What is your definition of foreknowledge and...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Greektim, May 28, 2012.

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  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    is it consistent with logic and Scripture (not necessarily in that order ;))?
     
  2. agedman

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    This is consistent with my definition of foreknowledge: to know before


    "Now the word "foreknowledge" as it is used in the New Testament is less ambiguous than in its simple form "to know." If every passage in which it occurs is carefully studied, it will be discovered that it is a moot point whether it ever has reference to the mere perception of events which are yet to take place. The fact is that "foreknowledge" is never used in Scripture in connection with events or actions; instead, it always has reference to persons. It is persons God is said to "foreknow," not the actions of those persons. In proof of this we shall now quote each passage where this expression is found."

    "God foreknows what will be because He has decreed what shall be. It is therefore a reversing of the order of Scripture, a putting of the cart before the horse, to affirm that God elects because He foreknows people. The truth is, He "foreknows" because He has elected. This removes the ground or cause of election from outside the creature, and places it in God’s own sovereign will."

    "God did not elect any sinner because He foresaw that he would believe, for the simple but sufficient reason that no sinner ever does believe until God gives him faith; just as no man sees until God gives him sight."

    "God not only knew the end from the beginning, but He planned, fixed, predestinated everything from the beginning. And, as cause stands to effect, so God’s purpose is the ground of His prescience. If then the reader be a real Christian, he is so because God chose him in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), and chose not because He foresaw you would believe, but chose simply because it pleased Him to choose: chose you notwithstanding your natural unbelief. This being so, all the glory and praise belongs alone to Him. You have no ground for taking any credit to yourself. You have "believed through grace" (Acts 18:27), and that, because your very election was "of grace" (Rom. 11:5)."

    The above selections taken from The Attributes of God.​
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    Here's another good verse which supports A. W. Pinks view:
    Acts 2:23
    The KJV translates it as "determinate counsel. Either way we have God's decree and foreknowledge as separate entities, but the decree precedes the foreknowledge.

    The interesting thing about that verse is that even though the crucifixion took place just as God determined it from eternity, those who perpetrated the cruel event were held accountable. Paul called them godless (or lawless).
     
  4. OldRegular

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    John Dagg in his Manual of Theology writes of the foreknowledge of God as follows:

    It necessarily follows, that election is not on the ground of foreseen faith or obedience. On this point, the teachings of Scripture are clear. They are chosen not because of their holiness, but that they may be holy (Eph 1:4); not because of their obedience, but unto obedience (1 Pet 1:2). . . . The Scriptures teach that election is according to the foreknowledge of God (1 Pet 1:2). We are, however, not to understand the foreknowledge here mentioned, to be foreknowledge of faith or good works. Faith and good works do not exist, before the grace consequent on election begins to be bestowed; and therefore a foresight of them is impossible. Moreover, the objects of this divine foreknowledge are the persons of the elect, and not their faith or good works. . . . From a state of condemnation, God, according to His purpose in election, delivers some by His renewing grace, and this is no injury or disadvantage done to the rest. . . .

    http://drjamesgalyon.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/leading-southern-baptist-affirms-doctrine-of-election/
     
  5. humblethinker

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    To know all possibilities, their probabilities and those events that have neither but only certainty. This is consistent with scripture and logic.

    In what way would God, as described by exhaustive determination or by simple foreknowledge be able to know the future as consisting of any events having anything other than certainty? There can be no possibilities. The future consists of no possibilities only certainties, rendered as such by determinism or foreknowledge.
     
  6. Van

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    Five posts and not a shred of understanding of the biblical words translated as foreknowledge and foreknow. Four Calvinists and an Arminian.

    To have prior knowledge means to have knowledge obtained or formulated before the present. Thus a predetermined plan, formulated before creation and being fulfilled in the present would be by the foreknowledge of God.

    The reason why a dedicated band of deceivers puts out bogus information concerning the meaning of the word is to support their false doctrine. Simply put, they must redefine the meaning of words to pour their invented doctrine into scripture.

