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  1. #16
    Over 1000 post club Shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2COR12:9 View Post
    I believe he's shying away from the numerous misconceptions that many are coming up with by merely hearing the statement open theism; and are also quick to assume, based upon the premise of the future possibly being open, they unknowingly label the God of open theism as a deity that is now lacking the central attributes which make Him God. So instead of seeing the main focus upon the future being open, they misunderstand this term, as meaning God can be whoever you want him to him be, usually with the assumption that it's devoid of scriptural support, and merely based on what you like best.

    He has to usually assure the newcomer that he's not destroying any of God's fundamental attributes but only enhancing them. God is still omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent and still very much in control. Of course there is still a wide consensus of opinions with those who hold to an open theism view, as it is a fairly new study in theology; and Greg's trying to keep his focus separate from others views with the emphasis being on the future and not a change in the nature and attributes of God.

    Greg should address up front how this affects the nature and being of God since the entire concept of an Open Future is predicated on it. It should not be the task of ministers to label their views to make make it more palatable to newcomers. It is really that not hard to explain the concept unless the point is to get them into the door first and he ease them when they are more prepared to accept it. I speak as one this has happened to. Why not change the term "blood of Christ" into something less offensive and re-ntroduce it later?

    To be totally above board it would also be necessary to explain that omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent do not really mean what they are understood to mean in common speech. Newcomers should be told that in the lexicon of Open Theism "omnipresent" means that God is as big as the universe. Omniscient means He knows everything THAT CAN BE KNOWN. The things that cannot be known are the choices men will make, events contingent on the interactions of men and God, events not directly controlled by God. In fact God is only a student who is always learning things.

    All of this is not incidental but essential and whether or not it represents a serious departure from Orthodoxy is a matter of controversy. I would want to know it. I hope Greg has better motivations that he appears to in his use of terminology I do not know him. Maybe he does.

    One thing you wrote caught my eye. You said open theism is a new study in theology. I agree. It is but isn't that disconcerting? Are entirely new areas of theological studies supposed to be appearing. I thought the faith, the DNA of the seed of life is complete. I think such "new" things like this cooked up in the last 30 years are so are suspect on the face of it; even more when they fundamentally alter major tenets of theology held since the Apostolic Church. Theology is like the Constitution. We do not set out to explore brand new ways of looking at it and to write new amendments.
    Last edited by Shasta; October 12th, 2012 at 08:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shasta View Post
    Well Greg should address up front how this affects the nature and being of God since the entire concept of an Open Future is predicated on it. I do not think it is up to Christian to label their views in such a way as make it more palatable to newcomers so he can ease them It is not hard to explain the concept unless the point is to get them into the door first. Why not change the term "blood of Christ" into something not as offensive and introduce it later when they can be prepared and taught?

    "Open" is a corollary not the premise.The deepest issue hidden from newcomers is the idea that God is a temporal, spacial Being that has since creation been permanently wedded to the the Material Universe. I think that represents a radical change in theology.

    I do not know Greg but of this is am already suspicious.
    Greg didn't coin the term "Open View." And by the way, he doesn't teach the view at his church.

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    Get your armor ready! Tambora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shasta View Post
    Omniscient means He knows everything THAT CAN BE KNOWN.
    Boyd made a comment about God knowing everything that can be known, that went something like this ....

    God can't know the shoe size of Santa Claus because Santa Claus doesn't really exist.

    We don't tell our children fairy tales so that they will know that monsters exist.
    They already know monsters exist.
    We tell our children fairy tales so that they will know that monsters can be killed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shasta View Post
    Greg should address up front how this affects the nature and being of God since the entire concept of an Open Future is predicated on it. It should not be the task of ministers to label their views to make make it more palatable to newcomers. It is really that not hard to explain the concept unless the point is to get them into the door first and he ease them when they are more prepared to accept it. I speak as one this has happened to. Why not change the term "blood of Christ" into something less offensive and re-ntroduce it later?

    To be totally above board it would also be necessary to explain that omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent do not really mean what they are understood to mean in common speech. Newcomers should be told that in the lexicon of Open Theism "omnipresent" means that God is as big as the universe. Omniscient means He knows everything THAT CAN BE KNOWN. The things that cannot be known are the choices men will make, events contingent on the interactions of men and God, events not directly controlled by God. In fact God is only a student who is always learning things.

    All of this is not incidental but essential and whether or not it represents a serious departure from Orthodoxy is a matter of controversy. I would want to know it. I hope Greg has better motivations that he appears to in his use of terminology I do not know him. Maybe he does.

