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beachbum53
Mar 11th 2010, 03:19 AM
Feeling like this is a dumb question but I have had people ask me....Such as for example if a drunk driver hits and kills someone or a robber goes into a convenience store and shoots someone, does God know this will happen before that person is born..I think yes because He knows our days but then think no because the person sinning did this, did God know they would do these wicked things to people...

might as well post my other dumb one...:eek: Babies....God knew us before we were in the womb, but I don't have a good answer for example.. babies born to drug addicts....born to ones that abuse their babies almost immediately ........have trouble with that one too......that one I really don't understand including why a family that would be excellent parents do not have the opportunity to be parents....but so many unworthy ones have them one after the other...:hmm: Could be there isn't an answer I suppose.
THANKS :)

My heart's Desire
Mar 11th 2010, 06:05 AM
I know that God is all-knowing from beginning to end. Does He chose who gets the babies? Honestly I don't know. I do know that He allows us to make choices. He made us to pro-create. Does He choose who can and who cannot? That I don't know for sure either although in the bible it appears that humans felt that it was God who closed the womb or opened it. I think of Hannah and Samuel.

CRJarvis
Mar 11th 2010, 11:35 AM
He knows our days - Do you know that in our DNA is a timer that when it runs out we die, Our bodies just stops regenerating.
God knows all of the choices we can make and where they lead to. Yet the choice is still ours to make.

Ta-An
Mar 11th 2010, 12:20 PM
He knows our days - Do you know that in our DNA is a timer that when it runs out we die, Our bodies just stops regenerating.
God knows all of the choices we can make and where they lead to. Yet the choice is still ours to make.

You are touching on a very interesting concept ... care to elaborate on that :hmm:

beachbum53
Mar 11th 2010, 12:41 PM
Thanks guys, Yes I understand the DNA part. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I have had people ask me questions concerning accidents and "was it their time to go" Or was it truly an accident and it was not 'their' time. The same questions come up with occurrences of child abuse and etc with children. We just had an incident at work (again) two babies dying at the hands of a caregiver.

People know I am a Christian and I do get asked these questions at times or 'they' will wait to hear what I have to say. My answer is truthfully I do not understand everything....
My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Last night my mind was working overtime again :lol: Thinking this morning I don't suppose there is an answer in this life....that has been my believe but sometimes things nag at me...but it is still curious to me ( accidents etc) My brother died in one when he was 21...

Anyway this has been shown before when I used to be here in the past, but if someone has not seen it.. pretty cool. Saw Louie at Chris Tomlin concert and bought the DVD...there is actually three parts to it but this one has the laminin picture in it..( what holds us together)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e4zgJXPpI4&feature=related

Have a blessed day :)

Firefighter
Mar 11th 2010, 06:04 PM
Have you ever looked at the back of a cross stitch??? Kind of crazy huh? When you look from the top side of the cross stitch, you can see a wonderfully woven tapestry of color, well thought out, and makes a beautiful work of art. While we are here on earth looking up, we tend to see the knots and strings seemingly in chaos and it doesn't make any sense to us, nor does it seem to have any rhyme or reason. When God looks at it from above, it is a well thought out tapestry that is art in it's finest form. I tend to think things like this are simply a matter of perspective. As long as we are down here looking up, we will never understand it. One day when we are up there and can see the big picture, it will make a lot more sense to us.

Athanasius
Mar 11th 2010, 06:09 PM
Feeling like this is a dumb question but I have had people ask me....Such as for example if a drunk driver hits and kills someone or a robber goes into a convenience store and shoots someone, does God know this will happen before that person is born..I think yes because He knows our days but then think no because the person sinning did this, did God know they would do these wicked things to people...

might as well post my other dumb one...:eek: Babies....God knew us before we were in the womb, but I don't have a good answer for example.. babies born to drug addicts....born to ones that abuse their babies almost immediately ........have trouble with that one too......that one I really don't understand including why a family that would be excellent parents do not have the opportunity to be parents....but so many unworthy ones have them one after the other...:hmm: Could be there isn't an answer I suppose.
THANKS :)

God knows everything that has and will happen, yes. As for why He lets it happen, it's a mystery, and I don't think we're meant to know the answer (cf. Job, esp. the concluding chapters). Or as something of an illustration, take any fictional novel. Which are the more interesting, the more rewarding to read? The one's with little or more suffering? The latter, of course. Though unless you know the end of the book, the middle - where all the suffering occurs - can be a horrible and seemingly senseless thing. I admit that comparison may be offensive, and perhaps overly simplistic, but hopefully the point is made and understood.

CRJarvis
Mar 11th 2010, 10:39 PM
God knows everything that has and will happen, yes. As for why He lets it happen, it's a mystery, and I don't think we're meant to know the answer (cf. Job, esp. the concluding chapters). Or as something of an illustration, take any fictional novel. Which are the more interesting, the more rewarding to read? The one's with little or more suffering? The latter, of course. Though unless you know the end of the book, the middle - where all the suffering occurs - can be a horrible and seemingly senseless thing. I admit that comparison may be offensive, and perhaps overly simplistic, but hopefully the point is made and understood.

it's my understanding that God knows everything that could have happened also.
A choice that could have led you down the wrong path that you did not take.
now does God know every choice you will take?,
or does he know all the choices you have to take?
he knows the chances or odds of you taking the right choice over the wrong one. "time and chance happeneth to all."
Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

CRJarvis
Mar 11th 2010, 11:07 PM
You are touching on a very interesting concept ... care to elaborate on that :hmm:

i was looking for the info on the max life controled by your DNA and am still looking for it.
i do alot of reading and have read about it.

like when they Cloned a sheep. Many people do not know what they are doing when they clone something.
Let me explain it.

They take a unfertilized Egg of a female. And remove the DNA in the Egg.
And replace it with New DNA from Red blood cells from what they want to Clone.
See they really are not making anything but taking an Egg and fertilizing it with only one host.

The problems they have is the blood cells they used was from a Sheep was already Old.
Sheep Life span, 6 -11 years so the Max life is 11 years. The sheep that the blood was taken from was 8 years old and will only live for 3 more years and it had all the infirmities and arthritis of the old sheep at birth.
also they have to do this to about 5000 eggs to get one that will work.

They are looking at ways to remove the timer in our DNA so will not die of old age.
Maybe with this info you can find more on this.

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 01:11 AM
Feeling like this is a dumb question but I have had people ask me....Such as for example if a drunk driver hits and kills someone or a robber goes into a convenience store and shoots someone, does God know this will happen before that person is born..I think yes because He knows our days but then think no because the person sinning did this, did God know they would do these wicked things to people...It’s not a dumb question at all. It’s an excellent question that many of us have asked ourselves.

When you say that God knows this will happen before the person is born because He knows our days, I assume you are referring to Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”

Even if this verse says that God knows the exact length of our lives before we’re born, it doesn’t say that God knows everything that will happen to us before we’re born.

Also, the Lord can change what has been ordained and written in His book. God told Hezekiah he would die but changed the length of his life after Hezekiah prayed to Him (Isa. 38:1-5). The length of Hezekiah’s life was alterable.


might as well post my other dumb one...:eek: Babies....God knew us before we were in the womb, but I don't have a good answer for example.. babies born to drug addicts....born to ones that abuse their babies almost immediately ........have trouble with that one too......that one I really don't understand including why a family that would be excellent parents do not have the opportunity to be parents....but so many unworthy ones have them one after the other...:hmm: Could be there isn't an answer I suppose.
THANKS :)I don’t know of Scripture that says God knew each of us individually before we were in the womb. But your questions are good ones. We must keep in mind we are born into a fallen and oppressed world. The combination of the fallen state of mankind along with Satan’s oppression is the reason for these things happening. Remember that the devil is hard at work, but Jesus came into the world to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). The Body of Christ is to fight against the powers of darkness by showing love to the hurting world around us.

DarkMirror
Mar 12th 2010, 01:39 AM
I would think the eternal God would be at the beginning and end of creation simultaneously. God knew us before we were ever created, but he had to create us to know us and how we lived our lives.
God could not say he won't create mankind because they would rebel, even though he knows all things, he still had to create mankind to know they would rebel.
Its like forming creation, then going through all of time, to the very end, and then jumping back before creation began, thus knowing what happens.
It is an eternal paradox that can be difficult to grasp.

Athanasius
Mar 12th 2010, 01:49 AM
it's my understanding that God knows everything that could have happened also.
A choice that could have led you down the wrong path that you did not take.
now does God know every choice you will take?,
or does he know all the choices you have to take?
he knows the chances or odds of you taking the right choice over the wrong one. "time and chance happeneth to all."
Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

God doesn't just know the "chances or odds," no (I'm assuming you're advocating a form of open theism). If we're going to talk about God's middle knowledge - counter factuals, to get technical on everyone - then perhaps that's a question for another thread, as it seems to me this thread is primarily concerned with suffering in light of God's knowledge, not God's knowledge itself. And, if you are advocating Open theism, then it's intellectual suicide, in the very least.

Sorry if I've misunderstood you.

newinchrist4now
Mar 12th 2010, 02:01 AM
Thanks guys, Yes I understand the DNA part. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I have had people ask me questions concerning accidents and "was it their time to go" Or was it truly an accident and it was not 'their' time. The same questions come up with occurrences of child abuse and etc with children. We just had an incident at work (again) two babies dying at the hands of a caregiver.

People know I am a Christian and I do get asked these questions at times or 'they' will wait to hear what I have to say. My answer is truthfully I do not understand everything....
My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Last night my mind was working overtime again :lol: Thinking this morning I don't suppose there is an answer in this life....that has been my believe but sometimes things nag at me...but it is still curious to me ( accidents etc) My brother died in one when he was 21...

Anyway this has been shown before when I used to be here in the past, but if someone has not seen it.. pretty cool. Saw Louie at Chris Tomlin concert and bought the DVD...there is actually three parts to it but this one has the laminin picture in it..( what holds us together)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e4zgJXPpI4&feature=related

Have a blessed day :)

Wow, just wow on the video

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 02:14 AM
I would think the eternal God would be at the beginning and end of creation simultaneously.Where is that in Scripture?


God knew us before we were ever created,Where is that in Scripture?


but he had to create us to know us and how we lived our lives.
God could not say he won't create mankind because they would rebel, even though he knows all things, he still had to create mankind to know they would rebel.
Its like forming creation, then going through all of time, to the very end, and then jumping back before creation began, thus knowing what happens.
It is an eternal paradox that can be difficult to grasp.It's difficult to grasp because it goes against reason.

I don't mean to pick on this post at all. I've thought the same things and so do many others. I just want to encourage us to support what we think God is like and what we think the nature of the future is with Scripture. In this way, I believe we will be better able to address the OP with more accuracy.

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 02:29 AM
God doesn't just know the "chances or odds," no (I'm assuming you're advocating a form of open theism). If we're going to talk about God's middle knowledge - counter factuals, to get technical on everyone - then perhaps that's a question for another thread, as it seems to me this thread is primarily concerned with suffering in light of God's knowledge, not God's knowledge itself. And, if you are advocating Open theism, then it's intellectual suicide, in the very least…We can’t talk about suffering in light of God’s knowledge without talking about His knowledge. Scripture teaches that God knows all things there is to know. He is infinitely intelligent and infinitely wise. But if there are parts of the future unknown to Him (if He didn’t create a reality where the nature of the future is exhaustively pre-settled), then that doesn’t diminish His omniscience.

The question is a valid one. Here’s a similar one. If God knew certain children would grow up to be rapists, into child porn, sex trafficking, murderers, etc., why did He fashion them together in their mothers’ wombs? To take it a step further, if God knew certain children would grow up (maybe even go through a tragic life of suffering) and thrown into hell after their deaths, why did He fashion them together in their mother’s wombs?

Athanasius
Mar 12th 2010, 02:47 AM
We can’t talk about suffering in light of God’s knowledge without talking about His knowledge.

To the point of distraction, is what I'm getting at. And, if I may, the real question isn't a debate between open theism and molinism, or some other view. The real question is over suffering, and "why God does or allows certain things". I would much rather the practical, than the theoretical question. Not that theoretical questions aren't important. If you wish to pursue it, then my only hestitation is that it will overcome the real question. Though I will pursue it with you - and others - if that can be avoided.



But if there are parts of the future unknown to Him (if He didn’t create a reality where the nature of the future is exhaustively pre-settled), then that doesn’t diminish His omniscience.

I'm reminded of Ivan Karamzov:
This poor child of five was subjected to every possible torture by those cultivated parents. They beat her, thrashed her, kicked her for no reason till her body was on bruise. Then they went to greater refinements of cruelty--shut her up all night in the cold and frost in a privy, and because she didn't ask to be taken up at night (as though a child of five sleeping its angelic, sound sleep could be trained to wake and ask), they smeared her face and filled her mouth with excrement. And it was her mother, her mother did this. And that mother could sleep, hearing the poor child's groans! Can you understand why a little creature who can't even understand what's done to her should beat her little aching heart with her tiny first int he dark and weep her meek, unresentful tears to dear, king God to protect her? Do you understand that, friend and brother, you pious and humble novice? Do you understand why this infamy must be and is permitted?To what shall we answer? "God didn't know"? I should return my ticket, alongside Ivan.

I don't necessarily agree that God's omniscience - God knowing everything - is dependent upon a universe which has been "exhaustively pre-settled". But I do disagree that it's a permissible view to believe and teach that there are things that God doesn't know. Regardless of any "ifs".



The question is a valid one. Here’s a similar one. If God knew certain children would grow up to be rapists, into child porn, sex trafficking, murderers, etc., why did He fashion them together in their mothers’ wombs? To take it a step further, if God knew certain children would grow up (maybe even go through a tragic life of suffering) and thrown into hell after their deaths, why did He fashion them together in their mother’s wombs?

Did God give Job an answer?

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 03:05 AM
…I have had people ask me questions concerning accidents and "was it their time to go" Or was it truly an accident and it was not 'their' time. The same questions come up with occurrences of child abuse and etc with children. We just had an incident at work (again) two babies dying at the hands of a caregiver.

People know I am a Christian and I do get asked these questions at times or 'they' will wait to hear what I have to say. My answer is truthfully I do not understand everything....
My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Last night my mind was working overtime again :lol: Thinking this morning I don't suppose there is an answer in this life....that has been my believe but sometimes things nag at me...but it is still curious to me ( accidents etc) My brother died in one when he was 21...

Have a blessed day :)Scripture doesn’t teach that these kinds of accidents mean, “It was their time to go,” as if death always takes place by some divine purpose. That is not to say God doesn’t bring purpose out of tragedy. Bad things happen because God has allowed all of us to have free will and choose right from wrong. He allows us to have free will so that we might love Him voluntarily, and this includes the risk that we will choose evil over good.

Having said that, surely God could have prevented the accident but chose not to. He could have prevented the child abuse by taking out the caregiver. He could have prevented the babies from dying. Sometimes He intervenes and sometimes He doesn’t. However, if He intervened every single time, we’d be in the kingdom. All outward sin and all suffering would come to an end (or pretty close to it) with continuous intervention. What I get perplexed about is His decision on when to intervene. That’s when I have to humble my heart and know His ways are above mine. But I’d dare to say His interventions are often related to prayer.

