The Openness of God - Predestination or Free Will?

Written by Aleck Cartwright


The Openness writers have also failed to take into considerationrepparttar profound implications ofrepparttar 127002 difference betweenrepparttar 127003 created andrepparttar 127004 uncreated. That is, a word must mean for God,repparttar 127005 exact same thing as it does for a human, forgetting that human words are subject to God and not God being subject to human words. That is, we must not think that we can impose our creaturely limitations onto God who made us as though we had made Him. This is otherwise known as creating God in your own image. The fact that we still do not understandrepparttar 127006 mysteries ofrepparttar 127007 Godhead, does not mean that we can just impose our own reason and understanding onto God thinking that He will adjust to our thoughts of Him. Instead we are called to haverepparttar 127008 mind of Christ and adjust our thinking to God, not Him to us. What a pathetic God He would be if He was restrained by our measly reasoning. We cannot limit God by what we are able to understand. In this wayrepparttar 127009 writers deny one aspect of God (His sovereignty) in favour of another (our human responsibility). One withoutrepparttar 127010 other is God in our own image, for God by nature is both. Sadly not much can be taken seriously in their writing for this very reason.

We need to affirm God's infinite power and his sovereign love. In openness theology, prophecy is reduced to divine wishful thinking without any real guarantee that what God says is not a divine mistake in his calculations of future probabilities! It is also then an "oops theory" as it means that if plan A doesn't work God needs to turn to plan B and thus this leaves them no grounds to deal with eschatology that good will win over inrepparttar 127011 end. Butrepparttar 127012 "open God" can never guarantee that it will!

This view of God is very far offrepparttar 127013 awesome, holy, unsurprised and yet always surprising God that I know and love. I applaudrepparttar 127014 authors of this book in their endeavour to make God more accessible to us in this day and age, but it seems they have devised a rather user-friendly God instead of just letting God be God.

It seems to place God in a box of time, in which He is limited torepparttar 127015 past and knows nothing ofrepparttar 127016 future or even in factrepparttar 127017 present where future decisions are constantly being made. If God does not knowrepparttar 127018 future how are we to understand Romans 8:28, how can God possibly work out all things for our good if he cannot knowrepparttar 127019 future orrepparttar 127020 present and can only make calculated guesses ofrepparttar 127021 future? The answer is that He can't.

The reasoning goes like this, withinrepparttar 127022 limits set by God, an individual may choose to do things that are totally opposite of God's will and purpose. Thus when one person hurts or kills another, we cannot look forrepparttar 127023 purposes of God in that event. That person is morally responsible forrepparttar 127024 killing or hurting ofrepparttar 127025 other, but how can God work it out for our good if he decided to act outside of God's intended purpose. Foreknowledge is needed, in fact required forrepparttar 127026 working out for our good.

Hebrews 12:3-11,repparttar 127027 teaching of this passage seems to be thatrepparttar 127028 persecution of Christians is a necessary discipline that God turns around for our good, teaching us and training us in Christ for a purpose. Nothing we go through is meaningless or unredeemed of God unless you disregard foreknowledge and accept death and pain as a result ofrepparttar 127029 erroneous exercising of anothers will. Instead (Hebrews 12:5 says of hostility by sinners) "My son, do not regard lightlyrepparttar 127030 discipline ofrepparttar 127031 Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whomrepparttar 127032 Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every Son whom He recieves. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons." And for what purpose? (vs.10-11) "[God] disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline forrepparttar 127033 moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yieldsrepparttar 127034 peaceful fruit of righteousness."

God is so supremely in charge of this world that all that happens too Christians are ordered in such a way that they serve our good. Tribulation and distress and persecution and famine and nakedness and peril and sword all work together forrepparttar 127035 good of those who love God. Sorepparttar 127036 hope ofrepparttar 127037 believer is not that we will escape these things but that God will be faithful within them. "You meant it for evil," Joseph said to his brothers who had sold him into slavery,"But God meant it for good." In openness theology, God's knowledge is "dependant uponrepparttar 127038 creature." So God cannot possibly knowrepparttar 127039 good or bad decisions ofrepparttar 127040 people He creates until He creates these people and they in turn create their decisions. This does not seem all that open when compared withrepparttar 127041 mainstream Christian belief that "In God's sight all things are open and manifest, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent ofrepparttar 127042 creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain."

The first statement limits God and makes a more "open" reality for man. The second statement makes God limitless and yet still leaves man with a free will with a moral obligation to God and to his fellow man. The first is primarily about us,repparttar 127043 second is primarily about God.

