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The Nature of Divine Knowledge

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By SuperSoulFighter - Posted on 01 March 2005

by John McPherson
Foundational to our understanding of the Word of God – and God Himself – are our perceptions of the characteristics of His knowledge and understanding. As we consider the planet and its ecosystems, as well as our galaxy and the vast universe beyond it – we cannot help but view the Creator/Designer’s knowledge as being infinite. Surely there can be no limits and/or boundaries to the thoughts and understanding of any Being capable of bringing into existence all of this physical reality.Foundational to our understanding of the Word of God – and God Himself – are our perceptions of the characteristics of His knowledge and understanding. As we consider the planet and its ecosystems, as well as our galaxy and the vast universe beyond it – we cannot help but view the Creator/Designer’s knowledge as being infinite. Surely there can be no limits and/or boundaries to the thoughts and understanding of any Being capable of bringing into existence all of this physical reality.
Beginning in the Book of Genesis, however, a very different picture of God's cognitive awareness and possession of information at any given point in time emerges. God makes it very plain that He does NOT have full, comprehensive knowledge of the present OR the future – where man is concerned, anyway. We read in Gen. 2:19,20 the following: 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. Two things stand out very clearly in these verses. First of all, God clearly enjoyed introducing the animals to Adam, His curiousity concerning what Adam would name each animal prompting Him to leave the naming to the man He had just made. The point is – God didn’t “foreknow” WHAT names Adam would give to these creatures. This was a legitimate “point of discovery” for God, and something to be enjoyed between Himself and the man. Likewise, God enjoyed a FURTHER “point of discovery” when it became apparent that none of the beasts would make a suitable mate for the man. This was an EXPERIMENTAL effort also!! God introduced Adam to the creatures to see if he had any particular affinity for any of them as a peer life-partner and friend. Apparently, such was not the case. So God created another being similar to man – a co-equal life-partner and mate - the woman named Eve.

There are other evidences of God’s knowledge limitations throughout the early chapters of Genesis, including His disappointment and expressed regret over creating man, in Gen. 6:6,7, 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." The only reason for being “sorry” or experiencing regret, is that an unforeseen (or unhoped-for possibility) had come to pass. Clearly, God had no, specific foreknowledge of the extent of the degradation and wickedness to which man would descend, prompting Him to annihilate this race of men.

In Gen. 18:20,21 God again clearly states that His knowledge of the very nature and extent of the wickedness of specific men (or groups of people) is unknown to Him apart from PERSONAL INVESTIGATION of the matter on His part. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, it had been reported to Him that these people were degraded to the point that the only appropriate course of action was to destroy them completely. God went down to those cities to ascertain for Himself whether these reports were true. Of course, it should be apparent that it is the ANGELS who report to God concerning the affairs of men.

20 And the Lord said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know."

God’s full knowledge of the wickedness of these cities was FUTURE to His conversation and lunch with Abraham. This is what He, Himself, declared to be the case.

When Abraham was instructed to sacrifice Isaac on the altar, he followed through on God’s command to the letter, until the angel stayed his hand with this message direct from God Himself, “11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." 12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for NOW I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." (Gen. 22:11,12) Again, God used a TEST to determine the nature of Abraham’s heart and mind, and His trust in God. Abraham’s faith was borne out in his actions, and THEN God had the information necessary to go to the next level in His relationship with Abraham.

King David, in his Psalms extolling God in terms of His attributes and characteristics had some interesting things to say concerning God’s knowledge. In Psalm 139:1-5 we read the following:

1 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. 5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.


First of all, it is significant to note that David was under the Holy-Spirit-inspired impression that God’s knowledge was based on investigation of him as a person. “You have searched me and known me” is his very clear statement here. Too often, exegetes and theologians have focused on the extent of God’s knowledge of David, here, without giving due attention to the BASIS for that knowledge (i.e. its source). Far from indicating a pre-existing knowledge of David on God’s part, we are here presented with the reality that God is required to RESEARCH those with whom He desires to have a more intimate, personal acquaintance.

David goes on to acknowledge that “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.” To be perfectly honest, for David the shepherd-King, whose background was that of a herder in a rather primitive, agricultural society – God’s data-management abilities were undoubtedly overwhelming for him to contemplate. I have no doubt, however, that David would respond IN THE SAME WAY if he were to consider OUR information technologies today, and the means we use to collect and manipulate knowledge.


At the end of the chapter, David invites God's FURTHER investigation of him to gain even MORE DETAILED information, thereby providing God with the necessary data to even more effectively guide David in his development spiritually and in his relationship with God. 23 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23,24)

In effect, it is not beyond the bounds of reason and interpretive accuracy to state that God revealed Himself (through David and other inspired writers of Scripture) as “The Great Scientist”. He loved (and undoubtedly STILL loves) discovery, Himself. He loves surprises. We are created in His image. It is hardly surprising that we, the created beings, share a similar enjoyment of newfound ideas, ways and means of accomplishing tasks more easily and efficiently, etc. The great difference between God and man lies in two, distinct intellectual (and spiritual) qualities. The first is that God’s knowledge has always been (and will undoubtedly always BE) thousands of years (light years even) ahead of man’s and superior to our best technologies. We are likely just beginning to discover things that God has known and developed for His own purposes many millennia ago. Secondly, God is perfect in wisdom and understanding, when it comes to the application of His knowledge. He is perfectly, consistently benevolent in His management and usage of the data at His disposal, and exemplifies perfectly (flawlessly) how to wisely and righteously administer the ecosystems of this planet and its populations. His wisdom and understanding are most perfectly and clearly displayed in His rule over His own Covenant People. The citizens of His Kingdom are His particular concern, and are carefully researched in order for God to have full access to all information on each individual within His eternal Covenant Nation. Outside of His Kingdom, God’s knowledge of individuals is much more limited, and always will be, as His primary concern is the well-fare and well-being of those who are His, thus prompting those who are not in Covenant relationship with Him to consider the advantages of surrendering to His faithful, gracious care.

Most people get rather uncomfortable at the suggestion that God may be limited in some way, and is really more of a divine Scientist and researcher, than a cosmic “puppet master”. These same people would prefer to deny that God could possibly have any interest in enjoying discovery with man. The delight of the “point of discovery” should not be God’s, according to their thinking. God should have exclusively comprehensive knowledge of all that has ever been or ever WILL be. Only such a God is worthy of our worship according to this line of reasoning. MY contention, however, is that a “transcendent”, infinite God with no limitations or boundaries to His consciousness, awareness, and KNOWLEDGE would be incapable of true relationship with finite man. Finite beings would simply be swallowed up in such a “consciousness” which ultimately would have no real parallel to a true “consciousness” as we understand the term. In fact, a “transcendent” God is one lacking true Personality (like the Islamic God, Allah or the Hindu oblivion known as “Nirvana”).

For further evidence of God’s reliance upon investigation in order to acquire knowledge, let us consider His own statement, in Jeremiah 17:9,10, 9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. GOD HIMSELF declares in no uncertain terms that it is necessary for Him to search the heart and test the mind in order to determine for himself the true nature and state of an individual’s personality, mindset, and responsiveness to Him and His Will.

God specifically investigates those who are His own, special People – His Covenant People by faith. This is particularly evident in His statement to the Law-lovers who sought to bring about their own salvation through devotion to Law-keeping and Law-worship. 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' Regardless of the nature of the knowledge God was clearly declaring that He lacked, here – the fact remains that He very openly and forthrightly (and unequivocally) states that He lacked knowledge of these people. Even if He is only referring to more personal, specific knowledge (i.e. the kind He acquires through personal investigation of those who are His), this is STILL a declaration of a knowledge limitation in some form by God Himself.

Consistently, throughout the Scriptures, we find God relying heavily on information reported to Him by the angels (who are His “eyes”, roaming through the earth, and His “ministers” sent forth to minister to the saints on His behalf). We also find God reliant upon experimentation and testing to determine the true nature of an individual’s heart and mind and the extent of that person’s trust in Him. A divine Being with infinite, unlimited knowledge in every area, and with no chronological parameters to His possession of information (i.e. a “god” who possessed all knowledge of all that would ever occur and all who would ever live in His physical creation from eternity past), would NOT be reliant upon these methods to understand and acquaint Himself with those closest to Him.

There are a couple of other considerations I would like to present in closing, here. If God really knew EVERYTHING that would ever occur in human history (i.e. ALL was “predestined” and “predetermined” before the creation of man on this planet), then why do the Scriptures make such a big deal of the whole “predestination/election” thing? What’s so significant about something that is a universally established principle that is a part of the very fiber and fabric of everyone’s existence and reality? This is a serious, philosophical (and exegetical) flaw in the case for God’s supposed “omniscience”. The Scriptures contain many passages emphasizing the unique process of "election" and "predestination" associated with certain, unique people - and groups of people - in Israel's limited history. God had a comprehensive "foreknowledge" exclusive to THAT "world" and history - particularly of the "elect", which was never universal in scope. The last of the "elect" passed from this planet in 70 AD, at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. At that time, God's "predestination/election" process came to an end, as did "prophecy" (that practiced by the Biblical prophets according to the promptings and inspiration of the Holy Spirit). This is why much of the Bible seems to imply "omniscience" where God's knowledge is concerned, while in reality, it only demonstrates the fact that God blueprinted the entire history of Israel from beginning to end, at its inception. He brought it to completion, through His manipulation of events and people throughout the history of the Old Covenant Nation. That "work" of election/predestination was brought to a conclusion at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. God had redeemed an "elect" People unto Himself, and there was no longer a temporal, physical "world" and "race" from within which He had to specifically choose certain individuals to respond favorably to Him.


