Nature of God

Providence

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TrippFields

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Calvinism and Romans 9
« Reply #75 on: July 25, 2008, 03:48:46 pm »

I would rather define philosophy as an intellectual dicipline that studies all of reality.  To make make a more precise definition, Alvin Plantinga said that philosophy is just "thinking really hard about something".  I concur.  To illustrate this; your statement that you just made about philosophy and theology is a philosophical one.


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Peter

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« Reply #76 on: July 25, 2008, 04:03:01 pm »

If wisdom is even linguistically defined the same as philosophy and theology then there would be no sense in deciding to use either one.  There is no sense in having those words.  I don't know your background, but for me i'm a philosopher and i'm not a realist.  I don't think "thinking hard about something"  is adequate way to define it, if that were so then anyone could be a philosopher, you could say that everyone is a philosopher because everyone has wisdom, but in the origin of the word, it was used by specialist, lovers of wisdom, am I right??  Some people criticize it by what it actually is.


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TrippFields

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« Reply #77 on: August 01, 2008, 12:01:32 pm »

I don't exactly agree that wisdom as Scipture defines it is identical to philosophy.  The Bible seems to broadly define wisdom as the truth about reality (i. e. God, man, and the world, etc.).  Now this is slightly different than what the term 'philosophy' is used to describe.  We usually use the term to denote an intellectual activity (e. g. one is philosophizing about something. This is when its used as a verb)  Or a system of beliefs someone has about something.  (e. g. one's philosophy about baseball or economics or whatever.  This is when it is used as a noun).  It is widely recognized that every thinking human being is technically a philosopher.  This is true because all of us hold beliefs about reality that we attempt to logically systematize.  In much the same way every religious person is technically a theologian because all such people hold beliefs about God and various religious doctrine that they attempt to systematize rationally.  We would do well to remember that just because a word has a certian etymology that this is the meaning of the word.  For example the word 'consider' used to mean 'with the planets' but when we ask someone to consider something, we certainly aren't talking about astronomy.  It is true that the term 'philosophy' comes from the Greek word philien and sophia which together mean 'lover of wisdom' but it is still hotly debated what exactly is and isn't philosophy.  many philosophers (mostly secular ones) would equate it with true wisdom but I would not agree.  I do agree that philosophy plays an essential role in discovering wisdom but I define it as more of a mental exercise rather than identify it with wisdom itself.


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Calvinism and Romans 9
« Reply #78 on: August 30, 2008, 12:57:06 am »

Why does God predestine some and not others? Is it because God is omnicient and knows who will choose him (with their libertarian free-will)? If so does that mean God chooses some because of something they did that the others did not (namely willfully choose him)? Some condition must be met in order to be predestined. It sounds to me like works. Maybe you can help me understand. The Bible says in Eph 2:8-9 faith is a gift, right?

R.C.
Loma Rica,CA
Atheism Presupposes Theism

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Harvey

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Calvinism and Romans 9
« Reply #79 on: August 30, 2008, 07:42:29 am »

RC wrote: Why does God predestine some and not others? Is it because God is omnicient and knows who will choose him (with their libertarian free-will)? If so does that mean God chooses some because of something they did that the others did not (namely willfully choose him)? Some condition must be met in order to be predestined. It sounds to me like works. Maybe you can help me understand. The Bible says in Eph 2:8-9 faith is a gift, right?

Well, in my view of time, time is emergent. The pre-emergent layer is a tenseless reality. If we were to take an electron microscope, we begin to see a different view of reality which is motionless and foreign to us. If we had a microscope powerful enough, we would see the same sub-elementary world that anyone in history or the future would see if they performed the same experiment. In other words, the timeline bubbles up from this point.

Similarly, if we could take a time machine and go to the past, at the big bang we'd see the size of the universe smaller and smaller, until it was the size of this sub-elementary world, and we would be in the same pre-emergent layer.

If we think of emergent time as a boiling pot where bubbles come to the surface, and the surface is our timeline, the location where a bubble surfaces is our "now" experience. One of those bubbles represent who we are. Predestination is how God directs that bubble to the surface.

Some people are not predestined at this time because they don't meet certain criteria. Perhaps they don't belong in this era. Abraham Lincoln, for example, "fit" in the era of the mid-Nineteenth century. Some people "fit" to be kings in ancient Persia, and some people "fit" to be starship captains in the distant future. Some people "fit" to be in God's church today. They are predestined to be called today.

By the way, this doesn't mean that we have no say so or nothing to do with what happens to our lives. Far from it, we chiefly chart our own course, but God knowing that course is able to fit us in the timeline where our choosing and God's needing us to be works out together for good.

So, we each belong in our place in history for a reason. We each belong in the church for a reason. God even places us within the church where God wants us. He is not asking us to accept a role, but rather he is expecting us to be who we are and strive to be a better Christian.

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TrippFields

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« Reply #80 on: September 17, 2008, 08:24:45 am »
Few questions I'd like to ask, Harvey.

If time emerges from a timeless sub-atomic world to a temporal atomic world, wouldn't this be a before/after senario in which the sub atomic world is a part, which would mean that the sub atomic world is in time.  If however we are not speaking of temporal priorty but logical priorty what causes the temporal atomic world to come from the timeless sub-atomic world?

