|Michael G. Maness ~ For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21|
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Heart of the Living God
Love, Free Will, Foreknowledge, and Heaven
A Theology on the Treasure of Love
Father Time is Not Larger than Father God
See Paige Patterson Challenge, Appendix 7
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Maness asks us to “tie up our sneakers, for we are going to have some fun as we hike into the Grand Canyon of Love. Love is the treasure of life. It is Love all the way. Nothing else really matters outside of Love. Best of all, our Love will only get better in heaven.”
The treasured ability to have a loving relationships is God’s gift to us in our Imago Dei—the image of God we all share. Likewise, what we know of Love this side of heaven is but a dusty image of what God experiences.
“I want to get personally involved,” says Maness. “Can we have a free-will relationship with anyone, even God, if all of what we do and think is settled? I don’t think so. Love is greater than that, and I shall prove that, and that is indeed a Grand Canyon.”
Manes brings some of the brain-splitting complexities of this to light with good humor, introduces dynamic foreknowledge, and challenges Classical Theism’s avoidance of Love. And he exposes some foul play in the process. That’s the first half of the book.
For those wanting to strike out on their own (wanting to see more of the depth and diversity of the Grand Canyon), the second half contains synopsis-reviews of 60+ major authors, a 4,000+ Abysmal Bibliography, and a huge index to just about everything in the book.
Maness has thrown a gauntlet before the Classical Theists.
So … tie up your sneakers and take a hike with Michael G. Maness as he walks with you into the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon Expanse—Extended Contents < click to go down
