Knowledge/foreknowledge explained within a Trinitarian Persona?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Benjamin, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    It is usually agreed upon that we can not grasp God’s abilities of knowledge within our finite understandings. My question is can we relate to His knowledge in a Trinitarian type methodology? A couple of points:
    • Regarding the controversial subject of “kenosis” we see a type separation of knowledge that we hear from Jesus’ Own words:
    (Mar 13:32) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
    • Regarding Jesus Christ’s Omnipotent abilities He said He could do nothing of Himself , but what he sees the Father do, and we know the third Person (HS) is the mediator and the Son had the Spirit without measure. (John 3:34)
    (Joh 5:19) Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

    The Father sent the Son to do His will within time, and as I think most can agree that God relates to us within time, and that we exist within time as part of His creation. I ponder the purpose of TIME especially in connection to life “In Christ” life being through the mediator “Holy Spirit” and the HS as a necessary connection by Divine design to bridge TIME in which I would lean to presume that the Son at least existed within the limitations of time while the Father always remains Omnitemporal (and state to relinquish controversial debate that of course to in the form of the Trinity the Son is also Omnitemporal).

    This is getting hard to articulate but I’m trying to see if there is light to that the Son, not being created, always existing, having the Spirit without measure, did exist within God’s creation which includes TIME, in conjunction with being our Savior, with and for a purpose, as possibly a “Devine bridge” to the Father who in truth, is not, can not, be limited in knowledge by TIME and that Christ also serves as a “Divine function” to the truths of our nature that Time does exist for us?

    Question: Why couldn’t there be a methodology regarding more than one type of knowledge of God being that He exists in a Trinitarian existence? Can God be sovereign enough to have both types of knowledge, in and out of time, to suit His purposes of creation?
     
    #1 Benjamin, Jan 22, 2007
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  2. Brandon C. Jones

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    I'm not sure if anything meets (or should meet and still be orthodox) all of your desiderata. However, the closest thing I can think of is a social trinitarian model with a modified kenotic Christology (cf. Feenstra). Perhaps you can use this query as an opportunity to become acquainted with some good theology on the subject.

    This link may whet your appetite but the good stuff will cost you some money or at least a trip to the library.

    Here's the link: http://www.tmch.net/christcalcedon.htm
     
  3. Benjamin

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    It seems in the acknowledgement of Trinity some tend to avoid the Devine functions and differing natures of the three Persons in regards to creation pertaining to time and as I am contending the functioning of knowledge.

    Thanks for the link Brandon, (I think I’m staying within orthodoxy, I hope we all are.) I haven’t finished reading it yet, but wanted to further set my premise before getting lost in thought and will use a couple quotes from the link you provided to better explain it.

    Two natures but one divine substance, the nature of Jesus, the Son of God, is that He was fully human and fully divine and this existence within TIME. The nature of God the Father differs.

    I appreciate this view of Kenosis Christology (KC):



    Devine attributes remain unchanging, but creation did not always exist, the second Person of the Trinity added a human nature to the Devine nature, within TIME.





    “Temporarily”… in creation for existence within time in the form of the Son of God to interact with God’s creation up to and until the end of the time as we know it.


    If we can relate to God’s knowledge in a Trinitarian Type of Time Methodology, …yuk, yuk, … (TTTM) …then I would like to bring this thought back into the paradigm presented by Richard (examiningCalvinism) of being “In Christ” while referring to the separation in text presented in the verse 1John 2:24:

    (1Jo 2:24) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

    I would like to put this twist on Richards efforts to get Jauthor007’s ( :smilewinkgrin: ) subjective opinion, apart from his smoke screen of throwing out his entire theis on Calvinism, with the statement put to Calvinist using these words, God has chosen us, not to become in Christ, but rather that God has chosen us in union with Christ, and that it is this union, in which we have become "one spirit" with God (1st Corinthians 6:16-17), in which we have become enjoined to His body, that we were foreknown in Him.”