    One thing you wrote caught my eye. You said open theism is a new study in theology. I agree. It is but isn't that disconcerting? Are entirely new areas of theological studies supposed to be appearing. I thought the faith, the DNA of the seed of life is complete. I think such "new" things like this cooked up in the last 30 years are so are suspect on the face of it; even more when they fundamentally alter major tenets of theology held since the Apostolic Church. Theology is like the Constitution. We do not set out to explore brand new ways of looking at it and to write new amendments.
    There's too many contingencies to say a new theology can not be presented in this day and age, and because some were initiated by early church fathers doesn't necessarily establish them as orthodox. I still don't think Augustine got everything right but that won't stop others from holding to his views, wrong or not. The simple fact that there are around 40,000 denominations should reveal the diversities within the body from the interpreting of scripture. If this argument was applied to the reformation, saying it's been 1500 years should we break what's been established as dogmatic within church and theology we'd possibly still be under Roman Catholic rule. Some theologies were not looked upon kindly when brought to light, such as the Anabaptist's who believed infant baptism was not scriptural, and that only believers baptism need apply, and they were happily burned and drowned for their view. There may have been many who held to this view though were afraid to bring it too light for fear of being accused of heresy. Personally I had a form of the open view before I knew of any formal teachings on it, the research of others has only helped me to cultivate what was already preexisting within concepts of my theology. It was a relief to find I was not the only one, and in the age of social media it's given us a chance to connect more readily with others of shared views which would not have been prominently available in days past; though no way can it bring me to conclude that no one had these views, even up to the very first believers in God. The fact is that it's still based primarily on scripture, and that our interpretations don't connect with the predominant view doesn't shock me. I always try to remain teachable and constantly pray for wisdom and discernment from the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to me regardless of what I feel about it, and in my faith this is where I've been lead. That is first and foremost why I do not consider it suspect, and I still don't believe it alters any major attribute of God within the understanding of what each attribute defines; of coursed the reformed view would say God is sovereign so he must ordain everything, and I simply see God as still being sovereign in allowing his subjects to be free moral agents within the parameters he's created. God still would be in power regardless, it's simply how you look at it, and because for many years it was looked upon as one way doesn't make the way I interpret it any less credible.


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    Over 1000 post club Shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
    I just wish Greg understood our salvation was eternally secure from the moment we are first saved.
    Here is a conundrum. I who do not believe in Open Theism believe a person can lose their salvation and you, who do, believe you cannot.

  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2COR12:9 View Post
    There's too many contingencies to say a new theology can not be presented in this day and age, and because some were initiated by early church fathers doesn't necessarily establish them as orthodox. I still don't think Augustine got everything right but that won't stop others from holding to his views, wrong or not. The simple fact that there are around 40,000 denominations should reveal the diversities within the body from the interpreting of scripture. If this argument was applied to the reformation, saying it's been 1500 years should we break what's been established as dogmatic within church and theology we'd possibly still be under Roman Catholic rule. Some theologies were not looked upon kindly when brought to light, such as the Anabaptist's who believed infant baptism was not scriptural, and that only believers baptism need apply, and they were happily burned and drowned for their view. There may have been many who held to this view though were afraid to bring it too light for fear of being accused of heresy. Personally I had a form of the open view before I knew of any formal teachings on it, the research of others has only helped me to cultivate what was already preexisting within concepts of my theology. It was a relief to find I was not the only one, and in the age of social media it's given us a chance to connect more readily with others of shared views which would not have been prominently available in days past; though no way can it bring me to conclude that no one had these views, even up to the very first believers in God. The fact is that it's still based primarily on scripture, and that our interpretations don't connect with the predominant view doesn't shock me. I always try to remain teachable and constantly pray for wisdom and discernment from the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to me regardless of what I feel about it, and in my faith this is where I've been lead. That is first and foremost why I do not consider it suspect, and I still don't believe it alters any major attribute of God within the understanding of what each attribute defines; of coursed the reformed view would say God is sovereign so he must ordain everything, and I simply see God as still being sovereign in allowing his subjects to be free moral agents within the parameters he's created. God still would be in power regardless, it's simply how you look at it, and because for many years it was looked upon as one way doesn't make the way I interpret it any less credible.
    I agree that it is not about what happens to be the tradition. Neither should it be left to our imagination to accept something because it is novel and seems to be true. Our faith has to be anchored in the principles of the faith once delivered to the apostles.

