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Thread: Does Open Theism Question/dispute the Omniscience of God

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    Over 4000 post club Rosenritter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    It is arguing with me there, however. Nurture is 'other' will oriented. Don't miss that. It is 'others' influence upon you which further is against your notion of 'personal choice.' If I can get you guys to think beyond these 'ah ha!' veneers, I'll be truly of 'nurturing' service to you.
    But weren't you indicating that the "others" in this nurture consideration didn't have wills either and their wills were just the products of further "others" (illusion of) wills? And this is still in the context of chocolate vs. vanilla?

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    Derf (October 29th, 2018)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    It is arguing with me there, however. Nurture is 'other' will oriented. Don't miss that. It is 'others' influence upon you which further is against your notion of 'personal choice.'
    And all of that influence comes down to just that, influence. But not coercion. Even if we are influenced by DNA, and influenced by others sometimes in an opposite way from our DNA, we also influence ourselves. We have to take what God gives us, and what others give us and do something with it. We actually have to take the bite of ice cream, or broccoli or whatever. Some things are easier, and some are harder, but if we don't actually do something about it, we are called sluggards (Prov 26:15).

    If I can get you guys to think beyond these 'ah ha!' veneers, I'll be truly of 'nurturing' service to you. It is why 'our wills' Romans 12:4,5 are more important than 'your will.' 2 Corinthians 5:15 1 Corinthians 6:20
    I guess I'm still kind of hoping you will have your own "aha" moment. Maybe that you will see that you are agreeing with me when you say we have to submit our will to something else, like in your references. There are two categories: those we need to submit our will to (God) and for (our neighbor). Loving either of these is putting our own will aside, but to do so requires an action on our part--an act of will. This speaks of two different uses for the word "will", where one is what we want, and one is what we decide, and the second is often (as believers) in contrast to the first (Rom 7:15-20). If you are using the first only in this conversation, then your responses won't make sense to us when we think we're referring to the second. I don't say you are alone in the confusion, I've probably added to it sometimes.

    Rom 7:15-20 illustrates a flaw in our character--that we have two wills that conflict. Does God ever have two wills that conflict?


    1 John 1:5 No, 'in the dark' means He doesn't (and cannot, according to Open Theism) know what 'is unknowable.' It means, literally, according to Open Theists, that God is, indeed, 'in the dark' concerning what 'might/can' happen with truly "free" human agents.
    Why would you say this? It is a mischaracterization, certainly of my own thoughts and posts, and I believe of even the most well-known open theists (of the little I've read from them). I think both I and they would say that God is very aware of what "might/can" happen, even with truly free human agents. What I (and, I believe, they) would say God is in the dark about is what actually will happen in those cases where truly free human agents are involved. If such is not yet a real thing, then God is in the dark about what isn't, not about what is. This would allow for multiple outcomes and an outcome that can change based on the events--like Hezekiah's life extension.

    God's Omni's are traded, quite literally, by Open Theism, for God's darkness of ability. It is, btw, why Open Theists will not talk about God "Almighty." If "Almighty" is taken literally as Omnipotent, the whole house of Open Theism cards topples.
    Again, why would you say this? I don't see God as less than omnipotent, less than almighty. Why do you think they don't apply in Open Theism? The only way I could see that you are correct here about open theism is if you define "Almighty" as including knowing everything about the future. But I thought we were already discussing "Omniscience" which you seem to maintain includes knowing everything about the future. Why then do we need 2 omnis to deal with the same concept?

    I propose that "Almighty" means that God can do anything He sets His mind to do, which would not include logical contradictions. Thus, if decides he wants a people that loves Him, He might need to allow some people NOT to love Him. People that don't love God would not follow His commandments. If any one person does not follow God's commandments, then that person has been granted power to sin (to do what God does not want), and God has allowed this. "Almighty" has to include this concept of someone doing what God does not want, at least temporarily. "Sovereignty" must include this concept as well. (The familiar reason is that if people only ever do what God wants them to do, and they sin, then God is author of sin.)

    I think Open Theism tries to do a VERY noble thing by painting God, and from the scriptures as loving and relational but it is very important to me, that the God of scriptures not be emasculated of His rightful characteristics less I am worshipping a God of my own imagining rather than the God Who exists. I'm ever only concerned with that. I'd love to be 'more comfortable' in my perceptions of God, but 'comfortable' is not 'godliness.' Many OT prophets and saints were grilled wrestling with God. He wasn't (and isn't) unloving for such. A "God in my image" is NO comfort to me (or should be to any believer) at all Hebrews 6:18 Isaiah 40:8
    Then, once more, you agree with open theism. Open theism is trying to figure out what God is like from the scriptures rather than from our own imaginations, or other men's imaginations (read: traditions). If we need to wrestle with God in this way, let's do it from the basis of scripture. That's why I brought up the Hezekiah passage. You have to read your own (or traditional) interpretation into that passage to see it as anything other than God changing the future right before Hezekiah's eyes.

    Nope, but by the same token, are you suggesting that your will 'can' produce godliness? We really need to be thinking outside of the first thought that crosses our minds. As with above, these little 'ah ha!' moments are immature incomplete thoughts that need to be pushed a lot further to be in the ballpark as to be 'right with God.' Isaiah 1:18 Proverbs 27:17
    The reformation was an "ah ha!" moment. Are you saying Luther shouldn't have nailed those 95 theses to the door?

    I do know that we 'sinned' on our own (without God's bidding) and that we are saved ONLY by His interjection. Where does a 'will' come into play concerning life? I don't believe that at all, you can do nothing to gain Him. Romans 11:6 Ephesians 2:8,9
    I disagree. We CAN do something to gain Him! It is repeated over and over again in the New Testament. We need to believe in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31). Are you saying that belief is ineffective, of no use? Was Paul being deceptive? Is there a different gospel you are offering?

    And what does "belief in Jesus Christ" entail? Isn't it believing what the bible says about Him? And about His Father? So why would we want to say that God didn't really tell Hezekiah his future, but just something that would help him to achieve his future?

    Now, I don't think we can do anything to deserve Him.

    Good point, but we are often accused of being 'drones' or 'the mindless masses.' Why? Because it takes work to think on our own, AND I think it takes work to be truly 'freewill' men and women. We have to think to be God's (carefully said ala Ephesians 2:10). That is: Romans 12:2 There is always a dichotomy between we being His recreation/new-creation and our need to be conformed to His image. Romans 8:29;12:2
    I think you miss the accusation. The accusation is that Calvinism equates us to drones, and you have as much as said you are ok with it. So you shouldn't get offended over what you accuse yourself of, unless you are offended at yourself.

    Somewhere in there, is a 'desire' and a 'will' to be like Him. Philippians 2:1-11, but remembering Romans 11:6 as it relates to 'our will.'
    Agreed! This tension, if that is what it is, keeps us from relying on our good works, hopefully, while it keeps us doing them, hopefully.

    NOT if you never (ever) hear a Calvinist agreeing with the sentiment. Then it is the one doing it, that is 'besmirching' unless you can show/prove such is the ONLY inevitable outcome of another's theology. I don't believe you can, therefore believe we should entertain 'besmirching.' We Calvinists get a LOT of this, so don't feel too bad, I 'think' we can have some of the blame for lack of clarity in describing our beliefs. I try really hard to undo some of that damage and potential further damage and want to thank you again for the opportunity to do so here. I pray I'm found a profitable servant to you, for Him. -Lon
    Of course the Calvinist does not agree with the sentiment. This is to the Calvinist's credit--that he doesn't want to malign God. What is to his discredit is that he continues to do it in the face of scriptures pointing it out. In other words, just because the Calvinist disagrees with the sentiment doesn't mean that the sentiment is not accurate.

