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RE: [Covenanted Reformation] "Dynamic and Engaged"

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  • Bill Ross
    ... We have all heard of Platonic love - that love that is not engaged. It seems to have arisen from Plato s philosophical conception that
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 1, 2002
      <Greg>
      >>What do you mean by the above phrase, "dynamic and engaged"? Just curious.

      <Bill>
      We have all heard of "Platonic love" - that love that is not engaged. It seems to have arisen from Plato's philosophical conception that insisted that what is perfect is static, void of passion and incapable of relationship with this world.

      But the God of scripture is passionate and intimately involved. "Thy Maker is they Husband!" He rejoices. He grieves. He is angry. He relents.

      Verses that are used to prove the Platonic god of philosophy include verses that were intended to show God's *faithfulness* not his staticness:

      1 Samuel 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent [ie: reneg]. {Strength: or, Eternity, or, Victory}

      Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change [ie: fail] not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

      The God of scripture encourages his people with a bold analogy to sway him with their petitions:

      Luke 18:
      1 ¶ And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
      2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: {in a city: Gr. in a certain city}
      3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
      4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
      5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
      6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
      7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
      8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

      Bill Ross
      No Risk Software Inc
    • Bill Ross
      ... and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise,
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 1, 2002
        <Greg>
        >>"There is but one only, living and true God: who is infinite in being
        and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or
        passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most
        wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according
        to
        the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will...."

        Would you agree with this statement or disagree? If the latter, what
        specific point would you disagree with?

        <Bill>
        There is an intrinsic problem in attempting to define God in
        non-scriptural language, or in using undefined terms, where one term can
        have multiple meanings. That is why I defined in what specific ways it
        can be said that God does not change, and in what ways "immutability" is
        too confining a term.

        But to say some things that I think will clearly set apart my view I
        would want to say that the God of scripture has bounds, such as his
        inability to lie, his inability to renege on his covenants and his
        promises and his obligation to love and dispense justice.

        He has promised in the scriptures to respond to men in certain ways
        based on their actions, to uphold certain commitments and to punish
        wrong doers.

        He does not claim to know what men will do at all times and in every
        situation but rather searches the hearts and tests the hearts and thus
        discovers its secrets. These secrets will not be judged before the time
        but rather will be judged at the end.

        <Greg>
        >>But are not these anthropomorphisms?

        <Bill>
        Some things in scripture certainly are, but are they all? Are they
        presented as historical facts or as allegorical fiction?

        Take for example the account of God testing Abraham. Is it presented as
        fiction? Is it set forth as a parable? Or is it set forth as history?

        Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do
        thou any thing unto him: **for now I know** that thou fearest God,
        seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

        Is that allegory? If so, then aren't we justified to ignore anything in
        scripture as fiction?

        Every page of scripture sets forth the idea that God judges what men do
        by their actions.

        <Greg>
        >>Are you familiar with the writings of Clark Pinnock or Richard Rice?

        <Bill>
        Clark, yes. Rice, I don't recall. Clark is, IMHO, quite faithful to the
        scriptures, rather than to the philosophers.

        Acts 15:18 Known unto God are all **his** works from the beginning of
        the world.

        Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will
        **judge** the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained;
        whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him
        from the dead. {hath given...: or, offered faith}

        Judgment involves obtaining a verdict [truth] based on evidence.

        James 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the
        law of liberty.

        Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and
        the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou
        shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints,
        and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them
        which destroy the earth. {destroy the earth: or, corrupt the earth}

        Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;
        and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the
        book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were
        written in the books, according to their works.

        Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and
        death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were
        judged every man according to their works. {hell: or, the grave}

        Bill Ross
      • Bill Ross
        ... than outside of it. Is there a scripture that says that God is outside of time? Aren t we in danger of reasoning with the philosophers
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 1, 2002
          <Greg>
          >>...a heresy that places the infinite God within time and space rather
          than outside of it.

          <Bill>
          Is there a scripture that says that God is outside of time?
          Aren't we in danger of reasoning with the philosophers instead of taking
          scripture as we find it?
          Doesn't scripture say that God "did" and "God will do?"

          <Greg>
          >>He, like man, is supposedly experiencing time as it unfolds and
          therefore does not absolutely know the future other than what He Himself
          intends to do.

          <Bill>
          Isn't this precisely the language of scripture?

          Many are tempted to think that reading the scriptures more at face value
          than with a "high view" of God is demeaning and shows disrespect to God
          but please don't take it so. It is my intention only to accurately
          reflect what is written rather than to humanize God after my own image.
          Indeed, man is said to be in God's image.

          <Greg>
          >>Husband of:
          Lisa Regina (wife of 9 years)

          Father of:
          Brianna Marie (8)
          Virginia Ruth (6)
          Georgia Esther (5)
          Robert Lee (3)
          Carolina Rachel (1)

          <Bill>
          Husband of:
          Connie Shareen (wife of 18 years)

          Father of Josiah, Julian, Jesse, Jordan, Jeffrey and Jakob - ages 2 to
          15.

          Shalom,

          Bill Ross
        • Crown Rights Book Company
          ... Thank you for your response, Bill. How would you respond to the following? There is but one only, living and true God: who is infinite in being and
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 1, 2002
            At 08:22 PM 12/1/02 -0600, you wrote:
            ><Greg>
            > >>What do you mean by the above phrase, "dynamic and engaged"? Just curious.
            >
            ><Bill>
            >We have all heard of "Platonic love" - that love that is not engaged. It
            >seems to have arisen from Plato's philosophical conception that insisted
            >that what is perfect is static, void of passion and incapable of
            >relationship with this world.

            Thank you for your response, Bill. How would you respond to the following?

            "There is but one only, living and true God: who is infinite in being and
            perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or
            passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most
            wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to
            the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will...."

            Would you agree with this statement or disagree? If the latter, what
            specific point would you disagree with?

            >But the God of scripture is passionate and intimately involved. "Thy Maker
            >is they Husband!" He rejoices. He grieves. He is angry. He relents.

            But are not these anthropomorphisms?

            Are you familiar with the writings of Clark Pinnock or Richard Rice?

            Libertas inestimabilis res est,
            Greg Loren Durand

            Crown Rights Book Company
            http://www.crownrights.com

            ------

            Husband of:
            Lisa Regina (wife of 9 years)

            Father of:
            Brianna Marie (8)
            Virginia Ruth (6)
            Georgia Esther (5)
            Robert Lee (3)
            Carolina Rachel (1)

            http://www.crownrights.com/durand.jpg
          • Crown Rights Book Company
            ... Sorry, Bill, but I can t come to your aid on this one. :-) Pinnock is an adherent of finite godism -- a heresy that places the infinite God within time and
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 1, 2002
              At 09:03 PM 12/1/02 -0600, you wrote:

              ><Greg>
              > >>Are you familiar with the writings of Clark Pinnock or Richard Rice?
              >
              ><Bill>
              >Clark, yes. Rice, I don't recall. Clark is, IMHO, quite faithful to the
              >scriptures, rather than to the philosophers.

              Sorry, Bill, but I can't come to your aid on this one. :-)

              Pinnock is an adherent of finite godism -- a heresy that places the
              infinite God within time and space rather than outside of it. He, like man,
              is supposedly experiencing time as it unfolds and therefore does not
              absolutely know the future other than what He Himself intends to do. Such a
              god suits Mormonism well, but it is not the God of the Bible. I wrote a
              brief rebuttal of Pinnock's theology several years back, but unfortunately,
              it was saved on a computer that died a long time ago. If I have time next
              week, I'll retype it and post a link to it.

