I’m going to include the transcript of a discussion I had (along with several others) with a Middle Knowledge proponent that frequents AOMin’s chat channel. The reason I do so is in order to give an example of how the argument I advanced recently functions in an actual discussion.
The discussion was fairly wide-ranging, but I think demonstrates the ability of a consistent return to the nature of God as the foundation of a reply to the assertions advanced by proponents of MK and other similar philosophical systems, over against the Biblical conception of God’s nature and the modal collapse I feel this outlook necessitates.
Discussion linked below.
* Caveman has joined #prosapologian
[Resequitur] Its Cavey
[Caveman] howdy res
[Resequitur] our friendly neighborhood MK advocate
[@Micah] muddled knowledge?
[Caveman] res, indeed 😉
[Caveman] micah, you will join me soon enough haha
[Caveman] it will not seem muddled then
[@Micah] um long as Isa 46 is in Scripture, Caveman, I will not
[Caveman] Isaiah 46? I’m looking at it… but don’t see why that’s the verse you’d choose
[@Micah] ~nas isa 46:9-11
[@Gutenberg^] Isaiah 46:9 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; [I am] God, and there is no one like Me,
[@Gutenberg^] Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
[@Gutenberg^] Isaiah 46:11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned [it, surely] I will do it.
[@Micah] Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’
[@Micah] Did or did not God declare the end from the beginning?
[Caveman] micah, absolutely. MK doesn’t deny God’s decree
[Caveman] everything decreed will come to pass without the possibility of change
[@Micah] that’s not a mere decree, it’s wrapped in the rest of the statement:
[Caveman] nothing can thwart it
[@Micah] and what was it God decreed?
[@Micah] ~nas isa 46:11
[Caveman] God decreed that which is
[@Gutenberg^] Isaiah 46:11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned [it, surely] I will do it.
[@Micah] Even the flights of birds.
[Caveman] I agree with that though
[Caveman] nothing incompatible with MK there
[Caveman] I’m not a molinist
[Caveman] not all MK proponents are arminian 😉
[@Micah] Again, the point God is making in the passage is that, unlike other ‘gods’, everything He has planned comes to pass… and what he has planned includes even the minute details of the universe.
[Caveman] Micah, again we agree there too
[Resequitur] Define what you understand MK to be
[Caveman] res, me or micah?
[@Micah] Caveman, so… did God actually decree it, or choose the best possible world??
[Resequitur] Cavey: you
[Caveman] micah, both
[@Micah] Really, and where in Scripture does God say that?
[Caveman] micah, in those words? =)
[Caveman] res, mk is that God knows hypothetical truths so to speak
[@Micah] in Isa 46 here we have pretty exact wording as to how God has declared all that comes to pass….
[Caveman] for example, if Tyre would have repented if Christ preached to them
[@Micah] one would expect that God would clarify “in other words, i didn’t REALLY declare it, i just figured out which of the ‘worlds’ would do it for me”
[Caveman] micah, do you believe that God has the freedom to choose?
[@Micah] Given the clarity of his statement there.
[@Micah] Depends on what you mean by “freedom to choose”. God declares something to be, and it is. In this case he’s declared all of time, and all that it ecompasses. He ~declared it~ into existance, he didn’t will that it would freely make itself.
[Resequitur] He chose before the foundation of the world
[Caveman] micah, could God have chosen any creation? Or was God limited to one possible creation from all eternity past?
[Caveman] in other words, is God eternally limited to create one world, without the freedom to choose any creation He wished?
[@Micah] Caveman, why not stick to what Scripture actually says rather than posing these “couldn’t” questions?
[Caveman] Micah, Scripture discusses God’s knowledge of alternatives, so it appears to assume that truth
[Caveman] I’m taking that and asking questions related
[Resequitur] God is immutable
[@RazorsKiss] God is eternal 🙂
[Caveman] It is true I could have had a beer yesterday, though it’s not possible because I didn’t
[@RazorsKiss] God is sovereign.
[@Micah] Possibility assumes that God’s decree was not eternal in nature.
