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Thread: Battle Royale X Critique thread - Does God Know Your Entire Future?

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    On a scale of one to ten points per round, I have Lamerson at Seven and Enyart at Four.
    At least the DR. gave a text or two that related to, "does God know your Entire Future". Bob seems to confuse the topic of this debate with Calvinism and its key component, the absolute Sovereignty of God.
    Being neither a Calvinist nor an Open viewer, his attempt to set a different emphasis for the debate, did nothing for me, personally. Worst of all, it did not even pique my interest. I have been involved in many a debate with Calvinists. I am interested to see if either Dr. Lamerson or Bob Enyart can establish an acceptable Biblical case for whether or not, God does, or does not know, our entire future.
    The Dr. at least held my interest with the direct challenges through the example of Peter, and Jesus precise prediction of his denial.
    I definately deducted points for Bob only answering one of the four questions, and "coincidentally" the one that I thought was the least germane,
    and least interesting.
    I deduct the most points for Him trying to inform us that God is Living, loving, relational and Good as if that is somehow different then I, and I hope most of us who have been "born again", have always perceived our Saviour God.
    I love Bob, but I expect his future posts will address the topic at hand, instead of addressing the Calvinists who major on God"s Sovereignty and accompanying impersonal emphasis. He is winning "that" debate and losing "this" one so far, IMHO 7to4.

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    Second half:

    - It was good to see a clear definition of omniscience. I never did fully understand Clete's ideas based on Enyart (vs typical Open Theists).

    I am content to say that omniscience means that God knows all that is knowable (logically). It is illogical to claim future free will contingencies can be known exhaustively (not developed yet). Enyart adds the unusual phrase that He knows all that is knowable that He wants to know. It seems to me that God knows the past and present exhaustively. As pointed out, forget does not mean amnesia. God forgets our sins in the sense that He choses to not bring them up again. It is not that we can recall them, but God cannot. Though Scripture is silent, I suppose God can focus on what He wants to when He wants to. However, He still inherently knows every knowable detail. The future is different than the past/present. It is unknowable because it is open, uncertain, unsettled. It is not fixed like the past. This is a consequence of the type of creation God chose (libertarian free moral agents vs determinism), not that He 'choses' to not know something available to His sphere of knowledge.

    Most Open Theists would not add the last phrase in his definition. I am not certain how defensible it is, so hopefully Sam does not make a big issue out of it. In general, Bob's concept is good and defensible.

    - The incarnation is a classic example that refutes strong immutability. The emphasis on the life of Jesus, God with a face, resonates with Sam's desire to focus on the revelation in Christ. Love, relationship, responsiveness, etc. is on the right track, but it does not have to be diametrically opposed to sovereignty (we just need to understand it properly).

    - We should remind ourselves that there is a spectrum of views within any major theology. Hyper-Calvinism/sovereignty may not represent all Reformed views. We do not want to refute a straw man caricature anymore than we want Open Theism to be misrepresented. God's love and holiness is impartial. I would welcome more critique of TULIP, since it is related. However, Arminianism will also be in our sights with its view of simple foreknowledge (non-TULIP). Bob, do not just focus on Calvinism, but some of the weaknesses of Arminianism. Open Theism is truly an alternate view that we believe to be more biblical and less problematic.
    Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)

    They said: "Where is the God of Elijah?"
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    Rev. 1:17, 18; Jer. 9:23, 24

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    What I liked about Dr. Lamerson’s first post.

    Dr. Lamerson ran to his high ground. It is a good idea to ask to start with the gospels (though a bit naďve if he believes it will stay there) as that’s has some of the best artillery against the Open view, and there is only a small amount of artillery found there to be used against the Settled view.

    Furthermore I thought he was aggressive, and liked that he didn’t waste too much time framing the debate (though a little more probably would have been better).

    Problems with Dr. Lamerson’s first post.

    By insisting so much that they stick to the Life of Jesus only, he built a battle he must win. If there is a draw on the issue of Jesus in the gospels it will not look good for his position. Furthermore, being so insistent gave some the impression he was fearful of the rest of Scriptures.

    Also it didn’t give any clue as to what is to come from him. Very little was setup for what we can be expecting from him except that he will specialize in passages from the gospel to attack the Open position.

    What I liked about Mr. Enyart’s first post.

    Mr. Enyart also went on the offensive. He laid out how he could be expected to move the debate as an attack on “classical” Christian thinking and how it has been persuaded by pagan Greek theology. This hinted (though it could have been explained better) that it would eventually explain a better, unfiltered look at the question “Does God Know Your Entire Future?” As if, once pagan notions are thrown off, we will see the true answer to the question.

    He gave relevance to the debate. Rather than a meaningless debate, Mr. Enyart proposed why it matters. I liked that.

    It is a strong argument to point out that the Incarnation was not a non-event. It was definately a change that God humbled himself and "became flesh". Eventually to "become sin". It is difficult for protractor to seriously suggest that the Incarnation was just bussiness as usual.

