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Richard Amiel McGough
08-26-2010, 01:08 PM
Christian's have been taught that God is omniscient, omnipotent, eternal, perfect, and unchanging.

Therefore, there never was a time when God did not already know what he would do in the future, and this means that he never had an opportunity to make any choices. He never had an opportunity to choose between options like "Shall I create the world or not?" or "Shall I flood the world or smash it with an asteroid?" or "Shall I save only Noah's family or should I include his friends too?" or "Shall I answer Tom's prayer for healing?" or "Shall I create dogs and cats?" or "Shall I make it sunny today?"

In other words, an omniscient God would never have any opportunity to make any decisions at all. He just is what he is and he had no choice in the matter.

It would appear that such a God has no "freedom to choose" whatsoever. :eek:

Is this conclusion correct? If not, why not?

Richard

CWH
08-27-2010, 06:31 AM
Richard really really really needs our prayers:pray::pray::pray:

Did God made decisions? certainly He did! Its absurd to think of the Creator not making any decisions while His human creatures made decisions everyday!
See some passages for yourself, did God made decisions?:

Genesis 41:32
The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.
Genesis 41:31-33 (in Context) Genesis 41 (Whole Chapter)

Jeremiah 4:28
Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back."
Jeremiah 4:27-29 (in Context) Jeremiah 4 (Whole Chapter)

Zephaniah 3:8
Therefore wait for me," declares the LORD, "for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them— all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger.

John 1:43
[ Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael ] The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."
John 1:42-44 (in Context) John 1 (Whole Chapter)

Many Blessings:pray:

Bob May
08-27-2010, 06:59 AM
Maybe He made his decision in the beginning.

..And it just contained a lot more details than we can imagine. Everything was accounted for.
We look at history as a very long drawn out process. For Him it might just be an instant.

Joh 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
Joh 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Joh 9:29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
Joh 9:30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.

If He is omniscient, He knew all of the outcomes of all of the situations, and every reaction and decision of men (causes and effects) from the beginning till the end. Chains upon chains of events in animal vegetable and mineral worlds and beyond.
His decision was "Let there be light."

Maybe

CWH
08-27-2010, 07:20 AM
Perfect Bob:thumb::congrats:

God has made all His plans and decisions since the beginning of creation so that events go according to plan:

Matthew 13:35
So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world."
Matthew 13:34-36 (in Context) Matthew 13 (Whole Chapter)

Matthew 25:34
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
Matthew 25:33-35 (in Context) Matthew 25 (Whole Chapter)

Mark 10:6
"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'
Mark 10:5-7 (in Context) Mark 10 (Whole Chapter)


I believe this is what goes on in Richard's mind...."seems like God is not making any decisions for us now".....common preterist's doubt. Do we make many decisions for our children when they have grown up? Obviously No. We will only interfere when our children has made major mistakes. To me God is in a state of non-interference as human and the world grows into maturity. This is to let human knows the final results of human growth without God which will only lead into destruction. Only then will God interferes; only then will Man realized their folly and turn to God.

Many Blessings.

Richard Amiel McGough
08-27-2010, 08:56 AM
Richard really really really needs our prayers:pray::pray::pray:

Did God made decisions? certainly He did! Its absurd to think of the Creator not making any decisions while His human creatures made decisions everyday!
See some passages for yourself, did God made decisions?:

Genesis 41:32
The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.
Genesis 41:31-33 (in Context) Genesis 41 (Whole Chapter)

Jeremiah 4:28
Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back."
Jeremiah 4:27-29 (in Context) Jeremiah 4 (Whole Chapter)

Zephaniah 3:8
Therefore wait for me," declares the LORD, "for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them— all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger.

John 1:43
[ Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael ] The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."
John 1:42-44 (in Context) John 1 (Whole Chapter)

Many Blessings:pray:
Hey there Cheow,

I'm sure I am a man in need of many prayers. Thanks.

But I don't think you understood the question. When did God make a decision? He already knew what he would do before time began. So there was never a time that he made a decision.

And what happens when a person makes a decision? He changes from a state of not knowing what he is going to do to a state of knowing what he is going to do. But this can't happen with God because he has always known everything. There has never been a time when God did not know everything he would do in the future, so when did God have an opportunity to make a decision?

I know it's a a tricky question but I am asking sincerely. It seems very important because it shows that we believe some things that contradict other things we believe.

All the very best,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
08-27-2010, 09:01 AM
Maybe He made his decision in the beginning.

..And it just contained a lot more details than we can imagine. Everything was accounted for.
We look at history as a very long drawn out process. For Him it might just be an instant.

Joh 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
Joh 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Joh 9:29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
Joh 9:30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.

If He is omniscient, He knew all of the outcomes of all of the situations, and every reaction and decision of men (causes and effects) from the beginning till the end. Chains upon chains of events in animal vegetable and mineral worlds and beyond.
His decision was "Let there be light."

Maybe
Hey Bob,

That sounds nice, but I'm not sure what it means. I love the fact your ended your post with "maybe." The problem is that God already knew what he was going to do "in the beginning." God has always known what God was going to do because God has always known everything. So I still do not see a time when God had the opportunity to make a decision.

Basically, it seems that an omniscient unchanging being has absolutely no freedom to choose anything. This seems really important because Christians generally are taught that God is an omnipotent unchanging being that often chooses things, so it looks like our doctrines are logically incoherent.

All the very best,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
08-27-2010, 09:08 AM
Perfect Bob:thumb::congrats:

God has made all His plans and decisions since the beginning of creation so that events go according to plan:

Matthew 13:35
So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world."
Matthew 13:34-36 (in Context) Matthew 13 (Whole Chapter)

Matthew 25:34
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
Matthew 25:33-35 (in Context) Matthew 25 (Whole Chapter)

Mark 10:6
"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'
Mark 10:5-7 (in Context) Mark 10 (Whole Chapter)


I believe this is what goes on in Richard's mind...."seems like God is not making any decisions for us now".....common preterist's doubt. Do we make many decisions for our children when they have grown up? Obviously No. We will only interfere when our children has made major mistakes. To me God is in a state of non-interference as human and the world grows into maturity. This is to let human knows the final results of human growth without God which will only lead into destruction. Only then will God interferes; only then will Man realized their folly and turn to God.

