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Thread: Classical Theism - R. Muller Paper

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post

    You read the article and then respond from the Open perspective as convincingly best you can.
    It's too long for a single thread. I think AMR should tell us what he thinks has not been adequately delt with by open theists in this article so we keep the thread focused on that point.

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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
    How can we make a cogent response when you have not made a cogent point or presented a cogent question.

    --Dave
    Huh?

    I asked for clear opinions on the paper. I also stated I was genuinely interested in them. I have read them all to date and appreciate the time taken to prepare them. Hence, I have met the self-imposed burden of my OP.

    I am interested in anyone willing to think critically about an overlooked paper written by one of our most important living historical theologians. Other than Cola76, who clearly took the time to digest the paper on some level, the bulk of the responses are more of the usual wave-offs of the open theist who dismiss anything that is opposed to their own presupositions without any serious consideration of another's views.

    The paper is not an easy read. It requires deep thinking. If the reader thinks it is simply an anti-openist screed, they have seriously missed the point of the author.

    Dave, in direct response to your question, I will note that the "cogent" points have been made by the author of the paper. Not all posts are throw downs for battle. And frankly, the rules of this particular forum, prevent the same. I need not, nor am I obliged to add anything more. Now having said as much, I will most likely weigh in with my own perspective at a later date because I take my own advice. I am thinking carefully about the paper. I have re-typed it, outlined it, composed thoughts about the author's points, and am working through them carefully. But why does any of that matter when all I have asked is for those interested to read the paper and offer their assessment?

    So Dave, if you, or anyone else does not want to read this paper, caring not to forming and sharing a public opinion, or those simply hoping another will do the heavy-lifting for them, well, then, you all have my sincere thanks for stopping by. To such persons, if I may, borrowing with tongue-in-cheek from a recently ignominiously dug up King, I would simply say, "My kingdom for a serious open theist thinker".

    AMR
    Last edited by Ask Mr. Religion; February 5th, 2013 at 05:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post
    Huh?

    I asked for clear opinions on the paper. I also stated I was genuinely interested in them. I have read them all to date and appreciate the time taken to prepare them. Hence, I have met the self-imposed burden of my OP.

    I am interested in anyone willing to think critically about an overlooked paper written by one of our most important living historical theologians. Other than Cola76, who clearly took the time to digest the paper on some level, the bulk of the responses are more of the usual wave-offs of the open theist who dismiss anything that is opposed to their own presupositions without any serious consideration of another's views.

    The paper is not an easy read. It requires deep thinking. If the reader thinks it is simply an anti-openist screed, they have seriously missed the point of the author.

    Dave, in direct response to your question, I will note that the "cogent" points have been made by the author of the paper. Not all posts are throw downs for battle. And frankly, the rules of this particular forum, prevent the same. I need not, nor am I obliged to add anything more. Now having said as much, I will most likely weigh in with my own perspective at a later date because I take my own advice. I am thinking carefully about the paper. I have re-typed it, outlined it, composed thoughts about the author's points, and am working through them carefully. But why does any of that matter when all I have asked is for those interested to read the paper and offer their assessment?

    So Dave, if you, or anyone else does not want to read this paper, caring not to forming and sharing a public opinion, or those simply hoping another will do the heavy-lifting for them, well, then, you all have my sincere thanks for stopping by. :e4: To such persons, if I may, borrowing with tongue-in-cheek from a recently ignominiously dug up King, I would simply say, "My kingdom for a serious open theist thinker".

    AMR
    I read the paper, well written. I see what you want and I will get to work on it--thanks.

    --Dave
    www.dynamicfreetheism.com
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
    I read the paper, well written. I see what you want and I will get to work on it--thanks.

    --Dave
    Wonderful. Looking forward to reading it, too.

    AMR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post

    Wonderful. Looking forward to reading it, too.

    AMR
    Richard A. Muller's proposition
    "I remain convinced that the structure of classical theism and its synthesis of faith and reason stands the test and survives the critique. Incarnation and the divine immutability are not contraries."

    Plato Dichotomy
    "We must distinguish between that which is and never becomes from that which is always becoming but never is."

    Aristotle's Dichotomy
    "There is something that is always being moved [by] something that moves things without being moved."

    The architects of Natural theology, Plato and Aristotle "reasoned" the existence of a God that is the opposite of "nature". Philosophical deity is absolutely transcendent and can never be immanent.

    They proposed that a world of movement and change must find its origin--Plato's Demiurge, or the cause of its movement and
    change--Aristotle's Unmoved Mover, in that which is immovable and changeless. That which is temporal and changes cannot exist without that which is eternally unchanged.

    The big question
    Neither Plato's Demiurge nor Aristotle's Unmoved Mover could incarnate, "become flesh". So, how does classic theology's "divine immutability" accomplish this task?

    Augustine's Synthesis
    The answer lies in classic theology's synthesis of Greek philosophy (a.k.a. natural theology) and Biblical Revelation, or as Muller puts it, "synthesis of faith and reason". A synthesis incorporates a thesis with its antithesis to form a new thesis. The God of who cannot enter the world combined with the God who can becomes the God who can both change and not change. This "new" God is worshipped at an alter that requires a sacrifice. That sacrifice would be "logic", the laws of rational thought.

    Next post I'll show how Muller equivocates between what immutable means and does not mean, how God seems to change but does not really change, etc.

    --Dave
    www.dynamicfreetheism.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post
    It's too long for a single thread. I think AMR should tell us what he thinks has not been adequately delt with by open theists in this article so we keep the thread focused on that point.

    --Dave
    Most people on a simple internet forum will not read long articles. This is not seminary. I do hope to get to it eventually.
    Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)

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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by godrulz View Post
    Most people on a simple internet forum will not read long articles. This is not seminary. I do hope to get to it eventually.
    I posted the article and asked for comments. I made no subsequent posts to bump or badger. I am only responding now because some have read the paper.

