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Thread: predestination

  1. #46
    TOL Subscriber Nang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttruscott View Post
    If the claim is that GOD commanded (decreed ) his disobedience then GOD is the creator of Adam's sin and Adam has no guilt.
    If a State passes a speed law, and a driver exceeds it, who is held accountable for the crime?

    Even though there was reasonable cause for establishing the law, it does not mitigate the actual guilty offender.

    The State law is never the cause for the crime . . .
    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
    Gordon H. Clark

    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
    Charles Spurgeon

  2. #47
    TOL Subscriber Nang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by way 2 go View Post
    please define what you mean by decree.
    Legal Commandment from a Sovereign.

    Did Jesus know Judas would betray him , yes
    Do I believe God made Judas betray Jesus , no
    Did Jesus warn Judas , yes Mat 26:24


    the sin where Judas betrayed him


    willed or predicted it ?
    No difference. Law was established (decreed) by God, and God predicted man would fail to keep it.

    Before creation God covenanted to provide The Savior Man, who alone could keep and would perfectly fulfill all the righteous Laws of God in perfect obedience.

    It is HIS obedience alone that brings glory to God . . .

    HIS obedience alone is meritorious and deserving of everlasting life.

    Sinners are justified in the eyes of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
    Gordon H. Clark

    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
    Charles Spurgeon

  3. #48
    Over 2000 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post
    If a State passes a speed law, and a driver exceeds it, who is held accountable for the crime?

    Even though there was reasonable cause for establishing the law, it does not mitigate the actual guilty offender.

    The State law is never the cause for the crime . . .
    If the state passes a speed law, and then decrees that a driver exceeds it, who is responsible for the crime?

    A decree is of the same category as a law--both are commandments. (Eg. [Pro 8:29 KJV] When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth)

    Thus, if a state both passes a speed law and also command that drivers exceed that speed, the state is double-minded and unstable in all its ways.

    Is this what you are saying God is?
    Last edited by Derf; May 12th, 2019 at 08:10 AM.

  4. #49
    Over 500 post club ttruscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post
    If a State passes a speed law, and a driver exceeds it, who is held accountable for the crime?
    This is not what was said. It was said or implied that the law was broken because HE decreed it to be broken. You've moved the goalposts.

    Even though there was reasonable cause for establishing the law, it does not mitigate the actual guilty offender.
    Establishing The Law is good and proper but it doesn't mean the same thing as to decree someone break the law which is coercive.
    I Champion GOD’s holiness:
    - GOD did not need evil so did not create evil for any reason.
    - All evil is creature-created.

    I Champion Our Free will:
    - All spirits created in HIS image had an equal ability and opportunity to choose either heaven or hell by their free will.

  5. #50
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by way 2 go View Post
    not that simple

    Act 4:26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed'—
    Act 4:27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
    Act 4:28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.




    If I'm understanding you correctly you are saying people are predestining themselves


    Luk 22:21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table.
    Luk 22:22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!"
    Yes. It is within many Theology Systematics to allow God's consistent nature to be involved in the outcome of the consequences.

    We are left wondering how, why, what would cause Satan to rebel against a holy, good, perfect Creator. How could that even happen? It is like a spouse, leaving the other because he/she is TOO perfect.

    Allowing God to be God to both the fallen and the regenerate, for me, takes care of the problem better than any Systematic position. It just works for all of them, regardless of position held. It may create a few other problems on its own, but I haven't seen them yet and I believe it sufficiently addresses the problem. 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..."

  6. #51
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post
    My thoughts:

    I cannot think of a time in Scripture where God willed and decreed a thing without "desiring" what He willed be done.

    The Infra hesitation is a defense against making it sound like God is the "author of sin," which He is not. There is a difference between the creature committing sin and God decreeing the creature would indeed commit such evil.

    Adam disobeyed God's command. Adam is held accountable and responsible for his sin.

    God decreed these events and provided the ONLY remedy for them in Jesus Christ.

    God willfully purposed to destroy this evil power that ruined all flesh (Hebrews 2:14), through the cross work and flesh sacrifice of His Son. Romans 5:19-21

    Why?

    This is His eternal goal and promise: Isaiah 65:25
    It makes sense. I think you are correct there is a 'hesitation' (I prefer a 'just don't grasp how it all works or 'can' work"). 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..."

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Lon For Your Post:

    Nang (May 9th, 2019)

  8. #52
    Over 2000 post club Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    You may have been around some double-preds. God doesn't want nor desire evil. What He has determined, predetermined, is to work it out ala Romans 8:28
    You are distancing yourself from the Westminster Confession, which advocates for double predestination. Here's RC Sproul's take on it (a great read!): https://www.ligonier.org/learn/artic...redestination/, and a poignant excerpt from it:

    I once heard the case for “single” predestination articulated by a prominent Lutheran theologian in the above manner. He admitted to me that the conclusion of reprobation was logically inescapable, but he refused to draw the inference, holding steadfastly to “single” predestination. Such a notion of predestination is manifest nonsense.



    Jermiah 29:11 He owns the cattle on a thousand hills because Colossians 1:16-20 says 'by Him and for Him." Does it mean He wants their demise?
    Sometimes He does. [Gen 6:7 KJV] And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast...

    But He didn't originally: ...for it repenteth me that I have made them.
    This was after He called it all "very good". Something changed. Something went from good to bad. If God had ordained it to go bad, then it's not really bad, it's according to His will, and that can only be good, right?

    "He didn't originally". Quite a biblical concept, yes?

    Open Theism does not at all distance. It TRIES to, by spreading out the time line, but it is impossible that it can get away from the same conclusion as any other lover theologian of God: Bad things happen and it is well within the Power of God to stop. RATHER 'why' He does/doesn't is the real discussion. "When" doesn't do anything
    Actually "when" is very important. And I think we're still talking about the same thing--the "when" of the purposing. Calvinism says that God purposes all things from before time began:

    From the Westminster Confession:
    CHAPTER 3
    Of God's Eternal Decree
    1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass

    So now that we've established what God ordained and when He ordained it, let's look at the other agents involved. There's man....No, that's no good, no man existed. There's Satan and other devils....No that's no good, they didn't exist either. In fact, no one--no other agent existed at the time God ordained that some men would commit heinous sins, and others commit not so heinous but still unacceptable sins.

    One way that God could ordain such sins is if He let them occur for a greater purpose. But, unless God is able to look into the future to see what His creation will do (Arminianism), He must create creatures with a predisposition to sin in the way that He ordains will happen. He CAN'T rely on a predisposition of a creature He has not yet created--He must create the predisposition for that creature to sin, in order to KNOW that the creature will both have that predisposition and follow through on that predisposition, i.e.: sin. Thus, the timing is extremely important--if God decides before you are born that you are going to become a tyrant and wipe out millions of people, then God authors that sin in you--there was no one else around to blame it on when it was decided you would sin in what way. Whatsoever comes to pass...from all eternity.

    There is no mercy, as destiny is preestablished. There is no sacrificial love, as nothing is sacrificed. There is only God's eternal purpose, which is retroactively defined as "whatsoever comes to pass". Perhaps there isn't even any sin, as sin suggests that someone can do something that God did not will them to, but God ordained all actions, all thoughts.

    so, imho, leaves Open Theism not really needing to happen once one really wrestles with the insecurity of his/her own position. The Calvinist is the guy/gal who logically worked it out to the end and simply declares "Yep, evil happens BUT God is Holy."
    Actually he doesn't say "evil happens." He says "God makes evil happen but God is Holy." But he knows that sounds bad, so he goes on to say,

    Further? The Lord Jesus Christ, in conveying that God isn't willing that any should perish, is working out this scenario to the end that 'no wheat' (believer) is harmed. He loves the world, wants none to perish but is particularly loving and careful that no Christian is lost/damaged.
    What kind of love is it that wants none to perish but lets some do so, when He decided before they existed what they would do?

