On the omniscience of God


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The passage is talking about Christ's character.

It's not saying that he's a stone idol that cannot change in any way. He BECAME flesh, He GAINED a new nature, one which He never had before the incarnation.
Let's go back to the block universe: It states that the universe does not move and that only things move 'in' it. We know God is the all but physicists are focused mostly on the physical universe. However, their reasoning is sound: Time is no different than 'length.' Both are constructs of increments within the unmoving. It isn't a 'Greek' tainting physics. At worst, you can say it is a physicist 'agreeing' with a Greek or a Greek happening to agree with him. As I said, it is really much ado about Open Theism nothing at all to even invoke 'those pesky ungodly Greeks.' It really doesn't matter, just what is demonstrably true. The best one could accuse me of, is 'letting the pesky truth' form my worldview, Greek or no. Trying to accuse me or the church of allowing Greek philosophy is literally three fingers pointing back in our Western culture. You, I, any pastor of Open Theism, literally have been affected by Greek thought and not all, nor even most of it bad. It literally is the reason you and I are having this conversation and why there are Battle Royales.
That would be a line segment. Not a line.
Good, so you understand, at least on paper, why God is both relational to, and yet beyond our finite universe. The part involved with our short span in this universe is genuinely part, not all, of His existence.
To use your analogy, humans are beings whose existence are best represented by rays. They have a beginning, but no end.

God is a Being Whose existence is defined by a line. It has no beginning, and no end.
We agree.
Not sure what you're referring to in that verse...

You may have cited the wrong verse.

This is why it's helpful to look at the verses you're referencing, even if you don't copy/paste them into your post.
Next verse, Ephesians 1:16,17 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Well, no, the Verse says God's UNDERSTANDING is infinite. I agree that God is infinite, but let's not say that a verse says something it doesn't say.
I disagree. In order for His understanding to be infinite, He necessarily has to be as well. We may not agree, but it isn't a point I need to belabor. We don't have to agree on every point and every scripture, especially when you already believe the point anyway.
Everlasting God. Meaning, line, extending to infinity in both direction. Not a ray, which extends in only one direction to infinity, and has a beginning or end. Not a line segment, which has both a beginning and end.
So important (we agree) but realize you are a bit different from other Open Theists. Most of them believe God's line is unidirectional like a ray, not a line. I always appreciate and want to note in thread where you and I are on page for any others reading in on us (if they do).
Which is the exact opposite of the word used in Isaiah 40:28.

Say it with me, Lon. "The opposite of finite is INFINITE."

A line is infinite.

A line segment is not.

A point is not.

A ray is, but only in one direction, but as stated above, a ray cannot define God's existence, as He "always was."
You and I agree. Just realize at this point 1) you and I actually agree and 2) that I've had to argue exactly what you are arguing here with other Open Theists.
Colossians 1:16 (not 15):
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

What you are saying is not what the verse says. Don't try to change what scripture says, Lon.

It says "by Him all things were created..."
It says "all things were created through Him and for Him."

It does not say "nothing exists neither without nor outside Him." It says nothing of the sort.

John 1:3 does. You cannot 'object' simply because I didn't reference the verse that says exactly that I had already given it to you. Why WOULD you object? 🤔 Try not to posture quite so much. Yes we disagree on points but let's not argue each and every point. It doesn't matter if I referenced a verse yet again. It matters if what I said was scripture and it is.
Verse 17 says, "And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist."


Well, no. Pay closer attention, otherwise it becomes easy to beg the question of time being created:

John 1:3:
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Did you catch it?

"...nothing was made that was made."
It isn't a 'catch.' Read here: Note that the ones who do not like Einstein (and other Physicists) are arguing against time as a construct but rather an 'absolute' as it relates to the universe. IOW, the argument comes specifically from people who believe that time is a constant property 'of the universe.' These same physicists would have to drop that if God is the source of all things. Their very argument is based on the physical universe always existing and giving it 'eternal properties.' We know from scripture the universe is not the constant, God is and is NOT physical nor dwells 'in' this material universe other than as already illustrated by a ray and a segment. The line intersects it, but neither the segment or ray can adequately define the entirety of a line and neither is it possible, by demonstration and analogy (not simply because Lon said so) in thread, does time adequately describe God's existence eternally.
This verse says that [everything that was made] was [made through [Christ]].

You now and still have to show that time was [something made] and a [thing].
Not correct. I posted two links.
No Open Theist claims that God is "ruled by time."
That isn't quite correct either. They may not state it exactly that way, but it is clear, it is what is meant. I'm not sure what all Open Theists argue and as I've stated, you agree with me more often than not BUT a few have argued in the time-clock experiment thread, that God is not able to experience atemporality.
Rather, we (or at least, I do) claim that time is an aspect of His existence.
All of His creation is in some sense, an aspect of His being, but you don't mean 'creation' at that point, so the meaning is it rules His nature and that He cannot exist outside of it. It is like saying measurement is part of His nature: Yes in the sense that it comes from Him but measurement relates to His creation as a 'part' of Him. Time, a measurement, only relates to 'parts.' Like the presentation of the 'block universe' it is understood in physics, that nothing moves 'outside' of the universe, at least in the 3 dimensional sense, because they are working from a model whereby movement 'within' the universe is already everything contained in that universe.' As they look at the big picture, there is nothing that is in that container that isn't already there. So physicists would argue similarly that "God cannot write a new song." Everything about 'song' is already there as the infinite. "Finite" can discover things outside of themselves because they cannot 'infinitely' know anything. Cannot. God is already 'infinite.' I realize you argue against Psalm 147 but you also said you believe He is infinite thus your arguments and points where you acquiesce are already arguments, with me, against assertions by other open theists.
He exists and interacts within the Godhead, therefore sequence occurs.
Not if you can grasp 1) WHY physicists postulate a block universe (it was necessarily true from their observations) and 2) grasp that God does not interact as you and I and that such is essential to the unity of God lest we argue tritheism.
And yet, it is not possible to not say that there was a "before" the existence of "things" if there is no time.
Correct. Temporality is all we know so all our language is capable of articulating. However, we do understand an eternal nonbeginning, and the perplexities, even if we have no language to fully disseminate that understanding. It is similar in an attempt to convey a fourth dimension. We use a 3-D model to try and hint at the 4th, yet we cannot do it justice. Similarly, it is why "without faith, it is impossible to please Him..."
According to the definition I use, time is the dimension of change. Change, a "before" and "after," logically require the pre-existence of time in order to occur. Thus, "before the creation of time" is logically self-refuting.
Perhaps the line, ray, segment will serve: We know that there is no 'before' on the line unless we superimpose a segment 'prior' which is just moving the goal post. "Before" in that sense is exactly the same thing but it can help one at least conceive that there is something and always was something (both is and was are segment points, so you are correct in observation the whole way through, that we cannot adequately talk about 'no time' when all we, as finite beings know is time. As with above, a good many of us can conceive an eternal nonbeginning, but there are a good many that have little idea what we mean and so take this on faith (as we do with anything we don't grasp well from scripture).
Again, God certainly doesn't change in certain ways. But He DOES change in other ways.
This is also very near to the discussion/debate between most physicists and the few that are in disagreement in the links I've given. Almost identical: The block universe theory starts with 'all that their is' because science maintains that there is no new material in the universe, that atoms don't change and cannot. A few physicists, not quite grasping what Einstein and others were saying, disagree because they can 'see' a clock ticking and by observation 'see/measure' changes. This disagreement is often started because of 'perspectives.' The physicist seeing change is looking from his/her small viewpoint and trying to quantify an incredibly and seemingly infinite universe from that limited concept and perspective so isn't really grasping Einstein's theory of relativity which is looking at the whole, even as he, a man, is an incredibly small part of that whole. The dissenting physicist is perplexed specifically because he/she isn't grasping the whole, just caught up in the wave of personal observation and trying to validate it.

Almost identically, the discussion here is upon the same premise: That Open Theists are looking at man as special in all of God's creation (true) and that the other theologians are looking at a whole (as best as any finite being can), reading scriptures that reveal at least some idea of an omni (like "Almighty") and recognizing a truth that applies to the whole that does not apply to the part (man's short existence).

