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Author Topic: Open Theism??  (Read 1902 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 02, 2012, 10:07:39 AM »

Does anyone know much about this? 

As I understand, its relatively knew and it seems to be the opposite of the whole Calvinist/predestination/no-free-will crowd.  I was just curious if this can fit into Orthodox theology, but I didnt know if there was another aspect of this type of thinking that is heretical.

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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 10:13:40 AM »

It's new on an Orthodox time scale, but not as new in the circles I've for the most part seen it in (my first exposure to it was about 13-15 years ago). In the forms I have seen it--which includes the idea that God is not omniscient (as traditionally defined)--it is not compatible with Orthodox theology IMO. orthonorm seems to disagree with me on that, though he has said that he is not an open theist.

EDIT--Though I should say that I sympathise with what they're trying to do in grappling with these issues, and it might be possible to have similar concepts or ideas. I'm not sure that calling them open theistic views would help more than harm though (sort of like the term panentheism... it can be used in an Orthodox way, but I wonder if it just causes confusion to the extent that it's not worth using).

EDIT2 --Fixed a typo that significantly changed what I meant to say
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 10:44:12 AM »

Open-theism, at least as Dr. Greg Boyd teaches, absolutely affirms God's omniscience.  Asteriktos is correct though, open-theists define things a little differently.  The argument is not over God's omniscience, but over what exists to be known.  The question is, does the future exist concretely so that it can be known concretely?  Or is the future dynamic and exist in a state of possibility where God is intimately interacting with his creation to bring about His will?  If we believe in a true free-will, then the future can't exist concretely.  God still knows all there is to be known and all potential decisions and fully knows the infinite possibilities that come from those decisions.  At least that is my understanding of the arguments.  I had the pleasure of taking a few classes in college from Dr. Boyd and while I don't know exactly what I think of it all and how exactly it fits with Orthodoxy, I think it fits much better than Calvinism.  Dr. Boyd's book, God of the Possible is an intriguing read.
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 11:08:00 AM »

Thanks for the replies.  Ive looked through a few older threads as well.  

It seems to me that if God knows all there is to be known, knows all potential future decisions and their outcomes, and knows what decision we will make then it seems to me that we have circled all the way back around to Orthodoxy in the sense that God knows everything.  
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 12:03:12 PM »

 If we believe in a true free-will, then the future can't exist concretely.  
I disagree.
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2012, 12:07:46 PM »

What if I use my free-will to believe in free-will?
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 12:12:13 PM »

What if I use my free-will to believe in free-will?

Or use your free will to believe in predestination.
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 01:17:19 PM »

Thanks for the replies.  Ive looked through a few older threads as well.  

It seems to me that if God knows all there is to be known, knows all potential future decisions and their outcomes, and knows what decision we will make then it seems to me that we have circled all the way back around to Orthodoxy in the sense that God knows everything.  

I'm personally more comfortable with open theism (or open futurism), however this is my understanding of what Orthodoxy teaches, as well.
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 01:30:46 PM »

Can God read a book he's writing before he writes it?
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 01:35:15 PM »

Can God read a book he's writing before he writes it?

He can write the ultimate choose your own adventure book.

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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2012, 02:34:37 PM »

 If we believe in a true free-will, then the future can't exist concretely.  
I disagree.

OK, call an open-theist about it.  I don't know what you want me to say.
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2012, 03:34:08 PM »

Open theism is pretty much bunk, IMO. The idea that no one (including God) does not know the future, is absolutely ridiculous from a classical perspective since God is eternal (meaning his existence precedes, and is therefore outside of, time). I think their big tagline is something like, "Saying God doesn't know the future is like saying God doesn't know about square circles."

Actually, I agree with that statement...though probably not how they want me to. I believe their point is to say that it's impossible for God to know the future, just like it's impossible to conceive of "square circles" because both ideas are oxymorons. I agree with the statement insomuch that both are simply nonsensical statements. Grin
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 04:04:04 PM »

It's new on an Orthodox time scale, but not as new in the circles I've for the most part seen it in (my first exposure to it was about 13-15 years ago). In the forms I have seen it--which includes the idea that God is not omniscient (as traditionally defined)--it is not compatible with Orthodox theology IMO. orthonorm seems to disagree with me on that, though he has said that he is not an open theist.

