Cooperative Baptists, Texas partners ponder whether God knows the future

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by KenH, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Anyone who is interested in reading about the Open Theism heresy, please go to the link below. One thing about these folks in the CBF, they sure laugh a lot. Unfortunately, on this subject they may be laughing themselves all the way to hell.

    www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=13738

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
     
  2. tyndale1946

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    I guess they never read from the book of Isaiah!

    Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

    10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

    11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

    That's ok foolish men do foolish things, then pass it down to their children who become bigger fools!... A natural fool is one thing but a religious fool leads others away from the truths as they are in Christ Jesus!... Brother Glen :( :eek: :(
     
  3. ScottEmerson

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    Open theism is not a heresy any more than Calvinism is. Heresy is defined as a deviance from Roman Catholic belief, which we would agree Calvinism and open theism both is. Your post illustrates two things to me: a) You know very little about open theism and those who hold to open theist positions and b) you too easily throw out words like "heresy" and phrases like "laughing to Hell" way too easily.

    Instead of using ad hominems (as the article itself mentions), why not argue with the Biblical, historical, and philosophical foundations of open theism. You'd have a lot more credence then, instead of phrases such as "they may be laughing themselves all the way to hell."

    That strikes me as very un-Christlike.
     
  4. KenH

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    Scott,

    Heresy is not a Roman Catholic defined term - at least not in the 21st Century. Heresy is a doctrine that claims to be true when it is not.

    God said He knows the end from the beginning. Open Theists teach that God does not know the end from the beginning. The Open Theists are calling God a liar. That is heresy, that is damnable. And I see no where in the Bible where damnable heresies were tolerated among God's people - either by the believers in the Old Testament, Christ Himself, or believers in the New Testament. And anyone entrapped by heresy should flee from it for the sake of his own soul and eternal destiny.

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
     
  5. Poor Richard

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    tyndale, I think you've inadvertantly supported Open Theism by quoting Isaiah!

    "Declaring the end from the beginning...I will do all my pleasure" is God's claim to omnipotence alone: here God declares the end because he asserts that he knows what HE will do: events have been predetermined according to his will. "I have purposed it; I also will do it."

    And the article Ken refers us to does reveal a seemingly valid point in support of Open Theism, to wit: "The open theists likewise hold that God sometimes in the Bible is surprised, learns new information and changes his mind accordingly."

    Seemingly so: throughout the history of the Old Testament we can find God proving men, observing or visiting men, in order to "see" what they will do. At first glance, this seems to affirm God's limited ability to predict the future, as well as control future events. But other references, primarily in the New Testament scriptures, effectively strip away the validity of Open Theism. Here, for example:

    [Ephesians 1:5] Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will...

    [Ephesians 1:11] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will...

    [1 Peter 1:20 ] Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world...

    [Revelation 17:8]...and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

    It is inconceivable that God predestines individuals, foreordained before earth was created, writing their names in the Book of Life, without possessing foreknowledge of how those individuals will exercize their free will! And although it may be argued, as Open Theism proponents insist, that the future cannot be known because it does not yet exist, this concept carries no water in light of the work of Einstein, who intuitively recognized the relativism of of our limited perceptions, and discovered how time and space are actually woven together in a manner that defies three-dimensional modeling.

    But we don't need physicists to confirm Bible doctrine! David also wrote in Psalms, 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. We know God gives us the choice of accepting or rejecting Christ, and if God knows what choice we will make, long before we come into physical existence, this must be evidence of true foreknowledge.

    The only shred of truth to Open Theism may be found in Solomon's observation that "time and chance happeneth to them all," referring not to Christians, but to natural men. This element of randomness may purposely exist, not by the weakness of God, but to bring the wisdom of man to naught. But for us, all things work together for good, and in every thing we may give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us.
     
  6. ScottEmerson

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    Heresy is still defined in the Roman Cathoic manner in the latest dictionaries. Who is to judge what is true? Is it possible Calvinism or Arminianism or Baptists or Methodists are heresy? Would you be willing to say Methodists are heretical?

    As Richard pointed out, the passage you seem to refer to states that God knows what HE will do. Open theists state that "God can and has guaranteed whatever he wants about the future, since he is omnipotent."

    Have you read ANYTHING by an open theist? Honestly, where do you come up with this stuff? I had the privilege of having several conversations with Fisher Humphries (the guy mentioned in the article) while at Samford University. The man loves God with all of his heart, soul, and mind. He is undoubtedly saved. For you to say brazenly that the man is going to hell is extraordinarily unChristlike, placing yourself as the accuser and judge of the man and others who believe as he does.

