didn't choose. I responded because the gift of faith was imparted to me and His grace pulled me in like a tractor beam. I couldn't resist His loving, saving grace.

What are you trying to prove here anyway? That one can freely choose God? You Arminians have been trying to do that for centuries.

I wouldn't call myself Arminian... I didn't even know the difference between Calvin and Arminius until a few years ago or what those terms meant...

I find Calvinism to be very intresting, but in my spirit, I can't agree with everything. Nor is Arminianism fully correct nor anyone else as a matter of fact... I don't think anyone has the perfect box for God yet.

We all believe in predestination.... You have to, or you believe that God is not Sovreign, thus not making him God. The difficult part is trying to understand how our dominion over this earth, and our ability to make conscious decisions aligns itself with God who knows all things. I have contemplated this many times and at best I can only summize that we really don't know how to define God in an absolute theology.

If we are all, predestined to Heaven or Hell, with no ability to change who we are, then how can we stand condemned on the day of judgement when we would be able to point the finger back at God. Morally, that is not a just, fair and loving God, and I think most people will agree. But you SM, confuse me and others by saying that we are responsible for our own condemnation, but yet you are not responsible in anyway for your own salvation. You were mearly drawn to it like a mosquito to the blue light...confused:

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by kidd94

I wouldn't call myself Arminian... I didn't even know the difference between Calvin and Arminius until a few years ago or what those terms meant...

I find Calvinism to be very intresting, but in my spirit, I can't agree with everything. Nor is Arminianism fully correct nor anyone else as a matter of fact... I don't think anyone has the perfect box for God yet.

And I don't agree with all of Calvinism either. I'm more of a 4 1/2 pointer if there is such a thing. hehe.....


We all believe in predestination.... You have to, or you believe that God is not Sovreign, thus not making him God.

Actually, most believers do not believe in predestination. Spend more time here on TOL and observe the non-belief.


The difficult part is trying to understand how our dominion over this earth, and our ability to make conscious decisions aligns itself with God who knows all things. I have contemplated this many times and at best I can only summize that we really don't know how to define God in an absolute theology.

Nicely put. Our finite minds can't (in this world) understand the things of God. One day, I believe His people will.


If we are all, predestined to Heaven or Hell, with no ability to change who we are, then how can we stand condemned on the day of judgement when we would be able to point the finger back at God. Morally, that is not a just, fair and loving God, and I think most people will agree.

You might want to do some more studying on predestination then. "Predestined to Hell" is never mentioned in the Scriptures. Only those who are predestined are those who are foreknown. (see Romans 8:29-30) And those who are foreknown, are the ones He loved from the foundation of the world. So, effectually, He doesn't predestine everybody. It ties in with foreknowledge. So, you have a large group of people (called the reprobate) who are not "known" by God.


But you SM, confuse me and others by saying that we are responsible for our own condemnation, but yet you are not responsible in anyway for your own salvation. You were mearly drawn to it like a mosquito to the blue light...confused:

Those whom are condemned deserve it because they are sinful. In fact, we all deserve such a condemnation. (see Ephesians 2:3) It really wasn't fair that God chose any unto salvation. You might ask why does God choose some and not the others. The only one who knows this answer is God Himself. It is for His glory though.

Turbo
September 15th, 2004, 04:01 PM
Originally posted (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=591386#post591386) by Swordsman

My point is that man IS responsible for his actions. And that includes lust. If one has issues with lust, he doesn't need to go eat at Hooters. Likewise, Christian females do not need to be exposing themselves. :confused:

I thought you thought it's all part of God's design. God predestines that men will lust; they have no control over the matter. And Hooters was God's idea. And if a Christian woman dresses immodestly it's because God specifically designed her wardrobe before time began.

Is there any part of that with which you disagree ?

Christine
September 15th, 2004, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by Turbo

I thought you thought it's all part of God's design. God predestines that men will lust; they have no control over the matter. And Hooters was God's idea. And if a Christian woman dresses immodestly it's because God specifically designed her wardrobe before time began.

Is there any part of that with which you disagree ?
Hi :turbo:

I know this isn't directed at me, but I do have a response :)

While everything is predestinated, man is still held accountable for his actions. This may sound like a contradiction, but this is how God set I believe God set it up.

Swordsman
September 15th, 2004, 05:34 PM
Christine and Turbo, but I never agreed everything is predestined. What Calvinist ever said every all things are predestined. No one. But the feeble-minded Arminian can't Only His elect are predestined to receive His love and therefore be eternally His.

You're trying to put words in my mouth Turbo, and you know it. Man is responsible for all that he does. And furthermore, it all comes naturally for man anyway. My sinful nature isn't something I acquired on my own. I was born with it. You were too. Embrace that Turbo.

Point being, you will come to grips with it. In these days, or before the judgement seat of the Almighty God.

ARGHH!!!!! Now do you know why Open Theism makes me furious.

All these misconceptions they throw out:
Predestined to hell?
Choosing God?
God doesn't know all?
God is not eternal?
Man has free-will apart from God's will?
ARGHH!!!:mad:

Did the Holy Spirit impart these "truths" to you? Or is it just something that sounded good while you were reading Boyd, or Enyart, or any other heretical author?

God_Is_Truth
September 15th, 2004, 09:58 PM
All these misconceptions they throw out:
Predestined to hell?
Choosing God?
God doesn't know all?
God is not eternal?
Man has free-will apart from God's will?


believe it or not, my theology is from the bible :D

Clete
September 16th, 2004, 05:52 AM
Originally posted by Swordsman

Christine and Turbo, but I never agreed everything is predestined. What Calvinist ever said every all things are predestined. No one. But the feeble-minded Arminian can't Only His elect are predestined to receive His love and therefore be eternally His.

Swordsman,

What Calvinist ever said that all things are predestined? How about all of them! It is a basic Calvinist doctrine. To deny that every single event that occurs whether it is of a moral nature or not is to deny Calvinism all together! Every flicker of light that bounces from the road to the chrome bumper on the car in front of you and just past your head that you never even saw was predestined to take that exact path at the exact moment that it happened. Every atom is in its exact place, precisely where God predestined that it would be before time began. This is the essence Calvinistic predestination.
Such meticulous predestination is logically required in order to maintain the absolute immutability of God. If something happened that God hadn't already known about then that would be a change and God's perfect immutability would crumble into dust. Calvinistic immutability is so important because they reason that something that is perfect cannot change because if it did then it would no longer be perfect.
This single piece of faulty logic is what the entire TULIP is logically derived from. To remove it is catastrophic to the entire Calvinist theological construct.

Resting in Him,
Clete

kidd94
September 16th, 2004, 06:51 AM
Originally posted by Swordsman

You might want to do some more studying on predestination then. "Predestined to Hell" is never mentioned in the Scriptures. Only those who are predestined are those who are foreknown. (see Romans 8:29-30) And those who are foreknown, are the ones He loved from the foundation of the world. So, effectually, He doesn't predestine everybody. It ties in with foreknowledge. So, you have a large group of people (called the reprobate) who are not "known" by God.


My concern is that, according to what I have read, salavation is not our responsibilty, but somehow, eternal torment is... :devil:
That unbalances the scales of morality. Yes we can't fully understand God, but God his truest essence is Love.

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

If we want to find God, and understand God, isn't His word a great place to start. The scriptures outline the qualities of those who display love, and God is that perfect example. These passages may not fit into the mold of election vs free will, but it does point to the character of God. That is why I, in all honesty, can not say that there are those who go to hell, and have no way of changing that.

kidd94
September 16th, 2004, 07:24 AM
This scripture here has always intrested me. The key verse is 35. How can we reconcile this. It does appear to point in the direction that we do have the ability (dominion) to do things of this world that somehow God allows to happen that did not enter His mind... Granted this does not prove anything, but it does shed some possible light, however dim it might be.



Jeremiah 32:32-35

32 because of all the evil of the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah which they have done to provoke Me to anger--they, their kings, their leaders, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

33 "They have turned {their} back to Me and not {their} face; though {I} taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.

34 "But they put their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it.

35 "They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through {the fire} to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin..

natewood3
September 16th, 2004, 08:47 AM
Clete,

Before I ask this, I am not trying to argue; I just am looking for the answer. You said:



Calvinistic immutability is so important because they reason that something that is perfect cannot change because if it did then it would no longer be perfect.

Is not a change always for better or worse?

natewood3
September 16th, 2004, 08:50 AM
kidd94,


If we want to find God, and understand God, isn't His word a great place to start. The scriptures outline the qualities of those who display love, and God is that perfect example. These passages may not fit into the mold of election vs free will, but it does point to the character of God. That is why I, in all honesty, can not say that there are those who go to hell, and have no way of changing that.

Love is not God's most important attribute as Open Theism would have you believe. God is no more loving than He is Therefore, God judges and punishes sin. Either the individual will bear his/her own sin, or Christ will bear his/her sin.

Knight
September 16th, 2004, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by natewood3
Is not a change always for better or worse? It was the ancient pagan philosophers that came up with the flawed logic that something perfect cannot change.

And that philosophy is so obviously wrong!

Well.... wrong that is when applied to a animate objects or a living beings. That pagan philosophy only makes any sense when applied to a INanimate objects, like bowling balls or a statue.

A perfect clock changes ALL day long!!!

Animated objects or living beings change by definition. If we came across a animated object or a living being that didn't change we would refer to that item as "broken" or "dead".

A perfect God has the ability to relent... show mercy.... grieve... get jealous... get angry... forgive.... forget... and become flesh. God is NOT broken. God is alive! God is the Living God.

But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. - Jeremiah 10:10

God_Is_Truth
September 16th, 2004, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by Knight

It was the ancient pagan philosophers that came up with the flawed logic that something perfect cannot change.

And that philosophy is so obviously wrong!

Well.... wrong that is when applied to a animate objects or a living beings. That pagan philosophy only makes any sense when applied to a INanimate objects, like bowling balls or a statue.

A perfect clock changes ALL day long!!!

Animated objects or living beings change by definition. If we came across a animated object or a living being that didn't change we would refer to that item as "broken" or "dead".

A perfect God has the ability to relent... show mercy.... grieve... get jealous... get angry... forgive.... forget... and become flesh. God is NOT broken. God is alive! God is the Living God.

But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. - Jeremiah 10:10

:up:

kidd94
September 16th, 2004, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by natewood3

kidd94,

Love is not God's most important attribute as Open Theism would have you believe. God is no more loving than He is Therefore, God judges and punishes sin. Either the individual will bear his/her own sin, or Christ will bear his/her sin.

What is God's most important attribute then...?

Swordsman
September 16th, 2004, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by Knight

It was the ancient pagan philosophers that came up with the flawed logic that something perfect cannot change.

And that philosophy is so obviously wrong!

Well.... wrong that is when applied to a animate objects or a living beings. That pagan philosophy only makes any sense when applied to a INanimate objects, like bowling balls or a statue.

A perfect clock changes ALL day long!!!

Animated objects or living beings change by definition. If we came across a animated object or a living being that didn't change we would refer to that item as "broken" or "dead".

A perfect God has the ability to relent... show mercy.... grieve... get jealous... get angry... forgive.... forget... and become flesh. God is NOT broken. God is alive! God is the Living God.

But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. - Jeremiah 10:10

:down:

I could never trust a god like that. :nono:

Per your definition, he's no different than we are. I wonder if He could possibly sin? :think:

I like how Thomas Oden, a Methodist minister, warns the church against the false doctrines of openness


The fantasy that God is ignorant of the future is a heresy that must be rejected on scriptural grounds. Keeping the boundaries of faith undefined is a demonic temptation that evangelicals within the mainline have learned all too well and have been burned by all too painfully.

I love how he used the words "fantasy" and "demonic". That's exactly what the open view brings. It is just another attack on the church by Satan himself.

If the apostle Paul were still around, he would be writing letters to the churches in America exhorting them to flee these satanic falsehoods and hold on to the truth - that God is God! And that His will CANNOT be thwarted and those whom He hasn't plucked from the stream of men falling into Hell will be condemned for eternity! He is the one true Almighty God! There is no other. He knows the future because He created it! He knows all His sheep before the foundation of the world because He created them.


Originally posted by God_Is_Truth
believe it or not, my theology is from the bible :D

No it is not. How many times do I need to tell you that The Plot is NOT the Bible?

Knight
September 16th, 2004, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

:down:

I could never trust a god like that. :nono: You have a problem with the Living God?

YES or NO
In the Bible God describes Himself as the Living God?


Per your definition, he's no different than we are. I wonder if He could possibly sin? :think: That wasn't my definition.... it was His definition.

you continue...
I love how he used the words "fantasy" and "demonic". That's exactly what the open view brings. It is just another attack on the church by Satan himself.

If the apostle Paul were still around, he would be writing letters to the churches in America exhorting them to flee these satanic falsehoods and hold on to the truth - that God is God! And that His will CANNOT be thwarted and those whom He hasn't plucked from the stream of men falling into Hell will be condemned for eternity! He is the one true Almighty God! There is no other. He knows the future because He created it! He knows all His sheep before the foundation of the world because He created them.Spare us the dramatics... you sound as if you are losing it. :kookoo:

Swordsman
September 16th, 2004, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by Knight

You have a problem with the Living God?

No. There you go assuming I said that again.


YES or NO
In the Bible God describes Himself as the Living God?

Yes. Point? Because His "living" is nothing like our "living". You have no platform here Knight if you think you can draw some sort of conclusion to the Living God likened into a living man where he can make mistakes, take risks, change his mind, make regrets, ignorant, impatient, etc.....

If so, then I'll say it again. I COULD NEVER TRUST A GOD LIKE THAT.


That wasn't my definition.... it was His definition.

So its possible for God to sin? Please tell me that's not what you're saying? If so, you're no different than arguing with an atheist.


Spare us the dramatics... you sound as if you are losing it. :kookoo:

I'm always happy to entertain you Knight. :D

God_Is_Truth
September 16th, 2004, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

No it is not. How many times do I need to tell you that The Plot is NOT the Bible?

for the record, i have not read the Plot. not one single page.

God_Is_Truth
September 16th, 2004, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

If so, then I'll say it again. I COULD NEVER TRUST A GOD LIKE THAT.



why not?

Knight
September 16th, 2004, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

for the record, i have not read the Plot. not one single page. Don't bother Swordsman with the facts... he's like a bull in fine china store. :D

Knight
September 16th, 2004, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

If so, then I'll say it again. I COULD NEVER TRUST A GOD LIKE THAT.

So you cannot trust a God that is capable of change???

I trust a God that BECAME flesh.... do you?

Swordsman
September 17th, 2004, 06:57 AM
Originally posted by Knight

So you cannot trust a God that is capable of change???

No. Because He does not change. WE DO!


I trust a God that BECAME flesh.... do you?

Yes. And what is your point here? And please don't give me any more "change" openness jargon.

jpbordeaux87
September 17th, 2004, 07:00 AM
Posted by Knight:
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.� - Joshua 24:15

Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.�

+

Posted by Swordsman:
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 1 Corinthians 2:14

...both Jews and Greeks are all under sin as it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one'. Romans 3:9-12

= If the Bible is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, aren't you both right? Or is this a contradiction? Or maybe it's "One of God's secrets"? Can they both be true?
This does not compute.

Clete
September 17th, 2004, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by natewood3

Clete,

Before I ask this, I am not trying to argue; I just am looking for the answer. You said:




Is not a change always for better or worse?

Is an Oak better or worse because it grew a leaf or dropped an acorn or went dormant in winter?

Is a mountain stream better or worse because eroded a portion of the bank and meandered to the south of it previous position?

Is a traffic light better or worse because the light changed from green to red?

Is a car engine better or worse because cylinder 8 is firing at the moment instead of cylinder 7?

No! These things are not better or worse they are simply different!

Change does not imply improvement or worsening especially if it is part of one's nature to change. In that case, not to change would imply that something was wrong. If something does not change that should then chances are it is dead! Take the Oak for an example, does and dead stump of an Oak tree change more or less than one that is alive?
God is a living relational being. To suggest that He is immutable robs Him of the ability to even think, never mind have a genuine two way love relationship with another living being.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
September 17th, 2004, 09:10 AM
Swordsman,

Is God dead right now?

Has He ever been dead, even for say, 3 days maybe?

Has God ever been a man?

Is God a man right now?

Has there ever been a time when God was not a man?

Would you say that when something dies it has changed to one degree or another from when it was alive?

Is God sin now?

Has God ever been sin, say when he was dying on the cross, for example?

Has God always been sin?


The Calvinist doctrine of immutability is utterly incompatible with the very gospel itself. This speaks nothing about Open Theism, there are other possibilities so don't jump into attacking what you think Open Theism teaches in attempt to evade the questions I've posed here. We'll get to Open Theism in due time. You say that Open Theism makes you furious but it is you who are either unwilling, or unable to defend what you posit as not only AN alternative to it, but THE ONLY alternative to it! If you cannot defend Calvinism, why would I, or anyone else here, drop Open Theism in favor of it?

Resting in Him,
Clete

godrulz
September 17th, 2004, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Christine

Hi :turbo:

I know this isn't directed at me, but I do have a response :)

While everything is predestinated, man is still held accountable for his actions. This may sound like a contradiction, but this is how God set I believe God set it up.

Does not compute. The reason it sounds like a contradiction is that it is incoherent.

godrulz
September 17th, 2004, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by Swordsman

Christine and Turbo, but I never agreed everything is predestined. What Calvinist ever said every all things are predestined. No one. But the feeble-minded Arminian can't Only His elect are predestined to receive His love and therefore be eternally His.

You're trying to put words in my mouth Turbo, and you know it. Man is responsible for all that he does. And furthermore, it all comes naturally for man anyway. My sinful nature isn't something I acquired on my own. I was born with it. You were too. Embrace that Turbo.

Point being, you will come to grips with it. In these days, or before the judgement seat of the Almighty God.

ARGHH!!!!! Now do you know why Open Theism makes me furious.

All these misconceptions they throw out:
Predestined to hell?
Choosing God?
God doesn't know all?
God is not eternal?
Man has free-will apart from God's will?
ARGHH!!!:mad:

Did the Holy Spirit impart these "truths" to you? Or is it just something that sounded good while you were reading Boyd, or Enyart, or any other heretical author?

You are rejecting a straw-man caricature. God knows everything that is logically knowable=omniscient. Open Theists do not deny that God is uncreated, eternal. Many do see that eternal means everlasting duration, not timelessness. In both views, God has no beginning or end, etc.

Swordsman
September 17th, 2004, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
The Calvinist doctrine of immutability is utterly incompatible with the very gospel itself.

Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 6:17-18 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

There are more, but these are the ones off the top of my head.


This speaks nothing about Open Theism, there are other possibilities so don't jump into attacking what you think Open Theism teaches in attempt to evade the questions I've posed here. We'll get to Open Theism in due time.

My dear friend Cletus. I believe the title of this thread is "ARGH!!! Open Theism makes me furious!!!" So, the teachings of open theism are what's at stake, nothing else.


You say that Open Theism makes you furious but it is you who are either unwilling, or unable to defend what you posit as not only AN alternative to it, but THE ONLY alternative to it! If you cannot defend Calvinism, why would I, or anyone else here, drop Open Theism in favor of it?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Calvinism is NOT an alternative to the open view. It is the open view which has been portrayed as an alternative to foundational Christianity by renegade evangelicals such as Boyd and Pinnock.

I don't claim ever to defend Calvinism. However, its truths are Biblical and have been proven and defended for hundreds of years. The Open View, well, it has pretty much been denounced in most religious denominations as heresy.

godrulz
September 17th, 2004, 09:47 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by natewood3

Clete,

Before I ask this, I am not trying to argue; I just am looking for the answer. You said:

Is not a change always for better or worse? [/

QUOTE]

This is a Platonic fallacy. Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and in relationship with God and man. As He grew and changed from baby to adult, He did not go from better to worse. Creation and incarnation involve changes in the universe and in the Godhead (the Word became flesh, He was not always flesh= change).

A clock changes dynamically. It is accurate only because it changes, not because it is static/broke.

I can change my plans, preferences, thinking, etc. Often this is a change from the worse to the better.

For God to have a succession of thoughts or feelings (self-evident in the Bible), does not diminish His perfection. He would be imperfect if He could not change as we can. His character and attributes are unchanging. His relations and experiences do change. Strong immutability is indefensible for a personal being (absolute changeless=static). God is immutable in some vs all senses. He is not fickle or arbitrary, but He does change in response to man's repentance/prayer or continued rebellion (e.g. Jonah; Hezekiah).

godrulz
September 17th, 2004, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by natewood3

kidd94,



Love is not God's most important attribute as Open Theism would have you believe. God is no more loving than He is Therefore, God judges and punishes sin. Either the individual will bear his/her own sin, or Christ will bear his/her sin.

God's wrath, grace, mercy, justice, etc. flow out of God's love.

"God is love" I John 4:8

"God is light" I Jn. 1:5

Jn. 4:24 "God is spirit"

"God is sovereign" ? Hezekiah?

God is sovereign, but your definition of sovereigty is lacking. He is dynamic, responsive, creative, providential. He is not static and absolutely immutable or meticulously controlling (the logical outcome of your assumptions).

Hilston
September 17th, 2004, 10:02 AM
You guys should be embarrassed. Calvinists (whoever you are) should not let these sloppy and shiftless comments go unchallenged, but you do. Why?

You Open Theists are fortunate that you don't have careful thinking and sharp-minded Calvinists to debate you.


Knight writes:
It was the ancient pagan philosophers that came up with the flawed logic that something perfect cannot change.

And that philosophy is so obviously wrong!I challenge you to quote the philosopher(s) who said this, and then prove that you know what they meant by "change" and "perfection" in their vocabulary. Prove you know the difference between essence and morphology.

Like a bunch of Dan Rathers running around, you Open Theists make these general statements and then support them with the selective and anti-contextual evidence that only favors your view, not showing any care or concern about your readers, fans or critics and the fact that there are verses that do say God is unchanging (Ps 102:26,27 Mal 3:6 Joh 8:58 Heb 13:8 Jas 1:17).


Knight writes:
Well.... wrong that is when applied to a animate objects or a living beings. That pagan philosophy only makes any sense when applied to a INanimate objects, like bowling balls or a statue.This only proves that you don't know what you're talking about.


Knight writes:
A perfect clock changes ALL day long!!!Oh, I see. So at some point, all this changing would mean that it's no longer a clock, right? Oh, wait a second, maybe you don't mean change in that way? But wait, the way you Open Theists talk, one would think that change should only be understood in the simplest of terms, since you don't lift a finger to give careful definitions for anything. It's so annoying. I know what would happen if I pressed you guys on this stuff: You would start to backpedal and say, "I didn't mean it in that way" etc etc etc ad a nauseum. You guys make me sick. :vomit:


Clete Pfeiffer writes:
The Calvinist doctrine of immutability is utterly incompatible with the very gospel itself.Prove you even understand the doctrine of immutability. I have yet to find an Open Theist who has a clue. It's embarrassing.


Clete Pfeiffer writes:
Is an Oak better or worse because it grew a leaf or dropped an acorn or went dormant in winter?See what I mean? Good grief, you guys are pathetic. So God could lose something, or maybe something could go dormant, like His mercy or maybe His longsuffering? :freak:


Clete Pfeiffer writes:
Is a mountain stream better or worse because eroded a portion of the bank and meandered to the south of it previous position?Oh, I see. So because God moves and erodes things, that means He changes? Heraclitus would laugh you out of the room. :freak:


Clete Pfeiffer writes:
Is a traffic light better or worse because the light changed from green to red?That's exactly how I picture God. Green one moment, yellow the next, then red. That is what you're implying, isn't? Or maybe it's not that simple. Sheesh. :freak:


Clete Pfeiffer writes:
Is a car engine better or worse because cylinder 8 is firing at the moment instead of cylinder 7?How insightful! God is so much like an 8-cylinder engine the way He has intake and compression and exhaust and stuff. Brilliant! :freak:


Clete Pfeiffer writes:
No! These things are not better or worse they are simply different!But, isn't different synonymous with change? Oh, but you probably don't mean that kind of different. Or do you? What do you mean by different? What do you mean by change? What do you mean by Calvinism? It certainly is not like anything Calvin actually taught. Have any of you ever read a single word of Calvin? I've never met a more entertaining group of know-it-alls who don't know jack. You guys make me sick. :vomit:

Have a nice day.

godrulz
September 17th, 2004, 10:13 AM
Sword (alternative interpretation vs your proof texts):

Have you read all of Boyd's works or just the anti-Open books (I read both sides for balance)?

Num. 23:19 (God is not a man that he should lie or change his mind)

This is not a proof text for strong immutability. In this case/context, God is not fickle or capricious like man. It is that He WILL not vs CANNOT change in this specific instance/matter. God will not reverse His decision, but in other cases He does (Jonah; Hezekiah). He is faithful and trustworthy (will not change). Other prophecies are conditional and He says He will relent/change IF they heed His warnings.

Mal. 3:6 This does not mean that He does not change in any way (incarnation/creation are changes). It refers to divine faithfulness. God is not fickle or capricious. His moral character and essential attributes do not change, but His dealings with man, His experiences, His relations can and do change (or God is a cosmic blob, impassible and immutable...your understanding of immutability is Platonic, not Pauline).

James 1:17 Again, God does not change in a whimsical way. He is stable and trustworthy. You cannot use this as a proof text to make a speculative doctrine of strong immutability in every sense.

Heb. 6 God has an unchangeable purpose. He desires to redeem a people for Himself. His promises are certain (I can have integrity and make a promise. Does that make me immutable in an absolute sense? We are in the personal and moral image of God. It is impossible for God to lie in a moral vs metaphysical sense. You confuse God's personality/attributes and morals (unchanging) with relations and experiences (which do change if we are alive). Will (act), intellect (think), and emotions (feel) require change, sequence, duration, succession. They cannot logically happen all at once ('eternal now'). The context is not a didactic portion on immutability, but an affirmation of God's consistency in His dealings and purposes/intentions. The Flood was a change in God's plans. If humans did not become so corrupt, there would not have been a flood.

Ps. 102:26,27 In contrast to man who will perish, God will remain the same and endure from everlasting to everlasting. This says nothing about God's relations and experiences which can change (He will not perish, but this does not mean He is absolutely changeless in every sense).

Jn. 8:58 "I am" This means that the Word preexisted and is YHWH of Ex. 3:14. He is the self-existing one with no beginning and no end. He is uncreated. It does not mean that He cannot change. After all, He did create and incarnate. His interactions with Israel, individuals, and the Church are dynamic, not absolutely unchanging.

Heb. 13:8 Jesus is unchanging in His character and essential attributes. He did experience change in space-time and became the God-Man forever (different relation in the Godhead than His preexistence before He became flesh...He has not always had a body).

Are these explanations plausible even if you disagree with them? If not, why not? (apart from a preconceived theology)? Do you have sloppy exegesis with eisegesis, or does your view come from inductive study (vs deductive)?

Knight
September 17th, 2004, 10:25 AM
Poor Hilston... he has such a hard time with such simple concepts!

This has always been his downfall.

Tell us Hilston....

Which clock would be more perfect?

The clock that changes all day long?

Or... the clock that doesn't change at all?

Knight
September 17th, 2004, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by Swordsman
Yes. And what is your point here? And please don't give me any more "change" openness jargon. Answer me this....

YES or NO....?

God becoming flesh was a type of change.

Clete
September 17th, 2004, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Swordsman

Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 6:17-18 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

There are more, but these are the ones off the top of my head.

No there aren't more. These are the three verses of scripture that Calvinists use to prop up thier Aristitilian beleif system.

These verses are talking about God character, His personality, His righteuosness and Holiness. They are not saying that God does not change at all in any way whatsoever. Absolute imutability is not taught at all in the Bible, it just is not in there.


My dear friend Cletus.
Only the women in my life are permited to call me Cletus.


I believe the title of this thread is "ARGH!!! Open Theism makes me furious!!!" So, the teachings of open theism are what's at stake, nothing else.
This thread was very obviously named in direct response to Knight's thread against Calvinism. And you are saying in one way or another that Calvinism is the absolute equivilent to Christianity itself. We have presented multiple evidences both logical and Biblical that Calvinism is untenable and yet you refuse to rebut those arguments and instead stomp your feet and insist that Open Theism can't be true because Calvinism is. Well sorry, saying it doesn't make it so.


Calvinism is NOT an alternative to the open view. It is the open view which has been portrayed as an alternative to foundational Christianity by renegade evangelicals such as Boyd and Pinnock.
Are you even capable of constucting a logical thought in your head? If the Open View is an alternative to Calvinism then Calvinism is an alternative to the Open View. Further, Calvinism is less than 500 years old.


I don't claim ever to defend Calvinism. However, its truths are Biblical and have been proven and defended for hundreds of years. The Open View, well, it has pretty much been denounced in most religious denominations as heresy.
Yeah by Calvinists like you! What else would you expect? Unfortunately for you and the other Calvinists in the world, saying that Calvinism is Biblical doesn't make it so. Prove it if you can, or admit that you cannot.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Hilston
September 17th, 2004, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Poor Hilston... he has such a hard time with such simple concepts!

This has always been his downfall.

Tell us Hilston....

Which clock would be more perfect?

The clock that changes all day long?

Or... the clock that doesn't change at all? The clock that changes all day long, of course. And guess what? The kind of change you're talking about is perfectly consistent with the Calvinistic concept of God's nature. But you wouldn't know that because you're too busy tilting at windmills to even know what you're talking about. :freak:

Are you surprised? Or do you just not give a rip?


Originally posted by Knight
Answer me this....

YES or NO....?

God becoming flesh was a type of change.OH! Now it's a TYPE of change? Now you're being careful? See what I mean? This is exactly the kind of sloppy theological tripe that makes me marvel at the depravity of man.

By the way, the answer is YES. Would Calvin disagree? Do you even care?

But it's entertaining.

Rock on.

natewood3
September 17th, 2004, 10:35 AM
Knight,


Animated objects or living beings change by definition.

You are making God on the same level as other beings...


A perfect God has the ability to relent... show mercy.... grieve... get jealous... get angry... forgive.... forget... and become flesh. God is NOT broken. God is alive! God is the Living God.

Immutability does not mean that God cannot respond or move. He does show mercy, forgive, etc. However, He does not do these things like a man or as a human would do these things. He does not change His mind, for example, like a man, for God is not a man that He should change His mind.

natewood3
September 17th, 2004, 10:37 AM
kidd94,


What is God's most important attribute then...?

I do not see how you can think that God can have a "most important attribute," as if God uses part of His being more than others...

I do not believe any single attribute is more important than the rest...

natewood3
September 17th, 2004, 10:44 AM
Clete,


Change does not imply improvement or worsening especially if it is part of one's nature to change. In that case, not to change would imply that something was wrong. If something does not change that should then chances are it is dead! Take the Oak for an example, does and dead stump of an Oak tree change more or less than one that is alive?
God is a living relational being. To suggest that He is immutable robs Him of the ability to even think, never mind have a genuine two way love relationship with another living being.

So God is not really immutable even though He says all over, "I change not"??? That confuses me...

What you are doing is making all of these examples apply to God; these things change, which are not for better or worse, so God must change and it not be for better or worse. Are ANY of those things you listed perfect?

Humans can change and it not be for better or worse, right? Are we perfect? Are we the reference point to show how God really is? I think not...We are like God, not vice versa...

BTW, most Calvinists would never imply that God does not think experience, emotions, etc...

Hilston
September 17th, 2004, 10:52 AM
Natewood,

It's a waste of time. They don't care. You can quote Augustine or Calvin to them all day long, stating the explicit opposite of what they criticize, but they just don't care. Knight even exclaimed surprise at one point, saying something to the effect of "Wow, so Calvin does believe God changes." I thought maybe it might stick. But no. The Open Theists are so utterly incapable of arguing against the doctrine and prefer to argue against straw men that they will tenaciously continue to say that the Calvinists believe that God does not change in any way.

Total depravity in action, demonstrated by those who deny its reality. Delicious irony.

Here's another: The only thing that doesn't change in any way is the Open Theist's insistence that Calvinists believe that God doesn't change in any way.

natewood3
September 17th, 2004, 11:01 AM
Hilston,

I think you are completely right...it is straw man after straw man.

Yorzhik
September 17th, 2004, 11:16 AM
Hilston wrote
It's a waste of time. They don't care.
I'm hurt. I've actually tried to care about what you say, staying awake at night considering your posts. I have found it difficult that we so frequently are told we don't know a thing about TD or the nature of the Triune God, but you (and I've looked for it) have never offered what you think is the correct view.

Can you explain the Trinity and TD so we know your definitions of at least these 2 things?

Clete
September 17th, 2004, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by natewood3

Clete,



So God is not really immutable even though He says all over, "I change not"??? That confuses me...
A change of mind or a change from Spirit to flesh does not imply that God changes in His character or personality, etc. How can that be confusing?


What you are doing is making all of these examples apply to God; these things change, which are not for better or worse, so God must change and it not be for better or worse. Are ANY of those things you listed perfect?
What does it mean to be a perfect Oak tree? Does it not mean that it grows, reproduces, goes dormant in winter and spouts new growth in the spring? The very definition of being alive implies constant and various types of change.


Humans can change and it not be for better or worse, right? Are we perfect? Are we the reference point to show how God really is? I think not...We are like God, not vice versa...
Was Jesus perfect? Did He not grow from a baby into a teenager and then into adulthood? Did He not learn obedience? Did He not make new friends and developed other relationships which He did not have before? Did Jesus not die? Did He not rise from the dead?
Jesus was perfect in every conceivable way and yet changed in the most important ways immaginable!



BTW, most Calvinists would never imply that God does not think experience, emotions, etc...
Well of course they wouldn't! (Actually some do, but most intuitively see the problem with such an implication). Despite what Jim says we are not arguing against straw men. In fact, if anything, it is Jim who has presented the straw man not me or any other Open Theist on this thread. I know that Calvinists believe that God loves and that God thinks etc. The point is that the theology that they believe is based upon the fact that God is utterly immutable. Augustine absolutely did believe that God was immutable and based his predestination theology on that premise. Luther failed to drop much of what Augustine taught and Calvin learned it from Luther and formalized it into what we call Calvinism today. Augustine, by the way, learned that God was immutable from Aristotle (Plato) not the Bible. In fact he refused to become a Christian until he figured our how to make the Bible agree with Plato. And so when a Calvinist permits God to have a new thought or to be mad at one point in time and then glad in another, they are destroying the very foundation of their own theology, most without even knowing that they are doing so.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Swordsman
September 17th, 2004, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

No there aren't more. These are the three verses of scripture that Calvinists use to prop up thier Aristitilian beleif system.

I'll spend the weekend and study up on this some more, but I know there are plenty more passage in yours and my Bible that back this up.


These verses are talking about God character, His personality, His righteuosness and Holiness. They are not saying that God does not change at all in any way whatsoever. Absolute imutability is not taught at all in the Bible, it just is not in there.

See comment above.



Only the women in my life are permited to call me Cletus.

Forgive me then, Clete.


This thread was very obviously named in direct response to Knight's thread against Calvinism. And you are saying in one way or another that Calvinism is the absolute equivilent to Christianity itself. We have presented multiple evidences both logical and Biblical that Calvinism is untenable and yet you refuse to rebut those arguments and instead stomp your feet and insist that Open Theism can't be true because Calvinism is. Well sorry, saying it doesn't make it so.

No, you have no presented any evidence that Calvinism isn't Biblical. Some of your views and opinions? Yes, you have done a good job of that. Keep up the good work Clete. Why don't you, or I guess I could do it, start a thread dealing with some of these controversies such as God's immutability.


Are you even capable of constucting a logical thought in your head? If the Open View is an alternative to Calvinism then Calvinism is an alternative to the Open View. Further, Calvinism is less than 500 years old.

Just because something is the alternative of something else, doesn't mean it goes vice-versa. The open view is an alternative to fundamental Christianity. Fundamental Christianity is NOT an alternative to the open view.


Yeah by Calvinists like you! What else would you expect? Unfortunately for you and the other Calvinists in the world, saying that Calvinism is Biblical doesn't make it so. Prove it if you can, or admit that you cannot.

Resting in Him,
Clete

C.H. Spurgeon once said That doctrine which is called "Calvinism" did not spring from Calvin; we believe that it sprang from the great founder of all truth. Perhaps Calvin himself derived it mainly from the writings of Augustine. Augustine obtained his views, without doubt, through the Holy Spirit of God, from diligent study of the writings of Paul, and Paul received them from the Holy Ghost and from Jesus Christ, the great founder of the Christian Church. We use the term then, not because we impute an extraordinary importance to Calvin's having taught these doctrines. We would be just as willing to call them by any other name, if we could find one which would be better understood, and which on the whole would be as consistent with the fact.

The main doctrine the opposition has with Calvinism is of the plan for salvation. The doctrines that make up the plan for salvation are:

1. The loving election by the Father.
2. The powerful redemption accomplished by the Son.
3. The effectual calling by the Spirit.

These were defined, defended, and expressed by the Synod of Dort in 1618; also in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Heidelberg Catechism. Later they were expressed in the Old Baptist Confession of 1689, later adopted by the Philadelphia Association, out of which Southern Baptists came.

Clete, I am not on a mission to prove to you that Calvinism is just another word for "evangelism" or Christianity. I know you are an ex-Reformer as well. So you know the truths the Reformed doctrines spell out. And you do not believe them for whatever reason. Possibly it is because you do not understand them.

I don't understand a many thing from the words of Christ. Like why He only calls a few unto His grace, and casts others into the Lake of Fire. I know it is only for His glory, but that doesn't help me understand it. However, I do believe that it is true. And that is all that is required of me - to have faith, or to believe. And God empowered me to have the faith required to believe. So, the difficult theologies of Calvinism really do not bother me anymore, because God has granted unto me His Spirit that injects truth upon me.

Calvinism isn't a school of thought. It is an imputation of the power of God by the Spirit upon a believer.

Hilston
September 17th, 2004, 02:43 PM
Yorzhik,

How long have you been debating "Calvinists"? Have you ever bothered to look up the term "total depravity" in any Calvinistic or Augustinian literature or a theological dictionary? Chances are, it's the one I espouse.


Originally posted by Yorzhik

I'm hurt. I've actually tried to care about what you say, staying awake at night considering your posts. I have found it difficult that we so frequently are told we don't know a thing about TD ...The facts can't be denied. Every time the term is raised, I roll my eyes when I see what is understood by it.


Originally posted by Yorzhik
... but you (and I've looked for it) have never offered what you think is the correct view.I have. I've given whole paragraphs of excerpts from other literature as proof that Open Theists do not understand the term. These excerpts were read and acknowledged, yet the insanity persists. What else do you call it when people are repeatedly corrected, yet persist in their error? Insanity.

Yorzhik
September 17th, 2004, 10:32 PM
Have you ever bothered to look up the term "total depravity" in any Calvinistic or Augustinian literature or a theological dictionary? Chances are, it's the one I espouse.
-and-

I have. I've given whole paragraphs of excerpts from other literature as proof that Open Theists do not understand the term.
Oh; I'll look for both.

