April 10, 2007

What Is Omniscience?

I expect that at some date this will spark off a lively debate, but here are my thoughts and beliefs on it.

The biggest challenge that I see to this is separating omniscience from predestination and seeing the future. The basis of my belief stems from the fact that time is a man made invention. It is not a fourth dimension in which there is a physical reality. Man just made time up. For example, a day is 24 hours long, divided into 60 minute segments that are again separated into 60 second segments. This constitutes a photo period, (when the sun comes up to the time it sets and rises again) so a day is a photo period, or one rotation of the Earth. Where as Venus has one rotation every 243 Earth days. So their day has 5832 hours? Nope, time on earth is just something people decided on together, based on the Earth's revolutions around the sun. Way back in the day, it was mainly used to know when it was time to plant, so people did not starve. Seeds that were saved away from the food planted too early were killed if a hard freeze came. On lean years, the seed only had one chance, if it did not survive, there was no more to plant with, and people would starve in the winter. So knowing planting times, was very important, and where following the times of the year started. Not on any true scientific principle. Since time is a man made fiction, then their can be no flow of time into which the future actually exists, or is.

Omniscience by definition is knowing everything there IS to know. Since there is no future, it IS not, and cannot be known. Thus free will. Knowing the past is easy, these events have already taken place. Thus they ARE and can be known.

But what about prophecy? God says thing will happen, and they happen. Doesn't that mean he knows the future. No, it does not. It just means that he is so powerful, He can make anything happen anytime He wants. Let us put it in real terms that each of us will understand. I will make a prophecy that I will eat pizza in the future. A prophecy is a foretelling of events to come. They normally do not have any dates attached to them, meaning they can happen when God says, "OK, now is the time for such and such to happen, let it be done now." Through his power, they are done. Predestination is a little more specific, but still not definite. I have an appointment to go see the Doctor next Wednesday. That is a predestination. Now can unforeseen things happen that cause predestination to change dates. Absolutely. But since my wife wants me to go, you bet it is going to happen. So, prophecy and predestination are just ways of God stating his intentions.

This means that what we do now matters, because it actually has an effect on free will. Some will tell you that all is predetermined by God, because since he knows all, he knows the future. So no matter what you do, it has already been determined that it will happen. Sorry, no. The thing that I really like about the bible, is that again and again science proves it to be a correct and accurate statement of history. Science proves the bible. So since science can't prove time exists, it does not prove out this theory. But people will say that he predestined the "called out ones." OK, called out for what? Many people have many theories, but there is no real statement of who the called out ones were, are, or will be. So anyone eluding to this as a special thing that you should want, can not make it so, since God is the only one that can. If you were predestined before the beginning of the world, congratulations. Me I am not a called out one, just a servant of God.

So what does God know? Everything that was, is, and what he will do.


Anonymous said...

Nate, the way your grandpa explained predestination to me when I was a teenager asking about it was this: Abraham was predestined to live in Israel. So when he went to Egypt, he was out of God's will, i.e. he went outside his predestined boundaries. Man often doesn't do what God planned in His perfect plan.

Tessa said...

so youre an open theist. good to know. i havn't thought it threw as throughly but i tend to lean this way.

Wendy ftfs said...

""Since there is no future, it IS not, and cannot be known.""

There is a future ... and God does know it. The Old Testament tells us Christ is on his way. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar the future. The witch of Endor told Saul the future. Jesus has told us the future.

David was anointed King of Israel long before that was an actual physical fact.

By its very definition Faith has promised us the future... the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. There are too many incidences to count of the future being revealed. Even in my own life the Lord has revealed the future of parts of my own life through dreams and His still small voice ... the future is a reality .. sometimes it is set in stone as God's word is and sometimes it is negotiable. But God knows our hearts. He already knows what our decisions will be. He already knows who will choose to go to Hell and who will choose to love Him.

What do the scriptures say about predestination?
And why is it such a touchy topic? They are there and pushing them aside as a subject against free will, is not going to help us understand them better ... we must embrace them and then the Lord will open your understanding to accept them.

Romans 8
More Than Conquerors
28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified"

This is speaking of all who love Him and live in love. Foreknew? Is it possible that we came from Him in the first place? If he can create this world and a universe ... why is it so hard to see that He can create those who love Him? He has even created the wicked for the day of evil.

Ephesians 1
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory."

Those who love God are God's and no power in heaven or in earth will rock that.

Tessa said...

