Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hays on love and reprobation

I paged through a few old posts and got this straight answer about God's love for the non-elect.

SH: With respect to Todd, if Todd is one of the elect, then God loves him and desires his salvation. Indeed, if Todd is one of the elect, then God will regenerate Todd at some future date. But if Todd is a reprobate, then God does not love him or desire his salvation.

This is pretty straightforward. The love in John 3:16 is for the elect, even though it is the expression of God love for the Kosmos or world.

I think this is the only way for a Calvinist to go to avoid logical incoherence, and I am prepared to defend Steve's position against fellow Calvinists who wish to take a different position.

49 comments:

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Hi Victor. To make any discussion possible, you will first need to please define what you take "love" to mean.

Victor Reppert said...

It's his statement, not mine. Ask him what he means.

I think "desire the salvation of" is easier to understand.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Not to point out the obvious, but if you don't know what he means, how can you defend his statement?

Either you understand his statement, in which case you can define "love" for the purposes of this discussion; or you don't understand his statement, in which case you appear to have made a small error of judgment in posting this.

Victor Reppert said...

It looks from his discussion that even in giving common grace God acts in the interests of the elect, not in the interests of the reprobate. So even actions on God's part which in fact benefit reprobates (at least temporarily) are intended to benefit the elect, not those reprobates. So we might hold that it is a necessary condition of God loving someone that God at least desire to perform some action that benefits them. But Steve is saying that God has no such desires. I covered some of ths in this previous post.

http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/2008/08/calvinism-love-and-biblical-jigsaw.html

AMC said...

Personally, I see no reason whatsover that God ought to love the reprobate. To me, it is surprising that He loves anyone at all.

What I find surprising is that people actually seem to have a problem with this.

bossmanham said...

AMC,

It may be surprising, but if you believe the Bible, then you would know that God loves everyone, and it was for that reason that He sent His son to save us.

A.M. Mallett said...

AMC,
Would you think that the defining characteristic of God from your perspective is one of hatred? If so why would you not hate your neighbor (or perhaps you do)?

steve said...

bossmanham said...

"It may be surprising, but if you believe the Bible, then you would know that God loves everyone, and it was for that reason that He sent His son to save us."

So Brennon denies the existence of a personal devil.

Robert said...

AMC said:

“Personally, I see no reason whatsover that God ought to love the reprobate. To me, it is surprising that He loves anyone at all.”

You must be doing two things: (1) holding to the false Calvinistic system of theology (and specifically the version that God hates all nonbelievers/reprobates/persons that he decided would be damned from eternity apart from anything they had done) and (2) rejecting crystal clear scriptures about the love of God (e.g. John 3:16 where God loves the “world” which refers to a class of human persons some of whom eventually believe and some who never end up believing, John’s statement that “God is love”, Paul’s statement that he desires to have mercy on all, Romans 11:32, etc. etc.). Of course your doing (2) is caused by your holding to the false system of Calvinism. So your system determines and necessitates that you reinterpret clear bible verses so that they then “fit” the system.

Why is it surprising that “He loves anyone at all” if the scripture says his nature is to love??? I am surprised that you can so blatantly ignore scripture.

“What I find surprising is that people actually seem to have a problem with this.”

And that is why you will find it incomprehensible that the vast majority of Christians throughout church history and including today, reject the false Calvinistic system of theology.

I again find it surprising that you can jettison scripture so easily when it does not fit your system. At least some calvinists try to say that God is love and has love towards sinners (see D. A. Carson for example).

Robert

Steven said...

Makes no sense to say God loves men he has consigned to eternal destruction prior to their birth or creation.

bossmanham said...

"So Brennon denies the existence of a personal devil."

So Steve is unable to use common sense!? Not the first Calvinist I've run into with that problem.

A.M. Mallett said...

Steven stated:
Makes no sense to say God loves men he has consigned to eternal destruction prior to their birth or creation.

I observe:
Your statement makes the grand assumption that Calvinist understandings of predestination are accurate (unless you are stating this is jest).

Victor Reppert said...