Preface — Hi ... I am Gonna to Defend My Daddy
Introduction to Hiking the Grand Canyon < click to go down to each chapter
Grand Canyon Fishing Index
Preface — Hi ... I am Gonna to Defend My Daddy
A. Let's Go to the Grand Canyon
B. My Grasshopper Story ... Cricket, Cricket
1. Grasshopper & the Belly of the Beast
2. To My Chums ... More Precious as the Years Go By
3. Living As Though the Future was Open-Not Anymore
C. Heart of the Living God is Love
1. Love, the Heart of God
2. God's Dynamic Foreknowledge: First Primer
D. This Book-Genuineness Is so Very Special
1. Chum, We'll Walk with Freedom & Gusto—Whosoever!
2. What Is Not Settled?-the True Question on the Future
3. Wow!—2,300+ Years of Struggle?
4. Book's Progression & Swirl Inside Ethic's Tumultuous Waters
E. Love Everlasting ... Heaven ... the Best is Yet to Come
A. Storm Blowing--Hope It Doesn’t Rain
1. Preparing to Take a Hike
2. Classical Theism—Absolute Divine Sovereignty
3. Open Theism—God’s Ability to be with You Today
4. The "Personal" is Taboo & Future of Free Love, even Heaven?
B. Darn! Too Late ... Look at All the Rain!
1. Classical Theists Do Not Like Open Theists
2. Spit and the Spawn of Satan—Where ... Is ... the Beef?
3. If a Grasshopper ... heck
4. A Storm Is Blowing—Hear the Rain on Hezekiah & John 3:16
C. Can God Feel Joy and Sadness Today?
D. My Friend ... We Shall Walk with Freedom & Gusto
E. Sunrise at the Grand Canyon—You Have to See it!
First View of the Grand Canyon
1. Legend Has It ... Two Sides of the Grand Canyon
2. The Big Stink ... Classical Theist Avoidance & Genuineness
3. William Lane Craig—the Most Powerful Defense
4. Middle Knowledge a Great Piece of Backtracking Speculation
A. Omniscient-Omnipresent Attribute of God
1. Omniscient-Omnipresence Attribute—Grand Canyon Strata
2. Omniscient-Omnipresence & Foreknowledge—Dice
3. Omniscient-Omnipresence & Foreknowledge—Limits?
4. Omniscient-Omnipresence & Foreknowledge—Responses
5. Omniscient-Omnipresence & Foreknowledge—Freshness
B. Foreknown Response Quotient ( FRQ )
1. Assumed Pillar of Truth
2. FRQ—God Knows the Next Response
3. FRQ—A Bedrock of Concurrence
4. FRQ—God’s Aliveness and Isaiah 46 and 55
C. God & the Existence of the Future
1. God’s Word & Promises Are More Certain than the Future
2. Relationship More Important than the Existence of the Future
3. Relationship in Two Dynamic Truths Supercedes FRQ
4. What Is Important About the Future
D. Conjecture: Time a Non-Entity, Non-Substantial
E. God’s Exhaustive Foreknowledge of the Next 5 Seconds
F. Relationship, Lordship, and John Frame’s Effigy
G. Genuineness—the Supreme Theological Construct
1. Image Side of the Image-Maker
2. Genuineness—No Other Issue More Important
A. The Craig-Pinnock Dilemma
B. Farthest Point of Progress—Which Way Do We Go?
C. Bridge Building 101 ... What Do We Share?
D. Craig-Pinnock Dilemma & God’s Foreknowledge
E. Prayer—The Beginning of Progress
A. Grand Canyon Village-Oh, Yeah!
1. River Wild
2. Freedom’s Wild Ride & Baukman’s “Infinitely Desirable”
3. God’s Dynamic Foreknowledge a Servant to His Heart
B. Christ-Freedom Dynamic & G. C. Berkouwer
1. Freedom: Freed From and Freed To
2. Freedom Defined by the Child of God’s Submission
3. Freedom: Our True Humanness in Resurrection Service to God
4. Freedom = Dignity of Humanity
