No announcement yet.

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

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #76
    Bob’s second post is brilliant. A couple of examples:

    [T]he Holy Spirit loves the Father, but is not merciful to Him, for mercy is the withholding of deserved punishment, and thus love is greater than mercy, for love is eternal, and “beyond all contradiction” the lesser is established upon the better, so that righteousness really is the foundation of God’s sovereignty over creation. And by making sovereignty co-equal with God’s righteousness, we’d fall into a form of pantheism, attributing the divinity of eternal existence to the creation, and diminishing God such that His eternal attributes could not stand alone but always needed even Man....

    If the whole world humbled itself, including Judas, Caiaphas, Herod, Pilate, and even Tiberius Caesar, absolutely everybody, then would God be unable to sacrifice His Son? No. Then He could instruct the high priest, who would be obedient, to prepare to sacrifice the Offering. “Caiaphas, stand outside the Temple, and lift up your eyes, and go, and at the top of the hill, as it was prophesied, ‘In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided,’ there on Mt. Moriah, as Abraham had readied Isaac, prepare to sacrifice My Son, Jesus. He will present Himself there. And at the moment that every family is killing their Passover lambs, you will slay the Atonement, My Holy Passover, and sprinkle His blood on the people.”

    I am convince that the Open View is right. But Bob demonstrates to me how very rudimentary my understanding still is.

    I have had the fortune of spending just a little bit of time with Bob. I think that he would not be offended by me saying that he neither claims nor exhibits an extraordinary intellect. What I do see in Bob is a truer passion to understand God’s word; versus the dozens of Christian leaders I was raised around whose foremost want commonality with, and the expectance of, their Christian cohorts.

    I have heard Bob shares how he, as a young Christian, found the promise in James 1:5, that if we desired wisdom all we have to do is ask God for it. Bob relentlessly prayed over that verse for a year. He was obviously sincere in his prayer.

    The Calvinist would have me believe that God predestined Bob to find that passage and to pray over it. Simultaneously (in his eternal knowledge) God predestined that Bob would receive a muddled understanding of Scripture, as well as the gifted ability to make that (lack of) understanding irrefutably clear, even to the Calvinists.

    I think I’ll stick with the Open View.


    • #77
      Regarding Dr. Lamerson's 3rd post:

      I think this is Dr. Lamerson's best post so far. I like the fact that he listed his problems with the open view plainly, and that was interesting to see from his point of view. He also brought up some good scripture challenges. I don't think Bob's talk about Greek influence and Psalms not backing it up was confusing in the first place, but Dr. Lamerson has it straight now it seems. Bob does not believe that Psalms ignores Greek philosophy (obviously I hope) but that Psalms does not teach some attributes of God that Greek philosophy would have us believe.

      We love you Dr. Lamerson, it's ok if we disagree.

      (kidding NO MORE "MUSHY" STUFF!)

      Marge: "Aren't you going to give him the last rites?"
      Rev. Lovejoy: "That's Catholic, Marge - you might as well ask me to do a voodoo dance."

      "Oh bother" said Pooh, as he chambered the next round.

      Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin


      • #78
        Commenting on Bob's last post in combination with Sam's reply:

        1. I'm not comfortable with Bob rewriting scripture, or even proposing a possible rewriting. I guess
        that lines up pretty well with my general discomfort towards OV theology.

        2. Although, Bob's last "possibility" regarding Caiphas actually obeying God in orchestrating the
        death of Christ brings us nicely back to the "real scripture," and makes an excellent point for
        closed view theology! (think about it.)

        3. I'm with Sam in the whole "non-prophesy" thing. This may be a good wake up for Bob, just
        because his flock follow and agree with his definitions, doesn't make his definitions

        4. Sam will need to restate the arguments he was trying to make and how they differ from the
        direct questions, which Bob answered. I'm kinda lost on that point as well, and I don't have the
        energy to go back and exegete his opening statement again...

