Friday, January 31, 2014

First Blood

UPDATE, 10 March 2017: 
Damon Rambo has made a public statement that looks mostly like repentance, so let's be gracious and give him credit for it. Combined with the fact that he has deleted the posts on his blog to which my own blogposts refer, I am noting the facts here in this update so that all may be informed of the current situation. Note that he has not taken down any comments on other blogs such as Gospel Spam, which probably means he has not done as rigorous and thorough a job of scrubbing his slanderous and wicked comments as I would ask if I had opportunity. Thus, my own posts will remain public and all links will point to records of his posts until further notice. 

Damon Rambo is certainly doing his part to live out the title of his blog ("The Angry Pastor Blog"). The target of a recent hatchet job based almost entirely on ignorance, hearsay, unrighteous judgment, and poor reading comprehension is Abolish Human Abortion.

Apparently we're "rogue evangelists" and other unsavory labels.

The conversation continues in his combox, but I'll reproduce below the fold the comments so far, minus a string he deleted, which he says he did because they were redundant, which is not true of all of the content, but we can give him the benefit of the doubt if he leaves the other comments unmolested.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The God of Open Theism Can't Know Anything

Greg Boyd states here that the position of Open Theism is the following:
...the open view of the future holds that God chose to create a cosmos that is populated with free agents – at least humans and angels (though some hold that there is a degree of freedom, however small, in all sentient beings). To have free will means that one has the ability to transition several possible courses of action into one actual course of action. This is precisely why Open Theists hold that the future is partly comprised of possibilities. While God can decide to pre-settle whatever aspects of the future he wishes, to the degree that he has given agents freedom, God has chosen to leave the future open, as a domain of possibilities, for agents to resolve with their free choices. This view obviously conflicts with the understanding of the future that has been espoused by classical theologians, for the traditional view is that God foreknows from all eternity the future exclusively as a domain of exhaustively definite facts.
Here I'll delve into a couple of reasons why this view is epistemologically impossible.

On Open Theism, as opposed to a more mainstream Arminian view, God does not actually know the future because the future does not exist yet, and He cannot know for sure what "truly free agents" will do.

No matter how powerful God is, if He doesn't know the future, God can't say anything is true for sure. God is subject to the problem of induction, and given that fact, the god of Open Theism is open to the same crippling foundational problems as the atheist. Here's why.

The world is now ~8000 years old. During that time, God has discovered trillions and trillions of new facts that He did not previously know.  Every moment that passes, God gains in knowledge that He did not possess before. Obviously this storehouse of knowledge that God has gained up to this point is far beyond any possible human comprehension, but we might choose to represent the number of facts that the god of Open Theism knows as, say, one sextillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). Just because it's easier to pick a number than not to.
That's 125,000,000,000,000,000,000 facts He has learned per year.
The exact number is not important. What is important is that He is learning, and though what He will learn at any given second, let alone year, is vast, it is also finite.

God does not know that the future will be like the past in terms of who runs the universe, physical laws, and human agents having truly free will. The Open Theist may hypothesise that God thinks it will be and intends to do what He can to keep it that way, but since God doesn't know the future, He could be mistaken. And if He could be mistaken, He doesn't know it. To assert that the future will be like the past because "it has always been like that" is to beg the question.

Perhaps the universe will exist another 5 billion years beyond the year 2014 AD.
Perhaps a whole bunch of fundamental things about the universe will change in the next five seconds.
Perhaps they'll stay that way the further 5 billion years.
If that were the case, whatever God thinks He knows at this moment could plausibly be contradicted by the 5 billion years' worth of contrary evidence that He has yet to learn. He might learn many octillions of more data that lead inexorably to a different conclusion than the mere sextillion of data He learned between Creation and 2014 AD.

So God can't actually know anything at all. He can't know that these changes won't take place. He can't know whether He'll be in a position to resist any possible changes in the future. He may intend not to allow those changes to occur, but He can't know that He will be able to overturn them.