    Open theists get as much, it seems, in return--and also not all undeserved. I pray that both sides will take humbly what they deserve and move toward a mutual perfection in doctrine and life.


    It is, for me, a consideration of closing the barn door after the horse is out. We were never supposed to 'drive our own lives.' John 15:5 It is clear we need more than just a 'co'-pilot in this case. Something of sin HAS caused us to have to 'cooperate' whereas we were already His and belonged to Him and His will. Think of this for a moment: There was literally no 'free' will because our will was only after Him doing what He desired and what pleased Him prior to the Fall. "Free" becomes a very difficult proposition at that point: Was Adam 'free' if he only did God's will? I think he was, but Adam was 'programmed' that way and so what man so desperately wants to cling to and call 'free' isn't exactly what man needs or was created with, imho. Rather, man was 'created and constrained (or 'freed') in God's image. Sin created an 'apart' and 'free' is associated with 'apart' as well. The ideas are intricately tied and so we really really really have to talk about what one really means AND wants when advocating 'free.' To me, it horribly confuses where better description and more words are needed. For example: Was Adam 'free' before OR after the Fall? He was definitely NOT free from one thing AND that changed after the Fall such that the very thing men advocate as free, is suggested as left 'intact' after the Fall by many Open Theists (and Charismatics). I don't believe THAT freewill could have remained intact and thus, because of the HUGE change in man's will, is really not a great theology starter ("freewill"). To me, it confuses issues and important theology.
    I can see that (the confusion), since this topic was started as a question about God's omniscience. Can those topics be handled separately? I would suggest that we try.

    I'll start with Hezekiah. If God says Hezekiah will die of his illness, and then Hezekiah prays for a longer life, and God responds by granting longer life, does that mean Hezekiah once had a shorter lifespan and it changed?

    We are His workmanship Ephesians 2:10 INCLUDING things 'He has prepared in advance for us to do' AND including things we are to do to 'follow Christ' in this life 1 Corinthians 11:1
    Are these not the same things that everybody should be doing? Acts 17:30. And if "repenting" in Acts 17 means that all men everywhere get back to doing what God wanted them to do in the first place, isn't that a good definition of "good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in"?

    For my part, I try and 'fret' about what I can do today as well as trying to prepare some avenues of godly living in my immediate future, BUT try to remember I'm His creation (Ephesians 2:10) and remember constantly that He is doing a better job, ALWAYS, than me. There is comfort in that when I don't 'feel' any particular day that I'm measuring up. I do want to be like Him. 2 Timothy 2:21 Romans 12:18 etc.

    Thank you again for discussion. In Our Christ -Lon
    Much agreement here! And I appreciate the exhortation.

    Derf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    And all of that influence comes down to just that, influence. But not coercion. Even if we are influenced by DNA, and influenced by others sometimes in an opposite way from our DNA, we also influence ourselves. We have to take what God gives us, and what others give us and do something with it. We actually have to take the bite of ice cream, or broccoli or whatever. Some things are easier, and some are harder, but if we don't actually do something about it, we are called sluggards (Prov 26:15).
    Yes, but please pay attention: "My" will (supposedly) is either going to follow Christ OR the evil one. No in-betweens. Do you grasp that? That 'my' will is actually not mine at all, it is EITHER the Lord Jesus Christ's OR that of the evil one. Interesting you want to call such 'your' will as if it is something novel or actually neither Christ's nor Satan's....

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I guess I'm still kind of hoping you will have your own "aha" moment.
    I still wait for your 'aha' beyond what I view as thin veneers of actual and deep thought. They really don't seem to be well-thought-out to me. For me at least, they seem to fall shortsighted and a bit too simplistic. Yes we are called to take up 'our' cross and follow Him, which requires an act of the will, but free? ONLY (to me) in the sense that you have been set free from sin and death. Christ set us free for exactly this BUT it is to do His will as we once were created to be and walk in prior the Fall. Therefore, 'free' or 'me' or anything of the sort 'seems' pretty shallow compared to the scriptural directive to 'follow.' Sorry, to me 'my will' is subsumed into His will as the only thing worthy of biblical/spiritual mention. No other 'freewill' concern is of much concern where theology and Christ's will is of greater concern.


    Maybe that you will see that you are agreeing with me when you say we have to submit our will to something else, like in your references. There are two categories: those we need to submit our will to (God) and for (our neighbor). Loving either of these is putting our own will aside, but to do so requires an action on our part--an act of will. This speaks of two different uses for the word "will", where one is what we want, and one is what we decide, and the second is often (as believers) in contrast to the first (Rom 7:15-20). If you are using the first only in this conversation, then your responses won't make sense to us when we think we're referring to the second. I don't say you are alone in the confusion, I've probably added to it sometimes.
    Yes, BUT would you call a 'will to disobey Christ' "free" or "gift?" What's the draw? Of what possible 'good' consequence can such discussion or good effect land on a believer wanting to be like HIS Savior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Rom 7:15-20 illustrates a flaw in our character--that we have two wills that conflict.
    Agree. Does a 'conflict' ever denote 'free' in any good, practical, or positive sense for any kind of discussion about God, us, and our need to follow the Savior?
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Does God ever have two wills that conflict?
    No, but not sure the context for this question....


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Why would you say this? It is a mischaracterization, certainly of my own thoughts and posts, and I believe of even the most well-known open theists (of the little I've read from them). I think both I and they would say that God is very aware of what "might/can" happen, even with truly free human agents. What I (and, I believe, they) would say God is in the dark about is what actually will happen in those cases where truly free human agents are involved. If such is not yet a real thing, then God is in the dark about what isn't, not about what is. This would allow for multiple outcomes and an outcome that can change based on the events--like Hezekiah's life extension.
    It may be a mischaracterization of you, but not at all, Boyd, Sanders, or other outspoken Open Theists. As far as I've encountered, it is spot-on for most Open Theists. You as an exception? Good news

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Again, why would you say this? I don't see God as less than omnipotent, less than almighty. Why do you think they don't apply in Open Theism? The only way I could see that you are correct here about open theism is if you define "Almighty" as including knowing everything about the future. But I thought we were already discussing "Omniscience" which you seem to maintain includes knowing everything about the future. Why then do we need 2 omnis to deal with the same concept?
    Enyart is on record here on TOL as denying Omnipotence, for example. That is why I have to say it. You distancing from them? I think a good thing.

