General Question about various beliefs held by various people

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njd83
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Re: General Question about various beliefs held by various people

Post by njd83 » Tue Mar 15, 2022 12:13 am

I just read the definition of Open Theism, and it makes sense to me. I did not initially understand what Dizerner brought up about Contingency vs Necessity, because I am not schooled in philosophy, just 2 classes: Intro Logic and Existentialism.

I have just read up a bit about Contingency VS Necessity. The issue for me was not "Contingencies Versus Necessities" but rather if God himself declares He knows the future exhaustively and completely, or if the texts indicate openness with Free Will. Just saying God is timeless and foreknows Contingencies but does not cause them, solves nothing about the texts that indicate HE DOES NOT KNOW ALL CONTINGENCIES.

https://iep.utm.edu/o-theism/
Open Theism

Open Theism is the thesis that, because God loves us and desires that we freely choose to reciprocate His love, He has made His knowledge of, and plans for, the future conditional upon our actions. Though omniscient, God does not know what we will freely do in the future. Though omnipotent, He has chosen to invite us to freely collaborate with Him in governing and developing His creation, thereby also allowing us the freedom to thwart His hopes for us. God desires that each of us freely enter into a loving and dynamic personal relationship with Him, and He has therefore left it open to us to choose for or against His will.

While Open Theists affirm that God knows all the truths that can be known, they claim that there simply are not yet truths about what will occur in the “open,” undetermined future. Alternatively, there are such contingent truths, but these truths cannot be known by anyone, including God.

Even though God is all-powerful, allowing Him to do everything that can be done, He cannot create round squares or make 2 +2 = 5 or do anything that is logically impossible. Omniscience is understood in a similar manner. God is all-knowing and can know all that can be known, but He cannot know the contingent future, since that too, is impossible. God knows all the possible ways the world might go at any point in time, but He does not know the one way the world will go, so long as some part of what will happen in the future is contingent. So, Open Theists oppose the claim of the sixteenth century Jesuit theologian, Luis de Molina, that God has “middle knowledge.”

Open Theists believe that Scripture teaches that God wanted to give us the freedom to choose to love or reject Him. In order for each of us to genuinely have a choice for which we are morally responsible, we must have the ability to do otherwise than we do. This is the distinctive necessary condition of what has come to be called libertarian freedom. God may intervene in the created world at any time, and He may determine that we act in ways of His choosing. But He cannot both respect our libertarian freedom and guarantee that we will do specific things freely. Thus, Open Theists believe that God has created a world in which He takes the risk that many of us will reject Him and act in ways opposed to Him, in order to give us the opportunity to freely choose to love and obey Him.

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dizerner
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Re: General Question about various beliefs held by various people

Post by dizerner » Wed Mar 16, 2022 11:21 pm

the texts that indicate HE DOES NOT KNOW ALL CONTINGENCIES.

There are no such texts.

Humans even commonly ask rhetorical questions they know the answer to, this is proof of literally nothing.

You took God forgetting as non-literal; you already allow for metaphor.

Now it's just where you want to paint the lines by preference, not logic.
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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Homer
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Re: General Question about various beliefs held by various people

Post by Homer » Wed Mar 16, 2022 11:24 pm

njd83,

Does Boyd have anything to say about the accuracy of prophets? How does the following fit with open theism:

Deuteronomy 18:20-22
New American Standard Bible
20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name, a word which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How will we recognize the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you are not to be afraid of him.


2 Peter 1:20-21
New American Standard Bible
20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture becomes a matter of someone’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.


There are unambiguous prophecies in scripture with multiple specifics, such as Jesus' prediction of Peter's betrayal. Prophets speak for God. If God can not know the future how would it be just to put a person to death who prophesied an event that did not occur?

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njd83
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Re: General Question about various beliefs held by various people

Post by njd83 » Wed Mar 16, 2022 11:41 pm

You took God forgetting as non-literal; you already allow for metaphor.
Remind me please. Oh yeah, forgetting sins.
““They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”” (Jeremiah 31:34, NASB95)
We he actually says "I will not remember", sounds like a choice, not actually "forgetting" in the strictest sense of the English word.

Plus Jesus said those who do not forgive others will have their sins held against them, and be tormented by the torturers, but hey, if God actually forget their sins... he could not do that right....? hmmmm... a contradiction....

