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Is The Biblical God Consistent With Himself?


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#1 Designist

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 04:11 AM

I have a very simple question and am in search of an answer that exalts the biblical God. The question is as follows:

How is it possible to reconcile a God who knows all things (including all future actions and events of all beings, including Himself) and a God who is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence" with a God who makes some vessels for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony?

I will elaborate if it becomes clear that the question is not understood.

#2 Adam Nagy

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 04:15 AM

When did God make some vessels for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony?

#3 Designist

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 04:29 AM

When did God make some vessels for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony?

 

I am referring specifically to Romans 9:22 (to find that or any verse online, just go to http://www.biblegate... 9&version=KJV) and Exodus 9:16

#4 Adam Nagy

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 05:02 AM

I am referring specifically to Romans 9:22 (to find that or any verse online, just go to http://www.biblegate... 9&version=KJV) and Exodus 9:16

 

I read those versus and I don't see how God has made anybody with the intent purpose of destroying them. Why don't you use exegesis on both Romans 9:22 and Exodus 9:16 because I don't see how those could possibly mean that God predestines people to eternal damnation.

#5 ikester7579

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 08:11 AM

That sounds like Calvinism.

#6 the totton linnet

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:16 AM

Well, let's look at the word of God.

What if God, desiring to show His wrath and to make known His power, has endured with much patience the vessels of wrath made for destruction in order to make known the riches of His glory for the vessels of mercy, which [who?] He has prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He has called not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles.

Now I who believe in predestination but reject Calvin's interpretation of it do not have a problem in the world with this scripture~the answer is that you have to look at the whole scheme of things and take in the scope of all of God's word for this doctrine. In other words the truth is much larger than is generally expounded AND there is a "third way" that is not Calvin's predestination limited to saved/lost, heaven/hell, saints/sinners, black/white. But nor is it free will.

And I am assuming the honesty of the OP

The first thing to accept is foreknowledge, if God in desiring to have children knew that the elder would be wicked and the younger righteous [hence election] why would He not especially prepare the elder to be a vessel for Him to show His first His patience and long suffering but then His righteous anger against sin?

Do you see how big a subject this is? and not to be treated lightly. See I believe I have solid scripture support for not believing that at the last judgement the sheep are the saints [per se] and the goats are the sinners. As far as ever I can see the saints are there with the Lord, after the rapture "so shall they ever be with the Lord" and Paul asks the Corinthians "do you not know that the saints are to judge the world?" sure the saints are there with the Lord and the sheep are judged as well as the goats "in-as-much as ye did it unto one of these the least "of these My brethren" ye did it unto Me"

But I am not a universalist, I believe in hell and I believe the wicked will go there, why should they not? but if you ponder the above long enough you will quit the hell-fire and damnation gospel forever, instead you will do your utmost to show forth God's loving kindness to all who come to Him through the blood atonement~demonstrate as Abel did that this is the way to God, sure Cain will hate your guts and persecute you, he will even murder you.

#7 the totton linnet

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 10:15 AM

Another doctrine to be taken into account with this is federal headship, it is a part of this doctrine that Paul teaches that God has consigned all men to disobedience so that He may have mercy upon all Ro.11:32.
Paul teaches it with regard to the Jews and Gentiles, that through their fall God extended the call to salvation to us Gentiles in order that we might make them jealous [and so seek Him through he gospel] that's why the Jews were dispersed into the nations, that they might go wherever the gospel was preached.

But in the same way we are supposed to make the world jealous of our relationship with God that they too might seek Him through the gospel.
It is all mercy with God, I used to stare long at God's words to Cain after he had murdered his brother God said "if you do well will you not be recieved?"

This is why Paul fervently hoped that Alexander the silversmith might find mercy on that day, he was the guy who stirred everyone to stone Paul and leave him for dead. How quick evangelicals [and I am evangelical] can be to curse and damn people to hell.

#8 Designist

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 01:34 PM

I read those versus and I don't see how God has made anybody with the intent purpose of destroying them. Why don't you use exegesis on both Romans 9:22 and Exodus 9:16 because I don't see how those could possibly mean that God predestines people to eternal damnation.

 

Then I suppose you are not in a position to provide any meaningful feedback on these passages because I see a very real inclination on God's part to be inconsistent with Himself when I compare Romans 9 with 2 Peter 3:9.

Furthermore, the doctrines that are brought forth in Romans 9, Matthew 10:28 and numerous other passages that touch on or imply the doctrine of eternal damnation seem to deny or come into serious conflict with several other equally biblical doctrines that I am familiar with.

Another doctrine to be taken into account with this is federal headship, it is a part of this doctrine that Paul teaches that God has consigned all men to disobedience so that He may have mercy upon all Ro.11:32.

This may help to shed some light on the subject though I don't see how yet.

Well, let's look at the word of God.

I don't see where you are going with this or how it relates to my question.

That sounds like Calvinism.

I wouldn't doubt that it is Calvinism as I am most regretfully convinced that the KJV, my most cherished Bible, is perhaps an entirely plagiarized version of John Calvin's Geneva Bible.

Edited by Designist, 28 October 2009 - 01:44 PM.


#9 the totton linnet

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:21 PM

Then I suppose you are not in a position to provide any meaningful feedback on these passages because I see a very real inclination on God's part to be inconsistent with Himself when I compare Romans 9 with 2 Peter 3:9.

Furthermore, the doctrines that are brought forth in Romans 9, Matthew 10:28 and numerous other passages that touch on or imply the doctrine of eternal damnation seem to deny or come into serious conflict with several other equally biblical doctrines that I am familiar with.  This may help to shed some light on the subject though I don't see how yet. I don't see where you are going with this or how it relates to my question. I wouldn't doubt that it is Calvinism as I am most regretfully convinced that the KJV, my most cherished Bible, is perhaps an entirely plagiarized version of John Calvin's Geneva Bible.

