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Thread: BATTLE TALK ~ BRX (rounds 1 thru 3)

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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Lightbulb BATTLE TALK ~ BRX (rounds 1 thru 3)

    Openness Theology - Does God Know Your Entire Future? - Battle Royale X
    S. Lamerson vs. B. Enyart

    Discuss BR X here!
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    TOL would like to thank our own "Jefferson" for helping to setup this epic battle!
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    Resident Atheist Zakath's Avatar
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    The first post is in and it looks interesting so far...

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    I (and the other TOL mods) are going to be deleting any off topic posts form this thread.

    This thread will be HIGHLY moderated and devoted to having a serious discussion about BR X.
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    Lamerson seems to have good background and a good attitude. He is to be commended. His spell checker seems to be working.

    I do not think he should limit himself to the Gospels, since many relevant passages are found in the OT (starting in Genesis). We need the whole teaching of Scripture and God's progressive revelation to understand this topic.

    Other issues that are pertinent include the nature of time/eternity/free will, etc. These may not be explicit in Scripture and will have to be approached from a logical/philosophical point of view (in addition to Scripture). Timelessness/'eternal now' will lead to different conclusions that and endless time/duration view of God's experience. Exhaustive foreknowledge of future free will contingencies must be shown to be a logical contradiction/absurdity. There will not be one proof text to do this.

    The issue with Peter and Judas involves proximal vs remote knowledge. We cannot extrapolate simple foreknowledge from these two examples. Alternate explanations are plausible, if not probable.

    Mt. 6:8 is not a common proof text for either position. Sam anticipates objections, but the most we can conclude is that God has perfect past and present knowledge. Extrapolating exhaustive foreknowledge of future free will contingencies from this text would be proof texting or eisegesis. It is not reasonable to assume that God knows specifically what we need from trillions of years ago before we existed. He is a providential Creator and does know our past, present, and future needs in general terms. He may know I need money to get out of debt, but His options are not limited to one predestined or foreknown course to meet that need. He may provide a job, but I may turn it down, creating a need for a different set of contingencies to meet my need.
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    I agree with godrulz. I don't understand why Dr. Lamerson feels the need to give his evidence based exclusively through the "lens" of Jesus. This seems odd to me. The very nature of God is key here. Pulling one's evidence from just a portion of time or scripture is too limiting for this kind of topic.
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    A good opening post for Dr. Lamerson. Some initial thoughts:

    1. Dr. Lamerson should focus on the Sciptures. I got a bit lost with "Boyd said this..." and "Sander's said that..." quotes. I have not read any writings by Boyd or Sanders so felt I was missing something.

    2. I liked the Peter example. I find it highy unlikely that Jesus "guessed" that Peter would deny him simply because Jesus knew Peter well.

    3. Dr Lamerson spells out exactly what he will attempt to prove:

    With those opening observations out of the way, it is now important to set forth exactly what I hope to prove in this debate. The argument is relatively simple: If Jesus believed that either his Father knew the future or he himself knew the future about any particular issue that involves free human choices, then one is forced to either construct a theology that allows for error on the part of Jesus, or admit that God cannot be said to have been “open” on those issues. In defense of the idea that Jesus views both his Father and himself as knowing inerrantly certain future actions (actions that hinge upon the free choices of humans) I will present several specific passages from the Gospels. I will begin with one and move on to others as the debate continues.
    I will definitely keep this in mind when I'm reading through Dr. Lamerson's posts.

    4. Dr Lamerson gives good examples of Sctipture stating God can and does know the fututre. Matthew 6:8 is a clear example of this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poly
    I agree with godrulz. I don't understand why Dr. Lamerson feels the need to give his evidence based exclusively through the "lens" of Jesus. This seems odd to me. The very nature of God is key here. Pulling one's evidence from just a portion of time or scripture is too limiting for this kind of topic.
    I agree. This seems to me to be not so much an attempt to focus the discussion... as just a ploy to take all the books of prophecy and history out of the picture! And this is where we find the vast majority of scriptural foundation for the Open View! Lamerson knows this. It is somewhat cunning, albeit transparent imho.

    Quote Originally Posted by STONE
    Settled? Apparently settled meaning "will likely occur to some degree".
    Where did you get that definition? Settled basically means definite. If God foreknows something as definitely going to happen, then that aspect of the future is "settled." The OV generally holds that God knows the future. Namely, that He knows the future exactly as it is -- partly settled and mostly open. He knows that in an open situation, it may happen one way or another, or perhaps it will probably happen one way, and unlikely to happen another. That is how it is, and that is how God sees it, exactly as it is -- open and unsettled.

