Debates

Apologetics Thursday – Debating an Internet Calvinist on Malachi 3

The individual will be known as MRG.

Chris Fisher
MRG said to Gene “for you every verse that refutes open theism is a bad verse to use in the Bible… Which happens to be much of the Bible… “I am God… I do not change”
Let’s talk about this verse. I would love to take MRG‘s verses one by one. But let’s talk about the context of the verse. MRG, would you care to just give a brief overview of the situation in Mal 3, in which we find this verse?

Posit a guess why Rabbi Sacks thinks this is a verse that has been ripped out of context by Christians to justify a more Platonic view of God. I will post his quote later. I just want you to review the material on your own first.

MRG

Well why don’t you make an assertion that God changed and assert hoe God changes as well as how God potentially changes. Many open theists teach God could very well sin in the future. Just make a position statement. “God is not immutable. He is just like us and constantly changes and this is how God constantly changes…”

Chris Fisher
MRG, here is the thing. I don’t think you have ever given any real thought to Malachi. I don’t think you understand the context of the verse. Context defines meaning. You can’t just rip small phrases out of context and build a theology. I posit that you never have even tried to understand how this verse fits into the overall context of Malachi.

Mal 3:6 “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

I the Lord do not change, therefore… Israel is not destroyed. How does one lead to the other? How does that fit the context? I don’t think you even know anything about the verses you quote. You do not even want to consider, on your own, how a renowned Rabbi can see your position on this verse as an abhorrent interpretation.

Furthermore, I posit that all your prooftexts are just as horrendously ripped out of context to mean things usually opposite of what the context states. It is a sad indictment against you.

Chris Fisher
Here is Rabbi Sacks:

Far from being timeless and immutable, God in the Hebrew Bible is active, engaged, in constant dialogue with his people, calling, urging, warning, challenging and forgiving. When Malachi says in the name of God, ‘I the Lord do not change’ (Malachi 3: 6), he is not speaking about his essence as pure being, the unmoved mover, but about his moral commitments. God keeps his promises even when his children break theirs. What does not change about God are the covenants he makes with Noah, Abraham and the Israelites at Sinai.

Sacks, Jonathan. The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning (p. 65). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

MRG

Actually I was thinking of a different verse in scripture. Stop adding more verses that oppose your view. This verse rejects many open theists view that God could sin tomorrow. God sinning any time in the future is completely possible to many open theists. God could potentially become as evil as Hitler.

Chris Fisher
MRG, Nonsense… Where else does God say He does not change? In a quote from God? Nonsense. You don’t know the Bible.

In Malachi, the issue is that Israel is evil. God wants to utterly destroy them. But God refrains. Why? Because of His unilateral promise to Abraham (the promise which most statements throughout the Bible in reference to God not changing are actually about). He follows this up with this:

Mal 3:7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.

So God follows this up saying God will change in relation to man. Don’t read the end of the chapter, because meshing what happens there with immutability is absurd.

MRG

You see how open theism bleeds into many areas of theology and creates bad thinking everywhere?

Chris Fisher
Seriously though, what verse were you thinking about in which God says: “I am God… I do not change” Where?

Chris Fisher
Again, you don’t know the Bible. You blatantly prooftext out of context. And the context more often than not counters how you want to take verses.

MRG

Chris I don’t know where you get your arguments from Greg Boyd? Bob Enyart?

Chris so when we are doing exegesis of scripture there are oh I’m guessing around 60 semantic functions that help us rightly interpret scripture and not butcher it…

You missed the word “therefore”

Now can you tell me why this is important to the text and our conversation ?

Chris Fisher
Alright. Things are not going well for you. Let’s run a tally.
1. You thought you were quoting a different verse than Mal 3:6 in which God says He doesnt change. Doesn’t exist.
2. You refused to read the context of the verse, and try to figure out why a prominent Rabbi would see this as a verse ripped out of context to support a Platonic notion of God. Alright, just discount Rabbi Sacks.
3. You appeal to an ad hominem, pretending that the validity of my beliefs has anything to do with “who I got them from”. If you just read our conversation, you can see quote from Rabbi Sacks. Will it ever dawn on you that your preferred reading of the text is not kosher or warranted by the text. It is not just me saying it.
4. Where do I miss the word “therefore”? When I literally quote you, and you claimed you were quoting the Bible? Is that your argument, that you instead of quoting an actual verse of the Bible you were making up stuff?
5. Then you ignore my questions about context, and ask “why is this important to the text of our conversation”… back up and answer my contextual questions. Here they are:

a. would you care to just give a brief overview of the situation in Mal 3, in which we find this verse?

“I the Lord do not change, therefore… Israel is not destroyed.”
b. How does one lead to the other?
c. How does that fit the context?

Another Example of a Dishonesty

Recently on a medley of Open Theist facebook pages, a man named McLoughlin has been asking questions and refusing to answer any. This is just another data point that the critics of Open Theists are disingenuous and do not answer questions, and are generally ungracious to other people’s positions.

McLoughlin [in response to someone else] You say that you see flawed thinking from me. Yet, you have not shown that flawed thinking.

Remember…..

If God always knew for certain that Jesus would die by Crucifixion, then He would have always known for certain that the Roman Empire would exist who would execute Jesus on a Cross.
April 16 at 6:22am

Chris Fisher The Bible presents the Crucifixion as an event that did not have to happen.In fact, you would be hard pressed to find one prophecy about it.

the crucifixion was not a fixed event
April 16 at 9:50am

Chris Fisher In response to the OP [a YouTube video]. This guy is not very interested in Biblical theology. He wants to engage in philosophical speculation. That is fine. But the Bible nowhere presents timelessness and a concept that was even entertained. Instead, presentism is the time philosophy of the Bible.

I will give one of countless verses to illustrate:

Gen 9:16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”

God here says that He anticipates doing something in the future that will remind Him of the past.
presentism in the Bible
April 16 at 9:47am

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

I am not coming from a Calvinist position. I am not a Calvinist. I did refer to the above article and this is why I state this.

So, You are saying that God was not always certain that Jesus would be Crucified ?
April 16 at 9:54am

Chris Fisher Yeah, so let’s look at the evidence, we will start with a few of Jesus’ own quotes. Here is Jesus before he is arrested.

Mat 26:53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

Does Jesus believe that he can pray to God and God would deliver him from the Romans? Is that something Jesus believes he can do?
April 16 at 9:57am

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

I am a person who wants to get to the nitty gritty straight away.

So, all I pretty much ask from people is that can simply answer the question.

So to just clarify with you and to make it clear ….

You are saying that God was not always certain that Jesus would be Crucified ?

Correct ?
April 16 at 10:00am

Chris Fisher Yes. I’ve said it a few times and posted an article I wrote saying that exact thing. The links are to my blog page.

[Edit] I direct you to my reply comment above where I write “The Bible presents the Crucifixion as an event that did not have to happen.” That is pretty clear, right? And then I link an article I wrote about it.
April 16 at 10:04am · Edited

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

Then the conclusion must be that God could never be certain that people would be saved nor that there will be a redeemed.
April 16 at 10:03am

Chris Fisher No, that is a stupid conclusion.
April 16 at 10:04am

Chris Fisher But anyways, howabout now we deal with the Biblical evidence I present that the crucifixion did not have to happen. I posit that you want to use the Morallistic Fallacy to drive your beliefs.
April 16 at 10:05am

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

Then God must have always been certain that Jesus would die to save and redeem people.
April 16 at 10:06am

Chris Fisher Nope.
April 16 at 10:06am

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

Then the conclusion must be that God cannot be certain that people will be saved nor that there will be a redeemed.
April 16 at 10:07am

Chris Fisher Nope. Howabout we stick to the Bible instead of philosophical speculation?
April 16 at 10:07am

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

How about I question you to expose your contradictions ?
Like · Reply · April 16 at 10:07am
Chris Fisher
Chris Fisher I’ve answered your questions and you have not answered any of mine, and I am really not interested in wild speculation. So maybe you can post Bible verses that back up your wild speculation.We can start talking about the Bible.
Like · Reply · 1 · April 16 at 10:09am
Chris Fisher
Chris Fisher I’m willing to answer a one for one question, even your questions with wild speculation, if you just answer my questions. Here is my question again:

Yeah, so let’s look at the evidence, we will start with a few of Jesus’ own quotes. Here is Jesus before he is arrested.

Mat 26:53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

Does Jesus believe that he can pray to God and God would deliver him from the Romans? Is that something Jesus believes he can do?

It is a “yes” or “no” question.
Like · Reply · April 16 at 10:10am

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

I am not speculating. I am sticking to reason and logic.

I wrote….

” You are saying that God was not always certain that Jesus would be Crucified ? ”

Correct ?

You answered

// Yes. //

From there I said…

” Then the conclusion must be that God could never be certain that people would be saved nor that there will be a redeemed. ”

You answered…

// Nope //

You are in essence contradicting yourself.

