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

  1. #46
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    Roosters could operate under instinct and cause-effect. God made a donkey speak, so he could make a rooster crow when He wanted it too.

    Open Theism does recognize figures of speech. God is not a big bird with wings.

    Boyd in 'Divine Foreknowledge: 4 views', IVP: (Jer. 18; 26:13 re: God changing His mind)

    "If we don't contradict this passage when we say that God doesn't change his mind, what would a contradiction of this passage say? Similarily, if this text does not teach that God may really change his mind, what would a text that DID teach this say? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that God in fact wanted to tell us, "I may change my mind", How could He do so more clearly and convincingly that He did here? If His saying "I may change my mind" in Scripture isn't enough to convince us that God may in fact change His mind, then nothing would be.
    Despite the fact that critics accuse openness theists of being influenced by philosophical presuppositions, I submit that it is the classical view's denial of God's ability to change His mind- not the openness view's affirmation of this capacity- that is driven by philosophical presuppositions. It seems that what Scripture is and is not allowed to say has been decided beforehand. One of the things it is not allowed to say is that 'the Lord will change his mind', even if this is exactly what the text says (e.g. Jer. 26:13)."

    Who is unbiblical and heretical? God does not have wings (figurative), but He explicitly says He can and does change His mind at times. The burden of proof is on those who refuse to take God's revelation at face value when there is no hint it is figurative.

    (cf. John 3:16 Calvinists trying to say He died only for the elect/world= limited atonement; how would Jn. 3:16 read if it wanted to communicate that He died for all men?).

    I do not believe you will have a reasonable translation to communicate the opposite of what you think the verse says.
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    Journeyman GodsfreeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart
    That is the weakness,not the strength.For instance,this version of the "Open View" contradicts Scripture by taking a "literal" reading of several verses.The following verse should be taken in a "literal" way,and that is because it is specifically speaking of the very "nature" of the Lord God:

    "God is not a man,that He should lie.Neither the son of man,that He should repent.Hath He said,and shall He not do it?"(Num.23:19).

    There can be no misunderstanding here.The Lord will not "repent" because that is an attribute that is a part of His very nature.

    But those who support this version of the "Open View" have no problem at all in taking verses which are clearly not to be taken in a "literal" manner and interpreting them literally and by doing so they contradict what is said at Numbers23:19.Here is an example of a verse which they take literally even though a literal interpretation contradicts what is said at Numbers 23:19:

    "And the Lord repented of the evil which He thought to do unto His people"(Ex.32:14).

    Instead of understanding that the word "repented" is used phenomenally in this verse those who support this view of Open Theism rush to contradict the words spoken about the Lord's nature.

    How is it "without warrant" to take a "figurative" reading of Exodus 32:14 since a "literal" reading clearly contradicts what the Scriptures reveal about the nature of the Lord God?

    In His grace,--Jerry
    Jerry, I'm sure Exodus 32 and Numbers 23 will eventually be brought up in this debate. Your reasoning on the two verses makes absolutely no sense to me. What makes Numbers 23:19 literal and Exodus 32 figurative? You say that Numbers 23:19 speaks of an attribute of God and I fully agree (more in a moment), but how do you divide "repenting" from the list of attributes Jonah applies to God?

    Jonah 4:2b
    2b for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who repents from doing harm.


    You're stuck here Jerry. Jonah lists 5 attributes which are a "part of His nature" to quote you, yet your reasoning above clearly contradicts the Bible here. What to say of this Jerry?

    As for God "not repenting" being a part of His nature, I'd have to agree with you. God does not change His mind with a bribe from a mere man. According to Jeremiah and Ezekiel 18, God only repents when man is TRULY repentant. For God to repent with Balak's bribe would go against the clear principles that God has laid out in scripture of how He deals with man.

    I must say Jerry, I am very disappointed with your post and your logic. Please explain to me why we should take 26 verses stating that God REPENTS figuratively, and 2 verses stating God does not REPENT literal. I'd love to hear that line of reasoning. What would stop someone from saying we MUST read Numbers 23 and 1 Sam. 15:29 FIGURATIVE because of the 26 verses which say God repents? As I've shown above, I have no problems reconciling the apparent contradictions, as I read all the scripture here literally.