    He knows what He is doing and Redemption is His job. I rest alone in the goodness of God and VERY importantly "regardless if all I can figure out is that God allows attrocity." Just because I'm perplexed is not, for me, an issue. Matthew 5:46 I think one that can love God in light of what is troublesome to them, at times, is the real lover. We all need not make apology for God, but love and trust Him. Hebrews 11:6
    In Calvinism, God CAUSES atrocity. You seem ok with the OT view that God allows it--for a time--but are hesitant to express the Calvinist view, that He wanted it--from all time.


    Planning isn't the issue, if the trade off is to see God as losing control and chaos running amok, there is no comfort in that either. I think I understand the reason 'why' there are Open Theists, but I think they truly haven't encircled yet, the full implications of such NOR have they actually, logically distanced. Making God without knowledge isn't a comfort. Anything can happen in uncontrolled chaos. God is a God of consistent unchanging character and will wipe away all chaos. I know God will fix this, has already provided the work, and that He is unwilling that any of His own be harmed, nor is He desirous that any stumble over Christ as they will surely do. He causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust specifically because any intervention, by His own analogy, would have those who come to Him harmed. "Then why doesn't He do something, or isn't He able to remove the tares from the good wheat?" Answer: Yes, He is doing exactly that.
    Calvinist: He causes the wheat. He causes the tares. He causes the just and unjust, and then causes rain to fall on them somewhat equally.

    But who else can tell the difference, since He also causes us to be discerning or not. He causes us to sin, and He causes us to hate sin.

    He causes us to hate atrocity, yet He causes that same atrocity. Thus He is causing us to hate His own works, at the same time that He complains when we don't recognize His works and glorify Him.


    I'd rather be seen as seeing God sovereign than inept, however. This, crudely, is the difference between these two respective theologies: One 'looks' like a God who has no control and has left our salvation in our own hands (not relational really at that point), and the other 'seems' to have God as desirous of evil and planning it. Either we have "the God who risks" because specifically, life with us is a roll of the dice, or we have God knowing exactly what He is doing, regardless of what it 'looks like' at any given time.
    You'd rather be seen by whom? If God ordains from all eternity that you will see God a particular way, and He ordains that from all eternity I will see Him a different way, what difference does it make?

    If God ordains everything that happens, based purely on what He is planning to do, and then He calls some of it sin and tries to eradicate it, then Jesus was not just speaking of Beelzebul's kingdom being divided against itself, He's speaking of His own kingdom.

    For sin to exist, there has to be another agent that whose actions are NOT completely ordained by God in all eternity, in order that God is not merely fighting against Himself. To allow for another agent, that can go against what God says, is to allow for an open-theistic view.

    And I think you're saying that if God does NOT cause everything and have it all worked out from all eternity, then He is inept. Thus you've put God on the horns of a dilemma--He can only fit in your god-mold, He can't even tell you what He's like. He can't tell you how His sovereignty plays out--that some will stay rebellious despite His best and most perfect efforts to help them.

    In other words, there is a place where God's will is done (heaven), and there's a place where we pray that it will be done (on earth). If God is so sovereign that His will is never NOT done, Jesus' prayer makes no sense. The whole gospel makes no sense

    We do. I've pointed out the difference and it is because of the problematics, that we have to understand and then either balance, abandon, or relegate. For me, I'd still rather think that God knows what He is doing rather than think in some misguided-ineffectual love, that He doesn't have much of an idea. In the end, I have to be careful not to read 'my comfort' into how I will view Him. He says often He is in control so I know it is true. By faith then, when such doesn't look quite right, I rather question my understanding rather than asserting some truth about God that I believe scriptures nor His character allows.

    Sanders, one who is one of the starters of Open Theism, rightly assesses that in Open Theism, God must be seen as 'making mistakes' throughout His working with man. I don't believe any Open Theist can escape that logical conclusion. Sanders recognized it as true and embraced it as part of his Open Theism and insisted that if one were an Open Theist, he/she would have to come to the same logical conclusion. I've never seen a logical way out of it, it is a major proponent of Open Theism. -Lon
    You're in the weeds, Lon. Sanders is trying to understand how this plays out, and he struggles to understand it. I do too. But it is the only meaningful theology as far as I can tell. It is the only one that is consistent with what God has told us about Himself--not the mistakes, as that's Sander's way of explaining it. (We could call that "trial and error theism".) But if God might actually have to fight against evil, to overcome evil with good, that presupposes something God made was evil (Calvinism), OR it presupposes that something God made was able to do evil, to author sin, without God having to author it, without God having to pre-ordain it, since it (the sin) and he (the something able to do evil) were not around when God made all these decisions.

  9. #53
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    You are distancing yourself from the Westminster Confession, which advocates for double predestination. Here's RC Sproul's take on it (a great read!): https://www.ligonier.org/learn/artic...redestination/, and a poignant excerpt from it:

    I once heard the case for “single” predestination articulated by a prominent Lutheran theologian in the above manner. He admitted to me that the conclusion of reprobation was logically inescapable, but he refused to draw the inference, holding steadfastly to “single” predestination. Such a notion of predestination is manifest nonsense.
    As I addressed, those who stumble are thus either going to stumble or stand upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, if this means 'purposefully' predestining to hell, then it is 'grace' that has done so. I've no idea how anyone can reject so great a gift, but we see those who despise the cross, even on TOL: The urantians, for one, the atheists as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Sometimes He does. [Gen 6:7 KJV] And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast...
    Genesis 6:8 is "nacham" - 'to sigh' "Repent" is a translators impression.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    But He didn't originally: ...for it repenteth me that I have made them.
    This was after He called it all "very good". Something changed. Something went from good to bad. If God had ordained it to go bad, then it's not really bad, it's according to His will, and that can only be good, right?
    No, this is a caricature of Calvinist misunderstanding. Ordaining doesn't mean 'desires' nor that ordination of something is bad. Again, there is nothing inherently wrong (cannot be) with the Lord Jesus Christ's sacrifice and salvation. Try this: Is it evil to have roads? Answer: Nope. We know people will continue to be killed on roads. We 'could' tear down all our roads to 'save' people. "Blame" is always in the eye of the beholder when trying to do so against God. Doing the loving thing? Nope. I guess we have a Westernized sue-happy mindset because everybody always wants to hang a Calvinist. Well, I'll hang, but not because I'm guilty. I'm not and such efforts will never plant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    "He didn't originally". Quite a biblical concept, yes?
    Who said 'didn't originally'?
    Let's say a Calvinist said it: none but God is foreknowing. We get a huge inkling that something will turn out a certain way, for instance, that the sun will arise tomorrow, but only the God who owns the whole of all creation, would/could have foreknowledge. For us "didn't originally' doesn't mean God. I've proved this point. I realize an Open Theist is stuck on what I believe is a poorer translation, but I truly believe one who studies languages would have a terrible time becoming an open theist. It is against Greek/Hebrew meanings. Only English translations and inexact language leads to such notions. Hebrew (in this case) merely says: Genesis 6:9 "nacham" - 'sighed.'
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Actually "when" is very important. And I think we're still talking about the same thing--the "when" of the purposing. Calvinism says that God purposes all things from before time began:

    From the Westminster Confession:
    CHAPTER 3
    Of God's Eternal Decree
    1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass

    So now that we've established what God ordained and when He ordained it, let's look at the other agents involved. There's man....No, that's no good, no man existed. There's Satan and other devils....No that's no good, they didn't exist either. In fact, no one--no other agent existed at the time God ordained that some men would commit heinous sins, and others commit not so heinous but still unacceptable sins.
    As I previously said, the same rain that causes the righteous to flourish righteously, causes those who will stumble to stumble. Is 'rain' bad? No. It simply grows desirable and undesirable plants to grow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    One way that God could ordain such sins is if He let them occur for a greater purpose. But, unless God is able to look into the future to see what His creation will do (Arminianism), He must create creatures with a predisposition to sin in the way that He ordains will happen. He CAN'T rely on a predisposition of a creature He has not yet created--He must create the predisposition for that creature to sin, in order to KNOW that the creature will both have that predisposition and follow through on that predisposition, i.e.: sin. Thus, the timing is extremely important--if God decides before you are born that you are going to become a tyrant and wipe out millions of people, then God authors that sin in you--there was no one else around to blame it on when it was decided you would sin in what way. Whatsoever comes to pass...from all eternity.
    So I see/know that rain will cause good plants and weeds to grow. Ordaining rain is not and can never become an indictment. Rain causes weeds to flourish. Neither in Calvinism, nor Arminian, nor even at the exact happening, when Open Theists KNOW God is causing weeds to flourish by raining (allowing) even during the very act of atrocity. No Open Theist EVER escapes such by his/her own admissions and logic. Even you, if you are truly an Open Theist, MUST admit that God allows the person to exist. Wouldn't it be terrible if I accused you of believing that, because of it, God "WANTS" it to happen? I believe this is a terrible indictment against Calvinism simply because the log, truly, in your own theological eye, is as large if not larger. It simply hasn't been removed. Matthew 7:3-5
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    There is no mercy, as destiny is preestablished. There is no sacrificial love, as nothing is sacrificed. There is only God's eternal purpose, which is retroactively defined as "whatsoever comes to pass". Perhaps there isn't even any sin, as sin suggests that someone can do something that God did not will them to, but God ordained all actions, all thoughts.
    I've shown this to be incorrect. The cross, itself, a wonderful good thing, causes some to build, others to stumble. We've seen those who despise the cross on this very website, atheists and urantians and ....[/QUOTE] To me? Horrible accusation. As above I can easily show you how this 'might' apply to Open Theism just as readily. I believe it unjust and inaccurate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Actually he doesn't say "evil happens." He says "God makes evil happen but God is Holy." But he knows that sounds bad, so he goes on to say,
    Try not to get hung up on wording.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    What kind of love is it that wants none to perish but lets some do so, when He decided before they existed what they would do?
    In the parable of the wheat and the tares, people are the tares. The Lord didn't plant the tares. Where did they come from? The enemy sowed them. I'm trying to explain to nonCalvinists where I think they need to read and understand their scriptures, at least from the Calvinists bible readings. Try also to think through your own Open Theism: In it, Open Theists are FULLY aware that few are saved. They know God is aware few are going to be saved. How heartless, under Open Theism, would it be to not care who those many many were? I'm convinced Open Theists are not trying to make God look callous, but on the other hand, it'd be awesome of nonCalvinists didn't try to second-guess the Calvinist either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    In Calvinism, God CAUSES atrocity. You seem ok with the OT view that God allows it--for a time--but are hesitant to express the Calvinist view, that He wanted it--from all time.
    Again, Ordination is NOT desirous. I'm convinced somebody didn't explain this well or you didn't get it. You missed way too much (not a slam, just seeing this and pointing it out).


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Calvinist: He causes the wheat. He causes the tares. He causes the just and unjust, and then causes rain to fall on them somewhat equally.
    He causes the 'growth' and existence. The enemy made/planted the tares (people).
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    But who else can tell the difference, since He also causes us to be discerning or not. He causes us to sin, and He causes us to hate sin.
    According to whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    He causes us to hate atrocity, yet He causes that same atrocity. Thus He is causing us to hate His own works, at the same time that He complains when we don't recognize His works and glorify Him.
    As above, I'm convinced no Calvinist was able to explain this to you, or you didn't get it. Atrocity is the cause of the evil sower in the parable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    You'd rather be seen by whom?
    Wrong question: I'd rather be seen 'how.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    If God ordains from all eternity that you will see God a particular way, and He ordains that from all eternity I will see Him a different way, what difference does it make?
    Let me be clearer: a God who is consistent, if evil, would be better than inept, making mistakes. I'm simply placing the objections against Calvinism and Open Theism sidebyside.

    If God ordains everything that happens, based purely on what He is planning to do, and then He calls some of it sin and tries to eradicate it, then Jesus was not just speaking of Beelzebul's kingdom being divided against itself, He's speaking of His own kingdom.
    This is naught but an accusation against your own understanding, not against Calvinism. As I said, God clearly ordains evil in the Open Theist world. He sees, at the time of atrocity with no 'apparent' intervention (similar accusation against the Calvinist). What is the point? Why NOT be Calvinist at that point when the converse is a God who is inept and clueless? Open Theism literally tries to exonerate God by being 'unaware.' He certainly is not, under Open Theism, thus Open Theism's objective fails. It does no good simply to deny the logical reality that God is all in all. It wasn't the Greeks that thought this about God. It was the Jews. The Jews believed all these. Jesus preached God's omnis. It is a grave mistake by Open Theists 1) to think they need a Omni-less God, and 2) to think their solution theological stance, works. It frankly, doesn't. It is wrought with not only the exact same thing, but adds to it, human frailties attributed to God Almighty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    For sin to exist, there has to be another agent that whose actions are NOT completely ordained by God in all eternity, in order that God is not merely fighting against Himself. To allow for another agent, that can go against what God says, is to allow for an open-theistic view.
    Wrong. God saw, the MOMENT the serpent entered the Garden and easily could have stopped this whole mess. Try not to make apologies for God. That's presumptuous. Open Theists must learn to see and think through the gaping holes in their own theology position. This position is dualism and creates a yin/yang universe where evil is as viable as God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    And I think you're saying that if God does NOT cause everything and have it all worked out from all eternity, then He is inept. Thus you've put God on the horns of a dilemma--He can only fit in your god-mold, He can't even tell you what He's like. He can't tell you how His sovereignty plays out--that some will stay rebellious despite His best and most perfect efforts to help them.
    Worse, I'm saying the scriptures that portray Him say He IS in control. Lamentations 3:37 (Enyart discounts Lamentations as uninspired, don't make his mistake). Genesis 50:20 Romans 8:20


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    In other words, there is a place where God's will is done (heaven), and there's a place where we pray that it will be done (on earth). If God is so sovereign that His will is never NOT done, Jesus' prayer makes no sense. The whole gospel makes no sense
    We have an atheist on TOL specifically because God DID NOT hold up the towers while fireman and policemen were trying to get people out. Question, did or did not God answer his prayer? He said 'no' and no longer wants to believe in God.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    You're in the weeds, Lon. Sanders is trying to understand how this plays out, and he struggles to understand it. I do too. But it is the only meaningful theology as far as I can tell. It is the only one that is consistent with what God has told us about Himself--not the mistakes, as that's Sander's way of explaining it. (We could call that "trial and error theism".) But if God might actually have to fight against evil, to overcome evil with good, that presupposes something God made was evil (Calvinism), OR it presupposes that something God made was able to do evil, to author sin, without God having to author it, without God having to pre-ordain it, since it (the sin) and he (the something able to do evil) were not around when God made all these decisions.
    Not true. Even you here, have admitted that "God makes mistakes" by your Genesis quote. You think God 'repented' as if He made a mistake. I don't. I realize, of course, you believe this is the only theology that makes sense, but I hope you realize by and by, that it merely moves goal posts and never answers a single indictment, just tries to avoid them, and imho, not really delivering at all.
    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 way 2 go View Post
    If I'm understanding you correctly you are saying people are predestining themselves
    IF GOD offered a choice of options with a choice of consequences, ie, to choose to put their faith in HIM to end in holiness or to reject to put their faith in HIM to end in corruption and condemnation, Who chooses their fate? GOD does because HE offered their fates to them or they do because they chose which option they wanted from that which GOD offered?