D. Freedom and Service in God’s Kingdom
1. Freedom to Serve as Sons & Daughters Here & Hereafter
2. Freedom vs. Sin: Overcome only in Faith
E. Freedom Challenging Classical Theism
F. Freedom and Our Resurrection
1. Freedom Is Divinely Empowered
2. Freedom by God’s Power & the Classical Theism Burden
A. The Splendor of Prayer
1. Prayer Explained ... the Radiant Color of Life
2. Splendor of Prayer—the First Step of Obedience
B. Prayer the Essence of the Christian Life
1. Prayer—Crucial to the Entire Debate & Civilization
2. Prayer—Master Canyon Guide Richard Foster
C. Prayer Degraded in Classical Theism
1. Classical Theist Effigies—Pushing a Mule Backwards
2. Yuck, Yuck Stuff—Bruce Ware’s Soggy Effigy
D. Prayer a Relationship with Our Heavenly Father, Abba
Bridge Building 201: We Have a Beginning
A. Our Imago Dei—the Quintessence of Loving Relationships
1. Our Imago Dei
2. Love and Our Imago Dei—Transcends Time Like God
3. Our Imago Dei—Our Ability to Relate to God & Others
4. Our Imago Dei—the Splendor of Loving Relationships
5. Our Imago Dei—Treasuring the Moment of Love
B. God’s Love Is Dynamic ... Alive
1. What Changes for God? Not the Same 1,000 Years Ago as Today
2. Can God’s Perfected Love Grow?
C. Our Imago Dei—the Very Validation of Genuineness
D. Going Home—Free at Last
1. Onward Christian Soldiers ... Not Onward Passive Puppets
2. Craig-Pinnock Dilemma & Prayer Indicate Some Freedom
3. Where Time, Free will, Sovereignty, and Foreknowledge will be Swallowed up in Glory, and the Classical Theist Burden
4. Going Home—Seeing God’s Heart Dissipates Sovereignty
Outline of Heaven
Introduction to the Heaven of Revelation 21-22
1. Heaven—Some Technical Data & John MacArthur
2. Best Is Yet to Come—Heaven—Personal to the Uttermost
3. Origin of These Two Chapters—Serendipitous, Providential
A. Heaven Is Perfected Everlasting Love-No Eye Has Seen
1. Visual Boundary: What Eye Hath Not Seen
2. Revelation 21-22 & the Holy City—Personal & Dynamic
3. Holy City = the Picture of Perfected Everlasting Love
B. Picture Worth a Thousand Words-Words Can Say More
C. Similarities Between Two Passages: Rev. 21:1-8 & 21:9-22:6
1. Descending Holy City Is the Same City in Both Passages
2. Five Similarities Between the Two Passages
3. Conclusion on the Similarities—God’s Marriage Fresh to Him
4. Conclusion on the Similarities—Open Wedding Feast
5. Conclusion on the Similarities—Fresh Wedding Feast
D. Simple, Elemental Experiences of Heaven
1. No More Tears, Death or Curse: a New Freedom
2. Spring and River and Tree of Life: a New Economy
3. No More Evil People: a New Purity and Peace
E. Cloudy Dark Side of Living Obscures the True Fullness of the New Freedom, New Economy, New Purity & Peace
1. Between the Clouds of Earth and the Clear Skies of Heaven
2. What We Know Here ... a Cloudy Shadow of Heaven
3. Earth and Heaven Connected—C. H. Spurgeon
A. Greater Experiences of Heaven
1. Simple Experiences Versus the Greater Experiences of Heaven
2. Holy City as Bride & Wife of the Lamb
3. Great Wall Reveals an Everlasting Security
B. Recap of Heaven
C. Greatest Experience in Heaven—Sharing in God’s Life and Glory
A. Challenging Classical Theists—Grasshopper Gauntlet
B. Book’s Larger Context—my Would You Lie to Save a Life?
Craig-Pinnock Dilemma: Literature Review Conclusion.
