Haven't critiqued the last post from Bob or Sam, so I'm going to jump in and take a whack at this one from Bob, round 6!
In his third paragraph, Bob makes an outstanding summary of his case up to this point, while at the same time responding to some of Sam's broader criticisms. He effectively shows how he has had this whole thing mapped out from way back. At every stage, Bob has known not only where he's coming from, but where he is, and where he's going. And this clear, comprehensive yet concise summary leads to the introduction of Bob's positive case for the Open View.
The JONAH concept is good, I like it. It's not as fleshed out as the NOAH concept, so it's not as strong, but it's a good follow-up. Perhaps Bob will further explore this in rounds to come? Even if not, it's a useful sequel to NOAH, making a more complete overall hermeneutical approach to God's nature and character.
I really enjoyed the summarization of the first and second thirds
of the Bible. While it's not a posting of scripture itself, this is a useful technique I have also used many times (not to this extent) to help communicate the flow of the big picture in the Bible. Because of the size of the Bible, it's so easy to focus in on specific parts. It can be very challenging to tie everything together across the board, like this. So, this is indeed a very useful tool, imho. Granted, you have to be prepared to defend your presentation of it. It goes without saying that anyone who uses this technique will be writing it from their own bias. I can just see Sam criticizing that. Well duh, does anyone not know that at first glance? Of course it's presented from a biased view. Nevertheless, it is the audience's job to judge how it's done. So, if Sam has a criticism of something specific therein, that's fine, he can "bring it." But I hope he doesn't criticize just the basic principle of this presentation of biblical history. Does he never do this while teaching about the life of Christ? I'd find that very hard to believe.
Folks, please do not skip over this historical summary
. Read every line. It is worth it!
Bob draws a great contrast between divine foreordination of sin, and His wrath in the Flood. Great point, simply and easily conveyed.
I loved how Bob pointed out that "nacham" isn't used only for God, but is used a number of times to describe men repenting
and changing their minds, as well! The settled viewers reading this debate would do well to take note of this! I've heard it said recently here that "nacham" is used for God while some other word is consistently used for when men repent. Guess what? Hogwash, my friends. "Nacham" is used when men repent and change their minds. So, when God said of the Israelites, "... lest they change their minds," He was using the same word that's used to describe Himself repenting 26 times in the OT! That isn't a statement from man's perspective, but from God, Himself.
The second third
of human history, same as above, great stuff!
Bob also makes a poignant point about the real, every-day pagan influence that infiltrates the lives of ordinary, average Christians all the time. Finding divine meaning in everything that happens to us. "Why did God make it rain on my wedding rehearsal? Why did the chicken entrails fall that way? Why did the tire go flat on my way to this job interview? Why do did the tea leaves make that pattern? Why did God give me this toothache?" Boom, ties it right back to Augustine's silly statement that God gave him that toothache. Priceless.
In the next section, I wouldn't have said that the incarnation shows "infinite" change. I would have used "extreme" or something like that. But "infinite" is a kind of hyperbole that actually falls a little flat, here. But, it's not too bad. "... the third greatest conceivable change" is a much better way to put it, which he does the very next thing.
Bob also makes a big deal about the unfulfilled prophecy about the impending tribulation and return of Christ. This, however, is risky particularly because Lamerson may very well be a preterist like his boss Kennedy. And if he is, then Lamerson will simply respond, "Well yes, and Christ did come back exactly as He said He would, in the 1st century, and the tribulation happened back then!" Which then opens that whole can of worms. Of course, if Lamerson isn't a preterist, then this is more of a problem for him. I guess we'll see!
A partial remedy for this would have been if Bob had taken a moment to point out that the 70th week was supposed to include the destruction of Jerusalem, which rather did not occur until 70 AD, and then only because those events had already been set in motion before the prophecy was put on hold at the time of Israel's failure of her election.
It is interesting, though, to then see Bob go into a very summarized explanation of the setting aside of Israel from the Mid-Acts dispenstional view. Nicely done, although yet another potential can of worms. That could potentially become a mess, with only 3 remaining rounds (not including the conclusion round). I don't think I would have gone that route, probably would have left that out. But hey, we'll see! So, overall, the last third of human history here is a bit bumpy, but I'm hopeful! (To be honest, I think it would work only if it is the major centerpiece of the case from here till the end. But I dont' expect that to be the case.)
