On the omniscience of God

Clete

Truth Smacker
Silver Subscriber
"Arminian" An Armenian is of German heritage if I remember correctly. I cannot remember who corrected me about 20 years ago here on TOL.
"Arminian", got it.

In the way that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, we'd mean in His character, there never was a change. As far as 'flesh' it isn't easy: I know everything everything everything comes 'from' Him, thus any reproduction (like incarnation) is already from within His being (Colossians 1:15-20 John 1:2) Such greatly influences how we think through John 1:14 "...the Word became flesh...." Philippians 2:6-8
You can proof text all you want, "everything everything everything comes 'from' Him" is NOT Christian doctrine in any way, shape, manner or form. The more we talk, the more meaningless platitudes your spew forth and I mean that literally. You've turned the doctrine of immutability into meaningless double talk. God is either immutable or He can change. You can try to eat your cake and have it too but you will fail.

I'll take that under advisement. At this time, as I've talked with all theists, they all mean immutable in nature and agree (if I hear them correctly) that the incarnation was a real happening and that He 'became.'
This, I believe, was a lie on your part. Either that or you didn't bother to probe these "theists" you've supposedly talked to. I've debated dozens on Calvinist and I've never met one who would admit that the incarnation was any sort of change whatsoever. Calvinists in particular are good at double talk and compartmentalizing contradictory doctrines away from each other. They will use the right words that make it sound like they believe what they should believe but when pressed, their allegiance is not to the truth of scripture but to Plato. I'm very strongly beginning to suspect that the same is true of you.

Such by definition is something, at least. Philippians says 'took on the nature.' For me, the scripture consideration is both that John 1:2 that He became and Philippians 2 that He 'took the nature.' I want to do a careful walk that I'm honoring and embracing the scriptures at this venture.
The scriptures say nothing about God being immutable nor does it even hint at the idea of God existing outside of time. If Augustine hadn't imported his beliefs from Plato into the church, you would count it as the outright heresy that it is.

Again, I can take that into consideration. I'm not sure most Christians believe 'no change' at all,
Virtually all Calvinists and almost as many Arminians believe that God is utterly immutable. If you think otherwise, you're asking the wrong questions. Try to get one of them to deny the doctrine. You won't succeed.

but let me state the conundrum (I believe Biblical): All that has ever been is created by the Lord Jesus Christ, which includes us humans. As He sustains all things (Colossians 1) then there is a very real sense that 'becoming flesh' is something of His existence and creative power already: logically.
Meaningless nonsensical slobber mouthed stupidity!

I'm not kidding, Lon! I mean really!? How many twisted intellectual knots based on the loosest possible connection are you willing to twist yourself into in order to salvage a doctrine that there is no need to believe?

This is the argument that you must over come and that you will make no attempt to even address...

If God can become then He is a contingent being with potential. If He is contingent then He is NOT immutable - BY DEFINITION.

A "by definition" argument is a formal and entirely valid rational argument. This is not my opinion, this is not "my understanding" this has nothing to do "my mind" or "my ability to think" or "my physical brain" or anything else that has to do with me. Objective facts are real, Lon. Words mean things, they are connected to actual concepts with actual meanings. You don't get to ignore reality. You can bury your head in the sand but that doesn't make the sky disappear.

I'm not quite sure of the implication, but would have us all VERY careful about inference. I simply know what scripture says and want to be somewhere, where all scriptures is collated correctly, if loosely. The triune view is like that for me: I want to be careful to go to the extent of scripture, then be very careful that 'Lonology' doesn't get in God's way.
Why is the Trinity always what people run to when they want to justify accepting unbiblical, self-contradictory, pagan Greek philosophical ideas about what God is supposed to be?

Just what is it about the Trinity that you think is contradictory?

Such attempts to build trust in God's unchanging character. It gives men assurance that there are things about God that will not change and that 'emotion' won't over-rule His character of Grace, for instance.
No, it doesn't! It does the opposite!

God is real, Lon. This pagan god that Augustine introduced into the church does not exist. Believing that God won't change His mind is not at all the same as believing the God CANNOT change His mind, which is precisely what Calvinism (and all forms of Augustinianism) teaches. That isn't trust and it certainly isn't faith. I do NOT "trust" in God because He's incapable of changing His mind. On the contrary, I trust God because He is worthy of my trust because He has always been righteous and just. A person, whether that person happens to be God or not, who cannot choose, cannot be righteous in the first place - again - by definition.

