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  • One on One: "Who is God?" (Hilston vs. Acts9_12Out)

    Who is God?

    I apologize for the delay in starting this discussion. I have been very busy at work this week. After discussing with James Hilston, I guess I can thank God for my hectic week.

    *For those of you not familiar with our discussion, Jim and I like to crack jokes, seasoned with a bit of truth, concerning what the other believes. The following is an example...

    Praise God that He predestined so many evil men to do all sorts of evil things so that I could be predestined to throw then in jail! For example, God's predestination of methamphetamine has kept me very busy. I am involved in numerous SWAT Operations where our team was predestined from the foundation of the world to destroy a drug dealers home and take evil people into custody. Mind you, God predestined the drug dealer to make the methamphetamine, so that He would ultimately be glorified!

    Jim, thank you for being willing to discuss with me. I hope we can both be edified by our discussion. Thank you for your thoughts and writings on Mid-Acts Dispensationalism. Keep up the good work brother. With that said, let's get down to business...

    For those of you familiar with the MBTI, I hope that this One on One will appeal to Sensors and Intuitives alike. Knight explained the rules, and we are to keep our posts relatively short. I would like to start by asking three questions, one (two-part) for the sensors, two for the intuitives...

    JFQ1 - Jim, do you agree that God's ability to choose is fundamental in understanding the character of God?

    JFQ2 - Jim, if I remember correctly, you agreed with Bob that God does change. Does God have the ability to change His relationship within the Godhead? In other words, Has God's relationship with(in) the Trinity ever changed?

    JFQ3a - Jim, when the Bible says "God repents," what does that mean to you?
    JFQ3b - Jim, do you agree with Augustine / Calvin concerning 1 Sam 15:11,29 & 35?

    Again Jim, thank you for your willingness to discuss, and I'll be looking forward to your response.

    God Bless Brother,
    --Jeremy Finkenbinder
    Do you desire to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery? (Eph 3:9)

  • #2
    I. Preface/caveat: I wish to provide advance warning to the readers with the intent that, by heeding this warning, they will stand to benefit the most from this discussion. It is imperative for the readers to understand the argument with their rational faculties keeping their emotions in check. While being emotional is often a very good thing ~ and we are designed by God to be emotional beings ~ when it comes to discussing theological matters, especially those of a sensitive nature, emotions can distort what one is reading, preclude clear thinking and hamper discursive reasoning. The key to understanding both sides of this argument with clarity, and to benefit from this exchange, is to rationally control one's emotions and to recognize that there CAN be a huge difference between the following:

    (1) What someone claims to believe, i.e. one's espoused views;

    ~VERSUS~

    (2) The logical conclusions of what someone claims to believe, i.e. the implications of one's espoused views.

    I've found that most Open Theists do not realize, or else baldly deny, the logical implications of their espoused views. I've been debating Open Theists for more than a decade, and I not only understand a lot of what they believe, I understand why they would be resistant to the logical conclusions of their claims. I fully expect this, and I don't imagine Jeremy will be an exception to this pattern. However, my explanations of the logical inferences brought down by Open View tenets are typically misconstrued as mischaracterizations. This is usually where the "straw man" accusation rears its ugly ~ and in most cases, inappropriate ~ head. It is one thing to say, "Jeremy Finkenbinder believes A,B and C." It is quite another thing to say, "The logical conclusions of A,B and C are X,Y and Z." The former CAN be a straw man, if I happen to misrepresent A,B and C. The latter is NOT a straw man, even if the logical conclusions adduced by those claims are shown to be non sequitur.

    So, please, when I say, "The God of Open Theism cannot be trusted," realize that it is NOT a straw-man argument. I am NOT saying that Open Theists CLAIM or AGREE that God cannot be trusted. I am rather saying that an untrustworthy God is the inference that follows from Open View claims. I beseech the readers to resist the urge to get emotional. It is not a straw man for me to state and to show that the claims of Open Theism adduce a particular conclusion. The challenge is for me to show that claims A,B and C do indeed lead to conclusions X,Y and Z. It is the challenge of the Open Theist to show that they do not.

    II. Personality, tone of voice, etc.
    On a personal note ~ and again, for the sake of being as rational as possible ~ I ask the readers to try to imagine that I am smiling ~ not a sinister, evil smile (as I am wont to do) ~ but a friendly, caring, "I-think-I-like-you" sort of smile. And imagine that my tone of voice as not a sinister or evil timbre (as it tends to be), but rather a kind, pleasant and cordial tone of voice. If you want to hear what I really sound like, warts and all, have a listen to my discussion with Bob Enyart on KGOV here.

    III. Jeremy's opening statements
    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
    Who is God?
    I didn't know how Jeremy would begin this discussion, but his opening question strikes me as profoundly appropriate, although probably not in a way that Jeremy would agree. On a philosophical level, given the Open View's apparent existentialist theology, the question itself requires some definition. So I have to ask a question right out of the box:
    JHQ1: When you ask "Who is God?," is this question about God's character or God's behavior? In other words, what exactly do you want to look at in order to identify and describe God?

    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
    I apologize for the delay in starting this discussion. I have been very busy at work this week. After discussing with James Hilston, I guess I can thank God for my hectic week.
    According to the logical conclusions of the claims of the Open View, there is no reason to thank God for anything, because God cannot be trusted and He cannot truly secure anything. I realize that Open Theists do not affirm these conclusions, but they are indeed the adductive results of what Open Theism espouses. On the Settled View, God can be trusted in everything, to the extent that even the evil and calamity that befalls us can be viewed as being worked by God, together with The Called, i.e. the Body of Christ (Ro 8:28), toward His immutable purpose (Eph 1:11).

    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
    *For those of you not familiar with our discussion, Jim and I like to crack jokes, seasoned with a bit of truth, concerning what the other believes. The following is an example...

    Praise God that He predestined so many evil men to do all sorts of evil things so that I could be predestined to throw then in jail!
    God is indeed to be praised, not only for what Jeremy describes in the preceding sentence, but also for the fact that even the evil men that Jeremy fails to throw in jail will someday either (a) be regenerated as an elect member of Christ's Body, or (b) experience the final judgment and sempiternal damnation for their opposition to Paul's gospel, the specific and distinctive gospel which will judge the men of this dispensation (Ro 2:16).

    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
    For example, God's predestination of methamphetamine has kept me very busy. I am involved in numerous SWAT Operations where our team was predestined from the foundation of the world to destroy a drug dealers home and take evil people into custody.
    Not only that, but God has predestined each evil person who gets away with dealing drugs and is never caught by the authorities. God declares that perfect justice will be meted upon those who are not of The Called for their rebellion against Paul's gospel.

    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
    Mind you, God predestined the drug dealer to make the methamphetamine, so that He would ultimately be glorified!
    God is already glorified. God is perfect, and is perfectly glorious. God was fully glorious before He created reprobates and He will be just as glorious after He sends them to hell.

    IV. Jeremy's questions
    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
    JFQ1 - Jim, do you agree that God's ability to choose is fundamental in understanding the character of God?
    It would not be prudent to answer the question until we define what you mean by "the character of God."
    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
    JFQ2 - Jim, if I remember correctly, you agreed with Bob that God does change. Does God have the ability to change His relationship within the Godhead? In other words, Has God's relationship with(in) the Trinity ever changed?
    No, either you misunderstood what I said, or I misspoke. Within the Godhead, He does not have the ability to change His relationships. The Triune Godhead is One (united, singular) in essence and purpose. And so, no, God's relationship within the Trinity has not changed.

    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
    JFQ3a - Jim, when the Bible says "God repents," what does that mean to you?
    Whenever the scriptures ascribe seemingly finite attributes to the Infinite God, or describe behavior that is characteristic of finite beings to the Infinite God, it is called an Anthropopathism (man-like emotions or behavior) or Anthropomorphism (man-like form or action), a figure of speech that is intended to poignantly convey information with emphasis. These are found on every page of the Bible, in seemingly innumerable quantities throughout scripture. For example, when the Bible says that God asked Adam where he was, we know that Adam had not really escaped God's sight. God was using Anthropomorphism to emphatically convey to Adam, by using a figure of speech, that Adam stood guilty before God. God could have said, "Adam, don't waste your time hiding from Me. You know fully well that I know where you are." But God showed Adam with powerful emphasis, through figurative language, that Adam's own behavior was an indictment against him.

    Just as one ought not to assume that God REALLY did not know where Adam was, similarly, one ought not to assume that God REALLY changes His mind, especially when we read elsewhere that God's decrees are immutable (Heb 6:17,18 Eph 1:11 2Ti 2:13). So when one reads passages where it says "God repents," the question should be asked: "What is God really describing when He says He has done something that would be contrary to His nature and character, such as changing His mind?" The way we answer such a question is to look at all the passages where this type of language is used and compare their contexts. For example:

    Ge 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

    Note that the context of God's repentance, as it is quite often in the scriptures, concerns idolatry and angelic corruption. How was this "repentance" of God manifested? God had allowed mankind and the fallen angels, according to His immutable decrees, to come to full fruition of wickedness and corruption. Mankind violated God's commands on every level, all according to God's immutable decrees, which set up the precursor/type for the Nephilim-infested world of Israel's future. "Lu 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." So God changed His disposition toward mankind from that of providing life and sustenance to death and destruction. "... it repenteth me that I have made them" means "I will destroy them."

    Another example:
    Ex 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. ... 14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

    Note that idolatry and angelic corruption are again the issue that evokes the strongest language from God. Moses pleads with God to change His mind (i.e. His disposition and actions) about destroying Israel. Moses knows that God's decrees are immutable, and in his pleading with God, he himself is doing that which God has immutably decreed. Moses' plea was heard, according to God's immutable decrees, and God changed His disposition and actions towards Israel.

    JFQ3b - Jim, do you agree with Augustine / Calvin concerning 1 Sam 15:11,29 & 35?
    I don't know. You'll have to tell me what they said, or give me a reference that I can read for myself. For the sake of those reading this who are unfamiliar and/or do not have Augustine's or Calvin's writings in their personal libraries, perhaps it would be best to paste the excerpt to which you are referring.

    Jim

    Comment


    • #3
      Who is God?

      Jim,

      Thanks for the discussion. I plan to start a theme if I may. I am going to describe one event from my past week. The benefit of this would be for our readers to think about the ramifications of such events. Is God responsible for the actions I describe, or is the fallen human being responsible? You have argued that God had predestined evil people to do evil things. I argue that evil people freely choose to do evil things and God is grieved by their actions.

      In our last discussion, I wondered why God would predestine some to sell / use methamphetamine? I wonder why God would predestine me to sometimes physically fight with people on meth? I wonder why God predestines families to be destroyed by one family member becoming addicted to methamphetamine? Jim responded,

      Originally posted by Hilston
      ...but God has predestined each evil person who gets away with dealing drugs and is never caught by the authorities.
      I'm at a loss Jim... I understand that you've drawn such a hard line with your belief in God, that you are forced to make those types of statements. I truly find it difficult to worship a God who causes those things Jim. Last week, I responded to a motor vehicle theft from a local mall. My Sergeant saw the vehicle fleeing the mall parking lot and attempted to stop it. The stolen car hit a light pole, and my Sergeant pulled in behind it. The driver of the vehicle used the car to ram my Sergeant's Tahoe. As my Sergeant was exiting his vehicle to kill the driver, the stolen car rammed the Tahoe one last time and was able to flee into oncoming traffic. A second patrol unit initiated a pursuit, following the wrong way on a busy street. The stolen car cut across four lanes of traffic and crashed (right behind Lion's house I might add!). As I approached the vehicle to ram it head on, the stolen vehicle turned and fled towards a very busy intersection. I set up on the vehicle and initiated the PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique). I exited my vehicle, weapon drawn, and pulled the driver from the car. The driver flew about 25 yards through the air, did a 1/2 flip and landed on his back in the middle of the street. As I was feeling pretty strong, my bubble quickly burst. The driver of the stolen car turned out to be a 5'2", 103lb 12 year old male who was high on meth. He also had a Felony Warrant for failing to appear on a previous motor vehicle theft charge. When asked why he did not stop when my Sergeant pointed his Glock 21 at him, the 12 year old said, "I knew he wouldn't shoot me. I'm a kid."

      Now I ask again Jim, what glory can come to a God who predestines a 12 year old to get high on meth and steal a car? Do you really believe God predestined this young man to commit this crime before the foundation of the world? Do you believe God predestined a 12 year old to have no fear while a gun is pointed at his head? Maybe he's a calvinist and knows that God did not predestine him to die that day.

      Now, on to our discussion...

      Originally posted by Hilston
      (1) What someone claims to believe, i.e. one's espoused views;

      ~VERSUS~

      (2) The logical conclusions of what someone claims to believe, i.e. the implications of one's espoused views.
      I agree Jim. These are important clarifications. I plan to expose the logical conclusions of your espoused views as well.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      I've found that most Open Theists do not realize, or else baldly deny, the logical implications of their espoused views... ...and I don't imagine Jeremy will be an exception to this pattern. It is one thing to say, "Jeremy Finkenbinder believes A,B and C." It is quite another thing to say, "The logical conclusions of A,B and C are X,Y and Z." The former CAN be a straw man, if I happen to misrepresent A,B and C. The latter is NOT a straw man, even if the logical conclusions adduced by those claims are shown to be non sequitur.
      I hope this experience will be different for you Jim. Please remember your words when we address the logical conclusions of your espoused views.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      So, please, when I say, "The God of Open Theism cannot be trusted," realize that it is NOT a straw-man argument. I am NOT saying that Open Theists CLAIM or AGREE that God cannot be trusted. I am rather saying that an untrustworthy God is the inference that follows from Open View claims. I beseech the readers to resist the urge to get emotional. It is not a straw man for me to state and to show that the claims of Open Theism adduce a particular conclusion. The challenge is for me to show that claims A,B and C do indeed lead to conclusions X,Y and Z. It is the challenge of the Open Theist to show that they do not.
      If your "X,Y and Z" equal "The God of Open Theism cannot be trusted," then you better have some pretty good ABC's. The challenge for you is to show that A, B and C are my espoused views before X, Y and Z can be considered.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      III. Jeremy's opening statements
      I didn't know how Jeremy would begin this discussion, but his opening question strikes me as profoundly appropriate, although probably not in a way that Jeremy would agree. On a philosophical level, given the Open View's apparent existentialist theology, the question itself requires some definition. So I have to ask a question right out of the box:
      JHQ1: When you ask "Who is God?," is this question about God's character or God's behavior? In other words, what exactly do you want to look at in order to identify and describe God?
      Great question Jim. I want to look at both. God's character defines His behavior, and His behavior describes His character. In other words, if God is Trustworthy, then we can trust Him. If God shows us through His word that He can be trusted, then we would say He is Trustworthy.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      According to the logical conclusions of the claims of the Open View, there is no reason to thank God for anything, because God cannot be trusted and He cannot truly secure anything.
      Is this XYZ? I would love to hear your ABC's for this one, because these claims cannot be substantiated.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      On the Settled View, God can be trusted in everything, to the extent that even the evil and calamity that befalls us can be viewed as being worked by God, together with The Called, i.e. the Body of Christ (Ro 8:28), toward His immutable purpose (Eph 1:11).
      Jim, I alluded to Romans 8:28 in another discussion. If you remember, I showed you that a more accurate translation showed that God works together with those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose, all things for good. You seem to spin the text to say that all things "even the evil and calamity that befalls us can be viewed as being worked by God." You attribute all evil and calamity to God's predestination, but strip Him of culpability. This is an antinomy Jim. "God did it, but it's not His fault He did it," is what you essentially argue.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      God is indeed to be praised, not only for what Jeremy describes in the preceding sentence, but also for the fact that even the evil men that Jeremy fails to throw in jail will someday either (a) be regenerated as an elect member of Christ's Body, or (b) experience the final judgment and sempiternal damnation for their opposition to Paul's gospel, the specific and distinctive gospel which will judge the men of this dispensation (Ro 2:16).
      I agree wholeheartedly with the bolded above, but disagree with your premise. You argue that God predestined some of those evil men to become The Elect, and predestined others for eternal damnation. I argue that some may freely choose to respond to the gospel and become members of the body of Christ. Others, however, will freely reject God's universal offer of salvation and will be judged and cast into the lake of fire for eternity.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      Not only that, but God has predestined each evil person who gets away with dealing drugs and is never caught by the authorities. God declares that perfect justice will be meted upon those who are not of The Called for their rebellion against Paul's gospel.
      Again, I agree with the bolded above. However, I disagree with your premise. Again, you argue that God predestined evil drug dealers to spend eternity in hell. Our point of contention is how a person becomes part of the body of Christ. I say man must freely respond to God by faith, you say God predestines many to hell.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      God is already glorified. God is perfect, and is perfectly glorious. God was fully glorious before He created reprobates and He will be just as glorious after He sends them to hell.
      Here's another mind blower Jim. I honestly can't believe that you argue that God, from before the foundation of the world, created reprobates for His own pleasure. You offer no Scripture to support this idea Jim. I know John Calvin taught this, but the Bible does not.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      IV. Jeremy's questions
      It would not be prudent to answer the question until we define what you mean by "the character of God."
      God's character, God's nature, God's actions, God's behaviors, God's interaction with His creation, etc...

      So, I'll rephrase and again ask,

      JFQ1 - Jim, do you agree that God's ability to choose is fundamental in understanding who God is?

      Originally posted by Hilston
      No, either you misunderstood what I said, or I misspoke. Within the Godhead, He does not have the ability to change His relationships. The Triune Godhead is One (united, singular) in essence and purpose. And so, no, God's relationship within the Trinity has not changed.
      Jim, the mods here started a thread based on your agreement that God changes. Jim, do you agree that the incarnation is a change within the Triune Godhead? Do you agree that Christ's increase in knowledge, stature and favor with God is a change within the relationship of the Trinity?

      Luke 2:52 (NKJV) And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
      Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder

      JFQ3a - Jim, when the Bible says "God repents," what does that mean to you?


      Originally posted by Hilston
      Whenever the scriptures ascribe seemingly finite attributes to the Infinite God, or describe behavior that is characteristic of finite beings to the Infinite God, it is called an Anthropopathism (man-like emotions or behavior) or Anthropomorphism (man-like form or action), a figure of speech that is intended to poignantly convey information with emphasis. These are found on every page of the Bible, in seemingly innumerable quantities throughout scripture.
      Jim, do you agree that a "figure of speech" helps us to understand the point which God is trying to convey? When the Bible says God repents, what is God really trying to tell us? You seem to argue that He is telling us the exact opposite.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      For example, when the Bible says that God asked Adam where he was, we know that Adam had not really escaped God's sight. God was using Anthropomorphism to emphatically convey to Adam, by using a figure of speech, that Adam stood guilty before God.[/b] God could have said, "Adam, don't waste your time hiding from Me. You know fully well that I know where you are." But God showed Adam with powerful emphasis, through figurative language, that Adam's own behavior was an indictment against him.
      I agree. God's questioning Adam's physical location is not to be taken literally. Common sense and our ability to discern God's true meaning is in effect here. We know that Adam has sinned and stands guilty before God. You are so right when you say, "God showed Adam with powerful emphasis, through figurative language, that Adam's own behavior was an indictment against him." Please use the same type of example when God repents. What is He really trying to say? You sort of address it next, but not really...

      Originally posted by Hilston
      Just as one ought not to assume that God REALLY did not know where Adam was, similarly, one ought not to assume that God REALLY changes His mind, especially when we read elsewhere that God's decrees are immutable (Heb 6:17,18 Eph 1:11 2Ti 2:13). So when one reads passages where it says "God repents," the question should be asked: "What is God really describing when He says He has done something that would be contrary to His nature and character, such as changing His mind?" The way we answer such a question is to look at all the passages where this type of language is used and compare their contexts. For example:

      Ge 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

      Note that the context of God's repentance, as it is quite often in the scriptures, concerns idolatry and angelic corruption. How was this "repentance" of God manifested? God had allowed mankind and the fallen angels, according to His immutable decrees, to come to full fruition of wickedness and corruption. Mankind violated God's commands on every level, all according to God's immutable decrees, which set up the precursor/type for the Nephilim-infested world of Israel's future. "Lu 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." So God changed His disposition toward mankind from that of providing life and sustenance to death and destruction. "... it repenteth me that I have made them" means "I will destroy them."
      *Why didn't you use the same argument when you addressed Exodus 32?

      Really? I thought it actually meant God repented (or was grieved, or moved emotionally) because His creation had become so utterly wicked.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      Another example:
      Ex 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. ... 14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
      In Genesis 6, you argue that "it repenteth me that I have made them" means "I will destroy them." You offer Exodus 32 where God actually says, "I will destroy them." However, God does not destroy them. What does God repent of here?

      Exodus 32 (NKJV)
      9 And the Lord said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation."
      However, Moses prays and God responds to that prayer.

      So, I ask again, when God said He desired to kill the people, and then did not, did He really mean what he said in verse 9? Is that an anthropopathism too? Next, you comment on Exodus 32.

      Originally posted by Hilston
      Note that idolatry and angelic corruption are again the issue that evokes the strongest language from God. Moses pleads with God to change His mind (i.e. His disposition and actions) about destroying Israel. Moses knows that God's decrees are immutable, and in his pleading with God, he himself is doing that which God has immutably decreed. Moses' plea was heard, according to God's immutable decrees, and God changed His disposition and actions towards Israel.
      Moses knows God's decrees are immutable? If Moses believes God does not really repent, why did Moses think He was a God who did repent?

      Exodus 32 (NKJV)
      12b Turn from Your fierce wrath, and repent from this harm to Your people.
      Seems foolish to me that Moses knows God has predestined the people to worship the golden calf, desires to kill the people, predestines Moses to pray, but Moses asks God to repent, knowing full well that He is a God who does not repent.

      Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder

      JFQ3b - Jim, do you agree with Augustine / Calvin concerning 1 Sam 15:11,29 & 35?


      Originally posted by Hilston
      I don't know. You'll have to tell me what they said, or give me a reference that I can read for myself. For the sake of those reading this who are unfamiliar and/or do not have Augustine's or Calvin's writings in their personal libraries, perhaps it would be best to paste the excerpt to which you are referring.
      Here is the Calvin quote addressing God's repentance in 1 Sam 15. Please note Jim, that God repents in verses 11 and 35, but does not repent in verse 35. Same word nacham in all three passages.

      Calvin's Institutes (Sections 12 & 13)
      First, in reference to the Providence of God, it is said that he repented of having made man (Gen. 6:6), and of having raised Saul to the kingdom (1 Sam. 15:11), and that he will repent of the evil which he had resolved to inflict on his people as soon as he shall have perceived some amendment in them (Jer. 18:8).

      As to repentance, we must hold that it can no more exist in God than ignorance, or error, or impotence. If no man knowingly or willingly reduces himself to the necessity of repentance, we cannot attribute repentance to God without saying either that he knows not what is to happen, or that he cannot evade it, or that he rushes precipitately and inconsiderately into a resolution, and then forthwith regrets it. But so far is this from the meaning of the Holy Spirit, that in the very mention of repentance he declares that God is not influenced by any feeling of regret, that he is not a man that he should repent. And it is to be observed, that, in the same chapter, both things are so conjoined, that a comparison of the passages admirably removes the appearance of contradiction.

      When it is said that God repented of having made Saul king, the term change is used figuratively. Shortly after, it is added, “The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent,” (1 Sam. 15:29). In these words, his immutability is plainly asserted without figure. Wherefore it is certain that, in administering human affairs, the ordination of God is perpetual and superior to every thing like repentance. That there might be no doubt of his constancy, even his enemies are forced to bear testimony to it. For, Balaam, even against his will, behaved to break forth into this exclamation, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Num. 23:19).

      Do you agree with Calvin's take on 1 Sam 15? Next, here's Augustine's reference to "a God who repents..." Augustine is responding to the Manichaeans. Augustine himself was a Manichaean, until Ambrose of Milan spiritualized the Scriptures that said God repented. The Manichaeans, like Moses (and Jonah) believed God was a God who repented.

      Augustine - Morals of the Catholic Chirch

      Chapter 10, Sections 16 & 17
      We do not worship a God who repents, or is envious, or needy, or cruel, or who takes pleasure in the blood of men or beasts, or is pleased with guilt and crime, or whose possession of the earth is limited to a little corner of it. These and such like are the silly notions you are in the habit of denouncing at great length. Your denunciation does not touch us. The fancies of old women or of children you attack with a vehemence that is only ridiculous. Any one whom you persuade in this way to join you shows no fault in the teaching of the Church, but only proves his own ignorance of it.

      17. If, then, you have any human feeling,-if you have any regard for your own welfare,-you should rather examine with diligence and piety the meaning of these passages of Scripture. You should examine, unhappy beings that you are; for we condemn with no less severity and copiousness any faith which attributes to God what is unbecoming Him, and in those by whom these passages are literally understood we correct the mistake of ignorance, and look upon persistence in it as absurd. And in many other things which you cannot understand there is in the Catholic teaching a check on the belief of those who have got beyond mental childishness, not in years, but in knowledge and understanding-old in the progress towards wisdom. For we learn the folly of believing that God is bounded by any amount of space, even though infinite; and it is held unlawful to think of God, or any part of Him, as moving from one place to another. And should any one suppose that anything in God's substance or nature can suffer change or conversion, he will be held guilty of wild profanity.

      God bless Jim,

      --Jeremy Finkenbinder
      Last edited by *Acts9_12Out*; May 24th, 2006, 08:45 PM.
      Do you desire to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery? (Eph 3:9)

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Jeremy,

        Thank you for your reply. I enjoyed reading and reacting to it. My response and questions follow:

        I. The Jeremy Theme
        Jeremy writes:
        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        I plan to start a theme if I may. I am going to describe one event from my past week. The benefit of this would be for our readers to think about the ramifications of such events.
        I am going to start a theme as well. I am going to describe comparable events from scripture. It may get repetitive.

        II. Open Theists and the definition of 'responsible'

        A. Refusal to acknowledge the meaning of 'responsible'
        For the many years I've been debating Open Theists, there is something that none, not one, no one, no Open Theist has been willing to process: the definition of 'responsible'. Perhaps you will be the singular exception. But I'm not getting my hopes up.