Athanasius
Mar 12th 2010, 03:09 AM
Scripture doesn’t teach that these kinds of accidents mean, “It was their time to go,” as if death always takes place by some divine purpose. That is not to say God doesn’t bring purpose out of tragedy. Bad things happen because God has allowed all of us to have free will and choose right from wrong. He allows us to have free will so that we might love Him voluntarily, and this includes the risk that we will choose evil over good.

Having said that, surely God could have prevented the accident but chose not to. He could have prevented the child abuse by taking out the caregiver. He could have prevented the babies from dying. Sometimes He intervenes and sometimes He doesn’t. However, if He intervened every single time, we’d be in the kingdom. All outward sin and all suffering would come to an end (or pretty close to it) with continuous intervention. What I get perplexed about is His decision on when to intervene. That’s when I have to humble my heart and know His ways are above mine. But I’d dare to say His interventions are often related to prayer.

What does Scripture teach?

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 03:22 AM
To the point of distraction, is what I'm getting at. And, if I may, the real question isn't a debate between open theism and molinism, or some other view. The real question is over suffering, and "why God does or allows certain things". I would much rather the practical, than the theoretical question…I thought I gave a fairly practical answer above regarding why there continues to be evil and tragic accidents which lead to suffering.


I'm reminded of Ivan Karamzov:
This poor child of five was subjected to every possible torture by those cultivated parents. They beat her, thrashed her, kicked her for no reason till her body was on bruise. Then they went to greater refinements of cruelty--shut her up all night in the cold and frost in a privy, and because she didn't ask to be taken up at night (as though a child of five sleeping its angelic, sound sleep could be trained to wake and ask), they smeared her face and filled her mouth with excrement. And it was her mother, her mother did this. And that mother could sleep, hearing the poor child's groans! Can you understand why a little creature who can't even understand what's done to her should beat her little aching heart with her tiny first int he dark and weep her meek, unresentful tears to dear, king God to protect her? Do you understand that, friend and brother, you pious and humble novice? Do you understand why this infamy must be and is permitted?To what shall we answer? "God didn't know"? I should return my ticket, alongside Ivan.God doesn’t always intervene. But it’s the fault of a fallen world and the oppression Satan that these things continue.


I don't necessarily agree that God's omniscience - God knowing everything - is dependent upon a universe which has been "exhaustively pre-settled". But I do disagree that it's a permissible view to believe and teach that there are things that God doesn't know. Regardless of any "ifs".Scripture teaches God knows all things.

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 03:23 AM
What does Scripture teach?About what specifically?

Athanasius
Mar 12th 2010, 03:24 AM
I thought I gave a fairly practical answer above regarding why there continues to be evil and tragic accidents which lead to suffering.

God doesn’t always intervene. But it’s the fault of a fallen world and the oppression Satan that these things continue.

Scripture teaches God knows all things.

I agree. My only issue would be if my reasoning was "God doesn't always intervene because God doesn't always know," then I would have a problem...

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 03:27 AM
Did God give Job an answer?Did Job ask the same questions I asked ("why did He make people He knew would grow up to be evil and why did He make people He knew would grow up and then die and go to hell")?

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 03:35 AM
I agree. My only issue would be if my reasoning was "God doesn't always intervene because God doesn't always know," then I would have a problem...Oh, I agree He always knows.

Athanasius
Mar 12th 2010, 04:01 AM
Did Job ask the same questions I asked ("why did He make people He knew would grow up to be evil and why did He make people He knew would grow up and then die and go to hell")?

I think so, yes. Job's focus was simply on himself, rather than others.

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 04:12 AM
I think so, yes. Job's focus was simply on himself, rather than others.Wondering why God created a person who He knew was going to hell is thinking about myself?

Zack702
Mar 12th 2010, 04:14 AM
What if God will know once God chooses to ?

Not before and not after.

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 04:18 AM
I agree. My only issue would be if my reasoning was "God doesn't always intervene because God doesn't always know," then I would have a problem...Let me clarify. I agree He always knows and can prevent things before they happen. I just don't see that Scripture supports that He knew every choice a person would make before He made the person.

Athanasius
Mar 12th 2010, 04:21 AM
Let me clarify. I agree He always knows and can prevent things before they happen. I just don't see that Scripture supports that He knew every choice a person would make before He made the person.

In what way do you believe that this sort of knowledge isn't "covered" by the traditional verses speaking toward God's omniscience?

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 04:22 AM
What if God will know once God chooses to ?

Not before and not after.Do you mean He could choose to know things about the future and not other things? What would make it possible for Him to know the things He does know about the future?

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 04:27 AM
In what way do you believe that this sort of knowledge isn't "covered" by the traditional verses speaking toward God's omniscience?Show me a verse that supports that God knows every choice a person will make before He makes them. I don't know of any. Having said that, God knows all things that can be known.

Zack702
Mar 12th 2010, 04:31 AM
Do you mean He could choose to know things about the future and not other things? What would make it possible for Him to know the things He does know about the future?

Well here are a few verses I think that might show some kind of relevance.

Psalm 44:3
For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.

Psalm 51:9
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Athanasius
Mar 12th 2010, 04:37 AM
Show me a verse that supports that God knows every choice a person will make before He makes them. I don't know of any. Having said that, God knows all things that can be known.

And I suppose you will reject any scripture that evidences God's knowing the choices a person will make after they - the person - are created?

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 05:01 AM
And I suppose you will reject any scripture that evidences God's knowing the choices a person will make after they - the person - are created?No. God knows our hearts and all our thoughts perfectly and intimately. He is able to know our choices before we make them. I see it like this. I know my child so well that even I (as one who is finite and who does not know the thoughts of my child or all the motivations of his heart) can predict with certainty some choices he makes. How much more can a God who is infinitely intelligent and wise?

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 05:08 AM
Well here are a few verses I think that might show some kind of relevance.

Psalm 44:3
For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.This doesn’t show God chose to know things about the future and not other things. If anything, it shows He can control what happens and predetermine future events by His power and wisdom. Did you see something else in this verse?


Psalm 51:9
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.How does this show that God chose to know some things about the future and not other things?

Athanasius
Mar 12th 2010, 05:10 AM
No. God knows our hearts and all our thoughts perfectly and intimately. He is able to know our choices before we make them. I see it like this. I know my child so well that even I (as one who is finite and who does not know the thoughts of my child or all the motivations of his heart) can predict with certainty some choices he makes. How much more can a God who is infinitely intelligent and wise?

You've confused me then. Are you saying you believe God does know our choices, even before we are made, but that you don't believe there is scriptural evidence in support of it. Or are you saying you don't believe this, and that there is no scriptural evidence in support of it?

Sirus
Mar 12th 2010, 05:44 AM
Feeling like this is a dumb question but I have had people ask me....Such as for example if a drunk driver hits and kills someone or a robber goes into a convenience store and shoots someone, does God know this will happen before that person is born..I think yes because He knows our days but then think no because the person sinning did this, did God know they would do these wicked things to people...

might as well post my other dumb one...:eek: Babies....God knew us before we were in the womb, but I don't have a good answer for example.. babies born to drug addicts....born to ones that abuse their babies almost immediately ........have trouble with that one too......that one I really don't understand including why a family that would be excellent parents do not have the opportunity to be parents....but so many unworthy ones have them one after the other...:hmm: Could be there isn't an answer I suppose.
THANKS :)Foreknowledge -know before

male/female--sperm/egg= procreation

Man has a choice and can't choose good unless he can also choose evil. God endures with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy.

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 05:32 PM
You've confused me then. Are you saying you believe God does know our choices, even before we are made, but that you don't believe there is scriptural evidence in support of it. Or are you saying you don't believe this, and that there is no scriptural evidence in support of it?I believe God can know our choices beforehand, because there is Scriptural support for that. God is able to do this because He knows our thoughts even before we say anything (Psalm 139:1-4; John 16:19) and He knows our hearts (Psalm 139:1-4; John 1:47). But there is no support that He knows what our choices will be before making us in the womb.

theBelovedDisciple
Mar 12th 2010, 07:30 PM
[QUOTE But there is no support that He knows what our choices will be before making us in the womb.[/QUOTE]
He 'knew' a person would make bad choices.. even before we were born.. those choices that hurt us and were sinful..

He 'knew' we would make those.. thats Why He Sent His Son to die for them....

to say that God doesn't 'know' our choices before creating in the womb.. doesnt line up....


But commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us.

I was born physcially approxmately 1, 965 years after He Gave Himself for me... God had to see down thru the future , and see the 'bad choices' I made early in my life.. those that separated me from Him... He saw those and saw the choices I made.. and they were sinful.. He 'saw' and He commended His Love for me.. in that Christ died for me.. this even 'after' He physically died..and arose from the Grave.. giving me Eternal Life...

God at the beginning saw the mistakes man would make.. and He brought forth a Plan.. and it was that His Son would come here and die on a Tree.. to reconcile us back to the Father..

this even before He created anybody in the womb..

Jesus is the Lamb Slain before the Foundation of the World...

God's Redemptive Plan was in place even before He had created anybody..

If He can't see out future choices..

then How did He put together the Plan of Redemption thru His Son and HIs Son's blood??

He sees and knows the choices we make...

The One who has every 'hair' of your head numbered.. can certainly see down thru the future and see the choices we make.. whether they are bad and whether they are good and line up His Will for our life...

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 08:15 PM
...He 'knew' a person would make bad choices.. even before we were born.. those choices that hurt us and were sinful..Before I ever had any children, I bought a book on discipline. I had a plan of action long before they were born and long before they made any choices, because I knew some of their choices would be the wrong ones and I had to have a way to deal with them. I didn't have to know that when my child was six years old on October 18th, 2003 he'd lie to me about what he did to his little brother in order to have a plan already prepared.

DarkMirror
Mar 12th 2010, 10:55 PM
Sometimes you have to look at the obvious.
Jeremiah 1:5
Plus Scripture tells us God is eternal, that would mean that he exists in the 4th dimension, outside of time and space. In the 4th dimension, time is all at once, there is an infinite number of 3 dimensional planes. That makes eternity outside the time space continuum.
If that is the case then God can enter time-space at any point of its linear path. But like I said, he still had to create it, to know the outcome. Even God cannot know something from nothing.
If it never existed, in the eternal sense, then there is nothing to know.

1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Athanasius
Mar 12th 2010, 11:13 PM
I believe God can know our choices beforehand, because there is Scriptural support for that. God is able to do this because He knows our thoughts even before we say anything (Psalm 139:1-4; John 16:19) and He knows our hearts (Psalm 139:1-4; John 1:47). But there is no support that He knows what our choices will be before making us in the womb.

Well, I think I'm going to refer to post #16 and end my involvement in this thread until - if - the focus returns to suffering.

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 11:28 PM
Sometimes you have to look at the obvious.
Jeremiah 1:5This just shows that before God began to form Jeremiah in the womb, He loved him and had a specific plan for His life. Before I begin to form or create something, the idea is formed in my mind. It must be for me to proceed with the creation of it.


…that would mean that he exists in the 4th dimension, outside of time and space. In the 4th dimension, time is all at once, there is an infinite number of 3 dimensional planes. That makes eternity outside the time space continuum.That can’t be scientifically or Scripturally proven.


…1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.This applies to unbelievers. You quoting it to me is unloving and does not follow the example of Christ. It’s using the verse out of context in order to shame me into accepting your idea of reality when you have no scientific or Scriptural support for it.

LookingUp
Mar 12th 2010, 11:52 PM
Well, I think I'm going to refer to post #16 and end my involvement in this thread until - if - the focus returns to suffering.With all due respect, this has everything to do with suffering and our understanding of it. It is simply not possible to reconcile the perfect goodness of God with the idea that He has predetermined all future events. This makes God the author of suffering. It is equally impossible to reconcile the perfect goodness of God with the idea that He supposedly exists outside of time and sees all future events as already settled. This makes God an accomplice to suffering. Not only are these ideas unsupported in Scripture, they should be rejected on the grounds that they compromise the integrity of God. The poster of the OP expressed concern as to how to answer these people who wanted an answer as to why God either makes these things happen (i.e. “it was their time to go”) or whether God allowed these things to happen (“He saw it coming and did nothing about it”). Neither of these questions focuses on the culprit. We are born into a fallen world where the powers of darkness abound. We are in a spiritual war.

I was originally taught the view that God knew from the beginning of creation the entire future as settled (in other words, He can see into the future). This view was always difficult for me to fully embrace, because it means that God knew for certain that this much evil, violence and suffering would emerge out of His plan and not only that but that it’s all done according to His will (God forbid!). This places Him responsible for the evil, violence and suffering that have gone on since the beginning of creation. However, Scripture teaches God is perfectly good and His essence is love (1 John 4:8, 16). This view (the Classical View) cannot be reconciled with the perfect goodness of God and therefore must be rejected. Is there an answer that doesn’t compromise God’s integrity?

This idea that the reality of the future is partly settled and partly composed of possibilities does. In other words, the future is not entirely settled because it doesn’t exist yet. The only parts of the future that are settled are the parts that God chooses to control with His infinite wisdom and infinite power for His divine purpose, but for the most part, He allows His free will agents to act out their lives with very little interference. He allows us to have free will so that we might love Him voluntarily, and this includes the risk that we will choose evil over good. So God knew it was possible for this level of evil, violence and suffering to emerge out of His plan, but it was a risk He found worth taking for the sake of love. In order for creatures to love and be loved, they must have the freedom to do otherwise. It was not logically possible for God to have this objective without risking the possibility of war, if you will, breaking out in His creation. And within the parameters of freedom God gives creatures, God must tolerate evil, for at least a short time. There will be a time when we will be completely free to participate in the triune love of God at last, but in the meantime, we’re at war.

The Classical Theist would say this view diminishes God’s omniscience, because it means He is unable to know things about the future. But that’s not what the view teaches. If the future doesn’t really exist, there is nothing to know about it. God knows all that is knowable. This view is better supported by Scripture than the Classical View and answers the questions related to violence and suffering in a way that honors the integrity of God.

The Classical View seems to place the responsibility of all that goes wrong in the world in God’s hands and allows the believer to resign himself to his circumstances. From the beginning, God placed the responsibility of caring for creation and the animal world in our hands. We have struggled to do this properly from the beginning. Of course, there is another matter that interferes with our ability to do the job God placed before us and that is the works of Satan and the powers of darkness. Fallen angels (demons) have been allowed to have some level of interaction with mankind, and we are told that we often succumb to their negative influences. However, we are told that we have an influence over angelic forces through prayer (Eph. 6:13-17). In a nut shell, evil, violence, and suffering that plague our world are due to two things: 1) the sinful, selfish desires of those who choose evil over good, and 2) the Satanic forces to which we allow ourselves to submit. There is a combination of human and angelic evil forces that keep our world oppressed.