I'm not worried about predestination. It doesn't affect my hope in God other than that He doesn't lose that which is His. I've often been encouraged, not that I have a hold of Him, but that He has a hold of me.
Yeah, why worry about a doctrine that destroys the meaning of the words "justice", "righteousness", "love", "hope", "faith" and probably half a dozen other words that are central to the whole idea of Christianity?

Not really the place for this, but I believe an eternal nonbeginning already busts 'outside of time' as irrational. Having an eternal nonbeginning demands a rational apprehension against what most consider 'logical time.'
You are indeed are veritable fount of nonsensical sentences that I can make neither heads nor tails of.

It's not complicated. Existence implies duration. Duration IS time. Therefore, timeless existence is a contradiction and does not exist.
It really depends on definitions and a grasp of the greater picture. Most of this is covered in Enyart's atomic clock thread. Think of your body for a moment: Your cells do not move. One doesn't travel from one index finger, across your chest, to the other index finger, except as put your two fingers together. It is that sense that Einstein was discussing internal movement vs the expanse of the universe: He suggested that to the universe, things didn't change, just went through internal avenues already in place (kind of like an old numer flip clock, all the numbers are all there, there is no change, just a repeated turning of a spindle constantly). In a similar way, 'change' is the big issue of definition. I've often heard the 'new song' idea, but grasp the logic of what these others are saying: To the Being that all else eminates from, ALL eminates 'from' the very being. "Without Him, nothing exists (or will exist?) that exists." It is scripture.
How is it even possible to utter the sentence "there is no change, just a repeated turning of a spindle constantly" without instantly stopping yourself and saying "Wait a minute, what the Hell am I saying?"

Incidentally, your nonsensical understanding about all this "Being that all else eminates from" contradicts the idea that God is immutable. Again, the whole contingency thing is a problem for you. In other words, "eminates from" implies not only change but that God is a contingent being with potentiality.

It does. I realize it doesn't to you, but look just above▲ If you are the 'source' of everything that will EVER exist, can anything EVER exist without you knowing about it?
Both the premise and the conclusion are false.

I reject the premise as false and even it it weren't, the conclusion does not follow anyway.

God is not, I repeat GOD IS NOT the source of sin as your wacky unbiblical doctrine would suggest and God tells us more than once in His word that He doesn't know everything.

Aren't you arguing for God's 'potential' rather than that He is infinite at that point? Doesn't it fall to reason, in your mind, that God has a 'limitation' that is against the very concept of His being and nature at that point? AMR used to ask: If God is limited, how could you ever be certain of anything without a being who is able to affirm a certainty for 'eternity?' Do you follow?
I think God has great potential! God's best days are definitely ahead of Him and always will be. And oh yes I do indeed follow! Do you?

AMR and now you are arguing that "cannot" is somehow morally superior to "will not".

Do you think the same even about your own children? Is it acceptable to you for a child to "obey" because the parent has made it so that the child cannot do otherwise? Which is better, the obedient child who doesn't run away from his parents because he has been lovingly trained and disciplined to remain by his parent's side or the child who doesn't run away from his parents because they have him tied to a leash?

Which is better, Lon? The man who cannot perform an evil act or the man who won't perform an evil act?
Please read Malachi 3:6 with me: "For I the Lord do not change...." Those ellipses indeed do point to an 'or else' but the statement shouldn't be interpreted previously. Why? Because the standard, the guarantee, that Jacob is not destroyed comes specifically, at this time, when Jacob 'should' be destroyed, is held back an eternal unchanging (immutable) character of God.
"Immutable character" - yes but the doctrine of immutability does not limit the changelessness of God to His characters. In fact, proponents of the doctrine of immutability would object to the notion of God's character being discussed as though it were a part of God. As though God's character can't change but that He can change in other ways. Such an idea would be to deny God's "simplicity" which is the idea that God does not have parts and that, therefore, distinctions between an entity's essential and intrinsic accidental properties cannot apply to God. A being with parts, they say, would be a being that is necessarily contingent and therefore not immutable.

Agree, still hard for us as we think about the change 'coming from Himself' if you follow.
It's not hard to think about, Lon, it's impossible to think about. It's a meaningless palatitude that doesn't make any sense.

Agree, good topic. Would it leave 'immutability' out? I don't believe so. Like you, it'd have a qualification on what anybody means by 'not changing' lest even His character could change.
Then you reject immutability, by definition.

Look, you don't get to pick and choose what is and is not contradictory. Reality is not optional nor is it voluntary. In a while you're going to quote a verse about not leaning on your own understanding. That's exactly what you are doing here. There is no testing of your thoughts against the weight of sound reason to see if your understanding is correct, you just believe it and don't give a damn whether it makes sense. In fact, worse than that, you seem to be suggesting that we should expect the truth about God to not make sense to us because of our broken human brains or something. It is precisely this sort of nonsense that God warns against and tells us instead to "come let us REASON together." Just the very thing you're trying to convince me that we broken humans are incapable of.