    The term "settled" removes causation from the issue, which is useful because of all the equivocation on the term "determined." You can determine something in the sense of foreordaining it, or determine it passively as in the case of middle knowledge. But if something in the future is "settled," this has nothing to do with whether God caused it or not, and simply means that it's definitely going to happen that way.
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    Good first post. I don't think Bob should have any problems. I agree with Godrulz on Matt. 6:8. I have never understood the passage as anything but that God knows our needs, not because we will ask Him, but because He knows us better than we know ourselves. That would be foolish to say that God only knows our needs because he "foresees" us praying for them. I actually think the passage speaks of God knowing needs that we don't even make mention of in our prayers, therefore not a strong verse against the OV. Godrulz' analogy of "debt" is suffice.

    Sam's decision to quote Thomas is suspect. As to "all things" referring to the future, Sam will be hard-pressed to prove that. God indeed knows "all things" as stated in 1 John 3:20 (if Sam wanted to use scripture), but "panta" seems to always be limited in scope biblically, and not mean "absolutely everything exhaustively." (Can you get greek font on TOL?)

    Christ's prediction about Peter has been dealt with many times. I'm sure Bob will go to Luke's account of this instance to answer Sam and possibly reference Job. As for using Jesus, I think Sam will definitely run into problems. Jesus grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52), said in Matt. 16:28 "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.", yet they all died, and as Sam already mentioned, was not included in knowing the day and hour of His own return (Mark 13:32), which includes another statement of Christ that "this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place." in verse 30, and we all know (except Hank and Co.) that this didn't happen either. Hey, maybe Sam's a preterist and this debate will get a bit more interesting. Anyway, Sam will be hard-pressed again to show the incarnate Christ as "omniscient." Bob may possibly go to Phil. 2 to show why the incarnate Christ was not "omniscient."

    Godrulz feels the need to part ways with the Bible to discuss "God outside of time" which is completely unnecessary when the Bible shows God in time. The "outside of time" debate started with greek philosophers and needs to end there. Speaking of "God outside of time" in this debate would a bigger mistake than quoting the gospel of Thomas.
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    Sam starts off in Matt. 6, but I have a question about Matthew 2:19 and immediately following. If God knew the future and went to the trouble of having an angel appear in a dream to Joseph telling him to go back to Israel, why would he then have to cause Joseph to have another dream warning him to turn aside and go into Gallilee and dwell in Nazareth instead? Did God not know that Achelaus was going to take over instead of his father Herod? Seems to me that God is going to great lengths to reveal to us that He doesn't completely foreknow the future.
    Mt 7:14 - Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

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    Excellent opener, Sam.

    I don't intend to add any pressure or anything, but I am suspending my views on open-view theism until the conclusion of this debate.

    Presently I see no contradiction between the omniscience of an infinite being and the free-will of a finite being. Reverend Enyart is always insightful, though.

    Peace,

    SS

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    With all due respect to Dr. Lamerson can anyone say "soft ball"?

    I do not think that was a very good opening post and can only assume Dr. Lamerson is an experienced rope-a-doper. My personal opinion is that Bob is going to knock this softball out of the park.

    At this rate I predict a knockout before the fifth round.
    Oh, wise guy eh?

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    Old Timer Chileice's Avatar
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    I found Lamerson's opening arguments compelling. I think they will become more focused when he has the actual arguments of Bob to refute rather than just the writings of Boyd and Sanderson. I do hope that he will move beyond just the Gospels as well and will deal with some of the other passages which deal with omniscience.

    As a suggestion, I would ask that he leave spaces between his paragraphs for easier reading and referencing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by novice
    With all due respect to Dr. Lamerson can anyone say "soft ball"?

    I do not think that was a very good opening post and can only assume Dr. Lamerson is an experienced rope-a-doper. My personal opinion is that Bob is going to knock this softball out of the park.
    Ok, good. So I wasn't the only one who was thinking this. I was actually kind of surprised at his opening post in that it seemed rather weak. Not only is it unreasonable to limit his support using only the gospels but the passages that he offers as evidence for his case seem rather feeble.

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    This kinda suprised me in Dr. Lamerson's opening post:

    Third, there is a possible parallel to this Matthean passage in the Gospel of Thomas. In saying six, in answer to the question of fasting, Jesus is reported as saying “Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. . . .” Taking the phrase “all things” at face value, the words seem to refer to the past, the present, and the future. Note that I do not believe that Thomas is Scripture, but I do think that it may show us some evidence of how God was thought of in the second or third century A. D.
    Not only is St T a dubious source which is at conflict with the scriptures in several areas, but it doesn't seem to bolster his point. Things being visible to heaven at the time of occurrance does not necessarily indicate foreknowledge.

    Not what I expected at all. I'm looking forward to seeing Bob's response.

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