Here we go again, much of the same from Sam, who seems more lost with each progressive round. And worse, he's now giving what appear to be dishonest answers, cop-out non-answers and even self-contradictory answers!
Let's get to it, then.
Sam claims that he and Bob seem to be "talking past each other." Well, that's what happens when you rehearse for the wrong play and then show up on opening day. Everyone but you knows what's going on. Sam must feel like that dream where you're in school or at work in your underwear, suddenly realizing you forgot to dress that morning. Because Bob has been doing everything possible to actually debate
for the last 7 rounds, and Sam has been missing half of Bob's arguments as they flew over his head, and flat out ignoring the other half.
Bob has spent tens of thousands of words responding directly
to Sam's arguments. Sam, it should come as no surprise that you disagree with Bob's arguments. That's why you're debating each other! But when you disagree with Bob's argument, you take that to mean that Bob didn't respond to you. Well, all of us who have eyes can read Bob's lengthy responses to you. You're not fooling us.
Sam amazingly brushes aside Bob's devastating blow about extra-biblical authority for doctrine. I'm flabbergasted. Sam equates Bob's thankfulness for going to Derby under Bob Hill.... with citing Biblical linguist scholars "who cannot be questioned!" Are you kidding? Those two things aren't even in the same ballpark. I'm glad I took classes at Pueblo Community College, but I don't cite anyone there as an authority for truth! We can all be edified by earthly teachers, but no man on earth is an authority for doctrine
! And Sam has put forth numerous non-biblical authorities for doctrine, including men "who cannot be questioned." Those four words alone convict their author - Lamerson, himself. Cannot be questioned? Like Bob said, "Why? Were they inspired?"
We all learn from other people, Sam. That goes without saying! Every human being doesn't receive all
of their learning by direct revelation from God. The Lord didn't teach me how to cook fries at McDonald's when I was 16. A human being taught me that. But that doesn't even come close to equating with listing someone as an authority for doctrine! And that's what you've done with the Westminster Confession, "some of the finest theological minds," majority rule in the Body of Christ, and of course those scholars "who cannot be questioned."
Not anywhere close to the same thing.
ON THE USE OF “I AM” -- Sam just flat out ignores what Bob wrote in his last post about this. Bob made a case for the fact that Jesus was linking this prophecy to the fact that He is the messiah
, not that He is God. Does Sam answer that? Of course not. It's like he didn't even notice. Whizzzz.... right over his head.
ON PETER AND JUDAS -- There is no getting around the fact that Jesus predicted the sin of both Peter and Judas. Yeah, Sam. And FDR predicted the U.S. would defeat Japan. So what? You, yourself, admit that just because someone predicts something and it come true doesn't mean that the prophet in question knew the future as definite. So what?
You are the one talking right past Bob. You don't respond to what he wrote. You're just a broken record stuck on an ugly note.
Sam, let me take a time-out here for a moment to say this. I know I'm upset, a little emotional in my most recent critiques of you. But it is not personal. On the contrary, youre' a brother in Christ and I love you and want what's best for you. What's best for you is to give a good debate. And you are not
doing that, not even close. I have seen the video of the Sanders-White debate. White slaughtered
Sanders, sir. I didn't enjoy watching that, but I'm glad I did see that. White did an outstanding job, and Sanders utterly blew it in beginning, middle and end. (Especially the end!) I can honestly say that; I can harshly judge the guy on my own side because of that, and concede that White was highly proficient and put forth the better case. That doesn't mean he's right, but he sure came prepared, which is more than I can say for Sanders, who was very much like you are in this debate. Floundering, weak, and coming up with very few answers to direct questions. I'm upset with you for exactly the same reason I was upset with Sanders. Neither of you have given it your best shot, or even tried. Like everyone else, I want a good debate. I want you to step up to the plate, be a man, take a hit now and then, and fight the good fight. But I'm sorry to say you have not done so. And I tell you this not because you're my enemy, but because you are family. If I didn't care about you, I wouldn't even bother saying any of this.
Now, back to it.
Rev. Enyart goes on with his semantics when answering SLQ22-Peter-5 Did God orchestrate the events that would cause Peter to [deny] Christ?BEA-SLQ22: Cause, as in causal? No
Maybe it is just me, but that seems to be avoiding the question.
This from the king of avoiding questions!
Sam, you'd have a point, if that's all Bob had said. However, you blatantly misrepresent him, here. Bob then wrote more than 1,000 other words immediately after that, expounding on exactly what he meant! All of which you pretend don't even exist! You just look at the "no" and you stop right there
! You didn't notice? Was it an accident? You willfully ignore Bob's arguments, and then accuse him of unresponsiveness. Hypocrite.
"OTHER PASSAGES -- I have done my best to keep the discussion focussed. I have nearly begged Rev. Enyart to give me his three best passages but he seems to want to guard them as if they are state secrets."