Knight
September 17th, 2004, 10:39 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
Here's another: The only thing that doesn't change in any way is the Open Theist's insistence that Calvinists believe that God doesn't change in any way. Hey cool!

Set the record straight for us Jim.

Does God change in any way?

P.S.
You do realize this question has been answered by folks like you (lets call them "Calvinist leaning types") on TOL about a million times. That's what we are arguing here my friend! The answers you guys have given us! Now if you think God has the ability to change then you can set yourself apart from the rest and that would be just great with me.

Knight
September 17th, 2004, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by Yorzhik

I'm hurt. I've actually tried to care about what you say, staying awake at night considering your posts. I've been there done that. Then I learned that Jim is good for at least 2 or 3 flame-outs per year. His bizarre and sudden rude behavior is really sad. :(

Hilston
September 17th, 2004, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Hey cool!

Set the record straight for us Jim.

Does God change in any way?Yes. He changes in many ways. I've told you this before. I've quoted Calvin and Augustine to show that you Open Theists don't know what you're talking about. And now I'm saying it again. You call me rude. I call you dense. Try to get it this time. Yes, God changes. Yes. Si. Oui. Hai. Affirmative.


Originally posted by Knight
P.S.
You do realize this question has been answered by folks like you (lets call them "Calvinist leaning types") on TOL about a million times. That's what we are arguing here my friend! The answers you guys have given us! Now if you think God has the ability to change then you can set yourself apart from the rest and that would be just great with me. You have such a short memory. Or else you just don't care. :rolleyes:

Hilston
September 17th, 2004, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by Knight

I've been there done that. Then I learned that Jim is good for at least 2 or 3 flame-outs per year. His bizarre and sudden rude behavior is really sad. :( What are you talking about? :confused:

Hilston
September 17th, 2004, 11:18 PM
I'm curious: Are there any Open Theists here that have ever looked up the term "total depravity" in any Calvinistic or Augustinian literature or a theological dictionary?

Knight
September 17th, 2004, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Yes. He changes in many ways. I've told you this before. I've quoted Calvin and Augustine to show that you Open Theists don't know what you're talking about.Jim... it is you who is missing the point! Do you know how many times here on TOL I have been told God cannot, and does not change in ANY way?

I wish I had a dime for every time that has been typed here on this forum. Therefore it is irrelevant what you or Calvin say, the point is that the people who follow Calvinistic theology seem to believe that God cannot change so that is where the argument lies. If you and Calvin think otherwise... GREAT!!! Now help us convince everyone else of that!

Let's put this topic to rest with the following question(s):

Jim, did you realize that most Calvinists staunchly argue that God cannot and does not change in any way?

And why do you suppose the vast majority of Calvinists think this? Where do they get this notion?

What would you tell these folks? How would you convince them they are wrong and that God can indeed change?

godrulz
September 17th, 2004, 11:59 PM
We need to distinguish between strong immutability (God does not change in any sense...the favored 'eternal now'/timelessness concept logically leads to this conclusion) and an immutability that includes some aspects of change in God. A study of the history of doctrinal development would show who believed what and when.

The classic doctrine of impassibility (God does not have feelings) is being modified in modern times by many theologians in both camps.

Hyper-Calvinism is not Calvinism. Not all Calvinists believe the same on every point.

The Open View is compatible with Evangelical beliefs (our understanding of omniscience, time, free will, etc. varies, but we agree on the essentials. Boyd clarified his views with his Baptist denomination. They did not agree with all his ideas, but recognized that he was still within evangelical Christianity. See his affirmations on his website for clarification. Likewise, the conservative Evangelical Theological Society had an opportunity to revoke membership for Pinnock and Sanders (see CT Jan./04). In the end, they were voted to remain members in good standing despite a rejection of their Open views (inerrancy was one of the issues clarified).

Calvinism is not Christianity. It is an attempt to reconcile the biblical evidence (as is Arminianism and Open Theism). Calvinists make the wrong assumption at times that they alone are Christians. TULIP is not the criteria for salvation.

"The Untamed God: A philosophical exploration of divine perfection, simplicity, and immutability." - Jay Wesley Richards, IVP

(I would not recommend this book before reading more straight forward ones...those in seminary or philosophy might understand it better than I did)

This book on 'essentialism' is a difficult read. I did not understand much of the intricacies of the arguments for the traditional, classical views of immutability, impassibility, simplicity, etc. vs current thinking. This is not a simplisitic subject. There are problematic issues. Previous stringent formulations were not always coherent. Richards attempted to retain the core of traditional views with clarification from Scripture and philosophy on how they should be understood.

Do we know what Sovereignty-Aseity-Conviction or modal logic is? If we do not, then we should not be dogmatic on some of our views. For the most part, most of us have uncritically accepted what we have read or heard without understanding all relevant issues.

Hilston
September 18th, 2004, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Jim... it is you who is missing the point! Do you know how many times here on TOL I have been told God cannot, and does not change in ANY way?Then why not correct them by the very words of their espoused heroes? What could be more convincing and mouth-stopping than saying, "The man whose very name you invoke as a label to your doctrine disagrees with you. Here's what he wrote ..." But no, instead you persist with this distortion of Calvinism and confuse people, including your own camp, by not exposing it.


Originally posted by Knight
I wish I had a dime for every time that has been typed here on this forum. Therefore it is irrelevant what you or Calvin say, the point is that the people who follow Calvinistic theology seem to believe that God cannot change so that is where the argument lies.Then show them otherwise. Use Prov. 26:5 and knock their legs out from under them.


Originally posted by Knight
If you and Calvin think otherwise... GREAT!!! Now help us convince everyone else of that!Coming from me, usually Calvinists will say, "Oh, is that what you mean by God changing? Then I agree." The way you guys come at them, with that distorted and goofy approach witnessed above, it's no wonder you get the kind of answers you do.


Originally posted by Knight
Let's put this topic to rest with the following question(s):

Jim, did you realize that most Calvinists staunchly argue that God cannot and does not change in any way?No, since I don't go around debating people about how God changes, I've not had much opportunity to explore what most Calvinists believe about this. Most Calvinists, it seems, have never read Calvin and don't know half the stuff the guy espoused. But that doesn't give you and your Open Theist cronies license to misrepresent a view that has a long-standing and well-established history just because you've encountered a bunch of theological loafers.


Originally posted by Knight
And why do you suppose the vast majority of Calvinists think this? Where do they get this notion?I think it's partly due to the way you guys frame the question, and then it ends up in a rabbit trail. Since they're theological loafers, you corner them into defending something they've never given adequate or due consideration. I do it to you guys, too. It's amazing what someone will defend when they've been backed into it.


Originally posted by Knight
What would you tell these folks? How would you convince them they are wrong and that God can indeed change?First of all, I would avoid the fatuous arguments about "perfect oak trees" and "perfect clocks" and "perfect traffic signals" and "perfect 8-cylinder engines." No wonder you're not taken seriously on this subject. Those analogies are so far from making your case. Really, there are much better arguments that can be made. Ask them to define "change." Ask them if gaining experience is a change. Ask them if a morphological change is the same as essential change. Find out what they understand about the incarnation. Find out what they understand about God's immanence and interaction with mankind. Discuss what the scriptures say about God's essential unchanging nature in contrast to what the scriptures say about God's changing experience and interaction with mankind.

But here's my question: Where does it get you to convince a Calvinist that God can change?

godrulz
September 18th, 2004, 12:14 AM
Don't forget Augustine who was influenced by Greek Philosophy. Calvin credited Augustine with some of his ideas.

Hilston
September 18th, 2004, 12:20 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

Don't forget Augustine who was influenced by Greek Philosophy. Calvin credited Augustine with some of his ideas. It's beside the point. Calvin could have been influenced by Pittsburgh's famous weatherman, Phil Connors. The point is professing Calvinists must not know what the inimitable Phil Connors believed about immutability if they go around saying God does not change in any way.

God_Is_Truth
September 18th, 2004, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by Hilston

It's beside the point. Calvin could have been influenced by Pittsburgh's famous weatherman, Phil Connors. The point is professing Calvinists must not know what the inimitable Phil Connors believed about immutability if they go around saying God does not change in any way.

stop using words i have to look up! :D

Hilston
September 18th, 2004, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

stop using words i have to look up! :D

:p

Turbo
September 18th, 2004, 08:06 AM
Originally posted by Hilston

It's beside the point. Calvin could have been influenced by Pittsburgh's famous weatherman, Phil Connors. Bing!

godrulz
September 18th, 2004, 11:04 AM
The point is that influences can sometimes cloud our biblical interpretations (eisegesis vs exegesis).

Knight
September 18th, 2004, 12:07 PM
To all...... Especially open theists...

Please everyone NOTE this post of Jim Hilstons (that I have linked below). And always refer back to it when a Calvinist makes the claim God cannot change.

http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=593142#post593142

Apparently Calvinists should be more "open" on the topic of immutability.

Knight
September 18th, 2004, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
But here's my question: Where does it get you to convince a Calvinist that God can change? Where does it get me? I really don't know what that means.

If you are asking why I do it I would answer the same as I would answer regarding any debate.

A. I want to test my own arguments to better define what is true.
B. God has asked that I defend His name.
C. It's fun.
D. I would hope to help mislead individuals become closer to God.
E. etc.

Clete
September 19th, 2004, 03:07 PM
Please read the post linked to below...


http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=594076#post594076

God bless you guys!

Resting in Him,
Clete

natewood3
September 20th, 2004, 11:13 AM
godrulz,

Do you believe that OVers are not influenced by any other people outside the Bible? Why is it that many GREEK philosophers also held to a libertarian view of free will, that the Pelagians and Socinians held to much of what the OV tries to hold to. Why do Calvinists just respond to all OVers, "Well, that was the view of the Pelagians and Socinians, and they were condemned as heretical by the church"?

It seems any time that someone mentions something such as immutability, sovereignty, infinity, exhaustive foreknowledge, then the response from all OVers is, "Well, that is just a Greek idea, not a biblical idea." To me, that is simply avoidance of the issue or question. Yes, traditional theists were influenced by others outside the Bible, but so are OVers! If it is true for us, then it is true for the OV. If Calvinists always took the OV way, we would be having a debate about who was more influenced philosophy, rather than actually discussing the issues from the Bible and from an exegetical standpoint.

I am sure there are not very, very few, if any, scholars of Greek philosophy. I am not a historical theology scholar, and that is why I don't go around say stuff about how the OV is influenced by Pelagius or Socinus. I have read about them, but have never studied them in depth. Do you see my point? It seems bringing in the idea that all traditional theists were influenced by the Greeks, or whoever else, is simply a red herring; it is just a way to not discuss the issue at hand. I am not saying historical theology, etc, is useless, for I do not think it is at all, but I think it is a whole other issue. If OVers want to say those types of things, then we should discuss the ideas of the Greeks and the influences it has had on traditional theism, but we would also have to discuss the striking similarities between the OV and Pelagians and Socinians and others...

Do you agree?

God_Is_Truth
September 20th, 2004, 01:23 PM
nate,

the difference is that we see the greek philosophy regarding immutability as wrong. if it were right then there is no problem, but it's logically flawed.

now if you can show how the OV is logically wrong in regards to say libertarian free will, then please, by all means do so. i'm sure we'd be more than willing to discuss it.

godrulz
September 20th, 2004, 05:23 PM
Nate: I agree with the gist of what you are saying. Philosophical influences can go both ways.

Augustine was influenced by Greek philosophy. He influenced Calvin. Open Theists are not without philosophical influences. They have a few ideas in common with Process thought, but generally disagree with it (more differences than similarities).

Erickson "What does God know and when does He know it" is an attempt to look at both sides even though he is biased against Open Theism. He recognized that some issues are not explicit in the Bible, but are left unresolved or in tension (Pinnock also stated this). Historical, theological, and philosophical factors must be considered in some areas of this study.

The biblical evidence is our ultimate authority.

natewood3
September 21st, 2004, 10:43 AM
godrulz,


Augustine was influenced by Greek philosophy. He influenced Calvin. Open Theists are not without philosophical influences. They have a few ideas in common with Process thought, but generally disagree with it (more differences than similarities).

Augustine was influenced by Greek philosophy, but what do we mean by influenced? Did he see Greek philosophy as the ultimate authority, and made the Bible fit his philosophy? Was it always for the worse or sometimes for the better?

They do have a few ideas in common with process theology (from what I have read anyways; I haven't honestly studied process theology very much). They also have many ideas in common with Pelagians and Socinians, especially libertarian free will, denial of God's exhaustive foreknowledge, and a denial of God's ultimate sovereignty. I see the OV more influenced by the Enlightenment, which made man the center, made man have ultimate free will, etc.

Piper stated that three things are true of the modern world:

1) They assumes human autonomy and self-determination.
2) They question all authority.
3) They take the judgment seat to decide if God even exists.

C.S. Lewis put it this way:

The ancient man approached God . . . as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge: if God should have a reasonable defence for being the god who permits war, poverty and disease, he is ready to listen to it. The trial may even end in God's acquittal. But the important thing is that man is on the Bench and God in the Dock.


This seems to fit what the OVers have done. I am not saying they are willingly and trying to do this, but in their attempt to keep their idea of libertarian free will, they have made themselves the reference and standard by which God is judged. They take ideas from people who were deemed heretical in church history. I have a hard time believing something that was once heretical, but now in our Western culture and time it is considered "biblical."

God_Is_Truth
September 21st, 2004, 10:54 AM
Augustine was influenced by Greek philosophy, but what do we mean by influenced? Did he see Greek philosophy as the ultimate authority, and made the Bible fit his philosophy? Was it always for the worse or sometimes for the better?


he made the bible fit his philosophy.



They do have a few ideas in common with process theology (from what I have read anyways; I haven't honestly studied process theology very much). They also have many ideas in common with Pelagians and Socinians, especially libertarian free will, denial of God's exhaustive foreknowledge, and a denial of God's ultimate sovereignty. I see the OV more influenced by the Enlightenment, which made man the center, made man have ultimate free will, etc.


the OV does not say God is not sovereign. why do people always accuse it of doing so? and how can one deny libertarian free will? it's everywhere and in everything we do. we always have the choice to say no. that's common sense.



This seems to fit what the OVers have done.

good grief! :nono:

statements like that suggest that you don't know the OV very well.

godrulz
September 21st, 2004, 11:09 AM
Open Theism affirms God's ultimate sovereignty. The problem is that the classical view wrongly defines sovereignty (not the biblical view of it). Sovereignty, properly understood, does not negate libertarian free will (God voluntarily chose the type of creation He made. It includes other free moral agents, so His will is no longer the only factor in the reality of the universe. It still is the decisive factor due to His omnicompetence).

natewood3
September 21st, 2004, 11:37 AM
GIT,


now if you can show how the OV is logically wrong in regards to say libertarian free will, then please, by all means do so. i'm sure we'd be more than willing to discuss it.

If we are going to discuss the flaws of libertarian free will, would you allow me to summarize John Frame? I cannot come up with any new arguments against because he has already stated 17. I would find it hard to out-do Frame, and would just summarize what he says. If you want to read what he says for yourself, the book if "No Other God: A Response to Open Theism." I do want to discuss these arguments...

1. Scripture does not explicitly teach the existence of libertarian freedom. There is no passage that can explicitly be construed to teach that humans are ultimately free from God's plan and of the rest of human personality. Libertarianism is a technical philosophical notion, which makes various assumptions about the relationship of will to action, the relationship of will to character and desire, and the limitation of God's sovereignty.

2. Scripture never grounds human responsibility in libertarian freedom, or, for that matter, in any other kind of freedom. We are responsible because God made us, owns us, and has a right to evaluate our conduct and actions. He is the Judge, and we are in the dock. According to Scripture, God's authority is the necessary and sufficient ground of human responsibility. Scripture never suggests that the ordaining of a human decision makes the person less responsible.

3. Scripture does not indicate that God places any positive value on libertarian freedom (even granting it does exist). OVers argue that God places such a high value on human freedom and human choices that God gave it to creatures even at the risk of bringing evil into the world. One would assume and expect to see the Scriptures abounding with statements to the effect that causeless free actions by creatures are terribily important to God, that they bring Him glory and are essential to human personality and dignity. However, one does not find such statements.

4. On the contrary, Scripture teaches that in heaven, we will not be free to sin. So the highest state of human existence will be a state without libertarian freedom.

5. Scripture never judges anyone's conduct by reference to libertarian freedom. Scripture never declares someone innocent because his conduct was not free in the libertarian sense; not does it ever declare someone guilty by ponting to their libertarian freedom. Judas' betrayal was not free in the libertarian sense, even in Boyd's analysis. Yet he was certainly very responsible.

6. In civil courts, libertarian freedom is never assumed to be a condition of moral responsibility. Consider Hubert, the bank robber. If guilt presupposed libertarian freedom, the prosecutor would have to show that Hubert's decision to rob a bank had no cause in order to show that Hubert was guilty. What evidence could a prosecutor bring to prove that? Proving a negative is always difficult, and it would clearly be impossible to show that Hubert's inner decision was completely independent of any divine decree, natural cause, character, or motive. Libertarianism would make it impossible to prove the guilt of anybody.

7. Indeed, civil courts normally assume the opposite of libertarianism, namely, that the conduct of criminals arises from motives. Accordingly, courts often spend much time discussing whether the defendant had an adequate motive to commit the crime. If Hubert's actions had no motives or causes, then the court would likely judged him insane and therefore NOT responsible, rather than guilty. Such an act would be an accident, not a purposeful choice. Indeed, if Hubert's action was completely independent of his character, desires, and motives, one could well ask in what sense this actrion was really Hubert's. Libertarianism, instead of being the foundation for moral responsibility, it destroys it.

We will discuss these for now...

God_Is_Truth
September 21st, 2004, 01:58 PM
If we are going to discuss the flaws of libertarian free will, would you allow me to summarize John Frame? I cannot come up with any new arguments against because he has already stated 17. I would find it hard to out-do Frame, and would just summarize what he says. If you want to read what he says for yourself, the book if "No Other God: A Response to Open Theism." I do want to discuss these arguments...


very well then :)



1. Scripture does not explicitly teach the existence of libertarian freedom. There is no passage that can explicitly be construed to teach that humans are ultimately free from God's plan and of the rest of human personality. Libertarianism is a technical philosophical notion, which makes various assumptions about the relationship of will to action, the relationship of will to character and desire, and the limitation of God's sovereignty.


before one can claim that no passage in scripture says that we are free from God's plan, one must show where the scripture says that we are all under God's plan. where does it say we are under one big, divinely controlled, sovereignly ordained plan that has been created from start to end in eternity past?

secondly, who said that we are free from human personality? i never said we were nor am i aware of any other libertarian who does. we are indeed influenced by it greatly, but human personality is not a determinent in our choice. it influence, suggests, and persuades us towards decisions, but it does not alone determine what choice we actually make.

and thirdly, again, libertarian will is not in the least a limitation of the sovereignty of God.



2. Scripture never grounds human responsibility in libertarian freedom, or, for that matter, in any other kind of freedom. We are responsible because God made us, owns us, and has a right to evaluate our conduct and actions. He is the Judge, and we are in the dock. According to Scripture, God's authority is the necessary and sufficient ground of human responsibility. Scripture never suggests that the ordaining of a human decision makes the person less responsible.


Scripture tells us that we are responsible for our sins. on this we agree. the nature of justice however demands that for us to be responsible for our actions, they must be consciuosly and coherently done by us. thus, insanity is a reasonable exception if it truly is the case. also, if someone forced you to do something completely against your will and control, you should not be held responsible as it's not your fault.

if i build a robot and program him to blow up a building, who is at fault? the robot or the person who programmed him? surely not the robot for he was doing the only thing he could do. the programmer should be at fault for creating the robot and prgoramming it to do such a thing.

it is the same way with us. if we are just robots who can only do what we are programmed to do (ordained/predestined), then God should be responsible for programming us that way. it would be his fault by the nature of justice.

there is no problem with this in regards to scripture. in fact, it seems required.



3. Scripture does not indicate that God places any positive value on libertarian freedom (even granting it does exist). OVers argue that God places such a high value on human freedom and human choices that God gave it to creatures even at the risk of bringing evil into the world. One would assume and expect to see the Scriptures abounding with statements to the effect that causeless free actions by creatures are terribily important to God, that they bring Him glory and are essential to human personality and dignity. However, one does not find such statements.


either God created us with the ability to do evil or he created us with the necessity to do evil. if we don't have libertarian free will, then the evil in this world is the result of our being programmed by God to do the evil.

i do not see why we should expect to see statements all over scripture about this though. Scripture contains what we need to know. it's not a textbook or an encylopedia. one does not need to know of libertarian free will to know that one has sinned and needs salvation. so i think the point here brought up by Frame is irrelevent.



4. On the contrary, Scripture teaches that in heaven, we will not be free to sin. So the highest state of human existence will be a state without libertarian freedom.


where does the scripture state that?



5. Scripture never judges anyone's conduct by reference to libertarian freedom. Scripture never declares someone innocent because his conduct was not free in the libertarian sense; not does it ever declare someone guilty by ponting to their libertarian freedom. Judas' betrayal was not free in the libertarian sense, even in Boyd's analysis. Yet he was certainly very responsible.


scripture judges people in regards to their sins. their sins can only be their own if they were the ones who actually carried them out in their right minds. if they were simply programmed to carry them out, then to hold them responsible is injustice.

please show me where Boyd states that Judas was not free in his analysis.



6. In civil courts, libertarian freedom is never assumed to be a condition of moral responsibility. Consider Hubert, the bank robber. If guilt presupposed libertarian freedom, the prosecutor would have to show that Hubert's decision to rob a bank had no cause in order to show that Hubert was guilty. What evidence could a prosecutor bring to prove that? Proving a negative is always difficult, and it would clearly be impossible to show that Hubert's inner decision was completely independent of any divine decree, natural cause, character, or motive. Libertarianism would make it impossible to prove the guilt of anybody.


what? all libertarian will states is that one can truly choose any option that is presented to them and that their choice is not foreknown or predestined. to say that "the prosecutor would have to show that Hubert's decision to rob a bank had no cause" in order to show him guilty is ludicrous. all the prosecutor would have to do is show that Hubert was in his right mind and that he did the crime on his own merit and that the possibility of not comitting the crime truly existed (although the last part may not be necessary). this is a strawman and thus, irrelevent.



7. Indeed, civil courts normally assume the opposite of libertarianism, namely, that the conduct of criminals arises from motives. Accordingly, courts often spend much time discussing whether the defendant had an adequate motive to commit the crime. If Hubert's actions had no motives or causes, then the court would likely judged him insane and therefore NOT responsible, rather than guilty. Such an act would be an accident, not a purposeful choice. Indeed, if Hubert's action was completely independent of his character, desires, and motives, one could well ask in what sense this actrion was really Hubert's. Libertarianism, instead of being the foundation for moral responsibility, it destroys it.


the opposite of libertarianism is that people have motives? good grief! :nono: let me say this clearly, libertarianism affirms that people have motives. where would one ever get the idea that people didn't?



We will discuss these for now...

if we ever get the misconceptions out the way :chuckle:

blessings,

GIT

godrulz
September 21st, 2004, 08:48 PM
Frame's arguments are weak. It is self-evident that we have free will. We are responsible for exercising it (good or evil). Creating free moral agents with self-determination is the right and wisdom of a sovereign God. It does not threaten Him, but makes Him more glorious in that He does not have to be a control freak. We are capable of genuine love and creative freedom. The deterministic alternative is only worthy of a cosmic Dictator. It is a confusion of categories to think God is ultimately causal, while we alone are responsible for our choices.

Hilston
September 21st, 2004, 09:26 PM
Hilston originally wrote: But here's my question: Where does it get you to convince a Calvinist that God can change?


Knight writes
Where does it get me? I really don't know what that means.What I mean is, what advantage do you gain with this point in the debate between so-called Calvinists and Open Theism? Say a so-called (quasi-) Calvinist agrees and says: "Yes, I see what you mean. I would agree that God changes in the way you describe," what then?


Knight writes
If you are asking why I do it ...I'm not.

Knight
September 21st, 2004, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Hilston originally wrote: But here's my question: Where does it get you to convince a Calvinist that God can change?

What I mean is, what advantage do you gain with this point in the debate between so-called Calvinists and Open Theism? Say a so-called (quasi-) Calvinist agrees and says: "Yes, I see what you mean. I would agree that God changes in the way you describe," what then? Well the first thing I would realize is they might be making ice cubes in hell. :devil: :D

But seriously folks...
The notion that God cannot change is one of the main stumbling blocks for people who think that God has decreed all things in advance. And if God is capable of change we can then examine WHY God might change.... and what we find is that God is a Living God and God changes to remain a righteous God when dealing with humans that He has decreed possess a will of their own apart from Him.

An example of this would go as follows.....

- God is always righteous.
- Due to sin man is NOT righteous.
- All men are subject to the penalty of sin which is spiritual death.
- Yet God is also merciful.
- God has created a way for man to right Himself to God and have life.
- If a man repents and turns to Christ God changes how He will handle this man and no longer holds him accountable for his sin.

That last point is a point that no Calvinist should reject since most Calvinists rightly argue that man does not have the ability to save Himself. It is God that is doing to righteous work of salvation and therefore if any change is occurring it is with God as He demonstrates His grace and mercy to those that accept the work that Christ has done on the cross.

If God could not change.... God could not be truly merciful and therefore could not remain righteous. If God could not change God could not be truthful when He stated He had repented that He had made man or repented that He had made Saul King or repented of the disaster He said He was bringing upon Nineveh.

The ability to change is essential to God's righteous character which by the way doesn't change. :D

But even more interesting is the fact that we have God's own word and God describes Himself as a God that can change.... God created.... and then He rested! God has been provoked to anger, wrath and jealousy, God has become flesh etc. etc. ,etc.

Therefore.... the thrill in demonstrating God's dynamic character is the same as demonstrating any obvious truth to someone that rejects that truth no matter what the topic is. This topic just happens to be of a larger magnitude.

Think of it this way.... the benefit to demonstrating God's ability to change would be a lot like demonstrating that God gave a new dispensation to the apostle Paul. I think you might be able to relate to that. :)

natewood3
September 22nd, 2004, 12:15 AM
GIT,


before one can claim that no passage in scripture says that we are free from God's plan, one must show where the scripture says that we are all under God's plan. where does it say we are under one big, divinely controlled, sovereignly ordained plan that has been created from start to end in eternity past?

Well, let us think about this:

Rom 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Rom 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

That would seem like a big, divinely controlled, sovereignly ordained plan to me...

Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
Eph 1:5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Eph 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Eph 1:8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
Eph 1:9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
Eph 1:10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Eph 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
Eph 1:12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

That would also look the same way as above...


secondly, who said that we are free from human personality? i never said we were nor am i aware of any other libertarian who does. we are indeed influenced by it greatly, but human personality is not a determinent in our choice. it influence, suggests, and persuades us towards decisions, but it does not alone determine what choice we actually make.

Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Mat 7:16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Mat 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
Mat 7:18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Luk 6:43 "For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit,
Luk 6:44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.
Luk 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

I agree our personality is not the sole reason for our choice, but does not Jesus' words seem to indicate that we choose what we desire and that we bear that which we are, not that which is contrary to our beings and hearts? If we are unsaved, we will never bear forth good fruit on our own. Bad trees do not bear good fruit, nor do good trees bear bad fruit. We speak and act in accordance with our hearts...


Scripture tells us that we are responsible for our sins. on this we agree. the nature of justice however demands that for us to be responsible for our actions, they must be consciuosly and coherently done by us. thus, insanity is a reasonable exception if it truly is the case. also, if someone forced you to do something completely against your will and control, you should not be held responsible as it's not your fault.

Responsibility does include conscious and willful actions, but no Calvinist argues that we are not conscious or that we do not commit willful actions when we sin. God does not force or coerce. Responsibility does not presuppose libertarian freedom.




if i build a robot and program him to blow up a building, who is at fault? the robot or the person who programmed him? surely not the robot for he was doing the only thing he could do. the programmer should be at fault for creating the robot and prgoramming it to do such a thing.

it is the same way with us. if we are just robots who can only do what we are programmed to do (ordained/predestined), then God should be responsible for programming us that way. it would be his fault by the nature of justice.

God does not build robots, contrary to what you seem to be implying. We have free will, and we make real decisions and choices, and those decisions and choices make differences. That does not in any way require libertarian freedom or a denial of God's foreknowledge of future decisions.


either God created us with the ability to do evil or he created us with the necessity to do evil. if we don't have libertarian free will, then the evil in this world is the result of our being programmed by God to do the evil.

So if someone is born with a disposition to alcoholism, as most of my family is, then it is God's fault and He should be blamed for their habitual alcoholism? Most serial killers, etc, have different genetic makeup than most normal human beings, so does that mean they are no longer responsible? Do they have to necessarily murder just because they have a predisposition? I probably have a predisposition to be an alcoholic also, however, I have never found out because I have never drank even a drink, so I don't know for sure. If I was to start drinking and became an alcoholic, would it not be my fault?


where does the scripture state that?

Will we be able to sin in heaven? Will there be sin in heaven? Will there be suffering or evil in heaven? Come on...that is basic theology...


scripture judges people in regards to their sins. their sins can only be their own if they were the ones who actually carried them out in their right minds. if they were simply programmed to carry them out, then to hold them responsible is injustice.

Your idea of "programmed" is not what Calvinists teach. You would search in vain, I believe, to find a Calvinist teaching we are all programmed to do whatever God wants. Yes, we will ultimately do what God wills. We will also ultimately do what we desire. We will ultimately make free choices and decisions.


please show me where Boyd states that Judas was not free in his analysis.

See "God of the Possible"


what? all libertarian will states is that one can truly choose any option that is presented to them and that their choice is not foreknown or predestined. to say that "the prosecutor would have to show that Hubert's decision to rob a bank had no cause" in order to show him guilty is ludicrous. all the prosecutor would have to do is show that Hubert was in his right mind and that he did the crime on his own merit and that the possibility of not comitting the crime truly existed (although the last part may not be necessary). this is a strawman and thus, irrelevent.

I do not think it is irrelevant. Libertarianism teaches one must have the power to choose contrary to what he really did choose. If one can not choose a different option at the time of the action than what he really chose, then his choice is not "free." In other words, for someone to be guilty, you must prove that they could have chosen otherwise, that his decision was not influenced by anything else.

Why did would someone rob a bank? Would they not have motives? If they did have motives, where did those motives come from? Were those motives not decisive in his choice? If the motives did not exist, then would the person still have chose to rob the bank?


Few questions:

Does God ever coerce or force events or actions to take place?

Are we ALWAYS free in the libertarian sense, or does God sometimes work with us in a "compabilistic" sense?

godrulz
September 22nd, 2004, 01:17 AM
Unbelieving thinkers intuitively have a problem with a God that supposedly predestines everything. This seems like fatalism and makes God responsible for evil. It is a stumbling block to the atheists. The problem is not the 'mystery' of God, but a wrong concept of who He is and His ways. They reject a straw man caricature. The issue of God's nature and ways is an important one. We do not want to misrepresent Him as it affects our relationship with Him and our sharing of the Gospel.

Claiming that God is hyper-sovereign and can do what He wants, no matter how unreasonable, is simplistic (though half true; He created other moral agents with influence and creative choices). Open Theists, unbelievers, and other Christian thinkers recognize that some of the classical, traditional understanding of God is problematic and incoherent. One has to understand the issues or we tend to uncritically accept views that we have not thought out well.

Swordsman
September 22nd, 2004, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by natewood3

GIT,



Well, let us think about this:

Rom 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Rom 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

That would seem like a big, divinely controlled, sovereignly ordained plan to me...

Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
Eph 1:5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Eph 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Eph 1:8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
Eph 1:9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
Eph 1:10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Eph 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
Eph 1:12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

That would also look the same way as above...



Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Mat 7:16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Mat 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
Mat 7:18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Luk 6:43 "For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit,
Luk 6:44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.
Luk 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

I agree our personality is not the sole reason for our choice, but does not Jesus' words seem to indicate that we choose what we desire and that we bear that which we are, not that which is contrary to our beings and hearts? If we are unsaved, we will never bear forth good fruit on our own. Bad trees do not bear good fruit, nor do good trees bear bad fruit. We speak and act in accordance with our hearts...



Responsibility does include conscious and willful actions, but no Calvinist argues that we are not conscious or that we do not commit willful actions when we sin. God does not force or coerce. Responsibility does not presuppose libertarian freedom.





God does not build robots, contrary to what you seem to be implying. We have free will, and we make real decisions and choices, and those decisions and choices make differences. That does not in any way require libertarian freedom or a denial of God's foreknowledge of future decisions.



So if someone is born with a disposition to alcoholism, as most of my family is, then it is God's fault and He should be blamed for their habitual alcoholism? Most serial killers, etc, have different genetic makeup than most normal human beings, so does that mean they are no longer responsible? Do they have to necessarily murder just because they have a predisposition? I probably have a predisposition to be an alcoholic also, however, I have never found out because I have never drank even a drink, so I don't know for sure. If I was to start drinking and became an alcoholic, would it not be my fault?



Will we be able to sin in heaven? Will there be sin in heaven? Will there be suffering or evil in heaven? Come on...that is basic theology...



Your idea of "programmed" is not what Calvinists teach. You would search in vain, I believe, to find a Calvinist teaching we are all programmed to do whatever God wants. Yes, we will ultimately do what God wills. We will also ultimately do what we desire. We will ultimately make free choices and decisions.



See "God of the Possible"



I do not think it is irrelevant. Libertarianism teaches one must have the power to choose contrary to what he really did choose. If one can not choose a different option at the time of the action than what he really chose, then his choice is not "free." In other words, for someone to be guilty, you must prove that they could have chosen otherwise, that his decision was not influenced by anything else.

Why did would someone rob a bank? Would they not have motives? If they did have motives, where did those motives come from? Were those motives not decisive in his choice? If the motives did not exist, then would the person still have chose to rob the bank?


Few questions:

Does God ever coerce or force events or actions to take place?

Are we ALWAYS free in the libertarian sense, or does God sometimes work with us in a "compabilistic" sense?

Good luck on getting GIT to not :sheep: on those. He's a hyper-open theist if I've ever seen one.

God_Is_Truth
September 22nd, 2004, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

Good luck on getting GIT to not :sheep: on those. He's a hyper-open theist if I've ever seen one.

i'll take that as a compliment ;)

give me a little time, and i'll respond to nate's points.

God_Is_Truth
September 22nd, 2004, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by natewood3

GIT,



Well, let us think about this:

Rom 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Rom 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

That would seem like a big, divinely controlled, sovereignly ordained plan to me...

not even close. verse 28 says for all who love God (the believers) all things will work together for good. in other words, they will bring about good results for them. does God have to control what events take place in order to state that he's going to bring about good things as a result of them? of course not.

verse 29-30 is about the sequence of events that happens to those who are believers. it is a statement of God's intended course of action to those who accept the gospel. there is no indication anywhere that all things, big and small, are part of a big, sovereignly ordained plan.



Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
Eph 1:5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Eph 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Eph 1:8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
Eph 1:9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
Eph 1:10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Eph 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
Eph 1:12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

That would also look the same way as above...


nope, it's the same as my response above. we have been predestined to be like Christ as a result of our accepting the gospel. God chose from the foundation of the world to do this to all who believed in him. to say that he also predestined which people specifically he would do it to, is reading into the text more than is there.



I agree our personality is not the sole reason for our choice, but does not Jesus' words seem to indicate that we choose what we desire and that we bear that which we are, not that which is contrary to our beings and hearts? If we are unsaved, we will never bear forth good fruit on our own. Bad trees do not bear good fruit, nor do good trees bear bad fruit. We speak and act in accordance with our hearts...


keep in mind that it's an analogy. i agree that we bear fruit of what we are. but there is no indication anywhere that says we can't change what we want to bear with the help of the Father drawing us and the conviction of the Holy Spirit on our sins. i agree that until we are truly reborn we can't do good works for God, but we can desire to change what we are once God has begun to draw and convict us. once we agree to God's terms (repentence, trust in Jesus for salvation), then God enables us to good works for him.



Responsibility does include conscious and willful actions, but no Calvinist argues that we are not conscious or that we do not commit willful actions when we sin. God does not force or coerce. Responsibility does not presuppose libertarian freedom.


a willfull action can only take place when one really has a choice. if all i can do is what i have been programmed to do then i have no will of my own, only the will of whoever programmed me.

also, if God has this "sovereignly ordained plan" that has existed from all time, then am i free to do apart from what he has ordained? what if i don't want to do what God has ordained that i do?



God does not build robots, contrary to what you seem to be implying. We have free will, and we make real decisions and choices, and those decisions and choices make differences. That does not in any way require libertarian freedom or a denial of God's foreknowledge of future decisions.


i'm saying that if we can't make our own choices or decisions then we are robots programmed by God. if God knows what we are going to choose before we choose it then we aren't free. we can only make the choice that God knows we will make. choice becomes an illusion, a figment of our imagination. the only thing that can be done by us is to "choose" what God foreknew we would. free will requires an absence of exhaustive foreknowledge by definition.



So if someone is born with a disposition to alcoholism, as most of my family is, then it is God's fault and He should be blamed for their habitual alcoholism? Most serial killers, etc, have different genetic makeup than most normal human beings, so does that mean they are no longer responsible? Do they have to necessarily murder just because they have a predisposition? I probably have a predisposition to be an alcoholic also, however, I have never found out because I have never drank even a drink, so I don't know for sure. If I was to start drinking and became an alcoholic, would it not be my fault?


just because you are born with a disposition to something does not necessitate that you will give into it. that's where free will comes into play. you are the ultimate one who makes the choice to drink or smoke or whatever. no one made you.

my point was that free will has to truly be free in order to exist. it can't be foreknown, foreordained, or sovereignly coerced. either we are truly free or we are doing the only thing we can do.



Will we be able to sin in heaven? Will there be sin in heaven? Will there be suffering or evil in heaven? Come on...that is basic theology...


i don't know if we'll be able to sin. i don't believe there will be sin however. but, you said that scripture says this. i want to know where it does.



Your idea of "programmed" is not what Calvinists teach. You would search in vain, I believe, to find a Calvinist teaching we are all programmed to do whatever God wants. Yes, we will ultimately do what God wills. We will also ultimately do what we desire. We will ultimately make free choices and decisions.


i know they don't teach it, they teach an inconsistent theology. they say that on the one hand everything is part of God's big plan, sovereignly controlled down the slightest detail. and yet on the other hand they say that we are fully responsible for what we do in regards to our actions. they simply ignore the logical problem that the two positions have if put together. namely, that they are mutually exclusive positions. either we truly have free will and are truly responsible or else we don't, everything is controlled by God's sovereign hand in his plan and we are just pawns on a board moving as God moves us.



See "God of the Possible"


i haven't read that, but hope to soon.



I do not think it is irrelevant. Libertarianism teaches one must have the power to choose contrary to what he really did choose. If one can not choose a different option at the time of the action than what he really chose, then his choice is not "free." In other words, for someone to be guilty, you must prove that they could have chosen otherwise, that his decision was not influenced by anything else.


no, one would not have to prove that. libertarianism is assumed in a court of law. the defendent would have to prove that it was the only thing the person could do in order to be spared. you have it backwards.



