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Ninjashadow
January 8th, 2005, 12:05 AM
I recently heard a theory that God cannot possibly be omniscient and still allow humans to have free-will. The reason given was that if God knows what will happen tomorrow then a person has not made a conscious decision to do what God knew would happen. For instance: Let's say that tomorrow I mow my lawn (difficult given that it's winter, but let's just imagine). The theory says that if God is omniscient, then I did not choose to mow my lawn because he already knew that it was going to happen. I had no other choice but to mow my lawn because God KNEW it was going to happen. It only appears that I had a choice.

I don't agree with this theory because God might have known that I was going to mow my lawn, he did not influence it. Free-will is a person being able to make a choice. Foreknowledge does not keep a person from making a decision, nor does it influence the decision. It is simply already knowing which choice a person will make. I see it (to a very simplified degree) like someone being able to see into the future. If my neighbor could peer into the future and saw me mowing my lawn the next day, he did not influence me to mow my lawn. Oh and please don't try to use the argument that my neighbor could have said something or done something after seeing the future that would have caused me to mow my lawn. My neighbor is not God, I was just using it as an example.

Greywolf
January 8th, 2005, 12:09 AM
*Sits back and waits for Knight, Clete, Sozo, Z Man, and Hilston to come running*


Oh, and welcome to TOL. Enjoy your stay.

Ninjashadow
January 8th, 2005, 12:14 AM
Uh, thanks, I think.

Greywolf
January 8th, 2005, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by ninjashadow
Uh, thanks, I think.

Give it a day or so, and you'll see what I mean. :chuckle:
If you want, you may want to look at this thread (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14654). It might help you with your question, and as a bonus you'll see what I was talking about.


I'm an agnostic, so the whole OV vs. Calvinism bit is little more than an intellectual excercise for me, one that I am not informed on well enough to help you out.

But it never hurts to welcome newcomers.

Ninjashadow
January 8th, 2005, 12:30 AM
I'm not a calvanist or whatever, the whole theory just seems kind of hollow.

Lighthouse
January 8th, 2005, 02:51 PM
Look at that. I beat all the others to it.:D


Originally posted by ninjashadow

I recently heard a theory that God cannot possibly be omniscient and still allow humans to have free-will. The reason given was that if God knows what will happen tomorrow then a person has not made a conscious decision to do what God knew would happen. For instance: Let's say that tomorrow I mow my lawn (difficult given that it's winter, but let's just imagine). The theory says that if God is omniscient, then I did not choose to mow my lawn because he already knew that it was going to happen. I had no other choice but to mow my lawn because God KNEW it was going to happen. It only appears that I had a choice.
Omniscience only means to know all there is to know. The future doesn't exist, so how could God know it. He knows possibilities, but no certainties, because it does not exist.


I don't agree with this theory because God might have known that I was going to mow my lawn, he did not influence it. Free-will is a person being able to make a choice. Foreknowledge does not keep a person from making a decision, nor does it influence the decision. It is simply already knowing which choice a person will make. I see it (to a very simplified degree) like someone being able to see into the future. If my neighbor could peer into the future and saw me mowing my lawn the next day, he did not influence me to mow my lawn. Oh and please don't try to use the argument that my neighbor could have said something or done something after seeing the future that would have caused me to mow my lawn. My neighbor is not God, I was just using it as an example.
Do you think God could know something that doesn't exist?

Knight
January 8th, 2005, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow
I don't agree with this theory because God might have known that I was going to mow my lawn, he did not influence it. Are you insinuating that God's foreknowledge is NOT perfect and complete? (YES or NO)?

After you answer I will respond.

Knight
January 8th, 2005, 06:45 PM
Oh and just so you know.... using the example of mowing one's lawn the next day isn't a great example because there are no theologies that I know of that deny that God knows all of our current intentions etc. Therefore any theology (within reason) would agree that God would know that you are going to mow your lawn tomorrow. Heck! Even your wife probably knows you are going to mow your lawn tomorrow.

How about this example....

Does God know - right now - (in every detail) that a baby boy will be born on June 2nd 2025. That babies name will be Skip. Skip will grow up to be a computer programmer and marry a girl named Sharon at age 35. They will have 3 kids Johnny, Cindy and Brett.

Skip will live his life in rejection to God and die without God's forgiveness at age 62.

Assuming all that will eventually come to pass does God know all hat perfectly and exhaustively right now as I type this? (YES or NO)?

Ninjashadow
January 8th, 2005, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Are you insinuating that God's foreknowledge is NOT perfect and complete? (YES or NO)?

After you answer I will respond.

I think his foreknowledge IS perfect. God is perfect, therefore his foreknowlege has to be.

Lighthouse
January 8th, 2005, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I think his foreknowledge IS perfect. God is perfect, therefore his foreknowlege has to be.
For His foreknowledge to be perfect He would not know that which has not happened, because it hasn't happened. It doesn't exist. It is not possible to know.

Ninjashadow
January 8th, 2005, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Oh and just so you know.... using the example of mowing one's lawn the next day isn't a great example because there are no theologies that I know of that deny that God knows all of our current intentions etc. Therefore any theology (within reason) would agree that God would know that you are going to mow your lawn tomorrow. Heck! Even your wife probably knows you are going to mow your lawn tomorrow.

How about this example....

Does God know - right now - (in every detail) that a baby boy will be born on June 2nd 2025. That babies name will be Skip. Skip will grow up to be a computer programmer and marry a girl named Sharon at age 35. They will have 3 kids Johnny, Cindy and Brett.

Skip will live his life in rejection to God and die without God's forgiveness at age 62.

Assuming all that will eventually come to pass does God know all hat perfectly and exhaustively right now as I type this? (YES or NO)?

I think that he does. I think that God is outside of our time frame (we start at A and continue thusly: --> forever forward). God is not limited to any time frame.

With the example of Skip, yes God knew, but he did not influence Skip to reject him. God would have forgiven Skip as soon as Skip would have asked for it. Perhaps God had put people into Skips life that would have told him about God's love and how Jesus died, yet Skip ignored them.

Ninjashadow
January 8th, 2005, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

For His foreknowledge to be perfect He would not know that which has not happened, because it hasn't happened. It doesn't exist. It is not possible to know.

Then how did the prophets tell about what was going to happen? Just vague generalitites? So maybe God is alot like Nostradomus (no, I don't think that, it's just an example).

Lighthouse
January 8th, 2005, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Then how did the prophets tell about what was going to happen? Just vague generalitites? So maybe God is alot like Nostradomus (no, I don't think that, it's just an example).
That question always comes up. And the answer is simple. God knows what He is going to do. And all prophecies that God's prophets made were for things that God was going to do. God planned certain things, had a prophet speak of it, then brought it to pass. But sometimes God changed His mind, because of man's reaction [Nineveh]. And God even promised to change His mind for Noah, if a certain number of good people could be found. But since God found no one other than Noah and his family...God flooded the Earth. Also, David, after Nathan confronted him and prophesied that his son [in Bathsheba's womb] would die, prayed that God would let the child live. Apparently David believed that God could change His mind. How could God change His mind, if He knew what was going to happen, already?

Ninjashadow
January 8th, 2005, 09:43 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

That question always comes up. And the answer is simple. God knows what He is going to do. And all prophecies that God's prophets made were for things that God was going to do. God planned certain things, had a prophet speak of it, then brought it to pass. But sometimes God changed His mind, because of man's reaction [Nineveh]. And God even promised to change His mind for Noah, if a certain number of good people could be found. But since God found no one other than Noah and his family...God flooded the Earth. Also, David, after Nathan confronted him and prophesied that his son [in Bathsheba's womb] would die, prayed that God would let the child live. Apparently David believed that God could change His mind. How could God change His mind, if He knew what was going to happen, already?

Just because God knows what's going to happen, doesn't mean he is limited to what will happen. I realize that this sounds like a contradiction, but it really isn't. He can change his mind because he is God and he is not limiteed in anyway. Besides, free will still exist because even though God knew what was going to happen he still allowed those people an out, as it were. However, they chose to ignore it.

Lighthouse
January 8th, 2005, 09:54 PM
If God allows an out for them, then He thinks they may choose it. Which means he does not know if they will choose it or not.

If you believe that God exhaustively knows the future, then you don't believe that we can do anything other than waht God knows will happen, do you? So the real question is, can we do something that is contrary to what God knows will happen? The answer is that we couldn't. So, if we have free will, then God does not know everything that is going to happen. And a really good question is, "Why would God allow for options if He knew what we were going to do? If He knew that someone would never turn to Him, why would He allow that person the option? If He knew the person was never going to choose that option, why even allow for it?

Ninjashadow
January 8th, 2005, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

If God allows an out for them, then He thinks they may choose it. Which means he does not know if they will choose it or not.

If you believe that God exhaustively knows the future, then you don't believe that we can do anything other than waht God knows will happen, do you? So the real question is, can we do something that is contrary to what God knows will happen? The answer is that we couldn't. So, if we have free will, then God does not know everything that is going to happen. And a really good question is, "Why would God allow for options if He knew what we were going to do? If He knew that someone would never turn to Him, why would He allow that person the option? If He knew the person was never going to choose that option, why even allow for it?

Because He is all good and He wants for every person to accept Jesus as their Lord. He has to give the people the choice, even if He knows they will not choose it. Otherwise he would not be all good.

Knight
January 8th, 2005, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I think that he does. I think that God is outside of our time frame (we start at A and continue thusly: --> forever forward). God is not limited to any time frame.

With the example of Skip, yes God knew, but he did not influence Skip to reject him. God would have forgiven Skip as soon as Skip would have asked for it. Perhaps God had put people into Skips life that would have told him about God's love and how Jesus died, yet Skip ignored them. OK... good we have now established that you feel God's foreknowledge is both perfect and exhaustive.

Now I think.... if you really put honest thought to this issue you will see that if God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge then that knowledge closes the future and removes man's freewill.

And here is how.... IF, God knows skips future choices exhaustively before Skip even exists then that means that no other possibilities about the course of future actions are actual possibilities. ONLY the version of the future in God's knowledge is an actual possibility.

Therefore.... Skip has no ability to do anything other than what is contained in God's foreknowledge. This reality is simply not compatible with true freewill.

Where the rubber meets the road.
If God's foreknowledge is perfect and exhaustive Skip is locked into a path that he cannot alter. If Skip cannot alter his future Skip has no freewill. There is no escaping this fact.

YES or NO
Assuming our earlier scenario about Skip dying unsaved were true in God's perfect foreknowledge does Skip have the ability to repent and choose to accept Christ and His work on the cross?

If you answer YES God's foreknowledge could not be perfect or exhaustive.

If you answer NO you are conceding that Skip has no freewill.

Ninjashadow
January 9th, 2005, 12:04 AM
And here is how.... IF, God knows skips future choices exhaustively before Skip even exists then that means that no other possibilities about the course of future actions are actual possibilities. ONLY the version of the future in God's knowledge is an actual possibility.

Let me ask you a yes or no question. Yes or No, did God influence Skip's choice to reject him?

Knight
January 9th, 2005, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Let me ask you a yes or no question. Yes or No, did God influence Skip's choice to reject him? I asked you first. ;) Just kidding... I love answering these questions with direct answers.

You asked.... "did God influence Skip's choice to reject him?"

From my perspective as an open theist?

Answer.... NO, God influenced Skip to CHOOSE Him NOT to reject Him. God desires all men choose Him (1Timothy 2:4) and draws all men to Him (John 12:32). Therefore God couldn't have influenced Skip to reject Him.

But from your perspective as a closed theist...

Answer... YES. Not only did God's foreknowledge influence Skip but it DIRECTED Skip in every detail. Skip was nothing more than a puppet perfectly executing God's foreknowledge.

Ninjashadow
January 9th, 2005, 01:47 AM
Answer.... NO, God influenced Skip to CHOOSE Him NOT to reject Him. God desires all men choose Him (1Timothy 2:4) and draws all men to Him (John 12:32). Therefore God couldn't have influenced Skip to reject Him.

But my problem with open theism is that free will is voluntary action and knowledge does not create action. It just seems to me that open theism limits God and keeps him from being all-Powerful and all-Knowing.

jjjg
January 9th, 2005, 02:04 AM
Dinkledorks, how can anything in the Book of Revelations be true if God cannot know the future?

Knight
January 9th, 2005, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

But my problem with open theism is that free will is voluntary action and knowledge does not create action. I have already demonstrated rather clearly how perfect exhaustive foreknowledge closes the future AND directs actions (actions can only occur if they are contained within the perfect foreknowledge and therefore that foreknowledge directs and limits actions that are contained therein). Maybe you could go back and answer a couple of the questions I asked of you in previous posts so that you could show me otherwise?

You continue....
It just seems to me that open theism limits God and keeps him from being all-Powerful and all-Knowing. First off.... God knows everything knowable and that He chooses to know.

Secondly....... God IS all powerful! So powerful that He has power over His own power. In other words.... God has control over His own power.

Do you believe that?

In your opinion does God have control over His own power?

Knight
January 9th, 2005, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by jjjg

Dinkledorks, how can anything in the Book of Revelations be true if God cannot know the future? Dinkledorks?????

Should I bother to respond to someone who calls me a Dinkledork?

Oh what the heck the answer is so easy I may as well clear it up for you. How can God predict future events without exhaustively knowing the future?

Simple! God can bring events to pass!

Genesis 41:32 “And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

Psalms 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

Isaiah 28:21 For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon — That He may do His work, His awesome work, And bring to pass His act, His unusual act.

Isaiah 46:11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.

There are certain things God wishes to accomplish, some things without fail and other things are contingent upon our obedience or disobedience to Him. If God desires.... He can bring events to pass. Now THAT is power! A God that can work His plan with the best possible outcome yet be dealing with freewill agents!

jjjg
January 9th, 2005, 11:18 AM
He couldn't predict the future and say something is going to happen without knowing the future. He couldn't bring things to pass in the future without knowing the future. I rest my case.

God is not within time. He is eternal. So he is not affected by the passage of time and you are assuming God thinks as we do. We know existence as done existence so there is unknown events in the future.

Since God creates existence for us he would know our existence by doing it. Everything is known to him as he can move around our temporal existence turning every free will decision of ours to goodness.

Free will and God knowing the future is not hard to understand.

You may set out a plate full of wood chips and a plate of good food. A person might have free will to choose between the two, but it is no surprise which he/she will go for.

Maybe you should stop listening to Bob as the almighty last word of God.

1Way
January 9th, 2005, 02:24 PM
jjjg,
Welcome to TOL! Wow, 1500 posts. Not a newbee then.

After Knight's biblically reasoned response, you said
He couldn't predict the future and say something is going to happen without knowing the future. He couldn't bring things to pass in the future without knowing the future. I rest my case. You rested nor clarified nothing. As an open theist, I also believe what you just said. God does have future knowledge, the bible makes that perfectly clear, and that is hardly a point of contention against the open view. Rather, the issue is over what kind and how much fore knowledge God has.

The bible demonstrates how it is that God takes care of things yet future. And I rightly caution anyone to not overstep or undermine what scripture clearly teaches. It does not say nor support the idea that God has exhaustive foreknowledge, instead it says in the plainest terms that God takes care of yet future things because He is able to complete what He says He will do. Here's another look, and this time, please directly relate to this scripture.
Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times [things] that are not [yet] done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. So if we can trust God's word on the matter, Knight is right, God plans certain yet future events and if they are not contingent upon man, then He will bring them to pass because they rely on God's faithfulness. But if the thing yet future rests upon a contingency (usually with mankind), then God may relent and even contradict what He had said and/or thought He was going to do. (Jer 18:1-10 the original Potter and the Clay, and Jonah 3:4,10 denying that God has exhaustive foreknowledge)

And God changing His mind about what He was going to do contradicts the closed view, which holds that God has exhaustive foreknowledge, nothing is open to change away from that knowledge, all things are closed to options and contingency, the entire future is locked in place and must happen according to one unalterable version. Such a view is contradictory to scripture, yet strangely enough it's somewhat popular in Christian tradition.
:eek:

jjjg
January 9th, 2005, 03:37 PM
1Way, you must go beyond strictly fundamentalist interpretation of scripture.

There is natural theology that allows us to say something about the absolute. As I said it is better to understand it that God crafts all the free will decisions of ours into his own design.

The scripture that alludes to god changing his mind can be understood that God gave us a choice; "such and such is going to happen if you don't change"

God knew that we would learn a lesson and knew that we would change accordingly so God allowed some event to pass.

I am not saying that we have complete understanding of free will and predestination but scripture alludes to both.

jjjg
January 9th, 2005, 03:52 PM
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06259a.htm#tho

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12378a.htm

These sites should help.

Balder
January 9th, 2005, 04:17 PM
ninjashadow,

this is a question i usually ask when these sorts of discussions come up: even if God's foreknowledge of human decisions does not necessarily constrain those decisions or diminish the free will aspect of them, what sort of God would knowingly create people he foreknows will end up in eternal conscious torment?

Lighthouse
January 9th, 2005, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Because He is all good and He wants for every person to accept Jesus as their Lord. He has to give the people the choice, even if He knows they will not choose it. Otherwise he would not be all good.
If we have a choice, then God does not know what we will choose.

Knight
January 9th, 2005, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by jjjg

He couldn't predict the future and say something is going to happen without knowing the future. He couldn't bring things to pass in the future without knowing the future. I rest my case.Indeed your "case" needs rest. :)

You continue...
You may set out a plate full of wood chips and a plate of good food. A person might have free will to choose between the two, but it is no surprise which he/she will go for. Gee great example! :rolleyes: Wasn't it you who called me a "Dinkledork"?

I think the real Dinkledork has exposed himself. Nice job! :up:

Knight
January 9th, 2005, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by Balder

ninjashadow,

this is a question i usually ask when these sorts of discussions come up: even if God's foreknowledge of human decisions does not necessarily constrain those decisions or diminish the free will aspect of them, what sort of God would knowingly create people he foreknows will end up in eternal conscious torment? I agree Balder.

Can I ask...

Did the theology of a closed future where man is nothing more than a puppet in God's hand effect your decision to turn away from Christianity?

Lighthouse
January 9th, 2005, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by jjjg

He couldn't predict the future and say something is going to happen without knowing the future. He couldn't bring things to pass in the future without knowing the future. I rest my case.
You rest your case, already? You'd suck as a lawyer.


God is not within time. He is eternal. So he is not affected by the passage of time and you are assuming God thinks as we do. We know existence as done existence so there is unknown events in the future.
God exists within duration, correct? Can God change the past? No. Why? Because it's over. It's gone. It is no longer existant. God can remember it, but He can't do anything about it. As for the future, God knows what He will do. That doesn't mean that He knows everything that will ever happen.


Since God creates existence for us he would know our existence by doing it. Everything is known to him as he can move around our temporal existence turning every free will decision of ours to goodness.
So God uses our decisions to work good? I don't disagree. This has no bearing on Open Theism.


Free will and God knowing the future is not hard to understand.
It doesn't work. If God knows what will happen, we can not do anything other than what God knows. That's not free will.


You may set out a plate full of wood chips and a plate of good food. A person might have free will to choose between the two, but it is no surprise which he/she will go for.
Are you comparing God and seperation from God to this?

People have a choice between God and seperation from God. And some people choose seperation. And this grieves God. God wold prfer that we choose Him, which is why He gives us the choice. But, if He knew what people would choose, why would He give us the choice? Using your example, why would I give someone a choice between food and wood chips, if I knew they were going to choose the food? It doesn't make sense.


Maybe you should stop listening to Bob as the almighty last word of God.
You're lucky Knight didn't ban you for that. Accusing him of believing his pastor is above God is libelous, and uncalled for. And Bob Enyart is not the person who came up with Open Theism, either.

Maybe you should join some of the other threads on the OV, and you would learn some more.:doh:

Balder
January 9th, 2005, 08:54 PM
Knight,


Did the theology of a closed future where man is nothing more than a puppet in God's hand effect your decision to turn away from Christianity?

None of the churches I attended ever taught that man was just a puppet, but I guess you could say that various thorny theological problems surrounding the notions of omniscience and eternal conscious torment did play a part in my estrangement from the tradition.

Best wishes,

B.

Knight
January 9th, 2005, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by Balder

Knight,



None of the churches I attended ever taught that man was just a puppet, but I guess you could say that various thorny theological problems surrounding the notions of omniscience and eternal conscious torment did play a part in my estrangement from the tradition.

Best wishes,

B. I can see why. :(

Have you ever considered that closed view theism was in error?

Knight
January 9th, 2005, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

You rest your case, already? You'd suck as a lawyer. :chuckle:

Clete
January 9th, 2005, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I recently heard a theory that God cannot possibly be omniscient and still allow humans to have free-will. The reason given was that if God knows what will happen tomorrow then a person has not made a conscious decision to do what God knew would happen. For instance: Let's say that tomorrow I mow my lawn (difficult given that it's winter, but let's just imagine). The theory says that if God is omniscient, then I did not choose to mow my lawn because he already knew that it was going to happen. I had no other choice but to mow my lawn because God KNEW it was going to happen. It only appears that I had a choice.

