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Thread: The Big Picture

  1. #241
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    But the me of my youth was actually a different person than the me right now. We think differently, feel differently, have different habits, different preferences. There are things that are the same, sure, but there are also a lot of distinctions. This is true with everybody.
    How many times must a person get saved then if they become a different person every time their thinking, feelings or habits change?

    You're the same person, you always been, which is a fact so ridiculously obvious that I will NOT debate it with you further. If you reject something so elementary, you're a waste of time.


    I didn't bring up this classical understanding.
    The test of this will be in whether you continue to use the word 'immutable' in relation to God because in theological circles, there is no other meaning.

    I'm not sure it's correct to say that our Maker died.
    If you reject belief in the death of God the Son, you reject your only hope for salvation. It was the death of God that made that death able to pay the sin debt of the entire human race. One simply human death would have been sufficient to pay for another man's sin but not the sin of all humans everywhere throughout history.

    But we agree essentially on everything else (and we may even agree on our Maker dying; I just need to study what the Holy See says about this, if anything).
    OK.
    What's there to study? It's only the gospel!

    John 1:14 - God the Son became a man.
    Matthew 27:46 - God the Son's soul/spirit was separated from the Father (spiritual death).
    John 19:30 - God the Son's soul/spirit left his physical body (physical death).

    Act 3:14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.

    How can you accept His resurrection without acknowledging His death? What did He resurrect from if not from being dead?

    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

  2. #242
    TOL Subscriber Nihilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    How many times must a person get saved then if they become a different person every time their thinking, feelings or habits change?

    You're the same person, you always been, which is a fact so ridiculously obvious that I will NOT debate it with you further. If you reject something so elementary, you're a waste of time.
    Boy, do you have a hair across your rear end. Geez.

    Are you suggesting that if you today were to have a conversation with yourself from say 20 years ago that you'd agree with your former self on everything? If you are, then maybe you're the one who's not worth the time here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    The test of this will be in whether you continue to use the word 'immutable' in relation to God because in theological circles, there is no other meaning.
    In your previous post, didn't you conflate immutable with impassible?
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    If you reject belief in the death of God the Son, you reject your only hope for salvation. It was the death of God that made that death able to pay the sin debt of the entire human race. One simply human death would have been sufficient to pay for another man's sin but not the sin of all humans everywhere throughout history.
    And my concern is that you're conflating the Lord's human nature with His divine nature; that's all. You're using them interchangeably, and I'm not sure that's right.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    How can you accept His resurrection without acknowledging His death? What did He resurrect from if not from being dead?
    The Lord died; I've never denied that. I question whether it is true that our Maker died. And this could simply be one of those areas of theology that requires a bit more precision in terms, and that once we iron out that precision, that we can agree with each other.
    "To be deep in history, is to cease to be Protestant"---Newman

    Matthew 16:18 AENT "I say also to you that you are Keefa, and on this Keefa I will build my assembly, and the gates of Sheol will not subdue it." (BR, emphasis mine)

  3. #243
    Over 500 post club Faither's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Hi All, it's been a while since I last posted on my own 'Big Picture' thread. Thanks to all who joined in on it. I know it is hard going sometimes with complicated concepts and indeed complicated people.

    Anyway, it seems that my lifetime membership of TOL is about to expire, possibly in days, so I am going to invite you to join in my leaving party virtually, so to speak, although if you happen to be in England, then you are welcome to join the real leaving celebration. The real thing will not be streamed live as far as I know but I am leaving you with a transcript of my leaving speech.

    Hopefully, this won't be my last post on TOL. I will keep going until the actual expiry of my membership but I thought I would make sure I get this one in as a priority.

    You said, Faith is no more than trusting God.

    What are you trusting Him with?

  4. #244
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    Boy, do you have a hair across your rear end. Geez.

