Discussion thread: One on One: AMR and JCWR on the Temporality of God

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godrulz

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It is speculation about the mysteries of God. It is not doctrinal and plays no role in whether a person is saved or not. It is nothing more than trying to come up model of something the Bible is silent on.

I don't agree with Knight that time is part of God. I think time is something God created for us. And I don't agree that knowing what will happen in the future unchangeably settles that future. As I said, it is one of God's deeper mysteries for me.

The Bible is not silent and it is the glory of a king to search out a matter. Claiming mystery can become an excuse for lazy thinking or justification for believing inaccurate things. The debate is beyond your interest and expertise, but it is important, though not essential.
 

Lon

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You must not know Bob very well. Bob is one of the most gracious, friendly guys you will ever meet.

How can you kick me out... of what is mine? :singer:



That isn't true. AMR has his own website and own following that would all have to change. AMR has as much if not more invested in his beliefs as I do I. And I am sure he would confirm this for you if you just asked.

And if I am dead wrong and AMR is dead right there isn't anything I can do about it. I was predestined for all eternity to be dead-wrong and there isn't you are AMR or anything else can do about it.

However... if I am right.... both of you are responsible for disparaging God's character by claiming that He is responsible for sin and wickedness while man can do nothing of himself.

Open theism rightly credits God for all that is good and man for all that is bad.

Settled theism wrongly credits God for all that is bad, and wrongly lets man off the hook for being responsible for his own actions. (settled theists claim man is responsible for his own actions but that is a hollow claim because what they really believe is that God is responsible for everything without exception).

Said in short.. as an open theist I am in a "win win" position, while you as a settled theist is in a "lose lose" situation (i.e., even if you are right what difference would it make?).

Because I am. :idunno:

How do you answer a question like that?

Answered many many, many many times.

The answer? "OV does not escape the same accusation. It is not a 'denominationally' specific question AND furthermore, because OV REFUSES to acknowledge this, it MUST be asserted that it's answer is inadequate to task (and perhaps doesn't really understand the question at all in the first place). The indictment is against OV here by virtue of the repetitious and inadequate address. I see this not only as 'wrong-headed' but purposefully obtuse. I can be wrong in that assessment, but I'm perplexed that this has been explained and explained and explained.

I'm blue in the face.
 

godrulz

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So if time is described as the passing of events in sequential order, what was God's first event?

Uncreated Creator exists, without a first event in His being. He exists/is, period. His first event in relation to our universe is recorded in Gen. 1:1 (angelic creation is not mentioned, so timing uncertain). God has eternally fellowshipped in His triune relations. He is the First Cause of our universe, but an eternal being does not have a first event. This does not mean He is timeless, though.
 

godrulz

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But that is time from our perspective which I am not convinced is the same as time from Gods perspective.

This is a logical issue relating to reality, contingencies, etc....it will get technical, so don't jump to conclusions unless you can wade into piles of academic detail for and against.
 

godrulz

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Hmm. I suppose that it might be that He is. That would makes His sacrifice on the cross an eternal sacrifice that covers all of our sins.

AMR is wrong to think this is an issue in redemption. It is His death, not a timeless being, that is the issue. The atonement is not a literal payment (many assume it is), so wrong assumption leads to wrong conclusion.
 

Lon

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Proof-texting bias.
Jeremiah 19:5 “(they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind),​

Question: What can this obviously convey other than what you are suggesting and be completely true to the text?
Jeremiah 32:35 ‘And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.’
God is clearly saying that there was a time (possibly before creation or at some point after creation) where it had not entered God's mind that people would be burning there own children as a sacrifice to a false idol.
Again, there is a literal and very obvious answer than the one you are asserting. We all see it (I think). Don't you?
Now, either:

A. God does not "see" all events into the future and therefore did not see such an evil being devised.

or...

B.
God is lying and all of this was in fact in God's mind for an eternity past.

Now...
Prepare for 18 pounds of theological gobbledygook as a defense by the settled theists.
:D

I disagree. Is that 18 lbs?

Is there really no other apparent option? Really? Really??
 

godrulz

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For us, time flows from moment to moment. We cannot go to the past and redo things nor can we skip to the future to see what happens. I do not think that God is bound by that aspect time.

