Chris Fisher said:
I’m not sure I’ve ever claimed God is a physical entity. I’ve questioned the usefulness of the category “physical” and stated God has bodies.
How do you have a non-physical body? Physical things are usually contrasted against things that are more abstract. Bodies are spacial and temporally located. Clearly, he thinks God has bodies in multiple places. So, it doesn’t make much sense to posit non-physical bodies. Especially if you think the Bible is sharing an ANE custom of physical multi-bodied deities.
He and others like Robert Rowe appeal to the works of Benjamin Sommers. The issue with that is Sommers posits his theory on a theory of how the Pentateuch originated and he maintains the biblical writers present contradictory models of God throughout the OT. The very thing I charged Open Theist understandings to possess:
This was stated by Sommers himself in an interview(HT Békefi Bálint):
These positions can’t be maintained if one wishes to maintain inerrancy. Nor a conservative view such as about the origin of the books of Moses. Such as this one:
This is why most that affirm the Bible teaches Open Theists’ distinctive notions are in higher liberal scholarship. They don’t have to maintain the contradictions are true. As Sommer states on page 136:
Indeed, in light of this study, certain cliched assumptions common among both ´ Jews and Christians who attempt to distinguish their theologies must be stood on their heads. Divine embodiment, paradoxically, emerges from this study as far more important to Judaism than to Christianity. For the Tanakh, for rabbinic literature, and for important strands in Jewish mysticism, God has always been a corporeal being. For Christianity, in contrast, God deigned to take on a body at a particular moment in time; existence in a body was not part of the eternal essence of divinity.63 In short: Christians believe in incarnation, whereas the Tanakh simply believes in embodiment.64
Suppose one wished to combine the physicality notion of God with the trinity. Well, in what sense is there only one God? In what sense is the Logos made flesh(especially if God all along was already flesh)? We have seen the idea the Word ceases to be divine suffers major criticisms:
So, does Jesus’ human body contain a divine body? That is rather strange to believe. In what sense here is it to maintain the Father, Son, and Spirit are one and yet distinct? If they are merely three different embodied modes of some deity, then you have apparently three different deities as much as three different humans are not the same being. If they all share some mind, then they are derivative of some greater immaterial mind that works these three bodies as if they were truly separate in some regard. In other words, that option reduces to modalism. If the Father is the superior mind from which the other two derive, then we are semi-Arian. So, it seems this suffers from the same difficulties that arise in Trinitarian conversation.
Lastly, it must be noted the incoherence of this idea where God is comprised of divine matter. If God is matter, then he subject to the forces of time and space. He is dependent on the world and needs it to be himself(he is made of materials that are more fundamental). But why should we trust inductive reasoning? If these laws of the universe remain outside the control of God then it seems quite likely that we have no reason to suppose we can reason inductively. So, to accept such a perspective leaves you with saying that we can’t trust our ability to reason. But if that is the case, then why accept this perspective?
Jimmy Stephens shares some ideas:
One problem I have with a neutral alignment view of humanity is that it fails to explain human history. Another is that it is inconsistent with a useful conception of motivation. I can get into those more but here’s a brief run-through.
Historically, man is consistently bad. As a child, he bites, screams, pitches fits, tries to get away with theft, beats up other kids – all things that, if children had the strength and wisdom of adults, would make them murderers and arsonists. Although age tends to assuage his barbaric child nature, teenage and adult humans are “good” for utility, egocentrism, or a hypocritical sense of self-righteousness just as often [minimum] as he has “good” motivations.
Children are not natural altruists. They have to be punished, disciplined, taught wisdom. When they are not taught such things, we see their natural state come out in barbarism. Even more telling is the fact that when children are abused, instead of becoming better people, this raises the chance of vengefulness, spite, loss of empathy, repressed grudges projected on unsuspecting innocents, etc.
When kids start to reach teenage years and young adulthood, they often grow a sense of mind-blowing pride. They act presumptuously as if they were adults, and when their parents question them, they act as if they’re providers are slavers instead.
Perhaps the most common teenage sin I’ve witnessed is parental complaints and taking life’s mercies for granted. Rare is the teenager who, when she is wronged, tries to be extra kind to the perpetrator. Exceptionally rare is the teenager who tells their parents every day that they love them.
Teenagers with abusing parents almost always blame their life problems on them, if they’re smart enough to see the connection. A teenager who says, “Praise God,” for abusive parents is next to unheard of.
Teenage boys use girls like candy. They put their pleasure before the woman’s life and then throw them away like a wrapper. Girls use teenage males like pawns. They are exploited for money, social status, or a sense of self-worth, a twisted sense of worship. Either way, the sexual use and abuse among teenagers is rampant where sexual restraint is not taught.
We are in a world where rape is rampant. People, including men, are physically assaulted for sexual purposes all across the globe. In many countries, sexual abuse is celebrated. Marital abuse is celebrated in some countries.
