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Thread: BATTLE TALK ~ BRX (rounds 8 thru 10)

  1. #661
    Over 1000 post club Hilston's Avatar
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    Clarifications regarding Bob's post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
    [NOTE: I did not cite Dr. Reymond's definition of immutability. This seems to be just a dodge, as admitted by James Hilston on our BEL radio broadcast of May 1, 2006! So, in the second round, I asked again:]
    Although Bob probably did not intend it this way, his statement might be taken by some readers to mean that I somehow represent or speak for Sam Lamerson or for Lamerson's viewpoint. I do not. I do not claim to be a Calvinist, nor do I represent Lamerson in any way. For Bob to say "as admitted by James Hilston" connotes the idea that I made a reluctant confession (see the definition of 'admit'). I agreed with Bob that Lamerson's answer to the question seemed like a dodge. It wasn't an admission. It was an observation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
    ... Oh and by the way, on that BEL radio show, Hilston not only agreed that, Yes, God does change, but also, that the truth of God changing is foundational to the story of the Bible! So, now we're getting somewhere, Lamerson, Reymond, et. al, admiting that God is NOT timeless, and Hilston, Bruce Ware, etc., admitting that Yes, God does change!
    As I specified in my on-air discussion with Bob, the belief that God does change is not new among Calvinists or Settled Theists in general. Calvin believed this, as did Augustine and, as far as I've read, all the reformed big guns in the history of Christendumb. As Calvin and Augustine wrote, God changes in His actions, not in His immutable and essential attributes. The Open View makes the error of assigning unqualified immutability to Calvinists and Settled Theists, and this is what I sought to address in my discussion with Bob.

    If anyone is interested in the right answers to all of Bob's unanswered questions, please see the following link:
    The Settled View’s Answer To Enyart’s Unanswered Questions

    Worshipping the Rock,
    Jim

  2. #662
    Over 1000 post club patman's Avatar
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    Smile Hilston

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilston
    Of course, God's actions are not figures of speech. But the descriptions of God's actions are often, if not always, figuratively described. When the Bible describes God as repenting, it is using a figure called a metonymy of adjunct. It is the putting of one thing for another for the sake of emphasis.

    ......

    God's repentance (change of mind), as are most descriptions of God's actions, is a figurative way of referring to the change of actions that are part of His decrees. The action itself is not a figure, but the description of it is figurative, and for excellent linguistic reasons. To simply say, "God changed His actions toward a rebellious Israel" states the facts. But it is much more emphatic and poignant to say that God repented of the good He would have done for Israel.
    Hilston, you have an interesting take on what I consider to be one of the S.V.'s bigger fall backs.

    When I read the Word, I understand that it is describing events. Yes, it is sometimes poetic, but if it says God changed his mind, it must mean what it says.

    The only way to disagree with me is to do what you did, and say, "The action itself is not a figure, but the description of it is figurative." SO by saying that the Bible is so figurative that we can twist the words of it to fit our beliefs instead of letting it shape is, not the other way around.

    And this is what you do. You take what was written and rewrite it in your own mind to mean what you think it should. Your re-writeing of the verses about God changing his mind into "God changed His actions ..." is evident of this fact.

    Hilston, your claims are very dangerous. They empower mere-mortals to take scripture and re-write it to fit their own agenda. Sure, call it all figurative, you can make it mean ANYTHING. You do not intend for this, but it is what you are doing even in your own understandings, and it holds others and yourself back.

    Here is why you should know you are mistaken about the figurative-answer in this particular instance.

    1. God tells Israel he will without fail drive out the other nations from Israel.
    2. Israel sins.
    3. God tells Israel he will let the other nations stay forever.
    4. 3000 years later those nations are effectively gone.

    God made a decision to help Israel, and said he would do it with out fail. Wouldn't he be able to see into the future and know he would fail too drive them out as he said? Then he says he would never drive them out. And the same logic applies. They are gone today. Didn't God foresee this? Why then did he say otherwise? Are his words false?

    If you believe he has absolute foreknowledge, yes, they contradict. Instead his words reflect his actions at the time they were said. God didn't figuratively preform an action at all. God simply spoke his plans.

    NOTE: The reason why God changed his mind to change his actions about his promise have little to do to answer the question, 'why did God say this would happen when he knew without doubt it wouldn't?'

  3. #663
    Over 1000 post club Hilston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    Hilston, you have an interesting take on what I consider to be one of the S.V.'s bigger fall backs.
    What Unsettled Theists call "fall backs" I call obvious conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    When I read the Word, I understand that it is describing events. Yes, it is sometimes poetic, but if it says God changed his mind, it must mean what it says.
    That's because you're an Open Theist. Open Theists can't tell the difference between an obvious figure and a non-figurative statement. Looking at the Word through Open Theist lenses, and taking Open-View assumptions to their logical conclusions, God's word fails, prophecies fail, God is less than God and cannot be trusted.

