Cals, What does God really intend?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. humblethinker

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    It seems that God can intend to act against a country and if that nation repents in response to 'announced' judgement to come then God no longer intends to bring the judgement he had announced.

    Would Cals hold that He didn't really intend to do what he announced?

    Jeremiah 18:7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
     
  2. Iconoclast

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    What did God do with Adam.....
    Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah...later it was destroyed.

    All things happen according to plan A....there is no plan B.


    God announces to sinners what will happen if they do not repent and believe the gospel...and what happens if they do believe the gospel. Open theism is heresy.
     
  3. SolaSaint

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    Humble, are you an Open Theist? Do you believe in the attribute of omniscience of God? If God is mutable then we are all in trouble.
     
  4. Luke2427

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    I don't understand why we have trouble grasping the fact that God can have different levels of desires.

    We do.

    On one level I want a WHOLE LOT to go eat a pizza right now.
    On another level I want to lose a lot of weight so I can be more active and effective in ministry and with my family.

    I want both. But I want the latter more than the former.

    God works this way as well. On one level it is his genuine desire that no one perish ever.
    But on a deeper level for more important purposes he is willing to allow many to perish.

    Also, God really does intend to do some things if other things do not happen. But God knows what is going to happen. For example, God really would have destroyed Israel in the wilderness had Moses not prayed. God had every intention of destroying Israel.

    But at the same time, God knew Moses WOULD pray. God knew that he would not destroy Israel that day. God ordained that the events would unfold just as they unfolded.

    We do this kind of thing all of the time. I tell my son- Son, if you don't have that room clean in 30 minutes I am going to whip you. I have EVERY intention of whipping him if he does not clean his room in the allotted time. But I also know my son. I know he knows I will do what I say and I know he fears that fact enough that he is absolutely going to have his room clean within the allotted time.

    Did I lie when I said, "I intend to whip you in thirty minutes for this room being this filthy"? No.

    Did I know BEFORE I said it that I would not wind up whipping him? Absolutely.

    If we can do this- God CERTAINLY can.
     
  5. Van

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    The scripture was provided, again demonstrating to anyone who can read, that God's promise or warnings are "if/then" conditional covenants,
    where God takes action based on the covenant.

    God's plan was not thwarted or frustrated or overturned, it simply addresses His action as according to His purpose, which is to choose a people for His own possession.

    The closed theism of Calvinism is shown to be unbiblical by all the "if/then" covenants of God, such as the Covenant of Love. God allows us to make choices that affect the outcome of our lives.
     
    #5 Van, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2012
  6. Luke2427

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    No. These "if/then" statements in Scripture do not lead thoughtful people to conclude what you purport.

    It would be ok if you said that they SEEM to indicate what you say.

    But no thoughtful person would say that they NECESSITATE what you say.

    An intelligent Arminian might say something like this. "The "if/then" statements of Scripture do seem to indicate that men are truly free to determine their own destinies, BUT there ARE other fair ways of interpreting those statements. They COULD mean..."

    But it is a bit narrow sighted and shallow to pretend that the "if/then" statements by themselves definitively prove ANYTHING along these lines.

    For example- I can say to my son, "Son if you get your homework done in the next ten minutes then I'll let you spend the night with you friend tonight."

    But I KNOW he is too undisciplined at this point in his life to stay focused well enough to complete his homework in the allotted time.

    So I know he is not going to do it. So why should I even SAY that?

    Because I want to show him the problem that he has. I want him to see that even with such a reward as that dangling before him, he is right now incapable of staying focused like he ought.

    Did I lie to him with my "if/then" statement? No. I used it to prove something to him. The proof of it will better him in the future.

    That's why God puts if/then statements in Scripture. God is showing us our utter spiritual bankruptcy. When we realize that we cannot, CANNOT keep the covenant we turn broken to a Savior who kept it for us.
     
  7. psalms109:31

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    I think we want to force our God to be who we expect, by simply reconcile another scripture into another scripture and say God is sovereign and not man, end of discussion.

    God says things to move men in the direction He want them to go and if they don't He shows the consequence for not following His will and following our own.

    If a King says that if any one murders they will be put to death.

    If his son murders someone and he don't follow through then he isn't sovereign and you don't have to follow him, because he doesn't go through with his word.

    We without His word have no other way to move, but by our own will, we have no other will to follow different than our own.

    If God did not give us His word and the direction we should go and the consequences for our action, then we would have an excuse to be who we are.

    We have no excuse because God has revealed Himself through what He has made and send out His messengers empowered by the Holy Spirit spreading the will of God.

    Ezekiel 18 :
    23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

    24 “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die. 25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die. 27 But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life. 28 Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die. 29 Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?