I think Steven is drawing out what he takes to be logical implications of Calvinism. Looking at his profile, he is a Calvinist himself.

steve said...

bossmanham said...

“So Steve is unable to use common sense!? Not the first Calvinist I've run into with that problem.”

I see that logic is not Brennon’s strong suit. Of course, we already knew that. So let’s spell it out for him and see if the light-bulb comes on this time.

Brennon said: “It may be surprising, but if you believe the Bible, then you would know that God loves everyone, and it was for that reason that He sent His son to save us.”

To which I replied: “So Brennon denies the existence of a personal devil.”

Either Brennon believes in a personal devil or not. Assuming he does, if God loves everyone and sent his Son to save sinners–then God also loves the devil (and other fallen angels) and shows his love sending his Son to save them.

Since, however, God didn’t send his Son to save the fallen angels, then it follows, by Brannon’s own logic, that God doesn’t love everyone. He doesn’t love the fallen angels.

Either that or Brennon doesn’t believe the Bible.

I know it’s hard for Arminians to follow their own argument to its logical conclusion. After all, if Arminians were logical, they’d cease to be Arminians.

So, instead of his lame attempt at sarcasm, which backfired, it would behoove Brennon to deal with the argument. I don’t think it’s asking too much that he deal with his own argument. I’m drawing a conclusion from major and minor premises which he himself supplied.

Steven said...

Your statement makes the grand assumption that Calvinist understandings of predestination are accurate (unless you are stating this is jest).

So what?

bossmanham said...

Steve,

Your tirade here shows that you either lack the ability to use common sense, or are purposely being ridiculous.

Everyone refers to humanity. Don't be so obtuse. Use common sense.

steve said...

bossmanham said...

"Everyone refers to humanity. Don't be so obtuse. Use common sense."

So by your definition, God's love for "everyone" is actually and severely limited to God's love for humanity. God's love doesn't extend to the fallen angels. Therefore, love is not God's primary attribute, as Arminians so often claim.

BTW, why do you think "common sense" would restrict "everyone" to human beings? Do you deny a personal devil?

If an atheist were using "everyone," he might limit that descriptor to humanity, since he doesn't believe in angels or demons. Are you a closet atheist?

bossmanham said...

Steve,

If you'd read what I said closely you'd see I never said God didn;t love the fallen angels. They actually didn't enter my mind.

I said, "if you believe the Bible, then you would know that God loves everyone, and it was for that reason that He sent His son to save us."

The context clearly links "everyone" to "us." Jesus died to save us, humanity, not the fallen angels. That doesn't mean He never loved the angels, but as we've discussed on your post, there is something essentially different about the angels that makes them unredeemable.

Common sense should have told you all of that. Why I need to spell this out to someone as smart as you is beyond me.

steve said...

bossmanham said...

"If you'd read what I said closely you'd see I never said God didn;t love the fallen angels."

As usual, logic is not your forte. You said God loves "everyone," and as evidence for this claim you said that God sent his Son to save his loved ones."

So the logic of your argument is that if God loves someone, he will try to save him. Pity you're unable comprehend the logical ramifications of your own argument.

If you start making exceptions, then you invalidate your argument–which is fine with me.

"They actually didn't enter my mind."

Which is only too typical of short-sighted Arminians. I was drawing attention to your glaring oversight.

"The context clearly links "everyone" to 'us. Jesus died to save us, humanity, not the fallen angels."

It does more than that. It links divine love to sending a Savior to rescue the loved ones.

So, logically, humanity would just be a special case of a general principle. If you deny the general principle, then the conclusion fails to follow.

"That doesn't mean He never loved the angels, but as we've discussed on your post."

By your logic, it does.

"There is something essentially different about the angels that makes them unredeemable."

i) If there's a differential factor, then state the differential factor. If you can't, then you don't know what you're talking about.

ii) And you talked out of both sides of your mouth about what we can or can't know about the angels. Choose one side of the fence and stay there.

"Common sense should have told you all of that. Why I need to spell this out to someone as smart as you is beyond me."