    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    The only way to disagree with me is to do what you did, and say, "The action itself is not a figure, but the description of it is figurative." SO by saying that the Bible is so figurative that we can twist the words of it to fit our beliefs instead of letting it shape is, not the other way around.
    Do you believe Jesus is a door made of wood and nails? Do you believe He is a rock, or a light or a loaf of bread? Why not? Because the idea of Christ as being a literal rock, or a light, or a loaf of bread doesn't make sense in light of what you already assume about God. Here, your conclusions about figurative language would be correct based on correct assumptions about God's nature and existence. However, when the Open Theist, whose raison d'être is to bring God down and raise man up, reads that God changed His mind, they seize upon it as proof that God must be more human-like than God-like, using trial and error, not being sure of what the future will bring, handcuffed to the free will of His creatures, etc. ad nauseum.

    What is the mission and purpose of the Open Theist? To secure for themselves freedom from God, total autonomy and final authority.

    How does the Open Theist set about to accomplish this? The steps are as follow:
    (1) Under the guise of "freeing" God from any association with evil, the Open Theist strips God of His essential and transcendent attributes, i.e. His omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, impassibility and immutability;
    (2) Under the guise of extolling God's hatred of evil, the Open Theist over-emphasizes and distorts God's imminent attributes, i.e. that He is living, loving, good, personal and relational;
    (3) Under the guise of affirming justice, and all the while ignoring its true definition, the Open Theist makes man completely and totally autonomous by insisting that man's will must have libertarian freedom, otherwise God could not justly hold them accountable;
    (4) Under the guise of affirming genuine love, and all the while ignoring its true definition, the Open Theist makes man the final authority by insisting that man must choose for himself whether or not God will save him.

    What methods are used by the Open Theist to accomplish this?
    (1) They sit in judgment of God by seizing upon apparent contradictions in the Bible, and explain them by declaring God's ignorance;
    (2) They sit in judgment of God by seizing upon apparent contradictions in the Bible, and explain them by declaring God's lack of foresight;
    (3) They sit in judgment of God by seizing upon finite and figurative descriptions of God as changing and emoting, and to explain them by declaring God's ignorance and lack of foresight.

    These are the methods employed to one degree or another by every Open Theist I've encountered over the past eleven years. They takes a couple passages of scripture that seem to contradict, and eisegetically use them as prooftexts for his their theology. Do they bother to study them out to see what the verses really mean? No, there's no reason to. It says what it says. Nevermind that the concept of God actually changing his mind is contrary to the decretive will of God demonstrated from Genesis to Revelation. Instead the Open Theist jumps on the apparent contradiction and declares (by implication): See! See! Either God is less than God, or else the Bible contradicts itself. And since the latter cannot be true, the former must be. By insisting that God has actually, non-figuratively, changed His mind, you've made God less than God.

    And such is the mission and purpose of Open Theism. If a passage seems to say that God is fickle, don't even consider that it might be a figure of speech intended to emphasize rich, poignant, and wonderfully important insights that the original audience would have readily understood. Use it instead to prove that God is fickle. If a passage seems to say that God is too dumb to see something coming (i.e. is surprised by something), don't even consider that it might be a figure of speech intended to emphasize rich, poignant, and wonderfully important insights that the original audience would have readily understood. Instead, use it to prove that God is a dimwit. If a passage seems to say that God is ignorant, don't even consider that it might be a figure of speech intended to emphasize rich, poignant, and wonderfully important insights that the original audience would have readily understood. Use it to prove that God is ignorant. And so on.

    Here's the diffierence in approaches to such passages:
    The Bible student who believes in the Infinitude of God sees these descriptions in the Bible and concludes, "God cannot be fickle, dimwitted or ignorant, therefore these must be figures of speech conveying something even more emphatic and important than would appear on the surface; I'd better study this out."

    The Open (i.e. Unsettled) Theist sees these descriptions and jumps immediately to the conclusion that God is less than God, just as you've has done regarding alleged failed prophecies. Notice all the hoops that one must jump through to make sense of a passage that otherwise makes perfect sense according to the careful Bible student, sans hoop-jumping.