Another question is that if God elects by bringing certain people and not others bringing them into the temporal era, wouldn't this make God's process of elect wholly gratuitous?

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Harvey

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« Reply #81 on: September 17, 2008, 11:05:29 pm »

TrippFields wrote: If time emerges from a timeless sub-atomic world to a temporal atomic world, wouldn't this be a before/after senario in which the sub atomic world is a part, which would mean that the sub atomic world is in time.

I don't think so. Let me give you an example. Let's say our sub-atomic world w1 is composed of dominos that are perfectly lined up. If w1 is governed by a quantum superposition principle, we could say that all of the dominos are both in the up and in the down position at the same time. That is, w1 is in a "superposition state."

However, if there is another world w2, and in this world all the dominos are all down, then w2 is not in a superposition state, but is a "collapsed state." Now, let's say that it is a mathematical fact that w2 is an emergent state of w1, meaning that there is a map that exists which makes w1 and w2 into one super-object.

This map contains the full mathematical details on how w1 transitions to w2 via a "collapse function" thereby connecting both objects into one macro object. Let's say this collapse function is due to a conscious presence that eternally observes w1 and therefore eternally brings forth w2. w1 is causally antecedent to w2 (or pre-emergent), but this emergence does not take place in time since there is no temporal moments looking from the outside of the whole macro (w1-w2) object.

Trippfields wrote: If however we are not speaking of temporal priorty but logical priorty what causes the temporal atomic world to come from the timeless sub-atomic world?


Both w1 and w2 are timeless from outside those worlds. However, by entering "inside" the macro object at the logical point where the conscious observer "interacts" with w1, the "collapsing effect" caused by conscious observation brings about a temporal transition for the conscious observer. The reason is that the observer can see all the dominos lined up, but because conscious observation collapses the superposition state of each domino, each domino must either be in the up position, or it must be in the down position.

The up or down position of each domino is determined by a probability function. Let's say that the first domino in the line has the highest probability of being in the down position, and then the second domino has the next highest probability to be in the down position, and so on until the last domino in sequence has the least probability to be in the down position. Now, if we make a rule that as the first domino is found collapsed into the down position, the probability for the next domino to be found collapsed into the down position is higher (given the subjunctive conditional that if domino 1 (d1) is in the down position, then d2, and then d3, and then d4, and so on have increased probabilities to be found in the down position).

What we see happening then is that this conscious observer experiences "temporal becoming" because the laws of physics prevent the observer from experiencing the collapsed state of the dominos with equal probability of being found in that state. Hence, time emerges orthogonally to the static object. From the perspective of the conscious observer, they see a temporal transition from w1 to w2, but from the perspective of an outside observer, they see consciousness as part of an eternal collapse function acting as an eternal mapping function that connects w1 and w2 as a static object.

Trippfields wrote: Another question is that if God elects by bringing certain people and not others bringing them into the temporal era, wouldn't this make God's process of elect wholly gratuitous?


Well, God might see that a conscious observer has a freely chosen mindset that at most will have a very minor effect (perhaps he will obviously cause the collapse of domino 2,382 in 182 CE with very little effect in history), and instead God decides that he needs a Pharaoh who hardens his heart and this person is the right fit for the job. As time emerges, this person whose temporal timeframe was still ambiguous and uncertain (but probability was increasing to living in 182 CE), suddenly has a much higher probability of living in the 15th century BCE. As more of the timeline becomes certain, the probability of this person living in the 15th century BCE increases to the point of being actual. The Pharaoh, whom might have likely lived in another century, is suddenly the right person for the task at hand for hardening his heart.

Is this a wholly gratuitous view? I don't think so. The person can decide how they will decide an issue, and that is their decision on what kind of person they want to be, but God gets the ultimate decision of where in the body (of time or even in the church) where he wants to put someone. An individual increases their likelyhood of being put in a position to serve God as his servant if they willingly submit to God's will. However, mostly God chooses small and insignificant positions in history for us since those are the most abundant. But, I think that God is merciful in giving us an opportunity to repent or to deconvert if we are desiring in our hearts to do so.

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Shiloh

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« Reply #82 on: December 19, 2009, 02:17:18 pm »
RC wrote:  

Why does God predestine some and not others? Is it because God is omnicient and knows who will choose him (with their libertarian free-will)? If so does that mean God chooses some because of something they did that the others did not (namely willfully choose him)? Some condition must be met in order to be predestined. It sounds to me like works. Maybe you can help me understand. The Bible says in Eph 2:8-9 faith is a gift, right?

If God ordains the means (faith) as to how a person is 'in Christ', and not just the ends (glorification) then I do not see a problem here. The Scriptures start with God's perspective from the standpoint of those who are 'in Christ' - this is what he foreknows before the foundation of the world. It is from this point that a person is elect and predestined to glory or to be conformed to the image of Christ. The Bible never says that they are predestined to be in Christ. It only by faith that one is in Christ. This is why predestination is never spoken of about the non-elect or damnation.

So basically these are the two reasons why this does not violate Sovereignty or constitute a work.

1)God ordained faith as the means, and

2)God does not see faith as a work - it is quite the opposite in God's economy.

Also, Ehp.2:8-9 does not say that faith is a gift but the unstated CONCEPT of a SALVATION that is by grace through faith- that is the gift. The word 'that' does not refer to grace or faith but the Salvation which comes by grace through faith.