User Tag List

Page 1 of 16 123411 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 233

Thread: Open Theism Destroys Arminianism??

  1. #1
    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    917
    Thanks
    131
    Thanked 211 Times in 171 Posts

    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    75068

    Question Open Theism Destroys Arminianism??

    I should probably apologize up front for this,--for asking a question that's already answered elsewhere, but I couldn't find it.

    I read once, from a Calvinist, that one good thing that has come from Open Theism is that it destroys Arminianism.

    My questions are: Who said/wrote it (I'm guessing John Piper)? In what way is Arminianism supposedly destroyed by Open Theism? And what was his reasoning?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    917
    Thanks
    131
    Thanked 211 Times in 171 Posts

    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    75068
    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. 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 be "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.

    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.

  3. #3
    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    917
    Thanks
    131
    Thanked 211 Times in 171 Posts

    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    75068
    I propose that Open Theists are closer to Calvinism than to Arminianism for the reasons stated above and the following:

    Calvinists believe that God knows the future because He actually causes the future. This avoids the Arminian issue of not being able to change the future without causing it not to be the future. But it presents the uncomfortable problem of God being responsible for sin, since God knowing all things about the future can only be because He causes all things in the future.

    Open Theism could thus be called a modified Calvinism: God knows the future of the things He causes, and He doesn't know the things other agents will cause (at least not all of them). But He knows that He is more powerful than any other agent and able to fulfill what He purposes to do. Since God doesn't cause all things, He is neither bound to a future of someone else's making (Arminianism), nor is He the author of sin (regular Calvinism--with apologies to my Calvinist friends).

    I suppose, with a nod to the term "hyper-Calvinism", you might call Open Theism "hypo-Calvinism". But it seems strange to me that Calvinists are so virulent against Open Theism.

  4. #4
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Luis Potosi,Mexico
    Posts
    9,412
    Thanks
    1,022
    Thanked 4,771 Times in 2,988 Posts

    Mentioned
    76 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    1205991
    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.
    There is really no foreknowledge with God because He lives in the ever present "now."

    God, being both infinite and eternal, is not bound by either space or time, as we are. This principle has long been understood within Calvinist circles. William Ames (1576-1655) was one of the foremost of Reformed thinkers, often known as "the Learned Doctor Ames" because of his great intellectual stature among Puritans, said the following:

    "There is properly only one act of the will in God because in Him all things are simultaneous and there is nothing before or after. So there is only decree about the end and means, but for the manner of understanding we say that, so far as intention is concerned, God wills the end before the means" [emphasis mine](William Ames, The Marrow of Theology, translation and introduction by John, Dystra, Eudsen, [Boston: The Pilgrim Press, 1968], 153-154).

    According to Ames all things in the eternal state are "simultaneous and there is nothing before or after." This idea that all things are "simultaneous" with God was expressed by another prominent Calvinist author, Loraine Boettner:

    "Much of the difficulty in regard to the doctrine of Predestination is due to the finite character of our mind, which can grasp only a few details at a time, and which understands only a part of the relations between these. We are creatures of time, and often fail to take into consideration the fact that God is not limited as we are. That which appears to us as 'past,' 'present,' and 'future,' is all 'present' to His mind. It is an eternal 'now'...Just as He sees at one glance a road leading from New York to San Francisco, while we see only a small portion of it as we pass over it, so He sees all events in history, past, present, and future at one glance" (Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination [Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1932]).

    Therefore, since God does not actually look into the future because with Him all things are happening simultaneously then the future in regard to human choices are not limited in anyway.
    Last edited by Jerry Shugart; March 4th, 2017 at 03:53 PM.

  5. #5
    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    917
    Thanks
    131
    Thanked 211 Times in 171 Posts

    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    75068
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    There is really no foreknowledge with God because He lives in the ever present "now."

    God, being both infinite and eternal, is not bound by either space or time, as we are. This principle has long been understood within Calvinist circles. William Ames (1576-1655) was one of the foremost of Reformed thinkers, often known as "the Learned Doctor Ames" because of his great intellectual stature among Puritans, said the following:

    "There is properly only one act of the will in God because in Him all things are simultaneous and there is nothing before or after. So there is only decree about the end and means, but for the manner of understanding we say that, so far as intention is concerned, God wills the end before the means" [emphasis mine](William Ames, The Marrow of Theology, translation and introduction by John, Dystra, Eudsen, [Boston: The Pilgrim Press, 1968], 153-154).

