"Is the future settled or open?" Will v. Jaltus

 

  • May 7th 2008 10:53 AM
    Will
    "Is the future settled or open?" Will v. Jaltus
    Jaltus and I will be debating open theism. I am an open theist and Jaltus is a Molinist Arminian. We will be trying to answer the question, "Is the future settled or open?" I will be posting first and there is no time limit or debate length at the outset of this discussion. Hope this will be edifying to all!
  • May 9th 2008 09:55 AM
    Will
    Is God free?
    I’d like to start with a question. Is God free? The debate over God’s knowledge and the future has long been incorrectly focused on man. For ages, people have wrestled with reconciling God’s knowledge of the future with man’s freedom. Well, the open theism movement is beginning to ask new questions, turning this highly important debate back to God Himself. Is God free? What about God’s knowledge before He created man, the heavens and the earth? The answer to these questions, and others like it, will be very revealing in determining whether or not the future is settled or open.

    Is God free?

    (I will strive to refrain from using the term ‘free will’ in this debate. I believe ‘free will’ is redundant. A will, by definition, is free. And if ‘free will’ is redundant, then ‘libertarian free will’ is doubly redundant. Whenever I refer to a ‘will’, it’s implied that the will is free. When I refer to someone being free, I am referring to their will, and of course, I'll be referring to God's will.)

    Yes, God is free. I’m not sure anyone would disagree with this. God freely created the heavens and earth and all that is in them. He wasn’t forced to create, nor was He coerced into doing so, but God is free. But what are the ramifications of this? If God is free, can the future be settled? The answer is: no.

    Let’s take a look back into the past. Jaltus, did God have any say in the matter when it came to creating the heavens and the earth? Did God conscientiously decide to create or rather, did He merely foresee that He would create? Did God have to create the way He did, or could He have done it another way? No one is quite sure of the exact date that God created, but was God forced to create on that exact day, or could He have created on a different day? Basically, is God free?

    My view of God, a free God, is that God was indeed free to create. Sometime in the distant past, the triune God made the free decision to create the heavens and the earth, along with man to fellowship with Him. He freely designed His creation and was not bound by any type of foreknowledge. He created when He wanted to, how He wanted to, and was not stuck in some sort of fate, having to do it on a certain day. Our God is free and if God is free, the future is open.
  • May 23rd 2008 06:35 AM
    Jaltus
    Re: Is God free?
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Will  View Post
    Yes, God is free. I’m not sure anyone would disagree with this. God freely created the heavens and earth and all that is in them. He wasn’t forced to create, nor was He coerced into doing so, but God is free. But what are the ramifications of this? If God is free, can the future be settled? The answer is: no.

    I do think God is not completely free. I believe He is limited by His own character and His own laws (not the laws of nature, mind you, but the laws of logic). If God cannot lie, then He is limited by His own words as well.

    Quote:

    Let’s take a look back into the past. Jaltus, did God have any say in the matter when it came to creating the heavens and the earth? Did God conscientiously decide to create or rather, did He merely foresee that He would create? Did God have to create the way He did, or could He have done it another way? No one is quite sure of the exact date that God created, but was God forced to create on that exact day, or could He have created on a different day? Basically, is God free?
    I believe creation was a free action.

    Quote:

    My view of God, a free God, is that God was indeed free to create. Sometime in the distant past, the triune God made the free decision to create the heavens and the earth, along with man to fellowship with Him. He freely designed His creation and was not bound by any type of foreknowledge. He created when He wanted to, how He wanted to, and was not stuck in some sort of fate, having to do it on a certain day. Our God is free and if God is free, the future is open.
    The problem is that you do not think about God being limited by His own character, and thus, since He cannot lie, He is limited by His own words. Is God free to not destroy the world through fire? No, because He promised He would destroy the world that way. Can God destroy the world by flood? No, because God declared He would never use that again.

