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Thread: Open View and Preterism

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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    There's no such thing as a "partial Calvinist."...
    Quote Originally Posted by Danoh View Post
    One problem I find in your assertions is that they appear to be based on conclusions absent of a much more exhaustive searching out of these issues in the Scripture itself....
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    I've never made any such argument! I've made biblical arguments and rationally sound arguments. ...
    These are all excellent posts, and I want to reply to them appropriately, but I can't tell when I will get to them. Thanks for your patience!

    Derf
    Last edited by Derf; May 19th, 2016 at 08:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    I've never made any such argument! I've made biblical arguments and rationally sound arguments. You suggesting that I reject it because I disagree with it doesn't constitute even an attempt to refute any one of those arguments. You must remember that the thread and everything I've written in it is all still there for anyone to read.
    I'm not trying to be insulting, though I can see how it could be read that way. But your posts have had an edge to them showing a decided bias against the tenets of preterism. I have felt they way, too, and still do to some degree, but my bias was from a perspective that what they said was ridiculous, and it was based on my reading their ideas from my own bias. So even if I brought forward biblical arguments against the ideas of preterism, it was from a preconceived notion of what those passages were really saying. I'm trying to get beyond that, and I'm not sure how successful I am.


    This makes me wonder whether you even know what Preterism is. Preterism is eschatology! Don't believe me? Look it up! Here, I'll do it for you...
    Thanks. Those all seem in line with what I thought preterism is, as long as the "partial" part is allowed. And "partial" is soooo subjective. Surely everyone believes that some prophecies have been fulfilled. I think preterists would say that almost all have been fulfilled, including the first 18 chapters of Revelation, perhaps? I'm not ready to go that far.



    The difference is that dispensationalists actually do it rather than just say it (some more consistently than others, of course). I've demonstrated clearly that Preterists do not simply read the bible and take it for what it seems to say. They allegorize, spiritualize and symbolize any passage they have to. Which, of course, is not to say that there aren't allegories and otherwise symbolic passages in the bible. There's lots of them. But the point is that the Preterist has no system, no rules for determining what should be taken as shadow and what should be taken as substance. No rules at all, save one - if the passage suggests that Preterism might be false, it's shadow or symbol. If their use of scripture were valid, no theological claim could ever be falsified.
    This shows that bias I was mentioning above. I don't believe, and I say this from listening to a preterist that I poo-pooed before, that their whole hermeneutic is to reinterpret everything to fit into the idea that all prophecy has been fulfilled, at least not the partial preterists. The "partial" is the saving grace, so to speak, as it allows that not everything has to fit into the mold of "everything already has happened".


    I agree that some Pre-Tribulationist read this passage in this way. This Pre-Tribulationist does not. I'm not at all kidding when I tell you that a passage should be taken for what it seems to say whenever possible. God the Father intended to give Israel their Kingdom during that generation but prophesy is not prewritten history. Israel rejected their King and so God, in keeping with the warning given to Israel in Jeremiah 18, repented of the good which He intended to perform for Israel. He found the clay to be marred in His hand and so He, intending at first to make a vessel of honor, repented and made instead of vessel of dishonor. (See Jeremiah 18 and Romans 9-11)
    "Whenever possible" is the key, isn't it. We all define "whenever possible" in different ways.

    I appreciate what you're saying about Jeremiah 18, but it seems like the Matt 24 text is saying the opposite--that Jesus told His disciples the bad stuff that was going to happen to that generation unless they repented and acknowledged Him as the Christ (that part doesn't touch on Jer 18), but then when they didn't repent, that generation either did or did not experience the judgment--which is it? If they DID, then it backs up preterism (those things in Matt 24 occurred already), if they DID NOT, then it negates Jer 18, as well as undermine's Christ's veracity.

    But let me consider just a minute. I think you're saying that Jesus was predicting that IF the Jews accepted Him as their messiah, then He would bring to pass all the bad stuff--on the non-Jews (Romans, etc.) as He ushered in His kingdom? That makes some sense, except for the ones that will look on Him whom they have pierced, and He mentioned the stones on the temple will not be left one on another. So it seems to be more of a determination of something bad on the Jews for rejecting Him--which makes me go back to my previous paragraph. Maybe I didn't quite catch your drift--explain more as you see fit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    There's no such thing as a "partial Calvinist." If you don't accept the whole thing, it just falls apart.
    Sure there is. Haven't you ever heard of a 3 or 4-point Calvinist?

