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docrob57
May 31st, 2005, 08:31 AM
Prior to coming to this forum, I was unfamiliar with open theism, and my understanding of it is incomplete at best. From what I have read, however, the idea that the future does not exist and, therefore, God cannot know the future is central to the doctrine.

I wanted to put forth a few points that, to me, seem to cast doubt on this idea, even if the future, in fact, does not exist.

The basic fact that causes problems, I think, is that the outcome of deterministic processes is knowable, even if the outcome has not yet occured. For example, if I have a pot of water at room temperature, I can predict that the water will start to boil once I raise it to a given temperature for a certain amount of time. If I start to raise the temperature of the water, I can predict its future, even though it does not as yet exist.

Boiling water, of course, is a simple process. Matters such as human behavior are seemingly much more complex. However, the complexity of the matter does not alter its predictability if the causal processes are known. I don't think that any Christian, would argue that God does not know the causal processes that drive human behavior, or the processes that drive any phenomenon that occurs in the world, the universe, etc. Our inability to predict the future with certainty is due to our imperfect or even erroneous knowledge of causal mechanisms. This is not a limitation of God.

The alternative would be that human behavior and other phenomenon are simply random processes, predictable within some given level of precision, but definitely not predictable with certainty. This is a possibility, but we don't have any reason to believe it is true. Chaos theory tells us, for example, that even simple deterministic processes can manifest themselves as random. And if phenomenon are random, they are only random in a bounded way. It would be foolish to argue that deterministic processes do not exist. If some processes contain a random element, this limits the ability to predict with accuracy but the limitation to accuracy depends on the magnitude of the random element. And, it is possible, that random (or stochastic) processes do not actually exist.

So, this being the case, the argument that God does not know the future, or only knows it in a contingent way, seems problematic. If God does know the future, then the ideas that God changes his mind, does not act until He sees what people will do, etc. seem to lose credibility.

Just interested in your thoughts.

Carver
May 31st, 2005, 11:47 AM
First, let me say that I am not an Open Theist. However, I know the argument quite well, and can think as an Open Theist fairly well. That being said:

Okay, runing with your boiling water scenario for a second, the pot with the water in it can't choose to walk off of the burner. Humans can choose to walk away. This is why God (according to Open Theism) doesn't know the future. God does perfectly understand all the causes and factors relevant to each choice. Further, even without that knowledge, though more easily because of it, God knows all possible outcomes of each decision made. However, as that choice has not yet been made, God cannot know for certain which possible outcome will come to pass. From the Open Theist viewpoint, all questions of whether God can know the future are the same as asking whether God can make a rock so big that He can't move it - unanswerable because the questions themselves are fallacious

Do deterministic situations have to exist? Absolutely yes. Case in point: where, when, and to whom one is born. However, one part of one's life being determined does not necessarily mean that the rest is determined as well. As for the rest of your Chaos theory talk, I've not read enough about Chaos theory to warrant my arguing either for or against it.

docrob57
May 31st, 2005, 11:59 AM
First, let me say that I am not an Open Theist. However, I know the argument quite well, and can think as an Open Theist fairly well. That being said:

Okay, runing with your boiling water scenario for a second, the pot with the water in it can't choose to walk off of the burner. Humans can choose to walk away. This is why God (according to Open Theism) doesn't know the future. God does perfectly understand all the causes and factors relevant to each choice. Further, even without that knowledge, though more easily because of it, God knows all possible outcomes of each decision made. However, as that choice has not yet been made, God cannot know for certain which possible outcome will come to pass. From the Open Theist viewpoint, all questions of whether God can know the future are the same as asking whether God can make a rock so big that He can't move it - unanswerable because the questions themselves are fallacious

Do deterministic situations have to exist? Absolutely yes. Case in point: where, when, and to whom one is born. However, one part of one's life being determined does not necessarily mean that the rest is determined as well. As for the rest of your Chaos theory talk, I've not read enough about Chaos theory to warrant my arguing either for or against it.

Well first off, thanks for responding. The problem with your arguments is that it assumes that choices have no cause. If they do, then it would seem that my argument holds.

Carver
May 31st, 2005, 12:13 PM
I may have been unclear. Also, I may be worse than I thought at defending that which I don't personally believe. Here's some clarification: choices have causes certainly, but if humans (as Open Theism says) have free will, then they can act somewhat indepentantly (sp?) of those causes. Free will implies unpredictability. So, while there are still causal relationships between pretty much every event ever, a rule of human behavior which says, 'Given causes a,b,c,d and e, person x will do y' can't work because of the unpredictability of free will.

I'm not sure that made any sense. But, I can't really seem to improve on how I said it, so I'm going to post it, but with it are my apologies for it's lack of clarity.

docrob57
May 31st, 2005, 12:48 PM
I may have been unclear. Also, I may be worse than I thought at defending that which I don't personally believe. Here's some clarification: choices have causes certainly, but if humans (as Open Theism says) have free will, then they can act somewhat indepentantly (sp?) of those causes. Free will implies unpredictability. So, while there are still causal relationships between pretty much every event ever, a rule of human behavior which says, 'Given causes a,b,c,d and e, person x will do y' can't work because of the unpredictability of free will.

I'm not sure that made any sense. But, I can't really seem to improve on how I said it, so I'm going to post it, but with it are my apologies for it's lack of clarity.

I started to say something and then I realized that I was wrong. I guess if what I said is true, then free will, at least as generally conceived, doesn't exist. I basically believe this, so at least I am not contradicting myself. Thanks again for discussing this. I was hoping to hear from some open theists, but such is life.

God_Is_Truth
May 31st, 2005, 11:01 PM
If God knows a closed future, contingency does not exist.

Agape4Robin
June 1st, 2005, 12:07 AM
When talking about free will, in the open theist view.... is it libertarian free will or compatibillist free will that the OTV holds to?

godrulz
June 1st, 2005, 12:28 AM
Well first off, thanks for responding. The problem with your arguments is that it assumes that choices have no cause. If they do, then it would seem that my argument holds.

The will is the root of choices. The will can inherently chose between alternatives. The will is not determined or caused by an outside, coercive force. We are free moral agents. This is why we are responsible/accountable. We are in the spiritual, moral, and personal (will, intellect, emotions) image of God.

God governs inanimate objects with the law of cause and effect. These things, like your boiling pot, are predictable (though I could come along and kick the pot off the stove or turn the heat down).

He governs animate creation by instinct. He does not have to cause animals to migrate or reproduce. They have an in-built sense or ability.

He governs moral agents by the law of love and freedom. We are not pots on the stove.

Modal logic shows that there is a difference between possibilities, probabilities, certainties/actualities, necessities, etc. We should not blur the distinctions. Exhaustive foreknowledge of future free will contingencies is an absurdity, even for an omniscient being (knows all that is knowable). Either give up exhaustive foreknowledge (Open Theism) or give up genuine free will (Calvinism). Open Theism does not compromise the omniscience of God. God correctly knows things as possibilities, probabilites, or certainties. It is the object of His knowledge or nature of the future that is an issue, not His perfect omniscience (knows past and present perfectly; knows some of the future as settled and some of the future as open).

godrulz
June 1st, 2005, 12:30 AM
If God knows a closed future, contingency does not exist.


Calvinistic determinism is closer to fatalistic Islam than to biblical Christianity.

godrulz
June 1st, 2005, 12:32 AM
When talking about free will, in the open theist view.... is it libertarian free will or compatibillist free will that the OTV holds to?


Libertarian, genuine free will is the only legit. free will (incompatibilism). Compatibilistic 'free will' is an incoherent concept and is not genuine free will. It is trying to soften the problematic, deterministic issues of Calvinism (e.g. makes God responsible for heinous evil, contrary to His character and ways).

Free will is a self-evident concept. I do not understand the mental gymnastics to deny it in order to cling to a deductive, preconceived philosophy.

Agape4Robin
June 1st, 2005, 12:54 AM
Libertarian, genuine free will is the only legit. free will (incompatibilism). Compatibilistic 'free will' is an incoherent concept and is not genuine free will. It is trying to soften the problematic, deterministic issues of Calvinism (e.g. makes God responsible for heinous evil, contrary to His character and ways).

Free will is a self-evident concept. I do not understand the mental gymnastics to deny it in order to cling to a deductive, preconceived philosophy.
So then does God ever interfere with or intervene on man's free will?

justchristian
June 1st, 2005, 12:56 AM
The argument of exaustive foreknowledge to me is moot. Let's say for a moment the future is not closed, and that God's foreknowledge is complete when it comes to anything not human, that God knows "all possibilities, probabilities and certainties," and let's assume God knows us better than we know ourselves. So our will is the only thing God cannot know for certain about the future. But if God knows all other factors of our enviromnent, how those will affect us, and our personality and tendencies, it would stand to reason he could accurately predict our actions with slim to no chance of error. Taking into account his dynamic will capable of rearranging his plans in a instant (in response to our will) to work in all things for the good of those who love him, the fact of the future not being closed just seems moot.

Agape4Robin
June 1st, 2005, 01:03 AM
The argument of exaustive foreknowledge to me is moot. Let's say for a moment the future is not closed, and that God's foreknowledge is complete when it comes to anything not human, that God knows "all possibilities, probabilities and certainties," and let's assume God knows us better than we know ourselves. So our will is the only thing God cannot know for certain about the future. But if God knows all other factors of our enviromnent, how those will affect us, and our personality and tendencies, it would stand to reason he could accurately predict our actions with slim to no chance of error. Taking into account his dynamic will capable of rearranging his plans in a instant (in response to our will) to work in all things for the good of those who love him, the fact of the future not being closed just seems moot.
I tend to agree with you.......

Delmar
June 1st, 2005, 05:13 AM
So then does God ever interfere with or intervene on man's free will?
I’m not 100 % sure how to answer that. There are certainly times when God coerces people toward one choice over another. I guess I would say, for the most part, that person is still responsible for the choice. A clear exception to that would be when God struck people dead. I’m pretty sure that puts a real damper on free will!

asilentskeptic
June 1st, 2005, 05:20 AM
Im not 100 % sure how to answer that. There are certainly times when God coerces people toward one choice over another. I guess I would say, for the most part, that person is still responsible for the choice. A clear exception to that would be when God struck people dead. Im pretty sure that puts a real damper on free will!

There are definitely some questions regarding the issue. God directly interfered in Sauls life (causing his conversion to Paul.) That is definitely not in the norm, and definitely interrupts several basic "Tenents of Scripture". How much did Paul have to accept on Faith after a dramatic showing of the Power of God, and an actual personal message from Christ? Talk about an interruption in the process of Free Will :) It changed Pauls choices considerably.

Does that make God a "respector of persons"? He did choose Paul for a specific purpose and fast-tracked Him onto "the path". Why not with everyone else? Hmm, things to ponder.

Delmar
June 1st, 2005, 05:31 AM
The argument of exaustive foreknowledge to me is moot. Let's say for a moment the future is not closed, and that God's foreknowledge is complete when it comes to anything not human, that God knows "all possibilities, probabilities and certainties," and let's assume God knows us better than we know ourselves. So our will is the only thing God cannot know for certain about the future. indeed


But if God knows all other factors of our enviromnent, how those will affect us, and our personality and tendencies, it would stand to reason he could accurately predict our actions with slim to no chance of error. slim chance of error multipyed by billions of human choices per second over the span of human existance!




Taking into account his dynamic will capable of rearranging his plans in a instant (in response to our will) to work in all things for the good of those who love him, the fact of the future not being closed just seems moot. God having a dynamic will capable of rearranging his plans pretty much makes the entire case for the open veiw!

julie21
June 1st, 2005, 05:44 AM
DearDelmar: slim chance of error multipyed by billions of human choices per second over the span of human existance!
But that's just it DD...God can't be limited at all, therefore I would say there is not a slim chance at all of His not being able to calculate what each will do. I believe that He knows for sure each and every moment of the day what each one will do, exactly.

Delmar
June 1st, 2005, 06:29 AM
But that's just it DD...God can't be limited at all, therefore I would say there is not a slim chance at all of His not being able to calculate what each will do. I believe that He knows for sure each and every moment of the day what each one will do, exactly. Do you also believe, right now, that God knows who will win the 2047 World Series? Could you believe he could know this without believing he is outside of time?

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 08:40 AM
If God knows a closed future, contingency does not exist.

Right

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 08:46 AM
The will is the root of choices. The will can inherently chose between alternatives. The will is not determined or caused by an outside, coercive force. We are free moral agents. This is why we are responsible/accountable. We are in the spiritual, moral, and personal (will, intellect, emotions) image of God.

God governs inanimate objects with the law of cause and effect. These things, like your boiling pot, are predictable (though I could come along and kick the pot off the stove or turn the heat down).

He governs animate creation by instinct. He does not have to cause animals to migrate or reproduce. They have an in-built sense or ability.

He governs moral agents by the law of love and freedom. We are not pots on the stove.

Modal logic shows that there is a difference between possibilities, probabilities, certainties/actualities, necessities, etc. We should not blur the distinctions. Exhaustive foreknowledge of future free will contingencies is an absurdity, even for an omniscient being (knows all that is knowable). Either give up exhaustive foreknowledge (Open Theism) or give up genuine free will (Calvinism). Open Theism does not compromise the omniscience of God. God correctly knows things as possibilities, probabilites, or certainties. It is the object of His knowledge or nature of the future that is an issue, not His perfect omniscience (knows past and present perfectly; knows some of the future as settled and some of the future as open).

