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#41 Ron

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 10:21 AM

Your answer about Hezekiah’s prayer shows we are not as far apart as I was with Dave on this. If you agree the future isn’t settled, you're closer to Open View than you think.  :) But, your explanation sounds a bit contradictory. In one case you state God meant what he said about a certain event occurring in the future, only to change His mind after prayer so that event didn’t happen in the future! I guess I see little difference between God changing the future and the future not being settled. 

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I don’t try to be "with" one person or another; I do my best to be where God’s Word is (and just like everyone else, I trip and fall as well). That is not to say that others aren’t attempting to do the same, I just don’t buy into labels (i.e. Calvinism versus Arminianism, or Open Theism versus whatever etc…) and I try not to allow my flesh to get in the way of God’s wisdom, His Word, or His right to be God (as I am not). I also know this for a fact; If God is who He says He is, and has done the things He says He has done, then what is impossible for Him? And don’t get me wrong, I am in no way inferring any logical solidity to fallacies such as “the Paradox of the Stone” or “Squared Circles”, and am more than happy to argue against those as well.

Further, God always means what He says, AND He is merciful. That is not contradictory at all, it is God being God! This was a case of Hezekiah not wanting to die yet, and he took his petition to a merciful God. As I said, we have free will. Hezekiah could have accepted what God said, but he did not, he chose to petition for life, and God heard his prayers, and decided to grant them.

God doesn’t change the future, as the future hasn’t happened yet! God travels outside our time (as scripture insinuates), therefore God already know what Hezekiah would pray. And God has His own reasons for granting Hezekiah’s prayer, that we don’t yet understand. But, as Paul said we will know “when we are face to face”. Until then, we have to suffice simply knowing the God is who He says he is, can do what He says He can do, and we are too immature to even grasp a fraction of it now.

So what about the Isaiah 5:1-4, or Jeremiah 19:5? How do you explain these verses if God knows what I submit is outside the realm of reality (aka the future)?  How can God claim that an event occurred that He never expected (Jer 19:5), if He actually should have expected it because He has a crystal ball into this void called the future? Why would God claim to expect something if He already knows the result (Isaiah 5:4)? Are you also going to toss out the word anthropomorphism to try to slide out of this dilemma? Or is there a way out without using a word that is hard to spell and pronounce? :)

Fred

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The problem I think you are having here is attempting to equate general prophesy with that of individuals. We were speaking of the “individuals” free will to choose wright or wrong, and how those choices determine our futures. And that God can see those futures, but it is our decisions that actually affect them. Now thins can work on a general sense as well, but, if the individual does NOT follow the general populace, and actually follows God’s Word, that “individual” does NOT fall into the same future as the general populace (think of both of your examples (both Isaiah and Jeremiah followed God’s Word).

Further, in the general prophetic terms, you are making an assumption that Jeremiah 19:5 means God didn’t “expect” what the Israelites did, or that He got blindsided by it; but this is not what He said at all. What He said was “They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.” What HE said was that they (the general populace of Israel) were doing blasphemous things that HE “didn’t command” command them to do, “didn’t mention” it to them, nor did it “Enter His Mind” to do so! In other words, they did these things without His consent, nor would it even “enter His mind” to ever give them consent to do so.
You also somehow believe that God was blindsided in Isaiah 5 as well, but that is not what He said there either. He was making a point (through His prophet) that He did everything on His part for the good fruit in the vineyard, but that the “General Populace” (through their free will), chose to do what they wished, not what was right. This is nothing new in the cycle of sin and repentance of the Children of God.

1- They suffer
2- They cry for His help
3- He hears their cries
4- He lifts them from their sin
5- He explains what they need to do stay near Him
6- They become fat and happy with worldly gain
7- They fall into sin
8- They start doing exceedingly worse things
9- He warns them
10- They continue to do what is wrong
11- He punishes them
12- They suffer
13- They cry for His help (etc…etc… the cycle continues)

God knew what they were going to do, He didn’t even need to see into the future to expect it, as they have done it over and over many times prior to the scriptures you mentioned. In fact, He made provision for this in 2nd Chronicles 7:14. And it covers the individual as well as the community.

It’s best to understand the context of how the verse correlates with the paragraph AND how the paragraph correlates with the book, and how the book correlates with the Old Testament, and how the Old Testament and New Testament correlate with each other.

The biggest mistake we can make as Christian Theists is to cherry-pick the scriptures to make them read how we want them to read, or to attempt to prove a point in such a manner (anthropomorphically or not :) ).

