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Christine
November 29th, 2004, 03:37 PM
Can God See the Future?

Some evangelical scholars are taking worldly heat for suggesting that divine knowledge has its limits


By BURTON BOLLAG

God knows everything that will ever happen. That is the majority view among evangelical Christians. But in recent years a few scholars at evangelical institutions have proposed a radically different view: There is no divine script for the future, they say. Free will plays a big role.

The debate over the scholars' ideas has taken on such fervor that last month an evangelical college told one of its professors, a believer in free will, to leave.

The fired professor, John E. Sanders, at Huntington College in Indiana, is a leading proponent of an approach known as Open Theism, which declares that God and humans with their free will together determine the future.

Bruce A. Ware, senior associate dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and an ardent opponent of Open Theism, says the controversy is of much more than scholarly interest. By rejecting the notion of a supreme being who knows or has even planned the whole future, he says, "Open Theism undermines people's confidence in God." It "makes God pathetic."

Other theologians see the debate over Open Theism as a proxy for a struggle over who will lead the evangelical movement -- free-will-believing liberals or old-fashioned Calvinists. As the debate has spread, a number of evangelical institutions, including the six seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention, have started to require faculty members to sign statements saying that they believe in God's complete knowledge of the future. The statements are intended to keep out supporters of Open Theism.

But the idea's impact is spreading beyond the walls of evangelical seminaries. "For philosophers who speculate about God, it has breathed new life into the debate," says Kelly James Clark, a professor of philosophy at Calvin College and secretary-treasurer of the Society of Christian Philosophers.

An Old Controversy

In other branches of Christianity, arguments over free will and omniscience have been conducted for many centuries. During the Middle Ages and the Protestant Reformation, theologians risked more than their jobs when they found themselves on the wrong side of a theological dispute. It was not uncommon for trials on charges of doctrinal deviations to involve torture of the accused and their subsequent burning at the stake.

Theologians and philosophers in the three great monotheistic religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, have long debated the proper balance between belief in an all-powerful deity and in human free will. St. Augustine, the 4th-century Latin church father; al-Ashari, the 10th-century Islamic theologian; Maimonides, the medieval Jewish philosopher; and John Calvin, the Protestant reformer, all grappled with the issue. All of them argued in favor of God's power.

The scientific revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, and particularly Darwin's theory of evolution, profoundly influenced the debate. Darwinism led many theologians to move away from a more literal reading of the Bible and to reject the concept of a God with absolute power over the physical and human worlds.

Process theology, developed in the first half of the 20th century under the influence of works by the English mathematical logician Alfred North Whitehead and others, views God as involved with humankind in a continuous, dynamic process. The idea has much in common with Open Theism but approaches the issue from a philosophical standpoint that transcends Christianity. Open Theism's proponents say their approach emerged from a close, evangelical reading of the Bible.

The Holocaust provided a new jolt to traditional thinking about God's omniscience, as theologians grappled with the question of what kind of deity would stand by and allow such horrors to happen.

Indeed, the problem of evil has always been central to the debate. Those proclaiming God's infinite power must answer why God's plan contains such atrocities. Those theologians who envision a God who has granted free will to humanity find the explanation for such evils not in God, but in humankind's sinfulness.

Despite the tension between free will and God's power, most branches of Christianity have little problem accommodating both concepts today. "Most of the rest of the Protestant world would agree that the future is open and depends to a varying extent on free will," says Matthew S. Collins, a New Testament scholar and a senior official of the Society of Biblical Literature, which brings together scholars from a wide range of theological orientations.

John F. Haught, a professor of theology at Georgetown University, says contemporary Roman Catholic theologians have generally come down on the side of free will. "The Catholic interpretation takes the Bible very seriously," he says, "but not so literally."

For Christian evangelicals, however, the battle over the extent of divine foreknowledge remains fierce. "I'm a Calvinist," says Mr. Ware, the Southern Baptist dean. "I hold that God has absolute control and has decided everything that will happen."

Even the Holocaust? Yes, says Mr. Ware, but that doesn't mean that his deity is a monster. Injustice will be punished, he insists. Whether in this life or the next, "people are all held accountable before God."

A New Approach

Open Theism represents one of the most serious challenges to the doctrine of the evangelical movement in decades.

In the 1980s several works promoting Open Theism appeared, although that label was not yet used. Then, in 1994, a book with the writings of five evangelical scholars was published by InterVarsity Press, a major evangelical academic publisher, under the title, The Openness of God: A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional Understanding of God.

"It took everyone by surprise," says Mr. Ware, and the book was so influential that "Open Theism was the de facto topic" of each year's annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society from then until last year. With 2,060 full members, the group is the main association of biblical scholars at America's roughly 400 evangelical colleges, seminaries, and Bible schools.

As the controversy grew, a number of evangelical institutions became caught up in the debate. In the mid-1990s Bethel College (now Bethel University), in St. Paul, came under strong pressure from the Baptist General Conference, which controls the institution, to dismiss Gregory A. Boyd, a professor of theology who was another leading proponent of Open Theism.

A committee set up by the college concluded in 1998 that Mr. Boyd's writings did not violate Baptist doctrine, and the institution decided not to dismiss him. But in a concession to the conservatives, Bethel's president, George K. Brushaber, promised not to hire any other Open Theism supporters. Mr. Boyd has since left Bethel to pursue a career as a writer and a minister in an evangelical church.

James H. Barnes III, Bethel's provost, says of the experience, "We had an incredible theological dialogue on campus that could not have been manufactured if we had wanted it."

"But," he adds, "it was a draining experience."

Meanwhile, the Evangelical Theological Society encouraged a thorough debate of the new approach, holding a panel discussion soon after the seminal book appeared, during which the authors and their opponents struggled over the issues.

One of the points debated was the understanding of biblical passages in which God is surprised by events, or in which he is persuaded to change a decision.

In the Book of Exodus, for example, God decides to destroy the Hebrews when they turn away from him and worship a golden calf. Moses, with apparent success, pleads with God to relent. "So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people," says the Bible.

For Open Theists, such texts, in which events unfold through an unscripted give-and-take between God and humanity, must be taken seriously. Conservatives respond that the deity was, in effect, only playing with Moses.

"You can't take this at face value," says Mr. Ware of the troublesome passages. In each case, he insists, "God knew the outcome all along."

Defending Infallibility

At its 2001 annual meeting, the society began the final move against what many members view as heresy. After discussing numerous papers -- some 30 presentations were against Open Theism and only 3 supported it -- the society passed a resolution reaffirming the majority's view: "We believe the Bible clearly teaches that God has complete, accurate, and infallible knowledge of all events past, present, and future."

The resolution passed with 70-percent support. A larger number of members certainly agreed with it, but some were uncomfortable with what they saw as the beginning of an effort to expel the dissidents. Edwin M. Yamauchi, a professor of ancient history at Miami University, in Ohio, who is now the society's vice president, said at the time that if the supporters of Open Theism were excluded, "we will be a more orthodox society, but we will be a poorer society."

At the 2002 meeting, one of the society's founding members, the retired Swiss-born theologian Roger Nicole, declared Open Theism "a cancer on the soul" of the group and called for the expulsion of two of the movement's key proponents. The society decided to investigate whether the two had violated the group's original, doctrinal statement, which asserts the "inerrant" nature of the Bible. (The statement does not directly address the issue of divine foreknowledge.) Their accusers said the two dissidents had denied the truth of biblical passages proclaiming God's full knowledge of future events.

Each man was examined on the basis of what was considered his most flagrant denial of the society's doctrine. For Clark H. Pinnock, a prominent professor of theology who was only months from retirement at McMaster Divinity College, in Hamilton, Ontario, the charges dealt with his book Most Moved Mover (Baker Academic, 2001). John E. Sanders, a midcareer faculty member at Indiana's evangelical Huntington College, was examined on the basis of his The God Who Risks (InterVarsity Press, 1998).

A Personal Journey

For Mr. Sanders, the road to Open Theism began when he was in high school and only nominally Christian. The death of his brother in a motorcycle accident led him to begin thinking deeply about religion. People tried to comfort him by explaining that the accident was part of God's plan. "I said, 'So God killed my brother so I would become a Christian?' They'd say, 'Oh, no, it's not like that.' But there was a disconnect."

Mr. Sanders, who gradually became a committed evangelical, began developing a position that refused to see all events as ordained ahead of time by God. "An 'openness' view says humans are incredibly responsible for what happens," he says. "If a mudslide occurs in Colombia, well, God doesn't just zap manna to the people. He expects us to manifest Christian values and help the people."

Mr. Pinnock agrees. "If the future is determined now, then what's the meaning of our lives?" he asks. "Where's the drama?"

After 10 months of written communications and preparations, the society's nine-member executive committee called the two accused scholars to a daylong examination in October 2003 at a meeting room in a Best Western Hotel in Chicago. Mr. Ware, the theology dean, assisted Mr. Nicole in presenting the case against the two dissidents.

Despite the passions the controversy had ignited, the tone of the meeting remained courteous. "They weren't mean," says Mr. Pinnock. "They were sincere about looking for the boundaries of evangelicalism."

At the end of the day, Mr. Pinnock made a surprise announcement. He told the committee that he was willing to change the wording of a long footnote in his book that the group found particularly objectionable. The footnote pointed to a half-dozen biblical prophecies that do not appear to have come true. The changed version waters down that conclusion.

For example, in the first Book of Thessalonians, Paul predicts the second coming of Christ in his lifetime. (The society's members agree that this did not happen, and that Jesus Christ has yet to return to earth and install the kingdom of God.) "His word was, however, perfectly appropriate," wrote Mr. Pinnock in his revised footnote, "given the fact that Paul thought that the coming could come at any time."

To the thinking of James A. Borland, a faculty member at the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and the Evangelical Theological Society's secretary-treasurer, Mr. Pinnock had "recanted."

Mr. Pinnock sees it differently. "It wasn't a big change," he says. "It seemed to me an easy way to satisfy them."

It did. At its 2003 annual meeting, the following month, the society voted by a large margin not to expel Mr. Pinnock, and by the smallest of margins not to expel Mr. Sanders, who had offered no concessions to his accusers.

Continuing Fallout

The society's decision not to expel the two men was viewed as inappropriate leniency by some members. Norman L. Geisler, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary and a former president of the theological society, resigned from the group in protest.

"Before my own eyes," he says, "I saw an organization I belonged to go down the tubes and officially approve a view which denies the infallible foreknowledge of God."

Yet while conservatives failed to get Mr. Sanders removed from the society, they are forcing him from his faculty job of seven years at Huntington. Last month the college's president, G. Blair Dowden, told a stunned faculty meeting that pressure from the United Brethren Church and the prospect of falling enrollments had become too much to resist. Mr. Sanders, he said, would have to leave.

Mr. Dowden says he was not happy with the decision, which was made by the Board of Trustees. He acknowledges that the move could be a blow to academic freedom.

Yet a few evangelical churches and seminaries, including some in the Pentecostal and Methodist traditions, are receptive to Open Theism. John E. Phelan Jr. is president and dean of North Park University's Theological Seminary, which is controlled by the Evangelical Covenant Church of America, a fast-growing denomination of more than 750 congregations across the United States and Canada.

He has invited both Mr. Pinnock and Mr. Boyd to speak on the campus and says he would not hesitate to hire other supporters of Open Theism.

The seminary does not officially support Open Theism, says Mr. Phelan, but he feels that the approach makes an important contribution to theological discussions.

"There is a lot of sloppy language used by people," he says. "I would personally like our students and scholars to think more clearly about what it means when you say something was 'God's will.'"

As for the fight over Open Theism, Mr. Phelan sees it as "a subtext for a larger struggle going on in evangelicalism," over whether its leaders will adhere to more-conservative Calvinism or more-liberal strains of Christianity.

For his part, Mr. Ware, of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says most members of the Evangelical Theological Society are just happy that the consuming debate over whether to expel the two members has been settled, and that the group can move on to other things. At the same time, he worries that Open Theism itself is spreading.

"Scholars have said pretty much everything they will" on the subject, he says. "Now it is moving outside the scholarly world, down into the pews."

http://chronicle.com/temp/email.php?id=wegog6vv58biw427wl57202320red14i

logos_x
November 29th, 2004, 04:06 PM
The society's decision not to expel the two men was viewed as inappropriate leniency by some members. Norman L. Geisler, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary and a former president of the theological society, resigned from the group in protest.

"Before my own eyes," he says, "I saw an organization I belonged to go down the tubes and officially approve a view which denies the infallible foreknowledge of God."

Yet while conservatives failed to get Mr. Sanders removed from the society, they are forcing him from his faculty job of seven years at Huntington. Last month the college's president, G. Blair Dowden, told a stunned faculty meeting that pressure from the United Brethren Church and the prospect of falling enrollments had become too much to resist. Mr. Sanders, he said, would have to leave.

Mr. Dowden says he was not happy with the decision, which was made by the Board of Trustees. He acknowledges that the move could be a blow to academic freedom.

The spirit of the Pharisee is still very much alive and well.
God help us.

Lighthouse
November 29th, 2004, 04:55 PM
How does the belief that God does not know that which does not exist make Him pathetic?:confused:

logos_x
November 29th, 2004, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

How does the belief that God does not know that which does not exist make Him pathetic?:confused:

It doesn't. This is what happens to people in organisations that want everyone on the same page. And it is especially troublesome in Churches.
The issue becomes "where do we draw the line?" Many a person ends up on the wrong side of the line for beliefs that people think are heresy.
Be thankful they don't burn people at the stake anymore! At least they allow for debate more than they used to.

Christine
November 29th, 2004, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

How does the belief that God does not know that which does not exist make Him pathetic?:confused:
Lighthouse,
By saying that God doesn't know the future is a direct contradiction of many passages of scripture. God says "He is, and which was, and which is to come" (Rev 1:8) Limiting God to someone with the mind of a human is, indeed, patetic.

Clete
November 29th, 2004, 08:06 PM
It seems to me that such opposition is to be expected, after all we aren't talking about our favorite football teams or some other truly trivial point of interest. These people really do believe that Open Theism is an open attack on the very nature of God Himself and so for us to expect them to sit idly by and just let it happen is naive in the extreme.
I say bring it on! If the Open View is indeed true and therefore a defensible theology then it should withstand whatever attack they bring. This doesn't insure that they will fail in their attempt to silence and/or to marginalize the movement, in fact, they will almost certainly succeed, but if our defense is going to be to cry fowl and whine about how unfairly we've been treated, then we've lost already! As for me, I expect opposition at every turn and come prepared to do battle with all who show up to fight. If I am silence by forces beyond my ability to control then that's not on me; I can’t fix what I don't have any control over. But if I am silenced because I cannot defend my beliefs with Scripture and sound reason, or because I am afraid of what someone might think of me, then that is on me and I have no one to blame for the defeat but myself.
Persecution is a purifying flame and I welcome its cleansing heat. The more persecution the stronger those who remain will become. These foolish seminarians are only serving to strengthen that which they are attempting to defeat. But of course, they must believe that they were predestined to do so. Go figure. :rolleyes:

Resting in Him,
Clete

logos_x
November 29th, 2004, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by Christine

Lighthouse,
By saying that God doesn't know the future is a direct contradiction of many passages of scripture. God says "He is, and which was, and which is to come" (Rev 1:8) Limiting God to someone with the mind of a human is, indeed, patetic.

Open theism hardly limits God that severely, Christine. He is still all knowing in that He knows all that is...and all possibilities. And He is still soveriegn. All "open theism" does is remove a deterministic future...saying that God allows for our "free will" (for lack of a better term) in determining our own future, and even effecting change in God's judgement in certain instances.

Way beyond the human mind, dear.

SOTK
November 29th, 2004, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

How does the belief that God does not know that which does not exist make Him pathetic?:confused:

This is one of the problems I have with Open Theism so far...the limiting of God's power. Why wouldn't God have the 'power' to know that which hasn't occured yet? I may not know a lot but as I have read the Bible I keep reading a re-occuring trait of Gods: All powerful. If God possesses the 'power' to create us as well as everything else in creation, it's not a stretch for me to believe that God is powerful enough to know that which hasn't occured yet.

Clete
November 29th, 2004, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by Christine

Lighthouse,
By saying that God doesn't know the future is a direct contradiction of many passages of scripture.
No, it does not. It might contradict what you think the Bible says in certain passages but we concerned with what the Bible actually says not what someone thinks it says. The fact is that there is not one single verse in all of Scripture that requires the belief that God knows every detail of the future.


God says "He is, and which was, and which is to come" (Rev 1:8)
This is as good an example as I can think of.
God is eternal. God exists now. God has always existed. God will always exist. That's what this verse says, nothing more. It has nothing to do with how much of the future God knows in advance.


Limiting God to someone with the mind of a human is, indeed, patetic.
No one has suggested that we should limit God in any such way. God does not have the mind of a human, nothing in Open Theism even hints at such a notion.

Resting in Him,
Clete

God_Is_Truth
November 29th, 2004, 08:14 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

This is one of the problems I have with Open Theism so far...the limiting of God's power. Why wouldn't God have the 'power' to know that which hasn't occured yet?

why wouldn't God have the power to create an genuinely open future?



I may not know a lot but as I have read the Bible I keep reading a re-occuring trait of Gods: All powerful. If God possesses the 'power' to create us as well as everything else in creation, it's not a stretch for me to believe that God is powerful enough to know that which hasn't occured yet.

does God have to know? isn't he powerful enough to create a world where he didn't know?

logos_x
November 29th, 2004, 08:16 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

This is one of the problems I have with Open Theism so far...the limiting of God's power. Why wouldn't God have the 'power' to know that which hasn't occured yet? I may not know a lot but as I have read the Bible I keep reading a re-occuring trait of Gods: All powerful. If God possesses the 'power' to create us as well as everything else in creation, it's not a stretch for me to believe that God is powerful enough to know that which hasn't occured yet.

Or to save everyone....

Clete
November 29th, 2004, 08:22 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

This is one of the problems I have with Open Theism so far...the limiting of God's power. Why wouldn't God have the 'power' to know that which hasn't occurred yet? I may not know a lot but as I have read the Bible I keep reading a re-occurring trait of Gods: All powerful. If God possesses the 'power' to create us as well as everything else in creation, it's not a stretch for me to believe that God is powerful enough to know that which hasn't occurred yet.
The answer to this question depends upon what sort of universe God has created. If He has created a universe in which the future is knowable then God does know it. However, if that were the case then freedom of the will would be an illusion and God would be unjust to punish anyone for acts that they had no choice but to commit. God is not unjust and He does punish and/or reward people for their actions. Thus, those actions must be volitional. If they are volitional they must be free, and if they are free then they cannot be known in advance.
This is not to say that they cannot be predicted. People are very predictable, especially if you know them really well. God knows everything that is knowable that He wants to know and so is able to predict with a very high degree of accuracy what some person will or will not do. But predicting is not the same as knowing. The future acts of free will agents are logically unknowable and thus God does not know them. It no more demeans His omniscience to say that He cannot know the unknowable then it is demeaning to His omnipotence to say that He cannot do the undoable (the logically absurd).


Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
November 29th, 2004, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

Or to save everyone....
God has the power and has provided the means to save everyone. However, some people choose not to be saved and God allows them to make that choice because love must be volitional. God cannot make someone love Him. Not because He is somehow impotent but because it is undoable, its logically absurd.

Resting in Him,
Clete

SOTK
November 29th, 2004, 08:33 PM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

why wouldn't God have the power to create an genuinely open future?

Of course He would, but would He? Of course, He would have to limit His own power to do this. I suppose He could if He wanted to, however, I don't believe God purposely limits His own power. Do you think He does?


Originally posted by God_Is_Truth
does God have to know? isn't he powerful enough to create a world where he didn't know?

God doesn't 'have' to know anything. His knowing is probably a natural result of His infinite power. In other words, He knows because He is. I am not sure it's a matter of 'have'. I believe it's a matter of 'does'.

In answer to your other question, I would say the same as I said above. I believe God is powerful enough to do just about anything He wants to. The question would be "Would God purposely limit his own power in creating an open future?" Again, I am not sure yet if He ever would.

SOTK
November 29th, 2004, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

The answer to this question depends upon what sort of universe God has created. If He has created a universe in which the future is knowable then God does know it. However, if that were the case then freedom of the will would be an illusion and God would be unjust to punish anyone for acts that they had no choice but to commit. God is not unjust and He does punish and/or reward people for their actions. Thus, those actions must be volitional. If they are volitional they must be free, and if they are free then they cannot be known in advance.
This is not to say that they cannot be predicted. People are very predictable, especially if you know them really well. God knows everything that is knowable that He wants to know and so is able to predict with a very high degree of accuracy what some person will or will not do. But predicting is not the same as knowing. The future acts of free will agents are logically unknowable and thus God does not know them. It no more demeans His omniscience to say that He cannot know the unknowable then it is demeaning to His omnipotence to say that He cannot do the undoable (the logically absurd).


Resting in Him,
Clete

Interesting post, Clete. Thanks. I have a problem with the idea of free will not being factored into the Closed View (Calvinism) as much as I have a problem with the implied limiting of God's power in the Open View theology. I am studying both ideas currently and haven't completely made up my mind on either.

I want to talk about what you posted here:


God knows everything that is knowable that He wants to know and so is able to predict with a very high degree of accuracy what some person will or will not do. But predicting is not the same as knowing. The future acts of free will agents are logically unknowable and thus God does not know them.

Didn't God create the whole concept of free will Himself? For example, the free will agents you made reference to? I mean, since He is the creator, He would have been responsible for creating the ability of free will, right? If He can create something as complicated as free will, couldn't He have the ability or power, if you will, to track the complexities of this creation?

You mentioned logic. Since we are a created being, it seems to me that our logic is probably limited. We don't 'know' everything. We can't. We were created. God isn't a creation. He is all powerful. He is the creator. His ability to use and apply logic would be completely different than our ability to use and apply logic. In other words, what seems illogical or improbable to me and you might be very logical and probable for God.

logos_x
November 29th, 2004, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

God has the power and has provided the means to save everyone. However, some people choose not to be saved and God allows them to make that choice because love must be volitional. God cannot make someone love Him. Not because He is somehow impotent but because it is undoable, its logically absurd.

Resting in Him,
Clete

I agree.

Nevertheless....doing the "undoable", that is, saving everyone through their "free will", is precisely what He will accomplish.
Your own argument says that God would not make a situation that He himself could not do. God has seen the end from the begining...and He resolves it. In the end God is "all in all", death is dead, hell is destroyed, and every tear is wiped away...
Impossible? Undoable?
We are talking about the creator of the universe here.
The word impossible...when applied to God, or His universe...is quite without meaning.

Lighthouse
November 29th, 2004, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by Christine

Lighthouse,
By saying that God doesn't know the future is a direct contradiction of many passages of scripture. God says "He is, and which was, and which is to come" (Rev 1:8) Limiting God to someone with the mind of a human is, indeed, patetic.

Anyway...
There is no existing future, Christine. How could God know something that does not exist? That verse means that God was and is to come. Nothing more. And if you want to bring up prophesy, do you realize that all prophesies that God gave were about things He was going to do...things he was going to make happen. And, when He did not change His mind, He made these things come to pass. I do not limit God to the mind of a human. God knows all that can be known, and He does not know that which cannot be known. He does not know that which does not exist. There is nothing pathetic about that.

Lighthouse
November 29th, 2004, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

This is one of the problems I have with Open Theism so far...the limiting of God's power. Why wouldn't God have the 'power' to know that which hasn't occured yet? I may not know a lot but as I have read the Bible I keep reading a re-occuring trait of Gods: All powerful. If God possesses the 'power' to create us as well as everything else in creation, it's not a stretch for me to believe that God is powerful enough to know that which hasn't occured yet.
How would God know that which doesn't exist? He knows all that exists, but that which does not exist is not known to Him. It makes perfect sense. How does omnipotence relate to knowing the non-existent?

God_Is_Truth
November 29th, 2004, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

Of course He would, but would He?

would he if the alternative was robots?



Of course, He would have to limit His own power to do this. I suppose He could if He wanted to, however, I don't believe God purposely limits His own power. Do you think He does?

what else do you call God not doing anything right now about all the evil in the world when he is fully capable of stopping it?



God doesn't 'have' to know anything. His knowing is probably a natural result of His infinite power. In other words, He knows because He is. I am not sure it's a matter of 'have'. I believe it's a matter of 'does'.

how would he not have to know it if his knowing is the natural result of his infinite power?



In answer to your other question, I would say the same as I said above. I believe God is powerful enough to do just about anything He wants to. The question would be "Would God purposely limit his own power in creating an open future?" Again, I am not sure yet if He ever would.

it's not that God would limit his power, it would just limit how it is used. he does not become less powerful in an open future.

see my question above about evil for regards to God limiting power as well.

Lighthouse
November 29th, 2004, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

Of course He would, but would He? Of course, He would have to limit His own power to do this. I suppose He could if He wanted to, however, I don't believe God purposely limits His own power. Do you think He does?



God doesn't 'have' to know anything. His knowing is probably a natural result of His infinite power. In other words, He knows because He is. I am not sure it's a matter of 'have'. I believe it's a matter of 'does'.

In answer to your other question, I would say the same as I said above. I believe God is powerful enough to do just about anything He wants to. The question would be "Would God purposely limit his own power in creating an open future?" Again, I am not sure yet if He ever would.
There is no limit on God's power. His not knowing the unknowable is not a limit to power, nor is it a limit to knowledge. God is omnipotent, and omniscient. His not knowing the future does not limit either of those traits.

