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#101 Fred Williams

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:38 AM

Gen 18:21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know."

I'm guessing Fred is using the last part of this verse to say that God didnt know until he "went down to see". Does God need to come down to earth to "see" or "know" something?

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You guessed incorrectly. :blink: That’s a fair assumption to make, but for the record I don’t think God needs to come down to earth, I believe he can instantly know what is going on in Sodom (though I cannot make a slam-dunk case for this from scripture). What I am saying is that God has the power to ignore, blot from His mind, places where wickedness runs rampant. He doesn’t have to be in the presence of every perpetual wicked act. I believe God can at any moment be anywhere he wants, He also has the power to not to be somewhere he doesn’t want to be. Why would God want to be in the depths of every sewer? Many Christians have been trained to accept the omnis as absolute (there's that Greek influence again), I submit scripture does not support such a rigid position, and Gen 18:21 provides one such example.

What about verses like 1 Peter 1:2

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

or Ephesians 1:4

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

or Romans 11:2

God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel?

or Acts 2:23

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain

or 1 Peter 1:20

He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you

or Romans 8:29

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers

Its like this verse......

John 21:17

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

Why would Jesus ask Peter if He loved Him when it is clear Jesus already knew?

Is the foreknowledge mentioned above somehow limited to only certain things?


All the “foreknew” verses above deal with a plurality. It would be very easy to falsify corporate election by producing an example of foreknowledge of an individual. I would ask, what would falsify your belief in individual predestination? The beauty of what I am proposing is that it truly would be easy to falsify. I submit that there are many, many verses that cleanly falsify individual predestination.

Foreknowledge is limited to all that is real. If it turns out to be true that the future doesn’t exist until it happens, is this going to diminish your view of God? Such a thing would not make God any less God. God knows all things knowable.

Fred
PS. Please know I've been on the other side of this for years, the problem was I couldn't explain the literally hundreds of verses that don't work with the concept of "God outside of time". As UppsalaDragby mentioned, there hasn't been much an effort by folks in this thread to deal with the scriptures I have provided that make it difficult to believe that the future already exists, since in plain language of scripture it can't possibly exist (eg. Jer 19:5).

#102 JoshuaJacob

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 04:06 PM

I would ask, what would falsify your belief in individual predestination?


I believe God has foreknowledge, I don't believe we are predestined to do anything against our freewill. Just because God has foreknowledge of the future does not mean We have no choice in what We do and are therefore predestined with no choice in the matter.

Foreknowledge is limited to all that is real. If it turns out to be true that the future doesn’t exist until it happens, is this going to diminish your view of God?


Foreknowledge cannot be limited to all that is real because the very definition of the word is "Knowledge or awareness of something before its existence or occurrence". Is there another definition to the word?

As UppsalaDragby mentioned, there hasn't been much an effort by folks in this thread to deal with the scriptures I have provided that make it difficult to believe that the future already exists, since in plain languageof scripture it can't possibly exist (eg. Jer 19:5).


If We were to just use plain language then God would have hands, arms, feet, eyes, would come down to "see" or "know something" etc. We must also need to realise when scripture cannot be understood in plain language.

#103 performedge

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 04:57 PM

Does anyone else following this thread see that Don’s latest citations actually bolster my claim that God’s “timelessness” can be traced to the Greeks, and conversely that there is no evidence the Hebrews held such a view? If I am missing something in Don’s logic, please let me know, it seems obvious he just gave me more ammunition for my position. I guess I should say thanks. :blink:

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Your quite welcome, the gorilla just walked by and you couldn't see him! He was about 800 #'s.

Yes Fred, over multiple posts, I have affirmed that "timelessness" is a Greek idea. And I have also affirmed that the Hebrews had no such view. Those affirmations are likened unto you counting the number of passes in your video while the gorilla walks by which you don't even see.

