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Thread: Open Theism Destroys Arminianism??

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Greetings Derf,

    I said:

    There is no reason to doubt that the LORD can remain outside of time but interact with His own creation.

    Here is your response:

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    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.
    Just because He can interact within His own creation does not mean that He has to subject Himself to the constraints of time when He does interact in that way. And why would He want to subject Himself to the constraints of time when He interacts in that way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    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.
    I said that when Paul used the plural he was speaking to individuals and at the same time including himself in the things of which he was speaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    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".)
    Do you think that these words of Paul are referring to a "group of people"?:

    "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).

    It is "individuals" who are saved and who are called, not "groups" of people.

    Now, since you seem unconvinced that the LORD lives a "timeless" existence why don't you give me your view of the realationship between the "prophecies" and "time."

    Thanks!

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    Over 1000 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Greetings Derf,

    I said:

    There is no reason to doubt that the LORD can remain outside of time but interact with His own creation.

    Here is your response:



    Just because He can interact within His own creation does not mean that He has to subject Himself to the constraints of time when He does interact in that way. And why would He want to subject Himself to the constraints of time when He interacts in that way?
    1. How do you know the bold text is true?
    2. Why would he do it? Love, perhaps? The fact is that Jesus Christ subjected Himself to the constraints of time, even though He didn't have to. I don't know what else to say about why, except that He did and it seems to be because He loved us.

    I think you will have to admit that God DID subject Himself to time in the person of Jesus.


    I said that when Paul used the plural he was speaking to individuals and at the same time including himself in the things of which he was speaking.



    Do you think that these words of Paul are referring to a "group of people"?:

    "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).
    Yes and no. Paul was speaking "of" a group of people--at least 2--when he used the plural pronouns. Paul was not speaking "to" a group of people. His letter was addressed to Timothy, and Timothy only. We are left with a bit of a conundrum as to how far-reaching his plural pronouns need to be. It could be that he was speaking only "of" himself and Timothy--nothing in the text precludes such a reading. It could be that he was speaking of a group of people that does not include everybody that is saved, like the elect Jews, for instance (of which both Paul and Timothy would be considered members). Or it could be that he was referring to all the elect, right? I think you ascribe to that last option.
    It is "individuals" who are saved and who are called, not "groups" of people.
    Was Paul talking about salvation? "Who hath saved us" and "which was given us" don't seem to be talking about the same thing--the noun-verb agreement isn't there. I'd venture to suggest that the "which" in "which was given us" is referring to "grace" (a reasonable antecedent), but not necessarily to salvation.

    But neither is your statement only about salvation. You talk about those "who are saved and who are called". Are they one and the same? Maybe, or maybe not. Can groups of people be saved? Obviously the answer is "Yes". Can groups of people be called? An even more emphatic "Yes". In fact, Paul talks, just a chapter later, in the third person (after so adeptly using the first and second person forms) about a group of people that were called.
    Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. [2Ti 2:10 KJV]

    Note in that verse that "election" doesn't mean the same thing as "salvation", as Paul is hoping that the elect will be saved.


    Now, since you seem unconvinced that the LORD lives a "timeless" existence why don't you give me your view of the realationship between the "prophecies" and "time."

    Thanks!
    That seems like a rather involved question, one which I doubt I have time to answer fully. But I've noticed over the years that prophecies have a purpose, and one of those purposes is to provide a warning about what MAY happen if a certain path is taken or not taken, for instance, Jonah's warning to Nineveh. Such prophecies can't be set in stone, but allowed to change based on the response of the target audience.

    Jesus' death seems to be of another type, somehow set in stone from the foundation of the world (or "before"), yet not necessarily required. I'm not sure that the timing on it was as firm as we pretend it was, either. Hard to say. I think it's possible that God and Jesus could have walked away from all mankind without breaking character or sinning, if God's promises and covenants that required Jesus' death were conditional in some way on the behavior of His people. I think Muz's explanation due to Jesus' human nature is a pretty decent one (and one I've heard a lot), but I don't know that it's the only option.