    Are you suggesting that if you today were to have a conversation with yourself from say 20 years ago that you'd agree with your former self on everything? If you are, then maybe you're the one who's not worth the time here.
    Of course not! I'm suggesting that I'm still me. Living beings change in various ways. It doesn't mean they move into a different category of person or thing when they change in some way. A lemon tree, for example, doesn't produce fruit for five years. A mature lemon tree is still the same tree that it was before it bore fruit or else it wouldn't have any meaning to call it "mature". It is only dead, inanimate objects that do not change is such ways.

    As for God, He too is a living being but He is not a creature as are all other living things but rather, He is the Creator and as such has fundamental differences, not the least of which is the fact that God does NOT mature or grow wiser. In regards to those things that make up God's character (i.e. He is loving, wise, just, etc), He is indeed unchanging but the Calvinists/Arminian goes much further than this and states that God is entirely immutable in all ways. The fact that the idea of absolute immutability and the gospel seem to be at odds with one another is ignored as an incomprehensible antinomy that we are simply to accept on blind faith. That's sounds nice and all except that it is utterly without biblical support and not at all necessary to accept in order to maintain a rationally coherent theology, in fact quite the contrary. The only reason anyone believes it at all is because Augustine imported the belief from the Classics (Aristotle and Plato) which he all but worshiped before becoming a Christian.

    "...we (correctly) deny that God has passions; and with us a love that is not passionate means a love that is something less. But the reason why God has no passions is that passions imply passivity and intermission. The passion of love is something that happens to us, as ‘getting wet’ happens to a body: and God is exempt from that ‘passion’ in the same way that water is exempt from ‘getting wet’. He cannot be affected by love, because He is love. To imagine that love as something less torrential or less sharp than our own temporary and derivative ‘passions’ is a most disastrous fantasy." ~ Miracles, C. S. Lewis [emphases added]

    In your previous post, didn't you conflate immutable with impassible?
    Impassibility is merely a corollary of immutability. It is immutability applied to one's state of mind. It's simply a more specific application of the exact same idea. If you reject one, you reject both.

    And my concern is that you're conflating the Lord's human nature with His divine nature; that's all. You're using them interchangeably, and I'm not sure that's right.
    I'm not conflating anything. Jesus died in every way in which it is possible for any human being to die. Your confusion may arise from not understanding what it means to die. To die does NOT mean to cease existing, it simply means that you (i.e. the real you - your soul/spirit) are separated from either your physical body which is physical death or from God the Father which is spiritual death. Jesus experienced both, as the scriptures I referenced prove clearly.

    The Lord died; I've never denied that. I question whether it is true that our Maker died.
    The Lord is our Maker.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.


    And this could simply be one of those areas of theology that requires a bit more precision in terms, and that once we iron out that precision, that we can agree with each other.
    I have no doubt that this is the case. As I said, usually when a person who is otherwise a Christian is stumped by this issue it is usually because of a misunderstanding of what it means to die. When you understand that one thing and think through why it was necessary for God to become a man Himself rather than simply creating another "perfect human" to use as a sacrifice then it becomes quite clear.

    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

  5. #245
    TOL Subscriber Nihilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    from God the Father
    All right. I agree with this, and so I understand what you mean when you say that God died. What I thought you might be saying was that our Maker literally ceased to live, which I find to be not only incorrect but logically impossible, so on both counts, I disagreed with this possible interpretation of what you were saying, but your post and these quoted words of yours in particular have satisfied me that we do agree. Separation from the Father implies necessarily that the Father did not die, and so our Maker continued to be even while our Lord died.

    Good post, well done. Thank you.
    "To be deep in history, is to cease to be Protestant"---Newman

    Matthew 16:18 AENT "I say also to you that you are Keefa, and on this Keefa I will build my assembly, and the gates of Sheol will not subdue it." (BR, emphasis mine)

  6. #246
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    All right. I agree with this, and so I understand what you mean when you say that God died. What I thought you might be saying was that our Maker literally ceased to live, which I find to be not only incorrect but logically impossible, so on both counts, I disagreed with this possible interpretation of what you were saying, but your post and these quoted words of yours in particular have satisfied me that we do agree. Separation from the Father implies necessarily that the Father did not die, and so our Maker continued to be even while our Lord died.

