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Is G-d omniscient? If so, then ...

Posted on 2011-03-15
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If God is omniscient, why He said in this versicle: "FOR
NOW I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A GOD FEARING MAN"- God did not know
the end result in which Abraham was a frightened man?

Bereishit - Genesis - Chapter 22

12. And he said, "Do not stretch forth your hand to the lad, nor do the slightest thing to him, for now I know that you are a God fearing man, and you did not withhold your son, your only one, from Me."

Thanks
Alex
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Question by:hidrau
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Callandor earned 20 total points
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It is an anthropomorphism, written in a style so that people could understand what God was saying.  God's real point was that Abraham reached the point where his faith was real enough to commit himself totally to God.  It is not a statement of God's nature, but of Abraham's faith.  If you saw the phrase "the arm of the Lord", it does not mean God has arms like you and me, but that the arm represents his power.  You can look at Job 38 for God making a declaration about what he knows (and what Job does not).
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by:hidrau
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Hello callandor,

Yeah, you are right. Believe in that is to consider that G-d is not omniscient. You example was also good when you told me about this part:

"the arm of the Lord"

I think that we can look at this in another way:

God is letting Abraham know what He think so of him. After having passed the last and the most difficult of tests, God then praises Abraham by giving him one of the most elevated titles ever given to a human being.

regards
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by:Clif
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God cannot be omniscient, as that would lead to too many paradoxes (paradoxii?).  Ditto for omnipotent, etc...

For example, God cannot see the future.  If He could, that would mean that the future is already written and free will goes right out the window.  Some say that God lives outside of time and therefore sees all timelines, which is equally as impossible for the same reason.  If God knew the timeline that leads to your ultimate end (whatever that may be), then all other timelines are simply shadows of reality and, therefor, are irrelevant.

To say that God is not (nor can He be) omniscient does not mean that He does not (nor cannot) exist, however.  It is simple a limitation of logic.
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by:Callandor
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I think we are sticking to the commonly held idea of omniscience.  I'm aware of the "can God make a rock so big he can't lift it" paradox, which is not very useful for discussion.
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by:Clif
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Well, if you insist on "that doesn't count" type of argument, then the entire discussion becomes moot.
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by:Callandor
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Maybe not - we can let hidrau decide if it's useful.
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by:tliotta
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I'm not sure why 'omniscient' must include 'knows the future'. In a major way, the 'future' is about stuff that has never happened (yet). Maybe it should be considered outside of knowledge.

Assuming "free will" exists, omniscience shouldn't imply perfect prediction. It could imply perfect knowledge of decisions as they are made, but not before they are made. No?

Tom
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by:CCSOFlag
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I do not believe God is omniscient IF it includes the future.  I do not believe God knows the future.  I beleive He can have a plan just like us, but that plan sometimes doesn't happen due to humans' decisions.  I also believe God can MAKE something happen that He wants to happen as well.  Some of the reasons for believing this is:

When God decided to flood the earth and kill all humanity except Noah it said "...it repented the Lord the he had made man on the earth and it grieved him at his heart" Gen 6:6  IT also says it in vs 7.
Why would He repent of something He knew was going to happen all along?  Why would he make man just to destroy most of them?  Why would it grieve Him for something to happen that He knew of all along that He essentially PLANNED for if He is omniscient.

During the Exodus, God was going to destroy everyone, but Moses plead with him and changed God's mind.  It starts in Exodus 32:10.  That doesn't sound like someone all knowing of the future.

There are many other examples, but I won't go through them here.

I see no reason not to believe God is all knowing of the past and present though.  
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by:SStory
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Callandor, great point.

About the rock arg...it is simple.  There are things God cannot do because they'd violate His nature.
1) He can't lie

This doesn't change His omnipotence.

As to omniscience...He does know the future, and Psalms 139 says all my days were written in His book before there was even one of them. The bottom line is that He is God, He does what He pleases
when He pleases and answers to NO ONE.  It doesn't matter if any of us like Him, doubt Him, or deny Him...it in no way changes His Deity.  He is in charge!   He is THE King!  He knows all...only asks questions of humans for their benefit-not His; sees all; has all power to do anything that He wants to do.  God would never want to make that rock :)
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by:SStory
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God threatened what would happen without intercessory prayer. He knew Moses would intercede, and that He'd relent, I.e. not do what He'd threatened. It is recorded so we'd see the importance of an intercessor, mediator, advocate...in this way Moses is a type of Christ.
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by:Observer_123
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I thing that the human logic may not apply to the Devine sometime.
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by:hidrau
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hummmm

I liked this comment of Observer_12:

>>I thing that the human logic may not apply to the Devine sometime.
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by:BigRat
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>>For example, God cannot see the future.  If He could, that would mean that the future is already written and free will goes right out the window.

