Battle Royale X Critique thread - Does God Know Your Entire Future? -
August 2nd, 2005, 09:36 PM
Openness Theology - Does God Know Your Entire Future? - Battle Royale X
S. Lamerson vs. B. Enyart
This thread is designed to make comments on the posts that Bob Enyart and Dr. Lamerson make in BR X (post critiques if you will). This thread IS NOT for debating or discussing the battle with other TOL members but instead to make "stand alone" comments regarding the posts as they are made in the battle as it progresses.
If you wish to debate and go off in rabbit trails you can do so in the Battle Talk thread.
Any posts that we deem to be other than what is described above will be deleted without warning. Thank you for your interest in Battle Royale X.
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August 2nd, 2005, 09:48 PM
Lamerson seemed to really focus on refuting Boyd's version of open theism (I think he mentioned Sanders too but not nearly as much). I wonder to what degree Lamerson believes Boyd's teachings to be identical to Bob's. If he is relying on them being extremely similar I think that he is at a severe disadvantage against Bob.
We'll just have to wait and see but that is my primary impression after having read the opening post.
Well, this is the first BR which I have been about for. I think given that it is Sam's first as well he may be forgiven a quite tentative first post - I know I would be tentative if I had to go first in a debate of this magnitude.
That said I am very impressed by Bob's post. I will be honest I haven't really understood the thinking behind Open Theism and haven't felt that any of it's proponents have cleared it up much. Bob's post however is exceedingly clear and succint in what he regards the open view to be and what backs it up.
I am impressed at the style and maturity of debate that this post shows, I'm also definitely pondering a lot of the issues that he and sam both raised.
Trupp's Scientific Law:
How to falsify:
Method 1 - Die, come back and tell me I'm wrong.
Method 2 - Go back in time and verify whether Adam and Eve existed or not.
Outstanding first post by Bob Enyart. It's apparent that Bob went to great lengths to put forth such a well rounded, well thought out and extremely informative opening post.
This is true. Bob's presentation was strong in many areas, however, on the omnipresence of God it was weak. Utterly weak!
Bob stated, "The true doctrine of God’s presence is this: God is wherever He wants to be."
Bob goes to great lengths to militate against Scripture when understanding God's presence in hell; ignoring the clear passages that teach that the triune God is present with His creation and that He is present.
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
God created hell. It is His. Not only did He create it, He also holds it together. Surely He is present with His creation as He sustains it. Scripture also tells us that God is omnipresent—God is present.
Holy Scripture clearly tells us God is present in hell, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.”
Jesus Loves You
Last edited by Freak; August 3rd, 2005 at 04:00 PM.
God the Son was not always a man. He “became flesh” (John 1:14). Became is a change word. The Incarnation is not just a figure of speech, and it shows that God can undergo infinite change.
Did the very nature of God undergo an "infinite change" when He "became flesh"?
Was He not the Son of Man before He became flesh?:
"What if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before"(Jn.6:62).
The Son of man was in heaven before He "became flesh".The Lord Jesus declared explicitly that the Son of man descended out of heaven:
"And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven"(Jn.3:13).
Sir Robert Anderson wrote:
The revelation of the Son of Man will lead the spiritual Christian, who has learned to note the hidden harmony of Scripture, to recall the language of the creation story: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." The type," as the biologist would phrase it, is not the creature of Eden, but He after whose likeness the creature was fashioned. And this suggests the solution of a "mystery." We are but men, and while angels behold the face of God, no man hath seen Him or can see Him. We are "flesh and blood," and "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." And yet as men we are to dwell in heavenly glory; and that wonderful promise shall be fulfilled to us-" They shall see His face."
How is this seeming paradox to be explained? "Flesh and blood" are not essential to humanity. True it is that, as "the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same. He assumed "a natural body." "For there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." The one pertains to "the first man," who is "of the earth earthy, the other to "the second Man," who is "of heaven." For the Lord from heaven is "Very Man," and it is as Man that He is now upon the throne. But the body is not the man: it is but the tent, the outward dress, as it were, which covers Him. And He is "the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever " the same who once trod the roads of Galilee and the streets of Jerusalem. He is enthroned as Man, but no longer now in "flesh and blood." For ere He "passed through the heavens" He changed His dress.(Anderson,"The Lord From Heaven",p.31-32).
Last edited by Jerry Shugart; August 3rd, 2005 at 07:28 PM.
Remember folks this thread is for SINGLE "stand alone" critiques of the posts being made in Battle Royale X. Many of you have asked why your posts are being deleted and this is the reason.
Therefore if you wish to create a dialog about BR X please do so on the Battle Talk thread.
