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Knight
June 23rd, 2005, 01:18 AM
The popular argument on TOL lately regarding God's foreknowledge has been....

God can have perfect exhaustive foreknowledge without closing the future and removing man's freewill. Personally I think this argument refutes itself but Clete, Philosopher, Yorzhik, Turbo, Godrulz, DRBrumley and many others have been doing a great job refuting this notion even further on several current threads here on TOL. True freewill and perfect exhaustive foreknowledge are not compatible, they are mutually exclusive.

Yet I think there is another objection to this notion of freewill and exhaustive foreknowledge being compatible that hasn't really been explored yet.

I don't like long setup posts so I am going to make this as brief as possible and develop the argument over time.

So here goes . . .

God is a personal God. God has been extremely involved in our history. God's word is filled with page after page of stories describing God interacting with His creation. God isn't a supernatural force sitting idly by on the other other side of the universe simply observing His creation. God is with us! He interacts with us, He moves us, shakes us, picks people for tasks and ministries. He smites some, kills some and destroys others etc. But why? Why does God interact with us?




When He left us His word in the form of the Bible it was an interaction with us on a grand scale and for good reason.
When He wiped out the world with a flood it was interaction on a global scale and for good reason.
When He picked Abram, Moses, David etc. He was interacting with His creation for a reason.
God wants to affect our freewill! He wants to move us in the direction that more closely conforms to His will.

If God were an uninvolved God watching creation from a distance one might be able to make a more persuasive argument that God can know our future without effecting our freewill (the argument still fails logically but it would be far more understandable). Yet that isn't the God of the Bible! Please don't misunderstand, I am not claiming that those arguing for freewill and exhaustive foreknowledge being compatible are claiming God is not involved, far from it! I am simply saying that their argument would be more believable if God weren't a personal God.

God is in the business of effecting our will without completely controlling our will. Sort of like gathering sheep. :sheep: :)

God wants us to choose Him!

He desires that we choose Him! (1 Timothy 2:3)

God wants us to love our wives.

God wants us to raise up our children

God wants us to convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

God wants to persuade and affect our will to be more like His will regarding these things and many other things.

So one must ask . . .

A millennia ago did God's perfect exhaustive foreknowledge contain His interaction with us? And of course the answer must be a resounding YES otherwise the foreknowledge isn't perfect yet lacking (lacking the interaction).
Did God perfectly foreknow His interactions with man infinitely into the past? And if so, doesn't that defeat the purpose of the interaction?

God interacts with man for a reason, I assert that divine interacting for the purpose of altering the course of history is only rational and logical if the course of history is truly alterable and not perfectly foreknown.

Said another way . . .
If there are two possible choices a man can make and God would prefer that we pick one of those choices above the other choice, He would only interact with us if He knew He could possibly influence that choice.

Free-Agent Smith
June 23rd, 2005, 01:45 AM
Well said :)

logos_x
June 23rd, 2005, 07:30 AM
:thumb: Awesome!

The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid. --G.K. Chesterton.

Poly
June 23rd, 2005, 07:53 AM
:thumb: Awesome!

The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid. --G.K. Chesterton.

So how do you feel about.... (emphasis mine)


Did God perfectly foreknow His interactions with man infinitely into the past? And if so, doesn't that defeat the purpose of the interaction?

God interacts with man for a reason, I assert that divine interaction for the purpose of altering the course of history is only rational and logical if the course of history is truly alterable and not perfectly foreknown.



Do you agree?

logos_x
June 23rd, 2005, 07:54 AM
Yes

Poly
June 23rd, 2005, 08:06 AM
Yes

I'm having a little trouble seeing how you can agree with this and yet on another thread you said...


While it is true that if God knows the future, and you cannot do anything but what He knows, it doen't follow that what he knows about you causes you to act a certain way...He simply knows what you will choose. He doesn't cause you to choose one way or the other.
Therefore, God knowing the future does not affect how you would choose, therefore you can choose as you normally would, and you have free will.

You agree that God interacting is only logical if He doesn't have perfect foreknowledge yet here you seem to be saying that He does have perfect foreknowledge.
Maybe you've changed your mind since this post. If so I apologize for the confusion.

JCAtheist
June 23rd, 2005, 08:09 AM
Sounds pretty good to me too...


Still like my compass analogy though.. :chuckle:



Love and Peace

JCAtheist

logos_x
June 23rd, 2005, 08:13 AM
I'm having a little trouble seeing how you can agree with this and yet on another thread you said...



You agreed earlier with Knight that interaction of God is only logical if He doesn't have perfect foreknowledge yet here you seem to be saying that He does have perfect foreknowledge.
Maybe you've changed your mind since this post. If so I apologize for the confusion.

I have reconsidered my position on this.
It is too problematic of a theological premise to sustain.

The problems I was having with the Open View have been answered in Knight's OP of this thread.
:)

Poly
June 23rd, 2005, 08:15 AM
I have reconsidered my position on this.
It is too problematic of a theological premise to sustain.

The problems I was having with the Open View have been answered in Knight's OP of this thread.
:)

Awesome!

I knew Knight was good for something. :D

logos_x
June 23rd, 2005, 08:16 AM
:chuckle:

Yes He is!

Nineveh
June 23rd, 2005, 08:16 AM
Wow logos, that's pretty cool! :)

logos_x
June 23rd, 2005, 08:21 AM
God wants to affect our freewill! He wants to move us in the direction that more closely conforms to His will.

If God were an uninvolved God watching creation from a distance one might be able to make a more persuasive argument that God can know our future without effecting our freewill (the argument still fails logically but it would be far more understandable). Yet that isn't the God of the Bible! Please don't misunderstand, I am not claiming that those arguing for freewill and exhaustive foreknowledge being compatible are claiming God is not involved, far from it! I am simply saying that their argument would be more believable if God weren't a personal God.

God is in the business of effecting our will without completely controlling our will. Sort of like gathering sheep. :sheep: :)



This is the part that made it click for me.

Knight
June 23rd, 2005, 12:12 PM
The TWO FOLD purpose of dispensing foreknowledge.

Why does God dispense His foreknowledge to us? I assert there is a two fold reason with a single overlying reason. The single overlying reason I explained in my first post in that God wants to affect or will in an attempt to influence our will to more closely conform to His will.

But now lets dig a little deeper.
I assert that there is a two fold purpose in making foreknowledge known to others. When I use the word foreknowledge in this post I am speaking of foreknowledge as in the OV version of foreknowledge.

EXAMPLE:

When we say to our son who just got a new BB gun....

"You are going to shoot your eye out with that thing!"

Our foreknowledge (educated guess) tells us that our child is too inexperienced to understand the safest way to handle the BB gun so he is most likely going to shoot a BB and have it hit him in the eye.

But why do we dispense our foreknowledge to him? Why do we tell him what we think is going to happen?

I assert we do this for TWO REASONS:

ONE. We want to effect the future. We want him to think about safety. We want him to NOT shoot his eye out!!!

But it doesn't stop there. There is yet another reason we dispensed our foreknowledge to our son.

TWO. We realize he may not heed our warning and he might STILL get a BB in the eye! And when that happens we want him to realize we were right in our foreknowledge and therefore give our foreknowledge credibility and therefore restore his faith in our enlightened foreknowledge.

I assert to you that this TWO FOLD tactic is the very reason why God INTERACTS with us and dispenses His foreknowledge to us!

CASE IN POINT:
God wanted Peter to be a powerful witness for the gospel, a leader of the church. But God knew Peters heart. God knew Peter's faith was weak. Therefore God interacted with Peter using this TWO FOLD use of foreknowledge.

God told Peter that Peter would deny Christ three times before the rooster crowed.

What was the point of this foreknowledge being given to Peter?

PURPOSE NUMBER ONE:
God wanted Peter to NOT deny Him! He wanted Peter to NOT shoot his eye out with the BB gun (so to speak). Yet God knowing that Peter was likely going to deny Him anyway reason number two kicked in . . .

PURPOSE NUMBER TWO:
God wanted Peter to have renewed faith in God's foreknowledge and therefore renewed faith in God because God was able to accurately predict Peters future actions. Peter could then say to himself "WOW God must be the real God because He knew I was gonna shoot me eye with the BB gun." (so to speak).

And therefore the overall purpose of the foreknowledge is manifested.... AFFECTING Peter's freewill in a manner which persuaded Peter to conform Peters will more closely to God's will for Peter.

The dispensing of foreknowledge has NO purpose unless the future is unsettled. Dispensing foreknowledge is a lever to effect future actions.

kmoney
June 23rd, 2005, 04:51 PM
Knight,

Interesting arguments in your original post. I have a question about something you said in this paragraph.....

A millennia ago did God's perfect exhaustive foreknowledge contain His interaction with us? And of course the answer must be a resounding YES otherwise the foreknowledge isn't perfect yet lacking (lacking the interaction).
Did God perfectly foreknow His interactions with man infinitely into the past? And if so, doesn't that defeat the purpose of the interaction?
When you said "infinitely into the past" did you mean "infinitely into the future"?
If not can you plean explain what you mean because I don't understand what you mean by God knowing his interactions with us infinitely in the past.

Kevin

Prisca
June 23rd, 2005, 04:54 PM
I really like your analogy. It also demonstrates how God's glory can be seen through our bad choices as well as our good without Him actually orchestrating everything. Well thought out!

Poly
June 23rd, 2005, 05:05 PM
It also demonstrates how God's glory can be seen through our bad choices as well as our good without Him actually orchestrating everything.

And knowing God's glory will be seen regardless of man's bad choices causes one to see just how powerful He is. Exceedingly more so than if He just planned every little thing out.

Knight
June 23rd, 2005, 05:08 PM
Knight,

Interesting arguments in your original post. I have a question about something you said in this paragraph.....

When you said "infinitely into the past" did you mean "infinitely into the future"?
If not can you plean explain what you mean because I don't understand what you mean by God knowing his interactions with us infinitely in the past.

KevinSome folks, such as yourself claim that God is outside of time or is able to see the future and one way or another God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge and has always had perfect exhaustive foreknowledge.

If you hold that view (like you do) then you must believe that God's foreknowledge which He had a millennia ago contained EVERYTHING. Everything including His interactions with us etc.

As you know, I don't hold that view.

Justin (Wiccan)
June 23rd, 2005, 05:22 PM
OK, let me make sure I'm understanding this ....

The basic argument: "God can have perfect exhaustive foreknowledge without closing the future and removing man's freewill."

Your basic argument is that the argument must be false, else God would not bother interacting with us?

kmoney
June 23rd, 2005, 05:25 PM
Some folks, such as yourself claim that God is outside of time or is able to see the future and one way or another God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge and has always had perfect exhaustive foreknowledge.

If you hold that view (like you do) then you must believe that God's foreknowledge which He had a millennia ago contained EVERYTHING. Everything including His interactions with us etc.

As you know, I don't hold that view.
Knight,
I wasn't trying to assert any theological views. It was an honest question. I wasn't sure if you were saying God had that foreknowledge since an infinite time in the past, or something else. Despite not trying to you answered my question. Thank you.

Kevin

Knight
June 23rd, 2005, 05:28 PM
The basic argument: "God can have perfect exhaustive foreknowledge without closing the future and removing man's freewill."

Your basic argument is that the argument must be false, else God would not bother interacting with us?Kinda, sorta . . .

Justin (Wiccan)
June 23rd, 2005, 05:30 PM
:think:

Ok. I can dig that.

Knight
June 23rd, 2005, 05:34 PM
:think:

Ok. I can dig that.One question that must be asked is . . . what is the point of God's interaction with man?

Why did He tell Adam not to eat from the tree?

Why did He tell Noah to build a boat?

Why did He tell Moses to tell Pharaoh He would smite Egypt?

Why did He tell Jonah to tell Nineveh that in 40 days they would be overthrown?

Why did He become flesh?

Why did He pick and teach His apostles?

Why did He convert the apostle Paul?

Etc., etc., etc.

Why interact? What is the purpose of God's interactions?

Justin (Wiccan)
June 23rd, 2005, 05:52 PM
Why interact? What is the purpose of God's interactions?

I think it's far more relevant to ask "What is the purpose of claiming these interactions are historical," but that's just me. ;)

justchristian
June 24th, 2005, 02:04 AM
I still see the logic jump that God's foreknowledge of his interaction limits that interaction. The idea of reason behind disclosing foreknowledge as preventive or building trust is valid. But again I simply don't agree with the logic error so many claim that a closed future negates freewill or God's interaction. Meh, I'll chew on it some more.

logos_x
June 24th, 2005, 02:28 AM
I still see the logic jump that God's foreknowledge of his interaction limits that interaction. The idea of reason behind disclosing foreknowledge as preventive or building trust is valid. But again I simply don't agree with the logic error so many claim that a closed future negates freewill or God's interaction. Meh, I'll chew on it some more.

I had the same problem. Demonstrated by THIS exchange (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20844&page=9&pp=40) .

When Knight posted this thread, the opening post just clicked for me...and i saw where the real difficulty lies.

The personal interaction of God completely resolves the problem I was having...which was this:
In order to accomodate this interaction as effective I had to answer "yes" to the hypothetical scenario that if God revealed to me in His perfect foreknowledge something that would occur, could I then act otherwise?
My answer "yes" was true...but at the same time negates God's "perfect forknowledge" because what He said would happen... would not happen because I ACTED ON the knowledge He provided. That made it nonsensical.

Clete
June 24th, 2005, 06:38 AM
Knight,

Brilliant argument. I love it. :up:

It occurred to me while I was reading both of your two major posts that this is a twist on and a vast expansion of an argument that I've been using for a while about how closed viewers must live their lives just as though the future was actually open only you've had the absolute genius idea of applying that logic to God's actions rather than man's. Brilliant!

Resting in Him,
Clete

justchristian
June 24th, 2005, 09:43 AM
I fully agree that from our perspective we must live as though the future is open, that our choices are ours. They are.


In order to accomodate this interaction as effective I had to answer "yes" to the hypothetical scenario that if God revealed to me in His perfect foreknowledge something that would occur, could I then act otherwise?
My answer "yes" was true...but at the same time negates God's "perfect forknowledge" because what He said would happen... would not happen because I ACTED ON the knowledge He provided. That made it nonsensical.
OK. Great thanks for spelling that out...more goodness to chew on. But I am off to camp. God Bless you guys this weekend. See you on monday.

skeptech
June 24th, 2005, 10:34 AM
But again I simply don't agree with the logic error so many claim that a closed future negates freewill or God's interaction.
I agree.

For instance:

- Knight has the free will to change his mind on this issue.
- I know that I won't change Knight's mind,
- yet I continue (for the same excellent reasons he put forth in his second post) to pursuade him that my perfect foreknowledge doesn't negate his free will!

Now, I'm just a lowly human. Just think how much better God's foreknowledge is.

Go ahead, Knight.... prove me wrong! ;)

logos_x
June 24th, 2005, 11:38 AM
Perhaps a definition of "Foreknowledge" and "perfect exhaustive foreknowledge" would help....

Clete
June 24th, 2005, 11:43 AM
I agree.

For instance:

- Knight has the free will to change his mind on this issue.
- I know that I won't change Knight's mind,
- yet I continue (for the same excellent reasons he put forth in his second post) to pursuade him that my perfect foreknowledge doesn't negate his free will!

Now, I'm just a lowly human. Just think how much better God's foreknowledge is.

Go ahead, Knight.... prove me wrong! ;)
If this is the sort of knowledge you are speaking of when you say God knows the future then there is no disagreement. But this is not what Arminians and Calvinists say at all because in fact you do not know what Knight will or will not do, you only have really good reason to believe what he will do and are completely convinced that you are right about what he will not change his mind. But having good reason to believe is not the same as knoweldge.

Resting in Him,
Clete

logos_x
June 24th, 2005, 11:50 AM
By foreknowledge, for God, IMHO, it simply means being able to reasonably and with a high degree of certainty percieve what is going to occur at any given moment, unless you (as God) do something to change the outcome.

Perfect exhaustive foreknowledge would mean that everything is foreknown, with no ability to change. All time becomes immutible, predetermined, and static.

Knight
June 24th, 2005, 11:51 AM
If this is the sort of knowledge you are speaking of when you say God knows the future then there is no disagreement. But this is not what Arminians and Calvinists say at all because in fact you do not know what Knight will or will not do, you only have really good reason to believe what he will do and are completely convinced that you are right about what he will not change his mind. But having good reason to believe is not the same as knoweldge.

Resting in Him,
CleteUh . . . ditto! :D

I was just starting to type a response when I saw yours which is perfect. :up:

Knight
June 24th, 2005, 11:52 AM
By foreknowledge, for God, IMHO, it simply means being able to reasonably and with a high degree of certainty percieve what is going to occur at any given moment, unless you (as God) do something to change the outcome.

Perfect axhaustive foreknowledge would mean that everything is foreknown, with no ability to change. All time becomes immutible, predetermined, and static.Excellent!

A very clean, concise description.

Knight
June 24th, 2005, 02:08 PM
Foreknowledge and divine interaction . . . . a mechanism to influence freewill.

OK, so lets again focus in on how foreknowledge and divine interaction is used to affect our will. I would like to illustrate how foreknowledge and divine interaction are meaningless unless the future is unsettled and we have the real ability to make choices that are not predetermined.

Imagine we are driving down a hot desert highway and there is nothing but miles and miles of emptiness. No towns, no gas stations, no rest stops . . . nothing!

Then we see a billboard.

http://www.theologyonline.com/Billboard_01.jpg

The billboard says . . .

"Joe's Diner 1 mile ahead

Last chance to stop for 200 miles!"

This billboard interacts with us in a form of foreknowledge. Prior to seeing the billboard we really had no idea what the future held for us, but now we do have an idea what the future holds for us, there will be a Diner in a mile or so and there won't be another place to stop for 200 miles! So why did the creators of the billboard construct the billboard and place it on the side of the road?

The creators of the billboard did this to influence our freewill and future decisions. They desire that we stop and eat at their restaurant. And they also inform us that if we don't stop there we will not have another chance to stop for food for 200 more miles, that's about another 4 hours of driving time!

Because of this billboard we are now presented with a choice. Should we stop at Joe's diner or wait another four hours? Our freewill is now being influenced by the billboard. The creators of the billboard don't know what we will choose to do - but certainly they want to influence our choice which is the ONLY reason they took the time to interact with us

God's billboard to Adam.

God created Adam and Eve in the garden. Adam and Eve had it good! No rules, awesome surroundings, great company, communion with God, etc. Now God, wanting to have UNcoerced love with His creation didn't want to lock Adam and Eve in a box forcing them to love Him with no other option. So God introduced a rule. A single rule for Adam to follow (or not follow). Don't eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet by introducing this rule it introduced the ability for Adam and Eve to do other than God's will for them. It introduced the ability for Adam and Eve to use their own will contrary to God's will for them. You might say that this instruction or rule was the birth of man's freewill.

This instruction was like a billboard on the side of the road.

http://www.theologyonline.com/Billboard_02.jpg

The instruction was an interaction between God and Adam in which God gave Adam some foreknowledge... "for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

This foreknowledge that God dispensed to Adam had the TWO FOLD purpose that I outlined in my post number 13 of this thread.

Purpose One: Attempt to influence Adam's will so that he doesn't eat from the tree and die spiritually.

Purpose two: If Adam DOES eat from the tree and dies spiritually Adam will have renewed faith that God is who He says He is.

If . . . (on the other hand) all of Adam's choices are already known by God (a millennia beforehand) and all of this history has already been seen by God, what appears to be an interaction between Adam and God becomes merely an interaction in appearance and nothing else. The entire point of God interacting with Adam is an attempt by God to influence Adam's will. If Adam's will can be influenced, there must be different courses of history possible - i.e., the future cannot be settled - even if only settled in the mind of God.

Interaction between man and God is a lever or mechanism to effect and conform the will of man to the will of God.

skeptech
June 24th, 2005, 04:01 PM
If this is the sort of knowledge you are speaking of when you say God knows the future then there is no disagreement. But this is not what Arminians and Calvinists say at all because in fact you do not know what Knight will or will not do, you only have really good reason to believe what he will do and are completely convinced that you are right about what he will not change his mind. But having good reason to believe is not the same as knoweldge.

But I already addressed this. Of course my foreknowledge is flawed. But if I were God, it would be infinitely better.

It might be boring for God if he already knows the future, but I don't see how we can say it's a logical fallacy. We might infer that there is a purpose to his intervention, but that doesn't mean he isn't just going through the motions, so that he can say "I told you so!" (purpose #2 of Knight's second post). He might also very well know that if he didn't intervene, we would do something different.

skeptech
June 24th, 2005, 04:03 PM
The creators of the billboard don't know what we will choose to do - but certainly they want to influence our choice which is the ONLY reason they took the time to interact with us
I thought there were 2 purposes for intervention. What happened to the second one?

Knight
June 24th, 2005, 04:35 PM
I thought there were 2 purposes for intervention. What happened to the second one?Purpose One: Influence us to stop at their diner.

Purpose Two: If we don't stop, we might regret our decision that we didn't stop when we are starving like dogs three hours later. :D Which in turn will make us that much more likely to stop at their diner if we ever drive down that road again.

Clete
June 24th, 2005, 04:46 PM
But I already addressed this. Of course my foreknowledge is flawed. But if I were God, it would be infinitely better.
What does infinitely better mean? As much better as it could be given the limitations of reality or absolute exhaustive foreknowledge? There's a difference.


It might be boring for God if he already knows the future, but I don't see how we can say it's a logical fallacy.
By itself it is not a logical fallacy. What is a logical fallacy is when you try to have both free will AND exhaustive foreknowledge. It's falacious from about a dozen different directions which have been and are being explored on other threads.


We might infer that there is a purpose to his intervention, but that doesn't mean he isn't just going through the motions, so that he can say "I told you so!" (purpose #2 of Knight's second post).
If this were so it would pretty much prove Knight's point wouldn't it?


He might also very well know that if he didn't intervene, we would do something different.
So what? How does this impact the argument being made?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Servo
June 27th, 2005, 07:49 PM
:up: :knight:

logos_x
June 27th, 2005, 10:28 PM
Post #34 (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=792959&postcount=34) :thumb: Knight

Knight
June 27th, 2005, 11:07 PM
Thanks Shimei and logos, to be honest, there is a ton more that can be said on this topic and I can't wait to dig into it even more! I think there is something incredibly important about this topic of God's personal interaction with man. More to follow!

Lion
June 28th, 2005, 06:09 AM
I love the argument, Knight.

And let me throw in another element. If God has exhaustive foreknowledge, when He decided to intervene in our affairs, did that change His foreknowledge, or did it stay the same?

In other words, did God decide to send His Son in the flesh to save us before He knew we would need Him? Or did He instead see the outcome of everyone going to hell because of our sin, and then decide to send a savior? Either way, it seems like His exhaustive foreknowledge would have had to change. Either He had already known that we would need a savior from eternity past, or He had to know that we were all going to hell from eternity past.

Both options seem ridiculous. The OV option (in conjunction with Knight's theory) would state a more logical supposition. That God knew we might sin, hoped we wouldn't and tried to warn us against it, but planned ahead in case we did anyway.

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 09:40 PM
This thread had gone off topic. I split it and created a new thread called The orthodoxy of open theism. (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21285)

kmoney
July 12th, 2005, 07:45 PM
Knight,

A millennia ago did God's perfect exhaustive foreknowledge contain His interaction with us? And of course the answer must be a resounding YES otherwise the foreknowledge isn't perfect yet lacking (lacking the interaction).
Did God perfectly foreknow His interactions with man infinitely into the past? And if so, doesn't that defeat the purpose of the interaction?
You ask...
"Did God perfectly foreknow His interactions with man infinitely into the past? And if so, doesn't that defeat the purpose of the interaction?"

My answer to the 2nd question is no; it would not defeat the purpose of the interaction. Why would it's purpose be defeated? The interaction is for us so it is not purposeless. God has the foreknowledge, but He still interacts.

The most common "unfulfilled" prophecy that I hear is the story of Jonah and Nineveh because Jonah says the city will be destroyed in 40 days and then it isn't destroyed because the people repend. I do not see this as an unfulfilled prophecy. I also believe that God's foreknowledge fits in with this story. God could know the people on Ninenveh would repent, but God still needed to interact with Jonah because without Jonah going the people would not have repented. You might say that if God knew the people would repent when Jonah went to them than why would God not simply tell Jonah the people WOULD repent instead of leaving that information out. God did this because it was a lesson for Jonah. If Jonah KNEW the people would repent it would not have taught him anything. He would have not increased his faith and trust in God.

