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

  1. #316
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    I wouldn't say Saul's conversion was that way. Saul was struck down, spoken to, and blinded, but his mind was not changed for him. We read about Paul today because he responded as God desired. One might theorize that God knew Paul well enough to know how he would respond if he were merely hit hard enough, or debate the degree of likeliness of the response, but God didn't just reach in and change his mind for him. The recorded story also ends itself to the simple explanation that Paul was confronted, but he still retained the ability to determine how he would respond.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    @Lon
    And Jesus showed Himself to Paul, visibly. That is hardly just tweaking someone's mind.

    More later...
    Romans 9:20 Job 9:32 Isaiah 10:15

    How fond are you of your 'free' will? Me? Not that much.
    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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  3. #317
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    In that case, the "danger" would be a fiction... and the only reason why I wouldn't say "lie" is because no one every believed the book was to be taken seriously as true or genuine in the first place. It wasn't reality. But in contrast, aren't we discussing the nature of reality here, and doesn't God speak to us as if danger is certain and real?
    I have exactly the same reaction to true-life stories, especially the ones I'd never heard of before. I'm concerned when doing theology with ad hoc theologians and ad hoc theology. It really needs deep thinking and incredible examination. God can and does bring us to maturity, but we need to spend a bit of time ensuring we are getting it right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    AMR (as the Calvinist) said that God intends for us to treat the warnings as they were real (and here I agree with him!)
    Of course! You were saying it'd be a lie. If you agree with him (and I) then it isn't a lie.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    The minute placement of a rose does not touch on whether a birthday cake is truly perfect or not. Have you ever done any actual cooking or baking?
    Professionally even.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    There is such a thing as there being more than one perfect solution to a problem!
    "Good?" Sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    I think we should stop and discuss birthday cakes until this basic concept of perfection is ironed out.
    Again, perfect means unchangeable. Malachi 3:6 Isaiah 46:9,10

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    (I apologize that the Quote function is not behaving right now)
    So boiling down AMR's answer, prayer can never affect God's action:
    1) to change God's will for things that have not yet happened
    2) to change the reality of what has already happened (such as to make something different happen instead).
    Essentially, you treat both scenarios similarly: prayer does not change anything, and what will be is just as fixed as what has already happened. Yet David prayed to affect God's will while the child was alive, and he did not when the child was dead. David perceived a difference and acted upon it.
    Prayer changes us. We are not immutable (thankfully, who wants to be stuck with the flesh and sin?) God is.
    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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  5. #318
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    Lon, a question or two for you closed-time model:

    Is there any point in praying to God to change an outcome? We already reviewed an occasion where God told a king that he should die, and yet before the prophet had left the courtyard God had changed his decree that the King would live a longer time. What of David?

    2 Samuel 12:14 KJV
    (14) Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

    First, was David wrong to pray for a change of outcome? We have already seen examples where the account gives the certain impression that prayer and repentance did bring about a change of a decree.

    2 Samuel 12:22-23 KJV
    (22) And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
    (23) But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

    Second, if David was not wrong to pray for the child while it lived, was he wrong to cease praying for the child while it was dead? If God is truly "outside of time" then he could decide to change events that have already happened, or at least that might appear to us as if they had already happened. Do you see God as being able to change what has already happened to cause something different to happen instead?
    "maybe's" and 'perhapses' are simply speculations of the mind. There are a LOT of why's and what's we can ask God when we see Him. It is not wrong to expect your prayer to not be met, BUT are YOU more compassionate than God? More loving? More 'concerned?' Why on earth, would one assume he/she NEEDS to change God's mind about something 'as if' they are holier than God?

    Rather, I am convinced prayer changes US. I am convinced God is good and I am in need of remedial work both in logic and in morality. "Not my will but Thine" was a good prayer for me, and you, not just our Lord Jesus Christ. Let me ask you what I asked Derf: Do you pray 'if it be your will Lord?" Do you pray, "Help me to understand Your will, Lord?" James 4:16
    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..."

  6. #319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosenritter View Post
    (I apologize that the Quote function is not behaving right now)

    So boiling down AMR's answer, prayer can never affect God's action:

    1) to change God's will for things that have not yet happened
    2) to change the reality of what has already happened (such as to make something different happen instead).
    1) We do not know what God has willed for each and every thing. We do know what we may intend differs quite often from what God intends (e.g, Gen, 50:20). Often God's will is only revealed after the fact (op. cit.)

    Accordingly, if we are obedient to the revealed will of God in Scripture concerning prayer, things will fall out from God's providence. Providence is how God's decree is actualized via free, necessary, or contingent events.

    Our prayer is part of that process. Prayer is a means by which God's ends are achieved—part of the ordained chain of events leading to exactly what God volitionally willed (decreed).