    30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    1 Timothy 2

    2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying —and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

    1 Peter 1:12
    It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

    2 Corinthians 5:
    16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

    Ezekiel 33 :
    8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die, ’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for[Or in; also in verse 9] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.

    James 5 :
    17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

    19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

    James 3:
    1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
     
    #7 psalms109:31, Aug 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2012
  8. HeirofSalvation

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  9. humblethinker

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    Where, besides your imported theology, do you see "different levels of desires" in this passage of the OP?
    Jeremiah 18:7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

    Which "plan" is God relenting on? The deterministic plan that He had from before creation? Or the "faux plan" that He thought of in response to a country's evil? Why would God go through the effort of forming a plan knowing that it would never be the case that such a need would obtain? For that matter, why would God then later share such with us when it is obvious to 'us who are in the know' (read calvinists) that He needs no plan for a 'faux' contingency that He Himself has made impossible.

    <Maybe see HoS quote above about God not being a man?>
    Where in the passage of the OP does God qualify what He says in the verses I pasted as though he had two contradictory desires simultaneously? I don't think it does. Why would you want to explain those verses like you just have?

    I think you misrepresent your view by holding that God controls every atom, circumstance and event yet propose that it is the case that people in these scenarios are not bound to God's act of ordaining and manipulation. This is duplicitous.

    Sounds like the certainty of your presumption is not reasonably held. Besides, what you presume to 'know' about your son is besides the point since you did not ordain all his actions and circumstances prior to him being created, nor are you now meticulously sovereign over his actions. Your illustration fails for these very points. Now, If it was the case that you orchestrated His every action, manipulating his behavior to bring about the clean room in the allotted time, then that may be closer to your estimation of the matter. But, if you did this then it would never be the case that you 'really' intended to follow through with your faux plans of whippin's. Actually, in this case why would you even make such plans? Since you are a logical person you would surely not develop all the intricate plans in how you would deliver your punishment when you know that since you are orchestrating both his behavior and circumstances such an event could never obtain. However, if you did have such manipulative powers over your child and you shared with your friends that you had a contingency plan to address your son if he disobeyed, one way or another they would wonder if you are convinced of your own words.
    What an interesting quote.

    God does not qualify his statements here. He says he fully intends to actually do something in response to an evil country. You do not seem to successfully tie-in your illustration to the verses that I pasted.
     
  10. 12strings

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    I would simply respond by asking: Did or did not God know what the nations would do, and therefore know that his plan in one direction would actually end up going in a different direction? ...And if he DID know, then what is to be said of his plan that he KNEW he would not follow through on? Was it really his ultimate plan or not?
     
  11. Van

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    There are an number of tools Calvinists use to nullify God's word. One is to say God did not mean what He said, which was "if" which requires alternate possibilities. If God said "if" but had predestined the outcome (Calvinism's exhaustive determinism" then God did not mean what He said.

    Calvinism must nullify scripture in order to avoid admitting it does not fit with scripture. World must be redefined in John 3:16, choice must be redefined to include non-choice, and now we have multiple Calvinists claiming "it depends on the meaning of if."

    Calvinism is false doctrine. Scripture screams it in passage after passage including Jeremiah 18:7.
     
  12. 12strings

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    1. You are responding as if I said God determined their response. I did not say that, merely that he KNEW what the nations' response would be. I realize you feel that these are inseparable, but most non-calvinists do not.

    2. ALL interpretations of scripture require using logic and context to determine what the scripture teaches when 2 passages seem, at first glance to contradict each other. Accusing calvinists of somehow doing something different than others does not help. You yourself have said that "He knows everything" in 1 John 3:20 does not mean "everything." All Bible interpreters do this.

    3. Believe it or not, Calvinists are not on a mission to nullify Scripture. Some actually believe it is what scripture teaches.
     
  13. humblethinker

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    Why would you answer my OP question with a question? Can you answer it with truth claims? The question I'm asking Calvinists is whether God means what He says. If He does then you can direct your questions to God or maybe reflect on your own belief. Since you hold that God ordains everything that comes to pass and what comes to pass cannot be otherwise, it is not a question of what He knows or knew but what He did/does compared to what He says. Insofar as your belief holds that God genuinely intends to do that which He simultaneously has declared or ordained that He most certainly will not to do then you accept a contradiction and no sort of non-contradictory reasoning can help you.
     