              Libertas inestimabilis res est,
              Greg Loren Durand

              Crown Rights Book Company
              http://www.crownrights.com

              ------

              Husband of:
              Lisa Regina (wife of 9 years)

              Father of:
              Brianna Marie (8)
              Virginia Ruth (6)
              Georgia Esther (5)
              Robert Lee (3)
              Carolina Rachel (1)

              http://www.crownrights.com/durand.jpg
            • speaking_of_tulips
              Dear Bill et al. ... rather ... Also: 2Tim 1:9 . . . who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
                Dear Bill et al.

                > > >>...a heresy that places the infinite God within time and space
                rather
                > >than outside of it.
                > >
                > ><Bill>
                > >Is there a scripture that says that God is outside of time?
                >
                > Hi Bill,
                >
                > There are plenty of Scriptures that say so.

                Also:

                2Tim 1:9
                ". . . who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not
                according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace
                which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, "

                Along with:

                Col 1:16,17

                "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on
                earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or
                principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for
                Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist."

                SoT.
              • Bill Ross
                ... inhabiteth eternity. But what does that mean? Does it mean that he is static? That he is immobile? Taken in context (which is the antidote
                Message 7 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
                  <Greg>
                  >>There are plenty of Scriptures that say so. According to Isaiah 57:15, God
                  "inhabiteth eternity."

                  <Bill>
                  But what does that mean? Does it mean that he is static? That he is immobile?

                  Taken in context (which is the antidote for prooftexting) it does not paint that picture. Rather he is clearly in time and engaged:

                  Isaiah 57:
                  13 ¶ When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;
                  14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.
                  15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
                  16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.
                  17 ¶ For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. {frowardly: Heb. turning away}
                  18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.
                  19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.

                  <Greg>
                  >>Psalm 90:2 says that God has existed "from everlasting to everlasting" -- from the eternity past to eternity future.

                  <Bill>
                  Again, look at the context to get an idea what is intended:

                  Ps 90:
                  1 ¶ <<A Prayer of Moses the man of God.>> Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. {A Prayer...: or, A Prayer, being a Psalm of Moses} {in...: Heb. in generation and generation}
                  2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
                  3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
                  4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. {when...: or, when he hath passed them}
                  5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. {groweth...: or, is changed}
                  6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
                  7 ¶ For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
                  8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
                  9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. {passed...: Heb. turned away} {as a...: or, as a meditation}
                  10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. {The days...: Heb. As for the days of our years, in them are seventy years}
                  11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.
                  12 ¶ So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. {apply: Heb. cause to come}
                  13 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.
                  14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
                  15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.
                  16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.
                  17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

                  Notice that time is not non-existent to God but it does not wear on him as it does us. He is angry! He is engaged.

                  <Greg>
                  >>Get out a concordance and look up the word "eternal."

                  <Bill>
                  There is no such word in either the Hebrew or the Greek scriptures. They used a phrase "ages of ages" to indicate "a long or unending time." There was no concept of an eternity that existed outside of the ages.

                  <Greg>
                  >>Time is a creature and does not exist independent of He who created it. If
                  God dwells within time, then time is greater than God and is therefore the
                  true God which we should worship.

                  <Bill>
                  This discussion is outside of the realm of the scriptures. In the scriptures, God is described in terms of ages past and future, not in terms of a "perfectly static eternal state" as Plato would be wont to describe deity.

                  >Aren't we in danger of reasoning with the philosophers instead of taking
                  >scripture as we find it?

                  <Greg>
                  >>No, we are in danger of creating another finite pagan deity if we don't
                  accurately interpret the anthropomorphisms of Scripture.

                  <Bill>
                  Which of these are anthropomorphic and which are true?:

                  True or Allegory?
                  Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
                  25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

                  True or Allegory?
                  26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
                  27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

                  True or Allegory?
                  28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
                  29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

                  True or Allegory?
                  Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

                  True or Allegory?
                  31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained;

                  True or Allegory?
                  whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. {hath given...: or, offered faith}

                  In other words, when do we accept the words of scripture as scripture, and when do we pass them off as allegory?

                  >Doesn't scripture say that God "did" and "God will do?"

                  <Greg>
                  >>That is from our perspective since we do dwell within time. God has to
                  condescend to us in order to communicate.

                  <Bill>
                  So we cannot trust the biblical record? From God's perspective, which is true?:

                  True or Condescending Fiction?
                  Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

                  True or Condescending Fiction?
                  Genesis 6:6 "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."

                  True or Condescending Fiction?
                  Genesis 8:
                  21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. {a sweet...: Heb. a savour of rest or, satisfaction} {for the imagination: or, through the imagination}
                  22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. {While...: Heb. As yet all the days of the earth}

                  True or Condescending Fiction?
                  Genesis 9:11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

                  True or Condescending Fiction?
                  Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

                  ><Greg>
                  > >>He, like man, is supposedly experiencing time as it unfolds and
                  >therefore does not absolutely know the future other than what He Himself
                  >intends to do.
                  >
                  ><Bill>
                  >Isn't this precisely the language of scripture?

                  <Greg>
                  >>Absolutely not.

                  <Bill>
                  What you take as fiction is not presented as fiction in scripture but as historical narrative. It is your philosophy that drives your interpretation of scripture, not the other way around. In the scriptures, God interacts with people who make real free decisions that at times please God and at times grieve him. He learns of their motives by their actions and judges them accordingly.

                  >Many are tempted to think that reading the scriptures more at face value
                  >than with a "high view" of God is demeaning and shows disrespect to God
                  >but please don't take it so. It is my intention only to accurately
                  >reflect what is written rather than to humanize God after my own image.
                  >Indeed, man is said to be in God's image.

                  <Greg>
                  >>But what you are proposing IS a god made in man's image. The image of God
                  in man is that we are rational beings. Do you also believe that God has a
                  body of which ours is a copy?

                  <Bill>
                  I haven't spent much time in examining the scriptures concerning that, so I can't really say. I kinda don't think so.

                  <Greg>
                  >>Are you a Mormon? That's a serious question.

                  <Bill>
                  I believe I mentioned that I do not, on principle, identify with any sect.

                  Further, to attempt to apply such labels only impedes objective examination of the scriptures.

                  People like things to be very simple. They want to know whether to put things in their right pocket or their left. Real life is more complicated. The question at hand is not "is Bill Ross a heretic?" but rather "what do the scriptures really say?"

                  Until we get past the practice of employing denominations to barricade ourselves and our ideas we can never really examine the scriptures with a Berean mindset.

                  If I'm wrong, it should be obvious in the scriptures. If not, then what would it even matter if I were the devil?

                  If you want to form a picture or apply a label, try this: I am Baalam's donkey:

                  Numbers 22:25 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again.

                  Bill Ross
                  No Risk Software Inc
                • Bill Ross
                  2Tim 1:9 . . . who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was
                  Message 8 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
                    <sot>
                    2Tim 1:9
                    ". . . who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not
                    according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace
                    which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, "

                    <Bill>
                    This is certainly the right verse to look at. What do you think Paul is
                    saying? Ie, how can you have a "before" and a "but now" if you don't
                    have any sense of time? Paul is speaking of something God did in the
                    past and something else that God is doing now. This is time talk. This
                    is history.

