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View Full Version : ARCHIVE: Open Theism in Light of First John 3:20



Freak
March 2nd, 2003, 09:48 PM
The very nature of Biblical prophecy, if nothing else, seems sufficient to render open theism implausible and lacking.

Even the Holy Scriptures speak clearly against the view that somehow God is unaware of some future events.

First John 1 (with emphasis on verse 20) clearly demonstrates God knows everything:

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence *20*whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

What part of "knows everything" that OVer's don't understand? God knows everything. Case close.

Goose
March 3rd, 2003, 12:09 AM
There is no 1st John 1:20

Knight
March 3rd, 2003, 12:24 AM
Freak.... Open Theists do not deny that God knows "everything".

Goose
March 3rd, 2003, 12:28 AM
Not only that, the word "everything" has like 6 or 7 different meanings in the NT.

Calvinist
March 3rd, 2003, 07:50 AM
Are you saying that God perfectly knows the future under OV?

When makes the challenge based on 1 John 3:20, I believe he is speaking of knowing "everything" including a meticulous understanding of the future, which is necessary for his Redemptive plan. But back to the verse in question and Goose's remark that "everything" has "like" 6-7 meanings in the NT:

1 John 3:20
oti ean kataginwskh hmwn h kardia, oti meizwn estin o qeoV thV kardiaV hmwn kai ginwskei panta.

1 John 3 (KJV)
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

ginwskei: 1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel 1a) to become known 2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of 2a) to understand 2b) to know 3) Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman 4) to become acquainted with, to know

panta: 1) individually 1a) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything 2) collectively 2a) some of all types

Now Goose can try and make "everything" in this verse means something like, "some of all things" but it just does not fit the context IMO. Another example of a hermeneutic that is, and should be, suspect of careful scholarship. Clearly the verse plainly means, using Enyart's "Sentence Within Technique": "God knows everything." Reinterpreting the word "everything" to is like quibbling over the word "is." Pantas means "everything" here and everything means everything.

But more important than this isolated verse is the context here. John is making a definite statement about just what complete knowledge God has. For the context of him saying that God knows everything is in relationship to our hearts. He knows the very actions that we will take in that he knows "everything" about our hearts:


My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

Summary: We know the truth of God, but we sometimes don't know our own hearts which lead astray. But God is not like us, for he knows our hearts better than we know then, because he is God and knows everything.

Freak
March 3rd, 2003, 08:52 AM
Calvinist says correctly, I might add:Reinterpreting the word "everything" to is like quibbling over the word "is." Pantas means "everything" here and everything means everything.

People, esp. OVer's, have incredible trouble using common sense when it comes to this subject.

Nihilo
March 3rd, 2003, 09:02 AM
As far as I know about Openness, the thinking is that future events are not included in the set of "things." For OVers, they would agree that God knows everything, just that "everything" does no include things that have not happened yet. Things that have not happened yet are not "things," so "every-thing" doesn't capture them.

I'm not agreeing with their view, just trying to clarify it. Any OVer can correct me if I erred.

Freak
March 3rd, 2003, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by Nihilo
As far as I know about Openness, the thinking is that future events are not included in the set of "things." For OVers, they would agree that God knows everything, just that "everything" does no include things that have not happened yet. Things that have not happened yet are not "things," so "every-thing" doesn't capture them.

I'm not agreeing with their view, just trying to clarify it. Any OVer can correct me if I erred.

God's Word tells us this:

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon me, and he told me to say: "This is what the LORD says: That is what you are saying, O house of Israel, but I know what is going through your mind.

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

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

His understanding of what might be and what might not be is not limited as His Word points out. He knows all possibilities, realized and unrealized for He knows all.

philosophizer
March 3rd, 2003, 12:08 PM
I have a couple questions.

I'm just starting to learn about this "Openness" business so I may not be fully up to speed with all of its doctrines. So please correct me, anyone, if I begin making any straw arguments.

First, how is christian salvation possible without God's knowledge of the future? If the world's end is not set, then the events detailed and revealed in the scriptures are not necessarily all that is needed because something unaccounted for could yet arise. That would mean that all the God-given prophesies are just "best guesses." It would also mean that Christ's sacrifice on the cross was not the last, all-powerful, all-forgiving act needed to save the world from sin and the evil forces could still out-trump Him somehow.

So if God does not know the future, what is biblical prophecy? It is just God's educated guess, isn't it? The OV view still claims that God knows all that is and was, right? So prophecies would be God's extrapolation of future possibilities based on probable directions that things could take. And since God knows more than anyone, including Satan, about all that is and was, God's extrapolation of future events would be much more accurate than Satan's and make it extremely likely that His plan of salvation through Jesus will work.

I see a big problem in this. It relies on probabilities. It leaves a chance, though extremely small, that God's plan could fail. Maybe my analysis isn't representative of OV views but if anyone can answer this problem I'm presenting, please do. I think Albert Einstein said quite nicely, "God doesn't play dice."


Next, what is open theism interpretation of what time is? Is time an eternal device or an elemnt of creation? Is time a structure or medium to contain existence, and if so, on what level does it reside-- does it contain all, or is it contained within a greater medium?

I believe that time is an element of creation. I believe that on the first day, God created the 4 dimensions to contain existence: 3D space and time. Therefore God exists outside of time. Whether you believe that God created time directly or that time is a by-product of the existence which God created, the creation ultimately leads back to Him and puts Him outside of time.

If God exists outside of time, then He has seen the nothingness when time didn't exist. It is tempting to use phrases like "before time" and "when time didn't exist" but that is fallacious since those are comparative measurements based on time. There would simply be two phases: existence and non-existence.

To exist outside of time would be to see it in terms of this existence on non-existence. Time would likely appear as a singularity. It would be one "thing" instead of a progression of events. It would be like a "big-picture" that shows all the progression of time at once. All events effectively happening in zero-time.

I believe that God knows the future. He has seen it, has always seen it, and is seeing it right now. It is all contained within the same big picture of existence. How else would He be able to know how to save humanity from our sin? How else would He know His plan would work?


Peace.

Knight
March 3rd, 2003, 12:11 PM
5 years ago Bob Enyart posted the following on TheologyOnLine. I think its worth posting again...
Omnipresence: Do we really mean God is everywhere at all times? Is He in Hell and will He forever be in the Lake of Fire? Being where you do not want to be is like being imprisoned, and no one is going to imprison God. I doubt He will be in these places. We warn people not to go to Hell where they would live without God. Says the Lord to the wicked, "I will cast you out of My presence" (Jer. 23:39). If these observations hold, then our non-biblical term "omnipresence" overstates the truth.

Omnipotence: Do we really mean that God has all power? God has created authorities, principalities and powers (Rom. 8:38; Eph. 3:10; 6:12; Col. 1:16; 2:15; 1 Pet. 3:22; Mat. 24:29; Mark 13:25; Luke 21:26) and thus He has delegated authority and power to beings that He created. When the Bible describes "God, who cannot lie" (Titus 1:2) it touches on the principle of absolute right and wrong. Righteousness is a description of God's character and not an arbitrary designation. (When the Christian scholastics taught that God's morality was arbitrary, they paved the way for the godless Renaissance and the Enlightenment.) God can not make rape praise-worthy and faithfulness wicked. He cannot by decree reverse the absolutes. Good is truly good, because it reflects God's character; and evil is truly evil, because it rejects God's character. If these observations hold, then the typical definition of "omnipotence" supercedes the truth.

Omniscience: Do we really mean that God knows everything? Says the Lord to the wicked, "I, even I, will utterly forget you" (Jer. 23:39). An inspired plea to God states, "Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions" (Ps. 25:7). "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins" (Isa. 43:25). God wants to put these wicked things out of His mind because it is ugly to remember them: "you have burdened Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities" (Isa. 43:24). Must God recall in vivid detail every gross perversion acted out by homos in public restrooms? Who would impose that vulgar duty on God? If these observations hold also, then our non- biblical term "omniscience" overstates the truth. Of that which is knowable, God knows that which He chooses to know and remember.

- 4-15-98 Bob Enyart

Knight
March 3rd, 2003, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by philosophizer
I believe that God knows the future. He has seen it, has always seen it, and is seeing it right now. It is all contained within the same big picture of existence. How else would He be able to know how to save humanity from our sin? How else would He know His plan would work?


Peace. There is no power more powerful than God.

If God want's His plan fulfilled then his plan will be fulfilled.

Maybe God's plan was to give mankind the REAL ability to have a will of his own.

Does God not have the power to delegate some of His own power?

philosophizer
March 3rd, 2003, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by Knight
Maybe God's plan was to give mankind the REAL ability to have a will of his own.

Does God not have the power to delegate some of His own power?

Absolutely, God has the power to delegate some of His power to us. And mankind's gift of freewill and the ability to make choices is a very definite part of His plan. Choice is an integral part of salvation. Every person is the product of his or her choices. They are what guide our lives and determine our fate.

But just because we are all the determiners of our lives and responsible for our influence on the lives of others doesn't mean that God does not know the future. Our choices are a part of His plan which He was able to conceive looking at the big picture of the entire stretch of time.

evseeker
March 3rd, 2003, 02:57 PM
philosophizer said:
I believe that God knows the future.

I would be interested in hearing why he believes this.

Knight
March 3rd, 2003, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by philosophizer
But just because we are all the determiners of our lives and responsible for our influence on the lives of others doesn't mean that God does not know the future. Our choices are a part of His plan which He was able to conceive looking at the big picture of the entire stretch of time. We have been down this road a million times. I realize you are new here... so I will be happy to go down this road again if you like.

Some people think....

Man has his own will and makes his own freewill choices.

Yet... God still knows all of the future in exhaustive detail.

These two views are mutually exclusive. I can explain why if you like.

Furthermore... if God knows the future in exhaustive detail we should find no instances in the Bible in where Gods predicts something that does not come to pass.

philosophizer
March 3rd, 2003, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by evseeker
philosophizer said:
I believe that God knows the future.

I would be interested in hearing why he believes this.

It would be fallacious to examine the view of one who exists beyond time in the terms and measurments that are dependent on time. Let me try to differentiate between time as a "process" and time as a "thing."

When you cook something there is a process. You must follow a recipie. You must add and do certain things in a certain order and in a certain way to get the desired (known) end result. Our view of time in our lives usually follows this. Time is a process, or rather a medium for our lives which are processes. God is seen as a chef who prepares the meal of time, following the recipie (process) perfectly until the known end result. This view is really all we need for our perspective. And in the manner that we can perceive it, it is correct.

But to one who exists beyond time and sees all of time as an instant, understanding time is more like knowledge of an object. I look at the kleenex box on my desk and I know what it is. I can immediately witness its properties. By simply looking at it I know its purpose. If I was looking at a TV monitor and I was shown the image of a kleenex box for as brief a moment as would be perceptable, I would know what it was. I do not need to see it do anything. It just sits there on my desk and I know what it is, what it is for, and all of its properties. Being able to witness time in an instant would be the same as knowing an object that is in front of you. It has a purpose but you do not need to see it do anything. It is doing everything at once. In fact I could say the same of the kleenex box. That kleenex box is doing everything at once. Everything it is capable of doing, it is doing. Time to the Timeless would be the same.