People pass up the poor all the time. Most people in the modern West pass the buck to the state, supporting a system of the government extorting people to redistribute wealth instead of putting out charity on their own kindness. A lot of people pass up the guy on the street so they can walk into the store and buy jewelry, so they can work out, so they can get lunch, etc.
Children are starving in foreign countries. That’s blood on my hands, because I have been wasteful with my money. I haven’t been putting out for the poor enough.
There is no point in history with world peace. People are always fighting a war, worrying about war, or scheming for one. History is brimming with the violence of man-on-man.
Technology has helped us cure diseases. It has also helped us hurt the environment. It has built us better weapons with which to grind our fellow man to mincemeat or turn entire countries into poisoned graveyards.
Technology is a tool. The ape that holds the club is not made more virtuous with a gun in his hands.
The cycle of history is that men come together, usually over a lot of turmoil, war, and natural disaster, they build a society, and after bloating on greed, subjugation, externalized violence, and so forth, that empire falls apart. The exception to this rule is the vile society that slowly dies or is wiped out by an empire at some point.
Almost every country is built on shady motivations, grows through shady means, and then implodes, is wiped out, or finds itself subjugated by another empire. That is the story of man’s nations.
Ancient Canaan: same story of violent beginnings, imperialist growth, and violent ends.
You want to get real bloody? Go to China. That place is built on the graves of millions and millions.
Rome, the Huns, the Aztecs
All barbarians, all murderous tyrannies, all violent imperialists
Has modernity seen any change? None whatsoever.
The grand plenitude of human beings across the earth support awful rulers, worship fake gods, whether the juju spirit on the mountain or money, and our just out to propagate their own purposes.
America bombs foreign nations while its people are starving in the streets. America stole land from Indians and others, and now steals land from its own citizens through “immanent domain.” America pretends to have been a killer of Nazi scum, and then turns around and funds an infanticidal holocaust that dwarfs the Nazis.
Europe praises free speech, then jails anyone who speaks their mind, labeling it “hate speech.”
Germany’s rape rate [by ratio] has skyrocketed recently.
Japan is full of perverts. From personal experience, I can tell you, that place is great at raising perverts.
They run an entire comic culture of porn justified with the idea that it’s just comics.
China persecutes religious folk, especially Christians. You share your faith with fear there. It takes true bravery to be a missionary in China.
We are now reaching an age where people call on the state to lock people in tiny isolated cages, steal their money, and abduct them just because they don’t use the “right” pronoun.
I’m sorry, but the idea that humanity is other than basically evil is laughable in the face of history.
The idea that humans are not basically bad is a fairy tale.
History is clear.
There is a more philosophical issue though. And that is the fact that our motivations necessarily function on moral facts. That is, everything we do takes into account care for others. As a Christian, I also think everything we do takes into account love of God.
Now let’s suppose people are basically neutral. They could turn out to be good or bad. The problem is that they cannot favor moral facts one way or another. Otherwise, they would be morally aligned.
But since all our decisions are motivated by altruism, a care and concern for others, or by egoism, preference of ourselves over others, that means we could not do anything. Or, at least, it means that moral responsibility is just unintelligible.
The man that shall not be named wrote a little response to me. I found the time and the will to torture myself through another one of his bitter sad attempts to undermine what I’ve said.
Not much left from our dearest objector. All he’s got now is a parting shot on how the Arminian view of free will is kind of like Open Theism (gasp!) -as long as you discount the central difference of whether God can know our choices beforehand.
Well, that’s because they both are indeterminist. There is no significant difference between them regarding the issue of the human will. Peter Van Inwagen is a famous libertarian that is also an Open Theist. Secondly, when he appeals to “foreknowledge” or knowing “beforehand” he is just pulling your leg. He doesn’t believe God has foreknowledge. That’s pretty much is his solution to the problem of future tensed propositions and God’s foreknowledge. He seems to present this idea in his article:
Before I get into TNP itself, I’ll let Zagzebski outline the position that many Christians have historically taken in response to objections to God’s foreknowledge of free will choices (typically called The Boethian Solution):
This solution probably originated with the 6th century philosopher Boethius, who maintained that God is not in time and has no temporal properties, so God does not have beliefs at a time. It is therefore a mistake to say God had beliefs yesterday, or has beliefs today, or will have beliefs tomorrow. It is also a mistake to say God had a belief on a certain date, such as June 1, 2004. The way Boethius describes God’s cognitive grasp of temporal reality, all temporal events are before the mind of God at once. To say “at once” or “simultaneously” is to use a temporal metaphor, but Boethius is clear that it does not make sense to think of the whole of temporal reality as being before God’s mind in a single temporal present. It is an atemporal present in which God has a single complete grasp of all events in the entire span of time
The idea is simple enough, God doesn’t have beliefs at any time and therefore doesn’t know anything “before” it happens. The further issue is that he maintains God does have temporal properties. But if God is temporal then he can have foreknowledge. So, his solution to the issue contradicts his own position.
