God learns

iouae

Well-known member
All creatures small and great, learn.
If something cannot learn, we would question its IQ.

Yet many insist that God cannot learn.
They say that God is a know-it-all.

But is this true?

Take for instance Gen 22:12
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

If God says "now I know" it means before God tested Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, God did not know whether Ab would go through with it or not.

If God learns, then many parts of scripture make greater sense.

For instance when God expresses regret at having created man before the flood, this is a genuine expression of regret that man has somehow disappointed God's expectation (which was that mankind would somehow have behaved better).

Genesis 6:6
And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

I believe the paleontological record in the rock strata also shows God learning.

God wanted to make someone in His own image, after His likeness to join Him in eternity.
Of course He had the angels, but they were more like employees, and less like sons.

So He tried the australopithecines, but they did not cut it.
So next He tried Homo habilis. Still not good enough.
Next, Homo erectus. No good.
Next, the Neanderthals. Too good, bigger brains than ours, stronger than us. God decides to dumb the Neanderthals down a bit and make them weaker, and comes up with Homo sapiens.

Voila, Homo sapiens seems OK to God.
Yet after 1600 years, and with only three Homo sapiens saved (viz. Abel, Enoch, Noah) God pulls the plug on this variety of hominid which lives nearly 1000 years and shortens their lifespan to threescore and ten. He also restrains the "sons of God" or angels so that they cannot breed with Homo sapiens and pollute the bloodline after the flood.

So God tries choosing a people, and giving them the Old Covenant with its laws to keep them on the straight and narrow. But this is not very successful in producing nice people.

So God scraps this Old Covenant and comes up with a New and better one of writing His laws into their very being through Christ living in Homo sapiens. That really seems to work, and finally God is satisfied with His product.
 

iouae

Well-known member
Accepting that God learns, here are some of the corollaries...

1. God is a ceaseless Creator. He has created, He continues to create today, and He will create forever. Look forward to seeing some new plants and animals.

2. The future is open ended. As God gets a better idea, this will be incorporated in the future. Thus nothing is written in stone. Anything is possible.

3. We will be able to give our input, and God will be prepared to incorporate our suggestions into His plans. That is why God devotes so much energy getting us to pray to Him today, since He values our input, and even today our input can change the course of history (such as where God offered to destroy the Israelites and make Moses' descendants the "new Israel" - which suggestion Moses was horrified with, and managed to talk God down.)

4. God is a God of faith Himself. It does not take faith to walk in a predetermined path, but to walk in a totally new and unchartered path takes faith. This is exactly what God plans to do. This takes faith.
Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
If the future were predetermined, it would be seen, and in that case it would take no faith to walk in it.
God expends an inordinate amount of effort now in making sure we have faith - meaning that we walk comfortably into an uncertain future. This would be wasted effort if we in future walked in certainty.

5. I would venture that God learned from creating the angels perfect, in a perfect setting. Yet many fell away, with no chance of recovery. Mankind was created weak and futile and mortal in a dirty world. God knew that mankind would have to be redeemed and improved. Ours would be a continuous and ongoing repentance, and turning away from evil. Something never spoken is that "When we've been there 10000 years, bright shining as the sun, we will have no less case to need God's grace, than when we first began". Christians today think that repentance is a once off thing we do at conversion, when in truth it is a daily, ongoing remediation of our intrinsic nature, forever and ever, amen. There will never be a point at which either we or God stop growing.

Here is a kind of "proof" of this. Why is it that in the model prayer, we pray "forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us"? Because it is so important when one lives forever that one does not pick up baggage or gripes against others. Over eternity, a mountain of ill will could build up. Offences are always possible, even in the future Kingdom of God. What we learn now is carried forward, otherwise why would God waste so much effort in teaching us to forgive and let go of offence? The angels who turned to demons, were never trained in this art.

6. Ancient Israel was told to swear by God's name, Christians are told not to swear at all. Maybe this demonstrates that God has learned that man is poorer than expected at keeping promises. The God of the New Testament seems to reach out and extend even more grace than the God of the Old Testament. God seems to drop group judgement in favour of individual or no judgment for now. Jesus certainly learned something from His experience as a mortal (Heb 5:8) and what He learned has no doubt changed the way God treats us today. God learns.
 

oatmeal

Well-known member
God uses figures of speech to communicate more better to the human mind. When God ascribes to himself human or animal or other characteristics it is the figure of speech
 
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iouae

Well-known member
God uses figures of speech to communicate more better to the human mind. When ascribes to himself human or animal or other characteristics it is the figure of speech
Oatmeal, when I read the following scripture, I believe I know exactly what it means...

