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Thread: One on One: BR X - A Calvinist's Response (Ask Mr. Religion vs. Enyart)

  1. #31
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    AMRA-BEQ28

    BEQ28: Now that Sam has agreed that without exhaustive foreknowledge, God can make a rooster crow, then do you also agree that God could employ His abilities in various other ways toward fulfilling prophecies, similarly without relying upon exhaustive foreknowledge?

    AMRA-BEQ28 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    I have not agreed to this. If God makes something do something, God necessarily has foreknowledge that the something will do so.

    Necessarily, if God foreknew the rooster would crow, then the rooster does not refrain from crowing.

    In other words, the actions of moral free agents or instinctively driven, non-sentient creatures do not take place because they are foreseen, the actions are foreseen because the actions are certain to take place.

    To the point of whether or not God could fulfill prophecies without exhaustive foreknowledge, I answer that yes, in some instances, some prophecies will work out for such a God. That is not the God I want to place the security of my eternal soul within, however. I want it guaranteed that what God says, happens exactly as He says it will each and every time, because that God is omnipotent, immutable, omniscient, good, etc. In other words, I want a God that is completely sovereign over His creation. The thing is, I don’t want to have to worry about someone like godrulz coming along and thwarting God’s plans with his Zen-like liberty of indifference actions.

    In other words, I want the God described in the Scriptures.
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  2. #32
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    AMRA-BEQ29

    BEQ29: Have you previously specifically taught others, your students, or your family, or your friends, that God the Son did not in any way give up in any degree any of the divine attributes?

    AMRA-BEQ29 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Yes, I have. This is all I have ever taught or believed. To step outside the bounds of the Chalcedonian description of the Incarnate Christ is to land into heresies.
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  3. #33
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    AMRA-BEQ30

    BEQ30: Do you agree that Christianity should make a conscious effort to identify pagan Greek influence on Augustine and other leading Christians, and if any is found, to re-evaluate related doctrines on strictly biblical grounds?

    AMRA-BEQ30 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Yes, I believe we as Christians should never stop evaluating what we are taught or told, and are to be searching the Scriptures daily proving out these things.

    But why stop with pagan Greeks?
    How about humanistic philosophers?

    Can we also look at liberal theologians like Ferdinand Christian Baur (1869), August Neander (1850), Albrecht Ritschl (1889), Alfred (Adolph) von Harnack (1930)and Walter Bauer (1960)? These are all theologians that laid the groundwork for unsettled theism's humanistic underpinnnings.
    Last edited by Ask Mr. Religion; September 28th, 2007 at 01:42 PM.
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  4. #34
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    AMRA-BEQ31

    BEQ31: As per BEQ1/7/9/17/27, I accept that you say you believe that God can have relationships, but I’m asking you something different: Is God able to change such that He can have true relationship:
    A: within the Trinity?

    And as part two of the same question,
    B: with His creatures?


    AMRA-BEQ31 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    God does not change. The fact that He does not change has no bearing on what you call a “true relationship”. God sets the standard, and the terms of His relationships, not man.

    See also AMRA-BEQ35.
    Last edited by Ask Mr. Religion; October 4th, 2007 at 01:22 PM.
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  5. #35
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    AMRA-BEQ32

    BEQ32: Considering not verbal revelation, but actual divine historical intervention, Can you indicate if this statement is true: When God intervenes in history, the actual intervention itself cannot be a figure of speech!

    AMRA-BEQ32 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    As your question is worded my answer is the statement is true. Figures of speech are words or phrases that depart from the literal language. An act of history and a figure of speech are unrelated concepts.

    Let me help you re-word the question to get at what I think you are asking:
    BEQ32: Considering not verbal revelation, but actual divine historical intervention, Can you indicate if this statement is true: When God intervenes in history, the actual intervention itself cannot be analogical to the true intent of the intervention!

