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

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    Over 5000 post club Rosenritter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Right, I'm saying rather, what you call wibbly wobbly... .

    Denying God's eternality (and this IS literally what Open Theism does), must be met as the ignorant problem it is. No theologian that understands God's eternal state can acquiesce Open Theism statements here. It is an impossibility. -Lon
    That's not what Open Theism does. Open Theism (at least what I've seen of it) embraces that God is Eternal and always was and will for ever continue to be, not because "he has already existed for ever in the future" but because he simply will exist in the future. These acknowledgments are embraced in the clear language of which we are accept as given to us by God, where God acknowledges that things will happen in the future, or might happen depending on actions not yet decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Nutshell: You have God as the purposeful author of sin, just as any Calvinist you'd accuse. Freewill demands that man is made with the 'gift' to do otherwise: sin. Literally. Perhaps it is our grasp and definition of 'free' will that is the problem. For me, it is literally the thing created that 'allows' man to choose sin. I'm saying that for God to do that, it purposefully gives him a choice to sin and thus is a programmed gift, by God, to go against everything good and decent and right, and choose to do other than God's will. Further? Open Theists tell me that if man doesn't 'choose' love then it is not truly love. That frankly, is a very problematic definition and proposition. Inadvertently, you embrace all of the most extreme Calvinist, that believes God created man to sin. Simply giving him a 'choice' that a roll of the dice would allow man to fall into sin, is every bit as problematic as extreme Calvinism. It is the exact same problem albeit with a few variables of difference, but essentially the same exact problem. You MUST see that you never escaped Calvinism at that point. Genesis 3:5 IS the answer for me: it doesn't give man a 'gift' of self-willed direction, it introduces it as a 'gift' from the serpent: You will not die, you will be 'like' God. He caused it. To me, that is the only biblically sound foundation, else I'm an extreme Calvinist/Open Theist, where God is the purposeful author of the sin condition.
    Your take on Genesis is that the serpent "gave' man free will that otherwise man did not have? But by extension, who gave the serpent the ability to change man's nature? I don't think you've escaped anything.

    Regardless, evidence of man's ability to choose comes prior to the introduction of the serpent. It's drawn directly from God's commandment. I don't make a commandment of "all apples shall fall down from the tree" if natural law made it impossible for them to do otherwise. A commandment itself is proof that there disobedience is a possibility. Thus, free will is well proved from the inception of the commandment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    I'm addressing quite a bit of this to Rosen as well, but may come back to this. You make a large number of assertions you believe are correct but are wrong. In order to grasp that and be corrected, you'd have to readdress some of your 'truths' that you've built theology upon. You also make a 'I hope I'm never a settled theologian' expression of emotion rather than, imho, clear thought.
    I think I made that statement in an expression of humility acknowledging that I doubt I'll fully understand God on this side of the resurrection, and maybe not on the other, either. But perhaps you misunderstood and thought I meant I would never want to be a "settled theist". I can assure you that I'm happy to accept the settled theist view and embrace it fully if I'm shown via trustworthy source(s) that it is correct. But a "settled theologian" is one who has determined he is absolutely correct in his theology and there will never be a reason to change it. His theology allows for no errors in his understanding.


    We do grasp at our areas of comfort and I know that Calvinists cause a lot of this reactionary polarization.
    Many Calvinists come across as settled theologians (not just settled theists).

    I pray for both of you that my comments here are not further cause of that, but I do need to be a bit more blunt to challenge such ideas and mere assertions as if they are correct. They are not. Basic math IS true math, but it can never challenge the veracity of algebraic expression. It is called 'simple' and basic for a reason. The latter is called higher and advanced for a reason. Basic math is good math, but it is not all there is, nor all we need to live and breathe. We need algebraic expression and higher math because our genius population's thoughts are important and not to be discarded nor dismissed. Having proceeded into higher math, I recognize the truth and value of what it provides as well as the overwhelming truth of those expressions. One who cannot comprehend these truths is remiss if they dismiss. That is ignorant/arrogance and a sad state of simpleton affairs.
    I think I can say I know you well enough from your posts to think that you think you have explained these truths sufficiently--that you have taught the higher theological math to us, and we're not getting it. But, like me I'm sure, I expect some of what you are saying does not come across quite like you meant it.

    I appreciate the prayers for my understanding, and I appreciate bluntness, when it is for a specific purpose. I don't think you are being very blunt here. I don't think you have pointed out what the errors are that I'm making, nor the remedy. Talking about basic and higher math does me little good if the answers I'm looking for are found in the application of such math. Show me where my math is wrong. Show me the correct expression. Show me where you get it from. If it appears to come from you, pardon me for saying so, I'll likely reject it as one man's opinion.