    According to Ames all things in the eternal state are "simultaneous and there is nothing before or after." This idea that all things are "simultaneous" with God was expressed by another prominent Calvinist author, Loraine Boettner:

    "Much of the difficulty in regard to the doctrine of Predestination is due to the finite character of our mind, which can grasp only a few details at a time, and which understands only a part of the relations between these. We are creatures of time, and often fail to take into consideration the fact that God is not limited as we are. That which appears to us as 'past,' 'present,' and 'future,' is all 'present' to His mind. It is an eternal 'now'...Just as He sees at one glance a road leading from New York to San Francisco, while we see only a small portion of it as we pass over it, so He sees all events in history, past, present, and future at one glance" (Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination [Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1932]).

    Therefore, since God does not actually look into the future because with Him all things are happening simultaneously then the future in regard to human choices are not limited in anyway.
    Hi Jerry,
    Sorry for the delayed response.

    Is this what you believe? Or are you saying this is the Arminian view, or Calvinist view? Or all three?

    The interesting thing about the "eternal now" concept is that it is hard to support it with scripture (I didn't see any in your post, either). Sure, there are some verses that make sense if you start with this view, but there are some that don't, too. And with God's "foreknowledge" specifically referred to in some, it's hard for me to believe that God doesn't exercise it, much less have it.

    For example:
    [Act 2:23 KJV] 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
    [1Pe 1:2 KJV] 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

    And it is just as difficult a concept for our human minds to grasp as a God with no beginning.

    I would suggest to you that even seeing all things in an ever-present now does not free God to do what He wants, it only worsens the bondage--an ever-present reminder that He can't change a thing. There is no cause and effect--only effect (or only cause), for nothing precedes and nothing follows. Yet God is the Most High God because He knows the past and knows what He can do to make future things come to pass.

    Ames struggled with the concept, as evidenced by your quote: "but for the manner of understanding we say that, so far as intention is concerned, God wills the end before the means". He can't explain it without resorting to a cause and effect relationship--one that requires precedence and subsequence. If he can't explain it without that, then as far as his mind goes--he doesn't grasp it. (Doesn't mean it's not true, just difficult to grasp.)

    I tend to fall back on a definition of time as entropy increase. If God doesn't experience entropy, then perhaps His timelessness is wrapped up in His perfection (lack of increasing disorder, or any disorder). And I would think that our eternal state is dependent on the elimination of that disorder, or at least its enlargement. But then if we join God in His lack of entropy increase, are we now entering that timelessness, where then something is different than before, making a new "before and after" scenario that is outside of time? And if we now have a before and after scenario in timelessness, haven't we now introduced time to timelessness? Or at least progression. That "before" which Ames used hints that it was already there.

    I'm certainly open to the idea that entropy stops increasing at some point, potentially making us eternal, but I have a hard time imagining that we have always been that way.

  6. #6
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Luis Potosi,Mexico
    Posts
    9,412
    Thanks
    1,022
    Thanked 4,771 Times in 2,988 Posts

    Mentioned
    76 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    1205991
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Hi Jerry,
    Sorry for the delayed response.
    No problem!

    Is this what you believe? Or are you saying this is the Arminian view, or Calvinist view? Or all three?
    It is what I believe.

    The interesting thing about the "eternal now" concept is that it is hard to support it with scripture (I didn't see any in your post, either). Sure, there are some verses that make sense if you start with this view, but there are some that don't, too. And with God's "foreknowledge" specifically referred to in some, it's hard for me to believe that God doesn't exercise it, much less have it.
    If there is no "time" in the eternal state then there will be no such thing as "the LORD's "foreknowledge," right? Please consider these verses:

    "He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time" (2 Tim. 1:9).

    This shows God existing in the eternal state, before the beginning of time. Here is another verse that demonstates that God's exists outside of time:

    "in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time" (Titus 1:2).