    For this question I would answer False for reasons discussed in AMRA-BEQ2.
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  6. #36
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    AMRA-BEQ33

    BEQ33: In Battle Royale X, the side that has often appealed to extra-biblical sources in defense of it’s position is:
    A: The Open View
    B: The Settled View


    AMRA-BEQ33 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    It looks like Dr. Lamerson was the most frequent, but I am not sure and don’t want to count them all unless we agree on the standards for counting. For example, do I count all those books in one of your pictures posted in the BRX thread? Do I count each and every bullet item quoting some Greek philosophy reference? Do I count your advertisement in your signature for each post you made? Do I count the Denver Bible staff of consultants you used to help you prepare all your responses to Dr. Lamerson? Can you give me a list of all the research sources they used to come up with arguments and what-not for you? You mentioned how grateful you were to them, so I need the list. Should I also count the various TOL related references you made in BRX, wherein you drew upon Grandstand threads?

    See, things can get very complicated unless we set some ground rules.
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  7. #37
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    AMRA-BEQ34

    BEQ34: Can you identify any curriculum resource at Knox (Reymond’s text, etc.), that explicitly affirms to your students that God is able to change?

    AMRA-BEQ34 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    I am not familiar with the Knox curriculum. But I can point to a Reformed theologian, Wayne Grudem, who affirms that God is not ‘impassible’ in the standard understanding of the term. I agree with him as he writes in Systematic Theology, 2000, Zondervan, pg. 196:

    “c. The Question of God’s Impassibility: Sometimes in a discussion of God’s attributes theologians have spoken of another attribute, namely, the impassibility of God. This attribute, if true, would mean that God does not have passions or emotions, but is “impassible,” not subject to passions. In fact, chapter 2 of the Westminster Confession of Faith says that God is “without . . . passions.” This statement goes beyond what we have affirmed in our definition above about God’s unchangeableness, and affirms more than that God does not change in his being, perfections, purposes, or promises— it also affirms that God does not even feel emotions or “passions.” The Scripture proof given by the Westminster Confession of Faith is Acts 14:15, which in the King James Version reports Barnabas and Paul as rejecting worship from the people at Lystra, protesting that they are not gods but “men of like passions with you.” The implication of the KJV translation might be that someone who is truly God would not have “like passions” as men do, or it might simply show that the apostles were responding to the false view of passionless gods assumed by the men of Lystra (see vv. 10–11). But if the verse is rightly translated, it certainly does not prove that God has no passions or emotions at all, for the Greek term here (homoiopathe) can simply mean having similar circumstances or experiences, or being of a similar nature to someone else. Of course, God does not have sinful passions or emotions. But the idea that God has no passions or emotions at all clearly conflicts with much of the rest of Scripture, and for that reason I have not affirmed God’s impassibility in this book. Instead, quite the opposite is true, for God, who is the origin of our emotions and who created our emotions, certainly does feel emotions: God rejoices (Isa. 62:5). He is grieved (Ps. 78:40; Eph. 4:30). His wrath burns hot against his enemies (Ex. 32:10). He pities his children (Ps. 103:13). He loves with everlasting love (Isa. 54:8; Ps. 103:17). He is a God whose passions we are to imitate for all eternity as we like our Creator hate sin and delight in righteousness.”
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  8. #38
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    AMRA-BEQ35

    BEQ35: To my question, “Is God able to change such that He can have true relationship,” Sam answered “yes” but added “depending upon what one means by the word change,” and then you withheld from the readers whatever you mean by change! Please clarify.

    AMRA-BEQ35 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    I have described my position on the immutability (changeableness) of God in my opening post, AMRA-BEQ1, pointing out the many misunderstandings of unsettled theism about God’s immutable nature. In that post I clearly demonstrated that God is not the Unmoved Mover that the unsettled theist’s like to claim of those that disagree with unsettled theism’s humanistic doctrines. The position I advocated is worth repeating:

    God is always the same in His eternal being. In other words, God never differs from Himself. God’s nature and character are constant, as are His purposes. God will always act the same way towards moral evil and moral good. God will always will and act faithfully.

