Where to Go from Here and Speculations Regarding Time & Omniscience (Repost)

My first two posts on this blog have been pretty massive. Both of them reached about 35 pages in Microsoft Word before I copy/pasted them to Blogger. Researching and writing them took about a month each, with an additional couple of weeks removing all of Word's HTML and replacing it with code suitable for this site (including replacing the code for every footnote). From start to finish, the first entry took about a month, while the second stretched on nearly into two.

I don't have a solid direction in which I'd like to take this, but there aren't any other big articles I feel compelled to take on at the moment. Whether or not I start posting here regularly, I would like the turn-around to get a little faster.

I have a number of posts from my old Tumblr blog of the same name which I have considered porting over here. Some of them are other response articles (some relating to the Trinity and some to Torah), while a few are more speculative in nature. Although the first two posts covered some pretty heavy topics, I would ultimately like this site to become my theological playground where I can flesh out ideas that I'd like to study in more depth.

One such idea grew out of some things I've had relating to Open Theism. I am not an Open Theist, but the thoughts expressed below are part of a much larger systematic theology that has taken root in my mind and is beginning to grow.

Two years ago, I realized that Yeshua (Jesus) never actually changed the Torah's dietary instructions, so I gave up eating anything declared unclean. That was the first wall to collapse in a temple of playing cards, and at this point, the dust has settled enough for me to begin rebuilding from the ground up. There is so much to learn. Although I grew up in a solid Christian home and have read through the Bible on multiple occasions, I have never read the whole thing through with Hebrew eyes. I don't believe any single issue can or should be isolated (e.g., unitarianism). Every doctrine must be mutually cohesive with all the others and with Scripture. It is a formidable task, so in the meantime, here is where I will share my musings and speculations.

Speculations Regarding Time & Omniscience (Repost)

When I found out tradition had lied to me about Jesus declaring all foods clean, my beliefs became a house of cards in a Midwest twister. That is not to say that my faith was shaken in the slightest. In fact, I’ve only come to appreciate how firm my trust actually is in this past year of 52-card-pickup after the fact.

There is very little in theology that is not up for scrutiny anymore. With no denomination or Church Father to fall back on, I am left to rely on my best attempts to understand the Bible. As such, I have been listening to and watching hundreds of sermons and debates on a host of topics to try to see what best aligns with the inspired words of God.

I spent months honing my understanding of the Gospel of the Kingdom and the New Covenant so I could coherently articulate to friends and family why I no longer eat bacon, why I started wearing tassels from my pants, why I do everything within my power to not work on the Sabbath. Then I moved to studying the Appointed Times of Leviticus 23 so I could better understand how they were fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Yeshua, and how they will be fulfilled even more in his return. Next my focus turned to grappling with the Godhead and trying to pin down what the Bible actually had to say about the Trinity. (Hint: The Bible has nothing whatsoever to say about the Trinity.)

My newest area of intrigue is in God’s sovereignty. What does it mean for God to be sovereign, and do we mere mortals have any legitimate capacity for self-initiated action? Coming from a staunch TULIP background, it is natural for me to read that into the text, and anything left of farthest right smells like blasphemy. Before converting to Calvinism (rather, before being converted to Calvinism by the sovereign grace and foreknowledge of the Almighty), I was raised in an Arminian church that thought it was okay not to tell me what that meant. Not only was I raised a heathen, but they weren’t even kind enough to tell me I was being raised a heathen. The nerve.

But if Mark 7:19 doesn’t tell me I can order a bucket of jumbo coconut shrimp and if John 8:58 is speaking of rank and not ontological nature, then I guess I’m open to anything now that can be defended by the totality of Scripture.

Enter open theism.

The idea utterly appalled me when I first learned of it. My former shepherd, himself a disciple of John the MacArthur, even wrote a four-part series of articles anathematizing it. I couldn’t believe he’d waste his time on such nonsense. But then I realized that that pastor was wrong on a great many other areas of biblical truth, so I thought Why not here too?

I won’t get into open theism in depth right now because I’ve barely scratched the surface of studying this otherworldly way of understanding sovereignty and omniscience. I’m so interested in learning that I’ve queued up not one but two debates between open theists and my least favorite personality on the internet, Dr James White. (While I dislike the critical way in which White engages in debates with people, I was ultimately swayed by his position against Open Theism.)

But one thing that really holds me up from accepting this idea is the notion that God has set up Creation to work like a giant clock. From the genesis of this creation to the genesis of the new creation is 7,000 years—a week of millennia. All of the most significant events in redemptive history have fallen on the mo'adim of Leviticus 23. Even other dates not mentioned in the Torah have become prophetic, such as Tisha b'Av and the festivals of Hanukkah and Purim.

If God were truly the God of possibilities, then how would all of these things work out?

It hit me tonight as I was driving home from work. (Thankfully, “it” is an idea, not a semi truck.) Something I’ve had on my mind a lot while listening to Professor Jordan Peterson discuss evolutionary psychology is that humans are very much animals, although undoubtedly endowed with abilities fitting for living idols created by Yehovah himself. I’m by no means an evolutionist, but it seems to me that humans trend toward animalistic behaviors if left to our own devices. In fact, I believe God gave us the Torah in order to direct us away from our animal instincts and to become more like him. I’m rather fond of this idea, as it allows me to freely embrace evolutionary psychology (which predicts human behavior to an impeccable degree) without sacrificing anything from the literal reading of the Book of Genesis.

So how does this relate to open theism? Well, the idea that struck me tonight is that the mo'adim, be it the Passover or the Sabbath or Rosh Chodesh (the new moon) are opportunities for us to draw back to that ideal of deity.

Perhaps open theism is on to something. But if it is, how does God keep track of things? How can he declare the end from the beginning if the middle could take an infinitude of paths? I think the answer lies in the cyclical nature of the calendar and God’s invitation for us to return to fellowship with him on a weekly basis. That’s why so many important prophetic events fall on these appointed days, and not just some random day of the calendar. If the calendar is an annual clock, the mo’adim are the numbers on the face. Every time God’s people meet him on such a point, we come back into his plan. And this is my rudimentary hypothesis on how open theism could mesh with God’s 7,000-year plan for this world.

It’s honestly way too early for me to publish this since I’ve done absolutely no research into it yet, but (1) nobody reads my blog and (2) if I don’t write this down, I’m liable to forget, making it lost to history.

I could be completely wrong, but all ideas are worth pursuing with integrity and humility. May Yehovah be blessed in all I say, think, and do. B’shem Yeshua.

Comments

  1. It's March 2019 and I'm finally getting back to this, prepping things I've written on Facebook and Tumblr for import, as well as working on new ideas. I write what is important to me in the moment.

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