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Thread: Open Theism

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    But overall, God seems to work without exercising his unstoppable will on man...at least at this point. He works within the frame work of man's decisions and progress.

    Backwards it seems to me
    How so?

    Edit: I just noticed in post #18 you are a Calvinist. So I suppose my statement would seem backwards to you.
    Last edited by Ickisrulz; 12-15-2019 at 02:48 PM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    I cannot create matter from nothing and I do not know my children's private thoughts or what they do every second of the day. However, I can predict with fair accuracy how they will react to certain things, what they will do this upcoming weekend, what they want for dinner, etc.

    To say that God knows all the past and all the present but yet can be surprised by anything man has done or will do doesn't make a bit of sense. Don't forget, God also knows everyone's inner thoughts.
    You hit the nail on the head.

    The biggest struggle for some people is accepting they cannot understand the level God operates on. I’ve come to accept that simply because I cannot wrap my head around the concept of omniscience does not mean God does not have it.

    I am a Wesleyan Arminian, so I do feel predestined salvation is not correct, per Calvin. So man does have a free will. In fact, it is the biggest curse, as well as blessing... However, that does not preclude God from knowing what will happen. He simply stays out of our decision-making and lets us come to our own choices. Sometimes He is happy for us and sometimes not, but he knew where we were going to go.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    It would seem to me that if God knows all then there can be nothing He can't know including any "undetermined future" from actions you might take. Logically, that doesn't make sense.

    ..... No one including God can know that.
    Oh, you place human limits on an all present, all knowing, all powerful God; take a look at the universe and say that again! I believe your god is much too small. (read Rom chap. 1, especially v. 19-20)

    My God is the God of the Bible. He is not limited like man; he is higher than man, his thoughts are not like man's and, unlike any mere man - including me - , he knew the end of history before the beginning of creation. My God can, has and does foretell the future with precision, he isn't sitting around heaven watching us to learn what we will do.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Oh, you place human limits on an all present, all knowing, all powerful God; take a look at the universe and say that again! I believe your god is much too small. (read Rom chap. 1, especially v. 19-20)

    My God is the God of the Bible. He is not limited like man; he is higher than man, his thoughts are not like man's and, unlike any mere man - including me - , he knew the end of history before the beginning of creation. My God can, has and does foretell the future with precision, he isn't sitting around heaven watching us to learn what we will do.
    No, I don't place human limits on God and that was my point. Maybe I didn't make that clear?
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

    We all do our duty when there is not cost to it, honor comes easier then. Sooner or later there comes a day in every man's life when it is not so easy, a day when he must choose and live with it for the rest of his days.

    The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakeMineA10mm View Post
    You hit the nail on the head.

    The biggest struggle for some people is accepting they cannot understand the level God operates on. Iíve come to accept that simply because I cannot wrap my head around the concept of omniscience does not mean God does not have it.

    I am a Wesleyan Arminian, so I do feel predestined salvation is not correct, per Calvin. So man does have a free will.
    Point of order: Predestination is Biblical, not because of Calvin but because it's scriptural. Calvin was simply the first theologian to pay attention to notice it.

    Until the early and mid 1,500s all institutional Church doctrine was Roman Catholic. They formally taught that salvation was ONLY through the RC Church and it's various rites, priests and Popes; Calvin showed the world the RCC was wrong and was the first to live to tell it. (Calvin's witness: Read the first chapter of nearly all New Testament books between Acts and Revelation and watch for "predestined", "elect", "chosen", etc.)

    Now, in anticipation of the usual fire storm of armenian protest, let me point out that recognising predestination is true does NOT negate man's absolutely necessary free will choice of following our Lord Jesus.
    Last edited by 1hole; 12-15-2019 at 06:23 PM.

  6. #26
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    Did God foresee that he would send the great flood? Doesn't God foresee many possible futures that God could create. Don't you believe that God answers prayers and acts upon the world in other ways.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

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    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtknowles View Post
    Did God foresee that he would send the great flood? Doesn't God foresee many possible futures that God could create.
    Certainly.

    Don't you believe that God answers prayers and acts upon the world in other ways.
    Certainly.

    Now, you tell me; When did God know about and for what each of us would lift prayers and supplications? ???

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Certainly.



    Certainly.

    Now, you tell me; When did God know about and for what each of us would lift prayers and supplications? ???
    God might know of all our actions but it seems he does know the consequences of God's own actions why else would God have regrets.