        B. The definition of 'responsible'
        responsible adjective [ predic. ].
        1. having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone, as part of one's job or role : the department responsible for education.
        2. being the primary cause of something and so able to be blamed or credited for it : the gene was responsible for a rare type of eye cancer.
        3. [ attrib. ] (of a job or position) involving important duties, independent decision-making, or control over others.
        4. [ predic. ] ( responsible to) having to report to (a superior or someone in authority) and be answerable to them for one's actions : the team manager is responsible to the league president.
        5. capable of being trusted : a responsible adult.
        6. morally accountable for one's behavior : the progressive emergence of the child as a responsible being.


        With the exception of number 5, none of the definitions from the Oxford Dictionary apply to God. Note that each of the entries with bold portions cannot apply to God, because God does not answer to anyone, is not held accountable by anyone, and submits to no authority that could rightly or even logically blame Him for anything. Furthermore, the lone exception, entry number 5, is NOT what Open Theists mean when they complain that the Settled View would make God responsible for evil. Moreover, on the Open View, even number 5 cannot be applied to God, which will be demonstrated below.

        C. The origin of 'responsible'

        1. Here's the Oxford Dictionary's discussion on where the word comes from:
        ORIGIN late 16th cent.(in the sense [answering to, corresponding] ): from obsolete French, from Latin respons- ‘answered, offered in return,’ from the verb respondere (see respond ).

        2. Further discussion of 'responsible' from the Oxford Dictionary:
        Responsible is an adjective that applies to anyone who is in charge of an endeavor or to whom a duty has been delegated, and who is subject to penalty or blame in case of default (: responsible for getting everyone out of the building in the event of a fire).

        D. The Oxford Thesaurus discussion of 'responsible':
        responsible adjective
        1. who is responsible for the prisons? in charge of, in control of, at the helm of, accountable for, liable for.
        2. if an error's been made, I'm the one who's responsible accountable, answerable, to blame, guilty, culpable, blameworthy, at fault, in the wrong.
        3. a responsible job important, powerful, executive.
        4. he is responsible to the president answerable, accountable.
        5. a responsible tenant trustworthy, sensible, mature, reliable, dependable.

        Again, note that each of the entries with bold portions cannot apply to God, because God does not answer to anyone, is not held accountable by anyone, and submits to no authority that could rightly or even logically blame Him for anything. The exceptions, numbers 3 and 5, may indeed apply to God, but these meanings are not what Open Theists intend when they allege that the Settled View would make God responsible for evil. See below.

        E. Jeremy's use of 'responsible' in reference to God
        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Is God responsible for the actions I describe, or is the fallen human being responsible?
        See what I mean? Given the above definitions, God is not, will not and cannot be responsible for anything, to anyone, ever. Any other usage of this word is unwarranted and does violence to language.

        III. The Reign of Humanism Upon The Open View, or 'What Kind of God is Acceptable to Open Theists?'
        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        You have argued that God had predestined evil people to do evil things. I argue that evil people freely choose to do evil things and God is grieved by their actions.
        First, you've posed a false dichotomy. God predestines the evil that evil people freely choose. Second, Biblical descriptions of God's grief (indeed, all His emotions) are condescensions to the finite mind and emotions of man, giving rich and poignant emphases to His prescriptive will. Third, your argument is based on humanism and existentialist premises, the very thing that God's use of figurative language was intended to pre-empt. But instead of heeding God's obvious figurative descriptions, Open Theists use those very figures non-figuratively to reinforce their existentialism.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        In our last discussion, I wondered why God would predestine some to sell / use methamphetamine? I wonder why God would predestine me to sometimes physically fight with people on meth? I wonder why God predestines families to be destroyed by one family member becoming addicted to methamphetamine? Jim responded,
        ...but God has predestined each evil person who gets away with dealing drugs and is never caught by the authorities.

        I'm at a loss Jim... I understand that you've drawn such a hard line with your belief in God, that you are forced to make those types of statements.
        We should all be forced only by the teachings of scripture and of sound logic. But it's clear to me that Open Theists are forced instead by their humanistic sensibilities and existential assumptions. Open View proponents, not unlike atheists, find it unacceptable that God would use evil for His good purposes, despite the fact that Bible teaches that very thing. So their humanism twists scripture to suit their sensibilities. They say things like:
        "I could never believe in the God of the Settled View."
        "If I were a Calvinist, I would hate God."
        "I would rather spend eternity in hell than spend one day in heaven with the Calvinist God."
        "I truly find it difficult to worship a God who causes those things."

        Each of Jeremy's thematic offerings, in this post and his last, are vivid expressions of that humanism. Jeremy is affirming that he refuses to believe that God would use evil for good. That is to say, Jeremy is FORCED, not by logic nor by scripture, but by humanism and existentialism, to declare what kind of God he is willing to believe in. Atheists do this as well, by the way.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        I truly find it difficult to worship a God who causes those things Jim.
        See what I mean?

        IV. The Jeremy Theme, Episode 2
        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        ... Last week, ... [etc.]

        ... Now I ask again Jim, what glory can come to a God who predestines a 12 year old to get high on meth and steal a car?
        This is what I (and Job) call a FWQ (Foolish Women Question). Your question is very similar to that of Job's wife:
        Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die [i.e. "what glory can come to a God who predestines Job to be attacked by Satan?"]. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.[Job 2:9,10]

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        ... Do you really believe God predestined this young man to commit this crime before the foundation of the world?
        Predestined? Yes, of course! It cannot be any other way if God is to be trusted. But before the foundation of the world? No. But that's a different discussion. Anyone who wants details concerning the difference between "from the foundation of the world" and "before the foundation of the world," please see the following paper: The Place of Paul's Gospel in God's Electing Decrees

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        ... Do you believe God predestined a 12 year old to have no fear while a gun is pointed at his head?
        Of course! How can it possibly be any other way and make sense of scripture? It must be this way, scripturally and logically. If God did NOT predestine that 12-year-old's behavior, then God cannot be trusted.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        ... Maybe he's a calvinist and knows that God did not predestine him to die that day.
        That mischaracterization is beneath you, Jeremy, even in jest. It's the kind of stuff I warned against in my previous post. No Calvinist worth his salt goes around saying, "I am going to do something dangerous because I don't think God predestined me to die today," so even as a humorous dig, it doesn't apply. Think of it this way, Jeremy: What if I were to say, "Maybe he's an Open Theist and knows that God cannot be trusted." I'm sure you wouldn't think of that as funny. Remember, I make a distinction between what Open Theists SAY (A,B and C) and what Open Theism LEADS TO (X,Y and Z). So Jeremy, I urge you refain from that stuff if you wish for this to be a mutually beneficial discussion. If you continue with such tripe, it will quickly become unilaterally beneficial in my favor.

        V. God's Character and the Open View
        In my previous post, I asked Jeremy: JHQ1: When you ask "Who is God?," is this question about God's character or God's behavior? In other words, what exactly do you want to look at in order to identify and describe God?

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Great question Jim. I want to look at both. God's character defines His behavior, and His behavior describes His character.
        That's a tautology, Jeremy. Your sentence is the equivalent of saying "God's character describes the character of His behavior, and His behavior defines Him." Here's the definition of 'define':
        define verb [ trans. ]
        1 state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of : the contract will seek to define the client's obligations.
        • give the meaning of (a word or phrase), esp. in a dictionary.
        • make up or establish the character of : for some, the football team defines their identity.
        2 mark out the boundary or limits of : [as adj. ] ( defined) clearly defined boundaries.
        • make clear the outline of; delineate : she defined her eyes by applying eyeshadow.

        JHQ2:Do you see a difference between what God is in His essence and what God does? If so, what is the difference?

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        In other words, if God is Trustworthy, then we can trust Him. If God shows us through His word that He can be trusted, then we would say He is Trustworthy.
        Now you're question-begging, Jeremy. If God is NOT trustworthy, then you shouldn't trust Him to show you through His word that He can be trusted. In fact, as the Supreme Being, He would be better than anyone at deceiving you regarding His trustworthiness. On what do you base your trust, Jeremy?

        JHQ3: Is trustworthiness an essential attribute of God?

        JHQ4 Could God have become untrustworthy this morning if He wanted to? Why or why not?

        VI. Can the Open Theist God Be Trusted?

        Hilston previously wrote: According to the logical conclusions of the claims of the Open View, there is no reason to thank God for anything, because God cannot be trusted and He cannot truly secure anything.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Is this XYZ? I would love to hear your ABC's for this one, because these claims cannot be substantiated.
        Yes, these are the logical conclusions of the Open View. And they surely can be substantiated, and have been repeatedly in this forum. If God is capable of evil, then why do you trust Him? How do you know He didn't turn evil a year ago?

        Hilston previously wrote: On the Settled View, God can be trusted in everything, to the extent that even the evil and calamity that befalls us can be viewed as being worked by God, together with The Called, i.e. the Body of Christ (Ro 8:28), toward His immutable purpose (Eph 1:11).

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Jim, I alluded to Romans 8:28 in another discussion. If you remember, I showed yo that a more accurate translation showed that God works together with those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose, all things for good.
        And if YOU remember, I showed you that I had already affirmed a even more accurate translation than you offered.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        You seem to spin the text to say that all things "even the evil and calamity that befalls us can be viewed as being worked by God."
        It's not "spin." It's biblical. Job affirmed this. Paul instructs The Called to be patient in tribulation (Ro 12:12). The Settled View can take comfort in Paul's instruction because God is in control of our troubles and afflictions. Unless God is in control of our tribulation, there are no grounds on which to base our patience in the midst of it. We are told to rejoice in tribulations (Ro 5:3,4). Paul commended the Thessalonians for their patience and faith in all the persecutions and tribulations they endured (2Th 1:4). In the Open Theist world, there cannot logically be any comfort or patience or faith, because God is not in control of evil. When we pray, Paul says that God's peace that passes understanding will guard or garrison our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. On the Settled View, this all makes sense, because God is truly in exhaustive and meticulous control, working together with The Called all things concerning their Hope, their security, their preservation. The Open View cannot have this confidence, if one is logically consistent and one's views (A,B and C) are taken to their logical conclusions (X,Y and Z). All Open Theists I've encountered thus far, without exception, refuse to connect these dots.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        You attribute all evil and calamity to God's predestination, but strip Him of culpability.
        Culpability is responsibility. Culpability cannot be applied to God. There is no superior authority to which He would or could answer.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        This is an antinomy Jim. "God did it, but it's not His fault He did it," is what you essentially argue.
        Who is going to hold God accountable? Who will judge the ultimate Judge? There is no antinomy if you understand the meaning of 'culpable' and 'responsible.'

        Hilston previously wrote: God is indeed to be praised, not only for what Jeremy describes in the preceding sentence, but also for the fact that even the evil men that Jeremy fails to throw in jail will someday either (a) be regenerated as an elect member of Christ's Body, or (b) experience the final judgment and sempiternal damnation for their opposition to Paul's gospel, the specific and distinctive gospel which will judge the men of this dispensation (Ro 2:16).

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        I agree wholeheartedly with the bolded above, but disagree with your premise. You argue that God predestined some of those evil men to become The Elect, and predestined others for eternal damnation. I argue that some may freely choose to respond to the gospel and become members of the body of Christ. Others, however, will freely reject God's universal offer of salvation and will be judged and cast into the lake of fire for eternity.
        This is a false dichotomy, Jeremy. God predestines the freely chosen decisions of the Elect and the non-Elect. JHQ5: I'm curious, Jeremy. On what grounds do you praise God for something He has not done and may very well change His mind about? If God turns evil, as Open Theists claim He is capable of doing, then He would probably change His mind about whom to save and whom to damn. Isn't your praise a bit premature? See, this is the humanistic/existentialist thesis of the Open View, and its inconsistency in full display. The Open Theist supposedly praises God, not for Who God is essentially, but for what He does. The Open Theist says God, in order to be truly and genuinely good, must have the ability to do evil if He wanted to. But if God can do evil, then He is not essentially good. An essentially good being is incapable of evil. If God is capable of evil, then He is not good in His essence.

        Hilston previously wrote: Not only that, but God has predestined each evil person who gets away with dealing drugs and is never caught by the authorities. God declares that perfect justice will be meted upon those who are not of The Called for their rebellion against Paul's gospel.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Again, I agree with the bolded above. However, I disagree with your premise. Again, you argue that God predestined evil drug dealers to spend eternity in hell. Our point of contention is how a person becomes part of the body of Christ. I say man must freely respond to God by faith, you say God predestines many to hell.
        False dichotomy, Jeremy. God predestines the elect to freely respond to God by the gift of faith God gives them. Prior to receiving the gift of faith, the elect are incapable of yielding to God (Ro 8:7). They are spiritually dead and unable to quicken themselves. The gift of faith that is given when the Holy Spirit regenerates the elect person is that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enables a person to believe and to be converted. Conversion follows regeneration; not precedes it.

        Hilston previously wrote: God is already glorified. God is perfect, and is perfectly glorious. God was fully glorious before He created reprobates and He will be just as glorious after He sends them to hell.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Here's another mind blower Jim. I honestly can't believe that you argue that God, from before the foundation of the world, created reprobates for His own pleasure. ...
        Again, for a discussion of the distinction between "from the foundation of the world" and "before the foundation of the world," see the link I offered above. To clarify: Yes, you can be assured that I believe that God decreed the existence and behavior of the reprobates. This is why I can trust Him.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        You offer no Scripture to support this idea Jim.
        You didn't ask, Jeremy. There's plenty of scriptural support. Consider the following: God showed John the future ~ a future that Open Theists claim does NOT exist. John saw the future in visions and was able to write down, using his own language, infallibly and inerrantly guided by angelic supervision, exactly what he saw. In Revelation, John describes ten kings who will (they really will, Jeremy) freely decide and agree to give their power to the Beast. The angel helped John to understand what he was seeing, and in Revelation 17, John writes:
        12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
        John then describes, just three verses later, the backstory behind the decisions freely chosen by those kings and their violence against reprobate Israel:
        16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
        Once again, God decrees and uses the evil actions of evil men for His good pleasure and purpose. There are plenty of such examples throughout scripture. This is why God can be trusted.

        VII. Questions

        Hilston had asked Jeremy to explain what he means by "God's character."

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        God's character, God's nature, God's actions, God's behaviors, God's interaction with His creation, etc ...
        I was really hoping you would offer a more careful definition. God's character (determined by His nature and essence) is not the same as His actions, behavior and interactions. God's essential attributes are what define His character. And by essence, I mean:
        essence noun
        the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, esp. something abstract, that determines its character : conflict is the essence of drama. ... a property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is.

        JHQ6: Jeremy, do you believe there is such a thing as God's essence that determines His character? Or is it God's behavior that determines His character?
        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Jim, the mods here started a thread based on your agreement that God changes.
        Have you read it? Have you listened to my discussion with Bob Enyart? I urge you to do both if you're going to understand my view of how God can change and how He cannot change.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Jim, do you agree that the incarnation is a change within the Triune Godhead?
        There can be no change in God's essential attributes. God changes in His actions and manifestations, but not in His essence. So you'll have to be more clear in your question if I'm going to be able to give you a clear and appropriate answer.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Do you agree that Christ's increase in knowledge, stature and favor with God is a change within the relationship of the Trinity?
        Jeremy, this is one of many Open View Clichés that is just bad exegesis. The passage is talking about Jesus' human childhood experience and maturation. The word for "increase" is "to move forward, to proceed." What you call knowledge is "sophia," which is wisdom. "Stature" refers to his physical growth and age. "Favor" is charis, which is grace. The entire passage is describing Jesus as a healthy growing human being with a particular precocity regarding the scriptures. Does this represent a change in God's essential attributes? No. Did God love Jesus more because of how He was moving forward in wisdom and size and age? No. Before the incarnation, God could not love Jesus any more. After the incarnation, God's love for Jesus did not increase.

        Jeremy previously asked: JFQ3a - Jim, when the Bible says "God repents," what does that mean to you?

        Hilston replied: Whenever the scriptures ascribe seemingly finite attributes to the Infinite God, or describe behavior that is characteristic of finite beings to the Infinite God, it is called an Anthropopathism (man-like emotions or behavior) or Anthropomorphism (man-like form or action), a figure of speech that is intended to poignantly convey information with emphasis. These are found on every page of the Bible, in seemingly innumerable quantities throughout scripture.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Jim, do you agree that a "figure of speech" helps us to understand the point which God is trying to convey?
        I object to how you've characterized the purpose of figurative language and God Himself in your question. God does not "try" to convey anything. He conveys His Word infallibly, inerrantly and efficiently:
        For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
        He uses the very language He has decreed to communicate His Word, including the rules of grammar and figures of speech, and communicates precisely in the manner that man is fully equipped to understand, if God gives him ears to hear.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        When the Bible says God repents, what is God really trying to tell us? You seem to argue that He is telling us the exact opposite.
        When the Bible says God asked Adam where He was, what is God really trying to tell us? You seem to argue that He is telling us the exact opposite. To answer your question: God is not trying to tell us anything. He has told us. Period. Whether or not we hear and heed is another matter entirely.

        Hilston previously wrote: For example, when the Bible says that God asked Adam where he was, we know that Adam had not really escaped God's sight. God was using Anthropomorphism to emphatically convey to Adam, by using a figure of speech, that Adam stood guilty before God. God could have said, "Adam, don't waste your time hiding from Me. You know fully well that I know where you are." But God showed Adam with powerful emphasis, through figurative language, that Adam's own behavior was an indictment against him.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        I agree.
        Strange. Then you apparently agree that God was saying the exact opposite of the actual case. Why don't you have a problem with it here, but you have a problem with that regarding God's repentance?

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        God's questioning Adam's physical location is not to be taken literally. Common sense and our ability to discern God's true meaning is in effect here.
        Common sense and our ability to discern God's true meaning applies to God's repentance as well. But when the Open Theist sees a verse that brings God down, as long as it's not TOO far down, they seize upon it and ignore the obvious figure. Open Theists do this with so-called "failed prophecy" as well. Rather than assuming one's own fallible understanding and lack of knowledge, the Open Theist assumes God Himself lacks knowledge and is fallible in His understanding.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        We know that Adam has sinned and stands guilty before God. You are so right when you say, "God showed Adam with powerful emphasis, through figurative language, that Adam's own behavior was an indictment against him."
        It makes sense on my view. I don't see how it makes sense on yours, if you're going to be consistent. If you say God's repentance IS NOT figurative, on what grounds do you claim God's search for Adam IS figurative? My grounds are the essential, non-negotiable, immutable attributes of God. On what is your claim based, Jeremy?

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Please use the same type of example when God repents. What is he really trying to say? You sort of address it next, but not really...
        I addressed it.

        Hilston previously wrote: Just as one ought not to assume that God REALLY did not know where Adam was, similarly, one ought not to assume that God REALLY changes His mind, especially when we read elsewhere that God's decrees are immutable (Heb 6:17,18 Eph 1:11 2Ti 2:13). So when one reads passages where it says "God repents," the question should be asked: "What is God really describing when He says He has done something that would be contrary to His nature and character, such as changing His mind?" The way we answer such a question is to look at all the passages where this type of language is used and compare their contexts. For example:

        Ge 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

        Note that the context of God's repentance, as it is quite often in the scriptures, concerns idolatry and angelic corruption. How was this "repentance" of God manifested? God had allowed mankind and the fallen angels, according to His immutable decrees, to come to full fruition of wickedness and corruption. Mankind violated God's commands on every level, all according to God's immutable decrees, which set up the precursor/type for the Nephilim-infested world of Israel's future. "Lu 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." So God changed His disposition toward mankind from that of providing life and sustenance to death and destruction. "... it repenteth me that I have made them" means "I will destroy them."


        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Really? I thought it actually meant God repented (or was grieved, or moved emotionally) because His creation had become so utterly wicked.
        You thought that because Open Theism is humanistic, viewing God's emotions in light of man's, instead of the other way around. I know that Open Theists will not agree with the following, but I see it demonstrated on every front: The OV God is created in man's image.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        *Why didn't you use the same argument when you addressed Exodus 32?
        I did.

        Hilston wrote previously: Another example:
        Ex 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. ... 14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.


        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        In Genesis 6, you argue that "it repenteth me that I have made them" means "I will destroy them." You offer Exodus 32 where God actually says, "I will destroy them." However, God does not destroy them. What does God repent of here?
        As I stated earlier, God's repentance represents a different course of action. Genesis 6 and Exodus 32 describes different types of changes, for two completely different purposes. In Genesis 6, God changed His course of action from creating and sustaining man to killing and destroying man. This is described as a repentance in order to emphatically convey His spurning of man's idolatry. In Exodus 32, God changed His course of action from seeking the destruction of Israel to that of preserving them. This is described as a repentance in order to emphatically convey God's commitment to His oath and mercy to Israel.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        However, Moses prays and God responds to that prayer.
        Moses knew his prayer was decreed and predetermined, as was God's response to that prayer.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        So, I ask again, when God said He desired to kill the people, and then did not, did He really mean what he said in verse 9? Is that an anthropopathism too?
        God infallibly follows His own script, Jeremy. Part of that script was to experience and express His anger toward Israel. The next part was for Moses to respond and intercede in behalf of Israel. The next part was for God to hear Moses' plea and relent. It must be this way, otherwise, you have a God who is forgetful, neglectful and ignorant. Notice the content of Moses' prayer and what the Open View must, if it's consistent, take from that prayer:
        11 And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, [did God forget that they were HIS people?] which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? [Did God need to be reminded of what He had done for HIS people?] 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? [Did God need Moses to remind Him that the pagans were going to trash Him behind His back if He destroyed Israel? Does it really matter to God what a bunch of pagans have to say about Him?] Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. [Did God really need to be reminded by Moses of His own oath to the Patriarchs?]
        The God of Open Theism, when followed out logically, is impetuous, foolhardy, reckless, rashly impulsive, needs to be calmed down and must be reminded of His own OATHS! WHICH HE SWORE BY HIS OWN NAME! Good grief, WHY DO YOU TRUST THIS GOD, JEREMY?

        Hilston previously wrote: Note that idolatry and angelic corruption are again the issue that evokes the strongest language from God. Moses pleads with God to change His mind (i.e. His disposition and actions) about destroying Israel. Moses knows that God's decrees are immutable, and in his pleading with God, he himself is doing that which God has immutably decreed. Moses' plea was heard, according to God's immutable decrees, and God changed His disposition and actions towards Israel.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Moses knows God's decrees are immutable? If Moses believes God does not really repent, why did Moses think He was a God who did repent?
        You're equivocating, Jeremy. Remember that Moses understands figures of speech. Do you realize what you're suggesting? You're suggesting that Moses' thoughts were as follows, or something similar:
        Oh my goodness. God is about to destroy Israel. God is out of control. God has clearly not given due consideration to the following:
        1. that these are His people.
        2. what He did for this people.
        3. what the Egyptians are going to say about Him if He goes through with this.
        4. the oath He swore with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by His own name.
        That is what Open Theism leads to. Do you believe these things, or something similar, were really in Moses' mind? Do you actually believe Moses thought God had forgotten those things?

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Seems foolish to me that Moses knows God has peredestined the people to worship the golden calf, desires to kill the people, predestines Moses to pray, but Moses asks God to repent, knowing full well that He is a God who does not repent.
        You're equivocating, Jeremy. Moses understands and uses the word as a figure, remember? Which one seems more foolish: (1) Moses using a figure of speech acknowledging that God is fully aware of what He is doing (the Settled View), or (2) Moses thinking it was necessary to give a history lesson to an impetuous and forgetful God? (the Open View)

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder, previously
        JFQ3b - Jim, do you agree with Augustine / Calvin concerning 1 Sam 15:11,29 & 35?

        Here is the Calvin quote addressing God's repentance in 1 Sam 15. Please note Jim, that God repents in verses 11 and 35, but does not repent in verse 35. Same word nacham in all three passages. ... [snipped excerpt] ...Do you agree with Calvin's take on 1 Sam 15?
        I might quibble with a few details, but overall I agree.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
        Next, here's Augustine's reference to "a God who repents..." Augustine is responding to the Manichaeans. Augustine himself was a Manichaean, until Ambrose of Milan spiritualized the Scriptures that said God repented. The Manichaeans, like Moses (and Jonah) believed God was a God who repented.
        According to the logical conclusions of Open Theism, Moses thought God had an inadequate memory, and Jonah was a false prophet.

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder, quoting Augustine
        Augustine - Morals of the Catholic Chirch [sic]

        Chapter 10, Sections 16 & 17
        We do not worship a God who repents, or is envious, or needy, or cruel, or who takes pleasure in the blood of men or beasts, or is pleased with guilt and crime, or whose possession of the earth is limited to a little corner of it. These and such like are the silly notions you are in the habit of denouncing at great length. Your denunciation does not touch us. The fancies of old women or of children you attack with a vehemence that is only ridiculous. Any one whom you persuade in this way to join you shows no fault in the teaching of the Church, but only proves his own ignorance of it.
        [Hilston notes: Notice that Augustine is apparently also familiar with Job's reference to FWQs, "foolish women questions"]

        Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder, quoting Augustine
        17. If, then, you have any human feeling,-if you have any regard for your own welfare,-you should rather examine with diligence and piety the meaning of these passages of Scripture. You should examine, unhappy beings that you are; for we condemn with no less severity and copiousness any faith which attributes to God what is unbecoming Him, and in those by whom these passages are literally understood we correct the mistake of ignorance, and look upon persistence in it as absurd. And in many other things which you cannot understand there is in the Catholic teaching a check on the belief of those who have got beyond mental childishness, not in years, but in knowledge and understanding-old in the progress towards wisdom. For we learn the folly of believing that God is bounded by any amount of space, even though infinite; and it is held unlawful to think of God, or any part of Him, as moving from one place to another. And should any one suppose that anything in God's substance or nature can suffer change or conversion, he will be held guilty of wild profanity.
        Again, I might object to how some details were conveyed, but overall, I agree with Augustine. I wonder, Jeremy, if the words "substance and nature" in the passage mean anything to you, or if you've bothered to find out what Augustine and Calvin mean when they use those qualifiers?

        Thank you for the discussion, Jeremy. I look forward to your reply.

        Jim
        Hear Hilston's latest musical release!

