Gen 18:21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know."
I'm guessing Fred is using the last part of this verse to say that God didnt know until he "went down to see". Does God need to come down to earth to "see" or "know" something?
You guessed incorrectly. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a fair assumption to make, but for the record I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think God needs to come down to earth, I believe he can instantly know what is going on in Sodom (though I cannot make a slam-dunk case for this from scripture). What I am saying is that God has the power to ignore, blot from His mind, places where wickedness runs rampant. He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to be in the presence of every perpetual wicked act. I believe God can at any moment be anywhere he wants, He also has the power to not to be somewhere he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to be. Why would God want to be in the depths of every sewer? Many Christians have been trained to accept the omnis as absolute (there's that Greek influence again), I submit scripture does not support such a rigid position, and Gen 18:21 provides one such example.
What about verses like 1 Peter 1:2
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
or Ephesians 1:4
Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
or Romans 11:2
God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel?
or Acts 2:23
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain
or 1 Peter 1:20
He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you
or Romans 8:29
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers
Its like this verse......
He said to him the third time, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Simon, son of John, do you love me?Ã¢â‚¬Â Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Do you love me?Ã¢â‚¬Â and he said to him, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.Ã¢â‚¬Â Jesus said to him, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Feed my sheep.
Why would Jesus ask Peter if He loved Him when it is clear Jesus already knew?
Is the foreknowledge mentioned above somehow limited to only certain things?
All the Ã¢â‚¬Å“foreknewÃ¢â‚¬Â verses above deal with a plurality. It would be very easy to falsify corporate election by producing an example of foreknowledge of an individual. I would ask, what would falsify your belief in individual predestination? The beauty of what I am proposing is that it truly would be easy to falsify. I submit that there are many, many verses that cleanly falsify individual predestination.
Foreknowledge is limited to all that is real. If it turns out to be true that the future doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exist until it happens, is this going to diminish your view of God? Such a thing would not make God any less God. God knows all things knowable.
PS. Please know I've been on the other side of this for years, the problem was I couldn't explain the literally hundreds of verses that don't work with the concept of "God outside of time". As UppsalaDragby mentioned, there hasn't been much an effort by folks in this thread to deal with the scriptures I have provided that make it difficult to believe that the future already exists, since in plain language of scripture it can't possibly exist (eg. Jer 19:5).