I don't agree with this theory because God might have known that I was going to mow my lawn, he did not influence it. Free-will is a person being able to make a choice. Foreknowledge does not keep a person from making a decision, nor does it influence the decision. It is simply already knowing which choice a person will make. I see it (to a very simplified degree) like someone being able to see into the future. If my neighbor could peer into the future and saw me mowing my lawn the next day, he did not influence me to mow my lawn. Oh and please don't try to use the argument that my neighbor could have said something or done something after seeing the future that would have caused me to mow my lawn. My neighbor is not God, I was just using it as an example.


If we are free we must be able to do or to do otherwise.
If God knows for certain what we will do then the ability to do otherwise does not exist and so neither does our freedom.

God knows all that is knowable and that He wants to know. The common understanding of omniscience cannot be defended Biblically.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Lighthouse
January 9th, 2005, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by Knight

I can see why. :(

Have you ever considered that closed view theism was in error?
I think he realizes that was in error. Sadly he still can't reconcile why God wouldn't save everyone from ECT.

Knight
January 10th, 2005, 02:40 PM
ninjashadow?

jjjg
January 10th, 2005, 04:14 PM
He probably read your responses and figured that you guys were so brainwashed by Bob that it was pointless to argue further.

1Way
January 10th, 2005, 05:13 PM
jjjg

Q1
What is this naturalistic theology that you refer to, and who is it's author, or who is in authority over it?

Q2
Do you also have your own personal spiritual guide, like a spirit that specifically gives you special spiritual insight?

Q3
Are you suggesting that God's word as we know it from the scriptures is not complete and sufficient for matters of faith and the Christian life?

Q4
If an extra biblical teaching or concept violates or contradicts scripture, then do we reject it for being against God's word, or do we accept it as long as we claim that it is naturalistic theology?

You said.
The scripture that alludes to god changing his mind can be understood that God gave us a choice; "such and such is going to happen if you don't change" First, the scriptures that I have in mind make no allusion that God changes His mind, that is the exact message, no allusion involved. So according to your version of overturning what scripture plainly says, if God says that He did not do what He said He would do, or what He thought He was going to do, then that actually means that He did not change His course of action, but man changed instead. ... :freak:

That is gross contradictory imaginary foolishness. Are you a fiction writer by any chance? Maybe a playwright? No?

Q5
What would you say if I told you that it is among the most grievous sins to go against or violate or serve to void a teaching from scripture?

Q6
Also, if it would work in your schedule, and if someone offered you to work for 100 dollars per hour, would you do it?

The stipulations are as follows. You would work full time 40 hours per week, 8 hours per day, for 3months straight, and you would not have to do anything that you did not want to do. It would be normal work stuff that you already are good at doing. But the job would end after that time. You would be paid 4 bucks an hour weekly, and the rest you would get at the end of the 3 month term.

Ecumenicist
January 10th, 2005, 05:25 PM
Maybe, just maybe.

God is like the ultimate chess master. He can see the results of
every possible decision and consequences which unfold from each
choice and possibility.

This would be truley omniscient, not merely knowing a finite future,
but knowing all possible decisions and therefore all possible futures.

djm

Ninjashadow
January 10th, 2005, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by Knight

I have already demonstrated rather clearly how perfect exhaustive foreknowledge closes the future AND directs actions (actions can only occur if they are contained within the perfect foreknowledge and therefore that foreknowledge directs and limits actions that are contained therein). Maybe you could go back and answer a couple of the questions I asked of you in previous posts so that you could show me otherwise?

You continue....First off.... God knows everything knowable and that He chooses to know.

Secondly....... God IS all powerful! So powerful that He has power over His own power. In other words.... God has control over His own power.

Do you believe that?

In your opinion does God have control over His own power?

Sorry, I've been gone for a few days. Yes, God does have power over his own powers, but don't you think it's possible for God to look at the future and then make himself forget it? And please don't use the argument of, "Why would God do that?" I don't know and you really don't either. No one can, because God is above all of us. Maybe he can look into the future (Revelations, etc.) and then only remember parts of the future.

Knight
January 10th, 2005, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by jjjg

He probably read your responses and figured that you guys were so brainwashed by Bob that it was pointless to argue further. So... basically you have no point so you have decided to just be a rude jerk?

Is that what you are trying to do?

We aren't twisting your arm trying to get you to stay and participate here at TOL you know. Feel free to find another web forum if you like.

Knight
January 10th, 2005, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Sorry, I've been gone for a few days.No problem.... I wasn't trying to rush you I just wanted to keep the thread active.

You continue...
Yes, God does have power over his own powers, but don't you think it's possible for God to look at the future and then make himself forget it?I suppose that would have been possible had God wanted to do that. But had that been the case you would have only compounded your theological problem of freewill and exhaustive foreknowledge being compatible. With your new theory... God removes freewill with foreknowledge and then also removes His exhaustive foreknowledge through His intentional forgetfulness. How does this help your case?

OK... so... anyway... I am glad we agree that God has power over His own power.

That being that case couldn't God use His power in any way He desires?

Couldn't God choose to create beings with a true freewill? Couldn't He create us without also creating our futures in His mind (i.e., foreknowledge) ?

You continue....
And please don't use the argument of, "Why would God do that?" I don't know and you really don't either. No one can, because God is above all of us. Maybe he can look into the future (Revelations, etc.) and then only remember parts of the future. Again... this new solution of yours does not help your argument but instead compounds it with a new "problem".

Earlier on this thread you stated....
I think his foreknowledge IS perfect. God is perfect, therefore his foreknowlege has to be.Do you still hold to this assertion or are you trading it in for the "intentional forgetfulness" theory?

Let me know so I can continue on with you in the appropriate course.

Ninjashadow
January 10th, 2005, 06:46 PM
I suppose that would have been possible had God wanted to do that. But had that been the case you would have only compounded your theological problem of freewill and exhaustive foreknowledge being compatible. With your new theory... God removes freewill with foreknowledge and then also removes His exhaustive foreknowledge through His intentional forgetfulness. How does this help your case?

I kind of figured that out after I posted it. I heard the theory from a philosophy teacher and he was trying to disprove the existance of God. It seemed to me that if God couldn't know the entire future then he would be limited. I cannot believe that God is limited. I still feel like open view limits him.


Couldn't God choose to create beings with a true freewill? Couldn't He create us without also creating our futures in His mind (i.e., foreknowledge) ?

Yes, but if he is all powerful couldn't he also have an exhaustive knowledge of the future and give people true free will? If he cannot do that then that limits him.

1Way
January 10th, 2005, 09:00 PM
Dave Miller
You said
This would be truley omniscient, not merely knowing a finite future,
but knowing all possible decisions and therefore all possible futures.
That's a provocative concept. But I'm not sure I agree with it.

What if a clever being (who is not God) came along and made the following claim.

"I know all possibilities, I know how everything in the future might happen!!!"

Hahahaaa, chuckles, (...pause...), eh hemmm, smile, glancing left and right, straight faced.

Would such a claim really lend the idea of being the God of the bible? I have my doubts. Anyone could make that claim and none except God could know for sure if it was true or not. But the idea is thought provoking.

Knight
January 10th, 2005, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I kind of figured that out after I posted it. I heard the theory from a philosophy teacher and he was trying to disprove the existance of God. It seemed to me that if God couldn't know the entire future then he would be limited. I cannot believe that God is limited. I still feel like open view limits him.



Yes, but if he is all powerful couldn't he also have an exhaustive knowledge of the future and give people true free will? If he cannot do that then that limits him. Truth be told ALL theories limit God in some way or another.

Think about it....

Let's say you assert..... "God has no limits". You have just placed a limit on God. You have in essence limited Him to having no limits. He is longer a God that has the ability to limit Himself or is limited by the constraints of realty etc.

Furthermore...
God has attributes that limit Him correct? God is always righteous. Therefore He is limited to being righteous and He is never unrighteous.

You see......

Sometimes, we have these phrases and sayings regarding God that we take way too far and stretch them to create a image of an irrational God that is not portrayed in the Bible.

Lets take slow baby steps in this discussion OK?

Can you acknowledge that God can have limits and still be God?

1Way
January 10th, 2005, 09:44 PM
ninjashadow,
I find your discussion with Knight interesting.

I trust Knight's approach very much, and I don't want to detract from your discussion, but on the other hand, I already made this post and I think it might prove helpful. So I'll post it and I ask you to stick with Knight and simply consider my post if you have time to do so. I hope you find this helpful.

You said
Yes, but if he is all powerful couldn't he also have an exhaustive knowledge of the future and give people true free will? If he cannot do that then that limits him. Two things.
1
No limits on God
First, does God's very character and ways limit God? Is God good and righteous and loving and just and holy? If so, then can God violate or contradict what He is? No, that is silly, yet at the same time, and thankfully God is faithful, we have good reason to trust our Lord and Savior because we know He cannot lie, He can not cease to be God as He is everlasting, and so on. So your idea that God must not have limits is frankly not particularly conforming to what God actually is.

I believe that God is unchanging in His character and ways...

Secondly, if God always has all knowledge of everything that will ever happen, then we have several problems to deal with.

2a
Exhaustive foreknowledge and man's free will
First is according to your question, can't man have free will and God have exhaustive foreknowledge. I suppose that depends on how you define free will. According to my view, free will entails the idea that man has true authentic options to choose from. The future might unfold in numerous authentic different ways because everyone might do different things because what they will do is truly to some extent "uncertain".

But, if all of time has absolutely no uncertainty, everything that will ever happen has "no choice" but to happen as it is locked into happening, then there truly are: no options, no uncertainty, no real choices, just one unalterable destiny, thus by my definition of free will, there is no free will if there is no uncertainty.

2b
Exhaustive foreknowledge and divine repentance
The second problem is that God does not lie, right? But in His word, God rationally explains and demonstrates that He sometimes relents/repents by not doing what He said and/or thought He was going to do. Whether you agree with that concept or not, that is what God's word says God does. So at least from my perspective, rational divine repentance is a bible truth that contradicts the view that God has exhaustive foreknowledge, ,,, because if God knows everything that will ever happen, then of course He would never truthfully change His mind and not do what He thought He was going to do, instead, He would always do what He always knew He was going to do.

Knight
January 10th, 2005, 09:47 PM
:1Way: :up:

Balder
January 11th, 2005, 12:36 AM
Knight,


I can see why.

Have you ever considered that closed view theism was in error?

Yes, but honestly I'm not entirely clear about the beliefs of Open Theism. Based only on my limited familiarity with it, I'd say it seems to escape some of the problems of closed theism, but it also seems to "reduce" God in some ways and make him more like created beings -- better than the rest, but still somehow less transcendent and mysterious.

I agree with your statement in a later letter: basically anything you say about God will end up limiting Him in some way...revealing the limitations of human thought and language, if nothing else.

Peace,
Balder

Lighthouse
January 11th, 2005, 02:17 AM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Sorry, I've been gone for a few days. Yes, God does have power over his own powers, but don't you think it's possible for God to look at the future and then make himself forget it? And please don't use the argument of, "Why would God do that?" I don't know and you really don't either. No one can, because God is above all of us. Maybe he can look into the future (Revelations, etc.) and then only remember parts of the future.
1] How could God lok into something that does not exist?
2] God does not need to look into the future to know what is going to happen in order to speak of future events. God did not look into the future to know what was going to happen when the events described in Revelation come to pass. He did not merely show John what was going to happen. He showed John what He was going to do. The events described in Revelation are things that God is going to either do, or let happen. He is going to bring them about. That is how He knows what is going to happen.

Lighthouse
January 11th, 2005, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Yes, but if he is all powerful couldn't he also have an exhaustive knowledge of the future and give people true free will? If he cannot do that then that limits him.
If God exhaustively knows the future can we do anything other than what God knows? Is that free will?

Ninjashadow
January 11th, 2005, 02:45 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

If God exhaustively knows the future can we do anything other than what God knows? Is that free will?

I still believe that it is. I guess the way that I look at it would be like time travel (no, I'm not saying that God time travels. I have no doubt that He can if he chooses). I go into the future, let's say 62 yrs to right after Skip's death, and find out all there is to know about him, then travel back to my time, I haven't influenced Skip's choices in any way, I merely know what he
chose to do. He still made all the choices, still did everything that I found out he did after he died, but even if I am back in my time, before his birth, I did not cause him to make any particular choice. He chose what he chose.
I guess what this argument boils down to is: is there a future already or are we making it up as we go along?

Ninjashadow
January 11th, 2005, 02:53 AM
Can you acknowledge that God can have limits and still be God?

I think that I already did when I agreed that God has power over his powers. It only makes sense that if God has power over his powers that he could limit Himself. However, those limits would be self imposed.





(By the way, thanks for the congenial discussion, I've been at boards before where they just rip on you if you have different ideas, even if you don't really fully believe one way and are just trying to figure things out)

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by Balder
Yes, but honestly I'm not entirely clear about the beliefs of Open Theism. Based only on my limited familiarity with it, I'd say it seems to escape some of the problems of closed theism, but it also seems to "reduce" God in some ways and make him more like created beings -- better than the rest, but still somehow less transcendent and mysterious. Consider this....

What depiction of God is more powerful and amazing....

A. A God who through ordination or through foreknowledge determines the entire future in advance in every detail and then plays it out like a really long VCR tape. Ultimately He is the only actor in the play since all other beings are directly manipulated by Him.

B. A God who sovereignly chooses to take a risk by giving up some of His power to His creation in the form of leaving their future open to their freewill. He then works within that openness weaving His truth and plan to His satisfaction in the midst of billions and billions of freewill agents.

jjjg
January 11th, 2005, 11:16 AM
So you are saying you are a deist, Knight?

God wound up the universe like a clock and let it run itself?

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I think that I already did when I agreed that God has power over his powers. It only makes sense that if God has power over his powers that he could limit Himself. However, those limits would be self imposed. OK great. :up:

Now that you have agreed that God has power over His own power and that God has the ability to limit Himself can you agree that IF God chose to create us with an open future, could He have? I am not asking you to concede that He did and that I am right, I am only asking if you think it is a possibility that God COULD have created in this manner had He chose to.

What I am driving at is I would like to determine why you think the future is closed. In other words... I am trying to determine if you think the future is closed due to a overriding logical principle about God's attributes that requires a closed future OR if you just feel God created us with a closed future based on other evidence but could have created differently had He chose to.


You continue....
(By the way, thanks for the congenial discussion, I've been at boards before where they just rip on you if you have different ideas, even if you don't really fully believe one way and are just trying to figure things out) This is my favorite subject in the entire world!

I love discussing it.

I appreciate your tone as well. I promise to stay cordial as long as you promise to stay cordial and responsive. :)

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by jjjg

So you are saying you are a deist, Knight?

God wound up the universe like a clock and let it run itself? You are an idiot, go away.

If you want to have a serious discussion let me know. Until then, I am not going to respond to you.

Mr. 5020
January 11th, 2005, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by Knight

B. A God who sovereignly chooses to take a risk by giving up some of His power to His creation in the form of leaving their future open to their freewill. He then works within that openness weaving His truth and plan to His satisfaction in the midst of billions and billions of freewill agents. Amazing, isn't it?

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by Mr. 5020

Amazing, isn't it? I like to use the word.... "majestic". :cloud9:

Lucky
January 11th, 2005, 11:40 AM
B. A God who sovereignly chooses to take a risk by giving up some of His power to His creation in the form of leaving their future open to their freewill. He then works within that openness weaving His truth and plan to His satisfaction in the midst of billions and billions of freewill agents.

Originally posted by Mr. 5020

Amazing, isn't it?
You do realize that that statement conflicts with the your Baptist 'Faith & Message'?

Lighthouse
January 11th, 2005, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I still believe that it is. I guess the way that I look at it would be like time travel (no, I'm not saying that God time travels. I have no doubt that He can if he chooses). I go into the future, let's say 62 yrs to right after Skip's death, and find out all there is to know about him, then travel back to my time, I haven't influenced Skip's choices in any way, I merely know what he to do. He still made all the choices, still did everything that I found out he did after he died, but even if I am back in my time, before his birth, I did not cause him to make any particular choice. He chose what he chose.
I guess what this argument boils down to is: is there a future already or are we making it up as we go along?
Please answer the first question. If God exhaustively knows the future can we do anything other than what God knows we will do?

jjjg
January 11th, 2005, 01:38 PM
Big Knight, how can God let things come to pass without setting the future so that the things in question will be able to come to pass?

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by jjjg

Big Knight, how can God let things come to pass without setting the future so that the things in question will be able to come to pass? Are you prepared to discuss this matter in a mature way?

Ecumenicist
January 11th, 2005, 04:40 PM
The "watchmaker God" is a historically developed and documented
theological premise. Not sure how bringing it up can be
construed as immature or "idiotic."

Dave

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by Dave Miller

The "watchmaker God" is a historically developed and documented
theological premise. Not sure how bringing it up can be
construed as immature or "idiotic."

Dave In no way did I indicate that I was even close to being a deist, in fact I indicated just the opposite. jjjg was not only being rude by mocking me and my pastor but he was recklessly missing vital parts of my statements to purposely misrepresent what I was saying and therefore he is an idiot. You Dave.... are also an idiot so you and jjjg should hit it off smashingly.

Frankly I am sick of both of you and I am considering banning the two of you so the rest of us can carry on a more sincere conversation.

Ecumenicist
January 11th, 2005, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Balder

Knight,



Yes, but honestly I'm not entirely clear about the beliefs of Open Theism. Based only on my limited familiarity with it, I'd say it seems to escape some of the problems of closed theism, but it also seems to "reduce" God in some ways and make him more like created beings -- better than the rest, but still somehow less transcendent and mysterious.

I agree with your statement in a later letter: basically anything you say about God will end up limiting Him in some way...revealing the limitations of human thought and language, if nothing else.

Peace,
Balder

Humanity, in the flesh, is constrained. We're constrained by the
physical laws of the universe. We are constrained by our need
for water and food and shelter. We are constrained by our basic
need for love and affection. We are constrained by our
vulnerability to disease, injury, and death.

These constraints place us in a situation where love, peace,
tolerance, cooperation are in our best interest for survival,
comfort, and for thriving as individuals and as a species.

So, while God may not dictate our every thought and action, the
over-riding constraints which are designed into our situation
move us into an overall path which conforms to God's Divine Will.

Dave

1Way
January 11th, 2005, 08:28 PM
ninjashadow,

Opp's we've moved to a new page, so this is a repost as I am still looking forward to your response if you are up to it.

I find your discussion with Knight interesting.

I trust Knight's approach very much, and I don't want to detract from your discussion, but on the other hand, I already made this post and I think it might prove helpful. So I'll post it and I ask you to stick with Knight and simply consider my post if you have time to do so. I hope you find this helpful.

You said
Yes, but if he is all powerful couldn't he also have an exhaustive knowledge of the future and give people true free will? If he cannot do that then that limits him. Two things.
1
No limits on God
First, does God's very character and ways limit God? Is God good and righteous and loving and just and holy? If so, then can God violate or contradict what He is? No, that is silly, yet at the same time, and thankfully God is faithful, we have good reason to trust our Lord and Savior because we know He cannot lie, He can not cease to be God as He is everlasting, and so on. So your idea that God must not have limits is frankly not particularly conforming to what God actually is.

I believe that God is unchanging in His character and ways...

Secondly, if God always has all knowledge of everything that will ever happen, then we have several problems to deal with.

2a
Exhaustive foreknowledge and man's free will
First is according to your question, can't man have free will and God have exhaustive foreknowledge. I suppose that depends on how you define free will. According to my view, free will entails the idea that man has true authentic options to choose from. The future might unfold in numerous authentic different ways because everyone might do different things because what they will do is truly to some extent "uncertain".

But, if all of time has absolutely no uncertainty, everything that will ever happen has "no choice" but to happen as it is locked into happening, then there truly are: no options, no uncertainty, no real choices, just one unalterable destiny, thus by my definition of free will, there is no free will if there is no uncertainty.

2b
Exhaustive foreknowledge and divine repentance
The second problem is that God does not lie, right? But in His word, God rationally explains and demonstrates that He sometimes relents/repents by not doing what He said and/or thought He was going to do. Whether you agree with that concept or not, that is what God's word says God does. So at least from my perspective, rational divine repentance is a bible truth that contradicts the view that God has exhaustive foreknowledge, ,,, because if God knows everything that will ever happen, then of course He would never truthfully change His mind and not do what He thought He was going to do, instead, He would always do what He always knew He was going to do.