Honestly I'm not sure what other unfulfilled prophecies Open Theists use, but my guess is you could apply God's foreknowledge to them in the same way I just did with Jonah.

Kevin

kmoney
July 12th, 2005, 07:47 PM
Sorry Knight, I didn't realize you started a new thread.

Clete
July 12th, 2005, 08:03 PM
Knight,
The most common "unfulfilled" prophecy that I hear is the story of Jonah and Nineveh because Jonah says the city will be destroyed in 40 days and then it isn't destroyed because the people repend. I do not see this as an unfulfilled prophecy. I also believe that God's foreknowledge fits in with this story. God could know the people on Ninenveh would repent, but God still needed to interact with Jonah because without Jonah going the people would not have repented. You might say that if God knew the people would repent when Jonah went to them than why would God not simply tell Jonah the people WOULD repent instead of leaving that information out. God did this because it was a lesson for Jonah. If Jonah KNEW the people would repent it would not have taught him anything. He would have not increased his faith and trust in God.

Honestly I'm not sure what other unfulfilled prophecies Open Theists use, but my guess is you could apply God's foreknowledge to them in the same way I just did with Jonah.

Kevin

How about this one...


Joshua 3:10
And Joshua said, "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites:

kmoney
July 12th, 2005, 08:22 PM
How about this one...


Joshua 3:10
And Joshua said, "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites:
Thank you Clete. I'll read over this and think about it.....I'll take more also if you have them

Kevin

beefalobilly
July 12th, 2005, 08:40 PM
sorry if this is off topic, but are there any good books anyone could reccomend on this topic?

Clete
July 12th, 2005, 08:50 PM
sorry if this is off topic, but are there any good books anyone could reccomend on this topic?
Do you mean Open Theism?

The God Who Risks (http://ivpress.gospelcom.net/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=1501) is an excellent one.

There are many more.

Knight
July 12th, 2005, 08:52 PM
sorry if this is off topic, but are there any good books anyone could reccomend on this topic?What topic specifically?

beefalobilly
July 12th, 2005, 10:35 PM
What topic specifically?

Open theism, I'd never even heard about it until a couple monthes ago on this site ;) If not specifically about open theism, maybe something about the debate between OT, calivinism, and arminianism.

Knight
July 12th, 2005, 11:35 PM
Open theism, I'd never even heard about it until a couple monthes ago on this site ;) If not specifically about open theism, maybe something about the debate between OT, calivinism, and arminianism.Stay tuned right here on TOL for BR X. :)

beefalobilly
July 12th, 2005, 11:41 PM
Stay tuned right here on TOL for BR X. :)

Sweeeet :sinapisN: :cloud9:

insolafide
July 15th, 2005, 11:36 PM
Open theism, I'd never even heard about it until a couple monthes ago on this site ;) If not specifically about open theism, maybe something about the debate between OT, calivinism, and arminianism.

dont forget Molinism ;) Which, in my humble opinion, is the solution to the debate.

peace.

kmoney
July 18th, 2005, 04:21 PM
How about this one...


Joshua 3:10
And Joshua said, "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites:
Clete,
sorry for taking so long to respond.....

Well, clearly that didn't happen in entirety. I do not believe, however, that this can't fit into the belief that God has foreknowledge. Some places it says they "did not" drive the inhabitants out and some places it says they "could not" and I didn't see much explanation for why they either did not or could not drive them out, but I guess that doesn't necessarily matter because the question is IF it happened, not why it didn't happen. So anyway....no, that didn't come to complete fulfillment, but I still believe that God could have known that it wouldn't happen. Almost immediately that verse wasn't going to happen completely because the Israelites made a pact with the people from Gibeon. I believe God would have followed through with the verse in question, but it didn't happen because of the Israelites.

Clete
July 18th, 2005, 07:21 PM
Clete,
sorry for taking so long to respond.....

Well, clearly that didn't happen in entirety. I do not believe, however, that this can't fit into the belief that God has foreknowledge. Some places it says they "did not" drive the inhabitants out and some places it says they "could not" and I didn't see much explanation for why they either did not or could not drive them out, but I guess that doesn't necessarily matter because the question is IF it happened, not why it didn't happen. So anyway....no, that didn't come to complete fulfillment, but I still believe that God could have known that it wouldn't happen. Almost immediately that verse wasn't going to happen completely because the Israelites made a pact with the people from Gibeon. I believe God would have followed through with the verse in question, but it didn't happen because of the Israelites.
Why it didn't happen is irrelivent isn't it?
It seems pretty black and white to me. If God knew in advance that He wasn't going to drive them out, for Him to say that He would do so "with out fail" would have been a lie. So either God doesn't have exhaustive foreknowledge or He lied in this passage. What other option is there?

Resting in Him,
Clete

kmoney
July 18th, 2005, 07:42 PM
Why it didn't happen is irrelivent isn't it?
It seems pretty black and white to me. If God knew in advance that He wasn't going to drive them out, for Him to say that He would do so "with out fail" would have been a lie. So either God doesn't have exhaustive foreknowledge or He lied in this passage. What other option is there?

Resting in Him,
Clete
Clete,

Why it didn't happen is irrelivent isn't it?
I already said that, I guess you missed it.

It seems pretty black and white to me. If God knew in advance that He wasn't going to drive them out, for Him to say that He would do so "with out fail" would have been a lie. So either God doesn't have exhaustive foreknowledge or He lied in this passage. What other option is there?
God WOULD have done it without fail. The fact that it didn't happen doesn't make him a liar. God would have given the land completely to His people, but they didn't take what was already theirs.

Clete
July 19th, 2005, 07:49 AM
Clete,

I already said that, I guess you missed it.
No I didn't miss it, you just said it and then started giving reasons why it didn't happen the way God said it would, as you've just done again...


God WOULD have done it without fail. The fact that it didn't happen doesn't make him a liar. God would have given the land completely to His people, but they didn't take what was already theirs.
I agree with you completely here but the point is that in regards to whether or not God has exhaustive foreknowledge this is completely irrelivent. In fact, your reasoning here could only make sense if God did not have exhaustive foreknowledge because regardless of why God didn't do as He said (which we both agree was for good and righteous reasons), if He had known in advance what was going to happen then for Him to have said that He would do otherwise "without fail" would have been a lie. The only way to get God off the hook for lying is to concede that He did not KNOW the future exhaustively. Not that it's necessary to assume that the events that unfolded caught Him completely by surprise, He may well have anticipated the possibility but if He KNEW absolutely what would happen then this passage in Joshua is a big problem.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
July 19th, 2005, 08:09 AM
dont forget Molinism ;) Which, in my humble opinion, is the solution to the debate.

peace.

Have you ever read Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views (http://ivpress.gospelcom.net/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=2652)?

In his opening paragraph to his response to the Middle-Knowledge View or Molinist View, Gregory Boyd said this...



Reading William Lane Craig's fine essay reminded me a just how close Molinism is to the open view. Indeed, I shall argue the view that has come to be labeled open theism could perhaps more accurately be labeled neo-Molinism. In essence it differs from the classical Molinist position only in that it expands the content of God's middle knowledge to include "might-counterfactuals." In this response I hope to show that this modification allows the open view to avoid problems which attend the classical Molinist view while preserving its explanatory power.
(from "Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views", page 144)

If you have read it, I'd be interested in your thoughts concerning Boyd's response. If you haven't read it, you should.

Resting in Him,
Clete

godrulz
July 19th, 2005, 08:43 AM
I just started rereading the book. I concur that neo-Molinism has more strengths and less weaknesses than Molinism. The discussions in academic circles become very technical and beyond most of our expertise. If Molinism concludes that exhaustive foreknowledge is compatible with libertarian freedom, which I think it does, then it needs tweaking. "Middle knowledge" still should be considered possible vs actual before contingencies become certain after the choice (especially related to remote/distant vs proximal/near knowledge...God's perfect past and present knowledge make predictions more probable closer to actual choices).

docrob57
July 19th, 2005, 08:55 AM
The popular argument on TOL lately regarding God's foreknowledge has been....

God can have perfect exhaustive foreknowledge without closing the future and removing man's freewill. Personally I think this argument refutes itself but Clete, Philosopher, Yorzhik, Turbo, Godrulz, DRBrumley and many others have been doing a great job refuting this notion even further on several current threads here on TOL. True freewill and perfect exhaustive foreknowledge are not compatible, they are mutually exclusive.

Yet I think there is another objection to this notion of freewill and exhaustive foreknowledge being compatible that hasn't really been explored yet.

I don't like long setup posts so I am going to make this as brief as possible and develop the argument over time.

So here goes . . .

God is a personal God. God has been extremely involved in our history. God's word is filled with page after page of stories describing God interacting with His creation. God isn't a supernatural force sitting idly by on the other other side of the universe simply observing His creation. God is with us! He interacts with us, He moves us, shakes us, picks people for tasks and ministries. He smites some, kills some and destroys others etc. But why? Why does God interact with us?



When He left us His word in the form of the Bible it was an interaction with us on a grand scale and for good reason.
When He wiped out the world with a flood it was interaction on a global scale and for good reason.
When He picked Abram, Moses, David etc. He was interacting with His creation for a reason.
God wants to affect our freewill! He wants to move us in the direction that more closely conforms to His will.

If God were an uninvolved God watching creation from a distance one might be able to make a more persuasive argument that God can know our future without effecting our freewill (the argument still fails logically but it would be far more understandable). Yet that isn't the God of the Bible! Please don't misunderstand, I am not claiming that those arguing for freewill and exhaustive foreknowledge being compatible are claiming God is not involved, far from it! I am simply saying that their argument would be more believable if God weren't a personal God.

God is in the business of effecting our will without completely controlling our will. Sort of like gathering sheep. :sheep: :)

God wants us to choose Him!

He desires that we choose Him! (1 Timothy 2:3)

God wants us to love our wives.

God wants us to raise up our children

God wants us to convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

God wants us to persuade and affect our will to be more like His will regarding these things and many other things.

So one must ask . . .

A millennia ago did God's perfect exhaustive foreknowledge contain His interaction with us? And of course the answer must be a resounding YES otherwise the foreknowledge isn't perfect yet lacking (lacking the interaction).
Did God perfectly foreknow His interactions with man infinitely into the past? And if so, doesn't that defeat the purpose of the interaction?

God interacts with man for a reason, I assert that divine interacting for the purpose of altering the course of history is only rational and logical if the course of history is truly alterable and not perfectly foreknown.

Said another way . . .
If there are two possible choices a man can make and God would prefer that we pick one of those choices above the other choice, He would only interact with us if He knew He could possibly influence that choice.

The only way your argument makes sense, and this is true of all of the arguments put forth like this, is if foreknowledge=control. It does not demonstrate the notion that foreknowledge=control.

godrulz
July 19th, 2005, 09:31 AM
Exhaustive foreknowledge is only coherent if determinism/fatalism is true. Exhaustive foreknowledge precludes libertarian freedom and wrongly assumes all of the future rather than only some of the future is settled. There are two motifs in Scripture: some of the future is settled/determined/knowable, while other aspects are unsettled/open/unknowable. Both sets of texts are taken literally by Open Theists. The latter set is taken figuratively by Calvinists. God knows possibilities as possible (contingencies) and actualities as certain/actual. He knows reality as it is. The reality is that we are not in a deterministic universe, but one with more than God as a free moral agent. This type of creation necessitates that God cannot know the future exhaustively. The alternative was to not create or to create controlled robots. God is responsive and providential in His sovereignty. He is not a meticulous control freak.

The theological debate is compatibilism vs incompatibilism. OT is generally in the latter group (except Molinism?).

docrob57
July 19th, 2005, 09:41 AM
Exhaustive foreknowledge is only coherent if determinism/fatalism is true. Exhaustive foreknowledge precludes libertarian freedom and wrongly assumes all of the future rather than only some of the future is settled. There are two motifs in Scripture: some of the future is settled/determined/knowable, while other aspects are unsettled/open/unknowable. Both sets of texts are taken literally by Open Theists. The latter set is taken figuratively by Calvinists. God knows possibilities as possible (contingencies) and actualities as certain/actual. He knows reality as it is. The reality is that we are not in a deterministic universe, but one with more than God as a free moral agent. This type of creation necessitates that God cannot know the future exhaustively. The alternative was to not create or to create controlled robots. God is responsive and providential in His sovereignty. He is not a meticulous control freak.

The theological debate is compatibilism vs incompatibilism. OT is generally in the latter group (except Molinism?).

Here is the problem. And I am not going to get into all this again, but I felt compelled to once again point out the problem. In all the arguments put forth, the "fact" that foreknowledge precludes freedom is simply asserted and never demonstrated. With due respect to Knight, his argument seems to be that "foreknowledge precludes freedom because foreknowledge precludes freedom." If I am missing something with regard to that statement, please let me know.

Knight
July 19th, 2005, 09:52 AM
Here is the problem. And I am not going to get into all this again, but I felt compelled to once again point out the problem. In all the arguments put forth, the "fact" that foreknowledge precludes freedom is simply asserted and never demonstrated. With due respect to Knight, his argument seems to be that "foreknowledge precludes freedom because foreknowledge precludes freedom." If I am missing something with regard to that statement, please let me know.Do you believe God's perfect foreknowledge can change?

docrob57
July 19th, 2005, 10:10 AM
Do you believe God's perfect foreknowledge can change?

No, but again, that doesn't solve the problem. Beleive it or not, I am open to this possibility, but I still haven't seen a convincing argument. The statement "God knows X is going to happen" is not the same as "God causes X to happen."

For example. Clearly God knew from the beginning that we would need a Savior. Did God cause us to turn from Him so that we would need that Savior? I don't think so, do you?

Knight
July 19th, 2005, 10:17 AM
No, but again, that doesn't solve the problem. Beleive it or not, I am open to this possibility, but I still haven't seen a convincing argument. The statement "God knows X is going to happen" is not the same as "God causes X to happen."If God's foreknowledge cannot change then nothing can happen unless it is contained within God's foreknowledge.

Do you disagree with that statement?

docrob57
July 19th, 2005, 10:23 AM
If God's foreknowledge cannot change then nothing can happen unless it is contained within God's foreknowledge.

Do you disagree with that statement?

No, I do disagree that this means that God caused to happen what He foreknew would happen. You can use the argument of God's interaction with humanity to make the opposite point. If God did not know what was going to happen if He didn't act, why would He act to begin with?

eccl3_6
July 19th, 2005, 10:25 AM
If God's foreknowledge cannot change then nothing can happen unless it is contained within God's foreknowledge.

Do you disagree with that statement?

It happens as it is contained within His foreknowledge, not because or as a condition there of. So I disagree.

"nothing can happen unless it is contained within God's foreknowledge."

could be written

"anything can happen but it always happens within God's Foreknowledge"

Clete
July 19th, 2005, 10:27 AM
No, I do disagree that this means that God caused to happen what He foreknew would happen. You can use the argument of God's interaction with humanity to make the opposite point. If God did not know what was going to happen if He didn't act, why would He act to begin with?
Freedom of choice means I have the ability to choose to do or to do otherwise.
Love must be chosen.
Therefore if I have no freedom of choice I cannot love.



If the future is closed I cannot do other than what the closed future has in store for me to do, I cannot do otherwise.
Therefore if the future is closed I have no freedom of choice.
Therefore if the future is closed I cannot love.


The inability to love is antithetical to everything Christianity is about.
Therefore the future cannot be closed if Christianity is true at all.
Christianity must be true because of the rational impossiibilty of the contrary (I will not establish this point).
Therefore the future is open.


Resting in Him,
Clete

I see that eccl3_6 has just posted while I was typing this up so I'm done here. You guys will have to discuss this line of reasoning without further comment on it from me on this thread.

docrob57
July 19th, 2005, 10:36 AM
Freedom of choice means I have the ability to choose to do or to do otherwise.
Love must be chosen.
Therefore if I have no freedom of choice I cannot love.



If the future is closed I cannot do other than what the closed future has in store for me to do, I cannot do otherwise.
Therefore if the future is closed I have no freedom of choice.
Therefore if the future is closed I cannot love.


The inability to love is antithetical to everything Christianity is about.
Therefore the future cannot be closed if Christianity is true at all.
Christianity must be true because of the rational impossiibilty of the contrary (I will not establish this point).
Therefore the future is open.


Resting in Him,
Clete

I see that eccl3_6 has just posted while I was typing this up so I'm done here. You guys will have to discuss this line of reasoning without further comment on it from me on this thread.

Before continuing Brother Knight, could you address the question that I asked. As to the above, a logical argument is only as good as its premises, and there seem to be some premise problems above which I will get to later.

Knight
July 19th, 2005, 10:41 AM
"anything can happen but it always happens within God's Foreknowledge"If the "Fore" in foreknowledge means "before" (which of course it does) then your statement is false.

Anything cannot happen if only one possible future exists which is contained in God's perfect foreknowledge which doesn't change.

Knight
July 19th, 2005, 10:44 AM
No, I do disagree that this means that God caused to happen what He foreknew would happen. You can use the argument of God's interaction with humanity to make the opposite point. If God did not know what was going to happen if He didn't act, why would He act to begin with?You disagree with the following statement?
If God's foreknowledge cannot change then nothing can happen unless it is contained within God's foreknowledge.:confused:

How could you possibly disagree with that statement?

What can happen that isn't contained in God's perfect foreknowledge?

docrob57
July 19th, 2005, 10:48 AM
You disagree with the following statement?:confused:

How could you possibly disagree with that statement?

What can happen that isn't contained in God's perfect foreknowledge?

I don't disagree with that, read what I wrote again. And please answer my question.

Knight
July 19th, 2005, 12:17 PM
I don't disagree with that, read what I wrote again. And please answer my question.:doh: sorry, I mispread your post. - My bad!

You asked . . .
If God did not know what was going to happen if He didn't act, why would He act to begin with?Great question!

I do not reject foreknowldge (no open theist does). It's exhaustive, perfect foreknowldge that I reject.

If God can "see" what's coming in the form of a prediction God may want to intervene to change the course of history.

Yet if the course of history is already contained within God's foreknowledge - changing the course of history becomes impossible and therefore His interaction with us has no purpose.

You must ask yourself. Can God change the course of history He FOREsees?

docrob57
July 19th, 2005, 12:24 PM
:doh: sorry, I mispread your post. - My bad!

You asked . . .Great question!

I do not reject foreknowldge (no open theist does). It's exhaustive, perfect foreknowldge that I reject.

If God can "see" what's coming in the form of a prediction God may want to intervene to change the course of history.

Yet if the course of history is already contained within God's foreknowledge - changing the course of history becomes impossible and therefore His interaction with us has no purpose.

You must ask yourself. Can God change the course of history He FOREsees?

Maybe this is just semantics then. This is what I think.

God knows what will happen if he does act and if he doesn't. He does at times intervene to change the course from what would have happened otherwise. He knows what the outcome of his action is. He is not suprised when one thing or another happens.

Do we agree to this point?

Knight
July 19th, 2005, 12:35 PM
He does at times intervene to change the course from what would have happened otherwise.Is the "otherwise" what He foresees perfectly? Or does He perfectly forsee see the result of His interaction?

docrob57
July 19th, 2005, 12:42 PM
Is the "otherwise" what He foresees perfectly? Or does He perfectly forsee see the result of His interaction?

Both really. I think He can see what happens as a result of his interaction and what would have happened otherwise.

eccl3_6
July 19th, 2005, 12:56 PM
If the "Fore" in foreknowledge means "before" (which of course it does) then your statement is false.

Anything cannot happen if only one possible future exists which is contained in God's perfect foreknowledge which doesn't change.

Yes it can....we make our free will choice...God doesnt interrupt...the choice we make is the one God knew we were going to make. I still had free will.

In no sense is the statement false, it just implies that God is infallible.

Knight
July 19th, 2005, 01:38 PM
Yes it can....we make our free will choice...God doesnt interrupt...the choice we make is the one God knew we were going to make. I still had free will. Obviously your definition of the word "free" must mean something other than mine.

Knight
July 19th, 2005, 01:42 PM
Both really. I think He can see what happens as a result of his interaction and what would have happened otherwise.If God "sees" both versions of the future (The result of His interaction and the "otherwise") and BOTH versions of the future are actually possible His vision of the future must be open (open to BOTH possibilities). If this is what you believe - then we are in complete agreement.

Do you believe . . .
God's vision of the future must be open to both possibilities?

docrob57
July 19th, 2005, 01:57 PM
If God "sees" both versions of the future (The result of His interaction and the "otherwise") and BOTH versions of the future are actually possible His vision of the future must be open (open to BOTH possibilities). If this is what you believe - then we are in complete agreement.

Do you believe . . .
God's vision of the future must be open to both possibilities?


Sure. Of course I think that He knows which possible outcome actually will occur.

kmoney
July 19th, 2005, 04:11 PM
Clete,

No I didn't miss it, you just said it and then started giving reasons why it didn't happen the way God said it would, as you've just done again...
You're right, I did.....

I agree with you completely here but the point is that in regards to whether or not God has exhaustive foreknowledge this is completely irrelivent. In fact, your reasoning here could only make sense if God did not have exhaustive foreknowledge because regardless of why God didn't do as He said (which we both agree was for good and righteous reasons), if He had known in advance what was going to happen then for Him to have said that He would do otherwise "without fail" would have been a lie. The only way to get God off the hook for lying is to concede that He did not KNOW the future exhaustively. Not that it's necessary to assume that the events that unfolded caught Him completely by surprise, He may well have anticipated the possibility but if He KNEW absolutely what would happen then this passage in Joshua is a big problem.
I didn't say this before, but I'll say it now...I don't even see this passage as a prophecy so I definitely can't see it as an unfulfilled prophecy. I still disagree that God either didn't know the future or was a liar. God said He would do it, it didn't happen, and God could have known it wasn't going to happen. God still said it even though He knew it wasn't going to happen, mainly for the same reason He didn't tell Jonah that the people of Nineveh would repent. If God let us know everything it would take the living out of life.

eccl3_6
July 19th, 2005, 04:22 PM
Obviously your definition of the word "free" must mean something other than mine.

Mine's the one in the dictionary....

And yours?

Knight
July 19th, 2005, 04:51 PM
Sure. Of course I think that He knows which possible outcome actually will occur.:dizzy:

YES or NO . . .

If God knows the actual outcome is the other possible outcome an actual possibility?

drbrumley
July 19th, 2005, 04:55 PM
:dizzy:

YES or NO . . .

If God knows the actual outcome is the other possible outcome an actual possibility?

Don't confuse the poor guy.

BTW, been busy so I couldn't call.

lee_merrill
July 19th, 2005, 07:20 PM
Hi everyone,


If God knows the actual outcome is the other possible outcome an actual possibility?
No, but it can still be a free choice! As in God knowing how he would choose, in any completely defined situation.

Blessings,
Lee

docrob57
July 19th, 2005, 07:49 PM
:dizzy:

YES or NO . . .

If God knows the actual outcome is the other possible outcome an actual possibility?

Yes, it is what would have happened if God hadn't intervened. I find it interesting that you never answered my question about foreknowledge of the need for a Savior. I don't blame you, admit that and admit that God did not cause sin, and the whole thing comes tumbling down.

godrulz
July 19th, 2005, 08:46 PM
No, but again, that doesn't solve the problem. Beleive it or not, I am open to this possibility, but I still haven't seen a convincing argument. The statement "God knows X is going to happen" is not the same as "God causes X to happen."

For example. Clearly God knew from the beginning that we would need a Savior. Did God cause us to turn from Him so that we would need that Savior? I don't think so, do you?


God knew and formulated a possible/potential plan that was implemented after the actual Fall. The plan of redemption only became actual centuries later.