It is one or the other. Which one is it ?
April 16 at 10:14am

Chris Fisher I have an answer for your question, but I am working for a one-for-one ratio here. I want a dialogue. I’ve answered one of your questions, you get to answer one of mine. It is not hard. Here, copy and paste one of these two:

Yes
No

Here is Jesus before he is arrested.

Mat 26:53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

Does Jesus believe that he can pray to God and God would deliver him from the Romans? Is that something Jesus believes he can do?
April 16 at 10:17am · Edited

Chris Fisher So, type two letters (no) or three letters (yes), hit enter. Then magically, you will also receive an answer to your latest question. Come on, I know you can do it.
April 16 at 10:24am

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

I am not at all interested in discussing Bible passages. Why ??

Because people ( Both Calvinists and Open Theists ) try to rope me in and try and force me to accept their interpretation of the Bible.

Both groups can’t be right ! There is a problem of interpretation, and assumptions, and presuppositions before going to the text. In other words, there is a problem of hermeneutics.

It is not just a simple matter of going to the text and saying…

” See… We are right and the other group is wrong”

If a person is truly honest regarding their theological position, then they will submit it to close scrutiny and questioning. If they are not honest, then they will try to avoid and divert.
April 16 at 10:28am · Edited

Chris Fisher Alright, I am changing my question slightly to a reading comprehension question. Now you don’t even have to tell us what you believe about the verse, only speculate what an educated reader would believe.

If I were to bring this verse to an average high school student with adequate reading comprehension skills how would they answer the question:

Here is Jesus before he is arrested.

Mat 26:53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

Does Jesus believe that he can pray to God and God would deliver him from the Romans? Is that something Jesus believes he can do?
April 16 at 10:28am

Chris Fisher Here is for your copy and paste needs:

1. An educated reader would read this verse as saying that Jesus believes God would delivery him from the Romans, if he so wished.

2. An educated reader would not read this verse as saying that Jesus believes God would delivery him from the Romans, if he so wished.
April 16 at 10:31am

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

You are trying to hijack my thread. You are avoiding answering my questions, which are in accordance with the OP.

You can of course make your own OP and have people respond to you but you show yourself as being dishonest when you avoid, and divert and try and hijack this thread.
April 16 at 10:32am

Chris Fisher Don’t be silly. Your entire thread is on if the crucifixion is necessary, and I am providing hard evidence IN THE BIBLE that this is the case. You, on the other hand, want to avoid the Bible at all costs. It is crazy to me. You will not answer a simple yes or no question about reading comprehension on a verse that directly relates to your assertions.
April 16 at 10:34am

Chris Fisher And, you engage in the moralistic fallacy in ALL your arguments.
April 16 at 10:35am

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

I am not at all interested in discussing bible passages. I have explained to you very clearly why. If you continue to push your agenda on my thread, then I will block you. It is no skin off my nose.
April 16 at 10:36am

Chris Fisher That’s a keeper:
April 16 at 10:39am

Chris Fisher Yeah, good luck with your thread, mate.
April 16 at 10:39am

McLoughlin Chris Fisher

I won’t say good luck to you with your heresy of Open Theism.
April 16 at 10:40am · Edited

Apologetics Thursday – Ontological Argument Debate

John Anselm’s Law. Basic ontological argument. Here’s a Wiki bit on it: Anselm defined God as “that than which nothing greater can be conceived”, and argued that this being must exist in the mind; even in the mind of the person who denies the existence of God. He suggested that, if the greatest possible being exists in the mind, it must also exist in reality. If it only exists in the mind, then an even greater being must be possible — one which exists both in the mind and in reality. Therefore, this greatest possible being must exist in reality.

Chris Fisher Anselm sounds like a lunatic.

John Really, and is that how you feel about ontology in general?

John Or is this the first you have ever even heard of it?

Chris Fisher John So, what necessitates that God is the greatest being imaginable? And who decides what “greatest” means? If I think pink is the greatest color, then God must be pink. If I think two hats are better than one, then God must have two hats. It is absurd and arbitrary. Explain how Anselm’s quote even borders on rationality.

John Chris Fisher, Anselm has been critiqued at length. Show me how an atheistic position even borders on rationality.

Chris Fisher I’m not an atheist. I just dont buy absolute nonsense arguments.

Chris Fisher Care to answer my questions?

John Chris Fisher, No. I do not. As I said, Anslem’s ontology has been critiqued at length. You ask who decides what “greatest” is — greatest is that for which there can be nothing greater than. I think that’s self-explanatory. Just like “truth.” Truth exists externally from our perceptions of truth. True is just true.

John There are many, many, many, … things in philosophy that I cannot wrap my mind around. But it isn’t fair for me to just dismiss them as nonsensical statements. I’ve not the skill.

John Anselm’s premise, is definition of God is “that than which nothing greater can be conceived.” I think it is a pretty good premise. I certainly stand upon it when I discuss the purposes for which the universe was created — and that for the highest orde…See More

Chris Fisher I did give reasons why the argument is irrational: it is arbitrary (and I give examples) and the assumptions just have no basis in reality. Your response is an appeal to authority and a “trust me, this seemingly nonsensical argument is legit”. Definitely no one should take Anselm seriously.

John The argument runs from the premise. You may state that the premise is not rational, but the premise is not part of the ontological problem. The premise is what it is. What follows is the concern, and whether such must follow.

John My appeal to authority, Sacred Scripture and nature, came later, after my discussion of the definition of “great” and “true” as being self-explanatory and unconcerned in the least about of perceptions of what is greatest and truly true. These exist externally to our perceptions. You chose, apparently, to skip that part.

John Anselm may have been wrong — atheist philosophers such as Hume certainly think so — but I don’t think you can call him a lunatic. There’s is another type of logical fallacy there called ad hominem.

Chris Fisher John, Ad Hominem is a widely misunderstood fallacy. An Ad Hominem is not just any “name calling”. Might as well say that Jesus fell for the Ad Hominem fallacy. The Ad Hominem fallacy is an argument that someone’s argument should be dismissed due to that name calling. If you were to say “Hume was an atheist, so he was wrong about his objections to Anselm”… then that would be an Ad Hominem.

I called Anselm a lunatic, because his argument has zero basis in reality. It doesn’t make sense. Observe:

1. God is the fattest being in we can imagine.
2. Assume God is just imaginary.
3. A real God is definitely fatter than an imaginary God.
4. Therefore God exists.

The amount of raw and speculative assumptions embedded in the proof are insane. Again, what necessitates that God is the greatest being imaginable (an idea with origins in Plato’s Republic and not in the Bible)? Who gets to define what “greatest” means? Is it not just the etymological fallacy to assume that existence is included in the concept of “greatest being imaginable”? What if someone were to argue (as theists do) that God is limitless, and existence implies limits?

The entire argument is just a mess of absurdities.

Fisher Explains the Moralistic Fallacy to Agnostic

Fisher:

Mr Hendricks,

Thank you for agreeing to speak with me. You recently posted on an Open Theist Facebook group challenging Open Theism. I was very interested to speak with you about your views, so suggested this conversation which can then be posted to GodisOpen.com . You where amicable to such an arrangement, so I appreciate your willingness for dialogue.

I guess a good place to start is you. Can you tell us your background and your theological convictions? I am particularly interested in your views about the Bible and the authority of the Bible in your theology.

I await your reply.

Hendricks:

I was raised in the Nazarene church and started doubting their version of creation in my early teens. I have been agnostic since college and did not see much value in devotion to a nonhuman entity
So, from what I gather, you are not necessarily a Christian. That is a useful starting point.

Fisher:

About myself: I agree with much of what Yale Professor Christine Hayes says, and she too (like you) is not a Christian. Her scholarship extends to Old Testament theology. Her concerns, much like my own, is not whether the text is true or false, but an accurate reconstruction of Jewish ideas.

I believe that only after we examine the Bible can we then determine the truth of the Bible. I would assume you believe the same. Right?

Hendricks:

Examination is the first step to truth

Fisher:

Absolutely. You post on the Open Theism page suggested that mere revulsion had some sway on the truth of a mater. I would like to suggest that it does not. So if God is in your words “open-minded, fallible, somewhat mortal one” this would not be enough to determine the truth of who God is not.

This fallacy is formally known as the Moralistic fallacy. The moralistic fallacy is the informal fallacy of assuming that whichever aspect of nature which has socially unpleasant consequences cannot exist. Its typical form is “if X were true, then it would happen that Z!”, where Z is a morally, socially or politically undesirable thing. What should be moral is assumed a priori to also be naturally occurring.

So, I assume you would agree that “who the God of the Bible is” has no bearing on if He does or does not exist.

Hendricks:

I love this view of Biblical truth …

Fisher:

Again, that is the moralistic fallacy, rephrased. You are assuming that revulsion is a guide to truth. Whereas, in reality, our preference for a thing has zero bearing on the truth of that thing. Right?

Hendricks:

I have a bigger issue than this … I don’t believe in creation.