You nor I believe that. I believe you are talking about 'completely immutable' as the Greeks thought.
And as Augustine thought and as all Augustinian monks thought (think) and therefore what Luther thought and what Calvin canonized in "Confessions" and thus what every single solitary Calvinists I've ever met believes to this day.

I've not met many theologians who believe fully in 'no change.'
Yes you have. The likelihood is that you've never met one who didn't believe it, you just allow their double talk to deceive you. Press them, you'll see.

Revelations 21:5 "Behold, I'm making ALL things new!" New to Him?
Yep!

The trouble is always that any one concept we have could bring disservice or dishonor to our Lord and God.
Not the least of which is the idiotic idea that the God who lives, and was dead, and behold, is alive forevermore cannot change! (Rev. 1:18)

I realize you 'think' that, but isn't your own premise, that your brain is the standard, ALSO self-defeating by the same token?
No!

See Philippians 2:13 It is God Who works in you, to will and to act... That's really something, isn't it? John 15:5 "Remain in Me, without Me, you cannot do even one single thing!" That too is really something. Then, the first verse I ever memorized: Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not upon your own understanding! Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways, and HE will direct your path. It is a matter of Whose I am. Myself? Him? James 4:15Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast in your proud intentions. All such boasting is evil. Pride is the issue here, but realize that if we have intentions 'without God' as the driving force and Director, it is 'evil.'
It is you who are leaning on your own understanding, Lon, not the one who uses sound reason to weed out mistakes, errors and omissions in his worldview.

How is it even possible to tell someone not to trust their own mind? Seriously, Lon! Think that through. If a person cannot trust their own mind, by what means are you going to communicate that fact to them? Are you going to speak to them? Is not their mind engaged in the understanding of speech? Are you going to write it in a book? Is not their mind engaged in reading? How would this person get the message without using their mind to do it and if they are forced to use an untrustworthy mind then by what means are they to verify the truth of the message, "Your mind cannot be trusted!"?

God telling us to not lean on our own understanding is not Him telling us to turn off out brains and to accept irrational stupidity as truth! Blind belief is NOT faith, it is not piety and it is not even right! It's stupidity!

Cannot (impossible) for it to be self-defeating. As 'finite' beings, we have a limit to where we are, including what we can grasp. Without 'infinite' minds, we have a 'finite' limitation. You have to face this, we aren't God. There is a limit to 'my' ability to convince anybody of anything concerning God (limited to scriptures, my apprehension of them, and any of His further revelation).
No one has suggested otherwise but you are going further than merely saying that there are limits, you are saying that it is broken and cannot be trusted, that reason doesn't work.

My question to you is this...

How do you know that?

And you. It is unavoidable. It is WHY we have to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and why also, He didn't come for those who know it all, but those who need a physician.
Humbling ourselves does not equate to assuming that we cannot think clearly and distinguish the truth from a lie or reality from fantasy.

Don't agree (I don't believe you do either, just below). A bit about my uncle: Rational thought is how we put things together, but even in pieces, a being can put their trust in God. I've talked to you about my uncle: his mind was gone and he had no ability to reason or rationalize. At that point, he simply asked me to pray for him and ask Jesus to remember him when he came into His kingdom. Was it rational enough? I think so, but we, alternately, are using our limited knowledge to answer that question. "All who trust in Him will not be ashamed." Did my uncle trust in Christ or me? I believe he did the best he could, without a rational thought. The real issue wasn't his mind, it was if Christ had a hold of him.
I am constantly amazed by your compulsion to contradict yourself.

You say your uncle "had no ability to reason or rationalize". (by the way "rationalization" has very little to do with sound reason - they are sort of opposites really but I get your drift) and then in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE you say that he asked you to pray for him.

HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

Not how it is possible that he asked you to pray, how is it possible that anyone with a mind can contradict themselves so completely and so instantaneously without even noticing that they've done it!?

If your uncle could speak, he could think. He may not have been able to do it well but where there is meaningful communication there is reason. The latter is a prerequisite of the former.

Right! Then by what means did you uncle who couldn't reason, ask you to pray?

I never claimed that, certainly. I claimed that 'our' rationality isn't always as 'rational' as we finite beings think it is. I've been greatly mistaken before, you?
That does NOT matter!

