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Dave

Time

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1) Exactly. That is why we are at loggerheads on the “time” issue. I don’t see any way to resolve it until one of us changes our mind.

 

2) I’ve stated over and over again that your definition of time applies only to man. God is not subject to the limitations placed on man, God has his own time frame, which is exactly to the point of what Jesus was explaining to the Jews. I score a bull’s eye on that one.

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I agree we are at loggerhead and repeating ourselves. I will summarize my position and move on: 1) IMO your view of time as physical much more heavily relies on man’s opinion (metaphysical 4th dimension time, quantum theory, etc); 2) we have to believe that the Greek pagan philosophers, who are wrong about everything else about God, got this one right since they believed as you do, 3) there is no evidence that pre-19th century Christians had any concept of time being physical, nor is there any evidence that Jewish rabbis who should be experts in the Torah had any concept of God-outside-of-time. As C.S. Lewis once wrote: “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”.

 

BTW, I would be curious to hear an answer to my question of whether or not you think God, who you say concurrently lives in the past present & future, will for all eternity see His Son die on the cross.

 

Yes. Obviously. Because John tells us that’s what happened. I must point out, however, that John wasn’t experiencing a vision, he was watching future unfold. There is a difference.

 

What is the difference? You have not made a case that scripture supports your claim that John was actually PRESENT and INTERACTING in the future. Its speculation on your part.

 

Fred: I looked at the first three commentaries to pop up on a Google search, and also checked Matthew Henry, and none of them supported your interpretation.

Dave: Fred, I’m sure that you don’t want to use that as proof against my view. If you do, you’d have to admit that Open Theism has no standing whatsoever because there are no standard Bibles, commentaries or conservative teachers who support OT.

 

OK, first point noted (yow!). Nevertheless I have never heard anyone else give your interpretation that John was actually IN the future - all I really need to do is read the text and see that there is no way you can draw that conclusion definitively. I do reject your second point. OT is gaining ground. Did you know that the Southern Baptist convention initially labeled Open View as heresy, only to later (can’t remember which year) allow it as an acceptable belief, though not an endorsed belief? I also know plenty of conservative scholars who support the Open View, including Bob Hill and Bob Enyart. I also know a Bible scholar who is as prominent as the come, whose name I can’t reveal, who has voiced support for it in private circles, but is probably not ready to publicly admit it because of the negative reaction and in some cases the vitriol that occurs (which I have personally experienced). Trust me everyone – I don’t bring up this topic lightly – I appreciate guys like Dave and Joshua and everyone else here who disagree with this in a polite and civil manner.

 

Do you agree that John is physically in heaven being prepared to view something?

 

Yes, but not IN the future. Do you agree with Revelation 8:1, that time passes in heaven? – “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”.

 

Fred: God 4)could still certainly show us something on a TV screen that hasn’t happened yet, because He is All Powerful and can make it happen, he can “bring it to pass”.

Dave: 4) Wow! Fred, you are almost there! The only thing I would suggest is that the “hasn’t happened yet” applies only to the perspective of us humans who are in our limited time domain. In God’s time it has already happened. He was there. He knows.

 

LOL! Wow! Dave, you are almost there! The only thing I would suggest is that the “hasn’t happened yet” is there. :)

 

Dave, I think you unintentionally side-stepped my question. Can God change the future, or is it settled?

 

Fred

PS. I’ll get to your follow-up post next, should be fun. I’m pretty sure I remember you reject Calvinism, but what you wrote is exactly the argument a Calvinist would make, such as were made by Deacon some time ago in the Pre-destination thread.

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There is nothing in the text to suggest he knew us BEFORE conception.  Fred

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I'm sorry for butting in here, Joshua, but I couldn't resist. :)

 

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you."

 

That is absolutely, perfectly, completely understandable, in plain, simple language as God saying he knew Jeremiah before he was formed in the womb (conceived).

 

How can anyone even possibly deny that?

 

Also, Fred, I don't debate Calvinism. If that's what you are going to hang your next post on, I'll take a pass. I've told you before that there are elements of Calvinism that are right and wrong, and there are elements of Arminianism that are right and wrong. I will not condone, nor support either man's obsession with the extreme view.

 

I'm interested in your comments about my Hezekiah explanation, but if you call me a Calvinist this debate is over for me.

 

Dave

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BTW, I would be curious to hear an answer to my question of whether or not you think God, who you say concurrently lives in the past present & future, will for all eternity see His Son die on the cross.