Ah yes, Guilt by Association: you know, kind of like how Christianity teaches that there’s a God, which makes it exactly like Islam if you ignore that whole Jesus being God’s Son detail. Or the way that dog owners are like Hitler (who also owned dogs); they’re totally alike if you can look past the being a Nazi aspect of it.
The obvious reason this is silly is that having a dog doesn’t make you a Christian or a Nazi. That’s because possessing a dog is irrelevant to those two things. But having Libertarian freedom is relevant to being an Arminian/Open Theist.
I wish to credit my friend Justin Gardner for finding a picture of these two positions lined up next to each other:
This I wish to credit to all the other sightings of his perspective and OT:
Here was his response:
Lacking any evidence for a decent case, he decides to manufacture some:
@He doesn’t believe God has foreknowledge. That’s pretty much is his solution to the problem of future tensed propositions and God’s foreknowledge. He seems to present this idea in his article: https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2019/09/17/the-transfer-of-nonsense-principle-concise-version
Actually, I don’t entirely agree with the Boethian solution as articulated by Zagzebski (specifically, God not having any temporal properties), nor do I voice total agreement. The scope of my article was whether human choices can have any effect with regards to timeless properties.
The point of the article was to undermine the transference of necessity principle. It isn’t my fault that he wasn’t clear in the original article to say he wasn’t affirming the Boethian solution. He tries undermining this point of modal logic by stating that foreknowledge isn’t causal and is more reflective. I already raised my concerns about that:
On his being caught committing association fallacy,
@Well, that’s because they both are indeterminist. There is no significant difference between them regarding the issue of the human will.
Since my statement is true, then we should note that you should’ve just agreed with that statement from the beginning. But I have argued that you are inconsistent with rejecting Open Theist ideas.
@The obvious reason this is silly is that having a dog doesn’t make you a Christian or a Nazi.
And his reasoning is just as obviously silly, since believing in free will doesn’t make one an Open Theist any more than believing in God makes one a Muslim (as I pointed out above). Still association fallacy.
Does Peter Van Inwagen/Dale Tuggy/Richard Swinburne/ Peter Geach/ William Hasker/ Thomas J. Oord find this silly? These are famous philosophers that make these connections. So, it is bold and blind for him to state that they are silly. While believing in libertarian freedom doesn’t make one an Open Theist, it for one is the most popular reason for why people are Open Theist. Secondly, it is where your position logically leads.
The answer to the trilemma is fairly trivial: While refusal to believe is indeed a sin, the reason it keeps one from salvation is not due to it being a sin, but because unbelief, by definition, precludes belief in Christ, without which no one can be saved (Heb 11:6). As with all sins Christ died for, forgiveness for unbelief is only obtained through subsequent belief in Him.
While Owen’s argument is trifling at best, his sophomoric reasoning isn’t the biggest problem here. While unstated, there is a premise both insidious and heretical that one must hold to make this argument without duplicity or cognitive dissonance: If one is seriously arguing that unbelief would not stop a person from being forgiven any more than any other sin, that is effectively saying that Christ’s death brings about salvation whether or not one believes. Or to put it succinctly,
If Christ died for one’s sins, then faith isn’t necessary for salvation.
Note that he is not arguing that all for whom Christ died must eventually believe and be saved, no, he is saying they would be saved despite not believing! Any Bible-believing Christian should be horrified by such a godless and contra-scriptural idea. That faith is absolutely necessary to be saved is all over the New Testament (in John 3:16, Acts 13:39, Romans 3:22, 5:1, 10:9, Galatians 2:16, 3:22, to give a few references). How in the world can an allegedly Christian theologian be arguing that lack of faith wouldn’t stop someone from receiving forgiveness?
To which I may add this dilemma to our Universalists:– God imposed his wrath due unto, and Christ underwent the pains of hell for,
either all the sins of all men,
or all the sins of some men,
or some sins of all men.
If the last, some sins of all men, then have all men some sins to answer for, and so shall no man be saved; for if God enter into judgment with us, though it were with all mankind for one sin, no flesh should be justified in his sight: “If the Lord should mark iniquities, who should stand?” Ps. cxxx. 3. We might all go to cast all that we have “to the moles and to the bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty,” Isa. ii. 20, 21.
If the second, that is it which we affirm, that Christ in their stead and room suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the world.
If the first, why, then, are not all freed from the punishment of all their sins?
You will say, “Because of their unbelief; they will not believe.”
But this unbelief, is it a sin or not? If not, why should they be punished for it?
If it be, then Christ underwent the punishment due to it, or not.
If so, then why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which he died from partaking of the fruit of his death?
If he did not, then did he not die for all their sins.
Let them choose which part they will.