I believe Bob's post was logical and well stated. However, as a former debater, I don't believe he has addressed the issue Lamerson laid out in his opening post. I read the whole post and never found where Bob directly address the issue as posited by Sam.
Jesus makes a very specific prediction about what Peter will do within the next 24 hours. This prediction is found in all four of the Gospels ( Pericope 315; Matt 26:34; Mark 14:30; Luke 22:34; John13:38). The question that this issue raises is obvious. If God’s inerrant foreknowledge violates the free will of the object of that knowledge, and if God will not violate the will of any free creature, how is he able to unerringly predict the actions of one of those free creatures?
I see nothing in Bob's post that directly addresses the issue. If Bob were writing a book, he would be off to a flying start, but he is debating and he should take his counterpart into consideration in making his arguments. Anyone can argue in a vacuum but to win a debate you must tackle the issues set before you by the other participant.
Blessings of Peace,Chileice
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15.13
1. Interesting that he divides the idea of "God's Freedom" from "human freedom." The neatest
thing about it, if there are any overt or closet Barthians out there, is that it answers Sam's Barthian
assertions about sole revelation of God through Christ, with a very Barthian assertion of God's
2. A little disapointing that Bob starts setting up a metaphorical vs literal interpretation
paradigm. We'll see how he uses it, but in general, even I, a "liberal" recognize "calling on
context" as too "easy an out," i.e. an easy way to create circular arguments that sound
convincing on the surface but don't hold water under scriptural scrutiy.
3. The pagan / Calvinist setup. Wow. Claiming that your opponent uses pagan philosophy
is a pretty low blow, (confession: my darker side kind of likes it,) but lets hope it doesn't distract Sam into arguing an assertion that really
has nothing to do with the core question. Sam is using Christian texts, not Roman
mythology, after all.
4. Impassibility. I was liking the argument before the example was presented regarding Christ.
God did not change when God the Son became Flesh. Scripture states that Christ was
with God from the beginning...
5. The rest... So, God is "powerful enough," but not "all powerful, " smart enough," but not "too
smart," "close at hand, personal," but not "everywhere all the time." Jesus said that the Holy
Spirit would be with all of them all the time, with all of us, all the time. I just don't see the
contrast that Bob manufactures on all these points, but that's OK...
I think that the most interesting point that comes out of all this is whether God's completeness
interferes with God's freedom, and I'll be looking most intently for Sam's reply to that...
1 John 4:7-8 "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love."
Bob exposes the pagan influences on the early Church Fathers. Why should a Christian theology curriculum include Aristotle???
However, whereas Sam may have focused too narrowly, has Bob's focus been too broad? Perhaps...
I agree with Chileice that Bob ought to have at least given a tacit response to Sam's argument of Jesus's foreknowledge. But as this is going to be a ten-rounder, I can feel Bob winding up the pitch...
This debate will be an excellent service to the knowledge and understanding of the body of Christ, and I'd like to thank TOL, Bob, and Sam for their hard work.
First half of Bob's first post (up to omniscience point):
- Enyart was good to bring up the problem of evil (theodicy), since open theism's warfare vs blueprint model (Boyd) is a strength.
- It would be better to emphasize OT's idea (at least Boyd) that some of the future is settled and some is unsettled. Bob contrasted settled (Calvinism) vs unsettled only (OT).
- It was appropriate to emphasize the Open view of God as dynamic and responsive vs an aloof control freak.
- I wonder if it is a false dicotomy to contrast the classic attributes with OT view. It does not have to be either/or, but both/and. The key is to define sovereignty as providential vs meticulous control; omniscience as knowing all that is knowable vs all-knowing; immutability as weak vs strong; emotions as real, but not fickle or absent; etc. Jay Wesley Richards (IVP) in "The Untamed God" revisits the classical doctrines and fine-tunes their understanding without rejecting them. Both views support God's omniscience and omnipotence, but understand them differently. Sovereignty is not a dirty word, but must be understood with biblical parameters. God is immutable in some ways, but not others. Recognizing this will not raise the suspicions of classic theists as much. Remember, OT is accused of being like finite godism/Process theology. We want to affirm what we can and flesh out a more biblical understanding of classic terms.
- Bob remains theocentric (God-centered) in his approach.
- Hermeneutics is touched on (figurative vs literal). It is good to press this point.
- I would point out the corporate vs individual nature of predestination/election (vs appear to throw baby out with bathwater...some vs all things are predestined).
- Well done, Pastor Enyart.
Now to the rest of the first post....
Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)
They said: "Where is the God of Elijah?"
I say: "Where are the Elijahs of God?" (Ravenhill "Why Revival Tarries")