    It's a bit of a collaboration isn't it? This is what I believe brought GOD to choose some for heaven, ie, election, and passed over others for non-election, ie to hell. Election was a collaboration: HE set up the system, we plugged into it by our free will and HE has honoured our free will choices perfectly...

    and the only place this breaks down is if election is confused with salvation and what is written about sinful elect who do not have a free will is applied to the doctrine of election as if salvation and election are the same thing. They are not!

    Election was the promise to save those HE chose to be conformed to HIS Son and to be His Bride...Salvation is the process of the fulfillment of the election promise in those elect who rebelled against HIS plans for them and became sinful needing redemption to fulfill HIS promise to them.

    To claim we could not have chosen to accept HIS offer of heaven by choosing HIM as our GOD and then being elected to heaven on that premise, because as a sinner on earth we cannot make such a choice by a non-existent free will is meaningless because we were elected before the foundation of the world and made our choices then at the time the Son was chosen to be the Slain Lamb and the Satanic choose their fate in hell...

    Why would the restrictions on sinners on earth be considered to apply to people when innocent pre-earth?
    I Champion GOD’s holiness:
    - GOD did not need evil so did not create evil for any reason.
    - All evil is creature-created.

    I Champion Our Free will:
    - All spirits created in HIS image had an equal ability and opportunity to choose either heaven or hell by their free will.

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    People are just repeating the same argument between the Pharisees and Essenes.

    Predestination is an ancient Jewish concept back in Jesus/Paul's days.

    The Essenes, more like today's Calvinists, believe in absolute predestination and thus no actual freewill. While the Sadducees are those believe in absolute freewill with no predestination.
    The Pharisees stand in between. That is, predestination can harmonize with freewill in a form.

    That being said. Paul is a Pharisee. He meant what he said in his letters. Basically the reckoned OT interpretation is Pharisaic in nature (perhaps that's why Paul is chosen). The yeast of the Pharisees is not in the OT theology itself or Pharisaic school of thoughts, it is in the rejection of NT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkins View Post
    The Pharisees stand in between. That is, predestination can harmonize with freewill in a form.
    Of course. By our free will we enter into HIS predestination of us to be HIS Bride.

    GOD's offered choice:
    - put your faith in ME as your GOD and in MY Son and I promise you will be MY Bride in a heavenly communion even if you need to be saved from any and all future sin. I will choose you to this purpose.

    - Refuse to put your faith in ME as your GOD and you will be sinning the unforgivable sin, putting yourself outside of MY loving grace and mercy forever. This will make yourselves to be eternally sinful, unable to ever be MY Bride, necessitating your banishment to the outer darkness for eternity.

    Everyone created in HIS image chose by their free will where to put their faith, IN YHWH as their GOD or in their own idea that HE was a false god and a liar, thus condemning themselves (Jn 3:18).

    Those who put their faith in HIM, who later sinned, were never condemned (Jn 3:18) since they were predestined by the election promise to be with HIM in the heavenly marriage. Thus I contend against the blasphemous UNconditional election doctrine and find the condition of our election in our faith in HIM and the condition of the damned in their rejecting HIM as an object of faith. WE chose our FATE by our free will; HE then gave us predetermined / predestined LIVES to perfectly fulfill HIS election promise of salvation in every elect (good seed) who later chose to be sinful in HIS sight. Free will and predestination in perfect unity and harmony.

    The fact that we are sinners at conception does not mitigate this free will choice in the least because our conception is NOT our creation and these choices were made pre-sin in the Spirit world pre-earth from which place all sinners are sowed into the world by their respective faithers: Matt 13:36-39.
    I Champion GOD’s holiness:
    - GOD did not need evil so did not create evil for any reason.
    - All evil is creature-created.

    I Champion Our Free will:
    - All spirits created in HIS image had an equal ability and opportunity to choose either heaven or hell by their free will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by way 2 go View Post




    If I'm understanding you correctly you are saying people are predestining themselves
    Satan's original lie presented to A&E, was exactly the promise of such. Genesis 3:1-5

    It was not true. It was a lie then, and remains the same lie presented to all men today.

    Man is incapable of determining ("choosing") his own fate. God alone created all and God alone determines the end of all.

    . . period . .
    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
    Gordon H. Clark

    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post
    Satan's original lie presented to A&E, was exactly the promise of such. Genesis 3:1-5
    What lie?
    Do we believe in the state of eternal life for the elect? Then Eve could not die could she? Her body would die but SHE WOULD NOT! Apparently both the serpent and Eve knew she as an elect! IF "Thou shalt not die!" is NOT a lie, then our understanding of the whole story must shift a little. Her not dying was the truth but it was a truth used to deceive her into bodily death by enticing her to disobedience. Safe (no consequences) disobedience was the lie, not her NOT being liable to death.

    WE know it was not a lie but did they know? Why not? Because Eve was a newly created innocent, a tabula rasa, a know nothing at all? IF so, then why did YHWH not discuss with her the dangers the serpent presented? Why did HE even allow the serpent access to her? HIS reaction to the serpent could be construed as a very unloving thing to do with HIS newly created innocent elect member of HIS Church, HIS Bride ! since HE obviously knew she would obviously be deceived and defiled by the serpent's evil intent.

    So I ask, "Why would GOD treat Eve so? Why permit her to go through this experience with the serpent and be deceived and defiled? Side questions would be: Why did the Church ignore this pov and doddle along as if Satan was lying about her not dying? It is like even though they knew she was elect and predestined to be HIS Bride they just had to call the serpent's words, "Thou shalt not die!" a lie because she used them to break the law.

    This reminds me of 1 Timothy 1:9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful...etc, etc. Why were Adam and Eve given a command if they were righteous in their innocence when the law is only given to sinners to convict them of sin? Romans 3:20 Therefore no one will be justified in His sight by works of the Law. For the Law merely brings awareness of / convicts of sin. ?? Awareness is 1922 epígnōsis "knowledge gained through first-hand relationship".

    When this verse is applied to Adam and Eve It would seem to say that they were already sinful even though they had not eaten yet and the command was given to bring them to the awareness, the knowledge gained through first-hand experience, that they were sinners. The reference to their not being ashamed is weird if they have nothing to be ashamed of, ie they were just created in innocence, BUT if they were indeed sinful but thought that they were righteous ( as most sinners think) then having their eyes opened to their sinfulness by breaking the command not to eat, they realized their sinfulness and became ashamed.

