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Thread: A Question for Open Theists

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    Teenage Adaptive Ninja Turtle Stripe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    Isn't the whole premise of LFW that one's actions cannot be predicted?
    The premise of a will (the "L" and the "F" are redundant) is that men are able to choose. That their choices can be predicted does not mean they do not have a will.
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    TOL Legend patrick jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    Lighthouse, read your post again. Isn't the whole premise of LFW that one's actions cannot be predicted? Because if you think about it, if God who knows us--our thoughts, desires, strengths, and weaknesses--perfectly, and knows every possibility based on what situation he presents to us (these are all points Boyd, Sanders, and Rice affirm), then God could bring about a situation by his omnipotent will to get the intended response he desires to bring about his purposes. And God, just as Desert Reign states, knew that Pharaoh would respond after four plagues.
    God uses the choices we make to work towards God's Perfect Will. we don't always see it clearly, or instantly. i trust God for the things that don't make sense. God does bring about events, "situations", circumstances. I think God Works WITHIN our "choices", which is freewill. but really, all we have anymore, is "FEE - Will" - pay up

  4. #18
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    Desert Reign,

    I need clarity in your first justification. After exactly four small plagues, God knew Pharaoh would respond in the way he did. That sounds more like foreknowledge than understanding one's character. Also, do you have training in LXX translation and exegesis? Thanks
    Actually I made a mistake, it was the first 6 plagues:

    “Let My people go, that they may serve Me, 14 for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth. 15 Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.

    It is clear from the context that 'raised you up' means 'preserved you'. Or 'caused you to stand'. NASB:

    For if by now I had put forth My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, you would then have been cut off from the earth. 16 But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to [h]remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth.

    When I said that God knew Pharaoh would respond that way I meant it in the sense that people's actions are predictable from their characters. I did not mean it in the sense that it was inevitable or necessary. Stripe and Lighthouse said it correctly. YHWH was a winner either way: Pharaoh changed his mind and acknowledged God or he persisted in refusing to let Israel go and God did some more judgements and miracles that got his holy name on the middle eastern scoreboard of gods who are to be reckoned with.

    As to my qualifications, I'm afraid I can't help you. I know ancient Greek and Koine; I also know Latin, modern Hebrew and other languages; you must judge for yourself whether what I say is correct and form your own opinions.

    Thank you for giving open theists the opportunity to answer your questions.

    And it may not be that the Septuagint was wrong. Perhaps it was understood by LXX readers that egeiren meant 'preserved' or 'caused to stand'. Perhaps it is simply unfortunate that the English translation was rendered with a word ('raised') that could also mean to bring up a child. The meaning 'to bring up, (of a child)' is of course totally out of context but is often used by those who promote predestination of all things in this current context as a proof text. And I appreciate that many people just don't realise what they are doing and the assumption gets worked into our modern church cultures and Bible translations. And then you start needing justifications like the one I am now rambling on about to undo the erroneous assumptions. Personally I think the NASB got it right and that generally it is a more realistic translation. The context is clear, I don't know how 'raised up' came to be prominent, unless it was disingenuity on the part of some theologians and teachers with an axe to grind.
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  5. #19
    Journeyman BrianJOrr's Avatar
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    Desert Reign,

    While that may be the case with the LXX reading, though I think you may be stretching it a bit, considering the long-standing translation and understanding of the passage in its context. But if that is the case, I think the NT, which I believe should be our primary source for understanding the OT, teaches opposite of what you are saying the LXX should say. Paul’s importation of it in Romans 9:17 in his context and even in the Greek words used further solidify the orthodox understanding of it.

