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KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Consider that God is eternal and not bound by finite time as we humans are. He exists outside of time. Therefore, past, present, and future are all the same to Him from His perspective. Thus, God knows everything happening in the past, in the present, and the future at the exact same time. Everything is "present" to Him.


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Jimmy H

 2008/7/14 6:59Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2737
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
The reason its so mind boggling to me is that if god doesnt know what will happen till it happens it would totally take the blame away from him and he becomes nothing but a good god. He cannot be looked at as a criminal who loves some and hates others and the blame shifts to us.



The real question isn't if the future is set or not but rather what is it that sets the events of the future. Because God knows the future entirely that isn't the factor that sets the future and therefore robs you of any free will. No, your freedom is what sets the future to a great degree; therefore, your free will actions are meaningful and your willful interaction with God in relationship is meaningful as well.

There are some facts of the future that are going to occur simply because God has decided it to be so, the ultimate fate of the righteous and the wicked are an example. But that doesn't mean all the facts of the future are set that way. The future is fixed only in this regard: We are going to make particular decisions in the future that are acts of our own personal will, and that is what secures the future such that God can know particular things or facts about the future. Therefore we can call God omniscient because He knows all things.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2008/7/14 12:38Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: God and the knowledge of the future

Quote:
this has probably been beat to death on here as a topic, but would like to ask anyway.


Actually, this topic has definitely not been beaten to death here, (though other topics have been!) In fact, I believe that you raise a very critical and relevant topic, and indeed it should be discussed.

You seem to be alluding to a growing theological perspective called Open Theology. I, as well as most of the posters here would be opposed to its teaching, that if God grants free will to humans he must therefore be unable to know the future – or at least, all of it.


Rather than ramble, I will post a site that is loaded with information on the topic – likely more than you care to read. If anything, though, it will show you the enormity of the issue, and just how relevant your question is. You will also see that a lot of theologians have already been battling over this, and that is why there is so much information out there on it.

[url=http://www.gfcto.com/articles/theology/article-open.htm]Open Theism: Making God in the Image of Man[/url]


Diane


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Diane

 2008/7/14 20:06Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Interesting link Diane,

The author correctly anticipated my surprise at reading that author Philip Yancey is of the Open Theist persuasion.

MC


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Mike Compton

 2008/7/14 20:23Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

If God is not all knowing, then He doesn't even know with certainty what will happen even one second from now. That's a scary thought.


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Jimmy H

 2008/7/14 20:36Profile
stromboli
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Joined: 2008/7/13
Posts: 44


 Re:

Quote:

roadsign wrote:
Quote:
this has probably been beat to death on here as a topic, but would like to ask anyway.


Actually, this topic has definitely not been beaten to death here, (though other topics have been!) In fact, I believe that you raise a very critical and relevant topic, and indeed it should be discussed.

You seem to be alluding to a growing theological perspective called Open Theology. I, as well as most of the posters here would be opposed to its teaching, that if God grants free will to humans he must therefore be unable to know the future – or at least, all of it.


Rather than ramble, I will post a site that is loaded with information on the topic – likely more than you care to read. If anything, though, it will show you the enormity of the issue, and just how relevant your question is. You will also see that a lot of theologians have already been battling over this, and that is why there is so much information out there on it.

[url=http://www.gfcto.com/articles/theology/article-open.htm]Open Theism: Making God in the Image of Man[/url]


Diane


I read about half of the paper and must say it gave me a little more insight as to what I was saying. I must agree that calvinism has been a huge hang up in my life as well as others and has really bogged me down at times. This teachingseems to speak to my heart and is much more comforting to my soul than the many other doctrines I have studied. I did not know that was what it was called and I' not sure I agree with all of it, although it is a fresh way at looking at theology.

 2008/7/14 23:36Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
I read about half of the paper and must say it gave me a little more insight ...


I recommend that you examine the entire article, as there are a several insightful points. I suspect that Open Theology is a huge theological sweep through the church – even if it is not under that label. I think that it presents itself in other ways and merges nicely with other developing theologies: the suffering of God, etc.

Of course the proponents of OT believe that they are rescuing the church from bad theology of the past – and to some extent that may be true. I would love for my hyper-Calvinist friend to read something about Open Theology – just so he sees where his rigid thinking leads – when people finally try to buck it.

