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theopenlife
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 Help please, does God only know some of the future?

Can anyone help me? I read a post in another forum, the writer said that God only knows certain things about the future and that God is still "learning". Do you know any scriptural proofs against what was written (below) or if this could be true? Does God only know some of all things? Does He know all of what will happen in the future? I personally believe God knows all things that will ever and have ever happened, but your thoughts and verses are greatly appreciated, whether for or against. Thank you.

This is what I read...

Quote:

"I had no reason to believe in open theism. Neither did I want to become an open theist. But the more I understood their position, and the more I examined their scriptural arguements, the more I saw it as true and the more I saw how the classical foreknowledge view causes more problems then it solves.

The bible describes God as testing individuals in order for He Himself to know what was in their heart, "to know" "whether or not" they would obey Him: Genesis 22:12, 2Chron 32:31, Deut 8:2, Deut 13:1-3, Judges 2:22, and Exodus 16:4. Take these scriptures at face value, and "to know" denies foreknowledge, and "whether or not" implies contingency which denies the fixity of the future.

Remember Jesus believed prayer could change the future. "Father, all things are possible for you." And "if it is possible, remove this cup." God is really the soveriegn God of a partly open future! Jesus said if He wanted to pray for 12 legions of angels, He could have and would have recieved them! This shows Jesus believed in a partly open future, and believed in the power of prayer to change the course of history. He believed that God was the God of the possible, and that His own prayers could change things because the future was not exhaustively settled.

You guys may disagree with me on the open theism. That's cool. Finney and Moral Government teach an election according to foreknowledge, that God knew who would and wouldn't believe and so then predestined them as such.

The scripture support is "whom he foreknow, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son". But what of those not predestined to that image? Where they not foreknown? We cannot add to "whom he foreknew" and say those he foreknew "would choose Him". It doesn't say that. It's dangerous to add to scriptures isn't it?

I believe this scripture simply means, without reading or adding to it, that God previously knew that He wanted a holy people and so pre-determined to have a holy people, thus creation started.

You guys might agree with Moral Government and Finney on this one. But I personally disagree with Finney and MG on this point. I agree more with McCabe, who was a Methodist theologian in the 1800s.

I would only suggest that anyone who want's to genuinely disprove open theism, read Gregory Boyds book with the sole purpose of disproving it."

 2007/9/7 0:15Profile
roaringlamb
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re: Help please, does God only know some of the future?

Brother open theism is not to be found in the Scriptures so you will not find it there. Mainly it is a man made, man glorifying invention to make man more like God, and God more like man. It is a way where man can be free, and God bound by man's decision. Many who argue for open-theism say it is unfair to man, and that history has no meaning if in fact God has set what will happen and is working all things toward that goal.

Consider the following Scriptures, I hope they help-
2Ch 20:6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

Psa 22:28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.

Deu 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

1Sa 2:6-8 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them.

Psa 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

Psa 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Psa 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

Isa 14:24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Pro 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Ultimately, God is either sovereign, and omniscient, or He is not. If He is not, then he is not the God of the Bible, and is rather an idol created to suit the desires of men's hearts.


_________________
patrick heaviside

 2007/9/7 0:40Profile
theopenlife
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 Re:

Thank you, Mr.Lamb. Anyone else?

 2007/9/7 19:57Profile
whyme
Member



Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293


 Re: Help please, does God only know some of the future?

I'm sorry I don't have the scriptural reference but there is Psalm that says God knows the Psalmist words before they are uttered. Further, how does prophesy work if God is not already aware of and indeed arranged the events to occur. In John, God says what I have foretold, I have fulfilled.

 2007/9/7 20:00Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2737
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

You may find A.W. Tozer's sermon on [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=2306]The Omniscience of God[/url] very helpful in this matter, it is from his outstanding series of messages on the attributes of God. I suggest listening to the whole series, it is the basis for his book The Knowledge of the Holy.

In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2007/9/7 20:37Profile
rowdy2
Member



Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 528
Southern USA

 Re: Help please, does God only know some of the future?

Reply
Hello Michael
Truth is Jesus Christ. The fundamental characteristic of truth is consistency. The Word of God as interpreted by the Spirit of Truth lives in every Christian. The only way to fulfill any search for truth is to know Him. Any man’s interpretation of truth that does not know Christ Jesus is temporal and will soon pass away. To know truth is to know the great I Am, who has no beginning and no end.


_________________
Eddie

 2007/9/8 6:59Profile
rowdy2
Member



Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 528
Southern USA

 Re:

Knowing God and understanding His hidden wisdom can only happen when we confess we don't know.
We as Christian know we don't know but we know Christ and are aqainted with The One that does know and He can reveal the Father to us.


_________________
Eddie

 2007/9/8 7:58Profile
Nile
Member



Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re: Help please, does God only know some of the future?

