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Thread: A Question for Open Theists

  1. #31
    Journeyman jsjohnnt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    Nope.

    God is not responsible for evil — that is explicit. He does not need our defense.
    Mere affirmation to the contrary leaves me a little thirsty. If God is the creator of all things, how do you exempt Him from a creative connection, if not "responsibility," to evil?

  2. #32
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsjohnnt View Post
    Mere affirmation to the contrary leaves me a little thirsty. If God is the creator of all things, how do you exempt Him from a creative connection, if not "responsibility," to evil?
    Here is the logical answer:

    If God is the creator of all things then God is also the creator of himself.

    This is not a trivial argument.

    A creative connection does not equal responsibility. God is responsible for creating the world but that doesn't mean he is responsible for everything that goes on in it.

    If you reject the conclusion, which I am sure all reasonable people would, then you must also reject the original premise: God is not the creator of all things. Here's a definition:

    God + the created world = all things.

    If you want to make a generalisation of this, then you can't exempt God from your generalisation of 'all things'. Otherwise you are special pleading. God is not not a part of the universe.

    If, when you make a statement like 'God has created the universe and the universe is/contains evil' then you are making an assumption that God is not a part of the universe and that your analysis of the universe (specifically being/containing evil) doesn't include God. In other words you are judging the state of the world without reference to God - as if God did not exist.

    To me, this is the most basic level of logic you can have when talking about the universe, when making generalisations. Ultimately, that is what a generalisation is. I think there was one person here (Lighthouse if I recall) who correctly understood this. It is ridiculously simple yet strangely defeats most people. I can't exactly think why, except that it is ingrained into their thinking already that the universe does not include God; that the universe is a purely physical thing. It is ingrained into their thinking that there is a domain of the universe where God is absent: the physical world. People tend to believe there are two different and utterly separate realms and that when you make truth statements (generalisations), you are only talking about the physical world. God is not invited to the party. It's like they are talking behind God's back.

    Of course you could get into a discussion of whether evil/good are valid concepts anyway. If you are going to make a statement about the world that is objectively verifiable such as

    'The world is/contains evil.'

    then in order to judge if this statement is true you need a definition of evil. Where does that definition come from? You can't say that it is just what you or others subjectively feel because you and these others are part of the created world. You would be making up your own definition about yourself, which would then be circular. But if you are keeping God out of it, you can't then bring him into it. It would make no logical sense to state that God thinks the world is evil, therefore it is and then go on to define the universe as excluding God. The moment you make the created universe subect to a definition from God about evil (or anything at all really) then you are linking God and the created world inextricably.

    But don't worry too much if you don't understand - it's just the way I explain it. Plato obviously didn't get it either.

    And finally, there is the moral issue. Because the cross of Christ proves that God and the world are inextricably linked. God is responsible for creation, not for every choice of every being in that creation. But then you could ask, to what extent is God responsible? The answer is that God has accepted his responsibility for the outcome of giving people freedom through his own Son bearing the penalty for that freedom. God has accepted his responsiblity, now we must accept ours.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 11th, 2015 at 07:06 PM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
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    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
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  3. #33
    Teenage Adaptive Ninja Turtle Stripe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsjohnnt View Post
    Mere affirmation to the contrary leaves me a little thirsty.
    I was talking to a Christian. The Bible declares that God is good.

    If God is the creator of all things, how do you exempt Him from a creative connection, if not "responsibility," to evil?
    I take "responsibility" for myself. God can look after Himself. In fact, He also provided the only possible means of salvation for the world.

    He is not responsible for evil, and even if He was, He would be the only possible solution to it.
    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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  5. #34
    Journeyman jsjohnnt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Here is the logical answer:

    If God is the creator of all things then God is also the creator of himself.

    This is not a trivial argument.

    A creative connection does not equal responsibility. God is responsible for creating the world but that doesn't mean he is responsible for everything that goes on in it.

    If you reject the conclusion, which I am sure all reasonable people would, then you must also reject the original premise: God is not the creator of all things. Here's a definition:

    God + the created world = all things.

    If you want to make a generalisation of this, then you can't exempt God from your generalisation of 'all things'. Otherwise you are special pleading. God is not not a part of the universe.

