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Thread: Open Theism Destroys Arminianism??

  1. #196
    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Not all all! Instead, the verses to which you refer speak of "sowing" the natural body as a seed. The key to understanding the verses which you cited is found earlier:

    "Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain"
    (1 Cor.15:36-37).

    Here Paul compares the natural body to a "seed." What is sowed or planted is the seed, the natural body. And until the seed dies and is rotted in the ground it does not produce anything. But once it dies then it brings forth the "body which shall be."
    Have you noticed that Wheat seed produces... wheat, just like where the seed came from? The plant that results from the seed is still the same kind of plant that the seed came from.

    And keep in mind that the only reason we are planted as seeds is that Adam sinned, earning the result of physical death. Had Adam not sinned, we would all be in the eternal state already.

    After the physical body is destroyed something springs out of it and it is widely different from the original body (seed) and the form is completely different. Therefore, we can understand that the words "dishonor," and "weakness" are speaking about the natural body as it is rotting in the ground.
    You've missed the point of the passage. The plant that results from a seed isn't "widely different." Indeed, it is more of the same. The picture of the seed dying and being buried in the ground is an image of restoration to what we were intended to be. You don't get apples from wheat seed.


    Now back to your earlier argument:



    Why would you even say anything about a body being "morally pure" since morals relate to to principles of right and wrong in a person's behavior? It is the "inner man" who makes the choices in regard to behavior, not his body.
    Again, you continue in the same error to think that Paul is referring to the physical body. Look at how Paul refers to the natural body: Perishable, dishonor, weak. Do you seriously think that Paul is referring to your bones and organs? We are perishable because of sin. We are dishonorable because of sin. We are weak because of sin. These are the results of our moral failures.
    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.

  2. #197
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    We are perishable because of sin.
    No, the natural body has always been perishable. The Scriptures reveal that in order for a person to live forever he must partake of the tree of life (Gen.3:22-24). Since no one has access to that tree anymore all men die.

    So a natural body is subject to death. However, when we will be raised from the dead we will put on a "spiritual body":

    "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (1 Cor.15:44).

    The Greek word translated "spiritual" means this: "always connotes the ideas of invisibility and of power" (Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).

    We will enter into the heavenly kingdom in very different bodies than the flesh and blood bodies which we now have:

    "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Cor.15:49-50).

    In the future we will put on heavenly bodies and Paul describes that body as being "eternal" (2 Cor.5:1). Paul also says that eternal things cannot be seen:

    "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor.4:18).

  3. #198
    Over 500 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Your problem is that you ignore one of the meanings which is given there, that the Greek word translated spiritual "always connotes the ideas of invisibility and of power" (Vine's Expository Dictionary of new Testament Words).

    Your ideas directly contradict that. What are your credentials in understanding the things in regard to the Greek language?
    I have no credentials in the Greek language. But I do feel like I'm well versed in the english language--I've spoken and read it most of 50 years--in which the Vine's resource is written. And if you'll notice, the note about "always connotes the ideas of invisibility and of power" is NOT one of the definitions, but a commentary on the definitions. And I didn't ignore that commentary, but went into a fair amount of detail about what "invisibility" means when applied to intangible things, as well as what invisibility might mean when applied to physical things. Until you've done that, you're reading Vine's commentary with a rather wooden and literal sense that may not apply to the scriptures that you are reading in a wooden and literal sense that also may not apply that way. Something has to give--either there's a physical existence in the eternal state that defines the man, or Job is wrong. Which do you choose?

    You confuse the body with the man. Of course it is the "inner man" (who is invisible) who is a spiritual man. For some reason the idea that the body which we are now in are described as being clothed upon escapes you. Perhaps you are willing to argue that we can see with our eyes the inner man?
    Why would I pursue an argumentation taken from one of your premises? I think you are saying Job was wrong. You are taking Job's assertion that he will see with his eyes and stand in his flesh AFTER his flesh and his eyes have been eaten by worms, and saying that it applies to the "inner man"? Job did not hope in a spiritual existence, but a "fleshy" one, though I'd hazard to guess that he wasn't speaking of a corruptible flesh (which is one, but not the only use of the word "flesh"), but a changed flesh.