[SirBrass] Caveman: it’s not possible b/c God did not ordain it to be so, though you did have a choice
[@Micah] There was no possibiity for anything else to happen apart from what God decreed.
[SirBrass] God is NOT bound by time
[SirBrass] the things you’re saying are something that someone who is strictly time-bound in his thoughts of God might say
[@RazorsKiss] Finite conception of hypotheticals do not necessarily equate to God’s conception of hypotheticals.
[Caveman] micah, I deny the decree lacked a beginning
[@RazorsKiss] Then God is not immutable.
[Caveman] decree requires a decision to do such on God’s part
[Caveman] and time is not eternal
[@Micah] Correct, time is not eternal… so when exactly did God decree? 😉
[Caveman] in the beginning
[@RazorsKiss] Was there a time when God did not decree whatsoever comes to pass?
[@Micah] before or after he made time? 😉
[Caveman] micah lol, logically prior
[@RazorsKiss] Caveman: does God think successively?
[@Micah] Um… how does “logically prior” work in a timeless system?
[Caveman] micah, that’s how it is spoken of in atemporal frameworks
[@Micah] Ahhh… and where is that spoken in Scripture?
* @RazorsKiss thinks that’s an issue with how people think of atemporal frameworks.
[Caveman] Micah, you expect a discussion of that to be in Scripture? 😉
[@Micah] Well, certainly… you seem to suggest it, therefore I must assume it is revealed in Scripture for you to be so sure of it.
[@RazorsKiss] ~nas mal 3:6
[@Gutenberg^] Malachi 3:6 “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
[Caveman] micah, I’m a male, being 100% sure of things that I have no business being sure of is part of my nature
[@Micah] That’s obvious.
[@Tur8inFan] Subdue your nature, and beat it into submission
* @RazorsKiss asks whether God’s thinking is successive.
[@slamafk] so you’re a non-Arminian, non-molinist who’s playing the devil’s advocate and doesn’t uphold traditional Calvinism?
[@RazorsKiss] Here’s my deal.
[@RazorsKiss] Is God immutable and eternal, or not.
[Caveman] slam…ummm let me reread that
[Caveman] slam, ah, all but the devil’s advocate
[@RazorsKiss] First: is God’s decree eternal.
[@RazorsKiss] Second: Is God’s decree immutable.
[@RazorsKiss] Third: is God’s decree sovereign.
[@Micah] what is the basis of God’s decree?
[Caveman] micah, His knowledge
[@RazorsKiss] That was my next question, Micah.
[Caveman] and His will
[Caveman] and His nature
[@Micah] So what was God’s intention in creation?
[Caveman] all possible worlds are limited by God’s nature, God couldn’t create something in violation of His nature
[Caveman] but to argue that God’s nature restricts God to one possible decree makes no sense
[@Micah] [Caveman] but to argue that God’s nature restricts God to one possible decree makes no sense [– why?
* @RazorsKiss wonders, then, why Caveman posits a mutable God.
[@RazorsKiss] That would very much “limit” God’s nature.
[@RazorsKiss] A God who doesn’t eternally purpose, eternally decree, eternally know precisely whatsoever will come to pass – not what may.
[Caveman] razors, how do you see my view as making God mutable?
[Caveman] razors, everything that God decrees comes to pass without possibility of failure or change
[@RazorsKiss] First: God’s decree is the sovereign expression of his eternal purpose.
[Caveman] razors, which is what?
[@RazorsKiss] His purpose is eternal, unchanging, and inviolate.
[@RazorsKiss] To glorify Himself perfectly.
[Caveman] and what brings God the most glory?
[Caveman] (actually I disagree that glory is God’s primary concern, but that’s another issue)
[@Micah] No, that’s really the issue.
[@RazorsKiss] Many systematic theologians call His attributes His perfections.
[Caveman] razors, perfection being what?
[Caveman] ah ok razors, attributes
[Caveman] God has infinite glory before creation, no?
[Caveman] infinitely displayed
[Caveman] infinitely given and received in the Trinity
[@RazorsKiss] But, more precisely, God’s perfection is His infinite, unchanging, eternal lack of any flaw.