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Jim,

          I hope your week is going well. Thank you for your reply. I enjoyed reading and reacting to it as well. My response and questions follow:

          I’m glad you enjoyed my theme. I plan to keep it going, and ask the same repetitive questions. I chose this example because this is a woman that I used to work with. When I started at the Sheriff’s Office, I was assigned to the jail. After being assigned to the Patrol Division, I would sometimes go back and work overtime in the jail. We offer counselors for the inmates who may have issues that fall outside the realm of what jailers can deal with. One of those counselors was a woman named June Candelario. I worked with June a few times, but did not get to know her well. . Here’s an excerpt from a local News station.
          Commerce City Police responded to 6775 Ash St. on a report of child abuse and arrested 61-year-old June Candelario.
          Police say she kept her grandson in a plastic 46"x30"x35" dog kennel while she was at work. Candelario is a detention counselor for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. She works Monday-Thursday 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
          Candelario would lock him in the kennel before she left for work, and then open the kennel when she got home around 3 a.m., according to police.
          Candelario is in custody for second degree kidnapping, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment and child abuse. Her bond was set at $100,000.
          Here’s the link to the story and a video at 9News.com if you’re interested.

          Now Jim, what glory can come to God from a 61-year-old woman locking her grandson in a cage while she’s working? Did God predestine June to lock her 13-year-old grandson in a cage while she worked? Let me predestine your answer…
          Originally posted by How Hilston Will Answer
          Predestined? Yes, of course! It cannot be any other way if God is to be trusted.
          Of course! How can it possibly be any other way and make sense of scripture? It must be this way, scripturally and logically. If God did NOT predestine that 61-year-old's behavior, then God cannot be trusted.
          These answers were taken from your previous post and the only thing I changed was “12” to “61” bolded above. Last time, you said God predestined a 12-year-old to get high on methamphetamine, steal a car, and flee from the Police until he was pitted. I believe your answer will be along the same lines this time. You believe God predestined a 61-year-old woman to lock her grandson in a cage while she was at work. Now, on to your post and why my theme is relevant.

          I apologize that I’ve fallen away from the question numbering format. I plan to ask questions and reply to all of yours. If I miss anything, let me know.
          I would like to open with what I see as a huge problem for your view. I plan to present what I see as an inconsistency, and then present the problem you’ve created for yourself.
          I’m trying to understand how you deal with God’s predestination of evil men / events, and how you say God is not culpable. In other words Jim, how do you deal with “The Problem of Evil” in God’s Word? I must say, I was a bit disappointed with your answer and even more disappointed with your logic. When asked if God was responsible for the evil men and the actions of the evil men He predestined, you respond:
          Originally posted by Hilston
          II. Open Theists and the definition of 'responsible'
          A. Refusal to acknowledge the meaning of 'responsible'

          For the many years I've been debating Open Theists, there is something that none, not one, no one, no Open Theist has been willing to process: the definition of 'responsible'. Perhaps you will be the singular exception. But I'm not getting my hopes up.
          Jim, I am the singular exception. I spent a number of hours this week processing the definition of responsible, and I offer the following response. Jim, I find it interesting that you accuse me of “humanistic sensibilities, vivid expressions of that humanism, and finally you say I am FORCED, not by logic nor by scripture, but by humanism…”, and then use a humanistic, human "inspired" definition to describe what God is not. In fact, this concept you present is going to be your downfall. More in a minute...
          Originally posted by Hilston
          B. The definition of 'responsible'
          Thanks for the definition. I’m sure it was helpful for those who did not understand the word. Thanks for the historical context of the word. I’m not sure how a humanistic definition helps your case.
          You continue,
          Originally posted by Hilston
          With the exception of number 5, none of the definitions from the Oxford Dictionary apply to God. Note that each of the entries with bold portions cannot apply to God, because God does not answer to anyone, is not held accountable by anyone, and submits to no authority that could rightly or even logically blame Him for anything. Furthermore, the lone exception, entry number 5, is NOT what Open Theists mean when they complain that the Settled View would make God responsible for evil. Moreover, on the Open View, even number 5 cannot be applied to God, which will be demonstrated below.
          Jim, do you see the antinomy you present? Just because you define a word, then draw a logical conclusion on that definition, and apply that definition to your preconceived ideas about God, does not make your premise correct. In fact, I would agree with your conclusion. To quote you, “God does not answer to anyone, is not held accountable by anyone, and submits to no authority that could rightly or even logically blame Him for anything.” You’re right Jim, God cannot be responsible for sin! We agree. However, we disagree as to the origination of that sin.

          You say God foreknew / predestined evil men to do evil things. Simple logic tells us that if a Being originates an evil thought or action, then that Being is culpable. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place Jim. Your "out" is based on a humanistic definition, and is illogical at best.

          You’re answer to the quandary is simply, “Logically, God should be responsible for the sin He predestined. The English translation of that word implies that the ‘responsible’ party must be in subject to someone or something. Therefore, God cannot be responsible for anything.”
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Again, note that each of the entries with bold portions cannot apply to God, because God does not answer to anyone, is not held accountable by anyone, and submits to no authority that could rightly or even logically blame Him for anything.
          See what I mean? You just put a band-aid on the problem Jim, and the blood is already soaking through.

          You can’t see the forest for the trees Jim. If God predestines evil, then He’s culpable. Simple logic. The OV rightly concludes that God does not predestine evil men to do evil things. Therefore, God is not culpable. That’s why I agree with your conclusion. The evil person who freely chooses evil is guilty and will be judged. This line you’ve drawn with defining “responsible” just scratches the surface for problems you create.

          Next, I asked,
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Is God responsible for the actions I describe, or is the fallen human being responsible?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          See what I mean? Given the above definitions, God is not, will not and cannot be responsible for anything, to anyone, ever. Any other usage of this word is unwarranted and does violence to language.
          Jim, here’s the biggest problem yet. God cannot be responsible for anything?

          Is God responsible for creating the universe in seven days?

          Is God responsible for the light and heat which comes from the sun?

          Is God responsible for flooding the earth and wiping out the evil Nephilim?

          Is God responsible for working a plan of redemption?

          Is God responsible for annihilating the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?

          IS GOD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PREDESTINATION OF ALL THINGS?

          If God is not responsible for anything, then how can God do anything? What word would you use to ascribe thoughts and / or actions to God Jim?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          III. The Reign of Humanism Upon The Open View, or 'What Kind of God is Acceptable to Open Theists?
          Originally Posted by Jeremy You have argued that God had predestined evil people to do evil things. I argue that evil people freely choose to do evil things and God is grieved by their actions.
          First, you've posed a false dichotomy. God predestines the evil that evil people freely choose.
          False Dichotomy? Jim, it’s the only dichotomy. There are no other valid options. I see that you desire to redefine my statement about what you argue. I said,
          Originally posted by Jeremy
          (Jim) You have argued that God had predestined evil people to do evil things.
          You want the statement to be amended to say,
          Originally posted by Jim
          God predestines the evil that evil people freely choose.
          There’s that antinomy again Jim. Two things here: If God predestines the evil, then He is culpable. You use the term “evil people” and say they “freely choose’ to do the evil that God predestined. Who predestined the evil person to be evil Jim? You are forced to say “God” of course, again making Him culpable.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Second, Biblical descriptions of God's grief (indeed, all His emotions) are condescensions to the finite mind and emotions of man, giving rich and poignant emphases to His prescriptive will.
          Jim, why do you worship a rock? I had no idea that you held to impassibility as well. I guess it is a logical conclusion. What confidence do you have in a god who is emotionless? The God of the Bible shows His emotion on every page of His Word. Why don’t you see this Jim?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Third, your argument is based on humanism and existentialist premises, the very thing that God's use of figurative language was intended to pre-empt. But instead of heeding God's obvious figurative descriptions, Open Theists use those very figures non-figuratively to reinforce their existentialism.
          Jim, I take exception to you classifying me as an existentialist. If you’re going to throw those terms around, feel free to substantiate your claims. In fact, your view is more existentialist that the OV. You are unable to explain human existence and are steeped in philosophy. That’s why you made the mistake you made earlier, and that’s why you use a humanistic definition to describe something God cannot do. That’s why you have a philosophical / illogical conclusion when applying that humanistic definition to God.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          We should all be forced only by the teachings of scripture and of sound logic.
          Since when are antinomies logical Jim? Remember, you said,
          Originally posted by Jim
          God predestines the evil that evil people freely choose.
          That doesn’t sound very scriptural or logical.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          But it's clear to me that Open Theists are forced instead by their humanistic sensibilities and existential assumptions.
          Prove it. Show me that I have failed to support my ideas about God with Scripture.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Open View proponents, not unlike atheists, find it unacceptable that God would use evil for His good purposes…
          Since when does an atheist find anything unacceptable about God? Atheists deny the existence of God, hence the term... Since you like definitions,
          a·the·ist
          n. One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          …despite the fact that Bible teaches that very thing
          Prove it Jim. Show me evidence that God uses evil for His good purposes. In fact, show that God predestines evil for His good purposes. Let me guess…
          *Genesis 50:20, *Acts 2:23, *Acts 4:27, *Romans 8:28
          If you have anything new to offer, let me know. Otherwise, we can start discussing each of these. You let me know.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          So their humanism twists scripture to suit their sensibilities. They say things like:
          "I could never believe in the God of the Settled View."
          "If I were a Calvinist, I would hate God."
          "I would rather spend eternity in hell than spend one day in heaven with the Calvinist God."
          "I truly find it difficult to worship a God who causes those things."
          Each of Jeremy's thematic offerings, in this post and his last, are vivid expressions of that humanism. Jeremy is affirming that he refuses to believe that God would use evil for good. That is to say, Jeremy is FORCED, not by logic nor by scripture, but by humanism and existentialism, to declare what kind of God he is willing to believe in. Atheists do this as well, by the way.
          Jim, every single argument I’ve offered is based in Scripture and exegeted logically. The above statement is a flat out lie Jim.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          IV. The Jeremy Theme, Episode 2
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          ... Last week, ... [etc.] ... Now I ask again Jim, what glory can come to a God who predestines a 12 year old to get high on meth and steal a car?
          This is what I (and Job) call a FWQ (Foolish Women Question). Your question is very similar to that of Job's wife:
          Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die [i.e. "what glory can come to a God who predestines Job to be attacked by Satan?"]. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.[Job 2:9,10]
          Jim this is eisegesis. Your "i.e." is unsubstantiated. There is nothing in the book of Job to suggest that God predestined Job to be attacked by satan. Have you read the book of Job Jim? If you had, you would know that satan sought Job because of his relationship with God. You actually fall into the "foolish woman" camp with Job's wife. Mrs. Job and Hilston wrongly blame God for Job's trials and tribulations. The reality is, God allowed satan to take Job "in his hand" as long as satan did not kill Job. There is nothing to suggest that God predestined anything. Poor eisegesis Jim... BTW, you never answered my above question...
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          ... Do you really believe God predestined this young man to commit this crime before the foundation of the world?
          Predestined? Yes, of course! It cannot be any other way if God is to be trusted.
          This is sad Jim. You do not have a relationship with God. Your god is immutable, impassable and cannot be responsible for anything. Your god does not get angry, nor does he rejoice with you. When and if you pray, God does not hear your prayer. If you choose not to pray, then God predestined it anyway. Your "trust" in God is based on His predestination of evil. My trust in God is based on my relationship with Him. He is my Father Jim. I love Him, and He loves me. I am one of His children Jim. I wish you could share in my joy of this Loving Father. Unfortunately, I see you hugging your rock until you die. When you meet Him, you'll know better Jim.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          ... Do you believe God predestined a 12 year old to have no fear while a gun is pointed at his head?
          Of course! How can it possibly be any other way and make sense of scripture? It must be this way, scripturally and logically. If God did NOT predestine that 12-year-old's behavior, then God cannot be trusted.
          Jim, let go of your rock and embrace the God of the Bible.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          ... Maybe he's a calvinist and knows that God did not predestine him to die that day.
          That mischaracterization is beneath you, Jeremy, even in jest. It's the kind of stuff I warned against in my previous post. No Calvinist worth his salt goes around saying, "I am going to do something dangerous because I don't think God predestined me to die today," so even as a humorous dig, it doesn't apply. Think of it this way, Jeremy: What if I were to say, "Maybe he's an Open Theist and knows that God cannot be trusted." I'm sure you wouldn't think of that as funny. Remember, I make a distinction between what Open Theists SAY (A,B and C) and what Open Theism LEADS TO (X,Y and Z). So Jeremy, I urge you refain from that stuff if you wish for this to be a mutually beneficial discussion. If you continue with such tripe, it will quickly become unilaterally beneficial in my favor.
          If you were offended, I apologize. I still see that as a valid XYZ for your position Jim. If you didn't like that, how about this Jim...

          What did the calvinist say after he fell and broke his leg? "Thank God that's over with!"
          Originally posted by Hilston
          V. God's Character and the Open View
          In my previous post, I asked Jeremy: JHQ1: When you ask "Who is God?," is this question about God's character or God's behavior? In other words, what exactly do you want to look at in order to identify and describe God?
          JHQ2: Do you see a difference between what God is in His essence and what God does? If so, what is the difference
          JHQ3: Is trustworthiness an essential attribute of God?
          JHQ4 Could God have become untrustworthy this morning if He wanted to? Why or why not?
          Jim, I knew this was going to turn philosophical. When I asked "Who is God?" I wanted to know who you think He is. You have done a wonderful job showing me who you think He is. I allowed you to run with with your philosophical questions regarding who you thing God is. It’s really difficult to comment on this sort of assertion because Scripture doesn’t speak in such philosophical terms very often. Scripture simply assumes the righteousness of God, never making any attempt to trace it logically or even really to defend it. When confronted with the theoretical possibility that God might be unjust...
          Romans 3:5b Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?
          ...Paul simply responds, “then how can God judge the world?” (Rom. 3:6). If God is going to judge the world, He must be just. No attempt to work though the issue. Neither does Scripture talk much, if at all, about something like “God’s essence.” Maybe Hebrews 1:3, which calls Christ the ‘express image of His underlying substance’, but even that’s more about Christ as a manifestation of God than it is about trying to define what God’s ‘underlying substance’ is.

          I wonder whether we’re really in a position to tell God which aspects of Him are essential to Him and which are not. For me – I emphasize the subjectivity here – God must be honest and truthful. I cannot imagine God dishonest or untruthful. Trustworthiness, in the sense I'm talking about it here (faithfulness to His commitments and such), for me, is part and parcel of honesty.

          Scripture certainly affirms God’s truthfulness (Deut 32:4; Zeph. 3:5). But that knocks the discussion back a notch or two. If we don’t know for sure that God is truthful, how can we know whether the Bible is truthful? A spoken or written word is only as trustworthy as the one who expresses it. It seems odd to me that you fault me for endangering the notion of God’s trustworthiness when the only evidence you have for God’s truthfulness is the Bible’s claims on its behalf. Well, if a liar solemnly affirms he’s telling the truth, where does that leave his listener? At some level I think we pretty much have to assume God’s honesty as we trust that Scripture is His self-revelation. I'm not much for philosophy Jim. I'd much rather focus on Scripture, as long as you believe the Bible is truthful.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          VI. Can the Open Theist God Be Trusted?
          Hilston previously wrote: According to the logical conclusions of the claims of the Open View, there is no reason to thank God for anything, because God cannot be trusted and He cannot truly secure anything.
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder

          Is this XYZ? I would love to hear your ABC's for this one, because these claims cannot be substantiated.
          Yes, these are the logical conclusions of the Open View. And they surely can be substantiated, and have been repeatedly in this forum. If God is capable of evil, then why do you trust Him? How do you know He didn't turn evil a year ago?
          JHQ5: I'm curious, Jeremy. On what grounds do you praise God for something He has not done and may very well change His mind about?
          See what I mean Jim? Our discussion was about ability. I have the ability to murder my children. Because of my character, upbringing, morality and the holy Spirit in me, I will not exercise that ability. You ask why I trust Him if He has the ability to do evil? My children love and trust me, even though I have the ability to harm them physically if I choose. If God has the ability to do evil, why do I trust Him? Because I love Him. He's my Father. He has done nothing in His revealed Word to cause me to not trust Him. He has been Holy, Just, Righteous, Loving, Relational, Living, Personal, etc. since eternity past, and will not let me down. I believe His Word is true, and He tells me that I am seated with Him above the heavenlies Jim. I believe Him because He's my Father and He loves me.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Hilston previously wrote: On the Settled View, God can be trusted in everything, to the extent that even the evil and calamity that befalls us can be viewed as being worked by God, together with The Called, i.e. the Body of Christ (Ro 8:28), toward His immutable purpose (Eph 1:11).
          Jim, the SV God cannot be trusted because He is capricious. He arbitrarily chooses who He will save and who He predestines to hell. Why do you trust Him Jim? How do you know you're one of the elect? Maybe God spoke to you figuratively / anthropomorphically. He said He saved you, but He meant the exact opposite. Seriously Jim, how do you know you're one of the elect?

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Jim, I alluded to Romans 8:28 in another discussion. If you remember, I showed yo that a more accurate translation showed that God works together with those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose, all things for good.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          And if YOU remember, I showed you that I had already affirmed a even more accurate translation than you offered.
          No you didn't. You failed to see my point. God works together with those who love Him, called according to His purpose, all things for good. You imply that the passage teaches God works all things that He predestined (good and evil) for good. You're wrong Jim. The passage does not say that.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          You seem to spin the text to say that all things "even the evil and calamity that befalls us can be viewed as being worked by God."
          Originally posted by Hilston
          It's not "spin." It's biblical. Job affirmed this. Paul instructs The Called to be patient in tribulation (Ro 12:12). The Settled View can take comfort in Paul's instruction because God is in control of our troubles and afflictions. Unless God is in control of our tribulation, there are no grounds on which to base our patience in the midst of it. We are told to rejoice in tribulations (Ro 5:3,4). Paul commended the Thessalonians for their patience and faith in all the persecutions and tribulations they endured (2Th 1:4). In the Open Theist world, there cannot logically be any comfort or patience or faith, because God is not in control of evil. When we pray, Paul says that God's peace that passes understanding will guard or garrison our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. On the Settled View, this all makes sense, because God is truly in exhaustive and meticulous control, working together with The Called all things concerning their Hope, their security, their preservation. The Open View cannot have this confidence, if one is logically consistent and one's views (A,B and C) are taken to their logical conclusions (X,Y and Z). All Open Theists I've encountered thus far, without exception, refuse to connect these dots.
          More eisegesis. God instructs us to abhor what is evil and cling to what is good. How can we, as members of His body, take comfort in tribulation that God causes / controls? An equally valid interpretation of the verses you cite are as follows: Romans 12:12 contextually falls in the middle of many exhortations from Paul concerning the Christian life. Paul, of all Christians, understands that the ministry and Christian life are tough. You imply that God causes the tribulations. The reality is, God protects Paul through those tribulations and Paul conveys to us that we should remain patient when the going gets tough. The same can be said for Romans 5 and 2 Th 1:4. You say we cannot trust God because He does not control evil. I trust God because His Holy Spirit protects me from evil. The SV's hope lies solely in whether or not God capriciously chose you as one of The Called.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          You attribute all evil and calamity to God's predestination, but strip Him of culpability.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Culpability is responsibility. Culpability cannot be applied to God. There is no superior authority to which He would or could answer.
          Again, I ask, is God culpable for predestination of all things?

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          This is an antinomy Jim. "God did it, but it's not His fault He did it," is what you essentially argue
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Who is going to hold God accountable? Who will judge the ultimate Judge? There is no antinomy if you understand the meaning of 'culpable' and 'responsible.'
          I do understand the terms Jim. The way you apply them to God causes you quite a problem. If that's the case, then He can't do anything good, either. If culpability for doing evil is dependent on being accountable to a higher authority, then so is merit for doing good. Jim, your thinking leads to an amoral God, to whom neither evil nor good can be attributed.
          Next, we discussed the method of salvation...
          Originally posted by Hilston
          False dichotomy, Jeremy. God predestines the elect to freely respond to God by the gift of faith God gives them. Prior to receiving the gift of faith, the elect are incapable of yielding to God (Ro 8:7). They are spiritually dead and unable to quicken themselves. The gift of faith that is given when the Holy Spirit regenerates the elect person is that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enables a person to believe and to be converted. Conversion follows regeneration; not precedes it.
          Jim, what about Cornelius in Acts 10?

          Hilston previously wrote: God is already glorified. God is perfect, and is perfectly glorious. God was fully glorious before He created reprobates and He will be just as glorious after He sends them to hell.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Here's another mind blower Jim. I honestly can't believe that you argue that God, from before the foundation of the world, created reprobates for His own pleasure. ...
          Originally posted by Hilston
          To clarify: Yes, you can be assured that I believe that God decreed the existence and behavior of the reprobates. This is why I can trust Him.
          Jim, how do you know your not one of the reprobates? The God of the OV is relational and assures us of our salvation. When I heard the gospel, responded positively to it and was baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, I was sealed by His Spirit for the day of redemption. My salvation is secure Jim. You might be a reporobate if that's how God wrote His script, right?

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          You offer no Scripture to support this idea Jim.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          You didn't ask, Jeremy. There's plenty of scriptural support. Consider the following: God showed John the future ~ a future that Open Theists claim does NOT exist. John saw the future in visions and was able to write down, using his own language, infallibly and inerrantly guided by angelic supervision, exactly what he saw. In Revelation, John describes ten kings who will (they really will, Jeremy) freely decide and agree to give their power to the Beast. The angel helped John to understand what he was seeing, and in Revelation 17, John writes:
          First off, There’s nothing here about God ‘decreeing’ anything here. Secondly, this was a vision of what God will do when the time comes. Do you really believe that Christ put John in a time machine and transported him to an actual future that already exists? Thirdly Jim, we have yet to discuss conditional prophecy. This text can be viewed easily enough through the lens of conditional prophecy (i.e. who knows in precisely what format this material will be realized). As to God putting these evil acts into the hearts of these kings, God puts in their hearts to do something for His purpose; the evil of it is their own. There's nothing new with God using evil men for His purposes. LIke I said earlier, I'll wait for your examples before commenting further.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          VII. Questions
          Hilston had asked Jeremy to explain what he means by "God's character."
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          God's character, God's nature, God's actions, God's behaviors, God's interaction with His creation, etc ...
          I was really hoping you would offer a more careful definition. God's character (determined by His nature and essence) is not the same as His actions, behavior and interactions. God's essential attributes are what define His character.
          JHQ6: Jeremy, do you believe there is such a thing as God's essence that determines His character? Or is it God's behavior that determines His character?
          I addressed this above.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Do you agree that Christ's increase in knowledge, stature and favor with God is a change within the relationship of the Trinity?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Jeremy, this is one of many Open View Clichés that is just bad exegesis. The passage is talking about Jesus' human childhood experience and maturation. The word for "increase" is "to move forward, to proceed." What you call knowledge is "sophia," which is wisdom. "Stature" refers to his physical growth and age. "Favor" is charis, which is grace. The entire passage is describing Jesus as a healthy growing human being with a particular precocity regarding the scriptures. Does this represent a change in God's essential attributes? No. Did God love Jesus more because of how He was moving forward in wisdom and size and age? No. Before the incarnation, God could not love Jesus any more. After the incarnation, God's love for Jesus did not increase.
          That's what I call eloquent obfuscation. I never asked if this passage represented a change in God's essential attributes. You changed that question to suit your needs Jim. I'll ask yet again... Do you agree that Christ's increase in knowledge, stature and favor with God is a change within the relationship of the Trinity? In other words, has the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit ever changed, in any way?
          I must admit Jim, your philosophical ideas caused me think quite a bit this week. While I was pondering your points, I came up with a couple of philosophical questions:

          We know that God created the heavens, the earth and everything in them in seven days.

          Would you agree that God is a creative God?

          When God rested on the seventh day, did His creativity end?

          Does God have the ability to create something new today?

          Now, on to the repent stuff....

          Jeremy previously asked: JFQ3a - Jim, when the Bible says "God repents," what does that mean to you?

          Hilston replied: Whenever the scriptures ascribe seemingly finite attributes to the Infinite God, or describe behavior that is characteristic of finite beings to the Infinite God, it is called an Anthropopathism (man-like emotions or behavior) or Anthropomorphism (man-like form or action), a figure of speech that is intended to poignantly convey information with emphasis. These are found on every page of the Bible, in seemingly innumerable quantities throughout scripture.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Jim, do you agree that a "figure of speech" helps us to understand the point which God is trying to convey?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          I object to how you've characterized the purpose of figurative language and God Himself in your question. God does not "try" to convey anything. He conveys His Word infallibly, inerrantly and efficiently:
          If you're statement is true, why are we discussing these issues then? I agree with with your statement, but you seem to add a caveat. You say He conveys His Word infallibly, inerrantly and efficiently, but need to clarify. When the Bible says "God repents," I agree that God repents. Jim says, "When the Bible says 'God repents,' God was saying the exact opposite of the actual case."
          Originally posted by Hilston
          He uses the very language He has decreed to communicate His Word, including the rules of grammar and figures of speech, and communicates precisely in the manner that man is fully equipped to understand, if God gives him ears to hear.
          Who was your "Ambrose of Milan" Jim? Who allegorized the Scriptures for you? Who said, "Jim, that doesn't really mean what it says, let me tell you what it really means...."

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          When the Bible says God repents, what is God really trying to tell us? You seem to argue that He is telling us the exact opposite.
          When the Bible says God asked Adam where He was, what is God really trying to tell us? You seem to argue that He is telling us the exact opposite. To answer your question: God is not trying to tell us anything. He has told us. Period. Whether or not we hear and heed is another matter entirely.
          Jim, more eloquent obfuscation. When The Bible says God repents, what does it mean? Let me see if I can make it simple for you...

          God asks, "Adam where are you?" = Adam has sinned and has not escaped God's sight. God asks a rhetorical question. God knows exactly where Adam is...

          God says, "I am weary of repenting!" (Jer 15:6) = ????????