#42 Fred Williams

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 05:05 PM

Hi Ron,

No problem on the negative question business, I answered those questions pretty quickly. Nevertheless I’m pretty sure the correct grammatical answer for both of us is ‘No’ to that question. I could be wrong, but that would be highly unlikely. :) (if you are just-for-fun curious, I could check with my sister whose an English language PostHoleDigger professor).

Further, it matters not whether you or I agree on these matters; nor does it matter what any other theistically Christian scholars, logicians or scientists posit (or submit) on these matters, as these issues do not affect our salvation, or our relationship with God and Jesus (those are different matters altogether). The only thing it may (I put emphasis on the word) affect is that of some “young Christians” trust in the writing of God’s word to Moses in Genesis Chapters One and Two.

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When there are scriptural differences that are not salvation issues, you ask a GREAT question, how does it nevertheless affect other believers? What impact does it have? As you know, I probably get a little more animated when opposing doctrines like Calvinism, there is no hell, all Jews are saved, because they have one destructive element in common -- they provide a convenient excuse to not witness! This sounds like the exact end-game Satan would want to create. Not that we should ignore other strategies Satan employs, such as evolution and Old Earth, where we have shown that such doctrines create a slippery slope that in many cases leads to apostasy (see thread Old Earth Theology Is Incompatible With The Bible Old Earth Theology Is Incompatible With The Bible).

So IMHO, we shouldn’t let this topic become a hot button for us. Regardless of who is right, I just don’t see much damage it does to believers or un-believers. If you are right, then much of the world won’t struggle with it because the world also believes God-outside-of-time. If I am right (I realize I’m now injecting my bias) Christians baffled about things like pre-destination will suddenly see verses make more sense to them, and unbelievers who object to the logical inconsistencies of Got-outside-of-time will have some of their questions satisfied. Remember, this whole thread started because of Ark’s reasonable objections to the topic at hand. He admitted to me in an email that many of the problems he raised go away with OT, though he still held to some other non-biblical viewpoints; maybe at least a seed has been planted for him down the road.

It will be very difficult to convince each other of how this characterizes God’s omniscience, so I’ll again quote C.S. Lewis on what I think is a great take-away from this for both sides:

“This idea [of God’s timelessness] has helped me a good deal. If it does not help you, leave it alone. . . . It is not in the Bible or any of the creeds”.


Fred

#43 Fred Williams

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 11:31 PM

I don’t try to be "with" one person or another; I do my best to be where God’s Word is (and just like everyone else, I trip and fall as well). That is not to say that others aren’t attempting to do the same, I just don’t buy into labels

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No problem, sorry for the way I presented my argument, I didn’t mean to imply that you would hold to any other interpretation than God’s Word (a fault of mine that I come off that way). I guess I just see this topic so often end up with a debate on what is and isn’t an anthropomorphism.

Regarding labels, we all use them, all the time, to condense an argument. For example, evolutionist is a label that conveniently describes someone who believes in a fairytale. :). Liberal is a convenient label to describe someone who has a mental disease. :) Seriously, we know what these labels mean when we use them. Sure, sometimes they are too broad, as Dave probably thought when I asked if he was a Calvinist (I completely stand by that as a fair question because what he presented, God's immutability, is the bedrock foundation of Calvinism). So while we do have to be careful with labels, as long as they are accurate there is nothing wrong with using them, everyone uses them all the time (a liberal once told me I was a labeler - anyone see the irony in that? - I was just labeled a labeler! LOL)

God doesn’t change the future, as the future hasn’t happened yet!


I again don’t think we are all that far apart on this, because I basically agree with the above statement. Yours is a position not often held among the more traditional “future is settled” crowd. But there are still major kinks in your God-outside-of-time argument, as I hope you see below.

The biggest mistake we can make as Christian Theists is to cherry-pick the scriptures to make them read how we want them to read, or to attempt to prove a point in such a manner (anthropomorphically or not   ).


I completely agree! That is why I have emphasized that I have many, many more scripture I can keep tossing against the God-is-outside-of-time (GOT) crowd. On the other hand, the GOT crowd has no definite verse to throw my way, just indirect questionable references in only a scant handful of places in scripture. It's why I've come to highly question the validity of GOT. Case in point:

Further, in the general prophetic terms, you are making an assumption that Jeremiah 19:5 means God didn’t “expect” what the Israelites did, or that He got blindsided by it; but this is not what He said at all. What He said was “They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.” What HE said was that they (the general populace of Israel) were doing blasphemous things that HE “didn’t command” command them to do, “didn’t mention” it to them, nor did it “Enter His Mind” to do so! In other words, they did these things without His consent, nor would it even “enter His mind” to ever give them consent to do so.


