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Battle Royale X Critique thread - Does God Know Your Entire Future?

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  • Sam touches on something that all those who follow Bob Enyart’s brand of “Open Theology” should consider.He demonstrates that we cannot always take the things revealed in a “narrative” about God in a “literal” fashion:

    Serious problems come when we try to apply this “straightforward hermeneutic” to other passages of Scripture. Consider, for example, Gen 3:9-13, which records God’s actions after the fall of Adam and Eve. After their sin, Adam and Eve tried to hide from God among the trees of the garden. Then we read, “But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” (vs. 9). Following openness suggestions to “simply accept the plain meaning of Scripture,” this text seems to imply that God does not know the present location of Adam and Eve.

    Following the methods of Bob’s brand of Open Theology I could argue that the Lord is so limited that not only can He be wrong about His prophecies but He also was unaware of the location of Adam and Eve after they sinned.Would anyone be willing to argue that the Lord did not even know their location?I would like to see anyone attempt to defend a “literal” interpretation of the Lord’s words there.Sam continues:

    And as the narrative of Genesis 3 proceeds, another problem emerges. In vs. 11, God asks Adam, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Does not a “straightforward” reading of this verse lead to the conclusion that in this case God was ignorant of what Adam had done in the past? And God’s similar question to Eve in vs. 13 (“What is this you have done?”) seems to imply a similar divine ignorance of the past as far as Eve’s actions were concerned. Thus reading Gen 3:9-13 in the same manner that open theists encourage us to read Gen 22:12 seems to result in a denial of God’s exhaustive knowledge of both the present and the past.

    Again,is there anyone willing to argue that the Lord did not really know that Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden tree?Of course He knew! Here the words are used “phenomenally”,a figure of speech that is in regard to how things “appear to man”.

    In order to attempt to prove that God “repents” those who follow the brand of “Open Theism” that Bob Enyart promotes must take a “literal” reading of verses in a “narrative” that show God repenting despite the fact that these verses should be read in a “figurative” sense.And by doing so their ideas are in direct conflict of the Scriptures that speak of the very nature of God:

    ” God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?’(Num.23:19).

    He will not repent,and once He has spoken something He will make it good.

    But those who follow the brand of “Open Theism” of Bob Enyart say that He will repent and once He has spoken He might or might not make it good.

    In His grace,--Jerry
    ”Dispensationalism Made Easy”
    http://gracebeacon.net/studies/shuga...made_easy.html

    Comment


    • Sam,

      You wrote "To those who said that my hermeneutic of "authorial intention" was nothing more than stating the obvious, I would ask that you become familiar with…" and then you again make reference to two more books by two more authors. Who cares what Dr. Seuss wrote about in "Horton Hears a Who!" Your books might be awesome books. But don't refer to other books to explain your reasoning…we want you to explain your reasoning.

      You seemed taken aback at the fact that several people were disappointed at your answer to your hermeneutic (or how do you interpret/determine what the author intended) by stating that you do so by determining what the author intended. NO KIDDING!

      Let me remind you of something you said in Round II:

      "…his answer is so broad as to be virtually pointless. To answer that one uses context…is akin to saying that we learn what a book means by reading it. While that is true, it is so broad and so obvious as to offer almost no help in terms of the specific question that I raised.

      Your hermeneutic was so broad and obvious it offered no help to those reading.

      You then state that you are disappointed by the lack of response in Rev. Enyart's post. I agree with you there. However I did think he made a few good points. One of which I would have liked to have seen you answer in this recent post. That point was…

      God said of southern Israel that Judah will “‘return to Me [future tense],’ but she did not,” Jer. 3:7

      If God knows the entire future why would he say that something will happen when he knows that it won't? Does Him saying that something is going to happen while at the same time knowing that it won't make Him a liar? Or is this just one of those metaphors? Do YOU (not another author) believe that ALL language used by the Bible about God is a metaphor?

      You also state "Not only does Rev. Enyart misspell transliteration of the Hebrew word…" Now this is funny. It was you in Round I that you said "I have a horrible problem with spelling, so should any of my terrible errors show up here, know that I have forgotten to run the spell check."

      If you want to make points about spelling…you misspelled "patiently" in Round VII! Are you really going to wait "PATENTLY?" If spelling wasn't supposed to be an issue in Round I why even bring it up in Round VII?

