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

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  • #91
    BRXI: Should Christians support the Death Penalty?


    • #92
      I want to thank Sam for establishing that he is qualified to be in this debate. I should have asked him for clarification instead of accusing him otherwise. For that I apologize and ask his forgiveness. Like Sam, I have important people following this debate. I am satisfied that no one will disregard the evidence based on a misunderstanding of a sentence he wrote about his qualifications.

      I appreciate the aggressive and well thought out challenges of Sam’s third post. I think it is important in a situation like this to bring everything you have to the table. Christians today get their ideas from a smorgasbord that includes some pretty unhealthy stuff. I think it is right to risk offending fellow believers out of concern for their spiritual diet.

      Both debaters are capable of arguing their positions from a scholarly position. What I am starting to notice however, is that I am drawn to the emotion that Bob adds to his posts. As I have grown older, relationships really have become paramount to me. Bob brings realism and believability to the descriptions of God as Savior, Father, provider, etc. I suspect that not all the differences in the posts are the result of writing style. God is big enough to meet as all where we are at. How does the Settled View make God personal?
      Last edited by Turbo; August 12th, 2005, 05:39 AM.


      • #93
        Sam said in the main debte
        SLQ2-See the Judas discussion above. It is interesting that Bob has chosen to take up so much time with the Judas question and has yet to deal with the prediction of Peter that makes a strong case for some form of compatibilism (free will existing with foreknowledge). I spent a good bit of time on the argument in the first post and would have liked to have seen the point that I put forth about Peter answered.
        If Sam doesn’t like Bob’s answers concerning the Judas “prediction” he will be equally unsatisfied with Bob’s response regarding Peter. The answer will be nearly identical because the logic is the same. In essence Bob did answer the same question by going into detail with regard to Judas.


        • #94
          Give me a break!

          Sam wrote:

          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.

          Sam, that's exactly what that means!

          Even though you think you had to put that in your last post, your still responsible for it's stupidity.
          Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Romans 12:9


          • #95
            I'll be brutally frank, while Bob's posts are making what the OV actually is MASSIVELY clearer for me I honestly couldn't say that either of the posters in the debate seem to be actually dealing with the Does God Know The Future bit. This is the bit that I am really interested in.
            Trupp's Scientific Law:
            God exists

            How to falsify:

            Method 1 - Die, come back and tell me I'm wrong.
            Method 2 - Go back in time and verify whether Adam and Eve existed or not.


            • #96
              proof texting has no place, what saith The Scriptures overall

              We all know there are isolated biblical texts that we can dust off and put into the debate that, standing alone, seem to prove one's point. Both sides can do this.

              It would be a crying shame if this is all we get in this endeavor. We all should want to go through the Bible from a to z and digest it, so we can determine what the overall teaching of scripture is.

              Sam has already brought up some of his side's proof texts. What I hope will happen is that we get past that, ands see a glimpse into the mind of Almighty God, to see how He works, how He thinks, and what makes Him tick.

              Does God overall in Scripture present Himself as a God who takes pleasure in the death of the wicked? Of course not. Jesus saw people sufferring and was moved with compassion.

              Does He set up situations where innocent people are cruelly killed and tortured so it will "bring glory to Himself?" Let it not even be named among those who claim to love God!

              What I am hoping for is that picture of God that shows Him making predictions, and then changing His mind because circumstances change. If I'm evil and bound for hell, if I repent, God and His Holy angels would all rejoice if I repent and accept Christ as my Saviour.

              God says in Jeremiah chapter 18 that if he says he will destroy a people who are wicked, but they repent, He will change and not do the evil He said He was going to do to them. Likewise if God says He will bless a nation, and they then turn evil, He will not bless them as He said He would.

              This is a PRINCIPLE under which God operates. He adapts and adjusts to what men do. This is the picture that is consistant in the Bible. Not a God who cannot bless someone because His hands are tied by predestination.

              These are the things I hope we get into. God adapts and reacts to what we do.
              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.


              • #97
                Sam's third round post was his best yet!