    That needs a better fleshing out, perhaps, but does it start to answer your question?

  3. #33
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    How do you know the bold text is true?
    If the LORD actually looks into the future then I cannot see how it is possible that He is constrained by time in any sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Why would he do it? Love, perhaps? The fact is that Jesus Christ subjected Himself to the constraints of time, even though He didn't have to.
    That is right but notice that when He came to the earth he was made like man in every way. His mission was to do the will of the Father and to die in a flesh and blood body to redeem the sins of men. It is for that reason that He subjected Himself to time. I see no evidence that the Father ever came to earth so I see no evidence that He was ever subject to time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Yes and no. Paul was speaking "of" a group of people--at least 2--when he used the plural pronouns. Paul was not speaking "to" a group of people. His letter was addressed to Timothy, and Timothy only.
    Since that is correct then when Paul used the plural pronoun he was obviously just referring to Timothy and himself i.e. "individuals."

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Or it could be that he was referring to all the elect, right? I think you ascribe to that last option.
    Yes, all the "individual" believers. It is "individuals" who are said to be ordained to to eternal life (Acts 13:48), not "groups" of people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Was Paul talking about salvation? "Who hath saved us" and "which was given us" don't seem to be talking about the same thing--the noun-verb agreement isn't there. I'd venture to suggest that the "which" in "which was given us" is referring to "grace" (a reasonable antecedent), but not necessarily to salvation.
    "Grace" must have an object and this case the object can only be "salvation."

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    You talk about those "who are saved and who are called". Are they one and the same? Maybe, or maybe not. Can groups of people be saved? Obviously the answer is "Yes". Can groups of people be called? An even more emphatic "Yes". In fact, Paul talks, just a chapter later, in the third person (after so adeptly using the first and second person forms) about a group of people that were called.
    In the OT there are instances of the LORD dealing directly with groups, specifically the nation of Israel. But in the NT it is "individuals" who are called and who believe and who are baptized by One Spirit into the Body of Christ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. [2Ti 2:10 KJV]

    Note in that verse that "election" doesn't mean the same thing as "salvation", as Paul is hoping that the elect will be saved.
    I believe that Paul uses the word "elect" in that verse to describe them who are said to be ordained to eternal life (Acts 13:48). Even though the ones to whom Paul refers as "elect" are not yet saved does not forbid the idea that Paul can call them "elect" since they are ordained to eternal life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    That seems like a rather involved question, one which I doubt I have time to answer fully.
    Early on this thread you listed several different options so pick the one which comes close to matching your beliefs and we will go from there. OK?

    Thanks!

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    Over 1000 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    If the LORD actually looks into the future then I cannot see how it is possible that He is constrained by time in any sense.



    That is right but notice that when He came to the earth he was made like man in every way. His mission was to do the will of the Father and to die in a flesh and blood body to redeem the sins of men. It is for that reason that He subjected Himself to time. I see no evidence that the Father ever came to earth so I see no evidence that He was ever subject to time.
    Now you're quibbling with semantics. If God the Son came to earth, and was made like man in every way, then God indeed subjected Himself to time, by the very definition of "man". He was conceived, grew in Mary's womb for 9 months, was born a little baby, waited until He was 12 to go to the temple with the men, grew older, waited another 15 years or more before starting His ministry, was in the grave 3 days, etc. If you can't see that in that way God subjected Himself to time, I don't know what to do for you.

    I suppose if I somehow showed that the Father acted in time, too (which I believe I did with the creation of man reference), then you might very well point out the the Holy Spirit never subjected Himself to time. Ah, the dance of the defeated.

    Since that is correct then when Paul used the plural pronoun he was obviously just referring to Timothy and himself i.e. "individuals."
    Sadly, you missed (or ignored) my swipe at your grammar. You said Paul was speaking to individuals (plural), which was obviously not true. But thanks for changing it to say he was "referring" to individuals, of which I agree, yet...

