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docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 07:52 AM
I recently finished listening to the audio version of The Plot (thanks to the great generosity of a TOLer who I will not name). It was fascinating, and the grace/law distinction made seems to have a lot of merit and certainly clears up a lot of "questionable passages."

However, I still have problems with Mr. Enyart's conclusions concerning God's ability to know the future. In the course of the discussion, Mr. Enyart references several instances of prophecies that did not "come true." For example, Jonah told the Ninevites that they would be destroyed in 40 days. They repented, however, and were not destroyed.

Mr. Enyart admits that in the instances of prophecies not coming true, at least implicitly, the prophecy is conditional. That is, God says he will do A if X happens, but not if Y happens. The "but not if Y happens" is at times not directly stated, as in the case of Jonah. However, the only way such a prophesy could not come true is if either the subject of the prophecy does A and X does not happen or does not do A and X happens.

Are there any examples of this occuring in the Bible? If not, then the prophecies can not be said to have not come true, and the examples given say nothing of God's ability to know the future.

Crow
July 5th, 2005, 08:21 AM
docrob, I have a question and not an answer--I've just gotten off from and exciting night shift in a dementia unit and I'm still hearing the echos of the howls and screeches.

To me the that God would even make a conditional promise is evidence of free will and that He does not have exhaustive foreknowledge. If He already knew what action He was going to take, why would He promise based on man's choice? Wouldn't it be deceitful on God's part make a promise to mankind based on man's action when in fact mankind had no choice in his actions because they had been predetermined by God?

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 08:29 AM
docrob, I have a question and not an answer--I've just gotten off from and exciting night shift in a dementia unit and I'm still hearing the echos of the howls and screeches.

To me the that God would even make a conditional promise is evidence of free will and that He does not have exhaustive foreknowledge. If He already knew what action He was going to take, why would He promise based on man's choice? Wouldn't it be deceitful on God's part make a promise to mankind based on man's action when in fact mankind had no choice in his actions because they had been predetermined by God?

Well first off, I am not equating foreknowledge with predestination, as I don't think this is necessary. But putting that aside for a minute. With our imperfect knowledge, don't we as parents say "put that down or I will spank you?" We "know" imperfectly that the child will put the object down, however, we make the threat (the "prophesy") to bring about the desired behavior.

Of course. our foreknowledge is not perfect, but we are not God.

Crow
July 5th, 2005, 08:39 AM
Well first off, I am not equating foreknowledge with predestination, as I don't think this is necessary. But putting that aside for a minute. With our imperfect knowledge, don't we as parents say "put that down or I will spank you?" We "know" imperfectly that the child will put the object down, however, we make the threat (the "prophesy") to bring about the desired behavior.

Of course. our foreknowledge is not perfect, but we are not God.

So are you saying that God knows what we will do, but deceives us into thinking that there is a choice? Why would God attemt to influence our behavior if He already knows what it's going to be?

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 08:44 AM
So are you saying that God knows what we will do, but deceives us into thinking that there is a choice? Why would God attemt to influence our behavior if He already knows what it's going to be?

No, I think that God tries to guide us on the right path. We don't have to go there, but for reasons I stated in that last behemoth thread I started on foreknowledge, God will know how we will respond.

godrulz
July 5th, 2005, 08:52 AM
No, I think that God tries to guide us on the right path. We don't have to go there, but for reasons I stated in that last behemoth thread I started on foreknowledge, God will know how we will respond.


There is some truth to this based on God's perfect past and present knowledge. It is another story to extrapolate that God exhaustively foreknows every moral and mundane choice from eternity past.

There are many conditional prophecies (some even seem unconditional, but in fact are conditional). God is responsive. The only way to exhaustively know the future as a certainty is to predetermine it. The biblical evidence is that some of the future is settled by God's ability to bring certain things to pass that He purposes, while some of the future is unsettled and known only as possible vs actual before it happens.

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 09:43 AM
As in discussions past that we have had, the question seems to come down to whether or not foreknowledge constitutes control. I contend that it does not, as long as the "knower" has complete, perfect knowledge of the reasons for free will choices.

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 11:33 AM
As in discussions past that we have had, the question seems to come down to whether or not foreknowledge constitutes control. I contend that it does not, as long as the "knower" has complete, perfect knowledge of the reasons for free will choices.doc, I think you need to ask yourself . . . . if God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge why and how could He personally interact (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21000) with that knowledge?

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 11:46 AM
doc, I think you need to ask yourself . . . . if God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge why and how could He personally interact (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21000) with that knowledge?

The only reason that this is a problem is if you assume that foreknowledge and control are equivalent. I know that you believe that you and others have demonstrated this assumption to be true, but I must respectfully disagree.

Of course God interacts with us and tries to guide us. I believe he does this with full knowledge of the result of the interaction, but that it is still our free will that determines the response.

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 11:49 AM
doc, I think you need to ask yourself . . . . if God has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge why and how could He personally interact (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21000) with that knowledge?

Taking it even more fundamentally, can you demonstrate to me that Jonah's prophecy was false, given the parameters established in my first post, or tell me where I am wrong in the first post.

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 11:51 AM
Of course God interacts with us and tries to guide us. I believe he does this with full knowledge of the result of the interaction, but that it is still our free will that determines the response.Does God's perfect foreknowledge include His interaction with us and the result of His interaction, or is His interaction motivated by what He "sees" coming down the pike?

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 11:52 AM
Does God's perfect foreknowledge include His interaction with us and the result of His interaction, or is His interaction motivated by what He "sees" coming down the pike?

I would think the former.

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 11:54 AM
Taking it even more fundamentally, can you demonstrate to me that Jonah's prophecy was false, given the parameters established in my first post, or tell me where I am wrong in the first post.If God had perfect foreknowledge that Nineveh would NOT be destroyed in 40 days was the following statement true or false?

“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 11:55 AM
I would think the former.Really???

As one that promotes perfect foreknowledge how can you possibly say that?

:confused:

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 11:57 AM
If God had perfect foreknowledge that Nineveh would NOT be destroyed in 40 days was the following statement true or false?

“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

I know, but in the tape Bob Enyart states that the reverse of this, if Nineveh repents, is implied.

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 12:01 PM
Really???

As one that promotes perfect foreknowledge how can you possibly say that?

:confused:

Again, it is because we are coming at the problem from different angles. Assume God knows that I am about to take an action that will screw up the rest of my life. I have gotten in this position of my own free will (it has happened many times in fact). God decides to intervene to keep me from taking this action. He knows me, He knows what will work, and He does it and it works. If you want to say that I do not have free will to respond to God's intervention, I suppose you could look at it that way. I choose to say that God knows what will work, theoretically I could keep on my path but I don't because God's action is effective.