I find the concept of a human centered universe with a single non-human divine creator to be very egoistic arrogant. To assume our species deserves the singular focus of a being that creates all is ridiculous.

Fisher:

Creation is a bigger issue. But I am wondering if you understand the moralistic fallacy. This is important because it really is at the heart of so much false theology and false religion.

Your second point is again a moralistic fallacy. We cannot “will” reality into being.

Hendricks:

Talk about truth … this guy gets to the point of religion in general.

Fisher:

Not all Open Theists believe in hell. Some are annihilationists, some believe hell is just a place away from God. But this, to me, does not seem like a legitimate argument concerning the God of the Bible.

Secular Old Testament scholar, Christine Hayes talks about hell and explains how it is really not a facet of Old Testament religion. So acceptance of rejection of hell has little to do with acceptance or rejection of the God of the Old Testament.

After this, Hendricks does not respond.

Post discussion notes: it seems Hendricks did not have material objections to either Christianity or God in general. He did not seem to acknowledge the moralistic fallacy or recognize its use. Use of that basic fallacy shut down his most pressing arguments.

Apologetics Thrusday – Fisher v Ray debate

fisher v rayFrom a Calvinist Facebook page:

Christopher Fisher

Sovereignty (Calvinism equates “sovereignty” with “meticulous control” although this concept is foreign to any human culture):

  1. If God’s will is always already being done on earth as in heaven (as divine determinism implies) why did Jesus teach his disciples to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?”

Verse: Luk 11:2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

  1. People are tempted by evil. Does God cause this?

Verse: Jas 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.

  1. Can God’s appointments be thwarted by man?

Verse: 1Ki 20:42 Then he said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.’ ”

  1. When God “struck” (aka “killed”) the children of Israel, did God’s intended purpose materialize?

Verse: Jer 2:30 In vain have I struck your children; they took no correction; your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion.

  1. In the parable of the potter, does God finish what He started to do?

Verse: Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

Omniscience (Calvinism believes God has complete knowledge of all future events):

  1. Does God test people to learn what they will do?

Verse: Deu 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Verse: 2Ch 32:31 However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.

  1. Does God ever regret something He did?

Verse: Gen 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

Verse: 1Sa 15:11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the LORD all night.

  1. Does God say He will do something although He knows that He will never do that thing?

Verse: 1Sa 2:30 Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the LORD says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

  1. When the Bible says God “thought to do” something that He does not do, what does “thought to do” mean?

Verse: Jer 18:7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it,

Jer 18:8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.

  1. Did God do what He said He would do in Jonah?

Verse: Jon 3:10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

Immutability (Calvinism believes God cannot change in any way):

  1. Could God have prevented the evil currently in this world? And if so, how can God be immutable? If no, how can God be omnipotent?

Verse: Jdg 2:20 Then the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice,

Jdg 2:21 I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died,

Jdg 2:22 so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not.”

  1. When God became flesh, was that a change?

Verse: Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Timelessness (Calvinism believes God resides outside of “time”):

  1. Does God ever wait patiently and endure up to a breaking point?

Verse: Isa 42:14 “I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once.

Goodness:

  1. How can a God who cannot lie make specific time-limit prophecies that do not come true when He said they would?

Verse: Jon 3:4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

Verse: 2Ki 20:5 “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD.

2Ki 20:6 And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.” ‘ ”

Jesus (Calvinism believes that Jesus is God except for the part of Jesus that was human):

  1. Was the part of Jesus that was “body” also “Godhead”?

Verse: Col 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

  1. Did Jesus know everything?

Verse: Mar 13:32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

  1. In what way does Jesus resemble an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, immutable, timeless, and simple God?

Verse: Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

  1. If Jesus’ will is the same as God’s will, then why would Jesus say that Jesus’ will would not be done if God’s will is done?

Verse: Luk 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

  1. Could Jesus have been saved from crucifixion by praying to God?

Verse: Mat 26:53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

Miscellaneous:

  1. Why are the elect the enemy of the gospel?

Verse: Rom 11:28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.

C Ray  You must be addressing those semi-Arminian Calvinists who follow the theology of apparent contradictions and paradox? I can assure you that there are no contradictions in the Bible.

C Ray  It will take me some time to answer all the objections in the post. However, the first objection is so simple even a child can figure it out:

>>>1. If God’s will is always already being done on earth as in heaven (as divine determinism implies) why did Jesus teach his disciples to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?”<<<

If we are praying for God’s will to be done, we are simply agreeing that God controls whatsoever comes to pass. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray according to God’s will. THY will be done. Jesus also prayed that if it were possible that the cup of His suffering would pass, but nevertheless not his human will be done but GOD’S will be done:

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39 NKJ)

Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42 NKJ)

God already knows the future because He has already determined it. It was NEVER God’s will that Jesus would NOT go to the cross. Jesus providentially in time said the prayer but God had already by the set foreknowledge of God determined that wicked men, including Judas, Pilate, and Herod, would have him betrayed, tried, convicted and crucified.

“Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; (Acts 2:23 NKJ)

“For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 “to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. (Acts 4:27-28 NKJ)

C Ray  Why pray if God is unable to determine the future? We don’t know what the future holds. God does because He controls it. Even the day and hour of your death is already determined by God. Hebrews 9:27. Psalm 139.

C Ray  More later:)

C Ray  It is irritating when Arminians flood with several questions instead of sticking to one proposition at a time. Prayer only makes sense if God is sovereign and can actually answer the prayer. God’s answer could be yes or no. But His will shall be done!

C Ray  The more Arminian they are the more they hate the doctrine of predestination.

C Ray  I should point out that the OP is from an Open Theism site. Open Theism is worse than Arminianism because it says that God is ignorant of the future:) Unfortunately, some Arminians, including Roger Olson, think that Open Theism is within the Arminian camp. Ironically, Olson contradicts himself when he also claims that Arminianism is “reformed” theology. If Arminians were more logical, they wouldn’t be Arminians.

C Ray  The same applies to Open Theism. If Open Theism advocates were more logical they wouldn’t believe Open Theism is true.

C Ray  My best shot? My best shot is not mine. It is the Bible:)

The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand: (Isaiah 14:24 NKJ)

Christopher Fisher  1:

///If we are praying for God’s will to be done, we are simply agreeing that God controls whatsoever comes to pass.

That does not work. The text presents a contrast between Heaven and Earth. Why the contrast? In what way is Jesus asking that God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven? If Jesus believed God’s will was being done on Earth, does this make sense? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just say “I agree with your will”. The sentence was not spoken by someone with a Calvinist mindset. That is why the question is so hard for Calvinists to answer. It is a request.

Christopher Fisher Ray 1: The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand: (Isaiah 14:24 NKJ)

Isn’t this about God being capable of doing what He says, not about meticulous control of the future? And isn’t this Isaiah trying to convince Israel that God is powerful, which they do not believe? And if Isaiah were trying to convince the people that God controls everything (something they do no believe) wouldn’t he have worded it extremely different. Isaiah reads like an Open Theist trying to convince a Calvinist that God can actually do what He says.

Christopher Fisher Ray 2: Even the day and hour of your death is already determined by God. Hebrews 9:27. Psalm 139.

Hebrews 9:27, men are appointed to die once means that every person on Earth has a specific appointed day? You are bringing a lot of baggage into that verse. Plus you ignore Hezekiah and God’s judgment of angels in Psalms 82 in which He punishes them with eventual death.

On Psalms 139. Absolutely that is not what Psalms 139 says. “the days that were formed” is an adverbial phrase meaning that over the days that David’s body was forming, the body parts were being written into God’s book. Here is Calvin on the issue:

Some read ימים, yamim, in the nominative case, when days were made; the sense being, according to them — All my bones were written in thy book, O God! from the beginning of the world, when days were first formed by thee, and when as yet none of them actually existed. The other is the more natural meaning, That the different parts of the human body are formed in a succession of time; for in the first germ there is no arrangement of parts, or proportion of members, but it is developed, and takes its peculiar form progressively.

Christopher Fisher All the attached translations agree with John Calvin that Psalms 139 is not about God recording every day of your life but about a series of days in which your body forms in the womb, notice the adverbial phrase:

Geneva Bible: 16 Thine eyes did see me, when I was without forme: for in thy booke were all things written, which in continuance were facioned, when there was none of them before.

The attached picture is the Jewish translation of Psalms 139.

King James Bible

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Jubilee Bible 2000

Thine eyes did see my substance yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which were then formed, without lacking one of them.

American King James Version

Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

English Revised Version

Thine eyes did see mine unperfect substance, and in thy book were all my members written, which day by day were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

C Ray  I showed you the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane. I guess you don’t believe the Bible.

Christopher Fisher Ray, that is one of the questions. That proves that God’s will does not have to be done and it proves that Jesus and God do not have the same will.