The problem with trying to dismiss the causality of human behavior as a matter of the will is it begs the question of what causes free will choices. I agree that the range is between probability and certainty, however, to say that free will behavior is probabalistic in nature really means that it is random within certain boundaries, that is uncaused. This seems to me to be a hard argument to make.

godrulz
June 1st, 2005, 08:51 AM
So then does God ever interfere with or intervene on man's free will?


God can and does intervene at times, but it is not normative (meticulous control is inferior and contrary to providential control in love relationships). There may have been some intervention in the naming of Cyrus to fulfill that prophecy.

If Russia was about to destroy the world with a nuclear war, Jesus could return, or God could send angels or the Americans (?) to alter this possibility. God did not allow Jesus to be pushed over a cliff before His time.

Omnipotence does not mean using sheer force all the time. Miracles are an intervention into our world. God does not stop every rape or murder, even against Christians. There have been times where God did put up a wall of angels or prompted humans to change course.

God has chosen to not coerce salvation issues. God has chosen to create other free moral agents who will voluntarily love and respond to Him. This free will also created the possibility of the Fall of Lucifer and Adam and each of us subsequent to this. It has introduced evil into our world, but this was not a foregone conclusion in His 'very good' creation.

So, issues where it seems God meddles with free will relate to things like His judgements on wicked nations or individuals (e.g. Ananias and Sapphira). His hand was on the Israeli people when they won the 1967 War (supernatural intervention). What we do not see in Scripture is God coercing people to chose or reject Him. Love, freedom, justice, and relationship demands that we freely chose and maintain a love relationship. He influences, woos, persuades; He does not cause or coerce.

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 08:51 AM
Libertarian, genuine free will is the only legit. free will (incompatibilism). Compatibilistic 'free will' is an incoherent concept and is not genuine free will. It is trying to soften the problematic, deterministic issues of Calvinism (e.g. makes God responsible for heinous evil, contrary to His character and ways).

Free will is a self-evident concept. I do not understand the mental gymnastics to deny it in order to cling to a deductive, preconceived philosophy.


Free will and the idea that behavior is caused are not incompatible. If people commit heinous acts, are these the results of some random process or a causal process? God does not have to be the cause. This does not mean he cannot foreknow the outcome.

godrulz
June 1st, 2005, 08:53 AM
There are definitely some questions regarding the issue. God directly interfered in Sauls life (causing his conversion to Paul.) That is definitely not in the norm, and definitely interrupts several basic "Tenents of Scripture". How much did Paul have to accept on Faith after a dramatic showing of the Power of God, and an actual personal message from Christ? Talk about an interruption in the process of Free Will :) It changed Pauls choices considerably.

Does that make God a "respector of persons"? He did choose Paul for a specific purpose and fast-tracked Him onto "the path". Why not with everyone else? Hmm, things to ponder.


Paul still could have refused his calling and could have rejected the revelation as demonic. He did not have to bow His knee.

godrulz
June 1st, 2005, 08:56 AM
But that's just it DD...God can't be limited at all, therefore I would say there is not a slim chance at all of His not being able to calculate what each will do. I believe that He knows for sure each and every moment of the day what each one will do, exactly.


This is not necessary. A sports team or chessmaster can respond moment by moment to a myriad of changing contingencies.

God has chosen some limitations in His universe. He could have His way all the time, but He choses not to. He does not intervene (yet) in every crime or accident on the planet. He limits salvation to those who come in repentant faith. This upholds freedom, love, and justice. The alternative is to make robots incapable of love. It breaks His heart when many reject Him and suffer the consequences.

godrulz
June 1st, 2005, 08:58 AM
The problem with trying to dismiss the causality of human behavior as a matter of the will is it begs the question of what causes free will choices. I agree that the range is between probability and certainty, however, to say that free will behavior is probabalistic in nature really means that it is random within certain boundaries, that is uncaused. This seems to me to be a hard argument to make.


Light waves and particles may be random. Human choices are far more free and volitional. We cause free will choices. This is a glorious aspect of being in the image of God, the One who is most free in His choices. Our choices may be predictable based on past choices, but this does not preclude out of character choices or the influence of other's choices. I might drive to work safely every day, but I could get killed by a fleeing bank robber tomorrow.

godrulz
June 1st, 2005, 09:00 AM
Free will and the idea that behavior is caused are not incompatible. If people commit heinous acts, are these the results of some random process or a causal process? God does not have to be the cause. This does not mean he cannot foreknow the outcome.

If God sees someone pulling a trigger of a gun pointing at my head, He could know the outcome. There is no reason to think He sees and knows that this event will happen as a certainty from trillions of years ago before I or the criminal even exist (let alone guns and bullets).

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 09:26 AM
Paul still could have refused his calling and could have rejected the revelation as demonic. He did not have to bow His knee.

True, but to argue that God dod not know what Paul would do says that God knows very little about us. Unless you are prepared to argue that it was basically a coin flip.

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 09:27 AM
Light waves and particles may be random. Human choices are far more free and volitional. We cause free will choices. This is a glorious aspect of being in the image of God, the One who is most free in His choices. Our choices may be predictable based on past choices, but this does not preclude out of character choices or the influence of other's choices. I might drive to work safely every day, but I could get killed by a fleeing bank robber tomorrow.

I think we are talking about 2 different things. Because a choice is a free will choice does not make it uncaused. Can you distinguish what you mean by a free will choice and one that you think might be caused by something?

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 09:29 AM
The argument of exaustive foreknowledge to me is moot. Let's say for a moment the future is not closed, and that God's foreknowledge is complete when it comes to anything not human, that God knows "all possibilities, probabilities and certainties," and let's assume God knows us better than we know ourselves. So our will is the only thing God cannot know for certain about the future. But if God knows all other factors of our enviromnent, how those will affect us, and our personality and tendencies, it would stand to reason he could accurately predict our actions with slim to no chance of error. Taking into account his dynamic will capable of rearranging his plans in a instant (in response to our will) to work in all things for the good of those who love him, the fact of the future not being closed just seems moot.

:thumb:

Delmar
June 1st, 2005, 10:25 AM
:thumb:
So you too agree that God is "capable of rearranging his plans in a instant (in response to our will)"

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 10:32 AM
So you too agree that God is "capable of rearranging his plans in a instant (in response to our will)"

Well, that probably goes farther than I would, but the poster at least seemed to be getting my point. What I am talking about is not really free will vs. determinism. I am talking about whether God merely reacts to us or does he shape things so that ultimately his plans will be accomplished. I believe it is the latter.

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 10:33 AM
Do you also believe, right now, that God knows who will win the 2047 World Series? Could you believe he could know this without believing he is outside of time?

Yes, if he cares, which I doubt, I do believe he could know this, but that does not place Him outside of time necessarily.

Delmar
June 1st, 2005, 10:42 AM
Free will and the idea that behavior is caused are not incompatible. If people commit heinous acts, are these the results of some random process or a causal process? God does not have to be the cause. This does not mean he cannot foreknow the outcome.
Does this, in your opinion, hold true for all events thosands of years in the future

even if the future, in fact, does not exist..???


OK I think you answered that in the t post. 32

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 10:49 AM
Does this, in your opinion, hold true for all events thosands of years in the future
???

Yes, remember, we are talking about God, not us.

Delmar
June 1st, 2005, 10:53 AM
But that's just it DD...God can't be limited at all.... If god can not be limited then he is, in fact, capable of rearranging his plans!

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 12:58 PM
If god can not be limited then he is, in fact, capable of rearranging his plans!

Certainly God is capable of rearranging his plans, I guess the question is would he really need to? I tend to think not.

justchristian
June 1st, 2005, 02:07 PM
Yea I do believe in exaustive foreknowledge whether in a closed pre-existing future or not. This is due mostly to my current understanding of time (whcih is another thread) and God's relation to time (again anouther thread). But for arguements sake if Open View is correct. God would have a dynamic will and would accurately be able to predict future events (with his infinate mind and knowledge of everything on earth in each moment for all of history). The only hinderence I can think of to God's exaustive forepredictions are truely random occurances. I think God knows me well enough to "know" which choices I will make with my free will (my free will isnt random and without cause)...but he wouldn't be able to predict random events that would affect everything else. But are there any events that are truely random? Or are they just "random" because we cannot accurately measure the enviroment in which they happen? If we can't can God?

docrob57
June 1st, 2005, 02:10 PM
Yea I do believe in either exaustive foreknowledge whether in a closed pre-existing future or not. This is mostly of my current understanding of time (whcih is another thread) and God's relation to time (again anouther thread). But for arguements sake if Open View is correct. God would have a dynamic will and would accurately be able to predict future events (with his infinate mind and knowledge of everything on earth). The only hinderence I can think of to God's exaustive forepredictions are truely random occurances. I think God knows me well enough to "know" which choices I will make with my free will (my free will isnt random and without cause)...but things that require a certain random nature that would affect everything else. But are there any events that are truely random? Or are they just random because we cannot accurately measure the enviroment?

That's right, only TRUE random occurences would be unpredictable, and even then, unless God is ignorant of probability theory, which is unlikely, He can predict within some given range of probability.

I am a fan of Mr. Enyart and look kindly upon the brethren here, but I really can't get behind the open theism thing.

godrulz
June 1st, 2005, 06:48 PM
I think we are talking about 2 different things. Because a choice is a free will choice does not make it uncaused. Can you distinguish what you mean by a free will choice and one that you think might be caused by something?


If it is caused, it is not free.

A choice can be so coerced it is almost caused. If someone puts a gun to my head and says cough up your $, I could say no and die, but I will likely be persuaded to give the money. The will is the seat of volition. I do not see how the will can have something back of it that is causative. God could narrow circumstances in a way that would limit our choices, but it is normative that we can chose between alternatives freely.

I would reserve causative issues for machines, not men. Determinism and Skinner's behaviourism/conditioning is not worthy of free moral agency given as a gift from God.

God_Is_Truth
June 1st, 2005, 11:02 PM
That's right, only TRUE random occurences would be unpredictable, and even then, unless God is ignorant of probability theory, which is unlikely, He can predict within some given range of probability.

I am a fan of Mr. Enyart and look kindly upon the brethren here, but I really can't get behind the open theism thing.

i'd recommend reading a book on open theism so you can get a better understanding for it. i read "the openness of God" and would recommend it to anyone looking to understand open theism better (even if they don't agree with it).

amazon.com has it here

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0830818529/qid=1117688209/sr=8-2/ref=pd_csp_2/104-6747540-5948765?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

logos_x
June 1st, 2005, 11:29 PM
i'd recommend reading a book on open theism so you can get a better understanding for it. i read "the openness of God" and would recommend it to anyone looking to understand open theism better (even if they don't agree with it).

amazon.com has it here

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0830818529/qid=1117688209/sr=8-2/ref=pd_csp_2/104-6747540-5948765?v=glance&s=books&n=507846


My recommendation for open theism would be The Grace of God and the Will of Man (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1556616910/qid=/sr=/ref=cm_lm_asin/103-3468589-3192636?v=glance)

A further recommendation for what I believe is the best treatment of Open Theism's implications would be A Wideness in God's Mercy (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0310535913/qid=1117689501/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/103-3468589-3192636?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)

The first book is edited by, and the second book written by, Clark H. Pinnock. He is Professor of Systematic Theology at McMaster Divinity College, and a member of the Faculty of Theology at McMaster University. (http://www.mcmaster.ca/mjtm/bio1-3.htm)

Delmar
June 2nd, 2005, 05:32 AM
Yea I do believe in exaustive foreknowledge whether in a closed pre-existing future or not. This is due mostly to my current understanding of time (whcih is another thread) and God's relation to time (again anouther thread). But for arguements sake if Open View is correct. God would have a dynamic will and would accurately be able to predict future events (with his infinate mind and knowledge of everything on earth in each moment for all of history). The only hinderence I can think of to God's exaustive forepredictions are truely random occurances. I think God knows me well enough to "know" which choices I will make with my free will (my free will isnt random and without cause)...but he wouldn't be able to predict random events that would affect everything else. But are there any events that are truely random? Or are they just "random" because we cannot accurately measure the enviroment in which they happen? If we can't can God?It seems to me that a lot of random events are caused by man. Flipping a coin for, example, to make a decition. Does God know ahead of time how much force I am going to choose to use or in what dirrection I am going to choose to spin the coin?

docrob57
June 2nd, 2005, 08:15 AM
If it is caused, it is not free.

A choice can be so coerced it is almost caused. If someone puts a gun to my head and says cough up your $, I could say no and die, but I will likely be persuaded to give the money. The will is the seat of volition. I do not see how the will can have something back of it that is causative. God could narrow circumstances in a way that would limit our choices, but it is normative that we can chose between alternatives freely.

I would reserve causative issues for machines, not men. Determinism and Skinner's behaviourism/conditioning is not worthy of free moral agency given as a gift from God.
"
"Free" events can certainly have causes. And I am not proposing anything like Skinner. Let's approach this from a different perspective. Look at a vote for President. Your own vote (or non-vote if you abstained). This is clearly a free choice. Did anything lead you to that choice?

docrob57
June 2nd, 2005, 08:16 AM
i'd recommend reading a book on open theism so you can get a better understanding for it. i read "the openness of God" and would recommend it to anyone looking to understand open theism better (even if they don't agree with it).

amazon.com has it here

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0830818529/qid=1117688209/sr=8-2/ref=pd_csp_2/104-6747540-5948765?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Thanks for the recommendation and I will do that when I am able.

godrulz
June 2nd, 2005, 08:16 AM
It seems to me that a lot of random events are caused by man. Flipping a coin for, example, to make a decition. Does God know ahead of time how much force I am going to choose to use or in what dirrection I am going to choose to spin the coin?