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 12:01 PM
I know, but in the tape Bob Enyart states that the reverse of this, if Nineveh repents, is implied.That's true!

But that doesn't help your dilemma.

Keep in mind you think that God already knows (PERFECTLY) the outcome.

So, if that is true . . . does He, or does He not know beforehand that Nineveh will be overthrown?

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 12:03 PM
That's true!

But that doesn't help your dilemma.

Keep in mind you think that God already knows (PERFECTLY) the outcome.

So, if that is true . . . does He, or does He not know beforehand that Nineveh will be overthrown?

He knows before hand that Nineveh will repent and that it will not be destroyed if He voices the warning through Jonah..

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 12:04 PM
Again, it is because we are coming at the problem from different angles. Assume God knows that I am about to take an action that will screw up the rest of my life. I have gotten in this position of my own free will (it has happened many times in fact). God decides to intervene to keep me from taking this action. He knows me, He knows what will work, and He does it and it works. If you want to say that I do not have free will to respond to God's intervention, I suppose you could look at it that way. I choose to say that God knows what will work, theoretically I could keep on my path but I don't because God's action is effective.Excellent!

You paint a picture of an open future.

Open to us - we are able to be effected by God.
Open to God - God is able to effect what He predicts is going to happen.

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 12:05 PM
He knows before hand that Nineveh will repent and that it will not be destroyed if He voices the warning through Jonah..:bang:

Does He now the ACTUAL outcome beforehand or not?

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 12:05 PM
Excellent!

You paint a picture of an open future.

Open to us - we are able to be effected by God.
Open to God - God is able to effect what He predicts is going to happen.

I didn't say the future isn't open. I just say that God has sufficient knowledge to predict the future with 100% accuracy.

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 12:05 PM
:bang:

Does He now the ACTUAL outcome beforehand or not?

I thought I said that. Yes, he knows the actual outcome beforehand.

Nineveh
July 5th, 2005, 12:06 PM
He knows before hand that Nineveh will repent and that it will not be destroyed if He voices the warning through Jonah..


"When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened." Jonah 3:10

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 12:07 PM
"When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened." Jonah 3:10

Right, He saw that they did what He know they would do. They could have done otherwise. But God was right again! :)

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 12:07 PM
I didn't say the future isn't open. I just say that God has sufficient knowledge to predict the future with 100% accuracy.So then why doesn't He?

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 12:08 PM
Right, He saw that they did what He know they would do. They could have done otherwise. But God was right again! :)Have you read the story?

Nineveh wasn't overthrown!

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 12:08 PM
So then why doesn't He?

Well now that brings us back to the beginning. Give me an example that He did not. As you have admitted, Jonah is not such an example.

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 12:09 PM
Have you read the story?

Nineveh wasn't overthrown!

I know. I didn't say otherwise. Are we speaking the same language here?

godrulz
July 5th, 2005, 12:13 PM
The only reason that this is a problem is if you assume that foreknowledge and control are equivalent. I know that you believe that you and others have demonstrated this assumption to be true, but I must respectfully disagree.

Of course God interacts with us and tries to guide us. I believe he does this with full knowledge of the result of the interaction, but that it is still our free will that determines the response.

Your assumption may have some validity for proximal vs remote knowledge i.e. God knows the past and present perfectly. He can see our hearts and motives before we chose. This is a far cry from available knowledge in eternity past before we existed or formed our character/habits through a life time of unique choices and contingencies. There is a difference between God knowing what I will likely do tomorrow based on my life, and what I will eat Feb. 1/2009 trillions of years ago. There is no object of available knowledge to God in eternity past to foreknow remote details about non-existent beings with non-existent choices. To make any sense of simple foreknowledge, one must wrongly assume that the future has already happened and is fixed like the past.

Genuine freedom and contingencies logically precludes exhaustive foreknowledge. What can be foreknown is either based on high probability due to specific past/present knowledge, or it is things determined and brought to pass by God's ability (explains the settled aspects of the future, but cannot be applied to things that are logically unsettled= future free will choices). Once something is foreknown (since it is not actual/certain/real yet), there is no possibility of things being different or God is not believing truth. This logically removes contingency and free will (unless the future has happened, which it has not). The open, unsettled motif about the future cannot be pitted against those things that goes settles and closes. The mistake is to think all things are settled and closed.

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 12:13 PM
Well now that brings us back to the beginning. Give me an example that He did not. As you have admitted, Jonah is not such an example.Joshua 3:9 So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.”
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:

godrulz
July 5th, 2005, 12:16 PM
If God had perfect foreknowledge that Nineveh would NOT be destroyed in 40 days was the following statement true or false?

“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”


Now would be a good time to bring up Hezekiah. God said that he would surely die. Later, in response to prayer, God changed His mind and added 15 years to his life. God is not a liar. He made truth statements, but the future was unsettled and open until it happened. There was a conditional element to God's pronouncement (though not explicit) since God must have known of the possibility of His plans changing if circumstances changed.

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 12:19 PM
Joshua 3:9 So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.”
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:

I know, that was in the tape too. But, again, the argument made in the tape is that the promise was conditional. The Isrealites were disobedient, so God didn't do it.

I'll tell you why this is important to me. Personally, I don't care a lot about the open future stuff. I do care a lot about the law vs. grace arguments, which can be made without an open future. I think this is extremely important, and I am inclined to accept this teaching. It obviously is tremendously important in trying to understand the scripture and explain it to others. But, it is a decidedly minority position, and I want to have confidence in it.

I didn't see any flaws in the law/grace part of the argument. But it seems there are tremendous flaws in the God doesn't know what will happen argument. So I become concerned that there are flaws in the other part that I just haven't realized. I will study it myself, but I am just at the beginning of the process.

godrulz
July 5th, 2005, 12:23 PM
I didn't say the future isn't open. I just say that God has sufficient knowledge to predict the future with 100% accuracy.


You cannot have your cake and eat it too. If the future is partially open, exhaustive foreknowledge becomes a logical contradiction. What knowledge existed a billion years ago for God to know who would win the Superbowl in 2010 at that point in eternity past?

