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Thread: Re: Open View/Closed Future

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    Journeyman justchristian's Avatar
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    Re: Open View/Closed Future

    This is mostly addressed to godrulz and other OVers I have been talking to over the last month or so trying to get my head around the logical necessity for an open future. But as always I welcome any input.

    So after chewing on some of the great arguements many of you have made regarding Open View I finally understand the ultimate necessity of an open future. At least in so much as that future relates to God's relationship with us in the present. The arguement of contigent choices still is a logic jump I don't get. But the reality of God's interaction with his creation, of our free will being ultimately independant of causality, and the nature of real relationship seems to require a choosen ignorance of our future choices on God's part.

    But....

    Yep theres a but. I still cannot dismiss my understanding of time as being a complete created expression of the intrusic "time nature" of God. Time as we percieve it most definately is something (regardless of what godrulz thinks) and that something is a created something. So if time is a complete created something God, to some degree, would have a complete understanding of everything within time. That is my understanding of time and I will explain how that sits (at least for now) with my understanding of an open future.

    If you don't hold that time is a complete created something I think you can really only hold it is a incomplete created something being constantly created as we move forward though it. Think if it as a path being created brick by brick with each step forward. In either case I believe God is ignorant of our free will choices when they are made independant of causality. This being a necessity of relationship. But since a complete or incomplete time is created, our free will is created, and everything BUT God is created, God would ultimately have a perfect understanding of everything he has created.

    I now find myself reconciling the two. How can God be ignorant of something if he is fully responsible for its creation? For now, I rest on a "both are true" answer. It is a tricky place to rest but I don't see another viable option (ie the reason for this thread and the request for input). What if God is both fully aware of the future and not? In the same way Christ was fully man and fully God, the same way the Trinity is both three and one. Now this is tricky ground, I am trying to divide God's understanding without dividing God so bear with me.

    God the Father, the creator, would have a perfect understanding of all he created and would have a perfect understanding of how time and our choices would unfold. Being the ultimate reality God would have a perfect understanding of any realities he would create and how they would interact. But in order for God to enter into true relationship with man he would have to choose a state of ignorance as to the function of our free will, and (since I believe in a closed future) to the closed future in which our choices are already made by us. This is limited only in so much as God interacts with us in the now. This is how Christ both was seperated from God in the now of the crucifixion but remained God ultmately. The part of God we enter into relationship with (Christ in the now?) chooses this ignorant state for meaningful relationship. But God ultimately retains his exaustive foreknowledge and sovreignty since he is ultimately not dependant on, or restricted by, his creation (time, free will). And only chooses such restrictions in our created reality to enter into relationship with us.

    Sorry for the length of this post, and if I repeated myself to much. If you took the time to read it all or even skim thankyou for your time. I appreciate any input, critique, or questions.
    Last edited by justchristian; June 27th, 2005 at 10:28 PM.
    Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but STUPID lasts forever.

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    I had similar problems. But I noticed something about it when Knight started the "Interaction with perfect foreknowledge?" thread.

    Simply put...it makes God..out there somewhere, and worst of all impersonal.
    God created things in such away that His interaction with us, on a personal level, is what governs and directs "time" as it were, through our choices in relation to Him.

    In other words...IMHO, God abandons "perfect" exhaustive foreknowledge in favor of personal interaction with His creation. That was the reason for free will, and what he determined to be "good".

    At least..this resolved it for me.

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    Who is the stooge now? novice's Avatar
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    justchristian , as an open theist I am having a bit of trouble completely figuring out what you are asking or addressing in your post.

    Do you think it would be possible to refine your point just a bit? I did enjoy your post as a whole, I just am not sure what to respond to.
    Oh, wise guy eh?

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    Journeyman justchristian's Avatar
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    The suggest dual state God holds. That ultimately he has exaustive foreknowledge of the future but in so much as he relates to us he chooses ignorance to the closed future. The future is closed in reality but we and the part of God in relationship with us, are ignorant to it making it practically open.
    Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but STUPID lasts forever.