Finally, we need to consider this aspect of God's situation: If God had predetermined all that would ever occur in history, He would have painted Himself into a volitional corner. He would have no option but to mindlessly respond to every predetermined action of man, according to the unchanging dictates of His immutable Character. He would essentially be no more than an automaton Himself, carrying out all of His pre-established Will with no other option than to bring it to completion according to the detailed, prelegislated schema laid out in eternity past. This would be an extremely foolish action on God’s part, of course. By no means would He consider creating a planet and race of intelligent, self-conscious beings with no, legitimate ability to inter-relate with them according to the continually changing circumstances and outcomes of the decisions and activities of those beings. The God of the Bible loves man’s creativity and intelligence, both of which have their source in Him. To fully appreciate and enter into enjoyment of those aspects of man’s being, God has chosen to limit His own knowledge of the future of individuals and Nations on this planet. One generation comes, another goes, one civilization rises, another falls. God’s Kingdom stands immovable, and God’s creation remains – eternally. God is both outside of His creation AND intrinsically, actively involved with its sustenance on a daily, continuous basis.

In conclusion, then, although we have seen that God’s knowledge is NOT “unlimited” and the Scriptures do NOT reveal Him as “omniscient” – His knowledge (particularly in comparison to man’s) is incredibly vast. This knowledge is something we can both comprehend (to an admittedly limited degree) as to its nature, AND we can revel in it, take comfort in it and find our sustenance therein. Truly, for Full Preterists, and all Christians who fully understand and appreciate the nature of our true spiritual economy and circumstances today, this text is a fitting ending to this article.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Prov. 9:10)


The only true understanding of reality, Truth and our relationship to the Creator, is found in the vast (and yet gloriously limited) knowledge of God. How wonderful it is, that the Great Creator chose to generate a physical reality and planetary dwelling place for his self-conscious, autonomous, created beings known as "man" and yet create it in such a way that He, Himself, would likewise experience certain limitations in His involement with us and the rest of His creation. Thus, He enjoys surprises and the delight of new events and circumstances, but in a far superior way to our own experience of them. He has eons of time and experience supporting His own knowledge, while ours is still relatively primitive and vastly inferior to His. I, for one, find this revelation of God's knowledge as found in His Word, a daily comfort and source of enjoyment as I consider the true nature of His Person and Being, and His desire to interact with me, co-operatively bringing a future into being for myself and those around me, that is as closely aligned to His Character and Person as possible.


Serving the Truth,


John McPherson

philmute's picture

Hi John
I am impressed by the cautious manner in which you seek a true understanding of God. It is immensely difficult to escape those ideologies which were worked out by Theologians whose entire culture was rooted in the concept and reality of an absolute Monarch. Too easily the Christian Community forgets that Israel was to have no King but Yahweh, in order to curb the debilitating effects of a lust for power and the corruption and exploitation that results therefrom. Supersoulfighter (love that handle where's the light sabre) makes a superb point when he identifies that too possess ALL power is to be without limits, this is precisely the reality of Islam's deity. Thus Mohammed asked for prayers to be said for him after his death whereas Christ asserted 'I lay my life down of mine own volition and I take it up again' because understanding that God is bound by his justice he knew as a righteous man 'it was not possible that death could hold him'. Death being a judgement on sin could have no power on a sinless man.
It seems to me that the scripture asserts that when God wants to know a person he will otherwise basically he leaves the planet to get along according to the operations of natural law, this is the statement in Genesis 'as long as seedtime and harvest remain' which should caution any Preterist to an awareness that these mechanisms can be destroyed by Man for we alone are created in God's image and thus have developed the knowledge to destroy God's natural law. Unfortunately the popular eschatologies promote only indifference to our ecological responsibility

JL's picture

Why would I trust in a God like that?

I am to leave my trust that all that I am to be and do is governed by the one I am to make Lord. If He does not know what is to happen with me,or what I will do, then how can I trust that I will perform in His will? How will "all things work to the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes?"

If my God only has more "magic" but not any more "control" than a human ruler...I have picked the wrong religion.

Christianity is a crutch. It is based on the fact that we cannot run our own lives toward any goodness or purpose. So God sent Jesus, to do it for us. He did not make us capable of perfection after AD 70, He just simple perfected us in conscience so that we could live in peace and rest in the knowledge He "has our back." This makes us perform as productive humans, but we are not capable of living apart from His care, knowledge, direction, etc. And He is not capable of those things, without perfect knowledge.

God Bless
Nate

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hi, Nate! I only have a few moments to respond, here, so I'll be brief (and I hope I don't come across as abrupt as a result)! I do appreciate your input and comments.

Why would I trust in a God like that?

Because that is how the God of the Bible has revealed Himself to be, and He both expects and REQUIRES your trust in Him in order to facilitate relationship with Him. If you're interested in a Covenant relationship with God - be aware of the fact that the God you worship and serve is LIMITED in knowledge, power and Presence - since He has clearly stated repeatedly throughout the Scriptures that this is the case. In fact - a truly INFINITE, TRANSCENDENT "god" would not only be unworthy of worship but INCAPABLE of true relationship of ANY kind with us. So be thankful that God sovereignly limited Himself in terms of His involvement with us and this whole, physical realm, in order to make relationship with us possible. Whether He is infinite in every respect in the realm of SPIRIT (the dimension in which He dwells as a general rule) is an open question, perhaps. Time, obviously (as we know it and experience it in this material realm) has an entirely different meaning (if any) in the realm of spirit.

I am to leave my trust that all that I am to be and do is governed by the one I am to make Lord. If He does not know what is to happen with me,or what I will do, then how can I trust that I will perform in His will? How will "all things work to the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes?"

See...that's the problem, Nate. "All that you are to be and do" is NOT "governed by the Lord". God does NOT dictate each detail of life for you once you are His, and a citizen of His Kingdom. He expects you to acquire HIS WISDOM for everyday decision-making, and make reasonably wise choices on that basis! God has NO specific "will" for you to discover, in terms of detailed decisions you should make throughout your life. He has a very GENERAL will for you, in terms of developing His Mind and Nature within you, and for you to adopt His Wisdom consistently in your decision-making, but His will has no SPECIFICS of an everyday, detailed nature. That text you cited part of ("all things work together for good..etc.") was ripped right out of its true context. It really doesn't apply to you and me at all, Nate. That text applied to the First Century "elect", exclusively. Here's the whole thing.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28)

That latter part of the verse REALLY establishes the context as pre-AD 70, Nate. The "calling" of God according to His "purpose" pertained to the redemptive history of OC Israel, and God's "calling" certain, specific individuals to become His core, SPIRITUAL Nation within the physical Nation. When the OC "world" was brought to an end, the "calling" and "purpose" of God referred to in the verse above likewise was brought to full fruition, and no longer had any purpose in this realm. Thus, it came to an end with that First Century generation of saints. They were the LAST generation of the "called" according to God's "purpose". For THEM "all things worked together for good". The same cannot necessarily be said for US and OUR spiritual economy/situation.

If my God only has more "magic" but not any more "control" than a human ruler...I have picked the wrong religion.

If your faith requires a "transcendent", infinite "god" - you certainly HAVE picked the wrong "religion" ("faith" being the better word). But negating your spiritual rebirth in Christ (if that is, indeed, what you've experienced) is not as easy as shrugging your shoulders and going shopping for a new belief system (as you'll discover if you try it).

Christianity is a crutch. It is based on the fact that we cannot run our own lives toward any goodness or purpose. So God sent Jesus, to do it for us. He did not make us capable of perfection after AD 70, He just simple perfected us in conscience so that we could live in peace and rest in the knowledge He "has our back." This makes us perform as productive humans, but we are not capable of living apart from His care, knowledge, direction, etc. And He is not capable of those things, without perfect knowledge.

Christianity is NOT a crutch. Wrong. It is a RELATIONSHIP with God. It is NOT "based on the fact that we cannot run our own lives toward any goodness or purpose.". It is, in fact, focussed on ENABLING us to live more consistently according to the GOOD dictates of our consciences and OVER-RIDE the promptings of our inherent sinfulness. The more we consistently live according to the requirements of that which is "good" (and discern more accurately between "good, better and best") the more we become like God Himself. And this is His ultimate goal in spiritually regenerating us.

God is ABSOLUTELY capable of caring for us without "perfect" (i.e. "infinite" according to your definition of the term) knowledge. Don't kid yourself, Nate. Just because you can't comprehend HOW God is capable of such guidance, and you can't conceive of a God limited in knowledge being perfectly capable of effectively governing His People doesn't mean He can't do it. It just speaks to the limitations of your mind and perceptions. That's all.

I trust these comments clarify a few things for you, Nate!

