View Poll Results: Does God know the future?

Voters
152. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, but this causes no threat to free will.

    121 79.61%
  • Yes, and I find this does present a challenge to free will.

    21 13.82%
  • No, but this does not threaten his Godhood.

    3 1.97%
  • No, and I find this does present a challenge to his Godhood.

    3 1.97%
  • Question is sophomoric / Something else entirely

    4 2.63%
Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 116
Like Tree5Likes

Christian Young Adults Forum

Young adults and silly people: post your topics here, and respond to others.

Thread: Does God know the future?

  1. #41
    Senior Member mrpower's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 2nd, 2009
    Age
    33
    Posts
    143
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Consider God like your mum or dad. When you're really little they see you wandering about. Children are obvious to the point of hilarity!
    When a child constantly does something again and again that might hurt itself, eventually most wise parents will allow the child to hurt themselves so they can learn their lesson, realise that the rule wasn't to spoil their fun, but to protect them.
    Now God.. outside of time, makes humanity, his children. We, just like young children to our parents, we are ultimately simple and obvious to God.
    Even though God can see everything that is going to happen, he doesn't stop us all the time. Like your parents that sometimes step in, sometimes a word, sometimes just a tap on the shoulder, sometimes asking friends to talk to you. Either way, free will is not touched.
    Just because God can see what will happen, doesn't mean he will change it. Just because he knows we are going to stick our hands in the stove, doesnt mean he's not just going to let us do it, and then go get the alovera cream.
    we can walk with God, in his predetermination and hense, the best possible path for our lives. And even though God can see what we will or wont do, we do not have to do anything.
    so effectively, free will has the ability to alter the path God laid out for us.
    So just because he knows everything, doesnt mean we can't alter his plan. He still knew we were going to do it, but we can still do it.

    Consider this. God wanted to have a relationship with us, he knew humanity would committ original sin, In the same stroke he knew we would be seperated from hiim forever. And even knowing this, he still chose to do it.
    This always seemed a cruelty to me. Why would God make a race of people he knew would comdemn themselves.
    But in the same stroke he split himself for us. Jesus dying on the cross was more than just a shedding of the blood and erasing the sins of the world so we could be with God.
    God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit yes?

    God knowing what we would do, and knowing the price he would have to pay, took himself to the cross. And like we, who cannot be with God, in sin, God the Son for the moment he took our sin was taken away from God. The unity of the trinity was broken. "My God My God, why has thou forsaken me."
    The trinity is one once more, but never forget the cost to Jesus. For all eternity the trinity had been. God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit all interlocked. For the moment of crucifixion, for the first time in eternity, was broken. The Son was away from the Father.

    So remember God's price for our free will. Remember that is love and desire for a relationship with us is so strong that he sold everything he had to purchase us. And through all this.. God allows us to walk away if we decide. He does not want robots. He wants an intimate relationship with us.

  2. #42
    Junior Member Pheonix89's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 20th, 2010
    Age
    28
    Posts
    13
    Rep Power
    0

    Lightbulb Re: Does God know the future?

    I Believe God chooses to limit himself, to live in our world constricted by time, He can step into time and step outside of time. Just like Jesus came to earth and limited himself to being 100% human by being like us in flesh but also being 100% God at the same time, He chooses to do the same with time. Hopefully this makes sense...but I believe he chooses to limit himself and give us free will and choice. Why do I believe this. There are verses in the Bible that support that

    1. God changes his mind (Exodus 32:14, Numbers 14:11)
    2. God regrets (Genesis 6:6)
    3. God is surprised (Isaiah 5:3-7, Jeremiah 3:6-7)
    4. God didn't know what people would do (1 Kings 22:20-22, Jeremiah 7:31)
    5. God tests people to see what they will do (Genesis 22:12,Exodus 16:4, Deuteronomy 8:2)
    6. God shows having uncertainty about future (Exodus 4:9,Exodus 13:17, Numbers 14:11, Hosea 8:5)