Ron, this is a very unlikely interpretation, He'd be basically saying the exact thing back-to-back. Regardless, this interpretation is refuted in Jer 32:35 as God provides additional clarity:

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

I hope you see that you need to seek another explanation of Jer 19:5 to get G.O.T.. :)

I would also be interested in your opinion of Genesis 22:12, specifically "now I know".

Fred

#44 chipwag64

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:23 PM

I wonder what Jesus meant in Matthew 7:23.."I never knew you"?
He never knew that they existed?

#45 Bex

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:33 PM

I wonder what Jesus meant in Matthew 7:23.."I never knew you"?
He never knew that they existed?

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I take that to mean that their hearts were always far from Him.

#46 chipwag64

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:46 PM

Bex,

The question I was trying to ask was about "knowledge". Was Jesus saying that he never had knowledge that these people existed?
I believe that knowledge is both factual and experiential, I think it is absurd to say that Jesus never knew these people existed. This is a response to the Genesis 22:12 question in post # 43 above.

#47 Fred Williams

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 11:47 PM

Bex,

The question I was trying to ask was about "knowledge". Was Jesus saying that he never had knowledge that these people existed?
I believe that knowledge is both factual and experiential, I think it is absurd to say that Jesus never knew these people existed. This is a response to the Genesis 22:12 question in post # 43 above.

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There's a big difference between Genesis 22:12 and Matt 7:23, which as Bex indicated, is talking about a personal relationship. Please consider the entirety of my argument and the numerous verses I have raised. Do you think the future is open, or already settled?

Fred

#48 performedge

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 06:54 AM

I'll make my point here but it might be best to move theological arguments about this in the future (the one that doesn't exist yet) to the thread Dave started in the Christian Coffee shop regarding time. Don, this is another claim you've made with no scriptural evidence to support it. Show me ONE verse in the Bible where God lives in backwards time. Just one! If you find one, then my whole position is falsified!


Ok Fred, I'll be glad to reference scripture to support my claims, and I will argue my position to the best of my ability. However, I ask that you do not restrict my arguments unless I act in an unholy manner. We may disagree on this subject as we have before, but I do not wish to be banned for my position.

Now for scripture to support my position:

Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Here is my argument....

P1 God lives in eternity (supported by scripture).
P2 Eternity is a timeline reference and is infinite in positive and negative directions (supported by definition).
C Therefore God inhabits an infinite timeline.

Meaning, God in no way is restricted by our concept of time.

Time machines are things of science fiction.


I agree. But time is clearly relative. This is observable and repeatable science. Time is related to both light and gravity. If someting was traveling at the speed of light, then time would slow down to that traveller. Also in a gravity well, time slows down. Isn't it interesting that both light and gravity are immaterial. So is God. Time is only restrictive for those in a material world. God made light, and gravity. He certainly can overcome both. And therefore time is eternal to Him as the scripture states.

God is not living backwards in time and having to see his Son die on the cross for all of eternity.


Now you force me to ask you to back up your claim with scripture.

Now on the other side of the coin, for all the verses of prophecies and visions, show me where God LIVES in the future. All those verses are easily accommodated by God bringing those things to pass (Genesis 41:32, Psalms 37:5, Isaiah 46:11, etc), something that is no problem for an all-powerful God.


Well, I have already shown you where He LIVES in eternity which includes the future. Now I ask you to accomodate this scripture by showing how either one of my premises is in error, or my conclusion is fallacious.

The idea that God lives in a real, tangible future has its roots in Greek pagan philosophy. Do you agree or disagree with this claim? Am I off base to claim the Greeks taught such concepts?


So? I can show you a bunch of Christian concepts that can be found in paganism. I really get tired of the old ad hominen of paganism being thrown against every Christian that has a differring view relative to the scriptures.

In the beginning......God

This truth which implies God's eternal nature was around a long time before paganism.

It's obvious we are not going to convince each other with the scientific evidence, or lack thereof, of the creation of time. That is why I would prefer to let scripture decide at this point, perhaps in the thread Dave started.

Fred


Yes, that is why I am here. But let me ask you an important question in another related area. I'm sure you agree that God is omnipresent. That too is a difficult concept to grasp as is eternity and time relativity. So how can God count the number of hairs on your head and my head and know them at the same time. Oops, I just lost another hair. :o And He does this with all 6 billion of us at different locations around the world.