How can God forget the past anyway? ...its not like he's limited in any concrete sense... Come on now... lets be reasonable here....

You can do better Dizerner, you are the smarter one between us.... ;)

The past is not an issue, its the future that causes the big "impenetrable paradox".

That's a weak argument if all you got is that I take "I will not remember your sins" to mean that I am choosing my preferred metaphors.

And think about the efficacy of God "not remembering our sins" against us, its very important part of our being able to come to and connect with the Divine Creator. Do I think God literally forgets the past? Not at all. I have never thought that. Believers who use these kinds of verses to imply that "God forgets" I've always thought were a little nutty. 8-)

I read your post Homer, give me a sec.

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njd83
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Re: General Question about various beliefs held by various people

Post by njd83 » Thu Mar 17, 2022 12:06 am

Homer said:
njd83,

Does Boyd have anything to say about the accuracy of prophets? How does the following fit with open theism:

Deuteronomy 18:20-22
New American Standard Bible
20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name, a word which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How will we recognize the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you are not to be afraid of him.

2 Peter 1:20-21
New American Standard Bible
20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture becomes a matter of someone’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

There are unambiguous prophecies in scripture with multiple specifics, such as Jesus' prediction of Peter's betrayal. Prophets speak for God. If God can not know the future how would it be just to put a person to death who prophesied an event that did not occur?
Boyd DOES say much about the accuracy of the OT Prophets. Its a very sore topic for me in that I am utterly frustrated with his view on the OT and prophets. I value his material so much in God of the Possible, Myth of A Christian Nation and Myth of a Christian Religion, but its the book Cross Vision where he goes into basically saying that there was a "human" element in the OT prophets which did not completely reflect the true God. I had to stop up my ears and run away because of that one. I think it may be a "thought experiment book", Cross Vision, where he throws out the "possibility" that the OT prophets did not always reflect God like Jesus did, nor were accurate about stuff.

But you seem to be asking a question I think you have already asked, namely, does the Open View believe "That God cannot know the future"?

The answer to this question is that GOD CAN know the future. Openness Theology includes both open and closed parts of the future, to put it simply.

Some of the future is open to be determined by the Free Will agents he created. Some of the future is foreknown and/or predetermined by God. Some open, some closed so to speak.

This means that when a text in the Bible indicates "open" we take it as such. When a text in the Bible indicates "closed" we take it as such.

So another part of your question I think has to do with how God CAN prophesy CERTAIN things about the future--but He can obviously MAKE it happen. So, its not hard to think that God has the power to bring about a prophesy or knows the conditions are such that it will happen--with or without his own workings going on in the circumstances, to a greater or lesser degree.

So phrasing the situation more clearly, your question "how can God put a person to death for falsely prophesying something" does not cause a problem.

God already knows if the person "prophesying" is his own prophet or one of his own true people, or if the person IS NOT actually listening to him and following Him. For example, if Jeremiah goes up to this false prophet and tells him something from God and he does not listen, well, obviously he's not listening to God or Jeremiah who's a true prophet. He knows if a false prophet is false immediately, its not hard for him to tell if a person listens to Him, loves Him, obeys Him etc. God tries to speak to everyone (all have a conscience).

So, when this false prophet starts to say whatever "prophesies", for whatever reason--money, status or whatever--God is like "Ok, now watch, you will NOT see these prophecies come to pass, NOR WILL I EVEN LET IT COME TO PASS, so that you will know that I was not prophesying through this false prophet and he WAS NOT listening to me at all, but I was prophesying through Jeremiah this whole time... and you are a obstinate people with itching ears just wanting hear nice things to support your rebellion, idolatry, sin, etc, from your false prophets".

Does that make sense? God does not have to know the future exhaustively and completely in order to know who's a false prophet, who wont listen to Him and who's prophesies will not come to pass.

On the flip side God allows some false prophets prophecy's to actually come true to test his people:
““If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 13:1–3, NASB95)
Last edited by njd83 on Thu Mar 17, 2022 9:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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dizerner
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Re: General Question about various beliefs held by various people

Post by dizerner » Thu Mar 17, 2022 12:44 am

njd83 wrote:
Wed Mar 16, 2022 11:41 pm
Believers who use these kinds of verses to imply that "God forgets" I've always thought were a little nutty. 8-)

Now you know how Openness sounds to others. 8-)
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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Re: General Question about various beliefs held by various people

Post by njd83 » Thu Mar 17, 2022 2:34 am

I mean its a good funny point, honestly. I like that. :lol:

But its really not comparable.