The use of reason does not guarantee the right answer because one can make an error at any point of their thought process but that isn't the fault of reason! That is not a short coming of rational thought nor is it any indication that reason doesn't work or that our brains are broken or otherwise incapable of thinking properly. On the contrary, the same reason you employed to reach an erroneous conclusion is the very same reason that gives you the means to detect the error and correct it! This is what God is talking about when He tells us not to lean on our own understanding! The idea is that we ought not relax, thinking you've got it all figured out. The idea isn't to try to get you to stop thinking its just the opposite! Question everything, probe it, test it, see if what you think is true holds up under hard scrutiny. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

You'll have to break that down for me. I see contradictions all the time. 🤔
What? No you don't! You say things that are contradictory but you have never seen a real contradiction. They cannot exist - by definition.

I'm not saying that contradictions cannot be postulated, stated and even believed but they only exist as ideas, not realities.

Contradictions DO NOT exist. If you think you've found one, check your premises. You'll find that one of them is wrong.

This is a fundamental fact of reality and happens to be one of the very few things that Aristotle wrote down that he was right about when he wrote down the three laws of reason.

The law of identity: That which is, is. A is A.
The law of excluded middle: A truth claim is either true or it is false.*
The law of contradiction: Any two truth claims that contradict cannot both be true.*

*Given a particular context.


Disagree: If we are "His" workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) AND are NOT to lean on our 'own understanding' but acknowledge the Lord in all HIS ways, then our paths will be straight,
You don't get to disagree, Lon!

You couldn't have typed the word "disagree" without having used reason to do it. You cannot acknowledge the Lord with out using reason to do it.

then my 'ability' isn't the sole arbiter, God is. All I'm arguing for is that God is the pinnacle, not your or my ability, even in our own respective lives.
No one has suggested otherwise but merely that you used reason to type that sentence. The very mind that you are telling me cannot be trusted to discover the truth is the very same mind that told you that it was true that "[your] 'ability' isn't the sole arbiter, God is."

I don't for instance, trust my pastor however good he is at theology. "Logic" of he and me is assailable. If 'assailable' then faulty. How then do I know? Only trust and faith.
No! No! No! No! No!

Don't you get it? Trust and faith happen IN YOUR MIND, Lon! You are your mind! The mind is the common denominator between your soul, spirit and body. Your mind is housed in your brain but it is not your brain. Your mind will survive your physical death and it is what has gone on inside YOUR mind which will determine your eternal destiny (Romans 7:25).

Do I very much lean on my own understanding? Yes, but prayerfully, and with God invited to assail anything I believe is right.
A process that cannot happen without reason.

I'll not assert that, He has to do so. I'm nobody in Clete's life to assert anything. Clete conversely...you get the idea. 'Our' collective 'logic' and 'rationalizing' hits a very real ceiling incredibly quickly. To whatever degree I 'don't trust Clete's rationality,' I've also learned to not be so haughty that I lean wholly on mine either. I do have a good mind, but it is follow to lean on it when Someone who has a perfect mind, is asking me through scripture, to lean on Him and trust Him.
I've never once asked you to trust me. If there is anyone here doing that it is you! I tell you to prove your doctrine. I tell you to make an argument and not only that but an argument based on objectively sound reason that is based in reality and that can be read, understood and comprehended, analyzed and perhaps rebutted by all who have the skill to read and to understand the English language. If anything I tell you NOT to trust me! It isn't about me at all. It's about the truth. It's about having the guts to see reality for what it is and to conform your mind to it whether you like it or not, whether it "feels" good or not. What you tell people to do is to follow their hearts and to simply believe, which means to stop thinking, shut up and simply accept that the pagan Greeks weren't stupid and that all this stuff was figured out 300 years before Christ was born and if you think the bible says differently then you'd better slow down and accept some meaningless platitude in exchange for clear thinking.

We disagree. I believe strongly (logically) that an eternal non-beginning splits away from every concept we have of time and is fully against the grasp or scope of it's forward march. It already does it for me, long before I ever heard of an Open Theist.
Saying it doesn't make is so, Lon.

You say you believe it logically. Prove it. Make the argument.

We both have this delusion: That we both believe we are correct.\
Nope! Sound reason is the opposite of delusion.

I know specifically what I believe and much more importantly, I know specifically WHY I believe it and am fully prepared to give a specific defense of it.

That does not mean that everything I believe is correct. Nor does it mean that any argument I ight make is sound but, as I said before, the same reason that was used to formulate my beliefs is the same reason that allows for me to discover and hopefully correct any error. Indeed, if I could ask God any question and get a direct answer, I would ask Him to tell me what I believe that is wrong and why? His answer would be purely logical.

