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Thread: Interaction with perfect foreknowledge?

  1. #316
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    Man's will.

    The reason for creation? Creation was made by him, and for him (Christ). John 1.
    God is Omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. Man's will is sub-serviant to his fallen nature, ie = his emotions, pleasures, pride, lust, etc; before and also after Holy Spirit quickening. Ephes 1.
    He slowly grows in grace in this world; as God gives him spiritual strength. "Oh, wretched man that I am." This is what I believe about man's will. The amazing, substitutionary work, grace of God. Blessed be his name.

  2. #317
    TOL Subscriber Lon's Avatar
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    Holy (or....er.... wholly) resuscitation!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knight View Post
    The popular argument on TOL lately regarding God's foreknowledge has been....

    God can have perfect exhaustive foreknowledge without closing the future and removing man's freewill. Personally I think this argument refutes itself but Clete, Philosopher, Yorzhik, Turbo, Godrulz, DRBrumley and many others have been doing a great job refuting this notion even further on several current threads here on TOL. True freewill and perfect exhaustive foreknowledge are not compatible, they are mutually exclusive.
    For me, a need for freewill or an unpredictable future isn't really necessary. I don't really care whether I have a freewill or a future that I'm fully or partially in control of, why? Because I'm not perfect. An imperfect being doesn't need to 'partially' mess up his and other's futures. We all are aiming at a future that cannot possibly be messed up anyway. It doesn't matter what else it then contains. Likewise, we are all desirous of "not my will, but Thine" and "Thy will be done." Therefore, not even an open theist should really be this concerned with his/her own positions because only what matters to Christ is important to us, it requires no freewill. There is no reason for us to get too far off of our primary concern: To be in Him.

    However, omniscience doesn't infringe upon freewill. In fact, I'd say it is opposite: you cannot have any freedom of choice unless God knows what those parameters are because if He doesn't know, then neither could you know how free or not free your own will is. An unknowable limitation upon our wills, would also be self-refuting concerning 'free.' We could not know if we were then free or not because there is then no knowledge of such. In other words, it would be impossible to say if your will was free or not, because we'd have no parameter to know such 'unless' God is omniscient and knows such.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knight View Post
    Yet I think there is another objection to this notion of freewill and exhaustive foreknowledge being compatible that hasn't really been explored yet.

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

    So here goes . . .

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



    • When He left us His word in the form of the Bible it was an interaction with us on a grand scale and for good reason.
    • When He wiped out the world with a flood it was interaction on a global scale and for good reason.
    • When He picked Abram, Moses, David etc. He was interacting with His creation for a reason.
    God wants to affect our freewill! He wants to move us in the direction that more closely conforms to His will.
    To me, this screams 'anti-freewill.' I see that as a good thing because I'm "anti-me" will too. Freewill is independent of God and is thought of by me most often as 'sin-will.' So good call here, as I said above, we need to be about seeking His-will above our will, whether it is free or not, because at that point, it really doesn't matter as much as what we are shooting for. So, again, Kudos!
    Quote Originally Posted by Knight View Post
    If God were an uninvolved God watching creation from a distance one might be able to make a more persuasive argument that God can know our future without effecting our freewill (the argument still fails logically but it would be far more understandable). Yet that isn't the God of the Bible! Please don't misunderstand, I am not claiming that those arguing for freewill and exhaustive foreknowledge being compatible are claiming God is not involved, far from it! I am simply saying that their argument would be more believable if God weren't a personal God.

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

    God wants us to choose Him!

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

    God wants us to love our wives.

    God wants us to raise up our children

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

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

    So one must ask . . .

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

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

    Said another way . . .
    If there are two possible choices a man can make and God would prefer that we pick one of those choices above the other choice, He would only interact with us if He knew He could possibly influence that choice.
    Well, that depends on whether His foreknowledge is contingent. If you are saying 'no, God's foreknowledge isn't contingent' then I suppose I understand what you are saying here. There is a difference between such that must be discussed because simply saying foreknowledge isn't compatible with God's interactions, isn't true. We aren't really equipped as humans, to be able to think backwards and forwards through foreknowledge to be able to definitively answer all questions we have concerning the matter but we can entertain the questions if not definitively answer them anyway.
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

  3. #318
    TOL Subscriber Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    For me, a need for freewill or an unpredictable future isn't really necessary. I don't really care whether I have a freewill or a future that I'm fully or partially in control of, why? Because I'm not perfect. An imperfect being doesn't need to 'partially' mess up his and other's futures. We all are aiming at a future that cannot possibly be messed up anyway. It doesn't matter what else it then contains.
    Knowing I have a future is the more important imperative and comfort for the believer.
    Likewise, we are all desirous of "not my will, but Thine" and "Thy will be done." Again, I trust God with even what I want and need, more than my faulty whims and desires. I'm perfectly happy to leave decisions in His hands rather than my own. My own track-record has proven this out time and again "Not my will, but Thine be done..." As Jesus also prayed. Therefore, not even an open theist should really be this concerned with his/her own positions because only what matters to Christ is important to us, it requires no freewill. There is no reason for us to get too far off of our primary concern: To be in Him, to follow His will.

    However, omniscience doesn't infringe upon freewill. In fact, I'd say it is opposite: you cannot have any freedom of choice unless God knows what those parameters are because if He doesn't know, then neither could you know how free or not free your own will is. An unknowable limitation upon our wills, would also be self-refuting concerning 'free.' We could not know if we were then free or not because there is then no knowledge of such. In other words, it would be impossible to say if your will was free or not, because we'd have no parameter to know such 'unless' God is omniscient and knows such.


    To me, this screams 'anti-freewill.' I see that as a good thing because I'm "anti-me" will too. Freewill is independent of God and is thought of by me most often as 'sin-will.' So good call here, as I said above, we need to be about seeking His-will above our will, whether it is free or not, because at that point, it really doesn't matter as much as what we are shooting for. So, again, Kudos!

    Well, that depends on whether His foreknowledge is contingent. If you are saying 'no, God's foreknowledge isn't contingent' then I suppose I understand what you are saying here. There is a difference between such that must be discussed because simply saying foreknowledge isn't compatible with God's interactions, isn't true. We aren't really equipped as humans, to be able to think backwards and forwards through foreknowledge to be able to definitively answer all questions we have concerning the matter but we can entertain the questions if not definitively answer them anyway.
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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