    Of course He will "appear" to the believers when they are changed into a spiritual body just like His spiritual body. Besides that, if the Lord Jesus will appear in the same body in which they saw Him after He was raised from the dead then they would know EXACTLY what they will be. But what is said here proves that is not true:

    "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is"
    (1 Jn.3:2).

    Again, if the Lord Jesus is now in a flesh and blood body like the one which the Apostles saw after He was raised from the dead then they would no EXACTLY what He will be like and what they will be like.
    This is a very good point! Could Jesus' body have experienced a change afterward, like, perhaps, emitting light like at the transfiguration? That's one possibility of what might be changed in us. But it doesn't negate Jesus' resurrection into a physical body that resembled His previous body so much that He retained the scars from His crucifixion. And to cast off that body, which is what you were suggesting He did when He ascended, is as equivalent to a second death as anything I could come up with.

    Who says that He has no body? I have always said that when the living saints will meet the Lord Jesus in the air then they will take on a body just like His glorious body. Your mind is so closed on this subject that you cannot even understand the things which those who disagree with you say.
    They shall be "changed", but what does that mean? It might mean "take on a body", or it might mean they will experience changes to their bodies. "Taking on a body" is ok with me, as long as there is some correlation with their old body. Without that, you can't have a "resurrection". "Spiritual body" is an oxymoron. We need to figure out what Paul meant by it, and we can't do it by eliminating the thing Job was placing his hope on.

    And of course those in heaven will be able to see Him because by that time they will also have spiritual bodies like the Lord Jesus' spiritual body. In fact they will be able to see God who is spirit (Rev.22:3-4).

    Do you think that we can see God with the eyes which are a part of our natural bodies?
    Another good question! I'll go to the Old Testament for this. There were a number of cases where people saw God, often accompanied by the fear that they would die because they saw God. Moses talked with God "face to face", and He asked God to show him his glory, though God wouldn't except the fading of it (His "backside"):
    And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. [Exo 33:18 KJV]
    And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. [Exo 33:20 KJV]
    And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. [Exo 33:23 KJV]
    Moses was physically affected by God's glory, and wore a veil because his face was shining or ceasing to shine, perhaps. This may indicate that God was irradiating Moses with His presence.

    Jacob wrestled with God, so he must have seen Him. But I also see where John says we can't see God [No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (John 1:18)]. This is an oxymoronic concept, that Jacob could wrestle with someone that couldn't be seen. We have to deal with the seeming contradiction, and the way we do it usually is that we say that there are appearances of God that are not "actually" God. Sometimes they are referred to as the Angel of the Lord. Jesus was different from these, as He was born to a human mother.

    And Paul goes a step further to say: Who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever (1 Timothy 6:16). Even in his description of God as "invisible", Paul uses a visual clue--light--to explain it. Is God, perhaps, invisible because He is surrounded by glory in the form of light? Light that we can see? Or maybe that has an effect on our physical bodies? One possibility is that God's light is full spectrum--meaning it comprises both the healthy light that we see and feel (like infrared) as well as that which we can't see nor feel, but can cause damage to our physical bodies (like x-rays and gamma rays). Thus "seeing God" may cause us to die, at least until our bodies are changed to be incorruptible.

    As I said before, there are several ways to be invisible. I'm saying I don't know which one Paul is thinking of. And it doesn't seem too much of a stretch to say that our eyes that currently cannot stand to see God's full glory could be changed in the resurrection to be able to see it.