God created the universe. He knows everything that can be known. "Forgetting" as in.... forgetting Adam's sin of eating from the tree of knowledge... like that's a historical fact. But its a sin... so he "forgot" it when Christ died for him and forgave him... hmmmm... whaaa?

So in the heavenly future... we will ask God... how did we get here? What was before this? God: "I don't know. I don't remember what happened."

Come on Dizerner... you're really an open theist waiting to come out of the closet.... ahahahahah :lol:

Now to your real point. Open Theism seems crazy.

Eisegesis seems crazier, or nuttier, than the Open View in my honest opinion.

I mean it would not be hard for a human being to just.... ascribe to Almighty God that he somehow has Complete and Exhaustive Foreknowledge.

I MYSELF did this for a long time.

But it just does not square with the texts of the Bible. There's a tension between the Traditional View and the texts.

That's really it. That's the bottom line.

In Boyd's book "God of the Possible" he discusses this very issue, going through all the texts that are used to support Complete and Exhaustive Foreknowledge... and he goes over all the texts that you have to "impose" Complete and Exhaustive Foreknowledge ONTO them in a foreign type of way (tension) in order to hold to that theology. He discusses how Open View clears up these tensions and lets a reader just take the texts as plainly written.

Honestly. That's it.

Maybe the name makes people scared: Openness Theology

OPENNESS NO! We are CLOSED dang nambit!

AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH :o

BE AFRAID. BE VERY AFRAID. ITS COMING FOR YOU. IT HAS LOST ITS MIND. BROKE OUT OF A MENTAL INSTITUTION. LOADED WITH MISINTERPRETATION AND LOTS OF ROCKING THE BOAT. BEWARE. RUN

Maybe people are just sacred of anything that goes against what is "Norm". I don't know. I don't care. I wasn't researching down rabbit trails in order to hold up a reputation as an "accepted belief" believer. I just wanted the truth. So I don't care if it makes people think its nutty. It think its largely a misunderstanding on the topic.

So you could say my bias is that I want to believe that God's word is able to be taken as plainly written, and plainly meant to be understood as written by the original authors or speakers. No need for super complicated theology or logic or interpretation.

I'll take that bias all day long, all week long, all month long, all year long, all life long. :P

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njd83
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Re: General Question about various beliefs held by various people

Post by njd83 » Mon Apr 04, 2022 9:54 am

Jesus openly used metaphors, and his disciples did not always understand what he meant.

BUT.... there was ALWAYS a true interpretation and meaning which was intended by the original author to be understood a certain way.
“This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”” (John 11:11–15, NASB95)
Did Moses in compiling Genesis have the intent that Adam and Eve was a literal mythical metaphor, not plainly written history, and so his original intended meaning was NOT that we came from Adam and Eve, but that we evolved from apes? Did the Jews and Early Christians KNOW his original intended meaning was a mythical story to derive meaning from, not literal history?

Applying this to other texts, was the original intended meaning of this text:
““They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”” (Jeremiah 31:34, NASB95)
That God literally CAN NOT EVEN REMEMBER our past sins... it completely escapes his memory... was THIS his intended meaning? Was his brain memory in that area literally cauterized (metaphor)? Because that would be your implication of God literally forgetting.....

OR...

That He chooses to NOT remember them and "put them in the past" so to speak, and never hold them against us OR bring them to memory, unless we are unforgiving towards others:
““Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”” (Mark 11:24–26, NASB95)
I say this because Dizerner's whole big accusation against my ideas were, to paraphrase him roughly:
"You use metaphors whenever it fits you and your theology. Just like everyone else. No one takes the bible "as plainly written", everyone interprets it for themselves, however they choose to. Therefore your own way of interpreting the bible texts is not necessarily correct. You are just like everyone else choosing what to take as metaphoric, and what not to. Whatever suits you."
And this has been rolling around in the back of my brain for a while now, trying to figure out if what he said was true.

Since it is a HUGE argument against what I have been trying to present. Its a huge argument against my whole thrust of trying to understand God and the Bible. It was a huge accusation against what I actually believe. So it hit hard. Did not know how to answer it.