The other aspect of Open Theism is that some of the future is settled and some is unsettled. Once the Fall happened, we have prophecies relating to the coming of the Messiah, the Lamb of God. These prophecies were centuries before He actually came. The incarnation was fully under God's control and thus knowable. We cannot extrapolate from this example that He foreknows every moral and mundane choice in the universe. Unless He predestines/decrees/controls who will win next year's Superbowl, it is not an object of certain knowledge from the beginning. Likewise, He does not know who goes to heaven or hell from eternity past. The Calvinistic TULIP (election/non-election) violates His revelation of impartial love and holiness. It also negates libertarian free will. You have given an example of one aspect that God has purposed to settle by His ability. You must not ignore the other examples that show God changing His mind or being uncertain about things. The classic view makes these figurative to maintain a preconceived theology. This is not defensible.

godrulz
July 19th, 2005, 08:49 PM
Sure. Of course I think that He knows which possible outcome actually will occur.

How? Why? The future is not there to see/know and only becomes actual/fixed AFTER the contingent choice, not BEFORE.

Knight
July 19th, 2005, 08:57 PM
Yes, it is what would have happened if God hadn't intervened. I find it interesting that you never answered my question about foreknowledge of the need for a Savior. I don't blame you, admit that and admit that God did not cause sin, and the whole thing comes tumbling down.docrob what question?

If I missed a question certainly isn't wasn't intentional.

I like you, you seem like a really cool guy and I am enjoying this discussion I hope you are as well. Please point me to your question and I would love to answer it for you.

docrob57
July 20th, 2005, 06:00 AM
docrob what question?

If I missed a question certainly isn't wasn't intentional.

I like you, you seem like a really cool guy and I am enjoying this discussion I hope you are as well. Please point me to your question and I would love to answer it for you.

I like you too, that isn't the issue. And you are right, I am a really cool guy :). And as far as I can tell, this is the only doctrinal disagreement that we have! Which is pretty good among Christians.

As an aside, Lord (and finances) willing, I am going to take my wife and daughter on a pilgramage to Denver next year to visit DBC. That way you can all gang up on me at once! :)

Anyway, my question/argument is this. We both agree that God foreknew that He would send a Savior. It is clearly prophesied in the OT, no debate there. God sent a Savior to redeem man, who was and is irredeemably sinful. Since God sent a Savior, He must have known that man would continue to be irredeemably sinful. My question is, did that foreknowledge cause man to sin? I would suggest not. And, if not, then it is demonstrated that foreknowledge is not equivalent to control and does not rule out free will.

Knight
July 20th, 2005, 11:36 AM
Anyway, my question/argument is this. We both agree that God foreknew that He would send a Savior. It is clearly prophesied in the OT, no debate there. God sent a Savior to redeem man, who was and is irredeemably sinful. Since God sent a Savior, He must have known that man would continue to be irredeemably sinful. My question is, did that foreknowledge cause man to sin? I would suggest not. And, if not, then it is demonstrated that foreknowledge is not equivalent to control and does not rule out free will.The instant that Adam sinned, man needed a savior.

So God planned to send a Savior at the time of His choosing.

I am not sure how your question would be an objection to open theism.

P.S. That would be awesome if you could visit. Please keep me posted and let me know if you need any help.

docrob57
July 20th, 2005, 11:44 AM
The instant that Adam sinned, man needed a savior.

So God planned to send a Savior at the time of His choosing.

I am not sure how your question would be an objection to open theism.

P.S. That would be awesome if you could visit. Please keep me posted and let me know if you need any help.

At this point I am not sure I am objecting to open theism. All I am trying to establish now is simply that foreknowledge does not necessarily equal control of outcome. If we could ever get past there, one way or another, then we could move closer to open theism.

Knight
July 20th, 2005, 12:04 PM
All I am trying to establish now is simply that foreknowledge does not necessarily equal control of outcome. Foreknowledge doesn't control choices UNLESS the Foreknowledge is exhaustive and unchangeable. For if it is, obviously this constrains choices to those contained within the foreknowledge.

docrob57
July 20th, 2005, 12:21 PM
Foreknowledge doesn't control choices UNLESS the Foreknowledge is exhaustive and unchangeable. For if it is, obviously this constrains choices to those contained within the foreknowledge.

Unfortunately it isn't really obvious. Let's approach it a different way. Assume that some event is going to happen in the future. Call the event Y. Further assume that Y can be expressed as a function of X, such as in the linear equation Y = a + bX. a is a constant, say the current situation relevant to event Y, and b is a coefficient that fits X to Y.

a is constant, because it is the present situation and cannot change. Say the event Y is a decision, a Yes/No decision. The decision will be "no" until the function a + bX exceeds a certain amount, then it becomes "yes." As an example, Y is a decision whether or not to vote 10 years from now. a = whether or not the person voted in the last election, X is a measure of the degree of ideological difference between the 2 candidates running in any given election, and b is the decision maker's level of awareness of the ideological difference. So, intuitively, the decision maker will vote when he is sufficiently aware of a sufficiently large ideological difference between candidates to move the decision from no to yes.

Now, assume all of the above, AND that God has exhaustive and perfect knowledge of the decision makers decision and then that He does not have this exhaustive and perfect knowledge. Given that we are able to describe the decision maker's action perfectly without reference to God's foreknowledge, will the behavior differ if the assumptions change from foreknowledge to non-foreknowledge?

Knight
July 20th, 2005, 12:28 PM
Unfortunately it isn't really obvious. Let's approach it a different way. Assume that some event is going to happen in the future. Call the event Y. Further assume that Y can be expressed as a function of X, such as in the linear equation Y = a + bX. a is a constant, say the current situation relevant to event Y, and b is a coefficient that fits X to Y.

a is constant, because it is the present situation and cannot change. Say the event Y is a decision, a Yes/No decision. The decision will be "no" until the function a + bX exceeds a certain amount, then it becomes "yes." As an example, Y is a decision whether or not to vote 10 years from now. a = whether or not the person voted in the last election, X is a measure of the degree of ideological difference between the 2 candidates running in any given election, and b is the decision maker's level of awareness of the ideological difference. So, intuitively, the decision maker will vote when he is sufficiently aware of a sufficiently large ideological difference between candidates to move the decision from no to yes.

Now, assume all of the above, AND that God has exhaustive and perfect knowledge of the decision makers decision and then that He does not have this exhaustive and perfect knowledge. Given that we are able to describe the decision maker's action perfectly without reference to God's foreknowledge, will the behavior differ if the assumptions change from foreknowledge to non-foreknowledge?Sorry, but I have no idea at all what you are saying.

docrob57
July 20th, 2005, 12:29 PM
Sorry, but I have no idea at all what you are saying.

Read it again, it really isn't difficult.

Knight
July 20th, 2005, 12:30 PM
Read it again, it really isn't difficult.I have read it three times now.

docrob57
July 20th, 2005, 12:38 PM
I have read it three times now.

Okay, I will try to approach it from a different angle in the near future. In the meantime, if I do come there next year, would it be possible to meet Pastor Bob and some of the other guys here for dinner or something? I will be happy to buy for Pastor Bob and wife. You, I am sure, will be happy to buy for me. :)

Knight
July 20th, 2005, 12:50 PM
Okay, I will try to approach it from a different angle in the near future. In the meantime, if I do come there next year, would it be possible to meet Pastor Bob and some of the other guys here for dinner or something? I will be happy to buy for Pastor Bob and wife. You, I am sure, will be happy to buy for me. :)It would be our honor!

When we have visitors Bob always makes time to go eat or do something.

Just keep me posted and we will make sure we hook up.

Clete
July 20th, 2005, 01:06 PM
Clete,

You're right, I did.....

I didn't say this before, but I'll say it now...I don't even see this passage as a prophecy so I definitely can't see it as an unfulfilled prophecy.
God said something would happen in the future. That sounds like a prophecy to me! What about it would disqualify it as a prophecy?


I still disagree that God either didn't know the future or was a liar.
On what basis do you disagree?


God said He would do it, it didn't happen, and God could have known it wasn't going to happen. God still said it even though He knew it wasn't going to happen, mainly for the same reason He didn't tell Jonah that the people of Nineveh would repent. If God let us know everything it would take the living out of life.
In my mind this is the equivalent of just coming right out and saying that God lies to us. This is simply not acceptable. How is this not a lie on God's part?
Further, if you want to talk about taking the living out of life, if God knows what I will do I cannot do otherwise and am therefore not free and therefore not able to excercise volition of any kind including love. All choice is an illusion if God knows the future exhaustively. No that's what I call taking the living out of life!

Resting in Him,
Clete

P.S. You should respond to post 69 while my boycott of eccl3_6 is still on hold! ;)

GuySmiley
July 20th, 2005, 01:25 PM
Y = a + bX.
What you are saying is that God's foreknowledge is not part of the equation. The decission is controled by only the variables you defined, and God's foreknowledge is not one of them. Right? So no matter if foreknowledge is present or not, it does not control the decission. Is that what you are saying?

I'm not agreeing, I'm just trying to understand what you wrote.

Edit: If so (the above). I think you set up the problem wrong. If foreknowledge exists, then no other outcome is possible. So God's foreknowledge has to be a variable if it exists. The variable of God's foreknowledge would always dictate the answer.

Greg

docrob57
July 20th, 2005, 01:36 PM
What you are saying is that God's foreknowledge is not part of the equation. The decission is controled by only the variables you defined, and God's foreknowledge is not one of them. Right? So no matter if foreknowledge is present or not, it does not control the decission. Is that what you are saying?

I'm not agreeing, I'm just trying to understand what you wrote.

Greg

That is what I was saying! And by the way, used to love you on Sesame Street :)

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 01:37 PM
Have you ever read Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views (http://ivpress.gospelcom.net/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=2652)?

In his opening paragraph to his response to the Middle-Knowledge View or Molinist View, Gregory Boyd said this...



Reading William Lane Craig's fine essay reminded me a just how close Molinism is to the open view. Indeed, I shall argue the view that has come to be labeled open theism could perhaps more accurately be labeled neo-Molinism. In essence it differs from the classical Molinist position only in that it expands the content of God's middle knowledge to include "might-counterfactuals." In this response I hope to show that this modification allows the open view to avoid problems which attend the classical Molinist view while preserving its explanatory power.
(from "Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views", page 144)

If you have read it, I'd be interested in your thoughts concerning Boyd's response. If you haven't read it, you should.

Resting in Him,
Clete


I have read it (back when i was still green to Molinism). W.L. Craig's essays on this matter (and His Book, The Only Wise God) are part of the reason I am a Molinist, and oppose Open Theism. Boyd misunderstands the true Molinist scheme. Introducing might-counterfactuals into middle-knowledge completely unravels Molinism, it does not "add to it". The reason for that, is because Might-counterfactuals speak to a different part of the overall picture of truth, not the same. In other words, to say "George Bush might win the election" is to speak to the possibility of George Bush's winning (whether A state of affairs could obtain). It does not speak to the actualities (which state of affairs has obtained). In other words, to say that something might obtain under some set of circumstances is to remain silent about whether something would in fact obtain. So one could say BOTH "George Bush might win the election" and "George Bush would win the election". But then the would-counterfactual, if true, needs to also be known by God. The Molinist claims this is known pre-volitionally.

So then, might-counterfactuals become superfluous. Open theism completely misses the point on this matter - the question is whether or not would-counterfactuals are known by God. If God knows even one, then Molinism and not OT is correct.

In fact, the fact that God had/has knowledge of conditional future contingents was never even a disputed fact until the liberal theology of the 1900s (Schleirmacher). The dispute was always over "when" He had such knowlege.

So I would argue that the addition of Might-counterfactuals (in place of would-counterfactuals) are an attempt by open theism to converge God's Natural Knowledge with God's Middle-knowledge. This attempt is no small move, since the logical ordering (structure) in Molinism is precisely important.

Natural Knowledge ---> Middle Knowledge ---> (God's decree) ---> Free Knowledge

peace,
jd

GuySmiley
July 20th, 2005, 01:43 PM
That is what I was saying! And by the way, used to love you on Sesame Street :)

Thanks, check the edit I did an that message and see what you think.

Greg

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 01:47 PM
I just started rereading the book. I concur that neo-Molinism has more strengths and less weaknesses than Molinism. The discussions in academic circles become very technical and beyond most of our expertise. If Molinism concludes that exhaustive foreknowledge is compatible with libertarian freedom, which I think it does, then it needs tweaking. "Middle knowledge" still should be considered possible vs actual before contingencies become certain after the choice (especially related to remote/distant vs proximal/near knowledge...God's perfect past and present knowledge make predictions more probable closer to actual choices).

Thats because you dont understand Molinism. You have demonstrated that already in another thread.

Since Molinism concludes that Exhaustive foreknowledge is compatible with libertarian freedom, and Has argumentation to prove so, then you need to demonstrate why this compatibility is an impossibility. Otherwise, Molinism wins, because it preserves Exhaustive foreknowledge (great making property) and Even Gives God augmented knowledge (knowledge of counterfactual realities) which is also a great-making property.

So lets see an argument why this compatibility fails. Otherwise, please, stop with the yapping about things you dont know about.

peace,
jd

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 01:58 PM
:dizzy:

YES or NO . . .

If God knows the actual outcome is the other possible outcome an actual possibility?

here theological fatalism rears its ugly head, once again. The other problem is a confusing of epistemic certainty and ontological necessity.

So, God's knowledge of the actual outcome is non-necessary. That is, the other possible outcome is a real actual could-be-chosen possibility. Its just that God happens to also know which of the two real actual could-be-chosen possibilities will in fact be chosen.

Follow this...
God knows what WILL be chosen, not what MUST be chosen.

or more technically...
God knows with epistemic certainty that which is metaphysically contingent.

or to use the equivocation-provoking Open Theism terminology...
God knows with epistemic certainty that which is metaphysically uncertain.

(please note in the last statement, the uses of certain are equivocal, which of course is intended in Open Theism...)

peace,
jd

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 02:07 PM
In my mind this is the equivalent of just coming right out and saying that God lies to us. This is simply not acceptable. How is this not a lie on God's part?

Thats why we should reject Open Theism. Because Open Theists say that God (unknowingly, perhaps) lies to us about the future.


Further, if you want to talk about taking the living out of life, if God knows what I will do I cannot do otherwise and am therefore not free and therefore not able to excercise volition of any kind including love. All choice is an illusion if God knows the future exhaustively. No that's what I call taking the living out of life!

ROFL. That is a flat-out endorsement of theological fatalism, which you cannot prove (at least, have not proven). God knows what will happen, not what must happen.

(1) Necessarily, If God foreknows X, X will happen.
(2) God foreknows X.
(3) X will happen.

The conclusion of 3 is that X will happen, not that it will happen with some kind of necessity. You want it to say this:

(3*) X will necessarily happen.

which is a modal fallacy. Good job. Unless you want to sit there and tell me that (2) should be:
(2*) Necessarily, God foreknows X.

You will never arrive at (3*). But, God's foreknowledge is not necessary since God was free to create ANY World, or even no world at all.

So, I'm sorry, but your thinking doesnt work.

peace,
jd

GuySmiley
July 20th, 2005, 02:25 PM
Follow this...
God knows what WILL be chosen, not what MUST be chosen.

Think about this. If God knows what WILL be chosen, then no other outcome is possible. In your world, God might know what the other choice could be, but He still knows with certainty what WILL be chosen so . . .
no other outcome is possible.

This would be true of God's own choices also. God could be faced with a choice, but if his exhaustive foreknowledge says that He knows which choice He will make, then He can't possibly make the other choice.

Greg

GuySmiley
July 20th, 2005, 02:28 PM
Thats why we should reject Open Theism. Because Open Theists say that God (unknowingly, perhaps) lies to us about the future.
How can someone unknowingly tell a lie?

logos_x
July 20th, 2005, 02:38 PM
You people are talking past each other again.

Nail it down...God knows all that can be known at any given moment.
He is all knowing.
Moments that have not happened are malleable by both God's will and ours.
The future is determined by all wills in existance in relation to God's sovereign will, which is moving progressively toward drawing all wills in existence into concert with His own will.

The real issue is whether you believe God CAN and WILL do this having given Himself eternity to do it.

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 02:49 PM
Think about this. If God knows what WILL be chosen, then no other outcome is possible. In your world, God might know what the other choice could be, but He still knows with certainty what WILL be chosen so . . .
no other outcome is possible.

thats false, Guy. God's certain knowledge of what will be does not rule out that some other choice is not possible. The agent has it within his power to act such that God would have known differently.

I have presented a deductive argument as to why this is so, above. So, put your thinking cap on and refute the argument.


This would be true of God's own choices also. God could be faced with a choice, but if his exhaustive foreknowledge says that He knows which choice He will make, then He can't possibly make the other choice.

This may be the case - but this is a problem with being the same one who knows and acts. Molina had a solution to this which is rather complex involving something called supercomprehension - basically God has middle-knowledge only of those created essences which He transcends to such a degree as to supercomprehend their choices. God does not transcend Himself, and so gains knowledge of His own actions only as He, Himself decides them. But surely this is from eternity, so it can hardly be said that God even lacks knowledge of His own actions.

So, i would say this is a problem of the view called simple-foreknowledge. But that view has other problems as well, so I am not inclined to defend it.

peace,
jd

godrulz
July 20th, 2005, 02:55 PM
Thats because you dont understand Molinism. You have demonstrated that already in another thread.

Since Molinism concludes that Exhaustive foreknowledge is compatible with libertarian freedom, and Has argumentation to prove so, then you need to demonstrate why this compatibility is an impossibility. Otherwise, Molinism wins, because it preserves Exhaustive foreknowledge (great making property) and Even Gives God augmented knowledge (knowledge of counterfactual realities) which is also a great-making property.

So lets see an argument why this compatibility fails. Otherwise, please, stop with the yapping about things you dont know about.

peace,
jd

The whole point of the debate between the major 4 views is that godly, capable scholars find evidence for their position and against others. It is patronizing to assume your position is the only defensible one with no problems whatsoever.

I do not understand how a 'would counterfactual' can be known before the fact if the choice is truly free/contingent. Simply assuming exhaustive foreknowledge and freedom must be compatible does not prove the point (begging the question). I understand might vs would and wonder why you would blur this distinction. "Would" still does not seem far off from determinism.

Knight
July 20th, 2005, 02:56 PM
thats false, Guy. God's certain knowledge of what will be does not rule out that some other choice is not possible. The agent has it within his power to act such that God would have known differently.

I have presented a deductive argument as to why this is so, above. So, put your thinking cap on and refute the argument.Your argument refutes itself!

If perfect exhaustive foreknowledge is true God knows only actual outcomes and choices that are selected. All other choices by definition must not be actually possible since God's foreknowledge already knows they aren't the selected choices.

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 02:56 PM
How can someone unknowingly tell a lie?

by saying, "this is how it will be" when you are uncertain that "this is how it will be".

a non-lie version of the same statement would be... "this is how it could be" or "this is how it probably will be" where the probability is epistemic.

Of course, I think the correct way of looking at those statements is that the prophecies are counterfactual in nature. That is, God is giving counterfactual prophecies to the prophets which have implicit antecedents. with any conditional, if the antecedent is false, the statement may still be true.

"if I go to the store, i will buy new shoes"

could be true, even if i never go to the store.

peace,
jd

godrulz
July 20th, 2005, 02:57 PM
here theological fatalism rears its ugly head, once again. The other problem is a confusing of epistemic certainty and ontological necessity.

So, God's knowledge of the actual outcome is non-necessary. That is, the other possible outcome is a real actual could-be-chosen possibility. Its just that God happens to also know which of the two real actual could-be-chosen possibilities will in fact be chosen.

Follow this...
God knows what WILL be chosen, not what MUST be chosen.

or more technically...
God knows with epistemic certainty that which is metaphysically contingent.

or to use the equivocation-provoking Open Theism terminology...
God knows with epistemic certainty that which is metaphysically uncertain.

(please note in the last statement, the uses of certain are equivocal, which of course is intended in Open Theism...)

peace,
jd

Can you illustrate this in a simple, self-evident way, such as when I refer to God not knowing the outcome of a Superbowl trillions of years before it is played (common sense)?

godrulz
July 20th, 2005, 03:00 PM
Thats why we should reject Open Theism. Because Open Theists say that God (unknowingly, perhaps) lies to us about the future.



ROFL. That is a flat-out endorsement of theological fatalism, which you cannot prove (at least, have not proven). God knows what will happen, not what must happen.

(1) Necessarily, If God foreknows X, X will happen.
(2) God foreknows X.
(3) X will happen.

The conclusion of 3 is that X will happen, not that it will happen with some kind of necessity. You want it to say this:

(3*) X will necessarily happen.

which is a modal fallacy. Good job. Unless you want to sit there and tell me that (2) should be:
(2*) Necessarily, God foreknows X.

You will never arrive at (3*). But, God's foreknowledge is not necessary since God was free to create ANY World, or even no world at all.

So, I'm sorry, but your thinking doesnt work.

peace,
jd


Seems to smack of Deism or determinism...

Clete might want to tweak his statements about God being wrong. In "Divine Foreknowledge: 4 views" that he has referred to, Boyd does not suggest that God is wrong. Rather, He knows reality as it is distinguishing possible/probable/actual/necessary/contingent/conditional, etc.

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 03:01 PM
Your argument refutes itself!

If perfect exhaustive foreknowledge is true God knows only actual outcomes and choices that are selected. All other choices by definition must not be actually possible since God's foreknowledge already knows they aren't the selected choices.

No it doesnt refute itself. All other choices are still possible, its just they wont be chosen. for any decisions (X or ~X) there are two possibilities, but only one will be actual. It doesnt follow from X being chosen that ~X was therefore not a possible choice. The same works by looking at it as future.

It doesnt follow from the fact that ~X will be chosen, that X is therefore not a possible choice.

I cant put this distinction any more clearly.

peace,
jd

godrulz
July 20th, 2005, 03:03 PM
This may be the case - but this is a problem with being the same one who knows and acts. Molina had a solution to this which is rather complex involving something called supercomprehension - basically God has middle-knowledge only of those created essences which He transcends to such a degree as to supercomprehend their choices. God does not transcend Himself, and so gains knowledge of His own actions only as He, Himself decides them. But surely this is from eternity, so it can hardly be said that God even lacks knowledge of His own actions.

peace,
jd

Supercomprehension sounds similar to perfect past and present knowledge. It still does not make contingent things certain/actual/knowable, nor does it negate possibilities/uncertainties/openness.

I do not think 'middle knowledge' is self-evident. Could it be a philosophical construct to attempt to retain exhaustive foreknowledge/free will?

Sorry for trying to understand and yapping without full comprehension. :baby:

novice
July 20th, 2005, 03:05 PM
No it doesnt refute itself. All other choices are still possible, its just they wont be chosen. for any decisions (X or ~X) there are two possibilities, but only one will be actual. It doesnt follow from X being chosen that ~X was therefore not a possible choice. The same works by looking at it as future.

It doesnt follow from the fact that ~X will be chosen, that X is therefore not a possible choice.

I cant put this distinction any more clearly.

peace,
jdExhaustive foreknowldge is no different than exhastive past knowledge.

CASE IN POINT:
Three years ago I chose to eat chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla.

I have exhaustive knowledge that is the choice I made.

Is it possible (today) that I didn't actually choose chocolate three years ago but instead chose vanilla?

godrulz
July 20th, 2005, 03:05 PM
No it doesnt refute itself. All other choices are still possible, its just they wont be chosen. for any decisions (X or ~X) there are two possibilities, but only one will be actual. It doesnt follow from X being chosen that ~X was therefore not a possible choice. The same works by looking at it as future.

It doesnt follow from the fact that ~X will be chosen, that X is therefore not a possible choice.

I cant put this distinction any more clearly.

peace,
jd


The possible is not actual. The future is not actual/knowable. If certain, it is not contingent. It still seems to me that you are negating contingency/possibilities and have a thinly veiled determinism or a position not much different than simple foreknowledge (which is hard to explain).

godrulz
July 20th, 2005, 03:07 PM
Exhaustive foreknowldge is no different than exhastive past knowledge.

CASE IN POINT:
Three years ago I chose to eat chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla.

I have exhaustive knowledge that is the choice I made.

Is it possible (today) that I didn't actually choose chocolate three years ago but instead chose vanilla?

The past is fixed and can be known exhaustively.

The present is an object of knowledge as can be known as actual/certain.

I do not understand the other views that make the open/unsettled future actual/certain/knowable before it comes into existence (Molinism included...sounds too complex to be probable vs OT).

docrob57
July 20th, 2005, 03:09 PM
Thanks, check the edit I did an that message and see what you think.