          Hilston previously wrote: For example, when the Bible says that God asked Adam where he was, we know that Adam had not really escaped God's sight. God was using Anthropomorphism to emphatically convey to Adam, by using a figure of speech, that Adam stood guilty before God. God could have said, "Adam, don't waste your time hiding from Me. You know fully well that I know where you are." But God showed Adam with powerful emphasis, through figurative language, that Adam's own behavior was an indictment against him.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          I agree.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Strange. Then you apparently agree that God was saying the exact opposite of the actual case. Why don't you have a problem with it here, but you have a problem with that regarding God's repentance?
          Apples and Oranges Jim. How can you compare God asking a question concerning Adam's physical location with God making a statement and then changing His mind? They don't even begin to compare...

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          God's questioning Adam's physical location is not to be taken literally. Common sense and our ability to discern God's true meaning is in effect here.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Common sense and our ability to discern God's true meaning applies to God's repentance as well.
          Agreed. I'll show you why your common sense and ability to discern miss the mark in just a minute...
          Originally posted by Hilston
          But when the Open Theist sees a verse that brings God down, as long as it's not TOO far down, they seize upon it and ignore the obvious figure.
          First off, God's repenting does not bring Him down. Secondly, if the figure is so obvious, why won't you share it with me? I'll ask again...

          When God says, "I am weary of repenting!" (Jer 15:6), what is the obvious figure I miss Jim?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Open Theists do this with so-called "failed prophecy" as well. Rather than assuming one's own fallible understanding and lack of knowledge, the Open Theist assumes God Himself lacks knowledge and is fallible in His understanding.
          Whenever you're ready to start with the unfulfilled prophecies, let me know. I'll start with an easy one for you Jim.
          Ezekiel 29
          19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Surely I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he shall take away her wealth, carry off her spoil, and remove her pillage; and that will be the wages for his army.
          When was this prophecy fulfilled Jim?

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          We know that Adam has sinned and stands guilty before God. You are so right when you say, "God showed Adam with powerful emphasis, through figurative language, that Adam's own behavior was an indictment against him."
          Originally posted by Hilston
          It makes sense on my view. I don't see how it makes sense on yours, if you're going to be consistent. If you say God's repentance IS NOT figurative, on what grounds do you claim God's search for Adam IS figurative? My grounds are the essential, non-negotiable, immutable attributes of God. On what is your claim based, Jeremy?
          Once again, you make a sweeping, universal declaration about who God is based on determinism. We must look at each passage and address it individually. God's questioning of Adam's physical location can be likened to me standing in the doorway of my son's bedroom. I instructed him the night before to clean his room. As I look into the room, it appears as if a tornado flew through just that portion of the house. I call downstairs, "Jared, did you clean your room?" I know full well that he did not clean his room. Jared knows by my tone of voice, that I know his room is still a mess. He stands guilty of disobeying me.

          When God repents, we must also assess that situation. God tells Moses to leave Him alone so that He can consume the children of Israel with fire. Moses prays, and God mercifully spares the people. More on this later.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Please use the same type of example when God repents. What is he really trying to say? You sort of address it next, but not really...
          Originally posted by Hilston
          I addressed it.
          Where?

          Hilston previously wrote: Just as one ought not to assume that God REALLY did not know where Adam was, similarly, one ought not to assume that God REALLY changes His mind, especially when we read elsewhere that God's decrees are immutable (Heb 6:17,18 Eph 1:11 2Ti 2:13). So when one reads passages where it says "God repents," the question should be asked: "What is God really describing when He says He has done something that would be contrary to His nature and character, such as changing His mind?" The way we answer such a question is to look at all the passages where this type of language is used and compare their contexts. For example:

          Ge 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

          Note that the context of God's repentance, as it is quite often in the scriptures, concerns idolatry and angelic corruption. How was this "repentance" of God manifested? God had allowed mankind and the fallen angels, according to His immutable decrees, to come to full fruition of wickedness and corruption. Mankind violated God's commands on every level, all according to God's immutable decrees, which set up the precursor/type for the Nephilim-infested world of Israel's future. "Lu 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." So God changed His disposition toward mankind from that of providing life and sustenance to death and destruction. "... it repenteth me that I have made them" means "I will destroy them."


          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Really? I thought it actually meant God repented (or was grieved, or moved emotionally) because His creation had become so utterly wicked.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          You thought that because Open Theism is humanistic, viewing God's emotions in light of man's, instead of the other way around. I know that Open Theists will not agree with the following, but I see it demonstrated on every front: The OV God is created in man's image.
          No, what you have demonstrated is an amoral, capricious, deterministic rock created in Plato's image.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          *Why didn't you use the same argument when you addressed Exodus 32?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          I did.
          No you didn't...

          Hilston wrote previously: Another example:
          Ex 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. ... 14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.


          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          In Genesis 6, you argue that "it repenteth me that I have made them" means "I will destroy them." You offer Exodus 32 where God actually says, "I will destroy them." However, God does not destroy them. What does God repent of here?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          As I stated earlier, God's repentance represents a different course of action. Genesis 6 and Exodus 32 describes different types of changes, for two completely different purposes. In Genesis 6, God changed His course of action from creating and sustaining man to killing and destroying man. This is described as a repentance in order to emphatically convey His spurning of man's idolatry. In Exodus 32, God changed His course of action from seeking the destruction of Israel to that of preserving them. This is described as a repentance in order to emphatically convey God's commitment to His oath and mercy to Israel.
          Are you serious? I guess you forgot to keep reading in Exodus.
          Exodus 32
          26 then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, "Whoever is on the Lord's side--come to me." And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27 And he said to them, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.' " 28 So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.
          So let me get this straight Jim. God predestined the people to fashion a golden calf and idol worship. Then, God predestined Himself to "act like He was angry" and tell Moses He was going to consume the people with fire. Then, He predestined Moses to pray so that He wouldn't really kill the people. In fact, you said, "In Exodus 32, God changed His course of action from seeking the destruction of Israel to that of preserving them." So God preserved them, but predestined Moses and the sons of Levi to kill about 3,000 men that day. Jim, I really don't understand how your sinister mind works....

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          However, Moses prays and God responds to that prayer.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          Moses knew his prayer was decreed and predetermined, as was God's response to that prayer.
          Show me that Moses understood this. Moses, like Jonah, believes that God repents.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          So, I ask again, when God said He desired to kill the people, and then did not, did He really mean what he said in verse 9? Is that an anthropopathism too?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          God infallibly follows His own script, Jeremy. Part of that script was to experience and express His anger toward Israel. The next part was for Moses to respond and intercede in behalf of Israel. The next part was for God to hear Moses' plea and relent. It must be this way, otherwise, you have a God who is forgetful, neglectful and ignorant. Notice the content of Moses' prayer and what the Open View must, if it's consistent, take from that prayer:
          *I have an addendum to a previous statement...
          No, what you have demonstrated is an amoral, capricious, deterministic playwright (who stunt doubles as a rock) created in Plato's image.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          [did God forget that they were HIS people?] [Did God need to be reminded of what He had done for HIS people?] [Did God need Moses to remind Him that the pagans were going to trash Him behind His back if He destroyed Israel? Does it really matter to God what a bunch of pagans have to say about Him?] [Did God really need to be reminded by Moses of His own oath to the Patriarchs?]
          No, no, no, no and no. This is God showing true emotion Jim. God really was angry that the people He led out of captivity turned their backs on Him so quickly. More on this in a minute.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          The God of Open Theism, when followed out logically, is impetuous, foolhardy, reckless, rashly impulsive, needs to be calmed down and must be reminded of His own OATHS! WHICH HE SWORE BY HIS OWN NAME! Good grief, WHY DO YOU TRUST THIS GOD, JEREMY?
          No Jim, you miss the point. Let's discuss this issue you have with Exodus 32. Your premise is that God predestined not only the idol worship, but scripted the conversation that followed. Essentially, God meant the opposite of what He wrote in His script. Come, let us reason together...

          I argue that God really desired to destroy the people in Exodus 32. God repented of the harm He said He would do. Jim, direct your attention to Numbers 13 and 14. This is after the Exodus account. The children of Israel are headed for the promised land. In Numbers 13, God sends spies to check out the promised land. Numbers 14 opens with the children of Israel complaining to Moses and Aaron.
          Numbers 14
          1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4 So they said to one another, "Let us select a leader and return to Egypt."
          Moses and Aaron fall on their faces before the people. Joshua and Caleb tell the children of Israel not to rebel against God. If the people remain strong, they will inherit the land. The protection of the people who occupy the land "has departed from them," and the Lord is with Israel.
          Numbers 14
          5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.' 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them."
          How do the people respond? They want to kill Joshua and Caleb. How does the Lord respond?
          Numbers 14
          11 Then the Lord said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they." 13 And Moses said to the Lord: "Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, 14 and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are among these people; that You, Lord, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, 16 'Because the Lord was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.' 17 And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, 18 'The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.' 19 Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now."20 Then the Lord said: "I have pardoned, according to your word; 21 but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord-- 22 because all [b]these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, 23 they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.
          Sounds similar to Exodus, no? We see that God again desires to harm his people. Moses prays, and God "pardoned according to (Moses') word." I know, I know Jim... This is another anthropomorphism.

          Secondly, if God swore that their fathers would inherit the land, why didn't they? It gets even more interesting Jim. Turn with me to Ezekiel 20.
          Ezekiel 20
          5 "Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: "On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, 'I am the Lord your God.' 6 On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, 'flowing with milk and honey,' the glory of all lands. 7 Then I said to them, 'Each of you, throw away the abominations which are before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.' 8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, 'I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.' 9 But I acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
          This first account took place while Israel was still in captivity in Egypt. This account was not recorded until God inspired Ezekiel to record it.
          Ezekiel 20
          10 "Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them.' 12 Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. [b]13 Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them'; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14 But I acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, 'flowing with milk and honey,' the glory of all lands, 16 because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.
          God inspires Ezekiel to record the events of Exodus 32. Notice Jim, God did not pardon the people because as you suggest, Moses thought, "Oh my goodness. God is about to destroy Israel. God is out of control. God has clearly not given due consideration to the following: that these are His people. what He did for this people. what the Egyptians are going to say about Him if He goes through with this. the oath He swore with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by His own name.

          No Jim, God tells us why He spared His children. "But I acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out." Guess what? Ezekiel comments on Numbers 14 as well.
          Ezekiel 20
          18 "But I said to their children in the wilderness, 'Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; 20 hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.' [b]21 Notwithstanding, the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, and were not careful to observe My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them'; but they profaned My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 Nevertheless I withdrew My hand and acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out.
          Jim, a couple of questions here. If God did not mean what He said in Exodus 32, and I'm assuming you would answer Numbers 14 the same way, why would He have Ezekiel comment on both, and add a third time Israel almost got it in the neck? Your interpretation was, "God meant the opposite of what He said when He repented." Now, we have three more examples that show God's intention, and repentance from the harm He said he would do. God was not fickle, foolish or forgetful as you suggest. He tells us, "I withdrew My hand and acted for My name's sake..."

          Hilston previously wrote: Note that idolatry and angelic corruption are again the issue that evokes the strongest language from God. Moses pleads with God to change His mind (i.e. His disposition and actions) about destroying Israel. Moses knows that God's decrees are immutable, and in his pleading with God, he himself is doing that which God has immutably decreed. Moses' plea was heard, according to God's immutable decrees, and God changed His disposition and actions towards Israel.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Moses knows God's decrees are immutable? If Moses believes God does not really repent, why did Moses think He was a God who did repent?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          You're equivocating, Jeremy. Remember that Moses understands figures of speech. Do you realize what you're suggesting?
          You've done nothing to show that Moses believes God is a playwright. Do I realize what I'm suggesting? Yes, I do. I'm suggesting God was truly angry, wanted to destroy Israel at least three times, withdrew His hand and acted for His name's sake
          Originally posted by Hilston
          That is what Open Theism leads to. Do you believe these things, or something similar, were really in Moses' mind? Do you actually believe Moses thought God had forgotten those things?
          No Hilston, I believe Moses understood God was angry. Moses understood that God wanted to destroy Israel. Moses followed God and assisted with killing 3,000 men that day.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Seems foolish to me that Moses knows God has peredestined the people to worship the golden calf, desires to kill the people, predestines Moses to pray, but Moses asks God to repent, knowing full well that He is a God who does not repent.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          You're equivocating, Jeremy. Moses understands and uses the word as a figure, remember? Which one seems more foolish: (1) Moses using a figure of speech acknowledging that God is fully aware of what He is doing (the Settled View), or (2) Moses thinking it was necessary to give a history lesson to an impetuous and forgetful God? (the Open View)
          How about a third option? Moses understood God was angry. Moses understood that God wanted to destroy Israel. Moses followed God and assisted with killing 3,000 men that day. God withdrew His hand and acted for His name's sake

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder, previously
          JFQ3b - Jim, do you agree with Augustine / Calvin concerning 1 Sam 15:11,29 & 35?
          Here is the Calvin quote addressing God's repentance in 1 Sam 15. Please note Jim, that God repents in verses 11 and 35, but does not repent in verse 35. Same word nacham in all three passages. ... [snipped excerpt] ...Do you agree with Calvin's take on 1 Sam 15?
          Originally posted by Hilston
          I might quibble with a few details, but overall I agree.
          Please explain why verses 11 and 35 are figurative and why verse 29 is literal.

          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Next, here's Augustine's reference to "a God who repents..." Augustine is responding to the Manichaeans. Augustine himself was a Manichaean, until Ambrose of Milan spiritualized the Scriptures that said God repented. The Manichaeans, like Moses (and Jonah) believed God was a God who repented.
          Originally posted by Hilston
          According to the logical conclusions of Open Theism, Moses thought God had an inadequate memory, and Jonah was a false prophet.
          According to the logical conclusions of Open Theism, Moses was genuinely concerned for God's people. Moses did not want God to kill everyone. Moses prayed and God acted for His name's sake. Jonah's prophecy was conditional. If there was no repentance on the people's part, God would have destroyed the city in 40 days Jim. The burden of proof is on you to explain why the city was not destroyed in 40 days.

          Jim, as far as Augustine is concerned, I figured you would agree with Him. You, like Augustine, do not worship a God who repents over 20 times in the Old Testament.

          Jim, thank you for the stimulating discussion. I look forward to your reply.

          God Bless,
          --Jeremy Finkenbinder
          Last edited by *Acts9_12Out*; June 5th, 2006, 06:15 PM.
          Do you desire to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery? (Eph 3:9)

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Jeremy,

            Thank you for your post. There is a lot to respond to, so I'm breaking this up into more digestible installments. Part I is below:

            I. Preface
            By way of preface, I would like to point out to the reader some things in advance that should be noticed whilst reading this exchange. Despite my concern that no Open Theists thus far have demonstrated an understanding of the word "responsible," Jeremy claimed to be the singular exception. Yet, as is demonstrated abundantly below by his own words, Jeremy is in lock-step with other Open Theists in that he does not grasp the concept.

            Second, in my previous post Jeremy "predestination" incorrectly and I didn't comment on it. I myself continued to use it incorrectly in my response to him, but I would like to stop this now while I can, lest it should promote unnecessary confusion. The word "predestination" only applies to logical order of the choosing of The Called, viz., the Body of Christ. For those who wish to consider a detailed treatment of what predestination means, how it applies, and how it does not apply, please see the following link: The Place of Paul's Gospel in God's Electing Decrees

            For the sake of not having to explain this correction over and over again, every time Jeremy erroneously uses the word "predestination" or its cognates, or quotes me using it inappropriately, I will place the following after it: [should be "decreed"], and then proceed to answer the question as if Jeremy had used the appropriate term.

            II. Jeremy's Theme Again
            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Now Jim, what glory can come to God from a 61-year-old woman locking her grandson in a cage while she’s working? Did God predestine [should be "decree"] June to lock her 13-year-old grandson in a cage while she worked? Let me predestine your answer…
            Do you know what "to predestine" means? It certainly does NOT mean to merely predict what my answer will be. It means to pre-set a horizon, to mark out in advance. If you understand the word, then please stop using it so flippantly. It's disrespectful to the debate, misleads the reader, and it's beneath you, Jeremy, even in jest.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            How Hilston Will Answer
            Predestined? [should be "decreed"] Yes, of course! It cannot be any other way if God is to be trusted. Of course! How can it possibly be any other way and make sense of scripture? It must be this way, scripturally and logically. If God did NOT predestine [should be "decree"] that 61-year-old's behavior, then God cannot be trusted.
            These answers were taken from your previous post and the only thing I changed was “12” to “61” bolded above. Last time, you said God predestined [should be "decreed"] a 12-year-old to get high on methamphetamine, steal a car, and flee from the Police until he was pitted. I believe your answer will be along the same lines this time. You believe God predestined [should be "decreed"] a 61-year-old woman to lock her grandson in a cage while she was at work.
            Of course. That's correct.

            III. Despite Jeremy's Claims, He Still Doesn't Understand the Word 'Culpable"
            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Now, on to your post and why my theme is relevant. ... I’m trying to understand how you deal with God’s predestination [should be "decree"] of evil men / events, and how you say God is not culpable.
            Culpable to whom, Jeremy?

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            In other words Jim, how do you deal with “The Problem of Evil” in God’s Word?
            There is no problem of evil in God's word or in my theology.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            I must say, I was a bit disappointed with your answer and even more disappointed with your logic.
            I find that encouraging, given the illogical and unbiblical premises of Open View theology.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            When asked if God was responsible for the evil men and the actions of the evil men He predestined [should be "decreed"], you respond:
            For the many years I've been debating Open Theists, there is something that none, not one, no one, no Open Theist has been willing to process: the definition of 'responsible'. Perhaps you will be the singular exception. But I'm not getting my hopes up.
            Jim, I am the singular exception.
            That's what other Open Theists have said in past, and they've since been proven wrong. They were just as wrong as you are now.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            I spent a number of hours this week processing the definition of responsible, and I offer the following response. Jim, I find it interesting that you accuse me of “humanistic sensibilities, vivid expressions of that humanism, and finally you say I am FORCED, not by logic nor by scripture, but by humanism…”, and then use a humanistic, human "inspired" definition to describe what God is not. ... Thanks for the definition. I’m sure it was helpful for those who did not understand the word. Thanks for the historical context of the word. I’m not sure how a humanistic definition helps your case.
            This is obvious desperation on your part Jeremy. The definition is not humanistic, but biblical. See below.

            [i]Originally Posted by Hilston: ... God does not answer to anyone, is not held accountable by anyone, and submits to no authority that could rightly or even logically blame Him for anything. Furthermore, the lone exception, entry number 5, is NOT what Open Theists mean when they complain that the Settled View would make God responsible for evil. Moreover, on the Open View, even number 5 cannot be applied to God, which will be demonstrated below.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Jim, do you see the antinomy you present? Just because you define a word, then draw a logical conclusion on that definition, and apply that definition to your preconceived ideas about God, does not make your premise correct.
            The Bible defines the word. The conclusion is based on scripture. And there is no antinomy. Just saying so doesn't make it so, Jeremy. The word for "responsible" or "culpable" or "accountable" is defined by the concept it represents, regardless of language. Whether you want to label it "responsible" or "culpable" or "accountable" using its English equivalents, or whether you want to call it verantwortlich (German) or verantwoodelijk (Dutch) or accoutable (French) or responsabile (Italian) or responsavel (Portuguese) or ansvarlig (Norwegian), the concept of responsibility pervades the human psyche throughout history. This is because God designed man to understand standards of righteousness and justice, which informs our understanding, regardless of language, of accountability, responsibility, and culpability.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            In fact, I would agree with your conclusion. To quote you, “God does not answer to anyone, is not held accountable by anyone, and submits to no authority that could rightly or even logically blame Him for anything.” You’re right Jim, God cannot be responsible for sin! We agree.
            You didn't take it far enough, Jeremy. God cannot be responsible for anything. Do you see that? Do you see that the word cannot apply to God at all in anyway whatsoever? You may say that you do, but you don't, as unambiguously attested by your very next claim:

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            You say God foreknew / predestined evil men to do evil things. Simple logic tells us that if a Being originates an evil thought or action, then that Being is culpable.
            See what I mean? You don't grasp the concept, Jeremy. If you did, you would realize that God cannot be culpable, no matter what He does. Ask yourself, Jeremy: If God were to do evil, what superior authority would hold God culpable?

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            ... You are stuck between a rock and a hard place Jim. Your "out" is based on a humanistic definition, and is illogical at best.
            Sorry, Jeremy. I know you wish this response of yours was adequate, but it's not. It doesn't even come close to pinning any kind of Scylla-and-Charybdis on me.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            You’re answer to the quandary is simply, “Logically, God should be responsible for the sin He predestined. The English translation of that word implies that the ‘responsible’ party must be in subject to someone or something. Therefore, God cannot be responsible for anything.”
            Nope. The concept of accountability is taught to humanity from God according to scripture. It is inherent in the very nature of law, righteousness and justice.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            If God predestines evil, then He’s culpable. Simple logic.
            Culpable to whom? Whom does God answer to, Jeremy? You agreed that God answers to no one, thus there can be no culpability for God. Period.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            The OV rightly concludes that God does not predestine evil men to do evil things. Therefore, God is not culpable.
            That's not why God isn't culpable, Jeremy. God is not culpable because He answers to no higher authority; He is the ultimate authority.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            That’s why I agree with your conclusion.
            But you can't rationally agree with what you refuse to understand, Jeremy.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            The evil person who freely chooses evil is guilty and will be judged. This line you’ve drawn with defining “responsible” just scratches the surface for problems you create.
            There are no problems from the Settled View. The problems arise only through Open View lenses.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Next, I asked, Is God responsible for the actions I describe, or is the fallen human being responsible? Hilston replied:
            See what I mean? Given the above definitions, God is not, will not and cannot be responsible for anything, to anyone, ever. Any other usage of this word is unwarranted and does violence to language.
            Jim, here’s the biggest problem yet. God cannot be responsible for anything?
            Correct.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Is God responsible for creating the universe in seven days?
            No, of course not.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Is God responsible for the light and heat which comes from the sun?
            No, of course not.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Is God responsible for flooding the earth and wiping out the evil Nephilim?
            No, of course not..

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Is God responsible for working a plan of redemption?
            No, of course not..

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Is God responsible for annihilating the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?
            No, of course not..

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            IS GOD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PREDESTINATION OF ALL THINGS?
            No, of course not..

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            If God is not responsible for anything, then how can God do anything?
            Completely non sequitur, Jeremy. You're apparently hung up on a misconception of accountability. Just because God has no higher authority to which He must answer does NOT mean that He cannot do anything.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            What word would you use to ascribe thoughts and / or actions to God Jim?
            I would use the words "think" or "deliberate" or "counsel" or "act" or "perform" or "do" depending on what I'm talking about. I certainly wouldn't use "responsible." God thinks with impunity. God acts with impunity. God is exempt from all accountability or responsibility.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            If God predestines the evil, then He is culpable.
            To whom?

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            You use the term “evil people” and say they “freely choose’ to do the evil that God predestined [should be "decreed"]. Who predestined [should be "decreed"] the evil person to be evil Jim? You are forced to say “God” of course,
            I'm not "forced." It is necessitated by scripture and logic.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            ... again making Him culpable.
            Again, Jeremy, culpable to whom?

            IV. Worshipping the Rock
            Hilston previously wrote: Second, Biblical descriptions of God's grief (indeed, all His emotions) are condescensions to the finite mind and emotions of man, giving rich and poignant emphases to His prescriptive will.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Jim, why do you worship a rock?
            Why do you worship sand? I worship the Rock because of the characteristics of that Rock. He is solid, steadfast and sure, immovable, unshakable, completely trustworthy.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            I had no idea that you held to impassibility as well.
            It's clear that you also have no idea what impassibility means.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            I guess it is a logical conclusion. What confidence do you have in a god who is emotionless?
            Impassibility does not mean God is emotionless. Your Enyart-Hill is showing, Jeremy. For a brief discussion on what impassibilty means, see the following link: Open Theism's False Conception of Divine Impassibility.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            The God of the Bible shows His emotion on every page of His Word. Why don’t you see this Jim?
            I do see it. The problem is, Open Theists characteristically misrepresent and prevaricate on the meaning of divine impassibility. Why don't you see this, Jeremy?

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            This is sad Jim. You do not have a relationship with God. Your god is immutable, impassable [sic] and cannot be responsible for anything. Your god does not get angry, nor does he rejoice with you. When and if you pray, God does not hear your prayer. If you choose not to pray, then God predestined [should be "decreed"] it anyway. Your "trust" in God is based on His predestination [should be "decree"] of evil. My trust in God is based on my relationship with Him.
            Which He could change His mind about at any moment, right? Open Theism allows for the possibility that the Father and the Son might have a domestic squabble, and just out of spite, the Son could toss all the Open Theists into hell. Why do you trust a God who is capable of that?

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            He is my Father Jim. I love Him, and He loves me.
            Why? On your conception of God, He could change His mind at any minute. Why would anyone love a God like that?

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            I am one of His children Jim. I wish you could share in my joy of this Loving Father.
            How does the Open Theist know that God is loving? Is it based on personal experience? Or are you taking someone else's word for it? Open Theists are really big on God being "personal, loving, relational, good, living," but whenever I ask one for personal examples of these attributes, I get nothing. How you personally know, Jeremy, that God has these attributes? Or are you taking someone else's word for it?

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Unfortunately, I see you hugging your rock until you die. When you meet Him, you'll know better.
            I fully expect my experience to be consistent with His Word when I meet Him. And yes, I will hug my Rock until I die. Consider the follow contrasts between the Open View conception of the Sand God and the Bible's conception of God as the Rock:

            The Rock Of Supreme Authority
            The Open Theist sits in judgment of God to decides whether or not God is worthy to wield any authority in their lives. This why Jeremy keeps saying that God could be held culpable (by whom? Who knows). Whereas scripture declares God's supreme authority because Christ is "the Rock that is higher than I," which means that David, even though he is the king, answered to a higher authority (Ps 61:2).

            The Immovable Rock
            The Open Theist irrational clings to a conception of a God who changes His mind, uses trial and error, is prone to mood swings and does not know the future. Whereas the scripture declares that "He is my rock and my salvation," because by clinging to the immovable Rock, the Psalmist says, "I shall not be moved" (Ps 62:2,6).

            My Rock and My Fortress
            The Open Theist sees evil in the world and has no recourse but to think that God somehow has His hands tied out of fear of being capricious or arbitrary if He were to intervene and to stop some evil from occurring. They have no refuge and are vulnerable to evil because things happen that are outside of God's control and plan. Whereas the scripture teaches that the Psalmist's protection and deliverance were secured because God was his salvation and glory; "the rock of my strength and my refuge (Ps 62:7) ... my strong habitation, whereunto I continually resort ... for thou art my Rock and my fortress (Ps 71:3)."

