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#38953 Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:23 PM
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Tom Online Content OP
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I am having an e-mail discussion with a pastor concerning 'Predestination' and during that conversation he stated:
Quote
But remember that Jesus taught in Luke 13:1-5 that, for the unrepentant, world events, even those which cause death, are not special judicial acts of God. As unbelievers they are simply victims of circumstance, and a divine intention is not to be read into what happens to them. Christians have often sincerely done this.

Would you agree with him? Why or why not?

Tom #38954 Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:47 PM
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"victims of a circumstance"??? [Linked Image] Surely, this is a joke, right? So, a "circumstance" perpetrated some nefarious act upon the unbelievers and thus they are said to be "victims" of it? [Linked Image]

God, the LORD of heaven and earth has foreordained ALL THINGS from eternity for His ultimate glory. He, having decreed ALL THINGS, He providentially brings ALL THINGS to pass in His own good time in human history. To suggest that such events are but "accidents" or "circumstances" outside the direct purpose and oversight of God is to embrace Atheism.... nothing more and nothing less.

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Pilgrim #38955 Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:33 AM
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...or open theism at the very least. Any doctrine that makes God anything less than all mighty, all knowing, and all sovereign cannot be the truth. Perhaps this pastor is actually a Deist or something.

Robin #38956 Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:35 PM
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Could this pastor just be in discord with the idea of predestination? If he does not hold to the doctrine of predestination, or at least not to the level of saying that God has ordained ALL things to happen, (I know some who hold to predestination as a thing only concerning salvation, not everyday activities, however, thats another topic)? I know many who are not reformed and their belief is that even though God knows something will happen, such as 9-11, He will not stop it from happening because it will ultimately point people to Him. The non-Christians at and around the towers on 9-11 would then be considered "casualties"? I agree that the idea is a little far-fetched that God is not in control, but we must remember that not all hold to the doctrines of reformed theology, and this pastor may not at all be talking "atheism".

Clint #38957 Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:28 PM
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Let me answer that with a question:

If Almighty God knows that something terrible is going to happen, is there any chance that it won't?

If the answer is yes, then He is not, in fact, all knowing. Either He has to intervene in a situation He did not intend or anticipate, or He was unable or unwilling to intervene in a situation He did not intend or anticipate, or else He did intend for it to happen and planned, from eternity, for it happen (because He lives outside of linear time). Only the latter option can possibly be true, since He is all mighty, all knowing, and eternal. Unless we're talking about some "lesser" god than the God of the Scriptures.

This isn't just a matter of "Reformed" or "non-Reformed" belief. It is how one views God - either as the Almighty, eternal Sovereign of the universe or some lesser being who doesn't get his way most of the time.

-Robin

Clint #38958 Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:05 PM
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Clint,

Let me ask you this: IF God has not foreordained ALL THINGS, then that leaves no other conclusion than things, events, etc., happen according to "chance" or "fate" and what is such an individual who holds to such a view called? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" /> (HINT: Atheist)

On a similar and just as fundamental issue, how does God know what He knows (ALL things, aka: Omniscient)? IF God knows after the fact, then He is not Omniscient and thus He is not God; at least by the biblical definition of deity. For, there are things which happen unknown to Him beforehand, which means God was lacking ALL knowledge. Additionally, these events would have to be outside of His determination and control, which means God would not be Omnipotent; again disqualifying Him as deity; the biblical God.

Have you read through all/some of the articles here: Predestination? Boettner, for one, answers many Objections to the doctrine of predestination most effectively. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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Tom #38959 Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:09 AM
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As you might have guessed, I disagree with him.
However seeing as how he used Luke 13:1-5, to try to prove his case, I thought I might be able to get some feed back related to those verses. I am not sure where he came to that conclusion, that those verses prove his case.

Tom

Pilgrim #38960 Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:20 AM
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Pilgrim

If I understand what this particular pastor believes, I think he believes that God directs everything that happens to Christians in order to make them more like Jesus. But he just lets circumstance happen in the lives of non-Christians.
As I wrote that last sentence, I can now see why Robin made the comment about him perhaps being a Deist.
I am sure he would probably say that there are times (such as what God did with Pharaoh) where God uses the unrepentant for the good of believers, but he probably doesn't see how these examples conflict with his beliefs.

He has also mentioned how Augustine had some "Neo-Platonic" ideas that unwittingly have been incorporated into how some people view this subject.
I asked him to prove this, but he hasn't got back to me.

Tom

Last edited by Tom; Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:40 AM.
Pilgrim #38961 Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:43 PM
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While I will agree that Atheists hold true to the idea of everything happening by chance and that God did not plan for certain things to happen, not all Christians will agree that God planned for something such as the twin towers falling. I will also agree that these Christians are a bit lost in their view of God. However, can we discredit someones faith or their relationship with God because they are a little bit lost? I for one would say that before I understood more fully the extent of God and His power, I would argue Him allowing 9-11 or planning 9-11.. This man/pastor may be full heartedly Christian and has not walked far enough in faith to understand that God is timeless. I still have a hard time understanding that God existed in the past, He exists now in the current, AND He exists 5min, 5years, 50years, 500years into the future ALL AT THE SAME TIME.. It is because of this that I still have difficulty with predestination myself. However I can not find a better argument and therefore I hold it to be true.. I would argue FOR predestination before I would argue against it, however if I were to find a better explanation to the "elect" and "predestination" then I would hold it and defend it until something better comes along. I am not saying that I am "waiting" for something to come along or expecting something else.. Just saying that I am not closed off to that possibility.

I have learned much in my few weeks at school so far and look forward to learning even more.. And there are a few things that really affect the way that I approach certain issues like predestination or "the elect". These things include the fact that the Bible was written FOR me, NOT TO me. I was not a part of ANY of the original audiences and therefore cannot place myself in any group directly named in the Bible OTHER THAN a Christian who believes that Jesus Christ is who He said He was. Another thing is that to properly understand what the Bible says I have to know EXACTLY what the text is.. No inferences by myself, no immediate interpretation. I have to understand the politics, the circumstances of the audience, who the audience is, and many other things. Not only do I have to know the above noted, but also how the ORIGINAL AUDIENCE would have understood what is written. There are many things I have not listed here that also play a role in interpreting and understanding the Bible but I have only gotten as far as what I have listed.. And these topics of predestination and election are things I have not looked into for myself yet and that is why I am still open to the idea of election and predestination as being wrong. Who knows, maybe the authors who speak of election and predestination never meant for those things to be taken as they are today.. Again I will defend them before battling them, but I still need to search out for myself. (I tell you all of this in defense of the above mention pastor. Maybe he is fighting it so much because he has not taken the time to REALLY understand what is going on in the text and is actually unwilling to search it out for fear of being wrong.)


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