    One last question Jerry. If you say that God will not repent because of Numbers 23:19, and that all 26 repent verses must therefore be taken figuratively, do you remain consistent with Hosea 11:9?

    Hosea 11:9
    9 I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; And I will not come with terror.


    According to this verse, God is not man, and therefore does not come with terror. (Pretty reminiscent to Numbers 23:19, wouldn't you say?) So because of this verse Jerry, must we take the boat loads of scripture showing God executing the fierceness of His wrath as figurative?
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  3. #48
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doogieduff
    I must say Jerry, I am very disappointed with your post and your logic. Please explain to me why we should take 26 verses stating that God REPENTS figuratively, and 2 verses stating God does not REPENT literal.
    How can you speak about "logic" if you can't even see that the literal interpretation of Ex.32:14 does not contradict Num.23:19.

    When the Scriptures are descibing the nature of God then that should over-rule any verses that are used merely in a narraitive.

    "God is not a man,that He should lie.Neither the son of man,that He should repent.Hath He said,and shall He not do it?"(Num.23:19).

    Despite the fact that Numbers 23:19 says in no uncertain terms that God will not repent.And we know that these verses are speaking of the "nature" of God,because He cannot lie.

    This goes along with other Scriptures that say the same thing about His "nature":

    "In hope of eternal life,which God,Who cannot lie,promised before the world began"(Titus 1:2).

    I do not even think anyone who suscribes to the "Open Theism" promoted by Bob Enyart would argue that the Lord God could lie.But even though the words that He will not repent are used in the very same verse and in the very same context they have no problem asserting that He can indeed repent.

    Which is it?Can He repent or can He not repent?It can't be both.You would argue that He can repent,therefore the following statement concerning His nature must be wrong if you are right:

    "God is not a man,that He should lie.Neither the son of man,that He should repent.Hath He said,and shall He not do it?"(Num.23:19).
    You say that Numbers 23:19 speaks of an attribute of God and I fully agree (more in a moment), but how do you divide "repenting" from the list of attributes Jonah applies to God?

    Jonah 4:2b
    2b for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who repents from doing harm.

    You're stuck here Jerry. Jonah lists 5 attributes which are a "part of His nature" to quote you, yet your reasoning above clearly contradicts the Bible here. What to say of this Jerry?
    It is quite a simple answer.The words at Jonah 2:4 are not the words of the Lord describing Himself.Instead,they are the words of a man.The words at Numbers 23:19 are actually the words of the Lord (Num.23:16).

    You still have not explained how the Lord could repent and not repent at the same time.This reminds me of the so-called progressive dispensationalists when they speak of "already,but not yet"--"He can repent but He can't"!

    In His grace,--Jerry

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    Old Timer RightIdea's Avatar
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    Jerry, surely you're not under the impression that God never says He will do X and then He doesn't do it? Never says X will happen and the it doesn't happen?

    Surely you know there are any number of examples of exactly those things. So, how can you possibly interpret that Numbers passage in that way? There are examples of both, and indeed this is a problem for every view except Open Creationism.

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    Well, here's an unusual circumstance. An intramural debate between open and closed views of christian theology outside the exclusively christian fora. Previous threads have proved almost impenetrable to outsiders due to the required absence of participation by all but the intrinsic adherents.

    ***

    Greetings, Sam, if you don't mind one "not of the body" making free use of your given name. I especially enjoyed your use of the prophecy of Peter's triple-denial in showing at least one instance of apparent complete foreknowledge by your god in his incarnation as Jesus. This, being a website run by a member of Bob's congregation, is a hotbed of open view theology, and I especially enjoy the opportunity to see the other side debated by a biblical scholar.

    I agree with those who've taken issue with your definition of free will, as it seems unusually free in any practical sense. Free will, up to that allowed by physical, chemical, genetic and learned-behavioral limitations, is something short of "free" in any useful sense accessible to strict definition.