Exodus 34:14
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

If you have had a jealous girlfriend, all you have to do is translate these attributes to God, and you know how God will react to you having another "god" or girlfriend on the side. God is not going to be pleased, and you may wake up to find your car keyed.

Now when you read that "God is a jealous God" how do you interpret this?
 

WeberHome

New member
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Gen 22:12b . . For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your favored one, from Me.

Someone usually wants to know how a supposedly omniscient God didn't know till then that Abraham would go through with it. Well; in the Bible; the word "know" isn't limited to academic information. It often refers to experiential knowledge; like when a man knows his wife; viz: sleeps with her; in other words: learning about women by reading magazines like Playboy is way different than learning about women by living with one for a while.

By omniscience, God has seen the future already even before it takes place. It's all laid out before him like an open road map. He can see every avenue and every city all in one glance. However; like a traveler; God hasn't actually been to each place yet. David, in Psalm 139, said God's spirit is omnipresent, but I have yet to see a scripture that proves God has the ability to travel in time.

He no doubt already knew beforehand every single thing that would take place the day Abraham and Isaac were on that mountain. None of that took God by surprise-- but God had yet to be there and take part when it actually happened. Afterwards; God not only knew in His head that Abraham feared him; but God knew it in His heart too via personal experience as an on-scene eye witness.

NOTE: Until Christ returns to take the reins of this planet, there's always going to exist an element out there that has made it their mission in life to stump the Bible thumpers. Some have even gone to the trouble of writing books on the subject; for example 101 Clear Contradictions in the Bible by Dr. Shabir Ally.

FYI: A response to Dr. Ally's book is located at the web page below.

101 'Cleared Up' Clear Contradictions in the Bible

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Jonahdog

BANNED
Banned
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Gen 22:12b . . For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your favored one, from Me.

Someone usually wants to know how a supposedly omniscient God didn't know till then that Abraham would go through with it. Well; in the Bible; the word "know" isn't limited to academic information. It often refers to experiential knowledge; like when a man knows his wife; viz: sleeps with her; in other words: learning about women by reading magazines like Playboy is way different than learning about women by living with one for a while.

By omniscience, God has seen the future already even before it takes place. It's all laid out before him like an open road map. He can see every avenue and every city all in one glance. However; like a traveler; God hasn't actually been to each place yet. David, in Psalm 139, said God's spirit is omnipresent, but I have yet to see a scripture that proves God has the ability to travel in time.

He no doubt already knew beforehand every single thing that would take place the day Abraham and Isaac were on that mountain. None of that took God by surprise-- but God had yet to be there and take part when it actually happened. Afterwards; God not only knew in His head that Abraham feared him; but God knew it in His heart too via personal experience as an on-scene eye witness.

NOTE: Until Christ returns to take the reins of this planet, there's always going to exist an element out there that has made it their mission in life to stump the Bible thumpers. Some have even gone to the trouble of writing books on the subject; for example 101 Clear Contradictions in the Bible by Dr. Shabir Ally.

FYI: A response to Dr. Ally's book is located at the web page below.

101 'Cleared Up' Clear Contradictions in the Bible

/

So he knew that Adam and Eve would sin. that he would later kill everyone, other than Noah's family in a flood. that he would send his son later to be tortured and killed.
 

iouae

Well-known member
I don't believe the future is knowable.

If the future was like some movies and some preachers make the future out to be, then there would be one script and one script only.

For instance some folks would be saved and some lost and seemingly there would be nothing they, God or anyone could do about it, because the future is scripted.

But 1 Timothy 2:4, says that God "will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

If God gives all men real freedom to choose, then God can honestly try to save all, but because it requires co-operationn, God genuinely regrets it when some refuse the offer.

Preachers who try to extoll the power of God by saying that He knows everything we will do before we are born, do not realise how feeble this actually makes God. It turns God into a helpless play-actor along with us, who have no power to rewrite the script, but simply mouth our lines because there is only one future and we must all just say our lines. God is as locked into this one future as we are.

I see God and man interacting like players in an online computer game, where all of us can affect the outcome, and where we have genuine freedom, as does God to respond or not to our moves. God wrote the game, set up the game, invited our participation, is the best player, and has power to pull the plug on the game at any time, or moderate someone out of the game. But life is real-time and the future is a blank canvass waiting for us and God to write upon this canvass. There are infinite possibilities this way.