Lighthouse
January 11th, 2005, 08:41 PM
Originally posted by Knight

In no way did I indicate that I was even close to being a deist, in fact I indicated just the opposite. jjjg was not only being rude by mocking me and my pastor but he was recklessly missing vital parts of my statements to purposely misrepresent what I was saying and therefore he is an idiot. You Dave.... are also an idiot so you and jjjg should hit it off smashingly.

Frankly I am sick of both of you and I am considering banning the two of you so the rest of us can carry on a more sincere conversation.
:up:
:bannana:

1Way
January 11th, 2005, 09:15 PM
ninjashadow,
You said

I guess the way that I look at it would be like time travel (no, I'm not saying that God time travels. I have no doubt that He can if he chooses). I go into the future, let's say 62 yrs to right after Skip's death, and find out all there is to know about him, then travel back to my time, I haven't influenced Skip's choices in any way, I merely know what he to do. He still made all the choices, still did everything that I found out he did after he died, but even if I am back in my time, before his birth, I did not cause him to make any particular choice. He chose what he chose.
I guess what this argument boils down to is: is there a future already or are we making it up as we go along? Going forward in time
In your example, the information that you gained was only instructive or had any unusual implication until you went back into time. Put it this way, lets say that you learned about skip's death by your time travel into the future thing, but then you never went backwards into time, you stayed at least that far ahead in time. That so called foreknowledge would then be the same sort of knowledge as if you never traveled in time and simply lived out life and learned what you would end up learning about skips death and end of his life. So when you consider it that way, you might begin to see that the foreknowledge really only becomes significant when you go back sometime into the past with your future knowledge, it is only then that it might make any real difference as opposed to regular present knowledge.

Going backwards in time
And when you consider doing that, that is the exact same as being in the present and looking back into any event that has ever happened that you are familiar with in the past! So again, when you consider each part of that time travel concept, it does not bring new light into how exhaustive knowledge and free will work together or not.

Clarification
I believe the aspect that is not focused on from your example is held in the concepts "exhaustive" and "absolute certainty". When everything that will ever happen is according to one unalterable destiny, then there is literally no options to choose from, and there never was any options at all, there never could be if everything is always absolutely certain! You have to have some uncertainty and some optional outcomes to choose between for free will to become a factual reality. Consider the alternatives.

No uncertainty
Lets say we have no idea if the future is exhaustively foreknown or not, but the world is absolutely without uncertainty. If that is the case, then all outcomes of all events have no choice but to happen according to that one unalterable destiny.

Here's an illustration of such a world. The waitress comes up to you and asks you what you want, but she also absolutely knows what you will get. Because that knowledge is unalterable, you have no choice but to respond as she knows you will. So no matter how many choices you think are available for you to optionally choose between, you have absolutely no choice to deviate from the unalterable destiny. You have to have choices and alternate outcomes in order to have free will.

No options
Lets say we have no idea if the future is exhaustively foreknown or not, but the world is absolutely without choices or optional outcomes. If that is the case, then all outcomes of all events have no choice but to happen according to that one unalterable destiny.

Here's an illustration of such a world. The waitress comes up to you and asks what you would like to order. She says that you can either have the chef's special, cheeseburger and fries, or they have a new plate that comes with a cheeseburger and an order of fries, or there's the tried and true cheese burger and fries. Oh ya, she keeps forgetting the last choice, and for the young at heart, it's a delightful cheeseburger and fries.

One might try to say that you always have the choice to not choose, but not in this illustration. Remember, in a world without optional outcomes, you have no choice but to do according to one single unalterable destiny. No choices, no optional outcomes, no possible way to have free will.

Time travel
In Darwin's day, evolution was the latest thing, and even Christians got sucked into it's lure and buzz. But in more recent times, Darwinistic evolution has run into lean times. I find it to be a bankrupt theory other than the fact that some limited variations that are fully found without a kind's gene pool respond to selection factors. But that is hardly Darwin's evolution. I suggest it's the same with the whole Einsteinian time is relative in terms of it's a physical entity of some sort, it can be manipulated, time travel is possible, etc. I find that entire line of reasoning to be bankrupt. It is not possible to travel through time, that is more like a child's fairy tale than it is spiritual truth.

I agree with your final comment. Are we forging our own futures as we go along, or does the future already exist in a way that God completely foreknows it. I refer you to my previous post for my thoughts on that issue.

Peace

jjjg
January 11th, 2005, 10:33 PM
Sure, knight.

jjjg
January 11th, 2005, 10:39 PM
cannot a perfect being like God not gives us free will and at the same time be all knowing of the future?

Ninjashadow
January 11th, 2005, 10:46 PM
Knight said:

What I am driving at is I would like to determine why you think the future is closed. In other words... I am trying to determine if you think the future is closed due to a overriding logical principle about God's attributes that requires a closed future OR if you just feel God created us with a closed future based on other evidence but could have created differently had He chose to.

I feel that God can pretty much do whatever He wants to, within His self set limits. The reason I think that the future is "closed" (I don't like using that term because it doesn't really descibe what I believe accurately) is because I think that God can still allow free will and know the future. I think that God's power can allow both without having either of them conflict. It's more of an "open/closed" belief.

Lighthouse
January 11th, 2005, 10:50 PM
ninjashadow-
Could you please answer my question?

If God exhaustively knows the future, can we do anything other than what God knows we will do?

jjjg
January 11th, 2005, 10:52 PM
Lighthouse. answer my post 72 and we might answer your question and finally stop this bickering.

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by jjjg

cannot a perfect being like God not gives us free will and at the same time be all knowing of the future? Perfect exhaustive foreknowldge and true freewill are incompatible.

For if God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge there is only one version of the future. There are NO possibilities other than what is contained in God's foreknowledge. Without options and possibilities freewill is only an illusion.

Can I ask..... (setting aside foreknowledge for a moment) do you believe man has a true freewill? And if so, why?

Ninjashadow
January 11th, 2005, 11:11 PM
Dave Miller said:


Going forward in time. In your example, the information that you gained was only instructive or had any unusual implication until you went back into time. Put it this way, lets say that you learned about skip's death by your time travel into the future thing, but then you never went backwards into time, you stayed at least that far ahead in time. That so called foreknowledge would then be the same sort of knowledge as if you never traveled in time and simply lived out life and learned what you would end up learning about skips death and end of his life. So when you consider it that way, you might begin to see that the foreknowledge really only becomes significant when you go back sometime into the past with your future knowledge, it is only then that it might make any real difference as opposed to regular present knowledge.

First of all, sorry I haven't responded sooner. It's hard to keep up with everyone. Secondly, my example was trying to show why it might be possible for God to know the future and still allow free will. God would be able to go back in time, so in my scenario, I would also have to go back to the time I was from.


Going backwards in time. And when you consider doing that, that is the exact same as being in the present and looking back into any event that has ever happened that you are familiar with in the past! So again, when you consider each part of that time travel concept, it does not bring new light into how exhaustive knowledge and free will work together or not.


This goes back to the fact that when I return to my own time, I'd still have knowledge of the future life of Skip. If I had gone back in time from my time, I'd still have knowledge of the future.


Clarification. I believe the aspect that is not focused on from your example is held in the concepts "exhaustive" and "absolute certainty". When everything that will ever happen is according to one unalterable destiny, then there is literally no options to choose from, and there never was any options at all, there never could be if everything is always absolutely certain! You have to have some uncertainty and some optional outcomes to choose between for free will to become a factual reality. Consider the alternatives.

Ok, I see your point, but do you think that God has an exhaustive knowledge of all the outcomes of all our choices, but limits himself to not knowing which choices we'll make. Do understand what I mean?

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Knight said:


I feel that God can pretty much do whatever He wants to, within His self set limits.Excellent! I agree! :up:

You continue...
The reason I think that the future is "closed" (I don't like using that term because it doesn't really descibe what I believe accurately) is because I think that God can still allow free will and know the future. I think that God's power can allow both without having either of them conflict. It's more of an "open/closed" belief. OK.... so maybe you can explain to me how perfect exhaustive foreknowledge and freewill are compatible?

Let's assume that God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge and part of that foreknowledge involves our friend Skip :). Let's say God knows perfectly that on a hot July 17th evening in the year 2045 Skip will open up his refrigerator at 8:00pm and choose between vanilla and chocolate ice cream. After some deliberation Skip chooses the vanilla ice cream.

In the above example God's foreknowledge is PERFECT and exhaustive. God knows every detail about this evening just as He knows every detail about every evening.

Knowing that.....

Does Skip have the true freewill to choose chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla on July 17th 2045 at 8:00PM?

Ninjashadow
January 11th, 2005, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Excellent! I agree! :up:

You continue... OK.... so maybe you can explain to me how perfect exhaustive foreknowledge and freewill are compatible?

Let's assume that God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge and part of that foreknowledge involves our friend Skip :). Let's say God knows perfectly that on a hot July 17th evening in the year 2045 Skip will open up his refrigerator at 8:00pm and choose between vanilla and chocolate ice cream. After some deliberation Skip chooses the vanilla ice cream.

In the above example God's foreknowledge is PERFECT and exhaustive. God knows every detail about this evening just as He knows every detail about every evening.

Knowing that.....

Does Skip have the true freewill to choose chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla on July 17th 2045 at 8:00PM?

I think that Skip does have the free will to choose chocalate, however, God knows which choice Skip made. I seems like God can know the future like we know the past.

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 11:21 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I think that Skip does have the free will to choose chocalate, however, God knows which choice Skip made. I seems like God can know the future like we know the past. God's foreknowledge happens before Skip makes His choice that's why we call it foreknowledge.

God KNOWS that Skip picks vanilla.

Can Skip pick chocolate?

Ninjashadow
January 11th, 2005, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by Knight

God's foreknowledge happens before Skip makes His choice that's why we call it foreknowledge.

God KNOWS that Skip picks vanilla.

Can Skip pick chocolate?

I think that Skip had the ability to choose the chocolate, but he DIDN'T. God merely knows what Skip chose, he did not cause Skip to choose it.

Lighthouse
January 11th, 2005, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by jjjg

Lighthouse. answer my post 72 and we might answer your question and finally stop this bickering.
I'm not bickering with you. By the definition of free will, the answer is no. If we can not do anything other than what is known, that is not free will.

Do you really believe that God knows every time I am ever going to go to the bathroom?

jjjg
January 11th, 2005, 11:31 PM
Knight, you have to look at what scripture is. It is SUPERNATURAL REVELATION.

God reveals himself to us because what God has to reveal is beyond our human reason but necessary for our salvation. As such it is beyond natural human reasoning to fully comprehend it.

This is obviously true with the Trinity. Three persons in one God is contradictory. The Trinity is and always was mystery.

The best we can say with this delima is that God is extra -temporal and moves around our temporal existence crafting every free will decision we make to his own design.

This is a problem with Protestantism. It is a child of the rational movement and that is why they run into these delimas.

They cannot except that aspects of God and our existence is mystery.

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I think that Skip had the ability to choose the chocolate, but he DIDN'T. God merely knows what Skip chose, he did not cause Skip to choose it. I am sorry but I think you are having a logical disconnect.

You do believe in foreknowledge don't you?

And if so, you must acknowledge that God KNOWS things before they happen. And if He has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge that knowledge cannot be wrong and there can be no variation in it.

Therefore God knows what flavor of ice cream Skip will pick BEFORE he picks it.

How can Skip pick otherwise?

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by jjjg
God reveals himself to us because what God has to reveal is beyond our human reason but necessary for our salvation. As such it is beyond natural human reasoning to fully comprehend it. So... if you think that is true why on earth would you debate me on this issue or any other biblical issue?

You are simply conceding that you have no way of knowing if you are more correct than I am.

In essence you have rendered yourself irrelevant.

Ninjashadow
January 11th, 2005, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by Knight

I am sorry but I think you are having a logical disconnect.

You do believe in foreknowledge don't you?

And if so, you must acknowledge that God KNOWS things before they happen. And if He has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge that knowledge cannot be wrong and there can be no variation in it.

Therefore God knows what flavor of ice cream Skip will pick BEFORE he picks it.

How can Skip pick otherwise?

Perhaps I am having a logical disconnect, but it's hard for me to believe that knowledge creates action. God's foreknowledge did not make Skip choose vanilla, Skip did that of his own accord. God just already knew which choice that Skip was going to make.

Knight
January 11th, 2005, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Perhaps I am having a logical disconnect, but it's hard for me to believe that knowledge creates action. God's foreknowledge did not make Skip choose vanilla, Skip did that of his own accord. God just already knew which choice that Skip was going to make. So you tell me....

How can Skip choose anything other than what God foreknows?

Ninjashadow
January 12th, 2005, 12:24 AM
Originally posted by Knight

So you tell me....

How can Skip choose anything other than what God foreknows?

I think we are just going around in circles now. God foreknows what Skip chose because it is what Skip chose. He did not choose the chocolate, he chose the vanilla and God forknows what selection Skip made of his own free will.

jjjg
January 12th, 2005, 12:26 AM
Whatever, Knight.

You obviously don't have a clue what scripture is about and you are just digging a hole deeper with trying to rationalize a mystery to us.

Good luck.

Emo
January 12th, 2005, 12:55 AM
Didn't Knight already make it abundantly clear that perfect exhaustive foreknowledge & free will are not logically compatible. Think about it. Hey, I'm just happy to be here. :D

Ninjashadow
January 12th, 2005, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by emohaslove

Didn't Knight already make it abundantly clear that perfect exhaustive foreknowledge & free will are not logically compatible. Think about it. Hey, I'm just happy to be here.

Not neccisarily. And they may not be logically compatible to humand, but be logically compatible to God.

godrulz
January 12th, 2005, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by jjjg

cannot a perfect being like God not gives us free will and at the same time be all knowing of the future?

This is a logical contradiction or absurdity. It is not a limitation on God's perfect attributes.

godrulz
January 12th, 2005, 01:30 AM
Time is unidirectional. It is not a limit on omniscience to not know a nothing (the future is not there to know). Simple foreknowledge assumes the future is there to see. This is illogical.
Knight is correct in his arguments. Try to follow the principles he is reiterating.

I took a free lesson on Kabbalah on the internet. It was a well done website, but very deceptive. It is a false religion, popular at the moment ('red string'; Madonna, etc.).

They said that God is timeless and that the past, present, future exist all at once. This sounds like the 'eternal now' view of classic Augustinian theology. They used an example/analogy of a 30 floor building. We see the 15th floor, the present, but the lower and upper floors are also there, but not perceptible to us (unless we pay for more Kabbalah courses!). The problem with this false analogy and conclusion is that time is not a thing, place, or space. They are using a spatial building to prove a time concept ('timelessness'). This only proves that a building exists in the present with many floors. It has no bearing on the nature of the future and omniscience.

Time is simply duration, sequence, succession. Timelessness and simple foreknowledge are not coherent. They are assumptions. Compatibilism vs incompatibilism are doctrines relating to classic predestination and libertarian freedom. The latter seems to be more Scripturally and philosophically sound (google for more info on their definitions).

Clete
January 12th, 2005, 06:34 AM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Not neccisarily. And they may not be logically compatible to humand, but be logically compatible to God.

They are either logically compatible or they are not. The rules of logic don't change just because you happen to be God. If they did, God could not be trusted.

This sort of statement is usually in reation to an intuitive understanding of the strength of these arguments. If that is so with you, I encourge you to not be afraid of where the presentation of logical evidence will take you. Nothing we've said contradicts one single page of Scripture. It contradicts a lot of theological ideas that are very common but not the Bible itself.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.

Don't be afraid to accept the substantive evidence that is before you. That is the very definition of Biblical faith.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
January 12th, 2005, 06:37 AM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I think we are just going around in circles now. God foreknows what Skip chose because it is what Skip chose. He did not choose the chocolate, he chose the vanilla and God forknows what selection Skip made of his own free will.
In order to be free, one must be able to choose to do, or to do otherwise.

Would you agree with this definition of freedom?

If not, please explain.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
January 12th, 2005, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by emohaslove

Didn't Knight already make it abundantly clear that perfect exhaustive foreknowledge & free will are not logically compatible. Think about it. Hey, I'm just happy to be here.

I would say that this is about as good a first post as I've ever seen anyone write! :thumb:

Welcome to TOL!!! :wave2:

Resting in Him,
Clete

Poly
January 12th, 2005, 09:24 AM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

They are either logically compatible or they are not. The rules of logic don't change just because you happen to be God. If they did, God could not be trusted.

This sort of statement is usually in reation to an intuitive understanding of the strength of these arguments. If that is so with you, I encourge you to not be afraid of where the presentation of logical evidence will take you. Nothing we've said contradicts one single page of Scripture. It contradicts a lot of theological ideas that are very common but not the Bible itself.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.

Don't be afraid to accept the substantive evidence that is before you. That is the very definition of Biblical faith.

Resting in Him,
Clete

That's a great point, Clete. How can we really have faith (the very thing that pleases God) if God is not logical? How could we trust Him? What is our faith based on? I don't see how a person could have faith in a God who can be illogical. If He's allowed to do whatever he wants, even allowed to do the illogical, what's to stop Him from changing all the rules of salvation midgame? God makes sense. His rules make sense. His creation makes sense. He doesn't take pleasure in doing absurdities. He takes pleasure in all that is right and good and logical and then takes pleasure in us figuring these things out as well.

jjjg
January 12th, 2005, 10:31 AM
Didn't I make it perfectly clear that some aspects of God and ourselves are mystery to us and also that logic is not the only resource available to our reason; others include faith, intuition.

Lighthouse
January 12th, 2005, 10:46 AM
The scripture makes it abundantly clear that God does not know the future. Are you people really so stubborn that you would deny scripture just to defend your misinterpretation of other scripture?

Emo
January 12th, 2005, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by jjjg

Didn't I make it perfectly clear that some aspects of God and ourselves are mystery to us and also that logic is not the only resource available to our reason; others include faith, intuition.
Are you saying that our intuition & faith can be illogical & still be true because of some profound mystery?

Lighthouse
January 12th, 2005, 11:01 AM
That's exactly what he's saying. But he also thinks Mary and Joseph never had sex, after Jesus was born.:doh:

godrulz
January 12th, 2005, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

That's exactly what he's saying. But he also thinks Mary and Joseph never had sex, after Jesus was born.:doh:

Catholic?

Emo
January 12th, 2005, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

That's exactly what he's saying. But he also thinks Mary and Joseph never had sex, after Jesus was born.:doh:
:darwinsm:

jjjg
January 12th, 2005, 11:35 AM
emoh, maybe you should really look at what you are saying before you post something here.

Faith by definition is beyond reason and logic. Look at the Trinity and try to explain it through logical means.

Three persons in one God is incompatible to logic, yet true.

Christ's miracles are incompatible to logic, yet true.

Lighthouse
January 12th, 2005, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

Catholic?
Yup.

jjjg
January 12th, 2005, 11:46 AM
Go figure. And yet they have a firmer grasp on the faith than Bob and you guys.

Lighthouse
January 12th, 2005, 11:51 AM
Who does? Catholics?:ha:

jjjg
January 12th, 2005, 11:56 AM
Good counter arguments, Lighthouse.

I can see why you guys have been running in cirlces with this issue for so long now.

Clete
January 12th, 2005, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by jjjg

emoh, maybe you should really look at what you are saying before you post something here.

jjjg,

You are a jerk! This guy makes two posts and already you resort to insulting him! The arguments have already been made, none of which you have responded to in the slightest.


Faith by definition is beyond reason and logic. Look at the Trinity and try to explain it through logical means.
See what I mean?
Here's my definition of faith...

Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE of things unseen.

Substantive evidence doesn't sound like its beyond reason and logic to me.


Three persons in one God is incompatible to logic, yet true.
Not so. The doctrine of the Trinity is the very foundation of logic and reason. Another argument that you have already been exposed to and not responded to in any substantive way.


Christ's miracles are incompatible to logic, yet true.
This is flatly stupid! How is it illogical for a supernatural God to perform supernatural miracles? Perhaps it is you who should look at what they are saying before posting something.

Resting in Him,
Clete

jjjg
January 12th, 2005, 12:19 PM
Here's the prodigy of insulting people on this forum and the prodigy of Bob's "logic" calling me an insulting jerk.

Remember how you tried to defend Bob's "divine command delima" and got your face smeared in it?

How anybody can defend a guy that goes on Politically Incorrect and gets shreaded by a pervert publicist in a wheelchair is beyond me.

Don't you realize the only reason they called that guy back to the show is because he was good for some insulting punchlines because of the stupid things he said?:cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :bang: :bang: :dead: :dead:

Clete
January 12th, 2005, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by jjjg

Here's the prodigy of insulting people on this forum and the prodigy of Bob's "logic" calling me an insulting jerk.
You really are asinine; you know that?
Being insulting when appropriate is one thing; being insulting with someone you no exactly nothing about is another. One makes you a jerk, the other does not.
And just to perfectly accurate, I actually called you a stupid, insulting jerk.


Remember how you tried to defend Bob's "divine command delima" and got your face smeared in it?
What I remember is walking away from a mindless discussion in which none of what I said was responded to in any substantive way.


