Doctrine Via Dialectic: Examining Biblical truths by means of fictitious conversations.
This conversation is inspired by Bob Enyart, who in a debate with James White stated that time has eternally existed with God and that God does not know the future. You are encouraged to listen to the debate, located at the bottom of this post, to learn more about the unbiblical doctrine of open theism.
Blogger: So in your debate with James White you declared that time is uncreated?
Blogger: And this is important to your position on open theism, because it allows you to state that God has eternally lived in sequence?
Enyart: Yes, that is right.
Blogger: And God living in sequence is important because it allows you to state that God does not know the future, and the future is open?
Blogger: So let us look a little deeper then, at this notion of God having always lived in sequence.
Blogger: You believe that God thinks, right?
Enyart: Of course.
Blogger: And you stated in the debate that God thinks new thoughts?
Blogger: So, if we had a timeline, we could plot the times in which God thought new thoughts.
Enyart: Theoretically, yes, we could place God’s new thoughts onto a timeline.
Blogger: We could then follow the timeline backwards, and in doing so we would see the sum total of God’s thoughts reducing as we work backwards in time.
Enyart: Yes, you are correct. If God thought a new thought today, and His total thoughts were X, then yesterday His total thoughts would be X-1.
Blogger: And so logically, does it not follow, that we would reach a point on that timeline when God only had one thought?
Enyart: I perceive you are trying to trap me.
Blogger: How so?
Enyart: If I were to say that God eternally existed in sequence but that His thoughts could not be reduced to one, you would likely accuse me of being inconsistent. However, if I were to say His thoughts could be reduced to one, I would be in an even more difficult position.
Blogger: I am not trying to trap you, but you are right about being in a difficult position. If you admit that God’s thoughts could be reduced to one, then not only do you have to defend that position, but you have to address whether it was possible for God to have had zero thoughts at some point in eternity past.
If you are going to deny that God’s thoughts could be reduced to one, then you have to somehow defend the position that despite living eternally sequential, God had an unknown amount of thoughts, greater than one, that did not occur sequentially. You would then also have to account for God, at some point and time, beginning to think new thoughts in sequence.
Enyart: I’m not sure how to proceed from here. I am certainly not going to address this issue right now.
Blogger: I guess our conversation is over, then. I must point out your argument is terribly ironic, since in your debate with James White you accused reformed theology of deriving their attributes of God from Greek philosophy rather than the Bible. This whole concept of God living eternally in sequence and thinking new thoughts and not knowing the future sure seems to be philosophical to me, rather than Biblically based.