Why did would someone rob a bank? Would they not have motives? If they did have motives, where did those motives come from? Were those motives not decisive in his choice? If the motives did not exist, then would the person still have chose to rob the bank?

motives do not necessitate a choice of action, they only influence it.



Does God ever coerce or force events or actions to take place?


sure, creation would be an example.



Are we ALWAYS free in the libertarian sense, or does God sometimes work with us in a "compabilistic" sense?

as far as i can tell, we are always free.

God bless,

GIT

natewood3
September 22nd, 2004, 11:48 PM
GIT,


not even close. verse 28 says for all who love God (the believers) all things will work together for good. in other words, they will bring about good results for them. does God have to control what events take place in order to state that he's going to bring about good things as a result of them? of course not.

All things work together for good for those that love God AND are called according to HIS purpose. God is working all things together for THEM people. How do we know this? Because of the next verses.


verse 29-30 is about the sequence of events that happens to those who are believers. it is a statement of God's intended course of action to those who accept the gospel. there is no indication anywhere that all things, big and small, are part of a big, sovereignly ordained plan.

These verses are the sequence in which they became believers. These verses are the ground and reason we know that God is working all things together for good.

Where in the world do you get that these verses are God's "intended course of action" to those who accept the Gospel??? Where is there anything of "accepting the Gospel," or even "faith" for that matter? Faith is the product of the "calling." Notice "calling" leads to justification, which is only by faith. That justification always leads to glorification. There are no drop outs.

The word "predestined" could also be translated as a "predesigned plan." God has a plan for all believers: they will be conformed to the image of His Son. God foreknew us, that is, He loved us intimately. He did not love all people intimately. He loved all the world with an impersonal love, but this foreloving is more than that.


nope, it's the same as my response above. we have been predestined to be like Christ as a result of our accepting the gospel. God chose from the foundation of the world to do this to all who believed in him. to say that he also predestined which people specifically he would do it to, is reading into the text more than is there.

Once again, I see ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about OUR action in Ephesians 1. It is ALL God's work, not ours. There is absolutely nothing about our "accepting Christ."

God predestined "us." "Us" must refer to a non-entity I suppose. That is comforting to know....


keep in mind that it's an analogy. i agree that we bear fruit of what we are. but there is no indication anywhere that says we can't change what we want to bear with the help of the Father drawing us and the conviction of the Holy Spirit on our sins. i agree that until we are truly reborn we can't do good works for God, but we can desire to change what we are once God has begun to draw and convict us. once we agree to God's terms (repentence, trust in Jesus for salvation), then God enables us to good works for him.

You seem to be agreeing that when God draws and convicts, it can cause us to desire Him? You say that "once we agree to God's terms, then God enables us to good works for him," but what makes you think that it isn't God that enables us to repent or to desire Him?


a willfull action can only take place when one really has a choice. if all i can do is what i have been programmed to do then i have no will of my own, only the will of whoever programmed me.

I have already said this, but we are not "programmed" by God to do whatever He wants us to do. We much of the time do what WE want to do, but "even the wrath of man shall praise Him."

Pro 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

Pro 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

Pro 21:1 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

Does God say since He is the One establishing steps, we are not longer free and we no longer plan our own ways?


also, if God has this "sovereignly ordained plan" that has existed from all time, then am i free to do apart from what he has ordained? what if i don't want to do what God has ordained that i do?

Deu 29:29 "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Rom 11:34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
Rom 11:35 "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
Rom 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

You act as though you can actually KNOW what God ordained, and then say, "No, I don't think I want to do that Lord." Most of what God ordains is that we freely carry out His plans according to our intentions and purposes, which are really His purposes. We simply act in accordance with what we want to do. We are never coerced or forced by God to do anything.

God knows all possibilities, and it is possible for you to have done something other than you decided to do, but God already knew what you would do and ordained that it would be so.


i'm saying that if we can't make our own choices or decisions then we are robots programmed by God. if God knows what we are going to choose before we choose it then we aren't free. we can only make the choice that God knows we will make. choice becomes an illusion, a figment of our imagination. the only thing that can be done by us is to "choose" what God foreknew we would. free will requires an absence of exhaustive foreknowledge by definition.

Will you do me a favor? Give me a quote from a Calvinist that teaches that we are robots programmed by God.

If God foreknows what you will do, it is because that is what you will do and would have done in that situation. If God foreknew I would choose to buy a white car over a neon pink car, did that make me buy the white car, even though I could have bought the neon pink car? NO! God foreknew it because He knew I would act in accordance with my desires and preferences. I never act contrary to my preferences and desires, unless I am forced to do so by something external, such as my boss or professor makes me do so.

Did Peter and Judas make real decisions and were they accountable?


my point was that free will has to truly be free in order to exist. it can't be foreknown, foreordained, or sovereignly coerced. either we are truly free or we are doing the only thing we can do.

You are creating a false dilemma. We are truly free and we only do what we want, which God already foreknows. Foreknowledge and free will are NOT incompatible.


i don't know if we'll be able to sin. i don't believe there will be sin however. but, you said that scripture says this. i want to know where it does.

Rom 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope
Rom 8:21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

1Jo 3:2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
Heb 12:23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

Rev 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
Rev 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."

Rev 21:26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
Rev 21:27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Rev 22:3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.


they say that on the one hand everything is part of God's big plan, sovereignly controlled down the slightest detail. and yet on the other hand they say that we are fully responsible for what we do in regards to our actions. they simply ignore the logical problem that the two positions have if put together. namely, that they are mutually exclusive positions. either we truly have free will and are truly responsible or else we don't, everything is controlled by God's sovereign hand in his plan and we are just pawns on a board moving as God moves us.

I feel you have not thoroughly read Calvinists on the doctrine of providence and divine decrees...if you have read them, you have not undestood it.


sure, creation would be an example.

I meant, and it was my fault for not specifying, does God ever coerce or force individuals to carry out an action? Does God ever have to coerce to make sure His overall plan is not thwarted? Could or can God ever coerce or force a course of action to take place?

godrulz
September 23rd, 2004, 01:25 AM
Ephesians 1 is about corporate vs individual election (see "God's strategy in human history").

Romans 8:29 The way all things work for the good is for God to conform us to the character and image of Christ regardless of the circumstances. It does not mean that God makes evil, good or predestines everything that happens.

Swordsman
September 23rd, 2004, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by Knight
If God could not change.... God could not be truly merciful and therefore could not remain righteous. If God could not change God could not be truthful when He stated He had repented that He had made man or repented that He had made Saul King or repented of the disaster He said He was bringing upon Nineveh.

Does Knight change? Or has he always made ridiculous observations like that?

I think you're confusing God's character or attributes with His actions. Does God's attributes change? No.

Does God's actions change from time to time? Yes. But that does not disprove immutability. That term "repent" is an anthropomorphism. Its just trying to help ascribe an emotion of God's attitude so we can understand the context.

To sit there and say "God changes or repents the same way a man does" is heretical. How can you liken the Almighty God to a depraved man?

The immutability of God stands the test. It glorifies God to the hilt proclaims His everlasting faithfulness to His sheep.

If you wanna worship a god that changes, worship Buddha or Mohammad.

They changed.



In fact, they are dead.

Turbo
September 23rd, 2004, 08:27 AM
Originally posted by Swordsman

I think you're confusing God's character or attributes with His actions. Does God's attributes change? No.

Who ever said that God's character or attributes change? No Open theist that I know, and certainly not Knight.



To sit there and say "God changes or repents the same way a man does" is heretical. How can you liken the Almighty God to a depraved man?Why do you add the phrase "the same way man does" when no Open Theist would make such a sloppy assertion, since man can be fickle and repents of sin?

You argue against straw men, Swordsman.



That term "repent" is an anthropomorphism. Its just trying to help ascribe an emotion of God's attitude so we can understand the context.

Do you agree then that God's emotions change depending on the circumstances? If not, can you please explain what this figure of speech stands for?

Knight
September 23rd, 2004, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by Swordsman

Does Knight change? Or has he always made ridiculous observations like that?:sigh:


I think you're confusing God's character or attributes with His actions. Does God's attributes change? No.I never said they did.


Does God's actions change from time to time? Yes. But that does not disprove immutability. That term "repent" is an anthropomorphism. Its just trying to help ascribe an emotion of God's attitude so we can understand the context.If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?


To sit there and say "God changes or repents the same way a man does" is heretical. How can you liken the Almighty God to a depraved man? Hey swordsman!

I am over here!

Here I am! :wave:

You can debate me if you like.... but please debate me, and what I ACTUALLY say. It's as if you are responding to someone else entirely. :confused:

You continue....
The immutability of God stands the test. It glorifies God to the hilt proclaims His everlasting faithfulness to His sheep.

If you wanna worship a god that changes, worship Buddha or Mohammad.

They changed.Oh Hilston..... where are you? :D

God_Is_Truth
September 23rd, 2004, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by natewood3

GIT,

All things work together for good for those that love God AND are called according to HIS purpose. God is working all things together for THEM people. How do we know this? Because of the next verses.

The question is WHY do all things work together for good? Because God has predestined every circumstance to be good to us? More likely is that God uses every circumstance to bring about good things for us. Suffering brings about good character and perseverance. Good times bring about strong faith and praises for God. And in the end, all things work for our sanctification through Jesus as he works in us to produce good works. Saying that this is about circumstances is a stretch that leaves conflict with many other places in scripture.



These verses are the sequence in which they became believers. These verses are the ground and reason we know that God is working all things together for good.

They are the set of events that happens to those who believe, yes. God calls all of us, it is up to us to respond to the calling though. Once we do, God predestines us to be like his Son, he justifies us and then glorifies us through the Son.



Where in the world do you get that these verses are God's "intended course of action" to those who accept the Gospel??? Where is there anything of "accepting the Gospel," or even "faith" for that matter? Faith is the product of the "calling." Notice "calling" leads to justification, which is only by faith. That justification always leads to glorification. There are no drop outs.

Romans 10
9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Faith is not the product of anything, it’s about trust and repentance, something we can all do. We all have faith in something but most have it in the wrong thing. Only faith in Jesus will save. The order of events are not causatively linked together. It is just stating what has occurred to all believers. All are called by God to be holy, all are predestined to be like the Son, all are justified and all will be glorified. Anything beyond that is reading into the text.



The word "predestined" could also be translated as a "predesigned plan." God has a plan for all believers: they will be conformed to the image of His Son. God foreknew us, that is, He loved us intimately. He did not love all people intimately. He loved all the world with an impersonal love, but this foreloving is more than that.

Nowhere does it say he loved us specifically. it says that Christ foreknew the group of believers as a whole, but nowhere does it say he knew who was in that group individually.



Once again, I see ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about OUR action in Ephesians 1. It is ALL God's work, not ours. There is absolutely nothing about our "accepting Christ."

God predestined "us." "Us" must refer to a non-entity I suppose. That is comforting to know....

Where did I suggest that any of those actions were our own? I agree that in that passage Paul is describing God’s actions in relation to us. But this does not mean that everything in all of existence or that everything in regards to our salvation is only God’s work. That’s reading into the text as well.



You seem to be agreeing that when God draws and convicts, it can cause us to desire Him? You say that "once we agree to God's terms, then God enables us to good works for him," but what makes you think that it isn't God that enables us to repent or to desire Him?

Why would God say “repent and live� if he was the one did it?



I have already said this, but we are not "programmed" by God to do whatever He wants us to do. We much of the time do what WE want to do, but "even the wrath of man shall praise Him."

Pro 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

Pro 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

Pro 21:1 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

Does God say since He is the One establishing steps, we are not longer free and we no longer plan our own ways?

If someone picks me up and holds me and controls my every action, my every footstep, my every motion, in what way AM I free?




Deu 29:29 "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Rom 11:34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
Rom 11:35 "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
Rom 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

You act as though you can actually KNOW what God ordained, and then say, "No, I don't think I want to do that Lord." Most of what God ordains is that we freely carry out His plans according to our intentions and purposes, which are really His purposes. We simply act in accordance with what we want to do. We are never coerced or forced by God to do anything.

If God has ordained everything, then everything is also forced for there is no way we can alter what has been ordained. We may not be conscious of this but it still is required logically.



God knows all possibilities, and it is possible for you to have done something other than you decided to do, but God already knew what you would do and ordained that it would be so.

If God already knew what I would do and ordained it to be so then there is no way I could ever have possibly done otherwise. If God ordained A then it’s not possible for me to do ~A. so it’s not possible for me to “have done something other than you decided to do� because what I “decided to do� is what God ordained me to do. I never was free, if that’s the case.



Will you do me a favor? Give me a quote from a Calvinist that teaches that we are robots programmed by God.

If you insist:

“Nothing is more absurd than to think anything at all is done but by the ordination of God….Every action and motion of every creature is so governed by the hidden counsel of God, that nothing can come to pass, but what was ordained by Him….The wills of men are so governed by the will of God, that they are carried on straight to the mark which He has fore-ordained� (Cal. Inst., book 1, chapter 16, sect. 3).

Sure sounds like robots to me. What else could “the wills of men are so governed by the will of God� mean?


If God foreknows what you will do, it is because that is what you will do and would have done in that situation. If God foreknew I would choose to buy a white car over a neon pink car, did that make me buy the white car, even though I could have bought the neon pink car? NO! God foreknew it because He knew I would act in accordance with my desires and preferences. I never act contrary to my preferences and desires, unless I am forced to do so by something external, such as my boss or professor makes me do so.

Who says we have to act in accordance with our desires and preferences? I’ve certainly acted “out of character� before. Haven’t you?



Did Peter and Judas make real decisions and were they accountable?

Yep, most definitely.



You are creating a false dilemma. We are truly free and we only do what we want, which God already foreknows. Foreknowledge and free will are NOT incompatible.

LOL oh yes they are. If God knows that in one hour I will watch a tv show then in 1 hour I will watch a tv show. I am not free to play on my computer or go for a walk or hang out with friends or anything like that. I HAVE to watch tv in one hour. Now remember, I have not yet decided what I’m going to do in one hour. But if God foreknows it, then I have no choice but to “choose� to watch tv in one hour.

Here is a formal logic proof that also explains the problems of Gods’ foreknowledge (exhaustive at least) with free will.

Argument for a partially open future-attempt 3

1. I have free will
2. We define free will as the ability to choose equally between two or more options when presented with a choice.
3. For any decision I make to be free, each choice must be contingent.
4. A contingent choice is one where each choice has an equal possibility of being chosen.
5. Let us assume now that we have a choice before us and that God has absolute foreknowledge of what choice I will pick before I pick it.
6. Since his knowledge is absolute, there is no way he can be mistaken about it. In other words, what he knows is absolutely certain.
7. Whatever is absolutely certain cannot be changed. If it could be, it wouldn’t be absolutely certain.
8. Thus, the choice God knows I will make, because it’s absolutely certain, cannot be changed. Whatever choice God knows I will make cannot be changed.
9. Now let us say that I have a decision before me between choice “a� and choice “b�.
10. Let us also say that God has absolute foreknowledge that I will choose choice “a�
11. Thus, from number 6 it follows that my choosing of choice “a� is absolutely certain.
12. It also follows then from number 7 that my decision of choice “a� cannot be changed.
13. It follows that if God knows I will choose “a� then he also knows I will not choose “b�.
14. This knowledge is also absolutely certain and cannot be changed per numbers 6 and 7.
15. Thus, since God is certain that choice “b� will not be chosen by me then choice “b� is not an option I can choose. If I could choose it then God’s knowledge would not be absolutely certain.
16. Since “b� is no longer a choice I can choose then there is not an equal possibility of both “a� or “b� being chosen and the decision is no longer contingent.
17. Since any decision that is not contingent is also not free, per number 3, then this decision is not a free one.
18. Thus, for this decision I do not have a true free will because there is only one choice I can make and that is the one God has absolute foreknowledge of.
19. If God has exhaustive foreknowledge of the future then every decision we make follows the exact same pattern as described here-not contingent and thus not free.
20. Thus, if God has exhaustive foreknowledge of the future, then we do not have free will.





Rom 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope
Rom 8:21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

1Jo 3:2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
Heb 12:23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

Rev 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
Rev 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."

Rev 21:26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
Rev 21:27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Rev 22:3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.

I don’t see any indication here that says we will lack the ability to sin. I agree with you that we won’t sin, but I’m not sure we’ll lack the capacity and ability.




I feel you have not thoroughly read Calvinists on the doctrine of providence and divine decrees...if you have read them, you have not undestood it.

I admit that I could be wrong about some things. If I am, please show me where and correct me.



I meant, and it was my fault for not specifying, does God ever coerce or force individuals to carry out an action? Does God ever have to coerce to make sure His overall plan is not thwarted? Could or can God ever coerce or force a course of action to take place?

In my opinion, no. could he? Yes, but I don’t think he does.

God bless!

GIT

godrulz
September 23rd, 2004, 04:00 PM
I believe GIT is on the right track (maybe because we have similar beliefs:) )

natewood3
September 23rd, 2004, 06:03 PM
GIT,


The question is WHY do all things work together for good? Because God has predestined every circumstance to be good to us? More likely is that God uses every circumstance to bring about good things for us. Suffering brings about good character and perseverance. Good times bring about strong faith and praises for God. And in the end, all things work for our sanctification through Jesus as he works in us to produce good works. Saying that this is about circumstances is a stretch that leaves conflict with many other places in scripture.

Why do all things work for good? It is both. God is in control, and God uses all for our good. If God is not in ultimate control, there seems to be no way for God to work all things after the counsel of His will and all things for our good.

You at least seem to admit that God uses suffering and pain for good...


They are the set of events that happens to those who believe, yes. God calls all of us, it is up to us to respond to the calling though. Once we do, God predestines us to be like his Son, he justifies us and then glorifies us through the Son.

Why is it, if it is left up to us, that faith is no where mentioned in these verses? Why is it that "accepting" or "believing" or "repenting" is not mentioned in these verses? Why does Paul jump from "called" to "justified"? To me, there is something special and effectual about this call, otherwise it would not bring about justification. If not all respond to the call, then not all the justified are not necessarily glorified either...if you can be called and not respond, then you can be justified and not be glorified...


Faith is not the product of anything, it’s about trust and repentance, something we can all do. We all have faith in something but most have it in the wrong thing. Only faith in Jesus will save. The order of events are not causatively linked together. It is just stating what has occurred to all believers. All are called by God to be holy, all are predestined to be like the Son, all are justified and all will be glorified. Anything beyond that is reading into the text.

Faith, in other words, is not supernatural in any sense. It is not really given to us to have faith.

The essence of faith is looking away from ourselves to Christ, right? How can depraved and arrogant hearts turn away from themselves and obey the command, "Repent and believe the Gospel"???

2Th 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,
2Th 3:2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.

Rom 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.


Nowhere does it say he loved us specifically. it says that Christ foreknew the group of believers as a whole, but nowhere does it say he knew who was in that group individually.

Wow...I thought Open Theism was supposed to make God more personal and "down-to-earth," but He didn't even love me specifically. He did not even have me in mind when on the Cross. However, Calvinism teaches that God loved each believer specifically and personally with a covenant type love, the love a husband has for her bride. He had me specifically in mind when He was bearing MY sin on the Cross...you know how much He loved us?

Mal 1:2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have you loved us?" "Is not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob
Mal 1:3 but Esau I have hated.

Maybe you will see the point of those verses...doesn't make much sense if unconditional election is not true.


Where did I suggest that any of those actions were our own? I agree that in that passage Paul is describing God’s actions in relation to us. But this does not mean that everything in all of existence or that everything in regards to our salvation is only God’s work. That’s reading into the text as well.

This is where you suggested it:

"we have been predestined to be like Christ as a result of our accepting the gospel. God chose from the foundation of the world to do this to all who believed in him. to say that he also predestined which people specifically he would do it to, is reading into the text more than is there"

That passage contains the doctrine of salvation in a nutshell basically, and it is ALL God's work. So how is that reading into the text? Where does it speak of "believing" or "accepting" or "having faith"?


Why would God say “repent and live� if he was the one did it?

Because inability does not negate responsibility. Notice the following verse:

Col 1:10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

We are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, which is living a life that is fully pleasing to Him. We are to be bearing fruit and increasing in the knowledge of God. All of that is pleasing in His sight, right? We are commanded to do that, right?

Heb 13:20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
Heb 13:21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

How are the things that are pleasing to Him produced? By us? We are commanded to do it, right? It is GOD who is working in us to produce that which is pleasing in His sight! We are commanded to do it; He does it in us.


If someone picks me up and holds me and controls my every action, my every footstep, my every motion, in what way AM I free?

It seems you interpret those verses in Proverbs as God "controlling our every action." Why is that?


If God has ordained everything, then everything is also forced for there is no way we can alter what has been ordained. We may not be conscious of this but it still is required logically.

God can foreknow what you will do without causing you to do it though...


If God already knew what I would do and ordained it to be so then there is no way I could ever have possibly done otherwise. If God ordained A then it’s not possible for me to do ~A. so it’s not possible for me to “have done something other than you decided to do� because what I “decided to do� is what God ordained me to do. I never was free, if that’s the case.

You presuppose you must be free at that moment or it is not freedom; I don't think the Bible ever teaches that at all.

If God sees what you WILL do in the future, how does that make you less free? He knows you COULD HAVE done otherwise, but since He knew, because He is God after all, what you would ACTUALLY do, then He ordained that that action take place.

You OVers seems to be so infatuated with your "will" as if is another god in the universe...if any view is influenced by others, it would be the OV with its Enlightenment and humanistic ideas...


Sure sounds like robots to me. What else could “the wills of men are so governed by the will of God� mean?

I gave you verses that God governs our actions, and YOU seem to draw that we are "robots," not me, nor Calvin. Do you think Calvin taught that we do not make real choices or decisions?


Who says we have to act in accordance with our desires and preferences? I’ve certainly acted “out of character� before. Haven’t you?

To act "out of character" and to be depraved and choose God is a huge difference. When we do we ever, for example, not desire to eat vanilla ice cream, but eat it anyway. If we ate it willingly, it was because we desired to do so, whether we like or not! We always act in accordance with out nature. That is self-evident.



If God knows that in one hour I will watch a tv show then in 1 hour I will watch a tv show. I am not free to play on my computer or go for a walk or hang out with friends or anything like that. I HAVE to watch tv in one hour. Now remember, I have not yet decided what I’m going to do in one hour. But if God foreknows it, then I have no choice but to “choose� to watch tv in one hour.

If you watch a tv show in one hour, will you watch it willingly? Just because God knows what you WILL do, does not in any way mean He "forced" you to do it. That is absurd. You are assuming if God knows A, then God obviously caused A to happen. That is fallacious. That is like saying, my rooster crows every morning, then the sun comes up, so that must mean the rooster crowing causes the sun to come up. It is false logic.


2. We define free will as the ability to choose equally between two or more options when presented with a choice.

Therein lies the assumption and presupposition of the whole argument.

Can God not know, given a specific situation and certain circumstances and certain options, which option you will choose? Once again, just because He knows what you will choose, does not mean He made you choose it.


I admit that I could be wrong about some things. If I am, please show me where and correct me.

I simply meant you do not seem to understand the Calvinist doctrines of providence, divine decrees, free will, and the sovereignty of God. I am not saying you are unfamiliar, but I don't think you get what they are actually teaching.

God_Is_Truth
September 24th, 2004, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by natewood3

GIT,

Why do all things work for good? It is both. God is in control, and God uses all for our good. If God is not in ultimate control, there seems to be no way for God to work all things after the counsel of His will and all things for our good.

You at least seem to admit that God uses suffering and pain for good...

I affirm that God is in ultimate control and uses all for our good. There is no need to jump to the conclusion though that because of this, he then has ordained all things.



Why is it, if it is left up to us, that faith is no where mentioned in these verses? Why is it that "accepting" or "believing" or "repenting" is not mentioned in these verses? Why does Paul jump from "called" to "justified"? To me, there is something special and effectual about this call, otherwise it would not bring about justification. If not all respond to the call, then not all the justified are not necessarily glorified either...if you can be called and not respond, then you can be justified and not be glorified...

The reason faith isn’t mentioned is because Paul is talking simply about God’s work in regards to salvation. He’s giving a summary of what God has done to us. Just because he didn’t mention our part doesn’t mean we don’t have a part. That’s an argument from silence at best and those don’t tend to be very strong.



Faith, in other words, is not supernatural in any sense. It is not really given to us to have faith.

The essence of faith is looking away from ourselves to Christ, right? How can depraved and arrogant hearts turn away from themselves and obey the command, "Repent and believe the Gospel"???

2Th 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,
2Th 3:2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.

Rom 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.

Unless one is being drawn by the Father and being convicted of their Sin by the Holy Spirit, one cannot. The Thessalonians verse is saying that “not all have faith� in Christ, meaning that they have not yet placed their faith in the source of life. Their faith is dead and what’s dead is essentially non-existent. It’s the same as if they had no faith whatsoever. The Romans verse says that those who are still living according to the flesh, whose goal is pleasure and gratification of the sinful nature, they cannot please God as long as they do those things. They cannot because those things are not pleasing to God. If they repent, then they can please God.



Wow...I thought Open Theism was supposed to make God more personal and "down-to-earth," but He didn't even love me specifically.

I understand your concern, but remember, that in Open Theism God still loves you the same as in Calvinism. He did love you specifically on the cross but in a different sense. You were only known as a possible person. God died for all the possible people that might exist. That makes the atonement of Christ a bigger thing than in Calvinism where it was only for a few elect.



He did not even have me in mind when on the Cross. However, Calvinism teaches that God loved each believer specifically and personally with a covenant type love, the love a husband has for her bride. He had me specifically in mind when He was bearing MY sin on the Cross...you know how much He loved us?

Yes, it does make you a little less “special� in open theism in that God didn’t specifically elect you personally for no reason whatsoever. But theology is about truth, not feelings.



Mal 1:2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have you loved us?" "Is not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob
Mal 1:3 but Esau I have hated.

Maybe you will see the point of those verses...doesn't make much sense if unconditional election is not true.

That’s a reference to nations, sorry.



This is where you suggested it:

"we have been predestined to be like Christ as a result of our accepting the gospel. God chose from the foundation of the world to do this to all who believed in him. to say that he also predestined which people specifically he would do it to, is reading into the text more than is there"

That passage contains the doctrine of salvation in a nutshell basically, and it is ALL God's work. So how is that reading into the text? Where does it speak of "believing" or "accepting" or "having faith"?

That’s the thing though. I don’t see it as the entire doctrine of salvation there. I see it as Paul’s description of what God has done to us since we accepted the gospel. It’s him telling us God’s part in our salvation. That may be part of the reason we interpret it differently.




Because inability does not negate responsibility. Notice the following verse:

Col 1:10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

We are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, which is living a life that is fully pleasing to Him. We are to be bearing fruit and increasing in the knowledge of God. All of that is pleasing in His sight, right? We are commanded to do that, right?

Remember that the command was written to those who already were believers.



Heb 13:20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
Heb 13:21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

How are the things that are pleasing to Him produced? By us? We are commanded to do it, right? It is GOD who is working in us to produce that which is pleasing in His sight! We are commanded to do it; He does it in us.

It’s both. He works in us to bring about the desires and motives and wants to do good things. But we are the one who does them. Thus, he works in us to do good works.



It seems you interpret those verses in Proverbs as God "controlling our every action." Why is that?

That’s not how I read them. It’s how many Calvinists read them.



God can foreknow what you will do without causing you to do it though...

Ok, let’s think this through. Now before creation, before the existence of anything at all, the only thing that exists is God. Now you say God already foreknows that you will be born as you are now. Now back when God was the only thing that existed, what made that statement true that you would exist? For what reason was it true that you were going to exist? What “force� or “power� determined that you were going to exist? Well, if only God exists (which we are stating) then it has to be him that brings it about. Thus, any future even that God knows for sure must be a result of his bringing it about. So, if God has foreknown everything from eternity past, then it must be because he ordained it and brought it to pass himself. In other words, he is the creator, doer and ordainer of all things if he has had EFK from eternity past.




You presuppose you must be free at that moment or it is not freedom; I don't think the Bible ever teaches that at all.

If God sees what you WILL do in the future, how does that make you less free? He knows you COULD HAVE done otherwise, but since He knew, because He is God after all, what you would ACTUALLY do, then He ordained that that action take place.

If he already knows what I’ve “actually done� before I actually do it, how am I free at all? I haven’t “actually� done anything in the future yet! I have NOT made every choice I’m going to make yet. I haven’t chosen what to eat for lunch tomorrow, I haven’t chosen what time I want to take a shower yet, I haven’t chosen what my work schedule will be like this summer or any of the jillions of decisions left in my life. I haven’t made those choices yet. Thus, to say that God has seen what I’ve “actually done� is nonsense because I have not actually done those things. The only possible way that God can know what I will do for sure is to choose for me what I will do. But then, if he does that, I’m not free in any sense whatsoever.



You OVers seems to be so infatuated with your "will" as if is another god in the universe...if any view is influenced by others, it would be the OV with its Enlightenment and humanistic ideas...

:rolleyes:




I gave you verses that God governs our actions, and YOU seem to draw that we are "robots," not me, nor Calvin. Do you think Calvin taught that we do not make real choices or decisions?

That quote was from his writings. What do you think?



To act "out of character" and to be depraved and choose God is a huge difference. When we do we ever, for example, not desire to eat vanilla ice cream, but eat it anyway. If we ate it willingly, it was because we desired to do so, whether we like or not! We always act in accordance with out nature. That is self-evident.

Then in what sense do we ever “act out of character�?



If you watch a tv show in one hour, will you watch it willingly? Just because God knows what you WILL do, does not in any way mean He "forced" you to do it.

It does mean that if I haven’t made the choice to do that yet! The choice of watching tv is my own, it is for me to decide and I have not made that choice as of yet. However, if God knows that I will watch tv in one hour then my choice has been taken away. I am not free to do anything but watch tv. God has made my choice for me.



That is absurd. You are assuming if God knows A, then God obviously caused A to happen. That is fallacious. That is like saying, my rooster crows every morning, then the sun comes up, so that must mean the rooster crowing causes the sun to come up. It is false logic.

In your scenario yes, it’s fallacious. But when God is the ONLY thing in existence and he knows beyond the shadow of a doubt what will happen, those things have to come from him. there’s nowhere else they can come from.

Tell me, if they aren’t from God, where are they from?



Therein lies the assumption and presupposition of the whole argument.

Can God not know, given a specific situation and certain circumstances and certain options, which option you will choose? Once again, just because He knows what you will choose, does not mean He made you choose it.

He can know what I will probably choose or what I am likely to choose. But the second he knows beyond the shadow of any doubt what I will choose before I choose it, I lose my choice. Free will by definition includes an element of uncertainty. To be free, our choices cannot be certain before them for there is always that option of us doing the unexpected or the unlikely. That is why free will and exhaustive foreknowledge of the future are incompatible.




I simply meant you do not seem to understand the Calvinist doctrines of providence, divine decrees, free will, and the sovereignty of God. I am not saying you are unfamiliar, but I don't think you get what they are actually teaching.

Most Calvinists I talk with agree with those things though.

God bless,

GIT

godrulz
September 24th, 2004, 08:13 PM
Depravity is not inability.

The image of God is defaced, not erased.

Exhaustive foreknowledge of future free will contingencies is not theologically or philosophically coherent.

Why is it so hard to accept that God has created other free moral agents resulting in a future that is partially open? He can do this because He is sovereign Creator.

God_Is_Truth
September 24th, 2004, 10:47 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

Why is it so hard to accept that God has created other free moral agents resulting in a future that is partially open? He can do this because He is sovereign Creator.

i find myself asking that about other people a lot these days.

Knight
September 25th, 2004, 12:06 PM
Swordsman.... I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle. This was from my post #119....

If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?

Knight
September 27th, 2004, 11:06 AM
Swordsman?

Knight
September 28th, 2004, 11:04 AM
Bump.

Yorzhik
September 28th, 2004, 08:38 PM
tap tap tap...

this thing on?...


hmmmmm hmmmmmm hmmmmm hmm hmm...



So how 'bout them De-troit Tigers?

Yorzhik
September 28th, 2004, 08:41 PM
Cool. That was post 1500. And I didn't even SPAM to get there.

Much.

Knight
September 28th, 2004, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by Yorzhik

tap tap tap...

this thing on?...


hmmmmm hmmmmmm hmmmmm hmm hmm...



So how 'bout them De-troit Tigers? LOL....

:singer: echo... echo... echo...

Hello?

natewood3
September 29th, 2004, 12:09 AM
GIT,


I affirm that God is in ultimate control and uses all for our good. There is no need to jump to the conclusion though that because of this, he then has ordained all things.

I also see no reason not to "jump" to that conclusion...If God doesn't control all the "microdetails," then why are we sure He controls the "macrodetails"? Where does the Bible draw that line?


The reason faith isn’t mentioned is because Paul is talking simply about God’s work in regards to salvation. He’s giving a summary of what God has done to us. Just because he didn’t mention our part doesn’t mean we don’t have a part. That’s an argument from silence at best and those don’t tend to be very strong.

The point I am making is that in two salvation passages (Eph. 1 and Rom. 8), our faith is never mentioned as a reason that we are saved. God is though. Not to say that faith doesn't play a part, because it does. However, I find it hard to say faith is our work, especially in light of what we have said of faith in other threads.


Unless one is being drawn by the Father and being convicted of their Sin by the Holy Spirit, one cannot.

I agree. I think the question is not can we have faith, but why do we have faith when we do. Once again, look at the essence of faith and I don't think it is simply because it seems like the right thing to do...


The Thessalonians verse is saying that “not all have faith� in Christ, meaning that they have not yet placed their faith in the source of life. Their faith is dead and what’s dead is essentially non-existent. It’s the same as if they had no faith whatsoever.

I see no problem really with that...my point was there are some who have faith in Christ, and some don't. It is not as if all have faith in Christ and they just have to "accept it" or something like that...


The Romans verse says that those who are still living according to the flesh, whose goal is pleasure and gratification of the sinful nature, they cannot please God as long as they do those things. They cannot because those things are not pleasing to God. If they repent, then they can please God.

The thing about that verse is those in the flesh CANNOT submit to the law of God. They are unable. Is repentance part of God's law?

Act 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

According to Paul, unbelievers are unable to submit to that because they are constantly living according to the flesh. I agree, if they repent, they can please God. By themselves, they CANNOT repent. What makes that less that "total INABILITY" (cannot/unable)?



I understand your concern, but remember, that in Open Theism God still loves you the same as in Calvinism. He did love you specifically on the cross but in a different sense.

I don't think so. The OV God does NOT love me like the God of the Bible [;)]. Christ loved me and the rest of His Bride in a way different from the rest of mankind. It was a special love. There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER IN ME why He chose to love me. It was His good pleasure.


You were only known as a possible person. God died for all the possible people that might exist. That makes the atonement of Christ a bigger thing than in Calvinism where it was only for a few elect.

How did Christ die for "possible sins" that we not yet sins since they did not exist? Is there any possible text to prove that? Or would it have to be proven by presuppositions and logic?

That is not comforting at all to hear that Christ only loved a non-person. How in the world can Christ love a non-person? He cannot know that which does not exist, and He cannot love that which does not exist.


Yes, it does make you a little less “special� in open theism in that God didn’t specifically elect you personally for no reason whatsoever. But theology is about truth, not feelings.

Pinnock has said, "God's openness means that God is open to the changing realities of history, that God cares abot us and lets what we do impact Him. Our lives make a difference to God--they are truly significant. God is delighted when we trust Him and saddened when we rebel against Him. God made us significant creatues and treats us as such."

The OV wants to make God personal and loving and caring, but yet when they throw away the fact that God loved specific people personally, WHILE THEY WERE YET SINNERS (how can God love sinners when they are not yet sinners???), God becomes depersonalized and not the God of the Bible, Who loved His Bride and gave Himself for HER. We are no longer foreloved, predestined to be sons, etc, etc. God just loved a non-person who He didn't even know would exist. That is not the love of the God of the Bible as I perceive it...


That’s a reference to nations, sorry.

So now God hated entire nations, not just individuals? What is more devastating, hating individuals or entire nations???


That’s the thing though. I don’t see it as the entire doctrine of salvation there. I see it as Paul’s description of what God has done to us since we accepted the gospel. It’s him telling us God’s part in our salvation. That may be part of the reason we interpret it differently.

I understand how your "interpreting" it, but your reading into the text. Where does it speak of these things being after we accepted the gospel???


It’s both. He works in us to bring about the desires and motives and wants to do good things. But we are the one who does them. Thus, he works in us to do good works.

How are we still "free" if God is working in us to will and do His good pleasure? I do not see how these verses are consistent with your view...

Also, I think you missed that we are COMMANDED to do these things, yet they are produced by God. How can God command us to do something that only He can produce? That is the thing the OV says God cannot do...


That’s not how I read them. It’s how many Calvinists read them.

Could you explain how you read them?

Pro 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

Pro 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

Pro 21:1 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.


Ok, let’s think this through. Now before creation, before the existence of anything at all, the only thing that exists is God. Now you say God already foreknows that you will be born as you are now. Now back when God was the only thing that existed, what made that statement true that you would exist? For what reason was it true that you were going to exist? What “force� or “power� determined that you were going to exist? Well, if only God exists (which we are stating) then it has to be him that brings it about. Thus, any future even that God knows for sure must be a result of his bringing it about. So, if God has foreknown everything from eternity past, then it must be because he ordained it and brought it to pass himself. In other words, he is the creator, doer and ordainer of all things if he has had EFK from eternity past.

So God isn't the One who gives life and the One by whom all things consist?

Rom 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
Rom 11:34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
Rom 11:35 "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
Rom 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Where do all things come from?


If he already knows what I’ve “actually done� before I actually do it, how am I free at all?

He knows what you will actually DO.


I haven’t “actually� done anything in the future yet! I have NOT made every choice I’m going to make yet. I haven’t chosen what to eat for lunch tomorrow, I haven’t chosen what time I want to take a shower yet, I haven’t chosen what my work schedule will be like this summer or any of the jillions of decisions left in my life. I haven’t made those choices yet. Thus, to say that God has seen what I’ve “actually done� is nonsense because I have not actually done those things. The only possible way that God can know what I will do for sure is to choose for me what I will do. But then, if he does that, I’m not free in any sense whatsoever.

That is simply a logical argument of bringing God down to our level. We cannot know what someone will do because they haven't done it yet. Therefore, God must not be able to know what will happen either, because it hasn't happened yet.

We are not the reference point and standard by which God's attributes are judged and explained...we are made like Him; He is not made like us.



That quote was from his writings. What do you think?

I do not think that Calvin taught we do not make real decisions or that foreknowledge negates free will.


Then in what sense do we ever “act out of character�?

Your assumption is that we can act "out of character." I do not know that we ever act in a way that is not in accordance with our desires, which may or may not be in accordance with our true character.


It does mean that if I haven’t made the choice to do that yet! The choice of watching tv is my own, it is for me to decide and I have not made that choice as of yet.

