Yet His scriptures describe changes in His plans for people and nations in some cases, and scripture says these things are in response to what that person/nation does/did.
That's mainly bluster on your part, since we're both trying to understand not so much about what God hasn't revealed, but what He has.
I don't have any trouble grasping that. Jesus affirmed that before Abraham existed, He existed as deity. The Pharisees had no trouble grasping it either.
John 8:59 KJV — Then took they up stones to cast at him
This is no doubt true that God is beyond our cognitive ability, but that doesn't mean we ignore or make mysterious those things which He reveals clearly to us.
Yet such doesn't offer that you or I in particular, have actually grasped the truth of it. If, for instance, your filter is 'that is tainted Greek philosophy' it will color your paradigm for all ensuing conversation, necessarily.
I did but more later when you 'question my sincerity.'
That's because most people are practical Open Theists.
"As you understand it." I'm not. I pray according to His will. When I ask for a healing, I know He has a big picture in mind and 'if' He catered to my will, if in any way another would be negatively affected, I know He will say "No" Such is very much a part from Open Theism expectations. I fully believe God changes me, not me changing Him.
I don't see how that second one needs to be about impassibility. The first one is decidedly caveated in scripture.
Philosophically, right? since we don't understand infinite? Anytime you say we can't understand the infinite and then proceed to explain it to me makes me question your sincerity.
Because of an inability? If so, you are correct, some things are taken by faith but the 'attempt' is there to bring another beyond a block in reasoning. If not? Then yeah, I lament (so don't doubt the attempt or sincerity). I wrote a piece about the difference in basic math and algebra. There is never an 'ability' for the basic math kid to grasp algebra, until there is. This is the same.
I'm not sure that Open Theism denies any of that. But don't you think that if God can keep straight all the different requests, he can also keep straight the responses to them? Responses--that's an Open Theism concept, as you admitted above.
God meets you where you are at. "If" one is in basic math like understanding of God and theology, that is where God is at. I'm bringing Algebra to the discussion as it were.
I didn't realize jettisoning the Bible was even on the table.
In sincerity? Or is this just an incredulous and easy rebuttal?
How does that put a limit on things kings should be trying to understand?
Proverbs 25:2 KJV — It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
It is mostly a wrestling point between algebra and basic-math'ers. It is my observation that the discussion with Open Theists is akin. I do believe implicitly that a slight grasp of an eternal nonbeginning is one key to progressing toward algebra views of God's reality and nature.
I would think we need to be at least as careful when we dodge something due to the infiniteness of the answer, since we don't understand it well enough to know whether we need to dodge.
It ties back into the difference of basic math, algebraic paradigms. Whenever you see someone not an Open Theist discussing this, it is not to limit but to move beyond the simple answer. They are trying to get you to appreciate an algebraic equation. Algebra IS higher math. It introduces the unknown and gives you MUCH better tools for doing higher math. Without it, your window for discussion will always be 'basic.' For the most part, that will always be the sense of the attempt. If you miss it, it'll always be seen as not connecting or even 'dumbing down' that is not at all the attempt. In a very real and tangible way, logic is done on a basic and/or algebraic frame. Most people are seeing Open Theism as 'basic math.' Insistence on basic math is okay, but trying to get someone to understand the infinite past of God 'that is still going' by algebraic necessity, is difficult with one that only grasps 'past is past so over.' Algebra is essential because infinite requires a variable placement holder. No # can qualify it so "past is past" is stuck in numerals.
Is someone doing that? How would you know? Is it because you can tell the difference between conceiving God on a human level versus conceiving Him on some other level?
Scripture is a great start point. When God gives us terms for Himself in Algebraic terms, we should listen to Him. Isaiah 55:8,9 "Thoughts AND ways are so much higher..." Thus, you can do simple math and figure some, grasp some, or you can use algebraic terms that leave a variable. Variables eventually will/can be applied but scripture is clear we are living in algebraic terms.
Yet, when you draw your hand out, you don't suddenly see what your fish were doing yesterday
This doesn't even fit in an Open Paradigm. Open Theists believe God knows what we were doing yesterday. I need a better analogy to describe or dispel a truth you are trying to convey.
Isn't the Bible written in terms that we understand, which would normally not include infinitely unconstrained theology, or whatever the opposite would be.