God does not look down the corridors of time to see the future. There are no corridors and there is nothing to see. Knowing a nothing is a bald contradiction. To not know a nothing is not a deficiency in omniscience. He knows all that is logically knowable. Future free will contingencies and exhaustive foreknowledge do not mix. Your ideas may only apply once God sees and knows you in reality. Even then, we could do things out of character. I might eat an earthworm for breakfast tomorrow. Until I wake up, there are a number of possibilities in what I will eat. If I am truly free, God could not know for certain what I would eat millions of years before my existence. Is this not self-evident? The future has not happened yet in reality/certainty, so it cannot be known exhaustively (unless you negate contingencies/freedom).

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 12:24 PM
Now would be a good time to bring up Hezekiah. God said that he would surely die. Later, in response to prayer, God changed His mind and added 15 years to his life. God is not a liar. He made truth statements, but the future was unsettled and open until it happened. There was a conditional element to God's pronouncement (though not explicit) since God must have known of the possibility of His plans changing if circumstances changed.

Yes, I can see that as a better example.

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 12:28 PM
I didn't see any flaws in the law/grace part of the argument. But it seems there are tremendous flaws in the God doesn't know what will happen argument.What "tremendous flaws" do you perceive?

Also....
Why would God interact with Israel using a conditional warning and or prediction? What would be His motivation?

Isn't the very point of a "conditional" that two truly possible outcomes will follow?

EXAMPLE:
“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

TRULY possible outcome . . .
Nineveh will not repent and therefore Nineveh will be overthrown.

TRULY possible outcome . . .
Nineveh repents (BECAUSE of the warning itself), and therefore Nineveh is not overthrown.

Don't BOTH outcomes have to be actually possible at the time of the warning for the warning to have any truthful meaning whatsoever?

docrob57
July 5th, 2005, 01:39 PM
What "tremendous flaws" do you perceive?]

No offense, but I have stated them ad nauseum, and really am not up to rehashing at this time.



Why would God interact with Israel using a conditional warning and or prediction? What would be His motivation?
To change their behavior or to change something about them.


Isn't the very point of a "conditional" that two truly possible outcomes will follow?
Yes, you are the one that argues that foreknowledge negates the possibility of two truly possible outcomes, not me. This is a fundamental problem.


EXAMPLE
“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

TRULY possible outcome . . .
Nineveh will not repent and therefore Nineveh will be overthrown.

TRULY possible outcome . . .
Nineveh repents (BECAUSE of the warning itself), and therefore Nineveh is not overthrown.
[b]
Don't BOTH outcomes have to be actually possible at the time of the warning for the warning to have any truthful meaning whatsoever?

Yes

Knight
July 5th, 2005, 10:25 PM
To change their behavior or to change something about them.Let's assume God is successful in changing their behavior. Did God's foreknowledge (even millennia's ago) contain the changed successful interaction?

I asked....

EXAMPLE
“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

TRULY possible outcome . . .
Nineveh will not repent and therefore Nineveh will be overthrown.

TRULY possible outcome . . .
Nineveh repents (BECAUSE of the warning itself), and therefore Nineveh is not overthrown.

Don't BOTH outcomes have to be actually possible at the time of the warning for the warning to have any truthful meaning whatsoever?

And you answerd...
YesHow can two outcomes be actual possibilites if God has known for an eternity which outcome would become an actuality?

Turbo
July 6th, 2005, 06:09 AM
He knows before hand that Nineveh will repent and that it will not be destroyed if He voices the warning through Jonah..

But as (the TOL poster) Nineveh pointed out, God decided not to destroy Nineveh after they repented:

Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented* from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. Jonah 3:10


Here is where God lays out the principles for prophecies being conditional:


The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent* of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent* concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it. Jeremiah 18:7-10

It doesn't sound like God knows beforehand with absolute certainty that His warning will definitely bring about repentance, does it? If it did, He wouldn't say that He thought He would bring about the disaster.

Also, what about the reverse case (v. 9-10)? Does God know with absolute certainty when he promises to bless a kingdom that they will definitely rebel against Him and that He will therefore not bless them? If that's the case why does God make such promises to begin with?



*What NJKV has translated as relent is actually the Hebrew word for repent.

Turbo
July 6th, 2005, 06:12 AM
The Isrealites were disobedient, so God didn't do it.
But if God knew for certain that Israel would be disobedient and therefore He would not drive out the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites, why did God emphatically promise that He would?

docrob57
July 6th, 2005, 08:25 AM
Let's assume God is successful in changing their behavior. Did God's foreknowledge (even millennia's ago) contain the changed successful interaction?

I asked....

EXAMPLE
“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

TRULY possible outcome . . .
Nineveh will not repent and therefore Nineveh will be overthrown.

TRULY possible outcome . . .
Nineveh repents (BECAUSE of the warning itself), and therefore Nineveh is not overthrown.

Don't BOTH outcomes have to be actually possible at the time of the warning for the warning to have any truthful meaning whatsoever?

And you answerd...How can two outcomes be actual possibilites if God has known for an eternity which outcome would become an actuality?

Okay, first off, I'm sorry I brought this up because, as before, this is quickly becoming a pointless discussion. I am listening to the Tree now, which, again, the same generous TOLer sent me, and all these teachings are so important and interesting I am just going to forget about the foreknowledge thing for now.

Nevertheless, I will try one more time to offer an analogy to explain my position. This will not convince you. I will just try to explain why the contradiction you continue to assert does not exist, at least from my perspective.

I have a child. I know that when the child is 15 he will become overcome with lust for pretty girls that he knows. When he is 10, I tell him, "Son, when you are 15 I am going to throw you out of the house." "Why?" my son asks, reasonably I think. "Because, you are going to be overcome with lust for pretty girls and you will violate one and that is not acceptable, so you will have to leave."

Now, I "know" that my son will not want to be thrown out of the house. So I "know" that he will not violate a girl and I will not have to throw him out. I don't say this, because it would look like a willingness to compromise, and I am not willing to do that.

My son turns 15. He meets Becky, a major hottie. He burns with lust. However, he makes not attempt to violate her, because he remembers my threat. He behaves, and is able to continue living at home. So I was right.

Now, could my son have violated Becky? Of course. If he had, would I have thrown him out of the house? Of course. Was my warning false? No. Did I have to act on it? No.

Did I know what the outcome would be? Not as surely as God knows, because I am not God. But in human terms, yes? Did my FOREKNOWLEDGE cause the outcome to occur as it did? No.

That is my position. I think it is pretty plain. I understand that you don't accept it. Which is okay by me! In the grand schene of things, I don't think it matters a lot.

docrob57
July 6th, 2005, 08:27 AM
But if God knew for certain that Israel would be disobedient and therefore He would not drive out the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites, why did God emphatically promise that He would?

He wanted to give them the opportunity. I have moved from a determinist to a free will perspective. That much I have done. I just think that to deny foreknowledge is am improper limitation on God, and an unnecessary one.