I totally believe Open Theism is illogical and doesn't comprehend even remotely, what an eternal non-beginning means.
You don't know what it means either, Lon! By your own admission, it cannot be known and you're right, it can't! It can't be known because it is nonsense! It's an utterly meaningless thing to say as I have argued WITHOUT refutation perhaps ten thousand times on this website.

And that's the difference between us, Lon. You state beliefs, I make arguments. You say that Open Theism is illogical but have yet to ever refute a single argument any open theist has ever made in your presence and you likely wouldn't even know where to start if you wanted to try because by your own admission, reason cannot be trusted!

I don't honestly believe any Open Theist can or has shown ability to even grasp the concept and from my purview, it is inescapably true.
Well then prove it!

That's what we are all here for, Lon! If it is inescapably true then explain to us why it's so inescapable! Make the argument that has as it's INESCAPABLE conclusion something that includes the concept of an "eternal (i.e. outside of time) non-beginning".

We both will either be frustrated or angry until such a time as we can somehow traverse such a seemingly insurmountable blockade.
That's easy! There's no blockade. Simply make the argument, Lon. Make the argument - I dare you to make the argument - this is me BEGGING you to make the argument!

I'm not stating that in any way of a posture or offense either. I simply see it as an impasse, one against the other.
There can't be an impasse, yet. You've made no argument.

You've made up the mind, much like I have with "eternal."
No!

I haven't simply made up my mind, what I've made is argument after argument after argument. For literally decades I've been here making arguments. As rationally sound arguments as I ever seen anyone make in support of anything and neither you nor anyone else has succeeded in hardly even making a substantive response, never mind actually refuting my arguments. The only one who's even challenged me that I can recall was Hilston. How many years ago was that? Ten, fifteen, maybe twenty years ago?

I believe it means, logically/necessarily 'without beginning.' God always was. That is a statement completely without time or its ability to quantify OR qualify, by definition and logical end.
This almost qualified as an argument, Lon!

Here's the rebuttal...

"God always was" is not a statement completely without time. It is the reverse. "Always" is a time word. It has no meaning outside of time. In fact, your sort of pseudo argument commits a stolen concept fallacy because you undermine the concept of time while using terms that presuppose the concept time. As such your statement houses an inherent contradiction and is therefore false.


Again, we are speaking of an impasse. On the flip side of the coin, I cannot see but that it has to 'certainly' be true.
Then by all means make the argument using that mind of yours along with the logic you say we cannot trust.

Is it 'new?'
Yes! Of course it's new!

Do you actually believe that Adam's DNA, and by extension the DNA of every human being, somehow existed before the creation?

Here is a hard logical concept: What does 'eternity' contain, that isn't already there?
Non-sequitor.

Your use of the term "eternity" implies timelessness and then on the other side of the comma you leap into time with only the comma to bridge the gap.

Don't fret too hard. It turns out that it is impossible to discuss irrational nonsense without contradicting yourself in this manner. That's a major way we can know for certain that it's fantasy.

It is very important lest God is not eternal.
Now you're getting closer!

God IS NOT timeless. He does NOT exist outside of time because timeless existence is a contradiction. Contradictions are not reality.

On this particular I may be able to help over the impasse hurdle on this instance: How do we who actually 'have' a wall, see a Being who has none? We see things from point A to B, thus "B" is the 'new song' but a Being who by definition is by definition, already beyond 'parameters' would already contain 'B' as the source of everything 'already.'
Question begging and self-contradictory nonsense that not only doesn't solve the problem it pretends to solve but worse than that it creates a whole new set of problems having to do with all that stuff about contingency and God's "simplicity" that I was talking about before.

Notice that you just had no way of communicating the idea without using that pesky time word "already" (putting it in quotes only means that you detected the contradiction in your own mind while you were writing it). Not only that but "eternity" in your veracular isn't just existence outside of time but outside of space as well. There would be no where from which God could observe "points A and B". In other words, if you want to talk about existence outside of space then to use a term like "from" would be to contradict yourself (another stolen concept fallacy).

Then you likely didn't understand the point: We as finite beings, will live forever BUT are not and never will be God. It means He'll always be ahead of us 'for infinity.' A ray has a beginning, in the sense that it proceeds forever, it can 'learn forever.' Such is a 'finite' that continues to expand toward the infinite.
Nope. My bible tells me that I will be WITH God and I will know Him as He knows me.

The future DOES NOT exist, Lon. Neither does the past. All that exists does so NOW and only now - including God! The past is gone and future is not yet. God cannot be in a place that does not exist - by definition.