    Good post, well done. Thank you.
    The Lord is our Maker, Nihilo and, just to be clear, Jesus died in precisely the same way as did the criminal who met Him in Paradise on the day of their deaths (Luke 23:43). For three days, Jesus was just as dead as any righteous man who came before; Methuselah, Noah, Moses, Joshua, Lazurus, etc.

    Agreed?
    "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

  7. #247
    TOL Subscriber Nihilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    The Lord is our Maker, Nihilo
    Just so you know, I do believe exactly what the papacy teaches regarding the nature of our Maker; and yes, the Lord is our Maker, "...made flesh..." (Jn1:14; in this version rendered "became flesh").
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    and, just to be clear, Jesus died in precisely the same way as did the criminal who met Him in Paradise on the day of their deaths (Luke 23:43).
    I agree.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    For three days, Jesus was just as dead as any righteous man who came before; Methuselah, Noah, Moses, Joshua, Lazurus, etc.

    Agreed?
    I believe the Apostles' Creed, do you?
    Spoiler
    I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell (modern alt. "to the dead"). The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty. He shall come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
    "To be deep in history, is to cease to be Protestant"---Newman

    Matthew 16:18 AENT "I say also to you that you are Keefa, and on this Keefa I will build my assembly, and the gates of Sheol will not subdue it." (BR, emphasis mine)

  8. #248
    Over 500 post club Faither's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faither View Post
    You said, Faith is no more than trusting God.

    What are you trusting Him with?

    Bumped for Desert Reign.

  9. #249
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    I believe the Apostles' Creed, do you?
    The one you have quoted is fairly uncontentious as early creeds go. I go along with most of it.

    I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died, and was buried.
    No issues.
    He descended into Hell (modern alt. "to the dead").
    I have never been sure about this. 'To the dead' sounds better. I am never quite sure what Hades means. Jesus died. Death is death. If he did not die then our faith is worthless. I don't understand references to him preaching to certain ones when he was dead. Perhaps it is metaphorical.
    The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty.
    Not much worth saying. No issue.
    He shall come again to judge the living and the dead.
    I am not sure about ths either. So long as it is understood that there will be a grand judgement still to come, when all the righteous will shine like the sun, then I am ok with it. I am agnostic as to whether Jesus already came back for a visit in 70 ad. as the preterists claim. Such a clai sounds plausible to me, but it is missing some obvious strands of evidence I would have expected.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    Yes.
    the holy Catholic Church,
    Not with a capital C for Catholic.
    the communion of saints,
    Not if it means we can and/or should pray to dead saints such as Mary or Peter.
    the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
    Amen.

    Later creeds, including many modern creeds and statements of faith tend to be divisive. Their purpose is to exclude, not to include. I wrote my own statement of faith some years ago in an effort to counteract what I perceived as a divisive attitude in many churches. My creed is much more an invitation to join than a 'Keep out!' notice.

    I believe in the beauty of truth:
    Whoever seeks truth with all his heart will be deeply satisfied by our heavenly Father.

    I believe in living a morally perfect life:
    As Jesus taught.

    I believe in the power of the Spirit:
    To witness, work and endure the hardship which disciples of Jesus will undergo.

    I believe in resurrection and new life:
    Both now and when Jesus returns in judgement
    To make all wrongs right and reveal who are his.

    I believe that Christians everywhere are one family:
    To live sacrificially for each other in love,
    That the church of the faithful is the custodian
    Of the healing power and light of God for the world
    And that in the church there are no barriers between God and man.

    I love the Bible and rely on it; it is inspired and trustworthy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Faither View Post
    You said, Faith is no more than trusting God.
    What are you trusting Him with?
    I don't often get into talking about my personal relationship with Christ. It's between me and him. This is not an exception. Do, however, feel free to comment on any discussion points.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  10. #250
    Over 500 post club Faither's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    The one you have quoted is fairly uncontentious as early creeds go. I go along with most of it.


