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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Is the problem "unwillingness" or "inability" ?

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TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 4968
NC, USA

 Re:

//Open Theism redefines the attributes of God, these attributes are always lessened as to their extent. In the lessening of God, humanities need for an unchangeable, all wise all powerful God is eroded and replaced with a new "learning god", a "not-almighty" but improving god.
Gods omniscience, omnipotence and his immutability are now all lessened to fit the necessary and all important....//

No open theist I know of says that God is not omniscient. They just say the future does not exist *now* so there is nothing to know. They would equate God not knowing a future that does not exist to God’s inability to create cube shaped spheres. God cannot be said to lack omniscience if he cannot do logical impossibilities.

So I think that understanding should remove any condemnation of heresy. Because we really have no idea whether the future exists NOW. I strongly doubt it but obviously I am not 100% certain. Are you?


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Todd

 2018/12/3 14:03Profile
CofG
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Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 186
Cambodia

 Re:

Todd, don't mean to make you defend something you may not believe, but how do open theist deal with inerrant prophetic words, especially about Jesus?


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Robert

 2018/12/3 15:22Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 4968
NC, USA

 Re:

That is the bone of contention for my favorite Bible teacher- particularly Jesus’s prediction of Peter’s denials.

Others say that God has every available and possible fact at his disposal, and also that he can certainly coordinate events if He wants to because He is omnipotent.

I find the idea interesting but I am certainly not sold on it. It helps answer some particularly thorny problems which is why I find the idea attractive, but there are definitely some hurdles.

But I think the hurdles are infinitely higher and thornier for a view that say God meticulously causes and foreknows everything that ever happens.


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Todd

 2018/12/3 15:47Profile
Gloryandgrace
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Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 825
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:


Guys we gotta take this off topic elsewhere.


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Marvin

 2018/12/3 15:52Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 4968
NC, USA

 Re:

I won’t post any more on it here. I don’t have much to add anyway.


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Todd

 2018/12/4 7:37Profile
makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 577
Texas

 Re:

Dear Marvin,

I apologize for not specifying which small portion of your post that I regard as over generalized, and gross (as in not refined).

"But behind disbelief for many is a theology of an absent/inactive/disconnected God.
God seems to sit back and wait it out...'who's going to believe today God says?" For many, since they believe God has no elect except "those who elect themselves" These must focus their faith and attention on the condition of a man's heart, they by reason of their own theology must put the emphasis upon man acting."


Your attempts to describe the understanding of those who understand the involvement of man's will in responding to God falls very short of accuracy. The description serves more as a "contrast" to your own thoughts than a real belief among those who have not embraced or understood election in the same way that you have.



"absent/inactive/disconnected" - please re-consider whether this is hyperbole merely used to cast others in a bad light. It is hard for me to believe you genuinely believe that others actually think this way.


In addition you describe that you have met believers who almost boast about men's will in a callous and proud manner. I will admit that it is difficult for me not to question whether a leaven of exaggeration has corrupted your otherwise better worded and well thought out posts.

Overall, your posts do not reflect this, but it seems there is some trigger that overrides your usual good judgment and allows something less than your best to slip by.

I am not blameless in this myself, but may we help each other in refining out the dross in our posts regardless of how small its content.

mak




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Alan and Dina Martin

 2018/12/4 11:05Profile
Gloryandgrace
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Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 825
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:


Hi Mak:

I appreciate the critique...and no doubt there are better ways of expressing my own thoughts let alone those to whom I have encountered. Thanks for a discerning and helpful suggestion.

The above quote was a contrast (my own words) but not without ample evidence where I was the hearer of just that kind of thinking.

Mak, things like this are framed in sermons and lessons that do not depict a loving, seeking, giving God. He is depicted as "doing all he is going to do to save you, now its up to you". If this were simply a one-off message by an extreme emphasis I wouldn't bother bringing it in. But this kind of thing I found present in so many sermons over the years I didn't think for a moment it was a mis-representation of 'human ability, responsibility'.


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Marvin

 2018/12/4 11:28Profile
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1828


 Re: theorized not verbalized



Marvin has expressed no more,no less,than CHS.

"...it is the great fact that you never did meet a Christian in your life who ever said he came to Christ without Christ coming to him.

