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Thread: Open Theism Destroys Arminianism??

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    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
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    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.
    This assumes that God laid down the entire timeline of history in one moment. We'll set aside the problem of God actually creating something when he cannot experience before and after for now. The problem with this view is that there is no "cause and effect" within creation. God creates the illusion that when I stand on earth and release an object 5 feet above the earth that gravity makes it fall, but that isn't the case, as God created both the moment I released the rock and the moment it hit the ground at the same time. This doesn't appear to be a problem until we consider sin. In this model, the reprobate's condemnation to hell is created in the same moment Eve commits the first sin, which is also in the same moment that God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree. Thus, the cause of Eve eating and the reprobate's condemnation isn't their own actions, but God's decision to make all things in this way.

    Thus, if we embrace this idea of "eternal now", we must conclude that God is the direct and only cause of all sin, suffering, and condemnation. We cannot even posit the idea of a "secondary cause", because all things occur in the same moment, and the passage of time is an illusion.


    In addition (the point I mentioned above), if God is timeless, then He cannot create. In order for God to create ex nihilo, there must first be a moment when creation did not exist (nihilo), and after that a moment when creation did exist (ex nihilo.) In the Calvinist view of God, creation is either part of God (process theism), or co-eternal with God, which would call into question whether God would legitimately have sovereignty over it.

    Given the whole counsel of Scripture, it is only logical to conclude that God experiences before and after. Almost certainly not time as we experience it, but some kind of chronology of his own. Without this, God cannot act, cannot create. And even if He could, He would be directly and only responsible for sin, suffering and salvation, with no possibility of a secondary cause.


    However, if we conclude that God must experience before and after, then we do not need to conclude that all moments of history were simultaneously created. We can (and based upon the whole counsel of Scripture should) conclude that God created the universe to expand along the dimension of time, and that God observes as the future of His universe unfolds before Him, allowing Him to interact with his universe (and even being sovereign over it in a normal mode of sovereignty) as human beings with free will contribute to its unfolding.

    Only in this case are human beings responsible for sin, and the idea of cause and effect even possible.
    I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

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

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    Over 1000 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Let's examine this view first. Here is what you said about what the Calvinists believe:



    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?
    I agree that God does not cause men to sin--in fact, if God causes people to break His will, then His fits in the category of "a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand" (Mar 3:24). And Jesus sample prayer tells us that we should pray that God's will may be done on earth as in heaven--rather than His will already being done in every act by every one in every place.

    Calvinists, though I hesitate to speak for them, would likely say they don't believe God is the author of sin, but they don't exactly explain how to make that distinction. The Westminster Confession says in chapter 3-1:
    God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel
    of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes
    to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor
    is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or
    contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

    I get from that:
    1. God decided everything that happens ("whatsoever")
    2. before anything happened ("from all eternity")
    3. and set it in stone ("unchangeably")
    4. prior to anyone else having any say in it ("by the most wise and holy counsel
      of his own will, freely,")
    5. but they don't like the consequences of such, so they then say the opposite {"neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is liberty or contingency of second causes taken away")


    That is not to say they don't make any good points, as the "without excuse" is coupled with "dead ever since Adam" (my wording of Chap 19-1), which I think is appropriate--that after Adam we have no excuse--we are guilty of violating the law of God through our forefather Adam. In that way we might be responsible for something that is/was not in our control. But it hardly makes any sense to suggest that we had some way of avoiding sinning if the only way to avoid it is for God to make us able to avoid it when He didn't. Nor to suggest that we had any way of avoiding sinning when God unchangeably ordained our individual sins from before time and before us.

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    Over 1000 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    This assumes that God laid down the entire timeline of history in one moment. We'll set aside the problem of God actually creating something when he cannot experience before and after for now. The problem with this view is that there is no "cause and effect" within creation. God creates the illusion that when I stand on earth and release an object 5 feet above the earth that gravity makes it fall, but that isn't the case, as God created both the moment I released the rock and the moment it hit the ground at the same time. This doesn't appear to be a problem until we consider sin. In this model, the reprobate's condemnation to hell is created in the same moment Eve commits the first sin, which is also in the same moment that God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree. Thus, the cause of Eve eating and the reprobate's condemnation isn't their own actions, but God's decision to make all things in this way.