    While naked is a metaphor used in the Bible for sinfulness, it is notable that the word chosen to refer to their nakedness is the same word used to describe the evil of the serpent's cunning, ie, it is a homonym, one word with two meanings. The vowel marks that differentiate the word naked from the word cunning were added by the Masoretes ç600AD. Thus Genesis 2:25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. could be as easily read: Genesis 2:25 Adam and his wife were both cunning in an evil way, but they felt no shame. The choice of which reading to accept is a theological choice, driven by the theology, NOT the word it self!!

    So, if we limit ourselves to just these hints (ignoring the others) that Adam and Evil were already sinful in the garden before eating, we can see an obvious reason for GOD allowing the evil serpent access to HIS not so innocent daughter ie, to open her eyes to her sinfulness so she could become ashamed, repent and come to Christ. Neither is it too far a leap to suggest her sin before eating had to do with her willingness to accept the serpent as a mentor or even a pastor and to follow his logic into disobedience in her idolatry, opening her eyes to his total lack of caring for her, that to him she was only a pawn in his game against GOD.

    After letting him trick her with the truth out of Paradise, you can bet that she never gave him another opportunity to defile her again and was quite willing to see him damned and condemned out of her life. This is the story of all the elect, the lesson we are to learn writ large in the first story of the Bible; the serpent is a liar, we are sinners and we will never return to Paradise until the demons are all banished to the outer darkness. This is gone over again in the parable of the sinful but elect (good) seed, Matt 13:24-29 with the explanation in verses 36-43.
    Last edited by ttruscott; May 9th, 2019 at 05:07 PM.
    I Champion GOD’s holiness:
    - GOD did not need evil so did not create evil for any reason.
    - All evil is creature-created.

    I Champion Our Free will:
    - All spirits created in HIS image had an equal ability and opportunity to choose either heaven or hell by their free will.

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    These are all good discussion points, Lon, but I think we are talking past each other. I'll try to point out the different instances below, but I want to address the big one up front here.

    My point on the different agents is a little complicated, but please bear with me as I try to explain it again.

    When God decide to create the creation (I use this because it includes angels, Satan, people, and animals--all persons and things that were created), He decided this based on His own understanding of what would happen--I think we both agree up to this point. But what He was creating had to have been malleable at this time--when He was deciding what to create. (I'll leave for another discussion the idea that at one point God was NOT planning on creating and at a next point, He had changed His mind.)

    So, when He decided to create the first man, but before He created him, in order for Him to know what man would do (sin or not sin), He would have had to create Him in the way that no other outcome would come to pass. He would create him with a sin nature, or great temptations beyond his ability to resist, or some such where there was no possibility that he would NOT sin. But He couldn't know what man was going to do by any other mechanism. He could NOT know by looking into the future to see what man would do, UNLESS the future exists as a separate entity from God--if the future is "everlasting" and has always been.

    Maybe God knew he would sin because Satan would be there tempting him to sin.

    Ok, how did God KNOW Satan would be there tempting Adam and Eve to sin? Because He was going to create Satan, too. But the same dilemma exists with Satan. How did God KNOW Satan would be there to tempt man in the Garden? I'm assuming here that tempting anyone to sin is morally wrong, and God does not do so, He tells us. So, in order to know that Satan would fall, God would have had to instill in Satan the lust for power, unless there's some other entity that God created before Satan that God knew would tempt Satan beyond his ability to resist.

    You're no doubt starting to see the infinite regression raising its ugly head. And the reason is that only an independent agent can sin against God. Obviously you will realize that neither man nor Satan is an independent agent--both were created by God. But God could have created man or Satan to be independent once they were created.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    As I addressed, those who stumble are thus either going to stumble or stand upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, if this means 'purposefully' predestining to hell, then it is 'grace' that has done so. I've no idea how anyone can reject so great a gift, but we see those who despise the cross, even on TOL: The urantians, for one, the atheists as well.
    Genesis 6:8 is "nacham" - 'to sigh' "Repent" is a translators impression.

    No, this is a caricature of Calvinist misunderstanding. Ordaining doesn't mean 'desires' nor that ordination of something is bad. Again, there is nothing inherently wrong (cannot be) with the Lord Jesus Christ's sacrifice and salvation. Try this: Is it evil to have roads? Answer: Nope. We know people will continue to be killed on roads. We 'could' tear down all our roads to 'save' people. "Blame" is always in the eye of the beholder when trying to do so against God. Doing the loving thing? Nope. I guess we have a Westernized sue-happy mindset because everybody always wants to hang a Calvinist. Well, I'll hang, but not because I'm guilty. I'm not and such efforts will never plant.

    Who said 'didn't originally'?
    God. He gave us His narration of the creation story, and in it He said it was all "very good". He didn't want to destroy the people and animals originally. Then He did want to, else He wouldn't have done it--certainly no one could actually FORCE Him to destroy, could they? (Warning: Trick Question alert!)

    Let's say a Calvinist said it: none but God is foreknowing. We get a huge inkling that something will turn out a certain way, for instance, that the sun will arise tomorrow, but only the God who owns the whole of all creation, would/could have foreknowledge. For us "didn't originally' doesn't mean God. I've proved this point. I realize an Open Theist is stuck on what I believe is a poorer translation, but I truly believe one who studies languages would have a terrible time becoming an open theist. It is against Greek/Hebrew meanings. Only English translations and inexact language leads to such notions. Hebrew (in this case) merely says: Genesis 6:9 "nacham" - 'sighed.'
    Yes, I know you've said this before, but the whole premise is that God must have already planned to destroy the world with the flood even while He called it "very good", if you are correct. And not only that, but He planned to destroy the world even before He made it. Thus, He was making something He would have to destroy because it was "very bad", but at the same time calling it "very good". And if the people or other entities that made it very bad (I think you'll agree with me that some entities other than God made it very bad), were not around when God was deciding to make it in a very good way and already knowing it was going to be very bad, then God must have made them with very bad intentions, else how did He know it was going to become very bad? Remember that Calvinism doesn't allow that God knows because He can look forward in time and see the results--He knows because He ordains.

    As I previously said, the same rain that causes the righteous to flourish righteously, causes those who will stumble to stumble. Is 'rain' bad? No. It simply grows desirable and undesirable plants to grow.
    Somebody had to make the bad ones bad. The rain bit is a non-sequitor, as it is only dealing with the events AFTER some people became bad.

    There are three possibilities as to who made some people bad:
    1. God made them bad
    2. the people made themselves bad
    3. Satan made them bad

    I think you would reject #1, but if God is working from a KNOWLEDGE of their future badness without needing the KNOWLEDGE that they are going to turn bad on their own, then He must be working from the KNOWLEDGE based on what He is causing to happen.

    I vote for #2. This happened 1st when Adam and Eve ate from the wrong tree, and continued with Cain: [Gen 4:7 KJV] If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

    #3 doesn't make sense. But even if it did, the question goes back to Satan's change from good to bad. He was made good, and he became bad. Who made him bad? God? Satan, himself? or some other entity we don't know about?


    So I see/know that rain will cause good plants and weeds to grow.
    Only--surely you will agree with me here--ONLY if there are already good plants and weeds in existence already. This is why this discussion has to be about what happened BEFORE good plants and weeds (good and bad people) existed. The discussion is about what God MADE, not about what He rained on.