When I'm dealing with a logically-challenged opponent like you, I have to waste time explaining the obvious.

Robert said...

As usual Steve Hays is behaving like, well Steve Hays! Hays cannot simply disagree agreeably with someone he has to make it personal and attack his “opponent” (in this case Brennon).

Brennon made a simple statement that God loves “everyone” which I and probably everybody else except for Hays took to mean EVERY HUMAN BEING. The bible does not tell us much about the angels, about how God relates to them, whether the fallen angels can be saved or not. Brennon was not talking about that at all. And yet Hays expanded the discussion to the angels. Apparently this is some attempt Hays’ part to show that God does not love every personal being and desire the salvation of every personal being (therefore it follows in Hays’ mind that God must not really desire the salvation of all men, because God would have to love all personal beings, angels, men, dolphins, chimps, etc. etc. for us to be sure that he loves all men). But scripture focuses on and speaks clearly only about God’s plan of salvation concerning Man. But in order to be argumentative and try to justify his barbaric Calvinistic conception of reprobation Hays now appeals to angels and their salvation or reprobation.

And why all the put downs of Brennon and his (according to you) lack of logical skills?
If Hays’ beliefs are true (and assume so for the sake of argument) then Brennon is what he is and does what does because God wants him to be and do exactly what he is and does. Say Hays is correct that Brennon is not as skilled in logic as others, then Brennon is that way because God wants him to be that way. For Hays to then come along and attack him for being what God wants and necessitates that he be (according to Hays’ beliefs) is just plain mean-spirited and rude. Consider some of Hays’ mean spirited put downs aimed at Brennon:


“As usual, logic is not your forte. You said God loves "everyone," and as evidence for this claim you said that God sent his Son to save his loved ones."”

If logic is not his forte, then it is only because God made him that way. So what right do you have to put down another believer for being exactly what God wants him to be (according to your own necessitarian beliefs)?

Robert

Robert said...

“Which is only too typical of short-sighted Arminians. I was drawing attention to your glaring oversight.”

If anyone is what Hays hates so intensely (i.e. an Arminian like Brennon), then we are only what God wants us to be and as Luther put it, we can “do no other” at this point. So again why put down what God has done, what God has made us to be? It does not make sense and simply reveals Hays to be the hateful person that he is (and of course perhaps we should excuse that because God made Hays the hateful arrogant person that Hays is as well, right?)

“ii) And you talked out of both sides of your mouth about what we can or can't know about the angels. Choose one side of the fence and stay there.”

This is sad and comical at the same time. If he is talking out of both sides of his mouth, again who made him do so? He had no choice he had to do exactly what God decided beforehand for him to do! He couldn’t have chosen to do otherwise because free will doesn’t exist, did you forget your own premises again Hays?

And what in the world are you, of all people, talking about, when you talk about him having a choice about what side of the fence to be on? According to you he never has a choice, he only does what God decided beforehand he would do. So why are you talking about him having a choice and urging that he make the right choice????? Your view allows for no situation where we have a choice (God decided all of our choices already, remember? That is what you believe. Or can’t you even remember the logical implications of your own premises?? And you pride yourself on being a logician, huh.)

“When I'm dealing with a logically-challenged opponent like you, I have to waste time explaining the obvious.”

A logically-challenged person?

And again, who made him that way? According to your own system, he is necessarily that way because God made him to be that. And yet you attack him for being exactly what God wants him to be. According to your “logic” we ought to have no qualms about attacking developmentally disabled adults or people with other “deficiencies” either. Attack them for their deficiencies doesn’t matter if they are the way they are because God made them that way. And this is what I just don’t get about you Hays, if I believed what you believe, I would not be attacking anyone for any deficiencies, because for me that would be attacking God’s secret sovereign will. That would be playing God and questioning why he made a person the way he made them. But you seem to have no problem with this kind of thinking, which indicates you don’t really believe your own system. Or perhaps you are just a hateful arrogant professing Christian which is a true oxymoron. And if that be the case then though God says in scripture that he hates pride and opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble, apparently in his secret sovereign will which constantly contradicts his expressed will in scripture, in your case, he made you into a hateful arrogant person, the very thing he says that he hates. Hmm, I guess that is the “logic” of calvinism! And you wonder why Brennon and the rest of us reject this “thinking”???