    Thankfully, we don't have many that do this purposefully or knowingly, but in conversations like this, it is still express from an position of ignorance:

    Yes, as a matter of fact, you do. You have a veneer grasp of time. I may not be the go-to for time conversation, but I do know, in fact, your concept of time is stagnant and limited. This will ALWAYS taint your theology until you get this right. It doesn't require a comprehensive grasp, but higher math and a grasp of metaphysical concepts will always trump concrete sequential because concrete sequentials cannot entertain even the concept they aren't correct. Why? Because they only grasp 2+2=4 Such is fine for concrete sequential thinking, but it will never grasp algebraic expressions. These are called 'higher' math for a reason. If one is not capable? Forgivable but wrong nonetheless. If capable, it is a far greater problem. I again without proving it, assert you are wrong if all you understand is basic math and basic time consideration. Again, forgivable, but try not to over-assert from ignorance what you cannot possibly assert. ONLY algebraic expressions can fully express accurately who God is. Basic math cannot do this without constraining God to finite expression. This is what we are talking about here. An Open Theist (as well as Mormons and other cultists) does damage to God's eternal nature by making and insisting only upon basic math expressions, which is what is happening here. It is essential, as far as I understand this debate, that one grasps that this is where it comes from, boiled down: Basic vs Higher mathematics. Essentially, this is the discussion and the problem.
    May I suggest a settled theist does similar damage by assuming full understanding of time and eternity? Perhaps the answer is to only deal in the environment we know about, and not think we can fully understand how God perceives things, except the way He expresses.

    Got Questions tries to explain this and calls all nay-sayers 'foolish' rightly, if a bit harsh. My stance is that it is ignorance and forgivable. Simply said, many cannot comprehend the truth of metaphysical concepts. Others simply have not worked on it, but they 'can' if they work at it, attain to metaphysical facts and observations.

    Got Questions attempts on a number of points to show or prove the points, but I've one other attempt: God has no beginning. What that necessarily means is that God's eternal non-beginning is already beyond time. His existence both ways (at least) is still going! IF you can grasp that alone, there would be no Open Theists. It is just this clear and metaphysically simple. It is why I can, literally, never be just a basic math is all there is, nor open theist, kind of guy. It cannot happen literally because I understand this concept. I'd also go so far as to say anyone that does grasp this, cannot be an Open Theist. It is literally a denial of metaphysical truth that we know to be accurate.
    Do you really think the GotQuestions author understoods fully what he was talking about? Why is his understanding, presumably at least somewhat faulty, more accurate than mine or @Rosenritter's? Is it because it matches more closely with yours? Or is it because it matches more closely with current theory of space-time? I'm quite enamored by current space-time theory. I see it confirmed in my work. But I don't think Einstein had a full grasp of the relationship between time and eternity, any more than the GotQuestions author does.

    Lacking a full understanding of space-time, I'm hard-pressed to cling stubbornly to current theories, no matter how well they are confirmed so far, to explain what even those theories don't claim to explain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I think I made that statement in an expression of humility acknowledging that I doubt I'll fully understand God on this side of the resurrection, and maybe not on the other, either. But perhaps you misunderstood and thought I meant I would never want to be a "settled theist". I can assure you that I'm happy to accept the settled theist view and embrace it fully if I'm shown via trustworthy source(s) that it is correct. But a "settled theologian" is one who has determined he is absolutely correct in his theology and there will never be a reason to change it. His theology allows for no errors in his understanding.


    Many Calvinists come across as settled theologians (not just settled theists).

    I think I can say I know you well enough from your posts to think that you think you have explained these truths sufficiently--that you have taught the higher theological math to us, and we're not getting it. But, like me I'm sure, I expect some of what you are saying does not come across quite like you meant it.

    I appreciate the prayers for my understanding, and I appreciate bluntness, when it is for a specific purpose. I don't think you are being very blunt here. I don't think you have pointed out what the errors are that I'm making, nor the remedy. Talking about basic and higher math does me little good if the answers I'm looking for are found in the application of such math. Show me where my math is wrong. Show me the correct expression. Show me where you get it from. If it appears to come from you, pardon me for saying so, I'll likely reject it as one man's opinion.


    May I suggest a settled theist does similar damage by assuming full understanding of time and eternity? Perhaps the answer is to only deal in the environment we know about, and not think we can fully understand how God perceives things, except the way He expresses.

    Do you really think the GotQuestions author understoods fully what he was talking about? Why is his understanding, presumably at least somewhat faulty, more accurate than mine or @Rosenritter's? Is it because it matches more closely with yours? Or is it because it matches more closely with current theory of space-time? I'm quite enamored by current space-time theory. I see it confirmed in my work. But I don't think Einstein had a full grasp of the relationship between time and eternity, any more than the GotQuestions author does.