      Now about that darned rooster. Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him before the rooster crowed. This reminds of the story in Matthew 17. It goes something like this:

      "Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

      Now…did God know before the foundation of the world that that fish would be at that spot at that time so that Peter would go down and get the money from its mouth? Did God plan everything from the garden of eden on so that the fish would have money in its mouth? Did God plan that the parents of the fish mate and their parents before them and their parents before them etc… so that that particular fish would have in its mouth the exact amount of money in its mouth at that particular time for Peter to get and give to the tax collector? How did Jesus know that fish was going to be there? Or maybe while Adam and Eve were in the garden he had no idea it was going to be there. But at that particular time when Jesus spoke those particular words to Peter he made at that time particular moment a fish to be there with money in its mouth exactly like what Jesus said.

      Did Jesus have foreknowledge (from eternity past) that the fish was going to be there or could he have just have made it be there when he needed it to be there?
      fidelis usque ad mortem

      Comment


      • Originally posted by chatmaggot
        Sam,


        You also state "Not only does Rev. Enyart misspell transliteration of the Hebrew word…" Now this is funny. It was you in Round I that you said "I have a horrible problem with spelling, so should any of my terrible errors show up here, know that I have forgotten to run the spell check."

        If you want to make points about spelling…you misspelled "patiently" in Round VII! Are you really going to wait "PATENTLY?" If spelling wasn't supposed to be an issue in Round I why even bring it up in Round VII?

        Your point is well taken. I should never have made a point about spelling, particularly the transliteration of a Hebrew word. I was wrong and appreciate you bringing that to my attention.
        Thanks for reading

        Sam

        Comment


        • BEQ32: (please forgive me for not cutting and pasting the entire question, we have been having trouble with our network since the storm and I don’t have an electronic version of post VI available). Can you indicate if this statement is true:

          [B]When God intervenes in history, the actual intervention itself cannot be a figure of speech!
          [/B]

          SLA-BEQ32: George B. Caird says, in his classic The Language and Imagery of the Bible that “all, or almost all, of the language used by the Bible to refer to God is metaphor.” No doubt this is true because of the infinite qualitative difference that exists between the Creator and his creation.

          Thus through metaphorical language, something that is well-known becomes a window through which we can gain insight into something that is lesser known. But since no one thing is exactly identical to another thing, every metaphor expresses both similarities and differences between the two objects.

          Note that this does not mean that the event did not occur. It only means that our methods for speaking of God’s intervention are imperfect because of the Creator/creature distinction.

          Psalm 17 shows some examples of this. In verse 6 the author asks God to “incline his ear” which clearly means to hear his prayer. Are we to say that God has actual ears? In verse 7 we are reminded that God’s love is shown to those who take refuge “at Thy right hand.” Are we to think that God, when he protects us, actually uses his hands? In verse 8 David asks that God would “hide me in the shadow of Thy wings . . .” Does God have both hands and wings?

          Lest Rev. Enyart argue that this is poetry and not a genuine account of God’s intervention, notice that this is a prayer for specific protection from oppressors.
          Huh??
          Sam does God intervene in History, yes or no???

          It doesn't matter whether the actual intervention has some anthropomorphic language in it, it's still a literal intervention. Enyarts question was very, very simple. When God does intervene literally, that ACTUAL moving of him with or without hands is not figuratively happening. So when God repents, it's not just emotional, he does something different then he had said he was going to and changes history.

          I believe It's time for some bullets Bob. Show, in bright glowing neon colors, where you point blank answerd Sam and where he did not answer you. And anything you have not answerd, answer it.

          Shadowx

          Comment


          • I must say that I am very disappointed with Dr. Lamerson's latest post. Dr. Lamerson continues to accuse Bob of failing to answer his questions. Unbelievable... I don't even know how to respond (Yes, I'm whining ). I do have some questions / critiques for you Dr. Lamerson.

