View Poll Results: Does God know the future?

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  • 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%
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Thread: Does God know the future?

  1. #1
    OnDMT
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    Default Does God know the future?

    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.

  2. #2
    goth4god
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    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 =]

  3. #3
    Cako53
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    I fought with this question forever and never got a good answer from anyone. I think it comes down to the fact that we can't even begin to grasp the concept of God. That is where the problem lies. We try to humanize God, but that can't be done. He isn't human. He is supernatural. I believe that he does know the future, and this does not hinge on our free will simply because he is not determining what we do, he is simply letting us do what we want to do. If I were to know for 100% certain that you were going to make a decision that would harm you tomorrow, does that mean that you won't do it? No. Then I started asking well why wouldn't God change our minds so that we wouldn't go through the tortures of hell and such. Then the free will factor kicked in. I hope that somewhat made sense. It makes sense to me, and I deffinatly struggled with this question myself. God Bless you.
    eternallife7 likes this.

  4. #4
    socperkins
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    God knows the future because He can see it as the past. He knows what choices we're going to make because we've already made them. He's not forcing us to make certain decisions, He just knows we've already made them.

    For instance, I don't know when I'm going to work today (I make my own hours), but God knows when I'm going in. He's not going to force me at a certain time, He just already knows because He already saw me do it.

    "Before Abraham was born, I AM"

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gabriel777's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    He created everything, therefore he knows everything about everything. It's who He is.

  6. #6
    Senior Member FirePanther's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    I voted "Yes, but this causes no threat to free will."
    God knows the future just think of the many prophecies that are written in the Bible. But that doesn't affect the free will. Why should it do that? He anyway allows us to take decisions in our lives

    My life has been changed by the personal encounter with the living God!

    I don't know if i'm flying or falling..

    Coupon for great Christian Clothing Store (use the coupon that will appear in the upper part of the site to get a 10% for your purchases )

  7. #7
    shekainahstar
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Our unknown future is in the hands of our All-Knowing God... anonymous

  8. #8
    ChristianTeen
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Another question. If God knows the future, then why does he let bad things happen? Why doesn't he stop them if he only wants good things?

  9. #9
    OnDMT
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    I still don't understand how Him knowing the future doesn't threaten free will.

    If one knows the future, then the future is already predetermined. It's solid, and is something which can be seen. This leaves no room for choice. Choice hinges on an undetermined future which we, through our free will, help decide.

    This is a really difficult problem. . .

  10. #10
    socperkins
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Who says He doesn't stop some bad things from happening? You wouldn't know because He stopped them.

  11. #11
    socperkins
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnDMT View Post
    I still don't understand how Him knowing the future doesn't threaten free will.

    If one knows the future, then the future is already predetermined. It's solid, and is something which can be seen. This leaves no room for choice. Choice hinges on an undetermined future which we, through our free will, help decide.

    This is a really difficult problem. . .
    If you watch a movie you've already seen, you know what's going to happen at every turn, but the characters in the movie still make their own choices. Let's take for instance The Hangover. Even if you haven't seen it, you can probably say "They're going to get drunk, and it's going to be bad". No matter how many times you see the movie they're always going to get drunk and you know it, but you didn't make them get drunk or stop them from getting drunk.

  12. #12
    Cako53
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnDMT View Post
    I still don't understand how Him knowing the future doesn't threaten free will.

    If one knows the future, then the future is already predetermined. It's solid, and is something which can be seen. This leaves no room for choice. Choice hinges on an undetermined future which we, through our free will, help decide.

    This is a really difficult problem. . .
    Okay, how does God knowing the future threaten free will?

  13. #13
    OnDMT
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by socperkins View Post
    If you watch a movie you've already seen, you know what's going to happen at every turn, but the characters in the movie still make their own choices. Let's take for instance The Hangover. Even if you haven't seen it, you can probably say "They're going to get drunk, and it's going to be bad". No matter how many times you see the movie they're always going to get drunk and you know it, but you didn't make them get drunk or stop them from getting drunk.
    That's a great analogy! The script was written. Sure, we infer choice. We imagine and empathize with the character's decisions, but we know, because we have the ability to remove ourselves from their timeline, that they have no real choice. What they do is what they were always going to do.

    In the same way God looks at us from outside our timeline. If it's even possible to see our future, then it's already predetermined, or else no one could see it. Not even God. Because it wouldn't be there to be seen!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cako53 View Post
    Okay, how does God knowing the future threaten free will?
    The fact that God can know the future means that there is some degree of knowablility to the future. Therefore, there isn't really a future, past, or present. Rather there's a facade of time which we blindly move through, thinking that we're determining our paths the whole way when actually we're just in it for the ride.

    I'm not the first one to realize this. St. Thomas Aquinas had huge problems with determinism, and as far as I can tell, he never resolved them during his life.

    God's entire system of justice and salvation hinges on Free Will. . . We can't ignore this problem, we have to solve it.

  14. #14
    Cako53
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnDMT View Post
    That's a great analogy! The script was written. Sure, we infer choice. We imagine and empathize with the character's decisions, but we know, because we have the ability to remove ourselves from their timeline, that they have no real choice. What they do is what they were always going to do.

    In the same way God looks at us from outside our timeline. If it's even possible to see our future, then it's already predetermined, or else no one could see it. Not even God. Because it wouldn't be there to be seen!!



    The fact that God can know the future means that there is some degree of knowablility to the future. Therefore, there isn't really a future, past, or present. Rather there's a facade of time which we blindly move through, thinking that we're determining our paths the whole way when actually we're just in it for the ride.

