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  • Theology Club: The use of the word "future"

    In trying to understand the OV, I have often heard proponents say that there is no "future" because it hasn't happened yet. IOW the future is being created. If this is true, then how in the description of this Theology Club forum can it say "The Open View teaches that God can change the future. He interacts with the flow of history and changes the outcome of the future as it unfolds by His decisions and actions.? What is being "changed"?
    Omniscience limited
    Prophetic guesses
    Election by observation
    No future yet

  • #2
    Originally posted by fishrovmen View Post
    In trying to understand the OV, I have often heard proponents say that there is no "future" because it hasn't happened yet. IOW the future is being created. If this is true, then how in the description of this Theology Club forum can it say "The Open View teaches that God can change the future. He interacts with the flow of history and changes the outcome of the future as it unfolds by His decisions and actions.? What is being "changed"?
    Semantics and context. Some words are used to mean more than one specific thing. Language is not static.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      How can you change something that doesn't exist to change?
      Omniscience limited
      Prophetic guesses
      Election by observation
      No future yet

      Comment


      • #4
        You cannot. Open theism's view of God is probabilistic in that God is playing catch up with decisions made by autonomous creattures that He does not know about, only predicts, sometimes getting it wrong. Sort of like the Survivor show, in that God is outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting His creatures. To the open theist, God is accreting knowledge, learning as time passes from them. So the God of Moses has less real knowledge than the God of today or five minutes from now. LH's view is even more bizarre and atypical of open theism in that he thinks God had to "go down now" to places like Sodom to see what was actually going on and react to the same. Sigh.

        AMR
        Embedded links in my posts or in my sig below are included for a reason. Tolle Lege.



        Do you confess?
        Founder, Reformed Theology Institute
        AMR's Randomata Blog
        Learn Reformed Doctrine
        I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
        Christian, catholic, Calvinist, confessional, Presbyterian (PCA).
        Lex orandi, lex credenda: everyone is a Calvinist on their knees.
        The best TOL Social Group: here.
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        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post
          You cannot. Open theism's view of God is probabilistic in that God is playing catch up with decisions made by autonomous creattures that He does not know about, only predicts, sometimes getting it wrong. Sort of like the Survivor show, in that God is outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting His creatures. To the open theist, God is accreting knowledge, learning as time passes from them. So the God of Moses has less real knowledge than the God of today or five minutes from now. LH's view is even more bizarre and atypical of open theism in that he thinks God had to "go down now" to places like Sodom to see what was actually going on and react to the same. Sigh.

          AMR
          I would agree AMR. I am trying to understand the supposed "benefits" of the Open view and can't put together how something that doesn't even exist can be changed? I have a feeling that I'm missing something; a wrong definition?
          Omniscience limited
          Prophetic guesses
          Election by observation
          No future yet

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fishrovmen View Post
            In trying to understand the OV, I have often heard proponents say that there is no "future" because it hasn't happened yet. IOW the future is being created. If this is true, then how in the description of this Theology Club forum can it say "The Open View teaches that God can change the future. He interacts with the flow of history and changes the outcome of the future as it unfolds by His decisions and actions.? What is being "changed"?
            The future cannot be known absolutely but we need to have reasonable expectations. For instance we might reasonably expect that tomorrow the sun will rise. Our reasonable expectations are the choices we make of what to commit to. In other words, I am basing my decisions now on the assumption that tomorrow the sun will rise.

            Each such assumption depends on the level of commitment each person wants to make. I don't make contingency plans in case the sun doesn't rise tomorrow. Some people make contingency plans in case their spouse commits infidelity. If you go on holiday, it would be well advised to make contingency plans in case the flight is cancelled.

            Blah, blah, blah.

            When expectations of the future are held in common by many people, society can function, people can work together. If some crazy idiot wants to change that by flying a plane into a building or detonating an A bomb, we say that he has changed the future. If you win the lottery, you say your future has changed because all the expectations you reasonably held about your own future are no longer relevant; and this would be not because those expectations can no longer happen but because you simply have changed your expectations to different expectations. It doesn't mean the future was something that was previously fixed.
            Last edited by Desert Reign; December 24th, 2013, 10:27 AM.
            Total Misanthropy.
            Uncertain salvation.
            Luck of the draw.
            Irresistible damnation.
            Persecution of the saints.

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

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Desert, that is understandable given the description in the forum. So both the OV God and humans then operate on the most likely probabilities and percentages due to the past record and human nature to repeat the past?
              Omniscience limited
              Prophetic guesses
              Election by observation
              No future yet

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by fishrovmen View Post
                Thanks Desert, that is understandable given the description in the forum. So both the OV God and humans then operate on the most likely probabilities and percentages due to the past record and human nature to repeat the past?
                Normally, yes. Except it is not probabilities, but expectations. Probabilities are more objective than expectations. Expectations are your subjective choices of what you commit to. As I explained, 'commit to' means the things you do without making alternative provisions. (For example your wife would not take too kindly to you nurturing a few friendships which, even though that is all they are, in your mind they are your fall back in case you decide to call it a day with her. She expects to be your only future...)

                Of course I sense you are trying to trap me into saying that God's plan is uncertain and based on probabilities. Couldn't be further from the truth. But I'll let you say that if you want and I can answer then.
                Last edited by Desert Reign; December 24th, 2013, 01:24 PM.
                Total Misanthropy.
                Uncertain salvation.
                Luck of the draw.
                Irresistible damnation.
                Persecution of the saints.