Lighthouse
November 29th, 2004, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

I agree.

Nevertheless....doing the "undoable", that is, saving everyone through their "free will", is precisely what He will accomplish.
Your own argument says that God would not make a situation that He himself could not do. God has seen the end from the begining...and He resolves it. In the end God is "all in all", death is dead, hell is destroyed, and every tear is wiped away...
Impossible? Undoable?
We are talking about the creator of the universe here.
The word impossible...when applied to God, or His universe...is quite without meaning.
Open Theism's stance is that God has not seen the end, ever...especially not from the beginning. He knows the end, because He knows what He's going to do in the end, but He does not know all the details. He does not know, for instance, who is going to be there. He knows certain people that will be there, because they are His, now. But He does not know who might be His in the future. Even if I believed Christian Universalism I would say that God does not know who will choose Him in this world...so he doesn't know who will have to go through hell to accept him. Except for those who have either already chosen Him, or are already in hell. But I don't believe in Universalism of any kind.

logos_x
November 30th, 2004, 12:05 AM
Isa 46:8 Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors.
Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Isa 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
Isa 46:12 Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:
Isa 46:13 I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Lighthouse
November 30th, 2004, 12:13 AM
That's what I said. He knows what He will do. He knows what He has declared. But that doesn't mean He can see it.

logos_x
November 30th, 2004, 12:17 AM
Ok. I'll give you that....up to a point.
How much do you think God knows about what He's doing?

SOTK
November 30th, 2004, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

There is no limit on God's power. His not knowing the unknowable is not a limit to power, nor is it a limit to knowledge. God is omnipotent, and omniscient. His not knowing the future does not limit either of those traits.

The Open View theology does seem to place limits on God's power. You many not want to admit it, but it does. The Open View states that God can't know the future. As Clete said, God can make educated guesses. I choose to believe that God doesn't guess at anything.

Calling knowing the future "illogical" because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't wash with me either. I don't compare human logic to God at all. The Open View theology seems to want to do that.

SOTK
November 30th, 2004, 12:20 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

That's what I said. He knows what He will do. He knows what He has declared. But that doesn't mean He can see it.

Why not? Why can't God see it? See, sounds like a limit to me.

SOTK
November 30th, 2004, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth
what else do you call God not doing anything right now about all the evil in the world when he is fully capable of stopping it?

God's not responsible for the evil in the world right now. We are. God has a plan for the evil in the world. It will happen in His time and not ours. It has nothing to do with limiting His power. It has to do with His will.

Lucky
November 30th, 2004, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

Calling knowing the future "illogical" because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't wash with me either. I don't compare human logic to God at all.
What do you mean by "comparing human logic to God"? :confused:

Lighthouse
November 30th, 2004, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

Ok. I'll give you that....up to a point.
How much do you think God knows about what He's doing?
God knows exactly what He's doing.

Lighthouse
November 30th, 2004, 12:38 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

The Open View theology does seem to place limits on God's power. You many not want to admit it, but it does. The Open View states that God can't know the future. As Clete said, God can make educated guesses. I choose to believe that God doesn't guess at anything.
I agree, God does not guess.


Calling knowing the future "illogical" because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't wash with me either. I don't compare human logic to God at all. The Open View theology seems to want to do that.
It's not about the logic of it. It's about the possibillity. We may say nothing is impossible with God, but seeing that which does not exist is impossible, even for God.


Why not? Why can't God see it? See, sounds like a limit to me.
God can't see it, because it doesn't exist.

SOTK
November 30th, 2004, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth
how would he not have to know it if his knowing is the natural result of his infinite power?

I was speaking of what I believe a trait of God's is. I believe He is all powerful and a part of that power is knowing the future. In order for the future to be closed to Him, He would have had to limit His own power because the very fact that He is all powerful would have naturally resulted in Him knowing the future. As I have stated, I have a hard time believing that God would limit Himself. If I am naturally gifted at math, why would I ever limit myself in my knowledge or understanding of math? I wouldn't.

Lighthouse
November 30th, 2004, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

I was speaking of what I believe a trait of God's is. I believe He is all powerful and a part of that power is knowing the future. In order for the future to be closed to Him, He would have had to limit His own power because the very fact that He is all powerful would have naturally resulted in Him knowing the future. As I have stated, I have a hard time believing that God would limit Himself. If I am naturally gifted at math, why would I ever limit myself in my knowledge or understanding of math? I wouldn't.
Not knowing that which is non-existent is not a limit on God's power. And God being omnipotent would not result in His knowing that which does not exist.

SOTK
November 30th, 2004, 01:00 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse
God can't see it, because it doesn't exist.

It doesn't exist for me and for you, but I think it definitely does for God. Why is it such a stretch to believe God is powerful enough to be able to know the future? If He can make the universe and everything in it, why would you think knowing the future would be impossible for Him or that it wouldn't exist for Him? This is what I have meant by logic.

Yorzhik
November 30th, 2004, 01:14 AM
We need Christine and Hilston to weigh in.

logos_x
November 30th, 2004, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

God knows exactly what He's doing.

Then with that we should all rejoice!
Surely we can agree on this much! :greedy:

God_Is_Truth
November 30th, 2004, 02:03 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

God's not responsible for the evil in the world right now. We are. God has a plan for the evil in the world. It will happen in His time and not ours. It has nothing to do with limiting His power. It has to do with His will.

God could have created a world without it though. in the same way, he could have created a closed future, one he knew perfectly and was determined beforehand.

God_Is_Truth
November 30th, 2004, 02:04 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

I was speaking of what I believe a trait of God's is. I believe He is all powerful and a part of that power is knowing the future. In order for the future to be closed to Him, He would have had to limit His own power because the very fact that He is all powerful would have naturally resulted in Him knowing the future. As I have stated, I have a hard time believing that God would limit Himself. If I am naturally gifted at math, why would I ever limit myself in my knowledge or understanding of math? I wouldn't.

what would your marriage be like if you foreknew precisely everything your wife would ever say from the day you met? what kind of relationship would that be like?

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 08:00 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

If He can make the universe and everything in it, why would you think knowing the future would be impossible for Him or that it wouldn't exist for Him? Is it possible for God to deny Himself? Lie?

In order for God to have exhaustive knowledge of future events, He would have to lie.

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 08:11 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth
what would your marriage be like if you foreknew precisely everything your wife would ever say from the day you met? what kind of relationship would that be like? What would your marriage be like if you never actually saw your wife? What would marriage be like if you never audibly heard her voice? What would marriage be like if you knew your wife loved others and was just as loving and devoted to them as she is to you?

Limiting God's foreknowledge because of its effect on a humanistic notion of "relationship" is unbiblical and illogical. The fact is, we just don't have the kind of relationship with the Lord that we do with humans. It's impossible, and frankly, ridiculous. Evangelicals who strive so hard to convince themselves that Jesus is like a husband or a big brother or a best friend are deluding themselves. It's no wonder that evangelicalism is so often ridiculed by the Blue-States.


Originally posted by God_Is_Truth
why wouldn't God have the power to create an genuinely open future?The same reason why God wouldn't have the power to create a black-white-square-round-ball-cube.


Originally posted by God_Is_Truth
does God have to know? isn't he powerful enough to create a world where he didn't know?No. It isn't a matter of being "powerful enough." It's a matter of what is logical and possible. It is neither.

Also, people need to stop using the word "responsible" when talking about God -- that includes Joan of Arcadia. God is responsible to no one; He answers to no one; is accountable to no one. He does what He wants with impunity and full carte blanche, without any accountability whatsoever.

Open Theists like to claim that God could have created the world differently, but chose not to. This is not true, based on their own premises. Open Theists do not believe a genuinely loving God would create a future that is not open. They believe it would be against His character, as they perceive it. Their God is NOT libertarianly free, being constrained by their perception of what constitutes "genuine" love and "genuine" free will. In the Open Theist world, the creature is more libertarianly free than the Creator, which is what follows whenever a human tries to create God in his own image.

Clete
November 30th, 2004, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by SOTK
Didn't God create the whole concept of free will Himself?
No, I don't believe so. Doesn't God Himself have freewill? God didn’t' create Himself but He did create us in His image, thus we have free will.


For example, the free will agents you made reference to? I mean, since He is the creator, He would have been responsible for creating the ability of free will, right?
Yes, God did create us with the ability to choose for ourselves, although I'm not sure what your point is exactly.


If He can create something as complicated as free will, couldn't He have the ability or power, if you will, to track the complexities of this creation?
“Track the complexities”? This sounds similar to what I said about God being able to predict our actions. Is this what you meant?


You mentioned logic. Since we are a created being, it seems to me that our logic is probably limited. We don't 'know' everything. We can't. We were created. God isn't a creation. He is all powerful. He is the creator. His ability to use and apply logic would be completely different than our ability to use and apply logic. In other words, what seems illogical or improbable to me and you might be very logical and probable for God.
No, knowledge and logic are not the same. Logic is knowledge applied according to particular rules (the law of non-contradiction for example). While I agree that God has vastly more knowledge than we do, logic is not affected by the amount of information you have. What is contradictory is contradictory whether you know a lot about it or just a little bit. I suppose that your conclusions may change if the available information changes but the rules of logic do not.
Take love for example, we know plenty enough about love to be able to say with confidence that the idea of non-volitional love is self-contradictory. That is to say, that if we do not choose to love someone then we do not love them at all. Love, by definition MUST be volitional.
Now if you suggest that we don't really know what we think we know about love, that God, knowing everything, knows something about love that we cannot know by virtue of our lower position as created beings, which may make non-volitional love a real possibility, then I submit that the entire Christian faith falls into a pit of hopeless irrationality. We cannot know anything about anything if this is, in fact, the case. And what's more, there is simply no reason to think that any such situation exists unless you are wanting to prop up predestination and the exhaustive foreknowledge of God, neither of which is are logically necessary for the Christian faith to hold together.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
November 30th, 2004, 01:13 PM
Jim,

I just read your last post, and I of course disagree. I wish to tread lightly here though because you and I seem to get along great as long as we aren't discussing Open Theism and if we have to get all mad at each other I’d rather just agree to disagree. So keeping that in mind, let's see if we can’t find a way of exploring this issue that is decidedly less emotional that what we have done in the past. The syllogistic approach comes to mind, let's try that first.

You state that the idea of God creating a universe in which He does not know the future is logically incoherent; that it would be the equivalent of His making a perfectly round sphere with sharp corners or a rock that He can’t lift or whatever.
Now I understand intuitively why God could not make a perfectly round sphere with sharp corners, it's because the idea violates the law of non-contradiction; sharp corners and roundness are mutually exclusive. What I do not see is how the idea of God creating an open future is logically self-contradictory. Please explain. Show me the syllogism!

Umm - Please! ;)


Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
November 30th, 2004, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

I agree.
:thumb:


Nevertheless....doing the "undoable", that is, saving everyone through their "free will", is precisely what He will accomplish.
Univeralism is a topic for another thread I think.


Your own argument says that God would not make a situation that He himself could not do.
No not quite. God could not make, not would not make, big difference.


God has seen the end from the begining...and He resolves it. In the end God is "all in all", death is dead, hell is destroyed, and every tear is wiped away...
Impossible? Undoable?
We are talking about the creator of the universe here.
The word impossible...when applied to God, or His universe...is quite without meaning.
Okay, it seems you are trying to use this as some osrt of argument for universalism which if so, it's a pretty bad one. Nothing you said even comes close to logically requiring such a belief.
Further, in regards to the word impossible being quite meaingless to God, I have one question for you. Is it possible for God to hook up with Satan and be his best friend and buddy in crime?

Resting in Him,
Clete

philosophizer
November 30th, 2004, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

It doesn't exist for me and for you, but I think it definitely does for God. Why is it such a stretch to believe God is powerful enough to be able to know the future? If He can make the universe and everything in it, why would you think knowing the future would be impossible for Him or that it wouldn't exist for Him? This is what I have meant by logic.

Okay, you question Calvinism because of Freewill, but also question the OV because of God's limited foreknowledge.

It sounds like the argument underneath the ideas that you're moving back and forth is the nature of time itself.

There's a few different ways of looking at this:

1) God is outside of Time.

This means that the universe exists as kind of a 4-dimensional sculpture that God has created. He views it as all of space-time in one instant. It is a singularity. Time, in this view, is part of the structure of the universe, or the medium through which existence passes.

This brings up some problems, though. That 4D sculpture that represents the universe-- it had to be created. That means it has a beginning. So how does something get created when part of that creation IS Time? It doesn't really make sense for something in a non-linear environment to have a starting point.

Creation is a type of change. Change is dependent upon Time. How then can something be created when Time itself is a part of that creation?




2) God is "in" Time, but can time travel when He wants to in order to see the future.

Well, if you can't see the problems inherent in that theological view, I don't know what to tell you. God cheats?



3) God is neither outside or inside Time because time is not a thing.

In this view, Time is NOT an element of Creation. It is not a medium through which existence passes. It is not a "thing." It is merely a concept. It's a name that we've given to an idea.

Things change. That's one of the truest things that we witness. "Time" is simply how we describe the universe's constant state of change-- or what we could otherwise call "Life."






Now, is it limiting of God's power to say that He does not know the future in its entirety? Only if one subscribes to #1 or #2. For someone with the 3rd view, the future is not something that exists. It is a non-thing because time is simply a word describing an idea.

So, I guess you might want to examine your concept of time and figure out which makes most sense to you. Then you'll be able to figure out if that view limits God's power or not.

Clete
November 30th, 2004, 01:47 PM
SOTK,
I've already responded to much of this in my previous post to you but I just saw this so I'll add a bit to what I said...


Originally posted by SOTK

The Open View theology does seem to place limits on God's power. You many not want to admit it, but it does. The Open View states that God can't know the future. As Clete said, God can make educated guesses. I choose to believe that God doesn't guess at anything.
Well it's more than a guess because God isn't just sitting idly by watching things happen. He is intimately involved and is able to influence and even manipulate individuals in order to bring about that which He desires to have happen. It's not like the weather man making educated guesses about something over which he has no control whatsoever.


Calling knowing the future "illogical" because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't wash with me either. I don't compare human logic to God at all. The Open View theology seems to want to do that.
There is no such thing as "human logic"! This is a very important point. Logic is logic, something is either logical or it is not. Something is either contradictory or it is not, something is either knowable or it is not. It makes no difference whether a person is human, Martian, Vulcan, or divine, if something cannot be know then it cannot be known. If God knows it, then it is knowable. If humans cannot know it but God can, then it is still knowable. Logic is as logic is; the person using it is irrelevant.
Besides that, the fact that the future doesn't exist is not really the best reason to give as to why God cannot know it exhaustively. The reason why He cannot know it is because of free will. If we cannot choose to do or to do otherwise then we are not free. If the future is known by God (or by anyone else for that matter) then our ability to do otherwise is an illusion at best and so, therefore, is our freedom. If we are not free, and God punishes or rewards us for actions we did not choose to do, God is unjust. God is not unjust! Therefore, we must be free and our future actions must be unknown and unknowable, even to God.

Resting in Him,
Clete

God_Is_Truth
November 30th, 2004, 02:06 PM
Hilston, i'm gonna turn this one over to Clete. he phrased my questions perfectly so i'm gonna sit and watch this one until further questions come up.

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 02:38 PM
God is infinite, completely free of limits and finite boundaries.
All of creation, without exception, is finite.
Therefore, God's knowledge of His finite creation is exhaustive.

According to Open Theists, could God, if He wanted to, know the future exhaustively without being unjust?

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

God's knowledge of His finite creation is exhaustive.

Then why would He claim that there are things He did not know?

"And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know."

Christine
November 30th, 2004, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

Is it possible for God to deny Himself? Lie?

In order for God to have exhaustive knowledge of future events, He would have to lie.
I'm not following how you got from "point A" to "point B." What makes you think God would have to lie? :confused:

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by Christine

I'm not following how you got from "point A" to "point B." What makes you think God would have to lie? :confused: For the reason I stated above. He would have to lie if He claimed that He knew all things concerning future events, when He has already claimed He did not.

Christine
November 30th, 2004, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

For the reason I stated above. He would have to lie if He claimed that He knew all things concerning future events, when He has already claimed He did not.
Where in the Bible has Christ said He doesn't know the future? scriptural references please. :)

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

Then why would He claim that there are things He did not know?

"And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know." Hmm. Good point. The verse you quoted seems to indicate that God not only is clueless about what's going on, He doesn't even know if He can trust His own ears. And He can't even just look and see. He has to send some angels to investigate.

For some reason, this Idiot God was just bumbling along in the universe, when all of sudden, He heard something.

"Hey, what's that noise? It sounds like Sodom and Gomorrah are grievously sinning! But how can I be sure if My ears are trustworthy? I can't just look and see for MySelf because eyeballs are not to be trusted either. So I will send some angels to investigate and they will report back to me. I sure hope My ears work properly when I hear the report. I also hope My rational faculties properly process the information that is reported by the angels."

No wonder He changes His mind all the time.

Clete
November 30th, 2004, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
God is infinite, completely free of limits and finite boundaries.
As stated, I would agree with two caveats.
1) God is, in fact, confined to the limitations of reality, whatever those limitations might be.
2) He is limited in whatever way in which He chooses to limit Himself. For example if God does not want to be a first person witness of the actions of men in the back room of your local homo saloon, He doesn't have to be. No one can make Him look at something which He does not wish too look at. If you doubt that such self-limitation is possible then simply look at the incarnation. God intentionally shed Himself of some of His divine attributes and became a man (and is still a man to this day by the way).

Would you agree? If not, please explain.


All of creation, without exception, is finite.
Agreed, the question then becomes, "Does the future exist? Is it a part of creation?"


Therefore, God's knowledge of His finite creation is exhaustive.
Given your premises, stated as you stated them this conclusion would follow. However given that the premises don't cover all the bases I don't think your syllogism is convincing.


According to Open Theists, could God, if He wanted to, know the future exhaustively without being unjust?
Yes, if He had decided He wasn't going to punish or reward us for the things we do then He could have created a universe where all actions were locked in place and the future was "closed". Why He would want to do such a thing is another question.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by Christine

Where in the Bible has Christ said He doesn't know the future? scriptural references please. :)

Not to be picky... "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
As stated, I would agree with two caveats.
1) God is, in fact, confined to the limitations of reality, whatever those limitations might be.Then God is not infinite in your view.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
2) He is limited in whatever way in which He chooses to limit Himself.Then God is not infinite in your view.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
For example if God does not want to be a first person witness of the actions of men in the back room of your local homo saloon, He doesn't have to be.How does the infinite God remove Himself from finite reality? It's a contradiction.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
No one can make Him look at something which He does not wish too look at.There is nowhere in the created universe that God is not looking. An infinite God cannot "look away" from finite reality. It's a contradiction.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
If you doubt that such self-limitation is possible then simply look at the incarnation. God intentionally shed Himself of some of His divine attributes and became a man (and is still a man to this day by the way).The Second Person of the Godhead did not let go of His hold upon the universe when He became incarnate. The Lord as the ancient of Days was still governing the universe even whilst the Lord as the incarnate Son of Man was walking around in Palestine. The Word of God, the Second Person, the Voice of God, the only member of the Godhead Who speaks, verbally and audibly spoke out of the heavens in behalf of the Father, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased", even while the Word of God, Jesus of Nazareth, was being baptized in the River Jordan.

Hilston wrote: All of creation, without exception, is finite.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Agreed, the question then becomes, "Does the future exist? Is it a part of creation?"If the future doesn't exist as a part of creation, then it exists outside of creation, which is impossible. If the future isn't created, then it is uncreated, a term that only applies to God Himself.

Hilston asked: According to Open Theists, could God, if He wanted to, know the future exhaustively without being unjust?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Yes, if He had decided He wasn't going to punish or reward us for the things we do then He could have created a universe where all actions were locked in place and the future was "closed".Could God create such a universe where all actions were locked in place and the future was "closed" and still be just (i.e. righteous)?

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

Not to be picky... "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." Sozo, these words were spoken by the incarnate, pre-glorified Christ upon the earth to the regenerate of the nation of Israel. At the point where these words were uttered, Jesus Himself did not know about the Body of Christ, which was at that point a Mystery, held in silence from the foundation of the world. Before His incarnation, Christ certainly knew His own plan. After His glorification, Christ certainly knew His own plan.

Caine
November 30th, 2004, 05:32 PM
This may be a little bit of a tangent, but haven't I seen people here claim that God cannot look upon sin? If this is true wouldn't that be another case where God's power is limited?

So if you are an open theist and accept this as well, God can't see the future or sin.

I'm getting really confused here could someone help?

Christine
November 30th, 2004, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

Anyway...
There is no existing future, Christine. How could God know something that does not exist?
He's God, Lighthouse. He healed the blind and lame, made the dead alive, and performed other miracles incomprehensible to the mind of man. If God can do all that, a mere act like knowing the future should be no problem. The future doesn't exist to us mortal men, but it does exist to God.


That verse means that God was and is to come. Nothing more. And if you want to bring up prophesy, do you realize that all prophesies that God gave were about things He was going to do...things he was going to make happen.
If God's going to do something, is that not the same as making something happen? Also, are you saying that God's prophesies don't have to come true?

And, when He did not change His mind, He made these things come to pass.
Are you saying God's prophicies don't carry much weight?


I do not limit God to the mind of a human. God knows all that can be known, and He does not know that which cannot be known. He does not know that which does not exist. There is nothing pathetic about that.
Lighthouse, God knows all that can be known including future events. You are limiting him to being like man, and having no clue what will happen next. You are left to ignore and/or explain away passages like

Numbers 23:19: " God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"

You say God doesn't know the future? What about this passage?

Isaiah 46:10: "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure"

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by Christine

The future doesn't exist to us mortal men, but it does exist to God.

How do you figure?

The following verse (that you used) says otherwise...

Isaiah 46:10: "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure"


If God is privy to the future, then they have already been done.

God_Is_Truth
November 30th, 2004, 07:16 PM
in case anyone forgot, open theism says God does know the future.

http://www.gregboyd.org/gbfront/index.asp?PageID=503

SOTK
November 30th, 2004, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

what would your marriage be like if you foreknew precisely everything your wife would ever say from the day you met? what kind of relationship would that be like?

I don't compare my relationship with my wife to my relationship with God. It's completely different. One of the problems I have with Open View so far is the Open Viewers apparent willingness to compare humanistic ideas, relationships, etc. with our ideas and relationship with God. I think they are two different things.

Clete
November 30th, 2004, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Then God is not infinite in your view.

If infinity is real then it does not extend beyond reality, that would be a contradiction and irrational. All I am saying in that God is real and thus is within reality, by definition.
God cannot transcend reality and remain real; to say that He does transcend reality doesn't make any sense at all.
If you say that God transcends reality, then I ask, "Does He really do that?" If you answer 'yes', then you contradict yourself, and if you answer 'no', then you still contradict yourself. It's totally incoherent.


How does the infinite God remove Himself from finite reality? It's a contradiction.
Only if reality is finite, which it is not or else God could not really be infinite.


There is nowhere in the created universe that God is not looking. An infinite God cannot "look away" from finite reality. It's a contradiction.
Again, this is only true if reality is finite which I do not believe you can establish without destroying the infinity of God.
Further, it seems the Bible has plenty of examples where God does indeed look away or is not present. The Lake of Fire is probably the most obvious example. God is not now, nor will He ever be present in the Lake of Fire.


The Second Person of the Godhead did not let go of His hold upon the universe when He became incarnate. The Lord as the ancient of Days was still governing the universe even whilst the Lord as the incarnate Son of Man was walking around in Palestine. The Word of God, the Second Person, the Voice of God, the only member of the Godhead Who speaks, verbally and audibly spoke out of the heavens in behalf of the Father, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased", even while the Word of God, Jesus of Nazareth, was being baptized in the River Jordan.
Well this gets off the topic but it sure seems to be to a lot easier to simply say the Father is the one who said "This is MY Son..."
This statement reeks of one reading their theology into the text. There is certainly nothing in the text itself that suggests that anyone but the Father was speaking here.
Be that as it may, your comment does not speak to the point, which is that God is able to limit Himself in at least some meaningful ways or else the incarnation could not have happened.


If the future doesn't exist as a part of creation, then it exists outside of creation, which is impossible. If the future isn't created, then it is uncreated, a term that only applies to God Himself.
You've forgot one major option, that option being that the future does not exist at all. Neither does the past, by the way. All of exists is now. Everything else exists only in our minds as either memories or as potentialities but not in reality with their own independent existence.


Could God create such a universe where all actions were locked in place and the future was "closed" and still be just (i.e. righteous)?
Same question, same answer. Yes, IF He weren't to punish or reward those locked in actions.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Delmar
November 30th, 2004, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

The Open View theology does seem to place limits on God's power. You many not want to admit it, but it does. The Open View states that God can't know the future. . No it doesn't ! You are making a "can God make a rock so big he can't lift it argument". God can and does know the future every time decides what the future is going to be!

Christine
November 30th, 2004, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

How do you figure?

The following verse (that you used) says otherwise...

Isaiah 46:10: "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure"


If God is privy to the future, then they have already been done.

"Not yet done" as in man has yet to commit the acts. This doesn't mean God is privy to these acts. The verse said that God "declared the end from the beginning," so God must know the end and the beginning in order to declare them.

SOTK
November 30th, 2004, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

Is it possible for God to deny Himself? Lie?

In order for God to have exhaustive knowledge of future events, He would have to lie.