It seems thatrepparttar 127044 openness of God is an attempt to humanise God and deify man. The idea that man can ever be free of God and His will at work inrepparttar 127045 world is an idea that is not supported by either history or scripture. Yes man has a free-will, but it is not free of ultimate accountability to God. Nothing can separate us or give us autonomy fromrepparttar 127046 love of God which is expressed in Christ Jesus, not even an idea that God is guessing atrepparttar 127047 future as much as we are. God's foreknowledge ofrepparttar 127048 future is an intrinsic part of his glory. We seek guidance from God precisely because we believe He has a firm grasp onrepparttar 127049 future. We don't pray to change God's mind, we pray to gain His mind. Prayer and meditation is being attuned to God not trying to help Him see things our way!

In Isaiah 41:22-23 God challengesrepparttar 127050 other false idols ofrepparttar 127051 age by saying,"Announce to us what is coming; declarerepparttar 127052 things that are going to come afterward, that we may know that you are gods." In this verse God is equating His ability to knowrepparttar 127053 future with His divinity andrepparttar 127054 difference between false idols and demons and Himself. Satan is a created being as we are and knows neitherrepparttar 127055 future norrepparttar 127056 present decisions being made. Why would we want to bring God down to Satan's level unless it was to edify ourselves?

Intelligent Design - Has God turned the tables on Evolution?

Written by Aleck Cartwright

Intelligent Design

For we know thatrepparttar whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. Romans 8:22

According to Darwin's Theory of Evolution,repparttar 127001 strong survive by a process of natural selection ofrepparttar 127002 most fit. Yet many of his contemporaries had questions that have never been answered and now it seems that withrepparttar 127003 advent of a new understanding of Intelligent Design these problems are being compounded byrepparttar 127004 unique DNA sequence information now accepted inrepparttar 127005 human genome project and our understanding ofrepparttar 127006 irreducibly complex function of biological systems. It seems that intellectual honesty will soon force many scientists to abandon Darwin's theory ofrepparttar 127007 evolution of species in exchange for intelligent design or outright Biblical creation.

What Darwin did was to develop a family tree of evolution where similar organisms and creatures like man and ape were onrepparttar 127008 same branch ofrepparttar 127009 evolutionary tree. Yet recent multi-gene comparisons ofrepparttar 127010 amount of divergence between different organisms now provide better support for a complex relationship between different organisms, a relationship that first looked more like a shrub, with many more early branches. Nowrepparttar 127011 trend seems to be toward nearly independent origins, a model more like grass. This model is consistent withrepparttar 127012 independent origins of major kinds of plants, sea life, and animals described inrepparttar 127013 Genesis account.

New genetic data suggests complex relationships or more independent origins for major kinds of organisms. The universe is too complex,repparttar 127014 conditions for life too exacting, to conclude that it could have developed in such a sophisticated way without help from some "external agent." Some scientists have decided that a more acceptable explanation forrepparttar 127015 diversity of life is that an intelligent force has expressed itself throughrepparttar 127016 different stages ofrepparttar 127017 evolutionary process. In fact for many a scientist it is easier to believe this method of ceation than to believe thatrepparttar 127018 earth rotates aroundrepparttar 127019 sun orrepparttar 127020 tides are influencd byrepparttar 127021 moon. Yet a select few are becoming increasingly vocal and more convinced that there is a need to change this common perception. This new paradigm shift is headed up by a small group of mathematicians, philosophers, biologists and chemists. Their belief is that an "intelligent agent" - they rigorously refute usingrepparttar 127022 term "God", has beenrepparttar 127023 prime factor in every step ofrepparttar 127024 creationary process and a guide torepparttar 127025 history of human existance. Many scientists have seen this new uprising as a vain attempt to dress God up in scientist's clothing and trying to push creationism as a scientific option. Even still it's adherants are making an impact inrepparttar 127026 academic world. They call their unconventional argument "intellient design". Due to it's foundational values, this theory of intelligent design has been embraced by Christian colleges and Christian education which has begun teaching it as an alternative to evolutionary theory. Mainstream educational bodies have been less symapathetic, leaving it atrepparttar 127027 edge of their discusions and lectures. Though more and more are finding it necessary in their students development to have informal discussions in whichrepparttar 127028 students can discussrepparttar 127029 theory alongside evolution.

Those scientists who do support intelligent design have been able only to teach it as a nonscience course. Still,repparttar 127030 visibilty and promotion of intelligent design has grown in leaps and bounds as a viable affront to Darwinism. This is a hard pill for many troubled academics to swallow. A recent American poll found that 45% ofrepparttar 127031 U.S. population believe that God created human beings in their present form withinrepparttar 127032 last 10,000 years. 39% ofrepparttar 127033 same poll said that they felt Darwinism is based on scant evidence and faulty assumptions.

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