Serving the Truth,

JM

MichaelB's picture

Herod's contempt for Jesus (Luke 23:11) and Pilate's spineless expediency (Luke 23:24) and the Jews' "Crucify! Crucify him!" (Luke 23:21) and the Gentile soldiers' mockery (Luke 23:36) were also sinful attitudes and deeds. Yet in Acts 4:27-28 Luke expresses his understanding of the sovereignty of God in these acts by recording the prayer of the Jerusalem saints:

Truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel to do whatever thy hand and thy plan (boule) had predestined to take place.

John what is going on above. Seems as if God is not in control...then all of the sudden it is revealed as Gods plan. How do you reconcile this?

vinster's picture

It seems that according to John, at 70ad God shut off His omniscience like a light switch to leave man to find his own way in the dark.
Nauseating!!! Simply Nauseating!!
Vinster

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Once you get over your nausea, Vinster, maybe you'll gain a new, deeper appreciation of the God of the Bible and the wonder of His accomplishments in the OC "age", even with the limited "omniscience" He created for that limited period of time. I refer to His knowledge at that time as "limited omniscience" because it had the appearance of omniscience to the people under His sovereignty during that period (and under the "control" of His will), but in reality - God's knowledge in THAT time was limited also - limited to His careful, intensive research of each key individual in His Master Plan.

Those are the Biblical facts, Vinster, and no-one here has even come remotely close to presenting a Biblical case refuting the one I've presented here.

Just a few more of those facts that you will probably find initially nauseating, Vinster!

John

Parker's picture

McPHerson:
...even with the limited "omniscience" He created for that limited period of time. I refer to His knowledge at that time as "limited omniscience" because it had the appearance of omniscience to the people under His sovereignty during that period (and under the "control" of His will), but in reality - God's knowledge in THAT time was limited also - limited to His careful, intensive research of each key individual in His Master Plan.

Parker:
So, from Moses to AD 70, God appeared to--but didn't in fact--possess omniscience? And now, beyond AD 70, He neither in fact nor in appearance possesses omniscience? John, you are dealing in sheer make believe here. You've gone off into delusions. You've departed so far from scripture that you have a god that is different from the God of the preterists. The nature of God differs so greatly between your view and the preterist view that clearly two different gods are being discussed. You are not at all discussing the holy trinity -- Yahweh, Jesus, Spirit.

Parker's picture

McPHerson:
...even with the limited "omniscience" He created for that limited period of time. I refer to His knowledge at that time as "limited omniscience" because it had the appearance of omniscience to the people under His sovereignty during that period (and under the "control" of His will), but in reality - God's knowledge in THAT time was limited also - limited to His careful, intensive research of each key individual in His Master Plan.

Parker:
So, from Moses to AD 70, God appeared to--but didn't in fact--possess omniscience? And now, beyond AD 70, He neither in fact nor in appearance possesses omniscience? John, you are dealing in sheer make believe here. You've gone off into delusions. You've departed so far from scripture that you have a god that is different from the God of the preterists. The natures are so different between your view and the preterist view that clearly two different gods are being discussed.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Not only do you have no comprehension of the Scriptures or the God revealed therein, Parker - you don't have a clue what Preterism itself represents and how it manifests and systematizes the TRUE, ORIGINAL intent of God's Word in terms of the Truth He desired to communicate to man concerning Himself.

You have no authority OR rational basis for ANY of your criticisms and nastiness. Your blindness is so complete you can't even appreciate how far removed you are from any possibility of acquaintance with the Truth and the Light of God's glorious Person.

YOUR "god" is an aged, dying "pope" in Rome and the decadent, decaying "church" he represents.

Parker's picture

McPherson:
you don't have a clue what Preterism itself represents and how it manifests and systematizes the TRUE, ORIGINAL intent of God's Word in terms of the Truth He desired to communicate to man concerning Himself.

Parker:
It is not preterism that is under scrutiny here, John. Rather, it is McPhersonism that we are examining and rejecting due to its extrabiblical assumptions and conclusions.

McPherson:
YOUR "god" is an aged, dying "pope" in Rome and the decadent, decaying "church" he represents.

Parker:
You have grave mental problems if you think John Paul II is any part of the Godhead in Catholic theology. Also, your disdain for the elderly is revealing. Remember, John, your bizarre interpretations of scripture have no history and they have no future--they will die with you. But the Catholic views have a 20-century history now and going strong. So, historically speaking, you lose.

You should be thanking the Catholic Church every day for creating a list of church-authenticated letters worthy of trust. Remember, the New Testament is the Catholic holy book. It did not come from the gnostics or any other group.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

It is not preterism that is under scrutiny here, John. Rather, it is McPhersonism that we are examining and rejecting due to its extrabiblical assumptions and conclusions.

On the contrary. There is no fundamental difference between true Full Preterism (and its logical, Scriptural outcomes and implications) and MY paradigm. In fact, all I've done is EXTEND the implications of Full Preterism to include contextual treatments of ecclesiological texts, soteriological texts, etc. My entire system reflects consistent Full Preterist hermeneutics. YOUR "system" doesn't reflect hermeneutics of ANY kind.

You have grave mental problems if you think John Paul II is any part of the Godhead in Catholic theology. Also, your disdain for the elderly is revealing.

Clarification and correction. Catholic worship and venerate the pope AS THOUGH he is God and has unique access to Him as their "mediator". Catholics likewise pray to Mary to intercede on their behalf as their "Mediatrix". NONE of these things are taught in Scripture. IN FACT - the Scriptures CLEARLY state that there is ONE Mediator between God and man - Christ Jesus.

And I have no disdain for the elderly OR John Paul himself as a man. Rather, my disdain is for his TITLE and ROLE - both of which are false and have no Biblical basis whatsoever.

Parker's picture

McPherson:
There is no fundamental difference between true Full Preterism (and its logical, Scriptural outcomes and implications) and MY paradigm...all I've done is EXTEND the implications of Full Preterism to include contextual treatments of ecclesiological texts, soteriological texts, etc.

Parker:
What nonsense. I know very many full preterists, and none of them believe or teach your views (excepting an AD 70 Parousia). Think before you speak, will you? That way I don't have to waste time responding to pure B.S..

McPherson:
Clarification and correction. Catholics worship and venerate the pope AS THOUGH he is God and has unique access to Him as their "mediator".

Parker:
You have no idea what you're talking about. You're embarrassing yourself here, John.

McPherson:
Catholics likewise pray to Mary to intercede on their behalf as their "Mediatrix".

Parker:
Mary's obedience to God resulted in the issuing forth of the incarnation of God. As such, Mary's faithfulness is the exact opposite of Eve's faithlessness that had mediated the ruin of humankind back in the garden. And today, as the Queen Mother, Mary's intercessions (prayers) in the heavenlies are very powerful--as are the prayers of all the saints of heaven, each in their own way.

McPherson:
the Scriptures CLEARLY state that there is ONE Mediator between God and man - Christ Jesus.

Parker:
You are referring to 1 Tim 2:5. But just back up four verses to 1 Tim 2:1 and you will see what "mediation" Catholics are talking about with Mary and the saints. Mary, like all saints who make requests to God for others, mediates in the 1 Tim 2:1 sense, not in the sense of mediating a covenant as with Jesus (1 Tim 2:5) and Moses before him (See Gal 3:19). Your knowledge of Catholic teaching is abysmal.

McPherson:
Pope John Paul II...TITLE and ROLE - both of which are false and have no Biblical basis whatsoever.

Parker:
Both title and role have biblical and historical basis.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

McPherson:
There is no fundamental difference between true Full Preterism (and its logical, Scriptural outcomes and implications) and MY paradigm...all I've done is EXTEND the implications of Full Preterism to include contextual treatments of ecclesiological texts, soteriological texts, etc.

Parker:
What nonsense. I know very many full preterists, and none of them believe or teach your views (excepting an AD 70 Parousia). Think before you speak, will you? That way I don't have to waste time responding to pure B.S..

The Full Preterists YOU know have obviously NOT extended their understanding of the pardigm beyond its eschatological basis and foundation. Going BEYOND the eschatological fulfillment of all things in the First Century and examining ALL doctrine in the light of that understanding and perspective yields a view essentially very similar to my own.

YOU evidently don't think clearly and rationally at ANY time, Parker, let alone before you post a comment here. So drop the arrogant posturing. You're embarassing yourself (once again).

McPherson:
Clarification and correction. Catholics worship and venerate the pope AS THOUGH he is God and has unique access to Him as their "mediator".

Parker:
You have no idea what you're talking about. You're embarrassing yourself here, John.

IS the "pope" the mediator between God and men, Parker? Do Catholics not revere him as such? What is the significance of kneeling before him and kissing his ring? Why such an enthusiastic reception of him among Catholics world-wide, wherever he goes? What role does he play in the lives of Catholics, spiritually? Be honest now. I won't bite too hard.

McPherson:
Catholics likewise pray to Mary to intercede on their behalf as their "Mediatrix".

Parker:
Mary's obedience to God resulted in the issuing forth of the incarnation of God. As such, Mary's faithfulness is the exact opposite of Eve's faithlessness that had mediated the ruin of humankind back in the garden. And today, as the Queen Mother, Mary's intercessions (prayers) in the heavenlies are very powerful--as are the prayers of all the saints of heaven, each in their own way.