Many Blessings.
Hi Cheow,

This has absolutely nothing to do with Preterism. And it has nothing to do with the fact that God rarely intervenes in human affairs - though I think that would be a very interesting point of discussion since it directly impacts the question of the problem of evil.

The question I have posed is purely philosophical. It seems to me that the concept of an omniscient unchanging God is inconsistent with the image of God we receive from Scripture - namely, a God who makes decisions and basically acts like a super-powerful person.

It is easy to trace the source of the problem. We have "put God in a box" - a philosophical box with vary hard and restrictive sides called "omnipotent" and "omniscient" and "unchanging" and "perfect" and so forth. These concepts are the product of our human minds and it seems that they force a conception of God that is inconsistent with the Biblical revelation of the true God.

Something to think about, eh?

:sCo_hmmthink:

All the very best,

Richard

Rose
08-27-2010, 10:53 AM
What about the idea that God never had to make a decision, because He created the universe the only way it could be constructed, thereby everything that followed progressed in the order of how it was created. God's intervention is what caused change in the natural order of things, so by that intervention God could cause a specific outcome, thus He could establish a plan according to His desire without having to make a pre-determined decision.

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
08-27-2010, 11:00 AM
What about the idea that God never had to make a decision, because He created the universe the only way it could be constructed, thereby everything that followed progressed in the order of how it was created. God's intervention is what caused change in the natural order of things, so by that intervention God could cause a specific outcome, thus He could establish a plan according to His desire without having to make a pre-determined decision.

Rose
Hello my dear! :flowers:

Well, if God "created the world the only way it could be constructed" then he had no choice in the matter, and that's my point. Christians teach that God is able to make choices, but they also teach that God is omniscient and unchanging and these two things appear to be logically contradictory.

Much love,

Richard

gregoryfl
08-27-2010, 04:02 PM
I have no problem believing both to be true simultaneously. Just as with many things, perhaps the two are expressions of God's view and man's view.

For example, God's view is that Jesus was slain from the throwing down of the world, while man's view is that it took place in the 1st century.

I know that it does not solve the dilemma, but I am not so sure we need to. Let me add, however, that I am not against discussing it. I love thinking on these various tensions in Scripture. To me it just makes me appreciate the awesomeness of our Creator and Father even more.

Ron

Richard Amiel McGough
08-27-2010, 05:11 PM
I have no problem believing both to be true simultaneously. Just as with many things, perhaps the two are expressions of God's view and man's view.

For example, God's view is that Jesus was slain from the throwing down of the world, while man's view is that it took place in the 1st century.

I know that it does not solve the dilemma, but I am not so sure we need to. Let me add, however, that I am not against discussing it. I love thinking on these various tensions in Scripture. To me it just makes me appreciate the awesomeness of our Creator and Father even more.

Ron
Hey Ron,

I'm glad you like talking about these kinds of things. I do too. The traditional view of God as omniscient and unchangeable leads to this "static" view where he does not seem like the God of the Bible at all. This has led some folks to propose the view called "Open Theology" which suggests that God knows all things that can be known, but that does not include all future events because not all future events can be known before they happen. We find ourselves in some pretty deep philosophical waters pretty fast because it is very hard to make sense out of time and the truth values of statements involving the future. For example, is it true that if you won the lottery tomorrow you would quit your job? Questions like this are called "counterfactuals of freedom" and different philosophers come to different conclusions about whether or not such statements have a truth value at all. If they don't have a truth value, then God can't know if they are true or not.

As for the "different perspective" solution - that only appears to help because we imagine God actually "seeing" the future while we only see the present (and remember the past). But this just reiterates the problem because if God sees the future, then he has not choice about how he will act in the future! So when did he choose that he would heal Fred's cancer and not Sam's? Never. He never "made a decision" about what he would do. He has always known what he would do and can never change his mind. This feels very different than the idea of a God who we can love and adore and who is an agent like us who can be affected by our prayers and all that.

I only recently became aware of this inconsistency between our "philosophical" vs. our "devotional" conceptions of God.

Richard

PS: It is interesting that you translate the katabole as "throw down." That is very literal, but I'm not sure I stand under or grasp with my hand such literal etymology.

Rose
08-27-2010, 06:56 PM
Hey Ron,

I'm glad you like talking about these kinds of things. I do too. The traditional view of God as omniscient and unchangeable leads to this "static" view where he does not seem like the God of the Bible at all. This has led some folks to propose the view called "Open Theology" which suggests that God knows all things that can be known, but that does not include all future events because not all future events can be known before they happen. We find ourselves in some pretty deep philosophical waters pretty fast because it is very hard to make sense out of time and the truth values of statements involving the future. For example, is it true that if you won the lottery tomorrow you would quit your job? Questions like this are called "counterfactuals of freedom" and different philosophers come to different conclusions about whether or not such statements have a truth value at all. If they don't have a truth value, then God can't know if they are true or not.

As for the "different perspective" solution - that only appears to help because we imagine God actually "seeing" the future while we only see the present (and remember the past). But this just reiterates the problem because if God sees the future, then he has not choice about how he will act in the future! So when did he choose that he would heal Fred's cancer and not Sam's? Never. He never "made a decision" about what he would do. He has always known what he would do and can never change his mind. This feels very different than the idea of a God who we can love and adore and who is an agent like us who can be affected by our prayers and all that.

I only recently became aware of this inconsistency between our "philosophical" vs. our "devotional" conceptions of God.

