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Dave

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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...

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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

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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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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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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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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

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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?

 

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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.

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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!

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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?

 

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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.

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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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Good post Fred. I noticed in the very same verse that Don uses to defend his view that God exists outside of time, there is also a description of the places in which where God dwells:

 

"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"

 

No sewers mentioned here. :(

 

Another verse that is often used to portray God's relationship to time is 2 Peter 3:8, where we are taught that "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day". Now of course, an eternal being would not experience time as someone who has only been around for a few decades, but does that mean that God can expand and compress time like an accordion?

 

But more importantly, I think we should consider what Peter is saying when he quotes these words.

 

Is he making a point about God's ability to mess around with time?

 

No, look at the context. He is using them to illustrate something that actually pokes holes in such an extra-biblical idea. He is telling us about God's patience!

 

Patience is one of God's attributes. For someone who exists outside of time, it would hardly be a factor. Without time, there is not patience.

 

So once again, in order to defend this view you need to do some mental gymnastics in order to get the scriptures to line up with a conception that, as far as I can see, is merely a product of human logic and philosophical ideas.

 

Understanding God's word should be based on revelation, not on mental ability. Rather than trying to apply quantum physics to scripture, we should be applying faith to what is written, and not going beyond what is written.

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Sorry for the delayed response...

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No problem, I've been away for awhile myself.

 

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.

But omnipresence certainly isn't a goofy secular idea. It is a Jewish / Christian idea from the teachings of the scripture.

 

 

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 know your intentions are good, as most of ours' are in these forums. But I would challenge you to be skeptical of ANY view. What I have found is that VIEWS arise because of logical inconsistencies. And to avoid the inconsistency, the pendulum swings, yet often too far. This is why we have sooooo many denominations.

 

In my own life, I was raised a Methodist, and later converted to non-denominationalism. But what I have learned is that there is wisdom in many points of view. Most Christians don't raise their hands to the Lord in worship while we are commanded to. And it is all because the pendulum swang too far, because we didn't want to be associated with those Pentecostals. And I could give many many more examples. The point is, we are all being sanctified in Christ Jesus, and none of us has reached His level. We are all wrong on many things, but as we grow in Christ, hopefully we are becoming less wrong.

 

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. ;)

Well I think you are misunderstanding. I will repeat my statements from my previous post.

 

"You are correct that God inhabiting eternity does not mean God is outside of time at least within our universe which He created." That sounds to me like I am agreeing with you that God is not timeless within our universe. Also I said. "Well it means that God lives in eternity. He lives in all of time." Here again indicating that God is not Timeless in our universe. But what about "before" the universe? I think God was timeless then. This is not mental gymnastics. It is completely rational

 

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.

I don't know exactly, but how did He predestine Jesus and His life. How did He pre-destine john the Baptist? The prohecies are individual, not corporate aren't they?

 

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. :)

I would highly encourage you to read Dr. William Lane Craig's book Time and Eternity, Exploring God's relationship to Time

 

I don't think he is a gymnast :) , but he does do an exhaustive research and study on all of the arguments on this subject. And If I remember correctly The most plausible is a position in between.

 

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? 

This facinates me. Gravity is ubiquitously omnipresent (that's perposefully redundant :( ) Now, did God creat gravity? If He did, then why can't He be omnipresent as well? Is Hell material or spiritual? If there is any matter in it then Jesus must hold it together. Or will Satan do this?

 

I believe a few things. Hell will be real and material. Jesus will hold it together for as long as He wants. He will not personally be present, but His omnipresent personal power will be. And that power is thoughout the universe.

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Good post Fred. I noticed in the very same verse that Don uses to defend his view that God exists outside of time, there is also a description of the places in which where God dwells:

 

"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"

 

No sewers mentioned here.  :(

 

Another verse that is often used to portray God's relationship to time is 2 Peter 3:8, where we are taught that "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day". Now of course, an eternal being would not experience time as someone who has only been around for a few decades, but does that mean that God can expand and compress time like an accordion?

