A Model for God's Knowledge

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by David Ekstrom, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. David Ekstrom

    David Ekstrom
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's a possible model.
    God transcends time and space. He is not part of our universe but can enter into it at will. Here's an analogy.
    From my dining room window, I can see a clothesline hanging in my backyard. Imagine that clothesline as time. I can see the whole thing at once. I can zoom in with a microscope and see the tiniest part of it. This is how God is related to our universe.
    Now imagine a flea walking on the line. (To make this work, imagine that the flea keeps walking in one direction and can't turn around.) To the flea, he sees just an inch ahead of him. Beyond that is non-existence (the future). If he looks behind him, he can only see an inch, beyond which is oblivion (the past). He exists at the point where oblivion meets non-existence. What's the point of it all?
    But I can see the flea. I can see clearly where he was. I can also see that in five minutes, he's going to come across a drop of honey I put on the clothesline for him. All of the flea's experiences are Now to me.
    My knowledge of the flea's past, present and future does not detract from the flea's freedom. In five minutes, the flea will be eating honey, as I determined. He will be doing it of his own free will.
     
  2. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,400
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting and very insightful David.
     
  3. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello David.
    Acts 17:28 `For in him we live and move and have our being.'...
    If you mean that God is unrestrained in His movement through time, that He can travel to the end and back this is not proven by scripture. I believe time is part of God and therefore He is in the groove as we all are. Time is not part of creation but part of God. If the past still exists as a reality then Christ is still on the cross.

    God sees the future not as an actuality but as a certainty which He will bring about. The past has gone and the future is yet to be.

    john.
     
  4. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,400
    Likes Received:
    0
    For an eternal being, there is no time!

    Eternal beings are not controlled by the movement of objects relative to other objects, which is the basis for time as man knows it.

    The creator is not subject to the creation. It is just the opposite, the creation is subject to the Creator.
     
  5. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Wes.
    How to measure time was provided by God for our benefit. Who says He sees time in the same way? To Him time is being.
    Man knows nothing about time only in it's passing.
    Show me scripture that time is part of creation and I will believe it but God cannot go against His nature.

    john.
     
  6. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,400
    Likes Received:
    0
    Man has known daytime from night time, planting time from Harvesting time, High tide from low tide, summer from winter, moon-rising from moon-setting, etc., etc., God created man to have the ability to know those things. God did not implant the knowledge as much as God made man "courious" about his environment and "discovered" those perpetual truthes!

    By the way, Adam never read the bible, Adam never read any "printed matter" for that matter, he instead discovered the truthes that creation willingly divulges!
     
  7. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    There has not really be a serious challenge to the fact that God has absolute foreknowledge. The problem is the Calvinist argument that foreknowledge would stop free will.

    If that were true then God does not have free will and neither did Christ since God knew all that Christ would do and all that HE will do.

    In fact that MOST RESTRICTIVE case of having "no choice" is to KNOW every word YOU will say for the next 10 years and unnable to change one single event/word/saying.

    God's SELF knowledge of HIS OWN actions (using the CAlvinist argument) Gives HIM the LEAST free will of ALL!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Psalms 90:1b-6 You have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. 3 You turn man to destruction, And say, "Return, O children of men." 4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. 5 You carry them away like a flood; They are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up: 6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up; In the evening it is cut down and withers.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

    Re 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

    Re 1:11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."

    Re 21:6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

    Re 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
     
  9. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,400
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wonder if this topic would exist if God has stopped at threeknowledge, or gone on to fiveknowledge.
     
  10. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your post reminded me of this verse:

    Eph 2:10

    10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
    NASU
     
  11. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,400
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know why it is called "foreknowledge".

    There is God the Father with one knowledge.
    God the Son with one knowledge.
    God the Holy Spirit with one knowledge.
    and there is man with one knowledge.

    That about sums it up, there you have it, foreknowledge!
     
  12. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Job 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 "Or who shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth and issued from the womb; 9 When I made the clouds its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band; 10 When I fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors; 11 When I said, 'This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!'

    Job 9:4 God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered? 5 He removes the mountains, and they do not know When He overturns them in His anger; 6 He shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble; 7 He commands the sun, and it does not rise; He seals off the stars; 8 He alone spreads out the heavens, And treads on the waves of the sea; 9 He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, And the chambers of the south; 10 He does great things past finding out, Yes, wonders without number.

    Psalms 147:1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. 2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. 4 He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name......... 15 He sends out His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly. 16 He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes; 17 He casts out His hail like morsels; Who can stand before His cold? 18 He sends out His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.
     
  13. whatever

    whatever
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know that I am not supposed to respond to you, but for the sake of truthfulness, here is what some real live Calvinists had to say on this subject:

    "God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any wise to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures."

    So, your claim that there is a "Calvinist argument that foreknowledge would stop free will" is proven to be false, and I am sure that you will stop making this false claim now that you know that it is false.
     
