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#57327 Tue Jan 04, 2022 7:53 PM
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The Divine Simplicity of God
As you are probably aware, confessions such as the WCF and the 1689 LBCF talk about the Divine Simplicity of God. Both agreeing.

In the WCF 2.1 in particular it says.
Quote
I. 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, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal, most just, and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty."

I had never really thought that people who held to these confessions would have a problem with them until James White vehemently came out against this doctrine.

The controversy seemed to happen when James E. Doleza wrote a book about the doctrine from WCF 2.1.
James White in his Dividing Line broadcast spoke against this particular doctrine agreeing with William Lain Craig.
First of all, I was a little surprised that White would agree with Craig; over the 1689 LBCF; because it is a rarity that he agreed with Craig on anything.
As I was listening to White on the Dividing Line Broadcast, after a while I turned it off because what he said; although passionate, I was no closer to understanding his disagreement. I was not even certain it was a big deal.
The only real thing I understood from James White is (agreeing with Craig) that the Classical Reformed understanding makes no sense. Apparently, Charles Hodge is another theologian that had a problem with the Classical Reformed view.

Can anyone shed any light on that subject, as I am trying to understand where James White is coming from and whether it is a big deal?


I will say that in the last year or so, James White has been vehemently standing against 1689 Federalism; which is the view of the 1689 LBCF held by the writers of the confession; as seen in the writings of Nehemiah Coxe (and others) who is believed to be the editor of the 1689 LBCF.

James White of course, says he holds to the 1689 LBCF, but his understanding of the confession is different than what is commonly called 1689 Federalism; In fact vehemently so.

Tom

Tom #57331 Tue Jan 04, 2022 10:56 PM
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What exactly is the "great" James White in disagreement with in the WCF/LBCF statement? scratch1

Secondly, even the mention of William Lane Craig makes me cringe.

From a Wiki article on Craig:

Quote
Divine Omniscience
Craig is a proponent of Molinism, an idea first formulated by the Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina according to which God possesses foreknowledge of which free actions each person would perform under every possible circumstance, a kind of knowledge that is sometimes termed "middle knowledge."[92] Protestant-Molinism, such as Craig's, first entered Protestant theology through two anti-Calvinist thinkers: Jacobus Arminius and Conrad Vorstius.[93][94] Molinists such as Craig appeal to this idea to reconcile the perceived conflict between God's providence and foreknowledge with human free will. The idea is that, by relying on middle knowledge, God does not interfere with anyone's free will, instead choosing which circumstances to actualize given a complete understanding of how people would freely choose to act in response.[95] Craig also appeals to Molinism in his discussions of the inspiration of scripture, Christian exclusivism, the perseverance of the Saints, and missionary evangelism.[96]
I stand in 100% agreement with the judgment of the Council of Dordt (1618-19) against the Arminians objection to the Belgic Confession... their doctrine was damnable heresy!!

Perhaps James White has reached the stratosphere of intellectualism where men lose their senses due to a lack oxygen to the brain and which also inflates their ego?


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Pilgrim #57332 Tue Jan 04, 2022 11:53 PM
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For those looking for context, his broader discussion on this subject begins at 24:00 minutes into the Dividing Line.


This is not the particular broadcast I first heard; but it is about the same subject.

I found another one, more concerning White's agreeing with William Lain Craig. Still not the one I listened to originally.


I noticed that White seemed to strong have a problem mainly because he says it originates with Thomas Aquinas.

Tom

Last edited by Tom; Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:29 AM.
Tom #57333 Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:23 AM
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I listened to about 20 minutes of the first video beginning at 24:00 minutes as you suggested and unfortunately, couldn't truly grasp what he was trying to say because he often had incomplete sentences in his presentation and then he went off on another subject dealing with how Calvin's understanding of supernatural/natural theology has changed over time and how different "philosophers" had brought more natural theology into their alleged interpretation of the Bible's teaching on theology. The second video gave a little bit more information re: White's agreement with William Lane Craig on a very specific subject, i.e., the doctrine of divine "simplicity" and how Aquinas' teaching on the subject has influenced many contemporary professors/teachers/students, which White thinks is in error. On that I would agree. And IF this is all that White is agreeing with Craig's rejection of that, then okay... and so what? Craig's definition of Omniscience is diametrically opposed to classic Reformed theology and ends with a total theology of God in ALL His parts within God's simplicity. Perhaps the statement you made above isn't yours? but rather what someone else has written/spoken elsewhere? But whatever the source, I didn't hear White disagreeing with the confessional statement of God's simplicity as found in the WCF or LBCF or Savoy Declaration, et al. Nor, did I hear White mention Charles Hodge's view on simplicty. scratch1


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