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Posts Tagged ‘False Doctrine’

Responding to Open Theism in Fourteen Words

By Andrew Wilson

Because of the controversy over open theism twenty years ago, there is a huge range of books and articles out there, both critiquing it and defending it. Greg Boyd’s website is a fount of free resources in defence; Crossway’s generosity means that in many ways the most significant critique, Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity, is also free to download or read online. But when theological debates hit the person in the pew, there is a place for keeping things simple. So here are fourteen common sense objections to open theism, framed around thirteen words and one number. Here’s hoping they help.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

What Is Open Theism?

By Andrew Wilson

So what is open theism? It is the idea that God does not exhaustively know the future, because the future is “open”: what will happen tomorrow is not yet fully determined, but depends in part on the free decisions of God’s creatures. Here’s Richard Rice in The Openness of God:

Instead of perceiving the entire course of human existence in one timeless moment, God comes to know events as they take place. He learns something from what transpires. We call this position the “open view of God” because it regards God as receptive to new experiences and as flexible in the way he works toward his objectives in the world. Since it sees God as dependent on the world in certain respects, the open view of God differs from much conventional theology.

Clark Pinnock, in The Grace of God, The Will of Man, says similarly:

Decisions not yet made do not exist anywhere to be known even by God. They are potential— yet to be realized but not yet actual. God can predict a great deal of what we will choose to do, but not all of it, because some of it remains hidden in the mystery of human freedom … God too faces possibilities in the future, and not only certainties. God too moves into a future not wholly known …

Or here’s Greg Boyd in Letters from a Skeptic:

In the Christian view God knows all of reality—everything there is to know. But to assume He knows ahead of time how every person is going to freely act assumes that each person’s free activity is already there to know—even before he freely does it! But it’s not. If we have been given freedom, we create the reality of our decisions by making them. And until we make them, they don’t exist. Thus, in my view at least, there simply isn’t anything to know until we make it there to know. So God can’t foreknow the good or bad decisions of the people He creates until He creates these people and they, in turn, create their decisions.

 

 

 

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Sandemanianism plague

We live in such a spiritual void in part created by those who act/believe that to just say the words (secular meaning of confess not Biblical confession) they are within their rights demanding to be believed and treated as one of God’s. We have millions of people who have mouthed a simple prayer who’s hearts, however, have shown no change. These victims of Satan’s schemes are blinded and deceived, becoming inoculated against the Holy Spirit.. We have the secular concept of repentance (say the words “I’m sorry”,) and all is well and restored. This intellectualism and rationalism thinking spiritually destroys millions…

“but declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.” Acts 26:20

So we offer you Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones thoughts…

 

 

 

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Sandemanianism

March 16, 2017 2 comments

by Michael Haykin

Andrew Fuller and the Sandemanians

In December 1967, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones gave an address to what was then known as the Puritan Conference on the topic of ‘Sandemanianism’. Our initial reaction might be that the topic is esoteric, of little interest or value to modern men and women. But we would not feel this way if we were well-versed in the history of eighteenth-century Evangelicalism, the womb from which this particular doctrinal viewpoint came forth. Dr Lloyd-Jones proceeded to show that this theological aberration is of paramount importance for our own day. This article seeks to explore some aspects of the long-forgotten Sandemanian controversy.

Sandemanianism and the nature of saving faith

The roots of Sandemanianism lie in the 1720s when John Glas (1695-1773), minister of the Church of Scotland work in Tealing, Scotland, and a man of considerable erudition, gradually came to the conviction that Christ’s kingdom is one that is completely spiritual and, as such, independent of both state control and support. A church of some seventy believers was formed in the parish of Tealing, and over the next couple of decades ‘Glasite’ congregations could be found in Dundee, Perth, Edinburgh and booming textile centres such as Paisley and Dunkeld. Although the Glasites were never numerous, Glas’ views exerted wide influence throughout the British Isles and America, especially through the travels and writings of his son-in-law Robert Sandeman (1718-1771), whom Lloyd-Jones rightly describes as ‘a born controversialist’. In addition to adopting such practices as foot-washing, holy kissing, the use of lots to determine God’s will, and an insistence on unanimity in all church decisions, Glas’ and Sandeman’s followers also distinguished themselves from other eighteenth-century Evangelicals by a predominantly intellectualist view of faith. They became known for their cardinal theological tenet that saving faith is ‘bare belief of the bare truth’.

 

 

 

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8 Ways To Become A Heretic

by Eric Ayala

Very few people set out to intentionally become heretics. In fact, many heretics not only of today but also of the past started with the best of intentions but slid into heretical doctrines. Some heresy is blatant, bold and unmistakable for its error, but most of the time is it far more subtle than that. It can be surprisingly easy to become a heretic. Heresy often takes good concepts, good terms, or good ideas and changes them ever so slightly. This makes them hard to detect, and it also makes them incredibly dangerous. So while most of you don’t want to slip into heresy, listed below are 8 sure fire ways to become a heretic for those who do:

 

 

 

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Sabellianism

by Charmley, Gervase N.

Introduction

In addressing what are called ‘the Great Heresies,’ it is important for us to recall that heresies usually represent what Alister McGrath has called ‘a failed attempt at orthodoxy,’ (Heresy [London, SPCK, 2009] p. 13) an attempt to make sense of the Bible that fails to take into account the full richness of the Biblical revelation; rather than being outright repudiation of the Bible. The result is that a part of the truth is treated as the whole of the truth, and thus becomes an untruth. The reason for this is not that the Bible itself is unclear, but that ‘untaught and unstable men’ twist it to fit their own worldly thinking.

To speak of the development of the doctrine of the Trinity is practically to invite misunderstanding, suggesting as the very phrase does that the Trinity is an invention of theologians. On the contrary, it must be emphasised that the New Testament is a fully Trinitarian document; as Leon Morris has put it, ‘the deity of Christ was held from a very early date. It is not to be regarded as the culmination of a process of slow growth and reflection’ (The First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians [Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1959] p. 111). Despite the common accusation that the doctrine of the Trinity is the result of imposing an alien philosophy on the Bible, the reverse is the case; it is non-Trinitarian teachings that are the result of imposing alien philosophies on the text of Scripture. Orthodoxy came first, since it is the Scriptural teaching; heresy, the result most often of attempts to explain what cannot be explained, comes later, working on the Biblical revelation and distorting it. Orthodox theologians were then forced to go back and explain what the Bible actually says so as to refute false and distorted claims about the Bible’s teachings.

 

 

 

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Gnosticism

by Charmley, Gervase N.

Introduction

When Jude writes in his Epistle, ‘Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints’ (Jude 3), he expresses a need that has arisen over and again in the history of the Church. False teachers arise seeking to draw away disciples after themselves, and to subvert that faith. The history of Christian thought and teaching is mirrored by the sinister history of heresy. This is because ‘the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned’ (1 Corinthians 2:14). Heresies come fundamentally from man, and reflect the way that the natural man would like God to be, rather than the way God actually is. This is both the source of heresy and the reason for its appeal.

 

 

 

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