C Ray  That isn’t what Psalm 139 says. It says God is absolutely omniscient, not ignorant. God is not a man;)

Christopher Fisher Ray 2: Ray, was John Calvin wrong when Calvin wrote:

Some read ימים, yamim, in the nominative case, when days were made; the sense being, according to them — All my bones were written in thy book, O God! from the beginning of the world, when days were first formed by thee, and when as yet none of them actually existed. The other is the more natural meaning, That the different parts of the human body are formed in a succession of time; for in the first germ there is no arrangement of parts, or proportion of members, but it is developed, and takes its peculiar form progressively.

C Ray  I am working today. I would ask you to stock to one or two propositions at a time. I will rebut your answers one at a time.

Christopher Fisher Alright, I will keep my responses numbered per your points and will keep my counter points numbered per the original question.

C Ray  Since we do not know the future being limited in knowledge, we do petition God. But why pray to an ignorant and helpless finite god who has no providential control over history, time, or evil?

Christopher Fisher Ray 3: He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39 NKJ)

Doesn’t this verse show us that God’s will does not have to be done (indicated by Jesus’ special asking that God not change His will on Jesus’ account)? Doesn’t this also show that Jesus did not know if it was a possibility, meaning even Jesus was not a Calvinist thinking in terms of immutable divine decrees?

Christopher Fisher Ray 4: But why pray to an ignorant and helpless finite god who has no providential control over history, time, or evil?

If prayer does not affect God. If the future was set and God time (and time again tells Israel that it is not… that He is waiting and pleading for them to change such that He does not have to punish them)… If God was immutable and cold like the stone idols that God despises… If God was timeless and unpersonal, as to make a mockery of the strong emotional highs and lows God ascribes to Himself throughout the Bible… then prayer would be pointless. We would be telling God what He already knows and has decreed. Instead, when God says something, people’s natural inclination is that they can convince God not to do it. Followup question: what was the reason that God decided not to destroy Israel on Mount Sinai?

C Ray  Out of context quotes only prove you are an irrationalist.

Christopher Fisher The Geneva Bible that I quoted to you… is that out of context as well? Seriously, you reject Calvin on this verse as well as good Hebrew scholarship. You are the one not acting rational.

Christopher Fisher Here is something you can do. Write the following: “Chris, I was wrong about Psalms 139:16 being a good prooftext for my view. Calvin himself did not take the verse the way I see it and this is reflected in the Geneva translation. I am too set in my ways to admit when I am clearly wrong and I will attempt to treat valid points with more respect in the future. I promise not to let my ego just lash out when I am thoroughly called out on irrational positions I hold.”

C Ray  Calvin was not infallible. Scripture speaks for itself.

C Ray  Some for afar off read beforehand, in which signification the Hebrew word is elsewhere taken, as if he had said—O Lord, every thought which I conceive in my heart is already known to thee beforehand. But I prefer the other meaning, That God is not confined to heaven, indulging in a state of repose, and indifferent to human concerns, according to the Epicurean idea, and that however far off we may be from him, he is never far off from us.

John Calvin. Psalm 139.

Christopher Fisher So, yes or no. Is Psalms 139:16 a good prooftext that God has planned our entire lives?

C Ray  The Bible clearly says God knows the future and has exhaustive omniscience.

Christopher Fisher Yes or no… was I quoting Calvin “out of context” like you claimed?

Christopher Fisher In the opening link, I mention that Calvinists have a very hard time with yes or no questions. I will try this again:

So, yes or no. Is Psalms 139:16 a good prooftext that God has planned our entire lives?

C Ray  Chris, no. Calvin said what you said he said. But as I said, Scripture is the final authority. Furthermore, I was on my phone earlier. How does it follow logically that Open Theism is true simply because Calvin’s focus was wrong in a few places in his commentaries? Just asking?

C Ray  Chris, let’s try a yes or no question for you. Is God absolutely omniscient? Yes or no?

C Ray  Isaiah 46:9-11 and many other places proves that God is absolutely sovereign and knows exhaustively everything that will happen. Ephesians 1:11 says God ordains all things that come to pass in time.

Christopher Fisher Did I claim Open Theism was true because Calvin interpreted a verse in a non-Calvinist way? No, my point is that your prooftexts, all your prooftexts, do not say what you want them to say. The fact that you admittedly oppose even John Calvin on some verses is very telling about your mindset towards the Bible. You are not interested in reading comprehension, and figuring out various and possibly understandings of texts, but you are looking for affirmation of your platonism. You disregard perfectly reasonable alternative understandings of the text.

Christopher Fisher Ray 5: Chris, let’s try a yes or no question for you. Is God absolutely omniscient? Yes or no?

No.The Bible never makes the claim and neither do I.

C Ray  Calvin also says in the same commentary on Psalm 139:16, “….. it was always one and the same in God’s book, who is not dependent upon time for the execution of his work.” Clearly Calvin’s view does not endorse that God is dependent on time or that God is ignorant of the future.

Christopher Fisher Ray 6: Isaiah 46:9-11 and many other places proves that God is absolutely sovereign

I feel like I am answering more of your questions than you are of mine. Refer back to my earlier question and answer that:

Ray 1: The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand: (Isaiah 14:24 NKJ)

Isn’t this about God being capable of doing what He says, not about meticulous control of the future? And isn’t this Isaiah trying to convince Israel that God is powerful, which they do not believe? And if Isaiah were trying to convince the people that God controls everything (something they do no believe) wouldn’t he have worded it extremely different. Isaiah reads like an Open Theist trying to convince a Calvinist that God can actually do what He says.

C Ray  The Bible does make the claim. And that is because we logically deduce from the Scriptures by good and necessary consequence what the Bible says. There is a system of doctrinal and propositional truth in the Bible and the Scriptures cannot be broken into disparate parts that have no relationship to the other parts of the system of logical and propositional revelation in the Bible. John 10:35.

Christopher Fisher Ray 7: Ephesians 1:11 says God ordains all things that come to pass in time.

Eph 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

Doesn’t perfectly normal reading comprehension allow this to say that God does everything that God does with careful thought. It would be like me saying “I eat everything according to my diet”. No, I do not eat “everything”, but “everything” I do eat is per my diet. And my statement is general, so even if there is slippage (I eat cake once), this does not invalidate my general statement.

C Ray  If God is able to control the future, then it implication is that God DOES control the future. If the universe can run by itself, then the implication by logical deduction and good and necessary consequence is that the universe is indendent of God and therefore there is something that is God’s equal. But that is Platonic dualism and even deism. God is in absolute control of all that happens, otherwise God is not God.

C Ray  If you reject God as defined by Scripture, then you are not a Christian.

Christopher Fisher No, I am going skating today. That is me controlling the future. Wow, I much be omniscient and omnipotent.

C Ray  The Westminster Confession of Faith summarizes the system of dogmatic theology in the Bible.

C Ray  If God foreknows you are going skating today, is it possible you won’t go skating today?

C Ray  Oh, wait. You think your god is ignorant.

C Ray  You have created a little god in your own finite and ignorant image.

C Ray  Vain thinking is vain.

Christopher Fisher So, back to my questions. I am not really interested in non-Biblical metaphysics. In my estimation, you have not answered a single OP question.

1:

///If we are praying for God’s will to be done, we are simply agreeing that God controls whatsoever comes to pass.

That does not work. The text presents a contrast between Heaven and Earth. Why the contrast? In what way is Jesus asking that God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven? If Jesus believed God’s will was being done on Earth, does this make sense? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just say “I agree with your will”. The sentence was not spoken by someone with a Calvinist mindset. That is why the question is so hard for Calvinists to answer. It is a request.

C Ray  You are not interested in what the biblical text says either. And if you are not interested in metaphysics, why read the Bible? The Bible alone is the source of all knowledge, including metaphysics.

Christopher Fisher Ray, in my estimation, I am the only one addressing the text. You allude to Psalms and Hebrews and you do not even use normal reading comprehension to understand them. You assume the text supports you, and I showed that you were wrong. You have zero verses; which verse have you used in which I did not follow up that your understanding was idiosyncratic and unwarranted?

C Ray  Why is there a contrast between the Creator and His creation? Well, the answer to that question is obvious to any Calvinist. It’s because God is eternally a God who possesses aseity by nature and essence. There never was a time when God did not exist and God transcends time, history, and creation. That’s why in God’s omniscient mind there is no passing of time or any passing of one thought to another thought. God is omniscient and never learns anything new–including the future. God knows the future because it is ordained by God’s eternal decree. God never learns anything new by looking foreward to the future.

C Ray  Well, your estimation is wrong because you presuppose a finite god. I presuppose an omniscient God who is also omnipotent and omnipresent. That’s because the Bible also presupposes such a God. All Scripture is inspired by God. God controlled the wills of the men who wrote the Bible and every word they wrote is the very words of God.

C Ray  I am indeed a presuppositionalist. I presuppose there are no errors in the Bible. You presuppose a finite god who does not control the wills of the men who wrote the Bible.