How anybody can defend a guy that goes on Politically Incorrect and gets shreaded by a pervert publicist in a wheelchair is beyond me.
You are now, not only a jerk, but a liar as well. You haven't even seen the episode! If you had, you would know better than to make such an idiotic statement.


Don't you realize the only reason they called that guy back to the show is because he was good for some insulting punchlines because of the stupid things he said?:cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :bang: :bang: :dead: :dead:
I happen to consider that guy to be my pastor. I live 600 miles away from his church but he is, nevertheless, my pastor as far as I am concerned. I find your statements revolting and irresponsible. You couldn't dream of defeating him in any debate. He's forgotten more about God and the Bible than you'll ever know this side of death.

Now, are you going respond to my arguments or are going to insult my friends some more?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
January 12th, 2005, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by jjjg

Here's the prodigy of insulting people on this forum and the prodigy of Bob's "logic" calling me an insulting jerk.

Remember how you tried to defend Bob's "divine command delima" and got your face smeared in it?

How anybody can defend a guy that goes on Politically Incorrect and gets shreaded by a pervert publicist in a wheelchair is beyond me.

Don't you realize the only reason they called that guy back to the show is because he was good for some insulting punchlines because of the stupid things he said?:cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :bang: :bang: :dead: :dead: :wave2:

Knight
January 12th, 2005, 01:16 PM
Sorry guys.... but jjjg is an idiot! I banned him because I think this thread is good one. It's interesting and most of the participants seem to be seriously interested in discussing these matters. Hopefully now we can continue on without his distraction.

Knight
January 12th, 2005, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I think we are just going around in circles now. Actually we are not going around in cricles. We are going around in HALF circles. Your half of the circle is still missing. :)

There should be no reason you cannot answer the following question.....

How can Skip choose anything other than what God foreknows?

Granite
January 12th, 2005, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Sorry guys.... but jjjg is an idiot! I banned him because I think this thread is good one. It's interesting and most of the participants seem to be seriously interested in discussing these matters. Hopefully now we can continue on without his distraction.

Knight:

:thumb:

Emo
January 12th, 2005, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Sorry guys.... but jjjg is an idiot! I banned him because I think this thread is good one. It's interesting and most of the participants seem to be seriously interested in discussing these matters. Hopefully now we can continue on without his distraction.
Wow! I just became a member of TOL about 12 hours ago & the first guy I replied to got banned. :shocked:
I hope that doesn't happen too often, but that's what happens when you stick your foot in your mouth. Yummy!

Granite
January 12th, 2005, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by emohaslove

Wow! I just became a member of TOL about 12 hours ago & the first guy I replied to got banned. :shocked:
I hope that doesn't happen too often, but that's what happens when you stick your foot in your mouth. Yummy!

Triple J had that coming.

Knight
January 12th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by emohaslove

Wow! I just became a member of TOL about 12 hours ago & the first guy I replied to got banned. :shocked:
I hope that doesn't happen too often, but that's what happens when you stick your foot in your mouth. Yummy! We try not to make banning a habit. But when a member is being intentionally distracting and does not cooperate after several warnings we really don't have much choice.

I don't want to let some jerk ruin the TOL experience for others.

Emo
January 12th, 2005, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Knight
We try not to make banning a habit. But when a member is being intentionally distracting and does not cooperate after several warnings we really don't have much choice.

I don't want to let some jerk ruin the TOL experience for others.

:thumb:

Ninjashadow
January 12th, 2005, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

The scripture makes it abundantly clear that God does not know the future. Are you people really so stubborn that you would deny scripture just to defend your misinterpretation of other scripture?

Could you please cite specific passage (in context) to back up you statement?

Ninjashadow
January 12th, 2005, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Actually we are not going around in cricles. We are going around in HALF circles. Your half of the circle is still missing. :)

There should be no reason you cannot answer the following question.....

How can Skip choose anything other than what God foreknows?

I'm sorry, I thouhgt I answered the question. What you say does make sense, but the problem I have with rejecting closed view is that, to me, it makes sense that Skip could have chosen either and yet God knew ahead of time what Skip would choose. Skip can only make one choice and he has the free will to chose either, but God could also know which one that Skip will choose.

Now, having said that, please understand that I do not profess to be a "closed" viewist. I am simply trying to understand both sides. I know that God does not want to lose a single person to the dark side, as it were, and the closed view does run it problems on a much larger scale. Although, I still am having a hard time with the concept that God's knowledge of our future actions (for instance, Skip rejecting him) causes Skip to lose free will. Maybe the future is only half closed or half open. Like I said, I am merely trying to comprehend the whole concept from as many angles as I can. To be honest, I find the idea of time very facinating.

Jackielabby
January 12th, 2005, 07:23 PM
GOD'S FLAT EARTH (part 3) - Revelation 20:7-8
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth--Gog and Magog--to gather them for battle.

Is this not a statement about the future, Lighthouse?

dave boy
January 12th, 2005, 07:57 PM
Clete, "He's forgotten more about the Bible and God then you will ever know.."

I think your summary of Bob is right on there!

Clete
January 12th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by dave boy

Clete, "He's forgotten more about the Bible and God then you will ever know.."

I think your summary of Bob is right on there!

This is one of those tricky phrases which without hearing it can be read both as a compliment and an insult. :think:

Since this is your opening post here on TOL I'll assume the former and say thanks and welcome to TOL. :thumb:

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
January 12th, 2005, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow
Now, having said that, please understand that I do not profess to be a "closed" viewist. I am simply trying to understand both sides.I think you seem to be a reasonable person! I am enjoying this discussion I hope you are as well.

You continnue...
I know that God does not want to lose a single person to the dark side, as it were, and the closed view does run it problems on a much larger scale. Although, I still am having a hard time with the concept that God's knowledge of our future actions (for instance, Skip rejecting him) causes Skip to lose free will.I think I have demonstrated pretty clearly that there is no other alternative.

Maybe pray about it some and we can move on to the next item of evidence and possibly revisit that topic later if you like. OK?

You continue...
Maybe the future is only half closed or half open. Like I said, I am merely trying to comprehend the whole concept from as many angles as I can. To be honest, I find the idea of time very facinating. In a way you are right on target (even from a open theist perspective) in that God can indeed close parts of the future if He so desires.

For instance... lets say God announces... Jesus will be raised in three days.

Unless God has reason to alter His plan there is no stopping Him! After-all He is God.... the most powerful force in all existence! God will bring this event to pass and in essence close that part of the future...... that event is GOING to occur!

However based on what we read in the Bible God doesn't seem to want to close all the future or even most of the future and certainly doesn't seem to want to close the future in the day to day small of details (i.e. what flavor of ice cream we may choose). And His method of closing the future doesn't involve "seeing" the future but simply making a plan for the future and bringing that event to pass.

Lets move on shall we?
Why do you think God has "seen" the future in every detail?

What is your reasoning or rational for that assertion? You can answer any way you like and feel free to use scripture to back up your answer (if you desire).

P.S. I am going to Dallas on Friday morning for my sons hockey tournament. Therefore I will have a little less time than normal to respond, so please be patient with me and my responses. I will have my laptop with me and I will probably have spare time but I can't be certain.

Thanks in advance for your fellowship!

1Way
January 12th, 2005, 11:04 PM
Is there a reason that jjjg and ninjashadow keep ignoring what I post to them? I posted why God can't have exhaustive foreknowledge and man have free will, and jjjg asks, why can't God have exhaustive foreknowledge and man have free will immediately after my posts including that issue. And then ninjashadow ignores my repeated posts.

Knight
January 12th, 2005, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by 1Way

Is there a reason that jjjg and ninjashadow keep ignoring what I post to them? I posted why God can't have exhaustive foreknowledge and man have free will, and jjjg say, why can't God have exhaustive foreknowledge and man have free will immediately after my posts over that issue, and then ninjashadow also ignores my posts too, repeatedly they ignore my posts. Just so you know.... jjjg was banned on account of being a first class jerk.

I think ninja is doing the best he can. He is getting quizzed from several angles so I doubt he is ignoring you on purpose.

Just me 2 cents! :D

Ninjashadow
January 12th, 2005, 11:37 PM
Originally posted by 1Way

ninjashadow,
I find your discussion with Knight interesting.

I trust Knight's approach very much, and I don't want to detract from your discussion, but on the other hand, I already made this post and I think it might prove helpful. So I'll post it and I ask you to stick with Knight and simply consider my post if you have time to do so. I hope you find this helpful.

You said Two things.
1
No limits on God
First, does God's very character and ways limit God? Is God good and righteous and loving and just and holy? If so, then can God violate or contradict what He is? No, that is silly, yet at the same time, and thankfully God is faithful, we have good reason to trust our Lord and Savior because we know He cannot lie, He can not cease to be God as He is everlasting, and so on. So your idea that God must not have limits is frankly not particularly conforming to what God actually is.

I believe that God is unchanging in His character and ways...

Secondly, if God always has all knowledge of everything that will ever happen, then we have several problems to deal with.

2a
Exhaustive foreknowledge and man's free will
First is according to your question, can't man have free will and God have exhaustive foreknowledge. I suppose that depends on how you define free will. According to my view, free will entails the idea that man has true authentic options to choose from. The future might unfold in numerous authentic different ways because everyone might do different things because what they will do is truly to some extent "uncertain".

But, if all of time has absolutely no uncertainty, everything that will ever happen has "no choice" but to happen as it is locked into happening, then there truly are: no options, no uncertainty, no real choices, just one unalterable destiny, thus by my definition of free will, there is no free will if there is no uncertainty.

2b
Exhaustive foreknowledge and divine repentance
The second problem is that God does not lie, right? But in His word, God rationally explains and demonstrates that He sometimes relents/repents by not doing what He said and/or thought He was going to do. Whether you agree with that concept or not, that is what God's word says God does. So at least from my perspective, rational divine repentance is a bible truth that contradicts the view that God has exhaustive foreknowledge, ,,, because if God knows everything that will ever happen, then of course He would never truthfully change His mind and not do what He thought He was going to do, instead, He would always do what He always knew He was going to do.

Sorry I haven't responded to all of your posts yet, but I did respond to one.

1. I think that the only limits that God has are the ones that are self imposed.

2a. I believe that free will is that man can choose to do whatever he wants to do. So I guess I have a similar view of free will.

2b. If God has an exhaustive knowledge of the future, then he would already know if he chose to change his mind then, wouldn't he?

Ninjashadow
January 12th, 2005, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Just so you know.... jjjg was banned on account of being a first class jerk.

I think ninja is doing the best he can. He is getting quizzed from several angles so I doubt he is ignoring you on purpose.

Just me 2 cents! :D

You are right. I'm trying my best to keep up with everyone, so it just takes me a little longer to respond.

I will respond to the last question you had for me later when I have more time.

Knight
January 12th, 2005, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

You are right. I'm trying my best to keep up with everyone, so it just takes me a little longer to respond.

I will respond to the last question you had for me later when I have more time. :up:

No rush.

Lighthouse
January 13th, 2005, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Could you please cite specific passage (in context) to back up you statement?
"And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
-Genesis 6:6

"And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people."
-Exodus 32:14

"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."
-1 Samuel 15:35

These are all examples of God being sorry about something. Why would He be sorry, or grieved if He knew it was going to happen? And why would He change His mind, as is the case of Exodus 32:14 [and also the story of Nineveh in Jonah] if He already knew what was going to happen?

Also, why don't you answer my question, and Knight's as well: If God knows everything we will ever do, can we do anything different than what He knows we will do? This has nothing to do with whether or not God influences what happens, so leave that out of it and just answer the question.

Also, since jjjg never got a chance to answer, do you really believe that God knows everytime that I will ever go to the toilet?

Lighthouse
January 13th, 2005, 12:54 AM
Originally posted by Jackielabby

GOD'S FLAT EARTH (part 3) - Revelation 20:7-8
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth--Gog and Magog--to gather them for battle.

Is this not a statement about the future, Lighthouse?
I'm beginning to think that the anti-Christ children [like you] hate me.:think: Praise Jesus!:bannana:

Now, to answer your question:
The Lord knows what He will do, what He will allow to happen, for His purposes, and when He will do these things. Some of them He knows well before He does them. Others He knows when a reason to do them arises. However, I do not believe that the Lord knows everytime that I will sneeze.

ninjashadow-
You hit the nail on the head when you brought up the idea of partially closed/partially open. See my response to Jackielabby [he must like being thought of as a dog, since he chose that name].

dave boy
January 13th, 2005, 03:34 PM
I agree with the opposite arguments.

You have to accept scripture on faith. You cannot at the same time completely rationalize all this.

Besides, you people are reading whatever you want to into the scripture passages.

Poly
January 13th, 2005, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by dave boy

I agree with the opposite arguments.

You have to accept scripture on faith. You cannot at the same time completely rationalize all this.

Besides, you people are reading whatever you want to into the scripture passages.
dave boy,
It helps to either quote the post that you are referring to or to address the person that you are posting to. Clete had a little trouble understanding you in your first post and now your second still seems a little vague. What are the "opposite arguments" that you agree with?

1Way
January 13th, 2005, 05:08 PM
ninjashadow,
I went back and I did not see you answer any of my posts. I have posted to you three different times with two different posts and this was your first response. I'm not trying to rush you, I'm just trying to understand why you said that you had already responded.

You said
1. I think that the only limits that God has are the ones that are self imposed. You don't seem to be clarifying things between your view and mine. Please explain your answer in light of my view. Here is what I said.
1
No limits on God
First, does God's very character and ways limit God? Is God good and righteous and loving and just and holy? If so, then can God violate or contradict what He is? No, that is silly, yet at the same time, and thankfully God is faithful, we have good reason to trust our Lord and Savior because we know He cannot lie, He can not cease to be God as He is everlasting, and so on. So your idea that God must not have limits is frankly not particularly conforming to what God actually is.

I believe that God is unchanging in His character and ways... Do you mean, for example, that God chooses to be an everlasting God? I gave you some specific examples to show how I think your view was wrong, but you did not respond to any of them. Do you agree or disagree with my view on point 1?

You said
2a. I believe that free will is that man can choose to do whatever he wants to do. So I guess I have a similar view of free will. Here is what I said.
Secondly, if God always has all knowledge of everything that will ever happen, then we have several problems to deal with.

2a
Exhaustive foreknowledge and man's free will
First is according to your question, can't man have free will and God have exhaustive foreknowledge. I suppose that depends on how you define free will. According to my view, free will entails the idea that man has true authentic options to choose from. The future might unfold in numerous authentic different ways because everyone might do different things because what they will do is truly to some extent "uncertain".

But, if all of time has absolutely no uncertainty, everything that will ever happen has "no choice" but to happen as it is locked into happening, then there truly are: no options, no uncertainty, no real choices, just one unalterable destiny, thus by my definition of free will, there is no free will if there is no uncertainty. The issue of free will is not so much about choosing what you want to do or not, because a computer or a puppet can simulate that pretty well, yet most people do not agree that a puppet or a computer has free will. You need to eliminate others from control over your will, you are free to govern your own will from any other sources than yourself. And to utilize freewill, you must live in a world where various outcomes to any given situation may happen as a result of personal choices.

Now, back to your theology as I understand it so far. By your view, no one can do whatever they want to do, they have no choice but to do what God foreknows they must do. The lack of optional outcomes eliminates free will because there are no alternative choices to choose from, it's, would you like a cheeseburger and fries tonight, or how about the manager's special instead? It's a cheeseburger with fries! That is not a choice, there are no alternatives, no options, thus, no free will.

Here is what I said.
2b
Exhaustive foreknowledge and divine repentance
The second problem is that God does not lie, right? But in His word, God rationally explains and demonstrates that He sometimes relents/repents by not doing what He said and/or thought He was going to do. Whether you agree with that concept or not, that is what God's word says God does. So at least from my perspective, rational divine repentance is a bible truth that contradicts the view that God has exhaustive foreknowledge, ,,, because if God knows everything that will ever happen, then of course He would never truthfully change His mind and not do what He thought He was going to do, instead, He would always do what He always knew He was going to do. You said
2b. If God has an exhaustive knowledge of the future, then he would already know if he chose to change his mind then, wouldn't he? If you emphasize that God has no limits, then maybe that sounds reasonable, but if you consider that God is righteous and just and holy and good and does not lie, then your idea servers strongly to contradict (in various ways or degrees) all of these well known facts about God! God is a bit sensitive about how people represent God, He requires that His followers should not portray Him in a bad light. To say that you are changing your mind, when all along you never changed your mind, is a perfect lie and a logical contradiction that can not be true. However God is true and He does not lie, so it is elementary that God does not have exhaustive foreknowledge and also changes His mind because they are completely incompatible.

1Way
January 13th, 2005, 05:39 PM
dave boy,
You said
(1) You have to accept scripture on faith. (2) You cannot at the same time completely rationalize all this.

(3) Besides, you people are reading whatever you want to into the scripture passages.
(1) 1 - This is an incomplete thought. The demon's believe Jesus is God, but they fear and tremble and will go to hell. So some unspecified faith is not how we have to accept scripture.

2 - God describes faith as being substantial and evidential, it's about as rational and scientifically based as could be. God asks us to believe in things not seen because of things we experience and know and fully understand. The Christian faith is a fully rational and reasonable faith.
Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and [attaining] to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,

(2) That is a very dangerous sounding statement. To go against rationalization is to promote irrationality. There is no way to diminish the one without lifting up the other. God explains Himself relying on logic and reason through literally thousands of truth claims we find in the scriptures. He expects us to rightly divide the word of truth, to love to truth that we might become saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. God is called the way the truth and the life, we must accept Him (the Truth) and not reject His word to become saved.

But maybe I am not understanding what you meant, please explain.

(3) Who are the people you are referring to? Please don't generalize such a harsh judgment and not even provide a clear example.

dave boy
January 13th, 2005, 06:11 PM
Reason might lead us to making a leap of faith, but faith itself is mystery and our full understanding of the free will/full knowledge of God is partially mystery to us.

Maybe that is where the real argument lies. Not necessary in God being all knowledgable, but that he predestines us for heaven or hell.

Clete
January 13th, 2005, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by dave boy

I agree with the opposite arguments.
As Poly asked, what arguments would those be exactly?


You have to accept scripture on faith. You cannot at the same time completely rationalize all this.
Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE of things unseen.
There is nothing irrational about substantive evidence. While it is, of course, true that we cannot know everything there is to know about God, we can know quite a lot about God, which was the point of His having created us in the first place. Besides, that which we cannot know, we are not responsible for. The point is, that faith and rationality (not rationalism) are not mutually exclusive but are instead complimentary.


Besides, you people are reading whatever you want to into the scripture passages.
I don't know you at all so I will stop well short of calling you a liar but this statement is patently untrue. In fact, it has been my experience that it is the those hold to the classical view of God who, knowingly or otherwise, read pagan ideas, like the immutability of God and His exhaustive foreknowledge of future events, into Scripture. Perhaps you could point out a passage that you feel one of us has read something into.
It is our position that the Biblical evidence presents a God who does not know the future exhaustively (or even mostly) and who most certainly does change in very dramatic ways. All we do is take the Aristotelian colored classes off when reading the Bible. To put it plainly, if the Bible does not teach what we are saying then we are wrong, period.

Resting in Him,
Clete

dave boy
January 13th, 2005, 07:14 PM
Clete, no offense.

But I have read your posts and you call people liars and jerks. Why doesn't anybody reprimand you?

On the other hand it looks like if people make comments against this Bob guy than they are booted off.

I think there is some serious biases on this site. I thought this site was open to discuss all different points of view, but looks biased to Bob's point of view only.

Why don't you just rename the site "enyart's theology online" and then people will know it's a waste of time to come here unless you follow Enyart.

Bye.

Clete
January 13th, 2005, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by dave boy

Reason might lead us to making a leap of faith, but faith itself is mystery and our full understanding of the free will/full knowledge of God is partially mystery to us.
How did you come up with this, exactly? Do you beleive this because you a personally unable to explain certain things or have you actually determined by some logical means that such knowledge cannot be attained? As you will come to find out, one of my favorite things to remind people is that saying something doesn't make it so. Can you prove this statement of yours or is it simply your opinion?


Maybe that is where the real argument lies. Not necessary in God being all knowledgable, but that he predestines us for heaven or hell.
It is effectively the same question. Actually both theological position have their genesis in the notion that God is totally immutable, that He cannot change in any way whatsoever.
If you are interested in how these ideas are connected read this. (http://www.biblicalanswers.com/predestination/Absolute%20Foreknowledge%20of%20God.htm):readthis:

Resting in Him,
Clete

Poly
January 13th, 2005, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by dave boy

Bye.

See YA!!! :wave2:

godrulz
January 13th, 2005, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by dave boy

Clete, no offense.

But I have read your posts and you call people liars and jerks. Why doesn't anybody reprimand you?