Richard

PS: It is interesting that you translate the katabole as "throw down." That is very literal, but I'm not sure I stand under or grasp with my hand such literal etymology.

The subject of whether prayer changes things has always been a difficult one for me....we know that if God is all-knowing then He already knows every scenario that is going to happen so how could the prayer of anyone change anything?

I know that the idea of speaking to God through prayer is very comforting, and helps us to feel that we are actually doing something in situations where we feel helpless, but can prayer actually ever change anything other than how we feel?

Just some added thoughts...:pop2:

Rose

Bob May
08-27-2010, 09:31 PM
Hey Bob,

That sounds nice, but I'm not sure what it means.


I was concentrating on the omnicience of God. my point, I guess was that if He had a choice He had it at the moment of creation. Either create or don't. After that it would all work out perfectly. (Even though it doesn't seem that way to us many times.)

But you may be right. He is the Creator and has to create. He is perfect so there is no need to "tweek" things. He is omnipotent so He can change "things", without changing Himself.
Like interceding for us. Since He is omnicient, He already knew that He would do that.



I love the fact your ended your post with "maybe."



I've grown humble in my old age.





The problem is that God already knew what he was going to do "in the beginning." God has always known what God was going to do because God has always known everything. So I still do not see a time when God had the opportunity to make a decision.



It is interesting that all of the above statements use words that suggest the passage of time. "Make a decision", "opportunity", "always known", "always known", "already knew",.... But then you also mention "in the beginning."

Doesn't that disqualify all of the preceding statements? Or at least move them forward to somewhere "after the beginning?"

Isn't there is a veil there which both science (Big Bang) and religion (in the beginning) don't cross. Maybe we can't even think about it. It is difficult to talk about.

In the Qabala, as I understand it, there are four worlds. The Bible begins (again as I understand it) in the Second world.
In the Beginning God "Created"... And the earth was without form and void..."

The second world, Creation,...the third world Formation
Time began in the beginning.



Basically, it seems that an omniscient unchanging being has absolutely no freedom to choose anything.


You may very well be right.



This seems really important because Christians generally are taught that God is an omnipotent unchanging being that often chooses things, so it looks like our doctrines are logically incoherent.


Yes, especially when you get questions about the Old Testament God of war as opposed to the forgiving God of the New Covenant.

It's too late for deep thinking.
Bob

CWH
08-28-2010, 12:29 AM
The subject of whether prayer changes things has always been a difficult one for me....we know that if God is all-knowing then He already knows every scenario that is going to happen so how could the prayer of anyone change anything?

I know that the idea of speaking to God through prayer is very comforting, and helps us to feel that we are actually doing something in situations where we feel helpless, but can prayer actually ever change anything other than how we feel?

Just some added thoughts...:pop2:

Rose

Then why did Jesus taught and encouraged the apostles how to pray? Might as well forget about the lord's prayer. Prayer even when not granted will also be rewarded (see those in bold). It shows that you trust and believe and have faith in God:

5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

Many Blessings.

Bob May
08-28-2010, 08:06 AM
The subject of whether prayer changes things has always been a difficult one for me....we know that if God is all-knowing then He already knows every scenario that is going to happen so how could the prayer of anyone change anything?

I know that the idea of speaking to God through prayer is very comforting, and helps us to feel that we are actually doing something in situations where we feel helpless, but can prayer actually ever change anything other than how we feel?

Just some added thoughts...:pop2:

Rose

Hi Rose,
The idea that God knew before it happened, what would happen does not change whether He answers prayer or not.
If, in the beginning of this whole "ball of wax", he knew/decided ??that that prayer you would pray one day, He would answer,..or not.
Then He also knew you were going to decide to pray it in the first place.

Prayer changes our awareness of God's presence. (It doesn't just make us "feel better") When Jacob said, "Surely God is in this place and I knew it not",...he was describing a "spiritual experience". He had crossed through a veil from not knowing something to knowing it. Prayer helps us to have that experience.

We tend to look at the "appearance of things." A very partial view of reality. Fred or Sam dying or suffering is a "bad" thing. From our viewpoint it may be.
But what if it's time for Fred to cross over? Or what if Sam needs to take a while in the sick bed to really begin to appreciate his life?

We might miss Fred and feel for Sam, but maybe Fred and Sam don't feel the same way.

I'm wandering so I'll stop now.
Bob

CWH
08-28-2010, 08:25 AM
Hi Rose,
The idea that God knew before it happened, what would happen does not change whether He answers prayer or not.
If, in the beginning of this whole "ball of wax", he knew/decided ??that that prayer you would pray one day, He would answer,..or not.
Then He also knew you were going to decide to pray it in the first place.

Prayer changes our awareness of God's presence. (It doesn't just make us "feel better") When Jacob said, "Surely God is in this place and I knew it not",...he was describing a "spiritual experience". He had crossed through a veil from not knowing something to knowing it. Prayer helps us to have that experience.

We tend to look at the "appearance of things." A very partial view of reality. Fred or Sam dying or suffering is a "bad" thing. From our viewpoint it may be.
But what if it's time for Fred to cross over? Or what if Sam needs to take a while in the sick bed to really begin to appreciate his life?

We might miss Fred and feel for Sam, but maybe Fred and Sam don't feel the same way.

I'm wandering so I'll stop now.
Bob

Certainly God will appreciate that we are concerned for our fellow Christians. Our prayers are just one of the gestures that shows our concerns and love for our fellowmen. It doesn't matter if the prayers are granted or not. If the prayers are granted, well that's good if it is not granted, well, God will appreciated our care and concern for our fellowmen and our faith in Him.