  3. #43
    Senior Member Lifelike's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 1st, 2009
    Age
    40
    Posts
    522
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by goth4god View Post
    this is just my own simple opinion and I could be totally wrong and I probably am since I can not even begin to comprehend God.
    but God is the author of your life, and He wrote you a 'chose your own adventure book' so everything is predestined, but you still are able to make your own choice but the outcomes are already known to God.
    so like the story would read "Hannah was invited to a party where alcohol is being served will she go or not?" if I chose no it might turn out like "Hannah did not go and rented a movie and stayed home instead" or if I picked yes it could be "Hannah went to the party, got drunk and got a ticket." (i do not drink btw) but I have a choice to go to the party, I dont know what will happen, but God does depending on what choice I make.....
    kinda make since to you?but like I said I am probably totally wrong, and I'll find out when i see God face to face =]

    Sounds good to me..
    Check out my EP SONSHIP! http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tonyclark

    Pure and real, Deep Worship. God is doing a new thing, New levels of Worship. Out of the fires of hardship will come many Sons, all individual expressions of their God. This album is the intimate expression I have with Him - Christian Worship.

  4. #44
    yaright
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnDMT View Post
    Does God know the future?

    If He does not, can he be truly omnipresent?

    If God indeed does know the future, where does our free will come in? Isn't He just setting up everything in advance? How can we, therefore, think that any justice, divine or earthly, is real? Aren't we all just pawns in a greater scheme?

    Or, is there some middle ground I'm missing? Does God have a general idea of the future, but not the specifics? Does God intentionally remain unaware of the future in order to preserve free will? If so, then where do prophecies come into all of this?

    Determinism is very disturbing, but whether one is religious or secular, free will ends up looking like an impossible idea.
    I do know by my own life experiences, that my choices in life were made by free will given to me. I understand today that there are benefits and consequences for those choices. The benefits and consequences do not mean God our Father is making us choose. But He does know us that well (every hair on our head) that it can be said He knows the choices we make. This is why He sent His Son; That who so ever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jesus knew ahead of time that Peter would stumble; that "All will be made to stumble because of Me." Jesus knows

    I pondered this same question while thinking with a carnal mind; But later, when I believed without doubt, I asked Him to show me the things I could not possibly know without Him. I was given a vision. The only way I know how to describe it in short is to say I was shown something that would take place one year later, and the whole world would witness it. That whole year was difficult for me because I knew. But when it happened, it was at that very moment I came to understand that God does know. How much greater our love is for Him when we come to understand who we are and why we are that way in His sight. It is by His mercy we are forgiven for the things we did with free will. I hope this helps...
    Last edited by yaright; May 2nd, 2010 at 02:12 AM. Reason: clarification

  5. #45
    Tinker
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    God does know the future. He knows everything. People get Ready, Jesus is Coming. God is the only one that knows the future. In my opnion

  6. #46
    Consumed
    Guest

    Smile Re: Does God know the future?

    God is all knowing, all seeing and ever present. Before the foundations of creation was laid He knew us, wow. God is outside of time, He gave us time to mark the days, to God a day is like a thousnad years and a thousands years as a day.He has the answers to our problems and a plan ready to instigate before we even ask

  7. #47
    rodiel
    Guest

    Wink Re: Does God know the future?

    Try looking up the difference between foreordination and predestination for a rocker no truly I believe all have struggled with this free will vs God's sovereignty, and you know what; one does not cancel out the other, you find both in scripture, He does know the future, He knew the end from the beginning(alpha and omega), and has determined what that future will be for those who trust Him and for those who Don't but in no way does this encroach on man's decision to choose what is right based on what God has revealed of His will for and to man; knowing not to eat the fruit and being told not to eat the fruit but yet still eating the fruit and yet God knowing once again the end from the beginning had mercy even though man chose to servr the creature more than the creator, He still gave mercy, and grace. Imagine knowing this but becuase of you great love you still allow it.
    As far as why does He who knows no sin yet became sin for us allows evil, He who first loved us and displays this with His long suffering not desiring that any should perish but that all would come into Godly repentance, and has not given to us, you, me, WHAT WE DESERVE. I pretty thankful for His patience, yes evil goes on, but sense all sin equals death, even in our thoughts which we all will be judged by, without His tender mercy and patience(He tells us to be slow to speak, slow to anger, but quick to listen; to be perfect as He is perfect), we are glad that He doesn't just wipe out evil because alot of people, and family members would be Gone; and if He deciced that I don't know say a day, a week, a mnth, maybe yrs alot of us would have died, for that is the penalty of sin, Because sin ultimaetly is rebellion and seperation from God and that not of His choice..... Hell was not made for man but for the devil and the fallen angels. Oh! when Christ comes back as the Lion of the tribe if Judah the King of glory what is He going to do to those who are not of His .........................?
    Hopefully this can help, if not then truly I apologize for my lack of wisdom and pray that God would bring into your presence His wisdom and illumination to understand.

