Will God Fit in Your Box?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    0


    While many give lip service to an Unlimited Omniscient God, they often create a box to place Him.

    Let’s do a check on the box you have built for God. Can your Unlimited Omniscient God foreknow acts of perfect choice? Can man be seen as a first cause of his intents, and yet God foreknow the choices one will make?
     
  2. DQuixote

    DQuixote
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes.











    ...................
     
  3. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    Yes - God can know the future perfectly EVEN if He allows man free will.

    Christ had free will (by all accounts even the most narrow Calvinist models) AND YET God STILL perfectly foreknew the future.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. TaterTot

    TaterTot
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Yes, He can.

    We cant "limit" God, as His will is not dependant on our actions, but I do believe we are so limited (sometimes by our own choice) in our understanding of Who He is and how he functions.
     
  5. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes (as the rest have said).

    What's your point?
     
  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    0





    HP: We are trying to determine what election is based on, whether or not it is God arbitrarily choosing, or if in fact man’s will plays a decisive role in election. Is God’s election in light of the understanding of the free will choices man will make, or is election done without regard to man’s choices, rendering man a mere product of necessitated determinism?

    Do you still say 'yes' to the OP questions? If you do, let me ask you what a 'choice' consists of. In order for something to be a matter of 'perfect choice,' can the result or outcome of the plan of salvation be determined by someone other than the individual?
     
  7. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    HP,
    I purposefully take a very simplistic approach to this.

    God knows everything – past, present, future. It is impossible for me to choose something that God doesn’t already know about.

    At the beginning of time, God already knew that when I was about 14 years old that I would choose to be a recipient of His grace; that I would accept His free gift of salvation and eternal life. God’s knowledge of my decision did not affect my decision – it was still my decision. I could accept His offer or not, that was up to me. If I would have rejected God’s offer, that wouldn’t have made God any less God.
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    0



    HP: God’s will is another issue altogether. We are not addressing His will necessarily, we are addressing whether or not man has a part to play in election, or if in fact it is all chiseled in stone before the foundations of the world who would and who would not be saved without respect to any choices man would or could make.

    Indeed we are limited in our understanding of God. Just the same, we cannot put limits on whether of not God can foreknow matters of perfect choice as so many do, and still say that there is nothing God does not or cannot know. We cannot say that man has the ability of perfect choice, while in another breath state that God determines the outcome before man is ever born.
     
  9. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    0


    HP: Nothing wrong with a simplistic approach. I find no fault with your statement as it is written. We all must admit our lack of understanding the foreknowledge of God, but what I will not do is to view foreknowledge in such a way as to be seen at antipodes with the reality God has given us and testifies to us in Scripture, i.e., man is a responsible creature and as such can either choose of his own volition to obey or disobey and accept or reject His offer of grace. The fact that God holds man accountable for his actions is proof that man is the first cause of them.
     
  10. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    God foreknows all.

    God sovereignly predestined a free will universe a free will sytem hear on earth.

    Calvinism is always trying to "remove God" whenever Free Will is mentioned. It is like trying to remove air.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    0


    HP: Can you expound on this thought in more detail? Thanks.
     
  12. Melanie

    Melanie
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,779
    Likes Received:
    5
    I will try to fit into His "'box rather than the other way around.....the whole thread conception is totally weird....it is like trying to put limits on Him.
     
  13. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    The Calvinist model is that "God can not be God if there is free will" that is a "remove God when Free will is taken into account" model my opinion.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    0


    HP: Thanks BR. I understand your comment better with this clarification.
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    0

    HP: Amen. How do you, or do you, balance free will with sovereignty? Does the concept of man having a free will seem at antipodes with God being sovereign to you? If one is to say that God cannot make a being with a free will without destroying God's sovereignty, how might you answer?

     
  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    0
    Originally Posted by BobRyan
    God foreknows all.

    God sovereignly predestined a free will universe a free will sytem hear on earth.

    Calvinism is always trying to "remove God" whenever Free Will is mentioned. It is like trying to remove air.





    HP: Is it possible that you might be guilty of the same thing although in a different area of thought? When the verses are quoted plainly stating that God will show mercy on whomsoever he wills, you say that God cannot be God if that is true. You infer that if God has not given the gospel to all men He is a respecter of persons. Why is this any different that what you claim about the Calvinists? Have not you drawn a box for God that makes Him exempt from being a respecter of persons ONLY if He grants to all men the same privilege of hearing the gospel?

    Your logic seems to go like this. Unless the same way of escape is made and distributed to all men, God is a respecter of persons for allowing only some to hear of His mercy. The fallacy of this is that men are sinners, not by birth but by choice, and therefore all have merited their damnation by the selfish intents formed by their own wills. As such God is under NO obligation to provide any with a Savior. Those that receive damnation are not singled out, for they made their own rebellious choice to sin and as such merit their just rewards of damnation.

