God knows us before We are Born Therefore He Predestines By that Forknowledge: Part Deux

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by SovereignGrace, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. SovereignGrace

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    Since the other got closed, I'd like to carry on if it's okay with Squire...
     
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  2. SovereignGrace

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    This was the last post prior to Squire closing the thread, so hopefully mwc will respond to it...

    mwc, what you are advocating is teetering on open theism. Why do I say this? You are saying God looked to see who had faith and who would accept, and predestined them accordingly. That appears to show gaining knowledge of something He did not have at first.

    God knew each and every one who would accept Him via faith because He chose them before the creation of the world.[Eph. 1:4]
     
  3. JonC

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    SG, just looking at the quote I can see how you could classify it as Arminianism, but I disagree that it even approaches Open Theism. Here is why:

    The Arminian position is that “there are things that actually can go either of two ways, and yet God knows which way they will go. He knows all future events perfectly. This means that they are certain, else He would not what will be. Furthermore, it means that all future events are in accord with His overall plan and purpose: nothing ever happens in His universe that is outside his knowledge or control or that thwarts His ultimate plan.” (Robert Picirilli, Grace Faith Free Will).

    The Open theist position, however, holds that the “future is not fixed like the past, which can be known completely. The future does not yet exist and therefore cannot be infallibly anticipated, even by God. Future decisions cannot in every way be foreknown, because they have not yet been made. God knows everything that can be known – but God’s foreknowledge does not include the undecided.” (Clark Pinnock, The Openness of God).

    Years ago I read an article in The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society titled “The Mode of Divine Knowledge in Reformation Arminianism and Open Theism.” Its author, Steven Studebaker, concluded that the mode of divine knowledge in both of these theological views were identical (the representatives for Arminianism being Picirilli and Pinnock for Open Theism). The disagreement between the two stemmed “from an epistemological disagreement over whether future libertarian choices are proper objects of knowledge: hence, it is not at the root a theological disagreement.” Therefore, Studebaker concludes, Open theism is of Arminian tradition.

    I stand now where I stood then on this article. Studebaker made an error in concluding that this epistemological disagreement when pertaining to divine knowledge was not at root a theological disagreement. There are things in common, but there are stark differences that would divorce Open Theism from Arminianism. In other words, while it may be of Arminian trajectory it is no more so than Arminianism is of Calvinistic trajectory.

    Unless I misunderstand (and I did not go back and read all the posts on part I, I'm just looking at your quote here) I believe that the absence of dynamic omniscience in the quote alone is enough to conclude that mwc is not teetering on Open Theism.


    Here are a few resources I used to understand the positions:

    The Openness of God, Pinnock & Others.
    Grace, Faith, Free Will, Robert E. Picirilli
    The God Who Risks: A Theology of Divine Providence, John Sanders

    And here is Studebaker's article:

    http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/47/47-3/47-3-pp469-480_JETS.pdf
     
    #3 JonC, Jan 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  4. Jerome

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    C1? Who's that? All I see are two posts by 'SovereignGrace'.
     
  5. JonC

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    Agggggg....habit. I was looking at Patrick and forgot he retired C1. I fixed it.....C who?
     
    #5 JonC, Jan 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  6. revmwc

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    Theopedia:Open theism, also called free will theism and openness theology, is the belief that God does not exercise meticulous control of the universe but leaves it "open" for humans to make significant choices (free will) that impact their relationships with God and others. A corollary of this is that God has not predetermined the future. Open Theists further believe that this would imply that God does not know the future exhaustively. Proponents affirm that God is omniscient, but deny that this means that God knows everything that will happen.

    No way I am close to this teaching, First God is in control of the universe, satan operates and is allowed to work by God's permission, God has given man volition the ability to believe or not believe in the Lord Jesus for salvation, however secondly I believe that the future is predetermined we see that in Revelation, God has a plan and purpose for mankind which will culminate at the Great White Throne for the unbeliever. God knows the future exhaustively, open thiest believe He doesn't, since God knows the future exhaustively then HE does know everything that will happen. I believe what I have been saying is very much opposite of what open theist believe.
     
  7. revmwc

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    To brother Joseph,
    #129
    Let's look at Galatians 5:22 it states that the fruit (singular) is "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," So all this would be one fruit and if received as regenerateion occurs then not one person has to follow John 3:16-18, no one needs to believe they already have the fruit of the Spirit and thus the Spirit indwelling them. The fruit comes at the point of salvation. Now what of the gift of Faith is in the since here as confidence in God, Faith in the promises He has given us, the trust wep lace in him fullfilling those promises. H.A.Ironside stated:"Faith, in the sense of confidence in God." Calvin says:" Faith means truth, and is contrasted with cunning, deceit, and falsehood," Now Gill states this:"faith; for though fidelity, both in words and actions, which is very ornamental to the Gospel, and a profession of religion may be meant; yet faith in Christ is not to be excluded, as it is generally by interpreters; for this is not of a man's self, nor have all men it: it is a gift of God, the operation of his power, and the work of his Spirit, whence he is styled the spirit of faith; and which therefore must have a place among his fruits; and which lies and shows itself in believing in Christ for salvation, in embracing the doctrines of the Gospel, and making a profession of them, which is called the profession of faith; all which, when right, comes from the Spirit of God." Matthew Henry states "-faith, fidelity, justice, and honesty, in what we profess and promise to others,". Only gill sees it as the Holy Spirit giving Faith for salvation, the others see it as trusting in God's promises, truth, fidelity, justice and honesty. Therefore ALL of these atributes are part of the Gift given as fruit of our spiritual life.
     