    If, when you make a statement like 'God has created the universe and the universe is/contains evil' then you are making an assumption that God is not a part of the universe and that your analysis of the universe (specifically being/containing evil) doesn't include God. In other words you are judging the state of the world without reference to God - as if God did not exist.

    To me, this is the most basic level of logic you can have when talking about the universe, when making generalisations. Ultimately, that is what a generalisation is. I think there was one person here (Lighthouse if I recall) who correctly understood this. It is ridiculously simple yet strangely defeats most people. I can't exactly think why, except that it is ingrained into their thinking already that the universe does not include God; that the universe is a purely physical thing. It is ingrained into their thinking that there is a domain of the universe where God is absent: the physical world. People tend to believe there are two different and utterly separate realms and that when you make truth statements (generalisations), you are only talking about the physical world. God is not invited to the party. It's like they are talking behind God's back.

    Of course you could get into a discussion of whether evil/good are valid concepts anyway. If you are going to make a statement about the world that is objectively verifiable such as

    'The world is/contains evil.'

    then in order to judge if this statement is true you need a definition of evil. Where does that definition come from? You can't say that it is just what you or others subjectively feel because you and these others are part of the created world. You would be making up your own definition about yourself, which would then be circular. But if you are keeping God out of it, you can't then bring him into it. It would make no logical sense to state that God thinks the world is evil, therefore it is and then go on to define the universe as excluding God. The moment you make the created universe subect to a definition from God about evil (or anything at all really) then you are linking God and the created world inextricably.

    But don't worry too much if you don't understand - it's just the way I explain it. Plato obviously didn't get it either.

    And finally, there is the moral issue. Because the cross of Christ proves that God and the world are inextricably linked. God is responsible for creation, not for every choice of every being in that creation. But then you could ask, to what extent is God responsible? The answer is that God has accepted his responsibility for the outcome of giving people freedom through his own Son bearing the penalty for that freedom. God has accepted his responsiblity, now we must accept ours.
    God does not exist in space and time, IMO. Therefore, he is not a part of the universe. The fact that He is the creator of same, would exclude Him as "part" of the universe, as well, but thanks for your answer.

  6. #35
    Journeyman jsjohnnt's Avatar
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    Desert Reign wrote: "God + the created world = all things."

    God is totally "other" than the universe he created. He is not a "thing" or one of the "other guys" in the universe. In fact, he is so not a part of this world (cosmos), we really have no explanation for his existence. As a consequence , He is everywhere in the biblical record "assumed." There is no biblical apologetic for God, only the Great Assumption "in the beginning, God . . . . .."

  7. #36
    Teenage Adaptive Ninja Turtle Stripe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsjohnnt View Post
    God is totally "other" than the universe he created. He is not a "thing" or one of the "other guys" in the universe. In fact, he is so not a part of this world (cosmos), we really have no explanation for his existence. As a consequence , He is everywhere in the biblical record "assumed." There is no biblical apologetic for God, only the Great Assumption "in the beginning, God . . . . .."
    Are you only here to spout non sequitur?
    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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  9. #37
    Silver Member patrick jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Here is the logical answer:

    If God is the creator of all things then God is also the creator of himself.

    This is not a trivial argument.

    A creative connection does not equal responsibility. God is responsible for creating the world but that doesn't mean he is responsible for everything that goes on in it.

    If you reject the conclusion, which I am sure all reasonable people would, then you must also reject the original premise: God is not the creator of all things. Here's a definition:

    God + the created world = all things.

    If you want to make a generalisation of this, then you can't exempt God from your generalisation of 'all things'. Otherwise you are special pleading. God is not not a part of the universe.

    If, when you make a statement like 'God has created the universe and the universe is/contains evil' then you are making an assumption that God is not a part of the universe and that your analysis of the universe (specifically being/containing evil) doesn't include God. In other words you are judging the state of the world without reference to God - as if God did not exist.