In relation to that, I would also note, however, that some of us believe that the Open View and Mid-Acts Dispensationalism go perfectly hand in hand, and shouldn't even ideally be separated. They are very much tied to each other, despite the fact that none of the three great Openness theologians are dispensational, with the possible exception of Boyd since he's a Baptist, so he might be an Acts 2 guy or something, but even then just barely. (Does anyone know?) One of the most monumental examples (if not the most!) about God changing His mind is the setting aside of Israel, and the subsequent calling of the Body of Christ being grafted in, in her place, as the unnatural branch! These two views should be seen as so closely tied, that the founder of the ministry I work in actually coined the term "Open Dispensationalism," which perfectly sums that up. And I think that is what Bob is ultimately driving at here, in this summarized narrative of the last third of history! I'm just not certain that the remaining 3 rounds will be enough to explore that even nearly as much as it should be. But, as I said, I'm hopeful!
And finally before the questions, Bob makes a good point to the Arminian audience about why almost everything in this debate is relevant to them, too. That was an important point to make, although I wish he had made it a lot earlier in the debate.
Now, for the questions!
Sam, your claim here illustrates the difficulty I am having getting you to acknowledge even my basic argument. You wrote:
Rev. Enyart has argued that God was orchestrating all of these circumstances so as to make certain that Peter would deny him (or more correctly that a rooster would crow, since he really avoids the question of Peter). -6A, emphasis added
Actually, I utterly disagree that God wanted Peter to deny Christ AT ALL, let alone “make certain” of it. We are not communicating well. The hermeneutic I spent my first 6,000 words developing, and my entire treatment of Judas, both directly indicate my position on Peter also. As for your rooster clarification here, you said that I really argued primarily about the rooster, and avoided the question of Peter. This is a perfect example showing that my arguments are being mostly ignored. The section On How to Make a Rooster Crow is 26 paragraphs and about 2,400 words, and most of that was about Peter, his accusers, and what God hoped would come of it. The first ten paragraphs consisting of about 1,000 words were about the rooster, leaving the majority of the section, 16 paragraphs of about 1,400 words to discuss directly the question of Peter, which you say, “he really avoids.”
Right on the money! Great way to point out Lamerson's "utter" inability to really comprehend what Bob has been arguing in this debate, even though it's been quite clear to most of us. Just more evidence that Lamerson came into this debate thinking he knew what to expect, only to be blindsided by some extremely new and fresh ways of presenting the Open View.
It makes me think of an actor who shows up at the playhouse, only to discover that everyone is putting on a different play than the one he's been memorizing at home. LOL Doh!
As for BEQ1/7/9/17/27/31... I really think Bob needs to let this go, and let the audience judge Lamerson for the willful cop-out he's been giving us throughout this debate on this question. An "utterly" clear and straightforward question, and he pretends he still doesn't understand what the question means? C'mon, doctor, this is just plain unreasonable. You are flat out ignoring the key parts of the question, and then acting innocently naive. You are better than that. That is beneath you. My advice to Bob is to drop it and let the audience convict Lamerson of this wrong. That's their job, Bob! Not your job, but theirs. It's a waste of time and energy and word-count to harp on this for 6 rounds. We all get it it. (Even those of us who don't want to admit it.) My advice to Sam, of course, is to answer the flipping question. CHANGE, doctor. He asked you about change
. Repent of your copping out, answer it, get it over with, like tearing off a bandaid, just get it over with.
Bob has only one other question to put to Sam at this point. With the debate stagnating at little at this point (again, due to Lamerson doing everything he can to respond as little as possible), I think we need some new challenges thrown out. Bob should have had at least a couple more questions for the doctor. But, cest la vie.
BEQ32: Considering not verbal revelation, but actual divine historical intervention, Sam, can you indicate if this statement is true: When God intervenes in history, the actual intervention itself cannot be a figure of speech!
Great question, I wish I could say I look forward to the answer, but I expect little at this point. But I pray
(genuinely, not exaggerating) that Sam will honestly respond to this.
For a second, I thought Bob was pulling a Lamerson and skipping responding to the doctor's list of questions from the first half of this round.
But then I remembered, Sam didn't include a list of questions at the end of his last post. Doh. If you don't ask, doctor... you won't get an answer. You know the rules of the debate. No one can say it was done out of ignorance. When someone on Jeopardy doesn't answer in the form of a question, guess what? BRRZZZT! Same thing here, brother. You know that. Please don't mess around with the rules. There's just no point to it.
P.S. I almost forgot to mention that I am again disappointed that Bob didn't respond to Lamerson's incredible claim that when Christ "emptied Himself," that it meant He was emptying Himself of His blood. That screamed for a response, and we haven't seen one. Even a brief one would do, and I hope Bob gets to that. It shouldn't go unanswered. (Personally, I've never even heard of such a thing! Where did that claim come from? Who believes that...?)