You have heard a great many Arminian sermons, I dare say; but you never heard an Arminian prayer—for the saints in prayer appear as one in word, and deed and mind. An Arminian on his knees would pray desperately like a Calvinist. He cannot pray about free-will: there is no room for it. Fancy him praying, "Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not—that is the difference between me and them." That is a prayer for the devil, for nobody else would offer such a prayer as that. Ah! when they are preaching and talking very slowly, there may be wrong doctrine; but when they come to pray, the true thing slips out; they cannot help it. If a man talks very slowly, he may speak in a fine manner; but when he comes to talk fast, the old brogue of his country, where he was born, slips out. I ask you again, did you ever meet a Christian man who said, "I came to Christ without the power of the Spirit?" If you ever did meet such a man, you need have no hesitation in saying, "My dear sir, I quite believe it—and I believe you went away again without the power of the Spirit, and that you know nothing about the matter, and are in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity."

Do I hear one Christian man saying, "I sought Jesus before he sought me; I went to the Spirit, and the Spirit did not come to me"? No, beloved; we are obliged, each one of us, to put our hands to our hearts and say—

"Grace taught my soul to pray,
And made my eyes to o'erflow;
'Twas grace that kept me to this day,
And will not let me go."

Is there one here—a solitary one—man or woman, young or old, who can say, "I sought God before he sought me?" No; even you who are a little Arminian, will sing—

"O yes! I do love Jesus—
Because he first loved me."


The words above are the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, from just one of his many sermons.

 2018/12/4 13:06Profile
UntoBabes
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Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1031
Oregon

 Re:

I do not serve the god of the Arminians at all! I have nothing to do with him and I do not bow down before the Baal they have set up! He is not my god, nor shall he ever be! I fear him not, nor tremble at his presence. A mutable god may be the god for the Arminian—he is not the god for me.
Charles spurgeon 1858


There is some truth in Calvinism and some in Arminianism, and he who would hold the whole Truth of God must neither be cramped by the one system nor bound by the other, but take Truth wherever he can find it in the Bible
Charles spurgeon 1862




I am myself persuaded that the Calvinist alone is right upon some points, and the Arminian alone is right upon others. There is a great deal of truth in the positive side of both systems, and a great deal of error in the negative side of both
Charles spurgeon 1876



We had better far be inconsistent with ourselves than with the inspired Word.
I have been called an Arminian Calvinist or a Calvinistic Arminian and I am quite content so long as I can keep close to my Bible
Charles spurgeon 1881




http://beyondcalvinism.blogspot.com/2016/08/from-cage-stage-to-arminian-calvinist.html?m=1


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Fifi

 2018/12/4 21:43Profile
makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 577
Texas

 Re:

I agree that Marvin has said no more than Spurgeon, in fact little more than imagined conversations of an Arminian within himself about thanking God that he has willed himself to God.

I would have hoped that there would be a realization that some of us have drawn our understanding not from some imagined self-willing ourselves to God, but from reading multiple historical texts where God was attempting to turn His own people back to Himself and they refused His initiative.

Texts such as Jeremiah 6:
Thus says the Lord:
“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17
Also, I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18
Therefore hear, you nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them.
19
Hear, O earth!
Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people—
The fruit of their thoughts,
Because they have not heeded My words
Nor My law, but rejected it.

It is passages like this, and there are many more very similar, that can be posted one at a time. These passages are not imaginary conversations, but inspired scripture that clearly indicate that God desired to turn His own elect back to Himself but they "refused".


Since it is the multitude of passages such as this where some of us draw the conclusion or develop an understanding of man's will being involved in God's initiative, it would be helpful for Marvin and Savanah to address the real textual evidence of man's ability to "resist" God's initiative, rather than to post hypothetical imaginary scenarios about men willing themselves to God. While it is possible that some Armenians reason this way, would it not be far more profitable to exegete and discuss the real historical evidence of Israel's refusal and rejection of God's repeated and prolonged attempts to bring them to repentance?


Whether it is Marvin or Spurgeon, their hypothesis of the imaginary Arminian does little to dissuade me from the clear implication I draw from actual biblical text such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Haggai, Malachi, etc.


If you can present reasonable answers that address men's ability to "reject", "thrust away", "resist", all words actually used throughout real historical biblical texts, then we would have better ability to discuss the issue of 'inability" vs "unwillingness."


If you are familiar enough with such "imaginary" arguments, then certainly you must be able to find where men such as Spurgeon address the refusal of Israel to respond to God's initiative to them.

mak

I am willing to consider such a godly man's understanding and interpretation of actual biblical texts where men refuse God's initiative. I have not been very moved by the imaginary scenarios based upon supposed Armenian logic.



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Alan and Dina Martin

 2018/12/4 21:53Profile





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