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Thread: One on One: Knight and Lonster open up the settled view.

  1. #91
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonster
    To show that what God says is true. To glorify Himself. To intervene on our behalf. To give us peace. To build our faith. All of these are scriptural and the list goes on.
    Yes, thats very good!

    I agree.

    God says...
    Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He." - John 13:19

    In other words.... God uses prophecy as a mechanism, a lever to effect our will, to change a possible outcome to a more desirable outcome (in this case to make us believe). Prophecy is another example of why we can be sure the future is not settled. God interacts with us via prophecy in an attempt to influence possible outcomes.
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  2. #92
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    Yes, thats very good!

    I agree.

    God says...
    Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He." - John 13:19

    In other words.... God uses prophecy as a mechanism, a lever to effect our will, to change a possible outcome to a more desirable outcome (in this case to make us believe). Prophecy is another example of why we can be sure the future is not settled. God interacts with us via prophecy in an attempt to influence possible outcomes.
    That's certainly one way to look at it. I'm guessing you are saying that God influences the future here and is taking into account contingency. I'd really need a logical thought through position that defeats foreknowledge to buy into this perception. I'm still unconvinced that knowing all (much, or most) future and contingency equates determinism.

  3. #93
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonster
    That's certainly one way to look at it.
    Do you see another way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonster
    I'm still unconvinced that knowing all (much, or most) future and contingency equates determinism.
    Exhaustive foreknowledge necessitates a settled future and therefore determinism.

    Lets look at ONE event as an example.

    Lets assume right this instant God knows that in 100 years from now there will be a man name Joe, that man will wake up in the middle of the night and go to the fridge for a snack. The man open the freezer compartment and he sees three flavors of ice cream, Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry. God (at this moment) knows all this (because He has seen the future) and God sees that the man chooses chocolate ice cream.

    Assuming all of the above, can Joe pick Strawberry or Vanilla ice cream instead of chocolate? YES or NO?
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  4. #94
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    Do you see another way?

    Exhaustive foreknowledge necessitates a settled future and therefore determinism.

    Lets look at ONE event as an example.

    Lets assume right this instant God knows that in 100 years from now there will be a man name Joe, that man will wake up in the middle of the night and go to the fridge for a snack. The man open the freezer compartment and he sees three flavors of ice cream, Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry. God (at this moment) knows all this (because He has seen the future) and God sees that the man chooses chocolate ice cream.

    Assuming all of the above, can Joe pick Strawberry or Vanilla ice cream instead of chocolate? YES or NO?
    Yes.

    "Then God didn't know" (just trying to carry the discussion along)

    God knows all contingencies.

    If I create a program that can throw dice randomly (Yahtzee) and I know all the randomizer components, doesn't the computer still get to choose because of the randomizer component? What if when I made the randomizer I knew it'd possibly crash the program?
    As a programmer I would work on correcting it. I know everything about the program and know how it all plays out. After fixing the bug, I still enjoy playing the game, and the randomizer works great. The program still gets to make free choices every time I tumble the dice. I get to choose where I put the points. There is no relationship in this and it is very simplistic but being the all-knowing programmer of Yahtzee-ness doesn't diminish the game at all.

  5. #95
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonster
    God knows all contingencies.
    In the example I gave there are no contingencies. God has already seen in advance that Joe picks chocolate.

    So, I ask again....

    Can Joe pick Strawberry or Vanilla ice cream instead of chocolate? YES or NO?

    If I create a program that can throw dice randomly (Yahtzee) and I know all the randomizer components, doesn't the computer still get to choose because of the randomizer component? What if when I made the randomizer I knew it'd possibly crash the program?
    As a programmer I would work on correcting it. I know everything about the program and know how it all plays out. After fixing the bug, I still enjoy playing the game, and the randomizer works great. The program still gets to make free choices every time I tumble the dice. I get to choose where I put the points. There is no relationship in this and it is very simplistic but being the all-knowing programmer of Yahtzee-ness doesn't diminish the game at all.
    Your analogy doesn't fit.

    When we are discussing exhaustive foreknowledge we are discussing the notion that God has already seen all of the future in advance. With exhaustive foreknowledge God isn't waiting to see the outcome of a dice roll, (even a semi programmed dice roll), instead He has already seen the outcome of the dice roll. He knows in advance which numbers will actually come up. There can be no contingencies in exhaustive foreknowledge. Exhaustive foreknowledge is like when we see a movie from beginning to end, the movie will always play the same way there are no alternate endings, no contingencies.