 

*
The KJV was translated entirely by Calvinist theologians, there is little wrong with Calvinsm except what is wrong [in my view] is most horribly wrong i.e his interpretation of predestination and yes when you begin to get to grips with that subject you come across the difficulties the KJV translators certainly had trying to accomodate it.

I have to stress of course that it is my understanding, others may take a different view.

I believe in predestination because the bible says "those whom He foreknew He also predestinated [for what?] to be conformed to the image of His Son"

Let me show you a big mistake and it is very easy to make, the more intellectual a person is the more likely they may be to make it, it is to read INTO a scripture something that isn't there, this predestination is not unto salvation, read it, it is predestination to be conformed to the image of His Son. People of themselves equate this with salvation.

Immediately Calvin said it somebody said "does that mean all others are predestined to damnation?" Calvin visibly stalled, he hesitated, he stammered, but most reluctantly he had to conclude that it did mean that. Herein he was wrong.

What do you mean how does it relate to your question? it is the very scripture you are quoting from Romans 9.

To give an example of how the KJV translators had problems in Matt:25 which deals with the last judgement it says "when the Son of man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him....." I am sure His angels will come with Him but actually the word used for angels can also mean saints and I am sure that it does mean saints because Paul teaches that when He comes to judge He will bring us with Him. But because the Calvinist theologians had the sheep marked out for the christians and the goats as all others they opted to translate the word as angels.

In the story of the wise and foolish maidens it is even more obvious because it should read in Matt:25:1 ....and went out to meet the Bridegroom AND THE BRIDE... but the translators had a problem because the bride is the church and according to their Calvinism the maidens were divided into the wise [church] and foolish [others] so they had two churches, well they simply omitted the bride.

#10 Designist

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 01:13 AM

there is little wrong with Calvinsm except what is wrong [in my view] is most horribly wrong i.e his interpretation of predestination....

I am not embarrassed to admit that I have not read any of Calvin's materials. Nor am I too proud to confess that all I know of Calvinism is mostly from a third party. But, so far, I have little reason to believe that the third parties (whose reasoning and doctrine I am most in agreement with) are not telling me the essential truths about Calvinism that I need to know. One of the third parties that reasons a lot like I do is Howard Roy Elseth. I like to quote him extensively on foreknowledge and predistination because his words make a lot more sense to me than do the words I am used to hearing from those whose doctrines were heavily influenced by Calvin and Arminius (who disagreed with Calvin, according to Dr. Elseth, on a very insignificant point). I hope that in doing so, I am not violating any of the rules of this forum. In his 1977 book, Did God Know?, Dr. Elseth refers to a view of Calvin's that has nothing to do with predestination when he says on page 38:

God's logic described in the Bible is not in dichotomy with man's logic as Calvin suggests. Certainly it appears unreasonable to rebellious and wicked men, but God's pattern of logic is in no way on a different wave length than the logic of men and women who earnestly seek Him. His truth rather than being obtruse and abstract is compelling, reasonable, gentle, and soothing to those who seek wisdom. "It is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:45). Psalm 9:10: "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee..."

Nowhere in the Bible does God deny Himself to, or criticize, or condemn men who sincerely seek Him. Nowhere in the Bible does God speak evil about a righteous man (and over thirty people are described as righteous and/or perfect in the Old Testament). Passages such as Isaiah 55:8 must be read in context: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways saith the Lord." Here a specific group of people are being talked about in a specific point in time. These were wicked and not religious people. Certainly wicked people's thoughts and acts are not as God's thoughts and ways. To give this and other such verses universal application is to grossly distort Scriptures. This does not mean that we have not sinned, but that in turn does not mean we cannot be perfect in intention of our hearts and minds. Jesus commands us, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heave is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). If such perfection is beyond our capabilities it was certainly an illogical remark for Jesus to make.


I believe in predestination because the bible says "those whom He foreknew He also predestinated [for what?] to be conformed to the image of His Son"

I wonder if your understanding of God's foreknowledge and predestination is not primarily Calvinistic. Again, I prefer to think along Dr. Elseth's lines of reasoning on this matter.

In his notes for Chapter 5, on page 54, he says:

"Predestination," as used in the Scriptures, needs further explanation. The term was originally applied to agriculture. A farmer would preset, prearrange, or delineate the boundary lines around his fields. He would thus "predestinate" the metes and bounds of his land. Likewise God sets the bounds and procedures for becoming a fulfilled Christian. Once you have accepted His love and His Lordship in your life, the next step is to conform to the image of God's Son, Jesus.
Perhaps it could be better illustrated this way. Suppose you had a friend whom you wanted to come to your house and he only had a vague idea of where you lived. You would obviously call him up and explain exactly where you were located. You would describe exactly what street you were on, the street number, and which roads to take. There would be a predetermined or "predestined" way for your friend to get to your house from his house. It would be stupid for you to tell him that you lived on Johnson Avenue if you really lived on Peterson Place, or to tell him that you lived two miles north of him, if you really lived two miles south. Why? Because he would never find your house if you didn't describe truthfully a predetermined or "predestined" route that you knew by experience would get your friend to your house. Likewise, God has laid out a predetermined or "predestined" plan for those that he "foreknows" or knows intimately as friends that he wants to get closer to. To get to God's house we have to follow the predetermined procedures, and the roads that will lead us in the right direction. We obviously wouldn't want to go in the opposite direction that He has told us, otherwise we would never get to His place. (Again, I re-emphasize, it is not the people in Romans 8:28, 29, that are "predestined"; rather, it is the conditions of righteousness that are "predestined,")


What do you mean how does it relate to your question? it is the very scripture you are quoting from Romans 9.

I apologize!

