Free will and Omniscience

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#181

Post by RickD » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:18 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:Certainly God will save who he wishes to save, just as God shows mercy on whom He wishes to show.
BUT we also know that God is a God of love and justice and that God's justice IS, indeed MUST BE, far greater and more correct than ours.
If that is so, then God predestinaing some for eternal damnation before humans even came into existence is NOT Just nor is it love.
Paul, that's how I see it as well. Unless I'm not understanding something properly. I'm open to that possibility. I have been known to be wrong, on rare occasions. :lol:
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#182

Post by zacchaeus » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:21 pm

By yall reading the scriptures I posted was like me reading them in the bible... and I draw the same concerns and issues yall have... the fact is I don't understand why there seems to be contradictions, not that they are, but simply seem like they are. Thats the issues I'm having, the fact I must not understand them....!!! I posted just to show and get feedback but yall see the same thing I see which is why I don't understand either....

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#183

Post by RickD » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:29 pm

zacchaeus wrote:By yall reading the scriptures I posted was like me reading them in the bible... and I draw the same concerns and issues yall have... the fact is I don't understand why there seems to be contradictions, not that they are, but simply seem like they are. Thats the issues I'm having, the fact I must not understand them....!!! I posted just to show and get feedback but yall see the same thing I see which is why I don't understand either....
I think a lot can be explained by not knowing the original language that the text was written in, and how it was translated.Some of the literal meaning, gets lost in the translation. Every apparent contradiction in the bible that I've seen, when read in proper context with the rest of the bible, I found wasn't really a contradiction.
Scholars have studied the bible for decades, and still don't know it all.

zacchaeus, are you from the southern U.S.?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#184

Post by Philip » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:31 pm

Rick can't reconcile:
God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation
So, just what is God's WILL? This is explained in 1 Timothy 2:4: His will is that He "...wants ALL people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." But we know He obviously allows, and is angry about, and will eternally punish, those who go against His will. That God hates sin and yet we know men do in fact sin tells us we can choose to go against His will, that this is something He allows but will also punish.

So, we know God wants "ALL men EVERYWHERE" to repent. We see everywhere in Scripture a clear choice - which also explains His anger (which is irrational otherwise) at those making a choice against His will. We see Peter and Paul working hard to CONVINCE unbelievers of the truth of the Gospel - not merely just telling them about it. So if it is God's will that men obey His command to repent, does it not also make sense that He would choose, ahead of TIME, those who He also knew would welcome and embrace His enlightenment, that THESE would be the ones He wants in His house forever, and that He would choose eternal damnation for all those he foresaw who would FOREVER reject all of his prompting and enlightening? "Counsel" also implies a weighing of information - but WHAT information might that be? Our eventual choice - to either reject His Spirit's leading and enlightenings or not - HE prompts, HE leads, there is a response Scripture repeatedly informs us of.

Scenario: There are two helpless, penniless men, living in the park. There is a wealthy man who has compassion for both. But this particular wealthy man has the amazing gift of knowing ALL things, all choices, and exactly what is on the hearts and minds of both men. This rich man desires to help change the lives of both, forever, for the good. But this wealthy man also knows that one of the two will embrace all of his benevolent efforts, will enthusiastically listen and obey and cooperate with all of what He tells him it will take for him to be able to help the poor fellow. And so knowing full well that impoverished man #1 is one that he can help, because the poor man is: 1)aware of his own dire straits; 2) knows of the help promised; 3) realizes he has nothing to lose and is desperate; 4) is eager and enthusiastic to get all the help the wealthy man has to offer; and 5) the wealthy man knows the poor man will do all he instructs.

The wealthy, benevolent man also foreknows impoverished man #2 would only rebuff all of his offers of help, no matter how hard he might try to convince him he needs help. After kindly approaching him, making poor man #2 aware that he wanted to help him, he already knew that any further efforts would be in vain, because he foresees that poor man #2 would only cynically reject his further offers of help, being wrongly convinced that 1) he needed no help; 2) thinking he'd be better off on his own; 3) suspicious that he'd have to give up some of the very things that had so long kept him impoverished and a panhandler. So the wealthy man already knows that all efforts of helping poor man #2, if provided, would be rejected and a ultimate waste of time.