There is an alternate explaination. That God can see the future and that you have free will anyway. Just because an entity can predict something, the prediction does not invalidate the principles of free will if that prediction is not comunicated. Just because you know something will happen does not make you the cause of it.

Somebody once said that God invented the quantum so as to separate the deterministic world of God from the free-will world of man. That was in response to Einstein's God does not play dice.
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by:BigRat
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>>I thing that the human logic may not apply to the Devine sometime

I agree and this is such an example :-

"It is recorded so we'd see the importance of an intercessor, mediator, advocate."

This is a supposition. It may be very true, but it is still a supposition.
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by:sbdt8631
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>>I liked this comment of Observer_12:
>>I thing that the human logic may not apply to the Devine sometime.
>>I agree and this is such an example :-


I have never understood this argument whether God seeing the future denies free will or whether he can make a rock too big to lift.  I am a non-believer and it still seems simple to me.  By definition, God is omniscient and  omnipotent.  Therefore God is all logic and all paradox at the same time.  Human logic does not apply as Observer_12 said and BigRat and Hidrau agreed, unless of course God wants it to.  So, can God make a rock too big for him to lift?  Yes.  Can he see the future without invalidating free will?  Yes.  Why, because he is God and that is the definition of God.
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by:SStory
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God does not lie. (Numbers 23:19 ESV)
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=num%2023:19&version=ESV

Observer_12: What you have said is Biblical, except it's not just some of the time:
Isaiah 55:8-15(ESV)

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

Particularly verse 8 and 9.

God says He doesn't think like we do. How could He. He sees the big picture. We are standing up real close to the painting seeing a single dot. We don't know how one thing will effect all other things for the rest of time. He does.  Take Missionary Jim Elliot and friends. They went to Equador to reach savage people with the good news of God's word.  They were all five speared. It appeared a terrible useless tragedy.  Only God knew what the end result would be.  Those men's wives went in to that tribe in an incredible demonstration of love and won those people to Jesus. Now they don't kill each other and live short, violent, senseless lives. Later Nate Saint's son Steve, who grew up with them--the men who killed his father--went back to live with them and has helped them in more ways than I can comment on. (This is a small demonstration of God's omniscience, letting something bad happen to 5 people so that many might be saved. Jesus said that unless a grain of wheat fall to to the ground and DIE, it remains alone.  If it dies, then it will produce a great harvest.  God saw the end result.  We still don't know the end result of that, but it is amazing. To learn more about it, check out the movie "End of the Spear" (http://www.amazon.com/End-Spear-Louie-Leonardo/dp/B000EXDS4I)
After the movie, be sure to watch the documentary. It is amazing.

Also check out "Beyond the Gates of Splendor" (http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Gates-Splendor-Steve-Saint/dp/B0009XT8A6/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1300288736&sr=1-1)

Or you can learn more about it at the site: http://www.itecusa.org/

These are demonstrations of what God knew that the world didn't.

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by:SStory
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>"It is recorded so we'd see the importance of an intercessor, mediator, advocate."
>This is a supposition. It may be very true, but it is still a supposition.
Well, from having read the entire Bible many times, to me it just appears obvious. If you read the entirety, things start to be seen a different light.

Moses definitely interceded for the people with God...as God knew he would.
That being a type of Christ, I think is also clear, but each can read what they will.
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by:BigRat
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>>Well, from having read the entire Bible many times, to me it just appears obvious.

It may appear obvious, but it's still supposition.