 

But more importantly, I think we should consider what Peter is saying when he quotes these words.

 

Is he making a point about God's ability to mess around with time?

 

No, look at the context. He is using them to illustrate something that actually pokes holes in such an extra-biblical idea. He is telling us about God's patience!

 

Patience is one of God's attributes. For someone who exists outside of time, it would hardly be a factor. Without time, there is not patience.

 

So once again, in order to defend this view you need to do some mental gymnastics in order to get the scriptures to line up with a conception that, as far as I can see, is merely a product of human logic and philosophical ideas.

 

Understanding God's word should be based on revelation, not on mental ability. Rather than trying to apply quantum physics to scripture, we should be applying faith to what is written, and not going beyond what is written.

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Please see my response to Fred. It has always amazed me to see how some people are so caught up in their position, that they argue against you when you are agreeing with them. That's what strawmen are for....

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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.

 

I don't know exactly, but how did He predestine Jesus and His life. How did He pre-destine john the Baptist? The prohecies are individual, not corporate aren't they?

We make our own choices, but God's grace is dependent on God not man. "I will have mercy on whom I choose to have mercy and I will harden whomever I choose to harden."

 

God told Moses "I will harden Pharaoh's heart, so he will say no." He did not tell Moses that "I already know that he will say no because I can see his future."

 

It means God has predestined us for salvation or condemnation in our hearts, not our lives in general.

 

The apostle Paul lived his own life, but why did he choose Christ as the basis for his life? Jesus said "I will change his heart."

 

 

 

Enjoy.

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I just want to chime in and make what could possibly be an argument that may possibly stir the pot a bit more.

 

I have had several friends who have died and have been revived through resessitation. According to all three, there was no concept of time in the spirit world and the 30 seconds to a few minutes that they were there seemed like a very long time and things happened very quickly and they were able to think clearly and thousands of times faster than what they could think when they were alive. My two Christian friends were dead for a couple of minutes, my formerly atheist friend was only dead for 30 seconds. I think that time does pass in Heaven, but it is irrelevant. I never experienced this for myself, but my 3 friends say that they have. This my deduction anyways.

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But omnipresence certainly isn't a goofy secular idea. It is a Jewish / Christian idea from the teachings of the scripture.

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To believe Go is inside of every piece of dung in the world is most certainly a secular, goofy idea (may the force be with you), and not scriptural, as Gen 18:21 makes clear.

 

But what I have learned is that there is wisdom in many points of view. Most Christians don't raise their hands to the Lord in worship while we are commanded to. And it is all because the pendulum swang too far, because we didn't want to be associated with those Pentecostals. And I could give many many more examples. The point is, we are all being sanctified in Christ Jesus, and none of us has reached His level. We are all wrong on many things, but as we grow in Christ, hopefully we are becoming less wrong.

Well stated, couldn't agree more.

 

"You are correct that God inhabiting eternity does not mean God is outside of time at least within our universe which He created." That sounds to me like I am agreeing with you that God is not timeless within our universe. Also I said. "Well it means that God lives in eternity. He lives in all of time." Here again indicating that God is not Timeless in our universe. But what about "before" the universe? I think God was timeless then. This is not mental gymnastics. It is completely rational

You may find it "rational" on a meta-physical point of view, but my point is that the mental gymnastics start happening when you try to shoe-horn this meta-physical POV into the Bible! The POV I offer requires no mental gymnastics, you can take the verses as they are plainly stated and not have to try to explain away the plain meaning. My problem is that we are not talking about a handful of scriptures, we are talking about 100s of scriptures that require mental gymnastics to get around if you believe "the passing of one moment to the next" is a created thing. It took me years, literally two decades, to let go of this Greek pagan idea. :)

 

how did He predestine Jesus and His life. How did He pre-destine john the Baptist? The prohecies are individual, not corporate aren't they?

