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SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 06:53 PM
Before I begin what I want to say, I must admit that I am new to learning about Calvinism. I just recently started reading and studying about this so please excuse my ignorance....I'm learning.

I became interested in Calvinism a few weeks ago when it was mentioned by an Adult Bible Fellowship Group leader at my church. We are currently going through a Forgiveness workshop in this class. The subject of Total Depravity came up in this discussion and the leader of this study mentioned that as North American Baptists we subscribe to Calvinism. He didn't mention that we subscribe to the whole TULIP theology so I am not sure yet if we do or not. My wife and I are set to take our church's Member 101 class in a few weeks so I hope to learn more there and hope to get some questions answered. Also, I recently got a hold of the North American Baptist Mission Statement and the doctrine that they subscribe to. What was interesting about this is that there was a lot of emphasis placed on Grace which is what I personally subscribe to when it comes to salvation. As I say, I have more studying to do about Calvinism but it seems to me that Grace can work within the theology of Calvinism.

I am not sure yet if I agree with everything in the TULIP scheme but I do find myself agreeing with a lot of it especially Total Depravity. I am just wondering what the big deal is with those of you who seem to hate this theology so much. Is it the Grace aspect that I mentioned? Is it Pre-Destination? If it's Pre-Destination, I think I can understand because that is a hard subject for me also although I am beginning to comprehend so to speak.

I apologize if a lot of this has already been covered. I am just wanting to learn about this and interested why it seems to be despised so much here at TOL.

Thanks.

SOTK

Sozo
November 9th, 2004, 07:13 PM
Man is not so depraved that God places him in a position where he does not see his need for a savior. Although Calvinists think that we are braindead (which seems to be the norm for them), God has made it evident to ALL men that He is righteous, that we are not, and that we need His righteousness.

Turbo
November 9th, 2004, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

I am not sure yet if I agree with everything in the TULIP scheme but I do find myself agreeing with a lot of it especially Total Depravity.A while back I posted this argument against total depravity (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=495161#post495161). I'd be interested to hear what you think of it.


I am just wondering what the big deal is with those of you who seem to hate this theology so much.
God is holy, but Calvinists teach that everything wicked thing that happens is God's will.

God is just, but Calvinists teach that God creates some people just so He can punish them for things He forces* them to do.

God is living, but Calvinists teach that God is utterly immutable, incapable of changing in any way, which effectively makes God a stone idol.

*Some of them don't like to use the word "forces," but I don't see how that word is innacurate according to their view.

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 07:38 PM
SOTK, do you think there is hope for all men, or is Christ's work on the cross only available to some people?

Sozo
November 9th, 2004, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by Knight

I am going to break this out into its own thread. I hope you don't mind. :D

What? Again? :doh:

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

What? Again? :doh: What? I think this deserves its own thread don't you?

BillyBob
November 9th, 2004, 07:43 PM
Isn't it already in it's own thread? :confused:

Sozo
November 9th, 2004, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by Knight

What? I think this deserves its own thread don't you? But you already did that, right? It's like deja vu all over again! :dizzy:

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

But you already did that, right? It's like deja vu all over again! :dizzy: I did? When?

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by Knight

SOTK, do you think there is hope for all men, or is Christ's work on the cross only available to some people?

I think there is hope for all men, however, there are men who won't accept Christ's salvation no matter how well Christians witness nor how much the Truth is slapping them in the face. Is this God's will? I don't think so.

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

I think there is hope for all men, however, there are men who won't accept Christ's salvation no matter how well Christians witness nor how much the Truth is slapping them in the face. Is this God's will? I don't think so. I agree but.... Calvinist doctrine teaches otherwise.

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

Man is not so depraved that God places him in a position where he does not see his need for a savior.

I agree with this.


Originally posted by Sozo
Although Calvinists think that we are braindead (which seems to be the norm for them), God has made it evident to ALL men that He is righteous, that we are not, and that we need His righteousness.

I am not sure if Calvinists think we are "braindead". At least, this is not how it was explained to me by the Leader of the study in which I attended. Rather, that we inherited the Original Sin from Adam. Sin that completely and utterly seperates us from God and could be described as being spiritually dead. Spiritually dead in that this Sin is so terrible that we completely require the Salvation of Christ to be alive. I agree with this. I look back on how I was before I became a Christian and recognize what scum I was.

I agree with you that only Christ is righteous and that we need His righteousness desperately.

SOTK

BillyBob
November 9th, 2004, 08:09 PM
Are you saying that we are 'completely separated' from God?

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by Turbo

A while back I posted this argument against total depravity (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=495161#post495161). I'd be interested to hear what you think of it.


God is holy, but Calvinists teach that everything wicked thing that happens is God's will.

God is just, but Calvinists teach that God creates some people just so He can punish them for things He forces* them to do.

God is living, but Calvinists teach that God is utterly immutable, incapable of changing in any way, which effectively makes God a stone idol.

*Some of them don't like to use the word "forces," but I don't see how that word is innacurate according to their view.

Turbo,

Give me some time and I'll check out what you wrote and get back to you. So far, I do not agree with the notion that every wicked thing that happens is God's will. I also don't accept that God is immutable. I also don't think that God would purposely create someone to punish them.

I want it noted that I do believe in free will. I've heard some teachings where free will and pre-destination co-exist. I am still checking into this.

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions. This is helpful to me. :)

SOTK

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by SOTK
Rather, that we inherited the Original Sin from Adam. Sin that completely and utterly seperates us from God and could be described as being spiritually dead. Spiritually dead in that this Sin is so terrible that we completely require the Salvation of Christ to be alive. I agree with this. I agree with this as well.

Calvinists take this a step further however in that man cannot even make the choice that He needs and wants God and God Himself picks and choses certain men to receive grace and therefore chooses that all the rest have no hope.

Sozo
November 9th, 2004, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

Spiritually dead in that this Sin is so terrible that we completely require the Salvation of Christ to be alive.

Calvinism teaches that we are not just spiritually dead (separated from the life of God), but that we have no ability to conclude that we are dead unless God first makes us alive. But Romans 1 says that All men are without excuse, because He has revealed Himself to ALL men.

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 08:13 PM
Originally posted by BillyBob

Are you saying that we are 'completely separated' from God?

I am saying that I was completely separated from God before I became a Christian, yes. Am I now? No, not at all!! I am alive in Christ!

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by SOTK
I've heard some teachings where free will and pre-destination co-exist. I am still checking into this.
The Open View does not reject predestination as it is overwhelmingly obvious that God predetermined certain things.

Yet the OV rejects that ALL THINGS (and every detail in-between) is directly decreed by God.

Let me illustrate the difference....

The Open View would state that God predestined that all in Christ will be considered holy and blameless before the Lord. God didn't predestine individuals to salvation but predestined corporately that the Body of Christ would be holy and blameless.

The Calvinist view is that God has predetermined specific individuals to be Holy and blameless therefore predestining specific individuals to damnation.

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

Calvinism teaches that we are not just spiritually dead (separated from the life of God), but that we have no ability to conclude that we are dead unless God first makes us alive. But Romans 1 says that All men are without excuse, because He has revealed Himself to ALL men.

Does reveal Himself mean through the Bible, through Christ, through the inherent sense of right and wrong we are all born with (like what C.S. Lewis taught), or through all of the above?

Also, I am wondering what it means "that we have no ability to conclude that we are dead unless God first makes us alive". Sozo, what do you think Calvinists mean by that?

SOTK

BillyBob
November 9th, 2004, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

I am saying that I was completely separated from God before I became a Christian, yes. Am I now? No, not at all!! I am alive in Christ!

You guys are much more theologically learned than I am, but I have a sincere question about this:

If you were 'completely separated' from God, what was the catalyst for your seeking him?

I ask because I have heard that it is He who makes us seek Him and if we are completely separated from Him, how could we respond?

[I know I can be a smartass, but I really am interested in this]

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 08:23 PM
Originally posted by Knight

The Open View does not reject predestination as it is overwhelmingly obvious that God predetermined certain things.

Yet the OV rejects that ALL THINGS (and every detail in-between) is directly decreed by God.

Let me illustrate the difference....

The Open View would state that God predestined that all in Christ will be considered holy and blameless before the Lord. God didn't predestine individuals to salvation but predestined corporately that the Body of Christ would be holy and blameless.

The Calvinist view is that God has predetermined specific individuals to be Holy and blameless therefore predestining specific individuals to damnation.

That's interesting. What is meant by Closed View? Just the exact opposite?