    I propose that "Almighty" means that God can do anything He sets His mind to do, which would not include logical contradictions. Thus, if decides he wants a people that loves Him, He might need to allow some people NOT to love Him. People that don't love God would not follow His commandments. If any one person does not follow God's commandments, then that person has been granted power to sin (to do what God does not want), and God has allowed this. "Almighty" has to include this concept of someone doing what God does not want, at least temporarily. "Sovereignty" must include this concept as well. (The familiar reason is that if people only ever do what God wants them to do, and they sin, then God is author of sin.)
    Sorry, your logic carries logically limited constraints. There is NO necessity of an 'ability to choose' to quantify nor qualify Love. Love is simply this: Unselfishly committed to another's highest good. You CAN (and originally were) be created this way AND it is incredibly better love. Why? Because, as you confirmed earlier, a compromise/conflict destroys your ability do so without compromising its purity. Love is an action, not just a feeling (such is only self-interested BECAUSE it is wholly within the individual).
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Then, once more, you agree with open theism. Open theism is trying to figure out what God is like from the scriptures rather than from our own imaginations, or other men's imaginations (read: traditions). If we need to wrestle with God in this way, let's do it from the basis of scripture. That's why I brought up the Hezekiah passage. You have to read your own (or traditional) interpretation into that passage to see it as anything other than God changing the future right before Hezekiah's eyes.
    RATHER I read what God says prior and bring that to the passage to understand it: "I am God, I change not." "Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today, and forever."
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    The reformation was an "ah ha!" moment. Are you saying Luther shouldn't have nailed those 95 theses to the door?
    Nope. "He" was right. That IS the litmus test. Anybody can have an 'ah ha' moment but unless it is accurate, its not beneficial. My whole point is to say 'think this thought through a bit longer and further.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I disagree. We CAN do something to gain Him! It is repeated over and over again in the New Testament. We need to believe in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31). Are you saying that belief is ineffective, of no use? Was Paul being deceptive? Is there a different gospel you are offering?
    Belief isn't doing anything to earn salvation. It conversely is believing Christ did.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    And what does "belief in Jesus Christ" entail? Isn't it believing what the bible says about Him? And about His Father? So why would we want to say that God didn't really tell Hezekiah his future, but just something that would help him to achieve his future?
    This is one of those I mean: Ask yourself the same question: Why did God do it this way? Why didn't He just set it all out with options and consequences for those options? If as you Open Theists say, why even bother communicating at all? To just be wrong? Why? Why say anything to Hezekiah at all? See? The NEED isn't there UNLESS it is known/assumed Hezekiah needed to change. There is no point otherwise. It makes better sense that God was 1) Not lying 2) trying to effect a change JUST LIKE 'the pot is boiling over.' I was not lying. Anybody accusing that is being simplistic and not really thinking well. I never, at any time, lied to my wife AND the accusation is a poor reflection on another's ability to think. It has nothing to do at all with a lie between me OR my wife. It has to do with a pot that needs attention. Simply saying 'then why did you lie?' is really beneath me AND I'm pretty sure you agree with that. I'm not omniscient but I DO know what happens to unattended pots. Imho, to even 'suggest' a lie is anywhere in that equation actually casts bad light on the poor perception and character of the accuser. It is just that bad.
    Now, I don't think we can do anything to deserve Him.
    Not even 'belief' saves you. Belief is just trusting in One who can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I think you miss the accusation. The accusation is that Calvinism equates us to drones, and you have as much as said you are ok with it. So you shouldn't get offended over what you accuse yourself of, unless you are offended at yourself.
    I could give a care less what others think of me. Rather it is the damage this does to one's own theology in rejection. Imho, it does damage to one's own wrestling with God because it dismisses the revelation, instead of an idea to wrestle with God over, as something that is 'ludicrous' like a puppet to be dismissed out of mind. To me, the premature dismissal causes simplistic rather than deep and wrestled, theology. God can bring it back to one's attention, but if it is repeatedly done, then it becomes ignorance. THAT is the danger of strawmen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Agreed! This tension, if that is what it is, keeps us from relying on our good works, hopefully, while it keeps us doing them, hopefully.

    Of course the Calvinist does not agree with the sentiment. This is to the Calvinist's credit--that he doesn't want to malign God. What is to his discredit is that he continues to do it in the face of scriptures pointing it out. In other words, just because the Calvinist disagrees with the sentiment doesn't mean that the sentiment is not accurate.

    Open theists get as much, it seems, in return--and also not all undeserved. I pray that both sides will take humbly what they deserve and move toward a mutual perfection in doctrine and life.
    I believe this kind of discussion goes a long way toward clarifying. I these two posts we've both said what we believe and don't believe about our respective positions. This has to be profitable, I must believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I can see that (the confusion), since this topic was started as a question about God's omniscience. Can those topics be handled separately? I would suggest that we try.

    I'll start with Hezekiah. If God says Hezekiah will die of his illness, and then Hezekiah prays for a longer life, and God responds by granting longer life, does that mean Hezekiah once had a shorter lifespan and it changed?
    Every time we come to scriptures, we ask questions. There are manward questions and Godward questions. For me, the first I attempt to answer is 'what does God teach here?" That is a Godward question, though it is certainly pointed to this manward direction in the next "what does God want 'me' to get from this passage?" I am assuming, right up front that 1) God is not lying and 2) that something OTHER than what is being said is going to take place (such is the nature of story). God 'can' have said, "Hezekiah, your unfaithfulness has you dying early. Change or face the consequences." We are not privy to all information, but I do try and be careful about what I am taking at face-value in a passage.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Are these not the same things that everybody should be doing? Acts 17:30. And if "repenting" in Acts 17 means that all men everywhere get back to doing what God wanted them to do in the first place, isn't that a good definition of "good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in"?
    You might be doing better than me. I definitely was in your shoes one time in my life thinking I was 'walking in them' and fairly smug about it (not that you are, not my intimation here). Now, rather, I've realized God does a LOT more in me and through me, than I can do on my own. Ephesians 2:10 is a realization that try as I might, I have always had a great need to remember my humble place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Much agreement here! And I appreciate the exhortation.

    Derf
    In Him
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    But weren't you indicating that the "others" in this nurture consideration didn't have wills either and their wills were just the products of further "others" (illusion of) wills? And this is still in the context of chocolate vs. vanilla?
    Yep, but go back to Romans 12:5 to me, 'our will' and "His will" is WAAAAAY more important and part of biblical theology discussion than 'my' will. The point is 'less me' (and 'you') mucking up our theology proper.
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    You are essentially saying that the word "just" has the meaning of "unjust" when applied to God.
    I'm saying God is the ONLY definer of what 'just' is. You 'may' have a partial grasp of 'just' at times, but such does not, imho, allow you to position that tiny bit of understanding up against the God of the universe to try and measure Him. Our measures are mostly good for measuring 'us.' I can use a tape measure to see how tall I am. Using one against God will only show you that you have an inadequate tape measure. The same is ABSOLUTELY TRUE of you trying to raise a 'just bar' up against God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    This isn't about me. Insanity and injustice is sickening enough in itself and it is grievous to see people apply that to God. Cease from the patronizing "God provided you a way out" and think of the scope and meaning of "God so loved the world."
    Same here. I believe you are using an inadequate and inappropriate measuring tape that is made for man and trying to hold it up against God. Christ met the requirement to save you. You cannot do anything to see injustice, be seeing anything 'grievous' or anything 'patronizing' about it. God is NOT "insane" or 'doubleminded.' Your standard is and was faulty for YOU to come up with such. You really NEED to be looking to your own mind on this one. The patronizing or what-have-you is coming all from your side.

    Me? I'm seeing this coming from you and noting darn well that you are expressing frustrations with Calvinists past and present but it is not, in fact, helping conversation. Show me a Calvinist that believes God is 'insane' or 'doubleminded' or else contemplate your own thoughts further and longer so they aren't emoting out frustration. It just isn't doing anything much for direct conversation. Think more about what you want to say AND how to bring out the point meaningfully rather than one-hits that are designed to shut-down or malign the other position. I don't mind a little, but I am going to try to help you get out of that sand-trap. It just doesn't go anywhere nor is it meaningful or really worth your or my time at that point. You know and I know, bluntly, that neither of us believe God is insane or doubleminded and so the proposition is a non-starter. Of course you are going to feel patronized by ANY response I give you regarding such.

    Let me try again: When I was a child, Mom told me not to overfeed the horses. I thought, as a child, "there is no way one handful of oats can possibly be enough for those horses. They are going to starve to death." I promptly almost killed my horses.