Many Blessings.

kathryn
08-28-2010, 06:37 PM
I've always believed that praying :"thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven" is a gift given to us, to restore dominion over the earth, in and through Christ, the 2nd Adam. Certainly it was legally fulfilled at the cross, but I've thought of prayer as a privilege given to His sons, to call His finished work from the Heavenly realm into full manifestation on earth. Proverbs says the power of life and death is in the tongue. If that's true..prayer is more than an expression of worship or something to make us feel better..don't you think?
I realize the Kingdom is on earth now, within us...but I don't believe His will has been fully realized on earth. (as it has been fully accomplished in Heaven)
A preacher once told me that prayer was like a toy hammer God gives us to make us feel as though we're helping Him out. Even as a babe in Christ, I wasn't too enamored by that thought. Then again..maybe I've been spiritually playing with the Handy Andy Tool Kit I received on my 8th birthday and not realized it.:D
Seriously though..I genuinely believe that "Sam" (forgot the other guys name) HAS been healed by His stripes, even if he took his last gasp on my doorstep...and...one of these days our prayers and patient standing on the Word will reap results. PS..Richard..do you lie in bed at night thinking of these questions...or do they just pop unbidden, into your head?:p

Richard Amiel McGough
08-28-2010, 09:22 PM
I've always believed that praying :"thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven" is a gift given to us, to restore dominion over the earth, in and through Christ, the 2nd Adam. Certainly it was legally fulfilled at the cross, but I've thought of prayer as a privilege given to His sons, to call His finished work from the Heavenly realm into full manifestation on earth. Proverbs says the power of life and death is in the tongue. If that's true..prayer is more than an expression of worship or something to make us feel better..don't you think?
I realize the Kingdom is on earth now, within us...but I don't believe His will has been fully realized on earth. (as it has been fully accomplished in Heaven)

A preacher once told me that prayer was like a toy hammer God gives us to make us feel as though we're helping Him out. Even as a babe in Christ, I wasn't too enamored by that thought. Then again..maybe I've been spiritually playing with the Handy Andy Tool Kit I received on my 8th birthday and not realized it.:D

Toy hammer? :smash:

I can see why a preacher might envisage God and prayer that way - it fits with the doctrine that God has known everything from the beginning, and is sovereign in the most direct sense that he is really the only "agent" who has freedom to do anything. But I find that exacerbates my original problem and shows why the "omniscient sovereign unchanging" view of God seems so contrary to the "fatherly personal caring approachable God who will listen and respond to our prayers."

That's the problem with the philosophical God - he's not like any "person" we could imagine.

The idea of bringing the kingdom to earth makes good sense for what we are doing down here, but it seems like a completely separate question.



Seriously though..I genuinely believe that "Sam" (forgot the other guys name) HAS been healed by His stripes, even if he took his last gasp on my doorstep...and...one of these days our prayers and patient standing on the Word will reap results. PS..Richard..do you lie in bed at night thinking of these questions...or do they just pop unbidden, into your head?:p
This question is my brother-in-law's fault. He's a Professor of Philosophy at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. He and his wife visited for a month this summer and he infected my mind with all sorts of perplexing philosophical questions. The problem is that they are real questions that have not been solved yet. Folks are still seriously trying to make sense of what we as Christians really claim to believe.

It is quite a surprise to realize that I (and apparently most other Christians) have been holding logically incoherent views of God. :confused2:

Richard

Bob May
08-29-2010, 01:00 AM
That's the problem with the philosophical God - he's not like any "person" we could imagine.

It is quite a surprise to realize that I (and apparently most other Christians) have been holding logically incoherent views of God. :confused2:

Richard

Hi Richard,

""The problem is that they are real questions that have not been solved yet.""

""It would appear that such a God has no "freedom to choose" whatsoever.

Is this conclusion correct? If not, why not?""


Sometimes the queston is the problem.

It is asked in such a way that either way you answer it, in the context it is given, God is lessened.

Either God has no freedom, so He is not omnipotent,
Or God has no choice, so again, He is omnipotent.

I see no problem at all with a logically incoherent God.
In fact, I prefer it.

Logic is the box we, as men, generally, and philosophers in particular, live in.

Miracles, visions, dreams, healings and righteousness by faith alone, instead of by works, are all illogical. But all things we expect or should expect from God.

1co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Maybe the real question is, can God make a box (or decision) so strong that even He can't get out of it?

I think maybe the real motive of a lot of philosophical questions is that the philosophers don't want God in their box.

Bob

alec cotton
08-29-2010, 11:52 AM
I must be an odd ball . I do not conceive God as being like a man and waiting for time to pass. God is eternal .God is spirit. The apparent passing of time is an illusion. Time does not pass . We ,as humans pass through time. Time is a dimension. There is no time in eternity, nor can there be. If there was a yesterday to-day and tomorrow , then it would not be eternity ,but just a long time. Think of a road. Think of a one mile section of that road. A quarter of a mile along there is a traffic cop issuing a speeding ticket. Half a mile along , a child is bouncing a ball . I bit farther on a man is clipping his garden hedge. All these events are occurring simultaneously. You would need to travel a certain distance along that road to witness these events. So it is in eternity. All events are in effect , simultaneous. It is necessary to move from one event plain to the next to experience that event. God is not like superman , looking into the future and then tweeking it. If you could look into the future and alter it then the altered future would be your future and you would have seen it the first time. God does not only know the future , he choreographs it. God created Pharaoh and his army in order to drown them in the red sea so as to demonstrate his wrath and his power. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. There was no reason whatsoever for God to visit Abraham in the form of three men and have dinner with him. . It was ordained by God and recorded for our benefit. There was no need for God to be on foot and strolling through Sodom to see if the rumours were true . He knew the activities of every individual. The angel in Daniel was not on horseback nor on foot when he was delayed for three weeks. He was travelling through time. Yes God makes decisions and when they are made they are already accomplished. Eternity is a circle . There is nothing new under the sun. Whatever has been will be and the future is in the past.
Alec

Richard Amiel McGough
08-29-2010, 12:14 PM
Sometimes the queston is the problem.