    Unsettled theists frequently like to use historical arguments in attempts to undermine classical theism, arguing that classical theism depends upon Greek philosophical traditions that have somehow undermined what only the unsettled theist thinks about the idea of God they have crafted.

    Unsettled theist Pinnock states that Augustine allowed neo-platonic ideas to influence his interpretation that put God in “a kind of box” (see Pinnock’s Most Moved Mover). Boyd writes that classical theism became misguided “under the influence of Hellenic philosophy” (see Boyd’s The God of the Possible). Finally, Sanders writes that “Greek thought” and “neo-Platonic metaphysics” were a significant influence on the classical doctrine of God (see Sanders’ The Openness of God). Sanders even lumps Luther and Calvin into the camp of neo-Platonic influence that continues to “dominate conservative theology”. Thus, with a few swipes at the Greeks and the reformers (sans any serious supporting scholarship), the doctrines of God’s immutability, impassibility, and timelessness are declared paganism by the unsettled theist trinity of Pinnock, Boyd, and Sanders. Unfortunately, most other unsettled theists outside of any serious theological forum making these same claims have not spent any significant time studying theological history or philosophy. Instead they merely parrot what they have seen elsewhere (in the texts of Pinnock, Boyd, and Sanders) as if saying something more shrilly and loudly will make it so.

    But, what of these claims, irrespective of the learnedness of those making them? Let’s examine the issue more closely.

    No one will dispute that the early Church theologians read the Greek philosopher’s and even used Greek terms to communicate biblical truths efficiently to their generation. What is significantly overlooked by unsettled theists is that these early church theologians transformed the meanings and contents of the terms they used so as to be faithful to the truths of Scripture. We’ll examine more about this below, but for those seeking to truly learn about the doctrines of God and Greek thought, see John Piper’s Beyond the Bounds, Gerald Bray’s The Personal God, and Millard Erickson’s God the Father Almighty: A Contemporary Exploration of the Divine Attributes. Moreover, rabbinic authorities confirm that the attributes of God in Judaism have been developed from the bible and not Greek thought. See D.G. Montefiore’s A Rabbinic Anthology.

    Orthodox Christian doctrine history also denies the notion of unsettled theists that classical theism is a pagan mixture. Even Boyd writes that the history of orthodox Christian doctrine has always been on the side of classical theism, concluding “I must concede that the unsettled view has been relatively rare in church history” (see The God of the Possible, pg. 115). Such a perspective is in keeping with the Church fathers, Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, the Puritans, as well as Spurgeon, Edwards, and Hodge, all of whom confirmed the classical doctrine as God’s deposited truth. One wonders that if unsettled theism were true, two thousand years of church history would be uprooted.

    As noted, some unsettled theists will trot out their barbs about Augustine’s or Aquinas’ influence by the Greeks in the development of theology. That is about the extent of what they can say, since very few have studied these theologians or Greek philosophers carefully and formally. There is no disputing that Augustine owed much to Platonic thinking. In fact, it was his studies of Plato and Plotinus that led Augustine to his conversion to Christianity. The more Augustine read these thinkers the more Augustine realized that the whole of Greek thought had to be recast within the light of the Scriptures.

    Likewise, Aquinas spent much of his free time in 1268 and the next five years writing commentaries about Aristotle. These were not the task of a Dominican theologian, which he was at the time (Paris), and they were not written to twist the texts of Aristotle into a Christian purpose. It was afterwards, when Aquinas had more fully developed understandings of the Greeks, that he began composing his “errors of Aristotle”. Few persons who have not formally studied Aquinas realize that in all his thinking, Aquinas held to the intellectual policy that a genuine conflict between what the human mind can know and the truths of the Christian faith can never arise. There are many seeming conflicts, as Aquinas’ “errors of Aristotle” plainly showed, and they require much philosophical discussion to discuss them effectively.

    The unsettled theist’s charges against classical theism are not new. In fact they are a repetition of liberal theology. Unsettled theists are copying the liberal theologians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These claims originated in nineteenth century Germany, and were connected to Ferdinand Christian Baur (1869) and August Neander (1850). It was picked up later by Albrecht Ritschl (1889). The exposition of these claims that resurrected them all over again came from Alfred (Adolph) von Harnack (1930) published as “What is Christianity?” Walter Bauer (1960) further developed Harnack’s thesis.