Christopher Fisher That is not rational argument. I am wrong because I do not assume your theology? [ding ding ding] We have a winner of the bad rational thinking award.

C Ray  Chris, well, since you don’t believe God controls men’s wills, it follows that you cannot believe in the plenary verbal inspiration of Scripture or the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture.

Christopher Fisher Mat 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Has God’s kingdom come? Is this a request by Jesus for God to bring His kingdom to Earth?

In the same way: “your will be done”. Is this a request by Jesus for God’s will to be done.

“On Earth as it is in Heaven”. Is God’s will currently being done on Earth in the same respect as it is in heaven.

My problem with Calvinism is that it takes clearly absurd readings of normal passages.

C Ray  Well, as I said, the logical implication is that you don’t believe the Bible since you cannot believe God inspired it.

Christopher Fisher Can God’s will be rejected?

Luk 7:30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

C Ray  The Bible alone is God’s Word. 2 Timothy 3:16. You cannot affirm this verse because for you God is ignorant and finite. But if God is finite, maybe God is evil and cannot do anything about good?

C Ray  Of course the reprobate reject the Gospel:) But they were predestined to do so. That’s not ability. It’s inability.

8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. (1Pe 2:8 NKJ)

Christopher Fisher You reject Jesus’s clear teachings. I am sure if we explored Exodus 32, you will reject a host of Biblical authors on the subject. You reject the Psalmist talking about fetology. Only one of us is rejecting the Bible, and that is you.

C Ray  38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”

39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:

40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” (Joh 12:38-40 NKJ)

C Ray  You do not believe because you are not of His sheep:

26 “But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. (Joh 10:26 NKJ)

Christopher Fisher This is a yes or no question. Let me remind you that my original claim is that Calvinists are terrible with yes or no questions:

Can God’s will be rejected?

Luk 7:30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

C Ray  Oh, but I do believe the plain teaching of the whole bible in context. How do you think I decided to become a Calvinist? By reading heretical Open Theist scholars?

Christopher Fisher ^And this is boolay… God’s strong will.

boo-lay’

From G1014; volition, that is, (objectively) advice, or (by implication) purpose: – + advise, counsel, will.

Christopher Fisher Can God’s will be rejected?

Luk 7:30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

Christopher Fisher Heb 6:17 uses the same word.

C Ray  I don’t answer yes or no questions. Here’s why? “Did you stop beating your wife?” Answer the question: YES or NO?

Christopher Fisher No, because I never started, therefor there is nothing to stop.

Christopher Fisher Easy… now answer my question.

C Ray  Logical fallacies are irrational and invalid. Asking irrational questions does not entail that the question was legimate.

Christopher Fisher I answered your “impossible question”… now answer mine. The only reason you dont want to answer is that it is clear you reject the Bible:

Can God’s will be rejected?

Luk 7:30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

C Ray  But you didn’t answer with a yes or no. You answered with a qualification. So there’s the reason your debate questions are fallacious. Thanks for demonstrating the fallacy for me:)

Christopher Fisher Your intellectual dishonesty does not make my question a logical fallacy.

Christopher Fisher Then answer my question with a qualification… but say yes or no.

Christopher Fisher The qualification was to ensure you dont misunderstand the answer… it does not invalidate the answer.

C Ray  The reprobate resist God’s will. No Calvinist says otherwise. The reprobate have a will. But the question is whether the will is free or not. The answer is a resounding NO.

Christopher Fisher So… in your estimation… when the text says that the lawyers rejected God’s will, that the lawyers did not. You reject the Bible. Clearly.

C Ray  THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD.

Sect. 9.—THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, “Free-will” is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces. Those, therefore, who would assert “Free-will,” must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them. But, however, before I establish this point by any arguments of my own, and by the authority of Scripture, I will first set it forth in your words.

Martin Luther

http://www.truecovenanter.com/trueluth…/luther_bow.html&#8230;

TrueCovenanter.com: The Bondage of the Will

Sect. 9.—T, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, “Free-will” is thrown prostrate, an…

TRUECOVENANTER.COM|BY MARTIN LUTHER

Christopher Fisher Your argument is literally the text does not mean what it says because you have overriding theology.

C Ray  >>>So… in your estimation… when the text says that the lawyers rejected God’s will, that the lawyers did not. You reject the Bible. Clearly.<<<<<

This is so obviously false that it does not need a rebuttal. Obviously if the will is not free, then if the lawyers rejected the commands of God to repent they did so willingly. Where does the Bible say that men do not have a volition? I have not seen such a verse.

C Ray  The reprobate willingly rebel and reject God’s commands.

Christopher Fisher They didnt reject their own will, they rejected God’s will.

Christopher Fisher This discussion is about reading comprehension.

C Ray  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

(Rom 8:7-8 NKJ)

Christopher Fisher Ok, can God’s will be rejected?

Christopher Fisher And did the lawyers reject God’s will?

Christopher Fisher Your argument is literally the text does not mean what it says because you have overriding theology.

C Ray  Define “will.” Do you mean God’s commands or do you mean God’s decrees?

C Ray  You are equivocating. The term “will” has to be defined. And you are obviously deliberately defining it otherwise from the Word of God:

29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deu 29:29 NKJ)

Christopher Fisher ^ Feel free to define it however is the most favorable to your position. Make it work in both the context of Luk 7 and Heb 6.

Luk_7:30 ButG1161 theG3588 PhariseesG5330 andG2532 lawyersG3544 rejectedG114 theG3588 counselG1012 of GodG2316 againstG1519themselves,G1438 being notG3361 baptizedG907 ofG5259 him.G846

Heb_6:17 WhereinG1722 G3739 God,G2316 willingG1014 more abundantlyG4054 to shewG1925 unto theG3588 heirsG2818 of promiseG1860 theG3588 immutabilityG276 of hisG848 counsel,G1012 confirmedG3315 it by an oath:G3727

C Ray  Do you claim to know everything that God knows in every single detail? If so, then you are claiming to be omniscient. We can only know what God reveals in nature and in the Bible.

Christopher Fisher ^I told you I am not interested in metaphysics. Please ask questions about the Bible and what the Biblical authors believed.

C Ray  My position is God is omniscient. Your position is that your god is finite and ignorant. But can a god who is subject to creation and evil save you? I sincerely doubt it.

Christopher Fisher ^Platonism. Yum. I get my theology from the Bible. Can we discuss Exodus 32 now?

C Ray  You’re not interested in logic? So why are you here? God IS LOGIC. John 1:1. And logic was imparted to all men: John 1:9. Man IS the image of God. Genesis 1:27.

C Ray  If you are admitting that you are an irrationalist, then there is nothing more to discuss. That’s because without logic nothing makes any sense whatsoever.

Christopher Fisher Exo 32:14 And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

What is the reason that God did not destroy Israel, as Yahweh told Moses that He would?

C Ray  The Bible is not inherently contradictory because God has no contradictions in His mind and it is God who inspired the Bible.

Christopher Fisher Metaphysics is not “logic”. I would give you a rundown on logical propositions, but it will detract from the Bible. I can school you in another thread if you wish.

C Ray  So Exodus 32:14 says that God works providentially in time in ways that we as creatures can understand. So how does that prove your metaphysical assertion that your god is ignorant of the future? I thought you didn’t want to talk about metaphysics? Hello?

Christopher Fisher Exodus 32, what are Moses’ arguments as to why God should not destroy Israel.

C Ray  God already knew that He would relent and the reason is He had already ordained that the people of Israel would repent. Acts 11:18 implies it.

Christopher Fisher At this point, this should be friendly reading comprehension.

Christopher Fisher Here is the text to save you some time:

Exo 32:11 But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

Exo 32:12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people.

Exo 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.'”

Exo 32:14 And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

C Ray  18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.” (Act 11:18 NKJ)

Repentance is a gift

Christopher Fisher Yes or no, did Moses argue that God would look bad to the neighboring people? Basically, God should refrain for His own sake and not due to the people’s sake. Did this argument work on convincing God?

C Ray  Chris, so when God speaks to creatures who are subject to time and discursive thinking, how else would God communicate to them in ways that they could understand? They are NOT omniscient. But your error is that you think because creatures need to be talked to on their level that the reverse is true of God and that God is therefore ignorant like men. False conclusion. God is not a man.

C Ray  9 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Num 23:19 NKJ)

Christopher Fisher Calvinists are terrible at yes or no questions. Let us try this again:

Yes or no, did Moses argue that God would look bad to the neighboring people? Basically, God should refrain for His own sake and not due to the people’s sake. Did this argument work on convincing God?

C Ray  Your stupidity is in confusing the creature with the Creator.

Christopher Fisher Yes or no, did Moses argue that God would look bad to the neighboring people? Basically, God should refrain for His own sake and not due to the people’s sake. Did this argument work on convincing God?

C Ray  So did you stop beating your mother? Yes or no?

Christopher Fisher No, because I never started therefor there is nothing to stop.

Christopher Fisher Stop being ridiculous.