EDIT--Though I should say that I sympathise with what they're trying to do in grappling with these issues, and it might be possible to have similar concepts or ideas. I'm not sure that calling them open theistic views would help more than harm though (sort of like the term panentheism... it can be used in an Orthodox way, but I wonder if it just causes confusion to the extent that it's not worth using).

EDIT2 --Fixed a typo that significantly changed what I meant to say

This reminds me; at least some Orthodox actually do think God is not omniscient.  I recently read the book His Broken Body, by Fr. Laurent Cleenewerck, and he has a footnote out of the blue that just says something like "God foreknows people not actions," and leaves his statement hanging there.
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 04:07:28 PM »

I believe their point is to say that it's impossible for God to know the future, just like it's impossible to conceive of "square circles" because both ideas are oxymorons.

Yet I would argue that God does indeed conceive of things like square circles. True, a square circle would be a violation of what is logically possible, a violation of the laws of the universe. Then again (for one example), a Godman being born of a virgin ("the uncircumscribable becomes circumscribed") would also be a violation of what is logically possible and a violation of the laws of the universe.  Christianity is mostly based on stuff that doesn't make sense or seem logically possible. This is my conclusion, anyway, though I admit that my natural tendency is to be skeptical and try to figure things out, so it's not really one I like very much.
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 04:08:51 PM »

This reminds me; at least some Orthodox actually do think God is not omniscient.  I recently read the book His Broken Body, by Fr. Laurent Cleenewerck, and he has a footnote out of the blue that just says something like "God foreknows people not actions," and leaves his statement hanging there.

Huh, interesting Smiley What is the main idea of the book? (something unrelated I guess?)
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2012, 04:27:59 PM »

Open theism is pretty much bunk, IMO. The idea that no one (including God) does not know the future, is absolutely ridiculous from a classical perspective since God is eternal (meaning his existence precedes, and is therefore outside of, time). I think their big tagline is something like, "Saying God doesn't know the future is like saying God doesn't know about square circles."

Actually, I agree with that statement...though probably not how they want me to. I believe their point is to say that it's impossible for God to know the future, just like it's impossible to conceive of "square circles" because both ideas are oxymorons. I agree with the statement insomuch that both are simply nonsensical statements. Grin

Well there is a lot wrong with the "classical perspective" about God.

And as much I am not a fan of "open theism" / process theology (I know more about this than I should), "classical process thinkers" would not say it is impossible as such for God to know the future.

Really process theology and its children are honest attempts, if failed, to address the real problems with the "classical notions" about God.

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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2012, 04:59:13 PM »

I believe their point is to say that it's impossible for God to know the future, just like it's impossible to conceive of "square circles" because both ideas are oxymorons.

Yet I would argue that God does indeed conceive of things like square circles. True, a square circle would be a violation of what is logically possible, a violation of the laws of the universe. Then again (for one example), a Godman being born of a virgin ("the uncircumscribable becomes circumscribed") would also be a violation of what is logically possible and a violation of the laws of the universe.  Christianity is mostly based on stuff that doesn't make sense or seem logically possible. This is my conclusion, anyway, though I admit that my natural tendency is to be skeptical and try to figure things out, so it's not really one I like very much.

hehehe Asteriktos, you reminded me something, you know for years and years, since I was very little, I have been taught that Man is created in the image and likeness of God and never not once did I questioned it. then one day I was laying on the grass on a moon lit night and gazing at the stars and the vast emptiness of space, as I used to love to do when I was on the other side of the palnet where the sky seems far closer than it is. and suddenly i was struck by the thought how small I was,  compared to the trees, the field I was lying on, the entire planet and here I am a dot, a fleck of dust in this vast glorious universe, and yet the Infinite created me in His Image and Likeness. how illogical it was, how nearly impossible to believe. then the thought came to me, as impossible as the Incarnation? following this thought a whole lot of impossibilities yet utter certainties surrounded me. I can only say it was  scary in the  beginning yet ended up being a joyful experience. Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2012, 05:09:58 PM »



with God there is no past and no future, but the Eternal Now. I think we can extrapolate what that implies..

and besides I would like to know, are knowing and doing the same?
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2012, 05:34:46 PM »

are knowing and doing the same?