Robert

bossmanham said...

Hays,

You have bastardized what I said beyond recognition. You are taking leaps of logic beyond any common sense. If you expect this precision in dialog then you need to take it up with John the apostle as well. He wrote that "God so loves the world." That must mean God loves the big hunk of rock floating through space and sent His son to die for it. You're either being ridiculous and childish, or you're just that bad with logic.

Typical, however, of short-sighted Calvinists.

bossmanham said...

Robert,

Most Christian adults I encounter are thrilled that a 24 year old has taken an interest in theology and Christianity and encourage me to continue learning, even if they don't agree with me. Hays has no such encouragement. He can only attack another's view, never refute it. In a recent post he wrote:

Debates with Arminians typically make no headway. Arminians raise objections. You respond to their objections. They repeat the same objections, as if you said nothing by way of response.

There’s a reason for this lack of progress. Many Arminians aren’t even human.

What are they, you ask?

Parakeets.


Ironic this is Hays debate tactic 101, yet he accuses others of the same thing.

I think if anyone scanned the discussions we've had, they would see my arguments contain logical consistency, an irenic attitude (mostly), and proper presentation of my opponents views. Steve can't help but build straw men of what I or any of his opponents believe and tear them down. Anything I say he derives an erroneous conclusion out of. If he thinks he's a skilled logician he's deluded himself silly. It's his tactic to "bully" people into silence. I'm no master logician, but even I can see through Steve's act. Hence the reason no one quotes him.

This flowchart is an amazing representation of Triablogue's debate tactics.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

He can only attack another's view, never refute it.

Well, that's not exactly convincing coming from the guy he's refuting. But once you're refuted and keep on going anyway, what else is there to do?

I think if anyone scanned the discussions we've had, they would see my arguments contain logical consistency

Yet when your logic is pushed consistently, you either call it a strawman, or you go strangely quiet and stop responding—only to pop up in another thread later, making the same arguments as if nothing had happened.

an irenic attitude (mostly)

That's only a virtue if it's a virtue. The Bible doesn't share your modern, secular views on proper debate etiquette.

and proper presentation of my opponents views.

You think that Steve builds strawman; but in fact he's merely taking your position and running with it. Then you complain that his extrapolation isn't what you hold to. But that's not a strawman. That's a reductio ad absurdum. You can't dismiss it by saying you don't hold to it. Don't you know how reductios work?

bossmanham said...

Dbonn,

Typical coming from one who exercises the same tactics as Hays. This is actually an example of it.

Another is your recent post on Arminians is just one giant straw man.

This inane statement proves it: "First, God (1) surveys all the possible worlds he could create, and then chooses to create this one—evil and all."

That isn't Arminianism, and if you'd done an iota of research you'd know it. That is Molinism. There are Calvinists who hold to Molinism.

Arminians hold that God creates creatures with volition. He knows what they will actually do because the actions will actually happen. He has exhaustive foreknowledge. The classical Arminian system is not based on the "possible worlds" paradigm.

So, when your argument starts on a premise that IS A STRAW MAN the rest of your argument is also a straw man.

You can try to bend the record, but I answer all of yours and Steve's questions and assertions with a logical answer that I actually believe. If you guys take what I say and twist it, I will call it what it is.

Again, do some more research, Dbonn, because that post is pathetic and would be laughed at by any serious student of theology, let alone Arminian.

bossmanham said...

And you misrepresent the Molinist position as well.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

That isn't Arminianism, and if you'd done an iota of research you'd know it. That is Molinism. There are Calvinists who hold to Molinism.

Okay, I'm willing to accept correction in this regard. But what would the Arminian position be, then? Surely it does not claim that God has no knowledge of counterfactual realities? It sounds more like your objection is to my couching God's action in modal language—which is admittedly most associated with Molinism—than it is to what my I'm actually saying.