    To me, this is the most basic level of logic you can have when talking about the universe, when making generalisations. Ultimately, that is what a generalisation is. I think there was one person here (Lighthouse if I recall) who correctly understood this. It is ridiculously simple yet strangely defeats most people. I can't exactly think why, except that it is ingrained into their thinking already that the universe does not include God; that the universe is a purely physical thing. It is ingrained into their thinking that there is a domain of the universe where God is absent: the physical world. People tend to believe there are two different and utterly separate realms and that when you make truth statements (generalisations), you are only talking about the physical world. God is not invited to the party. It's like they are talking behind God's back.

    Of course you could get into a discussion of whether evil/good are valid concepts anyway. If you are going to make a statement about the world that is objectively verifiable such as

    'The world is/contains evil.'

    then in order to judge if this statement is true you need a definition of evil. Where does that definition come from? You can't say that it is just what you or others subjectively feel because you and these others are part of the created world. You would be making up your own definition about yourself, which would then be circular. But if you are keeping God out of it, you can't then bring him into it. It would make no logical sense to state that God thinks the world is evil, therefore it is and then go on to define the universe as excluding God. The moment you make the created universe subect to a definition from God about evil (or anything at all really) then you are linking God and the created world inextricably.

    But don't worry too much if you don't understand - it's just the way I explain it. Plato obviously didn't get it either.

    And finally, there is the moral issue. Because the cross of Christ proves that God and the world are inextricably linked. God is responsible for creation, not for every choice of every being in that creation. But then you could ask, to what extent is God responsible? The answer is that God has accepted his responsibility for the outcome of giving people freedom through his own Son bearing the penalty for that freedom. God has accepted his responsiblity, now we must accept ours.

    good stuff for thought. i do not 'blame' God for any percieved 'bad" thing and know that God did not "create" evil. when we go to accepted beliefs and The Bible as God's Word, which i do, we can stop right there. is it evil not to ? mankind has done worse things.
    since God created all things and not evil, and God always was, evil could not exist. evil can only exist if something is aware of it. how could God not be aware of the possibilty for evil. so God knew, but wanted to "create" anyway ? implying self pleasure. then the law that cannot be kept. yes the salvation through Christ. the Love and Majesty of God Is worth it. but why ?

    i'm not questioning God, and i am Blessed for made, content with what i will never know on earth. yet i wonder why. God knows existence in the flesh and temptation. if we talk about God not being "in" the universe or time (which i've said), and space, then think of God as a MIND/SPIRIT. for lack of a better term, God has a Mind. that Is God.and this is the expression of God's Love and Creation. whether uni or multiverses, the "expression" and 'manifestation' of God's Spirit and Perfect Will must also be physical. then purified ?

  10. #38
    Silver Member patrick jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsjohnnt View Post
    Mere affirmation to the contrary leaves me a little thirsty. If God is the creator of all things, how do you exempt Him from a creative connection, if not "responsibility," to evil?

    maybe we have to experience "evil" and "sin" to know God Eternally ? awareness of Infinite Good and Infinite Love of God requires awareness of evil ? God tried to give us a shortcut, more than once. we chose our own way. stop blaming, maybe ? God wanted to share His Power and Glory. and in a more blunt version, so what if He did ? If God created evil, what are we gonna do about ? cry foul ? jk - drink it up, soak it in. we're only here for minute - God Bless

  11. #39
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsjohnnt View Post
    God does not exist in space and time, IMO. Therefore, he is not a part of the universe. The fact that He is the creator of same, would exclude Him as "part" of the universe, as well, but thanks for your answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsjohnnt View Post
    Desert Reign wrote: "God + the created world = all things."

    God is totally "other" than the universe he created. He is not a "thing" or one of the "other guys" in the universe. In fact, he is so not a part of this world (cosmos), we really have no explanation for his existence. As a consequence , He is everywhere in the biblical record "assumed." There is no biblical apologetic for God, only the Great Assumption "in the beginning, God . . . . .."

    You were the one who said 'mere affirmation leaves me a little thirsty'.

    I have given you what appears to be an irrefutable logical argument which you have completely ignored and all you have done is to maintain your denial. If you assert that God is not a thing, then that is the same as saying that God is nothing. How about you take a lesson from your own book? Mere denial leaves us all a little thirsty. As you have not dealt with anything I said, I don't see the point in further comment.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 12th, 2015 at 08:06 AM.
    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.