I should have said that I would have to ponder over your commentary on Romans 9 in order to see how I might be able to apply it to my question. So far, though, your commentary has merely reaffirmed the things I have learned about that chapter's Calvanistic theology in light of the fact that the KJV is the version of the Bible that I prefer to read and study. And in this instance, I would have to admit that my question, if Romans 9 is the only passage I wish to quote, is primarily for Calvinists and Arminians (who ever so insignificantly differ from Calvinists, according to Howard Elseth).

But considering the theology I have acquired from a lifetime of reading and studying the KJV primarily, I suppose a better question would be:

Without becoming willfully blind or without becoming unreasonable, how is it possible for any individual to avoid thinking that any God who would allow any part of His self-conscious creation, not to mention the vast majority of men and women who have ever lived and will ever live, to suffer for eternity, couldn't possibly be a God who cares as much about His creation as He clearly suggests that a loving human father cares about his own children? This question refers primarily to the God of the Christian Bible. But with a slight adjustment, it could also refer to the Allah of the texts that settle all disputes among those who insist that the primary prophet of Islam was at least as decent a human being as Jesus was/is.

#11 ikester7579

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:56 AM

Two of the main foundations for Calvinism is the osas and predestination doctrine. Osas doctrine means you can never lose salvation. Predestined doctrine means we were preselected for Heaven or hell.

Osas is wrong because it takes the sin of blaspheming the Holy Ghost, and puts it upon the unsaved. Saying that the unsaved can commit an unforgivable sin makes sin stronger than the shed blood of Christ. Because if the unsaved cannot get saved because they committed this sin, then Christ died for nothing. The shed blood has to be sin atonement for all sins of the unsaved, or sin itself is more powerful.

So who is this warning to on blaspheming? The saved. Why? Because we have freewill even in a covenant. If not them explain how angels in Heaven can commit sin and be cast out like Lucifer and 1/3 of the angels? So if angels can sin in a perfect place and be cast out, what is going to protect us in a non-perfect place?

Predestination is wrong because Calvin did not understand how eternity works. To use scripture that says: God knew us before the foundations of the earth as proof does not prove anything unless you can prove that eternity time is the same as the time here?

Now why is God called the Alpha-Omega?
And our time has Past-Present-future?

Removing present time means that the beings in that time are actually no where in time. Present time places us in a position of time that moves forward and causes the aging process. If there is no present time, where in time would you be? Anywhere you want.

So Alpha-Omega time (eternity) enables the beings existing in that time-line to see the whole time-line in one glance. Which means they would know everything from beginning to end. So when God says that He knew us before the foundations of the world, it is because Alpha-Omega time allows this

You can read more about this here: http://creationwiki...._about_eternity

#12 the totton linnet

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 04:58 AM

At this point it is well to just admit that Isaac and I respectfully disagree strongly in these matters, so it is probably best if we respond separately, then we wont get all tangled up.

#13 the totton linnet

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 06:06 AM

I am not embarrassed to admit that I have not read any of Calvin's materials. Nor am I too proud to confess that all I know of Calvinism is mostly from a third party. But, so far, I have little reason to believe that the third parties (whose reasoning and doctrine I am most in agreement with) are not telling me the essential truths about Calvinism that I need to know. One of the third parties that reasons a lot like I do is Howard Roy Elseth. I like to quote him extensively on foreknowledge and predistination because his words make a lot more sense to me than do the words I am used to hearing from those whose doctrines were heavily influenced by Calvin and Arminius (who disagreed with Calvin, according to Dr. Elseth, on a very insignificant point). I hope that in doing so, I am not violating any of the rules of this forum.  In his 1977 book, Did God Know?, Dr. Elseth refers to a view of Calvin's that has nothing to do with predestination when he says on page 38:

God's logic described in the Bible is not in dichotomy with man's logic as Calvin suggests. Certainly it appears unreasonable to rebellious and wicked men, but God's pattern of logic is in no way on a different wave length than the logic of men and women who earnestly seek Him. His truth rather than being obtruse and abstract is compelling, reasonable, gentle, and soothing to those who seek wisdom. "It is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:45). Psalm 9:10: "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee..."

     Nowhere in the Bible does God deny Himself to, or criticize, or condemn men who sincerely seek Him. Nowhere in the Bible does God speak evil about a righteous man (and over thirty people are described as righteous and/or perfect in the Old Testament). Passages such as Isaiah 55:8 must be read in context: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways saith the Lord." Here a specific group of people are being talked about in a specific point in time. These were wicked and not religious people. Certainly wicked people's thoughts and acts are not as God's thoughts and ways. To give this and other such verses universal application is to grossly distort Scriptures. This does not mean that we have not sinned, but that in turn does not mean we cannot be perfect in intention of our hearts and minds. Jesus commands us, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heave is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). If such perfection is beyond our capabilities it was certainly an illogical remark for Jesus to make.


I wonder if your understanding of God's foreknowledge and predestination is not primarily Calvinistic. Again, I prefer to think along Dr. Elseth's lines of reasoning on this matter.

In his notes for Chapter 5, on page 54, he says: 

     "Predestination," as used in the Scriptures, needs further explanation. The term was originally applied to agriculture. A farmer would preset, prearrange, or delineate the boundary lines around his fields. He would thus "predestinate" the metes and bounds of his land. Likewise God sets the bounds and procedures for becoming a fulfilled Christian. Once you  have accepted His love and His Lordship in your life, the next step is to conform to the image of God's Son, Jesus.
     Perhaps it could be better illustrated this way. Suppose you had a friend whom you wanted to come to your house and he only had a vague idea of where you lived. You would obviously call him up and explain exactly where you were located. You would describe exactly what street you were on, the street number, and which roads to take. There would be a predetermined or "predestined" way for your friend to get to your house from his house. It would be stupid for you to tell him that you lived on Johnson Avenue if you really lived on Peterson Place, or to tell him that you lived two miles north of him, if you really lived two miles south. Why? Because he would never find your house if you didn't describe truthfully a predetermined or "predestined" route that you knew by experience would get your friend to your house. Likewise, God has laid out a predetermined or "predestined" plan for those that he "foreknows" or knows intimately as friends that he wants to get closer to. To get to God's house we have to follow the predetermined procedures, and the roads that will lead us in the right direction. We obviously wouldn't want to go in the opposite direction that He has told us, otherwise we would never get to His place. (Again, I re-emphasize, it is not the people in Romans 8:28, 29, that are "predestined"; rather, it is the conditions of righteousness that are "predestined,")


I apologize!