    When I made those remarks I was not quoting Augustine but the "Church Fathers" who preceded him. These men were first generations of those who came after the Apostles. The first generation was taught directly by the apostles, the next by their disciples and the next by theirs. Their view was that people had freewill and they made choices throughout time. They did not believe God destined man to make those choices only that He knew what they would do. Open Theism does not agree with this definition of foreknowledge because they believe that God is a permanant resident of the temporal spatial universe. His actions are in sync with the successive changes that go on in the cosmos. They might try to frame it another way but that is the view of God in its unvarnished form

    The writings of the Church Fathers while not canon were accepted as true and reflected the views held at the time. When people start complicating the meaning of scriptures I sometimes refer back to them

    I understand some figures in Open Theism even question them presuming that they themselves have in relatively recent times come up with a method of interpreting the Bible that is superior to those who were the leaders in the Early Church. All I can say is that if the Apostles could even train three generations of disciples then they were pretty poor teachers.

    Apparently Boyd must put some credence into what The Fathers said. He has quoted many of them, his purpose being to establish the doctrine of freewill and counter predeterminism. At the same time he dishonestly neglects to mention that the Church Fathers held to a traditional view of foreknowledge which runs counter to Open Theism. BTW Augustine and his doctrinal descendants such as Calvin did not like the AnteNicene Fathers.

    As you have said how long something has been around does not make it true. However, when the new is completely unheard of or it has fairly recent origins I am skeptical. I do not know what is right all the time. I try to be conservative about changing my mind. When I am not sure what a passage means I try to first stick to the text at hand and consult with the linguists who know what it says far better than I do. I think I am doing the best when I look at scriptures expecting one thing and getting something else

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    Does Whatever A Light-House Can Lighthouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shasta View Post
    Here is a conundrum. I who do not believe in Open Theism believe a person can lose their salvation and you, who do, believe you cannot.
    Believing the future is open is not believing that nothing is settled.

    Now, how do you reconcile the idea that the future is settled with the idea salvation can be lost? If God knows in which state one will die why would He ever consider them to be saved if they were going to die in the opposite state? If God knew they would go back and forth why would He consider them saved anytime before they made the decision for the last time?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Shasta View Post
    I agree that it is not about what happens to be the tradition. Neither should it be left to our imagination to accept something because it is novel and seems to be true. Our faith has to be anchored in the principles of the faith once delivered to the apostles.

    When I made those remarks I was not quoting Augustine but the "Church Fathers" who preceded him. These men were first generations of those who came after the Apostles. The first generation was taught directly by the apostles, the next by their disciples and the next by theirs. Their view was that people had freewill and they made choices throughout time. They did not believe God destined man to make those choices only that He knew what they would do. Open Theism does not agree with this definition of foreknowledge because they believe that God is a permanant resident of the temporal spatial universe. His actions are in sync with the successive changes that go on in the cosmos. They might try to frame it another way but that is the view of God in its unvarnished form

    The writings of the Church Fathers while not canon were accepted as true and reflected the views held at the time. When people start complicating the meaning of scriptures I sometimes refer back to them

    I understand some figures in Open Theism even question them presuming that they themselves have in relatively recent times come up with a method of interpreting the Bible that is superior to those who were the leaders in the Early Church. All I can say is that if the Apostles could even train three generations of disciples then they were pretty poor teachers.

    Apparently Boyd must put some credence into what The Fathers said. He has quoted many of them, his purpose being to establish the doctrine of freewill and counter predeterminism. At the same time he dishonestly neglects to mention that the Church Fathers held to a traditional view of foreknowledge which runs counter to Open Theism. BTW Augustine and his doctrinal descendants such as Calvin did not like the AnteNicene Fathers.

    As you have said how long something has been around does not make it true. However, when the new is completely unheard of or it has fairly recent origins I am skeptical. I do not know what is right all the time. I try to be conservative about changing my mind. When I am not sure what a passage means I try to first stick to the text at hand and consult with the linguists who know what it says far better than I do. I think I am doing the best when I look at scriptures expecting one thing and getting something else
    I totally agree that if by your faith and discernment, you can't accept the open view wholeheartedly, then you shouldn't. This is where I have been lead, and I won't push it as dogmatic on anyone; because in all reality it doesn't really matter, that's why I don't place a huge emphasis in my walk on whether or not the future's settled. True this view has deepened my relationship, and how I perceive God and my time on this earth; though I'll still live everyday being conformed to the image of Christ, and living in obedience to His will, that's what really matters; my opinion of if the future is open is not a significant game changer. When it comes down to it, my faith is in God, and I seek to do His will, and I trust completely in His sovereignty. God wins in the end, regardless if the date's set, of that I have no doubt.


    Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call;
    Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all!
    Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall;
    The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all!
    "Apart from me you can do nothing."~Jesus

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