“No, it's a simple expression that God did not desire or decree such an action, as I've stated before.”
That’s no alternative to the anthropomorphic interpretation. Rather, J.C. is attempting to translate an anthropomorphic expression (“It never entered my mind”) into a literal counterpart.
“Additionally, Hays' defense effectively treats anthropomorphisms as some vague, foggy area that is mitigated into nothingness,”
Really? I defined it as “the application of a distinctly human idiom to God.” How is that a “vague, foggy area” which is “mitigated into nothingness?
The only fog is J.C’s foggy grasp of what constitutes anthropomorphic discourse.
“What he misses is that 'anthropomorphisms are still expressing a comparable idea”
A comparable idea to “it never entered my mind” would be “I didn’t see it coming.” So, if J.C. denies the anthropomorphic interpretation, then he’s stuck with the way in which open theism construes a passage like this, amounting to a denial of divine foreknowledge.
[I said] To the contrary, Isaiah's claim moves from the general to the specific. The dependence of foreknowledge on foreordination in this instance is just a special case of a universal principle. Read Oswalt's exegesis for the supporting argument.
[He said] “Thanks, I've read the book itself. It supports no such claim.”
It would be more prudent of J.C. not to make such easily falsifiable claims. This is what Oswalt says:
“There follow in these two verses [Isa 46:10-11] a series of three participles that both substantiate the claim to uniqueness and, at the same time, flow from that claim…Here the three participles make a direct link between predictive prophecy (declaring the outcome at the start) and divine intervention in history (calling from the east a bird of prayer)…As several commentators (e.g., Young) have noted, the three participles move from general to particular to specific. In the first instance, God tells in general what will happen in the future. He can do so because the future is fully shaped by his own plans and wishes. This is the same point that was made in ch. 14 concerning Assyria 9vv24-27). Assyria’s plans for Judah were really of little import. It is the Lord’s plans for Assyria to which that great nation should have paid attention (see also 22:11; 37:26)…The repetition [46:11] serves to emphasize the unshakable connection between promise and the performance, between divine talk and divine action…This parallelism underlines again that the reason God can tell what is going to happen is that what happens is only an outworking of his eternal purposes,” J. Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 40-66 (Eerdmans 1998), 236-37.
Continuing with J.C.:
“The 'difficulties' he presented don't really carry any weight, as the divine has already entered the temporal in the person of Christ. Christ existed in time with a divine nature, and therefore, it isn't a problem even from a divine perspective to say that He ‘often’ longed to gather the people of Jerusalem.”
i) It’s obvious that J.C. is ignorant of classic Christian formulations of the Incarnation. For example, “The statement, ‘the Word was made flesh,’ does not indicate any change in the Word, but only in the nature newly assumed into the oneness of the divine person. ‘And the word was made flesh’ through a union to flesh. Now a union is a relation. And relations newly said of God with respect to creatures do not imply a change on the side of God, but on the side of the creature relating in a new way to God,” T. Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part I (Magi Books 1980), 86-87.
For a more detailed exposition of a classic, eternalist model of the Incarnation, cf. G. Ganssle, ed. God & Time (IVP 2001), 52ff.
ii) J.C’s explanation would also leave God ignorant of time prior to the Incarnation. So he fails to salvage divine foreknowledge.
iii) And even if God knew time via the Incarnation, human beings experience time as present, not future—so tapping into the human experience of time would not suffice for foreknowledge.
“Atemporal constraints on knowledge?”
Yes, as I already explained, an atemporal agent cannot experience time. In Calvinism, though, a timeless God can know time by knowing his plan for the history of the world. But an Arminian has denied himself that option.
“Nor does one have to agree with their analysis.”
He’s free to disagree with Witherington and Fitzmyer if he chooses, yet he mischaracterized the definition of proegno (“to choose beforehand”) as a Calvinistic definition. But it’s not a distinctively Calvinistic definition.
“Proginisko/Prognosis also mean simply to have knowledge beforehand, the strongest argument for which I think comes from 1 Peter 1:2, which employs the noun form Prognosis, and would not likely carry that particular connotation of a Hebrew verb.”
That simply begs the question in favor of the Arminian definition. But one doesn’t have to be a Calvinist to see that Peter is using the word in a predestinarian sense. Cf. L. Goppelt, A Commentary on I Peter (Eerdmans 1993), 72-73.
“They can be, if one is drawn with cords of love (they being a metaphor, as Steve has so kindly pointed out).”
J.C continues to do violence to the imagery. Ropes and cords are not a metaphor for “wooing.” Adding “love” doesn’t make it a metaphor for “wooing.”
Rather, it’s the imagery of an animal trainer. He may be a loving animal trainer. He may be kind to his animals. But he isn’t “wooing” them. Ropes and cords are images of constraint. A way of *making* an animal go where you want it to go—for it’s own good.
“Incorrect, God did woo His people, and they obeyed His voice, and were thus delivered from bondage by Him. Indeed when the good news of God freeing them was proclaimed, ‘And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped’ (Exodus 4:31).”
That verse doesn’t contain the notion of “wooing.”
“God's drawing Israel with His love is not mutually exclusive with His bringing them out of Egypt by His power or afflicting the Egyptians.”
“Drawing” and “wooing” are not synonymous concepts.
“Hays makes a big deal out of me not answering every one of his arguments.”
To the contrary, it’s fine with me if he issues a challenge; I (and others) rise to the challenge; then he can’t measure up to his own challenge.
“For starters, a lot of his 'points' don't really solidify his case, and I won't waste time shooting down all of them when one will suffice.”
He *says* it, but he doesn’t’ *show* it.
“When Hays cited Welty, I linked to my articles for general responses…My articles on foreknowledge deal with the most common objections to the idea of foreknowledge in relation to election being defined as prescience, including the foreordination/forelove interpretations as well as the appeal to Granville-Sharp's rule in Acts 2:23…I never said ALL of my articles were relevant to what exactly what Welty wrote (Since not all of them are -- does Hays think my counter-cult arguments are supposed to be tailored to answering arguments from Welty too?).”
J.C. is the one who, instead of rebutting Welty’s material, referred the reader to his preexisting articles—as if these would suffice to rebut Welty’s material. Either they do or they don’t. By now admitting that they don’t suffice to rebut Welty, J.C’s original reference was an exercise in misdirection.
When I actually take him up on the offer and went through his fallacious articles, subjecting them to rational scrutiny, he then plays the role of the injured party.
“We are playing by different rules entirely, and the rules I live by are incompatible with theirs.”
That’s true. J.C. and Kangaroodort have one set of rules for themselves, and another set of rules for their opponents. They don’t like it when we hold them to their own words.
If I were in their position, I wouldn’t like it either—but since they dealt themselves a losing hand, they’re stuck with the outcome.