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Divine Foreknowledge

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Rex, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Good point! Psalm 139 seems to argue omniscience, but I was surprised that I could find nothing more explicit. I need to give this some more thought ... :eek:
     
  2. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    So much of what we ascribe God to be is based on assumptions or what was simply handed down from our parents. It's always best to discard such assumptions if you really want to find the truth.
     
  3. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    True, God can foresee certain events, but in many cases, he has chosen not to use his foreknowledge. Because God is almighty, he is free to exercise his abilities as he wishes, not according to the wishes of imperfect humans.

     
  4. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    A wise, if not paternalistic and irrelevant, piece of advice.
    As for what was "simply handed down from our parents", my parents worked long and hard to get the Encyclopaedia Britannica Jr., the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the Britannica Great Books of the Western World series into my hands.
     
  5. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Isaiah 8:19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?

    Nothing here about God foretelling the future.

    Isaiah 41:21 "Present your case," says the LORD. "Set forth your arguments," says Jacob's King. 22"Bring in [ your idols] to tell us what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, 23 tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear. 24 But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; he who chooses you is detestable.

    Here he debunks the myths that other "gods" can foretell the future.

    Isaiah 42:8. "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. 9 See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."

    Closer, but not quite. Prophecy is not the same as knowing the ENTIRE outcome of our all of our lives. Saying X will happen does not imply that he knows EVERYTHING that will happen.

    Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

    Again close, but still does not imply clairvoyance.

    Of course the other references are little more than traditions of men. Not important if you are discarding all "assumptions" about what the Bible teaches us about God.

    Now God has a plan... he knows when Jesus is coming back. But I see no evidence in the scriptures that he claims to know everything about future events.

    I am still open to you proving me wrong. But right now it looks more like a teaching of man rather than a teaching of God.
     
  6. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    For that they should be praised! But I don't accept my parent's beliefs as my own. My mom thought I looked great in red pants. Four years in a row she would give me a pair for my birthday, for Christmas or for both. Imagine her surprise when I went to college and she found half a dozen pair of red pants with the tags still on! I love my mom, but I have my own faith.
     
  7. Rex

    Rex Founder
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    I'd pay to see that picture.. :biglaugh:
     
  8. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I've done enough to humiliate myself without help from Ma. :D
     
  9. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    "True, God can foresee certain events, but in many cases, he has chosen not to use his foreknowledge. Because God is almighty, he is free to exercise his abilities as he wishes, not according to the wishes of imperfect humans."

    Than practice what you preach and don't tell us what god can and cannot do, or what he chooses to do. Remember you are finite as well, we all are wrong. You don't know if god chooses to foresee the future, you only want to believe that. Don't pass it off as fact. Especially when you deny your own ability to do so.
     
  10. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    God appears to us as paradox. ;) My point was that I would be careful about stating what God cannot do, even if it follows logically from one of God's recognized attributes. It's the equivalent of asking whether God can create a rock so heavy that God cannot lift it. :p
     
  11. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I firmly agree, God is a paradox. There is a limit to apophatic statements where we still run up against a wall and can't understand it :).
     
  12. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    ?There is a limit to apophatic statements where we still run up against a wall and can't understand it :).[/QUOTE]Well, unless you're lucky enough to have a book of revealed truths or a tradition that somehow is in tune with God's will, there are even fewer cataphatic statements that can be made about God. ;)

    I actually prefer the apophatic to the cataphatic, because ultimately it is still less limiting. Any positive statement limits more than a negative one. As Hinduism says when describing God, Neti, Neti. Not this. Not that.

    addendum:
    I should add that there is a difference between using apophatic statements to describe our perception of God's nature and making positive statements about what God cannot do.
     
  13. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Well, unless you're lucky enough to have a book of revealed truths or a tradition that somehow is in tune with God's will, there are even fewer cataphatic statements that can be made about God. ;)[/quote]

    Well, you never know.... :D



    So does Eastern Christianity. Our view is that we may only make a catophatic statement on the basis of Scripture, tradition, or some other revelation. This is discouraged except in those cases where it has been accepted by the Church (the Trinity, the reason behind the crucifixion, etc.) or when we really need to get more specific to combat heresy (such as was the case with Arianism, for example).

    So, at this point, we are in agreement. The difference that changes our perception of God so, is that holy book, revelation, Church, tradition, etc. :). This seems to be becoming a pattern in many ways lol.

    Yes, I have been saying "God cannot..." and that terminology is inaccurate. Thank you for your correction. It's so easy to slip into something like that :(.
     
  14. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    I can live with that. :) I actually envy your revelation/tradition. But I can not believe in what I do not believe in. It's like trying to love a person that you know is a good person but you just don't love. if that makes sense.


    Hey, I've done it many times. How else would I recognize it? ;)
     
  15. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I understand that. I feel belief is a synergy between the rational/irrational sides of our nature. Either one can tip the scale into trust...but it never feels right until both sides jump on board.

    Then I am most certanly in very good company :D.
     
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