    Lacking a full understanding of space-time, I'm hard-pressed to cling stubbornly to current theories, no matter how well they are confirmed so far, to explain what even those theories don't claim to explain.
    God speaks to us in linear terms. He tells us that there was a time when the universe had not yet been spoken, and he relates himself to us in a linear fashion, dealing with us and the results of our actions as they occur. We are condemned from the outset but he is willing to forgive if and when we repent. No one needs "time algebra" to accept God "always existing" ... everyone I know accepts this on simple faith. If there is such a thing as "time algebra" it isn't something God needs us to know or even particularly wants us to be concerned about this side of salvation.

    By means of demonstration, Ask Mr. Religion has a similar closed view of time that Lon does, but he says that we should interact with God and his warnings as if time is in a linear open fashion. Thus, the warnings given in Hebrews 6:4-6 are to be read and acted upon as if they were real, that we as the saints could fall away and not be renewed to repentance. That regardless of our theory of how time might be closed, we should act as if it were open.

    Hebrews 6:4-6 KJV
    (4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
    (5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    (6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    So is the driving force behind "time algebra" really about helping us to accept "God is eternal" or more to do as a necessary construction for a greater theory, that the elect were chosen as individuals before they were created? Regardless, we need to act as if time is linear and the future is open.

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  7. #455
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    Lon, you did just say this above (quoted below for effect):



    "Still going" is an open time concept. Closed Theology dictates that God is not "still going" forward and has never "gone" forward but always was in both directions.
    Well and good. It is not an Open Theist premise, however. It is strictly traditional in that God is not and cannot be, trapped in any sense, by a time line. Being finite, sure. We indeed ARE caught at present (time), in a timeline. The Open Theist, however, demands that God be vulnerable thus under the restraint of a timeline in order to be 'relational.' I disagree in the same manner that I'd argue that putting my finger into my fish tank makes me wet. It does not. It is a 'partial' capitulation to my fish and them getting to know me. John 3:2 "When we see Him, we will be like Him." John 3:3, Everyone who has this hope... Thus a traditional theology is WAY more interested in what I need to become (by God's hand) and does not take the greatest comfort that God is relational to me, as that He is making me and other brothers and sisters, relational to Him. Ephesians 2:10

    I'd imagine, as opposed as our theology may be on points, I have to think the actual goals of our faith must necessarily be and remain the same.

    Respectfully, -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
    Well and good. It is not an Open Theist premise, however. It is strictly traditional in that God is not and cannot be, trapped in any sense, by a time line. Being finite, sure. We indeed ARE caught at present (time), in a timeline. The Open Theist, however, demands that God be vulnerable thus under the restraint of a timeline in order to be 'relational.' I disagree in the same manner that I'd argue that putting my finger into my fish tank makes me wet. It does not. It is a 'partial' capitulation to my fish and them getting to know me. John 3:2 "When we see Him, we will be like Him." John 3:3, Everyone who has this hope... Thus a traditional theology is WAY more interested in what I need to become (by God's hand) and does not take the greatest comfort that God is relational to me, as that He is making me and other brothers and sisters, relational to Him. Ephesians 2:10

    I'd imagine, as opposed as our theology may be on points, I have to think the actual goals of our faith must necessarily be and remain the same.

    Respectfully, -Lon
    Hi Lon,
    While some open theists might be "demanding" God be vulnerable in order to be relational, I think the general impetus is geared toward what is provided in scripture. That might be (probably is) skewed a bit by personal preconceptions, but not all are driving their theology by them.

    And I don't think any true believer, open theist or not, would argue that God is not making us better able to relate to Him.

    One question: Are you saying putting your finger in your fish tank does NOT make you wet? Any part of you? If I caught your gist correctly, I must say that you becoming a fish and living in the fish tank with the other fish would indeed make you wet--all of you--especially if that is the best way for you to understand and mediate for the fish. Perhaps you also have the capability to be fully dry at the same time in some way that I don't understand, but wet you would still be.
    Last edited by Derf; April 30th, 2019 at 01:31 PM. Reason: For want of a "not", a concept was lost.

  10. #457
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Hi Lon,
    While some open theists might be "demanding" God be vulnerable in order to be relational, I think the general impetus is geared toward what is provided in scripture. That might be (probably is) skewed a bit by personal preconceptions, but not all are driving their theology by them.

    And I don't think any true believer, open theist or not, would argue that God is making us better able to relate to Him.