Perspective, most specifically, drives the block universe that necessitates (by its concept) that time is a construct and, depending on how big you are in the universe, an illusion because it is magnified the smaller you are and nonexistent if you are the 'largest ultimate' (the universe itself).
For example, He exists. That doesn't change. But, He changed His mind on multiple occasions in the Bible.
I'll leave this alone. I disagree and have argued against it in other threads on TOL. I'm not sure a rehash, in this particular thread, will serve.
Not my position.
God is "supernatural," literally "outside of nature." God created nature. But cannot, logically create time, for the above stated reason.

Here's the problem with this position:

Colossians 1:16-17:
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

The Greek word for "in" used in "and in Him all things consist" means "into," "to," "unto," and "for" as well.
The Greek word for "consist" in the same phrase means "to create, form, shape, make." It has the idea of "proprietorship of the manufacturer" (according to Strong's). In other words, the verse isn't saying that creation is "in" Him, so much as it's saying that He is the owner of creation.
Read again with me: en (a preposition) – properly, in (inside, within);
It means 'in' and is seldom translated any other way. Greek actually has a word for unto and 'gar' for 'for.'
That said, He is not the physical universe. He is/was Spirit, which means that 'substance' comes 'from' Him. I want to be very careful when I particular say 'panenthiesm' because His flesh came from Spirit. I'm convinced 1 John 3:2 "when we see Him, we'll be like Him, for we will see Him as He is" means that we see through a glass darkly. While I'm fairly adamant in discussion, it is for the sake of truths we can know. I'm not super hung up with Open Theism, just want to discuss why it isn't 'those dirty Greeks' that have affected theology to this century.
God cannot be both temporal and atemporal. God does not violate the law of non-contradiction.
A line can be both finite and infinite. If you draw a line, you actually draw a segment yet we call it a line for the properties of it continuing further than our lines that were drawn. As I've discussed, the difference in physics discussion is most often associated with perspective. A person who is on the ground would tend to say a line down the highway is a segment. A person in the air above will say that same line, where line-breaks may be unseen, is a line. What we can say is this: As a line crosses a segment, it is temporal within the two points but we recognize that the defining aspect of a line, is that it is infinite. Likewise, God can be both temporal as He interacts and hears our prayers, yet, similar with a block universe, perspective of the whole leave time as an illusion only for those small, inside seeing nothing but the change rather than the whole.

Appreciate the discussion to this point. I try to keep to shorter posts in discussion forums so will probably have 5 or more responses, I hope broken in appropriate places to keep the cohesion of the discussion. -Lon


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Humans cannot comprehend eternity past.

Yet, by even saying that, you comprehend it enough to argue that you cannot?

Talk about self-contradiction...

I assert that you're coming upon an anthill and declaring it to be an impassable mountain simply because it shows a change in elevation. Then I come along and say, "No, it's not impassable in that sense, it's simply a bump on the ground, that we can walk over, but can't walk into to discover the layout of, and impassable in that sense."

Mark, do you agree that we can have enough grasp of a concept to understand what it means, even if we cannot fully comprehend certain aspects of the concept?


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Yet, by even saying that, you comprehend it enough to argue that you cannot?

Talk about self-contradiction...

I assert that you're coming upon an anthill and declaring it to be an impassable mountain simply because it shows a change in elevation. Then I come along and say, "No, it's not impassable in that sense, it's simply a bump on the ground, that we can walk over, but can't walk into to discover the layout of, and impassable in that sense."

Mark, do you agree that we can have enough grasp of a concept to understand what it means, even if we cannot fully comprehend certain aspects of the concept?
If you believe there are aspects of eternity that humans cannot comprehend then we agree.


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Would that be in years?

The answer is ∞ years.

God has been active for at least as long as

Do you realize that you've just conceded the discussion by using this phrase?

time has been measured by days and years on earth.

Time is not a clock, Mark. Just because at some point God suddenly started counting does NOT mean that time was suddenly created.


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The answer is ∞ years.
A 'year' is a mark in seasons. Without a sun moon and stars there is nothing to mark. What we are talking about is 'movement.' If you followed the Cube connected within the cube from physics as analogy to the 4th Dimension, it is something Christians already recognize: That all physical things come from God and He is Spirit 'outside' (qualified as would be 'without') 3-dimensions by necessity. Most talk about the 4th dimension (a dimension that can be demonstrated to exist, though 'dimension' itself is also a physics term. Block universe is a solid theory based on a necessity if the universe is finite. If it is infinite, then one, you'd have to be talking past the physical AND you'd be equating, by logic (especially in regard to duration and sequence) the universe to 'god.' God by the logical argument given by many Open Theists, is 'within' the universe by their arguments. Point: "X amount of years" is simply moving the physical concept 'eight-ball/goal post.'
Do you realize that you've just conceded the discussion by using this phrase?
Seems to do so.
Time is not a clock, Mark.
Representation but part of our understanding of concepts of time are tied to a 24 hour day. Time is often confused with clocks. Most of us do not live by tape measures, but we do watches and clocks.
Just because at some point God suddenly started counting does NOT mean that time was suddenly created.
Rather it has to have something to count. One nothing and two thousand nothing isn't countable and we cannot set our stopwatch to it. The discussion of dimension may help another grasp that there is something measuring very differently in a 4th dimension and necessarily is different in a spiritual existence with nothing physical. Hebrews 11:3

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.


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God cannot be both temporal and atemporal. God does not violate the law of non-contradiction.
It is true that one is different than the other, but the one is an aspect/derivative of the other.
Because you say so?

Why do you assume (beg the question) that time is external to God?
The same reason Einstein and most physicist did/do: As soon as you are 'outside' the universe, there is 'no' outside the universe as far as the extent of physics. Einstein published the theory of relativity based on perspective, meaning relative to how much of the universe we are talking about, the greater the consideration, such as the 'whole universe' the less 'movement' because the universe has no new material and is a stability: It never ceases being 'the universe.' It wasn't just those 'pesky Greeks' but physicists and mathematicians, working logically through 'what must be' propositions and postulating answers, that gave us these ideas and working theories as well as firm observations. There are a good number of scriptures that say attributes of God are measureless. See if you uphold this definition: Time is a measurement. Without something to measure, it is inapplicable. Agree? If not, our whole conversation, as long as it is, needs to be refocused on the definition of time. Once we agree what it actually is, we'd be able to shorten the larger discussion quite a bit (and knock these behemoths down to manageable).
Again, my position is that time is simply an aspect of God's existence. Thus it isn't outside of Him, but is a part of Him in the same way that He is loving and merciful and anything else He is.
You and I are on postulating ground here so I'm not going to argue it, but help me flesh it out. I'm not opposed: Would you say the physical universe is an aspect of Him? For me, it is a postulation because I'd say 'yes' but at the same time, I have no idea. Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Question for my pondering: what do we mean by 'aspect.' His 'substance?' His 'thought?' Where does 'physical' come from?

Time: Do we agree that time is an observation/measurement of duration?
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Is there an aspect then, of God, that is 'unaffected' by time?

Is it possible you don't?
It was open-ended, of course.
Creator of everything that was made.

Things that weren't made by Him: love, mercy, justice, patience, ... , time.

Simple as that.
Proof? Evidence? Postulation? 🤔
Because you say so? Nothing in John 1:1 indicates "timelessness," for the above stated reasons.
I believe we were talking about John 8:58 at that point
Come on, Lon, you as a trinitarian should know as well as anyone that this is simply a reference to Exodus where He was talking to Moses from the burning bush, and is simply Him giving His name, "I AM."
It is more than that. Jesus could have said, Abraham knew me as "I Am" or something like it. He specifically said, 'Before...Am.'
I don't, because it is not necessarily true, but is you simply reading it into the text.
Such is not reading 'into' it but 'out' of it. It literally says 'before, am.' Literally.
Jesus is saying that He existed before Abraham,
No. He is saying 'exist' not 'existed.' You are the one that read into the text.
and then states His name, the same name He gave to Moses.
Agreed. It is part of it.
Did you notice that this verse is also another passage where Jesus says "I say unto you" (https://kgov.com/deity).
Could you explain a bit further for context? Thank you.
That entire sentence is a claim to being God.
I agree and in that is a description of His being/existence.
It's saying He was God before Abraham existed, and still is God.
Not quite 'before...am.' It literally says this.
Jesus talking about His past and present.
Abraham's past and His 'existence.' "Before Abraham was, I was, and I AM" would convey such.
Except that the verse does NOT say that.

It says "IS AS."
As can be a simile or a metaphor depending on context. If interested It is the last box when you scroll down.
A simile.