Arminians hold that God creates creatures with volition. He knows what they will actually do because the actions will actually happen. He has exhaustive foreknowledge. The classical Arminian system is not based on the "possible worlds" paradigm.

I know that. But this logic leads to the following reductio, which you have previously failed utterly to respond to, as the fact that it's still the last comment in the thread shows: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2009/08/arminian-lifeboat.html. Remember it?

Again, do some more research, Dbonn, because that post is pathetic and would be laughed at by any serious student of theology, let alone Arminian.

Well, it wasn't laughed at by any of the commenters. Matt Flannagan had some criticisms, but he certainly didn't laugh—and he has an masters in theology and a doctorate in philosophy. Are you a more serious student of theology than he is?

steve said...

bossmanham said...

“That isn't Arminianism, and if you'd done an iota of research you'd know it. That is Molinism. There are Calvinists who hold to Molinism. Arminians hold that God creates creatures with volition. He knows what they will actually do because the actions will actually happen. He has exhaustive foreknowledge. The classical Arminian system is not based on the ‘possible worlds’ paradigm. So, when your argument starts on a premise that IS A STRAW MAN the rest of your argument is also a straw man.”

http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/2009/09/hays-on-love-and-reprobation.html#c4519096680180338444

“That Arminius advocated free-will is a well-documented fact of history. What is often overlooked is the fact that, like Molina, Arminius also an appeal to middle knowledge…Here Arminius clearly elucidated three kinds of Divine knowledge -- natural, free, and middle, in such a way as to suggest some sort of historical and theological connection between Arminius and Molina. Unfortunately it cannot be fully explored here. It does, however, indicate that like Molina, Arminius sought to resolve the paradox of omniscience through middle knowledge in an effort to maintain a compatiblist view.”

http://evangelicalarminians.org/node/304

steve said...

bossmanham said...

“That isn't Arminianism, and if you'd done an iota of research you'd know it. That is Molinism. There are Calvinists who hold to Molinism. Arminians hold that God creates creatures with volition. He knows what they will actually do because the actions will actually happen. He has exhaustive foreknowledge. The classical Arminian system is not based on the ‘possible worlds’ paradigm. So, when your argument starts on a premise that IS A STRAW MAN the rest of your argument is also a straw man.”

http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/2009/09/hays-on-love-and-reprobation.html#c4519096680180338444

“The purpose of this post is to define and defend God’s middle knowledge (otherwise known as Molinism after it's first articulator Luis de Molina). Middle knowledge has been underappreciated in theological circles. This is surprising, given that it makes the most progress out of any system at reconciling freewill and predestination.”

http://www.arminianchronicles.com/2009/04/review-of-francis-turretin-on-middle.html

bossmanham said...

Steve,

Just because the phrase "middle knowledge" is used does not believe full blown Molinism is at issue. I believe God has middle knowledge (He knows any possible choice in any possible situation). I don't agree with the "possible worlds" paradigm that is Molinism, as I was sure to state. Arminius never articulated that either. There are Arminians who are Molinists with regard to foreknowledge (who are sure to maintain LFW), there are Arminians who believe in simple foreknowledge, which accommodates a kind of basic middle knowledge, but doesn't agree with full blown Molinism.

Dbonn still builds a straw man even of Molinism because most Molinists think that there was no possible sinless world with volitional creatures (WLC).

bossmanham said...

And DBonn, sometimes I stop answering because I have better things to do. I don't have all day to play on the internet. As I've pointed out, Steve's debate tactic leads to a never ending cycle. I have to end it at some point.

I know that. But this logic leads to the following reductio, which you have previously failed utterly to respond to

No, it's been discussed http://brennonsthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/08/greg-koukl-on-if-god-is-culpable-for.html.

The comment section is especially helpful in answering the supposed problem.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

I believe God has middle knowledge (He knows any possible choice in any possible situation). I don't agree with the "possible worlds" paradigm that is Molinism, as I was sure to state.

