Media – Video

Apologetics Thrusday – R.C. Sproul Admits to Eisegesis

R.C. Sproul admits that when he approaches his conception of God, it is through his own presuppositions (Eisegesis rather than Exegesis).

One might think that someone committed to the Bible would finish his concluding statement differently:

“In reformed theology we constantly test our doctrine by going back to”
A. Our fundamental understanding of the character of God
B. The Bible

R.C. Sproul chooses “A”.

Bitter Musician Accuses God

The lyrics of Once in a Lifetime, by Wolfsheim, reveal a deap bitterness towards God. TV Tropes claims this song is about “the loss of the singer’s wife and unborn child in a hurricane.” This would make sense and would not be outside the realm of human experience. The lyrics read:

No rain can wash away my tears
No wind can soothe my pain
You made me doubt, you made me fear
But now I’m not the same

You took my wife, my unborn son
Torn into the deep of the ocean
I don’t pretend that I love you
‘Cause there is nothing left to loose

Tool on Free Will

Tool, who is not a Christian band, explores the effects of Free Will:

Angels on the sideline,
Puzzled and amused.
Why did Father give these humans free will?
Now they’re all confused.

Don’t these talking monkeys know that
Eden has enough to go around?
Plenty in this holy garden, silly old monkeys,
Where there’s one you’re bound to divide it

Right in two

Angels on the sideline,
Baffled and confused.
Father blessed them all with reason.
And this is what they choose.
(and this is what they choose)

Monkey, killing monkey, killing monkey
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They forge a blade,
And when there’s one they’re bound to divide it,

Right in two.
Right in two.

Monkey, killing monkey, killing monkey
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They make a club
And beat their brother… down.
How they survived so misguided is a mystery.
Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability
to lift an eye to heaven conscious of his fleeting time here

Gotta divide it all right in two (x4)

They fight, till they die
Over earth, over sky
They fight, over life,
Over brawn, over air and light,
Over love, over sun. Over blood
They fight, or they die, all for what? For our rising!

Angels on the sideline again
Been too long with patience and reason
Angels on the sideline again
Wondering when this tug of war will end

Gotta divide it all right in two (x3)
Right in two

Right in two..

Sproul Talks About Open Theism

Video hosted at Ligonier

Abstract:

Israel’s Rejection Not Final (Part 3)

Sermon Text: Romans 11:26-35

In this lesson, Dr. Sproul discusses open theism and whether God has full knowledge of all events. If an event comes to pass we can believe it is His will. God does not wait for the sinner to change so he can come to God, but God goes to the sinner and changes the sinner and brings the sinner to Him. The lesson concludes with a discussion of prayer and how prayer changes things.

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:

Open Theist Miniseries

Reposted from realityisnotoptional.com:

The Record Keeper is a steampunk themed webseries centered around the angels’ perspectives as events occur throughout the Bible. If that sounds awesome, it is because it is awesome. The series was produced as an outreach project by Seventh Day Adventists. Adventists seem to ascribe to a Warfare Worldview in which the forces of evil engage against the forces of good for the fate of the future. This is the premise of the series.

In this series, the main protagonists are two angels (Larus and Cadan) who had long been friends but are separated as one defects with Satan (Larus) while the other remains loyal to God (Cadan). These two periodically meet with a “Record Keeper”. At some point in the past, God has appointed a Record Keeper to create a database of the facts of events throughout history. The purpose of these records is to build an evidence file for use during a future judgment. The record keeper acts as a neutral third party. In order to eliminate bias, Satan’s angels are given temporary guarantee of safety in order to periodically meet with the record keeper to give their version of events. They agree to this as a way to make sure documentation is included in the records against God and in their own defense. In the series, it comes to light that the agents of Satan employ their own record keeper in anticipation of a future judgment of God (they anticipate defeating God at some point).

Normally angels meet individually with the Record Keeper, but, because of the closeness of the two friends, they are allowed to meet together (one representing God and the other representing Satan). The series follows their relationship as the events of the Bible unfold. Additionally, the person of the record keeper is examined, as she struggles with learning about all these events second-hand.