I said that I believe God knows the future. I'm sorry that I didn't define the term. The future is not a series of progressive events. What we call "the future" is an attribute of time itself.

philosophizer
March 3rd, 2003, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by Knight
We have been down this road a million times. I realize you are new here... so I will be happy to go down this road again if you like.

Some people think....

Man has his own will and makes his own freewill choices.

Yet... God still knows all of the future in exhaustive detail.

These two views are mutually exclusive. I can explain why if you like.

Furthermore... if God knows the future in exhaustive detail we should find no instances in the Bible in where Gods predicts something that does not come to pass.


I am aware that they seem mutually exclusive. I am not saying that both views can exist to us at the same time. I am, however, saying that both views can exist from different points of view at the same time. The view God sees is vastly different than the view we see.

Modern physics has even acknowledged that dependent on speed and direction, a single event can be perceived as happening at different times. All that stuff about theory of Relativity and time slowing as an object approaches the speed of light demonstrates this concept. A single event from different points of view under certain circumstances can actually be seen as happening at two different times.

It seems to me that perspective has a great deal to do with it. From our perspective the ideas may seem mutually exclusive and conventional logic would seem to agree. But, as God's perspective must be vastly different, I do not agree that these two ideas cannot coincide.

2 Peter 3:8 -- But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

This idea also seems a contradiction, yet to the Lord's point of view it must make perfect sense. The notion of the Trinity constantly faces the scrutiny of conventional logic, yet this does not mean that it is an impossibility from where God stands.

Lion
March 3rd, 2003, 04:28 PM
Phil-you asked
First, how is Christian salvation possible without God's knowledge of the future? If the world's end is not set, then the events detailed and revealed in the scriptures are not necessarily all that is needed because something unaccounted for could yet arise. That would mean that all the God-given prophesies are just "best guesses." It would also mean that Christ's sacrifice on the cross was not the last, all-powerful, all-forgiving act needed to save the world from sin and the evil forces could still out-trump Him somehow.God does not predestine individuals to salvation, but groups. Such as in the nation of Israel and the Body of Christ. Once you become a member of the Body of Christ, you are pre-destined to become holy and sanctified. As far as evil out trumping God somehow… that won’t happen, because God isall-powerful, (so long as you allow the biblical interpretation of what all powerful means, rather than what many Christians think it means). As for the cross saving the world, remember that it makes a way for salvation for those who would believe, not for the rest of the world. At the end of the battle, Christ will come down and the enemy will be destroyed not saved by the cross. God makes this prophesy just as He makes others, by stating that He will make it happen, not that He foreknew or foresaw that it would happen.


So if God does not know the future, what is biblical prophecy? It is just God's educated guess, isn't it? The OV view still claims that God knows all that is and was, right? So prophecies would be God's extrapolation of future possibilities based on probable directions that things could take. And since God knows more than anyone, including Satan about all that is and was, God's extrapolation of future events would be much more accurate than Satan's and make it extremely likely that His plan of salvation through Jesus will work. I see a big problem in this. It relies on probabilities. It leaves a chance, though extremely small, that God's plan could fail.

Well, I partially answered this above, but let’s take it a bit further. The proof of this is in the numerous prophesies that were not fulfilled, as well as the numerous statements made by God that He would do one thing, but then decided against it because of repentance or because He was talked out of it by someone that He loved.
Is there a chance that God will fail, no. But there is a chance that the prophesies in the Book of Revelation will not come out exactly as stated. For instance, if every Jew in the world were to join the Body of Christ, the time of Jacob’s trouble would no longer be needed. Would God be upset about this? No way. He would be elated, because the Jews would be saved. Is there a chance, that Satan will win in the end? No. Because God is all powerful (meaning that He can do all that is possible for Him to do), and Satan is not. But notice that even in the Revelation, the majority of the people on the earth refuse God and are destroyed.


I believe that time is an element of creation. I believe that on the first day, God created the 4 dimensions to contain existence: 3D space and time. Therefore God exists outside of time. Whether you believe that God created time directly or that time is a by-product of the existence which God created, the creation ultimately leads back to Him and puts Him outside of time.

The key thing to look at here, is in your first line. “I believe…” Yes you do, but it is not based on any biblical support. God states that in the beginning, He created, matter, energy and life.
Gen. 1:1-3 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth(matter). The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light” (energy); and there was light…
Gen. 1:20-21 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, life with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Nowhere does God state that He created time. Just as He did not create love, or hate. These are not things. They are not matter, or energy or life. They are concepts. Just as time is not a “thing”, but rather just the normal procession from one event to the next.


If God exists outside of time, then He has seen the nothingness when time didn't exist. It is tempting to use phrases like "before time" and "when time didn't exist" but that is fallacious since those are comparative measurements based on time. There would simply be two phases: existence and non-existence.

Please listen to the ridiculousness of your own argument. When did God see this nothingness before time? Was it before He created time? Of course not, because the term itself refutes that possibility stating there was a before, before time was created. It is a contradiction, and God is not a contradiction, just as His power and His knowledge is also not a contradiction. That is why God is not powerful enough to make a rock so big He can’t move it, and He cannot know events in an as yet untold future, other than the events He will make happen. Because He is real and not a magic contradiction.


I believe that God knows the future. He has seen it, has always seen it, and is seeing it right now. It is all contained within the same big picture of existence. How else would He be able to know how to save humanity from our sin? How else would He know His plan would work?Once again, you state this with no biblical support but rather from your gut feeling. And that is understandable because it is hard for Christians (who love and honor God) to say something that seems to make Him less than all-powerful or all knowing. But we are not saying anything like that. We know that He is all-powerful and all knowing, but we accept the terms of what these things mean from the biblical passages that explain them to us.

One last example of what I am talking about. Most Christians think that faith means the blind belief that a child has. That is the standard explanation the vast majority of Christians today would state is what their faith is. But that is not what the bible says faith is. The bible states in Hebrews that it is anything but that, telling us clearly that faith is:
Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hope this helps with our position.

Knight
March 3rd, 2003, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by philosophizer
I am aware that they seem mutually exclusive. I am not saying that both views can exist to us at the same time. I am, however, saying that both views can exist from different points of view at the same time. The view God sees is vastly different than the view we see.

Modern physics has even acknowledged that dependent on speed and direction, a single event can be perceived as happening at different times. All that stuff about theory of Relativity and time slowing as an object approaches the speed of light demonstrates this concept. A single event from different points of view under certain circumstances can actually be seen as happening at two different times.Yet in reality both events did indeed happen at the same time.


It seems to me that perspective has a great deal to do with it. From our perspective the ideas may seem mutually exclusive and conventional logic would seem to agree. But, as God's perspective must be vastly different, I do not agree that these two ideas cannot coincide.Well then put these idea's to the test!

Let's assume for sake of argument that God knows all of the future in exhaustive detail as you assert.

And at THIS moment He knows that my friend John Doe is not saved.

Let's further assume that God also knows that John Doe will live the next three years of his life rejecting God. Of course God also knows every other detail of John Does life for the next three years as well. God knows.... that in three years John Doe will eventually commit suicide by an overdose of drugs and die an unsaved man on March 3rd 2006.

John Doe knows none of this of course.

Ask yourself: Does John Doe have the ability to make God's foreknowledge of John's own life for the next three years NOT come to pass?

Can John Doe thwart God's exhaustive foreknowledge?

P.S. Also.... you failed to respond to my second point in my last post in where I said "Furthermore... if God knows the future in exhaustive detail we should find no instances in the Bible in where Gods predicts something that does not come to pass."

philosophizer
March 4th, 2003, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by Lion
Nowhere does God state that He created time. Just as He did not create love, or hate. These are not things. They are not matter, or energy or life. They are concepts. Just as time is not a “thing”, but rather just the normal procession from one event to the next.

Interesting. I think I understand these ideas a little better now, thank you.

A large part of our disagreement has to do with our interpretations of time. I see it as an element of creation while you see it as an element of perception. Not as a "thing" but as a conceptual description of the progress of events.

I still, however, see evidence of its creation.

Genesis 1:1-5 -- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning-the first day.

First, what are "day and night?" On Earth, day is the period of time when the light of the sun shines on whatever side of the planet you are standing on. Night is when the sun is on the opposite side. Our measurements of day and night are based on the sun and the rotation of the Earth as it orbits the sun.

Yet the sun doesn't get created until the fourth day.
Verse 17-18: "God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good."

Governing the day and night, enabling us to measure and count the days is of importance only to us. God does not need to count days. If our measurments of day and night are based on the sun which was created on day four, why was there day and night on the first day? God was the only one around at that point, and it doesn't seem like an eternal being would need to count days.

I see this as evidence pointing to the motion of time. Day and night are descriptions we use to describe our position in terms of other celestial bodies. But I think verse 5's description of day and night point to God kick-starting the motion of time.

I therefore see time as an element of creation, not an element of perception.

philosophizer
March 4th, 2003, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by Knight
Also.... you failed to respond to my second point in my last post in where I said "Furthermore... if God knows the future in exhaustive detail we should find no instances in the Bible in where Gods predicts something that does not come to pass."[/i]

I would prefer to respond to the specific rather than the general. Could you give me a few specific predictions that you would suggest I look at. I'll take a look at them as soon as I can.

Thanks.

philosophizer
March 4th, 2003, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by Lion
Please listen to the ridiculousness of your own argument. When did God see this nothingness before time? Was it before He created time? Of course not, because the term itself refutes that possibility stating there was a before, before time was created. It is a contradiction, and God is not a contradiction, just as His power and His knowledge is also not a contradiction. That is why God is not powerful enough to make a rock so big He can’t move it, and He cannot know events in an as yet untold future, other than the events He will make happen. Because He is real and not a magic contradiction.

Exactly. I agree. I presented that contradiction and then immediately refuted it to show that our own measurements of time could not be applied to such a situation.

God is not a contradiction. But sometimes elements of His nature may seem contradictory in our vision. The greatest hinderence we have to our future understanding of the world we live in is our current understanding of the world we live in. No man can know everything and we are constantly learning more about the world around us. Many things that once seemed contradictory or beyond our understanding are now understood.

Am I to believe that a person can fully understand the nature of God? Am I to believe that nothing has to necessarily surpass our understanding? All our compiled knowledge is a tool used for learning more, but that tool is constantly changing and it contunually makes parts of itself obsolete.

I've already demonstrated that I see time as an element of creation and under this situation, there would simply be time's existence and non-existence. There can be no linearity applied to it.

Knight
March 4th, 2003, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by philosophizer


I would prefer to respond to the specific rather than the general. Could you give me a few specific predictions that you would suggest I look at. I'll take a look at them as soon as I can.