So it appears to me that distance or presence is not a limiting factor to God within instantaneous time, so why would time be a limiting factor to God?

I know, you are strongly anti-Calvanistic. And I am in no way Calvanistic, but I have no problem understanding God's living in eternity regardless of Calvanistic concepts.

Don

#49 Fred Williams

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:43 PM

Ok Fred, I'll be glad to reference scripture to support my claims, and I will argue my position to the best of my ability. However, I ask that you do not restrict my arguments unless I act in an unholy manner. We may disagree on this subject as we have before, but I do not wish to be banned for my position.

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Hi Don,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to this. If anything I would ask that you give me leeway, this is not an easy topic to raise because of its controversial, and often misunderstood, nature. In fact I've already been called a false teacher in this thread, helping to fulfill the end times! :o Anyway, I'm sorry if I've given the impression I would restrict or ban someone in a thread I am actively involved in. We encourage our mods to take extra caution when moding if they are involved in the discussion. After being called a false teacher it did not even cross my mind to ban or restrict that member, so I guess if I'm going to let that stand, then obviously you have pretty free reign (but don't use this as a license to go crazy :) ) In this debate I've often been misrepresented (and I'm sure have done my own unintentional misrepresenting), so while I'll vigorously point those out, I won't view these as forum "violations". The standards used in the Bible forums are relaxed some for Christians.

Now for scripture to support my position:

Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Here is my argument....

P1 God lives in eternity (supported by scripture).
P2 Eternity is a timeline reference and is infinite in positive and negative directions (supported by definition).
C Therefore God inhabits an infinite timeline.

Meaning, God in no way is restricted by our concept of time.


Don, I essentially agree with P1, P2, and C!! It's the subsequent meaning you applied to it, not scripture, that I disagree with. God can an inhabit infinite timeline, but it does not mean he exists outside of "the passing of one moment to the next". Any such claim is meta-physical and extra-Biblical, relying on secular ideas about "time". I have provided many scripture to support my claim that such ideas are not in the Bible. Nowhere in scripture does God every go back in time. Nowhere in scripture does God talk about Himself existing in the future, or teleport us into the future, contrary to what Dave tried to claim earlier. We are given prophecies of the future, and visions of the future, but they are described in such a way that it completely fits the idea that God can "bring to pass" what he described or showed us.

I agree. But time is clearly relative. This is observable and repeatable science. Time is related to both light and gravity. If someting was traveling at the speed of light, then time would slow down to that traveller. Also in a gravity well, time slows down. Isn't it interesting that both light and gravity are immaterial. So is God. Time is only restrictive for those in a material world. God made light, and gravity. He certainly can overcome both. And therefore time is eternal to Him as the scripture states.


Can I at least get you to agree that "time is relative" is a secular idea?

Fred: God is not living backwards in time and having to see his Son die on the cross for all of eternity.

Now you force me to ask you to back up your claim with scripture.


MY point is, since you believe God is outside of time, do you think He will forever see His Son die on the cross?

So? I can show you a bunch of Christian concepts that can be found in paganism. I really get tired of the old ad hominen of paganism being thrown against every Christian that has a differring view relative to the scriptures.


This is not an "ad homenim" attack. The Bible says that God thwarts the wisdom of the world. IMO the Greek philosophers were wrong in every major tenet they held regarding a higher being. If you want to disagree and claim they happened to stumble on this one truth, fine (just remember who their influence is, the prince of this world, Satan).

I'm sure you agree that God is omnipresent. That too is a difficult concept to grasp as is eternity and time relativity.


No, I don't agree God is omnipresent, I'll be anxious to see you try to make a case for this using scripture! Don't get me wrong, God could choose to be everywhere at the same time, but He doesn't choose to be. Do you really think He's inside every piece of sewage in the world at the same time? Here is a verse I would like you to comment on - 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." This is yet another verse I can add to the list of verses that contradict God outside of time. As I said, I can keep piling on until my fellow believers hopefully get tired of doing calisthenics around these verses as I did for years. All of these verse make sense by removing ONE single assumption, that time is some physical or meta-physical property that God is "outside of".

So how can God count the number of hairs on your head and my head and know them at the same time. Oops, I just lost another hair.   And He does this with all 6 billion of us at different locations around the world.