        5. I think that Bob's answer regarding the possibility of Jesus being wrong in His prophesies
        is anathmatic, heretical, ill advised, and just plain wrong. Do we as Christians confess that
        Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, or not? Is God ever wrong? If I were scoring, I'd give Sam
        the KO with Bob's statement and call it a day.

        6. Sam's description of the possible choices for resolving seemingly conflicting scriptures are
        as concise as I've ever read, and I congratulate him for it. I would offer 4th and fifth options
        as well, however, including looking for a bigger picture understanding of how the conflicting
        phrases apply (more than contextualizing single words, for example,) and of course, the
        simplest answer of all, we cannot know the mind of God in some things (cop out for a debate
        though, I understand.)

        Overall, I'd like to see Sam do some deeper "big picture" exegetical work towards addressing the
        questions of God repenting, those are good points that deserve more than linguistic
        hermeneutics to unearth.

        On the other hand, I'd like to see Bob further press one of the points he started with, the question
        of God's absolute freedom weighed against the ever present omnis...

        thanx all, and all the Glory to God,

        Dave Miller
        1 John 4:7-8 "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love."


        • #79
          bold prediction

          I will make a bold prediction here. I believe Sam will realize by round five or six that he is losing on all judges cards and in danger of a KNOCKOUT, HE WILL CONCEDE the debate.
          Phil 3:9-10
          ...and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, but that which is through faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.


          • #80
            Dr. Lamerson opens with kind, true words that we all should take to heart. God isn't glorified by attacking the intelligence of the speaker. Rather, a careful critique of argumentation is what's called for. And we need to learn when to disengage from one another, so as to not produce more heat than light with our discussions.

            Dr. Lamerson is on target when he says that the current debate is lacking formal structure. (Good job citing specific debate texts.) Though I've enjoyed Pastor Enyart's posts, he has failed to give a line-by-line deconstruction of the fallacies present in Dr. Lamerson's argumentation of his points. Rather, Pastor Enyart has outlined a broad hermeneutic which lays the foundation for future argumentation. Though commendable in itself, it isn't conducive to the point-counterpoint nature of vigorous debate.
            The fact is, however, in a moderated debate when a position has not even been attacked, much less refuted for two rounds the judge would rightly consider those points conceded.
            Exactly right. I'm somewhat frustrated that not only must Dr. Lamerson argue the points, he must argue that the points must be argued!! Again, Pastor Enyart's posts have been informative, but they've lacked the precision necessary for formal debate. Hey, I'm open to the open view. But I'm going to have to see specific argumentation from Pastor Enyart which both deconstructs the CV use of Jesus's prediction of Peter's thrice denial et al. in a line-by-line format, and which constructs a model for understanding Jesus's specific foreknowledge of Peter's thrice-denial in a line-by-line format. I have yet to see it. And if you think that this means that I'm asking Pastor Enyart to do the thinking for me.......that's what persuasive debate is all about!

            As for the "problem of Judas" section, Dr. Lamerson both gives concise 'pro' argumentation from scripture (Matt. 26) and de-fangs Bob's exegesis of Acts 1:16, using the very source that Bob quotes. This is a perfect illustration of how to undergo formal debate. Good job, Dr. Lamerson.

            I'm kind of surprised that Dr. Lamerson has never encountered the idea of non-prophecy. Though that very nomenclature was foreign to myself as well, I can well understand what Pastor Enyart is talking about. But he's right on about Micah 5:2 presenting problems to the open view, and wanting the criteria for separating non-prophecy from prophecy specifically described within the debate. I look forward to Pastor Enyart's reply to these two issues in his next post.

            It's good to see, though, clear dialogue within the 'question/answer' section. Good job to both participants in that area.

            Finally, some of Dr. Lamerson's "problems with OV" are either beside the point or ridiculous, I think. This debate is a secondary issue which will not affect the main and plain things of Christianity. To assume that the ramifications of adopting OV reach all the way into the necessity of works within Christianity is ridiculous. To say that OV doesn't solve the problem of evil is also ridiculous. I would appreciate it if both sides of the debate would leave off their personal value judgements of the other sides' position and stick to debating specific areas of scripture, with perhaps only minor offshoots into pure philosophy.