It is your choice; God just happens to know what choice you will choose.


However, if God knows that I will watch tv in one hour then my choice has been taken away. I am not free to do anything but watch tv. God has made my choice for me.

If God knows that you will watch tv, it is because He knows you would watch tv in that situation! It isn't because He forced or coerced you to make you watch tv just because He knew it. He knew it because He knows our hearts and motives and desires, and therefore knows how we will act actually and knows how we could have otherwise acted.


In your scenario yes, it’s fallacious. But when God is the ONLY thing in existence and he knows beyond the shadow of a doubt what will happen, those things have to come from him. there’s nowhere else they can come from.

Tell me, if they aren’t from God, where are they from?

See above...


He can know what I will probably choose or what I am likely to choose. But the second he knows beyond the shadow of any doubt what I will choose before I choose it, I lose my choice. Free will by definition includes an element of uncertainty. To be free, our choices cannot be certain before them for there is always that option of us doing the unexpected or the unlikely. That is why free will and exhaustive foreknowledge of the future are incompatible.

We are free to do whatever we please. God is more so. God gives you the choice to watch tv or to not. He can know what you will choose, and He can know if something small was changed, then you would have chosen otherwise. If you have nothing to do, and it is around the time when you sit down to watch sports everyday, then God knows what you will choose certainly without causing it. If you get ready to sit down to watch tv and get a phone call saying your child is in the hospital, then God knows you could sit down to watch tv still; that is a possibility. However, He certainly knows what you will do, and yet you are free to make that decision. You could have done otherwise, but God just knew what you would do when given the choice, and He decreed that that choice would be so and certainly come to pass, which is why you were still free and God still ordains all things.

godrulz
September 29th, 2004, 12:19 AM
Jesus was asked what workS must be done. He said that the WORK of God was to BELIEVE in Him. Faith is not a self-righteous work (Eph. 2:8-10). It is a conditional response to the drawing of God to the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (not just the elect in scope....we become part of the elect by repentant faith...they alone have eternal life. Repentant faith precedes election. Election was not from eternity past).

Knight
September 29th, 2004, 10:25 AM
Cough... cough....

Hack....

Man... I can't clear my throat.

GreenPartyVoter
September 29th, 2004, 10:47 AM
I am uncomfortable with the concept of Open Theism that says God does not know everything in advance.

For me, I need God to be all-powerful and all-knowing. I take comfort in believing that there is a plan and that all will work out for the best, even if I don't understand how.

Knight
September 29th, 2004, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by GreenPartyVoter

I am uncomfortable with the concept of Open Theism that says God does not know everything in advance.Do you believe the Bible is the word of God?


For me, I need God to be all-powerful and all-knowing. I take comfort in believing that there is a plan and that all will work out for the best, even if I don't understand how. How can you take comfort in thinking that God planned the rape and brutal murder of a 7 year old girl? Or of men hijacking airliners and flying them into buildings or men chaining a black man to the back of a pickup truck and dragging him as they drove through the town eventually shredding his body into pieces. Is it comforting to think that God planned those things in every detail?

Knight
September 29th, 2004, 10:58 AM
Swordsman.... I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle. This was from my post #119....

If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?

Yorzhik
September 29th, 2004, 11:09 AM
GPV: there is still a plan, and we don't understand how it all works, even in the Open View.

Clete
September 29th, 2004, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by GreenPartyVoter

I am uncomfortable with the concept of Open Theism that says God does not know everything in advance.

For me, I need God to be all-powerful and all-knowing. I take comfort in believing that there is a plan and that all will work out for the best, even if I don't understand how.

While I understand the sentiment and I don't want to be overly harsh here, I would like to submit for your consideration that it seems that you are placing too much emphasis on your own emotional needs rather than placing the priority on finding out what the truth is and going with it regardless of how you feel about it.

The fact is that IF God does not know everything that is going to happen then you do not need for Him to. In other words, what you need is God, the real God. If that happens to be a God who knows every detail of the future then that's the God you need, if, on the other hand, it turns out that God does not know every detail of the future then that's the God you need. What you feel, while important, isn't the deciding factor. Have the courage to find out what is true and then accept it and believe it. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Look at the substantive evidence and be brave enough to accept what it is telling you.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
September 29th, 2004, 01:12 PM
Well put! :Clete:

Hilston
September 29th, 2004, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Swordsman.... I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle. This was from my post #119....

If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing? I explained this to you. We talked about it on the phone, remember? You even said you liked my explanation.


Originally posted by Knight
How can you take comfort in thinking that God planned the rape and brutal murder of a 7 year old girl?How can you have any comfort or trust believing in a God whose prophecies do not come true, who is surprised by His own creation, and who continues to sit idly by, unable to lift a finger, while hundreds of people He supposedly wants to save but cannot, plunge into hell on a daily basis?

godrulz
September 29th, 2004, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by Hilston


How can you have any comfort or trust believing in a God whose prophecies do not come true, who is surprised by His own creation, and who continues to sit idly by, unable to lift a finger, while hundreds of people He supposedly wants to save but cannot, plunge into hell on a daily basis?

Conditional prophecies may or may not come true. God delights in people repenting in response to His intent to judge if they do not. Messianic prophecies are in another category and will come true regardless of what man does or does not do. He is omnicompetent.

God is not surprised in the sense that He wrings His hands in panic if we do something He wished we would not do. He is responsive and omnicompetent to handle any contingency. He is grieved at our wickedness, but knew it as a possibility. It did not 'surprise' Him, but it broke His heart when the possibility of evil became an actuality in space-time.

God does not sit idly by while millions plunge into hell. He is actively seeking, drawing, wooing, persuading, putting up roadblocks, etc. to save everyone possible. His provision was efficacious ("It is finished"), but it must be appropriated. There is a cosmic warfare as Satan seeks to kill, rob, and destroy. Jesus and the Spirit come to give abundant and eternal life. Jesus wept that the Jews would not come to Him though He would have gathered them like a hen if they would not have loved darkness more than light. This does not make Jesus a failure, but shows that man is wicked and culpable for choosing self over God.

It is not that He will not save those He could save. Repentant faith is a condition of salvation. His death and resurrection provided the basis/grounds for salvation. We cannot add anything more to it, but we must receive Him (Jn. 1:12). How do you find this more problematic than your view where God supposedly elects some and non-elects others that HE COULD SAVE, BUT IS NOT WILLING TO? God's righteous character is vindicated if men freely reject His universal offer and provision. Man is culpable for evil and going to hell. In your view, God becomes culpable and blameworthy for arbitrarily saving some while damning others who could be saved. Hyper-sovereignty is not compatible with the revealed love of God. God's holiness is not compatible with being responsible for moral evil (vs natural disasters in judgment...save your mistranslated proof texts).

Knight
September 29th, 2004, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

I explained this to you. We talked about it on the phone, remember? You even said you liked my explanation.I didn't know your name was Swordsman??? :D

I actually don't remember that part of the phone call maybe you could refresh my memory?

And even so... I was sorta hoping to have Swordsman answer the question although you can take a stab at if you like.


How can you have any comfort or trust believing in a God whose prophecies do not come true, who is surprised by His own creation, and who continues to sit idly by, unable to lift a finger, while hundreds of people He supposedly wants to save but cannot, plunge into hell on a daily basis? Dude go easy on that strawman he's falling to pieces. :rolleyes:

Knight
September 29th, 2004, 06:26 PM
Swordsman.... I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle. This was from my post #119....

If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?

Hilston
September 29th, 2004, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by Knight
I didn't know your name was Swordsman??? :DI didn't realize this was a test for Swordsman. I've obviously confused you with someone who really wants to know the answer to the question.


Originally posted by Knight
Dude go easy on that strawman he's falling to pieces. :rolleyes: What part of my statement does not represent your view? Don't you believe God's prophecies do not always come true? Don't you believe that God gets surprised by creation? Don't you believe God wants to save everyone? Don't you believe that He cannot save those who reject Him? Don't you believe that hundreds of people plunge into hell on a daily basis?

Clete
September 29th, 2004, 07:14 PM
I'm not Knight but I can't resist!


Originally posted by Hilston
What part of my statement does not represent your view? Don't you believe God's prophecies do not always come true?
Yep, gotta give you this one! Some explanation is warranted but a... been there, done that.


Don't you believe that God gets surprised by [His] creation?
Definitely!


Don't you believe God wants to save everyone?
This is an overstatement I think. As a general statement it is true enough, but God's desire to satisfy the requirements of justice outweighs His desire to save every person from punishment.


Don't you believe that He cannot save those who reject Him?
Cannot? No, that's definitely not what I believe. Will not is much better! God wills to save those who choose to respond to Him in faith and He will not save those who do not.


Don't you believe that hundreds of people plunge into hell on a daily basis?
Definitely! Many die every day in open and willful rejection of God and will pay the price for the evil of which they are guilty.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
September 29th, 2004, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

I didn't realize this was a test for Swordsman. I've obviously confused you with someone who really wants to know the answer to the question. It was Swordsman who appealed to the magical anthropomorphism spot cleaner not you. Not to mention I did address him by name when I stated....
Swordsman.... I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle. This was from my post #119....

If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?Even still.... feel free to answer his question for him if you like but you might want to actually answer it instead of simply claiming we discussed it over the phone (I still don't remember that part of the conversation).

You continue....
What part of my statement does not represent your view? Don't you believe God's prophecies do not always come true? Don't you believe that God gets surprised by creation? Don't you believe God wants to save everyone? Don't you believe that He cannot save those who reject Him? Don't you believe that hundreds of people plunge into hell on a daily basis? Lets review your statement....

Hiltons statement in blue my response will be in black....

How can you have any comfort or trust believing in a God whose prophecies do not come true,

God's prophecies don't come true??? Strawman run for your life!!!!! Hilston I think its pretty clear that your statement is highly misleading. First off.... most of God's prophecies DO come true! Second.... the only reason that one of God's prophecies might not come true is because God Himself changed the His plan i.e., Jer 18.

who is surprised by His own creation,

Again... only on rare occasions would God be "surprised" by His creation and it isn't me you have a problem with here its the Bible. God says flat out He expected good grapes from Israel and yet Israel produced wild grapes (Isaiah 5).

and who continues to sit idly by, unable to lift a finger, while hundreds of people He supposedly wants to save but cannot, plunge into hell on a daily basis?

Sits idly by???????

Dude where do you get this stuff? I am ashamed of you! I have never made a claim like that nor have I seen any other OV'er make a claim like that! God does not sit idly by!!! God has gone to INCREDIBLE measures for us, God Himself states.....

What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?

So again... Hilston until you are ready to face me instead of Mr. Strawman please spare me your unfair and "unchristian-like" fellowship.

Jim, I like you ... you are a great guy! I expect more from you, I expect you to treat me as a friend.

GreenPartyVoter
September 29th, 2004, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Do you believe the Bible is the word of God?

How can you take comfort in thinking that God planned the rape and brutal murder of a 7 year old girl? Or of men hijacking airliners and flying them into buildings or men chaining a black man to the back of a pickup truck and dragging him as they drove through the town eventually shredding his body into pieces. Is it comforting to think that God planned those things in every detail?

No I don't.

And No I don't believe God planned those things. I believe in free will and that God knows all the results of all the possible combinations of actions of all the people in existence. And even so, in the end, there is a plan, and that will be that we will all be with Him in an existence where there is no suffering.

GreenPartyVoter
September 29th, 2004, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by Yorzhik

GPV: there is still a plan, and we don't understand how it all works, even in the Open View.

Thanks for letting me know that. Even so, as I explained in the above post I believe in an Omniscient God. (I may be wrong, but I am not too worried about that. God loves me no matter how right or wrong I am when struggling with the questions of life.)

GreenPartyVoter
September 29th, 2004, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

While I understand the sentiment and I don't want to be overly harsh here, I would like to submit for your consideration that it seems that you are placing too much emphasis on your own emotional needs rather than placing the priority on finding out what the truth is and going with it regardless of how you feel about it.

The fact is that IF God does not know everything that is going to happen then you do not need for Him to. In other words, what you need is God, the real God. If that happens to be a God who knows every detail of the future then that's the God you need, if, on the other hand, it turns out that God does not know every detail of the future then that's the God you need. What you feel, while important, isn't the deciding factor. Have the courage to find out what is true and then accept it and believe it. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Look at the substantive evidence and be brave enough to accept what it is telling you.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete, I understand what you are saying and appreciate you putting it in such a kind way. Believe me, I don't think I am creating the God that I need. And I am indeed searching for evidence, though I believe I won't know the full truth about things til I am in Heaven with Him. Probably my little head could not comprehend all those thoughts while alive. :)

Knight
September 29th, 2004, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by GreenPartyVoter

No I don't.

And No I don't believe God planned those things. I believe in free will and that God knows all the results of all the possible combinations of actions of all the people in existence. And even so, in the end, there is a plan, and that will be that we will all be with Him in an existence where there is no suffering. I see.

billygoat
September 29th, 2004, 08:44 PM
Originally posted by GreenPartyVoter

No I don't...[believe the Bible??]

And No I don't believe God planned those things. I believe in free will and that God knows all the results of all the possible combinations of actions of all the people in existence. And even so, in the end, there is a plan, and that will be that we will all be with Him in an existence where there is no suffering.


Are you saying that you do not believe the Bible is The Word of GOD? If that is your position, what is the point of discussing Biblical Doctrine? :doh:

As to your free will plus God knows the future idea, that is senseless. If He knows the future, then the future is FIXED and cannot be other than what God knows it is going to be. You are not being logical. :down:

Knight
September 29th, 2004, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by billygoat

Are you saying that you do not believe the Bible is The Word of GOD? If that is your position, what is the point of discussing Biblical Doctrine? :doh:
Yea... that's what I was thinking.

Clete
September 29th, 2004, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by GreenPartyVoter

Thanks for letting me know that. Even so, as I explained in the above post I believe in an Omniscient God. (I may be wrong, but I am not too worried about that. God loves me no matter how right or wrong I am when struggling with the questions of life.)

No one here denies that God is omniscient. At most, some of us dispute the definition of the word "omniscient". Not all Open Theists agree on this point but I, for one, believe that to know “everything� cannot be rationally made to include the unknowable. Thus God cannot know that which is logically unknowable.

For actions to be free they must be contingent; that is, there must be an ability to do or to do otherwise.
If one's "choice" is known with certainty the contingency, the ability to do otherwise does not exist and thus neither does freedom of the will.
Therefore if freewill exists then the actions of free will agents cannot be known.
Thus God does not know the actions of free will agents.

Now, that is not to say that those actions cannot be predicted, perhaps even with an extremely high degree of accuracy. After all God is omniscient. He knows every detail that can be known about every person, place or thing. So you see, it isn't that we Open Theists don't believe that God isn't omniscient, it’s just that the conventional (Calvinist) idea of omniscience is an overstatement. It not only doesn't square with the Biblical data but it doesn't square with sound reason either.


Clete, I understand what you are saying and appreciate you putting it in such a kind way. Believe me, I don't think I am creating the God that I need. And I am indeed searching for evidence, though I believe I won't know the full truth about things til I am in Heaven with Him. Probably my little head could not comprehend all those thoughts while alive. :)
We can know what we can know, the rest we are not responsible for.

The others have pointed out that your rejection of the Bible as God's Word is a problem but I would like to leave that a side for the time being. Instead, I would like to know whether you consider yourself to be a Christian, and if so, why?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
September 29th, 2004, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by GreenPartyVoter
For me, I need God to be all-powerful and all-knowing. I take comfort in believing that there is a plan and that all will work out for the best, even if I don't understand how. Now that we know you don't accept the Bible....

I am curious...

How do you know your god has a plan?

GreenPartyVoter
September 29th, 2004, 09:47 PM
Knight et al, just to clarify I should have qualified my answer. Yes, I believe it is the Word of God, but no, I do not believe it is infallible. (I mean, which Bible are we talking about anyway? The Catholic one with the Apocrypha? The Protestant one? KJV or the Message?? See more on infallibility here: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/2961/inner1.htm )

But yes, I consider myself a Christian. Not a fundamentalist or conservative evangelical per se, but a Christian none-the-less. I believe in Jesus as both a divine and human being and am striving to be like Him in the examples that he set, not only in how I behave towards others but also in the way that He had such an open and loving relationship with His Abba. (Trying being the operative word, there.)

How do I know He has a plan? How does anyone know anything about Him? He has told me so in my heart. Even were I an empath and I could send you that feeling, you might still doubt it and assume I invented it for my own sake. Wish I could "prove" it to you, but I cannot. Hence why we call it faith.

However if only Nicene Creed/"Bible Believing" Christians are allowed in this particular forum, then I apologize for jumping in here. I just happened to see the heading about Open Theology in the latest threads box, and as I had been thinking a bit about it recently (what little I know, anyway) I joined the conversation. :)

Clete
September 29th, 2004, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by GreenPartyVoter

Knight et al, just to clarify I should have qualified my answer. Yes, I believe it is the Word of God, but no, I do not believe it is infallible. (I mean, which Bible are we talking about anyway? The Catholic one with the Apocrypha? The Protestant one? KJV or the Message?? See more on infallibility here: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/2961/inner1.htm )

But yes, I consider myself a Christian. Not a fundamentalist or conservative evangelical per se, but a Christian none-the-less. I believe in Jesus as both a divine and human being and am striving to be like Him in the examples that he set, not only in how I behave towards others but also in the way that He had such an open and loving relationship with His Abba. (Trying being the operative word, there.)

How do I know He has a plan? How does anyone know anything about Him? He has told me so in my heart. Even were I an empath and I could send you that feeling, you might still doubt it and assume I invented it for my own sake. Wish I could "prove" it to you, but I cannot. Hence why we call it faith.

However if only Nicene Creed/"Bible Believing" Christians are allowed in this particular forum, then I apologize for jumping in here. I just happened to see the heading about Open Theology in the latest threads box, and as I had been thinking a bit about it recently (what little I know, anyway) I joined the conversation. :)

I thought that this might be the case. Very well then, believing in the inerrancy of the Bible makes it easier to have a systematic theology and gives you a common ground upon which to build a discussion on a board of this nature but it is by no mean required for salvation. It sure does make it easy to have an emotionally based theology though. And it is interesting that I responded to what I intuitively picked up as just that before your having said anything about not beleiving in the inerrancy of the Bible.
At any rate, I'm curious to know how you would respond to what I've said about the omniscience of God. Do you believe that God knows the unknowable?

Resting in Him,
Clete

godrulz
September 29th, 2004, 10:32 PM
Is it really cogent for God to know as a certainty every play of every sporting event or chess game in the world before they are played? There are trillions of possible combinations. Clearly we have the freedom to pass, run, get injured, move the pawn instead of the bishop, hit a backhand instead of a lob, trip in the Olympics instead of winning as expected, etc. Future free will contingencies are known as a possibility until they become an actuality. The future is not there to 'see' even for an omniscient being. It is not a deficiency for Him to not know a nothing. This is an absurdity or logical contradiction (cf. omnipotence is not limited by the inability to do the absurd....create a rock too heavy to lift, etc.).

Omniscience- God knows all that is knowable. He correctly knows possibilities and actualities as they really are. He knows the past and present perfectly. Some of the future is genuinely open and unknowable. This is the type of creation He chose to make. That which is knowable, He is able to bring to pass by His omnicompetence. He does not predestine or control everything (the only way to support exhaustive foreknowledge according to a Calvinist...simple Arminian foreknowledge is impossible to explain. The future is not a place or thing to be seen or known. Time is unidirectional, not timelessness).

natewood3
September 30th, 2004, 12:41 AM
GIT,

Would like to see your response to post #132...no hurry though.

God_Is_Truth
September 30th, 2004, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by natewood3

GIT,

Would like to see your response to post #132...no hurry though.

i started it up last night but didn't have time to finish it (lots of school work lately). hopefully it will be done tonight.

natewood3
September 30th, 2004, 11:23 AM
GIT,

No problem...I thought maybe you didn't see that I responded because a bunch of other people started responding after I did...thought maybe it got lost in all the other posts...

billygoat
September 30th, 2004, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by GreenPartyVoter

However if only Nicene Creed/"Bible Believing" Christians are allowed in this particular forum, then I apologize for jumping in here. I just happened to see the heading about Open Theology in the latest threads box, and as I had been thinking a bit about it recently (what little I know, anyway) I joined the conversation. :)

I did not wish to give you the impression that you should get out of the discussion or weren't welcome. Hey...how do any of us learn anything if we only talk to people who agree with us?

:D

Knight
September 30th, 2004, 12:18 PM
Swordsman.... I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle. This was from my post #119....

If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?

Come on Swordsman I know you have been online, even posting in other threads.

You made an assertion and I am merely asking you to back up your assertion.

That's fair... isn't it?

God_Is_Truth
September 30th, 2004, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by natewood3

GIT,


I also see no reason not to "jump" to that conclusion...If God doesn't control all the "microdetails," then why are we sure He controls the "macrodetails"? Where does the Bible draw that line?

Hold on here. I said that God was in control, not that he controls all things. Do you agree or disagree that one can be in control of a situation without controlling all the things that occur inside of it?




The point I am making is that in two salvation passages (Eph. 1 and Rom. 8), our faith is never mentioned as a reason that we are saved. God is though. Not to say that faith doesn't play a part, because it does. However, I find it hard to say faith is our work, especially in light of what we have said of faith in other threads.

I think that faith is partly us and partly God. By faith we accept the gospel as truth and believe in God for our hope. We all know we are sinners and I think we all know that we’ve messed up in life and done things we shouldn’t have done. We also know that if there is no God than we shouldn’t feel bad for any of those things. They would instead feel natural and there would be no conviction in one’s heart for those things.

So we also know that we have done things we shouldn’t have and gone against what the person who put those convictions there wants. We also know that this person is God. Romans 1 makes this very clear. Thus, we know we need forgiveness from God for the things we did wrong. Thus, we all have the ability innately to turn to God and say “God, I know I’ve done things I shouldn’t have. I’ve done things you didn’t want me to do. Please forgive me of these things and help me to sin no more but to live in according to what is right.�

The part of faith I believe that is God’s part is seeing Christ for who he really is, accepting that salvation is by grace, and a complete turn around from the sin we used to live in. you also noted some things in another thread about what God does when we are saved to which I would add here as well.

As for the passages not mentioning this, I ask why does it need to? If Paul is simply explaining to us and praising God for his work in our salvation and our sanctification, and also remembering that it was written to believers who had already put their faith in Christ, then I see no real reason or purpose to explain what they already knew and had already done.



I agree. I think the question is not can we have faith, but why do we have faith when we do. Once again, look at the essence of faith and I don't think it is simply because it seems like the right thing to do...

I think we have faith partly because we know we are sinners and in need of forgiveness and partly because God reveals himself to us.



I see no problem really with that...my point was there are some who have faith in Christ, and some don't. It is not as if all have faith in Christ and they just have to "accept it" or something like that...

I was not trying to say that all have faith in Christ and had to “accept it� or anything like that. Sorry for the confusion. All I was saying is that we all have faith (or trust and hope) in something. We all have the capacity to turn towards Christ and put that faith in him, but many of us choose not to.



The thing about that verse is those in the flesh CANNOT submit to the law of God. They are unable. Is repentance part of God's law?

Do you really think God would command the impossible from us? Would he command us to grow wings? Would he command us to walk to the moon? Would he command us to drink the pacific ocean? Thus, I see it as reasonable that anything God commands us to do is something we have the ability to do. It may be hard, we may not like it, but we are able.

Here are the two verses we are talking about:

7the sinful mind[6] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

Now in verse 7 it says that the “sinful mind� is hostile to God. It doesn’t mean that the entire person is hostile, just that the sinful mind is. Clearly there is more to a person than just their mind. There is the heart, soul, will etc. verse 8 says “it does not submit to God’s law nor can it do so�. This is about the sinful mind. But as I already stated, there is more to a person than the mind. There is the heart, soul and will for starters. So, if a person decides to come to their senses and stop living according to the sinful mind and doing what they know is wrong, I believe they can ask for forgiveness, repent and God does the rest from there.



Act 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

According to Paul, unbelievers are unable to submit to that because they are constantly living according to the flesh. I agree, if they repent, they can please God. By themselves, they CANNOT repent. What makes that less that "total INABILITY" (cannot/unable)?

See above.



I don't think so. The OV God does NOT love me like the God of the Bible [;)]. Christ loved me and the rest of His Bride in a way different from the rest of mankind. It was a special love. There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER IN ME why He chose to love me. It was His good pleasure.

Before you were born God could not have loved you except in the way of a thought or a future thing. He could not love you the same way he loves you now because you didn’t exist then and you do exist now. Furthermore, if that is the case, what do you make of this verse?

Galatians 4:9
But now that you know God–or rather are known by God–how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

If God knew you all the way back at the cross personally, then this verse should be a lie right? How could God have known you personally all the way back then and then claim to start knowing you again for the first time once you believe? It cannot be both. God cannot have exhaustively, personally, and individually known you forever in eternity and on the cross and claim that when you believe that you are “now known by God�.

And once again I add that our theology should not be built upon what theology says God love us more or which one seems to say that God cares most about us. It should be about truth as found in the word of God—the bible.



How did Christ die for "possible sins" that we not yet sins since they did not exist? Is there any possible text to prove that? Or would it have to be proven by presuppositions and logic?

Because his death is not something where sins were sort of “put on him� literally. It was a sacrifice in our place, bearing the punishment we deserved as the result of our sins. He lived perfectly and as such was able to pay the price he himself did not deserve, but that every one of us deserves when we sin. Thus, his righteousness is imputed to us by faith in
that work because though we are guilty, he was innocent.

There are many scriptures that support this idea if you are interested.

That is not comforting at all to hear that Christ only loved a non-person. How in the world can Christ love a non-person? He cannot know that which does not exist, and He cannot love that which does not exist.

What’s comforting is irrelevant. What’s important is truth. If the bible says God had all the women and children killed then that’s what happened regardless of how we feel about it.

also, are you saying that all people today were people back then? What else would they be besides “non-persons�? they couldn’t have been people like they are now because they didn’t exist.



Pinnock has said, "God's openness means that God is open to the changing realities of history, that God cares abot us and lets what we do impact Him. Our lives make a difference to God--they are truly significant. God is delighted when we trust Him and saddened when we rebel against Him. God made us significant creatues and treats us as such."

The OV wants to make God personal and loving and caring, but yet when they throw away the fact that God loved specific people personally, WHILE THEY WERE YET SINNERS (how can God love sinners when they are not yet sinners???),

The WE in that verse is about all of mankind. It’s about the human race as a whole, yourself included. While humans were sinners, Christ died for us. Furthermore, if God has exhaustive foreknowledge of the future, then in what sense did Christ die for us “while we were yet sinners�?

To quote from Greg Boyd’s website:

“While we were yet sinners?�
Rom. 5.7-8:
“Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man -- though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.�
If God possess exhaustive definite foreknowledge, in what sense then did Christ die for us “while we were yet sinners�? In the accompanying analogy, Paul CONTRASTS the rare willingness of a person to die even for somebody who (relatively speaking) deserves to be saved with Christ’s death for people who (in contrast to the righteous man) offer no guarantee of a return on the investment. That is, we may die for a righteous or good man because good men are likely to “pay it forward� via their goodness. Our readiness to die in this case is determined by the likelihood that the person we are dying for will make our death worthwhile.

However, Paul CONTRASTS this with Christ’s death for us “while we were yet sinners.� Think through the implications of this. Both the deterministic and simple foreknowledge views of the future rob this analogy of its effect on readers, for the needed contrast between the analogy of how/why we die only rarely for good people and how/why Jesus died for us “while we were sinners� is entirely lost. If a) Christ dies for those he has elected from eternity only, or b) God knows that so-and-so will in fact receive him, become a righteous person and bring forth fruit, then it makes no sense to contrast Christ’s death for me “while I was a sinner� with our willingness to die for people who promise a return on our investment. If God is certain of the return he will get on his investment (because he already knows for whom Christ’s death will be effective), then Christ’s death is not dissimilar to the way we die for others. But Paul insists it IS different.
End of quote by Boyd.


God becomes depersonalized and not the God of the Bible, Who loved His Bride and gave Himself for HER. We are no longer foreloved, predestined to be sons, etc, etc. God just loved a non-person who He didn't even know would exist. That is not the love of the God of the Bible as I perceive it...

You can’t love someone who doesn’t exist any more or less whether you know they will be born or not. They still don’t exist and anything you feel towards them is just one sided and unfulfilled. Also consider how much more it displays God’s love towards us in that God didn’t even know which people would be born, but he gave a sacrifice that would suffice for all of them. He went out on a limb and did what he didn’t need to for people he didn’t know would exist! It’s one thing to die for specific people you know and love, but how much greater is the love that someone gives for people he does not know! Who has the greater love, someone who dies to save his relatives, or someone who dies to give all people to come a chance for salvation? I think the answer is obvious.



So now God hated entire nations, not just individuals? What is more devastating, hating individuals or entire nations???

It’s about the nation of Israel who because of unbelief was cutoff. Thus, God turned to those who were not a nation (the gentiles) and called people from among them to be his people. The term “hate� in that passage is another word for saying “rejected�. In other words, Jacob I chose, Esau I rejected.



I understand how your "interpreting" it, but your reading into the text. Where does it speak of these things being after we accepted the gospel???

Where does it say it was before?


How are we still "free" if God is working in us to will and do His good pleasure? I do not see how these verses are consistent with your view...

because God works with our free will to bring about good. Nothing God does in us contradicts free will. Remember also that we have been regenerated and long for God to do things through us, giving God a much easier time in using us for good works.



Also, I think you missed that we are COMMANDED to do these things, yet they are produced by God. How can God command us to do something that only He can produce? That is the thing the OV says God cannot do...

Because they are not only done by God. It is both of us who does them. God commands us to do them and works in us and helps us to bring it about.



Could you explain how you read them?

Pro 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

First off let me remind you that proverbs are general statements that the authors wrote down about what they saw as true in the world around them. They are not always absolutes. For example, one may say “the wicked will not prosper� but obviously they sometimes do. Thus, in general they will not and they will not prosper forever, but if we took it literally and absolutely, it would be wrong.

That said, I think this verse is talking about how anything we do is ultimately allowed by God. A straight forward reading of the text might suggest that every word we say is from God, but should we really hold such a view? That would mean that every swear word, every word of hate, every misuse of the Lord’s name is from God. Surely this is not so. Also, it would render the phrase “the word of the Lord� meaningless as every word would become “the word of the Lord�. Thus, I see it as saying that all of our actions are allowed by God as he is sovereign. We plan in our hearts what to do, but if God doesn’t want it to happen, he won’t let us do it. I believe that can be done without affecting free will in any way.



Pro 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

I see this as basically the same as above except that God also sends events into our lives as he wishes (plagues, famine etc.) and thus, he can establish our steps as well as simply allowing the ones we decide to take on our own.



Pro 21:1 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

Remember Pharaoh? Bear in mind that just because God can affect our hearts it does not mean our free will has been tampered with.



So God isn't the One who gives life and the One by whom all things consist?

Where did I ever suggest that? :confused:



Rom 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
Rom 11:34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
Rom 11:35 "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
Rom 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Where do all things come from?

All things exist by God’s power so ultimately they come from him. But unless you wish to make God the author of sin, I think you’ll agree that even though it’s by God’s power that they are done, we are the ones who use that power to do evil things.



He knows what you will actually DO.

That’s nonsense. I haven’t done them yet. And if I have free will, then there exists a degree of uncertainty by definition such that it’s impossible to know with 100% accuracy what I will do before I do it. furthermore, I see little biblical support for such a view.



That is simply a logical argument of bringing God down to our level. We cannot know what someone will do because they haven't done it yet. Therefore, God must not be able to know what will happen either, because it hasn't happened yet.

That’s logical through the definition of free will. The only way God can know absolutely for certain what we will is if we don’t have free will.



We are not the reference point and standard by which God's attributes are judged and explained...we are made like Him; He is not made like us.

Are you saying God is illogical? Are you saying he’s outside of reality? The bottom line is that the two concepts (free will and exhaustive foreknowledge) are mutually exclusive in reality. They cannot co-exist no matter how hard one wants them to.



I do not think that Calvin taught we do not make real decisions or that foreknowledge negates free will.

I hope he didn’t teach that we don’t make real decisions, I certainly believe we have them :) however, logic was not as developed as a train of thought then as it is today and thus he couldn’t see the logical problem with the two concepts. That doesn’t change the present logical dilemma however. They are still mutually exclusive.



Your assumption is that we can act "out of character." I do not know that we ever act in a way that is not in accordance with our desires, which may or may not be in accordance with our true character.

A debate for another day perhaps :)



It is your choice; God just happens to know what choice you will choose.

Then I’m not free to choose apart from what God says I will choose. When the situation comes around I will not be free to choose what I decide to choose, I will only be able to “choose� what God “knows� I will choose. I am not free in this case.



If God knows that you will watch tv, it is because He knows you would watch tv in that situation!

That argues against the whole idea of free will! Free will says that you cannot know what someone will do even though you can know what they might or are likely to do. If God knows I will watch tv because he knows that I would watch it in that situation, then I have become a 100% predictable being who is thus not free. A being that is free, by definition cannot be 100% predictable. That’s the whole meaning of free.



It isn't because He forced or coerced you to make you watch tv just because He knew it. He knew it because He knows our hearts and motives and desires, and therefore knows how we will act actually and knows how we could have otherwise acted.

See above.



We are free to do whatever we please.

Not if God knows with 100% accuracy what we are going to do before we do it.


God is more so. God gives you the choice to watch tv or to not. He can know what you will choose, and He can know if something small was changed, then you would have chosen otherwise.

If I’m really free then all he can know is what I might choose or what I’m likely to choose. He can know what percentage the possibility of me choosing a particular choice is, but he cannot know for certain what I’ll do if I’m really free.


If you have nothing to do, and it is around the time when you sit down to watch sports everyday, then God knows what you will choose certainly without causing it. If you get ready to sit down to watch tv and get a phone call saying your child is in the hospital, then God knows you could sit down to watch tv still; that is a possibility.

how does God know it? I haven’t done it yet. The only way he can know it is to cause it, unless I don’t have free will and am just like a robot, completely predictable. In the last sentence, it could not be a possibility. Nothing is a possibility if God has EFK (exhaustive foreknowledge). Everything is certain. There is no possibilities or any sense of contingency if God has EFK.



However, He certainly knows what you will do, and yet you are free to make that decision. You could have done otherwise, but God just knew what you would do when given the choice, and He decreed that that choice would be so and certainly come to pass, which is why you were still free and God still ordains all things.

I see no biblical, logical, experiential or rational reason to believe this.

In Christ,

GIT

billygoat
September 30th, 2004, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Swordsman.... I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle. This was from my post #119....

If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?



I have talked to scores, if not hundreds, of people who claim God has predestined everything, including every dust mite, and every piece of dust, every murder, every tragedy. Most of them say when the Bible says repeatedly that God repented, was grieved, was sorry, was angry....it is an anthropopithism or an anthropomorphism..But they can never explain what God is trying to illustrate to us by saying the exact opposite of what He meant.

It's a gigantic cop-out!!
We Christians have got to start being intellectually honest with ourselves. If you hear something that is different from what you were taught, you owe it to yourself to study and examine it; not just reject it out of hand.:singer: :bang:

Yorzhik
September 30th, 2004, 06:09 PM
Actually, Hilston has explained a couple of figures wherein the explaination was coherent.

Knight
September 30th, 2004, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by Yorzhik

Actually, Hilston has explained a couple of figures wherein the explaination was coherent. So goes the rumor.

Maybe he will share them here.

And maybe Swordsman will take a stab as well.

godrulz
September 30th, 2004, 08:33 PM
A strength of the Open View is that it takes all passages about the nature of God and His ways literally (except obvious figures of speech like He covers us with His wings). God is not strongly immutable (absolutely unchanging in every sense) nor impassible (without feelings). These were classical philosophical constructs that are not defensible. There is no reason to make a literal passage an anthropomorphism just because it contradicts a preconceived theology.

Simple foreknowledge and predestination/meticulous control are not compatible philosophically, logically, or biblically with exhaustive foreknowledge of free will contingencies. They are problematic views. This way not be self-evident when we have only been exposed to one explanation (God knows everything including all of the future). The relationship of God's sovereignty to human freedom does not have to be a 'mystery' (meaning it seems contradictory, but we just accept it). It can be cogently resolved with the alternate view that God predestines some of the future, while other aspects of the future is genuinely open and thus unknowable as a certainty/actuality until the choice is made.

Turbo
October 1st, 2004, 07:56 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Swordsman.... I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle. This was from my post #119....

If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?

Come on Swordsman I know you have been online, even posting in other threads.

You made an assertion and I am merely asking you to back up your assertion.

That's fair... isn't it? Bump.

natewood3
October 1st, 2004, 09:53 AM
Gen 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"

Gen 3:11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"

Gen 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

Gen 8:1 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.

Are all these passages literal? Should we take a "straightforward" reading of the text?

Turbo
October 1st, 2004, 10:00 AM
No one here is denying that there are figures of speech in the Bible, natewood.

If you have an answer to Knight's question, by all means, let's hear it!

Originally posted by Knight

If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?

natewood3
October 1st, 2004, 10:32 AM
Turbo,

You did not answer my question though, and I never said I was giving an answer to Knight's question. I simply asked:

Are these verses literal (and I would add), if they are not, what makes them different from other questions of God?

godrulz
October 1st, 2004, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by natewood3

Gen 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"

Gen 3:11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"

Gen 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

Gen 8:1 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.

Are all these passages literal? Should we take a "straightforward" reading of the text?

Each verse or passage must be interpreted on its own merits. The above verses do not have to be interpreted with a wooden literalism, but passages where God literally changes His mind and intentions do not have to be interpreted figuratively (only a preconceived theology of strong immutability suggests this; any personal being can change His thinking, feeling, actions; an omniscient/omnipotent being would know and see presently available knowledge).

Knight
October 1st, 2004, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by natewood3

Gen 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"

Gen 3:11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"

Gen 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

Gen 8:1 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.

Are all these passages literal? Should we take a "straightforward" reading of the text? Of course the verses are literal!

Gen 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"

The above event LITERALLY happened don't you think? Aren't you really asking what motivated God to ask Adam the question the way He did? I am assuming we agree that this event did in fact take place and therefore the verse is to be taken literally. The verses you have referenced are not examples of anthropomorphisms (with the possible exception of Gen 8:1).

Knight
October 1st, 2004, 11:20 AM
Swordsman.... I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle. This was from my post #119....

If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?

Come on Swordsman I know you have been online, even posting in other threads.

You made an assertion and I am merely asking you to back up your assertion.

That's fair... isn't it?

Swordsman
October 1st, 2004, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Come on Swordsman I know you have been online, even posting in other threads.

You made an assertion and I am merely asking you to back up your assertion.

That's fair... isn't it?

Sorry Knight. My memory failed me. :) I will answer your question now.


If "repent" is an anthropomorphism then could you please explain the anthropomorphism to us?

In other words.... what does "repent" mean if indeed it is an anthropomorphism? What type of behavior or emotion is it describing?