The series, although creative and well written, was suspended by the leaders of the Seventh Day Adventists after the leaders objected to material found within. One such objection is that Open Theist themes strongly present itself in the plot narrative. This Open Theism is a reoccurring theme, as God’s angels plot to bring about prophecies from the Old Testament and Satan’s angels plot to negate them. The entire titular role is played by a record keeper meant to store information for future examination (the first few episodes suggest for use on judgment day, the last suggests for use by third parties). The storing of information is strongly anti-platonic. Really interesting is the episode where Satan becomes concerned that one of his angel’s is “leaking information” to God’s angels, something that should not be an issue if omniscience was assumed.

Additionally, the idea that Satan and his minions even believe “they can defeat God” does not play into the platonistic concept of who God is and what attributes He possesses. The Biblical account of the angelic rebellion is just as hard for platonistic Christians to explain as it is for critics of this webseries. Instead, the series is written similar to the Bible, in which Open Theism is an underlying theme manifesting in the behavior and dialogue of all actors. The times that platonism is injected seem very forced (“One day they will invent crumpets.”).

The series excels at bringing out good ideas that should probably be explored further. Why did the angels rebel? What were their motivations? How did they see their roles throughout history? How did they experience the events in the Bible? Where were they and what did they do while these events were taking place?

The series depicts multiple reasons for angels defecting with Satan (referred to as the “general” throughout the series). One of Satan’s main appeals was his declarations against “inequality” in God’s kingdom. Satan promised equality and freedom. Larus wanted freedom from God. He viewed God’s control with spitefulness and longed to control his own destiny. Another angel defected due to jealousy. This angel had been given the same position by Satan that she was rejected for in God’s kingdom. Certainly, Satan’s own jealousy is traditionally the reason given as to why Satan defected.

In the series, the audience is exposed to angels as persons. The angels have individual motivations and desires. The angels reason. The angels are affected with strong emotion. The angels are explored as people. Angels are not considered as a homogeneous mass of automatons.

Another series highlight is that “child murder” is portrayed as God’s ultimate hated sin. This is repeated a few times, and the act is even disdained by Satan’s followers. The implications for modern abortion are obvious.

As for the movie itself. The filming is done very professionally. In addition to steampunk themed offices, the Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend serve as backdrop of this fantasy world. The actors are mostly believable. The dialogue is solid and interesting (plenty of nuances to flush out). The soundtrack includes an excellent rendition of Amazing Grace during the final episode. This is a high quality web series.

The list of reasons given by the Seventh Day Adventists as to why this series was suspended are mostly bogus, predicated on assumptions and a poor understandings of the plot. For example:

-The series does not portray Satan as “ruler of hell”, unless a poorly lit warehouse counts as hell. Satan must have some sort of base of operations. Why not a warehouse?

-Angels are seen ensuring that Jesus is born in Bethlehem through use of their power. Plenty of events in the Bible describe angels using their power to bring out prophecy. An angel slaughtering the Assyrian army is one such example (2 Kings 19:35). The Adventist leaders rightly understand that there are severe Open Theist implications. They reject the Bible due to their philosophy.

-When characters in the film say of Jesus “He’s not human” and “He cannot die”, they are shown to be wrong in the very next episode. That was the point, Satan’s angels believed (in the series) that Jesus was immortal and thus did not kill him sooner.

– The episode states “the plan required the death of God.” The Adventist leaders claim, “Deity did not die”. Peter claims contrary to this: “[You] killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” (Acts 3:15)

Possibly the feminizing of the Holy Spirit is the strongest point that they have, but most of their complaints are shaky and amount to petty concerns. It would be a shame to throw out this gem based on trivial theological mistakes.

In retrospect, it is probably a good thing that this webseries was discontinued by the Seventh Day Adventists. Discontinuation ensures the series is not ruined with all the “fixes” suggested by the Adventist leaders, solidifying for eternity the theological implications of the series.

Trailer:

Episodes:

Craig on Foreknowledge versus Fatalism

Molinist William Lane Craig offers a defense of Molinism and speaks against Open Theism:

Of course, Craig is only offering a well worded distraction. Here is a response:

Could God tell someone what God knows they will do in the future and could that person choose to do something else? In this case, would God have really “known” they were going to that action? Would He have been lying?