Saturday, August 10, 2019

The irreality of the persons in classical theism, defined according to Dolezal

Yet the three persons are really distinct. How so? Classical Christian theists generally locate this distinction in personal relations or, in slightly more imprecise language, "several perculiar relative properties." (James E. Dolezal, All That is in God, 119)

What, then, are we saying about God when we speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? First, it should be observed that we are not speaking of things that are distinct from the Godhead itself. Whenever we speak of the three, we are in fact speaking of the one, but under different aspects or modes of being. We alternatively speak of the one God Father-wise, Son-wise, and Spirit-wise—in sum, relation-wise. These relations are not something really distinct from the divine substance. (Dolezal, 122)


In a tweet, I had asked what, according to classical theism, is the exact difference between the persons of the Godhead, and how such difference is substantially different from modalism. Of course I know that classical theism affirms that the persons have different relations to each other, whereas modalism denies that. But if the persons are merely relations, then apart from semantics, what exactly is the difference between classical theism and modalism?

In response, I was directed to chapter 6 of Dolezal's book, which I had read some time back, and to which I return. After I looked through the chapter, I knew there was a reason why I was hesitant to post about this particular section at that time, and I remain mindful that this is not an easy section to write about even as I write this blog post.

You will note that Dolezal wrote that the Trinity is speaking of the persons as "under different aspects and modes of being." That sounds exactly like modalism. But in the interest of charity, the best possible spin I can put on this is that Dolezal had a slip in his language, but that slip actually reveals the real problem for this form of classical theism. For if the relations are just relations, then the person are not truly persons. The Father cannot be distinctly speaking to the Son, and thus the best approximation in human language is a modalistic approximation, and thus Dolezal unintentionally slips into modalistic speech at that particular area. In other words, the persons of classical theisms are like mathematical operations in an equation, distinct from each other yet without any form of ontological existence. Note that we are talking about ontological existence, not ontological uniqueness. We are not and cannot ever say that there are three gods, or three parts of God. But classical theism according to Dolezal cannot even say that the Father is a real person distinct from the Son, and thus the Father can actually have a social interaction with the Son. Note also that I am not proposing Social Trinitarianism. I am saying that what the Bible explicitly say about the persons of the Trinity interacting with each other in dialogue (an "I-Thou" relation), which seems so clear in Scripture, is prohibited by classical theism. That is why these new classical theists reduce all interactions between the persons to one of "relations." The Father does not actually speak to the Son, but rather the Godhead in the person of the Father talks to the Son in his hypostatic union. The Son says that it is not his human will be done but rather the divine will of the Godhead. If you will note so far, all of these are not taught in Scripture, but are the logical imposition of a certain view of the nature of God that informs their reading of Scripture.

The idea of the persons being autotheos (God-in-himself) is that each person can be interacted with as God. One does not need to interact with the entire Godhead (although they are ultimately involved) when one talks to Jesus or to the Father. We see that to be necessarily true in order to make sense of passages that speak of Jesus' intercession for us before the Father. When we pray "in Jesus' name," we are calling upon Jesus' intercession to purify our prayers so that they can be presented pure and holy by him before the Father. We always address God the Father, but through Jesus. When we pray in Jesus' name, we are not speaking to the Father directly, for we cannot, as He dwells in unapproachable light. Only after our prayers have been washed with the blood of Christ are they presented to the Father. Thus, when we Christians pray, we pray to God the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. All three persons of the Godhead are involved, all three will hear the prayer, yet also it is the Father that specifically hears it, the Son purifying and offering it to the Father, and the Spirit working in us to pray. The "I-Thou" relationship between the persons is necessary for the intercession of Christ to work, for otherwise how can Jesus address the Father and offer up our prayers to Him?

The point of the matter is that, if we actually follow Sola Scriptura, then this idea that the persons of the Godhead are mere relations sounds like a philosophical imposition on Scripture rather than the other way around. Reacting to Social Trinitarianism and other foolish modern projects is one thing, veering into waters that smack of philosophical sophistry and modalism is another. As it stands, Dolezal's interpretation of the persons of the Godhead sounds more like a semantic difference with modalism rather than a substantial difference from it. Postulating all manner of words of the difference between the persons mean nothing if there is nothing signified by those words at all.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

CRT in Singapore.....

I have said many times, on- and offline, that what began in America will make its way to Singapore, sooner or later. And over and over, I have seen Christians in Singapore sleeping. "This is in America, so why do we bother?" Well, we must bother because it is only a matter of time before that nonsense comes to Singapore, and all around the world.

As evidence that Critical Race Theory (CRT) with its poisonous fruit has began to poison social discourse in Singapore, look at this article by a Singapore liberal promoting the fake notion of "Chinese privilege." Borrowing from the cultural Marxist notion of "privilege" and "intersectionality," she, parroting the racist ideas of Sangeetha Thanapal, begins to see racism everywhere in every corner. By virtue of their minority status, all Chinese are accused of being "racists" to some extent, and are to "shut up and listen."

You will note that CRT is not a falsifiable theory. It cannot be. It is a theory that appeals to some actual racial discrimination, and then makes a giant leap of logic to tar everyone from whatever target racial group ("whites," "Chinese") as partaking of systematic racism. The very denial that such systematic racism exists is taken by CRT proponents to be proof of systematic racism! CRT is non-falsifiable, and functions as an ideology that appeals to the sin in the heart of everyone: to blame someone else so that they do not have to take responsibility for their actions. It is non-falsifiable, because no empirical evidence or lack thereof, no rebuttal from anyone, can prove it wrong. Once it is accepted, it is worse than an established religion, as even religion can be in some way be tested as to its plausibility.

As CRT continues to seep into Singapore, it will corrode social discourse, and corrode the relative racial harmony present in Singapore. And functioning as it does as a pseudo-religion, it will, under the guise of "justice," lure Christians away from the truth of the Gospel, if allowed to infiltrate the Church. After all, there can be no unity in the church if one group attacks the other group as "racist" by virtue of the fact that the other group is a "majority" ethnic group!

As someone whose focus is more on the church than on society, my hope is that the Singapore churches can actually warn against CRT. Learn from America! Do not let the type of uncivil division caused by CRT (in America) wreck the church. May God have mercy on us all.

Musings on the circumstances of Harris' apostasy (Part 3)

Harris' circumstances

The two major events in Harris' life in recent times are issues with the church he was a pastor of, and his seminary education. Now, it is of course not possible to read Harris' heart, but I hope through looking at the circumstances in life, it will help us understand perhaps the struggles he might have had to face in his life prior to his apostasy.

With regards to church issues, it is very likely that the church issues faced by Harris, including the loss of his mentor C.J. Mahaney, was traumatic to him. I guess, I hope, that we all should know that it is Christ alone who is the head of the church, and that all pastors and theologians are but just men, fallible and sinful too. We are not Roman Catholics who believe in a special chrism (anointing) that separates the priest apart from the common folk as a class of "holy people." But it is natural to honor and respect your leaders, and to some extent you treat them with reverence. These are the people who bring to us the Word of God and who care for us, who visit us and pray for us, who comfort us, who marry us and bury us. If or when they fall, it will affect us. I wonder just how much Harris has been affected by what happened during that time, and perhaps things might have changed if there was someone whom he could seek biblical counsel who would have aided him at that time. The amount of spiritual and emotional devastation caused by church issues and conflicts cannot be under-estimated, and especially if it happens to someone who has been in that church for almost his entire life!

In this time of instability, Harris made a decision to go to seminary. While I am a firm believer in seminary training for the ministry, it seems to me that Harris probably wasn't in the best place when he made that decision to go to Regent College. Regent College in Vancouver, BC, is a broadly evangelical seminary. On top of the danger of seminary studies, Harris will have to contend with a broad evangelical teaching whereby a plethora of views held by professing evangelicals would be presented. In broad evangelicalism, the type of strong convictions seen in Calvinistic circles is extremely frowned upon. This ties in with the cultural clash that Harris would have encountered. First, he transitioned from a Calvinistic circle with strong convictions to a broad Evangelical circles with much weaker convictions. Second, he transitioned from a rather closely-knit conservative circle to a much more liberal circle. Third, he transitions into a very left-liberal city in Vancouver. Perhaps for the first time in his life, Harris met supposed "committed" LGBT couples, as people he has actual interactions with! With such instability and change, and no solid grounding in the Scriptures to fall back on, how would one go about dealing with the issues?

I am not putting this out there to "explain away" Harris' apostasy. And most certainly it is the Lord Jesus who will always preserve His own (c.f. Jn. 6:39). But even though it is ultimately God who decides His own, and God who preserves His own, God works through means. And these means are real means, instrumental in bringing about what God in His secret counsel has declared to pass. The circumstances surrounding Harris might probably have contributed to Harris' apostasy, and thus it is helpful for us to understand them.

Apostasy from the Christian faith of course is not a rare occurrence. Harris is not the first, and he will not be the last. Our attitude towards those who left the faith should always be grief and sorrow, especially so if the person had once strongly proclaimed his faith in Jesus and the Gospel of free grace. We do not know if Harris' apostasy is a real, final apostasy (c.f. 1 Jn 2:19), because that knowledge is of the secret counsel of God, not given to us. We cannot, we must not, treat Harris as definitively damned. As long as it is today, salvation is still at hand (Heb. 4:1). We are to pray to God for the repentance of all who had fallen away, with the desire that they return to the faith they had professed and then rejected.

And finally, as a response to some arguments, while it is true that apostasy does in some sense bring about some distinction between the sheep and the goats, we should not be applying this to Harris. The blessing of apostasy is primarily a blessing as false teachers will stop pretending to be believers and will leave the faith. The blessing of apostasy however is not the right category to think about someone who once taught and proclaimed the true Gospel, but who left the faith during times of instability. Remember, we cannot fully know, even if the person visibly runs from the faith, whether a person truly is or is not of Christ's sheep! What is lacking in such applications is compassion. It is the same virtue lacking in Trueman's response to Harris' apostasy. Let us consider and weep over the fall of one who was from our own.


Saturday, August 03, 2019

Musings on the circumstances of Harris' apostasy (Part 2)

[continued from here]


Many people, even myself prior to entering seminary, have the notion that somehow seminary is where you can truly learn about God, know God more deeply, and come out of it more mature in the faith. While certainly that is the stated goal of a biblical seminary, the fact of the matter is that such is a rosy picture of seminary that is not necessarily true. The truth is somewhat starker: Seminary is a place where one is supposed to learn more about God and His Word. However, since seminary is a place for the training of future leaders of the church, the Devil is there also. What better place to attack the Church than to attack her future leaders, when they are at one of the most formative points of their Christian life? Destroy a single Christian, and you get one soul. Destroy a pastor of a church, and you might get the entire church! Strike the shepherd, and the flock will scatter. Satan only knows this all too well. As much as a biblical seminary is a place of Christ, it is at the same time the place where the Devil works the most mischief.

The first point concerning seminary is that seminaries are not necessarily biblical. There are lots of liberal and apostate seminaries out there, where impressionable young men and women enter in as passionate Christians and come out of it cynical agnostics. Union Theological Seminary is one such workshop of the Devil. The second point concerning seminaries is that many of them, in the name of tolerance, will teach many alternate views (many unbiblical) without judging their relative merits. This second point holds true for many evangelical and evangelical-ish seminaries, where their goal is to not discriminate against viewpoints promoted by anyone who is even remotely an evangelical, for how can they judge another "Evangelical" to be unorthodox? Thus, under the label of "evangelical unity," errors and heresies are tolerated, as long as they do not seem to obviously heretical (a subjective judgment). Thus, theistic evolution is tolerated, death before the Fall is tolerated, and even Open Theism (in some circles) are tolerated. Now, evangelical seminaries do not necessarily believe that all views are equally biblical, and many theologians can somehow separate their internal convictions and priorities of doctrine from their external teaching and profession. But this is not the case for young impressionable men and women! The reason why we had joined seminary is because we do not know of all this. You cannot expect a young seminarian (or old seminarian) to distinguish between allowance of an error in a person, and an allowance of an error in a theological system! It is the tendency among those learning things for the first time, especially the bright ones among us, to run with something that has been taught, to its logical conclusion, or what we perceive to be its logical conclusions! That is why there is a strong tendency among those embracing the five points of Calvinism for the first time to be attracted to hyper-Calvinism, because they think that is the logical implications of the five points. Systematizing of one's theology occurs all the time, consciously or unconsciously, and exposing impressionable men and women to error without guidance, in the name of "evangelical unity," is probably one of the most egregious sins within Evangelical seminaries.

Thirdly, even in seminaries that have a stronger doctrinal commitment, like Westminster Seminary California, good teaching does not necessarily result in orthodoxy, because ultimately orthodoxy comes from the heart, the spirit, not the head. Orthodoxy is meant to be the intellectual expression of one's submission to God, but the substance of orthodoxy, the regenerate heart, is the Holy Spirit's prerogative to give. I personally know of two men during the time of my time in WSCAL who apostatized from the Christian faith, one to Roman Catholicism and another to Eastern Orthodoxy. One of my juniors has gone off the deep end into Critical Race Theory and I sincerely doubt his Christian faith. The point is that even the best seminary is no protection from the attacks of the Evil One. If Satan cannot get at you through your professors, he will get at you from others you interact with, in church, society, friends, and now social media. The seminarian has become the number one target for all of Satan's schemes to destroy the person's spiritual life. Spiritual warfare is real, and the seminarian is the target. Satan will throw everything he can, including messing with your relationships, emotions, friends, family and so on, including the kitchen sink, to destroy the seminarian. And the sins of pastors and professors are the best weapons Satan will use, because how better to destroy the church than from the inside? How best to corrode a future pastor's trust in biblical doctrine than to destroy the respect that seminarian has for his professor and his pastor? How best to destroy the future pastor's passion than by having the church embroiled in destructive tribalism and dirty politics in church (which does happen, sadly to say)?

As a former seminarian, I will gladly say that I treasure the experience and learning and will not give it up for the wealth of the world. BUT, I have realized just how tough seminary is, spiritually. Anyone who thinks he is spiritually strong is more than welcome to try out seminary, and see just how much of a tempest the Devil can cook up in his life!

The second part about seminary, that is common with many institutes of higher learning, is the community or lack thereof, which the Devil will exploit. Community is a good thing when done properly, but it is a most wicked and perverse force when it is not. If the society around a person is ungodly, it takes a significant amount of will-power (if that is even enough) to resist joining them in their ungodliness. Seminaries are not exempt from this social phenomenon. A good community will exhort each other to love and good deeds (c.f. Heb. 10:24-25). A bad community will drag the godliest person down to condoning the most wicked of sins, even if he does not do it himself. And lack of community makes one lonely and susceptible to temptation from the world, which is all-pervasive, all around us.

In seminaries, young men (and women) oftentimes come from all around the world and move to a new location, even in a new country, away from friends and family and their previous churches and church-fellowships. There is a potential for spiritual disaster if not handled properly, especially if the city one is in is a godless city. It is easier to be influenced by the prevailing culture than to stand apart from it. As the Devil is the "god" of this world, this is one tool that he will certainly exploit to the max, to destroy the souls of seminarians.

[to be continued]

Musings on the circumstances of Harris' apostasy (Part 1)

Joshua Harris' apostasy is very very sad, not merely because he was a pastor, but also because of the circumstances preceding his apostasy. As a recap, Sovereign Grace Ministry (SGM) was involved in a scandal regarding alleged child sexual abuse in at least some of their congregations. C.J. Mahaney, the Senior Pastor of Covenant Life Church, who was Harris' mentor, had some sort of dispute with other leaders in the Sovereign Grace churches around the same time. Due to either or both of these factors, Mahaney left Covenant Life Church. Harris resigned from his pastoral position soon after, and decided to go to Regent College for theological training. This current apostasy happened either after that. As of now, I am not sure whether Harris is still at Regent College, but I do know that he must have taken at least some courses there.

In this article, I will like to focus on two major events in Harris' life: church issues, and seminary training. I am not implying that either of these events must have had any kind of causative effect on Harris falling away from the faith, but I will just like to say something about these types of issues from my own experience.

Church Issues

First, church issues. I will not be rehashing the whole sturm und drang over SGM, especially since I am not even remotely associated with those issues. I will just briefly say that sexual assault of any kind is wrong, pastors ought to report sexual assault when discovered, and pastors may sincerely err if they do not believe that sexual assault has taken place. Also, it is possible for those alleging sexual assault to lie as well. All of these is just to say that, unless one is familiar with the details of the cases, I have no wish to further discuss the SGM scandals. What I want to focus instead is the effect such issues might have on Harris. We must also remember that Mahaney, who Harris must have respected, left SGM not under the best of terms. How would it feel like to have someone you look up to gone, under a cloud of possible misconduct?

I cannot speak for Harris, but I will like to share about myself. Up to the point of the ESS controversy in 2016, I took pride in being a Reformed confessionalist. I had looked up to people like Carl Trueman. In fact, I had attended a talk he once gave at Oceanside URC on John Owen, and then the attendees went for a drink later. I know of course that all are still sinners, but in my naivete, I thought that Reformed pastors and theologians will only sin on non-theological issues. Oh boy was I in for a rude awakening!

When the ESS controversy broke out, I was initially concerned, and then alarm grew as I began to realize what was going on, as well as the implications of what the rhetoric employed in the controversy would imply. I began to push back, tentatively at first but more aggressively as time went on. I was horrified not when Trueman first made his wild claims about ESS, but when I see people like Aimee Byrd blatantly misrepresent complementarianism as somehow promoting ontological inferiority of women. The misrepresentations grew leaps and bounds, and soon any pretense at being truthful evaporated! At that point, Byrd could have claimed that Grudem taught that the image of God in women was only present when a woman submit to all men, and I doubt anyone (not Trueman, not RSC) would bat an eye and even say even a word to correct her! Factionalism and tribalism has gained the upper hand. Grudem is so *obviously* wrong, so who cares if someone from *our* tribe makes up outrageous accusations against him? The more we can tar him with, the better our case against "Big Eva" would be. While the ordained pastors are slightly more careful, they allowed unordained women like Byrd free reign in her wild accusations, not to mention the madness that is the "Reformed blogosphere."

When all these happened, I was very much disillusioned. I cannot say that it did not affect my spiritual life, because it did. You can claim that I *should* not let my faith be unsettled by men, even Reformed pastors, and I know that in my head, but try telling that to my spirit! And the worst part of that is my pastor then (in Singapore) couldn't care less! I cannot speak of the time when I was still a licentiate of the OPC, because being thousands of miles apart is a real obstacle for pastoral care, but my then pastor (of a church which I have since left) couldn't care less about my struggles, which made it worse. In his eyes, who cares about some struggle in America? So here I was seeing all my world burn out around me, seeing supposedly faithful Reformed pastors and theologians lie and slander in the most shocking ways I did not think possible, and all I get was nothing! I felt alone, lost, and my faith shaken (again, not intellectually). I had looked up to these people, and they had betrayed my trust. Yes, I probably should *not* have trusted them in this manner. Thanks for the great advice in hindsight!! I had lost all respect for Trueman, all respect for Reformation 21 and the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, some respect for my former academic adviser R Scott Clark. I will say that my training in seminary and the power of the Holy Spirit sustained my faith during this trying time (2016-2017), but I cannot say it was easy.

This brings me to the next point: seminary, and we shall look at that next time.

[to be continued]

Friday, August 02, 2019

On Josh Harris' apostasy and Trueman's hubris

By now, it is common knowledge that one-time New Calvinist and former Sovereign Grace pastor Joshua Harris has apostatized from the Christian faith. While a lot can be said about the factors behind his apostasy, the main thing Christians should be feeling is sorrow. Even if a person "deserves" it due to his rebellion against God, to see someone, especially a once prominent Christian leader, fall away from the faith he once professes, is a very sad occasion.

On this public apostasy, TGC has a helpful article by some of Harris' former friends and ministry partners. The main emotion here is sorrow, which is what Christian should be feeling right now. Ultimately, while I as a confessional Presbyterian believe that what I believe is what the Bible teaches, all of us recognize that inconsistent Christianity is still Christianity, and inconsistent Christians are still Christians. Where one falls, the body should grieve.

Enter Carl Trueman, the guy who made it a personal crusade to go after "Big Eva," of which the "New Calvinists" aka YRR constitute a bulk portion. What do you think Trueman did? Was he grieving as a pastor should be? Oh no! Nope, a tragedy is too big an opportunity to waste! In his article, Trueman correctly pointed out some of the flaws that contributed to Harris' departure from the faith. But instead of exhorting Harris to repent and return to God, this is what Trueman said instead:

As a player, Harris might be qualified to do the evangelical church one last favor: He can expose the behind-the-scenes shenanigans—the money made by at least some of the leading lights, and the power wielded by an unaccountable few—of Big Evangelicalism. That would seem a more important contribution than emotive talk of personal journeys, gobbledygook about repentance detached from any notion of God, and the continuation of life as performance art.

In other words, "Hey Josh, before you leave Christianity for good, can you please do us one last favor and expose the shenanigans going on behind the scenes of Big Eva? Thanks!" Now, does this sound like the proper response a pastor should have towards apostasy? Or is it rather the actions of someone who is on a crusade against Big Eva? I don't think the answer is unclear here.

The sad reality is that Carl Trueman, along with his associates over at Reformation21 and MoS (Mortification of Spin), has been going on a crusade against Big Eva, to the extent that truth does not matter anymore. It is all about taking down the other side "by all means necessary." That is why Trueman et al has been consistently misrepresenting ESS and all who disagree with them on classical theism, because some in the "Big Eva" camp promote varieties of ESS. The party is more important than the facts! Trueman complains that "the movement's leadership was often arrogant." And while this is not necessarily false, the fact that TGC linked to Trueman's article at all (in their article on Josh Harris' apostasy) show that perhaps they are NOT as arrogant as Trueman claims. On the contrary, Trueman himself has done the EXACT SAME THING he is accusing "Big Eva" of doing. Arrogance? Check. Ignore critics? Check. Bullying of critics in private? I have personally been told off, back when I was still in the OPC, about calling on these people to stop misrepresenting ESS. Without the YRR, would Trueman gain so much of a following for his attack on "celebrities"? As an "anti-celebrity" celebrity, Trueman is no different from those he criticizes. Whatever he says about the YRR is just as much applicable to him! Pot, meet the kettle!

As I have said, Harris' apostasy should be met with us with sorrow, and our desire should be that he repents and returns to Christ. There should be no room for posturing, and most certainly not for earning brownie points against other Christians. Let us ignore the Truemans of this world, and hope and pray that God will bring people into Harris' life who will bring him back to repentance and faith in Jesus.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Eternity as timelessness and the issue of interacting with the world

[continued from here]

God is eternal. The view that eternity is timelessness however is a hypothesis, not something that the Bible teaches. The eternity of God can either be one of divine timelessness, or one of everlasting time, or a mixture of both. In this article, I will like to deal with the problem timelessness has with the issue of divine interactions in time.

For anyone who reads Scripture, it cannot be denied that God interacts with people in time. Call it anthropomorphism or whatever you wish to call it, that interaction is a real interaction. God had actually talked with Moses on Mount Sinai, and Moses was not dreaming. God personally bargained with Abraham over the fates of Sodom and Gomorrah, even though we know from a canonical reading of the passage that God had already determined to wipe them out and that Abraham did not really have any 'bargaining power" with God. Yet, the bargaining dialogue did in fact take place! Over and over again, the Bible is explicitly and abundantly clear that God truly and really interacts with His people. They did not hallucinate about God, neither were they talking to themselves or anything of that matter.

Since such interaction that God has with His people is clear, any theory that prohibits God from interacting with His creatures personally must be rejected as contrary to Scripture. Now, if the eternity of God is timeless, then how does a timeless God interact with time-bound creatures? We must remember here that we are not talking about the Incarnate Son, who due to His human nature, is not timeless ("after" His incarnation). Prior to the Incarnation though, even the Son is timeless so He cannot interact with His creatures, can he? But even if we were to say that the Son was "eternally incarnate" in the sense that after His incarnation the dual natures mean that He can interact (in time) throughout time (timelessness), that only solves the problem of creaturely interaction with the Son. But God the Father also interacts with His people, not to mention God the Holy Spirit, so we are not closer to solving the problem of divine interaction with the creation, are we?

Let's suppose that the Triune God is timeless. Now, to interact in time means that at a punctiliar "time," God interacts with the world. Let's put it as point t1. Now, if we say that God is always timeless, then point t1 must be of infinitesstimal "width," such that the "time before" the interaction is the same as the "time after" the interaction. Thus, before God interacts, it was point (t1 - ε0), and after God interacts, it is point (t1 + ε0). Thus, for all intents and purposes, God remains "timeless." For all other interactions, we can state them as t2 to tn, where (tn = t1 + nε0). Thus, in this manner, for any number of interactions God has with this finite creation, the "time" remains the same at t1, regardless of how many interactions God has had with His creation.