It is asked in such a way that either way you answer it, in the context it is given, God is lessened.

Either God has no freedom, so He is not omnipotent,
Or God has no choice, so again, He is omnipotent.

I see no problem at all with a logically incoherent God.
In fact, I prefer it.

Logic is the box we, as men, generally, and philosophers in particular, live in.

Hey there Bob,

I appreciate your comments, but I think that logic applies more to the limits of our language than to the limits of ontology. In other words, God and Reality certainly are beyond our ability to "put in box" made of words, but that doesn't mean we should be satisfied with incoherent statements about God and Reality. If our language is incoherent, then it is meaningless in the most literal sense. Incoherent language is like talking about things that are not what they are. It's like talking about ajloas as afo fasnawe nkmfdsa;a aso fasdfjno ad aof elw ernlsf ed. In other words, it doesn't have any meaning at all, no matter how much meaning it appears to have until questioned.

And that's the problem. When we say incoherent things about God, then we are not really saying anything, even though it may seem like we are saying lots of things, but actually we are just speaking gibberish. The purpose of philosophy is to help us clarify our speech so we know what we mean.

So I agree, we can not and should not try to put God in a logical box, but we must attempt to make our statements about God logically coherent.



Miracles, visions, dreams, healings and righteousness by faith alone, instead of by works, are all illogical. But all things we expect or should expect from God.

I strongly disagree. I see nothing "illogical" about any of those things! Miracles are certainly "unscientific" but science is not logic. And visions and dreams may be beyond logic and rationality, but they need not be illogical, that is, self-contradictory.



1co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


I think these passages speak of things that can not be learned through "logic" but rather, only seen through the "eyes of faith." There are many things in life like this. It is one thing to deduce my wife loves me through logic (She got me dinner implies ... :blah: ... ) and to simply know it as a direct experience that touches my whole soul. I think this is what the Bible means when speaking of "vain philosophy" as opposed to the "epignosis" of Christ.



I think maybe the real motive of a lot of philosophical questions is that the philosophers don't want God in their box.

Its easy to imagine bad motives for philosophers and other eggheads. I've fallen into that error a number of times myself because some of there assertions seemed so very wrong. But on the other hand, Philosophy and Theology have been bound together from the beginning, and are really indistinguishable since Theology is just the "Philosophy of God." I think it would be a gross error to reject all philosophical questions because of a few philosophers with bad motives. The important thing is to discern whcih questions really need to be answered.

All the very best,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
08-29-2010, 12:31 PM
I must be an odd ball . I do not conceive God as being like a man and waiting for time to pass. God is eternal .God is spirit. The apparent passing of time is an illusion. Time does not pass . We ,as humans pass through time.

Hey there my philosophical friend!

Them thars some pretty strong assertions about time.

One little problem - if there is no such thing as time, how is it that we "pass through it?"

This problem is not new. Augustine wrestled with it in the 5th century. It seems that time is destined to remain a problem for eternity. Ironic, eh?



Time is a dimension. There is no time in eternity, nor can there be. If there was a yesterday to-day and tomorrow , then it would not be eternity ,but just a long time. Think of a road. Think of a one mile section of that road. A quarter of a mile along there is a traffic cop issuing a speeding ticket. Half a mile along , a child is bouncing a ball . I bit farther on a man is clipping his garden hedge. All these events are occurring simultaneously. You would need to travel a certain distance along that road to witness these events. So it is in eternity. All events are in effect , simultaneous. It is necessary to move from one event plain to the next to experience that event.

I've heard explanations like this before. Folks like to say that God has a "bird's eye view" - like seeing the beginning and end of a long parade that is visible as a whole only from above. But this is just an analogy, so it does not really work, of course.

I don't understand why there can not be a "meta-time" in which God lives. We must remember that the idea of eternity is itself a philosophical invention. It is not in the Bible per se. The words we translate as "everlasting" and "eternal" really mean "for the duration of an age" and sometimes "for the duration of the ages of the ages" which sounds a lot like a really really really long time. So where did we get our idea of "eternity" as "timelessness?" Is that in the Bible? Or Greek philosophy? Or ... ?



God is not like superman , looking into the future and then tweeking it. If you could look into the future and alter it then the altered future would be your future and you would have seen it the first time. God does not only know the future , he choreographs it. God created Pharaoh and his army in order to drown them in the red sea so as to demonstrate his wrath and his power. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. There was no reason whatsoever for God to visit Abraham in the form of three men and have dinner with him. . It was ordained by God and recorded for our benefit. There was no need for God to be on foot and strolling through Sodom to see if the rumours were true . He knew the activities of every individual. The angel in Daniel was not on horseback nor on foot when he was delayed for three weeks. He was travelling through time. Yes God makes decisions and when they are made they are already accomplished. Eternity is a circle . There is nothing new under the sun. Whatever has been will be and the future is in the past.
Alec
Very well stated (red text)! :thumb: That touches the essence of the problem of time and God's foreknowledge.

But then you said that God "choreographs" history. When exactly did he do that? Did he have any choice in what happened? If so, when did he make that choice? See, the problem is that God always knew what God would do, so God never had a choice! What then determined what God woujdl do? If he didn't make the choice, what determined the outcome?

Strange stuff happens when we attempt to conceive of an eternal unchanging God who have always known everything.

Thanks for the great post Alec.

Richard

Bob May
08-29-2010, 11:41 PM
Hi Richard and all,


Hey there Bob,

I appreciate your comments, but I think that logic applies more to the limits of our language than to the limits of ontology. In other words, God and Reality certainly are beyond our ability to "put in box" made of words, but that doesn't mean we should be satisfied with incoherent statements about God and Reality. If our language is incoherent, then it is meaningless in the most literal sense. Incoherent language is like talking about things that are not what they are. It's like talking about ajloas as afo fasnawe nkmfdsa;a aso fasdfjno ad aof elw ernlsf ed. In other words, it doesn't have any meaning at all, no matter how much meaning it appears to have until questioned.