It's a figure of speech, and is NOT meant to be taken as a woodenly literal description.
"As (ως)" is both a simile and a metaphor in comparison. If 'exactly as' then a metaphor. If "is as" the is means 'the same' which is what a metaphor is. We cannot but acquiesce language, not argue it very well. You cannot assert 'NOT' here convincingly. It means what it means.
Again as I said in that portion of my post, it means that God is patient and longsuffering, and powerful.
Verse 3:9, I agree, but it is important that words themselves mean something too, not just context but I absolutely agree context drives meaning in a specific direction.
It is NOT saying that God is timeless.
The expression does actually mean that and especially as I grasp Einstein and other physicists, where time is specifically relative to the observer.
God cannot be patient if He is outside of time, Lon.
Use segment/line to conceive my intention: A line IS the segement as long as the segment lasts but a segment, conversely, is not a line, just represents one (A ray is also only a 'part' of a line by the same token). It means 'relational to, unrestricted by' just as the line to the segment.
God cannot be longsuffering if He is outside of time, Lon.
Let me agree to a point: We cannot recognize 'long' suffering outside of the measurement given to us, "Long" being relative to the need of grace.
God cannot accomplish in a day that which would take man a thousand years to complete, if God is outside of time, Lon.
There is a similarity here to discussing things with Unitarians/Arians: We somewhat agree, when we agree Jesus is not the Father. On this, I agree with you, but we conceive of the end differently. He certainly is relational to us in time in like fashion as a line to a segment. Of course I agree with you, but I'm arguing both line/segment and both 'temporal/without time' by the same token. If you get one, you get the other. If not, I'll try something else.
Which is utterly meaningless if He is outside of time.
Not if He is both, which is my contention. Hopefully, as we discuss if a line is represented by a segment and see that in some aspects, they are not diametrically opposed, but actually shared aspects of a line, as well as grasping that a segment helps us grasp an infinite line, then I'd say time is nearly the same in discussion.
"Somehow" it isn't?
Trying to get you to entertain a thought. Somehow in this case in one aspect of the presentation of a day "equaling" a thousand years and a thousand years 'equaling' a day in God's economy means it has to be entertained (somehow in postulation for you) that it means metaphor.
Because you say so? Talk about a lame defense of one's position...

The verse uses "as." By definition that makes it a simile and not a metaphor.
Except when it was just in your imagination. :chuckle: Come on, JR. You are also better than this, but if I had any opponent I'd choose on TOL, you are certainly one on the top of my list so this isn't an issue. Forgive me for chiding you back a little (if needed). Otherwise we can move along from posturing.
"with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."

Simile. Simple.
Except when you aren't quite correct, no?
I'm not saying it says "like." I'm saying it says "as."
Except 'like' is what you mean. Is this an acceptable translation? "With the Lord, one day equals a thousand years and a thousand years equals a day." Or do you insist: "With the Lord, one day is 'like' a thousand years and a thousand years is 'like' a day. Is ως 'as (same)' or 'like' in translation?
"Like" and "as" BOTH are simile words.
'Can' be, look again at the link above regarding ως. "as" a day,'like' a day, or 'equals?' As generally means 'equals, the same as' which is a metaphor.
Similes are figures of speech.
So are metaphors. ???
Because you say so?

Just read the verse, Lon!

Psalm 90:4:
For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night.
The NIV is awkward this time. There is no word 'like' in the Hebrew or Greek text. The words are ως and כְּי֣וֹם (linked for study). The KJV says 'as' For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Then for 2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
"as" and 'is' a state of being thus more akin to metaphors than simile.
It's saying that a thousand years goes by like nothing, to God.
I agree, but I don't believe the NIV served well. It did convey that something is similar, but not 'as.' I like the NIV, (two of my professors help write it), but they writing to make God's word accessible to more people and so went for 'thought for thought' in translation rather than word for word like the KJV and ESV. At the very least, my profs saw simile as fine but it is unfortunate because it is the point of our discussion :Z
You're likely much older than I am, but even I've experienced childhood.
Maybe you can remember that, when you were a child, summers between school years felt like they lasted entire lifetimes,
but now, at your (and my current respective ages) they hardly last any time at all before they're gone.

Its a good thought and certainly something I've considered in the past. On this particular, I may have to abandon the verse as proving a metaphor, when even my professors have come up with a simile rather than a metaphor. At the very least, I have to concede that it opened the possibility so I cannot continue to argue but I do believe the language is more akin to 'same as' than 'like as.' One of my profs is dead now, but I may ask the other who worked on the NIV if I can get a hold of him, why they went with a simile. At this point, it doesn't make sense to me.
Thanks for discussion this far. It is a weighty subject and needs discussion on this level and I appreciate you going through this much. -Lon


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It says nothing about time whatsoever.

From kgov.com/bel/20040223 (please read the entirety before commenting):

* Who Was Melchizedek? Was he a man? Or was he God appearing to man, that is, a theophany? Pre-Incarnation divine appearances seem to be by Christophany, as both priestly and in-person revelations are the domain of God the Son. Yet Melchizedek wouldn't have been a Christophany because it is potentially catastrophic to say of Jesus that He had "no father". And Melchizedek certainly wasn't some co-eternal being other than God, as "no beginning of days" may imply to some. Was he then God the Father, the Holy Spirit, or a normal human being? The Book of Hebrews describes him as remaining "a priest continually." So that would seem to exclude him from being one of the other Persons of the Trinity, since only the Son is the priestly Mediator, and not the Father nor the Spirit. The Genesis passage provides the earliest reference to nascent Jerusalem. In that time of patriarchy/city states, the more familiar that Abraham was with the political leaders of Canaan the more likely it is that Melchizedek was a normal human being. As the King of Salem, Melchizedek was probably previously known to Abraham. After the "slaughter of the [other] kings" Abraham met first with the King of Sodom and then with the King of Salem. The fascinating Hebrews 7 passage says "so to speak" i.e., not literally, not about Melchizedek though, but about Levi. And the description of Melchizedek likewise could have been "so to speak", that is, containing symbolic language, which of course is so very common especially in the eastern/Hebrew/biblical use of metaphors and analogies. The brevity of the account, leaving out his earthly heritage, made Melchizedek an even better fit as a spiritual type. (The "king of Sodom" too had no genealogy reported in the text, but obviously that doesn't mean that he was yet another eternal being.) God, of course, had the authority to establish a human priesthood, as He did through Aaron. And likewise, He had the authority to establish a human priesthood, if He wanted to, through this guy Melchizedek, whose mantle Christ then inherited, not unlike Him inheriting David's throne.

In other words, this was about just another normal human being whom God decided to use to establish the priesthood of Levi.

As a "NOT 'without succession or sequence.'"
My comment was about verse addresses at that point. I was trying to remember. This computer cannot carry my bible software. Timing is difficult: I used to be able to use TOL to double-check and even link verses. Is it possible for this software to do something similar? At any rate, It was said simply because we'd both lost the verse, but I'd remembered you'd posted it too.
Not as part of the verse, nor as what was being said by the verse. See above.
I didn't really see Bob as dealing with 'without number of days.' If by 'normal human being' he means that 'without number of days' is simply that they weren't recorded and remain a mystery as to 'why' he was even a priest, I may follow that line of argument. Could you ask him for a bit of further clarification next time you see him? (and thanks)
A line is "without beginning or end."

You're attempting to say that a point is a line. It's not.
Er, I'm reiterating a verse in scripture, you might have to unpack your summation. Hebrews 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Note that he is 'made like unto the Son of God' also. v.3
It is going to need more unpacking. The 'so to speak' is about the only thing I see addressing the concern and it doesn't really meet it head on. How was Melchizedek 'so to speak?' The text doesn't say that, but I'm trying to discern the line of reasoning and what exactly Enyart's article is trying to address.
It means without a beginning. It means "always existed."
Yes, I agree.
A line. Not non-existence of what it's being drawn on.
Very much appreciate staying with the line analogy, but I've lost your direction.
You're the one who said it, perhaps using my post in which I cited from https://kgov.com/time, but you didn't edit it.
In other words, the half of a line that extends to the past, infinitely.
I'd like to reiterate that you and I agree on a good number of these, not conclusions certainly, but premises for this discussion.
It's not difficult unless you reject the actual meaning of the words.
I'd say much disagreement is always over definitions. It is why I ask for a lot of clarification and concerning by example 'reality' from the last post.
"Without beginning" simply means no beginning.