Christ Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and establish earth as God’s domain, and those of us who want to follow Him and His example are asked to work with Him against the forces of darkness. Although victory has already been won in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ (Col. 2:13-14), the demise of evil has not been fully realized. I guess you could say a major battle has been won, but the war isn’t over yet. Christ Jesus asks us to fight this spiritual war with love. God asks us to show kindness to one another, to give generously to those in need, to offer grace and forgiveness to those who hurt us, to pray for our enemies, to actively care for creation, to protect the animal kingdom, and to stand against all suffering and violence by being a people of love and peace. The God I’ve come to know in Scripture through the person of Christ Jesus is a God of love and peace and would never desire His creation be subjected to the kind of suffering and destruction we’ve seen over the history of mankind. He is only temporarily tolerating it so that His creatures can experience love. Again, genuine love cannot be experienced unless free will is a valid option. God will someday rid the earth entirely of evil, but in the meantime, He genuinely wars against it and we can partner with Him or contribute to it. Therefore, the victims of violence, “natural” disasters, and other evils are victims of war, a spiritual war, and those who oppose His will (whether human or angelic) are to blame.

Athanasius
Mar 13th 2010, 12:02 AM
With all due respect, this has everything to do with suffering and our understanding of it. It is simply not possible to reconcile the perfect goodness of God with the idea that He has predetermined all future events. This makes God the author of suffering. It is equally impossible to reconcile the perfect goodness of God with the idea that He supposedly exists outside of time and sees all future events as already settled. This makes God an accomplice to suffering. Not only are these ideas unsupported in Scripture, they should be rejected on the grounds that they compromise the integrity of God. The poster of the OP expressed concern as to how to answer these people who wanted an answer as to why God either makes these things happen (i.e. “it was their time to go”) or whether God allowed these things to happen (“He saw it coming and did nothing about it”). Neither of these questions focuses on the culprit. We are born into a fallen world where the powers of darkness abound. We are in a spiritual war.

I was originally taught the view that God knew from the beginning of creation the entire future as settled (in other words, He can see into the future). This view was always difficult for me to fully embrace, because it means that God knew for certain that this much evil, violence and suffering would emerge out of His plan and not only that but that it’s all done according to His will (God forbid!). This places Him responsible for the evil, violence and suffering that have gone on since the beginning of creation. However, Scripture teaches God is perfectly good and His essence is love (1 John 4:8, 16). This view (the Classical View) cannot be reconciled with the perfect goodness of God and therefore must be rejected. Is there an answer that doesn’t compromise God’s integrity?

This idea that the reality of the future is partly settled and partly composed of possibilities does. In other words, the future is not entirely settled because it doesn’t exist yet. The only parts of the future that are settled are the parts that God chooses to control with His infinite wisdom and infinite power for His divine purpose, but for the most part, He allows His free will agents to act out their lives with very little interference. He allows us to have free will so that we might love Him voluntarily, and this includes the risk that we will choose evil over good. So God knew it was possible for evil, violence and suffering to emerge out of His plan, but it was a risk He found worth taking for the sake of love. In order for creatures to love and be loved, they must have the freedom to do otherwise. It was not logically possible for God to have this objective without risking the possibility of war, if you will, breaking out in His creation. And within the parameters of freedom God gives creatures, God must tolerate evil, for at least a short time. There will be a time when we will be completely free to participate in the triune love of God at last, but in the meantime, we’re at war.

The Classical Theist would say this view diminishes God’s omniscience, because it means He is unable to know things about the future. But that’s not what the view teaches. If the future doesn’t really exist, there is nothing to know about it. God knows all that is knowable. This view is better supported by Scripture than the Classical View and answers the questions related to violence and suffering in a way that honors the integrity of God.

The Classical View seems to place the responsibility of all that goes wrong in the world in God’s hands and allows the believer to resign himself to his circumstances. From the beginning, God placed the responsibility of caring for creation and the animal world in our hands. We have struggled to do this properly from the beginning. Of course, there is another matter that interferes with our ability to do the job God placed before us and that is the works of Satan and the powers of darkness. They have been allowed to have some level of interaction with mankind, and we are told that we often succumb to their negative influences. However, we are told that we have an influence over angelic forces through prayer (Eph. 6:13-17). In a nut shell, evil, violence, and suffering that plague our world are due to two things: 1) the sinful, selfish desires of those who choose evil over good, and 2) the Satanic forces to which we allow ourselves to submit. There is a combination of human and angelic evil forces that keep our world oppressed.

Christ Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and establish earth as God’s domain, and those of us who want to follow Him and His example are asked to work with Him against the forces of darkness. Although victory has already been won in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ (Col. 2:13-14), the demise of evil has not been fully realized. I guess you could say a major battle has been won, but the war isn’t over yet. Christ Jesus asks us to fight this spiritual war with love. God asks us to show kindness to one another, to give generously to those in need, to offer grace and forgiveness to those who hurt us, to pray for our enemies, to actively care for creation, to protect the animal kingdom, and to stand against all suffering and violence by being a people of love and peace. The God I’ve come to know in Scripture through the person of Christ Jesus is a God of love and peace and would never desire His creation be subjected to the kind of suffering and destruction we’ve seen over the history of mankind. He is only temporarily tolerating it so that His creatures can experience love. Again, genuine love cannot be experienced unless free will is a valid option. God will someday rid the earth entirely of evil, but in the meantime, He genuinely wars against it and we can partner with Him or contribute to it. Therefore, the victims of violence, “natural” disasters, and other evils are victims of war, a spiritual war, and those who oppose His will (whether human or angelic) are to blame.

Well, you seem to have thought about this far more than I, and as a result seem to have figured out much more than I. I am neither as wise, nor as learned as you are in matters of suffering, or in God's (fore)knowledge. I hope you don't mind if I ask you questions, to fully investigate this wisdom you have gleaned from your studies. My first question is this: is it true that all suffering is bad?

LookingUp
Mar 13th 2010, 12:23 AM
Well, you seem to have thought about this far more than I, and as a result seem to have figured out much more than I. I am neither as wise, nor as learned as you are in matters of suffering, or in God's (fore)knowledge. I hope you don't mind if I ask you questions, to fully investigate this wisdom you have gleaned from your studies. My first question is this: is it true that all suffering is bad?Sin is always a possibility in a world where free will is real. Sin is always bad. Suffering is a consequence of sin. Suffering always hurts.

Athanasius
Mar 13th 2010, 12:34 AM
Sin is always a possibility in a world where free will is real. Sin is always bad. Suffering is a consequence of sin. Suffering always hurts.

Is it possible that suffering can bring about a greater good than the suffering itself? Did Jesus' suffering on the cross bring about a greater good, the reconciliation of God to man, and man to God? Or did the suffering of women at the turn of the century bring about a greater good, woman's rights? Did the suffering of Martin Luther King Jr. bring about a greater good, (increased) equality for blacks? I won't dispute that suffering always hurts, but what does pain have to do with anything? My question is the same: is it true that all suffering is bad? Or, is it always the case that suffering is gratuitous? Might suffering be the stepping stone to a greater good, and in a sinful world, necessary?

LookingUp
Mar 13th 2010, 04:03 AM
Is it possible that suffering can bring about a greater good than the suffering itself?Yes.


Did Jesus' suffering on the cross bring about a greater good, the reconciliation of God to man, and man to God? Or did the suffering of women at the turn of the century bring about a greater good, woman's rights? Did the suffering of Martin Luther King Jr. bring about a greater good, (increased) equality for blacks?Yes. “No pain, no gain” as they say, but this “greater good” comes about when a person willingly chooses to suffer or when God brings good out of suffering.


I won't dispute that suffering always hurts, but what does pain have to do with anything? My question is the same: is it true that all suffering is bad? Or, is it always the case that suffering is gratuitous, or might suffering be the stepping stone to a greater good, and in a sinful world, necessary?Some suffering can lead to good things, but that doesn’t make the suffering itself a good thing. If it weren’t for sin, suffering wouldn’t exist. If suffering is such a "good thing" why does our Lord eliminate it in the Kingdom?

DarkMirror
Mar 13th 2010, 04:36 AM
This just shows that before God began to form Jeremiah in the womb, He loved him and had a specific plan for His life. Before I begin to form or create something, the idea is formed in my mind. It must be for me to proceed with the creation of it.

That can’t be scientifically or Scripturally proven.

This applies to unbelievers. You quoting it to me is unloving and does not follow the example of Christ. It’s using the verse out of context in order to shame me into accepting your idea of reality when you have no scientific or Scriptural support for it.

Um, I didn't direct this at anyone in particular, nor did I mean to say you were not a Christian, or to shame you. I'm just stating there is much more to God than that is in the Bible, and to have even a small glimmer of understanding takes spiritual mindedness, not carnal mindedness.
Some things just go beyond what the carnal mind can understand, I certainly don't understand it, but I need to take it on faith.
I believe our God, is a very BIG God, and Jesus is Gods son. I believe God is eternal, and he does encompass time and space. I also believe all of time throughout all of history and this entire universe is just a fraction of who and what God is.
This universe is just a ball of light outside his throne, just outside the third heaven.

Athanasius
Mar 13th 2010, 04:41 AM
Yes.

Yes. “No pain, no gain” as they say, but this “greater good” comes about when a person willingly chooses to suffer or when God brings good out of suffering.

Some suffering can lead to good things, but that doesn’t make the suffering itself a good thing. If it weren’t for sin, suffering wouldn’t exist. If suffering is such a "good thing" why does our Lord eliminate it in the Kingdom?

Oh, I don't think suffering itself is good--I agree with you that we only suffer because of sin. In that sense, I phrased my original question poorly; I should have asked if you believed all suffering was meaningless. But anyway, since we agree that God can bring about good from some suffering - meaning that this suffering isn't meaningless - is it therefore possible that God may intentionally bring about suffering, in order to achieve a good greater than the suffering itself, as in the case of Jesus?

LookingUp
Mar 13th 2010, 04:55 AM
Um, I didn't direct this at anyone in particular,Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were replying to my post to you.


nor did I mean to say you were not a Christian, or to shame you. I'm just stating there is much more to God than that is in the Bible, and to have even a small glimmer of understanding takes spiritual mindedness, not carnal mindedness. Some things just go beyond what the carnal mind can understand, I certainly don't understand it, but I need to take it on faith…I've seen that verse used for that reason before so I thought that's what your intentions were. Thanks for clarifying.

LookingUp
Mar 13th 2010, 04:58 AM
I have to run. I'll have to respond tomorrow. Hope you have a blessed and wonderful evening!

CRJarvis
Mar 13th 2010, 05:08 AM
Is it possible that suffering can bring about a greater good than the suffering itself? Did Jesus' suffering on the cross bring about a greater good, the reconciliation of God to man, and man to God? Or did the suffering of women at the turn of the century bring about a greater good, woman's rights? Did the suffering of Martin Luther King Jr. bring about a greater good, (increased) equality for blacks? I won't dispute that suffering always hurts, but what does pain have to do with anything? My question is the same: is it true that all suffering is bad? Or, is it always the case that suffering is gratuitous? Might suffering be the stepping stone to a greater good, and in a sinful world, necessary?

your message here is Good.
Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Greek

τί = Who / because
στενὴ = narrow
ἡ = the
πύλη = gate
καὶ = and
τεθλιμμένη = to press (as grapes) to make wine / suffer tribulation
ἡ = the
ὁδὸς = way / road / journey
ἡ = the
ἀπάγουσα = lead away*
εἰς = into
τὴν = that / the
ζωήν, = life
καὶ = and
ὀλίγοι = little / few
εἰσὶν = are / be
οἱ = thay / the , the ones that
εὑρίσκοντες = find, discover, come upon; obtain, secure, receive
αὐτήν. = it / the same

James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

KJV 2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

LookingUp
Mar 13th 2010, 11:32 PM
Oh, I don't think suffering itself is good--I agree with you that we only suffer because of sin. In that sense, I phrased my original question poorly; I should have asked if you believed all suffering was meaningless. But anyway, since we agree that God can bring about good from some suffering - meaning that this suffering isn't meaningless - is it therefore possible that God may intentionally bring about suffering, in order to achieve a good greater than the suffering itself, as in the case of Jesus?No one forced Christ Jesus to suffer and die. He chose to suffer and die (John 10:17-18). He "intentionally" allowed Himself to be put to death.

beachbum53
Mar 13th 2010, 11:54 PM
I see I have a lot to read :lol: Worked the last 2 days 12 hrs and now am emptying 4 shop vacs all day from my basement. :( with little sleep after coming home this morning...

Figured what better place to throw in a prayer for us if you would like :D :pray: ( no posting necessary )

taking turns sleeping tonigt...back hurts and I'll stop complaining now...:)

Love in Christ,
thanks
laura

Athanasius
Mar 14th 2010, 12:59 AM
No one forced Christ Jesus to suffer and die. He chose to suffer and die (John 10:17-18). He "intentionally" allowed Himself to be put to death.

I never said Christ was forced, though his suffering was a foregone conclusion (Gen. 3:15) -- do you think it's possible that God may bring about suffering to bring about an even greater good?

My heart's Desire
Mar 14th 2010, 04:10 AM
No matter what the answer is, I believe that all of us who believe in Him can fully trust Him no matter what comes our way. :D

LookingUp
Mar 14th 2010, 05:48 AM
I never said Christ was forced, though his suffering was a foregone conclusion (Gen. 3:15) -- do you think it's possible that God may bring about suffering to bring about an even greater good?When you say “bring about,” I think it means “causes.” I don’t believe God “causes” suffering. Sin “causes” suffering.

Let’s say I have a set of rules along with consequences for breaking the rules. My son breaks a rule and I discipline him based on the consequences found in the set of rules. The discipline is painful to him, but who “brought about” the suffering? My son brought it upon himself. I am not the one who “brought about” the suffering.

A criminal breaks a law and he is judged with the death penalty. The judgment is painful to him, but what caused the suffering of the criminal? It’s the judge’s fault? The judge caused his suffering to take place? No, the criminal “brought about” his own suffering. God may discipline and judge, but He is NOT the “cause” of the suffering.

The above two examples show that it was the sin of the individual that “caused” the suffering of the sinner.

Then, there are the times when others’ sin causes suffering to those who are innocent. The victims of theft, rape, murder, “natural” disasters, etc. suffer due to the evil of wicked humans beings or suffer due to the evil of wicked angelic beings (or a combination of those—I’m not sure how much those two can be disconnected). This suffering of innocent victims can appear needless, but we have a loving God who is always working to bring good out of evil. I don’t believe He allows this to happen because He plans to bring good out of it. He brings good out of it because He can. In other words, evil and the resulting suffering do not take place FOR a divine purpose but it can take place WITH a divine purpose. As I wrote previously, God will someday rid the earth entirely of evil, and suffering will vanish, but until that time He genuinely wars against all evil. The victims of evil are victims of spiritual warfare and those who oppose the will of God are to blame. All who oppose God’s will are the ones who “bring about” or “cause” the suffering.