  8. SovereignGrace

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    What I said was your ideology was teetering on open theism...not open theism itself. You say that God saw who would have faith and would therefore accept His calling. That is stating God learned who would and who would not accept Him. That is saying God has learned. God needs to learn nothing, mon ami. He is all-knowing.
     
  9. revmwc

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    Brother Joseph #130
    "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (Romans 5:1) Agreed we have peace with God when we place our Faith and Trust in him, never said we didn't. We are justified, not guilty in god's eye's and it comes by Faith this is Faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

    "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (Romans 5:1) Again we are justified by His shed Blood in the finished work of th Cross.

    "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." Notice something veery important in this verse we were enemies, just like all mankind is the enemy of God, we were reconciled, how were we reconciled by Faith of course, Reconciliation comes by the blood Christ as payment for mankinds sin.

    My belief in the Lord knowing the exact time we would be saved doesn't interfere with any of this teaching. I just see Him knowing who would and who would not believe and based upon that He Predestinated us, Romans 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    What does this say? Those God knew beforehand, and as we established God knew everything beforehand about everyone, based upon that God " predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son."
    Verse 30, And Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. He called based upon His predestination, and He justified us by the work of Christ and He glorified us based upon what HE knew beforehand

    Ephesians 1:
    4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    He chose those whom He foreknew as we see in Romans 8 states.
    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:
    God's will is accomplished in all who Call upon the name of the Lord believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

    Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

    We receive the indwelling Spirit when we believe not before, so the fruit of the Spirt comes with the promise of the Spirit. Regeneration is briniging to life the Spirit which is lying dormant (dead) that is sepeerated from the things of God as we see in "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned". (1 Corinthians 2:14). Not one person can know the things of the Spirit until they have received the Promise of the Spirit and that comes through Faith. Christ was the author that is He made the plan for mans salvation and the finisher, He finished the plan upon a cross.
     
  10. revmwc

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    That is my point since God is all knowing He has known our choices since eternity past.
     
  11. SovereignGrace

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    You are partially correct and partially false, monsieur. Yes God knows those who would and would not have faith...who would and would not believe...who would and would not be drawn to Him. However, the reason why God knows all this is because He was the One who chose those who would come from before the creation of the world.. It says He chose us before the creation of the world. He did not choose us based upon us being the ones who would come. He based it upon His own will and purpose. It was He who chose us and by Him choosing us, at just the right time, He would quicken us, regenerate us, give us the gift of faith and repentance and we would respond accordingly.

    The only reason why we have faith is because it was granted unto us by God Himself, and was not inherent, innate within us. That is why we exercise faith. It was bestowed unto us by Him.
     
  12. Internet Theologian

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    Respectfully, you are simply repeating your mantra and spinning your wheels.

    We all agree God knows all things. Stating this over and over does not equate to your doctrine which precedes this fact.

    There is nothing in Scripture however that states He elects according to our performance, yet this is what you are teaching - a works/performance based salvation.

    There are some reasons as to why this inaccurate theology is taught:

    1. Since it is God who ultimately elects all who are His then there is 'a problem at HQ' for those who do not like it because they see it as unfair. Man has to have a say in it to make it all fair.

    2. In other words God being God, Sovereign in creation, heaven and earth is all fine and dandy until He is shown as Sovereign in election by doing so only according to His own purpose and not according to anything in man.

    3. God justly damning the non-elect is repulsive. This attitude shows a lack of appreciation of the holiness of God and mans condition of being wicked outside of Christ. Man then makes himself 'un-wicked' if he makes the right choice then he is rewarded heaven.

    4. The objective achieved: Now God looks just and fair and fits neatly into ones little box of presuppositions and expectations formed by a non theological framework, which has been replaced by sentiments and myths.

    There are many more reasons as to why this false doctrine is propagated and are as vast in number as to what man thinks about it in his heart. All such thinking remains outside of true, solid, sound doctrine.
     
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  13. JonC

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    All respect brother, but his position looks squarely like the Arminian view here (not that he is necessarily holds to Arminianism). I do not understand your reasoning (it would be like me looking at Calvinism as teetering on classic Arminianism because they are only a few points away).

    Open Theism defines God's omniscience as dynamic. This affects many aspects of Open Theology that would separate it from the view presented here. It is truthfully far from "teetering" on Open Theism, even if this one thing formed the difference. That is why many Open Theists reject the notion that they are of Arminian trajectory (and our brother's comments here are identical to Reformation Arminanism). You are wrong, here, brother to place his view so close to that heresy as by placing simple foreknowledge in eternity past and explaining this is a complete knowledge he has denied dynamic omniscience and therefore open theism.
     
