Much has been written on this website and around the world wide web on the subject of Predestination versus Free Will. This will be my final word on the subject. It is the most concise explanation I can give.
There is an old philosophical question. “Can God create a rock so big He cannot move it?” The answer is obviously “No!”. To understand the Christian view of God in predestination we must acknowledge He, is Allmighty, All-Powerful, and Always Present. These are called the Omni Attributes of God and are usually said this way: omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. What He cannot do is deny or exceed Himself. I do not know of a Christian denomination that teaches otherwise.
In Christianity, the arguments usually go back and forth between God’s foreknowing versus predestining. Now foreknowledge and predestination would be two different things if we were talking about a limited man with limited knowledge. It is quite a different thing when we are speaking of the Christian God.
For the sake of argument let’s accept that Jesus and the Apostles were wrong or misunderstood and God simply foreknew all things that would come to pass.
Since we agree that God foreknew all things that would come to pass and He decided to create the universe as it is, isn’t that the same result as predestining all things that come to pass?
If that is the way you see it then there is no disagreement. It is a distinction without a difference. If God foreknew and then did it knowing the end from the beginning it is a done deal and there is no changing it. God is already in the future, there is no beginning or end for Him. We are the ones who experience time.
If you hold a finite view of God you are worshiping another god (little g). Not the God of Christians.
False argument Mike.
Trying to blur the distinction between Predestination and foreknowledge, eliminates the possibility of “free will”.
Free will of course is God’s greatest gift to mankind.
If man did not have “free will”, Adam would never eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Without “free will” we would all STILL be living in the Garden of Eden.
We should narrow the focus here. The subject is not free will. That can be handled under a different post at another time. The pertinent part of your comment for this post is “False argument Mike. Trying to blur the distinction between Predestination and foreknowledge”.
It is true that there were two different words used in the Bible (regardless of language or translation) for foreknowledge and predestination. Since many people will deny the fact that the Bible says predestined (regardless of language or translation) I am using a different technique. It is called granting the argument. The formal version of this is the Latin word Arguendo. Arguendo is a Latin legal term meaning for the sake of argument. “Assuming, arguendo, that …” and similar phrases are used in courtroom settings and academic legal settings, and occasionally in other domains, to designate provisional and unendorsed assumptions that will be made at the beginning of an argument in order to explore their implications.
So, my point is not to “blur the distinction” between words. The purpose is to do away with the argument against the Biblical use of the word predestination. It is like saying OK John, I know you don’t like the word predestination so we will limit the arguement to foreknowledge.
Again, if we are talking about the human having foreknowledge it is quite different from the foreknowledge of the Christian God. A man may think he knows the outcome of his supposed foreknowledge often to be proven wrong or to have other flaws show up in his work. Granted sometimes and maybe more often than not we are correct in our assumptions about what we think will happen. With God foreknowledge is certain otherwise He is not God. You cannot take God by suprise. Since He foreknew all things that would come to pass in His creation it was certain to happen. Knowing all this God created the universe we live in.
Without going into other discussions (free will etc.) can you or anyone argue against God having perfect foreknowledge but creating the universe anyway? The logic is “God is perfect in his foreknowledge (premise) therefore that which is created with perfect foreknowledge is going to happen (conclusion). If you are going to prove that is a “false arguement” that must remain the subject and nothing else. To suggest it is a false argument from the point of view of a ramification on another subject (free will etc.) does not show proof that it is false.
In order to show it as a false argument you must prove that God is not perfect in His foreknowledge or that He did not create the universe we live in. Which one will it be?
Actually, tying the lack of Predestination to the belief that God is limited is the assumption.
Actually it borders on sacrilege.
I did no such thing. You may be reading this from a personal point of view. This post is generated to the public. There are those who refuse to believe that predestination is part of the Biblical teaching. Of course, I accept what the Bible says. Others may not accept parts of it. I have heard many arguments about this but they are not the subject of this post.
God is perfect in his foreknowledge (premise) therefore that which is created with perfect foreknowledge is going to happen (conclusion). In order to show it as a false argument you must prove that God is not perfect in His foreknowledge or that He did not create the universe we live in. Which one will it be?
No Mike, you did not do so, the video did. My reply stands as a response to the video.
However you need to stop limiting my responses, and stop trying to put words/solutions in my mouth.
Of course God is perfect. Neither of your stated accusations is true.
However, my answer to the dispute between predestination and foreknowledge is “free will”.
Free will bridges the gap between Predestination and foreknowledge. You refuse to accept my answer and force me into a false “if/then” solution, which I refuse to accept as you refuse to accept my explanation.
We have discussed the veracity of the Bible many times. We have both recognized the many and various ways in which the Bible may not be a complete and accurate record. Yet some passages you choose to accept as absolute truth while acknowledging other parts are flawed. If any parts are flawed, then every part is potentially flawed. No intent here to duspute your absolute faith in ONLY the written word
Do not attempt to force me to accept your false premise/options. I’ve explained myself well I believe. You choose to reject my vaild suggestion, then we simply must agree to disagree.
God DOES give us “Free Will”, and yes his “foreknowledge” does recognize the outcome before our “free will choice”.
