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Thread: A Question for Open Theists

  1. #61
    Journeyman BrianJOrr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    What did Bob Enyart say that would make you suggest he could not believe in prophecy?
    That is not what I was implying at all. Read my post again. It had to do with his context for holding that view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    That is not what I was implying at all. Read my post again. It had to do with his context for holding that view.
    I think you've latched on to a non issue.
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    I think you've latched on to a non issue.
    I beg to differ. Its one of the most important elements of our discussion—a lack of consistency in openness interpretive methods.
    —Romans 11:36


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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    I beg to differ. Its one of the most important elements of our discussion—a lack of consistency in openness interpretive methods.
    You have failed to accurately portray the open theist position, you've latched on to a side issue and ignored correction.
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
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    Bad to swallow you whole
    Kick the clay that holds the teeth in
    Throw your trolls out the door

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    You have failed to accurately portray the open theist position, you've latched on to a side issue and ignored correction.
    Give me bullet points of my inaccurate portrayal. I see inconsistencies and I am pointing them out.

    Here are a few points that I believe represents the openness perspective (I am adding more that were not part of the discussion):

    • Is not libertarian free will central to openness theology?

    • Is not the interpretive model that of a "plain reading/meaning of the text"?

    • Is not the meaning of the text in the openness model found in the context of the passage and harmonized with the rest of Scripture?

    • Is it not the openness argument of the classical and/or Reformed position of God that it has employed language from Greek philosophy to express and describe the God of the Bible?

    • Is it not the openness position that love is the chief attribute of God?

    • Is it not the openness position that God is "living and dynamic," in a give-and-take relationship with man?

    • Is it not the position of the openness perspective that God was surprised by the fall of man in the garden?

    • Is it not the position of the openness perspective that Christ could have hated the Father, doing contrary to his will thus destroying the Godhead?


    There are just too many issues with this theological perspective that is really not derived from a plain reading of Scripture; rather, it is due to a man-centered foundation of understanding the Scriptures instead of a God-centered approach. Libertarian free will is the epistemological snare of understanding God's sovereign grace.
    Last edited by BrianJOrr; February 20th, 2015 at 11:47 AM.
    —Romans 11:36


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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    Is not libertarian free will central to openness theology?
    People have wills. If they are not "libertarian" and "free," they are not wills.

    Is not the interpretive model that of a "plain reading/meaning of the text"?
    I use a plain reading hermeneutic. Unless there is good reason to believe otherwise, what is presented should be taken at face value.

    Your bullets are aimed at the open position, but I will answer for myself.
    Is not the meaning of the text in the openness model found in the context of the passage and harmonized with the rest of Scripture?
    I don't know what this means. I do not "harmonize" anything. If one passage contradicts another, I look for a reason behind the contradiction.
    Is it not the openness argument of the classical and/or Reformed position of God that it has employed language from Greek philosophy to express and describe the God of the Bible?
    What?
    Is it not the openness position that love is the chief attribute of God?
    No.
    Is it not the openness position that God is "living and dynamic."
    Sure.
    In a give-and-take relationship with man?
    Not really. It's God's way or the highway.
    Is it not the position of the openness perspective that God was surprised by the fall of man in the garden?
    No.
    Is it not the position of the openness perspective that Christ could have hated the Father, doing contrary to his will thus destroying the Godhead?
    No.

    There are just too many issues with this theological perspective that is really not derived from a plain reading of Scripture; rather, it is due to a man-centered foundation of understanding the Scriptures instead of a God-centered approach.
    You seem to have your conclusions already sorted out. Why the pretense of the questions?

    Libertarian free will is the epistemological snare of understanding God's sovereign grace.
    Men have wills. It is doubly redundant to call them "libertarian" and "free."
    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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  10. #67
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    All those positions have been affirmed by either Sanders, Boyd, Enyart, Rice, and Pinnock. I guess the openness perspective is so open that one can't find a consistency among those who call themselves open theists.
    —Romans 11:36


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  11. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    All those positions have been affirmed by either Sanders, Boyd, Enyart, Rice, and Pinnock. I guess the openness perspective is so open that one can't find a consistency among those who call themselves open theists.
    Brian,

    No systematic is written that describes the open view. No Confession of all the key major openist doctrinal points exists.

    Openism is a loose federation of folk who deny God knows the future, is not atemporal, learns each and every moment new things that are being done by His autonomous moral agents, and to "get God off the hook" as it were, claim God's relational "attribute" (sigh) presupposes libertarian free will avoids matters related to theodicy. For example, see Enyart's "attributes" table here in the debate with Lamerson:

    http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...464#post826464

    In other words they have created their own lexicons of various theological terms as if this shields them from proper scrutiny. Enyart even has his very own hermeneutic versus plain grammatic-historical methodologies: NOAH and JONAH.

