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45389Re: [faithmaps] "Open theism"

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  • Caroline Wong
    Aug 29, 2006
      Hi Peter;

      When moral beings choose to act, their actions can be judged morally as
      either good or bad. It is not possible for a moral being to do something
      evil and then claim the action is neither good nor bad. However, you're
      right when you say a child (or a new believer) may not know or care about
      that philosophy. I'm too old to be allowed that :) The Holy Spirit would
      knock me on the head with Hebrews 5:14.

      The Hebrew language has far fewer words than English and translators usually
      have several choices whenever they translate a Hebrew word into English.
      Their theology affects their choice and what has been revealed in the New
      Testament regarding God and evil shapes a great deal of that theology. The
      NKJV did not choose the word evil for their translation probably because
      that would say something about God that they believe is false.

      I'm not sure how Psalm 81 has anything to do with things that are
      determined. It's more like a cause and effect lecture. If you are faithful,
      I'll be good to you. If you're not, I'll punish you. I don't see anywhere in
      the Psalm where God says I will make you do bad things and then I'll punish
      you and you can't say boo (because I won't allow that too!). Psalm 81 fits
      well with Open Theism as it seems God is saying we really have a choice
      about obeying and disobeying.

      BTW, ironically OT understands that we have a sin nature, hormones,
      addiction issues, theological beliefs, socio economic constraints,
      fears etc. etc. etc. so our choices are not free free (as in Libertarian
      free) but we're responsible for making as good a choice as we can and we're
      held to that responsibility.



      On 8/29/06, Peter Attwood <attwoods@...> wrote:
      > >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.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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