God can do this because He's awfully good at math. :) I can't see how you think God being outside of time is necessary to be able to simultaneously know the number of hairs on everyone's head at the same time. Aren't you limiting God's omnipotence here?

I know, you are strongly anti-Calvanistic. And I am in no way Calvanistic, but I have no problem understanding God's living in eternity regardless of Calvanistic concepts.


I'm not saying that if you disagree with the Open view you are Calvinistic. I know plenty of Christians, including most, if not all, the mods on my forum, who are anti-Calvinism (in some cases strongly as I am), who also believe God is outside of time.

Calvinism is virtually the exact opposite of the Open theism. Calvinist doctrines live and die on the premise that the future is settled, contrary to the Open view that the future is open and God is still able to creatively engage with us in our lives, he is the Living God who experiences pain and emotion, and our prayers do matter. This is a polar opposite to the Calvinistic God who is completely immutable (another Greek pagan idea), with no capability of emotion.

Don, thanks again for being willing to go at it with me on this topic.

Fred

#50 JoshuaJacob

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 10:52 PM

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."


The scriptures you have posted do not in my opinion prove that God is not outside of time.

Could God create a working time machine if He wanted to? Is there anything He cant do?

Notice the wording used in the passage above, "I will go down". Go down from where? The sky? From space? Or from another realm beyond the physical world We live in that is not really "up" from where We are?

We must understand that God can only explain things that We can understand, remember the passage I posted before,

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.

This is in no way a cop out, but a realisation We can never fully understand Gods ways.

The future is open for Us but to God it is already settled, having foreknowledge does not mean you are destined to do anything.

#51 Bex

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 01:01 AM

No, I don't agree God is omnipresent, I'll be anxious to see you try to make a case for this using scripture! Don't get me wrong, God could choose to be everywhere at the same time, but He doesn't choose to be. Do you really think He's inside every piece of sewage in the world at the same time?


Fred, if God has limits in being present anywhere/everywhere at the sametime, that why would He tell us this in the quote below?

Matthew 18.20

For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.


God is present, right in the midst of Christians who are gathered in His name, anywhere, anytime, any place. And we know this because He told us so! So even if there were many Christians around the world in different places around the sametime gathering in His name, He can be with all those people at once, despite being in different places all around the world, because He is God.

He is not bound by space, place, or time. He can indeed be in many places at once if He so wishes.

Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

- Luke 18:27...

#52 performedge

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:39 AM

Don, I essentially agree with P1, P2, and C!! It's the subsequent meaning you  applied to it, not scripture, that I disagree with. God can an inhabit infinite timeline, but it does not mean he exists outside of "the passing of one moment to the next".

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OK, but I think that here is were your logic becomes inconsistent. You aparently agree that God lives in eternity. You aparently agree that eternity is an infinite timeline that extends infinitely into the past and infinitely into the future. You state that God can inhabit this infinite timeline. Then you disagree by saying that God doesn't exist outside of "the passing of one moment to the next."

So it appears that we both accept the scriptural declaration, and we both accept the definition of eternity. Now what I need to understand is what does "the passing of one moment to the next" mean. For in this concept, is where I think the inconsistency is.

I would interpret your understanding of this to mean that God does not live in moments ahead of the current moment, and God does not live in moments before the current moment. This effetively means God only lives in the present. You pretty much have already argued this by saying (paraphrase) that God doesn't live in the past or the future.

Please correct me if I misrepresent your argument. Now if this is your argument, then your argument is in contradiction with the timeline of eternity. Eternity is a continuum of time. It is "all" time. We live in just the present. We live from moment to moment. We cannot go back in time, and we cannot go forward in time. But we are material. God is contrasted against us in regards to time. He is immaterial. He is Spirit.

Any such claim is meta-physical and extra-Biblical, relying on secular ideas about "time".


Meta physical, Yes of course. But not extra-biblical. You have already agreed to this. And eternity is not a secular idea. It is a Biblical one as you have already conceeded.

I have provided many scripture to support my claim that such ideas are not in the Bible. Nowhere in scripture does God every go back in time. Nowhere in scripture does God talk about Himself existing in the future, or teleport us into the future, contrary to what Dave tried to claim earlier. We are given prophecies of the future, and visions of the future, but they are described in such a way that it completely fits the idea that God can "bring to pass" what he described or showed us.


Well you have presented many scriptures, but your scriptures do not teach whether God is limited by time or not. It is your dedutions drom these scriptures that teach that. In contrast, The passage in Is 57:15 does teach that God lives in eternity. Not God is eternal. He abideth in eternity. This is not a deduction, it is a declaration.

