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Thread: Interaction with perfect foreknowledge?

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    docrob what question?

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

    I like you, you seem like a really cool guy and I am enjoying this discussion I hope you are as well. Please point me to your question and I would love to answer it for you.
    I like you too, that isn't the issue. And you are right, I am a really cool guy . And as far as I can tell, this is the only doctrinal disagreement that we have! Which is pretty good among Christians.

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

    Anyway, my question/argument is this. We both agree that God foreknew that He would send a Savior. It is clearly prophesied in the OT, no debate there. God sent a Savior to redeem man, who was and is irredeemably sinful. Since God sent a Savior, He must have known that man would continue to be irredeemably sinful. My question is, did that foreknowledge cause man to sin? I would suggest not. And, if not, then it is demonstrated that foreknowledge is not equivalent to control and does not rule out free will.
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


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  2. #92
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    Anyway, my question/argument is this. We both agree that God foreknew that He would send a Savior. It is clearly prophesied in the OT, no debate there. God sent a Savior to redeem man, who was and is irredeemably sinful. Since God sent a Savior, He must have known that man would continue to be irredeemably sinful. My question is, did that foreknowledge cause man to sin? I would suggest not. And, if not, then it is demonstrated that foreknowledge is not equivalent to control and does not rule out free will.
    The instant that Adam sinned, man needed a savior.

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

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

    P.S. That would be awesome if you could visit. Please keep me posted and let me know if you need any help.
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  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    The instant that Adam sinned, man needed a savior.

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

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

    P.S. That would be awesome if you could visit. Please keep me posted and let me know if you need any help.
    At this point I am not sure I am objecting to open theism. All I am trying to establish now is simply that foreknowledge does not necessarily equal control of outcome. If we could ever get past there, one way or another, then we could move closer to open theism.
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

  4. #94
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    All I am trying to establish now is simply that foreknowledge does not necessarily equal control of outcome.
    Foreknowledge doesn't control choices UNLESS the Foreknowledge is exhaustive and unchangeable. For if it is, obviously this constrains choices to those contained within the foreknowledge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    Foreknowledge doesn't control choices UNLESS the Foreknowledge is exhaustive and unchangeable. For if it is, obviously this constrains choices to those contained within the foreknowledge.
    Unfortunately it isn't really obvious. Let's approach it a different way. Assume that some event is going to happen in the future. Call the event Y. Further assume that Y can be expressed as a function of X, such as in the linear equation Y = a + bX. a is a constant, say the current situation relevant to event Y, and b is a coefficient that fits X to Y.

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

    Now, assume all of the above, AND that God has exhaustive and perfect knowledge of the decision makers decision and then that He does not have this exhaustive and perfect knowledge. Given that we are able to describe the decision maker's action perfectly without reference to God's foreknowledge, will the behavior differ if the assumptions change from foreknowledge to non-foreknowledge?
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    Unfortunately it isn't really obvious. Let's approach it a different way. Assume that some event is going to happen in the future. Call the event Y. Further assume that Y can be expressed as a function of X, such as in the linear equation Y = a + bX. a is a constant, say the current situation relevant to event Y, and b is a coefficient that fits X to Y.

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

    Now, assume all of the above, AND that God has exhaustive and perfect knowledge of the decision makers decision and then that He does not have this exhaustive and perfect knowledge. Given that we are able to describe the decision maker's action perfectly without reference to God's foreknowledge, will the behavior differ if the assumptions change from foreknowledge to non-foreknowledge?
    Sorry, but I have no idea at all what you are saying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    Sorry, but I have no idea at all what you are saying.
    Read it again, it really isn't difficult.
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    Read it again, it really isn't difficult.
    I have read it three times now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    I have read it three times now.
    Okay, I will try to approach it from a different angle in the near future. In the meantime, if I do come there next year, would it be possible to meet Pastor Bob and some of the other guys here for dinner or something? I will be happy to buy for Pastor Bob and wife. You, I am sure, will be happy to buy for me.
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    Okay, I will try to approach it from a different angle in the near future. In the meantime, if I do come there next year, would it be possible to meet Pastor Bob and some of the other guys here for dinner or something? I will be happy to buy for Pastor Bob and wife. You, I am sure, will be happy to buy for me.
    It would be our honor!

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

    Just keep me posted and we will make sure we hook up.
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    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoney
    Clete,

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

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

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

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

    Resting in Him,
    Clete

    P.S. You should respond to post 69 while my boycott of eccl3_6 is still on hold!
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

  12. #102
    Over 1500 post club GuySmiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    Y = a + bX.
    What you are saying is that God's foreknowledge is not part of the equation. The decission is controled by only the variables you defined, and God's foreknowledge is not one of them. Right? So no matter if foreknowledge is present or not, it does not control the decission. Is that what you are saying?

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

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

    Greg
    Last edited by GuySmiley; July 20th, 2005 at 01:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuySmiley
    What you are saying is that God's foreknowledge is not part of the equation. The decission is controled by only the variables you defined, and God's foreknowledge is not one of them. Right? So no matter if foreknowledge is present or not, it does not control the decission. Is that what you are saying?

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

    Greg
    That is what I was saying! And by the way, used to love you on Sesame Street
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete
    Have you ever read Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views?

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


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

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

    Resting in Him,
    Clete

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

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

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

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

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

    peace,
    jd

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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    That is what I was saying! And by the way, used to love you on Sesame Street
    Thanks, check the edit I did an that message and see what you think.

    Greg

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