    My question is does “In Christ, the Son” and “In the Father” necessarily mean the same thing in the (TTTM) thought of the natures of God? Can you prove that ‘In Christ” is not mutually exclusive to being “In the Father” as pertaining to TIME in which the Father has never existed by human form in His nature but the Lord Christ Jesus=God did exist within TIME in the nature of the Son, (two natures but one Devine substance).

    On another note: Is Calvinism rejecting, by this premise, the Trinitarian view of separation of natures by the inclusion of the Father in the predestination of His creatures in the Son, when it comes to His creatures being chosen “IN Christ”?
     
    #3 Benjamin, Jan 22, 2007
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  4. Brandon C. Jones

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    I'm still lost with your TTTM stuff and you'll have to explain it better to me to understand what it's doing for you.

    As to 1 John 2:24, I think any interpretation that doesn't view continuing "in the Son" and "in the Father" as synonymous is presenting something foreign to the thought of John himself and what he meant in this section of his letter.

    Glad I was of some use,
    BJ
     
  5. examiningcalvinism

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    Benjamin

    Benjamin,

    I received your email, and here are some of my thoughts on this, in terms of the union:

    1) God chose us in Christ. When a husband and wife consummate their relationship, their "union," in God's eyes, makes them "one flesh." Similarly, according to 1st Corinthians 6:16-17, when you were "sealed" in Christ (Eph 1:13), you received the pledge of the Holy Spirit, and His indwelling in the temple of your body, making you holy. (1st Corinthians 3:16) God chose us FOR ADOPTION in the Father on the sole basis of our marriage union with His Son as the Bride of Christ in the Body of Christ. In other words, you cannot separate the "us" from the "in Him", or else the condition of the Election of Eph 1:4 is broken.

    2) Before the foundation of the world, only the Son was in the Father. Consider these verses:

    Joh 10:38 - but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father."

    Joh 14:10 - "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

    Joh 14:11 - "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

    When you become a Christian, the Father and Son come to abide in you, and you abide in them:

    John 14:23 - Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

    Rev 3:20 - `Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

    I would say that being in the Son and being in the Father are Mutually Inclusive. When you become sealed in Christ, you become in the Father as a result of Mutual Inclusion. Until you are sealed in Christ, as per Ephesians 1:13, you cannot be in the Father, and you cannot receive that which God the Father has placed in His Son, namely regeneration and the new birth. This is why I find the following statements by Calvinist, John MacArthur, very troubling since it seems to indicate a special access to the Father, aside from the Mediatorship of the blood of Christ:

    Calvinist, John MacArthur, states: “We are chosen unto salvation. We are chosen to belong to Him. When you look at your salvation, then thank God. Thank God! Because you are a Christian because He chose you. I don’t understand the mystery of that. That’s just what the word of God teaches. That is the most humbling doctrine in all of Scripture. I take no credit, not even credit for my faith. It all came from Him. He chose me. He selected people to be made holy in order to be with Him forever. Why he selected me, I will never know. I’m no better than anyone else. I’m worse than many. But He chose me.” (Understanding Election, emphasis mine)

    MacArthur adds: “I’m a Christian today because before the foundation of the world from all eternity past, God chose to set His love on John MacArthur and to give him the faith to believe at the moment that God wanted him to believe.” (Understanding Election, emphasis mine)

    http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Complaints/cc_man.html

    3) There is the question of whether the Son has the same knowledge as the Father. Jesus said:

    Mt 24:36 - "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

    Therefore, knowledge within the Trinitarian relationship between the Father and Son is different. It is my belief that this has to do with the relation to ancient Jewish marriage customs. For more, visit this link: http://fp.thebeers.f9.co.uk/weddings.htm I will quote the relevant portion: The wedding chamber and the Chuppah. Before leaving the young man would announce, " I am going to prepare a place for you ", and "I will return for you when it is ready". The usual practice was for the young man to return to his father's house and build a honeymoon room there. This is what is symbolized by the chuppah or canopy which is characteristic of Jewish weddings. He was not allowed to skimp on the work and had to get his father's approval before he could consider it ready for his bride. If asked the date of his wedding he would have to reply, "Only my father knows."
     