    When Paul uses the pronoun [I think you mean "adjective"] "spiritual" to describe our future bodies He is describing the very essence of that body. And again, the Greek word translated 'spiritual' "always connotes the ideas of invisibility and of power."
    [/quote]I disagree that "invisibility" is the "essence" Paul is striving to convey, despite your assertion. The context clearly is referring to something that is LASTING and PERFECTED rather than fleeting and weak. I've given reasons why the "invisibility" part of the connotation doesn't always apply, which boil down to the fact that most of the definitions of "spiritual" are inherently invisible because they are intangible. Jesus, offering to His disciples to touch and feel His body, showed that it was not intangible. Jesus would have to die again to get rid of that body.
    We can also see that here Paul uses another adjective to describe the Lord Jesus as he is now in heaven and "invisible":

    "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever"
    (1 Tim.1:17).

    The pronoun [adjective?] is describing the very essence of the Lord Jesus, just like when the following pronoun [adjective?] is used to describe God:

    "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature"
    (Col.1:14-15).
    How does an invisible person have an "image"? The very word conveys the idea of sight!

    As with any oxymoron, or seeming contradiction, we are left with the task of figuring out what it means without losing either of the supposed contradictory parts. If God is "light" (which expressly denotes something that our eyes can see), but God is "invisible" (which expressly denotes something our eyes cannot see), how can He be both? I think we are both leaning the same way--that in our glorified bodies, we will have the capability to see Him--but disagreeing about why we don't see Him now.

  4. #199
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    As with any oxymoron, or seeming contradiction, we are left with the task of figuring out what it means without losing either of the supposed contradictory parts. If God is "light" (which expressly denotes something that our eyes can see), but God is "invisible" (which expressly denotes something our eyes cannot see), how can He be both? I think we are both leaning the same way--that in our glorified bodies, we will have the capability to see Him--but disagreeing about why we don't see Him now.
    The word "light" as in "God is light" is used in this sense:

    "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Mt.5:15-16).

    When we read this Greek adjective translated "invisible" referring to the Lord Jesus we can know that with our natural body we are not equipped to see Him:

    "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever" (1 Tim.1:7).

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    How does an invisible person have an "image"? The very word conveys the idea of sight!
    As I said, while in these natural bodies of ours we are not equipped to see the things which are described as "invisible" but those who will put on spiritual bodies will indeed be equipped to see the image of these things (Rev.22:3).

    And here the Lord Jesus is described this way:

    "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature"
    (Col.1:14-15).

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I disagree that "invisibility" is the "essence" Paul is striving to convey, despite your assertion.
    As I said earlier, Paul describes the heavenly body we will put on as being "eternal" (2 Cor.5:1) and he says that the eternal things "are not seen" (2 Cor.4:18).

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    And if you'll notice, the note about "always connotes the ideas of invisibility and of power" is NOT one of the definitions, but a commentary on the definitions.
    Let us look at one of the definitions concerning the "spiritual" body which we will put on later:

    "the resurrection body of the dead in Christ is 'spiritual,' i.e., such as is suited to the heavenly environment, 1Cr 15:44"
    (Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).

    We know that "flesh and blood" bodies have no place in the heavenly kingdom, as witnessed by what Paul says here:

    "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Cor.15:49-50).

    Next, let us look at the definition of the Greek word translated "invisible" in this verse:

    "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever" (1 Tim.1:7).

    That Greek word means "either, not seen i.e. 'unseen,' or that which cannot be seen i.e. 'invisible.' In the latter sense of God....Tim. i:17" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon).

    The Lord Jesus, in His "spiritual" body, cannot be seen because in our earthly, natural bodies we are not equipped to see Him.

    This post is long enough so later I will address your other points.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Jerry Shugart; February 10th, 2017 at 09:20 AM.

  5. #200
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Greetings Derf!