  8. #48
    ChristopherMichael
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cako53 View Post
    That completely contradicted what you said. in the first paragraph you said that it doesn't contradict free will yet in the second you clearly said that whatever outcome God wants will happen, which in fact does not agree with free will. What exactly are you trying to say?
    I think we might have different definitions of free will. There's a difference between being able to choose and make decisions as you see fit (which I think defines free will all right), and being able to bring about whatever outcome you wish (which I think is what you were sort of getting at). For instance, if you were born without legs in the 1900s, it was impossible for you to win an olympic medal in the mile run. That doesn't mean that you didn't have free will, just that your actions were influenced by those of others (through their free-will decisions) in a way that prevented you from bringing about the outcome you desired.

    It's similar with God, I believe. He's orders of magnitude more capable than any of us, and can influence our outcomes without robbing us of our ability to make individual decisions in our lives. Similar to the way (in my earlier example) that the top chess player in the world will always beat you, despite you being able to choose how you will. It just makes God all the more awesome that what he says happens, despite (and often through) each of us making our own choices.

    Good passages to read in the Bible on how these two play together are Romans 9, and the parts about Pharaoh and his heart in Exodus 4-9. It's definitely a tough subject (reading Romans 9 made me question my faith at first), but the Holy Spirit definitely helped me work through it, along with my Pastor.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Lifelike's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 1st, 2009
    Age
    40
    Posts
    522
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherMichael View Post
    I think we might have different definitions of free will. There's a difference between being able to choose and make decisions as you see fit (which I think defines free will all right), and being able to bring about whatever outcome you wish (which I think is what you were sort of getting at). For instance, if you were born without legs in the 1900s, it was impossible for you to win an olympic medal in the mile run. That doesn't mean that you didn't have free will, just that your actions were influenced by those of others (through their free-will decisions) in a way that prevented you from bringing about the outcome you desired.

    It's similar with God, I believe. He's orders of magnitude more capable than any of us, and can influence our outcomes without robbing us of our ability to make individual decisions in our lives. Similar to the way (in my earlier example) that the top chess player in the world will always beat you, despite you being able to choose how you will. It just makes God all the more awesome that what he says happens, despite (and often through) each of us making our own choices.

    Good passages to read in the Bible on how these two play together are Romans 9, and the parts about Pharaoh and his heart in Exodus 4-9. It's definitely a tough subject (reading Romans 9 made me question my faith at first), but the Holy Spirit definitely helped me work through it, along with my Pastor.
    If that were the case the wouldnt there be none that were lost and all would be saved?
    Check out my EP SONSHIP! http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tonyclark

    Pure and real, Deep Worship. God is doing a new thing, New levels of Worship. Out of the fires of hardship will come many Sons, all individual expressions of their God. This album is the intimate expression I have with Him - Christian Worship.

  10. #50
    ethan5714
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnDMT View Post
    Does God know the future?

    If He does not, can he be truly omnipresent?

    If God indeed does know the future, where does our free will come in? Isn't He just setting up everything in advance? How can we, therefore, think that any justice, divine or earthly, is real? Aren't we all just pawns in a greater scheme?

    Or, is there some middle ground I'm missing? Does God have a general idea of the future, but not the specifics? Does God intentionally remain unaware of the future in order to preserve free will? If so, then where do prophecies come into all of this?

    Determinism is very disturbing, but whether one is religious or secular, free will ends up looking like an impossible idea.
    this is a great question to have been asked
    they way i look at it
    god does know why? be cause he is omnipresent hes knows the future and doesnt interfear with it
    with out with we havent a future why ? cause he must create it...i really dont believe he interferes with our free will
    an you might question this and say why if he creats the future
    maybe he just does a broad out line and we as people create the rest ya know ?

  11. #51
    Credo_ut_Intelligam
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    First, let me respond to someone who argued that God doesn't know the future. Then I'll give my own response:

    1. God changes his mind (Exodus 32:14, Numbers 14:11)
    Exodus 32:14 reads:

    And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

    Of course God changes his interactions with men as men change in relation to him.

