If God is NEVER informed by man, then please explain this...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Many Calvinists here insist that God could not be informed by man. For example, God can't merely foreknow something that someone chooses because then God would be informed by man making God's knowledge contingent upon man.

    Also, God's thoughts must be completely foreknown thus they cannot have an origin. In light of this, Calvinists have argued that his thoughts are eternally existent and do not have a beginning/origin.

    This poses the problem with the origin of evil. If Gods thoughts are eternally existent and men cannot inform God of anything, then the when Jeffery Dahmer first intended to rape, kill and eat a child it must have been a thought that eternally existed in the mind of God. How does one avoid the accusation of God being sin's author in light of these conclusions?
     
  2. The Archangel

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    Engaging, yet again, in the search for the Quixotic "square circle."

    We have explained this to you (and others) over and over again.

    We affirm that man does, indeed, have free will and that God is, indeed, sovereign. We affirm these two facts because the Bible presents them both.

    We say this: God ordains the free actions of men to suit His purposes and display His glory.

    So, did God cause Dahmer's actions? Strictly speaking, no. Did He ordain them? Sure. The difference? God stands behind that which He causes; in that which He ordains He stands aside.

    Remember, it is reported that, shortly before his death, Dahmer became a believer. Is it possible that God ordained (stood to the side of) Dahmer's grotesquely sinful actions so that even the worst sinner could say "If God could save and forgive Dahmer, He can save and forgive me?" Absolutely. Now, I'm not saying that God, in fact, ordained his sin for that reason.

    The goads that you are kicking against, it would seem, are the ones which insist an "either/or" approach. The Bible never presents an either/or approach. The Bible always presents the sovereignty of God superintending all actions--even free and sinful actions of man--to suit His purposes and display His glory. In fact, that is the entire point of the account of Joseph's life in Genesis 39-50.

    The Archangel
     
  3. th1bill

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    There are men and possibly women on this site that can attest to the truth that I am neither Calvinist nor Armenian but I will tell you that the Holy Spirit did not reveal this absurd lie to you! Nor did you glean this bit of absurdity from the reading and study of scripture. This, in fact, so of Satan that I am amazed that it is allowed to stand on a Christian web-site.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Actually it is a carryover from an unanswered thread and I would challenge you to find any post where this specific issue regarding God's eternal thoughts, man's informing of God and the origin of evil have been addressed.

    Yes, and we've argued that speaking of a will being free because one acts according to his desires is meaningless in a system where the very desires are likewise determined by God in such a manner that they couldn't have been otherwise.

    And if I'm not mistaken you believe in God's permissive decree, in that God ordains sin by allowing a man to do it, and not hindering his choice. But if that is the case then you have God merely foreknowing man's choice to sin and thus man informing God, which typically Calvinists don't allow. Do you?

    So, he was informed by Dahmer's evil intent? Either the evil intent was created by Dahmer and God was made aware of it through divine foreknowledge, OR do you believe this thought eternally existed in the mind of God and thus had no "origin?"

    I would be fine with that answer if Calvinists didn't choose either over the or, but just read a few of these posts to see that most (if not all the Calvinists) seem argue that God cannot be informed by man (i.e. no such thing as foreknowing or permissive decrees).
     
  5. Skandelon

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    You do realize that I don't hold to the view of the OP, but that I'm presenting it as the conclusion of those who believe (1) God's thoughts have no origin,(2) God cannot be informed by men through foreknowledge and (3) that moral evil exists??? I thought that was clear.
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

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    Personally I think you have an unhealthy obsession with the subject and it has sidetracked and distracted your simple devotion to Jesus.



    :type:
     
  7. Skandelon

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    Says the guy with a 1000 more posts than me on the subject. Specs and logs in the eye come to mind... :laugh:
     
  8. ReformedBaptist

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    There was a time when I was preoccupied with it. Not any more. But I am getting sick of coming to a dicussion board that I like, namely the BB, and time and time and time again, someone is raising some other silly half-cocked thread against Calvinism.

    As if they spend all their time just trying to refute Calvinism...wait..you have an entire blog DEDICATED to trying to refute Calvinism.

    Get out some my friend, the sun is shining.

    Now, leave my thread alone regarding the parable of the unjust steward. If you go over there and start some debate related to Calvinism, I am gonna tell on you to Jesus. :tongue3:
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Sorry to hear you were so preoccupied, but its good that you are all better now. I get on the board every few days and enjoy engaging in debate on this subject of salvation...probably no more important subject in the world. And the points I bring to the forefront are typically ones being discussed in scholarly circles, journals and historical discussions so I know the "half-cocked" accusation is just a reflection of your own lack of scholarship on this subject.