Greg

I would have to disagree. The admittedly oversimplified but nonetheless basically realistic model that I proposed describes a free will choice. This gets back to the question of whether free will choices are caused, and the answer must be yes. To deny that, I think, necessarily implies a failure to understand the alternative.

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 03:09 PM
Can you illustrate this in a simple, self-evident way, such as when I refer to God not knowing the outcome of a Superbowl trillions of years before it is played (common sense)?

I dont know what you are asking for. These things are not self-evident, they are philosophically complex.

When you say that God does not know the outcome of the Superbowl before it is played, you are making a statement that lacks support. WHY is that case that God does not know it? (BTW it is NOT common sense...) I could simply turn it around and say...

God knows the outcome of a Superbowl trillions of years before it is played. (assuming that there were trillions of years "before", which seems patently false, even by old-earth standards...).

But I'm sure you will not find such a statement convincing, just as I dont find your statements convincing. why? because they are just statements, no proof.

I have tried to assert it as simply as possible. But the modality in question and the possible-worlds analysis that are ususally added are far from simple, and far from uncontroversial.

What is the real quesiton you are asking? Why is the future unalterable?

Ill try to answer.
peace,
jd

novice
July 20th, 2005, 03:11 PM
The past is fixed and can be known exhaustively. That's my point.

Therefore, if the future can also be known exhaustively then we could no more say un-chosen choices are actually possible in the future then they would be possible in the past.

If the future is exhaustively known it is no different than the past.

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 03:14 PM
Seems to smack of Deism or determinism...

Clete might want to tweak his statements about God being wrong. In "Divine Foreknowledge: 4 views" that he has referred to, Boyd does not suggest that God is wrong. Rather, He knows reality as it is distinguishing possible/probable/actual/necessary/contingent/conditional, etc.

its not either Deism or determinism - how about some explanation instead of mere statements? Why do you think it is deistic (ROFL!) or deterministic?

peace,
jd

docrob57
July 20th, 2005, 03:16 PM
Can you illustrate this in a simple, self-evident way, such as when I refer to God not knowing the outcome of a Superbowl trillions of years before it is played (common sense)?

See my post number 95. It is a solid and logical example.

novice
July 20th, 2005, 03:17 PM
We exhaustively know the past and the choices we made and we can imagine other choices that we COULD have made but we know that we didn't make those choices so therefore those unchosen choices aren't actual possibilities any longer.

An exhaustively known future has this very same dilemma.

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 03:19 PM
Supercomprehension sounds similar to perfect past and present knowledge. It still does not make contingent things certain/actual/knowable, nor does it negate possibilities/uncertainties/openness.

It was given to give a possible model for a specific problem (God having middle-knowledge of His own actions). i am not endorsing it as a theory in general.


I do not think 'middle knowledge' is self-evident. Could it be a philosophical construct to attempt to retain exhaustive foreknowledge/free will?

it isnt self-evident!!!! sheesh. nothing in theology usually is self-evident. It is philosophical, and it does attempt a model a the the compatibility between foreknowledge and free will. But none of those things make it wrong, or not possible. Believe it or not but Open Theism is FAR from self-evident.


Sorry for trying to understand and yapping without full comprehension. :baby:

its fine, i dont mind explaining - but just be careful with the blanket, catch-all statements when you arent really sure if they are true... Measure twice, Cut once.

peace,
jd

logos_x
July 20th, 2005, 03:26 PM
We exhaustively know the past and the choices we made and we can imagine other choices that we COULD have made but we know that we didn't make those choices so therefore those unchosen choices aren't actual possibilities any longer.

An exhaustively known future has this very same dilemma.

Yep!

Very well said! Concise and obviously demonstrates the absurdity of the "closed view".

The future is malleable, having not yet occured. The past is not, barring any possibility of time travel...in effect making the past malleable again by making it the present again. If it was a closed future, even relativity and the possibility of time travel would not change anything...because all change would be impossible.

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 03:29 PM
Exhaustive foreknowldge is no different than exhastive past knowledge.

CASE IN POINT:
Three years ago I chose to eat chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla.

I have exhaustive knowledge that is the choice I made.

Is it possible (today) that I didn't actually choose chocolate three years ago but instead chose vanilla?

thats a difference in kind of possibility, something Freddosso calls "accidental necessity". That is, it is possible that you could have chosen vanilla instead of chocolate, but then the proposition "Three years ago I chose to eat chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla" would have been false.

But notice, even though this accidental necessity is now true, that does not meant that you werent FREE three years ago to choose vanilla. you were. The same pertains to the future. Just because you will choose Chocolate in three years, does not mean that you are not free to choose vanilla instead.

peace,
jd

novice
July 20th, 2005, 03:30 PM
Very well said! Concise and obviously demonstrates the absurdity of the "closed view".
Thank you.

Excellent post from you as well.

godrulz
July 20th, 2005, 03:32 PM
I would have to disagree. The admittedly oversimplified but nonetheless basically realistic model that I proposed describes a free will choice. This gets back to the question of whether free will choices are caused, and the answer must be yes. To deny that, I think, necessarily implies a failure to understand the alternative.


Free will and causation/determinism are mutually exclusive. 'Free will' is caused by our will/mind and not something back of it. This is why we are culpable for our own choices.

docrob57
July 20th, 2005, 03:33 PM
Free will and causation/determinism are mutually exclusive. 'Free will' is caused by our will/mind and not something back of it. This is why we are culpable for our own choices.

With all due respect, all you folks do is make assertions, at least provide a logical argument for your position.

novice
July 20th, 2005, 03:34 PM
thats a difference in kind of possibility, something Freddosso calls "accidental necessity". That is, it is possible that you could have chosen vanilla instead of chocolate, but then the proposition "Three years ago I chose to eat chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla" would have been false.

But notice, even though this accidental necessity is now true, that does not meant that you werent FREE three years ago to choose vanilla. you were. The same pertains to the future. Just because you will choose Chocolate in three years, does not mean that you are not free to choose vanilla instead.

peace,
jd
LOL.

The past is exhaustively known.

I CHOSE CHOCOLATE! In this debate its irrelevant whether or not I was free three years ago because we are talking about my past choice right now (in the present).

The possibility that I chose vanilla is now closed (not possible) because of the exhaustive nature of our knowledge of the past.

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 03:35 PM
The possible is not actual.

right, i never claimed it was.


The future is not actual/knowable.
false.


If certain, it is not contingent.
false. We can be certain of things that are contingent. I could be certain that "I will sleep in tomorrow". Now maybe you are confused by the fact that it is possible that we are wrong about what we know. That is not a problem with either the certainty we have or the contingency of the proposition. Thats a problem with fallibility. Just because God is more accurate than us, does not mean that His certainty somehow affects the contingency of what He knows.


It still seems to me that you are negating contingency/possibilities and have a thinly veiled determinism or a position not much different than simple foreknowledge (which is hard to explain).

Umm no. I have told you many times. I am an Indeterminist (i affirm libertarian free will, and my theology allows me to do so) and I am a Molinist and affirm middle-knowledge (which by definition is not simple-foreknowledge).

peace,
jd

docrob57
July 20th, 2005, 03:35 PM
LOL.

The past is exhaustively known.

I CHOSE CHOCOLATE! In this debate its irrelevant whether or not I was free three years ago because we are talking about my choice right now (in the present).

The possibility that I chose vanilla is now closed (not possible) because of the exhaustive nature of our knowledge of the past.

So, lets assume you forgot what you chose 3 years ago, does that mean that you didn't choose it?

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 03:39 PM
That's my point.

Therefore, if the future can also be known exhaustively then we could no more say un-chosen choices are actually possible in the future then they would be possible in the past.

If the future is exhaustively known it is no different than the past.

I think you are confused.

From the Present we are looking at the past, and askign the question, "were we free?". Even though we know that one choice was made, we still affirm that YES we were.

From the Present we are looking at the future and asking the question "will we be free?" Even though we know that one choice will be made we still affir that YES we will be free.

You are trying to say that I need to have causal power over the past from the present in order for past actions to be free. Thats a ridiculous requirement, and smells fishy of bad metaphysics.

peace,
jd

insolafide
July 20th, 2005, 03:46 PM
LOL.

The past is exhaustively known.

and your point is? For God, on my view, the future is also exhaustively known. Just like we were free in the past, we will be free in the future (when it becomes present).


I CHOSE CHOCOLATE! In this debate its irrelevant whether or not I was free three years ago because we are talking about my past choice right now (in the present).

no kidding. but we are also talking about it as past. We are not suggesting that we are NOW free in the past. But neither am I suggesting that we are NOW free in the future. Obviously we have to wait for the future to be present before we can act, and act freely.

we were free in the past. we will be free in the future. If thats not direct parallelism, i dont know what is!


The possibility that I chose vanilla is now closed (not possible) because of the exhaustive nature of our knowledge of the past.

Thats right. But the possibility that you could have chosen vanilla in the past (when it was present) is not ruled out. Thats exactly the issue with the future - if God knows that you will choose vanilla in the future, it doesnt rule out your freedom to choose some other flavor (or no ice cream at all). In both cases (past and future) the actualities are known, and we are still free.

so whats the problem?

peace,
jd

novice
July 20th, 2005, 06:09 PM
So, lets assume you forgot what you chose 3 years ago, does that mean that you didn't choose it?doc, you are a proponent of exhaustive foreknowledge correct?

And you don't believe that God forgets His own foreknowledge do you? Of course not! Therefore why bother asking such a question? It will only serve to waste at least four posts. :)

novice
July 20th, 2005, 06:11 PM
so whats the problem?Your ability to think.

godrulz
July 20th, 2005, 07:50 PM
Thats right. But the possibility that you could have chosen vanilla in the past (when it was present) is not ruled out. Thats exactly the issue with the future - if God knows that you will choose vanilla in the future, it doesnt rule out your freedom to choose some other flavor (or no ice cream at all). In both cases (past and future) the actualities are known, and we are still free.

so whats the problem?

peace,
jd

The problem is that this does not make sense. How can God know I will chose vanilla in the future if I could in fact chose chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, coffee, etc. OR not at all? Are you confusing the fixed past with the open future. They are inherently different. How can future actualities be known if they are non-existent. I could predict with high probability that I will chose vanilla tomorrow if it was the only known flavor in the world and the mafia would kill my family if I did not comply. Otherwise, contingency implies uncertainty.

Does the following make sense to anyone else?

"If an act be free, it must be contingent. If contingent, it may or may not happen, or it may be one of many possibles. And if it may be one of many possibles, it must be uncertain; and if uncertain, it must be unknowable."

I think we both need a course in critical thinking and modal logic.
;)

Can you explain how God could know trillions of years ago the outcome and every move of 1000 chess games played over a century? The contingencies are innumerable. The Cosmic Chess Master is not dealing with chess men that He could deterministically manipulate. He is dealing with billions of free moral agents and trillions of natural, inanimate/animate issues.

The Open Theist solution is to recognize that chess players are free to respond to a vast array of opening/closing moves and contingencies. In light of this, there is no way an omniscient God can know all these possibilities as certainties before they become actual reality. One player's move is dependent on his thoughts, but also the strategy of the other player. Middle knowledge, whatever that is, cannot account for God foreknowing the non-existent future. How can God know what we will freely chose? He can know possibilities/probabilities, but not actualities while they are still merely possible. The things He can settle and know are only the things He choses to, independent of other free moral agents.

docrob57
July 21st, 2005, 07:15 AM
doc, you are a proponent of exhaustive foreknowledge correct?

And you don't believe that God forgets His own foreknowledge do you? Of course not! Therefore why bother asking such a question? It will only serve to waste at least four posts. :)

You were making an argument that implied that knowledge of the past determined what happened in the past, and then tried to apply that logic to the future in an effort, I think, to refute foreknowledge. Since the premise was false, the conclusion would have to be also.


The possibility that I chose vanilla is now closed (not possible) because of the exhaustive nature of our knowledge of the past.

insolafide
July 21st, 2005, 08:33 PM
Your ability to think.

So, is that a veiled concession that your reasoning was flawed? Or are you really that rude?

A little civility never hurt any body.

peace,
jd

insolafide
July 21st, 2005, 09:38 PM
The problem is that this does not make sense. How can God know I will chose vanilla in the future if I could in fact chose chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, coffee, etc. OR not at all?

Im not sure what you are asking. As a practical matter, we dont really know how God knows anything that He knows. So maybe you are asking how it could be the case that God knows it.

Well, the states of affairs obtain before the events which describe them do. Its really not that strange if you think about it. We formulate future-tense propositions about future contingents all the time.

"I will choose vanilla ice cream at the ice cream shop tomorrow"

Such a statement, if true, is not saying that it is not possible that one COULD choose a difference flavor. Its just saying that one will, in fact choose it. That is, it is not expressing what one MUST choose, just what they will, in fact choose.


Are you confusing the fixed past with the open future.

I dont think there is such thing as an "open future". I think that is a metaphor, that has unclear meaning. The future is just as closed as the past. Neither NOW exist, but both do have a corresponding time when they are present. The future will exist, the past has already existed. So, to say that the future is unsettled is to make the illogical assertion that something that will happen, will not happen. Thats a contradiction.


They are inherently different. How can future actualities be known if they are non-existent.

Well how can past actualities be known if they are non-existent? The problem for humans that i think you are getting at is that humans dont have access to the truths about the future, like they do about the past, since they have experienced the past and remember things. But for God, who can know any true proposition, there is no such limitation of experience. Because, strictly speaking, God does not have sense organs (He is immaterial) and so does not experience the things we remember in the same way. Likewise, God has unexperienced knowledge of the future.

So consider a conceptualist approach to God's Omniscience - God has knowledge of any and all true propositions. On this model, all we need is a proposition that is true, and God has certain knowledge of it. Hard for you to understand? well, thats too bad. Theres lots of things about God that you cant understand, and I think the Molinist need not press the issue any further. Your non-understanding of all the HOWS of the situation does not equal a logical contradiction which would make Molinism impossible. So since Molinism is logically possible and preserves EDF and OT does not, we should prefer Molinism.


I could predict with high probability that I will chose vanilla tomorrow if it was the only known flavor in the world and the mafia would kill my family if I did not comply. Otherwise, contingency implies uncertainty.

but look, we had this discussion before. You are equivocating on "certain". To remain consistant, certainty and uncertainty is usually used to denote how sure a person is of a proposition, while necessity and contingency denotes a proposition.

So, suppose you utter the statement,
(1)"I will choose vanilla tomorrow". But as pressed with possible scenarios, you modify your statement to, (2)"I will probably choose vanilla tomorrow". Now, usually, the probability which you concede in (2) is epistemic in nature, and not metaphysical, which means that you have failing confidence in (1), not that you are denoting a metaphysical probability to the statement.

So, does (1) preclude free will? No, i dont think it does. Because (1) and

(3) "I could not choose vanilla". Can both be true.

So the proponent of EDF is saying that God knows statements like these.


Does the following make sense to anyone else?

"If an act be free, it must be contingent. If contingent, it may or may not happen, or it may be one of many possibles. And if it may be one of many possibles, it must be uncertain; and if uncertain, it must be unknowable."

Thats all around false. free, contingent, one of many possibles, and certain are all equally possible in descrbing a free choice, where certainty describes God's knowledge.


I think we both need a course in critical thinking and modal logic.
;)

I would love to take one, yes, but I am not quite an amateur when it comes to these things, I have studied them.


Can you explain how God could know trillions of years ago the outcome and every move of 1000 chess games played over a century? The contingencies are innumerable.

Assuming there were trillions of years in the past (This is undeniably false), I dont see how this could be impossible. Just because the contingencies are high in number, does not mean that an Omniscient God could not know them! You are thinking that God is human-like. We cannot know these things, but God can.

Consider that God numbers the hairs on our head. Theres so many!!! How could He possibly know that? well - He's God. Now maybe you could show that theres a logical contradiction here that would prevent it being even possible, then that would be different.


The Cosmic Chess Master is not dealing with chess men that He could deterministically manipulate. He is dealing with billions of free moral agents and trillions of natural, inanimate/animate issues.

It doesnt matter - God is Omniscient. All we need, is that God would know just one future contingent proposition - like, for example "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times" - and it is not impossible for God to know a future contingent. But then, God knows all of them, because He is Omniscient.


The Open Theist solution is to recognize that chess players are free to respond to a vast array of opening/closing moves and contingencies. In light of this, there is no way an omniscient God can know all these possibilities as certainties before they become actual reality. One player's move is dependent on his thoughts, but also the strategy of the other player.

so what. you are just drawing an analogy. On my view God knows each move the chess player AND his opponent will make, based on His middle-knowledge (His knowledge of how the players would choose in some predescribed circumstances).


Middle knowledge, whatever that is, cannot account for God foreknowing the non-existent future.

yes it can. Because while the future does not exist, the counterfactuals which are part of middle-knowledge do exist.


How can God know what we will freely chose? He can know possibilities/probabilities, but not actualities while they are still merely possible. The things He can settle and know are only the things He choses to, independent of other free moral agents.

Youre going to have to get more specific with your "how" questions. As I said above, if you are just asking How God does something, then i am afraid I dont know. If you are asking how it could be the case that God COULD know these things, then I would simply ask why you think He CANT? He's GOD.

peace,
jd

godrulz
July 21st, 2005, 10:17 PM
God can know the number of hairs on your head because a human could also know them. This is present and knowable. The past and future do not exist (we agree), but they are different. To say that the past is identical in knowability is disingenuous. Any human can know the past if they have access to history. The past is an object of knowledge even though it is now only a memory. The future is blank and is not there to know. Once it becomes past, of course it is a given that God and man can know it perfectly (God even more so). God knows the hairs on our head because He can see and count them. It is another thing to say He knows and counts them before we even exist! As the number of hairs grows or decreases on our head, His knowledge changes. This is not an object of eternal knowledge.

Your 'middle knowledge' does not sound superior to 'simple foreknowledge'. They are both problematic and do not resolve the issues of contingencies/uncertainties/possibilities/actualities.

God knows all the possibilities and responses in a chess game. You miss the point of freedom and contingencies if you think He knows millions of years ago the exact moves and counter-moves of a chess game. If someone moves one piece, there is nothing to necessitate or determine which of many possible moves a player will make on any given day. Use your noodle.

Thank you for convincing me that your arguments are not persuasive and certainly not superior to Open Theism with a partially open/unsettled future.

insolafide
July 22nd, 2005, 12:00 PM
God can know the number of hairs on your head because a human could also know them.

That is very telling of your theological process. If you believe that God can only know what humans know, then I am afraid you have a very human view of God. God is the greatest conceivable Being! not just some demigod who is exactly like us.


The past and future do not exist (we agree), but they are different. To say that the past is identical in knowability is disingenuous. Any human can know the past if they have access to history. The past is an object of knowledge even though it is now only a memory. The future is blank and is not there to know.

youre missing the point! The point is not that humans cant know the past, its that it is possible to know the past even though it does not exist. you are requiring for the future what you do not require for the past, FOR NO APPARENT REASON!?, except that you cannot imagine someone knowing the future before it happens. Well, I am sorry to say that your lack of imagination doesnt prove your case.


Once it becomes past, of course it is a given that God and man can know it perfectly (God even more so). God knows the hairs on our head because He can see and count them. It is another thing to say He knows and counts them before we even exist! As the number of hairs grows or decreases on our head, His knowledge changes. This is not an object of eternal knowledge.

Again, you miss the point! God does not "see" the hairs on our head. God is immaterial and lacks a body, and lacks eyes. God does "KNOW" the number of hairs on our head. I think you are also unaware that propositions that are future-tensed can exist before objects about them exist. So the propositions are existing, even if what they describe does not. That is my model of Omniscience, AND ITS NOT LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. So unless you are going to confront the issues, we are done with our discussion.


Your 'middle knowledge' does not sound superior to 'simple foreknowledge'. They are both problematic and do not resolve the issues of contingencies/uncertainties/possibilities/actualities.

prove it with a real argument that confronts the issues, not some pointless "how question"? anyone can ask how questions to filibuster discussion. "How is 2+2 = 4"? "How is red a color"? "How is God not created"? But none of these questions are really meaningful, just like your "How does God know what doesnt exist", is not meaningful - because its not confronting the issue that it is possible that God DOES know them on a conceptualist rather than perceptualist view of Omniscience.


God knows all the possibilities and responses in a chess game. You miss the point of freedom and contingencies if you think He knows millions of years ago the exact moves and counter-moves of a chess game. If someone moves one piece, there is nothing to necessitate or determine which of many possible moves a player will make on any given day. Use your noodle.

Its you who needs to use your noodle. If there is a propositions "Chessplayer A makes move C at time T in game G..." and it is true, then it is impossible for an Omniscient God to not know it. Your just using "contingency" "possibility" etc to resist confronting the issues.


Thank you for convincing me that your arguments are not persuasive and certainly not superior to Open Theism with a partially open/unsettled future.

With all due respect, your failure to not UNDERSTAND what I am saying could be just as much a part of your not being convinced as your stubborness in holding to OVT. Hey, dogmatism lives in the 21st century, huh?

peace,
jd

Clete
July 22nd, 2005, 12:37 PM
Thats why we should reject Open Theism. Because Open Theists say that God (unknowingly, perhaps) lies to us about the future.



ROFL. That is a flat-out endorsement of theological fatalism, which you cannot prove (at least, have not proven). God knows what will happen, not what must happen.

(1) Necessarily, If God foreknows X, X will happen.
(2) God foreknows X.
(3) X will happen.

The conclusion of 3 is that X will happen, not that it will happen with some kind of necessity. You want it to say this:

(3*) X will necessarily happen.

which is a modal fallacy. Good job. Unless you want to sit there and tell me that (2) should be:
(2*) Necessarily, God foreknows X.

You will never arrive at (3*). But, God's foreknowledge is not necessary since God was free to create ANY World, or even no world at all.

So, I'm sorry, but your thinking doesnt work.

peace,
jd


I had lost this post! I just found it again though and will reply to it as soon as I can.

godrulz
July 22nd, 2005, 11:38 PM
[QUOTE=insolafide]That is very telling of your theological process. If you believe that God can only know what humans know, then I am afraid you have a very human view of God. God is the greatest conceivable Being! not just some demigod who is exactly like us.

RULZ: Nice caricature/straw man. I have never said anything to make you come to this absurd conclusion. Your credibility is found wanting.

INSOLE: youre missing the point! The point is not that humans cant know the past, its that it is possible to know the past even though it does not exist. you are requiring for the future what you do not require for the past, FOR NO APPARENT REASON!?, except that you cannot imagine someone knowing the future before it happens. Well, I am sorry to say that your lack of imagination doesnt prove your case.


RULZ: Wolterstorff deals with your myopia in "God and Time: 4 views" IVP


INSOLE: Again, you miss the point! God does not "see" the hairs on our head. God is immaterial and lacks a body, and lacks eyes. God does "KNOW" the number of hairs on our head. I think you are also unaware that propositions that are future-tensed can exist before objects about them exist. So the propositions are existing, even if what they describe does not. That is my model of Omniscience, AND ITS NOT LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. So unless you are going to confront the issues, we are done with our discussion.


RULZ: OK, we are done, because you do not make sense. Does non-sequitur mean anything to you?


INSOLE: prove it with a real argument that confronts the issues, not some pointless "how question"? anyone can ask how questions to filibuster discussion. "How is 2+2 = 4"? "How is red a color"? "How is God not created"? But none of these questions are really meaningful, just like your "How does God know what doesnt exist", is not meaningful - because its not confronting the issue that it is possible that God DOES know them on a conceptualist rather than perceptualist view of Omniscience.

RULZ: Nice try, but does not resolve the issues. A subjective perception of the possible future is not identical to an objective knowledge of the actual future when it becomes present and knowable.

INSOLE: Its you who needs to use your noodle. If there is a propositions "Chessplayer A makes move C at time T in game G..." and it is true, then it is impossible for an Omniscient God to not know it. Your just using "contingency" "possibility" etc to resist confronting the issues.

RULZ: You obviously do not play chess if you miss the analogy. You are looking at the future with hind sight after it becomes past (not parallel to foreknowledge issues).