Knight
July 6th, 2005, 11:13 AM
Okay, first off, I'm sorry I brought this up because, as before, this is quickly becoming a pointless discussion. I am listening to the Tree now, which, again, the same generous TOLer sent me, and all these teachings are so important and interesting I am just going to forget about the foreknowledge thing for now.

Nevertheless, I will try one more time to offer an analogy to explain my position. This will not convince you. I will just try to explain why the contradiction you continue to assert does not exist, at least from my perspective.

I have a child. I know that when the child is 15 he will become overcome with lust for pretty girls that he knows. When he is 10, I tell him, "Son, when you are 15 I am going to throw you out of the house." "Why?" my son asks, reasonably I think. "Because, you are going to be overcome with lust for pretty girls and you will violate one and that is not acceptable, so you will have to leave."

Now, I "know" that my son will not want to be thrown out of the house. So I "know" that he will not violate a girl and I will not have to throw him out. I don't say this, because it would look like a willingness to compromise, and I am not willing to do that.

My son turns 15. He meets Becky, a major hottie. He burns with lust. However, he makes not attempt to violate her, because he remembers my threat. He behaves, and is able to continue living at home. So I was right.

Now, could my son have violated Becky? Of course. If he had, would I have thrown him out of the house? Of course. Was my warning false? No. Did I have to act on it? No.

Did I know what the outcome would be? Not as surely as God knows, because I am not God. But in human terms, yes? Did my FOREKNOWLEDGE cause the outcome to occur as it did? No.

That is my position. I think it is pretty plain. I understand that you don't accept it. Which is okay by me! In the grand schene of things, I don't think it matters a lot.Doc, the distinction is you do NOT have perfect exhaustive foreknowledge, yet you assert that God DOES have perfect exhaustive foreknowledge.

Perfect exhaustive foreknowledge makes all the difference in the world.

Words have meaning and the words we use define the thoughts and arguments we present.

If you want to assert that God has foreknowledge as you described above except to a MUCH higher degree then we can agree!

docrob57
July 6th, 2005, 11:20 AM
Doc, the distinction is you do NOT have perfect exhaustive foreknowledge, yet you assert that God DOES have perfect exhaustive foreknowledge.

This is true, but the point is that if even I could have this much foreknowledge, how much more does God have?


Perfect exhaustive foreknowledge makes all the difference in the world.

Words have meaning and the words we use define the thoughts and arguments we present.

I agree with the second statement, but I am missing what you are getting at.


If you want to assert that God has foreknowledge as you described above except to a MUCH higher degree then we can agree

Not clear here either. I know that you beleive that God has some foreknowledge. I think He has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge. Is that what you are saying?

Poly
July 6th, 2005, 11:32 AM
Not clear here either. I know that you beleive that God has some foreknowledge. I think He has perfect exhaustive foreknowledge. Is that what you are saying?

I think you're making this more difficult than it really is.

A man who has been married to a woman for 6 months (lets say they only knew each other for 3 months prior to their marriage) can have a pretty good foreknowlege of how his wife will react in a given situation. But a man who has been married to a woman for 10 years will have a greater foreknowledge of how his wife will react in even more given situations because he's had an opportunity to know her better but it's not a perfect exhaustive foreknowledge. So God, knowing us better than we can ever know each other would have a very great foreknowledge of us but it doesn't mean that it's a perfect exhaustive foreknowledge.

Nineveh
July 6th, 2005, 11:39 AM
Perhaps defining what "perfect exhaustive foreknowledge" means...?

docrob57
July 6th, 2005, 11:53 AM
Perhaps defining what "perfect exhaustive foreknowledge" means...?

It is Knight's phrase, so I will leave it to him to define it. The main conflict, as it see it, is mostly whether or not foreknowledge and free will can co-exist. I have given many examples of how it can. Even Poly did above. So I do not understand the insistance that it can't. I think this is the only thing that makes the question important.

Of course I could be wrong. I think that happened once.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 11:58 AM
Perhaps defining what "perfect exhaustive foreknowledge" means...? Perhaps you need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to the truths found in Holy Scripture...


How great is God—beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.

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

Knight
July 6th, 2005, 11:59 AM
Perhaps defining what "perfect exhaustive foreknowledge" means...?I think the term must mean the following . . .

Perfect - not in error in anyway.
Exhaustive - complete, with nothing left out.
Foreknowledge - knowledge prior to the event. This is the part of the term that could have some flexibility in the sense that one could argue just how far beforehand did the foreknowledge come into being. Most folks that believe God has exhaustive foreknowledge believe that God has had this knowledge for all eternity, although I will let docrob comment on this himself.

Therefore when I argue against Perfect Exhaustive Foreknowledge I am arguing against the idea that God has known in exact detail every movement of every molecule, every thought of every creature, every event for all of time in complete detail for an eternity past.

drbrumley
July 6th, 2005, 12:01 PM
Perhaps you need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to the truths found in Holy Scripture...

Who says He hasn't? You?



How great is God—beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.

Amen.


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

Amen

Knight
July 6th, 2005, 12:01 PM
Perhaps you need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to the truths found in Holy Scripture...


How great is God—beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.

Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.Freak, God's understanding says nothing about God's foreknowledge.

docrob57
July 6th, 2005, 12:02 PM
I think the term must mean the following . . .

Perfect - not in error in anyway.
Exhaustive - complete, with nothing left out.
Foreknowledge - knowledge prior to the event. This is the part of the term that could have some flexibility in the sense that one could argue just how far beforehand did the foreknowledge come into being. Most folks that believe God has exhaustive foreknowledge believe that God has had this knowledge for all eternity, although I will let docrob comment on this himself.

Therefore when I argue against Perfect Exhaustive Foreknowledge I am arguing against the idea that God has known in exact detail every movement of every molecule, every thought of every creature, every event for all of time in complete detail for an eternity past.

Okay, why is this question important then? I suggest that it isn't all that important since it does't deal with salvation, or even life instruction or anything of that nature.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:02 PM
Freak, God's understanding says nothing about God's foreknowledge. There is no limitation to His understanding, means He is not limited in understanding the future.

docrob57
July 6th, 2005, 12:04 PM
From Acts 2:


22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know-- 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken F8 by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

Knight
July 6th, 2005, 12:04 PM
There is no limitation to His understanding, means He is not limited in understanding the future.I think God does understand the future. So what?

Understanding, is simply not the same as experientially knowledge.

drbrumley
July 6th, 2005, 12:07 PM
From Acts 2:

This is true. Why? GOD DETERMINED IT! FOR HIMSELF!

Knight
July 6th, 2005, 12:08 PM
Okay, why is this question important then? I suggest that it isn't all that important since it does't deal with salvation, or even life instruction or anything of that nature.It's important because we should represent God in a accurate and faithful fashion to the lost.

It's also important for our personal walk with God.

However, if it isn't important to you that's OK as well. I personally think you will eventually see why it's important.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:08 PM
I think God does understand the future. So what? He knows all of it. For there is no limitation to His understanding.


Understanding, is simply not the same as experientially knowledge. I guess one could tussle over semantics but the truth is Scripture declares God has no limitation to His understanding/knowledge.

Knight, in the Book of Job, it states:

Be assured that my words are not false;
one perfect in knowledge is with you.

Knight
July 6th, 2005, 12:10 PM
From Acts 2:God predetermined that Christ would be the payment for sin.

This does not require perfect exhaustive foreknowledge. Yet instead requires pre-planning.

docrob57
July 6th, 2005, 12:12 PM
God predetermined that Christ would be the payment for sin.

This does not require perfect exhaustive foreknowledge. Yet instead requires pre-planning.

Fair enough. Peace! :)

I am already enjoying The Tree quite a bit by the way. Good Stuff!!!

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:13 PM
Okay, why is this question important then? I suggest that it isn't all that important since it does't deal with salvation, or even life instruction or anything of that nature. It's important but there many more important items in life.

How one views Jesus for starters.

Knight
July 6th, 2005, 12:14 PM
He knows all of it. For there is no limitation to His understanding.

I guess one could tussle over semantics but the truth is Scripture declares God has no limitation to His understanding/knowledge.

Knight, in the Book of Job, it states:

Be assured that my words are not false;
one perfect in knowledge is with you.God's knowledge is perfect!

God knows everything knowable (and that which He chooses to know).

Future actions by freewill agents is by definition unknowable (otherwise the agents are no longer truly free). God doesn't want to fashion our futures for us in the form of foreknowledge.

Knight
July 6th, 2005, 12:15 PM
Fair enough. Peace! :)

I am already enjoying The Tree quite a bit by the way. Good Stuff!!!The Tree was one of my favorite tape series. AWESOME!!!

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:17 PM
God's knowledge is perfect!

God knows everything knowable (and that which He chooses to know). But see that's putting a limitation on Him. Mere humans should not venture down this path--placing limitations of God's knowledge or understanding, as you have done by stating God only knows what is knowable. That is why the univerasal body of Christ, has generally, rejected open theism.

Knight
July 6th, 2005, 12:22 PM
But see that's putting a limitation on Him. Mere humans should not venture down this path--placing limitations of God's knowledge or understanding, as you have done by stating God only knows what is knowable. That is why the univerasal body of Christ, has generally, rejected open theism.Freak many limits are good!

A "limit" isn't necessarily a bad thing.

God is limited by His own righteous character (thank God!!)

Do we limit God when we say He is a righteous God and NOT an unrighteous God? Of course! And that limit is a good thing. That limit of righteousness differentiates our God with all the other false gods out there.

Limits are not a bad thing when used to accurately describe something.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:25 PM
Freak many limits are good! I agree my friend :up:


A "limit" isn't necessarily a bad thing. Yes, I agree.


God is limited by His own righteous character (thank God!!) We are speaking of His divine nature. The Scriptures states, regarding His divine nature, that there are no limitations when it comes to His understanding & knowledge.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:28 PM
Knight, question, why do you think many reject open theism? Is it not because of some clear texts that point to the reality that there are no limitations to God's nature.

Crow
July 6th, 2005, 12:29 PM
I agree my friend :up:
We are speaking of His divine nature. The Scriptures states, regarding His divine nature, that there are no limitations when it comes to His understanding & knowledge.

Freak, what if God chooses not to have foreknowledge of certain events so that mankind may make freewill choices? That is not a limitation on God, any more so than God is limited from halting a certain act if He chooses not to act.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:34 PM
Freak, what if God chooses not to have foreknowledge of certain events so that mankind may make freewill choices? God cannot choose to limit His nature, what has been revealed to be true in Scripture. For example, God cannot stop from being love. God is love, that is His nature. He cannot change this, furthermore...God cannot change the fact He is not limited in His knowledge & understanding for that is His nature.

Crow
July 6th, 2005, 12:38 PM
God cannot choose to limit His nature, what has been revealed to be true in Scripture. For example, God cannot stop from being love. God is love, that is His nature. He cannot change this, furthermore...God cannot change the fact He is not limited in His knowledge & understanding for that is His nature.

If foreknowledge is an action on His part, why can't God choose not to know the future in some instances? Wouldn't that be His choice?

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:41 PM
If foreknowledge is an action on His part, "Part?" I'd rather use the word nature.


why can't God choose not to know the future in some instances? Because of His nature. Example: God cannot choose not to love, for He is love!


Wouldn't that be His choice? See above.

Crow
July 6th, 2005, 12:42 PM
"Part?" I'd rather use the word nature.

Because of His nature. Example: God cannot choose not to love, for He is love!

See above.

So do you think that God has no choices?

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:44 PM
So do you think that God has no choices? Crow, do you think God has a choice to being polytheistic? Some elements of God cannot change for it's His nature.

Crow
July 6th, 2005, 12:51 PM
Crow, do you think God has a choice to being polytheistic? Some elements of God cannot change for it's His nature.
God being polytheistic means that God would worship more than one God. I cannot see that God worships anything.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:53 PM
God being polytheistic means that God would worship more than one God. I cannot see that God worships anything. Is that a no? God cannot be polytheistic.

Let's try an easier one, Crow.

Does God have choice in not loving the Son, Jesus?

As you can see Crow, some elements of God are set. He is holy. He cannot be unholy? He has no choice in the matter. Does the Father have a choice in being unrighteous?

Crow
July 6th, 2005, 12:54 PM
Jesus is God, Freak.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:55 PM
Jesus is God, Freak. Yes. He is.

Perhaps I should have phrased it this way..

Can the Father not love the Son?

Crow
July 6th, 2005, 12:57 PM
Since it would be pretty difficult for God to rebel against Himself and deny His own deity, I would say no.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 12:58 PM
Since it would be pretty difficult for God to rebel against Himself and deny His own deity, I would say no. So He didn't have the choice. For the Bible tells us the Father loved the Son and that God is love.

Good, so you agree there are some elements of God that are set, right?

Crow
July 6th, 2005, 01:00 PM
I never said that some elements aren't Freak. I said that an action, like foreknowledge, is a conscious action on God's part. He can choose to foreknow, or He can choose not to.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 01:02 PM
I never said that some elements aren't Freak. Good. Some elements of God do not change, like His nature.


I said that an action, like foreknowledge, is a conscious action on God's part. He can choose to foreknow, or He can choose not to. Isn't loving the Son an action, Crow? Did you not agree that some actions are of His very nature (like love) and that they do not change or alter?

Is His knowledge / understanding a element of His nature? Love is element of His nature but not His knowledge or understanding?

Crow
July 6th, 2005, 01:03 PM
Good. Some elements of God do not change, like His nature.

Isn't loving the Son an action, Crow?

Is His knowledge / understanding a element of His nature? Love is element of His nature but not His knowledge or understanding?

Love is an element of His nature, but does God love wickedness? I believe He chooses to hate it.

God is just. Why wouldn't the Father love the Son, and vice versa?

Poly
July 6th, 2005, 01:03 PM
So He didn't have the choice.

Good, so you agree there are some elements of God that are set, right?


Jer. 19:5
(they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind)

Jer. 32:35
And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.'


So when God says "nor did it come to my mind", was He lying? Apparently He does have the choice of not knowing something. A thought cannot "enter" His mind if it was already there due to Him knowing every little thing.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 01:09 PM
So when God says "nor did it come to my mind", was He lying? "Be assured that my words are not false; one perfect in knowledge is with you."

Understanding the text is paramount...Yes, it did not come (from the outward) to His mind for His mind (understanding/knowledge) is already perfect. He already knew the information.


Apparently He does have a choice not to know something. A thought cannot "enter" His mind if it was already there due to Him knowing every little thing. There are some elements of God that He has not choice in, Poly. He does not have the choice in being unrighteous, right? His wisdom, understanding, knowledge is who God is. All of these elements are perfect for He is perfect.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 01:11 PM
Love is an element of His nature, Ah. Do you believe His knowledge and understanding is an element of His nature?


but does God love wickedness? I believe He chooses to hate it. He doesn't choose to hate wickedness. He hates it because it's contrary to His nature. Same with His triune nature. He didn't choose to be triune, silly. He is triune.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 01:19 PM
Will be back later after a power nap!

Crow
July 6th, 2005, 01:20 PM
Ah. Do you believe His knowledge and understanding is an element of His nature?

He doesn't choose to hate wickedness. He hates it because it's contrary to His nature. Same with His triune nature. He didn't choose to be triune, silly. He is triune.

I believe that understanding is an element of His nature. I also believe that God chooses not to foreknow everything in order to allow mankind freewill, and I do not believe that this contradicts His nature.

Poly
July 6th, 2005, 01:22 PM
There are some elements of God that He has not choice in, Poly. He does not have the choice in being unrighteous, right? His wisdom, understanding, knowledge is who God is. All of these elements are perfect for He is perfect.

God choosing not to know something doesn't make him imperfect, Freak. If He has no choice in the matter, He's not going to state something in scripture implying that He does. God choosing not to know something doesn't make him imperfect or go against His nature.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 06:21 PM
I believe that understanding is an element of His nature. I also believe that God chooses not to foreknow everything in order to allow mankind freewill, and I do not believe that this contradicts His nature. This is where the 2 camps differ. I believe His knowledge/understanding is an aspect of His nature and one that doesn't change, in light of Scripture.

You on the other hand believe that this aspect of His nature changes.

Freak
July 6th, 2005, 06:23 PM
God choosing not to know something doesn't make him imperfect, Freak. As I mentioned earlier this where I differ with you. I believe His knowledge/understanding does not change.


If He has no choice in the matter, He's not going to state something in scripture implying that He does. God choosing not to know something doesn't make him imperfect or go against His nature. Poly, God does not have choice in a great number of things--His triune nature, His holy nature, His righteous nature. This proves what I have been stating all along. There is some elements of God that does not change.

godrulz
July 6th, 2005, 07:13 PM
Perhaps you need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to the truths found in Holy Scripture...


How great is God—beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.

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


Open Theists agree with this passage. God's past and present knowledge is perfect, as is HIs wisdom. Knowledge of a non-existent future is a logical contradiction since one cannot know a nothing. The future is only possible, not actual.

godrulz
July 6th, 2005, 07:16 PM
There is no limitation to His understanding, means He is not limited in understanding the future.


God knows and understands reality in truth as it is. He correctly knows and understands the future as possible until it beomes actual through time and choices. Then the potential future becomes the fixed past and is perfectly known as a past event that is no longer real. He correctly distinguishes past, present, and future. He does not see them all at once as actually happening. The 2006 Superbowl has not been played yet, so it is not known as finished.

godrulz
July 6th, 2005, 07:19 PM
Knight, question, why do you think many reject open theism? Is it not because of some clear texts that point to the reality that there are no limitations to God's nature.


Open Theism, properly understood and represented, does NOT limit God. This is a false accusation by critics who distort the view or confuse it with Process Theology/finitism.

godrulz
July 6th, 2005, 07:22 PM
Good. Some elements of God do not change, like His nature.

Isn't loving the Son an action, Crow? Did you not agree that some actions are of His very nature (like love) and that they do not change or alter?

Is His knowledge / understanding a element of His nature? Love is element of His nature but not His knowledge or understanding?


The open theism debate is about the nature of the FUTURE, not the nature of God's OMNISCIENCE. We all agree that God is omniscient. We agree on the nature of the future. Is it all settled/predetermined (Calvinism), is it magically foreknown by seeing it (Arminian), or is some of the future settled/knowable and some of it unsettled/open/unknowable (Open Theism)?

godrulz
July 6th, 2005, 07:27 PM
God choosing not to know something doesn't make him imperfect, Freak. If He has no choice in the matter, He's not going to state something in scripture implying that He does. God choosing not to know something doesn't make him imperfect or go against His nature.

God knows all that is logically possible to know (cf. omnipotence does not mean He does logically absurd things). The way God choses to not know the future exhaustively is to create a world with free moral agents and contingencies.

The extra phrase of knowing whatever He choses to know (or not know) muddies the water. It is unique to Enyart/Hill (others?), but is not a standard concept in Open Theism literature. If Satan and man can know something, then God knows it since it is a possible object of knowledge. How would an omniscient being chose to not know something knowable? I could whisper to God about the sin happening in the bar, and He would know it. It is more defensible to say He does not know future free will contingencies exhaustively because that is a logical contradiction/absurdity. Your other comment (Knight likes it too) is less defensible, in my mind.