And that's the problem. When we say incoherent things about God, then we are not really saying anything, even though it may seem like we are saying lots of things, but actually we are just speaking gibberish. The purpose of philosophy is to help us clarify our speech so we know what we mean.

So I agree, we can not and should not try to put God in a logical box, but we must attempt to make our statements about God logically coherent.


My mistake. Maybe I misunderstood "logically incoherent." I agree, we should speak clearly.

Originally Posted by Bob May
Miracles, visions, dreams, healings and righteousness by faith alone, instead of by works, are all illogical. But all things we expect or should expect from God.



I strongly disagree. I see nothing "illogical" about any of those things! Miracles are certainly "unscientific" but science is not logic. And visions and dreams may be beyond logic and rationality, but they need not be illogical, that is, self-contradictory.


You don't see anything illogical about imputed righteousness? You've gotten used to the idea. I would bet you didn't always look at it that way. To the natural man these things are "foolishness."

1co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.



I think these passages speak of things that can not be learned through "logic" but rather, only seen through the "eyes of faith." There are many things in life like this. It is one thing to deduce my wife loves me through logic (She got me dinner implies ... :blah: ... ) and to simply know it as a direct experience that touches my whole soul. I think this is what the Bible means when speaking of "vain philosophy" as opposed to the "epignosis" of Christ.


Those "many things in life" are not experienced by all men. The "knowledge" you speak of is a spiritual gift.




Its easy to imagine bad motives for philosophers and other eggheads. I've fallen into that error a number of times myself because some of there assertions seemed so very wrong. But on the other hand, Philosophy and Theology have been bound together from the beginning, and are really indistinguishable since Theology is just the "Philosophy of God." I think it would be a gross error to reject all philosophical questions because of a few philosophers with bad motives. The important thing is to discern whcih questions really need to be answered.


I don't reject all of anything neither philosophers nor philosophy as a couse of study, but I do tend to mistrust a lot of what comes from academia. It is a too enclosed system.



All the very best,

Richard

This quote may shed some light on your original question.

1co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Now, we are back even further than the "begining" to "before the world" and God "ordained" that it was so. That could be interpreted as a decision I would think.

Good talking to you,
Bob

alec cotton
08-30-2010, 11:06 AM
Hey there my philosophical friend!

Them thars some pretty strong assertions about time.

One little problem - if there is no such thing as time, how is it that we "pass through it?"

This problem is not new. Augustine wrestled with it in the 5th century. It seems that time is destined to remain a problem for eternity. Ironic, eh?


I've heard explanations like this before. Folks like to say that God has a "bird's eye view" - like seeing the beginning and end of a long parade that is visible as a whole only from above. But this is just an analogy, so it does not really work, of course.

I don't understand why there can not be a "meta-time" in which God lives. We must remember that the idea of eternity is itself a philosophical invention. It is not in the Bible per se. The words we translate as "everlasting" and "eternal" really mean "for the duration of an age" and sometimes "for the duration of the ages of the ages" which sounds a lot like a really really really long time. So where did we get our idea of "eternity" as "timelessness?" Is that in the Bible? Or Greek philosophy? Or ... ?


Very well stated (red text)! :thumb: That touches the essence of the problem of time and God's foreknowledge.

But then you said that God "choreographs" history. When exactly did he do that? Did he have any choice in what happened? If so, when did he make that choice? See, the problem is that God always knew what God would do, so God never had a choice! What then determined what God woujdl do? If he didn't make the choice, what determined the outcome?

Strange stuff happens when we attempt to conceive of an eternal unchanging God who have always known everything.

Thanks for the great post Alec.

Richard

To the question exactly when did God choreograph history. The short answer is , All the time . That answer is too simplistic. God caused Abraham to be disturbed at the thought of being without an heir. Abraham impregnated his Egyptian maid. Then God caused Sarah to be pregnant at ninety . That miracle was not only unusual , it was unprecedented. God made it happen. Sarah called him Isaac which means laughter. I puzzled for a long time over the name. In the Hebrew it is L'ytsak and ytzak. I found out that the L indicated future. ( he will laugh) then it all fell into place. Isaac has two spellings in Hebrew and one in Greek . All three carry a number which is a multiple of eight which is the number associated with Jesus. Yes God choreographed it to the letter. Isaac grew up and his wife got pregnant with twins . God decreed that the elder would serve the younger before they were born and before they could do good or evil When Jacob grew up , He had twelve sons God caused the drought and the famine . You can clearly see the 'hand' of god manipulating history. God created Pharaoh and then drowned him in order to demonstrate his wrath and his power. Did he have any choice? . Of course he had a choice . When did he make that choice ? Before the foundation of the world was laid. To quote you ,Richard , 'The problem is that god always knew what God would do,so God never had a choice' . To my mind that statement is gobbledegook. God demands that I be single minded . Does that mean that I must abdicate choice. He tells me that a wandering desire is an abomination Because I am single minded and pursue my choice with determination: does that mean that I have no choice The original question borders on blasphemy . The heart of a king cannot be known. I cannot fathom the secrets of my own heart and so it is utterly insane to consider probing the heart , motivations or intentions of God.
Alec

Richard Amiel McGough
08-30-2010, 11:42 AM
Originally Posted by Bob May
Miracles, visions, dreams, healings and righteousness by faith alone, instead of by works, are all illogical. But all things we expect or should expect from God.

You don't see anything illogical about imputed righteousness? You've gotten used to the idea. I would bet you didn't always look at it that way. To the natural man these things are "foolishness."

1co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

Those "many things in life" are not experienced by all men. The "knowledge" you speak of is a spiritual gift.