    Is God free? Yes. Is God absolutely free? No.
  • May 27th 2008 10:33 AM
    Will
    Creation
    Jaltus, thanks for your reply. You wrote:
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus View Post
    I do think God is not completely free. I believe He is limited by His own character and His own laws (not the laws of nature, mind you, but the laws of logic). If God cannot lie, then He is limited by His own words as well.

    I'm happy to say that we are in agreement here. Since God is Truth, the laws of logic cannot be broken and since God is Good, He cannot do evil and remain righteous. However, those observations go beyond the scope of my first round argument. This next reply of yours is, however, completely on topic:
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus View Post
    I believe creation was a free action.

    This is at the heart of openness debate and you are absolutely right: God's creation was free. But what does this mean? I think it will show that the future is not settled, but open.

    Since God was free to create the heavens and the earth, what does that mean?

    1. It means that God was free not to create.

    He wasn't forced to create. He wasn't coerced to create. God freely created the heavens and the earth and had the ability not to.

    2. It means that God was free to create the heavens and the earth differently than He did.

    God designed the beautiful universe and did so freely. No one or nothing told God how He was to create. God freely created what He did and this means He had the ability to do it differently. I'm not saying that God could have created impossibilities, like square circles, good demons, or a duplicate God, but just that He could have created differently: more butterflies, etc.

    God was free to create and since God was not forced by anyone or anything to create, the future was open and not settled. If the future was settled, God would have been forced to create the exact same way the settled future said He would. But our God is free and the future is open.

    Jaltus, did God have the ability to create any differently than He did?

    The next logical question in this debate is whether or not God remains free to create. Can God still create? Is God eternally creative, or has He lost that ability? I believe the answer is yes, God is eternally creative.

    Jaltus, you wrote that you "believe creation was a free action." (emphasis mine) Let's take that further. Do you believe God remains free?
  • July 21st 2008 12:15 PM
    Jaltus
    Re: Creation
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Will  View Post
    Jaltus, thanks for your reply. You wrote:


    I'm happy to say that we are in agreement here. Since God is Truth, the laws of logic cannot be broken and since God is Good, He cannot do evil and remain righteous. However, those observations go beyond the scope of my first round argument. This next reply of yours is, however, completely on topic:

    We do have to have some foundation from which to debate, hence me positing a starting point in God's character.


    Quote:

    This is at the heart of openness debate and you are absolutely right: God's creation was free. But what does this mean? I think it will show that the future is not settled, but open.

    Since God was free to create the heavens and the earth, what does that mean?

    1. It means that God was free not to create.

    He wasn't forced to create. He wasn't coerced to create. God freely created the heavens and the earth and had the ability not to.
    I totally agree with point 1 and your explanation of it. In fact, I find it to be a problem of Calvinism (specifically Piper's brand) that forces God to create since Piper and his followers hold that God's happiness is based on His sovereignty, and sovereignty needs people tob e sovereign over, and thus creation is necessary for God's happiness. You will never hear that from an Arminian.

    Quote:

    2. It means that God was free to create the heavens and the earth differently than He did.

    God designed the beautiful universe and did so freely. No one or nothing told God how He was to create. God freely created what He did and this means He had the ability to do it differently. I'm not saying that God could have created impossibilities, like square circles, good demons, or a duplicate God, but just that He could have created differently: more butterflies, etc.
    I disagree here, but more out of ignorance than knowledge. Let me explain:

    It is certainly possible that God have created other, but He did not.

    There stands to reason that God had specific reasons for making this particular world with the particular makeup He gave it. God is unlikely (I would say it is impossible, but do not want to debate this point) to have created something He thought of us less than perfect, even knowing possible or probable outcomes (assuming God has limited knowledge of the future).

    Thus, I would say God's character (goodness, love, omnipotence, knowledge, etc) pushed Him toward creating the world He thought would turn out the best. Therefore, I do not think God was free to create any possible world simply because many possible worlds would go against His character.