The gorilla is the fact that your definition and concept of time is just as Greek and just as pagan as anyone’s concept of timelessness is. The concept of timelessness is dependant on the concept of time. Here again is your definition: “time is one moment passing to the next moment.” That is Greek. The past is gone. The future does not exist. The foundation of your argument rests on your definition of time. If that is not God's definition, then you are just arguing sinking sand.

This concept of time was foreign to OT biblical writers. Their concept was that "God inhabiteth eternity". He is the great I am. All of time. Never timeless. But also not constrained to the present as the pagan Greeks and most modern peoples believe. If the biblical concept of time is adopted ie: "time is when God acts" then God can act in the past, the present, and the future, because when God acts that is the time of God's action. (Note: the gorilla is wearing red)


Don, it’s becoming too hard for me to continue with you on this topic. I doubt you do this intentionally but your latest posts continue what has been a constant barrage of strawman arguments, misrepresentations, and incredible irony (claiming I am the one dodging the plain language of Gen 18:21, while your view fits the plain language, really takes the cake).


But again for all the other readers, You still have yet to show that God wasn't present in Sodom. You still have yet to show that God isn't anywhere. You make this assertion over and over again. But you have not shown one scripture that says God is not present somewhere. So I reject your assertions, when God Himself says “He fills the heavens and the earth.” And yes by choice. We know, and you agree, that God can be multiple places. What we don't have scriptural evidence for, is that God wasn't in Sodom


When someone perpetually doesn’t understand another’s position, misrepresentations are certainly going to result. Your post #97 is probably 90% misrepresentation, mostly by raising arguments that you portray as somehow contradicting my position, when the opposite is true (namely that God outside of time is a Greek concept, and foreign to Hebrew thought).


Great! You were able to count all of the ball passes, but missed the gorilla yourself. (namely that your Greek pagan concept of time was also foreign to the Hebrews)

The following are three more examples of caricatures of my position:
Good luck on quotes 1 & 2 above finding anywhere where I hold an opposing view, in fact, they partly consist of the very arguments I have used when trying ot convey to you that God has the power to choose to not be somewhere.


I didn’t mean to caricature your argument with these examples. I was affirming what I thought was our agreement that God could choose not to be somewhere. We agree on that. What we don’t agree on is that the scripture says that God chooses to be everywhere. The fact that he can choose, does not erase the fact that He can and does choose to be omnipresent. Again, the gorilla is wearing red. You must show where He has chosen not to be somewhere. You haven’t done that. Especially with Gen 18.


Regarding the 3rd quote, I don’t expect you to read all my posts in this thread, but I’ve been clear numerous times that time is not a thing, nor does Open Theism claim this! For example, from Post #39  “I do not believe time is a physical thing. Only modern secular metaphysical quantum mechanics makes this claim.”


Well that’s fine if you believe that, I just think it is logically inconsistent. The Greeks believed time was physical. It is measurable. In fact, it is only measurable, because it is defined as “a moment passing to the next moment”. It is described as a “timeline” in which the past is gone and the future doesn’t exist yet. Only the present moment. This concept is also spatially confined. And it is PAGAN. But it is your definition.

If you truly do not believe that time is a physical thing then I hope you don’t wear a watch or look at the time stamps on your posts. (there is a difference between physical and immaterial)

Don, I again ask to be more careful with misrepresentations, false accusations of “quote mining”, and rabble-rousing unsubstantiated language such as me “dodging”, “resisting evidence”, etc. There is a difference between resisting and rejecting – the former gives the impression I am willfully ignoring facts, when the truth of the matter is that I rejected your charlatan source that even you admitted had “weird ideas”.


Well I can only go by what I read. Not once did you address my “charlatans” claims. Not once did you address the claims of the other sources I gave. I highlighted in blue, so you could see my argument as best I could that your pagan Greek concept of time is what leads to the concept of timelessness. (the red Gorilla) The Hebrew concept of time allows God to inhabit all of time, not just the present. It allows God to live 1000 years literally in a day and a day in 1000 years. And He can do this without being timeless or pagan.