    17 λέγει γὰρ ἡ γραφὴ τῷ Φαραὼ ὅτι Εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο ἐξήγειρά σε ὅπως ἐνδείξωμαι

    For, the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "for this very reason[auto here is used definitively, which is why most translations use 'very'] I [have] raised you up [the verb here is ἐξήγειρά, it is an aorist, act., ind., 1p., sing., of ἐξεγείρω, which means: to raise to life, cause to exist, raise up in power] so that [or in order to, showing purpose or intent] I might show [ἐνδείξωμαι; aorist., mid., subj., 1p., sing., of ἐνδείκνυμαι, meaning to show or demonstrate. So, God as the subject is doing this action]

    ἐν σοὶ τὴν δύναμίν μου, καὶ ὅπως διαγγελῇ τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐν πάσῃ τῇ γῇ.

    in you my power [my power in you], and that [in order that] my name shall be proclaimed [διαγγελῇ: aor., passive., subj., 3p., sing., of διαγγέλλω, meaning to proclaim announce; If you notice it is in the 3rd person, meaning that God did not use him to proclaim his name; rather, the power he demonstrates through Pharaoh, the result of that demonstrates who God is, with his name being proclaimed because of and through it] in all the earth.”

    So, we see that God’s purpose in raising up (this verb ἐξήγειρά is only else where used in the NT speaking of resurrection in 1 Cor. 6:45) Pharaoh is to show his power, the power of God’s, which when we look at Romans 9:14-18, we see that the power is in reference to God’s omnipotent will in hardening and/or softening one’s will, or redemptively speaking, those he chooses. In v.15 Paul uses Exodus 33:14 showing the sovereign will of God in the grounding work of election, which reflects the nature of God and his unconstrained decision to choose as he pleases. And then in v.16, Paul buttresses that truth of God’s sovereign will in election, “So then, it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God” (italics mine). And then v.17 is an example of God’s purposes in what he raised up Pharaoh for, and then v.18 serves as the inclusio of v.15.

    Patrick Jane: I too trust God in the things that don’t make sense to me. The Scriptures clearly teach that man is responsible for what he does, but God’s will is behind our wills in which what we decide to do, using the language of Genesis 50:20, God means “it” for good. And that is what we see in those Scriptures I put in my first post, which I believe were specifically avoided by Boyd, Rice, Pinnock, and Sanders.

    I think the assumption that we have libertarian free will is a mistake. The reason it is is because when we look at Scripture, though we see we have a will, which ultimately is enslaved to, and only serves, a sin nature (until the Spirit changes it). It’s not truly free as I believe open theists and those non-Reformed espouse. You have to ask if it is, why do we need the Holy Spirit to regenerate our hearts and minds to be able discern the things of God (1 Cor. 2:14; cf. Rom. 8:6-8). If our wills are truly free, we should have the ability within our own wills apart from God (John 15:5).

    Bruce Ware footnoted in God’s Lesser Glory, a comprehensive study done by a doctoral student regarding divine foreknowledge documented, “1893 texts state predictively that God will do something or other in or through human beings; 1474 texts state predictively what human beings will do something or other, apart from God directly acting through them; 622 texts state predictively what unbelievers will do or have happen to them; 143 texts affirm God’s sovereign control of human choices; 105 texts of apparent counter-evidence” (n2., p. 100).

    So what is clear is that we see both. And I will argue that more so to the sovereign side, which rightly gives glory to the Creator.

    The Scriptures don’t teach LFW according to the definition employed by those who espouse it. I think Frame’s criticisms of it are quite damaging (see No Other God, pp.122-31. To note a few: in the consummative state we will not be free to sin; Scripture does not judge one’s conduct based on LFW; a declaration of innocence or guilt according to standards of law are based on the motive, which if LFW is accepted, then one’s actions could be shown to be causeless, independent motives, which could make the party insane and not responsible for one’s actions; and the Scriptures also deny that we have it in the words of Christ in Matthew 7:15-20 and Luke 6:43-45 (good tree bears good fruit; evil tree bears evil fruit).

    But the bottom line is God is the one who makes us accountable for our actions, so I will follow Job’s and Paul’s lead, “who am I to question God?”
    I think we need to be ok that at some place, the sidewalk ends.

    Patrick, you stated:

    “why didn't God just come right out and tell us, look, if you people obey me, and do as i command, you can save everyone alot pain and anguish. i mean, why put us through all this ? why not destroy evil, right when it started ? why brianJ ?”

    You know Patrick, I hear that quite often from JWs and Unitarians when it comes to the deity of Christ. They always say, “Why doesn’t Jesus just come right out and tell us he is YHWH?” Well, my defense is that he has, but those who don’t have eyes to see won't see. (I am not inferring that you not seeing God’s sovereignty as such means you are not saved—far from it brother). But JWs and Unitarians commit the same mistakes, as I believe open theists do, focusing on the trees instead of the forest.