Your Equador story, or rather the conclusions you draw from it, are also supposition, since you cannot know God's mind. It may be very comforting to think like that, but it is pure supposition.
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by:SStory
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I just look at the fruit, and know from His word that His purpose is to extend His kingdom by redeeming sinful men all over the world.  The transformation of these people is undeniable.
So it is obvious from a Biblically Christian view that He was behind reaching this group of people.
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by:BigRat
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Once again, I know it's all very marvellous, but your conclusions are pure supposition. I get very worried about people claiming this or that as being God's work or of God's will.
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by:SStory
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So apparently you think God's will/purpose is unknowable, and His work unrecognizable?
I believe He is consistent and we can learn what His work is from the Bible and from His past stated works recognize His present works.
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by:BigRat
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No, I simply said that the conclusions you were drawing were suppositions, conjecture. Not all people are allowed to know God, for God has given free will, the freedom to make a personal choice. If his will or works were knowable or recognizable in the normal sense of the word, then they would be irrefutable and that would negate free choice. You seem to find these things perfectly obvious. I am skeptical, for we have been warned about false prophets.
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by:SStory
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let me clarify
We have a free will. We are also born with a sin nature.  Because of this the natural man, by his sinful nature, will never choose God- he's too happy trying to be his own little God with his world revolving around himself-this is the true source of humanism. Adam freely chose wrong..since then people are bent running from God.  Only when God intervenes in a life....shines light in a heart...can it see the truth and need for Him.  In some way it is like The Matrix.....billions not knowing their true state and the horrible state of the real world...until someone who knows the truth tells them. Only God can help them believe. So they have a choice, but without His illumination that choice will always be no.
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by:BigRat
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In fact that is no clarification. In fact it is presumptuous, in that man, even with a sinful nature can still chose God. The NEVER is completely misplaced. Furthermore phrases like "until someone who knows the truth tells them" and "Only God can help them believe" don't clarify anything - they confuse since there's an implied contradiction.

>>So they have a choice, but without His illumination that choice will always be no

What does this sentence mean????
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by:tliotta
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...and that is the definition of God.

That is your definition of God, not mine. Granted, it is a widely held belief, but that doesn't make it real.


From another item --

Psalms 139 says all my days were written in His book before there was even one of them.

I don't see that as meaning "omniscient". To me, it comes across as being about a plan. The plan could easily be a series of decision points with contingencies.

A rat in a maze can show degrees of free will. A scientist can exert influence to force the rat to take a specific path -- small electric shocks can teach the rat after incorrect choices and put the rat back on the desired course. It's not necessary that the scientist knows in advance which choices the rat will make.

Tom
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by:Jason210
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I think one way to describe it is that God is omniscient but his omniscience takes on many forms. Only one of those forms is conceptual knowledge -- with which most of us humans are identified.

I like the statement "God is All Knowing".  Knowing can be silent, a mere presence-awareness.

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by:SStory
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>In fact that is no clarification. In fact it is presumptuous, in that man, even with a sinful nature can still >chose God.
Man is free to choose. I am just telling you that the Bible teaches that he will by default choose against God.  
Romans 3:10-12 ESV "10) as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
11)  no one understands; NO ONE SEEKS FOR GOD.
12)  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
(CAPS are mine for emphasis)
This is pretty clear that man is not seeking God.

Eph 2:1  "And you [the Christian] were DEAD in the trespasses and sins"

Eph 2:4-5  "4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
5)  even WHEN WE WERE DEAD in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--"

So the Bible teaches that all are spiritually dead to begin with. Dead people can't help themselves. Eph 2:4 says God, because of His mercy and love....even while we were dead (speaking of Christians as where they were before)... made them alive in Christ. Thus salvation is all of God and of grace--a free undeserved gift and not of man...   See Ephesians 2:8-9 (not of yourself, but God's gift so nobody can boast.)

Tliotta, I thought you were an atheist? Is my memory incorrect?  If my memory is correct, you have chosen against God.
Anyhow, to respond to your comment.  The scientist is a mere mortal. He does not know that rats thoughts. God is not a scientist or a limited human.  We are not rats.  He does know ALL about us.  He can use circumstances to direct people they way He wants them to go, if He chooses.  But He does know our choices.  He knows the future too.  The Old Testament proves this again and again.
Mention of Cyrus--100's of years before his birth. Mention of the trenches in the ocean...1000's of years before anyone could travel to verify...mention of the circle of the earth...when people claimed it was flat...and much more