Thanks. OK.... I have tons of examples....

Let's start with one of them, in the book of Isaiah God speaks of Israel as a "Vinyard".
Isaiah 5:1 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? Two times God states that He expected one outcome but ended up with another.

IF.... God has exhaustive foreknowledge of the future why would God expect an outcome that was not part of His exhaustive foreknowledge?

Knight
March 4th, 2003, 04:17 PM
I don't want this to get lost in the shuffle so when you have time please respond to what I posted above which was.....

Let's assume for sake of argument that God knows all of the future in exhaustive detail as you assert.

And at THIS moment He knows that my friend John Doe is not saved.

Let's further assume that God also knows that John Doe will live the next three years of his life rejecting God. Of course God also knows every other detail of John Does life for the next three years as well. God knows.... that in three years John Doe will eventually commit suicide by an overdose of drugs and die an unsaved man on March 3rd 2006.

John Doe knows none of this of course.

Ask yourself: Does John Doe have the ability to make God's foreknowledge of John's own life for the next three years NOT come to pass?

Can John Doe thwart God's exhaustive foreknowledge?

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 04:19 PM
Open Theism fails on several counts.

First of all many OVer's will attempt to point some passages that appear to say God is ignorant of the future, this is simply nonsense.

Consider that the writers of Scripture often use anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms which are merely descriptions of God's actions and feelings in human terms. Which we humans often intrepret incorrectly (as the OVers have done). So, in light of Mal. 3:6 & James 1:17, we see that God did not change but rather the language employed in this verse expressed God's patience; not that He changed. The writers of Scripture make that clear: "I the Lord do not change" and James tells us that with God, "there is no variation or shadow due to change."

In Numbers 23:19 we see that God is not a man, his actions must be unalterable. Since God is unchangeable He doesn't "change" His mind or plans (or even actions). Pretty clear to me. So, looks like the burden of proof lies with you to prove God is like a man, when in light of Numbers 23 He isn't. He cannot change (in any way).

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

Knight
March 4th, 2003, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by Freak
Open Theism fails on several counts.

First of all many OVer's will attempt to point some passages that appear to say God is ignorant of the future, this is simply nonsense.

Consider that the writers of Scripture often use anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms which are merely descriptions of God's actions and feelings in human terms. Which we humans often intrepret incorrectly (as the OVers have done). So, in light of Mal. 3:6 & James 1:17, we see that God did not change but rather the language employed in this verse expressed God's patience; not that He changed. The writers of Scripture make that clear: "I the Lord do not change" and James tells us that with God, "there is no variation or shadow due to change."Ah the ol' anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms loop hole eh Freak? :D

Anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms are intended to help the reader understand the text. NOT HINDER the reader from understanding the text. All anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms have meanings, and you must ask yourself.... do these anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms help us to understand what is being said, or do they mean the opposite of what is being said or something different from what is being said?

Case in point:
Most closed viewers assume that the following verse about God repenting is simply a anthropopathism or a anthropomorphism.
Genesis 6:6 And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. Assuming the verse IS a anthropopathism or a anthropomorphism what does the anthropopathism or anthropomorphism mean in context to the verse? Does the anthropopathism or anthropomorphism make the verse mean something OTHER than what it says? Or does the anthropopathism or anthropomorphism help us to understand that God was indeed "sorry" that He created man on earth.

Tell me Freak....
In your opinion, what does the anthropopathism or anthropomorphism MEAN in Genisis 6:6?

Freak continues....
In Numbers 23:19 we see that God is not a man, his actions must be unalterable. Since God is unchangeable He doesn't "change" His mind or plans (or even actions). Pretty clear to me. So, looks like the burden of proof lies with you to prove God is like a man, when in light of Numbers 23 He isn't. He cannot change (in any way). God has the prerogative to not change His mind or change His actions regarding a specific judgment, after all who is going to stop Him?

However God has the capability of changing and tells us in no uncertain terms that will in fact do just that!
Jeremiah 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 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. Furthermore... Freak, clearly you overstate your case when you say "He cannot change (in any way)" after all, you do not reject Christ's deity do you? And certainly you would have to agree that He "became flesh" right?
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Freak continues....
What many OVer's also fail to see is that Jesus who is God was able to look into the future and knew exactly what was to pass. Did Jesus really only make a prediction about Peter denying him based upon Peter's character? But the prophecy was so specific: three denials before the rooster crowed twice (Mark 14:30-72). When Ezekiel prophesied about the destruction of the city of Tyre, was that just a really good guess? It was too accurate a prophecy for that. Freak.... how about when God predicted through Jonah that Nineveh would be destroyed in 40 days? Was it destroyed in 40 days?
Jonah 3:1 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you." 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. 4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 05:34 PM
Knight, let's answer some of your questions here.

First, you asked me: In your opinion, what does the anthropopathism or anthropomorphism MEAN in Genisis 6:6?

Genesis 6:6 tells us: The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

I do not see where God is repenting. Does God need to repent? Of course not for He is not a man needing to repent.

For the Word of God teaches you Knight:

God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

So, it is clear God is not repenting here. Perhaps relenting (according to His will not to man) but not repenting in the light of the Numbers 23 passage.

Then you resort to the question about the incarnation. You basically asked- since Jesus became man did He (God) not change?

Nope. God's essence is spirit. His incarnation did not alter His essence. Remember there is three persons with the Godhead. The Godhead's essence never changes in light of Mal. 3:6 & James 1:17). Don't you agree?

When I asked Knight:

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

He answers by asking me a question. I'll wait to answer your question when you completely answer my intial question.

Knight
March 4th, 2003, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by Freak
Knight, let's answer some of your questions here.This would be the place! :D

Freak continues...
First, you asked me: In your opinion, what does the anthropopathism or anthropomorphism MEAN in Genisis 6:6?

Genesis 6:6 tells us: The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

I do not see where God is repenting. Does God need to repent? Of course not for He is not a man needing to repent.Freak, with all due respect the word in Genesis 6:6 is "nacham", which is the Hebrew word for "repent". Which is why the KJV appropriately translates the verse... "Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. "

In other words....
God changed His mind from when He felt that everything was "good" (Genesis 1:31). Repent, relent, sorry are all acceptable translations for the word "nacham".

Freak continues...
For the Word of God teaches you Knight:

God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

So, it is clear God is not repenting here. Perhaps relenting (according to His will not to man) but not repenting in the light of the Numbers 23 passage.Repenting, relenting and feeling sorry all have the same meaning in that at one point God felt a certain way and then later He didn't feel that way anymore as in Genesis 6:6.

So.... I will ask it in another way....
In your opinion, what does the word "nacham" MEAN in Genisis 6:6?

Freak continues...
Then you resort to the question about the incarnation. You basically asked- since Jesus became man did He (God) not change?

Nope. God's essence is spirit. His incarnation did not alter His essence. Remember there is three persons with the Godhead. The Godhead's essence never changes in light of Mal. 3:6 & James 1:17). Don't you agree? Congratulations! You just gave the prototypical Open View response in that God does NOT CHANGE in essence or in character.

But keep in mind your original assertion was that God does not change in ANY WAY. Which clearly is an un-biblical concept.

Freak continues...
When I asked Knight:

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

He answers by asking me a question. I'll wait to answer your question when you completely answer my intial question. My answer is clear....

Some of things that God predicted within the Bible come to pass as predicted which shows God's incredible knowledge of His creation. Yet MANY other things do not come to pass as predicted which shows two things: 1. man has a will apart from God's. 2. God is merciful! And God can and does change based on mans actions or reactions.

When God told Nineveh that in 40 days they would be destroyed, God was not a prisoner to His own foreknowledge! God was able to change His plan for Nineveh due to the fact that Nineveh repented and God is merciful!

Likewise...
God tells us that those who reject Him are already condemned.
John 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.Yet God is not a subject to His own foreknowledge and can change and have mercy upon those who accept Him.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.Praise the Lord!

Prisca
March 4th, 2003, 06:16 PM
Freak said, "Since God is unchangeable He doesn't "change" His mind or plans (or even actions)."

It's a good thing Hezekiah didn't believe this way of thinking:

2Kings 20:1-6 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’” Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.” ’ ”

Poly
March 4th, 2003, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by Becky


It's a good thing Hezekiah didn't believe this way of thinking:

2Kings 20:1-6 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’” Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.” ’ ”
Good point Becky. Maybe that's because Hezekiah knew he was praying to the LIVING God.:thumb:

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 07:25 PM
Knight claims: God changed His mind.

God is not like a man to change His mind.

God's Word tells us:

God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

God is not like man to change.

God's Word also tells us:

"I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

So, God says He doesn't change. You say He changes. Hmmmm...

God's Word also tells us:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Again we are informed that He does not change. He didn't change His mind. He knows everything so how could He?

God's Word tells us that He knows all:

...whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

So, how could He, Knight?

In Genesis 6 God "relented" (for He could not repent according to Numbers 23)-- meaning He held back but this does not mean He "changed"---His ways are not our ways!

I believe when understanding free will & God's foreknowledge--we need to acknowledge both and believe both but...

...we cannot deny God's omniscience--for the Scriptures are quite clear-God knows everything and there is no limitation to His understanding. How we harmonize both? We don't, Moses tells us:

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by Becky


It's a good thing Hezekiah didn't believe this way of thinking:

2Kings 20:1-6 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’” Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.” ’ ”

Are you telling me that you believe God changes His mind despite God's Word telling us:

**"I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed."**

Orthodox Christianity embraces the Scriptural truth that God knows all. Read the Holy Scriptures for yourself:

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon me, and he told me to say: "This is what the LORD says: That is what you are saying, O house of Israel, but I know what is going through your mind.

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

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Omniscience simply means "all knowledge"-Holy Scripture points to the truth that God knows all things for He has all knowledge contrary to the heretical open view theory.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?"
"Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?"
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by Polycarpadvo

Good point Becky. Maybe that's because Hezekiah knew he was praying to the LIVING God.:thumb:

Who's not embracing the idea that God is not a living God?

My trust is in God's Word that declares:

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

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

Prisca
March 4th, 2003, 07:48 PM
Did God change His mind regarding Hezekiah, or was He just lying?

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by Becky
Did God change His mind regarding Hezekiah, or was He just lying?

God doesn't lie, Becky. That's a silly question and God doesn't change His mind.

For God's Word tells you:

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

You tell me. Was God limited in understanding Hezekiah's future, in light on this passage?

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

Becky, it's quite clear: "Everything is uncovered" (including the future) and " laid bare before His eyes"--you do believe this Becky, don't you?

Are we ever going to understand all that God does? Of course not! He works withinh another dimension. Who are we to try to figure everything out? We are but human. He is God.

themuzicman
March 4th, 2003, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by Freak

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

What? Is your God not powerful enough to do that? Is your God so ignorant of what's going on that He couldn't possibly predict with that kind of precision?