    For example, John 3 speaks of unbelievers as being under the "wrath of God," but clearly believers are not under the wrath of God.

    The fact that all of us were at one time under the wrath of God but that some of us now are not under the wrath of God does not indicate anything about God's knowledge.

    Likewise, the fact that the Israelites were under the wrath of God for some period of time and then God relented in his wrath does not indicate anything about God's knowledge.

    This verse is simply irrelevant.

    Numbers 14:11 reads:

    And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?

    First of all, if God doesn't know the answer to the question, why would Moses know?

    If we are going to take this verse literally, then God must believe that Moses has more information or more knowledge than He does!

    Rather, God is simply using common language to express his anger at Israel's stubbornness. He doesn't actually expect Moses to know the answer and inform Him as to what that answer is.

    2. God regrets (Genesis 6:6)
    Genesis 6:6 reads:

    The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

    The word for "sorry" doesn't necessarily mean God wished he had done something different. It can simply mean to be pained or to groan. Again, God interacts with persons. As they sin or repent of sin God's attitude towards them changes. The fact that God interacts with us, intellectually as well as emotionally, doesn't necessarily have anything to do with knowledge.

    3. God is surprised (Isaiah 5:3-7, Jeremiah 3:6-7)
    Concerning Isaiah: the relevant portion of the Isaiah passage is 5:4b - “Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?"

    That God "expected" something doesn't necessarily have anything to do with knowledge.

    To "expect" something may also denote a moral standard. For example, I could say "I expect my nephew to read his Bible every day." In this sense of a moral expectation (standard) there is no implication of how much is known or unknown.

    Concerning Jeremiah: the relevant portion is 3:7 and says "I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return…"

    First, notice that if we take this verse literally then not only does God not know the future but God also has false beliefs.

    But if God has false beliefs, just like us humans, then we all might be in for some big surprises.

    For example, God thinks he will defeat Satan at some future time, but that might be a false belief. God thinks he is able to keep us from perishing, but that might be a false belief. God thinks he is the only God, but that might be a false belief. God thinks he created the heavens and the earth, but that might be a false belief.

    Basically, if God has false beliefs then we have no guarantee that anything in the Bible is true. After all, whatever God has said might be a product of his false beliefs.

    I submit to you that no one, not even the Open Theists like Gregory Boyd, take this passage at face value (or "literally"). In fact, I know that Open Theists like Boyd don't take this verse literally because Boyd has gone on record as saying that God doesn't have false beliefs.

    Second, Scripture often uses anthropomorphisms to describe his relationship and interaction with people.

    For example, God commonly uses the imagery of a husband and wife to describe his relationship with Israel. God is not literally the husband of Israel… you can't literally marry a nation, you can only marry a person.

    Thus, the marriage imagery is anthropomorphic in a sense. But notice that this is exactly the anthropomorphism God uses in the Jeremiah passage:

    Jeremiah 3:1 God says, “If a husband divorces his wife And she goes from him And belongs to another man, Will he still return to her? Will not that land be completely polluted?

    Thus, Jeremiah 3:7 is simply carrying on that anthropomorphic relationship in expressing God's expectation. It is not expressing God's false belief that Israel would return.


    4. God didn't know what people would do (1 Kings 22:20-22, Jeremiah 7:31)
    The 1 Kings passage reads:

    “The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ “The LORD said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.’

    There is nothing in this passage that would require God to have a lack of knowledge. God is simply making a use of common modes of speaking in asking for a person to entice Ahab.

    Again, notice that if you are going to take this passage literally and as implying something about God's knowledge (since a literal reading doesn't in itself require it to indicate anything about God's knowledge) then God is not just ignorant about the future, but God is also ignorant about what persons are thinking.

    Jeremiah 7:31 reads:

    “They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.

    What does it mean to say "it did not come into My mind"? Earlier in Israel's history God had explicitly forbid child sacrifice:

    Leviticus 18:21 You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.

    So clearly the practice DID enter God's mind.

    The word for "mind" here is actually "heart" and can refer to the intentions. Thus, in light of Lev. 18:21, which clearly indicates that God was cognitively aware of child sacrifice, the verse is better understood as saying that God did not intend for Israel to practice child sacrifice.

