Delmar's POD 03-25-2006

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Patron Saint of SMACK
This is the most elequnet defense of the OV I have read in quite some time.
I must confess that one of the main reasons I made it POD was to save it to a place where I could easily find it when I want to borrow your words :first:
Philetus said:
I still don’t follow the logic: I wasn’t referring to a making a choice between A and B. I understood your comment to suggest that if God had previously chosen A and then later changed direction (went with plan B instead) that didn’t involve a change of mind. We were discussing God repenting of A and changing his mind to B. That’s why I missed your point, I guess.

I still think it is a matter of convenience to assume that so much of scripture that says God repented is to be interpreted figuratively of anthropomorphically. Yet, I see why it is necessary in your view. It’s a logical necessity in order to maintain coherence within a closed view. So we disagree.

I believe when one makes it as difficult for God to make Himself known as the closed view does and begs off because finite minds are incapable of grasping a simple straight forward statement in scripture, due to an exaggeration of immutability --- one complicates the issue beyond comprehension. We will never resolve these details because our starting place is different. Yours can not allow for any literal interpretation of a passage where God says, “I repented.” Mine can not dismiss it as simply anthropomorphic. JUST LOOK AT THE POSTS of Bob Hill that quote scripture SINCE YOUR LAST POST AND THIS ONE.

The Open View maintains that God is God in ALL His attributes revealed in scripture and is a lot closer to His creation and accessible than the Closed View maintains. Being made new creatures (transformed and having the mind of Christ and the indwelling of the Spirit) helps close the gap and remove any perceived ambiguity. God is loving and personal and enters into give and receive relationships with the very creatures He created in His own image for that purpose and recreates them into the likeness of Christ.

When God repents, it is not for sin or uncontrolled anger. It is the opposite. It is that God is in control of His anger that God can repent of intending to do A and later change His mind and do B instead. God never ‘looses control’ but often chooses not to exercise absolute meticulous control in a way that disallows free will choices to be made where God has determined to allow such decision to be made in the freedom He has granted others.

No OV Theist that I know of says that God is ever ‘mistaken’. When God says He plans to do something and the circumstances change due to contingencies based on the decisions of others … God simply adjusts, as when He says I am going to destroy a city and later does not because they repent. Foreknowledge is restricted to those things that God says He will do regardless of the choices others make, as in the day of the Lord will come. Don’t make these two distinct issues singular or you misunderstand OVT altogether.

Free will means that God has relinquished some control. Humans are in control to the degree that God has given them freedom to exercise dominion over creation. God has given us much ‘say-so’ in the everyday affairs of our lives, even to the extent of choosing who we will serve.

Rejecting Jesus as lord over all creation does not subject ALL of creation to chaos. God doesn’t loose control because we do not repent and behave ourselves. But, refusing to submit to the Lordship of Jesus causes our own lives to spin out of control. Jesus is Lord whether we submit or not. I think you misunderstood me. Hope that gets at it better. Limiting foreknowledge to the acts that God determines He will do in the future is not a suppression of the truth. In my view, exaggeration of certain aspects of God’s attributes at the expense or distortion of others is suppression of the truth about God. God did not choose to relinquish exhaustive foreknowledge. Exhaustive foreknowledge and meticulous control are impossibilities because of free-will and a not-yet-existent future.


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