    Quote:

    God was free to create and since God was not forced by anyone or anything to create, the future was open and not settled. If the future was settled, God would have been forced to create the exact same way the settled future said He would. But our God is free and the future is open.
    This is false, as you are assuming an open future, which is what you are trying to prove. A settled future does not limit God simply because the future is known by God, you are making the modal fallacy that assumes knowledge causes action, but knowledge itself cannot act, and therefore knowledge causes nothing (I am simplifying the argument here).

    Your point here assumes the conclusion and is not a valid argument.

    Quote:

    Jaltus, did God have the ability to create any differently than He did?
    Possibly, but I am not sure, if one means could He have, yes. If one means did His character limit Him to a single possibility of creation, that is also possible. I am not certain.

    Quote:

    The next logical question in this debate is whether or not God remains free to create. Can God still create? Is God eternally creative, or has He lost that ability? I believe the answer is yes, God is eternally creative.
    He can create, but that does not mean He "is eternally creative," since I am not certain what that means. God has the ability, but not necessarily the inclination. In fact, one could say that His sustaining of creation is in fact creative work, but I do not think that is what you mean.

    Quote:

    Jaltus, you wrote that you "believe creation was a free action." (emphasis mine) Let's take that further. Do you believe God remains free?
    Yes, but not unlimited free. I think He is now limited by His decrees as well as His character.
  • July 24th 2008 04:35 PM
    Will
    An open future
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    I totally agree with point 1 and your explanation of it.

    Your total agreement with me here is very important. Let’s recap what you’re agreeing with me on:

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Will
    Since God was free to create the heavens and the earth, what does that mean?

    1. It means that God was free not to create.

    He wasn't forced to create. He wasn't coerced to create. God freely created the heavens and the earth and had the ability not to.

    God's freedom to create, which you agree with, leads to my conclusion.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by jaltus
    ...you are assuming an open future, which is what you are trying to prove.

    I didn’t assume an open future; it was my conclusion based on the truth you've already agreed to, that God had the ability to create and the ability not to. There was nothing settled about it. God is free and you’ve admitted that God was free to create and free not to. God was free and made the decision to create. The future was open and you’ve agreed.

    If my reasoning for this conclusion is incorrect, you should be able to demonstrate how.
  • November 13th 2008 03:31 PM
    Jaltus
    Re: An open future
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Will  View Post
    I didn’t assume an open future; it was my conclusion based on the truth you've already agreed to, that God had the ability to create and the ability not to. There was nothing settled about it. God is free and you’ve admitted that God was free to create and free not to. God was free and made the decision to create. The future was open and you’ve agreed.

    No, you are assuming your conclusion:

    1) God was free to create or not create
    2) God did create
    C) The future is open

    There is no logical connection between the premises and the conclusion. you are assuming this:

    1) God was free to create or not create
    1a) If God was free to create or not create, the future was open
    2) God did create
    C) The future is open

    I disagree with 1a. Just because God was free does not mean God did not know what He was going to do. In fact, your position demands that this is not so, since whatever God determines to do is, according to your system, not free. If God determined to create, which we know He did, God did not allow an open future just by creating in the first place. However, I think that the conclusion here does not hold either.

    Quote:

    If my reasoning for this conclusion is incorrect, you should be able to demonstrate how.
    I did. You clearly assume steps in your argument. There is no logical connection between God being free and the future being open.
  • November 17th 2008 03:09 PM
    Will
    The ability to decide
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus View Post
    No, you are assuming your conclusion:

    1) God was free to create or not create
    2) God did create
    C) The future is open

    Point 2 is irrelevant. Point C should read, “The future was open.” You’ve already agreed that creation was a free action, meaning God had the ability not to create. For God to have the ability to create or not create, makes the future open regarding creation. It’s open, and not settled, because God truly has the ability to do either A or B. A being create and B being not create. You try to wiggle out of this truth with:

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    Just because God was free does not mean God did not know what He was going to do.

    So my question for you is: Did God have the ability to decide to create? You “totally agree” when I stated that God wasn’t forced or coerced to create. So let’s take this one step further. Was God free to decide to create? The foundation for the settled future is crumbling.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    In fact, your position demands that this is not so, since whatever God determines to do is, according to your system, not free.