Some irony: that is fleshly by itself. You are saying 'pagan' but not recognizing your short-sighted limitation.
Saying it doesn't make it so.

God is why I know 'He has placed eternity in their hearts.'
You learned that by reading. An activity that is performed in the mind. Or else you learned by spoken word, a process that also happens in your mind.

It makes sense in math: A line has no beginning or end. A segment has a beginning and an end, a ray has a beginning but no end. We were born finite, with a sin condition. The eternal God gave us a life forever, a ray, with a starting point.
Math is logic. Math is nothing at all by a form of reason. A such, I happen to agree entirely with what you've said here. That is except for your incorrect understanding of what it means for God to be eternal.

Our minds will expand: John 3:2b "When we see Him, we shall be like Him, because we will comprehend (finally) Him as He is." Paul said 1 Corinthians 13:12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Notice all the time words and all the words related to reason and understanding.

Proverbs 3:5,6 🤔
Precisely! Except that it means the opposite of what you seem to be implying here.
You could not read the sentence, "Lean not on your own understanding..." without using your own understanding to do it. Therefore, it doesn't mean what you seem to think it means. I can't even fathom what it is you think it means. Every possibility would render the whole passage meaningless.

Clete

P.S. I just spent over four hours responding to this post. I won't be doing anything like that again. You can write up anything you want and I'll read it but I'm only going to be picking a very few points to respond to.
 
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Lon

Well-known member
Having existed forever is entirely rational, even though we as created (and therefore, we have a beginning) beings do not have a reference point from which to fully comprehend an infinite past.
Yep
Existing "outside of time" is irrational.
Incorrect, you are simply voicing the limit of your comprehension at this point. You literally, cannot have 'time' with an eternal nonbeginning. You just aren't grasping the logical significance. You are in a small company, I think, of people who cannot grasp metaphysical concepts, but as far as I assess your particular ability, I believe you capable. Open Theism is often caught up in a finite logic. You? Fully capable of grasping metaphysical concepts. You simply must think longer about an eternal nonbeginning. I'm convinced, in your case, it is simply a matter of pondering the logical implications further. It really does bust out of any grasp of time, by itself. It really does, logically. It is 'illogical' that you'd call it irrational. Such, frankly, is an immature stance.

Whoever said God cannot cross an infinity, didn't grasp God "IS" infinite. Enyart goes off his own lack to assert that time moves backwards and other such, but it comes from a 'finite-thinking' concept that there is 'no future.' Let me say this for posterity: God IS infinite. God IS eternal. No Open Theist grasps this fully. While there is no 'end' to eternal nor infinite, there is ALSO no beginning to either either. Such renders time meaningless (both a beginning and an end in its definition).
 
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Lon

Well-known member
God's mercy endures forever.
It RATHER said "I change not lest..." Don't go beyond scripture.
That doesn't meant that God is immutable in every way, which is why Clete was cautioning against using such terms.
Read above. It is BECAUSE His nature DOESN'T change! It SAYS so! You are compensating. Simply read and understand the CLARITY of scripture!
All the verse says is this:

“For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. - Malachi 3:6 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Malachi3:6&version=NKJV
Yep. Read it again, several times. "I the Lord, DO NOT CHANGE lest...!"
In what way does the Lord not change?
Good, you got it. He doesn't change.
Is it in every way? Or was the Lord saying something consistent with other scripture?

How about the fact that "His mercy endures forever", which appears in 41 different verses in the NKJV... Is not the context of Malachi 3:6 talking about the mercy of God?
Reading into it. Read with me again: "I, the Lord, DO NOT CHANGE lest...!" End of story: right there, for any grammarian: It is BECAUSE He DOESN'T AT ALL CHANGE (and up to God alone to qualify) that they were not destroyed.
Thus, reading "God is completely immutable" into this verse is a step too far, as the context is about God's mercy, not
YOU are trying to temper HIS revelation by YOUR theological paradigm. Most theologians don't mean Jesus becoming a man wasn't change, they are saying the Character of God does not and cannot change. They also, logically, grasp that the "God OF everything" already includes 'everything.' Open theists don't believe in what they cannot see BUT confuse that with what is already present in God, thus 'a new song' and "God cannot write it" as if their strawman (granted an important derived but inconsistent and not mature 'truth' for them), is true for everybody else. Because I grasp that God already is 'infinite' and not 'becoming' infinite, God 'does not' write a new song. Such is only important to an Open Theist who doesn't grasp the wider truth (and many incapable). While there are presuppositions, as well, with the larger picture of the rest of the theists in the world, there is also a grasp implicitly, that there is a huge difference between infinite and finite AND while 'He has placed eternity in their hearts' thus their knowledge seeks out the infinite and eternal and grasps pieces of what we will eventually become, it is incredibly poor form to think that God must be 'finite' in some way (like 'writing a "new" song'). It literally ties God to finite reckoning. God is relational to what is finite but Himself is infinite. There are times I say something in comparison that is very important for Open Theists to pay attention to, this is such a time. Open Theists are often caught up in finite logic and show an incapability of even grasping the pieces we have of the infinite in promise and revelation from God. -Lon
 