    To paraphrase Senator Baker of Tennessee, let’s explore “what did He know and when did He know it.” In the New Testament, Peter first mentions God’s foreknowledge (prognosis) in Acts 2:23 which says, “the Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”

    Here we see that God’s foreknowledge was coupled with a predetermined plan that God would bring to fruition by choosing individuals and compelling the events He foretold. So in this case, God’s foreknowledge does not necessarily indicate He is foreseeing future individual selections for salvation; rather it indicates that God knew before the time of Christ that He would bring His plan to fruition. Peter may only be acknowledging that the events of the cross were foretold in Scripture, and therefore foreknown and predestined by God.

    In Acts 26:5, Luke uses a similar word (proginosko), translated “known” to indicate that some Jews had previously known Paul, or known before, from the beginning. So here the word means something known before the time being, and is not tied with foretelling or predestining anything. So in this sense, knowledge that God held before the foundation of the world, He foreknew during Biblical times.

    Based on these verses, two similar Greek words (transliterated prognosis and proginosko) are translated as foreknowledge and knowledge. Both are based on two root terms, pro meaning before and gnosis meaning knowledge. Ginosko is a form of gnosis and means to acquire or attain knowledge. The key to understanding the terms as used in the Bible is to ask the question “Before what”. The common misconception is to say before means before it happened or in the future. So based on this idea, foreknowledge means knowledge of the future. But this is completely wrong. Before refers to before the present time, in the past. So foreknowledge refers to something know beforehand, some idea or plan or concept learned or formulated in the past that is being used in the present. It has nothing whatsoever to do with foreseeing the future.
     
    #6 Van, May 28, 2012
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  7. Iconoclast

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    :laugh::laugh::laugh: complete twaddle:wavey:
     
  8. Winman

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    I disagree with Van. I believe God can foresee the future and infallibly predict what will happen.

    Jhn 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

    Jhn 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
    71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

    It is undeniable that Jesus knew Judas would betray him. Now, there are only two possibilities here.

    #1 That Jesus knew Judas would betray him because it was determined and caused by God.

    #2 That Jesus infallibly knew Judas would betray him but did not determine or cause Judas's sin.

    Which of these supports scripture without contradiction?

    Jam 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
    14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

    James 1:13-14 says God does not tempt ANY man to sin. So, does #1 contradict this verse? YES.

    Does #2 contradict these verses in James 1? NO.

    To say God could only know Judas would betray Jesus because he had determined it would be to make God the author of sin.

    It is that simple folks.
     
  9. Greektim

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    Here is my problem with the above (and why i mentioned logic).

    You said:
    Logically, God is infallible.
    He knows the future (although you used the term foresee as if he views time linearly).
    Since God is infallible, then what he knows beforehand cannot be wrong and thus cannot occur any other way than the way he knew would happen.
    Therefore, even the events he "infallibly predict" are predetermined/predetermining since God cannot be wrong.

    So your view of foreknowledge is paradoxical. You argue for a view that means God's predetermined decrees are based on his foreknowledge only to result w/ his foreknowledge becoming a predetermining decree in themselves (assuming your definition of foreknowledge).
     
  10. humblethinker

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    So, at the beginning of time, does God know only all of the future events as to certainly transpire such that there are no other possibilities?
     
  11. Van

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    Winman, why say you disagree, and then agree with me. Can God foresee the future? Yes. Does foreknowledge have anything to do with foreseeing the future. No.

    Now when you say God can predict the future, that smacks of claiming He looks into His magic crystal ball, and tells us what will happen in a fixed future. Pure Twaddle.

    God can search our hearts and know our innermost thoughts and attitudes, so Jesus knew from the beginning of their discipleship who were the actual believers and who were the lip service believers.

    We have been all through your bogus and unbiblical views several times, you are unteachable.

    Judas was a lip service believer, a son of perdition from the beginning, when He was chosen. But after He was chosen to be the Betrayer, Judas's ability to trust in Christ was taken away.

    Your utterly unbiblical premise is that God cannot use a sinner's sinful action for His purpose. Until you see this light, you are in darkness spreading darkness. I asked you to read Habakkuk, and tell me about how God uses sinners.
     
  12. agedman

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    Folks note that Van must first malign before he approaches any Scripture as if that gives his argument foundation.

    Who does he malign? John Dagg, and A. W. Pink. Both highly respected as writers and scholars of Scriptures, by both Arminian and Calvin thinking.

    So, I will delete his maligning efforts and address what he pretends is Scripture proof for his view.


    Does anyone see the confused double talk of this part? God doesn't have foreknowledge to foresee the future.