            You say in Round VII:
            You have told us stories about what it might have been like if Judas had repented, but you have failed to respond to my analysis of Peter’s preaching in Acts which clearly says that these things “had to happen.”
            Dr. Lamerson, for those reading, I'll quote the passage you refer to here...
            Acts 1:16 “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus;
            Dr. Lamerson, I have completely dealt with this issue here. In your next post, could you please tell us, "What Scripture HAD to be fulfilled?" What Scripture is Peter referencing here, and when did David ever say this about Judas? You continue,
            The repentance of God is primarily expressed in the OT through the Hebrew verb naham. For our purposes, the most important usages of the verb come in the niphal and hithpael stems, where an element of change is denoted by the verb.
            Excellent! I'm so glad you made this point!
            The crucial question we will be considering throughout is whether God’s emotional or mental or directional change indicated by his naham demands a non-exhaustive view of his foreknowledge.
            You are correct sir. This crucial question is the crux of the issue. When God's Word says that He repents, did He really experience change? Or, did God actually foreknow the situation, His repentance, and the "change" eons before it came to pass?
            Yes, the repentance of God is a significant biblical metaphor, as Rev. Enyart and others have helpfully argued. But its frequency of usage is dwarfed by the 2,323 predictive prophecies in Scripture that concern free human decisions or events that have such decisions as a causal component.
            Dr. Lamerson, are you arguing that because there seems to be far more predictive prophecy, then we should interpret God's repentance passages in light of such? In fact Dr., if Bob is able to show just one time that God did not truly know the future actions of His free-will agents, then the debate concerning "Does God Know You're Whole Future" comes to an end. You continue,
            Thus we must be careful not to interpret the metaphor of divine repentance in such as way that it diminishes the far more frequent metaphor of divine foreknowledge. Both metaphors must be understood to be reality depicting, but the extent and intensity of the biblical portrayal of divine foreknowledge must in no way be diminished. The witness of all of Scripture lends considerable weight to understanding the relationship of divine knowledge to divine repentance as fundamentally different than that of its human counterpart.
            This speaks volumes Dr. I have heard the "metaphor of divine repentance" argument numerous times. In your next post, I'll ask you to please explain what the metaphor actually means. Please be specific sir. Choose the most popular "God repents" passages and explain what the metaphor really means. For example, "when God repented that He made man" in Genesis 6, what is the metaphor trying to express here? What is the Most Perfect Communicator in the entire universe trying to convey here, if indeed, He did not truly mean that He repented? You continue,
            So how should we understand the repentance of God if we affirm his foreknowledge of free human decisions? I would suggest that divine repentance denotes God’s awareness of a change in the human situation and his resulting change of emotions and/or actions in light of this changed situation. This change in the human situation could involve human sin (as in Gen 6:6; 1 Sam 15:11, 35; Jer 18:9-10) and/or human repentance (as in Jonah 3:9; Jer 18:7-8) and/or human intercession (as in Ex 32:14; Amos 7:1-6; 2 Kgs 20:1-6).
            Again sir, I ask that you be more specific in this area. For example, in Exodus 32:14, when God repented of the harm He said He would do to His people," what did God really mean here? Did God truly intend to consume His children with fire (Exodus 32:9,10) or did He foreknow Moses' prayer and His own repentance. Again I ask that you be more specific in your next post. You continue,
            And in his repentance, God changes his emotions and/or actions as is appropriate and fitting in light of these changed circumstances. But this does not necessarily imply that the changed human circumstances were unforeseen by God and that God has learned something new as a result of these free human decisions.
            What does this mean sir? I'll ask again for a specific response... When God said that His purpose was to destroy Israel with fire and start again with Moses, did He really mean what He said, or did He foreknow that He would not destroy the people? To me Dr. Lamerson, this is the enigma of the Settled View. You continue,
            Clearly this is a different kind of repentance than what we experience as humans. We cannot conceive of ourselves responding with genuine grief and regret over sin that we infallibly foreknew would happen and responding with a genuine change of action in response to a situation we infallibly foreknew. Rev. Enyart might claim that I am not reading the texts in a “straightforward fashion.”

            Serious problems come when we try to apply this “straightforward hermeneutic” to other passages of Scripture. Consider, for example, Gen 3:9-13, which records God’s actions after the fall of Adam and Eve. After their sin, Adam and Eve tried to hide from God among the trees of the garden. Then we read, “But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” (vs. 9). Following openness suggestions to “simply accept the plain meaning of Scripture,” this text seems to imply that God does not know the present location of Adam and Eve. And as the narrative of Genesis 3 proceeds, another problem emerges. In vs. 11, God asks Adam, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Does not a “straightforward” reading of this verse lead to the conclusion that in this case God was ignorant of what Adam had done in the past? And God’s similar question to Eve in vs. 13 (“What is this you have done?”) seems to imply a similar divine ignorance of the past as far as Eve’s actions were concerned. Thus reading Gen 3:9-13 in the same manner that open theists encourage us to read Gen 22:12 seems to result in a denial of God’s exhaustive knowledge of both the present and the past.
            I will reserve comment here Dr. Lamerson. This argument sounds identical to the argument Millard J. Erikson puts forth in "What Does God Know and When Does He Know It?" I'll have to check my copy in the morning and see...

            Please good Dr., give specific responses to these crucial issues. Many SV'ers have the same arguments, but seem unable to give answers to these important questions. If God uses "metaphors" when He says He repents, what is He really trying to tell us?

