I wasn’t given much food for thought from another thread and I am requesting some help digesting some of this.
@aleo first opened my mind to a perspective that never occurred to me before.
Then @gbrooks9 posted a video that seemed to refute this at first…
But then @Peter_Wolfe posted this article http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2015/02/an-example-of-unwarranted-theological-speculation-divine-timelessness/ which had me re-watch the video posted by @gbrooks9 and listen to it again from a different perspective.
Although that TEDx video says, God is outside of time, I don’t think he qualifies his definition of time clearly enough. What I interpret the TEDx talk to mean to say is that, God is outside of the confines of time ticking, not time happening (I define those ea bit later).
What I think the linked article to mean is that God is not outside the time of happening.
So first I need to qualify for those that are unfamiliar with the terms I use as I am not aware of any other term out there to use. Feel free to correct me if I am not academically correct as I am no where near as educated as some of you in these matters.
Time ticking (I’ll call it “timeT”)-Is time that we know it as and use in our mathematical and relative physics computations. It can, and is slowed down as velocity increases. So if one approaches(or surpasses) the speed of light, time of ticking stops.
Time of happening. (I’ll call it timeH) however time of happening, is different. It doesn’t matter if you go so fast, and slow down your time, the time back on earth is still happening. The past still happens, regardless of how slow time moves for you, or even stops. If you stop time, the past still happened.
Then you have free will. If God knew what you were going to do, and it went against His plan, why would He allow you to do it? He has to allow you to do it, or it wouldn’t be free will. But if you do something against His will, He then has to change His intermediate plans, to bring about His ultimate plan. Like Gods will is a train, that will get to its final destination, but He gives us the free will to knock it off the tracks (if that is our desire), and He also uses us to help Him (if that is our desire) get it back onto the tracks. That is part of our relationship with Him. But there are a bunch of tiny plans and some major plans and they will hope to all work in concert so the final train will get to it’s destination.
I don’t find one single verse in the Bible that speaks of God’s being outside of timeH. There are some verses which can lead one to go there, especially if they were indoctrinated with this theory from the beginning that it is synonymous with God of the Bible, so it creates a paradigm or a bias that reads it into reality when reading of a scripture that supposedly supports this mindset.
I do believe that God knows the ultimate ending due to His great power and influence and He will reign and be praised and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. But does he know every detail of every second of the future like He does know every detail about the now?
I have searched the Bible for any verses I know of, and uses google, but any Biblical scholars would be able to help me out I hope. But I can only find 1 passage (Ephesians 1) that unbiasely confirms that God knows some details of the future, but I don’t like just one passage. If I can only find one passage that says something without it being backed up, I wonder if I am understanding that passage correctly. I would need to dig into hermaneutics of it and other things to try and understand its meaning. Are there more passages that speak of this?
If you look at many other verses of the Bible, read them from the perspective of an earthly father.
Jer 29:11 If I have a plan for my kid to go to law school, I have a plan for him to go to law school. I don’t know the future, but I have that plan for him. Especially if my son wants to do my will, which is to become a lawyer. Especially if I am a supreme court justice or some high power being, who has great influence. My son might screw up, but if he ultimately still wants to become a lawyer, thanks to my great influence and favors, I can help him to fulfill my plan, and have him, become a layer.
So planing for someones future, and having great power and influence over their circumstances, doesn’t require knowledge of the future, to know what will happen in the future, or make this plan for them.
Is it a prophecy because I have great influence and can assure this will happen?
Psalm 139:4. does this prove God knows the future? Or just our thoughts?
God is outside of timeT, and it presently omniscient. There are many verses to support God knowing the thoughts of man (which would help one to be perceived to know the future). He can hear all the thoughts of man and act accordingly so that His plans are done. and I’m sure it is incredibly difficult if not impossible to comprehend the ability to know everyone’s present and past thoughts at once, though if one could pause timeT and be outside of timeT, that would give one even more time to think and come up with a solution or a plan.
The ability to pause timeT also would account for explaining many miracles. Like the feeding of 5000 and fish just appearing from ‘nowhere’ and apparently violating the law of conservation of energy (creating mass from nothing). God could have stopped time, went into the ocean, or teleported the fish as he teleports himself?, or took as much time as He wanted and walked (since time has stopped for us and He is moving faster than the speed of light) and got some fish. Or turning water into wine, stopped time, got a vase of wine and took the vase of water away, than restarted time. ect. the only miracle this doesn’t really account for is bringing humans back to life, but since He created us, He can certainly create life, or re-animate. He is in charge of the earth and the seas and animals, so lions don’t eat Jeremiah, seas get parted, storms get calmed, when the 3 weren’t burned by fire, God was with them protecting them, they didn’t just not get burned, but were physically protected. The walls of Jericho could have been an earthquake.
I cant think of a physical miracle that can’t be explained.
The atoning power of the blood of Jesus is one that isn’t of the physical universal realm, so of course God has the power over that.
This isn’t to say that I know Gods ways, as I surely don’t, but IF He confined Himself to the laws of the universe we live in, this would be a logical explanation of those ‘miracles’.