I should have said that I would have to ponder over your commentary on Romans 9 in order to see how I might be able to apply it to my question. So far, though, your commentary has merely reaffirmed the things I have learned about that chapter's Calvanistic theology in light of the fact that the KJV is the version of the Bible that I prefer to read and study. And in this instance, I would have to admit that my question, if Romans 9 is the only passage I wish to quote, is primarily for Calvinists and Arminians (who ever so insignificantly differ from Calvinists, according to Howard Elseth).

But considering the theology I have acquired from a lifetime of reading and studying the KJV primarily, I suppose a better question would be:

Without becoming willfully blind or without becoming unreasonable, how is it possible for any individual to avoid thinking that any God who would allow any part of His self-conscious creation, not to mention the vast majority of men and women who have ever lived and will ever live, to suffer for eternity, couldn't possibly be a God who cares as much about His creation as He clearly suggests that a loving human father cares about his own children? This question refers primarily to the God of the Christian Bible. But with a slight adjustment, it could also refer to the Allah of the texts that settle all disputes among those who insist that the primary prophet of Islam was at least as decent a human being as Jesus was/is.

 

*
Instead of debating Elseth or Calvin or Arminus it is better to debate the bible.
Just for now to take one point of Elseth who I have briefly scanned and just as there are hyper-Calvins who go far above what Calvin taught, I would say [after a very brief peruse] Elseth is [if such a thing is possible] hyper-Arminus and is teetering on the edge of universalism.

Just to take his assertion that God's logic is not in dichotomy with man's logic, which he then softens to the logic of men and women who seek Him.

It is best to work from the scripture and work from there, we know that God says in Isaiah "let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return to the Lord......
For My thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways My ways saith the Lord for as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than yours ...

Aren't you glad about that? I am, this scripture is full of hopefulness to me, it takes the limit off of God, as high as the heavens are above the earth.

But you say this is the unrighteous man or even the unrighteous but seeking man, well let's look at Romans.12:2.
And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. all this is after we have presented our bodies a living sacrifice.

I hold predestination as taught by scripture but I also hold free will as taught by scripture, now that is a position that infuriates both parties, Calvinist and Arminians who each plump for one or the other each side excluding the other. It is not exactly the middle ground between the two it is entirely new ground. But whereas I believe in free will I do not believe it is any means what-so-ever by which a man can be saved, I of myself cannot choose God or His salvation, I can believe in Him and I can believe in His salvation but this free will choice will not save me. And once I am saved it will not bring me into the place of usefulness in His service.

Why?

Because "your ways are not My ways neither are your thoughts Mine saith the Lord" I must wait upon the will of God, I have to wait for Him to reveal to me of His good will for my life.

This is dying, don't tell me that any man chooses death or dies by his own free will, look at the cross, did you ever at any time choose that? no. Peter more than any person in the bible exemplifies free will he is the great "I will" among the apostles, "I will die rather than forsake you" what a flop he didn't even want to forsake the comfort of the fire where he was warming his hands, he quailed before the little maid "you are one of his disciples"

Take good cheer brother God knows all about it, He knows how helpless and hopeless we are, he knows that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. God is not expecting anything from you and as soon as you can get to realise it then the sooner you can get to the place of surrender.

Die flesh, die mind of the flesh, stop trying to do or trying to give or trying to be, now you are in perfect surrender, now you are in the place where God can begin to speak to you and reveal His will for you~and be sure it will be perfact.

#14 Designist

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 02:28 PM

*
Instead of debating Elseth or Calvin or Arminus it is better to debate the bible.
Just for now to take one point of Elseth who I have briefly scanned and just as there are hyper-Calvins who go far above what Calvin taught, I would say [after a very brief peruse] Elseth is [if such a thing is possible] hyper-Arminus and is teetering on the edge of universalism.

Just to take his assertion that God's logic is not in dichotomy with man's logic, which he then softens to the logic of men and women who seek Him.

It is best to work from the scripture and work from there, we know that God says in Isaiah "let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return to the Lord......
For My thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways My ways saith the Lord for as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than yours ...

Aren't you glad about that? I am, this scripture is full of hopefulness to me, it takes the limit off of God, as high as the heavens are above the earth.

But you say this is the unrighteous man or even the unrighteous but seeking man, well let's look at Romans.12:2.
And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. all this is after we have presented our bodies a living sacrifice.

I hold predestination as taught by scripture but I also hold free will as taught by scripture, now that is a position that infuriates both parties, Calvinist and Arminians who each plump for one or the other each side excluding the other. It is not exactly the middle ground between the two it is entirely new ground. But whereas I believe in free will I do not believe it is any means what-so-ever by which a man can be saved, I of myself cannot choose God or His salvation, I can believe in Him and I can believe in His salvation but this free will choice will not save me. And once I am saved it will not bring me into the place of usefulness in His service.

Why?

Because "your ways are not My ways neither are your thoughts Mine saith the Lord" I must wait upon the will of God, I have to wait for Him to reveal to me of His good will for my life.

This is dying, don't tell me that any man chooses death or dies by his own free will, look at the cross, did you ever at any time choose that? no. Peter more than any person in the bible exemplifies free will he is the great "I will" among the apostles, "I will die rather than forsake you" what a flop he didn't even want to forsake the comfort of the fire where he was warming his hands, he quailed before the little maid "you are one of his disciples"

Take good cheer brother God knows all about it, He knows how helpless and hopeless we are, he knows that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. God is not expecting anything from you and as soon as you can get to realise it then the sooner you can get to the place of surrender.