Thanks for all the info, Knight! This is really helping me out. :)

In Christ,

SOTK

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 08:24 PM
Hey, thanks for all help with this everybody! I am gonna be gone for about an hour but will be back on here after that for more dialogue. I am at work right now. See ya in a few!

SOTK

Crow
November 9th, 2004, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

Turbo,

Give me some time and I'll check out what you wrote and get back to you. So far, I do not agree with the notion that every wicked thing that happens is God's will. I also don't accept that God is immutable. I also don't think that God would purposely create someone to punish them.

I want it noted that I do believe in free will. I've heard some teachings where free will and pre-destination co-exist. I am still checking into this.

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions. This is helpful to me. :)

SOTK

God does predestine some things. There are things that God tells us will or will not happen. He has predestined events described in Revelations, for example. Those events will happen.

But while God predestines some things, others are not. God does not predestine children to be molested. Evil acts are not acts of God but acts that arise from the condition of being separated from God.

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by BillyBob
If you were 'completely separated' from God, what was the catalyst for your seeking him?

I ask because I have heard that it is He who makes us seek Him and if we are completely separated from Him, how could we respond?


The Calvinsist would answer God decreed that you would or would not respond to Him.

The OV'er would respond that faith comes by hearing... hearing of the word of God. Which is why we are asked to... Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. - 2Timothy 4:2

To the Calvinist the above concept is entirely meaningless as it is not within us to convince anyone of anything.

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

That's interesting. What is meant by Closed View? Just the exact opposite?

Yes the closed view i.e., Calvinism means that the future is closed to us and closed to God.

In the Open View the future is open to the extent God wants it to be open. (undetermined)

Sozo
November 9th, 2004, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

Does reveal Himself mean through the Bible, through Christ, through the inherent sense of right and wrong we are all born with (like what C.S. Lewis taught), or through all of the above?
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. "

There is much to be said concerning these verses, but one main point is clear, God has made Himself known.
I am wondering what it means "that we have no ability to conclude that we are dead unless God first makes us alive". Sozo, what do you think Calvinists mean by that? That He saves you (gives you His life), and then you believe.

BillyBob
November 9th, 2004, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by Knight

The Calvinsist would answer God decreed that you would or would not respond to Him.

That is absolutely illogical. If that is true, God has given some of us a certain, inevitable death sentence. Why would God deliberately choose that some predetermined people never know Him? What is the point of Salvation if it is only for the 'Preselected'?

Crow
November 9th, 2004, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by BillyBob

That is absolutely illogical. If that is true, God has given some of us a certain, inevitable death sentence. Why would God deliberately choose that some predetermined people never know Him? What is the point of Salvation if it is only for the 'Preselected'?

That's essentially the same reason I can't buy into Calvinism.

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by BillyBob

That is absolutely illogical. If that is true, God has given some of us a certain, inevitable death sentence. Why would God deliberately choose that some predetermined people never know Him? What is the point of Salvation if it is only for the 'Preselected'? And now you see why we argue with people like Jim Hilston, natewood, Swordsman, Z Man and the like.

Wacky ain't it?

BillyBob
November 9th, 2004, 08:41 PM
Originally posted by Knight

And now you see why we argue with people like Jim Hilston, natewood, Swordsman, Z Man and the like.

Wacky ain't it?

Yes!

BillyBob
November 9th, 2004, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by Knight


The OV'er would respond that faith comes by hearing... hearing of the word of God. Which is why we are asked to... Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. - 2Timothy 4:2


You know, I have read this Scripture before, but it never took hold. This is strong.....

Crow
November 9th, 2004, 08:55 PM
Y'all might want to consider dropping 50 bucks for The Plot, BillyBob. You ain't seen nuthing yet.

BillyBob
November 9th, 2004, 08:56 PM
Originally posted by Crow

Y'all might want to consider dropping 50 bucks for The Plot, BillyBob. You ain't seen nuthing yet.

50 Bucks? Is it 4000 pages??????

Crow
November 9th, 2004, 08:59 PM
Nope.

If you want to read the first chapter, I can PM you the link.

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by BillyBob

You know, I have read this Scripture before, but it never took hold. This is strong..... Strong yes... but also simple!

Clete
November 9th, 2004, 09:25 PM
SOTK,

As has been pointed out already Calvinism makes God out to be an unjust stone idol. Of course they would never use those terms but I believe they are accurate nonetheless.
As to the theology of Calvinism itself, it can most easily be shown to be false by examining the presuppositions which lead to the conclusions that Calvin made when formulating his theology, the main one of which is the idea that God is immutable. Calvin believed that God was utterly and totally and absolutely immutable in every conceivably possible way, as did Luther before him, and Augustine before him, and Plato before him!
Bob Hill has written many articles on the subject of Calvinism. The one entitled The Immutability of God (http://www.biblicalanswers.com/predestination/Immutability%20of%20God.htm) is an excellent one to start with. You can go here (http://www.biblicalanswers.com/predestinationindex.htm) for a terrific list of articles all about Calvinism with Biblical arguments as to why it simply cannot be true.

I hope you take the time to read at least that first article I linked to and will look forward to your response!

Resting in Him,
Clete

Lovejoy
November 9th, 2004, 09:35 PM
Hi guys. A while ago, a friend of mine who is knows a bit of Greek offered me this interpretation of "predestine."


What I do know is that their understanding of "predestination" as it is taught in the Bible is wrong. I do not know the full breadth and width of their theology, nor the full implications of how their missunderstanding has effected their doctrines.

The word translated "predestined" is prooridzo. It literally means "to mark out a boundry in advance," and in practical meaning, that is "to plan in advance." It is derived from a verb that means "to mark out a boundry," from which we get our word "horizon" (as in, the horizon is the "boundry" or "limit" of how far we can see). The idea of "marking a boundry" has the meaning of "planning" in everyday language from the idea that a plan is something that metaphorically "draws a boundry around, or sets the limits of" our future actions.

The problem is that in ENGLISH, predestine means that what has been planned in advance WILL HAPPEN. There is nothing we can do about it. If God predestines something, it WILL happen.

That is NOT what this word means. It contains no inherent concept that the plan or boundaries that are drawn in advance WILL happen. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. God has made a plan for our lives, WAY in advance of when we were even born. We can fulfill that plan, or we can reject God, and miss that plan.

Because of the "predestination" versus "free will" argument, most people think the two are contradictory (if one is true, the other cannot be true).

The irony is that "free will" and "predestination" go hand in hand. When God "predestined" us to be conformed to the image of His Son, we are told that He has made a wonderful plan for our lives to be LIKE His Son. We have the free will to accept or reject that plan.

So all "predestine" means is "to plan in advance."

There are times that God predestines (plans in advance) something to happen, and then takes a direct hand in human affairs to make sure it happens as he planned. In the scriptures, these are global events, not the fate of individual lives.

Examples of these would be Jesus coming in the flesh, dying on the cross, rising from the grave: all for the salvation of all of humanity. Those were things that God pre-planned, and then stepped in and took an active hand to make sure they happened as planned, so that humanity could be redeemed. We will see more of that in the end times with the Antichrist, the return of our Lord Jesus, and the establishment of the kingdom of God forever.

I am sure this ground has been covered a thousand times, but I always like to muddy the waters a bit more...

Crow
November 9th, 2004, 09:43 PM
Originally posted by Lovejoy

Hi guys. A while ago, a friend of mine who is knows a bit of Greek offered me this interpretation of "predestine."



I am sure this ground has been covered a thousand times, but I always like to muddy the waters a bit more...

You're not muddying the waters. That's essentially what I believe. That God desires all men to come to Him, but He has deliberately left that choice to them. And that there are things God has said that He will do regardless of any human behavior, and He does them.

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Yes the closed view i.e., Calvinism means that the future is closed to us and closed to God.

In the Open View the future is open to the extent God wants it to be open. (undetermined)

This is where I get confused with Calvinism. Part of the Calvinistic view is that God exists outside of Time and Space. He is not held to linear time as we know it. God is Omnipresent, Omniscient, etc. I am sure that I have read this in my research in learning Calvinism. If this is true, how then can the future be closed to God? Wouldn't the future be open to God as he can freely move between past, present, and future? Unless I am completely misunderstanding aspects of pre-destination, Calvinists use God's ability to move freely back and forth as their contention that He knows when we accep Jesus Christ as our Savior. I realize that this isn't the complete view of Calvinistic pre-destination, but just given this aspect, how can the future be closed at all?

Lovejoy
November 9th, 2004, 09:46 PM
Thanks Crow. Yeah, that guy (from a different forum) has a way of phrasing things. He says what many of us believe, but puts it in a very convincing way.

