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This is the forum to discuss the spectrum of views within Christianity on God's foreknowledge and election such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, Open Theism, Process Theism, Restrictivism, and Inclusivism, Christian Universalism and what these all are about anyway. Who is saved and when is/was their salvation certain? How does God exercise His sovereignty and how powerful is He? Is God timeless and immutable? Does a triune God help better understand God's love for mankind?

While this area is for the discussion of these doctrines within historic Christianity, all theists interested in discussing these areas within the presuppositions of and respect for the Christian framework are welcome to participate here. This is not the area for debate between nontheists and theists, additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream evangelical doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101 Nontheists seeking only theistic participation only in a manner that does not seek to undermine the faith of others are also welcome - but we ask that Moderator approval be obtained beforehand.

Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 or General Theistics 101 forum without such restrictions. Theists who wish to discuss these issues outside the parameters of orthodox Christian doctrine are invited to Unorthodox Theology 201.

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Room within the will of God?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    That was a little harsh but accurate. I have found that the God's sovereignty side tends to start with the conclusion and then fit the verses to their conclusion. So in the example verse, "chose this day whom you will serve", chose doesn't mean chose as a free will chose. The word play is vaguely gnostic - there's hidden knowledge that only the initiate knows.

    I would be a fool to say God's sovereignty doesn't exist. The best I can come up with is God in His sovereigncy has decided in some areas He is not going to be sovereign. This is also an issue I've decided I'll never understand this side of Heaven.
    Sorry, I wasn't going for harsh...simply direct and maybe a little emphatic.

    It's confusing I agree...I think part of the problem is the importation or incursion of Greek metaphysics into Christianity. The concept of the immovable mover, im-passionate God, has skewed our view of God beyond what the the Bible actually has to say about who and what God is. God's sovereignty type theology is a direct correlation of that thinking. IMO.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
      Yes, God's choice is for everyone to come to repentance, see 2 Peter 3:9. And again, Joshua's charge to Israel "...Choose this day..."
      And to reiterate, Joshua's charge is to choose which idol they will serve! But I agree that God's will is for everyone to repent, and for that reason, I hope that everyone will be chosen by God for repentance, whether in this life, or in the next.

      No, please be specific.
      Birth, new creation, seeds being sown in the ground, resurrection from the dead, all these are passive on our part.

      Your own theology decries you Lee...according to your theology it's God's will that some choose not to serve him...how do you escape that paradox?
      Because Scripture makes it clear that some disobey because of the will of God:

      "Why, LORD, do you make us wander from your ways
      and harden our hearts so we do not revere you?" (Isa. 63:17)

      "For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

      'He has blinded their eyes
      and hardened their hearts,
      so they can neither see with their eyes,
      nor understand with their hearts,
      nor turn—and I would heal them.' " (John 12:39–40)

      I'm taking it as a given that you are a brother in Christ so....is every choice you make in God's will? Are you free from committing acts that are considered sin? I'm not, though I strive to be...
      Me either, but when I sin, that places me in bondage, until I repent. But what concerns me here, is when I don't sin, am I free to act own my own initiative? Are there free choices, within the will of God?

      Or are we instead, bound to say and do just what we hear from the Father, or see the Father doing?

      "For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken." (John 12:49)

      Blessings,
      Lee
      "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
        Sorry, I wasn't going for harsh...simply direct and maybe a little emphatic.

        It's confusing I agree...I think part of the problem is the importation or incursion of Greek metaphysics into Christianity. The concept of the immovable mover, im-passionate God, has skewed our view of God beyond what the the Bible actually has to say about who and what God is. God's sovereignty type theology is a direct correlation of that thinking. IMO.
        I agree. This is one of those issues that I've come to realize I won't understand until Heaven.
        "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

        "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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        • #34
          Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
          I agree, and we need to seek God, to seek to know him better, and to know his will better.


          I believe the closer we get to God, the more we will know of his will. Those in heaven know and do his will perfectly:

          "Bless the LORD, you His angels,
          Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
          Obeying the voice of His word!
          Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,
          You who serve Him, doing His will." (Ps 103:20–21)

          So the question is, is there room within the will of God? If we were to know the will of God perfectly, would we be able to still act on our own, within the will of God?

          Blessings,
          Lee
          IMHO, if we knew the Will of God “perfectly” (which is somewhat ambiguous, but let it pass for the time being), it would be because the love in us for God would be perfect - we would love God as we ought, therefore, we would know the Will of God as we ought. And, loving it as we ought, we would be wholly conformed to it as we ought to be. Our duty to God, and our joy in God, would be one and the same thing. We would therefore be totally “enslaved” to God - and this slavery would be freedom beyond anything we can at present imagine. We don’t see things this way on Earth, because we are hindered by our old, unredeemed, untransformed nature - but if Christ were fully formed in us, and we were fully renewed according to His likeness, then we would see as we are meant to see, and would love as we meant to love. AFAICS, Christians are meant to be lesser, created, “editions” of Christ; we are meant to be “as God”; not in the serpent’s way, but in Christ’s way, because He is the Image and Likeness of God - to “see” (IOW, to experience) Him, is to “see” His Father.
          Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 07-12-2020, 09:31 PM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
            Sorry, I wasn't going for harsh...simply direct and maybe a little emphatic.

            It's confusing I agree...I think part of the problem is the importation or incursion of Greek metaphysics into Christianity. The concept of the immovable mover, im-passionate God, has skewed our view of God beyond what the the Bible actually has to say about who and what God is. God's sovereignty type theology is a direct correlation of that thinking. IMO.
            STM the Sovereignty of God is all over the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

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            • #36
              "So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better." (1 Cor. 7:38)

              This verse would seem to give a choice within the will of God. As here:

              "... if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord." (1 Cor. 7:39)

              And here Jesus appears to be praying for there to be a choice within the will of God:

              "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Mt. 26:39)

              So what are we to make of the verses where Jesus says he does nothing on his own initiative (literally, "from myself")? Perhaps this means not doing anything independently of the Father, or as Jesus said of us, "... apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

              "See Jesus in everything, then in everything you will find blessing. Keep looking to Jesus. Do nothing but for Him, but as in Him and by His strength and direction. Christ all and in all! And may He abundantly and personally manifest Himself to you." (J. Hudson Taylor)

              Blessings,
              Lee
              "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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