Does God Change His Mind? Another Calvinist Conundrum

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by DrJamesAch, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. DrJamesAch

    DrJamesAch
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    I'll make this short and sweet. The Calvinists contend that God does not ever "change His mind" so to speak, regardless of all the OT passages that show that He does. But here's a conundrum for the Calvinist.

    The Calvinists and the Confession teach that God determines all things whatsoever come to pass. When confronted with the fact that their theology results in a position that says God doesn't love everybody, the Calvinist resorts to Matthew 5:45, that God sends rain on the just and the unjust, and THAT proves that God shows His love for the lost/unsaved.

    However, there's a problem here. If God NEVER changes His mind, THEN HOW CAN HE LOVE THE SINNER ONE MOMENT BUT HATE HIM THE NEXT??

    Any honest Calvinist (like Arthur Pink) will simply admit that God does not love the sinner. God only loves the elect. Yet in attempting to explain this apparent cruelty to an unbeliever, they will give the above example of the rain on the just and unjust as evidence that there is at least one point where God shows His love for them.

    But, IF GOD NEVER CHANGES HIS MIND, THEN HIS HATRED FOR THE SINNER WOULD BE CONSTANT AND CONSISTENT.

    So the Calvinists can either admit that there are times when God changes something according to plan that He previously said otherwise (as in 1 Samuel 23:11-14) or the Calvinists should just all be honest and tell sinners that God doesn't love them. But of course, if they did that, they would lose membership and followers, so a Calvinist MUST maintain a dishonest presentation of the gospel in order to maintain credibility.
     
  2. convicted1

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    Is God immutable or not?
     
  3. DrJamesAch

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    Immutability means that God's NATURE does not change, that does not mean that perspectives do not change. I Samuel 23:11-14 CLEARLY shows a time when God stated an event would occur, and it DID NOT OCCUR because David altered the course of events by doing something different.

    I Samuel 23:

    11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O Lord God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the Lord said, He will come down.

    12 Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the Lord said, They will deliver thee up.

    13 Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.

    David asked if Saul would come down. God said HE WILL come down. In verse 13, Saul FORBARE-SAUL DID NOT COME DOWN.

    And you have still not answered the issue in the OP. Don't let the Calvinists get you into the habit of avoiding a premise by answering a question with a question and then avoiding the OP altogether.
     
  4. agedman

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    James,

    You are attempting to build a cause without a secure foundation.

    Perhaps in your struggle to secure some Scriptural proof for your OP, you will grasp at any bridge even those made of ashes and expect to cross the gap safely.



    The 1 Samuel 23 conundrum is made of ashes of your own imagination.

    Folks,

    Here is the passage in total in question:
    6 Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. 7 When it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars.” 8 So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. 9 Now David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10



    It was no state secret that David's life was in danger.


    Read on to see that David then consults what God knows about the situation. This is information sharing and not decree making. Some might just get confused about the two not being the same.


    Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.”



    Now if we stopped the reading here, then perhaps James might have a case. However, that just isn't what happened.


    Being WARNED of God is not stating that God DECREED the murder of David and then changed His mind.


    Rather, just as Joseph was WARNED IN A DREAM to take his wife and Jesus and flee Israel, so David was warned, too.


    Certainly, God didn't warn David in a dream. Unlike Joseph who didn't know the problem was coming, David didn't wait to sleep on the problem, He knew the problem, of Saul's desire to see David dead,existed already. He needed to know the plans Saul had made - and God knowing all told David.



    Read on:




    13 Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the pursuit. 14 David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.


    Note: See "When it was told Saul that David had escaped from keilah, he gave up the pursuit."

    God didn't change His mind - Saul did - at least temporarily.

    See, the last sentence, "And, Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand."

    God never intended to deliver David.

    God did not change His mind.
     
    #4 agedman, Jul 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2013
  5. convicted1

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    This thread will eventually impugn God's exhaustive foreknowledge and dwindle it down to "aha" moments in which God didn't really know what was going to happen beforehand. Just wait and see. God knows all and sees all.
     
  6. DrJamesAch

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    You are making an argument against a premise that isn't proposed here. That is an argument against Open Theism. I do not propose Open Theism. God knows the future, and He knows ALL of it, but God does not HAVE to determine future events merely because He can see ahead of time what is going to happen. God has the ability to choose to intervene, or to not choose to intervene, and you are telling God that He has no choice in whether He wants to intervene or not so who's really impugning God's sovereignty?
     