It does not mean "atemporal."
Let's go back to line/ray/segment. If something has no point it is a line. The question then: How long is a line? Answer: Immeasurable, infinite. Incapable of using an measuring means. It'd be a-measurable and when we are talking about time, it'd mean a temporal as well. God has no age. He isn't some zillions and zillions and zillions of years old.
"Outside of time" is illogical for the above stated reasons.
Again, physicists talk like this. They are NOT illogical. Einstein was not being dumb.
From https://kgov.com/time:

In the section heading just above, the word Greek does not refer, as many would assume, to the text of the New Testament that was originally written in Greek. Rather, it was used to refer to pagan Greek philosophy, which insisted that God exists outside of time. In contrast, the Hebrew and Greek terms in the Bible about God and time are TOTALLY different and refer not to timelessness but to unending duration. The phrases in the Scriptures all speak of God existing through unending time and an everlasting duration. The above timelessness terms are foreign to the reader of God's Word, whereas the Bible's many terms, as listed below, are all so very familiar from our reading of Scripture.

Frustratingly, I've always realized this. It is a nonstarter and holds little meaning for all but the Open Theist and whatever conferences it is spilled out on.
No, it's not, Lon.

No, it does not, Lon.
I'll let you unpack this. I said 'for us' it is. You can say 'not for us' representing Open Theology at that point, but I don't believe you can say 'no, it doesn't mean atemporal for you' has to be demonstrated. It is the actual point of contention else there is no discussion that even needs to take place. You have to demonstrate exactly how 'no days' isn't 'atemporal' at that point. Temporal means 'time.' They are the same root word. No assertion is going to hold water.
"No beginning" means, at the very least, the half of a line extending infinitely into the past.
"No end" means, at the very least, the other half of that same line extending infinitely into the future.

It doesn't mean that there is no line.
Let's define: Line, absolutely no point. To 'recognize' a line, we need two points for it to pass through to identify it but the line has no points. In the same manner, 'without days' means 'no days.' Hebrews 7 is an enigma, because it'd seem Melchizedek must have had at least one day or part of one, for Abraham to give him a tenth. I can concede certain of these scriptures with/to you, but I'd have to gather your reasoning clearly to do so and some of this isn't making sense and needs further unpacking. It does say 'without beginning' in the same breath as without number of days.
No, Lon, it's not.
Er, 'no days' isn't remotely the same as 'no passage of time?' Saying 'no beginning, so hit your stop watch just anytime' gives you an uncanny ability to record time? What does 'no days and no beginning' literally mean?
No, Lon, they're not.
"No" day and "No" beginning aren't atemporal characteristics? Is it true then, for the Open Theist, there is no such thing as 'atemporal?'
This is called eisegesis, Lon.
The above? No, it isn't. Its commentary on meaning JR. You are attacking a windmill not proffered.
Reading meaning into the text where it doesn't exist to begin with is why you're wrong on this entire issue.

Here's what it says, again:

Hebrews 7:3:
without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Go read, again, what I quoted at the beginning of this post RE Melchizedek.
It doesn't answer the questions I've asked.
He cannot be both atemporal AND temporal, Lon.
A line, 'as' it intersects a segment is one and the same as the segment. When teaching this class, the teacher's book says the two have an identity with one another, yet distinction:

What is the line?​

A line is a one-dimensional figure which is extended infinitely in both the directions. It is represented by a straight line with two arrowheads. It has only one dimension, i.e. length.

what is a line segment?​

A line segment is a type of line which is defined between two distinct endpoints. Each point on the line segment between these two endpoints belongs to it. One Mathematics course

Note that the 'line' is both in the given because segments are all we can use (with arrows) to represent a line visually. Thus, while they are separate, a segment is called a 'line' piece.

Similarly, a portion of God intersects with us. Moses "couldn't see" God and live. Only so much of God experiences time with us. It isn't constant (as Physics tells us) for an ant as it is for a human. Covering the same distance, the ant will have walked his small mile in only a floor length, expending similar time and energy (mass and gravity is a factor). "Time" is a concept and measurement of duration 'as' length is a concept and measurement of distance. Before you say "no it isn't Lon" read a physicist or two.

That violates the LAW of non-contradiction.
No, it doesn't.
God is not contradictory.
Of course not, regardless if one is befuddled or not. Be sure to read a physicist or two.
He is either in time, or outside of it completely. There is no both-and, here, but only either-or.
Again, it isn't just 'Lon' or those 'pesky Greeks' saying so. It is part and parcel to the theory of relativity.
And the last several posts I've made have gone to extensive lengths to show that He CANNOT be outside of time in any way.
I'll have to read a bit more, but a link or two could help (and thank you). At this point, we disagree because physics, for one. Greeks? Nobody really listens to those pesky Greeks do they? 🤔
So thank you for conceding the discussion.
A 'classic' open ploy. Good job. Time for back patting OR do you actually want to get to the bottom of discussion? As I said, physics demands that time is relative and the best thinkers in our world adhere to it AND demonstrate why, importantly. I simply said that a line and a segment do indeed cross paths, it is YOU that insists one cannot be the other. A segment has a measure, a line does not. The same line 'becomes a segment' as it passes through the two points. As I've ever maintained: God is 'relational to' and 'unconstrained by' time in the exact same way a line is relational to and unconstrained by a segment. He interacts with us. My concession and what you think was conceded are two separate things, or were you actually being genuine? 🤔
I'm going to ask that you watch this debate between Will Duffy and Jeremy Howard, on this exact topic. Watch it all the way through, and don't comment until you're done.
Will do. I think one more post after this one.


Well-known member
I'm going to ask that you watch this debate between Will Duffy and Jeremy Howard, on this exact topic. Watch it all the way through, and don't comment until you're done.

A few jotted thoughts:

Interesting, Will Duffy doesn't believe time even exists? Einstein believed that too, but doesn't that then, destroy tenents of Open Theism?

I do agree with Jeremy Howard that there are indicative (I call them pedantic) passages, and narrative story that are more difficult to derive clear instruction.

As a rule of thumb, Open Theists focus on narrative much more than pedantic indicative didactic teaching of scripture.

Jeremy did a good job of discussing the rift between Open Theism and the rest of Christianity: That Open Theists project 'our limitations onto God when He has condescended.

Psalm 90:4 "a thousand years are like yesterday."

"Revelation will take place exactly as John saw them."

God is trancendant and immanent (not against any law of contradiction, the contradiction is artificial). Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

God's unchanging nature is meted out from His nature, not changing.

Jeremy is also correct that creaturly constraining God is terrifying.

Will Duffy

Absolute theory of time is not widely held. Certainly debated BUT the absolute theory ONLY applies to the physical universe.

Here is how that works: 1) relative theory: Time isn't real, but is an observation of measurement much like a 'foot.' A foot isn't an actual measurement but is a contrivance that gives meaning for communication and replication. In the same way, time, also a contrivance, is a way man made increments to convey meaning, communication, and replicability. Because the contrivance is constant, it works well unless someone changes any particular measurement system (metric vs American Standard).

2) Absolute theory of time (physics shows it isn't possible) believes there is a constant 'tick' in the universe that has an unchanging rate. There are physicists trying (without success to date) to postulate a Absolute theory BUT (and this is important) at that point, physicists, if successful, will prove that it is a 'physical' property alone.

I'm not sure what Will means by 'presentism' being the widely held view. It is not in physics and all math classes follow Einstein on relativity. He may be correct that most people use 'intuition' when observing and reporting time but we are all lemmings when it comes to watches.

Will is correct most of us are eternalists, but it is odd he said 'presentism' is the the widely held view. It is not.

Time is not a created entity, but aspects of 'reality.'
As with JR, I ask Duffy "What 'reality?'" If he means the physical universe, yes. If he means everything, no. So, I have to necessarily disagree with him: Time is a property observed/measured 'of' the physical universe.

And 'no' definitions of 'reality' are not 'tied' to 'inextricably' to God Himself. He is 'real,' yes, but you don't get a pass on 'physical reality' being applied to God who is not a physical being BUT as to His incarnation. 1 Timothy 3:16 Great is the MYSTERY of God-liness - God was manifest in the flesh.

What does it mean that God is atemporal, yes, without beginning and end AND without succession. Why? It is hard to grab, but it follows clearly Einstein's Relative Theory, proves it. Will is missing the pieces. Why? My thought is 'because' he is an Open Theist. His expectation is driving his theology AND his blindspot in physics. And it is genuine blinder.