    And saying that God in time decided to blind the Jews from their Messiah violates Calvinism directly, as in Calvinism, all things are decreed before creation.
    I'm probably a bit naive about this, but I don't think of the all-things-decreed-before-creation as the most important and necessary part of Calvinism, though it rides high in the thoughts of most.


    That's what God wanted. It wasn't just that the Jews happened to be blind, but rather that they were intentionally blinded so that the Messiah would be fulfill propitiating sins.
    I was under the impression that Open Theism allowed for the possibility that both individuals and nations could repent, especially if the Christ, the one who was promised to come, came and preached a message of repentance. So perhaps God wanted them to be blind in order to "trick" them into killing their messiah, or to cause such a sin in them that He could bring severe judgment down on them, but that (the latter), again, is how Calvinists think.
    See Jeremiah 18. God may do as He wishes with Israel.
    He certainly can. And if He decides to remake them into a vessel of honor because they turned from their wickedness, He could do it--but not if He blinded them with the intention of not letting them turn from their wickedness.


    You're using "people" generically. There is a specific group of people whom God had been in covenant with for thousands of years who repeatedly violated covenant, killed prophets, and generally thumbed their noses at God.

    Their blindness, then, is a judgment against them.



    Keep in mind that some of the Jews repented.



    I think you're being a bit hasty in this "two-faced" thing. Are you saying that God can't bring about judgment on those who break covenent however He wishes?

    There are some who repented, and they were reached. Some were blinded and they were not.

    See Romans 9:21.
    God can bring judgment on those who break covenant. And He can do it however He wishes, within the constraints of His character, and His character is that He does not lie. So, if He means what He says when He says, "[Jer 18:7-8 KJV] 7 [At what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy [it]; 8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them", then it seems like the nation (not just individuals) has a chance to avoid the punishment--especially His chosen people. But in like manner, if the people whom He has chosen decide to turn from righteousness, can He not then judge them? I can see that's what Jer 18 is saying, and it seems like that could be what Rom 9:21 is saying--that God is not so limited by His covenant that He cannot deal with the covenant breakers.

    At this late hour, I may not have thought that all through like I should, so feel free to tear it apart.

    I feel somewhat negligent if I don't try to bring the posts back toward the thread topic. I hope you don't get tired of me doing so, as here:
    If Jer 18 speaks of nations repenting and thus avoiding destruction, and others turning from righteousness and thus losing their blessing, and both prefaced by "At what instant", doesn't it seem like the rather serious judgments against the Jews and Gentiles in the New Testament are more likely about that timeframe, or close to it, in which the judgments were spoken? Thus the judgments are more to the point--trying to get the people to repent, rather than God just showing how good He is about predicting the future.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    This shows that bias I was mentioning above. I don't believe, and I say this from listening to a preterist that I poo-pooed before, that their whole hermeneutic is to reinterpret everything to fit into the idea that all prophecy has been fulfilled, at least not the partial preterists. The "partial" is the saving grace, so to speak, as it allows that not everything has to fit into the mold of "everything already has happened".
    Of course no Preterist would accept the notion that they treat the scripture in the manner I've been suggesting. They'd deny it passionately but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. The reason they'd reject what I've accused them of doing is because I've put it terms that even they can see would make it an terrible practice. The problem for them is that they have no rebuttal. No rationally sound one anyway. I've not debated a lot of Pretersist, they are a rather rare breed, but every time I have it has always, almost immediately, come down to shadow vs substance. What's spiritual and what is real. They want to believe that Israel's Kingdom was never intended to be a real, on the ground, political kingdom, with a government and laws, etc. They want to believe that the Kingdom is in your heart and that everything has worked out precisely the way God intended from the beginning. They believe that prophecy is prewritten history and so interpret everything from the spiritual kingdom paradigm. And I'm not suggesting a conspiracy here, its a paradigm. It happens to them just like it happens to everyone else. The power of paradigm is, by far, the highest and hardest hill to climb when attempting to convince anyone of anything theological or political.