    Thus, if we embrace this idea of "eternal now", we must conclude that God is the direct and only cause of all sin, suffering, and condemnation. We cannot even posit the idea of a "secondary cause", because all things occur in the same moment, and the passage of time is an illusion.


    In addition (the point I mentioned above), if God is timeless, then He cannot create. In order for God to create ex nihilo, there must first be a moment when creation did not exist (nihilo), and after that a moment when creation did exist (ex nihilo.) In the Calvinist view of God, creation is either part of God (process theism), or co-eternal with God, which would call into question whether God would legitimately have sovereignty over it.

    Given the whole counsel of Scripture, it is only logical to conclude that God experiences before and after. Almost certainly not time as we experience it, but some kind of chronology of his own. Without this, God cannot act, cannot create. And even if He could, He would be directly and only responsible for sin, suffering and salvation, with no possibility of a secondary cause.


    However, if we conclude that God must experience before and after, then we do not need to conclude that all moments of history were simultaneously created. We can (and based upon the whole counsel of Scripture should) conclude that God created the universe to expand along the dimension of time, and that God observes as the future of His universe unfolds before Him, allowing Him to interact with his universe (and even being sovereign over it in a normal mode of sovereignty) as human beings with free will contribute to its unfolding.

    Only in this case are human beings responsible for sin, and the idea of cause and effect even possible.
    I think I'm in substantial agreement with what you've said, though I haven't thought through all of the consequences. I'm curious what @Jerry Shugart thinks about your attempt to demolish his "eternal now" concept that he doesn't think requires Calvinism's tenets.

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    However, if we conclude that God must experience before and after, then we do not need to conclude that all moments of history were simultaneously created. We can (and based upon the whole counsel of Scripture should) conclude that God created the universe to expand along the dimension of time, and that God observes as the future of His universe unfolds before Him, allowing Him to interact with his universe (and even being sovereign over it in a normal mode of sovereignty) as human beings with free will contribute to its unfolding.
    If the Lord existence is in time then the prophecies found in the OT are a result of Him looking into the future and seeing how things will turn out. If that is true then the future is not open but instead the things which are prophesied will happen exactly how the Lord saw them happening. And since God cannot be wrong about what he knows by looking into the future, then all human actions will turn out only one way.

    And if this is true then how can people really have a will that can be called a "free will" since the future can turn out only one way? Therefore, some argue that man really has no free will since all that will happen has already been determined.

    Do you deny that men have free will?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    If the Lord existence is in time then the prophecies found in the OT are a result of Him looking into the future and seeing how things will turn out.
    (1) I've already said that God's existence isn't subject to created time, only that God experiences some kind of before and after
    (2) This is a false dichotomy. Scripture tells us that God accomplishes His purposes (Isaiah 46:9-10), not that he foreknows or foreordains them. This means that God actually works to fulfill prophecy.

    Do you deny that men have free will?
    Because God accomplishes rather than looking forward or instantaneously putting down the entire timeline, free will is preserved.
    I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

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

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    (1) I've already said that God's existence isn't subject to created time, only that God experiences some kind of before and after
    Do you believe that we should take literally the verses which speak of the "foreknowledge" of God?

    Do you think, as the Calvinist do, that before the world began the LORD chose some people to salvation? Today one of the chief spokesmen for the Reformed view is Dr. R.C. Sproul and his following statement of his sums up the belief shared by most Calvinists:

    "When someone mentions the term 'Calvinism,' the customary response is, 'Oh, you mean the doctrine of predestination?' This identification of Calvinism with predestination is as strange as it is real and widespread...In summary we may define 'predestination' broadly as follows: From all eternity God decided to save some members of the human race and to let the rest of the human race perish. God made a choice--he chose some individuals to be saved unto everlasting blessedness in heaven, and he chose others to pass over, allowing them to suffer the consequences of their sins, eternal punishment in hell" [emphasis added] (R.C. Sproul, What is Reformed Theology?[Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005], 141).