INSOLE: With all due respect, your failure to not UNDERSTAND what I am saying could be just as much a part of your not being convinced as your stubborness in holding to OVT. Hey, dogmatism lives in the 21st century, huh?

peace,

RULZ: war

lee_merrill
July 23rd, 2005, 11:17 AM
Hi everyone,

INSOLE: The point is not that humans cant know the past, its that it is possible to know the past even though it does not exist. you are requiring for the future what you do not require for the past, FOR NO APPARENT REASON!?

RULZ: Wolterstorff deals with your myopia in "God and Time: 4 views" IVP

What would this refutation be, though? The perfect counter-example when people say "The future cannot be known because it does not exist" is to mention the past! So I think Insole's point here stands, I doubt that this can be refuted convincingly.

INSOLE: I think you are also unaware that propositions that are future-tensed can exist before objects about them exist. So the propositions are existing, even if what they describe does not. That is my model of Omniscience, AND ITS NOT LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

RULZ: Does non-sequitur mean anything to you?

Doesn't the OV hold just this as part of their view, though? That God can indeed know some of the future, with certainty, "There will be a new heaven and a new earth," for instance.

And then many of the OV arguments against knowing the future fall down! The new heaven and earth do not exist yet, this future-tense proposition is a true one, and God knows it, and so forth!

INSOLE: If there is a propositions "Chessplayer A makes move C at time T in game G..." and it is true, then it is impossible for an Omniscient God to not know it. Your just using "contingency" "possibility" etc to resist confronting the issues.

RULZ: You obviously do not play chess if you miss the analogy. You are looking at the future with hind sight after it becomes past (not parallel to foreknowledge issues).

Well, the point has again, it seems, been missed, if there are true future-tense propositions (which OV agrees there are!), then "Chessplayer A makes move C at time T in game G..." might be just such a proposition.

2 Chronicles 36:22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing...

Blessings,
Lee

godrulz
July 23rd, 2005, 11:23 AM
Hi everyone,


Well, the point has again, it seems, been missed, if there are true future-tense propositions (which OV agrees there are!), then "Chessplayer A makes move C at time T in game G..." might be just such a proposition.

Blessings,
Lee

Possible future tense propositions only become actual/certain when the event becomes reality (an object of actual knowledge). Your ACTG sentence only becomes true when the actual move is made. A moment before the move, hundreds of other possible moves could be made. Until the move is made, it may or may not happen. This uncertainty means that it is correctly known as possible vs actual. Working backwards and stating in retrospect that a certain move was made does not mean this was obvious in advance. Foreknowledge is not hindsight. The present and past is fundamentally different than the future (hence the difference in actual knowledge; the past and present is known exhaustively, but the future is only known when it becomes actual).

lee_merrill
July 24th, 2005, 10:39 AM
Hi everyone,


Possible future tense propositions only become actual/certain when the event becomes reality (an object of actual knowledge).

Certainly an event is not actual until it happens, but...

Then there might not be a new heavens and a new earth? This is not certain? God doesn't really know this?

Blessings,
Lee

Clete
July 24th, 2005, 11:42 AM
Hi everyone,



Certainly an event is not actual until it happens, but...

Then there might not be a new heavens and a new earth? This is not certain? God doesn't really know this?

Blessings,
Lee

Lee,

You really are a one note song.

How does it follow that if God does not know exhaustively what I will do that He doesn't know what He will do Himself?

How?

Please explain to me how my free will keeps God from deciding in advance that He is going to do something at some point in the future?

Resting in Him,
Clete

godrulz
July 24th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Hi everyone,



Certainly an event is not actual until it happens, but...

Then there might not be a new heavens and a new earth? This is not certain? God doesn't really know this?

Blessings,
Lee


This is certain, as prophesied. It is not actual yet. The reason that it will happen is that God purposes it to happen and has the ability to bring it to pass. The mistake of closed theists is to wrongly assume that because God settles some of the future that He must settle all of the future. Determinism negates free will and moral responsibility. Is. 46:10; 48:3, etc. are examples of specific things that God knows because He has the ability to make them happen apart from what we do or do not do. It is not a proof text for exhaustive foreknowledge of all future free will contingencies (a logical impossibility, even for God). God simply does not control or cause every moral and mundane choice in the universe. The risk is that we could and did mess things up. He is providential, responsive, creative and will bring His ultimate purposes to pass despite our free will and the uncertainty it creates. He does not have to control or know every detail to ensure that He will bring about a new heaven/earth.

insolafide
July 25th, 2005, 01:09 AM
RULZ: Nice caricature/straw man. I have never said anything to make you come to this absurd conclusion. Your credibility is found wanting.

youre kidding? right? you have to realize that criticizing my credibility is so ridiculous that my mind is spinning. Here is exactly what you said:

--->"God can know the number of hairs on your head because a human could also know them."

You were trying to argue that God can only know something if a human could know it, which is a ridiculous statement. And now you are saying that you "never said anything..." and you insult my credibility? unbelievable.


RULZ: Wolterstorff deals with your myopia in "God and Time: 4 views" IVP

care to tell us the argument he makes, or are you just conceding that you have no clue, but you think someone else might?


RULZ: OK, we are done, because you do not make sense. Does non-sequitur mean anything to you?

ohhh my gosh. you are crazy. you have not offered a shred of credible argumentation for ANY conclusion that you have given, and you say my arguments are non sequitor? do you even know what that means? And you think i dont make sense because you dont understand the issues, we established that a long time ago.


Nice try, but does not resolve the issues. A subjective perception of the possible future is not identical to an objective knowledge of the actual future when it becomes present and knowable.

what are you talking about!?!?!?!?! where did i say anything remotely close to "a subjective perception"? I SAID i affirm a CONCEPTUALIST model of God's knowledge.


RULZ: You obviously do not play chess if you miss the analogy. You are looking at the future with hind sight after it becomes past (not parallel to foreknowledge issues).

actually, you are wrong. i do play chess (or i have before, at least). I am not looking at the future with hind sight. I am talking about future-tensed propositions - that is describing the future with foresight, obviously.


RULZ: war

i think you need to prepare for the battle before you have a chance of making war.

And is that what this about, anyway? thats not my heart in doing theology.

peace,
jd

godrulz
July 25th, 2005, 01:56 AM
You were trying to argue that God can only know something if a human could know it, which is a ridiculous statement. And now you are saying that you "never said anything..." and you insult my credibility? unbelievable.


iAnd is that what this about, anyway? thats not my heart in doing theology.

peace,
jd

You THINK I was trying to argue a certain way. The fact that you misunderstand and distort my views is the credibility issue. I have a box of apples on the table. God and I both know how many apples are in the box. How do you make the leap that this observation means that God can ONLY know something a human could know?!

It is ridiculous because you turned a valid argument (hairs) into a straw man.

God knows the past and present perfectly. We know it as a drop in the bucket of the total knowledge base. God knows all future contingencies. We are very limited in our knowledge. God knows all that is knowable perfectly and as it is in reality (distinguishes possible from actual; you blur the distinction making everything certain even if it is uncertain/contingent). We know a fraction of what is knowable. He is omniscient. We are not (read my lips).

I was playing with your words as a joke (war). Your views are not as self-evident as you might think. I am satisfied that Wolterstorff, Boyd, and others have pointed out weaknesses in Molinism. I also do not find your arguments persuasive. I have not definitively refuted them. When Clete tries to show you the holes in your logic, you do not get it. I guess that is why we are stuck in our preconceived ideas.

insolafide
July 25th, 2005, 10:45 AM
You THINK I was trying to argue a certain way. The fact that you misunderstand and distort my views is the credibility issue. I have a box of apples on the table. God and I both know how many apples are in the box. How do you make the leap that this observation means that God can ONLY know something a human could know?!

It is ridiculous because you turned a valid argument (hairs) into a straw man.

God knows the past and present perfectly. We know it as a drop in the bucket of the total knowledge base. God knows all future contingencies. We are very limited in our knowledge. God knows all that is knowable perfectly and as it is in reality (distinguishes possible from actual; you blur the distinction making everything certain even if it is uncertain/contingent). We know a fraction of what is knowable. He is omniscient. We are not (read my lips).

I was playing with your words as a joke (war). Your views are not as self-evident as you might think. I am satisfied that Wolterstorff, Boyd, and others have pointed out weaknesses in Molinism. I also do not find your arguments persuasive. I have not definitively refuted them. When Clete tries to show you the holes in your logic, you do not get it. I guess that is why we are stuck in our preconceived ideas.

you have once again completely disregarded all the things i said (as if you dont understand them.....) and then MERELY restated your opinion. That is not argumentation.

You say my views are not self-evident. no duh. you must not know what self-evident means. Otherwise, you would realize that your own views are not self-evident.

then you say that clete and others have shown me holes in my logic and that *I dont get it*. Where is this alleged showing of holes in my logic? post numbers? threads? i have merely argued against their reasoning - believe it or not, THATS ALLOWED. I am not surprised that you are not persuaded by the things i say, and that is because you (1) dont understand the issues, you dont understand Molinism, and you dont understand how argumentation works. (2) you think open theism is "self-evident", which again, is hilarious. (3) you WANT to believe in Open Theism, for whatever reason. you do not believe it for intellectual reasons (that is self-evident).

peace,
jd

godrulz
July 25th, 2005, 03:55 PM
There are many threads and hundreds of posts that I have laid out arguments for my views. If I do not have the time or energy to exhaustively engage you, this is my right. The future only becomes actual/knowable at a present moment. I have given analogies that you do not adequately engage.

Sir, please pick your nose right now and eat it. If you are compliant, what mechanism is there in God's being for Him to have known I would challenge you to do it from trillions of years ago before you existed or I even knew you? What caused me to log on at this moment, and you to read this in a future moment to me to respond or not? How is this knowable as a certainty from eternity past? Assuming you told me to take a hike and did not pick/eat snot, do you see you have genuine freedom to do this or not? Multiply this contingency by trillions over thousands of years. Saying God has simple foreknowledge, determinism, or even middle knowledge/counterfactuals of freedom does not explain how an omniscient God would know what you and I would do over this simple snot challenge. If you ask me to pick my nose, I may or may not do it. The question and my response were not objects of divine or human knowledge in eternity past. Genuine freedom is not compatible with exhaustive foreknowledge. You have not demonstrated that they are.

God has unlimited options in His response to us. He cannot and does not know the future exhaustively. On the other thread, I asked you about immutability and time/eternity. Does God have a history in light of the incarnation? Your presuppositions on these issues will affect your understanding of tensed issues.

It is self-evident that the past, present, and future are distinct. We live as though they are and Scripture portrays this distinction for God. If we cannot agre on this, then I perceived that we will not get anywhere in our discussions. Another poster (Eccl.) tried to argue from Special Relativity that God is timeless and can know the future based on space-time 4th dimensions. He would not engage metaphysical arguments since he felt science refuted OT. Knowing that quantum mechanics and chaos theory support OT, it became frustrating dealing with him.

Knowing your Molinistic presuppositions that have been engaged by more competent people than myself, I do not feel our interactions will produce more heat than light. I trust you will respect my limited engagement without assuming I am dense or that your view is automatically right. I will do what I can, but will not waste our time unnecessarily. As you do with myself, I do not feel you respond to our arguments either.

kmoney
July 25th, 2005, 04:08 PM
Clete, sorry for the delay in responding...

God said something would happen in the future. That sounds like a prophecy to me! What about it would disqualify it as a prophecy?
Is it a prophecy everytime you tell your kids you will do something?

insolafide
July 25th, 2005, 11:52 PM
There are many threads and hundreds of posts that I have laid out arguments for my views. If I do not have the time or energy to exhaustively engage you, this is my right. The future only becomes actual/knowable at a present moment. I have given analogies that you do not adequately engage.

but i have engaged them. come on, man. you just didnt understand my responses, or didnt care enough to actually respond to them. very frustrating...


Sir, please pick your nose right now and eat it. If you are compliant, what mechanism is there in God's being for Him to have known I would challenge you to do it from trillions of years ago before you existed or I even knew you?

The mechanism is Omniscience. God knows all true propositions, and knows no false ones. I cant believe that you think it is some kind of deficiency in God (that He lacks some mechanism) which would prevent Him from knowing truths about your free actions.


What caused me to log on at this moment, and you to read this in a future moment to me to respond or not? How is this knowable as a certainty from eternity past?

because there are corresponding propositions about all these things which are true. If a proposition is true, then God must know it. And if a present tense statement is true, then there is a future tense statement that corresponds to the exact same state of affairs. Since there is a future tense statement that exists as such, and is true, then God knows it by definition of Omniscience.


Assuming you told me to take a hike and did not pick/eat snot, do you see you have genuine freedom to do this or not?

yes, you have genuine freedom to not do what God knows you will do. I have explained how that is true on the Molinist system several times in this thread.


Multiply this contingency by trillions over thousands of years.

it doesnt matter how many times you multiply it. God is God! you cant out-multiply God's Omniscience.


Saying God has simple foreknowledge, determinism, or even middle knowledge/counterfactuals of freedom does not explain how an omniscient God would know what you and I would do over this simple snot challenge. If you ask me to pick my nose, I may or may not do it. The question and my response were not objects of divine or human knowledge in eternity past. Genuine freedom is not compatible with exhaustive foreknowledge. You have not demonstrated that they are.

Yes I have. I have shown that an agent has the real ability, when choosing something, in that they COULD choose something or they COULD NOT choose something. And these propositions are both true. Then by Middle-knowledge knows simply what the agent WOULD choose in any situation they could be in. but WOULD and COULD and COULD NOT could all be true at the same time. Then, when God decides which world to create, God knows what the agent WILL choose. but WILL, WOULD, COULD, and COULD NOT can all be true at the same time. So this demonstrates how exhaustive foreknowledge (the WILLs) is compatible with genuine freedom (COULD and COULD NOT).

please try to understand this. please. I AM BEGGING YOU, to think about it.


God has unlimited options in His response to us. He cannot and does not know the future exhaustively.

do you see how this is merely a statement? its not a defense or an argument, its just a statement.


On the other thread, I asked you about immutability and time/eternity. Does God have a history in light of the incarnation? Your presuppositions on these issues will affect your understanding of tensed issues.

I affirm that God is essentially timeless, but that He became temporal upon His act of creation. Thus, I believe that God experiances time, has a history, knows tensed facts, etc.

I affirm presentism, that temporal becoming is real, and that the A-theory (dynamic view) of time is correct.

as an Open Theist, you shouldnt disagree with any of the above. So, now that you cant use the genetic fallacy on me, what is your next move?


It is self-evident that the past, present, and future are distinct.

This is NOT self-evident (seriously, do you know what that means?). There are many smart people who believe that past, present, and future are illusory and dependant on our subjective experience. I dont agree with them, but I am not going to sit here and say (like you do) that they are wrong because the dynamic view of time is "self-evident" because thats just not true.


We live as though they are and Scripture portrays this distinction for God.

I agree that our common intuitions are that we are really temporal beings. But I agree with you.


If we cannot agree on this, then I perceived that we will not get anywhere in our discussions.

It seems like you have already assumed that i do disagree with you about this.


Another poster (Eccl.) tried to argue from Special Relativity that God is timeless and can know the future based on space-time 4th dimensions.

And if you recall, I disagreed with him that Special Relativity could establish that.


He would not engage metaphysical arguments since he felt science refuted OT. Knowing that quantum mechanics and chaos theory support OT, it became frustrating dealing with him.

Actually, quantum mechanics and chaos theory do not support OT, but lets not get further sidetracked by that...


Knowing your Molinistic presuppositions that have been engaged by more competent people than myself, I do not feel our interactions will produce more heat than light. I trust you will respect my limited engagement without assuming I am dense or that your view is automatically right. I will do what I can, but will not waste our time unnecessarily. As you do with myself, I do not feel you respond to our arguments either.

What I have observed from your responses is that you do not understand argumentation, or other views other than OT. Thats troubling. As a Molinist, I am a student of Calvinism and Open theism and all other views that might be out there. Thats because in order to know if the view that you hold is the most plausible or correct, you have to know what the other major views hold. you should try it, it is really helpful.

peace,
jd

Clete
July 26th, 2005, 09:52 AM
Clete, sorry for the delay in responding...

Is it a prophecy everytime you tell your kids you will do something?
Of a type it is yes. And it definately would be if I were God.

But this question doesn't really address the text which we are talking about. God did more than simply intimate an intended course of action. He said that the way Israel would know that God was with them is that He would WITHOUT FAIL drive out their enemies from before them.

If that isn't a prophecy, then nothing is.

How am I wrong?

Resting in Him,
Clete

godrulz
July 26th, 2005, 02:55 PM
Today I contemplate eating at McDonald's or Wendy's tomorrow. My free will allows me to chose which place I will eat at. Until tomorrow, I may or may not eat at either or both places (different contingencies could affect this decision). God correctly knows that I may or may not chose one or the other. He knows my possible choices or the fact I will not make a choice. Based on perfect past and present knowledge, and a knowledge of future possibilities, He could have a better idea than most what I would likely chose. This does not mean He knew trillions of years ago what I would do for sure (does it? no). After I live out tomorrow, the possible knowledge will now be certain/actual and in the fixed past. God correctly knows it as such. Unless the future has already been played out (and we are in a space-time illusory matrix), or God will determine my moral and mundane choices causatively, the future cannot be foreknown exhaustively. He will respond to any contingency as His knowledge and experience changes (even as ours does). In layman's terms, what is middle knowledge, and how does it make possible alternatives certain/knowable before the choice? If you say God would know what we would do in any possible world, what necessitates me picking Wendy's over McDonald's on any given day? I have been known to do impulsive, out of character things or change my mind at the last minute. What would determine as a foreknowable event in advance what exactly I would chose to eat on the menu? How would God see the number of chews or swallows or spits as I eat my meal even before I am born?

Perhaps the Molinists should get out of their ivory tower with their complex philosophical explanations and explain to this child-like ding-a-ling how any of this is explainable apart from a common sense view of time (unidirectional with past/present/future distinctions; endless time vs timelessness, etc.) and free will (libertarian vs illusory).

Clete
July 26th, 2005, 05:15 PM
Today I contemplate eating at McDonald's or Wendy's tomorrow. My free will allows me to chose which place I will eat at. Until tomorrow, I may or may not eat at either or both places (different contingencies could affect this decision). God correctly knows that I may or may not chose one or the other. He knows my possible choices or the fact I will not make a choice. Based on perfect past and present knowledge, and a knowledge of future possibilities, He could have a better idea than most what I would likely chose. This does not mean He knew trillions of years ago what I would do for sure (does it? no). After I live out tomorrow, the possible knowledge will now be certain/actual and in the fixed past. God correctly knows it as such. Unless the future has already been played out (and we are in a space-time illusory matrix), or God will determine my moral and mundane choices causatively, the future cannot be foreknown exhaustively. He will respond to any contingency as His knowledge and experience changes (even as ours does). In layman's terms, what is middle knowledge, and how does it make possible alternatives certain/knowable before the choice? If you say God would know what we would do in any possible world, what necessitates me picking Wendy's over McDonald's on any given day? I have been known to do impulsive, out of character things or change my mind at the last minute. What would determine as a foreknowable event in advance what exactly I would chose to eat on the menu? How would God see the number of chews or swallows or spits as I eat my meal even before I am born?

Perhaps the Molinists should get out of their ivory tower with their complex philosophical explanations and explain to this child-like ding-a-ling how any of this is explainable apart from a common sense view of time (unidirectional with past/present/future distinctions; endless time vs timelessness, etc.) and free will (libertarian vs illusory).


Very good post! :thumb:

I agree with you completely. When I read the "Four Views" book, the Molinist view was the most convoluted, complex and counter intuitive view of any of the four by far. I'm still not sure I understand it.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
July 26th, 2005, 06:00 PM
That's why we should reject Open Theism. Because Open Theists say that God (unknowingly, perhaps) lies to us about the future.
What? No it doesn't! Where in the world did you get this idea from?
I've said the complete opposite and in fact did so in the post that this comment was in response too!
God said that He would without fail drive out Israel's enemies but He didn't. Open Theism has a very clear and simple to understand explanation of why He didn't do as He said He would do that both preserves God's righteousness and maintains the plain meaning of the text. Closed theist can do no such thing. If the future is closed, either the passage in question doesn't mean what it says or God is a liar, or both.

I had said...

Further, if you want to talk about taking the living out of life, if God knows what I will do I cannot do otherwise and am therefore not free and therefore not able to exercise volition of any kind including love. All choice is an illusion if God knows the future exhaustively. Now that's what I call taking the living out of life!

insolafide responded...

ROFL. That is a flat-out endorsement of theological fatalism, which you cannot prove (at least, have not proven).
Where you suggesting that I endorse theological fatalism? If so either you are confused or I don't understand what you are getting at. If you were simply saying that I am accusing the Arminian of teaching theological fatalism then I can see that although I would never have put it that way. There are too many semantic differences between what Arminians believe and what theological fatalism is. However, I would agree that the end result is the same; that the logical consequences of both are exactly identical, that result being the complete evaporation of the idea of free will.


God knows what will happen, not what must happen.

(1) Necessarily, If God foreknows X, X will happen.
(2) God foreknows X.
(3) X will happen.

The conclusion of 3 is that X will happen, not that it will happen with some kind of necessity. You want it to say this:

(3*) X will necessarily happen.

which is a modal fallacy. Good job. Unless you want to sit there and tell me that (2) should be:
(2*) Necessarily, God foreknows X.

You will never arrive at (3*). But, God's foreknowledge is not necessary since God was free to create ANY World, or even no world at all.

So, I'm sorry, but your thinking doesn't work.

Well I see that you have indeed been reading Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views. This argument was copied almost verbatim from the Molinist's essay (which I have no problem with at all, by the way. I'm not accusing you of plagiarism, I'm simply commenting on the fact that I've read the same book you have ;) ).

The problem with the argument is that it attempts to redefine logic. If the argument you've presented was valid then deductive logic itself wouldn't work. Every conclusion deduction ever presented that didn't have exclusively logically necessary premises would suddenly become invalid.

The syllogism you've presented is a deductive argument and thus if the premises are sound then the conclusion IS necessary. That's the beautiful thing about deductive arguments. You cannot escape the conclusion by attacking the conclusion itself (which is what you done here), you MUST find a flaw in the premises. The conclusion of a deductive argument always follows NECESSARILY from true premises. Or put the other way around, if all the premises of the argument are true, then the conclusion MUST be true as well (assuming the logical structure is valid).
Thus for the conclusion of a logically valid argument to necessarily follow from the premises, the premises themselves do not have to be logically necessary, only true.

Thus if it is indeed true thatů

Necessarily, If God foreknows X, X will happen.

And it is also true thatů

God knows the future.

Then the logically necessary conclusion is thatů

X will happen.

This is a perfectly valid logical syllogism in the form of 'modus ponens' thus if this conclusion is not valid then either it is not a necessary truth that if God knows X, X will happen, or God does not know the future. You cannot escape the conclusion unless you prove one or the other premise false.

Resting in Him,
Clete

kmoney
July 26th, 2005, 06:12 PM
How am I wrong?
I don't know how, you just are!!!! :)

no....I think at this point I'm just being stubborn in the question of Open Theology. I said before to you, on a different thread I think, that I have believed this forever and it's hard to let go and I feel like I'm taking something away from God. Something just doesn't seem right to me to say God doesn't know the future. While I still think that God knowing the future CAN fit in with scripture, it takes a lot more work to do so. OT seems to fit more seamlessly with it.

I don't know Clete, you win....haha :)

lee_merrill
July 26th, 2005, 06:45 PM
Hi everyone,


Clete: How does it follow that if God does not know exhaustively what I will do that He doesn't know what He will do Himself?
Well, the point is that foreknowledge of a free decision does not remove the freedom, if God knows his future free decisions.


Godrulz: Possible future tense propositions only become actual/certain when the event becomes reality (an object of actual knowledge).

Then there might not be a new heavens and a new earth? This is not certain? God doesn't really know this?

Godrulz: The reason that it will happen is that God purposes it to happen and has the ability to bring it to pass.
Then future tense propositions can indeed be certain before they happen...


Insolafide: And if a present tense statement is true, then there is a future tense statement that corresponds to the exact same state of affairs. Since there is a future tense statement that exists as such, and is true, then God knows it by definition of Omniscience.
That's a good point...


Insolafide: That's why we should reject Open Theism. Because Open Theists say that God (unknowingly, perhaps) lies to us about the future.

Clete: No it doesn't! Where in the world did you get this idea from?