>The NEVER is completely misplaced. Furthermore phrases like "until someone who knows the truth >tells them" and "Only God can help them believe" don't clarify anything - they confuse since there's >an implied contradiction.
It is what the Bible teaches.  Adam sinned and all fell..because we were all in his loins when he sinned and sin passed down to us.  Thus, although man was created with a free will...when the first man freely chose to disobey God, he warped all those who'd come after him to the same natural tendencies that immediately followed his sin.  After he ate the fruit...his eyes were opened....He was AFRAID..He knew he was NAKED (undone)...and he HID himself from God.  This is still what man does to this day.  He runs from God and is undone and hides from him as if He were his enemy.
Thus, yes man has a free will, but he is bent to run from the one who loves him and listens to his enemy (Satan) believing all sorts of evil about God and running and hiding from him. It is only when God has mercy upon a man and shows him grace, that enlightens him to his real condition that a man sees his wretched state and cries out for mercy.  This means that God must first intervene before man will choose anything other than running from Him. If you don't believe that read some things in this forum and you will see plenty of people doing exactly that.. Saying...there is no God...railing against God...warring against Him and wanted to see people do their own thing and cast off the fetters of God.

I would suggest you read Romans chapters 6-9 to see more of what I am telling you.

As a human, I understand your argument against it. From a human standpoint it doesn't seem fair. Nevertheless I can, as a Christian who believes the Bible, only speak what God has revealed in His word.  This is how He says it is.  The initial issue is that most think..."I'm not so bad...I don't deserve hell or punishment..." So that causes a problem. The truth is that everyone deserves to be sent to hell because we've all broken the laws of the most powerful King of the Universe.  By grace He has chosen to rescue a few that are on death row, by granting clemency through the sacrificial, substitutionary payment of Christ.  "Any who will..."  None will unless God first illumines them with the truth of their condition and need.

Take the thieves on the cross. Both were wicked. Both were dying. Neither had time to do any good works.  Both insulted Jesus, but then one all of a sudden, because God illumined his heart, saw that He was a sinner, Jesus was the savior and repented and asked God for mercy. The other insulted Jesus and cursed and died in his sins. He chose to reject God.  The difference? I'd say, from scripture, that one of them had his eyes opened by God to see his terrible standing before the court of Heaven and cried out for mercy. The other did not and freely chose to reject God.
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by:Callandor
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Free will is limited by how much you know and your personal biases.  No one is totally free; they make choices within constraints.  Some don't realize how constrained they are.
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by:BigRat
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>>Romans 3:10-12 ESV "10) as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;

I do so hate this sort of thing. If you read Romans from the beginning you will see that the arguement is a perfectly human one, indeed it makes one of your type of suppositions (verse 6) from which it then tries to draw conclusions (verse 9) tainted with extreme arguments like verse 7, for I would have never even have thought of that, and verse 8, with the ridiculous suggestion that one might to evil to show up good. And then comes this "it is written..." quote, rather like the Rubyat of Omar Kayam, where a sweeping generalisation is made (obviously to convince people that church law is not necessarily God's law) over absolutely everybody without the slightestb intention of backing it up with any evidence. The bible is particularly good at that.

You are obsessed with sin - re Adam. You firmly believe that it is inheritable, which of couse is a wonderful idea because it obviates one from the responsibility. The atonement of Christ was to remove this inheritance, to insist that we stand on our own feet, but you don't seem to like that idea. Again you use the specific to include the general - namely Adam's response (which was very child like) to being caught after eating the apple) - as the behaviors of everybody else: the example you give "seeing in this forum PLENTY of people" and then applying that to ALL people at ALL times. You then start to contradict yourself with pharses like " This means that God must first intervene..." for you do NOT know God's mind nor can you ALWAYS tell what his works are. This then applies very particularly to your point about rescueing a few, by God first illuminating them (the closen). This is again pure supposition, it is contrary to the principle of free will, and it is being illogical, for what is the point in creating something only to damn it in the end for what it cannot become? It only makes sense to reject something if it was unable to develop into that which one had desired. That last point of course presupposes God's will again, but I think that if one is to avoid the concept of an arbitary God, such a conjecture is valid. For if God is going to be arbitary what is the point in pandering to his whims?