(John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, Book 1, ch 3; emphasis and spacing mine)
Owen’s argument doesn’t state or assume that people can be saved apart from faith or that they can’t be saved apart from faith. It is an argument in regards to how can individuals be atoned for but still punished. It rests on the contradiction of being technically covered by Christ(innocent) but yet still guilty of the punishment he takes for everyone at the cross. If a man is exonerated and his punishment placed on another, but then that punishment being placed back onto the exonerated because of the atoned deeds would require some basis for such an action on the judges part(unless he acts arbitrarily). It seems like the sacrifice of the other was pointless and the other man’s punishment seems unjust because these things were atoned for. This leaves God with about four options:
P1. Either all sin are atoned for and therefore everyone is saved.
P2. Some sins are atoned for and some are saved.
P3. All sins are atoned but only some are saved.
P4. All sins are atoned for and everyone is unsaved.
Arminians affirm the third position. But what basis does God condemn people on? The fourth position has no chance of being true. We at least know some people are saved. The first is known to be false because we know some are damned and an Arminian won’t affirm the second position. So, the question arises that if Christ has taken care of the sins of the world(or the guilt of sin) then on what basis can God judge those that will end up in hell?
There’s been at least one Calvinist who argues that Owen isn’t assuming one can or can’t be saved apart from faith, and that he’s only asking what basis God can condemn a person if Christ has died for his sins.
It should already be evident that one cannot argue that a person would be saved in spite of unbelief without assuming that belief isn’t necessary to be saved. Though Owen phrases it as a question in his famous trilemma argument, he confirms elsewhere in the same work that this is what he actually believes:
“Fourthly, If this reconciliation of the world consist (as it doth) in a non-imputation of sin, then this is either of all their sins, or only of some sins. If of some only, then Christ saves only from some sins. If of all, then of unbelief also, or it is no sin; then all the men in the world must needs be saved, as whose unbelief is pardoned.” (John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, Book 4, ch 3)
Notice that Owen’s argument is reductio. He argues that if you believe Christ dealt with sin/sin guilt or whatever makes mankind guilty before God, then it follows that all men must be saved. It never states the people will be saved apart from faith. It poses a dilemma for the Arminian where a man is innocent and guilty of the same crimes at the same time. But further just to show that it doesn’t presuppose that someone can be saved without faith. You can maintain that God created a world where postmortem repentance occurs to all, freely. Jerry Walls, the Arminian philosopher, maintains purgatory of some sort. So, it wouldn’t be hard for an Arminian to hold a strange position like that. Does Owen’s argument state that that is impossible? No. But you would have to be a crazed liberal the likes of Randal Rauser to believe that. But it assumes that the Arminian is against that position because they maintain some are damned. But how can their sins be atoned for and yet they are condemned for sin? At least, they are in a neutral state. They can’t be condemned but they didn’t believe so Jesus’ righteousness isn’t imputed to them. A better model is that Christ’s sacrifice and a person possessing faith are linked. God has designed the atonement by predestining it to be applied to the elect. So, Limited atonement makes more sense when considering the state of the damned(or better known by Arminians as ‘The Neutral’).
These will contain all my responses to the Arminian Perspectives website and possibly other responses to the website. Provided in chronological and subject order.
[Topic: Aseity/Transcendental Critique]
Recently, an older video surfaced of a certain Arminian trying to explain the difference between his view of LFW and an Open Theist perspective. Here is what he said:
I have been engaging in an exchange with the writer over at Arminian confusions website. Thibodaux has struggled to understand the most basic and simple points. His whining about self-imposed dependencies was a waste of time and his views are quite shallow. Here is the latest installment of his failure:
@God isn’t the ultimate arbiter of what is correct on your view.
When the n00b’s reasoning skills fail him, outright lies are the his weapon of choice.
That was because of an argument that God couldn’t be the basis of all truth because certain facts are beyond the control of God(facts regarding human choices). That is your position. The choice is ultimately up to the individual. Man Doesn’t think God’s thoughts after him he creates his own ideas.
@It is the case that other things have that power(our ability to make it true if we choose one way or another).
Nope, if we wish really hard with all our hearts that God didn’t exist, it won’t make it true. Our choices can only [partially] determine what we do, not what is correct. The n00b is lost in a fog of confusion.
Certainly we don’t have the ability to choose for God not to exists on your worldview. But we should recognize that your theory of truth is changed by your rejection of aseity. God and truth are independent of one another. God in your view isn’t the source of human predication. God is subject to exterior forces chance and abstractions.
@Well, determinists think people make their own choices. So, that doesn’t actually distinguish your position from any other position.
Their choices don’t come from them, they’re totally predetermined externally. Case in point,
“@In other words, every idea originates with God because man can only think God’s thoughts after him.”
Their choices come from them in the sense that they make the choices. They form the intentions to carry out activities and so forth. All man’s thoughts are derivative of God. It is only possible to think God’s thoughts after him. How is that even debatable?
@I’ve heard no significant metaphysical difference between your view of freedom and an Open Theist.