Yes, God can and does "bring to pass" anything He wants in the future. But this is also supported by my argument. Given that God knows all the variables of the current moment (the present) God can look ahead (or live in eternity) to bring a prophecy of the future to us who are limited by time.

Can I at least get you to agree that "time is relative" is a secular idea?


Agreed. Now can I at least get you to agree that the concept of God living in eternity existed long before this secular notion. It is also observable and repeatable science which affirms the relative nature of time, as implied by scripture.

MY point is, since you believe God is outside of time, do you think He will forever see His Son die on the cross?


I can see what you are struggling with here. God does what God wants to do. If He should choose to "live in that moment" He could. If He chooses to "live in the moment of the present" He may. If He chooses to "live in a moment that hasn't happened on earth yet" He can. He lives in eternity.

This is not an "ad homenim" attack. The Bible says that God thwarts the wisdom of the world. IMO the Greek philosophers were wrong in every major tenet they held regarding a higher being. If you want to disagree and claim they happened to stumble on this one truth, fine (just remember who their influence is, the prince of this world, Satan).


In the beginning God. That was before paganism. It is compatible with God living in eternity. Isaiah wrote a long time before the Greek philosophers.

No, I don't agree God is omnipresent, I'll be anxious to see you try to make a case for this using scripture! Don't get me wrong, God could choose to be everywhere at the same time, but He doesn't choose to be. Do you really think He's inside every piece of sewage in the world at the same time?


Well the last I looked, He was holding all of that sewage together. And I know for a fact that He chooses to abide in me, and I think He abides in you, and a whole bunch of other people as well, and all at the same moment in time with a whole bunch of different locations. He does choose that doesn't He? I'll finish my response later. Have a great day.

Don

#53 Fred Williams

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:50 PM

The scriptures you have posted do not in my opinion prove that God is not outside of time.

Could God create a working time machine if He wanted to? Is there anything He cant do?

Notice the wording used in the passage above, "I will go down". Go down from where? The sky? From space? Or from another realm beyond the physical world We live in that is not really "up" from where We are?

We must understand that God can only explain things that We can understand, remember the passage I posted before,

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.

This is in no way a cop out, but a realisation We can never fully understand Gods ways.

The future is open for Us but to God it is already settled, having foreknowledge does not mean you are destined to do anything.

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Regarding God-outside-of-time, its a-ok with me that we disagree on this. It’s not a salvation issue, nor much of a slippery slope issue that I can see. But I’ll keep plugging along with scripture for you to consider. :o Here is another one that is difficult to justify if God already has a settled future:

Then the word of the LORD came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it. - Jer 18:5-10

Its difficult to make a case for a settled future with God with such "if...else" statements, where He plainly states that he changes plans based on our decisions.

In regards to “for my thoughts are not your thoughts…”, I agree with you in regard to the aspect of Gen 18:21 where God says he will “go down to see…”. We don’t know how God does this, nor is it really important for us to have this information. But this does not take away from what IMO is a clear truth of this passage, that God can choose whether or not he wants to be somewhere.

Often when presenting the open view, we are tossed the “omnipotence” hand grenade, only to see it go right back in the tosser’s lap! So I would ask, is God powerful enough to allow Himself not to be somewhere if He so chooses?


Fred

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:53 PM

Fred, if God has limits in being present anywhere/everywhere at the sametime, that why would He tell us this in the quote below?

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I believe you missed a key thing I said. I agree with you that God doesn’t have limits of in being present anywhere/everywhere at the same time. What I stated was that God has made it clear to us that He can, and does depending on the situation, choose to not be everywhere at the same time, the verse I provided is a good illustration God has given us of this.

Will God be present in Hell forever, or can he choose not to be?

Fred

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:01 PM

Please correct me if I misrepresent your argument.  Now if this is your argument, then your argument is in contradiction with the timeline of eternity.  Eternity is a continuum of time.  It is "all" time.  We live in just the present.  We live from moment to moment.  We cannot go back in time, and we cannot go forward in time.  But we are material.  God is contrasted against us in regards to time. He is immaterial.  He is Spirit.
Don

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God inhabiting eternity does not mean God is outside of time. By your logic, since we as humans are created to be eternal going forward, will we be outside of time in heaven?