    I have a full time ministry, I preach regularly at various churches, I have wife and four children, I'm completing my doctoral studies and I haven't made an entry on that blog in months. I spend relatively little of my day on this forum, but continue to make false accusations about me so you don't actually have to deal with the "half-cocked" subjects of the threads (which you could have merely skipped if indeed they sicken you so greatly).

    I'm currently sitting on my boat fishing...but since you know me so well you probably already knew that.

    I'll consider that an invitation. :)
     
  10. The Archangel

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    I have neither the time nor desire to find posts. If you want something addressed, state it plainly here or, at the very least, post a link.

    Your implication is that God gives the evil their desires. We certainly do not say so. Did God cause Cain to kill Abel? No. Did Cain act on his own fallen desire? Yes.

    Was the die cast? In one way yes, in one way no. Could Cain have done otherwise? I think so. But this in no way reflects on God's decrees--mostly because God does not give us access to the goings on behind Cain's killing of Abel as far as His decrees go.

    He does, however, give that access to the life of Joseph--saying that his brothers did sin against him but that He (God) superintended that free and sinful action for good.

    Though I don't fit the mold completely, I am an infralapsarian. And God does not merely know man's choices. In some way (a mysterious way) He has ordered all things. Like the writer of a movie script, He has determined the lines, the story-arc, etc. The Director, the Actors, etc. are free to play the assigned role according to their desires. But, their performance in no way changes the story or outcome of the movie.

    For example: Tom Selleck was the original choice to play Indian Jones. Had Selleck played that role, rather than Harrison Ford, the movie would have been vastly different, but it would have told the same story. In other words, Selleck's "Indiana Jones" would not have found the Titanic rather than the lost Ark.

    Speaking of Titanic, had an actor other than DiCaprio played "Jack," it would not have affected the ultimate sinking of the ship. Had Harry Dean Anderson (MacGyver) played "Jack" he wouldn't have been able to plug the hole in the ship with some chewing gum and avert the disaster. Why? Because the author of the movie had "decreed" the ultimate story and that story ends with the sinking of the ship and the death of "Jack."

    You, again, imply disparity where none exists. You have left no room for "sin" in the equation. Dahmer, like us all, has been radically and devastatingly affected by sin. So, the "evil" that you want to find the singularity to does not come from God or (primarily) from man. It is the result of Man's sinful rebellion in the Garden and that rebellion has affected all mankind and has warped us into doing sinful things--some more sinful than others.

    You seem to want to assign personality to Evil. Evil (or sin) is the opposite or antithesis of God and His will. So, when God is disobeyed--like Adam and Eve did in the Garden--evil (or sin) comes into the world. I'm afraid you'd have us believe in the little red devil and the little angle on our shoulders--vying for our loyalty.

    Evil is not personal; evil (or, again, sin) is doing the opposite of God's will or being something in rebellion against God--something we are by our very nature.

    It depends, I think, what you mean by "permissive decrees." From my reading of your posts, you want to make it that everything is covered by this elusive "permissive decree" and that God is reacting to all that is going on.

    The Archangel
     
    #10 The Archangel, Apr 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2011
  11. freeatlast

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    Wow Bill you are getting tough in your old age. :laugh:
     
  12. freeatlast

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    Just a suggestion on this area about God. I would suggest that you just let it alone as no one is going to be able to give anything except their opinion including you. God is so far above our comprehension that even if He explained Himself in full to us we still could not accept it. Our ways are not His ways.
     
  13. Aaron

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    Just what I was going to say.

    The OP is just another unlearned question posed as insightful and probing.



    What will you teach an eternal God? For the uncounted eons of eternity PRIOR to Creation (as if we could use temporal terms when discussing eternity) what was it that God hadn't known?

    But here we go again with the rape of child scenario. For women and children, there can be no worse evil, but for the theologian who knows and loves God, the murder of God's Son is the pinnacle thereof. And God knew that His Son would be murdered. Not only did He know, but He ordained it before the foundation of the earth. And more, the earth was created to bring forth that act.

    God also knew of Dahmer's acts before the foundation of the world. Not only did He know of them, He Who spared not His own Son ordained them.