There is nothing that necessitates you flip the coin to begin with. At the last second, you could swallow it or place it vertically in jello. This free act is unknowable from eternity past. It is not a deficiency in omniscience to not know a nothing.

docrob57
June 2nd, 2005, 08:24 AM
It seems to me that a lot of random events are caused by man. Flipping a coin for, example, to make a decition. Does God know ahead of time how much force I am going to choose to use or in what dirrection I am going to choose to spin the coin?

No, random events are predictable only within some given probability level. Would God know which types of decision are likely to be subject to coin flip? Do you think lots of decisions are made this way?

Delmar
June 3rd, 2005, 05:11 AM
No, random events are predictable only within some given probability level. Would God know which types of decision are likely to be subject to coin flip? Do you think lots of decisions are made this way?some

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 07:03 AM
some

Well at least you are consistent, because, logically, this is the only way that the open view makes any sense.

Delmar
June 3rd, 2005, 07:07 AM
Well at least you are consistent, because, logically, this is the only way that the open view makes any sense.
you don't make any random choices?

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 07:09 AM
you don't make any random choices?

Legitimate question, I don't think so, at least not that I am aware of. Give me some examples of some random choices that you might make.

godrulz
June 3rd, 2005, 08:04 AM
Define 'random choices'.

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 08:23 AM
Define 'random choices'.

Choices that have no cause

godrulz
June 3rd, 2005, 08:37 AM
Choices that have no cause


The will is the 'cause' of choices. This is a faculty of personal beings in the image of God. Choices might not have 'causes' by definition. Determinism negates libertarian free will (the only kind of truly free will).

Clarify or give an example of choices with no causes. Causative or coerced things are not free choices. A machine or nature works on cause-effect. A moral being makes self-determining choices. Are you confusing these categories? Man is not a machine.

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 08:41 AM
The will is the 'cause' of choices. This is a faculty of personal beings in the image of God. Choices might not have 'causes' by definition. Determinism negates libertarian free will (the only kind of truly free will).

Clarify or give an example of choices with no causes. Causative or coerced things are not free choices. A machine or nature works on cause-effect. A moral being makes self-determining choices. Are you confusing these categories? Man is not a machine.

With all due respect, to say that the "will" is a cause doesn't really say anything in terms of this discussion. The question then is, what causes the "will" to act as it does. Free choices can, and I would argue must, be caused by something.

godrulz
June 3rd, 2005, 08:55 AM
With all due respect, to say that the "will" is a cause doesn't really say anything in terms of this discussion. The question then is, what causes the "will" to act as it does. Free choices can, and I would argue must, be caused by something.

The mind directs the will. God makes intelligent choices. We make intelligent or unintelligent choices. Breathing is automatic, but has some volitional control. We think, and then we act. God thinks, and He acts. Will, intellect, and emotions work together to make choices.

Free will is self-evident. Do not complicate a simple issue with deterministic undertones.

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 08:56 AM
It seems the issue here is, in a word, causality. The whole natural world is determined by causalities unless acted upon by something supernatural. Every time you roll a pair of dice the result is determined by the position of the dice as they leave your hand, the speed and torque placed on the dice when they were thrown, wind resistance, gravity, friction between the dice and whatever surface they are being thrown onto, etc, etc. All of which are fixed quantities once the dice actually leave your hand. And so the result is determined the moment that you are no longer in contact with the dice (assuming no one else touches them before they come to rest).
Likewise, chemical processes of all sorts are determined by the chemicals present and the conditions (temperature, pressure, etc) under which the process is running. With one set of chemicals and one set of conditions there is only one possible outcome. If the chemicals and conditions are duplicated, so will the results be. This is because of causality. All natural processes are absolutely determined by causality unless acted upon by something supernatural. There is no such thing as a completely random (i.e. totally without cause) natural phenomenon.
Now, this would seem to be a problem for Open Theism but the reason it is not is not because people are random, that's not it at all! People are not random but they are also not totally natural, they are spiritual and possess a soul. That which is spiritual is not natural but rather supernatural. We are made in the image of God and thus to think that we are completely natural creatures is to go against the clear teaching of Scripture.
The point being is that resorting to randomness to get around the causality problem is not necessary. Causality is strictly natural and does not apply (strictly) to the supernatural and as humans being are only one third natural creatures, causality causes no problem for the Open Theist in any respect. Our will can be free because we are spiritual creatures with a supernatural soul.

Resting in Him,
Clete

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 08:59 AM
The mind directs the will. God makes intelligent choices. We make intelligent or unintelligent choices. Breathing is automatic, but has some volitional control. We think, and then we act. God thinks, and He acts. Will, intellect, and emotions work together to make choices.

Free will is self-evident. Do not complicate a simple issue with deterministic undertones.

Perhaps the issue is not as simple as you would like it to be. What causes the mind to direct the will the way that it does?

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 09:01 AM
It seems the issue here is, in a word, causality. The whole natural world is determined by causalities unless acted upon by something supernatural. Every time you roll a pair of dice the result is determined by the position of the dice as they leave your hand, the speed and torque placed on the dice when they were thrown, wind resistance, gravity, friction between the dice and whatever surface they are being thrown onto, etc, etc. All of which are fixed quantities once the dice actually leave your hand. And so the result is determined the moment that you are no longer in contact with the dice (assuming no one else touches them before they come to rest).
Likewise, chemical processes of all sorts are determined by the chemicals present and the conditions (temperature, pressure, etc) under which the process is running. With one set of chemicals and one set of conditions there is only one possible outcome. If the chemicals and conditions are duplicated, so will the results be. This is because of causality. All natural processes are absolutely determined by causality unless acted upon by something supernatural. There is no such thing as a completely random (i.e. totally without cause) natural phenomenon.
Now, this would seem to be a problem for Open Theism but the reason it is not is not because people are random, that's not it at all! People are not random but they are also not totally natural, they are spiritual and possess a soul. That which is spiritual is not natural but rather supernatural. We are made in the image of God and thus to think that we are completely natural creatures is to go against the clear teaching of Scripture.
The point being is that resorting to randomness to get around the causality problem is not necessary. Causality is strictly natural and does not apply (strictly) to the supernatural and as humans being are only one third natural creatures, causality causes no problem for the Open Theist in any respect. Our will can be free because we are spiritual creatures with a supernatural soul.

Resting in Him,
Clete

So let's put this a different way. When God acts, does he have a reason for it?

godrulz
June 3rd, 2005, 09:07 AM
Perhaps the issue is not as simple as you would like it to be. What causes the mind to direct the will the way that it does?


Cause? Are you into Darwin or B.F. Skinner's behaviorism? God designed us to relate to Him and our world. We think and act. The exact mechanism may be explained by physiology/neurology or by theology. It is self-evident that we can think and direct our bodies to act in specific ways. Emotions are not volitional and are generated based on our feelings and actions.

What do you think 'causes' the mind to direct the will? It seems they are so intertwined that we do not have to wring our hands dissecting the issue. We are created in the image of God and are glorious creatures. We think and act without having to have a 'cause' to explain this. There is a biological level, but Clete rightly affirms the image of God (imago dei).

I am not sure what you are getting at. What is your point?

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 09:10 AM
So let's put this a different way. When God acts, does he have a reason for it?
A better question is, "When God acts, could He have done otherwise?"

That answer to both questions is, yes.


Resting in Him,
Clete

Delmar
June 3rd, 2005, 09:16 AM
Legitimate question, I don't think so, at least not that I am aware of. Give me some examples of some random choices that you might make.
I was thinking more along the line of " do you want to go to Waffle House or Denny's" "I don't care" " I don't care either flip a coin or somthing"
Choices that don't in your mind make that much difference so you don't put any thought into them. Still such a choice could make a dramatic effect on your life if you turn to the left instead of the right and a guy runs a stop light.

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 09:18 AM
A better question is, "When God acts, could He have done otherwise?"

That answer to both questions is, yes.


Resting in Him,
Clete

That is right. But if God "does otherwise" He does that for a reason too. In this sense, the words "reason" and "cause" are synonymous. To say that human behaviors are "caused" does not deny free will. Causal mechanisms need not be (and clearly are not) the same from person to person, and, even at the level of the individual, are likely to be very complex, at least at times. This is why from a human perspective, behavior is very difficult, at times impossible, to predict.

Let me give an example to clarify. I voted for Bush (sorry, I wish I didn't, but I did). I voted for him because I supported the "war on terror," he claimed to be pro-life and I thought he would appoint pro-life judges (I know, shoot me). If you knew both my assumptions and my causal drivers (issue positions), you could have predicted my vote 2 years before the election. My choice was a free will choice, but it was caused.

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 09:19 AM
I was thinking more along the line of " do you want to go to Waffle House or Denny's" "I don't care" " I don't care either flip a coin or somthing"
Choices that don't in your mind make that much difference so you don't put any thought into them. Still such a choice could make a dramatic effect on your life if you turn to the left instead of the right and a guy runs a stop light.

Even in the case you suggest, there is likely a cause, even if it is only that you are closer to the Waffle House than the Denny's.

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 09:31 AM
That is right. But if God "does otherwise" He does that for a reason too. In this sense, the words "reason" and "cause" are synonymous. To say that human behaviors are "caused" does not deny free will. Causal mechanisms need not be (and clearly are not) the same from person to person, and, even at the level of the individual, are likely to be very complex, at least at times. This is why from a human perspective, behavior is very difficult, at times impossible, to predict.
This is Open Theism in a nut shell! Welcome to the fold! ;)


Let me give an example to clarify. I voted for Bush (sorry, I wish I didn't, but I did). I voted for him because I supported the "war on terror," he claimed to be pro-life and I thought he would appoint pro-life judges (I know, shoot me). If you knew both my assumptions and my causal drivers (issue positions), you could have predicted my vote 2 years before the election. My choice was a free will choice, but it was caused.
Yes, of course. The more information we have about a person the easier it is to predict their behavior and since God knows everything that is knowable that He wants to know, He has it pretty easy compared to the rest of us. Be that as it may, however, it is still a prediction not certain knowledge. As you said, behavior (especially human behavior) is very difficult, at times impossible, to predict.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Delmar
June 3rd, 2005, 09:36 AM
Even in the case you suggest, there is likely a cause, even if it is only that you are closer to the Waffle House than the Denny's.
But sometimes, once in a while, for no particular reason, you just make one choice over another.

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 09:40 AM
But sometimes, once in a while, for no particular reason, you just make one choice over another.
Such a thing only has to happen once to break the back of "Causal Determinism".

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 09:44 AM
Such a thing only has to happen once to break the back of "Causal Determinism".

Well, I am afraid I remain unconvinced, but I do thank you for the discussion.

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 09:54 AM
Well, I am afraid I remain unconvinced, but I do thank you for the discussion.
Unconvinced that a single such act would break the back of Causal Determinism or unconvinced that such an act could occur at all?

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 09:57 AM
Unconvinced that a single such act would break the back of Causal Determinism or unconvinced that such an act could occur at all?

Unconvinced that such an act could occur. I like chaos theory. As I said at the outset, one of the implications is that there really may be no such thing as random processes. It can be a fairly powerful evangelistic tool. If everything is subject to causal processes, it follows that a) evolution as conventionally taught is false, and b) there has to be an Ultimate Cause.

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 10:14 AM
Unconvinced that such an act could occur. I like chaos theory. As I said at the outset, one of the implications is that there really may be no such thing as random processes. It can be a fairly powerful evangelistic tool. If everything is subject to causal processes, it follows that a) evolution as conventionally taught is false, and b) there has to be an Ultimate Cause.

It would also lead to the conclusion that no one is truly responsible for their own actions because they are as much victim of a causal chain of events as any pair of dice or a child's fire cracker. Determinism in any form detroys morality, thus I think it would back fire in regards to evangelism.

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 10:24 AM
It would also lead to the conclusion that no one is truly responsible for their own actions because they are as much victim of a causal chain of events as any pair of dice or a child's fire cracker. Determinism in any form detroys morality, thus I think it would back fire in regards to evangelism.

I tend to think we are using terms somewhat differently. To say that one's acts are caused by something does not deny responsibility. Take homosexuality for example. I don't believe that homosexuality is biologically determined, but let's assume it is. Just because a person is biologically homosexual does not give him/her the moral authority to commit homosexual acts. As you know, there are people who claim to be homosexual but do not act on it. THere are necessary and sufficient causes. To commit homosexual acts, it is a necessary condition that one "be" a homosexual and morally consent to the behavior (this is an oversimplification, but I trust you see what I am saying). If a person is biologically a homosexual and decides not to act on it on moral grounds, then the moral prohibition is a sufficient cause to keep the person from acting. In both cases, there are causes, but in only one instance is the actor not morally wrong.

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 10:39 AM
I tend to think we are using terms somewhat differently. To say that one's acts are caused by something does not deny responsibility. Take homosexuality for example. I don't believe that homosexuality is biologically determined, but let's assume it is. Just because a person is biologically homosexual does not give him/her the moral authority to commit homosexual acts. As you know, there are people who claim to be homosexual but do not act on it. THere are necessary and sufficient causes. To commit homosexual acts, it is a necessary condition that one "be" a homosexual and morally consent to the behavior (this is an oversimplification, but I trust you see what I am saying). If a person is biologically a homosexual and decides not to act on it on moral grounds, then the moral prohibition is a sufficient cause to keep the person from acting. In both cases, there are causes, but in only one instance is the actor not morally wrong.
But that isn't causality. A causality is something that is DETERMINED by its cause. That there is only one out come because there is only one set of causes for any particular circumstance. Is this not what you mean by causality?