The past, present, future is also real to God (Rev. 1:4 uses tensed expressions about Him). An event is either real or not. It cannot be real for God and unreal for us if it is the same event (logical contradiction). Either we exist or we do not exist. We cannot exist in God's eternity, but not in our time. Our realities are parallel and the same, though God does not have the same limitations because He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent (but he need not be timeless and is not if He is personal). Either the future exists in advance or it does not. God knows reality as it is. Our future choices cannot already be there to know if they are not made yet. We cannot exist in the future if we never come to exist. If our choices existed before we did for God to see, then we did not make them and determinism is true (which it is not in light of self-evident free will). We make the choices, not God. Theories on 4th dimensions are sci-fi, not a way to make the incoherent logical or factual.
 

godrulz

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It is finished. But if God can back and forth in time, or least see back into time, then God can still see Jesus on the cross even though through the flow of time, He is not.


You are talking about memory like any history book or Bible has, not reality. Time is unidirectional. An omnipotent being cannot go back in time to change it. It is only a memory. The future is also not a place or thing one can be in. It is not yet. It is possible, imagination, not reality to be known as certain before it happens. The potential future becomes the fixed past through the present. Eternal now simultaneity is false philosophy, not scientific or biblical truth.
 

godrulz

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Time IS the passing of events.What makes you think that the godhead did nothing prior to creation?

Was God in some sort of eternal sleep and suddenly just "popped" into action at creation???

God is the living God (that's how He describes Himself), therefore there is no reason to assume that God didn't think, act, fellowship, relate, act, or anything else that He chose to do prior to creation.

Love, relationship, fellowship, communication, thinking, feeling, etc. is eternal because God is triune (not so if He is solitary like Allah).
 

Delmar

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Written approx. 1400 B.C.

(Deut 18:10) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.



Written appox 627 - 585 B.C.

Jeremiah 32:35 ‘And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Deut was written about 800 years before Jeremiah
I'll have to look at this more closely, but He could be saying that (when I created man) it never entered my mind, that they would behave this way.
P.S. I'm still waiting for an open theist to tell me what "an observer of times" is as mentioned in the above Deut 18:10

I don't know, what is an an observer of times?
 

Lon

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19:5 does not use the term should. It just says "nor did it come into My mind". As in I never even thought of such a thing.

Of course not. In order to have this in mind, He'd have to be pondering a way they could honor Him that is in fact sin. God doesn't entertain the thought of sin. To say this is a proof-text against foreknowledge is simply weak. How in the world would He not know the second or umpteenth time what they were up to? Again, I see the answer as incredibly apparent and not a proof text against foreknowledge or Definite Foreknowledge or Exhaustive Definite Foreknowledge.
 

godrulz

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Time is the passing of events. Therefore, for time to exist, there has to be a first event. If God has always been, there never was a first event. Therefore, there was a time were time where time didn't exist (no pun intended). There was a 'time' where God simply was. Why not consider creation the beginning of time, especial since Genesis says "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."?

Gen. 1:1 is the beginning of our unique measure of time, not objective time itself. You are begging the question by assuming time is the passing of events. Even if there are no events, time still marches on (like the question of it there is a sound if a tree falls in the forest, even if there is no one to hear it...yes there is a sound). God's triune relations (personal includes will, intellect, emotions) requires duration/sequence/succession (time), even if there are no specific events or a first event. God is dynamic, not static, changing in His triune relations and experiences (hence divine temporality vs timelessness). Ps. 90:2 There is a before and after creation. The no beginning-no ending God is eternal, but this does not mean timeless since duration is a reality if one is personal (God is).
 

godrulz

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I agree!

However, JCWR said:


AMR did a fantastic, and superb job making his point against JCWR, as did AMR against Bob Enyart when they debated. The only difference is that JCWR is mature enough, humble enough, and gracious enough to recognize scriptural truth.



********************

AMR out-debated JCWR who folded too soon and for the wrong reasons like a cheap lawn chair. Some evolutions or atheist have out-debated some Christians or creationists, but that does not make them right. Winning a debate by verbosity in the absence of an aggressive counter-challenge does not mean the winner was right about everything or the loser wrong.

JCWR was humble, gracious, and to be commended. As to being up to the challenge, investing enough time, or having the right view on his side (he did and should have won)...another story.
 

godrulz

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Why don’t you tell me how you are open to the possibility that you are wrong?

Let’s say you decide to become a Calvinist. From what I can see, you would have to switch churches. Bob Enyart would probably not be involved with TOL anymore. You would be kicked out of the “SoS” on TOL, you would have to cancel some of your social group memberships, and all your open theist’s friends would probably try to convince you that you were wrong. In other words, it would be a huge change for you.

For me, to become an open theist, I would have to change my sig on TOL, and that’s about it. Minor change for me compared to you.

Same for AMR, think about how much of a huge change it would be for him to “switch” to an open theist.

