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Theology 201 Guidelines

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.

Remember, our forum rules apply here as well. If you haven't read them now would be a good time.

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Does God have an individual plan for everyone?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
    To be clear, in the Calvinist view (and possibly also molinist [not familiar with it]), God knows everything--past, present, and future in a sort of timeless existence.
    In the before crash Tweb, I had a formal debate with a Arminian turned Calvinist. Here is an excerpt from my opening:

    Source: Littlejoe

    Classical View Theism (CVT) posits a God for whom the future is unalterably settled, this by God’s will (Calvinism) or in God’s mind (Arminianism). To the CVT, God is completely “immutable.” This means that God’s being and experience(s) never change in any respect. God is also said to be “impassable”, meaning simply that he is above experiencing emotions. For to move from one emotion to another would encompass a change in experience, therefore, God must be free from being acted upon by free will agents either through supplemental prayer or as a consequence of their actions.

    © Copyright Original Source



    So, how do those who are CVT not believe there is a plan for everyone if everything is already unalterably "settled"?
    Last edited by Littlejoe; 06-20-2015, 11:09 PM.
    "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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    • #47
      Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
      I think that in some Calvinists' view, God does not micromanage. Rather, in creating the universe, God created not only its past and present, he also created its future at the same time. We somehow go through the space-time of the universe not knowing what will happen.
      Truthseeker, I believe that this position on creation is more a result of "if this is true, then this has to be true also" rather than upon any exegesis of scripture. Would you be so kind as to direct me to any scriptural support for God "CREATING" past present and future.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
        To be clear, in the Calvinist view (and possibly also molinist [not familiar with it]), God knows everything--past, present, and future in a sort of timeless existence.
        Would you define for me a timeless existence where past, present, and future exists. BTW, I do not find that scripture posits God as existing in a timeless existence, but rather God exists outside the bunds/confinement of time, time is present but God has power over time. It does not hinder him, still it is present with him...

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        • #49
          Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
          Would you define for me a timeless existence where past, present, and future exists. BTW, I do not find that scripture posits God as existing in a timeless existence, but rather God exists outside the bunds/confinement of time, time is present but God has power over time. It does not hinder him, still it is present with him...
          Then why does the Bible start with "in the beginning" if there was no beginning of time?

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          • #50
            Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
            Would you define for me a timeless existence where past, present, and future exists. BTW, I do not find that scripture posits God as existing in a timeless existence, but rather God exists outside the bunds/confinement of time, time is present but God has power over time. It does not hinder him, still it is present with him...
            If God exists outside the bounds / confinement of time, how is it still present with Him? I took me awhile to grasp there is a difference between eternity and infinite time.
            "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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            • #51
              Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
              Would you define for me a timeless existence where past, present, and future exists.
              Maybe the best I can do now is to say that not one could ever comprehend an existence like God's.




              BTW, I do not find that scripture posits God as existing in a timeless existence, but rather God exists outside the bunds/confinement of time, time is present but God has power over time. It does not hinder him, still it is present with him...
              Weelll . . . that is OK.
              The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

              [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                If God exists outside the bounds / confinement of time, how is it still present with Him? I took me awhile to grasp there is a difference between eternity and infinite time.
                This phrase "forever and ever" frequently appears in the Bible.
                The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                  Maybe the best I can do now is to say that not one could ever comprehend an existence like God's.
                  If that is true, then from whence are we free to define his existence as timeless?

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                    Then why does the Bible start with "in the beginning" if there was no beginning of time?
                    Do you believe that the phrase points us to an existence absent of time, or does is more accurately point to a point in time... In the beginning does not refer to a beginning of time, but more accurately points to a point of creation. Without time, there logically could be no beginning, before the beginning, or after the beginning... "Time itself preexists creation..."

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                      This phrase "forever and ever" frequently appears in the Bible.
                      Are they not expanses in time...

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                        Do you believe that the phrase points us to an existence absent of time, or does is more accurately point to a point in time... In the beginning does not refer to a beginning of time, but more accurately points to a point of creation. Without time, there logically could be no beginning, before the beginning, or after the beginning... "Time itself preexists creation..."
                        Actually this is one of the few places where Creationists and Evolutionists agree: time has a beginning and the moment time started is the moment creation begins. There is no existence of time outside of creation. Where is your quote from?
                        "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

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                          If that is true, then from whence are we free to define his existence as timeless?
                          I'm not sure what you mean by "define." Let me change the question: What does the Bible say about God and time? In the moment that God created the universe, its future was also created. I doubt I can do better than that.
                          The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                          [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                            Do you believe that the phrase points us to an existence absent of time, or does is more accurately point to a point in time... In the beginning does not refer to a beginning of time, but more accurately points to a point of creation. Without time, there logically could be no beginning, before the beginning, or after the beginning... "Time itself preexists creation..."
                            From what I understand the Hebrew translated as "in the beginning" represents an absolute beginning, not just the beginning of "creation". This would point to a beginning of time itself.

                            Source: CMI

                            The first Hebrew word in Genesis 1:1 is bereshith; it occurs without the article and so is a proper noun, meaning ‘absolute beginning’.

                            © Copyright Original Source



                            Source.

                            You may not agree with them when the beginning was, but they seem to have it right about what "the beginning" means in Genesis 1.

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                            • #59
                              And ! Wonder if some people think it was God's plan for that to happen? Maybe we don't need to talk about it! Then again, why would He even mind us talking about Him on the internet?
                              If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                                And ! Wonder if some people think it was God's plan for that to happen? Maybe we don't need to talk about it! Then again, why would He even mind us talking about Him on the internet?
                                I did say in a report that this may need to be split off at some point. I'll leave that to the mods in charge of this area.

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