    Yes, all the "individual" believers. It is "individuals" who are said to be ordained to to eternal life (Acts 13:48), not "groups" of people.
    Tell me, when Adam was first created was it just he that was ordained to live in the Garden and eat of the tree of life? Or did that ordination extend to Eve and to their progeny? Or was there no ordination of Adam/Eve/descendants to the Garden and to life at all?

    If no ordination to life, were they ordained to death? Seems like you need to pick one.

    Btw, I'm not trying to say that God doesn't save individuals. He does. The several "whosoever" passages confirm to me that God saves individuals. But does He also ordain individuals to salvation? Is it possible that He ordained the whole human race to eternal life, but some would not have it, and all lost it? Is it possible that Jesus' death on the cross was the vehicle for each man to be punished for his own sins (or saved from them) rather than suffer the fate of death due to one man's sin? I'm still thinking through a lot of this.

    "Grace" must have an object and this case the object can only be "salvation."
    "Salvation" isn't a fitting object of "grace". Jesus doesn't bestow "grace" on "salvation", because salvation, like grace, is a concept, or a thing to be bestowed, rather than an object. Would you like to pick another object?

    In the OT there are instances of the LORD dealing directly with groups, specifically the nation of Israel. But in the NT it is "individuals" who are called and who believe and who are baptized by One Spirit into the Body of Christ.
    In the New Testament there are also instances of the Lord dealing directly with groups. Two instances are the Jews (Matt 24 and like passages), and Gentiles (to whom Paul was sent). Possibly those can also be divided into the elect subsets from both larger sets, or an elect subset that pulls members from both groups.

    I believe that Paul uses the word "elect" in that verse to describe them who are said to be ordained to eternal life (Acts 13:48). Even though the ones to whom Paul refers as "elect" are not yet saved does not forbid the idea that Paul can call them "elect" since they are ordained to eternal life.
    I'll grant you Paul's meaning for now. Hopefully that doesn't require my own dance later.

    Early on this thread you listed several different options so pick the one which comes close to matching your beliefs and we will go from there. OK?

    Thanks!
    If you are talking about the three choices of Calvinism, Arminianism, and Open Theism (all as defined earlier), I lean toward the Open Theism view at the moment, but as per my profile, I don't like labels, probably because they all have baggage.

    Let me explain another problem with God being outside of time. When He told Hezekiah, when he was sick, that he would die (Is 38:1), then Hezekiah prayed, and God sent word that he would NOT die of the sickness but that 15 years would be "added" to his life (Is 38:5), was God telling something that was happening at the same time for Him (thus giving contradictory present-time accounts), or was God telling something that He already knew the final version, and He didn't tell Hezekiah the truth the first time?

    (And a side question--when God made the sun dial shadow go back 10 degrees in Is 38:8, was God making time go backward, to reverse, perhaps, the progression of Hezekiah's sickness?)

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    If God the Son came to earth, and was made like man in every way, then God indeed subjected Himself to time, by the very definition of "man". He was conceived, grew in Mary's womb for 9 months, was born a little baby, waited until He was 12 to go to the temple with the men, grew older, waited another 15 years or more before starting His ministry, was in the grave 3 days, etc. If you can't see that in that way God subjected Himself to time, I don't know what to do for you.
    When the Lord Jesus came to earth He emptied Himself in some way from what He had before when He existed in the "form of God":

    "Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men"
    (Phil.2:5-7).

    In that sense He subjected Himself to time. But God, when in the "form of God," is not so restrained by time. After all, it is obvious that is true because He knows what will happpen in the future. While on the earth as "Son of Man" the Lord Jesus was limited in that regard (Mt.24:36).

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Sadly, you missed (or ignored) my swipe at your grammar. You said Paul was speaking to individuals (plural), which was obviously not true. But thanks for changing it to say he was "referring" to individuals, of which I agree, yet...
    Let us look at this verse again:

    "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).