Except of course the knowability by God part, which is what defines Open Theism to begin with. [Cue more facepalms]
That is more an epistemic point about God’s ability to know them. I’m asking for a relevant difference between their perspectives on the wills of man. Nothing has been provided and nothing really can be provided because there is no metaphysical difference.
@You may assert that God knows the future but only inconsistently.
I’m assuming that you think God knows the future. So, I don’t need a citation for that. Do you now reject that idea? The conflict is between the idea God knows the future and humans have LFW. You affirm both of those, so why do I need a citation?
@I just pointed out the irony and hypocrisy of your constant claim that I’ve made up a definition of aseity
Note that I never said he made it up. I’ve argued this point before with other Calvinists. A redefinition of a word, even if old (such as Calvinists do with ‘Sovereignty’), is still a redefinition. My view of aseity, on the other hand, is no redefinition, but a clarification of its scope via sound argument.
Hmm let’s quote him:
But keeping His promises is still a self-imposed dependency, thus refuting our objector’s made-up definition of aseity.
Notice the problem of which Thibodaux you will have to choose.
Concerning my views on God’s self-imposed dependencies, when I pointed out that they don’t affect God’s ontology, he writes:
@Ah, so they are irrelevant as I’ve pointed out several times.
My points are irrelevant to a subject I wasn’t addressing? That’s…irrelevant.
So, here is why this is silly, you are in a conversation about God’s ontology and you bring up irrelevant things. But instead of admitting that you were chewing on red herring you decided that the conversation ceased being about God’s ontology and is rather about irrelevant things to what we were discussing. Genius!
@It’s called an analogy. I may need to learn how to write but this man needs to learn how to read. The keyword is “like”.
He utterly fails to establish how I’m “like” a JW in any meaningful way. Just more deceitful claptrap from someone who will spout anything to discredit those who disagree, no matter how inane.
Reread what I said because these things were explained.
@Notice that Christ changed via his human nature and his divine nature was unaffected. Basically, this just means that each person of the Trinity on your view has an incarnate form.
Well, your view makes no sense. God changes and he does not change. That is a surface-level contradiction.
@Another nature in which they take to interact with the world. That was what I was stating.
Right, you prefer the contradiction.
@So, God has two natures. A divine and a created. That was all I was trying to get across.
Nope, not even close. Straw. Man.
It isn’t a straw man to point out how saying The Son changed because he became a human as a model for the trinity’s relationship to time implies they are all incarnate. But your view seems to be the heresy of Eutychianism.
@But think God changes and is unchanging in the same nature is contradictory.
Already addressed. “While God’s innate attributes themselves do not change…” above. The n00b isn’t reading the argument.
God is timeless and temporal on your view. With no clarification, it is simply contradictory. How does that jive with Divine Simplicity?
@This is a flat out rejection of aseity because God’s knowledge is derivative from some external reality.
Nope, because as I said, “Just as who God is faithful to isn’t the attribute of faithfulness itself, knowing specifics about us isn’t the attribute of omniscience.”
God doesn’t rely upon us to possess the attribute of omniscience, ergo God doesn’t have an innate dependency upon the world (as opposed to the n00b’s view, in which God innately knows about the world and it therefore must exist for God to be truly omniscient).
Yes, the true propositions about us aren’t apart of omniscience. Silly
@You’ve been refuted multiple times.
Strange. Apparently he’s confusing stepping in his own fallacies for refutations. Funny that he doesn’t actually cite any specifics.
Several articles refute your silliness.
@That was because of an argument that God couldn’t be the basis of all truth because certain facts are beyond the control of God(facts regarding human choices).
God letting us have choices is not “beyond God’s control.” Non-sequitur/straw man.
How are they not beyond his control? Isn’t that a good thing on your perspective? God doesn’t control the actions we perform. So, these propositions become true regardless of God. God could never cause someone to freely choose something. So, in terms of those facts in regards to human choices God has no power to make one truth be true over another. That must be one of those voluntary dependencies.
@Man Doesn’t think God’s thoughts after him he creates his own ideas.
Yep, which is why things that don’t come from the Father (per 1 Jn 2:16) can exist.
The verse is speaking to the things of the world and them not being of or from God. The world has metaphorical connotations for everything that is antithetical to God and his commands. Being they aren’t fitting to what God commands or his original design. It isn’t a denial of divine determinism. They are from the fallen world they originate with the world.