    I have to ask, would you all believe that God’s perfect knowledge of each human being (as open theists believe), as it pertains to his will, motives, traits, etc., is so precisely known that God can see the consequences to our actions like a mathematical equation?

    I would have to say, if you do, then doesn’t 2+2 always = 4? Taking 2 + 2 together, no matter how I order them, will always come to the number ordained of 4. In my foreknowledge (not exactly the precise definition of the word but ok for my analogy) of adding 2 to 2, I know that the number 4 will always come to pass.

    I sure appreciate the discussion so far with all of you.
    Last edited by BrianJOrr; February 6th, 2015 at 01:54 PM.

  6. #20
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    Desert Reign,

    While that may be the case with the LXX reading, though I think you may be stretching it a bit, considering the long-standing translation and understanding of the passage in its context. But if that is the case, I think the NT, which I believe should be our primary source for understanding the OT, teaches opposite of what you are saying the LXX should say. Paul’s importation of it in Romans 9:17 in his context and even in the Greek words used further solidify the orthodox understanding of it.

    Firstly, let me get one thing straight. The meaning of a text is determined by itself, not by some other text whether in the New Testament, the Old Testament or anywhere else. The principle that passages in the Bible are interpreted in reference to other passages is a false principle and leads to unpredictable and inconsistent outcomes. Each passage should be interpreted in its own local context and the sum total of all such interpretations in the whole Bible constitutes the written inspiration of scripture. This is an objective and consistent approach. If you introduce random passages as essential contributors to the meaning of some particular passage, then you bring randomness and unpredictability into hermeneutics.

    The only issue here is what constitutes 'local context'. This may be wider or narrower depending on circumstances but always the passage under consideration is the focal point of its own interpretation. In my view, when people attempt to use other passages to derive meaning, it is a sign that they have axes to grind; that the passages they choose to adduce are chosen by them for their own subjective purposes and this is usually because they are unhappy with the plain meaning of the first passage - they in short want to make the Bible say something different to what it does say. The Bible should speak for itself and that means that each passage should speak for itself. The writer of Exodus never thought to himself that what he wrote was incomprehensible or incomplete because someone 2000 years later wasn't born yet and hadn't written the words that are required to complete the understanding of his own writings. I have had this exact same debate with another person here and you can read it at your leisure. I need say no more for the time being. You might want to read that debate in detail, especially if you are particularly interested on how open theists interpret the Old Testament.


    17 λέγει γὰρ ἡ γραφὴ τῷ Φαραὼ ὅτι Εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο ἐξήγειρά σε ὅπως ἐνδείξωμαι

    ἐν σοὶ τὴν δύναμίν μου, καὶ ὅπως διαγγελῇ τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐν πάσῃ τῇ γῇ.

    So, we see that God’s purpose in raising up (this verb ἐξήγειρά is only else where used in the NT speaking of resurrection in 1 Cor. 6:45)
    As I said, the use of a Greek word in the New Testament has no bearing on the interpretation of Exodus and the context of the Exodus passage itself is quite clear. However, I would question your interpretation of Paul, which also relies heavily on Augustinian / Calvinistic presuppositions. As I write I don't have my books handy. Perhaps later I will edit in detail. However, Paul's example of Pharaoh is not an example that supports general predestination but rather shows that God chose Israel as the quality vessel and Egypt as the cheap vessel for his particular purposes. This was his right to do but it does not mean that he predestined everything. He chose to show the nations who he was by doing some bad things to Pharaoh and some good things to Israel. It's that simple. He chose Jacob to be the progenitor of his chosen nation over Esau without reference to anything good or bad they had done. Jacob could have been a really bad guy but this would not have changed the plan. That is what Paul is saying. In the same way he chose Pharaoh to be the recipient of plagues. Pharaoh could have chosen to be the good guy and acknowledge YHWH but chose not to.
    It is clear to me that Paul understood exactly what Exodus meant and your reading of Paul merely presupposes a wrong interpretation of Exodus.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 5th, 2015 at 07:03 AM.
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    Journeyman BrianJOrr's Avatar
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    Desert Reign,

    I have a few concerns with your response:

    You said: “Firstly, let me get one thing straight. The meaning of a text is determined by itself, not by some other text whether in the New Testament, the Old Testament or anywhere else. The principle that passages in the Bible are interpreted in reference to other passages is a false principle and leads to unpredictable and inconsistent outcomes.”