    Will you at least admit the obvious....?

    Will you admit that if God has exhaustive foreknowledge there can be no contingencies/possibilities?
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  6. #96
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    No, I don't admit to this. Go look at these two posts of mine for my view on foreknowledge:

    http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...14#post1345514
    http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...page=344&pp=15

  7. #97
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    OK, sadly we are now at the point in the conversation where we must start questioning your ability to think.

    I asked...
    "Will you at least admit the obvious....?

    Will you admit that if God has exhaustive foreknowledge there can be no contingencies/possibilities?"

    And you answered....
    Quote Originally Posted by Lonster
    No, I don't admit to this. Go look at these two posts of mine for my view on foreknowledge:
    And as evidence you provide a link to a post where you stated.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Lonster
    "But how can I freely choose if what I say is already known?"

    Because you perceive free-choice. It makes no difference whatsoever if I know what you are going to say or what you are going to wear. You get to choose. Why are you so bothered that someone could know you so intimately as to finish your sentence or help you pick out the rest of your attire from the closet? I love it when my wife 'seemingly' reads my mind. It shows that she is interested and that she cares. I'm not crying about my free-will being obliterated. I don't believe knowledge obliterates my choices at all. Who cares if I could have worn the black sweater instead of the red one? It isn't even a question I need to get worked up over and answer. I'm wearing a red sweater and I chose to wear a red sweater. Knowing the future is 1) not an ability I or anyone else has except as it is given by God. We know that Satan is going to be thown into the lake of fire. No choice, determinism. We don't know the details and they have not been given. 2) Not deterministic always. Does God know them? I believe He does. Did God know what I was going to type here? Yes He did. Does this mean that I couldn't go back and correct a mistake? Nope. I have choice. Right now I can go back over this whole post and obliterate the whole thing. God knew I would not. Did He make me do it just because He knew? Nope, not any more than what I'm wearing. Could I have chosen any other way? Yes Can I even now delete this?
    Lonster, two points....

    1. It is now CRYSTAL clear that you do not understand the difference between foreknowledge and EXHAUSTIVE foreknowledge as you keep using examples of basic foreknowledge as examples of EXHAUSTIVE foreknowledge. The difference between EXHAUSTIVE foreknowledge and regular foreknowledge makes all the difference in the debate. Lonster your wife doesn't have EXHAUSTIVE foreknowledge therefore using her as an example of EXHAUSTIVE foreknowledge is bizarre and silly.

    2. (and more importantly) When you answered "no" to my question above why did you point me to a post where you are essentially answering "yes"?

    Keep in mind I asked you....

    "Will you admit that if God has exhaustive foreknowledge there can be no contingencies/possibilities?"

    You answered "no" yet pointed me to a post of your where you basically answered "yes" by stating....
    "Because you perceive free-choice."

    "I'm not crying about my free-will being obliterated. "
    In other words you are saying that we do not have freewill (contingencies) but it's OK because we perceive freewill so we should be happy.

    Lonster, it's been a fun conversation with you but I think it's time we wrap it up now. I can't discuss this topic any further with you since you can't seem to grasp the consequences of your own statements and fade in and out of different views.

    I appreciate your time and if you have anything to add please do so and then I will close up the One on One.
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  8. #98
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    OK, sadly we are now at the point in the conversation where we must start questioning your ability to think.

    I asked...
    "Will you at least admit the obvious....?

    Will you admit that if God has exhaustive foreknowledge there can be no contingencies/possibilities?"

    And you answered....And as evidence you provide a link to a post where you stated.....Lonster, two points....

    1. It is now CRYSTAL clear that you do not understand the difference between foreknowledge and EXHAUSTIVE foreknowledge as you keep using examples of basic foreknowledge as examples of EXHAUSTIVE foreknowledge. The difference between EXHAUSTIVE foreknowledge and regular foreknowledge makes all the difference in the debate. Lonster your wife doesn't have EXHAUSTIVE foreknowledge therefore using her as an example of EXHAUSTIVE foreknowledge is bizarre and silly.

    2. (and more importantly) When you answered "no" to my question above why did you point me to a post where you are essentially answering "yes"?

    Keep in mind I asked you....

    "Will you admit that if God has exhaustive foreknowledge there can be no contingencies/possibilities?"