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. "

There is much to be said concerning these verses, but one main point is clear, God has made Himself known. That He saves you (gives you His life), and then you believe.

I remember that scripture. Thanks for that. That was what I thought was meant by your previous post. :)

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

SOTK,

As has been pointed out already Calvinism makes God out to be an unjust stone idol. Of course they would never use those terms but I believe they are accurate nonetheless.
As to the theology of Calvinism itself, it can most easily be shown to be false by examining the presuppositions which lead to the conclusions that Calvin made when formulating his theology, the main one of which is the idea that God is immutable. Calvin believed that God was utterly and totally and absolutely immutable in every conceivably possible way, as did Luther before him, and Augustine before him, and Plato before him!
Bob Hill has written many articles on the subject of Calvinism. The one entitled The Immutability of God (http://www.biblicalanswers.com/predestination/Immutability%20of%20God.htm) is an excellent one to start with. You can go here (http://www.biblicalanswers.com/predestinationindex.htm) for a terrific list of articles all about Calvinism with Biblical arguments as to why it simply cannot be true.

I hope you take the time to read at least that first article I linked to and will look forward to your response!

Resting in Him,
Clete

Thanks, Clete. I will definitely check it out. I have read a few articles on the Defense of Calvinism.....one was by some Pastor who was attached to a General during the Civil War I believe (I forget his name). I've also read a little bit from Calvin himself and started reading some stuff on Arminianism (sp?). I look forward to checking out your link. Thanks.

In Christ,

SOTK

Clete
November 9th, 2004, 09:51 PM
Time is not a thing or a place that can be existed outside of. Time is an idea, a frame of reference which thinking minds use to reference sequence and duration and other related concepts. If God does one thing and then later does another thing, that which transpired during and inbetween those events is what we call time.

Lovejoy
November 9th, 2004, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

Time is not a thing or a place that cna be existed outside of. Time is an idea, a frame of reference which thinking minds use to reference sequence and duration and other related concepts. If God does one thing and then later does another thing, that which transpired during and inbetween those events is what we call time.

And to think otherwise is such a widespread misconception. I am arguing with atheists on another forum, and things like that are bandied about to argue how God cannot have emotions, or change His mind, or be compassionate, etc. I spend more time explaining doctrine than anything. What a waste of time! But if I back out now, they will think that they drove me off. *sigh*

Knight
November 9th, 2004, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by SOTK
I realize that this isn't the complete view of Calvinistic pre-destination, but just given this aspect, how can the future be closed at all? The Calvinist argument is that God decreed in advance every aspect of all of time (including the future of course).

From the smallest events to the largest events, all events are decreed by God to happen in just the way they happen. And therefore the future is closed in that nothing happens that wasn't decreed exhaustively by God.

godrulz
November 9th, 2004, 10:33 PM
This thread has more light than heat. Keep up the good work.:cool:

Sozo
November 9th, 2004, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

Time is not a thing or a place that can be existed outside of. Time is an idea, a frame of reference which thinking minds use to reference sequence and duration and other related concepts. If God does one thing and then later does another thing, that which transpired during and inbetween those events is what we call time.

Well said Clete!

To try and say that God is outside of time and space, would also be to say that He is outside of movement. We know that is not true.

Crow
November 9th, 2004, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

This thread has more light than heat. Keep up the good work.:cool:

You had to go and jinx it! :doh:

SOTK
November 9th, 2004, 11:21 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

Time is not a thing or a place that can be existed outside of. Time is an idea, a frame of reference which thinking minds use to reference sequence and duration and other related concepts. If God does one thing and then later does another thing, that which transpired during and inbetween those events is what we call time.

That's fine to say that Time is an idea and doesn't exist in the way that we apply the meaning of the word 'Time', however, in the way that we (humans) understand or have applied our meaning of the word 'Time', it wouldn't apply to God, correct? Hence, the phrase "He exists outside of it". There is no time for Him. :think:

godrulz
November 10th, 2004, 01:59 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

That's fine to say that Time is an idea and doesn't exist in the way that we apply the meaning of the word 'Time', however, in the way that we (humans) understand or have applied our meaning of the word 'Time', it wouldn't apply to God, correct? Hence, the phrase "He exists outside of it". There is no time for Him. :think:

Time is not a thing. The measurement of time varies. Time is an aspect of any personal being's existence. Thinking, acting, feeling, etc. all require time. "Eternal now" is a false philosophical concept that was adopted by Augustine and others. Time is simply succession, sequence, duration. The reality of time is not a limitation for God, but it is limiting for us (we cannot be in two places at the same time; we can only do so much in any given time interval, etc.). This does not mean God is outside of it or does not experience it. Eternity is not timelessness (this is incoherent), but is an endless duration of time with no beginning and no end. Time is not space. He cannot exist 'outside' of it.

The past, present, and future is reality for man and God (Hebraic view shows God experiencing history). The difference is that God is omnipresent and has a greater present experience than finite humans. He also knows the past and present perfectly. The future is not yet, so He is not 'there' and it is only known as a possibility rather than an actuality/certainty before it happens (some of the future that God determines is settled...e.g. Revelation judgments and the Second Coming and Millennial Kingdom).

Hilston
November 10th, 2004, 11:40 AM
Godrulz,

Does modus ponens exist?

Clete
November 10th, 2004, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Godrulz,

Does modus ponens exist?

For those of us who don't speak Hilstonese or Latin...

Modus ponens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modus_ponens)

The form of argument exists yes. What's the point exactly?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
November 10th, 2004, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Godrulz,

Does modus ponens exist? Hey guys....

Let's not get off topic for SOTK. This thread is for him to ask questions and get answers so if you have something to add for him that's great but I ask that you not get in side discussions in this thread.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation!

godrulz
November 10th, 2004, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Godrulz,

Does modus ponens exist?

Yes. Inductive study> deductive study; exegesis vs eisegesis. Modal logic is relevant for our discussions about necessity, contingency, certainties/actualities. This technical field is beyond our expertise, so let us be careful that we know our academic limitations.

Hilston
November 10th, 2004, 01:10 PM
Knight writes: Hey guys....

Let's not get off topic for SOTK. This thread is for him to ask questions and get answers so if you have something to add for him that's great but I ask that you not get in side discussions in this thread.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation!Translation:Hey guys....

Let's not get off topic for SOTK. This thread is for him to ask questions and get the Open Theist demonization of a theology that none of us understands, including those of us who boast long histories within that theology. If you have something to add to our gross mischaracterizations and distortions of something as irrationally hated as George W. by Kerry-lovers, that's great, but I ask that you not get in anything that is even remotely close to an accurate representation of Calvinism in this thread.

Thanks in advance for your sniveling obsequious sycophantic bootlicking obscurantist compliance.

Cheers,
The Most Holy Father Vicar of Christ Right Reverend Monsignor Pope Hilston, Th.D., Ph.D., LMNOP

Knight
November 10th, 2004, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Translation:Hey guys....

Let's not get off topic for SOTK. This thread is for him to ask questions and get the Open Theist demonization of a theology that none of us understands, including those of us who boast long histories within that theology. If you have something to add to our gross mischaracterizations and distortions of something as irrationally hated as George W. by Kerry-lovers, that's great, but I ask that you not get in anything that is even remotely close to an accurate representation of Calvinism in this thread.

Thanks in advance for your sniveling obsequious sycophantic bootlicking obscurantist compliance.

Cheers,
The Most Holy Father Vicar of Christ Right Reverend Monsignor Pope Hilston, Th.D., Ph.D., LMNOP :madmad: Jim if you want to respond to SOTK have at it! I didn't say this thread was only for OV'ers I simply stated I started this thread for SOTK and not for side discussions etc.

Clete
November 10th, 2004, 01:53 PM
Jim,

I have a feeling I know where you a going with such a enigmatic question. Please answer my question, why did you ask whether modus ponens exists? And for Knight's sake, please answer in such a way that the relevance to the topic of the thread is clear to all.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Hilston
November 10th, 2004, 02:43 PM
Clete,

My question was for Godrulz. He answered it. I'm satisfied. It wasn't enigmatic. It was simple curiosity.

As to its relevance, it has to do with whether or not time revisionists believe in the actual existence of abstract entities.

Henceforth, I will ask such questions in PM or start a new thread, since one never knows what is going to cause a moderator to have flare-up.

Knight
November 10th, 2004, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
Henceforth, I will ask such questions in PM or start a new thread, since one never knows what is going to cause a moderator to have flare-up. Ya know... Jim... you are a jerk. You prove it over and over again.