Resting in Him,
Clete

P.S. I recommend, unless you want this thread to go south really quick, to avoid using the "H" word. It seems to attract the spammers on TOL all at once.

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 10:44 AM
But that isn't causality. A causality is something that is DETERMINED by its cause. That there is only one out come because there is only one set of causes for any particular circumstance. Is this not what you mean by causality?

No not at all. There can be numerous causes for any particular outcome when we are dealing with human behavior. I think we have been "talking past each other" to some extent.


P.S. I recommend, unless you want this thread to go south really quick, to avoid using the "H" word. It seems to attract the spammers on TOL all at once

Thanks, the advice is duly noted.

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 10:59 AM
No not at all. There can be numerous causes for any particular outcome when we are dealing with human behavior. I think we have been "talking past each other" to some extent.
But only one SET of causes, right? And therefore only one possible outcome.

If this is not correct, please elaborate so I can understand you. It may be that we agree with eachother.

Resting in Him,
Clete

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 11:04 AM
But only one SET of causes, right? And therefore only one possible outcome.

If this is not correct, please elaborate so I can understand you. It may be that we agree with eachother.

Resting in Him,
Clete

It's times like these that Internet communication is frustrating. Tell me first what you mean by "one set of causes"

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 11:43 AM
It's times like these that Internet communication is frustrating. Tell me first what you mean by "one set of causes"
Well to use a simple example, look again at the chemical reaction example I gave before. At any one time there is only one set of chemicals present that can react together in the experiment and only one set of conditions that the experiment is exposed to during the experiment. In other words it can't be both 32 degree C and 100 degrees C at the same time, the pressure can't be both 100 bars and 10,000 bars at the same time, you can't have just one gram of carbon and at the same time have 40 kilograms of carbon. So at any one time only one set of conditions exist for any chemical reaction and thus there is only one possible outcome of that reaction. If there happens to be an unexpected result it is because there was a factor which you either were unaware of or had miscalculated.

Or take an example from physics, like vector calulations. You have all these various forces acting upon an object at the same time. Does the object take off in more than one direction at a time? NO! All the vectors add themselves together or cancel each other out to various degrees and the result is an object moving in a single direction until acted upon again by additional forces.

This is true of all causal events. The complexity of the circumstances makes no difference. If everything happens purely as a result of some causal chain of events then regardless of how many causes you pile up on one another, they only have one possible result. The only way I know of that the idea of morality can survive this is the acknowledgement of something supernatural. Such things do not necessarily work the same way as purely natural things do. And since God and a good part of ourselves are both supernatural we are not entirely subject to Causal Determinism.

Resting in Him,
Clete

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 12:01 PM
Well to use a simple example, look again at the chemical reaction example I gave before. At any one time there is only one set of chemicals present that can react together in the experiment and only one set of conditions that the experiment is exposed to during the experiment. In other words it can't be both 32 degree C and 100 degrees C at the same time, the pressure can't be both 100 bars and 10,000 bars at the same time, you can't have just one gram of carbon and at the same time have 40 kilograms of carbon. So at any one time only one set of conditions exist for any chemical reaction and thus there is only one possible outcome of that reaction. If there happens to be an unexpected result it is because there was a factor which you either were unaware of or had miscalculated.
Or take an example from physics, like vector calulations. You have all these various forces acting upon an object at the same time. Does the object take off in more than one direction at a time? NO! All the vectors add themselves to gether or cancel eachother out to various degrees and the result is an object moving in a single direction until acted upon again by additional forces.
This is true of all causal events. The complexity of the circumstances makes no difference. If everything happens purely as a result of some causal chain of events then regardless of how many causes you pile up on one another, they only have one possible result. The onyl way I know of that the idea of morality can survive this is the acknowledgement of something supernatural. Such things do not necessarily work the same way as purely natural things do. And since God and a good part of ourselves are both supernatural we are not entirely subject to Causal Determinism.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Let me stipulate 2 things. I do believe supernatural forces are involved, I am a Christian and am not trying to argue otherwise. Also, prediction in the natural sciences is clearly simpler than in the behavioral science. I have been a behavioral scientist for many years and can attest to the fact that by human means, human behavior is predictable only in very imprecise terms.

Okay, let me give you what I believe to be a reasonable model of human behavior and get your reaction. For any given action, thought, attitude, etc. there are numerous causal antecedents. These would include religious beliefs, of course. These all act in concert to bring about a given outcome under a given set of conditions. Let's assume that 2 people at 2 different points in time have the exact same causal processes working and face the exact same decision under the exact same circumstances. They are both Christians at the exact same level of spiritual maturity, the Holy Spirit guides them in the exact same way and both are identical in the extent to which they recognize the guidance of the Spirit and are surrendered to it. Is there any possible to reason to believe that they will act differently with regard to the decision at hand?

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 12:28 PM
Let me stipulate 2 things. I do believe supernatural forces are involved, I am a Christian and am not trying to argue otherwise. Also, prediction in the natural sciences is clearly simpler than in the behavioral science. I have been a behavioral scientist for many years and can attest to the fact that by human means, human behavior is predictable only in very imprecise terms.
Agreed. :thumb:



Okay, let me give you what I believe to be a reasonable model of human behavior and get your reaction. For any given action, thought, attitude, etc. there are numerous causal antecedents. These would include religious beliefs, of course. These all act in concert to bring about a given outcome under a given set of conditions. Let's assume that 2 people at 2 different points in time have the exact same causal processes working and face the exact same decision under the exact same circumstances. They are both Christians at the exact same level of spiritual maturity, the Holy Spirit guides them in the exact same way and both are identical in the extent to which they recognize the guidance of the Spirit and are surrendered to it. Is there any possible to reason to believe that they will act differently with regard to the decision at hand?
Yes. I beleive that our two spiritual identical twins could indeed make different decisions. If there were nothing else going on but a causal chain of events then the answer would be no but there is more than that going on in a spiritual being. Can I quantify what that something is? No, I don't think I could. But the logical implications of the contrary is unacceptable on several levels and so much be rejected.

Resting in Him,
Clete

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 12:32 PM
Agreed. :thumb:



Yes. I beleive that our two spiritual identical twins could indeed make different decisions. If there were nothing else going on but a causal chain of events then the answer would be no but there is more than that going on in a spiritual being. Can I quantify what that something is? No, I don't think I could. But the logical implications of the contrary is unacceptable on several levels and so much be rejected.

Resting in Him,
Clete

I am sure that we can't quantify all that is going on, but I do believe that God can, and based on that, if nothing else, I beleive He does know the future.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 12:54 PM
Paul still could have refused his calling and could have rejected the revelation as demonic. He did not have to bow His knee.
This is not a good arguement. You are right, he could have done the opposite, but the fact is he didn't. This proves nothing.

godrulz
June 3rd, 2005, 01:48 PM
That is right. But if God "does otherwise" He does that for a reason too. In this sense, the words "reason" and "cause" are synonymous. To say that human behaviors are "caused" does not deny free will. Causal mechanisms need not be (and clearly are not) the same from person to person, and, even at the level of the individual, are likely to be very complex, at least at times. This is why from a human perspective, behavior is very difficult, at times impossible, to predict.

Let me give an example to clarify. I voted for Bush (sorry, I wish I didn't, but I did). I voted for him because I supported the "war on terror," he claimed to be pro-life and I thought he would appoint pro-life judges (I know, shoot me). If you knew both my assumptions and my causal drivers (issue positions), you could have predicted my vote 2 years before the election. My choice was a free will choice, but it was caused.

Are you confusing cause/reason with influence? God influences, draws, persuades. His will is not coercive or causative. This is contrary to His chosen expression of love and gift of free will.

godrulz
June 3rd, 2005, 01:51 PM
Unconvinced that such an act could occur. I like chaos theory. As I said at the outset, one of the implications is that there really may be no such thing as random processes. It can be a fairly powerful evangelistic tool. If everything is subject to causal processes, it follows that a) evolution as conventionally taught is false, and b) there has to be an Ultimate Cause.

God is the First Cause of the universe. He is the uncaused cause. This does not mean that other free moral agents do not have a creative will. We are not gods, but we are in His image.

Chaos theory would fit Open Theism as well. Quantum mechanics vs Newtonian also seems relevant.

godrulz
June 3rd, 2005, 01:55 PM
Let me stipulate 2 things. I do believe supernatural forces are involved, I am a Christian and am not trying to argue otherwise. Also, prediction in the natural sciences is clearly simpler than in the behavioral science. I have been a behavioral scientist for many years and can attest to the fact that by human means, human behavior is predictable only in very imprecise terms.

Okay, let me give you what I believe to be a reasonable model of human behavior and get your reaction. For any given action, thought, attitude, etc. there are numerous causal antecedents. These would include religious beliefs, of course. These all act in concert to bring about a given outcome under a given set of conditions. Let's assume that 2 people at 2 different points in time have the exact same causal processes working and face the exact same decision under the exact same circumstances. They are both Christians at the exact same level of spiritual maturity, the Holy Spirit guides them in the exact same way and both are identical in the extent to which they recognize the guidance of the Spirit and are surrendered to it. Is there any possible to reason to believe that they will act differently with regard to the decision at hand?


The same act may be vice or virtue depending on the motive. Does motive fit behavior theory? Sin is volitional leading to accountability/responsibility. I would not substitute a secular model for a biblical one.

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 01:56 PM
The same act may be vice or virtue depending on the motive. Does motive fit behavior theory?

It is beyond the scope of what I am talking about. My only point was to suggest that it is unlikely that God cannot know the future, even though it does not yet exist.

godrulz
June 3rd, 2005, 01:58 PM
This is not a good arguement. You are right, he could have done the opposite, but the fact is he didn't. This proves nothing.

If he did chose otherwise, we would not have the book of Acts in its final form nor Pauline letters. We would probably be reading about Joe's journeys or whoever God raised up instead of defiant Saul-Paul. We are looking at history in the rear view mirror.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 01:58 PM
It is beyond the scope of what I am talking about. My only point was to suggest that it is unlikely that God cannot know the future, even though it does not yet exist.I have not read any of this thread.

Yet it seems like something right up my alley. How can I get in on this thread without reading the whole thing?

godrulz
June 3rd, 2005, 02:00 PM
It is beyond the scope of what I am talking about. My only point was to suggest that it is unlikely that God cannot know the future, even though it does not yet exist.


Do you know anything about modal logic? What little I know, seems to be a clue that future free will contingencies are not logically exhaustively knowable. There are some very technical philosophical/logical discussions around this subject. I follow them to a small degree, but I believe it is common sense that the future is not knowable unless determined (negating free moral agency).

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 02:02 PM
but I believe it is common sense that the future is not knowable unless determined (negating free moral agency).Logically there is no alternative.

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 02:18 PM
I am sure that we can't quantify all that is going on, but I do believe that God can, and based on that, if nothing else, I believe He does know the future.

At best this is an assumption on your part and in fact there is Biblical evidence to the contrary.
Your assumption removes free will by logical necessity and in so doing removes all meaning from such concepts as morality, justice, mercy, forgiveness, love, etc. Such logical consequences can be avoided if we simply concede that we don't know exactly what it is that is going on, and that whatever it is about the way God has made us that gives us free will, it has made such absolute knowledge of the future on God's part (or anyone else's) fundamentally unknowable. It does no injury to the character or reputation of God to say that He cannot do the undoable, which includes knowing the unknowable. But it does grave harm not only to God but to the whole Christian faith to suggest that we do not have the freedom to do or to do otherwise.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 02:22 PM
I have not read any of this thread.

Yet it seems like something right up my alley. How can I get in on this thread without reading the whole thing?

Just read my posts and you'll be up to spead on it. I'd be interested in your input myself. :up:

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 02:28 PM
At best this is an assumption on your part and in fact there is Biblical evidence to the contrary.
Your assumption removes free will by logical necessity and in so doing removes all meaning from such concepts as morality, justice, mercy, forgiveness, love, etc. Such logical consequences can be avoided if we simply concede that we don't know exactly what it is that is going on, and that whatever it is about the way God has made us that gives us free will, it has made such absolute knowledge of the future on God's part (or anyone else's) fundamentally unknowable. It does no injury to the character or reputation of God to say that He cannot do the undoable, which includes knowing the unknowable. But it does grave harm not only to God but to the whole Christian faith to suggest that we do not have the freedom to do or to do otherwise.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Nothing I have said removes free will. You do not want to accept that human behaviors have causes, which is fine, but everything keeps going back to the idea that causality and free will are opposing concepts, and I have given examples to demonstrate that this is not the case. I have no idea why you think that causality implies lack of morality, etc. So it seems we have reached an impass here.

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 02:37 PM
Nothing I have said removes free will. You do not want to accept that human behaviors have causes, which is fine, but everything keeps going back to the idea that causality and free will are opposing concepts, and I have given examples to demonstrate that this is not the case. I have no idea why you think that causality implies lack of morality, etc. So it seems we have reached an impass here.

Let me explain.

Love, by definition, must be volitional. For us to exercise volition we must be able to do or to do otherwise. If our actions are determined by whatever means or if they are known (i.e. absolutely known not predicted) then we have no ability to do otherwise than that which is known. Thus love is impossible and so it every other thing which is contingent on the exercise of volition, including morality, mercy, etc.

Does that help?