Another issue is where does this idea of “thinking God’s thoughts after him” arise from? Well, it is a more Van Tilian idea:
Most secondary discussions of Van Til’s doctrine of analogy have correctly contrasted it with the metaphysical assumptions of Thomism and Barthianism,433 but have fallen short of directly explaining how he avoids their same basic pitfalls. In an endeavor to accomplish both ends, we begin with the observation that Van Til’s doctrine of analogy concerns the relationship between different sorts of minds—that of God and man—and not between concepts and different grades of objects. Just as there are two levels of existence (uncreated and created) there are “two levels of knowledge, the level of God’s knowledge which is absolutely comprehensive and self-contained and the level of man’s knowledge which is not comprehensive but is derivative and re-interpretive.”434 The pertinent question regarding our thought forms is not whether they reflect external objects when taken in isolation, but whether they reflect God’s all-encompassing interpretation/plan for that object. After all, no object can convey the whole story about itself. But, supposing that there is a Creator who has foreordained the end from the beginning, it follows that he must possess a complete systematic interpretation of things. Man’s interpretations, then, are “analogical” of God’s when they reflect, in a finite measure, God’s perspective on reality.435 Capturing the sense of the term “analogy,” true beliefs are like the divine mind as its finite reflection, and unlike the divine mind as quantitatively and qualitatively inferior to God’s self-contained perspective. Notably, on Van Til’s scenario, all true beliefs are analogical,436 with the result that the skeptic cannot disparage man’s knowledge of God as more ambiguous than his perceptions of other sorts of objects (see fig. 12).437 In fact, because the knowledge of God is the precondition of true (analogical) knowledge of all other things, it can be said that theological knowledge is the most certain, clear, and well-attested of all.
Bosserman, B. A.. The Trinity and the Vindication of Christian Paradox: An Interpretation and Refinement of the Theological Apologetic of Cornelius Van Til (pp. 111-112). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Think for a moment of post-modernism. Some postmodernist reason for their position because they believe humans never can access to the whole of reality. For example, suppose I say it is 9/11 today. Your mind thinks back to the terrorist attack. But before 2001 you may have thought of a birthday. The fact of 9/11 has meaning in a greater context. But we never have a comprehensive context for all reality. We would have to be omniscient. Imagine a book from which you open to a random page read three words and close the book. Would you know what those words meant without knowing the rest of the book? That is how some postmodernist imagine human knowledge is like. Nobody has the full story. But suppose someone that has full self-contained and perfect knowledge of the book communicates with you. You would be able to know more about the book. This is why Van Tilians stress the importance of Divine Revelation. Furthermore, these very same arguments I’ve provided have been provided by others:
Understood in its fullest import, the doctrine of the Trinity, along with the doctrines of creation and natural revelation, imply a high Augustinian doctrine of divine sovereignty (Prov 16:4, 33; Ps 139:16; Matt 10:29–30; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11).542 Since man, his faculties, his motives and powers are exhaustively inspired by and dependent on the Absolute Creator, it follows that they must be equally subject to God’s continued governance, such that they cannot deviate from His eternal plan at any point. It is equally impossible that God could elect to limit his sovereign direction or knowledge of human history at any point in order to allow for libertarian freedom on the part of man. On such a scenario, God’s knowledge would be ultimately receptive, and His will ultimately reactive, to the finite creation. And if even the slightest measure of independence is injected into the creation, God must cease to be the self-sufficient source of unity and diversity, and become instead a finite member of a super-divine dialectic between Himself and mankind.543 But of course, God is Triune. And it is impossible for His personal Will and personal Intellect to desist in exhaustively governing and comprehending all things, for if they could so negate themselves, they would have never been mutually exhaustive in the first place, but always threatened by an open future which resides beyond them.544 So again, the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of divine sovereignty mutually imply one another.
Bosserman, B. A.. The Trinity and the Vindication of Christian Paradox: An Interpretation and Refinement of the Theological Apologetic of Cornelius Van Til (p. 143). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.
@All man’s thoughts are derivative of God. It is only possible to think God’s thoughts after him. How is that even debatable?
Since man’s thoughts are often evil, such an inane theory would make God the author of sin in defiance of the biblical citation above.
I responded to that above and gave a further rationale for why people have thought the way I do. The understanding of the citation is what I disputed. For it isn’t clear that John was denying determinism from the quotation and it would contradict verses implying that God does determine such things.
@But we should that your theory of truth is changed by your rejection of aseity.
That’s both grammatically atrocious, and entirely unclear.
I edited it slightly above to state we should recognize that truth is independent of God in your scheme.
@God is subject to exterior forces chance and abstractions.
If he means *involuntary* subjection, then it wouldn’t be a self-imposed dependency as I argue.
[concerning me being kind of sort of like an Open Theist]
Sure, but then these self-imposed dependencies are just incompatible with aseity. If God is subject voluntarily to outside forces, then he voluntarily gives up aseity.
@That is more an epistemic point about God’s ability to know them. I’m asking for a relevant difference between their perspectives on the wills of man.
Kind of like I have little difference of perspective with a Roman Catholic on the Trinity. There’s a reason why ‘association fallacy’ is one of the dumber fallacies out there. He also still utterly fails to establish how I’m “like” a JW in any meaningful way.
I explained the JW analogy in a previous article. It isn’t my fault that you’re just incompetent. I stated that no difference exists between Arminian and an open theist in regards to what freedom a human agent has. You said there is some mythical difference between them. I challenged you to provide a relevant metaphysical difference because free will is a metaphysical dogma. But you provided an epistemological one.