[@RazorsKiss] God is utterly perfect, in every respect.
[Caveman] sir, so what is accomplished with the display of God’s attributes? There is no increase in glory.
[@RazorsKiss] To display them to His creation.
[Caveman] razors, to what end?
[Caveman] He already did that infinitely and perfectly
[@RazorsKiss] the end: to demonstrate His glory.
[Caveman] Do you deny the infinite glory of God and the perfect display of such before creation?
[@RazorsKiss] Caveman: exactly, He did. Including His Mercy, Justice, and Grace.
[Caveman] I don’t deny God is concerned with Glory
[Caveman] but it’s not the primary mover of God’s will
[@RazorsKiss] Does God display mercy with no creation to be merciful to?
[@RazorsKiss] Does God display grace with no creation to be gracious towards?
[@RazorsKiss] Does God display justice with no creation to be just towards?
[Caveman] razors, in a sense yes
[@RazorsKiss] God’s *eternal* purpose was to create precisely the creation He did.
[@RazorsKiss] In every particular.
[@RazorsKiss] As God is not bound by time, God has eternally displayed it, and will eternally display it, and is eternally displaying it.
[@RazorsKiss] That, among many reasons, is why I assert that there is no other possibility apart from God’s determination of it.
[@RazorsKiss] Which goes back to your question, Caveman – why do I think your position demands a mutable god – because it asserts that God started to do something.
[@RazorsKiss] Started to decree.
[Caveman] razors, did God start to create?
[Caveman] or is creation eternal?
[@RazorsKiss] creation started.
[@RazorsKiss] God didn’t 🙂
[Caveman] razors, so God always created creation?
[@RazorsKiss] Unless your assertion is that God changes, yes.
[@RazorsKiss] God doesn’t “start” things. Time started, because God willed it to.
[@RazorsKiss] God always knew, decreed, and carried out precisely His Eternal purpose.
[Caveman] Razors, so if God always created creation, why didn’t it always exist?
[@RazorsKiss] Because God hadn’t willed it into existence, and “started the clock”/
[@RazorsKiss] Time is not eternal.
[@RazorsKiss] It began when creation did.
[Caveman] Razors, when did God start to “will” it?
[@RazorsKiss] He never did start.
[@RazorsKiss] He eternally wills it so.
[Caveman] razors, we agree with time not being eternal at least =)
[@RazorsKiss] That is precisely what I’ve been saying. God never starts anything – willing/purposing, decreeing, acting.
[@RazorsKiss] What we SEE starts and stops.
[Caveman] razors, so if God eternally wills creation into existence, creation must then also be eternal, no?
[@RazorsKiss] Not at all.
[@RazorsKiss] Time began when creation began.
[Caveman] raz, we agree there
[@RazorsKiss] That’s how “began” starts.
[Caveman] k, we agree so far
[@RazorsKiss] think of creation like a bubble.
[@RazorsKiss] the bubble does not affect that in which it sits
[@RazorsKiss] (eternity, infinitude, etc)
[Caveman] razors, is this the cosmic vacuum type idea?
[@RazorsKiss] It began, and time, as an artifact of finitude, began accordingly.
[@RazorsKiss] No, just an analogy.
[@RazorsKiss] Infinity and eternality is like what the bubble of creation sits in
[Caveman] razors, finite inside infinite?
[@RazorsKiss] so to speak.
[Caveman] the only infinite I grant is God
[@RazorsKiss] But that’s not really the point.
[@RazorsKiss] The point, more precisely, is that God never began intending, never began His purpose, never began His knowledge.
[@RazorsKiss] God always intended creation precisely as it is – never purposed any other than what has occured – never began knowing what exactly would come to pass.
[Caveman] Razors, oh ok, I see what you’re saying
[Caveman] I agree with you though
[@RazorsKiss] To suggest otherwise is to call into question God’s eternality, immutability, knowledge, infinity, perfection, etc.
[Caveman] but mk says the same thing
[@RazorsKiss] No, because MK says that God *had other possibilities*.
[Caveman] Razors, mk says God could have eternally decreed anything He wished
[@RazorsKiss] I think that’s violating God’s eternity and immutability.