But if the future is already decided how could free choice be possible? i think God knows everything there is to know, every intricacy of our personalities and physiology. I know my dad loves chocolate ice cream, and if we go to an ice cream parlor he is not going to choose vanilla. Me knowing this about my dad doesn't make him choose what he wants, and yet im sure of what he will do next time this scenario plays out. I think it is the same with God knowing the future. He has a plan that he puts into motion, but i have the power in my own hands to fallow his will or not. This choice is wholly mine, not a predestined outcome.

Wendy ftfs said...

:-) there are many things in our lives that we think are solely ours ... but in reality the scriptures say we belong to God.

You say:
"He has a plan that he puts into motion, but i have the power in my own hands to fallow his will or not. This choice is wholly mine, not a predestined outcome."

I don't believe any longer that we are able to stop anything the Lord has planned anymore than we are able to stop His love for us. When you gave your love over to Him you gave Him everything... you were bought with a price. He says nothing will separate you from Him. It's a done deal ... with all His benefits.

Nate said...

Been away for a while, but looks like a lively discussion is taking place without me.

Let me start talking to points one at a time.

Tessa, I am not an open theist, but a person that belives strongly in science. For science again and agian proves the validity of the bible out rather than diminishes it. Time is not a physical thing, therefore we cannot move through it. It is an idea, but not physically real. I could go on about this for a long time, but suffice it to say, it is a scientific point of view, not theoligical.

Wendy, (what happened to valorosa? just wondering) fore knowledge, is something different from knowing the future. Fore knowledge broken down into eveyday life means that we fore know alot of stuff. Such as what night our favorite TV program will play. Heros is my current favorite, and I fore know that it will play at 9PM Monday the 23rd of April, with ALL NEW SHOWS. Doesn't mean that I know all of the future events of forever, just certain things. As God, (who is all powerful, and can make whatever he wants to happen happen when he wants) has decided certain things are going to happen, whether anyone has anything to say about it or not. So no, I do not believe Satan has a (pardon the pun) snowball's chance in hell of overcoming God. My grandfather would love the passage you have written from ephesians, he loves to talk about our inheritance.

So I agree whole heartely with Wendys statement: I don't believe any longer that we are able to stop anything the Lord has planned anymore than we are able to stop His love for us. Because he is that powerful and faithful. He will keep his word, He will do what he says he will do. But in his own sweet time. For no man knoweth the day of the return of our lord.

Tessa said...

Oh absolutely, I agree we cannot stop God's plan. But i do believe in free choice and do not believe in salvation being predestined. I do believe my God is all powerful, and he has given me a love I would never want to run from. The love that was offered me persuaded my choice, but it didn't force me to surrender. I got on my knees out of my own free will. Free will is what makes us unique as humans, and is what makes our worship so meaningful.

Wendy ftfs said...

We like to think we are in control of our lives ... but in many ways we aren't. For instance we do not choose right from the beginning who we will be raised by... what religion we will be born into ... what country or what state of affairs we will be brought up in. But no matter where we are the Holy Spirit is there and guiding every human into truth from the day they are born. Providing comfort in brutal situations and convicting every person of their sin. Do we have free will when even the most basic choices are not given to us? Do we have free will when we cannot even choose how we will leave this world?
If you believe in a God who is the beginning and the end ... and there is a difference between this and believing that He knows beginning from end ... It is WHO He is. He IS the beginning and the end ... the Alpha and the Omega...how is it that it is so hard for you to accept that He is able to predestine anything at all?

Nate said...

So what does God know? Everything that was, is, and what he will do.

This is the key line section: "what he will do." That is prophecy and predestination. What he has determined that he will do. When, "no on knows the day nor the hour." Yes, God predestined Jesus arrival, he has predestined his return. I just don't believe he predestined my breakfast for tommorrow. Could he, if it was really important, yes he could. My point is, he has given his word to us that certain things will happen. He is faithful to us, and those things will happen. So, because Gos loves us, he will keep his promise to us.

Wendy ftfs said...

(what happened to valorosa? just wondering)

lol valorosa was started because I wanted to make a comment on a cool friend of mine's blog. His blog is set up so that you have to be a blogger to comment so I made a blog and I am obviously not going to be as prolific at it as you and Jon. I'll let you know when I get inspired again to share ... thanks for asking.... take good care of your predestined self. LOL

Valorosa said...

New post :-)

Nate said...

Well, honestly, now that I am a servant of God, I am a predestined one. My future is assured by God's promises.