                But regarding this point:
                Originally posted by Sam Lamerson in Round 3
                SLQ5- Bob here says that God planned the crucifixion of Christ before the creation of man. He adds that “if man sinned . . .” but fails to tell us why the Lamb would have been slain before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8-note that I disagree with the translation of the NAS here and believe that the NKJ’s translation is much better). The lamb being slain before the foundation of the world indicates that God knew, before he created, that man would sin.
                Why does Sam prefer NKJ over NAS for this verse? Let's take a look at both:
                Revelation 13:8 (New King James Version)
                All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

                Revelation 13:8 (New American Standard Bible)
                All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

                It's no surprise that Dr. Lamerson rejects the NASB's translation. The phrases are arranged so that it doesn't say anything about Christ being slain from the foundation of the world. NKJV seems to better support Dr. Lamerson's interpretation, but it is ambiguous; it could also be interpreted no differently than NASB.

                So now what? Is there any way to conclusively determine which phrase "from the foundation of the world" refers to?

                You bet there is! Revelation 17:8 says the same thing in a way that clarifies beyond any doubt:

                Revelation 17:8 (New King James Version)
                The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

                Revelation 17:8 (New American Standard Bible)
                The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.

                Mention of "the Lamb slain" is omitted from this verse, but everything else from Rev. 13:8 is in tact here. We can therefore clearly see that "from the foundation of the world" refers to the names that have not been written in the Book of Life. So NASB got it right! (Not that NKJV is wrong, it's just ambiguous.) It could be said that "of the Lamb Slain" is the Book of Life's subtitle (since subtitles are sometimes left off).
                Revelation 13:8 (New King James Version)
                All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in
                The Book of Life
                of the Lamb Slain
                from the foundation of the world.
                Last edited by Turbo; August 11th, 2005, 05:29 PM.
                BRXI: Should Christians support the Death Penalty?


                • #98
                  My general impression of Dr. Lamerson's round 3 post is that it is by far his most aggressive and best post yet in the debate. If things continue to improve as they have in terms of hard hitting argumentation, the second half of BR X is going to blow everyone's mind!

                  There are a few specific things that I would like to comment on...
                  Originally posted by Sam Lamerson
                  DOES GOD KNOW THE FUTURE?
                  ROUND IIIa-Sam Lamerson 8/10/05

                  To begin, I would like to again thank Bob for having me on his radio show, and thank those who have taken the time to read carefully and critique my posts. I must say that I have been somewhat disturbed by some of the posts (Chance’s post that he was banned for, for example). My son is interested in debate as well as the foreknowledge question and has been following along with the posts and the grandstands. Needless to say, he and I had a talk about why some feel the need to viciously attack the person instead of the idea. There have been some posts that seemed to be ad hominem attacks and for the life of me, I can’t quite figure out why. While we may disagree on the issue, I have tried to be gracious and kind in my responses and am not quite sure what I have done to provoke these attacks.
                  You've done nothing Dr., any such attacks are entirely unwarranted and shameful. I hope that none of my comments have come off as being personal attacks, none of them were at all intended as such. Anything I say in this thread is intended only as commentary on the debate itself and is intended to help insure that the debate is as good as it can be. If they seems otherwise, let me know and I will gladly clarify my comments.

                  Another issue that has caused some confusion was my statement that “I am not the most qualified person to debate this issue.” What I meant was that there is, presumably, one person (hence the definite article ‘the’) who is the most qualified (it might be Dr. Kennedy, Dr. Sproul, Dr. Steve Roy, Dr. Bruce Ware, etc.) and that I am not that particular person. I in no way meant to imply that I was not qualified or that I was “setting up an escape hatch” in case things went South in the debate.
                  I'll address this because I was one of those who made comment about it earlier and after reading my own comments I can see how it may have come across as a personal attack so I wanted to clarify to make sure that my intentions are understood.
                  I said what I said the way I said it in the hopes that my comments would have the effect of closing any such escape hatch. I know that I was not the one who used the phrase "escape hatch" but it is a good analogy to what I feared was being readied for use and so with the above reaction it seems that one of two things are true. Either the Dr. wanted (perhaps unconsciously) to have our expectations lowered in respect to his performance in the debate and my comment and that of others has had its desired effect, or the Dr. never had any such intention and my reaction to his comments in his second post were and over reaction and my comments were not necessary. I will be very content to assume the latter.