    No issues.

    I have never been sure about this. 'To the dead' sounds better. I am never quite sure what Hades means. Jesus died. Death is death. If he did not die then our faith is worthless. I don't understand references to him preaching to certain ones when he was dead. Perhaps it is metaphorical.
    Not much worth saying. No issue.

    I am not sure about ths either. So long as it is understood that there will be a grand judgement still to come, when all the righteous will shine like the sun, then I am ok with it. I am agnostic as to whether Jesus already came back for a visit in 70 ad. as the preterists claim. Such a clai sounds plausible to me, but it is missing some obvious strands of evidence I would have expected.

    Yes.

    Not with a capital C for Catholic.

    Not if it means we can and/or should pray to dead saints such as Mary or Peter.

    Amen.

    Later creeds, including many modern creeds and statements of faith tend to be divisive. Their purpose is to exclude, not to include. I wrote my own statement of faith some years ago in an effort to counteract what I perceived as a divisive attitude in many churches. My creed is much more an invitation to join than a 'Keep out!' notice.

    I believe in the beauty of truth:
    Whoever seeks truth with all his heart will be deeply satisfied by our heavenly Father.

    I believe in living a morally perfect life:
    As Jesus taught.

    I believe in the power of the Spirit:
    To witness, work and endure the hardship which disciples of Jesus will undergo.

    I believe in resurrection and new life:
    Both now and when Jesus returns in judgement
    To make all wrongs right and reveal who are his.

    I believe that Christians everywhere are one family:
    To live sacrificially for each other in love,
    That the church of the faithful is the custodian
    Of the healing power and light of God for the world
    And that in the church there are no barriers between God and man.

    I love the Bible and rely on it; it is inspired and trustworthy.




    I don't often get into talking about my personal relationship with Christ. It's between me and him. This is not an exception. Do, however, feel free to comment on any discussion points.

    Ok. What do you think of the Greek word "pisteuo", (4100 strongs), a verb, an action word. It's defined as "Commit to ones trust", "Commit unto", "be committed unto", the sense of the word is reliance upon. What is it that we are to commit to Him, commit to trusting him with, and what is it we are relying to Him?

    The Vines defines 'pisteuo" as "A personal surrender to Him, and a life inspired by such surrender."
    'What is it we are to surrender to Him? in your words, how does one live a life inspired by such surrender?

    I like the fact you don't discuss your personal relationship with Christ. Those things are better done in secret. But my perspective on this is when someone would is first being drawn by the Father, before we are in Christ.

  11. #251
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    I believe the Apostles' Creed, do you?
    I'm not a catholic and so you'd have to drop that portion and I'm not sure what is meant by "the communion of saints" and so can't endorse that either. Otherwise, based on what you quoted, yes, I do.


    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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    Over 500 post club Faither's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faither View Post
    Ok. What do you think of the Greek word "pisteuo", (4100 strongs), a verb, an action word. It's defined as "Commit to ones trust", "Commit unto", "be committed unto", the sense of the word is reliance upon. What is it that we are to commit to Him, commit to trusting him with, and what is it we are relying to Him?

    The Vines defines 'pisteuo" as "A personal surrender to Him, and a life inspired by such surrender."
    'What is it we are to surrender to Him? in your words, how does one live a life inspired by such surrender?

    I like the fact you don't discuss your personal relationship with Christ. Those things are better done in secret. But my perspective on this is when someone would is first being drawn by the Father, before we are in Christ.
    Bumped for Desert Reign.

  13. #253
    TOL Subscriber Nihilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    The one you have quoted is fairly uncontentious as early creeds go. I go along with most of it.


    No issues.