    Conversely, I do take issue with those who feel that supernatural foreknowledge somehow restricts natural behavior. In the realm of abstract algebra, it's entirely possible to set up an environment of alternative pathways within a lattice including fixed maximal and minimal elements, to cite one simple example. Given the natural restrictions to free will cited above, I see no inherent contradiction to foreknowledge of a "cluster point" that still allows for free choice of available paths, all of which lead to the supernaturally-fixed cluster point. Similarly, a temporal universe embedded within a supertemporal realm would certainly allow knowledge of events which would only be labeled "past" or "future" by one restricted to the temporal universe.

    Indeed, restricted supertemporal knowledge of the temporal would be tantamount to placing a supernatural deity entirely within the realm of the metaphysical by excluding any means of influencing the physical. The only exception would be a phyysical insertion into the physical universe by the use of some avatar; the same influence naturally ending with the physical end of that avatar.

    No, a supernatural deity cannot, by necessity of transcending time, be forced to see any act or occurence as either "past" or "future." The added inference is that, should foreknowledge be specifically excluded in its entirety, there would then be no divinely appointed purpose for creation.

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    Friendly Neighborhood Admin Turbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taoist
    Well, here's an unusual circumstance. An intramural debate between open and closed views of christian theology outside the exclusively christian fora. Previous threads have proved almost impenetrable to outsiders due to the required absence of participation by all but the intrinsic adherents.
    I count five other open vs. closed view threads that are on the active threads page right now and none of them are in the Exclusively Christian forum. (A sixth thread on free will is in the Exclusively Christian forum.)

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    Old Timer RightIdea's Avatar
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    If the issue of divine temporality comes up, I'm very eager to see how Lamerson dances around the importance of addressing this from God's perspective. (Especially considering he promised to do so this time, and then spent so much time talking about man's perspective instead.)

    Atemporalists invariably end up describing their supposedly atemporal God in temporal terms, describing Him as commiting actions, responding, seeing the changes that have been implimented by His responses, and generally experiencing all manner of before-and-after situations. It never ceases to amaze me now atemporalists constantly describe their atemporal God in temporal terms. It seems inescapable, unless they ascribe to the most extreme Calvinist view of an absolutely unmoved "mover" that never actually moves... changeless, utterly dispassionate, unfeeling, unmoving, without any action, just affecting everything that bounces off of Him.
    1 Corinthians 13:2
    And though I have ... all knowledge... but have not love, I am nothing.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by taoist
    Well, here's an unusual circumstance. An intramural debate between open and closed views of christian theology outside the exclusively christian fora. Previous threads have proved almost impenetrable to outsiders due to the required absence of participation by all but the intrinsic adherents.
    The exclusively Christian theology forum is not intended to keep nonchristians from participating but rather is intended to keep the topic confind exclusively to Christian theology. If you feel you have something constructive to add to the discussion that is on the topic being discussed and does derail the discussion into something other than what would be considered Christian theology then I would welcome you to post anything on any thread I'm active on and I'm sure all the other open theists here feel the same way.

    This, being a website run by a member of Bob's congregation, is a hotbed of open view theology, and I especially enjoy the opportunity to see the other side debated by a biblical scholar.
    This right here is what I think is going to be the best part of this Battle Royale. No one can deny that Bob's opponent is emminently qualified; we even have complete unbelievers acknowledging that he is a true biblical scholar. It's going to be as sweet as it can be when Bob wins this debate just as he's won every other debate I've ever had the privilege of seeing him in.

    As for the rest of your post, I'll be content to let you debate open theism with someone else and I'll use this thread to discuss the Battle Royale itself.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete

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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbo
    I count five other open vs. closed view threads that are on the active threads page right now and none of them are in the Exclusively Christian forum. (A sixth thread on free will is in the Exclusively Christian forum.)
    Don't bother taoist with the facts, he is extremely busy looking up really big words for his next post so that he can present himself as an intellectual.
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    Question How was Lamerson "chosen"

    Anyone know how BR_X was arranged? How was Lamerson selected? Did he volunteer to participate? A Calvinist co-worker, made aware of the debate, questioned the arrangement, i.e., he implied there were much more "qualified" opponents in his opinion than Lamerson. Then he proceeded to list prominent Calvinists in the public eye. Albeit I did not read into Lamerson's initial post that he was a hard-core Calvinist. Just looking for a response for my co-worker. Thanks.