            That being said, I think Dr. Lamerson's third post is the strongest thus far, and present major obstacles to the OV. I look forward to Pastor Enyart's rejoinder. I would like to reiterate that I am suspending the adoption of either side until the end of this debate. (Though I was a CV'er before, I took that position for granted. Now that I see that there may be argumentation for OV, I'm eager to hear Pastor Enyart's rebuttals. Hence my frustration with the absence of rebuttal to Dr. Lamerson's specific points.)



            • #81
              I hope I am wrong

              I am not hoping Sam bails on us. I hope he sticks to it and defends his position. Even though I don't believe his position is defensible, if we use God's Word and our God given logic. Everything that happens, even the horrible evil things, little children being tortured, are all God's will?? Unbelievable!! Not the God of Scripture!
              Phil 3:9-10
              ...and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, but that which is through faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.


              • #82
                Sam remarks that "OV does not solve the problem of evil" and the example he uses is the twin towers. He correctly states that God could have "stopped them" in reference to the planes but I am not sure why he brought this point up because to me those who hold that God has absolute foreknowledge are on the losing end of this argument. Sam states that he believes that "at some point God will reveal to us why he allowed that to happen and it will, in the end, glorify him." I think the only thing relevant in this sentence is that God "allowed it to happen". That's the point Sam. In my opinion the OV says that God allows evil…in so much that he doesn't stop bad things from happening. Actions have consequences and we have to live with those consequences. God could stop every Tsunami, every earthquake, every lightening strike that causes damage, every bullet fired from a gun that would ultimately has harm to someone. God could stop the rape of an innocent girl. The OV says that God gave us a will. We decide how we are to live. We could live according to God's WILL (all men to be saved) or we could do our own thing. I think the problem with your argument is that when it comes to the problem of evil (any of those I listed above) you would have to ultimately concede that not only did God know about it from eternity past…but that it was part of His WILL! Oh my. How disgusting is that? It was God's WILL…and somehow it is going to glorify Him? Consider the following hypothetical scenario:

                A women recently raped goes to her pastor for counseling. Her pastor does not hold to the OV position and "eases" her grief with remarks such as "Well, God's ways are above our ways"…"We may not know everything but God does and someday He will reveal to you why it was part of His WILL from eternity past that you were raped and beaten and that act is going to give glory to Him."

                I am sure the women would leave there praising God after a counseling session like that.

                Can God make good come from bad situations? YES. Does God predestine those situations so that good will result? NO. God doesn’t need for someone to be raped so that something good will result. An example of this is found in John 9 when Jesus healed the blind man from birth. His disciples asked if he was blind because of his sin or his parents. Jesus responded neither. BUT, he continues, to show how great God is…I am going to heal him. God didn't cause the blindness (some might consider it an evil) but to show that God can use a bad situation for his glory he healed him. God didn't cause him to be blind SO THAT He could heal him. That's kind of sick. Wouldn't a God who has the ability to act and make good happen from bad things that people choose to do be greater than one who caused the bad things to happen in the first place so that He could say "Look at what I am going to do now...I am going to make it right." How cool is that?

                Those are just a few of my thoughts. I am really enjoying reading your posts…I just thought I would give my two cents on the problem of evil argument.
                fidelis usque ad mortem


                • #83

                  I have debated many, many timed formaly and informaly. When you know that a fight has 10 rounds in it there are a number of ways one could proceed especially if you know your audience or opponent well.

                  While it may have been a less prefered menthod for Enyart to avoid a majority of Sam's questions in the first round it is understandable because in a fight you do not want to have to respond only to the activity directed at you. Typically the one that has the other responding instead of acting will win. Opposite for example of what we are doing in Iraq.