    I've shown this to be incorrect. The cross, itself, a wonderful good thing, causes some to build, others to stumble. We've seen those who despise the cross on this very website, atheists and urantians and .... To me? Horrible accusation. As above I can easily show you how this 'might' apply to Open Theism just as readily. I believe it unjust and inaccurate.
    Which part is incorrect? That God ordained all actions and all thoughts? Or that Calvinism does away with sin? The latter is just a consequence of the former. Don't complain to me, talk to Calvin.


    Try not to get hung up on wording.
    Just like you were getting hung up on Sanders' "mistake" wording? I disagree with Sanders in that I don't think God made or makes mistakes, ever. But that doesn't mean all of what Sanders is saying is wrong. I'm just not getting hung up on his wording. (I don't think Calvin was 100% wrong, either, by the way. He just applied his view over-broadly.)

    The concepts, however, are expressed by the words. The concept is that God ordained all things before God made any of the people involved with those things. If "all things" really means "all things", and if He isn't ordaining them based on some power to see/know what happens in the future, then He is ordaining all things based purely on His intentions to bring all of those things to pass:


    CHAPTER 3
    Of God's Eternal Decree
    2. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions, yet hath he not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.



    Are you suggesting that God doesn't really ordain all things (see above) or are you suggesting that He didn't ordain them all from all eternity (see below)? Which part of Calvinism do you disagree with?


    1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.



    In the parable of the wheat and the tares, people are the tares. The Lord didn't plant the tares. Where did they come from? The enemy sowed them. I'm trying to explain to nonCalvinists where I think they need to read and understand their scriptures, at least from the Calvinists bible readings. Try also to think through your own Open Theism: In it, Open Theists are FULLY aware that few are saved. They know God is aware few are going to be saved. How heartless, under Open Theism, would it be to not care who those many many were? I'm convinced Open Theists are not trying to make God look callous, but on the other hand, it'd be awesome of nonCalvinists didn't try to second-guess the Calvinist either.
    What does it mean to sow something you didn't create? Satan didn't create the people!!! And it doesn't tell us that Satan actually made them tares, at least in that passage. You keep trying to discuss events that happened AFTER God must have predestined, but the whole thread here is about what happened prior to and during--while nobody was yet in existence. God must have, according to Calvinism, predestined some people both to sin and be punished for their sin without any hope of escape. Calvinism without double-predestination is not really Calvinism. Refering back to Sproul's article:
    'Thus, “single” predestination can be consistently maintained only within the framework of universalism or some sort of qualified Arminianism.'

    And Sproul is merely reiterating what Calvin said (from his Institutes):"Yet no one can deny that God foreknew what end man was to have before he created him, and consequently foreknew because he so ordained by his decree."
    Calvin also said: "And it ought not to seem absurd for me to say that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his descendants, but also meted it out in accordance with his own decision."

    Again, Ordination is NOT desirous. I'm convinced somebody didn't explain this well or you didn't get it. You missed way too much (not a slam, just seeing this and pointing it out).
    Here's how they explained it to me:

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

    If this verse is used correctly to say that God knows all things ("the end") from the beginning, then those things that He knows must be His "counsel", and His "pleasure". That's "desirous". Are you now saying Is 46:10 should NOT be used against open theism? It would be a welcome admission.

    As above, I'm convinced no Calvinist was able to explain this to you, or you didn't get it. Atrocity is the cause of the evil sower in the parable.
    I'm able to understand your statement here in two ways.

    1. You mean that "Atrocity is caused by the evil sower in the parable." Which means that the evil sower, who was also made by God is now working against God, but God made him that way, since God ordained him to be that way from all eternity
    2. You mean that "Atrocity caused the evil sower in the parable." Which means that atrocity is the means by which God made the evil sower evil. I don't think this is your intention.



    Wrong question: I'd rather be seen 'how.'

    Let me be clearer: a God who is consistent, if evil, would be better than inept, making mistakes. I'm simply placing the objections against Calvinism and Open Theism sidebyside.

    This is naught but an accusation against your own understanding, not against Calvinism. As I said, God clearly ordains evil in the Open Theist world. He sees, at the time of atrocity with no 'apparent' intervention (similar accusation against the Calvinist). What is the point? Why NOT be Calvinist at that point when the converse is a God who is inept and clueless? Open Theism literally tries to exonerate God by being 'unaware.' He certainly is not, under Open Theism, thus Open Theism's objective fails. It does no good simply to deny the logical reality that God is all in all. It wasn't the Greeks that thought this about God. It was the Jews. The Jews believed all these. Jesus preached God's omnis. It is a grave mistake by Open Theists 1) to think they need a Omni-less God, and 2) to think their solution theological stance, works. It frankly, doesn't. It is wrought with not only the exact same thing, but adds to it, human frailties attributed to God Almighty.

    Wrong. God saw, the MOMENT the serpent entered the Garden and easily could have stopped this whole mess. Try not to make apologies for God. That's presumptuous. Open Theists must learn to see and think through the gaping holes in their own theology position. This position is dualism and creates a yin/yang universe where evil is as viable as God.
    Well, I guess if I can caricature Calvinism, you may do the same with open theism. You keep going back to the mistake theme from Sanders. My best attempt to get you past that is to say that I'm not a "Sandersist". I know that makes it harder for you to poke holes, since I don't have an Open Theism confession, but can you get past what Sanders and others may have inaccurately and unwisely stated and deal with what I'm stating?

    I'm not saying God is inept and clueless. I'm not saying He makes mistakes. I'm saying that in order for Him to create a being that is personal and relational, He has to create a being that is fallible. And then He has to deal with the mess that being makes. He could have done that by destroying Adam and Eve, but instead He showed great love and extended them great mercy in the form of a promise of a savior to come--from man's own kind and of woman's seed. Everything from then on was a balance of destroying evil without destroying the means He had already decided to use to restore man to Him. This may have indeed led to the yin-yang ideas, because we don't currently see the final product, but I trust that we will some day, and it is already becoming apparent how He will accomplish both the destruction of the evil and the preservation of man.



    Worse, I'm saying the scriptures that portray Him say He IS in control. Lamentations 3:37 (Enyart discounts Lamentations as uninspired, don't make his mistake). Genesis 50:20 Romans 8:20
    How about [Isa 54:15 KJV] Behold, they shall surely gather together, [but] not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.

    Can someone gather but not by God? Yes, they can, according to Isaiah. But will they be successful? Only until He causes them to "fall for thy sake". Lam 3:37 confirms that there are those who don't want to do what God wants them to do. And they are only successful as far as God let's them be successful. But that only works if first there are people who want what God doesn't want them to want. And that's impossible if God instilled in them all of their wants in the first place. Lam 3:37 is open theistic at its core, and anti-calvinistic. So is Is 46:10. So is Gen 50:20 and Rom 8:20. If it's possible to have an untoward thought or mean something for evil, then Calvinism falls.


    We have an atheist on TOL specifically because God DID NOT hold up the towers while fireman and policemen were trying to get people out. Question, did or did not God answer his prayer? He said 'no' and no longer wants to believe in God.
    He's a fool.


    Not true. Even you here, have admitted that "God makes mistakes" by your Genesis quote. You think God 'repented' as if He made a mistake. I don't. I realize, of course, you believe this is the only theology that makes sense, but I hope you realize by and by, that it merely moves goal posts and never answers a single indictment, just tries to avoid them, and imho, not really delivering at all.
    I don't think I admitted any such thing. What I said was that at one time God said everything He made was good and later on it was bad enough that He wanted to destroy much of it. That's not a mistake. That's a consequence of sin. Calvinism says it is a consequence of the inner workings of God's mind, and which we can't know, so we just have to keep our theology the same and never falter, despite the word of God saying something different. That's bogus. That's man's wisdom. But God tells us the truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    These are all good discussion points, Lon, but I think we are talking past each other. I'll try to point out the different instances below, but I want to address the big one up front here.