Christopher Fisher Yes or no, did Moses argue that God would look bad to the neighboring people? Basically, God should refrain for His own sake and not due to the people’s sake. Did this argument work on convincing God?

C Ray  You will not persist in fallacious arguments here. If you insist on that method, you can go elsewhere. First warning.

C Ray  I am the head admin here. Behave yourself.

Christopher Fisher New question: does God himself claim that God changed His mind for His own sake in this narrative:

Eze 20:8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’

Eze 20:9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

C Ray  If you cannot argue logically, you will be banned. Scriptural arguments and logic are required here.

Christopher Fisher This is God recounting the Exodus 32 event.

C Ray  Irrationalism and invalid arguments are not permitted. So if you keep attacking the man with abusive ad hominem, then it is a fallacious argument.

Christopher Fisher What does Yahweh say the reason is that He spared Israel?

C Ray  I do not say that God changes His mind because the Bible says that God is eternally immutable. Malachi 3:6 and James 1:17. Psalm 119:89. The anthropomophisms and anthropopathisms in Scripture do not entail that God is a creature or a man. God is defined by metaphysical propositions that are revealed in Scripture and by the logical deductions made from that system of propositional truth by good and necessary consequence. The word Trinity is not in Scripture. But the Bible teaches both the Trinity and the absolute sovereignty of God.

C Ray  Is God ignorant of what Israel would do?

C Ray  Yes or no?

Christopher Fisher What does God say in this text is the reason God did not destroy Israel:

Eze 20:8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’

Eze 20:9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

C Ray  There are conditional commands in the Bible. If man disobeys, God lays out the consequences. If man obeys, then God rewards the obedience. But it does not follow that God does not ordain what man’s response will be.

C Ray  God could not be God if there is anything that happens apart from His sovereign permission. And if God willingly permits evil, then obviously God willed for the evil to occur since God could easily prevent it.

Christopher Fisher Right, we are not talking about “conditional actions”. It is clear from the text that the only actor is Moses. The people do not repent and God is not reacting to their repentance. God Himself states that He acted for His own sake. God’s change of mind was due, literally, to Moses’ argument that God would look bad if He killed Israel.

Christopher Fisher Here is Moses recounting the event:

Deu 9:13 “Furthermore the LORD spoke to me, saying, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed they are a stiff-necked people.

Deu 9:14 Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’

Deu 9:19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the LORD was angry with you, to destroy you. But the LORD listened to me at that time also.

Deu 9:20 And the LORD was very angry with Aaron and would have destroyed him; so I prayed for Aaron also at the same time.

Christopher Fisher So, you discount God, you discount Ezekiel, you discount Moses…

Christopher Fisher When you are denying Yaweh’s speech about Himself, you should be afraid.

C Ray  Let me clue you in, Christopher Fisher. I am not just another ignorant plow boy:) I have two degrees in Arminian theology. I did my BA at an Assemblies of God college and my master of divinity at an Evangelical and Wesleyan seminary. I know your arguments better than you do. If you’re not going to answer my objections, you can go elsewhere to talk to thin air. Here you are required to answer my objections as I have answered all of yours thus far.

Christopher Fisher ^Better ask for your money back. What does God say in this text is the reason God did not destroy Israel:

Eze 20:8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’

Eze 20:9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

C Ray  I do not deny that there are anthropopathisms in Scripture. Does God literally have emotions or body parts? No. And so when the text attributes human qualities to God such as “relenting” it does not literally mean that God repents or changes His mind as humans do.

C Ray  Next question?

C Ray  I will warn you again, Chris, you do not get to ignore me. If you want to preach, go elsewhere. This is a debate forum. I answered you objection several times and you keep repeating misrepresentations of the Calvinism position. Our position is laid out clearly in the Westminster Standards. So why do you keep creating straw man fallacies?

C Ray  The idea that men do not have a will is refuted several times over in the WCF.

Christopher Fisher Read the text, answer the question, then you can explain the question. I will provide you a copy paste version for your convenience:

“God says in the text that He did not destroy Israel and this was for His own sake lest His name is profaned among the Gentiles. I believe this is an anthropopathism. ”

What does God say in this text is the reason God did not destroy Israel:

Eze 20:8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’

Eze 20:9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

C Ray  Chapter 3: Of God’s Eternal Decree

  1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:1 yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,2 nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.3

See also: WLC 12 | WSC 7

——————————————————————————–

1 Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15,18.

2 James 1:13,17; 1 John 1:5.

3 Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27,28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33.

Christopher Fisher Ask your question, I will answer:

Christopher Fisher And, for the record, I have been answering almost all your objections. I even labelled them. You have not hardly answered any of my objections.

C Ray  The reason God did not destroy Israel is stated in the text. But simply quoting a text does not prove your deduction from the text is correct. That’s because plenty of other texts prove that God is not finite. Your error is in confusing God with the creature and ignoring what are clearly anthropomorphisms. We do not attribute human qualities to God just because God relates to humans in anthropomorphic or anthropopathic terms in Scripture. God does not literally have a nose or mouth or emotions. Nor does God literally repent or even relent. Those are clearly anthropopathic terms. God is totally distinct from creation and cannot literally repent because God is eternally unchanging. If God changes, then He is not God but something else.

C Ray  You have not answered my objection that your view confuses the Creator with anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms in Scripture. Does God literally smell or taste?

C Ray  Does God literally “breathe”????

7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Gen 2:7 NKJ)

Christopher Fisher Anthropomorphisms, like your describe, are alien to normal reading comprehension. They are a mechanism invented such that Calvinists can deny the Bible. There is no hint in the narratives that the narratives are to be discounted, and the authors show zero familiarity with immutability, omniscience, etc.

C Ray  So you agree with the Mormons that God has a body? Oh, brother!

Christopher Fisher R8: Does God literally “breathe”????

Maybe. Jesus breathed. God can cause wind movement which is breathe. The Bible is not clear on God’s physical properties, so maybe is the best answer.

C Ray  Maybe you think God loses His temper, too?

Christopher Fisher Ray, do you understand the difference between metaphor and Anthropomorphism?

C Ray  God has no physical properties! God is a spirit:

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 NKJ)

C Ray  Act 17:24 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.

C Ray  18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. (Act 15:18 KJV)

C Ray  Looks like God is not ignorant after all.

Christopher Fisher Metaphor is using two similar concepts, one to illustrate the other. A King might have a “hand of the King”. This is not literal, but symbollic (this doesnt mean he doesnt have a hand either). But symbols have meaning. Your Anthropomorphism does not have a meaning. What does it mean that God says that He repents for His own sake that the pagan nations will not think of Him poorly? You want to dismiss the text and have to resort to some any-text mechanism to do so.

And note: spirits have bodies:

1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.

1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.

1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

C Ray  Chris, I thought you said God literally relented? Now you’re saying it is a metaphor? Behind every metaphor in the Bible is a logical proposition.

Christopher Fisher No, nowhere do I say it is a metaphor.

Christopher Fisher Im explaining to you Language 101.. the difference between metaphor and anthropomorphism as you use it. Ezekiel and Exodus do not fit a metaphor.

C Ray  A metaphor can relate to anything symbolic. An anthropomorphism is attributing human characteristics to something that is not human. Dogs can be attributed with human characteristics such as thoughts and emotions. But are dogs humans? No. Dogs don’t think. In the same way we can attribute human characteristics to God so we can understand and relate to Him. But it does not follow that God is a man any more than it follows that a dog is a man. God is defined by the propositions and attributes given Him in the Scriptures.

C Ray  God is from everlasting to everlasting. He is not a man who is born and then dies.

Christopher Fisher There is nothing in the text and there is no figure of speech that explains away what is described. God saying that He repents for His own sake that the pagan nations will not think of Him poorly… this is not a concept to be pasted to a real concept in an informing way.

C Ray  2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. (Psa 90:2 NKJ)

Christopher Fisher Anthropomorphism are fiction: The Brave Little Toaster. Disney Cars.

C Ray  Well, since you keep saying God is a man, you are therefore an heretic who does not believe the Bible. Anthropomorphisms do not make God a creature or a man. Sorry.

Christopher Fisher Metaphors and figures of speech need to be able to illustrate a real concept. God having wings and sheltering us gives us an image of God protecting us as a bird protects its young. The concepts are similar and related. What does “God saying that He repents for His own sake that the pagan nations will not think of Him poorly” mean?

C Ray  You have lost this little debate from the get go. You have denied that God is defined by Scripture as a whole. ALL Scripture is profitable for doctrine, not just a few verses taken out of context. There is a system of dogmatic truth in the Bible and the Westminster Standards are the best summary of that biblical system of truth.

C Ray  So if God does not have wings, does God repent? No.

C Ray  God does not think discursively. He is omniscient. He never learns anything new. Sorry.

Christopher Fisher Wings illustrate protection… The Genesis 6 narrative is a LONG NARRATIVE… it is not an idiom or figure of speech, but a story.