Clete

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One might begin to wonder whether Lon knows the difference between making an argument in support of his position vs. simply stating / repeating his position no matter what arguments are made against him!
 

Clete

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Yep

Incorrect, you are simply voicing the limit of your comprehension at this point. You literally, cannot have 'time' with an eternal nonbeginning. You just aren't grasping the logical significance. You are in a small company, I think, of people who cannot grasp metaphysical concepts, but as far as I assess your particular ability, I believe you capable. Open Theism is often caught up in a finite logic. You? Fully capable of grasping metaphysical concepts. You simply must think longer about an eternal nonbeginning. I'm convinced, in your case, it is simply a matter of pondering the logical implications further. It really does bust out of any grasp of time, by itself. It really does, logically. It is 'illogical' that you'd call it irrational. Such, frankly, is an immature stance.
Then make the argument, Lon!

If it's so logical then why don't you do something other than simply make that claim and show us the logic!

You won't even try!

Whoever said God cannot cross an infinity, didn't grasp God "IS" infinite. Enyart goes off his own lack to assert that time moves backwards and other such, but it comes from a 'finite-thinking' concept that there is 'no future.' Let me say this for posterity: God IS infinite. God IS eternal. No Open Theist grasps this fully. While there is no 'end' to eternal nor infinite, there is ALSO no beginning to either either. Such renders time meaningless (both a beginning and an end in its definition).
This is question begging, Lon.

You are taking a definition of time from within your own doctrinal paradigm and saying that our paradigm cannot be true because it is in conflict with that definition. But that definition is only correct if your paradigm is correct. That's absolutely text-book question begging...

Question Begging: A logical fallacy that occurs when an argument's premise assumes the truth of the conclusion, instead of supporting it.

There will not even be an attempted response to this either.
 

marke

Well-known member
"Arminian", got it.


You can proof text all you want, "everything everything everything comes 'from' Him" is NOT Christian doctrine in any way, shape, manner or form. The more we talk, the more meaningless platitudes your spew forth and I mean that literally. You've turned the doctrine of immutability into meaningless double talk. God is either immutable or He can change. You can try to eat your cake and have it too but you will fail.
God can change and God cannot change. Humans may not be able to understand the truth about God but truth does not depend upon humans being able to understand. The Bible says God cannot change.

Malachi 3:6
For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

And yet God can change.

Jeremiah 18

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;

8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;

10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
 

Clete

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God can change and God cannot change. Humans may not be able to understand the truth about God but truth does not depend upon humans being able to understand. The Bible says God cannot change.

Malachi 3:6
For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

And yet God can change.

Jeremiah 18

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;

8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;

10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
The bible says that God does change! To deny it is to deny the very gospel itself...

God repents (i.e. changes His mind)...

Jeremiah 18: 7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will repent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will repent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

God changes form...
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

God learns...
Genesis 18:20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”

Hebrews 5: 5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him:
“You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.”
6 As He also says in another place:

“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek”;

7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

God died and rose from the dead...
Revelation 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.


There's basically four passages that are typically cited when Calvinistic believers want to prop up their belief in the doctrine of immutability.

Hebrews 13:8 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Number 23: 19 “God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

These passages are teaching that God is not capricious, changing His mind on a whim or by fiat, and, more directly, that His character does not change. The answer to the question "Who is God?" does not changed. His righteousness endures FOREVER. It is in this moral sense that God does not change. But note that I say "does not" instead of "cannot". This is because moral issues presuppose the ability to choose to do otherwise. It is by the inexhaustible power of God's will that He remains the same and not by virtue of some lack of ability. God chooses to do rightly, therefore, He is righteous. God chooses to act in the best interests of others, therefore, He is loving. God chooses to practice justice, therefore, He is just.

IF anyone reading this agrees with even 1% of it, you have undermined the foundations of Calvinism and all other forms of Augustinian doctrine to the point of certain destruction for their entire construct is built entirely upon the foundation of ABSOLUTE divine immutability. Their system cannot survive the slightest change of any sort in God. Because, in their pagan thinking, any change of the perfect must necessarily be a change for the worse and so if God changes then He was either not perfect to begin with or isn't perfect any longer and either way renders such a being unqualified to be God.