Of course there is the possibility of offences and mistakes, but God is bigger than all of our potential mistakes and has an eraser which can be used to correct the game/canvass if it seems to be heading South. That is the blood of Christ which covers all sins. This way, God does not have to know what we will do tomorrow, because WHATEVER we choose to do, nothing is too difficult for God to straighten out, when it happens. God does not take any anxious thought for the morrow, any more than we ought to. I believe that God's attitude is that sufficient are todays problems, He will take care of tomorrows when tomorrow becomes today.

Thus I totally reject the idea that one can foretell the future. God can foretell the future inasmuch as he has the power to make any prediction stick. For instance if Trump came along, he could point to a swamp and say, in a year time there will be a Trump tower standing here and it will look thus and such. He can say so truthfully, not because he has future-seeing powers, but because he owns the land and has the wherewithal to make his prediction come to pass. This is the only way I believe God prophesies and makes prophesies come to pass. And prophesies fail because of human participation in the future.

God could honestly tell the Ninevites that in forty days they would be destroyed, because God fully intended destroying them. When they repented, and God relented, this did not make God a liar or a false prophet. It simply demonstrated that the future is not written in stone and that both us (the Ninevites) and God can at any time reshape the future by our choices.
 

WeberHome

New member
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So he knew that Adam and Eve would sin. that he would later kill everyone, other than Noah's family in a flood. that he would send his son later to be tortured and killed.

Yes; and in point of fact, Jesus is described as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world; indicating that Calvary was factored into creation's master plan even before God made the very first carbon atoms. (1Pet 1:20, Rev 13:8)

In addition, believers are described as chosen before the foundation of the world. No doubt the reason for that being that God knew beforehand who would follow His son and who wouldn't. (Eph 1:4-5)

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iouae

Well-known member
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In addition, believers are described as chosen before the foundation of the world. No doubt the reason for that being that God knew beforehand who would follow His son and who wouldn't. (Eph 1:4-5)

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Hi WeberHome

To go back to my analogy of Trump looking at a swamp and saying that next year a Trump Tower will be standing here...and a year later, a Trump Tower IS standing there.

This type of prophesying requires no "spookiness". It just requires power and means to accomplish your will.

In the prophesying you speak of, there is no real freedom of choice. I don't know what I will do today because I have not yet decided what to do today. If I don't know what I will do today, I don't believe God knows what I will do either, apart from what I habitually do on a Saturday. That is because He has given me freedom, real freedom to do exactly what I want to do, perhaps even surprise Him.

This sounds like blasphemy to the likes of Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes and probably the majority of TV speakers who, while having many good and true things to say, actually find themselves lying about God in this case.

When Enoch was told by God that he would be resurrected with thousands upon thousands of saints in the future, I say God knew He would save thousands, but their actual names would only be known after they were born, had accepted Him, and had walked out their lives faithfully. This requires no spookiness, nor operation of laws outside of our known physics.
Jude 1:14
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.

If God knows before the time everything that everyone will do, including Himself, into infinity, then God is effectively just a spectator or puppet, doomed to play out what He foresaw millions of years prior, and with no chance of changing any scenario, or anything into the future, for ever and ever, amen. In my mind, you have created a ghastly scenario, part of which scenario I would hate to be a part of. Think about it. Then we just act out a script. The truth is, we decide the script in real time, today and forever. We can do ANYTHING. This is how we live now, and this is how it will be forever, except that God is weeding out those who cannot live together for all eternity, and those who hate His Son.
 

oatmeal

Well-known member
Oatmeal, when I read the following scripture, I believe I know exactly what it means...

Exodus 34:14
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

If you have had a jealous girlfriend, all you have to do is translate these attributes to God, and you know how God will react to you having another "god" or girlfriend on the side. God is not going to be pleased, and you may wake up to find your car keyed.

Now when you read that "God is a jealous God" how do you interpret this?

Is jealousy a attribute you attribute to someone who loves?

No, God is spirit. He does not literally become jealous.

Yet, God certainly has the right to expect total love and allegiance from all people

After all, God, not man or mankind, created the heaven and the earth.

Neither believer nor unbeliever would exist at all without God having created....

Not to acknowledge God and to hold him in the highest esteem is just plain wrong.

Not to love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength is wrong, foolish, ignorant and extremely short sighted.