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by:Callandor
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BigRat,

If you don't believe the Bible, why are you arguing against what it says?  Suffice it to say that you are going to do what you want, regardless of what it says.  Isn't that the bottom line?
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by:CCSOFlag
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SStory,

I understand what you are saying, I just disagree.  Like you say He knew Moses would intercede for his people.  OK, so even so, why would God waste both their times if He knew who Moses was and what he was made of?  Why would God bring them out of Egypt only to have them wander for 40 years because they were disobedient?  Why kill so many people because they disobeyed?  Same with Abraham and sacrificing his son.  Why would God do it if He knew Abraham would do it?  He already knew Abraham would sacrifice his son, why waste the time?  Again I'm not asking for more clarification or anything; I know why you beleive what you believe, because I used to believe it as well, now I just think differently than you.

I believe God does not know what humans will choose.  I believe that is where his omniscience ends.  I believe he can influence people in different ways and will even control people's decision making at times as He "hardened the pharaohs heart" when he sent Moses.  Ultimately I don't think these views matter when it comes to salvation though.
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by:SStory
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Bigrat,

SIN, per the Bible, is THE biggest issue facing mankind. In Adam, all fell, in Christ many are saved.
Rom 5:17  "For if, because of one man's trespass[Adam], death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ."

Those who have truly received Christ has had their court case forever settled....(Paid in full by the blood of Jesus).  Those who have not are still under condemnation.
John 3:18  "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God."

It appears to me that you are saying you don't submit to the absolute authority of God's word over you life. If you believe it, you would read that it claims that every word is God-breathed--i.e. inspired by God. And so we can know His will--at least the parts that He has written down. There is an overall theme of redemption to the Bible. Even from Genesis when God promised Eve that her Seed (Christ) would crush the serpent(Devil's) head...i.e. that even though she'd been duped by the devil, the Christ would come through her descendants and crush him.

>The atonement of Christ was to remove this inheritance, to insist that we stand on our own feet, but >you don't seem to like that idea. Again you use the specific to include the general
You area approaching the Bible with your own presuppositions. This one is inaccurate.  The atonement was not to bring independence from God...that is what sin was...independence from God and His will.  Salvation returns us to depending upon God in a love/trust relationship like that of a child with his parent or wife with her husband...i.e. we know we can trust Him to always be looking out for our best, and we can not worry about many things that He will just take care of for us. It is actually liberating to depend upon the King.

As far as "knowing the mind of God," none of us know His complete mind, but we do know the plan and His thoughts that He has shared with us in His written word.

"In the beginning God...."
Man fail by sin and became separated from God
God brought the law to show man His perfect measuring stick--to which man would then see how far below the standard he was
Then God brought the Christ to take the punishment for our sins and give us His life--those who will receive Him.
There is a kingdom of darkness at work in this world system. There is an enemy of all mankind at work to deceive and try to keep in darkness and blindness to the truth....
God loves us and made a way..
Jesus is coming back for those who love Him and to judge those who don't.
Those who love Him will forever be with Him in an immortal, sinless, cleansed body--fully redeemed from the curse of sin. The universe will be purified from the effects of sin.

These are the basic teachings of the Bible. I have read it many times and in many translations in English and much of it in Spanish, some of it looking at the meaning in Greek and Hebrew--with help of tools.  These are the core beliefs of the Christian faith.  To not believe them is to NOT be Christian.

As Callandor says, it appears you are going to do as you will. The Bible says:
Rom 3:12  "All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."  This means they've gone their own way and rejected God's rule...they are doing their own thing.

I do understand you last arguments--they in fact are human arguments and Paul made similar ones:
You are saying what Paul said in his human argument (9:19)
Rom 9:19  You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
And answers like this (9:20)
Rom 9:20  But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"

I can't tell you that I understand it all, or even that as a human my emotions don't make me think the same sometimes...I can only tell you that God's word says it is this way and so I accept that it is like His says.  Again, He is God and does as He pleases and answers to NO ONE. That is what true Sovereignty means...And He alone is truly Sovereign.
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by:SStory
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CCSOFlag,

>I understand what you are saying, I just disagree.  Like you say He knew Moses would intercede >for his people.  OK, so even so, why would God waste both their times if He knew who Moses >was and what he was made of?  
You are free to disagree of course.  Let me ask you...why did God ask Adam..."where are you?"
He knew where he was...He just wanted Adam to realize where he was--where he had fallen to from his choice...just like we sometimes ask our kids things we already know the answer to because we want them to see and to admit (confess).