So says Catholic dogma and tradition (notably unsupported by Scripture). So Mary is the ultimate Intercessor, Parker? What happened to CHRIST'S High Priestly role as the Intercessor? Where do we suddenly get this idea that Mary and the saints ALSO act on behalf of those who pray to THEM? Where in the Scriptures do we find these people making intercession before the throne of God on behalf of those who pray to THEM? Catholic doctrine here is so far removed from the Scriptures it SHOULD be a continual source of embarassment to EVERY Catholic.

McPherson:
the Scriptures CLEARLY state that there is ONE Mediator between God and man - Christ Jesus.

Parker:
You are referring to 1 Tim 2:5. But just back up four verses to 1 Tim 2:1 and you will see what "mediation" Catholics are talking about with Mary and the saints. Mary, like all saints who make requests to God for others, mediates in the 1 Tim 2:1 sense, not in the sense of mediating a covenant as with Jesus (1 Tim 2:5) and Moses before him (See Gal 3:19). Your knowledge of Catholic teaching is abysmal.

1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (1Tim. 2:1,2)

THIS is your "evidence" in favor of the idea that we should pray to Mary and the saints to make intercession on our behalf as our intermediaries???? Come on, Parker. That's pitiful!!! What a load of bunk! Paul instructs LIVING saints in his day to intercede on behalf of each other and those in authority. Period. How does THAT translate into praying to dead saints and Christ's dead mother? As intermediaries on behalf of the saints?? That just has no rational connection whatsoever with 1Tim. 2:1,2 Parker. None. And when you factor in verse 5 - the Catholic distortion of the clear intent of God's Word becomes painfully apparent. No WONDER they (the Catholic clergy) didn't want the Scriptures available to the average lay person in the vernacular, eh?

McPherson:
Pope John Paul II...TITLE and ROLE - both of which are false and have no Biblical basis whatsoever.

Parker:
Both title and role have biblical and historical basis.

False. You have no Scriptural basis for that statement. None.

Parker's picture

McPherson:
The Full Preterists YOU know have obviously NOT extended their understanding of the pardigm beyond its eschatological basis and foundation.

Parker:
They have. They simply have not arrived at your conclusions. Therefore, contrary to your boastful claims, you do NOT represent the true "FULL PRETERIST" paradigm. How you came to believe that you are the "true north" of full preterism is beyond me. What hubris. How innacurate too.

McPherson:
IS the "pope" the mediator between God and men, Parker?

Parker:
Not in the way Moses mediated a covenant (Gal 3:19-20. Not in the way Jesus mediated a new covenant (Heb 9:15; 12:24).

However, all christians mediate God to others through communicating the truth, prayer, and carrying out God's will and justice on the earth--so also is John Paul a mediator in such a manner.

The pope ("papa"/"father" - Isa 22:21-22; 1 Cor 4:15) is a father in my faith community. (Our tradition derives from the ancient Hebrews, and thus we view our faith community in family terms - brother, sister, father, mother, etc.. Even in America we call our founders "forefathers"). As the leader of a worldwide community of catholic christians and the 265th successor of Peter at the Church of Rome, he is the visible head bishop of our organization (note that all organizations have some ultimate chief, president, principal, or prime-minister). Furthermore, our community is not a secular group, but a faith community that was established by apostles in real history and organized according to the principle of the mystical body of Christ and the Kingdom of God.

McPherson:
What is the significance of kneeling before him and kissing his ring?

Parker:
Again, our tradition has a direct historical tie to--and derivation from--the ancient hebrews. In the ancient world, the prime minister possesses governmental authority and is esteemed as a servant of God's people (Isa 22:21-24/Matt 16:18-19; see also Genesis 41:40-44). Kneeling, bowing, and other body gestures are all signs of honor derived from ancient times. The West is unique in having lost or abandoned these customs. The Catholic Church has preserved these customs. Eastern countries also have preserved similar customs from their ancient histories.

McPherson:
Why such an enthusiastic reception of him among Catholics world-wide, wherever he goes?

Parker:
Because it is good and right and godly to esteem many kinds of leaders (1 Tim 5:17; 1 Pet 2:17; 1 Thess 5:12-13; Eph 6:2; Isa 22:24). We Catholics highly esteem people of faith as role models for godly living. Who are some people you esteem in that serve as an inspiration to you? Same idea.

McPherson:
So says Catholic dogma and tradition (notably unsupported by Scripture).

Parker:
Mary's story in the gospels is not accidental or incidental. It's THEOLOGICAL.

McPherson:
So Mary is the ultimate Intercessor, Parker? What happened to CHRIST'S High Priestly role as the Intercessor?

Parker:
Christ is the High Priest. However, all prayer and service in the gospel is "intercession" and "ministry". Christ is not the only being in the universe that particpates in intercession on behalf of others (1 Tim 2:1-2; Rom. 15:30–32; Eph. 6:18–20; Col. 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:25; 2 Thess. 3:1). In fact, even the saints of heaven are cognizant of--and participants in--the prayers of those on earth (Rev 5:8-9). Catholics believe we have mystical communion with the saints in heaven and are one body with them (Eph 3:15).

McPherson:
Where do we suddenly get this idea that Mary and the saints ALSO act on behalf of those who pray to THEM? Where in the Scriptures do we find these people making intercession before the throne of God on behalf of those who pray to THEM?

Parker:
Rev 5:8; Rev 8:3-4. The saints of heaven are not unconscious or unaware of us. Heavenly beings can receive our communication (Ps 103:20-21; Ps 148:2).

McPherson:
THIS is your "evidence" in favor of the idea that we should pray to Mary and the saints to make intercession on our behalf as our intermediaries?

Parker:
1 Tim 2:1-2 is evidence that Christ was never thought of as the SOLE intercessor and minister. And, the saints of heaven participate in worship and intercession, so far as the apostles understood the heavenlies (Rev 5:8; Rev 8:3-4).

McPherson:
How does THAT translate into praying to dead saints and Christ's dead mother?

Parker:
They're not dead (Luke 20:38). And even prior to the Cross and the Parousia, the Hebrews thought of the departed as concerned about those still on earth (Luke 16:22-31).

McPherson:
No WONDER they (the Catholic clergy) didn't want the Scriptures available to the average lay person in the vernacular, eh?

Parker:
Don't be stupid. Guttenberg was a Catholic! Ever heard of the Gutenberg bible? Ever heard of Bede (673-735 AD) who regularly exposited the scriptures in the English language? Bede was Catholic. C'mon John. Get your head in the game.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

McPherson:
The Full Preterists YOU know have obviously NOT extended their understanding of the pardigm beyond its eschatological basis and foundation.

Parker:
They have. They simply have not arrived at your conclusions. Therefore, contrary to your boastful claims, you do NOT represent the true "FULL PRETERIST" paradigm. How you came to believe that you are the "true north" of full preterism is beyond me. What hubris. How innacurate too.

The fact that any understanding of a truly contextual treatment of the Scriptures is beyond you too, has not escaped notice. The "true north" of Full Preterism is rigorous contextuality as the guiding hermeneutic.

McPherson:
IS the "pope" the mediator between God and men, Parker?

Parker:
Not in the way Moses mediated a covenant (Gal 3:19-20. Not in the way Jesus mediated a new covenant (Heb 9:15; 12:24).

However, all christians mediate God to others through communicating the truth, prayer, and carrying out God's will and justice on the earth--so also is John Paul a mediator in such a manner.

The pope ("papa"/"father" - Isa 22:21-22; 1 Cor 4:15) is a father in my faith community. (Our tradition derives from the ancient Hebrews, and thus we view our faith community in family terms - brother, sister, father, mother, etc.. Even in America we call our founders "forefathers"). As the leader of a worldwide community of catholic christians and the 265th successor of Peter at the Church of Rome, he is the visible head bishop of our organization (note that all organizations have some ultimate chief, president, principal, or prime-minister). Furthermore, our community is not a secular group, but a faith community that was established by apostles in real history and organized according to the principle of the mystical body of Christ and the Kingdom of God.

Ah. I knew it would be too much to ask, expecting you to be honest, Parker. This is the standard, dishonest Catholic answer. We're not fools here, Parker (yourself being the exception). The Pope is NOT a "mediator" on par with other Christians. As you yourself noted, he is the "papa" of the whole Roman "church".

15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me. (1Cor. 4:15)

It is absolutely astounding to me how Catholics feel the liberty and freedom to rip such texts completely out of their context and make them mean something they were never intended to mean. Truly, the RCC is the source of the many-headed Hydra known as futurism. The very same hermeneutics are used by both Protestant futurists AND Catholics. In the text above, Paul refers to his direct involvement in the conversion of the Corinthians through his preaching of the gospel to them. Your "papa" did NOT preach the gospel to YOU, Parker, nor has he preached it to the majority of Catholics today. He is NOT the "father" of anyone's faith today in the same way that Paul was to the Corinthians. Such a suggestion is utterly ludicrous. On top of that, there is NO contextual suggestion that a "tradition" was established in Paul's figurative treatment of this particular, unique relationship he had with the Corinthians and any FUTURE relationship between a preacher of the gospel and the converts resulting from that evangelistic effort.

McPherson:
No WONDER they (the Catholic clergy) didn't want the Scriptures available to the average lay person in the vernacular, eh?