    Genesis 6:6

    And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

    I don't think God knows about things God is not paying attention to. God is not dead God just does not care as much about Earth and humans anymore.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

  9. #29
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    Tim, you're trying and that's good. But the hairs of our heads are numbered by God and no sparrow falls without his knowledge. Meaning NOTHING that happens anywhere at all escapes his notice.

    In our limited ability to grasp the magnitude of God, he has chosen to use words we can understand. His Bible uses words and expressions to show us he understands where we are and how we think. Thus we see that Jesus is "a solid rock, the rock of ages, a cornerstone, a lamb, a lion, the lily of the valley, living water", etc. None are literal expressions but all are true in the sense the writer intended but it's definitely not literal. That truth includes your reference to the expression of God's "regret".

    It may shock some people but Jesus and biblical characters didn't speak in 1611 King James English. A (smart) 5th grade kid can read scripture and see what it says in English but no such kid can grasp much of what it means.

    So, don't get too tied up in precisely what is written in every verse of scripture. Instead, put it all together and pray for spiritual guidance. Seek to understand what the words mean, i.e., what the real message is. That's not always child-like easy but stick with the point of the Biblical message as best you can. Avoid distracting and pointless red herrings and you'll do okay.
    Last edited by 1hole; 12-16-2019 at 01:24 PM.

  10. #30
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    To believe in open theism we would need to strike John 3:16 from the Bible. The verse says "whosoever believeth". That would be in conflict with open theism and Calviniem. I don't understand how whosoever can be limited to a predetermined group.
    I see our earthly lives as a boot camp. The Bible gives us some simple instructions on how we should prepare for the afterlife. If we can not abide by them why would God want to surround himself with doubters and objecters.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    It would seem to me that if God knows all then there can be nothing He can't know including any "undetermined future" from actions you might take. Logically, that doesn't make sense.

    God knows all truths but the qualifier "all truths that can be known" Open Theist's believe in negates an All Knowing God. So what exactly are you believing in? A God that is no better than you? Man as a supreme being that just lives in the moment with total free will unjudged for any actions because God knows no better than you what the future consequences for your actions are? You might as well be a secular progressive if that is the case in my opinion.

    I'm more of a Calvinist than anything at this point but Open Theism seems more of a belief system tailored to people that want no judgement of their actions because God knows no better than they do what the future is. If God doesn't know what the future is then there can be no downside to any current choices or beliefs as how can you say they are wrong? No one including God can know that.
    Your understanding of Open Theism is incorrect. This is skewing your judgement.

    But I am not here to convince anyone which religion is correct....the hundreds of sects within Christianity have failed to provide the "one correct religion"....so who knows? Open Theists are Christians even if they are feared (and misunderstood) by some other Christians.

    Regrettably, many Christians are influenced by "group think" from childhood or by whichever sect wherein they have found comfort. The danger is not that they are "wrong" but that they think they are "right" and somehow superior to other Christians. So far, God has been mute on which brand of Christianity is "correct". He will let us know if we get too far off course. I will trust Him and the Bible to guide me.

    BTW, this past Sunday our Pastor quoted a section of the Bible but told us it had not been translated properly. That always instantly raises a red flag for me. This happened in an Evangelical church that believes in the inerrancy of the Bible....so how could the translation be incorrect? But the sheep follow the shepherd....well, the vast majority of them.
    Don Verna

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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    BTW, this past Sunday our Pastor quoted a section of the Bible but told us it had not been translated properly. That always instantly raises a red flag for me. This happened in an Evangelical church that believes in the inerrancy of the Bible....so how could the translation be incorrect? But the sheep follow the shepherd....well, the vast majority of them.
    Most that hold that the Bible is without error only apply that distinction to the original manuscripts. There are known differences in manuscripts and known errors in English translations. So at times a teacher can say, "This verse would be better translated as..." and be correct.

    (Yes, there are people who believe the KJV is inspired. Why? I have no idea.)

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    Most that hold that the Bible is without error only apply that distinction to the original manuscripts. There are known differences in manuscripts and known errors in English translations. So at times a teacher can say, "This verse would be better translated as..." and be correct.

    (Yes, there are people who believe the KJV is inspired. Why? I have no idea.)
    I enjoy your posts as I learn a great deal from them. What you say makes sense, but regrettably many people do not make the differentiation between the original texts and the translations. So we are left with the translated Word. I, for one, am not prepared to learn the ancient languages as it was bad enough I had to study Latin in high school.

