The Apostle Paul's Conversion

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Homer
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The Apostle Paul's Conversion

Post by Homer » Thu May 07, 2015 4:16 pm

Galatians 1:15-16 (NASB)

15. But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16. to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,


I just noticed that this passage seems to me to be problematic for Open-theism. No problem for the Calvinist who can just say God elected Paul and Paul never really had a free choice. The Arminian can say that God could see the future while Paul was still in the womb. It seems all the Open-theist can say is that God "rolled the dice", so to speak, i.e. God took a risk.

I do not buy the argument that if God knew what Paul would do then Paul had no free will in the matter.

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dizerner
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Re: The Apostle Paul's Conversion

Post by dizerner » Thu May 07, 2015 5:11 pm

I would just point out that Arminians can also believe in true election (not just God choosing based on what he foresees the person would do, but God choosing based on some other form of sovereign choice). It's just that election doesn't preclude disobedience. So election might include, as spoken of the vineyard in Isaiah, a lot of unmerited prevenient care and selection, but not the guarantee of a response in the elected. Paul in many instances talks about his disobedience as a very real possibility, which if he truly had a Calvinistic thought, would be completely disingenuous. Also, with creaturely freedom, under Arminian thought God just as much took a risk as under Open Theism, the difference being under the latter God did not know the outcome. Arminians would not say God wanted nor planned the creatures disobedience, simply by foreseeing it. Some would make the shallow argument that foreseeing something is always causal (and this seems to be the driving reason behind Open Theism), but logically that seems obviously fallacious.
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steve7150
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Re: The Apostle Paul's Conversion

Post by steve7150 » Thu May 07, 2015 6:52 pm

15. But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16. to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,







I'm uncertain about Open Theism but i don't see a problem here,


God set Paul apart
God called Paul through his grace'
God revealed Christ so Paul MIGHT preach him among the gentiles


None of this can't happen under OT, what am i missing Homer?

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Paidion
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Re: The Apostle Paul's Conversion

Post by Paidion » Thu May 07, 2015 11:30 pm

For someone to be set apart for a purpose, does not imply that the person will inevitably fulfill that purpose. A farmer might plan for his son to take over the farm when he dies, but the son might choose to be an airplane pilot instead.

Romans 8:29 is often translated as in the NKJV, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." Being predestined DOES imply an inevitability. But the Greek word would be better translated as "preappointed." God may appoint someone beforehand for a purpose, but the person may choose not to keep that appointment.
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mattrose
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Re: The Apostle Paul's Conversion

Post by mattrose » Fri May 08, 2015 12:34 am

Homer wrote:Galatians 1:15-16 (NASB)

15. But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16. to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,
Hey Homer :)

I think non-open-theist's often under-estimate the omniscience and wisdom of God in the open theist paradigm. When Paul was in his mother's womb, God would have had perfect knowledge of his mother, his father, his social setting, his likely forthcoming education, and, therefore, the path his life would likely take, etc. On the basis of such things, God could have chosen to call Paul to a particular task.

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dizerner
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Re: The Apostle Paul's Conversion

Post by dizerner » Fri May 08, 2015 2:28 am

omniscience of God in the open theist paradigm.
I don't think God can truly be omniscient under Open Theism. You can be cute and say the future literally doesn't exist, but regardless if the future is something God doesn't know, then God doesn't know everything, he's just a great guesser. However in Scripture God deliberately puts himself outside of time expressing eternality in the "I am" statements, and declaring that he is currently the beginning and the end, not that one day he will be the end.
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RickC
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Re: The Apostle Paul's Conversion

Post by RickC » Fri May 08, 2015 7:54 am

Re: Open Theism (and the particular variety that Greg Boyd taught, at least around 2008, and I'm not sure if his views have changed).

1) God knows all things
2) God knows some things as settled . . . .
(and determines them as such)
3) God knows other things as possibilities
4) God knows all possibilities as if they were certainties . . . .
5) And has a response ready for each

In this OT view, God is never surprised.
Free Will is intact.

In the case of Paul's being predestined and/or elected, it appears that at least Paul believed his call to (Christian) ministry was settled in the mind of God (#2, above).

But even if Paul had chosen to reject the call, God would have foreknown this possibility-as-if-it-were-a-certainty. In which case, God would have called someone else (#3-5, above).
Last edited by RickC on Sat May 09, 2015 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paidion
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Re: The Apostle Paul's Conversion

Post by Paidion » Fri May 08, 2015 10:46 am

Dizerner wrote:I don't think God can truly be omniscient under Open Theism. You can be cute and say the future literally doesn't exist, but regardless if the future is something God doesn't know, then God doesn't know everything, he's just a great guesser.
Dizerner, does God know that you are now standing on the top of Mount Everest? Clearly God cannot know something that does not correspond to reality. The fact that the future doesn't exist is more than "cute." It's a fact. Thus there is nothing in the future which can now be known. For the future is DETERMINED by present decisions (including God's decisions) and present events (most or all of which cause future events).

Dizerner, how can it be known that you will eat ice-cream tomorrow when that event or non-event will be determined by your choice?

What appears to be logical statements about the future (statements which are either true or false) are actually either statements of intention or predictions. For example, though they appear to be logical statements, "I will go to Thunder Bay next week" is a statement of intention, and "The Winnipeg Jets will win the game" is a prediction.

If on the other hand, the two sentences above were TRUE now, then it would be impossible for me NOT to go to Thunder Bay next week, and it would be impossible for the Winnipeg Jets to lose the game.

All open theists believe that God is truly omnicient, because He knows everything that is possible to know.

No sentences about the future are true or false NOW. Therefore the future cannot be known because there is nothing to know.
Paidion

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RickC
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Re: The Apostle Paul's Conversion

Post by RickC » Fri May 08, 2015 11:14 am

Hello Paidion --
You, to dizerner wrote:All open theists believe that God is truly omnicient, because He knows everything that is possible to know.
As I posted, and to correct you; some Open Theists hold to this belief. Greg Boyd and myself being among the exceptions.

I'm pointing this out because a lot of folks have misconceptions about what Open Theists believe (and don't seem to know of the differences among them).

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dizerner
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Re: The Apostle Paul's Conversion

Post by dizerner » Fri May 08, 2015 12:40 pm

All open theists believe that God is truly omniscient, because He knows everything that is possible to know.
I suppose they see that as coherent, but I would see omniscience as literally knowing everything, without restraint, restriction or qualification, meaning there is no "Impossible" to know for God, or we'd remove the omni, because we can clearly say "here is a thing God does not know."
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