A fascinating and ancient question.
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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2012, 01:06:55 AM »

I believe their point is to say that it's impossible for God to know the future, just like it's impossible to conceive of "square circles" because both ideas are oxymorons.

Yet I would argue that God does indeed conceive of things like square circles. True, a square circle would be a violation of what is logically possible, a violation of the laws of the universe. Then again (for one example), a Godman being born of a virgin ("the uncircumscribable becomes circumscribed") would also be a violation of what is logically possible and a violation of the laws of the universe.  Christianity is mostly based on stuff that doesn't make sense or seem logically possible. This is my conclusion, anyway, though I admit that my natural tendency is to be skeptical and try to figure things out, so it's not really one I like very much.

That was certainly my first thought upon reading the "square circles" idea. But then I generally discount any assertion that starts with "God can't" (logically or not) as meaning the speaker's not grappling with the reality of transcendence.
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« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2012, 01:11:56 AM »

This reminds me; at least some Orthodox actually do think God is not omniscient.  I recently read the book His Broken Body, by Fr. Laurent Cleenewerck, and he has a footnote out of the blue that just says something like "God foreknows people not actions," and leaves his statement hanging there.

Huh, interesting Smiley What is the main idea of the book? (something unrelated I guess?)

The book was an overview of the issues separating the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, with a quite large part of the book dedicated to the author's thesis that proper understanding of the nature of the Church is that each diocese, gathered around its bishop, is the only "true" Church, and that the Church is really something akin to a hologram, where the image that is the Church doesn't get distorted or changed simply because you get down to a smaller image (say, a given diocese).  It's somewhat interesting, but there are a lot of problems with his theories in the book.  Overall, it's probably worth the time it takes to read it.
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« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2012, 10:14:05 PM »

I certainly agree that its bizarre to say that God cant know the future, or comprehend square circles because its illogical.  Like asteriktos said, pretty much all of the major events of our faith defy logic. 

But at the same time, i see where they are going with the idea.  Maybe by granting us free will, he chooses not to know the future even though he is perfectly capable of knowing.  Maybe similar to how youre capable of getting online and finding out how a movie ends, but you choose not to because you want to wait and see for yourself.

This may just be another thing that we all may never agree on because its something that we arent even really capable of grasping in the first place.  But one thing I love about Orthodoxy is that it allows for these types of discussions.  We dont claim to know everything about everything.

Also, its late and Im rambling.  Someone just tell me Im an idiot and correct anything stupid I may have just typed.
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« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2012, 10:20:37 PM »

If I was to defend it, I'd say that Open Theism is God allowing our free will. Could He know what exactly we will choose? Of course, but allowing us full free will means allowing us the ability to change our mind and react to each other, including God.
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« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2012, 10:29:56 PM »



with God there is no past and no future, but the Eternal Now. I think we can extrapolate what that implies..

and besides I would like to know, are knowing and doing the same?

Do you mean "are knowing and causing the same"? To that I would say no. They are not the same.
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« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2012, 10:32:09 PM »

If I was to defend it, I'd say that Open Theism is God allowing our free will. Could He know what exactly we will choose? Of course, but allowing us full free will means allowing us the ability to change our mind and react to each other, including God.

There is a difference between "knowing and causing"


I believe Origen also talks about this in his book "first principles".
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« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2012, 10:42:27 PM »

God knows the future fully and completely!

One can "know" something without being the "cause" of that same something.


I think at the end of the day they just want privacy. They don't want God to know what they do for they feel it will violate their privacy.

What they need to ask themselves is this. Is their free will violated or destroyed by being watched by video cameras in the grocery store?

Is that video camera destroying their free will or is it just destroying their sense of privacy.


Thus, God can watch what you already did in the future without causing you to do it.