@The conflict is between the idea God knows the future and humans have LFW. You affirm both of those, so why do I need a citation?
[citation still missing]
I don’t need one. You would make a great Muslim apologist.
@Hmm let’s quote him:
I stated it was our objector’s made-up definition, as in what he’s propounding. Nowhere did I state that *he* made it up. He needs to brush up a bit on his reading comprehension.
He is technically correct. It doesn’t imply that I made-up the position. I think he probably thought that initially and change his mind but I can’t read minds. I find it ironic he criticizes my reading comprehension when his responses are so poor and reflect someone that hasn’t thought much on these issues. They are barely responses to the things I’ve said that it is just hard to read such waste of words.
@you are in a conversation about God’s ontology and you bring up irrelevant things.
Our objector appears very confused, since my points weren’t about God’s ontology (except how it’s not affected by self-imposed dependencies).
Yeah, I don’t think you comprehend the complaint. The point is that you talk about irrelevant things. Get with the program. (He will respond by continuing his irrelevant conversation).
@Well, your view makes no sense. God changes and he does not change. That is a surface-level contradiction.
From someone who practices little more than surface-level reading, this comes as little surprise. Already refuted with my point, “Christ as a man was inarguably temporal in some respects” See above.
Yeah, it is almost like Christ possesses two natures.
@Right, you prefer the contradiction.
@It isn’t a straw man to point out how saying The Son changed because he became a human as a model for the trinity’s relationship to time implies they are all incarnate.
God doesn’t have to become incarnate to deal in time. He manifest Himself in time on numerous occasions in the OT prior to the incarnation.
Yeah, when I state God is incarnate, I simply mean he takes on multiple natures. It isn’t like the Father and Spirit must be born of a virgin or something.
@God is timeless and temporal on your view. With no clarification, it is simply contradictory.
‘Transcendent’ and ‘immanent.’ Existing outside of time, but capable of manifesting Himself within time. He invokes another strawman.
When he manifests himself in time, is that truly him? Is he there qua his divinity? If yes, then he is temporal/spacial. If not, then he is timeless and those manifestations are theophanies.
@Yes, the true propositions about us aren’t apart of omniscience. Silly
“Just as who God is faithful to isn’t the attribute of faithfulness itself, knowing specifics about us isn’t the attribute of omniscience.” See above.
@Several articles refute your silliness.
The early Church was married to poverty, prisons, and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity.
A report shows that a century ago Christians comprised 20% of the population in the Middle East and North Africa, but since then the proportion has fallen to less than 4% or roughly 15 million people.
But it seems as of late the mainstream media refuses to report such facts or at least twist the truth.
Recently, May of 2019, a report commissioned by the British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, explains that millions of Christians in the region have been uprooted from their homes, and many have been killed, kidnapped, imprisoned and discriminated against.
Now, let’s look at the situation happening in America. I’m glad to say that Christians are not experiencing the same as the Middle East, but we are seeing a trickling of our Constitutional Rights being trampled on while the message of the Gospel is being suppressed by Big Corporations, Universities, and Local Levels of Government.
Luckily, we have a system where we are able to fight back.
I was recently listening to a podcast with Adam Curry. He was having a discussion with Steve Pieczenik, author and CIA advisor and former US Department of State official. Religion was brought up on the show and this was what was said from the State Official.
I simply find it interesting that even a former State official who is not a Christian (Jewish) and can speak so plainly about what is going on within our world and the issue is why is this not being addressed? The problem is us. We scream at Abortion Clinics and plead to stop murdering innocent lives being ripped to pieces but when it comes to Christians, fellow believers, whether here in America or far away in the Middle East, all we do is give a nod of respect and say “very sad…”, but are we following the same playbook with abolishing abortions, when it comes to stopping Christian persecutions? No. Why not?
Is it because we, as Christians, know that those martyrs will find rest in Heaven, therefore, there is no need to speak out boldly against such injustice?
I really think we need to treat our fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ with more love by showing more unction as we do with the unborn.
Thibodaux refuses to accept the fact that he is wrong. So, he has another attempt to show us why he is wrong again:
Our dearest n00b objector shows amazing endurance in shoveling out more silliness. It’s just as easily dismissed.
He means he ignores it because he doesn’t have any meaningful response to it.
@So, you have to further explain where the fault is with my argument.
Already done in showing that God is the Arbiter of what is correct (see above). Any variance from the Arbiter’s definition, by definition, would be incorrect.
God isn’t the ultimate arbiter of what is correct on your view. It is the case that other things have that power(our ability to make it true if we choose one way or another).
@Those are men that all agreed with the points I provided from them. So, Thibodaux is a doofus to think I’m redefining something.
So, no specifics, no argument for his redefinition of terms, just appeal to the opinions of a small set of scholars culminating in an ad hominem. *Sigh.* That’s about the level of n00bish nonsense we’ve come to expect.