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

            Comment


            • Sam mentions hermeneutical considerations,. There seems to be a wrong conclusion and inordinate assumption about metaphors. Just because some of Scripture is figurative or metaphorical does not mean that all revelations about God and His ways are metaphorical (see John Sanders "God who risks" discussion on anthropomorphisms).

              Genesis 3 is admitted by many Open Theists to be figurative or rhetorical based on context. Just because many Open Theist verses are read in a 'straightforward' manner, does not preclude the possibility of figures of speech in other contexts (like the obvious Ps. 17 ears, hands, etc.). Pitting a literal passage against a figurative passage and trying to make them both literal or figurative is disingenuous.

              It seems to me that there is more meaty debate in pro and con Open Theism literature. This debate could use more meat instead of rehashing a few minor points over and over.
              Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)

              They said: "Where is the God of Elijah?"
              I say: "Where are the Elijahs of God?" (Ravenhill "Why Revival Tarries")

              Rev. 1:17, 18; Jer. 9:23, 24

              "No Compromise!" (Keith Green)

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

              Comment


              • I really like Dr. Lamerson’s answer to BEQ31! Almost sounds like progress! Our debaters have agreed on at least one important point.
                Dr. Lamerson said, “SLA-BEQ31: Again, I must say that I thought that I had already answered this. Depending upon what one means by the word change, yes. The word change is not self-defining. I have always believed that God can and does have a true relationship within the Trinity and with his creatures. This change however must be carefully defined. It does not mean that he ceases to give up any of his attributes or in any way ceases to be God.”
                Here is where I think Dr. Lamerson opens a new can of worms:
                Dr. Lamerson said, “SLA-BEQ32: George B. Caird says, in his classic The Language and Imagery of the Bible that “all, or almost all, of the language used by the Bible to refer to God is metaphor.” No doubt this is true because of the infinite qualitative difference that exists between the Creator and his creation.

                Thus through metaphorical language, something that is well-known becomes a window through which we can gain insight into something that is lesser known. But since no one thing is exactly identical to another thing, every metaphor expresses both similarities and differences between the two objects…. Psalm 17 shows some examples of this. In verse 6 the author asks God to ‘incline his ear’ which clearly means to hear his prayer. Are we to say that God has actual ears?”
                God may not have ears, but does He hear us? Of course! Even though God does not have “ears”, He is still able to hear. It is this ability that is pointed out through the above “metaphor.” I’m not sure how this response answers BEQ32.

                All in all, I was surprised at the brevity of Dr. Lamerson’s post. I imagine this is due to the new school year, the weather, and the paper he’s working on. I hope he hangs in there, though. We are all learning a lot from both debaters, even if the they are on different wavelengths.
                For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
                Galatians 5:13-15

                Comment


                • Hi Bob! What about Deut. 20-22?

                  Bob,

                  I noticed a major part of your position is that not all of God's prophecies come to pass (because people are free to change the future), and that God would even be pleased if people went against his prophecy to humble themselves or do what is righteous. This is a very logical position, but millions of Christians hold to the view that God's prophecy, through a true prophet, will ALWAYS come to pass. A major group of verses from Scripture to support this is ironically one you often use on your show to mock people who think they can predict the end times (Deut. 18:20-22). Specifically, Deuteronomy 18:22 - "when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken..." These "false" prophets are to be put to death.

                  I'm surprised Sam hasn't brought these verses up in the debate! I have yet to hear you deal with them, other than an unconvincing approach on your Predestination Vs. Free Will album in which you say they should be dealt with "loosely." But verses saying people should be put to death should be taken very seriously.

                  - Ash1

                  Comment


                  • Wow! The gloves come off in round 7!

                    Sam, a much better round 7 post - kudos to you!

                    Bob, another brilliant post, I especially liked these lines...
                    As with the purpose of all prophetic warning, Jesus prophesied this in hopes of preventing it! The Lord indicates this by continuing, “See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look…,’ do not believe it.” That is: I am telling you this “beforehand,” not to prove that I foreknew or predestined it, but hoping that it will not happen!
                    And...
                    The Lord’s prediction regarding Peter is just like His other prophetic warnings. God makes predictions of bad behavior for two reasons, both as a deterrent, and as an encouragement to trust Him. First, as a deterrent, God hopes that men will repent and obey. Second, as an encouragement, if those involved fail to repent, then God hopes that the prophesy will encourage those willing to learn to trust His insight.
                    The above two points seem to be proof positive that the future is unsettled.