[Caveman] Razors, God’s freedom to choose doesn’t mean He changes
[@RazorsKiss] Choose what?
[@RazorsKiss] Imperfect possibilities?
[Caveman] between possible decrees
[@RazorsKiss] changing intentions?
[@RazorsKiss] that’s my problem.
[Caveman] Razors, you believe in two wills, correct?
[@RazorsKiss] Define what you mean by that.
[@RazorsKiss] please 🙂
[Caveman] you believe that God has a revealed will and a secret one?
[@RazorsKiss] Caveman: in what respect, in regards to His eternal decree, or to His revealed law?
[Caveman] razors, let’s take the decree that men sin
[@RazorsKiss] Okay – God decreed that there would be vessels of wrath, and vessels of mercy.
[@RazorsKiss] All are sinners – yet the two groups carry out different portions of His purpose to glorify Himself.
[@RazorsKiss] Some His Justice and Wrath, others his Mercy and Grace.
[Caveman] razors, so explain your take on why God perhaps might desire glory from things He hates
[@RazorsKiss] perhaps might? 🙂
[@RazorsKiss] First, I disagree that God perhaps or mights anything 🙂
[Caveman] razors, lol
[Caveman] um yes
[Caveman] I didn’t catch that haha
[@RazorsKiss] But second, God did decree that the vessels of wrath display His eternal wrath in His Just condemnation of their sin. He also decrees that vessels of mercy display his eternal mercy and grace in His sacrificial atonement. (As well as His justice and wrath)
[@RazorsKiss] Romans lays out God’s eternal purpose quite clearly.
[Caveman] Razors do you believe that a non-attribute of God can be the primary mover of His will?
[@RazorsKiss] Never. God’s will is eternal. Nothing moves it.
[Caveman] ok, let me rephrase, motivator of His will
[@RazorsKiss] To state otherwise violates who He is.
[@RazorsKiss] Again, God is who He is – He is self-sufficient. Nothing motivates Him but Him – and as He is eternal, eternally does so.
[Caveman] Razors, ok, so nothing motivates God but God (and by extension His attributes)
[@RazorsKiss] Notice – my entire argument is based solely in God’s nature.
[@RazorsKiss] In what He has revealed.
[@RazorsKiss] No guessing, no “probably”.
[Caveman] thus you’d agree that glory is not a primary motivator of God since it is not part of God’s nature, rather something which is given and received within the Trinity
[@RazorsKiss] God is glorious.
[Caveman] Razors, glorious yes
[Caveman] deserving of glory, yes
[Caveman] but glory (noun) is something that is a result of who God is
[@RazorsKiss] “the glory of God”
[@RazorsKiss] it is something intrinsic to Him.
[@RazorsKiss] It is recognized by men – and displayed to men.
[@RazorsKiss] Yet, it is intrinsic to God.
[Caveman] razors, hmmm, maybe we need to agree on what glory is
[Caveman] how do you define it
[Caveman] razors, so we can give God magnificence? or splendor?
[@RazorsKiss] We reflect back the recognition of His magnificence.
[@RazorsKiss] to “glorify” God is to recognize that He is glorious.
[@RazorsKiss] and therefore worthy of the praise we give Him.
[Caveman] razors, wouldn’t you agree it is better to include honor or recognition in the definition as opposed to “magnificence”
[Caveman] to illustrate the fact that we cannot give God glory if the definition of glory is simply God’s magnificence
[@RazorsKiss] No, I think we were having confusion about the reflected “glorify” and the intrinsic “glory”.
[Caveman] glory would simply describe the appropriate reaction to his attributes no?
[@RazorsKiss] God’s intent is to *display* His glory.
[@RazorsKiss] Man’s purpose is to *recognize* His glory, and act accordingly.
[@RazorsKiss] The first catechism question: What is man’s chief end – to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
[@RazorsKiss] What is God’s chief end? “I AM.”
[Caveman] razors, true, but that’s the catechism, not Scripture
[Caveman] we agree that God desires glory
[Caveman] we agree man should glorify God
[Caveman] but we disagree this is the primary concern of God
[@RazorsKiss] I said what the *primary* concern of God is. To be Himself.