                    The literal is not "before time began" - the word "began" does not
                    appear. It is "before times of ages." Scripture is very clear about the
                    formation of the ages:

                    Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds [literally,
                    "ages"] were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen
                    were not made of things which do appear.

                    This is his reference to the distinct ages God framed (old/new):

                    Hebrews 1:
                    1: Complexly and convolutedly of old God spoke in the past to the
                    fathers by the prophets.
                    2: In these last days of these [prophets] has spoken by a son whom he
                    has appointed the heir of all things, by whom also he made the ages

                    <sot>
                    Col 1:16,17

                    "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on
                    earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or
                    principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for
                    Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist."

                    <Bill>
                    But is time a creature or an abstract concept? God does not claim to
                    have "created" abstract concepts. God did not "create" love. Rather, God
                    is love.

                    Even Col 1:16, 17 describes God's actions with reference to time - he
                    "created."

                    But to be practical, how else can one read the scriptures? If God is
                    static then how can we understand anything of scripture that speaks of
                    him acting, or promising or any such thing? It is impossible to relate
                    to such a static "person."

                    Bill Ross
                    No Risk Software Inc
                  • Crown Rights Book Company
                    ... Hi Bill, There are plenty of Scriptures that say so. According to Isaiah 57:15, God inhabiteth eternity. Psalm 90:2 says that God has existed from
                    Message 9 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
                      At 09:32 PM 12/1/02 -0600, you wrote:
                      ><Greg>
                      > >>...a heresy that places the infinite God within time and space rather
                      >than outside of it.
                      >
                      ><Bill>
                      >Is there a scripture that says that God is outside of time?

                      Hi Bill,

                      There are plenty of Scriptures that say so. According to Isaiah 57:15, God
                      "inhabiteth eternity." Psalm 90:2 says that God has existed "from
                      everlasting to everlasting" -- from the eternity past to eternity future.
                      Get out a concordance and look up the word "eternal."

                      Time is a creature and does not exist independent of He who created it. If
                      God dwells within time, then time is greater than God and is therefore the
                      true God which we should worship.

                      >Aren't we in danger of reasoning with the philosophers instead of taking
                      >scripture as we find it?

                      No, we are in danger of creating another finite pagan deity if we don't
                      accurately interpret the anthropomorphisms of Scripture.

                      >Doesn't scripture say that God "did" and "God will do?"

                      That is from our perspective since we do dwell within time. God has to
                      condescend to us in order to communicate.

                      ><Greg>
                      > >>He, like man, is supposedly experiencing time as it unfolds and
                      >therefore does not absolutely know the future other than what He Himself
                      >intends to do.
                      >
                      ><Bill>
                      >Isn't this precisely the language of scripture?

                      Absolutely not.

                      >Many are tempted to think that reading the scriptures more at face value
                      >than with a "high view" of God is demeaning and shows disrespect to God
                      >but please don't take it so. It is my intention only to accurately
                      >reflect what is written rather than to humanize God after my own image.
                      >Indeed, man is said to be in God's image.

                      But what you are proposing IS a god made in man's image. The image of God
                      in man is that we are rational beings. Do you also believe that God has a
                      body of which ours is a copy?

                      Are you a Mormon? That's a serious question.

                      Libertas inestimabilis res est,
                      Greg Loren Durand

                      Crown Rights Book Company
                      http://www.crownrights.com

                      ------

                      Husband of:
                      Lisa Regina (wife of 9 years)

                      Father of:
                      Brianna Marie (8)
                      Virginia Ruth (6)
                      Georgia Esther (5)
                      Robert Lee (3)
                      Carolina Rachel (1)

                      http://www.crownrights.com/durand.jpg
                    • Crown Rights Book Company
                      ... Bill, It is pretty hard for an infinite Being, who fills all in all and is everywhere present, to move. ... God is only within time because He injects
                      Message 10 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
                        At 09:02 AM 12/2/02 -0600, you wrote:
                        ><Greg>
                        > >>There are plenty of Scriptures that say so. According to Isaiah 57:15, God
                        >"inhabiteth eternity."
                        >
                        ><Bill>
                        >But what does that mean? Does it mean that he is static? That he is immobile?

                        Bill,

                        It is pretty hard for an infinite Being, who fills all in all and is
                        everywhere present, to move.

                        >Taken in context (which is the antidote for prooftexting) it does not
                        >paint that picture. Rather he is clearly in time and engaged:
                        >
                        >Isaiah 57:
                        >13 ¶ When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall
                        >carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust
                        >in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;
                        >14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the
                        >stumblingblock out of the way of my people.
                        >15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose
                        >name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of
                        >a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to
                        >revive the heart of the contrite ones.
                        >16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for
                        >the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.
                        >17 ¶ For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I
                        >hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.
                        >{frowardly: Heb. turning away}
                        >18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and
                        >restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.
                        >19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off,
                        >and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.

                        God is only within time because He injects Himself into time. That is the
                        mystery of the incarnation.

                        ><Greg>
                        > >>Psalm 90:2 says that God has existed "from everlasting to everlasting"
                        > -- from the eternity past to eternity future.
                        >
                        ><Bill>
                        >Again, look at the context to get an idea what is intended:
                        >
                        >Ps 90:
                        >1 ¶ <<A Prayer of Moses the man of God.>> Lord, thou hast been our
                        >dwelling place in all generations. {A Prayer...: or, A Prayer, being a
                        >Psalm of Moses} {in...: Heb. in generation and generation}
                        >2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the
                        >earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
                        >3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
                        >4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past,
                        >and as a watch in the night. {when...: or, when he hath passed them}
                        >5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the
                        >morning they are like grass which groweth up. {groweth...: or, is changed}
                        >6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut
                        >down, and withereth.
                        >7 ¶ For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
                        >8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light
                        >of thy countenance.
                        >9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a
                        >tale that is told. {passed...: Heb. turned away} {as a...: or, as a meditation}
                        >10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason
                        >of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and
                        >sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. {The days...: Heb. As for
                        >the days of our years, in them are seventy years}
                        >11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so
                        >is thy wrath.
                        >12 ¶ So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto
                        >wisdom. {apply: Heb. cause to come}
                        >13 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.
                        >14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all
                        >our days.
                        >15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and
                        >the years wherein we have seen evil.
                        >16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.
                        >17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou
                        >the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
                        >
                        >Notice that time is not non-existent to God but it does not wear on him as
                        >it does us. He is angry! He is engaged.

                        I didn't say that time was non-existent to God. I said it was part of His
                        creation. He is necessarily prior to and transcendent from His creation and
                        only injects Himself into it because He chooses to condescend to us, His
                        creatures.

                        ><Greg>
                        > >>Get out a concordance and look up the word "eternal."
                        >
                        ><Bill>
                        >There is no such word in either the Hebrew or the Greek scriptures. They
                        >used a phrase "ages of ages" to indicate "a long or unending time." There
                        >was no concept of an eternity that existed outside of the ages.

                        Again, you are making time something that exists independent of God.
                        Anything independent of God is greater than He.

                        In the beginning, God.... He was already there in the beginning.

                        Since you believe that God exists within time, and the Scriptures clearly
                        say that the Son was begotten of the Father, do you also believe that there
                        was a time when the Son was not?

                        ><Greg>
                        > >>Time is a creature and does not exist independent of He who created it. If
                        >God dwells within time, then time is greater than God and is therefore the
                        >true God which we should worship.
                        >
                        ><Bill>
                        >This discussion is outside of the realm of the scriptures. In the
                        >scriptures, God is described in terms of ages past and future, not in
                        >terms of a "perfectly static eternal state" as Plato would be wont to
                        >describe deity.