See, because I have basically seen myself as actually trying to understand what God really meant by what he has said in his word. But Dizerner really kind of threw a curve ball at the way I viewed myself approaching the texts.

Was I not trying to approach the texts to find out "plainly written meaning as intended by the author", or was I just interpreting it like everyone else according to however it suits my theology?
Last edited by njd83 on Tue Apr 05, 2022 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: General Question about various beliefs held by various people

Post by dizerner » Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:46 am

We could still come from Adam and Eve in a spiritual sense, the only sense that matters.

I think you stated my point pretty well actually and I appreciate that, but you left out the part about prayer and asking God. In a percentage ratio, how much of you time have you spent mentally analyzing and reading other people's thoughts, compared to humbly asking God directly? I know the frustration of feeling like one doesn't get an answer, but this is the only sure way to find the truth, and all other foundations should be shaken, because they are not based on a real relationship, but a journey of intellectual self-effort. I don't write this heartlessly... I pursued my mind far too long and hard because in some sense something hurt my faith and I transferred it to myself. I felt I was the only one I could really trust, and I had to "figure out" God. Mind you, I wouldn't have admitted that, it was a hidden truth I myself didn't even know and had to discover. But that's fundamentally wrong on many levels.

Hope you make some progress here and always asking the Lord to help you.
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Re: General Question about various beliefs held by various people

Post by njd83 » Tue Apr 05, 2022 4:41 am

According to the common evolutionary theorizings, humans would have originated from a small primitive human population of more than 2. I mean, according to how they think evolution happens, relatively slowly apes would appear closer and closer to ancient human ancestors. So 2 originals would most likely be out of the question. I mean what would be the final mutation/etc be that these 2 had which would be considered transferring them over to the first ancient humans instead of ape-like ancestors?

So then we have a population of almost-human ape-like ancestors and they are arriving closer to being able to be designated humans.

How does that have anything to do with what Moses said in Genesis 1-6?

Moses would have had to be 100% completely allegorical with no physical concrete meaning whatsoever.

How did he even come up with this stuff, since its completely not true? Or was there no Moses either?

Did Noah not actually have a great great great great great great great grandfather named Adam?

There are many people today who can look back genealogically and find their 10th back ancestor grandfather.

But Moses was making some sh_t up there I guess ? He really had no idea who their ancestors were. hahaha :lol: sorry....

Yes I did leave out your emphasis on seeking God for answers. I take that as a given really, since its not really a disputed idea that people have sought, should and do seek God for clarity and insight and answers to questions.

What's up for dispute is whether we can take God simply at his word, as plainly written, and meant to be understood by the authors and speakers, according to the original meaning they had in mind.

You honestly have to say Moses was just making sh_t up. But Jesus quoted him as literal, and trustworthy and inspired of God. Its so contradictory I don't know how you can hold these conflicting ideas in your head at the same time and not have your head explode. Maybe you should seek God about that. hahaha :D .....jokes are good

Jesus said from the beginning God made them male and female and thus a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. But according to evolutionary theorizings, there were probably dominate alpha male ape-like human ancestors who killed and raped and pillaged for survival. Male and Female would have originated long before this as well, and no "marriage type of thing" would be anywhere in sight until millions of years later.

According to your version of interpreting the Bible, Moses is the biggest BS'er God has ever evolved. :shock:

You have to admit what you are purporting does not make sense. Right? Right??

Do I need to pray to God about whether this interpretation is true or not?

"God, why did Moses BS so much about human origins?"

"God, why would you use such a cruel evil process of evolution to create your beautiful sons and daughters in your image?"

"God, why would you use this cruel evolutionary process when the way you said you made humans in Genesis is SO much more beautiful and fits with the rest of your Bible?"

"God, how do I share the gospel of Jesus death for sins where there is no original sin, and when evolution itself is a cruel evil process of ape-like human ancestors fighting for survival by killing and stealing.... especially when you talk so much about love in the Bible? And how can I convince people to believe in Jesus death for you when so much else in your word is myth?"

"God, I don't know how to relate to you, love you, understand you, or believe in you, if you used cruel evolutionary processes to make humans while saying in the Bible you made us through Adam and Eve. What do I do God? I am stuck. I just want to give up and not give a damn about anything since this is more confusing that a rubrics cube."

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