                    I would love to see BEQ-36 Sam if Jesus predictions of future actions are not giving to affect the future what possible purpose would these predictions serve?

                    Bob's answers to Sam's questions are so completely direct and to the point it would be really great if Sam could respond likewise.
                    Yes it is clear that God planned the cross, and holds responsible the participants. But by this question you meant to ask something that you forgot to bring out, your assumption that if God planned an event, that means He must have compelled all the eventual participants. Why would this be? Men plan events all the time, from class meetings to Super Bowls to wars, which involve dozens, or thousands, or millions of free will agents, and we make stuff like this happen all the time. Why do you suppose God would be incompetent apart from foreknowledge? Was it foreknowledge, or His own creative genius that enabled Him to design DNA?
                    BOOM! Bob answers with a clear "Yes" or "no" and then illustrates his point further. Sam answering Bob's questions similarly would really help this debate a great deal.
                    Oh, wise guy eh?

                    Comment


                    • Another comment or two!

                      Bob: Love “hopes all things,” which exhaustive foreknowledge cannot do.
                      Then God is hoping he will fulfill his unconditional promises? Such as the new heavens and the new earth? That believers will have new bodies? He is not sure of this?

                      Romans 8:22-24 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.

                      Galatians 5:5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.

                      God is hoping we will have this righteousness some day, too? Surely this part of the description of love does not apply to God.

                      SLQ20-Peter-3 If Jesus could have been wrong about this prediction what else could he have been wrong about?

                      BEA-SLQ20: Everything that He wanted to be wrong about, including that the Jewish leaders would likely persecute His followers, and that many will be deceived ... That is: I am telling you this “beforehand,” not to prove that I foreknew or predestined it, but hoping that it will not happen!
                      Presumably Bob means "everything he was willing to be wrong about" here, for hoping an event won't happen means you don't want to be wrong! But can Jesus be willing here? Surely there is no choice, if the future is not knowable, so God is not in control to the extent of being able to choose so freely what he will and will not be possibly wrong about, given the constraints God has placed for himself, according to the Open View.

                      This is a crucial problem in the Open View, we hear that God can change his mind, be mistaken, and yet always accomplish some of his purposes. And I wonder, which ones? And for whom? It makes the promises quite slippery ground, as above!

                      The Invincible Chess Master always wins, we are told, and also we hear of the Warfare Worldview, so maybe the Chess Master wins, but not the pieces, not each pawn?

                      Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

                      That's present tense, too! And for all the pieces, even the least, there are no regrettable losses for those within his will.

                      Psalm 56:11 In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

                      BEA-SLQ25: Yes it is clear that God planned the cross, and holds responsible the participants. But by this question you meant to ask something that you forgot to bring out, your assumption that if God planned an event, that means He must have compelled all the eventual participants.
                      But if God brought about, with certainty, that some would participate, how can that be fair, in the Open View? This does not resolve the dilemma, for if all refused, some must then indeed be made to carry out this deed, one way or the other, or there is no salvation.

                      Blessings,
                      Lee
                      Last edited by lee_merrill; September 4, 2005, 10:39 AM.
                      "Even now we seem to have dim glimpses into regions from which we receive no word to bring away." (George MacDonald)

                      Comment


                      • Rev. Enyart’s post in round 7 was amazing! He took this opportunity to really pull everything together and lay it all out for us step by step. For the first time in this debate, I really began to feel as though I could grasp all the aspects of what the debaters have discussed so far. Thank you for that!

                        I was really able to see how unscriptural the Settled View is in its approach. This was made perfectly clear by the list Rev. Enyart put together:
                        You have appealed to many extra-scriptural, outside sources and authorities in defense of your Settled View position! You appealed to:
                        1. The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas
                        2. All Second-Temple Literature (taken as a whole)
                        3. Davies and Allison (who declare the purpose of prayer)
                        4. Chrysostom (Homily on Matthew)
                        5. Reymond (who I raised in refutation, and you appealed to)
                        6. Erickson (God the Father Almighty, on the issue of change)
                        7. “Thousands [of Christians]”
                        8. “Major denominations”
                        9. “Some of the finest theological minds”
                        10. The beliefs of an average “first-century Jewish person” (assuming validity)
                        11. Bruce Ware (on what would be “strictly speaking impossible for human beings”)
                        12. Four Greek Experts, “men whose work cannot be questioned” (Why? Were they inspired?)
                        13. Morris (interpretation of John 13:19)
                        14. Theologians Warfield, Berkhoff, Erickson, and Grudman (“noble heritage”)
                        15. George B. Caird (virtually all bible language about God is metaphoric)
                        16. And finally, you boldly appealed to the Westminster Confession (and “the finest theological minds” who agree with it)!
                        How can Dr. Lamerson argue against this. All one has to do is look back over the debate so far and it becomes painfully obvious. As Rev. Enyart said, “’simply saying’ that you and the Settled View only appeal to Scripture ‘does not do the trick’.” His subsequent analysis of the Settled View’s metaphorical argument, along with the OMNI’s and IM’s was brilliant. What this did was to really emphasize, in my mind, all of Rev. Enyart’s points so far, especially those that dealt with the attributes of God.