The first example of Jesus is either a strawman, or incorrect depending on what you are saying. God predestined his Son's ministry and death on the cross (using this as an argument against corporal election of the Body of Christ is as blatant a strawman argument as you can get). Your statement that he predestined Jesus I hope is a mis-statement, this is the view of Mormons, JWs etc. He also chose or elected John from the time of his conception to perform his ministry, but John certainly could have chosen to disobey God. Or do you think all prophets of the Bible lived up to God's calling? Do you know that even John went through a period of doubt even though he had personally baptized Jesus as the Messiah?

I would highly encourage you to read Dr. William Lane Craig's book Time and Eternity, Exploring God's relationship to Time

The best way for me to establish my POV is through scripture. I cannot count the times I've been referred to extra-Biblical sources on this topic. We should not have to rely on some guy explaining the virtues of meta-physical quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory for us to do exegesis in the Bible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (more than half of Craig's book appears dedicated to meta-physics!). For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. "For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness." (1 Cor 3:19)

 

If anyone is interested in a good debate on the Open View, see TheologyOnline.com. It's amazing how many times the Calvinist debater goes outside of scripture to try to prove his point, and if I recall at one point late in the debate even admits to it.

 

This facinates me. Gravity is ubiquitously omnipresent (that's perposefully redundant   ) Now, did God creat gravity? If He did, then why can't He be omnipresent as well? Is Hell material or spiritual? If there is any matter in it then Jesus must hold it together. Or will Satan do this?

 

I believe a few things. Hell will be real and material. Jesus will hold it together for as long as He wants. He will not personally be present, but His omnipresent personal power will be. And that power is thoughout the universe.

 

Aside from the gravity strawman, I pretty much agree with what you just said. So, you now admit my point is correct? Either you like dancing, or you agree God is not omnipresent? :) Doesn't omnipresent mean that God is everywhere? You just admitted the point I have been trying to make. God can be omnipresent, He just chooses not to be.

 

Don, please do not think I am equivocating. Omnipresence has a very, very clear definition. You just now admitted that God is NOT "present in all places at all times". He isn't because He doesn't want to be, as he makes clear in scripture.

 

Fred

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We make our own choices, but God's grace is dependent on God not man. "I will have mercy on whom I choose to have mercy and I will harden whomever I choose to harden."

 

God told Moses "I will harden Pharaoh's heart, so he will say no." He did not tell Moses that "I already know that he will say no because I can see his future."

 

It means God has predestined us for salvation or condemnation in our hearts, not our lives in general.

 

The apostle Paul lived his own life, but why did he choose Christ as the basis for his life? Jesus said "I will change his heart."

Enjoy.

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I strongly disagree, as there are scores of scripture throughout the Bible that God did not choose us for salvation, nor change our heart against our will. If this is true, then the opposite MUST be true, that those not chosen were therefore destined for hell. You are taking a handful of scripture and mis-applying them to the Bible as a whole. See the pinned Predestination thread for the scores of scriptures that refute your position. There are over 100 alone in the New Testament regarding God's desire that ALL (not just the "elect") come to repentance. How do you explain these:

 

“‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zech 7:13

 

"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." - 1 John 2:2

 

Regarding Pharaoh, I would ask you to re-read that section of scripture. Every time God "hardened" Pharaoh's heart, it was after God performed a miracle. Note that when Pharaoh hardens his own heart, it isn't necessarily after God's miracle. God's miracles made Pharaoh mad because it proved to him he wasn't the god he thought he was. It's just like how intelligent design hardens the hearts of atheists who have long since decided they will oppose God no matter what the evidence says. Otherwise, why are atheist reactions to intelligent design and especially YEC so often hostile?

 

Fred

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Please see my response to Fred.  It has always amazed me to see how some people are so caught up in their position, that they argue against you when you are agreeing with them.  That's what strawmen are for....

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Don, this is a little amazing to me that you would claim UppsalaDragby was erecting a strawman, then in your very next post to me you do exactly what UppsalaDragby observed you were doing! This gets the irony of the year award. Did you forget that you then HIGHLY recommended I read a book that is predominantly about Einsteinian meta-physics and how it can be shoe-horned into the Bible? How again is UppsalaDragby's claim a strawman?