    A quick search shows 450 English translations of the Bible. It is a stretch to believe each one is "divinely inspired", yet I suspect many think so. It can be a challenge as sometimes what seems like a minor tweak can have a major impact on the meaning of the Word.
    Last edited by dverna; 12-25-2019 at 07:32 AM.
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  14. #34
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    We have a small percentage of believers who are quite sure the KJV is/was inspired, word for word; they are wrong but it's a harmless error. Neither King James nor the Lord nor any of his disciples spoke in Middle English. Thing about that is words change meaning over time; if we have no revisions to follow the changes the message becomes impossible to properly understand.

    I know of no one who claims any other than the KJV translation is inspired.

  15. #35
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    God is not perfect in predicting everything in the future What makes us believe He predicts anything? His plan is working, many prophecies where (speaking through others) we know of his plan and what will happen to accomplish His plan. Why would one think God cares when I go to the restroom? Or what I eat for breakfast?

    I don't think God knows about things God is not paying attention to. God is not dead God just does not care as much about Earth and humans anymore.
    Darwinist - that lead came from the ground and turned into a boolit. Wait and maybe it will be loaded ammo.
    Deist - Somebody put it there, so what.
    Theist - Somebody put it there, watching to see what I do with it?
    Atheist - I made that boolit. It's MINE.
    Agnostic - don't know, don't care - busy on Twitter.
    Starwarism - alien left me some ammo.
    StarTreian - little guy who messes thngs up to get a chucle.

    Calvinist - God selects who will be a believer.
    Arminianism - Man can choose to believe in God.
    So Open Theism would be what? New definition from man?
    BTW, Tim doesn't believe in miracles but what would you call Creation? Pretty much a MAJOR miracle to me.
    Many think the Bible is fiction as there are no 'other' writings describing events. Well, Noah didn't have anyone to write to, Pharaoh wasn't going to make inscriptions that his slaves got away and his charioteers were drowned. Philistine king wasn't going to tell anybody his 30,000 warriors ran off from a toddler with a stone. Nor is the Gov of Judah going to write to Rome stating his guards couldn't keep the body from disappearing.
    Last edited by popper; 02-26-2020 at 04:36 PM.
    Whatever!

  16. #36
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    (See Isaiah 55:8-9)

    Questioning the foreknowledge, love or wisdom of God is far above our pay grade and demanding explanations is an insult to him; God is our Father and we are his children so he need not submit to us. Amongst other things, that means that, as children, we repeatedly ask, "Why?" after every answer. That's understandable from children but, truth is, we really don't need to know the whys or how's of his actions and, like children, we probably wouldn't understand if he told us.

    No matter how smart and grown up we seem in our own eyes, we remain children in his eyes ... and rightly so!

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Most of us will not make free will choices that affect the world, or Godís plan. We will affect ourselves, and our families...maybe our employees or out employer...etc etc.

    But the free will choices of leaders and governments may significantly affect how our world unfolds and Godís plan.

    An extreme case. Putin has a breakdown and, using his free will, initiates a nuclear war that has global consequences. If this is Godís plan...all is good...? Putinís free will has completed His plan. But I believe that is not the plan God has revealed in Revelations.
    everyone faces many decisions in our lives ; example ; there are three doors that we can walk thru to get a job, knowing god's word and character, which door would you walk thru that would glorify him , and not your own desires ? some make good decisions and some make horrible decisions, that's where free will comes in.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtknowles View Post
    theology [THēˈšləjē]

    God and theology is for all believers not just Christians
    Oh, really? Would you consider that the writers of your dictionary are, like you, not Christians and that distorts their understanding of the proper meaning of "theology"?

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Oh, really? Would you consider that the writers of your dictionary are, like you, not Christians and that distorts their understanding of the proper meaning of "theology"?
    Not my dictionary but one of the most authoritative dictionaries of the English language. The meaning of words is what dictionaries are about but maybe you only use dictionaries meant for Christians like English words have different meanings for Christians than for everyone else.

    I think there are some clues in the word's etymology.

    Etymology of the word Theology.

    The word theology comes from two Greek words - theos, which means "god," and logos, which means "words.". The simplest definition of theology, then, is "god words" or words about god.

    Of course to a Christian it might seem that is limited to the Bible but guess what for more than half the people on the planet not all God's words or words about God are in the Bible.

    Many Christians are narrow minded.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

  20. #40
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    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,..." Ephesians 1:3-5 (E.S.V.)

    So much for Open Theism.

    Sorry, it is late, and my tolerance for bad theology is slim.

    exile
    "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." --John Witherspoon, The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. 1776

    "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6 (E.S.V.)

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