So, which poor man do you think the wealthy man would choose beforehand to help? The one who he foreknows would REJECT all help, or the one who he foreknows would WELCOME and EMBRACE his help? You see, it is HE who is even willing to give the two men choices to begin with. And without his help both poor men will remain mired in their poverty. But if your will is to help, would YOU not choose in accordance with your will to help - and as you COULD help - without FORCING acceptance of help (which you already know would also be pointlessly squandered)?

1 Peter 1:2 says God chooses us "ACCORDING TO the foreknowledge (not independent of it) of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for OBEDIENCE to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood." God has chosen in conjunction with the counsel of His foreknowledge of all future choices, knowledge of the hearts and minds of all, AND in light of His will and command that "ALL men, EVERYWHERE" come to repentance!
Last edited by Philip on Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#185

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:35 pm

I think the issue of predestination is and always will be a tricky one simply because we don't know the INTENT of what the writers said.
Were they speaking of themselves and those chosen for special task or all people in general? were they merely speaking in a poetic form to show thet God knows who's are His? or did they truly believe that God chooses some to believe and other not to? and if that is the case were the right or wrong?
Remember that the apostles were human too and that they made mistakes and didn't always get things right ( look at the circumcision issue as an example).
Why we do tend to "make God in our own image" when we put human qualities on God so that we can better relate to God, we also have to be honest and say to ourselves, " If I as a lowly human, fallen and imperfect, see the WRONG in this, then why wouldn't God?"
The universe displays and order to things and God is revealed to us in the way the universe is ( along with the other ways that God i revealed to Us) and while the universe may not be fair it is all about cause and effect, action and re-action and that doesn't happen in the case of predestination because in that case, a person is already damned ( or saved) regardless of ANYTHING they do or ANYTHING the believe in, there is no reaction to an action nor an effect to a cause, there is just a group of souls that were condemned before they ever came into being.
Something very wrong wit that and something very outside of God''s nature as it is revealed to us in the universe He made and His living Word, Christ

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#186

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:37 pm

RickD wrote:
zacchaeus wrote:By yall reading the scriptures I posted was like me reading them in the bible... and I draw the same concerns and issues yall have... the fact is I don't understand why there seems to be contradictions, not that they are, but simply seem like they are. Thats the issues I'm having, the fact I must not understand them....!!! I posted just to show and get feedback but yall see the same thing I see which is why I don't understand either....
I think a lot can be explained by not knowing the original language that the text was written in, and how it was translated.Some of the literal meaning, gets lost in the translation. Every apparent contradiction in the bible that I've seen, when read in proper context with the rest of the bible, I found wasn't really a contradiction.
Scholars have studied the bible for decades, and still don't know it all.

zacchaeus, are you from the southern U.S.?
I tend to agree with this view.

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#187

Post by zacchaeus » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:48 pm

I live in Georgia, U.S.

...and when they were writing were they writing the exact words verbatim of GOD, as in they had no choice and could only write that of which GOD wanted written down, not straying, in which we are to believe what we have readily available today is what He has preserved, or what man wanted to preserve, and did they embellish any when writing because of mans freewill? I often think of this especially considering they didn't have paper and pen, or computers and typing, able to spell-check and print. I often think of the lost of translation simply in a college class where the professor speaks and your taking notes, often notes in your own style, or short hand, or abbreviations etc., and half the time you can't keep up or you ask them to repeat and they wont; they say you should of got it etc... and they wrote on what stone tablets with a chisel.... got me wondering again.... y#-o y:-? y:-/

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#188

Post by RickD » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:51 pm

Philip, you're saying the exact same thing that I'm saying, and that I believe.
You wrote:
does it not also make sense that He would choose, ahead of TIME, those who He also knew would welcome and embrace His enlightenment, that THESE would be the ones He wants in His house forever,
But this wealthy man also knows that one of the two will embrace all of his benevolent efforts, will enthusiastically listen and obey and cooperate with all of what He tells him it will take for him to be able to help the poor fellow.
The wealthy, benevolent man also foreknows impoverished man #2 would only rebuff all of his offers of help, no matter how hard he tried to convince him he needs help.
So, which poor man do you think the wealthy man would choose beforehand to help? The one who he foreknows would REJECT all help, or the one who he foreknows would WELCOME and EMBRACE his help?
Foreknowledge, foreknowledge, foreknowledge. I believe in God's foreknowledge, and have been trying to show that's what predestination is.
But from this link:http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/
comes the following quote that refutes the idea of foreknowledge. That's what I can't reconcile. The below quote says in no uncertain terms, that God's election is NOT based on His foreknowledge.