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    Who is the stooge now? novice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justchristian
    The suggest dual state God holds. That ultimately he has exaustive foreknowledge of the future but in so much as he relates to us he chooses ignorance to the closed future. The future is closed in reality but we and the part of God in relationship with us, are ignorant to it making it practically open.
    Why would you want to theorize that?

    If the future were closed and exhaustvely known by God that would by definition include God's "charade" of ignorance (as you suggest).

    I just don't see the reason to add such a complication.
    Oh, wise guy eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by justchristian
    The suggest dual state God holds. That ultimately he has exaustive foreknowledge of the future but in so much as he relates to us he chooses ignorance to the closed future. The future is closed in reality but we and the part of God in relationship with us, are ignorant to it making it practically open.
    I'm not entirely sure what you mean. But, here's my take on it.
    God knows how it will all turn out, in the end. (My veiw is Christian Universalism, not Calvinistic in this regard). There will be the restitution of all things, and in the end God will be all in all. But this outcome doesn't require exhaustive foreknowledge of all things from creation, because the agency of God's interaction will affect the outcome. He has a "drawing" influence, and will save the lost from their "lostness" through personal interaction and our response. When our will become His will...when we surrender to His will, then we become more and more like He is (Jesus, that is).
    God's foreknowledge is immutable only insofar as what He wills, and directs, personally, is made to happen through providential governing of creatures with free will..not an exhaustive foreknowledge.

    I'm not sure if I'm articulating what I mean very well...

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    I just don't see the reason to add such a complication.
    The problem of time and creation. With time, if time is complete, and God is outside it, why would he not be able to see it in entirety? If time is not complete, how do you propose a God who creates something (the universe and time) from nothing does not have a complete understanding of such a thing? and from that complete understanding not be able to completely know the ourcome? Thats why I suggest the complication. This dual state of God. Our relationship with God necessitates an open future from our and his percpective. But at the same time the nature of God as the ultimate creator of our free will, time, and the rest of the universe would have a complete understanding of the outcome. You must therefore say God's view of the future as open is a choosen ignorance. This choice would only need be in his interaction and relationship with us, but not it his ultimate nature. God only would limit himself in his creation, he wouldnt need to limit himself outside of it.
    Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but STUPID lasts forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justchristian
    The suggest dual state God holds. That ultimately he has exaustive foreknowledge of the future but in so much as he relates to us he chooses ignorance to the closed future. The future is closed in reality but we and the part of God in relationship with us, are ignorant to it making it practically open.
    When I first was exposed to an alternative view, I was a fairly new Christian in Bible College who was only exposed to the classic view ('eternal now'; exhaustive foreknowledge, etc.). My first desire was to reconcile the views assuming the truth was somewhere in between. Over time, the evidence demanded that I reject some of the classic views as unbiblical/incoherent, and embrace a cogent, alternate understanding. You may be in transition, wanting to have your old cake and eat the new too.

    I think the best resolution for all texts, without logical contradiction, is to recognize some of the future is settled/known, while much of it is unsettled/only known as a possibility until it becomes a certainty.

    Your post, as written, falls short of coherence, in my humble opinion. Try rewording it for clarification.

    God cannot chose to be ignorant of something knowable. The issue is that an open future is necessary for genuine freedom and must be uncertain until it becomes actual (except where God purposes to bring certain things to pass regardless of other free moral agent's actions).
    Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)

    They said: "Where is the God of Elijah?"
    I say: "Where are the Elijahs of God?" (Ravenhill "Why Revival Tarries")

    Rev. 1:17, 18; Jer. 9:23, 24

    "No Compromise!" (Keith Green)

    The Pledge: He died for me; I'll live for Him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justchristian
    The problem of time and creation. With time, if time is complete, and God is outside it, why would he not be able to see it in entirety? If time is not complete, how do you propose a God who creates something (the universe and time) from nothing does not have a complete understanding of such a thing? and from that complete understanding not be able to completely know the ourcome? Thats why I suggest the complication. This dual state of God. Our relationship with God necessitates an open future from our and his percpective. But at the same time the nature of God as the ultimate creator of our free will, time, and the rest of the universe would have a complete understanding of the outcome. You must therefore say God's view of the future as open is a choosen ignorance. This choice would only need be in his interaction and relationship with us, but not it his ultimate nature. God only would limit himself in his creation, he wouldnt need to limit himself outside of it.
    Why is this a problem?