Resting in Him,
Clete

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 02:38 PM
Let me explain.

Love, by definition, must be volitional. For us to exercise volition we must be able to do or to do otherwise. If our actions are determined by whatever means or if they are known (i.e. absolutely known not predicted) then we have no ability to do otherwise than that which is known. Thus love is impossible and so it every other thing which is contingent on the excercise of volition, including morality, mercy, etc.

Does that help?

Resting in Him,
Clete

So, in your view love "just happens?"

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 02:41 PM
Nothing I have said removes free will.Don't you believe that God has exhaustive foreknowledge?

justchristian
June 3rd, 2005, 02:43 PM
OV arguments always make the same jump - (emphasis mine)
If our actions are determined by whatever means orif they are known (i.e. absolutely known not predicted) then we have no ability to do otherwise than that which is known
this just isnt the case. we've argued this in circles though - but if you'd care to try and explain again I'll listen. My arguement has been a choice if made by our will, whether known or not, is still made by our will and is still our choice. The ultimate choice of love is ours, it doesnt matter if its known. The point is it was our choice.

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 02:43 PM
Don't you believe that God has exhaustive foreknowledge?

Yes, for reasons I stated in my initial post, which, I at least, don't see how denies free will.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 02:44 PM
If he did chose otherwise, we would not have the book of Acts in its final form nor Pauline letters. We would probably be reading about Joe's journeys or whoever God raised up instead of defiant Saul-Paul. We are looking at history in the rear view mirror.
Irrelevant! Totally void arguement.....woulda, coulda.....schmouda! :rolleyes:

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 02:45 PM
OV arguments always make the same jump - (emphasis mine)
this just isnt the case. we've argued this in circles though - but if you'd care to try and explain again I'll listen.

I agree that we have reached complete impass here. Fortunately, at least from my perspective, the fate of our souls does not depend on it. I am interested to hear what Knight has to say though.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 02:48 PM
I agree that we have reached complete impass here. Fortunately, at least from my perspective, the fate of our souls does not depend on it. I am interested to hear what Knight has to say though.
:thumb: Agreed!

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 02:48 PM
I have to run boys and girls, thank you for the discussion. I will try to rejoin soon. Keep in mind, I am just trying to discuss, I have great respect for you guys.

God Bless You!

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 03:05 PM
OV arguments always make the same jump - (emphasis mine)
this just isnt the case. we've argued this in circles though - but if you'd care to try and explain again I'll listen. My arguement has been a choice if made by our will, whether known or not, is still made by our will and is still our choice. The ultimate choice of love is ours, it doesnt matter if its known. The point is it was our choice.

If God knows that in 20 minutes I will be involved in a car accident where I run into a light pole and as a result break both my legs, do I have the option of staying out of my car for the next two hours?

It's a yes or a no sort of question.

If you answer no then that's determinism. I have no ability to do other than what God knows I will do.

If you answer yes then God didn't know in the first place.

I see no other logical alternatives. Do you?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 03:06 PM
Water does not have freewill in regard to its boiling pint. Water will boil at a certain temperature (depending on conditions) no matter what...... God preordained that.

Therefore your analogy isn't very applicable.

Isn't it possible that God didn't want to predetermine our love (or lack thereof) for Him?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 03:08 PM
I have to run boys and girls, thank you for the discussion. I will try to rejoin soon. Keep in mind, I am just trying to discuss, I have great respect for you guys.

God Bless You!I know... I know... I love this topic so don't worry about me, I also respect you so it should be a fun thread.

Freak
June 3rd, 2005, 03:17 PM
God gives all of humanity free will and yet God knows all.

What I also see here is the long standing friction between two classic interpretations of certain doctrinal camps, namely: the Wesleyan\Methodist\Holiness vs. the Calvinistic\Baptist\Eternal Security (not sure if I have adequately defined these two major camps but I am sure that you know what I mean). The long standing tensions between these two aforementioned doctrinal viewpoints have been debated effectively and exhaustively by both sides for many centuries now, and both camps utilize much scripture and furthermore, each boast an impressive pedigree of adherents.

God gives free will as seen in Scripture and God knows all as seen in Scripture.

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 03:26 PM
God gives all of humanity free will and yet God knows all.

How do you address the logical contradiction, or are you content to live with the contradiction?


God gives free will as seen in Scripture and God knows all as seen in Scripture.
God is seen predicting the future but He is also seen making prophecies that do not come to pass and using phrases like "now I know" and "I will know". How do you account for this Biblical evidence that suggests that God's knowledge of the future is not exhaustive?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 03:31 PM
If God knows that in 20 minutes I will involved in a car accident where I run into a light pole and as a result break both my legs, do I have the option of staying out of my car for the next two hours?

It's a yes or a no sort of question.

If you answer no then that's determinism. I have no ability to do other than what God knows I will do.

If you answer yes then God didn't know in the first place.

I see no other logical alternatives. Do you?

Resting in Him,
Clete
I don't see this as a yes or no, black and white Q&A.
Of course you have always had the option of getting into your car or not, but why? The no's could have many reasons:
1. The baby is out of diapers.
2. Your Aunt Jane is in the hospital and you want to visit her.
3. You must return the video and you hate paying those late fees.
4. Your dog is very sick and you have to take him to the vet.
5. You have to go to work.

Those are just a few examples, now let's look at the consequences if you chose to wait 2 hours.
1. You have a mess of pee and poo.
2. Visiting hours are over in 30 minutes. Aunt Jane is very hurt that her favorite nephew didn't come to see her. She decides to write you out of her will.
3. The video is due by noon and it's 11:45.....
4. The dog dies, the kids are heartbroken.
5. You are late...docked 2 hours pay, or worse yet...fired!

Even if you did break both legs, you can still count yourself lucky.....you didn't end up like Terri Schiavo............

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 03:37 PM
I don't see this as a yes or no, black and white Q&A.
Of course you have always had the option of getting into your car or not, but why? The no's could have many reasons:
1. The baby is out of diapers.
2. Your Aunt Jane is in the hospital and you want to visit her.
3. You must return the video and you hate paying those late fees.
4. Your dog is very sick and you have to take him to the vet.
5. You have to go to work.

Those are just a few examples, now let's look at the consequences if you chose to wait 2 hours.
1. You have a mess of pee and poo.
2. Visiting hours are over in 30 minutes. Aunt Jane is very hurt that her favorite nephew didn't come to see her. She decides to write you out of her will.
3. The video is due by noon and it's 11:45.....
4. The dog dies, the kids are heartbroken.
5. You are late...docked 2 hours pay, or worse yet...fired!

Even if you did break both legs, you can still count yourself lucky.....you didn't end up like Terri Schiavo............

All of this is very true! Especially the Terri Schiavo part.

You know what a Calvinist says after he breaks both legs?

Shew! I'm sure glad that's over with! :chuckle:


But you didn't address my actual question. What other logical alternative is there to yes or no in answer to my question?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Freak
June 3rd, 2005, 03:39 PM
How do you address the logical contradiction, or are you content to live with the contradiction? It's not a contradiction in God's mind, only in yours.



God is seen predicting the future but He is also seen making prophecies that do not come to pass Please give me your definition of a "propehcy?"


and using phrases like "now I know" and "I will know". How do you account for this Biblical evidence that suggests that God's knowledge of the future is not exhaustive?
How do you account for the Biblical evidence that suggest that God's knowledge is exhaustive?

Clete
June 3rd, 2005, 03:44 PM
It's not a contradiction in God's mind, only in yours.
I'll take that to mean that it is in yours as well and that you are content to live with that contradiction. I'm sure you know this already but for those who might not, this is known in theological circles as antinomy. Would you agree that there is unavoidable antinomy in the Christian faith?


Please give me your definition of a "prophecy?"
In this context it is a prediction of some future event.


How do you account for the Biblical evidence that suggest that God's knowledge is exhaustive?
There isn't any.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 03:57 PM
I don't see this as a yes or no, black and white Q&A.
Of course you have always had the option of getting into your car or not, but why? The no's could have many reasons:
1. The baby is out of diapers.
2. Your Aunt Jane is in the hospital and you want to visit her.
3. You must return the video and you hate paying those late fees.
4. Your dog is very sick and you have to take him to the vet.
5. You have to go to work.

Those are just a few examples, now let's look at the consequences if you chose to wait 2 hours.
1. You have a mess of pee and poo.
2. Visiting hours are over in 30 minutes. Aunt Jane is very hurt that her favorite nephew didn't come to see her. She decides to write you out of her will.
3. The video is due by noon and it's 11:45.....
4. The dog dies, the kids are heartbroken.
5. You are late...docked 2 hours pay, or worse yet...fired!

Even if you did break both legs, you can still count yourself lucky.....you didn't end up like Terri Schiavo............You have missed the point.

Clete's question assumes that outcome is known by God. In other words in this example God knows that indeed Clete will get in his car drive off and get in the accident. If God has exhaustive foreknowledge God MUST know this outcome to be certain.

That being said, does Clete have the option of NOT getting in his car and therefore avoiding the accident.

Clete states that this is a "yes" or "no" question, I disagree :). I think the only logical answer is "no".

How could you answer "yes" (Clete could choose NOT to get in the car) without removing God's exhaustive foreknowledge of the event?

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 04:05 PM
All of this is very true! Especially the Terri Schiavo part.

You know what a Calvinist says after he breaks both legs?

Shew! I'm sure glad that's over with! :chuckle:


But you didn't address my actual question. What other logical alternative is there to yes or no in answer to my question?

Resting in Him,
Clete
A Calvinist joke....... :LoJo:

I got one.....Here are the top ten things you would hear the God of Open Theism say......

10.Ooopppss! :doh:
9.No, I haven't heard the joke about the Open theist.
8. Gee, I hope it works out. :noid:
7.That didn't turn out too well, did it?
6.I'd answer your prayer, but let's just see what will happen first!
5.Wow, that was a surprise! :noway:
4. Please, oh please......believe in Me....
3. I'll get it right next time! :thumb:
2.I wonder if he'll get it right? :think:
And the number one thing you might hear the God of Open Theism say is......
1.Hey! I just learned something! :thumb:


Yeah, I did answer your question.... :rolleyes:

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:09 PM
I got one.....Here are the top ten things you would hear the god of Open Theism say......Curious... by not capitalizing the "g" in God are you insinuating that we (open theists) worship different a different God?

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 04:10 PM
Curious... by not capitalizing the "g" in God are you insinuating that we (open theists) worship different a different God?
typo..... :doh:

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:10 PM
A4R...
How could you answer "yes" (Clete could choose NOT to get in the car) without removing God's exhaustive foreknowledge of the event?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:11 PM
typo..... :doh:Twice in the same post? :rolleyes:

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 04:12 PM
Twice in the same post? :rolleyes:
fixed it! :readthis:

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:14 PM
fixed it! :readthis:Cool.

How about this . . .

How could you answer "yes" (Clete could choose NOT to get in the car) without removing God's exhaustive foreknowledge of the event?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:16 PM
A Calvinist joke....... :LoJo:

I got one.....Here are the top ten things you would hear the God of Open Theism say......

10.Ooopppss! :doh:
9.No, I haven't heard the joke about the Open theist.
8. Gee, I hope it works out. :noid:
7.That didn't turn out too well, did it?
6.I'd answer your prayer, but let's just see what will happen first!
5.Wow, that was a surprise! :noway:
4. Please, oh please......believe in Me....
3. I'll get it right next time! :thumb:
2.I wonder if he'll get it right? :think:
And the number one thing you might hear the God of Open Theism say is......
1.Hey! I just learned something! :thumb:


Yeah, I did answer your question.... :rolleyes:So . . . in your opinion A4R who is "the God of Open Theism"? Is it your God as well?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:18 PM
Robin, I am not just playing games with you here or trying to be petty I have a reason for asking you these questions about your joke.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 04:21 PM
Cool.

How about this . . .

How could you answer "yes" (Clete could choose NOT to get in the car) without removing God's exhaustive foreknowledge of the event?
I did say that he could choose not to, but in my no answer, I thought I had shown that there could be many reasons why no was the only choice to make......
I am sorry this was not very clear.

Freak
June 3rd, 2005, 04:24 PM
I'll take that to mean that it is in yours as well and that you are content to live with that contradiction. I am content in knowing that God gives us free will & that He knows all.


I'm sure you know this already but for those who might not, this is known in theological circles as antinomy. Would you agree that there is unavoidable antinomy in the Christian faith? There are many theological elements that remain mysterious. Understanding the deeper truths of the triune nature of God, for example, is mysterious. I've yet to meet anyone who fully understands the nature of God. Free will and absolute knowledge of God seems equally necessary and reasonable.



In this context it is a prediction of some future event.

What many OVer's fail to see is that Jesus who is God was able to look into the future and knew exactly what was to pass. Did Jesus really only make a prediction about Peter denying him based upon Peter's character? But the prophecy was so specific: three denials before the rooster crowed twice (Mark 14:30-72). When Ezekiel prophesied about the destruction of the city of Tyre, was that just a really good guess? It was too accurate a prophecy for that.


There isn't any.

Resting in Him,
Clete Intellectually dishonest. :down:

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:25 PM
I did say that he could choose not to, but in my no answer, I thought I had shown that there could be many reasons why no was the only choice to make......
I am sorry this was not very clear.So if Clete chose NOT to get in the car yet God had PERFECT foreknowledge that he DID get in the car how could God's foreknowledge be perfect?

Not only was it not perfect it was dead wrong!