God has moved. It is up to us to believe. He is waiting for us. We do not have to wait for God to act, when we believe we receive. When we do not believe or believe wrongly, we either do not receive or receive error and/or something less than God's best.

To not acknowledge God's use of figures of speech is not going to help us understand scripture.

How could we believe literally verses such as Psalm 18:2?


The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Is the Lord God literally a rock, a rock in David's possession, (my rock)?

Where did David keep that rock?

What if David left that rock somewhere without taking it with him, then David could not claim that God is ever present with him.

In his pocket? In the shepherd's bag that he uses to pick up the five smooth stones before slaying Goliath?

Where is that rock now? It could not be a big rock if it was in David's possession.

Is God literally David's strength? Is God David's bicep?

How about is God literally a horn? Where is that horn? Was it lost or was it crushed when David was moving about?

Clearly, God is speaking figuratively.

The figure of speech is called condescensio in the Latin. When God condescends to the level of man, animals or inanimate objects to describe himself he is using the figure of speech.

God does not literally get jealous, though from a human point of view, He would certainly have the right to do so.
 

WatchmanOnTheWall

New member
This is the FATE V's FREE WILL argument and the answer lies in the Hebrew word PARADOX that needs no translation.

God knows everything, from the beginning to the end, the nations are a drop in a bucket to Him and He can do the impossible, including making a reality where fate and free will coexist; a paradox.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

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All creatures small and great, learn.
If something cannot learn, we would question its IQ.

Yet many insist that God cannot learn.
They say that God is a know-it-all.

But is this true?
Nonsense.

God does not learn. Such a notion would have us believing the God of Moses is more ignorant than our God today. Who knows what God may learn tomorrow? God is not some Grand Chess Master just thinking ahead and anticipating the moves of His so-called autonomous creatures. Such a being is but the Survivor© God, outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting His creatures. Yikes!

http://theologyonline.com/showthrea...n-vs-Enyart)&p=1538465&viewfull=1#post1538465

http://theologyonline.com/showthrea...heism-part-2&p=1523072&viewfull=1#post1523072

Odd ducks like to deny anthropopathisms when it suits their doctrinal oddities. Open theists have made this one of their most favored theological currencies.

AMR
 
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User Name

Greatest poster ever
God does not learn. Such a notion would have us believing the God of Moses is more ignorant that our God today.

"God is, as man conceives Him, the reflected image of man himself. For every man's conception of God must vary with his mental cultivation and mental powers. If any one contents himself with any lower image than his intellect is capable of grasping, then he contents himself with that which is false to him, as well as false in fact. If lower than he can reach, he must needs feel it to be false.

And if we, of the nineteenth century after Christ, adopt the conceptions of the nineteenth century before Him; if our conceptions of God are those of the ignorant, narrow-minded, and vindictive Israelite; then we think worse of God, and have a lower, meaner, and more limited view of His nature, than the faculties which He has bestowed are capable of grasping. The highest view we can form is nearest to the truth. If we acquiesce in any lower one, we acquiesce in an untruth. We feel that it is an affront and an indignity to Him, to conceive of Him as cruel, short-sighted, capricious, and unjust; as a jealous, an angry, a vindictive Being. When we examine our conceptions of His character, if we can conceive of a loftier, nobler, higher, more beneficent, glorious, and magnificent character, then this latter is to us the true conception of Deity; for nothing can be imagined more excellent than He."

Source: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 14th Degree
 

WeberHome

New member
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Albert Pike

I do not think it appropriate to muddy the waters of this thread with the personal opinions of a Freemason, especially seeing as how Freemasonry is neither a religion nor a religious order. I'd sooner somebody quoted Mark Twain; at least his remarks are entertaining, e.g.

"Faith is believin' what you know ain't so."

"It ain't what you know that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

"I have never seen what to me seemed an atom of truth that there is a future life . . . and yet . . . I am strongly inclined to expect one."

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User Name

Greatest poster ever
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I do not think it appropriate to muddy the waters of this thread with the personal opinions of a Freemason, especially seeing as how Freemasonry is neither a religion nor a religious order. I'd sooner somebody quoted Mark Twain; at least his remarks are entertaining, e.g.
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Perhaps you could address the substance of what was said, rather than who said it/
 

WeberHome

New member
Perhaps you could address the substance of what was said, rather than who said it

Heck, while we're at it; let's address the theological substance of Scientology, Jehovah's Witnesses, Islam, and Mormons too. Let's not just muddy the waters of this thread; no, let's make it wholly mud. That way it will become a perpetual bull session that never gets to the bottom of anything.