OK. If I did indeed say that God concurrently lives in the past, present and future (perhaps you can show me where I said that) it isn’t what I meant to say. God having to live anywhere in particular is strictly a human construct. I believe that God is outside of time, not subject to time, and that he can transcend time. So, even though your premise doesn’t reflect what I believe I’ll answer the question by saying God has the ability to return to the cross on Calvary whenever He wishes, but he isn’t bound to have to do that if He doesn’t wish. It's a strange question. Why would you ask such a thing?

 

What is the difference? You have not made a case that scripture supports your claim that John was actually PRESENT and INTERACTING in the future. Its speculation on your part.

I believe I did make the case with Scripture, twice. You just choose to not accept it.

 

OT is gaining ground. Did you know that the Southern Baptist convention initially labeled Open View as heresy, only to later (can’t remember which year) allow it as an acceptable belief, though not an endorsed belief? I also know plenty of conservative scholars who support the Open View, including Bob Hill and Bob Enyart. I also know a Bible scholar who is as prominent as they come, whose name I can’t reveal, who has voiced support for it in private circles, but is probably not ready to publicly admit it …

Fred, if what you say is true that is a truly very, very scary thing. However, the good news about that is that it brings us that much closer to The End because, as you know, many false teachers will arise and the church will all but apostatize just before Jesus comes. OT isn’t the only heretical theology or doctrine that is moving churches away from the Lord.

 

Do a careful study of the seven churches in Rev. 2&3. Compare and contrast. Which church do you want to be in when Jesus comes for his faithful?

 

Do you agree with Revelation 8:1, that time passes in heaven? – “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”.

Once again, God is outside of time, sovereign over time. I have no problem with him managing time for others, particularly for an earthly, human witness who has no choice but to be in time even if he does happen to be in Heaven with God.

 

Dave, I think you unintentionally side-stepped my question. Can God change the future, or is it settled?

God knows the beginning from the end. The future can change from man’s point of view, stuck in his temporal existence. From God’s point of view, atemporal and outside of time, the future happens exactly the way he wants it to.

 

I’m pretty sure I remember you reject Calvinism, but what you wrote is exactly the argument a Calvinist would make, such as were made by Deacon some time ago in the Pre-destination thread.

If you change this debate into an anti-Calvinism one you’ll have to find somebody else to debate with. I don’t do Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate.

 

Dave

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[inserted: Dave, please note, I already wrote this post before I just saw yours above... Calvinism definitely does play a role in this debate, even if you are not one]

 

There are many, many verses in Scripture that make it appear as if God changed his mind. However, they run smack up against verses that tell us that God does not change his mind.

 

For example: “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent.” – 1Sam 15:29

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So, there are hundreds of verses to your one verse above (and a few other very indirect verses), yet you seek to reconcile the problem by looking for an answer for those hundreds, and not your one? The verse above means that God will not repent as a man repents. Such an interpretation completely fits the context, as a contrast to Saul's dishonesty and wavering allegiance to God. If you look at the Hebrew for this version of 'repent' it makes perfect sense in the Saul passage:

OT:5162 nacham (naw-kham'); a primitive root; properly, to sigh, i.e. breathe strongly; by implication, to be sorry, i.e. (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue; or (unfavorably) to avenge (oneself): KJV - comfort (self), ease [one'sself], repent (-eringself,-,).

 

God doesn't need to try to comfort or ease himself, as Saul tried to do. Dave, I know you didn't like this when I brought it up some time ago, but it is an important observation that I'm really trying to convey with respect. You are above, it seems to me, admitting that you have to run around the plain meaning of more verses than I do?

 

I believe we must first look at the verse that describes the attribute of God that the contradictory verse applies to. In this case, the applicable attribute of God is his immutability. It is described by the 1Sam 15:29 verse above.

Dave, I don't mean this as an insult. If anything it's a reflection of the 2nd law taking its toll on my brain. Are you a Calvinist? (I have some VERY dear friends who are Calvinists). The reason I ask, is the statement you made above is the absolute bedrock position of all Calvinism. They live and die on the belief that God is immutable. This too, as the Calvinist Deacon admitted a few years ago on this forum, is a belief that was also widely held by Plato and Aristotle, and greatly influenced Augustine in his formulation of Calvinism. So I apologize if you are not a Calvinist, or if I'm taking your words too far. I would just be a little surprised you are using this argument that is extremely easy to refute in scripture. I agree God does not change in any of his attributes, such as justice, love, mercy, etc. But aside from the hundreds of verses where God plainly states he changes his mind, he certainly changes in his emotions (that is, he has emotion, something Calvinists deny!!), and he certainly changed to become man.

