Apologetics Thursday – Ware’s Prooftexts are Prooftexts Against Ware

By Christopher Fisher

From God’s Lesser Glory:

Very little of my own response is needed to Boyd on this point. Some 700 years prior to Israel’s rebellion of which Isaiah 5 speaks, and before Israel had entered the land God promised to give them, God, through Moses, had already predicted with complete understanding and foresight the future rebellion and idolatry of Israel. Notice in the following text God’s dogmatic assertions of how Israel will act and that he knows precisely what they will do. Notice also that, despite the fact that God knows exactly how Israel will rebel, he states how angry he will become with them at that time in the future. Deuteronomy 31:16-21 reads:

The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, `Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?’ But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods. Now therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant. Then it shall come about, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify before them as a witness (for it shall not be forgotten from the lips of their descendants); for I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.”

Consider especially the force of the concluding statement in verse 21. God says, “I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.” God knows their future rebellion, for he specifically predicts it with certainty and in some detail before it occurs.

Notice how Ware handles Deuteronomy 31. The text explains that God knows what will happen and then it specifically describes how God knows it will happen. God knows Israel will rebel BECAUSE “I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.”

When God explains how He knows the future, God never explains that it is because He is outside of time or can see the future in a crystal ball. God explains the current knowledge that has led Him to the future knowledge. Take for example Abraham:

Gen 18:17 And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing,
Gen 18:18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
Gen 18:19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”

Here God states that He knows what Abraham’s descendants will do and then God explains how He knows it: “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice”.

Ware’s proof text for God knowing the future is a prooftext against Ware’s own theology! God states that He uses present knowledge to know the future. This is not what Ware would want people to believe about God. Ware doesn’t want people to believe God is in time, making predictions about the future based on what God observes in the present.

That Ware would use this text means a few things:

1. Ware just blindly assumes his theology onto the text, in spite of the most natural readings.
2. Ware does not examine the texts that he uses to figure out if texts support other understandings.
3. Ware will argue against a theology without accurately representing that theology’s counter arguments.

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