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Thread: Open Theism Destroys Arminianism??

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    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    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).
    Thayer's is showing their theological bias.

    Paul never commanded anyone to eternal life!

    How can any person order or command another person to eternal life? Frankly, that is ridiculous!
    Really? "Believe in Jesus Christ! (Command) You will receive eternal life!"

    Just did it.
    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 750 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    It is compatible with Open Theism if you understand that God exists in eternity, which is void of time.
    Understanding THAT God exists in eternity is not too difficult. Understand what it means that God exists in eternity is a different matter. So far, you have made some attempt to describe what YOU think it means, which I appreciate, but I believe what I have pointed out is that much of what you have said is not logically supportable--doesn't mean it isn't true, just doesn't fit with logic.


    There is nothing out of context about Acts 13:48 and there are no verses found in the Bible which contradict it.
    I never said Acts 13:48 was contradicted anywhere in the Bible. But using Acts 13:48 without any other scripture is by it's very nature taking it out of context. It's context is the 13th chapter of Acts, in the book of Acts, in the New Testament, in the Bible. If it is not included with those other things, then it is out of context. That doesn't make your interpretation incorrect, but any verse by itself is out of context. (Dictionary.com: Context = the parts of a written or spoken statement that precede or follow a specific word or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect)

    I think what's going on here is that you assume a certain interpretation of a passage, and then act like any other interpretation is unbiblical. Whereas I'm trying to show how those passages could be interpreted elsewise and still be literally true.



    I see no evidence in the Scriptures one way or the other. Do you have any evidence?

    Could you please supply evidence from the Scriptures to support what you say there?
    No, not if you dismiss the last several posts--I don't really have much more to offer. I might reiterate what I said before if you don't mind reading it again. I'll try to include lessons learned from our exchange.

    Evidence from scripture:
    1. Adam was created (Gen 2:7)
    2. Adam was made alive (Gen 2:7)
    3. Adam was threatened with conditional death (Gen 2:17)
    4. Adam met the condition. (Gen 3:6)
    5. Adam died (Gen 5:5)
    6. Because of Adam's sin, death entered into the world. (Rom 5:12)
    7. Jesus came to give life (numerous, like John 10:10 and Matt 20:28)
    8. Humans can be saved by no one else (Acts 4:12)
    9. Before Time began we were saved in Christ (according to you and your reading of 2 Tim 1:9)


    Therefore, since this salvation was planned BEFORE time began, and salvation wouldn't be necessary without the fall, the fall must have been planned BEFORE time began. Remember that in your proposal, all of time happens instantaneously to God, but "time" doesn't include what happened BEFORE time began. So if the fall, Adam's sin, was planned BEFORE time began, then time began with a preconceived result of Adam sinning--Adam had no choice in the matter, and God is the author (planner, decreer, predestinator, ordainer, whatever you want to call it) of SIN.





    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.
    Your view is incompatible with Open Theism, which presupposes time in a sequence, not all at once, at least as far as I understand it. It says "the future is open", thus presupposing "future".

    And giving up on the literal interpretation of Acts 13:48 and all of the "foreknowledge" verses is not what Open Theism is trying to do, as I understand it. Open Theism is trying to understand what is meant by those passages in light of the other information available from the bible.

  3. #48
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Understanding THAT God exists in eternity is not too difficult. Understand what it means that God exists in eternity is a different matter.
    What is meant by existing in time is that one is constrained by time. You cannot go back in time and you cannot go forward in time. If someone can do either of those things he is not in time but instead lives in a state of timelessness.

    The same can be said for the idea that the LORD can look into the future. If that is true then it is obvious that He is not constrained by time and therefore He exists in a state of timelessness.

    So far, you have made some attempt to describe what YOU think it means, which I appreciate, but I believe what I have pointed out is that much of what you have said is not logically supportable--doesn't mean it isn't true, just doesn't fit with logic.
    What is not logical is to argue that the LORD lives in time but somehow He is able to get outside of time and look into the future.

    I think what's going on here is that you assume a certain interpretation of a passage, and then act like any other interpretation is unbiblical. Whereas I'm trying to show how those passages could be interpreted elsewise and still be literally true.
    OK, give me your interpretation of the meaning of Acts 13:48.

    Thanks!

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    "Believe in Jesus Christ! (Command) You will receive eternal life!"
    If you are right then we must believe that "all" of those whom Paul commanded 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).