Plain and simple! I try my best to befriend you and be brotherly to you but its imposible.

My request to honor SOTK's thread wasn't a "flare up" it was just a friendly request! I would have (and have in the past) made the same request of anyone.

My only conclusion is that you suffer from "jerk-itis".

Hilston
November 10th, 2004, 07:21 PM
Knight writes:
Ya know... Jim... you are a jerk. You prove it over and over again.It's the jerkitis, one of my environmental allergies.


Knight writes:
Plain and simple! I try my best to befriend you and be brotherly to you but its imposible.While it warms my heart that you would say so, I know better than to invest any further emotion or hold out any hope for sincerity. You're the king of the double standard. I don't doubt that you're mostly fair, especially when it's politically expedient. But you've gone out of your way to call me unfriendly and unchristian for the very. same. things. that you and your cronies do all the time. I tried repeatedly to express those concerns and to get clarification from you in PMs, but you ignored my questions, dismissed my concerns, and kept right on ranting. I still have those PMs. Would you like to re-read them?


Knight writes:
My request to honor SOTK's thread wasn't a "flare up" it was just a friendly request!The best thing you and your co-demonizers could do to honor SOTK's request is take the time (i.e. care enough) to learn what you're talking about. But the bottom line is: You don't care. I don't doubt that you will probably succeed in turning SOTK away from your understanding of Calvinism, but he will never know, unless he reads it for himself, what Calvinism actually teaches. Chances are he will just become a clone of you, caring even less to properly define and understand the arguments, ever learning but never able to come to the epignosis of the truth.


Knight writes:
I would have (and have in the past) made the same request of anyone.I don't doubt it for a second. But you reserve "unchristian" and "unfriendly" for yours truly.


Knight writes:
My only conclusion is that you suffer from "jerk-itis".It's true. It's an environmental condition I have that flares up whenever I catch a whiff of blatant irrationality, careless mischaracterization and abject obscurantism.

Knight
November 10th, 2004, 07:31 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
I don't doubt that you will probably succeed in turning SOTK away from your understanding of Calvinism, but he will never know, unless he reads it for himself, what Calvinism actually teaches. Chances are he will just become a clone of you, caring even less to properly define and understand the arguments, ever learning but never able to come to the epignosis of the truth. Jim.. your above comment plainly illustrates a point that you just cannot seem to get, which is I discuss, debate, battle the ideas that are presented here on TOL. Folks have been coming here for years defending what they call "Calvinism" and I (we) debate those ideas. Apparently all of these folks don't understand Calvinism the way you do and I invite you (as I have several times before) to refute these false teachings that folks like Z Man, JoBeth, Swordsman, natewood3 and all the rest are presenting.

Sozo
November 10th, 2004, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

But the bottom line is: You don't care. I don't doubt that you will probably succeed in turning SOTK away from your understanding of Calvinism, but he will never know, unless he reads it for himself, what Calvinism actually teaches. Chances are he will just become a clone of you, caring even less to properly define and understand the arguments, ever learning but never able to come to the epignosis of the truth.

What a bunch of self-deluded crap!

How does anyone you know, actually stomach 5 minutes of your hubristic meanderings?

Lucky
November 10th, 2004, 07:46 PM
SOTK, as you can see by this thread, Calvinist vs. Open Theist debates often end up ugly and fruitless. Don't give up! I keep reading these debates, because it is possible to pick up on some good points that posters make. It's a shame you have to sift through all the crap, but just keep at it. :thumb:

Hilston
November 10th, 2004, 08:01 PM
Knight writes:
Jim.. your above comment plainly illustrates a point that you just cannot seem to get, which is I discuss, debate, battle the ideas that are presented here on TOL.I get that. What you seem to dismiss is this: Debating people who erroneously call themselves Calvinists doesn't excuse your ignorance. I debate all kinds of views, but I don't let my opponents define well developed and long-established theologies and doctrines. Open Theism is a sad exception, because the writings on the subject are all over the place. If Calvinism were that way, you would get a pass. But it's not. You don't even have to buy a book to understand it. Just Google it for crying out loud.


Knight writes:
Folks have been coming here for years defending what they call "Calvinism" and I (we) debate those ideas.I get that. But it doesn't excuse your ignorance.


Knight writes:
Apparently all of these folks don't understand Calvinism the way you doWhat I understand about Calvinism doesn't matter. You just don't care. It's like a liberal claiming that conservatives are "anti-labor" just because they give tax breaks to the upper class. Liberals don't know what they're talking about. But it's not that they're incapable of understanding. They just refuse; they don't want to understand. It's similar with Open Theists and Calvinism. In fact, it's remarkably similar.


Knight writes:
... and I invite you (as I have several times before) to refute these false teachings that folks like Z Man, JoBeth, Swordsman, natewood3 and all the rest are presenting.That's not why I'm here. I pick and choose my battles, and prefer to pick on Open Theists. When I want to pick on Calvinists, I go to Calvinist-dominated, preterist, covenantalist forums. Whether or not I ever set about to correct the self-labled Calvinists on this site doesn't excuse your lack of care or effort to understand what Calvinism actually teaches.


Sozo writes:
What a bunch of self-deluded crap!Oh no! My jerkitis is starting to flare up again.


Sozo writes:1
How does anyone you know, actually stomach 5 minutes of your hubristic meanderings? Hey! You better watch it. Using those big words will get you labeled as pedantic. Besides, if I want to meander hubristically on my stomach for 5 minutes, that's my business.

The Most Holy Father Vicar of Christ Monsignor Right Reverend Jerkitis-afflicted Pope Hilston, Th.D., Ph.D., LMNOP

godrulz
November 11th, 2004, 01:11 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

This thread has more light than heat. Keep up the good work.:cool:

I retract this statement:(

godrulz
November 11th, 2004, 01:11 AM
Originally posted by Crow

You had to go and jinx it! :doh:

:doh: :help:

Jefferson
November 11th, 2004, 02:01 AM
Originally posted by Hilston


That's not why I'm here. I pick and choose my battles, and prefer to pick on Open Theists. Because of this, Knight problably has not seen any of your posts defending Acts 9 dispensationalism. I think your great at that Jim (although I don't understand why you think it's logically incoherent to be open-view and Acts 9 simultaneously).

SOTK
November 11th, 2004, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Lucky

SOTK, as you can see by this thread, Calvinist vs. Open Theist debates often end up ugly and fruitless. Don't give up! I keep reading these debates, because it is possible to pick up on some good points that posters make. It's a shame you have to sift through all the crap, but just keep at it. :thumb:

Yes, I can see this debate of theologies is pretty intense! :help: I am having a hard time understanding why there is so much hostility or hard feelings regarding this debate especially amongst fellow Christians.

Personally, I find this topic, amongst others as well, really interesting. I haven't made up my mind on this particular issue(s) and probably won't for a while. I have many questions and a lot of reading to do.....praying also!

Maybe we can get this thread back on track.....it was going good there for a while. I have appreciated the feedback I have gotten so far, but could do without the anger if possible. :)

In Christ,

SOTK

Lovejoy
November 11th, 2004, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

Yes, I can see this debate of theologies is pretty intense! :help: I am having a hard time understanding why there is so much hostility or hard feelings regarding this debate especially amongst fellow Christians.

Personally, I find this topic, amongst others as well, really interesting. I haven't made up my mind on this particular issue(s) and probably won't for a while. I have many questions and a lot of reading to do.....praying also!

Maybe we can get this thread back on track.....it was going good there for a while. I have appreciated the feedback I have gotten so far, but could do without the anger if possible. :)

In Christ,

SOTK

What!? NO ANGER! Why you :mad: :sozo: :bang: :madmad:





Sorry, just practicing for my posting at the atheist site. That pretty much sums up their response to anything I say. TOL is a peace (spelling intentional) of cake compared to there.

SOTK
November 11th, 2004, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by Knight

The Calvinist argument is that God decreed in advance every aspect of all of time (including the future of course).

From the smallest events to the largest events, all events are decreed by God to happen in just the way they happen. And therefore the future is closed in that nothing happens that wasn't decreed exhaustively by God.

Okay, so does an Open Viewer believe that God can not or does not choose to know the future?

I guess it might be helpful, Knight, if you explained some more on Open View, the scripture supporting it, and maybe why this makes sense to you (given that Calvinism doesn't). If I am considering the theology of Calvinism, I should know the opposite of that as well I suppose.

Thanks.