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Personally I think it's silly to tell God what you want Him to know about yourself in the future. I'm sorry God but I don't want you to know this about me 15 years into the future, but it's ok if you know this other stuff about me 5 years in the future.


Who are we to tell God He's not allowed to know our future? This is pure silliness!


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« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2012, 10:44:30 PM »

Quote
God knows the future fully and completely!

One can "know" something without being the "cause" of that same something.

I agree. And this pretty much sums it up and solves the issue for me.
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« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2012, 10:46:48 PM »

Quote
God knows the future fully and completely!

One can "know" something without being the "cause" of that same something.

I agree. And this pretty much sums it up and solves the issue for me.

Except when it comes to God as traditionally understood. He can't know something and not cause it.

So I hope the issue isn't summed up.

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« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2012, 10:48:00 PM »

I believe their point is to say that it's impossible for God to know the future, just like it's impossible to conceive of "square circles" because both ideas are oxymorons.

Yet I would argue that God does indeed conceive of things like square circles. True, a square circle would be a violation of what is logically possible, a violation of the laws of the universe. Then again (for one example), a Godman being born of a virgin ("the uncircumscribable becomes circumscribed") would also be a violation of what is logically possible and a violation of the laws of the universe.  Christianity is mostly based on stuff that doesn't make sense or seem logically possible. This is my conclusion, anyway, though I admit that my natural tendency is to be skeptical and try to figure things out, so it's not really one I like very much.

That was certainly my first thought upon reading the "square circles" idea. But then I generally discount any assertion that starts with "God can't" (logically or not) as meaning the speaker's not grappling with the reality of transcendence.

Yup!

He is speaking from an earthly perspective. He has no idea what it means to be transcendent.

And so he can't really speak for anyone who is transcendent.

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« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2012, 10:50:28 PM »

More like "Open A Can Of Worms" because that's what it is.
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« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2012, 10:54:33 PM »

Quote
God knows the future fully and completely!

One can "know" something without being the "cause" of that same something.

I agree. And this pretty much sums it up and solves the issue for me.

Except when it comes to God as traditionally understood. He can't know something and not cause it.

So I hope the issue isn't summed up.


No! What you say is true for SAINT AUGUSTINE! But it's not true for other church fathers OUTSIDE of the AUGUSTINIAN TRADITION!

Do you read the church fathers? Have you read the Eastern Church Fathers? They don't believe that "knowing" is the samething as "causing".

Saint Augustine became a determinist and for him "knowing" = "causing". Because God knows what He himself causes, and in the Reformed tradition God causes everything and so God knows everything. For God knows what He causes.

But this isn't true for the Eastern Christian tradition. There is a distinction between "knowing" and "causing".

Origen said this in his first principles somewhere and he wasn't the only one!
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« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2012, 10:54:58 PM »

Quote
God knows the future fully and completely!

One can "know" something without being the "cause" of that same something.

I agree. And this pretty much sums it up and solves the issue for me.

Except when it comes to God as traditionally understood. He can't know something and not cause it.

So I hope the issue isn't summed up.



Well, sure he 'caused' it in the sense that he created everything.  But by granting our free will, doesnt that mean that we have the ability to cause certain things to happen?  If i set the woods on fire, I caused it because I made the decision to do it.  

But then again, ive been battling a cold and ive had more than the recommended dosage of nyquil tonight.  i may feel differently about some of the things ive typed in the morning.
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« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2012, 10:59:15 PM »

This seems to be an over-reaction to the western Augustinian tradition. And western protestant Calvinistic Reformed tradition.


Our tradition is different and so there should be no need to follow this western over-reaction to a western Augustinian idea.

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« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2012, 11:01:57 PM »

Quote
God knows the future fully and completely!

One can "know" something without being the "cause" of that same something.

I agree. And this pretty much sums it up and solves the issue for me.

Except when it comes to God as traditionally understood. He can't know something and not cause it.

So I hope the issue isn't summed up.



Well, sure he 'caused' it in the sense that he created everything.  But by granting our free will, doesnt that mean that we have the ability to cause certain things to happen?  If i set the woods on fire, I caused it because I made the decision to do it.  

