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Time and Space: How it Relates to God's Decree

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Reformed, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member

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    How could God predestine anyone to eternal life or damnation before that person was born and made any choices good or bad? Besides the biblical evidence that God does exactly that (Jude 4; 1 Pet 2:8; JN 17:2; Ps 41:9; Prov 16:4; Rom 9:22), there is also a strong argument based on God's omniscience. I would like to discuss the following diagram:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member

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    Before creation there was just God. God, being omniscient, encompasses time and space. God views a thing has going to happen, happening, and happened all at the same time. God is not limited to the law of physics and is not bound by linear time since He created them. God saw the Christian coming to Him by faith before creation. God also sees the sinner denying in unbelief before creation. We are but bit players living out our lives in time.
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like you are talking above your pay grade.
     
  4. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member

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    I wish I could claim it was original to me. It actually is from an Arminian who used it to explain God's omniscience requiring Him to be outside and inside of space and time. I just borrowed his schematic. I shared it a few months back but not in this context.
     
  5. thatbrian

    thatbrian Active Member

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    Often, I see this debate as one of perspective. Calvinists are often trying to look at things from God's perspective, while their opposition is often looking at things more from man's perspective. *Thats not an insult. There are two perspectives to be studied here. Both are meaningful.

    Considering this, we have more in common than we imagine. For example, in my experience, I know that I came to Christ. But, I also know, that I was not seeking him. I never was. I know that he sought me. He rescued me. I simply thanked him, after the fact. All the promises I made to him were like a bride who makes promises AFTER the groom makes his promises to her.
     
  6. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

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    Putting lipstick on a skunk does not make it stink any less.
     
    #6 Revmitchell, Feb 1, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2015
  7. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member

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    I think so. Obviously the individual who documented this idea was trying to make the point that God is completely in charge, a fact that most Christians would agree with. It is what we do with that understanding that determines which side of the argument we identify with. For instance, I have a difficult time separating God's will of decree from God's omniscience. What God knows God has commanded. A watered down version would be what God knows He has allowed.The Arminian foreknowledge views hijacks God's omniscience because it forces God into a reactionary mode (i.e. God chooses those who choose Him).
     
  8. thatbrian

    thatbrian Active Member

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    Agreed. This is crucial! We always react, not he. We, along with all of creation, respond to his actions/words. He gives us examples of this in his creation. For example, marriage and sex both demonstrate these truths.

    One friend describes Reformed theology thusly: God is God.
     
  9. Aaron

    Aaron Member

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    The circle for God is too small.

    Eternity is too big for the mind of man to conceive. Diagrams get in the way.
     
  10. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member

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    Of course. It is impossible for finite man to describe an infinite God. Even a preacher's sermon is limited in ability because of human finite weakness. Still we do the best we can and make use of the abilities God has given us.
     
  11. robustheologian

    robustheologian Active Member

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    This looks like this is going to turn into a lapsarianism debate. I think any view on a particular order of God's decrees is at best speculation since it is impossible to know the mind of God...especially since he hasn't disclosed that aspect of his secret will in Scripture.
     
  12. thatbrian

    thatbrian Active Member

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    It becomes difficult to talk about this as we are, and always have been, "stuck" in time. At the end of the day we can only look at things from our perspective, and live in such a way. Sure, we can see God's perspective through his word, but we must stop where it stops.
     
  13. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member

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    You need to prove that time is linear. Once you do that we can talk. BTW, good luck with that.
     
  14. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member

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    Does Gal 4:4 do that?
     
  15. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member

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    We know what God has revealed about Himself as contained in scripture. Additionally we can come to sound and logical conclusions, also known as good and necessary inference. For instance:

    Ephesians 1:3-6 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

    We know God is eternal. We know God is omnipotent and omniscience. These things are not debatable. In Ephesians 1:4 Paul reveals that believers have been chosen in Christ before the laying down of the world. We also learn that one of the reasons we were chosen was so that we would be holy and blameless before Christ. Lastly, Christ predestined us (foreordained) to adoption as sons. All these things were decided by God from eternity past. How can I make the assertion? Because of the Word and because of what God has revealed about Himself.

    If I had made my own diagram I would have made it much simpler. Instead of a horizontal line inside a circle I would have drawn a horizontal line with nothing else. Everything surrounding the circle would be God. In my diagram we would have to imagine the paper being infinite in size with no borders. God beholds a moment in time as going to occur, occurring, and occurred all at once. I concur that it is a hard concept to grasp; the finite trying to comprehend the infinite. But it is a reasonable inference drawn upon the eternality and omnipresence of God.
     
  16. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member

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    The fact that God provided celestial bodies as time keepers and enters into time itself to redeem His people at the correct time, who is to say that in the eternal state there will not be a new and different way to measure and show a distinction between events.

    Even unbelieving scientists struggle to grasp Time...

    http://www.timephysics.com/ here you go QF....for you,lol
     
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