  7. DrJamesAch

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    NONE of the context changes what God said in CLEAR and UNAMBIGUOUS terms.

    God said HE WILL COME DOWN. This was not a reference to killing David it was a reference to Saul....coming down to find David. Saul DID NOT COME DOWN.

    You are failing to see the verse as written. It doesn't matter that Saul changed HIS mind, God said He would come down PERIOD, and whether it was Saul that changed his mind, or David, the passage makes it clear that just because a Calvinist reads a verse that says God determines all things, and man can not change his destiny, here's a passage that CLEARLY proves otherwise. Man can AS YOU JUST ADMITTED change his mind about his sin, and therefore change his destiny as David did here.
     
    #7 DrJamesAch, Jul 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2013
  8. convicted1

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    So, is He caught offguard by man's actions at times?
     
  9. Benjamin

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    And I will predict by the time you finish coming out of the Calvinist' closet you've been hiding in and begin to fully ride on their reasoning on EF, which in effect limits God's ability to not have meaningful interact with His creatures then you will be logically stuck with Hard Determinism, which unavoidably dwindles down to theological fatalism...but, hey, that's your free choice to make. ;)
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    Let's look at Exodus 32:14
    KJV
    NIV
    NASB
    ESV
    Here is what A. W. Pink said about this passage:

    We must also measure any passage which suggests that God changes his mind against clear Scripture which says that He does not:
    Numbers 23:19:
    Thomas Paul Simmons wrote in A Systematic Study of Bible Doctrine (1935)
     
    #10 Tom Butler, Jul 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2013
  11. DrJamesAch

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    Another question with a question.

    WHAT DID THE BIBLE SAY!
     
  12. convicted1

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    If so, then there goes His omniscience.


    Keep it up. Soon, you'll have Him wearing bluejeans, driving a 1985 Ford F-150 with a coondog in the bed of it. You're slowing stripping Him of His attributes.
     
  13. convicted1

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    Now, answer my question; does God get caught offguard at times?
     
  14. DrJamesAch

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    No, God never gets caught offguard, and I never said He did, nor implied it, and there's no way you can arrange my statements to produce that conclusion.

    Do you agree with the Calvinist usage of God sending rain on the just and the unjust to prove He loves everybody?
     
  15. DrJamesAch

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    First, the verse quoted early with all the wrong translations of repent, Number 23:19 does not say that God never changes something He said He will do. It is simply that God does do things the way a man does them.

    Jonah 3:

    "8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

    9Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

    10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
     
  16. convicted1

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    Here is the way I try to approach this, and I could be wrong, but I approach it thusly:

    God, being outside time, sees things happen differently than we do. He see things "way down the road", whereas, we see them "at the now". God, knowing what Ninevah would do through His exhaustive foreknowledge, sent Jonah to tell them what they needed to do. He sent Jonah to fulfill that which He knew would happen. Boy, is my head ever spinning right now. Trying to grasp THE Eternal God is mind boggling!!

    BTW, I pray that I haven't offended you. I have been kinda snippy, and I am soooooo sorry for that. Please forgive me, and never take anything I post personally. :praying: :praying: :praying: :praying:
     
  17. Benjamin

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    No, there goes "your" definition of what God's knowledge must be limited to as you tag it with manmade terms of "EF" which will lead to disregarding many clear truths in the Bible and make it necessary for you to begin on the task of force fitting in all things to be predetermined.

    IOWs you have put man's limitations on God by containing it in "your" definition of EF and put it onto His knowledge. Thereby, you might want to take a second look at who it is that is really the one dressing God up as a human with such limitations.

    With "your" necessary view on EF you will unavoidably be stripping God of attributes such as truth in judgment, will be attributing evil to Him, and making His Loving promise made in creation to all men into merely be a plan of love for a luckily pre-selected few...but whose counting.
     
  18. Iconoclast

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    He is.....

    correct....they are descibing another kind of god who needs to learn and change.....

    carnal philosophy on the way.....
     
  19. Fred's Wife

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    Not to be ignorant, but what is "EF"?
     
  20. Benjamin

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    "Exhaustive Foreknowledge"

    Classical (closed) theism would suggest that if God foreknows all things (EF) then He must of had to pre-determine all things before creation...

    Personally consider such a very shallow definition of God's knowedge.
     

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