                        I loved how Rev. Enyart presented his proof texts using symbols. I’m on the edge of my seat trying to anticipate what they might be and how Dr. Lamerson will deal with them. I also appreciated the way in which he explained JONAH and NOAH and that he makes it clear that his “hermeneutics are explicit, testable, and applicable, and are in black and white, and available for anyone to analyze.”

                        I really enjoyed reading Rev. Enyart’s answers to Dr. Lamerson’s questions. They were refreshingly straightforward. For example, in response to SLQ 20 – Peter – 3, Rev. Enyart answered:
                        “Everything that He wanted to be wrong about , including that the Jewish leaders would likely persecute His followers, and that many will be deceived by ‘false christs’who will ‘deceive, if possible, even the elect.’ As with the purpose of all prophetic warning, Jesus prophesied this in hopes of preventing it! The Lord indicates this by continuing, ‘See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look…,’ do not believe it.’ That is: I am telling you this ‘beforehand,’ not to prove that I foreknew or predestined it, but hoping that it will not happen!”
                        I had to read it a couple of times to really grasp what he was saying, but when it finally became clear to me, I was amazed by his insight. This is one of the things Rev. Enyart is so good at – analyzing and then explaining what should be obvious, those things that our muddled brains just don’t comprehend at first.

                        I also appreciated Rev. Enyart’s clarification of non-prophesy. I’ve always had a little trouble with this concept, but now I feel as though I have a better understanding. Bob Hill used to talk about this in his theology classes, but I just didn’t get it. Now I think I do. I always had this idea that what Bob Hill was describing was some kind of "convenient coincidence.” Now I see that it is much more than that. Very powerful!

                        The following was just painful:
                        Readers unfamiliar with language studies may have difficulty following this disagreement, and since you teach Greek, they’ll probably think you are right, especially with you asking things like:

                        What else would Christ be claiming to prove? That he was Jesus? Certainly not! –Sam

                        Of course not. But why did you reverse the natural order of the name and title of the Lord, and imply that I was arguing something silly, instead of giving the reader the benefit of you confronting my actual argument, which you should have represented like this:

                        “What else would Jesus be claiming to prove? That he was the Christ? Well, that is possible!” -Bob reveals Sam’s obfuscation
                        All in all, Rev. Enyart’s tone, his responsiveness, and his logical presentation of the debate so far were wonderfully crafted. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what happens next!
                        For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
                        Galatians 5:13-15

                        Comment


                        • It seems my first post got deleted...

                          Well it was about how the rooster crowed twice, not once, and Peter had to not remember the first time, and then remember the second time, and how is this just character solidification? This often gets overlooked when discussing Peter in the Open View, and I wish Sam had mentioned that. And Jesus' confirmation of Peter saying "You know all things" with another prediction about Peter's future actions! This time, he will glorify God, and so we must say that "all things" Jesus knows must include what Peter will do, even many years in advance, and Jesus knows this, this is not an estimate, and he knows this now.

                          Blessings,
                          Lee
                          "Even now we seem to have dim glimpses into regions from which we receive no word to bring away." (George MacDonald)

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                          • Lee, the idea here is to critique Sam and Bob's posts. OK? If you want to make comments or discuss the posts you can do so in the Battle Talk threads.
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                            • There certainly are some great things about Bob's new post. However, I now have serious concerns about a problem at this point that I am sorry to say I did not foresee earlier. And I'll go into that in the latter part of this post.

                              That said, let's look over 7b...


                              Bob has gotten Sam to concede that 1) God is not timeless, and 2) God changes. Wow, that's considerably more than most Calvinists are willing to admit! I know White would be upset if he were watching this! He certainly did not allow for any such things in his video debate with Sanders (and in which he slaughtered Sanders, btw). So, having not even presented the real positive case for the Open View yet, Bob has had terrific success in this debate on this alone!