    Upon closer examination, unsettled theism’s foundations are based upon three philosophical presuppositions: love, relationship, and freedom. Sanders writes, that “Philosophical theology can lend clarity to concepts about the divine nature of providence that can be useful to biblical scholars” (See Sanders’ The God Who Risks). Yet the degree of authority Sanders gives to philosophical theology is incompatible with the historic understanding of general revelation. Yes, we must approach God according to His self-revelation in the scriptures, since the scriptures provide the only revelation of salvation. And general revelation plays an important role in mankind’s understanding of God. However, the scriptures are clear in that man’s knowledge of himself and the rest of creation, apart from God’s self-revelation in the scriptures, is not to be trusted. This is the proper role and scope of general revelation. Contrast this to Sanders’ assertion that there is a need to use philosophy in formulations of theology, stating that classical theism must be reevaluated in light of a “more relational metaphysic” (See Sanders’ The Openness of God). Despite the claims of unsettled theists that classical theism was influenced by philosophy, they do not renounce the use of philosophy. Instead they import a different, humanist philosophy into theological and biblical interpretation to understand anthropomorphisms in a personal, relational way, seeking to avoid the impersonal God of Greek thought. In other words, the unsettled theist overlays a philosophical grid over scripture, through which interpretations of scripture are sieved.

    So, if these arguments by unsettled theists are not new, then what are they really about? I will let Pinnock (I could cite others, so skip the whole “we don’t support Pinnock’s views’ retort) describe the motivation by unsettled theists to claim ancient thoughts have polluted classical theism:

    Modern culture can actually assist us in this task because the contemporary horizon is more congenial to dynamic thinking about God than is the Greek portrait. Today it is easier to invite people to find fulfillment in a dynamic, personal God than it would be to ask them to find it in a deity who is immutable and self-enclosed. Modern thinking has more room for a God who is personal (even tripersonal) than it does for a God as absolute substance. We ought to be grateful for those features of modern culture, which make it easier to recover the biblical witness.” (The Openness of God, pg. 107)

    We are making peace with the culture of modernity.” (ibid., emphasis mine)

    Well, here we have the real motivation of unsettled theism: mixing a theological system with contemporary culture which appeals to our modern world. After all, ours is a world nowadays that needs a feel-good God in its culture of selfishness, extravagance, and self-absorption. Philosophical humanism, liberalism, and modernism packaged up in the guise of new revelation.

    Also, in AMRA-BEQ7 I noted the logical conclusion of the unsettled theist’s changeable God, in that this God is not the God of Abraham, for He has long since changed from accretion of knowledge based upon the actions of the unsettled theist’s liberty of indifference.

    In AMRA-BEQ9 I made it clear that there is nothing in the understanding of the orthodox position on immutability that needs to be changed.

    In AMRA-BEQ17, I argued that the underlying premise for unsettled theism’s position on immutability, that is, the need for a “true” relationship with God and His creatures is humanism, making God in the image of man. I also argued that God is not immobile and enters into personal, loving, relationships with His creatures, and cares for their happiness. Moreover, God enters into many relations with His creatures and lives their lives with them. Indeed, change occurs all around God, the relations of His creatures change to Him, but, fortunately, there is no change in God’s Being, attributes, purpose, motives, or His promises.

    In AMRQ-BEQ21, I argued that all that was, is, and will be has been so decreed by God such that His eternal plan for realization of His glory will be realized. The future is known explicitly to God and is fixed by Him.

    In AMRA-BEQ34 I affirm my agreement with Wayne Grudem in his description of the impassibility of God. But what Grudem fails to describe more fully is that God is not one whose emotions are out of control. He is reasoned and purposed. For example, His hate burns always perfectly hot against sin as does His Love for the righteous.