  12. #40
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick jane View Post
    good stuff for thought. i do not 'blame' God for any percieved 'bad" thing and know that God did not "create" evil. when we go to accepted beliefs and The Bible as God's Word, which i do, we can stop right there. is it evil not to ? mankind has done worse things.
    since God created all things and not evil, and God always was, evil could not exist. evil can only exist if something is aware of it. how could God not be aware of the possibilty for evil. so God knew, but wanted to "create" anyway ? implying self pleasure. then the law that cannot be kept. yes the salvation through Christ. the Love and Majesty of God Is worth it. but why ?
    The Bible says 'And God saw that it was good... and God saw that it was good... and God saw that it was very good.'

    This was possibly the first thought that led me eventually to an openness theology. It was obvious that theologians generally could not cope with the incarnation. So long as they maintained this 'God is other' paradigm, then the incarnation - when the 'other' became physical - was a mystery, was inexplicable or a paradox or a logical contradiction. Depending on which branch of Christianity you hail from, you would prefer one or other of those terms, but for all branches, the meaning is the same: the incarnation cannot be justified along with a premise that God is other.

    And the evangelicals will say God can do anything so he can do the incarnation and the Catholics will say God is a mystery so we cannot know how this works but these are not explanations, they are anti-explanations. They not only have no explanation for it but they revel in the fact that it is incomprehensible. They make a virtue out of a vice. But the Bible exhorted me to be ready with an explanation of the faith within me not an anti-explanation. And being keen to do what the Bible clearly told me, I was not in the mood for anti-explanations.

    I just don't see how anyone can, with a straight face, say that God is completely other and then say that he has become man in Christ Jesus. And worse, not only say that God has become man, but that Jesus is the perfect representation of God, as the Bible says. So not only has God who is supposed to be completely other become man, but if Jesus is the perfect representation of God, then everything God is, Jesus is. So it looks more like the exact opposite. This is very different to what theologians in their ivory halls seemed to me to be saying. In fact I remember once playing with some theologians by going through some rhetorical questions with them along these lines:

    Do you believe that everything that God is, Jesus is?
    Yes, of course.
    Do you believe that God is flesh?
    No, of course not.
    But you believe that Jesus is flesh?
    Yes.
    So Jesus is everything that God is but Jesus is also flesh.
    Yes.
    So Jesus is more than God?
    Errrrm.

    So much for the two natures theology... So God emptied himself to become more than himself??? It's like relieving a baby of his dummy. And still they revel in 'it's a mystery', 'we are only human and cannot understand these things'...

    But if what God made was very good, then there didn't seem to me to any problem in God becoming or being man. The real problem for the theologians was that there was something bad about the world being finite, or transient, or physical and it was this inherent badness, that made it hard for them to accept the incarnation. We need (I mean all of us) to accept what the Bible says about the world - that it is very good. Then we will not need to speak of God as other because we can accept ourselves again.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 12th, 2015 at 07:23 AM.
    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.

  13. #41
    Journeyman BrianJOrr's Avatar
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    Desert Reign,

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner—busy week!

    I went through your 1-1 with Lon, and I did not find it persuasive by any means. There were a few things from that discussion and the one we are having currently that I wanted to press you a bit more on.

    From our current discussion, you said: “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?”

    While there is immediate context in the OT, the NT establishes the overarching context of God’s purposes in redemptive history, making what was concealed before, revealed now. If you recall, the Jews failed to see the proper context of the OT. Weren’t they expecting to see the reestablishment of the Jewish people as a preeminent people group, with the Davidic king ruling over the nations? Did not the Jews think that they alone were the elect people of God? This misunderstanding of the OT was what Paul had to explain, going back to the OT, with new revelation to clearly express God’s will, in his letter to the Roman church. Did not Jesus chide the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the teacher of Israel Nicodemus for their failure to see and understand what the OT truly spoke about? There is an immediate context to every verse; but the grander context in its fullness is properly assessed when looking at the OT through the new covenant lens.