    This is obviously speaking of "individuals" because it is individuals who are baptized by One Spirit into Christ (1 Cor.12:13).

    And once a person is "in Him" or "in Christ" he is saved:

    "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory"
    (2 Tim.2:10).

    It is only by believing that a person can be "in Christ." So how could the LORD say that a person is chosen "in Christ" before the foundation of the world since in "time" the same person hasn't even believed?

    Since the LORD lives in the "ever present now" then from His perspective the moment when a person believes (in time) is the same moment which existed before the foundation of the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Tell me, when Adam was first created was it just he that was ordained to live in the Garden and eat of the tree of life? Or did that ordination extend to Eve and to their progeny? Or was there no ordination of Adam/Eve/descendants to the Garden and to life at all?
    Their being ordained to life was conditional on their having access to the tree of life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Btw, I'm not trying to say that God doesn't save individuals. He does. The several "whosoever" passages confirm to me that God saves individuals. But does He also ordain individuals to salvation?

    Is it possible that He ordained the whole human race to eternal life, but some would not have it, and all lost it?
    I think that the following words indicate that all who were ordained to eternal life believed:

    "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"
    (Acts 13:48).

    So I would say that I do not think that the LORD ordained the whole human race to eternal life since all men do not believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    "Salvation" isn't a fitting object of "grace".
    I beg to differ. Here is what Paul wrote:

    "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph.2:8-9).

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    In the New Testament there are also instances of the Lord dealing directly with groups. Two instances are the Jews (Matt 24 and like passages), and Gentiles (to whom Paul was sent). Possibly those can also be divided into the elect subsets from both larger sets, or an elect subset that pulls members from both groups.
    As you mentioned the following words of Paul were directed to only Timothy. So when Paul uses the plural pronoun here it is directed at both him and Timothy but not any "group":

    "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).

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    If you are talking about the three choices of Calvinism, Arminianism, and Open Theism (all as defined earlier), I lean toward the Open Theism view at the moment, but as per my profile, I don't like labels, probably because they all have baggage.
    OK, please tell me your views in regard to Open Theism as to how that theology relates to the fact that the Scripture which says that people were chosen "in Him" before the foundation of the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Let me explain another problem with God being outside of time. When He told Hezekiah, when he was sick, that he would die (Is 38:1), then Hezekiah prayed, and God sent word that he would NOT die of the sickness but that 15 years would be "added" to his life (Is 38:5), was God telling something that was happening at the same time for Him (thus giving contradictory present-time accounts), or was God telling something that He already knew the final version, and He didn't tell Hezekiah the truth the first time?
    I think that all of this is in regard to ascribing to God what belongs to man. 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).

    I will have to give some more thought to your last question, Derf.

    Thanks!

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    All very good questions and comments, Jerry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    When the Lord Jesus came to earth He emptied Himself in some way from what He had before when He existed in the "form of God":

    "Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men"
    (Phil.2:5-7).

    In that sense He subjected Himself to time. But God, when in the "form of God," is not so restrained by time. After all, it is obvious that is true because He knows what will happpen in the future. While on the earth as "Son of Man" the Lord Jesus was limited in that regard (Mt.24:36).
    I'll just count this a victory and move on.

    Let us look at this verse again:

    "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).

    This is obviously speaking of "individuals" because it is individuals who are baptized by One Spirit into Christ (1 Cor.12:13).

    And once a person is "in Him" or "in Christ" he is saved:

    "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory"
    (2 Tim.2:10).

    It is only by believing that a person can be "in Christ." So how could the LORD say that a person is chosen "in Christ" before the foundation of the world since in "time" the same person hasn't even believed?
    I think your comments above are right on target. The "in Christ" part is the part that gives us a picture of how we could be chosen before the foundation of the world without being specific individuals in God's mind. His thinking might have gone something like this: "All who believe in my Son will be granted eternal life." Thus, the group of individuals represented by those who are "in Christ" were chosen from the foundation of the world. That makes everybody happy, right?