[Caveman] Razors, which is love, no?
[@RazorsKiss] God is glorious, therefore being glorious is part and parcel of the intent of His existence 🙂
[@RazorsKiss] God is love, God is glorious, God is eternal…
[@RazorsKiss] So, you hold that there are attributes more important than others?
[@RazorsKiss] (God IS light…)
[Caveman] razors, not sure I’d phrase it like that, but yes
[@RazorsKiss] So, God’s love trumps His justice, so to speak?
[Caveman] if God could change, then some of his other attributes would be less impressive
[Caveman] so some attributes could theoretically be called more important
[Caveman] so to speak
[@RazorsKiss] But does it trump His “being light”? (in whom there is no darkness at all)
[@RazorsKiss] or His being existent?
[@RazorsKiss] “I AM that I AM”
[Caveman] razors, they go hand in hand
[@RazorsKiss] Precisely – they ALL go hand in hand.
[@RazorsKiss] So, on what grounds do you say that love is a greater attribute of God than, say, eternity?
[@RazorsKiss] (or whichever you say it is greater than)
[Caveman] Razors, love eternally moves the will of God, eternity doesn’t move God’s will
* @RazorsKiss notes that Caveman just assumes that God’s will “moves”.
[@RazorsKiss] How does it move, Caveman?
[Caveman] Razors, upon what do you believe God’s will is based?
[@RazorsKiss] His purpose, Caveman.
[Caveman] razors, and is that based upon something?
[@RazorsKiss] but “based” is perhaps the wrong word to use.
[Caveman] would you agree God’s attributes are the basis of His will?
[@RazorsKiss] No, as I believe His will is one of His attributes – “willing”
[@RazorsKiss] remember – attributes are descriptions of what God is like.
[Caveman] sir, we don’t disagree
[@RazorsKiss] God wills, therefore will is a description of how God is.
[Caveman] razors, what about “creator”?
[@RazorsKiss] Since God is simple – His will is also eternal.
[@RazorsKiss] God is creative, yes.
[Caveman] razors, did God eternally create? I still am not sure of your position on that
[Caveman] you seem to have said yes and no at the same time 😉
[SirBrass] His decree is eternal
[SirBrass] creation is not
[Caveman] sir, I agree
[@RazorsKiss] God didn’t “jump into” time when Creation began. He eternally wills Creation into existence. When time began, creation (which is the only valid object of “began” or “ended”) also began. God is eternally the Creator.
[@RazorsKiss] *because He exists eternally*
[Caveman] razors, give me a sec, I’m rereading that last post–want to make sure I get ya
[@RazorsKiss] *when creation began* is irrelevant, when applied to God – God *transcends* that category.
[@RazorsKiss] as it’s source and, well, Creator 🙂
[Caveman] razors, ok, to clarify, is it your position that time is a reality or an illusion? (first part of my question)
[@RazorsKiss] time is a finite category to measure finite reality, existing at the mere pleasure of God, as an artifact of His Creation.
[@RazorsKiss] Time does not measure anything but the rate of creation’s change.
[Caveman] razors, does time measure God’s interaction with His creation as well?
[@RazorsKiss] Caveman: depends on what you mean by “interaction”.
[Caveman] not sure I follow…
[@RazorsKiss] Do you mean “God’s power being displayed” – like, in the burning bush, or the pillar of fire, or what have you?
[Caveman] well, that’d certainly be an example
[Caveman] but I was thinking more of the incarnation
[@RazorsKiss] Well, Christ was the God-Man.
[Caveman] do you believe part of God was stuck in time? 😉
[Caveman] (I know that was a bad phrasing)
[Caveman] but my point is this…
[@RazorsKiss] As man, Christ took on flesh, and the nature of the flesh. (had two natures, etc)
[Caveman] I don’t think Scripture teaches that God is outside of time after creation, but rather completely in control of time because of His decree
[@RazorsKiss] Obviously He’s in control of time. He created it 🙂
[Caveman] the term would be “omnitemporal” as opposed “atemporal” before creation
[Caveman] we agree
[@RazorsKiss] but I don’t think God is “inside” time – as in, under it’s influence, or subject to it.