                        Plato was closer to the truth than were the pagan nature worshippers who
                        believed in finite gods with parts and passions.

                        > >Aren't we in danger of reasoning with the philosophers instead of taking
                        > >scripture as we find it?
                        >
                        ><Greg>
                        > >>No, we are in danger of creating another finite pagan deity if we don't
                        >accurately interpret the anthropomorphisms of Scripture.
                        >
                        ><Bill>
                        >Which of these are anthropomorphic and which are true?:
                        >
                        >True or Allegory?
                        >Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he
                        >is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
                        >25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing,
                        >seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

                        Absolutely true. He dwelleth not in temples made with hands because He is
                        omnipresent.

                        >True or Allegory?
                        >26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the
                        >face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the
                        >bounds of their habitation;
                        >27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him,
                        >and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

                        Absolutely true. He is not far from every one of us because He is omnipresent.

                        >True or Allegory?
                        >28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of
                        >your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
                        >29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think
                        >that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and
                        >man's device.

                        Absolutely true. We live and move and have our being in God because He is
                        omnipresent. We are His offspring because we were created in His image as
                        rational creatures.

                        >True or Allegory?
                        >Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now
                        >commandeth all men every where to repent:

                        Absolutely true, but an anthropomorphism since God does not have literal
                        eyes with which to wink.

                        >True or Allegory?
                        >31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world
                        >in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained;

                        Absolutely true. Since we are creatures that exist in time, there will be a
                        day in the future in which our deeds will be judged. However, notice that
                        the Lord Jesus Christ will be the one who judges the world. As true God,
                        Christ is infinite and dwells outside of time; as true Man, He dwells as we
                        do within time.

                        >True or Allegory?
                        >whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him
                        >from the dead. {hath given...: or, offered faith}

                        Absolutely true, but I have no clue how this relates to your claim that God
                        is finite.

                        >In other words, when do we accept the words of scripture as scripture, and
                        >when do we pass them off as allegory?

                        When the context so requires. Do you also believe that God is a celestial
                        chicken? Psalm 17:8.

                        > >Doesn't scripture say that God "did" and "God will do?"
                        >
                        ><Greg>
                        > >>That is from our perspective since we do dwell within time. God has to
                        >condescend to us in order to communicate.
                        >
                        ><Bill>
                        >So we cannot trust the biblical record? From God's perspective, which is
                        >true?:
                        >
                        >True or Condescending Fiction?
                        >Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
                        >created he him; male and female created he them.

                        True. The image of God in man is that he is a sentient being.

                        >True or Condescending Fiction?
                        >Genesis 6:6 "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth,
                        >and it grieved him at his heart."

                        This is an anthropomorphism, not a fiction. A fiction is an untruth.

                        Are you saying that God did not know in advance that man would turn out as
                        he did? Was He surprised? How do you reconcile this with Numbers 23:19?

                        A God who changes is not a God I can trust for my eternal salvation.
                        Malachi 3:6.

                        >True or Condescending Fiction?
                        >Genesis 8:
                        >21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I
                        >will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the
                        >imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again
                        >smite any more every thing living, as I have done. {a sweet...: Heb. a
                        >savour of rest or, satisfaction} {for the imagination: or, through the
                        >imagination}
                        >22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat,
                        >and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. {While...: Heb.
                        >As yet all the days of the earth}

                        True, as an anthropomorphism.

                        >True or Condescending Fiction?
                        >Genesis 9:11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all
                        >flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there
                        >any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

                        True, but I fail to see your point.

                        >True or Condescending Fiction?
                        >Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy
                        >country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land
                        >that I will shew thee:

                        True, but I again fail to see your point.

                        > ><Greg>
                        > > >>He, like man, is supposedly experiencing time as it unfolds and
                        > >therefore does not absolutely know the future other than what He Himself
                        > >intends to do.
                        > >
                        > ><Bill>
                        > >Isn't this precisely the language of scripture?
                        >
                        ><Greg>
                        > >>Absolutely not.
                        >
                        ><Bill>
                        >What you take as fiction is not presented as fiction in scripture but as
                        >historical narrative.

                        I never said it was fiction, but have clearly and repeatedly said these are
                        anthropomorphisms -- God communicating His attributes in terms we can
                        understand.

                        >It is your philosophy that drives your interpretation of scripture, not
                        >the other way around.

                        Nope, it is my rejection of paganism that drives my interpretation of
                        Scripture. To the pagan, the creation is everything and so he cannot
                        conceive of a God who dwells outside of that creation. Hence, he winds up
                        worshipping the creation rather than the Creator.

                        >In the scriptures, God interacts with people who make real free decisions
                        >that at times please God and at times grieve him. He learns of their
                        >motives by their actions and judges them accordingly.

                        To say that God learns anything is to deny His perfection.

                        > >Many are tempted to think that reading the scriptures more at face value
                        > >than with a "high view" of God is demeaning and shows disrespect to God
                        > >but please don't take it so. It is my intention only to accurately
                        > >reflect what is written rather than to humanize God after my own image.
                        > >Indeed, man is said to be in God's image.
                        >
                        ><Greg>
                        > >>But what you are proposing IS a god made in man's image. The image of God
                        >in man is that we are rational beings. Do you also believe that God has a
                        >body of which ours is a copy?
                        >
                        ><Bill>
                        >I haven't spent much time in examining the scriptures concerning that, so
                        >I can't really say. I kinda don't think so.

                        I'm kinda glad to hear you say that, but if God is subject to time, why
                        wouldn't He also be subject to space?

                        ><Greg>
                        > >>Are you a Mormon? That's a serious question.
                        >
                        ><Bill>
                        >I believe I mentioned that I do not, on principle, identify with any sect.
                        >
                        >Further, to attempt to apply such labels only impedes objective
                        >examination of the scriptures.

                        No, it just helps the folks on this list to understand what you are saying.

                        Libertas inestimabilis res est,
                        Greg Loren Durand

                        Crown Rights Book Company
                        http://www.crownrights.com

                        ------

                        Husband of:
                        Lisa Regina (wife of 9 years)

                        Father of:
                        Brianna Marie (8)
                        Virginia Ruth (6)
                        Georgia Esther (5)
                        Robert Lee (3)
                        Carolina Rachel (1)

                        http://www.crownrights.com/durand.jpg
                      • Bill Ross
                        ... 57:15, God ... immobile? ... everywhere present, to move. You are right. I must go on a diet right now! :- Then are you saying that God is
                        Message 11 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
                          ><Greg>
                          > >>There are plenty of Scriptures that say so. According to Isaiah
                          57:15, God
                          >"inhabiteth eternity."
                          >
                          ><Bill>
                          >But what does that mean? Does it mean that he is static? That he is
                          immobile?

                          <Greg>
                          >>It is pretty hard for an infinite Being, who fills all in all and is
                          everywhere present, to move.

                          <Bill>
                          You are right. I must go on a diet right now! :->

                          Then are you saying that God is limited in that he cannot move?

                          I am curious how you read Gen 1:

                          Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was
                          upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of
                          the waters.

                          But my point was more this: God's perfection is not busted if he is
                          active. That is, if God acts in time, he has not now become less
                          perfect, even though he has certain acts now in the past.

                          Or do you see reality as a fiction? In other words, time is an illusion?
                          Reality is all ultimately just a static thing?