    Furthermore, you act as if though God is a respecter of persons again unless ALL hear the gospel. The logic for placing God in this box of your making is due to your inference that IF God loves all He must grant to all the same opportunities concerning the hearing of salvations message. You deny and limit Gods love by suggesting that it can only be love if it fits within this criteria you have established, i.e., that God, to be love, must grant to all the message of salvation equally. You are making God necessitated to grant ALL men a message of salvation to be the Loving and Just God Scripture states He is. When one sees clearly that God is under NO obligation to even give one willing rebel the message of salvation, why would His choosing to give it to some necessitate His granting it to all 'not to be seen' as a respecter of persons?

    You place God in a box of your own making by limiting God’s plan of dissemination of the gospel to all, and that by necessity. The facts are that although we do not understand why, God has chosen to spread the gospel NOT by necessitated force or coercion, or by a means that cannot fail in its endeavors, but by the means of finite man, prone to failure, discouragement, ad multitudes of obstacles, both spiritually and physically. “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel!” That is the means Scripture states God uses, finite limited man, without which no man can hear or respond, again according to Scripture BR. Who are we to tell God that He is not fair, or just, or not a respecter of persons due to what we see in our finite understanding as what appears to us now as a ‘poor means’ by which He has chosen to utilize in the dissemination of His gospel message??
    Ro 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

    So here we are, positioned in front of the finite limited box BR has designed and made for God, with BR telling God what He must do and how He must do it to be loving and not a respecter of persons. You seem to ‘remove God’ every time Scripture or anyone else tells us the truth, that God is under no obligation, and does not grant mercy to everyone on an equal basis. Neither justice nor love necessitates God to grant the same invitation to salvation to all. God is under no obligation to provide even one an escape from their chosen fate. If He is under no obligation to even one, He is under no obligation to grant it to all.

    The truth is BR, you are trying to provide cover for the false notion of original sin, when no cover is needed. We are sinners by choice, not necessitated sinners. God is under no obligatory necessitated influence to grant to all men the same level of enlightenment concerning His gift of salvation. God is NOT a respecter of persons by withholding it from some while granting it to others, just as Romans 10 clearly states.
     
  17. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4


    Please show where I have stated that.



    I am not the one that argues that God is not partial -- God is.

    THEN God "makes HIS OWN point" to emphasize that truth by SHOWING the that the DIFFERENCE between the saved and the lost is NOT what you have stated "an innexplicable selection on God's part".

    How could this be any clearer?

    Read Romans 2:1-16 sir. It is spelled out plainly.

    This is not me drawing a box - it is God writing the book of Romans and me "reading it".

    I am merely reporting the news.:jesus:

    in Christ,

    Bob

     
  18. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    Paul is adamant that there is a future judgment “according to deeds”. Paul here identifies the “impartial” basis of God’s judgment. Instead of His simply “arbitrarily selecting” some to favor and others to ignore – ALL are judged according to deeds IN the context of the “call to repentance” of vs 4.

    He speaks of this again in 2Cor 5 talking about future judgment and judged based on deeds “whether they be good or evil”.

    Notice that in these first 6 verses we have an Arminian-style motivation - not to engage in man's faulty judgment of others. And there is no sense or expectation that this sin is not to stop or just to continue because we are totally depraved. Rather the argument is to stop.

    Romans 2 - if this chapter is only about the failing case, only about the wrath of God - then we will not find success, mercy, reward but only condemnation, wrath, punishment. Let's now let the text reveal which way it will go.

    Here is the “succeeding case” explicitly listed by Paul. And it is in the context of God - leading to repentance. We also have the people of God - persevering, doing good and seeking glory and honor. What is the result? The text says immortality and eternal life.


    Instead of arguing “God arbitrarily selects some for immortality and eternal life” Paul makes the case for the just and impartial judgment of God that uses the rule of Matt 7 “Not everyone who SAYS Lord lord will enter”.

    Barns commentary agrees –



    Some have supposed that a “judgment” that is impartial as Paul points to in vs 6 and 11 must “only have failing cases”. But Paul shows in vs 7 that such is not the case. The “Good News” does not require God to arbitrarily be “partial to the FEW of Matt 7” as some have supposed. Rather it allows for God to be “impartial” and to SAVE mankind on that basis!




    The “Failing case”: Clearly a contrast is being introduced "but to those who are selfish" - contrasted with what? And notice that the contrast is not of the form “but those whom God did not select will not obey” as Calvinism would have it.

    Rather it is in the impartial nature of God to show His impartial justice in the lives of those who freely choose evil while others freely choose repentance. Those who repent, seek eternal glory and honor and persevere. Persevere in what?

    You must be on the right path to be approved in perseveringly staying on the right path. It is obvious I know, but worth noting.

    So God has now contrasted the good and the wicked, those who persevere on the right path and those who are not even on it. The opposite of such a just, objective just system would be “arbitrary selection” of the saved vs lost. It would be to arbitrarily select some for favor instead of “So loving the World”.

    We already know that in the judgment there are two classes - those that receive immortality and those that do not. If it is not clear to us by now that this chapter is dealing with both classes - we need to engage in some remedial reading comprehension.