 

Was the future set in stone concerning Hezekiah and the timing of his death? Absolutely. God knew that Hezekiah wouldn’t be dieing that day. But God wanted to see Hezekiah humble himself before Him, which gave Him glory and honor.

First, there is no verse that claims our time of death is set in stone, misinterpretations of Psalms 139 not withstanding (its context is our time in the womb). So was God wrong when he flat out told Hezekiah he was going to die soon? Of course you don't think that, but your explanation is clearly outside the bounds of what the text clearly stated. God would not mislead us to test our humbleness. Our God is not the God of confusion, and all kinds of confusion in the Bible goes away if we can just get Christians to see that removing the assumption that the future is real before it happens allows them to take the literal, plain meaning of scripture, instead of having to run calisthenics in their brain to try to understand it. Or, they come up with words to try to explain it, such as the oft-used (and Calvinist favorite word in their vocabulary), anthropomorphism!

 

In other words, if you accept “anthropomorphism” as a figure of speech in regard to God’s physical characteristics, then you’d have to accept “anthropopathism” as a figure of speech for God’s feelings or mental characteristics.

We don't have to do any such thing, it's a non sequitur. You are taking the few obvious cases of symbolism (IMO mislabeled anthropomorphisms), to then use it to dismiss plain text that has no symbolic language at all, such as the following that you asked about:

 

2) If God is outside-of-time, how do you explain Isaiah 5:1-4, where God plainly states he expected something to happen, but instead something else happened?

 

Fred, I don’t see the problem here. Maybe you could elaborate a bit.

 

The problem is, why would God expect Israel to yield good fruit (be a good witness for Him), if His crystal ball told Him they wouldn't? The verse makes no sense if God has a crystal ball of an already settled future. This is yet another verse dismissed as, yes, an anthropomorphism.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my last two posts that were probably over-verbose!

 

Fred

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Dave, I don't mean this as an insult. If anything it's a reflection of the 2nd law taking its toll on my brain. Are you a Calvinist? (I have some VERY dear friends who are Calvinists).

Fred

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Fred, I warned you. I'm outa here.

 

Bye. It was indeed fun.

 

Dave

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Fred, I warned you. I'm outa here.

 

Bye. It was indeed fun.

 

Dave

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I didn't see your request until after my post. However it is a valid part of this debate, and I wasn't the one who brought up a Calvinistic POV. Sorry to see you go.

 

Fred

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I'm sorry for butting in here, Joshua, but I couldn't resist.  :)

 

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you."

 

That is absolutely, perfectly, completely understandable, in plain, simple language as God saying he knew Jeremiah before he was formed in the womb (conceived).

 

How can anyone even possibly deny that?

 

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There are many Christians who oppose Open View who also agree this is referring to the time starting from conception (particularly anti-Calvinists). I do find it ironic that the one person in this debate who admitted that he can't take the plain meaning of "many, many" scripture because of one scripture that seemingly contradicted it, and instead has to chalk them up to anthropomorphism, would think the plain rendering above has no other interpretation even remotely possible other than his own.

 

Its a good verse JushuaJacob brought up, and IMO it makes the most sense in the manner I have suggested in light of the other scripture that supports this. The point I'm trying to make is that for every problem verse I am presented, I have many, many more (using Dave's words) to counter it. If we kept score on which theological version takes the plain meaning, Dave's already indirectly admitted his would fall short in that score-keeping.

 

For the record, as I have stated before I don't presume to think I have all the answers, and somehow expect everyone to cow-tow to what I propose or think all aspects of what I've presented here is true. For me personally, it is where plain scripture, those "many, many" verses Dave alluded to, has led me. I can't simply walk away from all those scriptures I raised and wrongly dismiss them as anthropomorphisms as Dave would like me and others to do. Regardless of who is right, I find it very difficult to think that anyone could honestly tell me that I am avoiding the plain rendering of scripture more than they are.

 

Fred

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I try to look at God in the light that He has always been around, He was never born and always existed, how is God not above time when He created it? Without space and matter you have no time.

 

Just because God expected something and the expectation was not met does not mean God didn't know it was not going to be met. It just proves that man is not perfect.

 

Can You tell me a prophecy in the bible that didn't come to pass to the T that was told to a true prophet? To have foreknowledge You have to somehow be outside of physical time to know the future.

 

Do You think God cannot go back into "time" if He wanted to?

