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

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    Originally Posted by Rosenritter
    The idea that "God is not really God if he created anyone with free will" is not a biblical concept nor a right conclusion.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    I disagree. As I've stated, Genesis 3:15 IS biblical. To me? Undoes any 'unbiblical' assertion. I'm getting it 'from' the Bible.
    Would you please explain how you see any relation between Genesis 3:15 and the denial of free will? That seemed like a very random response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    If man were held in check by distance? How so? How is lightening held in check by speed? Yet God, according to Open Theism, is indeed held in check by linear time.
    Maybe if you are thinking like Orson Wells, or like Dr. Who that time is "wiggly jiggly."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Sort of. I'm saying that we are never not in bondage. We are either in bondage to God, or we are in bondage to something else. So, imo, it is never a 'free' will EXCEPT when one might suggest 'free' from God or 'free' from sin and death. The point for me: it is a trade-off of bondage as far as the will is concerned.
    Genesis 3:1 is about the serpent introducing the 'other' will (free). It may be we are talking past one another yet, but I hope this helps.

    Again, in my estimation this doesn't require a 'free' will. A will in bondage is what Paul describes in Romans 7:11-25
    To me, it doesn't sound like Paul is describing his will as 'free.' In fact, it he describes a frustration of not being able to exercise what he actually desires, so much so he cries "Who will save me from this!??"
    This is the same Paul that said, 16 Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. [Rom 6:16 NLT] (I don't usually opt for the New Living Translation, but it helps to wade past the obscurity of "ye yield yourself" in KJV.) And that seems to jive with your reference to Gen 3:1--Satan offered a different "bondage" in your terminology, but that means they were in bondage to God first, and they were able to leave that bondage. That doesn't seem like a type of bondage that I recognize. On the other hand, we can't leave the bondage of sin without the help of Jesus and His sacrifice. And He sets us free. Is it possible that He sets us free to pick the right master? Is it also possible to now pick the wrong one? I'm wondering if that is what the gospel is all about--telling folks they need to pick the right master now that He has set us free from sin and death.


    As an outcome? Romans 8:58 This doesn't mean all is desirable.
    We have to talk about what God desires (wills decretive) and what He allows (wills prescriptive).
    I've read this thru a few times now, and I still don't understand what you mean.

    It 'assumes' God was unaware of the final outcome' to suggest a 'change'. Your assumption is in the proof and thus it is only good for those who assume as you do. I do not. Change never happens like you are believing, in God. It is RATHER our circumstances. Think of it this way: A man meets an immovable rock, the man moves, the opposite direction as a result, not the rock. This is crudely, the largest difference between traditional theology and Open Theism. In Open Theism, the rock is seen as 'interactive' and 'relational' and thus 'moving.' It just isn't the right description for what is going on. Yes, Open Theism wants to make a 'caring' rock instead of an immovable one.
    Actually it only assumes an outcome to suggest a change--not the outcome. "Final" denotes permanence and singularity of outcome. Maybe the rock illustration would be better if the rock were moving in a particular direction, and the man asked it to alter course, but not destination. Intermediate locations would be altered, but the final one remains. There may be some intermediate ones that also stay fixed, but not all.

    God IS relational but man does the changing. The full character of God is at stake and MUST be left untouched by anthropomorphic grasps and understandings. Why? Because they just don't do God justice. It is like saying "Yeah, but that rock felt me!" It is giving a little TOO much credit to the guy colliding with the rock. It was really forgettable.
    You lost this argument when you started talking about a rock. The references to God as a Rock are in relation to His solidness and stability, not to His immovability.

    Bringing it back to what we are talking about: God knows what is best. While He may allow something subpar to His will (sin), it is not His intervention that makes such happen. Hezekiah was going to die. WHY did God tell him that? Simply: So He'd repent. THEN when Hezekiah prays, God responds (and in my bible studied opinion) with what He wanted to happen BY intervening in the first place! Is that then a change? I realize the Open Theist is making "You will die and will not recover" the lynchpin, but as I said, a good many of this don't read it or interpret it the same.
    So God was only able to accomplish His will when the man did something God had to coerce Him to do? That doesn't sound that great to me.

    I'm not seeing "die and not recover" as a lynchpin--only as a truth. If it is not a truth, then how can God say it? And if the opposite is also said as a truth (which it was), then something changed in between. What changed? Not just Hezekiah, but also Hezekiah's outcome.