    Point: I was guilty. Simple fact. The next thing I said, simple fact, was that it was and is WHOLLY upon the offended party to forgive regardless of your or my 'righteous (or unrighteous actually) indignation' over our guilt.

    Your retort: Insane. Double-minded. Nope. I said 'try again' and I meant it. I may not be helping as best as I perhaps should be, and for that, I do apologize. Ironically? Guilty whether I feel righteous or indignant about the accusation. It just doesn't matter. What DOES matter, is YOUR response (and God's by virtue of the argument against us). I pray I helped a tiny bit, even if I'm guilty for this venture in our conversation. I think it does serve, albeit, to make the thread point and I think it does refute your idea that we have to 'feel guilty' or whatnot to 'be guilty. This just isn't the case and I believe I can build a 'sane' and single-minded defense. In Him -Lon
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
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    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Yes, but please pay attention: "My" will (supposedly) is either going to follow Christ OR the evil one. No in-betweens. Do you grasp that? That 'my' will is actually not mine at all, it is EITHER the Lord Jesus Christ's OR that of the evil one. Interesting you want to call such 'your' will as if it is something novel or actually neither Christ's nor Satan's.


    So is it the Calvinist position that men do not have wills?
    Where is the evidence for a global flood?
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    Over 4000 post club Rosenritter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    I'm saying God is the ONLY definer of what 'just' is. You 'may' have a partial grasp of 'just' at times, but such does not, imho, allow you to position that tiny bit of understanding up against the God of the universe to try and measure Him. Our measures are mostly good for measuring 'us.' I can use a tape measure to see how tall I am. Using one against God will only show you that you have an inadequate tape measure. The same is ABSOLUTELY TRUE of you trying to raise a 'just bar' up against God.

    Same here. I believe you are using an inadequate and inappropriate measuring tape that is made for man and trying to hold it up against God. Christ met the requirement to save you. You cannot do anything to see injustice, be seeing anything 'grievous' or anything 'patronizing' about it. God is NOT "insane" or 'doubleminded.' Your standard is and was faulty for YOU to come up with such. You really NEED to be looking to your own mind on this one. The patronizing or what-have-you is coming all from your side.

    Me? I'm seeing this coming from you and noting darn well that you are expressing frustrations with Calvinists past and present but it is not, in fact, helping conversation. Show me a Calvinist that believes God is 'insane' or 'doubleminded' or else contemplate your own thoughts further and longer so they aren't emoting out frustration. It just isn't doing anything much for direct conversation. Think more about what you want to say AND how to bring out the point meaningfully rather than one-hits that are designed to shut-down or malign the other position. I don't mind a little, but I am going to try to help you get out of that sand-trap. It just doesn't go anywhere nor is it meaningful or really worth your or my time at that point. You know and I know, bluntly, that neither of us believe God is insane or doubleminded and so the proposition is a non-starter. Of course you are going to feel patronized by ANY response I give you regarding such.

    Let me try again: When I was a child, Mom told me not to overfeed the horses. I thought, as a child, "there is no way one handful of oats can possibly be enough for those horses. They are going to starve to death." I promptly almost killed my horses.

    Point: I was guilty. Simple fact. The next thing I said, simple fact, was that it was and is WHOLLY upon the offended party to forgive regardless of your or my 'righteous (or unrighteous actually) indignation' over our guilt.

    Your retort: Insane. Double-minded. Nope. I said 'try again' and I meant it. I may not be helping as best as I perhaps should be, and for that, I do apologize. Ironically? Guilty whether I feel righteous or indignant about the accusation. It just doesn't matter. What DOES matter, is YOUR response (and God's by virtue of the argument against us). I pray I helped a tiny bit, even if I'm guilty for this venture in our conversation. I think it does serve, albeit, to make the thread point and I think it does refute your idea that we have to 'feel guilty' or whatnot to 'be guilty. This just isn't the case and I believe I can build a 'sane' and single-minded defense. In Him -Lon
    If you have more than one standard of "just" and more than one standard of "love" then that is using unequal weights and measures. Let's use an example:

    Case 1: Zachary grabs Joe and ties him up and places him in the back of his truck. He drives into his driveway and then calls the police to arrest Joe for trespassing. The case goes to trial and the Calvinist Judge Smith rules that Joe cannot be responsible for "trespass" onto Zachary's land because it was forced upon him against his will and he had no other option.

    Case 2: Calvinist Judge Smith is also the preacher in town. He stands before the pulpit and declares that Joe (or those like him) are held captive in sin and that God did not wish to give Joe the ability to obey his commands or to be able to choose good instead of evil. Preacher Smith then declares that it is good and just for Joe the Sinner to be punished for trespass when no other options were possible for him.

    I would point to the above as an illustration of double-mindedness, where God does not have to be just by his own defined standards of justice, where it is the doctrine Calvinism that declares the injustice, not any required reading of scripture or revelation. If Justice is a changeable label that is merely "slapped onto God" then it becomes meaningless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Yes, but please pay attention: "My" will (supposedly) is either going to follow Christ OR the evil one. No in-betweens. Do you grasp that? That 'my' will is actually not mine at all, it is EITHER the Lord Jesus Christ's OR that of the evil one. Interesting you want to call such 'your' will as if it is something novel or actually neither Christ's nor Satan's....
    So...Christians never sin? Or are you saying that when they sin it is really what Christ wanted them to do???

    I still wait for your 'aha' beyond what I view as thin veneers of actual and deep thought. They really don't seem to be well-thought-out to me. For me at least, they seem to fall shortsighted and a bit too simplistic.
    Do we throw out truth if it's too simplistic? Bye bye gospel! My position, after immersing myself in Calvinism for 15 years, and being brought up in something akin to Arminianism for the 30 years prior to that, is that an open view of the future fits the bible better. I'm sorry if it is too simple for you; I can't help that.

    Yes we are called to take up 'our' cross and follow Him, which requires an act of the will, but free? ONLY (to me) in the sense that you have been set free from sin and death. Christ set us free for exactly this BUT it is to do His will as we once were created to be and walk in prior the Fall. Therefore, 'free' or 'me' or anything of the sort 'seems' pretty shallow compared to the scriptural directive to 'follow.' Sorry, to me 'my will' is subsumed into His will as the only thing worthy of biblical/spiritual mention. No other 'freewill' concern is of much concern where theology and Christ's will is of greater concern.
    Drop the "free" if it makes the conversation better for you. You are free to do so.

    Yes, BUT would you call a 'will to disobey Christ' "free" or "gift?" What's the draw? Of what possible 'good' consequence can such discussion or good effect land on a believer wanting to be like HIS Savior?
    A will to disobey Christ is sinful. Is that one that is controlled by Christ or by Satan? If by Christ, then His is a divided kingdom. If by Satan, then there's not much I can do about it--I'm not in control of "my" will. But this is a bait-and-switch. It doesn't matter if there's a "draw", only if it's the truth. We don't get to choose truth, no matter how much freewill we have or don't have.


    Agree. Does a 'conflict' ever denote 'free' in any good, practical, or positive sense for any kind of discussion about God, us, and our need to follow the Savior? No, but not sure the context for this question....
    Is God's decretal will in conflict with His permissive will? Of course you'll say "no", but it has to be, if His will is both that all men repent and that some men don't repent and are cast into hell forever, or that both all the Israelites were to follow the commands of God, and some were to disobey, as ordained before time began. If a conflict is never good, can God's dual will be good?



    It may be a mischaracterization of you, but not at all, Boyd, Sanders, or other outspoken Open Theists. As far as I've encountered, it is spot-on for most Open Theists. You as an exception? Good news

    Enyart is on record here on TOL as denying Omnipotence, for example. That is why I have to say it. You distancing from them? I think a good thing.
    If you're fighting against the "institution" of Open Theism, then I don't qualify as a valid representative. If you're ok discussing the idea of open theism, I'm ready and waiting.