    Are you willing to argue that "all" of those whom Paul commanded to eternal life "believed"?

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    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    What is meant by existing in time is that one is constrained by time. You cannot go back in time and you cannot go forward in time. If someone can do either of those things he is not in time but instead lives in a state of timelessness.
    I can do one of those things! I can go forward in time. I do it every second of every day. Does that make me timeless? I'd venture to say it does not. I can't go backward in time, at least as far as I know. I don't know if God can go backward in time, and I don't think you know that either. Maybe you can prove me wrong here. If we don't know from either any direct experience or biblical reference that God can actually move forward (greater than the rate we currently experience) or backward (at all) in time, then it's all pretty speculative, isn't it. The one verse you used before, "with the Lord, a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years a day" only deals with forward motion of time, and as I explained, can easily be understood in regular terms and time passages that we can wrap our minds around.

    I can also go forward in time with respect to other people and their time. It's a little hard to do, but Einstein laid out how to do it--either have greater gravity or travel at a faster speed than others, and you go forward in time, relatively. In other words, you stay younger than everybody else, so that when they are, say 10 days older, you might only be 9 days older, thus you jumped into the future by one day. Nobody knows how to go back unfortunately.

    Can I offer you another way God might can be unconstrained by time? He outlasts it! In other words, when we wither like grass, God will still be going strong. When our great, great, great, grandchildren wither like grass, God will still be going strong. When our 20th generation grandchildren, assuming we are blessed in such a way, wither like grass, God will still be going strong. It seems like nothing can cause God to fade or grow weak or die. To me, that means He is unconstrained by time. And it seems like that is what the bible speaks of, too. That doesn't mean there aren't other things going on, but to select one of those other, more fanciful things, that doesn't have any clear description in the bible, when what I've presented does, seems like an appeal to something unknown and unexperienced and unreferenced in the Word. And maybe, just maybe, such an appeal is unnecessary. That's the beauty of Open Theism, imo.

    I don't know how to explain the part where He has existed from eternity past. It's a mystery to me. Maybe someday I'll figure it out, or He'll tell me how it works.

    The same can be said for the idea that the LORD can look into the future. If that is true then it is obvious that He is not constrained by time and therefore He exists in a state of timelessness.



    What is not logical is to argue that the LORD lives in time but somehow He is able to get outside of time and look into the future.
    You've now introduced another term "lives in time", that is just as hard to define as "outside of time".

    But for the record, I have not ever said that the Lord can look into the future. I don't believe He can, because there isn't a thing called "future" just sitting out there waiting to be looked into, although Einstein and Boettner might disagree. I don't believe He needs to look into it. I think Arminians (see working definitions earlier in thread) use such language. I don't know of any scripture that supports or needs the idea, and I can think of at least one reason it doesn't make sense, which I expressed earlier. That is, if the Lord can look into the future, then the future exists as a finished product, but if it's a finished product, then God can't change the future--he's bound by it, and He has to let it complete. If He can change the future, then it isn't a finished product. Therefore it refutes itself. The Calvinist idea that God creates the future (and did so for every moment in time) is much more satisfactory, in that God maintains control over all events that way. The problem there is that God must then be responsible for every action, because He caused it to happen, and to maintain control, He must do everything and be the author of sin.

    I think God put it on the line when He created us in His image--that we have the power to do something contrary to what He wants us to do. And I think God will punish those that deserve to be punished for not doing His will, and grant life to those that are willing to do His will, but not capable by themselves--thus needing Jesus Christ.

    OK, give me your interpretation of the meaning of Acts 13:48.

    Thanks!
    Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? Remember how it came up? Jesus was asked, "Who is my neighbor?" because the expert in the law wanted to justify himself (Luke 10:29). The upshot was that the Samaritan's neighbor was the guy who helped. But the funny thing was that the wording always seemed a little weird. It's like the "neighbor" concept was a two-way street. TO have a neighbor, you had to be a neighbor. The wording just didn't quite fit the question Jesus was asked.

    I don't really know for sure if I'm thinking the right way about Acts 13:48, but if God decided to save mankind, as long as the wanted to be saved; and if He decided it before the beginning of the world, but He isn't responsible for sin; then He probably set up this whole scheme of Jesus dying, with the possibility that nobody would believe and nobody would be saved, but if anybody did--if anybody decided to put their trust in Christ and His sacrifice--then those were the ones He set this all up for. Those are the ones that He chose before the foundation of the world--in Christ. And so, for those that believe, they were all taken care of from the beginning of the world, as many as believed. And they had been appointed to life long ages ago.