When the Scriptures mention God repenting or relenting, it is using those words as anthropomorphisms. Or He is relating to us with human emotional terms.

Pardon me for asking, but what particular passages are you questioning that contain "repent" in it? I know of a few, but it isn't me that is questioning if God changes His mind as man does.

Thanks Knight.

p.s. on a sidenote, I wanted to ask you if you are bummed that the NHL is still under a lockout?

natewood3
October 1st, 2004, 12:04 PM
Knight,

Gen 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"

Gen 3:11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"

Gen 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

You said these were literal verses. You in fact said:


The verses you have referenced are not examples of anthropomorphisms (with the possible exception of Gen 8:1).

Gen 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"

God must also be ignorant of the present. He is asking, "Where are you presently," not "Where will you be in the future?" God must also not be omnipresent, since He obviously does not know where in the Garden they are. So, the God of the OV is not only ignorant of the future, but He is also ignorant of the present and is not omnipresent.

Gen 3:11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"

WOW! God is also ignorant of the past, for He obviously would not have asked, "Who told you..." if He knew perfectly the past. His knowledge of the past must also be the same of the past: imperfect and not exhaustive. Once again, "Have you eaten..." God is obviously ignorant of the past, for if He wasn't, then He would have known that they had eaten of the tree. The God of the OV is not only ignorant of the future, but He is also ignorant of the past.

Gen 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

This definitely shows the ignorance of God. "What in the world have you done Eve?! I never dreamed you would actually do such a thing. I can't believe I actually created you!" God is so ignorant, when Eve sinned, He didn't even know what had happened!

The God of the OV is ignorant of the past, present and future, and He cannot be omnipresent.

OR:

God really knows the past, present, and future, and is omnipresent, and these are rhetorical questions/anthropromorphisms, expressing how God acts in human terms so that we would be able to relate to the infinitely holy and almighty God.

Knight
October 1st, 2004, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman

Sorry Knight. My memory failed me. :) I will answer your question now.No worries.


When the Scriptures mention God repenting or relenting, it is using those words as anthropomorphisms. Or He is relating to us with human emotional terms.Uh... you already claimed this.

An anthropomorphism is a way to communicate the action's of God by using human terms so that we can understand better (using human understanding) what God is trying to tell us.

In other words...
An anthropomorphism should work as clarity.

You earlier stated....
Does God's actions change from time to time? Yes. But that does not disprove immutability. That term "repent" is an anthropomorphism. Its just trying to help ascribe an emotion of God's attitude so we can understand the context.So I ask you to please explain what "repent" means if it is indeed a "anthropomorphism".

Let me give you an example to work from...
Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

If "repented" in Gen 6:6 is a anthropomorphism and if a anthropomorphism is given to create clarity and not confusion what does the anthropomorphism mean in Gen 6:6?



p.s. on a sidenote, I wanted to ask you if you are bummed that the NHL is still under a lockout? Yes... I am bummed. :(

Knight
October 1st, 2004, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by natewood3

Knight,

Gen 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"

You said these were literal verses. natewood3, which word in Gen 3:9 is a anthropomorphism?

Hilston
October 1st, 2004, 12:59 PM
To the Clete-Knight tag team:

Originally posted by Hilston:
What part of my statement does not represent your view? Don't you believe God's prophecies do not always come true?


Clete writes:
Yep, gotta give you this one! Some explanation is warranted but a... been there, done that.Clete agrees with my description of the OV. Therefore, no misrepresentation.

Originally posted by Hilston:
Don't you believe that God gets surprised by [His] creation?


Clete writes:
Definitely!Again, Clete agrees with my description of the OV. Therefore, no misrepresentation.

Originally posted by Hilston: Don't you believe God wants to save everyone?


Clete writes:
This is an overstatement I think. As a general statement it is true enough, ...Yet again, Clete agrees with my description of the OV. Therefore, no misrepresentation.

Clete writes:
... but God's desire to satisfy the requirements of justice outweighs His desire to save every person from punishment.Then what does this verse mean to you?: God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1Ti 2:3b-4)

Originally posted by Hilston: Don't you believe that He cannot save those who reject Him?


Clete writes:
Cannot? No, that's definitely not what I believe. Will not is much better! God wills to save those who choose to respond to Him in faith and He will not save those who do not.That's what I meant, i.e., on the Open View, He cannot save those who reject Him without violating His stipulated requirements. Once again, Clete agrees with my description, and therefore, there was no misrepresentation.

Clete, do you believe God could save unrepentant, faithless sinners if He wanted to?

Originally posted by Hilston: Don't you believe that hundreds of people plunge into hell on a daily basis?


Clete writes:
Definitely! Many die every day in open and willful rejection of God and will pay the price for the evil of which they are guilty.Once again, Clete agrees with my description, and therefore, there was no misrepresentation. Yet Knight accuses me of being unfriendly and unchristian because of misrepresentation. Go figure.

Originally posted by Hilston: I didn't realize this was a test for Swordsman. I've obviously confused you with someone who really wants to know the answer to the question.


Knight writes:
It was Swordsman who appealed to the magical anthropomorphism spot cleaner not you. Not to mention I did address him by name when I stated....So you're not really interested in the answer to your question, right? You're only interested in whether or not Swordsman has an explanation? Maybe you could phrase it this way: "Swordsman, do you agree with the explanation that most of the blood-drinking Closed Theists give for this figure, or is yours different?"


Knight writes:
Even still.... feel free to answer his question for him if you like but you might want to actually answer it instead of simply claiming we discussed it over the phone (I still don't remember that part of the conversation).Anyone who really wants to know can PM me.

Originally posted by Hilston: What part of my statement does not represent your view? Don't you believe God's prophecies do not always come true? Don't you believe that God gets surprised by creation? Don't you believe God wants to save everyone? Don't you believe that He cannot save those who reject Him? Don't you believe that hundreds of people plunge into hell on a daily basis?


Knight writes:
Lets review your statement....

Originally posted by Hilston: How can you have any comfort or trust believing in a God whose prophecies do not come true,


Knight writes:
God's prophecies don't come true???Right. You say so yourself, here:


Knight writes:
the only reason that one of God's prophecies might not come true is because God Himself changed the His plan i.e., Jer 18.So my statement is not a misrepresentation.

Originally posted by Hilston:
who is surprised by His own creation,


Knight writes:
Again... only on rare occasions would God be "surprised" by His creation ...So you admit this. Therefore, it is not a misrepresentation. You assume that it's on rare occasions. But you don't know. How could you? Does God tell you everytime He gets surprised?


Knight writes:
... and it isn't me you have a problem with here its the Bible. God says flat out He expected good grapes from Israel and yet Israel produced wild grapes (Isaiah 5).That's another one of those figures that you choose to willfully ignore because if you made any effort toward understanding them, your entire theological house of cards would list and collapse.

Originally posted by Hilston: ... and who continues to sit idly by, unable to lift a finger, while hundreds of people He supposedly wants to save but cannot, plunge into hell on a daily basis?


Knight writes:
Sits idly by???????

Dude where do you get this stuff? I am ashamed of you! ...I get this stuff from you and your Open Theist cohorts. It is You who should be ashamed. See below.


Knight writes:
I have never made a claim like that nor have I seen any other OV'er make a claim like that! God does not sit idly by!!! God has gone to INCREDIBLE measures for us, God Himself states.....You prove my point. You say God "has gone" to incredible measures. "Has gone" indicates completed action in the past. On your view, what is He currently doing to save people? Or is He sitting idly by?


Knight writes:
What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?Again, you prove my point. "What more could have been done" indicates completed action in the past. On your view, what is God doing now, today, at this moment to save people? Or is He sitting idly by?


Knight writes:
So again... Hilston until you are ready to face me instead of Mr. Strawman please spare me your unfair and "unchristian-like" fellowship.From your own words, Knight, it is you who are creating a straw man -- out of your own propositions. You misrepresent yourself!


Knight writes:
Jim, I like you ... you are a great guy! I expect more from you, I expect you to treat me as a friend. No, you don't. This is just posturing. If you really expected more from me and valued our friendship, you wouldn't say this stuff in public. You'd PM me out of genuine and earnest concern that our friendship is in jeopardy. Instead you publicly chide me for allegedly doing something that you yourself do all the time: Misrepresenting other people's views. It's a double standard, and everybody sees it.

Knight
October 1st, 2004, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
Again, you prove my point. "What more could have been done" indicates completed action in the past. On your view, what is God doing now, today, at this moment to save people? Or is He sitting idly by? The Holy Spirit is actively drawing ONLY the elect to Himself.

Errrr wait....... :doh:

John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.�

I guess what I really meant to say is....

The Holy Spirit is actively drawing ALL PEOPLES to Himself. Therefore God is NOT sitting idly by.

But for sake of argument...

Assuming God was sitting idly by, that would be a heck of a lot more righteous than decreeing men to reject Him so that He can then turn around and punish them eternally. :kookoo:

Clete
October 1st, 2004, 02:42 PM
Jim,

I think "Slick Jimmy" would be a good nickname for you. I've never seen anyone who can say so little with such a large number of words since “Slick Willy�!

You responded to my post without hardly addressing any of the issues at all. You were way more interested in pointing out how you didn't mischaracterize the open view than actually addressing any of the issues you brought up. What’s worse is the fact that you did in fact mischaracterize it and you know full well that you did. You did it on purpose!

All the car commercials you've ever seen have to comply with "truth in advertising" laws, meaning that they are supposed to be, and usually are, factually true, but that does not mean they aren't intentionally misleading. Your characterizations of the Open View are similar to those car commercials. They’re true from a strictly technical point of view but characterized in such a way as to have an emotional impact that is intentionally misleading. Put simply, you are more than willing to lob emotional argument grenades but are intentionally evasive when asked to state your position directly. You love to ask questions that cast a negative light on your opposition and all but refuse to directly answer any question put to you.


Then what does this verse mean to you?: God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1Ti 2:3b-4)
You tell me Jim. Are you suggesting that this verse teaches universalism?

(Don’t call me a hypocrite. I’ve intentionally imitated your style of “answering� questions.)


That's what I meant, i.e., on the Open View, He cannot save those who reject Him without violating His stipulated requirements. Once again, Clete agrees with my description, and therefore, there was no misrepresentation.
Oh yes there is! You didn’t have "without violating His stipulated requirements" attached to the first statement. This is what I'm talking about. Your a salesmen Jim, only you're not a very good one because you regularly cast your competition in as negative a light as possible while evading even the most direct questions concerning what you are trying to sell.


Clete, do you believe God could save unrepentant, faithless sinners if He wanted to?
Not and remain holy He couldn't, no.

(See Jim, that is how you answer a question directly.)


Originally posted by Hilston: Don't you believe that hundreds of people plunge into hell on a daily basis?

Once again, Clete agrees with my description, and therefore, there was no misrepresentation. Yet Knight accuses me of being unfriendly and unchristian because of misrepresentation. Go figure.
It is misleading Jim, because YOU BELIEVE THIS TOO! Are you going to sit there and deny that the vast majority of the thousands of people who die every day go to Hell?


Anyone who really wants to know can PM me.
This is a bunch of crap Jim, if you don't want to engage the debate then don't post your little emotionally based/charged arguments. If you are not willing to back up what you say with something more substantive than Clintonesque sound bytes then stop wasting everyone's time.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Christine
October 1st, 2004, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

No one here denies that God is omniscient. At most, some of us dispute the definition of the word "omniscient". Not all Open Theists agree on this point but I, for one, believe that to know “everything� cannot be rationally made to include the unknowable. Thus God cannot know that which is logically unknowable.

Clete,
I know this was directed at GPV, but I wanted to make a few comments. You say it is "logically unknowable" and unrational for God to know everything. Rationally, it doesn't make sense for someone to create something from nothing. Yet, I'm pretty sure you believe God created the earth from nothing. God is not restrained by the laws of man's logic. God created logic, so everything He does makes sense and follows His laws of logic. As men, we may have a distorted view of logic which does not line up with God's perfect logic. As Christians, we should strive for our understanding to line up with God's.

Knight
October 1st, 2004, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I've never seen anyone who can say so little with such a large number of words since “Slick Willy�! Whoa... strange... I almost typed those exact same words after reading Jim's last post.

Which is why I only responded to a small part of it that did have at least some substance.

Knight
October 1st, 2004, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Christine
Rationally, it doesn't make sense for someone to create something from nothing. Actually that is totally inaccurate.

There is nothing illogical or irrational about a SUPERnatural God breaking natural laws.

Unless of course you could correct me. :cool:

Christine
October 1st, 2004, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Actually that is totally inaccurate.

There is nothing illogical or irrational about a SUPERnatural God breaking natural laws.

The part you quoted, Knight, would have been man's view on God's actions of creating something from nothing. You can't create something from nothing, I can't, no man can. In man's finite eyes, such an action could, and to many does, seem irrational. As I explained, men who say such actions are irrational are following man's perverted view of logic and not God's perfect view of logic. I was using the whole creating something from nothing senario as an example to show if God can break man's laws of logic in one area, why would be unable to break them in other areas such as complete forknowledge? God would not be breaking His laws of logic since His laws of logic are perfect.

Clete
October 1st, 2004, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Actually that is totally inaccurate.

There is nothing illogical or irrational about a SUPERnatural God breaking natural laws.

Unless of course you could correct me. :cool:

I guess you and I must be psychically linked or something because I was going to say the same thing, almost verbatim! :thumb:

Christine,

I would add to what Knight has said the following questions.

You say that God is not subject to "man's logic".
Who said anything about "man's logic"? What does that mean anyway? :think:
If you meant that God is not subject to logic (the plain old garden variety type of logic) then I would like for you to support the idea that God could be "super-logical". What would that mean and is there any support for such a notion in the Bible?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
October 1st, 2004, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Christine
I was using the whole creating something from nothing senario as an example to show if God can break man's laws of logic in one area, why would be unable to break them in other areas

That's just it Christine, He has not broken any laws of logic at all.
It is not illogical for a supernatural force to do supernatural things. It would in fact be illogical to impose natural laws on anything that was supernatural, it would be contradictory.

The whole notion of being superlogical though is irrational by definition! There's no way you could even formulate language around the idea of "superlogic" without using regular logic to do so. At best the notion is utterly unfalsifiable.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
October 1st, 2004, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by Christine

The part you quoted, Knight, would have been man's view on God's actions of creating something from nothing.Logic is logic.

You continue...
You can't create something from nothing, I can't, no man can.I am not SUPERnatural. But I know that God is SUPERnatural and therefore not subject to natural laws. There is nothing illogical or irrational about that. If there were... there would be SERIOUS problems with theism in general.

You continue....
In man's finite eyes, such an action could, and to many does, seem irrational.No... actually you couldn't be more wrong. God creating something from nothing is only irrational if God were NOT SUPERnatural. If God were natural and subject to natural laws then yes indeed it would irrational for God to create something from nothing but God is NOT natural... He is SUPERnatural.

You continue....
I was using the whole creating something from nothing senario as an example to show if God can break man's laws of logic in one area,
And I am correcting you.

God isn't breaking logic when He creates something from nothing.

Instead God is breaking natural laws when He creates something from nothing which isn't illogical because God is SUPERnatural and not natural.

Christine, I am guessing you haven't really thought some of this through and that's OK these are deep topics. But I would like you to answer for me the following question.....

What specifically is illogical about a SUPERnatural God breaking natural laws?

Christine
October 1st, 2004, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by Knight
You continue...I am not SUPERnatural. But I know that God is SUPERnatural and therefore not subject to natural laws. There is nothing illogical or irrational about that. If there were... there would be SERIOUS problems with theism in general.
I agree.


You continue....No... actually you couldn't be more wrong. God creating something from nothing is only irrational if God were NOT SUPERnatural. If God were natural and subject to natural laws then yes indeed it would irrational for God to create something from nothing but God is NOT natural... He is SUPERnatural.
Knight, I didn't say God is irrational, but I said many (unbelievers and liberals) would say creating something from nothing is irrational. My God is not irrational.


You continue....And I am correcting you.

God isn't breaking logic when He creates something from nothing.

Instead God is breaking natural laws when He creates something from nothing which isn't illogical because God is SUPERnatural and not natural.

Christine, I am guessing you haven't really thought some of this through and that's OK these are deep topics. But I would like you to answer for me the following question.....

What specifically is illogical about a SUPERnatural God breaking natural laws?

Knight, don't think you're understanding where I'm coming from. I never said God was irrational. I have thought through what I wanted to say before I posted, but perhaps I wasn't clear.

Knight
October 1st, 2004, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by Christine
Knight, I didn't say God is irrational, but I said many (unbelievers and liberals) would say creating something from nothing is irrational. My God is not irrational.



Knight, don't think you're understanding where I'm coming from. I never said God was irrational. I have thought through what I wanted to say before I posted, but perhaps I wasn't clear. If you say so... but your original point which was...
You say it is "logically unknowable" and unrational for God to know everything. Rationally, it doesn't make sense for someone to create something from nothing. ...is now pretty much rendered bankrupt by your last post.

But hey, that's OK! I would rather you be right now than continuing to argue a bad point!

Welcome on-board! :up:

Hilston
October 1st, 2004, 07:03 PM
Clete writes:
I think "Slick Jimmy" would be a good nickname for you. I've never seen anyone who can say so little with such a large number of words since “Slick Willy�!This is obfuscation. All that was required of me was to show that the accusation was false, which I did, and that you and Knight conveniently operate according to a double standard. Which has also been done. Perhaps I wax eloquent on occasion. Sue me.


Clete writes:
You responded to my post without hardly addressing any of the issues at all.Good grief, Clete, what issues? The issue was Knight's accusation of misrepresentation and your knee-jerk response ("I'm not Knight but I can't resist!") which completely belied his claim (how embarrassing!). The issue is that I was falsely accused of misrepresentation, which was addressed and soundly refuted, whether you like it or not.


Clete writes:
You were way more interested in pointing out how you didn't mischaracterize the open view than actually addressing any of the issues you brought up.What issues? I was accused of being unfriendly and "unchristian" because of misrepresentation. That's the issue. What else do you expect me to answer? It's perfectly fitting that I was interested in proving that I did not misrepresent the Open View. And not only did I defend myself against the accusation, I showed how you guys conveniently employ a double standard when it comes to the "unchristian" and "unfriendly" act of misrepresentation.


Clete writes:
What’s worse is the fact that you did in fact mischaracterize it and you know full well that you did. You did it on purpose!Are you insane? I just showed how you and Knight agree with my characterization. Re-read my post. How convenient for you to obfuscate in this way. It's a heckuva lot easier than actually addressing what I wrote, isn't it?


Clete writes:
All the car commercials you've ever seen have to comply with "truth in advertising" laws, meaning that they are supposed to be, and usually are, factually true, but that does not mean they aren't intentionally misleading. Your characterizations of the Open View are similar to those car commercials. They’re true from a strictly technical point of view but characterized in such a way as to have an emotional impact that is intentionally misleading. Put simply, you are more than willing to lob emotional argument grenades but are intentionally evasive when asked to state your position directly.I've stated my position directly myriad times on TOL. It's not my problem that you and Knight and the rest of your cohorts have selective memories, Knight's recent and convenient lapse regarding anthro-figures being the latest example.


Clete writes:
You love to ask questions that cast a negative light on your opposition and all but refuse to directly answer any question put to you.False. My questions expose your absurdities. I directly answer questions put to me. You somehow refuse to see that.

Hilston asked: Then what does this verse mean to you?: God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1Ti 2:3b-4)


Clete writes:
You tell me Jim. Are you suggesting that this verse teaches universalism?Universalism? What in the heck are you talking about? Have you lost your ever-loving mind?


Clete writes:
(Don’t call me a hypocrite. I’ve intentionally imitated your style of “answering� questions.)This is how ridiculous you are. You should already know my view of the verse. It refers to the elect only. Didn't you already know that I'd answer that way? If not, then you're a sloppy thinker, you don't pay attention, you disrespect the debate, and/or you're simply blind. My question still stands. Since you claim that God does NOT want all men to be saved, please answer the question. What does 1Ti 2:4 mean?

Hilston wrote: That's what I meant, i.e., on the Open View, He cannot save those who reject Him without violating His stipulated requirements. Once again, Clete agrees with my description, and therefore, there was no misrepresentation.


Clete writes:
Oh yes there is! You didn’t have "without violating His stipulated requirements" attached to the first statement.So I made a mistake in not being more clear. Nonetheless, it's what I meant. You can choose to reject my clarification, in which case you will continue to argue with a straw man. But that's nothing new for you guys, so have at it.


Clete writes:
This is what I'm talking about. Your a salesmen Jim, only you're not a very good one because you regularly cast your competition in as negative a light as possible while evading even the most direct questions concerning what you are trying to sell.You cast yourself in a negative light, Clete. You don't need my help, except maybe to shine a light on your absurdities. And again, I answer questions directly. All of your complaints to the contrary are obfuscation.

Hilston wrote: Clete, do you believe God could save unrepentant, faithless sinners if He wanted to?


Clete writes:
Not and remain holy He couldn't, no. (See Jim, that is how you answer a question directly.)Couldn't. Cannot. Can't. Good word. Same word I used. Same thing I meant.

hilston wrote: Don't you believe that hundreds of people plunge into hell on a daily basis? ... Once again, Clete agrees with my description, and therefore, there was no misrepresentation. Yet Knight accuses me of being unfriendly and unchristian because of misrepresentation. Go figure.


Clete writes:
It is misleading Jim, because YOU BELIEVE THIS TOO! Are you going to sit there and deny that the vast majority of the thousands of people who die every day do not go to Hell?What's misleading about it? How come all of a sudden you claim to know what I believe? I thought you said I don't answer questions directly. So how could you know what I believe about this? The difference between my belief and yours, is that my God will not lose a single soul He loves and has marked for salvation. He isn't the Big Loser that Open Theism makes Him out to be, wishing more people would love Him and believe in Him, but not being able to do anything about it.

Hilston wrote: Anyone who really wants to know can PM me.


Clete writes:
This is a bunch of crap Jim, if you don't want to engage the debate then don't post your little emotionally based/charged arguments. If you are not willing to back up what you say with something more substantive than Clintonesque sound bytes then stop wasting everyone's time.You've got it backward, Clete. You and Knight don't give a rip about what I believe, or what Calvinism actually teaches, or what an anthro-figure really means.

Here's the difference between you and me. When I encounter a new or opposing view, I want to understand it better than those who espouse it. I want to test my own view against it and see if my view needs to change or can be improved. I actually ask myself, "What if I'm wrong and these guys are right?" as I investigate and read everything I can get my hands on. I've read several books on Open Theism. I've read dozens of articles. I've called you guys on the phone. I continue to learn and process the things you guys believe. I only just recently learned that you believe aborted babies go to heaven, but that they can be kicked out of heaven at some later point.

I continue to marvel at the lack of concern about whether or not you actually have a grasp of opposing views. You're more interested in tearing others down, the inaccuracy of your charges notwithstanding, than you are in understanding other viewpoints. You've proven it time and again by your misrepresentations, your repetition of questions that have already been answered, by your refusal to do the heavy lifting to find out for yourselves what opposing views actually espouse. But do I call you "unfriendly" and "unchristian" and lob about manipulative blather about "expecting to be treated as a friend"? I don't expect to be treated as a friend. The only thing I might expect from you is that you think and to respect the debate. I don't expect that anymore.

As to what wastes everyone's time, I've sufficiently explained my views to you and Knight in other debates, but you can't seem to remember. It's ridiculous. It's ludicrous. It's disrespectful. It's childish. If it weren't so entertaining, it would be a huge waste of time. So let's no longer waste anyone's time. If anyone really wants to know what I believe, they'll PM me. Or they can search the archive.

Hilston
October 1st, 2004, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by Knight
The Holy Spirit is actively drawing ONLY the elect to Himself.

Errrr wait....... :doh:

John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.�If you understood the determinist view, you would know that quoting this verse is like lobbing us a softball. Do you even know how the determinist view answers whenever Armininians, hyper-Arminians and Process Theologians quote this verse? I'm not talking about the half-baked theologians that frequent TOL. Have you actually studied the opposing views and read what they have to say about this verse?


Originally posted by Knight
I guess what I really meant to say is....

The Holy Spirit is actively drawing ALL PEOPLES to Himself. Therefore God is NOT sitting idly by.The Holy Spirit "is drawing" or "will draw" all peoples to Himself, Knight? Do you even understand the context of the passage? To whom do "all peoples" refer? It certainly does not refer to the Body of Christ, because the incarnate Christ did not know about the Mystery during His earthly ministry.

But for the sake of argument, assuming this verse were being fulfilled today, what does it mean to the Open Theist? What does the Holy Spirit actually do that would "draw all peoples to Himself"?

billygoat
October 1st, 2004, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

If you understood the determinist view, you would know that quoting this verse is like lobbing us a softball.

That's pretty funny. A softball? I have debated hundreds of Calvinists and NONE have had a satisfactory answer to this.

Was Christ lifted up? Yes, He was.

Therefore, He is drawing all men to Himself.

Hit the softball out of the park, if you are such a theologian. Don't insult, just explain.......

Hilston
October 1st, 2004, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by billygoat

That's pretty funny. A softball? I have debated hundreds of Calvinists and NONE have had a satisfactory answer to this.You're missing the point. Do you know what the determinist view is of this verse? Do you care? What have you read. Forget what modern self-styled Calvinists say. Most Christians today are shiftless and sloppy thinkers who couldn't argue their way out of wet paper bag.

Are you an Open Theist, Billygoat?


Originally posted by billygoat Was Christ lifted up? Yes, He was.

Therefore, He is drawing all men to Himself.That's incorrect, Billygoat. Jesus was not talking about this dispensation (the dispensation of the Mystery, Eph 3:9) when He made this statement.

But for the sake of discussion, assuming you're right, how exactly is He doing this? I have yet to get a clear answer from an Open Theist to this question.


Originally posted by billygoat Hit the softball out of the park, if you are such a theologian. Don't insult, just explain....... I don't make any such claim. I'm half-baked, too. That's why it's a waste of time to question Jim Hilston and try to ascertain what Calvinism is, or Mid-Acts dispensationalism or Predestination or Election or Anthropopathisms, etc. If you really want to know what those things mean, go study the people who developed the theology and terminology.

billygoat
October 1st, 2004, 08:09 PM
Originally posted by Hilston


That's incorrect, Billygoat. Jesus was not talking about this dispensation (the dispensation of the Mystery, Eph 3:9) when He made this statement.

I will try to respond to your points more thoughtfully when I have a little more time....but what makes you assert that this is a dispensational issue? Jesus died on the cross, and is drawing all men to Him. I believe He is doing so through The Holy Spirit. He does not desire that anyone should perish, but that everyone has room for repentance.

I do not think this has anything to do with The Body in particular, or to the Kingdom believers of His day either. It is a general statement.

And yes, I have read Calvin, Pink, Luther, Hodges, Clark, Shedd, and more others than I can recall on the spot. I studied Systematic and Biblical Theology and NT Greek formally for six years, and informally for twenty-five years. I don't say I know a whole lot, but your remark about half-baked theologians is a bit much....

Hilston
October 1st, 2004, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by billygoat
I will try to respond to your points more thoughtfully when I have a little more time....but what makes you assert that this is a dispensational issue?It's not an assertion. Jesus came for the lost sheep of Israel. Jesus upheld Moses who taught that the Gentiles must come through Israel to the Father. When Jesus talked about drawing all to Himself, He was referring to true Israel and the chosen of the nations, not the Body of Christ. Jesus didn't know about the dispensation of the Mystery. The interesting thing about the passage is that Jesus here affirms the fate (for lack of a better term) that awaits Him. He will be betrayed. He will be lifted up. And He will not ask to be saved out of it (Jn 12:27), yet Open Theists believe Jesus was praying to avoid that outcome in the Garden of Gethsemane and actually believe Judas could have repented. :kookoo:


Originally posted by billygoat
Jesus died on the cross, and is drawing all men to Him. I believe He is doing so through The Holy Spirit.I think you're wrong. But assuming you're right, precisely how is He doing so through the Holy Spirit. Explain what is being done and prove that your view does not relegate God to sitting idly by while scores of people perish and plunge into hell every day.


Originally posted by billygoat
He does not desire that anyone should perish, but that everyone has room for repentance. I wonder what Clete has to say about this verse, since he explicitly claimed that God does NOT want all men to be saved.


Originally posted by billygoat
I do not think this has anything to do with The Body in particular, or to the Kingdom believers of His day either. It is a general statement.That is incorrect. Peter makes explicitly clear who he is talking about. He is referring to himself and his audience, the saved dispersed Jews of Asia Minor.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

"To us-ward" limits the scope of Peter's description. His audience is identified in Peter's first epistle:

1Peter 1:1-5

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

And we know that Peter's audience is the same in the second epistle:

2Pe 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

I hope you can agree that this is not general at all, but very specific to Peter's audience, viz., the elect of Israel scattered throughout Asia Minor.


Originally posted by billygoat
And yes, I have read Calvin, Pink, Luther, Hodges, Clark, Shedd, and more others than I can recall on the spot.Having read them, do you agree that Open Theists don't know what they're talking about when they refer to immutability and total depravity?


Originally posted by billygoat
I studied Systematic and Biblical Theology and NT Greek formally for six years, and informally for twenty-five years. I don't say I know a whole lot, but your remark about half-baked theologians is a bit much.... Really? Have you read much of what people write here? It is the epitome of half-baked, myself included.

Clete
October 1st, 2004, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

This is obfuscation. All that was required of me was to show that the accusation was false, which I did, and that you and Knight conveniently operate according to a double standard. Which has also been done. Perhaps I wax eloquent on occasion. Sue me.
I couldn't have cared less about the accusation; I was concerned about debating the issues that you brought up about what Open Theism teaches. The Slick Jimmy remark was intended to be funny. You need to lighten up.


Good grief, Clete, what issues?
What do you mean what issues? I went through and answered your questions one by one, didn't I?


The issue was Knight's accusation of misrepresentation and your knee-jerk response ("I'm not Knight but I can't resist!") which completely belied his claim (how embarrassing!). The issue is that I was falsely accused of misrepresentation, which was addressed and soundly refuted, whether you like it or not.
I wasn't even addressing the issue of your hurt feelings, Jim. The accusation arose out of your playing games in the first place. If you would establish your points as you make them then such accusations would not be as easily forthcoming. Your own style of debate invites people to blow you off.


What issues? I was accused of being unfriendly and "unchristian" because of misrepresentation. That's the issue.
Want some cheese with that, Jim?
You really need to get over yourself. We are all here to debate theology; if you don't want to debate things then don't bring them up. Simple as that.


What else do you expect me to answer?
How about the substance of my post? You asked questions and I answered them. Respond to my answers, that's all. Isn't that how debates are supposed to work?


It's perfectly fitting that I was interested in proving that I did not misrepresent the Open View. And not only did I defend myself against the accusation, I showed how you guys conveniently employ a double standard when it comes to the "unchristian" and "unfriendly" act of misrepresentation.
The difference is Jim, that when we misrepresent something the way you do, we don't say that we didn't. We understand the use of rhetoric and the impact of an emotional argument.
For example, when I say that Calvinists make God out to be the author of evil, I know that they themselves not only do not say such things but also do not consciously believe it. Nevertheless, that is the conclusion that their theology logically leads too whether they are aware of it or not.
The difference is that when someone accuses me of attacking a straw man I don't start whining about double standards, I just prove what i've said is true (or at least I make an argument anyway). And that's exactly what you should have done. That's exactly what Knight would have wanted you or anyone else to do as well.


Are you insane? I just showed how you and Knight agree with my characterization. Re-read my post. How convenient for you to obfuscate in this way.
Can you not read? I swear it's as if you are on another planet or something! I explained very clearly how I DO NOT AGREE with you characterization.


It's a heckuva lot easier than actually addressing what I wrote, isn't it?
Which is black, the pot or the kettle, Jim?


I've stated my position directly myriad times on TOL. It's not my problem that you and Knight and the rest of your cohorts have selective memories, Knight's recent and convenient lapse regarding anthro-figures being the latest example.
Okay Jim, I know you must know this already but I'll walk you through this anyway (it's a short trip).
You are on a public debate forum. What you and one other participant may or may not have discussed on the phone is of exactly zero value in such a venue. Further, points or counter points that you may or may not have made on completely separate threads are perhaps findable, but who wants to do all that? If you want to make a similar point to one you've made in the past and don't want to reestablish that point then either don't make the point or link or repost what you said about in the past yourself. It is not laziness on my part if you are too lazy to copy and paste something you said before, and I can assure you that I, for one, have no interest in memorizing your theology, or the arguments used to support that theology.
Now, with that having been said, I understand that not every point has to be fully established every time you make it, especially if the one your conversation with is familiar with your position. However, if you are specifically asked to do so, then to refuse is not only unfriendly but it's down right silly! After all, what are you here for if not to debate the theology you've come to embrace? It just doesn't make any sense!


False. My questions expose your absurdities.
They might be intended to do that, but you never explain yourself or the logic behind the conclusion you claim are so obvious! You just say things and expect people to accept it on the basis of your magnetic personality, I guess! The fact is Jim, people cannot read your mind and that fact has nothing to do with how smart you are or how stupid they are. It is your responsibility to communicate your own point in a manner that those you are communicating with can understand it. If you aren't willing to do that then keep your point to yourself.


I directly answer questions put to me. You somehow refuse to see that.
Again, it is not my responsibility to translate your responses into something coherent. It has been my repeated experience that you answer questions with questions about as often as you don't. You would much rather have someone "figure it out" than for you to explain it to them. Care to attempt to find someone who disagrees with me on that?


Hilston asked: Then what does this verse mean to you?: God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1Ti 2:3b-4)

Universalism? What in the heck are you talking about? Have you lost your ever-loving mind?
:darwinsm:
I told you that I was imitating you Jim! I didn't actually think you were teaching universalism; I just pulled something out of thin air, stated it with no explanation and left you to deal with it by reading my mind. It's not too easy to do, is it?


This is how ridiculous you are. You should already know my view of the verse. It refers to the elect only. Didn't you already know that I'd answer that way? If not, then you're a sloppy thinker, you don't pay attention, you disrespect the debate, and/or you're simply blind.
Excuse me for not having that point come immediately to mind, Jim. Frankly, I find it incredible that you actually think that expecting me to make such a connection is reasonable considering the length of time that has gone by since you an I have discussed that specific issue. Especially when you are as aware as I am of the inherent difficulty you and I have in communicating with one another. Truly, I have never meet anyone like you before in that I'm acutely aware that you are not stupid and that you have worth while things to say and yet it seems impossible to get onto the same page with you long enough to keep from talking past one another. It's unbelievably frustrating.


My question still stands. Since you claim that God does NOT want all men to be saved, please answer the question. What does 1Ti 2:4 mean?
"3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,"

It means just what it says, just what it seems to say by a simply reading of the text.


Hilston wrote: That's what I meant, i.e., on the Open View, He cannot save those who reject Him without violating His stipulated requirements. Once again, Clete agrees with my description, and therefore, there was no misrepresentation.
It has to have been a misrepresentation of one kind or another Jim. You said it as though it was a bad thing to believe and yet you believe it yourself, you must! Even if your theology is correct God doesn't save anyone in violation of His stipulated requirements.


So I made a mistake in not being more clear. Nonetheless, it's what I meant. You can choose to reject my clarification, in which case you will continue to argue with a straw man. But that's nothing new for you guys, so have at it.
But it can't be what you meant! How could you possibly have meant to say something that you agree with as a derogatory remark? It doesn't make any sense. Maybe I'm missing something, but I seriously don't get it.


You cast yourself in a negative light, Clete. You don't need my help, except maybe to shine a light on your absurdities. And again, I answer questions directly. All of your complaints to the contrary are obfuscation.
No you don't Jim, I guess in some convoluted way you think you do, but like I said a moment ago, you and I seem to speak a different language, I've never seen anything like it.


Couldn't. Cannot. Can't. Good word. Same word I used. Same thing I meant.
Okay, and the point is?
Why did you ask the question in the first place? Was it pop quiz time or what?


Hilston wrote: Don't you believe that hundreds of people plunge into hell on a daily basis? ... Once again, Clete agrees with my description, and therefore, there was no misrepresentation. Yet Knight accuses me of being unfriendly and unchristian because of misrepresentation. Go figure.
It's not your words that misrepresents our view but the implication that God is somehow weak because He can't make somebody love Him.


What's misleading about it? How come all of a sudden you claim to know what I believe? I thought you said I don't answer questions directly. So how could you know what I believe about this?
Back the truck up. You’re the one who wants me and Knight to remember everything you've ever said and every argument you ever made. Don't get testy when I guess and get it wrong. I don't even think I got it wrong! You do believe that hundreds of people go to Hell each day right? So it’s misleading because you say something as though it is a negative when you affirm it yourself.


The difference between my belief and yours, is that my God will not lose a single soul He loves and has marked for salvation.
Pour the normal meanings of these words back into them and this is a correct statement. In other words, read this statement without the Calvinistic idea of "unconditional election" in your head and suddenly you have Biblical truth.


He isn't the Big Loser that Open Theism makes Him out to be, wishing more people would love Him and believe in Him, but not being able to do anything about it.
Now, I don't care if anything else you've said is a mischaracterization of the Open View or not, this definitely is. Or do you think that I believe God to be a "Big Loser" (capital B, capital L). This is also a terrific example of being unfriendly, but I'm not really concerned about that so much. Not that it's not important, it's just that little jabs like this is what make this forum more fun and more real than any other that I've seen. But call it what it is, it is a mischaracterization, an intentional one at that.


Hilston wrote: Anyone who really wants to know can PM me.
Well I really do want to know, but I am not going to PM you for it.
The topic is hot right here, right now, and I, for one, have never (or at least I do not remember having ever) heard you or anyone who calls the word "repent" a figure of speech explain what the figure means in any way that makes any sense at all. Typically, what most people get from a verse that clearly says that God changed His mind is that He didn't change His mind. It's totally contrary to the obvious meaning of the text. If you think you can do better or differently, than I really do want to hear your argument. If you refuse to make the argument then at least give a link to where you've made it before.


You've got it backward, Clete. You and Knight don't give a rip about what I believe, or what Calvinism actually teaches, or what an anthro-figure really means.
You know what I think? I think that you know that this is not so. I think that you just don't want to debate it. You're more interested in pointing out supposed flaws in Knight’s and my character than in discussing the issue rationally and unemotionally.

If you're all upset by my attempt to read you mind then I recommend not attempting to read mine (or Knight's).


