Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Theology Proper’

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.

Advertisements

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.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Free Ebook- The Supremacy of God

April 21, 2017 2 comments

by Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952)

Download:

PDF No ePub No Mobi

a tract about God; sog3 (6p.)

Pages: 6.

Item code: sog3.

Format: tract.

 

Source [Chapel Library]

Though trials and tribulations come, thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ!

Spurgeon 3“For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that parish; to the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor or life unto life. And Who is sufficient for these things?”-2 Corinthians 2:15, 16.

THESE are the words of Paul, speaking on the behalf of himself and his brethren the Apostles, and they are true concerning all those who by the Spirit are chosen, qualified, and thrust into the vineyard to preach God’s gospel. I have often admired the 15th verse of this chapter, especially when I have remembered from whose lips the words fell, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.” Picture Paul, the aged, the man who had been beaten five times with “forty stripes save one,” who had been dragged forth for dead, the man of great sufferings, who had passed through whole seas of persecution-only think of him saying, at the close of his ministerial career, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ!” to triumph when shipwrecked, to triump when scourged, to triumph in the stocks, to triumph under the stones, to triumph amidst the hiss of the world, to triumph when he was driven from the city and shook of I the dust from his feet, to triumph at all times in Christ Jesus! Now, if some ministers of modern times should talk thus, we would think little of it, for they enjoy the world’s applause. They can always go to their place in ease and peace; they have an admiring people, and no open foes; against them not a dog doth move his tongue; everything is safe and pleasant. For them to say, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph “is a very little thing; but for one like Paul, so trampled on, so tried, so distressed, to say it-then, we say, outspoke a hero; here is a man who had true faith in God and in the divinity of his mission.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Two Effects of the Gospel- A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 27, 1855

Though temporal things may change, nevertheless God never changes

March 13, 2017 2 comments

CharlesSpurgeonWell, now, time fails us, and I can say but little. I have only just cursorily touched on the text. I now hand it to you. May the Lord help you “sons of Jacob” to take home this portion of meat; digest it well, and feed upon it. May the Holy Ghost sweetly apply the glorious things that are written! And may you have “a feast of fat things, of wines on the lees well refined!” Remember God is the same, whatever is removed. Your friends may be disaffected, your ministers may be taken away, every thing may change; but God does not. Your brethren may chance and cast out your name as vile: but God will love you still. Let your station in life change, and your property be gone; let your whole life be shaken, and you become weak and sickly; let everything flee away-there is one place where change cannot put his finger; there is one name on which mutability can never be written; there is one heart which never can alter; that heart is God’s- that name Love.

“Trust him, he will ne’er deceive you.

Though you hardly of him deem;

He will never, never leave you,

Nor will let you quite leave him.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Immutability of God- A sermon delivered on Sabbath morning, Jan 7th, 1855

If God were a changing God, then the “sons of Jacob” would have been consumed

Spurgeon 3III. Thirdly, I can say only a word about the other point- THE BENEFIT WHICH THESE “SONS OF JACOB” RECEIVE FROM AN UNCHANGING GOD. “Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” “Consumed?” How? How can man be consumed? Why, there are two ways. We might have been consumed in hell. If God had been a changing God, the “sons of Jacob” here this morning, might have been consumed in hell; but for God’s unchanging love I should have been a faggot in the fire. But there is a way of being consumed in this world; there is such a thing as being condemned before you die- “condemned already;” there is such a thing as being alive, and yet being absolutely dead. We might have been left to our own devices- and then where should we have been now? Revelling with the drunkard, blaspheming Almighty God. Oh? had he left you, dearly beloved, had he been a changing God, ye had been amongst the filthiest of the filthy, and the vilest of the vile. Cannot you remember in your life, seasons similar to those I have felt? I have gone right to the edge of sin- some strong temptation has taken hold of both my arms, so that I could not wrestle with it. I have been pushed along, dragged as by an awful satanic power to the very edge of some horrid precipice. I have looked down, down, down, and seen my portion; I quivered on the brink of ruin. I have been horrified, as, with my hair upright, I have thought of the sin I was about to commit, the horrible pit into which I was about to fall. A strong arm hath saved me. I have started back and cried, O God! could I have gone so near sin, and yet come back again? Could I have walked right up to the furnace and not fallen down, like Nebuchadnezzar’s strong men, devoured by the very heat? Oh! is it possible I should be here this morning, when I think of the sins I have committed, and the crimes which have crossed my wicked imagination? Yes, I am here, unconsumed, because the Lord changes not. Oh! if he had changed, we should have been consumed in a dozen ways; if the Lord had changed, you and I should have been consumed by ourselves; for after all Mr. Self is the worst enemy a Christian has. We should have proved suicides to our own souls; we should have mixed the cup of poison for our own spirits, if the Lord had not been an unchanging God, and dashed the cup out of our hands when we were about to drink it. Then we should have been consumed by God himself if he had not been a changeless God. We call God a Father- but there is not a father in this world who would not have killed all his children long ago, so provoked would he have been with them, if he had been half as much troubled as God has been with his family. He has the most troublesome family in the whole worldunbelieving, ungrateful, disobedient, forgetful, rebellious, wandering, murmuring, and stiffnecked. Well it is that he is longsuffering, or else he would have taken not only the rod, but the sword to some of us long ago. But there was nothing in us to love at first, so there cannot be less now. John Newton used to tell a whimsical story, and laugh at it too, of a good woman who said, in order to prove the doctrine of Election, “Ah! sir, the Lord must have loved me before I was born, or else he would not have seen anything in me to love afterwards.” I am sure it is true in my case, and true in respect most of God’s people; for there is little to love in them after they are born, that if he had not loved them before then, he would have seen no reason to choose them after- but since he loved them without works, he loves them without works still; since their good works did not win his affection, bad works cannot sever that affection- since their righteousness did not bind his love to them, so their wickedness cannot snap the golden links. He loved them out of pure sovereign grace, and he will love them still. But we should have been consumed by the devil and by our enemies-consumed by the world, consumed by our sins, by our trials and in a hundred other ways, if God had ever changed.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Immutability of God- A sermon delivered on Sabbath morning, Jan 7th, 1855

Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section Three – The Decrees of God (Q.15)

William F. Leonhart III

Q.15: What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?

A. When God created man, He entered into a covenant of life with him upon condition of perfect obedience: forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death.1

1Galatians 3:12; Genesis 2:17

“COVENANT THEOLOGY, SIMPLY STATED, is the view of God and redemption that interprets the Holy Scriptures by way of covenants,” (Earl Blackburn, Covenant Theology: A Baptist Distinctive, pg. 17).

What we see in Genesis 2 is not only an account of the creation of Adam and Eve. In the garden, God and man entered into a covenant. God bestowed certain benefits upon Adam; He gave him life and all the provisions he needed to sustain life in the garden. He created man sinless and in….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.