    Again, notice that if we take Jeremiah 7:31 as trying to communicate something about God's knowledge, then God is ignorant of human intentions (he did not know that the Israelites intended to sacrifice their children). Yet this is a case in which we have clear statements to the contrary:

    1 Kings 8:39 ...for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind

    Acts 1:24 “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all…"

    So if we take Jeremiah 7:31 to be a literal statement about what God is intellectually aware of, then 1 Kings 8:39 and Acts 1:24 would be obviously false (or else Jeremiah 7:31 would be obviously false). But there is no need to understand "come into my mind" as an epistemic statement. As I pointed out, it can be understood as an intentional statement and, thereby, be in harmony with 1 Kings 8:39 and Acts 1:24.

    5. God tests people to see what they will do (Genesis 22:12,Exodus 16:4, Deuteronomy 8:2)
    First, notice that, if these passages indicate God's ignorance, then they do not speak to God's ignorance about the future, but God's ignorance about the present.

    Also notice that, if these passages indicate God's ignorance, they indicate that God is ignorant of people's hearts.

    But Scripture clearly affirms that God does know the content of people's hearts.

    Psalm 139:1–6 O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

    1 Kings 8:39 ...for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind

    Acts 1:24 “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all…"

    So if we take these passages (Gen. 22:12; Ex. 16:4; Deut. 8:2) in the way you are suggesting, then either one or the other set of passages must be false. They cannot both be true.

    It cannot be the case that God knows the hearts of men, yet does not know the hearts of men.

    But in fact the set of passages you list does not explicitly say that God is in anyway ignorant of the truth concerning these matters.

    As John Frame points out, the language of God finding out facts occurs in judicial contexts; situations in which God is going to bring it about that the heart manifest it's state in order that he may pass judgment. This is more obvious by the "testing" language.

    Thus, it's not that God is ignorant of the facts (the verses cited earlier clearly state that he isn't), but that God is conducting a sort of divine trial in which he makes manifest the inward state of the person/s before proclaiming his verdict.

    As John Piper states, "God has not created the world just to be known in terms of what would be if tests were given. He created the world to be actualized in history. That is, he wills not just to foreknow, but to know by observation and experience. That is the point of creating a real world, rather than just knowing one that might be. Therefore, may not God truly know what Abraham is going to do, and yet want to externalize that in a test that enables him to know it by observation, not just prognostication? 'Now I know,' thus may be, 'Now I see . . . now I experience by observation of your real action.'"

    6. God shows having uncertainty about future (Exodus 4:9,Exodus 13:17, Numbers 14:11, Hosea 8:5)
    Concerning Exodus 4:9 and 13:17, neither verse says that God doesn't know whether or not the thing will happen. In 4:9, for instance, it is possible that God knows they will not believe, but simply chooses not to reveal this to Moses.

    I've experienced similar situations in helping my nephew with his homework. Sometimes he doesn't know how to solve a problem so he asks me for help. Even though I know how to solve it and what the answer is I don't want to simply tell him. Instead I say "Maybe it is this. If so you should see such and such…" Thus, I see nothing in the language of the passages that necessitates God's ignorance.

    I already addressed Numbers 14:11.

    Concerning Hosea 8:5, I could give the same reductio ad absurdum that I gave to Numbers 14:11 since both simply involve a question.

    You infer from the fact that a question is asked by God that God must be ignorant of the answer. But we know from other Scripture that this is not the case.

    Consider John 18:3,4 "Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, 'Whom do you seek?'"

    Clearly Jesus knew they were seeking him. John also makes it clear earlier that Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him.

    Therefore, the fact that God asks a question is not sufficient to demonstrate God is ignorant of the answer.

    In summary, all of the verses you cite can be explained as (a) figures of common speech, which don't necessitate a lack of knowledge, (b) anthropomorphisms, (c) or simply irrelevant.

    If we assume you are right and that these verses, taken at face value, do indicate God is not all-knowing then we are led into many absurdities.

    For example, we read in Exodus 4:2 “The Lord said to him, 'What is that in your hand?' He said, 'A staff.' ”

    So, if we are going to be consistent with your method of interpreting Scripture at such a surface level, not only is God ignorant of the future, but he is almost a complete idiot since he can't even discern a staff when he sees one.

    Was God really like "Derrrrr, what's that stick thingy in your hand??"

    Not only does God lack knowledge, but God has false beliefs.