            God is the Rock of My Heart
            Unlike the Open Theist who go to great lengths to make God out to be like frail and ignorant men, the Psalmist sees the difference: "My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the Rock of my heart, ... (Ps 73:26).

            The Father is the Rock of Salvation
            The Open Theist says, "He is my Father. I love Him and He loves me," but on what basis? Upon careful investigation, it is seen that humanism and existentialist reasoning are the basis of such claims. Not so for the Psalmist, who says: "Thou art my father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation." (Ps 89:26).

            The Righteous Rock
            The Open Theist says that God is righteous, not because of what He declares Himself to be in His essence, but because they've looked at His track record and judged His behavior according to their humanistic assessment: "So far so good," is what is implied. This again is existentialism at work, which, instead of taking God at His word, sits in judgment of Him and decides whether or not He is really righteous. Whereas the scripture says the "Lord is upright: he is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. (Ps 92:15)" Which is to say that God cannot be unrighteous; it is impossible. He cannot choose to do evil because he is the Rock and there is no unrighteousness in him.

            Singing Unto The Rock of Salvation
            When the Open Theist worships and sings to God, what does He sing about? That God seems to be righteous and loving so far? The Psalmist sung about God being an immovable, high and protective Rock. "God is the Rock of my refuge (Ps 94:22) ... let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation" (Ps 95:1). Isaiah describes the song of Israel as "in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goes with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the might Rock of Israel" (Isa 30:29).

            The God of Salvation = The Rock of Thy Strength
            Salvation for the Open Theist is based on a personal choice to believe in Jesus. Whereas scripture teaches that salvation is based on the rock-solid decrees of God. The prophet Isaiah reprimands Israel for forgetting "the God of thy salvation" and for not being mindful of "the rock off thy strength." (Isa 17:0).

            The Trustworthy Rock of Ages
            When I ask Open Theists why they trust God, I get the "so far so good" answer. But the prophet Isaiah says that God is to be trusted "forever ... for the Lord Jehovah is the Rock of Ages." (Isa 26:4).

            So, yes, I will cling to my Rock until I die and forever.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Jim, let go of your rock and embrace the God of the Bible.
            According to the Bible I've been reading, God IS the Rock. Jeremy, let go of your humanistic-existentialist mind-changing Sand God and embrace the Rock of the Bible.

            V. Jeremy's Desperation Comes To A Head

            Hilston wrote previously: Third, your argument is based on humanism and existentialist premises, the very thing that God's use of figurative language was intended to pre-empt. But instead of heeding God's obvious figurative descriptions, Open Theists use those very figures non-figuratively to reinforce their existentialism.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Jim, I take exception to you classifying me as an existentialist. If you’re going to throw those terms around, feel free to substantiate your claims.
            That's what I've been doing from the start, Jeremy. Every answer you give is classic existentialist theology. I've proven it abundantly in almost every response to your claims.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            ... In fact, your view is more existentialist that the OV.
            I'd love to hear this explained. Please -- continue.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            You are unable to explain human existence and are steeped in philosophy. That’s why you made the mistake you made earlier, and that’s why you use a humanistic definition to describe something God cannot do. That’s why you have a philosophical / illogical conclusion when applying that humanistic definition to God.
            You. Are. Desperate.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Show me that I have failed to support my ideas about God with Scripture.
            Every sentence I write and every citation I've offered is demonstrating exactly that, Jeremy.

            VI. Add Evidentialism To The List
            Open Theists are not only Existentialists and Humanists, but they're proponents of anti-biblical evidentialism as well, attested by Jeremy's evidentialist statements concerning the state of the anti-theistic mind.

            Hilston previously wrote: Open View proponents, not unlike atheists, find it unacceptable that God would use evil for His good purposes …

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Since when does an atheist find anything unacceptable about God? Atheists deny the existence of God, hence the term... Since you like definitions,
            a·the·ist n. One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.
            Are you even trying, Jeremy? Your question is ludicrous: "Since when does an atheist find anything unacceptable about God?" Ever since atheists have existed! It's their reason for being atheists, Jeremy. Have you ever heard their complaints about why they don't like God? They often sound just like Open Theists, except they don't use the Bible to try to explain away the undesireable and inconvenient facts. By the way, the Bible disagrees with you about atheists, Jeremy. The atheist knows that God exists and that he is accountable to God.

            VII. God Uses Evil for His Good Purposes: The Preponderance of Scriptural Attestation
            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Prove it Jim. Show me evidence that God uses evil for His good purposes. In fact, show that God predestines evil for His good purposes. Let me guess …
            *Genesis 50:20, *Acts 2:23, *Acts 4:27, *Romans 8:28
            If you have anything new to offer, let me know. Otherwise, we can start discussing each of these. You let me know.
            You can discuss whatever you want, Jeremy. And I can keep bringing verse after verse. The ones you list above are fine. There are plenty of others that I could pile on. Consider the words of the prophet with whom you share your name: Jer 12:1 Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?

            Notice how Jeremiah rightly attributes the existence and prosperity of wicked men to God's decrees and judgment. Jeremiah wants to know why God decreed to establish them. If God were like the Open View's conception of Him, God's answer would be something like: "How should I know? Why do you assume I have anything to do with these wicked men, let alone decreeing to establish and prosper them?" The scriptures are full of such anti-Open-View examples. Reading them through Open View lenses results in Extreme Hoop Jumping, a new sport in the Theological Olympics.

            Need other examples? Hab 1:12 Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained [evil people] for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established [evil people] for correction.

            Habbakuk understands the infinitude and sovereignty of God. He knows that God has a good purpose for ordaining evil people for judgment. He understands that God has glorious reasons for establishing evil people for correction. Of course, the Open Theist happily contradicts Habbakuk's understanding by ignoring the obvious figure in the very next verse:
            13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:
            So which is it? Did God decree the evil and yet, figuratively speaking, cannot look on inquity. Or is God literally too fragile to look on iniquity, and only figuratively decreed evil?

            Hilston previously wrote: So their humanism twists scripture to suit their sensibilities. They say things like:
            • "I could never believe in the God of the Settled View."
            • "If I were a Calvinist, I would hate God."
            • "I would rather spend eternity in hell than spend one day in heaven with the Calvinist God."
            • "I truly find it difficult to worship a God who causes those things."

            Each of Jeremy's thematic offerings, in this post and his last, are vivid expressions of that humanism. Jeremy is affirming that he refuses to believe that God would use evil for good. That is to say, Jeremy is FORCED, not by logic nor by scripture, but by humanism and existentialism, to declare what kind of God he is willing to believe in. Atheists do this as well, by the way.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Jim, every single argument I’ve offered is based in Scripture and exegeted logically.
            You obviously think so. I've been showing how your arguments are neither scriptural nor logical. My arguments have been based on Scripture and exegeted logically, but we can't both be right.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            ... The above statement is a flat out lie Jim.
            On the contrary, I was quoting actual Open Theists. Those things have been said to me, Jeremy. One of them is from you, in fact, if I remember correctly.

            VIII. Open Theism and FWQs
            Originally posted by Jeremy_F previously
            Now I ask again Jim, what glory can come to a God who predestines a 12 year old to get high on meth and steal a car?
            Hilston replied: This is what I (and Job) call a FWQ (Foolish Women Question). Your question is very similar to that of Job's wife: Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die [i.e. "what glory can come to a God who predestines Job to be attacked by Satan?"]. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.[Job 2:9,10]

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Jim this is eisegesis. Your "i.e." is unsubstantiated.
            I can't believe you're actually going to try to make this argument, Jeremy. It's obvious from the context. Why would Job's wife say "Curse God and die?" Think about it, Jeremy. For what possible reason would she suggest this to Job? -- what must Job's wife have been thinking? Hmm. I wonder what it could be. Hmm. Anything come to mind? How about: "What glory can come to a God who decrees the destruction of our property, the pillaging of our goods and livestock, the murder of our children, and these horrible physical afflictions?" Sound familiar, Jeremy?

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Have you read the book of Job Jim? If you had, you would know that satan sought Job because of his relationship with God.
            Whenever you ask me a condescending question like, "Have you read the book of Job, Jim?" I know you're about to ram your own foot in your mouth. Do you remember that God taunted Satan to attack Job? Perhaps it is you who haven't read it.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            You actually fall into the "foolish woman" camp with Job's wife. Mrs. Job and Hilston wrongly blame God for Job's trials and tribulations.
            You really should read Job, Jeremy. It may spare you the embarrassment of making these kinds of statements. No one is "blaming" God for what happened to Job. God cannot be blamed (i.e. culpable) because there are no superior authorities to hold Him culpable. But as to attributing Job's tribulations to God, not only did Mrs. Job and Hilston do this, but Job did as well. After God taunted Satan to attack Job, and news about all the destruction and pillaging and death reach Job's ears, the author writes:
            Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, ...
            Why would Job do that? Because he knows God can be trusted, even in the face of calamity, because God decrees to use evil and evil men for good purposes concerning His elect. Does Job blame the evil men? Of course, but he knows Whom is ultimately attributable. Does Job blame Satan? Of course, but Job knows Whom is truly behind what Satan has done and is using it for good. Does Job blame God? Absolutely not; Job would not dare put himself in the seat that Open Theists are so eager to chair. Job can rightly and rationally attribute his tribulations to God, and not be shaken in his trust and confidence because he knows God has a good purpose in bringing it all to pass. How does Job worship? What does he say to God in his worship?
            21 [Job worshipped,] And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
            He blesses the name of the Lord! Job's Open Theist friends ridicule Job for saying such things, but despite attributing his misfortune to God's hand, the text says:
            22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
            Notice that Job understands the difference between attributing something to God and holding God accountable, i.e. charging God foolishly. Open Theism cannot accept the idea of God decreeing evil and using evil men for good, so instead of modifying their doctrine, they seek rather to modify God Himself.

            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
            Poor eisegesis Jim...
            Every time you say this, you go on to demonstrate how (a) you're wrong, and (b) that you're guilty of the very thing you accuse of me.

            (To be continued)

            Jim
            Hear Hilston's latest musical release!
            Last edited by Hilston; June 14th, 2006, 09:04 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Jim,

              Thank you for taking time to respond. I am looking forward to the rest of your reply. There is one issue that I need to address. Feel free to respond when time permits. When asked about the amoral God you present, I asked a few questions to which you respond...

              Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder

              Is God responsible for creating the universe in seven days?
              Hilston replied, No, of course not.

              The Bible disagrees Jim...
              Exodus 20:11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

              Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder

              Is God responsible for the light and heat which comes from the sun?
              Hilston replied, No, of course not.

              The Bible disagrees Jim...
              Genesis 1:14-19
              14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

              Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder

              Is God responsible for flooding the earth and wiping out the evil Nephilim?
              Hilston replied, No, of course not..

              The Bible disagrees Jim...
              Genesis 7:4 For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made."

              Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder

              Is God responsible for working a plan of redemption?
              Hilston replied, No, of course not..

              The Bible disagrees Jim...
              Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."

              Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder

              Is God responsible for annihilating the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?
              Hilston replied, No, of course not..

              The Bible disagrees Jim...
              Genesis 19:24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens.

              Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder

              IS GOD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PREDESTINATION OF ALL THINGS?
              Hilston replied, No, of course not..

              Finally! We agree!

              Hope all is going well, and I look forward to your replies,

              --Jeremy
              Do you desire to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery? (Eph 3:9)

              Comment


              • #8
                Jeremy,

                When you invited me to participate in this exchange, I welcomed the opportunity to converse with someone new in the hope, albeit slim, of encountering an Open Theist more rational than most. You seemed intelligent, astute and able to communicate your ideas and beliefs with clarity. This last post of yours makes me shake my head in frustration and disappointment. My 8, 10 and 12-year-old children have a better grasp of the word "responsible" than you and all your Open Theist colleauges put together. I've never seen such widespread and deliberate ignorance about something so fundamental to language, logic, truth and righteousness.

                In an earlier post I wrote:
                For the many years I've been debating Open Theists, there is something that none, not one, no one, no Open Theist has been willing to process: the definition of 'responsible'. Perhaps you will be the singular exception. But I'm not getting my hopes up.
                In reply to this, you wrote:
                Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                Jim, I am the singular exception. I spent a number of hours this week processing the definition of responsible ...
                A number of hours? How is it possible to spend a "number of hours processing the definition of responsible" and come away with NO understanding of the definition of responsible? (These are rhetorical questions; don't bother answering them).

                This last post of yours further proves that you are not exceptional at all. It is obvious that you confuse the word "responsible" with "attributable." I have only one question, Jeremy, before I proceed with this discussion:

                Do you really think I am denying that God created the universe?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hilston
                  Jeremy,

                  When you invited me to participate in this exchange, I welcomed the opportunity to converse with someone new in the hope, albeit slim, of encountering an Open Theist more rational than most. You seemed intelligent, astute and able to communicate your ideas and beliefs with clarity. This last post of yours makes me shake my head in frustration and disappointment. My 8, 10 and 12-year-old children have a better grasp of the word "responsible" than you and all your Open Theist colleauges put together. I've never seen such widespread and deliberate ignorance about something so fundamental to language, logic, truth and righteousness.
                  Jim,

                  I expected you to respond, but not so emotionally. You lower yourself to personal attacks? Maybe you should try descending Hilston's Ivory Tower and consider the possibility that you might be wrong about something. I'll show you why in just a sec...

                  Originally posted by Hilston
                  In an earlier post I wrote:
                  For the many years I've been debating Open Theists, there is something that none, not one, no one, no Open Theist has been willing to process: the definition of 'responsible'. Perhaps you will be the singular exception. But I'm not getting my hopes up.
                  In reply to this, you wrote:
                  Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                  Jim, I am the singular exception. I spent a number of hours this week processing the definition of responsible ...

                  Originally posted by Hilston
                  A number of hours? How is it possible to spend a "number of hours processing the definition of responsible" and come away with NO understanding of the definition of responsible? (These are rhetorical questions; don't bother answering them).
                  Oh, but I must answer your rhetorical Jim... I apologize. Let me clarify...

                  Amended Statement by Jeremy
                  Jim, I am the singular exception. I spent a number of hours this week processing YOUR definition of responsible ...
                  I thought you would understand that I was responding to your (il)logical application of the word responsible. I know what your definition means, and I know how you hope to apply it to God.

                  Have you considered that there may be other definitions of responsible that may apply to God, or are you too arrogant to consider such a thing? More in a minute...

                  Originally posted by Hilston
                  This last post of yours further proves that you are not exceptional at all. It is obvious that you confuse the word "responsible" with "attributable."
                  Jim, have you considered that the word responsible can be used without moral implication? That is the problem you have with the word, isn't it Jim? I mean, your whole argument is based on the fact that God cannot be held accountable to anyone or anything, and therefore cannot be responsible for anything. If God were "responsible" (according to your definition), then God is morally culpable.

                  Unfortunately Jim, responsibility does not always result in moral implications. Case in point:

                  Merriam-Webster defines the word as follows Jim:

                  Main Entry: re·spon·si·ble
                  Pronunciation: ri-'spän(t)-s&-b&l
                  Function: adjective
                  1 a : liable to be called on to answer b (1) : liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent (2) : being the cause or explanation c : liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties
                  2 a : able to answer for one's conduct and obligations : TRUSTWORTHY b : able to choose for oneself between right and wrong

                  Now Jim, be reasonable for just a second here. Think about this. Our discussion is whether or not God can be responsible for evil. We both say "No," but for different reasons. I say He is not responsible for evil because He is not the primary cause of evil (Definition 1b). You say He is the primary cause, but cannot be responsible because there are moral implications that God cannot be held accountable to. Your entire argument hinges on my accecptance of your man made definition. My definition is just as valid as yours Jim.

                  Originally posted by Hilston
                  I have only one question, Jeremy, before I proceed with this discussion:

                  Do you really think I am denying that God created the universe?
                  You seem to think I'm pretty stupid, don't you Jim... Um, thaks a lot and good job... Do you think that I think that about you Jim?

                  Of course I don't think that Jim! Come on man!

                  The reason the question of the creation is appropriate is because there is no moral implication. It was not morally right or wrong for God to create the heavens and earth. He just did it. When He was done, He said it "was good." He was responsible (the primary cause, motive, or agent; being the cause or explanation) for creating the heavens and the earth.

                  One question for you Jim...

                  Is your man made definition of responsible the only definition you'll consider?

                  --Jeremy
                  Do you desire to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery? (Eph 3:9)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by *Acts9_12Out*
                    Jim,

                    I expected you to respond, but not so emotionally. You lower yourself to personal attacks?
                    On the contrary, Jeremy. My attacks were appropriate, biblical, and emulate the example set in scripture. I did not lower myself, but rather rose to occasion and acted out of biblical obligation.

                    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                    I thought you would understand that I was responding to your (il)logical application of the word responsible. I know what your definition means, and I know how you hope to apply it to God.
                    My definition is biblical. And it doesn't apply to God. Ever. Period.

                    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                    Have you considered that there may be other definitions of responsible that may apply to God, or are you too arrogant to consider such a thing? More in a minute...
                    Now you're dodging, and it makes me sick. How long were you going to wait before offering your own definition? Or it is your goal to simply waste my time?

                    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                    Jim, have you considered that the word responsible can be used without moral implication? That is the problem you have with the word, isn't it Jim? I mean, your whole argument is based on the fact that God cannot be held accountable to anyone or anything, and therefore cannot be responsible for anything. If God were "responsible" (according to your definition), then God is morally culpable.
                    Correct. And knowing that was my (biblical) view of the word, you STILL asked questions AS IF that weren't the case. "Was God responsible for creating the universe in seven days?" What is THAT, Jeremy? STOP WASTING MY TIME!

                    I don't know who you think you're debating, Jeremy. I have not made the claim that God is the "primary cause of evil." God is not the primary cause. He plans evil, but He doesn't cause evil.

                    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                    Your entire argument hinges on my accecptance of your man made definition. My definition is just as valid as yours Jim.
                    False, Jeremy. My definition is biblical. Yours is empty and synonymous with "the one who did it." I gave you examples of the word in several languages, each of which carries the biblical concept of accountability, answering to a higher authority. You can ignore it if you want, but in so doing, you demonstrate that your theology is ill-equipped to deal with a biblical concept that God has implanted within all mankind. Here, once again, is a biblical example of the concept of responsibility and how it does NOT apply to God:
                    10 What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. ... 21 [Job worshipped,] And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
                    Job attributed his circumstances to God, but he knew better than to hold God responsible.

                    Hilston wrote: I have only one question, Jeremy, before I proceed with this discussion:

                    Do you really think I am denying that God created the universe?


                    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                    You seem to think I'm pretty stupid, don't you Jim ...
                    Jeremy, I wish I could attribute this to mere stupidity. This would be a lot less distressing.

                    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                    Do you think that I think that about you Jim?

                    Of course I don't think that Jim! Come on man!
                    Then why did you say, "The Bible disagrees Jim ..." and then quote Ex 20:11? Why would you do that???

                    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                    The reason the question of the creation is appropriate is because there is no moral implication. It was not morally right or wrong for God to create the heavens and earth. He just did it. When He was done, He said it "was good." He was responsible (the primary cause, motive, or agent; being the cause or explanation) for creating the heavens and the earth.
                    This is what I'm talking about. You suddenly decide to ignore everything I took time to write about the word, all the referencing, the formatting, etc., and to use your own, without the courtesy of a heads-up, without offering any competing definition, and to use the word in a way that YOU KNOW I DISAGREE WITH. And then, when I respond according to the definitions I had offered (in the absence of your own proferred definition) YOU respond with "The Bible disagrees with you ..."?!?!??!?
                    STOP! WASTING! MY! TIME!!!!

                    Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                    One question for you Jim...

                    Is your man made definition of responsible the only definition you'll consider?

                    --Jeremy
                    No, I'll consider any definition you want to offer. Be prepared to justify biblically as I have mine above.

                    Embracing the Rock,
                    Jim
                    Last edited by Hilston; June 17th, 2006, 06:23 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jim,

                      You said,

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      On the contrary, Jeremy. My attacks were appropriate, biblical, and emulate the example set in scripture. I did not lower myself, but rather rose to occasion and acted out of biblical obligation.
                      Appropriate? Biblical? Let me get this straight... I disagree with your english definition of a word so biblically you say that "my Open Theist colleauges and I" am less intelligent than your children? How is that biblical Jim? In fact, you said,

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      You seemed intelligent, astute and able to communicate your ideas and beliefs with clarity.
                      Does this mean I am no longer these things Jim? In your opinion, I should be whisked back to 3rd Grade with all the other 8-year-olds, right?

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      My 8, 10 and 12-year-old children have a better grasp of the word "responsible" than you and all your Open Theist colleauges put together.
                      If you took your 8-year-old to the beach, and he / she built a sand castle, I'm sure he / she would do a wonderful job. When a stranger walked by and said, "What a beautiful sand castle! Who built that?" I'm sure your child would smile and accept responsibility for their handiwork. However, if you ask your same 8-year-old if God was responsible for creating the universe in seven days, your child would say, "No!"? I find that hard to believe Jim... Then again, according to you, I'm not as smart as your 8-year-old.

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      I've never seen such widespread and deliberate ignorance about something so fundamental to language, logic, truth and righteousness.
                      This is your opinion Jim. If someone disagrees with you, they are automatically ignorant...

                      I hope you ask for forgiveness for your harsh words Jim. I want to forgive you Jim. While I was standing and praying, I wanted to forgive you, just as Christ has forgiven me.

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      My definition is biblical. And it doesn't apply to God. Ever. Period.
                      I'm still waiting to see biblical proof Jim. I ask you to justify your personal attacks and your human definition of responsible biblically. Secondly, the only biblical "proof" you have offered to support your definition has been your misunderstanding of Job. More on this in a minute.

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      Now you're dodging, and it makes me sick. How long were you going to wait before offering your own definition? Or it is your goal to simply waste my time?
                      You are a hypocrite and a fool Jim. My attacks are biblical and justified. Let's revisit our discussion Jim...

                      I posted 1st. I asked you three questions (question #3 with two parts).

                      You posted 2nd. You responded to the three questions, but asked for clarification on question 3b.

                      I posted 3rd. I argued that if God predestined / decreed evil, then He is culpable for evil.

                      You posted 4th. You offer an english definition of responsible from the Oxford Dictionary and argue that God cannot be responsible for anything.

                      I posted 5th. I implied what I thought responsible actually meant and asked a series of questions.

                      You posted 6th. You dismiss each of my questions with "No, of course not." You still have much to respond to from Post #5 Jim.

                      I posted 7th and challenged your "No, of course not." statements. I thought you understood what I believed responsible meant. I never said your definition was in error, I just didn't agree with the way you applied it to God.

                      You posted 8th and resort to personal attacks. You claim that I have no idea what you're talking about because my intelligence is that of an 8-year-old.

                      I posted 9th. I substantiated what I've been saying all along as it relates to responsible and provided a definition.

                      You responded 10th. You get angry and say that I'm wasting your time. You ask how long I was going to wait before providing a definition. I had no idea my providing a definition was a prerequisite to disagreement.

                      Next, when asked about the logic of your definition, you answer,

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      Correct. And knowing that was my (biblical) view of the word, you STILL asked questions AS IF that weren't the case. "Was God responsible for creating the universe in seven days?" What is THAT, Jeremy? STOP WASTING MY TIME!
                      Since I disagree, then I'm wasting your time?? Why do you participate in any discussion forums? Isn't that the point? We can sometimes agree and sometimes disagree, and hopefully edify one another. If I'm wasting your time, then I apologize. That was not my intent. I am interested in what you believe, and until your tyrade, I thought we were having an edifying exchange. Then again, I have the mental capacity of an 8-year-old, so I might have misunderstood...

                      Next, instead of responding to my argument, you address the semantics...

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      I don't know who you think you're debating, Jeremy. I have not made the claim that God is the "primary cause of evil." God is not the primary cause. He plans evil, but He doesn't cause evil.
                      Jim, this makes no sense whatsoever. So, God draws up the blueprints for evil? God decrees that an addict will inject heroin into his veins. Since God is not physically holding the needle, injecting the heroin into the vein, then He's not culpable?

                      Jim, when Donald Trump fronts the money for a hotel to be built, and puts "Trump Towers" on the blueprint, is "The Donald" responsible for that hotel? What if the building plan goes over budget? Who then is responsible for coming up with the rest of the cash? Now, Trump is not out there pounding nails and pouring concrete, but He's still responsible for the project. Likewise, if God plans that an addict will inject heroin into his veins, then God is responsible for that act.

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      False, Jeremy. My definition is biblical. Yours is empty and synonymous with "the one who did it."
                      A. You have yet to provide biblical evidence that your definition is the only accepted definition in the Bible.

                      B. My definition is biblical and it's logical. God is responsible for creating the earth in seven days. God is responsible for raining fire and brimstone on two evil cities (In your view, God planned the sodomy and rape in those cities, but was not an active participant - therefore, He's not culpable!).

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      I gave you examples of the word in several languages, each of which carries the biblical concept of accountability, answering to a higher authority.
                      Um, you typed the word in several languages. You never gave examples in those languages. Secondly, the word does not always imply "answering to a higher authority." I have provided examples of how the word can be used without moral implications or authority issues.

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      You can ignore it if you want, but in so doing, you demonstrate that your theology is ill-equipped to deal with a biblical concept that God has implanted within all mankind. Here, once again, is a biblical example of the concept of responsibility and how it does NOT apply to God:
                      10 What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. ... 21 [Job worshipped,] And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
                      Job attributed his circumstances to God, but he knew better than to hold God responsible.
                      Ill-equipped? Biblical concept? Jim, your Job example doesn't work! Take off your Oxford Dictionary goggles and consider another possibility. Job did not sin with his lips by cursing God. Job was angry with Mrs Job for attributing their circumstances to God. Job did not foolishly attribute his situation to God. satan was responsible for the attack, not God. satan planned the attack (not God), and God allowed satan to do his worst.

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      Hilston wrote: I have only one question, Jeremy, before I proceed with this discussion:

                      Do you really think I am denying that God created the universe?