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:28 PM
Did Jesus really only make a prediction about Peter denying him based upon Peter's character?God knows everything knowable. He knew Peter and what Peter was thinking. Jesus knew Peter's faith was weak enough to deny Him.

Peter could have repented and made God's prediction wrong as Nineveh did and God would have rejoiced! God would have rather had Peter conform to His will then have Peter fulfill the sad prediction.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 04:29 PM
Robin, I am not just playing games with you here or trying to be petty I have a reason for asking you these questions about your joke.
I don't know how to answer this. Let me try......

First, I believe that the OTV does not reflect God's omniscience and limits His knowledge to past and present only with future contingencies at best.

Last, I believe that God's knowledge is neither causitive or preventive, but simply is knowledge. God does however reserve the right and ability to intervene if He so chooses.

Delmar
June 3rd, 2005, 04:34 PM
...Did Jesus really only make a prediction about Peter denying him based upon Peter's character? But the prophecy was so specific: three denials before the rooster crowed twice (Mark 14:30-72). When Ezekiel prophesied about the destruction of the city of Tyre, was that just a really good guess? It was too accurate a prophecy for that...


There are events that God causes to happen! There are times when people are coerced by God.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:35 PM
I don't know how to answer this. Let me try......

First, I believe that the OTV does not reflect God's omniscience and limits His knowledge to past and present only with future contingencies at best.

Last, I believe that God's knowledge is neither causitive or preventive, but simply is knowledge. God does however reserve the right and ability to intervene if He so chooses.So if Clete chose NOT to get in the car yet God had PERFECT foreknowledge that he DID get in the car . . . how could God's foreknowledge be perfect?

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 04:38 PM
So if Clete chose NOT to get in the car yet God had PERFECT foreknowledge that he DID get in the car . . . how could God's foreknowledge be perfect?
The answer is obvious that Clete did get in the car.....yes?

Freak
June 3rd, 2005, 04:39 PM
God knows everything knowable. He knew Peter and what Peter was thinking.
Knowing how many times the rooster crowed was knowable?

When Ezekiel prophesied about the destruction of the city of Tyre, was that just a really good guess? Or was it a "prediction?"



Peter could have repented and made God's prediction wrong as Nineveh did and God would have rejoiced! God would have rather had Peter conform to His will then have Peter fulfill the sad prediction. God's predicition "wrong?" Is God sometimes "wrong?"

Freak
June 3rd, 2005, 04:41 PM
There are events that God causes to happen! There are times when people are coerced by God.

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.

Is God limited in understanding, in light of this passage, of Hezekiah's future, for example?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:41 PM
The answer is obvious that Clete did get in the car.....yes?It's weird.... it's like everytime I ask you a question you give me an answer that sounds like its for a different question.

Let me try the last one again....

So if Clete chose NOT to get in the car yet God had PERFECT foreknowledge that he DID get in the car . . . how could God's foreknowledge be perfect?

Isn't the only logical answer... "it couldn't be perfect."?

Freak
June 3rd, 2005, 04:45 PM
Knight,

If God were to "change his mind" about anything, this would mean by default that he failed to have complete knowledge (omniscience). Correct? You may ask Freak- why is this? Well, if a "change" became necessary for God, this would be a shortcoming or lack of complete knowledge.

My friend, any change in a perfect God-including a "changed mind"-would mean God changed to something less than perfect since perfection implies completeness, lacking no thing. Change for a perfect Being must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better. A "changing perfect God" is, therefore, a contradiction and fails to describe an all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present God. Think about it.

Knight, keep in mind that a perfect Being can't lack anything that is characteristic of his nature or he fails to be perfect. Now, how does this relate to whether or not God can change his mind? Well, if God could change his mind, this would mean that his "conclusion" or "knowledge" prior to the change was incorrect. He would, therefore, not be the perfect Being that he must be by nature. Any change in God would be a violation of his attributes.

This is fairly simple, a changing God implies a incompleteness. A change for a perfect being (God) must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better-for He is perfect.

Our God is a LIVING PERRFECT GOD!

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:46 PM
Knowing how many times the rooster crowed was knowable?

When Ezekiel prophesied about the destruction of the city of Tyre, was that just a really good guess? Or was it a "prediction?"God can bring events to pass if He so choses. This concept is very different from God knows ALL events exhaustively.


God's prediction "wrong?" Is God sometimes "wrong?"Of course!

God chose to give man freewill, and because of that God cannot always predict what we will do yet this is by God's design. He wants it that way. :)

Sometimes God grieves because His predictions for us fail, yet other times God is joyous because His predictions for us fail (i.e., Nineveh).

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 04:47 PM
It's weird.... it's like everytime I ask you a question you give me an answer that sounds like its for a different question.

Let me try the last one again....

So if Clete chose NOT to get in the car yet God had PERFECT foreknowledge that he DID get in the car . . . how could God's foreknowledge be perfect?

Isn't the only logical answer... "it couldn't be perfect."?
If that were the conclusion of my arguement, but my answer is no. No, Clete could not choose not to get in the car.

Freak
June 3rd, 2005, 04:49 PM
Knight, I asked you:


Is God sometimes "wrong?"

You replied:



Of course!


Give us some examples where God was wrong?

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 04:49 PM
God can bring events to pass if He so choses. This concept is very different from God knows ALL events exhaustively.

Of course!

God chose to give man freewill, and because of that God cannot always predict what we will do yet this is by God's design. He wants it that way. :)

Sometimes God grieves because His predictions for us fail, yet other times God is joyous because His predictions for us fail (i.e., Nineveh).
Here we go with the Nineveh arguement again...... :doh:

Jeremiah85
June 3rd, 2005, 04:49 PM
So if Clete chose NOT to get in the car yet God had PERFECT foreknowledge that he DID get in the car . . . how could God's foreknowledge be perfect?

Isn't the only logical answer... "it couldn't be perfect."?May I jump in here? It seems that your question is an impossibility. God could not have perfect foreknowledge that he did get in the car because he did not get in the car. God would have had foreknowledge that he did get in the car because that is what happened. Clete would not be forced to get in the car, but God would already know which choice he would freely make. To say that God's foreknowledge is not perfect is to say that God is not perfect.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:51 PM
Knight,

If God were to "change his mind" about anything, this would mean by default that he failed to have complete knowledge (omniscience). Correct? You may ask Freak- why is this? Well, if a "change" became necessary for God, this would be a shortcoming or lack of complete knowledge.

My friend, any change in a perfect God-including a "changed mind"-would mean God changed to something less than perfect since perfection implies completeness, lacking no thing. Change for a perfect Being must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better. A "changing perfect God" is, therefore, a contradiction and fails to describe an all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present God. Think about it.

Knight, keep in mind that a perfect Being can't lack anything that is characteristic of his nature or he fails to be perfect. Now, how does this relate to whether or not God can change his mind? Well, if God could change his mind, this would mean that his "conclusion" or "knowledge" prior to the change was incorrect. He would, therefore, not be the perfect Being that he must be by nature. Any change in God would be a violation of his attributes.

This is fairly simple, a changing God implies a incompleteness. A change for a perfect being (God) must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better-for He is perfect.

Our God is a LIVING PERRFECT GOD!Freak, this is faulty pagan Greek philosophy which only applies to inanimate objects.

God is not an inanimate object.

Animated objects or living beings change by definition, it is the very thing that differentiates them from dead or inanimate objects.

A perfectly sized bowling ball cannot change and remain a perfectly sized bowling ball. Yet a perfect bowler changes all the time! :)

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:53 PM
May I jump in here? It seems that your question is an impossibility. God could not have perfect foreknowledge that he did get in the car because he did not get in the car. God would have had foreknowledge that he did get in the car because that is what happened. Clete would not be forced to get in the car, but God would already know which choice he would freely make. OK... so your answer would be what?

Here is the question again in review....
If Clete chose NOT to get in the car yet God had PERFECT foreknowledge that he DID get in the car . . . how could God's foreknowledge be perfect?

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 04:55 PM
Freak, this is faulty pagan Greek philosophy which only applies to inanimate objects.

God is not an inanimate object.

Animated objects or living beings change by definition, it is the very thing that differentiates them from dead or inanimate objects.

A perfectly sized bowling ball cannot change and remain a perfectly sized bowling ball. Yet a perfect bowler changes all the time! :)
All of the above mentioned objects are all finite. Humans, bowling balls (just drop one on concrete and you will see it change).

God is infinite! He is perfect and above all we can think or reason about Him.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:56 PM
A4R please answer my question . . .

If Clete chose NOT to get in the car yet God had PERFECT foreknowledge that he DID get in the car . . . how could God's foreknowledge be perfect?

Jeremiah85
June 3rd, 2005, 04:57 PM
OK... so your answer would be what?

Here is the question again in review....
If Clete chose NOT to get in the car yet God had PERFECT foreknowledge that he DID get in the car . . . how could God's foreknowledge be perfect?My answer is this: The situation that you state is impossible and therefore cannot be answered with a "yes" or a "no".
My reasoning is in my previous post. You seem to be implying that God is not perfect and I would like to know if this is really what you believe.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 04:59 PM
All of the above mentioned objects are all finite. Humans, bowling balls (just drop one on concrete and you will see it change).Of course!!! That's the point!!! Please try to keep up OK?


God is infinite! He is perfect and above all we can think or reason about Him.Is God animate or inanimate?

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 04:59 PM
A4R please answer my question . . .

If Clete chose NOT to get in the car yet God had PERFECT foreknowledge that he DID get in the car . . . how could God's foreknowledge be perfect?
If God's foreknowledge is that Clete did get in the car.......then that is what Clete did. How would Clete know not to?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:01 PM
My answer is this: The situation that you state is impossible and therefore cannot be answered with a "yes" or a "no".
My reasoning is in my previous post. You seem to be implying that God is not perfect and I would like to know if this is really what you believe.:doh:

It's a hypothetical question how can you not answer it????

It's a telling sign about theologies when a simple question brings everyone to their knees.

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 05:02 PM
:doh:

It's a hypothetical question how can you not answer it????

It's a telling sign about theologies when a simple question brings everyone to their knees.


It is indeed.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:03 PM
If God's foreknowledge is that Clete did get in the car.......then that is what Clete did. How would Clete know not to?BINGO!

Clete does not have the freewill to avoid the car if God has exhaustive foreknowledge of him getting in the car, agree?

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 05:03 PM
Of course!!! That's the point!!! Please try to keep up OK?
:p


Is God animate or inanimate?Animate and infinite!

We are animate and finite!

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:06 PM
Animate and infinite!BINGO!!!

And therefore the old pagan Greek line that states a perfect object cannot change and remain perfect does not apply to a animate being such as God.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 05:07 PM
BINGO!

Clete does not have the freewill to avoid the car if God has exhaustive foreknowledge of him getting in the car, agree?
If Clete chooses NOT to get in the car, how can he KNOW what the outcome would be if he did?

Just because God knows what will happen either way......does not take away our free will. This knowledge is neither causative or preventive.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 05:08 PM
God knows when and how we will die, can we choose not to die? :think:

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:11 PM
If Clete chooses NOT to get in the car, how can he KNOW what the outcome would be if he did?

Just because God knows what will happen either way......does not take away our free will. This knowledge is neither causative or preventive.:doh:

Robin, I thought we were past this. :(

Let's go slower....

Lets assume God has PERFECT exhaustive foreknowledge. OK?

Let's further assume God's foreknowledge includes Clete getting into the car and getting in the wreck. OK?

All of the above IS CONTAINED within God's foreknowledge.

OK??

Does Clete have the freewill to do anything other than what is contained within God's perfect foreknowledge?

Jeremiah85
June 3rd, 2005, 05:12 PM
:doh:

[QUOTE]It's a hypothetical question how can you not answer it????Just because it is hypothetical does not make it possible.


It's a telling sign about theologies when a simple question brings everyone to their knees.Answering impossible questions is never easy. ;)

Allow me to use an anology about what I believe: If my Mom were to offer me some corn for dinner I would have the free will to eat it or to refuse it. My mother knows however that under no circumstances will I ever eat corn (mainly because it makes me sick to my stomach) therefore she knows that I will not accept it. God gives us free will, and because God has perfect foreknowledge, he knows with complete accuracy what we will choose.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:14 PM
God knows when and how we will die, can we choose not to die? :think:To some extent yes!

A person contemplating suicide may choose not to die (early). But lets not distract from the main discussion OK?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:16 PM
Just because it is hypothetical does not make it possible.
Answering impossible questions is never easy. It's only immpossible to answer for you because the answer destroys your position.


Allow me to use an anology about what I believe: If my Mom were to offer me some corn for dinner I would have the free will to eat it or to refuse it. My mother knows however that under no circumstances will I ever eat corn (mainly because it makes me sick to my stomach) therefore she knows that I will not accept it. God gives us free will, and because God has perfect foreknowledge, he knows with complete accuracy what we will choose.Yet your mom isn't omniscient is she?

And she still knows you will not choose corn?

Are you arguing for open theism now? :D

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 05:19 PM
:doh:

Robin, I thought we were past this. :(

Let's go slower....

Lets assume God has PERFECT exhaustive foreknowledge. OK?

Let's further assume God's foreknowledge includes Clete getting into the car and getting in the wreck. OK?

All of the above IS CONTAINED within God's foreknowledge.

OK??

Does Clete have the freewill to do anything other than what is contained within God's perfect foreknowledge?

Are you making light of my intelligence? :think:

Clete most certainly has "free will" based on the fact that he doesn't possess the kind of knowledge that God does. Depending on the circumstances, it is impossible to know what comes of the choices we make, but God is never surprised! :nono:

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 05:21 PM
To some extent yes!