On the other hand it looks like if people make comments against this Bob guy than they are booted off.

I think there is some serious biases on this site. I thought this site was open to discuss all different points of view, but looks biased to Bob's point of view only.

Why don't you just rename the site "enyart's theology online" and then people will know it's a waste of time to come here unless you follow Enyart.

Bye.

I respect Enyart, but am not familiar enough with him to judge. I have disagreed with "The Plot" and am allowed academic freedom and courtesy at this site. Show respect and you will be respected.

Clete
January 13th, 2005, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by dave boy

Clete, no offense.

But I have read your posts and you call people liars and jerks. Why doesn't anybody reprimand you?

Because I do not do so without cause.


On the other hand it looks like if people make comments against this Bob guy than they are booted off.
Only if they do so without cause after having been repeatedly warned to chill out.


I think there is some serious biases on this site. I thought this site was open to discuss all different points of view, but looks biased to Bob's point of view only.
You haven't been here nearly long enough to make such a judgement. If this we actually the case, it would be a pretty dad gum borring web site. Bob Enyart is venerated pretty highly around here because he happens to be the pastor of the guy who owns the web site (as well as several others of us) but what has occured on this single thread should not taken as normative for the site as a whole. Knight is actually way more toterant of people like jjjg than he should be. jjjg's been a waste of time on this board for a very long time. His uncalled for attack on Bob (who is not here to defend himself) was merely the straw that broke the camel's back.


Why don't you just rename the site "enyart's theology online" and then people will know it's a waste of time to come here unless you follow Enyart.
Because that would be a lie, frankly.
How well do you know jjjg, by the way?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
January 13th, 2005, 07:25 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

I respect Enyart, but am not familiar enough with him to judge. I have disagreed with "The Plot" and am allowed academic freedom and courtesy at this site. Show respect and you will be respected.

Well said! :BRAVO:

1Way
January 13th, 2005, 08:44 PM
Poly! ,,, Clete! Hey there, how's it going?

:thumb: :o

Knight
January 13th, 2005, 08:53 PM
I banned jjjg errrrrr.... dave boy.

1Way
January 13th, 2005, 08:54 PM
dave boy,

Of all things...

You said
Reason might lead us to making a leap of faith, but faith itself is mystery and our full understanding of the free will/full knowledge of God is partially mystery to us.

Maybe that is where the real argument lies. Not necessary in God being all knowledgable, but that he predestines us for heaven or hell. I always find it hard to hear someone promote ignorance, but that you do so over such an important and reasonable aspect of Christianity, is especially sad. God plainly speaks to ignorance and knowledge and irrationality concerning us and Him and salvation, that we should have a full assurance of understanding
love the truth that you might get saved,
and that "the truth is what sets you free indeed. Faith in God is not so much of a mystery, rather it is substantial and evidential, it's rational, intelligent, and true.

There's always some brave souls who "know better" by siding with ignorance and irrationality. No one is saying that God can be fully known, especially this side of life eternal.

Nowhere in the bible does God's word teach that God predestines particular individuals for heaven or hell. So why do you keep promoting the "knowledge" of such a foreign concept, but at the same time you promote a mysterious leap of faith and mystery about God,,, our savior of all things?

Poly
January 13th, 2005, 09:05 PM
Originally posted by 1Way

Poly! ,,, Clete! Hey there, how's it going?

:thumb: :o
Hey 1Way! Good to see you again.

Janus
January 13th, 2005, 09:25 PM
Dear 1 way,
You describe faith as 'about as rational and scientifically based as could be. God asks us to believe in things not seen because of things we experience and know and fully understand.'

Cool, rationally why shy should I believe the scripture if there is no primary source available. Science is an art of observation and repetition (speaking as an engineer). What miracles are we observing and are repeating. If this is what God tells us about faith surely the deduction is "don't believe in organized religion" after all isn't it responsible for most of the wars in history. The very antithesis of Jesus' message.

Turbo
January 13th, 2005, 09:47 PM
Janus, you're post is completely off-topic.

Post your questions in a new thread if you want.

Clete
January 13th, 2005, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by 1Way

Poly! ,,, Clete! Hey there, how's it going?

:thumb: :o

Hey! Where've you been?

Clete
January 13th, 2005, 10:01 PM
Originally posted by Janus

Dear 1 way,
You describe faith as 'about as rational and scientifically based as could be. God asks us to believe in things not seen because of things we experience and know and fully understand.'

Cool, rationally why shy should I believe the scripture if there is no primary source available. Science is an art of observation and repetition (speaking as an engineer). What miracles are we observing and are repeating. If this is what God tells us about faith surely the deduction is "don't believe in organized religion" after all isn't it responsible for most of the wars in history. The very antithesis of Jesus' message.

Janis,

Turbo is right, this is better suited for another thread but your answer is here...

The Impossibility of Atheism (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8240&perpage=15&pagenumber=1)

You'll have to read a good portion of the thread but Hilston does an excellent job of proving the logical incoherence of unbelief.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Janus
January 14th, 2005, 09:09 AM
[b]Originally posted by 1Way [b]

2 - God describes faith as being substantial and evidential, it's about as rational and scientifically based as could be. God asks us to believe in things not seen because of things we experience and know and fully understand. The Christian faith is a fully rational and reasonable faith.


Sorry Turbo, wasn't entirely off point, just reffering back a few postings. The argument stands

Turbo
January 14th, 2005, 09:33 AM
It's called a tangent, Janus, and it would distract from the main topic of this thread.

Let your argument "stand" in a new thread if you want you want to discuss it. This is not the place for it.

Ninjashadow
January 15th, 2005, 03:09 AM
Originally posted by 1Way

ninjashadow,
I went back and I did not see you answer any of my posts. I have posted to you three different times with two different posts and this was your first response. I'm not trying to rush you, I'm just trying to understand why you said that you had already responded.

You said You don't seem to be clarifying things between your view and mine. Please explain your answer in light of my view. Here is what I said. Do you mean, for example, that God chooses to be an everlasting God? I gave you some specific examples to show how I think your view was wrong, but you did not respond to any of them. Do you agree or disagree with my view on point 1?

You said Here is what I said. The issue of free will is not so much about choosing what you want to do or not, because a computer or a puppet can simulate that pretty well, yet most people do not agree that a puppet or a computer has free will. You need to eliminate others from control over your will, you are free to govern your own will from any other sources than yourself. And to utilize freewill, you must live in a world where various outcomes to any given situation may happen as a result of personal choices.

Now, back to your theology as I understand it so far. By your view, no one can do whatever they want to do, they have no choice but to do what God foreknows they must do. The lack of optional outcomes eliminates free will because there are no alternative choices to choose from, it's, would you like a cheeseburger and fries tonight, or how about the manager's special instead? It's a cheeseburger with fries! That is not a choice, there are no alternatives, no options, thus, no free will.

Here is what I said. You said If you emphasize that God has no limits, then maybe that sounds reasonable, but if you consider that God is righteous and just and holy and good and does not lie, then your idea servers strongly to contradict (in various ways or degrees) all of these well known facts about God! God is a bit sensitive about how people represent God, He requires that His followers should not portray Him in a bad light. To say that you are changing your mind, when all along you never changed your mind, is a perfect lie and a logical contradiction that can not be true. However God is true and He does not lie, so it is elementary that God does not have exhaustive foreknowledge and also changes His mind because they are completely incompatible.

First of all, I'm sorry that the post didn't show up. I typed it and hit submit and the computer acted like it posted it, but apparently not. I've been having problems with my server.
Secondly, I think that God is everlasting because He is. What I meant when I said that He has self imposed limitations, I meant that there are somethings that he could do, but limits himself to not doing.
I've changed my stance slightly and I know believe that the future is both open and closed.

Lighthouse
January 15th, 2005, 03:13 AM
Firstly, "Banus?":darwinsm:

Okay, now, ninjashadow...why do you not respond to my questions?

Ninjashadow
January 15th, 2005, 03:19 AM
In case anyone didn't see my reply to 1way, I have changed my stance slightly. I believe that the future is both open and closed. Or at least half and half. The reason I have done this is because, doing my own research, I found many passages where God seems to have changed is mind and the passages were the same in context to the rest of the passages. Secondly, I have come to the conclusion that God CHOOSES to limit His knowledge of the future, but COULD have exhaustive foreknowledge if He so wished. So, good sir Knight, mark me down as a "middle viewist."

Ninjashadow
January 15th, 2005, 03:20 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

Firstly, "Banus?":darwinsm:

Okay, now, ninjashadow...why do you not respond to my questions?

Read my last few posts, right before this one. Also, I am having problems with my server and cannot always stay connected for long and I am doing my best to get to everyone.

Lighthouse
January 15th, 2005, 03:26 AM
Okay.

Well, I have a question for you. If God knows that Skip will never become a Christian, and Skip's brother [we'll call him Jack] is a Christian, and he prays that Skip will get saved, what does Jack's prayer accomplish? The answer would be nothing, right? But Jack is a righteous man, and the Bible says his prayers will availeth much, don't they? So why doesn't Jack's prayer have any effect? Especially when he witnesses to Skip every occasion he can? And others do too. My real question here is this, why pray for change, if there are no options other than what God knows? Is it merely because we don't know? Or do we pray, hoping that God might change His mind [as David did], or that He might influence change, like bringing someone to Himself? If God can change, than how is the future known?

Ninjashadow
January 15th, 2005, 03:31 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

Okay.

Well, I have a question for you. If God knows that Skip will never become a Christian, and Skip's brother [we'll call him Jack] is a Christian, and he prays that Skip will get saved, what does Jack's prayer accomplish? The answer would be nothing, right? But Jack is a righteous man, and the Bible says his prayers will availeth much, don't they? So why doesn't Jack's prayer have any effect? Especially when he witnesses to Skip every occasion he can? And others do too. My real question here is this, why pray for change, if there are no options other than what God knows? Is it merely because we don't know? Or do we pray, hoping that God might change His mind [as David did], or that He might influence change, like bringing someone to Himself? If God can change, than how is the future known?

That is one reason why I have altered my belief a little bit. If the future is exhaustively known, then prayer is obsolete. However, I still think that part of the future is closed, otherwise there could be no prophecies in the bible and Revalation is no good.

Lighthouse
January 15th, 2005, 03:38 AM
Of course part of it is closed. It's just not completely closed. We do agree. And I am an OV'er. Do you feel better, now? I sure do.

Ninjashadow
January 15th, 2005, 03:41 AM
I don't consider myself an OV'er, I'm calling myself and MV'er.

Lighthouse
January 15th, 2005, 03:45 AM
I have to ask, what's the M stand for?

1Way
January 15th, 2005, 07:06 AM
Ninjashadow, (and lighthouse too, I used to believe what you said, that some of the future is closed and some is open, but that view is too general and when considered carefully, contradicts itself. "M" stands for "middle view", see his earlier general post. It's sort of like Arminianism being in between man's free will and God's sovereign (Calvinistic) control, they believe in man's free will but are inconsistent in their reasoning.)

Ninjashadow, you said
Secondly, I think that God is everlasting because He is. (1) What I meant when I said that He has self imposed limitations, I meant that there are somethings that he could do, but limits himself to not doing.
I've changed my stance slightly and (2) I now believe that the future is both open and closed. This change is far to quick for me. I want to better understand what you seem to believe. But first, let's examine what you just said.

(1) God has both self imposed limitations and self or innate limitations that are not optional. For example, God cannot cease to exist because, He is the everlasting God. But you seem to be fine with this now.

(2) You are still sounding inconsistent.

When it's dark outside, we call that night time, when it's light outside, we call that daytime, but there are times when both times seem to overlap to varying degrees. That represents an issue of varying degree (between two or more concepts). And there are issues that are either or. Like truth for example, either a (discrete) truth claim is true or it is not. Either your pregnant or your not, there is no "I'm half pregnant and I half not pregnant", either you are or you are not.

The issue of the entire future being open or closed is an either or situation, you can not have it both ways, not even partly so. The open and closed future issue involves several different elements that help us understand if the future is either open or closed. I believe that you are now talking about "certainty" or "contingency". According to the open view, many things in the future can be certain, but not in the closed view sense, even though they can be absolutely certain! For example, lets give arguably the most certain yet future outcome that we know of. Yet future absolute certainty
In the end, God will win and defeat evil and all who are the enemies of God. Here is what I believe to be the difference between the future being closed and an open future that has some things absolutely certain.

According to the closed view the exact way that the above statement works itself out, "can only happen according to one unalterable version". And don't forget the comprehensive nature of this yet future outcome, it can only happen according to one unalterable version, everything must happen exactly as it is destined to happen. That means that every single molecule and electron and subatomic particle in the entire universe must be perfectly aligned in the exact same fashion, everyone who exists must be doing the same thing they are fated to be doing, etc. otherwise the version of events that happen when God defeats all evil would not exactly be according to the closed view.

However, according to the open view and some things being absolutely certain, the above example can become exactly fulfilled in a gazillion different alternate versions, even if some of the most noticeable differences are from tangent non essential sources.

If any part of the future is closed, then what about all of life leading up to that point? Could it really happen in different ways and then end up perfectly aligning up with that so called closed event? No it could not. Just consider atoms again. "Every single electron" must end up lining up with the same order and position and spin and angular motion as is required by any closed view account. And the only way such terribly comprehensive alignment is going to possibly work is to have everything leading up to that event happen perfectly according to one unalterable version. Even the slightest change in anyone's hand moving slightly differently would instantly make trillions of electrons follow a different path and would NOT align the way they were supposed to in order to perfectly match that one yet future so called closed outcome.

No differences in who exist can happen, because they all must be there, and if your father died before fathering you, then obviously a change happened that the closed view cannot remotely survive.

That is just two examples, I could give many. Here's the moral of the story, if any yet future event is closed, then the entire future is closed. If any yet future event is open, then the entire future is open, it is an either or situation. The way you have some things absolutely certain in a world that has an open future, is because those things are absolutely certain because they will be brought about by that which is absolutely certain, God and His righteous and faithful character. And that absolutely certain yet future event can NOT be according to the closed view, or else the entire future is closed, and it is not.

:)

1Way
January 15th, 2005, 07:14 AM
Clete, I've been painful... And it largely remains that way. Good to see you again.

Knight
January 15th, 2005, 09:04 AM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

In case anyone didn't see my reply to 1way, I have changed my stance slightly. I believe that the future is both open and closed. Or at least half and half. The reason I have done this is because, doing my own research, I found many passages where God seems to have changed is mind and the passages were the same in context to the rest of the passages. Secondly, I have come to the conclusion that God CHOOSES to limit His knowledge of the future, but COULD have exhaustive foreknowledge if He so wished. So, good sir Knight, mark me down as a "middle viewist." Hey thats pretty cool!

I think you will come to find your new found view is biblically sound. And frankly, you can call yourself a middle viewer or a open viewer or anything else it really doesn't matter to me about the label. The most important thing is realizing that God doesn't ordain all the details of all of time either through direct decree or through exhaustive foreknowledge.

Knight
January 15th, 2005, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by lighthouse

Firstly, "Banus?":darwinsm:

Okay, now, ninjashadow...why do you not respond to my questions? Guys... guys... lets give the guy a break! I think he has come around and thats a good thing....... right?

1Way
January 15th, 2005, 09:22 AM
Knight, ok, you make a good point, but this change in Ninjashadow may be premature. Like many Arminians, they claim authentic free will but give God exhaustive foreknowledge, their inconsistency is not refreshing and serves to seriously undermine the truth and logical consistency.

Your point is worth serious appreciation.
The most important thing is realizing that God doesn't ordain all the details of all of time either through direct decree or through exhaustive foreknowledge. What you said is so solid and right to the point, but I'm not sure what you said sits well with him yet. It'll be interesting to see his reaction.
:thumb:

1Way
January 15th, 2005, 09:23 AM
Awh, man, and I liked your last avatar so much...

So who is this Pedro guy?

Knight
January 15th, 2005, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by 1Way
Your point is worth serious appreciation. What you said is so solid and right to the point, but I'm not sure what you said sits well with him yet. It'll be interesting to see his reaction.
:thumb: True... but if we start beating a dead horse before the horse is even dead the horse tends to run away. :D

Knight
January 15th, 2005, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by 1Way

Awh, man, and I liked your last avatar so much...I have to stay fresh my man! :D


So who is this Pedro guy? I could tell ya..... but then I would have to kill ya! :cool:

Poly
January 15th, 2005, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by Knight

I have to stay fresh my man! :D

I could tell ya..... but then I would have to kill ya! :cool:



I know, I know who it is!!

(unfortunately) :chuckle:

1Way
January 15th, 2005, 11:38 AM
Knight
True... but if we start beating a dead horse before the horse is even dead the horse tends to run away. LOL, yes, such is life sometimes. ... Where's my horse beater.

On the other hand, godly love is not too worried about always making the truth a mild pleasing experience. Even a righteous rebuke is a good and godly thing even though that would scare away a fallen horse in a heartbeat. Yet trouble is averted when the wise man responds with love. His response of agreement or disagreement is up to him, it's not up to us and our harsher or softer environment. Fear should never be too determinative compared to godly love.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. Patience is a virtue that I am a bit leery of because our time is so short. Sometimes being patient is a way of allowing others to remain in false and destructive teachings.

So much to learn and share and ponder and compare to God's word.

All the same, one doable step at a time.
:eek:

godrulz
January 15th, 2005, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

In case anyone didn't see my reply to 1way, I have changed my stance slightly. I believe that the future is both open and closed. Or at least half and half. The reason I have done this is because, doing my own research, I found many passages where God seems to have changed is mind and the passages were the same in context to the rest of the passages. Secondly, I have come to the conclusion that God CHOOSES to limit His knowledge of the future, but COULD have exhaustive foreknowledge if He so wished. So, good sir Knight, mark me down as a "middle viewist."

I commend you for humility and teachableness. We must follow the evidence. The future is partially settled and partially open. These 2 motifs are found in Scripture, and we do not have to pit one set of verses against another.

The way God chose to limit His knowledge of the future was by creating other free moral agents with a say in the future (contingent choices vs determinism). The only way God could have exhaustive foreknowledge is to not create genuinely free moral agents. He would have to create a deterministic universe, which He did not, to know the future as a total certainty vs possibility.

So, I think you are almost there, but tweak the idea that God could have exhaustive foreknowledge if He wants. He does not just turn knowledge off. He knows everything that is logically knowable. His knowledge is limited by the type of creation He freely chose, not by His arbitrary will (you cannot will to not know something that is knowable if you are omniscient).

There is a view about 'middle knowledge' that emphasizes possibilities/counterfactuals. It is also called Molinism. William Lane Craig holds to this, but I think it is also problematic. You might find it interesting.

1Way: The future is partly settled if it is things that God will bring to pass because He purposes to do so apart from man's will (Is. 46).. e.g. After the Fall, the possible plan of redemption was implemented as a certain plan (Gen. 3). This does not mean it became an actuality. This happened at the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ thousands of years later. His Second Coming is also 'predestined' or certain. Nothing will thwart it. The future general judgments in Revelation will come to pass, though the minor details are not fixed or settled. The mystery of the Church was also in the mind and plan of God before Pentecost. He purposed to have a people for Himself, Israel, and the Body of Christ. Just because things are not predestined or decreed from infinite eternity past, does not mean some things about the future are not settled in God's mind. The possibilities will become certainties/actualities. The Messiah was prophesied and did come.

The open areas are genuinely possible, but not certain. God did not know which individuals would be saved billions of years before they were created. This is not an object of knowledge.

There are varities of Open Theism. Dr. Gregory Boyd (calls himself a Neo-Molinist) gives evidence for these 2 motifs in Scripture:

http://www.gregboyd.org/gbfront/index.asp?PageID=494

I trust you will look at the verses and arguments and not say I am looking to man for my ideas. Again, if Enyart can help you understand Mid-Acts and Open Theism, than Boyd could be considered for his understanding of relevant verses. Why reinvent the wheel? There are no original thoughts, someone has said.

Lighthouse
January 15th, 2005, 04:09 PM
1 Way. I did not mean that the future was closed in the vein that God can see the future, but that He knows things He is going to do, and when He is going to do them. And He has decreed certain things. Knight is correct. I agree with what he posted in reply to ninjashadow.

Ninjashadow
January 15th, 2005, 07:14 PM
1way, my change was not as sudden as you may think. If you fully followed my posts, I have said that I am not a staunch CV'er. I have always been open to others opinions. I like to consider myself a reasonable guy and will listen to others.
Now, I have said all along that I agree that God has power over His powers. God IS, WAS, and ALWAYS will BE and I have no doubt about that. Now, as for the self imposed limitations, I believe that God COULD exhaustively know the future, but chooses not to because, in the grand scheme of things, He would know that Skip would reject him and that does not fit into what the bible says. However, God has to know part of the future, otherwise, how else would he be able to tell John the book of Revelations?