    Since the LORD lives in the "ever present now" then from His perspective the moment when a person believes (in time) is the same moment which existed before the foundation of the world.
    I think you've messed up here. If our decisions within time now affect something that happened "before" time was created/started, then now God is subjected to a time and world that He hasn't even created yet, thus not only binding Him within the constraints of time, but for all eternity. That doesn't help your cause any.


    Their being ordained to life was conditional on their having access to the tree of life.
    You probably have a good point you're making, but I'm not getting it.



    I think that the following words indicate that all who were ordained to eternal life believed:

    "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"
    (Acts 13:48).
    Again, you are binding the Lord outside of time with something that happens within time--no help to your argument.
    So I would say that I do not think that the LORD ordained the whole human race to eternal life since all men do not believe.
    Is it possible that something the Lord ordained could be violated?



    I beg to differ. Here is what Paul wrote:

    "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph.2:8-9).
    That's a good verse to help explain what I'm saying. "Saved" has an object in the sentence. Can you tell me what it is? If "saved" has an object, then it cannot itself be an object, can it? Curiously enough, "grace" is used as an object in the sentence, but not salvation. (you gotta remember back to all that diagramming of sentences you had to do long ago--and you thought it would never be useful!)


    As you mentioned the following words of Paul were directed to only Timothy. So when Paul uses the plural pronoun here it is directed at both him and Timothy but not any "group":

    "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).
    I don't think it is as obvious as you say. Whether he was speaking OF a group that extended beyond just him and Timothy is not clear in the passage, and probably doesn't matter. If even only he and Timmy are in the "us", it doesn't say one way or another that they as specific persons were being considered before the foundation of the world. To make it say so is adding to the passage. You might be able to come to that conclusion by bringing in other passages along with this, but this one alone doesn't do it.


    OK, please tell me your views in regard to Open Theism as to how that theology relates to the fact that the Scripture which says that people were chosen "in Him" before the foundation of the world.
    I think I laid that out fairly clearly and concisely (which isn't always my strong point) above, when I stated that the plan was that whosoever believes in Christ is chosen before the foundation of the world. Then Open Theism presents a rather remarkable answer to the Calvinism/Arminianism debate that has been raging for so many years.


    I think that all of this is in regard to ascribing to God what belongs to man. 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).
    I don't have a good distinction for what was granted to man when he was made "in God's image", but something was. Are you telling me you know exactly what those attributes were that man was given? I'd love to see your list.

    I will have to give some more thought to your last question, Derf.

    Thanks!
    It's a bit off topic, but interesting to think about.
    Last edited by Derf; January 7th, 2017 at 09:49 PM. Reason: sigh...I'm not the typist I think I am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    You probably have a good point you're making, but I'm not getting it.
    Let us look at the verse again in that case:

    "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"
    (Acts 13:48).

    First of all, the word "ordained" means appointed. So we can see that before some people believed they were appointed to eternal life.

    And every single one who were appointed to eternal life believed. The verse says that as "many" of them were appointed to eternal life "believed." So if there were 1000 people who were so appointed then all 1000 of them believed. If 2000 of them were appointed then all 2000 of them believed.

    Therefore, the fate of those who were appointed to eternal life were going to believe no matter what and as a result receive eternal life. And those who were not appointed to eternal life were not going to believe no matter what.

    Only the LORD can appoint anyone to eternal life. And if this appointing came as a result of the LORD's foreknowledge then the fate of all these people was determined beforehand. Therefore, their fate was sealed at a time before they even believed. And the same can be said of those who were not appointed to eternal life. Their fate was also sealed before the LORD appointed others to eternal life but passed over them.

    Therefore, if this appointing of the LORD was done according to His foreknowledge then it is obvious that this idea does not support Open Theism. But you say that you favor the idea of Open Theism.