For those of us who willingly suffer for the sake of the Christ, know that our suffering is caused by the sin of the world. We, in this case, are willing victims of abuse and suffering. God promises us that He will bring about good from this. But He is not the one who is bringing about the suffering.

So, going back to the OP. The poster, in my opinion, can answer those questions by saying, “It was not their time to go!” The sin and wickedness of the world (including evil angelic beings at work) are the cause of such tragedies. We should not resign ourselves to thinking that, “Oh well, it was all in God’s plan and there’s nothing we can do about it now.” God’s plan never includes drunk drivers hitting and killing innocents or parents abusing their babies. He mourns and suffers along with us when these tragedies happen. He is equally outraged. We need to take the battle against spiritual darkness more seriously and be in constant prayer and know that we have a God who loves us, hurts with us, and fights with us. However, these accidents by no means should be considered “meaningless,” because we have a God who is always working to bring good out of such evil. We can take some comfort in that.

Athanasius
Mar 14th 2010, 06:29 AM
When you say “bring about,” I think it means “causes.” I don’t believe God “causes” suffering. Sin “causes” suffering.

Let’s say I have a set of rules along with consequences for breaking the rules. My son breaks a rule and I discipline him based on the consequences found in the set of rules. The discipline is painful to him, but who “brought about” the suffering? My son brought it upon himself. I am not the one who “brought about” the suffering.

A criminal breaks a law and he is judged with the death penalty. The judgment is painful to him, but what caused the suffering of the criminal? It’s the judge’s fault? The judge caused his suffering to take place? No, the criminal “brought about” his own suffering. God may discipline and judge, but He is NOT the “cause” of the suffering.

The above two examples show that it was the sin of the individual that “caused” the suffering of the sinner.

By "cause" I have two meanings in mind. One way is the way you listed above, the other way would be similar to the Old Testament, where Israel is punished by God for its disobedience, and through this suffering comes back to God (something of an unfortunate cycle). To be clear, I believe Israel brought this suffering upon itself, but it is unmistakeably God who inflicts it. Just as it's unmistakeably God who inflicts suffering on the Egyptians for not allowing the Jews to leave. This is not suffering that would have taken place anyway, and God is simply using it to achieve an end. This is suffering that would not have occurred but for God's intervention.

And make no mistake, your son suffers for two reasons: 1) he made a choice and 2) you inflicted suffering upon him. Why did he suffer? Because you love him. The same in the case of the criminal and the judge (perhaps without the love). The same goes for people who end up in Hell. They made their choice, but God still sends them.

Your son didn't have to suffer, neither did the criminal.



Then, there are the times when others’ sin causes suffering to those who are innocent. The victims of theft, rape, murder, “natural” disasters, etc. suffer due to the evil of wicked humans beings or suffer due to the evil of wicked angelic beings (or a combination of those—I’m not sure how much those two can be disconnected). This suffering of innocent victims can appear needless, but we have a loving God who is always working to bring good out of evil. I don’t believe He allows this to happen because He plans to bring good out of it. He brings good out of it because He can. In other words, evil and the resulting suffering do not take place FOR a divine purpose but it can take place WITH a divine purpose. As I wrote previously, God will someday rid the earth entirely of evil, and suffering will vanish, but until that time He genuinely wars against all evil. The victims of evil are victims of spiritual warfare and those who oppose the will of God are to blame. All who oppose God’s will are the ones who “bring about” or “cause” the suffering.

I don't think I have the proper perspective - nor will I ever have the proper perspective - to distinguish between "for" and "with" divine purpose. I don't know the mind of God, and don't think I want to, to be perfectly honest. I do believe God genuinely wars against evil, but not because He in some way did not foresee it, but because it's a reality we presently face. The cross is the war against evil, it's ultimate defeat.



For those of us who willingly suffer for the sake of the Christ, know that our suffering is caused by the sin of the world. We, in this case, are willing victims of abuse and suffering. God promises us that He will bring about good from this. But He is not the one who is bringing about the suffering.

So, going back to the OP. The poster, in my opinion, can answer those questions by saying, “It was not their time to go!” The sin and wickedness of the world (including evil angelic beings at work) are the cause of such tragedies. We should not resign ourselves to thinking that, “Oh well, it was all in God’s plan and there’s nothing we can do about it now.” God’s plan never includes drunk drivers hitting and killing innocents or parents abusing their babies. He mourns and suffers along with us when these tragedies happen. He is equally outraged. We need to take the battle against spiritual darkness more seriously and be in constant prayer and know that we have a God who loves us, hurts with us, and fights with us. However, these accidents by no means should be considered “meaningless,” because we have a God who is always working to bring good out of such evil. We can take some comfort in that.

I believe suffering is an instrument God uses in a world of sin. I believe God is not concerned with how we feel emotionally, or if we feel pain, or if life is hard or difficult. He's concerned with His relationship with us, and He loves us... And that's part of the reason we suffer, even if we in some way cause that suffering to come to pass. I think it's wrong to conclude that suffering and God contradict each other. In fact, I believe this is a fiction of the modern mind. I'm much more of an ancient in that regard--I regard suffering as a means to an end, and God is justified in using suffering if it brings about a or our greater good. I'll even go so far as to say that I believe God is justified in using our suffering to bring about good for another. I don't think it's about the "I," or us individually.

I think with your answer, we make God into something week. And I know you would say that you're only precisely defining omniscience, just as omnipotence doesn't mean God can do anything to the point of contradiction. But that's evidently unscriptural, and I have no answer to what you've said previously except that you refuse to connect the dots--why should God suddenly come into new knowledge the minute a new person is created? Frankly, I don't care if God is the author of some suffering, He's allowed to be, if it causes us to run back to Him. And to be clear, God is not some how sinning by causing us to suffer.

LookingUp
Mar 14th 2010, 09:08 PM
By "cause" I have two meanings in mind. One way is the way you listed above, the other way would be similar to the Old Testament, where Israel is punished by God for its disobedience, and through this suffering comes back to God (something of an unfortunate cycle). To be clear, I believe Israel brought this suffering upon itself, but it is unmistakeably God who inflicts it. Just as it's unmistakeably God who inflicts suffering on the Egyptians for not allowing the Jews to leave. This is not suffering that would have taken place anyway, and God is simply using it to achieve an end. This is suffering that would not have occurred but for God's intervention.God does not use suffering as a means to an end. God does not inflict pain and suffering; He administers discipline and judgment with the aim of “making things right” again because He is righteous and holy. The entire motif of the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus was to “make things right” again. God is perfectly just and perfectly loving and it is not in His character to be the cause of suffering.

As a parent, the discipline won't take place unless I administer it. As the judge, the punishment/judgment won't take place unless he enforces it. The parent and the judge are the channels or vehicles for the discipline and/or punishment. But the vehicles are not the source of or reason for the suffering. No one that I know of would dare blame the parent or the judge for the suffering experienced by the guilty party. The guilty ones suffer because they have consciously chosen to break the prearranged rules. How much more then for God’s prearranged rules? God has made Himself evident within all human beings (Rom. 1:19) and the law is written in the hearts of all (Rom. 2:15), and all are held responsible for adhering to or rejecting what they know is true and right in their hearts.

God is not the source of or reason for the suffering of the guilty. He is the vehicle through which discipline and punishment are administered. Israel and Egypt willingly chose to break the rules while knowing the punishment they’d receive if they did. They chose to be punished.


And make no mistake, your son suffers for two reasons: 1) he made a choice and 2) you inflicted suffering upon him. Why did he suffer? Because you love him. The same in the case of the criminal and the judge (perhaps without the love).If I choose to touch a hot stove, I’ll get burned. I know the consequences, but I do it anyway. I am fully responsible. The stove through which the heat was administered was not to blame.


The same goes for people who end up in Hell. They made their choice, but God still sends them.I don’t believe God “sends” people to hell. People choose to go there. They have a choice whether to be with God or not. He can’t force anyone to love Him. Our destiny is a natural consequence of our choice. No one will go to hell who didn’t have a choice to go to heaven.


Your son didn't have to suffer, neither did the criminal.If the parent and judge don't follow through with the prescribed discipline or punishment, the parent would be guilty of being a poor parent and the judge would be guilty of being an unjust judge. God is guilty of neither. God must discipline and judge or He is not the God as described to us in Scripture. His essence is love and He is perfectly good, so He always strives to put things right. His discipline and judgment are adminstered perfectly in order to make things right again. For God to be the loving and righteous God of Scripture, He must discipline and judge.


I don't think I have the proper perspective - nor will I ever have the proper perspective - to distinguish between "for" and "with" divine purpose. I don't know the mind of God, and don't think I want to, to be perfectly honest.The difference between “for” and “with” is huge. I don’t believe tragic accidents and such are “blessings in disguise,” as if God allowed them to happen “for” some divine purpose. But after a tragic accident takes place, God can bring good out of it (it can happen “with” a divine purpose). In other words, God doesn’t allow these things to happen because He wanted them to happen so He could bring some greater good out of it. He allows these things to happen, because He has created a world where free will is genuine. Thankfully, because of His love and infinite wisdom, He is able to bring good out of tragedy. If He interfered to stop an event every single time the event was out of His will, we wouldn’t be living in a world where free will was genuine (with a valid option to choose good over evil). He doesn’t “want” these bad things to happen anymore than we do, but the rules of creation are already set. If free will is to remain legitimate—with the choice between good and evil being a valid option for love to be genuine—He cannot interfere to stop all bad things from happening. If He wanted a world of preprogrammed humans completely lacking in the ability to genuinely love, evil would not be an option.


I do believe God genuinely wars against evil, but not because He in some way did not foresee it, but because it's a reality we presently face. The cross is the war against evil, it's ultimate defeat.Of course He foresaw it and that’s why He had a plan from the beginning. As soon as God set out to design creatures with genuine free will, He knew the choice of evil became a valid option.

He allows us to have free will so that we might love Him voluntarily, and this includes the risk that we will choose evil over good. So God knew it was possible for evil to emerge out of His plan, but it was a risk He found worth taking for the sake of love. In order for creatures to love and be loved, they must have the freedom to do otherwise. It was not logically possible for God to have this objective without risking the possibility of evil breaking forth in His creation. And within the parameters of freedom God gives creatures, God must tolerate evil, for at least a short time.


I believe suffering is an instrument God uses in a world of sin. I believe God is not concerned with how we feel emotionally, or if we feel pain, or if life is hard or difficult...Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His fee, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus therefore saw her weeping and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” (John 11:32-35).

Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to the woman, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. (Luke 7:12-15).


I think with your answer, we make God into something week.In what way?


…why should God suddenly come into new knowledge the minute a new person is created?What are you asking?


Frankly, I don't care if God is the author of some suffering, He's allowed to be, if it causes us to run back to Him. And to be clear, God is not some how sinning by causing us to suffer.I do care if my theology compromises the integrity of God. Being the author of suffering is not consistent with His character, so I have to reject it based on that alone.

Athanasius
Mar 14th 2010, 10:31 PM
God does not use suffering as a means to an end. God does not inflict pain and suffering; He administers discipline and judgment with the aim of “making things right” again because He is righteous and holy. The entire motif of the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus was to “make things right” again. God is perfectly just and perfectly loving and it is not in His character to be the cause of suffering.

I'm not quite sure how you know so much about the mind of God, but it's something I cannot argue with because I cannot claim a knowledge that high. What I do know, however, is that discipline and judgment may very well constitute suffering on our part, and yes, as a "means to an end". I think it's here that I would agree with St. Teresa--"suffering is grace". Reminds me of a lyric by the band Manic Street Preachers, "with grace we shall suffer". You know, I don't see a conflict between God's justice, and God's love, and God being a source of some suffering. I don't think you've demonstrated it's the case, either. Unless you can demonstrate it, I don't see pain and suffering as a necessarily evil thing. If God has to twist my arm to draw me back to Himself, then so be it. God is justified, or else show otherwise (and pay particular attention to some suffering, not all suffering).



As a parent, the discipline won't take place unless I administer it. As the judge, the punishment/judgment won't take place unless he enforces it. The parent and the judge are the channels or vehicles for the discipline and/or punishment. But the vehicles are not the source of or reason for the suffering. No one that I know of would dare blame the parent or the judge for the suffering experienced by the guilty party. The guilty ones suffer because they have consciously chosen to break the prearranged rules. How much more then for God’s prearranged rules? God has made Himself evident within all human beings (Rom. 1:19) and the law is written in the hearts of all (Rom. 2:15), and all are held responsible for adhering to or rejecting what they know is true and right in their hearts.

God is not the source of or reason for the suffering of the guilty. He is the vehicle through which discipline and punishment are administered. Israel and Egypt willingly chose to break the rules while knowing the punishment they’d receive if they did. They chose to be punished.

I'll ask a very simple question: if your child breaks a rule and you don't punish him, will your child still suffer the consequences you would have dealt him? And yes, I will "blame" the parent for the suffering of the child, but I believe it's a suffering dealt out of a love... As a means to an end, with grace. It is to better him who suffers.



If I choose to touch a hot stove, I’ll get burned. I know the consequences, but I do it anyway. I am fully responsible. The stove through which the heat was administered was not to blame.

And if a child chooses to take cookies out of the jar his mother told him not to, and isn't caught, then he isn't punished. This is why analogies are inadequate.



I don’t believe God “sends” people to hell. People choose to go there. They have a choice whether to be with God or not. He can’t force anyone to love Him. Our destiny is a natural consequence of our choice. No one will go to hell who didn’t have a choice to go to heaven.

Another simple question: how do people go from judgment before God, to Hell? I don't think they walk through the left door--God sends them.



If the parent and judge don't follow through with the prescribed discipline or punishment, the parent would be guilty of being a poor parent and the judge would be guilty of being an unjust judge. God is guilty of neither.

Then if anything, your analogy fails.



God must discipline and judge or He is not the God as described to us in Scripture. His essence is love and He is perfectly good, so He always strives to put things right. His discipline and judgment are adminstered perfectly in order to make things right again. For God to be the loving and righteous God of Scripture, He must discipline and judge.

And the object of that disciplining and judgment might suffer as a result. God corrected Israel many times, and many times they suffered.



The difference between “for” and “with” is huge. I don’t believe tragic accidents and such are “blessings in disguise,” as if God allowed them to happen “for” some divine purpose. But after a tragic accident takes place, God can bring good out of it (it can happen “with” a divine purpose). In other words, God doesn’t allow these things to happen because He wanted them to happen so He could bring some greater good out of it. He allows these things to happen, because He has created a world where free will is genuine. Thankfully, because of His love and infinite wisdom, He is able to bring good out of tragedy. If He interfered to stop an event every single time the event was out of His will, we wouldn’t be living in a world where free will was genuine (with a valid option to choose good over evil). He doesn’t “want” these bad things to happen anymore than we do, but the rules of creation are already set. If free will is to remain legitimate—with the choice between good and evil being a valid option for love to be genuine—He cannot interfere to stop all bad things from happening. If He wanted a world of preprogrammed humans completely lacking in the ability to genuinely love, evil would not be an option.

I am speaking of some suffering, not all suffering.



Of course He foresaw it and that’s why He had a plan from the beginning. As soon as God set out to design creatures with genuine free will, He knew the choice of evil became a valid option.

He allows us to have free will so that we might love Him voluntarily, and this includes the risk that we will choose evil over good. So God knew it was possible for evil to emerge out of His plan, but it was a risk He found worth taking for the sake of love. In order for creatures to love and be loved, they must have the freedom to do otherwise. It was not logically possible for God to have this objective without risking the possibility of evil breaking forth in His creation. And within the parameters of freedom God gives creatures, God must tolerate evil, for at least a short time.

I don't know why you're going on this tangent?



Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His fee, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus therefore saw her weeping and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” (John 11:32-35).

Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to the woman, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. (Luke 7:12-15).

That's what happens when I forget words. I don't think God is primarily concerned... It's a concern, but not concern #1.



In what way?

Well, if God doesn't know the choices an individual will make before they are formed, then God is creating someone and He has no idea who they are.



What are you asking?

See above.



I do care if my theology compromises the integrity of God. Being the author of suffering is not consistent with His character, so I have to reject it based on that alone.

And again, some suffering.

LookingUp
Mar 15th 2010, 04:02 AM
I'm not quite sure how you know so much about the mind of God, but it's something I cannot argue with because I cannot claim a knowledge that high.This reminds me of your previous comment that I PMd you about. To say that the entire motif of the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus was to “make things right” again does not take a “knowledge that high”. It simply takes reading the NT and seeing that the entire plan of God was to reconcile the world to Himself.


What I do know, however, is that discipline and judgment may very well constitute suffering on our part, and yes, as a "means to an end". I think it's here that I would agree with St. Teresa--"suffering is grace". Reminds me of a lyric by the band Manic Street Preachers, "with grace we shall suffer".I never argued that good can’t come out of suffering. As we’ve already discussed, Christ Jesus willingly chose to suffer when He laid down His life for us and the Father willingly chose to suffer as He watched His only begotten son die. God preordained His own suffering in order to purchase us, the Church, with His own blood (Acts 20:18). What I argue against is that God is the author of suffering.


You know, I don't see a conflict between God's justice, and God's love, and God being a source of some suffering. I don't think you've demonstrated it's the case, either.I maintain that evil is the source of suffering, not God.


Unless you can demonstrate it, I don't see pain and suffering as a necessarily evil thing. If God has to twist my arm to draw me back to Himself, then so be it. God is justified, or else show otherwise (and pay particular attention to some suffering, not all suffering).That’s called discipline and you know who I believe is to blame for the receipt of it.


I'll ask a very simple question: if your child breaks a rule and you don't punish him, will your child still suffer the consequences you would have dealt him?As you’ve said, the analogy can go only so far since we’re applying this to help us understand God. God dispenses discipline, punishment and mercy perfectly while I am unable to do so.


And yes, I will "blame" the parent for the suffering of the child,Then you’re not much different from my 12-year-old in this respect. When he audaciously blames us for the suffering he experiences from his punishments, it usually gets him further punishment. If you want to boldly blame God for the suffering you receive, that is your choice.


but I believe it's a suffering dealt out of a love... As a means to an end, with grace. It is to better him who suffers.It’s not suffering that He’s dealing out. He’s dealing out a form of discipline or punishment that can result in various degrees of suffering (pain, anguish) depending on how the recipient embraces correction or chastisement. Very little suffering is necessary if repentance is immediate.


And if a child chooses to take cookies out of the jar his mother told him not to, and isn't caught, then he isn't punished. This is why analogies are inadequate.As I mentioned above, God’s dispensing of discipline and punishment is accomplished with perfect timing and perfect fairness. He doesn’t make mistakes like human parents do.


Another simple question: how do people go from judgment before God, to Hell? I don't think they walk through the left door--God sends them.I must question if there will be literal doors through which to walk. I maintain that God does not send people to hell. The picture of God revealed to us in the person of Christ Jesus shows us that He is a God of reconciliation. His desire is to put things right. The destiny of individuals is a natural consequence of the free will choices they make in this life. God will not force anyone to love Him. At the judgment, God will grant them what they have been freely asking for their entire lives—to be without God.


Then if anything, your analogy fails.How so?


And the object of that disciplining and judgment might suffer as a result. God corrected Israel many times, and many times they suffered.

I am speaking of some suffering, not all suffering.

I don't know why you're going on this tangent?This “tangent” is central to our discussion. It explains why there is evil and the resulting suffering and how this proves that God is not the author of either. I’m not certain you are thoroughly reading some of my points (like this one that you’ve labeled as a tangent). We won’t make any headway like this. If you are unable to concede that God created a world where free will is legitimate which then created the possibility of evil but didn’t demand it, then we won’t be able to move forward.


That's what happens when I forget words. I don't think God is primarily concerned... It's a concern, but not concern #1.Christ spent His entire ministry bringing relief to human suffering by fighting demons to put an end to demonic oppression, by healing diseases to stop human suffering, by bringing the dead back to life to comfort those who mourn, and by standing against poverty to give relief to those in need.


Well, if God doesn't know the choices an individual will make before they are formed, then God is creating someone and He has no idea who they are.How does this make Him weak? God must know my choices beforehand as settled fact or He’ll be caught off guard? God’s knowledge isn’t diminished if the future doesn’t exist. He is infinitely intelligent. He doesn’t have to spread His intelligence thin to cover possibilities the way humans do. God is able to attend to each and every possibility as though each one were the only possibility He had to attend to. He doesn’t lose anything. In other words, only a God of limited intelligence would be better prepared for the future if he foreknew it as a settled fact. God can sovereignly rule the world effectively without needing to have everything pre-settled ahead of time. I'm willing to bet He’s that smart.

JLM Lives
Mar 15th 2010, 05:23 AM
I believed that before. That God was the reason for my suffering, That was before I met Him. Now I understand. Read the book of Job. especially the part where The Lord talks to Job. then I submit you ask Jesus to explain Himself.. I bet you won't

Athanasius
Mar 15th 2010, 06:12 AM
I believed that before. That God was the reason for my suffering, That was before I met Him. Now I understand. Read the book of Job. especially the part where The Lord talks to Job. then I submit you ask Jesus to explain Himself.. I bet you won't

I never said God was the reason for all my suffering. Please read what I'm saying >.<

JLM Lives
Mar 15th 2010, 06:24 AM
I came to a conclusion long ago. That the word "never" and "always" cannot be applied to oneself with any measure of accuracy. It can only be applied to God. I am sure I missread what you said and I apologise.

Athanasius
Mar 15th 2010, 07:37 AM
I maintain that evil is the source of suffering, not God.

Suffering exists because of sin, but suffering is itself neither necessarily sinful nor evil. I rather think of it as a "refining fire," of sorts.



That’s called discipline and you know who I believe is to blame for the receipt of it.

And what happens when you're disciplined... You suffer in some way. This is simply connecting the dots.



Then you’re not much different from my 12-year-old in this respect. When he audaciously blames us for the suffering he experiences from his punishments, it usually gets him further punishment. If you want to boldly blame God for the suffering you receive, that is your choice.

If you're going to compare me to your 12-year-old, at least read what I've said first, and stop ignoring things that give you a hard time, like cookie jars instead of stove tops. And I've not "blamed God" for my suffering, if I've said anything in this thread it's that I don't believe suffering from God is meaningless, sinful or evil. I don't believe suffering is a legitimate objection to God's character. Or as I said in a previous post, if God sends suffering our way, it's because of His grace.



It’s not suffering that He’s dealing out. He’s dealing out a form of discipline or punishment that can result in various degrees of suffering (pain, anguish) depending on how the recipient embraces correction or chastisement. Very little suffering is necessary if repentance is immediate.

There you go, discipline or punishment lead to various degrees of suffering. You've just admitted that God can cause people to suffer. Was it that difficult to acknowledge what I've been saying this entire time?



I must question if there will be literal doors through which to walk. I maintain that God does not send people to hell. The picture of God revealed to us in the person of Christ Jesus shows us that He is a God of reconciliation. His desire is to put things right. The destiny of individuals is a natural consequence of the free will choices they make in this life. God will not force anyone to love Him. At the judgment, God will grant them what they have been freely asking for their entire lives—to be without God.

You're going to tell people that there is no biblical support for God's omniscience to include the choices of unmade individuals, yet now you're going to "question if there will be literal doors through which to walk" for those who are going to Hell? Two things: 1) Hell isn't the absence of God and 2) God literally does send people to Hell, just as He takes people up into heaven. Most people are not going to willingly walk into hell, sorry.



How so?

By ignoring what I said ;)



This “tangent” is central to our discussion. It explains why there is evil and the resulting suffering and how this proves that God is not the author of either. I’m not certain you are thoroughly reading some of my points (like this one that you’ve labeled as a tangent). We won’t make any headway like this. If you are unable to concede that God created a world where free will is legitimate which then created the possibility of evil but didn’t demand it, then we won’t be able to move forward.

I've never challenged free will, which is why I'm confused as to why you're bringing it up, and are now under the illusion that I'm not conceding "such a world". By the way, I never said God was the author of evil or suffering either... So I really don't know why you're getting side-tracked.



Christ spent His entire ministry bringing relief to human suffering by fighting demons to put an end to demonic oppression, by healing diseases to stop human suffering, by bringing the dead back to life to comfort those who mourn, and by standing against poverty to give relief to those in need.

Simple question: is God content with the demon being driven out of you, or does He also want you in a relationship with Him? He'll pursue you even after the demon is gone--the relationship is what's most important.



How does this make Him weak? God must know my choices beforehand as settled fact or He’ll be caught off guard?

I believe He knows every choice (a finitely large number of choices) you could have ever possibly made - including the one you DID make - and He works with those choices. It's a view called Molinism, not sure if you've heard of it.



God’s knowledge isn’t diminished if the future doesn’t exist. He is infinitely intelligent. He doesn’t have to spread His intelligence thin to cover possibilities the way humans do. God is able to attend to each and every possibility as though each one were the only possibility He had to attend to. He doesn’t lose anything. In other words, only a God of limited intelligence would be better prepared for the future if he foreknew it as a settled fact. God can sovereignly rule the world effectively without needing to have everything pre-settled ahead of time. I'm willing to bet He’s that smart.

Who said anything about God "spreading his intelligence thin"? I'm starting to wonder if you've paid attention to what I've said... You're repeating what I'm saying, just in a really confused kind of way. And... A God of limited intelligence would not be better prepared, for therein it's assumed a determined rather than open world...

LookingUp
Mar 15th 2010, 10:18 PM
Suffering exists because of sin, but suffering is itself neither necessarily sinful nor evil. I rather think of it as a "refining fire," of sorts.That’s a fine way to look at suffering. Any suffering a believer goes through does not have to be in vain. When our spirit cooperates with God’s Spirit in us, the results of suffering will be positive (Romans 8:28).


And what happens when you're disciplined... You suffer in some way. This is simply connecting the dots.I’m sorry, but I believe it’s going beyond the dots to say that God is to blame for our suffering. We have brought suffering into the world through our sin. God did not bring it into the world. Had He left Adam and Eve to themselves, they would have been consumed by the grief they brought upon themselves and died miserable wretches. He didn’t have to offer comfort and guidance through His Holy Spirit; He could have left humans to self-destruct.


If you're going to compare me to your 12-year-old, at least read what I've said first, and stop ignoring things that give you a hard time, like cookie jars instead of stove tops.I didn’t ignore it. I wrote that God doesn’t make mistakes—we can’t hide when we “take things out of the cookie jar.” He sees it all and can respond appropriately to all things, unlike human parents.


And I've not "blamed God" for my suffering,Then we’re on the same page.

I thought you felt fine about “blaming God” for some of your suffering when you wrote,
I don't see a conflict between God's justice, and God's love, and God being a source of some suffering.and
I don’t care if God is the author of some suffering, He’s allowed to beand
God is not some how sinning by causing us to sufferSounds like you're saying that it’s OK to blame God for some of your suffering.

Previously I shared with you that at times my son will blame his father and I for the suffering he experiences from the discipline he receives from us. (Come to think of it, we’re just following God’s orders by disciplining him, so I suppose you would think it’s appropriate to blame God for the suffering he experiences from the discipline). But anyway, to top that, he has even verbally blamed God for times he has experienced pain or suffering. I think it’s terribly disrespectful and we treat it as such. Even if God happened to orchestrate an event in order to discipline my son that resulted in suffering, I maintain that God is not to blame for his suffering. His behavior called for it.


if I've said anything in this thread it's that I don't believe suffering from God is meaningless, sinful or evil. I don't believe suffering is a legitimate objection to God's character. Or as I said in a previous post, if God sends suffering our way, it's because of His grace.

There you go, discipline or punishment lead to various degrees of suffering. You've just admitted that God can cause people to suffer. Was it that difficult to acknowledge what I've been saying this entire time?

You're going to tell people that there is no biblical support for God's omniscience to include the choices of unmade individuals,He knows all the possible choices, but there’s no support He sees all choices as settled fact. Can you show me where Scripture supports that?


yet now you're going to "question if there will be literal doors through which to walk" for those who are going to Hell? Two things: 1) Hell isn't the absence of God and 2) God literally does send people to Hell, just as He takes people up into heaven. Most people are not going to willingly walk into hell, sorry.You and I just have very different perspectives. I blame sinners for what happens to them in this life and I blame sinners for what happens to them in the next.


By ignoring what I said ;)You said, “Then if anything, then your analogy fails” and I wrote, “How so?” and you have written, “By ignoring what I said.” My analogy fails by ignoring what you said? That doesn’t make any sense.


I've never challenged free will, which is why I'm confused as to why you're bringing it up, and are now under the illusion that I'm not conceding "such a world". By the way,…I bring it up to show you the source, cause, and author of suffering—evil. Free will has given humans a choice between good and evil. God NEVER wanted His creatures to choose evil—His design never included evil and suffering. We chose that. God is not the source, cause or author of suffering.


I never said God was the author of evil or suffering either... So I really don't know why you're getting side-tracked.Then, you have forgotten what you just wrote. I'll paste it here to remind you...
I don’t care if God is the author of some suffering, He’s allowed to be


Simple question: is God content with the demon being driven out of you, or does He also want you in a relationship with Him? He'll pursue you even after the demon is gone--the relationship is what's most important.Of course He wants relationship with us. But are you saying God’s only motivation for relieving the suffering of a human being is to have a relationship with him? Is it possible He’s moved to compassion? Is it at all possible that God suffers when we suffer? If you see a human being suffering, will you try to relieve the suffering only if you get something out of it?


I believe He knows every choice (a finitely large number of choices) you could have ever possibly made - including the one you DID make - and He works with those choices…OK. Sounds like we agree. I’m not saying He didn’t know the choice I finally made, I’m saying He didn’t know it as settled fact before I was born.


Who said anything about God "spreading his intelligence thin"? I'm starting to wonder if you've paid attention to what I've said... You're repeating what I'm saying, just in a really confused kind of way. And... A God of limited intelligence would not be better prepared, for therein it's assumed a determined rather than open world...Maybe I’ve been misunderstanding you. I do believe that God knows all the possible choices (including the one that will actually be made) before we’re born.