Pretty weak God.

Michael

Goose
March 4th, 2003, 08:32 PM
Changing one's mind doesn't make one a liar.

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by Goose
Changing one's mind doesn't make one a liar.

For God's Word tells you:

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

You tell me. Was God limited in understanding Hezekiah's future, in light on this passage?

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

My friend, it's quite clear: "Everything is uncovered" (including the future) and " laid bare before His eyes"--you do believe this Goose, don't you?

Goose
March 4th, 2003, 09:30 PM
Of course I believe that.

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by Goose
Of course I believe that.

Oh Knight, what about you?

Knight
March 4th, 2003, 11:23 PM
Originally posted by Freak
In Genesis 6 God "relented" (for He could not repent according to Numbers 23)-- meaning He held back but this does not mean He "changed"---His ways are not our ways!Held back? Held back what??? What are you talking about? The bible is pretty clear God repented, relented or felt sorry (which ever way you want to slice it) that He made man.
Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Freak continues to reference Numbers 23. Let me address that... Numbers 23 doesn't mean that God doesn't have the ability to change or relent but only that He isn't going to repent regarding the specific situation in Numbers 23. God is all powerful isn't He? If so.... clearly He should have one of the most basic capabilities: the ability to change! The kind of gods that can't change are called "stone idols".

And then Freak appeals to... "His ways are not our ways" . I am sorry but I feel that is sort of a theological cop out. If God says He repented, relented or felt sorry I think we should take His word and believe HIm.

OK... Freak I would like you to re-address your assertion that God does not change in ANY WAY. The Bible clearly shows God changing in many ways most notably that God "became flesh". I don't throw the term "heretic" around very loosely but I would certainly consider the statement God doesn't change in ANY WAY complete and utter heresy, for do so.... denies that God "became flesh" and dwelt among us.

novice
March 4th, 2003, 11:36 PM
Freak, you never directly answered Becky's question.

She asked "Why pray"?

In light of your comment "Since God is unchangeable He doesn't "change" His mind or plans (or even actions)."

Praying to God seems a bit meaningless in light of that view.

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 11:51 PM
How many times do I have to tell you that God doesn't repent.

God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

God's Word has spoken so leave it at that. He can't repent. He is perfect. So, that passage is not referring to God's repentance.

Besides there is no clear intepretation to Genesis 6:6

NIV -The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

NASB-The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

AMP-And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved at heart.

NLT-So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them. It broke his heart.

You must be a ole King James kind of guy-And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Regretted, relented, sorry, etc---the fact remains God did not repent (mind you---when reading Scripture use some common sense), in light of the clear teaching of God's Word that tells us He doesn't repent.

God was grieved and your point?

Then you make a anti-Biblical statement:

If so.... clearly He should have one of the most basic capabilities: the ability to change!

You say this despite the truth that He doesn't change:

"I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed."

What part of "I the Lord do not change." do you not understand???

The apostle James tells us:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows

What part of "who does not change" do you not understand???

How much clearer does God's Word need to be?

You may ask, Freak, how is it that God does not change?

Well, God doesn't change because He is perfect. Why does He need to change? He is perfection. He is God. He knows everything. He is absolute. What else does He need? No need for repentance. You thinking God repented is the stupidest thing I have heard.

So, Knight:

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

My friend, it's quite clear: "Everything is uncovered" (including the future) and " laid bare before His eyes"--you do believe this Knight, don't you?

God's Word tells us:

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

Is His understanding lacking to where he needs to change?

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by novice
Freak, you never directly answered Becky's question.

She asked "Why pray"?

In light of your comment "Since God is unchangeable He doesn't "change" His mind or plans (or even actions)."

Praying to God seems a bit meaningless in light of that view.

Huh?

We have a love relationship with God why wouldn't you want to talk to Him?

That was another stupid question.

Next.

Freak
March 4th, 2003, 11:56 PM
Knight,

Again God is spirit.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

God did not change. Jesus is the second person of the triune God--He is the unique God-man. He didn't change. He is pre-existent-no need for change. You are begging for Him to change when there was no change.

God's essence didn't change. He is always been "spirit"---

Goose
March 5th, 2003, 12:29 AM
Freak,

There's a difference between not changing in character but still being able to change in other ways.

God isn't stone. He changes. He has feelings. He wasn't always on the cross. He wasn't always a curse. He wasn't always in the grave. He changes. He lives. Peace and Grace.

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 08:55 AM
Originally posted by Goose
Freak,

There's a difference between not changing in character but still being able to change in other ways.

God isn't stone. He changes. He has feelings. He wasn't always on the cross. He wasn't always a curse. He wasn't always in the grave. He changes. He lives. Peace and Grace.

Goose--

God is perfection in the absolute sense. There is no need to change.

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by Freak


Goose--

God is perfection in the absolute sense. There is no need to change.

Perhaps this question will help.

Goose, do you believe God is perfect in the absolute sense?

Poly
March 5th, 2003, 09:36 AM
Changing does on equal sin. So many people feel that for some odd reason if God changes it's wrong and suddenly He's not a soveriegn God. If I tell my child He can go to Johnny's house this weekend but throughout the week he has thrown temper tantrums, lied about where he was, pushed his sister down and gave her a bloody nose, etc., am I wrong in changing my mind in letting him go because he does not now deserve to? Does he think of me as a weak parent in doing this? Does he think I'm wrong? He may hate it and sulk about it but deep in his heart he would know I did the right thing. Why does changing have to be wrong? We limit God when we think He is a God who cannot change. He's given us the freedom to change in our decisions. Why is it this same attribute be given to Him?

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by Polycarpadvo
Changing does on equal sin. So many people feel that for some odd reason if God changes it's wrong and suddenly He's not a soveriegn God. If I tell my child He can go to Johnny's house this weekend but throughout the week he has thrown temper tantrums, lied about where he was, pushed his sister down and gave her a bloody nose, etc., am I wrong in changing my mind in letting him go because he does not now deserve to? Does he think of me as a weak parent in doing this? Does he think I'm wrong? He may hate it and sulk about it but deep in his heart he would know I did the right thing. Why does changing have to be wrong? We limit God when we think He is a God who cannot change. He's given us the freedom to change in our decisions. Why is it this same attribute be given to Him?

Thank you for the story but please tell me: is God perfect?

You comment: We limit God when we think He is a God who cannot change.

God doesn't change according to Scripture.

God's Word tells us Poly:

"I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

What part of that do you not understand?

Knight
March 5th, 2003, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by Freak
God's Word has spoken so leave it at that. He can't repent. How could something be perfect that lacked such a basic ability? I have the ability to change, YOU have the ability to change, but you constrain God and claim you can change but He can't!

How much more clear does God need to speak to Freak....
Jer 15:6 You have forsaken Me, says the Lord, You have gone backward. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of repenting!

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 11:26 AM
*sigh*

Knight--

Consider that the writers of Scripture often use anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms which are merely descriptions of God's actions and feelings in human terms. In that Jeremiah passage we see the writers employing this.

Scripture is clear-God is perfect He doesn't need to repent.

God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

He is perfect--thats why He doesn't need that ability. Duh!

Knight
March 5th, 2003, 11:27 AM
Freak is basing his last argument on pagan Greek philosophy.

If something is perfect it cannot change, for if it did it wouldn't be perfect anymore.

The above logic has a glaring flaw.

It only could apply to an inanimate object. For instance... if a perfectly round bowling ball changed it might mean it is no longer a perfectly round bowling ball anymore.

However, God is NOT an inanimate object, God is the Living God. God is alive! He is an animate being which by definition means He can change. If an animate object couldn't change we might refer to it as "broken".

A clock that cannot change is "broken" and a person who cannot change is dead.

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 11:28 AM
So, my friend Knight, tell me:

Do you believe God is perfect in the absolute sense?

Knight
March 5th, 2003, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by Freak
So, my friend Knight, tell me:

Do you believe God is perfect in the absolute sense? Read my last post.

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 11:36 AM
Knight--

Because God is perfect He doesn't need to repent.

"You are the LORD God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham. You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites. You have kept your promise because you are righteous."

God is righteous. He does what is always right (For He is perfect). No need to repent of any action--for what He does is always right.

No need for a change in His thinking.

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 11:44 AM
In despite of God's Word telling us otherwise, Knight, you continue to portray a God that can be coaxed or compromised into changing. This is absurd.

Who has understood the mind of the LORD ,
or instructed him as his counselor?
Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge
or showed him the path of understanding?


Is it Moses, or David, Knight perhaps?

He is independent of His creation--so the answer is quite obvious noone!

Goose
March 5th, 2003, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by Freak


Goose--

God is perfection in the absolute sense. There is no need to change. This is the basis of pagan platonic philosophy and understanding of "god". Not the biblical understanding of the Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I'm surprised to see Freak, who helps convert so many pagans taking sides of pagan philosophers who said:

God is perfect.
The perfect does not change.
God does not change.

This is the philosophical basis for so many theologians through out the centuries who have based their beliefs on the unholy marriage between pagan philosophy and the Bible, consummated by people like Augustine, Martin Luther and John Calvin laboring and giving birth to a heretical theology known as Calvinism.

Through out all of scripture however, we understand that the God of the Bible DOES change, not for the worse, or for the better, but because He is perfect and alive. He has emotions. He repents. He cries. He cried for us!

Our God is not of stone. Jesus was the personification of God and became flesh. Not a stone idol! People who believe in the mutability of God do not put God in a box, we let him live and allow the Almighty to do whatever he wants. It's the ones who believe God is immutable and unchanging(practically made of stone) that put God in the box. Or more so, a coffin. His hands are tied. Calvin's God can not change.

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." - Col 2:8

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 11:59 AM
Goose--

Because God is perfect He doesn't need to repent.

"You are the LORD God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham. You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites. You have kept your promise because you are righteous."

God is righteous. He does what is always right (For He is perfect). No need to repent of any action--for what He does is always right.

No need for a change in His thinking.

Goose, a question for you: Does God do what is always right? If the answer is yes then why the need for repentance?

BTW, you will notice I have used Scripture as the basis for my beliefs not people.

Calvinist
March 5th, 2003, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by Goose
This is the basis of pagan platonic philosophy and understanding of "god". Not the biblical understanding of the Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I'm surprised to see Freak, who helps convert so many pagans taking sides of pagan philosophers who said:

God is perfect.
The perfect does not change.
God does not change.

This is the philosophical basis for so many theologians through out the centuries who have based their beliefs on the unholy marriage between pagan philosophy and the Bible, consummated by people like Augustine, Martin Luther and John Calvin laboring and giving birth to a heretical theology known as Calvinism.

Through out all of scripture however, we understand that the God of the Bible DOES change, not for the worse, or for the better, but because He is perfect and alive. He has emotions. He repents. He cries. He cried for us!