 

For the record I am neither a calvinist nor a Mormon :)

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I'm sorry for butting in here, Joshua, but I couldn't resist.  :)

 

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you."

 

That is absolutely, perfectly, completely understandable, in plain, simple language as God saying he knew Jeremiah before he was formed in the womb (conceived).

 

How can anyone even possibly deny that?

 

Dave

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Here is the explanation of that. In eternity time there is no "present time". We have past, "present" and future. Heaven has only the past and future (Alpha-Omega). This does not mean God is out of time, it means he is not controlled by the laws of time. And because He sees the future, He can know someone even before they are born or conceived.

 

I know I have used this example before, but for the sake of anyone new I will use it again.

 

Think of your life as a river. When you are born you jump in, and as you age you flow down that river of time. You can see a little into your past and future but you are stuck in present time which is where you happen to be in that river of time at any given moment.

 

God on the other hand is not controlled by present time so He is not in that river of time. He is above it like in a helicopter. Having an eye view of your whole life. He can see where you have been, where you are, and where you are going at all times. And regardless of the freewill decisions you make, He sees the outcome of your future instantly. So God always knows what's going to happen, and we always have our freewill to choose.

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Hi JoshuaJacob,

 

I try to look at God in the light that He has always been around, He was never born and always existed, how is God not above time when He created it? Without space and matter you have no time.

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I of course agree that God has always been around and never has been born. But to say time is a created thing is an assumption, it's not in the Bible. “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.

 

Just because God expected something and the expectation was not met does not mean God didn't know it was not going to be met. It just proves that man is not perfect.

Can't you see that, with plain language, that's a contradiction? Expect: a. To look forward to the probable occurrence or appearance of.b. To consider likely or certain. In the Hebrew dictionary, the word used is also "looked", as the KJV states "looked to bring forth".

 

God retains his omniscience if we remove the scriptural assumption that God is outside-of-time. It also solves the above verse, and the many others like it. God knows all things knowable, and is more than capable to "bring things to pass".

 

Can You tell me a prophecy in the bible that didn't come to pass to the T that was told to a true prophet?

Yes, all the yet to be fulfilled prophecies. :) For example, do you think God needs a crystal ball to proclaim that all nations will go against Israel (which we see happening before our very eyes, especially as one of the last bastions of anti-Semitism, the United States, is heading that way)? Or do you think God knew because of his infinite wisdom when he inspired the writers such as John that the world would eventually unite against his chosen people? God certainly could use man's wickedness to bring about this prophecy, just as he used Nebuchadnezzar wickedness to bring judgment to Israel. When God told John about the two witnesses, do you think He can bring about their demise without having to see in a crystal ball their demise? In fact, that one's a pretty easy prophecy to make, it would be like me prophesying that if I go to Iran and hand out Bibles, that I would lose my head. :)

 

Do You think God cannot go back into "time" if He wanted to?

 

He can if time is a created thing, he can't if previous time is not in the realm of reality. God can't do the unreal, the illogical, the contradictory. Can you find a verse in the Bible where God went back in time, or is timeless?

 

For the record I am neither a calvinist nor a Mormon

Neither am I. :)

 

Fred

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My first question is: Did God not create “ALL Things†created?

(see John 1:3, Romans 11:36, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16, etc…)

 

My second question is: Is time not quantifiable and qualifiable?

 

My third question is: If time IS “quantifiable and qualifiableâ€ÂÂ, is it not a phenomenon?

 

My fourth question is: Would time, then, be something impossible for God to create?

(see Matthew 19:26)

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My first question is: Did God not create “ALL Things” created?

(see John 1:3, Romans 11:36, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16, etc…)

 

My second question is: Is time not quantifiable and qualifiable?

 

My third question is: If time IS “quantifiable and qualifiable”, is it not a phenomenon?

 

My fourth question is: Would time, then, be something impossible for God to create?

(see Matthew 19:26)

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No, maybe, yes, no.

 

My question to Ron and JoshuaJacob (or anyone else who wants to answer): Did God use an untruth to Hezekiah to get him to humble himself, as a previous poster implied?

 

If the answer is no, then it would seem you think God meant it when He said Hezekiah was going to die, yet after Hezekiah's prayer, the Living God changed the future and added 15 years to his life. How do you explain this if the future is settled?

 

Fred

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No,

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I would have to disagree with your assessment, and agree with:

 

John 1:3 – “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.â€ÂÂ

 

Romans 11:36 – “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.â€ÂÂ

 

1 Corinthians 8:6 – “yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.â€ÂÂ

 

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

 

As testified by the scriptures; ALL things were made by God, Through Jesus.