    This is not true. We do agree that just because God determines to do something and does it, doesn’t make Him not free. It’s whether or not God has the ability to decide to determine something.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    There is no logical connection between God being free and the future being open.

    We agreed on that last point, but you’re wrong on this one and many will see it.
  • November 17th 2008 09:11 PM
    Jaltus
    Re: The ability to decide
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Will  View Post
    Point 2 is irrelevant. Point C should read, “The future was open.” You’ve already agreed that creation was a free action, meaning God had the ability not to create. For God to have the ability to create or not create, makes the future open regarding creation. It’s open, and not settled, because God truly has the ability to do either A or B. A being create and B being not create. You try to wiggle out of this truth with:


    So my question for you is: Did God have the ability to decide to create? You “totally agree” when I stated that God wasn’t forced or coerced to create. So let’s take this one step further. Was God free to decide to create? The foundation for the settled future is crumbling.

    I am not sure what you mean by the phrase "the future was open." before God created, there was no matter and therefore, by definition, no time. Therefore, there was no past or future. If you want me to agree that the future was open prior to creation that is like trying to get me to agree that there is such a thing as a square triangle, it makes no logical sense.

    Just because God is free to do what He wants does not mean the future is open. I think you need to define "open future" before we travel further down this road. I think you are loading your definition.

    Quote:

    This is not true. We do agree that just because God determines to do something and does it, doesn’t make Him not free. It’s whether or not God has the ability to decide to determine something.
    Okay.

    Quote:

    We agreed on that last point, but you’re wrong on this one and many will see it.
    Lol, you are trying to win by definition but your entire argument makes no logical sense.
  • November 19th 2008 02:25 PM
    Will
    Progression
    Jaltus, although I disagree, I know that you believe that God is now limited by His decrees. I knew that before we even started. Which is why, at the outset, I discussed God’s future prior to His decrees, which I knew you believed. Was God free to decree? Was God free to decide to decree? Was God free to create? Was God free to decide to create? And so on…

    Now you’re claiming that you’re not sure what I mean “by the phrase ‘future was open.’” You say,

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus View Post
    Before God created, there was no matter and therefore, by definition, no time. Therefore, there was no past or future. If you want me to agree that the future was open prior to creation that is like trying to get me to agree that there is such a thing as a square triangle, it makes no logical sense.

    This is utter nonsense. Jaltus, it’s obvious that there was a “before” God created. You cannot argue that the earth has eternally existed, because it has not. It had a beginning. God existed prior to the earth’s creation. To say “before God created” is completely accurate and biblical. In John 17:24, Jesus was praying to His Father and said to God, “for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” God the Father loved the Son before the foundation of the world. Jaltus, even you say “before God created,” showing that even you know there is a “before” God created. 

    1. Jaltus, was God’s love for the Son before the foundation of the world, in the past?
    2. And, did God decide to create before or after He actually created?

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    Just because God is free to do what He wants does not mean the future is open. I think you need to define "open future" before we travel further down this road. I think you are loading your definition.

    I will define both an “open future” and a “settled future.”

    Open future – No existing exhaustive account of everything that will happen.

    Settled future – An existing exhaustive account of everything that will happen, that cannot be varied from.

    With these definitions, let’s discuss God’s future and the obvious progression of God’s existence, His decision to create and His creation itself.

    Facts:
    God eternally existed before He decided to create.
    God decided to create before He actually created.
    God created certain things before others.