    Please explain why you think that Open Theism is compatible with the things which I presented in regard to those who were ordained to eternal life.

    Thanks for your time!

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    I think you misunderstood my question. Let me revisit the conversation:
    I said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Tell me, when Adam was first created was it just he that was ordained to live in the Garden and eat of the tree of life? Or did that ordination extend to Eve and to their progeny? Or was there no ordination of Adam/Eve/descendants to the Garden and to life at all?

    If no ordination to life, were they ordained to death? Seems like you need to pick one.
    You replied:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Their being ordained to life was conditional on their having access to the tree of life.
    I wasn't sure you answered my questions, so I retorted:
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    You probably have a good point you're making, but I'm not getting it.
    Finally, you said (your most recent post):
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Let us look at the verse again in that case:

    "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"
    (Acts 13:48).

    First of all, the word "ordained" means appointed. So we can see that before some people believed they were appointed to eternal life.

    And every single one who were appointed to eternal life believed. The verse says that as "many" of them were appointed to eternal life "believed." So if there were 1000 people who were so appointed then all 1000 of them believed. If 2000 of them were appointed then all 2000 of them believed.

    Therefore, the fate of those who were appointed to eternal life were going to believe no matter what and as a result receive eternal life. And those who were not appointed to eternal life were not going to believe no matter what.

    Only the LORD can appoint anyone to eternal life. And if this appointing came as a result of the LORD's foreknowledge then the fate of all these people was determined beforehand. Therefore, their fate was sealed at a time before they even believed. And the same can be said of those who were not appointed to eternal life. Their fate was also sealed before the LORD appointed others to eternal life but passed over them.

    Therefore, if this appointing of the LORD was done according to His foreknowledge then it is obvious that this idea does not support Open Theism. But you say that you favor the idea of Open Theism.

    Please explain why you think that Open Theism is compatible with the things which I presented in regard to those who were ordained to eternal life.

    Thanks for your time!
    If the first couple were presented with eternal life that was conditional on their eating of the tree of life, and the New Testament believers were presented with eternal life that was conditional on their believing in Jesus Christ, is there a difference in terms of how God interacted with them in time and in eternity past? Were the first couple ordained to life? or to death? upon what condition?

    Were (are) New Testament believers ordained to life? or death? upon what condition?

    If God ordained the New Testament believers to life in Christ from before the foundation of the world (or before time was created), then He must have ordained the first couple to death, right? in order for Christ's death, which was also ordained before the foundation of the world (or before time was created), to have any meaning.

    But God gave them the tree of life, of which they could eat freely, and provided access to the other tree, commanding them not to eat.

    If the only real choice that was allowed, in order for the rest of the plan to work, was for them to eat of the wrong tree, then God must have ordained death for them, right? This is totally in line with Calvinism, as I understand it. This is also totally in line with Loraine Boettner, from what I read today. But you said this about Calvinism:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Were the first couple ordained to life? or to death? upon what condition?
    Let us look at this verse again:

    "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"
    (Acts 13:48).

    The word "ordain" means "destine, foreordain" (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary).

    The word "destined" means "predetermined" (Ibid.).

    From this we can understand that when the LORD destines or foreordains something to happen then it will happen no matter what. Besides that, the Scriptures will be searched in vain for any evidence that the LORD destined (predetermined) that Adam and Eve would live forever.

    So according to Acts 13:48 the Lord predetermined that some would inherit eternal life. And that pretermination came before they believed. Therefore, since what the LORD predetermines will happen no matter what so those who were predetermined to eternal life will believe no matter what.

    That also means that those whom the LORD did not predetermined to receive eternal life will not believe no matter what.

    You say that you favor the idea of Open Theism. Please explain why you think that Open Theism is compatible with the things which I presented in regard to those who were ordained to eternal life.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by Jerry Shugart; January 9th, 2017 at 10:56 AM.

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    Happy Lord's day to you, Jerry!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Let us look at this verse again:

    "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"
    (Acts 13:48).