    My point on the different agents is a little complicated, but please bear with me as I try to explain it again.

    When God decide to create the creation (I use this because it includes angels, Satan, people, and animals--all persons and things that were created), He decided this based on His own understanding of what would happen--I think we both agree up to this point. But what He was creating had to have been malleable at this time--when He was deciding what to create. (I'll leave for another discussion the idea that at one point God was NOT planning on creating and at a next point, He had changed His mind.)

    So, when He decided to create the first man, but before He created him, in order for Him to know what man would do (sin or not sin), He would have had to create Him in the way that no other outcome would come to pass. He would create him with a sin nature, or great temptations beyond his ability to resist, or some such where there was no possibility that he would NOT sin. But He couldn't know what man was going to do by any other mechanism. He could NOT know by looking into the future to see what man would do, UNLESS the future exists as a separate entity from God--if the future is "everlasting" and has always been.

    Maybe God knew he would sin because Satan would be there tempting him to sin.

    Ok, how did God KNOW Satan would be there tempting Adam and Eve to sin? Because He was going to create Satan, too. But the same dilemma exists with Satan. How did God KNOW Satan would be there to tempt man in the Garden? I'm assuming here that tempting anyone to sin is morally wrong, and God does not do so, He tells us. So, in order to know that Satan would fall, God would have had to instill in Satan the lust for power, unless there's some other entity that God created before Satan that God knew would tempt Satan beyond his ability to resist.

    You're no doubt starting to see the infinite regression raising its ugly head. And the reason is that only an independent agent can sin against God. Obviously you will realize that neither man nor Satan is an independent agent--both were created by God. But God could have created man or Satan to be independent once they were created.
    Such is suppositional. For me, God is "Infinitely" smarter, as well as wiser, than I. I can tell you, by the logic of your own box, you are hemming yourself into one logical conclusion. Many Open Theists I've met do this, but don't seem to realize there is an incredible amount of data outside their boxes. In this scenario, it really is only 'true if you want it to be.' What I mean is, if by our propositions, we eliminate all else, including what is possible or otherwise probable, then our boxes of theology work.

    For your later discussion, you inadvertently have 'Fate' having control of God. Whatever is 'out of God's hands' is able to, for however long, to 'thwart' God. Certainly God was there when the Serpent was tempting Eve. He did not stop it. Point: every answer is inadequate and thus the whole premise of the Open theoretical is, for me, a failed attempt. It simply shades the question trying to make it go away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    He gave us His narration of the creation story, and in it He said it was all "very good". He didn't want to destroy the people and animals originally. Then He did want to, else He wouldn't have done it--certainly no one could actually FORCE Him to destroy, could they? (Warning: Trick Question alert!)

    Yes, I know you've said this before, but the whole premise is that God must have already planned to destroy the world with the flood even while He called it "very good", if you are correct. And not only that, but He planned to destroy the world even before He made it. Thus, He was making something He would have to destroy because it was "very bad", but at the same time calling it "very good". And if the people or other entities that made it very bad (I think you'll agree with me that some entities other than God made it very bad), were not around when God was deciding to make it in a very good way and already knowing it was going to be very bad, then God must have made them with very bad intentions, else how did He know it was going to become very bad? Remember that Calvinism doesn't allow that God knows because He can look forward in time and see the results--He knows because He ordains.
    No, that's why I have a problem with Open Theism: Too simplistic of questions and answers. They simply do not work. Good is 'good' until it isn't. Creation 'was' good. Now it isn't. God saw the temptation. If He wanted it stopped and creation to go on as 'good' He could have. Romans 9, for me, is very clear. The parable of the wheat and tares is clear enough. Calvinism, for me, fits best the way scripture makes sense. All He does is good. I don't believe you can ever find a Calvinist that would say there is any wickedness in God. If so, they are out of the faith. Matthew 10:18 1 John 1:5
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Somebody had to make the bad ones bad. The rain bit is a non-sequitor, as it is only dealing with the events AFTER some people became bad.
    Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43 Isaiah 44:8,45:5 Romans 9 comes to mind, but there are questions I cannot answer nor am I needing to build a theology system based upon what I can muster by thought that 'must have been.' Saying "God was caught unaware" and thus "made a mistake" to me, is incredibly presumptuous. I never want my theology to try and make excuses for God if it slights Him in any way. He simply does not need me to apologize or explain for Him. What I 'can' do, is stand upon scriptures. Such is helped by knowing languages so we don't build false ideas off of translation conveyances. "God repented" is liberty with Hebrew "to sigh."

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    There are three possibilities as to who made some people bad:
    1. God made them bad
    2. the people made themselves bad
    3. Satan made them bad
    All three of your possibilities, inadvertently have God as responsible. Every Open Theist I've talked to, have said God made man that way (to choose his own destiny). Without realizing it, Open Theists become more than Calvinist. Surely you've seen this before. Every attempt at side-stepping from these questions/problems/accusations, amplifies the problem once they are brought under scrutiny.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    You woulld reject #1, but if God is working from a KNOWLEDGE of their future badness without needing the KNOWLEDGE that they are going to turn bad on their own, then He must be working from the KNOWLEDGE based on what He is causing to happen.
    Two things: one, you are scapegoating trying to pass the buck 'to that guy' and thinking you don't have to come up with an answer for the same accusation. God 'allowed' it to happen, under Open Theism such that you've gained nothing for becoming an Open Theist. The only thing the Open Theist does is 1) embrace something that 'makes sense to me' which isn't well thought out and 2) simply moves the goal post of 'when' God knows and subsequently 'allows' something. It helps not at all. I'd rather wrestle by not questioning the attributes of God given in the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I vote for #2. This happened 1st when Adam and Eve ate from the wrong tree, and continued with Cain: [Gen 4:7 KJV] If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
    First of all, God put that tree there. Was He negligent for doing so? Inept? Was it one of those "Oh, I shouldn't have put it there!" moments? Know what you are voting for as well as all the holes in such a theory. Something between us: I accept, by faith, that God is good, despite what any given situation looks like. Making God blind to happenings is 'less' relational. The Open premise has God unaware, then incapable of intervening, by their reasoning and explanation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    #3 doesn't make sense. But even if it did, the question goes back to Satan's change from good to bad. He was made good, and he became bad. Who made him bad? God? Satan, himself? or some other entity we don't know about?
    I don't know. Again, it is the strength of my theological stance, that I don't have to know, nor worry about the answer. I know, emphatically Hebrews 11:6 Trying then, to answer with a rationalized answer isn't what is best for me. It is a rational faith, but God has not answered every single question.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Only--surely you will agree with me here--ONLY if there are already good plants and weeds in existence already. This is why this discussion has to be about what happened BEFORE good plants and weeds (good and bad people) existed. The discussion is about what God MADE, not about what He rained on.
    Most of what is evil, is a warping of what is good. You can eat dandelions. Planting them where they will kill and dwarf other plants is what makes them bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Which part is incorrect? That God ordained all actions and all thoughts? Or that Calvinism does away with sin? The latter is just a consequence of the former. Don't complain to me, talk to Calvin.
    Again, the cross is a loving action but He is a divider of those living and those perishing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Just like you were getting hung up on Sanders' "mistake" wording? I disagree with Sanders in that I don't think God made or makes mistakes, ever. But that doesn't mean all of what Sanders is saying is wrong. I'm just not getting hung up on his wording. (I don't think Calvin was 100% wrong, either, by the way. He just applied his view over-broadly.)
    As I've mentioned above on your #2 choice, it ultimately has God being too human for its apology and/or speculation for God. It just doesn't work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    The concepts, however, are expressed by the words. The concept is that God ordained all things before God made any of the people involved with those things. If "all things" really means "all things", and if He isn't ordaining them based on some power to see/know what happens in the future, then He is ordaining all things based purely on His intentions to bring all of those things to pass:


    CHAPTER 3
    Of God's Eternal Decree
    2. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions, yet hath he not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.