>Why would God bring them out of Egypt only to have them wander for 40 years because they were >disobedient?  
God brought them out of Egypt with the intentions of giving them the Promised land.  He did know they were going to rebel...that doesn't negate the fact that they could have chosen faith and obedience and entered into the Promised Land. Instead they choose unbelief and fear...not to trust God.  The result was futility (around and around to no where) for the rest of their lives and they never entered into His rest. The same is true now.  One can believe/trust God and receive Christ and be saved, or wander around this life in futility, only to die and never enter His final rest. It was, if nothing else an object lesson to all who came after them and even us of what unbelief can do.
His purpose was to save a people for Himself. He did that...just not with the unbelieving generation. He brought their children in and accomplished His purpose through them.

>Why kill so many people because they disobeyed?
Moses wrote: Deu 30:19  "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,"  See the CHOOSE life. They had a choice. God already knew what they'd choose, but they had a choice.  They chose foolishly. We have a choice and many will choose foolishly today and be forever separated from His presence.

>Same with Abraham and sacrificing his son.  Why would God do it if He knew Abraham would do >it?  He already knew Abraham would sacrifice his son, why waste the time?  Again I'm not asking >for more clarification or anything; I know why you believe what you believe, because I used to >believe it as well, now I just think differently than you.
Only God really knows why He did that.  But I think it was to prove him.  To let Abraham be tested and Abraham know the level of his own commitment to God, before God announced His blessing.

>I believe God does not know what humans will choose.  I believe that is where his omniscience >ends.  I believe he can influence people in different ways and will even control people's decision >making at times as He "hardened the pharaohs heart" when he sent Moses.  Ultimately I don't think >these views matter when it comes to salvation though.
Well, if you are a Christian and we have a difference of opinion on some non essentials, then I am not here to argue with you about that.  Let me just say that I think they matter in letting us know how large and in charge our God really is and how much an act of grace and mercy salvation is, where in we really do nothing right...when we are called and illumined by the Spirit we respond...all of which He actually enabled....so it is all of Him and not of us so that in the end NO FLESH may glory in His presence and all the redeemed may marvel at His kindness when such wrath was actually deserved for the great offenses we've made against Him.  When I see the Hubble photos and think about the size of the universe and that outside of all of that God is still there--throughout and outside it--His size and grandeur cannot be imagined by any of us, nor even His real glory...thus we can't understand the magnitude of the offense of sin...we just have a small idea of it.

Anyhow, may the LORD bless you today.
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by:BigRat
ID: 35158407
>>You are approaching the Bible with your own presuppositions. ....  The atonement was not to bring independence from God....

And you are inventing what others have written. Where oh where did I write about "independance from God"????????

I give up. You don't concern yourself with trying to understand what others have written, you simply make up something which you think they meant and whitter on about it for paragraph after paragraph with all sorts of quotations and irrelevant examples.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35158480
>>I give up. You don't concern yourself with trying to understand what others have written, you simply make up something which you think they meant and whitter on about it for paragraph after paragraph with all sorts of quotations and irrelevant examples.

I agree
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by:BigRat
ID: 35158710
And I must take you up on this point, because you and Callandor are guilty of the same thing :-

>>>>You are approaching the Bible with your own presuppositions

You are also approaching the bible in your way, your interpretation. The comment by Callandor as to Jason's Greek is indicative of what Martin Luther went on about - that there is only one authority which has the means, the knowledge, the learning, the skills to interpret the bible and that is, or was, the pope. That is what pissed me off with "The Church". And it pisses me off with your church for the same reasons. You're not willing to let anything go by without condemming criticism if it does not fit entirely with your views - hence the triade against CCSOFlag calling himself a Christian. What you can't see is that you're just the same as the Vatican.
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by:Jason210
ID: 35158936
Poor Bigrat...

Excellent posts here, but I'm afraid they are falling largely on deaf ears. There always comes a point where you have to give up when dealing with the likes of SStory in these threads.

He should be thrown to the lions. And he'd like that, I'm sure.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35159132
lol, come on now guys.  I think it's silly to get this bent out of shape.  We all need to just realize we think differently.  It's due to our experiences and our knowledge of certain things.  My mind works logically.  I'm a very math and science oriented person.  Everything to me has to make sense and fit together.  SStory is not like this.  He does not need everything to fit per say to the point I do.  There's not anything necessarily wrong with it, it's just different than how I work.  I just need to understand that and try to explain what I believe and why to the best of my ability.  Just be patient.  As I said I used to believe a lot of what SStory does.  I have changed what I believe just as anyone can.  It's due to things I've learned, read, experienced, heard, etc.