Poly
July 6th, 2005, 08:40 PM
The extra phrase of knowing whatever He choses to know (or not know) muddies the water. It is unique to Enyart/Hill (others?), but is not a standard concept in Open Theism literature. If Satan and man can know something, then God knows it since it is a possible object of knowledge. How would an omniscient being chose to not know something knowable? I could whisper to God about the sin happening in the bar, and He would know it. It is more defensible to say He does not know future free will contingencies exhaustively because that is a logical contradiction/absurdity. Your other comment (Knight likes it too) is less defensible, in my mind.

I don't really see it as a problem. In fact I think it helps the OV view. It helps to stress that God does not do the absurd. He doesn't know that which can't be known like future free will actions. If Satan and man can know something, as you said, then it wouldn't fall under the catagory of that which can't be known. When I say that God chooses not to know things, I'm saying that God could have created a world in which all things were known due to Him controlling every single action but He chose not to.

godrulz
July 6th, 2005, 08:40 PM
Freak: There are some senses that God changes, and other ways He does not change. We agree with you that God's essential character and attributes do not change. However, HIs experiences, thoughts, actions, feelings, relations, knowledge does change (unless you make the passages that says He changes His mind figurative). As the potential future becomes the fixed past through the present His knowledge and experience changes. Like a perfect clock, change does not mean imperfection. God is dynamic and responsive, not a static idol (weak vs strong immutability).

The incarnation is the ultimate example of a change within God's being.

godrulz
July 6th, 2005, 08:45 PM
I don't really see it as a problem. In fact I think it helps the OV view. It helps to stress that God does not do the absurd. He doesn't know that which can't be known like future free will actions. If Satan and man can know something, as you said, then it wouldn't fall under the catagory of that which can't be known. When I say that God chooses not to know things, I'm saying that God could have created a world in which all things were known due to Him controlling every single action but He chose not to.


I agree with your above assessment. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Enyart and others go beyond this and say He does not have to know what is going on in a gay bar or in hell. I do not believe the omnipresent, omniscient God can turn off His radar. This would compromise His ability to Judge every thought, word, and deed of men. He does not have to dwell or focus on something, but this does not mean He literally does not know it. Likewise, 'forgetting our sins' is not amnesia (another example cited on TOL). Surely God can recall the same things we can bring to mind. This simply means that God choses to not bring our sins up again. Practically, but not literally, He 'forgets' them. "You owe me $100. Forget it." We can both recall the debt, but chose to never bring it up again. We do not dwell on it, but it is still an object of knowledge and thus knowable to us and God.

Nineveh
July 6th, 2005, 09:12 PM
"This would compromise His ability to Judge every thought, word, and deed of men."

No, not really. Look at the instance of Sodom. Basically God says He's heard some things, so He sends His angels to find out if what He has heard is true. Could God know all things knowable at one time? I'm sure. Does He have to? No. Remember back in Gen? Their hearts were only evil all the time and God decided His Spririt would not contend with them/us? I am sure God's management system for keeping that book of deeds up to date is in Good Hands. But the Biblical evidence seems to suggest perhaps God doesn't want to be privy to all the evil in our hearts all the time.

Poly
July 6th, 2005, 09:31 PM
"This would compromise His ability to Judge every thought, word, and deed of men."

No, not really. Look at the instance of Sodom. Basically God says He's heard some things, so He sends His angels to find out if what He has heard is true. Could God know all things knowable at one time? I'm sure. Does He have to? No. Remember back in Gen? Their hearts were only evil all the time and God decided His Spririt would not contend with them/us? I am sure God's management system for keeping that book of deeds up to date is in Good Hands. But the Biblical evidence seems to suggest perhaps God doesn't want to be privy to all the evil in our hearts all the time.

Great points, Nineveh.

Also consider 2 Chronicles 2:9.

"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him."

This suggests that God looks for hearts that are loyal to Him.

godrulz
July 6th, 2005, 09:36 PM
"This would compromise His ability to Judge every thought, word, and deed of men."

No, not really. Look at the instance of Sodom. Basically God says He's heard some things, so He sends His angels to find out if what He has heard is true. Could God know all things knowable at one time? I'm sure. Does He have to? No. Remember back in Gen? Their hearts were only evil all the time and God decided His Spririt would not contend with them/us? I am sure God's management system for keeping that book of deeds up to date is in Good Hands. But the Biblical evidence seems to suggest perhaps God doesn't want to be privy to all the evil in our hearts all the time.


God chosing to not convict and draw them to mercy in favor of exercising justice does not mean He became blind or dumb.

I would not take the idea of God coming down with a wooden literalism. Psalms says nothing can hide from His eyes that rove the earth. I take most passages literally (God changing His mind, etc.) with other OT, but this expression may be one that our critics are correct to see as anthropomorphic. Regardless, in the end, God does know the knowable. Testing hearts to find out for sure what motives are there can still be taken literally (contrary to non- OT).

godrulz
July 6th, 2005, 09:40 PM
Great points, Nineveh.

Also consider 2 Chronicles 2:9.

"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him."

This suggests that God looks for hearts that are loyal to Him.


This is knowable knowledge. Our view of omniscience and omnipresence means that God does continually search hearts and is continually, perfectly aware of all present and past objects of knowledge. We see that the future is not knowable since it is not here yet. I think we are getting on shaky ground to say He does not know some present knowledge exhaustively (could be a valid point of attack by our critics). I do not think He could not know someone's heart or chose to not know this. This is inherent in being an omniscient God. If it was theoretically possible, then some evil could slip under God's radar. He could theoretically miss someone repenting before they got killed, etc.

JWs seem to think that God is confined to a location and sends out angels and his impersonal radar, the holy spirit, to gather info. I think we want to avoid anything that might smells like this.

Nineveh
July 6th, 2005, 09:52 PM
God chosing to not convict and draw them to mercy in favor of exercising justice does not mean He became blind or dumb.

I claimed neither, so why are you?


I would not take the idea of God coming down with a wooden literalism.

Abraham did. Fed Him even. I would also take the angels just as literally as did the men of Sodom.


Psalms says nothing can hide from His eyes that rove the earth. I take most passages literally (God changing His mind, etc.) with other OT, but this expression may be one that our critics are correct to see as anthropomorphic.

Ok, so why bring up Psalms then? Both evidences I used were from Genesis. (before the flood and Sodom)


Regardless, in the end, God does know the knowable.

We agree. [ Edit to correct] We agree in as far as He wants to know the knowable. It's not a matter of His power to do so but His desire to do or not do so.


Testing hearts to find out for sure what motives are there can still be taken literally (contrary to non- OT).