    We must not confuse the want inherent in "passion" with feelings. Passion implies desire for what one does not have. God does not want. However, to say that God is impassable in the sense that he has no passions or cravings for fulfillment is not to say that he has no feelings. God feels anger at sin and rejoices in righteousness. But God’s feelings are unchanging. He always, unchangingly, feels the same sense of anger at sin. He never ceases to rejoice in goodness and lightness. Thus, God has no changing passions, but he does have unchanging feelings.

    Carefully consider what you and other unsettled theists are saying: Your God can be wounded; God is regularly frustrated when His creatures thwart His plans; God is bitterly disappointed when His will is checked—as it regularly is by the so-called liberty of indifference of His creatures. The God of the unsettled theist is in the hands of angry sinners since only their kind of God is capable of love, tenderness, or affections. Unsettled theists will claim that the classical theist's God is detached, apathetic, and has no sensitivity.

    We all like to think of God in our own human terms, despite the admonishments of Psalms 50:21; Isaiah 55:8-9; Ephesians 3:19; and Romans 11:33. God's love does not wax and wane. Human love and divine love are clearly spelled out in 1 Corinthians 13, both having many of the same characteristics. Yet there is not a single verse in the scriptures describing the characteristic of love has anything at all to do with passion. Real love is not at all like the emotion we refer to when we mention “love”. Thus, the Scriptures, not our human experiences, must guide our understandings of the affections of God. And anyone who devotes time biblically studying God’s affections, whether unsettled or classical theist will find that God’s Word places the divine affections on a level infinitely higher than our passions. While we learn much from anthropomorphisms, God’s affections, for the most part remain impenetrable. (For more discussion of God’s love see AMRA-BEQ6.)

    For example, what are we to make of an impassible God who we find dealing with the Israelites in Sinai:

    Exodus 32:9 And the LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.
    Exodus 32:10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you."
    Exodus 32:11 But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, "O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

    Two observations can be made from these passages. First, we don’t imagine that God is subject to temper tantrums. We know that God’s wrath against sin is something more than just a mood swing and we do not interpret this passage with simple literalness. Why? We learn from James 1:17 that God is not subject to variableness. God could not be literally wavering or regretting (1 Samuel 15:29) about His covenant (Deuteronomy 4:31). And Moses’ pleas would not have literally changed the mind of God (see Numbers 23:19). Thus a strictly literal interpretation of the anthropomorphisms in the passages above is impossible without distorting the character or the trustworthiness of God.

    Secondly, we observe God’s righteous anger in the passage above. Anyone, especially unsettled theists, claiming that the God of classical theism is detached, apathetic, or insensitive must recognize the fallacy of their claims. We begin to make sense of impassibility by realizing the impossibility of comprehending God’s mind.

    We can also examine the anthropomorphisms for real meanings. Yes, they are metaphors, but they mean something and also do not mean something. They mean that God is reassuring us that He is not indifferent or uninvolved with His creation. They do not mean that God is subject to passions, mood swings, etc.

    That God does not change His mind in no way implies that God is devoid of thought. That God is not subject to passions in no way implies that God is devoid of feelings. What these do mean is that God’s mind and feelings are not like our thoughts and passions. God’s affections are never involuntary, irrational, or out of control.

    J. I. Packer writes on impassibility:
    “This means, not that God is impassive and unfeeling (a frequent misunderstanding), but that no created beings can inflict pain, suffering and distress on him at their own will. In so far as God enters into suffering and grief (which Scripture's many anthropopathisms, plus the fact of the cross, show that he does), it is by his own deliberate decision; he is never his creatures' hapless victim. The Christian mainstream has construed impassibility as meaning not that God is a stranger to joy and delight, but rather that his joy is permanent, clouded by no involuntary pain.” (Ferguson and Wright, New Dictionary of Theology)

