Why would God want to know such things?
- No. God created a universe with quantum superpositions of possible states so that the future would be open to many possibilities in order for there to be living beings who would make choices that matter rather than just imagined people in a dream, characters in a book He had written, or NPCs in a game.
- Omniscience only means that God CAN know whatever He chooses to know, just as omnipotence means God CAN do whatever He chooses to do. There really is no difference because knowledge is a form of power. It leads to inconsistencies to think that omniscience means God must know absolutely everything, just as to think that omnipotence means God must do absolutely everything. It results in a list of things which any human being can do which God cannot do, such as take risks, give privacy, give up some control to others, and even to love others.
- Only a God incapable of making anything but tools must have a purpose for everything He creates. Humans are not limited to creating things for their own ends, but can create things as an end in itself. So why would God have that limitation when we do not? Only a self-centered self-absorbed megalomaniac with no appreciation for beauty or love would equate caring for things with those things being created with purpose like a tool.
Thanks for reopening the thread. Before answering this question, a more important question needs to be answered and that is: “What is the purpose of the physical universe?” As you have heard me say before, the founders of philosophy and science agreed that reason that God (Zeus) created the physical universe was to return the fallen to Heaven (Olympus). So, for them, the physical universe has a planned ending - restoration of all things to Heaven (Olympus). This is the basis for the apocatastasis.
The restoration of all things does not have a pre-programmed agenda of events that are to happen for each individual, just a set a ground rules with the expected outcome for all. This means that it was not presupposed that the King of Heaven, Jesus serve the role of the Messiah. Others could have severed this role, and if Jesus would have failed his tests on Earth, another would have come after Him to complete the task of defeating Lucifer. Thankfully, this did not happen.
When Jesus passed final judgement on the ruler of this world, He ensured The End of the World. That is, the world will end when all of the fallen have returned under the New Covenant. We are just 2,000 years into the New Covenant and the Earth has a useful life of 3 or so billion years…
How does that work? I wasn’t aware of doing anything special.
Inactive but not locked, I guess? Most threads are locked three days after last reply. I guess some remain open. I wonder why?
As for not doing anything special… It wasn’t like I was digging into threads from 9 months ago. So I wonder why this one looked recent and active to me?
Seems like there is an algorithm built into opening and closing threads. They would have to archive into a different location or delete the thread altogether to prevent this.
I was posting in quite a few year old threads before I realized this. It may be based on topics and thread activity so threads closed automatically may be reactivated based on viewer/poster interest.
On the point of time travel. Stepping in and out of physical time is not time travel in the same sense that we would manufacturer a means to change time to our own will and/or desire.
The Word becoming flesh and the act of redemption could only happen before time in the sense that to God it all happened at the same time. I think that limiting God to God’s own timetable is the only way we can conceive of how God works. How God works could still be beyond our current understanding. How would we know? We do not prophecy today (well for the most part, if you agree that the canon of prophetic scripture had and end), but we do make predictions, just not as broad in scope or into the metaphysical as the ancients did. Therefore they are just limited to the physical.
I am surprised no one has changed the saying that “one day is as a thousand years” to a more modern perspective that “one second is to God as a billion years”. In order to see the beginning and end at the same instant, may be easier to understand now, than when it was originally written. Then to figure in every potential response to free will would be the task beyond simply knowing everything that happened the way it did with the way it could have.
I do not think that predestination works in tandem with the laws of nature as being consistent with all physical history. Technically God claims to know the end, from the beginning as worded, so would already know those whom would be predestined to become reconciled to God, and those who would refuse on their own free will not to be reconciled. God even knows those that would never be known after the final judgment. That God predestined some, may take into account God knew they would choose to serve God by Faith on their own. God just prevented those certain humans from never existing. God predestined that certain humans had to exist. I do not accept there were multiple Adams or Jesus, or the final anti Christ. Not that God could not do that, but there is no need to. Neither did God have to predestine there to be an Adam, Jesus, or anti-christ. God created Adam on the 6th day knowing what Adam’s choice would be, and God stepped into time as Jesus at the right moment of God’s plan. God’s plan would be implemented no matter what happened between Adam and Jesus. The anti-christ could be any one. So predestinating one particular human is not necessary.
I do not think the Greek pantheon covered all of this. Yet at the same time God used Hebrews to write about such things even if they did not understand to the full extent what they were writing down.
