December 3, 2020

The Council

A modern day council!

I recently was listening to Dr. Flowers on his podcast talk about the issue of Omniscience and Determinism. This is just another video where Leighton finds a popular Calvinist to refute. These Calvinist are usually the same group of guys( Piper, Sproul, Mohler, MacArthur). He considers these the heavyweights of Calvinism. He usually goes after those that aren’t that philosophically trained with his more philosophical objections. These men are theologians and not really experts on philosophical theology. Why doesn’t he respond to the works of Paul Manata, Dr. Greg Welty, Dr. James Anderson, Dr. Paul Helm, or Dr. John Frame?

Leighton begins with mentioning how Calvinist are being dogmatic about an issue that isn’t revealed. The Calvinist starts with his philosophical speculations and works back to the Word. That is pretty hypocritical as he banks his notion of “counter-causal freedom” as the axiom upon which moral responsibility hangs. That one assumption drives his entire worldview.

Leighton’s major objection in this video is that Calvinist don’t understand the difference between Foreordination and Foreknowledge. I don’t think he understands that Calvinist understand that foreknowledge doesn’t cause anything. That is where foreordination is tied in with God’s will or decree as Calvinist say. Dr. Flowers is always attacking uninformed Calvinist or ignoring correction from those that know the difference. If he was to be criticizing anyone, then it would be the Thomist. It is that school of thought that maintains that God’s will is identical to his knowledge.

He complains about the way Calvinist use the analogy of God looking down the corridors of time to speak about the Simple foreknowledge view. I think that is a more petty complaint. He uses the metaphors of God being “outside of time” and even his so-called explanation of this very issue uses analogies. The Eternal Now position has for a long time used the analogy of God being on a mountain being able to view each moment.

He goes on to proclaim for the millionth time that Determinism entails that God is evil because it would mean that God ordains evil. He is one for repeating disproven claims. A more interesting question is whether Freewill escapes Determinism.

He plays a clip in which Dr. John MacArthur answers correctly to the wrong question. He confuses the Biblical term to “foreknow” with the philosophical term of “foreknow”. The former stresses that the object has a personal relationship with God and the other implies that God has the true belief in something.

Leighton asked a prolific question, “If there is no difference, then why is there two different words?”

He is asking that because Dr. MacArthur answered that there is no difference between Foreknowledge and Foreordination. Is Leighton seriously incapable of understanding that two terms can be different and have the same meaning? It is like saying that the terms Messiah and Christ can’t share the same referent because they are different words. So, Jesus isn’t the Messiah. It is like saying that since saved and redeemed are two different terms they can’t mean the same thing. In Leighton’s world synonyms don’t exist.

Leighton in response to a statement of Dr. Al Mohler asked: “Can God will something to take place that doesn’t take place?”

The obvious answer is that nobody can frustrate his will. If he decrees something to come to pass, then that cannot fail to obtain. Leighton uses a common prooftext that Molinist use as evidence for Middle Knowledge. The text is 1 Samuel 23:11–13:

11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Lord, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.” 13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the expedition.

Leighton thinks this passage means that God foreknew that Saul will receive David because the Keilah will hand him over. That means Leighton believes that God foreknew what was going to happen and yet his foreknowledge was wrong. This means you can foreknow something and it be false. Does Leighton not know that you can’t know something that is false? Dr. Flowers accidentally was consistent and affirmed open theism. He mistakenly thinks counterfactuals are statements about what “will” happen instead of what “would” happen.

He states that Calvinist don’t distinguish between the Human will or the Divine will. That is only true of those that maintain occasionalism. So, he simply isn’t reading Calvinist philosophers.

He goes on to say Boethius thought God was both in and outside of time. That is simply false as he was a classical theist. Dr. Flowers doesn’t understand what the view known as the “Eternal now” actually is.

He finishes his video by stating how his God is more amazing than the God of Calvinism. That is because he created agents with Libertarian freedom. That is as good as an argument as me stating that my God is better because he can measure a square-circle.

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