    If God had to tell Hezekiah that he would die in order that he lives, that doesn't negate the need for God to always tell the truth, according to His character.

    And, btw, it never says Hezekiah (at this time, anyway) was in need of repentance, nor that he did repent, only that he cried out to God.

    If they meant it?
    ??? If you program a robot to carry out your commands, does the robot "mean" to carry out your commands? Are you now instilling the need for a free agency in a robot? I don't really understand how you can talk this way and still argue with me about the necessity of a free will (or free agency, or whatever you want to call it).
    Yeah. Does 'independence' require love to exist? My dog 'loves' me because I take care of him. It IS a programmed response. He will respond to me according to 'my' interaction. We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 Love isn't love because we chose it. Love is love because we have been loved.
    We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 Love isn't love because we chose it. Love is love because we have been loved. This is huge. I believe someone who doesn't grasp this is still caught in egocentrism for concepts of love (I am too, but we really have to grasp His love to love like Him). Love: committed to another's highest good.
    We still have to love, which is a willing act/thought. Admittedly we are helpless to love Him without His act of love, but that doesn't mean ours is not an act of love.

    Is he a believer?
    Yes, but he disagrees with me on the rest--mainly based on preconceptions, as far as I can tell.
    We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 Love isn't love because we chose it. Love is love because we have been loved. This is huge. I believe someone who doesn't grasp this is still caught in egocentrism for concepts of love (I am too, but we really have to grasp His love to love like Him). Love: committed to another's highest good.
    Our love isn't our love if we don't choose it. God's love doesn't require our input. Ours does. God could love every one of those little robots, but they can't love Him. They can't, unless you instill some type of free agency/will in them. That's part of the definition of love.


    If it is funny/strange, I cannot help that. He caused my faith BY giving me what to believe in. Believe, imho, is always otherly unless you are talking about 'cognitive apprehension' instead (another definition of believe that is legitimate). When I use it, I'm talking about trusting and cognitively-holding-as-true that Christ died, was buried, and rose again. It is mine but it was given to me, wasn't it?
    What exactly is the nature of the belief that was given? It might be a gift that allows you to do it (believe), but is the doing of it given? or does the doing of it require some kind of input from you? I say the latter, else it wouldn't be a command: "Believe on the Lord."


    Take it further: Then God lied regardless because Hezekiah did not surely die, if your interpretation is the only one available. Open Theism doesn't take the lying accusation away, it just sidesteps it by clouding the issue, imho. It isn't imho, as well thought out as traditional theology addresses this.
    You can only say this thinking as a settled futurist. And of course, if that's your presupposition, you will have to say it. But the settledness of the future makes the statement a lie. Open theism allows the answer to be "a" at one time and "b" at another (both as future outcomes) and still allow God to be truthful. Their is no Lying accusation, because both were true within their respective time of utterance. That is NOT the case for settled theism. One of those was always true ("b", perhaps), and the other was NEVER true ("a").

    No traditional theist would have even thought God lied. Open Theists came up with this. The problem? "Their" problem imho, didn't go away and didn't get addressed. It seems to me, slight of hand that will work for those who aren't doing inductive Bible study or looking further. For me? Doesn't and cannot work: It is just dodging the question 'they' brought up in the first place.
    Like I said, only with a sly reliance on an open theistic model can a settled theist ever believe that God can say both "a" and "b" are true when "a" and "b" are contradictory.



    Three points: We experience things linearly. What is true linearly (time-wise) is NOT true outside of the linear BUT it is STILL true of the linear. A carrot, for example, is NOT "one inch." It is relationally one-inch AND it is not a lie to say, however, it is one inch. You understand this. You have to then, be careful not to be too black, and white when discussing the inch aspect of a carrot. You know it isn't an inch but you NEVER say someone who gives you a length, they are liars. NEVER. It never comes up but for an Open Theist being pedantically obtuse and missing what is MORE pertinent.

    Let me be careful: To me, spending any time on 'God lied to Hezekiah' in my bible reading, is just a waste of unproductive time. It never enters my mind and is unimportant to entertain for the story. I realize it is paramount to an Open Theist, and that is problematic to me. It is, imho missing the forest for the trees. The story of Hezekiah is about a man and his God and his NEED for His God. John 15:5 is my particular application from ever reading that passage.
    That's because you are refusing (not can't, but won't) see the forest for the trees. Your statement here says it.