Like when God speaks to Moses about freeing the Israelites. Exodus 4:23 what will take place about the killing of the first born. Is this because He saw the future, and knew this would happen? Or because He has the influential power to ensure it happened? God did know Pharaoh and his heart and mind, and knew that he probably would not let His people go with the first few plagues. But then later, it says “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart”. Was Pharaoh going to let them go? Did God need to harder his heart to keep them so He could fulfill His plan to save the Israelites with the sacrificial lamb?
Jesus was prophesied and since Jesus was the embodiment of God, is littered throughout the OT scriptures. But was that because God could see the future happening where Jesus died? Or that because He has great influential powers that He could make certain Jesus would come? He used kings and entire kingdoms to help his ultimate will be done. If a king wasn’t willing to acknowledge Him as the King of Kings, he humbled him real quick and picked someone else.
This goes against the Calvinist vies and pre-destination. Again the only support for this I can see is Ephesians 1 More specifically Ephesians 1:4. I guess this could be a poetic thing to say, in that He created the world for us, and therefore He knew us before the creation of the world?
Maybe God doesn’t know the future details? Though He is omniscient, and outside of timeT, is He outside of timeH? The past happened, He can’t change that, does He know the future? In that, meaning see the future and the details of what exactly happens? Or does He just have great influence over the future?
Jer 1:5. Could that mean that once conceived (before you were born) I had a plan for who you would become? Does that demonstrate future knowledge?
Like with Joseph, who was sold into slavery, and ends up 2nd in command who interprets a dream that stores food and ends up saving many thousand of lives including the Israelites. If he wasn’t sold into slavery, would he still have become 2nd in command and save all those lives? Did God speak to Reuben so that he stopped his brothers from killing Joseph and changing God’s plan for Joseph to save the Israelites and to also fulfill the prophesy of his brothers bowing down to him? I believe God had a plan for him to save the Israelites to confirm His covenant to make them as numerous as the stars. Man screwed up his inner-workings of a plan, but God’s ultimate will and outcome will be done Prov 19:21. Selling Joseph to slavery was in God’s permissive will, in that He allowed it to happen, in order to persevere free will, something that God seems to have a great respect for. Maybe if he wasn’t sold to slavery? I still believe that maybe through business partners or some means, or perhaps Pharaohs seeking for an answer to his dream would have been announced to the ends of the earth, and maybe Joseph would have still interpreted his dreams and still saved the Israelites. God’s ultimate and perfect will, will be done, but He has a permissive will that allows us to ‘derail His train’, and He also uses us to be allowed to help fix that plan and get it back on track so that His perfect will and plan does happen. Rom 8:28
God also says in Exo 32:9. Let me destroy them. Then Moses pleads on their behalf and God changes His mind. If the future is known, or set (not the ultimate future, but the inner workings and details of it), then it seems pointless to ask God, as we can’t change His mind. There are other examples of man apparently changing God’s mind.
A good video on prayer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiAMzghLcMA . I used to believe the mindset of this video, and there is great things that can come of prayer, but I think even greater things can come of prayer if I know that it could change God’s mind. However I am aware that I have an extremely limited mind, and could unknowingly pray for something that if God did as I wished, could hurt His plan. Which is why I always end my prayers as Jesus did, with “Thy will be done”. I know His will is best, and want that to be done. But it is neat to think that God can listen to us and change the smaller details of the future if we ask. John 114:13 and 1 John 5:14.
This also explains much better “why bad things happen” or 'why God allows bad things to happen". A hurricane is just part of the laws of nature He set in motion in the beginning of timeT. Some that do pray, are delivered from the harm of it, and it is good to pray for that. But bad things happen because of God’s permissive will. If He didn’t allow bad things to happen, then we wouldn’t have free will, He would be micromanaging us and all you would see would be good things. But though God doesn’t want bad things to happen, which is one reason why He instructs us to pray unceasingly and with great perseverance, but when bad things do happen (like with Joseph being sold to slavery) God can still use those bad things to bring about a greater good, His perfect will and ultimate plan.
I think knowing that God is with us in the now is more of an intimate feeling and relationship with Him as that linked article states much more eloquently.
I think God is omnibenevelant (all good). But I don’t think there is sufficient scripture to say that God is omnipotent (all powerful) as He is confined by His goodness, and can’t sin. He is not omniscient (all knowing) in that He knows every detail about every second of the past an the present, but possibly not the future? God is omnipresent (everywhere) ,though He can’t go to hell, as hell is defined as being separated from Him. It is mostly semantics. I think those words are used too loosely which can confuse someone, though I understand the use of them. Like if I give you keys to my car and say you can go anywhere. You can’t go to the moon or the center of the earth. Does that make my statement of going anywhere untrue? The limits are in the context. And God is very knowledgeable and powerful, but I just think one needs to be slightly careful about the misunderstandings that can occur from using the words omnipotent and omniscient, which as far as I know, are not in the Bible anywhere?
Sorry for that long post, and thanks to those (if any) that made it through all of that. None of any of my rants or questions takes away from the validity of the inerrant-ness of the Bible or the loving power of God and His purpose for our lives to know and love Him and to know and love our fellow man. But it is interesting to learn more about Him and as iron sharpens iron, and I asking you guys to sharpen my thoughts and help me on my journey to know, live for, and glorify Him better.