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    And it is just as difficult a concept for our human minds to grasp as a God with no beginning.
    Yes, you are exactly right. Here is what Sir Robert Anderson said about that:

    "One of the most popular systems of metaphysics is based upon the fact that certain of our ideas seem to spring from the essential constitution of the mind itself ; and these are not subject to our reason, but, on the contrary, they control it. A superficial thinker might suppose the powers of human imagination to be boundless. He can imagine the sun and moon and stars to disappear from the heavens, and the peopled earth to vanish from beneath his feet, leaving him a solitary unit in boundless space ; but let him try, pursuing still further his madman's dream, to grasp the thought of space itself being annihilated, and his mind, in obedience to some inexorable law, will refuse the conception altogether. Or, to take an illustration apter for my present purpose, wild fancy may thus change the universe into a blank, but, though there should remain no shadow and no dial, no sequence of events, the mind is utterly incapable of imagining how time could cease to flow. And the practical conclusion we arrive at is that our idea of "past, present, and future," like that of space, is not derived from experience, but depends upon a law imposed upon our reason by the God who made us."
    (Anderson, The Gospel and Its Ministry [Grand Rapids: Kregel Publishing, 1978], 77).

    The idea that there is really no past, present or future was also supported by Albert Einstein:

    "Surprising as it may be to most non-scientists and even to some scientists, Albert Einstein concluded in his later years that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously...His most descriptive testimony to this faith came when his lifelong friend Besso died. Einstein wrote a letter to Besso's family, saying that although Besso had preceded him in death it was of no consequence, '...for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one"


    Anyway, I will stop here and later we can consider what you said later in your post. But these ideas should give us something to discuss and to think about.

    Thanks for your remarks.
    Last edited by Jerry Shugart; January 16th, 2017 at 12:28 PM.

  7. #7
    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    917
    Thanks
    131
    Thanked 211 Times in 171 Posts

    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    75068
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    No problem!



    It is what I believe.



    If there is no "time" in the eternal state then there will be no such thing as "the LORD's "foreknowledge," right? Please consider these verses:

    "He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time" (2 Tim. 1:9).

    This shows God existing in the eternal state, before the beginning of time. Here is another verse that demonstates that God's exists outside of time:

    "in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time" (Titus 1:2).



    Yes, you are exactly right. Here is what Sir Robert Anderson said about that:

    "One of the most popular systems of metaphysics is based upon the fact that certain of our ideas seem to spring from the essential constitution of the mind itself ; and these are not subject to our reason, but, on the contrary, they control it. A superficial thinker might suppose the powers of human imagination to be boundless. He can imagine the sun and moon and stars to disappear from the heavens, and the peopled earth to vanish from beneath his feet, leaving him a solitary unit in boundless space ; but let him try, pursuing still further his madman's dream, to grasp the thought of space itself being annihilated, and his mind, in obedience to some inexorable law, will refuse the conception altogether. Or, to take an illustration apter for my present purpose, wild fancy may thus change the universe into a blank, but, though there should remain no shadow and no dial, no sequence of events, the mind is utterly incapable of imagining how time could cease to flow. And the practical conclusion we arrive at is that our idea of "past, present, and future," like that of space, is not derived from experience, but depends upon a law imposed upon our reason by the God who made us."
    (Anderson, The Gospel and Its Ministry [Grand Rapids: Kregel Publishing, 1978], 77).

    The idea that there is really no past, present or future was also supported by Albert Einstein:

    "Surprising as it may be to most non-scientists and even to some scientists, Albert Einstein concluded in his later years that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously...His most descriptive testimony to this faith came when his lifelong friend Besso died. Einstein wrote a letter to Besso's family, saying that although Besso had preceded him in death it was of no consequence, '...for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one"


    Anyway, I will stop here and later we can consider what you said later in your post. But these ideas should give us something to discuss and to think about.

    Thanks for your remarks.
    Happy New Year, Jerry!

    I perceive two problems with what you wrote.

    1. That your scripture to prove that time (of some sort) doesn't exist in eternity proves the opposite--else there could be no "before" time began.
    2. That you assume God's power comes from His foreknowledge rather than His foreknowledge from His power. Such an assumption puts God at the mercy of time.

    Sent from my Z992 using TheologyOnline mobile app

  8. #8
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Luis Potosi,Mexico
    Posts
    9,412
    Thanks
    1,022
    Thanked 4,771 Times in 2,988 Posts

    Mentioned
    76 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    1205991
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Happy New Year, Jerry!
    Thanks, Derf. The same to you and yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I perceive two problems with what you wrote.

    That your scripture to prove that time (of some sort) doesn't exist in eternity proves the opposite--else there could be no "before" time began.
    I would say that the words "before the beginning of time" are written with man's perspective in view. Since a man cannot even imagine an existence void of time these ideas must be put in terms which man can understand.