                              And now, he also decimate's Lamerson's whole foundation with a crashing boom. Not only did Bob already show (with some absolutely amazing quotes) the pagan Greek influence on Christian settled view theology, but now Bob pulls the whole rug out from under Lamerson, and I cannot even fathom how Sam can get himself out of this one. This is serious.

                              The issue of extra-biblical authority for doctrine. Sam says he doesn't use any such thing, but rather accuses Bob of doing this. So often, people project their own wrongdoing on others to avoid guilt. Sam is clearly guilty of this, and there is no getting around it. Bob provides 16 distinct examples of Sam committing what Sam proudly and openly declares to be wrong! Sam says it's wrong to do this; how can he possibly argue his way out of this? He is nailed to the wall. And it is very telling that almost no settled viewers in the grandstands have commented on this round in general, and no one on Sam's side has commentedon this in particular! (This isn't a matter of responding to other posts; it's entirely relevant because it demonstrates how completely Bob nailed Sam on this, such that even his biggest supporters can't so much as whisper a defense.)


                              Bob then slashes Sam's supposedly couple dozen passages supporting immutability. That Job passage is a laughable claim for immutability. Almost nothing in the passage is even about God! What on earth does Job 1:4-5 have to do with immutability, either way? Nada! And then for Sam to list Jonah 3:3-5, 10? Again, ridiculous! His supposed laundry list of proof texts for immutability is exposed as considerably weaker than he wanted us to believe.


                              Bob then nails Sam on yet another issue! Sam asked Bob to back up his claims about pagan Greek influence! When Bob spent a huge amount of word count fulfilling Sam's request, how did Sam respond? He blew it off in a couple sentences as being irrelevant! How can this be, Sam? You asked for it, you got it, Toyota! For Sam to blow this off is just ridiculous. I'm sorry, Sam's a nice guy, but this is intellectually dishonest. He has just blown off so many things from Bob, but in this case, Sam was the one who said they should go into this issue! And now he feels the need to flee and pretend it doesn't matter, all of a sudden? Sure seemed to matter when you said that it "screams out for evidence and argument!"


                              Eventually, Bob gets to the positive case for the Open View. Wait, no he doesn't. He proposes a deal for Sam. And herein lies the problem. I like the idea of the deal. But it should have been offered 2 rounds ago, at the end of round 5. Here, Bob also lays out how they can discuss the positive case for the open view. And herein lies another problem, which we're about to get to.

                              But first, the questions and answers!


                              Bob's answers to Sam's first few questions were good, solid, neither thorough nor incredible but certainly sufficient. Of course, some of it was just reiterating the arguments Bob already gave previously, which Lamerson has been ignoring because he didn't expect those particular arguments.

                              I was concerned about the Peter/"it is necessary" issue, as Sam gave what appeared to be a fairly strong argument on that. But Sam asks a specific question - not about the phrase "it is necessary" this time, but about whether Peter could have been wrong about the Davidic prophecy. And Bob answers that question thoroughly and clearly and logically! It is not evidence for the Open View, but it certainly is a defense against a proposed problem. Well done.


                              Sam asked an excellent question about how God could have even reasonably foreseen as a probability all of the individual free will decisions that were involved in the night of Peter's betrayal. That indeed is one of the better questions Sam has given us. But Bob again answers very proficiently, and in a way anyone can understand. After all, Bob recently put on a seminar here in Denver. Did he have to know the free will decisions of the people at the table selling books and videos? Did he have to know even the names of the hotel staff who provided meals and drinks? Did he need to know who would clean the room before and after the event, or when those things would take place? Heck no! And yet, I can attest having been there that the event went off without a hitch! (At least as far as I could tell as a guest!) God didn't need to know the free will decisions. He didn't even have to know which specific individuals would ask Peter. And Bob outlines this very well.


                              I was particularly concerned about Sam's question concerning Christ basing His Judas prophecy as evidence of His deity. This is another thing I thought Sam argued well. But Bob exceeded my expectations and did a great job of showing a case for the interpretation that He was presenting this prophecy as evidence that He is the Christ (messiah), not that He is God! Nicely done, I was afraid we'd have to take a hit on this one! And honestly, even if Sam is right about this (and I currently think Bob has this one), even still this point is outweighed by the point Bob has repeated made about God preferring repentance over prophecy! So, in the end... great answer, but even if Bob is wrong, he still wins on this point.