                  What I do know is that Sam needs to respond to Bob's assertion regarding the lesser and greater attributes. He believes that by making them all equal that he can just ignore Bob's perhaps greatest hermeneutic for dealing with apparently contradictory verses. I appreciate this method greatly. I think it is a mistake to ignore it or believe by simple equivocation all attributes are equally important is to miss perhaps the greatest difference between most open view authors and Bob's fresh approach.

                  So there are 10 rounds. I guarantee Bob will not let any stone unturned, so while you may not appreciate his style I assume that there is a great amount of head to head debate coming.


                  • #84
                    I was still trying to digest and understand as fully as possible Bob's second post, when Dr. Sam posted his third. In the midst of a busy work week it is difficult to fully read, let alone analyze each post. I suspect that both debaters are having similar difficulties and are practicing clock management!
                    Bob had the benefit of the first clock stoppage, and the first four day weekend! He held his post back as long as possible, but the good Dr. posted his third round quickly, and will now receive the second four day weekend break.
                    I liked each of the last two posts. Each person made good points in their favor. I still think that the Dr. is more on topic and the burden remains on Bob to get more on topic, and to convince me that God does not know my entire future, and solve the problems that creates.
                    I commend the Dr. for not getting drawn into a debate on Calvinism. If he does he will lose me, and the debate, because I think foreknowledge can not be successfully argued from that point.
                    I think that God does know my entire future, and that is my "horse in this race" even if it is being ridden by a "Calvinist" jockey.
                    I fully agree with Bob, that Jesus would have loved for Judas to repent and not betray Him. Just as I say, Amen and Amen, to the fact that God is living, loving, personal relational and good. That said, it in no way conflicts with my belief that God is omniscient and as Loving and merciful as you describe Him.
                    I also agree that Augustine brought many erroneous beliefs into the Church and many of those beliefs are Greek and pagan in nature.
                    Yet again, how does that change whether or not God is omniscient or not?
                    It may influence how we think of God, but you still have to answer the statements about God, and by God, in His Holy Book.
                    The analysis of Peter's denial, from post one still stands virtually untouched, and therefore presently unrefuted, from the OV position.
                    I know that many consider, the Ninevah passages strong for the OV. I completely agree with Dr Sam's analysis and dismissal of them.
                    What I consider much stronger and problematic are the passages concerning God's sorrow and repentance for having Created man. The passage concerning Abraham's test with Isaac. Another one is the whole subject of Job. Why would Satan who dwells in the spiritual realm, take up God's challenge concerning Job? If God knows and has in effect peeked into the future and knows what Satan will do to Job, and that Job will remain faithful: Why would a being as intelligent as Satan fall for a sucker's bet? Does Satan not know that God has already seen the future?
                    I hope to see these Scripture passages, as well as Peter's denial, and Psalm 139 dealt with before the end of round ten.
                    May God bless you both, and you are both doing far better than critics like myself, or most any of the rest of us could!
                    Last edited by jeremiah; August 11th, 2005, 05:11 AM.


                    • #85
                      I could have

                      Sam says: Bob argues that this makes God guilty of sin (a cheating man could not have done otherwise) but this is to misunderstand the point. The cheating man does what he wanted to do, simply because he could not have done otherwise does not mean that he did not freely choose to cheat on his wife and is thus responsible for his actions.

                      Why did he "want" to do it? Was it because God tempted, compelled him in some way?
                      Or did God simply foresee it all, through his own righteousness, wanting this man not to molest, rape, cheat etc etc, but a slave to His own foreknowledge, helpless even in the righteousness he has put IN man's conscieounce to persuade them otherwise..

                      Sam said "Third, it is a serious problem for Bob that in Matthew’s gospel the betrayal of Judas is said to be a fulfillment of prophecy (Matt 26:54-56).
                      54 "How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?" 55 At that time Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. 56 "But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled." Then all the disciples left Him and fled. (NASB)"

                      You left part out, "Think not that I could.." Could he have?
                      Could Jesus have called on angels for help, considering the future is locked into place, since it was already a done deal in God's mind and prewritten to come to pass that he would be betrayed and crucified...