Literature Review of 25 Important Works
1. Craig, William Lane. The Only Wise God
2. Pinnock, Clark H. Most Moved Mover
3. Sanders, John. The God Who Risks
4. Boyd, Gregory A. God of the Possible
5. Maston, T.B. God’s Will and Your Life
6. Rice, John R. Predestined for HELL? NO!
7. Hunt, David. What Love Is This?
8. Basinger, D., & R. Basinger. Predestination & Free Will
A. Feinberg’s Position & Counters.
B. Geisler’s Position & Counters.
C. Reichenbach’s Position & Counters.
D. Pinnock’s Position & Counters.
9. Beilby, J., & P. Eddy. Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views
10. Zagzebski, Linda. “Recent Work on Divine Foreknowledge”
11. May, Rollo. Freedom and Destiny
12. Erickson, Millard. What Does God Know
13. Packer, J. I. Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God
14. Geisler, Norman. Chosen But Free
15. Spurgeon, C. H. Sermons on Sovereignty
16. Strong, August H. Systematic Theology
17. White, James R. The Potter’s Freedom
18. Boettner, L. Reformed Doctrine of Predestination
19. Frame, John M. No Other God
20. Ware, Bruce A. God’s Lesser Glory
21. Piper, Taylor, Helseth. Beyond the Bounds
Preface by John Piper
Introduction by Justin Taylor
1. Fuller’s “Rabbis & Claims of Openness Advocates”
2. Chad Brand’s “Genetic Defects or Accidental Similarities”
3. Talbot’s “True Freedom & Liberty Worth Having”
4. Davis’ “Why Open Theism Is Flourishing Now”
5. Caneday’s “God’s Self-Revelation in Human Likeness”
6. Horton’s “Hellenistic or Hebrew?”
7. Wellum’s “Inerrancy of Scripture”
8. Helseth’s “Trustworthiness of God & Foundation of Hope”
9. Ware’s “The gospel of Christ”
10. Grudem’s “When, Why, & What ... Boundaries?”
11. John Piper’s “Grounds for Dismay”
22. Huffman & Johnson. God Under Fire
1. Huffman & Johnson’s “Should the God be Replaced?”
2. Talbot’s “Does God Reveal Who He Is?”
3. Johnson’s “Can God be Grasped by Reason?”
4. Bray’s “Has the Greek Philosophy Corrupted Christianity?”
5. Helm’s “Is God Bound by Time?”
6. Craig’s “What Does God Know?”
7. Geivett’s “How Do we Answer Theodicy?”
8. Spiegel’s “Does God Take Risks?”
9. Lee’s “Does God have Emotions?”
10. Gutenson’s “Does God Change?”
11. Ware’s “How so We Think on the Trinity?”
12. Carson’s “How Can We Reconcile Love & Sovereignty?”
23. Wilson, Douglas. Bound Only Once
24. Dihle, Albrecht. Theory of Will in Classical Antiquity
25. Great Classics: Augustine to Wesley and More
A. Grasshopper Questions His Teachers
1. Grasshopper Hops
2. Grasshopper’s Vagabond Story
3. Grasshopper Canvases of Ad Hominy & Boundaries
4. Grasshopper & Rice-Bowl Theology
5. Grasshopper’s Critics
C. ETS Primary Web Sources & Grasshopper Initiatives
D. Larger Context of This Book
1. Grasshopper’s Book: Would You Lie to Save a Life?
2. The Case Against Radical Fundamentalism
Introduction to Hezekiah Letter
My Initial Excitement & Some Misguided Firepower
A. How God Related to Hezekiah
1. Why Did God Cater to Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:1-11?
2. Difference Between Fidelity & Interpolation
3. Nicole’s Violation of the ETS Larger than Pinnock’s
4. Pinnock Closer to the Text
5. Nicole Crushed by His Own Standard
B. Fidelity to the Text Is the Main Issue
Epilogue: Final Heartfelt Plea
1. Open Theism a Source of Conflict & Confusion
2. Classical Theism Superior in Theodicy-Are You Sure?
3. Open Theism More Powerfully Exculpates God, yet Theodicy Is Not the Engine of Open Theism
4. George’s “Seminiscient” Deity of Open Theism a Misnomer
5. Ultimate Split Infinitive: Eternal v. Everlasting & Open Theism’s Actual Engine-Genuineness
6. Missing the Engine of Genuineness Is a Serious Oversight
A. L. Russ Bush Dialogue: Integrity vs. Myth-Busting
B. L. Russ Bush’s The Advancement—A New Level of Acrimony
See Appendix 5: Critique of L. Rush Bush's The Advancement
1. Ware’s “Defining Evangelicalism’s Boundaries”
2. Pinnock’s “There is Room For Us”
3. Sanders’ “Be Wary of Ware”
4. Boyd’s “Christian Love and Academic Dialogue”
5. Ware’s “Rejoinder to Pinnock, Sanders, & Boyd”
6. Wellum’s “Divine Sovereignty-Omniscience”
7. Highfield’s “Function of Divine Self-Limitation in Open Theism”
8. Grenze’s “Boundaried People and Evangelical Theology”
9. Horton’s “Hellenistic or Hebrew?”
See Here: Paige Patterson Challenge
A. My History with Paige Patterson
1. Patterson’s Rejection of Me & Question of ETS Integrity
2. Patterson a Commander in the Theological Trade Winds
3. Why This Challenge to Patterson
4. Patterson a Legend in His Own Time
5. Patterson a Father-figure & My Own Transference
6. Patterson, Open Theism, Love, and My Conscience
7. Patterson’s Letter vis-à-vis the ETS Documents
B. I Challenge Paige Patterson—Gulp!—Heave to & Come About
1. Patterson and ETS Confusion
2. Patterson’s Troubled Triumphant Church & Other Deficits
3. Clay Feet and Leadership … Yet Honor Demands Something
4. The Challenge—Gulp !—Heave To & Come About on Genuineness
C. Final Grasshopper Cricket
P.S.: Return to the Scriptures a Good Idea
1. Love Bibliography ----->>> see fuller bibliographies below
2. Free will, Foreknowledge, Some Prayer & Theology Bibliography
3. Time Bibliography
4. Dissertations on Free Will, Foreknowledge, Time
5. Articles: Free Will, Foreknowledge, Determinism, Etc.
6. Heaven Bibliography
7. Revelation of Christ Bibliography
Society Debate on Open Theism
These appendices appear in Heart of the Living God challenging Classical Theism's war on Open Theism. Primarily directed to esteemed members of the Evangelical Theological Society, these three scholars have directed severe and at times mistaken criticisms against Open Theism. I offer a counterpoint challenge to each to support Pinnock against Nicole.