Our God is not of stone. Jesus was the personification of God and became flesh. Not a stone idol! People who believe in the mutability of God do not put God in a box, we let him live and allow the Almighty to do whatever he wants. It's the ones who believe God is immutable and unchanging(practically made of stone) that put God in the box. Or more so, a coffin. His hands are tied. Calvin's God can not change.

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." - Col 2:8

I am beginning to just feel sorry for your Goose. You have bought into a whole host of revisionist history and don't understand the Bible at all as a consequence.

To say that Classical Christianity is is "heretical" is just more proof that you are far from the Apostles' religion and yourseld have been, "spoil[ed]... through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

It's sad really and I shall pray for you.

Goose
March 5th, 2003, 12:06 PM
Calvin,

Why argue? It's OK cause it's all predestined!

Goose
March 5th, 2003, 12:10 PM
Freak,

Yes. God ALWAYS does what is right. Now you're gonna have to start getting into free will and how god has given us authority over things. This is where man's choice comes into play and how God isn't accountable for our sin.

Gen 1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

Calvinist
March 5th, 2003, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by Goose
Calvin,

Why argue? It's OK cause it's all predestined!

Yes, "unto salvation"....

But,
that's a typical comeback from a person who don't understand the doctrine.

Your lack of understanding does not negate the truth of Predestination nor does your lack of understanding give you a license to redefine it.

Furthermore, OUR lack of understanding about something in the Bible does not give us license to redefine its plain meaning to fit our finite understanding. This is a paradox to us: Immutability (Num 23) vs. the few passages in the OT where God seems to "change" his mind or “regret” (The Flood, Saul). This is not a reason to throw out the true doctrine of Immutability—the Scripture points to the truth of both, the higher being his Immutability, how one works with the other is unknowable.

Renegades have been reinterpreting the Bible to resolve the mysteries of our faith from the beginning, you are in numerous, errant company, Goose.

Knight
March 5th, 2003, 12:52 PM
Forget all passages that directly show God changing...... just keep repeating Numbers 23!!! :rolleyes:

Freak, "repent" doesn't necessarily mean turning from something you have done which was wrong. Repent can simply mean to change from one train of thought to another, or to change your plan, or to change your direction.

Why do you continue to reject the plain words of our great God?
Jer 15:6 You have forsaken Me, says the Lord, You have gone backward. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of repenting!

Knight
March 5th, 2003, 12:53 PM
How come everytime I answer Freak's objections he changes the subject? ;)

Poly
March 5th, 2003, 12:56 PM
Plato comes to his own conclusion by taking a few scriptures in the bible of God not changing and makes this concrete over every minute issue that will ever come up with God. Plato is the one who says if something changes it cannot be perfect. IF God can never change any aspect of any event whatsoever then this makes God a liar when we see events in the bible where He changes as in changing His mind NOT to take Hezekiah's life. So we have to come to the conclusion that He obviously did not mean "NOT CHANGE" as in remaining as a stone idle. If I say, "I am a woman, I will not change" does that mean I was wrong when I am driving down the road and decide to "change" lanes in my car? No. When God speaks of not changing He is speaking of His character, righteousness and holiness. How do we know this? By some God given common sense. A tree starts out as an acorn but does it remain this way? No. It changes, yet the tree always remains, perfectly, a tree.

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 01:01 PM
Ok, Knight, you say:

Freak, "repent" doesn't necessarily mean turning from something you have done which was wrong. Repent can simply mean to change from one train of thought to another, or to change your plan, or to change your direction.

Huh? Repentance is:

Taken from Unbound Bible Dictionary:

"The verb metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt_27:3).
Metanoeo, meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with
the cognate noun metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised."

Are you telling me God repented, in light of this?

God doesn't change. The passages you refer to mention Him doing nothing of the sort. The language employed in each case needs to be understood as a anthropomorphism or anthropopathism. For we understand from Scripture:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Knight, what part of "...who does not change..." do you not understand? Please tell me?

By the way, in this passage you refer to: Jer 15:6 You have forsaken Me, says the Lord, You have gone backward. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of repenting!

Can we understand His weariness as a anthropomorphism or anthropopathism? Or are you telling me your great God gets weary?

Calvinist
March 5th, 2003, 01:06 PM
Ooohhh... good Freak, you are getting into the real argument against the wooden OV interpretation of the Old Testament. Add this faulty hermeneutic to the revisionist history along the lines of Greek philosophy and the Partristics and you being to understand why the Evangelicals so overwhelmingly defeated them in session.

Knight
March 5th, 2003, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by Freak
Ok, Knight, you say:

Freak, "repent" doesn't necessarily mean turning from something you have done which was wrong. Repent can simply mean to change from one train of thought to another, or to change your plan, or to change your direction.

Huh? Repentance is:

Taken from Unbound Bible Dictionary:

"The verb metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt_27:3).
Metanoeo, meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with
the cognate noun metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised."

Are you telling me God repented, in light of this?The dictionary isn't the inerrent word of God.

Freak continues....
God doesn't change. The passages you refer to mention Him doing nothing of the sort. The language employed in each case needs to be understood as a anthropomorphism or anthropopathism. IF SO.... What does the anthropomorphism or anthropopathism MEAN within the context of the verse?????

Genesis 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

If.. "sorry" is a anthropomorphism or anthropopathism what does it mean? Please reinterpret the verse for us.

Freak continues...
For we understand from Scripture:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Knight, what part of "...who does not change..." do you not understand? Please tell me?God's righteous character does not change.

Freak continues...
By the way, in this passage you refer to: Jer 15:6 You have forsaken Me, says the Lord, You have gone backward. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of repenting!

Can we understand His weariness as a anthropomorphism or anthropopathism? Or are you telling me your great God gets weary? The verse means what it says!!! God is sick of repenting, relenting etc. He is tired of it! He wishes man wouldn't be such a knuckle head!

I don't second guess God.

Knight
March 5th, 2003, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by Calvinist
Ooohhh... good Freak, you are getting into the real argument against the wooden OV interpretation of the Old Testament. Add this faulty hermeneutic to the revisionist history along the lines of Greek philosophy and the Partristics and you being to understand why the Evangelicals so overwhelmingly defeated them in session. Uh.... yeah... right. :rolleyes:

Revisionist history?
Is it not true that to be altered and moved by something else happens least to things that are in the best condition . . . that those which are well made and in good condition are least liable to be changed by time and other influences. . . . It is universally true then, that that which is in the best state by nature or art or both admits least alteration by something else. . . . But God, surely and everything that belongs to God is in every way in the best possible state. . . . does he change himself for the better . . . or for the worse and to something uglier than himself? . . for the worse if he is changed . . . the gods themselves are incapable of change. . . . Then God is altogether simple and true in deed and word, and neither changes himself nor deceives others - Plato's Republic

Poly
March 5th, 2003, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by Knight
Is it not true that to be altered and moved by something else happens least to things that are in the best condition . . . that those which are well made and in good condition are least liable to be changed by time and other influences. . . . It is universally true then, that that which is in the best state by nature or art or both admits least alteration by something else. . . . But God, surely and everything that belongs to God is in every way in the best possible state. . . . does he change himself for the better . . . or for the worse and to something uglier than himself? . . for the worse if he is changed . . . the gods themselves are incapable of change. . . . Then God is altogether simple and true in deed and word, and neither changes himself nor deceives others - Plato's Republic


Don't you love how idiots love to come in and mess things up then others have to try and clean their mess?

Goose
March 5th, 2003, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by Calvinist


Yes, "unto salvation"....

But,
that's a typical comeback from a person who don't understand the doctrine.

Your lack of understanding does not negate the truth of Predestination nor does your lack of understanding give you a license to redefine it.

Furthermore, OUR lack of understanding about something in the Bible does not give us license to redefine its plain meaning to fit our finite understanding. This is a paradox to us: Immutability (Num 23) vs. the few passages in the OT where God seems to "change" his mind or “regret” (The Flood, Saul). This is not a reason to throw out the true doctrine of Immutability—the Scripture points to the truth of both, the higher being his Immutability, how one works with the other is unknowable.

Renegades have been reinterpreting the Bible to resolve the mysteries of our faith from the beginning, you are in numerous, errant company, Goose. To throw out scripture that says God lives and changes is to throw out the Word of God and not be able to trust God.

Cause if he says one thing He must mean something else....right? Wrong.

Poly
March 5th, 2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by Goose

Cause if he says one thing He must mean something else....right? Wrong.
Kind of like parents and public school teachers who make idle threats.

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 01:32 PM
When confronted with a Bible dictionary Knight replies:

The dictionary isn't the inerrent word of God.

So, I guess we can throw out dictionaries out or for the matter mathematic text books (those are not inerrant too)--so when a mathematics text book tells us 3+15=18 we shouldn't take too much stock into what it declares since it's not inerrant?

Thats nonsense Knight and you know it.

"You go on:

IF SO.... What does the anthropomorphism or anthropopathism MEAN within the context of the verse?????

Genesis 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

If.. "sorry" is a anthropomorphism or anthropopathism what does it mean? Please reinterpret the verse for us."

Thats easy. God was grieved.

As we know from Scripture God does not repent (Numbers 23:19).

I ask Knight:

For we understand from Scripture:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Knight, what part of "...who does not change..." do you not understand? Please tell me?

Knight incredibly answers:God's righteous character does not change.

Ok, what about His essence? Are you telling me God changes in other ways as do humans? What kind of puny God do you have, Knight? Is He constantly changing depending our human actions? What a bizarre God you serve.

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 01:37 PM
Oh Knight please consider,

Because God is perfect He doesn't need to repent.

"You are the LORD God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham. You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites. You have kept your promise because you are righteous."

God is righteous. He does what is always right (For He is perfect). No need to repent (or change) of any action--for what He does is always right.

No need for a change in His thinking.

Knight, a question for you: Does God do what is always right? If the answer is yes then why the need for repentance (or change)?

SwItChBlAdE
March 5th, 2003, 01:44 PM
Freak-
God does not change you are right! He does not change who he is. He is God and will always be God, He is perfect and will always be without fault.

Now lets say He has a plan for your life, the plan is you become a pastor. Lets also say you mess up, doing drugs or something. God can change His mind on your plan. He is like, I gave freak that choice, freak messed it up, now on to plan B. Which is quoting the same scripture over and over on Tol. ;)

OVER VIEW! God wont change who He is, But can and will change his mind and/or plans. :)

Goose
March 5th, 2003, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by Polycarpadvo

Kind of like parents and public school teachers who make idle threats. And we all know what happens there.

Freak
March 5th, 2003, 02:05 PM
I believe I'm finished with this subject for awhile. My points have been made. God will deal with those whom He desires to deal with.

Prisca
March 5th, 2003, 05:47 PM
Freak,

Your description of God is so limiting. I’m amazed that you can’t see it. A God that can’t change His course of action is a stone idol that cannot respond to prayer. How can we have a relationship with a god who is unable to change his mind? Your idea of God takes the reality out of so many wonderful passages in the Bible.

