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Switch to Forum Live View Foreknowledge: Does God Know Everything That Will Happen, Ahead of Time? Does He want to?
2 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2015 - 6:37PM #1
Brainscramble
Posts: 11,609
Is God's exercise of foreknowledge infinite, without limit?  Does he foresee all future actions of all of his creatures, spirit and human?  Does he foreordain such actions as what will be the final destiny of all his creatures, even doing so before they come into existence?

OR

Does he exercise his power of foreknowledge selectively, so that whatever he chooses to foresee he does, and what he does NOT choose to foresee he does not?

The view that God exercises his power of foreknowledge infinitely---all the time---would mean that, prior to creating angels or humans he exercised these powers of foreknowledge and foresaw all that would result from such creations, including the rebellion of one of his angels and of the first humans in Eden.  He would have foreseen all the bad consequences of such rebellion...down to the present day and beyond.  This would necessarily mean that all the wickedness that history has recorded---the crime, immorality, oppression, suffering, lying, hypocrisy, and idolatry---once existed, before creations's beginning, only in the mind of God, in the form of his foreknowledge of the future in all of its minutest details.

If the Creator of mankind had indeed exercised his power to foreknow all that history has seen since man's creation, then the full weight of all the wickedness thereafter resulting was deliberately set in motion by God when he spoke the words:  "Let us make man."

The disciple James said of God that He is not the originator of disorder, that this and every vile thing is NOT FROM ABOVE.  "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.  This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." (James 3:14-17, NASB)

Jehovah is a God of order and peace.  How could he unleash disorder and strife upon a universe for which he wanted only peace and joy?

IMPERFECTION?

The argument that God's not foreknowing everything would be evidence of imperfection.  But perfection, correctly defined, does not demand such an absolute, all-embracing extension, inasmuch as the perfection of anything actually depends upon its measuring up completely to the standards of excellence set by one who is qualified to judge its merits.  Ultimately, God's own will and good pleasure, not human opinions or concepts, are the deciding factors as to whether anything is perfect.  "As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the LORD is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him." (2 Samuel 22:31, NASB)

So far, what are your thoughts?

 
To our almighty God and Father (of Christ and ourselves):  "Show them you alone are JEHOVAH, the Most High over all the earth."  (Psalm 83:18)
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2015 - 7:21PM #2
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,664

I think the Bible demonstrates in numerous places that God does not have complete foreknowledge of all future events. It would be completely superfluous for God to create if He knew everything that was going to happen. So, God created the quantum universe, the very purpose being so He could not know all future events.


My favorite example of the lack of God's foreknowledge is the story of King Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:1-5. Briefly, Hezekiah became mortally ill and God told the prophet Isaiah to tell Hezekiah that he was going to die. By verse 5 and before Isaiah could leave the palace, God told Isaiah, go back and tell Hezekiah, I have heard your prayer, seen your tears and I will heal you. God added fifteen years to Hezekiah's life.  

Roses always come with thorns. Sometimes, thorns first, sometimes roses first, and, sometimes, thorns outside, roses inside, sometimes roses outside, thorns inside.

Someone who dreams of drinking wine at a cheerful banquet may wake up crying the next morning. Someone who dreams of crying may go off the next morning to enjoy the sport of the hunt. When we are in the midst of a dream, we do not know it's a dream. Sometimes we may even try to interpret our dreams while we are dreaming, but then we awake and realize it was a dream. Only after one is greatly awakened does one realize that it was all a great dream, while the fool thinks that he is awake and presumptuously aware. Chuang Tzu
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2015 - 7:40PM #3
Iwantamotto
Posts: 9,234

Brainscramble: Is God's exercise of foreknowledge infinite, without limit? Does he foresee all future actions of all of his creatures, spirit and human? Does he foreordain such actions as what will be the final destiny of all his creatures, even doing so before they come into existence?



Not sure if the bible is 100% consistent on what God does or does not know.


Does he exercise his power of foreknowledge selectively, so that whatever he chooses to foresee he does, and what he does NOT choose to foresee he does not?



I don't see how being willfully ignorant makes God moral or intelligent. I know too many people who think that if they just don't address something, problems will go away. They really don't and just keep getting bigger without getting addressed properly.


This would necessarily mean that all the wickedness that history has recorded---the crime, immorality, oppression, suffering, lying, hypocrisy, and idolatry---once existed, before creations's beginning, only in the mind of God, in the form of his foreknowledge of the future in all of its minutest details.



Pretty much.


If the Creator of mankind had indeed exercised his power to foreknow all that history has seen since man's creation, then the full weight of all the wickedness thereafter resulting was deliberately set in motion by God when he spoke the words: "Let us make man."



