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45387Re: [faithmaps] "Open theism"

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  • Peter Attwood
    Aug 29, 2006
      >About Amos 3:6
      >I keep forgetting you're using KJV. NKJV and other versions use words like
      >disaster or calamity instead of evil. Not sure if you'll accept their
      >versions but they uphold the concept that God can not do evil. The
      >difference between evil and disaster is that evil's raison d'etre is to
      >destroy us but God's purpose is to bring us to Him and He will use adverse
      >events to bring about that ultimate good. Not sure if that's a minor or
      >major quibble but I've been down this road with other KJVers. I've been told
      >that a) my version is not the inspired one and b) God hardens sinners so
      >that they are more deserving of hell.

      I do not in general much appreciate the KJV because they had fewer texts to work with, besides the language being 400 years old, which causes the English words often to be wrong because the meanings have drifted. An example is "let," which used to mean to obstruct but now means to allow, except in the legal phrase "Let or hindrance."

      The primary meaning of the Hebrew word is "evil," however, as you can ascertain from an exhaustive concordance. The NASB translates this word as "calamity" 4 times and "evil" 121 times, indicating that they're indulging translator's license here - reading into the text their own theological preference.

      Besides the obvious distortion of the particular verses so mistranslated, it also distorts our sense of how the word "evil" is used in the Bible - hiding from us that in Hebrew thinking it's not as moralistic as ours. In biblical thought, it's evil because it's bad for you - "worse than a crime, it's blunder," as Talleyrand put it. You have to become like a little child to enter the kingdom of God, Jesus said, and little children are not moralistic. That's for philosophers.

      >
      >I do believe God is omniscient and omnipotent so there are plans of His that
      >will not be derailed. He will bring them to pass. This concept is compatible
      >with Open Theism. God's sovereignty or the accuracy of long range prophecies
      >are not questioned. God gives those long range prophecies to prove His
      >sovereignty and to increase our faith in His sovereignty. But does He have
      >to manage everything to the minute or second in other to achieve His
      >purpose? Or is He such a master chess player that no matter what we do, His
      >will will ultimately prevail?
      >
      >Where OT diverges from traditional thinking is the emphasis on how crucial
      >pivotal decision points are in an individual's or a community's lifes. What
      >if Cain had heeded God's warning to watch out that he is not overcome by
      >sin? What if Jehoash actually believed in prophetic actions and struck the
      >arrow more that 3 times? What if Moses had not struck the rock?
      >
      >If these actions were predetermined, then why should they (and others)
      >suffer and be judged for it? That is the question Open Theism seeks to
      >answer.
      >
      The Bible clearly states that it would make all the difference, for instance Psalm 81, and yet things are determined. The Bible has no problem with that. So the problem seems to reduce to why it doesn't and we do.
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