No, God does not lie and I fail to see anywhere in the Bible where God lied about being able to have knowledge of future events. For example, every prophecy about the Messiah in the OT came true in Jesus Christ. Did they not?

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 07:34 PM
Originally posted by Christine

"Not yet done" as in man has yet to commit the acts. This doesn't mean God is privy to these acts. The verse said that God "declared the end from the beginning," so God must know the end and the beginning in order to declare them.

No, God brings to pass the end and the beginning. If God knows every detail in the future then they have been done.

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 07:36 PM
Sozo,

I've responded to two of your posts with no rejoinder from you. Do I rightly assume that your lack of response intimates your wholehearted agreement with my posts?

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

No, God brings to pass the end and the beginning. If God knows every detail in the future then they have been done. An architect knows every detail of a building he has designed, but that doesn't mean the building is built. :kookoo:

Christine
November 30th, 2004, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

No, God brings to pass the end and the beginning. If God knows every detail in the future then they have been done.
That's how it is with man. I can't know the future until it happens. So, you're limiting God to man's mind, even though the Bible is full of countless prophicies God has fulfilled.

God_Is_Truth
November 30th, 2004, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

I don't compare my relationship with my wife to my relationship with God. It's completely different. One of the problems I have with Open View so far is the Open Viewers apparent willingness to compare humanistic ideas, relationships, etc. with our ideas and relationship with God. I think they are two different things.

what do you think it was like for the disciples of Jesus? what about moses? what about Paul? that all had personal relationships with God that existed with real interaction, real voices and real words.

SOTK
November 30th, 2004, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by philosophizer

Okay, you question Calvinism because of Freewill, but also question the OV because of God's limited foreknowledge.

It sounds like the argument underneath the ideas that you're moving back and forth is the nature of time itself.

There's a few different ways of looking at this:

1) God is outside of Time.

This means that the universe exists as kind of a 4-dimensional sculpture that God has created. He views it as all of space-time in one instant. It is a singularity. Time, in this view, is part of the structure of the universe, or the medium through which existence passes.

This brings up some problems, though. That 4D sculpture that represents the universe-- it had to be created. That means it has a beginning. So how does something get created when part of that creation IS Time? It doesn't really make sense for something in a non-linear environment to have a starting point.

Creation is a type of change. Change is dependent upon Time. How then can something be created when Time itself is a part of that creation?




2) God is "in" Time, but can time travel when He wants to in order to see the future.

Well, if you can't see the problems inherent in that theological view, I don't know what to tell you. God cheats?



3) God is neither outside or inside Time because time is not a thing.

In this view, Time is NOT an element of Creation. It is not a medium through which existence passes. It is not a "thing." It is merely a concept. It's a name that we've given to an idea.

Things change. That's one of the truest things that we witness. "Time" is simply how we describe the universe's constant state of change-- or what we could otherwise call "Life."



Now, is it limiting of God's power to say that He does not know the future in its entirety? Only if one subscribes to #1 or #2. For someone with the 3rd view, the future is not something that exists. It is a non-thing because time is simply a word describing an idea.

So, I guess you might want to examine your concept of time and figure out which makes most sense to you. Then you'll be able to figure out if that view limits God's power or not.

I have always leaned to #1. My thinking is that because we (humans) are so limited in what we know and we are so linear, it is hard for us to imagine God not being held to the same things we are held to. It's hard for us to comprehend. Just because it's hard to comprehend and doesn't make sense, doesn't mean it isn't so. When we start comparing what we know to God and what we percieve to be the truth, I think we are going to be wrong every time. There is so much we don't know and understand about God. He is so much more than us that it's incredible!

I appreciate your thinking, philo, and have thought similar things. I just keep going back to the idea of God being all powerful and myself a mere human being. :)

SOTK

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

If infinity is real then it does not extend beyond reality, that would be a contradiction and irrational. All I am saying in that God is real and thus is within reality, by definition.There is finite reality, and then there is God, who is the ultimate and infinite Reality.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
God cannot transcend reality and remain real; ...God (infinite and uncreated Reality) can and does transcend finite reality (creation).


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
If you say that God transcends reality, then I ask, "Does He really do that?" If you answer 'yes', then you contradict yourself, and if you answer 'no', then you still contradict yourself. It's totally incoherent.First, this is equivocation. "Really", as you've used it, is equivalent to "actually" or "truly" as opposed to "not really" or "falsely." Second, there is no logical necessity that says the infinite and transcendent God cannot do things within finite reality.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Only if reality is finite, which it is not or else God could not really be infinite.I'm surprised that you're making this argument, Clete.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Again, this is only true if reality is finite which I do not believe you can establish without destroying the infinity of God.So you're arguing for something being infinite besides God?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Further, it seems the Bible has plenty of examples where God does indeed look away or is not present. The Lake of Fire is probably the most obvious example. God is not now, nor will He ever be present in the Lake of Fire.You have it backward. The Lake of Fire is within God. There is nowhere in creation that is outside of God. If God is infinite, then the passages in scripture that describe God as looking away or not being present cannot be taken literally. If you wish to assert that God is not finite, then you can have the literal interpretation. If you agree that God is infinite, then you cannot have the literal interpretation and be logically consistent.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Well this gets off the topic but it sure seems to be to a lot easier to simply say the Father is the one who said "This is MY Son..."Sure it seems easier, but that doesn't make it true. The Father is not the speaking aspect of the Godhead. The Logos is.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Be that as it may, your comment does not speak to the point, which is that God is able to limit Himself in at least some meaningful ways or else the incarnation could not have happened.The Godhead, the Logos included, has never been less than infinite. The second Person, in His humanity, willingly submitted Himself to the finite parameters of creation. But He did not, in His Deity, ever let go of the atoms that He has held together since the creation.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
You've forgot one major option, that option being that the future does not exist at all.If the future does not exist, it must be created.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Neither does the past, by the way. All of exists is now. Everything else exists only in our minds as either memories or as potentialities but not in reality with their own independent existence.Then nothing exists, Clete. There is no "now." Before you say the word "now," the word to be uttered is future and doesn't exist. As soon as you say "now", the uttered word is past, and doesn't exist. Memories have existence, so does true and accurate history, which often belies memories.

Hilston asked: Could God create such a universe where all actions were locked in place and the future was "closed" and still be just (i.e. righteous)?



Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Same question, same answer. Yes, IF He weren't to punish or reward those locked in actions.So if God created a world of evil humans in which all their actions were locked in place and the future was "closed", God would still be righteous as long as He didn't punish any of them for doing evil? Is that your view?

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

No, God does not lie and I fail to see anywhere in the Bible where God lied about being able to have knowledge of future events. For example, every prophecy about the Messiah in the OT came true in Jesus Christ. Did they not?

Every prophecy came true, because God brought it to pass, not because He lives outside of time and views the future in advance. Even if God could see the "future" before it happened, He would still need to bring it to pass.


(btw... does anyone have know the Hebrew word for future0

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

An architect knows every detail of a building he has designed, but that doesn't mean the building is built.

This is true, but we are not talking about God simply having foreknowledge (which I believe He does), we are talking about God seeing something that has already taken place before we experience it. That is what I object to.

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by Sozo
btw... does anyone have know the Hebrew word for futureHere's a better question, Sozo. Is there a future tense parsing of verbs in the Hebrew language?

:freak:

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 08:44 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Here's a better question, Sozo. Is there a future tense parsing of verbs in the Hebrew language?

:freak: I guess I "changed" my mind in the middle of a sentence. :doh:

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

This is true, but we are not talking about God simply having foreknowledge (which I believe He does), we are talking about God seeing something that has already taken place before we experience it. That is what I object to. Sozo, you're arguing against a claim that no one has made (unless I missed it). Who is saying that "God is seeing something that has already taken place before we experience it"?

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Sozo, these words were spoken by the incarnate, pre-glorified Christ upon the earth to the regenerate of the nation of Israel. At the point where these words were uttered, Jesus Himself did not know about the Body of Christ, which was at that point a Mystery, held in silence from the foundation of the world. Before His incarnation, Christ certainly knew His own plan. After His glorification, Christ certainly knew His own plan.

I agree... He had absolute foreknowledge of His plan!

Hilston
November 30th, 2004, 08:48 PM
You just contradicted yourself. You first quoted that Jesus didn't know what the Father had planned. Now you're saying He had absolute knowledge of it. You can't seem to sit still long enough to understand your own argument.

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Sozo, you're arguing against a claim that no one has made (unless I missed it). Who is saying that "God is seeing something that has already taken place before we experience it"?

Not you. But, that is a common train of thought among Christians, and what some are saying here.

It is a common belief that God is outside of time and He sees the history of the world like a movie from beginning to end, even though it has not yet happened.

Sozo
November 30th, 2004, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

You just contradicted yourself. You first quoted that Jesus didn't know what the Father had planned. Now you're saying He had absolute knowledge of it. You can't seem to sit still long enough to understand your own argument.

No Jim, slow down. Christine asked if there was a verse where Jesus did not know a future event. I simply provided one.

Clete
November 30th, 2004, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
There is finite reality, and then there is God, who is the ultimate and infinite Reality.
Reality is reality Jim, if there are two or more parts of it great, but there is still only one reality.


God (infinite and uncreated Reality) can and does transcend finite reality (creation).
I never denied that God transcends creation, of course He does; He created it. But again, there is only one reality; everything that is real defines it.


First, this is equivocation. "Really", as you've used it, is equivalent to "actually" or "truly" as opposed to "not really" or "falsely." Second, there is no logical necessity that says the infinite and transcendent God cannot do things within finite reality.
You totally missed the point! I used the word "really" because it is from the root word "real" the same root word from which we get "reality". I assumed the connection was obvious. What is real is really part of reality. That which is not part of reality is not really real. Get it?


I'm surprised that you're making this argument, Clete.
It feels like you aren't understanding it.


So you're arguing for something being infinite besides God?
Reality is not a thing, its a concept, an idea. It has to do with that which is real. See above.


You have it backward. The Lake of Fire is within God. There is nowhere in creation that is outside of God. If God is infinite, then the passages in scripture that describe God as looking away or not being present cannot be taken literally. If you wish to assert that God is not infinite, then you can have the literal interpretation. If you agree that God is infinite, then you cannot have the literal interpretation and be logically consistent.
Not so. I think this statement comes from a misunderstanding of what it means to be infinite. It is not necessary for God to be everywhere for Him to be infinite in size, for example, because infinity minus any quantity less than infinity leave you with infinity.
Take time, for example. Remember the last verse of the hymn "Amazing Grace"?
"When we've been there a thousand years, bright shining as the Son,
we've no less days to sing God's praise then when we first begun."
This is a very true statement! A billion years from now there will be no less time left than there was a billion years ago. Such is the nature of infinity.
So the belief that God is not present in Hell does nothing to His infinity at all unless you believe that Hell itself is infinitely large, which I don't.


The Godhead, the Logos included, has never been less than infinite.
I never said otherwise.


The second Person, in His humanity, willingly submitted Himself to the finite parameters of creation.
He limited Himself in some way then, right? That's all I'm saying.


But He did not, in His Deity, ever let go of the atoms that He has held together since the creation.
I never said anything about that.


If the future does not exist, it must be created.
No it doesn't. The future does not exist now nor has it ever existed nor will it ever exist. What exists, exists now, period.


Then nothing exists, Clete. There is no "now." Before you say the word "now," the word to be uttered is future and doesn't exist. As soon as you say "now", the uttered word is past, and doesn't exist. Memories have existence, so does true and accurate history, which often belies memories.
Okay, we need to hang out on this for a bit. Slow down for a second and think this through with me.
First of all I didn't say that memories don't exist. They do exist in your head or in whatever state that memories take, the point is that they exist now, it is the past and the future that don't exist. History exists, books exist, computers exist, you and I exist, etc, etc. But all these things exist in the present, not the past or the future. They used to exist in what we now call the past and they might exist in what we now call the future but they only actually exist now.
Secondly, the word now is indeed a very short word that only takes a small fraction of a second to say but within that small amount of time is a mind bending number of individual "nows". First, there is present the first hint of the sound that the letter 'n' makes, then a very little while later an 'ow' sound is present at which point the 'n' sound is now past and is no longer heard, it's existence has past and now only exists in the mind of those present to know it has been uttered.
Existence flows seamlessly from one moment to the next and everything that exists is present in that tiny moment of time which we refer to as the "present" or "now". The fact that either of those two words take a lot of "nows" to use is irrelevant to the point.


So if God created a world of evil humans in which all their actions were locked in place and the future was "closed", God would still be righteous as long as He didn't punish any of them for doing evil? Is that your view?
Morality implies a volitional choice; therefore, "evil humans in which all their actions were locked in place and the future was "closed"" is a self-contradictory idea.
If you take out the word 'evil', I think you'd be getting somewhere. God could have made people whose action where locked in place, yes. But had He done so, morality, good, evil, love, hate, etc would all be meaningless to those people. They would be utterly incapable of loving God or each other. This would not impact the righteousness of God as long as He didn't decide to punish or reward these robotic people according to their actions.

Resting in Him,
Clete

SOTK
November 30th, 2004, 10:49 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

SOTK,
I've already responded to much of this in my previous post to you but I just saw this so I'll add a bit to what I said...


Well it's more than a guess because God isn't just sitting idly by watching things happen. He is intimately involved and is able to influence and even manipulate individuals in order to bring about that which He desires to have happen. It's not like the weather man making educated guesses about something over which he has no control whatsoever.

If God, in your words, is manipulating individuals in order to bring about that which He desires to have happen, how is the concept of free will figured into this? The future may be open but if God "manipulates" individuals along the way, how open is the future?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
There is no such thing as "human logic"! This is a very important point. Logic is logic, something is either logical or it is not. Something is either contradictory or it is not, something is either knowable or it is not. It makes no difference whether a person is human, Martian, Vulcan, or divine, if something cannot be know then it cannot be known. If God knows it, then it is knowable. If humans cannot know it but God can, then it is still knowable. Logic is as logic is; the person using it is irrelevant.
Besides that, the fact that the future doesn't exist is not really the best reason to give as to why God cannot know it exhaustively. The reason why He cannot know it is because of free will. If we cannot choose to do or to do otherwise then we are not free. If the future is known by God (or by anyone else for that matter) then our ability to do otherwise is an illusion at best and so, therefore, is our freedom. If we are not free, and God punishes or rewards us for actions we did not choose to do, God is unjust. God is not unjust! Therefore, we must be free and our future actions must be unknown and unknowable, even to God.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Okay, I'm with you on your logic argument to a point. What I was trying to get at with my point is that I believe we are finite and God is infinite. We are created and God is The Creator. What may be illogical to me may be logical to God. The concept of Time, specifically the concept of past and future, is beyond my ability to comprehend it. I can't comprehend it because it does not exist for me. It very likely exists for God and He understands it perfectly. I can not even begin to understand the creation of life. God says that He created life. With science, I can see how intricate and delicate the creation of life is and even watch life happen, however, in terms of understanding how God did it, I'm baffled. It's beyond me. Take the concept of living forever. Christ promises eternal life. What the heck is that?? How can I or you begin to even understand what eternity means? That's what I meant by human logic. I worded my point poorly. There is a limit to our understanding of God's character and power and all that that entails. Just because the idea that God's exhaustive knowledge of past, present, and future seems utterly ridiculous or illogical to me and you, does not necessarily make it so.

I admit freely that I have a hard time understanding how free will factors into a Closed View. So far, the only thing that I can come up with that kind of makes sense to me is the following: I still have free will in the Closed View, however, when I exert my will it will never go against that which God has already pre-determined to have happen. In God's exhaustive knowledge, He already knew/knows what choices I will make. My choices/actions will never go against that which He has pre-determined. My free will choice in whatever I do will always make sense to me, and I will always lean to that choice. It would be impossible for me to make a free will choice which would go against that which God has already pre-determined.

In Christ,

SOTK

Lucky
November 30th, 2004, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

If God, in your words, is manipulating individuals in order to bring about that which He desires to have happen, how is the concept of free will figured into this? The future may be open but if God "manipulates" individuals along the way, how open is the future?
You caught that, did you. I'm not so sure how that works either. I guess we don't have "exhaustive" free will? If God can force us to do things, overriding our will, then the question is how much can/does he do this?

This really comes into play with prayer. If everything is predestined, my prayers aren't going to change anything, because what's gonna happen has already happened. But if we have total free will that God cannot manipulate us in anyway, my prayers aren't going to do anything that way either. So if my prayer will do anything, for sure the future needs to be open, but by the same token God has to be able to influence our actions to some degree, meaning our free will isn't 100% free.

:think:

novice
November 30th, 2004, 11:53 PM
Originally posted by SOTK

If God, in your words, is manipulating individuals in order to bring about that which He desires to have happen, how is the concept of free will figured into this? The future may be open but if God "manipulates" individuals along the way, how open is the future?

Two points...

1. God doesn't manipulate every molecule for all of time. Yet there are times God manipulates in certain circumstances to accomplish specific tasks.

2. This manipulation does not remove freewill in the same sense that my manipulating my children (in certain circumstances) does not remove their freewill. In other words.... the people whom God manipulates still have the ability to reject Gods manipulation, and when and if this happens God finds another path to meet His objectives.

For instance...
God wanted to use the nation of Israel as a conduit to bring salvation to the world and set up God's kingdom here on earth. God manipulated Israel in a variety of ways to accomplish this goal. (Isaiah 5:2) But Israel continually rejected God (Isaiah 5:4) (Acts 7:51). Eventually God quite attempting to manipulate Israel and turned to the gentiles ushering in grace (via Paul) through faith in the risen Christ.

So there we have clear example of God manipulating a people yet not removing their freewill, Israel used this freewill to eventually move God to set-aside His people and turn to another.

It isn't that God does not have the power to create a race of robots obeying his every command.... yet it is that God did not want a race of robots obeying His command.

SOTK
December 1st, 2004, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by novice

Two points...

1. God doesn't manipulate every molecule for all of time. Yet there are times God manipulates in certain circumstances to accomplish specific tasks.

2. This manipulation does not remove freewill in the same sense that my manipulating my children (in certain circumstances) does not remove their freewill. In other words.... the people whom God manipulates still have the ability to reject Gods manipulation, and when and if this happens God finds another path to meet His objectives.

For instance...
God wanted to use the nation of Israel as a conduit to bring salvation to the world and set up God's kingdom here on earth. God manipulated Israel in a variety of ways to accomplish this goal. (Isaiah 5:2) But Israel continually rejected God (Isaiah 5:4) (Acts 7:51). Eventually God quite attempting to manipulate Israel and turned to the gentiles ushering in grace (via Paul) through faith in the risen Christ.

So there we have clear example of God manipulating a people yet not removing their freewill, Israel used this freewill to eventually move God to set-aside His people and turn to another.

It isn't that God does not have the power to create a race of robots obeying his every command.... yet it is that God did not want a race of robots obeying His command.

God, manipulating a person or persons in any way shape or form, is going to remove their free will. You can explain it any way you would like, but it's gonna happen. You can't use the parental analogy because parents don't have the authority and power of God. When I attempt to manipulate one of my kids, all I'm using is my voice, experience, and intelligence. Those can be great tools yet my child can still easily back out of that attempt at manipulation and exert his free will. Somehow I think God has a lot more tricks up his sleeve than a mere parent not too mention those tricks are omnipotent in nature.

I don't think God used Israel for salvation at all. You are right about the gentiles and Paul, but I don't feel God ever intended for Israel to be used for salvation. By the way, I don't think God has ever "set a side" Israel. They are still His people.

The whole "Robot" argument doesn't scare me away when it's thrown up to discourage the Calvinistic view. I could use a Robot analogy with Open View as well. Given what I've heard about manipulation, humans in this OV are kind of like Robots themselves. The difference is that with the Open View Robot analogy, human robots have the ability to think and make choices not unlike the concept of AI. However, robots, even with AI, can be reprogrammed. Kind of like being "manipulated", no?

Listen, I am not entirely convinced that the future being closed prevents the lack of choice or free will. (See my last reply to Clete) I think it's more a matter of just not being able to completely understand how it works at first glance.

In Christ,

SOTK

Hilston
December 1st, 2004, 12:49 AM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Reality is reality Jim, if there are two or more parts of it great, but there is still only one reality.Do you believe reality is infinite?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I never denied that God transcends creation, of course He does; He created it.How does God transcend creation?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
You totally missed the point! I used the word "really" because it is from the root word "real" the same root word from which we get "reality". I assumed the connection was obvious. What is real is really part of reality. That which is not part of reality is not really real. Get it?Yes, I got that, the connection was obvious, and I saw it coming like a circus elephant down the sidewalk. You missed my point. Real is really part of reality, just as truth is truly part of what is true. This is equivocation. It doesn't say anything. Get it?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Reality is not a thing, its a concept, an idea. It has to do with that which is real. See above.OK, fine. Are you making an argument for infinitude that transcends God?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Not so. I think this statement comes from a misunderstanding of what it means to be infinite. It is not necessary for God to be everywhere for Him to be infinite in size, for example, because infinity minus any quantity less than infinity leave you with infinity.Who said anything about size? Nothing exists apart from God, independent of God, at any distance from God. He is separate from His creation (i.e., holy), but creation cannot exist separated from Him. All, even hell and the Lake of Fire, are contained within Him.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
So the belief that God is not present in Hell does nothing to His infinity at all unless you believe that Hell itself is infinitely large, which I don't.It's not a matter of size. It's a matter of existence. Anything that exists is contained within God. There is nothing that transcends Him or that is outside of Him.

Hilston wrote: The Godhead, the Logos included, has never been less than infinite.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I never said otherwise.But you still think God can choose to not be somewhere?

Hilston wrote: But He did not, in His Deity, ever let go of the atoms that He has held together since the creation.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
I never said anything about that.But you still think God can choose to not be somewhere?

Hilston wrote: If the future does not exist, it must be created.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
No it doesn't. The future does not exist now nor has it ever existed nor will it ever exist. What exists, exists now, period.Prove the past and future do not exist.

Hilston wrote: Then nothing exists, Clete. There is no "now." Before you say the word "now," the word to be uttered is future and doesn't exist. As soon as you say "now", the uttered word is past, and doesn't exist. Memories have existence, so does true and accurate history, which often belies memories.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Okay, we need to hang out on this for a bit. Slow down for a second and think this through with me. First of all I didn't say that memories don't exist. They do exist in your head or in whatever state that memories take, the point is that they exist now, it is the past and the future that don't exist.Are there true and false memories? How do we ascertain which are which?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
History exists ...Please define "history."


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
... books exist, computers exist, you and I exist, etc, etc. But all these things exist in the present, not the past or the future.The events that define history exist in the past, Clete.


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
They used to exist in what we now call the past and they might exist in what we now call the future but they only actually exist now. ... Existence flows seamlessly from one moment to the next and everything that exists is present in that tiny moment of time which we refer to as the "present" or "now". The fact that either of those two words take a lot of "nows" to use is irrelevant to the point.Your view is utterly unbiblical, Clete. Scriptures instruct us to count on the future, with full assurance of faith, firm and unwavering certitude regarding a future which you say does not exist. The Word of God gives us explicit prescriptions to long for a future we do not see, but nonetheless exists.

Ro 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, ...
Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Heb 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Hilston wrote:
So if God created a world of evil humans in which all their actions were locked in place and the future was "closed", God would still be righteous as long as He didn't punish any of them for doing evil? Is that your view?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
Morality implies a volitional choice; therefore, "evil humans in which all their actions were locked in place and the future was "closed"" is a self-contradictory idea.Then let's modify the statement.

So if God created a world of humans whose only emotion was jealousy, in which all their actions were locked in place and the future was "closed", God would still be righteous as long as He didn't punish any of them for any of their actions? Is that your view?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
If you take out the word 'evil', I think you'd be getting somewhere. God could have made people whose action where locked in place, yes. But had He done so, morality, good, evil, love, hate, etc would all be meaningless to those people.So what. Could God do that?


Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer
They would be utterly incapable of loving God or each other. This would not impact the righteousness of God as long as He didn't decide to punish or reward these robotic people according to their actions.So you're basically saying that there is only one kind of world God could have created and still be righteous and loving, right?

So what part of the syllogism do you disagree with?
God is infinite, completely free of limits and finite boundaries.
All of creation, without exception, is finite.
Therefore, God's knowledge of His finite creation is exhaustive.

logos_x
December 1st, 2004, 12:57 AM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

:thumb:


Univeralism is a topic for another thread I think.

It isn't my intention to hijack this thread..only raise another option that calvinistic or open theistic believers might want to consider.
Frankly..the old argument between open theism and calvinism takes up a lot threads on TOL...and they all sound the same.
Forgive me for giving a different perspective to the debate.



No not quite. God could not make, not would not make, big difference.

Ok.
doesn't change the point I was making though.



Okay, it seems you are trying to use this as some sort of argument for universalism which if so, it's a pretty bad one. Nothing you said even comes close to logically requiring such a belief.

My argument is just as valid and compelling as anyone elses on this thread.
What makes your view more logical...so much more logical that it requires such a belief as yours?
Maybe it was a bad argument...seems to be catching.


Further, in regards to the word impossible being quite meaingless to God, I have one question for you. Is it possible for God to hook up with Satan and be his best friend and buddy in crime?

Resting in Him,
Clete

What about the opposite?
Can God bring everyone back to himself?
Is it possible for Satan to be redeemed...
My argument is that everything, universally, is IN GOD in the end...Not that evil is allowed to continue and remain outside of God.
That you would even consider asking that kind of question as though it somehow invalidates universal reconciliation shows that you have no idea what it means.