    Sproul also said this:

    "The grounds of our election are not something foreseen by God in us but rather the good pleasure of his sovereign will...Reformed theology insists that God's election is based on nothing foreseen in the individual's lives, this does not mean that he makes the choice for no reason at all. It simply means that the reason is not something found in us"
    [emphasis added] (Ibid., 146-147).

    If these things are true then a person's eternal destiny is determined before he is even born. Therefore, those who are not elected have no ability to believe the gospel and be saved.

    This is what might be described as "closed" theology because a person's eternal destiny is determined before the world began and there is nothing which a person can do to change his eternal destiny.

    Do you believe that the future is "closed" in regard to the eternal destinity of people?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Do you believe that we should take literally the verses which speak of the "foreknowledge" of God?

    Do you think, as the Calvinist do, that before the world began the LORD chose some people to salvation? Today one of the chief spokesmen for the Reformed view is Dr. R.C. Sproul and his following statement of his sums up the belief shared by most Calvinists:

    "When someone mentions the term 'Calvinism,' the customary response is, 'Oh, you mean the doctrine of predestination?' This identification of Calvinism with predestination is as strange as it is real and widespread...In summary we may define 'predestination' broadly as follows: From all eternity God decided to save some members of the human race and to let the rest of the human race perish. God made a choice--he chose some individuals to be saved unto everlasting blessedness in heaven, and he chose others to pass over, allowing them to suffer the consequences of their sins, eternal punishment in hell" [emphasis added] (R.C. Sproul, What is Reformed Theology?[Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005], 141).

    Sproul also said this:

    "The grounds of our election are not something foreseen by God in us but rather the good pleasure of his sovereign will...Reformed theology insists that God's election is based on nothing foreseen in the individual's lives, this does not mean that he makes the choice for no reason at all. It simply means that the reason is not something found in us"
    [emphasis added] (Ibid., 146-147).

    If these things are true then a person's eternal destiny is determined before he is even born. Therefore, those who are not elected have no ability to believe the gospel and be saved.

    This is what might be described as "closed" theology because a person's eternal destiny is determined before the world began and there is nothing which a person can do to change his eternal destiny.

    Do you believe that the future is "closed" in regard to the eternal destinity of people?

    Thanks!
    Jerry, I think what you're saying is that the only way for God to have literal foreknowledge is for Him to decide ahead of time what He is going to do and what everybody else is going to do, thereby eliminating freewill.

    But what Muz is saying is that God has foreknowledge of what He is going to do, and other things have to play out, to some degree. @themuzicman: correct me if I got that wrong.

    You're proposing that if everything happens at the same time, it somehow allows freewill more than Calvinism (I don't see how yet), but it eliminates literal foreknowledge. Since there are verses that talk about God's foreknowledge, what do you think that means, if it's not "literal"?

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    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Do you believe that we should take literally the verses which speak of the "foreknowledge" of God?
    Yes. There are 5 things that are foreknown in Scripture:

    Christ's death (Acts 2)
    Being conformed to the image of the son (Romans 8)
    Israel (Romans 11)
    Election (1 Peter 1)
    Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1)

    None of these require eternal foreknowledge. Only one has the potential to include human decisions (Acts 2), but not any one specific choice.

    The idea of exhaustive, definite foreknowledge simply isn't supportable in Scripture.

    Do you think, as the Calvinist do, that before the world began the LORD chose some people to salvation?
    No. 1 Tim 2:4.

    Do you believe that the future is "closed" in regard to the eternal destinity of people?
    No.
    I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    You're proposing that if everything happens at the same time, it somehow allows freewill more than Calvinism (I don't see how yet), but it eliminates literal foreknowledge. Since there are verses that talk about God's foreknowledge, what do you think that means, if it's not "literal"?
    I am not talking about everything happening simultaneously for us since our experiences are set in time. Please allow me to quote these words again:

    "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]).