If morality is objective, why should God get a pass?


The disciple James said of God that He is not the originator of disorder, that this and every vile thing is NOT FROM ABOVE. "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." (James 3:14-17, NASB)



It doesn't come from demons, though. It comes from natural desires that become inappropriate. And since God made us with our natures ...


"As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the LORD is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him." (2 Samuel 22:31, NASB)



Abel was loyal and did what was right with the Lord and he was murdered while his brother founded civilization and got a "out of jail free" card by God Himself. Many take refuge in Him and suffer and die. It is what it is. *shrugs*  What I don't really see is that God promised us we'd never suffer.  He repeatedly equates us with animals (both blessings and curses tend to involve both humans and other animals) AND our job was "janitorial work" in the Garden.  WE are the ones who think we're "God's gift to Earth".  God has said on multiple occasions, and off the top of my head John the Baptist says it most overtly, "I can take or leave you, really."

Knock and the door shall open.  It's not my fault if you don't like the decor.
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2015 - 8:02PM #4
Brainscramble
Posts: 11,609

Oct 8, 2015 -- 7:21PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


I think the Bible demonstrates in numerous places that God does not have complete foreknowledge of all future events. It would be completely superfluous for God to create if He knew everything that was going to happen. So, God created the quantum universe, the very purpose being so He could not know all future events.


My favorite example of the lack of God's foreknowledge is the story of King Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:1-5. Briefly, Hezekiah became mortally ill and God told the prophet Isaiah to tell Hezekiah that he was going to die. By verse 5 and before Isaiah could leave the palace, God told Isaiah, go back and tell Hezekiah, I have heard your prayer, seen your tears and I will heal you. God added fifteen years to Hezekiah's life.  




Interesting.  But I don't know why it isn't just as reasonable to believe that God just keeps himself from knowing what's going to happen in a specific instance.


To our almighty God and Father (of Christ and ourselves):  "Show them you alone are JEHOVAH, the Most High over all the earth."  (Psalm 83:18)
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2015 - 8:34PM #5
five_point_dad
Posts: 4,719

BRAIN:  Does he exercise his power of foreknowledge selectively, so that whatever he chooses to foresee he does, and what he does NOT choose to foresee he does not?


FPD: What kind of doubletalk is that?  In order to select what you will and will not know would require that you know it in the first place.  God has no reason to selectively forget anything.  That would also mean that God is not aware of somethings making him susceptible to surprise. 

BRAIN:  The view that God exercises his power of foreknowledge infinitely---all the time---would mean that, prior to creating angels or humans he exercised these powers of foreknowledge and foresaw all that would result from such creations, including the rebellion of one of his angels and of the first humans in Eden.  He would have foreseen all the bad consequences of such rebellion...down to the present day and beyond.  This would necessarily mean that all the wickedness that history has recorded---the crime, immorality, oppression, suffering, lying, hypocrisy, and idolatry---once existed, before creations's beginning, only in the mind of God, in the form of his foreknowledge of the future in all of its minutest details.


FPD: That is exactly what the Bible teaches (Isa. 46:10; Job 42:2). 

BRAIN:  If the Creator of mankind had indeed exercised his power to foreknow all that history has seen since man's creation, then the full weight of all the wickedness thereafter resulting was deliberately set in motion by God when he spoke the words:  "Let us make man."


FPD: Which is exactly what He did do, (Isa. 45:7). 

BRAIN:  The disciple James said of God that He is not the originator of disorder, that this and every vile thing is NOT FROM ABOVE.  "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.  This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." (James 3:14-17, NASB)


FPD: Anyone can see in that passage that James was talking about the conduct of the Christian.  The wisdom that God gives and that inhabits the heart of the believer is never responsible for sin and disorder. 

BRAIN:  Jehovah is a God of order and peace.  How could he unleash disorder and strife upon a universe for which he wanted only peace and joy?


FPD: Yet, immediately after He created the heavens and the earth, the Scripture says it was filled with "void, formless, darkness" and it wasn't until the Holy Spirit hovered over the creation that order came. 

BRAIN:  The argument that God's not foreknowing everything would be evidence of imperfection.  But perfection, correctly defined, does not demand such an absolute, all-embracing extension, inasmuch as the perfection of anything actually depends upon its measuring up completely to the standards of excellence set by one who is qualified to judge its merits.  


FPD: The Hebrew word "perfect," and to a certain extent, the Greek also, defines "perfect" as "complete."  To imagine God lacking a perfection of knowledge, which is what you do, is indeed to present God as imperfect. 


BRAIN:  Ultimately, God's own will and good pleasure, not human opinions or concepts, are the deciding factors as to whether anything is perfect.  "As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the LORD is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him." (2 Samuel 22:31, NASB)


FPD: But a God who doesn't know all things and lacks knowledge and is not full in grasp of all details is incapable of producing perfection.  