    The wording is a little awkward. I won't do you the disservice of trying to interpret the Greek--more intelligent people than myself have done that. But I think it's just a little funny that the awkward wording in the story of the Good Samaritan and the awkward wording in the Acts 13:48 passage...were written by the same guy. Maybe there's nothing to that, or maybe there is something.

    Thanks for putting up with me through all this. I hope I'm being clear in my writing, and that I'm not being disrespectful in my responses, even though I don't agree with you in some things. These discussions are valuable, I think.

  6. #51
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    But for the record, I have not ever said that the Lord can look into the future. I don't believe He can, because there isn't a thing called "future" just sitting out there waiting to be looked into, although Einstein and Boettner might disagree. I don't believe He needs to look into it. I think Arminians (see working definitions earlier in thread) use such language. I don't know of any scripture that supports or needs the idea, and I can think of at least one reason it doesn't make sense, which I expressed earlier. That is, if the Lord can look into the future, then the future exists as a finished product, but if it's a finished product, then God can't change the future--he's bound by it, and He has to let it complete.
    Can the same not be said in regard to the "foreknowledge" of God? If the LORD has a "foreknowledge" of things then those things of which He has that knowledge must exist as a finished product? So the things of which He foreknows cannot be changed.

    When we read the following about the LORD's "foreknowledge" it certainly does not appear to be limited in anyway:

    "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isa.46:9-10).

    Nothing said there indicates that His "foreknowedge" is limited in any way, does it? And how about this?:

    "I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass" (Isa.48:3).

    Now back to this verse:

    "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 predetermination 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. That can only mean that if we are going to take what the Scriptures reveal about the LORD's "foreknowlege" literally then we can only conclude that the future is closes because the eternal fate of all men was determined before the world began.

    Now if my interpretation of the meaning of Acts 13:48 is in error then it must have another meaning. I really couldn't understand what you were said earlier about the meaning of that verse so if you wouldn't mind could you be more specific? For example, could you give me your understanding about what the Greek word translated "ordained" as it is used in that verse means?

    Thanks!

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    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Can the same not be said in regard to the "foreknowledge" of God? If the LORD has a "foreknowledge" of things then those things of which He has that knowledge must exist as a finished product? So the things of which He foreknows cannot be changed.

    When we read the following about the LORD's "foreknowledge" it certainly does not appear to be limited in anyway:

    "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isa.46:9-10).

    Nothing said there indicates that His "foreknowedge" is limited in any way, does it? And how about this?:

    "I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass" (Isa.48:3).
    Are you sure you're not a Calvinist? My Calvinist friends always resort to those two verses to show God's foreknowledge. Yet God's "foreknowledge", as it seems you want to treat it, is not mentioned in those verses. Rather those two verses elegantly define God's power to bring about something He has decided to do. Read them again and see if you agree. The problem is your emphasis. Instead of embolding the declaration--which nobody really has much disagreement about, as far as I can tell--look at the words after, to see HOW God can declare things ahead of time. He says "I will DO my pleasure" and "I did them suddenly". The things God, at least in these verses, says He knows ahead of time are the things He was going to accomplish. In that sense, those verses, if they are proofs of His foreknowledge (and I tend to think they are), actually DO limit His foreknowledge. For Calvinists, that means everything is foreknowledgable, because God does everything. For you, I'm not sure what it means, as you use it like a Calvinist, but claim you're not one. I don't think your concept of time and foreknowledge is any different from Calvinists.
    Now back to this verse:

    "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).
    It's funny that you pick that particular definition, since it is the third choice at Merriam-Webster.com. Here are the other two, that may be more commonly used:
    1 to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority
    2 to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law : enact
    I'd probably agree with you that the first one doesn't apply, but the second one sure could. And in light of that, can you answer my question I asked a few threads ago--
    Is it possible that something the Lord ordained could be violated?