Die flesh, die mind of the flesh, stop trying to do or trying to give or trying to be, now you are in perfect surrender, now you are in the place where God can begin to speak to you and reveal His will for you~and be sure it will be perfact.

 

That is all fine and dandy. But if I can't read, let alone understand, the original languages in which the Bible was written; if authoritative Bible translations are laced with the doctrinal biases of Bible translators; if I can't know where the Bible translations err and where they don't; if God can repeatedly speak to me as I repeatedly speak to you; if not anybocy can read and understand the Bible, then I can't see any real need for studying the Bible or I can't see any reason why anyone should depend upon it as much as many of us do.

With regards to Elspeth's statement about man's logic and with reference to your suggestion that it is best to work from Scripture, I would think that Elspeth does work from Scripture.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?" -- Psalm 94:9 and I say unto you: He that paved the logical path on which the human mind travels when it seeks to understand His words, shall He not be logical?

I hardly think that God is illogical or above logic. If He is then, by the same token, so is Allah, whom I despise with a passion.

Also, after grasping the thoughts behind Elspeth's work concerning God's ways of thinking, His foreknowledge, and His idea of predestination, I have become more hopeful than I ever was.

I might have to study Romans 12:2 a little further to see how it relates because I don't yet see.

Aside from that, in what you have said thus far, I am failing to see an answer to the question I just posed. How would you answer it? I will repeat it here:

Without becoming willfully blind or without becoming unreasonable, how is it possible for any individual to avoid thinking that any God who would allow any part of His self-conscious creation, not to mention the vast majority of men and women who have ever lived and will ever live, to suffer for eternity, couldn't possibly be a God who cares as much about His creation as He clearly suggests that a loving human father cares about his own children?

#15 the totton linnet

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:54 PM

That is all fine and dandy. But if I can't read, let alone understand, the original languages in which the Bible was written; if authoritative Bible translations are laced with the doctrinal biases of Bible translators; if I can't know where the Bible translations err and where they don't; if God can repeatedly speak to me as I repeatedly speak to you; if not anybocy can read and understand the Bible, then I can't see any real need for studying the Bible or I can't see any reason why anyone should depend upon it as much as many of us do.   

With regards to Elspeth's statement about man's logic and with reference to your suggestion that it is best to work from Scripture, I would think that Elspeth does work from Scripture.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?" -- Psalm 94:9 and I say unto you: He that paved the logical path on which the human mind travels when it seeks to understand His words, shall He not be logical?

I hardly think that God is illogical or above logic. If He is then, by the same token,  so is Allah, whom I despise with a passion.

Also, after grasping the thoughts behind Elspeth's work concerning God's ways of thinking, His foreknowledge, and His idea of predestination, I have become more hopeful than I ever was.

I might have to study Romans 12:2 a little further to see how it relates because I don't yet see. 

Aside from that, in what you have said thus far, I am failing to see an answer to the question I just posed. How would you answer it? I will repeat it here:

Without becoming willfully blind or without becoming unreasonable, how is it possible for any individual to avoid thinking that any God who would allow any part of His self-conscious creation, not to mention the vast majority of men and women who have ever lived and will ever live, to suffer for eternity, couldn't possibly be a God who cares as much about His creation as He clearly suggests that a loving human father cares about his own children?

 

*
Woah, steady on tiger :lol: now if you had come out and out and said from the start that you were espousing the "moral government theology" or "open theism" we all would have known where we were headed. It's ok that you are going the round about route, we all do that I expect. But not knowing your theological standpoint is it not co-incidental how the conversation immediately gravitated toward determinism? or predestination and the fore-knowledge of God?
*
Taking your question about God about if God is Love [I would say rather than logical] how then can He allow suffering and eternal damnation for the majority?
Once again not knowing your standpoint in my replies I have given my view of a much wider mercy than is commonly allowed in evangelicalism i.e. I do not believe that the vast majority will end in hell but will be saved.

That does not answer to all the questions raised by moral government theology or open theism.
Now I really do not share your thoughts about the scriptures, not at all, if you are saying that the scriptures are not sufficient for you to come to an understanding of God's will and God's way why should they be sufficient for Mr Elseth any more than for you? I mean in the form that we have them.

I think God's word is simple, it is for the most part written by simple men and it is written in a way to be understood by simple people. But there is something else
James 1:5-6
If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to ALL men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and tossed.
God loves to teach His word and He being the Author of it is a most excellent Teacher.
*
Let's take that thing that Elseth says about "he that paved the logical path on which the human mind travels when it seeks to understand His word, shall He not be logical?"
It is like so many, many philosophical sayings it sounds nice but how does it relate in reality? Take for example Peter and the others when they had been fishing all night long had caught nowt, then along came Jesus and said "push out into the deep and let down your nets for a large catch" everything in Peter must have rebelled at that, it was the wrong time of day for a start, all his logic and know-how told him it was a waste of time BUT he said "at Thy word Lord."

Suppose you had sinned and God had said to you the wages of sin is death, what does your logic tell you?

In order for Elseth's statement to be correct you have to assume that man's logic and thought process were not in a fallen state, that creation as it is now is in the same condition that it was before the fall. Now I do not know what Mr E. taught about the fall and original sin but MGT teaches that we have not inherited Adam's original sin. Well all those things are large areas of debate.

My basic thought in response to your post and your question concerning evil present and future is that creation is not now how it was when God created it but is in bondage and that man is not now in the same condition morally that he was when he was first created so then we must accept that God's will concerning man and creation has been made forfeit not by God but by man.

But in so saying God has not followed what might be man's logical response i.e concerning the wages of sin and His warning about it, instead God has taken a completely different action in sending His own beloved Son who was innocent to die in our place, we go back to Isaiah "My thoughts [logic] are not your thoughts" nobody expected that God would be so merciful as that.