Will said beautifully, that we can know things about God without fully grasping all that such ideas entail.

Will is incorrect on what he is suggesting. Augustine may have had purely atemporal understanding of God at times, but Jeremy didn't argue that. He argued immanent AND transcendant. Who knows why Augustine didn't grasp (ALL THROUGH THE BIBLE) how God spoke and interacted with people? It'd seem like Augustine didn't know God was immanent, JUST transcendant. Importantly however, is that most Christians do not, in fact, believe God is only transcendant. A line crosses a segment, it is BOTH immanent and transcendant and only immanent as far as the segment/ray exists. It is more than obvious that he is outside of it, in the sense that He never had a beginning. It necessarily means something. Further, a segment constrains a line to one path, but both points on the segment are created. Meaning: That there are infinite lines that can exist outside of a single segment (our existence). If Will were arguing with Augustine, I'd likely join him to a point. With all other Christians? No. While it may be desired to prove something cannot be relational yet unrestricted (immanent AND transcendant), it cannot be proved. Moses couldn't see God, all of Him, and live. It was impossible. What did God do? Showed a small portion of Himself "His Glory." God, a Spirit, manifested Himself to Moses BUT had to somehow "Great is the mystery 1 Timothy 3:16" show something of His Spirit being in a physical way to Moses BECAUSE Moses had 5 physical senses. Point: God ISN'T physical but is able to manifest physically. Oxymoron? Law of noncontradiction? :nono: Nope. Not at all. I 'think' Will is going to appeal incorrectly to it before this debate is over because it is the only way he could declare such and It is not demonstrable and importantly, cannot be. Paul says we are spirit living in tents. Will, you are incorrect. Atemporal AND temporal, not either or. They are NOT logically contradictory. Somebody in Open Theism made that up. Succession AND nonsuccession is NOT contradictory, it is aspect. Immutable is the whole. Mutable are 'parts' if you follow. While it is said that Spirit is Spirit, it makes sense in the Spiritual, that God is not constrained to the physical YET when Augustine said God spoke "This is my Son" it was actual. Why, then, do Christians say God is immutable? BECAUSE WE see God only in parts. It is "OUR" shortcoming (finiteness), not His. In other words, WE see Him as mutable. Prayer is accessing things in God that are already there. He doesn't 'whip up a batch' to meet our needs. Scripture says those needs are already met in Christ. Oddly, the 'law of noncontradiction' that Open Theists are fond of, is from the Greeks :noway: Oddly, the law of noncontradiction is itself, debated and contradicted: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_noncontradiction

In itself, the law simply helps in hypothesis and elimination. It is not a 'law' unto itself when even its own legitimacy is debated and debatable, and turned in upon itself, falsifiable!

It is unfalsifiable that a line is both finite (temporal), intersecting a point or segment, and infinite (atemporal). Will just lost the debate, but I'll keep listening. It doesn't mean Jeremy won, just that at this point, he isn't able to show his proof.

34:26 Will is arguing for a 'ray' not a line. God has literally no beginning. ANY point on the number line to 'progress' is artificial to a being that is without beginning AND importantly: without end. He 'already' is without end or else He couldn't state He is without end. Does Will or any Open Theist grasp this? 🤔

34:54 MOST of the Bible records God's interaction with 'us' the finite creatures and beings. Jeremy said well, that it is important not to assume God's whole character is summized by interaction with incredibly finite creatures or we are left only with a God who fits only our finite conceptions. when that happens, we have a God more finite than the God who actually is.

This idea (atemporality) doesn't quickly fall, Will. It cannot.

38:00 cross examination

Jeremy showed Will does not understand a line that has segments properties.

Jeremy does a good job questioning Will.

Does succession and 'no succession' mean mutually exclusive? No. A line is a line, a segment is a segment. Yet, a segment has properties of infinite and vice versa.

41:19 Almost ALL physicists believe time doesn't exist, that it's a construct.

James 1:17 "no shadow of turning"

Jeremy: Does God have any certain knowlege? will: God has no certainty but then 'most likely?' then 'Yes.'

Will and Jeremy are both well versed in their respective camps.

I really appreciate Will's graciousness in conceding possibility other than Open Paradigms.

54:46 "That scripture may be fulfilled" Will had a hard time acquiescing, but I've heard Open Theists say that God does make His prophecies come to pass, so I'm not sure why exactly Will had a hard time.

Will later says God can make His will come to pass.

Luke 7:30 God's purpose can be thwarted? Luke 7:30 doesn't show that.
Job 42:2 No purpose of your's can be thwarted.

58:35 Verses about God's Atemporality:

1 Corinthians 2:7 God's eternal purpose 'before' time. The word is aeon (ages). If before ages, at least before the 'marking of' time in this verse.

Will asked about a 'before' being time constrained. Yes, but: a 'before' a segment does not require a previous segment, just the line itself.

I'm not on page with Jeremy: It isn't 'no past, no future' but ALL PAST and ALL FUTURE. "No" past/future is, however, a Physics paradigm and it does apply to the Physical universe.

It isn't just 'has' a past, but "is." The semantics isn't quite grasping the needed language to adequately describe God. He IS the Alpha and Omega.

Does God have a past He cannot change? Open Theist want SO BAD to concede a debate. It doesn't often do what they think it does.

The question is almost the same as "Can God make a rock, He cannot pick up?" Answer: It is a horribly worded question that doesn't ask anything meaningful, but contradictory. It is like saying "Can God challenge His Omnipotence, with His omnipotence?"

No, it isn't a logical question. That is the answer.

Can God 'change' His past? Er, it is like asking "Can God change His nature?" The answer is: It holds no meaning or value in the question.

Yes or no are logically meaningless. It didn't concede anything but that someone (Will) didn't grasp that his question wasn't actually a logical question. He IS Alpha, He doesn't 'have' alpha portions.

1:10:47 No, He doesn't 'have' a Past. He IS the past, your past, my past. He doesn't have an increment to measure in the 'past.' Past is largely 'physical' to physics and physical in our grasp. It is like saying "a line HAS to have a segment before it intersects a segment. Not true. Something has to intersect to make it. It is suggesting that God has to have had physical interaction (if time is actually a temporal (part of the definition of time) concept, it necessarily (temporal) is finite and connected to the physical universe. Was there 'time' before the universe existed? Jeremy said "yes." I'd have said a qualified 'no.' Just like His incarnation, such isn't coexistent. If/since all comes from Christ, His own human nature comes from His own being Colossians 1:15-20

1:18:42 Open Discussion
1 Corinthians 2:7 Incorrect, timelessness, when it interacts in time, has a 'before and after' just like a line has congruence with a segment to be virtually the same. Both segment and line, through the duration are congruent. If you want to say "God has a beginning, Ours" then yes. Our's IS His. It belongs to Him. Eternal and everlasting are two separate defintions. Eternal doesn't mean 'endless time.'

For the debate: 2 Timothy 1:9 literally says 'before time' Pro Chronos

Calvinism made up God made a decree before the foundation of the world?

Er, 1 Corinthians 2:7 "Predestined, decreed" It didn't come from those 'pesky Calvinists.'

I do agree with Will, God does not decree evil. He decrees after the counsel of "His" will.

The proof texts (Bible) is written to 'temporal' man.

2 Timothy 1:9 says literally 'before time' but even if the Bible never said that, time dialation among other observations, shows definitively, that time is not an absolute.

Jeremiah 18 Turning from a judgement 'thought' to bring upon it, doesn't mean "God changed His mind." He is the one that set up the circumstance to relent in the first place. It is "Already in place." "I thought to bring upon them" means literally that this is what happens if there is no repentence.' It doesn't mean God 'changes His mind' (a terrible metaphor, nobody nor anything literally 'changes its mind.'

God's repetoire is responsive TO our behavior. Sin? Punishment, consequences. Repentance? Grace

"God's regret that He made man." It is ALREADY in His nature to regret the evil of man. When it reaches the point where annihilation is the remedy, then that's the prognosis. Yes, God could remake the past. And yes, God CAN make people that love Him (Adam and Eve?). Made. Loved Him.

I'm not exactly sure how God feels. We know how we feel and moreover the imperfection of our particular emotions.