    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 predetermination 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. That can only mean that if we are going to take what the Scriptures reveal about the LORD's "foreknowlege" literally then we can only conclude that the future is closes because the eternal fate of all men was determined before the world began.
    So that's the other take-away from your interpretation of Acts 13:48--that everybody in the crowd that ever had some chance of believing, actually believed at that particular time, is that correct? So for most of that whole city (Acts 13:44), nobody would ever change their mind and accept Christ outside of those that did it that day. That seems like a bit of a stretch, to hang the eternal state of so many people on that one encounter.

    Now if my interpretation of the meaning of Acts 13:48 is in error then it must have another meaning. I really couldn't understand what you were said earlier about the meaning of that verse so if you wouldn't mind could you be more specific? For example, could you give me your understanding about what the Greek word translated "ordained" as it is used in that verse means?

    Thanks!
    How about "appointed". I would suggest the meaning: "those Gentiles that were appointed to eternal life believed", or "those Gentiles that believed were appointed to eternal life". It certainly doesn't say "predestined from before the beginning of time". It doesn't limit the future decisions of others in the group. And it might be that Luke was speaking in a way that he did sometimes--a little awkwardly.

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Are you sure you're not a Calvinist?
    The Calvinists who use the "foreknowledge" of God to make their points take the word "literally." I do not. When I began discussing the subject of this thread I have been arguing that since the LORD exists in the ever present "now" then there is no "foreknowledge" with Him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    The things God, at least in these verses, says He knows ahead of time are the things He was going to accomplish.
    According to Isaiah 46:11 it is speaking about accomplishing things which He has already said. And that is in regard to bringing Cyrus from the east (41:2;44:28;45:1;45:13).

    But that does not negate the fact that the LORD says this:

    "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure"
    (Isa.46:10).

    There is nothing which limits "the things which He declares from the beginning" to things which He will accomplish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    How about "appointed". I would suggest the meaning: "those Gentiles that were appointed to eternal life believed", or "those Gentiles that believed were appointed to eternal life".
    Since the LORD appointed these people to eternal life then I do not see how it was not determined beforehand that they would in fact receive eternal life. And that determination happened before they believed.

    Therefore, I do not see how your idea that the correct meaning is "appoint" at Acts 13:48 changes anything. The LORD appointed some men to eternal life before they believed. And then those who were so appointed believed. Since the LORD determined beforehand that they would believe then their eternal destiny was set in stone before they ever believed.

    Thanks for your patience because I know that I do not always make my ideas clear!

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    Over 750 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    The Calvinists who use the "foreknowledge" of God to make their points take the word "literally." I do not. When I began discussing the subject of this thread I have been arguing that since the LORD exists in the ever present "now" then there is no "foreknowledge" with Him.
    I don't see the difference. If you take it figuratively, and they take it literally, yet you use the same proof texts in the same way, what difference does it make?

    And the way you've described "foreknowledge" and "ordained" to mean something that happened "before" time began, as if anything can be before anything else when there is no time, I really don't see the distinction.



    According to Isaiah 46:11 it is speaking about accomplishing things which He has already said. And that is in regard to bringing Cyrus from the east (41:2;44:28;45:1;45:13).

    But that does not negate the fact that the LORD says this:

    "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure"
    (Isa.46:10).

    There is nothing which limits "the things which He declares from the beginning" to things which He will accomplish.
    As I pointed out, the only thing I see that limits those things, is the rest of the verse: "saying (which points back to the previous idea of declaring things ahead of time) My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." In other words, during the very act of declaring the end from the beginning, He caveats it by saying He will accomplish those things, which defines those end things as the ones that He will accomplish. I don't think He could be much clearer, yet that part of the verse is routinely disregarded.


    Since the LORD appointed these people to eternal life then I do not see how it was not determined beforehand that they would in fact receive eternal life. And that determination happened before they believed.

    Therefore, I do not see how your idea that the correct meaning is "appoint" at Acts 13:48 changes anything. The LORD appointed some men to eternal life before they believed. And then those who were so appointed believed. Since the LORD determined beforehand that they would believe then their eternal destiny was set in stone before they ever believed.

    Thanks for your patience because I know that I do not always make my ideas clear!
    Patience is certainly justified for this subject, as it is a difficult one to express clearly.

    The verse doesn't say that they were appointed before they believed, at least not all translations. All translations seem to lean that way, if not overtly say it, so I don't want to work too hard to make it say something else. But if that's the only one that says that in that way, and other verses taken with it indicate otherwise, there's a chance the translations, or at least the prevailing understanding, is not correct.