The next stage of the debate now hoves into view concerning fore-knowledge and predestination or determinism which is I think the crux of your viewpoint.

The whole problem that MGT has is with denying that God has or had any fore-knowledge of man's sin and the consequences which must neccesarily flow from it.
We shall see.

#16 ikester7579

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 10:08 PM

If a being can at anytime look into the future of all other beings, would he not know the future of that being no matter how many times he changed his mind?

People who believe calvinism believe that every person's fate is set in stone from the day they are born. Just because God says that he knows you future.

If God can at anytime look into someone's future, would it matter if it changed? Because if God knows that it changed, then He would still be all knowing. And this would allow for free will

#17 Designist

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 01:37 AM

if you had come out and out and said from the start that you were espousing the "moral government theology" or "open theism"

I am not familiar with those two terms.

But not knowing your theological standpoint is it not co-incidental how the conversation immediately gravitated toward determinism? or predestination and the fore-knowledge of God?

Yes, it may very well be coincidental. But at the time I posed the question I didn't realize that I should have stated my theological position from the start, although I am not sure of what to call it because I don't think it is solid or because I think it needs some tweaking. In that case I apologize to all the members here for not having done so.

Perhaps it might help if I were to tell everyone here that my views of the Bible were most heavily influenced by the Arminian theology I had acquired between 1964 (the year in which I had first heard and believed the gospel from an Arminian perspective through a junior soldier in the Salvation Army and a certain captain of the same) & 1972 (the last year of my studies at a Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Bible college. But I was also influenced, during those years, by the theology of a certain Missionary Alliance minister as well as that of Theodore H. Epp's Back to the Bible Broadcast and the broadcast's Young Ambassador magazine. And only recently have I realized that Theodore H. Epp was primarily a Calvinist).

Between 1967 & 1969 I was being looked after by a couple who happened to be members of a local United Church of Canada assembly. The liberal, God-forsaken theology I had encountered while with this couple and while attending their church meetings made me think that I would have been much better off, spiritually, if I had remained in the place that I had despised. But that is where I had experienced the most wonderful joy and peace from the Gideon's King James Bible as it had touched me in a very wonderful way both through its golden words and through the white light that I beheld in the godly lives I had observed in the two Salvationists I had known and longed to have fellowship with.

I hope that helps somewhat. At least it's a start, though I have come a long way and have changed a significant number of my views, since then.

Taking your question about God about if God is Love [I would say rather than logical] how then can He allow suffering and eternal damnation for the majority?
Once again not knowing your standpoint in my replies I have given my view of a much wider mercy than is commonly allowed in evangelicalism i.e. I do not believe that the vast majority will end in hell but will be saved.

I am convinced that the Bible clearly teaches that the vast majority of people will be damned, at least according to the KJV or the versions of the Bible that I am most familiar with. But I tried to pose my question in such a way as to put the emphasis on the willingness of a loving God to allow, cause, or allow and cause, for any reason, any of his creatures to, at any time (now or in the future) enter and remain in a state of awareness where they will be weeping and gnashing their teeth; where they will be endlessly attempting to satisfy a lust that can never be satisfied; or where they will be in in a conscious state of agony forever and ever and ever, ad infinitum.

Now I really do not share your thoughts about the scriptures, not at all, if you are saying that the scriptures are not sufficient for you to come to an understanding of God's will and God's way why should they be sufficient for Mr Elseth any more than for you? I mean in the form that we have them.

I didn't think it had anything to do with sharing my thoughts about the Scriptures. I merely expressed an uncertainty as to how I should regard the words of a book that was neither written nor translated by anyone who happens to be greater than a human being.

I think God's word is simple, it is for the most part written by simple men and it is written in a way to be understood by simple people.

I am not so sure that it is as simple as you might like to think. What about the book of Revelation? If it were simple, like you suggest, then why would so many scholarly minds struggle with it and never seem to agree with it? Also, why would there be several conflicting schools of thought on salvation and works, for instance?

But there is something else
James 1:5-6
If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to ALL men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and tossed.
God loves to teach His word and He being the Author of it is a most excellent Teacher.

I would take this to mean that one need not feel any need whatsoever to consult a book in order to gain wisdom from the Father of lights or from the Truth Himself.

Let's take that thing that Elseth says about "he that paved the logical path on which the human mind travels when it seeks to understand His word, shall He not be logical?"

Elseth didn't say that! I said it! Those words are mine not his. Nothing Elseth said, inspired me to compose the words I used in that question.

It is like so many, many philosophical sayings it sounds nice but how does it relate in reality? Take for example Peter and the others when they had been fishing all night long had caught nowt, then along came Jesus and said "push out into the deep and let down your nets for a large catch" everything in Peter must have rebelled at that, it was the wrong time of day for a start, all his logic and know-how told him it was a waste of time BUT he said "at Thy word Lord."

Let me answer. It relates in reality like this: If God wired our minds to be logical as opposed to illogical, unreasonable, irrational, or insane and if everything He created was good to Him, then He would have to be insane, unjust, or unrighteous to suggest that He does not think logically as any sane man, woman, or child was disigned to think. Otherwise, why would He have decided to create the logical mind within any of His creatures?

Throughout the entire Bible, it seems quite clear to me that God likes to reason with men and I think we all agree that reasoning has everything to do with being logical. I don't think it is wrong to insist that it is logical to believe that the manufacturer is ultimately responsible for the defects in the manufactured nor do I think it is unrighteous to suggest that the manufacturer is not being logical when he blames the manufacture for any defects it may have that might displease the manufacturer. For this reason, I don't think it would be wrong to suggest that God would have to be unreasonable, illogical, or insane to blame or punish any of His creatures for anything that they may have chosen to do since He gave them permission to do whatever they chose to do.

Suppose you had sinned and God had said to you the wages of sin is death, what does your logic tell you?