Now there's a fair criticism, I very much agree, and I have criticized Bob as well for waiting so long to present the bulk of his positive case for the Open View. I believe he should have put it forth starting in round 5. He did put something forth in part of round 6, and then went back to refuting your arguments in round 7. So, I agree on this point.
So, then you give us your "hermeneutic."
"I USE THE HISTORICAL GRAMMATICAL METHOD TO DETERMINE THE INTENTION OF THE AUTHOR."
Uhm... okay. And what is the Historical Grammatical Method? Oh, I guess you still dont' want to talk about it. So, you throw out a nice name, and you keep it a secret. Bob has expounded at length about his hermeneutical principles of NOAH and JONAH. And what do you do? You give yours a name, and still
keep it a secret. We're in round 8, Sam! What are you waiting for? And you accuse Bob of unresponsiveness.
Sam's point about the Micah passage would actuall be a good one... except for the fact that Bob has now refuted it by getting Sam to concede
that God can indeed bring something about by His omnipotence rather than foreordination. Not only that, but Sam flat out misrepresents what Bob said. I'm trying not to use the word "lie" here! C'mon, Sam himself earlier in the debate said that Bob used Micah 5:2 as an example of predictive
prophecy! However, I don't have to go into this now, because some guy with mullet just beat me to it.
Sam then goes into a three-paragraph exposition on 1 Peter 1:2, making some claims about it, without going into any depth, at all. Sam knows quite well that Bob has precious little space left to put forth his positive case for the Open View. Consequently, Sam has no business bringing in new major arguments for Bob to respond to. I thought Sam wanted Bob to bring on the Open View? Well, he can't do that, he can't put forth his case for Sam to respond to if he's devoting large portions of his remaining posts responding now to 1 Peter 1! My recommendation to Bob is to just plain ignore this. You can't respond to new arguments and
put forth the case for the Open View, in the remaining space of this debate. If Sam wanted to talk about 1 Peter 1, he should have brought it up a long time ago! Sam knows full well that it's time for Bob to put forth the Open View, and he knows Bob is going to do that in the next round. This is a great issue, and it's brought up too late
in the debate. Sorry, doctor, but your timing is terrible. I hope Bob doesn't devote more than one or two paragraphs to responding to this. We need to wrestle over the case for the Open View! If not now, then when???
Matthew 25 - Sam really flubs it, here. First of all, another new argument for Bob to respond to? Too late. Same as what I said about 1 Peter 1. Not only that, but Sam reads a lot into this passage, anyway. In 1992, I went to Navy boot camp at Great Lakes, MI. And that place was prepared for me many decades earlier... even decades before I was born! Did anyone need to foreknow me personally, for that to be true? Of course not. Furthermore, Sam quotes this verse which says that this inheritance has been prepared since the creation. But at the end of Sam's paragraph, he misquotes his own proof text by claiming that it was prepared "before creation!" Whoa now! That is not what it says. You can't even keep your facts straight within a single paragraph? C'mon...
On Tolle Lege, if Sam can't understand that Bob was using it tongue-in-cheek or sarcastically, then I don't know what else to say.
Now for Sam's "answers" to Bob's questions. (And I use the term "answers" very loosely here.)
Missed• Has God ever been able to change the future? BEQ21
Since I believe that the future is settled, God knows the future without error and therefore has never changed it.
A great answer to a question Bob didn't ask
. He didn't ask of God ever did
change it. He asked if God can
change it! Sam's answer is disengenuous. He is not a fool. He didn't accidentally miss the point. I've lost count how many times this uestion has been reiterated in this debate. Can I recite the alphabet backwards 3 times in a row without error? Well, you know... I never have. But that's not an answer to the question, is it? Can I
? Yes! Perhaps I have or perhaps I haven't done so, but can I? That's a distinctly different question.
• Can God be more effective than people are without using foreknowledge? BEQ23
Of course, but the question assumes that God can cease to use foreknowledge which I do not believe.
A concession to Bob! He doesn't expound on it; of course not. Ho hum.
Like making a rooster crow, could God fulfill some prophecy with His abilities rather than by foreknowledge? BEQ28
I am not quite sure what you mean here by “abilities” but again, since I believe that God cannot cease to have foreknowledge, the question assumes a non-reality for my position.
Cop-out answer. Sam doesn't know what Bob means by "abilities?" Gimme a break! This is just plain silly. Take a flying guess! At least take a crack at it!
Misrepresented• Can God know something future because He plans it rather than sees it? BEQ14
Again, according to my position, the two are not separable.
Okay, so you say the two are indivisible. Interesting...
• Are foreordination and foreknowledge the same thing? BEQ12/19
Wha...? You just said they can't be seperated, they're indivisible, you can't have one without the other! And now you say, no, they're not the same thing? Which is it? You can't have it both ways! Sam's now contradicting himself. But it gets better...