    "Whenever possible" is the key, isn't it. We all define "whenever possible" in different ways.
    The question is whether your definition is born out of an a-priori assumption as is the case with Preterism or is it born out of an objective set of rules which govern your interpretation and understanding the scripture that leads toward conclusions rather than proceeding from them.

    This is the key difference between the Open View/Mid-Acts Dispensationalism which I have held now for going on two decades and every other doctrinal system I have ever been exposed to. It is superior by every objective standard that I've ever heard anyone propose. No one that I know of, whether here or in the several books I've read on the topic, has ever bother to make an argument against its basic premises, except by accident. Every attack is aimed at details and not the foundation upon which those details emerge. In fact, the more logically consistent a theological system is, the closer it approaches either the Open View or Mid-Acts Dispensationalism or both. And conversely, the more ready a theological system is to reject logic as being "human" (i.e. bad) the further they go away from the Open View or any form of dispensationalism and usually both. On the one end of the spectrum you have the Open View an Mid-Acts Dispensationalism and on the other you have Augustinianism/Covenant Theology. The fulcrum between the two is sound reason.

    I appreciate what you're saying about Jeremiah 18, but it seems like the Matt 24 text is saying the opposite--that Jesus told His disciples the bad stuff that was going to happen to that generation unless they repented and acknowledged Him as the Christ (that part doesn't touch on Jer 18), but then when they didn't repent, that generation either did or did not experience the judgment--which is it? If they DID, then it backs up preterism (those things in Matt 24 occurred already), if they DID NOT, then it negates Jer 18, as well as undermine's Christ's veracity.
    Jesus could see what was happening and understood that Israel was likely to reject their King. Also, there was always going to be a time of hardship prior to Israel taking procession of their promised Kingdom. What we refer to today as the Tribulation was intended to happen in the first century before Christ's return as King but that entire prophetic program was halted (put on hold) because of Israel's official rejection of Christ as the Messiah and the stoning of Stephen.

    But let me consider just a minute. I think you're saying that Jesus was predicting that IF the Jews accepted Him as their messiah, then He would bring to pass all the bad stuff--on the non-Jews (Romans, etc.) as He ushered in His kingdom? That makes some sense, except for the ones that will look on Him whom they have pierced, and He mentioned the stones on the temple will not be left one on another. So it seems to be more of a determination of something bad on the Jews for rejecting Him--which makes me go back to my previous paragraph. Maybe I didn't quite catch your drift--explain more as you see fit.
    No, it was to be the time of Jacob's trouble, not Rome's (Jeremaih 30). It was to be a time of cleansing, of purging of Israel in preparation for the return of Christ as King of Israel, not of Rome. All prophesy (well, nearly all of it) as to do with Israel and none of it is prewritten history.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete

    P.S. All of this is very well established in a clear, rationally sound and very thorough manner in Bob Enyart's book, "The Plot" as well as C.R. Stam's "Things That Differ". I strongly recommend you read them both.
    Last edited by Clete; May 23rd, 2016 at 06:12 AM.
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    Note, re: Stam's "Things That Differ..."

    Every Preterist (Partial or otherwise) that I have pointed to that pdf has either out right rejected bothering with it, or admitted merely having disdainfully glanced through it.

    Why? The frame of reference going in.

    And the fact is that Clete is right; MADs frame of reference must first be considered.

    Without it, it's assertions remain "a mystery" in that other sense of that word.

    Or as singer, Van Morrison put it - "on the outside lookin in..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danoh View Post
    Note, re: Stam's "Things That Differ..."

    Every Preterist (Partial or otherwise) that I have pointed to that pdf has either out right rejected bothering with it, or admitted merely having disdainfully glanced through it.

    Why? The frame of reference going in.

    And the fact is that Clete is right; MADs frame of reference must first be considered.

    Without it, it's assertions remain "a mystery" in that other sense of that word.

    Or as singer, Van Morrison put it - "on the outside lookin in..."
    There is no question about it, the power of paradigm is without a doubt, the primary obstacle to overcome in any discussion about theology.

    It is my personal opinion that not one percent of the work that should be done in the study of paradigm shifts and what permits them to occur in a person's mind has been done. A fuller understanding of why paradigm shifts are so strongly resisted and intuitively rejected and the development of techniques that might help to overcome that resistance would benefit not only the field of theology but the whole of philosophy.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Sure there is. Haven't you ever heard of a 3 or 4-point Calvinist?
    Any Calvinist will tell you that they're not Calvinists.