    From our current discussion, you said: “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 am sorry if I misrepresented you. However, your response saying, “The local context might be the entire book or letter. Or it might be the whole second temple period,” is nothing but a smoke screen. It’s you not wanting to label it what it is—systematic and/or biblical theology. You apply a hermeneutic of looking at the Scriptures that predicate something a fact, teaching, theme, etc., and look to see if it comports with the rest of Scripture (systematically and/or biblical theologically), to show consistency in what is being expressed.

    When I asked you about the deity of Christ, you said: “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.”

    So, here you are building a case looking at a collective set of Scriptures to establish the deity of Christ. Though you completely disavow Arianism and Watchtower theology, I know JWs believe exactly what you said, but they don’t believe he is “one with the Father” as you believe, pointing to his sharing of the same substance as him. The context they understand that to mean is that he is one with him in purpose, not ontologically as you have drawn from that context. So, how did you draw from that context, that Christ is “the one who is in substance God”? It doesn’t say that he is God, as we believe him to be. You looked to the other Scriptures that demonstrate he is in fact God in the flesh and inferred and inserted that theological conclusion into that verse. Again, it doesn’t actually say Jesus is God. That is not the plain reading of the text. However, it makes sense because the rest of Scripture testifies to that, and you a priori assume the deity of Christ and use that verse to support it. Because you understand the context of the NT, you can clearly understand John 10:30.

    Hermeneutics is not a science of developing a cohesive set of beliefs, going one verse in order at a time. I know that you have not worked through every text of Scripture and arrived at an open theistic position. Many scholars dedicate their whole life to this pursuit and cannot even finish one of the testaments. How long have you been an open theist? You must have imposed a theology on the text, (Just as the JWs have imposed a theology on the texts) and related it to other texts to arrive at a position as complicated as open-theism. Open theism is proposed as a unified theory. If you have read The Openness of God and The God Who Risks, you would remember how the data was presented. They formulated biblical, historical, and philosophical data to attempt to form a unified theory (which is really what systematic theology does, though you don’t want to admit that is what you do).

    They are pushing a doctrine of God by pulling out biblical texts from all of Scripture to support this view, then testing it to see if it is philosophically satisfying (of course it will be to them), and then attempt to support it historically by imposing that paganism affected the idiomatic expression of Scripture, likening the classical understanding to be more in line with that of the gods of Greek mythology (though this has been put to bed long ago). They have to do this approach otherwise they don’t have a case (a unified system of doctrine) that will be taken seriously by scholars and pastors. If you want to present a unified theory of doctrine, you must have analogia scriptura to do so. I think your attempt to position yourself as a pure Biblicist is pretentious.

    From the 1-1, you said, “The dogma that all scripture is self-consistent is one derived from experience, not from a priori assumptions. One reason why I find the Bible so wonderful is because it is self-consistent. But I have never made the assumption that it is. I have only ever interpreted each passage in its local context but I have never found any example of inconsistency . . . ”

    I think you are being untruthful here. When you came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, had you read every single text of the Bible to find out that it was self-consistent, or did you, based upon your belief in Christ as the source of ultimate truth, a priori (by faith would be the Christian term) believe that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

    “ . . .This is the basis of my confidence that there is no need to interpret passages in the light of other passages outside their own proper context. And it is this that leads me to suspect that there are hidden agendas in operation when others try to do just that.”

    So, if that is the case, how then would you interpret these passages?:
    “Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, ‘Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number’” (1 Chron. 21:1-3).

    “Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.’ So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, ‘Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people’” (2 Sam. 24:1-3).

    What do you do in this situation? Same verses; same context. The author of Chronicles says Satan incited David to act; the author of Samuel says the LORD incited David to act.

    Exegesis drives theology. How are you to exegete these passages to adhere to open theism? We all have presuppositions when coming to the texts; the arrogant ones are those who don’t recognize they have them and point fingers at others accusing them that their interpretation is influenced by their presuppositions.

    Thanks for the discussion

    (if this is getting too long and want to end it, I understand. I know it can get tiring.)

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    Pep! Lighthouse'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.
    No, the premise of will is not that our actions cannot be predicted. You are not rejecting the open view; you're rejecting a fallacy.