    You answered "no" yet pointed me to a post of your where you basically answered "yes" by stating.... In other words you are saying that we do not have freewill (contingencies) but it's OK because we perceive freewill so we should be happy.

    Lonster, it's been a fun conversation with you but I think it's time we wrap it up now. I can't discuss this topic any further with you since you can't seem to grasp the consequences of your own statements and fade in and out of different views.

    I appreciate your time and if you have anything to add please do so and then I will close up the One on One.
    Yeah, the crazy icon pretty much shuts me down as well.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, I'm really new to discussion with OV so of course you are correct, I'm still jumping through hoops like the obedient poodle or I'm not trying to get painted into a corner of logical fallacy by my answers. In other words, I'm always seeing OV as trying to trap with questions rather than opening up a real dialogue where someone can make mistakes. Because I've never had to answer OV questions before, nor have had to look at them from your perspective, you'll have to forgive me for not being able to give complete coherence.

    Another good reason for closing this off would be that I'm already plenty engaged on these same ideas on the rest of the forum so there is redundancy.

    Finally, when I said 'no' it is because you ask questions in such a way as that I have no idea how to answer you so I gave a very unqualified no. I believe this is typical OV questioning that seems pretty superficial to me. In other words, you ask: "Do you agree?" when I'm not even certain you (or I/ or both) understand the question in the first place.
    What I mean by this, is that OV tends (in my perception, which could be incorrect at this point) to oversimplify everything and leaves a ton of pieces missing from the puzzle so that the question isn't accurate enough.

    For our foreknowledge discussion, you ask if there can be future contigency. Alright, here is the problem: Does it make a difference whose perspective we are talking about? God's or man's? Does it make a difference who is really making the determinism? If I choose anything, I've eliminated choice immediately, it is consigned to the past immediately. In other words, I by my very nature and choice negate freechoice all the time. The way I am made determines that I have very limited choice and am going through motions. I refuse to watch R rated movies. You can bet that I will watch very few R-rated movies in my future. My choices are constrained by my own volition. If God knows I will wear the longsleeve grey shirt today, it is not He who constrained my will, it is me. I constrained my own freewill. God just knows, not determines.

    If I'm crazy and that's your exasperation, no problem. Just call me crazy and I'll probably post less and less on this forum as that assessment continues to take form. I've seen other Reformed thinkers constrained the same way.

    It is kind of a sad note to the purpose of this thread, wouldn't you think?
    Last edited by Lon; February 27th, 2007 at 10:42 PM. Reason: Just trying to add grace where I can, it's a difficult place to be in on some of this discussion

  9. #99
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonster
    My choices are constrained by my own volition.
    Your volition is what is in question. Volition, will and free-choice are essentially synonymous in regard to this discussion.

    Basically you just sated.... "My choices is constrained by my own choices." or... "My volition is constrained by my own volition." or... "My will is constrained by my own will." These are meaningless statements that don't advance the discussion in any way whatsoever.

    If God knows I will wear the longsleeve grey shirt today, it is not He who constrained my will, it is me. I constrained my own freewill. God just knows, not determines.
    If God has known exhaustively a millennia ago that you would choose a grey shirt then you had NO choice BUT to choose a grey shirt, unless of course you believe you can thwart God's exhaustively perfect foreknowledge, but of course it wouldn't be exhaustive or perfect if you could do that would it?

    If I'm crazy and that's your exasperation, no problem. Just call me crazy and I'll probably post less and less on this forum as that assessment continues to take form. I've seen other Reformed thinkers constrained the same way.

    It is kind of a sad note to the purpose of this thread, wouldn't you think?
    I apologize, but I don't have the patience for illogical, obfuscation and theological smoke and mirrors. I like to drill down to the obvious truths and go from there.

    Some things either ARE, or they ARE NOT. Truth is truth, logic is logic and God is real and rational not surreal and irrational. There cannot exist a perfect exhaustive foreknowledge in God and also real contingencies/possibilities in God's foreknowledge. Those two concepts are mutually exclusive and there is no sense in wasting valuable thought that they MIGHT be compatible. That would be akin to wasting valuable thought that we might be able to produce a four sided triangle.
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  10. #100
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    Your volition is what is in question. Volition, will and free-choice are essentially synonymous in regard to this discussion.

    Basically you just sated.... "My choices is constrained by my own choices." or... "My volition is constrained by my own volition." or... "My will is constrained by my own will." These are meaningless statements that don't advance the discussion in any way whatsoever.