PS. There is already a thread in the Bible section that discusses your belief of soul annihilationism.


Fred, I know sometimes (OK most times) I come off as argumentative. But this is a debate forum!. I really do not do this to be “right”. Honestly. I do this to challenge people to think. We all have our paradigms, self included. When I see terms like “pagan”, that immediately raises a red flag with me. Pagans are condemned in scripture. So I challenge the arguments if I think they are faulty. That’s all. I really have no substantial problem with Open Theism. I am an “omni” person as you know. Fundamentally I believe God is so BIG that OT or OMNIS can’t describe Him. I know you feel the same.

I have seen your Gorilla that God CAN CHOOSE as you typed before. I really think that is the underlying foundational concept of Open Theism. I just hope you have seen my gorilla that open theism is really hypocritical on this matter, because they accept a Greek concept for time while arguing against a Greek concept of timelessness.

Now I would love to post on the subject of annihilationism, but I can’t unless someone with authority will allow me.

Sincerely,

Don

ps. I will be happy to honor you with the last word. God Bless you Fred, and your ministry.

#104 Fred Williams

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 05:09 PM

FW: I would ask, what would falsify your belief in individual predestination?


I believe God has foreknowledge, I don't believe we are predestined to do anything against our freewill. Just because God has foreknowledge of the future does not mean We have no choice in what We do and are therefore predestined with no choice in the matter.

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I agree with this, but of course with a twist. God certainly has foreknowledge, but the future doesn’t have to exist for him to have it. God foreknew the existence of the Church, a body of believers who would accept Jesus’ gift. God foreknew that Israel would be freed from Egyptian bondage after 400 years, because “Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.”

Foreknowledge cannot be limited to all that is real because the very definition of the word is "Knowledge or awareness of something before its existence or occurrence". Is there another definition to the word?


Hmm, sounds like you just became an Open Theist. :blink: I agree completely with that definition, but it suits Open Theism, not the traditional 'God transcends time' view. According to the traditional view, that “something” already does exist since the future already exists for God since he is outside-of-time (allegedly).

If We were to just use plain language then God would have hands, arms, feet, eyes, would come down to "see" or "know something" etc. We must also need to realise when scripture cannot be understood in plain language.


I also agree with this, in part anyway, that things like God “seeing” are legit cases of anthropomorphism since it’s an obvious and easy-to-relate conveyance. The problem with the rest of the verse is that it doesn’t seem necessary to include similar anthropomorphism language since He simply could have said, as he has in other places of the Bible, that I “have heard their cries”, or “I have seen their wickedness”? I believe, and I realize I could be wrong, that Gen 18:21 is God telling us He has the power to decide not to be somewhere, if He so chooses. The problem is that this stuff isn't isolated. Here is another verse to consider:

1 Kings 19:11-12 - The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

Fred

#105 AFJ

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 03:52 AM

Hi AFJ, thanks for taking the time to chime in... I do think there are very good reasons to dote about these things, ie what if opposing such an idea could subtly lead one down a path that provides a convenient excuse not to witness?
I agree with you that any theology can be taken to the extreme (such as OT -> God making mistakes), but that would not be the fault of scripture, but the person. Many take Paul's words about communing to the extreme and claim he was promoting Communism.  Consider the traditional view that the future is settled. This becomes a slippery slope that God can't change the future, and therefore all things are set in stone, and therefore our prayers and witnessing are essentially a waste of time.

I have a question for those interested to consider a statement that probably describes what this debate boils down to:

"The future does not exist until it happens".