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    While I should have clarified it better, if one holds to libertarian free will then one's choices are neccesitantly unpredictable. There is no influence nor causality attributed to one's decision. God cannot know what one will do; if he can, knowing us so well, then he is able to perfectly influence us in the way he wants thus eliminating LFW as it is defined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    I went through your 1-1 with Lon, and I did not find it persuasive by any means.
    Thank you for sharing your opinion with me, though I am not sure what that contributes to a debate.

    While there is immediate context in the OT, the NT establishes the overarching context of God’s purposes in redemptive history,
    Hmmm. Looks like I am going to be here all night.
    I guess you mean by this that any OT local context (I use that term rather than 'immediate') is a) likely to be at odds with some arbitrary context in the NT and b), given a), is subordinate to that NT context.

    I might be wrong but perhaps you can confirm - is this your intention / are these your assumptions in making this statement? I shall assume so for the moment.

    My second comment about this initial statement of yours is that you seem to be juxtaposing two dissimilar things. 'God's purposes in redemptive history' is a highly loaded phrase and full of theological ideas. Whereas the meaning of some random passage is much more concrete - scientific almost. You seem to be setting your interlocutor up for a "Let me tell you what this passage means because it doesn't mean what you think it does, what it appears to mean." This is exactly what Lon tried to do. So let me get this straight once again: there is no justification for suggesting that the New Testament takes precedence over the Old Testament. And since you've already now read that discussion, you will remember that this view entails an assumption that the Bible is self-contradictory.

    Thirdly, your apparent justification for all of this is that 'the NT establishes the overarching context of God’s purposes in redemptive history'.
    Well, excuse me, but where on earth did you get that idea from? I thought that the context of God's purposes in history was estabished in Genesis chapters 1 to 11.

    So, a load of nice sounding words, but full of contradictions and false assumptions.

    making what was concealed before, revealed now.
    And there it is! The appeal to ignorance. 'Let me show the true meaning of what you are reading because you can't understand it yourself without my help...'

    It's a sure sign of a cult mentality, inviting indoctrination. I am sure you won't even realise it, but that is what it is.

    If you recall, the Jews failed to see the proper context of the OT. Weren’t they expecting to see the reestablishment of the Jewish people as a preeminent people group, with the Davidic king ruling over the nations? Did not the Jews think that they alone were the elect people of God? This misunderstanding of the OT was what Paul had to explain, going back to the OT, with new revelation to clearly express God’s will, in his letter to the Roman church. Did not Jesus chide the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the teacher of Israel Nicodemus for their failure to see and understand what the OT truly spoke about?
    So you are suggesting that if no one had misunderstood the Old Testament, then there would have been no need for a New Testament?

    Please answer directly as I feel your response is crucial.

    Or are you suggesting that the Old Testament was inherently incomprehensible?

    And if you are suggesting that, then why were the Jews considered blameworthy for not understanding it?

    There is an immediate context to every verse; but the grander context in its fullness is properly assessed when looking at the OT through the new covenant lens.
    There it is again. Those nice sounding words. But I'll tell you what it sounds like to me. It sounds like as time goes on, history unfolds. And the most important part of history is the present day. And human beings view everything relative to the present day because they don't really have a choice about that.
    So it is only a truism that what comes later is more full than what went before. It seems that the only justification you have for asserting the precedence of the NT over the OT is that it is newer! You seem to be saying 'I don't understand the Old Testament but because I understand the New Testament I will just read the Old Testament as if it were the New testament.'

    However, your response saying, “The local context might be the entire book or letter. Or it might be the whole second temple period,” is nothing but a smoke screen. It’s you not wanting to label it what it is—systematic and/or biblical theology.
    Thank you again for sharing your opinion. However, in my 1-1 with Lon I discussed over 20 passages and if you want to see a practical outworking of my hermeneutics, then it is there in black and white. If you can show in any of those passages that I have been doing anything approaching systematic theology, then please show it. Otherwise your opinion will remain exactly that and completely unsubstantiated.