    I'm probably a bit naive about this, but I don't think of the all-things-decreed-before-creation as the most important and necessary part of Calvinism, though it rides high in the thoughts of most.
    It is fundamental to Calvinist soteriology. It is the basis for unconditional election and limited atonement.

    I was under the impression that Open Theism allowed for the possibility that both individuals and nations could repent, especially if the Christ, the one who was promised to come, came and preached a message of repentance.
    Open Theism doesn't speak to this at all. Open Theism is concerned with the nature of what God created.

    So perhaps God wanted them to be blind in order to "trick" them into killing their messiah, or to cause such a sin in them that He could bring severe judgment down on them, but that (the latter), again, is how Calvinists think.
    Similarities? Yes. Calvinism isn't built out of thin air. Calvinism's error in this respect is that they take the blindness of the Jews and extend it to all people.

    He certainly can. And if He decides to remake them into a vessel of honor because they turned from their wickedness, He could do it--but not if He blinded them with the intention of not letting them turn from their wickedness.
    Why not? If they had already turned from him, and this was their judgment, there's nothing wrong with that.

    God can bring judgment on those who break covenant. And He can do it however He wishes, within the constraints of His character, and His character is that He does not lie. So, if He means what He says when He says, "[Jer 18:7-8 KJV] 7 [At what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy [it]; 8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them", then it seems like the nation (not just individuals) has a chance to avoid the punishment--especially His chosen people.
    They did.

    But in like manner, if the people whom He has chosen decide to turn from righteousness, can He not then judge them? I can see that's what Jer 18 is saying, and it seems like that could be what Rom 9:21 is saying--that God is not so limited by His covenant that He cannot deal with the covenant breakers.
    He didn't turn them from righteousness. They did that on their own.

    At this late hour, I may not have thought that all through like I should, so feel free to tear it apart.

    I feel somewhat negligent if I don't try to bring the posts back toward the thread topic. I hope you don't get tired of me doing so, as here:
    If Jer 18 speaks of nations repenting and thus avoiding destruction
    It doesn't. It speaks about Israel.
    I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

    2 Tim 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

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    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danoh View Post
    One problem I find in your assertions is that they appear to be based on conclusions absent of a much more exhaustive searching out of these issues in the Scripture itself.

    The result being that your above assertions appear to be based more on your own reasoning about these issues in contrast to reasoning on them through the Scriptures.
    This is always a danger. So thanks for watching out for it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Danoh View Post
    For example, the calamity that Jeremiah had prophesied would befall Israel: both their Babylonian Captivity and Scattering that Daniel prays about many many decades later, had been based on Moses' words GENERATIONS earlier - to HIS generation.

    The basic principle behind "what does this have to with me now" being that it was taught to every Israelite child, as per Deuteronomy 6's Sheva.

    The Israelite Prophet: Daniel, would disagree with you on your assertion.

    Daniel 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. ...

    9:10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, ...
    I don't disagree with what you've said here--those things were definitely spoken of by Moses. But were they spoken of by Moses as a foregone conclusion--prophecy of things that cannot be avoided? Or were they warnings, "contingent prophecies", so to speak. I have to conclude that Moses spoke of things he wanting Israel to avoid, else there's not much point to telling them ahead of time. And if that's the reason for Moses' statements, the Israelites at the time of Daniel were not being punished for something that happened in the time of Moses, but something that had happened more recently--possibly within the last 3 or 4 generations--going back to Hezekiah's prideful display of his wealth to the Babylonians, at least, but that wasn't the only issue God was dealing with, by any means.

    My premise on the preterism/open theism link suggests that a much future prophecy would punish well beyond the third and fourth generation, which then seems to predetermine that those much future generations will sin to deserve the punishment. You've given examples of much future prophecies that I think are more in line with what I'm suggesting--Moses' generation did not sin in the way Moses was talking about, and the future generations were not compelled to sin by God--nor did He want them to do so--else He's the author of sin.
    Last edited by Derf; May 24th, 2016 at 11:29 AM.