 

I recommend you watch the following video:

 

:)

 

Fred

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I strongly disagree, as there are scores of scripture throughout the Bible that God did not choose us for salvation, nor change our heart against our will. If this is true, then the opposite MUST be true, that those not chosen were therefore destined for hell. You are taking a handful of scripture and mis-applying them to the Bible as a whole. See the pinned Predestination thread for the scores of scriptures that refute your position. There are over 100 alone in the New Testament regarding God's desire that ALL (not just the "elect") come to repentance. How do you explain these:

 

“‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zech 7:13

 

"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." - 1 John 2:2

 

Regarding Pharaoh, I would ask you to re-read that section of scripture. Every time  God "hardened" Pharaoh's heart, it was after God performed a miracle. Note that when  Pharaoh hardens his own heart, it isn't necessarily after God's miracle. God's miracles made Pharaoh mad because it proved to him he wasn't the god he thought he was. It's just like how intelligent design hardens the hearts of atheists who have long since decided they will oppose God no matter what the evidence says. Otherwise, why are atheist reactions to intelligent design and especially YEC so often hostile?

 

Fred

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Yes, Fred. God is willing to change any heart that is willing to accept it. I simply take a literal reading of the bible as to not be someone who tries to get a big picture out of a little verse.

 

Pharaoh and all of Egypt had no covenant for salvation even if they accepted it; Salvation was for Abraham's seed only. So, God chose to use pharaoh and his army as examples of his great power and wrath by hardening his heart. The Lord even told Abraham that he would first hand his descendants over to slavery for 400 years before he gives them the promised land. All glorify God either way and since Egypt was not Abraham's descendants they had no covenant.

 

I don't honestly believe that holds true today because the new covenant includes Gentile and Jew. Perhaps, God is actively moving to change hearts, because he has the legal right from the sacrifice that Jesus made.

 

In Hebrews it says "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as Israel did during the rebellion." So, we do have clear instructions to reject the temptation of being hardened by our own rebellious nature.

 

 

 

 

Thanks.

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Yes, Fred. God is willing to change any heart that is willing to accept it.

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I Agree, but I don't understand how you can then say God pre-determined each individual for salvation (and by extension, conversely pre-determined the condemned).

 

Pharaoh and all of Egypt had no covenant for salvation even if they accepted it; Salvation was for Abraham's seed only.

 

So are you saying that before Christ, only the Jews had a chance at salvation?

 

Fred

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Don, this is a little amazing to me that you would claim UppsalaDragby was erecting a strawman, then in your very next post to me you do exactly what UppsalaDragby observed you were doing! This gets the irony of the year award. Did you forget that you then HIGHLY recommended I read a book that is predominantly about Einsteinian meta-physics and how it can be shoe-horned into the Bible?  How again is UppsalaDragby's claim a strawman?

 

I recommend you watch the following video:

 

;)

 

Fred

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Fred,

 

I don't even know if you know what a strawman is Fred. A strawman is a distortion of your opponents argument so that you can defeat it. I have argued that God is IN TIME. Not TIMELESS. When UppsalaDragby argues that "the very same verse that Don uses to defend his view that God exists outside of time".

 

Now Fred That is a strawman.

 

Now regarding Dr. William Lane Craig's book on time and eternity and God's relation to both. Only you in your ignorance of this book are constructing a strawman. Dr. Craig has spent over twenty years researching this topic. He examines every biblical text. He looks at all the scientific and phlosophical arguments. And He presents their strengths and weaknesses. In your ignorance on the subject, you think he is defending the standard theory of relativity which is used to argue God's timelessness. But Dr. Craig demonstrates that this theory is a week fallible argument. Dr. Craig, as I agree, belives that God is not ever timeless as you have described it. However, time as you have described it requires moments to pass which requires relational events to happen. Before the "beginning" with no matter and no relationships, moments and time are meaningless. Therefore, his conclusions are best summarized in his own words...

 

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageSe...divine_eternity

 

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?...Article&id=5387

 

Therefore the model I want to propose is that God exists timelessly without creation and temporally subsequent to creation. 