    Thus, the method of reasoning which leads you to say that these texts indicate God has a lack of knowledge leads to complete absurdities. It simply cannot be consistently applied, unless God is going to turn out to be a complete doofus.

    But Scripture plainly teaches that God knows all things, including the future. In fact, God's knowledge of the future is one of those things which distinguishes him from false gods (see Isaiah 41:21-23; 42:9; 43:9-12; 44:7; 46:10; 48:3-7). To deny God's foreknowledge is to reduce him to a one of the worthless pagan gods.

  12. #52
    Credo_ut_Intelligam
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnDMT View Post
    Does God know the future?

    If He does not, can he be truly omnipresent?

    If God indeed does know the future, where does our free will come in? Isn't He just setting up everything in advance? How can we, therefore, think that any justice, divine or earthly, is real? Aren't we all just pawns in a greater scheme?

    Or, is there some middle ground I'm missing? Does God have a general idea of the future, but not the specifics? Does God intentionally remain unaware of the future in order to preserve free will? If so, then where do prophecies come into all of this?

    Determinism is very disturbing, but whether one is religious or secular, free will ends up looking like an impossible idea.
    First, I think you mean omniscient, not omnipresent. I don't see any relationship between omniscience and omnipresence such that if God is not omniscient he cannot be omnipresent.

    Second, God does know the future and this does have one important implication for "free will."

    Namely, God's knowledge of the future logically indicates that persons don't have the power of contrary choice (or the principle of alternative possibilities).

    The principle of alternative possibilities says that a person, being the same exact person under the same exact conditions, might make two different choices if you were able to "rewind" time, so to speak.

    For instance, imagine that Jones intends at 12:05pm to buy vanilla ice-cream for lunch. Jones hates all other flavors of ice-cream except vanilla. Furthermore, Jones was born with an allergy to all other flavors of ice-cream except vanilla. So Jones approaches the ice-cream man at 12:06pm and says "I'll have vanilla."

    The principle of alternative possibilities requires that Jones, in some possible world, under these exact same conditions, says "I'll have chocolate."

    But if God knows, as some past belief, that Jones will choose vanilla in the actual world at some future time, then Jones cannot actually choose chocolate. If Jones did choose chocolate, then God didn't know Jones would choose vanilla.

    In a more formal manner, the argument looks like this:

    Necessarily, if God believed that Jones will choose vanilla, then Jones will choose vanilla (because knowledge is, at the very least justified true belief).

    Necessarily, God believed that Jones would choose vanilla. (From the principle of the necessity of the past.)

    Thus, necessarily, Jones will choose vanilla.

    So God's foreknowledge seems to rule out the power of contrary choice (or the principle of alternative possibilities or PAP).

    But this doesn't necessarily mean that persons don't have "free will." This will depend on how you define free will (what you think the necessary properties are of free will).

    Personally, I don't think persons need to have the PAP in order to have free will. (In fact I think PAP is nonsensical. If Jones could have chosen chocolate ice-cream under those exact same conditions then Jones's choice was irrational. But irrational choices aren't sufficient to qualify as "free choices." So the whole notion of PAP is, I think, incoherent. So no one should be worried about not having them.)

    So, to summarize, yes God has knowledge of the future. Yes this knowledge of the future has consequences for "freedom," but no, it doesn't necessarily rule out certain kinds of freedom (what's known as compatibilist freedom).

  13. #53
    Senior Member sportygirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    December 20th, 2009
    Age
    27
    Posts
    282
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    This is a really confusing topic for me thats for sure. For me I can kidn of see it as an earlier post about the choose your own adventure book, where God knows every ending and in my mind has the path in which he wants you on, but we can make our own decesisions that tear us away from the path and away from God. The problem I struggle with most though is the fact that if God knows our future, from the moment we are born God knows who is going to accept him and who isnt... but God says we are all given the opportunity, yet if from the begining he knows we arent going to than are you really given the opportunity. For someone who does believe in Jesus I'm comforted by the fact that I was one of the ones he chose to follow him, but I hurt for the people that weren't chosen. Which is why I believe there is some level of free will involved so we all have hte equal opportunity to turn away from sin and choose God. But, as I said I don't understand how it works but I do know in my heart God is all-knowing and loving.