    Within the spectrum you find among openists here, there are the Nicks who believe God had actually to "go down now" to see what was going on in Sodom because He did not know. The godrulz's who deny such as view as that would mean the devil knows more than God. Those that believe no part of the future is known and therefore established by God, and those that claim some parts are known and established, some parts are not known therefore not established. Trying to cover all the bases such that any mystery about the transcendent God is removed, thusly makes for a very incoherent view of God.

    For me, this approach is but a humanistic God in the Dock philosophy formed to give His creatures answers to any and all matters about our wholly other God, notwithstanding the attempt of Job's interlocutors to do the same, of course. Hence, it should not come as a surprise that no systematics exist. Pinnock (if still living), Boyd, Rice, or Sanders would not likely be welcomed with open arms within the very small TOL microcosm of openism. Best to not even mention their names as most openists have even read these works, much less the German philosophers laying the openist foundations (the God who is "becoming") that came before them. Had they actually read them, there would probably be far less of the openist's "philosophy!" canards raised against Christian orthodox theism ("the settled view) by the openists ("the unsettled view").

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  12. #69
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    I wasn’t going to respond, but after listening to the White and Enyart debate again today, I heard Enyart say something that I had to ask you about.
    Mr Orr, thank you for replying. I must admit I was surprised you persisted, especially after my excoriating remarks about why you were doing a PhD.

    I think, in view of other things that have been said since our exchange, that it would be more helpful if I set out my position in a more structured manner rather than answer your immediate questions about hermeneutics.

    Let me introduce that by asking a rhetorical question. In an average Christian congregation (any flavour), how many believers have an extensive systematic understanding of their own faith? I think it is reasonable to suggest that very few have this. Some of the more thoughtful ones will have some isolated ideas that are themselves systematic but they will also readily acknowledge that these ideas are incomplete and often inconsistent to boot.

    But let me remind you that the church is not the pastor. The church is not those with a theological education such as ourselves. The church is all of these people. And since the vast majority of them do not have a systematic understanding, then you need to come to terms with the actual phenomenon that most of the church are not systematic thinkers. It should really come as no surprise to you then that there is no such thing as a systematic openness theology. But this is what you need to get your head around. Look at the church! Do they need systematic theology? Of course they don't! I am not saying that systematic theology is of no value. For those with the right kind of brain, this can help solidify their faith and make them better ministers of the Gospel. (Although it can also do the opposite and I will explain that later.) But do lend your mind for moment's reflection on what it takes to be a church and what kind of thinking is the one described by Paul when he exhorts that we be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Clearly, the facts vie against the idea that such a mind must be systematic in its approach to truth. Such a transformation is primarily moral, not intellectual and a successful church doesn't consist in how logically everyone thinks but in how they serve and how they are motivated. I feel sure that you are not presently open to the idea that a lack of systematisation can be a good thing and that rather you believe that such lack is just random, incoherent and unproductive. However, I assure you that my views are firmly based on rational thinking processes and if you will permit, I will take you through them.

    More to come.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 24th, 2015 at 08:23 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    All those positions have been affirmed by either Sanders, Boyd, Enyart, Rice, and Pinnock.
    Feel free to talk to them about what they believe.

    I guess the openness perspective is so open that one can't find a consistency among those who call themselves open theists.
    Or perhaps you are just mistaken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post
    Openism is a loose federation of folk who deny God knows the future.
    Nope. You will not find a single open theist who will say as a generalization that God does not know what will happen.

    Those that believe no part of the future is known and therefore established by God.
    Names, please.

    Trying to cover all the bases such that any mystery about the transcendent God is removed, thusly makes for a very incoherent view of God.
    What is your point? We can find a range of beliefs held by Calvinists. Does this undermine your doctrine? Does this mean we should not discuss matters?

    For me, this approach is but a humanistic God in the Dock philosophy formed to give His creatures answers to any and all matters about our wholly other God, notwithstanding the attempt of Job's interlocutors to do the same, of course.
    Then you should challenge the open theist to respond to verses that say God's ways are above ours and His understanding exceeds man's combined wisdom.

    And God is not wholly other. He came to Earth as a baby and grew up among us, making Himself known to men.

    Hence, it should not come as a surprise that no systematics exist.
    You just named two.