But then again, ive been battling a cold and ive had more than the recommended dosage of nyquil tonight.  i may feel differently about some of the things ive typed in the morning.


I'm going off memory and so I could be wrong in what I say, but I think the pagan critic cisero thought all things were caused or predermined.......I think.

And Origen wrote a brilliant response that saw foreknowledge as not being caused.
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« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2012, 11:06:18 PM »

Quote
God knows the future fully and completely!

One can "know" something without being the "cause" of that same something.

I agree. And this pretty much sums it up and solves the issue for me.

Except when it comes to God as traditionally understood. He can't know something and not cause it.

So I hope the issue isn't summed up.



Well, sure he 'caused' it in the sense that he created everything.  But by granting our free will, doesnt that mean that we have the ability to cause certain things to happen?  If i set the woods on fire, I caused it because I made the decision to do it.  

But then again, ive been battling a cold and ive had more than the recommended dosage of nyquil tonight.  i may feel differently about some of the things ive typed in the morning.


I'm going off memory and so I could be wrong in what I say, but I think the pagan critic cisero thought all things were caused or predermined.......I think.

And Origen wrote a brilliant response that saw foreknowledge as not being caused.

If you can find that writing from Origen, id like to read it.
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« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2012, 11:06:32 PM »

Quote
God knows the future fully and completely!

One can "know" something without being the "cause" of that same something.

I agree. And this pretty much sums it up and solves the issue for me.

Except when it comes to God as traditionally understood. He can't know something and not cause it.

So I hope the issue isn't summed up.


No! What you say is true for SAINT AUGUSTINE! But it's not true for other church fathers OUTSIDE of the AUGUSTINIAN TRADITION!

Do you read the church fathers? Have you read the Eastern Church Fathers? They don't believe that "knowing" is the samething as "causing".

Saint Augustine became a determinist and for him "knowing" = "causing". Because God knows what He himself causes, and in the Reformed tradition God causes everything and so God knows everything. For God knows what He causes.

But this isn't true for the Eastern Christian tradition. There is a distinction between "knowing" and "causing".

Origen said this in his first principles somewhere and he wasn't the only one!

Floating uterus much?

And no, I haven't read anything but St. Augustine from my first breath of life.

Your Church Fathers have the same problem with less than satisfying answers. Or guess what, people wouldn't still be dealing with this "problem".

But this is neither the place nor the time for me to have any sorta serious discussion on the matter.
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« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2012, 11:11:49 PM »

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Floating uterus much?

 Huh
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« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2012, 11:13:06 PM »

Quote
God knows the future fully and completely!

One can "know" something without being the "cause" of that same something.

I agree. And this pretty much sums it up and solves the issue for me.

Except when it comes to God as traditionally understood. He can't know something and not cause it.

So I hope the issue isn't summed up.


No! What you say is true for SAINT AUGUSTINE! But it's not true for other church fathers OUTSIDE of the AUGUSTINIAN TRADITION!

Do you read the church fathers? Have you read the Eastern Church Fathers? They don't believe that "knowing" is the samething as "causing".

Saint Augustine became a determinist and for him "knowing" = "causing". Because God knows what He himself causes, and in the Reformed tradition God causes everything and so God knows everything. For God knows what He causes.

But this isn't true for the Eastern Christian tradition. There is a distinction between "knowing" and "causing".

Origen said this in his first principles somewhere and he wasn't the only one!

Floating uterus much?

And no, I haven't read anything but St. Augustine from my first breath of life.

Your Church Fathers have the same problem with less than satisfying answers. Or guess what, people wouldn't still be dealing with this "problem".

But this is neither the place nor the time for me to have any sorta serious discussion on the matter.

If you haven't read the Eastern Fathers then you really can't say a thing about what they did or didn't believe. How can you know the Eastern Fathers can have the same problems if they don't believe "knowing" is the same as causing? How can they have the same problems?

Can you please explain that to me? Better yet, why not take the time .....like 3 years.....to read them then come back and answer me.