    Seriously? A text by itself does have a meaning, but a key aspect of a literal, historical, and grammatical interpretation is letting Scripture interpret Scripture (unless you don’t ascribe to that method). That is how we do a consistent systematic theology, which leads to predictable and consistent outcomes (I guess that goes against your doctrine of God considering nothing can be predictable and consistent if we all have libertarian free will, right?) What is a common mistake many make in biblical interpretation? Taking a passage by itself to establish a doctrine (this is what cults are famous for: isolating a verse and proof-texting). So, if we take these two passages (Exodus 9:16 and Romans 9:17) and look at each one separately, one says “to keep alive,” and the other says “to raise up” which one are we to use then, both speaking of the same situation, which one best interprets the authorial and theological intent of that incident? Don’t you think Paul, an inspired writer of Scripture, would better understand Ex. 9:16 than we could? If he is using this verse to support his context and theological purposes regarding God’s sovereign will (which I already covered in the previous post), then why would he bypass the Greek of the LXX (διατηρέω = to keep; preserve) from Exous 9:16 and use a more dynamic word (ἐξεγείρω = to raise to life, cause to exist) that carries a meaning opposite to that of the LXX’s word? If he wanted to carry over the context of keeping Pharoah alive or preserving his life, he could have used the same word, or he could have used διαμένω, which means to continue, to remain; or ζῳογονέω, which means to keep alive, preserve life; or φυλάσσομαι, which means keep away from, keep, guard closely. He uses that word, which supports his context of Romans 9 altogether, and which is the translators use this form in the OT as we see in most Bibles. The NT interprets the OT.


    You said, “Each passage should be interpreted in its own local context and the sum total of all such interpretations in the whole Bible constitutes the written inspiration of scripture. This is an objective and consistent approach. If you introduce random passages as essential contributors to the meaning of some particular passage, then you bring randomness and unpredictability into hermeneutics.”

    I think you are the one who is in error on this. You are wanting to keep Exodus 9:16 in isolation from Romans 9:17, to support your desired interpretation of Exodus 9:16 because this verse as Paul uses it in Romans 9:17 is devastating to your openness theology. And how is this random?


    You said, “In my view, when people attempt to use other passages to derive meaning, it is a sign that they have axes to grind; that the passages they choose to adduce are chosen by them for their own subjective purposes and this is usually because they are unhappy with the plain meaning of the first passage - they in short want to make the Bible say something different to what it does say.”

    Again, are you serious? Do you not have an axe to grind in your promotion of openness theology? You are trying to take passages, which have generally supported the classical understanding of God for the last two millennia, to support open theism. Let me ask you this, “If one asks you show the biblical support for the deity of Christ, do you take only one verse to do so, or do you take the corpora of NT texts that demonstrate his deity to prove your case? Do you not respond to those who take one verse that could be interpreted to mean that Jesus is not divine and tell them, “you must look at all the scriptural support, not just one verse.”


    You said, “As I said, the use of a Greek word in the New Testament has no bearing on the interpretation of Exodus and the context of the Exodus passage itself is quite clear.”

    Well, to my question earlier about Paul’s choice to use a different word to establish the context of Exodus 9:16 into his context of Romans 9. His using the Exodus passage in the manner he does is to show us that that is what the author intended to show. His use of it gives us further clarity of the theme as a whole.


    You said, “However, I would question your interpretation of Paul, which also relies heavily on Augustinian / Calvinistic presuppositions.”

    I question your interpretation. The burden of proof lays in the lap of open theists, for your understanding rivals the classical orthodox understanding of divine foreknowledge (Although it was the Socinians who pioneered this view, but they were ultimately silenced and shown to be in error.). What presuppositions are you operating under? If you want to state that yours is a ‘plain’ reading of the text, I would say you are failing to do just that. You are not applying a grammatical, historical interpretation of the text, which espouses such a framework in interpretation. Whose presuppositions should we rely on when interpreting the texts? Yours?