    Are you suggesting that God doesn't really ordain all things (see above) or are you suggesting that He didn't ordain them all from all eternity (see below)? Which part of Calvinism do you disagree with?
    Even in Open Theism, God ordains all, it is simply a matter of 'when' for them. God sees and can intervene, stop, etc. any time He desires. Because He does not? --> "Ordained" even in Open Theism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    What does it mean to sow something you didn't create? Satan didn't create the people!!! And it doesn't tell us that Satan actually made them tares, at least in that passage. You keep trying to discuss events that happened AFTER God must have predestined, but the whole thread here is about what happened prior to and during--while nobody was yet in existence. God must have, according to Calvinism, predestined some people both to sin and be punished for their sin without any hope of escape. Calvinism without double-predestination is not really Calvinism. Refering back to Sproul's article:
    'Thus, “single” predestination can be consistently maintained only within the framework of universalism or some sort of qualified Arminianism.'
    We often are accused of this, but the majority of Calvinists are of this persuasion. If the answer in thread is that most of us "aren't really Calvinists" then I guess that would be the subject of the next thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    And Sproul is merely reiterating what Calvin said (from his Institutes):"Yet no one can deny that God foreknew what end man was to have before he created him, and consequently foreknew because he so ordained by his decree."
    Calvin also said: "And it ought not to seem absurd for me to say that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his descendants, but also meted it out in accordance with his own decision."

    Here's how they explained it to me:

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

    If this verse is used correctly to say that God knows all things ("the end") from the beginning, then those things that He knows must be His "counsel", and His "pleasure". That's "desirous". Are you now saying Is 46:10 should NOT be used against open theism? It would be a welcome admission.
    The verse in question does stand against Open Theism. Again, I can do good things and they are good, REGARDLESS of what another does against those good acts. All God's acts are good. Look at it this way: God could have simply wiped out the world and started over, could have rewired man, or could have intervened to keep it from happening in the first place OR Open Theism strips God of His power, intelligence, goodness, and capability thus: "well-meaning, but inept." I realize you and others distance from Sanders, Boyd, and etc. but they logically faced the end of their logic systematics. For them, it was either embrace that, or have to embrace Calvinism terms.
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I'm able to understand your statement here in two ways.

    1. You mean that "Atrocity is caused by the evil sower in the parable." Which means that the evil sower, who was also made by God is now working against God, but God made him that way, since God ordained him to be that way from all eternity
    2. You mean that "Atrocity caused the evil sower in the parable." Which means that atrocity is the means by which God made the evil sower evil. I don't think this is your intention.
    It isn't my parable, it is the Lord Jesus Christ's AND it is His answer for how things are the way they are. A difference: I would like to struggle through for some logical end to the dilemma His parable causes, BUT He hadn't/hasn't addressed the problematic His parable brings to mind, nor has He done so in Genesis 3. "Enter the serpent" is as far as it has ever been addressed. We may have a description of Satan's fall in other passages, but I don't think this part necessary for this.



    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Well, I guess if I can caricature Calvinism, you may do the same with open theism. You keep going back to the mistake theme from Sanders. My best attempt to get you past that is to say that I'm not a "Sandersist". I know that makes it harder for you to poke holes, since I don't have an Open Theism confession, but can you get past what Sanders and others may have inaccurately and unwisely stated and deal with what I'm stating?
    I believe the logical end of Open Theism IS as Sanders agrees. However distant you desire to be, I don't believe any Open Theist 'can' escape the obvious conclusion Sanders gives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I'm not saying God is inept and clueless. I'm not saying He makes mistakes. I'm saying that in order for Him to create a being that is personal and relational, He has to create a being that is fallible.
    Well, that's a bit Calvinistic, really. Do you realize what you are saying here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    And then He has to deal with the mess that being makes. He could have done that by destroying Adam and Eve, but instead He showed great love and extended them great mercy in the form of a promise of a savior to come--from man's own kind and of woman's seed. Everything from then on was a balance of destroying evil without destroying the means He had already decided to use to restore man to Him. This may have indeed led to the yin-yang ideas, because we don't currently see the final product, but I trust that we will some day, and it is already becoming apparent how He will accomplish both the destruction of the evil and the preservation of man.
    Agree, but there is no need for the Open take. All of our theologies embrace this.



    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    How about [Isa 54:15 KJV] Behold, they shall surely gather together, [but] not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
    Ordination is not 'making' it happen. It is decreeing it like and thus: "So be it, this is what I will do." God is still in control, it is a matter of the order of things, but an Open Theist acquiesces this is God's universe most of the time. Such has biblical and logical consequences. Ordination doesn't mean "I made this happen." It DOES mean Colossians 1:17 "I sustained this by my power." Example/explanation: I create a car and gas. I ordained and sustained the driving actions thereof (especially in hindsight, for me).
    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Can someone gather but not by God? Yes, they can, according to Isaiah. But will they be successful? Only until He causes them to "fall for thy sake". Lam 3:37 confirms that there are those who don't want to do what God wants them to do. And they are only successful as far as God let's them be successful. But that only works if first there are people who want what God doesn't want them to want. And that's impossible if God instilled in them all of their wants in the first place.
    This describes the condition, but not 'how' such a condition was accomplished.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Lam 3:37 is open theistic at its core, and anti-calvinistic. So is Is 46:10. So is Gen 50:20 and Rom 8:20. If it's possible to have an untoward thought or mean something for evil, then Calvinism falls.
    ??? "Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?"
    You know decree = ordination? A few theological mistakes are caused by grammar, I'm convinced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    I don't think I admitted any such thing. What I said was that at one time God said everything He made was good and later on it was bad enough that He wanted to destroy much of it. That's not a mistake. That's a consequence of sin. Calvinism says it is a consequence of the inner workings of God's mind, and which we can't know, so we just have to keep our theology the same and never falter, despite the word of God saying something different. That's bogus. That's man's wisdom. But God tells us the truth.
    Again, the ONLY thing the Open Theist manages to escape, is putting things off for another day. That is, the whole premise of Open Theism is set up to avoid these. They invariably simply say "oh that's the Calvinist" or "Oh, that's the Arminian" and never fully realize "No, that's theology and you Open Theists are simply avoiding/putting off for tomorrow what you don't want to answer today."

    I see Open Theism as a 'putting it off for later or when I can sit down to think about it' theology. There are some slight of hand moves when trying to scapegoat, but it can never be seen as a viable theology when it avoids every single problem instead of hitting them head-on. There can be no 'Open Theology' without addressing instead of trying to sidestep what is impossible to sidestep. In the end, almost every question thrown at my theological doorstep will have to be first, understood to invariably apply equally to Open Theism, and second, will have to be adequately and sufficiently addressed by Open Theism. "God didn't know" is not the right answer.
    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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