    Problems with Mr. Enyart’s first post.

    Mr. Enyart did not respond to any of the points Dr. Lamerson raised. I noted two:
    #1 - Matthew 8:6 “your Father knows what you need before you ask him”
    #2 – Jesus predicting Peter’s thrice denial.

    Furthermore, Mr. Enyart only answered one of the four questions (since his answer was so long perhaps we should be thankful he is “spreading them around”) put to him by Dr. Lamerson. While he promised to address them in the future, it causes the same cynicism of “running away” that Dr. Lamount’s insistence on sticking to the gospels did.
    Last edited by ApologeticJedi; August 3rd, 2005 at 09:51 PM.
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    I'll admit I'm an Enyart fan, so I guess I do have a dog in this fight, but hey, if Dr. Lamerson can show me my error, I'm not too proud to change.
    Dr. Lamerson has brought up some of the best type of questions I can think of right off the bat to question the open position. The personal predictions about Peter (Pharoh, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and others) are the best foreknowledge arguements to me, but I think I can predict how Bob will answer. The Matt 6:8 question is not tough in my mind. God knows what you "need". He might be surprised when you ask for a 10carat diamond nose ring, but the verse says "need". Only my take on it, could be wrong.
    I heard Dr Lamerson on the show today. Whether I agree with him or not, I think he is a good guy and an asset to Christianity.

    Bob's post was great. He didn't hit on Dr. Lamerson's points yet, but I think he set up his position very well, and can work off of what he established. I think he does a great job of shooting down the basic Calvinist ideas. Now to deal with specifics.

    Should be a great debate. Thanks for setting it up.

    Jeff
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    "Oh bother" said Pooh, as he chambered the next round.

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    THIS IS GREAT!

    Even the style of the debaters contributes the the substance of the debate. First round is going to take some more study. I admit I don't really understand the argument. However, thanks to Dr. Sam and Pastor Bob, it's getting more clear.

    Thanks and compliments to the participants and the one who set it all up.

    Psalm 144

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    Does Bob Enyart hit anything but home runs? I mean come on, people; this isn't even fair! Judging by round one, this is like the NY Yankees vs. the Tulsa Drillers. Tulsa might have gotten someone on base but NY blasted the ball so far out of the ball park it's rediculous!
    Way to go Bob!

    Don't worry all you nay-sayers out there; I can promise you that Bob will get to the rest of Lamerson's questions and address the entirety of his argument. This is but the first round, so don't get impatient.

    I simply love how Bob has put focus on the underlying presuppositions that dictate one's interpretation of Scripture because I think Lamerson's observation "that this issue is largely one that centers upon hermeneutics." is indeed a key issue. As he said, "Everyone in the debate would agree that there are passages that seem to present God as knowing the future infallibly, as well as passages that seem to present God as changing his mind, repenting, learning, and being surprised. The question, of course, is which set of passages will be used to interpret the other. As Sanders notes, “there is no simple way to establish one view or the other, since proponents of each view disagree as to how certain passages of Scripture should be interpreted.”" I couldn't agree with Lamerson more.
    In my own debates issues like love and the personhood of God have come up often. In fact, these issues are the primary foundation of most of my arguments in favor of the Open View. But it had never occurred to me how central these issue were and as a result even I felt at times that my arguments needed refining and polishing. Bob, however, in this round one post, has crystallized the foundational Open View argument into a solid rock with such clarity, brilliance and fire that this reader would be very surprised indeed if all Open Theists everywhere didn't show this incredibly beautiful diamond off at the first opportunity.

    Now if Lamerson will bring the same sort of brilliance to bear on his side of the battle, this will easily be the most powerful, informative, entertaining and important Battle Royale that TOL is likely to ever see. God bless all the participants and those who made this debate possible!

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    "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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    Tambora (September 5th, 2016)

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    I am not so sure if this is a critique or if it's a problem with my browser...but on Bob's post he refers to a "graphic below" and it isn't below! It doesn't appear or else I just can't see it. If possible I would love for Bob to make it available somewhere if it is indeed a universal problem rather than just mine.
    fidelis usque ad mortem

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    Quote Originally Posted by chatmaggot
    I am not so sure if this is a critique or if it's a problem with my browser...but on Bob's post he refers to a "graphic below" and it isn't below! It doesn't appear or else I just can't see it. If possible I would love for Bob to make it available somewhere if it is indeed a universal problem rather than just mine.
    Here is the url for the graphic:
    http://kgov.com/images/PermTOL/TOL-BRX-KnoxTextbook.jpg

    I suspect you have your options set up to block the picture. Go to your User CP, choose Edit Options, and in the Thread Display Options area, make your you have the box labeled "Show Images (including attached images and images in [IMG] code)" checked.