    You said, “However, Paul's example of Pharaoh is not an example that supports general predestination but rather shows that God chose Israel as the quality vessel and Egypt as the cheap vessel for his particular purposes. This was his right to do but it does not mean that he predestined everything. He chose to show the nations who he was by doing some bad things to Pharaoh and some good things to Israel. It's that simple. He chose Jacob to be the progenitor of his chosen nation over Esau without reference to anything good or bad they had done.”

    You have not demonstrated that. Just curious, have you have read The Justification of God, by John Piper?

    You said, “Pharaoh could have chosen to be the good guy and acknowledge YHWH but chose not to.”

    I think God’s purposes demonstrate otherwise: Pharaoh did not listen to the warnings from God through Moses, “so that my wonders may be multiplied in the land” (Exod. 11:9). Pharaoh’s hardening, by himself and by God, was purposely done so God could demonstrate his power. Though pharaoh hardened his heart, as all men do toward God, could he have unhardened it if God ultimately hardened it to continue out his purposes? God hardened it to show his glory to Israel and ultimately to the world.

    I think your disregard for the analogy of faith in this regard is troubling.

  8. #22
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Thank you for taking the time to respond.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    A text by itself does have a meaning, but a key aspect of a literal, historical, and grammatical interpretation is letting Scripture interpret Scripture (unless you don’t ascribe to that method).
    Too right I don't (subscribe to it). To put it crudely, it is little more than using a word in one context that has a specific meaning in that context to impose that same meaning on a word in another context in defiance of the meaning that the word has in its latter context. As I said before, the only hermeneutical issue is what is meant by local context. You have apparently misrepresented me in the latter part of your post as assuming that local context means the verse in which a word appears. But this is very far from the case. The local context might be the entire book or letter. Or it might be the whole second temple period. I have gone over this all in more detail in the 1-1 that I linked to in my last post and I would suggest that you read all of it because it will save a great deal of time and perhaps misapprehensions. If you think I am being unrealistic or unchristian in denying your cherished principle of hermeneutics, then I might suggest you respond more fully to the issues raised in that 1-1: perhaps Lon was the wrong person to debate with but you will need to do a lot better than him if you are to persuade me to abandon the basic principle of all hermeneutics which is that the meaning of words is a function of the contexts in which they appear. If, as you say, you are doing a PhD in a hermeneutics related subject then you should certainly be up to it! Your basic question posed in the OP was how open theists interpret certain scriptures. I have gone one better and told you how I interpret the whole Bible. I would hope this is sufficient for you and I don't really want to get into a great long debate on the exact meanings of myriad scripture verses. I have already done that with Lon.

    Taking a passage by itself to establish a doctrine
    Again, this is a misrepresentation of what I said.

    Your question was about how open theists interpret scripture, not how they do theology.

    which one best interprets the authorial and theological intent of that incident?
    Same issue: whilst you may be searching for 'theological intent', I am only interested in what the passage means. In fact you describe my approach as 'troubling'. I will tell you what I find troubling, which stares at me when I read your posts is that when you approach scripture you seem desperate by any and all means to impose some kind of theology on it. It's like you think of it as some kind of cipher that needs decoding. And I lament to myself that you will never appreciate scripture for what it is because you are always trying to make something of it that perhaps is not there. I read scripture for what it is and if theology comes as a result then that is fine but if it doesn't then that is also fine. After all, God inspired the scriptures, we all believe that. It is not a tenet of our faith that God inspired the Chalcedonian creed. I wish to be inspired by what God gave us first and foremost. The rest can look after itself.

    I think you are the one who is in error on this. You are wanting to keep Exodus 9:16 in isolation from Romans 9:17, to support your desired interpretation of Exodus 9:16 because this verse as Paul uses it in Romans 9:17 is devastating to your openness theology.
    I suggest you read the 1-1. In which I explain that Romans would be my preferred text for developing an openness theology. 'Devastating'? - don't make me laugh!