    The word "ordain" means "destine, foreordain" (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary).

    The word "destined" means "predetermined" (Ibid.).

    From this we can understand that when the LORD destines or foreordains something to happen then it will happen no matter what. Besides that, the Scriptures will be searched in vain for any evidence that the LORD destined (predetermined) that Adam and Eve would live forever.

    So according to Acts 13:48 the Lord predetermined that some would inherit eternal life. And that pretermination came before they believed. Therefore, since what the LORD predetermines will happen no matter what so those who were predetermined to eternal life will believe no matter what.

    That also means that those whom the LORD did not predetermined to receive eternal life will not believe no matter what.
    So you are Calvinist. Ok, I misunderstood what you had written before.

    You say that you favor the idea of Open Theism. Please explain why you think that Open Theism is compatible with the things which I presented in regard to those who were ordained to eternal life.

    Thanks again!
    I don't really think Open Theism has to be compatible with the things you presented, but with scripture. That particular scripture, by itself, is not the most favorable to Open Theism. That's why we talk about other scriptures along with it. Calvinists and Arminians do the same, of course, as any scripture out of the context of the whole council of God's word is potentially misunderstandable.

    So in the context of people being predestined to eternal life, in Christ, I asked you whether you thought Adam and Eve were predestined to death (even the more limited death of their bodies). I don't think you answered the question. But the consequences of what you wrote above are that Adam and Eve were predestined to eat of the fruit of the wrong tree and were predestined to die from it DUE TO THEIR SIN. It wasn't conditional according to what you wrote above, it was mandated and predetermined and out of their control. Because if they didn't eat of the wrong tree and die, they and we wouldn't need Christ's sacrifice**, and wouldn't need to be predestined to life in Christ from "before" time/the world began.

    You've made your Calvinist bed, now lie in it. God (according to you) is the author of sin! And because this happened "before" time/the world began, it can't be because of their own sin--it was predestined "before" they were created. Christ's death, and our eternal life "in Christ", which were determined "before" Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, is only possible because Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden. No ifs, ands, or buts (in a Calvinist world). That's why the Westminster divines had to add the contradictory clause about God NOT being the author of sin--it's the obvious conclusion from their other statements. They knew, but didn't know how to get around it, so they threw in the contradictory clause.

    If you'll respond to that first, then I'll try to respond to your question about Open Theism's compatibility with your single verse.

    **If you skip Adam's sin and jump straight to our own, since we would still need Christ's sacrifice due to our own sin, the problem remains (and becomes worse)--if we were predestined to life in Christ from before time/the world began, then we were predestined/predetermined/preordained to sin, by God's own wisdom and power--God decreed our sin. I have a thread I started on this topic. It didn't go very far, but the first comment (by @Truster, bringing a Calvinist perspective, click here to see) confirms what I said above and for the same reason. The one other commenter, @patrick jane, brought an Arminian perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    So you are Calvinist.
    No,I am not a Calvinist.

    I don't really think Open Theism has to be compatible with the things you presented, but with scripture. That particular scripture, by itself, is not the most favorable to Open Theism.
    It is compatible with Open Theism if you understand that God exists in eternity, which is void of time.

    That's why we talk about other scriptures along with it. Calvinists and Arminians do the same, of course, as any scripture out of the context of the whole council of God's word is potentially misunderstandable.
    There is nothing out of context about Acts 13:48 and there are no verses found in the Bible which contradict it.

    So in the context of people being predestined to eternal life, in Christ, I asked you whether you thought Adam and Eve were predestined to death (even the more limited death of their bodies). I don't think you answered the question.
    I see no evidence in the Scriptures one way or the other. Do you have any evidence?

    But the consequences of what you wrote above are that Adam and Eve were predestined to eat of the fruit of the wrong tree and were predestined to die from it DUE TO THEIR SIN. It wasn't conditional according to what you wrote above, it was mandated and predetermined and out of their control. Because if they didn't eat of the wrong tree and die, they and we wouldn't need Christ's sacrifice**, and wouldn't need to be predestined to life in Christ from "before" time/the world began.
    Could you please supply evidence from the Scriptures to support what you say there?

