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Thread: The Open/Closed Conundrum.

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight View Post
    I don't think there is any rational or logical answer to that in a closed view theology.
    Do you even know the arguments, or the philosophers/theologians who have put them forward? Have you even attempted to look for an answer?

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    Silver Member Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCTA4me View Post
    My school of thought as held by Boyd, is that God in His omniscience, perceives every possible outcome to the degree that they are certainties. So in His infinite wisdom, He can determine every possible date of Christ's return; and within His will, Christ's return is definitive in every possible future; however which date that will be enacted is contingent on many other possible factors. I don't think you can limit His knowledge by saying, He doesn't know the absolute date that will come to pass, because He knows every possible date as though it was a certainty.
    Greetings DOCTA4me. I don't think I've ever come across one of your posts before and so let me start by saying, welcome to TOL and that I look forward to what will hopefully be many substantive and fruitful discussion with you. God bless you!

    Now, in response to what I quoted above, I would respond simply by asking you why you believe this? It seems rather a long way around the bush just to preserve God's foreknowledge of some exact date. Why go through so much intellectual trouble to preserve such a belief?

    Open Theism is saying that God’s knowledge is limited, because He does not pre-know the actions of the authorities, powers and principalities He created. Open Theist’s should not be afraid to say that.
    I agree. Open Theists should not be ashamed of the implications of their doctrine.

    For the record, I believe that God knows all that He wants to know of that which is knowable.

    I disagree with Boyd’s “every possible outcome” theory for a couple reasons.
    I've read some of Boyd's writings but can't say that I'm familiar enough with this theory to defend it or to even comment on it with any authority but intuitively it seems to me that "every possible outcome" would not be knowable.

    First, God is not a metaphysical supercomputer that constantly processes reams of data that will never be used. His concern is with the “what is” not the “what if.” (I’m not saying God doesn’t ponder the future)
    I'd agree with this point, at least in principle. I mean, its clear that God makes plans for the future and is aware of man's plans and intentions and acts accordingly. God's dealings with man is much more organic than what is implied by the notion that God is up there crunching the numbers trying to anticipate every conceivable permutation of potential futures. I think that God is just being God, living His life, interacting with those whom He encounters and dealing with issues as needed, some in advance, other not. The fact that the issues He deals with are on a cosmic and eternal scale only implies His wisdom and immeasurable intelligence, not that God must be able to peak into the future in order to get the decisions right the first time.

    Secondly, and more importantly, God is not the author of sin. To illustrate this, I like to ask the question, where does a book originate? Does it originate at the end of a printing press (or on a computer screen) or does it originate in the mind of the author? People typically admit that a book originates in the mind of the author. That being the case, the author owns the content of the book.
    I agree completely that books (i.e. ideas) originate in the mind, whether that mind be man's or God's. I likewise agree with the concept of the ownership of intellectual property rests with the author.
    I'm afraid I don't get the analogy though. To what metaphorical "book" are you referring and to which author?

    God did not finish creating and say “it is good” knowing full well how homosexuals would soon be degrading the human anatomy, for instance. I believe that God was aghast, shocked, mortified, certainly angered the first time He saw what rebellious people would physically do to themselves and one another.

    What God did know at the time of creation was that creatures with the ability to love would also have the ability to withhold that love, or hate. So He formulated a strategy for dealing with rebellion if it took place.With respect to the date and time of Christ’s return it could already be calendared. God may have decided before creating that “I’m going to work on this project for this amount of time and then I am going to punch out.” But I do not think that is what He did. I think that God will return when there are no longer branches in the vineyard that produces fruit.
    I agree with all of this completely, which makes me worry that I've misunderstood the first half of your post somehow.

    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post


    I agree with all of this completely, which makes me worry that I've misunderstood the first half of your post somehow.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    The first part was written by someone else. I was responding to them but just messed up my post. I was disagreeing with Boyd's position on open theism that God knows all possibilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCTA4me View Post
    The first part was written by someone else. I was responding to them but just messed up my post. I was disagreeing with Boyd's position on open theism that God knows all possibilities.
    I also do not see why God must know all possibilities. I think this is an attempt to make Open Theism more palatable and less 'extreme' or a nod to Molinism (more in that direction).
    Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)

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    Over 1000 post club Shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCTA4me View Post
    You seem to have concluded that day and hour means its already on the calendar. I think the day and hour could be when God's creation (the field) no longer reaps a harvest. I thing that was the condition that lead to the Flood.

    God wants as many believer with Him in heaven as possible. He paid the ultimate price for that through the death of His Son. I think He will patiently squeeze as much faith out of His creation as He can.

    I don't know for sure that I am right, but that's what's possible with the OV.
    The disciples were asking when that Day WOULD be not when it MIGHT POSSIBLY be. Jesus was not saying that the Father would know (future tense) but that He already did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shasta View Post

    God shows prophetic foreknowledge (not the term as used in Open Theism) because He does know what people will choose to do sometimes thousands of years in advance.

    Prophecies and promises have been known to be conditional long before the latter day advent of Open Theology. Historically, it was believed that men made real choices but that the transcendent God rather than predestining them to make those choices simply foreknew what they would do.