Parker:
Don't be stupid. Guttenberg was a Catholic! Ever heard of the Gutenberg bible? Ever heard of Bede (673-735 AD) who regularly exposited the scriptures in the English language? Bede was Catholic. C'mon John. Get your head in the game.

John Gutenberg. Father of the modern printing press and producer of the first Bible printed on a mechanical press. Yes.

Bede was the English monk who translated the Gospel of John into English? Interesting, but this doesn't defeat my point.

Historically, the RCC took it upon itself to maintain its status as steward and guardian of the Truth and the Scriptures through maintenance of its text in Latin (the Latin Vulgate) the reading and studying of which was limited to classical scholars and clerics.

There was no concerted effort to translate the entire Bible into the vernacular on the scale that Wycliffe and others pursued and accomplished.

"Gutenberg's first and only large-scale printing enterprise was the Bible in Latin. This is not an obvious choice of text, for the Bible was not very central to the daily life of the Church in the 15th century.

Parts of the Bible would have been used in church every day, but not in the order in which they appear in the Bible. The texts of the Bible were reorganised in a Missal to suit the complicated order in which extracts were to be read. Missals were different from region to region, however. Perhaps Gutenberg realised that, in order for a large-scale printing project to be commercially successful, he had to aim at an international market. The Bible might sell fewer copies in each region, but it had the potential to sell all over Western Europe.

Gutenberg and his team also knew that they needed to market their new invention. In 1454 they showed their product to an international audience in Frankfurt, perhaps even before the project was completed. They must have been aware that a successful launch would be much easier if they began with a high-profile book of importance beyond their local area." (from The British Library, Treasures in Full) http://www.bl.uk/treasures/gutenberg/homepage.html

You like that phrase "get your head in the game", eh? If YOUR head was in the game, these exchanges wouldn't be so excruciatingly abrasive and vitriolic. Unfortunately, we are called upon to do our best to be patient, even when it is obvious that you sold your soul (and mind) to the "mother church" of Rome long ago. My own patience wore out some time ago, though (you probably noticed).

Parker's picture

McPherson:
The "true north" of Full Preterism is rigorous contextuality as the guiding hermeneutic.

Parker:
If that's so, why aren't there masses of preterists that agree with your conclusions? There is so little agreement among preterists that I maintain that there are few clearly accepted "full preterist" positions, per se.

McPherson:
The Pope is NOT a "mediator" on par with other Christians. As you yourself noted, he is the "papa" of the whole Roman "church".

Parker:
He is a mediator in the sense that other Christians are. HOWEVER, he is the ordained head bishop of a worldwide faith community with a 2000 year history. So, his mediatory role and responsibility is quite important. And of course he is the "papa" of the Roman Catholic Church. The notion that the prime minister of God's people is the "father" to the whole nation is clearly established in scripture (Isa 22:21-22).

McPherson:
In the text above (1 Cor 4:15), Paul refers to his direct involvement in the conversion of the Corinthians through his preaching of the gospel to them.

Parker:
That passage proves that indeed it is perfectly fine to call men "father." The first christians used that designation of their leaders, the Hebrews used that designation of their forefathers of faith, and they also used it of the prime ministers (Isa 22:21). So, you are dead wrong to suggest that Catholics are breaking Christ's teachings in calling men "father" (or "brother," or "sister," or "mother").

McPherson:
Your "papa" did NOT preach the gospel to YOU, Parker, nor has he preached it to the majority of Catholics today.

Parker:
That's like saying President Bush doesn't represent America through his office or that a CEO doesn't represent his company of workers via his or her office. Because of his office, Pope John Paul II represents the Church, christian teaching, and catholics in countless ways--especially in matters of preaching and doctrine. Even more, it is beyond dispute that the pope is THE preeminent spokesperson for Christianity worldwide. His influence dwarfs that of fine protestants like Rev. Billy Graham or Ian Pasley, or Hank Hanegraaff, etc. etc. Can you think of a more influential Christian in the world than the Pope? of course not.

McPherson:
there is NO contextual suggestion that a "tradition" was established in Paul's figurative treatment of this particular, unique relationship he had with the Corinthians and any FUTURE relationship between a preacher of the gospel and the converts resulting from that evangelistic effort.

Parker:
The Hebrew tradition of calling men "father" pre-dates Paul. Paul was simply applying it to his various flocks (Corinthians, Timothy, etc). St. John also used the "father/children" metaphor for his faith community. So, there is no prohibition on using the family-of-faith designations common to the Hebrews (i.e., brother, sister, father, mother). The Catholic church is in no way offending God in this matter. For you to suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

McPherson:
John Gutenberg. Father of the modern printing press and producer of the first Bible printed on a mechanical press. Yes. Bede was the English monk who translated the Gospel of John into English? Interesting, but this doesn't defeat my point.

Parker:
Of course it does. You said the Catholics tried to keep the scriptures out of the vernacular of various countries. They did not. First, remember that Latin WAS the vernacular of the empire for a very long time. Next, Bede is perfect proof that the scriptures were available in translations and that Catholics were the ones making translations. Where were the Baptists, Methodists, or even the Lutherans? They didn't exist. Historically speaking, the Bible is the Catholic Holy Book. There was no other group that had it or even wanted it. And, there was only one Church then.

McPherson:
Historically, the RCC took it upon itself to maintain its status as steward and guardian of the Truth and the Scriptures through maintenance of its text in Latin (the Latin Vulgate) the reading and studying of which was limited to classical scholars and clerics.

Parker:
There was no printing press (thus no mass production of books), a single copy of the entire scriptures cost a literal fortune to produce, and nearly everyone was illterate anyway. So, your accusations don't hold any water. The idea of a Christianity where everyone reads their bibles and learns the truth for themselves is a fully *modern* concept. Had such "bible literacy" been God's design all along, He would have waited until mass literacy existed before mandating His religion of bible readers! If you can't read, you can't read the scriptures.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

McPherson:
The "true north" of Full Preterism is rigorous contextuality as the guiding hermeneutic.

Parker:
If that's so, why aren't there masses of preterists that agree with your conclusions? There is so little agreement among preterists that I maintain that there are few clearly accepted "full preterist" positions, per se.

Preterists are still working out their basic understanding of HOW "rigorous contextuality" governs interpretation in other areas. Believe it or not, remaining consistent in handling the Scriptures according to that governing principle in every case is not as easy as it may sound. Faulty presuppositions tend to influence interpretation, even when demonstrably in conflict with the context.

And by the way, Parker - when I speak of "Full Preterism", I'm referring to it as an abstract PARADIGM - not as a loosely-organized "movement", or institutionalized entity of any kind.

McPherson:
The Pope is NOT a "mediator" on par with other Christians. As you yourself noted, he is the "papa" of the whole Roman "church".

Parker:
He is a mediator in the sense that other Christians are. HOWEVER, he is the ordained head bishop of a worldwide faith community with a 2000 year history. So, his mediatory role and responsibility is quite important. And of course he is the "papa" of the Roman Catholic Church. The notion that the prime minister of God's people is the "father" to the whole nation is clearly established in scripture (Isa 22:21-22).

SO..we agree that the "pope"'s role is MORE important and significant than that of other Christians. He is "ordained" to his role, supposedly, by God Himself. Of course, there is absolutely NO Scriptural substantiation whatsoever for this claim. In fact, there is NO Scriptural support for the view that "apostolic succession" was perpetuated legitimately beyond 70 AD.

20 'Then it shall be in that day, That I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; 21 I will clothe him with your robe And strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem And to the house of Judah. 22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23 I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, And he will become a glorious throne to his father's house. 24 'They will hang on him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the posterity, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the pitchers. 25 In that day,' says the Lord of hosts, 'the peg that is fastened in the secure place will be removed and be cut down and fall, and the burden that was on it will be cut off; for the Lord has spoken.' " (Isa. 22:20-25)

I don't understand WHY Catholic clerics feel justified in ripping such texts out of their context. Even the IMMEDIATE context clearly references the events of 70 AD (note the language of v.25 in particular) and the spiritual economy of that period, including Christ's (and Peter's) roles at that time. To suggest that these roles and offices continued BEYOND the context dictated by v.25 is spurious on the very face of it. Are you suggesting that the "pope" sits on the "throne" identified in v.23, Parker? Such a belief might be in keeping with CATHOLIC misconceptions and self-deceptions, but it has nothing to do with the originally intended meaning of Scripture.

McPherson:
In the text above (1 Cor 4:15), Paul refers to his direct involvement in the conversion of the Corinthians through his preaching of the gospel to them.

Parker:
That passage proves that indeed it is perfectly fine to call men "father." The first christians used that designation of their leaders, the Hebrews used that designation of their forefathers of faith, and they also used it of the prime ministers (Isa 22:21). So, you are dead wrong to suggest that Catholics are breaking Christ's teachings in calling men "father" (or "brother," or "sister," or "mother").

To pretend that ANY of us continue to live within a First Century Jewish context and maintain Hebraic cultural references and the mindset common to those people is laughable, Parker. It would be funnier if you weren't so desperately serious about your views in this area, and desperately determined to justify them by arguments of this nature. This is pathetic, Parker. Did the Corinthian Christians refer to Paul as "Father Paul"?? Or "Pope Paul the First"? Give me a break. Of course they didn't. Paul states that he felt a fatherly affinity for them and had played something of that role in their spiritual lives. Nowhere do we find him requiring that they refer to him by that title or ANY such terminology. Your argument is utterly groundless, Scripturally, historically AND logically.