Have to say again: There is literally no verse in scripture, it is extra-biblical, that nobody, let alone God, changes His mind. There is no such thing. It is no good to build a theology off of an extra-Biblical colloquialism. Say it better AND scripturally or don't say it?

I do appreciate Will's stating God, because He is God, has ownership to do as He wills with any man (somewhat Calvinistic of Him for saying so).

1:48 My answer: Block Universe may help: God is the whole, and not just the part. Often those who see God only 'in time' are only interested with God 'in time.' Similarly, not everybody is a

Slain 'from the foundation' Revelation 13:8

Will is okay on this, a little too strong, imo, on the Greek (even though I agree) see here: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange....oes-the-time-clause-connect-in-revelation-138

Foreknowledge does indeed mean literal foreknowledge. It literally means knows, before.

Regarding temporal change: Remember God is the 'whole' (panentheism) of existence. It isn't that He is physical so I need to qualify carefully what I mean by Panentheism and what I mean is Colossians 1:16 John 1:3 and even John 15:5 literally, cannot do even one iota of a thing.

Son of man is a title.

Time was/had to be created. Reason: 'temporal' means 'temporary'

Eternal does not mean everlasting.

I do agree that time is created/mathematical with Will, but God did create the foundations of all of these. He says not 'created' but when he argues created, He means 'not created by God.' In and of itself, it means it isn't a constraint on God. Nothing man creates could constrain God. It is like saying God has to obey (and only obey) the laws of measurement.

Oddly, he says 'change' requires time (which he says is a man-made/discovery).

Revelation 21:27 I agreed with Will

I'll need to be a bit strong on a few of your assertions that are incorrect, but I'll try to be pleasant and careful as I end. Just one more post now.


Well-known member

You may want to read what I said again.
I read what you wrote AND the scripture you posted. It said the opposite of what you said.
It matters a great deal when you allow pagan philosophy to color your view of God.
Not when the bible is about all I read. Sorry. Open View tries very hard to pin ideas. Sometimes ideas do NOT derive from the intended accusation. These did not. Sorry.
Pagan lenses, off, Lon. Now.
Open Theist have Greeks on the brain, not me. Your whole debate strategies and interests are very Greek. I'm aware, Open Theists? Greek students. You guys are on a witch hunt seeing a Greek under every bush. Nope. Just scriptures and a bit of good mathematics under my belt.
No one is saying Bob (or any Open Theist, for that matter) has everything right.
It is important here too: I'm not influenced a great deal in my theology by Greeks. Somewhat? Yes, I've read Augustine yet I don't buy everything hook and line.
The problem is that YOU have been shown that pagan philosophy has influenced the way most people view God today, and we Open Theists are simply pointing that out, and asking believers to consider what that means for their theology and their view of God.
It literally, doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is, if they were right or wrong and the BEST way to figure that out is reading the Bible.
The point is that would should consider what scripture says WITHOUT allowing what the Greeks thought about scripture, BEFORE we consider what it says in light of their philosophy.
I can agree but I really do think they get WAY overblown due. They influenced a LOT of Western thought, but you've a pretty good despite what those 'pesky Greeks' did to you. We can augment a bit by reading Eastern Orthodox but I'm careful to not be overly influenced there either.
I have yet to see you cite such scholars, at least in this discussion on this topic.
True, I'd not done so until this series of posts. 🆙
I'm saying it now.
Well, as you are fond of saying, saying it doesn't make it so JR. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were well-read and it did not taint their theology. They were in fact purposefully very resistant to Babylonian influence. I read a bible, a Greek Analysis, a Concordance.
Not in this discussion, you haven't.
It is called Tanakh (Jewish Commentaries). The Omnis are taught in them predating any capability of Greek influence. Look them up. Here is briefly Orthodox Jewish Belief. No Greeks there, right? It means Open Theists might pad data against orthodox Christianity coming from Greeks. While Moses ben Maimon wrote in AD, the Jews had maintained a high level of isolation AND Maimonides influence was the Tanakh.
Nope. I never received a "classical" education.
Home-schooled? 🆙 You are a good thinker, JR.
How about instead of asking your opponent to do extra work, you do the work yourself and include it in your posts.
Er, don't be lazy. I can do the work OR you can do it. Me? I watched a TWO-HOUR video simply because you asked me to! I'd think 10 minutes or so of asking for research on your part, fair.
I'm certainly not.
I think you are. I've NEVER brought up Greeks in biblical conversations. I couldn't care less (which means I care even less). If they happen to have discovered something about God, good: Romans 1: 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Once again, that's not what the verse says.
You are STUCK in English translation. It is okay, just realize you are making a big deal about a translation instead of actually knowing on this one. It is best most times to ask. ἐγένετο (from γίγνομαι) means to come into existence and some translations offer it that way because it is the word used. Stop posturing so much.
Because you say so?
As well as definition, etc. It doesn't matter what I say, just if it is demonstrable in thread. At this point, you can look up the links as well as realize "no, gravity doesn't just affect clocks.' It is a repeated and repeatable physics observation. While Einstein and other physicists (and Will Duffy) said that time doesn't really exist, what they meant was that the way we measure duration and sequence is a construct that helps us repeat things etc. Because the construct of relative time is repeatable, it does indeed show that duration is relative to movers and it means God really is relational to us, yet isn't just 'here' but there 'light years' away, instantaneously. Because of that, He literally doesn't have to move (He isn't physical anyway). It means 'no time' for God in some senses. Will Duffy was wrong: Atemporal at the very least, is demonstrably existent as different, not in 'our' time. After that? Yeah, because I have the whole weight of logic and science behind me, as well as a few key scriptures and scriptural conveyance? Yeah, because I say so (not really, will close with 'no' at the end of this triad).
Because you say so?
Er, "Temporal" (where we get "temporary") means 'time such that yeah, anybody can look this up, because I say so. Sure ( not really).
Because you say so?
Yes on this one too, but I'm not trying to say I 'won the debate' or 'you conceded the debate' for several reasons
1) False bravado and insecurity: It'd mean I'm not secure in my position and I am. I'm convinced 'if' you see a truth, it definitely will influence your theology.
2) It isn't gracious, is arrogant and cocky, and that's when God says He will oppose us.
3) It isn't necessarily so: I'm learning. I don't need to posture. If there is something in our discussion you can prove, I will change. There is no sense in posturing. I'm not the actuator of truth, God is.

So while above I said 'yes' I wish to augment all three and say "no." I do want you to entertain it, not just 'because I said so' but because you trust me for trying to get to truth even if I haven't found it. I truly hope we are serving one another for God's sake and glory. If not? I'm out AND need to apologize for the "Lon" show where I got in His way.
And you have yet to do so.
After a lot of posts now, I have. To everyone's satisfaction? No. For something I'm pretty sure you can look up and do follow up on your own? Yes. We mostly have soundbytes in threads. I'd love to think Will and Jeremy will continue talking together over these matters. There is certainly a bit of something each can learn from the other and because I love brothers, where iron sharpens iron, I actually enjoy discussions and debate, especially when I know I'm being treated like a brother.
Eternity means "unending time," Lon. It doesn't mean "no time."
Well, look it up. The definition is actually both, so context would drive it. I'm not too hung up on English words anyway, so no big deal.
Are you now claiming a "higher knowledge" than that of most people"?
Er, Metaphysical thinking is higher knowledge. An inability isn't a bad thing, it is just frustrating trying to explain what I know, to someone who cannot/has no ability to grasp a concept that is abstract and proved on the abstract level. Do I mean you particularly? I wasn't trying to be condescending but trying to say I used to be bothered when others couldn't understand metaphysical concepts nor capable of formal operational thinking. About 15% of adults are estimated to be able to reason metaphysically. It isn't clear if the rest have no ability or their education is lacking (that one could learn to think metaphysically).

I'm trying to say, in few words, "I think Open Theism isn't correct, but if it is due mostly/partially to an inability to think metaphysically, I have to let God work this out if I cannot prove the point any other way." Need to be said? I think in the sense that Faith is important to us all and takes up the slack for our lack, its something that probably should be said sometimes in debate forums (I could be wrong, but wasn't being ungracious, just trying to remember to be more gracious, outloud).
Supra, RE "in" and "consists".

Of course He is, but that doesn't by necessity require "apart from time." You still have yet to establish that bit.
And may not have yet (supra as well).
What IS Plato is:

- is timeless
- in an eternal now
- without sequence or succession
- without moment or duration
- atemporal and outside of time
- not was, nor will be, but only is
- has no past
- has no future.