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

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Desert Reign View Post

                  Of course I sense you are trying to trap me into saying that God's plan is uncertain and based on probabilities. Couldn't be further from the truth. But I'll let you say that if you want and I can answer then.
                  No traps, just asking questions for now.
                  Omniscience limited
                  Prophetic guesses
                  Election by observation
                  No future yet

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So it is not only God changing the "future", but also man, as he reacts to other mankind due to a response that is contrary to what was expected of him/her?


                    Originally posted by Desert Reign View Post
                    Normally, yes.
                    So, there are exceptions?
                    Omniscience limited
                    Prophetic guesses
                    Election by observation
                    No future yet

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fishrovmen View Post
                      I would agree AMR. I am trying to understand the supposed "benefits" of the Open view and can't put together how something that doesn't even exist can be changed? I have a feeling that I'm missing something; a wrong definition?
                      The openist seeks to resolve the conflict between free will and the sovereignty of God. In so doing, God is no longer omnipotent nor omniscient. He is "omnibenevolent" and cannot know the future for God is no longer atemporal and the future does not exist.

                      See all about this and more here:
                      http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...ad.php?t=41620
                      http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...ad.php?t=41922
                      http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...ad.php?t=53669
                      http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...ad.php?t=63586
                      http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...ad.php?t=74408

                      And this:
                      http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...36#post3415136

                      AMR
                      Embedded links in my posts or in my sig below are included for a reason. Tolle Lege.



                      Do you confess?
                      Founder, Reformed Theology Institute
                      AMR's Randomata Blog
                      Learn Reformed Doctrine
                      I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
                      Christian, catholic, Calvinist, confessional, Presbyterian (PCA).
                      Lex orandi, lex credenda: everyone is a Calvinist on their knees.
                      The best TOL Social Group: here.
                      If your username appears in blue and you have over 500 posts:
                      Why?


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fishrovmen View Post
                        So it is not only God changing the "future", but also man, as he reacts to other mankind due to a response that is contrary to what was expected of him/her?
                        Yes. But remember that your question - and hence my answer - was about changing the future. Generically, the future is simply the sum total of all the things that have not yet happened but which will happen. (And I say this to simplify.)

                        So, there are exceptions?
                        In the Bible Paul says that God's plan of salvation was not dependent on anything any man did. Paul gives different examples of this, one of which is the choice of Jacob over Esau to be the father of the chosen nation. Paul explains that this choice was not based on anything good or bad the twins did since the choice was made while they were still in the womb. This gives a flavour of what it means when we say that God's plan didn't depend on anything anyone did. Many people assume that the subsequent history was also predestined but it was not. It turned out that Jacob loved God eventually. But Paul's point is that it need not have turned out that way. Jacob could have remained the villain that he started out as and it would not have affected God's plan. Jacob would still have been the father of the chosen nation.

                        So in general I can make a principle, that God interacts with the world according to his faithful character but that if he wishes to force an outcome, then he may, regardless of any event or anyone's decision.
                        That is after all what sovereignty means.
                        Total Misanthropy.
                        Uncertain salvation.
                        Luck of the draw.
                        Irresistible damnation.
                        Persecution of the saints.

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fishrovmen View Post
                          How can you change something that doesn't exist to change?


                          As I said, it's semantics. The open view is simply saying that those who say the future is fixed and cannot be changed are wrong, because the future does not exist, thus is not fixed. To say it can be changed is a figure of speech, not meant literally.

                          Originally posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post
                          You cannot. Open theism's view of God is probabilistic in that God is playing catch up with decisions made by autonomous creattures that He does not know about, only predicts, sometimes getting it wrong. Sort of like the Survivor show, in that God is outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting His creatures. To the open theist, God is accreting knowledge, learning as time passes from them. So the God of Moses has less real knowledge than the God of today or five minutes from now. LH's view is even more bizarre and atypical of open theism in that he thinks God had to "go down now" to places like Sodom to see what was actually going on and react to the same. Sigh.

                          AMR
                          God never gets it wrong, so stop lying about the OV. If you can't bring yourself to be honest you should keep your trap shut.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post


                            As I said, it's semantics. The open view is simply saying that those who say the future is fixed and cannot be changed are wrong, because the future does not exist, thus is not fixed. To say it can be changed is a figure of speech, not meant literally.
                            So, why not just say that God can create the future. He interacts with the flow of history and creates the outcome of the future as it unfolds by His decisions and actions.?
                            Last edited by fishrovmen; December 24th, 2013, 04:32 PM. Reason: different wording
                            Omniscience limited
                            Prophetic guesses
                            Election by observation
                            No future yet

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fishrovmen View Post
                              Thanks Desert, that is understandable given the description in the forum. So both the OV God and humans then operate on the most likely probabilities and percentages due to the past record and human nature to repeat the past?
                              For this theological belief, one cannot believe in God's sovereignty. This also puts into question the prophecies of the OT prophets, Jesus, and the NT prophets. This position questions God's prescience, His foreknowledge. Isn't this creating God in our image?
                              Eph 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift --
                              Eph 2:9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
                              Eph 2:10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. [HCSB]

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