C Ray  18 To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?

19 The workman molds an image, The goldsmith overspreads it with gold, And the silversmith casts silver chains.

20 Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution Chooses a tree that will not rot; He seeks for himself a skillful workman To prepare a carved image that will not totter.

21 Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

23 He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless.

(Isa 40:18-23 NKJ)

C Ray  All Scripture is inspired…. That would include the verses that you disagree with. God is sovereign.

C Ray  35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Dan 4:35 NKJ)

C Ray  In fact, it is you who reads into the text. I interpret the Scriptures by other more plain Scriptures.

Christopher Fisher Do you want to deal with the text one by one like an adult, or do you want to spray and pray?

C Ray  God even ordains evil according to Isaiah 45:7….

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7 KJV)

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? (Amos 3:6 KJV)

Christopher Fisher Exo 32:7 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.

Exo 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ ”

Christopher Fisher Eze 4:12 And you shall eat it as barley cakes; and bake it using fuel of human waste in their sight.”

Eze 4:13 Then the LORD said, “So shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them.”

Eze 4:14 So I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Indeed I have never defiled myself from my youth till now; I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has abominable flesh ever come into my mouth.”

Eze 4:15 Then He said to me, “See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it.”

Christopher Fisher Eze 2:3 And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day.

C Ray  Chris, this is your second warning. I told you I decide what goes on here. If you don’t like the rules, go elsewhere.

Christopher Fisher Isa 5:4 What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?

Christopher Fisher Jdg 2:20 Then the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice,

Jdg 2:21 I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died,

Jdg 2:22 so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not.”

Jdg 2:23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out immediately; nor did He deliver them into the hand of Joshua.

C Ray  The rules are laid out in the group description. We adhere to confessional and biblical theology here. The Bible is the final authority and the Westminster Standard are the best summary of that system of dogmatic theology.

Christopher Fisher Yes, only one of us has been taking the Bible seriously. And this is evident in the Exodus 32 discussion.

C Ray  You will refrain from slanderous propaganda like this” “…like an adult….”

C Ray  If you cannot answer logically and biblically, go elsewhere. I’m sure others will tolerate your abusive ad hominem. Here it does not fly.

Christopher Fisher How is this an anthropomorphism? What does it mean?

Eze 20:8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’

Eze 20:9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

Christopher Fisher Calling something an anthropomorphism does not give you license to ignore the text. What is being communicated?

C Ray  Conditional statements in Scripture do not entail that God literally changes His mind. God is eternally unchanging.

Christopher Fisher How is this an anthropomorphism? What does it mean? Calling something an anthropomorphism does not give you license to ignore the text. What is being communicated?

Eze 20:8 But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’

Eze 20:9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

Christopher Fisher And why when we look at Biblical commentary from within the Bible does it always interpret like the face value of the original text. It is never discounted at metaphorical like Calvinists are prone to do. Could it be that Calvinists do not really care for what the Bible teaches?

C Ray  “It now follows, And I said I would pour forth, that is, I determined to pour forth. God here signifies that he was inflamed by anger, and unless they had respect to his name he would not withdraw his hand from the vengeance to which it was armed and prepared. We know that this does not properly belong to God, but this is, the language of accommodation, since first of all, God is not subject to vengeance, and, secondly, does not decree what he may afterwards retract. But since these things are not in character with God, simile and accommodation are used. As often as the Holy Spirit uses these forms of speech, let us learn that they refer rather to the matter in hand than to the character of God. God determined to pour forth his anger, that is, the Israelites had so deserved it through their crimes, that it was necessary to execute punishment upon them. The Prophet simply means that the people’s disposition was sinful, and hence God’s wrath would have been poured out, unless he had been held back from some other cause. I have already touched upon the obstacle, because he consulted his honor lest it should be profaned.”

John Calvin’s Commentary on Ezekiel 20:8…

Christopher Fisher Yeah, but what does it communicate the the audience?

Christopher Fisher God is literally recounting a past event, and not in terms conducive to Calvinism. Why would God “accommodate” with that event? What purpose does it serve and how is that more meaningful than God communicating what He actually means?

Christopher Fisher So, the first event describes God repenting due to Moses’ argument that God will look bad. Moses follows this up explaining that is what happened. God comments on this event saying the same thing. The Psalmist describes this event as Moses saving Israel from God.

Calvinists: Oh, that is just accommodation. Baby talk.

C Ray  You keep confusing God with the creature:)

C Ray  Yes, men are not omniscient:) Hello?

Christopher Fisher One of the OP questions is about Jesus. Seeing Jesus shows us God.

  1. In what way does Jesus resemble an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, immutable, timeless, and simple God?

Verse: Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Christopher Fisher 16. Did Jesus know everything?

Verse: Mar 13:32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

C Ray  bbl

C Ray  Jesus was a man. So no, Jesus didn’t know everything. Don’t confuse the Logos with the human person of Jesus. They are united but not mixed.

C Ray  Later

Christopher Fisher Great, Jesus did not know everything. That makes this question much harder for your belief:

  1. In what way does Jesus resemble an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, immutable, timeless, and simple God?

Verse: Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

C Ray  You are ignorant of the doctrine of the incarnation

Christopher Fisher So, let us sum up the conversation thus far. The Opening Post asserted that Calvinists were bad at answering questions, listing out 20 questions. You attempted to answer one question, which led to further complications of the text (which I pointed out and which you never answered). You attempted to use prooftexts to override the meaning of Jesus’ words. And every prooftext you used, I explained a common sense understanding that uses normal reading comprehension to show these verses do not necessarily support your theology (Psalms 139, Hebrews 3, Ephesians 1, Isaiah 14 and 46) and that allow Jesus’ words to be taken at face value. On a side note: This should call into question any prooftext you used that I did not address, as you regularly misquote the Bible unapologetically for your theology. Contrastingly, all the verses that I used, you attempted to just dismiss on the grounds that they do not fit your theology! You attempt to dismiss long narratives and grounded events that are commented on throughout the Bible in a manner never hinted at throughout the Bible with linguistical mechanisms that are alien to normal human speech. You even go so far as discounting the words of God, Himself. This, you believe, is rational thinking. Furthermore, you think people who take these events literally are irrational.

It is pretty clear to me that you have zero Biblical evidence for your beliefs. You are not interested in examining your prooftexts individually for context and meaning. Instead, you want to flood the conversation with prooftexts which you load with assumptions (assumptions unfounded when we turn to the texts in question). You have shown yourself hostile to answering very basic questions (proving the point of the OP) forcing me to ask repeatedly. You did not answer a ridiculous amount of questions throughout this conversation and wasted my time having to repeat several again and again. You also would not admit when you were clearly wrong when you claimed I misquoted Calvin. Your arrogance will not allow you to give any inch anywhere. You then use loaded language and insults to distract from the issues at hand. You are not a Biblical scholar and you use Platonism to override the Bible.

 

[To be continued…]

Edit: Full debate found here.

Apologetics Thursday – Enyart debates Bray

An excerpt:

LB: That’s only if you refuse to allow for certain linguistic tools that God uses

What? Larry, an ACTION is not a linguistic tool. By definition actions CANNOT be figures of speech. Calvinists nullify hundreds of verses by saying that they are anthro this and anthro that, with trite and skin-deep pretense quoting verses about God’s arm (which anthropomorphism means that God can reach us) and God’s eyes (meaning He can see what is happening). But Calvinists are the world’s leading experts in what the Bible doesn’t mean. God says He repents and shows that He UNDID what He previously DID (e.g., removing Saul as King, 1 Sam. 10:24; 13:13; 15:23-27, 35; 16:1; 2 Sam. 7:8, 15). A verse is not a figure of speech just because it contradicts your doctrine. If God-repented-that-He-madeSaul-King were a figure of speech as Calvinists claim, then they should be able to tell us what it means. For that is the purpose of figures. But to prop up their philosophical OMNIs and IMs, they claim that God “grieving” does not mean that He grieves; and our sin being a “burden” on God doesn’t mean that; and God being “weary of repenting” does not mean that either.

Because Calvinists say that God being grieved by sin doesn’t really mean that, they feel free to claim the vulgar Calvinist doctrine that God Himself decreed every filthy deed in the rape of a child, as you wrote, “even of these kinds of terrible atrocities.” And this for His pleasure as Calvin claimed. So at the expense of one of God’s primary eternal attributes, His goodness, Calvinists prioritize a bunch of mathematical philosophical claims about HOW LITTLE change God can endure and HOW MUCH knowledge and power He has. But 30 times the Bible says that He is the “Living God.” Don’t reduce Him to such mathematical equations.

Apologetics Thursday – Duffy v Capps Debate

Facebook is the hosting site of a debate between Will Duffy (an admin on this site) and Seth Capps (a Calvinist). Duffy’s first post:

Will Duffy‎

Debate: Is the Future Settled or Open?