Ah, see? I told you, you were more versed on those pesky Greeks than I was!
I'll reiterate a few points:
One, as I'd said with the Will/Jeremy debate. I disagree on a few of these points because God 'is' the Alpha (beginning) not has one nor is without ours, etc.
Anything I agree with Plato on? It is because he agrees with something found in the Bible. At that point 'any resemblance is incidental and not derivative.'
I've posted now, links to the Tanakh (Jewish commentary, much predating Greek influence) where Plato happens to agree with them, by coincidence, or because Plato might have been influenced by God and Hebrews to some degree instead.
I've read it, but will go over it again.
That's nice.
Er, then let's reiterate again: "A Jew corrects him." Jewish theology always has been resistant to anything outside of Hebrew walls.
From nowhere. Ex nihilo. Out of nothing.
Colossians 1:17 In Him all things hold together. Not to challenge you, just to get you to contemplate further.
Creation didn't exist prior to God creating it, and you cannot come up with a way of saying that if God did not exist in time.
Because you say so?
The line analogy assists here quite well:

There is a 'before' on this line and segment BUT there is no 'segment' prior to it. Such means 'no more measurement OTHER than as it intersects the segment, just like time is a measurement of 'our' duration. As I've said before, there is no adequate language for eternity past except for "His past is still going" or "He IS the Alpha." Imagine a God, so vast, that to see Him (like Moses asked) would make your head literally explode and bleed to death (I said imagine, I don't know how Moses would have died). I sometimes wonder if Open Theists actually capture a glimpse of the immensity of God when they deny every omni (linked from the Tanakh previously and Ephesians 'beyond measure'). Time, as even Will Duffy said, is a measure.

You don't seem to recognize that if Creation existed, in some way, shape, or form, "as a part of God," then since God has always existed, and since God (at least according to you) does not change, therefore creation ALSO has always existed, which is contrary to what scripture says.
Constructs are part of 'infinite' already. There is nothing outside of 'infinite.' Part of the problem between us, even with me, is that we are always going to express everything with what we know: Physical concepts. It is BECAUSE God explains himself in scripture as apart from creation, that we even think He is outside of it. It is a concept He gives. Even if you want to blame Aristotle, you'd have to partially blame him in the same breath for what you believe because scripture does give you ex nihilo etc.
It also makes God's existence dependent on His creation, which is heresy.
Agree! We BOTH want to avoid that so should really pay attention when someone tells us we are overtly applying our finite understanding to an infinite God.
On this, we pay attention to scripture (Colossians 1:15-20 John 1:3 John 15:5) and also reconcile it with God as Spirit as well as Hebrews 'by faith, we believe God made things seen from things which are not.' It means, from the repertoire' of all He is, His thoughts, concepts, came creation. However, as I've said, God is the whole of everything. While we disagreed, the verse does say "without Him, nothing exists that exists." Or do you believe some form of 'place' is coexistent with and for God to live? That He uses some form of equal energy and mass that isn't His own, that He lives in and draws from?
I don't have that problem, because I don't believe that God co-existed with creation prior to Him creating it.
The question above will help clarify your stance on this. For the record, I've been vulnerable because I really do want your good mind on these, even if I'm not exactly sure on all of this. I have a good working grasp of a lot of it, but the above questions, I really would like your thoughts on (and thank you in advance).
That's the problem that someone who believes God is outside of time has.
Naw, its really easy: A line intersects a segment, except when it doesn't. It is both when it is relational and when it is not. The dichotomy doesn't exist.

Because you say so?
And demonstrated. At least 'entertain' another's answer. Otherwise "no, not because I said so."
God is not forced to be in the same room as "omnipresent" would indicate, during such a scenario.
"Forced" is an odd idea. God isn't forced to do anything, He just is. I've gone through atrocity. God was there with me every step of the way.
One is either in or out of time. Not both.
Sort of. I mean I agree to an extent: The line, when 'in' the segment is genuinely 'in' the segment but the parts that are not, are not. Do you grasp this? At least for the line and segment?
Law of non-contradiction, remember?
Except 1) It isn't as reliable as Open Theism thinks it is and over-used
and 2) that it isn't a contradiction. Remember me talking about some things some people have an inability to grasp? Is this one of your inabilities? I don't think it is. I think you actually have the goods, if you don't posture, to actually grasp this from what has been presented. If not? My reason for bringing it up, is that I've come to the point where I simply think some people 'cannot' think outside the box. God is God over that too. It is a good place to be, leaving it in His hands. Prior, I'd have been frustrated.
"Not the same" doesn't even come close to equating to or even implying "outside of time."
Even we experience time differently as we age.
Then it isn't a constant. Again, supra.
You're conflating the measurement of time (the rotation of the earth) with time again.
You are conflating 'movement' at that point. Remember Will Duffy said Time doesn't exist. Remember Physicists say time doesn't exist. If it 'doesn't exist' then both God and you are atemporal.
Time kept flowing, Lon. Only the rotational position of the earth changed.
Sort of. It is a good observation, but remember that it was 24 hours, 38 minutes at that point. While seconds kept ticking, seconds are a physical measurement based on the rotation of the earth. That is why Will Duffy said 'time doesn't exist.' We observe something and especially as we've been trained to live by clocks, we think of time as an absolute. Yet, as I said previously, if physicists ever prove what you already believe, it will relegate time to a physical property, 'absolute' meaning 'physical absolute of the universe' at that point.
But He didn't "author time," or at the very least, you have yet to establish that.
Appreciate that. At the same time, you have a good mind and while I am doing quite a bit of work in links 'for you' (even if you believed me lacking, I have been working on it), I'm very confident you can own your own part of this discussion. My biggest goal would be to have sparked enough interest in you to actually look up a good bit of this because I know you seek what is true. That is plenty enough. By the way, thank you again for taking so much time on this. I appreciate it. You did a lot of work.

I did have trepidation, btw. When you took days to respond, I knew it was going to be a behemoth (I've been working a lot lately so haven't had as much time and have had to chisel out a bit to try and honor our huge posts and effor). In Him...
It depends on what we mean by time. If an illusion, doesn't exist, what have you, then time is a concept driven by human intellect. We then 'reason' that God must be moved by time, so it isn't that I don't see where Open Theism is coming from, but I also recognize that time is problematic specifically because I came to Will Duffy's conclusion after reading Einstein, that time really doesn't exist. The construct is given and it does work in the physical universe, but we use it bake cakes and get to work when everybody else happens to get to work. The very first time I started questioning 'time' was reading about a tribe in the amazon that had no concept of time at all. When asked to come meet with observers when 'the sun came up' they came three days later. That bewildered me, because I, like you saw time as intuitive and 'a given.'
No, Lon, it does not.
Yes, Jr, it does (whether I can show/prove it may be a different matter).
It simply affects the progression of the clock that MEASURES time.

The measurement of time IS NOT TIME.
Not correct, if you follow: When I used an instrument (watch) to measure increments, while something may affect the measure, it also affects the progress. Einstein discovered reliably/mathematically, that the faster we travel, the slower time progresses and though it is impossible, if one travels at the speed of light, they mathematically (because we don't have the capability to produce the energy or keep people alive if we could with the g-force), would be younger than everyone else. He wasn't wrong. Do you grasp that? Do you actually understand what he proved mathematically?
You missed it.

I said, "It does not mean "having all power." That is the definition of "omnipotent" that I provided.

God DOES NOT HAVE all power.

He has delegated some of power to some of His creation.

Or, perhaps a better way to put it is: Some of God's creation has power that isn't in God's possession.
Not according to Colossians 1:17 and John 15:5 If another carries responsibility, it is still His power. Every atom belongs to Him. There is no power but His. You keep having a coexistent God with your concepts. Just as you shore me up on a few of these, I want to do the same for you. Some of these concepts need honing. In Him -Lon and thank you again.


Well-known member
@Lon I'll try to get to your posts this weekend.

In the meantime, please enjoy this BEL show where Bob talks with Dr. John Sanders on the topic of the history of Open Theism.

