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Openness Theology - Does God Know Your Entire Future? - Battle Royale X -
July 27th, 2005, 11:58 AM
Openness Theology - Does God Know Your Entire Future? - Battle Royale X
Samuel Lamerson vs. Bob Enyart
Openness Theology is very possibly the most popular and controversial topics here on TheologyOnLine therefore BATTLE ROYALE X!
And we are honored to have two extremely qualified combatants to engage in this Battle Royale of monumental importance. (Samuel Lamerson & Bob Enyart)
The Battle will start on Monday August 1st 2005. Battle Royale X will be a 10 round battle and follow the existing Battle Royale rules
along with the following rule additions that are designed specifically for this battle.
BATTLE ROYALE X DETAILS
What: This Open Theism debate is titled Battle Royale X: Openness Theology — Does God Know Your Entire Future?
Where: The debate will take place on the Internet at TheologyOnline.com (TOL), the popular online Christian forum, with the moderator, opponents, and spectators all participating and observing over the web.
Who: The debate will be moderated by the site’s webmaster, through his TOL screen name Knight, who can be contacted at knight@TheologyOnline.com. Pastor Bob Enyart of Denver Bible Church and KGOV.com will defend the Open View, that the future is not exhaustively foreknown. Associate Professor of New Testament at Knox Theological Seminar in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Dr. Samuel Lamerson, will oppose the Open View, and maintain that God has exhaustive knowledge of the future.
When: The debate will begin on Monday, August 1, 2005 at noon. TOL’s webmaster, Knight, will determine which side will go first by flipping a coin ten minutes before noon Mountain Time (1:50 p.m. Eastern Time). Each side will have 48 hours to upload their successive posts, with the clock stopping over the weekends, pausing at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday nights, and resuming at 8 a.m. Mountain Time on Monday mornings. After flipping the coin, Knight will then start the 48-hour countdown clock at precisely noon (2:00 p.m. E.T.).
How: The debate will last for ten rounds. The recommended maximum word limit for the average post is 6,000 words, but any or all posts could be much briefer. For each round, the opponents will login to TheologyOnline.com to upload their posts prior to each round’s 48-hour “move clock” running out of time. The official BR X clock will be set by Knight and will show the countdown on TOL. (Remember to log in to TOL so that the system will automatically adjust references to your time zone and remember to make sure your time zone is set correctly in your TheologyOnLine USER Control Panel)
Scope: The debate title, Openness Theology — Does God Know Your Entire Future? describes the heart and focus of this event. Of course, the Open View intricately relates to traditional theological issues such as the nature and attributes of God, the nature of reality and time, and the nature of God’s creation and His provisions for mankind. Thus, the participants should make an effort throughout to stay focused on Openness, but with the realization that such related issues, including typical predestination and free will matters, will likely be raised.
Honor: Both sides commit to honor God through their demeanor, to “argue hard and love much.”
Clarity: Both sides will attempt to achieve clarity and avoid obfuscation.
Responsiveness: Each side will make an effort to be responsive to the other, to interact, and to answer relevant questions forthrightly, which also ensures that the participants actually debate one another and not simply post material written for other purposes, especially if that material is not specifically responsive.
Specific BR X Rules
Apposite: For Battle Royale X, the debate is about the actual nature of God, and not our perceptions of God. Therefore unless we indicate otherwise, we will focus on God’s nature from His perspective. So if asked a question about God, we will try to not answer from other perspectives, but to the best of our ability, we will respond based upon what we believe of God from His perspective. Apposite means strikingly appropriate and relevant. For example, if asked, “Is God aloof?” we will not answer, “Yes,” if we really don’t believe that He actually is aloof, requiring an unnecessary additional iteration of questioning and clarification, only to later admit to the audience that we actually believe God only “appears” aloof. Never ambiguously confuse actualities with perceptions, and try to avoid unnecessary obfuscation, by focusing on God from His perspective, since that is what this debate is about.
Figures of Speech: We will make an effort to avoid confusion regarding biblical figures of speech. So we will clarify whether or not we believe a term being used is a figure of speech, and if so, if we can, we will identify the meaning of that figure of speech. If asked, “Does God have wings?” we will not answer, “Yes (Mal. 4:2),” if we really don’t believe that He actually has wings, requiring an unnecessary additional iteration of questioning and clarification, only to later admit to the audience that we actually believe God’s “wings” are a metaphor for His ability to reach us. Never blur actualities with figures, always forthrightly distinguish the two.
Question Numbering: To help focus the opponent on the topic(s) of a particular post, and to enable readers to follow the debate more easily, participants will sequentially number their questions using TOL’s Battle Royale convention of first and last initial, a Q for question, an A for answer, and then the question number. Samuel Lamerson and Bob Enyart would identify their questions with SLQ1, SLQ2, BEQ1, and would mark any answer given with BEA-SLQ1 (Bob Enyart answers Dr. Samuel Lamerson’s first question), SLA-BEQ1, etc. After reading a post of, say, fifteen paragraphs, without such a convention, it may be unclear to the audience and even to the opponent exactly what is being asked. So this also saves participants time in evaluating an opponent’s post. And it discourages unresponsive replies that focus for example on rhetorical questions or incidental details while ignoring the primary challenges. Of course there can be valid reasons why an opponent may refuse to answer a given question.
I have already received affirmation that both combatants agree to the above rules for Battle Royale X.
Only Admins and Battle Royale participants will be able to post in this thread.
Readers can discuss the debate here.
Or Critique specific BRX posts here.
Stay tuned for more info.
Last edited by Knight; February 21st, 2006 at 05:21 PM.