    By the way, the 1-1 is of course closed but if you wanted to raise issues from it I'd be happy to respond.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 6th, 2015 at 12:11 PM.
    Total Misanthropy.
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    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

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    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

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    Journeyman BrianJOrr's Avatar
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    How do you insert selected portions of one's response like you have in your posts?

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    Teenage Adaptive Ninja Turtle Stripe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    How do you insert selected portions of one's response like you have in your posts?
    Quote tags.

    [QUOTE]quote this.[/QUOTE]

    =

    quote this.
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
    E≈mc2
    When the world is a monster
    Bad to swallow you whole
    Kick the clay that holds the teeth in
    Throw your trolls out the door

    "The waters under the 'expanse' were under the crust."
    -Bob B.


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  12. #25
    Journeyman BrianJOrr's Avatar
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    Desert Reign,

    I did not go through your 1-1 in detail; it’s quite long, but I will check it out.

    You said, “You have apparently misrepresented me in the latter part of your post as assuming that local context means the verse in which a word appears. But this is very far from the case. The local context might be the entire book or letter.”

    I don’t assume “local context means the verse in which a word appears.” I already demonstrated that in the portion of Romans 9:14-18 I went through earlier.

    I am not trying to persuade you to abandon the basic principle of all hermeneutics; I am trying to figure out why you are not using them.

    You said, “the meaning of words is a function of the contexts in which they appear.” Context drives meaning; but you are failing to see the OT through the interpretive lens of the NT. Do you have a Bible that has cross-references in it? Have you abandoned the use of those? Afterall, it takes you away from the text. Are you implying that we are not use other Scriptures to interpret Scriptures? You have provided no interaction with the Scriptures to prove your point regarding Romans 9 and Exodus 9. You just asserted what it is, saying, “its that simple.” Well, I have to contend that your simple explanation lacks sound exegesis (Now, you might have fleshed this out further in your 1-1; so I will have to check).

    You said, “whilst you may be searching for 'theological intent', I am only interested in what the passage means.”

    How have I not done that? You do not adopt the principle of Scripture-interpreting-Scripture, so how do you come up with a coherent, integrated theology, pulled from the texts? I asked you a question about the deity of Christ but you did not answer it. Can I go so far and say that you also believe Greek philosophy has influenced early Christian doctrine, which still exists today? This is a claim that open theists have failed to make plausible arguments for. What is more obvious is that their view is grounded in experience, not apostolic teaching.


    You said, “In fact you describe my approach as 'troubling'. I will tell you what I find troubling, which stares at me when I read your posts is that when you approach scripture you seem desperate by any and all means to impose some kind of theology on it. It's like you think of it as some kind of cipher that needs decoding.”

    Performing exegesis of passages using context, other Scriptures, and tracing out arguments and themes between other texts is code breaking, huh?

    You said, “And I lament to myself that you will never appreciate scripture for what it is because you are always trying to make something of it that perhaps is not there.”

    Openness theology comes to the table stating God’s divine foreknowledge as we have known it for the last two millennia has been misunderstood. Talk about trying to insert a theology that was never there; a plain reading of the Scriptures clearly has revealed the classical understanding of divine foreknowledge. The quest to get God off the hook for evil in the world is the theology open theists are trying to force into the texts.

    You said, “I read scripture for what it is and if theology comes as a result then that is fine but if it doesn't then that is also fine. After all, God inspired the scriptures, we all believe that. It is not a tenet of our faith that God inspired the Chalcedonian creed. I wish to be inspired by what God gave us first and foremost. The rest can look after itself.”

    So, do you believe that God is not triune? After all trinity is not in the Bible. How do you come to that conclusion that he is triune? If you affirm that, using that language, then you are using creedal language to do so. The creeds were the result of a theology derived from the texts, not inserted into the texts. Do you know who else says speaks in the same manner as you do regarding their view of Scripture? Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Their get their theology from a plain reading of Scripture.

    How are you different?

    I too don’t want to get into a longer than need be discussion. I will read your 1-1 and see if there is anything I want to engage with your more on.

    Thanks

  13. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    The quest to get God off the hook for evil in the world is the theology open theists are trying to force into the texts.
    And then there is this:

    http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...36#post3415136

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    Teenage Adaptive Ninja Turtle Stripe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    The quest to get God off the hook for evil in the world is the theology open theists are trying to force into the texts.
    Nope.