    Earlier I quoted this verse:

    "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 Jn.3:2).

    if the Lord Jesus is now in a flesh and blood body like the one which the Apostles saw after He was raised from the dead then they would no EXACTLY what He will be like and what they will be like.

    to which you replied:

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    This is a very good point! Could Jesus' body have experienced a change afterward, like, perhaps, emitting light like at the transfiguration? That's one possibility of what might be changed in us. But it doesn't negate Jesus' resurrection into a physical body that resembled His previous body so much that He retained the scars from His crucifixion. And to cast off that body, which is what you were suggesting He did when He ascended, is as equivalent to a second death as anything I could come up with.
    Yes, He experienced a changed. but I am not quite sure how it would be possible for a flesh and blood body could emit light. even after He was raised from the dead His flesh and blood bodyn underwent major changes. Even though He was recognized by those who previously knew Him we can see that somethig happened later which resulted in two of His disciples not to recognize Him (Lk.24:16). He could eat and be touched but He could also appear in locked rooms. He also ascended into heaven.

    I believe that the bodies in which we will be raised will be like that. Those bodies will be adaptable to fit the environment in which we exist. When in heaven we will have a heavenly body and while on the earth we will have a earthly, natural body.

    Does the body which the Lord Jesus has on now one where He looks like a Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes (Rev.5:6) or a body like the one described by john at Revelation 1:13-17?

    I believe that since the Lord is now in a body which we are not equipped to see that John was given a "vision" of the Lord Jesus in heaven. I do not presume that Lord Jesus’ body has to conform to the dimensions that we know. Although we exist in an four dimensational environment I do not presume that the eternal environment is so limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    There were a number of cases where people saw God, often accompanied by the fear that they would die because they saw God. Moses talked with God "face to face", and He asked God to show him his glory, though God wouldn't except the fading of it (His "backside"):
    I believe that this is a case of the LORD having a supernatural body where He can make Himself conform to any form He wishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Jacob wrestled with God, so he must have seen Him. But I also see where John says we can't see God [No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (John 1:18)]. This is an oxymoronic concept, that Jacob could wrestle with someone that couldn't be seen. We have to deal with the seeming contradiction, and the way we do it usually is that we say that there are appearances of God that are not "actually" God. Sometimes they are referred to as the Angel of the Lord. Jesus was different from these, as He was born to a human mother.
    This can be cleared up in only one way. What was seen of God and what was wrestled with was a "body" which was adapted to the circumstances. The very essence of the LORD God was not seen.

  6. #201
    Over 500 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Hi Jerry,
    I have appreciated this conversation with you, and I expect we will get back into some of these thoughts in other threads at other times. So I'm not going to reply to much of what you've said here, except to say that
    1. I don't disagree that we will have spiritual bodies that have some different characteristics from our current bodies--I don't know all of what those characteristics will be--and they will be adaptable to different environments OR they won't need to adapt because they will be built for whatever environments are available to us (this would be my preference--for example, these bodies might not need to breathe air if they go up into the "heavens"). But they will still be the same bodies. And the extent of the adaptation is that they can live in heaven or on earth or wherever God wants them to be.
    2. I disagree with you that Jesus and we will have different bodies for different uses. If Jesus' body is adaptable, then He wouldn't need to discard it at any time, and doing so would be a death of that body, which is antithetical to His mission and promise of resurrection to everlasting life--if He as a first fruits of everlasting life then "dies" again (casts off His body), His promise of everlasting life is not very convincing.
    3. Since you have advocated both of the foregoing ideas--an adaptable body (singular) and exchangeable bodies (plural), you have been inconsistent. Would you like to pick one or the other of the foregoing to advocate?

    Whichever the case, you've admitted that invisibility is only a characteristic in comparison to our current environment, and not to our future environment and capabilities. As such, it is hardly worth the discussion--it is either invisible because it's made out of something we can't see (but will be able to in the future) or it's invisible because it hasn't happened yet (but will in the future), or both. You're insistence on the invisibility of the material seems strange to me, but oh well.