    What if, it turns out, that we find out in heaven that Calvinism isn't the correct doctrine - it's something else? Would you suppose that you would be damned for such belief?

    Are you so presumptuous that you do not even consider that you just in fact may be incorrect about your theology - or at least one part of it. For you to say that "Heresy is a doctrine that claims to be true when it is not" and then that heresy is damnable is to place yourself in a whole lot of trouble. How convinced are you that EVERY SINGLE thought you have of God is 100% correct? Have you ever came to a different conclusion about something as you've matured in Christ? Was what you believed before a damnable heresy? What if your theology changes in a year for whatever reason? What if R.C. Sproul's changes? What then?

    The arrogance for which you speak about a topic that you have obviously no knowledge of tells a lot about your character, Ken - and indeed, a lot about your theology.
     
  7. KenH

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    Per Mirriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:

    1 a : adherence to a religious opinion contrary to church dogma b : denial of a revealed truth by a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church c : an opinion or doctrine contrary to church dogma
    2 a : dissent or deviation from a dominant theory, opinion, or practice b : an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards

    Ken
     
  8. KenH

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    (Isa 55:8-11 NKJV) "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. {9} "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. {10} "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, {11} So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

    Scott, how does God know that His word will not return void and will prosper if He doesn't know the future. And obviously, this success includes actions by others than God Himself.

    (Isa 46:9-11 NKJV) Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, {10} Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,' {11} Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.

    Scott, if God does not know the future, how can He be certain that anyone will execute His counsel?

    Ken
     
  9. KenH

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    Besides quotes from others? Yep, Clark Pinnock.

    Ken
     
  10. KenH

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    Yes. I used to be a Pelagian when I was in the Church of Christ. In fact, had even heard within that church a mild form of Open Theism - that God "chooses" not to know the future, at least at times. And yes, until just before I left the Church of Christ I believed a damnable heresy. I became convinced of the doctrines of grace, and the necessity of trusting Christ and His finished work alone, during the same time period in which God regenerated me. I left and joined a Southern Baptist church and I support the Founders Ministries to help return Southern Baptists to our historic doctrines.

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
     
  11. rsr

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    Ken:

    Please don't base your opinions about anything on what appears on Baptist Press. Its vendetta against both the CBF and the BGCT is well known.
     
  12. KenH

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    As I said, I have read Clark Pinnock's own words defending the Open Theism heresy. As I said, I had heard a mild form of the Open Theism heresy while I was a member of the Church of Christ - a denomination in which I was born and raised and was a member in excellent standing with until I left when I was 43 years old. I was a hardliner in the Church of Christ and spent about my last decade as a Bible class teacher. The change that God wrought in my understanding of Him and His word was tremendous. I didn't learn Calvinism listening and reading Church of Christ preachers, teachers, and writers. So please don't think I am boxed in by relying on limited sources when researching a subject.

    Besides, I haven't heard anyone saying that the quotes of proponents of the Open Theism heresy by those opposed to it are inaccurate.

    The issue is whether or not Open Theists believe that God does not know the future, believe that God makes mistakes because He does not know the future, believe that God learns and adapts as we humans do because He does not know the future.
    If that is not the issue, then please enlighten me.

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
     
  13. KenH

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    By the way, concerning this source of information business, may I add that Open Theists have a website at www.opentheism.org. So it is very easy to read their very own words first-hand.

    Ken

    [ July 02, 2002, 09:37 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  14. Baptist Believer

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    Something I find interesting about Moore's title is that it connects the publication of the discussion of Open Theism in the Baptist Standard newspaper and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's breakout session (a breakout session is a small group discussion during the mornings and and afternoons during the CBF's annual meeting -- it's not a business meeting like the SBC model).

    I knew about the articles on Open Theism before they were published (I know Wallace Roark). The CBF discussion seems to be an independent thing.

    It is strange how the SBC struggles to link the BGCT and CBF. It's all part of the massive campaign to smear Texas Baptists.
     
  15. ScottEmerson

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    And you have just shown that you know nothing about the open view by asking those questions. Had you read The Openness of God, Pinnock, Rice, Sanders, Hasker, and Basinger would have answered these questions for you.
     