    Referring back to the definition of “open” and “settled” future:
    3. When God existed before His decision to create, was there an existing exhaustive account of everything that would happen, that could not be varied from, including the decision to create?
    4. When God decided to create before He actually created, was there an existing exhaustive account of everything that would happen, that could not be varied from, including the creation itself?
    5. When God was creating fish and birds on Day Five of Creation before Day Six, was there an existing exhaustive account of everything that would happen, that could not be varied from, including the design of land animals and man?
  • November 25th 2008 01:47 PM
    Jaltus
    Re: Progression
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Will  View Post
    Jaltus, although I disagree, I know that you believe that God is now limited by His decrees. I knew that before we even started. Which is why, at the outset, I discussed God’s future prior to His decrees, which I knew you believed. Was God free to decree? Was God free to decide to decree? Was God free to create? Was God free to decide to create? And so on…

    Now you’re claiming that you’re not sure what I mean “by the phrase ‘future was open.’” You say,

    Correct.


    Quote:

    This is utter nonsense. Jaltus, it’s obvious that there was a “before” God created. You cannot argue that the earth has eternally existed, because it has not. It had a beginning. God existed prior to the earth’s creation. To say “before God created” is completely accurate and biblical. In John 17:24, Jesus was praying to His Father and said to God, “for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” God the Father loved the Son before the foundation of the world. Jaltus, even you say “before God created,” showing that even you know there is a “before” God created.
    How long was the "before God created"? There is no answer to that. all we have are two separate durations, before and after Creation. The problem is that, by definition, time is a measurement of physicality (t = v/d: time equals velocity divided by distance). How could spirits measure time? You are begging the question by asserting that "before" implies time. It only implies duration or a single event.

    I have not argued the eternal existence of the earth, quite the opposite in fact. But I am arguing before creation there was no time. When God created matter, God created time. Thus, until something happened to change God's eternal state (namely god's own action) there was no time. To say the future was open is to say nothing. There was no future just as there was no past or even present. There was no time before creation. Once God created, then one could point to a before creation, but before creation there was nothing, no event, to point toward!. Before creation is a past event that never had a present or a future.

    Quote:

    1. Jaltus, was God’s love for the Son before the foundation of the world, in the past?
    2. And, did God decide to create before or after He actually created?
    1) The love among the Trinity is eternal. In fact, Jonathon Edwards argues that the manifestation of this love is the Holy Spirit, though that is going a bit far in my opinion.

    2) Neither. God's decision to create was the moment of creation.


    Quote:

    I will define both an “open future” and a “settled future.”

    Open future – No existing exhaustive account of everything that will happen.

    Settled future – An existing exhaustive account of everything that will happen, that cannot be varied from.

    With these definitions, let’s discuss God’s future and the obvious progression of God’s existence, His decision to create and His creation itself.

    Facts:
    God eternally existed before He decided to create.
    God decided to create before He actually created.
    God created certain things before others.
    I disagree that God decided to create before He did. I also disagree that God eternally existed before He decided to create. God existed before creation, but to say it was eternal implies a time element. how long did god exist before creation? There is no way to answer because it is a meaningless question since time only obtains for physical beings.

    Quote:

    Referring back to the definition of “open” and “settled” future:
    3. When God existed before His decision to create, was there an existing exhaustive account of everything that would happen, that could not be varied from, including the decision to create?
    I would say no.

    Quote:

    4. When God decided to create before He actually created, was there an existing exhaustive account of everything that would happen, that could not be varied from, including the creation itself?
    The moment of decision is when God decided what world to create. By picking a specific world to instantiate (and you must admit that He obviously had choices), God set all of time into motion. His plan was begun in that moment, and therefore that is when God knew exactly what would happen.

    Quote:

    5. When God was creating fish and birds on Day Five of Creation before Day Six, was there an existing exhaustive account of everything that would happen, that could not be varied from, including the design of land animals and man?
    Yes, because God had already decided which world to make.
  • November 26th 2008 04:49 PM
    Will
    Before Creation
    Jaltus, you wrote that you:
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus View Post
    Disagree that God eternally existed before He decided to create.

    Wow. When your foundational ideas are wrong, it drives you to make fearful and absurd claims, like God didn't eternally exist before creation.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    I would say no.