    But I think I'm correct on the general position in the first instance. I haven't read much of Enyart's stuff here. If you can point that particular thing out to me, I'll look it over. I've seen where Enyart puts the omnis and ims as less important than other qualities of God, and that may be appropriate, depending on how it is worded.

    Sorry, your logic carries logically limited constraints. There is NO necessity of an 'ability to choose' to quantify nor qualify Love. Love is simply this: Unselfishly committed to another's highest good. You CAN (and originally were) be created this way AND it is incredibly better love. Why? Because, as you confirmed earlier, a compromise/conflict destroys your ability do so without compromising its purity. Love is an action, not just a feeling (such is only self-interested BECAUSE it is wholly within the individual).
    It's nice to know that my house loves me. It unselfishly keeps me warm and dry, without which i might die of exposure.



    I said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf
    You have to read your own (or traditional) interpretation into that passage to see it as anything other than God changing the future right before Hezekiah's eyes.
    You replied:
    RATHER I read what God says prior and bring that to the passage to understand it: "I am God, I change not." "Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today, and forever."
    I think you just called the future "God". Would you like to rephrase? I've made that assertion a few times here, that God is subservient to the future in the settled future view, but this is the first time anyone has said it from that viewpoint.

    Nope. "He" was right. That IS the litmus test. Anybody can have an 'ah ha' moment but unless it is accurate, its not beneficial. My whole point is to say 'think this thought through a bit longer and further.'
    Isn't that what we're doing here?

    Belief isn't doing anything to earn salvation. It conversely is believing Christ did.
    Ah, then it's not a work. You sly Arminian, you. Yet we are commanded to do it.

    This is one of those I mean: Ask yourself the same question: Why did God do it this way? Why didn't He just set it all out with options and consequences for those options? If as you Open Theists say, why even bother communicating at all? To just be wrong? Why? Why say anything to Hezekiah at all? See? The NEED isn't there UNLESS it is known/assumed Hezekiah needed to change. There is no point otherwise. It makes better sense that God was 1) Not lying 2) trying to effect a change JUST LIKE 'the pot is boiling over.' I was not lying. Anybody accusing that is being simplistic and not really thinking well. I never, at any time, lied to my wife AND the accusation is a poor reflection on another's ability to think. It has nothing to do at all with a lie between me OR my wife. It has to do with a pot that needs attention. Simply saying 'then why did you lie?' is really beneath me AND I'm pretty sure you agree with that. I'm not omniscient but I DO know what happens to unattended pots. Imho, to even 'suggest' a lie is anywhere in that equation actually casts bad light on the poor perception and character of the accuser. It is just that bad.
    Not even 'belief' saves you. Belief is just trusting in One who can.
    So you admit that what you said in your example was caveated by something implied. God can do that, too, can't He? And if you have to caveat your prediction/prophecy, how valid is it?

    Now, I said before I didn't think it was a lie, nor did/do I think He was wrong, but it was contingent. The contingency was implied--the caveat. Is God allowed to do that? Can He make a prophecy that doesn't have to come true, based on some contingency? Remember this is the same God that ordained everything that was ever going to happen. What part of it did He not know which case would happen?

    And going back to what I said before, if God knows the truth about something about the future and tells you different, even in a contingent fashion, He has still said something that was not the truth, in the one case, at least (the case where the contingency is not fulfilled).

    Listen, I understand God was getting Hezekiah to change. That's obvious. But if Hezekiah changed, AND the future changed, is it ok? Is God the equivalent of the future? Is God bound to a particular sequence of events? I think you are saying "yes." I say "no", except where he has determined those particular events ahead of time. And if that's every event, then God told an untruth.

    I could give a care less what others think of me. Rather it is the damage this does to one's own theology in rejection. Imho, it does damage to one's own wrestling with God because it dismisses the revelation, instead of an idea to wrestle with God over, as something that is 'ludicrous' like a puppet to be dismissed out of mind. To me, the premature dismissal causes simplistic rather than deep and wrestled, theology. God can bring it back to one's attention, but if it is repeatedly done, then it becomes ignorance. THAT is the danger of strawmen.
    Something has to give, if we're ever going to be unified in our theology. Our theology can't be sacrosanct, except where it aligns with the truth, and until we all agree on every aspect of theology, we have to be careful not to put our interpretation above the truth. Which leads to this:
    I believe this kind of discussion goes a long way toward clarifying. I these two posts we've both said what we believe and don't believe about our respective positions. This has to be profitable, I must believe.
    Every time we come to scriptures, we ask questions. There are manward questions and Godward questions. For me, the first I attempt to answer is 'what does God teach here?" That is a Godward question, though it is certainly pointed to this manward direction in the next "what does God want 'me' to get from this passage?" I am assuming, right up front that 1) God is not lying and 2) that something OTHER than what is being said is going to take place (such is the nature of story). God 'can' have said, "Hezekiah, your unfaithfulness has you dying early. Change or face the consequences." We are not privy to all information, but I do try and be careful about what I am taking at face-value in a passage.
    God couldn't have said that if the future was set in stone. there is no "or face the consequences." There is no contingency with a God that knows exactly what choice you will make in every circumstance. Your assumptions are good ones, but they don't fit with the settled future concept. Re-read them and see if you understand why I say that. And if you can't talk through this without explaining it in open-future language, why do you then go back and say the future is not open.

    Open theism may be wrong. But it is the logical understanding of the story of Hezekiah and numerous other passages in the bible. If we throw out the idea that the bible, God's word, is logical and understandable, what do we have left. "Where else can we go. You have the words of eternal life."
    Last edited by Derf; November 6th, 2018 at 10:27 AM.

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    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post


    So is it the Calvinist position that men do not have wills?
    "Theirs" vs. none? We 'have' a will. Is it 'ours?' Let me ask, if we can ONLY exercise after one of two masters (meaning our will is always in bondage to something/someone thus not ever 'ours' alone), can you call that "free?" Tell me, at least, you see my dilemma? Thank you. -Lon
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
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    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
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    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    If you have more than one standard of "just" and more than one standard of "love" then that is using unequal weights and measures. Let's use an example:

    Case 1: Zachary grabs Joe and ties him up and places him in the back of his truck. He drives into his driveway and then calls the police to arrest Joe for trespassing. The case goes to trial and the Calvinist Judge Smith rules that Joe cannot be responsible for "trespass" onto Zachary's land because it was forced upon him against his will and he had no other option.
    Imho, you are confused for good or ill of the misunderstood. It also seems to presume you are entitled to a 'free' will explanation in such a court case, as if you are on par with God and somehow 'deserving' as an owned creation, some kind of explanation or listening ear from the God of the universe. To me? It looks audacious and self-important, certainly not a show of humility nor understanding its fruit in the Christian life. It is pretty 'American' in sentiment, but I'm not sure if it is entirely 'Christian' in interest and theological concern at that point. If so, show me some scriptures that drive this 'fair demands before God' kind of theology. Sorry that it looks this way to me but it does look about this audacious and self-interested, self-willed, and self-important to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    Case 2: Calvinist Judge Smith is also the preacher in town. He stands before the pulpit and declares that Joe (or those like him) are held captive in sin and that God did not wish to give Joe the ability to obey his commands or to be able to choose good instead of evil. Preacher Smith then declares that it is good and just for Joe the Sinner to be punished for trespass when no other options were possible for him.
    Aw, poor Joe. It is a little like feeling bad for poor Ted Bundy who "couldn't help himself" isn't it? I don't know if Ted had a choice. He was certainly addicted to atrocious murder. Point? He "deserved" the death penalty for the crime REGARDLESS if he could stop or not. If you disagree, that disagreement is stark. Question: Is it based on your thinking that "Ted had a choice" that causes you to rightly condemn the evil behavior? My counter argument is that evil has consequences REGARDLESS if you are capable of stopping from doing that behavior or not. If NOT, somebody else HAS to stop you/them/him/her. It doesn't matter, further, who stops the behavior, just that it stops. You, here, are more worried about 'feelings' and 'guilt' than that atrocity stops and that whatever it takes to stop the atrocious is 'just' by definition. You are calling such 'double-minded' and 'insane' and I'm saying your point of view and reference of love and justice is incomplete imho. It 'looks' immature in understanding to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    I would point to the above as an illustration of double-mindedness, where God does not have to be just by his own defined standards of justice, where it is the doctrine Calvinism that declares the injustice, not any required reading of scripture or revelation. If Justice is a changeable label that is merely "slapped onto God" then it becomes meaningless.
    And I would point out that no, in fact it points to an immature and NOT well-developed understanding of love and justice and the legitimate needs of consequences. It 'seems' to me, a lot of expression here is from the point of view "all about me" rather than really trying to seek and understand what is genuinely just for everyone involved. I've used this, for instance, as (imho) a 'better' example: a village contracts a fatal disease. The rest of the world is in danger of contracting and dying. Is wiping out that village evil? Did any of them want the disease? They may all be culpable for it, but it really isn't a 'simple' matter of justice at that point. It is a matter of what the Owner of all creation deems best WITHOUT your singular sense of right and wrong, love, or justice. You frankly aren't God and 'seem' to me, to be putting yourself in His place here and judging the Calvinists of the world. So be it, but you are going to have to answer for such. It seems, to me, a bit graceless and a bit immature/premature/ and near-sighted to me *(if that's fair for me to say and I'm not out of line). Looking for your rebuttal. -Lon
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Imho, you are confused for good or ill of the misunderstood. It also seems to presume you are entitled to a 'free' will explanation in such a court case, as if you are on par with God and somehow 'deserving' as an owned creation, some kind of explanation or listening ear from the God of the universe. To me? It looks audacious and self-important, certainly not a show of humility nor understanding its fruit in the Christian life. It is pretty 'American' in sentiment, but I'm not sure if it is entirely 'Christian' in interest and theological concern at that point. If so, show me some scriptures that drive this 'fair demands before God' kind of theology. Sorry that it looks this way to me but it does look about this audacious and self-interested, self-willed, and self-important to me.

    Aw, poor Joe. It is a little like feeling bad for poor Ted Bundy who "couldn't help himself" isn't it? I don't know if Ted had a choice. He was certainly addicted to atrocious murder. Point? He "deserved" the death penalty for the crime REGARDLESS if he could stop or not. If you disagree, that disagreement is stark. Question: Is it based on your thinking that "Ted had a choice" that causes you to rightly condemn the evil behavior? My counter argument is that evil has consequences REGARDLESS if you are capable of stopping from doing that behavior or not. If NOT, somebody else HAS to stop you/them/him/her. It doesn't matter, further, who stops the behavior, just that it stops. You, here, are more worried about 'feelings' and 'guilt' than that atrocity stops and that whatever it takes to stop the atrocious is 'just' by definition. You are calling such 'double-minded' and 'insane' and I'm saying your point of view and reference of love and justice is incomplete imho. It 'looks' immature in understanding to me.



    And I would point out that no, in fact it points to an immature and NOT well-developed understanding of love and justice and the legitimate needs of consequences. It 'seems' to me, a lot of expression here is from the point of view "all about me" rather than really trying to seek and understand what is genuinely just for everyone involved. I've used this, for instance, as (imho) a 'better' example: a village contracts a fatal disease. The rest of the world is in danger of contracting and dying. Is wiping out that village evil? Did any of them want the disease? They may all be culpable for it, but it really isn't a 'simple' matter of justice at that point. It is a matter of what the Owner of all creation deems best WITHOUT your singular sense of right and wrong, love, or justice. You frankly aren't God and 'seem' to me, to be putting yourself in His place here and judging the Calvinists of the world. So be it, but you are going to have to answer for such. It seems, to me, a bit graceless and a bit immature/premature/ and near-sighted to me *(if that's fair for me to say and I'm not out of line). Looking for your rebuttal. -Lon
    It still doesn't answer the dilemma. If God defines the meaning of love and then says He is love and commands for us to be perfect in love just as He is in love, then you cannot have one standard of love for humans and then have a lower standard of love (that most people would recognize as not only unjust but also evil) for God. When it comes to standards, God is supposed to be HIGHER, not lower.

    No, it is not "immature" to recognize that kidnapping someone and then trying them for the trespass that you forced upon them is unjust. God says that he will deal with those that sin against him, and our same God also says that his ways are equal (JUST) that he wills the wicked to repent and change. Exodus 32:33, Ezekiel 18 & 33.

    Ezekiel 18:26-29 KJV
    (26) When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
    (27) Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
    (28) Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
    (29) Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

    So the entire concept of making man that has no possibility of repentance? That's not God. That's expressly against His revealed character. This isn't "immature American theology" ... this is the law and the prophets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    So...Christians never sin? Or are you saying that when they sin it is really what Christ wanted them to do???
    Romans 7:17
    "IF" I'm at all responsible for my will, instead of the Lord Jesus Christ, then I don't believe I am or can be saved 2 Corinthians 5:17 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 Christ's work has stepped in and eradicated the consequences of my will and has redeemed all ensuing consequences of 'my will' making it null and void and Hiswill of the only consequence. I'm not exactly swallowed up in Christ's identity, there is still a Lon in existence. Saying that, however, the only thing I really know of the Apostle Paul is what He did in Christ and for Christ. I know nothing else of 'his' will but rather "HIS" will regarding the Apostle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Do we throw out truth if it's too simplistic? Bye bye gospel! My position, after immersing myself in Calvinism for 15 years, and being brought up in something akin to Arminianism for the 30 years prior to that, is that an open view of the future fits the bible better. I'm sorry if it is too simple for you; I can't help that.
    The gospel is simple but NOT simplistic. I have to entirely disagree here. It cost the Lord Jesus Christ His life. That wasn't/isn't "easy to explain" imho. Simple love? Yes but not simplistic. I disagree.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Drop the "free" if it makes the conversation better for you. You are free to do so.
    My inclination is to skip this, but my will is of little consequence. God will have His way and you and I will but follow it to the end and hopefully learn having gone through such discussion. I'm a little and insignificant person on my own John 15:5
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    A will to disobey Christ is sinful. Is that one that is controlled by Christ or by Satan? If by Christ, then His is a divided kingdom. If by Satan, then there's not much I can do about it--I'm not in control of "my" will.
    Agree. Rather, it all depends upon the Cross, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    But this is a bait-and-switch.
    You just said it: 'not much I can do...' In the world God is the Mover and Shaker, you and I but for a few Billy Graham's here, and a Ravi Zacharias there, aren't seen. "Our" will is all for not in such a grand scheme (and rightly so). RATHER it is 'if' we espoused His will that anything at all matters. Honestly, that is my desire in life, to know Him and make HIM known. I'm of no consequence other than having the blessing of being His. NOBODY NEEDS Lon. They NEED Jesus. Lon's will ONLY counts when it is following the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    It doesn't matter if there's a "draw", only if it's the truth. We don't get to choose truth, no matter how much freewill we have or don't have.
    Which isn't far from my understanding. We aren't free in this respect in agreement. It really is His will or not-His-will. Only His will counts for anything, not just 'counts' but amounts to anything. All else is to be wiped out. Us? Wood hay and stubble BUT for what He has rendered in us. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Is God's decretal will in conflict with His permissive will? Of course you'll say "no", but it has to be, if His will is both that all men repent and that some men don't repent and are cast into hell forever, or that both all the Israelites were to follow the commands of God, and some were to disobey, as ordained before time began. If a conflict is never good, can God's dual will be good?
    Not quite: His permissive will is done, not that it is thwarted, thus 'conflict' isn't the right question. It is neither in conflict nor exactly the same. I'm not God so going even this far is a bit too far in speculation. I'm simply not God, and simply understand where 'my' prowess ends, His hasn't even been touched yet (as I've been trying to convey here in thread to Rosen as well). An illustration: I've gone further in mathematics than a few, BUT I've not gone into quantum mechanics or even higher physics. I'm aware thus, that I'm above my 'basic math' peers and below my higher math peers. I can carry a conversation only so far AND mathematicians are only able to describe consequently, how far they themselves have gone in math. There are levels to the 'apprehension' of truth. Mathematic truths do not change, apprehension of them is limited to every finite man's "ability" to grasp.