McPherson:
Your "papa" did NOT preach the gospel to YOU, Parker, nor has he preached it to the majority of Catholics today.

Parker:
That's like saying President Bush doesn't represent America through his office or that a CEO doesn't represent his company of workers via his or her office. Because of his office, Pope John Paul II represents the Church, christian teaching, and catholics in countless ways--especially in matters of preaching and doctrine. Even more, it is beyond dispute that the pope is THE preeminent spokesperson for Christianity worldwide. His influence dwarfs that of fine protestants like Rev. Billy Graham or Ian Pasley, or Hank Hanegraaff, etc. etc. Can you think of a more influential Christian in the world than the Pope? of course not.

My argument stands, Parker. The "pope" occupies an illegitimate role and office that was NOT "ordained of God". You have no basis whatsoever for viewing him and his office in such a way and according to those terms. He is a mere man, every bit as fallible as anyone else, and certainly NOT "ordained" to govern(or act as the spokesperson for) anyone else spiritually or in any other way.

McPherson:
there is NO contextual suggestion that a "tradition" was established in Paul's figurative treatment of this particular, unique relationship he had with the Corinthians and any FUTURE relationship between a preacher of the gospel and the converts resulting from that evangelistic effort.

Parker:
The Hebrew tradition of calling men "father" pre-dates Paul. Paul was simply applying it to his various flocks (Corinthians, Timothy, etc). St. John also used the "father/children" metaphor for his faith community. So, there is no prohibition on using the family-of-faith designations common to the Hebrews (i.e., brother, sister, father, mother). The Catholic church is in no way offending God in this matter. For you to suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

NOWHERE do we find either Paul, John or ANY of the other First Century saints/apostles being referred to as "Father Paul" or "Father John" or anything of the kind. It's ABSURD for YOU to suggest that they required those who had converted to the gospel through their preaching and ministries to refer to them in those terms. The RCC IS an offense to God, and not just in this matter. Christ's words are EXCEEDINGLY clear in forbidding the usage of the TITLE "father" with reference to another person (other than God).

Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. (Matt. 23:9)

Argue with Christ Jesus, Parker. HE is the One with whom you are in direct conflict. Your beliefs and practices are in direct violation of His commands and teachings.

McPherson:
John Gutenberg. Father of the modern printing press and producer of the first Bible printed on a mechanical press. Yes. Bede was the English monk who translated the Gospel of John into English? Interesting, but this doesn't defeat my point.

Parker:
Of course it does. You said the Catholics tried to keep the scriptures out of the vernacular of various countries. They did not. First, remember that Latin WAS the vernacular of the empire for a very long time. Next, Bede is perfect proof that the scriptures were available in translations and that Catholics were the ones making translations. Where were the Baptists, Methodists, or even the Lutherans? They didn't exist. Historically speaking, the Bible is the Catholic Holy Book. There was no other group that had it or even wanted it. And, there was only one Church then.

Don't try to pretend that Latin was the "vernacular" in Gutenberg's day, Parker. I know my history better than that, thanks. Gutenberg didn't attempt to translate the Scriptures into any of the Germanic languages, even though he himself was of that ethnicity. He mass-produced a Bible in the language common to the CLERGY - the language of academia in his day. His was a financial, monetary consideration and he was marketing his product to those from whom he could expect the greatest financial remuneration. Again, economics took precedence over spiritual needs and considerations in Catholic history (as it always has, ultimately).

Bede translated ONE Gospel into English. Commendable, but hardly sufficient. I don't recall his translation being touted as either accurate or authoritative.

McPherson:
Historically, the RCC took it upon itself to maintain its status as steward and guardian of the Truth and the Scriptures through maintenance of its text in Latin (the Latin Vulgate) the reading and studying of which was limited to classical scholars and clerics.

Parker:
There was no printing press (thus no mass production of books), a single copy of the entire scriptures cost a literal fortune to produce, and nearly everyone was illterate anyway. So, your accusations don't hold any water. The idea of a Christianity where everyone reads their bibles and learns the truth for themselves is a fully *modern* concept. Had such "bible literacy" been God's design all along, He would have waited until mass literacy existed before mandating His religion of bible readers! If you can't read, you can't read the scriptures.

God always intended for the common people and laity to have full access to His Word, whether through oral transmission (audibly, being read to them) or in written form (for those who could read). Yes, illiteracy was high in Medieval times, largely through the efforts of the "church" and State to keep the average person from progressing in knowledge to the point that they were a threat in any way to their domination of the masses. Yes, the modern printing press had much to do with literacy becoming commonplace, but the fact that the Medieval "church" preserved the Scriptures in Latin (a language only the clerics really understood to any significant degree) meant that the laity couldn't understand the Scriptures as they were read to them and expounded upon. This is why Wycliffe and other translators took it upon themselves to translate the whole Bible, even in the face of extreme opposition from Rome. The RCC thrives in a MEDIEVAL milieu, Parker, and seeks to institutionalize superstition, ignorance and intellectual stasis among its adherents. It is a parasitic institution - spiritually, intellectually and economically. Rather than seek the betterment and education of its lay people, its focus is upon the maintenance of artificially created "classes" of Christians. The "ruling class" and hierarchies are supposedly justified in accumulating unimaginable wealth and economic/political power at the expense of the "governed" - all supposedly for the benefit, ultimately, of those being governed. What a farce and a blatant deception. It's nauseating to consider for even a few moments. Truly, Marx was generous and gracious in his comment that "Religion is the opiate of the masses". In reality, "religion" is a parasitic entity FEEDING on the masses.

Parker's picture

Vinster, it gets even worse than that. John seems to suggest that Jehovah lost his omniscience at AD 70. He had originally discovered it in Moses' generation, but somehow lost it at AD 70. The entire concept is absurd. It's childishness. Yet John seemingly utters this tripe with a straight face. I mean, he really seems to believe what he's saying. It's incredible. It's lunacy.

John has demonstrated repeatedly that his mental faculties are seriously impaired, and his readers ought to know by now that they are dealing with either a gnostic or a lunatic--and these two aberrations might actually overlap in John. It's tragic.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Parker, your own juvenile antics have worn out your welcome here.

I am having nothing further to do with you. You can badmouth me all you like, but since you don't even accurately understand my position (nor do you care to, preferring to characterize my ideas in the most ludicrous terms possible), your own credibility has long since been lost here at Planet Preterist.

Go get a life.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

How do I reconcile those events, Michael? Very simply, really. God was ACTIVELY involved to a MUCH more immediate, significant degree in the redemptive history of Israel during the Old Covenant era. He had pre-drafted/blueprinted that history from its inception to its conclusion. His Sovereignty played out in a rather unique way during this time.

Read Romans 9 very carefully, Michael. It's all exlusive to OC Israel's history - and at the end of the chapter, it mentions Isaiah's prophecy concerning God's "making a short work on the earth" in relation to the "remnant" (elect). God brought to a conclusion that whole process detailed in Romans 9, when He brought that whole "world" to an end. Your texts you have cited, above, belong to the latter history of THAT spiritual economy and "world". Yes, God prompted those events and decisions made by leaders in that time, to bring His predetermined history of the OC People (and the transition of some of them into th NC Kingdom/world) to fruition.

I don't know if you read my response to someone else's comment, above, but if you consider how producers of "reality TV shows" operate within their environment, and "control" every element and circumstance within the production of each episode, thus prompting certain outcomes (although not necessarily definitively and conclusively) it can be seen that there is nothing irrational about viewing God's manipulation of an ENTIRE HISTORY of a civilization of people in a similar manner. That's one way to consider what God accomplished in and through OC Israel. He didn't control EVERY decision of every individual (even those of His "elect"), but He DID actively manipulate and prompt certain people to make certain choices and decisions, and also actively researched certain individuals in order to better guide them in playing key roles in that OC history.

vento's picture

Hi John,

Man, things can sure get nasty around here!! Somebody needs to post an article about why it's okay, or necessary to be so nasty to those we disagree with.

I read you article, finally, with a little more time to think about it. Here are a couple of observations from what I've been studying recently. It will be brief, because I can't type 80wpm!!

First, I found it interesting that after Adam named the animals, God "introduced" him to them to see if he had an affinity for any of them. When he found out Adam didn't find any of them appealing (who WOULD find an Emu appealing!), he decided to create Eve. I never heard that before? You say God clearly enjoyed this..." It is not clear to me? Seems like speculation? Is it possible that Adam would have found a suitable mate with a beast? From which the seed that would crush the serpent, would come? I think Roderick made a similar point, but I'm not sure you addressed it?

In regard to Abraham and Issac, I think Isaac had something to do with a promise, maybe the same promise as the one above? Is it possible that Abraham could have went through with it?

Sodom and Gomorrah: John, Verse 17 of Gen. 18 says "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do...?" Seems like God had a plan before he had it checked out? Also, if God had to go see if they had done according to the outcry, would that mean that God did not have knowledge of the past, or the present? The same is the case with the events in the Garden: "Where are you?" and "have you eaten...?"