                          Can you at least appreciate what it is that I find so at odds with
                          scripture representing reality, with its obvious references to God and
                          time?

                          <Greg>
                          >>God is only within time because He injects Himself into time. That is
                          the
                          mystery of the incarnation.

                          <Bill>
                          But in your view, does God "inhabiting eternity" mean that he was
                          eternally in one state? For example, was he once alone? Or was man
                          created eternally, while only from man's perspective was he at some
                          point created?

                          Can you appreciate why I feel that is a disturbingly non-scriptural
                          approach to time?

                          >Notice that time is not non-existent to God but it does not wear on him
                          as
                          >it does us. He is angry! He is engaged.

                          <Greg>
                          >>I didn't say that time was non-existent to God. I said it was part of
                          His
                          creation. He is necessarily prior to and transcendent from His creation
                          and
                          only injects Himself into it because He chooses to condescend to us, His

                          creatures.

                          <Bill>
                          So God does have a "prior to" and "since" characteristic? He can be said
                          to have existed alone "before" and not alone "after?" If so, how is that
                          not time?

                          Really, I'm no philosopher. I just try to take the scriptures as I read
                          them. In this case, I can't relate the scriptures to notions of a time
                          when time did not exist. That, to me, is the kind of knot philosophers
                          love but the Hebrew scriptures do not.

                          ><Greg>
                          > >>Get out a concordance and look up the word "eternal."
                          >
                          ><Bill>
                          >There is no such word in either the Hebrew or the Greek scriptures.
                          They
                          >used a phrase "ages of ages" to indicate "a long or unending time."
                          There
                          >was no concept of an eternity that existed outside of the ages.

                          <Greg>
                          >>Again, you are making time something that exists independent of God.
                          Anything independent of God is greater than He.

                          In the beginning, God.... He was already there in the beginning.

                          Since you believe that God exists within time, and the Scriptures
                          clearly
                          say that the Son was begotten of the Father, do you also believe that
                          there
                          was a time when the Son was not?

                          <Bill>
                          I think that one of the longest messianic passages in scripture is found
                          in Proverbs 8 and 9. I think they describe the begetting very
                          graphically:

                          Proverbs 8:
                          22 The LORD [YHWH] possessed [obtained/created] me in the beginning of
                          his way [the first of his works], before his works of old.
                          23 I was set up from everlasting [ages], from the beginning, or ever
                          the earth was.
                          24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no
                          fountains abounding with water.
                          25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought
                          forth:
                          26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the
                          highest part of the dust of the world. {fields: or, open places} {the
                          highest...: or, the chief part}
                          27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass
                          upon the face of the depth: {a compass: or, a circle}
                          28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the
                          fountains of the deep:
                          29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass
                          his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
                          30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his
                          delight, rejoicing always before him;
                          31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were
                          with the sons of men.

                          Does the scripture *anywhere* say that Christ was "eternally begotten?"
                          Or are you only concerned about Catholic creeds and such?

                          ><Greg>
                          >>Plato was closer to the truth than were the pagan nature worshippers
                          who
                          believed in finite gods with parts and passions.

                          <Bill>
                          But he did not have the scriptures. He was a philosopher who reasoned
                          about God from his notions of perfection and "forms." Is one idol really
                          any better than the next?

                          >True or Allegory?
                          >31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the
                          world
                          >in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained;

                          <Greg>
                          >>Absolutely true. Since we are creatures that exist in time, there will
                          be a day in the future in which our deeds will be judged. However,
                          notice that
                          the Lord Jesus Christ will be the one who judges the world. As true God,

                          Christ is infinite and dwells outside of time; as true Man, He dwells as
                          we
                          do within time.

                          <Bill>
                          This kind of talk is absent from scripture. Even after the resurrection,
                          Jesus speaks in Revelation of the things God showed him of the future. I
                          think this "in time/out of time" thing is impossible to sustain from the
                          scriptures.

                          >True or Allegory?
                          >whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised
                          him
                          >from the dead. {hath given...: or, offered faith}

                          Absolutely true, but I have no clue how this relates to your claim that
                          God
                          is finite.

                          <Bill>
                          It says that God did something in the past. Hence, God has a past. It
                          says that God will do something in the future. Hence God has a future.
                          These are the words of scripture. You say they are true. How can you say
                          that they are not really past and future but only subjectively appear to
                          be past and future?

                          >In other words, when do we accept the words of scripture as scripture,
                          and
                          >when do we pass them off as allegory?

                          <Greg>
                          >>When the context so requires. Do you also believe that God is a
                          celestial
                          chicken? Psalm 17:8.

                          <Bill>
                          Literary devices, obviously. But what of assertions? History? Did God
                          actually test Abraham? Did that event occur? Did God say "Now I know?"
                          Did God raise Christ? Did he say "thou art my beloved son?"

                          >True or Condescending Fiction?
                          >Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
                          >created he him; male and female created he them.

                          <Greg>
                          >>True. The image of God in man is that he is a sentient being.

                          >True or Condescending Fiction?
                          >Genesis 6:6 "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the
                          earth,
                          >and it grieved him at his heart."

                          <Greg>
                          >>This is an anthropomorphism, not a fiction. A fiction is an untruth.

                          <Bill>
                          Is it? What I said was "fiction" not "a fiction." "Fiction" may or may
                          not present a truth. What makes it a fiction is that it never really
                          occurred as described.

                          So might I decide that Adam and Eve did not talk to a snake? That they
                          did not eat? That Abraham was a fictional character? When is the history
                          expendable and only the "truth" is important? What is the hermeneutic?
                          When God acts contra Plato? Can you see the difficulty, even if you
                          disagree?

                          <Greg>
                          >>Are you saying that God did not know in advance that man would turn
                          out as
                          he did? Was He surprised? How do you reconcile this with Numbers 23:19?

                          <Bill>
                          This is only saying that God does not renege on his promises (like men
                          are wont to do). Notice the parallelism which makes this clear:

                          Numbers 23:
                          19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that
                          he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he
                          spoken, and shall he not make it good?
                          20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed;
                          and I cannot reverse it.

                          <Greg>
                          >>A God who changes is not a God I can trust for my eternal salvation.
                          Malachi 3:6.

                          <Bill>
                          We are given a great deal of assurance in scripture but it focuses on
                          God's *faithfulness* and integrity, his promises and character rather
                          than to some metaphysical limitation of God being static.

                          >True or Condescending Fiction?
                          >Genesis 8:
                          >21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his
                          heart, I
                          >will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the
                          >imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again

                          >smite any more every thing living, as I have done. {a sweet...: Heb. a
                          >savour of rest or, satisfaction} {for the imagination: or, through the
                          >imagination}
                          >22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat,

                          >and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. {While...:
                          Heb.
                          >As yet all the days of the earth}

                          <Greg>
                          >>True, as an anthropomorphism.

                          <Bill>
                          Well what is it intend to reveal about God?

                          >True or Condescending Fiction?
                          >Genesis 9:11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall
                          all
                          >flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there

                          >any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

                          True, but I fail to see your point.

                          <Bill>
                          The point is that if we are told that YHWH "said in his heart, I will
                          not again..." but he didn't, then how do we know that the rest is not
                          fiction? I mean, why bother saying that he did? Why not cut verse 21-22
                          out of the text? Or at least the offensive verse 21? Why is the biblical
                          description of God in Isaiah 57:15 accurate, literal, reliable, full of
                          philosophical insight (ala Plato) and not Gen 9:21-22? And Gen 22:12?
                          Who decided that that was fiction?