Well, let's take your example here: "God said that He would without fail drive out Israel's enemies but He didn't."


Clete: Open Theism has a very clear and simple to understand explanation of why He didn't do as He said He would do that both preserves God's righteousness and maintains the plain meaning of the text.
One problem is that he did drive them out! They are not there today. Another problem is if we are holding that God said "Without fail, I will do X," and then did not do X, then that is saying what is not true, that is indeed (and very simply, and clearly), lying.

Blessings,
Lee

godrulz
July 26th, 2005, 07:46 PM
Some passages that seem unconditional are actually conditional. God may purpose and intend something strongly, but if man's contingencies change, then God has the freedom to change in response. This does not mean He believed a lie or was lying. It shows that God distinguishes possible from actual, and past/present from future (not identical).

Clete
July 26th, 2005, 08:02 PM
I don't know how, you just are!!!! :)

no....I think at this point I'm just being stubborn in the question of Open Theology. I said before to you, on a different thread I think, that I have believed this forever and it's hard to let go and I feel like I'm taking something away from God. Something just doesn't seem right to me to say God doesn't know the future. While I still think that God knowing the future CAN fit in with scripture, it takes a lot more work to do so. OT seems to fit more seamlessly with it.

I don't know Clete, you win....haha :)
:banana: :banana: :banana:

You just made my whole week! :D

Don't worry, your emotions will catch up with you mind in due time. I had the exact same problem myself.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
July 26th, 2005, 08:20 PM
Hi everyone,


Well, the point is that foreknowledge of a free decision does not remove the freedom, if God knows his future free decisions.
This is goofy. God made the decision freely IN ADVANCE! It's not that God know's He's going to make a decision, it's that the decision has already been made.



Well, let's take your example here: "God said that He would without fail drive out Israel's enemies but He didn't."


One problem is that he did drive them out! They are not there today.
Not from before Israel He didn't. Now it is you who are lying. You cannot have believed this to be a valid argument.


Another problem is if we are holding that God said "Without fail, I will do X," and then did not do X, then that is saying what is not true, that is indeed (and very simply, and clearly), lying.
Only if you ignore two things...

1. The principle laid down in Jeremiah 18.
2. That the future is open (i.e. that Jer. 18 means something).

Resting in Him,
Clete

kmoney
July 26th, 2005, 08:47 PM
:banana: :banana: :banana:

You just made my whole week! :D

Don't worry, your emotions will catch up with you mind in due time. I had the exact same problem myself.

Resting in Him,
Clete
I'm glad I can make your week.... :) Thanks for being patient with me through all of this.....

I'm almost getting tired of this subject after thinking about it so much, not sure how I'll be interested enough to read the BRX, but I'm sure it'll be good.... :)

STONE
July 27th, 2005, 05:38 PM
God is a personal God. God has been extremely involved in our history. God's word is filled with page after page of stories describing God interacting with His creation. God isn't a supernatural force sitting idly by on the other other side of the universe simply observing His creation. God is with us! He interacts with us, He moves us, shakes us, picks people for tasks and ministries. He smites some, kills some and destroys others etc. But why? Why does God interact with us?



When He left us His word in the form of the Bible it was an interaction with us on a grand scale and for good reason.
When He wiped out the world with a flood it was interaction on a global scale and for good reason.
When He picked Abram, Moses, David etc. He was interacting with His creation for a reason.
God wants to affect our freewill! He wants to move us in the direction that more closely conforms to His will.

If God were an uninvolved God watching creation from a distance one might be able to make a more persuasive argument that God can know our future without effecting our freewill (the argument still fails logically but it would be far more understandable). Yet that isn't the God of the Bible! Please don't misunderstand, I am not claiming that those arguing for freewill and exhaustive foreknowledge being compatible are claiming God is not involved, far from it! I am simply saying that their argument would be more believable if God weren't a personal God.

God is in the business of effecting our will without completely controlling our will. Sort of like gathering sheep. :sheep: :)

God wants us to choose Him!

He desires that we choose Him! (1 Timothy 2:3)

God wants us to love our wives.

God wants us to raise up our children

God wants us to convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

God wants us to persuade and affect our will to be more like His will regarding these things and many other things.

So one must ask . . .

A millennia ago did God's perfect exhaustive foreknowledge contain His interaction with us? And of course the answer must be a resounding YES otherwise the foreknowledge isn't perfect yet lacking (lacking the interaction).
Did God perfectly foreknow His interactions with man infinitely into the past? And if so, doesn't that defeat the purpose of the interaction?

God interacts with man for a reason, I assert that divine interacting for the purpose of altering the course of history is only rational and logical if the course of history is truly alterable and not perfectly foreknown.

Said another way . . .
If there are two possible choices a man can make and God would prefer that we pick one of those choices above the other choice, He would only interact with us if He knew He could possibly influence that choice.
It seems you have taken the fact that God is indeed immanent, interacting with us as proof that God is not transcendent also. This is a fallicy as God is not of the creation as a man, but He transcends our existence. This existence is but the palm of His hand.

godrulz
July 27th, 2005, 06:36 PM
It seems you have taken the fact that God is indeed immanent, interacting with us as proof that God is not transcendent also. This is a fallicy as God is not of the creation as a man, but He transcends our existence. This existence is but the palm of His hand.

There are two models:

i) Greek philosophy= sovereign/transcendent

ii) Bible= sovereign-transcendent/immanent

God is distinct from His creation. This does not mean He is deistic or aloof.

Is. 57:15 "For this is what the high and lofty One says- He who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, BUT also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit..."

He is Almighty and Father. It is not either/or, but both/and.

The incarnation, the God-Man, is the ultimate example of this.

Acts 17:24, 28 (Lord of heaven/earth not in temples; live and move and have our being in Him).

lee_merrill
July 27th, 2005, 06:44 PM
Hi everyone,


Lee: Well, the point is that foreknowledge of a free decision does not remove the freedom, if God knows his future free decisions.

Clete: God made the decision freely IN ADVANCE! It's not that God know's He's going to make a decision, it's that the decision has already been made.
Then none of God's decisions are free! If God knows how he would decide, in any completely described situation, and if he knows all possibilities.


Godrulz: Some passages that seem unconditional are actually conditional.
Not every condition is stated, I agree, but "I will surely" must be unconditional...


Lee: One problem is that he did drive them out! They are not there today.

Clete: Not from before Israel He didn't.
Doesn't "before you" have a sense other than "in your presence," though?

Exodus 23:30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. ... I will hand over to you the people who live in the land and you will drive them out before you. (NIV)

The same expression is used both times in "before you," and the NLT translates verse 31 this way:

Exodus 23:31 I will hand over to you the people now living in the land, and you will drive them out ahead of you. (NLT)

Now if "you will drive them out before you" means "in your presence," that hardly needed stating! So some other sense must be meant here, as in "to make room for you," and similarly in verse 30.


Lee: Another problem is if we are holding that God said "Without fail, I will do X," and then did not do X, then that is saying what is not true, that is indeed (and very simply, and clearly), lying.

Clete: Only if you ignore two things...

1. The principle laid down in Jeremiah 18.
2. That the future is open (i.e. that Jer. 18 means something).
And this is possible only if you ignore Jer. 19! Which shows certain judgment, continuing the analogy of the pot. Just because God tells us his ways, does not mean he cannot know the future! And if God says "I will surely do X," then he must do it, there is no second choice.

Blessings,
Lee

STONE
July 27th, 2005, 07:07 PM
There are two models:

i) Greek philosophy= sovereign/transcendent

ii) Bible= sovereign-transcendent/immanent

God is distinct from His creation. This does not mean He is deistic or aloof.

Is. 57:15 "For this is what the high and lofty One says- He who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, BUT also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit..."

He is Almighty and Father. It is not either/or, but both/and.

The incarnation, the God-Man, is the ultimate example of this.

Acts 17:24, 28 (Lord of heaven/earth not in temples; live and move and have our being in Him).
This is completely correct, good post. Though understand immanent is not transcendent, but nearly opposite. This existence in which God is immanent is by His Will. God transcends all without exception.

godrulz
July 27th, 2005, 07:45 PM
I will surely...if....then...

Sometimes God declares irreversible judgment since He knows their evil hearts. They have brought the wrath of God on themselves without remedy. Other times He intends to destroy them, but there is a possibility they will repent, though unlikely. If they do repent, He may relent. The context must be read carefully in each situation.

STONE
July 27th, 2005, 09:26 PM
I will surely...if....then...

Sometimes God declares irreversible judgment since He knows their evil hearts. They have brought the wrath of God on themselves without remedy. Other times He intends to destroy them, but there is a possibility they will repent, though unlikely. If they do repent, He may relent. The context must be read carefully in each situation.
Yes. Actually God always speaks in absolutes. Evil will be rewarded with correction or punishment even to death and damnation. True repentance is rewarded with mercy...as in Ninevah and according to Christ would have been so even for Sodom had they repented. God's mind is not changing, but He applies His ways, His judgements and His righteousness appropriately to the situation. God's word is golden. If a man sins he shall die, if he repents he shall live...God has long ago ordained this as His judgement.

Clete
July 28th, 2005, 05:32 PM
Hi everyone,


Then none of God's decisions are free! If God knows how he would decide, in any completely described situation, and if he knows all possibilities.
This is where I depart from many open theists. I believe that "all possibilities" is not something that can be known.


Not every condition is stated, I agree, but "I will surely" must be unconditional...
No it isn't. All things spoken by God in relation to the building up or detruction of a nation are always conditional. Jer. 18


Doesn't "before you" have a sense other than "in your presence," though?

Exodus 23:30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. ... I will hand over to you the people who live in the land and you will drive them out before you. (NIV)

The same expression is used both times in "before you," and the NLT translates verse 31 this way:

Exodus 23:31 I will hand over to you the people now living in the land, and you will drive them out ahead of you. (NLT)

Now if "you will drive them out before you" means "in your presence," that hardly needed stating! So some other sense must be meant here, as in "to make room for you," and similarly in verse 30.
This is irrelivent. The context and meaning of the passage is as clear as can be and what God said He would do, He DID NOT do, period. This convoluted nonsense renders prophecy meaningless. If you want to twist things around and make them mean anything in the world but what they clearly say then no prophecy ever given by anyone would ever fail at all. God has no need to pull Nostrodamous type antics to preserve His reputation as the God of prophecy.


And this is possible only if you ignore Jer. 19! Which shows certain judgment, continuing the analogy of the pot. Just because God tells us his ways, does not mean he cannot know the future! And if God says "I will surely do X," then he must do it, there is no second choice.
Did you read Jeremiah 18? Abviously not!

Jer. 18:7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; 8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. 9 And [b]at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

You need to read Jonah as well...

Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.


Resting in Him,
Clete

godrulz
July 28th, 2005, 05:43 PM
This is where I depart from many open theists. I believe that "all possibilities" is not something that can be known.


Resting in Him,
Clete


With some thought and qualification, I think you are on to something that most OTs would resonate with. Can we flesh out some examples or illustrations of possibilities God could not know?

e.g. could God know, from trillions of years ago, the possible position of every electron in the universe at this precise moment? He theoretically knows this right now, though I am not sure there is practical benefit for Him to dwell on or calculate this. Electrons would also change (wave? particle?) at an incredibly fast rate. A snapshot would be useless information.

Any bigger, better examples of not knowing possible things? If my parents and their parents, etc. did not come together, the exact me would not exist. Does the birth of my ancestors introduce new parameters as to what is and is not genetically possible? Did God foresee as possible the genetic manipulation we would do, or the type of inventions man would create that introduced new possibilities that were not inherent from infinite eternity past?

Clete the clarifier? (or are you referring to the idea that He knows what He wants to know...He does not have to know what gays are doing to each other cf. your Genesis example?)

lee_merrill
July 28th, 2005, 06:29 PM
Hi everyone,


Godrulz: Sometimes God declares irreversible judgment ... Other times He intends to destroy them, but there is a possibility they will repent ... The context must be read carefully in each situation.
Yes, I agree, and this must mean that it is not possible to take Jer. 18 as proof that any statement of judgment by God can be overturned.


Lee: but "I will surely" must be unconditional...

Clete: All things spoken by God in relation to the building up or destruction of a nation are always conditional. Jer. 18.
Then God might not judge the world, as described in Revelation? And just because a general "if then" statement is made, this does not mean there must be a possibility in every instance. "A implies B" does not mean "A" is always possible.

And isn't "I will surely" lying, if it is not sure?


Clete: The context and meaning of the passage is as clear as can be and what God said He would do, He DID NOT do, period.
How did he not do, it, though? They are not there now, and we need not require that they were driven out in the presence of the Israelites, so how is my conclusion incorrect?


If you want to twist things around and make them mean anything in the world but what they clearly say then no prophecy ever given by anyone would ever fail at all.
I think the shoe is on the other foot here, though, for if God can say "I will surely do X," and then not do it, then "no prophecy ever given by anyone would ever fail at all."


Lee: And this is possible only if you ignore Jer. 19! Which shows certain judgment, continuing the analogy of the pot.

Clete: Did you read Jeremiah 18?
Well yes, I read both chapters, and the context must be consulted here, to understand the full picture. Sometimes the condition mentioned in Jer. 18 is impossible, and judgment is certain, as in Jer. 19...


Clete: You need to read Jonah as well...

Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Then I must ask some questions...

Why didn't God destroy the Ninevites right away, if that was his plan?
Why did God send Jonah, and spoil his plan?
How can we trust God, if he can take action, and spoil his own plan himself?
How can we say that God didn't lie to the Ninevites, if he threatened unconditional destruction, yet he knew it might not happen?
Why did Jonah seem to have a better grasp of the situation than God did? He thought the Ninevites would probably repent, and thus he ran.
Why did the Ninevites seem to know better than God did? They thought they could repent, and God, apparently, did not.
Why didn't God keep the Ninevites from repenting after Jonah preached to them, like he did with the sons of Eli (1 Sam. 2:25) and with Amaziah (2 Chr. 25:16)?
Now we have to question God's unconditional promises, for the situation may change, and God may have to change his plan.
Also, God may act in a way that spoils his plan, not only may the situation change, and cause a change of plan, but God may do something that wrecks his own plan.

Numbers 23:19 Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

The answer is clearly "no," though the Open View would say yes...

Blessings,
Lee

godrulz
July 28th, 2005, 06:54 PM
Numbers is a specific prophecy and specific fulfillment. It is not a universal principle, since other prophecies are clearly conditional (even the most conservative, traditional scholars readily agree to this). If God says He will destroy something or will do something He will. However, Deuteronomy has a clear dichotomy in that obedience will bring blessing whereas disobedience will bring cursing. He is true to His Word, but the fulfillment depends on which path man choses. Some prophecies are warnings. Others are simply declarative/predictive with no option to change. Hezekiah sounds unconditional (you will die), but it really was conditional (God added 15 years in response to prayer...God can and does change His mind in response to changing circumstances...the future is not fatalistically fixed, unless you are a Calvinist or Muslim).

Clete
July 28th, 2005, 09:43 PM
With some thought and qualification, I think you are on to something that most OTs would resonate with. Can we flesh out some examples or illustrations of possibilities God could not know?
The future free will actions of men.


e.g. could God know, from trillions of years ago, the possible position of every electron in the universe at this precise moment? He theoretically knows this right now, though I am not sure there is practical benefit for Him to dwell on or calculate this. Electrons would also change (wave? particle?) at an incredibly fast rate. A snapshot would be useless information.
Well actually I think that God could know this if He wanted to. Purely physical processes are subject to causality and as such are completely predictable and their future behavior knowable by a God who has all the available information and is easily capable of assimillating it.


Any bigger, better examples of not knowing possible things? If my parents and their parents, etc. did not come together, the exact me would not exist. Does the birth of my ancestors introduce new parameters as to what is and is not genetically possible? Did God foresee as possible the genetic manipulation we would do, or the type of inventions man would create that introduced new possibilities that were not inherent from infinite eternity past?
Much of this could not have been known as it has a lot to do with freely chosen actions of people. Much if not all of it could have been predicted or at least planned for but not known absolutely.


Clete the clarifier? (or are you referring to the idea that He knows what He wants to know...He does not have to know what gays are doing to each other cf. your Genesis example?)
Both. There are things that God chooses not to know and things which He cannot know because of the way in which He chose to make us.

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
July 28th, 2005, 09:52 PM
Then God might not judge the world, as described in Revelation?
That's exactly right!
If the world repents, so will God and He will not judge them as predicted.


And just because a general "if then" statement is made, this does not mean there must be a possibility in every instance. "A implies B" does not mean "A" is always possible.
The passage can't be any clearer. It says "if a nation" it doesn't specify one particular nation. It is clearly teaching a principle. That principle being God doesn't punish the repentent nor bless the evil dispite His having promised do so prior to the repentence or evil action.


And isn't "I will surely" lying, if it is not sure?
No.


How did he not do, it, though? They are not there now, and we need not require that they were driven out in the presence of the Israelites, so how is my conclusion incorrect?
This is an idiotic argument. I simply won't address it any further other than to say, read the Bible. It's perfectly obvious that these enemies of Israel were never defeated. They were and remained a thorn in their side. One of these nations were siezed by Israel so long that Israel's soldiers went bald and they never did take spoils in payment for the fighting.


I think the shoe is on the other foot here, though, for if God can say "I will surely do X," and then not do it, then "no prophecy ever given by anyone would ever fail at all."
Only if you are trying not to understand the principle taught in Jer. 18.

I'm out of time. I'll respond to the rest later.

Resting in Him,
Clete

godrulz
July 28th, 2005, 10:24 PM
The future free will actions of men.


Well actually I think that God could know this if He wanted to. Purely physical processes are subject to causality and as such are completely predictable and their future behavior knowable by a God who has all the available information and is easily capable of assimillating it.


Much of this could not have been known as it has a lot to do with freely chosen actions of people. Much if not all of it could have been predicted or at least planned for but not known absolutely.


Both. There are things that God chooses not to know and things which He cannot know because of the way in which He chose to make us.

Resting in Him,
Clete


Does not God know many of our future free will actions as possible? He could know I might eat Corn Flakes or Cheerios or neither tomorrow. He once knew I might marry a girl I was engaged to (broke up) as a possibility. It looked certain, but fell through. Then He knew someone else I had my eye on might possibly become my wife (which in fact happened). He also once knew it was possible that one could die or we could break it off. He knew these possibilities until one path became actual/certain.

I am not sure God could know where every electron would be. If my parents did not meet and have sex and give birth to me, and if I did not die, there are so many contingencies as to where I would go or not go, that it would seem absurd to know the position of zillions of random electrons precisely (quantum/chaos theory). He would know that if I jump off the Grand Canyon I would likely die due to cause-effect.

It is apparent throughout history that 100% of mankind will never repent. It was also certain that the Messiah would die regardless of what Judas or the soldiers did or did not do. The Revelation judgments are certain since at the time of writing, most of the world was wicked and rejected Christ. Nothing has changed, so evil will be judged. Satan will not turn good, so the lake of fire pictures are accurate for him and his followers. It is hypothetical to impossible that Revelation will not generally unfold as predicted.

STONE
July 28th, 2005, 10:35 PM
That's exactly right!
If the world repents, so will God and He will not judge them as predicted.

The passage can't be any clearer. It says "if a nation" it doesn't specify one particular nation. It is clearly teaching a principle. That principle being God doesn't punish the repentent nor bless the evil dispite His having promised do so prior to the repentence or evil action.

Resting in Him,
Clete
This principle seems simple for anyone to understand. God simply acts according to His eternal judgements which he has revealed to mankind. God doesn't need to change his mind, He simply applies His eternal judgements and righteousness appropriately to the circumstances.

godrulz
July 28th, 2005, 10:56 PM
This principle seems simple for anyone to understand. God simply acts according to His eternal judgements which he has revealed to mankind. God doesn't need to change his mind, He simply applies His eternal judgements and righteousness appropriately to the circumstances.

Are you talking about decrees or exhaustive foreknowledge?

What about the case where He was going to judge the city, but the man of God prayed that it would be saved if righteous ones could be found. God lowered the threshold of judgment as the prayers persisted. Then He drew the line. This would not have happened if He had not changed His mind in response to petition. The general principle is still true: evil will be judged; good will be rewarded eventually.

God_Is_Truth
July 28th, 2005, 11:03 PM
This principle seems simple for anyone to understand. God simply acts according to His eternal judgements which he has revealed to mankind. God doesn't need to change his mind, He simply applies His eternal judgements and righteousness appropriately to the circumstances.

but the reason it changes is this:

while they are unrepentant, his mindset towards them is preporatory for wrath. when they repent, it is changed to blessings and grace. the only way it could not change is for him to have absolutely no mind set on a person until the day of judgement. this would be hard to argue biblically i'd think.

godrulz
July 28th, 2005, 11:30 PM
but the reason it changes is this:

while they are unrepentant, his mindset towards them is preporatory for wrath. when they repent, it is changed to blessings and grace. the only way it could not change is for him to have absolutely no mind set on a person until the day of judgement. this would be hard to argue biblically i'd think.

God is responsive and dynamic, the Most Moved Mover. He is not the static, unmoved mover of Greek philosophy.

STONE
July 28th, 2005, 11:32 PM
Are you talking about decrees or exhaustive foreknowledge?

What about the case where He was going to judge the city, but the man of God prayed that it would be saved if righteous ones could be found. God lowered the threshold of judgment as the prayers persisted. Then He drew the line. This would not have happened if He had not changed His mind in response to petition. The general principle is still true: evil will be judged; good will be rewarded eventually.
Good question, I am talking about eternal decrees which are His righteousness...His (moral/purpose) judgements.
God has ordained that the petitions of the righteous would avail much with Him. This is His ordained judgement and hence is expected. The Children of God can always intercede with God. God simply operates appropriately according to His eternal righteous judgements considering the circumstances.

Another example is when God spoke to Abimelech in a dream regarding Abraham and Sarah:"Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live:"

STONE
July 28th, 2005, 11:38 PM
but the reason it changes is this:

while they are unrepentant, his mindset towards them is preporatory for wrath. when they repent, it is changed to blessings and grace. the only way it could not change is for him to have absolutely no mind set on a person until the day of judgement. this would be hard to argue biblically i'd think.
God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked would turn from his wicked ways and live. What changes is not the mind of God but the circumstances, to which God deals wrath or mercy appropriately according to His eternal judgements.

insolafide
July 28th, 2005, 11:54 PM
Where you suggesting that I endorse theological fatalism? If so either you are confused or I don't understand what you are getting at. If you were simply saying that I am accusing the Arminian of teaching theological fatalism then I can see that although I would never have put it that way. There are too many semantic differences between what Arminians believe and what theological fatalism is. However, I would agree that the end result is the same; that the logical consequences of both are exactly identical, that result being the complete evaporation of the idea of free will.

RIGHT. you, yourself are endorsing theological fatalism as a principle. The Principle is that God's exhaustive foreknowledge would entail fatalism. I am saying that theological fatalism, just like regular fatalism, is false.


Well I see that you have indeed been reading Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views. This argument was copied almost verbatim from the Molinist's essay (which I have no problem with at all, by the way. I'm not accusing you of plagiarism, I'm simply commenting on the fact that I've read the same book you have ;) ).

I have read it in the past, a few years ago. The reason I didn't cite Dr. Craig, is because the same arguments are used by different people. Its kind of general purpose thing. The point is that the Open Theist is endorsing the exact principle that Dr. Craig demonstrates is faulty reasoning.


The problem with the argument is that it attempts to redefine logic. If the argument you've presented was valid then deductive logic itself wouldn't work. Every conclusion deduction ever presented that didn't have exclusively logically necessary premises would suddenly become invalid.

Actually, no. The point of the argument is that when working with modal logic, you have to be careful to distinguish between the modality of the argument (the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises) and the modality of the contents of the conclusion itself. Thus, if I form a deductive Argument that shows that P1 + P2 --> C, and the argument succeeds, we know that C is the necessary conclusion of the argument. BUT (!!!!) that does not mean that C, the actual contents of C is in fact NECESSARY.

do you see the distinction? Heres an example...

(p1) Either the Universe Exists or Nothing material exists.
(p2) It is not the case that nothing material exists.
(c) Therefore, the Universe Exists.