  6. Benjamin

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    I look at being sealed in a Trinitarian God, by a Trinitarian action, into and by a God with a type of Trinitarian knowledge.

    I think there is an order or method to these things in which they are accomplished.

    I don’t think one can be sealed in the Father without first being sealed through relationship within time in the Son, and I think time comes through that part of knowledge that rests in the Son.

    Therefore, I think it is incorrect to take it out of order and think one can be sealed in the Father first. ( I think the Calvinist position must attempt to hold to predestination in the Father and that is out of order.)



    I agree with the difference of knowledge as I believe God relates to us within time by the second Person of the Trinity, the method began at creation, and creation being the beginning cause of time.

    God is Omniscient yet we see indications within the Word that He relented by permissive will during interaction with His creatures acting freely within time. These two different aspects of knowledge would seem to be a logical fallacy without two natures. The method of doing both seems to relate to His Trinitarian nature. As for within time, and the Son’s Devine nature to include the characteristic of being fully human that would have to be intertwined with the existence of time which came about in creation. The Father relates to us within time by knowing us through the Son.

    Two natures, why not two forms of knowledge, the truth of the Fathers nature and the truth of the Son’s natures in unison to achieve His purposes.

    This differs from Open View Theism (OVT) which says that God can not know something that has not happen yet; I think He knows all there is in the form of the Trinity and thereby being both in and out of time.
     
  7. Brandon C. Jones

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    Sorry, but I'm still dense and can't figure out what problem real or imagined this TTTM stuff is apparently solving for you. I'm also not sure why God qua the Trinity cannot relate to His creation in time without positing that time eternally exists in the Son. This move creates quite a few problems for your theology, and you should avoid using it since it doesn't get you anything that you can't get already with a traditional model. The more you try to explain it the less orthodox it gets in my opinion. Open theism looks better to me than this stuff.

    You can speak of some "Calvinist" position of a double election but such a thing is foreign to any Calvinist that I know of. The decrees involve God's plans which are exhaustive and "before" the foundation of the world in most if not all versions of Calvinistic theology. Please don't take the unfounded speculations of others to be accurate portrayals of what a certain position is.

    BJ
     
  8. Benjamin

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    Concerning EF, I think, the Orthodox position on this is that God has exhaustive foreknowledge, which I agree with, but I can’t agree with Calvinist conclusions from that everything has been predetermined before creation, including election, and IMO disregarding the truths in creation which involve time, and basically end up doing a character assassination on the Creator. This gives Calvinism a big problem in my eyes because when you get down to the roots that everything has been predetermined because of EF it has inexorably made God out to be the author of sin, and a Creator of creatures predetermined to have no hope; I feel this is not consistent with the Bible and the nature of God who is Love and in my opinion Omnibenevolent.

    I also do not think Calvinism theology allows for God to interact with His creatures freely within “time” which is part of His creation, and I see the determinist view of compatible cause and effect free will to be a logical fallacy; but, enough debatable bombs thrown to express my disenchantment with the traditional model Calvinist views as I know them. C or A neither one works for me.

    My thoughts, which are still on the drawing board, were derived from looking into the Molinist “middle knowledge” view and this view is not considered unorthodox, and that position is well established in writings and debates by Dr. William Craig among others. It is not a well known view and is often wrongly compared to OVT because it does hold to EF, what I like about it is that it explains free will along with EF and closes some of the gaps in the C/A debates.

    Dr. Craig with a middle knowledge perspective on the controversial issue of OSAS comparing it to classical Calvinists views:



    On a side note, I can present scripture showing more than one type of Divine knowledge.