You know what, I just looked back at my posts and I see there were times I did a lousy job of explaining myself. When I said I don’t see that Scripture supports that God knew all the choices we would make before we were born, I really should have added “as settled fact” to it. Another way of saying it is that although God doesn’t see all the future as settled fact, He can see all the possibilities including the ones that will eventually be settled fact. He just doesn’t “know” they will be settled fact until they become settled fact. Sorry for the confusion that must have taken place because of leaving that out.

So, back to the OP again. “If a drunk driver hits and kills someone, does God know this will happen before this person is born?” I would say that God knew it as a possibility but not as settled fact, because He’s dealing with creatures with genuine free will. The poster asked, “If a robber goes into a convenience store and shoots someone, does God know this will happen before the person is born?” I would say that God knew it as a possibility but not as settled fact. “Did God know they would do these wicked things to people?” I would say that God knew that it was a possibility that they would do these specific wicked things, but there was also the possibility for them to choose to do otherwise.

Then the poster asked concerning accidents, “Was it their time to go? Or was it truly an accident and it was not ‘their’ time?” I don’t believe God allows these things to happen SO THAT He can bring some greater good out of it. I lean toward accidents being truly accidents, while at the same time realizing that if it weren’t for the sin and wickedness in this fallen and oppressed world, the accident would never have taken place. So, it’s an “accident” but it’s not as if no one is to blame. Further, I would say God knew these accidents were real possibilities but didn’t know it as settled fact beforehand.

Then the poster asked “Was it their time to go with occurrences of child abuse and with children like in the case of the two babies dying at the hands of a caregiver?” I would say, like with the drunk driver and the robber, God knew it was a possibility that these people would commit these specific wicked things, but there was also a real possibility for them to choose to do otherwise. When people die at the hands of others or during “natural” disasters, I believe the actions of free will agents are responsible. Whether it happens to coincide with God’s desire for them to come home to Him is difficult to answer.

Athanasius
Mar 15th 2010, 11:26 PM
Edit* On second thought, I think I'm going to let you have the last word. Thanks for your time :)

LookingUp
Mar 16th 2010, 10:24 PM
Edit* On second thought, I think I'm going to let you have the last word. Thanks for your time :)OK. I thought it was important to bring it all back to the OP (which I did above) for the sake of the poster who had the initial questions, and I think we've covered as much as we can at this time. Thanks for the dialogue.

Athanasius
Mar 17th 2010, 12:14 AM
OK. I thought it was important to bring it all back to the OP (which I did above) for the sake of the poster who had the initial questions, and I think we've covered as much as we can at this time. Thanks for the dialogue.

Well, it's not that, it's that you haven't understand what I've said... So I'm not going to pursue it further :P Thanks though!

beachbum53
Mar 17th 2010, 01:00 AM
OK. I thought it was important to bring it all back to the OP (which I did above) for the sake of the poster who had the initial questions, and I think we've covered as much as we can at this time. Thanks for the dialogue.

Thank you and I promise to read through all this. After I wrote life got out of control time wise with one thing and two more. :rolleyes:

LookingUp
Mar 22nd 2010, 04:36 AM
Thank you and I promise to read through all this. After I wrote life got out of control time wise with one thing and two more. :rolleyes:Hi beachbum53. Thanks for your comment in the rep. section. Trying to reconcile God’s goodness with suffering is a challenge for so many people (including me!).

When I asked the question, “If God knew for certain particular children would grow up to be rapists, into child porn, sex trafficking, murderers, etc., then why did He fashion them together in their mothers wombs,” I asked not to advocate the traditional way of thinking which says that everything that happens in life is within God’s will or control, but to challenge us to question what we’ve been taught. Those who hold this traditional view (& I was one) would say that all the evil and suffering take place because it’s all for the greater good…somehow. In other words, God allowed (even predetermined!) evil (& thus suffering) to enter our world BECAUSE it’s all for the greater good, rather than considering that God is perfect LOVE and desired love for His creation (which required/demanded free will & thus the POSSIBILITY of evil & suffering) and determined that love, which required freedom, was worth the risk that evil MIGHT possibly enter into His plan for creation even though He opposed it (as it is completely contradictory to His nature).

The thing is, that question I asked should NOT ever be legitimately asked—it assumes God does know FOR CERTAIN that evil WILL happen (it’s asking the wrong question!). The question we should ask is, “Since this evil and resulting suffering has taken place, how can we (as the Body of Christ) help?”. We are to work to heal those with illness, to give sight to those in spiritual darkness, to deliver those from the demonic oppression, and to offer comfort those who mourn. Isn’t that what Christ did?

The assumption intrinsic in the question above (i.e. God knew they’d be rapists and made them anyway) goes against the very heart of the God revealed to us in Scripture (i.e. Jesus is God). If we accept that Christ Jesus is the exact imprint and perfect image of the invisible God, then we can look at the life and ministry of Christ Jesus (God) to know what God’s character and heart look like. Christ’s ministry was filled with healing the diseased, giving sight to the blind, casting out demons of those possessed, and raising the dead. He fought against ALL suffering and blamed these evils on demonic forces (not on God!). I’m not saying this means ALL diseases and illnesses are a result of Satan, but it does show that these cases of suffering were NOT in God’s will at all—they were in Satan’s will! And the central way Christ functions as the imprint and image of God is by dying on the cross. God was overthrowing sin and Satan through His death and resurrection. Surely this shows us that God’s omnipotence does not mean that God always gets His way. Sheer power is not the way God controls this universe. God’s omnipotence (power) is not primarily about control but about His compelling love—the unsurpassable love of dying on the cross to alleviate the suffering of sinners and reconcile them to God. What does God think about the suffering of His creatures? Look at Christ (who is God). He was willing to go through agonizing suffering to make sure we don’t have to endure the suffering we deserve. And not only that (oh no!), but instead of getting the suffering we deserve we experience sheer ecstasy in His triune love for eternity. What kind of love it this!? It’s simply unsurpassable. Can I get a hallelujah?! Praise God! Oh praise God!

Christ’s entire life (and especially death!) manifests the true God--it truly reveals who God is. Jesus is the perfect expression of who God is—His character AND His will. If you want to know God’s will, look at the life of Christ. We need to allow God to define Himself in Christ (shouldn’t we allow Him to do that?). All we know (or think we know) needs to be filtered through God’s revelation of who He is in Christ. Having said all this, can we really ask the question, “If God knew for certain particular individuals would grow up rapists, etc., why did He fashion them…”? How can we ask such a question while we know the heart of God? He is against ALL evil and suffering!

But…He gave us the book of Job. What does it say? That would take a long post, but in a nutshell, I believe it says that Job’s friends and even Job were asking the wrong question (i.e. it wasn’t Job’s fault AND it wasn’t God’s fault!). God answered by showing Job (& us) that we are unable to know for certain WHY bad things happen to good people, because we are finite (i.e. creation is unfathomably complex AND there are Satanic forces at work that we know nothing about). But certainly we are NOT to blame evil and suffering on the person (as if a believer’s sin brought it on) or on God (as if He arbitrarily chooses who will experience suffering & who will not). The question we ask (“Why me and not him” or “Why him and not me”) is the wrong question, because the focus is misguided. The answer does not lie in the person (necessarily) or in God’s will (necessarily).

In the long run, we must trust that God DOES hear our prayers, He encourages us to pray OFTEN and WITH one another, He promises our prayers DO have an impact on things, and that He is working against ALL evil and suffering along with us. He is not contributing to evil and suffering (God forbid!)! That is totally inconsistent with the God revealed to us in the picture of Christ Jesus, who is the perfect and complete revelation of God.

beachbum53
Mar 22nd 2010, 10:39 PM
QUOTE Can I get a hallelujah? Christ’s entire life (and especially death!) manifests the true God--it truly reveals who God is. Jesus is the perfect expression of who God is—His character AND His will. If you want to know God’s will, look at the life of Christ...QUOTE

Yep Looking Up you get a bunch of hallelujahs' :pp :)

You're very kind to take the time to write this and I read it numerous times this morning. I copied your sentence above which makes perfect sense. I know God wants us to have a life that is abundant and joyful.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

One of my favorites

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.”

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

still have to 'ponder' Psalm 139...;)

I came home from work yesterday morning and was reading FB and saw from a young friend I used to work with that her friend's fiance had died at 26; as I was telling my husband he said....Now I'm just asking you, does that mean God knew this was going to happen? :giveup: :lol: He thinks I know more than I do and understand everything....:o

I said I DON"T KNOW :D

THANKS SO MUCH!!

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 12:11 AM
QUOTE Can I get a hallelujah? Christ’s entire life (and especially death!) manifests the true God--it truly reveals who God is. Jesus is the perfect expression of who God is—His character AND His will. If you want to know God’s will, look at the life of Christ...QUOTE

Yep Looking Up you get a bunch of hallelujahs' :pp :)

You're very kind to take the time to write this and I read it numerous times this morning. I copied your sentence above which makes perfect sense.You’re welcome.


I know God wants us to have a life that is abundant and joyful.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.When bad things happen, I need to remember that. Too many times I have blamed God in my heart for things that I had no business blaming Him for. If I keep my eyes on the beautiful picture of God revealed to us in Christ, I will be strengthened in times of doubt, knowing that God builds up and it is Satan who tears down.


One of my favorites

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.” What does this say to you?


16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

still have to 'ponder' Psalm 139...;)What do you ponder?


I came home from work yesterday morning and was reading FB and saw from a young friend I used to work with that her friend's fiance had died at 26; as I was telling my husband he said....Now I'm just asking you, does that mean God knew this was going to happen? :giveup: :lol: He thinks I know more than I do and understand everything....:o

I said I DON"T KNOW :D“I don’t know” is a wise answer, because it’s an admission that there are times we are unable to know things about the complexity of the universe and the way God operates. But it’s also a time we can ask other questions. If God did know for certain that this young man would die at 26, were there ever any real options he wouldn’t die at 26? The answer (in my mind, at least) is no. What God knows to be true about the future will become true in our future.

But, where does that leave the power of prayer? Again, I submit evidence from the Bible that prayer is powerful and effective and can make a difference, even in the length of one’s life (Isa. 38). After learning that his death was imminent, Hezekiah prayed and God changed the length of his life by 15 years! So, how many days were ordained for Hezekiah? The one with the 15 years added or the other one? How many days were written in the Lord’s book before one of them came to be? The life span with the 15 years added or the other one?

When we think about tragedies, we need to remember that God created a world where free will is real. There are so many variables at work when something happens (the free will of all kinds of beings from the past to the present), and if God stopped every bad thing from happening by interfering with free will every time it opposed His will, the nature of reality would not be what it was created to be; it would be a different kind of reality.

Lots to think about.


THANKS SO MUCH!!Thank you!

anthony57
Mar 23rd 2010, 01:40 AM
beach:


does God know this will happen before that person is born

Our days have been determined by God job 14:5

Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 02:10 AM
beach:



Our days have been determined by God job 14:5

Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;Even if this says God knows how long a person will live before he is even born, it does NOT say God knows HOW a person will die before the person is born.

Furthermore, I wouldn’t want to use the book of Job to support my theology when one of the aims of the author of the book is to refute Job’s theology. When God is done talking about the complexity of creation to reveal how little Job could possibly know, Job confesses, “I have uttered what I did not understand” (Job 42:3) and he repents (v. 6). Therefore, we can’t endorse Job’s theology; one in which the Lord refutes and of which Job repents.

Lastly, we need look no further than the life of Hezekiah in the book of Isaiah to discover that the days of one’s life are not necessarily settled.

Athanasius
Mar 23rd 2010, 03:10 AM
Even if this says God knows how long a person will live before he is even born, it does NOT say God knows HOW a person will die before the person is born.

Furthermore, I wouldn’t want to use the book of Job to support my theology when one of the aims of the author of the book is to refute Job’s theology. When God is done talking about the complexity of creation to reveal how little Job could possibly know, Job confesses, “I have uttered what I did not understand” (Job 42:3) and he repents (v. 6). Therefore, we can’t endorse Job’s theology; one in which the Lord refutes and of which Job repents.

Lastly, we need look no further than the life of Hezekiah in the book of Isaiah to discover that the days of one’s life are not necessarily settled.

Don't take this the wrong way -- have you ever taken any courses in logic, or argumentation? Because your reasoning is very flawed (fallacious, actually; known as the argument from silence)...

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 03:35 AM
Don't take this the wrong way -- have you ever taken any courses in logic, or argumentation? Because your reasoning is very flawed (fallacious, actually; known as the argument from silence)...And what way should I take it exactly? Do you really think your comment is at all productive? Maybe you should consider the intentions of your heart before posting.

My B.S is in Speech Communication and my M.S is in Family Environmental Sciences. Both logic and argumentation were required courses. Most recently, I've taken one year of college coursework in Biblical Studies. Is there anything else you'd care to know?

anthony57
Mar 23rd 2010, 04:51 AM
look:


it does NOT say God knows HOW a person will die before the person is born.

why would you think God does not know that ? You dont believe God knows all things ?

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 04:58 AM
look:



why would you think God does not know that ? You dont believe God knows all things ?I said that it can't be supported by this passage. Show me where this passage shows that God knows HOW a person will die before the person is born.

anthony57
Mar 23rd 2010, 05:07 AM
I said that it can't be supported by this passage

In your opinion it cant, so answer the question please, do you believe God knows all things ?

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 05:53 AM
In your opinion it cant, so answer the question please, do you believe God knows all things ?Show me how it can.

anthony57
Mar 23rd 2010, 01:17 PM
Show me how it can.

Are you going to answer the question ? It is a simple yes or no, do you believe God knows all things ?

beachbum53
Mar 23rd 2010, 03:25 PM
Many yrs ago I read the Psalm in the translations I used the way I had it written in above verse (Psalm)

I never took the time to study it, always presumed it meant days and didn't really give it much more thought till lately.

KJV

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

I'll use the excuse that all the meds I take have made me 'dumb'..:lol: Truth is I think they really do BUT.....finally dawned on me to look in my Strong's Conc.... and members in Hebrews part-limb.....3338 then it refers to 3335...form, fashion, frame (( there is more but don't have time now))

So between the free will that God gave us and using members instead of days this makes sense to me...God knew how He was going to make us...instead of knowing the number of our days

Debate nicely :spin: :D

theBelovedDisciple
Mar 23rd 2010, 03:40 PM
He that hath the hairs of your head 'numbered'....

CERTAINLY, knows the number of your days...

He knew the day you were born.. He knows the Day when you will take your last physical breath...

One who is the Author and Finisher of the Salvation He has granted you.. SURELY 'knows' your days....

and the 'number' of them...

He knew the day He would Saved me.. He knew the Place and time.. Feb 3, 1994...

He 'knew' that He would visit me in the Night.. to Reveal Himself to me...

He 'knew' that even before I was born...

He 'knows' and He is ABLE.....