This issue is mostly a western issue for a reason. The people who are fighting about it are doing so from an Augustinian bias.

I know a number of Open theists who are going to an Ope Theist conference, and they don't know anything about the Eastern Fathers and so no. I disagree with you!


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« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2012, 11:14:58 PM »

By the way, I was just talking to 2 Open Theists on facebook a couple hours ago.
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« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2012, 03:32:14 AM »

I certainly agree that its bizarre to say that God cant know the future, or comprehend square circles because its illogical.  Like asteriktos said, pretty much all of the major events of our faith defy logic. 

But at the same time, i see where they are going with the idea.  Maybe by granting us free will, he chooses not to know the future even though he is perfectly capable of knowing.  Maybe similar to how youre capable of getting online and finding out how a movie ends, but you choose not to because you want to wait and see for yourself.

This may just be another thing that we all may never agree on because its something that we arent even really capable of grasping in the first place.  But one thing I love about Orthodoxy is that it allows for these types of discussions.  We dont claim to know everything about everything.

Also, its late and Im rambling.  Someone just tell me Im an idiot and correct anything stupid I may have just typed.

But if he has voluntarily restricted His knowledge of the future, because knowing it would mean that we weren't really free, it wouldn't matter if God knew the future or not if He was able to know it, since by being able to know the future (assuming knowing the future means a lack of real freedom) our actions would already be predestined to happen.
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« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2012, 03:32:15 AM »

Here's just one line of thought Orthonorm could have been going down - and I, at the same time, have a couple other possibilities in my head:

1.) If God knew everything that was going to happen before He created anything, then He knew that there would be people who would choose evil;

2.) If God knew everything that was going to happen before He created anything, He knew that those who would bring evil into creation would simultaneously bring death and disease, etc., into creation;

3.) If God knew everything that was going to happen before He created anything, and yet still created, He caused all of the evil, decay, and despair in the world by creating those who would sin.
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« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2012, 06:53:20 AM »

Jnorm, instead of dismissing this as some Augustine conspiracy from the grace, how about just stick to explainations as you see them. What orthonorm is saying, me thinks, is that some people here may know even less of Augustine or Calvinism than they do of Eastern Fathers, so assuming that's the problem is a jump. BTW, Augustine =/= Calvinism.



The issue isn't privacy, but of the future. That is, if the future is still ours, then our decisions aren't decided and the future can be changed.

How is that a problem, if God knows our choice? If God knows our ultimate choices, there is no reason for Him to change our choices. Even our prayers could be useless. Our decisions have been seen and, thus, in a sense determined. He know who will choose His grace and who won't.

BUT, if God, when He' made us in His image', blessed us with open free will. Though He can see all the choices we will make, and knows what our current path is, He can still react with us to CHANGE that future. Otherwise, we are destined to Hell, and He already knows it.
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« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2012, 03:54:10 AM »

Jnorm, instead of dismissing this as some Augustine conspiracy from the grace, how about just stick to explainations as you see them. What orthonorm is saying, me thinks, is that some people here may know even less of Augustine or Calvinism than they do of Eastern Fathers, so assuming that's the problem is a jump. BTW, Augustine =/= Calvinism.



The issue isn't privacy, but of the future. That is, if the future is still ours, then our decisions aren't decided and the future can be changed.

How is that a problem, if God knows our choice? If God knows our ultimate choices, there is no reason for Him to change our choices. Even our prayers could be useless. Our decisions have been seen and, thus, in a sense determined. He know who will choose His grace and who won't.

BUT, if God, when He' made us in His image', blessed us with open free will. Though He can see all the choices we will make, and knows what our current path is, He can still react with us to CHANGE that future. Otherwise, we are destined to Hell, and He already knows it.

It is Augustinian. For anyone who thinks that quote on quote """"knowing equals causation""" is talking about Saint Augustine in his latter days. And the whole Augustinian tradition after wards. Also, I never said CALVINISM = AUGUSTINIANISM. Read what I posted closely.

Calvinism does follow the Augustinian tradition on this issue, however, it takes it a few steps further.