    You apply a hermeneutic of looking at the Scriptures that predicate something a fact, teaching, theme, etc., and look to see if it comports with the rest of Scripture (systematically and/or biblical theologically), to show consistency in what is being expressed.
    Again, if you can show examples of this I would be willing to discuss them, otherwise it remains that you are clutching at straws.

    When I asked you about the deity of Christ, you said: “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.”

    So, here you are building a case looking at a collective set of Scriptures to establish the deity of Christ.
    Once again (and I confess this is getting a little tiresome) if you can show evidence, then I would be happy to discuss it. Let me try to help you a little. Go back to the quote you just quoted above and find where I used the word 'deity' in relation to Christ. When you've done that, I'd be happy to discuss further. And if, surprising as it may seem to you, I didn't use such words or terms, then you might, as an alternative, wish to discuss what I said in an earlier post about openness being about relationship, not about substance.

    Though you completely disavow Arianism and Watchtower theology, I know JWs believe exactly what you said, but they don’t believe he is “one with the Father” as you believe, pointing to his sharing of the same substance as him. The context they understand that to mean is that he is one with him in purpose, not ontologically as you have drawn from that context.
    Not to put to fine a point on this but you seem in a hurry to read into my words everything I did not say. And indeed you seem so ill at ease with the general principles I have explained to you that you automatically read my words in a different light - in a light that you have imposed sub-consciously on them.

    I suggest that you just reread what I said more carefully as it would probably save a lot of wasted time.

    So, how did you draw from that context, that Christ is “the one who is in substance God”? It doesn’t say that he is God, as we believe him to be. You looked to the other Scriptures that demonstrate he is in fact God in the flesh and inferred and inserted that theological conclusion into that verse. Again, it doesn’t actually say Jesus is God. That is not the plain reading of the text. However, it makes sense because the rest of Scripture testifies to that, and you a priori assume the deity of Christ and use that verse to support it. Because you understand the context of the NT, you can clearly understand John 10:30.
    Same. Once you have concocted your own version of what I said, you proceed to build an edifice on it. I'm afraid you're going to have to pull it down.

    Hermeneutics is not a science of developing a cohesive set of beliefs, going one verse in order at a time.
    Given your obvious inability to correctly interpret my own words, words written in a language which is your native language and in your own day, I guess I am going to be somewhat reticent about trusting any interpretation you might place on a text written 3000 years ago or more in another language by a people with completely different cultural norms to your own.

    I know that you have not worked through every text of Scripture and arrived at an open theistic position. Many scholars dedicate their whole life to this pursuit and cannot even finish one of the testaments. How long have you been an open theist?
    It depends on what you mean by an open theistic position. As I said to you before, openness is about relationship. I am not primarily seeking to develop a theology. I don't know how many times I need to say this before you will understand. I believe that the scriptures are inspired by God and are useful for teaching, training in righteousness, etc. Because I believe that, I let the scriptures do their own talking.

    You must have imposed a theology on the text, (Just as the JWs have imposed a theology on the texts) and related it to other texts to arrive at a position as complicated as open-theism.
    Again all surmise and building edifices without permits.

    Open theism is proposed as a unified theory. If you have read The Openness of God and The God Who Risks, you would remember how the data was presented. They formulated biblical, historical, and philosophical data to attempt to form a unified theory (which is really what systematic theology does, though you don’t want to admit that is what you do).
    This is quite irrelevant. You asked how open theists interpret scripture. I accept the nomenclature and so I answered. I did not get my open theism from Boyd, or Sanders or anyone else in fact. I have met Greg though and it is amazing how in so many ways we are similar, including being born on almost the same date, both Catholics, difficult childhoods, etc. And I do greatly appreciate his ethos. However, I repeat, I was not influenced by him or any of the other big name American open theists whatsoever.

    I think you are being untruthful here. When you came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, had you read every single text of the Bible to find out that it was self-consistent, or did you, based upon your belief in Christ as the source of ultimate truth, a priori (by faith would be the Christian term) believe that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
    Well, you can think what you like. You are just finding it hard to cope with a view of scripture that is so simple that a child could understand it. That is why you have to resort to calling me a liar.