                  Now, on to the rest of the post! (Don't worry, I'm not going to comment on every bit of it. )
                  Bob Again Fails to Answer the Arguments in my First Post

                  Notice that I argued from two events in the gospels. Peter’s betrayal and Jesus statement that our Father knows what we need before we ask. Some of those in the grandstands have stated that in a debate both opening statements need not directly clash with one another. This would be unlike any formal debate that I have ever been involved in (an I have been involved in many). It would also be in conflict with the nature of formal debate. Professor David Zarefsky of Northwestern University says this in his course on Argumentation (available from “The Teaching Company” on audio or video tape) “once the initial argument has been advanced (unless it is self-defeating on its face), the burden of rejoinder comes into play.” (p. 27 of course outline) A. Freely in his classic textbook Argumentation and Debate states the issue this way- . . . the negative has the burden of rebuttal [this is the same concept as Zarefsky’s burden of rejoinder]-that is, the negative must refute the issues of the affirmative, or the affirmative will prevail. (4th edition, p. 203)

                  The issue, very simply, is this: the first speaker has the burden of proof, it is his job to set forth an argument. The second speaker (negative) has the burden of rejoinder. The second speaker must respond to the arguments set forth. If this were not the case why flip a coin to see who goes first? Why not just have both sides set out their first papers? Why give Bob 48 hours to respond when he does not need to deal with any of my arguments? At the very least I hope that those of you that are reading will agree that we are now into the third round and that Bob has not, in any sense, dealt with the arguments (not the questions but the arguments) that I set forth in my first post. Because I went first, Bob will rightly have the last word in the debate. The advantage that I had in going first has been nullified by Bob’s failing to respond to my arguments. Yet even if all of this analysis were not correct, we are now heading into the third round and I am waiting for a response to my first post.

                  I know that there are those of you who believe that I am making too much of this point. 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.
                  Okay, I just deleted about four lines of ranting that I typed in as an emotional response to this section. Suffice it to say that you (Dr. Lamerson) seem to have failed to grasp pastor Enyart's argument. The simple fact of the matter is that he has not only addressed your argument, he has dismantled it and left it in pieces. This is a debate where the posts are supposed to be limited in length to approximately 6000 words which is not sufficient space to give the sort of treatment to each of your points which you seem to desire of him. Bob went to some length to address in detail what he considered the most difficult of the passages you brought up. And more importantly than that, he did so in such a way that his direct response to any of the other points should be intuitive to both you and the rest of the audience and in fact it was just that. Bob very clearly communicated the thought process which brought him to the conclusion that he came to in response to your Judas argument. The logic will be exactly the same with the rest of your argument as well. Is it really necessary that he present basically the same rebuttal over and over again just because you brought up more than one similar Scriptural example? I certainly don't think it is.

                  On the “Virtually Pointless” Statement

                  Notice that Bob has overstated my point, I do not believe that I called Bob’s hermeneutic pointless, I said that the answer “context” is “so broad as to be virtually pointless.” I believe that the Scripture clearly shows that God knows the future and that passages that seem to show God as not knowing or changing his mind are “anthropomorphisms.” Bob believes that these texts show that God does indeed not know the entire future and that passages that present God as knowing the entire future must be another sort of “anthropomorphism.” We both agree that we must interpret passages based on context, and yet we come to completely different conclusions. This means that we must sharpen our hermeneutical tools so that we can agree on some method for understanding this particular figure of speech.
                  That's precisely what Bob gave you though! He presented extremely sharp (well thought out) hermeneutical tools (principles) and you missed it completely and responded as though he had simply given the pat answer of "context" which he flat out did not do.

                  On Greek Influence

                  Bob argues that Augustine was influenced by Plato and since Augustine is a great and respected theologian many who follow him were thus influenced. I will have a number of responses.

                  First, again from my second post “let me say up front that I will be using only one text to argue my case and that text is the Scripture” There are many instances where Augustine is wrong in his interpretation of Scripture. I am a Christian who follows the word of God.
                  Great! If so, you'll be an open theist in just a few more rounds.