What is the distinction between "every possible situation" and "every possible world"? Unless you can articulate a meaningful difference, you're not making an argument. My using terms you don't like to talk about your position is not a strawman. You're just quibbling semantics as far as I can see.

Dbonn still builds a straw man even of Molinism because most Molinists think that there was no possible sinless world with volitional creatures (WLC).

Well, even if that's true, the issue is totally irrelevant to the point I was making in the post you're complaining about. Why would I raise transworld depravity when it's not relevant? And how have I committed a strawman merely by not mentioning transword depravity in a context where its truth or falsehood makes no odds to my point?

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

No, it's been discussed http://brennonsthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/08/greg-koukl-on-if-god-is-culpable-for.html.

The comment section is especially helpful in answering the supposed problem.


I'm not talking about Steve's post. I'm talking about the very last comment in the comments thread attached to his post (as I stated). I'd have linked to the comment directly, but Blogger's comment anchors appear to not work.

bossmanham said...

What is the distinction between "every possible situation" and "every possible world"? Unless you can articulate a meaningful difference, you're not making an argument. My using terms you don't like to talk about your position is not a strawman. You're just quibbling semantics as far as I can see.

I agree with this post: http://evangelicalarminians.org/Determinism-Predestination-Magic-Handwaving-in-the-Calvinist-Cause. The author says:

"I will appeal to what I call simple middle knowledge (MK hereafter), a non-Molinist version of middle knowledge rooted in a simple foreknowledge perspective (hence, simple middle knowledge). Basically, this is the belief that God generally knows what people who exist/will exist would freely do in certain circumstances based on access to their will via his transcendence over time. So he only has such knowledge of people who do/will in fact exist. This avoids the grounding objection often raised against Molinism, for God’s knowledge of what a person would do is grounded in the person’s actual will."

I don't think, "God surveys all the possible worlds he could create, and then chooses to create this one." God created a world, not selected from hypothetical possible worlds. I don't think God is limited like this, in that He has to choose a possible world.

His foreknowledge is based on events that will actually happen. God may know alternative possibilities, but He also knows they won't happen, rendering them impossible since it is incompossible for God to think A will happen and A not actually happen.

bossmanham said...

'm not talking about Steve's post. I'm talking about the very last comment in the comments thread attached to his post

I just answered it. I had never seen it till now because, as I said, I just have to end it at some point.

steve said...

bossmanham said...

"I don't think, 'God surveys all the possible worlds he could create, and then chooses to create this one.' God created a world, not selected from hypothetical possible worlds."

In that case, you deny that God has freedom of choice or freedom of opportunity. In that case, this world is necessitated.

bossmanham said...

In that case, you deny that God has freedom of choice or freedom of opportunity. In that case, this world is necessitated.

Okay Steve. Your logic is astounding...except God could have not created said world.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Brennon, as I've pointed out before, the view you are expressing commits you to denying that God has knowledge of counterfactuals, as well as ultimately committing you to the proposition that God exists causally consequent to the created world. You haven't addressed this at all. And I'm fairly sure that it's not a standard Arminian view. I'm quite confident that most Arminians would have a problem with saying, for instance, that God only knew what the world would be like causally consequent to his creating it. Most Arminians, in fact, would affirm that God knew exactly the characteristics of the world he was creating, causally prior to doing so.

bossmanham said...

As I've pointed out before, the view you are expressing commits you to denying that God has knowledge of counterfactuals

And it's true because you say so?

Funny, because I just said God can know possible alternatives. God knowing those alternatives doesn't necessitate that He was forced to choose between them. That's begging the question. You are saying that God must instantiate a certain set of events if He knows about the events that otherwise could happen. That's determinism. Get outside your box.

as well as ultimately committing you to the proposition that God exists causally consequent to the created world.

That's really a silly assertion (and that's all it is, since you haven't even begun to explain why). God created a world. He knew He would do this. He freely chose to do this. But following your logic, the universe needed to exist before He could decide to create it.