    The Open Theist will misquote the scripure to deny that God is the author of confusion and evil. The Open Theist attempts to use God's own word to tear Him down and baldly asks the Settled Theist: "Is God the author of confusion or not?" The answer is yes. God is the author of everything. God is infinite, unbounded, supreme. Nothing is greater than God; God is not subordinate to anything, not time, not man, not man's judgment, not man's will. Yet the Open Theist will readily and eagerly seize upon any verse they can twist to make God subordinate to all of these. And since God's attributes of being "good, personal, living, relational and loving" take priority over everything else, then He really can't do anything, which is what has been demonstrated abundantly in this forum for more than a decade. It is abundantly evident in the inability of any Open Theist to tell me one thing that God actually, actively is doing in their lives on a daily basis. What is God actively doing in your life right this moment, patman? The Open Theist has no answer.

    What are the results of Open Theist theology?
    (1) God is reduced to an incidental being who does not really, actually, actively DO anything;
    (2) Man is exalted to a level of total autonomy and final authority on all matters related his own life and eternal state.

    What is the Open Theist's raison d'etre? And as I stated at the beginning, the answer is: To secure for themselves freedom from God, total autonomy and final authority. And this should sound familiar, because the sin of seeking autonomous authority is the sin of Adam, and is (almost) as old as time itself.

    What is the conclusion concerning Open Theism?
    Open Theists have succeeded in created a God in their own image and have thereby committed the sin of Adam. They have sought to independently, on their own will, on their own judgment, authority and autonomy, to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that is, to acquire autonomous knowledge and judgment apart from God. Such a specious theology is powerful and compelling to the uninitiated, and directly appeals to the innate rebellion and sinful nature of man. This is the Broad Road, bidding welcome to the basest level of humanistic theology. Open Theism, taken to its logical conclusion, impugns and denigrates God, thereby pulling Him down. Open Theism exalts man's freedom and autonomy from God, thereby giving man the final authority of all matters concerning his own life and eternal state. Open Theism is nothing new. It started in the Garden of Eden, and has existed in one form or another ever since. Its goal is to question, judge and reduce God to something acceptable to sinful humanity. Its goal is to make God less than God and to make man more than man. It is humanism with a Luciferian impetus. With man as the final authority, God has become incidental, untrustworthy — the Sand God.

    Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul My judgment? wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous?

    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    And this is what you do. You take what was written and rewrite it in your own mind to mean what you think it should. Your re-writeing of the verses about God changing his mind into "God changed His actions ..." is evident of this fact.
    No, you misunderstand. I do not rewrite the verses. They stand the way they are written. But just as Jesus is not a wooden door made of nails, neither is God fickle or uncertain. So in the former case, the astute reader recognizes the obvious figure of speech. In the latter case, the astute reader recognizes an obvious figure of speech. Only those whose goal is to denigrate God's essential attributes will assume that God is like man, and that a repentance verse means God actually changed His mind. Why do you trust this God, patman? He might change His mind about your salvation. He might change His mind about things He has promised in His word. You have no guarantees. You have a Sand God.

    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    Hilston, your claims are very dangerous. They empower mere-mortals to take scripture and re-write it to fit their own agenda.
    On the contrary, patman, a logically consistent and normative hermeneutic protects mere mortals from taking scripture and rewriting it to fit their agenda. What you claim as "very dangerous" is exactly what Open Theists do by re-labeling an obvious figure to be non-figurative.

    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    Sure, call it all figurative, you can make it mean ANYTHING.
    Really? Let's see it then. Show me how using figurative language can make a verse mean "anything."

    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    You do not intend for this, but it is what you are doing even in your own understandings, and it holds others and yourself back.
    Don't just assert, patman. Prove it.

    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    Here is why you should know you are mistaken about the figurative-answer in this particular instance.

    1. God tells Israel he will without fail drive out the other nations from Israel.
    2. Israel sins.
    3. God tells Israel he will let the other nations stay forever.
    4. 3000 years later those nations are effectively gone.

    God made a decision to help Israel, and said he would do it with out fail. Wouldn't he be able to see into the future and know he would fail too drive them out as he said? Then he says he would never drive them out. And the same logic applies. They are gone today. Didn't God foresee this? Why then did he say otherwise? Are his words false?
    On my view, God's words are not false and if they have not been fulfilled, they will be according to God's predetermined time-table. On the Open View, however, this is just another prooftext for God to be untrustworthy, rash and impulsive in His declarations, uncertain and unsettled about the future, ignorant and open to error. If I see a passage that seems to tear God down because of failed prophecy, my conclusion is that I'm missing something and that I have to study it out. And in every case I've been challenged with thus far, I was better off for not jumping to irrational Open-View conclusions. The Open Theist, however, doesn't bother studying it out, because "it says what it says," missing the fact that how something reads can be significantly different from what something says ("I am the Door").