Please read my reply to Poly for my reply to this :)

Poly,
Good point. Thanks :)
It doesn't take much to get God's full attention, just a willing heart searching for Him :)

godrulz
July 6th, 2005, 11:02 PM
I was referring to God checking in on Adam. The other Genesis was a theophany, the preincarnate Christ, the Angel of the Lord. I take this with a wooden literalism.

I still find a problem with knowing what He wants to know. He knows exhaustively all that is logically knowable. Future free will contingencies are not knowable exhaustively, logically. It seems some of you are suggesting there is present knowledge that He does not know (whether by choice or not). I understand why our critics see this as a compromise of omniscience, even beyond basic Open Theism.

Nineveh
July 7th, 2005, 05:21 AM
godrulz,
Please address what I brought up about Sodom and the Flood. It appears it is merely your desire God must absolutely be witness to every evil act of man. The Bible seems to indicate otherwise.

godrulz
July 7th, 2005, 07:47 AM
godrulz,
Please address what I brought up about Sodom and the Flood. It appears it is merely your desire God must absolutely be witness to every evil act of man. The Bible seems to indicate otherwise.


Did I not comment? Which post was it? I cannot find it. Was that the one I thought we should not interpret with a wooden literalism? God did come down and see. I think you are reading more into the text to assume God could be hoodwinked and not see if He did not want to. There is no thought, word, or deed that the Judge of the universe does not know. This is how He judges with perfect justice and knowledge.

Freak
July 7th, 2005, 08:11 AM
Freak: There are some senses that God changes, and other ways He does not change. We agree with you that God's essential character and attributes do not change. Yes, but I believe, in light of Scripture, that His knowledge/understanding of even the future is knowable. You disagree. That's fine. This is another in house debate among believers that doesn't affect ones salvation status.


The incarnation is the ultimate example of a change within God's being. God has always been triune and spirit. This has not changed. There are some elements within His nature that doesn't change, which I believe includes His understanding of what you would consider "unknowable." What mere humans consider unknowable isn't unknowable to Him.

Freak
July 7th, 2005, 08:15 AM
JWs seem to think that God is confined to a location and sends out angels and his impersonal radar, the holy spirit, to gather info. I think we want to avoid anything that might smells like this. Yep. Nineveh is bordering on the abusrd in understanding the omnipresence of God and God's understanding of the hearts of men. Her beliefs align closer to come cults that I know of.

Freak
July 7th, 2005, 08:24 AM
I don't really see it as a problem. In fact I think it helps the OV view. It helps to stress that God does not do the absurd. Absurd in whose eyes?

Nineveh
July 7th, 2005, 09:30 AM
Did I not comment?

Well, yes, but obviously about every thing but what I said.


Which post was it? I cannot find it.

Post 98.


Was that the one I thought we should not interpret with a wooden literalism?

If it is, I'd sure like to know how you take the Flood and Sodom any other way.


God did come down and see. I think you are reading more into the text to assume God could be hoodwinked and not see if He did not want to.

It's hard to ignore the events as they transpired. Out of curiosity though, if He knew and was witness to all these events, was He lying when He said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."


There is no thought, word, or deed that the Judge of the universe does not know. This is how He judges with perfect justice and knowledge.

I totally agree. However I think where we differ is how He knows. Like I said before, and perhaps you missed post 102 as well, but It's not an issue of His power or ability. It's an issue of not wanting to bear witness to every evil act of man. Didn't God deligate authority? Why be so adamant His angels aren't capable? They were at Sodom.

godrulz
July 7th, 2005, 10:41 AM
Yes, but I believe, in light of Scripture, that His knowledge/understanding of even the future is knowable. You disagree. That's fine. This is another in house debate among believers that doesn't affect ones salvation status.

God has always been triune and spirit. This has not changed. There are some elements within His nature that doesn't change, which I believe includes His understanding of what you would consider "unknowable." What mere humans consider unknowable isn't unknowable to Him.


Jesus, the Word, was not always flesh. He became flesh (Jn. 1:1, 14). The preexistent Christ changed to the God-Man, the man Christ Jesus (Paul in Timothy called Him this after the resurrection). God was still spirit and triune, but the Word now took on flesh (Phil. 2). The is clearly a change in the Godhead. Immutability is not absolute in every sense.

godrulz
July 7th, 2005, 10:46 AM
Ninevah: God's omnipresence means there is no place hidden from His awareness and influence, among other things. Omniscience means He knows whatever is logically knowable. The contingent future is not knowable exhaustively without determinism. There is no need to question God's absolute awareness and knowledge of the past and present exhaustively. Few Open Theists add your clauses and would consider it a compromise of Open Theism. The closed theists have even more problem. It is bad enough for them to think future knowledge is not knowable. It is even worse to think His presence and knowledge is limited in relation to existing reality.

Nineveh
July 7th, 2005, 11:00 AM
godrulz,
Ok, I won't ask you to reply to my post on this topic again, thanks for ignoring me :)

Knight
July 7th, 2005, 11:29 AM
Ninevah: God's omnipresence means there is no place hidden from His awareness and influence, among other things. Omniscience means He knows whatever is logically knowable. The contingent future is not knowable exhaustively without determinism. There is no need to question God's absolute awareness and knowledge of the past and present exhaustively. Few Open Theists add your clauses and would consider it a compromise of Open Theism. The closed theists have even more problem. It is bad enough for them to think future knowledge is not knowable. It is even worse to think His presence and knowledge is limited in relation to existing reality.I think the reason the argument is valid is two fold:

A. The biblical material (Nineveh's examples)
B. The idea that God is in control of His faculties and not that God's faculties are in control of Him.

However, this being said, I don't think I am prepared to be dogmatic on this issue either way. I think the larger issue (God's knowledge of future events) is far more important.

Knight
July 7th, 2005, 11:32 AM
You disagree. That's fine. This is another in house debate among believers that doesn't affect ones salvation status.So then why would your next post be so overdramatic . . .
Yep. Nineveh is bordering on the abusrd in understanding the omnipresence of God and God's understanding of the hearts of men. Her beliefs align closer to come cults that I know of.:down:

chance
August 3rd, 2005, 02:40 AM
Consider these enlightening passages that tell us about God's knowledge freak:


2 Chronicles 32:31 However, [regarding] the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was [done] in the land, God withdrew from him [Hezekiah], in order to test him, that He might know all [that was] in his heart.

Jeremiah 3:7 "I [God] thought, `After she has done all these things she will return to Me'; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it.

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

What do these passages tell us about God's knowledge freak?