    Maybe you can help me get us back on-topic for this thread. If I remember correctly, you advocated something that did not include an actual "foreknowledge", but required that God was outside of time in a way that all things on earth happen, to Him, at the same instant, thus He can "see" the future with respect to our now, and can know our decisions in order to elect us. I'm pretty sure that's straight up Arminianism.

    Therefore, you are particularly welcome to express your opinion about my OP, which suggested that Arminianism is "destroyed" by Open Theism. Do you think that is true, or not. And why?


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Greetings Derf!

    Earlier I quoted this verse:

    "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 Jn.3:2).

    if the Lord Jesus is now in a flesh and blood body like the one which the Apostles saw after He was raised from the dead then they would no EXACTLY what He will be like and what they will be like.

    to which you replied:



    Yes, He experienced a changed. but I am not quite sure how it would be possible for a flesh and blood body could emit light. even after He was raised from the dead His flesh and blood bodyn underwent major changes. Even though He was recognized by those who previously knew Him we can see that somethig happened later which resulted in two of His disciples not to recognize Him (Lk.24:16). He could eat and be touched but He could also appear in locked rooms. He also ascended into heaven.

    I believe that the bodies in which we will be raised will be like that. Those bodies will be adaptable to fit the environment in which we exist. When in heaven we will have a heavenly body and while on the earth we will have a earthly, natural body.

    Does the body which the Lord Jesus has on now one where He looks like a Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes (Rev.5:6) or a body like the one described by john at Revelation 1:13-17?

    I believe that since the Lord is now in a body which we are not equipped to see that John was given a "vision" of the Lord Jesus in heaven. I do not presume that Lord Jesusí body has to conform to the dimensions that we know. Although we exist in an four dimensational environment I do not presume that the eternal environment is so limited.



    I believe that this is a case of the LORD having a supernatural body where He can make Himself conform to any form He wishes.



    This can be cleared up in only one way. What was seen of God and what was wrestled with was a "body" which was adapted to the circumstances. The very essence of the LORD God was not seen.

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Therefore, you are particularly welcome to express your opinion about my OP, which suggested that Arminianism is "destroyed" by Open Theism. Do you think that is true, or not. And why?
    OK Derf. Let us look at what you said here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I believe what was meant by Open Theism destroying Arminianism is that Arminianism, holding to the idea that God can look into the future to know what will happen, puts God in a box that He can't escape from.
    Could you please explain why that would put God in a box?

    Thanks!

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    Over 500 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    OK Derf. Let us look at what you said here:



    Could you please explain why that would put God in a box?

    Thanks!
    I attempted to in that same post, which I'll quote in toto here, with some emphases added:

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Since I didn't get any replies, I'm going to take a hack at it myself.

    I believe what was meant by Open Theism destroying Arminianism is that Arminianism, holding to the idea that God can look into the future to know what will happen, puts God in a box that He can't escape from.

    For one thing, God either looks into a real future or not. [1] If He looks into a real future, which would of a necessity include His own actions, then He cannot change His own actions, because then the future He looked into would have changed--it wouldn't [have been] "real". Therefore God is as bound by this "future" as we are. And if God is bound by this "future", then He isn't the most powerful thing around--His creation is now more powerful than He is.

    [2] If God looks into a supposed future, one that He can change, then God isn't really looking into the "future", but into the possibilities for a future, turning Arminians into Process Theologians (if I understand the distinctions correctly).

    Interestingly then, if Open Theism really destroys Arminianism, then either they aren't really Arminians, or they destroy their own theology.
    The yellow highlight gives what I think are the 2 alternatives for Arminianism. The 2 bold sections introduce the discussions on those two alternatives.

    Maybe a little discussion on the "reality" of "future" is in order. My thought is that a "real" future is one that is assured of happening--it actually becomes "actualized" at some point. For instance, if my "real" destiny is that I get run over by a bus tomorrow, then we can know it is a real destiny/future when it actually happens. God would have to have a different perspective (He could tell before it happens that it is going to happen), but no different outcome. As soon as the outcome is allowed to change (for whatever reason), it eliminates the "reality" of the future event.