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2 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2015 - 2:53AM #6
Hmmm
Posts: 5,020

Oct 8, 2015 -- 8:34PM, five_point_dad wrote:


BRAIN:  Does he exercise his power of foreknowledge selectively, so that whatever he chooses to foresee he does, and what he does NOT choose to foresee he does not?


FPD: What kind of doubletalk is that?  In order to select what you will and will not know would require that you know it in the first place. 



As the guy with the pointy ears on the old space show used to say: "Impeccable logic." Wink

The truth, the whole truth...and nothing but the truth?
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2015 - 9:03AM #7
masmenosdios
Posts: 8,299

Love is omniscient simply because:



phys.org/news/2011-03-quantum-no-hiding-...

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2 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2015 - 10:13AM #8
Utilyan
Posts: 7,300

Theres scripture to support.    For example God asks questions,   Or when he hears an accusation he says he will go take a look himself.


 


Knowing everything also involves knowing what its like not to know.


 


Other things you might ponder is how he authors the present moment eternally by just being himself.


 


God certainly has the power of predestination.   Including the power of having you predestined for free will.


 


 


God doesn't allow evil, we allow evil.   He hates the sin, loves the sinner.    


 


God has more joy running into a sinner then we do running into a saint.


God has never seen a sinner,  just his child,  if they sin he aims to help them for their sake.


 


For God,   EVIL is not a problem.    God has an easier time handling evil then we do turning on a TV.


In a blink of an eye God can handle all evil , end all suffering and make everyone righteous.


In a blink of an eye.       But he said you are going to handle it instead, thus he trains you.


 


If you abide in Love you abide in God,  God is love.   1 john 4


 


If you think love is weak,  you think God is weak.    If you think kindness is useless, God is useless.


 


It takes true courage,   actual faith,  to put sole reliance on Love.


People don't trust God,   we have this guard up on what life throws at us.   


Thats where the leap of faith is,   in the vulnerability of not relying on anything for security other then Love, Kindness.    This is God.

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2 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2015 - 11:24AM #9
MMarcoe
Posts: 20,907

This whole thread is based on the assumption that God thinks like us.


God doesn't. God doesn't even think at all, because spirits cannot think.


The assumptions are therefore wrong.


1. Extremists think that thinking means agreeing with them.
2. There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.
3. God is the original nothingness of the universe.
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2015 - 11:26AM #10
MMarcoe
Posts: 20,907

Oct 8, 2015 -- 6:37PM, Brainscramble wrote:

Is God's exercise of foreknowledge infinite, without limit?  Does he foresee all future actions of all of his creatures, spirit and human?  Does he foreordain such actions as what will be the final destiny of all his creatures, even doing so before they come into existence?

OR

Does he exercise his power of foreknowledge selectively, so that whatever he chooses to foresee he does, and what he does NOT choose to foresee he does not?

The view that God exercises his power of foreknowledge infinitely---all the time---would mean that, prior to creating angels or humans he exercised these powers of foreknowledge and foresaw all that would result from such creations, including the rebellion of one of his angels and of the first humans in Eden.  He would have foreseen all the bad consequences of such rebellion...down to the present day and beyond.  This would necessarily mean that all the wickedness that history has recorded---the crime, immorality, oppression, suffering, lying, hypocrisy, and idolatry---once existed, before creations's beginning, only in the mind of God, in the form of his foreknowledge of the future in all of its minutest details.

If the Creator of mankind had indeed exercised his power to foreknow all that history has seen since man's creation, then the full weight of all the wickedness thereafter resulting was deliberately set in motion by God when he spoke the words:  "Let us make man."

The disciple James said of God that He is not the originator of disorder, that this and every vile thing is NOT FROM ABOVE.  "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.  This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy." (James 3:14-17, NASB)

Jehovah is a God of order and peace.  How could he unleash disorder and strife upon a universe for which he wanted only peace and joy?

IMPERFECTION?

The argument that God's not foreknowing everything would be evidence of imperfection.  But perfection, correctly defined, does not demand such an absolute, all-embracing extension, inasmuch as the perfection of anything actually depends upon its measuring up completely to the standards of excellence set by one who is qualified to judge its merits.  Ultimately, God's own will and good pleasure, not human opinions or concepts, are the deciding factors as to whether anything is perfect.  "As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the LORD is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him." (2 Samuel 22:31, NASB)

So far, what are your thoughts?

 



I would argue that all sides of this question are partially true.


1. Extremists think that thinking means agreeing with them.
2. There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.
3. God is the original nothingness of the universe.
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