    By contrast - HP your view is very much slanted to "God being selectively partial"


     
    #18 BobRyan, Jun 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2007
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    9,295
    Likes Received:
    0


    HP: And where do you get that from? Who ever said that it is God that does the selecting between the saved and the lost? First, the lost have chosen their own way. God does not create them lost, or force them to be lost. They determine their own estate by the moral intents of the will they form. As for the saved, God indeed has created a plan that obviously insures that some will receive mercy, but that by no means is equated to God simply necessitating the salvation of any and certainly does not impose any ideas of necessitating the damnation of any others.

    What we need to understand, is that we are not living in a necessitated universe run by a cosmic tyrant, but rather we are living in a universe run by a Loving God that has seen fit to create man as a free agent, responsible as the cause of his moral intents, and as such a creator in their own right. There is always an element of mystery in any intent formed by God or free moral agent of His creation. Take the following as an example. Say I sat two courses of meat before you to eat. Lets say that you pick one over the other. Although there are obvious reasons why one might be chosen over the other, it is also clear that one may not be able to discern just why the one is chosen over the other. It might be said that God alone knows all the motivations of the intents of the heart, for He knows us better than we know ourselves.

    God, although clearly Omnipotent, seems to stand amazed at the choices men make, as if though some decisions we make absolutely astound Him. He says that man has performed wicked deeds that have never even entered His mind. God even asks why sometimes have we done certain things, as if though our actions are beyond the scope of reason. Just as man is a free agent and can act in ways not necessitated by any force or due to some partiality on our part, I believe God can as well. Unless there is some moral principle or attribute that demands certain responses, there is obviously a broad range of actions God can initiate for reasons known only to Himself.

    I see no compelling moral reason why God has to share the gospel message with all on an equal basis or allow the same influences to influence all in the same manner, neither do I believe that is possible. It is not my place to read into Scripture an idea that simply is not found there such as I believe some are doing when they state or imply that God has granted to all men the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. Certainly He draws all men to Himself in a sense, by revealing His existence and convicting the heart of sin, but that in no way equates to granting to all men the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.

    I can see some things that I believe do compel God to act in certain ways. If He is going to praise or blame man for their action, He must grant to man the necessary knowledge necessary to understand the command and the necessary abilities to carry them out. That is precisely why the rejection of Christ is not the damning sin. All have not heard and all do not understand what they must do in order to be saved. That is a job God delegates to finite man to accomplish through the help and aide of the Holy Spirit.

    Can anyone think of any morally compelling reasons, violations of first truths of reason, etc., why God must grant to all the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel, without which God cannot escape the charges of partiality, unfairness, or being a respecter of persons? I cannot think of one. Again, I can see why justice in condemning man necessitates light and abilities, but when it comes to having an opportunity to receive of His mercy I am at a loss to associate any such compelling notions to God’s choices or means by which He chooses to bestow or withhold such mercy. I am not stating that God does not have any reasons why He chooses what He does, but some things are only known to God and God alone.

    In the case of the salvation message, what keeps God from choosing a means that is less than infinite, or less than perfect in its carrying out of the task? Could not God have reasons not understood by us why He might choose to utilize such imperfect means, such as delegating the responsibility to share his message of mercy and hope to finite humans with all their faults and shortcomings, even at the expense of appearing to be partial or a respecter of persons to some? I certainly believe so.
     
  20. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    HP you appear to state that God is selecting some for a given action and others for inneffective action


    I point out in Romans 2 that God never states your case above - about the cause of the difference being something "God did".


    ALL are X -- as you point out - God arbitrariliy SELECTS out some to become Y.

    The difference in the model you are using is in God's selection NOT in the X's. And as you point out it is innexplicable.

    But this is not what God says in Romans 2. In fact God argues the exact opposite.



    Indeed - your view is that God effectively reaches out to a SELECTED group and not to others and the basis for selection is "innexplicable" in your model given that you admit that He "DRAWS ALL" and "CONVICTS ALL" and "DIED for ALL" - showing active interest and even willing to go to the point of death for ALL.

    God supernaturally creates and maintains the free will status of man in choosing salvation. Agreed.

    Indeed - but that is not the argument that you yourself make here


    [/quote]


    #1. ALL things are possible with God
    #2. God never said that having the exact SAME level of advanced information as Paul or Daniel is required by ALL who are saved or else they can not be born again.
    #3. God DID say "HE is the light that coming into the World ENLIGHTENS EVERY man"
    God DID say "He is not willing for ANY to Perish"
    God DID say " he died for the sins of the WHOLE World"
    God DID say "HE so loved the WORLD not just the arbitrarily selected FEW of Matt 7:

    God DID say " He CONVICTS the World of Sin and righteousness and judgment"

    God DID say in Heb 4:1 "WE have had the Gospel preached to US JUST as they did also"

    God DID say "There is only ONE Gospel Gal 1:6-11

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #20 BobRyan, Jun 23, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2007

Share This Page

Loading...