    I have never been sure about this. 'To the dead' sounds better.
    I heard a priest on Catholic television utter it during the Rosary one time, I figured he wouldn't broadcast anything his bishop didn't condone, and I don't find any infallible teaching concerning the precise wording of the Creed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    I am never quite sure what Hades means. Jesus died. Death is death.
    I've been toying with the notion that Purgatory is actually heaven/the eternal kingdom, and consists of the time when we have to face all the victims of our aggressive moral offenses, and the embarrassment, shame and humiliation of our private moral errors. I believe that all will be revealed, everything we did, said our thought, done in public or private, I believe that we'll come to find that heaven has been watching carefully, and that all the departed baptized people have been watching, not as voyeurs but as unconditionally loving and supportive family. Blood family, except that faith is thicker than blood.

    We'll be eternally secure, since we'll already be in heaven during this "purging," but the Lord couldn't die for the purification needed before spending an eternity in indefatigable bliss. Perhaps hell has some mirror image similar state of being before one can fully experience its brutality.

    Dreadful thought, that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    If he did not die then our faith is worthless. I don't understand references to him preaching to certain ones when he was dead. Perhaps it is metaphorical.
    Not much worth saying. No issue.

    I am not sure about ths either. So long as it is understood that there will be a grand judgement still to come, when all the righteous will shine like the sun, then I am ok with it. I am agnostic as to whether Jesus already came back for a visit in 70 ad. as the preterists claim. Such a clai sounds plausible to me, but it is missing some obvious strands of evidence I would have expected.
    I think the destruction of the Temple probably cemented the nonfictional reality of the Church in history. Most of the Apostles were dead when the temple was ruined. And not 40 years prior, the Church, called much earlier than AD 70 "the Temple of the Holy Spirit," was begun by "a man" who prophesied in AD 32-33 that the Jewish temple would be ruined within 40 years.
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Yes.

    Not with a capital C for Catholic.
    I capitalize the H for Holy (instead of "Roman," which is only one rite among 24 or so within the Catholic Church, and in contradistinction to Holy Orthodoxy).
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Not if it means we can and/or should pray to dead saints such as Mary or Peter.
    I doubt the pope himself is "fully incorporated" into the Church, at least by my reading of Text 837 in the Catechism. Text 838 seems more reasonable for most of us.
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Amen.

    Later creeds, including many modern creeds and statements of faith tend to be divisive. Their purpose is to exclude, not to include. I wrote my own statement of faith some years ago in an effort to counteract what I perceived as a divisive attitude in many churches. My creed is much more an invitation to join than a 'Keep out!' notice.

    I believe in the beauty of truth:
    Whoever seeks truth with all his heart will be deeply satisfied by our heavenly Father.

    I believe in living a morally perfect life:
    As Jesus taught.

    I believe in the power of the Spirit:
    To witness, work and endure the hardship which disciples of Jesus will undergo.

    I believe in resurrection and new life:
    Both now and when Jesus returns in judgement
    To make all wrongs right and reveal who are his.

    I believe that Christians everywhere are one family:
    To live sacrificially for each other in love,
    That the church of the faithful is the custodian
    Of the healing power and light of God for the world
    And that in the church there are no barriers between God and man.

    I love the Bible and rely on it; it is inspired and trustworthy.
    IMO, the Holy Catholic Church believes and teaches each of these, and I can show it from the Catechism (a compilation of all infallible papal teachings along with other teachings, written primarily to the Magisterium, concerning faith, doctrine and morals).
    "To be deep in history, is to cease to be Protestant"---Newman

    Matthew 16:18 AENT "I say also to you that you are Keefa, and on this Keefa I will build my assembly, and the gates of Sheol will not subdue it." (BR, emphasis mine)

  14. #254
    Over 1000 post club Jamie Gigliotti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Someone recently described me as somewhat left of middle towards the process theology end of the spectrum (if there is such a thing). I wrote this to set the record straight.


    Let me say first of all that I completely disavow the process theology of AN Whitehead – bi-polar godism as it is often called. I believe that God and his creation are distinct. I do not believe that the universe is a part of God’s being.