Psa. 55:16-19 As for me, I will call upon God, and the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me. God will hear, and afflict them, Even He who abides from of old. Selah because they do not change, therefore they do not fear God.

Psa. 66:19 –20 But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!

I could go on and on, but surely you get the point. A relationship requires interaction. How can we have interaction with the unchangeable?

Prisca
March 5th, 2003, 05:48 PM
Sorry, I didn't see your last post. I guess this is finished.

Knight
March 5th, 2003, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by Freak
When confronted with a Bible dictionary Knight replies:

The dictionary isn't the inerrent word of God.My point stands. A dictionary (even a Bible Dictionary) is NOT the word of God. When the Bible says God can and does repent whom am I to say otherwise?

Freak continues...
Thats easy. God was grieved. Great! We agree! God was grieved! Which of course is a change! God wasn't grieved and then because of man's wickedness, God became grieved even your redefinition requires an obvious change.

Freak's brain is on hold....
As we know from Scripture God does not repent (Numbers 23:19).As we know from scripture God can and DOES repent!

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.

Knight
March 5th, 2003, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by Freak
Knight, a question for you: Does God do what is always right? If the answer is yes then why the need for repentance (or change)? If God had no ability to change (repent) He wouldn't be able to be merciful! If God couldn't be merciful He couldn't be a righteous God!

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.

1. And God saw their works (What works? See point #2.)

2. that they (Nineveh) turned from their evil way

3. and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; (He said He was going to have Nineveh overthrown in 40 days - Jonah 3:4)

4. and he did it not. (He didn't have Nineveh overthrown in 40 days!)

What would the story be like with a god unable to change (repent)?

Maybe like this???
Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; yet God unable to change killed them anyway. - UCV (un-changeable version) :)

God is PERFECT BECAUSE He can change and repent and be merciful! Praise the Lord! Or as Jonah would say.... "I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. - Jonah 4:2

Knight
March 5th, 2003, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by Becky
Sorry, I didn't see your last post. I guess this is finished. Ha! This is far from finished! There is always... Calvinist, philosophizer, evseeker. :)

themuzicman
March 5th, 2003, 09:25 PM
why is it so hard to see that God could make His prophecies happen using His omnipotence, instead of seeing them through omnicience?

You all have to admit that the possibility exists.

Michael

Knight
March 6th, 2003, 11:45 PM
Oh.... philosophizer..... still waiting for a response to my following post from page #2:

Let's assume for sake of argument that God knows all of the future in exhaustive detail as you assert.

And at THIS moment He knows that my friend John Doe is not saved.

Let's further assume that God also knows that John Doe will live the next three years of his life rejecting God. Of course God also knows every other detail of John Does life for the next three years as well. God knows.... that in three years John Doe will eventually commit suicide by an overdose of drugs and die an unsaved man on March 3rd 2006.

John Doe knows none of this of course.

Ask yourself: Does John Doe have the ability to make God's foreknowledge of John's own life for the next three years NOT come to pass?

Can John Doe thwart God's exhaustive foreknowledge?

Knight
March 6th, 2003, 11:49 PM
Oh.... philosophizer.....while you are at it you never responded to the following:


Originally posted by philosophizer

I would prefer to respond to the specific rather than the general. Could you give me a few specific predictions that you would suggest I look at. I'll take a look at them as soon as I can.

Thanks. OK.... I have tons of examples....

Let's start with one of them, in the book of Isaiah God speaks of Israel as a "Vinyard".
Isaiah 5:1 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? Two times God states that He expected one outcome but ended up with another.

IF.... God has exhaustive foreknowledge of the future why would God expect an outcome that was not part of His exhaustive foreknowledge?

philosophizer
March 7th, 2003, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by Knight
Let's assume for sake of argument that God knows all of the future in exhaustive detail as you assert.

And at THIS moment He knows that my friend John Doe is not saved.

Let's further assume that God also knows that John Doe will live the next three years of his life rejecting God. Of course God also knows every other detail of John Does life for the next three years as well. God knows.... that in three years John Doe will eventually commit suicide by an overdose of drugs and die an unsaved man on March 3rd 2006.

John Doe knows none of this of course.

Ask yourself: Does John Doe have the ability to make God's foreknowledge of John's own life for the next three years NOT come to pass?

Can John Doe thwart God's exhaustive foreknowledge?

This question is completely circular. You describe a situation and then ask a question that doesn't pertain to any of the conditions of the situation you describe. You buddied up to the system I describe so that you can describe the setting and then revert back to your system to ask the question.

The possibility of THWARTING is a part of your system, not mine.

The situation you describe by default renders the possibility of John Doe thwarting God impossible, as it should be in any situation.

It is funny that you use the word "thwart." On www.dictionary.com, the definition reads:

1. To prevent the occurrence, realization, or attainment of: "They thwarted her plans."
2. To oppose and defeat the efforts, plans, or ambitions of.

Are you suggesting that under your described system, God can be thwarted? It may be hard to admit because of the negative connotation of the word but that is what your system demonstrates. I would offer the ability to do something unexpected to God as a description of "thwarting."

I appreciate the effort to bridge over to my system as an attempt to prove it wrong but you didn't fully make it. Your set-up pertained to my system while your question pertained to yours.

If you want to chase your tail, fine, but don't invite me to join you.

philosophizer
March 7th, 2003, 09:30 AM
I dispute the use of the term "foreknowledge."

As I have already pointed out, our difference of opinion is rooted in our differing interpretations of time. I view time as an element of creation and a medium through which our existence travels. You view time as an element of perception where it simply conceptually describes the progression of events.

Through my interpretation time was created by God. God is therefore not contained within this medium. He is the Creator and is not subject to any of His creations.

In this system, God transcends time. He is outside its containment. Therefore His view is very different than ours. From inside, time is a progression of events. But from outside, time is a thing. Its nature is clearly viewable and its attributes are not progressive, but instantaneous.

If time is viewed from this perspective, what we call the past, future, and present would all be seen at once as one single big-picture.

"Foreknowledge" is therefore a misnomer. All-knowledge might be a better description.

We are at a disadvantage. We live within time. We remember the past and contemplate the future, but we live in the moment (present). Our perspective on time would not match the perspective of one who transcends time. I'm not trying to debate you by repeatedly stating that God doesn't change. I am, however, challenging the concept of change itself, and its setting within time.

philosophizer
March 7th, 2003, 09:35 AM
And as to the bible situations you offered, I will take a close look at those and get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks again.

Knight
March 7th, 2003, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by philosophizer


This question is completely circular. You describe a situation and then ask a question that doesn't pertain to any of the conditions of the situation you describe. You buddied up to the system I describe so that you can describe the setting and then revert back to your system to ask the question.

The possibility of THWARTING is a part of your system, not mine.I disagree with you assertions regarding my question, however just to avoid discussing "words" let me rephrase the question....


Let's assume for sake of argument that God knows all of the future in exhaustive detail as you assert.

And at THIS moment He knows that my friend John Doe is not saved.

Let's further assume that God also knows that John Doe will live the next three years of his life rejecting God. Of course God also knows every other detail of John Does life for the next three years as well. God knows.... that in three years John Doe will eventually commit suicide by an overdose of drugs and die an unsaved man on March 3rd 2006.

John Doe knows none of this of course.

Ask yourself: Does John Doe have the ability to make God's "all knowledge" of John's own life for the next three years NOT come to pass?

Can John Doe choose do something otherwsie from God's "all knowledge"?

Nihilo
March 7th, 2003, 02:44 PM
Knight,

Isaiah 5:1-4 is a parable to convict the people of Judah. It is quite like Nathan's parable told to David in order to convict David concerning his seduction of Bathsheba and her husband's murder.

The reader/listener is drawn in by the story, and then it suddenly turns on them, saying, "This is you!" The people of Judah (or maybe their works) are the "wild grapes," and God is showing them that they can compare all that he had done for them, to all that a conscientous vineyard-owner does to yield good grapes. Except, the people weren't "good," but "wild."

His question, "Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?" is rhetorical. You can argue to the contrary, but it seems pretty clear. If he really didn't know "wild grapes" were coming beforehand, that's not the same thing as not knowing why they came, after the fact. Which is essentially what you're implying.

As such, I just don't think it's prudent to draw much about God's nature from this parable.

Nihilo

Nihilo
March 7th, 2003, 02:51 PM
Knight,

Just in case it wasn't clear, I am pointing out that your argument as stated not only shows God doesn't have foreknowledge, but that he doesn't have present-knowledge either. Not only did he not know "wild grapes" were coming, but he didn't even know how they got there - even with the beneift of hindsight!

Nihilo

Freak
March 7th, 2003, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by Nihilo
Knight,

Isaiah 5:1-4 is a parable to convict the people of Judah. It is quite like Nathan's parable told to David in order to convict David concerning his seduction of Bathsheba and her husband's murder.

The reader/listener is drawn in by the story, and then it suddenly turns on them, saying, "This is you!" The people of Judah (or maybe their works) are the "wild grapes," and God is showing them that they can compare all that he had done for them, to all that a conscientous vineyard-owner does to yield good grapes. Except, the people weren't "good," but "wild."

His question, "Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?" is rhetorical. You can argue to the contrary, but it seems pretty clear. If he really didn't know "wild grapes" were coming beforehand, that's not the same thing as not knowing why they came, after the fact. Which is essentially what you're implying.

As such, I just don't think it's prudent to draw much about God's nature from this parable.

Nihilo

Exactly. People need to read the Scriptures with common sense and in light of the clear passages that declare God doesn't change.

Knight, is attempting to create a new doctrine from these passages. Completely insane!

Knight
March 7th, 2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Nihilo
Knight,

Just in case it wasn't clear, I am pointing out that your argument as stated not only shows God doesn't have foreknowledge, but that he doesn't have present-knowledge either. Not only did he not know "wild grapes" were coming, but he didn't even know how they got there - even with the beneift of hindsight!

Nihilo Sorry, but that isn't what the text says.

God talks of Israel as the Vineyard and He talks of how He prepared the Vineyard with nothing but the finest ingredients....

Isaiah 5:2 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, after preparing His vineyard (in the way He did) at THAT POINT He expected "good grapes".

Isaiah 5:2 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, later.... it brought forth "wild grapes".

Isaiah 5:2 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.

God restates His argument...

Isaiah 5:4 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?

Therefore, I appreciate your response but your argument is in error. This has nothing to do with present knowledge as you assert. This chapter has EVERYTHING to do with God's expectations of Israel. If God has complete foreknowledge it would not make any sense for Him to expect something that is NOT a part of His foreknowledge.

Nihilo
March 7th, 2003, 03:34 PM
Knight,

Maybe I am mistaken. You're saying that if God had foreknowledge, then he wouldn't ever erroneously expect something that didn't come to pass. This is reasonable to me.

Where I'm not connecting with you is in the question, "Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?" Can't I argue, as you have, that if God knew why his vineyard bore wild grapes, he wouldn't ask why? If he knew why his vineyard brought forth wild grapes instead of good grapes, why would he ask?