    So, if that is the case, how then would you interpret these passages?:
    “Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, ‘Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number’” (1 Chron. 21:1-3).

    “Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.’ So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, ‘Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people’” (2 Sam. 24:1-3).

    What do you do in this situation? Same verses; same context. The author of Chronicles says Satan incited David to act; the author of Samuel says the LORD incited David to act.
    It has never bothered me that these two passages might contradict each other, though it is obvious that they offer strikingly different perspectives on the same events. They actually don't contradict each other at all:

    encourage or stir up (violent or unlawful behaviour).
    "they conspired to incite riots"
    synonyms:stir up, whip up, work up, encourage, fan the flames of, stoke up, fuel, kindle, ignite, inflame, stimulate, instigate, provoke, excite, arouse, awaken, waken, inspire, trigger, spark off, ferment, foment, agitate for/against; Morecause, generate, bring about;
    literaryenkindle
    "Rico was arrested for inciting racial hatred"


    egg on, encourage, urge, goad, provoke, spur on, drive on, stimulate, push, prod, prompt, induce, impel, motivate, make, influence;
    arouse, rouse, excite, inflame, stir up, sting, prick;
    informalput up to;
    informalroot on;
    procure
    "she had incited him to commit murder"





    • urge or persuade (someone) to act in a violent or unlawful way.
      "he incited loyal subjects to rebellion".
      There is nothing here to indicate that David had no choice in the matter.

    Exegesis drives theology. How are you to exegete these passages to adhere to open theism? We all have presuppositions when coming to the texts; the arrogant ones are those who don’t recognize they have them and point fingers at others accusing them that their interpretation is influenced by their presuppositions.
    Firstly, I am not accusing you of being influenced by your presuppositions when you do exegesis. You yourself have admitted that this is what you do. You yourself stated that you take the NT as the overarching hermeneutical principle for interpreting OT passages.
    Secondly, I don't exegete these passages to adhere to open theism. All I do is try to understand what the passages mean and be informed by them. Satan incited David does not mean that David was forced to do what he did. But it does mean that what David did was wrong and that David succumbed to the temptation. And inasmuch as God incited David to do it, again David didn't need to do it. God was angry with Israel for some unspecified reason and would have found some other way to bring judgement on them if David didn't want to command the census. It is tedious repeating all this. If David had not succumbed to this temptation the Bible would have just been written differently and you wouldn't be any the wiser. That's how history works.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    While I should have clarified it better, if one holds to libertarian free will then one's choices are neccesitantly unpredictable. There is no influence nor causality attributed to one's decision. God cannot know what one will do; if he can, knowing us so well, then he is able to perfectly influence us in the way he wants thus eliminating LFW as it is defined.
    People's actions are predictable but this does not mean that some or other prediction is correct. The fact that you can predict some person's actions proves that there is meaning in our relationships with each other. If our actions were utterly unpredictable, as you erroneously think open theists believe, then that would mean the world is in complete chaos. I can predict that my wife will get up tomorrow and have breakfast. But I might be wrong. She might fall ill and stay in bed all day. But what she won't do is randomly disappear and reappear in a spacecraft controlled by aliens and be transported to a planet that will randomly begin to exist tomorrow.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 16th, 2015 at 06:04 AM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

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    Teenage Adaptive Ninja Turtle Stripe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    If one holds to libertarian free will.
    Men have wills. If they are not "libertarian" and "free," they are not wills.

    One's choices are neccesitantly unpredictable.
    Nope.

    You just completely ignored 's post.

    That a man is predictable in his choices does not mean he has no will.

    There is no influence nor causality attributed to one's decision. God cannot know what one will do; if he can, knowing us so well, then he is able to perfectly influence us in the way he wants.
    Nope. With wills, we see some men choose to reject God and some choose to obey. Occasionally, some will change their ways. That their decisions are predictable or influenced does not mean they had no choice.

    Thus eliminating LFW as it is defined.
    You seem to be having an argument with yourself. We have defined the will as being the ability for a man to choose for himself, thus the "L" and the "F" are redundant.

    To be part of a rational discussion, you need to respond to what we believe.
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
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    Bad to swallow you whole
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    Throw your trolls out the door

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