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Thread: Open View and Preterism

  1. #46
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    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.
    Amazing!

    Take all the time you need!
    "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

  2. #47
    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    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 thus, Paul tells us how God has chosen to deal with Israel as clay in Romans 9.

    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.
    To judge? No. But if God has not engaged in Covenant, God may act as He pleases. If he wishes to judge, he judges.

    I think your covenant stipulation is unfounded, at least in the Jer 18 scenario.
    I think you're trying to insert things into my argument that aren't there.
    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.

  3. #48
    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    And thus, Paul tells us how God has chosen to deal with Israel as clay in Romans 9.
    Granted.

    To judge? No. But if God has not engaged in Covenant, God may act as He pleases. If he wishes to judge, he judges.
    I'm having a hard time figuring out where you are on this. First you say:
    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    See Jeremiah 18. God may do as He wishes with Israel.
    Then you say:
    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    But if God has not engaged in Covenant, God may act as He pleases.
    Can God do what He wishes with Israel (the one He's in covenant with) or not?

    In truth, I don't think God ever acts different than He pleases. If He is in covenant, He is pleased to act according to His covenant, as it is not in His nature to break covenant. If He is not in covenant, He is pleased to act according to His nature. For instance, He doesn't lie. So if He predicted that a certain thing come to pass on a nation, whether one He's in covenant with or not, He will bring it to pass, unless that nation changes course.

    I'm probably over-belaboring a very minor point, which I'm wont to do.
    I think you're trying to insert things into my argument that aren't there.
    That's not my intent, but I'm not saying it couldn't happen. Based on your above quotes, I don't have to insert anything extra--you've argued both sides without my help.

  4. #49
    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Hi Clete,
    I finished reading Stam's "Things That Differ". I feel the need to explain that I don't really read that slow. Suffice it to say that I was on vacation last week and had a little down time, for which I'm thankful.

    In general I don't have too much problem with Stam's ideas about the dispensations--I agree with his assertion that "faith" exhibited by Abraham unto salvation did not look like the "faith" exhibited by those Christ preached to, nor like that of those that Paul preached to. I think he went a little too far trying to dig out distinctions between the 12 and Paul (and some other distinctive lists as well). And he repeated stuff a whole lot. I enjoy theological discussions, but I must say he put me to sleep a number of times.

    Anyway, now that I've read it, I'll respond below, though I'm not sure I got out of Stam what you hoped I would.

    And I didn't read "The Plot". I may try to one of these days.

    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.
    I don't deny your assertions here. But just because they let some (a lot?) of what they want to believe cloud their judgment doesn't make their positions on prophecy wrong--it just makes some or all of their reasons for holding those positions wrong. The distinction is subtle, but noteworthy, I think. And if it's possible that some of their reasons are good, then we should afford them the same kindness we would want--that they take the things of value from what we say and cast away the dross. Far be it from me to suggest that I have no dross to cast away.

    Now, I agree that we should cast away the idea the the kingdom is only spiritual. God made us physical, and gave us laws during the various dispensations that are physically enacted (like capital punishment for heinous crimes). And when He says He's going to bless Israel or curse Israel, for the most part He's talking about blessings/cursings in the physical realm.

    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.
    The strength of preterism, as with any of our paradigms, is when they actually take the bible for what it says, despite where it might lead. And one place they do that is in the "this generation" passages.

    If Jesus said "this generation" will experience these things, then it seems logical to think that they will/did experience them, rather than some other generation. That was my point. You've brought in the idea that while Jesus said those things would happen in "this generation" it is possible for those things NOT to happen, if the contingent condition is not met--which is also a valid point. But you've also given opposing reasons

    So, help me think through this. If Jesus was saying those things (mainly concentrating on Matt 24), as I think I'm understanding you to say, to the Jews as an expected result of their faithfulness in accepting the Messiah, then I'm confused as to why He said stuff like: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you..." and "then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another"
    I guess you're saying that it is part of the purging, but there's still an expectation of Israel as a nation still accepting Him? But it would seem that the leaders would be afraid of the people, like they were already with regard to Jesus, if that were the case, and they then wouldn't be able to kill the apostles.

    His predictions don't contain any wishy-washy-ness.

    He follows them with: [Mat 24:34 KJV] Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

    Then He backs up that statement with an overwhelming oath, calling upon God's physical creation to testify that He really means it (after he just told the Pharisees that if you swear by heaven, you'd better really mean it, as you're swearing by God if you do--Matt 23:22): [Mat 24:35 KJV] Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

    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.
    No offense, but isn't that what everyone says about their theology with respect to the others--that "I've got logic on my side, and they don't"? I'm glad you feel that way about yours, but it's an empty boast until we figure out who's right, and even then how do we know we've figured out who's right, theologically, except after no-one can come up with a better on for, say hundreds or even thousands of years? That's the argument the traditionalists are using against open theists right now. I don't find it persuasive.


    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.
    Again, Matt 24 followed Matt 23, where Jesus did the 7-fold "woe" against the Scribes and Pharisees. Does it make sense that Jesus was seeing the likelihood of Israel rejecting him (after the leaders had already done so), but then He would predict with such force the things in Matt 24 as a path to Israel's accepting Him?

    If Jesus saw the likelihood (not just a possibility, but a greater than 50% chance, or "likelihood") of His rejection, and His prophecies are for the contingency where He isn't rejected, wouldn't He want to temper the prediction just a little bit?? Throw in some contingency words or something??

    But if He's instead predicting their rejection of Him, why didn't all those things come to pass, since they really did reject Him?

    Preterists are saying, I think, that they believe Christ understood He was being rejected, and that He was predicting things that should happen if He was rejected, and they further believe that those things DID happen (to a large degree). I don't see faulty logic in that, do you?

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