Therefore God didn't know at that point why his vineyard brought forth wild grapes, right? God couldn't figure out why wild grapes were growing, so he asked to see if anyone could help him, if anyone else knew, right?

Show me if I'm not making sense.

Nihilo

Knight
March 7th, 2003, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Nihilo
Knight,

Maybe I am mistaken. You're saying that if God had foreknowledge, then he wouldn't ever erroneously expect something that didn't come to pass. This is reasonable to me.

Where I'm not connecting with you is in the question, "Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?" Can't I argue, as you have, that if God knew why his vineyard bore wild grapes, he wouldn't ask why? If he knew why his vineyard brought forth wild grapes instead of good grapes, why would he ask?

Therefore God didn't know at that point why his vineyard brought forth wild grapes, right? God couldn't figure out why wild grapes were growing, so he asked to see if anyone could help him, if anyone esle knew, right?

Show me if I'm not making sense.

Nihilo Oh.. OK.. I see your point and its a good one.

I am sorry for misunderstanding you.

Yes, the "why" is rhetorical, as by then (after the fact) God knew the "why". But my overriding point is at the time God was preparing the Vineyard clearly He was expecting it to bring forth "good grapes".

So in summary....
By the time God saw the "wild grapes" He knew why He had gotten "wild grapes", but clearly during Israel's preparation God was expecting "good grapes" which is a real problem for those who think that God has exhaustive foreknowledge of the future actions of freewill beings.

Nihilo
March 7th, 2003, 04:43 PM
Knight,
Oh.. OK.. I see your point and its a good one.Why, thank you.

Of course, you then went on to say that it was a minor point anyway, but that's okay.;) Seriously though, it's nice that you're honest and comfortable enough to legitimize an opposing viewpoint. I appreciate that.

But, if you think the "why" question is rhetorical, and that we cannot therefore properly infer much about God from it, then why so the rest of the parable? The parable is clearly not a story about a vineyard-owner and his grapes, but about God and his people.


...clearly during Israel's preparation God was expecting "good grapes" which is a real problem for those who think that God has exhaustive foreknowledge of the future actions of freewill beings.If this parable means that God expected "good" grapes, then I agree with you 100,000%. I, as a calvinisticalist, have a problem. It is not some trivial problem either, a loose end that just needs to be tied up. It is catastrophic. If God tells us that there have been times - even one time - when something happened that he did not anticipate, then my view has a huge problem.

But this is the crux of the whole issue, no? It hinges on whether there are examples of God not anticipating an event. What I aim to do is suspend judgment, so that I can with an open mind and a clear conscience judge whether this passage and others show God being surprised. This I will do for my own sake. It is comfortable to continually reaffirm what I already believe (regardless of how well-supported I think it is). It is, however, challenging and enriching and exciting to explore the data candidly.

That being said, I believe I am being honest when I say that this parable is intended to show one thing. It is to show Judah what their disobedience to God is like - it's like wild grapes growing in a carefully maintained vineyard. I just don't see foreknowledge or the lack thereof anywhere in it. And, I didn't want to bring this up, but the NIV and other versions of scripture do not even use the word "expect." To me, that weakens the case further.

Nihilo

Knight
March 7th, 2003, 04:55 PM
Nihilo, do you think God would lie to get a point accross?

I don't.

'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.' - Jeremiah 32:35

Nihilo
March 7th, 2003, 08:34 PM
Knight, what the screw are you doing?

You're accusing me of disbelief? Gather your courage to meet me head on, without resorting to such an insulting tactic! I offer an honest and carefully considered dissenting opinion and all the sudden I'm accused of infidelity?!
...do you think God would lie...? I don't.Well la-de-da. Aren't you righteous. And aren't I wicked.

Knight
March 8th, 2003, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by Nihilo
Knight, what the screw are you doing?

You're accusing me of disbelief? Gather your courage to meet me head on, without resorting to such an insulting tactic! I offer an honest and carefully considered dissenting opinion and all the sudden I'm accused of infidelity?!Well la-de-da. Aren't you righteous. And aren't I wicked. I wasn't accusing you of anything. Clearly you misread my question to you.

I simply asked if you thought God would lie to make point and then I cited...

'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.' - Jeremiah 32:3 Therefore, either it really didn't enter God's mind that man would be so evil as to do what they were doing OR He wasn't exactly telling the truth in Jer 32:3 wouldn't you agree?

Freak
March 8th, 2003, 08:22 PM
*

Knight
March 9th, 2003, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by Freak
* * :)

NuMessJew
March 9th, 2003, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by Knight
Sorry, but that isn't what the text says.

God talks of Israel as the Vineyard and He talks of how He prepared the Vineyard with nothing but the finest ingredients....

Isaiah 5:2 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, after preparing His vineyard (in the way He did) at THAT POINT He expected "good grapes".

Isaiah 5:2 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, later.... it brought forth "wild grapes".

Isaiah 5:2 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.

God restates His argument...

Isaiah 5:4 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?

Therefore, I appreciate your response but your argument is in error. This has nothing to do with present knowledge as you assert. This chapter has EVERYTHING to do with God's expectations of Israel. If God has complete foreknowledge it would not make any sense for Him to expect something that is NOT a part of His foreknowledge.

Doesn't anyone here believe in allegory?

NuMessJew

NuMessJew
March 9th, 2003, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Knight
Sorry, but that isn't what the text says.

God talks of Israel as the Vineyard and He talks of how He prepared the Vineyard with nothing but the finest ingredients....

Isaiah 5:2 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, after preparing His vineyard (in the way He did) at THAT POINT He expected "good grapes".

Isaiah 5:2 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, later.... it brought forth "wild grapes".

Isaiah 5:2 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.

God restates His argument...

Isaiah 5:4 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?

Therefore, I appreciate your response but your argument is in error. This has nothing to do with present knowledge as you assert. This chapter has EVERYTHING to do with God's expectations of Israel. If God has complete foreknowledge it would not make any sense for Him to expect something that is NOT a part of His foreknowledge.

I hate to spoil your fun but it is notGod speaking here.
Isa. 5:1
Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

It is the Prophet!

NuMessJew

Knight
March 9th, 2003, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by NuMessJew


I hate to spoil your fun but it is notGod speaking here.
Isa. 5:1
Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

It is the Prophet!

NuMessJew Israel is not Isaiah's "Vinyard". Israel is God's Vineyard.

Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel.

NuMessJew
March 9th, 2003, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by Knight
Israel is not Isaiah's "Vinyard". Israel is God's Vineyard.

Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel.

Israel is the vinyard but It is the Prophet speaking, not God.

NuMessJew

Nihilo
March 9th, 2003, 06:46 PM
Knight,

You say:
I wasn't accusing you of anything. Clearly you misread my question to you.Don't p*** down my back and tell me it's raining. Here is what you wrote:
Nihilo, do you think God would lie to get a point accross?

I don't.This is an insulting question. It is disrespectful, undeserving of an answer. It belies your attitude towards me, someone you don't know. Ever heard of "benefit of the doubt?" Apparently that benefit lasts 3 posts with you. After only 3 posts, you're ready to ask, "Do you think that God lies?"

You have your view, which you long ago ceased examining critically. You are "cured" in the open view. It's no longer your view. It is you. Any doubt about, criticism of, or argument against, your view, is a knock on you. This is why you suspect me of being unscrupulous.

This makes sense, if after I write my opinion on the parable in Isaiah 5, you counter with an insult. I offer an opinion on a text, and you berate me. I disagree with what you think the text means, and that means I think God's a liar.

I'm not naive Knight. I didn't "misread" your post. I read it very carefully, and I get you. I get what you mean. You're afraid of your view being wrong. And I don't mean totally wrong either. You're afraid of even the slightest thing being erroneously derived. Sounds to me like you've got yourself a house of cards. If it falls, is that really horrible? It is just of cards afterall.

And on a minor point, you changed the subject to Jer 32 when we were discussing Is 5. Stay the course.

NuMessJew
March 9th, 2003, 09:26 PM
Knight wrote;
"Nihilo, do you think God would lie to get a point accross?"

Well we can say that at the very least he has been just a little disingenuous. He gives the Jews the Law. Tells them if they break it he will punish them. And he does. Then he says, "ha just kidding you need Jesus".
A little strange don't you think?

NuMessJew

Freak
March 9th, 2003, 09:40 PM
Nihilo said: I'm not naive Knight. I didn't "misread" your post. I read it very carefully, and I get you. I get what you mean. You're afraid of your view being wrong. And I don't mean totally wrong either. You're afraid of even the slightest thing being erroneously derived. Sounds to me like you've got yourself a house of cards. If it falls, is that really horrible? It is just of cards afterall.


Knight is nervous about OV being wrong (as we well know it is) & he does in fact have a "house of cards"---the open view has been rejected by orthodox Christianity and largely by the Body of Christ as bordering heresy.

Freak
March 9th, 2003, 09:41 PM
If God were to "change his mind" about anything, this would mean by default that he failed to have complete knowledge (omniscience). Correct? You may ask Freak- why is this? Well, if a "change" became necessary for God, this would be a shortcoming or lack of complete knowledge. Knight, your idea that somehow God can change in unBiblical and dangerous. Prayerfully reconsider.

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

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

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

Knight
March 9th, 2003, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by Nihilo
Knight,

You say: Don't **** down my back and tell me it's raining.Consider this your final warning, if you wish to participate here at TheologyOnLine you will need to avoid offensive language.

Knight
March 9th, 2003, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by Freak
A change for a perfect being (God) must be a change for the worst since a perfect God could not change for the better-for He is perfect. If God were a statue or an inanimate object you might have a point.

But God is NOT an inanimate object.

God is the Living God. In other words... God is alive! Things that are alive are NOT inanimate. Things that are alive are animated!

Nihilo
March 10th, 2003, 07:55 AM
Knight is there a list of offensive words I can refer to? I don't want to get booted on a technicality.

Freak
March 10th, 2003, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by Nihilo
Knight is there a list of offensive words I can refer to? I don't want to get booted on a technicality.

I didn't see where you were being offensive, perhaps Knight's having a bad day.

philosophizer
March 10th, 2003, 10:39 AM
I'll ask you, is everything that God says a prophecy?

There is a great deal of allegorical inferrence in the "Song of the Vineyard," but there is a difference between prophecy and persuasion. Nihilo had a good point when he said,

But, if you think the "why" question is rhetorical, and that we cannot therefore properly infer much about God from it, then why so the rest of the parable? The parable is clearly not a story about a vineyard-owner and his grapes, but about God and his people.

If you acknowledge that one part of the passage is rhetorical, where and why do you draw the line that separates that from the rest of the passage?

Is the job of a prophet only to prophesy future events? Can a prophet not also be a tool of God to direct His people and guide their path? You ask if God would lie to get his point across. What makes you think He is lying in this situation or any situation? Your answer must be that every time God opens His mouth, a prophecy comes out. Under that premise, God would be lying.