But...since this isn't the place to discuss it...have fun.

Lighthouse
December 1st, 2004, 03:03 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

It doesn't exist for me and for you, but I think it definitely does for God. Why is it such a stretch to believe God is powerful enough to be able to know the future? If He can make the universe and everything in it, why would you think knowing the future would be impossible for Him or that it wouldn't exist for Him? This is what I have meant by logic.
How would it exist for God? And what is logic, anyway?

Lighthouse
December 1st, 2004, 03:18 AM
Originally posted by Christine

He's God, Lighthouse. He healed the blind and lame, made the dead alive, and performed other miracles incomprehensible to the mind of man. If God can do all that, a mere act like knowing the future should be no problem. The future doesn't exist to us mortal men, but it does exist to God.
If it exists to God, then it exists to us. So, either it exists, or it does not.


If God's going to do something, is that not the same as making something happen? Also, are you saying that God's prophesies don't have to come true?
His prophesy against Nineveh didn't. He changed His mind. And David certainly thought God would change His mind about the death of the son he was to have with Bathsheba.


Are you saying God's prophicies don't carry much weight?
I never said that. But God does change His mind.


Lighthouse, God knows all that can be known including future events. You are limiting him to being like man, and having no clue what will happen next. You are left to ignore and/or explain away passages like
I am arguing that that which does not exist can not be known.


Numbers 23:19: " God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
I never said God lies. But He did repent that He made man, and He repented of the evil that He said He would do against Nineveh.


You say God doesn't know the future? What about this passage?

Isaiah 46:10: "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure"
He declared the end. He declared what He would do in the end. Nothing more. This does not give any reason to believe that He knows the details, or that he can even see the future. Only that He knows what He will do.

Lighthouse
December 1st, 2004, 03:21 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

No, God does not lie and I fail to see anywhere in the Bible where God lied about being able to have knowledge of future events. For example, every prophecy about the Messiah in the OT came true in Jesus Christ. Did they not?
Because God brought them to pass. And He knew He was going to, so He gave prophesies to His people about Messiah. God knew what He was going to do, and what He was going to bring about.

Lighthouse
December 1st, 2004, 03:31 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

God, manipulating a person or persons in any way shape or form, is going to remove their free will. You can explain it any way you would like, but it's gonna happen. You can't use the parental analogy because parents don't have the authority and power of God. When I attempt to manipulate one of my kids, all I'm using is my voice, experience, and intelligence. Those can be great tools yet my child can still easily back out of that attempt at manipulation and exert his free will. Somehow I think God has a lot more tricks up his sleeve than a mere parent not too mention those tricks are omnipotent in nature.

I don't think God used Israel for salvation at all. You are right about the gentiles and Paul, but I don't feel God ever intended for Israel to be used for salvation. By the way, I don't think God has ever "set a side" Israel. They are still His people.

The whole "Robot" argument doesn't scare me away when it's thrown up to discourage the Calvinistic view. I could use a Robot analogy with Open View as well. Given what I've heard about manipulation, humans in this OV are kind of like Robots themselves. The difference is that with the Open View Robot analogy, human robots have the ability to think and make choices not unlike the concept of AI. However, robots, even with AI, can be reprogrammed. Kind of like being "manipulated", no?

Listen, I am not entirely convinced that the future being closed prevents the lack of choice or free will. (See my last reply to Clete) I think it's more a matter of just not being able to completely understand how it works at first glance.

In Christ,

SOTK
God manipulating events, has no bearing on free will. He can manipulate us, into doing something, without forcing us to do it. And just because He manipulates us at one time, does not mean that He is constantly manipulating us. The same goes for events. He manipulates some, but not all.

Chileice
December 1st, 2004, 05:30 AM
Originally posted by Hilston

Here's a better question, Sozo. Is there a future tense parsing of verbs in the Hebrew language?

:freak:

Actually, there is no future tense in Hebrew. You must "intuit" it from context. The reason why saying "I AM" was more powerful in Hebrew than in any other language. It implies existence past present (if that exists) and future.

Chileice
December 1st, 2004, 06:32 AM
quote:
Originally posted by novice

Two points...

1. God doesn't manipulate every molecule for all of time. Yet there are times God manipulates in certain circumstances to accomplish specific tasks.

2. This manipulation does not remove freewill in the same sense that my manipulating my children (in certain circumstances) does not remove their freewill. In other words.... the people whom God manipulates still have the ability to reject Gods manipulation, and when and if this happens God finds another path to meet His objectives.

For instance...
God wanted to use the nation of Israel as a conduit to bring salvation to the world and set up God's kingdom here on earth. God manipulated Israel in a variety of ways to accomplish this goal. (Isaiah 5:2) But Israel continually rejected God (Isaiah 5:4) (Acts 7:51). Eventually God quite attempting to manipulate Israel and turned to the gentiles ushering in grace (via Paul) through faith in the risen Christ.

So there we have clear example of God manipulating a people yet not removing their freewill, Israel used this freewill to eventually move God to set-aside His people and turn to another.

It isn't that God does not have the power to create a race of robots obeying his every command.... yet it is that God did not want a race of robots obeying His command.


Originally posted by SOTK

God, manipulating a person or persons in any way shape or form, is going to remove their free will. You can explain it any way you would like, but it's gonna happen. You can't use the parental analogy because parents don't have the authority and power of God. When I attempt to manipulate one of my kids, all I'm using is my voice, experience, and intelligence. Those can be great tools yet my child can still easily back out of that attempt at manipulation and exert his free will. Somehow I think God has a lot more tricks up his sleeve than a mere parent not too mention those tricks are omnipotent in nature.

I don't think God used Israel for salvation at all. You are right about the gentiles and Paul, but I don't feel God ever intended for Israel to be used for salvation. By the way, I don't think God has ever "set a side" Israel. They are still His people.

The whole "Robot" argument doesn't scare me away when it's thrown up to discourage the Calvinistic view. I could use a Robot analogy with Open View as well. Given what I've heard about manipulation, humans in this OV are kind of like Robots themselves. The difference is that with the Open View Robot analogy, human robots have the ability to think and make choices not unlike the concept of AI. However, robots, even with AI, can be reprogrammed. Kind of like being "manipulated", no?

Listen, I am not entirely convinced that the future being closed prevents the lack of choice or free will. (See my last reply to Clete) I think it's more a matter of just not being able to completely understand how it works at first glance.

In Christ,

SOTK

I have read this whole thread with a great deal of interest. Two things strike me:
1. the general lack of scriptural backing for the ideas presented.
2. the general uselessness of the argument in spite of its interest.

SOTK had us pray for his wife a while back. Philosophizer did just a couple of days ago. WHY? Because they thought that God would do something. SOTK's wife now has a job, thanks to his church connections. Would we say thanks to God? Did God "manipulate" someone to get her the job? Or did SOTK manipulate someone? Did the person feel pressure because she was in the church or was she just the best person for the job?

The point is that we EXPECT God to manipulate people and events or we would never pray. Prayer itself presupposes a certain disposition toward open theism. If all is pre-determined, what on earth does it matter if we pray or not?!

Yet, on the other hand we expect that same God to have the power to do what we need... even to change the future. In a sense, we all expect that God DOES live in the future as well as the present. Again, why would we pray to someone who MIGHT be able to figure out the future?

I think Novice is on the right track. God operates in a way that seems ambiguous to us. Is it illogical? Who can really say? Do we really know all the logic of the universe? Does God transcend His creation? Is he bound by his own creation? Is he rational, suprarational, irrational, in need of rations? What does it really matter? We know we are dealing with a being beyond our total comprehension. If not, we limit him as much as the mormons with their doctrine of eternal progression. Yet if He is all in all how do we explain evil? These are the great questions humans have struggled with since time began. To assume we here on TOL, even with our amazing intelligence and collective wisdom, are going to come up with the definitive answers to free-will vs. sovereignty; transcendence vs. imminence, etc., I think we have a grossly inflated sense of our own capabilities and importance.

These are the points, though very interesting as intellectual gymnastics, that can divide churches, mar the witness of Christianity in the world and generally take us out of any truly important spiritual battles. We spend our life on the sidelines fighting over non-provable minutia while the world goes to hell in a hand basket. I think in PRACTICAL terms, every Christian wotrth his salt is somewhere in between, whether that is logical or not. We pray because we were told to. We trust because we believe God is good. We think we have free-will but we trust he is sovereign enough to make things work out in spite of man's gross errors on this planet. We believe He is almighty, but somehow merciful and relenting of evil. If not, our lives are a moral and physical absurdity.

Maybe I could call myself a closed theist with an open mind. Or an open theist in a closed universe. Why do we always think the answer is either/or? Could it not be both/and?

Clete
December 1st, 2004, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by Chileice
Why do we always think the answer is either/or? Could it not be both/and?

Are you suggesting that it could be either "both/and" or "either/or"?

Do you see it? Either/or always emerges. This is the backbone of the law of non-contradiction. To break it is to be utterly illogical.

Good post otherwise!

Resting in Him,
Clete

logos_x
December 1st, 2004, 07:12 AM
Chileice,

:cheers:
Well said...
And I second that!

Nineveh
December 1st, 2004, 08:49 AM
Great post (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=635019#post635019) novice :)

SOTK,
Don't take the manipulation to an extreme. It's not manipulation of all things for all times, but rather those things which God has said would come about.

Take Jesus' birth place for example.

The promise:
Micah 5:2
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."

How the promise was fulfilled:
Luke 2:1
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

To what extent would God have to manipulate Caesar Augustus into taking a census at that time? Perhaps nothing more than an appeal to his ego. Could caesar have ignored the manipulation? Sure. But as Clete has pointed out, God knows His creation and the human heart.

This doesn't mean God manipulated all of rome before and after He had accomplished what He wanted done, just caesar in this instance to bring about His purpose. He manipulated the Red Sea to make a way for His people, He manipulated caesar to make way for Jesus' birth.

Sozo
December 1st, 2004, 08:56 AM
Originally posted by Nineveh

Don't take the manipulation to an extreme. It's not manipulation of all things for all times, but rather those things which God has said would come about.

Take Jesus' birth place for example.

The promise:
Micah 5:2
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."

How the promise was fulfilled:
Luke 2:1
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

Ok, but how did God know in advance that there would be a virgin available?

Nineveh
December 1st, 2004, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by Sozo

Ok, but how did God know in advance that there would be a virgin available?

You mean when He gave the prophecy of a virgin birth? Luckily we are all born that way and not all of us become disdainful of being chaste :)

Lucky
December 1st, 2004, 01:02 PM
The point is that we EXPECT God to manipulate people and events or we would never pray. Prayer itself presupposes a certain disposition toward open theism. If all is pre-determined, what on earth does it matter if we pray or not?!

Exactly.


Yet, on the other hand we expect that same God to have the power to do what we need... even to change the future. In a sense, we all expect that God DOES live in the future as well as the present. Again, why would we pray to someone who MIGHT be able to figure out the future?

Here I disagree. I don't think God has to be in the future to influence it. The present is simply what was the future just a second ago. If God needs to change things, he can do it actively, as it's happening in the present.

Knight
December 1st, 2004, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

Ok, but how did God know in advance that there would be a virgin available? There were no public schools back then so it was much easier for God to make this prediction. :D

Christine
December 1st, 2004, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by Lucky
Here I disagree. I don't think God has to be in the future to influence it. The present is simply what was the future just a second ago. If God needs to change things, he can do it actively, as it's happening in the present.

Justin, are you saying that God finds out about man's actions as they occur?

Lucky
December 1st, 2004, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by Christine

Justin, are you saying that God finds out about man's actions as they occur?
Duh, Noel. I thought by now you would have figured out I don't believe everything was predestined. :p

Christine
December 1st, 2004, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by Lucky

Duh, Noel. I thought by now you would have figured out I don't believe everything was predestined.

I guessed as much, Justin. However, you didn't answer my question. Does that mean that you think God finds out about man's actions as they occur?

Delmar
December 1st, 2004, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by Sozo

Ok, but how did God know in advance that there would be a virgin available? Even now I am fairly certain there are a few of them around

Delmar
December 1st, 2004, 08:07 PM
I just found out that in two weeks there is going to be some college prof speaking at my church about Open Theism. I don't think he's in favor of it so this could be interesting.

Christine
December 1st, 2004, 08:38 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

If it exists to God, then it exists to us. So, either it exists, or it does not.
There you go again. You keep trying to place human limits on God. Mortal men can't know the future, so it's incomprehensible for you that God could and does know the future.



His prophesy against Nineveh didn't. He changed His mind.
You're assuming that was a prophecy. It wasn't, instead, it was a warning for the Ninevites. God knew that the Ninevites would repent of their wickedness before He even issued the warning. God was not in the least surprised by the Ninevite's reaction, and when the Ninevites repented, God did as His word says in Jeremiah 18:8 "If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them."


And David certainly thought God would change His mind about the death of the son he was to have with Bathsheba.
Lighthouse, in the case involving David's infant son, if that child had not died, Nathan would have been a false prophet. If the child had not died, David would have known that the prophecy was not from God and would have had Nathan stoned.



I never said that. But God does change His mind.
Do you think God can make mistakes, Lighthouse?



I am arguing that that which does not exist can not be known.

If you mean by men, you're right.


I never said God lies. But He did repent that He made man, and He repented of the evil that He said He would do against Nineveh.

If, according to you, God prophicised he would destroy Nineveh and then He didn't, isn't God lying?



He declared the end. He declared what He would do in the end. Nothing more. This does not give any reason to believe that He knows the details, or that he can even see the future. Only that He knows what He will do.
Are you saying that no matter what happens between now and the end, there will be a rapture and tribulation?

Yorzhik
December 1st, 2004, 10:21 PM
I know this is for Clete, but I wanted to discuss and understand these issues as well.


Hilston writes
Do you believe reality is infinite?
I'm not sure. In what context? For instance, we can ask if the sound of blue is like a horn, but it cannot be an open-ended question like that, there must be more information to answer that kind of question.


Hilston writes
It's not a matter of size. It's a matter of existence. Anything that exists is contained within God. There is nothing that transcends Him or that is outside of Him.
Except that which is unholy.


Hilston writes
But you still think God can choose to not be somewhere?
Yes.


Hilston writes
God is infinite, completely free of limits and finite boundaries.
All of creation, without exception, is finite.
Therefore, God's knowledge of His finite creation is exhaustive.
… what part of the syllogism do you disagree with?
The major and minor premise.

God cannot be free of limits. He can at least pose limits on Himself. I realize your standard answer is that God posing limits on Himself is incoherent. But that would only be if you presuppose that God cannot pose limits on Himself. If one does not presuppose that God cannot pose limits on Himself, then it is not incoherent (obviously). Since all sentient beings we know can impose limits on themselves, the question then is: What information do we have on whether God is capable of posing a limit on Himself?

Creation is not completely without things infinite. Numbers are infinite. So is our existence.

Hilston
December 2nd, 2004, 12:00 AM
Hilston wrote: Do you believe reality is infinite?


Yorzhik writes:
I'm not sure. In what context? For instance, we can ask if the sound of blue is like a horn, but it cannot be an open-ended question like that, there must be more information to answer that kind of question.Do you believe reality is boundless in duration, space, quantity and/or magnitude and subject to no external determination?

Hilston wrote: It's not a matter of size. It's a matter of existence. Anything that exists is contained within God. There is nothing that transcends Him or that is outside of Him.


Yorzhik writes:
Except that which is unholy.Holy means "separated." God is separate from everything and is uniquely holy because nothing except God is perfect, all-just, all-wise, all-knowing, all-sustaining, etc. But also, since God is infinite, all of finite reality is contained within Him.

Hilston wrote: But you still think God can choose to not be somewhere?


Yorzhik writes:
Yes.You probably also believe He can create a rock too big to lift.

Hilston wrote:
God is infinite, completely free of limits and finite boundaries.
All of creation, without exception, is finite.
Therefore, God's knowledge of His finite creation is exhaustive.
… what part of the syllogism do you disagree with?


Yorzhik writes:
The major and minor premise.

God cannot be free of limits.Then your God is not infinite.


Yorzhik writes:
He can at least pose limits on Himself.So you must also believe He can create a rock too big to lift.


Yorzhik writes:
I realize your standard answer is that God posing limits on Himself is incoherent. But that would only be if you presuppose that God cannot pose limits on Himself.No, that would only be if you presuppose the laws of logic.


Yorzhik writes:
If one does not presuppose that God cannot pose limits on Himself, then it is not incoherent (obviously).No, it's incoherent any way you slice it.


Yorzhik writes:
Since all sentient beings we know can impose limits on themselves, the question then is: What information do we have on whether God is capable of posing a limit on Himself?No sentient being compares to God. All sentient beings besides God are finite. The infinite cannot be finite at the same time. That is logic, Yorzhik. It's the law of identity.


Yorzhik writes:
Creation is not completely without things infinite. Numbers are infinite. So is our existence.Numbers are infinite? Oooooo kay. Thanks for sharing. :freak:

Yorzhik
December 2nd, 2004, 12:15 AM
Ummm... numbers are not infinite?

(I'll get to the rest of the post later)

Lighthouse
December 2nd, 2004, 02:25 AM
Originally posted by Christine

There you go again. You keep trying to place human limits on God. Mortal men can't know the future, so it's incomprehensible for you that God could and does know the future.
How is not knowing something that does not exist a limit?



You're assuming that was a prophecy. It wasn't, instead, it was a warning for the Ninevites. God knew that the Ninevites would repent of their wickedness before He even issued the warning. God was not in the least surprised by the Ninevite's reaction, and when the Ninevites repented, God did as His word says in Jeremiah 18:8 "If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them."
Prove it. Prove that God knew Nineveh would repent.


Lighthouse, in the case involving David's infant son, if that child had not died, Nathan would have been a false prophet. If the child had not died, David would have known that the prophecy was not from God and would have had Nathan stoned.
No, if GOd had changed His mind, he would have sent Nathan back to David, to tell him. David prayed that God would change His mind, and that his son would not die. David trusted that Nathan was a prophet of God. And David was an open theist.


Do you think God can make mistakes, Lighthouse?
Well, He made...nevermind.

God does not make mistakes.


If you mean by men, you're right.
Does God know everything that is going to happen when all is said and done, and all of His children are with Him? Does He know everything that is going to happen for eternity, even after that? Are we going to know it then, too?


If, according to you, God prophicised he would destroy Nineveh and then He didn't, isn't God lying?
No. If God doesn't do something He said He would do, then He changed His mind. End of story.


Are you saying that no matter what happens between now and the end, there will be a rapture and tribulation?
Yes.

SOTK
December 2nd, 2004, 02:27 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse
Well, He made...nevermind.

:darwinsm:

Lighthouse
December 2nd, 2004, 02:29 AM
:eek:

SOTK
December 2nd, 2004, 02:40 AM
Originally posted by Chileice

quote:
Originally posted by novice

Two points...

1. God doesn't manipulate every molecule for all of time. Yet there are times God manipulates in certain circumstances to accomplish specific tasks.

2. This manipulation does not remove freewill in the same sense that my manipulating my children (in certain circumstances) does not remove their freewill. In other words.... the people whom God manipulates still have the ability to reject Gods manipulation, and when and if this happens God finds another path to meet His objectives.

For instance...
God wanted to use the nation of Israel as a conduit to bring salvation to the world and set up God's kingdom here on earth. God manipulated Israel in a variety of ways to accomplish this goal. (Isaiah 5:2) But Israel continually rejected God (Isaiah 5:4) (Acts 7:51). Eventually God quite attempting to manipulate Israel and turned to the gentiles ushering in grace (via Paul) through faith in the risen Christ.

So there we have clear example of God manipulating a people yet not removing their freewill, Israel used this freewill to eventually move God to set-aside His people and turn to another.

It isn't that God does not have the power to create a race of robots obeying his every command.... yet it is that God did not want a race of robots obeying His command.



I have read this whole thread with a great deal of interest. Two things strike me:
1. the general lack of scriptural backing for the ideas presented.
2. the general uselessness of the argument in spite of its interest.

SOTK had us pray for his wife a while back. Philosophizer did just a couple of days ago. WHY? Because they thought that God would do something. SOTK's wife now has a job, thanks to his church connections. Would we say thanks to God? Did God "manipulate" someone to get her the job? Or did SOTK manipulate someone? Did the person feel pressure because she was in the church or was she just the best person for the job?

The point is that we EXPECT God to manipulate people and events or we would never pray. Prayer itself presupposes a certain disposition toward open theism. If all is pre-determined, what on earth does it matter if we pray or not?!

Yet, on the other hand we expect that same God to have the power to do what we need... even to change the future. In a sense, we all expect that God DOES live in the future as well as the present. Again, why would we pray to someone who MIGHT be able to figure out the future?

I think Novice is on the right track. God operates in a way that seems ambiguous to us. Is it illogical? Who can really say? Do we really know all the logic of the universe? Does God transcend His creation? Is he bound by his own creation? Is he rational, suprarational, irrational, in need of rations? What does it really matter? We know we are dealing with a being beyond our total comprehension. If not, we limit him as much as the mormons with their doctrine of eternal progression. Yet if He is all in all how do we explain evil? These are the great questions humans have struggled with since time began. To assume we here on TOL, even with our amazing intelligence and collective wisdom, are going to come up with the definitive answers to free-will vs. sovereignty; transcendence vs. imminence, etc., I think we have a grossly inflated sense of our own capabilities and importance.

These are the points, though very interesting as intellectual gymnastics, that can divide churches, mar the witness of Christianity in the world and generally take us out of any truly important spiritual battles. We spend our life on the sidelines fighting over non-provable minutia while the world goes to hell in a hand basket. I think in PRACTICAL terms, every Christian wotrth his salt is somewhere in between, whether that is logical or not. We pray because we were told to. We trust because we believe God is good. We think we have free-will but we trust he is sovereign enough to make things work out in spite of man's gross errors on this planet. We believe He is almighty, but somehow merciful and relenting of evil. If not, our lives are a moral and physical absurdity.

Maybe I could call myself a closed theist with an open mind. Or an open theist in a closed universe. Why do we always think the answer is either/or? Could it not be both/and?

Thanks for the post, Chileice! I like your thinking. :)

Lighthouse
December 2nd, 2004, 03:34 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

I don't think God used Israel for salvation at all. You are right about the gentiles and Paul, but I don't feel God ever intended for Israel to be used for salvation. By the way, I don't think God has ever "set a side" Israel. They are still His people.

In Christ,

SOTK
"Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews."
-John 4:22

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
-Romans 1:16

"What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."
-Romans 11:7

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
-Romans 11:25

Actually, just read Romans 11 all the way through.

Lighthouse
December 2nd, 2004, 03:44 AM
Originally posted by Chileice

I have read this whole thread with a great deal of interest. Two things strike me:
1. the general lack of scriptural backing for the ideas presented.
I used the story of Nineveh, and of David's prayer that his son be spared.


2. the general uselessness of the argument in spite of its interest.
It seems that either side would disagree with you. This is not pointless. Much rests on it. Does it matter in the scheme of whether or not one is saved? No. But truth is truth, and truth shall make you free.


The point is that we EXPECT God to manipulate people and events or we would never pray. Prayer itself presupposes a certain disposition toward open theism. If all is pre-determined, what on earth does it matter if we pray or not?!
Wholly agreed.


Yet, on the other hand we expect that same God to have the power to do what we need... even to change the future. In a sense, we all expect that God DOES live in the future as well as the present. Again, why would we pray to someone who MIGHT be able to figure out the future?
No. God works it out in the present. He works toward the future. And He is not such that He "might" be able to do anything. He can do whatever He sets His mind to, as long as it is not impossible. God does not change the future. There is no future to change. He only works toward the future. To say that God changes the future is to say that the future has already happened, and that what has already happened can be changed. God does not change the future. Even if I believed that He saw the future, I would not believe that He would change it. All He does is work toward it.


I think Novice is on the right track. God operates in a way that seems ambiguous to us. Is it illogical? Who can really say? Do we really know all the logic of the universe? Does God transcend His creation? Is he bound by his own creation? Is he rational, suprarational, irrational, in need of rations? What does it really matter? We know we are dealing with a being beyond our total comprehension. If not, we limit him as much as the mormons with their doctrine of eternal progression. Yet if He is all in all how do we explain evil? These are the great questions humans have struggled with since time began. To assume we here on TOL, even with our amazing intelligence and collective wisdom, are going to come up with the definitive answers to free-will vs. sovereignty; transcendence vs. imminence, etc., I think we have a grossly inflated sense of our own capabilities and importance.
Is the idea of sending your son to die, in order to forgive people for the very thing that caused you to send him logical to you? Is it rational? Well, that's exactly what God did, isn't it?


These are the points, though very interesting as intellectual gymnastics, that can divide churches, mar the witness of Christianity in the world and generally take us out of any truly important spiritual battles. We spend our life on the sidelines fighting over non-provable minutia while the world goes to hell in a hand basket. I think in PRACTICAL terms, every Christian wotrth his salt is somewhere in between, whether that is logical or not. We pray because we were told to. We trust because we believe God is good. We think we have free-will but we trust he is sovereign enough to make things work out in spite of man's gross errors on this planet. We believe He is almighty, but somehow merciful and relenting of evil. If not, our lives are a moral and physical absurdity.
Debating here is not taking away from witnessing. We are debating among fellow believers who already know teh basics of the gospel message. And we are witnessing to each other, our beliefs within Christianity. Witnessing to those who are not in Christ is not the place to debate Open Theism. But if the subject comes up, we can certainly give them our view. But we must also be able to back it up with scripture, without taking anything out of context.