    Pinnock (if still living), Boyd, Rice, or Sanders would not likely be welcomed with open arms within the very small TOL microcosm of openism. Best to not even mention their names as most openists have even read these works, much less the German philosophers laying the openist foundations (the God who is "becoming") that came before them. Had they actually read them, there would probably be far less of the openist's "philosophy!" canards raised against Christian orthodox theism ("the settled view) by the openists ("the unsettled view").
    And yet, we can still discuss these things, because we have read the Bible and agree that its words are what ultimately matter.
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
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    Throw your trolls out the door

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


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    If God offered an atheist chocolate or vanilla ice cream and predicted to the man what he would choose, what do you think would happen?
    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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    Journeyman BrianJOrr's Avatar
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    Just a few responses. FYI - I am having back surgery this Friday and may not be able to respond to posts after Thursday night for a few weeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post

    In an average Christian congregation (any flavour), how many believers have an extensive systematic understanding of their own faith? I think it is reasonable to suggest that very few have this. Some of the more thoughtful ones will have some isolated ideas that are themselves systematic but they will also readily acknowledge that these ideas are incomplete and often inconsistent to boot.
    Are you involved in pastoral ministry at your church?

    But let me remind you that the church is not the pastor. The church is not those with a theological education such as ourselves. The church is all of these people. And since the vast majority of them do not have a systematic understanding, then you need to come to terms with the actual phenomenon that most of the church are not systematic thinkers. It should really come as no surprise to you then that there is no such thing as a systematic openness theology. But this is what you need to get your head around. Look at the church! Do they need systematic theology? Of course they don't! I am not saying that systematic theology is of no value. For those with the right kind of brain, this can help solidify their faith and make them better ministers of the Gospel. (Although it can also do the opposite and I will explain that later.) But do lend your mind for moment's reflection on what it takes to be a church and what kind of thinking is the one described by Paul when he exhorts that we be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Clearly, the facts vie against the idea that such a mind must be systematic in its approach to truth. Such a transformation is primarily moral, not intellectual and a successful church doesn't consist in how logically everyone thinks but in how they serve and how they are motivated. I feel sure that you are not presently open to the idea that a lack of systematisation can be a good thing and that rather you believe that such lack is just random, incoherent and unproductive. However, I assure you that my views are firmly based on rational thinking processes and if you will permit, I will take you through them.

    More to come.
    If you are involved in that capacity, how often as someone asked you a question regarding what the Bible teaches about sin, judgement, hell, homosexuality, etc.? That kind of question demands a response that is grounded in a unified understanding of the all the Scriptures that pertain to that subject. Maybe you don't like that word, but when I am asked about what the Bible teaches regarding homosexuality, I discuss all the passages on that topic, show the context of each verse, establishing the coherency in the entire Bible on what it teaches regarding that subject. That is a systematic approach used to ensure consistency and appropriate application of God's word.

    Are we missing a common understanding here due to semantics?

    I would appreciate you responding to my questions in my previous post.
    Last edited by BrianJOrr; February 24th, 2015 at 02:44 PM.
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    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJOrr View Post
    Just a few responses. FYI - I am having back surgery this Friday and may not be able to respond to posts after Thursday night for a few weeks.
    I hope it all goes well for you.

    Are you involved in pastoral ministry at your church?
    No.

    If you are involved in that capacity, how often as someone asked you a question regarding what the Bible teaches about sin, judgement, hell, homosexuality, etc.?
    As I am not, I can't answer. My present pastor does however refer people to me occasionally if a lengthy discussion is required or ask me himself when he is unsure of something or wants to bounce ideas off someone.

    That kind of question demands a response that is grounded in a unified understanding of the all the Scriptures that pertain to that subject. Maybe you don't like that word, but when I am asked about what the Bible teaches regarding homosexuality, I discuss all the passages on that topic, show the context of each verse, establishing the coherency in the entire Bible on what it teaches regarding that subject.
    Knowing the Bible and doing systematic theology are not the same thing. People ask me about the Bible because they know that I know the Bible, not because they know that I can do systematic theology.

    That is a systematic approach used to ensure consistency and appropriate application of God's word.
    In my opinion it doesn't ensure consistency at all. It often ensures that your own personal predilections are converted into what looks like objective Biblical doctrine. Let's take your example of homosexuality. You can't just ask, 'What does the Bible say about homosexuality?' In order to get some kind of harmonious doctrine, you need to ask the questions that the doctrine answers. I mean, what practically do you do? Do you look up every passage where the word homosexual occurs? At a very superficial level you are going to miss those passages which talk more generically about men having relations with men. But as you go deeper you realise that you could consider aspects of the law of Moses and its applicability. Or you could consider teachings about love towards the bretheren or you could weigh in with complementary statements about normal marriage and so on. The issue is that relevance as a concept is personal and your supposed objective, assured and consistent result is not objective at all but full of your own presuppositions and choices. You talk about what the Bible says about 'that subject' without realising (this is what I mean by lack of self-criticism) that it is you who are defining the subject, not the Bible. You are looking into how the Bible fits into your way of thought, not how you can fit into the Bible's way of thought.

