Friday, October 15, 2010

Has it ever "occurred" to you that nothing has ever "occurred" to God?

I was listening to Jeff Noblit MP3 sermons, and thought this quote by Pastor Noblit was pretty good! When something "occurs" to me, it's because something was previously lacking in my knowledge. I guess it's kind of like something I had not thought of before "coming to me", and shedding light on a particular subject. If I was a perfect being (which I obviously am not, just ask my wife & kids-LOL) with perfect or complete knowledge, this could not happen, because I would be Omniscient.

I guess how you view this question/statement depends on how big your God (or god) is. Is your God Omniscient? The term literally means "all-knowing", understanding God's knowledge to be exhaustive of the past, present, and future. If you agree that one of God's many attributes is His Omniscience, then you'll agree that "nothing has ever occurred to God".

Many people today think God had plan A, then had to re-group & go with Plan B, then Plan C, etc... I attended an early morning men's Bible Study/Prayer group years ago, where they were teaching that God had to go to "Plan B" after Adam & Eve sinned. (I couldn't figure out what they do with passages such as in Revelation speaking of Jesus being the Lamb slain before the foundations of the earth) Later the teacher said God had to re-group & move on to the Gentiles for his next plan when Israel failed Him. Needless to say, I stopped attending after a short time, couldn't go along with this "small God" they were promoting.

One popular "Christian author" that everyone seems to be reading today wrote “God is a person who takes immense risks.”

Tim Challies wrote the following about this statement at
John Eldredge - Though Eldredge denies he is an open theist, the evidence does not support his claim. Time and time again he speaks of God in ways that can only be explained if you hold such views. While the following quotes are taken from Wild at Heart, similar beliefs are expressed in at least one of his other works (The Sacred Romance). "God is a person who takes immense risks" (p. 30). "It's not the nature of God to limit His risks and cover His bases" (p.31). "As with every relationship, there's a certain amount of unpredictability. God's willingness to risk is just astounding. There is definitely something wild in the heart of God" (p. 32).
God taking a risk implies that He doesn't know ahead of time how something will turn out, and that He could fail.. That's a different "god" than the God I find in Scripture. His views of God and man seem to be the opposite of John the Baptist, who said -
"He must increase but I must decrease"
Eldredge's views seem more akin to-
Man (I) must increase, but God (He) must decrease".

God "limiting" his Omniscience in order to "take immense risks" is about as impossible as God "limiting" His Sovereignty. Can God the Father at any time "limit" any of His attributes? I don't think so. God is Sovereign, Holy, Omnisicient, Omnipotent, Immutable, etc.. just to name a few. He is also Righteous, Just, Merciful, Gracious, and Loving, and the list goes on.

To his credit, I will say that John Eldredge's passion for men to be masculine men, and women to be feminine is a good thing, especially in our messed-up world of gender-blending. It's a shame that rather than using the numerous Godly examples available both historically and presently, such as great Preachers, Missionaries, Laymen, etc., Eldredge sets forth mostly fictional, secular, ungodly, and profane examples of "real men".

His theology doesn't come from Scripture, but from Hollywood. Although he uses Scriptural proof-texts occasionally, his theology is a man-centered Hollywood movies theology, and in my opinion, unbiblical and unorthodox. Among Eldredge's role-models for men are "R" rated movies with the hero uttering profanity, involved in sexual immorality, and ungodliness, without a glimmer of godliness. Never does he use a man leading his family in Bible Study, or praying with his family, ministering in his church or serving others. (I think maybe a separate blog just on Eldredge may be a good idea for the future, because I'm starting to shift this blog to him instead of staying on track)

Isaiah recorded this passage which open-theists have major difficulty with:
Isaiah 46:9-11 (ESV)

...for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose'...I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.

In recent years, Open Theists seem to have rekindled what is actually an old controversy by claiming that God does not have full foreknowledge of the future, because it hasn't happened yet. They claim God is having to make adjustments for every "potential outcome" of the choices we might make with our "free-will", but none of it can be certain in His mind. That is to say that He does not know everything that is going to happen. This is not new. This is actually an old controversy.

In the Eighteenth Century, Jonathan Edwards addressed this issue in his book "Freedom of the Will" (a shortened version of the original title)
Edwards wrote:
"First, I am to prove, that God has an absolute and certain foreknowledge of the free actions of moral agents. One would think it should be wholly needless to enter on such an argument with any that profess themselves Christians: but so it is, God’s certain foreknowledge of the free acts of moral agents is denied by some that pretend to believe the Scriptures to be the Word of God; especially of late."

As "The Preacher" (or Hebrew "Qoheleth") wrote thousands of years ago in Ecclesiastes,
Ecclesiastes 1:9(ESV) What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN.