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Ktoyou
September 28th, 2015, 04:59 PM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].

glorydaz
September 28th, 2015, 05:27 PM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].

Yes, and some verses say "none seek after God" so a doctrine is formed. Other doctrines get formed by another verse....put them all together and you have man's ideas of what God is.


Isaiah 55:6-8
Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

lukecash12
September 28th, 2015, 05:43 PM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].

This doesn't present a problem depending on your understanding of God's atemporality. If God can observe all of time at once, Himself existing outside of and inside of it (immanence and transcendence), He is entirely capable of being sovereign in every sense at the same time that He chooses to allow free will.

God knows what your free response will be not because He is driving exactly what the response will be, but because He has seen what your response will be before you yourself know it. How can He know something that hasn't yet happened without guaranteeing a certain response? He knows because our understanding of events as sequential is no barrier to Him. To Him it "has happened".

oatmeal
September 28th, 2015, 06:04 PM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].

Foreknowledge is not fate nor is it preprogramming nor is it predestination as used in the English language.

Foreknowledge is simply that. Knowledge of future actions, events, decisions, etc.

Foreknowledge given by God to wise people will enable the wise person to make wise decisions regarding that information.

Take Joseph and the butler and baker. Each was given the outcome, but did they use that knowledge?

But we see Joseph and Pharaoh. Pharaoh recognized Joseph's excellent spirit, and Pharaoh wisely chose Joseph's wise counsel regarding the upcoming plenty and then lack.

God has given us foreknowledge of future events in scripture, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, for instance. What are you doing with that information? It your choice what you do with that information

ttruscott
September 29th, 2015, 12:47 AM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom.
...

Your logic is impeccable if it is based on the pagan Greek definition of omniscience brought into the Church by Augustine: GOD knows everything that can be known from eternity past to eternity future.

That this is a failure is proven by the fact that it means GOD knew who would end in hell but created them anyway, a blasphemy against HIS loving holiness. It is sad to think that there are actually sincere people who have been sucked into believing this blasphemy and accepting it.

The Bible definition, NOT in the adoration of the early church for Greek wisdom, is:
Acts 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
This says HIS omniscience refers to 'all HIS works' and it started at 'the beginning of the world.' All HIS works describe HIS creative decrees.

Therefore if HE did not decree into creation something, HE did not know it...and I contend HE did not decree the results of our true free will decisions so HE did not know what those results would be until we decided them for our selves.

ttruscott
September 29th, 2015, 12:50 AM
This doesn't present a problem depending on your understanding of God's atemporality. If God can observe all of time at once, Himself existing outside of and inside of it (immanence and transcendence), He is entirely capable of being sovereign in every sense at the same time that He chooses to allow free will.

...

Time Lord theology is a waste of my time - a blatant exercise in double think disguised as theology.

Ask Mr. Religion
September 29th, 2015, 01:16 AM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God's foreknowledge should not be confused with foreordination.

Necessity of a hypothetical inference...
If God foreknew Peter would sin, then Peter cannot refrain from sinning. (Incorrect)

The interpretation above wrongly interprets God's foreknowledge as impinging upon Peter's moral free agency. The proper understanding is:

The necessity of the consequent of the hypothetical...
Necessarily, if God foreknew Peter would sin, then Peter does not refrain from sinning. (Correct)

In other words, the actions of moral free agents do not take place because they are foreseen, the actions are foreseen because the actions are certain to take place.


God's perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: "For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature" [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].

In BOTW, Luther takes care to deny the notion of "free" will, and hence "free" choices in any libertarian notion. This is not denial of "true human freedom", rather a confirmation of exactly what "true human freedom means" in light of Scripture and not in light of what man would claim, seeking to be wholly autonomous from His Maker.

For those who have yet to actually read the work, the major propositions in Luther's BOTW are as follows:

1 A fallen sinner is totally unable to cooperate with divine grace.

2 Salvation is exclusively the result of divine monergism.

3 God foreknows what he does and does what he foreknows.

4 To say that a fallen sinner has the power to cooperate with divine grace is a denial of the necessity of Christ’s work.

5 The human will is in bondage to sin because of our union with Adam in his fall.

6 Everything happens according to the divine foreknowledge and will and therefore whatever occurs is, in this sense, ‘necessary’ but not ‘compulsory’.

7 The regenerate and unregenerate act according to their respective wills.

8 Necessity does not destroy moral responsibility.

9 God’s will is immutable.

10 Human free will is a denial of divine freedom.

11 ‘Free will’ an ‘empty term’ which should be discarded.

12 Predestination is the sine qua non of assurance.

13 God has predestined some to eternal life and others to eternal damnation.

14 Predestination is fundamentally paradoxical.

15 Ought does not imply can (Nominalism over realism).

16 ‘God preached’ must be distinguished from ‘God hidden’.

17 Sola gratia, Sola fide denies free will.

18 Human inability disproves free will.

Hence, the quote from Luther, taken in the full context of what he discusses in BOTW about "free will", make perfect sense.

AMR

intojoy
September 29th, 2015, 05:11 AM
God knows all things simultaneously at the same time. He is God.
Man's ability to choose is due to God's permissive will. Because God can and does place self imposed limitations on His divine sovereignty we choose and make mistake after mistake in this life.

However, our choices are always according to the sin nature and always rejects God until salvation occurs and the Holy Spirit enables us to follow Christ.

themuzicman
September 29th, 2015, 06:03 AM
Foreknowledge is not fate nor is it preprogramming nor is it predestination as used in the English language.

No, but definite foreknowledge quires one of those things happen


Foreknowledge is simply that. Knowledge of future actions, events, decisions, etc.

Foreknowledge given by God to wise people will enable the wise person to make wise decisions regarding that information.

Take Joseph and the butler and baker. Each was given the outcome, but did they use that knowledge?

But we see Joseph and Pharaoh. Pharaoh recognized Joseph's excellent spirit, and Pharaoh wisely chose Joseph's wise counsel regarding the upcoming plenty and then lack.

God has given us foreknowledge of future events in scripture, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, for instance. What are you doing with that information? It your choice what you do with that information

You seem to be claiming that God can't bring about His prophecies without determining everything beforehand. That's a denial of God's omniscience and wisdom.

Here's your proof of incompatibility:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/free-will-foreknowledge/#1

Ktoyou
September 29th, 2015, 09:06 PM
I noticed not much response from OV theologians here? Where did they go?

Knight once said something similar to. "If you saw a movie of the future and in the movie you saw your grandson order a drink, he picked strawberry, not grape, then having seen it did he have a choice to pick strawberry, or did your ability to foresee determine it?"

The thread was too hard for me to find.

popsthebuilder
September 29th, 2015, 09:12 PM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].
No. Free will is evident. If it wasn't then we wouldn't sin. God can know what will happen and we can still have free will. God wrote the book and knows every part including the end. But he gave us an alternative in our free will. If we could actually abide by God's will then we would be good to go. According to scripture that won't happen. But given free will, it could. If God wanted a bunch of plants then he would have made more plants instead of humans. If he wanted robots then he would have created man with freedom to do right or wrong, and a knack for screwing themselves over while acting like this material world is all there is.

Ktoyou
September 29th, 2015, 09:36 PM
Where are those who disagree with you?

I see, you identify as a Pinko Commie, no way I would consider you.

Greg Jennings
September 29th, 2015, 09:59 PM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].

Something I've always been curious about: if God is omniscient and knows the future then why was the flood necessary? Shouldn't he have seen man's depravity coming and done something before it got so bad that he had to wipe everyone out? The same goes for Adam and Eve. He should have known that they were going to eat from the tree right?

patrick jane
September 29th, 2015, 10:15 PM
Something I've always been curious about: if God is omniscient and knows the future then why was the flood necessary? Shouldn't he have seen man's depravity coming and done something before it got so bad that he had to wipe everyone out? The same goes for Adam and Eve. He should have known that they were going to eat from the tree right?

i'm sure somebody here has better answers than me. i chalk it it up to faith at the end of the day. i have had detailed thought about those questions and believe that God hoped we would obey his one simple commandment (garden), then the 10, but really FAITH is the only thing required -

Greg Jennings
September 29th, 2015, 10:21 PM
i'm sure somebody here has better answers than me. i chalk it it up to faith at the end of the day. i have had detailed thought about those questions and believe that God hoped we would obey his one simple commandment (garden), then the 10, but really FAITH is the only thing required -

Alright. To be clear I'm not trying to stir things up. Not that you came off as offended because you didn't, but others might. Just asking a question

patrick jane
September 29th, 2015, 10:25 PM
This doesn't present a problem depending on your understanding of God's atemporality. If God can observe all of time at once, Himself existing outside of and inside of it (immanence and transcendence), He is entirely capable of being sovereign in every sense at the same time that He chooses to allow free will.

God knows what your free response will be not because He is driving exactly what the response will be, but because He has seen what your response will be before you yourself know it. How can He know something that hasn't yet happened without guaranteeing a certain response? He knows because our understanding of events as sequential is no barrier to Him. To Him it "has happened".

qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.

patrick jane
September 29th, 2015, 10:29 PM
Alright. To be clear I'm not trying to stir things up. Not that you came off as offended because you didn't, but others might. Just asking a question

no, if folks are honest, we've all been down these roads of thought processes -

Hebrews 11:3 KJV -

patrick jane
September 29th, 2015, 10:31 PM
i like lukecash12's answer in post 3

popsthebuilder
September 29th, 2015, 10:33 PM
Something I've always been curious about: if God is omniscient and knows the future then why was the flood necessary? Shouldn't he have seen man's depravity coming and done something before it got so bad that he had to wipe everyone out? The same goes for Adam and Eve. He should have known that they were going to eat from the tree right?
It all goes back to free will. Free will of man and Angel. That is the only the mg that isn't preordained or predestined. It allows for great potential for good under God, and horrible potential for evil through greed.

lukecash12
September 30th, 2015, 01:59 AM
Time Lord theology is a waste of my time - a blatant exercise in double think disguised as theology.

God's timelessness is Orthodox theology, so I really don't see this disguise you're talking about. God is not created, hence He isn't constrained by anything the created order is constrained by.

lukecash12
September 30th, 2015, 02:04 AM
i like lukecash12's answer in post 3

Hey, thanks bro. If you don't mind me asking: where do you personally fall on these issues? Are you an Arminian too?

Soli deo gloria.

Greg Jennings
September 30th, 2015, 02:12 AM
Hey, thanks bro. If you don't mind me asking: where do you personally fall on these issues? Are you an Arminian too?

Soli deo gloria.

For what it's worth I also found your answer that Patrick Jane refers to as a good one

Desert Reign
September 30th, 2015, 02:46 AM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].

I agree with the logic behind this. I have said before that Calvinist doctrine is more coherent than Arminianism. It is however the rank repugnance of the Calvinist position that is it's issue.

But all that said, I fail to see how any discussion of God's knowledge can be had without first understanding what we mean by knowledge. For example, when you say 'foreknows all future things', that sounds very vague. What 'things' are we talking about here? Unless people can answer this, I don't see the point in talking about it. And indeed, I believe that discussion will continue to be unfinished and contradictory, as it has been for centuries, for as long as people refuse to grapple with this.

Totton Linnet
September 30th, 2015, 03:00 AM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].
*

I believe Luther's "Bondage of the will" is the most important writing since the apostles.

The church groans and grinds to a halt under "freewill" doctrine, evangelism grinds to halt. The doctrines of God's sovereignty and the doctrines of Free Grace sets God FREE to will and to do of His own good pleasure.

God's good pleasure is to save, to deliver, to heal, to bless and provision men and women...THAT'S who He is, that's what He does.

It is not man's will to be saved, it is God's will...man's will is to flee and hide at the sound of God's call, to cover up his nakedness.

Just a snippet of thought here about the way "freewill" STOPS you from sharing the gospel.

You see the girls on the street corner, the drug addict in the subway, the pimps, the trannies, the homos....you think "there is no way I can convince them of the gospel....these people are lost, these peope are beyond the pale" so you walk on by.

You think it all depends upon them first understanding, then reasoning, then making a decision of their own "freewill"

The bible way is for the gospel to be preached and the Holy Ghost falling upon the hearers......they will cry out if'n the Holy Ghost falls upon them.

Desert Reign
September 30th, 2015, 03:03 AM
For what it's worth I also found your answer that Patrick Jane refers to as a good one

The argument that God is outside of time is a cop out. Calvin used it too. Time itself is only a mental construct. If God wants to think of himself as doing things sequentially then why shouldn't he? Asserting that God is outside of time is the same as asserting that he is unable to do anything because 'things' (see my first post) can only exist if they have structures. And events can only exist if they can be distinguished from other events happening before and after them. That is after all what 'event' means.

lukecash12
September 30th, 2015, 04:25 AM
The argument that God is outside of time is a cop out. Calvin used it too. Time itself is only a mental construct. If God wants to think of himself as doing things sequentially then why shouldn't he? Asserting that God is outside of time is the same as asserting that he is unable to do anything because 'things' (see my first post) can only exist if they have structures. And events can only exist if they can be distinguished from other events happening before and after them. That is after all what 'event' means.

A good question and some good critiques, thank you. While we might think as if time is one necessary underlying predicate to distinguish events, it is in reality a contingent property of matter.

God, having created everything, is by His very definition not bound by anything contingent to matter. That is why He can observe all of reality without being fettered by tense.


But all that siad, I fail to see how any discussion of God's knowledge can be had without first understanding what we mean by knowledge. For example, when you say 'foreknows all future things', that sounds very vague. What 'things' are we talking about here? Unless people can answer this, I don't see the point in talking about it. And indeed, I believe that discussion will continue to be unfinished and contradictory, as it has been for centuries, for as long as people refuse to grapple with this.

This is your more profound question and critique. Does anything not in the present tense even exist in the first place? How exactly is it that God possesses His knowledge?

In this instance the Scriptures are clear, God says that He is aware of everything, of our thoughts and what will happen in the future. I'll not gainsay His own Word. But I'm sure He doesn't mind my fascination either, as grand as He is.

So we must set scriptural a posteriori reasoning aside for the time being, and consider the problems you pose that are begging for a priori answers outside of those bounds.

How might I approach this? Those "things" that God knows are ontological truths, governing the fundamental nature of reality. Complete knowledge of such truths necessarily entails understanding the changes in reality. Any tense other than the present, in our minds, is merely conceived of changes in reality, sequences in either direction. Rather than "cop-out" with the typical explanation of atemporality, I would posit that complete knowledge of governing truths will by it's very nature allow knowledge of all particulars.

Ontological knowledge in general is more broad than issues like types of causes. How would all encompassing ontological knowledge be obtainable? Through the act of creation itself. Predicates this fundamental would have to be determined exactly in order for there even to be Creation.

bybee
September 30th, 2015, 05:40 AM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].

And, what would be the point of prayer? Why would God want to hear our requests, our pain, our sorrow? Would not prayer then become an irritant? A form of judgment on our part that we don't like what God has done and is doing?

Desert Reign
September 30th, 2015, 05:55 AM
How might I approach this? Those "things" that God knows are ontological truths, governing the fundamental nature of reality.

Thank you for answering. However, in order not to let a thread mushroom into lengthy posts with complicated trails, I just want to ask you a specific question about your above statement.

The question is this: Is God real?
Think about it in relation to your above statement. I don't mind you giving me a long answer but I have been deliberately brief just in case the penny drops and you see the light. In case something clicks.


And, what would be the point of prayer? Why would God want to hear our requests, our pain, our sorrow? Would not prayer then become an irritant? A form of judgment on our part that we don't like what God has done and is doing?

An excellent question. It's a simple question asked but it has not been refuted by any Calvinist to my knowledge. The best they can say is that prayer is for our benefit, not God's. I remember Lon for example saying that God testing Abraham was for his benefit, not God's and that God himself was not learning anything. Of course that is the exact opposite of what scripture says. But it's the best they can do.

patrick jane
September 30th, 2015, 06:49 AM
The argument that God is outside of time is a cop out. Calvin used it too. Time itself is only a mental construct. If God wants to think of himself as doing things sequentially then why shouldn't he? Asserting that God is outside of time is the same as asserting that he is unable to do anything because 'things' (see my first post) can only exist if they have structures. And events can only exist if they can be distinguished from other events happening before and after them. That is after all what 'event' means.

I find the concept of a timeless God to be logical even though i have no clue how God does it or what it's like. it is a leap of faith among many we take as Christians. i disagree that it's the same as asserting He is unable to do 'anything' or 'things' - God doesn't need the structure(s) that our finite minds need, i imagine.

Jamie Gigliotti
September 30th, 2015, 06:53 AM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].

This is the way God has convinced me to see things, at least until He convinces me otherwise.

With an assumption that God has foreknowledge.The question then what is that foreknowledge. If the Angels sing when one sinner comes to repentence, have they already sung? Has the story been already been completed and God just is outside the story viewing it for His enjoyment? Or is He inside the story interacting with the story, loving the protaganists, waiting at home for the lost to return.

The word foreknowledge itself lends to the idea that the future has not happened yet. And if God loves the world and wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth the story is not over yet and until the Father says the end is now. There is time for God to be found and known by those He loves.

It is entirely possible for God to see every possible choice, every possible road each and everyone of us could go down all at once, and with work with His Spirit in us and through us to create the love that He so desires to share with each and everyone of us freely.

What a grand lie that our free loving response to such an awesome loving graceful Father could ever detract from His awesomeness. No man can boast about the love lavished upon them or their humble loving response. But man will answer for His prideful rejection.

patrick jane
September 30th, 2015, 07:06 AM
Hey, thanks bro. If you don't mind me asking: where do you personally fall on these issues? Are you an Arminian too?

Soli deo gloria.

well there are some beliefs in Calvinism that i can't agree with; i know them when i see/hear them. i haven't studied much on Arminian or Calvinist per se, although i have seen/heard some doctrinal teachings. i have a problem with any doctrine that claims some folks were just born to go to hell. i subscribe to Mid-Acts-Dispensation focusing on Romans-Philemon

popsthebuilder
September 30th, 2015, 07:17 AM
And, what would be the point of prayer? Why would God want to hear our requests, our pain, our sorrow? Would not prayer then become an irritant? A form of judgment on our part that we don't like what God has done and is doing?
The point of prayer is to stay under God so as to not veer from his path and presence. You shouldn't pray for desires of the flesh.

Greg Jennings
September 30th, 2015, 08:43 AM
The argument that God is outside of time is a cop out. Calvin used it too. Time itself is only a mental construct. If God wants to think of himself as doing things sequentially then why shouldn't he? Asserting that God is outside of time is the same as asserting that he is unable to do anything because 'things' (see my first post) can only exist if they have structures. And events can only exist if they can be distinguished from other events happening before and after them. That is after all what 'event' means.

Physicists would disagree with much of what you've said here about time and I think that God being outside of time would actually make him able to do 'everything' as opposed to 'nothing' but clearly you disagree and that's fine. This is pure ideology. You can't really be wrong

Desert Reign
September 30th, 2015, 09:24 AM
Physicists would disagree with much of what you've said here about time

Why?


and I think that God being outside of time would actually make him able to do 'everything' as opposed to 'nothing' but clearly you disagree and that's fine. This is pure ideology. You can't really be wrong

It's not just ideology. It's logic. Physicists would agree with me that causation is a mental construct. Wouldn't you also?

Lon
September 30th, 2015, 09:24 AM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices,
True to this point BUT we must define free between us. What you and I mean by it are very different concepts, I believe. I am not 'free' of gravity though I may defy it.


]...thus not accountable for their choices. Culpability≠ Freewill by any necessity. It is just 1 way that culpability 'can' exist. For instance, I 'can' defy the laws of gravity but that doesn't mean I am 'free' from it. I am culpable to gravity and thus, will pay dues according to its laws (culpability) even though "I cannot be free (freewill equivocation) from it." Therefore (hopefully) I've demonstrated that freewill is not necessary for culpability. Rather, a disregard/rejection of gravity laws and principles, demands a set of ensuing consequences.

Even further, I was born with a specific lifespan. I cannot exceed that lifespan because I have no 'will' over that limitation.

The idea of 'freewill' comes from a system of 'punishment' as if God has to enact a punishment for our exercise of will and while scripture certainly does include such a notion, it is, imho, clearer that there are consequences (cause/effect) to sin. As such, we are 'free' about something, true, but not about everything and this is the categorical mistake, I believe that ensues and confuses on any freewill discussion. I do not believe we have an uncategorical freewill. We have only semblances of freedom for will consideration, apart from an action/consequential necessary structure, imho.


God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom.
Yes it does. You are correct, but note the difference between our understandings of the will as pertaining to freedom. It does need discussion because our 'conclusions' over that matter are different, not the observation. IOW, we are coming away from what you just said as true, with different ideas of what 'negation of free will' means. I believe you are seeing it as a 'removal' of what exists in you and I am seeing it as a removal of a faulty idea that never existed in the first place.


The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].
"Free" here is the difficult point to make, and make proper sense of, for we go separate ways, all of us, in conclusions over the matter of the statement.

Again, I will go away thinking my 'concept of what I thought existed, but never did' had to be corrected. You or another will come away thinking the statement from Luther cannot be true because of an embraced idea of freewill as an actual existence by self-evidentiary conclusion.

I DO think/believe that "no freewill" is counter-intuitive to finite fallen man. I had a great war within over this matter because of it. I intuited my libertarian freewill as most of us do. Scripture reading over a long period of time changed that perception for me. Because this discussion is so deeply ingrained, in us, it is not my desire to argue the case but give hopefully, helpful indicators towards meaningful answers and point back to scripture that call us to 'deny ourselves (freewill) and take up our cross daily' as well as remembering "(we) are not our own, we were bought with a price." Such notions run counter-intuitive to libertarian freewill, but I believe God necessitates that we wrestle often over the matter in prayerful consideration and as such, I believe this is one of the most important OP discussions we can have between believers on TOL.

In Him,

Lon

Lon
September 30th, 2015, 09:34 AM
Something I've always been curious about: if God is omniscient and knows the future then why was the flood necessary? Shouldn't he have seen man's depravity coming and done something before it got so bad that he had to wipe everyone out? The same goes for Adam and Eve. He should have known that they were going to eat from the tree right?
Good question but it doesn't negate the counsel of God. That is, whether the question is answerable or not, doesn't really mean anything one way or the other, HOWEVER your question has assumptions in it such as "shouldn't" "then why" and "He should have..." that must be addressed to correct your line of questioning and thinking prior to addressing the main question.

Greg Jennings
September 30th, 2015, 09:42 AM
Why?



It's not just ideology. It's logic. Physicists would agree with me that causation is a mental construct. Wouldn't you also?

A minority of physicists would yes. These same physicists believe that all points in time throughout history lie together and that our senses construct timelines to make sense of this. But most consider time to be intertwined with space in a 4 dimensional construct known as space-time. This idea was formulated by Einstein himself. This is where the possibility of things like wormholes become physically possible: by bending and warping space-time to travel distances that are light years apart in mere moments.

Desert Reign
September 30th, 2015, 10:23 AM
A minority of physicists would yes. These same physicists believe that all points in time throughout history lie together and that our senses construct timelines to make sense of this.

I don't buy that.


But most consider time to be intertwined with space in a 4 dimensional construct known as space-time. This idea was formulated by Einstein himself. Sure, I go along wth that. But.
1) I was referring to quantum theory, suggesting that macro events of cause-effect are indeed mental constructs, whilst the reality is of myriad randomly generated quantum events.
2) 4d Space-time is itself a construct. All Einstein is saying is that because light is the reference speed, then all other movement (and communication) is relative. The 4d space-time is just a visual tool that helps some people visualise the effect of relativity.
In reality, time itself is a construct, not because events do not happen sequentially but because they do! Time doesn't flow at 1 hour per hour. It is just an agreement we all make so that we get to work at the same time and so that we can say that the train is late or we arrived early. Clocks don't measure time because time doesn't exist. I am sure that Einstein would agree with this. 4D space time does not mean that time is a physical dimension of the universe. The reason why we are able to conceive of time is that the universe is homogeneous. The same kind of clock works in the same way in one place as it does in another. And give or take a micro-second or three, the Earth rotates at the same speed every day.


I find the concept of a timeless God to be logical even though i have no clue how God does it or what it's like. it is a leap of faith among many we take as Christians. i disagree that it's the same as asserting He is unable to do 'anything' or 'things' - God doesn't need the structure(s) that our finite minds need, i imagine.

You seem to be stating that God is imaginary. Surely, if God is real (see my question posed earlier), then there should be something you could say about him that is straightforward and unqualified.

Jamie Gigliotti
September 30th, 2015, 10:23 AM
A minority of physicists would yes. These same physicists believe that all points in time throughout history lie together and that our senses construct timelines to make sense of this. But most consider time to be intertwined with space in a 4 dimensional construct known as space-time. This idea was formulated by Einstein himself. This is where the possibility of things like wormholes become physically possible: by bending and warping space-time to travel distances that are light years apart in mere moments.

Man's feeble attempt to define what we do, and have done and will do. No doubt we are doing something and that is the point. In "our intelligence" we think we can figure things out but we see that even time is relative. But at the end of the day it will come down to our defintions, our perception of the truth and what is the truth? What really is real? I personally have been whole heartedly convinced there is much more than meets the eye.

Greg Jennings
September 30th, 2015, 10:29 AM
I don't buy that.


Sure, I go along wth that. But.
1) I was referring to quantum theory, suggesting that macro events of cause-effect are indeed mental constructs, whilst the reality is of myriad randomly generated quantum events.
2) 4d Space-time is itself a construct. All Einstein is saying is that because light is the reference speed, then all other movement (and communication) is relative. The 4d space-time is just a visual tool that helps some people visualise the effect of relativity.
In reality, time itself is a construct, not because events do not happen sequentially but because they do! Time doesn't flow at 1 hour per hour. It is just an agreement we all make so that we get to work at the same time and so that we can say that the train is late or we arrived early. Clocks don't measure time because time doesn't exist. I am sure that Einstein would agree with this. 4D space time does not mean that time is a physical dimension of the universe. The reason why we are able to conceive of time is that the universe is homogeneous. The same kind of clock works in the same way in one place as it does in another. And give or take a micro-second or three, the Earth rotates at the same speed every day.

I think we're more or less on the same page. Just using different language

Greg Jennings
September 30th, 2015, 10:30 AM
Man's feeble attempt to define what we do, and have done and will do. No doubt we are doing something and that is the point. In "our intelligence" we think we can figure things out but we see that even time is relative. But at the end of the day it will come down to our defintions, our perception of the truth and what is the truth? What really is real? I personally have been whole heartedly convinced there is much more than meets the eye.

You're right. That's why there is so much speculation and vastly different schools of thought in physics. We have so much to learn in comparison to what we know

Huckleberry
September 30th, 2015, 10:37 AM
I don't buy that.


Sure, I go along wth that. But.
1) I was referring to quantum theory, suggesting that macro events of cause-effect are indeed mental constructs, whilst the reality is of myriad randomly generated quantum events.
2) 4d Space-time is itself a construct. All Einstein is saying is that because light is the reference speed, then all other movement (and communication) is relative. The 4d space-time is just a visual tool that helps some people visualise the effect of relativity.
In reality, time itself is a construct, not because events do not happen sequentially but because they do! Time doesn't flow at 1 hour per hour. It is just an agreement we all make so that we get to work at the same time and so that we can say that the train is late or we arrived early. Clocks don't measure time because time doesn't exist. I am sure that Einstein would agree with this. 4D space time does not mean that time is a physical dimension of the universe. The reason why we are able to conceive of time is that the universe is homogeneous. The same kind of clock works in the same way in one place as it does in another. And give or take a micro-second or three, the Earth rotates at the same speed every day.Ever get the impression that physicists feel compelled to inject a sense of mystical awe into this sort of thing when they explain it? And that's why so many people are so confused about something that really isn't, or at least shouldn't be, all that difficult to understand?

PureX
September 30th, 2015, 10:42 AM
If God foreknows all future things, then everything has to happen in the way that it is foreknown, then those involved have to participate in the way in which they are foreknown to take part. And if those involved have to participate as foreknown, then they are not free to make choices, thus not accountable for their choices.

God’s perfect foreknowledge seems logically to negate true human freedom. The Reformers recognized this by the following quotation from Luther: “For if we believe it to be true that God foreknows and predestines all things, that he can neither be mistaken in his foreknowledge nor hindered in his predestination, and that nothing takes place but as he wills it, then on the testimony of reason itself there cannot be any free choice in man or angel or any creature” [Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, Conclusion].I don't believe that "omniscience", by definition, must include knowledge of that which has not happened and/or that which does not exist. To include these as part of the definition of the term, would create an illogical and innately contradictory idea for the term to represent, rendering the term meaningless.

Also, it is clear to me, and to most thinking people, that existence includes the phenomena of chance. Not everything that happens is pre-ordained by the various 'laws' of reality. There are many instances in which the influencing circumstances become overwhelmed by the limited possible outcomes, so that the outcome that results really is being determined by chance.

Desert Reign
September 30th, 2015, 11:36 AM
Ever get the impression that physicists feel compelled to inject a sense of mystical awe into this sort of thing when they explain it? And that's why so many people are so confused about something that really isn't, or at least shouldn't be, all that difficult to understand?

I have no objection to physicists getting high about their chosen profession. You would certainly balk at some of the things Newton believed. People are confused because a) they are not intelligent enough to understand the workings of relativity or the issues involved in the phosophy of knowledge and b) because they don't care. It's not the responsibility of scientists to make knowledge palatable or comprehensible to the masses, although some of course do make it their responsibility and these tend to be the more outgoing and flowery personalities anyway. You just have to learn to read between the lines.


I don't believe that "omniscience", by definition, must include knowledge of that which has not happened and/or that which does not exist. To include these as part of the definition of the term, would create an illogical and innately contradictory idea for the term to represent, rendering the term meaningless.

Also, it is clear to me, and to most thinking people, that existence includes the phenomena of chance. Not everything that happens is pre-ordained by the various 'laws' of reality. There are many instances in which the influencing circumstances become overwhelmed by the limited possible outcomes, so that the outcome that results really is being determined by chance.

You seem to recognise that talk about God needs to be coherent, just as talk about anything needs to be, which is certainly a good thing. But let me ask you about the bolded part: in that sentence I would have expected 'the various laws of physics (or chemistry)'. Is that what you meant? If not, and you really meant 'reality', then can you give some examples of these 'laws of reality' so that I can understand what you mean?

PureX
September 30th, 2015, 11:51 AM
You seem to recognise that talk about God needs to be coherent, just as talk about anything needs to be, which is certainly a good thing. But let me ask you about the bolded part: in that sentence I would have expected 'the various laws of physics (or chemistry)'. Is that what you meant? If not, and you really meant 'reality', then can you give some examples of these 'laws of reality' so that I can understand what you mean?I realize that my use of that term is a bit awkward, and I considered changing it for a while before I posted. But for me, the 'laws of physics' are as much a matter of our perception of reality as they are anything in and of themselves. Much is made around here of the presumed difference between "objective" and "subjective" reality, but both of these descriptions are being applied to reality as we perceive it. And even the "laws" that we perceive to be manifesting apart from any human being's perception of them are still a concept based on how we human beings perceive and understand our experience of reality. And so they do not entirely escape the parameters of our "subjective" experience and understanding of things.

The bottom line, for me, is that "objective physical existence", and our "subjective perception of" that existence, are still one and the same. So that those "laws" we perceive to be existent apart from our perception of them, are nevertheless still manifestations of our perception of reality, and so are not 'apart' from it. So I let the phrase "laws of reality" stay in the post.

For me, that would be an accurate way of representing them.

lukecash12
September 30th, 2015, 02:27 PM
Thank you for answering. However, in order not to let a thread mushroom into lengthy posts with complicated trails, I just want to ask you a specific question about your above statement.

The question is this: Is God real?
Think about it in relation to your above statement. I don't mind you giving me a long answer but I have been deliberately brief just in case the penny drops and you see the light. In case something clicks.

Oh, it clicked right away. It's quite nice to find another sparring partner that can not only keep but set pace.

You're prodding with the observation that if everything ontological, everything real is dependent on God, then how can anything be ontologically true about God Himself? Or more to the point: if God is utterly transcendent, how is that consistent with Him being real?

The only reasonable conclusion I can arrive at here, is that God Himself is the sole ontological axiom. Instead of arriving at the question "is God real", on these grounds we arrive at the question: "Is God reality itself?" Or better yet: "Is God the true meaning of the proposition 'real'."

But let's not be coy with each other: where are you at on this subject? What is a reasonable conclusion to you?

Ktoyou
September 30th, 2015, 02:30 PM
God is dynamic, not static! He knows all there is to know.

Ask Mr. Religion
September 30th, 2015, 02:33 PM
And, what would be the point of prayer? Why would God want to hear our requests, our pain, our sorrow? Would not prayer then become an irritant? A form of judgment on our part that we don't like what God has done and is doing?

Do you think you are somehow telling God something He does not already know? Or are you asking for something He has not already determined to give or not give?

Prayer is a means by which we draw nearer to God. God states that we should pray for the following reasons:

1. That the Lord God Himself should be honored through worship. (Isaiah 57:15; Jonah 2:9)
2. For our spiritual blessing, as a means for our growth in grace. (Psalms 116:1)
3. For our seeking from Him the things which we are in need. (James 4:2)

But here (reason #3 above) a difficulty to some presents itself. If God has foreordained, before the foundation of the world, everything which happens in time, what is the use of prayer? If it is true that God is sovereign, that is "of Him and through Him and to Him are all things" (Romans 11:30), then why pray?

Prayer is to acknowledge that God does know of what we are in need. Prayer is not required to inform of God with the knowledge of what we need, but is designed for us to confess to God of our sense of need. In this, as in everything, God's thoughts are not like our thoughts. God requires that His gifts should be sought after. God desires to be honored by our asking, just as He is to be thanked by us after He has bestowed His blessing upon us.

However, the question still remains, If God is sovereign, that is the Ordainer of everything that will happen, and the Regulator of all events, then isn’t prayer a profitless exercise?

One sufficient answer to these questions is that God admonishes us to pray, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). And again, "men ought always to pray" (Luke 18:1). Moreover, the Scriptures declare that "the prayer of faith shall save the sick," and "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:15-16); and Christ, our perfect Example in all things, was foremost a Person of Prayer. Thus, it is evident, that prayer is neither meaningless nor valueless. But this still does not remove the difficulty nor answer the question: What then is the relationship between God's Sovereignty and Christian prayer?

To begin, I would assert that prayer is not intended to change God's purpose, nor is it to move Him to form fresh purposes. God has decreed that certain events shall come to pass through the means He has appointed for their accomplishment. God has elected certain ones to be saved, but He has also decreed that these shall be converted through the preaching the Gospel. The Gospel, then, is one of the appointed means for the working out of the eternal counsel of the Lord; and prayer is another. God has decreed the means as well as the end, and among the means is prayer. Even the prayers of His people are included in His eternal decrees. Therefore, instead of prayers being in vain they are one the means through which God exercises His decrees.

That prayers for the execution of the very things decreed by God are not meaningless is clearly taught in the Scriptures. Elijah knew that God was about to give rain, but that did not prevent him from at once taking himself to prayer (James 5:17-18). Daniel "understood" by the writings of the prophets that the captivity was to last but seventy years, yet when these seventy years were almost ended we are told that he set his face "unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes" (Daniel 9:2-3). God told the prophet Jeremiah “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” (Jeremiah 29:11-12).

Here then is the design of prayer: not that God's will may be altered (for it cannot), but that it may be accomplished in His own good time and way. It is because God has promised certain things that we can ask for them with the full assurance of faith. It is God's purpose that His will is brought about by His own appointed means, and that He may do His people good upon His own terms, and that is, by the 'means' and 'terms' of entreaty and supplication. Did not Christ know for certain that after His death and resurrection He would be exalted by the Father? Of course He did. Yet we find Christ asking for this very thing in John 17:5: "And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed." Did not Christ know that none of His people could perish? Yet He sought God the Father to "keep" them (John 17:11).

It should be remembered that God's will is immutable, and cannot be altered by our pleas. When the mind of God is not toward a people to do them good, it cannot be turned to them by the most fervent and troublesome prayer of those who have the greatest interest in Him: "Then the LORD said to me, "Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go!" (Jeremiah 15:1). Similarly, the prayers of Moses to enter the Promised Land are another example.

So, in summary, we have the answer, namely, that our prayers are in the ordaining, and that God has as much ordained His people's prayers as anything else He has ordained, and when we pray we are producing links in the chain of ordained facts. God decrees that we should pray—we pray; God decrees that we shall be answered, and the answer comes to us.

Prayer does not change God. Prayer changes us.

AMR

Ktoyou
September 30th, 2015, 03:19 PM
Yes, prayer is not to inform, or importune.

ttruscott
September 30th, 2015, 05:29 PM
God's timelessness is Orthodox theology, so I really don't see this disguise you're talking about. God is not created, hence He isn't constrained by anything the created order is constrained by.

GOD's eternal nature is written about but where is the verse that proves this means HE is 'timeless'? HE is not acting timeless when deals with HIS creation, how do we know HE is timeless pre-creation in eternity?

Do you limit HIM by claiming that the Trinity never sang love songs to each other or told jokes ? all of which need time, creativity and imagination?

ttruscott
September 30th, 2015, 05:33 PM
I find the concept of a timeless God to be logical even though i have no clue how God does it or what it's like. it is a leap of faith among many we take as Christians. i disagree that it's the same as asserting He is unable to do 'anything' or 'things' - God doesn't need the structure(s) that our finite minds need, i imagine.

Why bother with this leap if there is no need for it...where is the verse?

Ktoyou
September 30th, 2015, 05:33 PM
Prayer does not change God. Prayer changes us.

AMR


:up:

Desert Reign
September 30th, 2015, 05:46 PM
The bottom line, for me, is that "objective physical existence", and our "subjective perception of" that existence, are still one and the same. So that those "laws" we perceive to be existent apart from our perception of them, are nevertheless still manifestations of our perception of reality, and so are not 'apart' from it.


Oh, it clicked right away. It's quite nice to find another sparring partner that can not only keep but set pace.

You're prodding with the observation that if everything ontological, everything real is dependent on God, then how can anything be ontologically true about God Himself? Or more to the point: if God is utterly transcendent, how is that consistent with Him being real?

The only reasonable conclusion I can arrive at here, is that God Himself is the sole ontological axiom. Instead of arriving at the question "is God real", on these grounds we arrive at the question: "Is God reality itself?" Or better yet: "Is God the true meaning of the proposition 'real'."


We all seem to be talking about the same thing here. Which is nice! But remember the thread subject was about knowledge.

So here's a piece of knowledge:

Force equals mass times acceleration.

Is this statement real? (This is not the same as 'Is this statement true?') Does this statement really exist?

I used this statement as an example because it is easier than talking about God. I hope you will agree that yes, this statement is real. In form and context, it is a statement about mechanics. Perhaps you would agree that it is one of your 'fundamental laws of reality'. I would prefer the term 'definition of reality'.

It isn't exactly true but it's close enough for our purposes.

Here's some logic:

If some statement, such as the above, is real and the object of such statement (physical objects in this case) are also real, then reality as a whole, must be self-defining. As Purex says, both the things we see and our perceptions of them are the same thing. I would put it like this: reality as a whole is self-defining.

So our knowledge is not simply a collection of statements about something out there. It is a relationship between that thing out there and the rest of what is out there, such relationship being determined by us. And we ourselves, the definers are also part of that same reality. We both define and are being defined. In fact, everything mutually defines everything else. I could define the chair that I am sitting on as a chair. But I could also define it as a stool. Or I could define it as a piece of firewood. The fact that it is a chair does not derive from itself alone. It derives from the relation it has to the table it is next to, to the human beings who make it and use it. So the statement 'This is a chair' isn't an objective fact that is set in stone by any means. The chair would be completely unrecognisable as a chair to some race of beings who had evolved to live in zero gravity in outer space. They do not and cannot know that it is a chair and could never guess its purpose. In their environment it is quite definitely not a chair.
And if I see a thousand leaves falling from trees around me, I don't define this as a thousand events of leaves falling. Rather I define it is one event of a flurry of autumn leaves falling in a gust of wind. But I could define it as a thousand individual fallings of leaves if I wanted to. I could define it as a floating of leaves or a dying of leaves or as pooing time for trees. The important question about God is not whether he knows what we know. It is about what he considers important. Because how we organise the world around us is a function of what we value. Facts (events, , objects, properties, physical laws, etc., etc.) are not absoute things but are relational. For this reason I do not believe it is appropriate to describe God as omniscient.

What I would say is that God, by nature, has access to everything that is real. But what he knows about it, is just as much a choice he makes as what we know is the reflection of how we choose to define the world around us.

That is why I have sometimes said that God knows everything he needs (wants) to know (and that he is as powerful as he needs to be and that he is wherever he needs to be). This is the true meaning of sovereignty, as contrasted with the totalitarianism of the three omnis, which the Calvinists falsely call sovereignty. This is all you need say about him in relation to knowledge to justify that you are talking about God. No other being can say truly that they know everything they need/want to know.

Still with me?

Ktoyou
September 30th, 2015, 05:51 PM
What I would say is that God, by nature, has access to everything that is real. But what he knows about it, is just as much a choice he makes as what we know is the reflection of how we choose to define the world around us.

That is why I have sometimes said that God knows everything he needs(wants) to know (and that he is as powerful as he needs to be and that he is wherever he needs to be). This is all you need say about him in relation to knowledge to justify that you are talking about God. No other being can say truly that they know everything they need/want to know.

Still with me?

I am with you here.

Angel4Truth
September 30th, 2015, 08:00 PM
I have the foreknowledge that if i offer my child a plate of cookies or a plate of broccoli, which one she will choose, yet i do not force her hand.

musterion
September 30th, 2015, 08:08 PM
I'm not taking any side in this but if God exhaustively knows the future, not just what He has said He shall bring to pass but the total existence of every atom in the universe, then that future must already exist. So where is it? Where does it exist? What space does the already-existing future - all of it - occupy?

PureX
October 1st, 2015, 10:58 AM
So here's a piece of knowledge:

Force equals mass times acceleration.

Is this statement real? (This is not the same as 'Is this statement true?') Does this statement really exist?Of course the statement is "real", in that it is a part or aspect of our reality, as evidenced by our mutual acknowledgement of it. Asking if the statement is true, is actually a very similar question, in that the word "true" in this instance refers to an alignment with reality. What is being asked is: does this statement align with our experience of reality? So that in fact, a statement or idea's truthfulness is being determined by it's alignment or adherence to/with reality.

The truth is 'what is'.

If some statement, such as the above, is real and the object of such statement (physical objects in this case) are also real, then reality as a whole, must be self-defining. As Purex says, both the things we see and our perceptions of them are the same thing. I would put it like this: reality as a whole is self-defining.I agree. And this is, for me, one of the more awesome aspects of existence: that we human beings are an integral part of the mechanism by which existence has become aware of itself!

So our knowledge is not simply a collection of statements about something out there. It is a relationship between that thing out there and the rest of what is out there, such relationship being determined by us. And we ourselves, the definers are also part of that same reality. We both define and are being defined. In fact, everything mutually defines everything else. I could define the chair that I am sitting on as a chair. But I could also define it as a stool. Or I could define it as a piece of firewood. The fact that it is a chair does not derive from itself alone. It derives from the relation it has to the table it is next to, to the human beings who make it and use it. So the statement 'This is a chair' isn't an objective fact that is set in stone by any means. The chair would be completely unrecognisable as a chair to some race of beings who had evolved to live in zero gravity in outer space. They do not and cannot know that it is a chair and could never guess its purpose. In their environment it is quite definitely not a chair.Exactly. Which is why I tend to view that endless debate about objective vs. subjective morality, and objective vs. subjective truth as an absurd and pointless exercise. The object and subject are united by the same existential phenomena.

The important question about God is not whether he knows what we know. It is about what he considers important. Because how we organise the world around us is a function of what we value. Facts (events, , objects, properties, physical laws, etc., etc.) are not absoute things but are relational. For this reason I do not believe it is appropriate to describe God as omniscient.Or perhaps it's not appropriate to describe God at all. After all, the term "God" does not refer to a person, who would think as we think (relationally), but refers to an entity that IS thought, that IS knowledge, and that comprehends all, simultaneously and holistically. Our minds cannot cognate this, as it's so far beyond our own experience and ability.

That is why I have sometimes said that God knows everything he needs (wants) to know (and that he is as powerful as he needs to be and that he is wherever he needs to be). This is the true meaning of sovereignty, as contrasted with the totalitarianism of the three omnis, which the Calvinists falsely call sovereignty. This is all you need say about him in relation to knowledge to justify that you are talking about God. No other being can say truly that they know everything they need/want to know.I would't have worded it quite this way, but I do agree with the assertion of absolute sovereignty. Such that the limits being imposed upon existence are/were selective. And the form and nature of existence that has resulted is the manifestation of intent.

I can't prove this. But I can't deny it, either. Especially as existence does exhibit selective intent almost everywhere we look.

Still with me?Well, I'm not sure where you're going but I'm enjoying the ride. ;)

Jamie Gigliotti
October 1st, 2015, 11:44 AM
I'm not taking any side in this but if God exhaustively knows the future, not just what He has said He shall bring to pass but the total existence of every atom in the universe, then the future must already exist. So where is it? Where does it exist?
Exactly my point of why the future has not happened and unless everything is completely orchestrated giving no meaning to anything, then choices are made and God sees the potential outcomes for every choice we make as He convicts us to bring us to the path of love following Him.

PureX
October 1st, 2015, 01:21 PM
You're prodding with the observation that if everything ontological, everything real is dependent on God, then how can anything be ontologically true about God Himself? Or more to the point: if God is utterly transcendent, how is that consistent with Him being real?A living human being exhibits several levels of spectacular transcendence. One, from the realm of matter to the realm of life, and another from the realm of life to the realm of consciousness. Yet neither of these extraordinary examples of transcendency have resulted in "utter transcendence". We are still made up of matter. And we are still life forms with all that entails even as we are also, now, conscious beings. And we are still dependent upon those 'lesser manifestations' of our being (or so it appears).

Is it possible that we might transcend ourselves yet again, and manifest in some realm of existence that is no longer is dependent upon the realms of matter, and of life, and of consciousness, as we are now? We don't know. Certainly most of the worlds religions believe that we do: that we are already such transcendent spiritual beings, but that we have not yet let go of the shackles of our dependency. But in truth we do not know this to be so.

It is the "million dollar question". Where our knowledge runs out, is where our faith begins.

lukecash12
October 1st, 2015, 08:10 PM
We all seem to be talking about the same thing here. Which is nice! But remember the thread subject was about knowledge.

So here's a piece of knowledge:

Force equals mass times acceleration.

Is this statement real? (This is not the same as 'Is this statement true?') Does this statement really exist?

I used this statement as an example because it is easier than talking about God. I hope you will agree that yes, this statement is real. In form and context, it is a statement about mechanics. Perhaps you would agree that it is one of your 'fundamental laws of reality'. I would prefer the term 'definition of reality'.

It isn't exactly true but it's close enough for our purposes.

Here's some logic:

If some statement, such as the above, is real and the object of such statement (physical objects in this case) are also real, then reality as a whole, must be self-defining. As Purex says, both the things we see and our perceptions of them are the same thing. I would put it like this: reality as a whole is self-defining.

So our knowledge is not simply a collection of statements about something out there. It is a relationship between that thing out there and the rest of what is out there, such relationship being determined by us. And we ourselves, the definers are also part of that same reality. We both define and are being defined. In fact, everything mutually defines everything else. I could define the chair that I am sitting on as a chair. But I could also define it as a stool. Or I could define it as a piece of firewood. The fact that it is a chair does not derive from itself alone. It derives from the relation it has to the table it is next to, to the human beings who make it and use it. So the statement 'This is a chair' isn't an objective fact that is set in stone by any means. The chair would be completely unrecognisable as a chair to some race of beings who had evolved to live in zero gravity in outer space. They do not and cannot know that it is a chair and could never guess its purpose. In their environment it is quite definitely not a chair.
And if I see a thousand leaves falling from trees around me, I don't define this as a thousand events of leaves falling. Rather I define it is one event of a flurry of autumn leaves falling in a gust of wind. But I could define it as a thousand individual fallings of leaves if I wanted to. I could define it as a floating of leaves or a dying of leaves or as pooing time for trees. The important question about God is not whether he knows what we know. It is about what he considers important. Because how we organise the world around us is a function of what we value. Facts (events, , objects, properties, physical laws, etc., etc.) are not absoute things but are relational. For this reason I do not believe it is appropriate to describe God as omniscient.

What I would say is that God, by nature, has access to everything that is real. But what he knows about it, is just as much a choice he makes as what we know is the reflection of how we choose to define the world around us.

That is why I have sometimes said that God knows everything he needs (wants) to know (and that he is as powerful as he needs to be and that he is wherever he needs to be). This is the true meaning of sovereignty, as contrasted with the totalitarianism of the three omnis, which the Calvinists falsely call sovereignty. This is all you need say about him in relation to knowledge to justify that you are talking about God. No other being can say truly that they know everything they need/want to know.

Still with me?

Oh, I'm with you, monsieur. I've been wanting to get back to this, but it's quite a loaded subject. My response is forthcoming, rest assured.

intojoy
October 7th, 2015, 11:40 AM
well there are some beliefs in Calvinism that i can't agree with; i know them when i see/hear them. i haven't studied much on Arminian or Calvinist per se, although i have seen/heard some doctrinal teachings. i have a problem with any doctrine that claims some folks were just born to go to hell. i subscribe to Mid-Acts-Dispensation focusing on Romans-Philemon

No wonder

...get help

Ask Mr. Religion
October 7th, 2015, 02:33 PM
I am with you here.

Knowledge without facts is not knowledge at all. God knowing what He wants to know implies brute facts exists outside of God. God cannot not know something, for this would imply the odd notion that He did not know something, yet this something was before Him in His eternal mind for God to not know.

I am confident Scripture teaches that every fact in the universe exists and operates by virtue of the plan of God. There are no brute facts for God. Modern science, on the other hand, takes for granted the ultimacy of brute facts. By “brute facts” I mean the idea that facts are random bits of information that are not necessarily related in any fixed or given way and may therefore be known by the human interpreter apart from an interpretive context. They are not to be confused with objective facts. The idea of brute facts presupposes that facts are random occurrences in a universe operating according to chance rather than the determined plan and purpose of God. Thus modern science is principally committed to the presupposition that the God spoken of in Scripture does not exist.

Brute facts leads to many a slippery slope. For example, a “fact” does not become a fact, according to the modern scientist’s assumptions, until it has been made a fact by the ultimate definitory power of the mind of man. The modern scientist, pretending to be merely a describer of facts, is in reality a maker of facts. He makes facts as he describes.

According to any consistently Christian position, God, and God only, has ultimate definitory power. God’s description or plan of the fact makes the fact what it is. What the modern scientist ascribes to the mind of man Christianity ascribes to God.

True, the Christian claims that God did not even need a formless stuff for the creation of facts. But this point does not nullify the contention that what the Christian ascribes to God the modern scientist, even when engaged in mere description, virtually ascribes to man. Two Creators, one real, the Other would-be, stand in mortal combat against one another; the self-contained Triune God of Christianity and ... the autonomous man … cannot both be ultimate.

AMR

Ask Mr. Religion
October 7th, 2015, 02:59 PM
I have the foreknowledge that if i offer my child a plate of cookies or a plate of broccoli, which one she will choose, yet i do not force her hand.

Quite true.


Necessity of a hypothetical inference...
If God foreknew Peter would sin, then Peter cannot refrain from sinning. (Incorrect)


The interpretation above wrongly interprets God's foreknowledge as impinging upon Peter's moral free agency. The proper understanding is:


The necessity of the consequent of the hypothetical...
Necessarily, if God foreknew Peter would sin, then Peter does not refrain from sinning. (Correct)

In other words, the actions of moral free agents do not take place because they are foreseen, the actions are foreseen because the actions are certain to take place.

In other words, if God foresees something, what He foresaw must happen, else He would not have foreseen it in the first place. Of course "foreseen" is an accommodation to our timebound existence, as there is no "fore" in God's existence, but merely our way of speaking about what is ever present in the mind of God.

You are correct to not confuse knowledge with causation. Because God knows, for He has ordained, in no way makes the knowing causative. God’s decree is a blueprint, it is not an causal agent. Causative agents must be supernatural or human.

When God sets His plan (decree) in motion, supernatural or human agencies come into the picture. It is through these supernatural or human agents that God’s decree becomes actualized. Hence, ordaining by God can be effectuated by free or contingent modalities. Such are the way God uses means to achieve His ends. In fact, from Scripture we find that God can decree for this or that to occur in three ways, freely, contingently, or necessarily.

Isaiah 46:10-11 is exemplary of the Scriptural teachings of the divine foreknowledge of God:

“Declaring the end from the beginning,
Makes officially (not [i]qualifiably) known everything

And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
God's knowledge of things to come not yet done—the future

Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’
God not subject to other's for His will

Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
God ordains Cyrus to deliver His people from the Chaldeans; Cyrus, living in a land far from Babylon knew nothing of God's people in Babylon, yet God will use Him to fulfill His secret will.

[i]Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. ”
Words spoken by God through the prophet would indeed certainly occur. God decreed it. God will make it happen. God had a reason for it. God does it. While God has much in His purposes that are not in His prophecies, God has nothing in His prophecies other than His purposes. God does not say, "I will see to it that it happens", God says, "I will do all my pleasure".

AMR

RBBI
October 7th, 2015, 07:58 PM
Freewill is an illusion. You only have to read the names of the places, people and things in the Word to see that He is in control. HaShem sits as if on a high mountain, watching which direction you choose. If it's not to His liking for a lesson or otherwise, He simply throws up a "roadblock" ahead of you, making you change your direction. You THINK you chose which way to go, but in reality He changed your direction. Peace

intojoy
October 8th, 2015, 03:41 AM
i'm sure somebody here has better answers than me. i chalk it it up to faith at the end of the day. i have had detailed thought about those questions and believe that God hoped we would obey his one simple commandment (garden), then the 10, but really FAITH is the only thing required -

613 not just 10!

intojoy
October 8th, 2015, 03:47 AM
Nice AMR.
What was foreseen was permitted to follow thru. Why? Because God saw some value in man and decided to save some.

So quit questioning His omniscience and humble yourself MADS then He will reveal more truth to you, us.

If you can't even humble yourselves enough to place Meshak on ignore, you exhibit unworthy fruits. Those who reject sound doctrine are reprobate and we are COMMANDED to let them burn.

Peace