 

 

I think we can get a physical analogy for this from the notion of an initial cosmological singularity.  The cosmological singularity in which our universe began is, strictly speaking, not part of space and time, and therefore it is not earlier than the universe; rather, it is the boundary of space and time.  The singularity is causally prior to our universe, but it is not chronologically prior to the universe.  It exists on the boundary of space-time.  Analogously, I want to suggest that we think of eternity, like the singularity, as the boundary of time.  God is causally prior, but not chronologically prior, to the universe.  His changeless, timeless, eternal state is the boundary of time, at which He exists without the universe, and at the moment of creation God enters into time in virtue of His real relation to the created order and His knowledge of tensed facts, so that God is timeless without creation and temporal subsequent to creation.

Now the only persons who are creating strawmen are you and UppsalaDragby as I declared. Dr. Craig is in no way writing a book that "is predominantly about Einsteinian meta-physics and how it can be shoe-horned into the Bible? "

 

And finally, just so you understand, there is absolutely nothing metaphysical about anything that Einstein proposed in his theories. Only physical.

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I Agree, but I don't understand how you can then say God pre-determined each individual for salvation (and by extension, conversely pre-determined the condemned).

I can't remember where but the bible says "Those he foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of the son." If I read that literally, then that is what it says. The problem is that some verses in the bible have weak translations. For instance, when Mary asked Jesus to turn the water into wine he said "My time has not yet come." That isn't what was meant; He originally meant that he had not come for that purpose. The fathers will was for him to use the power given him to heal and bring salvation into the world, not to bartender grape juice. So, perhaps a weak translation occurs in other parts of the bible as well.

 

So are you saying that before Christ, only the Jews had a chance at salvation?

Yes. Not just Jews, but only Abraham's direct descendants that were slaves in Egypt. Even when Jesus was alive, his ministry was directed at only the Jews until his crucifiction. He told a Samaritain woman that "It isn't right to take the childrens bread and give it to their dogs." Meaning, he has come to bring salvation to first the Jews and then the Gentiles.

 

 

 

Enjoy.

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To believe Go is inside of every piece of dung in the world is most certainly a secular, goofy idea (may the force be with you), and not scriptural, as Gen 18:21 makes clear.

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Gen 18:21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know."

 

Well let's see!. B) This verse says nothing about every piece of dung in the world. It says nothing about God's omnipresence. It says nothing about God's omniscience. And it says nothing about God and time.

 

But FWGen 18:21 does clearly say that God is not in every piece of dung in the world, and it also says that Don's thoughts on this are goofy and secular.

 

You see, I don't have any problem with Gen 18:21 at all. But I do have problems with FWGen 18:21 I don't have to do any "mental gymnastics" with Gen 18:21, but I do with FWGen 18:21.

 

So back to God's word...

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

 

Now "all things" includes dung. Dung is detestable to us, but not to God. In fact, "by him it consists". With dung, God fertilizes the earth and His ecosytem is perfected. In fact God included the dung in the burnt offerings to Himself! Ex 29:14, Lev 4:11, 8:17, 16:27

 

So clearly ( :) ) God is not so repulsed by dung as you are. Ya know Fred, He is living inside His temple which is your body. And there is dung in you. He is in the presence of dung in you. literally.

 

Now, I have to go now, but I will continue on the subject of God's omnipresence later. This is the problem I have with Open Theism. The view distorts many biblical doctrines while it really is just trying to answer the questions about free will. I think it swings the pendulum tooo far. But that is my opinion.

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I don't even know if you know what a strawman is Fred. A strawman is a distortion of your opponents argument so that you can defeat it... 

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Well by golly thanks for cluing us in, I'm sure that has baffled our members for years! My and UppsalaDragby's "strawman" is only a caricature of your position IF you simply held that God has always been temporal. But you hold to a dichotomy (God was outside of time, now he's inside of time). You should also note that you quoted UppsalaDragby's post in its entirety, it would have helped your case if you had left out his summary comment - namely that you are taking man's opinion over the Bible. You totally seemed to miss this point, and instead pointed to the alleged God-outside-of-time strawman.