I assert that your premise is flawed. God can also persuade, which is different than prophesying. Your answer to this flawed premise is to dull down the definitions of both prophecy and God. You have redefined prophecy as the God-given knowledge of His best guess. And you have redefined God as one who must make these guesses. You have set up a convenient system where God is the presently most informed so His predictions will always be right, even if they are only guesses.

Freak also added,

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

He descibes a paradox. The response to this has been that denying God the ability to change retracts from His completeness and thereby makes Him imperfect. We have a battle of the paradoxes. Earlier in this thread, Lion presented this example which I have heard many times and wholeheartedly agree with.

That is why God is not powerful enough to make a rock so big He can’t move it

Of course God cannot make a rock so big He can't move it. Is this a paradox? Yes. Does it imply God can't do something? Yes. Does it deny God something? In a way, yes.

God has a nature or a state which He is unable to violate. For example, God cannot do evil because his nature is completely good. God cannot lie because his nature is completely truthful. God could not create something He would not have the power to move because He is all-powerful and could not place Himself beneath something that He created.

The difference between your paradox and Freak's paradox is that Freak's denies God an ability for the sake of accepting His power. Yours denies God power for the sake of accepting an ability. In the paradoxes I listed above, I denied God a few abilities to accept His power. This is how we decide which way to go when confronted by these paradoxes. We must take the side that agrees with God's power.

NuMessJew
March 10th, 2003, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by philosophizer
I'll ask you, is everything that God says a prophecy?

There is a great deal of allegorical inferrence in the "Song of the Vineyard," but there is a difference between prophecy and persuasion. Nihilo had a good point when he said,


If you acknowledge that one part of the passage is rhetorical, where and why do you draw the line that separates that from the rest of the passage?

Is the job of a prophet only to prophesy future events? Can a prophet not also be a tool of God to direct His people and guide their path? You ask if God would lie to get his point across. What makes you think He is lying in this situation or any situation? Your answer must be that every time God opens His mouth, a prophecy comes out. Under that premise, God would be lying.

I assert that your premise is flawed. God can also persuade, which is different than prophesying. Your answer to this flawed premise is to dull down the definitions of both prophecy and God. You have redefined prophecy as the God-given knowledge of His best guess. And you have redefined God as one who must make these guesses. You have set up a convenient system where God is the presently most informed so His predictions will always be right, even if they are only guesses.

Freak also added,


He descibes a paradox. The response to this has been that denying God the ability to change retracts from His completeness and thereby makes Him imperfect. We have a battle of the paradoxes. Earlier in this thread, Lion presented this example which I have heard many times and wholeheartedly agree with.


Of course God cannot make a rock so big He can't move it. Is this a paradox? Yes. Does it imply God can't do something? Yes. Does it deny God something? In a way, yes.

God has a nature or a state which He is unable to violate. For example, God cannot do evil because his nature is completely good. God cannot lie because his nature is completely truthful. God could not create something He would not have the power to move because He is all-powerful and could not place Himself beneath something that He created.

The difference between your paradox and Freak's paradox is that Freak's denies God an ability for the sake of accepting His power. Yours denies God power for the sake of accepting an ability. In the paradoxes I listed above, I denied God a few abilities to accept His power. This is how we decide which way to go when confronted by these paradoxes. We must take the side that agrees with God's power.



"I'll ask you, is everything that God says a prophecy?"

Where does God say anything? God speaks?

NuMessJew

philosophizer
March 10th, 2003, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by Knight
Let's assume for sake of argument that God knows all of the future in exhaustive detail as you assert.

And at THIS moment He knows that my friend John Doe is not saved.

Let's further assume that God also knows that John Doe will live the next three years of his life rejecting God. Of course God also knows every other detail of John Does life for the next three years as well. God knows.... that in three years John Doe will eventually commit suicide by an overdose of drugs and die an unsaved man on March 3rd 2006.

John Doe knows none of this of course.

Ask yourself: Does John Doe have the ability to make God's "all knowledge" of John's own life for the next three years NOT come to pass?

Can John Doe choose do something otherwsie from God's "all knowledge"?

This question is still circular. It also uses terms like "exhaustive detail" which demonstrate the loaded nature of the question.

But I will answer it.

Of course not.

Please try to understand what "all-knowledge" means. It means ALL KNOWLEDGE. There could be nothing "otherwise" from this. It is knowledge of ALL. It's pretty self explanatory.

This is what I mean when I say that it is circular and that the question doesn't pertain to the situation. The basis of the situation accepts God's "exhaustive" knowledge. This renders the question moot by default. It is a meaningless question.

If you want to argue with my perspective, you've gotta pick a different field. I've already suggested one.

I said that I was "challenging the concept of change" which seems to be the center of the debate. I assert that a being who transcends time is not contained within time's restrictions and the concept of change cannot be attributed. Change is a measure dependent on time. If God exists outside of time and no effects of time can be attributed to Him, then change is something that cannot exist as one of His attributes. Not because change violates our idea of His perfection, but because change violates his eternal and transcendent nature.

Knight
March 10th, 2003, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by philosophizer


This question is still circular.The question isn't circular in the least.

You continue...
It also uses terms like "exhaustive detail" which demonstrate the loaded nature of the question.

But I will answer it.

Of course not.

Please try to understand what "all-knowledge" means. It means ALL KNOWLEDGE. There could be nothing "otherwise" from this. It is knowledge of ALL. It's pretty self explanatory.

This is what I mean when I say that it is circular and that the question doesn't pertain to the situation. The basis of the situation accepts God's "exhaustive" knowledge. This renders the question moot by default. It is a meaningless question.

If you want to argue with my perspective, you've gotta pick a different field. I've already suggested one.

I said that I was "challenging the concept of change" which seems to be the center of the debate. I assert that a being who transcends time is not contained within time's restrictions and the concept of change cannot be attributed. Change is a measure dependent on time. If God exists outside of time and no effects of time can be attributed to Him, then change is something that cannot exist as one of His attributes. Not because change violates our idea of His perfection, but because change violates his eternal and transcendent nature. My question was a response to what you were saying way back on page two of this thread...
I am aware that they seem mutually exclusive. I am not saying that both views can exist to us at the same time. I am, however, saying that both views can exist from different points of view at the same time. The view God sees is vastly different than the view we see.I was merely demonstrating that man cannot have a true free-will AND God have exhaustive foreknowledge all at the same time.

And apparently we agree.

philosophizer
March 10th, 2003, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by NuMessJew
Where does God say anything? God speaks?

Genesis 3:9 -- But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

Genesis 3:13 -- Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

Genesis 8:15-16 -- Then God said to Noah, "Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.

Exodus 3:12 -- And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

Matthew 3:17 -- And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

NuMessJew
March 10th, 2003, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by philosophizer


Genesis 3:9 -- But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

Genesis 3:13 -- Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

Genesis 8:15-16 -- Then God said to Noah, "Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.

Exodus 3:12 -- And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

Matthew 3:17 -- And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

I don't mean to burst your bubble. But that is a narrative writen by Mose and Mathew, according to tradition. It's what Mose and Mathew say God said.

NuMessJew

philosophizer
March 10th, 2003, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by Knight
I was merely demonstrating that man cannot have a true free-will AND God have exhaustive foreknowledge all at the same time.

And apparently we agree.

Do your interpretations of God come from the nature of man? Does man create God in man's image?

Change is something humans do. Change comes from choices. Choices are a product of free-will.

Do we agree that humans have free-will? Yes. Choice is an important part of human life.

How many times do I have to describe our base disagreement? We disagree on the nature of "time." If I were to accept your view of time as an illusionary element of perception, then I would see your point about all this "exhaustive foreknowledge" stuff.

But therein our difference lies. Time was created by God and God stands outside of time. Principles like "change" exist ONLY within the bounds of time. Choice is a linear thing. It has a preconception, an event, and an outcome. Outside of time, however, there is no linearity. A principle like choice cannot be applied.

Instead of shooting around at issues we DO agree on, let's go to the source of our disagreement. Here's the target. Shoot at it.

NuMessJew
March 10th, 2003, 12:36 PM
'Originally posted by Knight
I was merely demonstrating that man cannot have a true free-will AND God have exhaustive foreknowledge all at the same time."

Not really! A model could exist where both are true. The mark of true intelligence is to hold these both in your mind at one time.

NuMessJew

Nihilo
March 11th, 2003, 08:41 PM
NuMessJew,

First of all, what's with your handle? What does NuMessJew mean?

You said:
A model could exist where both [humanity's true free-will AND God's exhaustive foreknowledge] are true. The mark of true intelligence is to hold these both in your mind at one time.I thoroughly agree.

Free will is self-evident. The question is, Can God have exhaustive foreknowledge at the same time? And if so, how?

My wife knows me so well that she foreknows (with some margin of error) how I will react to a wide variety of circumstances. (As humbling as it is to realize, we are not as complicated and mysterious as we fancy ourselves - we're not all that tough to predict.) And if my wife - who I doubt is divine - can foreknow relatively accurately what I'm going to do before I do it, then God can. And just because my wife knows me doesn't mean I don't have free will.

Now, suppose my wife could design my circumstances. Then she would be able to more or less predict everything that I did. And what if she could manage my circumstances such that what I predictably did funnelled me right into more of her designed circumstances? More gaps fill in. She's closing in on predicting everything.

And the result of this is not that if my wife organized all my circumstances she would predict everything I did. The result of this is that if my wife organized all my circumstances she would control everything I did. My free will choices and her plan would be the same.

Whoops! This doesn't answer the question I posed above! It suggests a model where it is possible for God to predestine every truly free human act.

Nihilo

NuMessJew
March 12th, 2003, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by Nihilo
NuMessJew,

First of all, what's with your handle? What does NuMessJew mean?

You said:I thoroughly agree.

Free will is self-evident. The question is, Can God have exhaustive foreknowledge at the same time? And if so, how?

My wife knows me so well that she foreknows (with some margin of error) how I will react to a wide variety of circumstances. (As humbling as it is to realize, we are not as complicated and mysterious as we fancy ourselves - we're not all that tough to predict.) And if my wife - who I doubt is divine - can foreknow relatively accurately what I'm going to do before I do it, then God can. And just because my wife knows me doesn't mean I don't have free will.

Now, suppose my wife could design my circumstances. Then she would be able to more or less predict everything that I did. And what if she could manage my circumstances such that what I predictably did funnelled me right into more of her designed circumstances? More gaps fill in. She's closing in on predicting everything.

And the result of this is not that if my wife organized all my circumstances she would predict everything I did. The result of this is that if my wife organized all my circumstances she would control everything I did. My free will choices and her plan would be the same.

Whoops! This doesn't answer the question I posed above! It suggests a model where it is possible for God to predestine every truly free human act.

Nihilo

Est, Posible! You are a good thinker.

NuMessJew