    Also,
    “[Impassibility is] not impassivity, unconcern, and impersonal detachment in face of the creation; not insensitivity and indifference to the distresses of a fallen world; not inability or unwillingness to empathize with human pain and grief; but simply that God's experiences do not come upon him as ours come upon us, for his are foreknown, willed and chosen by himself, and are not involuntary surprises forced on him from outside, apart from his own decision, in the way that ours regularly are.” (See Peter T. O'Brien and David G. Peterson, God Who Is Rich in Mercy)
    Last edited by Ask Mr. Religion; October 4th, 2007 at 04:47 PM.
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  9. #39
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    AMRA-BEQ36

    BEQ36: Please explicitly answer BEQ30: Do you agree that Christianity should make a conscious effort to identify pagan Greek influence on Augustine and other leading Christians, and if any is found, to re-evaluate related doctrines on strictly biblical grounds?

    AMRA-BEQ36 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Asked and answered. See AMRA-BEQ30.
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  10. #40
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    AMRA-BEQ37

    BEQ37: Please explain why you do not concur with my 5B evidence of direct pagan philosophical influence on Augustine and other leading Christians.

    AMRA-BEQ37 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    In AMRA-BEQ35, I discuss the mis-characterizations of unsettled theism about the so-called pagan philosophical influence upon Christianity, clearly showing that the early theologians, such as Augustine, rejected erroneous thinking of the Greeks wherever such thinking was not shown to be biblical. Your argument is a category error and is built upon genetic fallacies.
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  11. #41
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    AMRA-BEQ38

    BEQ38: Regarding anti-openness author Bruce Ware’s publication of a paper calling for a reformulation of the doctrine of immutability (and your own acknowledgement that God is able to change in relationship), please inform me and the readers as to whether immutability, as taught by Calvin and Calvinists now for centuries, has always explicitly declared that God is able to change, or is it a newer theological development to explicitly declare that?

    AMRA-BEQ38 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Ware argues that there are so-called value-neutral changes against the orthodox position that any change is a change for either the good or the worse.

    I disagree that such value-neutral changes exist. They are chimeras chased by philosophers. Consequently, if God is learning new things from the actions of His creatures, He is accreting knowledge, and this knowledge is not value-neutral. Therefore God is changing. If He is changing for the better, then the God of Abraham was less good than the God I am praying to daily. If God changes for the worse, then the God of my grandchildren will be less good, and the God of millennia from now may be wholly malevolent (more precisely, omnipotent and malevolent).

    The doctrine of immutability as taught by the Reformers is as I have described that doctrine in AMRA-BEQ1, AMRA-BEQ9, AMRA-BEQ17, AMRA-BEQ21. In AMRA-BEQ34 I affirmed my agreement with Grudem on the attribute of God’s impassibility. This is probably the only item that is not a universally held belief of the Reformers. Ware’s position on immutability is outside the mainstream of Reformed theology.
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  12. #42
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    AMRA-BEQ39

    BEQ39: If you agree that Bruce Ware was calling for a reformulation of immutability for a valid reason, that is, because the doctrine had not previously explicitly declared that God is able to change in relationship, does that indicate an extraordinarily fundamental theological shift which will require a reconsideration of other doctrines which have been based upon immutability?

    AMRA-BEQ39 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Firstly, as I noted in AMRA-BEQ38, I do not agree that Ware’s reasons behind his paper in 1986 on immutability were valid reasons.
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  13. #43
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    AMRA-BEQ40

    BEQ40: I obtained a copy of Reymond’s 1,200-page textbook used by Knox a few days after this debate began, and if you recall, I only submitted a scan from his Table of Contents to illustrate that immutability is Calvinism’s core teaching regarding God’s nature. I have only read dozens of scattered pages, and have been unable to find Reymond declaring that God can change in relationship. Whether he has or not will be instructive regarding Calvinism’s coming to terms with the problem of General Immutability. Please indicate if Reymond addresses this, and if so, please cite him.

    AMRA-BEQ40 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    I do not think that the Reformed believers need to come to terms with the “problem of general immutability”. For, as I have argued in numerous posts, starting with my very first post, the “problem” lies with the misunderstandings of immutability by unsettled theism’s proponents.