                  Second, I know that many in the Grandstands, as well as Bob are surprised that I challenged this notion. Some seem to think that I am unfamiliar with this argument. It is not that I am unfamiliar with the work of those who make this claim (Boyd, Sanders, Pinnock, Rice, and others) it is that I am unconvinced by them. There are numbers of others who are specialists in this field who will argue that if anything, OV is more influenced by Greek Philosophy than is the traditional view (see for example the work of R. Fuller and C. Owen Brand).
                  Well then why didn't you say that in your second post? If you're familiar with the argument then refute it. Why wait until your opponent has to spend 400 words reiterating it before you make you case against it?
                  Perhaps you were hoping that Bob wasn't able to establish the point. If so, I would caution you against such thinking in the future. I have known Bob Enyart for over a decade now and I have never once heard him say a single thing that he wasn't prepared to establish quite thoroughly.

                  On the Psalms Being Written Before Plato

                  This has caused a great deal of comment from the grandstands and is responded to by Bob and so I believe that the actual statement deserves a careful examination. There is a subtle shift in the position of Bob from post I to post II.

                  First let me quote the exact statement that Bob made in post I: “. . . Psalms ignores or downplays the Greek and Roman philosophical attributes of the OMNIs and IMs . ..” Again, it is impossible to “ignore or to downplay” that which does not exist. Bob very clearly here makes an error. The Greek philosophy that Bob is speaking of in this context did not exist at the time and so the writers could not have ignored it! That seems simple enough.

                  Second, I believe that what Bob meant to say is seen in his second post. He restates his position by stating that the “Psalms do not emphasize the classical attributes but they glorify God for his Openness attributes. . .This is an entirely different point from the one made by the statement in the first post quoted above. Bob argues that I have conceded his point here, but this is a misunderstanding. I do not concede that God’s knowledge of the future is not seen in the Psalms. I do concede that the writers of the Psalms were not influenced by a philosophy that did not exist at that time.
                  It is not an entirely different point Dr. It is precisely the same point, you just missed it the first time around and seemingly still are missing it now. You said, "The Greek philosophy that Bob is speaking of in this context did not exist at the time..." but Bob was not talking about Greek philosophy in the comment you quoted. He was talking about the attributes of God which the Greeks talked about and that you claim are in the Bible, as my highlighting should clearly show. Bob's entire point was that those attributes aren't spoken of in the Psalms and you definitely missed the point. I recommend just letting this point drop.

                  Third, again we come to the question of hermeneutics. I can cite many passages from the Psalms that seem to say that God knows the future. Here are a few:

                  Psalm 22:16-18 16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots

                  Psalm 33:10-11 10 The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. 11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.

                  Psalm 56:10 - 57:1 10 In God, whose word I praise, In the LORD, whose word I praise, 11 In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You. 13 For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.

                  Psalm 73:9-12 9 They have set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue parades through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return to this place, And waters of abundance are drunk by them. 11 They say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?" 12 Behold, these are the wicked; And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.

                  Psalm 89:34-37 34 "My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. 35 "Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 "His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me. 37 "It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful." Selah.

                  Let me preclude some objections by saying that I know that each of the passages can be debated as to what it actually prove. That is my point. We must agree on some more carefully crafted hermeneutical principle than just “context.”
                  Bob's argument to this point has been that his hermeneutic is superior to that of the Closed View. And, since you have already conceded that the Bible clearly has passages that seem to teach the Open View and that the only difference is which hermeneutic is used to determine which set of verses is used to interpret the other, I would say that determining whether Bob's proposed hermeneutic is superior to any alternative you wish to offer is the central issue at this point in the debate. In other words, who ever comes out on top in this hermeneutical battle will be the winner of the debate.

                  Fourth, Bob drops my analysis (in post II) of Psalm 139 where I argue [Psalm 139:4 “Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.” This cannot be reduced to a simple guess on the part of God as to what we will say. The writer goes on to say in Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” It seems clear that for God to know all of the days of our lives before we are even formed he must know all that will happen to us under any circumstance.] This is yet another example of Bob being non-responsive. If this is to be a true debate there must be clash on particular issues. While I know that there is a word limit and that neither one of us can deal with every single point, this was a very important argument and it was not dealt with.
                  It should be obvious what Bob's response will be here based on what he has already presented. But, I'm sure Bob will be happy to explain it anyway. It's quite an interesting section of Scripture; I'm sure everyone will be edified by the teaching.