 

Now regarding Dr. William Lane Craig's book on time and eternity and God's relation to both. Only you in your ignorance of this book are constructing a strawman. Dr. Craig has spent over twenty years researching this topic... Dr. Craig is in no way writing a book that "is predominantly about Einsteinian meta-physics and how it can be shoe-horned into the Bible? "

Well, you are at least somewhat correct, I am generally ignorant of much of what the guy has wrote because I only have forwards, and your own comments, to go by. But now that I have done more research on what is available online, he most certainly IS trying to shoe-horn in various secular, metaphysical concepts into the Bible, but with a different (his own personal) spin. He's clearly a big-time compromiser of scripture, I'm surprised you would recommend him for any Christian to read, he's way out there. For example:

 

That initial event has come to be known as the "Big Bang." This cosmological singularity, from which the universe sprang, marked the beginning, not only of all matter and energy in the universe, but of physical space and time themselves. The Big Bang model thus dramatically and unexpectedly supported the biblical doctrine of creatio ex nihilo.

Indeed, given the truth of the maxim ex nihilo nihil fit (out of nothing comes nothing), the Big Bang requires a supernatural cause. Since the initial cosmological singularity represents the terminus of all space-time trajectories, there cannot be any physical cause of the Big Bang. Rather, the cause must transcend physical space and time

It's hard to find what he disagrees with regarding the Big bang, other than some of the inflationary arguments. Also, since when is something transcending time NOT a secular idea? As I have pointed out many times in this and other threads, no one can produce evidence that the concept of God outside of time existed in Biblical thought prior to the 20th century, except in circles that no one disputes were influenced by Greek philosophy (ie Augustine). Again, don't blame this on a strawman, don't forget one half of the dichotomy you hold to.

 

Thus, theism offers a plausible solution to the measurement problem within the received interpretation of quantum physics. If this solution looks too metaphysical, consider the alternatives.

So you were saying he isn't trying to shoe-horn quantum physics into the Bible? B) In his book "Cosmos & Creator", he makes God the observer, otherwise he retains quantum physics and all its metaphysical baggage. Further, Craig defends the anti-Biblical Copernican principle, despite growing evidence against it (such as quantized redshifts, that confirms were are after all at the center of the universe!).

 

Finally, here is Craig's conclusion: "I hope that my limited examples -- the Big Bang, fine-tuning, and quantum physics and cosmology -- have shown the power of theism to illuminate the world revealed to us by modern science."

 

Come on Don, his summary speaks volumes that he is a compromiser who values man's opinion higher than that of scripture, period.

 

One last important observation. You are saying that the compromiser Craig isn't shoe-horning in aspects of quantum physics into Genesis 1, yet as a YEC, which I laud you for, you must asgree he is shoe-horning in secular man's opinion on the age of the earth? Craig takes man's opinion over Christ, who was (IS) clearly a Young Earth Creationist - "But from the beginning of the creation, God 'made them male and female.'" - Mark 10:6

 

See the compromiser William Lane Craig, who Performedge wants us to read regarding science and theology, on YouTube here:

 

 

Sorry Performedge, he won't be on my recommended reading list any time soon...

 

Fred

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2nd follow-up to Don:

 

Gen 18:21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know."

 

Well let's see!. This verse says nothing about every piece of dung in the world. It says nothing about God's omnipresence. It says nothing about God's omniscience. And it says nothing about God and time.

 

Your strawman aside (you have offered tons of irony this thread, Don!), it's amazing to me you can claim with a straight face this says nothing of God's omnipresence! WOW! At least if you disagree, you should offer some sort of explanation, call it an anthropomorphism if you will, but to totally ignore any possibility it does speak to his omnipresence proves beyond any shadow of doubt that your mind is made up despite any evidence presented to you. I now see zero value going forward with you on God's omnipresence, other than to again ask you to watch this video:

 

Fred

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