    I would go further and assert that in many cases (in my humble experience), a systematic theology is little more than some individual's own preferences disguised as Biblical theology. It is what I call piggy-backing. It is using the Bible's known authority to support your own ideas. It may be done completely benignly or without self-criticism but however it happens it is unfortunately very common. It is stealing. It is abuse.

    I use another method of doing theology that I call the rainmaker method. I will explain this if you let me. It is a natural corollary to my openness beliefs and philosophy.

    Are we missing a common understanding here due to semantics?
    Ah, semantics! Yes, why do words mean what they do? Why do people misunderstand each other even though they understand all the invdividual words used? These are big issues and which are included in the openness philosophy that motivates me. I assume you would like to hear more.
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    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

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    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  19. #74
    Journeyman BrianJOrr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    I hope it all goes well for you.

    No.
    Thanks.

    As I am not, I can't answer. My present pastor does however refer people to me occasionally if a lengthy discussion is required or ask me himself when he is unsure of something or wants to bounce ideas off someone.
    It shows.

    Knowing the Bible and doing systematic theology are not the same thing. People ask me about the Bible because they know that I know the Bible, not because they know that I can do systematic theology.
    When teaching people from the Bible, we want to present its truths clearly in a self-consistent manner. Do we not?

    That is systematic theology. If you want to be one to go against the current and call it something else, then be my guest. But don’t say that you don’t present the Bible in that way. Your 'creed' is an expression of what you believe to be a clear, consistent body of doctrine that the Bible teaches. That is what systematic theologians try to do.

    In my opinion it doesn't ensure consistency at all. It often ensures that your own personal predilections are converted into what looks like objective Biblical doctrine. Let's take your example of homosexuality. You can't just ask, 'What does the Bible say about homosexuality?' In order to get some kind of harmonious doctrine, you need to ask the questions that the doctrine answers. I mean, what practically do you do? Do you look up every passage where the word homosexual occurs? At a very superficial level you are going to miss those passages which talk more generically about men having relations with men. But as you go deeper you realise that you could consider aspects of the law of Moses and its applicability. Or you could consider teachings about love towards the bretheren or you could weigh in with complementary statements about normal marriage and so on. The issue is that relevance as a concept is personal and your supposed objective, assured and consistent result is not objective at all but full of . You talk about what the Bible says about 'that subject' without realising (this is what I mean by lack of self-criticism) that it is you who are defining the subject, not the Bible. You are looking into how the Bible fits into your way of thought, not how you can fit into the Bible's way of thought

    I would go further and assert that in many cases (in my humble experience), a systematic theology is little more than some individual's own preferences disguised as Biblical theology. It is what I call piggy-backing. It is using the Bible's known authority to support your own ideas. It may be done completely benignly or without self-criticism but however it happens it is unfortunately very common. It is stealing. It is abuse.
    You are again guilty of special pleading and is why I had earlier decided to end the conversation. You act as if you do theology in a vacuum. You seem to think your approach is not influenced by “your own presuppositions and choices” and try to hold me guilty of the same thing. It just makes you look arrogant.
    We all have ‘predilections’ when we come to the Scriptures; the key is to recognize what your presuppositions are when coming to the text. This where historical theology and creedal statements come into play. As I stated earlier, what makes your system of belief different from that of a Mormon or JW? Your creed was quite vague.

    And as it pertains to the topic of homosexuality, I did a blog series on all the key verses regarding homosexuality, in attempt to let the Scriptures speak for themselves. So, as I took the time to read your 1:1, I would ask for you to take the time to read these posts. I believe these are clear examples of proper exegesis, presenting a systematic expression of what the Bible teaches on this subject.

    http://therantingreformer.com/2014/1...-introduction/

    http://therantingreformer.com/2014/1...enesis-191-11/

    http://therantingreformer.com/2014/1...eviticus-1822/

    http://therantingreformer.com/2014/1...mans-124-27-2/

    http://therantingreformer.com/2014/1...1-timothy-110/

    I use another method of doing theology that I call the rainmaker method. I will explain this if you let me. It is a natural corollary to my openness beliefs and philosophy.
    Can’t you see the hypocrisy in this statement? Again, you are guilty of special pleading.

    I really just want you to answer the questions I posted in my previous post. Do that first, then you can humor me with your rainmaker method.
    —Romans 11:36


    http://therantingreformer.com
    https://columbiaseminary.academia.edu/BrianOrr

  20. #75
    Teenage Adaptive Ninja Turtle Stripe's Avatar
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    Why has the conversation moved so far away from what you opened with?

    Just have the conversation.
    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.


  21. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Stripe For Your Post:

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