    Could you please give me your take on the meaning of what is said about "time" in the following verses?:

    "He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time" (2 Tim. 1:9).

    "in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time"
    (Titus 1:2).

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    917
    Thanks
    131
    Thanked 211 Times in 171 Posts

    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    75068
    If the concept of timelessness was so foreign to the targets of Timothy and Titus, why is the text there? Perhaps it's because the intent was less ethereal.

    Kjv says before the world began. I can think of other options, like " throughout the ages". That last one makes sense if the promise was to those that needed the hope. Making a promise to someone before they are created makes little sense.

  10. #10
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Luis Potosi,Mexico
    Posts
    9,412
    Thanks
    1,022
    Thanked 4,771 Times in 2,988 Posts

    Mentioned
    76 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    1205991
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    If the concept of timelessness was so foreign to the targets of Timothy and Titus, why is the text there?
    Why do you think that the concept of the timelessness of God was foreign to them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Kjv says before the world began.
    Yes, but more translations say "before time began" than the translations which say "before the world began."

    I can think of other options, like " throughout the ages".
    I do not see any translations that say that.

    If the LORD exists in "time" then He must be constrained by time, just as we are. However, the following verse suggests that "time" means nothing to Him:

    "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Pet.3:8).

    What we see here is a speeding up of time being concurrent with a slowing down of time. That can only mean that with God "time" has no relevance. How could "time" have no relevance to someone who exists in time?

    Thanks!

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Jerry Shugart For Your Post:

    Derf (January 3rd, 2017)

  12. #11
    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    917
    Thanks
    131
    Thanked 211 Times in 171 Posts

    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    75068
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Why do you think that the concept of the timelessness of God was foreign to them?
    I got that from you:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    I would say that the words "before the beginning of time" are written with man's perspective in view. Since a man cannot even imagine an existence void of time these ideas must be put in terms which man can understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Yes, but more translations say "before time began" than the translations which say "before the world began."
    That's an interesting argument. Let's look at a smattering of those translations:
    Spoiler
    KJV (1769 version): Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

    NKJV (1982): who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

    NLT (1996): For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.

    NIV (1973): He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

    ESV (2001): who saved us and called us to[fn] a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,[Greek: "before times eternal"]

    HCSB (1999): He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

    RVR60 (1960): quien nos salvó y llamó con llamamiento santo, no conforme a nuestras obras, sino según el propósito suyo y la gracia que nos fue dada en Cristo Jesús antes de los tiempos de los siglos, (English: "before the times of the centuries", according to Babelfish.com)

    NASB (1960): who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

    NET (1996): He is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his own purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

    RSV (revised from KJV1611 in 1881-1885, 1901, 1946-52, and 1971): who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago,

    ASV (1901): who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal,

    YLT : who did save us, and did call with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, that was given to us in Christ Jesus, before the times of the ages,

    DBY (1890): who has saved us, and has called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages of time,

    WEB (1833): Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began;

    HNV (1901): who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Messiah Yeshua before times eternal,

    VUL (~405): qui nos liberavit et vocavit vocatione sancta non secundum opera nostra sed secundum propositum suum et gratiam quae data est nobis in Christo Iesu ante tempora saecularia (English: "before the world")

    I notice a couple things about my list (which is admittedly not all-inclusive, for practical reasons, but is the list of parallel translations offered by blueletterbible.org used here as an independent assessment).
    1. That there are more translations that do not say "before time began" or "before the beginning of time" than that do,
    2. that the phrase "before time began" is a relatively new phenomenon--post Einstein, it seems, which might account for 1. the number of translations that use it (there are a lot more newer than older translations) and 2. that it is used at all.**
    3. that the alternate phrase "before times eternal" carries a more ambiguous meaning (and so I don't count it as the same phrase--a point to be argued, I suppose)

    **I prefer to exercise some caution before letting the latest science, however good, drive our translations of scripture.

    I count 5 uses of "before time began" or "before the beginning of time".
    I count 3 uses of "before the world began"
    I count 2 1/2 uses of "before times eternal" (1/2 for ESV note)
    I count 4 uses of something to do with "ages" (I included the spanish "centuries")
    I count 1 use of "from all eternity" (you gotta love the NASB not bowing to peer pressure!) which could fall in the "before time began" camp or the "before times eternal" camp, imo.