                      Jeremy, I wish I could attribute this to mere stupidity. This would be a lot less distressing.
                      Maybe you should attribute it to me being dumber than your kids...

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      Then why did you say, "The Bible disagrees Jim ..." and then quote Ex 20:11? Why would you do that???
                      To substantiate my definition. To show you that there is an alternative to your understanding. I know, it's hard to believe, but it is possible.

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      This is what I'm talking about. You suddenly decide to ignore everything I took time to write about the word, all the referencing, the formatting, etc., and to use your own, without the courtesy of a heads-up, without offering any competing definition, and to use the word in a way that YOU KNOW I DISAGREE WITH. And then, when I respond according to the definitions I had offered (in the absence of your own proferred definition) YOU respond with "The Bible disagrees with you ..."?!?!??!?
                      STOP! WASTING! MY! TIME!!!!
                      Let me get this straight... The bolded blue above shows that it's ok for you to disagree with me, but if I disagree with you then I'm WASTING! YOUR! TIME!!!

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      No, I'll consider any definition you want to offer. Be prepared to justify biblically as I have mine above.
                      But that would mean I disagree with you and I would be WASTING! YOUR! TIME!!! I have justified my definition biblically, and plan to continue doing so.

                      I hope you plan to respond to the rest of Post #5. My 8-year-old mind is looking forward to your responses.

                      Holding Fast to the Truth,
                      --Jeremy
                      Last edited by *Acts9_12Out*; June 23rd, 2006, 11:54 AM.
                      Do you desire to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery? (Eph 3:9)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jim,

                        I hope all is well with you and your family.

                        I noticed that in my last couple of posts to you, I failed to continue with my theme. I figured, while I'm waiting on you to respond, I would continue my theme of referencing a story that is personal to me.

                        For those of you who live in Denver, you will be familiar with the story. The reason I'm choosing this story is because of personal ties. More on this in a minute…

                        As you read this story, ask yourself, "Did God, from the foundation of the world predestine, decree, plan this event? How can this event glorify God in any way?" Here's the story...
                        From www.9News.com
                        DENVER - A warehouse shooting left two people dead, including the suspect, Sunday and five injured, including a Denver Police officer. Police received a report at 3:12 p.m. that a shooter had opened fire at 4600 E. Stapleton Dr. South. In addition the suspect set two fires in the building.
                        One of the blazes rekindled Monday morning into a "small, smoldering fire" in a paper-goods storage area but was quickly doused by warehouse employees with a fire extinguisher, Fire Department spokesman Phil Champagne said.
                        Authorities responded to the scene Sunday within 4 minutes and entered the building within 12 minutes, according to Chief Whitman. The scene was completely secure in 72 minutes.
                        A Safeway representative said 152 employees were inside the building at the time. According to police, the suspect opened fire on at least six people, including Denver police officer Derick Dominguez.
                        The suspect was a Safeway employee but it has not been confirmed how long he worked there.

                        The link to this story can be found here.

                        To read more accounts of the story and see video, check out 9News.com, Denver's 7 News, Denver's Channel 4 News, Fox 31 News, and The Rocky Mountain News.

                        As I said before, the reason I chose this story is because it is personal to me. James Hilston and calvinists everywhere affirm that God predestined, decreed, planned the actions of the gunman at Safeway.

                        If I were a calvinist or if I bought Hilston's calvinistic line of bovine feces, I would think God has a sick and strange sense of humor. I worked in that Distribution Center from 1994 to 2000. I knew one of the employees who was shot, and my Father-in-law has been employed in that building for the past 31 years. Luckily (Jim and calvinists would say, "by God's decree"), my Father-in-law was not working that day.

                        The other ironic (Jim and other calvinists would say, "by God's decree") thing is, last year I attended a SWAT School hosted by the Denver Police Department. The SWAT Operator who was shot was one of the lead instructors on the range day. The two SWAT Operators who ultimately killed the gunman were lead instructors in RAID and Explosive Breaching. I have photos with each of the Operators involved.

                        Now, I ask, did God predestine, decree, plan that gunman to walk into work and shoot fellow employees, or did an evil man make an evil free-will choice?

                        Did God predestine, decree, plan a SWAT Operator to get shot by the evil man He predestined, decreed, planned to shoot fellow employees and an officer, or did an evil man make an evil free-will choice to ambush a Police Officer?

                        Did God predestine, decree, plan two SWAT Operators to return fire and ultimately kill the evil man that God predestined, decreed, planned to be evil in the first place, or did two SWAT Operators use their training and make a free-will choice to kill an evil person?

                        I'll let the reader decide...

                        God Bless,
                        --Jeremy Finkenbinder
                        Do you desire to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery? (Eph 3:9)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hilston's response to Jeremy Finkenbinder, Part 2

                          I. Who is God: Jeremy's Philosophical Question

                          Hilston wrote previously:
                          V. God's Character and the Open ViewIn my previous post, I asked Jeremy:
                          JHQ1: When you ask "Who is God?," is this question about God's character or God's behavior? In other words, what exactly do you want to look at in order to identify and describe God?
                          JHQ2: Do you see a difference between what God is in His essence and what God does? If so, what is the difference
                          JHQ3: Is trustworthiness an essential attribute of God?
                          JHQ4 Could God have become untrustworthy this morning if He wanted to? Why or why not?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Jim, I knew this was going to turn philosophical.
                          It was already philosophical from the very beginning, Jeremy. In your opening post, you made this thread a philosophical discussion, and this is typical. The Open Theist begins by asking the same kind of philosophical question that Lucifer asked in the Garden of Eden: "Hath God said ...?", which is tantamount to of asking: "Who is God?"

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          When I asked "Who is God?" I wanted to know who you think He is.
                          See what I mean? It's essentially the same question Adam allowed Lucifer to ask Eve.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          You have done a wonderful job showing me who you think He is. I allowed you to run with with your philosophical questions regarding who you thing God is. It’s really difficult to comment on this sort of assertion because Scripture doesn’t speak in such philosophical terms very often. Scripture simply assumes the righteousness of God, never making any attempt to trace it logically or even really to defend it.
                          On the contrary, the Scriptures are all about philosophy. To suggest otherwise is denigrate the message, purpose and paramount relevance of God's Word to the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence ("philosophy. n. the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline.") The scriptural examples I gave above of God being a Rock are such examples. The biblical premise is that God is righteous in His essence; the logical conclusion is that God is a Rock who is unable to change His own essence. Open Theists claim that God is righteous, not because of His immutable essence, but because He chooses to be righteous. "Hath God said ...?"

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          When confronted with the theoretical possibility that God might be unjust ...

                          Romans 3:5b Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?
                          Is that how you read Ro 3:5? That Paul was "confronted with the theoretical possibility that God might be unjust"? Paul is teaching something very fundamental about God's essence by using a powerful linguistic biblical figure called, in common parlance, a rhetorical question. Paul often does this in anticipation of and reflecting the kind of questions the existentialists, humanists and Open Theists of his day would lob at him.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Paul simply responds, “then how can God judge the world?” (Rom. 3:6). If God is going to judge the world, He must be just.
                          You're missing the point. When you say "He must be just," do you mean He must be just by choice? Or by necessity? In other words, is He existentially just only, or is He essentially just?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          No attempt to work though the issue. Neither does Scripture talk much, if at all, about something like “God’s essence.” Maybe Hebrews 1:3, which calls Christ the ‘express image of His underlying substance’, but even that’s more about Christ as a manifestation of God than it is about trying to define what God’s ‘underlying substance’ is.
                          It's fascinating how you are the one who started the whole discussion asking "Who is God?", and now you're backpedaling, having been cornered into rigorously answering your own question. It's apparent that haven't given adequate thought to the title of your opening post. The Bible is clear, and speaks very much about God's essence. The Bible does indeed work through the issue of God's essential attributes. That's the point of the scriptures saying that God cannot lie and that He is unable to contradict Himself. That's the point of the scriptures describing God as being not like man. The Creator/creature distinctions lie in God's immutable essence.

                          Consider the example of Abraham. God told Abraham: "... for in Isaac shall thy seed be called." (Ge 21:12). If Abraham were an Open Theist, he would have assumed that God changed His mind about making a great nation out of Abraham through Isaac when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son. But Abraham knew that God is the Rock, that God is trustworthy and unchangeable in His essence, and that His decrees are immutable. So Abraham rightly reasoned to the following conclusion: If God says that Isaac is the child of promise, and now He wants me to sacrifice Isaac, it must be that God, whose decrees are immutable, will raise Isaac from the dead. If Abraham were an Open Theist, he would have assumed that there must be a Plan B, and probably Plans C, D, E, etc. would follow. He would have then believed in a Sand God. But we know that Abraham trusted that the immutable God would be true to His immutable decrees and fulfill His promise to Abraham:
                          17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. [Heb 11:17-19]
                          Jeremy says there is no attempt in scripture to work through the matter of God essential attributes. The scriptures disagree. That is just one example.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          I wonder whether we’re really in a position to tell God which aspects of Him are essential to Him and which are not.
                          The Bible informs us. We don't need to "tell God" anything regarding His essence. He tells us. The Bible is clear, explicitly and implicitly, regarding God essential attributes. We are instructed to connect the dots, to use logical inference and discursive reasoning to make definite and unambiguous conclusions about God's essence.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... For me – I emphasize the subjectivity here – God must be honest and truthful. I cannot imagine God dishonest or untruthful.
                          As an Open Theist this should not be difficult for you at all. Your claim is inconsistent with the Open View, at least as it is presented by Bob Enyart and most OV TOLers. You should be able to imagine it if God is honest and truthful by choice. If you can't imagine it, it would seem you're missing the whole point and somehow your own question is eluding you: You asked Who is God? Is God honest and truthful by choice? Or is He honest and truthful essentially? If the former, then God could choose to dishonest and untruthful. If the latter, as in my view, dishonesty and untruthfulness are unimaginable.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Trustworthiness, in the sense I'm talking about it here (faithfulness to His commitments and such), for me, is part and parcel of honesty.
                          But He could change His mind, Jeremy, according to your view. If He wanted to, He could choose to renege on His commitments, right? Can you disagree with that statement without handcuffing God?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Scripture certainly affirms God’s truthfulness (Deut 32:4; Zeph. 3:5). But that knocks the discussion back a notch or two. If we don’t know for sure that God is truthful, how can we know whether the Bible is truthful? A spoken or written word is only as trustworthy as the one who expresses it. It seems odd to me that you fault me for endangering the notion of God’s trustworthiness when the only evidence you have for God’s truthfulness is the Bible’s claims on its behalf.
                          It's not my problem, because I believe God is essentially trustworthy and truthful, not truthful by choice, the way existentialists do. This is exactly what I mean when I say the Open Theist has no grounds (i.e. no solid rock) upon which to base any trust in Him. He could change His mind and goes against His own Word, according to the Open View, taken to its logical conclusions.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Well, if a liar solemnly affirms he’s telling the truth, where does that leave his listener? At some level I think we pretty much have to assume God’s honesty as we trust that Scripture is His self-revelation. I'm not much for philosophy Jim. I'd much rather focus on Scripture, as long as you believe the Bible is truthful.
                          A believer and student of the Bible cannot avoid considering the epistemological foundations of their knowledge and theology. It is inherent in biblical study. The more you write, Jeremy, the more shaky your foundation comes off. You "assume" God's honesty? Good grief. Open Theism is a house built on the sand. It's a Sand Temple to the Sand God built on a sand foundation. The Settled View doesn't assume God's truthfulness. God's truthfulness is an essential attribute. He cannot be otherwise, He does not have the ability to be otherwise.

                          II. Can the Sand God Be Trusted?
                          Hilston previously wrote: According to the logical conclusions of the claims of the Open View, there is no reason to thank God for anything, because God cannot be trusted and He cannot truly secure anything. ... If God is capable of evil, then why do you trust Him? How do you know He didn't turn evil a year ago? JHQ5: I'm curious, Jeremy. On what grounds do you praise God for something He has not done and may very well change His mind about?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Our discussion was about ability. I have the ability to murder my children. Because of my character, upbringing, morality and the holy Spirit in me, I will not exercise that ability.
                          As an existentialist, you drive a wedge between God's ability and will. But contrary to the claims of the Open View, God's ability and will are completely aligned in perfect correspondence, which is precisely what Ephesians 1:11 teaches us.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... You ask why I trust Him if He has the ability to do evil? My children love and trust me, even though I have the ability to harm them physically if I choose. ...
                          Here is humanism at work in your theology again, Jeremy. We are not to put our trust in man regardless of who they are. That includes one's parents. My parents have let me down. I have let my own children down. We all let each other down at one time or another. Let God be true and every man a liar. God is to be trusted because of what He is essentially, i.e. in His essence, intrinsically. Man is essentially fallen, and intrinsically sin-addled. On your view, there isn't much of a difference between God and man. The God of the Open View is not essentially good, but only good by choice, which makes Him the Sand God. The God of the Settled View is the Rock and can absolutely be trusted.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          If God has the ability to do evil, why do I trust Him? Because I love Him.
                          This doesn't follow logically, Jeremy. An abused wife stays with her abusive husband because she loves him. Why do you love Him? Is it a so-far-so-good kind of love? Or is it because of Who He is in His essence?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          He's my Father. He has done nothing in His revealed Word to cause me to not trust Him.
                          There are two flaws in your reasoning. First, note that you've set yourself up as Judge over God's own Word. Second, you've set up a "so-far-so-good-wait-and-see" theology. You only trust Him so far. If He decided to be evil this morning, and you found out about it, you would stop trusting Him, right? According to scripture, God is to be trusted because He is essentially good and trustworthy. He cannot do evil. He cannot be unjust. He cannot lie or deny Himself. Of course, that handcuffs God to His essential attributes, which Open Theists cannot abide.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          He has been Holy, Just, Righteous, Loving, Relational, Living, Personal, etc. since eternity past, and will not let me down.
                          How do you know He won't let you down? He could change His mind, right?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          I believe His Word is true, ...
                          Upon what do you ground that belief? If He can change His mind, then maybe He has changed His mind about His own Word. According to you, God is free to be evil if He wants to; God free to go against His Word if He wants to. According to scripture, God cannot be evil ~ does not have the ability to be evil. That is why He is the Rock. That is why He is to be trusted. The Open View says God DOES have the ability to be evil. That is not a God that can be trusted. That is not The Rock the Bible speaks of. That's a Sand God.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... and He tells me that I am seated with Him above the heavenlies Jim. I believe Him because He's my Father and He loves me.
                          It doesn't follow, Jeremy. An abused wife believes her abusive husband's lies because she loves him. That doesn't make the wife-beater trustworthy.

                          Hilston previously wrote: On the Settled View, God can be trusted in everything, to the extent that even the evil and calamity that befalls us can be viewed as being worked by God, together with The Called, i.e. the Body of Christ (Ro 8:28), toward His immutable purpose (Eph 1:11).

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Jim, the SV God cannot be trusted because He is capricious.
                          Jeremy, you're really going to have to make up your mind about how you characterize the God of the Settled View. He cannot be a Rock, as you complain, AND be capricious, defined as the following:
                          capricious adj. given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior.
                          I'm sure any rationally consistent reader will readily see which conception of God better fits the definition of "capricious". And it certainly isn't the Settled View's. I know, I know: It's a human definition, so who cares, right? Perhaps you'd like to offer your own definition of carpricious. Or not.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          He arbitrarily chooses who He will save and who He predestines to hell. Why do you trust Him Jim?
                          I trust Him because He is the Rock.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... How do you know you're one of the elect? Maybe God spoke to you figuratively / anthropomorphically. He said He saved you, but He meant the exact opposite. Seriously Jim, how do you know you're one of the elect?
                          “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” Romans 8:16, KJV. It's obvious when a figure of speech is being used. That's what makes them so powerful. Open Theists have difficulty knowing the difference.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          God works together with those who love Him, called according to His purpose, all things for good.
                          That's what I said.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... You imply that the passage teaches God works all things that He predestined (good and evil) for good. You're wrong Jim. The passage does not say that.
                          Yes it does. He works together with The Called (i.e. those who love Him and are called according to His immutable purpose) all things for good. Not only good things for good. But evil things for good as well.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          God instructs us to abhor what is evil and cling to what is good. How can we, as members of His body, take comfort in tribulation that God causes / controls?
                          Correction: God plans, not causes, tribulation. We can take comfort precisely because God has decreed it for good. It only makes sense on the Settled View. How does the Open Theist take comfort in tribulation? God is as clueless as we humans, according to the Open View. The future doesn't even exist according to the Open View, which eviscerates Ro 8:28 of its meaning.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          You imply that God causes the tribulations.
                          Wrong, Jeremy. He plans, but does not cause, tribulations.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... The reality is, God protects Paul through those tribulations and Paul conveys to us that we should remain patient when the going gets tough.
                          What does God do to protect you, Jeremy, amid tribulations? Give me an example. I'll be surprised if you can come up with one.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... The same can be said for Romans 5 and 2 Th 1:4. You say we cannot trust God because He does not control evil. I trust God because His Holy Spirit protects me from evil.
                          Really? How? And what about all the believers who have been harmed or killed at the hands of evil men? How do you know the Spirit is going to protect you when He didn't protect them?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          The SV's hope lies solely in whether or not God capriciously chose you as one of The Called.
                          No, our Hope lies in the immutability of God's essence and decrees.

                          III. Charging God Foolishly
                          Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder: You attribute all evil and calamity to God's predestination, but strip Him of culpability.

                          Hilston replied: Culpability is responsibility. Culpability cannot be applied to God. There is no superior authority to which He would or could answer.

                          Once again demonstrating his refusal to use words according their normative meaning, Jeremy writes:
                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Again, I ask, is God culpable for predestination of all things?
                          He just doesn't get it, does he? NO, Jeremy. God is not culpable for anything.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          I do understand the terms [culpable and responsible] Jim. The way you apply them to God causes you quite a problem. If that's the case, then He can't do anything good, either.
                          And once again, Jeremy refuses to distinguish between "doing" and "accountability." Culpability is not ability. The words are different for a reason.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... If culpability for doing evil is dependent on being accountable to a higher authority, then so is merit for doing good.
                          Exactly. No one praises God on their own autonomous judgment, Jeremy. We are to think God's thoughts after Him. All facts, all assessments, all worthy judgments originate with God Himself, including judgments about those attributes and abilities for which we praise Him. This is fundamental to understanding the sin of Adam, and most people in Christendumb don't get it. Open Theists are no exception.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Jim, your thinking leads to an amoral God, to whom neither evil nor good can be attributed.
                          Now you're using the word "attributed"? Once again, your existentialism rears its humanist head. God's morality is APART from anyone sitting in judgment of Him. He was moral before human even existed to even utter the word "attributed." So your statement is baldly non sequitur.

                          IV. The Open View on Salvation
                          Hilston previously wrote: God predestines the elect to freely respond to God by the gift of faith God gives them. Prior to receiving the gift of faith, the elect are incapable of yielding to God (Ro 8:7). They are spiritually dead and unable to quicken themselves. The gift of faith that is given when the Holy Spirit regenerates the elect person is that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enables a person to believe and to be converted. Conversion follows regeneration; not precedes it.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Jim, what about Cornelius in Acts 10?
                          God decreed Cornelius to freely respond to God by the gift of faith God gave him. Prior to receiving the gift of faith, Cornelius was incapable of yielding to God. He was spiritually dead and unable to quicken himself. The gift of faith that was given when the Holy Spirit regenerates Cornelius is that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enabled Cornelius to believe and to be converted. Conversion follows regeneration; not precedes it.

                          Hilston previously wrote: Yes, you can be assured that I believe that God decreed the existence and behavior of the reprobates. This is why I can trust Him.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Jim, how do you know your not one of the reprobates?
                          Ro 8:16.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... The God of the OV is relational and assures us of our salvation.
                          Based on what? If God's prophecies fail and His Word is sometimes wrong, then you have no foundation for your assurance. It's built on sand. The Sand God might change His mind. It wouldn't be the first time. The Father may have done something to upset the Son and right now the Son might be threatening to chuck the whole lot into hell. The Sand God is fully capable of this, according to the Open View. The Settled View's assurance is based on His immutable decrees and His immutable essential attributes.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... When I heard the gospel, responded positively to it and was baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, I was sealed by His Spirit for the day of redemption. My salvation is secure Jim.
                          Not if the Sand God changes His mind.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... You might be a reporobate if that's how God wrote His script, right?
                          Might? No, if that's how the Script was written, then I would definitely be a reprobate.

                          V. Seeing the Future That Doesn't Exist
                          Hilston previously wrote: God showed John the future ~ a future that Open Theists claim does NOT exist. John saw the future in visions and was able to write down, using his own language, infallibly and inerrantly guided by angelic supervision, exactly what he saw. In Revelation, John describes ten kings who will (they really will, Jeremy) freely decide and agree to give their power to the Beast. The angel helped John to understand what he was seeing, and in Revelation 17, John writes:

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          First off, There’s nothing here about God ‘decreeing’ anything here.
                          Connect the dots, Jeremy. If God says it's going to happen, then it's decreed.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Secondly, this was a vision of what God will do when the time comes.
                          Unless He changes His mind, right? What do you think visions are, Jeremy? PowerPoint presentations? The future exists, Jeremy, and John saw it.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Do you really believe that Christ put John in a time machine and transported him to an actual future that already exists?
                          God showed John the future. I don't know how He did it. John really saw it. But according to Open Theists, John didn't really see the future. Go figure.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Thirdly Jim, we have yet to discuss conditional prophecy. This text can be viewed easily enough through the lens of conditional prophecy (i.e. who knows in precisely what format this material will be realized).
                          So God showed John a conditional future? Is there no limit to the number of hoops through which an Open Theist will jump?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... As to God putting these evil acts into the hearts of these kings, God puts in their hearts to do something for His purpose; the evil of it is their own. There's nothing new with God using evil men for His purposes.
                          And you accuse ME of eisegesis? Here's what the verse says, Jeremy:
                          “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” Revelation 17:17, KJV.
                          You say God put it in their hearts to "do something for His purpose," as if God wasn't clear on the details of what He intended for the evil kings to do when He put His purpose in their hearts. But John is unambiguously clear about exactly what God put in their hearts. Not only is the language clear on its face, but he uses a strong linguistic device on top of it, namely, the polysyndeton ("many 'ands'"), which informs the reader to take each item in the list as having special and specific significance (as opposed to the asyndeton, which tells the reader to take such a list as a collective characterization or description). I realize these details will most likely be lost on you as "eloquent obfuscation," but I offer them nonetheless for any truly thoughtful readers who would dare to benefit from the details God's Word provides. Here's the polysyndetonic list:
                          1. to fulfill His will;
                          2. to agree with each others evil intention;
                          3. to give their kingdom to the beast (an evil act).

                          There is no question that God put it in their hearts to do specifically those evil things. Any claim to the contrary does violence to language and reason.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          LIke I said earlier, I'll wait for your examples before commenting further.
                          Something tells me that you're going to use this dodge for every example I give. Why am I not surprised?

                          VI. Kneejerk Assumptions and Missing the Point
                          Hilston wrote: On the contrary, Jeremy. My attacks were appropriate, biblical, and emulate the example set in scripture. I did not lower myself, but rather rose to occasion and acted out of biblical obligation.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Appropriate? Biblical? Let me get this straight... I disagree with your english definition ...
                          No, you disagree with the Biblical concept. The English (and other languages') definitions happen to aptly align with the Biblical concept.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          I disagree with your english definition of a word so biblically you say that "my Open Theist colleauges and I" am less intelligent than your children? How is that biblical Jim?
                          I have not questioned your intelligence, Jeremy. I assumed it and continue to do so. Your kneejerk reaction and paranoia that I'm somehow questioning your intelligence only demonstrates your desperation. If I thought your problem was a lack of intelligence, I wouldn't be investing the time to respond to these posts. If I thought it were just stupidity on your part, it wouldn't be nearly as noisome to read the stuff you throw at me, stuff that sounds like you're making it up as you go along.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... In fact, you said,
                          You seemed intelligent, astute and able to communicate your ideas and beliefs with clarity.

                          Does this mean I am no longer these things Jim?
                          Of course not. I merely the described the reason for my hope that this discussion would be different from discussions I've had with the other theological alchemists of your theological ilk.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... In your opinion, I should be whisked back to 3rd Grade with all the other 8-year-olds, right?
                          Of course not. You miss the point, and you sound like a whiny little girl in the process.

                          Originally Posted by Hilston: My 8, 10 and 12-year-old children have a better grasp of the word "responsible" than you and all your Open Theist colleauges put together.


                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          If you took your 8-year-old to the beach, and he / she built a sand castle, I'm sure he / she would do a wonderful job. When a stranger walked by and said, "What a beautiful sand castle! Who built that?" I'm sure your child would smile and accept responsibility for their handiwork. However, if you ask your same 8-year-old if God was responsible for creating the universe in seven days, your child would say, "No!"? I find that hard to believe Jim... Then again, according to you, I'm not as smart as your 8-year-old.
                          It has nothing to do with being as smart as an 8-year-old. It has to do with understanding the concept of responsibility. The creation of the universe is attributed to God. But He is not responsible to anyone in the creation of it.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          I hope you ask for forgiveness for your harsh words Jim. I want to forgive you Jim. While I was standing and praying, I wanted to forgive you, just as Christ has forgiven me.
                          I've said nothing wrong, inappropriate or untrue. There is nothing to ask forgiveness for. If you disagree, I welcome your evidence to the contrary.

                          Hilston wrote previously:
                          My definition [of responsibility] is biblical. And it doesn't apply to God. Ever. Period.