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    I have no problem with Lamerson's sticking to the gospels, since as he says, he only needs to show one instance in which Jesus irrefutably knew the future. Having said that, I don't think any of the examples given are hard to deal with (from the OV position). The Mat 6:8 example is easy, I know what my kids need before they ask, sometimes in spite of what they ask for. Doen't mean I know their future. By asking to stick to the gospels he is limiting himself, not Bob. He may want to present evidence from the entire Bible since I dont think he'll hit any home runs by sticking to the gospels (concerning CV of course.) Actually I dont think any home runs exist for the closed view, but we'll see.

    Both Sam and Bob seem to be speaking past each other for now, but that's inherant to the first round of this type of debate and I wouldn't deduct any 'points' from either of them for this. I'm sure they can get to specific refutations (if that a word) of each other soon enough. This round is for setting up their positions, like the opening moves of a chess game, usually pieces are not taken.

    Greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuySmiley
    I have no problem with Lamerson's sticking to the gospels, since as he says, he only needs to show one instance in which Jesus irrefutably knew the future. Having said that, I don't think any of the examples given are hard to deal with (from the OV position). The Mat 6:8 example is easy, I know what my kids need before they ask, sometimes in spite of what they ask for. Doen't mean I know their future. By asking to stick to the gospels he is limiting himself, not Bob. He may want to present evidence from the entire Bible since I dont think he'll hit any home runs by sticking to the gospels (concerning CV of course.) Actually I dont think any home runs exist for the closed view, but we'll see.

    Both Sam and Bob seem to be speaking past each other for now, but that's inherant to the first round of this type of debate and I wouldn't deduct any 'points' from either of them for this. I'm sure they can get to specific refutations (if that a word) of each other soon enough. This round is for setting up their positions, like the opening moves of a chess game, usually pieces are not taken.

    Greg
    Guy, I believe both you and Lamerson have it completely backward on the standard of victory in this debate.

    You assert, as did he, that all he has to do is show one instance in which God foreknew the future as definite. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, OVers proudly proclaim that God knows many things in the future in a definite sense!

    Furthermore, the issue in this debate is not whether God knows at least one thing about your future. The explicit issue is whether God knows your entire future.

    Consequently, there are two possible ways to resolve this, when you get down to it. Either Sam proves every single example of foreknowledge in the Bible is definite -- which is for all practical purposes totally unfeasible due to time and space restrictions -- OR all Bob has to do is show just one example in the Bible in which God did not know some future event in a definite sense. That is the real standard, from the get-go.

    Lamerson can show a hundred examples of God knowing a future event definitely... and it still won't prove his case.
    1 Corinthians 13:2
    And though I have ... all knowledge... but have not love, I am nothing.

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    Though pastor Enyart's post was indeed lengthy with much information, it was riddled with misconceptions. Here are a few which are obvious:

    God’s qualities to CV’ers are derived from the Greeks? False.
    God is selfish because He is all powerful? False.
    God cannot delegate authority and remain all powerful? False.
    We should not accept God’s use of All to mean ALL? False.
    Those who accept the universal absoluteness of God’s nature are “Pagan”? False.
    Only the Open View has God being Living, Personal, Relational, Good, and Loving? False.

    Because Dr. Lamerson's post was poised a real dilemma I say he won the first round. Bob needs to be able to back up what he is saying.
    But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they sought it not by faith, but (sought it) as it were by the works of the law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STONE
    Though pastor Enyart's post was indeed lengthy with much information, it was riddled with misconceptions. Here are a few which are obvious:

    God’s qualities to CV’ers are derived from the Greeks? False.
    God is selfish because He is all powerful? False.
    God cannot delegate authority and remain all powerful? False.
    We should not accept God’s use of All to mean ALL? False.
    Those who accept the universal absoluteness of God’s nature are “Pagan”? False.
    Only the Open View has God being Living, Personal, Relational, Good, and Loving? False.

    Because Dr. Lamerson's post was poised a real dilemma I say he won the first round. Bob needs to be able to back up what he is saying.
    I personally did not read where Bob made most of these statements. Are you misunderstanding his argument?

    e.g. who believes God is selfish because He is all powerful? Omnipotence does not mean that God always does all He could do (sheer power), or that He cannot delegate or limit His power (creates other free moral agents with creative ability and the ability to not submit to His power).
    Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)

    They said: "Where is the God of Elijah?"
    I say: "Where are the Elijahs of God?" (Ravenhill "Why Revival Tarries")

    Rev. 1:17, 18; Jer. 9:23, 24

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    The Pledge: He died for me; I'll live for Him.

  14. #28
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    Remember folks this thread is for SINGLE "stand alone" critiques of the posts being made in Battle Royale X. Many of you have asked why your posts are being deleted and this is the reason.

    Therefore if you wish to create a dialog about BR X please do so on the Battle Talk
    thread.

    Thanks in advance for your time and cooperation.
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    I love the idea Bob presents in his post that those attributes of God that exist and are demonstrated in some way BEFORE creation take precedent over any attributes of God that come into play after creation, like God's sovereignty over creation. God needs a world to be sovereign over in order for Him to exercise any kind of sovereignty. Not so when it comes to God loving, relating and any attribute that has been exercised within the Trinity prior to creation.

    Way to go Bob!!

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