    According to this there is no "foreknowledge" with God. Therefore, the events which we see as prophecies in the Bible are actually what the LORD sees happening as they are happening. Therefore, no one is boxed in.

    In other words, if the Lord sees things in the future then those events which He foresees will happen no matter what. Let us look at this verse:

    "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet.1:2).

    If the LORD's choosing for salvation is based on His foreknowledge then the eternal fate of all men is determined beforehand. Therefore, since their eternal fate is determined beforehand then there is nothing a man can do or not do in order to gain salvation. His hands are tied from the very moment when he comes into the world.

    On the other hand, since the LORD sees all things as they are happening at one glance then man's fate is not determined beforehand.

    I believe that the verses which speak of the LORD's foreknowledge is a literary devise to help us understand "cause" and "effect" in the LORD's dealing with man. And that literary device is based on this figure of speech:

    "Antropopatheia; Ascribing to God what belongs to humans and rational beings..." (The Companion Bible; Appendix 6).
    Last edited by Jerry Shugart; January 5th, 2017 at 04:13 PM.

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    Yes. There are 5 things that are foreknown in Scripture:

    Christ's death (Acts 2)
    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 themuzicman View Post
    The idea of exhaustive, definite foreknowledge simply isn't supportable in Scripture.
    I will present to you the same thing which I presented to Derf. Let us look at this verse:

    "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet.1:2).

    If the LORD's choosing for salvation is based on His foreknowledge then the eternal fate of all men is determined beforehand. Therefore, since their eternal fate is determined beforehand then there is nothing a man can do or not do in order to gain salvation. His hands are tied from the very moment when he comes into the world.

    On the other hand, since the LORD sees all things as they are happening at one glance then man's fate is not determined beforehand.

    I believe that the verses which speak of the LORD's foreknowledge is a literary devise to help us understand "cause" and "effect" in the LORD's dealing with man. And that literary device is based on this figure of speech:

    "Antropopatheia; Ascribing to God what belongs to humans and rational beings..." (The Companion Bible; Appendix 6).
    Last edited by Jerry Shugart; January 16th, 2017 at 12:06 PM.

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    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    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).
    Just because one knows what is coming doesn't mean one has to like it.

    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?
    Actually, it does, given human nature. Facing death, the human body and brain begin to search for ways to survive, and these kinds of things happen.

    I will present to you the same thing which I presented to Derf. Let us look at this verse:

    "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet.1:2).

    If the LORD's choosing for salvation is based on His foreknowledge then the eternal fate of all men is determined beforehand. Therefore, since their eternal fate is determined beforehand then there is nothing a man can do or not do in order to gain salvation. His hands are tied from the very moment when he comes into the world.

    On the other hand, since the LORD sees all things as they are happening at one glance then man's fate is not determined beforehand.
    No, it's determined at the moment God chooses to create.

    But those aren't the only two options.

    I believe that the verses which speak of the LORD's foreknowledge is a literary devise to help us understand "cause" and "effect" in the LORD's dealing with man. And that literary device is based on this figure of speech:

    "Antropopatheia; Ascribing to God what belongs to humans and rational beings..." (The Companion Bible; Appendix 6).
    That's nice, but it doesn't get you away from the problem of the "eternal now", which I described above.

    You're assuming that 1 Peter 1 is speaking of individual election, and that isn't the necessary conclusion.
    I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    Just because one knows what is coming doesn't mean one has to like it.
    You miss the whole point. The Lord asked if it were "possible." If the prophecies concerning his suffering were set in stone the Lord would know that it wasn't possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    That's nice, but it doesn't get you away from the problem of the "eternal now", which I described above.
    Let us look what Loraine Boettner said here:

    "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]).