You claim that for God, one moment does not pass to the next. Can you explain an alternative mechanism? I really don’t want to continue to go along with attempts to get me wrapped around what I see as a non-sequitur within a philosophical argument neither of us can prove, that’s why I’d rather just stick to scripture! :o

“This idea [of God’s timelessness] has helped me a good deal. If it does not help you, leave it alone. . . . It is not in the Bible or any of the creeds”. – C.S. Lewis.

Fred

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:02 PM

I forgot to mention a contradiction in your post:

I can see what you are struggling with here. God does what God wants to do. If He should choose to "live in that moment" He could. If He chooses to "live in the moment of the present" He may.

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You then wrote this in response to a similar concept I presented:

Fred: Don't get me wrong, God could choose to be everywhere at the same time, but He doesn't choose to be. Do you really think He's inside every piece of sewage in the world at the same time?

Don: Well the last I looked, He was holding all of that sewage together.


So, you’re saying God can choose to “live” at some moment in time, yet he can’t choose to not be in the sewer?

Fred

#57 performedge

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:42 AM

God inhabiting eternity does not mean God is outside of time. By your logic, since we as humans are created to be eternal going forward, will we be outside of time in heaven?

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Fred,

I have adressed your views, but I haven't revealed mine too well. You are correct that God inhabiting eternity does not mean God is outside of time at least within our universe which He created. But please indulge my rationalization about these scriptural references for a moment (no pun intended ;) )

First off, God is Spirit. Immaterial. This is fundamental to my philosophy about this. We live in a material world (I know also a spirits are involved) that obeys certain rules and regulations that God has created/established. Time is one of those regulating factors. Nothing material can go forward in time or backwards in time. It can only be in the present.

Now, If I understand you correctly, in Open Theism, God is similar. He operates in the present. This is ultimately a philosophical debate and not a scriptural one. The scripture is the data, but it is our philosophy (rationalization) about that data that determines our interpreation of those scriptures.

Now here is my thinking which I think is both consitent with biblical data and scientific data. The universe is expanding, and both scientific and biblical data suggest this. That means at some time in the past, the universe was smaller. We are basically talking about space here. The BBT takes space all the way to "zero" in the beginning. I think the bible also suggests this in its ex-nihilo presentation. Please notice that the real fight is over time! ( I am in no way implying that I agree with the BBT, just that space is expanding and there was a creation)

Now if you think of time in a similar way to space, it is also expanding in our universe in the forward direction. So what if an immaterial, spiritual, all powerful being could compress the timeline of eternity to just one moment? We know time can be compressed relative to gravity and light speed. The scriptures imply that God is somehow related to both light and gravity. And IIPet 3:8 implies this compression and expansion of time in God's realm.

Now what does all this mean in my rationalization? Well it means that God lives in eternity. He lives in all of time. All of those passing moments can be compressed by Him into one moment, allowing Him to see and know the future even though He hasn't settled it. And it allows Him to decompress time so that He can "bring to pass" anything he desires. And it allows Him to change His mind about the future.

This is "my view". It works for me. It maintains God's omniscience. It expains His ability to "pre-destine". And it allows for our free will in our time constrained world to take place. But for me, it doesn't constain God in any way which I think Open Theism does.

#58 performedge

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 09:49 AM

I forgot to mention a contradiction in your post:
So, you’re saying God can choose to “live” at some moment in time, yet he can’t choose to not be in the sewer?

Fred

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No,

I believe God chooses this today, but in the future He has proclaimed that the elements will melt in this ole earth and universe. I assume that He will remove his sustaining power and all of these things will start to fall apart. Same for the sewage.

You do realize that God intelligently designed Adam to manufacture sewage don't you? And it was good!

#59 performedge

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:29 AM

God inhabiting eternity does not mean God is outside of time. By your logic, since we as humans are created to be eternal going forward, will we be outside of time in heaven?

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No, remember, we are material and spiritual. Therefore our eternity will be in the present for all time going forward. We cannot compress or alter time like an all powerful spirit can.

#60 Fred Williams

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:56 PM

Sorry for the delayed response...

Now, If I understand you correctly, in Open Theism, God is similar. He operates in the present. This is ultimately a philosophical debate and not a scriptural one. The scripture is the data, but it is our philosophy (rationalization) about that data that determines our interpreation of those scriptures.