Is the history of the universe predetermined?
The problem with this question is that there are at lease three different universes in existence, but the question confuses them. First we have the physical universe. There seems to be two alternatives here, expansion until the universe expands into nothingness, or t6he expansi0on reverses itself until it reverts back into a tiny singularity. It seems that God does know and did plan the final end of the physical universe, but who really cares because humanity will be long dead by then.
Second, we have the history of the organic universe. We are able to follow to a remarkable extent the history of life, flora and fauna, and our world. Right now we see that the history of life on earth is not complete. Ecology and climate indicate that human beings to a larger degree hold the future of life on their hands, which indicates that God does not know its fate.
Third, we have the history of human life. Christians believe that human history will end with the Return of Jesus Christ when He will establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. What remains to be seen is whether it will be established peacefully when every knee will bow and every tongues confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, or the earth will need to be cleansed of evil as it was when we are told that God purged the earth will the flood of Noah. We know that God’s kingdom will come, but not when and how. Be Ready!
I grew up in this belief, so I am awarer of it. I see you have not read my paper The End of the World, which gives another explanation to God’s plan, one that I find more logical. Why would God create a Earth with useful life of 3 billion years or so, and not to use it? Jesus came to save all of God’s children, and it will take that long for this to happen…
For the universe to be the size it is, the current solar system has to fit into the universe as a logical entity. Thus we have appearance of age.
From most ANE context of cosmology, God only effected this solar system. We know today that the actual stars, not the planets which were thought to be all stars are separate from this system. They are all systems in their own rights.
The question then; is “the heavens” the rest of the universe? If so then God logically created all at the same time but gave all ages accordingly in relationship as a whole universe.
So we are not talking about a 4 billion year old timeframe or a 14 billion year old timeframe. We are talking about a set time that God said the universe would exist. God is not limited to the logic and laws the universe was designed to operate with. It is not a given that God will wait another 3 or even more billions of years. That is why since Jesus’ time we are given heed that it could happen soon, even though it has not.
I’ve often wondered about these resurrected old threads myself, and why they occasionally pop up again. Sometimes people find their way to an old thread because of an outside search engine got them to it. I.e. Google may dig up stuff that the forum has already buried underneath the strata of more recent posts. That happened in this case as a new visitor (whose post was quickly removed by moderators) commented on the old thread, making its time stamp fresh again to be as you found it. That is what I suspect happens in at least some of these cases.
A thought, if interesting, this piqued my curiosity… I fear this simply does not follow… God’s omnipresence for instance does not simply mean he only “can” be anywhere he chooses to be; rather, it means he is everywhere. Omniscience has always traditionally been understood to mean he knows all things, not that he could know things if he so chooses, any more than omnipresence means he could be anywhere if he so chooses.
Also, another thought…
Even claiming God”s omnipotence, it is claimed sometimes, results in a laundry list of things people “can” do that God cannot… go hungry, thirst, feel powerless, feel helpless, feel hopeless, lack omnipotence… Behold the numerous powers I have that the omnipotent God lacks!
But God’s “inability” to do these things are not lacking powers, however. they are descriptions of lack of power.
If God exists categorically above us, there will be some things we “can” do (like lack knowledge) that an omniscient being cannot experience. But it is a semantic play in words to claim these things as “abilities” we posses that God lacks.Beyond this, I fail to see how omniscience can possibly God cannot give real power and control to others, or to love others.
Finally, for an omniscient being to not know the future requires that he be limited to, and exist within, the very same space-time reality as the rest of us. Every bit of Christian thought I’m familiar with says that God created this universe as something outside of and independent from himself, not that he is a being contained within it and subject to its laws, including being bound and limited by the progress of time.
For those seeking to enslave God to their theology I am certain that is true. But for those who believe in a God who cannot be chained by any such human definitions it is quite natural to believe that none of these theological concepts can EVER say that God has no choice but to do what such human concoctions dictate. So I most certainly do include omnipresence in this list to say that YES, God can be wherever He chooses AND He can be absent somewhere if He chooses that also.
Furthermore we might ask which conception is actually Biblical? You say God is incapable of not knowing things or not being present but the Bible says that God can do these things.
Can God choose not to know things? According to the Bible, yes He can.
Hebrews 8:12 God will remember our sins no more.