[Caveman] well if time is simply a measure of cause and effect…I don’t see a problem
[Caveman] because God is the first cause
[@RazorsKiss] God controls it as surely as He controls matter and space.
[@RazorsKiss] meticulously, particularly, and utterly.
[Caveman] right, through His decree
[Caveman] and his interaction
[@RazorsKiss] and the exercise of His sovereign power, etc, yeah.
[Caveman] ok, but we don’t disagree there
[@RazorsKiss] I think the biggest problem we all have is trying to think of God as *too much* like us. ie: since God interacts, he does so similarly to how we would, etc.
[Caveman] we agree God has absolute control
[@RazorsKiss] But… my problem with the MK position is that it seems to posit that there was a *time* where God began and ended a particular thought, purpose, or deed – and not simply from our finite perspective.
[@RazorsKiss] ie: *when* was God choosing between all of these various possibilities?
[Caveman] it would posit that only from a logical perspective, not a temporal one
[Caveman] it simply states there is a logical order of God’s actions
[Caveman] though not a temporal order
[@RazorsKiss] which seems to me, implies *succession* in the thought of God.
[@RazorsKiss] which requires *change*.
[@RazorsKiss] that is my primary objection to the entire *concept* of “logical order” altogether.
[@RazorsKiss] It’s nonsensical to me.
[Caveman] hmmm, hold on, one sec, brb
[@RazorsKiss] God doesn’ have one thought, then move on to the next.
[Caveman] logical priority is simply a tool to describe atemporal events in philosophy
[@RazorsKiss] my argument is that it’s an invalid tool – it implies things it shouldn’t.
[Caveman] let me see if I can find a concise summary to help illustrate what I mean
[@RazorsKiss] well, I know what it’s describing 🙂
[@RazorsKiss] I’m arguing that what it describes isn’t God – because it requires a definition of God that is mutable.
[@RazorsKiss] because God’s thoughts *change*. Did God *eternally* intend to do precisely what He did, decree what He did, or not?
[Caveman] but it seems like your definition of mutable requires God never do something unless that something is eternal
[@RazorsKiss] If God is really eternal and immutable, you’re precisely right – it *should*.
[@RazorsKiss] and what I’m pointing out is that it *doesn’t*.
[@RazorsKiss] If there was some point at which God was *still deciding* which world to actuate, God is *neither* eternal nor immutable.
[@RazorsKiss] If God is really, truly eternal and immutable, that just cannot, definitionally, EVER be so.
[@RazorsKiss] It is utterly IMpossible.
[Caveman] do you admit a distinction between who God is and what God does?
[@RazorsKiss] In what manner?
[Caveman] well, was Jesus always incarnate?
[Caveman] it is accurate to say Jesus IS God-incarnate
[Caveman] but was that always the case?
[@RazorsKiss] No, as Christ took on human form. The God-man, since He has a dual nature, took on finitude in the human nature, but only in the human nature.
[Caveman] so you’d agree that is something God did temporally
[@RazorsKiss] God, essentially, did not cease to be trinitarianally infinite (and et al) as a result.
[Caveman] right, but I’d argue the same applies to my other examples (ie creation)
[@RazorsKiss] We aren’t talking about creation, though.
[Caveman] God’s relationship to temporal things changes even though His essence doesn’t
[Caveman] so in a sense, God changes, but in the sense of relationship, not essence
[@RazorsKiss] I think that there’s a problem right there.
[Caveman] and I think that’s an important distinction
[Caveman] what’s that?
[@RazorsKiss] The change is in the *mutable* things.
[@RazorsKiss] Not the immutable.
[@RazorsKiss] We (and all creation) change in relation to the eternally unchanging God.
[@RazorsKiss] God does not change – therefore Israel is not consumed.
[@RazorsKiss] (Micah 3:6)
[@RazorsKiss] *from our perspective*, God’s relationship to us changes – but it is *us* changing. Just as the sun, from our perspective, seems to be moving around us – but in reality, the earth is moving around the sun.