 

maybe,

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I believe the answer is (according to the evidence) positively YES. But, I have no problem with saying “highly probableâ€ÂÂ, due to the fact that what we call time is “quantifiable and qualifiable†due to the facts that we can measure it, and we can measure its effects on other phenomena as well. And, like gravity is a phenomenon, time too is a phenomenon.

 

yes,

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On this I agree.

 

no.

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On this I agree as well… There is absolutely no reason God couldn’t create time.

Therefore: Because God created ALL things, and because time is a thing (a phenomenon), it is easily concluded that God created time.

 

My question to Ron and JoshuaJacob (or anyone else who wants to answer): Did God use an untruth to Hezekiah to get him to humble himself, as a previous poster implied?

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My answer is NO… Because there is absolutely no reason to draw such a conclusion.

 

 

If the answer is no, then it would seem you think God meant it when He said Hezekiah was going to die,

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I’m absolutely sure that God did meant it, as I have no reason that God would say anything he wouldn’t mean.

yet after Hezekiah's prayer, the Living God changed the future and added 15 years to his life.

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God didn’t change the future, God changed His mind… We have a merciful God, who answers prayer.

 

For example; my wife’s father was diagnosed with prostate cancer almost ten years ago. He had a PSA over one thousand, and his prostate was the size of a grapefruit. Through much prayer, and the insistent desire of his daughter (my wife), he is still with us today.

 

God didn’t change the future, he had mercy on a man (and in our case, a man’s daughter).

 

Further, there are consequences to our desires; sometimes good, sometimes bad, dependent upon our choices (and others). If you remember right, since God granted Hezekiah's prayer, the most evil and vile king of the Old Testament was born. He would not have been born, had God not answered Hezekiah's prayer.

 

How do you explain this if the future is settled?

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The future isn’t settled, we have the opportunity to make decisions throughout our life-times (its called free will). We are not automatons with our decisions already made, and our futures set. God does know what is going to happen, but those happenings are contingent upon our decisions.

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I would have to disagree with your assessment, and agree with:

 

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

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I actually answered the question properly; you need to check how you asked it, as a negative question. Hence I agree with every verse you provided. God did create all things. You asked if he did NOT create all things, and hence I answered No. :)

 

I do not believe time is a physical thing. Only modern secular metaphysical quantum mechanics makes this claim. Nor am I claiming God is subject to time; God isn’t subject to time anymore than he is subject to the word “the” or any other abstract reference. I am simply stating that time is “the progression of one moment to the next”. You can say you are positive that “one moment passing to the next” is a created thing, but this is not very convincing to me, nor to plenty of other good Bible scholars I know, which makes me not feel so completely wacko (just partly :):) ). So, it’s in the realm of speculation, neither side can declare their view a fact. If we completely remove any assumptions either of us make about time, and just use scripture, we’ll see that nowhere in the Bible is it definitive that God created time (as C.S. Lewis rightly pointed out).

 

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.

 

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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I would have to disagree with your assessment, and agree with:

 

John 1:3 – “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.â€ÂÂ

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I actually answered the question properly; you need to check how you asked it, as a negative question. Hence I agree with every verse you provided. God did create all things. You asked if he did NOT create all things, and hence I answered No. :)

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Nope, that was a rhetorical device that has only one (1) correct answer "AND" that requires further explanation from the person being asked (hence the scriptures submitted for review and reply).

 

My first question is: Did God not create “ALL Things†created?

(see John 1:3, Romans 11:36, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16, etc…)

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The answer (with explanation) would be something like: “No, God DID create everything as the scriptures suggestâ€ÂÂ. The simple “no†answer you gave actually agrees with the negative portion of the question, not the entire question within its emblematic symbolisms and context.

 

Having said that, it is neither here nor there, because we actually agree with the correct answer (that being the affirmative), therefore, arguing semantics is unproductive in this case.

 

But, to stay on task, and furthering my original line of reasoning:

 

Premise 1 - God indeed created “everythingâ€ÂÂ.

 

Premise 2 - Time can be “both†quantified AND qualified via physical means.

 

Premise 3 - Time therefore is a Phenomenon (a thing).

 

Conclusion - Therefore God, then, created time.

 

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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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 Circlesâ€ÂÂ, 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 faceâ€ÂÂ. 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 Baalâ€â€Âsomething 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 :) ).

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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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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

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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

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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

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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.

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