    I'm not the first one to realize this. St. Thomas Aquinas had huge problems with determinism, and as far as I can tell, he never resolved them during his life.

    God's entire system of justice and salvation hinges on Free Will. . . We can't ignore this problem, we have to solve it.
    It has been solved! God still doesn't choose for you. He just knows whatyou are going to choose. he isn't making you choose. He made you, he knows you better then you know you. Him knowing does not threaten free will whats so ever. The fact that he doesn't step in and force us to go to heaven proves that we have a free will.

  15. #15
    bluebutterfly
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Of course he knows the future. He is God. I asked myself the same questions about if he knew things were going to happen that were bad then why doesn't he stop them, i asked that because of something happened to me in my past but now i truly believe he did try and stop it. But i do believe he does try and stop evil from happening.

    But God is a good God he does not force us to choose him we are our free will. God bless you

  16. #16
    Not_The_Righteous
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Him knowing does not threaten free will whats so ever.
    Depends on what you mean by "free will," actually. If by it you mean that you are not coerced or remotely controlled, sure. If by it you mean that you can choose anything without any criteria (abitrarily) or pre-existing context, then we have some problems - let me use kind of a silly example:

    If God knows I am going to have waffles tomorrow, and that knowledge is of an actual, certain choice, then there is actually a restriction on my future choice. No matter what, I will not choose pancakes tomorrow, I cannot - since the future is certain and it is already known what I will choose. The problem of foreknowledge vs. unrestricted (libertarian) free will is one thing that causes some people to go the route of Open Theism, which believes that God cannot know the future because the future isn't knowable or certain.

    A second problem is the undeniable nature of "choice." Choices aren't arbitrary, we make choices for reasons. There are inclinations, circumstances, and desires (among other things) that inform and direct every choice we make. If I choose waffles tomorrow, it's because I want waffles and not oatmeal. Did I choose to want waffles too? Did I choose to prefer them? Hopefully I haven't oversimplified in my analogy, but that's what I am getting at. We may have choice, but those choices are limited by our greatest inclinations and are subject to our desires. I am not of the opinion the we choose our greatest inclinations or desires.

    Restricted or "compatablist" will, IMO, not libertarian "free will", is both the biblical and logical conclusion we have to make. This retains God as absolutely sovereign and not self-limiting AND man as responsible and not a robot. But it really depends on what people mean when they say "free will." In philosophical/theological circles, this is why people make a distinction on what they mean.
    Last edited by Not_The_Righteous; March 3rd, 2010 at 12:06 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dmurray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianTeen View Post
    Another question. If God knows the future, then why does he let bad things happen? Why doesn't he stop them if he only wants good things?
    Look at it from a parent and a child's view. Sometimes the parent let's the child make the wrong decision so we can learn for ourselves. We learn from our mistakes, so we can later learn to make the right decisions. God doesn't cause all bad things to happen, look at how many miracles happen each and every day. The enemy however can allow bad things to happen, because society decides to follow him, and lead us away from God. He is the wolf. God will use his staff though to pull us back into the herd just as a parent reaches out to their child when they are making the wrong decision.
    David


  18. #18
    ChristianTeen
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    Question Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmurray View Post
    Look at it from a parent and a child's view. Sometimes the parent let's the child make the wrong decision so we can learn for ourselves. We learn from our mistakes, so we can later learn to make the right decisions. God doesn't cause all bad things to happen, look at how many miracles happen each and every day. The enemy however can allow bad things to happen, because society decides to follow him, and lead us away from God. He is the wolf. God will use his staff though to pull us back into the herd just as a parent reaches out to their child when they are making the wrong decision.
    I guess you are right, but still, it almost seems to go against God's nature in a way. He can control everything, yet he allows the 'wolf ' to continue doing evil and to tempt us. Why not just remove the temptation and remove all evil? LOL, wouldn't this world be a lot easier?

  19. #19
    Cako53
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianTeen View Post
    I guess you are right, but still, it almost seems to go against God's nature in a way. He can control everything, yet he allows the 'wolf ' to continue doing evil and to tempt us. Why not just remove the temptation and remove all evil? LOL, wouldn't this world be a lot easier?
    I'm not sure about you, but I don't want to be a slave. Removing all evil would simply make a slave to God. Instead, I am free through Christ. Yes, I do serve him, he is my master. But the difference is that I choose to serve him. He never forced it upon me.

  20. #20
    Not_The_Righteous
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    I guess you are right, but still, it almost seems to go against God's nature in a way. He can control everything, yet he allows the 'wolf ' to continue doing evil and to tempt us. Why not just remove the temptation and remove all evil? LOL, wouldn't this world be a lot easier?
    See the story of Joseph, Job, Pharoah, God's use of Assyrians as a tool to punish Israel and then condemns Assyrians for their conduct under His sovereignty. One could think of the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds, or the Sower. God's intent, in most cases, for His continued foreberance of the evil of this world is like anything else - for His own glory. When the time is right, God will finish it, and when we see His plan fully unmasked in redemptive history, we will say only one thing: Praise God.

    Heh. I didn't choose to desire God. I wasn't walking around, dead in my trespasses and stone-hearted and suddenly decide to give myself a new heart. I was, by nature, a child of wrath and hostile towards God - continually surpressing the truth in unrighteousness. My heart changed because of something He did, not because I declared my devotion to Jesus. I wasn't able to do that until I was given a new heart.

    God saved me. He actually saved me. He didn't make it "possible." He did it, and He will be faithful to complete it. That doesn't make me a slave. I'm an adopted son.
    Last edited by Not_The_Righteous; March 5th, 2010 at 12:32 PM.

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