Now, we can see that in the above the conclusion (c) follows necessarily from p1 and p2. But is (c) necessary itself? no it isnt. To say it another way, is it possible that (c) COULD HAVE BEEN false? Yes! of course it is, because God could have just not created the Universe.

So, basically what were talking about is a basic modal fallacy on your part.


The syllogism you've presented is a deductive argument and thus if the premises are sound then the conclusion IS necessary. That's the beautiful thing about deductive arguments.

see above. Let me just state this again clearly - the inference is necessary, but the conclusion itself is not. We might think of it like this, looking at the conclusion after considering the argument, we could say that the conclusion has the property is true. But we could not say that the conclusion has the property is necessarily true. Do you understand that distinction?


You cannot escape the conclusion by attacking the conclusion itself (which is what you done here), you MUST find a flaw in the premises. The conclusion of a deductive argument always follows NECESSARILY from true premises. Or put the other way around, if all the premises of the argument are true, then the conclusion MUST be true as well (assuming the logical structure is valid).
Thus for the conclusion of a logically valid argument to necessarily follow from the premises, the premises themselves do not have to be logically necessary, only true.

In order to say that the conclusion is necessarily true, and not simply true, all the premises must also be necessary. And... they all must be of the same modality, so you couldnt combine broad logical necessity with say, temporal necessity and get broad logical necessity. Its just not clear what mixing modalities does..


Thus if it is indeed true thatů

Necessarily, If God foreknows X, X will happen.

And it is also true thatů

God knows the future.

Then the logically necessary conclusion is thatů

X will happen.

This is a perfectly valid logical syllogism in the form of 'modus ponens' thus if this conclusion is not valid then either it is not a necessary truth that if God knows X, X will happen, or God does not know the future. You cannot escape the conclusion unless you prove one or the other premise false.

Resting in Him,
Clete

thats exactly right. But the necessary conclusion is not this:

X will necessarily happen.

Which would be fatalism (or determinism... or whatever).

I hope that helped clear things up.

peace,
jd

God_Is_Truth
July 29th, 2005, 12:25 AM
God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked would turn from his wicked ways and live. What changes is not the mind of God but the circumstances, to which God deals wrath or mercy appropriately according to His eternal judgements.

but if he has one mindset towards those who are wicked, and another mindset for those who have repented, then it logically follows that when one turns from wicked to repentence, so does God change his mindset for that individual.

perhaps you deny that God, at present, has a particular mindset for each group of people?

godrulz
July 29th, 2005, 01:15 AM
but if he has one mindset towards those who are wicked, and another mindset for those who have repented, then it logically follows that when one turns from wicked to repentence, so does God change his mindset for that individual.

perhaps you deny that God, at present, has a particular mindset for each group of people?

Scripture portrays the disposition of the Godhead changing. He was not always grieved that He made man. He later promised to not destroy the world again by a flood, etc.

STONE
July 29th, 2005, 08:17 AM
but if he has one mindset towards those who are wicked, and another mindset for those who have repented, then it logically follows that when one turns from wicked to repentence, so does God change his mindset for that individual.

There is a change of mindset tward the wicked when they depart from wickedness. This is based upon circumstances changing to which His eternal judgements are applied. It is not a fickleness where God is not going to do what he says as a man, but that God IS going to act according His eternal judgments, His ways, applied to the circumstances He confronts.
God is a Rock in his set righteous ways and judgements which He has reveled to mankind. These judgements are unmoving... unchanging, not the changing circumstances of life to which He applies His judgements.

Clete
July 29th, 2005, 11:42 AM
RIGHT. you, yourself are endorsing theological fatalism as a principle. The Principle is that God's exhaustive foreknowledge would entail fatalism. I am saying that theological fatalism, just like regular fatalism, is false.
How am I endorsing theological fatalism? I don't think anything is fated to happen at all except that which God Himself intends to make happen. I'm the one here who is saying that God DOES NOT have exhaustive foreknowledge. I am using the fact that exhaustive foreknowledge would logically lead to theological fatalism as an arugment AGAINST exhaustive foreknoweldge so I don't see how you could be saying that I endorse it. I don't endorse it, I outright deny it.


I have read it in the past, a few years ago. The reason I didn't cite Dr. Craig, is because the same arguments are used by different people. Its kind of general purpose thing.
I agree, I don't think any citation was really warranted. It's not as if he came up with the arugment.


The point is that the Open Theist is endorsing the exact principle that Dr. Craig demonstrates is faulty reasoning.
I understand the point Craig makes but I think I've addressed his argument quite well.


Actually, no. The point of the argument is that when working with modal logic, you have to be careful to distinguish between the modality of the argument (the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises) and the modality of the contents of the conclusion itself. Thus, if I form a deductive Argument that shows that P1 + P2 --> C, and the argument succeeds, we know that C is the necessary conclusion of the argument. BUT (!!!!) that does not mean that C, the actual contents of C is in fact NECESSARY.

do you see the distinction? Heres an example...

(p1) Either the Universe Exists or Nothing material exists.
(p2) It is not the case that nothing material exists.
(c) Therefore, the Universe Exists.

Now, we can see that in the above the conclusion (c) follows necessarily from p1 and p2. But is (c) necessary itself? no it isnt. To say it another way, is it possible that (c) COULD HAVE BEEN false? Yes! of course it is, because God could have just not created the Universe.

So, basically what were talking about is a basic modal fallacy on your part.
Okay, I think I see what you're getting at and will concede that for the moment but how is the original syllogism flawed?

If it is necessarily true that what God knows will happen will in fact happen and God knows a future event then that event will happen. It cannot not happen. God's knowledge of an event is a sufficient condition of that events certainty to happen.
How does that not convey the same information as the original syllogism? Or asked another way, why is it needed for the conclusion to be logically necessary in order for the logic to detroy the coexistence of foreknowledge and free will?


Let me just state this again clearly - the inference is necessary, but the conclusion itself is not. We might think of it like this, looking at the conclusion after considering the argument, we could say that the conclusion has the property is true. But we could not say that the conclusion has the property is necessarily true. Do you understand that distinction?
Yes, I do. But it seems that if the conclusion is true then it's 'logical necessity' or lack thereof is irrelivent to the argument because if it is true then I cannot see how free will can coexist with God's exhaustive foreknowledge.


In order to say that the conclusion is necessarily true, and not simply true, all the premises must also be necessary. And... they all must be of the same modality, so you couldnt combine broad logical necessity with say, temporal necessity and get broad logical necessity. Its just not clear what mixing modalities does..


I had said...
[quote=Clete] Thus if it is indeed true thatů

Necessarily, If God foreknows X, X will happen.

And it is also true thatů

God knows the future.

Then the logically necessary conclusion is thatů

X will happen.

This is a perfectly valid logical syllogism in the form of 'modus ponens' thus if this conclusion is not valid then either it is not a necessary truth that if God knows X, X will happen, or God does not know the future. You cannot escape the conclusion unless you prove one or the other premise false.

You responded...

thats exactly right. But the necessary conclusion is not this:

X will necessarily happen.

Which would be fatalism (or determinism... or whatever).

I hope that helped clear things up.

peace,
jd
Very well, as I said, I think I'm ready to concede that "X will necessarilly happen." is a violation of the rules of logic but how does that help your case?
If it is true that "X will happen" then what difference does it make whether that truth is a necessary truth or not? If it is true then I don't have the ability to do otherwise and so I am not free. I don't see how this logical technicality disolves my argument in the slightest.

Resting in Him,
Clete

P.S. I asked the same question 3 times I think in this post. :doh:
You only have to answer it once. ;)

Clete
July 29th, 2005, 11:52 AM
Does not God know many of our future free will actions as possible? He could know I might eat Corn Flakes or Cheerios or neither tomorrow. He once knew I might marry a girl I was engaged to (broke up) as a possibility. It looked certain, but fell through. Then He knew someone else I had my eye on might possibly become my wife (which in fact happened). He also once knew it was possible that one could die or we could break it off. He knew these possibilities until one path became actual/certain.
I'm not saying more than I said. I didn't say He couldn't know ANY of the possibilities but there are things that we do that God cannot have known at all from "the beginning of time".


I am not sure God could know where every electron would be. If my parents did not meet and have sex and give birth to me, and if I did not die, there are so many contingencies as to where I would go or not go, that it would seem absurd to know the position of zillions of random electrons precisely (quantum/chaos theory). He would know that if I jump off the Grand Canyon I would likely die due to cause-effect.
Outstanding point! I hadn't thought of that. You are quite right. God could only foreknow the position of matter which had not been effected in any way by the actions of men. The rest He could predict with an accuracy that would probably surprise us all but that's not the same as knowing.


It is apparent throughout history that 100% of mankind will never repent. It was also certain that the Messiah would die regardless of what Judas or the soldiers did or did not do. The Revelation judgments are certain since at the time of writing, most of the world was wicked and rejected Christ. Nothing has changed, so evil will be judged. Satan will not turn good, so the lake of fire pictures are accurate for him and his followers. It is hypothetical to impossible that Revelation will not generally unfold as predicted.
I agree that it is outragiously unlikely (practically impossible) that the world will repent but you would agree, I trust, that in the event that everyone did repent then Revelation would be one giant book of mostly unfulfilled prophecies. I am I wrong?

Resting in Him,
Clete

Clete
July 29th, 2005, 12:14 PM
Then I must ask some questions...

Why didn't God destroy the Ninevites right away, if that was his plan?
Because He is merciful and patient enough to give them an additional opportunity to repent.


Why did God send Jonah, and spoil his plan?
Because He is merciful and patient enough to give them an additional opportunity to repent.


How can we trust God, if he can take action, and spoil his own plan himself?
This is a stupid question.


How can we say that God didn't lie to the Ninevites, if he threatened unconditional destruction, yet he knew it might not happen?
Because of what He said in Jeremiah chapter 18.


Why did Jonah seem to have a better grasp of the situation than God did? He thought the Ninevites would probably repent, and thus he ran.
This is another stupid question. (I will not entertain questions that blaspheme the living God bub.)


Why did the Ninevites seem to know better than God did? They thought they could repent, and God, apparently, did not.
Read the text and stop acting as if God is stupid. The text says what it says and you are insulting God. If you continue our conversation will be over.


Why didn't God keep the Ninevites from repenting after Jonah preached to them, like he did with the sons of Eli (1 Sam. 2:25) and with Amaziah (2 Chr. 25:16)?
God is not required to show mercy. Eli and Amaziah as well as Pharoah got what they deserved. The message here is repent while you have the chance because God could decide to make an example of you if don't repent now.


Now we have to question God's unconditional promises, for the situation may change, and God may have to change his plan.
This is stupidity, I don't have to respond to stupidity and I won't.


Also, God may act in a way that spoils his plan, not only may the situation change, and cause a change of plan, but God may do something that wrecks his own plan.
You're a blasphemous idiot.


Numbers 23:19 Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

The answer is clearly "no," though the Open View would say yes...
As does the Bible itself you blithering idiot. You do have to at least try to stay on the same page that the author (God) is on when reading the Bible. No one has suggested that God is untrustworthy, no one. It takes a monumental amount of intentional stupidity and ignorance to suggest that I, or any open theist has suggested anything of the sort.


Blessings,
Lee
Blessings my backside, Lee. Talk to me again when you grow up and aquire a modicum of intellectual honesty.

:wave2:

Resting in Him,
Clete

God_Is_Truth
July 29th, 2005, 01:25 PM
There is a change of mindset tward the wicked when they depart from wickedness. This is based upon circumstances changing to which His eternal judgements are applied. It is not a fickleness where God is not going to do what he says as a man, but that God IS going to act according His eternal judgments, His ways, applied to the circumstances He confronts.
God is a Rock in his set righteous ways and judgements which He has reveled to mankind. These judgements are unmoving... unchanging, not the changing circumstances of life to which He applies His judgements.

exactly! :thumb:

no one is arguing that God is fickle just because he changes his mind. we mean that previous to repentence God's mind towards an individual was that of wrath and after repentence that mind changed to one of love and kindness to the same individual. the circumstances bring about a change in mind of God because of God's unchanging judgements and righteous character.

godrulz
July 29th, 2005, 01:59 PM
God can and does change His mind like other free moral agents do in response to changing contingencies. He does not change His mind in a fickle, capricious way like man does. This is all that the strong immutability proof texts like Malachi affirm.

lee_merrill
July 29th, 2005, 06:30 PM
Hi everyone,


Godrulz: Some prophecies are warnings. Others are simply declarative/predictive with no option to change.
Yes, I agree...


Lee: Then God might not judge the world, as described in Revelation?

Clete: That's exactly right! If the world repents, so will God and He will not judge them as predicted.
Rev. 5:5 And one of the elders said to me, "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."

Maybe this will not happen, either? These are not just general predictions of judgments, many specific details are given, implying that this judgment is sure, not a mere possibility, it is even described in past tense:

Revelation 8:5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.


Lee: "A implies B" does not mean "A" is always possible.

Clete: The passage can't be any clearer. It says "if a nation" it doesn't specify one particular nation.
Yes, so then "If you take a plane, you will get there faster if you take a train" must then imply you can always take a plane?


Lee: And isn't "I will surely" lying, if it is not sure?

Clete: No.
Then how is "I will surely" not false, then?


Lee: How did he not do, it, though? They are not there now, and we need not require that they were driven out in the presence of the Israelites, so how is my conclusion incorrect?

Clete: This is an idiotic argument. I simply won't address it any further other than to say, read the Bible.
As far as reading the Bible, this verse actually comes to mind:

Job 26:2-4 How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble! What advice you have offered to one without wisdom! And what great insight you have displayed! Who has helped you utter these words? And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?

And you have not answered my question.


Lee: I think the shoe is on the other foot here, though, for if God can say "I will surely do X," and then not do it, then "no prophecy ever given by anyone would ever fail at all."

Clete: Only if you are trying not to understand the principle taught in Jer. 18.
But how can any prophecy of judgment fail at all, if "surely" is not sure? And if "surely" is not sure here, it probably is not sure anywhere.


Lee: Why didn't God destroy the Ninevites right away, if that was his plan?

Clete: Because He is merciful and patient enough to give them an additional opportunity to repent.
So then his overall plan was not to destroy them, and he could not be said to change his overall plan, which was at least to try and bring repentance. Thus he did not change his mind.


Lee: Also, God may act in a way that spoils his plan, not only may the situation change, and cause a change of plan, but God may do something that wrecks his own plan.

Clete: You're a blasphemous idiot.
This is an implication from the Open View, though, and this is a "reduction to an absurdity" argument, the end of which must be an absurdity, and this is indeed such a statement. Yet it is your view, Clete, that has this implication in it, and thus when we arrive at such an implication, we must review the premises, if the logic is correct.


Numbers 23:19 Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Lee: The answer is clearly "no," though the Open View would say yes...

Clete: As does the Bible itself you blithering idiot.
How can the answer be "yes," in this verse here? It clearly is "no." And this is another "reductio ad absurdum."


Clete: No one has suggested that God is untrustworthy, no one. It takes a monumental amount of intentional stupidity and ignorance to suggest...
Well, if God is not sure of the result of a given choice, then we need not always take his advice, for the future might turn out better with a different choice, even from God's perspective.

Thus we need not always obey him, only the Bible says we must. Another "reductio ad absurdum."


Godrulz: He does not change His mind in a fickle, capricious way like man does.
Then we need to check and see if "nacham" can have the meaning of "capricious or fickle." It cannot, and thus we have to choose between "grieved," or "change his mind," or "relent" in this verse:

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.

And "change his mind" is the only meaning that fits, here.

Blessings,
Lee

godrulz
July 29th, 2005, 09:14 PM
Hi everyone,



Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.

And "change his mind" is the only meaning that fits, here.

Blessings,
Lee

Read the context. It is a contrast between God's faithfulness and man's fickleness. There is more to exegesis than a word study. Other verses do say that God changes His mind. You must incorrectly interpret them figuratively to match your preconceived theology on strong vs weak immutability. Most classical/traditional theologians now qualify immutability.

STONE
July 29th, 2005, 10:45 PM
exactly! :thumb:

no one is arguing that God is fickle just because he changes his mind. we mean that previous to repentence God's mind towards an individual was that of wrath and after repentence that mind changed to one of love and kindness to the same individual. the circumstances bring about a change in mind of God because of God's unchanging judgements and righteous character.
You have the general idea, but I am concerned about this term you are using. Colloquially "Changes his mind" implies either whim or indecisive vacillation tward given circumstances. Obviously God doesn't need to reconsider things (he knows all), and we shouldn't want to recklessly imply this; nor is it proper to do so. Can you think of a more honorable way of saying God applies His unchanging judgements to circumstances as they change?

STONE
July 29th, 2005, 11:02 PM
Lee: Then God might not judge the world, as described in Revelation?

Clete: That's exactly right! If the world repents, so will God and He will not judge them as predicted.

This is a stretch. Try to reconsider this Clete.

godrulz
July 29th, 2005, 11:02 PM
Unless God is a stone idol, His relations, experiences, knowledge, actions, thoughts, and feelings can and do change. He is the Living, personal God.

STONE
July 29th, 2005, 11:22 PM
God can and does change His mind like other free moral agents do in response to changing contingencies.


Unless God is a stone idol, His relations, experiences, knowledge, actions, thoughts, and feelings can and do change. He is the Living, personal God.

We shouldn't seek to model God after man, but rather seek to elevate the image (man) to God's will.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

godrulz
July 30th, 2005, 01:14 AM
We shouldn't seek to model God after man, but rather seek to elevate the image (man) to God's will.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."


We are in the moral, spiritual, and personal image of God. The fact that God has revealed Himself as personal vs impersonal, or living vs static, is not bringing God down. What is His self-revelation. He is distinct from creation, but that does not mean He is bizarre. We can know Him in relationship because He has will, intellect, and emotions. His perfections exceed our finiteness, but that does not mean that there is no similarity in divine and human qualities (love, faithfulness, etc.).

STONE
July 30th, 2005, 01:51 AM
We are in the moral, spiritual, and personal image of God.
You should support this scripturally.

godrulz
July 30th, 2005, 09:50 AM
You should support this scripturally.


There are not proof texts that contain all biblical truth in one verse.

Are we in the physical image of God, like the Mormons claim? They say the Father has flesh and bones and this is how we are in the image of God. God is spirit (Jn. 4:24). He is not flesh and bones, so we are not in the metaphysical image of God. He is the uncreated Creator. We are creatures with spirit, soul, and body (search all the verses that say man also has a spirit that is God-conscious).

We can establish that God, Father, Son, Spirit have will, intellect, emotions. Jesus and man also have these qualities. Hence, we are in the personal image of God (vs impersonal). You can find the verses yourself.

Concepts such as freedom, choice, righteousness, unrighteousness, holiness, obedience, disobedience, sin, sanctification, etc. are revealed explicitly for God, man, or both (God does not sin, but righteousness is used of man and God). Hence, we are in the moral image of God. We are free moral agents that are responsible/accountable for our choices.

Negatively, we are not in the physical image of God, since God is uncreated and we are finite creatures.

Both God and man are personal and moral (vs animals or objects).

These ideas are self-evident and supportable with verses.

In what sense do you think man is in the image of God? Can you add to or refute my general statements that most commentators do not question?

Every statement that we make on a discussion board does not have to have chapter and verse behind it. Most people take for granted that God and man are personal, moral, spiritual beings (vs immaterial) based on a basic knowledge of the Bible and reality.

lee_merrill
July 30th, 2005, 08:47 PM
Hi everyone,


Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Lee: And "change his mind" is the only meaning that fits, here.

Godrulz: Read the context. It is a contrast between God's faithfulness and man's fickleness.
But we cannot choose a meaning for a word, that is not one of the possible meanings for that word, that is the point I am trying to make. The choices before us do not include "fickleness" for "nacham," we must choose among the meanings this word must take.

And the only acceptable possibility is "change his mind" here, for God certainly can be grieved, and does relent, and never needs to repent, and the meaning of "comforted" will not do here, either.

Blessings,
Lee

godrulz
July 31st, 2005, 09:36 AM
The context is clear. In this case, God WOULD not change His mind. You are going beyond the text to say that HE COULD not possibly change His mind. It is not a proof text for absolute immutability. Any personal being, including God, can and does change their minds and wills when they want. This does not mean they always will in any given situation. I do not dispute the translation, but your interpretation. The main reason is that your interpretation creates a contradiction with other verses that show that God can and does change His mind. Will not vs cannot resolves the contradiction. This passage is a specific promise, not a general principle. God is faithful to His Word, but sometimes He changes His mind (e.g. post-Fall) in response to men changing (conditional prophecies; Hezekiah= you will die....then, you will not die= change of mind). This is about the constancy of God's character, not the content of His experiences.

The text only claims that in this specific situation, God is not going to reverse His decision (literal= strength of OT hermeneutic). The more numerous texts affirming divine changeability must then (wrongly without warrant) be taken anthropomorphically.

lee_merrill
July 31st, 2005, 11:15 AM
Hi Godrulz,


The context is clear. In this case, God WOULD not change His mind. You are going beyond the text to say that HE COULD not possibly change His mind.
But the context makes it clear what the reason is, why God will not change his mind, the alternative would be to lie, thus this implies that God will not go back on what he has said, "Does he speak, and not act, does he promise, and not fulfill?" The answer clearly is no, and this must mean that when God makes an unconditional promise, he will not reverse it, and thus God does not change his mind.


The main reason is that your interpretation creates a contradiction with other verses that show that God can and does change His mind. Will not vs cannot resolves the contradiction.
Unless these other verses can be read in other ways than the Open View reads them! You are doing the very same thing you say I cannot do, and interpreting this verse in Numbers differently than others do, to resolve the difficulty, and protesting when I reinterpret other verses, differently than you do, to resolve the difficulty.


The more numerous texts affirming divine changeability must then (wrongly without warrant) be taken anthropomorphically.
These verses use "nacham," though, do they not? If I'm thinking of the same verses that you are. And there is a range of meanings for "nacham," is there not? The NIV typically picks "grieved" in the passages where the Open View would read "change his mind," and "change his mind," where the Open View would read "change his mind this time." So then we have to evaluate each text, to see which approach is best.

In Num. 23:19, I think we have a clear indication of which way we should choose, for God has promised, and will not "nacham," and we know that Balak was not hoping God would relent from judgment, nor was he hoping God would be grieved or comforted, or that he would repent from sin, rather he was hoping God would change his mind.

And Balaam said this is not possible, for God gave his word, and for him to change his mind, would be to lie.

Blessings,
Lee

godrulz
July 31st, 2005, 01:13 PM
I think we agree that in this case, God would not change His mind. This does not mean He cannot metaphysically change His mind if He wanted to in other cases. God can and does respond to prayer. This is an example of a mind change. The ability to change one's mind is perfection and freedom. It is inherent in being personal vs impersonal.
An unconditional declaration would make God a liar if He changed His mind in that case. Other contexts are more conditional (if...then...). God would follow through with His declarations unless they repented. If they repented, God would relent (change His mind). This would not make Him a liar, but true to His Word in that case (cf. Hezekiah; Jonah).

The future is not spoken of in terms of will and will not (closed). It is often spoken of in terms of might or might not (may/may not). i.e. God thinks of the future in terms of possibilities, not just certainties.

Unconditional: I will do this...and He does. The day of mercy/opportunity has passed.

Conditional: If you do this, then I will/will not do that. If you do not do this, I will or will not do this or that. Grace and mercy could still triumph over judgment (e.g. Jer. 26:3; Ex. 3 and 4).

One should not apply an unconditional text and extrapolate it to a conditional text. Context is king.

God_Is_Truth
July 31st, 2005, 02:02 PM
Colloquially "Changes his mind" implies either whim or indecisive vacillation tward given circumstances. Obviously God doesn't need to reconsider things (he knows all), and we shouldn't want to recklessly imply this; nor is it proper to do so. Can you think of a more honorable way of saying God applies His unchanging judgements to circumstances as they change?

it is always best to use language that conveys what we mean it to say. i think the main reason people don't like to say that God changes his mind is because they think it somehow diminishes his glory, when it doesn't at all. when i speak of God changing his mind, i do not mean to say in the least that he is fickle or that he overlooked something. i simply mean that his mindset towards a people was one way and it then changed to something else because of a change in circumstances. most people would agree with this, but refuse to call it "changing God's mind" for fear of reducing God's glory. if you have any suggestions of what we could instead call "changing God's mind", in reference to the principle of God's mindset being applied through his unchanging judgements to various circumstances as they change, i'm quite open to hearing them.

godrulz
July 31st, 2005, 03:53 PM
'relent' and 'repent' are used in translations and imply a change of intention, mind, response.

lee_merrill
July 31st, 2005, 07:45 PM
Hi everyone,


'relent' and 'repent' are used in translations and imply a change of intention, mind, response.
"Relent" need not imply this, though, dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=relent) says this means "To become more lenient, compassionate, or forgiving," Merriam-Webster (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=relent) says "1 a : to become less severe, harsh, or strict usually from reasons of humanity b : to cease resistance : GIVE IN; 2 : LET UP, SLACKEN"

So "let up, slacken" does not indicate a change of mind, nor need "become more lenient/less severe" imply this, either.