  14. #54
    Credo_ut_Intelligam
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    This is a really confusing topic for me thats for sure. For me I can kidn of see it as an earlier post about the choose your own adventure book, where God knows every ending and in my mind has the path in which he wants you on, but we can make our own decesisions that tear us away from the path and away from God.
    The problem I see with this is that God doesn't simply know all possible paths (or all possible worlds), but he also knows the actual path you will take (or the actual world) too.

    So, for instance, God knew that *if* Jesus had performed the same miracles in Tyre and Sidon that he performed in Korazin and Bethsaida, Tyre and Sidon would have repented (Mat. 11:20-21). This is called counterfactual knowledge. But God also knew what the actual state of affairs was.

    So God doesn't just know everything you might do, he knows everything you will do too.

    God says we are all given the opportunity, yet if from the begining he knows we arent going to than are you really given the opportunity.
    This is sort of vague. But it seems clear to me that not everyone is given the same opportunity.

    For example, Korazin and Bethsaida were given an opportunity that Tyre and Sidon were not given. Furthermore, Scripture says that *if* God had given Tyre and Sidon the same opportunity as Korazin and Bethsaida, they would have repented!

    This may be emotionally difficult for some people to accept, especially if, say for example, your uncle was from Tyre but it is still the teaching of Scripture and in the end we have to allow Scripture to correct our moral intuitions about what's fair and good.

  15. #55
    Senior Member sportygirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    December 20th, 2009
    Age
    27
    Posts
    282
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Credo_ut_Intelligam View Post
    The problem I see with this is that God doesn't simply know all possible paths (or all possible worlds), but he also knows the actual path you will take (or the actual world) too.

    So, for instance, God knew that *if* Jesus had performed the same miracles in Tyre and Sidon that he performed in Korazin and Bethsaida, Tyre and Sidon would have repented (Mat. 11:20-21). This is called counterfactual knowledge. But God also knew what the actual state of affairs was.

    So God doesn't just know everything you might do, he knows everything you will do too.



    This is sort of vague. But it seems clear to me that not everyone is given the same opportunity.

    For example, Korazin and Bethsaida were given an opportunity that Tyre and Sidon were not given. Furthermore, Scripture says that *if* God had given Tyre and Sidon the same opportunity as Korazin and Bethsaida, they would have repented!

    This may be emotionally difficult for some people to accept, especially if, say for example, your uncle was from Tyre but it is still the teaching of Scripture and in the end we have to allow Scripture to correct our moral intuitions about what's fair and good.

    See as I said this is a topic that extreme confuses me and I've heard both sides of the argument and struggle to understand other than what I stated above about my belifes. And from what I've heard its a pretty common debate. Ive even discussed it with my roomate for hours and still dont know what to think

    . It's one of those things, that in my heart I know God is all knowing, but I also know in that statement I can't even begin gto conceive how God works with that. I often tr to humanise God because thats the easy way to understand things, but I can't. Hense why I get confused, I can argue wtih myself about this for hours. So this it's something im going to have to wait till heaven to find out.

    For now I know that God has a plan for me, that is much better than anything I could ream up for myself and yeah there might be a few hick-ups along the way, but I got trust in him to gude me, and thats good enough for me I suppose...I do find the topic intersting though and do think about it often.

  16. #56
    lil-rush
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    What? No Calvinists? Well that makes this thread a bit disappointing.

  17. #57
    Credo_ut_Intelligam
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by lil-rush View Post
    What? No Calvinists? Well that makes this thread a bit disappointing.
    I'm a "Calvinist"... But I guess I'm one of the disappointing ones.

  18. #58
    lil-rush
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Credo_ut_Intelligam View Post
    I'm a "Calvinist"... But I guess I'm one of the disappointing ones.
    lol

    Well now I'm confused. Do you or don't you believe in free will?

  19. #59
    crushed
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Here's my take on the topic of predetermination and freewill. God is all seeing, all knowing and omnipresent. Which following that train of thought means there is nothing that can surprise God the Father, he knows the past, present and future simultaneously. One pastor put it this way, there is no past, no furture in God's universe. There is only the here and now, thus his name is I AM, not I was or am going to be. We as human beings are given the free will to sin or not, to choose good vs. evil, etc., while we are on this earth. The real question that should be asked is does God already know what my decision will be before I make it? Well....if He is in fact all knowing, then the answer must be YES. The freewill part is that he gives us free will to make bad decisions too. His will is only good for us, but he accepts that we are fallable and sinful and will trip up quite often. His PLAN for our lives is that along the way, we will stumble back on the right track and experience and fulfill our destiny in Christ. See, before you were born God already knew every decision you would make, every stumbling block, every blessing, every word you would utter out of your mouth and if you would fulfill your purpose in Christ. We have free will to fulfill our purpose or not. I hope I've explained that clearly enough. Here's a verse: Passage Ephesians 2:10:

    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.