                  A point that I tried to make in my first post was that both Bob and I could throw out passages that seem to teach what we believe. The real question is which of us is correct (the point of the debate). In order to settle this difficult question we must first agree on how the Scripture is to be interpreted.
                  As I said above. It isn't necessary to come to an agreement on this issue. It is only necessary for Bob to demonstrate that his hermeneutic is more sound that your (or vise versa).

                  While “context” is a good start, it does not go far enough. I think that I understand your NOAH (nice name, by the way) but I do not see that it gets us very far. By calling itself an “openness” hermeneutic, it assumes the very question that is up for debate.
                  I did think that this was a decent point. The name "New Openness-Attributes Hermeneutic" does sort of beg the question in the context of this debate. However, a rose by any other name is still a rose Dr. If you don't like the name, don't use it. It's the principle of it that we are concerned with, you can call it whatever you like.

                  Bob cites BAG (here I presume that he means BAGD), which he calls a “leading authority.” This is the leading authority for Koine Greek, that is true. The problem is that the lexicon does not say what Bob quotes it as saying.
                  As I said a moment ago, Bob just simply doesn't make statements that he isn't prepared to prove. I hope we will see a response from Bob on this that will lay this controversy to rest.

                  Bob uses Micah 5:2 as an example of a “predictive prophecy.” This raises a number of issues: Did Mary and Joseph have the choice not to go to Bethlehem? What would have happened if they had chosen to ignore the census? Was the census ordained by God? It seems that this prophecy begins to violate the will, or at least limit the choices of those involved.
                  I thought this was a good point. I really hope to see a response from Bob on this one.

                  Second, Bob, I would like for you to show me some examples of two things: First, those prophecies which did not come to pass (Bob promises these for another post). This would indicate, despite Bob’s answer to SLQ7, that according to Bob, God has at times held beliefs that were proven to be false. The example of Nineveh that Bob gives simply does not hold up under pressure. It is obvious that the message Jonah preached to Nineveh and thus the prophecy of God allowed for repentance. If not there is no reason to send Jonah, and no reason to give them forty days. Second, I would like to see some criteria for determining a “predictive prophecy” as opposed to a “non-prophecy.”
                  Be careful what you ask for, you're liable to get it!

                  Bob’s Answers to My Questions

                  Observation-some in the grandstands have said that we can “put to bed the issue of Bob being unresponsive because he answers Sam’s questions. . .” While it is true that he answers my questions, as I have pointed out earlier, he has not dealt with the arguments that I used in my first post, they have simply been ignored.
                  They haven't been ignored, you just missed the point of his response. It's all right though, I'm sure he'll clear things up.

                  SLQ2-See the Judas discussion above. It is interesting that Bob has chosen to take up so much time with the Judas question and has yet to deal with the prediction of Peter that makes a strong case for some form of compatibilism (free will existing with foreknowledge). I spent a good bit of time on the argument in the first post and would have liked to have seen the point that I put forth about Peter answered.
                  Again, it was answered. It was answered so well that it hardly seems necessary to answer effectively the same question again. But, since you've not gotten it, I'm quite sure Bob will oblige with a direct response to the Peter thing.

                  SLQ3-I do not agree that my definition needs nuancing. To decide is to do something. I was not saying that an agent could accomplish that which they choose to do, but only that they could choose to do so.

                  Here Bob puts his finger on the real issue of this debate. Does “will” include the ability to do otherwise? This is a hinge upon which much of this discussion swings. Please allow me to give an illustration that may help clarify this.

                  A man rents a room at a boarding-house. He uses the basement of the house for his scientific experiments. Usually he gets his best ideas at night and gets out of bed, goes downstairs and rattles around with his equipment, waking up the rest of the boarders.