    If God has known exhaustively a millennia ago that you would choose a grey shirt then you had NO choice BUT to choose a grey shirt, unless of course you believe you can thwart God's exhaustively perfect foreknowledge, but of course it wouldn't be exhaustive or perfect if you could do that would it?

    I apologize, but I don't have the patience for illogical, obfuscation and theological smoke and mirrors. I like to drill down to the obvious truths and go from there.

    Some things either ARE, or they ARE NOT. Truth is truth, logic is logic and God is real and rational not surreal and irrational. There cannot exist a perfect exhaustive foreknowledge in God and also real contingencies/possibilities in God's foreknowledge. Those two concepts are mutually exclusive and there is no sense in wasting valuable thought that they MIGHT be compatible. That would be akin to wasting valuable thought that we might be able to produce a four sided triangle.
    Right, and I'm okay with you closing the thread. I know what I said, I know it confuses,but we'd have to start on illogical problems. All of your discussion with SV points to confusion. I'd be confused if I didn't spend time here on the OV and I still see logic problems with your view as well. They have the same extrapolated problems (not by you, by anyone looking at your theological stance). Piper, Cook, Lamerson do basically the same thing to you that you do to us: carry a logical conclusion to it's absurdity.

    I see a 'championing' tenure here on TOL rather than an understanding tenure for the most part. I appreciate a championing tenure and tone for what it is, but is this all TOL is or ever will be?

    Either way brother. Like I said, you can as easily engage me in the forum and there is probably some good in that. It allows us all to pool our knowledge and come to the table in a better light I think. I see value in that. We tried, I'd like to try again at a future date.
    I put some of Boyd's books on back order so that should help.

    I also put some of the reformed doctrines on the same list so I'll work over these again from a different perspective and possibly we'll have a better groundwork (I'll have a better groundwork) for discussion.

    I've appreciated the time and I'll continue to appreciate discussion with you in forum.

    In Our Precious Christ

    Lon

  11. #101
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonster
    I appreciate a championing tenure and tone for what it is, but is this all TOL is or ever will be?
    Where is your regard for logic? For truth? For not living in the "maybes" and the "what ifs", does any of that matter to you?

    Does it matter to you that your theology is one huge contradiction?

    That type of stuff matters to me. And when someone asks me what does 2+2 equal, I tell them 4! And when they respond .... "Yeah but maybe it could equal 5 if we just look at it a bit differently." I tend to mock them. I can't help it. I was born that way.
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  12. #102
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    Where is your regard for logic? For truth? For not living in the "maybes" and the "what ifs", does any of that matter to you?

    Does it matter to you that your theology is one huge contradiction?

    That type of stuff matters to me. And when someone asks me what does 2+2 equal, I tell them 4! And when they respond .... "Yeah but maybe it could equal 5 if we just look at it a bit differently." I tend to mock them. I can't help it. I was born that way.
    I appreciate that, I really, honestly do and you bet, guilty as charged. I'll ask a question or two and see if you see the same thing I see.

    Do you see often, as I do, that SV and OV has a strong tendency to talk past one another without really ever getting to brass tacks?

    It is really hard to get to the bottom of something you totally disagree with or even appreciate it. In SV, God has exaustive foreknowledge. Because I've never been comfortable with all the SV problems, I'm probably not SV. But on the other hand, as I'm not Armenian either, and as I've seen OV, I can't get on the same page with them in scripture interpretation. You bet, I'm in a conundrum,and there are some shaky logic grounds because most of my answers to your questions are actually neither yes or no, or rather they are qualified which is why the double-talk. I have a hard time with either the OV extreme or the SV extreme. I tend to see God somewhere in the middle of all this. I look at the Pharisees and the Saducees and neither was praised, their doctrine caused them to miss the whole thing. I'm glad that our basics are the same for if they were not, we'd be in real trouble. I do have a dizzying position because I see truths in each perspective.
    We have actually been discussing the nature of God, but we didn't get to doctrines of salvation so I thought perhaps we could try to get discussion going on examining Calvinism.

    I'd line up closely on Calvinism but for the problems I've always seen in thier TULIP.

    Total depravity: I believe in Total depravity to an extent, that we are completely in need of intervention for salvation, but I tend to see us as broken rather than worthless. I suppose total is that until we are 'fixed' we cannot function for His glory so I'm pretty much on the same page. This doctrine is shared with the Armenian doctrine.