How is such a position dangerous to the body Christ? To witnessing? To prayer? If I happen to be wrong about believing this, how does it impact my salvation, or anyone else I influence with such a view? IMO I can give plenty of reasonable arguments of how individual predestination, no hell, all Jews are saved, etc can impact another person's salvation by providing an excuse not to witness to that person. I believe we should be very careful to examine any claim that would provide an excuse to not carry out our great commission to witness.
I essentially agree with all of this, God certainly knew what He had purposed. The Bible says in Isaiah 46:11 "Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.". God is All-Powerful and can certainly make all these things happen. I would like to pose the question, how does God need a pre-existing future to accomplish the above?
This is a great point, and exactly the kind of example I've used for people who insist OT is limiting God! If the future does not exist until it happens, then how can we expect God to know the unknowable? We don't expect God to know who Santa Claus is, because Santa Claus doesn't exist, any more than we would expect God to be able to create a rock too heavy to lift. It's illogical.
I agree, we just happen to disagree on semantics - whether or not a future that doesn't exist as reality until it happens limits God. I believe God is not limited by what he can do, unless it is unreal and illogical (such as your rock example, God hating Jesus, the future exists before it happens :blink:, etc).
I was in the same mindset on this for years. However, iron should sharpen iron, and if I'm wrong I would like to know why. If I am right, I think I can give you examples in this very thread where opposing this view creates a doctrine that permits a person to subconsciously or otherwise not witness to others! If such a thing is true, shouldn't this become important to discuss?

I may be stubborn (OK I am stubborn :)), but I have changed my view on many a scripture over the years, as this very forum is a testament to. You mentioned verses that on the surface you agree support OT such as Moses' interjection for the Jews to ask God not to wipe them out and use his lineage instead (God certainly could have still brought about His grand plan with Moses' line). Your explanation certainly is reasonable, it's possible it was just a "test" or something like that. But the problem is that there are just way too many other scripture that such an explanation won't fly, such as Jer  19:5 "they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind".

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Hi Fred,
Perhaps I was not clear that my words were directed toward those who advocate open theism, and not to minimize the need to address this issue. My statement about "doting" was directed to those who advocate open theism. Paul instructed us in Timothy to not get caught up in vain arguments, and philosophies of man. He is warning those who would get "caught up" in these things, and thereby make their faith "shipwreck." Our faith is built on the certainty of the power of God, and it is certain we live in an age when many "have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof."

But we certainly have a responsability to "earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints, for there are certain men who have crept in unawares (I remember in KJV--it's just the poetic nuances I guess--lol).

My main concern with open theism is that it opens the door for a view of a God that is not perfect, omniscient, and perhaps just an exalted being of some type--let those that believe this make a universe and life, then they can talk.

As for a pre-existing future, I think that would kind get into the Calvinism/Armenian debate. I will just let you know my stand. I try not to delve too deeply--I have heard both sides, and both sides have their scriptures. This is what I prayerfully have arrived at, but I am open to learning from God. God knows the future, but does not usurp free will. Now how he goes about that in detail is too lofty a subject for me. God also causes certain things to come to pass by intervention, and He knows how to make that come to pass--as for me, I don't know how He does it. I just know that Jesus came in the fulness of time, and that he died on the passover, when he was supposed to. The things of the end are coming to pass when they are supposed to. Israel and the surrounding countries are in place for Armageddon, the kings of the east (probably China) have a huge army, just like it was seen in Revelation. Islam, which is looking for it's Mahadi, cuts the infidels heads off. We have the UPC scanner, which is precursor for a cashless society. Catastropes (birth pangs) are getting closer and closer together.

So God knew all this, but did the future preexist? Some things are appointed, but God never violates the free will of man--that is all I know. If there is another concern that I am not seeing--please let me know.

#106 performedge

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 11:15 AM

I will just let you know my stand.  I try not to delve too deeply--I have heard both sides, and both sides have their scriptures.  This is what I prayerfully have arrived at, but I am open to learning from God.  God knows the future, but does not usurp free will.  Now how he goes about that in detail is too lofty a subject  for me.

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Amen! He is too BIG for us to comprehend, so why are we bothering.