A person contemplating suicide may choose not to die (early). But lets not distract from the main discussion OK?
:darwinsm: Ok then, right before you draw your last breath, change your mind about dying and see what that gets you. :rolleyes:

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 05:21 PM
Are you making light of my intelligence? :think:

Clete most certainly has "free will" based on the fact that he doesn't possess the kind of knowledge that God does. Depending on the circumstances, it is impossible to know what comes of the choices we make, but God is never surprised! :nono:Augustine and Plato would be proud. :bang:

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:23 PM
Clete most certainly has "free will" based on the fact that he doesn't possess the kind of knowledge that God does.So what your saying is we perceive that we have freewill but in reality we don't. Correct?


Depending on the circumstances, it is impossible to know what comes of the choices we make, but God is never surprised! Yet you do agree that we cannot make a choice that is not contained with God's perfect foreknowledge correct?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:24 PM
:darwinsm: Ok then, right before you draw your last breath, change your mind about dying and see what that gets you. :rolleyes:Robin, do you read my posts?

I read yours.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 05:24 PM
Augustine and Plato would be proud. :bang:
:p

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:25 PM
This thread is a shining example of what bad theology can do to normally smart people. :nono:

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 05:29 PM
This thread is a shining example of what bad theology can do to normally smart people. :nono:

Sad to say thats a true statement, but......that is a true statement

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:30 PM
Robin, is freewill a human perception or is it real?

In other words....
Do you believe that we have the will to do whatever we choose but God knows otherwise?

It seems to me that based on what you are saying this is indeed what you believe.

Jeremiah85
June 3rd, 2005, 05:30 PM
It's only immpossible to answer for you because the answer destroys your position.I am starting to suspect that we coming at the same point from different viewpoints. You say that because God has foreknown something that a person can choose nothing else. I am saying that because a person chooses something, that God cannot foreknow anything else because anything else would be incorrect.


Yet your mom isn't omniscient is she?

And she still knows you will not choose corn?

Are you arguing for open theism now? :D
You know as well as I do that no human analogy is entirely accurate. What my Mom can do with reasonable accuracy, God can do with 100% accuracy because He is perfect

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:34 PM
I am starting to suspect that we coming at the same point from different viewpoints. You say that because God has foreknown something that a person can choose nothing else. I am saying that because a person chooses something, that God cannot foreknow anything else because anything else would be incorrect.And therefore true freewill and perfect exhaustive foreknowledge are mutually exclusive. BOTH cannot be true.

We either have true freewill or God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge, one or the other both cannot logically be true.

Mr. 5020
June 3rd, 2005, 05:34 PM
Have we come to a unanimous decision yet?

;)

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:35 PM
:spam:

Mr. 5020
June 3rd, 2005, 05:39 PM
When is the answer to this debate going to matter to our spiritual life?

Nevermind, I just thought of one.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:39 PM
Come one, come all.... I will take you all on!!! :box: :D

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:40 PM
When is the answer to this debate going to matter to our spiritual life?

Nevermind, I just thought of one.Ask Poly.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:42 PM
When is the answer to this debate going to matter to our spiritual life?

Nevermind, I just thought of one.Personally I think this may be the single most important issue when it comes to how the lost view Christianity.

Mr. 5020
June 3rd, 2005, 05:43 PM
I have a question, as I am a little open-minded in this area, Sir Knight.

Can God give real guidance without knowing the future? I'm trying to imagine the spiritual dialogue.

"Lord, what do I do?"

"How would I know? I don't know what's gonna happen either way."

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 05:43 PM
God has the ability to do whatever He wants. If He desired to know the future actions of all beings, He could do that. The only problem is, they would not be free to make those choices, and God shows that dilemma by stating in

Isaiah 5:1-4: Now let me sing to my Well-beloved, a song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill. 2 He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; So He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes. 3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, please, between Me and My vineyard. 4 What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?

God stated the problem with free will agents. God did everything He could do without predestinating them to do what He wanted them to do. It even shows Gods disappointment with the nation. God expected Israel to bring forth good grapes, but they did not. These kinds of statements are evident throughout the Bible.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 05:44 PM
So what your saying is we perceive that we have freewill but in reality we don't. Correct?

Yet you do agree that we cannot make a choice that is not contained with God's perfect foreknowledge correct?
Part of the issue here is the issue of time, is it not?

If the future exists for God even as the present does, then God is consistently in all places at all times and is not restricted by time. This would mean that time is not a part of God's nature to which God is subject and that God is not a linear entity. Meaning that He is not restricted to the present only and operates outside of our realm. If God is not restricted to the present, our present, then the future is known by God because God indwells the future, as well as the present.
This means that our future choices, as free as they are, are simply known by God. Our ability to choose is not altered or lessened by God existing in the future and knowing what we freely choose. It just means that God can see what we will freely choose, because it is what we have freely chosen.

Jeremiah85
June 3rd, 2005, 05:44 PM
And therefore true freewill and perfect exhaustive foreknowledge are mutually exclusive. BOTH cannot be true.

We either have true freewill or God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge, one or the other both cannot logically be true.So you deny that God can know what choices that we will make?
According to dictionary.com omniscient means: Having total knowledge; knowing everything

God knows with perfect accuracy every decision that will be made. You are stating that man does not have freewill, therefore do you believe that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had no choice but to sin? I believe that God gave them a choice but already knew what the outcome would be.

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 05:46 PM
Personally I think this may be the single most important issue when it comes to how the lost view Christianity.

It is. Even Christians themselves I would add. Not just the lost.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:47 PM
I have a question, as I am a little open-minded in this area, Sir Knight.

Can God give real guidance without knowing the future? I'm trying to imagine the spiritual dialogue.Of course, why couldn't He?

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

In other words....
The more we trust in Him and allow Him to work through us the more He will direct our paths. The converse is... if we lean on our own understandings He will not be guiding our paths. Make sense?

Mr. 5020
June 3rd, 2005, 05:48 PM
Of course, why couldn't He?

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

In other words....
The more we trust in Him and allow Him to work through us the more He will direct our paths. The converse is... if we lean on our own understandings He will not be guiding our paths. Make sense?
Except that my question is: How would He know how to direct us if he doesn't know what's going to happen when we get there?

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 05:48 PM
So you deny that God can know what choices that we will make?
According to dictionary.com omniscient means: Having total knowledge; knowing everything

God knows with perfect accuracy every decision that will be made. You are stating that man does not have freewill, therefore do you believe that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had no choice but to sin? I believe that God gave them a choice but already knew what the outcome would be.
See post 173. If you can attempt to answer the Isiah passage, please give it a spin.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:50 PM
Part of the issue here is the issue of time, is it not?

If the future exists for God even as the present does, then God is consistently in all places at all times and is not restricted by time. This would mean that time is not a part of God's nature to which God is subject and that God is not a linear entity. Meaning that He is not restricted to the present only and operates outside of our realm. If God is not restricted to the present, our present, then the future is known by God because God indwells the future, as well as the present.
This means that our future choices, as free as they are, are simply known by God. Our ability to choose is not altered or lessened by God existing in the future and knowing what we freely choose. It just means that God can see what we will freely choose, because it is what we have freely chosen.I do not believe that God does not experience time, do you?

The idea that time is some thing (space between words intended) is illogical and not biblical.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:53 PM
So you deny that God can know what choices that we will make?
According to dictionary.com omniscient means: Having total knowledge; knowing everythingDoes God control His own knowldge or is it controlled by dictionary.com?


God knows with perfect accuracy every decision that will be made.When does He know this? How far in advance?


You are stating that man does not have freewill, therefore do you believe that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had no choice but to sin? I believe that God gave them a choice but already knew what the outcome would be.That isn't what I am stating at all but I don't have time to review it all for you.

I am simply pointing out that true freewill and perfect exhaustive foreknowledge are incompatible.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 05:54 PM
I do not believe that God does not experience time, do you?

The idea that time is some thing (space between words intended) is illogical and not biblical.
Try to keep up, Knight......
I said God is not restricted to time and is not a linear entity!
Humans and all created beings are.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:56 PM
Except that my question is: How would He know how to direct us if he doesn't know what's going to happen when we get there?God isn't giving us directions to the grocery store.

God's will for us is outlined in the Bible.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 05:58 PM
Try to keep up, Knight......
I said God is not restricted to time and is not a linear entity!
Humans and all created beings are.I know what you said... and I completely disagree! It is you who can't seem to keep up.

There is NO evidence whatsoever that God does not exist rationally i.e., lineraly.

Mr. 5020
June 3rd, 2005, 05:58 PM
God isn't giving us directions to the grocery store.

God's will for us is outlined in the Bible.
So, can we count Him for relevant issues? Such as, "God, show me which job I should take."

godrulz
June 3rd, 2005, 05:58 PM
May I jump in here? It seems that your question is an impossibility. God could not have perfect foreknowledge that he did get in the car because he did not get in the car. God would have had foreknowledge that he did get in the car because that is what happened. Clete would not be forced to get in the car, but God would already know which choice he would freely make. To say that God's foreknowledge is not perfect is to say that God is not perfect.


God's knows the past and present perfectly. He correctly knows reality as it is. Thus, He must know the future as possible, not actual. It becomes certain/actual and an object of knowledge when the potential future becomes the fixed past. Some of the future that He will bring to pass by His ability is knowable (e.g. that the Messiah would come and die, rise, and return). The Open View affirms God's perfect omniscience (knowing all that is knowable...to not know a nothing is not a limitation).

Mr. 5020
June 3rd, 2005, 05:58 PM
I know what you said... and I completely disagree! It is you who can't seem to keep up.

There is NO evidence whatsoever that God does not exist rationally i.e., lineraly.
What about the "day is as a thousand years" reference?

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 06:00 PM
God has no need to foreknow anything but His own plans. He determines His own plans, then makes them happen. On the other hand, God does not say He foreknows the human choices of man. His foreknowledge is very explicit.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:00 PM
So, can we count Him for relevant issues? Such as, "God, show me which job I should take."God isn't going to micromanage your life for you.

He doesn't want to pick your job for you no more than He wants to pick your clothes for you each day.

Jeremiah85
June 3rd, 2005, 06:01 PM
See post 173. If you can attempt to answer the Isiah passage, please give it a spin. It is a rhetorical question. God knew what choice Israel would make, however, in this passage he is pointing out to Israel what their mistake was the same way a mother might ask her child "If I told you to take out the trash then why has it not been done?" The mother is not truly asking why the trash has not been done, but is pointing out that her instructions should have been obeyed.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:02 PM
I know what you said... and I completely disagree! It is you who can't seem to keep up.

There is NO evidence whatsoever that God does not exist rationally i.e., lineraly.
Really? :think:
So God is limited to our frame of measured time?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:02 PM
What about the "day is as a thousand years" reference?What about it?

God is eternal - He has lived and infinite amount of time into the past and will exist an infinite amount of time into the future.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:02 PM
Really? :think:Really!

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:03 PM
Robin, is God still suffering on the cross? Not metaphorically but in reality.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:04 PM
Really!
:darwinsm:

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:05 PM
Robin, is God still suffering on the cross? Not metaphorically but in reality.
:nono:

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:06 PM
:nono:So that event is over for God? It's in God's past?

Jeremiah85
June 3rd, 2005, 06:08 PM
Does God control His own knowldge or is it controlled by dictionary.com?
You first used the term omniscient which does not appear in scripture so don't be surprised when I use a dictionary to define it. Would you care to answer my question please?

When does He know this? How far in advance?Forever


That isn't what I am stating at all but I don't have time to review it all for you.Glad to hear it. :)


I am simply pointing out that true freewill and perfect exhaustive foreknowledge are incompatible....with your beliefs.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:10 PM
So that event is over for God? It's in God's past?
The crucifixon was like a big rock being thrown into a lake, and the ripples are still affecting us.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:11 PM
The crucifixon was like a big rock being thrown into a lake, and the ripples are still affecting us.That is an answer to some other question. A question I didn't ask.

I asked...

So that event (God suffering on the cross) is over for God? It's in God's past?

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:13 PM
That is an answer to some other question. A question I didn't ask.

I asked...

So that event (God suffering on the cross) is over for God? It's in God's past?
God's past? Or our past?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:16 PM
Would you care to answer my question please?This question....?

"So you deny that God can know what choices that we will make?"

Is that the one? (it's always best to recap the question if possible).

It isn't that God CAN'T know the future because He certainly could have chose to create a static future without freewill agents. Yet it's that God doesn't want to know our choices! He created us with freewill by His own design!

God does not want to coerce our love for Him. The only way to avoid such coercion is to create us with a true freewill not knowing what choices we would make.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:17 PM
God's past? Or our past?:doh:

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:18 PM
Robin....

The question read like this....

So that event (God suffering on the cross) is over for God? It's in God's past?

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:18 PM
:doh:
Take a tylenol and answer the question, please. :rolleyes:

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:21 PM
Take a tylenol and answer the question, please. You gotta be kidding me!! ROTFL.

Robin when simple questions turn you into jelly as thread thread demonstrates, I would seriously recommend you revaluate your theology.

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 06:22 PM
God's past? Or our past?Robin, surely your not suggesting God has Jesus hanging from the cross perpetually, do you?

Mr. 5020
June 3rd, 2005, 06:23 PM
God isn't going to micromanage your life for you.

He doesn't want to pick your job for you no more than He wants to pick your clothes for you each day.
So, He doesn't care about issues that are important to us?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:24 PM
Robin....