    I don't have any better to offer on that particular verse. I said before that it is not one that is favorable to Open Theism (even when you talk about God's timelessness, which Calvinists often do). I said before that it could be an awkward rendering by the author, though my reasons are very skimpy. And I've given you as good a translation as I can think of.

    The one other thing I gave you, which I'd like to hear your response on, is that if you render the verse the way you have, it limits the actual response to the gospel to a single point in time, not allowing anyone in the group to believe at a later point in time. Maybe that's legitimate, but it doesn't sound like it to me. I've heard so many cases of people that heard the gospel many times before accepting it.

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    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    If you are right then we must believe that "all" of those whom Paul commanded 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).

    Are you willing to argue that "all" of those whom Paul commanded to eternal life "believed"?
    In that circumstance, yes. Luke isn't making a broad generalization about Paul's preaching. He's speaking of that specific instance (and only about the Gentiles there.)
    I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

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

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themuzicman View Post
    In that circumstance, yes. Luke isn't making a broad generalization about Paul's preaching. He's speaking of that specific instance (and only about the Gentiles there.)
    We are supposed to believe that only in one particular situation Paul "commanded" the Gentiles to eternal life and everyone of those who were so commanded believed!

    Paul preached in the hope that all who heard the gospel would believe it and be saved. That being true, then why didn't he always "command" men to eternal life since doing that would always result in them believing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I don't see the difference. If you take it figuratively, and they take it literally, yet you use the same proof texts in the same way, what difference does it make?
    Again, since the LORD exists in a "timeless" state then there is no "before" or "after" with Him. Loraine Boettner wrote:

    "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]).

    Since the LORD sees everything at one glance then there is no predestination with Him so the verse which speak of Him ordaining people to eternal life before they believe cannot be understood literally.

    Therefore, no one is saved until the LORD sees a particular person believe the gospel at one glance. Since the verses which speak of Him foreknowing things are not to be taken in a literal sense then verses like Acts 13:48 pose no problem for those in the Open Theism camp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    As I pointed out, the only thing I see that limits those things, is the rest of the verse: "saying (which points back to the previous idea of declaring things ahead of time) My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." In other words, during the very act of declaring the end from the beginning, He caveats it by saying He will accomplish those things, which defines those end things as the ones that He will accomplish. I don't think He could be much clearer, yet that part of the verse is routinely disregarded.
    What about Cyrus? Could he act any different way than the things which were foretold about him? If the Lord actually had "foreknowledge" about what he would do then that was going to happen no matter what. That would mean that he had no "free will" in regard to what he would do during his lifetime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    The verse doesn't say that they were appointed before they believed, at least not all translations. All translations seem to lean that way, if not overtly say it, so I don't want to work too hard to make it say something else. But if that's the only one that says that in that way, and other verses taken with it indicate otherwise, there's a chance the translations, or at least the prevailing understanding, is not correct.
    I looked at 25 different translations of Acts 13:48 and did not see even one which strayed from the rest of the translations. Could you please quote the translation of which you speak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    The one other thing I gave you, which I'd like to hear your response on, is that if you render the verse the way you have, it limits the actual response to the gospel to a single point in time, not allowing anyone in the group to believe at a later point in time. Maybe that's legitimate, but it doesn't sound like it to me. I've heard so many cases of people that heard the gospel many times before accepting it.
    The verse doesn't say that everyone of them who heard the gospel believed it the first time that they heard it.

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    Over 1500 post club themuzicman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    We are supposed to believe that only in one particular situation Paul "commanded" the Gentiles to eternal life and everyone of those who were so commanded believed!
    That's all the text is telling us. TO go beyond the text with this simply isn't good exegesis.

    Paul preached in the hope that all who heard the gospel would believe it and be saved. That being true, then why didn't he always "command" men to eternal life since doing that would always result in them believing?
    Because it doesn't always happen that way. I'm sure Paul preached in the way he believed was most effective to each group he spoke before. In this one instance, it was very effective. In other instances, he had varying degrees of success. Less so with Jews, more so with Gentiles.

    Again, trying to take this one instance and say that all instances must happen this way is bad exegesis.
    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
    That's all the text is telling us. TO go beyond the text with this simply isn't good exegesis.
    It is you who is going beyond the text because the Scriptures will be searched in vain for any evidence that Paul preached differently to the Gentiles at one place than he did at another place.