The short and simple answer I would give is as follows: Logic period (i.e., reasonableness, rational thinking, or sober thinking as opposed to insanity or stupid thinking) would prompt me to ask, "If ultimately, God is responsible for my existence in this flesh; if God is the only one who made it possible for me to sin; if God is the only one who gave me the characteristics that would ultimately result in my choice to sin, then who must I conclude is ultimately responsible for my choice to sin and, in turn, who must I conclude is ultimately to blame for my death? Me or the one who created me?"

In order for Elseth's statement to be correct you have to assume that man's logic and thought process were not in a fallen state, that creation as it is now is in the same condition that it was before the fall. Now I do not know what Mr E. taught about the fall and original sin but MGT teaches that we have not inherited Adam's original sin. Well all those things are large areas of debate.
Correction: My statement. Not Elseth's.

I am totally unfamiliar with your suggestion that man's logic is in a fallen state. This is the first time I am hearing of this doctrine. So, naturally, I consider it a strange doctrine. I am curious as to how Scriptural this doctrine might be.

Who or what is MGT?

My basic thought in response to your post and your question concerning evil present and future is that creation is not now how it was when God created it but is in bondage and that man is not now in the same condition morally that he was when he was first created so then we must accept that God's will concerning man and creation has been made forfeit not by God but by man.
But I don't see how that should matter. After all, logic or reasonable thinking suggests to me that the first cause is ultimately responsible for all effects and all other causes. But irrational or insane thinking, on the other hand, would, no doubt, suggest otherwise.

in so saying God has not followed what might be man's logical response i.e concerning the wages of sin and His warning about it, instead God has taken a completely different action in sending His own beloved Son who was innocent to die in our place, we go back to Isaiah "My thoughts [logic] are not your thoughts" nobody expected that God would be so merciful as that.
If you were thinking as I, then I am sure you would realize that this point is coming from an angle that veers far away from my question. I am sure it has its place in answering a question I never asked or never cared to ask. But I don't see how it has anything to do with the question I asked.

The next stage of the debate now hoves into view concerning fore-knowledge and predestination or determinism which is I think the crux of your viewpoint.
I think you are jumping the gun, because I don't see any trace of an answer in what you have said so far. Besides, I suppose this is more of an inquiry than a debate, because I am not seeking to prove a point or win an argument at this stage. I am merely attempting to find out how other serious Bible studients, like I believe I happen to be, would answer the question I am most interested in finding an answer to under the topic I chose for this discussion or debate. If we could all agree to treat this stage as an attempt on my part to receive an answer to the question I posed, we might then be able to move on to another topic or even a debate on the topic of this discussion.

The whole problem that MGT has is with denying that God has or had any fore-knowledge of man's sin and the consequences which must neccesarily flow from it.
We shall see.
I'm sure we shall see, but hopefully not until after I have received some sort of an answer to my question.

EDIT - ADAM:Hi Designist, this forum program limits you to ten quotes per post. If you need more than ten quote boxes please split the post or use the code function like I had to fix your post. Thanks.

#18 the totton linnet

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 04:45 AM

I am not familiar with those two terms. 
Yes, it may very well be coincidental. But at the time I posed the question I didn't realize that I should have stated my theological position from the start, although I am not sure of what to call it because I don't think it is solid or because I think it needs some tweaking. In that case I apologize to all the members here for not having done so.

Perhaps it might help if I were to tell everyone here that my views of the Bible were most heavily influenced by the Arminian theology I had acquired between 1964 (the year in which I had first heard and believed the gospel from an Arminian perspective through a junior soldier in the Salvation Army and a certain captain of the same) & 1972 (the last year of my studies at a Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Bible college. But I was also influenced, during those years, by the theology of a certain Missionary Alliance minister as well as that of Theodore H. Epp's Back to the Bible Broadcast and the broadcast's Young Ambassador magazine. And only recently have I realized that Theodore H. Epp was primarily a Calvinist).

Between 1967 & 1969 I was being looked after by a couple who happened to be members of a local United Church of Canada assembly. The liberal, God-forsaken theology I had encountered while with this couple and while attending their church meetings made me think that I would have been much better off, spiritually, if I had remained in the place that I had despised. But that is where I had experienced the most wonderful joy and peace from the Gideon's King James Bible as it had touched me in a very wonderful way both through its golden words and through the white light that I beheld in the godly lives I had observed in the two Salvationists I had known and longed to have fellowship with.

I hope that helps somewhat. At least it's a start, though I have come a long way and have changed a significant number of my views, since then. 
I am convinced that the Bible clearly teaches that the vast majority of people will be damned, at least according to the KJV or the versions of the Bible that I am most familiar with. But I tried to pose my question in such a way as to put the emphasis on the willingness of a loving God to allow, cause, or allow and cause, for any reason, any of his creatures to, at any time (now or in the future) enter and remain in a state of awareness where they will be weeping and gnashing their teeth; where they will be endlessly attempting to satisfy a lust that can never be satisfied; or where they will be in in a conscious state of agony forever and ever and ever, ad infinitum.
I didn't think it had anything to do with sharing my thoughts about the Scriptures. I merely expressed an uncertainty as to how I should regard the words of a book that was neither written nor translated by anyone who happens to be greater than a human being. 
I am not so sure that it is as simple as you might like to think. What about the book of Revelation? If it were simple, like you suggest, then why would so many scholarly minds struggle with it and never seem to agree with it? Also, why would there be several conflicting schools of thought on salvation and works, for instance?
I would take this to mean that one need not feel any need whatsoever to consult a book in order to gain wisdom from the Father of lights or from the Truth Himself.
Elseth didn't say that! I said it! Those words are mine not his. Nothing Elseth said, inspired me to compose the words I used in that question.
Let me answer. It relates in reality like this: If God wired our minds to be logical as opposed to illogical, unreasonable, irrational, or insane and if everything He created was good to Him, then He would have to be insane, unjust, or unrighteous to suggest that He does not think logically as any sane man, woman, or child was disigned to think. Otherwise, why would He have decided to create the logical mind within any of His creatures?