Micheal,

I am open theist. I became an open theist by researching the issue and honestly looking at the issue. Here is a most excellent article on open theism by Winkie Pratney:

[url=http://www.biblical-theology.com/omniscience/chess.htm]Cosmic Chess[/url]

And here is a wealth of information/ideas/arguments on the subject:

[url=http://www.opentheismboard.org/]Open Theism Discussion Board[/url]

I highly recommend browsing through some of the threads. There are both open theists and closed theists on the site, so you can see both sides of the issue putting forth the best arguments they have.

For some Biblical support, consider...

Why does God ever use the word "if"?
Why was God sorry He had made man (before the flood)? If God knew He would be sorry, He wouldn't have made man.
Why does God create people whom He knows will suffer in Hell forever?
Why does God act all throughout the Bible as if He is in time like we are?

Now I'll look at some of the scriptures others mentioned.

2Ch 20:6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

This says nothing about God knowing the future decisions of men (which do not yet exist). Open Theism does not limit God's power or authority in any way.

Psa 22:28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.

Same thing as the last.

Deu 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

Yes, Open Theism agrees with this. This says nothing against Open Theism.

1Sa 2:6-8 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them.

Which of these things imply that God is outside of time?

Psa 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

This says nothing about God knowing the future decisions of men, which have yet to be created.

Psa 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Yes, yes...but how is this related to Open Theism?

Psa 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

Same as the last.

Isa 14:24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

Of course. No Open Theist claims that God doesn't do what He purposes.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

This isn't related.

Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Yep, God has a plan. He knows exactly what His plan is. He has accounted for every possible decision men can make. His plan, as it is from the beginning, will stand, just as He planned it.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Did you know that I was elected...by NC State to go to their school? That's right. And it didn't take divine impossible foreknowledge either.
I was also predestined from the foundation of the school to attend NC State. I am the exact type of them that are predestined to the school: High GPA, AP credits, High SAT.

Pro 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

Of course. Open Theism says nothing about the future not being in God's hands! Simply because God doesn't know what decisions men will make doesn't take away His power, authority, or control in any way.

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

I think you are reading into this verse things that aren't there. Perhaps another translation: "The Lorde dotll all thinges for his owne sake; yea, and when he kepeth the ungodly for the daye of wrath."
or "The Lord has made everything [to accommodate itself and contribute] to its own end and His own purpose--even the wicked [are fitted for their role] for the day of calamity and evil."
Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"
A good verse that shows that God works all things for Himself - even the wicked for the day of evil.

Hopefully this will shed some light on Open Theism. Read the Cosmic Chess article. I'm going out of town this weekend, when I come back I'll post some scripture expressly supporting Open Theism.

Nile


_________________
Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/9/8 7:59Profile









 Re:

The Bible [b]CLEARLY[/b] teaches the foreknowledge of God! God foreknows ALL future certainties as certain and God foreknows ALL future possibilities as possible.

Not everything is predetermined. Anything that is determined is certain, anything that is not yet determined but is open is possible. God foreknows everything that is now certain or determined and God foreknows everything that is now open or possible.

And God is Omniscient! God knows all that can be known. Anything that is an object of knowledge is known by Omniscience. And as soon as anything new becomes an object of knowledge, it is known to Omniscience. God always knows everything that there is to know.

Before I had ever read any book on Open Theology, I was convinced that the bible teaches that the future is at least partly open because of Jonah chapter 3. Then I examined multiple other passages that taught that the future was at least partly open like Jeremiah 18. I realized that I couldn't argue with the bible!

To say that the future is partly open is to say that there are contingencies (because of freewill) and that not everything done in history was a certainty. And the bible clearly teaches the contingency of human action, Jeremiah 18 is a perfect example of that. Not everything is certain or predetermined, but we ourselves are self-determining individuals with freewill with the power of contingent choice!

But a topic like this requires much studying. I recommend reading the scriptures on it and also reading what Open Theologians actually say about it themselves.

I recommend:

- God of the Possible by Gregory Boyd

Gregory Boyd is a modern Baptist Pastor, Professor, and Author. He has a PHD from Princeton I believe.

- The Foreknowledge of God by Gordon Olson

- The Omniscience of God by Gordon Olson

Gordon Olson used to give theological lectures as Last Days Ministries, Agape Force, and YWAM. He was considered the "Grand Father" of these ministries.

- Cosmic Chess by Winkie Pratney

Winkie Pratney has been speaking to youth for 30 years. He is a well known author on the topic of revival and theology.

- Divine Nescience of Future Contingencies a Necessity by L D McCabe

- The Foreknowledge of God, and Cognate Themes in Theologyand Philosophy," by L D McCabe

McCabe was a Methodist Theologian in the 18th Century, a professor of both philosophy and theology.