     
  9. Brandon C. Jones

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    That's fine, I don't care what you like just that you accurately depict the position of others. You present Calvinism as if it does not include providence or God's morality into the mix which is a (willful?) distortion of its teachings. That's okay that doesn't make you unique on this board since I'm convinced that no one's actually read the Institutes or the Post-Reformation writers of the 17th Century here that complain about all the things Calvinism supposedly does and does not do in their opinion.

    I'm more than familiar with middle knowledge and you're right it's quite orthodox, but once you're done with it with this TTTM business I'm skeptical that it will remain that way.

    BJ
     
    #9 Brandon C. Jones, Jan 23, 2007
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  10. Benjamin

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    I’m not sure what you’re referring to about not accurately depicting the views of others, but think you are probably just as aggressive on others positions at times. I’m convinced from what I have read that Calvinism has turned into something very ugly that the 17 century writers never would have dreamed of, but that’s another tread.

    Thanks anyway for the encouragement.
     
  11. Benjamin

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    After re-reading the tread and seeing your point while realizing I was insensately stomping on your view with my elucidations which obviously differ from your own, I will apologize and do acknowledge that Calvinists do have in their view God’s morality, it is just that I disagree with it’s logical conclusion within my rationale of God’s character which intertwines with the purposes of creation, I was trying to explain why I was searching into this. I did this while thinking about the debate going on in another tread and shouldn’t have unfairly brought it into the mix.

    My point to make is I’m not getting the understanding I’m looking for of time/knowledge within the nature of Trinity in relation to predestination (IN Christ) to make comprehensive sense from the traditional models while comparing what we are told about Devine knowledge in the Word. I don’t have the answers; I’m just looking for the truth, hence my jestfully given TTTM that doesn’t even have an adequate definition. I’ll work on that and guess I can’t blame you for being skeptical.
     
  12. Benjamin

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    Calvin, in the following revealing statement, appears to have acknowledged the aspect of time being a factor in election, but yet then has to resort to having the Son being “presented with this great honour” as if an unequal (a heretical belief) to support his predestinational election doctrine to be in the Father.

    “he did not become the Son of God by living righteously, but was freely presented with this great honour, that he might after-wards make others partakers of his gifts” (III: xxii, 1.).


    Holy Trinity is three equal but separate Persons in One. He was presented? No, He always was the Son. Christ emptied Himself to become the propitiation for our sins, and this happened in the world, within the truth of the nature of creation in time. Taking this out of Devine order as written in the Word and putting predestination in the Father first, well, this appears to resort to heresy.

    (Joh 17:5) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

    “Now” is being present within time, Christ simply did not say he received glory as He always had it, and within time He emptied Himself in the days of His flesh. This presents the truths of Devine predestinational order being IN the Son, within time, from the beginning.

    Seems to me Calvinists’ presentations of election ultimately lead to presumptions of being predestined in the Father and doing so while excluding Christ’s coming into the world as flesh within time, a truth of creation. To deny time sounds like a heretical denial of Trinitarian principles which would have to include the Devine methods involving time.



     
  13. Brandon C. Jones

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    This supports my common suggestion that no one reads Calvin objectively. Avoid Calvin, don't read him and instead read Vermigli, Musculus, and Bullinger. You can't read him objectively. You can't take only the Institutes and then present his doctrine. You can't spew junk from bloggers who have bad websites as an accurate source of Calvin's thought. Instead read people who are good historians on the matter, i.e. Steinmetz and Muller.

    That being said you still mangled this snippet. First, stop using snippets and pretending that you know someone's beliefs. If you read this argument in context it actually SUPPORTS the eternal sonship of Christ and has nothing to do with time. His point is that if someone wants to say that God only deals with people based on the merits of their works, then Calvin says consider Christ (most likely His human nature here) who was not presented as Son based on His works but rather freely presented with this great honor.