Unconditional Election is the doctrine which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel.
Do you see it now?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#189

Post by RickD » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:03 pm

I live in Georgia, U.S.
I knew it. :lol:
that doesn't happen in the case of predestination because in that case, a person is already damned ( or saved) regardless of ANYTHING they do or ANYTHING the believe in, there is no reaction to an action nor an effect to a cause, there is just a group of souls that were condemned before they ever came into being.
Yes, under THAT definition of predestination, I see it that way, as well. And that's where I have a problem. :salute:
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#190

Post by Philip » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:47 pm

Rick,
Unconditional Election is the doctrine which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel.
My explanation of God's counsel IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS FOREKNOWLEDGE does not mean anything other than GOD and Jesus' sacrifice is the "merit" of our salvation. But scripture repeatedly teaches we must accept that, as only a helpless beggar can do. The fact that we can reach BACK to God's already mercifully and lovingly outstretched hand is also only because God gives us that ability to reach back. It's ALL because of Him, but He does require we reach back in grateful acceptance and determination to follow HIS lead.

Five Point Calvinism necessitates enormous contradictions of scripture's descriptions of God's Holy character. It contradicts Who and What God says He is and also what He, Himself, says love is. But it is never because God HAS to save us or that we even merit such, as it's because God's Holy Character is, throughout scripture, weighted significantly more in His mercy and love, and His desire for restoration, than it is in His judgement. He doesn't love and save because He HAS to, but because He WANTS to. If all God does is ultimately GOOD in His eyes, and as He describes the horrors of man's ONGOING sins as abominations, which the Five Points would necessitate are nonetheless good for some men because GOD so DESIRES their unrepentance and that He DESIRES the horrors such men continue to do - along with the unimaginable suffering they cause - well, then there is a huge problem with the Five Point construct. It's unscriptural. Every punishment in scripture is due to men doing what He commands they NOT do. His words and actions show men CAN obey the call to repentance, but they often WON'T.

Is there responsibility to do what God supposedly made impossible for some men to do (repent!)? So, does God or does He not desire us to obey Him when scripture says he COMMANDS that "ALL men, EVERYWHERE, repent?" Are some men guilty of doing what God didn't give them ability or purpose to do? All Scripture implies that ALL men CAN obey God to repent and have faith (but they must embrace His prompts and leadership to have that ability). They do, at the very least, have the ability to respond to what God wants to do for them - and yet all they need have is the will to do so, and that they DO, positively respond - He will do the rest: prompt, enlighten, and all necessary - all the way to salvation. But He can't and WON'T do this for those with their hands DELIBERATELY and PERMANENTLY LOCKED behind their backs, as they refuse to merely grasp God's ALREADY outstretched hand. He will not GRAB their hand from behind their back so as to Forceably grab it.
Last edited by Philip on Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#191

Post by RickD » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:58 pm

Philip wrote:Rick,
Unconditional Election is the doctrine which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon his looking forward to discover who would "accept" the offer of the gospel.
My explanation of God's counsel IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS FOREKNOWLEDGE does not mean anything other than GOD and Jesus' sacrifice is the "merit" of our salvation. But scripture repeatedly teaches we must accept that, as only a helpless beggar can do. The fact that we can reach BACK to God's already mercifully and lovingly outstretched hand is also only because God gives us that ability to reach back. It's ALL because of Him, but He does require we reach back in grateful acceptance and determination to follow HIS lead.

Five Point Calvinism necessitates enormous contradictions of scripture's descriptions of God's Holy character. It contradicts Who and What God says He is and also what He, Himself, says love is. But it is never because God HAS to save us or that we even merit such, as it's because God's Holy Character is, throughout scripture, weighted significantly more in His mercy and love, and His desire for restoration, than it is in His judgement. He doesn't love and save because He HAS to, but because He WANTS to. If all God does is ultimately GOOD in His eyes, and as He describes the horrors of man's ONGOING sins as abominations, which the Five Points would necessitate are nonetheless good for some men because GOD so DESIRES their unrepentance and that He DESIRES the horrors such men continue to do - along with the unimaginable suffering they cause - well, then there is a huge problem with the Five Point construct. It's unscriptural. Every punishment in scripture is due to men doing what He commands they NOT do. His words and actions show men CAN obey the call to repentance, but they often WON'T.