To believe that there is no “free will” makes us all “pet rocks”. My relationship with Jesus Christ is such that I know for certain that I am not a “pet rock”!
Note to readers. Mac and I know each other and he is probably referring to things not contained in this post. Please disregard comments that do not make sense on things unrelated to this post.
Mac, I do not know what is understood by you as “accusations” or “limiting” you. I am trying to keep the focus narrow for a potential reader who does not know you or me and our discussions.
The logic is “God is perfect in his foreknowledge (premise) therefore that which is created with perfect foreknowledge is going to happen (conclusion).
I am guessing you agree with the premise and the conclusion up to this point.
I do not want to put words in your mouth so correct me if I’m getting this wrong. What you seem to be saying is God imagined a world in His all-knowingness with beings that had something called free will and then created that universe. Am I understanding that correctly?
My apologies for expanding these posts beyond the information intended and included herein. Yes, we know one another, and in addition to this post, we had sidebar conversations elsewhere including a video.
You know how passionate I get during debates.
Yes I accept your premise of an all powerful God who established a universe with being who had “free will”.
In the original post, perhaps I read it elsewhere, but there was a statement that God either “predestined”, or had “foreknowledge” and thst those two terms were the same thing. I still dispute that those are the same, but will end the debate where you’ve placed it.
Yes, passion in a discussion can often run off in directions far from the subject. That tends to lose readers.
To clarify for any future readers, I (the original author) understand foreknowledge and predestination as two different words with two different meanings. There are those who do not or who balk at predestination. Therefore, I took a step back to “grant their argument” and approach it logically from their point of view.
The main point stands on its own as a premise and conclusion that is simple. The logic is:
“God is perfect in his foreknowledge (premise) therefore that which is created with perfect foreknowledge is going to happen (conclusion).
I want to also clarify that this only applies to Christians. and is accepted by all Christian denominations as far as I am aware.
What struck me is when Mac said “False argument Mike.” It can only be a false argument if you are not a Christian. To say it is a false argument you would have to believe that God is not pefect in foreknowledge or He did not create the universe having full foreknowledge of every intimate detail.
For those who like to understand the details of logic this is called the “law of non-contradiction.” The argument cannot be false unless you are outside the Christian view of God. A premise must be accepted in order to further the discussion/debate. If the other party does not accept the premise then the discussion is pointless.
As a Christian, whether you believe in predestination as a concept in the historic view of Christianity or not is put to rest. The consequence is the same when someone argues from the point of view of foreknowledge. God created this universe with full knowledge of every detail from beginning to end. It is fixed or predestined. It may also be worth noting that fore and pre have to do with man’s understanding of time. God is also timeless in the Christian view. He has no beginning or end.
There are many ways to try to understand this concept. However, they are all extrapolations with a significant margin for misunderstanding or error. For example, some have speculated that God has created an infinite number of universes where all things that can be different are. This was recently found in a video that Mac shared with me. It is a short 20 minute film on how God creates infinite universes and Satan “shifts” people between them to create chaos. Here is a link if you would like to watch it. https://youtu.be/5l4ag5I3hoM
This short film falls into a category of religious science fiction which is thought provoking. However, at this point it is pure speculation for the sake of entertainment. Christians have struggled to understand this subject from the beginning. The Bible itself offers the immmediate objection of the hearers as it records the anticipated question: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” Romans 9:19
That seems to be a good place to launch the next post on the will of man versus the will of God and how one defines freedom or free will (a 4th century concept that is not found in the Bible or ancient literature.)
Do movie characters know what awaits them at the end of the movie? They do things and make choices, but it appears those choices have already been made before they even appeared on the screen. This is simply a Happening, the more one realizes that the more control over aspects he actually has. Irony. Destination is same. Execution varies.
We can go off-script, as actors do. Take that kiss, own that mistake and turn it into a loved by all moment. There are deviations at play. And perhaps – those, executed flawlessly by the self-aware, are enough to change the whole mood of the movie. Regardless of the script. Control is an illusion, more control we think we have – the less control we actually have.
I really do believe everyone should watch a 2005 Revolver. It is a movie wise beyond reproach on topics of Ego, but it also, in my opinion touches on topic of predestination and God… Like many other deep movies – John Carter, Cosmpolis, etc – it was tanked. Once Powers that be realize the possible side effects – these things are aligned to tank… And irony is – slight of hand – inside very “John Carter” is exactly how they do it.
I do not think there is any really accurate analogy to describe what we are. In some sense we are characters and in another sense we are actors. The characters end with the movie. The actors go on living. Who and/or what we are in this life is not what we will be afterwards. At least this is what I believe.
It also dawns on me an actor can go “off script.” I don’t think we can go off script. At the same time I believe since we are made in the image of God we are aware of the potential variations of going off script. That gives us a sense of what people erroneously call free will. Free will is strong illusion because we understand our own will and how it struggles against the will of God.
Even Jesus who was both God and man while on this earth struggled with this. See https://biblehub.com/luke/22-42.htm
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
The Bible doesn’t ever use the actual words in Hebrew or Greek “free will” but does use “self willed” and it has a negative meaning.
2 Peter 2:10
and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties,
We are not robots as some who argue against predestination do. Acts 17:28 For “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’