Now, lets immerse ourselves back in reality. God chose to create the world and knew He would do so and did so. He also knew events would happen it the world He created. Because these events will happen in the world He decided to create, He knows of these events because of His exhaustive foreknowledge of what He creates. If an event is to happen, like me typing this post. It may be outside of His causation, ie He may allow it to happen (it is certainly within His power to stop it). But He knows about it beforehand (speaking as a temporal being that I am. God of course is not bound by the temporal).

The knowledge of the actual event is contingent on the event happening. God may know of alternate possibilities, but they remain only hypothetical because they will not happen.

It is only logical that God knows of events that will actually happen because they will actually happen. That doesn't diminish God in any way.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

And it's true because you say so?

Take a step back. You seem to be getting really worked up. It's true for the reasons that I gave in the above-linked comment.

Funny, because I just said God can know possible alternatives. God knowing those alternatives doesn't necessitate that He was forced to choose between them.

I think you're confusing me with Steve—I haven't argued that God was forced to choose anything.

That's really a silly assertion (and that's all it is, since you haven't even begun to explain why).

Again, I'm not sure why you'd say that, since I laid it out syllogistically in the above-linked comment. Here's that comment in full:

In a sense, God's knowledge of the event is contingent that the event is actually going to happen. Otherwise God would know the event is not going to happen.

So God's knowledge is causally dependent on events actually obtaining? Is that an orthodox Arminian view? And God has no knowledge of counterfactuals, since they don't actually obtain? Is that an orthodox Arminian view? And God has contingent parts (the parts of his knowledge which are causally dependent on events in creation)? Is that also an orthodox Arminian view?

It's also inaccurate to say that God "learns" of the event, since all knowledge is eternally in God's possession. He has known all events from eternity, so there is no way He learns of an event He knows of.

Well, if God doesn't learn, in your view, then you appear to be committed to an even more outrageous notion:

1. God does not gain knowledge (from bossmanham; assumed for the sake of argument).

2. Some of God's knowledge is causally dependent on created events (from bossmanham; assumed for the sake of argument).

3. Therefore, some of God's knowledge is gained by him causally consequent to created events obtaining (restatement of (2); note: not chronologically consequent).

4. But God does not gain knowledge (from (1)).

5. Therefore, all of God's knowledge is gained by him causally consequent to created events obtaining.

6. But God does not gain knowledge.

7. Therefore, either God exists eternally causally consequent to created events obtaining; or

8. God does not exist.

Since God stands outside of time, He is not constrained by the natural flow of the time in this world.

Time is not at issue here; only causality. Causality does not require time at all.

bossmanham said...

If all things are present to God, and God has always known absolutely everything, then God has not learned anything, even if His knowledge of an actual event happening is contingent on that event happening. So premise 3 is bogus, just to name 1.

God knows an event will happen only if it will happen, do you agree?

If that's true, then God knows possible events are not going to happen.

Actual event will happen = God knows it will happen.

Event doesn't exist = God knows it will not happen.

God didn't determine all events that will happen, some choices He has left up to the wills of those He creates. But, He can still know of said events.

steve said...

bossmanham said...

" God knowing those alternatives doesn't necessitate that He was forced to choose between them."

Which is a straw man since neither Dominic nor I took that position. Rather, I was answering you on your own ground. If, according to you, God isn't free to choose from a range of possible worlds which one to create (or not), then this world is necessitated.

bossmanham said...

Which is a straw man since neither Dominic nor I took that position.

Straw man! I never said it was your or Dbonn's position. Your point was to show how it's necessary if I hold my position, which I showed to be ridiculous.

God isn't free to choose from a range of possible worlds which one to create (or not), then this world is necessitated.

Which, of course, is a false dilemma and is begging the question in favor of Molinism.

1) God could have chosen to not create the world.