/
 

User Name

Greatest poster ever
Heck, while we're at it; let's address the theological substance of Scientology, Jehovah's Witnesses, Islam, and Mormons too. Let's not just muddy the waters of this thread; no, let's make it wholly mud. That way it will become a perpetual bull session that never gets to the bottom of anything.

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Strange, I thought that this thread was started by someone called "iouae", yet you seem to have it wrapped up.
 

iouae

Well-known member
Is jealousy a attribute you attribute to someone who loves?

No, God is spirit. He does not literally become jealous.

Yet, God certainly has the right to expect total love and allegiance from all people

After all, God, not man or mankind, created the heaven and the earth.

Neither believer nor unbeliever would exist at all without God having created....

Not to acknowledge God and to hold him in the highest esteem is just plain wrong.

Not to love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength is wrong, foolish, ignorant and extremely short sighted.

God has moved. It is up to us to believe. He is waiting for us. We do not have to wait for God to act, when we believe we receive. When we do not believe or believe wrongly, we either do not receive or receive error and/or something less than God's best.

To not acknowledge God's use of figures of speech is not going to help us understand scripture.

How could we believe literally verses such as Psalm 18:2?


The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Is the Lord God literally a rock, a rock in David's possession, (my rock)?

Where did David keep that rock?

What if David left that rock somewhere without taking it with him, then David could not claim that God is ever present with him.

In his pocket? In the shepherd's bag that he uses to pick up the five smooth stones before slaying Goliath?

Where is that rock now? It could not be a big rock if it was in David's possession.

Is God literally David's strength? Is God David's bicep?

How about is God literally a horn? Where is that horn? Was it lost or was it crushed when David was moving about?

Clearly, God is speaking figuratively.

The figure of speech is called condescensio in the Latin. When God condescends to the level of man, animals or inanimate objects to describe himself he is using the figure of speech.

God does not literally get jealous, though from a human point of view, He would certainly have the right to do so.

I had never heard of this figure of speech. Looking it up, I found the following...

"Part One: CONSESCENSION
This is a figure of speech that is used quite often throughout the Bible. The Latin name, which is what we will be calling this Figure in this teaching, is Condescensio.

To completely understand the meaning of this figure of speech first we’ll use this definition: "The Ascribing of Human Attributes, etc. to God." To get into more detail about this figure, it can also be described as the ascription of human passions, actions, or attributes to God. Hence the English version of the figure is condescension. God, by using this figure condescends to the level of man. I do not believe that God condescends to the level of man because He feels that man is ignorant or infirm. He condescends to man so that man will be able to easily understand God's purpose and wisdom.

We need to understand one very major point to understand Condescensio. God is Spirit, so He does not have arms, He does not have legs, He does not have any of the attributes that man has because He is Spirit. ...."

The above quote taken from ....http://www.absolutebiblestudy.com/Advanced/CONDESCENSION_and_OMISSION.htm

I weigh the person/s who invented this figure of speech on the same level as anyone else who posts on TOL, meaning I take what everyone says with a big pinch of salt, particularly since I believe there is a lot of similarity between the physical and spirit realms. When we get glimpses of heaven, God sitting on a throne surrounded by crowds of ministering angels, it seems very similar to any royal court. It sounds like they invented a fancy latin word to justify why they don't believe what the Bible says is true.

That said, when you explain how you understand God to be "jealous" it does not differ from how I understand God to be jealous.

So "condescensio" apart, I don't disagree with what you say regarding God being jealous, except this statement of yours... "Is jealousy a attribute you attribute to someone who loves?
No, God is spirit. He does not literally become jealous. "

Why could someone who loves not become jealous?

In fact jealousy IS found in those who love excessively. We regard this emotion in a negative light. We take it as a sign of weakness, immaturity, possessiveness. But in God's case, we MUST love Him and Him only. If, like Solomon, we flirt with other religions, God is telling us before the time that He will jump on us from a dizzy height. That is the deal on becoming a Christian, or an Israelite of old. God chased ancient Israel into captivity when they began to adopt some of the surrounding "gods".

A rose by any other name is still a rose. God tells us He acts as a jealous person would act. Its not that God is insecure, its just that God is being crystal clear and upfront. If someone's fiancee was that honest, it would be something to consider before concluding a marriage covenant.
 
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