Here's the difference between you and me. When I encounter a new or opposing view, I want to understand it better than those who espouse it. I want to test my own view against it and see if my view needs to change or can be improved. I actually ask myself, "What if I'm wrong and these guys are right?" as I investigate and read everything I can get my hands on. I've read several books on Open Theism. I've read dozens of articles. I've called you guys on the phone. I continue to learn and process the things you guys believe.
I'm not impressed Jim! You know why? Because you not any different than I am at all in this respect. I was nearly kicked out of my own church when I was in sixth grade because I told my Sunday school teacher that he should read his Bible before making himself out to a teacher of it. He was trying to teach me that getting wet had something to do with getting saved and I literally ripped him Biblically apart in about two minutes in his own class. The point is, I'm not concerned with what is popular or what sounds good, I'm concerned with what is the truth. Ever since the specific moment that pin head booted me from his class, I have ALWAYS been of the mind that if you can show me that I am wrong, THEN I will change by position, until then, what you (or anyone) says is only so many words.
I like you, have read and read and read book after book after book, listened to sermon after sermon, teaching after teaching and also like you I have been most impressed by people's near complete lack of understanding of even the simplest of Biblical principles.
The fact is, that your intellectual honesty is precisely the reason why I find our inability to agree on virtually anything so frustrating. In other words, I can tell that we aren't talking past one another because you are trying to be difficult or dishonest. On the contrary, it's perfectly clear that the points you make seem to you to be perfectly obvious as are the points that I make to me. It's clear that we are both interested in determining the genuine truth and yet something just doesn't connect, at the risk of being repetitive, it truly is as frustrating as anything I can think of at the moment.


I only just recently learned that you believe aborted babies go to heaven, but that they can be kicked out of heaven at some later point.
Just to clarify. I believe that babies aren't just poofed into adulthood when they get to heaven, God is not a magician. Babies are real people and while God is capable of just giving them a fully realized personality by fiat, I see no reason to think that He does that and it would seem to go against His normal mode of operation. God tends to let things develop on their own as much as He can and intervenes only when and to the extent that is necessary. Anyway, when these children have matured (by whatever means) to the point that they are accountable then there will eventually come a time when they will have to make a choice. They will choose for themselves whom they will serve. Why anyone who had been raised in the presence of God their whole lives would choose to turn away from Him, I don't know but I believe that the possibility exists. Lucifer had spent who knows how long in the direct presence of God Himself and yet chose to rebel as did a third of the angels with him, so it is clearly possible.


I continue to marvel at the lack of concern about whether or not you actually have a grasp of opposing views. You're more interested in tearing others down, the inaccuracy of your charges notwithstanding, than you are in understanding other viewpoints. You've proven it time and again by your misrepresentations, your repetition of questions that have already been answered, by your refusal to do the heavy lifting to find out for yourselves what opposing views actually espouse. But do I call you "unfriendly" and "unchristian" and lob about manipulative blather about "expecting to be treated as a friend"?
No you don't but you don't explain yourself either. It's not enough to simply say, "That's not an accurate rendering of Calvinist doctrine." and then leave it for everyone to believe or be stupid. You act as if I and Knight are supposed to stop everything and put our whole theology in limbo based on the strength of the simple fact that you've made a claim that we don't know what we are talking about.
What you aught to say is "That is an inaccurate rendering of Calvinist doctrine. A more accurate rendering of the Calvinist position would be such and such because this or that person who is an authority because of this or that qualification said this or that statement concerning this issue which is relevant because etc, etc." It's called fleshing out a point and making an argument. Reading minds doesn't work. If you know something that the rest of us are apparently ignorant of then speak up and teach us something. But if you bring it up it is not up to us to figure out why you are right, it’s up to you to prove your own position. A point with which I know you agree but it just seems that you often forget.


I don't expect to be treated as a friend. The only thing I might expect from you is that you think and to respect the debate. I don't expect that anymore.
I have given you zero reason to rationally make such a statement. I have been a touch on the sarcastic side perhaps but I have not been disrespectful toward you in any way. On the contrary, you are the only one here that I disagree with, that I actively desire responses from. (Z Man had that honor along with you but lost it a few days ago.) That is true precisely because I do respect both you and the debate. There are those here who are playing games and I sometimes like to have some fun with people and play around also, but I think, more so than most, I take this stuff very, very seriously. Ask Z Man if you doubt that this is the case.


As to what wastes everyone's time, I've sufficiently explained my views to you and Knight in other debates, but you can't seem to remember. It's ridiculous. It's ludicrous. It's disrespectful. It's childish. If it weren't so entertaining, it would be a huge waste of time. So let's no longer waste anyone's time. If anyone really wants to know what I believe, they'll PM me. Or they can search the archive.
Well as I said, I have no intention of PMing you for the argument. The issue is on the table right here, right now. Link to a previous post of yours if you like or if you don't even want to do that then I submit that you shouldn't have engaged the discussion in the first place.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
October 1st, 2004, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
I wonder what Clete has to say about this verse, since he explicitly claimed that God does NOT want all men to be saved.

WHAT!!!!! I never said any such thing!

God wants so badly to save everyone that He gladly became a man and died a very ugly and painful death in their place. And He would save every last person on the planet if they would only come to Him in faith. This is the very gospel itself!
Everything that can be done has been; the only reason anyone isn't saved is because they choose not to be.

As to the meaning of the verse, I'll punt. I'm as half baked as you get around here. Teach me something (seriously).

Resting in Him,
Clete

God_Is_Truth
October 2nd, 2004, 12:44 AM
just so it doesn't get lost, Nate, i responded to you in post 164.

godrulz
October 2nd, 2004, 01:56 AM
Originally posted by Christine

Clete,
I know this was directed at GPV, but I wanted to make a few comments. You say it is "logically unknowable" and unrational for God to know everything. Rationally, it doesn't make sense for someone to create something from nothing. Yet, I'm pretty sure you believe God created the earth from nothing. God is not restrained by the laws of man's logic. God created logic, so everything He does makes sense and follows His laws of logic. As men, we may have a distorted view of logic which does not line up with God's perfect logic. As Christians, we should strive for our understanding to line up with God's.

It is not self-contradictory or illogical for an omnipotent God to created something from nothing. He is the First Cause. In fact, the uncreated God is the only logical explanation how something came from nothing. It also explains how life, personality, and morals can exist.

It is logically absurd for God to do contradictory things like create a rock so big He cannot lift it. This is not a limitation on omnipotence, but a foolish statement.

Likewise, omniscience means He knows what is knowable. It is an absurdity or logical contradiction to claim to know future free will contingencies as a certainty before they happen. God is a God of truth which is consistent with reality. If God knows future free will choices as a certainty rather than a possibility, He logically must be predestining and causing them (Calvinism). This would negate freedom. Exhaustive foreknowledge is not compatible with genuine freedom. Simple foreknowledge of a future that is not there to know is also indefensible (Arminian).

The Open Theist view that God predestines some, but not all of the future, reconciles all the biblical data and is philosophically sound.

billygoat
October 2nd, 2004, 03:14 AM
Originally posted by Hilston

It's not an assertion. Jesus came for the lost sheep of Israel. Jesus upheld Moses who taught that the Gentiles must come through Israel to the Father. [b]When Jesus talked about drawing all to Himself, He was referring to true Israel and the chosen of the nations, not the Body of Christ. Jesus didn't know about the dispensation of the Mystery.b] [B]

You saying this does not make it true. There is no referring to the true Israel only? Did Jesus only die for the Jews? Certainly not!!There is no internal evidence supporting you, and there are no Theologians I am aware of that agree with you. Also....You are confusing the fact that the mystery had not been revealed, with your statement that Jesus didn't know about the mystery. I believe He did know, but He had not shared the information with anyone.

What evidence do you have that Jesus was only dying on the cross to draw the believing Jews to Himself, when He plainly said "...I will draw all men unto myself"

These are complex issues and each poinmt deserves it's own discussion. It's critical that we do not read our preconceived beliefs into God's Word.

Calvinism, or determinism, or fate, or even Arminianism, which is way too Calvinistic for me, whatever you want to call it, is not a dispensational issue. There are plenty of Mid-Acts Dispensationalists who are five point Calvinists. Charles F Baker wrote A Dispensatuonal Theology, which we used for years as our main Systematic Theology textbook at Derby School of Theology, amd he was a hard-core Calvinist. Thank God he knows better now....since he died and went to be with The LORD.

requires much more developing....

billygoat
October 2nd, 2004, 03:24 AM
Hilston:

Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NKJV)
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

If you will honestly try to answer these two passages, I will give you the same kind of attention to a couple of your questions....Fair, huh?

Hilston
October 2nd, 2004, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by billygoat
If you will honestly try to answer these two passages, I will give you the same kind of attention to a couple of your questions....Fair, huh? Sure, that's fair. But first, to know what I'm getting out of this arrangement, I have to ask: To what questions of mine do you refer? In all that I wrote to you, I only asked two questions*. One was a simple yes-no-I-don't-know question. The other was rhetorical only.

*Something Clete would not likely notice

Hilston
October 2nd, 2004, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I couldn't have cared less about the accusation; I was concerned about debating the issues that you brought up about what Open Theism teaches. The Slick Jimmy remark was intended to be funny. You need to lighten up.Sure, every conservative thinks it's a real hoot to be compared to Clinton. How could I miss that? Maybe that would be a good place for one of those smilies? Or should I rely on my psychic skills?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
What do you mean what issues? I went through and answered your questions one by one, didn't I?Yes, and you answered them well. There's was nothing left to discuss about the questions. What became the issue was the charge of being "unchristian" and "unfriendly," and having genuineness of my friendship questioned in public. And all that based on alleged and still unproven charge of misrepresentation.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I wasn't even addressing the issue of your hurt feelings, Jim.It's not a matter of feelings, Clete. My hide is pretty thick. It's a matter of being charged with unchristian behavior on the basis of double standards.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
The accusation arose out of your playing games in the first place.Wrong, Clete. It started because Knight got a dose of his own emotional-argument medicine and didn't like it.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
If you would establish your points as you make them then such accusations would not be as easily forthcoming. Your own style of debate invites people to blow you off.It's one thing to be blown off. I could care less. It's another thing to be called unchristian on the basis of the TOL double standard. Do you get that? I was originally responding to a statement by Knight. I didn't call him unchristian for his emotional argument. That's what started this whole thing. Are you aware of what he wrote?

Knight wrote: How can you take comfort in thinking that God planned the rape and brutal murder of a 7 year old girl?

So I replied: How can you have any comfort or trust believing in a God whose prophecies do not come true, who is surprised by His own creation, and who continues to sit idly by, unable to lift a finger, while hundreds of people He supposedly wants to save but cannot, plunge into hell on a daily basis?

I'm then accused of being unfriendly and unchristian and behaving contrary to what Knight expects of a friend. It's quite friendly and christian for you guys to say that "Calvinists make God out to be the author of evil ..." and that the Calvinist God plans the rape and brutal murder of 7-year-old girls, but it's not OK for your opponents to say that Open Theists make God out to be a Big Loser. How can you miss the double standard?

You even admit, "I know that [Calvinists] themselves not only do not say such things but also do not consciously believe it. Nevertheless, that is the conclusion that their theology logically leads too whether they are aware of it or not."

DITTO, CLETE!!!!! Why is it friendly and christian for you to state what you see as the "conclusion that their theology logically leads" but it's unfriendly and unchristian if your opponents do it? Double. standard.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Want some cheese with that, Jim?
You really need to get over yourself. We are all here to debate theology; if you don't want to debate things then don't bring them up. Simple as that.You're clueless. Everything I've said was in response, Clete. I've started nothing here. My statements are being steered by you and Knight. If you don't like the direction they've gone, then you have your own psychic-tag-team selves to blame.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
How about the substance of my post? You asked questions and I answered them. Respond to my answers, that's all. Isn't that how debates are supposed to work?I was satisfied with your answers. There was nothing else to say. It happens all the time, Clete. Check out some of the other threads I've started in this forum. Very short. I ask a question, I get my answer. Done. Not everything has to be 100 posts long.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
The difference is Jim, that when we misrepresent something the way you do, we don't say that we didn't.You missed the point again. We all misrepresent from time to time. Sometimes unintentionally. Sometimes deliberately for emotional argument. But the Open Theists are friendly and christian and get a pass when they do it; anti-Open Theists are labeled unfriendly and unchristian when they do it. It's no skin off my front personally. It's the double standard that is offensive to any rationally minded person.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
We understand the use of rhetoric and the impact of an emotional argument.Right, but it's friendly and christian when you do it; it's unfriendly and unchristian when your opponents do it.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
For example, when I say that Calvinists make God out to be the author of evil, I know that they themselves not only do not say such things but also do not consciously believe it. Nevertheless, that is the conclusion that their theology logically leads too whether they are aware of it or not.

The difference is that when someone accuses me of attacking a straw man I don't start whining about double standards, ...Wrong, Clete. It doesn't bother me to be accused of attacking a straw man. We all do it. What bothers any rationally minded person is convenient double standards. It should bother you, Clete, as someone who claims to be rational. But because one of your own is guilty, he gets a pass.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I just prove what i've said is true (or at least I make an argument anyway). And that's exactly what you should have done. That's exactly what Knight would have wanted you or anyone else to do as well.Then why did he question the christianity of his opponent? Why question his friendship? Knight did not want or care to hear the proof. He's heard it before, as have you. You don't even understand the issue, so don't tell me what I should have done. You don't even acknowledge Knight's offense against reason, so don't tell me what Knight would have wanted.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Can you not read? I swear it's as if you are on another planet or something! I explained very clearly how I DO NOT AGREE with you characterization.On the contrary. You affirmed everything I said, for which I was satisfied. You even added clarification, for which I was grateful.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Okay Jim, I know you must know this already but I'll walk you through this anyway (it's a short trip). You are on a public debate forum. What you and one other participant may or may not have discussed on the phone is of exactly zero value in such a venue.Thanks for the lecture, Clete. But on the contrary. Here is the value: The person to whom I was speaking is major proponent of Open Theism in this forum, yet he somehow forgets our discussion about one of the primary planks of the Open View (God's repentance). Furthermore, other proponents of this theology have read my statements about the figure, yet somehow continue to express an inability to understand how figures can mean the opposite of what they say. Further still, there are readily available writings on the subject that provide clear and logically sound explanations for the figures. But I have yet to meet or encounter a single Open Theist who cares enough to lift a finger to discover it for himself. That says a lot. When I point out to an Open Theist that there is a misunderstanding about a doctrinal tenet, they don't say, "Really? Please explain." Instead, I get resistance and defiance. Open Theists are so arrogant that it doesn't matter to them whether or not they properly understand an opposing viewpoint. It is anti-intellectual. Anti-knowledge. It is provincial, puerile and small-minded.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Further, points or counter points that you may or may not have made on completely separate threads are perhaps findable, but who wants to do all that? If you want to make a similar point to one you've made in the past and don't want to reestablish that point then either don't make the point or link or repost what you said about in the past yourself. It is not laziness on my part if you are too lazy to copy and paste something you said before, and I can assure you that I, for one, have no interest in memorizing your theology, or the arguments used to support that theology.Forget me. Forget my theology. Think of your own understanding. Think of your own acquisition of knowledge. If you truly cared about what determinists believe and how they treat anthropopathic language and passages, you wouldn't need me to chide you about it. You would go find out on your own intitiative. If I were convinced you cared one whit about it, I would happily oblige. It's clear to me that you don't; neither does Knight. He just wants to know if Swordsman personally has an explanation.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Now, with that having been said, I understand that not every point has to be fully established every time you make it, especially if the one your conversation with is familiar with your position. However, if you are specifically asked to do so, then to refuse is not only unfriendly but it's down right silly! After all, what are you here for if not to debate the theology you've come to embrace? It just doesn't make any sense!My goal is accomplished. I pointed out Knight's selective memory. I exposed his double standard. Part of debating theology is exposing the fallacious reasoning of the opponent.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
They might be intended to do that, but you never explain yourself or the logic behind the conclusion you claim are so obvious! You just say things and expect people to accept it on the basis of your magnetic personality, I guess! The fact is Jim, people cannot read your mind and that fact has nothing to do with how smart you are or how stupid they are. It is your responsibility to communicate your own point in a manner that those you are communicating with can understand it. If you aren't willing to do that then keep your point to yourself.If you only knew how often I do this, you would thank me.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Again, it is not my responsibility to translate your responses into something coherent. It has been my repeated experience that you answer questions with questions about as often as you don't. You would much rather have someone "figure it out" than for you to explain it to them. Care to attempt to find someone who disagrees with me on that?It's called Socratic Irony. It's how I learn. It's a perfectly legitimate form of discourse. Jesus and Paul used the method. It's quite effective.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
:darwinsm:
I told you that I was imitating you Jim! I didn't actually think you were teaching universalism; I just pulled something out of thin air, stated it with no explanation and left you to deal with it by reading my mind. It's not too easy to do, is it?It only further shows that you're having a hard time keeping up, Clete. You can't even mock me accurately.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
"3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,"

It means just what it says, just what it seems to say by a simply reading of the text.Didn't you say earlier that it is an "overstatement" to say that God wants everyone to be saved? It's an "all-or-not-all" proposition, Clete.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
It has to have been a misrepresentation of one kind or another Jim. You said it [that God cannot save everyone] as though it was a bad thing to believe and yet you believe it yourself, you must! Even if your theology is correct God doesn't save anyone in violation of His stipulated requirements.Once again, you've missed the point. The Open Theist God has a problem. God wants to save more than He can, because of His stipulated standards. The determinist view has no such problem. God wants to save, and will save, exactly and only those whom He has chosen to save. No more. No less. Yes, we both believe God cannot save everyone, but my view doesn't put that desire on God, as yours does. Or does it? You're still waffling on that point. Is it an overstatement or not?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Okay, and the point is? Why did you ask the question in the first place? Was it pop quiz time or what?I was establishing that I had correctly represented your view, remember? Your answer was sufficient to establish it.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
It's not your words that misrepresents our view but the implication that God is somehow weak because He can't make somebody love Him.It's not weakness I'm implying. It is incoherence. How could a God who wants all men to be saved and to come to the saving knowledge of Christ sit by and watch scores of people plummet into hell? Statistically, He is losing big-time (hence the term, Big Loser), and any economist, statistician or gambler would suggest He cut His losses and end it all right now. The "God Who Risks" is betting against the house, and He loses big every single day.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
You do believe that hundreds of people go to Hell each day right? So it’s misleading because you say something as though it is a negative when you affirm it yourself.It's not misleading. You just keep forgetting the difference. The difference is this: Your view cannot coherently sustain the premise; mine can.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Pour the normal meanings of these words back into them and this is a correct statement. In other words, read this statement without the Calvinistic idea of "unconditional election" in your head and suddenly you have Biblical truth.You have it backward. Pour the biblical meanings of these words into them and it is a correct statement. In other words, read this statement without the Open Theistic spectacles cemented to your face and without the inane ideas of non-individual "corporate election" and non-salvific "choosing-for-a-task" in your head and suddenly you have Biblical truth.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Now, I don't care if anything else you've said is a mischaracterization of the Open View or not, this definitely is. Or do you think that I believe God to be a "Big Loser" (capital B, capital L).No, that's an example of an emotional argument, intended to be provocative.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
This is also a terrific example of being unfriendly, but I'm not really concerned about that so much.You forgot "unchristian." Of course, that's not what you're doing when you say the determinist God is the author of evil. No, you're being friendly and christian (or "funny" -- it's hard to tell. Probably cuz I'm too uptight).


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Not that it's not important, it's just that little jabs like this is what make this forum more fun and more real than any other that I've seen. But call it what it is, it is a mischaracterization, an intentional one at that.You're so honest! Wow, you admit to making a mischaracterization! What an amazing person you must be. Friendly and christian, too, that is, unless you're an anti-Open Theist. In which case, it's unfriendly and unchristian. Go figger.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Well I really do want to know, but I am not going to PM you for it.Based on your track record, and that of other Open Theists, perhaps you'll pardon me if I'm not convinced. Perhaps not. I don't care.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
The topic is hot right here, right now, and I, for one, have never (or at least I do not remember having ever) heard you or anyone who calls the word "repent" a figure of speech explain what the figure means in any way that makes any sense at all. Typically, what most people get from a verse that clearly says that God changed His mind is that He didn't change His mind. It's totally contrary to the obvious meaning of the text.That's what figures do. They mean something different, sometimes opposite, to what the words suggest. If you've never found anything that explains it, then you haven't looked hard enough.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
You know what I think? I think that you know that this is not so.I already knew that is what you think. It's Open View arrogance. I've seen it before. Open Theists just can't fathom the possibility that their view could be wrong, so they blithely dismiss it. If you really thought it was possible to be wrong, you'd stop at nothing to find out, much like I've stopped at nothing to investigate Open Theism. But you don't really care, do you?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I think that you just don't want to debate it. You're more interested in pointing out supposed flaws in Knight’s and my character than in discussing the issue rationally and unemotionally.Your character? Sheesh. Get over yourselves. I'm not the one going around hypocritically calling people "unfriendly" and "unchristian".


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I'm not impressed Jim!I don't care. It wasn't my intent to impress you, but to shame you and to show that you really don't give a hoot. If you did, you wouldn't waste so much time rehashing things that have long been established.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
You know why? Because you not any different than I am at all in this respect.Really? What have you read of Calvin or his cronies? What have you read of about the figure of anthropopathism? List the titles and authors.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I like you, have read and read and read book after book after book, listened to sermon after sermon, teaching after teaching ...Really? Yet you still go around with a distorted definition of total depravity and immutability? If that's true, then the destructive effect of Open Theism on the mind is worse than I thought.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
The fact is, that your intellectual honesty is precisely the reason why I find our inability to agree on virtually anything so frustrating.We agree that God cannot save everyone, but for different reasons. We agree that the Bible is God's inerrant and infallible word, right? We agree that Jesus is God incarnate, right? I'm sure we could find a whole host of other things.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
In other words, I can tell that we aren't talking past one another because you are trying to be difficult or dishonest. On the contrary, it's perfectly clear that the points you make seem to you to be perfectly obvious as are the points that I make to me. It's clear that we are both interested in determining the genuine truth and yet something just doesn't connect, at the risk of being repetitive, it truly is as frustrating as anything I can think of at the moment.I wish that weren't the case, Clete. Perhaps we should have a phone conversation, just to get to know better how we each communicate. Maybe there is a disconnect and I'm reading something into your words that isn't there, or vice versa.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
No you don't but you don't explain yourself either. It's not enough to simply say, "That's not an accurate rendering of Calvinist doctrine." and then leave it for everyone to believe or be stupid. You act as if I and Knight are supposed to stop everything and put our whole theology in limbo based on the strength of the simple fact that you've made a claim that we don't know what we are talking about.Again, the point is that no one here seems to care. I've posted excerpts of Calvin and Augustine. I might as well have posted excerpts from the Book of Mormon or the Upanishads. Open. Theists. don't. care.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
What you aught to say is "That is an inaccurate rendering of Calvinist doctrine. A more accurate rendering of the Calvinist position would be such and such because this or that person who is an authority because of this or that qualification said this or that statement concerning this issue which is relevant because etc, etc." It's called fleshing out a point and making an argument.Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. No. One. Cares.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Reading minds doesn't work. If you know something that the rest of us are apparently ignorant of then speak up and teach us something. But if you bring it up it is not up to us to figure out why you are right, it’s up to you to prove your own position. A point with which I know you agree but it just seems that you often forget.BT.DT.GTTS.N.O.C.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I have given you zero reason to rationally make such a statement. I have been a touch on the sarcastic side perhaps but I have not been disrespectful toward you in any way.I didn't claim you've been disrespectful toward me. You seem (seem -- I don't know -- I'm just guessing based on observation) to not respect the debate. Someone once said, "Our enemies make us scholars." Those words are meaningful to those who respect debate. They go out and study their enemy. They more thoroughly study their own positions. They change and refine and hone their arguments. Here, it's just the same ol' song, different thread. Same distorted assumptions, different forum. If I ever saw an Open Theist say, "Based on those quotes, I've been making a wrong assumption about the doctrine of total depravity. I'm going to stop that," then I would say, "There's a person who seems to respect the debate."


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
On the contrary, you are the only one here that I disagree with, that I actively desire responses from. (Z Man had that honor along with you but lost it a few days ago.) That is true precisely because I do respect both you and the debate. There are those here who are playing games and I sometimes like to have some fun with people and play around also, but I think, more so than most, I take this stuff very, very seriously. Ask Z Man if you doubt that this is the case.While appreciate your kind remarks, and I sincerely desire to have a cordial and respectful discussion with you, your exit interview with Zman made me re-think even wanting to talk to you on the phone. Something told me that I was seeing my future.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Well as I said, I have no intention of PMing you for the argument. The issue is on the table right here, right now. Link to a previous post of yours if you like or if you don't even want to do that then I submit that you shouldn't have engaged the discussion in the first place.I didn't "engage" the debate. I made an observation and expressed it in similar terms as Knight. I pointed out the disingenuous nature of Knight's question and his selective memory. For that I was vilified as unfriendly and unchristian. And now I've exposed the double standard. Mission accomplished. There's no debate to engage.

And by the way, it's fitting that the discussion has come to this, given the title of this thread.

natewood3
October 2nd, 2004, 09:59 AM
Knight,


natewood3, which word in Gen 3:9 is a anthropomorphism?

Actually, the Hebrew basically says, "Why are you where you are?" Do you believe there is no rhetorical question or anthropromorphism here? Do you think God is actually asking where they are, as if He does not know?

I would take it more as a rhetorical question than anything...

natewood3
October 2nd, 2004, 10:02 AM
GIT,

I will try to respond as quick as I can...

billygoat
October 2nd, 2004, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by Hilston

Sure, that's fair. But first, to know what I'm getting out of this arrangement, I have to ask: To what questions of mine do you refer? In all that I wrote to you, I only asked two questions*. One was a simple yes-no-I-don't-know question. The other was rhetorical onlyl

I reread the last couple posts and, I may be dumb, but I don't know what questions you mean.

What I am saying is, if you will directly answer a couple of my points, I will do the same for you. You may have to repeat your questions.

I say these two passages (and many others) show that God wants all to be saved. All are not saved because many choose to reject Him. This puts the lie to Calvininism. How do you answer these two verses?

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NKJV)
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Knight
October 2nd, 2004, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by natewood3

Knight,



Actually, the Hebrew basically says, "Why are you where you are?" Do you believe there is no rhetorical question or anthropromorphism here? Do you think God is actually asking where they are, as if He does not know?

I would take it more as a rhetorical question than anything... Ok fine.... but it certainly isn't a anthropromorphism wich is what you asserted.

Poly
October 2nd, 2004, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Ok fine.... but it certainly isn't a anthropromorphism wich is what you asserted.
Knight, you do realize that this isn't the way the argument is supposed to flow right? Don't you know that only Calvinists are supposed to know what an anthropomorphism is? They're supposed to be able to attribute everything in scripture that doesn't fit into their theology to their interpretation of this definition.

Person seeking answers: "But what about this part that says...."

Calvinist: "It's an anthropomorphism so don't worry about it."

Person who was seeking answers but now just accepts whatever the Calvinist says since he assumes he must know what he's talking about if used a big ol' word like anthropomorphism: "Uh, yeah, sure, ok." :freak:

GreenPartyVoter
October 2nd, 2004, 12:27 PM
I'm still around. I know there are some questions directed at me in this thread that I haven't answered yet. I _will_ get back to them, just not sure when yet because I have just started a new project: a blog.

(I very much value my discussions here and on other forums, but it occured to me that I ought to start a journal so that I can keep track of how this fellowship helps me grow. :^) )

Knight
October 2nd, 2004, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by Poly

Knight, you do realize that this isn't the way the argument is supposed to flow right? Don't you know that only Calvinists are supposed to know what an anthropomorphism is? They're supposed to be able to attribute everything in scripture that doesn't fit into their theology to their interpretation of this definition.

Person seeking answers: "But what about this part that says...."

Calvinist: "It's an anthropomorphism so don't worry about it."

Person who was seeking answers but now just accepts whatever the Calvinist says since he assumes he must know what he's talking about if used a big ol' word like anthropomorphism: "Uh, yeah, sure, ok." :freak: Yea... but.... I think Nate got his desired outcome..... 3 days of wasted obfuscation. :)

Hilston
October 2nd, 2004, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by billygoat

I reread the last couple posts and, I may be dumb, but I don't know what questions you mean.I only asked two questions.

Question #1 was:
"Having read [Calvin, Pink, Luther, Hodges, Clark, Shedd, and more others than you can recall on the spot], do you agree that Open Theists don't know what they're talking about when they refer to immutability and total depravity?"

And Question #2 was:
"Really? Have you read much of what people write here? It is the epitome of half-baked, myself included."

Which was rhetorical.


Originally posted by billygoat
What I am saying is, if you will directly answer a couple of my points, I will do the same for you. You may have to repeat your questions.I don't have any questions besides the single question above, and frankly, I'm not holding my breath. So this "fair" proposition you've offered doesn't really balance out.


Originally posted by billygoat
I say these two passages (and many others) show that God wants all to be saved. All are not saved because many choose to reject Him. This puts the lie to Calvininism. How do you answer these two verses?

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NKJV)
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. My answer is that "all" in both cases do not mean "all without exception," but rather "all we elect of the dispersed Jews of Asia Minor" (2Pe 3:9) and "all kinds of men, neither Jew nor Gentile, the elect according to the Mystery" (1Ti 2:4).

Having read Calvin, Pink, Luther, Hodges, Clark, Shedd and more others than you can recall on the spot, you probably already could've guessed part of that, right?

Which is filling up faster, heaven or hell?

Hilston
October 2nd, 2004, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by Poly

Knight, you do realize that this isn't the way the argument is supposed to flow right? Don't you know that only Calvinists are supposed to know what an anthropomorphism is? They're supposed to be able to attribute everything in scripture that doesn't fit into their theology to their interpretation of this definition.Poly, just so we know whether or not you have any idea what you're talking about, can you tell us what is the Calvinist's definition of anthropomorphism?


Originally posted by Poly
Person seeking answers: "But what about this part that says...."

Calvinist: "It's an anthropomorphism so don't worry about it."This is a false characterization. Those who appeal to anthropopathism and anthropomorphism affirm that there is even more to "worry about" precisely because God chose to use figurative language. You should have read that somewhere, if you really gave a hoot.


Originally posted by Poly
Person who was seeking answers but now just accepts whatever the Calvinist says since he assumes he must know what he's talking about if used a big ol' word like anthropomorphism: "Uh, yeah, sure, ok." :freak: Prove to all of us that you didn't "just accept whatever the Open Theist says" and define for us what an anthropomorphism is according to the Calvinist view. If you can't, then I think it's a fair assumption that you are the very same sort of person you criticize above.

God_Is_Truth
October 2nd, 2004, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Which is filling up faster, heaven or hell?

i wasn't aware that either of them had limitations on the number of people they could hold.

godrulz
October 2nd, 2004, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

I don't have any questions besides the single question above, and frankly, I'm not holding my breath. So this "fair" proposition you've offered doesn't really balance out.

My answer is that "all" in both cases do not mean "all without exception," but rather "all we elect of the dispersed Jews of Asia Minor" (2Pe 3:9) and "all kinds of men, neither Jew nor Gentile, the elect according to the Mystery" (1Ti 2:4).

Having read Calvin, Pink, Luther, Hodges, Clark, Shedd and more others than you can recall on the spot, you probably already could've guessed part of that, right?



This sounds like eisegesis or deductive reasoning to support a preconceived theology. Why the aversion to God's love for all men in an impartial way? This is consistent with His justice and holiness and love.

Jn. 3:16 "For God so loved the elect..."

Come on...

Yorzhik
October 2nd, 2004, 10:10 PM
godrulz, I noticed you had "chess" as one of your interests. Have you ever heard the term "solve the game of chess"?

godrulz
October 2nd, 2004, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by Yorzhik

godrulz, I noticed you had "chess" as one of your interests. Have you ever heard the term "solve the game of chess"?

No. tell me more. Have you ever played 3-D chess?

natewood3
October 2nd, 2004, 10:30 PM
Knight,

You did not answer what I asked in the first place: If they are not rhetorical questions or anthropromorphisms, what are they? Did God really not know? Do you believe there is no rhetorical question or anthropromorphism here? Do you think God is actually asking where they are, as if He does not know?

How would YOU interpret these verses...

Clete
October 2nd, 2004, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Sure, every conservative thinks it's a real hoot to be compared to Clinton. How could I miss that? Maybe that would be a good place for one of those smilies? Or should I rely on my psychic skills?
Yeah, okay you've got a point here. I should have been more clear. It really was intended to be just a funny jab, not overtly insulting. Sorry about that.


Knight wrote: How can you take comfort in thinking that God planned the rape and brutal murder of a 7 year old girl?

So I replied: How can you have any comfort or trust believing in a God whose prophecies do not come true, who is surprised by His own creation, and who continues to sit idly by, unable to lift a finger, while hundreds of people He supposedly wants to save but cannot, plunge into hell on a daily basis?

I'm then accused of being unfriendly and unchristian and behaving contrary to what Knight expects of a friend. It's quite friendly and christian for you guys to say that "Calvinists make God out to be the author of evil ..." and that the Calvinist God plans the rape and brutal murder of 7-year-old girls, but it's not OK for your opponents to say that Open Theists make God out to be a Big Loser. How can you miss the double standard?
I see it Jim. It just seems that you read more hostility into than is intended. I really believe that all Knight wanted was for you to make a real argument instead of just lobbing emotional stink bombs. While I know you've made substantive arguments before, it does seem sometimes that you're not interested to really debating but just scoring cheap points for impact. And I'm sure it is true that Knight reads more hostility into your posts than is there as well. The point being, nobodies perfect. All this just seems a bit overly sensitive to me.


You even admit, "I know that [Calvinists] themselves not only do not say such things but also do not consciously believe it. Nevertheless, that is the conclusion that their theology logically leads too whether they are aware of it or not."

DITTO, CLETE!!!!! Why is it friendly and christian for you to state what you see as the "conclusion that their theology logically leads" but it's unfriendly and unchristian if your opponents do it? Double. standard.
There is no double standard, at least not an intentional one. I don’t really think Knight believes that saying such things is unfriendly and unchristian but that it is when that's all you seem to do and then refuse to substantiate your statements. Maybe I'm wrong.



Wrong, Clete. It doesn't bother me to be accused of attacking a straw man. We all do it. What bothers any rationally minded person is convenient double standards. It should bother you, Clete, as someone who claims to be rational. But because one of your own is guilty, he gets a pass.
He gets no pass. If his intent was as you suggest then he was wrong for having said what he said. It seems to me however that he was simply trying to draw you out, albeit ineffectively.



Furthermore, other proponents of this theology have read my statements about the figure, yet somehow continue to express an inability to understand how figures can mean the opposite of what they say.
Yes, no one denies that such figures exist. The problem is that the text cannot be saying that God didn't repent when the whole context of the statement makes it clear that God was unhappy about the condition of things.
I'll show you what I mean...

Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at his heart.

There is no way to read this passage and get that God was happy with the situation on the Earth. He did kill everybody, so we know that he really was upset. So if the figure here is saying the opposite of what it seems to be saying then how does the second half of the sentence fit with the first?
It just simply cannot mean the opposite unless the whole thing is a figure that means the opposite of what it says, in which case God would not be grieved at His heart but encouraged! But if that is true then why did he wipe out the whole planet minus 8 people? It just doesn't make any sense!


Further still, there are readily available writings on the subject that provide clear and logically sound explanations for the figures. But I have yet to meet or encounter a single Open Theist who cares enough to lift a finger to discover it for himself. That says a lot.
Give a title and author of a book or article that addresses this issue head on and I will promise to read it. How’s that?


When I point out to an Open Theist that there is a misunderstanding about a doctrinal tenet, they don't say, "Really? Please explain." Instead, I get resistance and defiance. Open Theists are so arrogant that it doesn't matter to them whether or not they properly understand an opposing viewpoint. It is anti-intellectual. Anti-knowledge. It is provincial, puerile and small-minded.
I personally have told you at least a half dozen times that if you have something to teach me, do it. I wasn’t kidding.


Forget me. Forget my theology. Think of your own understanding. Think of your own acquisition of knowledge. If you truly cared about what determinists believe and how they treat anthropopathic language and passages, you wouldn't need me to chide you about it. You would go find out on your own intitiative. If I were convinced you cared one whit about it, I would happily oblige. It's clear to me that you don't;
I have actually looked a few things concerning this Presuppositionalism thing you espouse. All of it either makes little or no sense or it bares no resemblance to anything I've ever seen you post. This is why I have asked you about it more than once before (with no response, by the way).


If you only knew how often I do this, you would thank me.
You know what, I believe you. You and I definitely have a disconnect somewhere that prevents us from seeing where the other is coming from. I have no doubt that you bite your tongue as often as I do, perhaps more so.


It's called Socratic Irony. It's how I learn. It's a perfectly legitimate form of discourse. Jesus and Paul used the method. It's quite effective.
Yeah well when it's used too often without the use of straight answers in the mix it's also called annoying.


It only further shows that you're having a hard time keeping up, Clete. You can't even mock me accurately.
Whether you believe it or not Jim, you come across to me exactly the way I came across to you when you called me insane. That's just exactly the way you sound to me sometimes when you post the way you do and for the same exact reasons.


Didn't you say earlier that it is an "overstatement" to say that God wants everyone to be saved? It's an "all-or-not-all" proposition, Clete.
I explained myself when I said it but for the sake of clarity. Yes, God would love it if everyone in the world responded to Him in faith. There are none that He would turn away.


Once again, you've missed the point. The Open Theist God has a problem. God wants to save more than He can, because of His stipulated standards. The determinist view has no such problem.
How is this a “problem�?
God would be justified in sending every last person to Hell if He wished. The salvation of even one soul would be a great victory for God. That’s one soul less than what would have gone to Hell otherwise. You seem to forget that the whole kit and caboodle was condemned in Adam the moment he fell in the Garden. If God had “cut His losses� as you put it, none of us would be here and millions of saved souls would never have existed.


God wants to save, and will save, exactly and only those whom He has chosen to save. No more. No less. Yes, we both believe God cannot save everyone, but my view doesn't put that desire on God, as yours does.
So my version of God is a big loser, and yours is the author of evil and the creator of beings designed specifically and only for His wrath.
I’ll take a just and righteous loser over the author of evil any day of the week and twice on Sundays, thank you very much.


It's not weakness I'm implying. It is incoherence. How could a God who wants all men to be saved and to come to the saving knowledge of Christ sit by and watch scores of people plummet into hell?
With a heavy heart, full of sorrow and grief over the needless tragedy of it, that’s how.


Statistically, He is losing big-time (hence the term, Big Loser), and any economist, statistician or gambler would suggest He cut His losses and end it all right now. The "God Who Risks" is betting against the house, and He loses big every single day.
It’s a matter of perspective I suppose. It seems to me that you are not qualified to make such an assessment anyway. God obviously thinks it worthwhile to do things the way He is doing them, and He’s smarter than the both of us put together.



You have it backward. Pour the biblical meanings of these words into them and it is a correct statement. In other words, read this statement without the Open Theistic spectacles cemented to your face and without the inane ideas of non-individual "corporate election" and non-salvific "choosing-for-a-task" in your head and suddenly you have Biblical truth.
Nope on the contrary Jim, to get what I think that verse says all anyone has to do is read it no specialized knowledge is needed at all accept an ability to read. A third grader who knows nothing at all about theology could read and understand it perfectly.