Aha! Good catch. You got me. I answered too quickly. Scripture declares the "word of the cross" to be foolishness indeed. But is that intrinsically foolishness, or is it "God's Wisdom?" Ah yes, it is foolishness only to "man's wisdom." And what is "man's wisdom" in this context .... hummm ... that's a good question. I don't think it is "philosophy" in the modern sense of "trying to clarify our thought" - rather, it is the old "metaphysical" style of philosophy that made up metaphysical entities, or perhaps it is philosophy that takes "man as the measure" and has no foundation in God. In other words, the cross is not foolish in a "Christian philosophy" aka "Christian Theology" which is founded upon revealed Scripture and the Gospel.



I don't reject all of anything neither philosophers nor philosophy as a couse of study, but I do tend to mistrust a lot of what comes from academia. It is a too enclosed system.

Yup. Me too. Academia is controlled in large part by intellectual fads which distorts and marginalizes important truths.



This quote may shed some light on your original question.

1co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Now, we are back even further than the "begining" to "before the world" and God "ordained" that it was so. That could be interpreted as a decision I would think.

Good talking to you,
Bob
That's why I tend towards a "meta-time" rather than a timeless eternity. This way, we have no problem with "before the beginning."

Great chatting,

Richard

Bob May
08-30-2010, 09:36 PM
Aha! Good catch. You got me. I answered too quickly. Scripture declares the "word of the cross" to be foolishness indeed. But is that intrinsically foolishness, or is it "God's Wisdom?" Ah yes, it is foolishness only to "man's wisdom."

Richard

Which is the only wisdom man has without the Spirit. Remember the converstation Jesus had with Nicodemus?

Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Joh 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Here was one of the best the Jews had to offer. Well educated in the law and trying to understand. Yet Jesus said that he (Nicodemus) could not understand where born again people were coming from.



And what is "man's wisdom" in this context .... hummm ... that's a good question. I don't think it is "philosophy" in the modern sense of "trying to clarify our thought" - rather, it is the old "metaphysical" style of philosophy that made up metaphysical entities, or perhaps it is philosophy that takes "man as the measure" and has no foundation in God. Richard

That last, I think is the closest.
It may be principle behind of the story of the tower of Babel. Whether by reason, thinking you are following the law (works), good deeds, or any number of other human inventions, we end up comparing spiritual things to natural things.
God confuses our speech so that we cannot understand each other.

There is only one way to heaven.

Ge 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

That phrase "..behold a ladder set up.." adds up to 888, the number of Jesus' name in Greek.

It is even more interesting to note that while this verse points forward to Jesus, Jesus points backwards to this verse;

Joh 1:48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
Joh 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
Joh 1:50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
Joh 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

So there is a ladder that reaches fom heaven to earth. And a tree (of life) that reaches from heaven to earth.
But not a man made tower.




In other words, the cross is not foolish in a "Christian philosophy" aka "Christian Theology" which is founded upon revealed Scripture and the Gospel.


Richard


Of course the cross is not foolishness to us! That IS the tree. And the scripture being revealed Is the fruit.

All the best,
Bob

Richard Amiel McGough
08-31-2010, 10:53 AM
There is only one way to heaven.

Ge 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

That phrase "..behold a ladder set up.." adds up to 888, the number of Jesus' name in Greek.

It is even more interesting to note that while this verse points forward to Jesus, Jesus points backwards to this verse;

Joh 1:48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
Joh 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
Joh 1:50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
Joh 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

So there is a ladder that reaches fom heaven to earth. And a tree (of life) that reaches from heaven to earth.
But not a man made tower.

Interesting insight. I checked the value, and you are correct if you use the sofit value for the Mem in sullam (ladder). Just thought folks should know since they might think there was a mistake.

Your comment shows how strongly John 1 is connected to Genesis, Book 1. They both begin "In the beginning" and have other strong correlations. The ladder to heaven is another one. And this is not just a coincidence. John 2 is uniquely connected with Book 2, Exodus, in which God defined his "house". Indeed, there is a strong correlation between the chapter sequence throughout John and the Spokes of the Wheel. See Inner Wheels > John (http://biblewheel.com/InnerWheels/John/Intro.asp) where I have written articles about significant correlations for all but three chapters.



Of course the cross is not foolishness to us! That IS the tree. And the scripture being revealed Is the fruit.

All the best,
Bob
Yes, but I think we've digressed from my original question. Should we think of God as being "outside time?" If so, why? Where did we get the idea of "eternity" as "timeless?" Is it Biblical, or Greek, or a more modern concept?

Richard

Bob May
09-01-2010, 04:56 AM
Interesting insight. I checked the value, and you are correct if you use the sofit value for the Mem in sullam (ladder). Just thought folks should know since they might think there was a mistake.

Your comment shows how strongly John 1 is connected to Genesis, Book 1. They both begin "In the beginning" and have other strong correlations. The ladder to heaven is another one. And this is not just a coincidence. John 2 is uniquely connected with Book 2, Exodus, in which God defined his "house". Indeed, there is a strong correlation between the chapter sequence throughout John and the Spokes of the Wheel. See Inner Wheels > John (http://biblewheel.com/InnerWheels/John/Intro.asp) where I have written articles about significant correlations for all but three chapters.
Richard

I will check that out. I am into the spokes section in your book and I'm movng a bit slower trying to absorb as much as I can. I am thoroughly enjoying it.



Yes, but I think we've digressed from my original question. Should we think of God as being "outside time?" If so, why? Where did we get the idea of "eternity" as "timeless?" Is it Biblical, or Greek, or a more modern concept?

Richard

Our idea of the passage of time is dependent upon the movement or changing of things. Sun, moon stars, hands on a clock shadows on sun dials, our bodies changing, growing, hair falling out bodies shrinking, mountains crumbling, rivers changing course, etc.
Before God created, or beyond the level of Creation, there was, is nothing to change or move. God said He changes not. Hence He is beyond time.