                          >True or Condescending Fiction?
                          >Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy
                          >country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land

                          >that I will shew thee:

                          True, but I again fail to see your point.

                          <Bill>
                          What if I said "never happened. The bible is a book of moral myths."
                          Would you object? Why?

                          ><Bill>
                          >What you take as fiction is not presented as fiction in scripture but
                          as
                          >historical narrative.

                          <Greg>
                          >>I never said it was fiction, but have clearly and repeatedly said
                          these are anthropomorphisms -- God communicating His attributes in terms
                          we can
                          understand.

                          <Bill>
                          Was there a snake in the garden that talked? Was there really a "Garden
                          of Eden?"

                          >It is your philosophy that drives your interpretation of scripture, not

                          >the other way around.

                          <Greg>
                          >>Nope, it is my rejection of paganism that drives my interpretation of
                          Scripture. To the pagan, the creation is everything and so he cannot
                          conceive of a God who dwells outside of that creation. Hence, he winds
                          up
                          worshipping the creation rather than the Creator.

                          <Bill>
                          Does God describe himself in pagan terms so we will understand him? If
                          so, how do we correct the scriptures? Perhaps by reading Plato? Can you
                          see the problem?

                          >In the scriptures, God interacts with people who make real free
                          decisions
                          >that at times please God and at times grieve him. He learns of their
                          >motives by their actions and judges them accordingly.

                          <Greg>
                          >>To say that God learns anything is to deny His perfection.

                          <Bill>
                          Can you see how clearly scripture's presentation of God is made
                          subservient that of the Greek philosophers?

                          Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do
                          thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing
                          thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

                          ><Bill>
                          >I haven't spent much time in examining the scriptures concerning that,
                          so
                          >I can't really say. I kinda don't think so.

                          <Greg>
                          >>I'm kinda glad to hear you say that, but if God is subject to time,
                          why
                          wouldn't He also be subject to space?

                          <Bill>
                          Such philosophical reasoning cannot predict what the scriptures will
                          say. According to this link,
                          http://www-instruct.nmu.edu/psychology/hwhitake/content/Green/Green7.htm
                          l ....Arius objected to Christ being deity on the basis of it destroying
                          God's immutability.

                          In your view, is Christ mutable?

                          Personally, I find this type of discussion rather tedious. I prefer to
                          just accept the scriptures that describe God as faithful in all of his
                          dealings with men rather than incapable of learning or responding to
                          free creatures.

                          Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he
                          that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder
                          of them that diligently seek him.

                          Bill Ross
                          No Risk Software Inc
                        • Bill Ross
                          ... said ... that ... ... I don t understand that answer. ... the creation of the Son. Try reading it in context. Wisdom is in the
                          Message 12 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
                            ><Bill>
                            >So God does have a "prior to" and "since" characteristic? He can be
                            said
                            >to have existed alone "before" and not alone "after?" If so, how is
                            that
                            >not time?

                            <Greg>
                            >>In the beginning, God....

                            <Bill>
                            I don't understand that answer.

                            <Greg>
                            >>Sorry, but this is a personification of wisdom, not a description of
                            the
                            creation of the Son. Try reading it in context. Wisdom is in the
                            feminine.

                            <Bill>
                            Are you saying that this passage applies to someone other than Christ? A
                            woman? Was the logos a pre-existent male?

                            Is this passage fiction?

                            >Does the scripture *anywhere* say that Christ was "eternally begotten?"
                            >Or are you only concerned about Catholic creeds and such?

                            <Greg>
                            >>Get out a concordance and look up "begotten" and "only-begotten," and
                            you
                            tell me.

                            <Bill>
                            It does not appear so. Why do you find it unfathomable to think that he
                            was not eternally begotten?

                            Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of
                            the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of
                            David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is
                            conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. {conceived: Gr. begotten}
                            John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we
                            beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full
                            of grace and truth.
                            John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son,
                            which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
                            John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
                            Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
                            everlasting life.
                            John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that
                            believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the
                            name of the only begotten Son of God.
                            Acts 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that
                            he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second
                            psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
                            Hebrews 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art
                            my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a
                            Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
                            Hebrews 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high
                            priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I
                            begotten thee.
                            1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because
                            that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live
                            through him.
                            1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:
                            and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is
                            begotten of him. {is born: Gr. has been born}
                            Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and
                            the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the
                            earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own
                            blood,

                            ><Greg>
                            > >>When the context so requires. Do you also believe that God is a
                            >celestial chicken? Psalm 17:8.
                            >
                            ><Bill>
                            >Literary devices, obviously.

                            <Greg>
                            >>By what arbitrary standard do you judge one to be a literary device
                            and not another? If Scripture is to be taken literally when it says that
                            God moves, learns, changes His mind, etc., then Scripture is also to be
                            taken
                            literally when it says that He has wings like a mother hen.

                            <Bill>
                            I don't guess I could hope to agree here. I think we'll need to just
                            agree to disagree.

                            Shalom,

                            Bill Ross
                          • Bill Ross
                            ... It is not a matter of which God is superior, but which is described in scripture. Scripture shows God acting conditionally, judging the free
                            Message 13 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
                              <Greg>
                              >>"Why... should we follow the processians in rejecting those very attributes of God which make Him different from and superior to the gods of the heathen? Why reduce God to the level of pagan deities by claiming that He cannot know or control the future? If God is no better or greater than man or his manmade gods, why believe or worship Him? Are we really any better off if God is no longer GOD?"

                              <Bill>
                              It is not a matter of which God is superior, but which is described in scripture. Scripture shows God acting conditionally, judging the free actions of men. This is, in fact, a superior sovereign than one for whom all choice is frozen in immobility. Perhaps this is why he created man in his own image in the first place - gods with whom to interact - a program to have sons like himself:

                              James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

                              Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

                              <Greg>
                              >>"Such searching questions as these can be ignored only at the peril of one's immortal soul. Theology is not a game but a matter of life or death. If you want a finite god, then you must choose Baal and serve him. But if you want to serve Jehovah, then you must accept Him as He has revealed Himself in the Bible." page 179.

                              <Bill>
                              ...which is one who responds to people and learns of them by their actions. I've demonstrated that.

                              <Greg>
                              >>It is clear that Bill holds "some" theologians in high esteem, just not the orthodox ones. In my opinion, he does not belong on this list.

                              "A man that is a heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
                              knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of
                              himself" (Titus 3:10-11).

                              <Bill>
                              Are you aware that this verse refers to sectarians, not just those who disagree with you?

                              Titus 3:10 A man that is an **heretick** after the first and second admonition reject;

                              In the context, it was referring specifically to judaizers who were teaching that believers should keep the law:

                              8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
                              9 ¶ But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

                              I am not a heretic in the biblical sense, and not a proponent of torah observance.

                              Nor a railer.

                              I have committed the heinous sin of not agreeing with the popular. So be it.

                              Shalom,

                              Bill Ross
                            • Crown Rights Book Company
                              ... I m not amused. ... Why would He have to if He is omnipresent? Motion implies the transportation of matter from one point in space to another. God is
                              Message 14 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
                                At 02:53 PM 12/2/02 -0600, you wrote:
                                > ><Greg>
                                > > >>There are plenty of Scriptures that say so. According to Isaiah
                                >57:15, God
                                > >"inhabiteth eternity."
                                > >
                                > ><Bill>
                                > >But what does that mean? Does it mean that he is static? That he is
                                >immobile?
                                >
                                ><Greg>
                                > >>It is pretty hard for an infinite Being, who fills all in all and is
                                >everywhere present, to move.
                                >
                                ><Bill>
                                >You are right. I must go on a diet right now! :->

                                I'm not amused.