    You've made your Calvinist bed, now lie in it.
    I am not a Calvinist. The point which I have made before is that if verses like Acts 13:48 are to be taken literally then the teaching of Calvinism is correct. On the other hand, if you understand that God lives in a timeless state then Acts 13:48 cannot be understood literally. The LORD exists in timeless state so their is no foreknowledge with Him because everything with Him happens in the every present now.

    That is the only view that is compatible with Open Theism.

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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.
    I love how you remove Christ's humanity. You think that Jesus must only deal in propositional truth, and never have emotions. If you cannot have a little compassion for a man about to be crucified, how can you have compassion for anyone?

    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.
    Which falls into the various problems that I presented above, which you haven't addressed.

    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, in your view they've been determined from eternity, they are logically necessary, since there is no "before." Thus, only God can be the cause of sin, if God in your view is capable of causing anything.

    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).
    "Us" is corporate.

    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).
    "Us" is corporate.

    You're imposing individual election on verses that clearly deal with a corporate group.
    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
    You're imposing individual election on verses that clearly deal with a corporate group.
    What is said here cannot possibly be speaking about corporate election:

    "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"
    (Acts 13:48).

    The word "ordain" means "destine, foreordain" (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary).

    The word "destined" means "predetermined" (Ibid.).

    From this we can understand that when the LORD destines or foreordains something to happen then it will happen no matter what. So according to Acts 13:48 the Lord predetermined that some would inherit eternal life. And that pretermination came before they believed. Therefore, since what the LORD predetermines will happen no matter what so those who were predetermined to eternal life will believe no matter what.

    That also means that those whom the LORD did not predetermine to receive eternal life will not believe no matter what.

    Earlier you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    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.
    If the LORD does not "foreordain" His purposes then who is it who is doing the foreordaining here?:

    "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"
    (Acts 13:48).

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Jerry Shugart; January 10th, 2017 at 08:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    What is said here cannot possibly be speaking about corporate election:

    "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"
    (Acts 13:48).

    The word "ordain" means "destine, foreordain" (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary).

    The word "destined" means "predetermined" (Ibid.).

    From this we can understand that when the LORD destines or foreordains something to happen then it will happen no matter what. So according to Acts 13:48 the Lord predetermined that some would inherit eternal life. And that pretermination came before they believed. Therefore, since what the LORD predetermines will happen no matter what so those who were predetermined to eternal life will believe no matter what.

    That also means that those whom the LORD did not predetermine to receive eternal life will not believe no matter what.

    Earlier you said:



    If the LORD does not "foreordain" His purposes then who is it who is doing the foreordaining here?:

    "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"
    (Acts 13:48).

    Thanks!
    The Greek work in Acts 13:48 is from "tassw", which has the connotation of command.

    Furthermore, it is a passive verb with no indirect object, so there is no stated agent performing this action. Thus, the primary actor in the context tells us who is doing the "tassw"ing. The active agent in this case is Paul's preaching. Thus, Paul commanded them to eternal life, and they believed.

    You see, you've imposed your theology on Acts 13:48, rather than doing critical exegesis.

    And you still have the problem of God causing every event on the entire "timeline" at once. That leaves no room for any responsibility for anything for any creature.
    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
    The Greek work in Acts 13:48 is from "tassw", which has the connotation of command.
    One of the meanings is stated by Thayer here: "as many who were appointed (by God) to obtain eternal life, or to whom God had decreed eternal life, Acts xiii. 48" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon).

    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    The active agent in this case is Paul's preaching. Thus, Paul commanded them to eternal life, and they believed.
    Paul never commanded anyone to eternal life!

    How can any person order or command another person to eternal life? Frankly, that is ridiculous!

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