But let's discuss Num. 23:19 further, where I think we have a clear indication of what "nacham" should mean, for God has promised, and will not "nacham," and we know that Balak was not hoping God would relent from judgment, nor was he hoping God would be grieved or comforted, or that he would repent from sin, rather he was hoping God would change his mind.

And as mentioned previously, Balaam said this is not possible, for God gave his word, and for him to change his mind, would be to lie.

Blessings,
Lee

godrulz
July 31st, 2005, 08:25 PM
We agree in this context God said He would not change His mind. It does not mean He could not change it metaphysically and absolutely. Other contexts show that He did. We agree on this verse, but cannot extrapolate it to a pagan philosophical concept that God is static and unchanging in every way.

Clete
July 31st, 2005, 09:55 PM
This is a stretch. Try to reconsider this Clete.
What's a stretch; the idea that the world might repent, or the idea that if they do God will also?

If you are refering to the former then I agree, it is a stretch in the extreme, but if you mean the latter then it isn't a stretch at all.

GuySmiley
July 31st, 2005, 11:27 PM
"Relent" need not imply this, though, dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=relent) says this means "To become more lenient, compassionate, or forgiving," Merriam-Webster (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=relent) says "1 a : to become less severe, harsh, or strict usually from reasons of humanity b : to cease resistance : GIVE IN; 2 : LET UP, SLACKEN"

So "let up, slacken" does not indicate a change of mind, nor need "become more lenient/less severe" imply this, either.
It seems to me that God meant to be more harsh, less compassionate, or more judgemental, then became more lenient, compassionate, or forgiving. I don't see here how God is not changing His mind by useing the word 'relent.' He obviously changed his will from one state to another.

Greg

Clete
August 1st, 2005, 06:45 AM
It seems to me that God meant to be more harsh, less compassionate, or more judgemental, then became more lenient, compassionate, or forgiving. I don't see here how God is not changing His mind by useing the word 'relent.' He obviously changed his will from one state to another.

Greg
Regardless, the word in the original language is the exact same word used hundreds of times in the Bible which is translated "repent" and "repent" is the correct translation of the word. People sometimes have a allergic reaction to using the word repent in relation to God because they associate repentance with sin but that has nothing to do with the meaning of the word itself. Repent simply means to change direction, to turn around. If you are going in one direction and you turn and go another (especially if it is a complete about face) then you have repented. And it isn't always used in relation to the mind; it can and is used to mean a physical changing of direction but the idea is always the same. In one way or another if this word is used it indicates some sort of CHANGE in one's heading; whether it's physical, mental, or spiritual it makes no difference, the same word applies and should be translated as "REPENT" not 'relent'. Relent means to slacken or to capitulate, this is not what the word in the original means at all. God does not capitulate or slacken like some silly public school teacher.

Resting in Him,
Clete

GuySmiley
August 1st, 2005, 11:54 AM
Regardless, the word in the original language is the exact same word used hundreds of times in the Bible which is translated "repent" and "repent" is the correct translation of the word.
I whole-heartedly agree, but I think that even in the case lee was trying to make, the word 'relent' still shows that God changed His mind.

People just dont want to think of God as doing that because people think of our human ways of changing our mind as being wishy-washy. When I personally broke through that barrier to being able to think of God, as a perfect being, changing His mind, it made God more real to me. The concept of God as a living God is so much more meaningful to me.

Greg

STONE
August 1st, 2005, 04:47 PM
Forwarded from battle royal thread (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=824665&postcount=19)

If there are an even number of men, 1/3 would be problematic. 1/3 of a pie does not mean an exact amount down to the molecular level. These judgments are within God's ability to bring to pass and foreknow. They do not specify the exact millisecond any given individual will die, for example.

So you are saying the actual number is close to 1/3, or approximate, no need to exagerate. How does God know 2000 or more years into the future that the number of free will individuals destroyed in rev 9:18 will not be 1/4 or 1/2? In such case that the number varied would He then be wrong? Or does he assure the number will be (at least close to) 1/3?

STONE
August 1st, 2005, 05:01 PM
Where did you get that definition? Settled basically means definite. If God foreknows something as definitely going to happen, then that aspect of the future is "settled." The OV generally holds that God knows the future. Namely, that He knows the future exactly as it is -- partly settled and mostly open. He knows that in an open situation, it may happen one way or another, or perhaps it will probably happen one way, and unlikely to happen another. That is how it is, and that is how God sees it, exactly as it is -- open and unsettled.

The term "settled" removes causation from the issue, which is useful because of all the equivocation on the term "determined." You can determine something in the sense of foreordaining it, or determine it passively as in the case of middle knowledge. But if something in the future is "settled," this has nothing to do with whether God caused it or not, and simply means that it's definitely going to happen that way.
Really. I always thought OV'ers believe that God only knows past, present, and what He will do. The problem here is that what God "will do" is contingent upon an open future and free will entities. This is what I mean by OV'ers using settled defined as "will likely occur to some degree/extent".

godrulz
August 1st, 2005, 06:23 PM
Forwarded from battle royal thread (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=824665&postcount=19)


So you are saying the actual number is close to 1/3, or approximate, no need to exagerate. How does God know 2000 or more years into the future that the number of free will individuals destroyed in rev 9:18 will not be 1/4 or 1/2? In such case that the number varied would He then be wrong? Or does he assure the number will be (at least close to) 1/3?


God has control over the extent of the judgments. He could target certain areas or nations. Even the census in the OT was not exact numbers.

godrulz
August 1st, 2005, 06:24 PM
Really. I always thought OV'ers believe that God only knows past, present, and what He will do. The problem here is that what God "will do" is contingent upon an open future and free will entities. This is what I mean by OV'ers using settled defined as "will likely occur to some degree/extent".

He is not limited in His options to creatively, responsively bring the future to pass. If Judas did not betray Jesus, someone else could have. If soldier X did not pierce His side, then soldier Y could have (same end result).

lee_merrill
August 1st, 2005, 08:54 PM
Hi everyone,


Godrulz: We agree in this context God said He would not change His mind. It does not mean He could not change it metaphysically and absolutely.
Well, the point I was raising is still at issue, though, how can we pick a meaning other than "change his mind" in Num. 23:19? This meaning for the word here would indeed mean that God (absolutely) cannot, and will not, change his mind.


Guy: It seems to me that God meant to be more harsh, less compassionate, or more judgemental, then became more lenient, compassionate, or forgiving. I don't see here how God is not changing His mind by using the word 'relent.' He obviously changed his will from one state to another.
When the situation changes, would God not change his response, though? For example a lead balloon turns into a helium balloon and the laws of nature cause the balloon to rise, instead of fall, and yet the laws of nature have not changed, only their response to the balloon, when it changed.

So "less harsh" would be due to the circumstances changing, which would then explain a change in God's response, and if he knew circumstances would change, then he didn't change his intent, or his mind.


Clete: Relent means to slacken or to capitulate, this is not what the word in the original means at all. God does not capitulate or slacken like some silly public school teacher.
I agree that the meaning in Num. 23:19 cannot be relent, and it also cannot mean "be fickle"! That is not a possible meaning for "nacham," and thus we cannot say it means that here.


Godrulz: If Judas did not betray Jesus, someone else could have.
Only Scripture says this was actually known in advance:

John 6:64 For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.


Guy: When I personally broke through that barrier to being able to think of God, as a perfect being, changing His mind, it made God more real to me. The concept of God as a living God is so much more meaningful to me.
The problem is that with this degree of freedom, comes fallibility, for if God can really change his mind, then we need not always obey God, for another decision might turn out best, even from God's perspective, and thus we need not always obey him.

This, however, is contrary to Scripture.

Blessings,
Lee

insolafide
August 1st, 2005, 09:08 PM
How am I endorsing theological fatalism? I don't think anything is fated to happen at all except that which God Himself intends to make happen. I'm the one here who is saying that God DOES NOT have exhaustive foreknowledge. I am using the fact that exhaustive foreknowledge would logically lead to theological fatalism as an arugment AGAINST exhaustive foreknoweldge so I don't see how you could be saying that I endorse it. I don't endorse it, I outright deny it.

ROFL. You are endorsing Theological Fatalism, but in order to escape it you deny that God has exhaustive foreknowledge. I am saying that Theological Fatalism ITSELF is false, and we dont need to deny God exhaustive foreknowledge in order to escape it. See?


I understand the point Craig makes but I think I've addressed his argument quite well.

umm, if you really understood His argument you wouldnt be an open theist. You would be a Molinist.


Okay, I think I see what you're getting at and will concede that for the moment but how is the original syllogism flawed?

Which one is that? The one with the Conclusion "X will happen"?

Its not flawed. Thats just the point. Open Theists (implicitly) believe that "X will happen" means that "X will necessarily happen" and therefore is not compatible with human free will. But "X will happen" is completely compatible with free will. Since X is then contingent, and not necessary. And it is contingent on the human agent's free will choices!


If it is necessarily true that what God knows will happen will in fact happen and God knows a future event then that event will happen. It cannot not happen.

THATS JUST IT!!! you just wrote "if it is necessarily true". IT ISNT NECESSARILY true, it just is true. And if it is contingent, then it is fully compatible with the fact that the human agent could have chosen otherwise.


God's knowledge of an event is a sufficient condition of that events certainty to happen.

this is the big equivocation point for Open Theism. When you write "certainty" all you can conclude is that GOD is certain that it will happen. But that doesnt mean that the event could not fail to happen. It could fail to happen, since the agent could choose differently. But - if the agent would choose differently, then God would have known differently.


How does that not convey the same information as the original syllogism? Or asked another way, why is it needed for the conclusion to be logically necessary in order for the logic to detroy the coexistence of foreknowledge and free will?

Because that would demonstrate that the agent could not possibly choose otherwise, and hence the agent is no longer free. In other words, all we need to show is that a truth is contingent to show that the agent is free. Because in terms of free decisions, the Molinist would say that God does not determine which free decisions are true and which are false, thus we must conclude that the contingency is found in the freedom of the agent themselves.


Yes, I do. But it seems that if the conclusion is true then it's 'logical necessity' or lack thereof is irrelivent to the argument because if it is true then I cannot see how free will can coexist with God's exhaustive foreknowledge.

Because the agent then has power to choose otherwise. That something "will" happen does not contradict that it could not have happenned.


Very well, as I said, I think I'm ready to concede that "X will necessarilly happen." is a violation of the rules of logic but how does that help your case?
If it is true that "X will happen" then what difference does it make whether that truth is a necessary truth or not? If it is true then I don't have the ability to do otherwise and so I am not free. I don't see how this logical technicality disolves my argument in the slightest.

Thats just it, you DO have the ability to do otherwise. Since "will" does not contradict "could not". "necessarily will" does contradict it, though. So in order for Open Theism to be a necessary position, you need for the syllogism to conclude with "X will necessarily happen". But it doesnt.


Resting in Him,
Clete

P.S. I asked the same question 3 times I think in this post. :doh:
You only have to answer it once. ;)

its okay, they were slightly different, so i answered it three times, hopefully expaining it a little differently.

peace,
jd

godrulz
August 1st, 2005, 09:48 PM
Hi everyone,


Only Scripture says this was actually known in advance:

John 6:64 For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.



Blessings,
Lee

This is not from the beginning of Genesis 1:1 or eternity past. Jesus did not chose a devil. Judas became one. Jesus knew early on in His ministry who would betray Him, since Judas was already going sour early on. This is not a proof text for exhaustive foreknowledge of future free will contingencies.

STONE
August 1st, 2005, 10:45 PM
What's a stretch; the idea that the world might repent, or the idea that if they do God will also?

If you are refering to the former then I agree, it is a stretch in the extreme, but if you mean the latter then it isn't a stretch at all.
The idea that the judgement referred to in revelation is only a likely possibility is a stretch.

"The possibility of Jesus Christ, which God speculated unto him, to surmise unto his servants things which might shortly come to pass..." -The OV Translation

godrulz
August 2nd, 2005, 11:42 AM
Practically, we all agree that Revelation will unfold as planned since God is control of judgments, the destiny of Satan, and the return of Christ. John writes in a cyclical style, so the chronology is not always easy to ascertain. Much of Revelation is also broad and general, rather than specific down to what every human will do during this time.

GuySmiley
August 2nd, 2005, 03:26 PM
When the situation changes, would God not change his response, though? For example a lead balloon turns into a helium balloon and the laws of nature cause the balloon to rise, instead of fall, and yet the laws of nature have not changed, only their response to the balloon, when it changed.

So "less harsh" would be due to the circumstances changing, which would then explain a change in God's response, and if he knew circumstances would change, then he didn't change his intent, or his mind.
So you are saying that God's response changed, but not His mind. What is the difference? If He originally intended one response, then changed to another response, He changed His mind. So you are then forced to say that He foreknew the circumstance change. If He foreknew, then His response never really changed. He would know that there was only one reponse all along. Problem is, the verse says He relented, or more accurately repented, so His response did change.

(Cut and paste lengthy debate on foreknowlege here)


The problem is that with this degree of freedom, comes fallibility,
For humans but not for God. God does not have freedom? He's a robot, just like humans are under foreknowledge?

Greg

godrulz
August 2nd, 2005, 06:07 PM
If the future was closed and foreknown, the language about God becomes specious. Why not take it at face value even if it flies in the face of a preconceived view that was influenced by philosophy?

Clete
August 2nd, 2005, 06:13 PM
The idea that the judgement referred to in revelation is only a likely possibility is a stretch.

"The possibility of Jesus Christ, which God speculated unto him, to surmise unto his servants things which might shortly come to pass..." -The OV Translation
Okay whatever. If you need to remove what I say that far from the reality of what you know I mean in order to create an argument against it then so be it. Have fun burning down all the straw men that you like.

:wave2:

lee_merrill
August 2nd, 2005, 07:53 PM
Hi everyone,


Godrulz: Jesus knew early on in His ministry who would betray Him, since Judas was already going sour early on. This is not a proof text for exhaustive foreknowledge of future free will contingencies.
But "from the beginning" indicates more than just early on, it indicates "from the natural starting point," which would be, I expect, when he chose Judas.


Greg: If He originally intended one response, then changed to another response, He changed His mind.
Yes, if God's intent changed, then he must have really changed his mind. Yet a change from severity to compassion need not describe to us God's overall intent, as at Nineveh, with sending Jonah, with a message of severe warning, to bring repentance, so God could show compassion.


So you are then forced to say that He foreknew the circumstance change.
Yes, and also Jonah though the circumstance indeed would change! So he ran. And he was correct, he concluded that he was being sent on a mission of mercy, and thus God probably knew what would happen if he went and preached. So he tried not to go and preach!


If He foreknew, then His response never really changed.
But did Jesus not change his response at the grave of Lazarus, yet with foreknowledge that his response would change?

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

But Jesus knew he would raise Lazarus, and that his response to Mary and Martha would change from grief, to "take away the stone."


Lee: The problem is that with this degree of freedom, comes fallibility...

Greg: For humans but not for God. God does not have freedom? He's a robot, just like humans are under foreknowledge?
But you skipped my concern here, certainly God has freedom, but uncertainty is not required for freedom. But here is the question: "if God can really change his mind, then we need not always obey God, for another decision might turn out best, even from God's perspective, and thus we need not always obey him."

But again, this is quite contrary to Scripture.


Godrulz: If the future was closed and foreknown, the language about God becomes specious. Why not take it at face value even if it flies in the face of a preconceived view that was influenced by philosophy?
Because then we need not always obey him? And because we can only choose "change his mind" as the meaning in this verse:

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Blessings,
Lee

godrulz
August 2nd, 2005, 08:20 PM
Read how Jesus chose Judas. It was after praying to the Father. He did not chose a devil to be entrusted with the Gospel and His inner circle. The chronology clearly shows that Judas devolved into his end state. Just because it was comparatively sooner rather than later, does not mean you can read into the text that he was chosen as a rebel after prayer. A careful reading of all the texts about Judas resonates with Open Theism. Closed theism leads to fatalistic conclusions (Judas had no choice and was predestined to be evil...making God responsible) and makes God/Jesus duped in the choice. Judas was called an apostle initially, not a son of perdition. Satan entered near the end, not early on.

STONE
August 2nd, 2005, 10:44 PM
Okay whatever. If you need to remove what I say that far from the reality of what you know I mean in order to create an argument against it then so be it. Have fun burning down all the straw men that you like.
You made it clear that the Judgement in Revelation is only one possibility:
Quote:
Lee: Then God might not judge the world, as described in Revelation?

Clete: That's exactly right! If the world repents, so will God and He will not judge them as predicted

Remember this?

Just admit you were wrong, or support that the world has some possibility to negate the judgement of revelation as you suggested.

STONE
August 2nd, 2005, 10:49 PM
Practically, we all agree that Revelation will unfold as planned since God is control of judgments, the destiny of Satan, and the return of Christ. John writes in a cyclical style, so the chronology is not always easy to ascertain. Much of Revelation is also broad and general, rather than specific down to what every human will do during this time.
Okay, but could you clarify what you mean by God is in control of judgements, etc...?

Clete
August 3rd, 2005, 07:05 AM
You made it clear that the Judgement in Revelation is only one possibility:
Quote:
Lee: Then God might not judge the world, as described in Revelation?

Clete: That's exactly right! If the world repents, so will God and He will not judge them as predicted

Remember this?

Just admit you were wrong, or support that the world has some possibility to negate the judgement of revelation as you suggested.
I wasn't wrong. God does not judge the repentant. IF the world repented (yes, that's a big IF), so would God. That's just the sort of guy He is.

Resting in Him,
Clete

STONE
August 3rd, 2005, 08:22 AM
I wasn't wrong. God does not judge the repentant. IF the world repented (yes, that's a big IF), so would God. That's just the sort of guy He is.

Resting in Him,
Clete
With that big IF you are creating a contingency. That contingency suggests that the Judgment of Revelation is, at best, extremely probable. This of course also suggests there is a possibility, albeit slim, of Revelation being wrong.

I think you are being more consistent than most OV'ers.

Clete
August 3rd, 2005, 11:34 AM
With that big IF you are creating a contingency. That contingency suggests that the Judgment of Revelation is, at best, extremely probable. This of course also suggests there is a possibility, albeit slim, of Revelation being wrong.

I think you are being more consistent than most OV'ers.
I know of no OVer who would disagree with me. Revelation isn't wrong it's simply conditional, just as are all of God's prophesies of punishment.


Jer. 18:7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will repent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.

Resting in Him,
Clete

STONE
August 3rd, 2005, 12:04 PM
Revelation isn't wrong it's simply conditional
Conditional implies the possibility of Revelation's judgment not happening as you before stated. There is no getting around it.

God_Is_Truth
August 3rd, 2005, 12:07 PM
Conditional implies the possibility of Revelation's judgment not happening as you before stated. There is no getting around it.

why is that a problem?

godrulz
August 3rd, 2005, 12:59 PM
Other prophecies of God were unconditional pronouncements. I am confidant that Revelation will unfold as stated. It is vague and general enough to allow for contingencies and more than one way to bring it to pass. The judgment of Satan is certain. At this moment, no one disputes that the whole world has not repented. Revelation is not conditional in my mind based on God's perfect past and present knowledge.

STONE
August 3rd, 2005, 03:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clete
Revelation isn't wrong it's simply conditional

STONE:
Conditional implies the possibility of Revelation's judgment not happening as you before stated. There is no getting around it.


why is that a problem?

"And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful."

STONE
August 3rd, 2005, 03:52 PM
Other prophecies of God were unconditional pronouncements. I am confidant that Revelation will unfold as stated. It is vague and general enough to allow for contingencies and more than one way to bring it to pass. Revelation is not conditional in my mind based on God's perfect past and present knowledge.

God simply makes vague pronouncments to assure He comes out seeming correct?

If the Revelation Judgment was today, how was it not conditional considering two thousand years of free will agents?

God_Is_Truth
August 3rd, 2005, 05:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clete
Revelation isn't wrong it's simply conditional

STONE:
Conditional implies the possibility of Revelation's judgment not happening as you before stated. There is no getting around it.



"And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful."

what is true and faithful is that the things of revelation are what God is right now planning to bring to pass. in other words, if we don't shape up, those things will come to pass. it's not some bluff, nor a set of empty words. those things really will happen to any who do not repent.

it seemse like one of the major purposes of such literature (apocalyptic) is to turn our hearts towards repentence. it's a warning from God: shape up, or else bad things will happen to you. it also brings encouragement to use who believe to know that evildoers will one day be punished.

I don't see any problem with your quote at all. at the time it was written, those things were exactly what God has planned for evil doers. it is still what he has planned and nothing will change that. what can change is who falls under the judgement. ideally, no one would, but that's unlikely.

lee_merrill
August 3rd, 2005, 06:36 PM
Hi everyone,


what is true and faithful is that the things of revelation are what God is right now planning to bring to pass.
How can we explain the first verse, then?

Revelation 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place.

And how can "true and faithful" be "these things," referring clearly to what is being said, not to an intent behind them! And if what is meant is the intent, then the reference here should be singular ("this thing"), not plural.

The book Revelation is foreknowledge, not conditional threatening! As is becoming clearer with every post and response here, it would seem...

Blessings,
Lee

STONE
August 3rd, 2005, 10:30 PM
what is true and faithful is that the things of revelation are what God is right now planning to bring to pass. in other words, if we don't shape up, those things will come to pass. it's not some bluff, nor a set of empty words. those things really will happen to any who do not repent.

it seemse like one of the major purposes of such literature (apocalyptic) is to turn our hearts towards repentence. it's a warning from God: shape up, or else bad things will happen to you. it also brings encouragement to use who believe to know that evildoers will one day be punished.

I don't see any problem with your quote at all. at the time it was written, those things were exactly what God has planned for evil doers. it is still what he has planned and nothing will change that. what can change is who falls under the judgement. ideally, no one would, but that's unlikely.
I see. Revelation is not unequivocally sure...it is sure only if things don't change. So the validity of Revelation Judgment occuring is really up to man's actions...it is not absolutely definite.

godrulz
August 3rd, 2005, 10:39 PM
I see. Revelation is not unequivocally sure...it is sure only if things don't change. So the validity of Revelation Judgment occuring is really up to man's actions...it is not absolutely definite.


Perhaps ask him specifically what verses could be indefinite and in what possible circumstances things would not be fulfilled. It is swinging the pendulum from one extreme to another (all the future is foreknown vs little of the future can be known).

God_Is_Truth
August 3rd, 2005, 10:44 PM
How can we explain the first verse, then?

Revelation 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place.

how do you explain that the things to "soon take place" have not come "soon" at all? 2000 years is not soon in any sense.



And how can "true and faithful" be "these things," referring clearly to what is being said, not to an intent behind them! And if what is meant is the intent, then the reference here should be singular ("this thing"), not plural.

there IS intent behind them, but if the people repent, so will God. it's just like ninevah. God said they would be destroyed, they repented, and so did He. if he had not repentend he would be unjust.



The book Revelation is foreknowledge, not conditional threatening! As is becoming clearer with every post and response here, it would seem...

saying it doesn't make it so!

God_Is_Truth
August 3rd, 2005, 10:45 PM
I see. Revelation is not unequivocally sure...it is sure only if things don't change. So the validity of Revelation Judgment occuring is really up to man's actions...it is not absolutely definite.

it's as sure as the prophecy to destroy ninevah was before they repented. God is consistent with his principles and if people repent, they will be spared.

godrulz
August 3rd, 2005, 10:47 PM
Revelation is 'open' enough to not be able to set dates/details or conclude that every detail of the future is fixed.