                                >Then are you saying that God is limited in that he cannot move?

                                Why would He have to if He is omnipresent? Motion implies the
                                transportation of matter from one point in space to another. God is
                                transcendent of both time and space.

                                Or are you going to tell us that God lives on the planet Kolob and has a
                                body of flesh and bone?

                                >I am curious how you read Gen 1:
                                >
                                >Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was
                                >upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of
                                >the waters.

                                I suspected that you might bring that one up. The Hebrew word indicates
                                that the Spirit "brooded" (as a hen does over her nest), not that He
                                floated along like an apparition. The third Person of the Godhead is not
                                Casper.

                                >But my point was more this: God's perfection is not busted if he is
                                >active.

                                No, His perfection is "busted" if He is a finite, changeable being, as you
                                have described your god.

                                >That is, if God acts in time, he has not now become less
                                >perfect, even though he has certain acts now in the past.
                                >
                                >Or do you see reality as a fiction? In other words, time is an illusion?
                                >Reality is all ultimately just a static thing?

                                Huh?

                                ><Greg>
                                > >>God is only within time because He injects Himself into time. That is
                                >the
                                >mystery of the incarnation.
                                >
                                ><Bill>
                                >But in your view, does God "inhabiting eternity" mean that he was
                                >eternally in one state? For example, was he once alone? Or was man
                                >created eternally, while only from man's perspective was he at some
                                >point created?

                                In the beginning, God...

                                >Can you appreciate why I feel that is a disturbingly non-scriptural
                                >approach to time?

                                No, I cannot.

                                > >Notice that time is not non-existent to God but it does not wear on him
                                >as
                                > >it does us. He is angry! He is engaged.
                                >
                                ><Greg>
                                > >>I didn't say that time was non-existent to God. I said it was part of
                                >His
                                >creation. He is necessarily prior to and transcendent from His creation
                                >and
                                >only injects Himself into it because He chooses to condescend to us, His
                                >
                                >creatures.
                                >
                                ><Bill>
                                >So God does have a "prior to" and "since" characteristic? He can be said
                                >to have existed alone "before" and not alone "after?" If so, how is that
                                >not time?

                                In the beginning, God....

                                >Since you believe that God exists within time, and the Scriptures
                                >clearly
                                >say that the Son was begotten of the Father, do you also believe that
                                >there
                                >was a time when the Son was not?
                                >
                                ><Bill>
                                >I think that one of the longest messianic passages in scripture is found
                                >in Proverbs 8 and 9. I think they describe the begetting very
                                >graphically:
                                >
                                >Proverbs 8:
                                >22 The LORD [YHWH] possessed [obtained/created] me in the beginning of
                                >his way [the first of his works], before his works of old.
                                >23 I was set up from everlasting [ages], from the beginning, or ever
                                >the earth was.
                                >24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no
                                >fountains abounding with water.
                                >25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought
                                >forth:
                                >26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the
                                >highest part of the dust of the world. {fields: or, open places} {the
                                >highest...: or, the chief part}
                                >27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass
                                >upon the face of the depth: {a compass: or, a circle}
                                >28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the
                                >fountains of the deep:
                                >29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass
                                >his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
                                >30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his
                                >delight, rejoicing always before him;
                                >31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were
                                >with the sons of men.

                                Sorry, but this is a personification of wisdom, not a description of the
                                creation of the Son. Try reading it in context. Wisdom is in the feminine.
                                This is a favorite prooftext of the Jehovah's Witnesses for their denial of
                                the Deity of Christ.

                                >Does the scripture *anywhere* say that Christ was "eternally begotten?"
                                >Or are you only concerned about Catholic creeds and such?

                                Get out a concordance and look up "begotten" and "only-begotten," and you
                                tell me.

                                > >True or Allegory?
                                > >31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the
                                >world
                                > >in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained;
                                >
                                ><Greg>
                                > >>Absolutely true. Since we are creatures that exist in time, there will
                                >be a day in the future in which our deeds will be judged. However,
                                >notice that
                                >the Lord Jesus Christ will be the one who judges the world. As true God,
                                >
                                >Christ is infinite and dwells outside of time; as true Man, He dwells as
                                >we
                                >do within time.
                                >
                                ><Bill>
                                >This kind of talk is absent from scripture. Even after the resurrection,
                                >Jesus speaks in Revelation of the things God showed him of the future. I
                                >think this "in time/out of time" thing is impossible to sustain from the
                                >scriptures.

                                If you say so.

                                > >True or Allegory?
                                > >whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised
                                >him
                                > >from the dead. {hath given...: or, offered faith}
                                >
                                >Absolutely true, but I have no clue how this relates to your claim that
                                >God
                                >is finite.
                                >
                                ><Bill>
                                >It says that God did something in the past. Hence, God has a past. It
                                >says that God will do something in the future. Hence God has a future.
                                >These are the words of scripture. You say they are true. How can you say
                                >that they are not really past and future but only subjectively appear to
                                >be past and future?
                                >
                                > >In other words, when do we accept the words of scripture as scripture,
                                >and
                                > >when do we pass them off as allegory?
                                >
                                ><Greg>
                                > >>When the context so requires. Do you also believe that God is a
                                >celestial
                                >chicken? Psalm 17:8.
                                >
                                ><Bill>
                                >Literary devices, obviously.

                                By what arbitrary standard do you judge one to be a literary device and not
                                another? If Scripture is to be taken literally when it says that God moves,
                                learns, changes His mind, etc., then Scripture is also to be taken
                                literally when it says that He has wings like a mother hen.

                                >Personally, I find this type of discussion rather tedious.

                                Funny, I was thinking the same thing. I am sorry I defended you yesterday.
                                You have definitely "outed" yourself today. I would suggest that you find a
                                Mormon discussion list to join; you don't belong on a Reformed Presbyterian
                                list.

                                Libertas inestimabilis res est,
                                Greg Loren Durand

                                Crown Rights Book Company
                                http://www.crownrights.com

                                ------

                                Husband of:
                                Lisa Regina (wife of 9 years)

                                Father of:
                                Brianna Marie (8)
                                Virginia Ruth (6)
                                Georgia Esther (5)
                                Robert Lee (3)
                                Carolina Rachel (1)

                                http://www.crownrights.com/durand.jpg
                              • Crown Rights Book Company
                                ... Just so everyone knows what Bill considers to be quite faithful to the scriptures, here s a little taste of the eminent theologian, Clark Pinnock: [The]
                                Message 15 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
                                  At 09:03 PM 12/1/02 -0600, you wrote:

                                  ><Greg>
                                  > >>Are you familiar with the writings of Clark Pinnock or Richard Rice?
                                  >
                                  ><Bill>
                                  >Clark, yes. Rice, I don't recall. Clark is, IMHO, quite faithful to the
                                  >scriptures, rather than to the philosophers.