    So if God looks into a "real" future, then that "future" can't change--it is as fixed and certain as the past.

    Same kind of thing must then be considered for the "past", as discussed here:
    Spoiler
    If God is not "bound by time" as you intimate, then He can not only change the future, but also the past, right? Past, Present, and Future all look alike to Him (This is derived from Boettner's statement: "...so He sees all events in history, past, present, and future at one glance" (Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)). But any change in the past ripples into the present and beyond. So if the present is real (like I'm really sitting here typing this right now), and God changes the past (to, for instance, not allow for the invention of the computer), then the present reality of me typing is not real--I would no longer be typing on my computer. Maybe I wouldn't even exist (I might have died due to not having computer-controlled anti-lock braking systems in a car crash 2 months earlier). Such applies even if God is seeing all things at one glance.

    Such scenarios are routinely considered in science fiction stories, and the exercise is a good one.


    Does that make sense?

    Any changes, then, must have come from God "outside of time", which means He determined it all before the world began--not based on seeing what happened, but based on understanding what would happen and making something else happen instead--which is Calvinism.

    By the way, I'm not saying Calvinism is inconsistent here--Calvinism allows for a full and logically consistent understanding of God's control over all events in time, all decided before time began. (From Westminster Confession Ch III:1: "God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatever comes to pass.") The thing it doesn't allow for is man's ability to do something contrary to God's plan, which is a suitable definition of free will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    So if God looks into a "real" future, then that "future" can't change--it is as fixed and certain as the past.
    What about this idea?

    The LORD exists outside of time and He creates the universe and everything in it. Through His power He sets things in motion in the universe. To express my thoughts on this please allow me to use the following analogy. A man creates a motor and yet he is not a part of that motor and he has an existence outside of that motor. Nonetheless he starts that engine and it begins to function on its own apart from the one who created it. He might make some adjustments to the motor along the way but yet he still has an existence outside of that motor.

    Just like the man, the LORD makes adjustments in His creation in an attempt to try to heal it. But just like the man He has an existence outside of His creation.

    Being outside of time and not bound by time He can see the beginning and the end of His created universe at one glance. So even though He knows our future His knowing it does not in anyway effect the free will of man.

    That being true then even though the LORD knows our future does not mean that a man's free will choices are limited in any way and therefore everything in a man's future is left open and his choices are not effected in any way, shape or form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    What about this idea?

    The LORD exists outside of time and He creates the universe and everything in it. Through His power He sets things in motion in the universe. To express my thoughts on this please allow me to use the following analogy. A man creates a motor and yet he is not a part of that motor and he has an existence outside of that motor. Nonetheless he starts that engine and it begins to function on its own apart from the one who created it. He might make some adjustments to the motor along the way but yet he still has an existence outside of that motor.

    Just like the man, the LORD makes adjustments in His creation in an attempt to try to heal it. But just like the man He has an existence outside of His creation.

    Being outside of time and not bound by time He can see the beginning and the end of His created universe at one glance. So even though He knows our future His knowing it does not in anyway effect the free will of man.

    That being true then even though the LORD knows our future does not mean that a man's free will choices are limited in any way and therefore everything in a man's future is left open and his choices are not effected in any way, shape or form.
    Thanks for those thoughts Jerry.

    The problem we all struggle with is the time aspect. It's easy to understand how we can look down on some 3-dimensional object that we are not a part of and touch and probe and tweak it. It's outside of our understanding how to do that outside of time. I'm going to tweak your analogy to try to show you the difficulty.

    Imagine your man getting ready to start his motor. He puts fuel in the tank and hits the starter. The engine turns over and stops. He tries again with the same results, no success. Suddenly he realizes that it was a gasoline engine, he put diesel in it, and diesel has now flooded through the whole thing.