    You're admitting that there was "no existing exhaustive account of everything that would happen before God decided to create." This admission means that before God decided to create, He didn't have exhaustive omniscience and that the design of creation was open. Now we're making progress. (This will give you a huge immutability problem as well, that we can deal with in a later post.)

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    I disagree that God decided to create before He did.

    John 17:5
    And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

    John 17:24
    "Father,...You loved Me before the foundation of the world."

    1 Peter 1:20
    He (Christ) indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

    Ephesians 1:4-5
    Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

    God acted before creation. He shared glory with the Son, He loved the Son, He foreknew the Son's role, and He planned the body of Christ, all before the foundation of the world.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    His plan was begun in that moment.

    Eph. 1:4 contradicts this statement of yours. God the Father was planning before creation. Before the foundation of the world, God planned elements concerning the body of Christ.

    You're all twisted up trying to defend a view of God that came from your own philosophy, not the Bible.
  • November 26th 2008 07:47 PM
    Jaltus
    Re: "Is the future settled or open?" Will v. Jaltus
    You know, we are not going to get anywhere if you keep cherry picking comments and not dealing with the entirety of my posts. This is becoming an exercise in futility as you continue to miss my point because all you care about is proving your point without trying to understand mine.
  • November 28th 2008 01:15 PM
    Will
    Re: "Is the future settled or open?" Will v. Jaltus
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus View Post
    You know, we are not going to get anywhere if you keep cherry picking comments

    You took your own advice of not "cherry picking" comments in this latest post, and you didn't respond at all!

    Quote:

    Originally posted by jaltus
    and not dealing with the entirety of my posts.

    My goal is to avoid rabbit trails and give you less room to obfuscate. This debate has proved that the less I say, the less wiggle room you have and the less chance you have to obfuscate. I want to stay at the heart of my opening post, God's freedom prior to creation and His freedom to create. I wanted to respond to a lot more in your post, but that would have only been a distraction to what I'm trying to prove. (I foresee a response to more of your points as the debate progresses.)

    Quote:

    This is becoming an exercise in futility as you continue to miss my point because all you care about is proving your point without trying to understand mine.
    I think I do understand where you're coming from and I respond accordingly. I'm anxiously awaiting a response to my latest post. I essentially made 3 points (Again, to give you less room to avoid the arguments at hand.):

    1. You've admitted that God did not have exhaustive omniscience before He decided to create.
    2. You've admitted that the design of creation was open before God decided to create.
    3. You were completely wrong that God's plan begun at the moment of creation, as the Bible says God planned before the foundation of the world.
  • November 30th 2008 10:07 PM
    Jaltus
    Re: "Is the future settled or open?" Will v. Jaltus
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Will  View Post
    You took your own advice of not "cherry picking" comments in this latest post, and you didn't respond at all!

    Correct. Why bother responding to you if what I am responding to is incorrect?

    Quote:

    My goal is to avoid rabbit trails and give you less room to obfuscate. This debate has proved that the less I say, the less wiggle room you have and the less chance you have to obfuscate. I want to stay at the heart of my opening post, God's freedom prior to creation and His freedom to create. I wanted to respond to a lot more in your post, but that would have only been a distraction to what I'm trying to prove. (I foresee a response to more of your points as the debate progresses.)
    I truly doubt that. You do not understand my point, as this post itself proves, because you are not responding to the entirety of my case.

    Quote:

    I think I do understand where you're coming from and I respond accordingly. I'm anxiously awaiting a response to my latest post. I essentially made 3 points (Again, to give you less room to avoid the arguments at hand.):
    I have not avoided your arguments, so stop trying to preen before the crowd.

    Quote:

    1. You've admitted that God did not have exhaustive omniscience before He decided to create.
    False. There was by definition no future, and therefore nothing for God to have knowledge about. Heck, this is your own position. I am not sure why you are disagreeing with me here.

    Quote:

    2. You've admitted that the design of creation was open before God decided to create.
    False. There was no design of creation, and therefore something cannot be "open" if there is no such thing. I said the moment (for lack of a better term) of creation was the moment of design. There was no temporal separation.