My view is this. To agree that God knows the future is simply an affirmation of the scripture. To say the future doesn't exist, so the future is unknowable. Therefore God knows everything that is knowable, just not the future is a challenge to the scripture based the foundation of time concepts which require that the future is unknowable. To me the challenge comes from the man made concept of time rather than just a simple affirmation that He knows the future when we have no clue how He knows it.

#107 performedge

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 01:03 PM

The problem is that this stuff isn't isolated. Here is another verse to consider:

1 Kings 19:11-12 - The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

Fred

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But Fred,

Isn't the whole point of this passage to show that God is always present? People often look at the big natural events to "find" God when He is there all the time in the gentle whisper. If you take a second look at the passage God tells Elijah to "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD,". So let me ask, was the Lord present. Of course He was!

Then "a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD." This happened before the Lord's presence. Do you think that God didn't make the wind and the earthquake and the fire? I know it says He wasn't "in" them, but that doesn't mean He wasn't present with them.

Maybe the problem is in your understanding of "presence". That's what Elijah's problem was. He felt God's lack of presence was going to lead to his demise. You don't have to be "in" everthing to be present everwhere. God is omnipresent, not omni-in.

I know I said you could have the last word, but I felt this new passage needed to be commented on, especially when I think it is teaching God's omnipresence.

#108 Calypsis4

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 01:54 PM

Hi Dave, and thanks for taking time to tackle this.
So I presume you can provide us with examples of this evidence? :) If time is not a "thing" as you assume (with no evidence), then your whole argument falls apart. Even if you appeal to "properties" such as time dilation (which is literally in the eyes of the beholder) how does this make "the passing of one moment to the next" a created, physical "thing"? In the beginning Fred Williams created an aquarium and put sand, rocks, and fish in it. The English words are very clear. I did something that had a beginning, but I did not create anything aside from what I said I created (ok, built), an aquarium. Nobody in their right mind would think that "In the Beginning" had any other meaning than the demarcation point for the start of my project. There is nothing in the English, or the Hebrew in the Bible, that even remotely supports that "In the beginning" as meaning anything other than what it says, the start of something. There is nothing to support that "time" itself, the passing of one moment to another, was "created". There is no evidence in any of the rabbinical writings to support such an interpretation. Dave, I hope you at least admit that you are making an ASSUMPTION that time is a physical "thing".
Hmm. Dave, do you really want to go down the path of whose making “In the beginning” mean something totally different than what the plain Hebrew states? If need be I'll try to dig up my references for the rabbinical writings. Do you have any  evidence from Hebrew scholars that “In the beginning” can also mean the creation of time? I suspect all you have is speculation from some very credible, great Christian men. But it still is speculation, an idea, a hypothesis, nothing more.
Well, for one the "passing of one moment to the next" (aka time). See Revelation 8:1.

Since the Bible itself is a great place to go for such answers, I'm wondering why no one has yet been willing to tackle the verses I have provided to support my position. :) I'm just scratching the surface on literally HUNDREDs more verses I can provide that when taken in plain language, shows that the future is not reality until it occurs, that "God-outside-of-time" should go on the scrap heap with all the other false ideas Plato and Aristotle promoted. Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1 Cor 1:20)

To summarize:

1) Science has not shown time is "physical".

2) Early rabbinical writings show no concept at all that God created time, or is outside of time.

3) Greek pagan philosophers taught God-outside-of-time. So they were wrong on everything scientific but this?

4) And the final nail in the coffin: The Bible has hundreds of verses that when taken in plain, straightforward language, clearly paint a picture that is completely opposite of "God-outside-of-time." So far no one has been willing to explain the verses I have provided.  Are they afraid I will keep score of who is using the plain meaning, and who isn't?  :blink:

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Excellent reasoning. I agree.

But where did you get the quote from Lord Kelvin? I'd like to have that as a source to join the one by Mendel refuting evolution.

Thanks.

