* Is the Future Settled or Open? Bob Enyart's co-worker Will is debating Jaltus, a regular at TheologyWeb.com, on this: Is the future is settled or open? Check it out, it's fun! And the debate has focused on the question of whether or not God is free. And whether or not God was able to decide whether OR NOT to create, and also, whether God is still able to create, and whether He could create differently, that is, more stripes on a zebra, an additional atom in a star far, far away, etc. It turns out that these simple questions are very threatening to the philosophical concept introduced 2,500 years ago by the pagan Greeks that the future is settled. You can click on the debate title above, register, and enjoy the discussion!
A side issue that Bob and Will discussed is God's relation to time. Many Christians have been taught that God is outside of time and that He exists in something like an eternal now. However, the following list of terms are not biblical but flow out of humanist philosophy.
Pagan Greek Philosophical Words for Divine Time:
No past or future
Outside of time
Of course none of the above terms appear in Scripture, but rather, they are pagan Greek concepts derived from the philosophical concept of utter immutability (and the concept of time beginning is also in Hinduism).
The biblical terms that repeatedly describe God's eternal existence are well-known from their English translations, and they all have to do with the duration of great time, and never once the concept of timelessness.
Biblical Words for God's Relationship to Time:
From of old
Forever and ever
The Ancient of Days
From before the ages of the ages
From ancient times
Before the world was
To "Him who is, and who was, and who is to come"
God's years never end
Before... ever You had formed the earth
From everlasting to everlasting
Human philosophy arising from the pagan Greeks assumes that God exists outside of time, a concept which the Greek and Hebrew language of Scripture could easily present if that were the intention of the Holy Spirit. Scripture itself, however, constantly presents God as having existed throughout eternity past, not in timelessness, but in never-ending, everlasting time. Either view, God inside or outside of time, raises mind-bending philosophical issues, but the Bible consistently presents God as living through everlasting time.
The translators of various versions of the Bible rendered a verse based not on the Greek but on their own philosophical commitment to Greek philosophy. 2 Timothy 1:9 and Titus 1:2 contain the incorrectly translated phrase, "before time began." What Paul actually said, in the Greek language that he wrote in, was: "before the ages of the ages." Notice that Paul's actual phrase has no verb. The translators added the verb began, and obscured the actual prepositional phrase. And they also added the singular noun, time. To indicate that time began, the word for time would be singular, but Paul says "before the ages of the ages," using two plurals. Further, before time began would be a self-contradictory concept, since there could be no "before" apart from time itself.
* Follow-up on Denver's ABC Newscast: Bob appeared briefly in the video and the written report about the atheist billboards as a follow-up to 7News' popular earlier report. Their written report quotes Bob saying: "America had tremendous Christian influence in our founding. And we have been an example to the world of religious tolerance," said Bob Enyart, spokesman for American Right to Life. "The awesome complexity of biological life, DNA, the genetic code... you need a cell and a nucleus that have this genetic functionality. It's wildly complex. More than a 747. And the idea that it would come about by chance and natural selection is not tenable. We have a Creator," said Enyart.
Google News now invites people in the news to post comments that appear along with news stories, so Bob's reply below appears with their link to this news story:
Comment by Bob Enyart, Spokesman, American Right To Life
True We Are Not Alone - Nov 17, 2008: The atheist billboards going up around town say, "Don't believe in God? You're not alone." But Denver's ABC affiliate broadcast American Right To Life's re-interpretation of those words to mean, "Don't believe in God? You're not alone. Signed, -God" I've had the honor to defend belief in the existence of God on a leading Christian website TheologyOnline.com with in its popular 10-round moderated debate, Does God Exist? Children are precious because they are not animals, but rather, they're made in God's image. Fish eat other fish. But human rights come not from the government (consider Blacks living in 1800s America), nor from the majority (consider Jews in 1930s Germany), and not from the delivery doctor at birth, but from our Creator, at the moment we are created.
Today's Resource: Watch Bob Enyart's fascinating Open Theism seminar on DVD! Is the future settled or open? Is God free? Is God creative? Is God able to write a new song? Of course God is, free, creative, and able to write a new song. But how do these simple truths relate to the philosophical claim that the future is settled? This Open Theism seminar on DVD will educate and delight you or your money back! Just click on the title, or browse the Video Department in the KGOV store, or call us to order at 1-800-8Enyart (836-9278), or send a check for $42.50 (or with this difficult financial crisis we're all living through, send whatever your comfortable spending on this 3-DVD set) to: Bob Enyart Live, PO Box 583, Arvada CO 80001. Also available: Bob's Predestination and Free Will seminar on CD, Bob Debates Calvinism DVD, and Bob's 10-round debate with a D. James Kennedy seminary professor titled Is the Future Settled or Open? also fully available online!