  14. David Ekstrom

    David Ekstrom
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob, Calvinists don't argue that absolute foreknowledge eliminates free will. They argue just the opposite. But the point they are trying to make is that some insist on a definition of free will that is not compatible with divine sovereignty or with absolute foreknowledge. Some, such as Clark Pinnock, argue that God cannot possibly know the future because such knowledge would take away free will. My illustration was intended to show that, despite the fact that it was known that the flea would eat the honey, the flea still had free will. As such, I don't think it's either an Arminian or a Calvinist argument.
     
  15. David Ekstrom

    David Ekstrom
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do believe that God transcends time and space. In fact, I think that time and space is the mode of being of the universe. It's interesting to know that the Bible says God created the heavens and the earth, not time and space.
    It's interesting that physicists believe that time began at the Big Bang.
    There's a difference between objective time, that is, a succession of moments, and subjective time, that is, our awareness of time passing due to natural cycles and our awareness of past, present and future. God is not subject to a succession of moments because He is infinite. He is not subject to subjective time because, at the very least, His memory and foreknowledge are infallible. But since, as I think is correct, He exists beyond time, He sees the past, present and future as though it were Now. Yes, Christ is the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, as far as God's knowledge is concerned. You must remember that it was the Word Incarnate that was crucified. But now I'm starting to get dizzy thinking about this and so I better stop before I say something wrong, if I haven't done so already.
     
  16. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    It would be difficult for 'Even' for an Arminian to argue that "absolute foreknowledge" is itself an argument FOR free will, much less a deterministic Calvinist.


    But they "invent" the contradiction in their failure to "be God".

    In other words they claim that IF God is limited human Calvinist - THEN God can not ALLOW free will and still really FOREKNOW because "What if the free will person does not CHOOSE what you foreknow". It is a circular argument and it is based on "Resoning as God".

    AGreed. But the problem is in the human innability to "BE God".

    I agree that BOTH have the problem that NEITHER "IS" God and neither has the ability to reason through how God can "create free will" AND yet God has "absolute foreknowledge" -- since they can do neither one.

    Just looking at Lucifer, the angels and Adam we "SEE" that God created free will that INCLUDES choosing AGAINST one's nature - (In this case - sinLESS nature).

    How He did it - we can not say.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Doesn't matter what God is, matters what God does.

    First, children play tic-tac-toe but adults don't. Why? bBecause an adult knows the end from the first move.

    Second, A parent teaching his child to play chess doesn't play his best game but plays in a way that will teach the child and keep his interest, hoping that some day the child will be able to beat him on his own.

    God, playing his best game, would be like an adult playing tic-tac-toe.

    If the purpose of God is that, in the end, a few people, either by choice or by election, will spend eternity saying nice things about God while the majority roasts in hell, then God is either infantile or crazy.
     
  18. David Ekstrom

    David Ekstrom
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    0
    Billwald, I don't follow your point. Are you saying that people will not go to hell? Or are you saying that God doesn't know if people will go to hell or not? Or are you saying that God does not purpose for people to go to hell?
    I'll assume you mean that last point. Only a very few Calvinists believe that God desires the damnation of the lost.
     
  19. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    True - but consider where the scenario is wrong according to scripture.

    #1. Sin is not be "established by God" in the form of "eternal rebellion". So no sinners cursing God for eternity.

    #2. The suffering of the wicked takes place IN the presence of the LAMB and therefore also of the SAINTS Rev 14:10 so we see it all we have first hand knowledge and experience of it all!

    #3. God does not do anything to discover something for Himself. Rather He is the great "caretaker" of intelligent life in the universe as well as the Creator of it. Col 1.

    So this means that what happens - happens for the BENEFIT of his intelligent creation. Doubtless they are not benefitted AT ALL by standing with Christ for eternity and watching their loved ones being tormented.

    This means that when God says "destroy" in Matt 10 He really MEANS that God "Destroys BOTH body and soul in fiery hell". Actually, really, literally.

    So in Rev 14:10 the torment is actually, literally, really IN the presence of the LAMB and of the saints AND it is REAL. But it also REALLY destroys the wicked!

    Once that fire-and-brimstone "Lake of Fire" event is over - the NEW EARTH is created and ALL tears are wiped away according to Rev 21.

    No standing around for eternity trying to get a Calvinist "joy" out of wathcing one's loved ones tormented "another day".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. Andre

    Andre
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree that foreknowledge does not constrain free will, although I believe the argument for this is much more subtle than most Christians realize.

    However, I think it is clearly false that the flea can eat the honey of its own "free will" if God has determined that this is what the fea will do. I want to be clear - when I read the word "determined", I construe in a "causal" sense not in a "foreknowledge" sense. So I would say things like "hitting the golf ball the wrong way determines that a slice will result".

    With that cleared up, I simply cannot see how any agent "A" can be free in respect to choice "x" (say, the flea eating the honey) if God has basically determined (caused, made it be so, etc.) that A will do x. The very meaning of the linguistic terms and the applcation of some basic principles of logic make this idea problematic.
     

Share This Page

Loading...