    According to this there is no "foreknowledge" with God. Therefore, the events which we see as prophecies in the Bible are actually what the LORD sees happening as they are happening. Therefore, no one is boxed in.

    In other words, if the Lord sees things in the future then those events which He foresees will happen no matter what. Let us look at this verse:

    "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet.1:2).

    If the LORD's choosing for salvation is based on His foreknowledge then the eternal fate of all men is determined beforehand. Therefore, since their eternal fate is determined beforehand then there is nothing a man can do or not do in order to gain salvation. His hands are tied from the very moment when he comes into the world.

    On the other hand, since the LORD sees all things as they are happening at one glance then man's fate is not determined beforehand.

    You're assuming that 1 Peter 1 is speaking of individual election, and that isn't the necessary conclusion.
    Do you think that this verse is referring to anything other than individual election?:

    "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" (2 Tim.1:9).

    Or this one?:

    "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love"
    (Eph.1:4).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    You miss the whole point. The Lord asked if it were "possible." If the prophecies concerning his suffering were set in stone the Lord would know that it wasn't possible.



    Let us look what Loraine Boettner said here:

    "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]).

    According to this there is no "foreknowledge" with God. Therefore, the events which we see as prophecies in the Bible are actually what the LORD sees happening as they are happening. Therefore, no one is boxed in.

    In other words, if the Lord sees things in the future then those events which He foresees will happen no matter what. Let us look at this verse:

    "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet.1:2).

    If the LORD's choosing for salvation is based on His foreknowledge then the eternal fate of all men is determined beforehand. Therefore, since their eternal fate is determined beforehand then there is nothing a man can do or not do in order to gain salvation. His hands are tied from the very moment when he comes into the world.

    On the other hand, since the LORD sees all things as they are happening at one glance then man's fate is not determined beforehand.
    So you're saying that God did not first decide to create man, then follow with a act to create man? If God sees "all things" as happening at once, then the first "thing" (His decision to create) was not followed by the second thing (His creation), nor did Jesus' death result from man's sin, but was coincident with man's sin, as well as with God's decision to create, as well as the creation act itself.

    If the foregoing is not the case, then you have to allow for a cause/effect at least of God's deciding ("Let us make man in our own image" Gen 1:26) and the act of creating ([Gen 1:27] So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.) The emboldened "so" is so very important, don't you think?
    Do you think that this verse is referring to anything other than individual election?:

    "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" (2 Tim.1:9).

    Or this one?:

    "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love"
    (Eph.1:4).
    How in the world can the words "us" and "our" and "we" in those verses be referring to an individual?????

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    So you're saying that God did not first decide to create man, then follow with a act to create man? If God sees "all things" as happening at once, then the first "thing" (His decision to create) was not followed by the second thing (His creation), nor did Jesus' death result from man's sin, but was coincident with man's sin, as well as with God's decision to create, as well as the creation act itself.
    There is no reason to doubt that the LORD can remain outside of time but interact with His own creation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    How in the world can the words "us" and "our" and "we" in those verses be referring to an individual?????
    Simple!

    Paul's words were directed at "individuals" and since he identified himself as receiving the same promises he would naturally use plural pronouns.

    If I am talking to you, a single individual, and we had both received the same promise then when I talk to you about that promise I would say, "We have been given that promise."

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    Over 1000 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    There is no reason to doubt that the LORD can remain outside of time but interact with His own creation.
    I suppose, but there's no reason to presume that He always does remain outside of time when he interacts with his time-bound creation.
    Simple!

    Paul's words were directed at "individuals" and since he identified himself as receiving the same promises he would naturally use plural pronouns.

    If I am talking to you, a single individual, and we had both received the same promise then when I talk to you about that promise I would say, "We have been given that promise."
    But you concede my point that Paul was talking in the plural, so he could only have been talking about "individuals" plural, not a single individual. And if plural individuals, then eh could only have been refering to a group of individuals. So to suggest that those verses MUST mean that individuals are elected from before time. (There's that pernicious description again--"before" there was a "before".)

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