  14. humblethinker

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    I agree that this is what you believe, Iconoclast you are at least consistent with this belief and it's logical extensions. The product of God's determining actions in ordaining 'plan A' prior to creation means that the following is true:
    1) it is necessarily the case that all that is in 'plan A' will certainly happen
    2) it is necessarily the case that all that happens is due to reality being meticulously and exhaustively planned in 'Plan A'
    3) it is necessarily the case that God believes that there is not a single ontological possibility included in or outside of 'plan A'

    Would you please convince 12strings, Luke and other cals of this?
     
  15. 12strings

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    I'm actually undecided on the issue of how evil actions come to be in the world. I'm willing to say there is some mystery there...But I'm not willing to say God didn't know what was going to happen. I'm simply saying that it does not seem inconsistent for God to say "If...then," even when he knows which of those two situations will take place.

    So even if we say "God changed his plan", I would say we must also say that "God KNEW he was going to change his plan." (which, of course raises the question of what the real plan was to begin with). Ie, Did God plan to change his plan, based on the sin or repentance of a nation, which God also knew the outcome of?
     
  16. humblethinker

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    Fair enough.
    Do you think that it cannot be the case that God is capable of creating a world in which events with ontological possibilities exist? If you think He is capable, then for this argument's sake let's assume that He determined to create such a world (not our world, per se, this is just a thought experiment). Let's also assume:
    (1) that none of the possibilities He allows to exist put in jeopardy God's desired final outcome.
    (2) God knows all that is to be known about this project, therefore He knows reality as it is and is never of a false belief on the matter.
    (3) In this world, He would know all of the events' possibilities and it would never be the case that there were any possibilities for which He was unaware of their existence. And,
    (4) in this world, God, prior to creation, is already prepared for all ways that an event may obtain.
    (5) God has determined to be faithful to the project to the end.

    Imagining, again for sake of argument, the above world, of what difficiency can God be accused?


    <long pause needed here... some time to think>


    The best question that we all should be asking is not what kind of God is He but what kind of world has He created. This is mainly what we all disagree about.

    What kind of world has He created?
     
  17. Iconoclast

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    They are smart brothers and can see the God of scripture as revealed in scripture. for the most part we are mostly in agreement.Any disagrement would be because of different levels of instruction,or growth in the Lord.
    Each of us have things that we hold that could be improved upon as iron sharpens iron.....but more time is spent fending off attacks that try and catch us in how we express ourselves.
    This would not happen in a face to face bible study, because we could clarify on the spot any differences.

    The Lord Jesus Christ is Lord of all, building His church, right on schedule.
    we are still here, so there are more elect sheep to be reached with the words of life:thumbs::thumbs:

    most of these questions,and differences come down to just simply understanding correctly what is revealed.
    What we describe as calvinism is the most consistent attempt to understand how all 66 books come together as one united revelation from God to man.

    God, so loved the world.......and love not the world...are both in the bible.

    Calvinism understands that God communicates to us in several different ways.
    Anyone who ignores that the same word can mean different things according to context....is untaught, ignorant of Divine truth, or unsaved.

    The biggest objections are usually where God speaks anthropromorhically to us. to fail to acknowledge this leads to confusion,error, and sometimes heresy.
    Some truths have a bit of mystery to them...but revealed things are not to remain mysteries, but to be understood...for our edification and comfort.
    Those who oppose truth seek to deprive saints of this very comfort, but the sheep prevail because of the oversight of the shepherd.

    God created all things good...gen 1:31......but most error comes into theology because many will not acknowledge the sinfulness of sin, to the degree the scripture speaks of it.
     
    #17 Iconoclast, Aug 1, 2012
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  18. Yeshua1

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    isn't this merely God being written down to human understanding, appearing/presented to be "like a man" so that we can relate and understand Him?
     
  19. Yeshua1

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    did God create manking, because He needed to for some reason?


    Does God ahve to grow up/mature along with humans, so that he has to learn on the job how to become more and more God?
     
  20. humblethinker

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    I don't think it was a matter of need as much as it was a matter of wanting to share His love. In John 17 we see that before creation the Father shared glory and love with the Son and we see that Jesus wants believers to behold this glory and that this love would be in them. It seems to me that God wanted to share life and love with other sentient beings who would freely love Him. Beyond this I believe He provided a world in which these sentient beings, could never atain a level of belief amounting to verifiable certainty, unlike the angels. A world in which by faith they freely choose to love Him and grow toward a settledness of such character (maturity) that they continuously choose God. This is praiseworthy, imo.

    I don't believe that He is growing up or maturing along with humans or learn how to become more and more God.

    I do believe that He can appreciate His own creativity. Do you think God knows that he is creative? Do Cals think that God can have a new thought or that He is creative? If he is creative then wouldn't the self awareness during his creative action constitute a new thought? If not then how can a cal say that He is creative?
     

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