                      Did Jesus really have that kind of freedom?
                      If he did call on the angels, would it have been wrong?

                      Ps: Sam's 3rd post is much better..this is getting interesting..
                      Last edited by Shadowx; August 10th, 2005, 09:44 PM. Reason: rhetorical repeat..


                      • #86

                        Wow. Dr. Lamerson really laid it on Bob this time. Not only does Bob have the burden of proof still resting on his shoulders from the Dr.'s first post, but now Dr. Lamerson has given concise 'pro' argumentation from Scripture concerning Judas's betrayel (Matt. 26), and even showed how Enyart's proof texts on Acts 1:16 are proven wrong by the very source Enyart posts from!

                        Good job Dr. Lamerson on all of your posts. Bob Enyart has a lot of work to catch up. In my opinion, your third post knocked Bob to the ground. Showing Mr. Enyart how Jesus proved his diety in the prophecy of Judas's betrayal was one strong uppercut that basically stunned Mr. Enyart's view. And then, proving him wrong by using his own source on Acts 1:16 was the final knock out blow! Ouch Mr. Enyart; how does the mat taste?

                        Looking forward to see Enyart try and stumble his way back up from the mat...
                        Question what you believe in, and then you'll know.


                        • #87

                          With all due respect Lamerson, quit complaining about Bob’s debate style and get into the fight. If you have a major problem quote it from the rules of this debate and check first to see if you have violated any of the rules yourself. You never saw Suger Ray going into round 3 still complaining that the opponent only threw jabs and didn’t constantly go for the knockout punch.

                          You brought up planes flying into the twin towers and said “I believe that at some point God will reveal to us why he allowed that to happen (CRASH -Easy, He allowed it to happen because He gave us free will and some people are really evil!) and it will, in the end, glorify him.”

                          You are kidding, of course, right? Terrorists, hell bent on and successful at their plan of mass murder will glorify God? Is that because God ordained it and planned it before the foundation of the world? It’s all part of God’s plan? No way. Like those who sacrificed their babies to Molech, this evil NEVER entered His mind. What an insult to God to say he pre-ordained all of the evil in the world and it is all part of His "plan". If I am reading too much into this I am open to correction but if what I say describes your view, it is Slanderous!

                          On a lighter note, I am obviously, OV (I was predestined by God

                          to be OV ) but I have to hand it to Lamerson for the funniest line,

                          I can hear some in the grandstands sharpening their knives on this passage….”

                          Regardless of which side you are on, sometimes it seems that way and I laughed out loud.
                          Last edited by CRASH; August 10th, 2005, 11:04 PM.
                          Psalms 58:10
                          The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

                          CONFESSION OF AN EX-ABORTIONIST


                          • #88
                            I appreciate Dr. Sam's use of Greek, though Greek scholars often disagree. What does A.T. Robertson say on your passages? I appreciate how you are thinking and responding instead of giving pat answers from anti-OV.

                            Sam is not presenting a hyper-Calvinist position per se. I would like to see some comment about Arminian simple foreknowledge to contrast it with Calvinism and Open Theism. These are the 3 major views in evangelical circles relating to the topic.

                            I do not think that Bob believes that passages showing that God knows the entire future are anthropomorphic (Sam's words under 'on the virtually pointless statement..'). Bob probably does not believe that there are passages that even imply this. It seems to be an extrapolation from specific examples to a general assumption (logical fallacy). As Boyd emphasizes, some of the future is settled and some of the future is unsettled/uncertain. The Open View takes both sets of passages at face value. Closed theists take one set as literal and the other motif as anthropomorphic (Sam admits this). Open Theists do not take the closed sets as anthro., but also take them literally. We agree that God predestines and knows some of the future, but this does not mean that He knows all of the possible future as actual/certain beforehand.