Appealing to an eschaton that comes sooner rather than later does the Open Theist no good here, for it only pushes the problem back one step. Further, the god of Open Theism cannot guarantee that the eschaton will arrive when He is planning. Perhaps something will happen that takes the issue out of His hands. God can't know whether He will lose His power. He can't know that someone else won't beat Him. He can't know that He can keep His promises. He couldn't know that He'd be able to pull off the resurrection of Jesus. He can't know whether the laws of physics will be the same in 10 seconds from now. He can't know whether He'll indeed be able to preserve His people from falling away. Can't know whether He will win in the end. Those prophecies in the Bible are just educated guesses.

Yea, that violates the idea of sovereignty pretty bad.

Of course, this statement from Boyd:
While God can decide to pre-settle whatever aspects of the future he wishes...
serves to shoot his position in the cranium anyhow, since if God can decide to pre-settle whatever He wishes, there is no problem in contending that He decided to pre-settle everything. Since pre-settling stuff is fine with God, what's the problem?
Of course, that brings the the argument back to the Scripture, to find whether God did set up the universe that way. Ad fontes, indeed. On those grounds the Open Theism position loses as well. So it loses everywhere.

Friday, January 17, 2014

I'll debate anyone! Except you!

  • Jericho Cross I live near Anaheim maybe one day I will bump into these guys and we can have a real debate instead of talking to teenagers.
  • Helen Clark don't debate. You express your opinion as quoted from your favorite mind molders.
  • Jericho Cross Yes sometimes I use quotes from people who are more articulate then me to support An argument that I share the same opinion of the person who said the quote. I quote Hitchens and people on here quote god what is your point exactly?
  • Rho Logy Jericho, I'd be happy to debate you on Google Hangout and we can record it.
  • Jered Mounteth In the grand scheme of things we are no more significant then a bug. Take a look at all the sand on this planet. If we were sand, we would be but one miniscule grain.
    I echo Jericho on the quotes....
  • Rho Logy \\In the grand scheme of things we are no more significant then a bug.\\

    Jered Mounteth is apparently saying that if you decide you want to kill him and his family, he has no objection.
  • Jered Mounteth Umm no. Not at all. Compared to the whole universe, (and possibly other planets..somewhere..) Rho, we are nothing.
  • Jericho Cross Rho Logy if I thought it would be at all productive I would gladly debate you. But I know it would turn into play chess with a peigon.
  • Christine Bowman Rho Logy is a pre-sup, so no, you can't debate him. Pre-sups like to play word games and accuse others of circular reasoning, even though that is the foundation of everything they do.
  • Rho Logy So Jericho Cross wants to debate abolitionists, BUT NOT ME, and Christine Bowman doesn't understand presuppositionalism.

    Fine. I have better things to do anyway. Consider the gauntlet thrown, and the ball in your court.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Talking to a weird, weird defender of Dr Michael Brown

This certainly goes from bad to worse.
I'm bitterly disappointed, for the record, that I can't in good conscience call myself part of "worldwide Calvinist leadership". God grant that someday I could get there.
That's a joke. I was kidding.

Anyway, it turns out that after I posted my last comment, Matt Baroni deleted the thread. Pray for him.

Matt El Dominicano Baroni But look how the Calvinists have ignored the sins in their corner, never renouncing them, but only providing a defense when ignorance proves unfashionable. As far as history is concerned, the leadership of this denomination has never apologized for their racism, segregation, antisemitism (e.g., Brown's "Our Hands Are Stained With Blood"), and other such evils.
  • Mark Phillips Mike, here is the best TULIP Vaccine I know of; do get a copy, and encourage others to do likewise:
  • Rho Logy \\But look how the Calvinists have ignored the sins in their corner, never renouncing them, but only providing a defense when ignorance proves unfashionable. \\

    I am a Calvinist, and I will happily renounce the sins in "my" corner! HAPPILY.

    Mark Driscoll needs to repent of his pornovisions and his plagiarism.
    John MacArthur needs to repent of his misrepresentations of charismatics during the SF conference (such as "where are the charismatic hospitals?") and his apathy about abortion.
    Sam Storms needs to repent of many of the same things of which Dr Brown needs to repent.

    What other things did you have in mind? I'm serious.