And make no mistake, when they say "immutable" they mean exactly that! They do believe and teach that God CANNOT change is ANY WAY WHATSOEVER - PERIOD. Again, in their minds, any aspect of God that can change is an aspect of God that is imperfect. Indeed, they reject the notion that there is even any such thing as an aspect of God. Their belief in the absolute nature of God's immutability is such that it precludes the notion that God has parts. Any such "part" or "aspect" of God is as perfect as every other part of God to the extent that it is identical to the whole. Thus God is "simple" they say. They believe their is not distinction between God and His attributes, that "All that is in God, is God." And they believe this little tidbit of insanity because they believe in Plato's version of immutability. Some will try to convince you that's its the other way around, that it's God's simplicity that is the premise and immutability the conclusion but they're wrong. No one believed any of this nonsense about the God of scripture until Augustine imported his Aristotelian doctrines into the Catholic Church in the third century.

Thus if you agree with me and Marke, that there are important ways in which God does change then you no longer have any good reason to believe any of the Calvinist distinctive doctrines, including...

Total depravity,
Unconditional election
Limited atonement
Irresistible grace
Perseverance of the saints
Exhaustive divine foreknowledge
Exhaustive predestination

All of these doctrines, as taught by Calvinists, are logically based on the notion that God cannot change AT ALL.
Now, that is not to say that Calvinists always or even typically teach or defend these doctrines from the immutability angle but simply that if God is not the absolute unchanging, unchangeable stone idol they believe Him to be, then the primary reason for believing these doctrines goes away. The things you believe about who God effects what you believe about everything else and if you believe that God is utterly unchangeable then that changes the way you have to read the bible. If your emphasis is on God's immutability rather than His personality when you read Genesis 18, you either glaze your eyes over and ignore the incongruity or you write it off as a figure of speech and a meaningless one at that. And when you read Revelation 1, you have to come up with crazy convoluted nonsense like "hypostatic union" or worse.

If, on the other hand, you place emphasis on God's quality (i.e. His personal, relational, righteous and loving nature) then it because obvious and naturally intuitive that passages which talk about God not changing are talking about His nature and that passages which talk about God changing in all kinds of various, important and dramatic ways are in all accordance with His unchanging character and are even examples of that unchanging character in action. In short, one can read the bible and take it to mean what it seems to be saying without having to twist one's self into intellectual pretzels trying to preserve a doctrine that no one would even believe if not for Augustine's practical worship of Aristotle and Plato.

Clete
 

marke

Well-known member
The bible says that God does change! To deny it is to deny the very gospel itself...
The Bible says God is not a man and yet says God became a man. The Bible says faith without works saves and yet faith without works is dead. The Bible says God changes and yet God does not change. The Bible cannot be understood by mere human reasoning.
 

JudgeRightly

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The Bible says God is not a man and yet says God became a man.

It says God is not a man before God came a man, and it says that God became a man after He became a man.

It NEVER says that God is not a man after He became a man, and it never says that God became a man before He became a man.

The two statements are BOTH true, but not simultaneously, as you would seem to have us believe.

In other words, YES, the Bible IS understandable by reason ("human reasoning" is a cop out, as reason is reason, there's no other kind).

The Bible says faith without works saves and yet faith without works is dead.

And it says it to TWO DIFFERENT GROUPS in TWO DIFFERENT DISPENSATIONS.

Faith without works is said to the Body of Christ, works with faith is said to Israel under the New Covenant. These two are both true, but not simultaneously, as you would seem to have us believe.

In other words, YES, the Bible IS understandable by reason ("human reasoning" is a cop out, as reason is reason, there's no other kind).

The Bible says God changes and yet God does not change.

God changes in some ways, and does not change in other ways. Both statements are true, but not in the same way.

In other words, YES, the Bible IS understandable by reason ("human reasoning" is a cop out, as reason is reason, there's no other kind).

The Bible cannot be understood by mere human reasoning.

Just because you, marke, don't understand that two contradictory statements CANNOT be true in the same way and/or at the same time, but that they CAN be true in different ways and/or at different times, does NOT mean that the Bible cannot be understood by using reason.
 

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Just because you, marke, don't understand that two contradictory statements CANNOT be true in the same way and/or at the same time, but that they CAN be true in different ways and/or at different times, does NOT mean that the Bible cannot be understood by using reason.
Context is always the key.
 
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