                                  Just so everyone knows what Bill considers to be "quite faithful to the
                                  scriptures," here's a little taste of the eminent theologian, Clark Pinnock:

                                  "[The] idea that God knows and determines all things in advance and never
                                  has to adjust his planning is one that stands in obvious tension with the
                                  Bible and yet is deeply fixed in historic Christian thinking. It is due to
                                  the accommodation made in classic theism to the Hellenistic culture."
                                  Pinnock, essay: "From Augustine to Arminius," in The Grace of God/The Will
                                  of Man (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1989), page 24.

                                  "...I had to rethink the divine omniscience and reluctantly as whether we
                                  ought to think of it as an exhaustive foreknowledge of everything that will
                                  ever happen, as even most Arminians do....
                                  "...I had to ask myself if it was biblically possible to hold that
                                  God knows everything that can be known, but that free choices would not be
                                  something that can be known even by God because they are not yet settled in
                                  reality. 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 is not altogether sure about the future and what he may
                                  have to do when it reveals itself...." Pinnock, ibid., pages 25, 26.

                                  Richard Rice is another "process theologian" who contributed to the Grace
                                  of God/Will of Man book of which Pinnock was the editor. Rice wrote, "If
                                  human beings are really free, and their actions are not determined by God,
                                  how can he know in advance everything they are going to do?" Rice, essay:
                                  "Divine Foreknowledge and Free Will Theism," in Grace/Will, page 123.

                                  Robert A. Morey wrote a very good rebuttal of process theology back in 1989
                                  called The Battle of the Gods. It was published by the now defunct Crowne
                                  Publications, but copies might be available at http://www.abebooks.com
                                  Morey closes his book with these words:

                                  "Why... should we follow the processians in rejecting those very attributes
                                  of God which make Him different from and superior to the gods of the
                                  heathen? Why reduce God to the level of pagan deities by claiming that He
                                  cannot know or control the future? If God is no better or greater than man
                                  or his manmade gods, why believe or worship Him? Are we really any better
                                  off if God is no longer GOD?
                                  "Such searching questions as these can be ignored only at the
                                  peril of one's immortal soul. Theology is not a game but a matter of life
                                  or death. If you want a finite god, then you must choose Baal and serve
                                  him. But if you want to serve Jehovah, then you must accept Him as He has
                                  revealed Himself in the Bible." page 179.

                                  It is clear that Bill holds "some" theologians in high esteem, just not the
                                  orthodox ones. In my opinion, he does not belong on this list.

                                  "A man that is a heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
                                  knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of
                                  himself" (Titus 3:10-11).

                                  Libertas inestimabilis res est,
                                  Greg Loren Durand

                                  Crown Rights Book Company
                                  http://www.crownrights.com

                                  ------

                                  Husband of:
                                  Lisa Regina (wife of 9 years)

                                  Father of:
                                  Brianna Marie (8)
                                  Virginia Ruth (6)
                                  Georgia Esther (5)
                                  Robert Lee (3)
                                  Carolina Rachel (1)

                                  http://www.crownrights.com/durand.jpg
                                • Crown Rights Book Company
                                  ... I m sorry, but the answer was quite clear. ... Proverbs 8 tells you who is being spoken of (chapter 9, too). Read it from verse 1 rather than skipping down
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Dec 3, 2002
                                    At 09:08 PM 12/2/02 -0600, you wrote:
                                    > ><Bill>
                                    > >So God does have a "prior to" and "since" characteristic? He can be
                                    >said
                                    > >to have existed alone "before" and not alone "after?" If so, how is
                                    >that
                                    > >not time?
                                    >
                                    ><Greg>
                                    > >>In the beginning, God....
                                    >
                                    ><Bill>
                                    >I don't understand that answer.

                                    I'm sorry, but the answer was quite clear.

                                    ><Greg>
                                    > >>Sorry, but this is a personification of wisdom, not a description of
                                    >the creation of the Son. Try reading it in context. Wisdom is in the
                                    >feminine.
                                    >
                                    ><Bill>
                                    >Are you saying that this passage applies to someone other than Christ? A
                                    >woman? Was the logos a pre-existent male?
                                    >
                                    >Is this passage fiction?

                                    Proverbs 8 tells you who is being spoken of (chapter 9, too). Read it from
                                    verse 1 rather than skipping down to verse 22. This is a personification of
                                    wisdom as a female. Personification is one of those literary devices you
                                    mentioned. No literal person is being spoken of here.

                                    > >Does the scripture *anywhere* say that Christ was "eternally begotten?"
                                    > >Or are you only concerned about Catholic creeds and such?
                                    >
                                    ><Greg>
                                    > >>Get out a concordance and look up "begotten" and "only-begotten," and
                                    >you tell me.
                                    >
                                    ><Bill>
                                    >It does not appear so. Why do you find it unfathomable to think that he
                                    >was not eternally begotten?

                                    Unfathomable, because the Son is the second Person of the Godhead,
                                    eternally co-existent with the Father. See the below verse:

                                    >John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son,
                                    >which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

                                    I think I was mistaken about you being a Mormon. The more you talk, the
                                    more you sound like a Jehovah's Witness or some other brand of Russellite.
                                    You are an Arian, at the very least.

                                    Let me guess, you also deny the immortality of the soul?

                                    Libertas inestimabilis res est,
                                    Greg Loren Durand

                                    Crown Rights Book Company
                                    http://www.crownrights.com

                                    ------

                                    Husband of:
                                    Lisa Regina (wife of 9 years)

                                    Father of:
                                    Brianna Marie (8)
                                    Virginia Ruth (6)
                                    Georgia Esther (5)
                                    Robert Lee (3)
                                    Carolina Rachel (1)

                                    http://www.crownrights.com/durand.jpg
                                  • Crown Rights Book Company
                                    ... No, Bill, you have committed the sins of: 1. Denying the infinite, immutable, and transcendent God of the Bible 2. Denying the eternal Deity of the Son 3.
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Dec 3, 2002
                                      At 09:23 PM 12/2/02 -0600, you wrote:

                                      >I have committed the heinous sin of not agreeing with the popular. So be it.
                                      >
                                      >Shalom,
                                      >
                                      >Bill Ross

                                      No, Bill, you have committed the sins of:

                                      1. Denying the infinite, immutable, and transcendent God of the Bible
                                      2. Denying the eternal Deity of the Son
                                      3. Deliberately subscribing to and participating on a list, the guidelines
                                      of which you know you don't accept:

                                      "This is a place to discuss the True Religion as revealed in God's Word,
                                      and set forth in the Westminster Standards, and as upheld by the best
                                      Reformers, Puritans, and Covenanters, and by those following them as they
                                      followed Christ. Topics include all things related to the Reformation
                                      (Covenanting, Reformed theology, pure Worship, Psalmody, Beer, etc). You do
                                      not have to be a Covenanter to participate."

                                      The owner says that one does not have to be a Covenanter to participate,
                                      but it is obvious that one does have to at least be a Trinitarian in
                                      theology and Reformed in doctrine. I think it unconscionable that you did
                                      not openly identify yourself right from the start.

                                      Further discussion with you would be pointless, since you are only here to
                                      propagate your own heretical views.

                                      2 Timothy 3:1-9.

                                      Libertas inestimabilis res est,
                                      Greg Loren Durand

                                      Crown Rights Book Company
                                      http://www.crownrights.com

                                      ------

                                      Husband of:
                                      Lisa Regina (wife of 9 years)

                                      Father of:
                                      Brianna Marie (8)
                                      Virginia Ruth (6)
                                      Georgia Esther (5)
                                      Robert Lee (3)
                                      Carolina Rachel (1)

                                      http://www.crownrights.com/durand.jpg
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