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    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    Any Calvinist will tell you that they're not Calvinists.
    That's what 7-pointers say about 5-pointers, too. And Calvin himself would probably tell you that the 5 points are not the entirety of what he was promoting.

    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    It is fundamental to Calvinist soteriology. It is the basis for unconditional election and limited atonement.
    I'm not quite ready to agree with that. I believe the basis for those things is that those things are spelled out in scripture (though I don't necessarily agree with their interpretation), and the election of certain people was determined before the foundation of the world, not that ALL things were determined at that time. The "ALL things" part is where they get into trouble, in my opinion, but that doesn't necessarily mean that "ALL things determined before the foundation of the world" is fundamental or even necessary, without some other presuppositions--like that God knows ALL things ahead of time. This is the attraction Open Theism holds for me--it doesn't require that God know things that are unknowable--but Calvinists are mostly locked in with that idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post

    Open Theism doesn't speak to this at all. Open Theism is concerned with the nature of what God created.
    And part of that nature is that God doesn't predetermine His creation to sin. Maybe that's not part of Open Theism, but it seemed to me to be inextricably entwined.


    Similarities? Yes. Calvinism isn't built out of thin air. Calvinism's error in this respect is that they take the blindness of the Jews and extend it to all people.
    Agreed.


    Why not? If they had already turned from him, and this was their judgment, there's nothing wrong with that.
    Then why call them to repentance? If God calls to repentance, and says that if a nation turns from their wickedness then He will turn from the judgment He had planned (and you seem to think that passage applies specifically to the Jews according to your comment below), then there is something wrong with that--it says God is the author of unrepentance, which I think can be established as sin, since God commanded it.

    He didn't turn them from righteousness. They did that on their own.
    I don't think you understood what I was saying there. I didn't say God turned them from righteousness, but that if they do, He can judge appropriately.

    It doesn't. It speaks about Israel.
    The chapter is certainly about Israel, but the principle it expresses is not, even there, limited to Israel. It says "If a nation..."

    Thanks for the continued conversation, Muz.

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    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    That's what 7-pointers say about 5-pointers, too. And Calvin himself would probably tell you that the 5 points are not the entirety of what he was promoting.
    Well, anything less than 5 points really doesn't fit.

    I'm not quite ready to agree with that. I believe the basis for those things is that those things are spelled out in scripture (though I don't necessarily agree with their interpretation), and the election of certain people was determined before the foundation of the world, not that ALL things were determined at that time.
    It would be difficult to say that certain people are elect without determining the course in which those people came into existence. After all, if the wrong sperm meets the wrong egg, some elect person might not come into being.

    The "ALL things" part is where they get into trouble, in my opinion, but that doesn't necessarily mean that "ALL things determined before the foundation of the world" is fundamental or even necessary, without some other presuppositions--like that God knows ALL things ahead of time. This is the attraction Open Theism holds for me--it doesn't require that God know things that are unknowable--but Calvinists are mostly locked in with that idea.
    And part of that nature is that God doesn't predetermine His creation to sin. Maybe that's not part of Open Theism, but it seemed to me to be inextricably entwined.
    Not sure what version of Calvinism you're into, but in every version I'm aware of, God decrees all things before the foundation of the world.

    Then why call them to repentance?
    Because some will.

    I don't think you understood what I was saying there. I didn't say God turned them from righteousness, but that if they do, He can judge appropriately.
    Which is what is happening in the exile.

    The chapter is certainly about Israel, but the principle it expresses is not, even there, limited to Israel. It says "If a nation..."

    Thanks for the continued conversation, Muz.
    Israel is the only nation in covenant with God. It doesn't have application beyond them.

    I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

    2 Tim 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    Well, anything less than 5 points really doesn't fit.

    It would be difficult to say that certain people are elect without determining the course in which those people came into existence. After all, if the wrong sperm meets the wrong egg, some elect person might not come into being.

    Not sure what version of Calvinism you're into, but in every version I'm aware of, God decrees all things before the foundation of the world.
    I'm not so much "into" Calvinism as "out of" it. I'll accede on your points.

    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    Israel is the only nation in covenant with God. It doesn't have application beyond them.

