This will be a short one again. I’m only going to cover a couple of pages. I was out late tonight with some friends from Seminary seeing the movie “Expelled.” I’ll go on and say that I think it’s excellent and everyone else should see it. I want to see it again. However, since I’ve done that, it is late and I am tired so I want to only write on a little portion to do due justice.
Thus, we’re only going to be talking about what prophecy means in a biblical sense. Not the discussion of usages of various prophecies or whether they’ve been fulfilled necessarily or not. It’s simply going to be that how does prophecy relate to the idea of God biblically?
First off, we are told that the Bible says God is eternal. This does not mean though that God always existed or always will exist.
I’m afraid I don’t know of any other definition of eternal. Now you can make it mean something else I suppose, but it sure would not be eternal. Does the Bible compare God’s existence to man’s existence? Yes it does. It’s done to show how small man is compared to the utter greatness that is God.
I do agree that before and after doesn’t apply to God. How does he act in time then? I’m not sure why this is a problem. I don’t really view it as God being outside of time so much as time being as it were kind of inside of God. There is nothing outside of God in a sense. Because he exists, all else that exists exists. It’s hard for us to imagine of course, but that is a far cry from saying that it cannot be done.
God is said to be unchanging but in those same passages, he is also described as repenting or changing his mind often. What is the case then? One is an anthropomorphism and one isn’t. The one that is describing actions is most likely anthropomorphic. Now we have a quote of Pinnock saying God should be like a dancer responding to us.
He is eternally responding to us. Every moment I’m at, God is eternally there and eternally giving me all of his love and grace. God eternally knows my heart and thoughts. When I turn to him, he is always there and when he gives his blessing to me, he has always been doing such. It is a far greater God than the God of Pinnock.
As for Impassibility, what’s so hard about that? God is not passive in his emotions. He’s active in them and they’re eternally in accord with his nature. God is not acted on. He is the actor. We are often subject to what goes on around us in our emotions. God is not like that. God is unchanging in his essence and is always acting in accordance with that essence.
Loftus tells us that God cannot know out future free-will choices. No reason is given why though. If God is in eternity, it would seem he can. Loftus wants to ask other questions like “Can God create a rock so big that he can’t lift it?” This answer goes back to Gary Habermas, but I’d like to pass it on to you all. It’s the most profound answer I know to that question.
Now we’re ready to move on.
Loftus says that even from a biblical perspective, predictive prophecy can be explained in three ways.
#1-God is telling what he plans to do.
We can agree to a point. However, this is only if God has perfect knowledge of the future. Anything less and there is no agreement.
#2-God knows people so well he can predict what they’ll do and since he knows them so well, he can predict what they’ll do.
Which obviously includes knowing what they’ll name their kids (Cyrus) or where they’ll give birth (Bethlehem) or when or other such details.
#3-It’s a warning and conditional and thus based on human nature.
Please note this. Jonah is mentioned here as an example of how it’s conditional. Please note on page 125 Loftus says that since Jonah’s prediction didn’t come true, then can we really say Jonah was a true prophet? He then tells us there to see his section on prophecy and biblical authority and there, he makes the exact opposite argument that the prophecy can be conditional.
Talk about talking out of both sides of one’s mouth….
You really have to wonder…
And wonder we shall until tomorrow night when we continue.