                            The proof texts from Psalms are not definitive. Some merely affirm that God knows the past and present perfectly, or that He knows certain aspects of the future (but not necessarily all= extrapolation/assumption).

                            I Sam. 15:11, 29, 35 We do not require hermeneutic gymnastics to understand these verses. The Open View takes them at face value. God changes His mind in some ways/circumstances, but He does not change it in other situations. KISS (keep it simple need for another ivory tower hermeneutic...use the basic one we all agree on).

                            Jn. 13 does not have to mean the prediction was from eternity past. In light of all verses about Judas (I believe he was a believer who became apostate; Calvinists must assume he was never a believer), the prediction happened after Judas went sour. This still affirms the Deity of Christ since He knew this sooner rather than later (like the disciples). The prediction was fulfilled in an illustrative sense. IF Judas did not betray Christ, someone else would have went down in history as the fulfillment or Christ would not have spoken the words about Judas and the Spirit would have inspired a different historical narrative. The Bible is historical, not written in heaven before actual events and dropped from a cloud.

                            I agree that 'non-prophecies' is not standard and needs clarification.

                            Sam said that God is not timeless. This needs expanding on. If God is not in an 'eternal now' seeing past/present/future all at once, what is the mechanism of His certain, exhaustive foreknowledge? Is it decrees and determinism (deductive reasoning vs self-evident/explicit)? Is it the Arminian simple foreknowledge (whatever that is...trying explaining it)? Time is unidirectional. If He is divinely temporal, then the future is not there to see or know. We can pack our bags and go home.

                            The immutability proof texts simply affirm God's stable character and attributes. These verses do not preclude the possibility of God changing His mind, actions, thoughts, feelings, or relations. His knowledge can change (possible to actual) without changing His inherent perfections. A changing clock is perfect, whereas an unchanging clock is only correct 2x/24 hours.

                            The problem of evil (theodicy) honestly is better resolved by Open Theism. To think otherwise displays a weak understanding of the Open View. It also underestimates the omnicompetence of God to think the view has disadvantages. e.g. the inspiration of Scripture is superintended by God. If the authors would have misused their freedom and calling, we would have more apocrypha. Inspiration theories do not state that God controlled the authors like a megaphone or pen. Their personalities came out in their styles. The Spirit moved on them, but did not merely dictate through them.

                            See Boyd's treatise on evil:


                            I wonder if the debaters are teachable enough to concede errors and embrace new understanding? I trust the peanut gallery will also be open to affirming what we believe and why or embracing new light.
                            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.


                            • #89
                              Both Sam and Bob have chosen to set up straw men and knock them down instead of answering the real questions of the debate. The real questions are
                              • Does man have free will to choose his actions(OV)?
                              • If man has free will, is God unable to influence man(OV)?
                              • Are some men selected for salvation and others selected for damnation(SV)?
                              • What is prophecy?
                              • Does God tell men what He knows will happen in the future?
                              • Is man or the devil able to prevent a prophecy from being fulfilled?
                              • Is prophecy God's power to enforce the fulfillment of His prophecies, in spite of man's free will and an open future?

                              If Calvin is correct, then God lied when He said:
                              Deuteronomy 11:26Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.
                              If the future was already settled when God said this, then He lied to the children of Israel about setting forth a blessing because history shows that the children of Israel did not receive the blessing but did receive the curse.
                              Last edited by genuineoriginal; August 11th, 2005, 12:03 AM.
                              Learn to read what is written.

                              The people who are supposed to be experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are blind to the evidence.
                              ~ Dr Freeman Dyson


                              • #90
                                What a magnificent debate!!!!!!

                                Thank you to both participants, it has lifted my faith. Bobs last post was brilliant! In answering Dr. Lamersons questions he has stated the facts and quoted scripture accurately. In all respect to Dr. Lamerson, I believe his arguement up to this point has been dogmatic. Bob is relating to all of us the Living God as apposed to a stone idle.

                                In His Service,

                                Michael Amatuzzo