In Christ,

SOTK

Knight
November 11th, 2004, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

Okay, so does an Open Viewer believe that God can not or does not choose to know the future?The Open View would state that God chose not to map out the entire future. He certainly could have mapped it out had He wanted to, but He sovereignly chose not to.

God is sovereign! Even to the extent that He is sovereign over His own sovereignness! :D In other words He has complete control over His own power. He chose to give up some of that power in form of our freewill.


I guess it might be helpful, Knight, if you explained some more on Open View, the scripture supporting it, and maybe why this makes sense to you (given that Calvinism doesn't). If I am considering the theology of Calvinism, I should know the opposite of that as well I suppose. Indeed.

And if you know me..... by now you know that I like to take things very slowly and look at them in very small "bite size" chunks.

So... let's start at the beginning shall we?

After God was done creating He looked at His creation and said it was good.

Genesis 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Yet then man rejected God (through sin) and not long after that man became exceedingly wicked. So much so that God was sorry that He made man!

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. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

There are two important points here:

1. God was sorry, in fact the Hebrew word here for sorry is "nacham" which means "repent". In other words God changed His mind about the goodness of man.

How can Calvinistic theology explain this? Did God decree sin and then also decree He would change His mind about creations "goodness"? That wouldn't make sense because then that wouldn't be changing His mind at all would it?

2. Man (through his wickedness) moved God to grieve! Calvinists will tell you that man cannot move God - nothing can!!! But that isn't what the Bible says. The Bible says we can move God. We can move Him through our prayers and we can move Him to grieve when we are wicked.

The Calvinist will tell you that "nacham" in Gen 6:6 is a anthropomorphism and therefore it doesn't mean what it says. Yet an anthropomorphism is used to make something more understandable NOT more complicated so when you ask the Calvinist to explain the anthropomorphism since they claim it doesn't mean what it says they are silent.

SOTK do you think we can move God when we pray or move Him to grief when we are wicked?

godrulz
November 11th, 2004, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

Okay, so does an Open Viewer believe that God can not or does not choose to know the future?

I guess it might be helpful, Knight, if you explained some more on Open View, the scripture supporting it, and maybe why this makes sense to you (given that Calvinism doesn't). If I am considering the theology of Calvinism, I should know the opposite of that as well I suppose.

Thanks.

In Christ,

SOTK


Enyart's "The Plot" is more about Mid-Acts dispensationalism than the Open View. Classic Open View theologians like Pinnock, Boyd, Sandars, Hasker, Basinger, Pratney, Rice, McCabe, etc. are more comprehensive.

Does God chose not to know the future, or is it that He cannot know the future? I get the impression from Enyart people that God choses to not know some of the present (what is happening in hell) or future. I do not understand how He cannot know something that is knowable?

I think some of the future is logically unknowable even to an omniscient being. Future free will contingencies are correctly known as possibilities until they become certainties/actualities. The reason He cannot know some of the future is that He created a world with other free will moral agents. In this sense, He 'chose' to not know some of the future.

Anything that is an object of knowledge (past and present) is known exhaustively. Anything that is not there to be known (the future), is logically unknowable (not that He 'choses' to not know it).

When it says that God does not 'remember' our sins, it is not that He cannot remember or choses to not remember (we could recall our sins to memory and the omniscient God would be aware of them again). This is an idiom for chosing to not bring them up again ('forget' it).

God no doubt can shift His focus and attention in a greater way than we can. He does not have to have evil in His mind continuously. Yet, why say He does not have awareness of it (He would no longer be a perfect judge)?

These ideas are speculative on fine points, but self-evident on the major idea that exhaustive foreknowledge of the open future is a contradiction in terms. This logically leads to determinism, the only way the future can be known as a certainty (the other motif in Scripture is that some of the future that God intends to bring to pass by His omnicompetence is settled).

Knight
November 11th, 2004, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by godrulz
Anything that is an object of knowledge (past and present) is known exhaustively. Anything that is not there to be known (the future), is logically unknowable (not that He 'choses' to not know it). Great post... very interesting.

However, I must ask....

Do you believe that God COULD HAVE created beings without a will of their own? In other words, if God had wanted to couldn't He have closed the future entirely?

If you agree with that premise yet still hold to an open future (as you do).... then... logically you must admit God chose NOT to know the future.

Lovejoy
November 11th, 2004, 11:25 PM
Hi, guys! If you need me, I will be in the corner assuming the worst about my intellectual capacity to apprehend even the simplest truth about God. Man, there are some big brains around here!


It is threads like these that make me realize that one lifetime is not enough to understand (for my dense cranium, anyways), and I can only thank God that I will have eternity to get it right.

godrulz
November 12th, 2004, 12:12 AM
God is the Most Moved Mover (Pinnock), not the Unmoved Mover (Greek philosophy=Aristotle). He is supremely personal, not absolutely immutable and impersonal/impassible (no change in feelings).

John Sanders (open model):

1) God loves us and desires for us to enter into reciprocal relations with Him and with our fellow creatures.

2) God has sovereignly decided to make some of His actions contingent on our requests and actions (responsive vs controlling).

3) God chooses to exercise a general rather than a meticulous providence, allowing space for us to operate and for God to be resourceful in working with it.

4) God granted us libertarian freedom necessary for personal relationships of love to develop.

rulz: This does not take away from a theocentric view of the universe. God's glory is enhanced as one who is personal and responsive, rather than a control freak/Dictator. Love relationships are genuine and not fatalistic (elect vs non-elect). It represents God's self-revelation rather that distorts it with a caricature of the greatness of God and His ways.

God_Is_Truth
November 12th, 2004, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Great post... very interesting.

However, I must ask....

Do you believe that God COULD HAVE created beings without a will of their own? In other words, if God had wanted to couldn't He have closed the future entirely?

If you agree with that premise yet still hold to an open future (as you do).... then... logically you must admit God chose NOT to know the future.

could God have ever make a reality where he would foreknow all of his own actions from eternity past?

Lovejoy
November 12th, 2004, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

God is the Most Moved Mover (Pinnock), not the Unmoved Mover (Greek philosophy). He is supremely personal, not absolutely immutable and impersonal/impassible (no change in feelings)

So you must not be too hot on Thomas Aquinas. I really don't have much of an opinion, having read the work without taking the time to critique it thoroughly. But I believe he pressed the unmoved mover concept.

godrulz
November 12th, 2004, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Great post... very interesting.

However, I must ask....

Do you believe that God COULD HAVE created beings without a will of their own? In other words, if God had wanted to couldn't He have closed the future entirely?

If you agree with that premise yet still hold to an open future (as you do).... then... logically you must admit God chose NOT to know the future.

There is a possible universe that God could have created automatons. They would then not be in His personal and moral image. It is a moot point because He chose to not create that world. He created our world with free moral agency.

He could have settled the future if He wanted to, but He did not. There are two motifs (Boyd): some of the future is settled and known; some of the future is open and unknown except as a possibility.

In that sense, God chose to not know some of the future, but not all of it (Is.= declared things in the future that He purposed to bring to pass regardless of what man did or did not do; other prophecies were conditional on man's response= Hezekiah; Jonah).

I thought I picked up from Clete or Enyart a different nuance where God actively chose to be blind to something that He could know. I think it related to God seeing evil in the earth or the suffering of the wicked. Perhaps someone could refresh my memory on Enyart's (I think it was him) twist that is not usually mentioned by Open Theists in their literature.

godrulz
November 12th, 2004, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

could God have ever make a reality where he would foreknow all of his own actions from eternity past?

This would negate other moral agency, contingencies, and freedom. This deterministic, fatalistic universe would be closer to Islam or Calvinism than reality.

godrulz
November 12th, 2004, 12:38 AM
Originally posted by Lovejoy

So you must not be too hot on Thomas Aquinas. I really don't have much of an opinion, having read the work without taking the time to critique it thoroughly. But I believe he pressed the unmoved mover concept.

It seems Augustine was influenced by Plato and Aristotle. He then influenced Aquinas and Calvin, etc. Each person in church history added nuances, but their ideas were subject to philosophical influences.

The Greeks thought any change would imply a deviation from perfection. They posited an stongly (vs weak) immutable/impassible being that was more impersonal than personal. Change actually demonstrates perfection (cf. clock that changes keeps accurate time vs a changeless clock). God does not change in His essential being and character. He does change in His relations and experiences (will, intellect, emotions= personal).

Humans are not unmoved movers. The creature is not greater than the Creator. God is living, loving, dynamic, responsive. He is not static, experiencing everything in an 'eternal now' (another inherited flawed concept).