    Quote:

    3. You were completely wrong that God's plan begun at the moment of creation, as the Bible says God planned before the foundation of the world.
    False. I spoke of the temporal order as being simultaneous, yet the logical order is plan then creation. You are intentionally sliding between the two ideas as if they were synonymous. Because you do not deal with my posts in full, you continue to misrepresent my position.
  • December 2nd 2008 03:07 PM
    Will
    proginwskw
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus View Post
    False. There was by definition no future, and therefore nothing for God to have knowledge about.

    Okay, so you’re admitting that God did not know that He would create an earth. We now know in hindsight that God did create an earth. According to you, when God existed “before the foundation of the world,” He had no idea that He would create the earth.

    1. Am I correct in asserting that your theological position is that God did not know He would create an earth, before He created the earth?

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    False. There was no design of creation, and therefore something cannot be "open" if there is no such thing. I said the moment (for lack of a better term) of creation was the moment of design. There was no temporal separation.

    Okay, so now you’re admitting that God did not know He would create an earth until He actually created it! We now know in hindsight that God freely decided to create an earth. According to you, when God existed “before the foundation of the world,” He had no idea that He would create the earth until the exact moment that He did so.

    2. Am I correct in asserting that your theological position is that God did not know He would create an earth, until the exact moment that He did so?

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    False. I spoke of the temporal order as being simultaneous, yet the logical order is plan then creation.

    I still think the Bible disagrees with you here.

    3. “Before the foundation of the world,” did God “choose” to fellowship with created beings who would “be holy”?

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    You do not understand my point, as this post itself proves, because you are not responding to the entirety of my case.

    You are making the case that God could not have foreknowledge “before the foundation of the world” because there was no future to have knowledge of.

    1 Peter 1:20
    He indeed was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

    4. According to 1 Peter 1:20, did God foreknow (proginwskw) something "before the foundation of the world" about the Son's role with the world?
  • December 4th 2008 09:39 AM
    Jaltus
    Re: "Is the future settled or open?" Will v. Jaltus
    I am preaching this weekend and my son goes in for surgery next week, so it might be a bit before I get back to you.
  • December 4th 2008 12:41 PM
    Will
    Re: "Is the future settled or open?" Will v. Jaltus
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus View Post
    I am preaching this weekend and my son goes in for surgery next week, so it might be a bit before I get back to you.

    I hope the best for your son.
  • December 18th 2008 03:18 PM
    Jaltus
    Re: proginwskw
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Will  View Post
    Okay, so you’re admitting that God did not know that He would create an earth. We now know in hindsight that God did create an earth. According to you, when God existed “before the foundation of the world,” He had no idea that He would create the earth.

    To be honest, I am not certain. I would think that He did not know until He acted.

    Quote:

    1. Am I correct in asserting that your theological position is that God did not know He would create an earth, before He created the earth?
    I would say it is a philosophical position, but essentially yes.


    Quote:

    Okay, so now you’re admitting that God did not know He would create an earth until He actually created it! We now know in hindsight that God freely decided to create an earth. According to you, when God existed “before the foundation of the world,” He had no idea that He would create the earth until the exact moment that He did so.
    That seems fair.

    Quote:

    2. Am I correct in asserting that your theological position is that God did not know He would create an earth, until the exact moment that He did so?
    Yes.


    Quote:

    I still think the Bible disagrees with you here.

    3. “Before the foundation of the world,” did God “choose” to fellowship with created beings who would “be holy”?
    Yes. But creation does not equal foundation of the world. God created water first (the Spirit of the Lord hovered over the deep, and the question is what is the deep?).


    Quote:

    You are making the case that God could not have foreknowledge “before the foundation of the world” because there was no future to have knowledge of.
    No, my position is more nuanced than that. I believe God did not have foreknowledge before creation, but the foundation of the world was laid after initial creation since the angels already existed.