    It is a logical fallacy, and unholy behavior, to defend against justified calls to repentance with "well, YOU'RE doing wrong too!" You should repent of that, Matt Baroni.
  • Rho Logy Mark Phillips, does that book promote Open Theism? It says it profoundly influenced Greg Boyd. That ought to worry you.

Conversation with byrysh

A family member actually met a local self-described "militant atheist" in a local store and had a conversation of some length with him, then told me about it later. Since the atheist had given her his Internet handle, byrysh, I sent him a PM via YouTube to see if he'd like to talk some time. He later commented on one of my YouTube videos. A lively, albeit one-sided, conversation ensued:

Ok here we go.  If you go around and and punch people, its called assault. Its harming another human. Supreme court has ruled that life doesn't begin until birth. I don't agree with that. If a woman decides, for what ever reason, She wants an abortion, its her body to choose what she wants to do with it. Not mine, yours, or any one else's, but hers. I don't agree with abortion as a form of birth control. But then again its not my body. Should I be able to donate a kidney if someone needs one? yes, its MY body. You trying to instill your belief system into others is called indoctrination. Believe what you want. But don't force it on others. Its a secular nation, that over 44% of Americans believe that the earth is less then 10k years old. RD said that mistake is equivalent to saying NY city and SanFrancisco are 8 yards apart. Its idiotic and not admitting the fallacy in that shows absolute disregard for what science has shown AND proven to be the state of the natural world in which we live. We have came further in under 100 years then theistic beliefs of any nature have brought us in over 4k years. I'm not into debating theists, But I will try and point out the ignorance in falsifiable claims of theists. Whether they choose to listen or not is on them.  Oh  and BTW   Hi  :)


Hi byrysh!

You seem to have forgotten that the baby's body is not the mother's body.

As for "indoctrination", you disappoint already. I'm TALKING TO PEOPLE, John, the same way you are talking to me and anyone else reading your comment. You and I are both trying to PERSUADE. Do you see the gun in my hand in the video? No? Great! It's because I don't have one. I'm not forcing anyone. I'm trying to persuade.

So... you were kind enough to share some of your naked assertions about morality and progress with us. That's pretty typical of atheists, and it probably indicates you've never put much thought into the foundational presuppositions of your view. You just think it, and you blurt it out.

I'd like to ask you: Could you possibly be wrong about these things you've said here?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Benny Hinn oughta send them a check

Shrug, I don't know. Maybe he already does.

Justin Peters shooting blanks.
"Ignorance Is Not an Option" -- Guest Post by Justin Peters

One of the common criticisms of the Strange Fire conference held this past October was that the speakers (this writer included) painted all charismatic Christians with the same broad brush by lumping them in with the extremes of the Word-Faith/N.A.R./Dominion movement. Charismatic theologian, author, and radio host Dr. Michael Brown on the eve of the conference posted an open letter to Dr. John MacArthur stating that he “attributes the extreme errors of a tiny minority to countless hundreds of thousands of godly leaders worldwide.”

From this statement it is apparent that Brown does indeed recognize that there are “extreme errors” in the charismatic movement. Not to worry, however, because those who propagate such error constitute only a “tiny minority” of the mighty charismatic army.... Read More:

Rho Logy "If he did indeed read the book which was released in late October 2013, then from it alone he would have had more than enough information to be well informed before his taping with Hinn on January 2, 2014."

That is no blank. It's a direct hit.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Question for Michael Brown

I have another question for Dr Michael Brown, who, though he endorses the continuation of spectacular gifts, appears not to be a fan of the discernment one:

Dr Brown, since you're fine with lending your credibility to men who are clearly and obviously heretical false teachers who are in the religious business for their own material gain, and when called on it willing to defend your actions with an appeal to ignorance about their teachings, when are you going to be inviting Vissarion on your show to talk about evangelism in Russia, the fall of the USSR, living for God while in a harsh environment, and what he thinks of Israel?

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Welcome, byrysh!

You're welcome to interact with me here.
I also don't moderate comments at this blog, unless people post pr0|\| spam or some such nonsense.

Otherwise, I'd be very interested in beginning a conversation.