We certainly bring in our own biases on this, but I’m going to defend mine for a moment. Your statement above was somewhat the opposite for me, that is, I came in with a bias toward God’s timelessness, and I only changed my view because of scripture, and only in the last few years. The following is a genesis (no pun intended) of how I came to support the Open view. It is my honest perspective and is not meant to be a commentary on someone else’s exegesis. Until the age of 30 I didn’t take the Bible too seriously, I was Catholic, but a carnal believer in the essential gospel. I believed millions of years and justified things like dinosaurs as God’s pets before man. After I started to take the Bible more seriously, and realized the science supported the Biblical account, I was bothered at the world and myself for being so easily brainwashed. I made a commitment going forward to take the Bible as it is written and try to block out secular opinions, those same secular opinions that had brainwashed me into believing all kinds of goofy things about God.

Since age 30 IMHO I’ve been a flawed but decent Bible student, having learned a ton and still have a ton to learn. Between age 30 and roughly age 45, I believed in God’s timelessness, never because it was clear in scripture, but because I was taught this by great teachers such as Chuck Misler, who would give analogies such as God sitting above a river of time that humans existed in, always seeing everything at the same time. It was something that was always abstract and confusing in my mind, virtually no different than the abstract idea of millions of years (anyone who dares to think they fully understand eternity or timelessness is fooling themselves, our finite minds are incapable of gasping such a thing). Then, around age 45, I heard a pastor on the radio, Bob Hill, who mentioned verse after verse after verse that suggested that God’s timelessness was an invention of man. In addition, he provided all kinds of extra-Biblical evidence of the secular influences of the timelessness idea, including good evidence it originated with the Greeks. I didn’t accept his interpretation of scripture at first, but over the next several years I could not refute the plain meaning of so many scripture, and my prior commitment to the plain language (see Prov 8:8-9) is what has led me to the Open theology camp. So, I would, for the most part, disagree with you that an a-priori bias led me to interpret the verses as I do. It was the other way around – scripture led me to abandon my a-priori bias. This doesn’t prove my interpretation is correct, I just want people to appreciate that my intentions are good, just as I’m sure yours are. I personally do not want to make the same mistake twice of not taking God’s word as it is written.

I am admittedly surprised how so many YECs don't see the difference in themselves defending a view that someone as prominent as C.S. Lewis says there is NO scriptural evidence for, than OECers who equally have NO scriptural evidence to defend their view. How can you be so adamant against an OECer, and not see the same flaw in your own timelessness claims? NEITHER are supported by scripture. I personally find claims that verse 1 of the Bible supports timelessness to be just as compelling as an OECer who says that the days of Genesis 1 are long eras of time.

Now what does all this mean in my rationalization? Well it means that God lives in eternity. He lives in all of time. All of those passing moments can be compressed by Him into one moment, allowing Him to see and know the future even though He hasn't settled it. And it allows Him to decompress time so that He can "bring to pass" anything he desires. And it allows Him to change His mind about the future.

This is "my view". It works for me. It maintains God's omniscience. It expains His ability to "pre-destine". And it allows for our free will in our time constrained world to take place. But for me, it doesn't constain God in any way which I think Open Theism does.


Well, I certainly don’t have much a problem with this view, though I think it’s wrong it’s mostly harmless. :). Unless I’m misunderstanding, your view appears very similar to Ron’s in that you agree the future isn’t settled, and that God can change the future? If so, you are close to Open view except for the God timelessness part. :(

OK, that being said, I still find logical inconsistencies with what you wrote above I’m sure you won’t agree with, nor will I lose sleep knowing you wont agree! If God hasn’t settled the future, if the future is “open” and God can change his mind based on our free-will choices, then how can he “pre-destine” anything pertaining to us individually? If you are referring to corporate pre-destination (IMO easily the correct scriptural view), then your version doesn’t explain corporate pre-destination any more than homology explains evolution better than a common designer.

Fred: God inhabiting eternity does not mean God is outside of time. By your logic, since we as humans are created to be eternal going forward, will we be outside of time in heaven?

PF: No, remember, we are material and spiritual. Therefore our eternity will be in the present for all time going forward. We cannot compress or alter time like an all powerful spirit can.


Ah, so Jesus, since he was material, will be inside of time going forward? Timelessness is an invention of man, my friend. Give it up and you don't have to do mental gymnastics around this stuff. :)

Finally, since you don't want to back away from your belief that Jesus right now is present everywhere including the sewer, let me ask you what I asked others in this thread with nary a response: Will Jesus be present in Hell forever? Not sure why these tough questions were avoided by the other Christians in this thread. (Moderator hat to self: just violated my own forum rule by complaining of lack of response, since we are all busy - UNLESS, they are not responding because they can't come up with a good answer? :blink:).

Fred




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