    What basically Van is stating is his own view that God has no knowledge or specific control over events, people, and timing, but leaves it all up to chance.

    What Van hasn't admitted, though I haven't read every post of his, is that in his view, God is not all powerful, all knowing, all present, and has all authority. God is limited in some manner to time and space and must wait hopefully upon humankind to be the ultimate determiners of all destiny.


    Do you see the subtle bait and switch?

    Because humankind does not have a certain attribute, then God doesn't, either. He is using experiential knowledge that humankind gain and attempting to apply it to God. Very slyly he is stating that though God had knowledge that was held in eternity past, that somehow this knowledge was limited during Biblical times and God did not use "foretell(ing) and predestining anything."

    God doesn't experience a knowledge deficit, nor does He have to have experiential knowledge to know the future or foreknow.





    Ah, but he falls into a trap of his own making at this point.

    His "misconception" is that the "present time" was not the "present time" in the past. And the assumption that God is not the regulator of time and not conformed to the limits as humankind is to time.

    God is the beginning and the end. He knows all there is to know about the in between. There is NO PAST when it comes to God. Yesterday is a present as tomorrow.

    God did not have to have some formulation of an "idea or plan or concept learned" that He could then apply to the present.

    Van has a presentation in this post that is not the Scriptural presentation of God.

    This isn't the first marry-go-round on this topic with Van and I; I consider it won't be the last.

    This post is not made toward Van; rather, it is made that others who read and do not make comments may discern a bit more and using such edification come to a determination of their own. Either Van is right or the scholarship of historically recognized writers upon the topic.
     
  13. agedman

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    Van doesn't apparently believe that God told Noah, Elijah, Daniel, Elisha, Jeremiah ... specific fixed future events that did happen as God stated.

    But then according to the above, YOU don't believe that is possible.
     
  14. Winman

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    This is a contradiction. Foreknowledge by definition means to know something before it happens.

    Man cannot foresee the future, but God can. Do you think Satan will be following a script in Revelation? This is all just a big play? You are as much a determinist and fatalist as the Calvinists are.

    Man can make free will decisions, and God can adapt to them. This is shown in Esther.

    Est 4:13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
    14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

    Mordecai told his neice Esther that if she did not go before the king, that God would find another way to deliver the Jews. God is not locked in stone as you believe.


    Yes, and God knew from the beginning that Judas would betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. It was prophesied hundreds of years before Judas was even born. But God did not cause Judas to betray Jesus, God never causes any man to sin.

    I would call this irony.

    Jesus chose Judas because he knew he would betray him and bring prophecy to pass. That doesn't mean he caused Judas to commit this sin. God is not the author of sin.

    When have I ever said God does not use sinners to fulfill his purpose? God knew Joseph's brothers would hate him and desire to kill him. God knew they would sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt so that years later God would deliver Joseph's family. I have said this many times.

    But God did not cause Joseph's brothers to hate him, God never causes sin.

    What you do not realize is that God can use his foreknowledge to bring his purposes to pass exactly because we do not have foreknowledge. If Judas had understood the prophecy about the Lord being betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, he would have never committed this act.

    This is not my opinion, this is what the scriptures say;

    1 Cor 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

    Satan doesn't understand prophecy any better than we do. If he would have understood that he was defeating himself when he crucified Jesus, he would not have done so.

    Satan isn't going to follow a script when the events in Revelation take place, he is simply going to do his own thing. But you can bet everything will happen just as God said it would happen. This is foreknowledge.

    You can ridicule me all you want. God did determine that Jesus would go to the cross and die for our sins, and he did use Judas to accomplish this, because in his foreknowledge he knew Judas would betray Jesus. But in no way did God cause Judas to commit this sin, he did it of his own free will.

    Foreknowledge is the only way to understand how God brings about his purposes without being the author of sin. And God IS NOT the author of sin.
     
  15. humblethinker

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    This is interesting. I always thought this as well as thinking that God knew from creation with certainty everything I would choose to do. This seems to be how you believe. If so, then when does God adapt to our free will decisions?
    How would God use his foreknowledge to bring about his purposes? Would He use his foreknowledge of what will certainly happen in order to change reality so that something else will certainly happen?