    One question: Are you saying putting your finger in your fish tank does NOT make you wet? Any part of you? If I caught your gist correctly, I must say that you becoming a fish and living in the fish tank with the other fish would indeed make you wet--all of you--especially if that is the best way for you to understand and mediate for the fish. Perhaps you also have the capability to be fully dry at the same time in some way that I don't understand, but wet you would still be.
    Yes, I'm saying that only my finger being wet leaves me significantly without water. Furthermore, Yes the Lord Jesus Christ came in the flesh, no, He was not ALL wet. He was/is fully God, fully man. Man is a tiny tiny thing on this planet. Because a tiny being's brain cannot contain the entirety of God, "He grew in wisdom and stature." Our concept and grasp of Christology will GREATLY impact our respective theology. It is of utmost import that we understand doctrinal truths given in scripture. -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
    Yes, I'm saying that only my finger being wet leaves me significantly without water. Furthermore, Yes the Lord Jesus Christ came in the flesh, no, He was not ALL wet. He was/is fully God, fully man. Man is a tiny tiny thing on this planet. Because a tiny being's brain cannot contain the entirety of God, "He grew in wisdom and stature." Our concept and grasp of Christology will GREATLY impact our respective theology. It is of utmost import that we understand doctrinal truths given in scripture. -Lon
    With that answer--that Jesus was not ALL wet--it seems like you are saying He wasn't fully submersed in humanity. But such a statement is not compatible with Jesus being fully man, which you also assert. If "Man is a tiny tiny thing on this planet", and Jesus was fully man, then Jesus was just a part of a tiny tiny thing on this planet. I don't want to belittle Jesus' glory, but neither must we belittle His sacrifices, leaving heaven for earth, and earth for the grave.

    Going back to the fish analogy, if Jesus were to come to earth as a fish, of what use would it be for Him to stay dry? How could He experience the same kinds of trials and temptations as a fish without getting wholly wet? 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. [Heb 4:15 KJV]

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    Not what I'm saying. He was 'fully' man, but think about size difference here. Is a physical mind capable of containing 'fully' God? We know He grew in stature and wisdom in His body.
    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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    Over 2000 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Not what I'm saying. He was 'fully' man, but think about size difference here. Is a physical mind capable of containing 'fully' God? We know He grew in stature and wisdom in His body.
    The best I have to offer in answer to your question is this:

    Colossians 2:9 - For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    John 1:1-5 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ,,,
    John 1:14 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


    What can "contain" God? On a simple level, a man can build a house and live in that house. But while the house is a container of man, it isn't a constrainer of man, just a tool of man.

    Can God make a body that can contain Him, but doesn't constrain Him? I'd be very hesitant to say "no". I'd have no basis for the statement, just philosophy. And the verses above seem to shout "yes".

    I'm not even sure "contain" applies to a mind, anyway. Comprehend? Yes, but we don't know the limits of what a physical mind can comprehend. All we know is what we currently might be able to comprehend.

    I'm also not sure that "physical" applies to a mind. Physicality might constrain a mind, but a promise of resurrection from dust and ashes implies that a mind is NOT merely physical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    The best I have to offer in answer to your question is this:

    Colossians 2:9 - For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    John 1:1-5 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ,,,
    John 1:14 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


    What can "contain" God? On a simple level, a man can build a house and live in that house. But while the house is a container of man, it isn't a constrainer of man, just a tool of man.

    Can God make a body that can contain Him, but doesn't constrain Him? I'd be very hesitant to say "no". I'd have no basis for the statement, just philosophy. And the verses above seem to shout "yes".

    I'm not even sure "contain" applies to a mind, anyway. Comprehend? Yes, but we don't know the limits of what a physical mind can comprehend. All we know is what we currently might be able to comprehend.

    I'm also not sure that "physical" applies to a mind. Physicality might constrain a mind, but a promise of resurrection from dust and ashes implies that a mind is NOT merely physical.
    I would have posted similar had I been asked the same. There is a mystery to how a human brain, with its capacity, can hold the whole of the universe and beyond, to hold the infinite God. I appreciate you wrestling as I had when I entertained the question. Sometimes, it is uncanny when you express things how my own mind works these truths out (and perplexing that we are different in our theologies). 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
    I would have posted similar had I been asked the same. There is a mystery to how a human brain, with its capacity, can hold the whole of the universe and beyond, to hold the infinite God. I appreciate you wrestling as I had when I entertained the question. Sometimes, it is uncanny when you express things how my own mind works these truths out (and perplexing that we are different in our theologies). In Him -Lon
    We're only different because you're not thinking through it to its logical conclusion--one that is only conflicting in your mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    We're only different because you're not thinking through it to its logical conclusion--one that is only conflicting in your mind.
    LOL! I was going say something very similar to you!
    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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    Over 2000 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    LOL! I was going say something very similar to you!
    I'm glad you caught my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, despite the lack of cute emoticons.

  18. The Following User Says Thank You to Derf For Your Post:

    Lon (May 1st, 2019)

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