I already knew that is what you think. It's Open View arrogance. I've seen it before. Open Theists just can't fathom the possibility that their view could be wrong, so they blithely dismiss it. If you really thought it was possible to be wrong, you'd stop at nothing to find out, much like I've stopped at nothing to investigate Open Theism. But you don't really care, do you?
All I’m waiting on is someone to show me where I’m wrong. You up for it?


I don't care. It wasn't my intent to impress you, but to shame you and to show that you really don't give a hoot. If you did, you wouldn't waste so much time rehashing things that have long been established.
Oh yeah, heaven forbid that we actually ask someone to make an argument for the theology they believe on a web site which is in existence for that express purpose. Give me a break. Swordsman start this thread and titled it in a manner so as to make sure Knight (and probably myself) would be sure to engage him in a debate about Open Theism. What would you like for us to say…
“Uh Swordsman, I can’t respond to your mindless ranting right now, to do so would require that I rehash material I’ve already covered with Hilston on another thread and he said I don’t know what I’m talking about but didn’t explain what he meant or how I was wrong so I need to go read every post Jim’s ever written to see if he’s explained himself elsewhere and in addition he mention some guy named Pink so I need to read all his stuff too so that I know for sure that I know that Calvinism is heresy before I crush you into powder in this debate.�


Really? What have you read of Calvin or his cronies?
I have read some of Calvin’s writing although admittedly very little.
I’ve read a few different books (at least in part) by A.W. Pink – A Study of Dispensationalism, Gleanings in Genesis and Gleanings From Paul, maybe small portions of one or two more.
I’ve read most of what is on a website that features the writings of a man names R.L Babney http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/dabney.htm His is by far the one I’ve read the most of. I read Pink’s books when I was in high school, when I was still up to my neck in Calvinism myself. That’s been a long time ago.
There are others, mostly modern authors like R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur and Charles Stanley.
All of whom, by the way, teach the exact same tenets of Calvinism that I believed for the first 20+ years of my Christian life. I, for one, do not buy your assertion that we (open theists) are ignorant of what Calvinism actually teaches. The TULIP mnemonic device is relatively new and Dabney wrote before it was in common use but he would have agreed with it fully, as would have Pink and as far as anything I’ve seen so would Calvin, Luther, and Augustine.
This isn’t a complete list but in addition to books, I’ve also read lots of articles, mainly on the internet, by various authors whom I couldn’t begin to name. I usually end up reading them because someone claims that they “do the best job of defending their beliefs that they’ve ever seen, blah, blah, blah� So, I’ll read it and discover that they use the exact same arguments that you and others here on TOL use, the exact same ones, sometimes verbatim.


What have you read of about the figure of anthropopathism? List the titles and authors.
Anthropopathisms are figures of speech that attribute the attributes of man to something other than a man (emotion, intellect, sight or another of the senses, etc). It is not quite the same thing as anthropomorphisms which attribute the form of man onto things other than men(arms, legs, eyes, etc).
See, I knew that without even having to look it up! Have I read any books on the subject? Well, “Figures of Speech Used in the Bible� by E.W. Bullinger discusses this and I’ve read that portion of his book along with one or two others, but I have not read the entire volume.


Really? Yet you still go around with a distorted definition of total depravity and immutability? If that's true, then the destructive effect of Open Theism on the mind is worse than I thought.
No I don’t. Guess what Jim, you don’t get to define what Calvinism is! Sproul is probably the leading Calvinist in this country at the moment and I just heard him less than a month ago say on national radio that God cannot change at all period. I think his exact words where “God is utterly immutable.� And then he went on for half an hour making the point painfully clear and explaining how this doesn’t cause the logical problems that one would intuitively think it would.
C.S. Lewis, another prominent Calvinist whom I’ve read quite a bit said in his book “Miracles�, that “God cannot be touched by love.�, a statement about God’s impassibility, a related doctrine to immutability. And both he and Sproul used the same exact arguments that I’ve seen Swordsman and Z Man and other Calvinist on this site use to defend those beliefs. Are you going to suggest to us that R.C. Sproul and C.S. Lewis are a couple of half baked theologians like the rest of us here at TOL?


We agree that God cannot save everyone, but for different reasons. We agree that the Bible is God's inerrant and infallible word, right? We agree that Jesus is God incarnate, right? I'm sure we could find a whole host of other things.
Well yes, dispensationalism for one big one. I didn’t mean to suggest that we don’t agree on anything at all, I just meant that we seem never to be in agreement on this web site. You and I seem to be polar opposites on just about every issue that we discuss. That’s all I meant.


I wish that weren't the case, Clete. Perhaps we should have a phone conversation, just to get to know better how we each communicate. Maybe there is a disconnect and I'm reading something into your words that isn't there, or vice versa.
Yeah, I’d say there is plenty of missing each other happening on both sides. I would welcome a phone conversation. It’s just a matter of getting our schedules together. I know you work at night but I’m sure we can figure it out.


I didn't claim you've been disrespectful toward me. You seem (seem -- I don't know -- I'm just guessing based on observation) to not respect the debate. Someone once said, "Our enemies make us scholars." Those words are meaningful to those who respect debate. They go out and study their enemy. They more thoroughly study their own positions. They change and refine and hone their arguments. Here, it's just the same ol' song, different thread. Same distorted assumptions, different forum. If I ever saw an Open Theist say, "Based on those quotes, I've been making a wrong assumption about the doctrine of total depravity. I'm going to stop that," then I would say, "There's a person who seems to respect the debate."
Well, I can tell you that it would take a whole lot more than a single quote from Calvin to convince me that the TULIP doctrines are erroneous. And even if you succeeded in convincing me that Calvin would not be a Calvinist today, that still leaves all of today’s Calvinists to deal with who do believe the modern version of the TULIP doctrines. And do believe that God is utterly immutable and cannot have a new thought in His head or be touched by love.
It is not even my normal mode to make a claim as to what someone believes and then attack that belief anyway. Generally I wait till someone says something that is wrong and then I try to get them to see that it is wrong. In other words, I am debating what someone has already stated at a belief, there is no need for me to argue against distortions of my own making. The Calvinists on the site give me plenty to work with as it is.


While appreciate your kind remarks, and I sincerely desire to have a cordial and respectful discussion with you, your exit interview with Zman made me re-think even wanting to talk to you on the phone. Something told me that I was seeing my future.
Well, that won’t happen unless you start shooting blasphemies all over the place on threads where more than one unbeliever is known to be present and sure to read it. Those sorts of things coming from an unbeliever do plenty of harm but are somewhat expected. But coming from someone who claims to be a follower of Christ, statements like that do dramatically more harm and must be staunchly and publicly opposed, especially in the presence of someone who is already a skeptic. You may disagree with my reasoning on this and I’m sure you disagree with the way I handled it but at least now you know how to avoid such treatment yourself. Let me know if you would like to set up a phone call and we’ll figure out a time.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Poly
October 3rd, 2004, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Poly, just so we know whether or not you have any idea what you're talking about, can you tell us what is the Calvinist's definition of anthropomorphism?

This is a false characterization. Those who appeal to anthropopathism and anthropomorphism affirm that there is even more to "worry about" precisely because God chose to use figurative language. You should have read that somewhere, if you really gave a hoot.

Prove to all of us that you didn't "just accept whatever the Open Theist says" and define for us what an anthropomorphism is according to the Calvinist view. If you can't, then I think it's a fair assumption that you are the very same sort of person you criticize above.
My answers to your above questions and comments can be found in posts #1 and #4 of this (http://theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=538256#post538256) thread.

Knight
October 3rd, 2004, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by natewood3

Knight,

You did not answer what I asked in the first place: If they are not rhetorical questions or anthropromorphisms, what are they? Did God really not know? Do you believe there is no rhetorical question or anthropromorphism here? Do you think God is actually asking where they are, as if He does not know?

How would YOU interpret these verses... Who said those weren't rhetorical questions?

Answer: nobody.

Nate... you brought up those verses to support Swordsman with his anthropromorphism claim. We have now all agreed they aren't anthropromorphisms.

Knight
October 3rd, 2004, 06:12 PM
Swordsman.... please I beg of you could please respond and defend your original assertion?

Let me repost my last post so it isn't lost in the shuffle....


Originally posted by Swordsman

Sorry Knight. My memory failed me. :) I will answer your question now.No worries.


When the Scriptures mention God repenting or relenting, it is using those words as anthropomorphisms. Or He is relating to us with human emotional terms.Uh... you already made that claim. That isn't an answer, you are simply restating your original assertion.

Let me elaborate...

An anthropomorphism is a way to communicate the action's of God by using human terms so that we can understand better (using human understanding) what God is trying to tell us.

In other words...
An anthropomorphism should work as clarity.

You earlier stated....
Does God's actions change from time to time? Yes. But that does not disprove immutability. That term "repent" is an anthropomorphism. Its just trying to help ascribe an emotion of God's attitude so we can understand the context.So I ask you to please explain what "repent" means if it is indeed a "anthropomorphism".

Let me give you an example to work from...
Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

If "repented" in Gen 6:6 is a anthropomorphism and if a anthropomorphism is given to create clarity and not confusion what does the anthropomorphism mean in Gen 6:6?

natewood3
October 3rd, 2004, 09:20 PM
Knight,

You originally said:


Of course the verses are literal!

Gen 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"

The above event LITERALLY happened don't you think? Aren't you really asking what motivated God to ask Adam the question the way He did? I am assuming we agree that this event did in fact take place and therefore the verse is to be taken literally. The verses you have referenced are not examples of anthropomorphisms (with the possible exception of Gen 8:1).

You seemed to be very sure that these verses were literal. Were they literal questions that God because He did not know? You said we should take a literal rendering. Literally, it would obviously mean God didn't know. That is the straightforward reading of the text. Is that what it means?

Gen 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

A straightforward reading of the text would indicate that God has a body and walks and can be heard in the Garden. Most significantly, it would indicate that God is a God from which people can hide. Therefore, He cannot be omnipresent.

If we should reject the "straightforward" reading of the text, then where is it legitimate and where is it not?


Nate... you brought up those verses to support Swordsman with his anthropromorphism claim.

I would like to know where you come up with this...I was nowhere trying to support what Swordsman said. I barely have even read what Swordsman said. I asked a question, expecting to get an answer.

Turbo
October 3rd, 2004, 09:49 PM
Originally posted by natewood3

I would like to know where you come up with this...I was nowhere trying to support what Swordsman said. I barely have even read what Swordsman said. I asked a question, expecting to get an answer. This post (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=600609#post600609) came right before your questions. It looked like you were answering Knight's questions (that I quoted) with your questions.

If that wasn't the case, to whom were you directing your questions, and what was your point in asking them?

natewood3
October 4th, 2004, 12:21 AM
GIT,

Here is my long overdue response...


Hold on here. I said that God was in control, not that he controls all things. Do you agree or disagree that one can be in control of a situation without controlling all the things that occur inside of it?

If God does not control all things, we cannot be sure that He is in control in the end. Someone might do something that totally did not expect and change everything in history. In fact, I would not be so sure that God will triumph in the end if He is not in control and governing all things.

What would be an example of "microdetails"? Who determines what these microdetails are, us or God?


I think that faith is partly us and partly God. By faith we accept the gospel as truth and believe in God for our hope. We all know we are sinners and I think we all know that we’ve messed up in life and done things we shouldn’t have done. We also know that if there is no God than we shouldn’t feel bad for any of those things. They would instead feel natural and there would be no conviction in one’s heart for those things.

So we also know that we have done things we shouldn’t have and gone against what the person who put those convictions there wants. We also know that this person is God. Romans 1 makes this very clear. Thus, we know we need forgiveness from God for the things we did wrong. Thus, we all have the ability innately to turn to God and say “God, I know I’ve done things I shouldn’t have. I’ve done things you didn’t want me to do. Please forgive me of these things and help me to sin no more but to live in according to what is right.�

The part of faith I believe that is God’s part is seeing Christ for who he really is, accepting that salvation is by grace, and a complete turn around from the sin we used to live in. you also noted some things in another thread about what God does when we are saved to which I would add here as well.

I would say yes and no. We do have a active part in salvation, called faith. However, your assumption that all people know they "have done things we shouldn’t have and gone against what the person who put those convictions there wants" and have the "ability innately to turn to God" is ALL A MATTER OF GRACE! What you are describing is repentance. It is a change of mind of our former lives to a change of mind concerning Christ.

How can a mind hostile to God change its self?

2Co 7:10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

You are describing GODLY grief, something more than worldly grief. Godly grief PRODUCES repentance. Why would we ever have a godly grief?

Because we see who Christ really is, dying for our sins, and we think, "Blahhh! I can't believe I rejected the Fountain of Living Water and gave my self to the arsenic of sin. How could I have ever given myself to such sinfulness and horrors! Lord, forgive me!" That is where repentance comes from, when we see what horrors we have committed against the Almighty.

If God does not produce that, then it won't come! We will see the idea of a Savior as foolishness and folly. It is when we see Christ that we can see our sinfulness...


As for the passages not mentioning this, I ask why does it need to? If Paul is simply explaining to us and praising God for his work in our salvation and our sanctification, and also remembering that it was written to believers who had already put their faith in Christ, then I see no real reason or purpose to explain what they already knew and had already done.

I happen to think it isn't there because it was not meant to be there, especially in regard to WHY God saved us. Also, Paul is speaking to them concerning BEFORE they were believers, but He never mentions faith as the reason they are saved...Salvation is of the Lord, not of the Lord and Man.


Do you really think God would command the impossible from us? Would he command us to grow wings? Would he command us to walk to the moon? Would he command us to drink the pacific ocean? Thus, I see it as reasonable that anything God commands us to do is something we have the ability to do. It may be hard, we may not like it, but we are able.

1Pe 2:2 desire the sincere milk of the Word, as newborn babes, so that you may grow by it;

Can you MAKE yourself desire anything? Truly desire it and it not be fake? We are commanded to do it.

Deu 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Can you circumcise your own heart?

1Th 5:18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Can you MAKE yourself be thankful and show true gratitude toward God? I will give you the illustration I gave godrulz:

If a child wants a red fire truck for Christmas, but he gets a pair of black socks instead, he can say the words, "Thank you for the black socks," but that is NOT gratitude. Saying the words, "I thank you God for my salvation, my wife, my house, my kids, my SUFFERING AND PAIN," is NOT gratitude. Gratitude is an emotion. When you get the red fire truck for Christmas you have it, and if you don't, you don't! It is still commanded though...

God has the right to command of us what we OUGHT to give even if by virtue of our profound rebellion and corruption we cannot give it. The problem is with US, not the command or with God. We should give thanks whether we are able to or not, and we are responsible for doing so. Ingratitude is still sin because the very nature of ingratitude is arrogant and hateful; it matters not whether we can produce it on our own. Either way, we are still responsible.


Now in verse 7 it says that the “sinful mind� is hostile to God. It doesn’t mean that the entire person is hostile, just that the sinful mind is. Clearly there is more to a person than just their mind. There is the heart, soul, will etc. verse 8 says “it does not submit to God’s law nor can it do so�. This is about the sinful mind. But as I already stated, there is more to a person than the mind. There is the heart, soul and will for starters. So, if a person decides to come to their senses and stop living according to the sinful mind and doing what they know is wrong, I believe they can ask for forgiveness, repent and God does the rest from there.

Let me quote the passage once again:

Rom 8:5 For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace
Rom 8:7 because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be.
Rom 8:8 So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God.

This "sinful mind" effects the whole person, for Paul's conclusion is: "So then, they who are in the flesh CANNOT please God." Would repenting please God?

You said specifically:

This is about the sinful mind. But as I already stated, there is more to a person than the mind. There is the heart, soul and will for starters.

Heart:

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

Will:

Rom 3:11 there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God."

Eph 2:3 among whom we also had our way of life in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Are you going to expect your deceitfully wicked and perverse will to get you out of your sinfulness? Your ENTIRE person was effected by the Fall, not just parts of you! We are dead people; we have more than just a broken leg.

You seem to think a person can act for Christ without THINKING (mind) about it or having FEELINGS (heart) about it. A person will act in accordance with his heart and mind. He thinks; he feels; he acts. He must think and feel before he acts. When an unregenerate person thinks and feels about Christ, you know what they think?

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost

1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

How can that be any clearer?


Before you were born God could not have loved you except in the way of a thought or a future thing. He could not love you the same way he loves you now because you didn’t exist then and you do exist now. Furthermore, if that is the case, what do you make of this verse?

Galatians 4:9
But now that you know God–or rather are known by God–how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

Gal 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.
Gal 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

These verses nowhere say God did not know I would exist, or did not love me personally on the cross. YOU infer from the text that God must not have known us. How do YOU square this verse with the idea in Romans 8:29-32 of God "foreknowing" us?


If God knew you all the way back at the cross personally, then this verse should be a lie right? How could God have known you personally all the way back then and then claim to start knowing you again for the first time once you believe? It cannot be both. God cannot have exhaustively, personally, and individually known you forever in eternity and on the cross and claim that when you believe that you are “now known by God�.

"Coming to know God" and "God knowing us" are virtually the same in this verse. God "knowing" us happens in time and in eternity. We were "once not a people," but we are "now a people of God" (1 Peter 2). Does that mean God never had a people for Himself or never determined to have a specific people for Himself?

Your inference is not valid.

Phi 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

God must not know the present needs of His people either, right? It says "Let them be MADE KNOWN TO GOD." Therefore, we should infer that God does not know what we need or what requests we have.

You are making something out to be more than it really is...


And once again I add that our theology should not be built upon what theology says God love us more or which one seems to say that God cares most about us. It should be about truth as found in the word of God—the bible.

Isn't the OV supposed to make God more personal and loving? Isn't that one of the supposed benefits?


Because his death is not something where sins were sort of “put on him� literally. It was a sacrifice in our place, bearing the punishment we deserved as the result of our sins. He lived perfectly and as such was able to pay the price he himself did not deserve, but that every one of us deserves when we sin. Thus, his righteousness is imputed to us by faith in

The result of WHAT SINS!? There are not any sins or punishment or wrath that He must bear because none of that existed when He died.

How can all of that be said to be planned "before time began," since God didn't even know sin would exist then?


What’s comforting is irrelevant. What’s important is truth. If the bible says God had all the women and children killed then that’s what happened regardless of how we feel about it.

also, are you saying that all people today were people back then? What else would they be besides “non-persons�? they couldn’t have been people like they are now because they didn’t exist.

You are right; it is irrelevant. Therefore, because our finite minds cannot handle that God foreknows us before we exist is irrelevant. What matters is truth. That is what happen regardless of how we feel about it:

Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.


The WE in that verse is about all of mankind. It’s about the human race as a whole, yourself included. While humans were sinners, Christ died for us. Furthermore, if God has exhaustive foreknowledge of the future, then in what sense did Christ die for us “while we were yet sinners�?

Either Christ foreknew and foreloved us and died for us in spite of our sin or there is NO way Christ could have died for ME while I was a sinner. Did Christ come back and die again in 1984? How could He have died for me "while I was a sinner"? To me, your view is LESS explanatory than mine...


You can’t love someone who doesn’t exist any more or less whether you know they will be born or not. They still don’t exist and anything you feel towards them is just one sided and unfulfilled.

This is your making God out to be like me and you, which He is not.


Also consider how much more it displays God’s love towards us in that God didn’t even know which people would be born, but he gave a sacrifice that would suffice for all of them.

For WHO? For WHAT? Do you realize if God cannot foreknow us, then He didn't die for "us" or bear "our curse," for we had no curse because we did not even exist yet! "Who" are these "people" you are talking about? Christ didn't know them.

How can Christ sacrifice Himself for something that doesn't exist, something He no idea WILL ever exist? "Well, I suppose there will be a bunch of people, possibly, that will live in the future, so here goes nothing!" That is the view of Christ I would have if He didn't foreknow us and love us before we were created.


It’s one thing to die for specific people you know and love, but how much greater is the love that someone gives for people he does not know! Who has the greater love, someone who dies to save his relatives, or someone who dies to give all people to come a chance for salvation? I think the answer is obvious.

PEOPLE! There were no "people" except for the ones living that Christ died for. Especially since, He died "while we were sinners." You and I seem to be up a creek without a paddle...


It’s about the nation of Israel who because of unbelief was cutoff. Thus, God turned to those who were not a nation (the gentiles) and called people from among them to be his people. The term “hate� in that passage is another word for saying “rejected�. In other words, Jacob I chose, Esau I rejected.

Called? You seem to make this "call" decisive...what if no one from the Gentiles responded?

"Hate" is more than rejected...

Mal 1:3 but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.
Mal 1:4 If Edom says, "We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins," the LORD of hosts says, "They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called 'the wicked country,' and 'the people with whom the LORD is angry forever.'"
Mal 1:5 Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, "Great is the LORD beyond the border of Israel!"
Mal 1:6 "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, 'How have we despised your name?'
Mal 1:7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, 'How have we polluted you?' By saying that the LORD's table may be despised.
Mal 1:8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.
Mal 1:9 And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts.
Mal 1:10 Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand.


Where does it say it was before?

We can somehow believe before we were predestined?


because God works with our free will to bring about good. Nothing God does in us contradicts free will. Remember also that we have been regenerated and long for God to do things through us, giving God a much easier time in using us for good works.

Can you show me a couple text where it speaks of God working with us to bring about good or nothing God does contradicts our free will or a couple texts that define our will?


Because they are not only done by God. It is both of us who does them. God commands us to do them and works in us and helps us to bring it about.

Would you agree that they are PRODUCED by God? Can we in and of ourselves produce that which is pleasing in His sight? You say:

God commands us to do them and works in us and helps us to bring it about.

You said earlier if God commands us to do something, then we have the ability to do it. Now, God can command something, but He must "help" and "work in us" to bring it about, so which is it? Can we fully do it if God commands us, or can God command of us what we cannot do in and of ourselves without His grace and mercy?

I will respond to the rest tomorrow...it is getting late. Feel free to respond whenever...

natewood3
October 4th, 2004, 10:27 AM
GIT,

Part 2...


First off let me remind you that proverbs are general statements that the authors wrote down about what they saw as true in the world around them. They are not always absolutes. For example, one may say “the wicked will not prosper� but obviously they sometimes do. Thus, in general they will not and they will not prosper forever, but if we took it literally and absolutely, it would be wrong.

I agree. That is basic hermeneutics, so you are exactly right.


That said, I think this verse is talking about how anything we do is ultimately allowed by God. A straight forward reading of the text might suggest that every word we say is from God, but should we really hold such a view? That would mean that every swear word, every word of hate, every misuse of the Lord’s name is from God. Surely this is not so.

Pro 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

Do you OVers not argue and argue for a "straightforward" and "literal" reading of the text? When does this principle apply and when does it not? When it best fits your theology?


Also, it would render the phrase “the word of the Lord� meaningless as every word would become “the word of the Lord�. Thus, I see it as saying that all of our actions are allowed by God as he is sovereign. We plan in our hearts what to do, but if God doesn’t want it to happen, he won’t let us do it. I believe that can be done without affecting free will in any way.

"He won't LET US do it"? How can God hinder you from doing something without affecting your idea of "free will"?

What is the difference between "allowing" and "ordaining" that something be? How can God "allow" something He doesn't know you will do? How can God not "let us" do something if He doesn't know what we will do? If God will not let you do something, then He must know what you are going to do before you do it! Otherwise, He would have to "let you" do it to see what you are really going to do.


I see this as basically the same as above except that God also sends events into our lives as he wishes (plagues, famine etc.) and thus, he can establish our steps as well as simply allowing the ones we decide to take on our own.

In what sense does God "establish our steps"? It He "establishes" them, then how are they so called "free"?


Remember Pharaoh? Bear in mind that just because God can affect our hearts it does not mean our free will has been tampered with.

I do remember Pharaoh. Is affecting our "heart" and our "desires" the same thing? You seem to be saying what I am have been saying all along: God can affect our hearts/desires and give us a new heart and desires so that we would freely choose Him. Or: God can affect our hearts and desires so that we would NOT choose Him. Or: God can affect our hearts and desires so that we would do that which is pleasing in His sight, which we would NOT have done otherwise.


All things exist by God’s power so ultimately they come from him. But unless you wish to make God the author of sin, I think you’ll agree that even though it’s by God’s power that they are done, we are the ones who use that power to do evil things.

Sin is "done by God's power"? I do agree ALL things are from and through God, but sin and evil and from and through God in such a way that God is NEVER, NEVER, NEVER to blame for sin or for evil, but it is always the sinner who is blamed.

You seem to be agreeing with some form of compatiblism...

However, throughout the rest of the post, you seem to contradict what you have said concerning all the verses above...


That’s nonsense. I haven’t done them yet. And if I have free will, then there exists a degree of uncertainty by definition such that it’s impossible to know with 100% accuracy what I will do before I do it. furthermore, I see little biblical support for such a view.

That’s logical through the definition of free will. The only way God can know absolutely for certain what we will is if we don’t have free will.

Are you saying God is illogical? Are you saying he’s outside of reality? The bottom line is that the two concepts (free will and exhaustive foreknowledge) are mutually exclusive in reality. They cannot co-exist no matter how hard one wants them to.

Then I’m not free to choose apart from what God says I will choose. When the situation comes around I will not be free to choose what I decide to choose, I will only be able to “choose� what God “knows� I will choose. I am not free in this case.

That argues against the whole idea of free will! Free will says that you cannot know what someone will do even though you can know what they might or are likely to do. If God knows I will watch tv because he knows that I would watch it in that situation, then I have become a 100% predictable being who is thus not free. A being that is free, by definition cannot be 100% predictable. That’s the whole meaning of free.

If I’m really free then all he can know is what I might choose or what I’m likely to choose. He can know what percentage the possibility of me choosing a particular choice is, but he cannot know for certain what I’ll do if I’m really free.

how does God know it? I haven’t done it yet. The only way he can know it is to cause it, unless I don’t have free will and am just like a robot, completely predictable. In the last sentence, it could not be a possibility. Nothing is a possibility if God has EFK (exhaustive foreknowledge). Everything is certain. There is no possibilities or any sense of contingency if God has EFK.

See what I mean? You seem to adhere to a form of compatiblism in your exegesis of those verses, but then you turn around and seem to contradict what you said above...

natewood3
October 4th, 2004, 10:42 AM
Turbo,

I was not answering Knight's questions; I was raising more questions ;).

I was not specifically directing my questions to anyone that I know of...I was just asking, to see an OV response.

Knight
October 4th, 2004, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by natewood3

You seemed to be very sure that these verses were literal. Of course the verses are literal!!! How can you assert otherwise?

I have news for you....

Rhetorical questions and literal interpretation are not mutually exclusive. These concept are not opposites.

For instance.... if I were to ask you a rhetorical question and then later you told the story of me asking you the rhetorical question to another person, that would be a accurate and LITERAL accounting of that encounter.

You continue....
Were they literal questions that God because He did not know? You said we should take a literal rendering. Literally, it would obviously mean God didn't know. That is the straightforward reading of the text. Is that what it means?:sigh: See above.

Furthermore..... God wasn't wondering where Adam was (that was the rhetorical question) yet God was curious as to how Adam would answer.

Rhetorical and literal.

raphe
October 4th, 2004, 02:18 PM
Direct towards Knight: Does this mean you don't think God is omniscient - all knowing? I believe man has free-will, but I also believe that God knows and sees our lives from begining to end in a moment, if He wishes to - standing outside of time. There are parts of Calvinism that have merit, but I see it also pushing God into a box and literally giving Him a bad name.

Knight
October 4th, 2004, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by raphe

Direct towards Knight: Does this mean you don't think God is omniscient - all knowing?God is omniscient, assuming you have a realistic definition of the word omniscient.

I believe God knows everything that is knowable or that He chooses to know and therefore God is omniscient.

You continue....
I believe man has free-will, but I also believe that God knows and sees our lives from begining to end in a moment, if He wishes to - standing outside of time.If God has exhaustive foreknowledge of our future we cannot have freewill. If God has exhaustive foreknowledge of our future... then our future is locked into God's foreknowledge and therefore removes the freedom of our will to do or choose anything outside of that foreknowledge.

You continue...
There are parts of Calvinism that have merit, but I see it also pushing God into a box and literally giving Him a bad name. I agree. :up:

raphe
October 4th, 2004, 03:31 PM
If God has exhaustive foreknowledge of our future we cannot have freewill. If God has exhaustive foreknowledge of our future... then our future is locked into God's foreknowledge and therefore removes the freedom of our will to do or choose anything outside of that foreknowledge.
How does His knowing restrict freewill? Knowing is not restricting or taking action against freewill.
By having the ability to transcend the dimension of time, He knows who is evil from birth and who is elect from birth, but only acts for the good by manipulating what is already evil and seen by Him as choosing it. All things working together for good to those called according to God's purpose. As with Pharoah, a heart already seen as hard and with no possible entrance or place for the seed of God, is used to reveal God's glory and power to those that trust God. This fits Romans 9:22, a key verse for understanding election in my mind:

Ro 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Knight
October 4th, 2004, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by raphe

How does His knowing restrict freewill? How does it not???

If God knows in advance that in three years from now you will drive to the store buy a bottle of mustard and then drop it in the parking lot spilling it everywhere do you have the freedom to do anything else?

God_Is_Truth
October 4th, 2004, 05:33 PM
GIT,

Here is my long overdue response...


yay! :D



If God does not control all things, we cannot be sure that He is in control in the end. Someone might do something that totally did not expect and change everything in history. In fact, I would not be so sure that God will triumph in the end if He is not in control and governing all things.


because God's control lies in his power. no one can defeat God or take him down or anything like that because their existence is dependent on the power of God. that is why we know he is in control because he has all the power in all the universe. we have been given some power of our own to do as we please for a while, but that was ultimately given by God and if he decided so, he could take it away.



What would be an example of "microdetails"? Who determines what these microdetails are, us or God?


a teacher can be in control of a classroom without controlling what each child is doing at every moment.



I would say yes and no. We do have a active part in salvation, called faith. However, your assumption that all people know they "have done things we shouldn’t have and gone against what the person who put those convictions there wants" and have the "ability innately to turn to God" is ALL A MATTER OF GRACE! What you are describing is repentance. It is a change of mind of our former lives to a change of mind concerning Christ.


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.

all of us know God exists and that we should give him glory. all of us know we need forgiveness for our sins but most of us refuse to aknoweldge God or ask him for forgiveness.

this combined with the drawing of the Father and the conviction of sins from the holy spirit is more than enough to bring a man to repentence.



How can a mind hostile to God change its self?

2Co 7:10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

You are describing GODLY grief, something more than worldly grief. Godly grief PRODUCES repentance. Why would we ever have a godly grief?

Because we see who Christ really is, dying for our sins, and we think, "Blahhh! I can't believe I rejected the Fountain of Living Water and gave my self to the arsenic of sin. How could I have ever given myself to such sinfulness and horrors! Lord, forgive me!" That is where repentance comes from, when we see what horrors we have committed against the Almighty.

If God does not produce that, then it won't come! We will see the idea of a Savior as foolishness and folly. It is when we see Christ that we can see our sinfulness...


the hostile mind must first be softened before it can repent. that's the whole point of the drawing of the fater and the convicting of the holy spirit! that's their job! to make it easier for us to see that we are guilty and need forgivness. but even after that, the choice to accept the sacrifice of Christ is still their own to make.

godly grief is what one experiences when they see Christ and his sacrifice with joy and beauty. but does it always produce repentence? not necessarily.



I happen to think it isn't there because it was not meant to be there, especially in regard to WHY God saved us. Also, Paul is speaking to them concerning BEFORE they were believers, but He never mentions faith as the reason they are saved...Salvation is of the Lord, not of the Lord and Man.


i see it instead as Paul's reminder to them of what all God has done for them, as a means of encouragement. he was not writing this for doctrines sake, he was writing to benefit them, by means of encouragement i believe. what purpose do you hold that Paul would write those things specifically?



1Pe 2:2 desire the sincere milk of the Word, as newborn babes, so that you may grow by it;

Can you MAKE yourself desire anything? Truly desire it and it not be fake? We are commanded to do it.


if you hang around someone often enough, do something long enough, even if you don't consiously desire it, you will eventually want it and desire it. thus, Peter was writing so that they would be spiritually disciplined and grow to desire it all the more.



Deu 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Can you circumcise your own heart?


metaphor.



1Th 5:18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Can you MAKE yourself be thankful and show true gratitude toward God? I will give you the illustration I gave godrulz:


if your thankfulness is dependent on God then yes! you must decide to not rely on the pleasures of the world on which to be thankful, but to look to Christ, the cross and the wonderful grace that was given there and on that to be thankful each and every day, in all things. once we decide to do that, we can make ourselves be thankful in all things towards God. we have to consiously decide to look to Christ for it though, not the world. then we can be thankful in all things.



If a child wants a red fire truck for Christmas, but he gets a pair of black socks instead, he can say the words, "Thank you for the black socks," but that is NOT gratitude. Saying the words, "I thank you God for my salvation, my wife, my house, my kids, my SUFFERING AND PAIN," is NOT gratitude. Gratitude is an emotion. When you get the red fire truck for Christmas you have it, and if you don't, you don't! It is still commanded though...


it is more than an emotion i think. i'd say it's an emotion and a mind set. once you recognize the goodness of God and make your gratitude dependent on that, the emotion will naturally follow when you think of God.



God has the right to command of us what we OUGHT to give even if by virtue of our profound rebellion and corruption we cannot give it. The problem is with US, not the command or with God. We should give thanks whether we are able to or not, and we are responsible for doing so. Ingratitude is still sin because the very nature of ingratitude is arrogant and hateful; it matters not whether we can produce it on our own. Either way, we are still responsible.


i think i agree with this.



Let me quote the passage once again:

Rom 8:5 For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace
Rom 8:7 because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be.
Rom 8:8 So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God.

This "sinful mind" effects the whole person, for Paul's conclusion is: "So then, they who are in the flesh CANNOT please God." Would repenting please God?


here is the NASB version:

5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

note how the last part is statd: those "controlled" by it. if someone is controlled by something it means that they are submitting themselves completely to it. they allow it to do as it pleases and they satisfy it. so it makes complete sense that those who are controlled by the sinful nature can't please God.

but it doesn't logically follow that they can't stop gratifying it. they are not helpless slaves here as you might think. it just means that they are constantly giving in to the sinful nature and pleasing it. it's controlling them and they let it do so. they still retain the power to take back control though, with God's help of course.



You said specifically:

This is about the sinful mind. But as I already stated, there is more to a person than the mind. There is the heart, soul and will for starters.

Heart:

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?


which is why we need a new one.



Will:

Rom 3:11 there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God."

Eph 2:3 among whom we also had our way of life in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Are you going to expect your deceitfully wicked and perverse will to get you out of your sinfulness? Your ENTIRE person was effected by the Fall, not just parts of you! We are dead people; we have more than just a broken leg.


the will is not bonded to doing those things. it simply does so because it wills to. but the will is not "set in stone". what it wills is able to change if it desires to, especially if the father begins to draw it and the holy spirit begins to convict it.

i agree that every part of us was tainted by sin at the fall. but that doesn't mean we can't still cry out for a savior once we realize we are sinners and in need of forgiveness! being "dead" is a metaphor for our state of being apart from Christ who is the life. it doesn't mean total inability.



You seem to think a person can act for Christ without THINKING (mind) about it or having FEELINGS (heart) about it

:confused:



A person will act in accordance with his heart and mind. He thinks; he feels; he acts. He must think and feel before he acts.

you have forgot the soul of the person! the very part of every person that is made in the image of God! a person does think and does feel before acting, but the act of the person is not necessarily related to what they felt or thought! haven't you ever done something spontaneously for no reason without thinking about it or feeling it before hand? i have!



When an unregenerate person thinks and feels about Christ, you know what they think?

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost

1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

How can that be any clearer?


well first off 1 Corinthians 2:14 is invalid because the context is spiritual wisdom, not the gospel.

but secondly, i read those verses and i think back to Romans 1. the people who reject the cross do so because they love their wickedness and have no remorse in their hearts. they know they need salvation and forgiveness but ignore the great gift of God calling it foolishness. i also think that when they call it foolishness it's because they are not being drawn by the father or convicted by the holy spirit and i agree with you that witout these things we will not seek God.



Gal 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.
Gal 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

These verses nowhere say God did not know I would exist, or did not love me personally on the cross. YOU infer from the text that God must not have known us. How do YOU square this verse with the idea in Romans 8:29-32 of God "foreknowing" us?


what else could "NOW that you have come to be known by God" mean? are you suggesting that somehow "now being known by God" means "having always been known by God"? :kookoo:



"Coming to know God" and "God knowing us" are virtually the same in this verse.

but that's not what the verse says. it says now that you have come to be known by God. how can you come to be known if you were known all along?



God "knowing" us happens in time and in eternity. We were "once not a people," but we are "now a people of God" (1 Peter 2). Does that mean God never had a people for Himself or never determined to have a specific people for Himself?


doesn't follow. it just means that we who weren't previously people of God are now called people of God. God had people all along, but we were not a part of them until now.



Your inference is not valid.


not yet it isn't. :D



Phi 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

God must not know the present needs of His people either, right? It says "Let them be MADE KNOWN TO GOD." Therefore, we should infer that God does not know what we need or what requests we have.

You are making something out to be more than it really is...


starwman. letting them be made to God is the same as saying "present your requests before God". it says nothing of whether he knows them before or not. i can make my case known to you in court even though you are aware of it before. it just refers to a formal presenting of your requests before God. it speaks nothing of his knowledge about them. thus your statement is a strawman.



Isn't the OV supposed to make God more personal and loving? Isn't that one of the supposed benefits?


perhaps, that's not why i hold to it. i started with my experiences about God, the basics of who he is and what i saw him doing in my life and other peoples lives and found a theology in the bible that matched up. the more i looked at that theology the more i saw it as biblically faithful, consistent internally, and the view that matched up most closely with real life. to me, if you start with scripture and then make reality match up with that, you have it backwards. i look at reality and interpret scripture accordingly which makes sense, unless you hold that the writers of scripture were outside of reality. :chuckle:



The result of WHAT SINS!? There are not any sins or punishment or wrath that He must bear because none of that existed when He died.

How can all of that be said to be planned "before time began," since God didn't even know sin would exist then?


he didn't literally bear them, remember? the important thing is the death he paid. we all deserve death as punishment for sin (Romans 3:23) but because Jesus didn't sin at all, the death he paid took on the wrath of God for sin on behalf of us. his death becomes substitutionary for us. he stood where we should have. his death was the price we had earned and because he was without sin, it is able to be applied to us.

there is no need to think that God literally placed "sins" on Christ as if they were things. sins are wrong doings, offenses against God. the punishment is death. Jesus paid the price for that though he was innocent and as such can save us through that.



You are right; it is irrelevant. Therefore, because our finite minds cannot handle that God foreknows us before we exist is irrelevant. What matters is truth. That is what happen regardless of how we feel about it:

Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.


um, comforting has nothing to do with logic. if something is logically incoherent or illogical then it should be discarded immediately because it's untrue. EFK and free will are illogical together. they cannot co-exist. thus, since it's clear we have free will (you have to use it to deny it, illogical), i must discard EFK.

both of those verses there i interpret as general election in regards to the body of Christ. there is no need to assume the interpretation of individual election from eternity past.