    It seems to me that according to your veiw it is the case that God actualized a world in which he knew with certainty there would be sin. Therefore, how do you escape the claim that you make against the Calvinists, that their understanding makes God the author of sin? Would you use a similar secondary causes argument or appeal to mystery? If you appeal to mystery then how is your appeal ultimately better than the calvinist's?
     
    #15 humblethinker, May 28, 2012
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  16. Greektim

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    I think my post got lost in the wash, but I felt like I made a solid point and would like to hear a response.
    Here is my problem with the above (and why i mentioned logic).

    You said:
    Logically, God is infallible.
    He knows the future (although you used the term foresee as if he views time linearly).
    Since God is infallible, then what he knows beforehand cannot be wrong and thus cannot occur any other way than the way he knew would happen.
    Therefore, even the events he "infallibly predict" are predetermined/predetermining since God cannot be wrong.

    So your view of foreknowledge is paradoxical. You argue for a view that means God's predetermined decrees are based on his foreknowledge only to result w/ his foreknowledge becoming a predetermining decree in themselves (assuming your definition of foreknowledge).
     
  17. Winman

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    Well, I hope you aren't expecting me to explain the history of the world, but I can explain a little.

    I am not saying that God is sitting back and simply watching everything that takes place. God does certainly intercede at times to bring his purposes to pass.

    The best example I can give is that it was always Satan's desire to kill Jesus. He began in the wilderness when he tempted Jesus to jump off of the temple. Of course, Jesus did not fall for his trick.

    But the Jews tried to kill Jesus several times before the Passover when Jesus was determined by God to die. In these instances, God intervened and Jesus escaped.

    Luk 4:29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
    30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

    Here the Jews attempted to kill Jesus, but he passed through the midst of them and escaped. Some believe that Jesus might have become invisible to escape. But either way, God prevented Jesus from being killed before the correct time.

    Jhn 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
    59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

    Here again we see the Jews attempted to kill Jesus, but he hid himself and passed through the midst of them. So again, it is possible that he became invisible. How could he both hide himself and go through the midst of them?

    So, here are three instances where Satan attempted to kill Jesus but was prevented, because it was not the correct time.

    In the case of Joseph, I like to believe that God softened Reuben's heart so that Reuben talked his brothers out of killing Joseph, God knowing in his foreknowledge that a caravan would come along and they would choose to sell Joseph into slavery, but this is conjecture on my part. (Gen 37:21)

    But don't expect me to explain the history of the world.
     
    #17 Winman, May 28, 2012
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  18. Winman

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    The most famous example where we can directly see God's foreknowledge coming into play is the story of David when he was in the city of Keilah.

    1 Sam 23:9 And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.
    10 Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.
    11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the LORD said, He will come down.
    12 Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will deliver thee up.
    13 Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.

    Here we see David asked the Lord two questions. He asked if Saul would come down to Keilah after him. The Lord said he would come down. Then David asked if the men of Keilah would turn him over to Saul, the Lord answered that they would.

    Now, God does not ever lie, he was telling David the truth. But did Saul come down? NO. Because God in his foreknowledge warned David, and David fled the city. When Saul discovered that David had fled from Keilah, he decided not to come down to the city.

    So, here is an instance where we are shown God's foreknowledge to intercede and bring about his purpose of saving David.
     
    #18 Winman, May 28, 2012
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  19. Winman

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    The answer is quite simple, FREE WILL. Jesus said sin is NECESSARY, that is, it cannot be avoided.

    Mat 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

    God is love. God does not compel or force anyone to love him. Therefore he must give men free will to accept and love him, or to reject and hate him.

    There is no way to have free will and not have the possibility of sin. If men can choose good, they must by necessity be able to choose evil. It is unavoidable, even to God.

    I do not believe God could make us mindless robots or puppets. God is a moral person, he is love. Love never forces or constrains another, so God MUST give us free will. This free will enables sin, it cannot be avoided.

    See any mystery here?
     
  20. humblethinker

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    So, it seems that David asked God, "Given these set of circumstances, will this happen?". And God confirmed as much. Who says God used foreknowledge to know with certainty? Why would God have to use his foreknowledge to answer this? Why couldn't he just give an answer based on what God already knew... Which was that Saul had solidified his character such that in any scenario matching David's theoretical specifics there were no possibilities of Saul doing otherwise. There is no need for God to see into the future to have this kind knowledge of certainty.
     
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