    If the man is outside of the time domain of the engine, he should be able to correct his mistake by going to the time before he fueled the engine and switch fuels, right? But the thing that made him realize that it was the wrong fuel (it wouldn't start) is in the future with respect to the time he needs to make the fuel switch.

    You've no doubt already seen the problem with my analogy--we are talking about a fallible man, one that is either forgetful or careless. God is not like that. He would know before He started the engine what kind of fuel it needed and never make a mistake. [And the problem with your part of the analogy is that God is tweaking His own creation--making it run better--which suggests that He didn't make it "very good" in the first place. But that's not important for our discussion.]

    But it illustrates the potential problem with free will--if the object of the tweaking (the motor) has free will, then it might select the wrong fuel (warning: analogy breaking down, as a motor has no ability to fuel itself when it's not running!!). Then God, in your scenario, either knows the outcome by wisdom (Calvinism, which doesn't require looking into the future), or He knows the outcome by "looking into the future" (Arminianism), or the third option is that He doesn't know the outcome (Open Theism). And I'd caveat that third one as God not knowing the outcome of a particular motor, but if the motor's purpose was to, say, mow the yard, He would accomplish that plan with a more compliant motor--one that agrees to always ingest the right fuel.

    By now you might be sensing dejavu. This sounds eerily like the Garden of Eden story. God gave the man instructions about which fuel to ingest and which not to ingest. God gave the man instructions for how to take care of the yard/garden and the rest of the world (dominion mandate). The man chose the wrong fuel, and everything has been broken since then--except that Jesus came as the more compliant man and has begun to straighten up the world--one less-compliant-man at a time.

    My post is getting long, but let me suggest a way that our combined analogy might still work, and incorporate the time aspect. Let's imagine that the motor (which CAN fuel itself, once it gets started) has a life cycle of 2 years. The man, of course, lives so much longer than that, that he is able to design the motor, build the motor, fuel the motor the first time, start the motor, use the motor for its intended purpose, monitor the fuel intake, and be there when the motor finally finishes its mission (all in 2 years). "Time" for the motor would then begin at the beginning and end at 2 years. The man, as far as the motor can tell, has been around forever (before the beginning) and will be around forever (way beyond the 2 years). With respect to the motor's sense of time, the man is eternal. And because he is not bound by the time constraints of the motor, he is "outside" of the motor's time. And in fact, knowing that the potential existed for the motor to pick the wrong fuel, the man had a contingency plan all in place to fix the motor and get it up and running before the end of the life cycle, in time to complete the mission.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by Derf; February 16th, 2017 at 02:20 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    What do you think?
    I'm not sure. I still do not understand why what I said is in error? Could you take my conclusion and examine it in detail?":

    Being outside of time and not bound by time He can see the beginning and the end of His created universe at one glance. So even though He knows our future His knowing it does not in anyway effect the free will of man.

    That being true then even though the LORD knows our future does not mean that a man's free will choices are limited in any way and therefore everything in a man's future is left open and his choices are not effected in any way, shape or form.

    First, for the sake of argument, assume that the LORD does exist outside of time and then critique my conclusion.

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    I'm not sure. I still do not understand why what I said is in error? Could you take my conclusion and examine it in detail?":

    Being outside of time and not bound by time He can see the beginning and the end of His created universe at one glance. So even though He knows our future His knowing it does not in anyway effect the free will of man.

    That being true then even though the LORD knows our future does not mean that a man's free will choices are limited in any way and therefore everything in a man's future is left open and his choices are not effected in any way, shape or form.

    First, for the sake of argument, assume that the LORD does exist outside of time and then critique my conclusion.

    Thanks!
    Ok.
    The issue comes from USING the future to affect the past. That's what I was trying to express in my tweaked analogy. Just SEEING the future might be something different--as long as God doesn't CHANGE the future by changing the past.