Here is the deal. At least one of you two is dead wrong in your systematic theology.

So, again tell me how you are open to the possibility you are wrong?


We cannot underestimate the power of bias and preconception. It is hard to be an objective, critical thinker/exegete.
 

godrulz

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Before I cry myself to sleep (did anyone hear me gasp in disbelief when JCWR quit!?):

JCWR: Just because he out-debated you and put more time and effort into it does not mean you were wrong in your intuitive understanding. I was cheering for you and lost my shirt at the betting table on this debate. You had truth on your side and you folded too soon. Don't just cave in because you thought AMR sounds like he knows what he is talking about. His views still have problems and can still be challenged by greater minds than you and I.

I found it ironic that your signature line accuses me of exactly what you did during this short debate. I think you and AMR do not like my informal, assertive style is because you have higher education and confuse a fun, simple forum with a doctoral thesis and defense in an academic setting. We can all make assertions with or without support. This does not prove or disprove their veracity. Knight does not like 'theology' and I do. This does not mean the length of posts or depth or logical argument proves what we believe is true or false. It might not persuade you if assertive (like your assertions did not dent AMR), but they still may be perfectly true and irrefutable.

AMR won the debate despite you having the truth:dead: Will I fall asleep tonight? Arggggg.

AMR: You have a straw man if you think the Open View limits God because we reject timelessness. God's experience of duration is not a limitation on Him like it is for us (God is God; we are finite). Neither love nor time is a limitation on God, but they are aspects of His experience.

You have a flawed view of the 'atonement' if you think Jesus/God had to be timeless in any sense in order to pay an infinite price for many people. I have heard TV evangelists say such things, but it is shallow thinking. His death is the issue, not whether He is timeless or not. It is not a literal payment, but a substitute for the penalty of sin (literal payment leads to universalism).

Verbosity, debating skill, intelligence was good for winning the debate, but still does not mean your views are correct or that a more informed opponent could not knock you down and out.

Bruce Ware, Calvinist and strident critic of Open Theism, rejects your view, but does not take it far enough. He uses a middle knowledge concept to retain determinism while rejecting free will and timelessness. The arguments are not as simple as you think. Have you refuted William Lane Craig's view of God being timeless in eternity and temporal after creation?

Gen. 1:1 is about the beginning of a unique measure of time for us, not the concept of time itself. The other proof texts have been answered by Open Theists (you may want to recheck expository dictionaries and the Greek).

I would not be willing to engage you and know you would be superior on many fronts.

However, I do assert that you are missing the boat on this and rely on proof texts to retain a preconceived theology (you are anti-free will...does not help). You also underestimate how philosophical vs biblical-logical your view is.
 

tetelestai

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I'll have to look at this more closely, but He could be saying that (when I created man) it never entered my mind, that they would behave this way.

I don't know, what is an an observer of times?


I tried using this verse in the open theism thread.

An “observer of times” is a witch, wizard, sorcerer, etc. that claims to be able to predict the future.

If you believe that Satan perverts everything, then we have to assume the following:

God can predict the future with 100% accuracy because He has perfect foreknowledge. Satan cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy, but he makes some good guesses due to his superior intelligence, which enables him to lure unbelievers and foolish believers.

Now, if open theism is correct, and everyone was an open theist, then we would laugh at anyone who would claim to know the future. We would say if God does not know the future, a witch surely does not know the future.

So, because God does know the future, Satan can pretend to also know the future. If God does not know the future, Satan would have nothing to counterfeit.

Make sense?
 

godrulz

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For the rest of us who are not in ivory towers:

I have many books and articles that are very technical and beyond my scope to fully comprehend on this and related subjects. This is a readable, introductory discussion that can also get technical (modal logic, etc.). By looking at four views and hearing counter-arguments (pro/con), it is a good way to work out our own understanding. It is a practical, important subject for those who are interested in going beyond mere assertion or assumption.

I commend Wolterstorff's view (with some of Craig's ideas being similar after creation) as the most credible. The other view is capably explained/defended by the Calvinistic, etc. proponents.

I do not find AMR persuasive, though his effort is commendable and noteworthy. This book would be better than uncritically accepting AMR's posts or assuming JCWR was wrong because he quit too soon or was over his head from the beginning.

I do not get commission, but I should:

http://www.amazon.com/God-Time-Gregory-E-Ganssle/dp/0830815511

(look inside for contents)
 

Delmar

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One thing I didn't get about the debate. If JCWR started believing this...

it is my intent to show that God is in fact temporal and that the future is not possible for God to know.
...In what way was he not an Open theist?
 
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