                  The landlady asks the boarder to please refrain from his experiments at night because he is annoying the rest of the people who room there. That night, the renter gets a great idea, but instead of rushing downstairs to try out the experiment, he stays in bed until morning. He thinks that he has done the right thing of his own free will. What he does not know is that the landlady has locked the door from the outside so that he could not have gone downstairs if he had chosen to. Was the man’s choice free? I would say yes, because he did what he wanted to do. Bob would (I presume) say no because he did not have the ability to choose otherwise (let us presume that the door is the only way out of the room to preclude any talk of climbing out the window, etc.) This is the issue of the debate and how one decides what it means to be free will spill over into other areas of one’s theology.
                  There are severally points here which you seem to miss not the least of which is that the decision to stay or to go is itself an action. The man decided to stay but could have decided otherwise. Whether he was physically able to carry out a decision to do otherwise is beside the point. I'm not here to debate the issue so I'll leave it at that for now.

                  SLQ4- Here Bob says that Jesus could have been in error, yet he tells us in SLQ7 that God cannot hold any beliefs that are, or might prove to be, false. Bob, can you clarify for me how it might be possible to Jesus to be mistaken and yet still hold that God never hold’s any beliefs that are false? More importantly, what else is Jesus mistaken about?
                  Good question.

                  SLQ5- Bob here says that God planned the crucifixion of Christ before the creation of man. He adds that “if man sinned . . .” but fails to tell us why the Lamb would have been slain before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8-note that I disagree with the translation of the NAS here and believe that the NKJ’s translation is much better). The lamb being slain before the foundation of the world indicates that God knew, before he created, that man would sin.
                  Another decent point.

                  SLQ6-Again Bob slips into a serious logical problem here. How is it possible for God’s prophecy to be incorrect and yet for God to never hold any belief that proves to be false? Bob goes on in Q7 to speak of core belief, context, hope, and a variety of other things that really don’t make his answer very clear. The problem is simply this: If God can predict future events and then see that these events did not come to pass, God, for a short time at least, held to beliefs that were proven to be false. As to Nineveh, see my analysis above.
                  Three good ones in a row!

                  Okay, that's more than enough for now (probably too much really). I think everyone should have a pretty good understanding of my take on this latest post. I applaud you for being more aggressive than you were in your first two posts and I hope that will continue. I think that you'll find that with this post, those who feel the need to attack you personally will diminish tremendously or at least I hope that will be the case.
                  I'll be looking forward to your next post.

                  God bless you!

                  Last edited by Turbo; August 12th, 2005, 06:31 AM.
                  "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders


                  • #99
                    They are neck and neck

                    Sam: "No, I do not agree that these five attributes [living, personal, relational, good, and loving] are more fundamental [than omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, impassibility, and immutability]. I reject the idea that God can be separated from any of these attributes or that one is more important or takes precedence over another."

                    Bob: With this, I declare victory in the debate.

                    I'm not so sure about this declaration of victory. Bob was making some interesting points, to be sure. For example, his rebuttal about God knowing our words before we say them, not necessarily before we think them, was particularly apt.

                    I have watched this debate with interest, and would say they are neck and neck at this point. Of course, Bob had more ground to make up because:
                    (a) the open view is new
                    (b) it does not agree with what the church fathers and a vast majority of Christian teachers have taught
                    (c) there is no significant movement to speak of for the Open View. In fact, this web site is the only place I have heard it endorsed, and I have read a decent amount of Christian literature and current publications.

                    To add a point in the OV column which I've not yet read, the idea that Jesus could (theoretically) make an incorrect prediction (which He never has nor will) is no less untenable than saying Christ was (theoretically) capable of sin while on earth (though we all know He was sinless).

                    To take away a point from OV, just because God said He would judge, say Ninevah, and communicated it to them does not negate the fact that He knew they would repent. Also, I'm not so satisfied with Bob's answer to the Judas betrayal (even less so after watching The Gospel of John movie, a verbatim rendition of the book, last night) or moreso his answer to Peter's betrayal.

                    Be that as it may, doesn't the idea that God does not know the future just seems plain silly? Maybe it's just me.


                    • Sam asked:

                      "SLQ4: Was Jesus’ prediction about the action of Judas possibly in error?"

                      To which Bob replied:

                      "Yes. Jesus would have rejoiced if Judas would have repented."

                      Then Sam said:

                      "SLQ4- Here Bob says that Jesus could have been in error, yet he tells us in SLQ7 that God cannot hold any beliefs that are, or might prove to be, false. Bob, can you clarify for me how it might be possible to Jesus to be mistaken and yet still hold that God never hold’s any beliefs that are false? More importantly, what else is Jesus mistaken about?"