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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by truthteller86
    Anyone know how BR_X was arranged? How was Lamerson selected? Did he volunteer to participate? A Calvinist co-worker, made aware of the debate, questioned the arrangement, i.e., he implied there were much more "qualified" opponents in his opinion than Lamerson. Then he proceeded to list prominent Calvinists in the public eye. Albeit I did not read into Lamerson's initial post that he was a hard-core Calvinist. Just looking for a response for my co-worker. Thanks.
    First off, what's with the big type???

    Jefferson might be able to shed a bit more light on this than I can, but I can tell you that we didn't hesitate to ask ANY of the "top" Closed View theists and Dr. Lamerson was one of them. Several folks showed an interest but due to scheduling could not make it for one reason or another.

    Dr. Lamerson was able to meet the schedule.

    Dr. Lamerson is immanently qualified and is an excellent choice for this battle since he does have a dog in this fight. Dr. Lamerson is an outspoken opponent of open theism and is published in this field.

    No matter what opponents are chosen for a battle there is always an objection or a claim that a better opponent could have been selected.

    I disagree. Dr. Lamerson and Bob Enyart is an excellent match-up and will not disappoint.
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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RightIdea
    Jerry, surely you're not under the impression that God never says He will do X and then He doesn't do it? Never says X will happen and the it doesn't happen?
    Rightidea,

    Why don't you address the point I raised earlier?

    How can God never repent and at the same time do just that?

    To answer your question,if we take both verses "literally"(Num.33:19 and Ex.32:14) then it is obvious that there is a contradiction in God's word,and that is impossible.Therefore,it is obvious that one of the verses cannot be taken in a literal manner.That means that the one where God is speaking describing His nature is the one to be taken literally while the other cannot be taken literally.
    Just out of curiosity, does my signature mean anything to you? Specifically the first two lines.
    Here is what another dispensationalist says about a figure of speech that is obviously being used at Ex.32:14:

    "An-throp'-o-path-ei'-a; or, Condescension. (Genesis 1:2; 8:21. Psalm 74:11. Jeremiah 2:13. Hosea 11:10). Ascribing to God what belongs to human and rational beings, irrational creatures, or inanimate things"("The Companion Bible",Appendix 6).

    In His grace,--Jerry

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    Old Timer RightIdea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart
    Rightidea,

    Why don't you address the point I raised earlier?

    In His grace,--Jerry
    Why don't I?

    Quite simply... because I'm here to discuss Lamerson's arguments. Not participate in your own personal debate..


    EDIT:

    Actually, the above is somewhat unfair. I aplogize. I participated in off-topic debate, myself, which you were responding to. Like most others in here, I got sucked into our own little side debates instead of focusing on Lamerson's post.

    And as I said above, I'm in this thread to discuss the debate, not hold our own little debates.
    Last edited by RightIdea; August 2nd, 2005 at 05:22 PM.
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    [QUOTE=Knight]First off, what's with the big type???

    Thanks Knight. Chalk it up to a 1st post. Or maybe it just evolved larger...Just finished BR_VII. Wow ! Go Bob ! I'm on my 6th listen of Bob's Predestination v. Free WIll Seminar, thus I'm really excited about BR_X.

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    [QUOTE=truthteller86]
    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    First off, what's with the big type???

    Thanks Knight. Chalk it up to a 1st post. Or maybe it just evolved larger...Just finished BR_VII. Wow ! Go Bob ! I'm on my 6th listen of Bob's Predestination v. Free WIll Seminar, thus I'm really excited about BR_X.
    If you like his free will seminar, you'll love his tapes on Genesis: The Fall. He goes into the same material but more thoroughly. It's terrific!

    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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