    God as defined in Open Theology cannot possess true foreknowledge because He is linked with the temporal spatial universe. Being within the time line He is unable to stand outside it to see anything other than the past, the present or events that He Himself has decided to cause or allow to happen and then only if those events are not changed through the prayers of free agents
    If God's sees from all eternity and for all eternity the entire "time line of human history" then all of human history always has and always will exist for all eternity as well.

    In a closed view "a time line" of every moment of all our lives exists for God to see, even though we cannot. To God all of our moments are "now", not past or future. An enlightened closed theist does not care about what we believe or what will we do for he and God knows he's already in heaven, the rest of us already in hell.

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    Over 1000 post club Shasta's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
    There has to be more than one occasion, doesn't there?
    Actually no. Such an example should not be possible within the parameters of your theory which has made very definite all-inclusive statements about the nature of God.

    This doesn't work. No one can change God's mind on the date except God, especially since He is the only One who knows. Thus it is possible for Him to know specifically without the OV being false. Since the OV doesn't say God can't know any future event for certain.
    The time and date must coincide with the great Apostasy which is not something God would instigate. The Great Apostasy will be a decision made by multitude of men (not yet born) in a distant future time that does not exist. It sounds very uncertain to me.

    As for the other, well according to you God can and has many times changed His mind after saying something. Has He decided for sure this time? How could you really be sure?


    What makes you think there are that many possibilities? Hint: There aren't.

    I can think of all kinds of possibilities just off the top of my head. I suppose if I devoted enough time to it I could come up with a lot more. How many do you need?



    Not at all what I believe. God cannot foreknow what we will do if it isn't already determined by something.
    Yes that is a very clear re-statement of your beliefs.

    It is also a view with a very recent history being disseminated by such modernist theologians as Greg Boyd who is so liberal as to be close to falling off the ship of orthodoxy altogether.

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    Boyd pushes the envelop on some areas, but he is far from liberal. He is an evangelical trinitarian who does not compromise the basic gospel. Views of providence, sovereignty, free will do not make one conservative or liberal.
    Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
    I don't mind the label Open Theist and I'd willingly use it to describe myself, but...

    ...I get the impression that much of what we might present as Open Theists of God changing things, could easily have been planned by God a long time ago. Thus, while the freedom God has to act or not act remains unquestioned (by me), the chances that what He does being uncertain or contingent might be essentially zero.

    And, for the life of me, I can't think of a good example to better describe this right now.
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    Does Whatever A Light-House Can Lighthouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shasta View Post
    Actually no. Such an example should not be possible within the parameters of your theory which has made very definite all-inclusive statements about the nature of God.
    First off, is there a reason it took you almost seven months to come up with a response? That's just sad.

    Now, as per the open view's statements regarding the nature of God, there is no OV statement that God is incapable of knowing definitively and exhaustively, various events in the future.

    And, btw, there is more than one occasion wherein God knows definitively and exhaustively the events of some [at the time] future events. But you don't know why, do you? You have an idea from your closed view perception, but cannot even think of why, or how, He would know in the open view, can you? That's because you can't think.

    The time and date must coincide with the great Apostasy which is not something God would instigate. The Great Apostasy will be a decision made by multitude of men (not yet born) in a distant future time that does not exist. It sounds very uncertain to me.
    Pure speculation; an argument from silence.

    As for the other, well according to you God can and has many times changed His mind after saying something. Has He decided for sure this time? How could you really be sure?
    I didn't say He couldn't, or wouldn't, change His mind on this. However, it stands to reason that He has no reason to change His mind. The times He changed His mind before He had a reason. Do you know what that reason was?

    I can think of all kinds of possibilities just off the top of my head. I suppose if I devoted enough time to it I could come up with a lot more. How many do you need?
    You don't understand the nature of creation very well.

    Yes that is a very clear re-statement of your beliefs.
    And you still don't get it.

    It is also a view with a very recent history being disseminated by such modernist theologians as Greg Boyd who is so liberal as to be close to falling off the ship of orthodoxy altogether.
    And? Do you have a point?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Shasta View Post
    The Great Apostasy is a particular time when “the love of MOST will grow cold” It is immediately connected with the coming of The Antichrist and the Great Tribulation which is to be the worst in history.

    It immediately precedes and intimately connected with the Tribulation, is to be the worst in history. How could God predict that that this particular time would be uniquely bad? To know that such a time as the Tribulation would be worse than any other even past or present He would also have to have in mind what all similar times past and future to use as points of comparison, The only way that could be done is if He foreknew those times
    This has been a great thread, and when I came across this post, it brought this verse to mind.

    Daniel 12:4
    But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

    When you look at the entire history of man on the earth, and see that is wasn't until the last couple of hundred years that man has gone from riding horses to where we are today. God has inspired men to come up with so many great inventions by which knowledge has increased.


    We see how the Lord confused the language and scattered the people to restrain them from doing all the things they imagined to do.

    Gen. 11:5-7
    And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

    I believe this increase in knowledge is what we're seeing today, and God was the author of it's coming into being at this time in history. He knew what it would take to bring us to this point....this "increase in knowledge."

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