    You have a very small view of God. Only in your teensy weensy little view of God, Dahmer's actions pose some problem. So to cope, you have to change God's glory into an image like to corruptible man. You have to recreate Him into something like yourself who cannot know of some things until they happen or He is told.
     
  14. Cypress

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    Skandelon, it would seem that the problem of evil is not considered a problem by those that have responded.......which makes me wonder why some react against you so strongly. The logic is sound and has not been refuted yet, I agree that we cannot completly understand God as all do, but that does not negate the logical conclusion in the op.
     
  15. Cypress

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  16. webdog

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    You mention something regarding unlearned...then talk about the many eons before the creation of time. If at any time airhead would fit...
     
  17. David Lamb

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    I don't know how many individual posts you have on the subject, but I notice you seem to have started over 20 threads against Calvinism since the beginning of 2011. :)
     
    #17 David Lamb, Apr 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2011
  18. David Lamb

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    Sorry - just missed the deadline for editing my post 17.

    I just wanted to add:

    So at least some of the plethora of posts on the subject were probably in answer to your OPs.
     
  19. Aaron

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    :laugh: With my words heading your post, you still misquote me and miss my qualifier!:laugh:

    You never disappoint!
     
  20. Benjamin

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    The Determinist doesn't; they typically just try to have it both ways:

    To the non-Determinist believer the question of the problem of evil (P.O.E.) vitally rests on that the character of God, which is only Good (Omnibenevolent), and this maintains that He is Love and this love must be understood in absolute truth because He is also Truth in Love.

    Concerning the P.O.E. both sides resolve that there is some mystery concerning Divine Foreknowledge and/or responsibility for evil. Although, some seem to totally miss the importance of the question concerning evil.

    I conclude that Devine Exhaustive Foreknowledge (DEF) must be somewhat a mystery to the non-Determinist as we cannot fully understand how God’s Foreknowledge can both know the things which will happen and that He asserts His Will in all things while in love He righteously and truly judges each and every creature born of Adam according to what they have done. Of course while maintaining a view of His love I see He truly provides grace for whosoever will believe in the Son in truth because He is Just. Therefore Omnibenevolence remains.

    To the Calvinist is seems they foremost hold on to a doctrinal standard of DEF as described by Classical/boxed Theism that can only logically conclude that God’s foreknowledge can only result in Him fore Determining all events. Of course, that view leads to fatalism within the question of the P.O.E. because it voids creaturely responsibilities and can only conclude that God is responsible for both good and evil; at best they can only conclude that God being responsible for evil is a mystery. Therefore Omnipotence remains.

    The non-determinist side will insist that in conjunction with DF foremost one’s view must coincide with that God is always Omnibenevolent or He is not always Love and righteous in judgment and this must be maintained as a doctrinal Truth. Responsibility/cause of evil rests on God given creaturely volition only; therefore… (DF remains a mystery only in fully understanding DF, but responsibility for evil is not a mystery; the truth that God is Omnibenevolent is upheld.)

    The determinist side will insists that concerning DF foremost one’s view must coincide with that God is always Omnipotent and there is no other way for Him to be sovereign or He is not all powerful to make judgment any way it pleases Him and this must be maintained as a doctrinal truth. Responsibility/cause of evil rests on God’s ability to do as He pleases when He created and predestined His creatures only; therefore… (DEF is not a mystery but responsibility for evil remains a complete mystery; but supposedly the more vital truth that God is Omnipotent is upheld.) No logical explanation for the cause of evil is ever presented!

    The question that the P.O.E. asks is of whether a deity with the attributes of Omnibenevolence, Omnipotence, and Omniscience and the existence of such a God and of evil is possible (Can God be both: Only Good and evil exist?). The Atheists looks at Omniscience as a form of Determinism and thereby attempt to suggest such is logically incompatible, therefore conclude God is evil or does not exist. As a non-determinist theist I suggest all these Divine attributes are true and compatible with the existence of God and explain that within Divine Omniscience God designed the world with creaturely volition and therefore God’s creatures are the sole cause of evil. The Determinist theist…well their logic seems to agree with the Atheist who attributes the cause of evil to God; thereby logically reach theological fatalism.

    Of course, many are not true Determinists at heart because they try to have it both ways, (God is the cause and is not the cause of evil) as if something (cause) can logically be both: true and not true. Again, so sorry, but they have reached theological fatalism either way unless they give up on “determinism”. I’ve heard it said that many Calvinists are truly Arminians at heart when it comes to the question of Determinism or Compatibilism.
     
    #20 Benjamin, Apr 2, 2011
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