Such a solution would indeed seem to solve the problem of how God can interact with His creation. But it does not exactly cohere with timelessness. For an infinitesstimal is still a quantity of some sorts, no matter how infinitely tiny it might be. t1 is always bigger than (t1 - ε0), while (t1 + ε0) is always bigger than t1. Such a solution is congruent with a relative timelessness, but not absolute timelessness, which classical theism demands.

It can be seen therefore that, upon the supposition of an absolute timeless God, divine interaction with the creation is impossible. Therefore, absolute timelessness is not congruent with Christianity. And if one wants to go for relative timelessness, then I do not see much difference (besides that of emphasis) between that theory and the theory of everlasting time. After all, in relative timelessness, we are comparing infinitesstimal "time" with time t1, while in everlasting time we are comparing normal time with infinite duration, t(infinity).

ESS and the flippant charge of heresy

But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'— they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church. - [First] Nicene Creed 325 AD

Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith, which except everyone shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally - Athanasian Creed

According to the ecumenical creeds, whoever believes contrary to them are not saved. Such people are to be treated as heretics (if teachers) and unbelievers (otherwise). The original Nicene Creed of 325 AD even added an explicit anathema against all who rejected it. Therefore, if one holds these creeds to be definitional of the faith, then one inherits their view of what constitutes soul-destroying heresy. Whoever wishes (Quicumque wult) to be saved MUST hold to those creeds. Whoever denies those creeds are to be considered unbelievers and/or heretics. If one disagrees with the creeds on this, then one does not hold on to these creeds, period. There is no way to adopt those creeds without the condemnations, as if the creeds are like a buffet where one can pick and choose which part of which creed one wishes to adopt!

It is therefore a serious charge against anyone to claim that so-and-so denies Nicea or the Athanasian creed. Such a charge is essentially a charge that the person is a heretic or at the very least an unbeliever. To say that someone denies Nicea is to say that that person should be treated as an unbeliever. If a teacher, he is to be charged with heresy. If a member of a church, he is to be rebuked, and if unrepentant, he is to be excommunicated. In a biblical church, it is not right to say that a member is unrepentant about his heresy and yet, since he is a member, allow him to continue to be a member in good standing in a church. NO! Deliver "this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord"! (1 Cor. 5:5). For anyone to do otherwise is to hold that heresy is a trivial sin. Such a church is no better than the Corinthian church that tolerates a man who is committing incest within the church. Such a church trivializes God's command of holiness for man's idea of "being nice and not offend anyone."

Since such is the case, for people like Carl Trueman who attack anyone who holds to ESS as "semi-Arians," or for others who claim that ESS and/ or complementarianism are "against Nicene" or "against the Athansian Creed," please realize what you are actually saying. You are claiming that your opponents are not believers! Do you really want to stand by that claim? Then be prepared to go all out. Be consistent! Call us unbelievers. Treat us as unbelievers. Nevermind that we claim to believe in the Gospel, the five Solas, the five points of Calvinism, the Nicene creed and the Trinity. According to you, we must be outside the Kingdom of God, and treated accordingly. That IS the logical implication of what you are saying.

On an ecclesiastical level, this means that the church I am a member of, or am visiting, must rebuke me for heresy. And since I am "unrepentant," you must excommunicate me. Failure to do so is to tell me that (a) you do not care about my soul; and/or (b) you do not care about sound doctrine. It is not possible to say that the whole thing is "so complicated." Yes, of course it is complicated. BUT either the Truemans of this world are right, and I am condemned to hell, or the Truemans of the world are wrong, and you have to tell me that they are wrong and I am not going to hell. Just because the topic is complicated does not absolve any minister from the requirement of dealing with the topic, because of how serious a charge Trueman et al have leveled against us.

So let's be clear about this: Due to the seriousness of the charge, all ministers must take a position on the matter. You do not have to take a position on whether ESS is biblical or not. But you have to take a position on whether you think someone holding to ESS is a heretic or not (and thus whether Trueman's accusations are correct or not). That is the nature of the controversy over ESS, from the polemical pen of Trueman and company.

[P.S.: Look at the recent article by Aimee Byrd stating that "those who teach ESS are not in line with confessional Nicene trinitarianism." Will she be called out for her lies? We all know that will not happen!)