    So our prayer has real effects upon us inwardly and outwardly. Prayer does not move God to change His mind, for God has decreed all that has, is, or will happen. The decree, however, includes the act of prayer such that what God has decreed falls out exactly as He has volitionally willed. Accordingly, if we do not pray as Scripture command us to do, there is real reason to expect that what we refused to pray about to come to pass will likely not come to pass. After all, we have not because we ask not (James 4:2) or we ask with all the wrong motives (James 4:3).

    Open theists will deny that the future is settled, they are essentially "unsettled theists", if you will. The open theist view is not really relevant to ongoing orthodox discussions of theology proper (that is, the works, being, attributes of God); the flash point of its views a decade ago has long since dwindled. Of course here at this site one is easily given the impression that open theists are everywhere. But TOL is but a microcosm wherein the minority appears the majority, not representative of Christianity outside TOL's tent.

    2) We cannot pray for the past to be changed thinking this is a prayer that God will even "hear." This is the stuff of multiple time lines and the sci-fi of Asimov's Harry Seldon pschohistorian character.

    AMR
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  7. #320
    Over 1500 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Romans 9:20 Job 9:32 Isaiah 10:15

    How fond are you of your 'free' will? Me? Not that much.
    You argue like a Jehovah's Witness, moving to the next argument when one is foiled, until you eventually end up back at the first one in a big circle.

    I had suggested that the bible gave no examples of God twiddling with someone's mind to get them to do what He says. You responded with Paul's conversion. And I responded that Paul's conversion was exactly the opposite of what you claimed for it.

    Now you offer those three verses?

    First, I'd like to recognize common ground. You have argued in other places (and maybe in this thread, too) that freewill is the evil thing that was introduced in the garden. So I'll take it to mean that you are not arguing against the existence of free will.

    Second, I'll take your switch to the criticism of free will as an accession that Paul was NOT just having his mind changed by God, but God was presenting him with reasons to join up--"pricking" him, so to speak.

    So let's talk about your verses.
    [Rom 9:20 KJV] Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus? Isn't this exactly what the "thing" does? It says to Him who formed it, "Why have you made me so?" This is an example of free will, arguing against God

    [Job 9:32 KJV] For [he is] not a man, as I [am, that] I should answer him, [and] we should come together in judgment. Job, too, is an example of a man arguing with God. Eventually he acknowledges his fault in presuming that God is righteous, even in bringing about such tragedies on his life, but at first he presents a case to God.

    [Isa 10:15 KJV] Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? [or] shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake [itself] against them that lift it up, [or] as if the staff should lift up [itself, as if it were] no wood. The "axe" was the king of Assyria (vs 12), and the Lord was incensed that he would boast of his victory over Israel/Samaria--and their God. This is an example of freewill in action, and God punishing the wrong use of that freewill. It shows both that God can make kings turn wherever He wishes and at the same time that He doesn't control their thoughts.

    This IS the whole story of the bible--that mankind rebels against God, bringing punishment upon themselves, and God still looks for repentance.

    Repentance is an act of the will--submitting it to God.
    Paul's conversion was an act of his will--submitting it to God.
    Jesus whole life was a continuous submission to God's will.
    We call Jesus "Lord" as a representation of our submission to His will.

    However much you like to think free will is a bad thing, it is the ONLY thing that makes repentance possible. There is no repentance in a man who doesn't bend his own will to God's.

    "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" isn't just a nice sentiment, it is saying that in exercising his own will, man has trampled on God's. It CAN'T be that God's will is always being done. But repentance is going in the opposite direction--that man acknowledges where he has trampled on God's will and does the opposite. Man does. He wills it. He "submits" to God. There is no submission, no repentance, no obedience, no worship, no love without a will. All of these things imply volition. Having God take over your brain is an admission of defeat for God--that the only way He can get His will accomplished is to "kill" the person--to abolish the adversarial nature and replace it with one that is compliant.

    Paul talks about something like this, but he does it in terms of our doing it. "WE" mortify our own flesh (Rom 8:13). We do it "through" the spirit, but we have to do it. It is an act of the will to set aside our own desires.

    If I can summarize...
    There's only one way to submit to someone else's will--it requires a willingness, where we no longer kick against the pricks. [edited:] A submitted free will doesn't mean there are no pricks, just that they aren't needed anymore.
    Last edited by Derf; Today at 12:55 PM. Reason: It didn't quite look right

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  9. #321
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Romans 9:20 Job 9:32 Isaiah 10:15

    How fond are you of your 'free' will? Me? Not that much.
    I am fond of living, and I do not think of a vegetable or an automaton as being alive.

  10. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Again, perfect means unchangeable. Malachi 3:6 Isaiah 46:9,10
    Neither of those references say that "perfect means unchangeable."

    Prayer changes us. We are not immutable (thankfully, who wants to be stuck with the flesh and sin?) God is.
    Luke 11:9-10 KJV
    (9) And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
    (10) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    It seems that Jesus implied that prayer does influence God's actions.

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