    God is not responsible for evil — that is explicit. He does not need our defense.
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    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    Desert Reign,

    I did not go through your 1-1 in detail; it’s quite long, but I will check it out.
    Thank you. It will save us both a lot of time.

    I don’t assume “local context means the verse in which a word appears.” I already demonstrated that in the portion of Romans 9:14-18 I went through earlier.
    OK, thanks.

    I am not trying to persuade you to abandon the basic principle of all hermeneutics; I am trying to figure out why you are not using them.
    I think you are confusing exegesis with doing theology. Especially systematic theology. It is natural to want to take the whole Bible into account when doing systematic theology and in that case you probably do need to allow everything to inform everything else. But the meaning of some given passage is not determined by some other passage that is outside its local context.

    You said, “the meaning of words is a function of the contexts in which they appear.” Context drives meaning; but you are failing to see the OT through the interpretive lens of the NT.
    I am not failing. Your use of the word implies your assumption of your conclusion. You're doing a PhD - surely you ought to have some level of self-criticism? If I was marking your PhD, I would mark you down for saying that someone you happen to disagree with was failing to see your point of view. If you accept that 'context drives meaning' then how do you relate that to your notion that you cannot understand the meaning (of an Old Testament text) without the New Testament? In the same sentence you are making two incompatible statements and yet you are accusing me of failure for not making the same logical mistake!

    Do you have a Bible that has cross-references in it? Have you abandoned the use of those? Afterall, it takes you away from the text. Are you implying that we are not use other Scriptures to interpret Scriptures? You have provided no interaction with the Scriptures to prove your point regarding Romans 9 and Exodus 9. You just asserted what it is, saying, “its that simple.” Well, I have to contend that your simple explanation lacks sound exegesis (Now, you might have fleshed this out further in your 1-1; so I will have to check).
    Yes, I see no need to repeat myself here.

    You said, “whilst you may be searching for 'theological intent', I am only interested in what the passage means.”

    How have I not done that? You do not adopt the principle of Scripture-interpreting-Scripture, so how do you come up with a coherent, integrated theology, pulled from the texts?
    Ah, yes, that is an excellent question and thank you for giving me an opportunity to answer it. I would first remind you that it is not the question that you asked in the OP, which is about how open theists interpret certain scriptures. I try not to divert from the subject of an OP if I can but since you are the originator of the thread then I am more than willing to digress.

    As background, you might want to look here. This explains the limits of a 'coherent, integrated theology'. It is a disavowal of the idea that formulations are paramount in theology and an affirmation that Christian faith is about relationships. Thus, when reading the Bible, the primary interpretive principle is not some doctrine of God but the historical outworking of a relationship. When reading the Bible, the Christian should thus seek not to glean from it a set of doctrines but to grow in relationship with God through learning how others have grown (or not) in that relationship. Also see 1-1 on Hebrew thought patterns. Doctrines are ok in moderation but a complete systematic theology is not to be found because the nature of Christian faith is not about systematising. Living relationships cannot fundamentally be systematised. I know this is hard for you to comprehend, all you who have spent your lives debating on which statement of faith is the right one, whether Origen was a heretic or not or whether the baptism of the Holy Spirit is given at conversion or afterwards. I can offer no apologies. Just a warning that if you instinctively seek ways to refute this stance by arguing that some or other doctrine is wrong or that I have misinterpreted some or other scripture or if you treat openness like any other heresy, then you will get nowhere. If you are to understand, then you need to start by getting an appreciation of how very very far away from a systematising theology openness is. Openness is not about whether Calvin was right or wrong. Openness is antithetical to predestination, not a doctrinal refutation of it.

