This is a reply to Skandelon's post in another thread: Here you must "beg the question" by assuming that man as a free moral agent must be such similarly to how God is such. This is yet another case of trying to interpret God from human observation (which, of course, is limited). We both appeal to mystery, of course, but I believe it is illogical to associate the "mystery" with the created being rather than the Creator Himself. In your view, you have the "mystery" being part of the warp and woof of the creature himself and independent from the purpose of the Creator, yet the creature can never logically understand his own intrinsic "mystery;" otherwise, the creature could control the "mystery" and attain perfection contrary to the dictates of Scripture. Your appeal to "mystery" intrinsic of the creature rather than the purpose of the Creator begs the question and is circular, because you assume the necessity of the "mystery" of libertarian free will for moral accountability, yet you cannot explain why moral accountability results, other than to appeal to this assumed "mystery." I would say that you are doing the question begging because you argue that any form of "determinism" must be necessarily rejected for choices to be morally accountable, thereby rejecting any explanation that logically requires what you reject. You assume that moral accountability requires libertarian free will (which you cannot define the reason this is so except by an appeal to "mystery"), then you use libertarian free will to argue the accountability of free creatures. It seems that we have to define what free actually means. You simply assume a definition of free by virtue of your "mysterious" libertarian free will, and then argue freedom based upon it. Your assertion of "logical and moral quandrums" assumes that this "mysterious" libertarian free will is necessary for moral accountability, still begging the question. As I said before, we both necessarily assert a "mystery" to our finite human minds. However, the "mystery" properly belongs with the Creator rather than the creation. The imago dei does not require that we have the ability to create information (or non-material reality) ex nihilo. The "image of God" is that we have an immaterial "part" of our being, that we are God-conscious, and that we have a volition that is aware of the concept of moral right and wrong. It does not require that we are lesser "gods" who can create part of reality ex nihilo. I am a software developer by profession and I understand the workings of computers, including how artificial intelligence is generated by pseudo-random values that appear random to any observer, but are really generated from complex mathematical formulas that use the time value of the system clock to regenerate and shuffle the sequence of the random value array. I understand that the objective nature of computers can never attain the incredible and "mysterious" subjective nature of the human will, and that is something to marvel at God's creation. Nevertheless, I have argued with atheists by using the architecture of a computer and the fact that all the activity of computers (including programs writing other programs) ultimately comes from the engineering of the computer whose origin cannot be explained by the computer itself. The computer must have been engineered by an intelligent mind autonomous from the computer. Similarly, information can only come from prior information, and to argue otherwise allows the atheist to try to argue that the universe (and the information contained therein) can come from non-information just like they can think that matter can pop into existence from "nothing" through quantum physics. We are not programmed machines, that is for sure, but that doesn't mean that we create ex nihilo either. Of course, and I have argued the Trinity exhaustively with some who try to rationalize God according to human terms for that very reason. God as "one Being, three Persons" is not something we can explain in human terms because the "mystery" lies with God. I argue the same thing with moral accountability and free will: the "mystery" lies with God and not with the creature as a necessity that God had to create little "gods" who are autonomous from Him for Him to be a morally good God. Of course! I just believe your assertion of libertarian free will is question begging because it tries to assume something to prove itself and tries to put the "mystery" intrinsically on the creature rather than the Creator. I hope my explanation of the "imago dei" and the differences with computers above answer this. We are very different from animals in that we have an immortal, immaterial being; a God-consciousness; and a moral awareness. This does not require that we have god-like ability to creation something ex nihilo. If what free creatures do is autonomous from God and is ex nihilo, upon what basis is this known by God and truly free from God? The reason that open theism is growing by leaps and bounds now is because of the deficiencies of the Arminian view of "simple foreknowledge" that is full of question begging. The argument against the Arminian view is not "trying to rationalize God," but rather hoping to avoid violating the law of non-contradiction. As we see in the "Molinist" text of Matthew 11:21: Mat 12:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. As I explained before, this text cannot possibly prove libertarian free will, because the statement by Jesus does not express a contra-causal condition. It is an if-then statement. If a certain set of conditions were true, a certain result would have occurred. Q. Who performs the "mighty works"? A. God Q. Who determined the condition that the "mighty works" would be performed in some cities but not in others? A. God (otherwise, Chorazin and Bethsaida would be victims of circumstance) Q. Who is morally accountable? A. Chorazin, Bethsaida, Tyre, and Sidon. Q. How are the choices demonstrated in this verse? A. Determined by secondary causation (i.e. compatibilism) Otherwise, you have a logical interdependency between God and man for both their beings. God the Creator is not dependent upon His own creation for the definition of His eternal being (His perfect knowledge). You have "backwards" determinism or "two-way" determinism. This is the circular result of the Arminian "simple foreknowledge" view. I do not believe that God is bound by a linear timeline. As someone who accepts Einstein's theories as accurate descriptions of the warp and woof of spacetime, I most certainly believe that God's being is not subject to it because He created it. I agree with the "eternal now" perspective. I believe my argument above still stands against a "simple foreknowledge" view of the "eternal now." The "eternal now" (of which I agree) does not negate the problem of logical interdependency between God and man for the definition of their being.