    Having said that, the fact that God has participated in history in the man Jesus should lead one to consider that God is much more involved in the created world than the standard dualistic theistic model would suggest. That model is somewhat Platonic and makes truths such as the incarnation difficult to fit. There are many ‘mysteries’ (euphemism for inconsistencies) in the dualistic model and it is my belief (ethic, if you like) that speculation at this level is likely to be fruitless. It is clear from the New Testament that the pantheistic model would also be beneficial as a means of conveying truths about God. This is surely incontrovertible: the logos of John is clearly a reference to the Stoic (Stoicism is a form of pantheism) logos or reason, the binding force that gives all matter meaning. Paul himself was well acquainted with Stoicism, having been born in a city that was a stoic stronghold and a lot of his teaching about our unity in Christ is explained in pantheistic terms such that our unity is not merely a unity of mind but a participation in his being.

    Again, I’m in no way saying that Christianity is pantheistic, just that there are various models that Christianity could fit into if you wanted one. This is actually a great point for evangelism. None of the models work but all of them have points that can help us to understand the New Testament teachings. Thought systems such as pantheism or dualism or perhaps even process theology, can act as analogies of Christian truth.

    As to process theology, AN Whitehead does not have exclusive rights over the use of the word ‘process’. But openness theology is fundamentally relational (which is its similarity with stoicism) and since that relation must be dynamic, it has to be concluded that openness advocates that an open world necessarily implies that the world is in process. This is in direct contrast with the Calvinistic view of the world as having been already pre-fabricated by God and hence is completely closed. But to suggest that because I believe in this kind of openness, it means that I favour process theology as such, is way off the mark.

    But the strong dualistic system in which Calvinism is located also has faults, the main one being that in it, God is completely ineffable. How many times have you heard a Calvinist say “But God is beyond logic!”? You can’t argue with that can you? Because the better your arguments, the more your counter party will insist. He seems to delight in that fact that it does not make sense. I despise this kind of thinking because it is anti-intellectual, but it is a natural consequence of the strong dualistic thought system. Because you can’t really know anything about God, no consistency is required in your beliefs. In this world-view, God is so different to us and his thoughts so far above ours that he is illogical whenever we are logical and logical whenever we are illogical. Everything is arbitrary and meaningless.

    My version of openness seeks to redress this by asserting that God and his creation relate consistently with each other and openly. This makes communication between God and man possible and meaningful. It also implies that the future of that relationship is not fixed. This is a bigger issue than that of God’s relationship with man or individual people. It means that the whole system of both God and his creation can be viewed as one single coherent system. But this is only a logical issue, not a physical one. It does not mean that I am a pantheist or a panentheist. It does not mean that I think of this single system as in any sense greater than God. It does mean that there is purpose and rationality (= meaning, order, logos) to our existence whereas with the strong dualist view, there really is no purpose in the creation of the world. They say that it is for God’s greater glory that he has made everything the way it is but that always has sounded hollow to me because we can never understand or appreciate what that glory may be. It is all about God and not about us at all. If we are to be valued as human beings we don’t want to be told that we are valuable just because someone arbitrarily decides that we are. We need to understand that we are valuable in ourselves. Similarly, we need to appreciate that our relationship with God has its own benefits now and that we have a foretaste of heaven now. Within Calvinism, specifically its location in the strong dualistic thought system, what we are now will be lost completely, which devalues everything we do. An open relationship with God values us. Moreover, an open relationship between God and the created world values the world as a whole and gives rise to such beautiful things as purpose, responsibility and righteousness.

    It also makes sense of the cross because the cross is the proof that God is open, that he is willing to accept the consequences of his own love for us. It is the same as ‘The word became flesh’: the proof of God’s open love became reality. It wasn't mere words, mere theory. Under Calvinism, the cross is actually unnecessary because God could have made the world any way he wanted from start to finish. He would have dictated the terms of the existence of the world. This is why the cross has always been a mystery in reformed theology. It can never overcome the fundamental barrier of its arbitrary nature.


    Any comments appreciated.
    A great post! Has desert been heard from?

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to Jamie Gigliotti For Your Post:

    Evil.Eye.<(I)> (April 21st, 2017)

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