    I asked you a question about the deity of Christ but you did not answer it.
    This is a complex issue but I will try to answer it simply here.
    I believe what Jesus said about man that it is not what goes into a man that makes him what he is but what comes out of him. In the same way, it is not the substance of God that makes him what he is but his actions and his words. This is a relational perspective. The historical doctrinal formulations of the church have focused on the substance of God and of Christ (and the Holy Spirit of course). It was the substance question that challenged the fathers. But the substance question is unanswerable because it relies on false assumptions about the nature of reality. I worship Jesus because he is righteous, because he died for me, because he performed miracles, because he taught the teachings of God, because he is seated at the right hand of the Father, because he is one with the Father. (As an aside let me completely disavow the teachings of the Arians, especially the Jehovah's Witnesses, who teach that the worship we give to Jesus is a different kind of worship to the worship we give to God and that true worship is something that can only be given to the one who is in substance God.)

    Can I go so far and say that you also believe Greek philosophy has influenced early Christian doctrine, which still exists today? This is a claim that open theists have failed to make plausible arguments for. What is more obvious is that their view is grounded in experience, not apostolic teaching.
    To argue that Greek philosophy did not influence Christian doctrine, is quite ridiculous. It is a truism. If this were not so, then we would not be discussing the Athanasian creed; instead we would be discussing the Chung Wei creed or the writings of Ibn al Musri 'Against Heretics' instead of Irenaeus. The only issue is whether or not the influence was compatible with authentic Christian faith. I mean, New Testament writers themselves were influenced by Greek philosophy, let alone the early church fathers. See 1-1: it is an equally undisputed fact that no writer of the Old Testament was influenced by Platonic thought and it it is therefore quite quite bizarre to attempt to interpret it along Platonic lines.

    Openness theology comes to the table stating God’s divine foreknowledge as we have known it for the last two millennia has been misunderstood. Talk about trying to insert a theology that was never there; a plain reading of the Scriptures clearly has revealed the classical understanding of divine foreknowledge. The quest to get God off the hook for evil in the world is the theology open theists are trying to force into the texts.
    This seems all unsupported and undeveloped assertion. If you were concerned about what has been orthodox for two millennia, you would not be Reformed. You would be Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic. You are welcome to your opinions and I respect you for them, is about as much as I need to say in response.

    So, do you believe that God is not triune? After all trinity is not in the Bible. How do you come to that conclusion that he is triune? If you affirm that, using that language, then you are using creedal language to do so.
    See above on relational theology. Your express acceptance that the trinity is not in the Bible is an excellent example of the point I was making on the distinction between exegesis and (systematic) theology. Indeed, your acceptance that trinity is not in the Bible is a good starting point for understanding relational theology. There is hope for you yet. If you keep on developing this line of thought, as you read the Bible more, perhaps you will also realise that (Calvinistic) predestination is not in the Bible either and for the exact same reason that trinity also is not.

    The creeds were the result of a theology derived from the texts, not inserted into the texts. Do you know who else says speaks in the same manner as you do regarding their view of Scripture? Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Their get their theology from a plain reading of Scripture.
    See above on relational theology and Jehovah's Witnesses. JWs also expressly alter scripture to suit their own presuppositions so that is hardly what I would call plain reading.

    How are you different?
    I can't answer that. I can only state as clearly as possible what my position is. It is your privilege to assess it.

    I too don’t want to get into a longer than need be discussion. I will read your 1-1 and see if there is anything I want to engage with your more on.

    Thanks
    And thank you for allowing me to express myself more generally.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 7th, 2015 at 07:33 AM.
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    Desert Reign,

    I see I have a few things to clear up ( I didn't mean to imply that hellenization didn't occur the early church. My mistake, in deviating from the OP, though I think it is an important element in my inquiry). I will be working the next three days, so I won't be responding fully now. Thanks for responding to my points.

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    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    Desert Reign,

    I see I have a few things to clear up ( I didn't mean to imply that hellenization didn't occur the early church. My mistake, in deviating from the OP, though I think it is an important element in my inquiry). I will be working the next three days, so I won't be responding fully now. Thanks for responding to my points.
    Sure thing, Brian.

    By the way, I seem to recall there was some issue about Ex 9:16 appearing after the fourth plague in some mss. and that might have been what prompted me to say it was after the 4th plague. And also, I checked the LXX and Paul wasn't quoting from it at all. It seems to me that he was just quoting from memory and the words actually used in the LXX fully corroborate my view of Ex 9:16.

    Take care and don't work too hard!
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 11th, 2015 at 05:21 PM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

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