Maybe I could call myself a closed theist with an open mind. Or an open theist in a closed universe. Why do we always think the answer is either/or? Could it not be both/and?
How could the future be both closed and open?

SOTK
December 2nd, 2004, 03:47 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

"Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews."
-John 4:22

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
-Romans 1:16

"What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."
-Romans 11:7

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
-Romans 11:25

Actually, just read Romans 11 all the way through.

lighthouse,

I appreciate the scripture, but I don't think any of that has to do with God choosing the people of Isreal to bring salvation to the world.

Your first piece of scripture (John 4:22) I think has to do with Jesus being a Jew. Jesus is salvation. Jesus is of the Jews.

Let me clarify what I meant: God chose Israel to bring the message to the world that there is One God and One God only. God chose Israel to reveal Himself to the world. To make known. Through Israel, the world knew God. God also used Israel to bring forth God's righteousness. God's righteousness was revealed through the Law. The Law does not save. Salvation is had through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ only. God used Jesus Christ for salvation and not Israel. I believe this was the plan from the beginning.

In Christ,

SOTK

Lighthouse
December 2nd, 2004, 03:49 AM
He still used Israel to bring Messiah to the world.

Delmar
December 2nd, 2004, 04:22 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

He still used Israel to bring Messiah to the world. Amen!
This is my favorite kind of post! Short sweet and profoundly full of truth!

Sozo
December 2nd, 2004, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

He still used Israel to bring Messiah to the world.

:thumb:

Before Abraham, there were no Jews, and there was no Isreal. The purpose of the descendents of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, was to bring the Law (Moses) and the "seed" (Christ). The Law was given to prove all men unrighteous and to see their need for a Savior. Christ is that Savior! God's reason for all that He did to protect them (Israel), was so that the "seed" should come.


Don't try and give them any more importance than that.

"Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations shall be blessed in you." So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them." Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "The righteous man shall live by faith." However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "He who practices them shall live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree "-- in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ. What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed should come to whom the promise had been made. Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise."

logos_x
December 2nd, 2004, 11:18 AM
What is the difference between Arminianism and Open Theism?

Do they not both claim that only those who receive the proper information, and act on it properly before they die, will avoid suffering endlessly. They claim that God is unable to successfully influence anyone's will, unless they let Him.

Calvinism is cruel and unloving because it claims that God allows beings to come into existence that deserve to suffer endlessly, and will suffer endlessly, except for a few that God will rescue from such a fate by His "irresistable" grace. (I'm not sure what they mean by "irresistable", since most are able to resist it)

Both positions are profane.

The truth of universal transformation solves all of the irreconcilable differences between Calvinism and Arminianism. It recognizes that our "free will" is the freedom to choose only in the direction of the strongest influence, and that God is in intimate sovereign control over all influences.

Have a wonderful day.

God_Is_Truth
December 2nd, 2004, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

What is the difference between Arminianism and Open Theism?

Do they not both claim that only those who receive the proper information, and act on it properly before they die, will avoid suffering endlessly. They claim that God is unable to successfully influence anyone's will, unless they let Him.


both claim that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ who died, was buried and rose again on high.

arminism says the future is closed, open theism says the future is open (:duh: )

logos_x
December 2nd, 2004, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

both claim that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ who died, was buried and rose again on high.

arminism says the future is closed, open theism says the future is open (:duh: )

Calvinsm says the future is closed...Arminianism says the future is closed...and Open Theism says the future is open for those who believe and closed to everyone else?

They all "claim" that salvation is by grace alone in Jesus Christ, who died, was buried and rose again on high...but they don't proclaim it. They have a form...but deny the power thereof.

Clete
December 2nd, 2004, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

What is the difference between Arminianism and Open Theism?

Armenians believe that the future is closed and Open Theist believe that it is open. That's the main difference.

Okay, okay here's the answer with less sarcasm...

Arminianism teaches the exhaustive foreknowledge of God (closed future), Open Theism teaches that God only knows that which is knowable and that the future actions of free moral agents is unknowable and that God therefore cannot know the future exhaustively thus an open future.
Open Theism is really more about the nature of God's creation that it is about the nature of God Himself, although there are definite implications of Open Theism that effect both issues.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
December 2nd, 2004, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by logos_x
and Open Theism says the future is open for those who believe and closed to everyone else? :confused:

logos_x
December 2nd, 2004, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer


Arminianism teaches the exhaustive foreknowledge of God (closed future),

I don't see that God's exhaustive forknowledge necessarily indicates a closed future.


Open Theism teaches that God only knows that which is knowable and that the future actions of free moral agents is unknowable and that God therefore cannot know the future exhaustively thus an open future.

hmmm. OK.


Open Theism is really more about the nature of God's creation that it is about the nature of God Himself, although there are definite implications of Open Theism that effect both issues.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Well...the "closed future" doesn't sound very appealing at all, does it.
And an "open future" means that nobody, not even God, can know how anything will turn out for anyone...not too appealing either.
Where are we going? Why are we here? How will we get there?

Seems to me that open theism is an attempt to explain why things are so screwed up, and it isn't God's fault...and the outcome is not His fault if it turns out bad, But He gets all the glory if it turns out good.

To hell with all that!
I'll take the good. Thank you.

Knight
December 2nd, 2004, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

I don't see that God's exhaustive forknowledge necessarily indicates a closed future.

Well.... if God's knowledge is truly exhaustive then its that knowledge itself that closes the future to what is contained in that knowledge.

And here is how.... if everything that has ever happened or will ever happen has always been contained within God's exhaustive foreknowledge then there will be NOTHING that can ever happen outside of that knowledge and therefore the future is closed to other possibilities not contained within that foreknowledge.

logos_x
December 2nd, 2004, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Well.... if God's knowledge is truly exhaustive then its that knowledge itself that closes the future to what is contained in that knowledge.

And here is how.... if everything that has ever happened or will ever happen has always been contained within God's exhaustive foreknowledge then there will be NOTHING that can ever happen outside of that knowledge and therefore the future is closed to other possibilities not contained within that foreknowledge.

That's good.
If God's exaustive knowledge results in the reconciliation of all creation, then it is very good.
God isn't the ultimate gambler...He knows that He can do it.
God will be all in all when it's all completed. There are no other possibilities...and I have no problem with that.

SOTK
December 2nd, 2004, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

He still used Israel to bring Messiah to the world.

Yes, absolutely! :up: I was just merely pointing out that I disagree with the notion that the people of Israel were being used by God for salvation (OT).

Knight
December 2nd, 2004, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

That's good.
If God's exaustive knowledge results in the reconciliation of all creation, then it is very good.
God isn't the ultimate gambler...He knows that He can do it.
God will be all in all when it's all completed. There are no other possibilities...and I have no problem with that. Well... I don't know how you made the jump there but....

Do you agree now that exhaustive foreknowledge closes the future?

Christine
December 2nd, 2004, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

How is not knowing something that does not exist a limit?
You're assuming it does not exist to God. Do you have any scriptural support for this assumption?




Prove it. Prove that God knew Nineveh would repent.
Well if God knew everything prior to it occuring as I believe, then it logically follows that would include Nineveh's repentance. In Jonah 3:4 (" And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.") we see what Jonah preached. This was not a prophecy but instead a warning. The number forty in scripture referrs to probation, not prophecy. When you warn someone that they are going to be punished if they don't straighten up, they typically straighten up. The Ninevite's listened to God's warning because they didn't want to be punished with destruction. God's warning served it's purpose as the Ninevites repented, just as God knew would happen upon hearing the warning.





No, if God had changed His mind, he would have sent Nathan back to David, to tell him. David prayed that God would change His mind, and that his son would not die. David trusted that Nathan was a prophet of God.
If God was going to retract His judgement on David, wouldn't God have done it as soon as David expressed remorse?

1 Samuel 12:13 "And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die."





And David was an open theist.
:doh: I suppose David wrote the following verses prior to becoming an Open Theist?

Psalm 139:16 " Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."

Psalm 147:5 "Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite."






Well, He made...nevermind.

God does not make mistakes.
Do you think God can believe action A will happen and then action A does not happen?



Does God know everything that is going to happen when all is said and done, and all of His children are with Him?
God knows everything that is going to happen before it is all said and done.


Does He know everything that is going to happen for eternity, even after that? Are we going to know it then, too?
Yes, God knows everything that is going to happen for eternity and after. I can't think of any place where it says man would have that kind of knowledge, so I have to say no, we will not have that sort of knowledge.



No. If God doesn't do something He said He would do, then He changed His mind. End of story.
You would say that God "changed His mind" in the case of Jonah and the Ninevites, but how do you Jonah wasn't a false prophet?



Yes.
How do you know God won't "change His mind" about having a rapture and tribulation?

logos_x
December 2nd, 2004, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Well... I don't know how you made the jump there but....

Do you agree now that exhaustive foreknowledge closes the future?

If it means it closes the future for God, and that it is settled and considered "good" in God's eyes...yes.
If you are saying that anyone's personal destiny places them outside of God's will..then no, because that is not what God has said would be the case when it's all done.
God..in His exaustive foreknowledge, is successful in the complete restitution of all things. He redeems "all things".
If you want to discribe that as a "closed future"...OK.
I'm not so sure those are appropiate words to describe anything about what God is doing. But I understand what you mean.

Lighthouse
December 2nd, 2004, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

What is the difference between Arminianism and Open Theism?
Arminians believe that God can see into the future, and that He knows who and who will not choose Him.


Do they not both claim that only those who receive the proper information, and act on it properly before they die, will avoid suffering endlessly. They claim that God is unable to successfully influence anyone's will, unless they let Him.
Neither of them do. They claim that God can influence anyone's will. But He does not force anything on anyone. Not because He is unable, but because He is unwilling.


Calvinism is cruel and unloving because it claims that God allows beings to come into existence that deserve to suffer endlessly, and will suffer endlessly, except for a few that God will rescue from such a fate by His "irresistable" grace. (I'm not sure what they mean by "irresistable", since most are able to resist it)
No one is able to resist His grace, when they expwerience it. But I believe people are able to resist experiencing it. That is one reason I am not a Calvinist.


Both positions are profane.
It seems that you do not truly understand Arminianism, or Open Theism, Steve.


The truth of universal transformation solves all of the irreconcilable differences between Calvinism and Arminianism. It recognizes that our "free will" is the freedom to choose only in the direction of the strongest influence, and that God is in intimate sovereign control over all influences.
It is not a truth. And Open Theism is the most middle ground that I have found between Calvinism and Arminianism. People's hearts are hard. And they do not always respond to God. But He desires that none should persih, so He works to bring us to Him, at whatever cost, outside of removing free will, for His desire that we truly love Him is above His desire that we do not perish.

Lighthouse
December 2nd, 2004, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

...and Open Theism says the future is open for those who believe and closed to everyone else?
No. Open Theism says that the future is open for all.

Lighthouse
December 2nd, 2004, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by Christine

You're assuming it does not exist to God. Do you have any scriptural support for this assumption?
Prove that it exists to God.



Well if God knew everything prior to it occuring as I believe, then it logically follows that would include Nineveh's repentance. In Jonah 3:4 (" And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.") we see what Jonah preached. This was not a prophecy but instead a warning. The number forty in scripture referrs to probation, not prophecy. When you warn someone that they are going to be punished if they don't straighten up, they typically straighten up. The Ninevite's listened to God's warning because they didn't want to be punished with destruction. God's warning served it's purpose as the Ninevites repented, just as God knew would happen upon hearing the warning.
How was that not a prophecy? Jonah gave a specific time. And He also saod, "...will be..." That indicates that it was a prophesy that it would come to pass. And there weren't any unlesses, either.




If God was going to retract His judgement on David, wouldn't God have done it as soon as David expressed remorse?
Yes. But God would have had to send Nathan back to let David know that his son would not die.


1 Samuel 12:13 "And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die."
And?:confused:




:doh: I suppose David wrote the following verses prior to becoming an Open Theist?

Psalm 139:16 " Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."
All this says is that God had a design for David, and knew how He wanted to make him, in the womb. It's the same as Jeremiah's "You formed me together, in my mother's womb."


Psalm 147:5 "Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite."
So what if His understanding is infinite? None of this means that He knows the future. It only means that He completely understands that which exists, exhaustively.





Do you think God can believe action A will happen and then action A does not happen?
No. He can believe that action A might happen, and then it doesn't. But He will also know that action B is a possiility. As well as action C and D and E and so on and so forth.


God knows everything that is going to happen before it is all said and done.
Nope. I don't buy it.


Yes, God knows everything that is going to happen for eternity and after. I can't think of any place where it says man would have that kind of knowledge, so I have to say no, we will not have that sort of knowledge.
That's a lot to know, isn't it?


You would say that God "changed His mind" in the case of Jonah and the Ninevites, but how do you Jonah wasn't a false prophet?
Because Jonah told Nineveh that God had changed His mind, before the 4o days were up. Not after the fact.


How do you know God won't "change His mind" about having a rapture and tribulation?
Because those are things He has decided to make happen, and bring about. He will do what he has to do to bring them about.

Lighthouse
December 2nd, 2004, 11:35 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

If it means it closes the future for God, and that it is settled and considered "good" in God's eyes...yes.
If you are saying that anyone's personal destiny places them outside of God's will..then no, because that is not what God has said would be the case when it's all done.
God..in His exaustive foreknowledge, is successful in the complete restitution of all things. He redeems "all things".
If you want to discribe that as a "closed future"...OK.
I'm not so sure those are appropiate words to describe anything about what God is doing. But I understand what you mean.
No. Open Theism says that God doesn't know the future exhaustively. However, He does know what He is going to do, and what He has planned. He knows when He is going to do them.

logos_x
December 2nd, 2004, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse


It is not a truth. (refering to universal reconciliation)

Some things are true whether you believe them or not.
It is not a truth that you have recieved...but it is nevertheless true.



And Open Theism is the most middle ground that I have found between Calvinism and Arminianism. People's hearts are hard. And they do not always respond to God. But He desires that none should persih, so He works to bring us to Him, at whatever cost, outside of removing free will, for His desire that we truly love Him is above His desire that we do not perish.

If Open Theism were true, God lets us down just when we need Him the most. our greatest need is a change in our stubborn will. God either cannot, or will not meet us, on this, the level of our greatest need.

God's grace can only be resisted if God wants to teach us lessons that could be learned no other way. But ultimately, God's grace is undefeatable.

Both Calvinism and Open Theism are built upon the false foundation of "endless hell." When this foundation has been replaced, the differences between them become irrelevant.

The profanity of the doctrine of "endless suffering in hell" is also part of the black background upon which God will paint His glorious masterpiece. Without fail, God will, in due time, transform all deceptions, delusions, and false doctrines, into something better that they temporarily prevailed than if they had not. And He will do this for everyone, without exception.

billwald
December 2nd, 2004, 11:50 PM
If the future exists then time travel might be possible.

Lighthouse
December 3rd, 2004, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

Some things are true whether you believe them or not.
It is not a truth that you have recieved...but it is nevertheless true.
Prove it.




If Open Theism were true, God lets us down just when we need Him the most. our greatest need is a change in our stubborn will. God either cannot, or will not meet us, on this, the level of our greatest need.

God's grace can only be resisted if God wants to teach us lessons that could be learned no other way. But ultimately, God's grace is undefeatable.

Both Calvinism and Open Theism are built upon the false foundation of "endless hell." When this foundation has been replaced, the differences between them become irrelevant.

The profanity of the doctrine of "endless suffering in hell" is also part of the black background upon which God will paint His glorious masterpiece. Without fail, God will, in due time, transform all deceptions, delusions, and false doctrines, into something better that they temporarily prevailed than if they had not. And He will do this for everyone, without exception.
You grossly misunderstand Open Theism. Maybe we could get together and discuss it at length, sometime.

logos_x
December 3rd, 2004, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

Prove it.

I have, repeatedly.
Just as effectively as anyone has "proven" their "Open Theism" must be true, or their "Calvinism" must be true.





You grossly misunderstand Open Theism. Maybe we could get together and discuss it at length, sometime.

I don't think I misunderstand it at all.
The only point I've made that you would not concur with is that you believe that the lake of fire destroys Hades...other than that, you've said that God stops reaching for men at physical death and they get no more chances, that God will not compel or enforce His will at the expense of man's so called "free" will, and you limit God's success to only those who have voluntarily surrendered their will to His before they die.
Pretty much what everyone else says that are stuck in the "God is going to punish beyond anything you've seen before and beyond without end" structure. I'm saying it's time to scrap that completely and reform what was believed before "endless torments" became the prevalent view.
Either God can save everyone or He can't.
If He can, He will, and nothing can stop that.
If He can't...that would be a very odd thing, God made a situation that He Himself could not complete. He made a mistake...and billions pay the price for that.
There is no middle ground.
I believe He can do it.
Most do not.

But...I'll be happy to discuss this with you sometime.

God_Is_Truth
December 3rd, 2004, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by logos_x
If He can, He will, and nothing can stop that.


what makes you think that just because he can, he will?

logos_x
December 3rd, 2004, 12:38 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

what makes you think that just because he can, he will?

Because he said so...He is not willing that any perish, that the world be reconciled to Himself, that all men come to Him, and in the end...God is all in all, everything...all things in Him. That means nothing outside of Him.
He is both willing and able to do it.

logos_x
December 3rd, 2004, 01:01 AM
You say that God's redemptive grace is passive and restricted to those few who respond.
I'm saying that God's redemptive grace is strong and aggressive and will save to the uttermost and will succeed in redeeming everything and everyone.

That is the fundemental difference.
And it makes all the difference.

I'm also saying that this is what the church proclaimed as its prevelent doctrine for the first 500 or 600 years after Christ.

But...go about your business. If Churches and their colleges can't accept as small a thing as Open Theism then they sure as Heaven won't accept what I'm saying...unless God Himself intervenes.

Lucky
December 3rd, 2004, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

I'm saying that God's redemptive grace is strong and aggressive and will save to the uttermost and will succeed in redeeming everything and everyone.
If it's so strong and aggressive, why isn't the population of the world 100% Christian?

I'm also saying that this is what the church proclaimed as its prevelent doctrine for the first 500 or 600 years after Christ.
I guess after a while those churches figured out that that's not how things really are.

logos_x
December 3rd, 2004, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by Lucky

If it's so strong and aggressive, why isn't the population of the world 100% Christian?

Same reason you or I weren't until God showed it to us.
They are...they just don't know it yet



I guess after a while those churches figured out that that's not how things really are.

Nope. The Holy Roman Empire killed everyone who wouldn't proclaim their doctrine.
Even they added a purgatory.
Not too well versed on Church history, huh, Lucky?

Lighthouse
December 3rd, 2004, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

I have, repeatedly.
Just as effectively as anyone has "proven" their "Open Theism" must be true, or their "Calvinism" must be true.

That isn't saying much, seeing as how Calvinism hasn't been proven to me. And neither has what you're saying. Although, I do agree with tenets of TULIP, and I also agree with things you said, when you first got here.





I don't think I misunderstand it at all.
The only point I've made that you would not concur with is that you believe that the lake of fire destroys Hades...other than that, you've said that God stops reaching for men at physical death and they get no more chances, that God will not compel or enforce His will at the expense of man's so called "free" will, and you limit God's success to only those who have voluntarily surrendered their will to His before they die.
Pretty much what everyone else says that are stuck in the "God is going to punish beyond anything you've seen before and beyond without end" structure. I'm saying it's time to scrap that completely and reform what was believed before "endless torments" became the prevalent view.
Either God can save everyone or He can't.
If He can, He will, and nothing can stop that.
If He can't...that would be a very odd thing, God made a situation that He Himself could not complete. He made a mistake...and billions pay the price for that.
There is no middle ground.
I believe He can do it.
Most do not.

But...I'll be happy to discuss this with you sometime.
I don't believe that hell is God punishing anyone. If anyone goes to hell, it's their own refusal to accept salvation. And any punishment is by their own doing. And, of course, I believe that the lake of fire destroys, so those who get sent there have absolutely no more chances of reconciliation, because they won't exist.

godrulz
December 3rd, 2004, 06:08 AM
Lighthouse:

Do you believe in the conscious torment of unbelievers for eternity, or in annihilation where the unregenerate will cease to exist?

I just started reading the thread and it looks interesting. I appreciate Sanders and Pinnock's 'radical ideas' and would consider Open Theism as a valid theology.

Sozo
December 3rd, 2004, 06:50 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

I appreciate Sanders and Pinnock's 'radical ideas' and would consider Open Theism as a valid theology.

You crack me up!

:darwinsm:

godrulz
December 3rd, 2004, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by Sozo

You crack me up!

:darwinsm:
What? I thought you had Open Theism leanings also?:angel:

Lucky
December 3rd, 2004, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

Same reason you or I weren't until God showed it to us. They are...they just don't know it yet
Okay. I thought you were an idiot, but I just wanted to triple-check. :D

God_Is_Truth
December 3rd, 2004, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

Because he said so...He is not willing that any perish, that the world be reconciled to Himself, that all men come to Him, and in the end...God is all in all, everything...all things in Him. That means nothing outside of Him.
He is both willing and able to do it.

i think there are a few other things to consider besides just what God desires :doh:

we can't leave out justice, choice, love and freedom.

Lighthouse
December 3rd, 2004, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

Lighthouse:

Do you believe in the conscious torment of unbelievers for eternity, or in annihilation where the unregenerate will cease to exist?
Annihilation.

Christine
December 3rd, 2004, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

Prove that it exists to God.
Lighthouse, I asked you a question, and you did not answer it. Does it say anywhere in scripture that God does not know the future?




How was that not a prophecy? Jonah gave a specific time. And He also saod, "...will be..." That indicates that it was a prophesy that it would come to pass. And there weren't any unlesses, either.

Lighthouse, I thought I explained why it was not a prophecy. Numbers have meaning. God didn't just blindly pick the number 40, he picked it for a purpose. The purpose? The number 40 stand for probation. God was giving the Ninevites 40 days to repent.




Yes. But God would have had to send Nathan back to let David know that his son would not die.
Right. David knew God had the power to save David's son if God saw fit. However, David also knew that whether God spared his son or let him die, God already had His mind made up.



And?:confused:
Just pointing out that David repented as soon as Nathan came to him.





All this says is that God had a design for David, and knew how He wanted to make him, in the womb. It's the same as Jeremiah's "You formed me together, in my mother's womb."
How did God know that David's (or Jeremiah's) mother wouldn't have a miscarrige, or that David wouldn't die as a youth? Or was God just hoping they wouldn't die and that they would "accept him?"



So what if His understanding is infinite? None of this means that He knows the future. It only means that He completely understands that which exists, exhaustively.
Do you know the definition of infinite? From Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=infinite/) it says that infinite means, "Having no boundaries or limits." You're limiting God to the present, making him finite instead of infinite.




No. He can believe that action A might happen, and then it doesn't. But He will also know that action B is a possiility. As well as action C and D and E and so on and so forth.
Where in the Bible does it say God has Plan B's, C's, and so forth? Why does God, who knows man's heart and sinful desires, ever need a back up plan?






That's a lot to know, isn't it?
Yes :)



Because Jonah told Nineveh that God had changed His mind, before the 4o days were up. Not after the fact.
See what I wrote above on Nineveh. It was not a prophecy.



Because those are things He has decided to make happen, and bring about. He will do what he has to do to bring them about.
How do you know that? What assurance do you have? How do you have that God will prevent the Great Tribulation from occuring, just like he prevented Nineveh from being destroyed?

godrulz
December 3rd, 2004, 10:45 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

What? I thought you had Open Theism leanings also?:angel:

Sorry, I read elsewhere that you do not.

logos_x
December 3rd, 2004, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

i think there are a few other things to consider besides just what God desires :doh:

no kidding...:duh:

(Although, I believe that justice, choice, love, and freedom are included among what God desires).



we can't leave out justice, choice, love and freedom.

Exactly the point I'm trying to make.
The doctrine of eternal conscious torment leaves those things out more than anything man has conceived of...and annihilation, while perhaps a little more sane than ECT...still leaves out choice, love, and freedom as much as ECT.


Universal reconciliation includes justice, choice, love and freedom...more so than any other concept of judgement...and you would have to be an idiot not to see that. :D

God_Is_Truth
December 3rd, 2004, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by logos_x
Exactly the point I'm trying to make.
The doctrine of eternal conscious torment leaves those things out more than anything man has conceived of...and annihilation, while perhaps a little more sane than ECT...still leaves out choice, love, and freedom as much as ECT.

if a man does not want to be with God, what's the loving thing to do? what's the just punishment of offending an infinite God? is it loving to force someone to do something or to let him choose what he wants?



Universal reconciliation includes justice, choice, love and freedom...more so than any other concept of judgement...and you would have to be an idiot not to see that. :D

i fail to see choice and freedom and depending on those, love and justice as well.

logos_x
December 3rd, 2004, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

if a man does not want to be with God, what's the loving thing to do? what's the just punishment of offending an infinite God? is it loving to force someone to do something or to let him choose what he wants?

You make it sound as though God is a rapist....




i fail to see choice and freedom and depending on those, love and justice as well.

That's your problem...you fail to see it.

God_Is_Truth
December 3rd, 2004, 11:23 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

You make sound like God is a rapist....

how so?