2) God not choosing between possible worlds doesn't necessitate necessitarianism. The world God created doesn't have exclusively necessitated events. God allows the volition of man, meaning man's choices are not necessitated meaning the events that transpire because of those choices are not necessitated except by the choice of the volitional agent. The world could be different because everyone (humans here, Steve, in case you need help with that again) could have chosen differently than they did. God didn't select a possible world with pre-established events over another world with pre-established events. He created the world and allowed many events He knew of beforehand (some He caused; some He allowed) to transpire. Not necessitated.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

If all things are present to God, and God has always known absolutely everything, then God has not learned anything, even if His knowledge of an actual event happening is contingent on that event happening. So premise 3 is bogus, just to name 1.

Brennon, for God's knowledge of x to be "contingent on" x means that the condition of x's obtaining is a ground for God's knowledge of it. Ie, his knowledge of x is causally consequent to, and grounded upon, x's obtaining. Thus, if all things are present to God, and God has always known absolutely everything (taking "always" in a non-temporal sense), then it stands that x has always obtained. If x is a human choice, you have a problem. That is my point.

God knows an event will happen only if it will happen, do you agree?

Indeed. But the question is whether God's knowledge is causally consequent to the event obtaining, or whether the event is causally consequent to God's knowledge of it. Does x's obtaining ground God's knowledge of it, or does God's knowledge of it ground x's obtaining?

God didn't determine all events that will happen, some choices He has left up to the wills of those He creates. But, He can still know of said events.

Well, as I've shown, this isn't true. Unless God does not have perfect definite foreknowledge as it is classically conceived, the fact is that under both an Arminian and a Calvinist view he did determine all events that will happen, for any reasonable definition of "determine".

steve said...

bossmanham said...

“God could have chosen to not create the world.”

That counterfactual scenario is, itself, a possible world.

“God not choosing between possible worlds doesn't necessitate necessitarianism. The world God created doesn't have exclusively necessitated events.”

You’re committing an elementary level confusion. God choosing *between* possible worlds, and what happens *within* possible worlds, are two separate issues.

If God isn’t free to choose between possible worlds, then his creation of this world was necessitated (by the absence of alternatives at his disposal). On your view, this world was the only live option. A foregone conclusion. Fait accompli.

Whether the world he necessarily created (your entailment) operates according to deterministic or stochastic processes is a separate issue. Try to think straight.

If you define freedom as the freedom to do otherwise, then that commits you to the principle of alternate possibilities, which–in turn–commits you to possible world semantics. When you deny that God chose from a range of possible worlds, you thereby deny that God has libertarian freedom–which is ironic coming from an Arminian. Try to think straight.

“The world could be different because everyone (humans here, Steve, in case you need help with that again) could have chosen differently than they did.”

i) To say the world could be different commits you to different possible worlds. You’re the one who needs help with that elementary concept, not me.

ii) And if they could have chosen differently, then that alternative course of action would take place somewhere other than this world. Different than the actual world we currently inhabit.

This isn’t difficult to grasp. Try not to be so dense.

arminianperspectives said...

Good comments Robert. Too bad they were completely ignored. Truly, if Calvinistic exhaustive determinism is true then all this arguing is just God disagreeing with Himself and giving Himslef a hard time. Weird.

arminianperspectives said...

This isn’t difficult to grasp. Try not to be so dense.

Are you suggesting that Brennon can acheive non-density by his own efforts or works? Wow, you must have a really inflated view of man's capabilities.

bossmanham said...

Steve,

Obviously, if God determined I would be dense, there's nothing I could do to not be dense, because everything I do is determined. However, I think rational people here can see where the dogmatic density lies.

I've responded to Dbonn's silliness on my com boxes. I want people to notice he never engages the issue. He simply asserts we are wrong and doesn't ever offer a counter-perspective. Not only that, but he has a crippling ignorance of Arminian theology.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

I've responded to Dbonn's silliness on my com boxes. I want people to notice he never engages the issue. He simply asserts we are wrong and doesn't ever offer a counter-perspective.

If I were the emotional sort, I'd be sputtering into my drink and shooting coffee out my nose right now. Is it a secret Arminian doctrine that you should overtly lie about your opponents in debate, when the evidence which exposes the lie is directly above in the comments?

Then again, maybe "Dbonn" isn't me. Maybe it's someone in Brennon's mind. That would explain the weird spelling.