#109 Fred Williams

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 03:10 PM

The gorilla is the fact that your definition and concept of time is just as Greek and just as pagan as anyone’s concept of timelessness is. The concept of timelessness is dependant on the concept of time. Here again is your definition: “time is one moment passing to the next moment.” That is Greek. The past is gone. The future does not exist.


Don, I looked back at the thread. I realize it can sometimes be hard to explain a position on a forum - part of the reason I don't acknowledge all your "gorillas" is because you have presented your argument in a fashion that IMO has been clear as mud. I have consistently argued that the concept of timelessness originated with the Greeks, and conversely that there is no evidence the ancient rabbis believed in God's timelessness. Apparently you now agree with both these statements (let's call them 'A' & 'B'). However, where you began to obscure this was citing a reference from a cheetos-eatin' Trekkie charlatan as evidence that Hebrews taught that "God transcends time" (paraphrasing your words!). Most people would have thought you were arguing that the Hebrews believed in God-outside-of-time. But apparently you were arguing something totally different. You shifted to a prior claim of mine, that time was simply “one moment passing to the next” (let's call this argument C). So, while I was defending A & B, you implied A & B were wrong by attacking argument C. Can you see why I'm not the only member to get into loggerheads with you? I'll be frank that your view that Hebrews didn't think time was the passing of one moment to the next to be, how can I put this kindly, a very desperate attempt to win an argument. The Hebrews had to realize that one moment passing to the next was a truism, you can find it throughout scripture (Genesis 1, Prov 12-12, Rev 8:1, etc)! I never dreamed anyone would ever question or want to figure out whoever came up with the concept that one moment passing to the next is time (at least one definition of it, Websters 1b). From my POV this was a red-herring.

Fred

#110 Fred Williams

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 03:19 PM

Excellent reasoning. I agree.

But where did you get the quote from Lord Kelvin? I'd like to have that as a source to join the one by Mendel refuting evolution.

Thanks.

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Thanks. The citation is from the 'Proceedings of the Victoria Institute, No. 124, p.267'.

Fred

#111 Fred Williams

Fred Williams

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 09:18 AM

People often look at the big natural events to "find" God when He is there all the time in the gentle whisper.

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This we can agree on, but the rest of your discourse sounds like you are now saying that God isn’t always “in” every sewer in the world, but he is always “present” there. Hmm. Okie dokie. :blink: I'm just saying He has the power to choose not to be a gentle whisper away in places that are utterly reprobate. But we're repeating ourselves so at this point we need to agree to disagree.

I also think God allows natural disasters to be random (but he also can and does control them on occasion). That in itself is another debate. The point is, does goes God allow things to happen by chance, if He so chooses? Scripture says yes, much to the chagrin of the Calvinists. :)

Fred

#112 Fred Williams

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 08:36 AM

My statement about "doting" was directed to those who advocate open theism. Paul instructed us in Timothy to not get caught up in vain arguments, and philosophies of man. He is warning those who would get "caught up" in these things, and thereby make their faith "shipwreck." Our faith is built on the certainty of the power of God, and it is certain we live in an age when many "have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof."

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If I thought this was one of those vain arguments or philosophies of men I certainly wouldn't get caught up in it. I hope to find time to write a post or article on various theological doctrines and how they impact the church and the world, with the underlying theme of how they subconsciously or otherwise impact our willingness to witness to the world. For example, Calvinism would get the worst grade because it provides absolutely no credible reason to witness to others. Other doctrines that provide an out to witnessing include 'All Jews are saved', there is no hell, soul-annihilism, etc. I think rejecting an open view, but somehow still holding to free will, as long as it isn't individual predestination, is OK and would have little witnessing impact (however I do think it has some impact, at least from a slippery slope POV since a pre-existing future is a required tenant of Calvinism).

But we certainly have a responsability to "earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints, for there are certain men who have crept in unawares (I remember in KJV--it's just the poetic nuances I guess--lol).