    Not sure what you mean. Isaiah came because Hezekiah had shown all his riches to foreigners (bragging is most often not a good thing).
    Hezekiah didn't show treasures to the foreigners until after he was healed of this disease.


    We totally disagree on this point. I believe Open Theism humanizes God and constrains Him to simplistic platitudes (personal conviction not meant to malign anybody).
    You haven't shown that to be the case here.

    An appeal is no bad thing, but I've looked at Open Theism and find it too simplistic to deal rightly with scriptures. To me, it misses a lot of scripture truth about the nature and character of God. I'd challenge any Open Theist to do a serious study with traditional theology concerning the nature and character of God. A systematic theology would be a good start, then reading the scriptures and understanding that character and nature would be of tremendous instruction imho.
    So, you want me to decide what God is like BEFORE I read the scriptures? Can you say that with a straight face?

    It should humble, however. I used to hear "if you were the only one, God would have died for you."

    To me? Looks like a closet-Calvinist rema
    Calvinism has some good points that I agree with. The settledness of the future isn't one of them.


    I realize we are postured here, but that can be a good thing. The better we understand 'why' we are opposed, I think the better we are equipped to look at our own theology and understand both its strengths and flaws. In a way, I am a closet open theist as you suggest but ONLY as God relates to man 'in his environment.' God has to interact in a constrained and linear fashion for us to conceive Him. He is ALL our universe, but we are not all His. I simply disagree that God is 'constricted' in that interaction. He is only as 'wet' as His involvement. When I reach into my fish tank, I'm not all wet and can easily bring all of me to bear on their needs. Even if I came to them 'as' a fish, there'd be other aspects beyond the ability of fish to grasp me. God is not all wet. Again, in a crude (simplistic) way, this is the difference between traditional theology and Open Theism to my mind.

    In Him -Lon
    I hope I'm never a "settled" theologian, at least in this life. I hope I can always be convinced of where I'm wrong, and that these conversations wouldn't just allow me to voice a wrong opinion and make it more concrete (but still wrong) in my mind.

    The thing is, the bible is always expressing things as God relates to man in his environment. A few times we see images of God in His environment, but these don't give us a different view of God than He gives us in the other portions of scripture. Not that I can tell, anyway. So, if God is consistent with what He has revealed to us, then He actually changes the future. One instance is that He created the world--before God created the world, was there ever a point where God did not HAVE to create the world? If you say "no", then you are saying God is bound by His knowledge of the future--He's as much a robot as we are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Calvinism has some good points that I agree with. The settledness of the future isn't one of them.

    I hope I'm never a "settled" theologian, at least in this life. I hope I can always be convinced of where I'm wrong, and that these conversations wouldn't just allow me to voice a wrong opinion and make it more concrete (but still wrong) in my mind.

    The thing is, the bible is always expressing things as God relates to man in his environment. A few times we see images of God in His environment, but these don't give us a different view of God than He gives us in the other portions of scripture. Not that I can tell, anyway. So, if God is consistent with what He has revealed to us, then He actually changes the future. One instance is that He created the world--before God created the world, was there ever a point where God did not HAVE to create the world? If you say "no", then you are saying God is bound by His knowledge of the future--He's as much a robot as we are.
    1 Kings 22:19-22 KJV
    (19) And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
    (20) And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
    (21) And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
    (22) And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

    That's one of those examples of the bible expressing God in his own environment. So this brings forth the question, if the future was a "settled future" then why would God express himself to this king and his prophet with this vision?

    1) If the future was "settled" and these heavenly events are not what occurred, then this vision is beyond misleading, it would be deceitful to the prophet and the king

    2) If the future was "settled" but these are the heavenly events that occurred, then God is misleading both realms of men and angels as to the nature of future events, because he speaks to the angels as if their input has influenced the course of events

    3) This vision reveals the character of God as being such that doesn't need to micromanage ever single detail, who is not afraid to allow his servants to volunteer courses of action. His agents remain loyal while retraining independent will and thought, even those that offer suggestions to God as to how to resolve a problem, and God not only hears them but might also heed the suggestion.