    Conversely, I truly believe the things of God are truths that are varied in apprehension and ability to comprehend. Here, I believe a simple conflict between God's decretive and prescriptive will is insufficient assessment. Rather, God's prescriptive will is remedial: It is all aimed at bringing back those redeemed to a true state of redemption. Thus one will of God is given to us irrevocable and the other is given to a developing people as they need for God's overall plan. It isn't thus in conflict, but rather in stage "there to here and not yet the final desire."


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    If you're fighting against the "institution" of Open Theism, then I don't qualify as a valid representative. If you're ok discussing the idea of open theism, I'm ready and waiting.
    No problem, just needs to be addressed between the two whenever you depart and thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    But I think I'm correct on the general position in the first instance. I haven't read much of Enyart's stuff here. If you can point that particular thing out to me, I'll look it over. I've seen where Enyart puts the omnis and ims as less important than other qualities of God, and that may be appropriate, depending on how it is worded.
    Here Enyart makes a rookie mistake and says that the Omni's are philosophical rather than Biblical. Such IS an admission that not only are they 'less important' but deemed 'unbiblical.' At one time I confronted that notion with 'almighty' being a biblical given but not redaction has ever been presented. Open Theists do not believe the biblical Omni's, are biblical. It is very important to recognize where you agree or depart with them upon this important point of doctrinal issue regarding the very character of God. It is essential that biblical definitions be adhered to. Heresy, according to Protestants, is a 'departure from the clear teaching of scriptures.' A departure from "God almighty" for instance, is a departure from being anything Christian/biblical.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    It's nice to know that my house loves me. It unselfishly keeps me warm and dry, without which i might die of exposure.
    It is actually a comparison/illustration that undoes your argument: Your house warms you better 'by design' than willy-nilly no rhyme or reason. The same is true of love. You CAN point to better forms of it AND because it conforms to preset standards of God. Your 'choosing otherwise' sentiment is perhaps said for a nice sentimental reason, but reason itself is the better and more appropriate and accurate descriptor, and love explained well and given with guidelines and directives is the appropriate and better expression of love. It may 'seem' cold and calculated, but I disagree serendipity is the preference OR better definition of love. Moreover, it is why, you don't get an unthinking tie every father's day.



    I said:
    You replied:
    I think you just called the future "God". Would you like to rephrase? I've made that assertion a few times here, that God is subservient to the future in the settled future view, but this is the first time anyone has said it from that viewpoint.
    Nope. You can't win an argument upon a technicality. You can ask for clarification 'if' you don't get it, but is this really true? Did you not get that I was saying. God is not subservient to the future, rather it, is subservient to God as necessary. There is nothing outside of God BUT God is infinite. Thus it is more often a 'both/and' consideration. Open Theists often make it an either/or without understanding this is not that limited (speaking from the Calvinist thought and perspective, and I think with biblical understanding) but rather more inclusive in understanding. God is BOTH relational to AND unrestricted by time (Not sure if that is followed by another's logical understanding whenever I try to explain or simply state it).
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Isn't that what we're doing here?
    Yes. It is just where we were/are in the discussion as it progresses (might be a lost point here, I have a hard time following some of these stringed thoughts but having read back, I think I'm still following and answering cogently).

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Ah, then it's not a work. You sly Arminian, you. Yet we are commanded to do it.
    Er, wasn't my 'belief' simply the product of all that Christ did, however? 1 Corinthians 4:7 For whatever amount we appreciate one another, I'm fine with the observations. I don't 'think' this is Arminian, but I'm okay if you think so for the time being (Arminians believe in 'works'). -In Him

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    So you admit that what you said in your example was caveated by something implied. God can do that, too, can't He? And if you have to caveat your prediction/prophecy, how valid is it?

    Now, I said before I didn't think it was a lie, nor did/do I think He was wrong, but it was contingent. The contingency was implied--the caveat. Is God allowed to do that? Can He make a prophecy that doesn't have to come true, based on some contingency? Remember this is the same God that ordained everything that was ever going to happen. What part of it did He not know which case would happen?
    Imho, opening up the contingent, which I too believe is implied and thus deduced from the passage (though I think it has to be reasoned from that scripture as necessary conclusion), explains that 'the pot is going to boil over' and "you are going to die. You will not recover..." Isaiah 38:1
    We 'can' read from the passage "you are going to die." We need to be careful however when we read "you will not recover" that we don't see it as necessarily a prophetic utterance apart from the information. In otherwords, that we read 'you will die, I mean by that you aren't going to recover from this illness" should be read as news regarding current events/information. There is no preemptive problem with it, that Hezekiah should not have asked God to heal him. At least, from both Isaiah and 2 Kings 20, we are not left to assume that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    And going back to what I said before, if God knows the truth about something about the future and tells you different, even in a contingent fashion, He has still said something that was not the truth, in the one case, at least (the case where the contingency is not fulfilled).
    I disagree on this ground: 4a + 5 ≠ 9 I'm convinced, and so are you, that 9 isn't even a part of this equation and cannot EXCEPT that a = 1 AND it is wholly unreasonable to expect that a can ONLY stand for that. The equation itself is NOT in fact, a lie. It is rather 'an equation.' If we simplify God's communication to anything less than an equation, we've simply done the exact same mistake in scripture that we incorrectly demand of an algebraic equation: That it be simplistic without causing further needed contemplation. This we cannot do. It is wrong to expect such a simplistic answer of this scripture as far as I understand communication, as well. Language is NOWHERE near as exacting (most times with the exception of scriptures such as "God is love")!

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    ]Listen, I understand God was getting Hezekiah to change. That's obvious.
    That's algebraic in concept, not simple math.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    But if Hezekiah changed, AND the future changed, is it ok?
    Not exactly. It is kind of like 4a + 5 = The answer can change but not the proposition. Furthermore, the proposition has only one answer (future proposition is always a difficult discussion and proposition, the value for a is known to only one until it is solved, then we all know it (unless we got it wrong).