    #13 JonC, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  14. revmwc

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    Let's look:
    1. Since it is God who ultimately elects all who are His then there is 'a problem at HQ' for those who do not like it because they see it as unfair. Man has to have a say in it to make it all fair.

    God doesn't have to be fair but God is a just God, and He makes the decision based upon His knowledge beforehand. Why because of His Justice.

    2. In other words God being God, Sovereign in creation, heaven and earth is all fine and dandy until He is shown as Sovereign in election by doing so only according to His own purpose and not according to anything in man.

    God is Sovereign no one is questioning that. His choosing based upon His knowledge beforehand doesn't change that, in fact it proves He is Sovereign in all that He does.

    3. God justly damning the non-elect is repulsive. This attitude shows a lack of appreciation of the holiness of God and mans condition of being wicked outside of Christ. Man then makes himself 'un-wicked' if he makes the right choice then he is rewarded heaven.

    God is just in condemning those who believe not Jesus they were condemned already , because of unbelief. Christ said those who Believe are not condemned, salvation is based upon them making a choice to believe.

    4. The objective achieved: Now God looks just and fair and fits neatly into ones little box of presuppositions and expectations formed by a non theological framework, which has been replaced by sentiments and myths.

    Scripture shows us God is a God of order, from the very beginning we see order in Genesis 1 with creation, His order was seen in the 6 days of creation.

    Hebrews 1 shows us that order,
    1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
    2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
    3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

    He spoke first to man by the prophets in divers manner, now He deals with mankind by the Holy Spirit. We see too God's order according to Solomon, Ecclesiastes 3
    1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    Everything has a time and purpose with God,

    2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
    7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

    Everything is done by God's purpose and Order why because He is Sovereign in all things. His Sovereignty is seen in His knowledge beforehand that is His knowledge in eternity past of those who would be His. Based the Election of those who would be His upon His order, Those who would believe He Predestinated to be conformed to image of His Dear son and to adoption by Christ. He even in His Sovereignty and knowledge before hand knew the exact and right time that Jesus would come and die for depraved mankind's salvation.
     
  15. SovereignGrace

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    Adieu Monsieur. I am bowing out of this conversation....

    ETA: I do reserve the right to jump back into the fray...
     
    #15 SovereignGrace, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
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  16. Internet Theologian

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    The thing is God knew all things prior to any type of creation of mankind, therefore it is teetering upon open theism, to that I agree. Probably some need to see the person say 'I am an open theist' verbatim or the person won't see it otherwise when it is in plain view. Other doctrines apply as well, such as repentance being from sin, Christ being punished and experiencing the wrath of God (PSA) among other plain Scriptural doctrines.
     
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  17. JonC

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    I disagree with your conclusions here, brother, as I read "foreknowledge" to be more than "pre-knowledge," but I have been following your explanations and have an observation and a couple of questions, if you don't mind clarifying for me.

    What you have stated here does not equate to dynamic omniscience (the open theistic view). From what I read here, your explanation would fit squarely within a Reformation Arminianian view, i.e., that simple foreknowledge which led Arminius to write that "God can previously love and affectionately regard as His own no sinner unless He has foreknown him in Christ, and looked upon him as a believer in Christ" (Arminius, The Works of James Arminius, pg. 314 ).

    First, is that your position (Arminianism)? And second, what do you see as the primary reason for taking your position over the other being debated (is it, as Arminius encountered, the "problem of evil", or is it what you would consider a "natural reading" of Scripture, or something else altogether)?
     
    #17 JonC, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  18. revmwc

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    No I am not Arminian, as I believe mankind is totally depraved, while I hold to unlimited atonement and I hold to the believers eternal security. I further hold that God's drawing can be resisted by the unregenerate soul
     
  19. JonC

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    Thank you for your reply. I did not want to put you in a "camp" if it did not apply (no real need to anyway, but sometimes it is useful to determine where we stand in terms of these theologies on issues such as this).

    To be fair, however, Arminianism is not determined on those two issues as the theology itself affirms total depravity and does not reject eternal security.

    "That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do anything that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is): but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclinations, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightful understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good." (Article 3)

    And of course Article 5 left the issue of eternal security open as they were divided over the issue.

    Thus far, it appears that you can agree with three of the articles (Art. 2 - unlimited atonement, Art 3 - total depravity, and Art. 5 of course being non-conclusive but not excluding eternal security).

    Article 1 is conditional election, that "God, by an eternal, unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of the fallen , sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ's sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his Son Jesus,..."

    Article 4 re-emphasizes man's total and complete depravity and inability to seek God without God's grace. But it insists that man can resist this grace, that "the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible , inasmuch as it is written concerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Ghost."

    Again, I am not trying to put you into a camp, but I am wondering where you depart from classic Arminian thought. That your position is far from Open Theism is obvious, but exactly how is it different from Arminianism?
     
    #19 JonC, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  20. Internet Theologian

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    Right I don't see you as Arminian either. Semi-Pelagian is more fitting.
     
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