Yes, both in basic AND algebraic terms. I don't want to rock Open Theists in their theology, simply intimate that there are algebraic equations God gives clearly about Himself.
Again, I think this is merely bluster. Do you really think all open theists have God constraint to be a passenger? Why do you think that?
It is the end to the logical direction. It is a way of saying: Your ideas, taken to their conclusion, lead here. It doesn't mean you believe God is a passenger but it does mean that the theology 'uses' God that way, at least in portrayal, and that it ends that way if it is followed to conclusion. It might help to do a bit of theology digging on what Mormons believe about God. They 'think' logically, like Open Theists.
Ok. Why is that important here in this discussion? I would suggest that it is merely a way to end the conversation without having to address the points being made.
Because (continuing from just above), if God has to change to me (Open Paradigm) and "I'm" the one who is imperfect, what does it profit for God to 'meet me' as it were if He doesn't bring me back to where He is? I've NO comfort in a God who meets me where I am without the caveat: "to bring me back to Him." The first part is great: He saves me but if not to make me more like Him, to be with Him, then am I really saved or just building a theology that is stuck exactly where He found me? Christlikeness is my desire, a desire I find disturbingly lacking in some individuals on TOL AND I believe, due to exactly this theology, a theology that doesn't have them wanting anything to do with Jesus nor to be anything like Him. Who CARES if I'm saved if I'm the same exact punk I always used to be? It isn't just a future in heaven. I'm not into life-insurance policies lest He say "depart, I never knew you." Rather, I want to 'be' like Jesus today. I want to be 'with' Jesus today. For Christ, I've been saved, He is my focus. That at least, is basic enough. Summary: If the best Open Theism can do is make me "realize God meets me at my need," it tends to convey 'what I, a man needs and wants' and leaves me there. I do not need comfort that God moves to my desires as the end of the story. I want the part where I am brought from/to, thus a God who is constant, stable, Holy, unchanging in nature, etc. etc. is of greater promise and hope than a god who merely caters and comes to meet me. When I am raised daily to meet Him. When I am promised to be changed to His glory. Those are earmarks of my faith that are subdued in Open discussion and circles. Show me the thread on TOL that was started by an Open Theist "Why I love Jesus!" or "I cannot wait to be like Him and see Him for Who He is!" Our theology forces our discussion. If after the service we immediately talk about football, what was on our minds the whole sermon? How our theology changes US is huge in giving indicators of the focus of our theology. One main point of my theology is "Dear Lord Jesus, I want to be like you today and bless others." Your theology shapes who you are. Open Theology has a lot of God coming to me and catering to me but I NEED "Lord make me like You today, fill me, give me strength, grace, love and mercy to reach others and serve."
If something we "know" of God's character/being is ever wrong, doesn't some damage need to be done to it?
To us, and our concept (and how this ties in to the thread) If, according to this thread, God is moral, it is 'higher' and algebraic in connection with our 'basic' understanding so the algebraic term is necessary. It isn't 'as simple as that' afterall. The subject of God's morality:
- Of or concerned with the judgment of right or wrong of human action and character.
- Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior.
- Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous.
1) "Human" God isn't subject to 'human' morality. He was subject to humanity, but for a short time.
In this context, and to answer the thread: God supersedes morality. He is 'more' than so 'moral' by human standards would be seen as a limitation.
2) Exhibiting Goodness Yes, in this sense, God is moral, but the point of my entrance in thread, was to discuss the difference as well as question whether 'morality' is the best descriptor. "Good" and 'Correct" may have been better terms for starting a thread.
3)"Conforming" Is God having to 'conform'? Can He? Isn't he already THE standard? In a larger sense, I agree with Clete God is good and moral, but man is not the yardstick to measure or ascertain God's goodness. 1) Rule #1 God is moral as an absolute. 2) Rule #2 If it looks like God has done something immoral, refer to rule #1 because a)I'm not the standard nor b)have the standard. God is good, I am not but for Christ in me.
But we should also determine which of our ideas aren't quite as well supported by scripture and allow the damage to be done to them.
Yes, our ideas need to be assailable.
Lon, I haven't really reviewed the conversation that went before, and some time has passed, so I hope I haven't just reiterated stuff in attempting to address your post.
I believe you did well and ty.