    If God "knew" the future down to the last detail he certainly pretended not to, and if he is operating on the method of deceiving both realms of men and angels, why would he now change this method to a select theological group today, and for what purpose?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    1 Kings 22:19-22 KJV
    (19) And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
    (20) And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
    (21) And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
    (22) And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

    That's one of those examples of the bible expressing God in his own environment. So this brings forth the question, if the future was a "settled future" then why would God express himself to this king and his prophet with this vision?

    1) If the future was "settled" and these heavenly events are not what occurred, then this vision is beyond misleading, it would be deceitful to the prophet and the king

    2) If the future was "settled" but these are the heavenly events that occurred, then God is misleading both realms of men and angels as to the nature of future events, because he speaks to the angels as if their input has influenced the course of events

    3) This vision reveals the character of God as being such that doesn't need to micromanage ever single detail, who is not afraid to allow his servants to volunteer courses of action. His agents remain loyal while retraining independent will and thought, even those that offer suggestions to God as to how to resolve a problem, and God not only hears them but might also heed the suggestion.

    If God "knew" the future down to the last detail he certainly pretended not to, and if he is operating on the method of deceiving both realms of men and angels, why would he now change this method to a select theological group today, and for what purpose?
    The interactions between God and Satan in the book of Job are along similar lines.

    [Job 1:6-9, 11 KJV] 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? ... 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

    The interesting thing in this first passage is that Satan had an impression of God that God didn't know how things would work out, otherwise it would have been a sucker's bet. Now, Satan might have been wrong, but if the story means anything at all, at least Satan was not convinced that God's knowledge was exhaustive. on God's part Could Satan, who knew God well, and was able to be in His presence, have that wrong? And God didn't offer His foreknowledge as proof of the outcome--He pointed to Job's character/integrity (Job 2:3).

    The passage also addresses the idea that God knows based on ordaining--there is a hint of it, when Satan says in vs 10: Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

    But Satan didn't think God knew the future exhaustively for that reason either, else he would never have asked God to remove the hedge of protection in order to win the bet.

    Finally, also from Job 2:3, God presents Himself as "movable", rather than immovable. [Job 2:3 KJV] 3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

    This is not a didactic passage, I suppose, but if it means anything at all, it must be taken as representative of God in His own environment, as you pointed out in the 1 Kings passage. And to say this is not how God interacted with Satan, or that God didn't really say what He said to Satan is a direct blow to the inerrancy and integrity of scripture as a whole, and especially the inspiration of scripture as a whole. I say this because the passage can only come to us in two ways--God revealed the events to a prophet/the author of the book or a man made up the events. There were no human attendees at the meetings of the sons of God. If a man made up the story, and it is wrong, then what parts of the scripture CAN we trust? And how do we know what we can trust?

    And later parts of the book ARE didactic. Do they carry more weight than the earlier parts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    The interactions between God and Satan in the book of Job are along similar lines.

    [Job 1:6-9, 11 KJV] 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? ... 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

    The interesting thing in this first passage is that Satan had an impression of God that God didn't know how things would work out, otherwise it would have been a sucker's bet. Now, Satan might have been wrong, but if the story means anything at all, at least Satan was not convinced that God's knowledge was exhaustive. on God's part Could Satan, who knew God well, and was able to be in His presence, have that wrong? And God didn't offer His foreknowledge as proof of the outcome--He pointed to Job's character/integrity (Job 2:3).

    The passage also addresses the idea that God knows based on ordaining--there is a hint of it, when Satan says in vs 10: Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

    But Satan didn't think God knew the future exhaustively for that reason either, else he would never have asked God to remove the hedge of protection in order to win the bet.

    Finally, also from Job 2:3, God presents Himself as "movable", rather than immovable. [Job 2:3 KJV] 3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

    This is not a didactic passage, I suppose, but if it means anything at all, it must be taken as representative of God in His own environment, as you pointed out in the 1 Kings passage. And to say this is not how God interacted with Satan, or that God didn't really say what He said to Satan is a direct blow to the inerrancy and integrity of scripture as a whole, and especially the inspiration of scripture as a whole. I say this because the passage can only come to us in two ways--God revealed the events to a prophet/the author of the book or a man made up the events. There were no human attendees at the meetings of the sons of God. If a man made up the story, and it is wrong, then what parts of the scripture CAN we trust? And how do we know what we can trust?

    And later parts of the book ARE didactic. Do they carry more weight than the earlier parts?
    ... I was saving Job for the follow-up.

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