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    Is time really a created thing? Is love, truth, faithfulness, holiness, etc. a created thing? These things, including time, are aspects of personal, godly beings. Time cannot be put under a microscope like most things can. The events that occur in time are tangible as are thoughts and feelings. Time is a reference point, but it is not metaphysical.

    Time/eternity= endless duration/succession/sequence...It is not timelessness...

    Does the above statement seem plausible or resonate with reality?
    Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)

    They said: "Where is the God of Elijah?"
    I say: "Where are the Elijahs of God?" (Ravenhill "Why Revival Tarries")

    Rev. 1:17, 18; Jer. 9:23, 24

    "No Compromise!" (Keith Green)

    The Pledge: He died for me; I'll live for Him.

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    Is time really a created thing? Is love, truth, faithfulness, holiness, etc. a created thing? These things, including time, are aspects of personal, godly beings. Time cannot be put under a microscope like most things can. The events that occur in time are tangible as are thoughts and feelings. Time is a reference point, but it is not metaphysical.
    I would say all are created things. They are all created expressions of the intrusic nature of God but as created are independant of God. Time may not be something as a tree, but it is something like gravity, or electromagnetism. I am not saying gravity and electromagnetism are intrusic to God's nature, but that time, like them, is created. It is a property of the universe independant of God. We may not be able to put it under microscope but we can express it in math. It can be observed, measured, manipulated, and changed. All physics and science as I understand them hold time as a something.
    Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but STUPID lasts forever.

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    I don't think we need to worry about Who holds the future. God obviously does.
    That is enough for me.
    How He does it, IMHO, is personally. Not just pulling strings outside of our reality...but personally interacting with it.
    If there is an aspect of God outside or above the timeline..we'll never percieve it as reality anyway...and it proposes some pardoxes that are quite unresolvable, and speculating about time as some part of metaphysical dimension might be entertaining...but means very little in any practical sense.
    God comes down to our reality in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He reaches down to us, rather than us reaching up to Him. I think that our salvation lies in understanding that much about God.

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    God cannot chose to be ignorant of something knowable.
    Why? Wasn't Jesus ignorant in many respects to what was knowable?
    Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but STUPID lasts forever.

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    If there is an aspect of God outside or above the timeline..we'll never percieve it as reality anyway...and it proposes some pardoxes that are quite unresolvable, and speculating about time as some part of metaphysical dimension might be entertaining...but means very little in any practical sense.
    Much of what I think about isn't practical. But I enjoy it. And I think it is alot like math beyond grade 10. It's not practical but it helps you use and understand what is.
    God comes down to our reality in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He reaches down to us, rather than us reaching up to Him. I think that our salvation lies in understanding that much about God.
    I agree. I don't think any of this is neccessary to salvation. But so much about God isnt. That's part of Him reaching down. But I choose to explore the universe I live,as I am sure you do to, not only the physical, but the mental, and the spirtual. Along with exploring the nature of God, the nature of the one who loves me. I don't think I'll ever really get it or that anyone will, but I like just getting closer.
    Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but STUPID lasts forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justchristian
    Much of what I think about isn't practical. But I enjoy it. And I think it is alot like math beyond grade 10. It's not practical but it helps you use and understand what is.
    I agree. I don't think any of this is neccessary to salvation. But so much about God isnt. That's part of Him reaching down. But I choose to explore the universe I live,as I am sure you do to, not only the physical, but the mental, and the spirtual. Along with exploring the nature of God, the nature of the one who loves me. I don't think I'll ever really get it or that anyone will, but I like just getting closer.

    Our God is awesome!

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