God_Is_Truth
November 12th, 2004, 12:52 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

This would negate other moral agency, contingencies, and freedom. This deterministic, fatalistic universe would be closer to Islam or Calvinism than reality.

is that a "no"?

godrulz
November 12th, 2004, 01:08 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

is that a "no"?


It is academic. Yes, God could have made a deterministic universe, but He did not. The higher good and His wisdom chose an open, free universe. You cannot have your cake and eat it to: either the universe is fixed and fully known, or it is at least partially open and partially unknowable as an actuality/certainty.

God is not the only free moral agent in the universe. To foreknow all His future actions leads us back to Calvinism and meticulous vs responsive control of every moral and mundane detail of the universe.

I think it is a qualified 'yes';)

God_Is_Truth
November 12th, 2004, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

It is academic. Yes, God could have made a deterministic universe, but He did not. The higher good and His wisdom chose an open, free universe. You cannot have your cake and eat it to: either the universe is fixed and fully known, or it is at least partially open and partially unknowable as an actuality/certainty.

God is not the only free moral agent in the universe. To foreknow all His future actions leads us back to Calvinism and meticulous vs responsive control of every moral and mundane detail of the universe.

I think it is a qualified 'yes';)

i agree with you in what God actually did, but i'd like to know how exactly God could foreknow all of his actions and thoughts from eternity past.

godrulz
November 12th, 2004, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

i agree with you in what God actually did, but i'd like to know how exactly God could foreknow all of his actions and thoughts from eternity past.

The triune God fellowshipped, loved, and communicated from all eternity. They had new, creative experiences, so perhaps He could not know all his thoughts and actions. This might imply He is not genuinely free (which He is). It is actually the Openness of creation, not the Openness of God. God is free by definition (vs static, impersonal). His creation could have been settled or open.

The only way for God to foreknow His actions is if He willed every detail of His future and brought it to pass according to His will (with no change or deviation and no other free moral agents to mess things up).

Is this like how many angels are on the head of a pin, or am I missing something? I might not be understanding your point. I appreciate your ideas and think we have a kinship in thought on many subjects. Keep up the good questions. How about your answers?:help:

Sozo
November 12th, 2004, 06:35 AM
Originally posted by Lovejoy

It is threads like these that make me realize that one lifetime is not enough to understand (for my dense cranium, anyways), and I can only thank God that I will have eternity to get it right. I am in the Poof camp!

Clete
November 12th, 2004, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

i agree with you in what God actually did, but i'd like to know how exactly God could foreknow all of his actions and thoughts from eternity past.

I'm not convinced that He could have created such a reality in the first place. You can't forget that God is a Trinity of persons each of whom have a genuine love relationship with the other two. Such a relationship would not be possible in such a deterministic 'reality'.
Further, reality is not something God created. That which God created became part of reality but reality itself is not a created thing. Before anything was created there was God and God alone; that was reality. To suggest that God creates reality is to suggest that He creates Himself. God does/did not create Himself.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
November 12th, 2004, 11:15 AM
God_Is_Truth
godrulz
Clete
and myself.....

Lets remember this is a thread for SOTK. I don't want to distract too much from his questions and answers etc.

:up:

godrulz
November 12th, 2004, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by Knight

I agree with this as well.

Calvinists take this a step further however in that man cannot even make the choice that He needs and wants God and God Himself picks and choses certain men to receive grace and therefore chooses that all the rest have no hope.

Roger. Knight...could you continue where you left off to lay the foundation for the Open View? You were off to a good start.

godrulz
November 12th, 2004, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by Knight

The Open View would state that God chose not to map out the entire future. He certainly could have mapped it out had He wanted to, but He sovereignly chose not to.

God is sovereign! Even to the extent that He is sovereign over His own sovereignness! :D In other words He has complete control over His own power. He chose to give up some of that power in form of our freewill.

Indeed.

And if you know me..... by now you know that I like to take things very slowly and look at them in very small "bite size" chunks.

So... let's start at the beginning shall we?

After God was done creating He looked at His creation and said it was good.

Genesis 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Yet then man rejected God (through sin) and not long after that man became exceedingly wicked. So much so that God was sorry that He made man!

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. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

There are two important points here:

1. God was sorry, in fact the Hebrew word here for sorry is "nacham" which means "repent". In other words God changed His mind about the goodness of man.

How can Calvinistic theology explain this? Did God decree sin and then also decree He would change His mind about creations "goodness"? That wouldn't make sense because then that wouldn't be changing His mind at all would it?

2. Man (through his wickedness) moved God to grieve! Calvinists will tell you that man cannot move God - nothing can!!! But that isn't what the Bible says. The Bible says we can move God. We can move Him through our prayers and we can move Him to grieve when we are wicked.

The Calvinist will tell you that "nacham" in Gen 6:6 is a anthropomorphism and therefore it doesn't mean what it says. Yet an anthropomorphism is used to make something more understandable NOT more complicated so when you ask the Calvinist to explain the anthropomorphism since they claim it doesn't mean what it says they are silent.

SOTK do you think we can move God when we pray or move Him to grief when we are wicked?

To be continued...s'il vous plait?

God_Is_Truth
November 12th, 2004, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

The triune God fellowshipped, loved, and communicated from all eternity. They had new, creative experiences, so perhaps He could not know all his thoughts and actions. This might imply He is not genuinely free (which He is). It is actually the Openness of creation, not the Openness of God. God is free by definition (vs static, impersonal). His creation could have been settled or open.

The only way for God to foreknow His actions is if He willed every detail of His future and brought it to pass according to His will (with no change or deviation and no other free moral agents to mess things up).

Is this like how many angels are on the head of a pin, or am I missing something? I might not be understanding your point. I appreciate your ideas and think we have a kinship in thought on many subjects. Keep up the good questions. How about your answers?:help:

you got what i was looking for :thumb:


Originally Posted by Clete Pfeiffer

I'm not convinced that He could have created such a reality in the first place. You can't forget that God is a Trinity of persons each of whom have a genuine love relationship with the other two. Such a relationship would not be possible in such a deterministic 'reality'.
Further, reality is not something God created. That which God created became part of reality but reality itself is not a created thing. Before anything was created there was God and God alone; that was reality. To suggest that God creates reality is to suggest that He creates Himself. God does/did not create Himself.


i shouldn't have used the word reality, that was an error on my part. but i'm in agreement with you here on the rest as well.

all i was trying to show to Knight in the beginning is that some part of the future will always be open by definition, that is the part of it that pertains to God's choices, actions and decisions. so he could've chosen to know the future of us and created things in that way, but the future would still be open in regards to his own feelings, experiences etc.

godrulz
November 12th, 2004, 01:13 PM
Do our choices and free agency also necessitate an open future for us that is unknowable to God? Contingency=freedom= possibility of happening or not...so it is a possibility until the choice is made, then it is an actual certainty.

God's future is open. Unless our future is deterministic, then are you implying God that God is open but still can know our future exhaustively? (clarify your last paragraph...I am not clear on your bottom line).

God_Is_Truth
November 12th, 2004, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by godrulz


God's future is open. Unless our future is deterministic, then are you implying God that God is open but still can know our future exhaustively? (clarify your last paragraph...I am not clear on your bottom line).

God only knows our future exhaustively if he predetermined everything, i agree. as for God's future, it can't have always been closed, it must have been open at some point when he decided what he would be doing for the rest of eternity (assuming that view point, not what i hold). thus, it's logically impossible to say that God has always had exhaustive foreknowledge of the future.

that help? i really am not trying to get off topic here. calvinists say that God foredetermines everything and i am just adding an argument which shows that they can't hold that God has always had complete foreknowledge of the future.

Knight
November 12th, 2004, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

Roger. Knight...could you continue where you left off to lay the foundation for the Open View? You were off to a good start. Thanks! And.... I am not going to go further until SOTK has a chance to comment.

godrulz
November 12th, 2004, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

God only knows our future exhaustively if he predetermined everything, i agree. as for God's future, it can't have always been closed, it must have been open at some point when he decided what he would be doing for the rest of eternity (assuming that view point, not what i hold). thus, it's logically impossible to say that God has always had exhaustive foreknowledge of the future.

that help? i really am not trying to get off topic here. calvinists say that God foredetermines everything and i am just adding an argument which shows that they can't hold that God has always had complete foreknowledge of the future.
We agree!

Just as it is impossible for an omnipotent God to do the undoable (logically contradictory absurdities like creating a rock too heavy to lift), it is impossible for the omniscient God to know the unknowable (future free will contingencies).