I believe the future is open because God is free. If God is truly free, then the future must be open and cannot be settled, as Calvinists and Arminians claim that it is. In over 10 years of being an open theist, no one has ever been able to explain how God can remain free if the future is settled and predetermined and foreknown. Calvinists not only do not believe man has libertarian free will, they do not believe God has libertarian free will!

The Bible shows on every page that the future is open and that God is free. God is not bound by foreknowledge, nor is He bound by predestination or decrees. God is free. He has libertarian free will. Calvinists (and Arminians) must either reject their theology or reject God’s freedom. The two are not compatible.

My first biblical example that the future is open and that God is free comes from the arrest of Jesus Christ in Gethsemane. After Peter cuts off the ear of a servant of the high priest, Jesus replies that the future is not settled and that God has the ability to do something different than what actually happened.

Matthew 26:52-54
52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

Q1: Seth, do you believe God foreknew that He would send 12 legions of angels to prevent Jesus’ arrest?
Q2: Do you believe God decreed and predestined to send 12 legions of angels to prevent Jesus’ arrest?
Q3: If God did not foreknow or decree or predestine to send 12 legions of angels to prevent Jesus’ arrest, am I correct in asserting that if your theology is true, God did not have the freedom to do what Jesus said the Father had the freedom to do? In other words, am I correct in asserting that you do not believe God has the ability to do something different than what He foreknows/decrees/predestines?

John Sanders Debates James White

James White has finally released a free version of his debate with John Sanders. The most probable reason for this (because, before this time the debate was available only via purchase) is because James White did so poorly debating Bob Enyart. The Enyart debate has been freely available from the beginning, containing an opening argument that White could not even start to refute. James White was in need of something public where he could claim debate over an Open Theist. Here is the only debate he had on file with another Open Theist:

James White Becomes Flustered about Child Rape

One belief of Calvinism is that God decrees child rape. This makes James White uneasy, as evident by his refusal to answer very basic questions during his debate with Bob Enyart. As a debate follow-up, White still shows that he is disturbed by his own belief that God decrees child rape. White’s argument: not only does God decree child rape, but everything (so ignore God decreeing the child rape). How does God decreeing child torture and child beheading absolve God of evil for decreeing child rape? No one knows.

James White’s most delusional statement: “Where have I never not answered this question directly?”

Starting at the 54:00 mark:

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2014/07/31/1-cor-153-john-6-traditional-and-charges-of-heresy/

White Believes Jesus Has Two Natures

This blog has claimed James White is a dishonest person before. The aftermath of the debate shows more evidence. From a private Facebook page:

Josh Craddock 
DURING the debate: [Q: “Did God the Son go from one nature to two natures?”] “He took on a human nature, yes.” [“Isn’t God the Son today and forever in the future, doesn’t he have two natures, a divine and a human nature, forever?”] “Yes.” [“So you agree that eternally past God the Son only had one nature?”] “Of course.” [“And today God the Son has two natures?”] “That’s correct.”

AFTER the debate: “Bob misrepresented me…God the Son does not have two natures. I did not ‘admit’ that He did/does/will etc.”

There’s no question about what’s going on here. James White is now regretting his candid answers about the nature of Christ in the debate. Instead of admitting that he misspoke or did not accurately articulate his belief, he resorts to his typical tactic of claiming that Bob is misrepresenting his position. That’s just shameful.

Enyart v White – Is the Future Settled or Open

enyart v white debate

* July 8th Open Theism Enyart/White Debate: Well-known theologian James White will debate Bob Enyart, the pastor of Denver Bible Church on Open Theism: Is the future settled or open? On Tuesday evening, July 8 at 6:30 p.m., the debate will be held downtown Denver at Colorado’s historic Brown Palace hotel. If you’re in the state, or can be, you are cordially invited to come on out and we’ll have a great time in the Lord! Admission is free and seats for 100 attendees are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Quoting OpenTheism.org, “Open Theism is the Christian doctrine that the future is not settled but open because God is alive, eternally free, and inexhaustibly creative.” That is, God can forever think new thoughts, design new works, write new songs. He has not exhausted His creativity and never will for. Of His kingdom there will be no end and thus by God’s everlasting freedom and abilities, the future cannot be settled but must be open. In the meantime, check out some great O.T. debates including Bob’s previous efforts by clicking on the “Debate” tab at OpenTheism.org.

For previous posts about White, click here.

Countering Calvinism

Marc from Lorraine lays out an outline of how to logically defeat Calvinism. Marc points out that it should be sufficient to just point out one author in the Bible at odds with Calvinism.

Here follow the methodology and some practical aspects.

1) I think it is fair to say that Calvinism cannot really exist without Biblical inerrancy. Therefore if I can show that SOME Biblical passages are incompatible with reformed theology, I will have effectively refuted it.

2) It is a common cognitive error to believe that once you have shown that something is possible, you have also shown it is not implausible. But there are many things which are logically possible but extremely unlikely.

3) I will leave aside many Calvinist proof-texts and let my readers decide by themselves if they are plausibly interpretable within an Arminian framework or if they can’t, thereby showing the existence of contradictions within the Bible.

For example, let us say that the books of Hebrew and James are incompatible with divine determinism. This leaves two possibilities:

A) the books of Paul are not at odds with Arminianism
B) the books of Paul teach Calvinism which in turn shows that Biblical inerrancy is false.

In both cases, Calvinism is wrong or utterly implausible.

4) I will use many philosophical arguments too, even though I am well aware that this won’t move hardcore fundamentalists who hold the self-refuting view that philosophy is a folly.

5) I shall also argue that Calvinism is completely unlivable. There are no true consistent Calvinists out there (even if some are dangerously close to achieving this).

6) I am going to use extremely hard words against reformed theology but I want to be clear I (try to) love all Calvinists as my fellow human beings. Therefore I won’t tolerate personal attacks against Calvinists who are going to comment on my blog, unless they behave like assholes.

Summary of Fischer White Debate

In a post entitled Young, restless….no longer reformed? Austin Fischer debates James White, the author sums up a debate between Arminian Austin Fischer and Calvinist James White. While the video of the debate has been taken down from YouTube (along with other James White videos (surprise, suprise)) the debate conclusion seems obvious:

My conclusion is this: Austin Fischer is no longer a Calvinist because he ceased the self-deception and honestly dealt with the difficult issue, whereas James White is in complete denial, and demonstrated that, completely.

For more good posts, see the unactive Examining Calvinism homepage.

Update: the audio has been located. Click here.

Morrell Debates Sye on God’s Will and Abortion

Reposted from Jesse Morrell of Biblical Truth Resources:

Jesse Morrell: Hey on this topic, I wonder why Calvinists are so upset that Babies are Murdered at abortion clinics? Did not God eternally decree that they would be aborted and none can resist His eternal decrees? In that case, to oppose abortion would be to oppose the sovereign will of God. And to pray for God’s will to be done on earth is to pray for babies to be aborted. (That’s called an internal critique)

Seems like an internal contradiction within the system of Calvinism for Calvinists to be so upset and mourn over abortion…

Sye Ten Bruggencate: It would seem that way, if you did not know what you were talking about.

[snip]

Sye Ten Bruggencate: If you think that things can happen outside of God’s plan then you believe in a different “god.”

Jesse Morrell: If you believe that abortion was God’s eternal will, then one of us certainly does worship a false god!

[snip]

Jesse Morrell: Given these verses, was it God’s irresistible and eternal plan for Israel to sacrifice their babies to false gods?

Jer_19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

Jer_32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Sye Ten Bruggencate: Nothing happens outside of God’s plan Jesse, nothing.

[snip]

Jesse Morrell: ” Nothing happens outside of God’s plan Jesse, nothing.”

Well wait a minute. When I said that Calvinism teaches that abortion is God’s plan and that Calvinists mourning abortion and opposing abortion is them opposing God’s plan, you said that I did not know what I was talking about.

Now you say abortion is God’s plan. So apparently I did know what I was talking about!

You are either dishonest or confused or both. At the least your worldview is internally inconsistent.

For full post, click here.

Calvinist Censorship Strategy

In a very interesting post, Roger E. Olson alludes to the fact that the entire anti Open Theism movement is built around censorship, not debate:

The tenor of the controversy is one thing; the truth status of open theism is another thing. I was writing then primarily about the controversy. I believe that, for the most part, it was left unfinished. The anti-open theists, mostly Calvinists, won the day insofar as they persuaded (often, I am convinced, through misrepresentation) evangelical leaders such as administrators of institutions of higher learning to shun open theists.

For full article, click here.

Enyart on God being Open

In this Bob Enyart Live episode, Pastor Enyart calls a Calvinist pastor and questions that individual on if God is Open. From the show description:

* Pastor Taylor Discusses: Open Theism with Bob Enyart. After giving a woman caller the strongest possible warning against Pastor Enyart’s teachings, Pastor Taylor’s audience gets to hear for themselves the biblical evidence that God is free, and able, to change the future, and thus, the future is not settled, but open!

For the full show, click here.