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Is God the equivalent of the future? Is God bound to a particular sequence of events? I think you are saying "yes." I say "no", except where he has determined those particular events ahead of time. And if that's every event, then God told an untruth.
    Difficult. When I say "both/and" it is more inclusive than the oft given 'either/or' scenario. This is the case here, necessarily, because 1) God is infinite and 2) ALREADY infinite. If not, the only alternative is 'finite' and scripture definitely is against that. This btw, is why AMR often says the Open Theist is more influenced by Greeks than we are: by their own logic God is 'limited' to the Greek understanding of their finite gods because it/they do not conceive of God as being both/and (or neither) rather than either/or. They 'think' that 'or' is the only solution/alternative and thus fall short of actual theological import in these discussions. They simply "don't get it" more often than not.
    Something has to give, if we're ever going to be unified in our theology. Our theology can't be sacrosanct, except where it aligns with the truth, and until we all agree on every aspect of theology, we have to be careful not to put our interpretation above the truth. Which leads to this:
    God couldn't have said that if the future was set in stone. there is no "or face the consequences." There is no contingency with a God that knows exactly what choice you will make in every circumstance. Your assumptions are good ones, but they don't fit with the settled future concept. Re-read them and see if you understand why I say that. And if you can't talk through this without explaining it in open-future language, why do you then go back and say the future is not open.
    EXCEPT it is God's way of bringing about HIS plans. His interacting accomplishes those purposes. I think you are arguing for significance but John 15:5 IS that significance. Philippians 1:20
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Open theism may be wrong. But it is the logical understanding of the story of Hezekiah and numerous other passages in the bible. If we throw out the idea that the bible, God's word, is logical and understandable, what do we have left. "Where else can we go. You have the words of eternal life."
    You cannot throw out the idea that it is logical and understandable. Rather, you throw out the idea that YOUR ideas are, as they sit, logical and understood correctly all the time. It is rather, entertaining the thought "I might be wrong about this particular passage." Also, as we are faithful to God, and as I said, seeking 'His' will, we cannot help but be molded and conformed to His logical, understandable, and truthful (logic and truth should agree, but sometimes the one who 'thinks' he is logical, is not) image. In Him
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    It still doesn't answer the dilemma. If God defines the meaning of love and then says He is love and commands for us to be perfect in love just as He is in love, then you cannot have one standard of love for humans and then have a lower standard of love (that most people would recognize as not only unjust but also evil) for God. When it comes to standards, God is supposed to be HIGHER, not lower.
    Yes, but as a child, I often thought my parents "weren't" attaining the same 'standard' of love. The problem? I was wrong. Pure and simple. I've come to understand that at times (like I'm the definition of Love ) "I" just don't get it. Its nice you think you are all that and a bag of chips when it comes to truth, justice and love, but please forgive me greatly questioning that veracity, having fallen short and been wrong as many times as I have to date. I had a VERY hard time wrestling with God through the Old Testament concerning what "I" understood of love and justice. Frankly, as good as my intentions were, good intentions were not what defined Love and Just. God had to bring me to some of His understanding of the words. I believe this is one reason among many that we must remain faithful in the scriptures btw: "WE" have a lot of ignorance to continually work on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    No, it is not "immature" to recognize that kidnapping someone and then trying them for the trespass that you forced upon them is unjust. God says that he will deal with those that sin against him, and our same God also says that his ways are equal (JUST) that he wills the wicked to repent and change. Exodus 32:33, Ezekiel 18 & 33.
    You are wrong. It means, your definition of 'just' is immature and in need of remedial work (Lest I get haughty, I'm in the same boat, I just think I'm seeing it where perhaps you are not). There was no 'kidnapping' by God. You'd have to change it to Satan BUT we went, willing party. We are guilty by the act, desire, and offense. Guilt is about trespass, not as much about 'desire' as it is having done it. Both come into play, but it is not at all one or the other and is a great deal more than this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    Ezekiel 18:26-29 KJV
    (26) When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
    (27) Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
    (28) Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
    (29) Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

    So the entire concept of making man that has no possibility of repentance? That's not God. That's expressly against His revealed character. This isn't "immature American theology" ... this is the law and the prophets.
    Yes, but pay attention to God's indictment: THEY didn't understand equality and THEY (like you) are accusing Him of inequity. He simply told them (and you) "No, you are wrong. I'm NOT inequitable." That doesn't mean you or they get it. It is rather a statement of fact whether you get it or not. God is just. The only place I've gotten in my life at this point is to not second-guess Him 'if' it doesn't look like that to me. In a lot of ways, this is part of this Calvinist conversation and needed discussion as well: Many may not get it, like these Israelites didn't get it, but God told them they were wrong: That He was Just despite what they wrongly thought. I'm not God, and Calvinists are not God, I'm just saying sometimes I think that those who are not Calvinists are 'just wrong" about what they think. We Calvinists may and do complicate this by not getting it or being wrong ourselves conversely, so I pray scriptures, like these we just discussed, bring clarity and light where there has previously been darkness, misunderstanding, and/or just plain wrong. In Him -Lon
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    "Theirs" vs. none? We 'have' a will. Is it 'ours?' Let me ask, if we can ONLY exercise after one of two masters (meaning our will is always in bondage to something/someone thus not ever 'ours' alone), can you call that "free?" Tell me, at least, you see my dilemma? Thank you. -Lon
    Wills are free. If they're not free, they're not wills.

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    Over 4000 post club Rosenritter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Yes, but as a child, I often thought my parents "weren't" attaining the same 'standard' of love. The problem? I was wrong. Pure and simple. I've come to understand that at times (like I'm the definition of Love ) "I" just don't get it. Its nice you think you are all that and a bag of chips when it comes to truth, justice and love, but please forgive me greatly questioning that veracity, having fallen short and been wrong as many times as I have to date. I had a VERY hard time wrestling with God through the Old Testament concerning what "I" understood of love and justice. Frankly, as good as my intentions were, good intentions were not what defined Love and Just. God had to bring me to some of His understanding of the words. I believe this is one reason among many that we must remain faithful in the scriptures btw: "WE" have a lot of ignorance to continually work on.

    You are wrong. It means, your definition of 'just' is immature and in need of remedial work (Lest I get haughty, I'm in the same boat, I just think I'm seeing it where perhaps you are not). There was no 'kidnapping' by God. You'd have to change it to Satan BUT we went, willing party. We are guilty by the act, desire, and offense. Guilt is about trespass, not as much about 'desire' as it is having done it. Both come into play, but it is not at all one or the other and is a great deal more than this.


    Yes, but pay attention to God's indictment: THEY didn't understand equality and THEY (like you) are accusing Him of inequity. He simply told them (and you) "No, you are wrong. I'm NOT inequitable." That doesn't mean you or they get it. It is rather a statement of fact whether you get it or not. God is just. The only place I've gotten in my life at this point is to not second-guess Him 'if' it doesn't look like that to me. In a lot of ways, this is part of this Calvinist conversation and needed discussion as well: Many may not get it, like these Israelites didn't get it, but God told them they were wrong: That He was Just despite what they wrongly thought. I'm not God, and Calvinists are not God, I'm just saying sometimes I think that those who are not Calvinists are 'just wrong" about what they think. We Calvinists may and do complicate this by not getting it or being wrong ourselves conversely, so I pray scriptures, like these we just discussed, bring clarity and light where there has previously been darkness, misunderstanding, and/or just plain wrong. In Him -Lon
    Except you are pointing to God's own description of Himself and His justice and saying "you are wrong." Lon, that makes you wrong.

    And may I offer a suggestion? If you have problems understanding God's nature of love and justice in the Old Testament... instead of assigning an inferior (contradictory) standard to God that disagrees with his own description of Himself, be willing to consider that the perceived difficulty may be due to other assumptions that you might be wrongly holding as non-negotiable. Perhaps give one of those examples and see how someone else might answer it otherwise?

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