"As omnipotence is limited by the possible, so omniscience is limited by the knowable. We do not limit omnipotence by denying its power to do impossible or self-contradictory things. Neither do we limit omniscience by denying its power to foreknow unknowable things."

God knows everything about the future which is logically possible for Him to know given the type of creation He chose to create (free moral agents vs determinism).

SOTK
November 23rd, 2004, 03:52 AM
Originally posted by Knight

The Open View would state that God chose not to map out the entire future. He certainly could have mapped it out had He wanted to, but He sovereignly chose not to.

God is sovereign! Even to the extent that He is sovereign over His own sovereignness! :D In other words He has complete control over His own power. He chose to give up some of that power in form of our freewill.

Indeed.

And if you know me..... by now you know that I like to take things very slowly and look at them in very small "bite size" chunks.

So... let's start at the beginning shall we?

After God was done creating He looked at His creation and said it was good.

Genesis 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Yet then man rejected God (through sin) and not long after that man became exceedingly wicked. So much so that God was sorry that He made man!

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. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

There are two important points here:

1. God was sorry, in fact the Hebrew word here for sorry is "nacham" which means "repent". In other words God changed His mind about the goodness of man.

How can Calvinistic theology explain this? Did God decree sin and then also decree He would change His mind about creations "goodness"? That wouldn't make sense because then that wouldn't be changing His mind at all would it?

2. Man (through his wickedness) moved God to grieve! Calvinists will tell you that man cannot move God - nothing can!!! But that isn't what the Bible says. The Bible says we can move God. We can move Him through our prayers and we can move Him to grieve when we are wicked.

The Calvinist will tell you that "nacham" in Gen 6:6 is a anthropomorphism and therefore it doesn't mean what it says. Yet an anthropomorphism is used to make something more understandable NOT more complicated so when you ask the Calvinist to explain the anthropomorphism since they claim it doesn't mean what it says they are silent.

SOTK do you think we can move God when we pray or move Him to grief when we are wicked?

Knight,

Sorry about the delay in responding. I've been thinking and have also been busy!

Yes, I think we can move God when we pray and/or move Him to grief when we are wicked, however, I am not sure if God is "moved" in the way I am moved or you are moved. We were made in God's image but aren't even close to being God, or more to the point, like God. Like, in this case, in the way He feels or is moved. After all, He's God. In other words, I am not sure if the language using to describe God's 'reactions' or 'feelings' in the Bible are accurate. I'm still thinking on this, and, of course, researching it.

As you know, I am considering and thinking about both OV and Calvinism. There are aspects of both that appeal to me. I have always believed in the ultimate and unfathomable power of God. Since I believe this, it's not hard for me to picture God having the 'power' to have already decreed that which I have prayed for or about. The same going for his 'reaction' to something wicked I have done. Eventhough I can picture all of this and am beginning to understand it, I still can't completely reconcile the fact that I have free will. Why allow human beings to have free will if God already has decreed everything anyways? I don't know. Maybe it has to do with the process of exerting free will. In other words, my practicing free will helps me to understand the righteousness of God and the importance of striving for it. Again, I don't know. This is a hard issue for me, at this point in time, to be able to side with one stance or another. That's why I think that it is good for me to consider and know both.

Keep it coming, Knight. This is good stuff!

In CHrist,

SOTK

godrulz
November 23rd, 2004, 09:46 AM
God is personal. He has will, intellect, and emotions (act, think, feel). These personal attributes are not totally different than our personal attributes (image of God). There is also similarity with moral attributes involving choice. What is different are God's absolutes of wonder (metaphysics, stuff, substance). He alone is infinite, perfect, eternal, uncreated Creator, triune, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, sovereign, etc.

We are similar to Him in moral and personal attributes. We are not like Him in His unique, uncreated perfections.

God is God and we are not.

Open Theism emphasizes God's personal, responsive, relational qualities. I believe Augustine/Calvinism is unduly influenced by Greek philosophical concepts of perfection that detract from His great personal and responsive nature (e.g. God is impassible= without feelings; strongly immutable= absolutely unchanging in every sense vs unchanging in essential attributes/character, but changing in relations, experiences, etc.).

Either view can exalt God's greatness, uniqueness, and goodness. The question is which view is more faithful to the biblical revelation.

The Open View attempts to take all relevant passages at face value and literally (while recognizing figurative language).

The closed view takes sovereignty passages literally, but the open passages figuratively (anthropomorphisms/popathisms...e.g. God changing His mind or having strong emotions).

SOTK
November 23rd, 2004, 06:40 PM
Bump

Knight
November 23rd, 2004, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

Knight,

Sorry about the delay in responding. I've been thinking and have also been busy!

Yes, I think we can move God when we pray and/or move Him to grief when we are wicked, however, I am not sure if God is "moved" in the way I am moved or you are moved. We were made in God's image but aren't even close to being God, or more to the point, like God. Like, in this case, in the way He feels or is moved. After all, He's God. In other words, I am not sure if the language using to describe God's 'reactions' or 'feelings' in the Bible are accurate. I'm still thinking on this, and, of course, researching it.

As you know, I am considering and thinking about both OV and Calvinism. There are aspects of both that appeal to me. I have always believed in the ultimate and unfathomable power of God. Since I believe this, it's not hard for me to picture God having the 'power' to have already decreed that which I have prayed for or about. The same going for his 'reaction' to something wicked I have done. Eventhough I can picture all of this and am beginning to understand it, I still can't completely reconcile the fact that I have free will. Why allow human beings to have free will if God already has decreed everything anyways? I don't know. Maybe it has to do with the process of exerting free will. In other words, my practicing free will helps me to understand the righteousness of God and the importance of striving for it. Again, I don't know. This is a hard issue for me, at this point in time, to be able to side with one stance or another. That's why I think that it is good for me to consider and know both.

Keep it coming, Knight. This is good stuff!

In CHrist,

SOTK OK good...

Let me ask you a question...

Suppose I was writing a book about the fall of man in the garden. The book was about how Adam sinned by eating from the tree.

Suppose I was going to call this book... "The Fall"

And suppose further I was going to ask you to choose my subtitle for the book from the following two options... which would be the most appropriate?

The Fall
The story of mans disobedience to God.

Or......

The Fall
The story of mans obedience to God.

SOTK
November 23rd, 2004, 07:01 PM
The Fall- The story of man's disobedience to God.

Knight
November 23rd, 2004, 07:04 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

The Fall- The story of man's disobedience to God. Of course!

It's so obvious isn't it?

Yet Calvinism teaches just the opposite. Calvinism teaches that everything that happens to the smallest detail is decreed by God and therefore obedient to His will.

godrulz
November 23rd, 2004, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

Bump

What does 'bump' mean?

Hilston
November 23rd, 2004, 08:21 PM
How short Knight's memory is. Either that, or he doesn't care. After all we've been through together, he still can't remember some of the most important discussions we've had. Either that, or he doesn't care. Remember the difference between "will as decree" and "will as command" (decretive vs. prescriptive wills)? Knight has proven, time and again, that he's not qualified to talk about, let alone critique Calvinism or any flavor of it. Whether he doesn't remember or just doesn't care, he's not qualified. I suspect he doesn't care, because he's not that dim. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.


Originally posted by Knight
Of course!

It's so obvious isn't it?What is obvious is that Knight has a short memory or else he just. doesn't. care.


Originally posted by Knight

Yet Calvinism teaches just the opposite. Calvinism teaches that everything that happens to the smallest detail is decreed by God and therefore obedient to His will. SOTK, if you allow Knight to instruct you, you will end up looking just as foolish as he and all of his sychophants do everytime they bluster on about Calvinism. Have a look at the following link, SOTK. Although it isn't strict Calvinism, the basic premise is similar to the Calvinistic view (Calvinists do get some things right).

God's will, prescriptive or decretive? (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14820&highlight=prescriptive)

By the way, here is what Knight said about my post at the time: On the surface ... I can't say as I would disagree with any of that.

Sure, he may now say, "The operative term was 'On the surface ...'" But even granting his eventual disagreement, he continues to misrepresent the view, saying (today), Yet Calvinism teaches just the opposite.

:kookoo:

SOTK
November 23rd, 2004, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
....................SOTK, if you allow Knight to instruct you, you will end up looking just as foolish as he and all of his sychophants do everytime they bluster on about Calvinism. Have a look at the following link, SOTK. Although it isn't strict Calvinism, the basic premise is similar to the Calvinistic view (Calvinists do get some things right).