    Nor does Reymond feel there is any problems with immutability. See page 178:
    “Everywhere he [God] is portrayed as One who can and does enter into deep, authentic interpersonal relations of love with his creatures, and as a God who truly cares for his creatures and their happiness."
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  14. #44
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    AMRA-BEQ41

    BEQ41: When you [Lamerson] answered BEQ21 regarding the future that God “has never changed it,” I’m sure that you meant to say that God has not changed what would have been other than when He originally foreordained all of eternity future. Otherwise, the Bible’s God would be almost exactly like Zeus, stuck in a Fate that even He Himself did not ordain. Please indicate if this more accurately reflects your position, or if not, please explain how the future came to be settled.

    AMRA-BEQ41 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Well, I am glad that Dr. Lamerson and I are in agreement on matters related to the future. As I stated in AMRA-BEQ21: God decreed from eternity all that was, is, and will be.

    It is always bemusing to have others attempt to tell me what I mean to say, or what I believe, because, after all, such persons “was once a Calvinist” or “was once taught these things in seminary”, etc. I submit that on both counts, these persons were asleep during catechism or classroom instruction.

    So my answer to your question is no, I have not “meant to say” this or that, for I try to be precise in what I write.

    Anyone that reviews my posts and the responses to them will readily see that all the elements of grammar that I use are carefully picked over and pounced upon by the jaded unsettled theist who hopes to find error, contradiction, etc., and then proclaim they have refuted all of classical theism or the Reformed faith. I humbly submit that the fate of both areas surely does not rest on my words. If I have failed in my knowledge or my ability to articulate the classical and Reformed positions, the error is solely mine, and not the great truths of the Scriptures I have attempted to faithfully represent.

    In this 1:1 I have given my best efforts at accurately reflecting classical and Reformed thinking. My hope is that the more reasoned who come across my words will give them serious consideration and weigh them against the usual vitriolic rhetoric, or the mind-numbing, vacuous repetitiveness of some of the most prolific posters in these forums.
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  15. #45
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    AMRA-BEQ42

    BEQ42: I need a clarification, can God apart from reliance on foreknowledge make a rooster crow? If possible, please unequivocally answer yes or no.

    AMRA-BEQ42 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    There is no answer to your question as posed. Your question misunderstands foreknowledge and uses the term as a causative, when foreknowledge is merely knowledge of future happenings. Please carefully review my discussion in AMRA-BEQ12. A recap appears below:

    By foreordination, I mean that God predisposes all that is to come to pass and the conditions in such a manner that all shall come to pass according to God's eternal plan. These events may come to pass via the free actions of moral agents (both saved and lost) or via God's causative acts.

    By God's foreknowledge, I mean God knows always and at all times everything which is to come to pass. Why does God know this? God foreknows what is to come to pass because, as stated above, God has prearranged the happening of what is to come to pass. Thus we say that God foreknows because He has foreordained. This last statement makes sense when we observe that when we say, “I know what I am going to do,” it is evident that we have already determined to do so, and that our knowledge does not precede our determination, but follows the determining and is based upon the determining. To admit foreknowledge carries foreordination with it.
    So, lest anyone claim I did not answer your question, let’s formulate it properly.

    Foreknowledge presupposes foreordination, but foreknowledge is not itself foreordination.

    Necessity of a hypothetical inference...
    If God foreknew the rooster would crow, then the rooster cannot refrain from crowing. (Incorrect)

    The interpretation above wrongly interprets God's foreknowledge as impinging upon the rooster’s instinctive agency. The proper understanding is:

    The necessity of the consequent of the hypothetical...
    Necessarily, if God foreknew the rooster would crow, then the rooster does not refrain from crowing. (Correct)

    In other words, the actions of moral free agents or instinctively driven, non-sentient creatures do not take place because they are foreseen, the actions are foreseen because the actions are certain to take place.

    Lest anyone think I am not answering your question, let’s formulate it correctly:
    Can God apart from reliance on His foreordained decree make a rooster crow? If possible, please unequivocally answer yes or no.

    No.
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