------------

Here is the appendix of one of Gordon Olson's books on this topic.

Appendix 1 shows that the future is [b][u]PARTLY OPEN [/b][/u]

Appendix 2 shows that the future is [b][u]PARTLY DETERMINED[/b][/u]

And of coarse, what is open is [b]foreknown as possible[/b] and what is determined is [b]foreknown as certain.[/b]

FROM GORDON OLSON:

APPENDIX 1. SCRIPTURE PASSAGES THAT DO NOT
SUPPORT ABSOLUTE FOREKNOWLEDGE

Passages of Scripture requiring a DENIAL of the supposed fact, that all the future acts of God and
man are now known to God, and have been so from eternal ages past:

Genesis Psalms
2:17 (1:5; 5:5) 14:2 (53:2)
6:5-7 (1:31) 78:21-22, 58-61
18:20-21, 22-33 106:23, 44-45
22:1, 12
Exodus
16:4
32:7-14, 30-35
33:5
Numbers
11:1
14:11-24, 27-35
16:20-35, 44-48
Deuteronomy
8:2
9:13-14, 18-19, 20, 25-29
(10:10)
13:1-3
Judges
2:18, 20-22 (3:4)
10:13-16
I Samuel
2:30 (3:12-14)
13:13-14
15:11, 23, 26, 35
(28:18; 8:4-9, 22; 12:13-19)
II Samuel
7:10-11
12:22 (14)
24:12-16 (1), 25
I Kings
9:3, 4-9
11:11-13
21:27-29 (21-22)
II Kings
20:1-7
23:26-27 (I Kings 9:3)
I Chronicles
17:9-10
21:7-14, 15 (1)(II Sam. 24:1)
II Chronicles
7:16
12:5-8, 32:31
Job
2:3
41
Isaiah 5:3-7
38:1-5 (II Kings 20:1-7)
Jeremiah
3:6-8
18:7-10
26:2-3, 4-6, 12-13, 18-19
Ezekiel
12: 1-3
20:8-9, 13-14, 15-17, 21-22
22:30
24:14
Hosea
8:5
Joel
2:12-14
Amos
5:14-15, 7:1-3, 4-6
Jonah
1:2
3:2, 4-10
4:2
Zechariah
8:14-15
Matthew
10:2-4 (Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16;
(see previous discussion concerning Judas)
19:28
Mark
13:32 (Mt. 24:36; Acts 1:7; I Cor. 11:3)
Acts
15:7
Revelation
3:5
17:8 (13:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27)
22:18-19


APPENDIX 2. SCRIPTURE PASSAGES THAT
SUPPORT ABSOLUTE FOREKNOWLEDGE

The best passages of Scripture that can be found to SUPPORT the doctrine of the absolute
foreknowledge of God, realizing that the many prophecies are merely revelations of what God has
determined to bring to pass in His guidance of world affairs, are as follows:

Genesis 6:64, 70-71
15:13-15 12:32-34
16:12 13:18-19, 21, 26
17:20 17:12
25:23 19:24, 28, 36, 37
Numbers 21:18-19
23:19
Deuteronomy
31:16-21,
29 (21, 27)
I Samuel
15:29
I Kings
13:2 (II Kings 22:1; 23:15-16)
Psalms
22:16, 18
69:21
Isaiah
44:28-45:7
46:9-11
52:13-15
53:1-12
Jeremiah
1:5
25:11, 12
29:10-14
Zechariah
12:10
Malachi
3:6
Matthew
16:21
20:17-19
21:1-5
24:1-25:46
26:31, 34
27:9
Mark
9:31
14:13-16
Luke
24:25-27, 44-47
John
HOME PAGE 44
Acts
2:23
13:29
Romans
8:28-30
11:2
I Corinthians
2:7
Galatians
3:8
Ephesians
1:3-5, 11
3:11
II Thessalonians
2:3-4, 13-14
I Timothy
4:1-3
II Timothy
1:9-10
I Peter
1:1-2, 20
Revelation
1:1,7
2:10
4:1
6:11
7:4-8, 9, 14
9:20-21 (16:9, 11)
11:2-12, 13
12:6, 7-9
13:1-7, 8, 11-18
14:20
17:7, 8, 12
19:19-21
20:1-3, 7-10
22:6

This would make for a great bible study on the [b][u]NATURE[/b][/u] of the future.