    As I stated to Dave, if you do not want to read the item, it is just fine with me. I really do not know what being on an internet forum has to do with this, nor the "seminary" bit, however. Surely persons read this and that, books, articles, etc., in their walk of faith. How do they come by these items? Internet ads? Web sites? Bookstores? Word of mouth? Discussion sites? It really is that simple, so why make something more of this?

    AMR
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    Just a practical observation confirmed by the few takers. I am not denying your right to try and hope to bite myself.

    I suspect he will play a semantical game. The incarnation is clearly a change, so immutability is weak vs strong (God changes in some ways, but not in other ways). Change does not have to be bad or a move from perfection (Plato error).
    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

    "No Compromise!" (Keith Green)

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

  9. #24
    LIFETIME MEMBER DFT_Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFT_Dave View Post

    Richard A. Muller's proposition
    "I remain convinced that the structure of classical theism and its synthesis of faith and reason stands the test and survives the critique. Incarnation and the divine immutability are not contraries."

    Plato Dichotomy
    "We must distinguish between that which is and never becomes from that which is always becoming but never is."

    Aristotle's Dichotomy
    "There is something that is always being moved [by] something that moves things without being moved."

    The architects of Natural theology, Plato and Aristotle "reasoned" the existence of a God that is the opposite of "nature". Philosophical deity is absolutely transcendent and can never be immanent.

    They proposed that a world of movement and change must find its origin--Plato's Demiurge, or the cause of its movement and
    change--Aristotle's Unmoved Mover, in that which is immovable and changeless. That which is temporal and changes cannot exist without that which is eternally unchanged.

    The big question
    Neither Plato's Demiurge nor Aristotle's Unmoved Mover could incarnate, "become flesh". So, how does classic theology's "divine immutability" accomplish this task?

    Augustine's Synthesis
    The answer lies in classic theology's synthesis of Greek philosophy (a.k.a. natural theology) and Biblical Revelation, or as Muller puts it, "synthesis of faith and reason". A synthesis incorporates a thesis with its antithesis to form a new thesis. The God of who cannot enter the world combined with the God who can becomes the God who can both change and not change. This "new" God is worshipped at an alter that requires a sacrifice. That sacrifice would be "logic", the laws of rational thought.

    Next post I'll show how Muller equivocates between what immutable means and does not mean, how God seems to change but does not really change, etc.

    --Dave
    Richard A. Muller's proposition
    "The Aristotelian conception of an 'unmoved Mover,'...is not a conception which in and of itself implies stasis or incapability of relation with externals. Rather it indicates a being who has not been “moved” or brought into being by another."

    Aristotle
    The "divine mine...thinks of what is most divine and most valuable, and plainly it does not change; for change would be for the worse, and already be a movement...The (devine) mind then, must think of itself if it is the best of things."

    The Unmoved Mover certainly "has not been 'moved' or brought into being by another", but Aristotle, Metaphysics Book VII, Part 9, contradicts Muller's claim that the Unmoved Mover is capable of relationship with "externals", I think he means us.

    So in this statement of Muller's we see the synthesis at work. The Unmoved Mover is eternal but cannot think about us. Biblical Deity is eternal as well but can think about us. Aristotle said the mind is moved by the object of its thought, so God cannot think about us because that would involve movement and change--imperfection.

    Since the philosophical "pure actuality" (perfection) of God must be maintained along with God's Biblical (potential) relationship with us, complicated explanations are made in an attempt to unite these opposing ideas. Here's Muller's;

    "We find the seventeenth-century Reformed scholastic, Johannes Hottinger, arguing in a manner quite congenial to Barth, 'It is God’s life by which He both lives Himself by nature perpetually actuosus in Himself [pure actuality] and is the source of life for others, communicating it in a variety of ways outside Himself'. [Biblical Deity] The doctrine that God is unmoved means precisely that he is the first mover who imparts motion, which is to say existence to all that is. In short, God, as unmoved Mover, is the eternal one who not only does but also must relate to all things."

    The Unmoved Mover is responsible for the movement in the world but to "impart motion" does not mean to "impart existence", as Muller suggests. Aristotle's world is as eternal as his Unmoved Mover.

    "It is impossible for movement either to come into being or to perish, since it has always existed. Nor can time do either of these things, since there could not be anything "prior" (before) or "posterior" (after) if there were no time; and movement is as continues as time, since time is either the same thing as movement or is an affection of it. There is something that is always being moved...(by) something that moves things without being moved."--Metaphysics Book VII, Part 6

    The Unmoved Mover is not the Creator of the universe or else he would not be an unmoved mover. More later.

    --Dave
    www.dynamicfreetheism.com
    The only view of ultimate reality that provides
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  10. #25
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    As a complementary reading to Muller's paper, I would also recommend the following paper from John MacArthur in The Master's Seminary Journal (TMJ):

    Open Theism and the Atonement

    Some accompanying lectures are available here, too.

    AMR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post
    As a complementary reading to Muller's paper, I would also recommend the following paper from John MacArthur in The Master's Seminary Journal (TMJ):

    Open Theism and the Atonement

    Some accompanying lectures are available here, too.

    AMR

    Would be an interesting read. MacArthur defends Calvinism and any view like Open Theism, Arminianism, Charismatics, Moral Government Theology, etc. is simply a non-option. If he is wrong about his Calvinism, he should not be assuming his view is biblical and other views have no evidence or merit.

    He is definitely wrong on cessationism vs continuationism and is probably using B.B. Warfield's refuted playbook.
    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

    "No Compromise!" (Keith Green)

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

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