The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob is not a 'weak' God who sits in Heaven unable and incapable of bringing His plan to Pass.. neither is He subject nor dependant on the will of men.... and He is not at the beckoning call of man... uh uh...

that is a 'man centered God'... and a man centered salvation.... which is very evident in these last days.. and this will be the final religion on this planet.. as well as man's final solution as the strong delusion is set forth and spread.... that they should believe the 'lie'.. that man can become his/her own god.. becoming as 'gods'... knowing good and evil...

theBelovedDisciple
Mar 23rd 2010, 03:58 PM
Even if this says God knows how long a person will live before he is even born, it does NOT say God knows HOW a person will die before the person is born.

Furthermore, I wouldn’t want to use the book of Job to support my theology when one of the aims of the author of the book is to refute Job’s theology. When God is done talking about the complexity of creation to reveal how little Job could possibly know, Job confesses, “I have uttered what I did not understand” (Job 42:3) and he repents (v. 6). Therefore, we can’t endorse Job’s theology; one in which the Lord refutes and of which Job repents.

Lastly, we need look no further than the life of Hezekiah in the book of Isaiah to discover that the days of one’s life are not necessarily settled.

The Psalmist tells us that if you are His..


then the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.. He will be their Guide even unto Physical death...

For this God [is] our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide [even] unto death.


Here you have David under the inspiriation of the Holy Ghost.. writing that God will be His Guide even unto physical death......

How can one that Guides a person thru Life.. NOT KNOW.. how that person will take their last physical breathe?

you state God cannot know how a Person will die? is this what your saying?

can I ask you a question..

Did Jesus who is God in the flesh.. did He 'know' how He would physically die?

that should tell you right there..

He 'knows' the number of the days of His Own..... and the time and place and how they will physically expire..

He even told Peter before He ascended how he would die..

Once again we have a God who is unable and incapable of seeing His Will thru.. according to His foreknowledge...

God is pictured and portrayed as 'unable' and 'incapable'.. totally and willfully dependant on 'man'... God's Sovereign Will is at the beckoning call of Man..

that is another'god'.. and another gospel...

Not the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.. the God who Promised His Children Eternal Life.. thru what His Son has Accomplished on that bloody Tree...

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 04:04 PM
Are you going to answer the question ? It is a simple yes or no, do you believe God knows all things ?anthony,

You continue to ask me a question that is not relevant to what you are arguing. It doesn’t matter what I believe about God. What matters is what Scripture teaches about God.

In post #74, you told beachbum that God knows how a person will die before they are born and you gave Job 14:5 as evidence. I have been asking you to simply show us all where in that verse it shows us that God knows HOW a person will die before they are born. I’m willing to accept anything that Scripture can prove.

Here, I’ll paste it and you underline the part that says God knows how we will die before we are born:

Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with you; and his limits you have set so that he cannot pass. Job 14:5

It is possible that the length of our lives can be altered. This is not my opinion; this fact is supported with Scripture (Isa. 38). Hezekiah was genuinely going to die at a certain age (God did not lie when He told Hezekiah he was going to die). If, from Hezekiah’s birth, God knew FOR CERTAIN the exact day of Hezekiah’s death as SETTLED FACT, then God could not change the exact day of Hezekiah’s death, because what God knows as settled fact will indeed become settled fact (that’s what makes it settled fact)! But He did change the day of Hezekiah’s death. This means, logically, that God did not know FOR CERTAIN the day of Hezekiah’s death as SETTLED FACT before Hezekiah was born.

beachbum53
Mar 23rd 2010, 04:15 PM
Beloved,

I'm never going to get my floors done :lol:

But I had to log in and say I agree with everything you say and have always believed it. Esp. want to say I agree with your statement here. This man made religion you are talking about just saddens me and I don't want anyone to think I believe in anything but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob is not a 'weak' God who sits in Heaven unable and incapable of bringing His plan to Pass.. neither is He subject nor dependant on the will of men.... and He is not at the beckoning call of man... uh uh...

that is a 'man centered God'... and a man centered salvation.... which is very evident in these last days.. and this will be the final religion on this planet.. as well as man's final solution as the strong delusion is set forth and spread.... that they should believe the 'lie'.. that man can become his/her own god.. becoming as 'gods'... knowing good and evil...

It all goes back to my OP which still confuses me some but I will just rest in the fact that we serve an all knowing powerful Holy God who gave His Son to me.

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 04:27 PM
The Psalmist tells us that if you are His..

then the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.. He will be their Guide even unto Physical death...

For this God [is] our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide [even] unto death.

Here you have David under the inspiriation of the Holy Ghost.. writing that God will be His Guide even unto physical death......

How can one that Guides a person thru Life.. NOT KNOW.. how that person will take their last physical breathe?I’m not saying God doesn’t know how a person will die. But at what point in our life does He know HOW (and when for that matter) we will die? Again, going back to Isa. 38, I must concede that God does not always know the length of one’s life as settled fact. This is not my opinion; it is what Scripture teaches.


you state God cannot know how a Person will die? is this what your saying?See above.


can I ask you a question..

Did Jesus who is God in the flesh.. did He 'know' how He would physically die?

that should tell you right there..

He 'knows' the number of the days of His Own..... and the time and place and how they will physically expire..The death of Christ was predetermined. Just because He predetermines SOME things isn’t proof He predetermines ALL things.


He even told Peter before He ascended how he would die..I agree there are some things God predetermines.


Once again we have a God who is unable and incapable of seeing His Will thru.. according to His foreknowledge...Where did I say that He is unable and incapable to “see His will through”? That His creatures have genuine free will and therefore can choose to freely love Him does not threaten His redemptive plan for mankind; it’s an integral part of it.


God is pictured and portrayed as 'unable' and 'incapable'.. totally and willfully dependant on 'man'... God's Sovereign Will is at the beckoning call of Man..

that is another'god'.. and another gospel...

Not the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.. the God who Promised His Children Eternal Life.. thru what His Son has Accomplished on that bloody Tree...God allowed His free will agents to beat Him and put Him to death. Did that threaten His omnipotence?

What is it about God allowing His free will agents to choose Him or not choose Him that you think threatens God’s omnipotence?

anthony57
Mar 23rd 2010, 04:37 PM
looking:


anthony,

You continue to ask me a question that is not relevant to what you are arguing. It doesn’t matter what I believe about God.

So I guess you will not be answering the question, so do not expect any answers from me, fair enough ?

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 04:38 PM
Many yrs ago I read the Psalm in the translations I used the way I had it written in above verse (Psalm)

I never took the time to study it, always presumed it meant days and didn't really give it much more thought till lately.

KJV

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

I'll use the excuse that all the meds I take have made me 'dumb'..:lol: Truth is I think they really do BUT.....finally dawned on me to look in my Strong's Conc.... and members in Hebrews part-limb.....3338 then it refers to 3335...form, fashion, frame (( there is more but don't have time now))

So between the free will that God gave us and using members instead of days this makes sense to me...God knew how He was going to make us...instead of knowing the number of our daysI commend you for digging deeper. Well done.

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 04:39 PM
looking:



So I guess you will not be answering the question, so do not expect any answers from me, fair enough ?No more games. Good day.

beachbum53
Mar 23rd 2010, 05:00 PM
beloved,

Thinking about my last statement that I said I agreed with everything you said... then in my previous post said maybe He doesn't know ((days)) :rolleyes: Sorry about that..

I have always believed everything you wrote...Just in the past weeks thinking about our number of days with the circumstances I originally posted about I started thinking about free will and evil after reading the posts. But I have to again say yes because you're correct with all He is He must know...

Isaiah scripture could be God showing He does indeed answer prayer.

The psalm I think is talking about our inward parts......

Anyway I thank you all....

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 05:30 PM
beloved,

Thinking about my last statement that I said I agreed with everything you said... then in my previous post said maybe He doesn't know ((days)) :rolleyes: Sorry about that..

I have always believed everything you wrote...Just in the past weeks thinking about our number of days with the circumstances I originally posted about I started thinking about free will and evil after reading the posts. But I have to again say yes because you're correct with all He is He must know...It’s OK—this is a tough subject. Did you ever get to those floors? LOL!

Most would say that since God knows all things, this must mean He knows all things about the future. But we can only be sure of this (that He knows all things about the future) if we can know for certain that the future is a “thing” that can be known. I, personally, have not found Scripture nor scientific evidence that proves that the future is a created “thing” that can be known. We do see that God can control or manipulate events, so that a predetermined event will come to pass as God has said it would come to pass. But that doesn’t prove that all future events are settled fact; that just proves that God is infinitely wise and infinitely resourceful and infinitely powerful.

If it is true that God chose to create a reality where the nature of the future is not ALL settled fact, then this was His doing and His choice. Just as God cannot logically make a round square (since by making it a square logically eliminates the possibility that it can be round), He cannot logically know all the future as settled fact if the reality of the future is partially composed of possibilities. Just as being unable to make a round square doesn’t make God weak neither does being unable to know an unknowable future make God weak. This prospect frightens people because, as finite beings, we can’t fathom how God could have control over the future if He can’t look into His crystal ball. Because God is infinitely intelligent and infinitely resourceful, He doesn’t have to know the future as settled fact to be completely prepared for every possible outcome. He’s dealing with only a finite set of possibilities.


Isaiah scripture could be God showing He does indeed answer prayer.Exactly! Prayer is the key to understanding all of this! If God can really and truly respond to prayer, the future is not all settled fact. If we can change what God supposedly sees in His crystal ball through our prayers (as Hezekiah did), then what God sees is not a settled future at all; it’s a possible future.

Athanasius
Mar 23rd 2010, 06:45 PM
And what way should I take it exactly? Do you really think your comment is at all productive? Maybe you should consider the intentions of your heart before posting.

My B.S is in Speech Communication and my M.S is in Family Environmental Sciences. Both logic and argumentation were required courses. Most recently, I've taken one year of college coursework in Biblical Studies. Is there anything else you'd care to know?

I think my comment is productive yes, don't presume to know the state of my heart. If I am at all honest, I desire truth far more than I'm concerned with my own or anyone else's feelings. That's not to say that I ruthlessly desire truth, or do so at the expense of others. But that I'm not afraid to ask certain questions, like the one above.

So tell me, how have you concluded that God can know the length of our days before we are born, and yet not know the means by which we will die before we are born? If it's simply because you don't see this stated explicitly, then I would submit that this is the worst form of the "argument from silence" possible. By what would appear to be your own criteria you cannot argue from Isaiah 38 that God did not know how Hezekiah would die, because it does not say anything approaching the above ("I, God, did not know when you would die, Hezekiah, so here's another 15 years!). Rather, Isaiah 38 simply states that Hezekiah was going to die, prayed, and God added 15 years to his life (a "blessing," though the children produced in that 15 years were not). It's very obvious, though, that if Hezekiah had not prayed, he would have died (as per v.1). I think you're using bad logic, bad argumentation and poor biblical analysis... And everyone sees it.

Edit* And I wanted to add that there isn't a "future" for God, everything is eternally present. Thus, any argument based in the thought "God doesn't know the outcome of the future!" is actually really poor, because they are predicated upon a fundamental error--that God is inside time.

Athanasius
Mar 23rd 2010, 07:09 PM
Most would say that since God knows all things, this must mean He knows all things about the future. But we can only be sure of this (that He knows all things about the future) if we can know for certain that the future is a “thing” that can be known. I, personally, have not found Scripture nor scientific evidence that proves that the future is a created “thing” that can be known. We do see that God can control or manipulate events, so that a predetermined event will come to pass as God has said it would come to pass. But that doesn’t prove that all future events are settled fact; that just proves that God is infinitely wise and infinitely resourceful and infinitely powerful.

I would say 1 Samuel 23 has some examples of these things.

1 Samuel 23:9-12

9When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, "Bring the ephod." 10 David said, "O LORD, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD, God of Israel, tell your servant."
And the LORD said, "He will."

12 Again David asked, "Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?"
And the LORD said, "They will."

1 Samuel 23:1-4

1When David was told, "Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors," 2 he inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?"
The LORD answered him, "Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah."

3But David's men said to him, "Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!"

4Once again David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, "Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand."

Frankly, I think you're denying Scripture in an attempt to give God an "out" for suffering, I also don't know why you're looking for scientific evidence that the future is a "created 'thing'"--such a question would be outside of the realm of science, at least for the time being. We can study "time," but to answer the question, "is the future created" is one for philosophers and theologians... Almost all of whom disagree with you. This is to say that as per my last post, "the future" is a construct of human perception. As has been said by C.S Lewis and countless others: there is no "future" or "past" for God, he is contemporary with all periods in "time". It's a benefit of being outside of time.

Now with the above you have two things happening 1) God telling David the future, and 2) God "manipulating" an event. As has been proposed by myself and others, it seems likely that God not only knows the choices we will make (and have omniscient knowledge of everything in reality), but the choices we could have - but ultimately didn't - make, and thus have full knowledge of what would have happened in making those decisions.

What you're basically saying is this, and I think it's dishonest: "we have proof that God is infintely wise, infinitely resourceful and infinitely powerful... but since 'X' is stated explicitly, I reject it". Do you see the disconnection between those statements? And, to cut you off before you say it, this isn't a case of "that isn't supported in such-and-such scripture". There are Scriptures which support it, they have been cited, you reject them because of their lack of being explicit, yet draw the opposite conclusion--you make the same mistake you believe others are making.



If it is true that God chose to create a reality where the nature of the future is not ALL settled fact, then this was His doing and His choice. Just as God cannot logically make a round square (since by making it a square logically eliminates the possibility that it can be round), He cannot logically know all the future as settled fact if the reality of the future is partially composed of possibilities.

Actually, the problem with a round-square is that it's a contradiction in terms, it's linguistic nonsense. It's not actually a description of some possible thing. Again, there is no reality where God could not know 'the future' because God does not experience time in the same way we do. Which is the mistake you're consistently making.



Just as being unable to make a round square doesn’t make God weak neither does being unable to know an unknowable future make God weak

That's incorrect. A round-square is a logical impossibility, a thing that cannot be actualized, a linguistic contradiction. If God made a unknowable future that God would be creating something higher than Himself. Which would make him weak.



This prospect frightens people because, as finite beings, we can’t fathom how God could have control over the future if He can’t look into His crystal ball. Because God is infinitely intelligent and infinitely resourceful, He doesn’t have to know the future as settled fact to be completely prepared for every possible outcome. He’s dealing with only a finite set of possibilities.

It frightens me because it's wrong.



Exactly! Prayer is the key to understanding all of this! If God can really and truly respond to prayer, the future is not all settled fact. If we can change what God supposedly sees in His crystal ball through our prayers (as Hezekiah did), then what God sees is not a settled future at all; it’s a possible future.

That's non-sequitur. Nothing in the story of Hezekiah suggests that God didn't know that He would add 15 years to Hezekiahs life. It would be strange, after all, for God to simply add 15 years to Hezekiah's life because of a prayer Hezekiah didn't make, in response to a prophecy that wasn't delivered.