The question read like this....

So that event (God suffering on the cross) is over for God? It's in God's past?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:25 PM
So, He doesn't care about issues that are important to us?He cares about your soul and your relationship with Him.

He most likely laughs at the outfits I pick out. :noid:

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:28 PM
God is not tied to past, present or future. What Christ did for us impacts our past, present and future. Christ died once for all.God has no beginning, no ending and therefore has no past.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:29 PM
So, He doesn't care about issues that are important to us?Ya know the Catholics really get into this type of stuff and they manifest it through their saints.

They can pray to the patron saint of mattresses when they go picking out their next bed or pray to the saint of legal pads when shopping at Office Depot.

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 06:30 PM
Ya know the Catholics really get into this type of stuff and they manifest it through their saints.

They can pray to the patron saint of mattresses when they go picking out their next bed or pray to the saint of legal pads when shopping at Office Depot.
:shocked: :darwinsm:

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 06:32 PM
God is not tied to past, present or future. What Christ did for us impacts our past, present and future. Christ died once for all.God has no beginning, no ending and therefore has no past.And this means what? Jesus is STILL HANGING on the Cross?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:33 PM
God is not tied to past, present or future. What Christ did for us impacts our past, present and future. Christ died once for all.God has no beginning, no ending and therefore has no past.So God is in the eternal now eh?

According to Robin God is still suffering (not metaphorically but in reality) on the cross?

Wacky!

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished! And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. - John 19:30

Jeremiah85
June 3rd, 2005, 06:33 PM
This question....?

"So you deny that God can know what choices that we will make?"

Is that the one? (it's always best to recap the question if possible).

It isn't that God CAN'T know the future because He certainly could have chose to create a static future without freewill agents. Yet it's that God doesn't want to know our choices! He created us with freewill by His own design!

God does not want to coerce our love for Him. The only way to avoid such coercion is to create us with a true freewill not knowing what choices we would make.I see that we are mostly in agreement after all. I do not believe that God coerces us into doing anything, but that He knows beforehand what we will do. Whether or not he wants to know our choices is a matter of belief not doctrine, so, do we agree that God can know what our decisions will be?

This is also why I believe that prophecy is no problem for God: Because God already knows what decisions have been made, then he can state the future with 100% accuracy.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:33 PM
Ya know the Catholics really get into this type of stuff and they manifest it through their saints.

They can pray to the patron saint of mattresses when they go picking out their next bed or pray to the saint of legal pads when shopping at Office Depot.
:blabla:

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 06:34 PM
Knight,

This is getting more bizzarre by the minute.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:36 PM
So God is in the eternal now eh?

According to Robin God is still suffering (not metaphorically but in reality) on the cross?

Wacky!

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished! And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. - John 19:30
Yes, God is eternal!

Where did I say that Christ is still suffering in reality?

Mr. 5020
June 3rd, 2005, 06:37 PM
Ya know the Catholics really get into this type of stuff and they manifest it through their saints.

They can pray to the patron saint of mattresses when they go picking out their next bed or pray to the saint of legal pads when shopping at Office Depot.
So you are saying that He does not care.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:37 PM
I see that we are mostly in agreement after all.I don't think so. I don't think we agree at all.

God chooses NOT to know the future.

He intentionally created us NOT KNOWING the future or our future choices so that our love for Him would NOT BE coerced.

When I said..."It isn't that God CAN'T know the future because He certainly could have chose to create a static future without freewill agents." I mean that to be hypothetical, in other words God COULD HAVE created that way but He chose not to.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:38 PM
So you are saying that He does not care.Uh ... yeah... that's what I am saying. :kookoo:

Dude, try a little harder OK?

Delmar
June 3rd, 2005, 06:38 PM
What about the "day is as a thousand years" reference? It's like the way a 90 year old perceives time differently than a five year old but to the extreme.

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:39 PM
Knight,

This is getting more bizzarre by the minute.They bought a lemon and they refuse to trade it in.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:39 PM
I don't think so. I don't think we agree at all.

God chooses NOT to know the future.

He intentionally created us NOT KNOWING the future or our future choices so that our love for Him would NOT BE coerced.

When I said..."It isn't that God CAN'T know the future because He certainly could have chose to create a static future without freewill agents." I mean that to be hypothetical, in other words God COULD HAVE created that way but He chose not to.
Ah, so now the mighty Knight knows what God does and does not choose to know....

He must be .......special :kookoo:

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 06:39 PM
So you are saying that He does not care.

Is buying a legal pad affect your relationship with Him?

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:40 PM
Where did I say that Christ is still suffering in reality?Right here...
God has no beginning, no ending and therefore has no past.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:42 PM
Right here...
Nope....I don't see where I said that Christ is still suffering on the cross.......... :nono:

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:43 PM
Nope....I don't see where I said that Christ is still suffering on the cross.......... :nono:You said God has no past.

If God has no past then the suffering can't be in the past!

Knight
June 3rd, 2005, 06:44 PM
Man I love open theism! It rocks! It cannot be defeated and it has no holes! Praise the Lord!!!

Threads like this get me so pumped!

It's just too easy.

But isn't that how the truth should be?

Gotta go, be back later!

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 06:44 PM
You said God has no past.

If God has no past then the suffering can't be in the past!
If God has no past, then He can't be suffering now can He?

Mr. 5020
June 3rd, 2005, 06:46 PM
Is buying a legal pad affect your relationship with Him?
I was referring to things important to us. Does He care about things that are important to us?

Jeremiah85
June 3rd, 2005, 06:46 PM
I don't think so. I don't think we agree at all.

God chooses NOT to know the future.

He intentionally created us NOT KNOWING the future or our future choices so that our love for Him would NOT BE coerced.

When I said..."It isn't that God CAN'T know the future because He certainly could have chose to create a static future without freewill agents." I mean that to be hypothetical, in other words God COULD HAVE created that way but He chose not to.I would really appreciate it if you could answer my questions without my having to repeat them. To recap: so, do we agree that God can know what our decisions will be?


Ah, so now the mighty Knight knows what God does and does not choose to know....
Knight, have you been having some conversations with God that we need to know about? :chuckle:

julie21
June 3rd, 2005, 06:57 PM
Knight: He intentionally created us NOT KNOWING the future or our future choices so that our love for Him would NOT BE coerced.
Can you explain tnis please?
How could His knowing OUR future or OUR future choices coerce our love for Him?...as we are not privy to His knowledge, we do not have 'foreknowledge', and so we can't possibly love Him for anything other than what we know of Him at this moment in time? Loving Him for all He has done for us in our lives in the past, what He is doing at this very moment and what He will do for us in our future, even though we do not know our future...His knowledge of our future choices cannot coerce us into loving Him. We love Him just because of who He is, was and forever will be.

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 07:22 PM
If God has no past, then He can't be suffering now can He?Then He never really suffered then either by this logic.

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 07:25 PM
I was referring to things important to us. Does He care about things that are important to us?

Yes He does.

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 07:40 PM
I would really appreciate it if you could answer my questions without my having to repeat them. To recap: so, do we agree that God can know what our decisions will be?

Knight, have you been having some conversations with God that we need to know about? :chuckle:
I understand from the Bible that God can know the future. But the Bible shows us when He does. He determines it. When He determines it, He makes it happen. Therefore, He can know that it will happen, but that does not mean that He knows it because He looks into the future to know it.

Delmar
June 3rd, 2005, 07:47 PM
What about the "day is as a thousand years" reference?It's like the way a 90 year old perceives time differently than a five year old but to the extreme.

docrob57
June 3rd, 2005, 07:51 PM
Logically there is no alternative.

There certainly is, and I have given it, but it seems beyond the comprehension of those arguing the alternative.

Jeremiah85
June 3rd, 2005, 07:57 PM
I understand from the Bible that God can know the future. But the Bible shows us when He does. He determines it. When He determines it, He makes it happen. Therefore, He can know that it will happen, but that does not mean that He knows it because He looks into the future to know it. I must disagree. I firmly believe that God knows everything. For Him to know any less would make Him imperfect and vulnerable to mistakes.

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 08:22 PM
I must disagree. I firmly believe that God knows everything. For Him to know any less would make Him imperfect and vulnerable to mistakes.

Ok, then admit you get this from your own understanding and not what the Bible teaches.

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 08:25 PM
Then He never really suffered then either by this logic.
Doc-
Please refer to post #174.......

Knight came up with this "logic"....not me, and yet I try to make sense out of nonsense! :bang:

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 08:26 PM
Ok, then admit you get this from your own understanding and not what the Bible teaches.
No, that is you......

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 08:26 PM
Sorry, please deposit .25 cents and try again

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 08:27 PM
It's like the way a 90 year old perceives time differently than a five year old but to the extreme.
Comparing a human with a human......... :chuckle:

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 08:28 PM
Sorry, please deposit .25 cents and try again
Wassa matter? Tired of being wrong?

Freak
June 3rd, 2005, 08:29 PM
In light of numerous Scriptures I stated:

If God were to "change his mind" about anything, this would mean by default that he failed to have complete knowledge (omniscience). Correct? You may ask Freak- why is this? Well, if a "change" became necessary for God, this would be a shortcoming or lack of complete knowledge.

My friend, any change in a perfect God-including a "changed mind"-would mean God changed to something less than perfect since perfection implies completeness, lacking no thing. Change for a perfect Being must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better. A "changing perfect God" is, therefore, a contradiction and fails to describe an all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present God. Think about it.

Knight, keep in mind that a perfect Being can't lack anything that is characteristic of his nature or he fails to be perfect. Now, how does this relate to whether or not God can change his mind? Well, if God could change his mind, this would mean that his "conclusion" or "knowledge" prior to the change was incorrect. He would, therefore, not be the perfect Being that he must be by nature. Any change in God would be a violation of his attributes.

This is fairly simple, a changing God implies a incompleteness. A change for a perfect being (God) must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better-for He is perfect.

Our God is a LIVING PERRFECT GOD!
Freak, this is faulty pagan Greek philosophy which only applies to inanimate objects.

What part is "faulty?" The part that God is perfect!? A perfect God could not change for the better-for He is perfect.


God is not an inanimate object.[/QUOTe}

Huh? God is a PERFECT LIVING GOD!! A God we worship in spirit and truth!!!

[QUOTE]Animated objects or living beings change by definition, it is the very thing that differentiates them from dead or inanimate objects. The living Being-Holy God is PERFECT.

Change for a perfect Being must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better. A "changing perfect God" is, therefore, a contradiction and fails to describe an all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present God. Think about it.


A perfectly sized bowling ball cannot change and remain a perfectly sized bowling ball. Yet a perfect bowler changes all the time! We are NOT speaking of a bowler but a PERFECT LIVING GOD!

Knight, as I pointed out earlier... a perfect Being can't lack anything that is characteristic of his nature or he fails to be perfect. Now, how does this relate to whether or not God can change his mind? Well, if God could change his mind, this would mean that his "conclusion" or "knowledge" prior to the change was incorrect. He would, therefore, not be the perfect Being that he must be by nature. Any change in God would be a violation of his attributes.

drbrumley
June 3rd, 2005, 08:31 PM
Wassa matter? Tired of being wrong?Who? Me and Knight?

Tired? Yes I am am going to bed.

Wrong? Hardly.....

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 08:32 PM
Who? Me and Knight?

Tired? Yes I am am going to bed.

Wrong? Hardly.....
Nitey night, then! :wave2:

Agape4Robin
June 3rd, 2005, 08:34 PM
In light of numerous Scriptures I stated:

If God were to "change his mind" about anything, this would mean by default that he failed to have complete knowledge (omniscience). Correct? You may ask Freak- why is this? Well, if a "change" became necessary for God, this would be a shortcoming or lack of complete knowledge.

My friend, any change in a perfect God-including a "changed mind"-would mean God changed to something less than perfect since perfection implies completeness, lacking no thing. Change for a perfect Being must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better. A "changing perfect God" is, therefore, a contradiction and fails to describe an all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present God. Think about it.

Knight, keep in mind that a perfect Being can't lack anything that is characteristic of his nature or he fails to be perfect. Now, how does this relate to whether or not God can change his mind? Well, if God could change his mind, this would mean that his "conclusion" or "knowledge" prior to the change was incorrect. He would, therefore, not be the perfect Being that he must be by nature. Any change in God would be a violation of his attributes.

This is fairly simple, a changing God implies a incompleteness. A change for a perfect being (God) must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better-for He is perfect.

Our God is a LIVING PERRFECT GOD!

What part is "faulty?" The part that God is perfect!? A perfect God could not change for the better-for He is perfect.

[QUOTE]God is not an inanimate object.[/QUOTe}

Huh? God is a PERFECT LIVING GOD!! A God we worship in spirit and truth!!!

The living Being-Holy God is PERFECT.

Change for a perfect Being must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better. A "changing perfect God" is, therefore, a contradiction and fails to describe an all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present God. Think about it.

We are NOT speaking of a bowler but a PERFECT LIVING GOD!

Knight, as I pointed out earlier... a perfect Being can't lack anything that is characteristic of his nature or he fails to be perfect. Now, how does this relate to whether or not God can change his mind? Well, if God could change his mind, this would mean that his "conclusion" or "knowledge" prior to the change was incorrect. He would, therefore, not be the perfect Being that he must be by nature. Any change in God would be a violation of his attributes.
Freak, not once have they even refuted scripture except to say that it wasn't true or what the scripture was saying in effect.

How sad that they would choose the doctrines of men over the doctrine of God.