That your problem...you fail to see it.

i don't see how someone who continually, willfully and intentionally desires to be apart from God would ever turn to God and suddenly want to be with him. would not heaven become a "hell" for him? wouldn't "hell" be "heaven" for him?

logos_x
December 3rd, 2004, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth



[quote]i don't see how someone who continually, willfully and intentionally desires to be apart from God would ever turn to God and suddenly want to be with him.

Then you don't want to be with him? You will continue, regardless of anything God does, to reject and desire to be apart from Him?
If not...what changed you? What kind of thing motivated you to repent? And what if you hadn't...does that make it impossible to do?


would not heaven become a "hell" for him? wouldn't "hell" be "heaven" for him?

My God...you are an idiot.

Lighthouse
December 3rd, 2004, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by Christine

Lighthouse, I asked you a question, and you did not answer it. Does it say anywhere in scripture that God does not know the future?
I provided you with three instances that appear in scripture. David, Nineveh and the flood.



Lighthouse, I thought I explained why it was not a prophecy. Numbers have meaning. God didn't just blindly pick the number 40, he picked it for a purpose. The purpose? The number 40 stand for probation. God was giving the Ninevites 40 days to repent.
Where did you get that idea?


Right. David knew God had the power to save David's son if God saw fit. However, David also knew that whether God spared his son or let him die, God already had His mind made up.
Prove it.


Just pointing out that David repented as soon as Nathan came to him.
And it has nothing to do with the topic.




How did God know that David's (or Jeremiah's) mother wouldn't have a miscarrige, or that David wouldn't die as a youth? Or was God just hoping they wouldn't die and that they would "accept him?"
Because God wasn't going to allow that to happen. He knew that He had specific purposes for Jeremiah, and even David. And God may not have known that David's mom wasn't going to miscarry. But that does not negate that he had the design for David in mind, while He was forming him in the womb. The same goes for Jeremiah. And David very well could have died as a youth. He came pretty close, as I recall.


Do you know the definition of infinite? From Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=infinite/) it says that infinite means, "Having no boundaries or limits." You're limiting God to the present, making him finite instead of infinite.
Is time infinite, or finite? If time is infinite, then God knows it exhaustively. If it is finite, then God knows it only as far as it goes, at any given time.



Where in the Bible does it say God has Plan B's, C's, and so forth? Why does God, who knows man's heart and sinful desires, ever need a back up plan?
The mystery of the dispensation of grace was a plan B.

Because He knows our hearts, but He does not know what the future holds for us, and what circumstances will come about. But He knows what might happen.





Yes :)
:doh:


See what I wrote above on Nineveh. It was not a prophecy.
You haven't convinced me.


How do you know that? What assurance do you have? How do you have that God will prevent the Great Tribulation from occuring, just like he prevented Nineveh from being destroyed?
The tribulation has no conditions. The time of Jacob's trouble has to happen, as does the rapture. Unless you expect Israel to, one day, as a whole [majority] to turn to Christ, before either of them happen.

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse



The mystery of the dispensation of grace was a plan B.


It was plan A. There is no plan B.

God_Is_Truth
December 4th, 2004, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

Then you don't want to be with him? You will continue, regardless of anything God does, to reject and desire to be apart from Him?
If not...what changed you? What kind of thing motivated you to repent? And what if you hadn't...does that make it impossible to do?

who said anything about me? i most certainly do want to be with him forever, and i know i will be.

what motivated me to repent? God did, but i still had the choice to not do so.



My God...you are an idiot.

that doesn't exactly explain anything.

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

who said anything about me? i most certainly do want to be with him forever, and i know i will be.

what motivated me to repent? God did, but i still had the choice to not do so.

Yes you do.
Universal restitution does not remove choice.

Besides that..your choice had motivation, at the time you were converted, and IT WAS GOD THAT DID IT.
I am confident that God helps and will continue to help anyone and everyone to make the best choice...evn if it takes a little Hell to get it done. Hell is proof of how seriously God takes human freedom, and is corrective in the same way any other correction is.
At any rate...I intended to privide another point of view...not end up hijacking this thread...


that doesn't exactly explain anything.

I know. It's never effective to do that is it? ...


Originally posted by Lucky

Okay. I thought you were an idiot, but I just wanted to triple-check. :D

Unfortunately...I got you mixed up with another person GIT.
I am sorry.

God_Is_Truth
December 4th, 2004, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

Yes you do.
Universal restitution does not remove choice.

Besides that..your choice had motivation, at the time you were converted, and IT WAS GOD THAT DID IT.
I am confident that God helps and will continue to help anyone and everyone to make the best choice...evn if it takes a little Hell to get it done. Hell is proof of how seriously God takes human freedom, and is corrective in the same way any other correction is.
At any rate...I intended to privide another point of view...not end up hijacking this thread...

i honestly HOPE that what you say is true. but i don't see good enough biblical support for it.




I know. It's never effective to do that is it? ...

nope :)




Unfortunately...I got you mixed up with another person GIT.
I am sorry.

Forgiven :)

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 01:53 AM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

i honestly HOPE that what you say is true. but i don't see good enough biblical support for it.

Hope is a good place to start.
Have you tried an honest, prayerful look at the three links in my signature?
Take some time with it..and test it. Truth loves to be tested.



Forgiven :)

Thanks! :)

God_Is_Truth
December 4th, 2004, 02:19 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

Hope is a good place to start.
Have you tried an honest, prayerful look at the three links in my signature?
Take some time with it..and test it. Truth loves to be tested.


well, it may take me a while since i have finals in 2 weeks, i'm doing a bunch of reading on dispensationalism, i'll be working again during my christmas break and of course spending time with my family and friends.

but hopefully i will get to it in due time :)

Lucky
December 4th, 2004, 02:25 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

I know. It's never effective to do that is it?...
I wouldn't say never.

Let's say I told you I believed the muffler on my car ruled the universe, that if it was kicked Mars would send aliens to eat all our dogs, and we should all bow to it.

Wouldn't it be easier just to say, "man, that guy is nuts" than to thoroughly examine all my muffler theology to see if perhaps it's the truth?

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 02:37 AM
Originally posted by Lucky

I wouldn't say never.

Let's say I told you I believed the muffler on my car ruled the universe, that if it was kicked Mars would send aliens to eat all our dogs, and we should all bow to it.

Wouldn't it be easier just to say, "man, that guy is nuts" than to thoroughly examine all my muffler theology to see if perhaps it's the truth?

:chuckle:
I stand corrected.

Surely, though, if I told you God is saving the world...the REAL God...and that we can have faith that He will succeed, that would be something you might want to find out about.

In other words...if you are comparing your example above with universal restitution...then you're an idiot. :D

Delmar
December 4th, 2004, 06:48 AM
Originally posted by Christine

You're assuming it does not exist to God. Do you have any scriptural support for this assumption?
Yes I do!

Gen 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
Gen 6:7 So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by deardelmar

Yes I do!

Gen 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
Gen 6:7 So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."

What is God really doing in this judgement?
Notice...in Genesis 6:3 :
And Jehovah saith, `My Spirit doth not strive {1) to judge, contend, plead 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to act as judge, minister judgment 1a2) to plead a cause 1a3) to execute judgment, requite, vindicate 1a4) to govern 1a5) to contend, strive 1b) (Niphal) to be at strife, quarrel Part of Speech: verb} in man--to the age; in their erring they are flesh:' and his days have been an hundred and twenty years.

He is targeting their flesh...their physical existence. He is cutting short their days in the Earth because of their following after the "sons of god" (see verses 6:1-4)

It is the eqivelent of this in the new testament:

1Corintians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

So...what you have quoted is not the complete change of plan you've made it out to be, because God made things so that it can be corrected...this is the actual working out of His judgement as correction.

But..I understand what you are pointing out. The future for those people was open enough, and their choices wicked enough, to warrent that things be cut short...
They could have chosen another path, and if they had, God would not have chosen His course of action in the same way.

godrulz
December 4th, 2004, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

It doesn't exist for me and for you, but I think it definitely does for God. Why is it such a stretch to believe God is powerful enough to be able to know the future? If He can make the universe and everything in it, why would you think knowing the future would be impossible for Him or that it wouldn't exist for Him? This is what I have meant by logic.

Omniscience and omnipotence are different attributes and should not be confused.

"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 (the uncreated God being created or creating a rock so heavy he cannot lift it or making a square circle). Neither do we limit omniscience by denying its power to foreknow unknowable things (modal logic...future free will contingencies are known as possibilities rather than actualities/certainties or the choice is not genuinely free= 2 or more alternatives possible). A future free will act is, previous to its existence, a nothing; the knowing of a nothing is a bald contradiction."
Omniscience is knowing everything that is logically possible to know.

godrulz
December 4th, 2004, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by philosophizer

Okay, you question Calvinism because of Freewill, but also question the OV because of God's limited foreknowledge.

It sounds like the argument underneath the ideas that you're moving back and forth is the nature of time itself.

There's a few different ways of looking at this:

1) God is outside of Time.

This means that the universe exists as kind of a 4-dimensional sculpture that God has created. He views it as all of space-time in one instant. It is a singularity. Time, in this view, is part of the structure of the universe, or the medium through which existence passes.

This brings up some problems, though. That 4D sculpture that represents the universe-- it had to be created. That means it has a beginning. So how does something get created when part of that creation IS Time? It doesn't really make sense for something in a non-linear environment to have a starting point.

Creation is a type of change. Change is dependent upon Time. How then can something be created when Time itself is a part of that creation?




2) God is "in" Time, but can time travel when He wants to in order to see the future.

Well, if you can't see the problems inherent in that theological view, I don't know what to tell you. God cheats?



3) God is neither outside or inside Time because time is not a thing.

In this view, Time is NOT an element of Creation. It is not a medium through which existence passes. It is not a "thing." It is merely a concept. It's a name that we've given to an idea.

Things change. That's one of the truest things that we witness. "Time" is simply how we describe the universe's constant state of change-- or what we could otherwise call "Life."






Now, is it limiting of God's power to say that He does not know the future in its entirety? Only if one subscribes to #1 or #2. For someone with the 3rd view, the future is not something that exists. It is a non-thing because time is simply a word describing an idea.

So, I guess you might want to examine your concept of time and figure out which makes most sense to you. Then you'll be able to figure out if that view limits God's power or not.

The timeless 'eternal now' view of God is from pagan Greek philosophy through Augustine, etc.

The Hebraic view of eternity is endless duration, sequence, succession=time. Time is not space and is not a thing. Thus, time travel is absurd. The past and present are known exhaustively by God, while some of the future that He purposes to bring to pass is known and some is open and unknown except as a possibility (then it becomes a certainty/actuality).

The issues around predestination, foreknowledge, free will, etc. are related to our concept of time and eternity (there are 4 major views).

godrulz
December 4th, 2004, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by Caine

This may be a little bit of a tangent, but haven't I seen people here claim that God cannot look upon sin? If this is true wouldn't that be another case where God's power is limited?

So if you are an open theist and accept this as well, God can't see the future or sin.

I'm getting really confused here could someone help?

An omniscient God is aware of all sin or He could not judge it. Man and demons would know something that God does not know. He does not have to focus His attention on the sinning, but He must be aware of it if He is omnipresent/omniscient. Past and present sin is an object of knowledge. The future is not yet, so it is not a possible object of knowledge.

Lucky
December 4th, 2004, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

In other words...if you are comparing your example above with universal restitution...then you're an idiot. :D
I wasn't comparing the two. Or was I? :think:

godrulz
December 4th, 2004, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by SOTK

I don't compare my relationship with my wife to my relationship with God. It's completely different. One of the problems I have with Open View so far is the Open Viewers apparent willingness to compare humanistic ideas, relationships, etc. with our ideas and relationship with God. I think they are two different things.

They are not identical, but they are similar. They are not totally different. Love has meaning whether from God's perspective or man's. We are in the image of God. Communication and relationship is impossible if everything is 'different' because it is relating to God. God is all powerful and we are frail/finite. God's relationship to time can be similar to ours (experiences past, present, future) without limiting God. We are finite in one location so can only do limited things at once. God is omnipresent and omniscient so He can know and do infinitely more things all at once. Yet, there is some continuity in how we experience the past and future. This is reality for God and man, not a limitation for God.

Clete
December 4th, 2004, 03:16 PM
This is a long overdure response to SOTK's post #82...


Originally posted by SOTK If God, in your words, is manipulating individuals in order to bring about that which He desires to have happen, how is the concept of free will figured into this? The future may be open but if God "manipulates" individuals along the way, how open is the future?
Manipulating in the sense of influencing not controlling; we are not puppets on a string. God is able to influence His friends and manipulate His enemies in many of the same ways you do your own and then some. God knows everyone better than they know themselves. He knows every detail of whatever circumstance He is looking at that can be known and is therefore able to act on the available information in order to work things out the way He wants for them to work out.

Take Pharaoh for example, it is not necessary to believe that God overcame his free will in order to get him to let the Israelites go. In fact, we have all the reason in the world to say that He did not.

First of all, the whole story wouldn't make sense had God been controlling Pharaoh. What would have been the point of 10 plagues that were according to the text designed to convince Pharaoh to let them go? Why not simply force him to say "Yeah, okay. Here, take all our gold with you as you go!" and then that would have been the end of it. Instead, God performed undeniable miracle after undeniable miracle. Why? The reason why is because God knew Pharaoh's heart, that it was wicked. God knew him well enough to know that if He performed miracles that made pharaoh look foolish and weak that he would respond with more and more hatred toward God and toward Moses and his people. Thus, in a manner of speaking, God did indeed harden pharaoh's heart in that He was the one who was intentionally shoving the truth in Pharaoh's face by performing miracle after miracle. But the point is, that PHAROAH COULD HAVE REPENTED! Had he done so, his son would not have been killed and God's people would still have won their freedom. God would have won and would have had opportunity to show His mercy rather than His judgment, which is precisely what He would have done.

Now, you might think that this is a radical interpretation of what happened in Exodus, but the important thing to keep in mind is not how common a teaching it is but whether or not it conforms to the Biblical record. There is nothing in the text that contradicts this interpretation, nothing at all and yet this story is one of Calvinism's most favored proof texts! The simple fact is, they read their theology into the text, nothing in the Exodus account requires of belief that God took over Pharaoh's ability to choose for himself what he would do. If this were not so, then God's punishment of him would have been unjust, which is the primary point!

God is a loving God who is both merciful and just. If our theology serves to undermine such major and undeniable attributes of God's character then we can know that our theology is in error. God created us so that He might love us and that we might love Him. Our loving Him is absolutely contingent upon our ability to choose for ourselves. If we only "love" because we have been predestined to do so, then that isn't love at all! It might look like love to someone who doesn't know that such actions have been preprogrammed but God would certainly know and He's the only one that matters since He is the object of such so called "love". Thus the doctrine of predestination cuts at the very heart of the meaning of our very existence.

God's mercy and justice are undermined, indeed made meaningless, in the same way. If we cannot choose then it is impossible to assign any moral implications to our actions. We are simply doing that which we have been preprogrammed to do. A rape would have no more moral implication than a toaster browning a piece of bread. This being the case, for God to punish or reward any such act would be fundamentally unjust. We can know for a fact and be absolutely certain that we do have a freewill because the goodness and justice of God are undeniable presuppositions of the Christian faith. To deny one is to deny both.


Okay, I'm with you on your logic argument to a point. What I was trying to get at with my point is that I believe we are finite and God is infinite. We are created and God is The Creator. What may be illogical to me may be logical to God. The concept of Time, specifically the concept of past and future, is beyond my ability to comprehend it. I can't comprehend it because it does not exist for me. It very likely exists for God and He understands it perfectly. I can not even begin to understand the creation of life. God says that He created life. With science, I can see how intricate and delicate the creation of life is and even watch life happen, however, in terms of understanding how God did it, I'm baffled. It's beyond me. Take the concept of living forever. Christ promises eternal life. What the heck is that?? How can I or you begin to even understand what eternity means? That's what I meant by human logic. I worded my point poorly. There is a limit to our understanding of God's character and power and all that that entails. Just because the idea that God's exhaustive knowledge of past, present, and future seems utterly ridiculous or illogical to me and you, does not necessarily make it so.
What you are talking about then is not logic, it's information and perhaps intelligence. God definitely has access to far more information than do we and of course He is vastly more intelligent than we are. Those are givens and are not in dispute.
To avoid confusion I would, if I were you, find a different term to use rather than logic. Otherwise, you run the risk of saying that God is irrational without intending to do so.


I admit freely that I have a hard time understanding how free will factors into a Closed View.
That's because the two are logical contradictions, they are mutually exclusive.


So far, the only thing that I can come up with that kind of makes sense to me is the following: I still have free will in the Closed View, however, when I exert my will it will never go against that which God has already pre-determined to have happen.
Impossible! You are literally trying to have your cake and eat it too. That is just not an option, you can either eat the cake or you can keep it for another day, you cannot do both at the same time. If your actions are predetermined then they are not free, period. Freedom is the ability to do or to do otherwise. If your actions are foreknown or predetermined either one then you cannot do otherwise and are therefore not free.


In God's exhaustive knowledge, He already knew/knows what choices I will make. My choices/actions will never go against that which He has pre-determined. My free will choice...
This sort of made me chuckle.
You've mixed Arminianism (foreknowledge), Calvinism(predeterminism), and Open Theism(free will) all together here.
You're a "Calminian Open Theist"! :chuckle:


In whatever I do will always make sense to me, and I will always lean to that choice. It would be impossible for me to make a free will choice which would go against that which God has already pre-determined.
Well if predeterminism is true then your actions, the fact that they make sense to you, your leanings, etc were all predetermined as well. In fact, if predestination is true then I was predestined to believe in free will! How much sense does that make?

Resting in Him,
Clete

P.S. Sorry it took so long to respond, I've been pretty busy lately.
God bless!

Delmar
December 4th, 2004, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by deardelmar

Yes I do!

Gen 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
Gen 6:7 So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."


Originally posted by logos_x

What is God really doing in this judgement?
Notice...in Genesis 6:3 :
And Jehovah saith, `My Spirit doth not strive {1) to judge, contend, plead 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to act as judge, minister judgment 1a2) to plead a cause 1a3) to execute judgment, requite, vindicate 1a4) to govern 1a5) to contend, strive 1b) (Niphal) to be at strife, quarrel Part of Speech: verb} in man--to the age; in their erring they are flesh:' and his days have been an hundred and twenty years.

He is targeting their flesh...their physical existence. He is cutting short their days in the Earth because of their following after the "sons of god" (see verses 6:1-4)

It is the eqivelent of this in the new testament:

1Corintians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

So...what you have quoted is not the complete change of plan you've made it out to be, because God made things so that it can be corrected...this is the actual working out of His judgement as correction.

But..I understand what you are pointing out. The future for those people was open enough, and their choices wicked enough, to warrent that things be cut short...
They could have chosen another path, and if they had, God would not have chosen His course of action in the same way. So what do you make of God's statement that that he was sorry that he had created man? Don't you understand that when ever God responds to the actions of man in any way it is evidence for the future being open!

Christine
December 4th, 2004, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by deardelmar

Yes I do!

Gen 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
Gen 6:7 So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."

You must believe that verse six means that God genuinely was sorry and regreted that He ever made man. It doesn't mean that at all. The phrase "was sorry" is a figure of speech that's ascribing to God characteristics that belong to men or other creatures, just like the passages that say God has limbs. God did not regret that He made man. Just because God was grieved does not mean he didn't know man was going to act like this. It's like a parent-child relationship. A parent is grieved when his child sins, but the parent is not surprised because the parent knew the child was born with a sin nature. So God knew that man had a sin nature and would turn from Him.

aikido7
December 4th, 2004, 05:45 PM
OPEN THEISM STIRS CONTROVERSY IN PALESTINE

PALESTINE--A charismatic rabbi who has gained a small following in Galilee is drawing fire for his radical notion that God is available to everyone and is not to be found in the domain of temple worship.

The local chapter of Phaisees for Fundamentalist Purity has objected on the grounds that tradition needs to be upheld and that they alone should be able to decide who is righteous and who is not.

The Galilean upstart--called "Son of Mary" by some and "Messiah" by others, has also said puzzling things like "the Father makes his sun shine on both the evil and the good and sends rain down on the just and unjust alike."

Frank Pharisee, president of the local chapter, has said that he is going to take his organization's cause to members of the Roman government to enlist its support for boycotting or otherwise "dealing with this Jesus fellow."

"We have our world all mapped out and understood," Frank said, who was on his way to buy a choice lamb for the Passover festival for slaughter in the Temple. "We don't need anyone pushing the envelope of our version of reality."

Delmar
December 4th, 2004, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by Christine

You must believe that verse six means that God genuinely was sorry and regreted that He ever made man. It doesn't mean that at all. The phrase "was sorry" is a figure of speech that's ascribing to God characteristics that belong to men or other creatures, just like the passages that say God has limbs. God did not regret that He made man. Just because God was grieved does not mean he didn't know man was going to act like this. It's like a parent-child relationship. A parent is grieved when his child sins, but the parent is not surprised because the parent knew the child was born with a sin nature. So God knew that man had a sin nature and would turn from Him.



Please demonstate how you know this is a figure of speech as opposed to God saying what he meant. Why is it not possible the Bible refering to God as all knowing is a figure of speech meaning God knows all that is knowable?

Oh by the way parents are quite often surprised by the sins of there children! I understand that your world view would dictate that God would neither be suprised by the behaviour of man, or be able to change his mind. Hey wait a minute if God is unable to change his mind would he really be all powerfull?

Christine
December 4th, 2004, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

I provided you with three instances that appear in scripture. David, Nineveh and the flood.
I don't remember the flood coming up in our discussion. I'm assuming you're referring to the verses Delmar quoted to me. If that's so, then you can read my response to Delmar.


Where did you get that idea?
From studying scripture with the aid of E.W. Bullinger's study aids. Nothing in scripture just happens to occur. Everything in scripture has a purpose, including the numbers. God didn't just randomly choose the number 40 in His words to Nineveh, the number had a purpose. Here (http://philologos.org/__eb-nis/) is more info on the topic.










Because God wasn't going to allow that to happen.
How could God for certain prevent it from happening?



He knew that He had specific purposes for Jeremiah, and even David. And God may not have known that David's mom wasn't going to miscarry. But that does not negate that he had the design for David in mind, while He was forming him in the womb. The same goes for Jeremiah. And David very well could have died as a youth. He came pretty close, as I recall.
If David had instead died on this "pretty close" instance, would God have had to turn to His "Plan B?"



Is time infinite, or finite? If time is infinite, then God knows it exhaustively. If it is finite, then God knows it only as far as it goes, at any given time.
God knows time exhaustively, Lighthouse. Verses like Eph 1:4 (quoted in next section) further prove that.



The mystery of the dispensation of grace was a plan B.
According to the following passages, the Dispensation of Grace was always part of "Plan A."

Romans 16:25 " Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began"

The "mystery" is the "Dispensation of Grace," Lighthouse.

Ephesians 1:4 "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love"

The "us" is the Body members of the current dispensation. God knew, before he'd even created the world that there would be a dispensation of Grace.



Because He knows our hearts, but He does not know what the future holds for us, and what circumstances will come about. But He knows what might happen.
:nono: God had the Dispensation of Grace in mind before Adam and Eve had committed the first sin.







You haven't convinced me.
If that had been a prophecy, then God would have changed, which would have been in direct contradiction of scripture.

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




The tribulation has no conditions. The time of Jacob's trouble has to happen, as does the rapture. Unless you expect Israel to, one day, as a whole [majority] to turn to Christ, before either of them happen.
How do you know that Israel, as a whole won't turn to Christ, forcing God to "change his mind?" How do you know God's word is to be taken seriously, if, according to you, God has repeatedly changed His mind in the past?

Clete
December 4th, 2004, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by Christine
How do you know that Israel, as a whole won't turn to Christ, forcing God to "change his mind?" How do you know God's word is to be taken seriously, if, according to you, God has repeatedly changed His mind in the past?

We don't!

If Israel as a nation (not necessarily every single individual) repents God will not bring the judgment which He said He would bring.

Jer 18:7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will repent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by deardelmar

So what do you make of God's statement that that he was sorry that he had created man? Don't you understand that when ever God responds to the actions of man in any way it is evidence for the future being open!

I understand how that could be the case.
I also understand that this is not proof of an Open Future.
I don't think this surprised God at all. I think God knew that this would happen...and I think He knows everything.
I think God is outside of "time".
I believe that God is God even in the future. He holds the future.
I am a believer that God will be all in all in the end. I believe in universal reconciliation. And I believe this happens through our "free will".
I believe that God is in control.
I don't believe in Open Theism...nor do I believe in Calvinism.

Knight
December 4th, 2004, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by logos_x
I don't believe in Open Theism...nor do I believe in Calvinism. Do you believe in Elmo?

Clete
December 4th, 2004, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

Do you believe reality is infinite?
Yes.
God is real.
God is infinite.
Therefore, reality is infinite.


How does God transcend creation?
He created it! He cannot be fundamentally a part of His own creation, He must therefore transcend it. The created cannot be greater or even equal to the Creator.


Yes, I got that, the connection was obvious, and I saw it coming like a circus elephant down the sidewalk. You missed my point. Real is really part of reality, just as truth is truly part of what is true. This is equivocation. It doesn't say anything. Get it?
It says a lot if someone is attempting to say that something really can exist outside of reality. The point was to show the self contradictory nature of such a position. If you are saying that anything (including God) can exist for real outside of reailty then you are contradicting yourself because what is real is reality.