Either Christ foreknew and foreloved us and died for us in spite of our sin or there is NO way Christ could have died for ME while I was a sinner. Did Christ come back and die again in 1984? How could He have died for me "while I was a sinner"? To me, your view is LESS explanatory than mine...


but that's not the way it works! his death is a general death that is applicable for every human being in all of existence, past, present and future! it's not that you hadn't sinned yet, it's that before you sinned, the way of salvation had already been made. the door through wich all humans can enter salvation by had already been made.



This is your making God out to be like me and you, which He is not.


are you suggesting God can do the illogical, contradictory and absurd?



For WHO? For WHAT? Do you realize if God cannot foreknow us, then He didn't die for "us" or bear "our curse," for we had no curse because we did not even exist yet! "Who" are these "people" you are talking about? Christ didn't know them.

How can Christ sacrifice Himself for something that doesn't exist, something He no idea WILL ever exist? "Well, I suppose there will be a bunch of people, possibly, that will live in the future, so here goes nothing!" That is the view of Christ I would have if He didn't foreknow us and love us before we were created.


for everyone! for humanity as a whole! he has become the door through which any sinner can enter into life by! he provided the means by which anyone who sinned could be saved! you keep thinking that Christ had to bear our individual sin in order to atone for it, this is not so! Christ took our death, our wrath on behalf of mankind as a whole. he became the window of salvation because he was sinless, yet he took our punishment for sin.

your view here is a strawman because of a misunderstanding about the cross.



PEOPLE! There were no "people" except for the ones living that Christ died for. Especially since, He died "while we were sinners." You and I seem to be up a creek without a paddle...


still that strawman :doh:



Called? You seem to make this "call" decisive...what if no one from the Gentiles responded?


what's the problem?



"Hate" is more than rejected...


then why was Esau blessed by God in this life? please show me anywhere in the OT that says God hated Esau and that he ended up in hell. advance warning, Malachi is talking about nations.



We can somehow believe before we were predestined?


:confused: who said you were predestined to believe? cannot God do general predestination to a group of people before the people exist? of course he can, there is nothing wrong or illogical about that view.



Can you show me a couple text where it speaks of God working with us to bring about good or nothing God does contradicts our free will or a couple texts that define our will?


you can't control free will, by definition. if ones' will is free, then you aren't controlling it. you are giving up control to allow them to do what they decide to do. that's what free means, uncontrolled.

if God were to ever go against our free will, or take it away, then he would not be loving for love always offers a choice. you can't force someone to love you, they must choose to love you. love is always about choice and when you take away someone's ability to make choices you show that you do not love them.

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

God is love as this scripture shows. thus, God has given us choice. he wants a people for himself who truly love him back and freely do so. anything less would not be love. for this to always be true love, God must not take away this free will at any time because he would be taking away their ability to love.

some passages that show free will:

Deuteronomy 30:19
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

Joshua 24:15
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD ."

John 7:17
If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

and there are many other verses on this topic as well. in fact, anywhere you see the word "choose" in a text, this assumes free will for one can only "choose" something when one has free will.



Would you agree that they are PRODUCED by God? Can we in and of ourselves produce that which is pleasing in His sight?

the desire and the strength to do them are produced by God.

unbelieves though are still capable of doing good things. they are not capable of living a Godly life for Christ and loving as he loved.



You said earlier if God commands us to do something, then we have the ability to do it. Now, God can command something, but He must "help" and "work in us" to bring it about, so which is it? Can we fully do it if God commands us, or can God command of us what we cannot do in and of ourselves without His grace and mercy?


it's important to remember who the command is given to. if it's given to everyone then we all have the ability. if it's just to the body of Christ then i think it's something we can do, but we need God's help to make us do.



I will respond to the rest tomorrow...it is getting late. Feel free to respond whenever...

this is the end of part 1. i'll get to part 2 hopefuly soon.

with peace,

GIT

Knight
October 4th, 2004, 05:37 PM
Swordsman? (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=601942#post601942)

God_Is_Truth
October 4th, 2004, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by natewood3

GIT,

Part 2...


whew! these are getting long aren't they? :D



I agree. That is basic hermeneutics, so you are exactly right.

:thumb:




Pro 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

Do you OVers not argue and argue for a "straightforward" and "literal" reading of the text? When does this principle apply and when does it not? When it best fits your theology?

straighforward is best, but sometimes that leaves us with a contradictory theology which will not do. whenever we can, use the straightfoward reading of it. when that leads to problems, find an interpretation that goes along with everything else as best you can. the goal is consistency, truth and biblical faithfulness.




"He won't LET US do it"? How can God hinder you from doing something without affecting your idea of "free will"?

if God doesn't want me to drive to the store then he will not allow my car to start. or he may decide to have a storm come in which prevents me from going to the store. neither of these things affects my free will in any way whatsoever.



What is the difference between "allowing" and "ordaining" that something be?

anything God ordains is something he brings to pass himself. the second coming of Christ is ordained by God. my writing this post is just something he has allowed, not ordained. do you have a different understanding of ordained?



How can God "allow" something He doesn't know you will do? How can God not "let us" do something if He doesn't know what we will do? If God will not let you do something, then He must know what you are going to do before you do it! Otherwise, He would have to "let you" do it to see what you are really going to do.

God is not ignorant of the present. he sees your thoughts, knows your motives and can see what you are planning to do. if God sees that you are planning to go get drunk and he doesn't want you to, he'll stop you from doing so if he chooses.



In what sense does God "establish our steps"? It He "establishes" them, then how are they so called "free"?

how do you define establish?



I do remember Pharaoh. Is affecting our "heart" and our "desires" the same thing? You seem to be saying what I am have been saying all along: God can affect our hearts/desires and give us a new heart and desires so that we would freely choose Him.

i believe our heart contains our desires, yes. but remember that he won't do this without good reason. he hardened pharaoh as punishment. he opened lydias heart because she was faithful to him in the old ways. nothing he does will go against free will.



Or: God can affect our hearts and desires so that we would NOT choose Him. Or: God can affect our hearts and desires so that we would do that which is pleasing in His sight, which we would NOT have done otherwise.

he can do anything that doesn't go against free will or contradict his character.



Sin is "done by God's power"? I do agree ALL things are from and through God, but sin and evil and from and through God in such a way that God is NEVER, NEVER, NEVER to blame for sin or for evil, but it is always the sinner who is blamed.

i never said God was to blame for sin. i said that sin was done by his power, not by him. we are the ones who use his power for sinful ways. or dou disagree that all things are done by God's power?



You seem to be agreeing with some form of compatiblism...

However, throughout the rest of the post, you seem to contradict what you have said concerning all the verses above...

how so?



See what I mean? You seem to adhere to a form of compatiblism in your exegesis of those verses, but then you turn around and seem to contradict what you said above...

how am i holding to compatiblism?

blessings,

GIT

God_Is_Truth
October 4th, 2004, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Swordsman? (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=601942#post601942)

i wonder why he isn't answering :think:

Hilston
October 4th, 2004, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

This sounds like eisegesis or deductive reasoning to support a preconceived theology.Right backatcha.


Originally posted by godrulz
Why the aversion to God's love for all men in an impartial way? This is consistent with His justice and holiness and love.The aversion is based on the biblical definition of divine love: Self-sacrificial devotion. God does not express this to all men without exception, otherwise, all men would be saved. His sacrifice applies only to those whom He loves and chose for His own good pleasure.


Originally posted by godrulz Jn. 3:16 "For God so loved the elect..."

Come on... That's exactly right. The kosmos refers to the order of God's elect.

16 For God so loved the kosmos [the order of the elect], [hina -- to the intent] that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him [i.e. each believing-on-Him one] should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the kosmos [the order of the elect] to condemn the kosmos [the order of the elect]; but [hina -- to the intent] that the kosmos [the order of the elect] through him might be saved.

When the scriptures speak of God's intentions, we can be assured of their certainty of coming to full and precise fruition. This further strengthens the subjunctive verb because God always gets what He intends. He sent His Son to the intent of saving each one that believes on Him, not to condemn the elect, but to the intent that the elect through Him will certainly be saved.

Turbo
October 5th, 2004, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Swordsman? (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=601942#post601942)

Swordsman
October 5th, 2004, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Swordsman.... please I beg of you could please respond and defend your original assertion?

I thought I did answer your question. What is it you seek?


So I ask you to please explain what "repent" means if it is indeed a "anthropomorphism".

Let me give you an example to work from...
Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

If "repented" in Gen 6:6 is a anthropomorphism and if a anthropomorphism is given to create clarity and not confusion what does the anthropomorphism mean in Gen 6:6?

The anthropomorphism is given here to assert that God had an emotion similar to man in that He "wished He had not made man". It does not mean literally that He was sorry that He ever made man. That would contradict His entire decree of creation.

I think your assumption is: is that God changed his mind.

If God is truly omniscient, then He knows the end from the beginning. Therefore, if you will, God's mind cannot change; hence "repent" in this passage has to signify a change of conduct. In other words, God did change his course of dealing with man because of man's wickedness which grieved him, but he did not need to change his mind or plans, because these plans had from the very first recognized the corrupting and degrading tendency of sin, and provided (in purpose of mind) the Lamb of God-- "slain from the foundation of the world," as the redemption price.

We were made in the image of God. However, he is NOT an image of us.

Christ sitting at the right hand of God is another anthropomorphism. God's right hand is not like our right hand. And His mind is not like our minds. He has seen the end from the beginning. Our finite minds cannot comprehend this.

godrulz
October 5th, 2004, 02:03 PM
kosmos= 'order of the elect'? Since when? What Calvinistic theological Greek dictionary is that from? This would not fit all the uses of the word in the NT. I doubt that word has any connotation about the elect.

Psalms and Proverbs are not didactic passages. They are wisdom literature. I would not be making a big theological doctrine based on a couplet in Proverbs expressed by a human. Inspiration means accurately recorded what was said. It should not be confused with divine revelation. Regardless, there are alternate literal interpretions that do not contradict the explicit didactic portions.

Knight
October 5th, 2004, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman
The anthropomorphism is given here to assert that God had an emotion similar to man in that He "wished He had not made man". It does not mean literally that He was sorry that He ever made man. What is the difference?

You continue...
That would contradict His entire decree of creation.What in the world is a "decree of creation"???

Where can we read about God's "decree of creation"?

You continue...
I think your assumption is: is that God changed his mind.It's not an assumption! It's the very meaning of the Hebrew word "Nacham". Nacham means to relent or repent or to feel sorry.

All of these words describe a change in how God viewed creation.

In summary....
God said after creation that creation was "good". Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

But later, man became exceeding wicked and God no longer viewed ALL of creation "good".

Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

God changed His mind regarding the "goodness" of creation, your earlier response doesn't seem to disagree.

You continue...
If God is truly omniscient, then He knows the end from the beginning.God DECLARES the end from the beginning. And nobody can argue against that. God declared when things were to begin and He is certainly going to decide when things will "end".

You continue...
Therefore, if you will, God's mind cannot change; hence "repent" in this passage has to signify a change of conduct. A change in conduct has the exact same ramifications to your own theology as would a change of mind! Its still a change!

But moreover....
How can God change conduct without a change of mind??? That is utterly illogical.

You continue....
He has seen the end from the beginning. Our finite minds cannot comprehend this. Prove that statement.

Please demonstrate and back up your baseless assertion.

The bottom line is... you have no reasonable rebuttal to my question(s). You make the claim that "repent" is an anthropomorphism yet you explain the apparent anthropomorphism as if it wasn't an anthropomorphism when you claim God had a "a change of conduct".

If God had a "change of conduct" in Gen 6:6 then you certainly have no basis to argue that "repent" in Gen 6:6 is a anthropomorphism.

natewood3
October 6th, 2004, 12:50 AM
GIT,

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.

all of us know God exists and that we should give him glory. all of us know we need forgiveness for our sins but most of us refuse to aknoweldge God or ask him for forgiveness.

this combined with the drawing of the Father and the conviction of sins from the holy spirit is more than enough to bring a man to repentence.
All of us do know God exists and that we should give Him glory. However, the text you gave shows that ALL people reject God, exchange Him and His glory for other things. The essence of sin is trading and exchanging that which is infinitely valuable (Christ) for the deceitful and fleeting pleasures of this world. I would have to say all of us would continue to refuse God if it was not for the Spirit.

However, what do you mean by “combined�? I would say we would NOT have this sorrow for sin and even acknowledge our sin if it wasn’t for the work of the Spirit. When this is brought to our attention by the Father’s drawing and the Spirit’s conviction, then we become aware of our sinful state, which is why the glory of Christ in the Gospel looks absolutely irresistible: it is that which we have been searching for our entire lives, so why would we ever reject it now that we have found it? That would be foolishness and absurd…


the hostile mind must first be softened before it can repent. that's the whole point of the drawing of the fater and the convicting of the holy spirit! that's their job! to make it easier for us to see that we are guilty and need forgivness. but even after that, the choice to accept the sacrifice of Christ is still their own to make.

godly grief is what one experiences when they see Christ and his sacrifice with joy and beauty. but does it always produce repentence? not necessarily.
So you admit that there must be a gracious work of the Spirit BEFORE we can ever come to repentance…This does NOT just make it easier; it ENABLES us to see our sinfulness and the beauty of Christ. It IS still the sinner’s choice to repent and believe, but as I said above, it would be foolishness and absurd to think that we would reject the gift we have been searching for our whole lives, especially when we see our sinful state and that the Gospel can save us and enable us to know and love Christ, the One for whom we were made.

I agree totally that “godly grief is what one experiences when they see Christ and his sacrifice with joy and beauty,� but I see nowhere in the text that says it does not necessarily lead to repentance. It says that it DOES, not it might not. I think it would be a presupposed inference to draw that from that text.


i see it instead as Paul's reminder to them of what all God has done for them, as a means of encouragement. he was not writing this for doctrines sake, he was writing to benefit them, by means of encouragement i believe. what purpose do you hold that Paul would write those things specifically?
I agree with you; it wasn’t for doctrine’s sake. He is not necessarily giving a treatise on salvation. He does start from eternity past until the present to show them what Christ had done for them. I see no reason to insist that we put in “He did this after we accepted the Gospel� or “This is what happened because they believed� or anything like that because the text doesn’t do that.


if you hang around someone often enough, do something long enough, even if you don't consiously desire it, you will eventually want it and desire it. thus, Peter was writing so that they would be spiritually disciplined and grow to desire it all the more.
That has absolutely nothing to do with this text:

1Pe 2:2 desire the sincere milk of the Word, as newborn babes, so that you may grow by it.

This text COMMANDS us to desire the sincere milk of the Word. As far as I know, I cannot make myself desire ANYTHING. I cannot make my self desire foods I do not like, let alone God and His Word. That alone is a work of God.


metaphor.
That is irrelevant. The point is that WE are commanded to do it, yet we are told in other places that GOD will be the One who circumcises our hearts.


if your thankfulness is dependent on God then yes! you must decide to not rely on the pleasures of the world on which to be thankful, but to look to Christ, the cross and the wonderful grace that was given there and on that to be thankful each and every day, in all things. once we decide to do that, we can make ourselves be thankful in all things towards God. we have to consiously decide to look to Christ for it though, not the world. then we can be thankful in all things.
Is looking to Christ and reliance on Christ of grace? Is it not of grace that we have the desire to look and rely on Christ?


it is more than an emotion i think. i'd say it's an emotion and a mind set. once you recognize the goodness of God and make your gratitude dependent on that, the emotion will naturally follow when you think of God.
Who in their sinfulness, even after salvation, would ever recognize the goodness of God? I forget and ignore the goodness of God in my Christian life a lot. You know why? Because I am sinful and blind and arrogant! If God doesn’t remind me, then I doubt I will see it.

I cannot just be sitting there and be unthankful, and suddenly make myself be thankful if I am really not. If God doesn’t open my eyes and let me see His goodness, and I not see it, and as a result, will not be thankful. Thankfulness and gratitude is an emotion that when you have it, you have it, and when you don’t, you just don’t. Whether or not it is MORE than an emotion, I could probably agree, but the principle exists.

If you were paralyzed from the neck down tomorrow, and could not do anything except sit in a wheel chair, could you MAKE yourself thank God for that?

I said:

God has the right to command of us what we OUGHT to give even if by virtue of our profound rebellion and corruption we cannot give it. The problem is with US, not the command or with God. We should give thanks whether we are able to or not, and we are responsible for doing so. Ingratitude is still sin because the very nature of ingratitude is arrogant and hateful; it matters not whether we can produce it on our own. Either way, we are still responsible.

You said:


i think i agree with this.
You agree that God can command of us what we ought to give even if by virtue of our profound rebellion and corruption we are unable to give it?

here is the NASB version:

5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

note how the last part is statd: those "controlled" by it. if someone is controlled by something it means that they are submitting themselves completely to it. they allow it to do as it pleases and they satisfy it. so it makes complete sense that those who are controlled by the sinful nature can't please God.

but it doesn't logically follow that they can't stop gratifying it. they are not helpless slaves here as you might think. it just means that they are constantly giving in to the sinful nature and pleasing it. it's controlling them and they let it do so. they still retain the power to take back control though, with God's help of course.
Your statement that “someone is controlled by something it means that they are submitting themselves completely to it� is totally false. They may submit to it, but it does not follow that this submission is voluntary and willful (Holocaust maybe?). Your entire response in this part above was based on that assumption, which I see totally false and inconsistent with reality.
You seem to ignore that we ARE slaves to sin before we are saved…


which is why we need a new one.
The heart is just as sinful as the mind…that was the point.


the will is not bonded to doing those things. it simply does so because it wills to. but the will is not "set in stone". what it wills is able to change if it desires to, especially if the father begins to draw it and the holy spirit begins to convict it.

i agree that every part of us was tainted by sin at the fall. but that doesn't mean we can't still cry out for a savior once we realize we are sinners and in need of forgiveness! being "dead" is a metaphor for our state of being apart from Christ who is the life. it doesn't mean total inability.
Your idea of the “will� is, at least to me like this: Ihave my soul and heart and mind, then over here, I have a completely different part of me which is not in association with any of the other parts of who I am. The will is not a separate part of a person, acting in complete disassociation with the other parts of who the person is. All parts work together. The will is not a separate entity with a human, working apart from the mind and heart.


you have forgot the soul of the person! the very part of every person that is made in the image of God! a person does think and does feel before acting, but the act of the person is not necessarily related to what they felt or thought! haven't you ever done something spontaneously for no reason without thinking about it or feeling it before hand? i have!
I see the intellect, emotion, and will as part of the soul, not separate from it. The soul was created in the image of God, which is the exact reason why we have intellect, emotions, and will. Once, again, the will does not act apart from these other parts of the soul…


well first off 1 Corinthians 2:14 is invalid because the context is spiritual wisdom, not the gospel.
Is the Gospel not the “wisdom of God�???


but secondly, i read those verses and i think back to Romans 1. the people who reject the cross do so because they love their wickedness and have no remorse in their hearts. they know they need salvation and forgiveness but ignore the great gift of God calling it foolishness. i also think that when they call it foolishness it's because they are not being drawn by the father or convicted by the holy spirit and i agree with you that witout these things we will not seek God.
You make out to sound like there are a bunch of terrible, sinful and corrupt people in the world, and then there are those who are ok people, and they don’t really do much bad, and they are smart enough to choose to NOT sin and choose Christ. THERE ARE NO SUCH PEOPLE! EVERYONE rejects the cross and the Gospel. It is utter foolishness and folly and a stumbling block to them. We are idiots to them! That is not just some people, that is ALL people: moral, immoral or amoral.

Yes, when the Holy Spirit convicts and the Father draws, this all changes. Hence, we see our sinfulness, the beauty and all-sufficiency of Christ, which produces godly sorrow, repentance, and faith.


what else could "NOW that you have come to be known by God" mean? are you suggesting that somehow "now being known by God" means "having always been known by God"?
No. I am simply saying that there are two aspects: a sense in which God has ALWAYS known us (foreknew), and a sense in which God comes to know us (in time and in reality).


but that's not what the verse says. it says now that you have come to be known by God. how can you come to be known if you were known all along?
The verse does equate “coming to know Him� with “being known by God.� Hence, the word “rather.� It further explains what Paul meant. We came to know God, which is to say that in a sense, God came to know us, and came to make us His people.


doesn't follow. it just means that we who weren't previously people of God are now called people of God. God had people all along, but we were not a part of them until now.
We were not a part of the people, but God always had a people and Christ came to die for that SPECIAL people, not a general unknown people.


starwman. letting them be made to God is the same as saying "present your requests before God". it says nothing of whether he knows them before or not. i can make my case known to you in court even though you are aware of it before. it just refers to a formal presenting of your requests before God. it speaks nothing of his knowledge about them. thus your statement is a strawman.
This is not in any way a strawman. Look at the verse:

Phi 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

You say this does not say anything about whether or not God knows them, but I am drawing the same kind of inference you are: Let them “be made known� to God. If we are to make them known to God, then He must not know the present needs of His people. What else could “let them be made known� mean? If we must make them known, they cannot already be known!


perhaps, that's not why i hold to it. i started with my experiences about God, the basics of who he is and what i saw him doing in my life and other peoples lives and found a theology in the bible that matched up. the more i looked at that theology the more i saw it as biblically faithful, consistent internally, and the view that matched up most closely with real life. to me, if you start with scripture and then make reality match up with that, you have it backwards. i look at reality and interpret scripture accordingly which makes sense, unless you hold that the writers of scripture were outside of reality.
I did not say that is why you hold to it. It is one of the supposed benefits, which I do not think it is consistent in doing.

GIT, I thought you were smarter than that?! You judge the Bible by your experiences?! I agree that is what OVers do, but I have never seen them say it! If I start with Scripture, I have it backward??? There is something more authoritative and more sufficient than Scripture??? You seem to be getting out of the realm of orthodoxy and evangelicalism. You have the audacity to judge the Word of God by your puny and limited experience?
The OV does logically have to hold to a low view of Scripture, but it is the logical implication, not what they actually state. At least you are consistent, and at least you admit where your entire problem lies.


he didn't literally bear them, remember? the important thing is the death he paid. we all deserve death as punishment for sin (Romans 3:23) but because Jesus didn't sin at all, the death he paid took on the wrath of God for sin on behalf of us. his death becomes substitutionary for us. he stood where we should have. his death was the price we had earned and because he was without sin, it is able to be applied to us.

there is no need to think that God literally placed "sins" on Christ as if they were things. sins are wrong doings, offenses against God. the punishment is death. Jesus paid the price for that though he was innocent and as such can save us through that.
I am not talking about the sins themselves. There could be no wrath concerning these sins for Christ to bear since the sins were not yet committed. Jesus could not have took upon Himself the death I deserve because I was not yet existent and did not deserve such a death yet. There was not price for Christ to pay concerning me, for I did not exist.


um, comforting has nothing to do with logic. if something is logically incoherent or illogical then it should be discarded immediately because it's untrue. EFK and free will are illogical together. they cannot co-exist. thus, since it's clear we have free will (you have to use it to deny it, illogical), i must discard EFK.

both of those verses there i interpret as general election in regards to the body of Christ. there is no need to assume the interpretation of individual election from eternity past.
1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

These “elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia� are SPECIFIC people, not just a general group. Peter was writing to specific people, not just whoever happen to read. How can Christ “foreknow,� which seems to have come before predestination in Romans 8, the “body of Christ� which did not even exist?


but that's not the way it works! his death is a general death that is applicable for every human being in all of existence, past, present and future! it's not that you hadn't sinned yet, it's that before you sinned, the way of salvation had already been made. the door through wich all humans can enter salvation by had already been made.
You want to know why Christ died?

Tit 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Who is this “us�? Is this just a general people? It is a special people, a peculiar people, a people for His own possession.

Joh 17:2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.

Christ died to give life to ALL THOSE GIVEN to Him by the Father?

General people? I don’t think so.


are you suggesting God can do the illogical, contradictory and absurd?
No, I am suggesting what I said: God is not like you and me. We are like Him.


for everyone! for humanity as a whole! he has become the door through which any sinner can enter into life by! he provided the means by which anyone who sinned could be saved! you keep thinking that Christ had to bear our individual sin in order to atone for it, this is not so! Christ took our death, our wrath on behalf of mankind as a whole. he became the window of salvation because he was sinless, yet he took our punishment for sin.

your view here is a strawman because of a misunderstanding about the cross.
Our sins didn’t have to be bore? Show me where that is not so…
Our death and wrath was a result of our sin! There would be no death and wrath to bear since we did not yet exist to sin. God would not have any wrath toward “us� because “us� did not exist. When Christ died, He would have had to bear on the wrath of those who lived before and those up until the time of His death. We had no “punishment� for Him to take upon Himself.


who said you were predestined to believe? cannot God do general predestination to a group of people before the people exist? of course he can, there is nothing wrong or illogical about that view.
General predestination? A group of “people� before they exist�? To predestine a “group of people� would presuppose you knew there would be a group of people that would exist. It would also presuppose a specific people, for it would have to be a “group� of people out of humanity. Why would God only predestine a “group� of people if He loved everyone?


you can't control free will, by definition. if ones' will is free, then you aren't controlling it. you are giving up control to allow them to do what they decide to do. that's what free means, uncontrolled.

if God were to ever go against our free will, or take it away, then he would not be loving for love always offers a choice. you can't force someone to love you, they must choose to love you. love is always about choice and when you take away someone's ability to make choices you show that you do not love them.

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

God is love as this scripture shows. thus, God has given us choice. he wants a people for himself who truly love him back and freely do so. anything less would not be love. for this to always be true love, God must not take away this free will at any time because he would be taking away their ability to love.

some passages that show free will:

Deuteronomy 30:19
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

Joshua 24:15
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD ."

John 7:17
If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

and there are many other verses on this topic as well. in fact, anywhere you see the word "choose" in a text, this assumes free will for one can only "choose" something when one has free will.
Can you show me a couple text where it speaks of God working with us to bring about good or nothing God does contradicts our free will or a couple texts that define our will?

Those my questions, and you ran with a philosophical assumption of what free will is. I do not deny, nor do any Calvinists, that we make choices and have a will. Those verses show me nothing new. God doesn’t force us to love Him.

If God were to go against our wills, then how do you explain your comments concerning the Proverbs passages that God can work to NOT let us do something He doesn’t want to happen?


the desire and the strength to do them are produced by God.

unbelieves though are still capable of doing good things. they are not capable of living a Godly life for Christ and loving as he loved.
The desire and strength are from God? That is all Calvinists teach when they speak of irresistible grace…


it's important to remember who the command is given to. if it's given to everyone then we all have the ability. if it's just to the body of Christ then i think it's something we can do, but we need God's help to make us do.
Well, lets take the command to do “that which is pleasing in His sight.� Are ALL people not under obligation to do that? If so, then all must have the ability to do it, according to your logic. However, you said earlier that unbelievers

“are not capable of living a Godly life for Christ and loving as he loved.�

So can they all do that which is pleasing in His sight or can they not? If they cannot, then God can still command all to do something that they are totally unable to do in and of themselves. Besides, you have admitted that we are unable to repent unless God works in us first…Thus, you are being inconsistent in saying the above, namely, “if it's given to everyone then we all have the ability.�

Hilston
October 6th, 2004, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

kosmos= 'order of the elect'? Since when? What Calvinistic theological Greek dictionary is that from?I don't get my theology from Calvinists or their writings, godrulz, especially since I'm not a Calvinist.


Originally posted by godrulz
This would not fit all the uses of the word in the NT.kosmos always refers to an order or orderly arrangement in all cases. What is intended by that word changes according to context. Usage and logic indicate that God's intentions to save the kosmos cannot refer to the entirety of humanity, otherwise all without exception would be saved. It can only refer to the elect of the Kingdom of Israel and the Righteous of the nations. It does not even refer directly to the Body of Christ, although a case can be made for an applied principle.


Originally posted by godrulz
I doubt that word has any connotation about the elect.Of course you do. Your theology requires it.


Originally posted by godrulz Psalms and Proverbs are not didactic passages. They are wisdom literature. I would not be making a big theological doctrine based on a couplet in Proverbs expressed by a human. Inspiration means accurately recorded what was said. It should not be confused with divine revelation. Regardless, there are alternate literal interpretions that do not contradict the explicit didactic portions. I'm not interested in debating the doctrine of scripture, but can you can tell me what is the relevance of your statements here? How am I making a "big theological doctrine" based on a "couplet in Proverbs expressed by a human"?

godrulz
October 6th, 2004, 07:47 AM
The Proverbs thought was about someone else's use of an isolated proof text to make a point.

Do a Greek word study on 'cosmos'. I believe you are reading your preconceived theology into the word (assumptions). This is not exegesis nor inductive.

The only reason it would lead to universalism is if you believe in the commericial transaction (literal payment) theory of the atonement. It is not inherent by defining 'world' properly (not elect!).

natewood3
October 6th, 2004, 10:51 AM
GIT,

Yes, they are getting long. :)


straighforward is best, but sometimes that leaves us with a contradictory theology which will not do. whenever we can, use the straightfoward reading of it. when that leads to problems, find an interpretation that goes along with everything else as best you can. the goal is consistency, truth and biblical faithfulness.
I agree, but OVers seem to use this whenever it fits their theology best, not whenever we can. Who judges when it leads to “problems� or “contradictions�? Obviously, this “straightforward� reading can lead to inconsistencies in other views.


if God doesn't want me to drive to the store then he will not allow my car to start. or he may decide to have a storm come in which prevents me from going to the store. neither of these things affects my free will in any way whatsoever.
If God does not want you to drive to the store necessitates that God knows you are going to drive to the store. What if God does not want you to think an evil thought? Can He stop that as well?


anything God ordains is something he brings to pass himself. the second coming of Christ is ordained by God. my writing this post is just something he has allowed, not ordained. do you have a different understanding of ordained?
I think God can ordained that something be while not directly doing the actions or necessarily causing them to happen. However, I do think God can ordain and cause something to happen through secondary causes and not be responsible for the actions, as if He was the One doing the actions, such as the death of Christ.


God is not ignorant of the present. he sees your thoughts, knows your motives and can see what you are planning to do. if God sees that you are planning to go get drunk and he doesn't want you to, he'll stop you from doing so if he chooses.
I agree God is not ignorant of the present. Once again, can God stop you from thinking an evil thought, if He so chooses?


how do you define establish?
I think Prov. 16:9 defines it as “set up, prepare, or render sure.� So how does God does this and not violate our “free will�?


i believe our heart contains our desires, yes. but remember that he won't do this without good reason. he hardened pharaoh as punishment. he opened lydias heart because she was faithful to him in the old ways. nothing he does will go against free will.
He hardened Pharaoh ultimately to make His power known. How is this consistent with our “free will�? Can God create and give desires to our hearts?


he can do anything that doesn't go against free will or contradict his character.
You didn’t really answer. “Or: God can affect our hearts and desires so that we would NOT choose Him? Or: God can affect our hearts and desires so that we would do that which is pleasing in His sight, which we would NOT have done otherwise?�


i never said God was to blame for sin. i said that sin was done by his power, not by him. we are the ones who use his power for sinful ways. or dou disagree that all things are done by God's power?
I say sin is in a sense done by His power, but not by Him. We are the ones responsible, yes. I agree with you. ALL things are from Him and through Him and to Him, so that He would get the glory forever and ever.


how so?

how am i holding to compatiblism?
Let me see you responses to both of my last posts, and I will see if you stay consistent with what you have been saying throughout these posts…

Hilston
October 6th, 2004, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by godrulz
Do a Greek word study on 'cosmos'. I believe you are reading your preconceived theology into the word (assumptions). This is not exegesis nor inductive.I've inductively exegeted "Kosmos" in the following. Please let me know if I missed any:

Mt 4:8 5:14 13:35,38 16:26 18:7 24:21 25:34 26:13 Mr 8:36 14:9 16:15 Lu 9:25 11:50 12:30 Joh 1:9,10,29 3:16,17,19 4:42 6:14,33,51 7:4 Joh 7:7 8:12,23,26 9:5,39 10:36 11:9,27 12:19,25,31,46,47 13:1 14:17 14:19,22,27,30,31 15:18,19 16:8,11,20,21,28,33 17:5,6,9,11-16 17:18,21,23-25 18:20,36,37 21:25 Ac 17:24 Ro 1:8,20 3:6,19 4:13 5:12,13 11:12,15 1Co 1:20,21,27,28 2:12 3:19,22 4:9,13 5:10 6:2 7:31,33,34 8:4 11:32 14:10 2Co 1:12 5:19 7:10 Ga 4:3 6:14 Eph 1:4 Eph 2:2,12 Php 2:15 Col 1:6 2:8,20 1Ti 1:15 3:16 6:7 Heb 4:3 9:26 10:5 11:7,38 Jas 1:27 2:5 3:6 4:4 1Pe 1:20 3:3 5:9 2Pe 1:4 2:5 2:20 3:6 1Jo 2:2,15-17 3:1,13,17 4:1,3-5 4:9,14,17 5:4,5,19 2Jo 1:7 Re 11:15 13:8 17:8

Perhaps you can give us your correct lexical definition of the word.


Originally posted by godrulz
The only reason it would lead to universalism is if you believe in the commericial transaction (literal payment) theory of the atonement. It is not inherent by defining 'world' properly (not elect!). Good point. Understanding that Christ's death literally paid for my sins and the sins of every heaven-bound person is essential to a correct understanding of "kosmos." If Christ paid for the sins of anyone in hell, then His sacrifice had no value.

Since Christ's death actually and literally paid for my sins, I have assurance on that basis that I will be saved.

Since you don't believe Christ's death has any actual literal value, your assurance rests on something other than Christ's sacrifice.

godrulz
October 6th, 2004, 10:17 PM
A literal payment (vs metaphor) logically leads to universalism, unless you construct the limited atonement loop hole.

'kosmos' has several concepts depending on the context. It does not have to mean elect (eisegesis), and certainly not exclusively (most do not list this as a meaning). It can mean simply earth vs heavens, etc. It can contrast Gentiles vs Jews, etc.

A.T. Robertson (foremost Greek scholar...see Greek grammar) (I would not be surprised if he is a Calvinist)

"Word pictures in the NT"

'the world' = "The whole cosmos of men, including Gentiles, the whole human race." This universal aspect of God's love appears also in 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 5:8.

Have you looked at Kittel's extensive notes (I did not see elect view...if anything, the world does not love Him)?

Vine's? (simpler)

Thayer's?

Arndt and Gingrich (Bauer)?

I skimmed all of these.

B.F. Westcott (translator) Gospel according to John (? Anglican? Calvinist?)

Jn. 3:16 interprets love as universal for all men= world; all are not saved because do not exercise condition of faith.

Hilston
October 6th, 2004, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by godrulz
A literal payment (vs metaphor) logically leads to universalism, unless you construct the limited atonement loop hole.You don't seem to understand. If Christ's death is high in value, but not everyone gets saved, then it's scope must be limited. It's not a loophole, but a logical necessity if one believes in an efficacious atonement that actually atones for the lost. For those who believe that Christ's death was not sufficient to save anyone, it doesn't matter what "kosmos" means.


Originally posted by godrulz
'kosmos' has several concepts depending on the context. It does not have to mean elect (eisegesis), and certainly not exclusively (most do not list this as a meaning).Did you read what I wrote, godrulz? I do not claim "kosmos" should ever be translated "the elect." It always means order or orderly arrangement. But it can refer to the elect. The understanding of the elect is not eisegesis, as you keep harping, no more than the concept of the Trinity is eisegesis. These are logical inferences drawn from the data provided.


Originally posted by godrulz
It can mean simply earth vs heavens, etc. It can contrast Gentiles vs Jews, etc.

A.T. Robertson (foremost Greek scholar...see Greek grammar) (I would not be surprised if he is a Calvinist)

"Word pictures in the NT"

'the world' = "The whole cosmos of men, including Gentiles, the whole human race." This universal aspect of God's love appears also in 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 5:8.So is that the definition you're going by? Let's see if it fits:

Mt 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world .
Mt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world [i.e. The whole cosmos of men, including Gentiles, the whole human race], and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Joh 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world [i.e. The whole cosmos of men, including Gentiles, the whole human race] is gone after him.
1Co 7:33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world [i.e. The whole cosmos of men, including Gentiles, the whole human race], how he may please his wife.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world [i.e. The whole cosmos of men, including Gentiles, the whole human race], and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world [i.e. The whole cosmos of men, including Gentiles, the whole human race] of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
1Pe 3:3 Whose adorning [=KOSMOS, i.e. The whole cosmos of men, including Gentiles, the whole human race] let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;


[i]Originally posted by godrulz
Kittel's ... Vine's? ... Thayer's? ... Arndt and Gingrich (Bauer)? ... B.F. WestcottI was asking for your definition.


Originally posted by godrulz
Jn. 3:16 interprets love as universal for all men= world; all are not saved because do not exercise condition of faith. How do you define "love"?

godrulz
October 7th, 2004, 12:16 AM
Love is seeking the highest good of another. God's highest good is paramount in the universe since He is the most worthy and valuable being. Love is unselfish. Love has many facets (I Cor. 13). God is love (I Jn. 4:8).


You said world ALWAYS means order or orderly arrangement. This is ONE meaning among many other possible meanings. "Elect" is not implicit in this meaning. I think it was Kittel or one one the other standard works that explicitly stated the NT usage is not usually of this meaning (it traced all the Greek uses of the word through secular and biblical history).

F.F. Bruce (beloved Calvinist and excellent scholar):

"The Gospel of John"

3:16 "...his intention is rather to set forth in terms of UNIVERSAL applicability the lesson that Nicodemus taught.
If there is one sentence more than another which sums up the message of the 4th Gospel, it is this. The LOVE of God is LIMITLESS. It embraces ALL mankind. No sacrifice was too great to bring its unmeasured intensity home to men and women: the best that God had to give, he gave- his only Son, his well-beloved.

NOR was it for one nation or GROUP that he was given: he was given so that ALL, without distinction or exception, who repose their faith on Him might be rescued from destruction and blessed with the life that is life indeed. The Gospel of salvation and life has its source in the love of God (vs sovereignty defined as electing some and non-electing others- GR). The essence of the saving message is made unmistakably plain, in language in which people of ALL races, cultures and times can grasp, and so effectively is it set forth in these words that many more, probably, have found the way of life through them than through any other biblical text...To perish is the alternative to having eternal life."

Bruce goes on to put the onus on believing/unbelief; life/death; etc. on the individual, not the mysterious, hidden 'will' of God (Jn. 3).

The love of God and the Gospel message are universal in scope. Every person who has ever lived who hears the Gospel has the potential to be saved. If they reject the message and persist in sinful rebellion, they will be lost. If they believe in repentant faith, they will have eternal life. Elect vs non-elect are logical concepts to shore up a theological system. They are not inherent to the biblical text (corporate vs individual election as developed in "God's strategy in human history" and many other books). Your view of the 'atonement' is also leading to circular reasoning. Hyper-sovereignty also leads to incomplete conclusions out of balance with the whole counsel of God in all the relevant verses.