The "Open" View of God Stakes

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by yesLord, Oct 16, 2001.

  1. yesLord

    yesLord
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    Does God Give Bad Advice? - R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

    What does God know, and when does He know it? This startling question lies at the heart of what may well become the hottest theological debate among evangelicals. The outcome will determine whether evangelicals remain committed to what the church has always believed about God, or veer off in favor of a more user-friendly deity.

    The current debate swirls around the arguments of Gregory A. Boyd, a theology professor at Bethel College and pastor of a large church in St. Paul, MN. A popular lecturer and a provocative writer, Boyd has become the focus of intense debate within the Baptist General Conference (with which Bethel College is affiliated), Baker Book House (his publisher), and the larger evangelical world.

    Boyd’s theological argument comes down to this: The Christian church has adopted a doctrine of God that is deeply rooted in Greek philosophy, is hopelessly irrelevant to contemporary life, and conflicts with biblical passages indicating that God changes his mind, and fails to know the future decisions of his free creatures.

    Joining the argument on behalf of the "openness of God," Boyd insists that God simply cannot know what his creatures will decide to do in the future, for these decisions do not yet exist. There are some things God knows definitely, but He knows some aspects of the future "as possibly this way and possibly not that way."

    Confused? Boyd’s proposal strikes at the heart of the omniscience of God, the affirmation that God perfectly knows all things—past, present, and future. The classical form of this doctrine, held by all branches of the church throughout the centuries, holds that God possesses exhaustive foreknowledge. Quite simply, there is nothing God does not know, and know perfectly. This understanding has been held by Roman Catholics and Protestants, and both Calvinists and Arminians.

    Boyd holds that this is incompatible with modern science and philosophy, as well as those passages of Scripture that present God as changing his mind. In God of the Possible, the recently-released summary of his argument, Boyd claims that his view—rather than the majority view—is faithful to the Bible and to the real needs of modern Christians.

    Most modern philosophers agree with the majority position of the church in affirming that if God perfectly knows the future, the future is settled and certain. The Bible certainly presents God as knowing the future, and in control of events as well as the final end of all things.

    This is precisely what Boyd rejects. He holds that "the future consists partly of settled realities and partly of unsettled realities." God’s chosen future will eventually come to pass, at least in the big picture. Nevertheless, God does not "micromanage" the universe and control every aspect of reality.

    In order to make his argument, Boyd must redefine key theological terms. God’s omnipotence is now "flexible." God must be ready with Plan B when Plan A fails. Claiming to be orthodox, Boyd must affirm both God’s omniscience and omnipotence. In order to do so, however, he must turn the words on their heads. God perfectly knows what He can know—which is a great deal, but not everything. Future decisions do not yet exist, so they cannot be known. God is omnipotent, but not in the sense that He controls everything. He is sovereign, but not in a comprehensive sense. Boyd argues that God is so sovereign He doesn’t have to be sovereign.

    Boyd’s challenge cannot be ignored. Has the church really misunderstood the Bible’s revelation about God’s power and attributes? Has the church followed Plato rather than Moses?

    Not hardly. Boyd emphasizes biblical passages that speak of God changing his mind as He works with his creatures. Most theologians, past and present, understand those passages as pictorial and metaphorical, like passages that speak of God’s hand or arm. Boyd insists that they be taken literally.

    To do so, he must ignore or reinterpret the overwhelming witness of the Bible to God’s unconditional sovereignty, absolute power, and perfectly exhaustive foreknowledge. What is left is a God more easily explained to modern Americans—who works with us "to truly change what might have been into what should be."

    Boyd writes as a pastor, and his illustrations reveal the emptiness and danger of his proposal. He tells of Suzanne, a woman committed to missions in Taiwan, who felt God was leading her to marry a fine young man following the same call. Later, the man turned out to be an abusive adulterer who abandoned her, extinguishing her ministry to Taiwan. How can this be explained? Boyd told the woman that God was surprised and grieved by how this young man turned out.

    This is God cut down to size—a God who is well intended, but does not micromanage. He is ready with Plan B when Plan A fails. But, in the end, Boyd believes that God sometimes gives bad advice. Contrast that with the confession of Job: "I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted." The God of the Bible needs no Plan B.

    R. Albert Mohler, Jr., is president and professor of Christian theology of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention.
     
  2. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    If "Bishop Al" is against something, that's a mark in its favor.
     
  3. Barnabas H.

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by yesLord: The God of the Bible needs no Plan B.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Amen to that! [​IMG]
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael Wrenn:
    If "Bishop Al" is against something, that's a mark in its favor.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Last I checked Al Mohler was the president of Southern Seminary. Have you heard something different???????????????
     
  5. Joy

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The problem for neotheists is the sovereignty of God versus the free-will of men. The offering of the new theological position is their choice of a solution to this supossed contradiction. Neotheism fails to comprehend that the real problem is man's fall in sin that has resulted in the loss of a completely free will which causes every action that man takes to be corrupt apart from the Divine grace. Pinnock and other neotheists fail to take into account the fact of sins and the need for a Savior, and that apart from a work of God in the life of a person that he cannot make the right decisions. Nothing less than the gospel of God's grace is at stake in the discussion. Any equivocation at this point jeopardizes the entire corpus of Christian truth. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Dr. Larry Oats - MBBC

    [ October 16, 2001: Message edited by: Joy ]
     
  6. John Wells

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    yeslord,

    Great post. Thank you for details of this frightening "drift" from sound biblical doctrine. This is merely the tip of the iceberg of decadence in the churches of America.