OK, fine. Are you making an argument for infinitude that transcends God?
NO! Don't you get it? If God really did transcend reality then if that transcendence is real, then it too is part of reality. It is totally a logical absurdity to suggest that one can realy exist outside of reality. It would be basically saying that it is possible to be more than infinite which might be a fun and pious thing to say, but it ignores the meaning of the word infinite just as saying that God transcends reality ignores the meaning of the word reality.


Who said anything about size? Nothing exists apart from God, independent of God, at any distance from God. He is separate from His creation (i.e., holy), but creation cannot exist separated from Him. All, even hell and the Lake of Fire, are contained within Him.
Size was only an example Jim. Put anything in there you want. Time, Size, power, patience, joy whatever. If you have an infinite amount of it and you remove anything less than all of it, then you are left with a infinite amount remaining. That is the nature of infinity.
It does no harm to God's infinite nature to suggest that there is some location within His creation where He is not present, especially if that location was created just for that very purpose by God Himself.


It's not a matter of size. It's a matter of existence. Anything that exists is contained within God. There is nothing that transcends Him or that is outside of Him.
Certainly nothing transcends him but being outside of Him does not imply transcendence especially if it was He who put you outside of Himself and if you have no means of getting back in on your own.


Prove the past and future do not exist.
Prove that they do!

What exists, exists now. The past is gone, done, finished, forever "in the past", unalterable and forever inaccessible except by our memories and those memories that have been recorded (accurately or otherwise) in history books.
The future is always future, thus the sign "Free beer, tomorrow!". What has been predicted might come to exist and it might not. What God has determined in advance to bring to pass will come to exist but does not exist YET.
There is precisely zero evidence that either the past or the future exist with their own independent existence as though they were some destination which could be traveled to (the adventures of Capt. Kirk not withstanding).
We have no record in the Scripture of anyone ever praying and asking God to go back into the past in order to fix some terrible wrong, or to insure some good result. Why? If the past exists why couldn't God go to the past and change things?
You will undoubtedly point out that this last point is an argument from silence, and I would agree, but it's a awfully powerful one. Even you wouldn't recommend that someone ever pray such a prayer. It would go against everything you and I believe concerning the finality of death and the inevitability of our facing God to give an account for the actions we performed during this life. The Bible does not teach that we will give an account of every idle word, unless God goes back in time and changes things so that you were never born in the first place. Any such belief would throw everything we know to be certain into doubt and confusion.

And so I say it again. The past does not exist and neither does the future. All of existence is NOW. If you believe otherwise in the absence of any evidence then the burden of proof is on you.


Are there true and false memories? How do we ascertain which are which?
By an examination of the currently existing evidence. If no such evidence exists and some memory is in question then the information cannot be known. God's memory is perfect of course, and all our actions are recorded in some fashion or another (perhaps in our own minds). So God will not have any such difficulty. But the point is that without corroborating evidence of one sort or another the truth of memories that are in dispute cannot be determined.


Please define "history."
There is more than one sense of the word but for the purposes of this discussion I would say that history is the retelling of events that occurred prior to now.


The events that define history exist in the past, Clete.
Only in a manner of speaking Jim. Those events do not have their own independent existence out there is some other dimension or something. Jesus is not on the cross suffering and dying somewhere in some past existence. That event happened, then it was over, and that's it. The event continues to exist in our minds and in history books but the event itself does not exist any longer.


Your view is utterly unbiblical, Clete. Scriptures instruct us to count on the future, with full assurance of faith, firm and unwavering certitude regarding a future which you say does not exist. The Word of God gives us explicit prescriptions to long for a future we do not see, but nonetheless exists.

Ro 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, ...
Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Heb 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
I think perhaps you are thinking I'm saying more than I am. I'm not saying that what God has planned for the future won't ever happen, I'm only saying that those events do not exist YET. Saying that they are "in the future" is a useful convention of language but it is not intended to mean that those events are actually existing in the future just waiting in line to become the present. There is simply no evidence that that is the case nor is there any reason to suppose that it should or needs to be the case.


Hilston wrote:
So if God created a world of humans whose only emotion was jealousy, in which all their actions were locked in place and the future was "closed", God would still be righteous as long as He didn't punish any of them for any of their actions? Is that your view?

I responded…
If you take out the word 'evil', I think you'd be getting somewhere. God could have made people whose action where locked in place, yes. But had He done so, morality, good, evil, love, hate, etc would all be meaningless to those people.


Jim asked in response:
So what. Could God do that?
I said yes. I highlighted it for you; maybe you missed it the first time around.


So you're basically saying that there is only one kind of world God could have created and still be righteous and loving, right?
No I just said that God could have created any sort of world He wanted to as long as that world didn't violate His righteous character.
He could easily have made a whole universe of metallic, robots with eighty two legs each which manufactured vast quantities of break fluid just in case God's Lamborghini needed a break job. Had He done so, it would not have had any impact upon God's character. It's not wrong to make robots, or break fluid or to do a brake job on a Diablo. But if one day God got tired of brake fluid and He got angry at the robots for having made it, gave them emotions and senses with which to feel pain and then punished them for having made one too many gallons of brake fluid, God would be unjust! He. Would. Be. Unjust.
If you believe that our actions were predetermined by God and that He has sent people to Hell for having committed those very actions then you believe God to be unjust or your belief is self contradictory, take your pick.


So what part of the syllogism do you disagree with?
God is infinite, completely free of limits and finite boundaries.
All of creation, without exception, is finite.
Therefore, God's knowledge of His finite creation is exhaustive.
I do agree that God is infinite.
I do not agree that He is "completely free of limits and finite boundaries". God cannot lie, steal, cheat, murder, or rape. He cannot go somewhere that does not exist (like the future or the past for example), God cannot know the unknowable, He cannot make someone love Him, etc. I would say that these limitations are real and significant, wouldn't you?
I do agree that all of creation is finite in at least some respect. We will live forever, whether in the presence of God or in Hell, so our life spans are infinite but we, as created beings, had a beginning and so are not eternal. God is eternal; He both will always exist and has always existed; this is not true of any created thing.
I agree that God knows everything that is knowable that He wants to know, nothing more, nothing less.

Resting in Him,
Clete

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Do you believe in Elmo?

:chuckle:

Elmo exists.
He is a puppet, at least originally, now there are whole lines of toys that are "Elmo".

But I don't put much faith in puppets or toys...
so I don't put much stock in Calvinism...
Open Theism says that it all depends too much on our own will...which I think is too fickle and too subject to every sort of influence or deception to be the primary thing God depends on...too few would be saved if left to our wills alone, especially if you believe that the cut off point for people is at physical death. (which isn't the case)
So...The future is not completely open...neither is God limited..but He will work within His creation and correct what needs correcting until He acheives the results He's looking for.
That doesn't fit with either the Calvinstic or Open Theist model.

Clete
December 4th, 2004, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by logos_x
That doesn't fit with either the Calvinstic or Open Theist model.

Nor the Christian model for that matter! :rolleyes:

LightSon
December 4th, 2004, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by logos_x
especially if you believe that the cut off point for people is at physical death. (which isn't the case)


Most views hold that "the cut off" for accepting God's plan of redemption is physical death. What is your "proof" or rationale for saying this "isn't the case"?

Do you have any scripture to support that, or is it just a hunch?

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

Nor the Christian model for that matter! :rolleyes:

Only the knuckleheaded ones... :rolleyes:

Knight
December 4th, 2004, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by logos_x
neither is God limited.. Why do people keep saying this?

Do you really mean God is not limited or are you exaggerating?

Doesn't God have logical limitations?

Is God evil? Or is He limited to righteousness by His own character?

Is God both rational AND irrational?

Is God a living God AND a dead god? Or is He limited to being a living God?

God has indeed has logical and necessary limitations if God is to remain a righteous, everlasting, living God.

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by LightSon

Most views hold that "the cut off" for accepting God's plan of redemption is physical death. What is your "proof" or rationale for saying this "isn't the case"?

Do you have any scripture to support that, or is it just a hunch?

I don't want to keep repeating everything I post...so I will link you to just one of my previous ones in this thread...

cite (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=636690#post636690)

Knight
December 4th, 2004, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

I don't want to keep repeating everything I post...so I will link you to just one of my previous ones in this thread...

cite (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=636690#post636690) Side note.... logos_x you do realize that you limit God to a God that only brings people to heaven and not hell right?????

I just want to point out how almost any version of God that anyone can imagine has limitations it's somewhat unavoidable.

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 11:38 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Why do people keep saying this?

Do you really mean God is not limited or are you exaggerating?

Doesn't God have logical limitations?

Is God evil? Or is He limited to righteousness by His own character?

Is God both rational AND irrational?

Is God a living God AND a dead god? Or is He limited to being a living God?

God has indeed has logical and necessary limitations if God is to remain a righteous, everlasting, living God.

Of course!
But...how is saying that God knows the future a violation of those kinds of limits?
And...what I meant was...we should not limit God's ability to factor in all possibilities even before He started creating the universe...and making things in such a way that He can be confident that, come what may...in the end it will turn out good, for everyone involved. That means making it so He can correct the situation...even though He's dealing with "free will".
Even men can now figure things out reasonably using chaos theory.

Knight
December 4th, 2004, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

Of course!
But...how is saying that God knows the future a violation of those kinds of limits? It isn't.

I am just on this crusade to bust the mindless cliche that God has NO limitations. I hear it all the time and it drives me nuts! When people say that they can't even say the cliche without contradicting themselves because if God has no limitations then He is limited to having NO limitations! :shocked:

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 11:44 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Side note.... logos_x you do realize that you limit God to a God that only brings people to heaven and not hell right?????

No.
I'm saying Hell is a part of the corrective mechanism that God designed into the universe.


I just want to point out how almost any version of God that anyone can imagine has limitations it's somewhat unavoidable.

You are right...I mis-stated by saying "no limits" like there can be none.
It wasn't really what I was trying to say, and I think that come accross with the rest of what I said. But if not...forgive me for the oversight.

Knight
December 4th, 2004, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by logos_x
You are right...I mis-stated by saying "no limits" like there can be none.
It wasn't really what I was trying to say, and I think that come accross with the rest of what I said. But if not...forgive me for the oversight. :up:

logos_x
December 4th, 2004, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by Knight

It isn't.

I am just on this crusade to bust the mindless cliche that God has NO limitations. I hear it all the time and it drives me nuts! When people say that they can't even say the cliche without contradicting themselves because if God has no limitations then He is limited to having NO limitations! :shocked:

Indeed!
And a worthy crusade it is.

I stand corrected. :dunce:

Delmar
December 5th, 2004, 12:19 AM
Christine
I am still waiting for evidence that when God said "I was sorry I created man " it was a figure of speech. I do, as a matter of fact, believe that every time that God ever destroyed the wicked he was deeply and profoundly grieved and that he was indeed sorry that, at least, those people had ever been created!

Delmar
December 5th, 2004, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

:chuckle:

Elmo exists.
He is a puppet, at least originally, now there are whole lines of toys that are "Elmo".

But I don't put much faith in puppets or toys...
so I don't put much stock in Calvinism... OK

Open Theism says that it all depends too much on our own will...which I think is too fickle and too subject to every sort of influence or deception to be the primary thing God depends on...too few would be saved if left to our wills alone, especially if you believe that the cut off point for people is at physical death. (which isn't the case) " Narrow is the road and few there be that find it"

So...The future is not completely open...neither is God limited..but He will work within His creation and correct what needs correcting until He acheives the results He's looking for. I don't know of any open theist who denys that God controls the future in some ways.

That doesn't fit with either the Calvinstic or Open Theist model. Actually I think you just described the Open Theist model pretty well! Except for that whole everybody gets saved whether they like it or not thing!

logos_x
December 5th, 2004, 12:57 AM
Originally posted by deardelmar

Christine
I am still waiting for evidence that when God said "I was sorry I created man " it was a figure of speech. I do, as a matter of fact, believe that every time that God ever destroyed the wicked he was deeply and profoundly grieved and that he was indeed sorry that, at least, those people had ever been created!

Gen 6:6 and Jehovah was sorry and His heart hurt, that even man resisted His charge in the earth,
Gen 6:7 And Jehovah said, `I wipe away man whom I have prepared from off the face of the ground, from man unto beast, unto creeping thing, and unto fowl of the heavens, for it is a pity that I maintain them as they have become...

doesn't sound like a figure of speach to me...so yeah, let's have some evidence.

logos_x
December 5th, 2004, 01:08 AM
Originally posted by deardelmar

I don't know of any open theist who denys that God controls the future in some ways.

Probably not.


Actually I think you just described the Open Theist model pretty well! Except for that whole everybody gets saved whether they like it or not thing!

Actually, I don't believe it's a "whether they like it or not thing!"
Though..the corrective process probably won't be too pleasant...in fact quite painful, it burns away the dross of their hearts.
They change...so their wants are different, because there is nothing holding them in bondage to sin any more.
So...while they won't like the process, in the end they want God and not their selfish, sinful bondages.
If Hell doesn't do as I've discribed here...then they will be destroyed or tormented forever...whether they like it or not!

Lighthouse
December 5th, 2004, 02:53 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

It was plan A. There is no plan B.
Then why was it a secret? Why was it a mystery? Wasn't plan A to bring salvation through the Jews, professing Christ, to the rest of the world? And when that failed, because Israel rejected Jesus as The Messiah, God called Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles.

Lighthouse
December 5th, 2004, 03:02 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

An omniscient God is aware of all sin or He could not judge it. Man and demons would know something that God does not know. He does not have to focus His attention on the sinning, but He must be aware of it if He is omnipresent/omniscient. Past and present sin is an object of knowledge. The future is not yet, so it is not a possible object of knowledge.
I agree with you that God does not know the specific acts anyone will commit in the future. But He does know our nature, and He knows the possibilities, and the probabilities. So He knows that we will not always act the way we should. So the acts themselves, in past and present, are known to God, except that He chooses to not know them in the case of those who are in Him, and the acts that have not happened are not known to Him, but He knows misdeeds will be committed. And that is a possible object of knowledge. and it is for this truth, that the blood of Christ is for all sin, even that which is to come.

Lighthouse
December 5th, 2004, 03:06 AM
Originally posted by Christine

You must believe that verse six means that God genuinely was sorry and regreted that He ever made man. It doesn't mean that at all. The phrase "was sorry" is a figure of speech that's ascribing to God characteristics that belong to men or other creatures, just like the passages that say God has limbs. God did not regret that He made man. Just because God was grieved does not mean he didn't know man was going to act like this. It's like a parent-child relationship. A parent is grieved when his child sins, but the parent is not surprised because the parent knew the child was born with a sin nature. So God knew that man had a sin nature and would turn from Him.
Do you believe that God knew Adam and Eve were going to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Did God know the fall was going to happen? Did He predestine it?

Lighthouse
December 5th, 2004, 03:21 AM
Originally posted by Christine

I don't remember the flood coming up in our discussion. I'm assuming you're referring to the verses Delmar quoted to me. If that's so, then you can read my response to Delmar.
I brought up His repentance that He had made man.


From studying scripture with the aid of E.W. Bullinger's study aids. Nothing in scripture just happens to occur. Everything in scripture has a purpose, including the numbers. God didn't just randomly choose the number 40 in His words to Nineveh, the number had a purpose. Here (http://philologos.org/__eb-nis/) is more info on the topic.
I know that numbers have meaning, in prophecy.









How could God for certain prevent it from happening?
You're pretty good at asking stupid questions. God is God. He is omnipotent. How do you think He could prevent it? God can do whatever He wants.


If David had instead died on this "pretty close" instance, would God have had to turn to His "Plan B?"
Who said God even had a plan A that involved David? In fact, if God's original plan had gone through, then there wouldn't have been a king. And, even though there was, if Saul had not been so wicked, then Jonathan may have lived, and would have become king, instead of David. David being king was not the original plan. It wasn't even plan B.


God knows time exhaustively, Lighthouse. Verses like Eph 1:4 (quoted in next section) further prove that.
Time is not real. Only the past and present exist. The past has happened, and the present is happening. The future is neither.


According to the following passages, the Dispensation of Grace was always part of "Plan A."

Romans 16:25 " Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began"

The "mystery" is the "Dispensation of Grace," Lighthouse.
And that verse is why I call it plan B. God had it, just in case the original plan didn't work. And it didn't. Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah, and Paul was called to preach the mystery.


Ephesians 1:4 "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love"

The "us" is the Body members of the current dispensation. God knew, before he'd even created the world that there would be a dispensation of Grace.
No. The "us" is everyone. That was God's original plan, and intention, that all would be holy and blameless...
But that didn't work out. So He had to do it another way. And this verse has no proof that the mystery was a plan, for all time, before God created the Earth.


:nono: God had the Dispensation of Grace in mind before Adam and Eve had committed the first sin.
He knew the possibility that they may eat of the fruit, so He had to have a plan. And He had to have a backup plan, as well.






If that had been a prophecy, then God would have changed, which would have been in direct contradiction of scripture.

Malachi 3:6 " For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
I never said God changed. But His mind does change, and that is what I have presented. His character remains the same.



How do you know that Israel, as a whole won't turn to Christ, forcing God to "change his mind?" How do you know God's word is to be taken seriously, if, according to you, God has repeatedly changed His mind in the past?
Alright, I don't. That may very well happen. However, God, knowing men's hearts, knows that this is improbable. Yet, it is not impossible. But something very big would have to happen to set it in motion. However, God, wanting to bring forth what He told John He would do, can very well...and has...blinded Israel, and they cannot see the truth. There are some who may, even some who have, but as a whole, not gonna happen.

Lighthouse
December 5th, 2004, 03:27 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

I understand how that could be the case.
I also understand that this is not proof of an Open Future.
I don't think this surprised God at all. I think God knew that this would happen...and I think He knows everything.
I think God is outside of "time".
I believe that God is God even in the future. He holds the future.
I am a believer that God will be all in all in the end. I believe in universal reconciliation. And I believe this happens through our "free will".
I believe that God is in control.
I don't believe in Open Theism...nor do I believe in Calvinism.
God knew that it could happen, but not that it would happen. God is not outside of time, because time is not a thing. It is a concept, and concepts aren't real. Time does not exist. Not our human concept of it, anyway. God is eternal, which means He exists in eternity, which is constantly passing, but not all occuring at the same time. Once something has happened, that same instance cannot happen again. To beleive that all time occurs simultaneously, anywhere, is to believe that it reoccurs and reoccurs and reoccurs, and so on and so forth. This is simply not true. God knows what has happened, what is happening, and what could happen, but not what will happen. And God can not see that whichi is either gone, or has not yet happened. God can not see the past, except in His mind's eye, and He can not see the future, at all. God is God, and that will not change. So He will be God, in the future, but He is not currently in the future.

Lighthouse
December 5th, 2004, 03:30 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Side note.... logos_x you do realize that you limit God to a God that only brings people to heaven and not hell right?????

I just want to point out how almost any version of God that anyone can imagine has limitations it's somewhat unavoidable.
logos_x does believe that people will go to hell. he even believes that peopel will go into the lake of fire. He just believes that they will come out of it, changed, and enter heaven...as new creations.:doh::nono:

Lighthouse
December 5th, 2004, 03:33 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

Of course!
But...how is saying that God knows the future a violation of those kinds of limits?
knowing the future? It's not. Even I believe that God knows certain aspects of the future.


And...what I meant was...we should not limit God's ability to factor in all possibilities even before He started creating the universe...
Open Theism says exactly that.


and making things in such a way that He can be confident that, come what may...in the end it will turn out good, for everyone involved.
We even believe that. Just not the way you do.


That means making it so He can correct the situation...even though He's dealing with "free will".
Which He did, by sending His Son.


Even men can now figure things out reasonably using chaos theory.
Precisely!

Lighthouse
December 5th, 2004, 03:36 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

Probably not.



Actually, I don't believe it's a "whether they like it or not thing!"
Though..the corrective process probably won't be too pleasant...in fact quite painful, it burns away the dross of their hearts.
They change...so their wants are different, because there is nothing holding them in bondage to sin any more.
the only thing that can change mankind's wants and desires is the grace of God. And that is God Himself making such changes.

logos_x
December 5th, 2004, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

the only thing that can change mankind's wants and desires is the grace of God. And that is God Himself making such changes.

Exactly!

godrulz
December 5th, 2004, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

I agree with you that God does not know the specific acts anyone will commit in the future. But He does know our nature, and He knows the possibilities, and the probabilities. So He knows that we will not always act the way we should. So the acts themselves, in past and present, are known to God, except that He chooses to not know them in the case of those who are in Him, and the acts that have not happened are not known to Him, but He knows misdeeds will be committed. And that is a possible object of knowledge. and it is for this truth, that the blood of Christ is for all sin, even that which is to come.

When God says that He will remember our sins no more or 'forget them', it does not mean they are not an object of knowledge. Forgetting is the same as chosing to not bring them up again or hold them against us because of the blood. We say 'forget it' in reference to someone paying us money back. We release them, but it does not literally mean we cannot recall the amount owed.

e.g. Let's say God forgives us for past sin such as murder before we were a Christian. I became a Christian in jail. The legal system, the victim's family, myself, Satan, the media and the masses all know about my sin. If God 'forgot' about my sin, He would be reminded about it in various ways and various times. Every time I felt remorse during my prison term, God would once again recall the act (He knows the past and present perfectly, including my thoughts). It would be the same for wrong thoughts, motives, acts (sins) as a Christian. He forgives and forgets (cf. spouse who does not bring up our old offenses against them...remembers them, but does not hold it against us), but if we recall them, logically God would know it too. Omniscience and omnipresence preclude God from having a blank memory any more than we do unless we have a severe brain injury.

So, forgiveness is a relaxation of the penalty of the law based on a substituted penalty and repentant, renewed obedience (God saves us from our sins, not to continue in them). It is not an erasure of God's memory or ours. If He erased His memory (illogical), we would know more than God. If He erased our memory, we might persist in the sin thinking it is not an issue.

Christine
December 5th, 2004, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by deardelmar

Christine
I am still waiting for evidence that when God said "I was sorry I created man " it was a figure of speech. I do, as a matter of fact, believe that every time that God ever destroyed the wicked he was deeply and profoundly grieved and that he was indeed sorry that, at least, those people had ever been created!
Don't worry Delmar, I haven't forgotten you, I just have other responsibilities away from computer. I'll be posting my reply to your post later today. :)

Christine
December 5th, 2004, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by deardelmar

Please demonstate how you know this is a figure of speech as opposed to God saying what he meant.
Does God really have a heart Delmar? God uses the same figure of speech in 1 Sam 13:14 when He says " the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart." God was using "heart" in 1 Samuel as a figure of speech to show what kind of man He wanted. God doesn't have arms or bones, and God doesn't have a heart. It's a figure of speech.



Why is it not possible the Bible refering to God as all knowing is a figure of speech meaning God knows all that is knowable?
You're assuming the present and past is all that is knowable, not the future as well.




Oh by the way parents are quite often surprised by the sins of there children! I understand that your world view would dictate that God would neither be suprised by the behaviour of man, or be able to change his mind. Hey wait a minute if God is unable to change his mind would he really be all powerfull?
Delmar, parents may be surprised by certain sins that their children commit, but the parent knew all along that the child would sin. The parent knows there child has a sin nature, and will eventually commit a sin.

SOTK
December 5th, 2004, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

This is a long overdure response to SOTK's post #82...


Manipulating in the sense of influencing not controlling; we are not puppets on a string. God is able to influence His friends and manipulate His enemies in many of the same ways you do your own and then some. God knows everyone better than they know themselves. He knows every detail of whatever circumstance He is looking at that can be known and is therefore able to act on the available information in order to work things out the way He wants for them to work out.

Take Pharaoh for example, it is not necessary to believe that God overcame his free will in order to get him to let the Israelites go. In fact, we have all the reason in the world to say that He did not.

First of all, the whole story wouldn't make sense had God been controlling Pharaoh. What would have been the point of 10 plagues that were according to the text designed to convince Pharaoh to let them go? Why not simply force him to say "Yeah, okay. Here, take all our gold with you as you go!" and then that would have been the end of it. Instead, God performed undeniable miracle after undeniable miracle. Why? The reason why is because God knew Pharaoh's heart, that it was wicked. God knew him well enough to know that if He performed miracles that made pharaoh look foolish and weak that he would respond with more and more hatred toward God and toward Moses and his people. Thus, in a manner of speaking, God did indeed harden pharaoh's heart in that He was the one who was intentionally shoving the truth in Pharaoh's face by performing miracle after miracle. But the point is, that PHAROAH COULD HAVE REPENTED! Had he done so, his son would not have been killed and God's people would still have won their freedom. God would have won and would have had opportunity to show His mercy rather than His judgment, which is precisely what He would have done.

Now, you might think that this is a radical interpretation of what happened in Exodus, but the important thing to keep in mind is not how common a teaching it is but whether or not it conforms to the Biblical record. There is nothing in the text that contradicts this interpretation, nothing at all and yet this story is one of Calvinism's most favored proof texts! The simple fact is, they read their theology into the text, nothing in the Exodus account requires of belief that God took over Pharaoh's ability to choose for himself what he would do. If this were not so, then God's punishment of him would have been unjust, which is the primary point!

God is a loving God who is both merciful and just. If our theology serves to undermine such major and undeniable attributes of God's character then we can know that our theology is in error. God created us so that He might love us and that we might love Him. Our loving Him is absolutely contingent upon our ability to choose for ourselves. If we only "love" because we have been predestined to do so, then that isn't love at all! It might look like love to someone who doesn't know that such actions have been preprogrammed but God would certainly know and He's the only one that matters since He is the object of such so called "love". Thus the doctrine of predestination cuts at the very heart of the meaning of our very existence.