Throughout the entire Bible, it seems quite clear to me that God likes to reason with men and I think we all agree that reasoning has everything to do with being logical. I don't think it is wrong to insist that it is logical to believe that the manufacturer is ultimately responsible for the defects in the manufactured nor do I think it is unrighteous to suggest that the manufacturer is not being logical when he blames the manufacture for any defects it may have that might displease the manufacturer. For this reason, I don't think it would be wrong to suggest that God would have to be unreasonable, illogical, or insane to blame or punish any of His creatures for anything that they may have chosen to do since He gave them permission to do whatever they chose to do.
The short and simple answer I would give is as follows: Logic period (i.e., reasonableness, rational thinking, or sober thinking as opposed to insanity or stupid thinking) would prompt me to ask, "If ultimately, God is responsible for my existence in this flesh; if God is the only one who made it possible for me to sin; if God is the only one who gave me the characteristics that would ultimately result in my choice to sin, then who must I conclude is ultimately responsible for my choice to sin and, in turn, who must I conclude is ultimately to blame for my death? Me or the one who created me?"
Correction: My statement. Not Elseth's.

I am totally unfamiliar with your suggestion that man's logic is in a fallen state. This is the first time I am hearing of this doctrine. So, naturally, I consider it a strange doctrine. I am curious as to how Scriptural this doctrine might be.

Who or what is MGT?
But I don't see how that should matter. After all, logic or reasonable thinking suggests to me that the first cause is ultimately responsible for all effects and all other causes. But irrational or insane thinking, on the other hand, would, no doubt, suggest otherwise.
If you were thinking as I, then I am sure you would realize that this point is coming from an angle that veers far away from my question. I am sure it has its place in answering a question I never asked or never cared to ask. But I don't see how it has anything to do with the question I asked.
I think you are jumping the gun, because I don't see any trace of an answer in what you have said so far. Besides, I suppose this is more of an inquiry than a debate, because I am not seeking to prove a point or win an argument at this stage. I am merely attempting to find out how other serious Bible studients, like I believe I happen to be, would answer the question I am most interested in finding an answer to under the topic I chose for this discussion or debate. If we  could all agree to treat this stage as an attempt on my part to receive an answer to the question I posed, we might then be able to move on to another topic or even a debate on the topic of this discussion.
I'm sure we shall see, but hopefully not until after I have received some sort of an answer to my question.

 

*
I've put you on the defensive, I'm sorry.
You seems to have had a very interesting journey with the Lord, I wonder if any of those missionary programnes you mention included YWAM. Mr Elseth is known to be an expounder of the Moral Government Theology or openview theism as it is called, and that is certainly what you are talking about when you ask your question.

Just for now I would like to answer two things briefly, first about man's fallen state, sure his logic is fallen, "their foolish minds were darkened" and "you who were once estranged and hostile in mind doing evil deeds he has now reconciled in His body of flesh in order to present you holy and blameless"

Look at Paul he was no mean man intellectually, but his great learning and logical thought processes led him to hate the church and persecute it, and he was a religious Jew taught in the scriptures.

I utterly deny God gave Adam permission to do whatever he chose, He said "thou shalt not eat of it" Adam was not using free will when he disobeyed God he was rebelling against God. Decieved by Satan and after he disobeyed he still did not have free will but he placed himself in bondage to Satan whose voice he had obeyed~but God had mercy

The only free will man has ever had is to disobey God but now having disobeyed he is not able of his free will to find his way back to God or to obey Him, He is totally reliant upon grace, man is a totally fallen creature, completely undone apart from God's mercy.

With regards to scripture well what about all these opinions of men and conflicting interpretations if it be a simple book? that is because it is not supposed to be interpreted. Peter tells us that no scripture or word of prophecy is a matter for private interpretation because no prophecy came by the impulse of man but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Now the Catholic church has interpreted this to mean that only they are authorised to interpret scripture but what it means is much more simple than that, it means simply read, simply believe. You can understand what it is saying, you don't need anybody but God to tell you what it means. Just read it that's all and if you come to places where you do not understand, ask God to show you, He will, He has promised to.
That isn't to deny that others also have insights and understandings that you don't, praise the Lord we can share that and all weigh up together what is being said.
I hear all the confusion that christians are in, have a little scan through the various forums, it is because they steep themselves in men's interpretations and then somebody else comes along and tears it to shreds and they are left with nothing, utter confusion.

Now I am going to hand over to Isaac [Ikester] he has the same view as you and you might profit more from him, and he is my senior :D I will only agitate you which is not my intention. It would seem you have something to share with the forum and I wish you God's blessing.

#19 Designist

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 11:46 AM

EDIT - ADAM:Hi Designist, this forum program limits you to ten quotes per post. If you need more than ten quote boxes please split the post or use the code function like I had to fix your post. Thanks.

 

Thank you Adam! Is this why I was noticing that the two quotes in square brackets were appearing right after I posted or edited something within the body of the last post? Also, are there instructions somewhere on this website as to how to go about doing as you suggest if I don't know how? Thanks

#20 Ron

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 12:38 PM

If a being can at anytime look into the future of all other beings, would he not know the future of that being no matter how many times he changed his mind?

People who believe calvinism believe that every person's fate is set in stone from the day they are born. Just because God says that he knows you future.

If God can at anytime look into someone's future, would it matter if it changed? Because if God knows that it changed, then He would still be all knowing. And this would allow for free will

 


I find it hard to believe that Christians don't see this Ikester. If God can see the future, that simply means He knows what choices you're going to make (or made in His time sense) before you make them. If we have free will (as the Bibles says we do), and time is of no issue to God (as the Bible so states), it simply means He knows what choices we are going to make, not that He predetermines our choices.




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