Everything I said is true! It really is! Maybe you should read up on the issues first before trying to correct someone who obviously knows something about SAINT AUGUSTINIAN, CALVINISM, ARMINIANISM, OPEN THEISM, a huge chunk of the eastern fathers........etc.


I pointed out the mistake of "knowing equals causation". Now why do you think the Christian East didn't struggle with the issue of Free Will, Grace, and Predestination to the """"SAME DEGREE (I'm saying this for a reason for we did have some struggle with it)""" as the post Augustinian and post Augustinian christian west?

There is a reason for that, and so try and give me a benefit of doubt, that maybe, just maybe, I know what I'm talking about here.

Now just think to yourself for one second. If knowing doesn't = causation then what would this mean? What would this imply?

Wouldn't this solve the problem? I'll answer for you..........YES IT WOULD SOLVE THE ISSUE!


CASE CLOSED!



If you read the early fathers then you will know that they have alot to say about REWARDS and PUNISHMENTS based on our free will. YES GOD knows the choices we would make, but part of having free will means we will be either rewarded or punished for the choices we make.

You will also see that one of them says that God made Lucifer, but Lucifer made the devil/Satan by way of his free will. They actually have alot to say about the topic of free will, rewards and punishments, God's foreknowledge, Divine Providence, and Predestination.


The future can be changed from our perspective, but not from God's perspective for we already made the choice. We just don't know what that choice is yet.

Jesus knew that Peter would make the choice to deny Him 3 times. Peter rejected that idea. Why? Because he obviously didn't know what his future choice would be. But God knew, and He also knew that He would be restored as well as what kind of death he would die.


Our choices are seen, yes! Determined by God? No! Determined by us? YES! For they are our choices, God just watches what we do, no different from a grocery store video cam watching a thief stealing food.

Did the grocery store video cam determined the choice of the thief? NOPE! Who determined that choice? It was the thief!

We are self determinators, and we will be judged for everything we think, say, and do! We will either be rewarded or punished!

You sound as if you want God to always intervene whenever we make bad choices in life. Well, how will God ever reward or punish if He always must intervene?

What's the point of being judged for our thoughts, words, and deeds, if God must always intervene whenever we are about to do something bad?


The issue of free will fits perfectly with the reality of REWARDS & PUNISHMENTS, JUDGMENT.........etc.
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« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2012, 04:32:34 AM »

Another Biblical example:


In Deuteronomy 30 we see God giving them a choice (BETWEEN LIFE or DEATH, BLESSINGS or CURSES):

Quote
""See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;""




God wants them to choose life, but He already knew they would betray Him in the future as seen in the next chapter.

Quote
"And the Lord said to Moses: “Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ 18 And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods."


And so the issue is one of privacy, as well as one of confusing Knowing with Causation. Also, there seems to be some idea of quote on quote """"unfairness""" if God allows us to make bad choices but refuses to intervene every time we make them or even before we make them. Now God might help persuade us to do the right thing, like he did with Cain before he killed his brother. But just like with Cain, He isn't gonna force us to do the right thing.

Also, if we are not allowed to choose wrongly then how in the world can we be PUNISHED? What's the point of having warnings if they are not really real? If they don't have real consequences to them?


Also, what's the point of having REWARDS if God must intervene all the time to force us to do right? Wouldn't that diminish the whole meaning and value of being rewarded?

Also, what about the whole issue of judgment for our thoughts, words, and actions? What meaning would this have if God must intervene by force in order to stop us from doing wrong? What meaning or value would it really have?
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« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2012, 04:57:34 AM »

Now here is someone from the Charles G. Finney and Holiness movement Arminian tradition (for those on this board that don't know what all this is,......well.....just don't worry about it, it's info to help keep everything in a proper context), which tends to lean Pelegian(for those on this board that don't know what this is,....well....don't worry about it, it's just info to help keep things within a proper context). But anyway, this guy has alot of Open Theist friends. I spoke with one of them on facebook yesterday. But he himself still refuses to embrace the Open theist view for himself, and he explains why here in this video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQDWLB2oV7U (Why I Am NOT An Open Theist - Kerrigan Skelly)
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