  20. #60
    Credo_ut_Intelligam
    Guest

    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by lil-rush View Post
    lol

    Well now I'm confused. Do you or don't you believe in free will?
    The idea that Calvinist reject free will is something of a myth… but it's an understandable one since the issue is complex and sometimes terms are used imprecisely.

    First, there is a lot of disagreement not simply over whether we have free will but what constitutes free will.

    And I'm not just talking about disagreement between Christians (Calvinists and non-Calvinists), it's an issue that has plagued philosophy since… well since forever.

    The Jews debated it prior to the rise of Christianity (for instance the Qumran community and the Pharisees took opposing positions on the issue) and the pagan Greeks had their different opinions as well (Democritus and the Epicureans).

    Today the issue is still hotly debated and a lot of that debate occurs outside of a theological context. It's obviously an issue that peeks a lot of interest and is often used as a dramatic device in media (this is something I put together for a speech I gave on the subject in college: YouTube - Free Will in Popular Culture )


    Unfortunately, the way it’s used in the popular media, such as movies and video games, is very shallow and only helps spread confusion about it.

    There are about five different ways you can go on the issue. But Christians, in light of the Calvinism/non-Calvinism issue, basically fall into one of two of these: libertarianism or compatibilism.

    To put it in the simplest terms possible, the libertarian school of thought believes that free will is incompatible with determinism and the compatibilist school of thought believes that free will is compatible with determinism (hence the name “compatibilism”).

    Non-Calvinists are virtually always libertarians and Calvinists are virtually always compatibilists. (I say “virtually” because some Calvinists and some non-Calvinists don’t really think enough about this stuff to properly be classified one way or the other). But notice that both affirm the existence of free will. However, they disagree as to whether persons can be significantly “free” if determinism (or foreordination or sometimes even foreknowledge) is true.

    One of the reasons why they disagree with whether or not free will is compatible with determinism is because they disagree as to what the necessary properties of free will are.

    Anyway, I won’t bore you with that (unless you want me to bore you with that) but I will point out that one of these disagreements is over PAP, which I mentioned in post #52. And I will provide a quote from a Calvinist who speaks positively of free will in order to demonstrate that Calvinists don’t simply deny that we have it (depending on how you understand it):


    "Reformed theology [or, in this sense, Calvinism] does not deny that men have wills (that is, choosing minds) or that men exercise their wills countless times a day. To the contrary, Reformed theology happily affirms both of these propositions. What Reformed theology denies is that a man’s will is ever free from God’s decree, his own intellection, limitations, parental training, habits, and (in this life) the power of sin. In sum, there is no such thing as the liberty of indifference; that is, no one’s will is an island unto itself, undetermined or unaffected by anything.

    Furthermore, Reformed theology is not opposed to speaking of man’s “free will,” “freedom,” or “free agency” (the phrases may be found in the Westminster Confession of Faith and in the writings, for example, of A. A. Hodge, John Murray, and Gordon Clark, whose Reformed convictions are unquestioned)… According to Reformed theology, if an act is done voluntarily, that is, if it is done spontaneously with no violence being done to the man’s will, then that act is a free act."
    Robert L. Reymond. A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith. 373.

Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. The 10 Commandments-The Sabbath (#4)
    By Truth2010 in forum Bible Discussion Forum
    Replies: 205
    Last Post: May 11th, 2015, 11:02 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: September 20th, 2012, 01:00 AM
  3. Are muslims really worshiping satan?
    By Sharp in forum Bible Discussion Forum
    Replies: 350
    Last Post: March 17th, 2010, 11:23 PM
  4. REMEMBER THE SABBATH!!!
    By truthseeker1976 in forum Bible Discussion Forum
    Replies: 82
    Last Post: December 30th, 2009, 06:40 PM
  5. The Justice and Love of God
    By BLC in forum Bible Discussion Forum
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: August 12th, 2009, 05:34 AM