    Michael Wrenn once again demonstrates that he is "Baptist by association only" and repeatedly demonstrates his utter bankruptcy in Baptist beliefs, even denegrating established, respected leaders.

    [ October 16, 2001: Message edited by: John Wells ]
     
  7. Joy

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    More problems, according to Norman Geisler, are the fallibility of predictive prophecy, a denial of Biblical infallibility, non-guarantee of victory over evil, and the undermining of a confidence that God can answer prayer.
     
  8. Joy

    Joy
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    Even more reasons to stay away from neotheism:

    Neotheism is nothing new. It has it's roots in Process Theology. Process Theology comes in part from the Greek philosophy of Heraclitus in about 500 BC. He declared that "a man could not not step in the same river twice." This concept was moved into modern times by Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947). He contended that the "process or becoming is more basic than being or substance. Reality is not made up of unchanging substances, but of processes or events, which interact and thereby affect one another."

    (Again, my research and quotes on the subject are from Dr. Larry Oats at MBBC)
     
  9. Joy

    Joy
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    Orthodox Evangelicals believe that God is "Monopolar" or the God is perfect in every respect. Process Theology believes the God is "Dipolar" or the God has two contrasting poles: the actual and the potential.

    Process Theology does not believe in the authority of the Scriptures. It claims that they are "religious myths" like other "sacred writings".

    Process Theology also teaches that "God was only in Christ in the same way that he is in every human being." This demotes Christ to the level of man.
     
  10. Joy

    Joy
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    For more help on dealing with the heresy of Neotheism, read "Creating God in the Image of Man?" by Norman Geisler

    "Neotheism: The Dangers of Making God in Our Image" Norman Geisler

    "God's Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism" Bruce Ware

    II Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears.

    II Tim. 3:5,7 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away....ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
     
  11. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    John,

    You do not disappoint: Once again you resort to slander and various untruths.

    Al Mohler is a political punk respected only by other political punks; he is a Presbyterian masquerading as a Baptist.

    Utter bankruptcy in Baptist beliefs? I don't know how to term that statement other than it's an outright lie. I hold to the following beliefs; which one of them is not Baptist?
    Soul liberty
    Separation of church and state
    Believer's baptism by immersion
    Symbolism of the ordinances
    Absolute autonomy of the local church
    Priesthood of the believer
    Confessions of faith are NOT creeds
    Final authority of the Bible
    Pastors or elders and deacons, the only
    two scriptural offices

    I shall expect an apology forthwith.

    BTW, if I ever decide to disassociate myself from Baptists, it will be because of supposed Baptists such as you.
     
  12. John Wells

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    Michael,

    Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. - James 4:11 (ESV)

    Now whether you like or agree with Al Mohler, he is a “brother,” and you have violated this command. Anyone can list “what they believe in,” but you bear no fruit that these beliefs live in you. “Don” commented on another thread, “What's got you in such a bad mood lately? I've read about 10 posts by you, and they all speak of someone who is truly angry about something.” I’ve read many more than that by you and he’s right.
     
  13. Michael Wrenn

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    John,

    You violated the command by your previous post to me.

    If I am angry, it's because of supposed Baptists such as you with your Pharisaical attitudes who slander, malign, and seek to exclude from the Baptist fold everyone who is not driven by the same creedalistic, rabid, militant fundamentalism that you are driven by.

    And I don't see any Christian love in you for your brothers, either.
     
  14. John Wells

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    I merely identified your behavior. It was not a personal attack to be likened to what you said about Albert Mohler. Nice try though.
     
  15. Michael Wrenn

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    John,

    It's hard for you to admit the truth about yourself, isn't it?
     
  16. Chet

    Chet
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    yesLord - Good post.

    Michael Wrenn I will say this plainly. If you believe in the little god that yeslord exposed, then you believe in a different God than the Bible declares. And if so, then you simply belong to a different spiritual family other than the family of God. :(

    Chet
     
  17. Joy

    Joy
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    Michael, there are about 4 threads on this subject, and except for the initial post (which was not yours) in the matter, I have yet to see anyone who is pro-neotheism, defend it Scripturally. If you truly believe those Baptist beliefs that you listed, take the challenge and prove neotheism from the Bible. The authority of the Scriptures should speak for themselves.

    In true debates one attacks the subject, not the speaker. That just makes both sides look foolish. Stick to your Bibles folks and answer Scripture with Scripture-pertaining to the subject, not bashing one another! ;)

    Also in true debate, the winner is the one who has proven to the moderator with solid proveable facts, that the evidence is true. On the BB, that can not be done with out using your Bible!
     
  18. Michael Wrenn

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    Chet,

    Considering your present judgmentalism against me, a Christian, I won't look to meet you in heaven.

    I'm glad God is in charge and not you.
     
  19. Gina B

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    Hey people, I know nothing about this subject, so here's an idea, don't make it about winning or losing, just discuss it like Christians, hmm? I wanna watch and learn something! What say ye?
    da Gina
     
  20. Barnabas H.

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    We'll say Amen to that da Gina! [​IMG]
     

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