                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          I'm still waiting to see biblical proof Jim. I ask you to justify your personal attacks and your human definition of responsible biblically. Secondly, the only biblical "proof" you have offered to support your definition has been your misunderstanding of Job. More on this in a minute.
                          Don't confuse proof with persuasion, Jeremy. The proof has been offered, and it is sound. Whether or not you're persuaded of its cogency is another matter entirely, and not one that I have the time or inclination to be overly concerned about.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          You are a hypocrite and a fool Jim.
                          That much is true.
                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Since I disagree [with Hilston's definition of 'responsibility'], then I'm wasting your time??
                          If that's the conclusion you've come to, then you're either entirely clueless or you're so desperate that you're no longer making any sense. Rational discourse is not a waste of time. Deliberate evasion, ignorance, obfuscation and dodging is a waste of time. How long were you going to wait before offering your own definition of 'responsible', Jeremy? If you really wanted to communicate and to respect the discussion, you would have offered your own definition as soon as you had an opportunity so that we could move on with the discussion. You admitted to having difficulty earlier and claimed to have spent substantial time thinking over the concept of responsibility and how it applies to God. That indicated to me that you were taking this seriously. But for you to ask all those questions about God's responsibility using your own unspecified definition, KNOWING that I was being very careful in defining that word, and even admitting to having difficulty yourself with the concept, was inexcusably disingenuous.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Why do you participate in any discussion forums? Isn't that the point? We can sometimes agree and sometimes disagree, and hopefully edify one another.
                          Of course. But I won't answer a fool according to his folly, and for me to continue a discussion with someone who does not respect rational discourse would be a foolish thing to do. So prove to me that you respect the debate, even if you don't respect me (which frankly matters little to me), and carefully define the salient terms before you launch off with a battery of questions.

                          VII. Culpable to Whom?
                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          So, God draws up the blueprints for evil? God decrees that an addict will inject heroin into his veins. Since God is not physically holding the needle, injecting the heroin into the vein, then He's not culpable?
                          Correct. Who is going to hold Him culpable? You?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Jim, when Donald Trump fronts the money for a hotel to be built, and puts "Trump Towers" on the blueprint, is "The Donald" responsible for that hotel?
                          He is responsible to whatever authorities he must respect in the planning, construction and operation of the hotel.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... What if the building plan goes over budget? Who then is responsible for coming up with the rest of the cash?
                          If Trump goes into debt by going over budget, he is responsible to the lender that loaned him the money. If it's his own money, then he is responsible to no one.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Now, Trump is not out there pounding nails and pouring concrete, but He's still responsible for the project.
                          Responsible to whom?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Likewise, if God plans that an addict will inject heroin into his veins, then God is responsible for that act.
                          Responsible to whom?

                          Hilston previously wrote: My definition is biblical. Yours is empty and synonymous with "the one who did it."

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          A. You have yet to provide biblical evidence that your definition is the only accepted definition in the Bible.
                          I'm not aware of any others. Perhaps you could help me find some other definitions of 'responsible.'

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          B. My definition is biblical and it's logical. God is responsible for creating the earth in seven days.
                          Responsible to whom?

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          God is responsible for raining fire and brimstone on two evil cities (In your view, God planned the sodomy and rape in those cities, but was not an active participant - therefore, He's not culpable!).
                          Responsible and culpable to whom?

                          Hilston previously wrote: I gave you examples of the word in several languages, each of which carries the biblical concept of accountability, answering to a higher authority.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Um, you typed the word in several languages. You never gave examples in those languages.
                          You're missing the point, Jeremy. When I look up the word "responsibilty" in those languages, I get words that are cognates of "accountability" and vice versa. It shows that the concept is consistent in the human mind, regardless of language. Sure, you can selectively choose the looser definition, but that definition does not align with the Biblical teaching or the predominant understanding of the concept over time and across language.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          Secondly, the word does not always imply "answering to a higher authority." I have provided examples of how the word can be used without moral implications or authority issues.
                          Fine, but it doesn't advance the discussion, does it? If you insist on using the word your way, and I insist on using the word biblically, we're not going to get anywhere. If you want to claim the word "responsible" to mean "did it," then that's fine. I will stop using the word and pick a different one. Let me know if that's what you want to do.

                          Hilston previously wrote: You can ignore it if you want, but in so doing, you demonstrate that your theology is ill-equipped to deal with a biblical concept that God has implanted within all mankind. Here, once again, is a biblical example of the concept of responsibility and how it does NOT apply to God:
                          10 What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. ... 21 [Job worshipped,] And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
                          Job attributed his circumstances to God, but he knew better than to hold God responsible.


                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Job did not sin with his lips by cursing God.
                          Cursing God is what Job's wife wanted him to do because she saw no good that could come from his suffering. That's not what the writer is talking about when he says that Job did not sin with his lips. It refers to attributing the evil to God, which Job rightly did, and did not sin with his lips in doing so. Plain. As. Day.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Job was angry with Mrs Job for attributing their circumstances to God.
                          No, Jeremy. You really should read it before commenting. Both Job AND his wife rightly attributed their circumstances to God. Remember? Job asked rhetorically: "What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" And the writer of Job quite appropriately pointed out to the reader that, despite attributing his circumstances to God, Job did not sin with his lips or foolishly charge God, i.e. hold God accountable.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... Job did not foolishly attribute his situation to God.
                          No, he rightly attributed his situation to God. He did NOT foolishly hold God accountable.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... satan was responsible for the attack, not God.
                          Correct. But God is attributable for the attack that He taunted out of Satan.

                          Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                          ... satan planned the attack (not God), and God allowed satan to do his worst.
                          No, God planned it, and taunted Satan to carry it out. Satan is responsible and God is attributable. And if we're going to use your definition of responsible, then I will say that God is responsible for the plan (i.e., He planned it and answers to no one concerning that plan) but is not held accountable for what Satan did. Satan is to be held accountable for what he freely did to Job in accordance with God's decree.

                          Clinging to The Rock,
                          Jim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Jim,

                            I hope all is well with you and your family. I appreciate you taking time to discuss. Now, on to business...

                            Jeremy's Theme
                            When I was a rookie patrolman, I responded to a suicidal male. While en route, the male's wife said her husband just shot himself in the face with a shotgun. I was the first to arrive. When I entered the house, the male was still alive. The shotgun had blown his lower jaw and nose off of his face. The male was walking down the hall towards me, trying to grab on to me. His tongue was moving, and I could hear gurgling as he tried to gasp for air. The male had difficulty breathing because of all the blood. Long story short, the male survived and is now back at home. Half of his face is still missing. In fact, I saw him last week because he attempted suicide again. In the last six years, the male has attempted suicide at least five times that I know of.

                            Now my questions Jim...

                            1. Why would God decree this man to blow half of his face off in front of his wife?
                            2. Why would God decree this man to survive his suicide attempt, and live life missing half of his face?
                            3. Why would God decree this man to attempt suicide numerous times since his first unsucessful try?

                            I hope you have specific answers to these questions Jim. You fail to tell me "why" God plans / decrees these things in your view Jim.

                            In Post #6, you said you were going to break your response into smaller responses. You posted twice (not counting our rabbit trail), and have not responded in full. I waited three weeks, and figured I would keep our discussion moving along.

                            In Post #6, you open with the meaning of predestination. You want to change all occurrences of predestined to decreed. Fine with me. If God decrees something, then He has predestined it. I understand your point, and the way you choose to limit predestine. No matter what you change the word to, my point still stands.

                            I have provided a series of real life examples. I linked a news story to a woman who locked her grandson in a cage while she worked.

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            Now Jim, what glory can come to God from a 61-year-old woman locking her grandson in a cage while she’s working? Did God "decree" June to lock her 13-year-old grandson in a cage while she worked?

                            I "decreed" your answer...
                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            How Hilston Will Answer
                            Predestined? [should be "decreed"] Yes, of course! It cannot be any other way if God is to be trusted. Of course! How can it possibly be any other way and make sense of scripture? It must be this way, scripturally and logically. If God did NOT predestine [should be "decree"] that 61-year-old's behavior, then God cannot be trusted.

                            These answers were taken from your previous post and the only thing I changed was “12” to “61” bolded above. Last time, you said God predestined [should be "decreed"] a 12-year-old to get high on methamphetamine, steal a car, and flee from the Police until he was pitted. I believe your answer will be along the same lines this time. You believe God predestined [should be "decreed"] a 61-year-old woman to lock her grandson in a cage while she was at work.

                            You answered, "Of course. That's correct."

                            Jim, I want to know why God plans / decrees these things. Your answer thus far, "Yes, of course! It cannot be any other way if God is to be trusted." doesn't answer why God deals with His creation in such a psychopathic way.

                            Next, you move on to our discussion on Culpable / Responsible. The feedback I've received thus far is that we seem to be beating a dead horse here. I want to make a closing point, and move on from this portion of our discussion. Feel free to address whatever you see as relevant.

                            Jeremy's Final Points on Divine Responsibility

                            Jim, your argument is an interesting attempt to evade the central issue of what’s wrong with Calvinism. The argument is saying that God can, indeed, do wickedness, just that no one’s in a position to hold Him responsible for it. But that doesn’t answer the point. What's wrong is still wrong.

                            The question of divine responsibility -- who can hold God responsible? -- is addressed in Scripture. You have even alluded to a couple of these passages.
                            Hebrews 6:13-18
                            6:13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,
                            6:14 saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you."
                            6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
                            6:16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.
                            6:17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,
                            6:18 that by two immutable things,
                            in which it is impossible for God to lie,
                            we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
                            The passage above tells us that when God wished to swear an oath, there being none greater than Him who could adjure Him, He swore by Himself. There are two immutable things, His immutable counsel (boulh) and His oath, in which it is impossible for God to lie. Our Lord sets His own righteous standard, not some foolish English Oxford Dictionary word. God must answer to Himself, for He cannot (“cannot”, not “does not”) deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13). Paul speaks of the importance of God to be justified in His words.

                            Romans 3:4
                            3:4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged."
                            In colloquial terms, God cannot do evil and then look Himself in the mirror. So the burning critique of Calvinism stands: Calvinism makes God a doer of wickedness.

                            Jim, when I asked you about The Creation and the destruction of Sodom, I hoped you would have a better answer than "No. Of course not." The argument could be made that God is responsible for all sin because there would be no sin if He hadn't created beings who ultimately sinned. In that sense, God is the First Cause of everything. Jim, based on the definition you cling to, would deny this point. Yet Scripture presents God is invariably righteous and untainted by sin as you would agree. The only explanation that bridges this logical gap for me is that God is not responsible for the actions of beings to whom He gave freedom of choice. Again, I can see logically how someone would infer divine responsibility for all future actions of those whom He let loose, so to speak, with free will. I simply believe that Scripture rejects the notion.

                            As for Sodom, God is certainly responsible for the destruction in the sense that He did it quite directly and is responsible for His own actions. On the other hand, His action in this case was a response to Sodom's sin, so in that sense the people of Sodom were responsible for their own destruction.

                            Jim, the reason I asked you about God being responsible for making the light and heat from the sun was to see if you would be logical. While pondering this issue, I considered weather in general. Looking at weather in general, of which God is certainly the ultimate author -- weather does both beneficial and harmful things. In that respect, perhaps natural phenomena are not as morally neutral as it might appear. Again, the sun (or the moon, or the earth) is there only because God put it there. So effects of the sun stem from something that God created in the first place. Yet, had man not sinned and brought evil into the creation, weather would presumably have only beneficial effects. God was responsible for placing a firmament in the heavenlies to filter out harmful UV rays. So, in that sense, man can be thought of as responsible for the negative effects because of sin. You can't hold the manufacturer of a knife responsible for a murder committed with that knife.

                            One can certainly generate a great deal of interesting conversation on this topic. For me, the ultimately important issue is the untainted righteousness of God. That's what drives my theology. Which is interesting, since Calvinists claim to exalt God's glory and say that non-Calvinists are too wrapped up in God's love, when, for me at least, it's His righteousness that is primary.

                            As I understand it from my limited observation, the contention that God cannot be held responsible is essentially a response to the non-Calvinist assertion that Calvinism makes God responsible for wickedness since, according to Calvinism, God foreordained wickedness. But this position simply attempts to redefine the problem away, maintaining that God indeed foreordained wickedness but dismissing that as irrelevant because there's none higher than God to hold Him accountable for it. Yet, as the Scripture I've cited above demonstrates, God is responsible to Himself.

                            I believe that righteousness is the expression of God's essence, not some sort of autonomous standard to which God must conform. And I think the Scripture that I've cited above illustrates this. There is no standard outside of God or above Him; He answers to Himself. If His actions were to violate a standard of righteousness, that would constitute Self-denial on His part, not denial of some standard that floats above Him. God doesn't do things because they're righteous; things are defined as righteous because God does them.

                            That does still leave the issue of whether God has the ability to choose to act inconsistently with His character. I think that's the wrong question. I don't say that God does not have the ability to sin; I say that God has the ability not to sin. The whole concept of "ability to sin" is an oxymoron: sin is an expression not of ability but of disability. The reason God is invariably righteous is not because He has an ability to sin which He declines to exercise but because He has no inability from which sin might arise. The only time God is unable to do something (save the entire human race, for example) is because of the other party's inability, not through any impotence of His own.

                            Jeremy steps off of his soap box and moves on.

                            Jeremy's Addendum to "The Rock"

                            Jim, I admit, you made me look like a goof. Nice job! I needed that! I asked you why you worshipped a rock, and you provided numerous passages that show God is indeed the Rock. I hope my question did not imply that I reject God as my Rock. You know I know God is the Rock in every way you cited. Let me restate my question Jim...

                            If God decrees everything, then all of our prayers, emotions, actions, sin, etc... is set in stone. We can do nothing to change it. God has chosen His elect and has chosen His reprobate. The calvinist makes God an inanimate object. God is the immovable mover. God is the perfect god that cannot change in any way. Why do you worship an inanimate object Jim?

                            Jim, the rest of your first response has been discussed ad nauseam. If there is anything specific you would like addressed, please let me know. Now, on to response #2...

                            Philosophy

                            Jim, as I go back over the last 13 posts, I notice that your theme has been philosophical non-answers to my questions. Besides the non-answers to my why would God decree... questions, I asked,

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            When I asked "Who is God?" I wanted to know who you think He is.

                            Your non-answer, "See what I mean? It's essentially the same question Adam allowed Lucifer to ask Eve," is not an answer at all. Who do you think God is Jim? Is He Personal, Living, Moving, Loving, Righteous, etc... or is He an inanimate object?

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            It’s really difficult to comment on this sort of assertion because Scripture doesn’t speak in such philosophical terms very often. Scripture simply assumes the righteousness of God, never making any attempt to trace it logically or even really to defend it.

                            Originally posted by Hilston
                            On the contrary, the Scriptures are all about philosophy.
                            On the contrary, Scriptures are not all about philosophy. I find it interesting that you hold to the mid-Acts position and your twisted form of calvinism at the same time. Mid-Acts Dispensationalism is systematic and apologetic, yet far from philosophical. Your Hilston-calvinism is steeped in Greek philosophy and is far from systematic or apologetic. In fact, because of your mid-Acts position, I figured you would share Paul's thoughts on Philosophy and Philosophers.

                            Remember Paul's encounter with the philosophers on Mars Hill? Paul preaches the gospel to them, and approaches them on their philosophical terms. Paul reasons with them, and they begin to believe his logical argument.

                            Acts 17
                            22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."
                            When Paul preaches the resurrection to the philosophers, they mock him and laugh him off of Mars Hill. Some, however, want to hear more from Paul.

                            Acts 17
                            32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this matter." 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
                            Now, what was Paul's mindset after this encounter? Shortly after this encounter in the midst of the Areopagus, Paul writes 1 Corinthians. Jim, please take the time to research the number of times Paul uses the word sophia with negative connotation in the 1st and 2nd chapters of 1 Corinthians. Notice, this is where we get our English word Philosophy. Just a few examples...

                            1 Corinthians 1
                            17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
                            Who do think Paul is referring to Jim? Philosophers and their philosophy.

                            1 Corinthians 1
                            19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
                            The Scriptures are not all about philosophy Jim. In fact, here's what God says about philosophers.

                            Romans 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
                            The problem with addressing the Scriptures philosophically Jim is, your philosophy is just as good as my philosophy. Philosophy does not provide basis for truth, but rather, is based on whatever the philosopher deems logical. Next, I comment on Romans 3:5.

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            When confronted with the theoretical possibility that God might be unjust ...

                            Romans 3:5b Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?

                            Originally posted by Hilston
                            Is that how you read Ro 3:5? That Paul was "confronted with the theoretical possibility that God might be unjust"? Paul is teaching something very fundamental about God's essence by using a powerful linguistic biblical figure called, in common parlance, a rhetorical question. Paul often does this in anticipation of and reflecting the kind of questions the existentialists, humanists and Open Theists of his day would lob at him.
                            Jim, Romans 3:4,5 is very difficult for the SV. Paul and David, understand that justice and righteous judgement come from God. Paul's initial statement in Romans 3:4 is clarified in Romans 3:8. God is not unjust to find us guilty for doing evil even if good comes of it.

                            How can you believe that God would do exactly what Paul just admonished against? When God uses evil men for evil purposes, God remains righteous. God can and does use free will agents to carry out His purpose.

                            Cornelius Punches Jim in the Breadbasket

                            Hilston previously wrote: God predestines the elect to freely respond to God by the gift of faith God gives them. Prior to receiving the gift of faith, the elect are incapable of yielding to God (Ro 8:7). They are spiritually dead and unable to quicken themselves. The gift of faith that is given when the Holy Spirit regenerates the elect person is that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enables a person to believe and to be converted. Conversion follows regeneration; not precedes it.

                            *Bold emphasis above mine...

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            Jim, what about Cornelius in Acts 10?

                            Originally posted by Hilston
                            God decreed Cornelius to freely respond to God by the gift of faith God gave him. Prior to receiving the gift of faith, Cornelius was incapable of yielding to God. He was spiritually dead and unable to quicken himself. The gift of faith that was given when the Holy Spirit regenerates Cornelius is that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enabled Cornelius to believe and to be converted. Conversion follows regeneration; not precedes it.
                            Cornelius is about to throw an uppercut to knock you out Jim. According to you and the entire SV, Cornelius was "Spiritually Dead" until "...the gift of faith that was given when the Holy Spirit regenerates Cornelius is that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enabled Cornelius to believe and to be converted." In fact, Cornelius was incapable of yielding to God? When was Cornelius converted Jim?

                            Acts 10
                            44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"
                            Jim, Cornelius receives the Holy Spirit while "Peter was still speaking these words..." According to you, Cornelius was unregenerate until this point. Cornelius was incapable of yielding to God. God gave Cornelius the Holy Spirit and regenerated him, right? You go as far as to say, "that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enabled Cornelius to believe and to be converted." I have to beat this point to death Jim because you're dead wrong. How did Peter come to preach to Cornelius?

                            Acts 10
                            1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!" 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, lord?" So he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.
                            Cornelius sends men to Joppa to send for Peter. The Holy Spirit commands Peter to go with the men and doubt nothing.. Peter goes, preaches to Cornelius, and Cornelius becomes a member of the body.

                            Let me get this straight Jim... Cornelius, as an unregenerate man incapable of yielding to God, feared God, gave alms generously and prayed to God always? How is this possible Jim? It's not...

                            Getting Too Big For Our Britches

                            Jim, this post is getting pretty lengthy, and I'd like to give you a chance to respond to everything and ask more questions. I made it through half of your second response, and will finish responding when time permits. However, there are many things I would like answered.

                            Housecleaning Issues for Jim

                            I will make this as straight forward as possible. I will restate questions that you might have missed.

                            Philosophical Questions for Jim because he loves Philosophy

                            We know that God created the heavens, the earth and everything in them in seven days.

                            Would you agree that God is a creative God?

                            When God rested on the seventh day, did His creativity end?

                            Does God have the ability to create something new today?

                            God Repents

                            Jim says, "When the Bible says 'God repents,' God was saying the exact opposite of the actual case." Can you elaborate? When the Bible says God repents, what is God really trying to tell us?

                            Jim, more eloquent obfuscation. When The Bible says God repents, what does it mean? Let me see if I can make it simple for you...

                            God asks, "Adam where are you?" = Adam has sinned and has not escaped God's sight. God asks a rhetorical question. God knows exactly where Adam is...

                            God says, "I am weary of repenting!" (Jer 15:6) = ????????

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            But when the Open Theist sees a verse that brings God down, as long as it's not TOO far down, they seize upon it and ignore the obvious figure.

                            First off, God's repenting does not bring Him down. Secondly, if the figure is so obvious, why won't you share it with me? I'll ask again...

                            When God says, "I am weary of repenting!" (Jer 15:6), what is the obvious figure I miss Jim?

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            Open Theists do this with so-called "failed prophecy" as well. Rather than assuming one's own fallible understanding and lack of knowledge, the Open Theist assumes God Himself lacks knowledge and is fallible in His understanding.

                            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            Whenever you're ready to start with the unfulfilled prophecies, let me know. I'll start with an easy one for you Jim.

                            Ezekiel 29
                            19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Surely I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he shall take away her wealth, carry off her spoil, and remove her pillage; and that will be the wages for his army.
                            When was this prophecy fulfilled Jim?

                            It never was...

                            Exodus 32 and others...

                            God predestined the people to fashion a golden calf and idol worship. Then, God predestined Himself to "act like He was angry" and tell Moses He was going to consume the people with fire. Then, He predestined Moses to pray so that He wouldn't really kill the people. In fact, you said, "In Exodus 32, God changed His course of action from seeking the destruction of Israel to that of preserving them." So God preserved them, but predestined Moses and the sons of Levi to kill about 3,000 men that day.

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            However, Moses prays and God responds to that prayer.

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            Moses knew his prayer was decreed and predetermined, as was God's response to that prayer.

                            Show me that Moses understood this. Moses, like Jonah, believes that God repents.

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            So, I ask again, when God said He desired to kill the people, and then did not, did He really mean what he said in verse 9? Is that an anthropopathism too?

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            God infallibly follows His own script, Jeremy. Part of that script was to experience and express His anger toward Israel. The next part was for Moses to respond and intercede in behalf of Israel. The next part was for God to hear Moses' plea and relent. It must be this way, otherwise, you have a God who is forgetful, neglectful and ignorant. Notice the content of Moses' prayer and what the Open View must, if it's consistent, take from that prayer:

                            *I have an addendum to a previous statement...
                            No, what you have demonstrated is an amoral, capricious, deterministic playwright (who stunt doubles as an inanimate object) created in Plato's image.

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            [did God forget that they were HIS people?] [Did God need to be reminded of what He had done for HIS people?] [Did God need Moses to remind Him that the pagans were going to trash Him behind His back if He destroyed Israel? Does it really matter to God what a bunch of pagans have to say about Him?] [Did God really need to be reminded by Moses of His own oath to the Patriarchs?]

                            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            No, no, no, no and no. This is God showing true emotion Jim. God really was angry that the people He led out of captivity turned their backs on Him so quickly. More on this in a minute.

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            The God of Open Theism, when followed out logically, is impetuous, foolhardy, reckless, rashly impulsive, needs to be calmed down and must be reminded of His own OATHS! WHICH HE SWORE BY HIS OWN NAME! Good grief, WHY DO YOU TRUST THIS GOD, JEREMY?

                            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbidner
                            No Jim, you miss the point. Let's discuss this issue you have with Exodus 32. Your premise is that God predestined not only the idol worship, but scripted the conversation that followed. Essentially, God meant the opposite of what He wrote in His script. Come, let us reason together...

                            I argue that God really desired to destroy the people in Exodus 32. God repented of the harm He said He would do. Jim, direct your attention to Numbers 13 and 14. This is after the Exodus account. The children of Israel are headed for the promised land. In Numbers 13, God sends spies to check out the promised land. Numbers 14 opens with the children of Israel complaining to Moses and Aaron.

                            Numbers 14
                            1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4 So they said to one another, "Let us select a leader and return to Egypt."
                            Moses and Aaron fall on their faces before the people. Joshua and Caleb tell the children of Israel not to rebel against God. If the people remain strong, they will inherit the land. The protection of the people who occupy the land "has departed from them," and the Lord is with Israel.

                            Numbers 14
                            5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.' 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them."
                            How do the people respond? They want to kill Joshua and Caleb. How does the Lord respond?

                            Numbers 14
                            11 Then the Lord said to Moses: [b]"How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they." 13 And Moses said to the Lord: "Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, 14 and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are among these people; that You, Lord, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, 16 'Because the Lord was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.' 17 And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, 18 'The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.' 19 Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now."20 Then the Lord said: "I have pardoned, according to your word; 21 but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord-- 22 because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, 23 they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.
                            Sounds similar to Exodus, no? We see that God again desires to harm his people. Moses prays, and God "pardoned according to (Moses') word." I know, I know Jim... This is another anthropomorphism.

                            Secondly, if God swore that their fathers would inherit the land, why didn't they? It gets even more interesting Jim. Turn with me to Ezekiel 20.

                            Ezekiel 20
                            5 "Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: "On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, 'I am the Lord your God.' 6 On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, 'flowing with milk and honey,' the glory of all lands. 7 Then I said to them, 'Each of you, throw away the abominations which are before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.' 8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, 'I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.' 9 But I acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
                            This first account took place while Israel was still in captivity in Egypt. This account was not recorded until God inspired Ezekiel to record it.

                            Ezekiel 20
                            10 "Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them.' 12 Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13 Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them'; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14 But I acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, 'flowing with milk and honey,' the glory of all lands, 16 because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.
                            God inspires Ezekiel to record the events of Exodus 32. Notice Jim, God did not pardon the people because as you suggest, Moses thought, "Oh my goodness. God is about to destroy Israel. God is out of control. God has clearly not given due consideration to the following: that these are His people. what He did for this people. what the Egyptians are going to say about Him if He goes through with this. the oath He swore with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by His own name.

                            No Jim, God tells us why He spared His children. "But I acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out." Guess what? Ezekiel comments on Numbers 14 as well.

                            Ezekiel 20
                            18 "But I said to their children in the wilderness, 'Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; 20 hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.' 21 Notwithstanding, the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, and were not careful to observe My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them'; but they profaned My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 Nevertheless I withdrew My hand and acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out.
                            Jim, a couple of questions here. If God did not mean what He said in Exodus 32, and I'm assuming you would answer Numbers 14 the same way, why would He have Ezekiel comment on both, and add a third time Israel almost got it in the neck? Your interpretation was, "God meant the opposite of what He said when He repented." Now, we have three more examples that show God's intention, and repentance from the harm He said he would do. God was not fickle, foolish or forgetful as you suggest. He tells us, "I withdrew My hand and acted for My name's sake..."