    If you want to delve into how that affects Calvin's Christology you have a whole lot more work to do my friend like consulting commentaries, sermons, tracts, etc. And at that in the original sources; don't trust translations. Calvin was orthodox on his view of the Trinity and Incarnation, but you'd have to do more fair research to discover that. Why don't you start by reading his commentary on Phil 2?

    People here will believe anything you say about Calvin from a snippet, and you can make him say anything you want and they'll believe it. Muller calls this the accomodation of Calvin for any theological project. This is why I say to not read him and read others from the Reformed tradition and read them objectively without an agenda either for or against them!

    BJ
     
    #13 Brandon C. Jones, Feb 8, 2007
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  14. skypair

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    I appreciate...

    y'all's efforts in looking into this issues. Maybe this will be helpful.

    Man MUST be justified by God in his soul before he is "given" in his spirit over to be sanctified in the Son, Col 1:13. This "process" Calvin completely misses and therefore, goes about to sanctify what has not yet been justified by God!

    Put another way -- Calvin has no idea how man gets "elected" but the Bible says it is by BELIEVING. This is like a "secret passage" kept from the likes of John MacArthur, etal. But the OT saints were ONLY justified by God. They were NEVER "given to" Christ as He hadn't come yet! OT saints will be "given" to Christ when they are resurrected postrib into Messiah's MK AS IS THEIR EXPECTATION (Job 19:25-28, Psa 50:3-5, Isa 26:19-21, Dan 12:2, 11-13, etal.).

    To put it "trinitarian-wise," Messiah hadn't come in the OT -- there was no "kingdom of His dear Son" to translate them to. WE, on the other hand, are translated into Christ's kingdom the moment we BELIEVE. It's easy now -- easy for Calvin to miss the necessity of having a justified soul BEFORE your spirit is translated/given to Christ! But it is the reverse of Adam's fall, guys -- Adam died immediately in his soul; believers are justified/live immediately in their souls and receive faith upon BELIEF.

    Adam died progressively in his spirit -- and we grow progressively in our spirits once God gives us over to Christ!

    On anther thread, a Calvinist said there is nowhere in Calvinism that the soul and spirit are distinguished. No wonder they leave out justification by BELIEF in God as THE precedent to sanctification by the Spirit in Christ! NO wonder they think God "drops the bomb" of faith on them and they suddenly discover they are "holy" and being sanctified by the Spirit daily -- NOT.

    skypair
     
  15. skypair

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    Btw...

    ...I like the OP dicotomy between Father and Son. :D

    God is like the "soul." Christ is like the "body." The body doesn't always know what the soul knows, right? The spirit often knows and, in a perfect world (Jesus), would communicate in time what the body needed to know.

    Thus, when we think we see God "repenting" or "relenting," it is not God the Father but God the Son (with Whom WE have to deal -- our creator) Who DOESN'T know all that God does Whom we see changing, right?

    skypair
     
  16. Benjamin

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    I don’t see how it could be otherwise. We know God is Omniscient yet in scripture we see multiple occasions of relenting and relevant instructions that show God interacts with His creatures within time; it only seems logical to make a distinction that there must be more than one kind of Devine knowledge, and the Trinity facilitates an explanation of this phenomenon.
     
  17. Benjamin

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    Maybe so, but as a matter of fact we know the doctrines of today have kept his name; maybe an honorary thing, eh?


    This supports my point, and herein we agree, it does not take into account time concerning the eternal Sonship of Christ.


    Christ, our foundational Rock on which we stand, His work was/is perfect, (Deu 32:4) even in His human nature in which He emptied Himself and became a propitiation for our sins He was perfect in His ways within creational time. Our rest in Him is because of His work. It was not at all free but of a great price. It is free to us being bought and paid for in His Grace, through faith.



    That’s fine, but I think enough doctrine has been formed on the guidelines of Calvin’s work.


    Don’t kid yourself about what other people will believe without taking into account what you will believe in your affirmations of Calvin’s theological project and his staunch followers.