    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    If you believe he has absolute foreknowledge, yes, they contradict.
    Excuse me, patman, but they contradict according to YOUR view; not mine. And I'm the one who believes in absolute foreknowledge. You need to better understand what you're dealing with before you launch into these misguided criticisms.

    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    Instead his words reflect his actions at the time they were said. God didn't figuratively preform an action at all. God simply spoke his plans.
    His plans included a change of action, patman.

    Quote Originally Posted by patman
    NOTE: The reason why God changed his mind to change his actions about his promise have little to do to answer the question, 'why did God say this would happen when he knew without doubt it wouldn't?'
    Either one of two answers is true: (a) You don't understand the passage, or (b) God is less than God. The Open Theist chooses (b) for all the reasons I've outlined above.

    Nice try,
    Jim

  4. #664
    Over 1000 post club patman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilston
    Do you believe Jesus is a door made of wood and nails? Do you believe He is a rock, or a light or a loaf of bread? Why not? Because the idea of Christ as being a literal rock, or a light, or a loaf of bread doesn't make sense in light of what you already assume about God. Here, your conclusions about figurative language would be correct based on correct assumptions about God's nature and existence. However, when the Open Theist, whose raison d'être is to bring God down and raise man up, reads that God changed His mind, they seize upon it as proof that God must be more human-like than God-like, using trial and error, not being sure of what the future will bring, handcuffed to the free will of His creatures, etc. ad nauseum.
    I didn't realize there was a conspiracy by open theist to bring down God. I have been one so long, and never knew. huh. Who knew!?

    OK, forgive the sarcasm.

    You of course are mistaken. Just because you see God in a certain way based on my beliefs does not mean I represent that view. That's a fallacy beyond any I have heard in a while. There in lies your problem again, reading into something the author didn't put there. Your changing or adding in of words goes beyond the bible.

    And yes, as i stated, the bible can be poetic. Jesus is a rock. Not literally. But just because there exists a figurative verse doesn't necessitate the need to make others out to be figurative.

    It just seems convenient that the verses you transform into a figurative verse also fit your bias.

    "Jesus is a Rock" and "I will without fail drive out the nations before you" are not alike. We cannot make the later figurative. It is a statement.

    And it seems odd to claim all OV'ers don't study their proof verse. I put a lot of study into them.

    I am particularly proud of this post:
    http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...&postcount=398

    I show how God's prophecy about Babylon, Tyre and Egypt fit into history and can be considered literal(meaning he meant what he said, no need to turn it into something else), yet they do not come to pass. A problem for the S.V. that should be take to heart. It is an important matter, not just a way to make the other guy on TOL mad!

    Determining when a verse is figurative shouldn't rest on your what your theology teaches, but the context of the verse. Let it's understandable meaning speak for itself.

    On a side note, I wonder where the hateful scolding of your last message came from? Did I smart off to you to deserve that? Yes I did accuse you of misreading certain verses, but that is more constructive than demeaning. I simply want to show you how even your on writing proves how you think you can just change any verse to something close, but enough to be different to make it fit into your theology. I quoted you to show how you give yourself away. I am not staging some big debate or waging a war of witty lets-attack-the-other-guy-and-prove-i'm-not-dumb-and-he-is....

    You just revealed yourself in your writing to claim the ability to change meanings of verses when really they speak for themselves and don't need your input.

    I know you are intelligent and well meaning. I tried to show I believed that in my last post. All i wish for you is to take this more seriously. You think we OV'ers have an agenda and none of us study, therefore just write it off... But you have to realize that's not a real reason to write us off. You know these can't be true that can't be true in every circumstance. Why not give me an ear instead of a stereotype?

    My agenda is to let the bible teach me. When I see someone assert something into the word, I must speak up. That is what I did.

  5. #665
    Over 1000 post club patman's Avatar
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    Verses

    I mentioned a few verses in my last post, here they are:

    Ex 34:11 “Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittiteand the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. ”

    Josh 3:10 And Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites...


    Note Ex 34 is not a description of an event but rather Gods own word, which should be honored as true and which the meaning can be understood and trusted. Your rule rule cannot apply here.


    Jud 3:1-6 Now these are the nations which the LORD left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan 2 (this was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it), 3 namely, five lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who dwelt in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath. 4 And they were left, that He might test Israel by them, to know whether they would obey the commandments of the LORD, which He had commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. 5Thus the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 6 And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons; and they served their gods.

    All the nations God said he would drive out were REALLY left. Nothing figurative at all. It is as it reads. Let us therefore understand God didn't look into the future when he proclaimed he would drive out nations that he knew he wouldn't.

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