Posts tagged LORD


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Full Question:


  • Proverbs 16:1 Does all we say come from God?
  • Proverbs 16:4 But doesn’t God control everybody, even the wicked?
  • Proverbs 16:9 Doesn’t God determine what we will do no matter how we plan?
  • Proverbs 16:33 I have noticed that you have offered a few answers concerning passages in the book of Proverbs. However, though three verses in Proverbs 16 (vv 1, 4, 9) have already been addressed, what about Proverbs 16:33? How does an open theist handle this verse? “The lot is cast into the lap, buts its every decision is from the Lord.” Here is one of the most fortuitous things that humans observe, yet the biblical text says that the outcome of each roll of the dice or casting of lots is controlled by God so that it turns out to be precisely what God intended. Does this verse cause any pause, any hesitation, any problem for open theism?
  • Proverbs 19:21 Doesn’t what God want, always come to pass?



Reply to Anonymous:


Prov. 16:1. If this verse supports meticulous divine control, it means that every vile, vulgar and blasphemous thing any mouth has ever uttered has been willed by God. Odd, since God goes on record as telling us he is against such language.

Nevertheless, even if one insisted on taking this verse to imply that every word a person speaks (vile or otherwise) is decreed by God, the verse still does not support meticulous divine control, for the first clause contrasts with the second and says, “The plans of the mind belong to mortals…” Does the defender of meticulous control want to hold that God gives us free will to plan things, but not free will when it comes to speech?

Given the genre we’re dealing with (Wisdom literature), I think it fair to take the verse to mean that we may plan all we want, but unless the Lord empower us we can’t take even the first step toward accomplishing those plans. We can’t even make the transition from THINKING to SPEAKING.

Prov. 16:4. The Hebrew here can be translated “The Lord works out everything for his own ends” (as in the NIV, surprisingly). The verse simply says that God makes sure that justice is ultimately accomplished. Though the wicked may prosper now, they shall eventually run into disaster.

Prov. 16:9. a) As with 16:1, is the defender of meticulous divine control affirming that we humans can freely make plans, but the Lord then decrees every step we take? Even this would mean that humans have SOME decree of self-determination. b) Does the defender want to affirm that Hitler and every other evil person in history has been “directed” or “determined” by the Lord? This of course raises insurmountable problems with understanding why the Lord is consistently and unequivocally against such behavior, and why he holds the people HE “determines” responsible for what they do. Given the genre, a fair interpretation which avoids these issues is to simply affirm that humans can never outsmart God. We may plan evil — and God hates it — but he retains an influence on how we carry out our evil plan. (The Hebrew here can be translated “direct” or “determine” or “steer”). This doesn’t mean the evil person does exactly what God would want — for God would want them not to be evil. But it does mean that God has a role in how a person carries out their evil intentions.

Prov. 19:21. As with 16:1 and 9, note the CONTRAST between what humans do and what God does. The verses do NOT teach that God does, or determines, EVERYTHING. The verse only teaches that regardless of what humans may plan, God’s over all purpose will prevail. If a person rejects God, they thwart God’s will for their life to be related to him, but they fulfill God’s purpose to punish sinners. (So 16:4).

Greg Boyd

Bethel College
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The “Open” View of the Future

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by Dr. Gregory A. Boyd


Preliminary Considerations

1. All Bible Believers Hold that God IS Omniscient.

  • God sees everything in creation simultaneously (Job 28:24; Ps. 33:13-15).
  • God knows the number of the stars and angels (Ps. 147:4; Isa. 40:26) and hairs on your head (Mt. 10:29-30).
  • God knows everything about the deeds, the thoughts, even the innermost intentions of all people (e.g., I Chr. 28:9; Job 24:23; 31:4; 34:21; Psl. 119:168; 139:23-24; Jere. 16:17; 17:9-10; Lk. 16:15; Acts 1:24; Rom. 8:27; 1 Cor. 4:5; 1 Jn. 3:19-20).

2. What The Issue About the “Open Future” Is and Is Not About

It is Not Over Whether or Not God Perfectly Knows All of Reality: But WHAT IS THE REALITY, which God Perfectly Knows.

  • The “Open” View holds that the future now is partly composed of indefinite possibilities as opposed to the view that it is exclusively composed of definite realities. It is in part constituted as a ” maybe this or maybe that,” not exclusively as a ” certainly this and certainly not that.”
  • The view does not qualify God’s omniscience. The “Chairs in a Room” analogy

3. The Exegetical Methodology

  • Many passages teach or imply that the future is determined and/or foreknown.
  • Many passages teach or imply that the future is undetermined and not foreknown.

The Traditional Approach : Affirm the obvious meaning of the first set of passages but denies the obvious meaning of the second (they are figurative/anthropomorphic. etc.).

The Alternative Approach : Affirm the obvious meaning of both sets of passages. Some of the future is determined and foreknown, some is not.
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