                            Hilston previously wrote: Note that idolatry and angelic corruption are again the issue that evokes the strongest language from God. Moses pleads with God to change His mind (i.e. His disposition and actions) about destroying Israel. Moses knows that God's decrees are immutable, and in his pleading with God, he himself is doing that which God has immutably decreed. Moses' plea was heard, according to God's immutable decrees, and God changed His disposition and actions towards Israel.

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            Moses knows God's decrees are immutable? If Moses believes God does not really repent, why did Moses think He was a God who did repent?

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            You're equivocating, Jeremy. Remember that Moses understands figures of speech. Do you realize what you're suggesting?

                            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            You've done nothing to show that Moses believes God is a playwright. Do I realize what I'm suggesting? Yes, I do. I'm suggesting God was truly angry, wanted to destroy Israel at least three times, withdrew His hand and acted for His name's sake

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            That is what Open Theism leads to. Do you believe these things, or something similar, were really in Moses' mind? Do you actually believe Moses thought God had forgotten those things?

                            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            No Hilston, I believe Moses understood God was angry. Moses understood that God wanted to destroy Israel. Moses followed God and assisted with killing 3,000 men that day.

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            Seems foolish to me that Moses knows God has peredestined the people to worship the golden calf, desires to kill the people, predestines Moses to pray, but Moses asks God to repent, knowing full well that He is a God who does not repent.

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            You're equivocating, Jeremy. Moses understands and uses the word as a figure, remember? Which one seems more foolish: (1) Moses using a figure of speech acknowledging that God is fully aware of what He is doing (the Settled View), or (2) Moses thinking it was necessary to give a history lesson to an impetuous and forgetful God? (the Open View)

                            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            How about a third option? Moses understood God was angry. Moses understood that God wanted to destroy Israel. Moses followed God and assisted with killing 3,000 men that day. God withdrew His hand and acted for His name's sake

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder, previously
                            JFQ3b - Jim, do you agree with Augustine / Calvin concerning 1 Sam 15:11,29 & 35?
                            Here is the Calvin quote addressing God's repentance in 1 Sam 15. Please note Jim, that God repents in verses 11 and 35, but does not repent in verse 35. Same word nacham in all three passages. ... [snipped excerpt] ...Do you agree with Calvin's take on 1 Sam 15?

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            I might quibble with a few details, but overall I agree.

                            Please explain why verses 11 and 35 are figurative and why verse 29 is literal.

                            Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            Next, here's Augustine's reference to "a God who repents..." Augustine is responding to the Manichaeans. Augustine himself was a Manichaean, until Ambrose of Milan spiritualized the Scriptures that said God repented. The Manichaeans, like Moses (and Jonah) believed God was a God who repented.

                            Originally Posted by Hilston
                            According to the logical conclusions of Open Theism, Moses thought God had an inadequate memory, and Jonah was a false prophet.

                            Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                            According to the logical conclusions of Open Theism, Moses was genuinely concerned for God's people. Moses did not want God to kill everyone. Moses prayed and God acted for His name's sake. Jonah's prophecy was conditional. If there was no repentance on the people's part, God would have destroyed the city in 40 days Jim. The burden of proof is on you to explain why the city was not destroyed in 40 days.

                            I know there is a lot to respond to Jim. I apologize, but it seems we both like to chatter. I hope all is well with you, and thanks again for discussing.

                            God Bless,
                            --Jeremy
                            Last edited by *Acts9_12Out*; July 25th, 2006, 08:33 PM.
                            Do you desire to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery? (Eph 3:9)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Jeremy,

                              Please forgive the delayed reply. I’ve been out of town on vacation, and I could only make an occasional short-term visit to TOL whilst I was gone.

                              Jeremy’s Theme and the Inevitable FWQs
                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Now my questions Jim...

                              1. Why would God decree this man to blow half of his face off in front of his wife?
                              Why, from the OV point of view, would God taunt Satan, knowing fully that Satan is a destroyer and would cause horrible destruction upon Job’s property and livelihood?

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              2. Why would God decree this man to survive his suicide attempt, and live life missing half of his face?
                              Why, from the OV point of view, would God taunt Satan, knowing fully that Satan is a murderer (Jn 8:44) and would likely murder Job’s children?

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              3. Why would God decree this man to attempt suicide numerous times since his first unsucessful try?
                              Why, from the OV point of view, would God taunt Satan to attack Job, knowing that Satan would likely afflict Job with horrible disease and physical/psychological torment?

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              I hope you have specific answers to these questions Jim. You fail to tell me “why” God plans / decrees these things in your view Jim.
                              So did Job’s wife. So did the foolish women that Job repudiates. No one has specific answers to those questions. I don’t know the answer, just as Job did not know. Nobody knows. Moses wrote to Israel:
                              Deu 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
                              Jeremy, your questions are the same kind of questions Job’s wife asked Job. Finding no humanistically satisfactory answer, Job’s wife concludes that there is no sense in her husband to continue to live. She suggests that Job curse God and die. Job reprimands her with the only appropriate and germane response:
                              Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
                              Job’s wife concludes that there cannot be any good that can come from Job’s suffering, just like Open Theists do. Job’s wife, like the foolish women and Open Theists who typically ask such questions and come to the Luciferian conclusions, exposes her own faulty thinking by suggesting that Job should not welcome evil from the Lord, but only good instead.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Jim, I want to know why God plans / decrees these things.
                              So did Job’s wife and he would not speak presumptuously. He called such questions “Foolish women questions.”

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Your answer thus far, “Yes, of course! It cannot be any other way if God is to be trusted.” doesn’t answer why God deals with His creation in such a psychopathic way.
                              It is humanism and Lucifero-Adamic pseudo-autonomy that refuses to acknowledge divine prerogative and calls God “psychopathic.”

                              Jeremy’s Final Points on Divine Responsibility

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              The question of divine responsibility -- who can hold God responsible? -- is addressed in Scripture. You have even alluded to a couple of these passages.

                              The passage above [Heb 6] tells us that when God wished to swear an oath, there being none greater than Him who could adjure Him, He swore by Himself. There are two immutable things, His immutable counsel (boulh) and His oath, in which it is impossible for God to lie. Our Lord sets His own righteous standard, not some foolish English Oxford Dictionary word. God must answer to Himself, for He cannot (“cannot”, not “does not”) deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13).
                              This is essence of existentialism (no irony intended). If God is unable to lie, that is, He is truthful in His essence, then it is superfluous to state that God must somehow answer to Himself for doing that which He cannot do. But the existentialist conceives of God as truthful by choice, and only in this view does any notion of self-accountability make sense. And in such a view God cannot be trusted, because He could choose to be a liar today, regardless of His track record to date.

                              The writer of Hebrews does not say that God must “answer to Himself.” It’s irrational. To swear an oath does not invoke accountability but rather that which is binding and of greater authority than oneself (Mt. 23:18-20). Since there is no greater authority by which God can affirm the surety of His promise to Israel, He swears by Himself and thereby assures Israel that He is a Rock who can be trusted. The Open View takes this wonderful passage of assurance and turns it on its head. By the Open View, God could still oppose Himself, but then He would have to answer to Himself. There is no confidence in that view. It is the Sand God of the Open View, worshipped in a sand temple that is built upon the sand.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              In colloquial terms, God cannot do evil and then look Himself in the mirror. So the burning critique of Calvinism stands: Calvinism makes God a doer of wickedness.
                              This is false. God decrees wickedness, but He does not do wickedness.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              For me, the ultimately important issue is the untainted righteousness of God. That’s what drives my theology.
                              Whether or not you admit it, your theology is actually driven by “the untainted righteousness of God so far as you know.” If God’s righteousness were tainted, which is at least possible based on Open Theism, you wouldn’t know it.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Which is interesting, since Calvinists claim to exalt God’s glory and say that non-Calvinists are too wrapped up in God’s love, when, for me at least, it’s His righteousness that is primary.
                              I’m not a Calvinist, Jeremy. And for you, whether you admit it or not, His righteousness, only so far as you know, is primary.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Yet, as the Scripture I’ve cited above demonstrates, God is responsible to Himself.
                              It’s irrational. It’s existentialism. Since the Open Theist defines God by what He does, versus Who He is, they keep their proverbial fingers crossed and hope He doesn’t decide to do anything wicked or unrighteous, because then, for crying out loud, He’ll have to hold Himself responsible and judge Himself (on what grounds? Who knows, because then the highest authority would suddenly have become a corrupt authority). On the Biblical view, God is righteous in His essence and being, and He can therefore swear by Himself, the unchanging Rock, and thereby provide full assurance and unwavering confidence that He will not change His mind and renege on His promises to Israel.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              I believe that righteousness is the expression of God’s essence, not some sort of autonomous standard to which God must conform. And I think the Scripture that I’ve cited above illustrates this. There is no standard outside of God or above Him; He answers to Himself.
                              This is irrational. He cannot hold Himself accountable. He is righteous in His essence. That means He is incapable of of unrighteousness, and that makes accountability superfluous.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... If His actions were to violate a standard of righteousness, that would constitute Self-denial on His part, not denial of some standard that floats above Him. God doesn’t do things because they’re righteous; things are defined as righteous because God does them.
                              OK, let’s see. For Job and Noah, the offering of a blood sacrifice was righteous. Did the Noah and Job see God do this? Is that how they learned a blood sacrifice was righteous? Honoring one’s mother and father is an expression of righteousness. Before Moses wrote this down, how did people know this was righteous behavior? Did they see God honor His mother and father? This is the core (and error) of existentialist humanism: declaring oneself autonomous in judgment and creating God in one’s own image.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              That does still leave the issue of whether God has the ability to choose to act inconsistently with His character. I think that’s the wrong question. I don’t say that God does not have the ability to sin; I say that God has the ability not to sin.
                              Nice dodge. I won’t waste time explaining to everyone the obfuscatory nature of your equivocation. For those who will not see it, no explanation will suffice. For those who do, no explanation is necessary.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              The whole concept of “ability to sin” is an oxymoron: ...
                              Then so is the concept of “disability to be unrighteous.” Note how we’ve now got Open Theism psychobabble to contend with. Is there no limit to the number of hoops through which an Open Theist will jump to have their proverbial Sand God cake and eat it, too?

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... sin is an expression not of ability but of disability.
                              Yeah, just as righteousness is an expression not of ability but of disability to sin. This is just more pseudo-psychological tergiversation. Note how Jeremy leaps from ability -- as in capacity to do something -- to some neologism of disability and inability -- as in ability to not do something, as opposed to its normative meaning (a physical or mental limitation). With this kind of convenient nonce terminology one might as well say that God’s righteousness is his disability to sin.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              The reason God is invariably righteous is not because He has an ability to sin which He declines to exercise but because He has no inability from which sin might arise.
                              Then what’s the point of God holding Himself accountable? It’s completely irrelevant, superfluous and moot, isn’t it? Of course, but the don’t expect much more from the Open Theist than uncritical acceptance of a specious obfuscation.
                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... The only time God is unable to do something (save the entire human race, for example) is because of the other party’s inability, not through any impotence of His own.
                              And suddenly Jeremy decides to use the terms “unable” and “inability” in the normative sense. So God is unable to sin because of some other party’s inability? Or are these oxymorons that you’re allowed to use all of a sudden?

                              Jeremy’s Addendum to “The Rock”
                              Jim, I admit, you made me look like a goof. Nice job! I needed that! I asked you why you worshipped a rock, and you provided numerous passages that show God is indeed the Rock. I hope my question did not imply that I reject God as my Rock.
                              It’s not your question that implies it. It’s every aspect of your theology from sand-to-ceiling.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... You know I know God is the Rock in every way you cited.
                              Yes, I believe you know that. But your theology belies that knowledge. You oppose yourself by claiming God is the Rock out of one side of your mouth and describing Him as the Sand God out of the other.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              If God decrees everything, then all of our prayers, emotions, actions, sin, etc... is set in stone. We can do nothing to change it.
                              To change what? That which has not happened yet? That which does not yet exist? In OpenView terms, your statement makes no sense.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... God has chosen His elect and has chosen His reprobate. The calvinist makes God an inanimate object.
                              What kind of object do you think God is? God transcends such terms as “inanimate” and “animate.” God is He that “filleth all in all.” The architect who sets down his plans on a blueprint is not inanimate. Your claim is non sequitur and fraught with standard OV humanism.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... God is the immovable mover. God is the perfect god that cannot change in any way. Why do you worship an inanimate object Jim?
                              Your leap from “God as planner” to “God as inanimate” is tantamount to theological Chinese acrobatics.

                              Philosophy
                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Who do you think God is Jim? Is He Personal, Living, Moving, Loving, Righteous, etc... or is He an inanimate object?
                              False dichotomy, Jeremy. God is personal, living, moving, loving, righteous, relational, impassible, immutable, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.

                              ...

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              On the contrary, Scriptures are not all about philosophy. I find it interesting that you hold to the mid-Acts position and your twisted form of calvinism at the same time.
                              What you find “interesting” I find ineluctable.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Mid-Acts Dispensationalism is systematic and apologetic, yet far from philosophical. Your Hilston-calvinism is steeped in Greek philosophy and is far from systematic or apologetic.
                              Stick and stones, Jeremy.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              When Paul preaches the resurrection to the philosophers, they mock him and laugh him off of Mars Hill. Some, however, want to hear more from Paul.
                              Oh I see. Since those who mocked Paul were philosophers, then Paul could NOT have been a philosopher himself. That would suggest, since those who mocked Paul were also human beings, ... oh nevermind.

                              Jeremy takes a few select verses about man’s philosophy to claim that the Bible is not all about philosophy (the love of wisdom). God’s philosophy is what matters, and that’s what the Bible is all about. I invite Jeremy to count the number of times wisdom (sofia) is used negatively versus positively.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              The problem with addressing the Scriptures philosophically Jim is, your philosophy is just as good as my philosophy.
                              Note how Jeremy views philosophy as relative. True philosophy is objective and determined by God. Watch:

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... Philosophy does not provide basis for truth, but rather, is based on whatever the philosopher deems logical.
                              See what I mean. By this reasoning, agape love is whatever someone deems to be love. After all, the Bible does use agape love as negatively as wisdom:
                              2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved [agapao] this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Jim, Romans 3:4,5 is very difficult for the SV.
                              You’ll have to explain why. I have no difficulty with the verse. There is no inconsistency or contradiction with my view in the verse.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... Paul and David, understand that justice and righteous judgement come from God. Paul’s initial statement in Romans 3:4 is clarified in Romans 3:8. God is not unjust to find us guilty for doing evil even if good comes of it.
                              Yeah, that totally contradicts the Settled View.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              How can you believe that God would do exactly what Paul just admonished against?
                              I’m not sure what you’ve been drinking, but nowhere have I claimed that God does unrighteousness or evil.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... When God uses evil men for evil purposes, God remains righteous. ...
                              To which “evil purposes” of God are you referring? On the Settled View, God has no evil purposes.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              God can and does use free will agents to carry out His purpose.
                              I agree. Now what?

                              Cornelius Punches Jim in the Breadbasket
                              Hilston previously wrote: God predestines the elect to freely respond to God by the gift of faith God gives them. Prior to receiving the gift of faith, the elect are incapable of yielding to God (Ro 8:7). They are spiritually dead and unable to quicken themselves. The gift of faith that is given when the Holy Spirit regenerates the elect person is that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enables a person to believe and to be converted. Conversion follows regeneration; not precedes it.


                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder, previously
                              Jim, what about Cornelius in Acts 10?
                              Hilston replied: God decreed Cornelius to freely respond to God by the gift of faith God gave him. Prior to receiving the gift of faith, Cornelius was incapable of yielding to God. He was spiritually dead and unable to quicken himself. The gift of faith that was given when the Holy Spirit regenerates Cornelius is that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enabled Cornelius to believe and to be converted. Conversion follows regeneration; not precedes it.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Cornelius is about to throw an uppercut to knock you out Jim.
                              Experience has shown me that whenever Open Theists make these sort of grand pronouncements, they always end up looking more foolish as a result. It’s better to be a bit more provisional and less dogmatic, that way you don’t look so silly when the scriptures end up contradicting your claim.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              According to you and the entire SV, Cornelius was “Spiritually Dead” until “...the gift of faith that was given when the Holy Spirit regenerates Cornelius is that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enabled Cornelius to believe and to be converted.” In fact, Cornelius was incapable of yielding to God? When was Cornelius converted Jim?
                              The scriptures don’t say exactly when Cornelius was regenerated. We only know that it happened prior to Acts 10. It is unmistakable from the text that Cornelius was an elect Gentile who rightly acknowledged his role as a servant of Israel (Isa 14:2), just as the Syrophenician woman recognized herself as a handmaiden of Israel in Mt. 15:25-28, and likewise the centurion of Luke 7:1-10. Each of these Gentiiles manifested their regeneration, i.e. made their calling and election sure, by their righteous submission to the nation of Israel. This is why Jesus says of the Syrophenician woman: “Great is thy faith.”

                              Cornelius was already regenerated prior to Acts 10, unequivocally indicated by Luke’s account of the description of him as “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” God does not acknowledge the prayers of the reprobate (Pr 15:29 28:9). God heard the prayers of Cornelius, and according to the angel that spoke to Cornelius: “And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.” (Ac 10:31)

                              Peter was sent by God as the answer to that prayer. God decreed that Cornelius would pray that prayer and prepared Peter for the encounter. Peter’s vision of the unclean animals was God’s way of confronting Peter’s prejudice against even elect Gentiles, which became soon evident when the men from Cornelius came to him. Of course, the Settled Theist knows that it was actually decreed that Cornelius would send for Peter and that the Spirit is the one who sent the men to Peter (Ac 10:20).

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Jim, Cornelius receives the Holy Spirit while “Peter was still speaking these words...” According to you, Cornelius was unregenerate until this point.
                              No, Jeremy. According to me (and the scriptures), Cornelius had abundantly demonstrated his election, affirmed right there in the text.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              God gave Cornelius the Holy Spirit and regenerated him, right?
                              No. Cornelius had already been regenerated long before Acts 10, just as John’s disciples were already regenerated long before Acts 19, just as Peter and the other apostles were already regenerated long before Acts 2. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit in each case does not signify regeneration, but rather attends the hearing of the Word of God and/or baptism.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... You go as far as to say, “that which subsequently, not prerequisitely, enabled Cornelius to believe and to be converted.” I have to beat this point to death Jim because you’re dead wrong. How did Peter come to preach to Cornelius?

                              Cornelius sends men to Joppa to send for Peter. The Holy Spirit commands Peter to go with the men and doubt nothing.. Peter goes, preaches to Cornelius, and Cornelius becomes a member of the body.
                              No, Cornelius is not a body saint. He is a kingdom saint of the nations. For further details concerning the dispensational distinctives between the elect of the nations, the elect of Israel and the Body of Christ, see the following link: The Seven Ones.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Let me get this straight Jim... Cornelius, as an unregenerate man incapable of yielding to God, feared God, gave alms generously and prayed to God always? How is this possible Jim? It’s not...
                              I agree. That is proof that Cornelius was already regenerated when God heard his prayers and sent Peter to answer them.

                              Jeremy’s Admittedly Philosophical Questions About Things That He Earlier Denied to be Philosophical (was: Philosophical Questions for Jim because he loves Philosophy)

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              We know that God created the heavens, the earth and everything in them in seven days.

                              Would you agree that God is a creative God?
                              Yes.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              When God rested on the seventh day, did His creativity end?
                              No. The act of creating ended. Notice the existential undertone of the question. Jeremy’s question implies that God is creative because He creates, and that God must continue to create if He is to be a creative God. The biblical view is that God is essentially creative, meaning that He does not need to create in order to be creative.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Does God have the ability to create something new today?
                              See what I mean? Yes, God has the ability to create something new.

                              God Repents, An Obvious Figure
                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Jim says, “When the Bible says ‘God repents,’ God was saying the exact opposite of the actual case.” Can you elaborate? When the Bible says God repents, what is God really trying to tell us?
                              There is no “try.” When the Bible says God repented, God is communicating in rich and emphatic figurative terms -- without equivocation, without ambiguity, without any doubt whatsoever -- that He has changed His demeanor or actions toward man or the nation of Israel.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              God asks, “Adam where are you?” = Adam has sinned and has not escaped God’s sight. God asks a rhetorical question. God knows exactly where Adam is...

                              God says, “I am weary of repenting!” (Jer 15:6) = ????????
                              According to the Open View, this means that God actually grew tired and exhausted about having to keep changing His mind about what to do with Israel. According to the obvious figures in the text, God has given Israel her last chance to comply with His Word and to turn to Him.

                              Originally Posted by Hilston: But when the Open Theist sees a verse that brings God down, as long as it’s not TOO far down, they seize upon it and ignore the obvious figure.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              First off, God’s repenting does not bring Him down.
                              Sure it does. A God who uses trial and error is lower than the God who works all things for good according to His immutable decrees.

                              Originally Posted by Hilston: Open Theists do this with so-called “failed prophecy” as well. Rather than assuming one’s own fallible understanding and lack of knowledge, the Open Theist assumes God Himself lacks knowledge and is fallible in His understanding.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              When was this prophecy [Ezek 29:19] fulfilled Jim?

                              It never was...
                              See what I mean? Rather than assume that he misunderstands the passage, rather than assume that God is true and right and that we fallible readers have the deficit in knowledge, the Open Theist would rather assume that God was faulty in His prophecy and that God was rash and impulsive by making a declaration that ended up being wrong.

                              Exodus 32 and others...
                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              God predestined the people to fashion a golden calf and idol worship. Then, God predestined Himself to “act like He was angry” and tell Moses He was going to consume the people with fire.
                              No, God really was angry, according to the Script and He really did tell Moses that He was preparing to consume the people with fire, according to the Script. I already responded to this, thus:
                              God infallibly follows His own script, Jeremy. Part of that script was to experience and express His anger toward Israel. The next part was for Moses to respond and intercede in behalf of Israel. The next part was for God to hear Moses’ plea and relent. It must be this way, otherwise, you have a God who is forgetful, neglectful and ignorant. Notice the content of Moses’ prayer and what the Open View must, if it’s consistent, take from that prayer: [did God forget that they were HIS people?] [Did God need to be reminded of what He had done for HIS people?] [Did God need Moses to remind Him that the pagans were going to trash Him behind His back if He destroyed Israel? Does it really matter to God what a bunch of pagans have to say about Him?] [Did God really need to be reminded by Moses of His own oath to the Patriarchs?]

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              ... Then, He predestined Moses to pray so that He wouldn’t really kill the people. In fact, you said, “In Exodus 32, God changed His course of action from seeking the destruction of Israel to that of preserving them.” So God preserved them, but predestined Moses and the sons of Levi to kill about 3,000 men that day.
                              Correct. God preserved the nation, but killed the rebels, who were not true Israel anyway (Ro 9:6).

                              Originally Posted by Hilston Moses knew his prayer was decreed and predetermined, as was God’s response to that prayer.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Show me that Moses understood this. Moses, like Jonah, believes that God repents.
                              And Moses, like Jonah, knows a figure of speech when he sees one. It’s obvious, missed only by those who want to tear God down, to denigrate His omniscience and decretive power.

                              Originally Posted by Hilston: The God of Open Theism, when followed out logically, is impetuous, foolhardy, reckless, rashly impulsive, needs to be calmed down and must be reminded of His own OATHS! WHICH HE SWORE BY HIS OWN NAME! Good grief, WHY DO YOU TRUST THIS GOD, JEREMY?

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Secondly, if God swore that their fathers would inherit the land, why didn’t they?
                              Amazing. Here is the logical end of Open Theism: Even Israel, God’s favored people, do not get the Land which God promised, a promise God made and swore by His own name. Regardless of what you say, Jeremy, your theology purports a Sand God who cannot be trusted. The very Hope of Israel, the securing of their Land and their governance of the elect nations from that Land, the most pervasive theme throughout all of the Hebrew scriptures and much of the Greek scriptures, Open Theism undermines by their determination to find error with God, to charge God with unfulfilled prophecy. If God’s most foundational promise to Israel failed, which He swore by the highest authority in the universe, His own name, then why do Open Theists trust God for anything?

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              It gets even more interesting Jim.
                              Don’t you mean, “It gets even more blasphemous”?

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Jim, a couple of questions here. If God did not mean what He said in Exodus 32, and I’m assuming you would answer Numbers 14 the same way, why would He have Ezekiel comment on both, and add a third time Israel almost got it in the neck?
                              He had Ezekiel comment on these events to remind Israel of their history and to warn them about their future, all according to His decree.

                              Hilston previously wrote: Note that idolatry and angelic corruption are again the issue that evokes the strongest language from God. Moses pleads with God to change His mind (i.e. His disposition and actions) about destroying Israel. Moses knows that God’s decrees are immutable, and in his pleading with God, he himself is doing that which God has immutably decreed. Moses’ plea was heard, according to God’s immutable decrees, and God changed His disposition and actions towards Israel.

                              Originally Posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder, previously
                              JFQ3b - Jim, do you agree with Augustine / Calvin concerning 1 Sam 15:11,29 & 35?
                              Here is the Calvin quote addressing God’s repentance in 1 Sam 15. Please note Jim, that God repents in verses 11 and 35, but does not repent in verse 35. Same word nacham in all three passages. ... [snipped excerpt] ...Do you agree with Calvin’s take on 1 Sam 15?


                              Originally Posted by Hilston
                              I might quibble with a few details, but overall I agree.


                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Please explain why verses 11 and 35 are figurative and why verse 29 is literal.
                              The Open View loves, and desperately clings to such passages as this, because it doesn’t require as much twisting to make God less than God. Note that even without verse 29, it is obvious that vv. 11 and 35 are figurative. The context of verse 29 affirms what is the already obvious figurative intent of vv. 11 and 35. God does not, like men, repent. He is control of His own emotions, is not subject to moodswings and impassible in His demeanor. So when a verse describes God as repenting, it must be understood figuratively, lest God be rendered less than God, i.e., more like a man.

                              Originally posted by Jeremy Finkenbinder
                              Jonah’s prophecy was conditional. If there was no repentance on the people’s part, God would have destroyed the city in 40 days Jim. The burden of proof is on you to explain why the city was not destroyed in 40 days.
                              Isn’t it obvious? God did not destroy Nineveh because the people repented (all according to God’s decree). Why was Jonah not charged for being a false prophet in accordance with Deut. 18:20-22?

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