                      Bob: No answer!

                      And still no answer in regard to Peter's three denials.

                      In His grace,--Jerry
                      "Dispensationalism Made Easy"


                      • I would have answerd Sam's direct SLQ4 with Mat 26 Could Jesus have underestimated, been wrong about the athority/freedom he seems to think he has in Mat26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? Since He was slain before the foundation of the earth?

                        I mean since Sam wants to use the life of Jesus prove CV..


                        • Round Three
                          Why I left the Closed View Camp

                          Dr. Lamerson’s third post is by far his best. Sadly, he lost this round.

                          While still trying to argue that he won Round One by referring to rules of other debates amidst ignoring the rules of the debate he was in. I still think Dr. Lamerson won round one, but this makes two consecutive rounds he has lost since.

                          He does put forth several good arguments that God knows the future. I believe this is fair evidence, although Mr. Enyart does a better job of pointing out that not one single verse says God has exhaustive foreknowledge, only that God has some plans.

                          Having read “God’s Lesser Glory” (author Bruce Ware), “Beyond the Bounds” (John Piper) and “Bound Only Once” (Douglas Wilson), I would say that Dr. Lamerson hold’s his own to give the textbook answers against Open Theism. This is the best argument I’ve heard the Closed-View put forth. God obviously plans part of the future, and almost always He is capable (through His power) of making his plans come about. However, the best argument that they can put forth doesn’t discount the Open View in any way. That is a very critical point.

                          Notice that the open View can agree with the strongest proof texts that the Closed View puts forth and still assimilate them into their world view hundreds of Biblical passages that speak of God’s repentance, God’s prophecies that did not come to pass, times in the Bible when God says “perhaps”, God's promises to repent if the situation changes (Jer 18) and the various mentioning of “chance” happenings in the Bible. The Open view can relate to the men who knew God the best; Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Peter, and David, all of whom believe that God could change his mind, and tried to convince God to change His mind!!

                          Remember David’s words “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live?”

                          Who can tell? Apparently the pagan Aristotle could have taught David something about God. Aristotle knew that God could not change. Sadly the Reformers taught us that David, Abraham, Moses and Samuel could have benefited in their knowledge of God from a few classes under the pagan Socrates’ tutelage.

                          I think Mr. Enyart’s arguments were well advanced (though I despised the gloating). I have Mr. Enyart having won the last two rounds.

                          BTW --- where is the polling Mr. Enyart mentioned?
                          A 'touchy-feely' CNN reporter, while interviewing an Army sniper asked, "What do you feel when you shoot a terrorist?" The Soldier shrugged and replied..... "Recoil."


                          • The cost of settled view is too great. Bob has left Sam with much less room to wiggle. Sams attempt at calling Bob unresponive was a bad idea, he should not have rushed to post his 3rd round. Sam needs to spend more time carefully considering what Open View really means. God is pleased when we learn about his nature. It is up to us to make the most of every moment.


                            • I think that getting in a day early was a smart strategic move on Sam’s part. It gives him the weekend off giving him more time for post number 4.


                              • Judas and Job

                                Bob asked Sam what would have given God more glory--fulfilling prophesy or the repentance of Judas? I ask what would have pleased God more--Judas sinning and going to Hell or repenting and going to Heaven? Jesus would have rejoiced and all the angels in heaven too! Judas' name would have been listed in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews. Sam needs to ask himself would he care for:: A God who is so weak and insecure that He can[t have one of His prophesies fail. A God who would unjustly predestine Judas to sin to fulfill a prophesy. Let's pretend that God prophesied that Job would take his wife's advice and "curse God and die" when persecuted by Satan. And suppose that Job did not curse God. Would God have been disappointed in Job for not cursing Him? I think not! The spiritual laws are a discription of God's righteous nature. He, unlike the Greek pagan Gods can't violate these laws and remain righteous. He can't call good evil and evil good and remain righteous. Question for Sam: When Judas left Jesus to betray Him, was Jesus hoping that Judas would repent or hoping he would not repent and fulfill His prophesy? Which God do we read about throughout the whole Bible (NOAH)?