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 08:11 PM
I think my comment is productive yes, don't presume to know the state of my heart.Yet you presume to know what “everyone” sees. Hmmm…


If I am at all honest, I desire truth far more than I'm concerned with my own or anyone else's feelings. That's not to say that I ruthlessly desire truth, or do so at the expense of others. But that I'm not afraid to ask certain questions, like the one above.

So tell me, how have you concluded that God can know the length of our days before we are born, and yet not know the means by which we will die before we are born? If it's simply because you don't see this stated explicitly, then I would submit that this is the worst form of the "argument from silence" possible. By what would appear to be your own criteria you cannot argue from Isaiah 38 that God did not know how Hezekiah would die, because it does not say anything approaching the above ("I, God, did not know when you would die, Hezekiah, so here's another 15 years!). Rather, Isaiah 38 simply states that Hezekiah was going to die, prayed, and God added 15 years to his life (a "blessing," though the children produced in that 15 years were not). It's very obvious, though, that if Hezekiah had not prayed, he would have died (as per v.1). I think you're using bad logic, bad argumentation and poor biblical analysis... And everyone sees it.

Edit* And I wanted to add that there isn't a "future" for God, everything is eternally present. Thus, any argument based in the thought "God doesn't know the outcome of the future!" is actually really poor, because they are predicated upon a fundamental error--that God is inside time.The idea that God is “outside of time” cannot be proven. We throw that phrase around like it’s scientific fact or even biblical fact. Those who hold to that view may want to seek to determine why they embrace it or even if they know what it really means (or not—it’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves what we have time and motivation for).

Isaiah 38 makes it perfectly clear that not all the future is settled fact, not even the length of one’s days, necessarily. Isaiah 38 makes it perfectly clear that God did not know as settled fact how Hezekiah would die. God told Hezekiah he was about to die from his illness. There is nothing to suggest God would lie or play games. Therefore, at that moment it was true that Hezekiah would soon die from his illness. Then, he prayed and God added 15 years to Hezekiah’s life. From Hezekiah’s birth, which settled fact did God see in His “crystal ball” at the beginning of the ages? To be clear, when I write “crystal ball”, I am referring to this supposed “eternal now” that God lives in “outside of time.”

If you answer the first (the one where Hezekiah dies from his illness was settled fact before the ages), then what was settled fact should have come to pass. That’s what makes it settled fact.

If you answer the second (the one where Hezekiah dies 15 years later was settled fact before the ages), then one must conclude that God was disingenuous with Hezekiah when He told him he would soon die from his illness.

Rather than believe God was disingenuous, I believe God was telling the absolute truth both times. In order to believe this and still be logical, I must conclude that some of the future is not settled fact before the ages, and in this case, not even the length of one’s life.


I would say 1 Samuel 23 has some examples of these things.Exactly. 1 Sam. 23:9-12 is a perfect example of the future being partially composed of possibilities and not settled fact from before the ages.


Frankly, I think you're denying Scripture in an attempt to give God an "out" for suffering,Which Scripture have I denied?


I also don't know why you're looking for scientific evidence that the future is a "created 'thing'"--such a question would be outside of the realm of science, at least for the time being. We can study "time," but to answer the question, "is the future created" is one for philosophers and theologians... Almost all of whom disagree with you. This is to say that as per my last post, "the future" is a construct of human perception. As has been said by C.S Lewis and countless others: there is no "future" or "past" for God, he is contemporary with all periods in "time". It's a benefit of being outside of time.Even if scientifically proven, I wouldn’t accept it as truth if Scripture taught an opposing view.


Now with the above you have two things happening 1) God telling David the future, and 2) God "manipulating" an event. As has been proposed by myself and others, it seems likely that God not only knows the choices we will make (and have omniscient knowledge of everything in reality), but the choices we could have - but ultimately didn't - make, and thus have full knowledge of what would have happened in making those decisions…I agree, as I mentioned to you previously, that God knows all possible decisions, including the ones we eventually do make. I just don’t think He sees the decisions we ultimately make as settled fact before we make them.

Athanasius
Mar 23rd 2010, 08:44 PM
Yet you presume to know what “everyone” sees. Hmmm…

Where have I done that?



The idea that God is “outside of time” cannot be proven. We throw that phrase around like it’s scientific fact or even biblical fact. Those who hold to that view may want to seek to determine why they embrace it or even if they know what it really means (or not—it’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves what we have time and motivation for).

It's a basic logical deduction. God created time, therefore, God is outside of time. By analogy, an author of a book is outside of his work--he is not bound by the limits and constraints of his authorship. It's philosophical, even theological knowledge. I wouldn't throw it around like "scientific fact", but I think I would as it is biblical fact. To say that God is within time is to say that God is created, finite. We know time had a beginning (in the big bang, or at the moment God spoke creation into existence), and so it's impossible - really impossible - for God to exist inside of that time. I've noticed that you tend to (or try to) cast a lot of doubt on positions "those who hold to that view may want to..." but you don't actually very often address the argument beyond a simple "that can't be proven" or "scripture doesn't (explicitly) say that".



Isaiah 38 makes it perfectly clear that not all the future is settled fact, not even the length of one’s days, necessarily. Isaiah 38 makes it perfectly clear that God did not know as settled fact how Hezekiah would die. God told Hezekiah he was about to die from his illness. There is nothing to suggest God would lie or play games. Therefore, at that moment it was true that Hezekiah would soon die from his illness. Then, he prayed and God added 15 years to Hezekiah’s life. From Hezekiah’s birth, which settled fact did God see in His “crystal ball” at the beginning of the ages? To be clear, when I write “crystal ball”, I am referring to this supposed “eternal now” that God lives in “outside of time.”

This isn't a case of God lying or playing games, you're "poisoning the well," as it were. It's also the case that "my" interpretation of Isaiah 38 matches up wonderfully with the rest of Scripture, whereas your interpretation doesn't. All Isaiah 38 says is that God told Hezekiah he was going to die (and not recover), Hezekiah prayed and God added years to his life (he recovered!). Now, we may presume that if Hezekiah had not prayed, then He would have died as He was told. But there is no indication of surprise or unknowingness on the part of God (in fact, Hezekiah's appeal to God speaks towards this absolute power that the Jews viewed God as possessing... As is proper) when Hezekiah's life is extended ("Oh geez, why didn't I think of that!"). I would propose that in this instance, we have God showing Hezekiah how dependent he (Hezekiah) was on Him--he would not have recovered except by the grace of God. I garner this from the simple observation that Hezekiah had no heirs at the time of this pronouncement, which would have been an issue as Hezekiah is listed in the Davidic line and a forefather of David. Thus, I would say that this goes to prove God's absolute foreknowledge of the future. It would be something akin to Jonah (which I'm surprised you haven't brought up yet).

Now, you might not like that explanation (as it's poor and incomplete and what not), however, you have a bigger problem... You'll see it in my last reply.



If you answer the first (the one where Hezekiah dies from his illness was settled fact before the ages), then what was settled fact should have come to pass. That’s what makes it settled fact.

If you answer the second (the one where Hezekiah dies 15 years later was settled fact before the ages), then one must conclude that God was disingenuous with Hezekiah when He told him he would soon die from his illness.

I would answer with a third: God had a purpose in causing Hezekiah to suffer, and that purpose, it would seem, produced an heir in the Davidic line. At least I like that possibility much more than the false dichotomy you're attempting to drag me into.



Rather than believe God was disingenuous, I believe God was telling the absolute truth both times. In order to believe this and still be logical, I must conclude that some of the future is not settled fact before the ages, and in this case, not even the length of one’s life.

No no, you see, God lied according to your view. He told Hezekiah that he would die, that he would not recover. He did not tell Hezekiah that he would probably die, and he did not tell Hezekiah that might not recover. God spoke in terms of absolutes, rather than probabilities. So, I think you have a much bigger problem explaining why God thinks He can absolutize these things, when He can't. It's unbelievable how that one would makes God a liar, if God is unsure of the future.

Anyway, I haven't really tried that line of argument before, so we'll see where it goes. But it does seem to me that a God who speaks in absolutes about the future is an inappropriate God, if He does not know the future. Makes me wonder why God doesn't speak in terms of probabilities, like you're saying He should...

Edit** You've mysteriously neglected the Scripture I quoted.

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 09:22 PM
Yet you presume to know what “everyone” sees. Hmmm…
Where have I done that?
I think you're using bad logic, bad argumentation and poor biblical analysis... And everyone sees it.


It's a basic logical deduction. God created time, therefore, God is outside of time…A brother in Christ explains it the following way.

Relatively Theory basically stipulates that whether an event is viewed as being in the past, present or future depends on where one is in relation to the event in question as well as how fast one is moving. Some people conclude from this that Relativity Theory lends support to the classical view of God in which God views all events of history as “an eternal now.” Since the open view of the future says that God faces a future partly comprised of possibilities, these people think Relativity Theory refutes the open view.

While this argument is commonly recited in books critical of the open view, it actually is based on a misunderstanding of Relativity Theory. Relativity Theory (both special and general relativity) apply only to finite points of reference within the space-time universe. An event “x” is past to one person, for example, present to another, and future to a third only because each of these people is a finite point of reference who is separated from the other two and who is (perhaps) traveling at a different velocity than the other two. Moreover, being separated from each other and the event in question, each must rely on light, traveling at a finite speed (186,000 miles per second) to convey information about the event. It is because of these conditions — and only because of these conditions — that each person experiences the time of the event in question differently.

But God, obviously, is not limited to any of these conditions. God is not finite, situated in one location over and against other locations or moving at a particular velocity. God is omnipresent—which means there is no distance between him and anything or any event in the universe. God is thus contemporary with every event. And so the timing of an event is not relative to God.
In other words, God knows when “now” is — in contrast to the past and future. God’s omnipresent “now” encompasses all the “nows” of every event and every point of reference. There is, therefore, a real past, a real future, and a real “now” for God. No finite point of reference — like a human being, for example — can have access to this “now.” For us, “when” an event happens is relative. But it is not for God.

An important aspect of the common misunderstanding of Relativity Theory is the mistaken idea that Relativity Theory applies to the future as well as to the present and past. It’s true that an event may lie in my future that is already present or past from other perspectives. Indeed, all events that a person experiences, other than those they themselves originate, are already past by the time they experience them, for it took light, traveling at a finite speed, to convey information about the event to them. But there is no perspective in which the events a person originates lie in the future for that person. Relativity theory actually rules out this possibility. In this sense Relativity Theory actually presupposes, rather than undermines, the reality of time.

So, there is nothing in Relativity Theory that argues against the Open View’s understanding that God faces a real future that is partly comprised of possibilities.

Perhaps the best book I’ve read that proves that Relativity Theory doesn’t undermine the reality of time is William Craig’s Time and Eternity. There’s also an excellent (but rather technical) discussion of Relativity Theory, arguing that it actually presupposes the reality of time rather than arguing against it, in Milic Capek’s, The Philosophical Impact of Contemporary Physics.

Athanasius
Mar 23rd 2010, 09:32 PM
A brother in Christ explains it the following way.

Relatively Theory basically stipulates that whether an event is viewed as being in the past, present or future depends on where one is in relation to the event in question as well as how fast one is moving. Some people conclude from this that Relativity Theory lends support to the classical view of God in which God views all events of history as “an eternal now.” Since the open view of the future says that God faces a future partly comprised of possibilities, these people think Relativity Theory refutes the open view.

While this argument is commonly recited in books critical of the open view, it actually is based on a misunderstanding of Relativity Theory. Relativity Theory (both special and general relativity) apply only to finite points of reference within the space-time universe. An event “x” is past to one person, for example, present to another, and future to a third only because each of these people is a finite point of reference who is separated from the other two and who is (perhaps) traveling at a different velocity than the other two. Moreover, being separated from each other and the event in question, each must rely on light, traveling at a finite speed (186,000 miles per second) to convey information about the event. It is because of these conditions — and only because of these conditions — that each person experiences the time of the event in question differently.

But God, obviously, is not limited to any of these conditions. God is not finite, situated in one location over and against other locations or moving at a particular velocity. God is omnipresent—which means there is no distance between him and anything or any event in the universe. God is thus contemporary with every event. And so the timing of an event is not relative to God.
In other words, God knows when “now” is — in contrast to the past and future. God’s omnipresent “now” encompasses all the “nows” of every event and every point of reference. There is, therefore, a real past, a real future, and a real “now” for God. No finite point of reference — like a human being, for example — can have access to this “now.” For us, “when” an event happens is relative. But it is not for God.

An important aspect of the common misunderstanding of Relativity Theory is the mistaken idea that Relativity Theory applies to the future as well as to the present and past. It’s true that an event may lie in my future that is already present or past from other perspectives. Indeed, all events that a person experiences, other than those they themselves originate, are already past by the time they experience them, for it took light, traveling at a finite speed, to convey information about the event to them. But there is no perspective in which the events a person originates lie in the future for that person. Relativity theory actually rules out this possibility. In this sense Relativity Theory actually presupposes, rather than undermines, the reality of time.

So, there is nothing in Relativity Theory that argues against the Open View’s understanding that God faces a real future that is partly comprised of possibilities.

Perhaps the best book I’ve read that proves that Relativity Theory doesn’t undermine the reality of time is William Craig’s Time and Eternity. There’s also an excellent (but rather technical) discussion of Relativity Theory, arguing that it actually presupposes the reality of time rather than arguing against it, in Milic Capek’s, The Philosophical Impact of Contemporary Physics.

Craig has written some good stuff, though he disagrees with your position. Actually, Craig is in opposition to Boyd (who you've quoted above). However, I haven't referenced or alluded to the theory of relativity.

LookingUp
Mar 23rd 2010, 09:36 PM
Craig has written some good stuff, though he disagrees with your position. Actually, Craig is in opposition so Boyd (who you've quoted above). However, I haven't referenced or alluded to the theory of relativity.Yikes. Never mind. I'm done here.

Athanasius
Mar 23rd 2010, 10:03 PM
Yikes. Never mind. I'm done here.

I mean, I don't have any particular "beef" with that quote from Boyd (except, perhaps, his doctrine of omnipresence), but wouldn't it have been easier to quote Craig? "Thus, the proper understanding of God, time, and eternity would be that God exists changelessly and timelessly prior to creation and in time after creation." I'm well aware of the philosophical problems that exist in the view of time that I presented (B-theory of time, as I'm sure you know--and is popular among those who adhere to Grudem's Systematic Theology), but I wanted to know how you would respond.

beachbum53
Mar 23rd 2010, 10:28 PM
Not any disrespect meant...post was intended for theBelovedDisciple..should have spelled name all out, sorry...



beloved,

Thinking about my last statement that I said I agreed with everything you said... then in my previous post said maybe He doesn't know ((days)) :rolleyes: Sorry about that..

I have always believed everything you wrote...Just in the past weeks thinking about our number of days with the circumstances I originally posted about I started thinking about free will and evil after reading the posts. But I have to again say yes because you're correct with all He is He must know...

Isaiah scripture could be God showing He does indeed answer prayer.

The psalm I think is talking about our inward parts......

Anyway I thank you all....