Appendix 3. Hezekiah--Nicole vs. Pinnock and God’s Sovereign Ability to Respond fidelity to the biblical text is the real issue
Please bare in mind, these had no significant bearing upon the ETS committee, as each member was quite capable in their own right
ETS Committee Reports
Roger Nicole Challenges Clark Pinnock:
Response:Pinnock Response to Nicole
Roger Nicole Challenges John Sanders
ETS Committee Conclusion
On Clark Pinnock:
9-0: Unanimous: "After taking into account these clarifications and
corrections, we find no grounds for excluding him from membership in the ETS."
On John Sanders: 7-2: Majority: "this difference is so significant that it is not merely another option within inerrancy, but is incompatible with it." Blaising, Bock, Borland, Erickson, Grudem, Köstenberger, Sailhamer
Minority: not agreeing with Open Theism, still, "we do not recommend that the charges against John Sanders be sustained." Beale, Howard
This book is a companion to my larger
Would You Lie to Save a Life?
and bibliography set applies to both.
You Are HERE >
God's Will, Ethics, Theology, Prayer & Hermeneutics
MASTERS. The following is a selection of classical masters on the free-will/foreknowledge debate. Another reason for not including these here is, again, William Lane Craigand my looking at his The Problem of Divine Foreknowledge and Future Contingents from Aristotle to Suarez(Studies in Intellectual History 7. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1988), which is a masterpiece of condensation and a truly seminal addition to the literature. If you want to understand Augustine’s understanding, go here first.
www.newadvent.org/fathers for the Catholics have the entire
collection of Church Fathers—a
magnificent collection and one of the internet’s best collection of
Christian classics. Here are a few other sites with
compilations of classics.
Already entire libraries of famous Christians and others are available online. Enterprises like Questia are seeking to put tens of thousands of reference works on line—still for a fee. Even so, thousands of classics and modern works are available for free Perhaps in the distant future everything in the Library of Congress and other major libraries will be available for free and accessible to everyone on the planet. How that would changethe world and world’s economy.
Aurelius Augustine (396-430). On Nature and Grace, Against Pelagius:
Contained in One Book, Addressed to Timasius and Jacobus.
Saint Aurelius Augustine (396-430).
The Enchiridion (Handbook) on Faith, Hope and Love.
Saint Aurelius Augustine (396-430). A Treatise on Grace and Free
Will: Addressed to Valentinus and the Monks of Adrumetum.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274) The Summa
A Careful And Strict Inquiry into
Boettner, Loraine. The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.
The Christian theology of Predestination is all about God's supremacy. In a way, and in the light of the Would You Lie to Save a Life, Calvinism could almost be called a manifesto for Christian Elitism, but we stop short. Even Augustine a 1,000 years before Calvin articulated the doctrine of God's supremacy. Yet there is hardly a biblical Christian who doubts the supremacy of God or doubts that the Christian has some degree of “free will” responsibility in the doing of God’s will—at least to the extent to simple decisions to help others and avoid criminal behavior. The major questions arise in how that supremacy impacts salvation and the individual's eternal destiny. Practically, the doctrine of God's supremacy informs us about the "nature" of our responsibility, and the most imponderable questions of all arise with respect to the degree of our free will in the light of God's supremacy. With respect to salvation, it is the "gift" of God through faith, not of works, no doubt; and salvation is wholly of God. A full understanding will escape us this side of heaven.
When I pursued information on the best work on Calvinism (outside of Calvin himself, and reflecting the more popular theological offspring of Calvin), this book by Boettner was at the top of the list as the classic. The following is only about a third of its most salient topics, including several full chapters. One point of concern, as good number of "Calvinists" today will readily admit, they do not follow fully all five points of Calvinism, simply the four point, allowing an "unlimited" atonement in salvation. The point? Boettner clearly says that "all" five points stand or fall together.
It is quite a piece of work. But such a view of God limits God's freedom and ability to fully relate and respond to His children in the present. For God's sovereignty, there is no greater defender. However, the absence of material on capacity of God to genuinely relate to His people is not given the space it deserves.
MORE to come.