Quote:
The author correctly anticipated my surprise at reading that author Philip Yancey is of the Open Theist persuasion.

MC, I was surprised too. Whether this is a recent development in Yancy’s theological views or not, I do not know. That might make a good topic of study. Certainly I don’t plan to toss out all his books, as there is good material in them.

This thread will not likely turn into 20 pages since we need enough posters on both sides of the issue to help keep it going (controversy seems to sustain discussions). However, I will post the last few paragraphs of the linked article – as food for thought.

The Benefits of Open Theology
It may seem strange after the last paragraph to list benefits of OT, however, since I fully believe that God is able to use all things to His glory, I list three.

1. OT puts into words what a lot of people already think. It might surprise us to read some paragraphs of Boyd's work aloud in our congregation and ask for a vote on its accuracy. I believe this is because OT is the logical conclusion of making a god in your own image. If you only think of God in terms of an exalted man this is what you get. It seems to me that this is part of the reason why the Lord takes such great pains to ask questions of His people like, "To Whom then will you liken Me?" (Isaiah 40:25). The tendency is to treat and think of God as a man, albeit a really large and generally good one ("the big guy upstairs"). But, special revelation is iconoclastic in the sense that it is continually exploding our false conceptions (idols?) of the Lord. OT can be a help in that somebody is finally saying what many already think. Now, we can take what they say and, as a teaching tool show the fallacy of it to our sheep.

2. OT ought to refine our theology and our hermeneutics. Church history has proven that the best heresies make for the best orthodoxy! OT asks some excellent questions of the Word and of our Calvinism. If you are like me, you do not enjoy studying topics like this and one of the main reasons is that it takes a lot of brain energy! We need prods like this, however, to get rid of some of the mush we carry around in our theological brains. Lord willing it will be replaced by a more biblically refined and crisper presentation of what is true. We can also use a good wake-up call on our approach to the text. The constant tension of any good interpreter is to let the text speak, while integrating what it says into the rest of our theology. This back and forth motion takes great care and time and all of us need to improve at it. We are not above the "fallacies" noted earlier!

3. I think the best thing about OT is that it deals a deathblow to Arminianism. Ware makes this quite clear in his work and so do the OT authors. OT is, in one sense, the logical conclusion or outworking of classic Arminianism. Free will and sovereignty are contradictory - on this the Open Theist and Calvinist agree! That is why the Arminian side has, in my opinion, offered nothing of substance in defence against OT. They have had the rug pulled out from under them. It may be that the Lord has "permitted" the sudden uprising of OT in order to demolish another pillar in the already shaky foundation of Arminianism.

Could there be some truth in these thoughts?

Diane




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Diane

 2008/7/15 18:01Profile
rbanks
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Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Quote -Diane
“Free will and sovereignty are contradictory - on this the Open Theist and Calvinist agree!” Qoute-

I believe all the studies of man have faults within them. Definitely the OT and Calvinists have faults within them.

The bible does not contradict itself, only men’s understanding does that. The Word of God states that man has a free will and it also says that God is sovereign.

Adam and Eve were both given a free will and placed in the garden by the sovereign God of all creation.

 2008/7/15 19:07Profile
stromboli
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Joined: 2008/7/13
Posts: 44


 Re:

If God is all knowing why did he ask Adam where he was? Was it just a question he asked already knowing the answer? Why did God have to come down from heaven and visit Sodom to see if the crys he heard were true? These are just a few questions that i think are interesting to think about. Did'nt God turn over this world to Satan? If not why did Satan offer them to Jesus?

 2008/7/15 19:23Profile
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Quote:

stromboli wrote:
If God is all knowing why did he ask Adam where he was? Was it just a question he asked already knowing the answer? Why did God have to come down from heaven and visit Sodom to see if the crys he heard were true? These are just a few questions that i think are interesting to think about. Did'nt God turn over this world to Satan? If not why did Satan offer them to Jesus?



Have you never heard of a parent asking a child a question already knowing the answer but wanting the child to answer truthfully?

God deals with man to where he is at, and relates to man accordingly.

We always get into trouble when we try to bring God down to our understanding, His ways are much higher than ours and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

 2008/7/15 20:32Profile





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