Battle Royale X Critique thread - Does God Know Your Entire Future?

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My favorite parts of Enyart's last post.

But first, did either the Open View or the Settled View refute its opposition and establish its own biblical legitimacy? I will now demonstrate objectively that the Settled View lost the debate on its own terms and human frailty (though Calvinists will say, they lost it by eternal decree).

Losing on Settled View Terms

For half the debate, beginning in 4B Sam repeatedly asked: “Bob, would you be willing to pick out the three best passages of Scripture for the openness view?” adding in 5A that this was so that the debate could “center on the word of God.”

I preferred to establish our hermeneutical difference first, since we both agreed that ultimately it is proper hermeneutics that determine correct interpretations. So by 8B, I provided my three proof-texts.

• John 1:14, that “the Word became flesh” declaring the Incarnation, which destroys General Immutability.
• Romans 5:8, that “Christ died for us,” remembering the Crucifixion, which establishes the Special Immutability of God’s absolute and utter commitment to goodness.
• Jeremiah 18:1-10, that God would make us “again into another vessel” “repenting of” that which “I thought to” do, and from that which “I said I would” do, acknowledging that He will change the plans He has begun to implement and had intended to complete, in impartial response to us.

I publicly offered to email to Sam these three proof texts prior to his eighth round post, with almost two weeks left in the debate, and he did not accept that offer. I ended up publishing them in 8B, so that Sam knew my primary proof texts with two rounds yet to go, and more than a week of debate left for him, and more than 20,000 words available, with which he could have centered our debate on these scriptures. He could have attempted to show how those passages fail to show that God does not have exhaustive foreknowledge. Instead, Sam ignored them. The Settled View is threatened by the force of the Incarnation, which irrefragably disproves General Immutability. So, after practically begging for my proof texts for half the debate, Sam completely blew them off. So here is the email I would like Sam to send:
From: Dr. Sam Lamerson (Settled View Proponent)
To:; (Open View Proponent)
Subject: The Settled View Concedes Defeat in TOL’s Battle Royale X on Openness Theology

Dear Knight and Bob,

I regret that I have no choice but to admit defeat by my own words. In round four, I gave this test for determining whether I would lose BR X:
Bob, would you be willing to pick out the three best passages of Scripture for the openness view? I will agree that if I fail to show how those passages fail to show that God did not know the future then I lose the debate.
With a week of debate time left to go, Bob listed his three proof texts, John 1:14, Romans 5:8, and Jeremiah 18:1-10, yet for whatever reason, I chose to ignore the verses I had so strongly requested. I prefer to attribute this to my own humanity and forgetfulness, but I do believe that my unresponsiveness was eternally decreed for a reason I do not know. Thus, since I did not even mention these three Openness proof-texts, let alone respond to them, I have therefore objectively failed my own test. Thus:

I concede defeat for the Settled View side in TheologyOnline’s Battle Royale X on Openness Theology.


Dr. Samuel P. Lamerson

Bob, would you be willing to pick out the three best passages of Scripture for the openness view? I will agree that if I fail to show how those passages fail to show that God did not know the future then I lose the debate.
Don't hold your breath Bob.

SAMUEL: Intervention, and figures of speech. Yes, that’s a good one. I didn’t know how to answer that question directly, because if I did, I knew it would leave me out in left field with no idea where to go from there. Obviously an intervention is an action, and a figure of speech is verbal. It’s words, and it is words that mean something different from their literal meaning. An action is an action. There might be many different reasons for an action, but it definitely can’t be a figure of speech, because it’s not speech.

BE: And why wouldn’t you answer that?

SAMUEL: Well, if I admitted that when God actually intervened, that could not be a figure of speech, then I would be stuck with explaining Bible stories where God repented and it was not just verbal, but it was by His actions, by actual intervention. And I didn’t know how to address that and still defend immutability. I was especially uncomfortable with that Calvin remark you quoted, where he interpreted God ending Saul’s dynasty as a figure of speech! That’s a tough one, I have to admit! I never before thought of the idea that actions cannot be figures of speech! Huh!
That is exactly why he didn't answer..YOUR question, but preferred his own..
That is dishonest..plain and simple.

And in 10A, Sam, I know you are trying to be kind, but wasn’t your blanket apology just another link in that lifelong chain of contradictions I’ve mentioned? At a moment of humility, you say that your errors are your fault, and should not reflect on God, but with more bravado when defending your theology, you say that God decreed every molecule and atom, every thought and desire, every rudeness and lust, every word and action! So, which is it? You wrote:
…let me say that any wrong that I have done, any misquoting that I have been guilty of, any unkindness that I have engaged in is my fault and should not reflect upon my Lord Christ. Please don’t judge the nature of Christianity based upon my poor representation of it. -Sam
Do you not attribute everything you’ve done here, along with all the sins of your entire life, directly to the mind and decree and glory of God? When a Calvinist accepts the ultimate contradiction that our good God decreed all the filth and wickedness in our world, he has swallowed the ultimate contradiction. Thus, he begins a lifetime of contradiction, where his actions and words constantly betray his own unworkable theology.

my fault and should not reflect upon my Lord Christ. Please don’t judge the nature of Christianity based upon my poor representation of it. -Sam
:hammer: :eek: :dizzy: :dead:

Wonder how many copies of this debate Sam will be handing out..

