The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Contradictions: OT V OT

Okay— if you insist.

Yes, I agree; it’s neat we both recognize that.

You may be right, but it’s not apparent to me how we know that. I may not grasp what you do about how “time” works.

Thanks. Do you indeed see claims that supposed historical events can only be about speculation in the same way as are claims that future choices by people who don’t even exist yet cause knowledge that can be accessed now?

I fully agree that historical claims like a resurrection (the miraculous) involve speculation and require real faith (falling well short of proof and counter to what I can see and experience).

But I perceive that claims about past events in history can be somewhat investigated by looking at accounts, sources, effects, impact, etc, that provide a limited evidence that can weigh in on how reasonable and unreasonable such a faith might be. Whereas the claim about access to knowledge of things that apparently haven’t come close to even happening or being contemplated by the human agent yet seem to me to rest on metaphysical speculation that is even harder to support.

Basically I’m skeptical of the implication that ‘faith’ and ‘evidence’ should be posited as necessarily being one or the other. Some see faith as resting in what seems most reasonable to a given person. And I think some claims of “faith” are more reasonable (or have better evidence) than others.

May is the operative word. If it may be impossible, then it may be possible, no? I find resurrection impossible, tbh. But if we allow metaphysical, sure, it is possible, just like it is possible for what you say may not be possible.

Big difference between finding evidence for physical things of the past, that leave a mark and are written about vs miraculous things. We can find all crazy stories of resurrection pre-Christian, but does that make them any more plausible? People talk if UFOs and Bigfoot, even seeing them, and some corroborate their story. Do you believe in Bigfoot, or the sun God Ra?

Just because something is written about doesn’t make it true. Imagine if 1,000 years from now all that is left are fragments of “Tokein’s Lord of the Rings”. We dug it up and we start believing that Earth, was once like Middle-Earth. We talk of Giants (like the OT when it references the Nephelim) Demons, Dragons and great wars. Or perhaps something less magical and they find a Tom Clancy novel and believe it to be historical fact?

Certainly there is a difference between the Bible and my ficticious scenario, but the point is about what is possible. Believing that magical things happened back then and not now is a strained world belief, just like the cessation of the “gifts”. The world is likely the same yesterday as it was today, full of charlatans and superstitious beliefs.

If talking about the physical, then yes. History is something we can observe at least, whether we interpret it correctly or not, who is to say? But evidence of the past about the metaphysical has the same weight as the present about the metaphysical. Metaphysical ideas from Plato are of no more weight than today’s philosophers about the metaphysical. Just because we find a physical papyrus containing the alleged wonders of the metaphysical bears no more credibility that an author of today regarding their wonders of the metaphysical.

Take Mary for example. What is more likely, parthogenesis or fornication? To say that parthogenesis is more reasonable is patently absurd. You can believe it, but it isn’t reasonable to take something that has happened a million or billion times against something we have never observed in humans. That is just the cold hard facts. Unless you believe other claims elsewhere, it is a 10,000,000,000 to 1 chance.

Secondly, even if Jesus was the result of fornication, it doesn’t mean he couldn’t be favored by the Almighty. Bastards are a human invention, their worth is intrinsically the same as a non-bastard. Essentially they are made up rules, to suggest that he could only be divine if He was birthed from a virgin. But of course, a God who created the universe is certainly capable of fathering a child. But that isn’t really the point. We know all things are possible, but most definitely not plausible.

Wouldn’t matter if I insisted or not. Old habits die hard.

Gabe, thanks for elaborating. I resonate with most of your thoughts, and in reflecting, think you’re right in you central thesis that all in the realm of faith and the metaphysical involves speculation and faith. As one quite unorthodox, I sympathize with your skepticism about historical and metaphysical claims…

I think when the discussion on whether it’s coherent to hold that future choices remain free and undetermined, yet are already events that can be accessed and known (by God) focused on linguistic syllogisms confirming a yes, it sounded as if such beliefs could be known, when I sensed that such ideas just remained deeply speculative. So the present recognition that a range of such ideas remains unknowable and in the realm of faith suits me.

I think which notions about claims that we can’t directly check out seem most convincing and reasonable will vary among bright people like us. E.g. Lancia may sincerely see affirming that free will and omniscience are compatible is far more convincing that I perceive it to be. But then I may find propositions believable that he or you would only smile at.

On whether metaphysically miraculous events have or do happen, and if so, which claims are most convincing to a given individual, perceptions of equally intelligent people are bound to differ. My sense is that evaluating the historical evidence, credibility of witnesses, etc is relevant to seeking a reasonable faith, but that more individual subjective experience and beliefs that one may sense intuitively enter into which beliefs and faith we each find most reasonable or convincing.

FWIW, my apologetic for believing something about Jesus (and even his resurrection) may practically illustrate how that crazy combination seems to function for me: Reasons to Follow Jesus - An Apologetic

In following your arguments, I noticed that.

God who created the universe can chose to do anything including cause a virgin birth, cause a resurrection, create angels, create humans whether it seems plausible to us or not. Our understanding in the great scheme of things is quite limited so plausibility to me is a factor I consider among many other factors.

Why not? The actor unto himself can have free will because he is free to make his choice but if God knows his choice then only God knows this, not the free will actor so from his perspective he indeed has free will,
As for myself i’m undecided about God’s foreknowledge or not meaning it may be that the future is unknowable because it doesn’t exist yet.

I didn’t say that, qaz did.

Bottom line… freewill is a given up to the point that another’s more powerful freewill for whatever reason impinges our own.


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[quote=“DaveB2.0, post:299, topic:14663, full:true”]
I think the point remains, though - IF time includes the future, then God is committed to it.

We don’t know that

Now we can go all Calvinist and claim that God pre-ordained each thing that happens, from beginning to end, before it happens. Every atom in the Universe, for 13 billion years or so. In that way, we do lose free will - whatever that is - but we do save Omniscience - whatever that is.
But if God has to ‘look’ to see ‘what happens’ - then time is in control.

Or God has set forth a structure that allows humans to live, breath and interact within that creation with an understanding that the DNA of the first humans will evolve to the DNA to help humanity care for itself. If I was a creator and loved my creation I would do this.

If the future is yet to happen, God is still in control, and free will is saved.

Well He could be in control in context. Free will is subject to the creators whim. And I have a feeling we are just scratching the surface of God’s whims. But that is just my view.

Good luck with your thinking

I’ll second that emotion!

We need a song, to emphasize this idea! :crazy_face:

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Great Great way you all will satisfy your love of music…

I guess that’s a really big deal for those who want to say the Bible rises or falls on complete verbal and plenary inspiration?
For those of us who don’t think the truth of the Bible rests on that tenuous and narrow foundation, it’s like no big deal.

In other words, we need to see the “Forest” and not get lost in the trees.

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This interesting video might be relevant here.