                              Bob handled the concession about Noah's name perfectly. And I'd like to admit to everyone I'm the one he heard that from, and I didn't check into it thoroughly. It is listed in Strong's as being related. But since then, I know Doogieduff (my pal Will) asked Tim McMahon at Derby here in Denver (that theology school's resident Hebrew expert) about this, and Tim confirmed they aren't related. And Tim is in Bob's camp, so there you have it, for anyone on our side who holds out any hope on that little tidbit.

                              But that's all it is! A tidbit! C'mon, Sam, this is not the basis for anyone's argument, not yours or Bob's! Talk about minutia. Yeah, it's a mistake, but not one that makes any difference in the debate. It was offered as an afterthought, mentioned only in passing as a piece of trivia, nothing more.


                              Finally, Bob points out all the questions Sam still hasn't answered, many of which he hasn't even acknowledged the existence of! Glad the settled viewers in the stands can see that pointed out.


                              Originally posted by Bob
                              BEQ33: In Battle Royale X, the side that has often appealed to extra-biblical sources in defense of it’s position is:
                              A: The Open View
                              B: The Settled View
                              I laughed out loud, I really did. Ouch! Sam is just nailed. I can hardly wait for the answer to this question. He dare not cop out on this one.

                              And I like Bob's other two questions, nice. However, he's not really going to be able to talk about Lamerson's responses to them, because...


                              ... of the serious problem facing Bob at this point!

                              I truly wish I'd foreseen this earlier. I did a little, but blew it off. And now I'm realizing how serious it is. 7 rounds are done and Bob still hasn't even started presenting his positive case for the Open View! Yipes! He has done an outstanding job of refuting Lamerson's case, but he now has 3 remaining rounds, the last of which is essentially a conclusion round, a wrap-up, a summary of all points and some conclusions about them, and so it's really more like 2 or 2 1/2 rounds left! Bob has painted himself into a corner. Frankly, Bob cannot afford to spend any significant amount of time refuting Lamerson's arguments, from this point forward. Bob has got to focus on his positive case, and almost nothing else. Maybe a couple extremely brief responses to Sam, but it must be kept to an absolute minimum. "The Deal" (for the 3 pericopes in return for Sam's hermeneutic) should have been offered at the end of round 5, or end of round 6 at the absolute latest!

                              I hope Bob takes this seriously. He has a huge lead in this debate, but he must present a good case for his view, or it is mostly for naught! Bring it, Bob! Face it, you no longer have the luxury of refuting Sam anymore. Heck, you've refuted his case for 7 rounds, more than you ever should have!!! You must make him refute you, now! Make him respond to your case! As it is, he'll have to respond to your case for only 3 rounds, whereas he got you to respond to his for 7, more than double!

                              Bring it on, Bob!


                              P.S. I must amend my critique, as it has been pointed out to me that Bob did start putting forth the beginning of his positive case in round 6. How could I forget? I zoned in on this round so much, focused so tightly that I missed that, it slipped my mind!

                              He laid some ground work, not much more. He still does have a major challenge before him, and I still think it's a problem, although far from insurmountable. He's just gotta attack it head on, and spend almost no more time refuting Lamerson. So my advice stands, but I do acknowledge His introduction to the Open View case, in which he outlined all of biblical history in a bulleted summary that beautifuly exposed the dynamic, responsive relationship God has with His creation.

                              Sorry, Bob!
                              Last edited by RightIdea; September 5, 2005, 08:42 AM.
                              1 Corinthians 13:2
                              And though I have ... all knowledge... but have not love, I am nothing.

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                              • Run Sam run..

                                Bob said, "• Is it true that non-verbal, actual divine intervention cannot be a figure of speech?" BEQ32

                                Sam said,
                                I am not quite sure what you mean here. When I stated that almost all that we know about God is in some sense a figure of speech, I meant that we have to realize that there is a huge gap between the creature and the creator. You mention, for example, God as King as a non figure of speech. Yet was God born like a king? Does he live in a palace? Does he have a queen for a wife? Does he wear a literal crown? Does he wear clothes? Does he get old like a king?

                                The point is that there is a difference between God and Man that can never be overcome. We use human language to speak of God but he is so much greater than us that our language always falls short of a totally accurate picture (and even the word picture is a figure of speech).
                                Given that when the Scripture says that God “struck down” a people, does that mean that they felt a fist? You see, we are always struggling to speak of a God who is wholly other, yet use human words.
                                Sam..what are you talking about?? This is such a simplistic question. Again Sam, it doesn't matter if some figurative language is used to describe that interaction, is that interaction itself a figure of speech??

                                Don't let this pass Bob, stick on it like glue..
                                Last edited by Shadowx; September 5, 2005, 03:55 PM. Reason: Quote

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