God's mercy and justice are undermined, indeed made meaningless, in the same way. If we cannot choose then it is impossible to assign any moral implications to our actions. We are simply doing that which we have been preprogrammed to do. A rape would have no more moral implication than a toaster browning a piece of bread. This being the case, for God to punish or reward any such act would be fundamentally unjust. We can know for a fact and be absolutely certain that we do have a freewill because the goodness and justice of God are undeniable presuppositions of the Christian faith. To deny one is to deny both.


What you are talking about then is not logic, it's information and perhaps intelligence. God definitely has access to far more information than do we and of course He is vastly more intelligent than we are. Those are givens and are not in dispute.
To avoid confusion I would, if I were you, find a different term to use rather than logic. Otherwise, you run the risk of saying that God is irrational without intending to do so.


That's because the two are logical contradictions, they are mutually exclusive.


Impossible! You are literally trying to have your cake and eat it too. That is just not an option, you can either eat the cake or you can keep it for another day, you cannot do both at the same time. If your actions are predetermined then they are not free, period. Freedom is the ability to do or to do otherwise. If your actions are foreknown or predetermined either one then you cannot do otherwise and are therefore not free.


This sort of made me chuckle.
You've mixed Arminianism (foreknowledge), Calvinism(predeterminism), and Open Theism(free will) all together here.
You're a "Calminian Open Theist"! :chuckle:


Well if predeterminism is true then your actions, the fact that they make sense to you, your leanings, etc were all predetermined as well. In fact, if predestination is true then I was predestined to believe in free will! How much sense does that make?

Resting in Him,
Clete

P.S. Sorry it took so long to respond, I've been pretty busy lately.
God bless!

Hi Clete!

Thanks for your response and the PM! Like you, I have been busy. I won't be able to give my full attention to your response right now so I don't want to say too much. Between work, my wife, three kids, and chores, it's been difficult staying up with all this stuff at TOL. :) I plan on giving you a full response soon.

I wanted to at least comment on this:


This sort of made me chuckle.
You've mixed Arminianism (foreknowledge), Calvinism(predeterminism), and Open Theism(free will) all together here.
You're a "Calminian Open Theist"! :chuckle:

I chuckled that you chuckled! :D As I wrote what you commented on, I too realized that my thinking is a mixture of Arminianism, Calvinism, and Open Theism. I've got a lot of thoughts running through my head about all of this. This is why I find this discussion so good for me. I tend to understand things by process and by thinking out loud. Some of what I'm thinking and processing on makes sense to me and some of it doesn't so hang in there with me. :)

I'll get back with you soon!

In Christ,

SOTK

Delmar
December 5th, 2004, 06:08 PM
quote:
Originally posted by deardelmar

Please demonstate how you know this is a figure of speech as opposed to God saying what he meant.



Originally posted by Christine

Does God really have a heart Delmar? God uses the same figure of speech in 1 Sam 13:14 when He says " the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart." God was using "heart" in 1 Samuel as a figure of speech to show what kind of man He wanted. God doesn't have arms or bones, and God doesn't have a heart. It's a figure of speech.

You are running a bait and switch on me Christine.There are, of coarse figures of speach in the Bible and I never implyed that there are not ! I asked you defend your claim that the particular statement that "God was sorry he created man" was a figure of speech!

Delmar
December 5th, 2004, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by Christine

You're assuming the present and past is all that is knowable, not the future as well.

Just as you are assuming the opposite

Delmar
December 5th, 2004, 06:18 PM
Originally posted by Christine

Delmar, parents may be surprised by certain sins that their children commit, but the parent knew all along that the child would sin. The parent knows there child has a sin nature, and will eventually commit a sin. But before the first sin of man were people created with a sin nature? If so why?

Christine
December 5th, 2004, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by deardelmar
You are running a bait and switch on me Christine.
I'm not doing anything of the sort.


There are, of coarse figures of speach in the Bible and I never implyed that there are not !
I never said that you implied that there aren't figures of speech in the Bible. I was writing with the impression that you did not believe that Gen 6:6 had a figure of speech in it.




I asked you defend your claim that the particular statement that "God was sorry he created man" was a figure of speech!

The phrase in question is in the same verse has the heart. God knew before the world was created that man would turn from him. Knowing this, God still proceeded with creating man.

Delmar
December 5th, 2004, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by Christine

I'm not doing anything of the sort.

I never said that you implied that there aren't figures of speech in the Bible. I was writing with the impression that you did not believe that Gen 6:6 had a figure of speech in it.




The phrase in question is in the same verse has the heart. God knew before the world was created that man would turn from him. Knowing this, God still proceeded with creating man. I'll give you that "the Heart of God is a figure of speech one that neither of us is confused about the meaning of. How does that show that "god was sorry he created man" is a figure of speach? It feels to me as though you are not even tring to answer a simple question!

Delmar
December 5th, 2004, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by Christine

. God knew before the world was created that man would turn from him. Knowing this, God still proceeded with creating man. you haven't shown that!

Christine
December 5th, 2004, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by deardelmar

I'll give you that "the Heart of God is a figure of speech one that neither of us is confused about the meaning of. How does that show that "god was sorry he created man" is a figure of speach? It feels to me as though you are not even tring to answer a simple question!
Delmar,
After I had gotten off the computer from making my previous post to you, I realized I'd forgotten something important. :doh: Saying that God "was sorry" or "repented" is a figure of speech because these are human attributes similiar to saying God has a heart. Man repents, man becomes sorry. God is not sorry for things he does, God has nothing to be repentent of.

godrulz
December 5th, 2004, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by Christine

Delmar,
After I had gotten off the computer from making my previous post to you, I realized I'd forgotten something important. :doh: Saying that God "was sorry" or "repented" is a figure of speech because these are human attributes similiar to saying God has a heart. Man repents, man becomes sorry. God is not sorry for things he does, God has nothing to be repentent of.

This is an assumption and circular reasoning (assuming what you are trying to prove). The strength of the Open view is it takes God's revelation literally (verses that show God changing or an open future and predestination passages= some of the future is open and some of the future is settled), while the closed view only takes strong immutability and predestination passages literally and the others figuratively.

Yorzhik
December 5th, 2004, 11:05 PM
Originally posted by deardelmar
I'll give you that "the Heart of God" is a figure of speech.
Ahhh, not so fast. In this context, it is a figure of speech only indirectly. Yes, the phrase comes from a figure of speech - we referenece the heart as that inner "je ne se qua" (you Frenchys out there get the correct spelling on that please!) of our emotions, but the context here is not referring to the beating heart, but to the actual figure of speech. Kind of a double-indirection, where the original reference is a figure, but the reference to the figure is literal.

Now, if the passage was "...and God's heart pumped blood..." THAT would be, directly, a figure of speech in the same context that we are speaking of here.

godrulz
December 5th, 2004, 11:11 PM
Je ne sais quoi= quality or attribute difficult to describe (lit. I do not know what). Je ne sais pas? (I do not know)

verb= savoir= to know

Yorzhik
December 5th, 2004, 11:32 PM
Je ne sais quoi... thanks. Pretty close for guessing, but I'll have to figure out a way to remember it.

logos_x
December 5th, 2004, 11:37 PM
Isn't it also saying that God's "emotional" response was because of the conditions mankind was having to endure?...He "hurt in His heart" and was "sorry He made man" because it was turning out so badly for them.

Hilston
December 5th, 2004, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by Yorzhik

Ahhh, not so fast. In this context, it is a figure of speech only indirectly.That is incorrect, Yorzhik. It is directly figurative. All descriptions of God are figurative.

God_Is_Truth
December 5th, 2004, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

That is incorrect, Yorzhik. It is directly figurative. All descriptions of God are figurative.

even this one?

John 4
24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

what's figurative about that? is it not a description?

godrulz
December 6th, 2004, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by Hilston

That is incorrect, Yorzhik. It is directly figurative. All descriptions of God are figurative.

God is love, God is truth, God is holy? Some desriptions are literal revelation of His nature, character, and ways. God is faithful, etc.

He will cover you with His wings. This is figurative.

SOME, not ALL descriptions are figurative. This is accepted hermeneutics and self-evident.

Hilston
December 6th, 2004, 12:32 AM
Is "spirit" an adequate description of God? No. The descriptions of God in scripture give us glimpses into His nature and character in terms that fall woefully short of reality. "God is spirit" calls to the human mind certain otherwise inconceivable attributes about God: He is invisible, He is not matter, He is not created, He is not limited. But all these terms are limited by the scope of human language and thought.

God_Is_Truth
December 6th, 2004, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by Hilston

Is "spirit" an adequate description of God? No. The descriptions of God in scripture give us glimpses into His nature and character in terms that fall woefully short of reality. "God is spirit" calls to the human mind certain otherwise inconceivable attributes about God: He is invisible, He is not matter, He is not created, He is not limited. But all these terms are limited by the scope of human language and thought.

i agree that it is not a complete description of God, however, the question is whether or not it's a literal description. "spirit" does indeed imply the things you gave, and so i ask, are those things literal as well? or are they figurative? if so, what of? the word spirit itself is not figurative for "invisible, not created etc." but rather includes those in the term itself.

godrulz
December 6th, 2004, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by Hilston

Is "spirit" an adequate description of God? No. The descriptions of God in scripture give us glimpses into His nature and character in terms that fall woefully short of reality. "God is spirit" calls to the human mind certain otherwise inconceivable attributes about God: He is invisible, He is not matter, He is not created, He is not limited. But all these terms are limited by the scope of human language and thought.

Accommodation? (language)

Anthropomorphisms/anthropopathisms?

God is transcendent, but He is also immanent.

God is uncreated Creator; we are creature.

Communication about God and man is not identical, nor is it radically different...e.g. God is personal and moral. Man is in the personal and moral image of God. God and man both have will, intellect, and emotions (impassibility and strong immutability are Greekish vs biblical concepts).

We are unlike God in His unique metaphysical qualities: eternity, triune, uncreated, Creator, omnipotent/scient/present.

erethnereh
December 6th, 2004, 03:23 AM
First, what's the difference, though, between molinism and open theology?

Second what's knowledge? Does knowledge consist of everything God knows or of something else. If something else, then it appears at the beginning God had no knowledge. But if knowledge is simply everything that God knows, then if God doesn't know the entire future, then the future isn't proper knowledge.

Lighthouse
December 6th, 2004, 04:08 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

When God says that He will remember our sins no more or 'forget them', it does not mean they are not an object of knowledge. Forgetting is the same as chosing to not bring them up again or hold them against us because of the blood. We say 'forget it' in reference to someone paying us money back. We release them, but it does not literally mean we cannot recall the amount owed.
Well, we are human, so sometimes it does.:chuckle:


e.g. Let's say God forgives us for past sin such as murder before we were a Christian. I became a Christian in jail. The legal system, the victim's family, myself, Satan, the media and the masses all know about my sin. If God 'forgot' about my sin, He would be reminded about it in various ways and various times. Every time I felt remorse during my prison term, God would once again recall the act (He knows the past and present perfectly, including my thoughts). It would be the same for wrong thoughts, motives, acts (sins) as a Christian. He forgives and forgets (cf. spouse who does not bring up our old offenses against them...remembers them, but does not hold it against us), but if we recall them, logically God would know it too. Omniscience and omnipresence preclude God from having a blank memory any more than we do unless we have a severe brain injury.
Why do you remember, why do you regret, when God has forgotten?! If God can not look upon sin, then what makes you think He can look upon your rememberance of them, anyway?


So, forgiveness is a relaxation of the penalty of the law based on a substituted penalty and repentant, renewed obedience (God saves us from our sins, not to continue in them). It is not an erasure of God's memory or ours. If He erased His memory (illogical), we would know more than God. If He erased our memory, we might persist in the sin thinking it is not an issue.
Not a 'relaxation,' but a removal. There is no penalty.

Lighthouse
December 6th, 2004, 04:14 AM
Originally posted by Christine

Does God really have a heart Delmar? God uses the same figure of speech in 1 Sam 13:14 when He says " the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart." God was using "heart" in 1 Samuel as a figure of speech to show what kind of man He wanted. God doesn't have arms or bones, and God doesn't have a heart. It's a figure of speech.
Oy.:doh:
No one even begins to think that this verse refers to a flesh and blood heart, Christine. I am not referencing my flesh and blood heart when I say, "I love God from the bottom of my heart." Are you?


You're assuming the present and past is all that is knowable, not the future as well.
:duh:



Delmar, parents may be surprised by certain sins that their children commit, but the parent knew all along that the child would sin. The parent knows there child has a sin nature, and will eventually commit a sin.
And we, most of the Open Theists on this board, also see God as such. He is not surprised we sin, but He may be surprised at what specific sin took place, or how deeply we sinned. This is why the blood of Jesus is effectual for all sin, for all time. Because God, though He did not know the specific times, places, and actions of our sins, knew we would sin. So He has forgiven us of all sin.

Lighthouse
December 6th, 2004, 04:19 AM
Originally posted by Hilston

That is incorrect, Yorzhik. It is directly figurative. All descriptions of God are figurative.
How about, "God is infinite"? Is that figurative? Or, "God is immortal"?

Delmar
December 6th, 2004, 04:39 AM
Originally posted by Yorzhik

Ahhh, not so fast. In this context, it is a figure of speech only indirectly. Yes, the phrase comes from a figure of speech - we referenece the heart as that inner "je ne se qua" (you Frenchys out there get the correct spelling on that please!) of our emotions, but the context here is not referring to the beating heart, but to the actual figure of speech. Kind of a double-indirection, where the original reference is a figure, but the reference to the figure is literal.

Now, if the passage was "...and God's heart pumped blood..." THAT would be, directly, a figure of speech in the same context that we are speaking of here. True the only point I was conceding was that God Doesn't really have a heart muscle.

Christine let's say for example the same sort of statement was made of Noah. Noah was sorry he had ever built the ark and it grieved him in his heart. When we read this we understand that Noahs actual heart muscle is not what we are talking about. Rather we would realize that Noah was grieved right down to the core of his inner being. This would in no way lead us to believe that he was not sorry he had built the ark. Would it?
So when Gen 6:6 says ...and it grieved him at his heart we get a very clear picture of how God literally felt about it!


Originally posted by Christine

Delmar,
After I had gotten off the computer from making my previous post to you, I realized I'd forgotten something important. :doh: Saying that God "was sorry" or "repented" is a figure of speech because these are human attributes similar to saying God has a heart. Man repents, man becomes sorry. God is not sorry for things he does, God has nothing to be repentant of. How do you know these are only human attributes. We are after all made in the image of God! You have only managed to show that a God that can repent or be sorry does not fit Christine's view of God!

godrulz
December 6th, 2004, 08:01 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

Well, we are human, so sometimes it does.:chuckle:


Why do you remember, why do you regret, when God has forgotten?! If God can not look upon sin, then what makes you think He can look upon your rememberance of them, anyway?


Not a 'relaxation,' but a removal. There is no penalty.

Relax=remove in my mind.

We do not have to wallow in guilt, but rejoice in forgiveness. Satan tries to get us to remember. The reality is that we CAN remember if we want. God knows my every thought. Logically and by definition, an omniscient being would know my thoughts of my previous sin. I do not know more than the omniscient God. My point is that forgiveness does not mean amnesia biblically. It means that God choses to not bring up our sins or hold them against us due to redemption. He casts them as far as the east is from the west. This is figurative in that sins are not literal, physical items that can be thrown in the sea. Sins are choices that have affects, but they are not atomic/molecular/substance.

God_Is_Truth
December 6th, 2004, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by erethnereh

First, what's the difference, though, between molinism and open theology?

Second what's knowledge? Does knowledge consist of everything God knows or of something else. If something else, then it appears at the beginning God had no knowledge. But if knowledge is simply everything that God knows, then if God doesn't know the entire future, then the future isn't proper knowledge.

you may find this to be of interest.

http://www.gregboyd.org/gbfront/index.asp?PageID=651

Christine
December 6th, 2004, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

I brought up His repentance that He had made man.
From man's point of view, it may have looked like God repented of making man, or "repented" of saying he'd destroy Nineveh. Men describe the sun as "rising" and "setting" even though it's the earth, not the sun, that moves. So, was God's describing the events as how they appeared to the observer. Yet we're told in 1 Samuel 15:29, "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent. When God "repents" He is doing what He's promised all along, not punishing sinners that are repentant. Did God change His mind? Of course not! Man "repented" or changed, not God.









I know that numbers have meaning, in prophecy.
Only numbers in prophecy have meaning? What about other numbers like "seven" or "three?" Many would say they have significance as well, and if they have significance, why couldn't the number "forty?"










God is God. He is omnipotent. How do you think He could prevent it? God can do whatever He wants.
You think God could have interferred with man on earth to bring something about? Interesting, I've had other OV'ers tell me that in this present age God does not interfer with man.



Who said God even had a plan A that involved David? In fact, if God's original plan had gone through, then there wouldn't have been a king. And, even though there was, if Saul had not been so wicked, then Jonathan may have lived, and would have become king, instead of David. David being king was not the original plan. It wasn't even plan B.
All that appeared to be God's original plan, but God knew all along that Israel would want a king. God wasn't surprised when they wanted one, it's human nature to want to be like those around you. Israel wanted to be like the surrounding nations.




Time is not real. Only the past and present exist. The past has happened, and the present is happening. The future is neither.
Time isn't real?



And that verse is why I call it plan B. God had it, just in case the original plan didn't work. And it didn't. Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah, and Paul was called to preach the mystery.
Just because God kept the Body secret until Paul's conversion doesn't mean it was "Plan B."



No. The "us" is everyone. That was God's original plan, and intention, that all would be holy and blameless...
Everyone in the whole world?


But that didn't work out. So He had to do it another way. And this verse has no proof that the mystery was a plan, for all time, before God created the Earth.
He knew the possibility that they may eat of the fruit, so He had to have a plan. And He had to have a backup plan, as well.
If God knew and had the Body planned before he'd laid the "foundation of the earth," doesn't that mean He knew Adam and Eve were going to sin?










I never said God changed. But His mind does change, and that is what I have presented. His character remains the same.
God does not change His mind, it just seems like that to man. What really happens is man repents/changes mind, making it so God does not have to bring forth judgement.





Alright, I don't. That may very well happen. However, God, knowing men's hearts, knows that this is improbable. Yet, it is not impossible. But something very big would have to happen to set it in motion. However, God, wanting to bring forth what He told John He would do, can very well...and has...blinded Israel, and they cannot see the truth. There are some who may, even some who have, but as a whole, not gonna happen.
The part I put in bold is surprising coming from an OV'er. I thought the OV view of God was trying to draw all men to Him, not blinding some. :confused:

Christine
December 6th, 2004, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by deardelmar

But before the first sin of man were people created with a sin nature? If so why?
No, I don't believe so. Never the less, God knew they'd sin, as He knows all things.

1 John 3:20 "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things".

Knight
December 6th, 2004, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by Christine

From man's point of view, it may have looked like God repented of making man, or "repented" of saying he'd destroy Nineveh. Men describe the sun as "rising" and "setting" even though it's the earth, not the sun, that moves. So, was God's describing the events as how they appeared to the observer. Yet we're told in 1 Samuel 15:29, "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent. When God "repents" He is doing what He's promised all along, not punishing sinners that are repentant. Did God change His mind? Of course not! Man "repented" or changed, not God.
Christine it's interesting that you bring up 1st Samuel 15:29 as that chapter may be the strongest chapter in the Bible describing the manner in which God repents.

Yep.. that's right! I said STRONGEST!

You see.... if you read the entire chapter you will see that God is explaining His repentance in making Saul king. And in verse 29 He is merely stating He isn't going to repent of the judgment He has brought against Saul.

Let's take a look shall we?

God was extremely upset with Saul and God said...

1Samuel 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. 12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. 13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. 14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. 16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? 18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

Samuel tells Saul that God is upset with him...

19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. 22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Saul admits his sin...

24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Saul wants God to repent of His judgement of Saul...

25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

But Samuel tells Saul God is NOT going to repent and turn back in Sauls favor...

26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. 28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. 29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent. 30 Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God. 31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD. 32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. 33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. 34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.

And again God makes clear that He repented for making Saul king...

35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

logos_x
December 6th, 2004, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by God_Is_Truth

you may find this to be of interest.

http://www.gregboyd.org/gbfront/index.asp?PageID=651

Thanks GIT!

I for one appreciate the reference.

Lighthouse
December 7th, 2004, 03:21 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

Relax=remove in my mind.

We do not have to wallow in guilt, but rejoice in forgiveness. Satan tries to get us to remember. The reality is that we CAN remember if we want. God knows my every thought. Logically and by definition, an omniscient being would know my thoughts of my previous sin. I do not know more than the omniscient God. My point is that forgiveness does not mean amnesia biblically. It means that God choses to not bring up our sins or hold them against us due to redemption. He casts them as far as the east is from the west. This is figurative in that sins are not literal, physical items that can be thrown in the sea. Sins are choices that have affects, but they are not atomic/molecular/substance.
Well, this would not be knowing more than God. It would only be knowing something God does not.:eek:

But I do not believe that is possible.

Lighthouse
December 7th, 2004, 03:37 AM
Originally posted by Christine

From man's point of view, it may have looked like God repented of making man, or "repented" of saying he'd destroy Nineveh. Men describe the sun as "rising" and "setting" even though it's the earth, not the sun, that moves. So, was God's describing the events as how they appeared to the observer. Yet we're told in 1 Samuel 15:29, "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent. When God "repents" He is doing what He's promised all along, not punishing sinners that are repentant. Did God change His mind? Of course not! Man "repented" or changed, not God.
Seeing as how the verses state that God repented...

They don't say that god seemed to repent. They say He repented. I especially like Jonah 3:9:
"Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?"

Nineveh didn't know if God would repent or not, but they certainly thought it possible. They, too, must have been Open Theists. And it seems Jonah was, as well.








Only numbers in prophecy have meaning? What about other numbers like "seven" or "three?" Many would say they have significance as well, and if they have significance, why couldn't the number "forty?"
You're the one who said Jonah's warning wasn't a prophecy. I merely contend that numbers mean something other than the number itself, in prophecy. But in reality, three means nothing more than three. Christ was in the ground for three days. There is no alternate meaning there. So, in order for you to say that the number forty, in this instance, had a special meaning, you would have to admit that it was a prophecy. But I don't have to believe it had a special meaning for this to be prophecy, because numbers are not always symbols in prophecy.








You think God could have interferred with man on earth to bring something about? Interesting, I've had other OV'ers tell me that in this present age God does not interfer with man.
Those people are stupid.


All that appeared to be God's original plan, but God knew all along that Israel would want a king. God wasn't surprised when they wanted one, it's human nature to want to be like those around you. Israel wanted to be like the surrounding nations.
:yawn:



Time isn't real?
No. Not the human concept of it, anyway. This is why time travel is impossible, because the past no longer exists, and the future never has.


Just because God kept the Body secret until Paul's conversion doesn't mean it was "Plan B."
Can you prove it wasn't?


Everyone in the whole world?
Yes. That is why the blood of Christ was shed for all. But those who deny it have chosen not to be made holy.


If God knew and had the Body planned before he'd laid the "foundation of the earth," doesn't that mean He knew Adam and Eve were going to sin?
No. He knew it was a possibility, so His Son's death was an "in case," as was the dispensation of grace.









God does not change His mind, it just seems like that to man. What really happens is man repents/changes mind, making it so God does not have to bring forth judgement.
:crackup:




The part I put in bold is surprising coming from an OV'er. I thought the OV view of God was trying to draw all men to Him, not blinding some. :confused:
:doh:

God is blinding those who are to face the wrath of the Lamb. But, in that, He will draw all men unto Himself. And many will still reject Him. Poor lost souls, they be.

Lighthouse
December 7th, 2004, 03:43 AM
Originally posted by Knight

Christine it's interesting that you bring up 1st Samuel 15:29 as that chapter may be the strongest chapter in the Bible describing the manner in which God repents.

Yep.. that's right! I said STRONGEST!

You see.... if you read the entire chapter you will see that God is explaining His repentance in making Saul king. And in verse 29 He is merely stating He isn't going to repent of the judgment He has brought against Saul.

Let's take a look shall we?

God was extremely upset with Saul and God said...

1Samuel 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. 12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. 13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. 14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. 16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? 18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

Samuel tells Saul that God is upset with him...

19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. 22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Saul admits his sin...

24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Saul wants God to repent of His judgement of Saul...

25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

But Samuel tells Saul God is NOT going to repent and turn back in Sauls favor...

26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. 28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. 29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent. 30 Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God. 31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD. 32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. 33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. 34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.

And again God makes clear that He repented for making Saul king...

35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.
:BRAVO:

Knight
December 7th, 2004, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

:BRAVO: Thanks! I hope Christine takes a good look and responds.

Delmar
December 7th, 2004, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by Hilston

That is incorrect, Yorzhik. It is directly figurative. All descriptions of God are figurative. including "all knowing" and "unchanging" ?

God_Is_Truth
December 7th, 2004, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by deardelmar

including "all knowing" and "unchanging" ?

:think:

God_Is_Truth
December 7th, 2004, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

Thanks GIT!

I for one appreciate the reference.

you're most welcome :)

Knight
December 7th, 2004, 09:10 PM
Christine... when you get a chance.... (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=637523#post637523)