  16. ScottEmerson

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    As I said, I have read Clark Pinnock's own words defending the Open Theism heresy. As I said, I had heard a mild form of the Open Theism heresy while I was a member of the Church of Christ - a denomination in which I was born and raised and was a member in excellent standing with until I left when I was 43 years old. I was a hardliner in the Church of Christ and spent about my last decade as a Bible class teacher. The change that God wrought in my understanding of Him and His word was tremendous. I didn't learn Calvinism listening and reading Church of Christ preachers, teachers, and writers. So please don't think I am boxed in by relying on limited sources when researching a subject.

    Besides, I haven't heard anyone saying that the quotes of proponents of the Open Theism heresy by those opposed to it are inaccurate.

    The issue is whether or not Open Theists believe that God does not know the future, believe that God makes mistakes because He does not know the future, believe that God learns and adapts as we humans do because He does not know the future.
    If that is not the issue, then please enlighten me.

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
    </font>[/QUOTE]What happens if you change your mind again? How do you know Calvinism is gospel? You've changed once - what keeps you from changing again?

    I was once a Calvinist, but by the grace of God moved away from that - he's opened my entire world up to the universality of God's love. I can only assume that you have yet to make such a jump.

    I could just as easily call Calvinism a damnable heresy, but the truth of the matter is this: Salvation is about placing faith in Christ, NOT in using different definitions for the sovereignty of God, whether you like it or not.

    Are you saying that Church of Christ members are not saved?

    As for the issue - I'd urge you to read things yourself. Based upon the questions you've asked, you need to read again. BTW, Pinnock didn't become open theist until around 1990 - a majority of his works, such as Grace UNlimited and Grace of God, Will of Man were written before his "pilgrimage," as he calls it.

    Do you question my salvation as well? Am I a follower of a damnable heresy?
     
  17. rsr

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    Scott: I'm afraid you are, in the minds of many of the posters.

    So much for Christian charity.
     
  18. Monergist

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    You keep insisting that all must read the writings of open theists; But why?

    Must one read the Koran before denouncing Islam? Do Christians need to read the writings of every influential heretic in the history of the church before denouncing their heresies? Do I need to read all the Watchtower material that I can find before I decide that the JW's are wrong? Of course not!!!

    Scott, the best way to spot a counterfeit is to be very familiar with the real thing. I've seen enough of open theism to see that it is at odds with the Word of God. Given the deceptive nature of this heresy, I believe that it would be very unwise for most Christians (I'll include myself here) to read much of this.
     
  19. KenH

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    Anyone who is not trusting in the finished work of Christ alone for salvation is not saved.

    There are exceptions(such as Edward Fudge) but basic Church of Christ doctrine requires no operation of the Holy Spirit before one is baptized. It is up to man using what he has naturally to believe, repent, confess Christ, and be baptized, and then to live morally. They deny it but the Church of Christ really teaches the same doctrine on baptism as the Roman Catholic Church - baptismal regeneration.

    By the way, I can't become something other than a Calvinist because to do so would mean, to me, that I was no longer trusting only in Christ's finished work on my behalf. I would have to switch my trust to something else.

    One redeemed by Christ's blood,

    Ken
    Were it not for grace...
     
  20. ScottEmerson

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    Because people here are insisting things that are completely false about open theism. It's like if I never read anything about Calvinism, but said that Calvinists said that God doesn't exist.

    Have you ever tried denouncing Islam to a Muslim? It SURE helps if you've a working knowledge of the Koran. If I read nothing about Muslims, I could say that every single one of them is a bloodthirsty savage who eats their children.

    Such as?

    Not all. It is profitable to know where it is they're coming from and what specifically you disagree with theologically.

    And where have you seen it? HAve you met open theists? Have you read any of the historical evidence they provide about the theology of open theism in the early church? What have you seen that is "enough."

    So you don't think the Spirit of God would give you discernment in such matters? Why do you specifically think it is a heresy? Is it because of the reasons that have been mentioned?

    Let me say it again very specifically: The contentions that have been brought against open theism are nothing more than a straw man argument - what has been said as to what they believe is completely and utterly false, and anyone who has read a chapter in any one of a number of books about open theism would be able to recognize such things. It is EXACTLY the same thing if I said that Calvinism maintains that God eats popsicles and does hopscotch up in heaven and that the angels really run the show. As ridiculous as that sounds for Calvinism, that's how ridiculous the previous characterizations of open theism sound to open theists.
     

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