Psalm 139: Verse 16 seems to fly in the face of God requiring research, and being "far from pre-existing knowledge."

Don't you think that the reading of Isa., chapters 40ff show that God actually declares his Diety by having knowledge of the future? I don't think we can say the context was for Israel, and it's not true anymore?

John, the studies I've been doing over the last week, prompted by your writings, have just overwelmed me with how awesome and in control God is. It seems Isaiah understood this when he said things like "why have YOU made us err from thy ways and hardened our hearts...?" They knew God was in control.

I can't see a "limited" knowledge, and I can't see the evidence for an end to God's knowledge of the future at AD70.

Well SSF, I'm sure you'll have plenty to say, and that is cool. Teach me how to use this thing so I can use BOLD and italics! Also, check your private messages again.

Thank you!

Scott

Parker's picture

McPherson:
God...during the Old Covenant era...had pre-drafted/blueprinted that history from its inception to its conclusion. His Sovereignty played out in a rather unique way during this time.

Parker:
But it does not logically follow that God himself was of a different NATURE during the Old Covenant era. Your argument is lunacy:

(1) God exhibited omniscience/omnipotence during the OT age
(2) The OT age existed from Moses to AD 70
(3) Therefore God's omniscience/omnipotence existed from Moses to AD 70.

That's your argument, John, and anyone can see that it is illogical. Point three doesn't follow from points one and two. Therefore, your reasoning is invalid. In fact, your whole discussion of this matter is pure speculation and conjecture. It is rightly rejected by rational expositors of scripture.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

God demonstrated NEITHER "omniscience" NOR "omnipotence" in the truest sense of those terms in the OT/Old Covenant "age", Parker. That's the major reason those terms (or their Hebrew equivalent) aren't found in Scripture. I have made a highly satisfactory case for that Biblical reality.

That's your argument, John, and anyone can see that it is illogical. Point three doesn't follow from points one and two. Therefore, your reasoning is invalid. In fact, your whole discussion of this matter is pure speculation and conjecture. It is rightly rejected by rational expositors of scripture.

You got my "whole argument" wrong, Parker, beginning with point 1, so - once again you have manifested your own foolish inability to grapple with Biblical Truth when it is presented in exceedingly clear terms to you.

God had knowledge that APPEARED to be "omniscience" to some of His "elect" who were governed by it, but as it turns out - even THEY knew that His knowledge was derived from research of them. In other words, His comprehensive knowledge of certain, key individuals in OC Israel's history was based on INVESTIGATION. THAT is NOT an "omniscient" God, Parker. Acquaint yourself with the Scriptures and quit the arrogant posturing. You haven't earned the right to play the "expert" here. You're a joke.

Parker's picture

John, reams of scripture proclaim God's omniscience. The problem is, you will dismiss every one of those passages on the basis that they were written before AD 70. So, no proof could ever be given that you would accept. Your position is unbiblical and must be rejected.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Oh, and by the way - since I haven't seen ONE Scripture whatsoever from you yet suggesting anything to do with God's supposed "omniscience" - I reject your claim (that there are "reams of Scripture proclaiming God's omniscience") outright as patently false and utterly unacceptable.

Parker's picture

For starters, here are a few scriptures that proclaim and/or demonstrate God's omniscience (1 Jn 3:20; Ps 139:4,16; Ps 147:5; Isa 46:10; Rom 9:10-12; Rom 8:29; Lk: 12:7; Mt. 11:21; Acts 27:22-25).

SuperSoulFighter's picture

That's cute, Parker. You assume I'm going to do your homework for you. Guess what? I'M not going to track down each of those references and show you how far off-track (and out of context) your interpretation is. You think you can throw a few random references out and your task is done. We are obliged to ASSUME that each of these texts supports your ideas concerning the nature of God's knowledge on the strength of your "say so" alone?

Get busy. You haven't even BEGUN to prove your case.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

IF a text could be introduced that CLEARLY and CONTEXTUALLY identified God's knowledge as revealed therein as UNIVERSALLY COMPREHENSIVE TO THE HIGHEST DIVINELY POSSIBLE DEGREE - AND ETERNAL - THEN you'd have a possible argument, Parker. This goes FAR beyond a simple limitation of the context to the pre-AD 70 "age", Parker. That's only PART of my argument.

Like I said - you don't have a foggy clue.

Parker's picture

McPherson:
IF a text could be introduced that CLEARLY and CONTEXTUALLY identified God's knowledge as revealed therein as UNIVERSALLY COMPREHENSIVE TO THE HIGHEST DIVINELY POSSIBLE DEGREE - AND ETERNAL - THEN you'd have a possible argument, Parker.

Parker:
Obviously, I can turn this statement back on you. John, if a text could be introduced that clearly and contextually identified God's knowledge as NOT universally comprehensive to the highest divinely possible degree--and eternal--then you'd have a possible argument. In other words, you can't just presuppose that your view is correct by default.

Furthermore, many such scriptures exist that proclaim God's omniscience (1 Jn 3:20; Ps 139:4,16; Ps 147:5; Isa 46:10; Rom 9:10-12; Rom 8:29; Lk: 12:7; Mt. 11:21; Acts 27:22-25).

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Obviously, I can turn this statement back on you. John, if a text could be introduced that clearly and contextually identified God's knowledge as NOT universally comprehensive to the highest divinely possible degree--and eternal--then you'd have a possible argument. In other words, you can't just presuppose that your view is correct by default.

No, you CAN'T "turn that statement around on me", Parker. For the simple reason that I did NOT just "presuppose that my view is correct by default". You didn't even read my article, did you? What a pathetically poor excuse for a supposedly intelligent human being you are, Parker. Get your head out of whatever hole in the ground you like to stick it in and get into the game here. I'm way, way way ahead of you. You have so much work ahead of you in order to even BEGIN to mount an effective argument against mine, you might as well take a year's sabbatical and do nothing but study the Scriptures (independently and contextually). That's the only way you can even HOPE to generate an argument having an iota of credibility or validity in the face of what I've already presented here.

Furthermore, many such scriptures exist that proclaim God's omniscience (1 Jn 3:20; Ps 139:4,16; Ps 147:5; Isa 46:10; Rom 9:10-12; Rom 8:29; Lk: 12:7; Mt. 11:21; Acts 27:22-25).

And that ain't even CLOSE to good enough. Start doing your homework. Drop the snide, arrogant, stupid posturing and do some actual exegetical analysis for a change (IF you think yourself capable of such, which I have every reason in the world to doubt).

I want to see AT THE VERY LEAST, a thorough treatment of EACH AND EVERY CONTEXT surrounding those verses you just cited, above. NOTHING LESS is even remotely adequate.

Roderick's picture

Good points Mike,

It bolsters the line of reasoning that people and events appear to be acting and happening without any purpose but their own -- such as in the case of Joseph's brothers and all the cases you cite above (& more can be shown).

What tragedy if appearently unjustice events occur without any purpose. What a weak and useless god that would be.

thanks for adding to this discussion.
In Christ purposeful,
Roderick

SuperSoulFighter's picture

All the cases cited are relevant and exclusive to the OC "world" and history, Roderick. What you guys need to "universalize" your view effectively (and legitimately, in a Scriptural sense) are texts CLEARLY (and contextually) establishing a UNIVERSAL (and eternal) frame of reference to God's supposed "all-knowledge".

That won't be as easy as you may think, I'm afraid. But I do with you the best in your further studies and deliberations (and I AM looking forward to your upcoming article).

John

MichaelB's picture

John writes: It provides me with the opportunity to publicly dissect the faulty, flawed case against OT.

John - are you saying that you are going to use LOGIC to "dissect the faulty, flawed case"

On what basis are you going to use these laws of logic ??? How do you know that these laws still exist ??? Who put them in place ??? Maybe they ended at 70 AD too ???

If God is not “transcendent” then there is no reason to debate. We can't account for logic.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

John writes: It provides me with the opportunity to publicly dissect the faulty, flawed case against OT.

John - are you saying that you are going to use LOGIC to "dissect the faulty, flawed case"

On what basis are you going to use these laws of logic ??? How do you know that these laws still exist ??? Who put them in place ??? Maybe they ended at 70 AD too ???

If God is not “transcendent” then there is no reason to debate. We can't account for logic.

And that, Michael, exemplifies the LACK of logic and rationality in the "God is transcendent" position. Your concluding statement perfectly demonstrates the irrational outcome of holding to your position and perspective on God. And that's just one of the reasons I am so adamantly opposed to it.

MichaelB's picture

Hey John are you proposing that at one time no one directed the Spirit of God in regards to whom was "born again" but now we decide where the Spirit goes and who is "born again"

Laughable.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hey John are you proposing that at one time no one directed the Spirit of God in regards to whom was "born again" but now we decide where the Spirit goes and who is "born again"

Laughable.

You're right, Michael. If you want to characterize the Mind and Will of God in THOSE ludicrous terms, you can laugh in God's face all you like. That's between you and Him.

You know what I do more often than almost anyone else here at Planet Preterist, Michael? When people throw casual arguments at me, loosely based upon a Scripture that we are all more or less aware of, generally speaking - I go to the trouble of actually TRACKING DOWN THAT TEXT and examining the context, to determine the true inference and meaning of it. More often that not, I find that the meaning the casual debater would LIKE to extrapolate from it is not supported by the context. This is once again borne out in the Scriptures related to the statement you made, above. Here is the text.