1Way
January 15th, 2005, 11:59 PM
ninjashadow, your relative flexibility may be a good thing, but I don't think it is in this case. It was because of several things you said that give me reason to believe that you may be premature about some conclusions you have made. You sound very much like an Arminian, and they are notorious for being irrational and inconsistent concerning these issues of man's free will and God's foreknowledge and His sovereign control. You want to mix the two (open and closed theism) as though they can be mixed, they can not. Either the one is true or the other, not both, that is impossible.

That was why I think you are changing your mind a bit hastily, because you are presenting somewhat inconsistent (or incongruent) ideas.

Please respond to Knight's comment about what you supposedly believe. Is it accurate or what would you change and why?

Ninjashadow
January 16th, 2005, 02:32 AM
I am not an armenian and I'm not irrational. I started this thread because I thought that open view caused God to be limited in a way that caused Him to no longer be an all powerful God. I have changed my view because what Knight and Lighthouse and you have said has made sense. However, there are parts of the future that cannot be completely open because God used the prophets to tell of Jesus coming and there is the book of Revelation.

I guess I kind of look at it this way: God is the writer of a book and he has a beginning (Creation) and He's written the end (Armegeddon or whatnot), but He's letting the characters work their way towards that ending with but a little guidance and help when they ask for it.

godrulz
January 16th, 2005, 02:42 AM
Generalities are revealed. The specific details to achieve the consummation in Revelation could vary and are incidental (it does not matter if I live or die, the earth will be judged with or without my presence). God will bring to pass the judgments regardless of what man does or does not do. He will return to set up a kingdom. We cannot stop this nor do Christians want to.

1Way
January 16th, 2005, 11:05 AM
ninjashadow,
I did not mean to insinuate that you are an Arminian, but only that you reason (somewhat) like one. However I find your clarification to be both helpful and encouraging, but I still wonder about your response to Knight's line drawn in the sand, please respond. You have been repeatedly drawn attention to it and yet for some reason you seem to be reluctant to respond.

It's ok, relax, your with friends, or at least family, you don't have to answer everything all the time. And we don't have to all think and talk alike, ,,, we are just supposed to have the same believes and faith, that's all.
:eek:

I like your recent expression in that parts of the future can not be completely open (as in open to optional outcomes? No, even some absolute certainties can have unfold with optional events. Open to contingency? Yes, some yet future things are not a matter of contingency, instead they rely upon God and His unchanging nature.). Technically that is still a contingency, but one that rests upon an absolutely certain being. So I suppose that you mean to suggest that some yet future events involve a great deal of (or absolute) certainty and not simply that some of the future is not like the open view which involves numerous concepts
foreknowledge, exhaustive or not
yet future contingency, real or not
yet future certainty, absolute and exhaustive or not
man's free will, real or not
optional yet future outcomes, real or not
I feel that it is important to maintain that either the future is closed or it is open to at least some contingency/uncertainty/optional outcomes. The decisive factor is stated in the negative, that the future is closed to any contingency/uncertainty/optional outcomes, therefore we naturally arrived at the open view which is opposed to the closed view, but positively stated is that there is at least some contingency/uncertainty/optional outcomes in the future.

Some yet future things are absolutely certain, but not in the same sense that the closed view requires them to be. That distinction may become more and more helpful as you consider these views.

Thanks for including me in your conversion process, :o but I should say that apparently these guys; Knight and lighthouse, deserve foundational credit, although looking back I was in on some early discussions. I hope some of my illustrations proved helpful, but I mostly agreed with what Knight and lighthouse was trying to say and tried to press home a logical constraint, namely that the future can not be both open and closed to at least some contingency, that is a logical impossibility. Either the future is according to the closed view, or the open view. Maybe that point is less than clear or agreeable, maybe not. The important thing is that you seem to becoming grounded against the false teachings most commonly associated with closed theism. Let God be true and every man a liar.

Blessings to you :cloud9: and thanks for starting such an interesting thread. Looking forward to more!

Emo
January 16th, 2005, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

1way, my change was not as sudden as you may think. If you fully followed my posts, I have said that I am not a staunch CV'er. I have always been open to others opinions. I like to consider myself a reasonable guy and will listen to others.
Now, I have said all along that I agree that God has power over His powers. God IS, WAS, and ALWAYS will BE and I have no doubt about that. Now, as for the self imposed limitations, I believe that God COULD exhaustively know the future, but chooses not to because, in the grand scheme of things, He would know that Skip would reject him and that does not fit into what the bible says. However, God has to know part of the future, otherwise, how else would he be able to tell John the book of Revelations?

Like godrulz has recommended, I suggest reading the book God of the Possible by Gregory Boyd. It definitely helps to prove that the future is not exhaustively settled like most Christians think. A friend let me borrow the book one time & Boyd's substantive arguments are truely valid.

Pedro - a man of few words but easy to get along with
"make her a cake"

Turbo
January 16th, 2005, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by emohaslove

Pedro - a man of few words but easy to get along with
"make her a cake" Build her a cake or something.

Emo
January 16th, 2005, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by Turbo

Build her a cake or something.

Is that what he said? If so, thanks for clarifying Turbo. Too bad his cake idea bombed. Oh yeah, still trying to keep Pedro a secret.

Nice hair Pedro!

1Way
January 16th, 2005, 05:06 PM
emoslave and ninjashadow,
I don't recommend digging deep into details until you get a solid overview of truth. God's word should be the primary source for our faith and is how I best understand the open view among other things. Plainly, although I'm sure that you can learn a lot from Gregory Boyd's ideas, I have not read much of his work but many open theists like his stuff. But you also stand to learn some bad stuff from him too. I believe that he has room for improvement when it comes to broader theological disciplines. I believe that the issue is very simple if you give God's word a fair shake while also suspending so many manmade presuppositions.

My advice is to not focus on man's ideas, instead seek and promote what God promotes, understand His word first and foremost prior to becoming well read in man's ideas. Human tradition and what seems right in man's eyes is "the" hotbed for false teachings, but God's word is the location of truth. The choice should be easy, but man has an appetite for novelty.

If I was to promote a manmade work over this issue, it would be stuff from Bob Enyart. He does an excellent job and from my understanding, he is most conservative and tends to not stray from what God's word clearly teaches. He's also one of my favorite bible teaches, so this suggestion is a bit biased.

Ninjashadow
January 16th, 2005, 06:52 PM
I did not mean to insinuate that you are an Arminian, but only that you reason (somewhat) like one. However I find your clarification to be both helpful and encouraging, but I still wonder about your response to Knight's line drawn in the sand, please respond. You have been repeatedly drawn attention to it and yet for some reason you seem to be reluctant to respond.

Which question haven't I answered? It has not been my intention to avoid any question. I've been doing my best to answer all questions.

1Way
January 16th, 2005, 08:00 PM
ninjashadow,
I didn't say it was a question, sometimes clarifications, and challenges, or tests, or curiosities of one's views are more or less implied. Here is what Knight said to you.
... The most important thing is realizing that God doesn't ordain all the details of all of time either through direct decree or through exhaustive foreknowledge. And here is what I said to Knight in response.
What you said is so solid and right to the point, but I'm not sure what you said sits well with him yet. It'll be interesting to see his reaction. I am guilty of mostly reading what others directly reply to myself, and so I didn't fault you for not catching my follow up comment which was directed at Knight. I'm just pointing out that Knight sort of elaborated the conclusion using somewhat different words which you may or may not agree with, and I'm just curious about that.

Actually, I'm more interested in what you really believe beyond simply stating that you have acquired a new view. Sometimes a changed view is not very different especially if the support reasoning is a bit unfamiliar. But I have found some things that you did not respond to. Here's the most curious one. I said
Now, back to your theology as I understand it so far. By your view, no one can do whatever they want to do, they have no choice but to do what God foreknows they must do. The lack of optional outcomes eliminates free will because there are no alternative choices to choose from, it's, would you like a cheeseburger and fries tonight, or how about the manager's special instead? It's a cheeseburger with fries! That is not a choice, there are no alternatives, no options, thus, no free will.

2b
Exhaustive foreknowledge and divine repentance
The second problem is that God does not lie, right? But in His word, God rationally explains and demonstrates that He sometimes relents/repents by not doing what He said and/or thought He was going to do. Whether you agree with that concept or not, that is what God's word says God does. So at least from my perspective, rational divine repentance is a bible truth that contradicts the view that God has exhaustive foreknowledge, ,,, because if God knows everything that will ever happen, then of course He would never truthfully change His mind and not do what He thought He was going to do, instead, He would always do what He always knew He was going to do. Then you said
2b. If God has an exhaustive knowledge of the future, then he would already know if he chose to change his mind then, wouldn't he? and then I said
If you emphasize that God has no limits, then maybe that sounds reasonable, but if you consider that God is righteous and just and holy and good and does not lie, then your idea servers strongly to contradict (in various ways or degrees) all of these well known facts about God! God is a bit sensitive about how people represent God, He requires that His followers should not portray Him in a bad light. To say that you are changing your mind, when all along you never changed your mind, is a perfect lie and a logical contradiction that cannot be true. However God is true and He does not lie, so it is elementary that God does not have exhaustive foreknowledge and also changes His mind because they are completely incompatible. To which you never directly responded. I would say that unless you have been holding back on us, you are possibly susceptible to an argument against your new view on the basis that scripture does not actually teach that God changes His mind, He only sounds like He does to our finite minds, but in truth He never changes His mind! Many closed theists try to explain away divine repentance in the scriptures by saying that it does not mean what it says, it's figurative speech, God was not caught off guard and then had to change His mind, instead, man changed and God did not.

So here's your chance to test the waters of your new position. How would you answer that exact bible challenge against the open view, namely that God never honestly changes His mind?

Ninjashadow
January 16th, 2005, 09:06 PM
I have said that I believed that God knew the future exhaustively because it seemed that God wouldn't be all powerful if He could not know the future. I didn't like that idea at all, however, as I have said several times, I started this thread with an open mind and wanted to figure things out. I argued against open view, because I wanted to be convinced. I think that it has been demonstrated that in the long run (all of the future) that if God knows it exhaustively, then free will IS lost. God would know that Skip would reject Him and that does not fit with scripture. God wants every person to come to Him. I have tried to describe what I believe by the scenario about the author. If you don't understand what I meant by that, I can explain more.

Lighthouse
January 16th, 2005, 10:12 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I have said that I believed that God knew the future exhaustively because it seemed that God wouldn't be all powerful if He could not know the future. I didn't like that idea at all, however, as I have said several times, I started this thread with an open mind and wanted to figure things out. I argued against open view, because I wanted to be convinced. I think that it has been demonstrated that in the long run (all of the future) that if God knows it exhaustively, then free will IS lost. God would know that Skip would reject Him and that does not fit with scripture. God wants every person to come to Him. I have tried to describe what I believe by the scenario about the author. If you don't understand what I meant by that, I can explain more.
:BRAVO:

1Way
January 16th, 2005, 10:32 PM
ninjashadow,
Thanks for the clarification. I did not read the original scenario, so I'm a bit vague on your treatment, even though I picked it up and used it once. You can be a bit unclear at times. For example, you said
I have said that I believed that God knew the future exhaustively because it seemed that God wouldn't be all powerful if He could not know the future. (1) I didn't like that idea at all, however, as I have said several times, I started this thread with an open mind and wanted to figure things out. I argued against open view, (2) because I wanted to be convinced.
(1) You didn't like what idea? That God might not know all of the future, or what you said you believed that God knew the future exhaustively because it seems that God wouldn't be all powerful if He could not know the future. Sometimes, perhaps often, we believe ideas that we do not particularly like.

(2) You wanted to be convinced of what?

I said
I would say that unless you have been holding back on us, you are possibly susceptible to an argument against your new view on the basis that scripture does not actually teach that God changes His mind, He only sounds like He does to our finite minds, but in truth He never changes His mind! Many closed theists try to explain away divine repentance in the scriptures by saying that it does not mean what it says, it's figurative speech, God was not caught off guard and then had to change His mind, instead, man changed and God did not.

So here's your chance to test the waters of your new position. How would you answer that exact bible challenge against the open view, namely that God never honestly changes His mind? But you refrain from answering. You don't have to answer if you don't want to, but you seem like the kind of person who was enjoying this discussion...

Ninjashadow
January 17th, 2005, 03:00 AM
(1) You didn't like what idea? That God might not know all of the future, or what you said you believed that God knew the future exhaustively because it seems that God wouldn't be all powerful if He could not know the future. Sometimes, perhaps often, we believe ideas that we do not particularly like.

What I meant was that I thought that if God could not know the future, then He was not all powerful. The OV was first presented to me by a philosophy professor who (besides converting to a sect of judiasm just so he could believe whatever he wanted) presented it in such a way that it sounded like God would have to know the future exhaustively to be God and if He did know it, then humans have no free will. So, what the professor pretty much said was that humans either have no free will or God is not really God. That was the only knowledge that I had of the open view.


(2) You wanted to be convinced of what?

I wanted to be convinced that God could still be God and not know the future exhuastively.


But you refrain from answering. You don't have to answer if you don't want to, but you seem like the kind of person who was enjoying this discussion...

I am enjoying the discussion and I appreciate that you are taking the time to help me out. I'm sorry, but I thought I've answered your questions. I am not intentionally avoiding answering anything, so please tell me what I am not answering.

Emo
January 17th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by 1Way

emoslave and ninjashadow,
I don't recommend digging deep into details until you get a solid overview of truth. God's word should be the primary source for our faith and is how I best understand the open view among other things.

I agree

Romans 3:4

Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.


I believe that he has room for improvement when it comes to broader theological disciplines.

Boyd simply analyzes Scripture to help prove that the Bible is full of open theism. My faith is relatively new & he gives great insight & theological perspective. You & I share the view of Open Theism. Remember, I'm not a "middle viewist.":think:


If I was to promote a manmade work over this issue, it would be stuff from Bob Enyart. He does an excellent job and from my understanding, he is most conservative and tends to not stray from what God's word clearly teaches. He's also one of my favorite bible teaches, so this suggestion is a bit biased.

I know someone personally who is a big fan of Enyart. I think Bob would agree with most of G. Boyd's theology since they both teach the Open View. They may slightly differ on a few things, mostly semantics. I have read some of "The Plot" & would also highly recommend it to anyone who seeks sound Biblical teaching.

1Way
January 17th, 2005, 07:01 PM
ninjashadow,
Nonresponses
1
LOL Answering a responsive or clarifying idea does not always correlate to answering a question. In particular, this is the second time I told you that it was not a question, it was just a statement using new terms over the same basic idea. And I was just curious how you viewed the restatement of your view. First here is a recent question about that from me from post 177.
Please respond to Knight's comment about what you supposedly believe. Is it accurate or what would you change and why? And this was the statement that Knight originally said
The most important thing is realizing that God doesn't ordain all the details of all of time either through direct decree or through exhaustive foreknowledge. Again, it was just a curiosity, after all this time, my interest has waned and changed onto other things.

2
But that was not the question I was asking you about where you said that you thought you already answered. It was in the post you were responding to. Perhaps you are scanning these posts a bit quickly. Here it is again.


I would say that unless you have been holding back on us, you are possibly susceptible to an argument against your new view on the basis that scripture does not actually teach that God changes His mind, He only sounds like He does to our finite minds, but in truth He never changes His mind! Many closed theists try to explain away divine repentance in the scriptures by saying that it does not mean what it says, it's figurative speech, God was not caught off guard and then had to change His mind, instead, man changed and God did not.

So here's your chance to test the waters of your
new position. How would you answer that exact
bible challenge against the open view, namely
that God never honestly changes His mind? I am even more so encouraged by your response to the open view and more importantly, to what God teaches instead of what man teaches. Your description of that professor was rather chilling. Am I right in assuming that you may have suspected that he did not accurately represent the open view?

1Way
January 17th, 2005, 07:28 PM
emohaslove,
You said
Boyd simply analyzes Scripture to help prove that the Bible is full of open theism. My faith is relatively new & he gives great insight & theological perspective. You & I share the view of Open Theism. Remember, I'm not a "middle viewist." Ah but you gave the middle view credence (right?), something that I think I would not do. But more to the point. I have discussed some matters with Mr. Boyd, and I do not find him to be particularly amendable to corrections to various sorts of errors, especially biblical issues.

I have personally met with Mr Sanders (In general, I find his reasoning to be more bible focused than I do Boyd), he's one of the fab five who wrote the book "Open Theism", and I sat in on one of his classes maybe 2 years ago or so (before he was let go from his job because of theological pressures and a lack of enrolment concerns). And I learned a great deal, no kidding, it was great! I would love to see Boyd in person because he has such awesome speaking capabilities and enthusiasm. But I don't think he and I would fare well hashing out our theological differences.

Like I said, I'm confident that one can learn great things from someone like Greg Boyd, but I openly doubt his broader theological background. I say that his errors would likely spill over into his teachings even though you may think it does not.

I don't think it's about semantics with Boyd's issues, it's that he can become too philosophically concerned and go for a long time without referencing the bible. I get the greatest thrills from hearing God and His word set people free. There is a point where philosophy that is overdone becomes dubious. He's way smarter and better learned than I am, but, I think I'm doing just fine relying on God's word as heavily as possible.

Ninjashadow
January 17th, 2005, 10:46 PM
The most important thing is realizing that God doesn't ordain all the details of all of time either through direct decree or through exhaustive foreknowledge.

I realize that God does not know the future exhuastively, but that certain parts are closed and cannot be changed (i.e. the events of Revelation)


I would say that unless you have been holding back on us, you are possibly susceptible to an argument against your new view on the basis that scripture does not actually teach that God changes His mind, He only sounds like He does to our finite minds, but in truth He never changes His mind! Many closed theists try to explain away divine repentance in the scriptures by saying that it does not mean what it says, it's figurative speech, God was not caught off guard and then had to change His mind, instead, man changed and God did not.

I would say that God was not caught off guard, but sort of gave people an out. For instance, He said one thing would happen, but if someone did something, something else would happen. It sounds like He changed His mind, but in reality, being the divine and all good God that he is, he allowed people to change what was going to happen.


I am even more so encouraged by your response to the open view and more importantly, to what God teaches instead of what man teaches. Your description of that professor was rather chilling. Am I right in assuming that you may have suspected that he did not accurately represent the open view?

I didn't really know. That was the first time that I had heard that particular concept and wasn't sure what to think. That is one reason why I began this thread.

Balder
January 17th, 2005, 11:35 PM
Before setting Creation in motion, and before creating the Lake of Fire for Satan and his angels, do you think that God knew that the majority of humankind would end up there, even if He didn't know how many or exactly whom?

godrulz
January 17th, 2005, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by Balder

Before setting Creation in motion, and before creating the Lake of Fire for Satan and his angels, do you think that God knew that the majority of humankind would end up there, even if He didn't know how many or exactly whom?

God knew the possibilities and probabilities. He would not know the actualities/certainties until space-time history unfolded as choices were made and beings came into existence through procreation.

The millennial kingdom will see new people born throughtout eternity in addition to those in glorified bodies who will not procreate. This would mean that eventually the righteous will outnumber the fixed number of lost people. It is speculation, but perhaps other planets will be populated in eternity, in addition to us who are in the New Jerusalem with a heavenly hope that comes down above the new earth. This is not to be confused with Mormon and JW concepts.

The important thing now is that what we do in our generation may determine whether heaven has a greater population than hell (Dave Irwin). We must plunder hell to populate heaven (Bonnke) as we proclaim the Gospel in the power of the Spirit

Emo
January 18th, 2005, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by 1Way

Ah but you gave the middle view credence (right?), something that I think I would not do.

"middle view"

I was definitely joking, couldn't you tell? I saw this terminology used in a prior post on this thread. But, I think "middle view" is a step forward (progress) instead of a big step backward (regress) like "closed view."

I have seen Ninjashadow transition through this whole thread & am proud to see his ability to utilize an "open" mind.

By the way, the Mr. Sanders you mentioned, could you provide me with a list of some of his work?

Thank you

Lighthouse
January 18th, 2005, 01:59 AM
Balder-
No. I don't think God knew that any men would end up in the lake of fire when He created it. And I'm not certain that the majority of mankind will end up there, either.

Clete
January 18th, 2005, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by lighthouse

Balder-
No. I don't think God knew that any men would end up in the lake of fire when He created it. And I'm not certain that the majority of mankind will end up there, either.

:think:

Is there any Biblical basis for believing that the lake of fire was created separate from the rest of the creation?

Exodus 20:11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.

This seems to indicate that Lucifer and the rest of the Angelic beings were all created sometime during the creation week. If the lake of fire was created afterward, then it would still have been after to fall of man (There is reason to believe that Lucifer's sin was the tempting of Adam and Eve).
Of course we can't know for certain but the point is that dogmatic statements either way cannot be made. It depends on when the Lake of Fire was made.
One thing is for certain, God could not have known what percentage of men would end up in Hell. It was not impossible that all men would end up there when He created mankind. What I think is terrific is that God considered it worth the risk regardless of the number that would follow Him.