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Truth be told...

Truth be told...

I remember when the notions of “The Plot” first touched my theological grasp. I devoured the possibilities. I asked you, "Is there more...?" :D

More than five years later I have had the pleasure of debating the deep theological arguments for open-dispensationalism. My apologetic has always been to re-define the Omni's by replacing them, with Ultra-niscient, Ultra-present, Ultra-potent. While my efforts may have been accurate they lacked the sweet sense of relationship with the living and loving God that you attempted to teach during the debate.

In this debate I learned for the first time how to clearly and effectively describe the character and/or nature of God with the notion of greater and lesser attributes. Amazing. I believe you are bringing light to the dark shadows of Churchianity. Thank You!!!

I also learned the term "special-immutability” as way to clearly and utterly declare that God’s Loving Character is far greater and unchangeable than his magnificent creative power.

Thanks again. :sinapisN:

I did not expect that Sam would offer great resistance to your sloppy EISEGESIS. While I am saddened that no real effort was made to critically analyze your hermeneutic(s). It is more common than not that any attempt to bring clarity to someone that could hold contradictions that flatly deny the loving character of the one true Lord would ever understand the fresh breath of truth you have presented to us all. Don’t get me wrong, judgment will come, of that I am sure. But within repentance is the wonderful grace of God.

Let me leave you with one thought that I tried to give as an offering to the debate:

“If man would repent, the Lord would never have to.” I‘ll stand by that.

I can’t thank you enough for the simple yet powerful clarity you bring to the table. I wish that we had more time together and I look forward to many more blessings through you and with you.

I am glad that it was predestined before the foundation of the world that we would teach that it wasn’t. May the Lord bless you with His presence NOW, literally and forever. :poly:
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Wow! What a finishing post, and what an incredibly awsome debate! :first: :BRAVO:

I've got dibs on the first copy of the published version! :readthis: :cool:



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I came to this debate hoping to find some answers to questions that I have had regarding the subject. Unfortunately, I founs a settled view person who did not take the task very seriously until about the 7th round. I also found an OV proponent who was pompous and overbearing to the very end of the debate: much more interested in "winning" a debate than in actually showing us any real truth and how it makes a difference in the life of the believer.

I suppose that shouldn't surprise me. Enyart had a slew of people working behind the scenes trying to research and prepare points tahat could be use in a tete a tete with his opponent. (At least he was man enough to admit it and didn't take ALL the credit for himself.) Lamerson appeared to take on the task without any clear vision for why he was doing it or where he would go. He may have almost been just a willing party who was unaware that Bob was already ready with an arsenal of material for a future book.

Be that as it may, his bombastic style and abuse of the word limits made it very hard to swallow what he had to say. Bob just talked past Lamerson. I think he had material he wanted on the table and was going to put it out there no matter what. Bob's proposed email that he wants to get from Lamerson was just low. That was so much like a little school boy trying to force his little brother to say in front of Mom that he was the one that took the cookies out of the cookie jar. It was totally bush league and quite unacceptable in any civil realm of debate I know about.

I guess I haven't really learned anything new. All I can say is that I am more sympathetic toward the SV view than before, if only because of the Christian attitude displayed by its proponent. I can't imaginne Jesus twisting someones arm to admit that He was right and they were wrong.

I hope the next Battle Royale can be between two combatants who take their topics seriously, who make no excuses, and who do not shout that they are victorious in every round from the third on. I hope they will be respectful and truly let their scholarship and debating (i.e. interactive debate) skills speak for themselves.

While I appreciate Knight's constant efforts to keep this site up and his work to provide good debates, I do hope that in future debates he will hold BOTH sides to the rules in a diligent way and not provide some loophole for a favourite party.

In the end... lots of smoke, very little fire to heat anything with. I won't be looking for the book or the sequel.


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Where's the surprise???

Where's the surprise???

There was supposed to be a large earth-shattering surprise.

(From Bob Enyart, I mean...right after the tenth round...right here in this Critique Thread.)


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Does God know your entire future?

Does God know your entire future?

Man is born to live a life and die a death; this in itself is a gnosis.
The Hebrew God is Reason; the Whole of Reason. And it is because of this, that we Men have a will or hope to will as some would put it.
Every Man has a particular and individual history to make or fulfill and this will occurr within space and time.
Does God know you whole future?
The Hebrew God Is the Reason of our reason; He Is the Whole of All Creation. So it would be logical to conclude that if this God has the whole of our [Man's] reason within His Reason, then Yes your whole life is within His Reason.
Now is this God is The Main Subject of All the Whole of Creation, then, this Whole would be His Predicate. Creation Is God's complete Thought and Man is a part of that complete thought.
The assertion that the Hebrew God is the Main Subject and that Man is His Predicate would hold true to itself.
Also, consider Man's immortality...
Is Man's spirit immortal?
As the old logic goes...
"All Men are immortal; greeks are men, therefore All greeks are immortal."
Is Joe Smith an immortal Man?
Is he an immortal subject of his life within time and space?
Or is Joe Smith, only an immortal as part of Man in generic terms; being only immortal as a noun and not as a subject with a particular and individual predicate to support after death.
Free will at last!! :dog:
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