    Note that 4 of the 5 "before time" references and the "from all eternity" reference contain "New" in the title. Does that strike you as odd? We aren't supposed to be presenting a new gospel or a new truth, yet there is something "new" in these translations that wasn't there before, at least in this verse. And as I mentioned above, ALL of those are post-Einstein, with the NASB being the oldest (and maybe not quite as capitulating, yet??).


    I do not see any translations that say that.
    You didn't ask for what translations say, you asked for what I thought about it. (You said: "Could you please give me your take on the meaning of what is said about "time" in the following verses?") I'm not going to stand hard by my take on it, since I do think there's more of a component of a singular event being spoken of rather than a continuous repetition (though there is also a continuous repetition aspect, I think). However, I mentioned the part about the Titus passage indicating a promise, which is hard to reconcile with something that happened before the receivers or even the need of the promise existed. Would you like to comment on that?
    If the LORD exists in "time" then He must be constrained by time, just as we are. However, the following verse suggests that "time" means nothing to Him:

    "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Pet.3:8).

    What we see here is a speeding up of time being concurrent with a slowing down of time. That can only mean that with God "time" has no relevance. How could "time" have no relevance to someone who exists in time?
    I'm not convinced that we are seeing anything of the sort. The context of 2 Pet 3:8 is that God is waiting--being patient (vs 9), and to wait a thousand years is not a problem for Him. God can do in a day what for man would take a thousand years, and God could wait a thousand years what man might feel should only take a day. (think about some of the deliverances God provided to Israel--like 400 years in Egypt!) I think you're reading into the text if you're perceiving some sort of time warp. And perhaps your more modern understanding of time is clouding your exegesis.
    Thanks!
    Thank you for a good conversation, Jerry!

  13. #12
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Luis Potosi,Mexico
    Posts
    9,412
    Thanks
    1,022
    Thanked 4,771 Times in 2,988 Posts

    Mentioned
    76 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    1205991
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I got that from you:
    I was not saying that earlier students of the Scriptures did not understand the concept of the "timelessness" of God. Instead, I was saying that when Paul used the word "before" time began he was using language which would be understood by men, even though that word speaks of "time."

    Besides that, I think that the timelessness of God (that He lives in the ever present "now") is a better explanation of how He knows man's future than the idea that He can somehow look into the future and see exactly what men will do in the future. The only way that I could possibly believe that is if He is arranging events to make them turn out a certain way, that men would always do what He wills them to do. But from what the Lord Jesus said in the following passage I cannot see how that idea can be right:

    "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Mt.23:37).

    Here we see that the Lord willed that they be gathered together to Him but they 'would not" be gathered. They went against the will of God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Let's look at a smattering of those translations:
    I will agree that the translation which I prefer might not be the correct translation. And if it isn't then it does not prove that the concept of the "timelessness" of God is in error. On the other hand, if the translation which I favor is correct then that alone proves the concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I'm not convinced that we are seeing anything of the sort. The context of 2 Pet 3:8 is that God is waiting--being patient (vs 9), and to wait a thousand years is not a problem for Him. God can do in a day what for man would take a thousand years, and God could wait a thousand years what man might feel should only take a day. (think about some of the deliverances God provided to Israel--like 400 years in Egypt!) I think you're reading into the text if you're perceiving some sort of time warp. And perhaps your more modern understanding of time is clouding your exegesis.
    You might be right about that. Let us move on to another thing. If the prophecies are set in stone and while He walked the earth the Lord Jesus knew the meaning of the prophecies of His sufferings and He knew that there was no possibility that He would be spared that agony then why would He pray the following to the Father?:

    "And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt"
    (Mt.26:39).

    If the Lord Jesus understood that the things foretold about His sufferings were set in stone then why would He pray that He might be spared that suffering? That wouldn't make sense, would it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Thank you for a good conversation, Jerry!
    Same to you, Derf. I find this subject fascinating.

  14. #13
    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    917
    Thanks
    131
    Thanked 211 Times in 171 Posts

    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    75068
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    I was not saying that earlier students of the Scriptures did not understand the concept of the "timelessness" of God. Instead, I was saying that when Paul used the word "before" time began he was using language which would be understood by men, even though that word speaks of "time."

    Besides that, I think that the timelessness of God (that He lives in the ever present "now") is a better explanation of how He knows man's future than the idea that He can somehow look into the future and see exactly what men will do in the future. The only way that I could possibly believe that is if He is arranging events to make them turn out a certain way, that men would always do what He wills them to do. But from what the Lord Jesus said in the following passage I cannot see how that idea can be right:

    "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Mt.23:37).