Resting in Him,
Clete

godrulz
January 18th, 2005, 04:29 PM
Satan appeared in the garden early in human history. My impression was that Lucifer and angels were created before material creation (universe/earth).

1Way
January 19th, 2005, 12:42 AM
Ninjashadow,
You said
I would say that God was not caught off guard, but sort of gave people an out. For instance, He said one thing would happen, but if someone did something, something else would happen. It sounds like He changed His mind, but in reality, being the divine and all good God that he is, he allowed people to change what was going to happen. You sort of still sound like a closed theist. Your strongest argument served to show how it was that God really did not change His mind. You should understand that the vast majority of closed theists, even while arguing against open theism, sound almost exactly like what you said.

I recommend that you do not contrast against God changing His mind, but rather accentuate that fact. God does indeed change His mind, and once you help someone see that much, then the idea that He has exhaustive foreknowledge is a contradiction in terms. You can never change your mind if you already know everything that will ever happen.

Maybe it was you who suggested that God could know in advance about changing His mind. (Chuckles) That is a contradictory idea. The only reason that you change your mind and not do what you said or thought you were going to do, is exactly because you did not absolutely know what you were going to do, and thus when things changed, so did your plans.

Plainly, if you knew all along what the exact end result would be, then you would always truthfully say that that was what you were going to do, and since God is a faithful and unlying, it would be a lie to say otherwise. You can never change your mind about anything if you absolutely know what you will do. And God does not just say that He changed His mind, He demonstrates that fact by reversing some prophesies.

Blessings

1Way
January 19th, 2005, 01:03 AM
Balder,
You said
Before setting Creation in motion, and before creating the Lake of Fire for Satan and his angels, do you think that God knew that the majority of humankind would end up there, even if He didn't know how many or exactly whom? That is a great question, but one that is not easily answered as I believe depending upon the reason for, and the intent of, the question. I don't think that God is surprised by the fact that most hate Him, but at the same time, God created this universe and said it is good! I believe that God would have been happy to let Adam and Eve live in wonderful commune with God prior to them sinning. It seems to me that it is possible that they could have kept from sinning for a long time, but they didn't, so such a thing is speculation on my part.

More certainly in my mind is that God knew that in the end, He would permanently keep those who love God away from the harm that evil brings.

I really enjoy the whole freedom issue and it's relationship with authentic godly and loving relationships. In a nutshell, if God wanted to stack the odds in favor of human's loving Him, then to that exact same extent, I believe God would have been guilty of being a bit ego centric and wanting to control others so that He can be loved by more people. This idea lends more to the idea that God is frail and susceptible to popularity issues.

However my understanding of love is always a part of a freewill choice. And man's nature is far from the perfection that God is. The freedom to reject one's offer of love makes acceptance that much more precious and meaningful.

Evil is dangerous, destructive, and leads to death, and God doesn't want that for His own household, so it's only fitting that God would separate and vanquish evil from His household.

Put in the most basic terms, a father who loves his family would never willingly let some evil person harm his loved ones. Therefore, God permanently separates evil people from His people because He loves and honors those who trust in Him and God rejects those who reject Him. Justice and goodness and love and reason would have it no other way (as far as I can tell).

Balder
January 19th, 2005, 01:25 AM
Hi, 1Way,

I don't intend to go on too much of a tangent, but just going on what Clete wrote above (about God thinking it's "worth it" to risk losing all humanity to hellfire), and also on what you said above, I would like to ask if you think God "planned" from the beginning for a portion of His creation to be cast into a place of eternal and inescapable suffering. While this could just be another "Is Hell fair?" question, I ask it in relation to the notion of God's omnipotence. If God is not totally omniscient (meaning knowing the outcome of all free will decisions beforehand), is it possible that He also isn't totally omnipotent? Or is it that for some reason He really wanted to make the Lake of Fire and to put some people there? Because if God is all-powerful, there are a lot of things He could have done to protect His people. He could have simply allowed evil people to die and be no more, without resurrecting them in imperishable bodies and then punishing them forever. He could have allowed evil folks to continue to reincarnate until they eventually came around, in a universe separate from the kingdom He is establishing. He could have possibly done other things as well, besides designing and creating a Lake of Fire to imprison and "burn" unbelievers terribly forever. Or ... is it possible He didn't have much of a choice? Are there laws of logic or some other sort of laws that constrain Him and force Him to choose this option?

Peace,
Balder

Clete
January 19th, 2005, 06:48 AM
Originally posted by godrulz

Satan appeared in the garden early in human history. My impression was that Lucifer and angels were created before material creation (universe/earth).

How do you deal with Ex. 20:11?
Does it not seem to indicate that Heaven and everything in it was created along with everything else?

godrulz
January 19th, 2005, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

How do you deal with Ex. 20:11?
Does it not seem to indicate that Heaven and everything in it was created along with everything else?

Grammatically, I think it means in 6 days God made the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1), the sea and all that is in the SEA (Hebrew repetition, not a reference that God made everything in the heavens during the 6 days). I would check with a Hebrew scholar on the antecedents and grammar (all that is in it seems to refer to sea, not all of creation, material and immaterial).

We would be speculating or arguing from silence as to when the angels were created (and the fall of Satan). Satan simply shows up in the garden. Gen. 1 is explicit about material creation, not the spiritual angelic realm. Isn't there another verse that implies the angels sang at creation (morning stars?)?? One would think that the Fall of Lucifer would be recorded in Gen. 1-3 if it happened that proximal to the creation of the universe and man.

Clete
January 19th, 2005, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by godrulz

Grammatically, I think it means in 6 days God made the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1), the sea and all that is in the SEA (Hebrew repetition, not a reference that God made everything in the heavens during the 6 days). I would check with a Hebrew scholar on the antecedents and grammar (all that is in it seems to refer to sea, not all of creation, material and immaterial).
I beleive that those I've read on the issue were very familiar with Biblical languages. I'll check it out.


We would be speculating or arguing from silence as to when the angels were created (and the fall of Satan).
To one degreee or another yes, I agree. Thus dogmatic assertions should not be made.


Satan simply shows up in the garden.
It is interesting to wonder how Satan had access to the Garden of God. Lucifer, prior to falling would have had easy access.


Gen. 1 is explicit about material creation, not the spiritual angelic realm. Isn't there another verse that implies the angels sang at creation (morning stars?)??
I believe there is but it is at least possible that they sang almost immediately after having been created. That is to say, that such a verse doesn't say anything about how long they had existed.


One would think that the Fall of Lucifer would be recorded in Gen. 1-3 if it happened that proximal to the creation of the universe and man.
I beleive it is. It seems to me that whenever we read about Lucifer sinning or the introduction of sin into the world/universe, Gen. 1-3 is where you go to read about it.
I believe there is strong reason to believe that the temptation of Adam and Eve was the very sin that caused the fall of Lucifer. I readily admit, however that "strong reason to believe" is not "proof" and so I wouldn't choose to die on that particular hill or anything.

Resting in Him,
Clete

1Way
January 22nd, 2005, 12:36 PM
Balder,
You said
I don't intend to go on too much of a tangent, but just going on what Clete wrote above (about God thinking it's "worth it" to risk losing all humanity to hellfire), and also on what you said above, I would like to ask if you think God "planned" from the beginning for a portion of His creation to be cast into a place of eternal and inescapable suffering. While this could just be another "Is Hell fair?" question, I ask it in relation to the notion of God's omnipotence. If God is not totally omniscient (meaning knowing the outcome of all free will decisions beforehand), is it possible that He also isn't totally omnipotent? Or is it that for some reason He really wanted to make the Lake of Fire and to put some people there? Another thread I think you may not realize how many perhaps errant presuppositions you are have in your reasoning. Some of which may not apply to God at all. Seeing how you do not want to delve very deeply, I'm constrained to answer in brief along the highlighted train of thought, but we could start another thread for this tangent if you wish, just let me know.

Freedom of will If my presuppositions are correct, then everything that Clete and I have been saying makes perfect sense. True love is a large part of that presupposition. And authentic godly love can not force another to love you back, you have to allow the other the freedom to fully reject you if you want to love them. Now, if you would rather control them like a puppet, then what you end up with is more like God loving God, only He uses puppets to make believe that they actually love Him.

Authentic love and respect You can't force anyone to love nor respect you, it's your life investment with interest and caring and time as an expression of your love offering that you hope another will respond favorably to. Some people just do not have enough emotional and social or spiritual stability and maturity to risk rejection, but God who is the ultimate in all things good and right and loving, He can handle it if someone purposes in their heart to hate God instead of love Him.

Omniscience and Omnipotence Power, you say? Don't underestimate the power of love and the corruption that control represents when it replaces a freewill response. Murdering or kidnapping rapists thrive on the notion of controlling others just so that they can satisfy their selfish desires. But we know such a violation of a person's free will is a crime, even worthy of being put to death as God commands.

God became a man to reach mankind
and to help mankind reach the lost world
man reaching man for God in love I say that the best way for man to turn to God and repent from evil and turn to His righteousness, is through the venue of love that cares to spread the truth of the gospel that we might snatch some souls from out of the fire. So why do you assume that true love needs to have controlling power? Have you ever respected anyone simply because they forced you to respect them? Do you think that the most controlling relationships are the one's that represent the most authentic love? Or do you think that freedom to reject is not only important, but is actually indispensable to true love?
:)

Emo
January 25th, 2005, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by 1Way


Freedom of will If my presuppositions are correct, then everything that Clete and I have been saying makes perfect sense. True love is a large part of that presupposition. And authentic godly love can not force another to love you back, you have to allow the other the freedom to fully reject you if you want to love them. Now, if you would rather control them like a puppet, then what you end up with is more like God loving God, only He uses puppets to make believe that they actually love Him.

Authentic love and respect You can't force anyone to love nor respect you, it's your life investment with interest and caring and time as an expression of your love offering that you hope another will respond favorably to. Some people just do not have enough emotional and social or spiritual stability and maturity to risk rejection, but God who is the ultimate in all things good and right and loving, He can handle it if someone purposes in their heart to hate God instead of love Him.

Omniscience and Omnipotence Power, you say? Don't underestimate the power of love and the corruption that control represents when it replaces a freewill response. Murdering or kidnapping rapists thrive on the notion of controlling others just so that they can satisfy their selfish desires. But we know such a violation of a person's free will is a crime, even worthy of being put to death as God commands.

God became a man to reach mankind
and to help mankind reach the lost world
man reaching man for God in love I say that the best way for man to turn to God and repent from evil and turn to His righteousness, is through the venue of love that cares to spread the truth of the gospel that we might snatch some souls from out of the fire. So why do you assume that true love needs to have controlling power? Have you ever respected anyone simply because they forced you to respect them? Do you think that the most controlling relationships are the one's that represent the most authentic love? Or do you think that freedom to reject is not only important, but is actually indispensable to true love?
:)

:1Way: I have the freedom to love this stuff! :D



:up:

Clete
January 25th, 2005, 10:25 PM
Originally posted by emohaslove

:1Way: I have the freedom to love this stuff! :D



:up:

Hey! Three smilies in one post! You're getting pretty good at this! :thumb: :D

I agree with you, by the way! 1Way's the man!

Resting in Him,
Clete

1Way
January 26th, 2005, 05:16 PM
emohaslove,
LOL, what a keen response, and thank you very kindly for your support.

On one hand, it's good to provide a positive learning environment, and to influence others to do and believe the right things. But to make it that ultimately everyone must love God, represents a troubling amount of control that in my view, destroys the notion of authentic love, but instead it looks suspiciously like someone who has serious control issues.

Let freedom ring!!! Love is worth the risk!!! You can't force someone to love you!!!

As to Clete, :o what can I say, he's a wonderful brother in Christ. We are fortunate to have him here at TOL.

:think: I wonder what Balder has to say about all this "control verses freedom" stuff...

1Way
January 26th, 2005, 05:28 PM
Balder,
While I wait for your response. I'm curious, since the Christian faith is centered on the person of Jesus Christ, and you apparently reject Him as your Lord and Savior, so what exactly was it that led you to that outcome?

The way I see it, if you reject Jesus because of who He is, and you understand who He is according to His own word, then you have acted upon your own free will knowing full well what you are doing. But if you have rejected Him because of what others teach, then I have to wonder if errant man has led you astray in some way.

Hmmmm, wait a minuet. If it's ok to force the entire world to love God, then it must be ok for us to force you to believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. So where do you live so that we might pay you a visit??? :D

Balder
January 26th, 2005, 10:37 PM
Hi, 1Way,

I'm sorry I let this conversation slip. It's quite a busy time for me right now, personally, and I've also been involved in some discussions on another site.

I agree with you that love that is forced or controlled is not love. But if someone tells you, "I have built a furnace. If you do not love me, on my own terms, I am going to throw you in it," how is that not exhibiting force or control? Isn't that the ultimate control? Love me, and proclaim my son king over your life, or I will put you into a place I've made where you will suffer unimaginably forever. If a man made a marriage proposal to a woman on those terms, don't you think she would feel a little coercion?

I expect several sorts of objections to my observations here, and of course I am willing to discuss them, debate them, and learn something new. I would love to be proved wrong about this, actually, because I just think it's a horrible worldview and I would love to be convinced that the implications of the popular Christian worldview are nothing like this. But in my experience, they are. No Christian openly confesses these things, but in the things they take for granted, they're actually built in and sitting in the background. Because God set up the whole show: he built the Lake of Fire himself, and one way or another, he will sustain those who reject him in a condition of unending conscious torment forever. He could have done things a different way, and for whatever reason, he didn't.

Peace,

Balder

P.S. I live in California, if you can find me among all the other nuts here!

Lighthouse
January 27th, 2005, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by Balder

I agree with you that love that is forced or controlled is not love. But if someone tells you, "I have built a furnace. If you do not love me, on my own terms, I am going to throw you in it," how is that not exhibiting force or control? Isn't that the ultimate control? Love me, and proclaim my son king over your life, or I will put you into a place I've made where you will suffer unimaginably forever. If a man made a marriage proposal to a woman on those terms, don't you think she would feel a little coercion?
If that were the case, then yes.


I expect several sorts of objections to my observations here, and of course I am willing to discuss them, debate them, and learn something new.
Good. That's why I'm here.


I would love to be proved wrong about this, actually, because I just think it's a horrible worldview and I would love to be convinced that the implications of the popular Christian worldview are nothing like this. But in my experience, they are. No Christian openly confesses these things, but in the things they take for granted, they're actually built in and sitting in the background. Because God set up the whole show: he built the Lake of Fire himself, and one way or another, he will sustain those who reject him in a condition of unending conscious torment forever. He could have done things a different way, and for whatever reason, he didn't.
Actually He did. God created the lake of fire, not for us, but for Satan, and demons, and death, and hell, and the grave. If any human goes there, it is by choice, in rejection of God. And God does not sustain anyone in the lake of fire. I, personally, do not believe they are sustained at all, but destroyed. But even those who disagree with that last part tend to agree with the first part, that God does not sustain anyone in the lake of fire. God does not reach there. At all.

This is not a, "Love me or go to hell," scenario. There are only two places to go when you die. And God wants you with Him, even to the point of dying to make it happen. If you reject that, it is your choice, and your fault. And It breaks His heart. But wickedness can not stand in the midst of righteousness, so it's either let Him make you righteous, or be departed from Him forever. He wants to make you righteous. Let Him.

Clete
January 27th, 2005, 07:43 AM
The nature of Hell has been debated for a very long time. Is it a place of torment? Yes, certainly. Is it a place of torture? Well, I frankly don't know. I doubt it, but since I'm not going there I haven't felt much need to spend a great deal of time trying to figure it out. The one thing I do know is this. God is good, loving and just, whatever punishment one gets in Hell will be likewise.

The point is that if you don't go to heaven, you will go to hell. In fact, because of our wickedness, we are all deserving of Hell, all of us, including you Balder!
It is not a situation in which God says "Love Me or go to Hell." as if He is some selfishly insecure nut job who can't handle being rejected. If God was afraid of being rejected He would never had created us with the ability to love Him in the first place.

The situation is much more like God saying, "You are headed to Hell because you are wicked! Allow Me to suffer for you so that I can justly rescue you from your punishment, and bring you to heaven to live forever with Me!"

Resting in Him,
Clete

1Way
January 27th, 2005, 10:35 PM
Balder,
You said
I agree with you that love that is forced or controlled is not love. But if someone tells you, "I have built a furnace. If you do not love me, on my own terms, I am going to throw you in it," how is that not exhibiting force or control? And right off the bat I see we are using two different understandings of what "force" and "control" mean. To control someone according to our previous and mostly consistent examples is to force someone to comply to your will quite regardless if it is "for" or "against" their will, reducing their will to a non issue, or in fact completely violating their will. Last I checked, warning someone of a real danger is a good thing. And no, God did not create the danger, good and evil are real issues that God allows people to experience, and again, since (godly) love is the ultimate, then He can not rightly force and control people to love Him. He has to let evil people be the way they are, unless He can persuade them to change for the better.

Previously you said something to the effect of, why not just reincarnate everyone until they all finally love God. Or why not just keep giving second chances until everyone gets saved. Both exhibits complete control over the other person's will, only spread out in a gradual manner. It's, love God and become His, or keep being reincarnated until you finally do. And I said the more direct approach, a puppet and a puppeteer can not be in true love, you must respond to a love offered according to your own free will, love can not be forced.

But now you say, if you warn someone of impending danger of eternal consequences, that that is somehow controlling!?! The fact is that even by your own admission, from the Christian view, many people are not controlled into loving and worshiping God, instead most are eternally damned, so you are arguing against yourself. Which is it? The Christian God is, or He is not, a control freak?

Secondly, would you look at a loving God who came and died for the world so that everyone could be saved and who clearly warns everyone about the impending doom of damnation if you don't follow His gospel unto salvation,,, as being anything but loving and right and good and demonstrating a desire to influence people to do what is right and good?

I mean, would you fault a firefighter as being an unloving control freak for warning people to stay away from a terrible fire?

Then you said
Isn't that the ultimate control? Love me, and proclaim my son king over your life, or I will put you into a place I've made where you will suffer unimaginably forever. If a man made a marriage proposal to a woman on those terms, don't you think she would feel a little coercion? You seem to think that good and evil are not absolute issues, or that they are either nominal issues, or that evil hearts can not remain evil for eternity. I think issues of good and evil are absolute issues. And if a heart is good or evil, then it will be that way according to it's own nature, but God gives us an entire lifetime to repent and love Him instead of letting hatred and evil and sin consume yourself and how you treat others.

God explains that His enemies do not want Him in their lives no matter what, so then what makes you think reform might happen when the nature of evil is so terrible and consistently illogical? It makes no good sense to do or be evil, you can never justify it, it is irrational. To do good is good, but to do bad is bad, yet people do bad and it makes no (good) sense why people prefer to be evil. If God sees that we have honestly accepted His gospel unto salvation, then we have responded rightly to a real danger and a real love. But if God sees a person who has rejected His gospel unto salvation, then that person has responded wrongly to both a real danger and a real love.

You also said
Because God set up the whole show: he built the Lake of Fire himself, and one way or another, he will sustain those who reject him in a condition of unending conscious torment forever. He could have done things a different way, and for whatever reason, he didn't. Remember, according to the open view, God does not sustain any evil, God only lets you be evil if you will not of your own free will submit to that which is the ultimate good, God. Good and evil are not arbitrary or temporal issues. Try it sometime, and please pick something that you can handle because I don't want you to have bad flashbacks just because I asked you to theorize about evil. Try understanding evil. You seem like a person who is concerned with right and wrong. I mean, try to understand someone who is involved with committing some terribly evil thing. It just makes no sense, especially when you consider the nature of things that are good and right. Things that are good and right have an innate sense of goodness and righteousness in them. When a mother cuddles and protects her baby and keeps it warm and well loved, is there anything evil or unrighteous about that? No, it is absolutely good and loving to care for others in such a wonderful way.

So I submit that goodness and righteousness are absolute issues. They come from a God who is eternally good and righteous. And evil and sin are that which go against God's goodness and righteousness. So evil and sin are actually spoiled or rejected goodness and righteousness. To do good or what is right makes perfect sense, it promotes life and joy and happiness and personal fulfillment. But to reject these things is bad, and is harmful and detrimental to life, and as such is quite illogical. Yet people are evil all the time. It's like their hatred for God means more to them than their love for life and goodness.

LOL, a California nut. I hope you live in the south part because, I'm a southern boy at heart, I really dislike cold wintery weather. You know that a huge aspect of the Christian faith is shown by the fact that believers were willing to die for their faith instead of being forced to exhibit anti-Christian confessions and beliefs. Do you find it was honorable and good to torture and ultimately kill Christians precisely because they would not be "forced" against their will to cease from worshiping the God of the bible? (I realize you would not approve, just trying to hammer home the point.)