    Also, the idea that Paul would "command" others to eternal life is ridiculous. What did Paul say when he preached that way?: "I command you to eternal life and then after you receive eternal life then you will believe"?

    Nothing could be further from the truth!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Again, since the LORD exists in a "timeless" state then there is no "before" or "after" with Him. Loraine Boettner wrote:

    "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]).

    Since the LORD sees everything at one glance then there is no predestination with Him so the verse which speak of Him ordaining people to eternal life before they believe cannot be understood literally.

    Therefore, no one is saved until the LORD sees a particular person believe the gospel at one glance. Since the verses which speak of Him foreknowing things are not to be taken in a literal sense then verses like Acts 13:48 pose no problem for those in the Open Theism camp.
    I understand that we won't always comprehend everything the bible tells us. But in this case, the bible seems to clearly contradict what you are saying. Let me repeat it again, since you repeated your Boettner quote, only I'll try one more time to reword it (if you want to reword Boettner's paragraph to help me understand it differently from what I'm doing, that might be helpful).

    If "befores" and "afters" don't exist outside of the time that we humans experience, and that time didn't start until some other things had happened, like God had already decided who would be saved ([2Ti 1:9 NIV] 9 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,), then the concept of timelessness as defined is refuted by the very verses you use to express it.

    While the foregoing tells me that Boettner's concept of time and timelessness is incorrect, I'm not real confident that I have a replacement concept to offer. I mentioned the idea that time is sometimes equated to increasing entropy. In that sense, I agree that God is "timeless"--that He doesn't experience any entropy (lack of order is a reasonable definition of entropy), and definitely not increasing entropy.

    While that definition does some things for us, it might not handle the creation time period--or maybe it does. If "the beginning" is a somewhat ambiguous term it could refer to the time when God said "Let there be light", or it might refer to the time when God said it was "very good", or maybe sometime in between. The creation week seems to be a time of decreasing entropy, so I'm not sure if it counts with the rest of "time".




    What about Cyrus? Could he act any different way than the things which were foretold about him? If the Lord actually had "foreknowledge" about what he would do then that was going to happen no matter what. That would mean that he had no "free will" in regard to what he would do during his lifetime.
    There are a number of ways Cyrus could have acted. He probably got to choose what he ate for breakfast each day. Could he have affected the outcome? This gets into a much larger discussion of who "Cyrus" was, or what different "Cyruses" there might have been.

    The biggest thing Cyrus could do to thwart God's prophecies would be to commit suicide, right? Did God have a back-up plan? I don't know. Was there a "Cyrus Jr."? My understanding of the Cyrus that invaded Babylon and let the Jews go back to their homeland was that he is called "Cyrus II" in secular histories, but I know little about who Cyrus I was or when he was around.

    Much more likely is that God arranged things, including His name, in such a way that the parents or tutors or guardians of Cyrus taught him/counseled him/raised him in such a way as to bring about God's plan. No doubt there were plenty of providential protections throughout his life. It doesn't seem too hard to get kings to go to battle against each other (refer to 1 Chr 20:1). Once arrows are flying, God could certainly bring about the results He wants for each battle so that Cyrus increases in power and others decrease.

    This would be a good discussion for another thread. Take a look at https://www.britannica.com/biography/Cyrus-the-Great. Look especially at the "legends" associated with Cyrus. We can't put too much stock in such legends, but I could see how "shepherds" and "advisors" might have been influential in performing God's purposes. Think about Moses (shepherd and probably advisor to pharoah), Mordecai (advisor who was put into place by God), Esther (advisor), etc. I'd like to look into where Cyrus came from and whether perhaps the scattered 10 tribes might have been influential on Cyrus, his parents, and grandparents. This is all speculation at this point.

    I looked at 25 different translations of Acts 13:48 and did not see even one which strayed from the rest of the translations. Could you please quote the translation of which you speak?
    I think my point is mostly moot. The different texts say either "were" or "had been" ordained/appointed/chosen. The difference is subtle, but the "were" versions allow for something to be happening at the same time, imo, and the "had been" versions don't.


    The verse doesn't say that everyone of them who heard the gospel believed it the first time that they heard it.
    If you don't see a timeframe in that part of the verse, then why be so adamant about the timeframe in the other part of the verse? If it's there in one, it's there in the other.

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