I never redefined aseity and I quoted sources that agreed with what I’ve stated about aseity. Those quotations were provided here:
Now, Thibodaux was reminded that I quoted these things in previous articles:
He has chosen willful ignorance because he chooses not to actually understand anything I’ve presented through these articles.
@Doesn’t everything ultimately result because God chose to create? That is, that God ultimately came up with this possible world and instantiated it knowing that every evil that would occur in it would come to pass. So, reductio, Arminianism core tenents entail God is the author of sin.
Creating a world knowing that people will of themselves choose evil isn’t authoring sin, because the choice to commit iniquity originates in man, not God. It’s a flat-out error to conflate creation of free agents with those agents making their own choices.
Well, determinists think people make their own choices. So, that doesn’t actually distinguish your position from any other position. But I think it still applies because God instantiated a world in which he knew that the agents would act in such a way that they would do massive amounts of evil. In other words, every idea originates with God because man can only think God’s thoughts after him. Every action God does he intends to do. The action to create the world and it contain every evil that would befall this world was God’s choice. God, therefore, intended a world in which man does evil.
@There is no difference between your view of Libertarian Freedom and that of an Open Theist. You are both libertarians holding probably the principle of alternative possibilities or ultimate sourcehood versions of LFW.
The Open Theist view of freedom ALSO entails that God can’t know the result of our freedom in choice-making until they occur in time (which runs contrary to Christ predicting Peter’s denial, etc), hence the name *OPEN THEIST.* This is why “you sound kinda of sorta maybe like [insert some heresy]!” is nothing more than an association fallacy.
I’ve heard no significant metaphysical difference between your view of freedom and an Open Theist. You may assert that God knows the future but only inconsistently.
@He criticizes me for a made-up definition of aseity but you can pour through all my books containing the topic of aseity and notice that none of them have the made-up distinction of self-imposed dependencies and it’s a distinction from innate independence.
Because apparently, lack of evidence (in one set of books, no less) is somehow evidence. Cue the facepalms.
The validity of my distinction is already proven by sound argument in this post: God cannot unmake Abraham due to His faithful nature; God now requires that Abraham exist and is therefore dependent upon Abraham in some sense (albeit, by His own will). QED
I just pointed out the irony and hypocrisy of your constant claim that I’ve made up a definition of aseity and that you have your own made-up distinctions. But I’ve never stated the distinction was invalid because you made it up but rather it is irrelevant. But that also means my definition of aseity(which is ideas from Dutch reformed thinkers) shouldn’t be dismissed either.
@P1. Either Self-Imposed Dependacies deal with the ontology of God or they do not.
P2. If they don’t, then they are irrelevant to conversations about the onology of God.
…Okay, dude, you either think it is relevant to a conversation about the ontology of God or you don’t.
God is who He is whether He takes any such dependencies or not, so such dependencies as I describe do not alter His quality of existence, nature, etc (ontology).
Ah, so they are irrelevant as I’ve pointed out several times. That means you should stop talking about them and move to other ideas.
@This is like arguing with someone that believes that God is omniscience but has self-imposed ignorance upon himself(like many JW’s believe) but still is completely omniscient.
I said nothing about self-imposed ignorance, knowing and not-knowing the same things, etc. Yet another obvious association fallacy. I’m starting to think this guy just writes whatever goes through his head without bothering to check if it makes any sense.
It’s called an analogy. I may need to learn how to write but this man needs to learn how to read. The keyword is “like”.
@How can God’s nature not change and him be temporal?
Because He’s both transcendent and immanent. Also, Christ as a man was inarguably temporal in some respects in that He went through all the changes that normal men do, but His divine existence and nature were fundamentally unaltered.
Notice that Christ changed via his human nature and his divine nature was unaffected. Basically, this just means that each person of the Trinity on your view has an incarnate form. Another nature in which they take to interact with the world. That was what I was stating. So, God has two natures. A divine and a created. That was all I was trying to get across. But think God changes and is unchanging in the same nature is contradictory.
@So, as someone once said it to me, “Divine Wisdom” and “God” are co-referential. To speak about God’s omniscience is just to speak about God.
Just as who God is faithful to isn’t the attribute of faithfulness itself, knowing specifics about us isn’t the attribute of omniscience. The idea that God innately knows everything about us has already perished on the rocks of my deductive proof:
This is a flat out rejection of aseity because God’s knowledge is derivative from some external reality. That makes God dependent upon that external reality to possess all the knowledge he does(foreknowledge isn’t identical to omniscience but it is apart of it). So you just have to give up either aseity or Arminian theories of foreknowledge.
@where in this article have you done that that I’ve not already responded to and shown that you were wrong?
Pretty much all of it. Showing that I’m incorrect would require some sort of actual evidence or sound argument, not the sputtering torrent of n00bish fallacies and sophistry he’s presented thus far (see the NAME THAT FALLACY above for a hilarious sampling).
You’ve been refuted multiple times.