Balder
January 27th, 2005, 11:18 PM
1Way,

I will respond more fully in my next letter. I just wanted to observe that you appear to be making God "less actively involved" in the destiny that many Christians believe awaits all non-Christian human beings than is actually the case. I mean, even if God did not create evil, he created the Lake of Fire, and he purposefully resurrects human beings in order to throw most of them into it. So the firefighter metaphor isn't entirely accurate; he isn't just warning people against a fire he had no part in setting.

Concerning the impending danger that awaits all humanity, why is it that sinful activity on the part of humans is so much more heavily weighted than good? I mean, a person could sin just one or two times, and already they would be deserving of eternal conscious torment as "righteous judgment," while (as Christians like to point out) a lifetime of good acts earns human beings precisely nothing. Why does God "reward" human activity so unevenly?

You've touched on a lot of good points; I will return to them before long.

Peace,
Balder

PS. A southern boy? I'm originally a Texan, myself. Even went to a good ol' West Texas Bible college for a few years before becoming an apostate...

Lighthouse
January 28th, 2005, 02:20 AM
Balder-
It is not the acts we are punished for. It is our standing. If we are unrighteous to eb with the unrighteous. If we are righteous...

The only way to be righteous is to be made rightoeus by God. And the only way to be made righteous is to accept God's righteousness which is offered unto you.

godrulz
January 28th, 2005, 02:34 AM
signature...

you're vs your perfect:rolleyes:

harold
January 28th, 2005, 03:25 PM
Let's see.

You are saved by accepting Christ which means you have faith in Christ.

Faith is a grace from God.

Grace is an unmerrited gift from God.

Unmerrited means there is nothing we can do through our free will to recieve grace.

So God has to predestine certain people to recieve grace.

How do you account all that with free will and open theism?

Clete
January 28th, 2005, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by harold
Unmerrited means there is nothing we can do through our free will to recieve grace.
This definition is incorrect.

There is nothing we can do to DESERVE grace.

Resting in Him,
Clete

1Way
January 28th, 2005, 07:05 PM
Balder,
Thanks for the reply. What did you mean by saying "even if God did not create evil,"? I'm a Christian and I think I am in the majority view that holds very solidly that God does not create, nor is responsible for, moral evil. Why would you assume otherwise?

I disagree with your understanding of God's response to good and evil, and yet at the same time, I find (narrowly defined) some significant agreement with that issue. And I want to point out that God's word should always be held in esteem in a way that man's word should not be.

I believe that right and wrong are both of equal weight, and necessarily so. They are two halves of the same coin. And I do not believe that God Himself treats the one or the other in a disproportionate way.

What ultimately matters is our response to God and His teachings, not if our life conforms well to Augustine's confessions or the greater Westminster Catechism or the orthodox view or whatever. I am determined to not be persuaded by anything less that God's word.

I'm afraid that some of my last post was a bit fragmented. I'm glad you find some interesting points. I intend to sharpen then better as this progresses.

1Way
January 28th, 2005, 07:22 PM
herald,
I agree with Clete, you are not presenting things quite accurately. But that aside, you said
Let's see.

You are saved by accepting Christ which means you have faith in Christ.

Faith is a grace from God.

Grace is an unmerrited gift from God.

Unmerrited means there is nothing we can do through our free will to receive grace.

So God has to predestine certain people to receive grace.

How do you account all that with free will and open theism? We don't! I believe you are painting a picture that God does not paint. You are basically explaining individual predestination, yet the open view maintains that predestination unto salvation is not as much individual, but corporate or general. Often our error in understanding God and His ways is to reason with too much human intellect and not enough bible referencing. Consider
2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, [as] workers together [with Him] also plead with [you] not to receive the grace of God in vain. Here the idea of "how man receives the grace of God" is up to man. So obviously it's not all just in God's doing that man receives God's grace, otherwise this verse would be meaningless, and we know that God's word never returns void. Man has something to do with him receiving God's grace.

I want to focus on this statement
So God has to predestine certain people to recieve grace. He is understood by everyone, and God's character is redemptive, He gives His light to everyone that comes into this world! So everyone has at least some aid from God to find Him and ultimately trust in Him for life eternal.

godrulz
January 28th, 2005, 08:14 PM
Originally posted by harold

Let's see.

You are saved by accepting Christ which means you have faith in Christ.

Faith is a grace from God.

Grace is an unmerrited gift from God.

Unmerrited means there is nothing we can do through our free will to recieve grace.

So God has to predestine certain people to recieve grace.

How do you account all that with free will and open theism?

Grace is the grounds (reason for which) of salvation. It is unmerited.

Repentant faith is the condition (not without which) of salvation. It involves love and trust. It is a volitional response to the conviction and convincing of the Spirit. In Eph. 2:8-10, salvation or grace is the gift of God, not faith (though this is true in a sense). Individual predestination (TULIP) and irresistible grace is Calvinistic, not biblical. Open Theism is a sub-type of Arminianism, so would not buy into your posted assumptions (your logic is faulty).

Balder
January 28th, 2005, 10:56 PM
1Way,

As I said in my last letter, there are several points in your post that I'd like to resond to. But I'm not sure where to begin.

One thing I'd like to know, more for helping me contextualize your comments, is what you understand the final destiny of unbelievers to be. Do you think that they will all be cast in resurrected bodies into a lake of fire, to exist there forever in suffering and torment? Or do you have more of a C.S. Lewis view, where damned people are more like lost, confused wraiths stuck in a kind of "nowhere" or half-life? If you believe that people cast into the Lake of Fire suffer there forever, in unimaginable torment, then I'd like to ask you what sense you see in that. What would be the point of allowing people to "persist" forever in pain in what is essentially a furnace, a place of torture? When I mentioned that God "sustains" people in Hell or the Lake of Fire (I know they're different), I did so because I am imagining that all things exist only because their maker gives them existence. Or do you think that things can continue conscious existence entirely apart from God, without any "support" of their beings at all from Him? Are souls, of themselves and apart from God, eternal? Or not? If not, then isn't God essentially "sustaining" people in conditions of unimaginable torment?

Concerning the "illogicality" of evil, I agree. I think the particular take on things that you seem to be presenting makes evil even more inexplicable, however. This will probably take some explaining on my part.

I'm out of time for the moment. But I'd like to hear your thoughts on my questions above before saying more.

Peace,
B.

1Way
January 29th, 2005, 07:37 AM
harold,
Godrulz replied to you saying
Godrulz said
... Open Theism is a sub-type of Arminianism, so would not buy into your posted assumptions (your logic is faulty). That is simply not true, Open Theism is quite opposed to Arminianism except that they each promote man's free will, but in very different ways. Sometimes Calvinists or Covenentalists like to suggest that the Open View is akin to Arminianism. However, Arminianism holds that God has exhaustive foreknowledge yet we have free will (however inconsistently).

The Calvinists believe that God has exhaustive foreknowledge and we do not have free will (at least they are consistent).

The Open View is that God does not have exhaustive knowledge and we have free will. So when you consider the heart of the Open View issue, which is whether or not the future holds at least some contingency or optional outcomes, the Arminians are much closer to being Calvinistic than they are Open View. Calvinism is a branch off from Arminianism, so the fact that they are closely related besides TULIP is not surprising.

godrulz
January 29th, 2005, 08:39 AM
Most Open Theist teachers would find more affinity with Arminianism than Calvinism. Your observations are correct as to the beliefs. It depends on which aspects of the views you compare or contrast.

Greg Boyd contends that the Calvinists use similar arguments against Open Theism as they do against Arminianism. As you said, Open Theism and Arminianism are both free will theisms in contrast to determinism. It is correct that Arminians oppose Open Theism and have exhaustive foreknowledge in common with the Calvinists (different reasons: simple foreknowledge vs predestination). Yes, Calvinists are consistent, but flawed. Arminians have a biblical and philosophical problem with future contingencies and how they are known. Open Theism is theologically and philosophically coherent.

So, as to free will, Open Theism is considered by most OTs as a sub-type of the older, larger system of Arminianism (formal development of Open Theism is relatively recent compared to Arminianism, though it can be traced throughout church history). As to exhaustive foreknowledge, Calvinism and Arminianism are in the same boat. Since Augustine preceded Arminius, it is not usual to think of Calvinism coming out of Arminianism. The early church fathers were often free will theists.

Open Theists also recognize that some of the future is predestined (can use a sub-set of deterministic verses). It also recognizes the other motif that much of the future is open (free will contingencies). Arminianism tries to have its cake (free will) and eat it too (exhaustive foreknowledge).

One can make up arbitrary classification systems. Unless we qualify the similarities and differences, we could categorize the relationships in more than one way.

1Way
January 29th, 2005, 08:54 AM
Godrulz,
The key issue with Open Theism is whether or not the future holds at least some contingency or optional outcomes. So according to it's main idea, Calvinism and Arminianism are far apart from Open Theism, as well as being far apart from what is biblically and logically consistent.

The uniqueness and distinctive ideas of Open Theism helps to promote itself against errant (although popular or longstanding) views.

Clete
January 29th, 2005, 09:56 AM
1way is right, Arminians have more in common with Calvinists than they do with Open Theists. However, Arminians are way more tollerable because when you go to their churches, you never hear them blaiming God for things like cancer or drunk driving accidents or the like. When you go to an Arminian church at least the sermons and Sunday school lessons are prepared with man's free will as a foundational beleif and are therefore at least applicable to one's life in some respect without complete logical incoherance.
When I go to a Calvinist church, I can't help thinking that all these people must think that this whole church thing (as well as the rest of their lives) is just an academic exercise. What is the point of telling a Sunday school class that they should strive to be loving kind and gentle people but that they have been predestined to be what they are and that they don't have a free will in the first place. If they asked the question, "If what I do is predestined, why do I bother to come to church?", the answer would be, "Because you were predestined to come to church."...

"I was?"

"Yep, from before the foundation of the world!"

"Wow! So if I don't come to church, that was predestined too, right?"

"Absolutely!"

"What if I were to punch you in the mouth for having blamed God for my Grandmother's cancer, would that be predestined?"

"Yes, both the action and the motivation would have been predestined before you ever existed."

"You're a nut! I'm outa here!"

"If I'm a nut, it's because God predestined that I would be a nut and you'll go only if God has predestined you to go! You can't hide from God son!"

"I'll be content with hiding from you, thanks!


I seriously don't know how that conversation doesn't happen every single Sunday at Calvinist churches! I guess it must not have been predestined to happen, eh? :kookoo:

Resting in Him,
Clete

godrulz
January 29th, 2005, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by 1Way

Godrulz,
The key issue with Open Theism is whether or not the future holds at least some contingency or optional outcomes. So according to it's main idea, Calvinism and Arminianism are far apart from Open Theism, as well as being far apart from what is biblically and logically consistent.

The uniqueness and distinctive ideas of Open Theism helps to promote itself against errant (although popular or longstanding) views.

:thumb:

godrulz
January 29th, 2005, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by Clete Pfeiffer

1way is right, Arminians have more in common with Calvinists than they do with Open Theists. However, Arminians are way more tollerable because when you go to their churches, you never hear them blaiming God for things like cancer or drunk driving accidents or the like. When you go to an Arminian church at least the sermons and Sunday school lessons are prepared with man's free will as a foundational beleif and are therefore at least applicable to one's life in some respect without complete logical incoherance.
When I go to a Calvinist church, I can't help thinking that all these people must think that this whole church thing (as well as the rest of their lives) is just an academic exercise. What is the point of telling a Sunday school class that they should strive to be loving kind and gentle people but that they have been predestined to be what they are and that they don't have a free will in the first place. If they asked the question, "If what I do is predestined, why do I bother to come to church?", the answer would be, "Because you were predestined to come to church."...

"I was?"

"Yep, from before the foundation of the world!"

"Wow! So if I don't come to church, that was predestined too, right?"

"Absolutely!"

"What if I were to punch you in the mouth for having blamed God for my Grandmother's cancer, would that be predestined?"

"Yes, both the action and the motivation would have been predestined before you ever existed."

"You're a nut! I'm outa here!"

"If I'm a nut, it's because God predestined that I would be a nut and you'll go only if God has predestined you to go! You can't hide from God son!"

"I'll be content with hiding from you, thanks!


I seriously don't know how that conversation doesn't happen every single Sunday at Calvinist churches! I guess it must not have been predestined to happen, eh? :kookoo:

Resting in Him,
Clete

This seems to be the logical end result of determinism. The Calvinists here would deny this 'caricature' and try to say we have free will, yet things are predestined. This is called compatibilism. I believe incompatibilism is more correct (determinism and libertarian free will do not mix).

1Way
January 29th, 2005, 01:44 PM
Clete,

:darwinsm: :thumb:

That was a serious crack up. Calvinists tend to be more abrasive because their foundational beliefs are pretty terrible, but the Arminians got man's free will right, but mostly for wrong and illogical reasons, which lack of cogent reasoning helps promote a good deal of ignorance and susceptibility to all kinds of false doctrine. Better is, learn and comply with the truth from God, there is no single unalterable destiny, the future is open to at least some contingency.

Both camps are Christian and as such serve a better chance at harming God's work in this world than the heathen do. But as the Arminian's seem to have some better conclusions and thus may represent God a bit more accurately, there is the idea that their (significant) error is that much more damaging.

I say that together, both represent a terribly damaging effect on our ability to effectively reach a dying world, and why people discredit God because of these false teachings. It may be that more people go to hell because of Calvinism and Arminianism than because of Secularism for example. It's the truth that sets people free, not error and false teaching.

But if I had to attend either kind of church, I know I could not last minuets in a Calvinistic church without having a cow. As to illogic and error typically found in the Arminian camp, sadly, my senses have been somewhat dulled by hundreds of years of Christian tradition and errant clichés, plus, at least they don't (typically) blame God (or make Him responsible) for sin and evil.

Wow, what an outstanding piece of baby sized common ground that we have in common, we both serve a God that is,,, good. :chuckle: Yippy!!! YeHaaaa!!!
:doh: :eek:
May the truth set them free, indeed! :o

godrulz
January 29th, 2005, 06:59 PM
Whitefield (Calvinist) and Wesley (Arminian) both saw revival under their ministries. Predestination and perfection were hotly debated. Many evangelical denominations are in the Arminian camp. Comparatively few Open Theists are having an impact in evangelism. Thankfully, the Church is Christocentric and preaches the Gospel calling people to repentant faith. God's kingdom is exploding around the world without most people knowing about Open Theism. God honors faith, not theological excellence. There are many permutations of Calvinism, Arminianism, and Open Theism.

I agree that Open Theism is important and would enhance prayer and evangelism. The Spirit and Truth is more powerful than understanding the nature of sovereignty vs free will, the nature of time and eternity, etc.

I say this as a mitigation of the statement that secularism is less damaging than the godly churches and believers who are serving and dying for the risen Christ, Open Theist or not.

Go, Open Theism, Go (I am as excited about it as you are). It is an easier paradigm shift for Arminians than Calvinists.

Lighthouse
January 30th, 2005, 12:13 AM
That was beautiful, Clete!:crackup:

1Way
January 30th, 2005, 01:10 AM
Godrulz,
About it being an easier paradigm shift for Arminians, I think I would agree, although not be a huge margin. Calvies dislike the Open View because we effectively dismantle their view by promoting our view. The Arminian likes most of our conclusions but suffers from too much inconsistent reasoning. So each group has it's struggles.

I say that between the Open View and Mid Acts dispensationalism, the damage that has been done because of the false teachings that these views serve to correct, is enormous and long standing. People have died for a lack of bible truth directing their faith. Glory Barner's (a cult that I heard about locally) expect miracles for today and were against doctors and medicine, and some of them died (even children or babies) for a lack of some basic medical attention. Christian's lives are dysfunctional as they sometimes equate law and grace, circumcision with uncircumcision, being under the law and being freed from the law, that we can loose our salvation, and we can't, etc. God says that it's the truth that sets us free, not what is false and in error.

I have plans on chatting with a likely Arminian type about the open and closed view in the next coming weeks. So I hope your right about them being easier to convert.

Emo
January 30th, 2005, 01:10 AM
Clete, that was very good, as usual. I pray that Arminians & Calvinists would simply open their hearts & eyes so that they could openly feel the true love of God.


Originally posted by 1Way

May the truth set them free, indeed!

godrulz
January 30th, 2005, 01:29 AM
Originally posted by 1Way

I have plans on chatting with a likely Arminian type about the open and closed view in the next coming weeks. So I hope your right about them being easier to convert.

People get defensive when they think the Open View undermines the attributes and character of God. The issue is more about the nature of the future, rather than the omniscience of God. What are the objects of God's perfect knowledge? Are there genuine contingencies and freedom? Is eternity timelessness? Is there a difference between necessities, actualities/certainties, and possibilities? I hope you have as many opportunities to 'convert' people to Christ as you do fellow believers to Open Theism.

1Way
January 30th, 2005, 10:56 AM
godrulz,
Cool deal. To me there is no difference in giving anyone the real Christ, I want to spread the truth about Him to the lost just as much as to the saved. The more truth you have on your side, the more joy you have to spread to whoever will have it. Thanks for the encouraging words and helpful suggestions, I think your right, I will keep them in mind.

Ninjashadow
February 9th, 2005, 06:14 PM
Ok, so I agree that God probably doesn't allow himself to know the future, but isn't it possible that on a level that humans cannot understand, that God CAN allow free will and still know the future?

Knight
February 9th, 2005, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Ok, so I agree that God probably doesn't allow himself to know the future, but isn't it possible that on a level that humans cannot understand, that God CAN allow free will and still know the future? It would be irrational for God to not allow Himself to know the future yet still know the future.

God is not irrational.

Ninjashadow
February 9th, 2005, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by Knight

It would be irrational for God to not allow Himself to know the future yet still know the future.

God is not irrational.

Of course He isn't, but we can only comrehend God on a very small level, but on a God level that we cannot possibly understand, could it be possible?

Knight
February 9th, 2005, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Of course He isn't, but we can only comrehend God on a very small level, but on a God level that we cannot possibly understand, could it be possible? You are missing the point...

If God chooses not to know the future why would He want to know the future?

Ninjashadow
February 9th, 2005, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by Knight

You are missing the point...

If God chooses not to know the future why would He want to know the future?

From a human standpoint, yes that definately seems illogical, I have no doubt about that, but what I'm saying is that is it even a little possible that perhaps God has a logic which humans cannot possibly understand?

Knight
February 9th, 2005, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

From a human standpoint, yes that definately seems illogical, I have no doubt about that, but what I'm saying is that is it even a little possible that perhaps God has a logic which humans cannot possibly understand? Well I think at this point we are simply going around in circles.

I believe that God sovereignly chose not to know the future, therefore knowing the future would only complicate His intention to NOT know the future.

I doubt that God likes to defeat His own purposes.

Ninjashadow
February 9th, 2005, 07:22 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Well I think at this point we are simply going around in circles.

I believe that God sovereignly chose not to know the future, therefore knowing the future would only complicate His intention to NOT know the future.

I doubt that God likes to defeat His own purposes.

Again, I agree, and I also agree with your previous statement that God has power over His powers, but I guess what I have a problem with is that I feel that as humans we cannot truly understand what God can and cannot do.
Yes, he cannot sin and so forth, but we can't really know everything that he can do.

Knight
February 9th, 2005, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow
I feel that as humans we cannot truly understand what God can and cannot do. True, but I see no reason to apply that concept within this very specific topic i.e., God CHOOSING not to know the future.

If God chooses to not know something..... why would He not get the outcome of His choice?

Ninjashadow
February 9th, 2005, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by Knight

True, but I see no reason to apply that concept within this very specific topic i.e., God CHOOSING not to know the future.

If God chooses to not know something..... why would He not get the outcome of His choice?

I don't know, but I don't know how God thinks and what he can and cannot do.

Knight
February 9th, 2005, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I don't know, but I don't know how God thinks and what he can and cannot do. :bang:

Knight
February 9th, 2005, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

I don't know, but I don't know how God thinks and what he can and cannot do. Have you considered that it isn't that God can't both know and not know the future..... but that God doesn't want to both know and not know the future?

Ninjashadow
February 9th, 2005, 08:14 PM
Originally posted by Knight

Have you considered that it isn't that God can't both know and not know the future..... but that God doesn't want to both know and not know the future?

Ok, I can go with that. My point was that is it possible for God to both allow free will and know the future? Whether he does or not was not my question, really. If I did not state my question clearly enough, I apologize.

Knight
February 9th, 2005, 10:51 PM
Originally posted by ninjashadow

Ok, I can go with that. My point was that is it possible for God to both allow free will and know the future?Personally... I do not think that is possible but I realize that might be a hang up for you.
Whether he does or not was not my question, really. If I did not state my question clearly enough, I apologize. No problem, I enjoy discussing this with you.