----------------------------

And this is a bible study that I put together relating to this topic:

Scriptures attributing succession to the experience of God; actively creating that which previously was non-existent, experiencing the sequence of emotions, making new plans, changing old plans, not hearing then succeeding to hearing His people, etc:

Gen 1:1-31, Gen 6:6, Gen 22:12, Exo 32:14, Num 11:1-2, Num 14:12-20, Num 16:20-35, Num 16:41-48, Jud 2:18, Jud 10:13-16, 1Sam 8:18, 1Sam 15:35, 1Sam 23:10-13, 2Sam 24:12-16, 2Sam 24:17-25, 1Kings 21:21-29, 2Kings 13:3-5, 1Chron 21:15, 2Chron 7:12-14, Isaiah 46:9-10, Isaiah 38:4-5, Jer 7:5-7, Jer 26:19, Jer 38:17-18, Jer 38:21, Eze 20:5-22, Eze 33:13-15, Hos 11:8-9, Jonah 3:10, Amo 7:3-6, Job 35:13, Ps 7:11, Ps 40:5, Ps 66:18, Matt 25:41, Acts 15:7, Acts 21:10-12, 2Pet 3:8

 2007/9/8 8:06
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Not everything is predetermined. Anything that is determined is certain, anything that is not yet determined but is open is possible. God foreknows everything that is now certain or determined and God foreknows everything that is now open or possible.



The gap in this apparently seamless theme is 'does God know everything that is going to happen?' Does the above mean that God knows the area of what is open or the events of what is said to be open.

Quote:
And God is Omniscient! God knows all that can be known. Anything that is an object of knowledge is known by Omniscience. And as soon as anything new becomes an object of knowledge, it is known to Omniscience. God always knows everything that there is to know.


Omniscience does not mean 'knowing all that CAN be known'; that is a diluted definition of omniscience. Omni = all, without mitigation. Either God knows all or he doesn't . If he doesn't know ALL he is not omniscient. ALL does not mean "all that there is to know", it means all. There is no event in the past, present or future that is not known to God, otherwise he is not omniscient. By this definition God does not know 'the end from the beginning' but, at the most, can only have educated speculations. He is the God who knows most things; this is not omniscience.

In "The Openness of God" by Pinnock, Rice, Sanders, Hasker and Basinger, which is the work which brought much of Open Theology to the fore, we have this illuminating part of the preface;
The authors came to the view of God reflected in this book from various directions. Some were challenged by certain texts of scripture that did not fit with the accepted understanding of the divine nature. Others sought to make sense of petitioning a God who was said to know already what we were going to ask, what he was going to do about it and how we would respond. Still others were forced to reconsider classical theism in the light of recent philosophical criticisms. Despite these diverse paths, we have all arrived at the perspective we call the open view of God.This paragraph deserves a little unpacking.
1. It is a reaction to extreme Calvinism in which the whole history of the ages, including the personal history of every individual has been pre-scripted by God. It is a reaction to the idea of absolute determinism. I share this reaction.

2. It is a reaction to the mystery of prayer and our 'co-working' with God in the fulfillment of his purposes. This mystery cannot be explained by concluding that God needs our help. He has determined to accomplish certain things in fellowship with man, and such things will not be accomplished without fellowship with man. There is a simple passage of scripture which expresses the balance perfectly...

[color=0033FF] Therefore David blessed the LORD before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. “Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, As were all our fathers; Our days on earth are as a shadow, And without hope.
“O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own. [b]I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness.[/b] As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. (1Chronicles 29:10-17 NKJV)[/color]

Here David acknowledges God as the source of all but sees that God has determined to include man as his willing partner. One of the areas of partnership is prayer. Not because God doesn't know or because he needs our help but because God has determined to accomplish certain things in certain ways, or not at all.

3. 'recent philosophical criticisms'? We are in the midst of the debate about 'post modernism' here. Some have wanted to engage the post modernists and sought language which will better accommodate the positions of the 'post modernist' that there is no pattern to life. There is no big answer, mega-narrative, because there is no question. The purposeless of history is now almost a standard position for modern historians. To suggest that God is 'working his purposes out' is deeply offensive to the post-modernist.

Some of these Christians have appartentlly decided that it will be better to build the bridge from the other side of the river. Life is now random and literally 'non-sense'. There are no fixed results, anything can happen. The devil might win.

The writers of the book are also associated with another modern evangelical variant known as the 'new perspective' in which the claim is made that the Reformation understanding of Romans and justification is in error. There is certainly a continuity of thought from those whose adopt Finneyism to open theism. It is no accident that many who adopt Finney's Moral Government view of Atonement also embrace Open Theism. It does not surprise me that Pratney Winkey has gone in this direction.

The best antidote to these current poisons is a good dose of A W Tozer!

edit: an address given in 2005 by Jonathan Stephen highlighted some of the areas of threat to contemporary evangelical understandings.

[url=http://www.e-n.org.uk/p-3026-The-current-crisis-in-evangelicalism.htm]The Current Crisis in Evangelicalism.[/url]


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2007/9/8 16:01Profile





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