Is there responsibility to do what God supposedly made impossible for some men to do (repent!)? So, does God or does He not desire us to obey Him when scripture says he COMMANDS that "ALL men, EVERYWHERE, repent?" Are some men guilty of doing what God didn't give them ability or purpose to do? All Scripture implies that ALL men CAN obey God to repent and have faith (but they must embrace His prompts and leadership to have that ability. They do, at the very least, have the ability to respond to what God wants to do for them - and yet all they need have is the will to do so, and that they DO, positively respond - He will do the rest: prompt, enlighten, and all necessary - all the way to salvation. But He can't and WON'T do this for those with their hands DELIBERATELY and PERMANENTLY LOCKED behind their backs, as they refuse to merely grasp God's ALREADY outstretched hand. He will not GRAB their hand from behind their back so as to Forceably grab it.
I'm glad you cleared this up for me. I agree with what you wrote, now that I fully understand what you're saying.
I think if everyone(including myself) wrote what they believed about this topic, as clearly as you did, we'd probably see there's not much to disagree about here. Thanks philip
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#192

Post by Philip » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:48 pm

Great, Rick! Sorry if I was redundant on the way to my points.

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#193

Post by RickD » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:53 pm

Philip wrote:Great, Rick! Sorry if I was redundant on the way to my points.
If redundancy helps me understand what you're saying, then it's a good thing.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#194

Post by domokunrox » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:19 pm

I think you guys are doing excellent here. I'm entertained by all the reading and passion for this.

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#195

Post by Philip » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:12 pm

While various aspects Five Pointers believe are no doubt true, the horrendous idea that men were, effectively, born without ANY choice or even the ability to choose Jesus (EVEN WITH the availability and necessity of God's help) to RECEIVE salvation did not enter the church for its first 15 centuries. In those many centuries, the overwhelming belief was sinners could receive Christ - ALL sinners who so desired to. Many thousands upon thousands of martyrs died believing that ALL they revealed the Gospel to had an opportunity to be saved!

And just what types of men was the Gospel written for, to begin with? Monarchs? Well-educated, literate elites? Theologians and others possessing a comprehensive understanding of Scripture? Those well versed in the ancient languages of the original autographs? Or was it put into words in such a way that a crucial understanding of its simple message of God's love and how to be saved could be heard and understood by the even the poorest, most simple farmer or other common man - with its lesser (non specific or critical to saving) theological complexities left for the more theologically learned?

Five Point Calvinism is a man-made construct that puts God in a MAN-made theological box - yet no construct of man's understanding is sufficient to hold the truths of our transcendent (of all things) Creator God. And the nuances of that Five Point box are complex enough that huge volumes have been written on it, and yet there are substantial disagreements and debates over them, as even Five Pointers aren't in total agreement over the Five Points. And WHO but a theologically sophisticated person would ever, from simple readings or hearings of Scripture - in a million years - understand it as do Five Point Calvinists? Next to none!

"WHOEVER does not receive the kingdom of God like a child (could a child understand FP Calvinism?) shall not enter it; WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life; For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world (note, this is the very same world under condemnation) through him might be saved; not wishing for any to perish but for ALL to come to repentance; who wants ALL men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth; if THOU shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in THINE heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (note, no mention that some cannot do this - that it is not open to them); but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish; He commands ALL people EVERYWHERE to repent" (wow, can't get more inclusive that this).

So many verses, so many all-inclucives ("Whomsoever, ALL men, etc."), just like those above - how would a simple man understand them? Clearly, a simple man would understand them to mean that God commands ALL men to repent and believe and that ALL can - OR else they will suffer the consequences of God's eternal wrath. No, the Bible wasn't written so that its most basic understandings, of what is required for salvation, would be understood ONLY by the theologically sophisticated. Yet, Five Pointers would have us believe that the vast majority of truly saved followers of Jesus don't understand the basic, fundamental aspects of how God saves us and as to whom He's made that available to. So, God supposedly "regenerated" the vast majority of Christians to belief through NON-Reformed preaching and missionaries, but yet somehow He happened to leave the these converted millions upon millions absolutely clueless about this most fundamental aspect of Scripture and salvation? He "regenerated to belief the vast majority of Christians with an extreme misunderstanding of salvation and via a heretical doctrine? This is absolute AND dangerous nonsense!

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