    Does God have to be in covenant with a nation before He can judge them or show them mercy? Think of Nineveh--no covenant, yet God sent a prophet to warn them of their impending doom and seemed to apply this part of Jer 18: "[Jer 18:7-8 KJV] 7 [At what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy [it]; 8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Does God have to be in covenant with a nation before He can judge them or show them mercy? Think of Nineveh--no covenant, yet God sent a prophet to warn them of their impending doom and seemed to apply this part of Jer 18: "[Jer 18:7-8 KJV] 7 [At what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy [it]; 8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them".
    God can choose to act as he wishes. However, God isn't obligated to act in any particular manner unless he has engaged in covenant.
    I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

    2 Tim 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    God can choose to act as he wishes. However, God isn't obligated to act in any particular manner unless he has engaged in covenant.
    And how does one determine which way God is required to act? In the Jer 18 passage, God is saying He could do either (judge or withold judgment) to the people of the covenant, based on whether they turned back to Him or away from Him after formerly turning away from Him or to Him, respectively. So in both circumstances, the people of the covenant have broken covenant, and God could judge in either case. Once a covenant is broken, it can't be unbroken by the breakers of it--it can only be unbroken at the mercy of the covenant keeper.

    And does one need a covenant for God to judge? Or to show mercy? The Nineveh case says He doesn't. The Israel case says He isn't required by that covenant toward either end. But He still is merciful, and He still is just.

    I think your covenant stipulation is unfounded, at least in the Jer 18 scenario.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Of course no Preterist would accept the notion that they treat the scripture in the manner I've been suggesting. They'd deny it passionately but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. The reason they'd reject what I've accused them of doing is because I've put it terms that even they can see would make it an terrible practice. The problem for them is that they have no rebuttal. No rationally sound one anyway. I've not debated a lot of Pretersist, they are a rather rare breed, but every time I have it has always, almost immediately, come down to shadow vs substance. What's spiritual and what is real. They want to believe that Israel's Kingdom was never intended to be a real, on the ground, political kingdom, with a government and laws, etc. They want to believe that the Kingdom is in your heart and that everything has worked out precisely the way God intended from the beginning. They believe that prophecy is prewritten history and so interpret everything from the spiritual kingdom paradigm. And I'm not suggesting a conspiracy here, its a paradigm. It happens to them just like it happens to everyone else. The power of paradigm is, by far, the highest and hardest hill to climb when attempting to convince anyone of anything theological or political.


    The question is whether your definition is born out of an a-priori assumption as is the case with Preterism or is it born out of an objective set of rules which govern your interpretation and understanding the scripture that leads toward conclusions rather than proceeding from them.

    This is the key difference between the Open View/Mid-Acts Dispensationalism which I have held now for going on two decades and every other doctrinal system I have ever been exposed to. It is superior by every objective standard that I've ever heard anyone propose. No one that I know of, whether here or in the several books I've read on the topic, has ever bother to make an argument against its basic premises, except by accident. Every attack is aimed at details and not the foundation upon which those details emerge. In fact, the more logically consistent a theological system is, the closer it approaches either the Open View or Mid-Acts Dispensationalism or both. And conversely, the more ready a theological system is to reject logic as being "human" (i.e. bad) the further they go away from the Open View or any form of dispensationalism and usually both. On the one end of the spectrum you have the Open View an Mid-Acts Dispensationalism and on the other you have Augustinianism/Covenant Theology. The fulcrum between the two is sound reason.


    Jesus could see what was happening and understood that Israel was likely to reject their King. Also, there was always going to be a time of hardship prior to Israel taking procession of their promised Kingdom. What we refer to today as the Tribulation was intended to happen in the first century before Christ's return as King but that entire prophetic program was halted (put on hold) because of Israel's official rejection of Christ as the Messiah and the stoning of Stephen.


    No, it was to be the time of Jacob's trouble, not Rome's (Jeremaih 30). It was to be a time of cleansing, of purging of Israel in preparation for the return of Christ as King of Israel, not of Rome. All prophesy (well, nearly all of it) as to do with Israel and none of it is prewritten history.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete

    P.S. All of this is very well established in a clear, rationally sound and very thorough manner in Bob Enyart's book, "The Plot" as well as C.R. Stam's "Things That Differ". I strongly recommend you read them both.
    I haven't forgotten about you, Clete. I'm taking some time to look at your C.R. Stam booklet, but haven't had as much time with it as I'd like.

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