God's will, prescriptive or decretive? (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14820&highlight=prescriptive)..................

Hilston,

Thanks for the information, and I will definitely check out the link. It sounds like that might help me out with some of the problems I've run into with God's will being decretive. By the way, did you get the PM I sent you in reply to your last PM to me? I have some questions in there for you.

Hilston, it's not my wish to be looked upon as foolish. That's why I am asking questions and trying to understand Calvinism. Also, I think it's important for me to understand the opposite of Calvinism as well which seems to be the Open View theology. I don't think I am necessarily subscribing to either views exclusively at this point, although as I have said previously, there are aspects of the Calvinistic theology that appeal to me. Check out my PM to you. There are two main issues with the TULIP scheme that are hard for me, and I think you may be able to help with that.

Thanks!

In Christ,

SOTK

SOTK
November 23rd, 2004, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

What does 'bump' mean?

It's to "bump" the thread to the top of the Active threads list on the main page of TOL so that people can see it's an active topic. :)

SOTK
November 23rd, 2004, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Of course!

It's so obvious isn't it?

Yet Calvinism teaches just the opposite. Calvinism teaches that everything that happens to the smallest detail is decreed by God and therefore obedient to His will.

I see what you are getting at, but I am not sure yet if it's as easy as that.

Adam and Eve were both obviously disobedient to God. God, in his infinite knowledge, would have already know this was going to occur. Isn't it probable that He would have known? Also, I like Hilston's argument on Prescriptive will vs. Decretive will. It sounds to me like Adam's decision to go "against the will of God" could very well have been a case of disobedience of God's prescriptive will. In other words, Adam resisted and thwarted God's will when Adam chose to eat the apple. :think:

I think Hilston's approach in understanding these two different types of God's will is very interesting and seem to have merit. It helps to clear up some confusion of mine that I have had with God's commandment to Abraham to sacrifice his son.

What do you think about all of this, Knight, particularly the idea of prescriptive and decretive will and the differences between the two?

In Christ,

SOTK

SOTK
November 23rd, 2004, 10:59 PM
Originally posted by Turbo

A while back I posted this argument against total depravity (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=495161#post495161). I'd be interested to hear what you think of it.


God is holy, but Calvinists teach that everything wicked thing that happens is God's will.

God is just, but Calvinists teach that God creates some people just so He can punish them for things He forces* them to do.

God is living, but Calvinists teach that God is utterly immutable, incapable of changing in any way, which effectively makes God a stone idol.

*Some of them don't like to use the word "forces," but I don't see how that word is innacurate according to their view.

Turbo,

You made an interesting argument and one in which I have actually thought about before myself. The leader of my Adult Bible Fellowship class, pointed out, when talking about Total Depravity, that people against this theology often interpret Total Depravity to mean that people don't often show signs of goodness. For example, I gave to the poor before I was a Christian....to charities. I did sometimes perform selfless acts of kindness for family and for complete strangers, however, this didn't mean I was leading a righteous existence either. Amongst some of these acts of kindness, I denied Christ as my savior, and practiced wickedness a lone and in secret as well as, sometimes, in public. It wasn't until I became a Christian that the complete sinful nature of myself was completely revealed. I remember when I was a practicing alcoholic how upset I would get when someone would either imply or tell me how "bad" I was behaving. I would say, but look how I've given to the poor or did you know that I helped out so and so with his life. I used those acts of kindness as a way to justify my overall bad behavior and to trick people into thinking that I wasn't really a drunkard. Yes, I did do some good as a drunkard, but I did much more bad than I ever did for good. So, what's that say about me? It says purely and simply that I was far from being righteous. It says that at the core of my being, I was a fallen and sinful man.

I like this particular scripture:


Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

The implication is that we have all sinned. Period. We all fall short of the glory of God. Yes, we can do good at times, but we all have fallen short of the glory of God. I think this speaks of the condition of Total Depravity. It's not until we accept Jesus Christ as our savior that we can begin to act in way that glorifies God.

In Christ,

SOTK

godrulz
November 24th, 2004, 01:29 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

that.

Adam and Eve were both obviously disobedient to God. God, in his infinite knowledge, would have already know this was going to occur. Isn't it probable that He would have known?

What do you think about all of this, Knight, particularly the idea of prescriptive and decretive will and the differences between the two?

In Christ,

SOTK

God was genuinely grieved and regretted making man when Adam fell. God only knows that which is logically possible to know. It is a contradiction or absurdity to know future free will contingencies (may or may not happen). God knew the Fall of Lucifer and Adam as possibilities from the time of creation when things were 'very good'. It became an actuality/certainty only after the choice was made. So, God correctly knew things as possible until they became certain/actual in reality. God would know that free will entails the possibility of rebellion. He had a contingency plan or redemption from the foundation of the world. This plan was not implemented until after the fact (Gen. 3). It was not decreed that Adam would sin (Mormons think it was God's perfect plan).

God does govern us by His moral law/will. I agree that it can be thwarted.

God also decrees somethings to come to pass. He ensures they will happen by His ability, not foreknowledge. After the Fall, He purposed to redeem man. The incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ were 'decreed' in a sense. They would now happen regardless of what man did or did not do. The Second Coming, future judgments, hell, etc. are also in this sovereign category.

Many other aspects are open and dependent on man's choices.

I would not make a huge doctrine on types of decrees, especially if it leads to the false ideas of God decreeing some people to be saved (elect) and others to be damned (non-elect) apart from any choices on their part. These ideas of so-called varieties of decrees becomes deductive, extra/contrabiblical.

Knight
November 24th, 2004, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by SOTK
What do you think about all of this, Knight, particularly the idea of prescriptive and decretive will and the differences between the two?

In Christ,

SOTK Hilston and others like him have been trying to polish that turd for years.

They can "spin" it all they want and it never gets them anywhere because ultimately God either decrees EVERYTHING or He does not. Folks like Hilston want their cake and to eat it as well but the instant they make the claim (which they do) that God decrees EVERYTHING their argument about two different wills falls apart.

Let's assume God has two wills (which I agree with to some extent).... now lets further assume that God decrees EVERYTHING as Hilston and others like Him claim. The problem is that if God decrees EVERYTHING He must by necessity have decreed all the things in both wills! For if the other will of God is not decreed then God doesn't decree EVERYTHING does He? They can't have it both ways.

Their view leaves us with no other possibility than EVERYTHING is in accordance with God's decree and therefore rendering God's "other will" meaningless and only a "will" in name and name alone.

Hilston tries to sell the idea that God decrees EVERYTHING but doesn't cause everything. :kookoo: Yet when you ask him to explain the difference between cause and decree he is left stuttering.

Hilston is a great guy! I love him, he is funny, clever and obviously has a heart for God but he has been sold a lemon. And instead of trading it in for somthing better he would rather keep his lemon..... and worse yet.... Hilston has become a lemon salesman! :shocked:

Hilston
November 24th, 2004, 08:05 PM
Knight writes:
Their view leaves us with no other possibility than EVERYTHING is in accordance with God's decree and therefore rendering God's "other will" meaningless and only a "will" in name and name alone.What exactly was it that you agreed with "on the surface", Knight?

Was it the Father's will for Jesus to be murdered?


Knight writes:
Hilston tries to sell the idea that God decrees EVERYTHING but doesn't cause everything. Yet when you ask him to explain the difference between cause and decree he is left stuttering.What you perceive as stuttering is actually a short-circuit in your own synapses. Is there a difference between planning and doing? That is the same difference between decree and cause.


Knight writes:
Hilston is a great guy! I love him, he is funny, clever and obviously has a heart for God ...:rolleyes: That sounds like Dan Rather telling Bernard Goldberg "Bernie, we were friends yesterday; we're friends today, and we'll be friends tomorrow."

I have a collection of quotes from Knight in which he has "praised" me for being "unchristian", "unfriendly", "self-absorbed", "a jerk". And now I add to that list a "lemon salesman" (in Biblical parlance, that's false teacher) that he loves and thinks is a great guy.
:kookoo:

Knight
November 25th, 2004, 12:24 AM
Originally posted by Hilston
What you perceive as stuttering is actually a short-circuit in your own synapses. Is there a difference between planning and doing? That is the same difference between decree and cause.Uh... yea.... if you say so. :chuckle:


I have a collection of quotes from Knight in which he has "praised" me for being "unchristian", "unfriendly", "self-absorbed", "a jerk". And now I add to that list a "lemon salesman" (in Biblical parlance, that's false teacher) that he loves and thinks is a great guy.
:kookoo: And your point?