Can God choose to remove Himself from some place? According to the Bible, yes He can.
Ezekiel 5:11 Therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will withdraw.”
Can God take risks so that He later regrets what He did? According to the Bible, yes He can and did.
Genesis 6:6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
Taking risks, giving privacy, giving up control to others, and loving others are not inabilities in any way whatsoever – none of them. Nor are these founded upon inabilities or require inabilities. Just because someone CAN control something doesn’t mean they have to. Just because someone CAN know something doesn’t mean they have to. Just because someone CAN be somewhere doesn’t mean they have to. Just because someone can eliminate all risks doesn’t mean they have to do so.
So why would somebody suggest that these abilities are somehow “inabilites?” It is becuase these abilities are somewhat connected to values, like whether you value anything more than power and control. Those who do not value anything more than power and control certainly have a hard time imagining why anyone would choose to take risks, give privacy to others, give up control, or love others enough to share important decisions and give them any autonomy – and frankly I don’t think I could ever convince them that these things have value if they haven’t learned this themselves. But even though they may equate not grasping for power and control whenever possible with weakness, and though they may equate love with weakness and foolishness, they are absolutely wrong because the opposite is the case. People ONLY grasp for power and control when they are WEAK! Those who really have power do not behave or think this way at all.
So I do not believe in the god of power and control worshiped by so many people. Indeed that creature sounds like the devil to me. I believe in a God who chose love and freedom over power and control and that is why He created a universe that operates autonomously according to natural laws supporting the self-organizing process of life. When one is all about power and control then the only thing one would create is tools for an end, in which life serves no useful purpose at all. But when one values relationships of love with others who have the freedom to make their own choices, then and only then, does it make sense to create life.
That God chooses love and freedom over power and control is also demonstrated in His choice to leave all that divine power and knowledge behind in order to become a helpless human infant (Philippians 2:5-8). To be sure, I have no doubt that some will never understand the choice of love and freedom over power control and thus must believe in a god who can never make that choice. But I will continue to see this god of power as not only being more like the devil but as rather pathetic as well – little more than a tool of manipulation invented by people using religion as method of exerting power over others.
Instead of discussing God in terms of choices (choices are applicable to humans and our limitations), we should consider the Grace of God freely given to us because of Christ.
Not interested. A “god” incapable of choices is a nonentity and thus like pan(en)theism not significantly different from atheism and naturalism for me. Without choices, God cannot respond in a relationship with us which can even rival let alone surpass the relationships we have with other people – rendering Christianity effectively meaningless, to me at least. I began this journey with the inquiry as to whether Christianity could hold any value in the context of scientific discovery. I found that value was possible but that discovery of value only works within a narrow window that excludes quite a few theological directions. A negative conclusion that Christianity is worthless to me is always a possibility and most theological systems would lead me to that conclusion. Your suggestion is one of them.
To be sure there are vast difference between God and man, and the nature of our choices is certainly one of them. God’s choices naturally have a self-limiting character to them and to be sure that bothers a lot of theologians. But I find limitations imposed upon God by human theology (as required to avoid this) to be much much much more troublesome and even offensive. Our choices are also self-limiting but only in terms of our potential/growth/becoming, while God choices are narrowing of His own limitless actuality. So in both cases the choices are an expression/exercise of our limitlessness (of our potential and God’s actuality) – and without choices that limitlessness becomes empty of significance for both God and man.
To be sure we both (God and man) make choices to define who we are – and of course for God to have such liberty is very troubling to theologians who want to make those choices themselves. The absurdity, irony, and arrogance of this is monumental, though we are certainly free decide which choices are made by a deity whom we can respect or love. And as a final observation, I would point to the fact that the God presented in the Bible is most certainly one who makes choices.
Know what things?
I find your response curious - in all of this, you have not said a word on the Grace from God to us. It is this that I find odd in your response - instead of choices, God is infinite in Love, Grace and the power to forgive and restore us to Himself through the death and resurrection of Christ.
I get the impression (correct me if I am wrong on this) that you equate divine power (omnipotence) with some type of malevolence - but do you not see that God displays His power through forgiveness granted to any and all repentant sinners?
Can you explain to me your definition of restore? In this context it implies a pre-existent state of Grace and fallen state of Grace, correct?
Sin cuts us from communion with God, Christ restores this.