    Here we see that the Lord willed that they be gathered together to Him but they 'would not" be gathered. They went against the will of God.



    I will agree that the translation which I prefer might not be the correct translation. And if it isn't then it does not prove that the concept of the "timelessness" of God is in error. On the other hand, if the translation which I favor is correct then that alone proves the concept.



    You might be right about that. Let us move on to another thing. If the prophecies are set in stone and while He walked the earth the Lord Jesus knew the meaning of the prophecies of His sufferings and He knew that there was no possibility that He would be spared that agony then why would He pray the following to the Father?:

    "And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt"
    (Mt.26:39).

    If the Lord Jesus understood that the things foretold about His sufferings were set in stone then why would He pray that He might be spared that suffering? That wouldn't make sense, would it?



    Same to you, Derf. I find this subject fascinating.
    I think what you've done so adroitly is to bring the thread back on topic! You question 2 things that seem to require that God be somehow affected by time, yet you are repelled by the thought. The 3 options I had put on the table were Arminianism, which I define here as God looking forward in time to see what men will do and plan accordingly, Calvinism, which I define here as God planning all events ahead of time so He knows what will happen, and Open Theism, which I define here as God being powerful enough to cause the events He wants to happen, but not causing every event. (Yes, I know, these are not exhaustive definitions, but only definitions for the subject at hand. And I'm open to being corrected on them.)

    If I understand you correctly, you are proposing a fourth option, where you say God is outside of time and can "meddle" at any point in history or future to achieve His goals/purposes. Is that a fair synopsis?

    I think I would place that into the Arminian camp, for the reasons you gave above (that there seems to be a possibility of other outcomes), and because God is able to view all events from all times. Maybe you need to talk me out of such a conclusion.

    Even if the Arminian label doesn't fit, I think the results are the same--that if God is using His knowledge of the future to change the future, then that knowledge is only proposed, not real. And if God thinks He "knows" such information, to change it makes it a falsehood. Therefore God "knows" (believes?) a falsehood, whether it's in an eternal now or not.

  15. #14
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    San Luis Potosi,Mexico
    Posts
    9,412
    Thanks
    1,022
    Thanked 4,771 Times in 2,988 Posts

    Mentioned
    76 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    1205991
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Calvinism, which I define here as God planning all events ahead of time so He knows what will happen...
    Let's examine this view first. Here is what you said about what the Calvinists believe:

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Calvinists believe that God knows the future because He actually causes the future. This avoids the Arminian issue of not being able to change the future without causing it not to be the future. But it presents the uncomfortable problem of God being responsible for sin, since God knowing all things about the future can only be because He causes all things in the future.
    You are quite correct when you say this idea makes God responsible for sin. I cannot believe that the LORD would cause men to sin, do you? Let us look at this passage where it says that those who do not believe in God are "without excuse" for not believing:

    "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Ro.1:18-20).

    Paul is saying that the people who do not believe in God are "without excuse." But if the LORD was responsible for the sin of unbelief then those who deny the existence of God would have a very good excuse.

    They could say that the LORD was responsible for my sin of unbelief so I cannot be held accountable for something that I cannot control. Therefore, the unbelievers would have a very good excuse for not believing in God.

    Paul's words at Romans 1:18-20 prove that the Calvinist idea is wrong because he says that the unbelievers are "without excuse"! If the Calvinists arev right then the unbelievers would have a very good excuse.

    Do you agree?

  16. #15
    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,788
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 96 Times in 78 Posts

    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    56716
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I should probably apologize up front for this,--for asking a question that's already answered elsewhere, but I couldn't find it.

    I read once, from a Calvinist, that one good thing that has come from Open Theism is that it destroys Arminianism.

    My questions are: Who said/wrote it (I'm guessing John Piper)? In what way is Arminianism supposedly destroyed by Open Theism? And what was his reasoning?

    Thanks.
    I have heard people say that Open Theism is the logical resolution to problems in Arminianism.

    But it is also the antidote for Calvinism, as it exposes many of Calvinism's errors, while removing the Calvinist's response to Arminians.
    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.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
About us
Since 1997 TheologyOnline (TOL) has been one of the most popular theology forums on the internet. On TOL we encourage spirited conversation about religion, politics, and just about everything else.

follow us