I've covered most of this. It literally tries to reestablish what isn't conceded AND continues, in every example: to be very stuck in finite/physical thinking. I've posted over and over, the Open Mindset is literally stuck in 'finiteness.' Going back to physics (physical): Einstein placed time, among other things, in a 'fourth' dimension of metaphysical reality. He wrote very long algorithms proving time is relative. No doctorate in theology (not shooting one down, just stating clearly) 'can' challenge Einstein's work. He very clearly showed, in his formulas, that Open Theists and any others, get it wrong. Moreover, as I said, even if any physicist today can or ever does prove Einstein incorrect (and there are a very few trying), they will prove it upon the premise that time is a 'physical' property.

So while Dr. Sanders, Dr. Boyd, and Mr. Enyart debate Greek influence, the world and all of Christianity are much more aware of physics today. I suppose one day, there will be a huge 'plausible' conspiracy theory that Christianity is influenced by 'Einstein' in the future. The problem is, Ezekiel 1:4-28 discusses omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence of God, for us, much more clearly than the Greeks AND I've posted and linked to the Tanakh which clearly gives and holds to the omnis long ago. It is, as far as my college study on this, it is irresponsible at best and unconscionable at worst for Boyd or Sanders, with doctorates, to seem unaware of Hebrew literature (predating Greeks). It should have been among the FIRST on their degree studies as it was mine. Hebrew theology was challenged by captivities, but the Torah and Tanakh survived and are preserved by God's Hand. The Midrash and Tanakh clearly uphold the Omnis of God. It is just this clear. To go against it is literally to go against Jews, all of Christianity, and even those pesky Greeks. I don't believe Sanders, Boyd, et al have nearly enough PhD's to challenge that kind of Hebrew history. It just cannot be done and as I said, goes back to very small circles of Open discussions and conferences.
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Well-known member
I advise you to listen to this show:

https://kgov.com/john-sanders-open-theism-interview-historic-considerations (Part 1)
https://kgov.com/bel/20210407 (Part 2)

(@Lon Part 2 of the above show is now available at the link above)
Part 2: Genesis 18 Jesus appears to Abraham

"Going to go down and see..." is

Rhetorical for most Christians -Enyart

Genesis 3

Rhetorical for most Christians -Enyart

Bob Enyart "those are both Wrong."

Implications? God was completely clueless where Adam and Eve were. He didn't know if He was close enough for Adam to hear Him when He called. God had no clue whether Sodom and Gomorrah were evil or not. He wasn't paying attention to them at all for several years. He in fact, is not very close to His creation, so has little idea what is going on in the world.

Sanders: A clock changes.

-Disagree: The clock has no impetus whatsoever to change itself. It can only do what it is made to do. Some argue Calvinists believe they/we are robots. By implication and reasoning, Open Theist becomes "MORE" Calvinistic than many Calvinists. The argument is that 'you are as changeable as an alarm clock, at that point but the example shows and argues about what most see as robotic 'without choice.' The very analogy Open Theism often uses is actually a robot with absolutely no choice!

Interestingly, as I've constantly said, Open Theism not only carries Calvinist themes in their thinking, it also has a LOT more education in Greeks and Greek philosophy than any Christian I've ever met (irony and with a caution).

As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter a whit, what Greek philosophers thought.

It rather matters, 1) what scripture says and 2) what Hebrews (which EVERY Doctorate in Theology should know) believed and taught.

Greeks were smart and taught some good things. Did they get all of their ideas right? No, but they thought better than most AND good theologians and students will ask 'the same and same kinds of questions. Much of all of our 'Western' thinking coincides with Greek logic.

Man is made in God's image but NOT like God. It appears when Open Theists say 'created in God's image' and the rest of Christianity says it, the scope is clearly debated.

Sanders isn't correct, there is no 'stretching' of language when it comes to theology. There is, in fact, a misapprehension on much of Sander's grasp and understanding. I'd have to say he is deficient (he'd be right to challenge me on this), in his theology education. He knows more of what he doesn't like in Greeks, than he does what Scripture says.

Bob Enyart quoting C.S. Lewis 'we correctly deny God has passions.' C.S. Lewis was correct on impassibility. Christianity sees God as unchanging.
Any problem with God's immutability/impassibility is often a misapprehension. As I said with Einstein's theory of relativity: there is a truth, mathematically consistent, that shows that the Universe as a whole does not go through change, but that finite creatures, minuscule and necessarily not able to grasp the 'whole' see everything as changing. It is true, from the physics standpoint, that there is no such thing as 'time' when grasping the whole, thus time and change are 'relative.' The entire work of physics (physical universe and the mathematics that express it) is based on consistent, unerring math that proves out true.
Point: If it is provable mathematically and consistently (and it is) then God who is not physical, but Spirit, is well beyond even those metaphysicals that are also provable by Einstein's theories. And then remember, if ever Einstein is proven wrong, it will mean the demise of Open Theism because is will relegate time to ONLY a physical property.

While theology is not 'physics' God's interaction with us is. How is that possible? That a God who is NOT physical is able to interact physically? Because, as Hebrews says, we take it by faith that all that is seen (physical) comes from that which is unseen (Spirit). It is for this reason that most Christian Theologians do not believe we are created quite in the same image as Open Theists (and others) believe. Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has set eternity in our hearts..."

Re: Sander's on Immutability being Aristotlian
Divine Immutability/Impassibility is Biblical: God says "I do NOT Change." God does. Who cares what Aristotle thought? Again, just read the Bible and see if it supports and idea. It does. Malachi 3:6

It doesn't what Aristotle thought. Simply read the scripture and ADHERE to it. Malachi 3:6 and more verses to follow: Nope, not 'deeply' influence by Aristotle, Sanders.

Momentary thought listening to Enyart and Sanders: We are what we eat. "If" a man is this steeped in Greek philosophy, it will influence him/her more directly, in THEIR thinking, than it does me. I read my Bible daily. I have a Master's Degree. Of course I've had to read Greek philosophy during my life (among others in a secular philosophy class). That was over 35 years ago.

RATHER, I have verses in my head. Bible verses.

Hebrews 13:8 is a qualified yet clear immutability. "Immutability" is a Bible word. It means "Doesn't change." Malachi 3:6 banks on it: It is because "I do not change" that sons of Jacob were not consumed. How do you reconcile it with Noah? Only in that everything we read in scripture is not 'for' God but 'for' us. He is teaching us. Every stroke of the pen is to 'teach us.' Miss that, and it will cause all kinds of 'reading into the text.' The unchanging character of God is the point of both the story of Noah and Malachi 3:6. Different God? Nope. Difference in His character? Nope. Difference in man? Yep. Difference in covenant? Yes.

Look at James 1:17 It means what is says, and say what it means: NO shadow of variation or turning <ahem 'immutability'>

Numbers 23:19 God cannot lie nor speak without fulfillment. While 'Greeks' get the blame, the answer is "no, it is scripture and scripture means something." This pedantic (very clear and instructive) teaching is that God will do what He says and implied by question: will not fail. Sanders is wrong: God is never 'sometimes mistaken,' ever.

Did a Greek influence that? No! Look! It is scripture: Psalm 102:27 "forever the same." It means dependable. It means not flitting about, at the mercy of the trendy wind. It means Immutable (unchanging) and it is in scriptures. I've linked to the Tanakh and Midrash. Jews always believe the scriptures mean literally God is immutable.

Every mention of 'everlasting' in scripture means immutable. I challenge anybody to prove otherwise. "everlasting" isn't just a duration, it is a duration of 'the same.' God doesn't stop being God (which means immutable).

Part of the definition of immutable is "God" and "not susceptible." One of the above verses said God isn't variable. One definition of "Immutability" is "invariable," thus immutable is wholly Biblical.

So facts: Is it "Greeks" or rather Lon and Hebrews that say so? It is Lon, reading his Bible, and Hebrews, reading theirs, who say so. Who cares about Greeks? Open Theists, but have they spent an inordinate amount of time when they SHOULD have been using scripture instead to correct? Maybe Open Theism doesn't want to reach the majority of Christians on the planet. If so, then perhaps they are going for a very few who are indoctrinated by Plato and Aristotle. Am I? Nope. I've wrestled long and hard with the Omnis and am, like Hebrews, convinced the omni's are scriptural doctrines. Look at the list of scriptures above. They indeed do teach immutability.

Challenge: Any Open Theist: Is God 'dependable?' Yes or no? Is He ALWAYS dependable? Yes or No? If 'yes' to both, then you believe in immutability of God much more than you deny it. In fact, so much so, at that point, that their is little difference in any kind of 'qualified' immutability because you just said He is ALWAYS dependable. It means, for the Christian, that God is completely dependable (means the same as immutable).