5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (John 3:5-12)

Go and check out the WHOLE context in this chapter. Christ is talking to a spiritual, religious leader of the First Century OC Israelites/Jews. He is discussing matters pertinent to THEIR spiritual economy, and the timeframe in which they lived. I wrote an article titled "De-Universalizing the Gospel" last year (it was accidentally lost in the archive database here), but it examined the context of John 3, and the implications relating to v.16. The Preterist paradigm has a massive impact on our soteriology, Michael. I suggest you look into it objectively, with a sharp eye on the context at all times (including the context established in John 1).

You may have noticed that verse 8, above, does NOT suggest what you are indicating in your statements to me. The Spirit specifically sought out certain "elect" individuals in Jesus' day, but He also paid attention to anyone exhibiting the characteristics unique to those manifesting the faith of Abraham (even those who were "non-elect"). The "non-elect" had less limitations on their autonomy in those days, while the "elect", on the other hand, had virtually NO true autonomy in relation to their personal salvation. The outcome was assured, regardless of their personal inclinations, initially.

The situation today is that we are ALL "non-elect" and there is no, Master Plan being played out in human history like there was during the days of the OC People. So God is not actively manipulating anyone like He did with those people in those days, and the Holy Spirit remains sensitive to the faith characteristics of those who autonomously choose to acknowledge God as Sovereign and His Truth as valid, repenting of their own willfulness and unrighteousness.

There is nothing "laughable" about the spiritual economy God established and currently maintains, eternally, Michael. But it IS tragic that your initial response to it is mockery. This is because, of course, your mindset as established by whatever "churches" you have been involved with), is opposed to the revelation of God in His Word as I have presented it here.

Parker's picture

McPHerson:
Christ...is discussing matters pertinent to THEIR spiritual economy, and the timeframe in which they lived. I wrote an article titled "De-Universalizing the Gospel" last year...the Preterist paradigm has a massive impact on our soteriology

Parker:
Your hermeneutic is warped, John, and is not the "preterist paradigm." It is the McPherson paradigm. I look forward to a new article from you titled "De-Universalizing the Kingdom" or "De-Universalizing the Hebrew God" or something similar. At least you'd be consistent if you'd write those articles. As it stands now, you "de-universalize" only those theological views with which you disagree and you "universalize" your own theological inventions. Your intellectual dishonesty is reaching new lows, John.

From a psychological perspective, it's fascinating to observe the particular mental disabilities with which you are afflicted. You have the sad misfortune of possessing both delusions of grandeur and advanced illogic--all pouring forth from one single brain. Such a mental and emotional impairment is a freak of nature, I suppose. I know it's rude of me, but I can't stop gawking at your condition.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

What's rude of you, Parker, is your pretense to having the ability to rationally evaluate ANY argument based on the Scriptures. In fact, since you reject the divine authority and inerrancy/inspiration of Scripture itself, you have no voice in any of these discussions.

You're a hollow shell of a soul and a sad excuse for a human being, Parker. I'm finished with your trash talking and below-the-belt efforts to discredit something you don't even have the capacity to comprehend.

You're a waste of time.

MichaelB's picture

http://www.carm.org/open.htm

Open theism addressed in link above.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I think someone else posted this link already, but I appreciate being pointed toward the attempts of others to discredit or defeat Open Theism. It provides me with the opportunity to publicly dissect the faulty, flawed case against OT.

Thanks, Michael!

JM

MichaelB's picture
SuperSoulFighter's picture

I think someone else posted this link already, but I appreciate being pointed toward the attempts of others to discredit or defeat Open Theism. It provides me with the opportunity to publicly dissect the faulty, flawed case against OT.

Thanks, Michael!

JM

MichaelB's picture

Remember the former things of old; 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

God

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Yes, Michael - this is one of those texts I anticipated my detractors might bring to the table. Contextually, of course, it doesn't speak to His supposed "omniscience" on a universal scale at all.

It's important to read the whole chapter.

1 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops; Their idols were on the beasts and on the cattle. Your carriages were heavily loaded, A burden to the weary beast. 2 They stoop, they bow down together; They could not deliver the burden, But have themselves gone into captivity. 3 "Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb: 4 Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

5 "To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike? 6 They lavish gold out of the bag, And weigh silver on the scales; They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; They prostrate themselves, yes, they worship. 7 They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it And set it in its place, and it stands; From its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer Nor save him out of his trouble. 8 "Remember this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors. 9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,' 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. 12 "Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: 13 I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.

Note the emphasis on God's SPECIAL knowledge of the "house of Israel" (Spiritual Israel) or "remnant" (the "elect") in vss. 3,4. This statement of His knowing "the end from the beginning" was specific, particular and exclusive to THEIR history and spiritual economy, Michael. The context establishes this understanding of God's "omniscience" here. When we compare this perspective to Romans 9, and God's "thumbnail sketch" of the process of "election/predestination", it becomes painfully evident that it was limited to the HISTORY OF OLD COVENANT ISRAEL, and God's pre-establishing the "end" of THEIR "world" from its very "beginning". Christ Jesus, the "Alpha and Omega" of THAT "world" brought it into being through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the giving of the Law to Moses - and concluded it in 70 AD (when God's specific foreknowledge of ANY human events as "pre-determined" likewise came to an end).

Limited historical "omniscience" is what this text speaks to, Michael. Stay contextual and all will be well!

John

Parker's picture

Your reply to Michael is textbook John McPherson: admit the omniscience ascribed to God, but write it off as "historically limited" simply because the passage was written during the Old Testamental period. You said:

Note the emphasis on God's SPECIAL knowledge of the "house of Israel" (Spiritual Israel) or "remnant" (the "elect") in vss. 3,4. This statement of His knowing "the end from the beginning" was specific, particular and exclusive to THEIR history and spiritual economy, Michael. The context establishes this understanding of God's "omniscience" here. When we compare this perspective to Romans 9, and God's "thumbnail sketch" of the process of "election/predestination", it becomes painfully evident that it was limited to the HISTORY OF OLD COVENANT ISRAEL

But John, it doesn't logically follow that because the passage was written during the OT period the traits ascribed to God were limited to that timeframe. It's nuts to even suggest it. Have you no logic at all?

SuperSoulFighter's picture

That's not my argument, Parker, so quit pretending that it is. I specifically appealed to the CONTEXT in both Isaiah AND Romans 9. Get your head on straight. Learn to read accurately. The CONTEXT clearly limits God's statements of supposed "omniscience" to a process which began and ENDED with OC Israel's existence as a "world". You can't get around the context, Parker, although (in the true tradition of your "church") you will undoubtedly TRY.

Parker's picture

Neither Isaiah 46 nor Romans 9 "limit" anything about God's omniscience! It is irrational to suggest that anything in those chapters "limits" God's omniscience.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

And we're supposed to just accept your "say so" on that are we, Parker? I'VE ALREADY DEALT WITH THE CONTEXT IN SOME DETAIL, HERE IN RESPONSE TO ANOTHER MEMBER (and in other articles and discussion posts examining Romans 9). YOU haven't done a THING to analyze or evaluate the context in EITHER chapter.

YOUR belief that we should just accept your statement, above, at face value as "authoritative" is just further evidence of your autocratic naivete and high-handed foolishness. Get off of your high-horse and get busy doing some real Scriptural analysis for a change.

MichaelB's picture

I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.

John are you saying that WE are not in Zion - or that God has no control of who comes into Zion anymore?

SuperSoulFighter's picture

This text looked ahead specifically to the time of the inter-Covenantal, First Century "Body and Bride of Christ" generation known as the Church. We can still participate in the spiritual economy (and eternal Kingdom) initiated in and through them, but God's "control" over who entered Zion was always limited to determining the nature of the faith of those who were NOT "elect". For the "elect", there was no question. One way or another, He ensured that THEY became saved. But for the rest (the "non-elect") who were added to their number - their salvation was based upon their names being written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and remaining there (those who did not surrender to the temptation to return to OC Judaism).

God still bases citizenship in the Kingdom on the manifestation of the faith of Abraham in each member/citizen (Abraham being the spiritual forefather of all true Kingdom citizens).

But yes, Michael - WE are not, physically, personally "in Zion" as yet. Zion is God's capital city (the heavenly Jerusalem) where His Throne (seat of authority) resided and from which He administers His Kingdom both in this realm AND that one. Salvation is still found in Christ, who dwells with His Bride (the NT Church) in Zion forever.

God's unique process of "election" and "predestination" where the pre-AD 70 "remnant" or "elect" was concerned was limited to that period of history and THEIR "cosmos" alone. It was never a universal principle, involving all of mankind.

And this is why the Scriptures make such a big deal out of things like Christ's being "the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world". IF all things in human experience and history from humanity's creation to eternity future were predetermined - there would be NOTHING significant or noteworthy in ANY of the "predestination" statements in the Scriptures. ALL is "predestined" to come to pass, so why even bother mentioning that Christ was "slain from the foundation of the world", IF that is the case? Do you see the intriguing flaw here, Michael? This may seem like a minor point to you, but all who believe as you do should respond to such statements with a "Yeah? So what? Big deal.".

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