The closest we can come to understanding timelessness and/or Nothingness (no-thing-ness) is in deep meditation.

I am sure it would be a very long list of systems of knowledge; Mystics, Sufis, Mezo-American Shamanism, Budhists, Hindus, Qabalists, etc., etc., that all practice some form of quietness in order to reach Reality.

Many have passed down this knowledge word of mouth. Later it was written on scrolls. Later still it was printed in books.

There is a tradition in the Qabalah that it was first taught to mankind by angels.

So the idea is biblical, Greek, Hebrew, Eastern, Western and angelic. It shows up wherever men have desired to seek God.

Ps 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be STILL. Selah.
Ps 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the STILL waters.
Ps 46:10 Be STILL, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.


Bob

Richard Amiel McGough
09-01-2010, 10:26 AM
Our idea of the passage of time is dependent upon the movement or changing of things. Sun, moon stars, hands on a clock shadows on sun dials, our bodies changing, growing, hair falling out bodies shrinking, mountains crumbling, rivers changing course, etc.
Before God created, or beyond the level of Creation, there was, is nothing to change or move. God said He changes not. Hence He is beyond time.

The closest we can come to understanding timelessness and/or Nothingness (no-thing-ness) is in deep meditation.

I am sure it would be a very long list of systems of knowledge; Mystics, Sufis, Mezo-American Shamanism, Budhists, Hindus, Qabalists, etc., etc., that all practice some form of quietness in order to reach Reality.

Many have passed down this knowledge word of mouth. Later it was written on scrolls. Later still it was printed in books.

There is a tradition in the Qabalah that it was first taught to mankind by angels.

So the idea is biblical, Greek, Hebrew, Eastern, Western and angelic. It shows up wherever men have desired to seek God.

Ps 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be STILL. Selah.
Ps 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the STILL waters.
Ps 46:10 Be STILL, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.


Bob
Ah yes - time is change, change is time.

I understand that, and agree there is a deep connection. But I think your application of "God does not change" is incorrect. That verse is talking about his fundamental character as loving, faithful, good and all that. Is there any reason we should take it to mean that God can not change in any way at all? If anything is putting "God in a box" - that's it! Think about it ... it's the ultimate straight-jacket. Any and all action - whether it be in thought, word, or deed - involves a change in the agent! Therefore, when we declare that God cannot change in an absolute sense, we are declaring that God is incapable of "doing" anything at all!

We have put God in the Ultimate Box of Eternal Unchanging Stasis.

Is God static? Static is dead. Is God dead???

Yuck!

Richard

Bob May
09-01-2010, 10:17 PM
Ah yes - time is change, change is time.

I understand that, and agree there is a deep connection. But I think your application of "God does not change" is incorrect.
Richard


I said, "Before God created, or beyond the level of Creation, there was, is nothing to change or move. God said He changes not. Hence He is beyond time."

We cannot conceive of time without motion. He was before the things that move and or change (because He created them) hence He is outside of our conception of time.



That verse is talking about his fundamental character as loving, faithful, good and all that. Is there any reason we should take it to mean that God can not change in any way at all? If anything is putting "God in a box" - that's it! Think about it ... it's the ultimate straight-jacket. Any and all action - whether it be in thought, word, or deed - involves a change in the agent! Therefore, when we declare that God cannot change in an absolute sense, we are declaring that God is incapable of "doing" anything at all!
Richard

To say that I cannot conceive of it is just the opposite of putting Him in a box or straight jacket.




We have put God in the Ultimate Box of Eternal Unchanging Stasis.

Is God static? Static is dead. Is God dead???

Yuck!

Richard

The original question was is God able to make a decision? I think He already did and attatched a lot of promises to it. My only hope is that He is static enough not to change His mind before it all works out.
Then you and I will know the answers to the hard questions.

Good talking to you,
Bob

Rose
09-02-2010, 07:33 AM
I said, "Before God created, or beyond the level of Creation, there was, is nothing to change or move. God said He changes not. Hence He is beyond time."

We cannot conceive of time without motion. He was before the things that move and or change (because He created them) hence He is outside of our conception of time.

I think your point is good....to say that God is beyond time is to say that He is what always was, change happens in His creation that flows through time. When God intervenes in the flow as in changing the course of a river....change happens, hence God alters creation without Himself changing.






The original question was is God able to make a decision? I think He already did and attatched a lot of promises to it. My only hope is that He is static enough not to change His mind before it all works out.
Then you and I will know the answers to the hard questions.

Good talking to you,
Bob

If time always moves in a constant flow and order maybe the outcome of its affect on creation is always the same, so God who is outside of time knows exactly what every intervention will cause, thus the only decision that can be made is that which is perfect.

There is only one perfect decision for every choice, and that is the one God has made.

Blessings,
Rose

Bob May
09-02-2010, 09:12 PM
I think your point is good....to say that God is beyond time is to say that He is what always was, change happens in His creation that flows through time. When God intervenes in the flow as in changing the course of a river....change happens, hence God alters creation without Himself changing.
Rose


Ro 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Ro 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.



If time always moves in a constant flow and order maybe the outcome of its affect on creation is always the same, so God who is outside of time knows exactly what every intervention will cause, thus the only decision that can be made is that which is perfect.
Rose

Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.



There is only one perfect decision for every choice, and that is the one God has made.

Blessings,
Rose


Hi Rose,

One of my favorite spots in the bible is When Joseph was reunited with his brothers,...

Ge 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
Ge 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

After being sold into slavery by his brothers and thrown in prison he still forgave them. But just as important is that he was looking at the "big picture."
God looks at the big picture. We tend to "watch the clock" and in so doing we can tend to doubt God's plans or His answers to our prayers.

I think we need to be more "eternal" in our viewpoint. Everything will work out. So, in God's eyes, it already has.

Nice talking to you,
Bob