    Although, I will give you that you are much more educated than I on the Reformation, and there is nothing wrong with that, I would say you should heed your own suggestion and do the same, objectively and without an agenda, as this seems to be your preferred area that you support your doctrines. This area of interests does not give you an “I got a one up on you friend get by free card” … concerning Biblical theological doctrines.

    P.S. Bob Dylan goes a little deeper than some might see on the surface, maybe it’s a generational thing. :smilewinkgrin:



     
  18. Brandon C. Jones

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    "Don’t kid yourself about what other people will believe without taking into account what you will believe in your affirmations of Calvin’s theological project and his staunch followers."

    What do I believe Benjamin? What have I affirmed? You wrongly assume that because I merely require people to accurately portray the beliefs of others that this transfers to affirmation of the beliefs of others. I don't like many things about Calvin or Reformed orthdoxy, but this gives me no right to purposely (which is the realm your stepping into because you don't seem to care about presenting the beliefs of others incorrectly) misconstrue what they believed and use a rather faulty methodology in doing so. Carry on with your TTTM stuff, but leave Calvin out of it unless you can show that he actually addresses it-which you did not. If you want to present arguments from silence on this TTTM stuff why start with Calvin anyways?

    "Although, I will give you that you are much more educated than I on the Reformation, and there is nothing wrong with that, I would say you should heed your own suggestion and do the same, objectively and without an agenda, as this seems to be your preferred area that you support your doctrines. This area of interests does not give you an “I got a one up on you friend get by free card” … concerning Biblical theological doctrines."

    Here's my agenda. I'll put it in caps because this last post of yours frosts me because now you treat me with suspicion like those in the tradition without even attempting to understand me on my own terms.

    My agenda: TO POINT OUT MYTHS WHERE I SEE THEM AND DISABUSE THE ERRONEOUS CLAIMS BY BOARD MEMBERS WHEN THEY MISREPRESENT THE BELIEFS OF OTHERS.

    I'm not for Calvin, but I'm for responsible scholarship. If you misconstrued Pelagius I'd defend him on his own terms just the same. Unfortunately, it probably seems like I am for these guys because they constantly get maligned by others on this board. It is careless, reckless, and unbecoming of a responsible theologian. Whatever happened to presenting your opponents' arguments as they themselves understand them?
     
    #18 Brandon C. Jones, Feb 9, 2007
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  19. Benjamin

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    Well, we obviously see this different Brandon, especially concerning your agenda! What I saw is you aggressively working up a dogmatic defense with an agenda of crying “myths” after I attempted to set a premise based on TTTM related to “God choosing us in Christ”. This all came from another tread which was trying to ground another premise on Eph 1:13, but that was totally derailed, (in which you “willfully” took part???) and that is the problem with people on this board, they will use any means necessary, including proclaiming their righteousness in defending the church fathers beliefs, or maybe endless off subject proof-texting, whatever, to derail thought and discussions that aren’t going their way!

    You didn’t ever seem to want to discuss the premise at hand you wanted to make sure it was done within your guidelines and in doing so rejected my offer to present scriptures! Your agenda is further seen after your tantrum in response to my suggestion that determinism doctrines inevitably lead to God being the author of sin. NOW, Calvinist are stating such as true right here on this board! WHERE IS YOUR RIGHTEOUS DEFENSE AGAINST THIS GOINGS??? No, you chose to address my premise instead with (Your agenda): IS VERY TELLING AS TO YOUR BELIEFS.

    I once apologized for “insensately” stomping on your view and acknowledged that I understand that Calvinism, does/or at least should, have in their view God’s morality. It seems to me the real issue is you have a real problem that I don’t agree with you on the logical conclusions that determinism presents in union with the Calvinist views of election which are set in doctrines to include knowledge/foreknowledge.
     
  20. Brandon C. Jones

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    ....you got me and my agenda :) Shhh...don't tell anyone else
     
    #20 Brandon C. Jones, Feb 9, 2007
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