• Do prophecies of the future inherently prove foreknowledge? BEQ13/20
No, there are false psychics who get things correct sometimes. Prophecies of the future dealing with free agents and without error do prove foreknowledge.
Blatant self-contradiction! First, Sam says that just because someone "prophecies" something and gets it right doesn't mean they knew the future. Therefore, his conclusion is...? That we know someone knows the future if they predict the future and it comes true! Sam is arguing with himself! He might as well, since he's not debating with Bob! The two sentences in Sam's paltry response here are explicitly contradictory.
Offer a theoretical falsification of the Settled View. BEQ11/18
Show me a false prediction made by Jesus.
Non-answer. Wah wah wah.
Provide specific hermeneutics (more than find out what the author meant) BEQ25
I will use the grammatical historical method in an attempt to determine what the author meant by his written words.
And what is the grammatical historical method? Oh yes, I forgot, you don't want to tell us what it actually is. It's a secret. But Bob is the one who isn't responding, yes of course.
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?
Let's analyze these questions:
Yet was God born like a king?
Jesus was born, yes. Like a king? Well, was David "born like a king?" And yet, a king he was.
Does he live in a palace?
He has a throne room with a throne, surrounded by "mansions," and servants who praise Him. You tell me.
Does he have a queen for a wife?
His wife is Israel. He divorced her, He wanted to remarry her, she failed to accept Him in the year following His resurrection, and yet He will still return her to him in the end. Yes, He has a wife.
Does he wear a literal crown?
A king doesn't necessarily need a crown. The definition of a king is positional, relational, authoritative, and doesn't require jewelry.
Does he wear clothes?
Is Christ, now eternally a man... naked even as we speak, as He sits at the right hand of the Father?
Does he get old like a king?
Human aging isn't necessarily part of the definition of a "king." A human king, yes. But He isn't only human. He does, however, get "older" in the sense that He has experienced more time today than He had yesterday. Sam, even you concede that God is not "outside of time." He experiences chronology, the passage of time. That, at least, is to your credit.
But overall, Sam's response here doesn't answer Bob's question! Bob didn't ask if some descriptions of God can be other than metaphorical or anthropomorphisms. Bob asked if events
can be taken as a figure of speech! Of course they cannot. Events are not figures of speech. That is the point! A point which Sam pretended
to miss. But he's not that stupid. He knows that, and he willfully ignores it.
Which side has appealed to extra-biblical authority in defense of its view? Sam, in the single most ludicrous moment of the entire debate so far, claims the answer is Bob. I'm dumbfounded. That... is absolutely preposterous. And Bob proved it for everyone to see, in 7b.
BEQ34: Sam, can you identify any curriculum resource at Knox (Reymond’s text, etc.), that explicitly affirms to your students that God is able to change?
We all teach that depending upon what a person means by change, God is able to have a relationship with his creatures, and thus able to change.
Sam concedes that God changes! Another concession! I'm gonna add these up later.
And now Sam puts forth 3 new utterly useless questions which have no place at this point in the debate:
SL27-Have you read Plato’s republic? If so in what translation?
SL28-Please share with me what book of Aristotle you have read and in what translations.
SL29-Can you give me one instance of a false statement by Jesus?
Bob shouldn't even answer these. Hypocritical? Earlier it would have been, but not at this point. Sam cannot expect Bob to answer these questions and
put forth his case for the Open View. what does he take us for? If Bob spends time on these, then he can only barely put forth his case. If Bob doesn't respond, Sam will criticize Bob for being unresponsive. Damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Well, Bob is gonna put forth his case, whether Sam likes it or not (and of course he won't). These questions shouldn't have seen the light of day, and they warrant no answer at this very late date.
Sam ends with a weak, whiney conclusion, that I'm not even going to bother to comment on; there'd be no point.
So, here's the thing. Let's tally a few things up. Bob has gotten Sam to concede:
God exists in time.
God can be more effective than people without using foreknowledge.
Just because someone gave a prophecy that came true doesn't mean the prophet or his God knew the future definitely.
Did I miss anything?
Based on this alone, I can honestly say that even if Bob didn't write anything
for this round, it would still go to Bob, because on these 4 issues, Sam has defeated himself. And if White were dead, he'd be spinning in his grave. (Or Sproul, or many of the actually deceased Calvinist theologians that Sam loves to look to for authority on doctrine, going back to Calvin, Luther, Aquinas, Augustine, and of course the most influential Christian theologian of all time... Aristotle.)
However, unfortunately for Sam, Bob is going to put forth the Open View and do little else from here on out. Now Sam is going to be the one who has to refute Bob's case. Finally! Better late than never, it's true, but get ready, Sam. Here it comes.
That's all I got.