I couldn't agree more. What if what I propose is correct, that much of Christiandum since the time of Augustine has bought in to something that isn't taught in the Bible but instead has its roots in Greek paganism? This thread is a testimony of how difficult it is for Christians to counter this claim. If you don't think it is possible for Christians to believe something unscriptural for centuries, look no further than the Catholic church, the protestant churches that teach Calvinism, etc.

My main concern with open theism is that it opens the door for a view of a God that is not perfect, omniscient, and perhaps just an exalted being of some type--let those that believe this make a universe and life, then they can talk.

There are some such as Greg Boyd who teach strange things associated with the Open View, such as God making mistakes, but as you know Satan will work many different strategies to get us to miss the truth. We shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

As for a pre-existing future,


Just as an FYI, this is the heart and soul of my position, anything else attributed to the Open view I may or may not believe. I submit that scripture makes it very clear, in plain language, that the future does not exist until it happens.

...I think that would kind get into the Calvinism/Armenian debate. I will just let you know my stand. I try not to delve too deeply--I have heard both sides, and both sides have their scriptures. This is what I prayerfully have arrived at, but I am open to learning from God. God knows the future, but does not usurp free will. Now how he goes about that in detail is too lofty a subject for me. God also causes certain things to come to pass by intervention, and He knows how to make that come to pass--as for me, I don't know how He does it. I just know that Jesus came in the fulness of time, and that he died on the passover, when he was supposed to. The things of the end are coming to pass when they are supposed to. Israel and the surrounding countries are in place for Armageddon, the kings of the east (probably China) have a huge army, just like it was seen in Revelation. Islam, which is looking for it's Mahadi, cuts the infidels heads off. We have the UPC scanner, which is precursor for a cashless society. Catastropes (birth pangs) are getting closer and closer together.

So God knew all this, but did the future preexist? Some things are appointed, but God never violates the free will of man--that is all I know. If there is another concern that I am not seeing--please let me know.


I agree with pretty much everything you said above (everyone, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc should read this book). However, I just don't think the pre-existing crowd has any compelling scripture, since every example presented in this thread is easily accommodated by the open view. One thing I hope the reader of this thread has noticed, is that 90% of the time the verses I provided went completely and utterly unanswered. Instead, we were only given counter verses that purportedly show God is outside of time. In such a situation where both sides have their scriptures, as you noted, shouldn't we take the viewpoint that accommodates all the verses, not just one side?

To illustrate my point, just refer to Dave's post #19. Dave is a very smart Christian, but note that he spent NO time dealing with my verses, and all his time providing verses that are easily accommodated by the Open View! Consider this analogy. How is this different from the evolutionist who argues for homology (insert future pre-exists), but fails to recognize that such evidence is easily accommodated by the common designer argument (insert the future does not pre-exist), and at the same time also fails to address the scores of evidence against their position such as intelligent design, information, fossil record, etc (insert verses against a pre-existing future). The thing that amazes me is that I can provide far more counter verses to a pre-existing future, than I can provide as a YEC to refute an Old Earth! So if I'm going to be consistent to my promise to God to take his words as plainly written, I came to realize I must reject the traditional, future-is-settled view (I made my promise shortly after learning how utterly flawed my Old Earth view was, I came to realize I was leaning on man's interpretation much more than what the Bible plainly taught).

Remember, I was in this pre-existing future crowd for years if not decades, and one of the reasons I started rejecting this view is because I could not explain all those counter verses, just as largely no one else here in this thread have tried to do. I just ask those reading this, why are my verses consistently left unanswered? We can't just chalk these off to anthropomorphisms or the God of the gaps scripture "God's ways are higher than our ways". Why are the scriptures I provided in the Bible, what purpose do they serve? What is the purpose of Isaiah 5:1-7? This is a description of God's reaction to our free will. From the POV of a pre-existing future, this verse makes no sense. If we remove the Greek and wisdom-of-the-world taught notion that the future already exists (aka HG Wells, Star Trek, etc), this problem goes away.

Fred




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