[Caveman] Well, God was not incarnate, then became incarnate
[Caveman] how would you reword that given your above statement?
[@RazorsKiss] Because He took on flesh, and dwelt among us.
[Caveman] that’s something God did, not creation
[Caveman] wouldn’t that be the reverse of your above argument?
[@RazorsKiss] Not really. Did God’s nature change to incorporate the human nature of Christ?
[@RazorsKiss] Or did the second person of the Trinity take on flesh, yet stay unchanged? The answer has to be dictated by Scripture.
[@RazorsKiss] Theology _must_ come first here.
[@RazorsKiss] God expressly says, many places in Scripture, that He *does not* change.
[@RazorsKiss] We cannot affirm that He really does, and stay true to Scripture – God’s *self* revelation.
[Caveman] Razors, I agree with you 99% here
[Caveman] but I think we need to ask what God means when He says He doesn’t change
[@RazorsKiss] “did God really say…”
[@RazorsKiss] Does God change His mind?
[@RazorsKiss] Does God change His purpose?
[@RazorsKiss] Does God change His nature in any respect?
[Caveman] but temporality falls under none of those categories
[Caveman] because it’s God’s relationship to creation
[Caveman] not his subjection to it because of a change in nature
[Caveman] or other such change
[@RazorsKiss] Caveman, I know you really like your system, here. I understand that. But God is *simple*. God doesn’t change in one respect, and not in others.
[@RazorsKiss] God’s attributes all interrelate as a whole.
[Caveman] I know, but I’m trying to make a distinction clear… between God’s actions and His essence
[@RazorsKiss] God is eternally, immutably, perfectly, infinitely powerful – put them all in any combination you like.
[Caveman] because it’s important to understanding my view
[@RazorsKiss] Yes, but what you’re telling me, seemingly, is that finitude effects changes in God – and not just perceptual ones.
[Caveman] the example I use of creation…
[Caveman] well…changes in relationship yes
[Caveman] God is creator post creation, not before
[Caveman] though He is creative pre
[Caveman] he is not yet creator
[@RazorsKiss] From the perspective of Creation, yes.
[Caveman] Well ontologically.
[Caveman] can you be a father before you give birth or adopt?
[@RazorsKiss] From God’s perspective, the past, present, and future are irrespective.
[@RazorsKiss] No, because I am bound by time.
[@RazorsKiss] God is not.
[Caveman] hmmm, I think our view of time is part of the problem, we have different takes on how that works
[Caveman] makes it hard to discuss because we presuppose diff views of time haha
[@RazorsKiss] our conceptions are analogical only.
[Caveman] are you familiar with theology of time discussions?
[Caveman] I think you’d enjoy them if not
[@RazorsKiss] I categorically deny that time has any meaning or existence outside of the creative order.
[@RazorsKiss] Yes, I am 🙂
[Caveman] ok, would you say you hold Helm’s view?
[@RazorsKiss] God provides it’s meaning.
[@RazorsKiss] I’d have to look at Helm’s definition again, probably.
[Caveman] even though I disagree with some of his stuff…you might find this helpful, hold on…
[@RazorsKiss] I hold that time only exists as a function of finitude.
[@RazorsKiss] as it is so, God transcends it, as he does anything created.
[Caveman] He and Paul Helm have the two main views of time covered
[Caveman] You’d enjoy Craig’s book on God and Eternity
[@RazorsKiss] I read that one a while back. I don’t agree with Craig, at all.
[Caveman] well I have to run unfortunately, perhaps we can continue another day. The main thing is that we share or love for Christ who saved us from our death in sin… and we are brothers in that
[@RazorsKiss] I hold that God exists atemporally. Time is merely a function of change within finitude.
[@RazorsKiss] Amen 🙂
[Caveman] and I hope that the Spirit will clarify these other issues for us as we seek to be submissive to the Word
[@RazorsKiss] yessir 🙂
[Caveman] have a wonderful evenin and I’ll see ya on here another night! =)
[@RazorsKiss] you too 🙂