    Quote:

    1 Peter 1:20
    He indeed was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

    4. According to 1 Peter 1:20, did God foreknow (proginwskw) something "before the foundation of the world" about the Son's role with the world?
    My position is that "before the foundation of the world" does not mean before creation since the angels were created first and seemingly are temporal beings. In addition, water was around before the world was around, according to Genesis.

    I will say this, you have some very good points here causing me to reassess my thoughts.
  • December 23rd 2008 01:48 PM
    Will
    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus View Post
    I will say this, you have some very good points here causing me to reassess my thoughts.

    Jaltus, thanks for your humility and I’m glad to know that you’re open to reassessing your thoughts. That is rare today in the body of Christ.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    To be honest, I am not certain. I would think that He did not know until He acted.

    I think you’re not certain, because it probably feels weird to think that God does not have the ability to think about something before He acts. I posit that God can think about doing something before doing it, and that God can think about doing something and not do it.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Will
    …your theological position is that God did not know He would create an earth, before He created the earth?

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    I would say it is a philosophical position, but essentially yes.

    Your admission here means that God learned something and increased in knowledge. This is a claim that many make, probably you as well, against open theism.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jaltus
    Yes. But creation does not equal foundation of the world. God created water first (the Spirit of the Lord hovered over the deep, and the question is what is the deep?).

    the foundation of the world was laid after initial creation since the angels already existed. 

    My position is that "before the foundation of the world" does not mean before creation since the angels were created first and seemingly are temporal beings. In addition, water was around before the world was around, according to Genesis.

    Okay, so you’ve only moved the line now. I think you would admit that this was a wiggle on your part. I must give you credit for this effort, but it doesn’t work for two reasons.

    1. I used the term “before the foundation of the world” in my question, but the verse I was referring to was Eph. 1:4 which does not use that phrase.

    Eph. 1:4
    4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

    Eph. 1:4 actually uses the term “creation,” which I believe still successfully refutes your point.

    2. The Bible is pretty clear that the foundation of the world and creation are synonymous points in history.

    Ex. 20:11
    11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earththe sea, and all that is in them

    God created the heavens and earth and all that is in them in six days. Comparing this verse with Gen. 1:1 makes it clear that everything was created starting with Genesis’ account of Day One, including angels as part of the heavens.

    Gen. 1:1
    1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    The world, or kosmos, is a much more broad term than earth, or gh. (Kosmos and gh are my best efforts for using greek words since only English characters are available.) Kosmos refers to the heavens and the earth, while gh refers to land or what we know of as the planet earth. To say that the foundation of the world happened after the creation of the earth makes no logical or biblical sense and I think you would agree.

    The Bible says,
    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
    It’s clear that in the beginning of creation, God created the heavens and the earth and that the earth He just created was covered in water, water that He created! The angels were created as part of the heavens, which logically came before the foundations of the earth, because Job says:

    Job 38:4,7
    4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

    The angels were created on Day One and rejoiced when the foundations of the earth were laid.

    Without having evidence Jaltus, I bet you have said, like most other settled viewers, that the phrase “In the beginning” refers to the beginning of time. This also will give you trouble as then the beginning of time would be before the creation of anything, including angels and/or water, according to Gen. 1:1 and Ex. 20:11.

    Getting back on track, the Bible definitively shows that God made decisions, acted, and had foreknowledge before creation. You’re in this difficulty because of your false claim that there was no future before God created. God’s plans were for the future Jaltus. Regardless of the impact on your theology, you should be able to admit that God was free to plan His own creation.
  • January 8th 2009 12:48 PM
    Jaltus
    Re: "Is the future settled or open?" Will v. Jaltus
    Hey, I'll try to get back to you next week some time. I am preaching this week and trying to potty train my boys.
  • January 8th 2011 12:48 PM
    Will
    Re: "Is the future settled or open?"
    It's 11:48am on January 8th, 2011, exactly 2 years since Jaltus' last post. I'd like to officially close out this debate and thank TheologyWeb.com for hosting and Jaltus for participating. I hope the sermon went well and the potty training is coming along.