    Unconditional Election: God's sovereign will alone determines salvation. I've read some arguments against this position but the problem with this doesn't really fall here, but with the sister truth of Limited Atonement.

    Limited Atonement: It is the Calvinist way of saying that only those who believe will be saved which we all would agree with for the most part. It is when the U (unconditional election) and L (limited atonement) are placed together that problems in understanding begin, and I have the same questions and problems.

    Irresistible Grace: This is a doctrine about God quickening man to spiritual truth that he is otherwise incapable of doing. "Not one seeks God" is the truth where this is seen because we have all gone our own way. It very much reflects man's need in Judges where "Every man did what was right in his own eyes." I'm pretty much on board on this doctrine, but have some questions and different understandings from scripture as to how this all works out. Some Calvinists are able to handle those questions for my understanding and some are not so I think even Calvinists divide somewhat on understanding of this doctrine.

    Perseverence of the Saints: This one leads often to OSAS doctrine, but most Calvinists do not hold to this idea and reject it. There is a logic progression that tends to confuse this issue but there are extreme Calvinists that believe in OSAS even on this forum. The Calvinist position doesn't like the term because it can give somebody who makes a 'profession of faith' a false hope so they stress rather that in a believer's life, God produces righteous fruit and works of righteousness is the result. Because a true conversion is a recreation of a new creature, the believer is going to produce righteousness as a result of this conversion. There would be a genuine concern if a claimed believer never produces fruit of righteousness because it is wholly the work of God unto a new thing. Just as good soil (lots of parable connections) that is planted and cared for by a masterful gardener cannot help but produce fruit, so the believer under the hand of God is going to grow (Eph. 2:10). I am on the same page with this doctrine.

  13. #103
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonster
    ...and as I've seen OV, I can't get on the same page with them in scripture interpretation.
    Can you give me an example?

    Maybe lets just start with one example, I am really busy so I need to stick with smaller bite sized posts.
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  14. #104
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    I have a hard time with some prophecy interpretation.

    If a prophecy is unfulfilled, I tend to see it as conditional. That is, that the prophecy isn't really a prophecy at all, it is a promise of contingency. Prophecy, as I understand the definition, has to be fulfilled or there are some problems concerning the 'false' prophet. So I think the first part of this is a differentiation from promises and prophecies. I've seen a few OVers use them interchangeably. Is this really the case or is it rather a mistake on their part or a misconception on mine?

  15. #105
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonster
    I have a hard time with some prophecy interpretation.

    If a prophecy is unfulfilled, I tend to see it as conditional. That is, that the prophecy isn't really a prophecy at all, it is a promise of contingency. Prophecy, as I understand the definition, has to be fulfilled or there are some problems concerning the 'false' prophet. So I think the first part of this is a differentiation from promises and prophecies. I've seen a few OVers use them interchangeably. Is this really the case or is it rather a mistake on their part or a misconception on mine?
    Hmmm... well I would love to start with an example if you have one. Is there one you would like to discuss?

    I agree prophecies are conditional. In fact that's the very function of a prophecy, a prophecy is a mechanism, a lever, to affect a future possibility.

    I.e., God needed Peter to be strong after the crucifixion. Peter was going to be a major player in the spreading of the gospel but Peter was weak and God knew that. God didn't want Peter to be weak He needed Peter to be strong.

    So God used a prophecy for Peter that was a "win win" for God.

    God told Peter that Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed.

    Matthew 26:34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

    Peter said that wouldn't be the case....

    Matthew 26:35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.

    God, knowing everything knowable knew Peter was weak and Peter would most likely fail as predicted. But either way God would get His desired outcome and here is how....

    IF... one of the times Peter was asked about Christ Peter had realized... "ok, this is it, this what the Lord spoke of, He is Lord of all I repent! I do not deny Him!!!" BINGO! The Lord has strengthened Peters resolve and affected his will to more closely conform to God's will.

    IF... Peter fulfills the prophecy as stated Peter then knows that the Lord knew Peters own heart better than Peter Himself then... BINGO! The Lord has strengthened Peters resolve and affected his will to more closely conform to God's will.

    God wins either way but both options were real possibilities/contengencies. And most importantly we see that God is attempting to influence our/Peters will, God hasn't already seen the outcome in advance, for if He had, there wouldn't have been any reason for Him to interact with Peter via telling Him of the prophecy.

    Prophecy is a mechanism, a lever used by God to affect our will.
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