    You see, whether God is outside of time by your definition or not, if He changes the "past" using some knowledge of the "future", and it results in a different "future", then the first "future" is not "real", it is imagined.

    Your "outside of time" scenario has no answers for that, so the resultant philosophical choices (Calvinism, Arminianism, OTism) are not affected.

    We can go through each of them, if you want.

    1. Calvinism says that God planned ("ordained") every action before the actions occurred--"before" "time" "began"--so it doesn't require your scenario (which makes you wonder why Calvinists use your scenario).
    2. Arminianism says that God can use information from the future to change the present, which changes the future, but then He isn't using info from a "real" future. ***
    3. OTism says that God uses current knowledge and wisdom to affect the present, which changes the future (but that's ok, as the future isn't settled).


    ***For instance, God looks into the "future #1" (not future to Him) of your son, and sees that he will be driving his car tomorrow and a truck strikes his car and kills him. To save your son from the crash, God makes the truck driver sick with food poisoning today, so that he is too sick to go to work tomorrow, resulting in "future #2" where your son doesn't die. But God would have used a fake future (#1) to get His information from, since your son didn't die. The other option is that God can see into the "future" (still not future to Him), but can't DO anything with the information--no tweaking allowed--so the "future" is real. That makes the knowledge of little worth to Him in dealing with us in this life. Your son would die and God couldn't do anything about it.

    If you don't agree, then you need to explain to me WHY your scenario helps the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Ok.The issue comes from USING the future to affect the past.
    My model does not do that. I do not know why you got that idea.

    Instead, the LORD does things at our "present" time in order to provide a remedy for man's sin. For instance, once Adam sinned then the LORD must find a way whereby His creatures could be redeemed. Then at that point on that plan began to be realized.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    You see, whether God is outside of time by your definition or not, if He changes the "past" using some knowledge of the "future", and it results in a different "future", then the first "future" is not "real", it is imagined.
    Again, according to my model nothing which happens in out future is used by the LORD to change anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    If you don't agree, then you need to explain to me WHY your scenario helps the problem.
    Again, there is nothing in my model that even hints that anything which is done in our future is used by the LORD to change anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    My model does not do that. I do not know why you got that idea.

    Instead, the LORD does things at our "present" time in order to provide a remedy for man's sin. For instance, once Adam sinned then the LORD must find a way whereby His creatures could be redeemed. Then at that point on that plan began to be realized.

    Again, according to my model nothing which happens in out future is used by the LORD to change anything.

    Again, there is nothing in my model that even hints that anything which is done in our future is used by the LORD to change anything.
    Ok, Jerry. Thanks for the clarification. If that's the case, then what do you think about prophecies like the one to Hezekiah that he would die of his illness (Is 38:1), followed by a prophecy that he would NOT die of his illness (Is 38:5)? Both of these prophecies were emphasized with the phrase "Thus says the LORD...", indicating that it was from God and not Isaiah's opinion. Was God ignoring His knowledge of the "real" future He could see when He gave the first one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Ok, Jerry. Thanks for the clarification. If that's the case, then what do you think about prophecies like the one to Hezekiah that he would die of his illness (Is 38:1), followed by a prophecy that he would NOT die of his illness (Is 38:5)? Both of these prophecies were emphasized with the phrase "Thus says the LORD...", indicating that it was from God and not Isaiah's opinion. Was God ignoring His knowledge of the "real" future He could see when He gave the first one?
    I cannot believe that when the LORD told Hezekiah that he would die and then changed his mind had anything to do with Him seeing Hezekiah's future. I believe that the LORD was aware that he had a fatal disease and was going to die in short order no matter what. It was Zecekiah's plea for a longer life which lead to the Lord to heal him so that he lived another fifteen years.

    And of course the LORD's change of mind can only be understood in a "figurative" sense, the figure of speech known as "Anthropopathy--Ascribing to God what belongs to human & rational beings."

    Can you see the possibilty of things happening that way?

    Thanks!

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