I also wanted to add from the way I think the only other explanation of God/consciousness that I beleive makes sense is Jason's.  Well not his per say but you know what I mean.  His actually makes sense, and it fits.  I don't believe that is the case, but at least I understand it and to me it makes sense.  It's why I like discussin with him, because he has a beleive system that he thought through and it all fits and answers the questions arisen by the theory.

Anyways,  Just try to be patient is all.  Everyone understands things at different rates.  Sometimes we are blinded by what we do believe and it makes it harder for us to see another perspective. :)  On that note, SStory, even though you don't agree with the person, definitely try to at least understand where everyone else is coming from.  It's good to let them know your point of view so they can understand you as well.
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by:tliotta
ID: 35159919
Tliotta, I thought you were an atheist? Is my memory incorrect?

No, I don't think I'm an atheist. I've been close to it at times many years ago, primarily from not being able to make sense of a number of things. But I don't think I ever went beyond agnostic. I never lost the belief that sense existed even if it was beyond me. I am not a "Christian" though, not in any way that most people seem to think that would be.

...one of them had his eyes opened by God to see his terrible standing before the court of Heaven and cried out for mercy. The other did not and freely chose to reject God.

Something like that is practically contradictory. In the first case, "had his eyes opened by God" implies a previous obstruction that could not be seen through. No amount of 'choice' would help. It took an act of God. But in the second case, in the absence of such an act, he "freely chose".

It's that kind of example of 'how God works' that continually keeps me from accepting the label "Christian". I simply disagree with the explanation.

Tom
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by:Callandor
ID: 35161759
>The comment by Callandor as to Jason's Greek is indicative of what Martin Luther went on about - that there is only one authority which has the means, the knowledge, the learning, the skills to interpret the bible and that is, or was, the pope.

Really?  Asking if Jason knows Greek is tantamount to saying only the pope knows how to interpret the Bible?  That's hyperbole if I ever heard it.  Are only scientists able to understand quantum mechanics?  If one is going to take a stand that is opposite to what many scholars interpret the Bible as saying, one ought to be ready to back it up with research.  Just saying "I think it means this" doesn't give me any confidence in the answer, when there are people who have studied it and are able to write down how they arrived at their conclusions.  If you don't want to sweat learning how the Bible was written and the rules of literary interpretation for different styles of writing, don't cry foul and get all emotional about it.  You get what you put into it, and if you don't want to, don't be surprised if you don't understand it, my teachers used to say.  Writing down the line of reasoning allows others to see where you are coming from and discuss it.
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by:Callandor
ID: 35161768
>He should be thrown to the lions. And he'd like that, I'm sure.

That's a very nasty jab - I expected better of you.  And the reference to "when dealing with the likes of SStory" is pure pigeon-holing.
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by:SStory
ID: 35162506
Bigrat,

hmm.
>>hence the triade against CCSOFlag calling himself a Christian
I don't recall a tirade.  I just didn't remember if CCSOFlag claimed to be a Christian...though it was sounding as if he did and I was telling him that if he is a fellow believer, I'd not quarrel with him over non-essentials and that he could definitely disagree without us being disagreeable.  How that was construed as what you came up with I don't know. As for your being ticked off with the pope and the Catholic church, I can understand.  It is not at all Biblical to believe that only the Pope knows the truth of the Bible.  God's word teaches us that the Holy Spirit illuminates the Bible to believers so they can understand.

CCSOFlag,
>On that note, SStory, even though you don't agree with the person, definitely try to at least >understand where everyone else is coming from.  It's good to let them know your point of view so >they can understand you as well.
Actually I have a math minor and majored in Computer Science. I have studied Biology, Psychology, Geology and more. I am a logically minded person. Nevertheless, if I am to believe the Bible is God's absolute truth and inspired word, it doesn't matter if it is logical or not, I just believe what He says. It wasn't logical for a  man to walk on water or feed 5000 with a boys small lunch, but Jesus did it.  It wasn't logical for God to part the Red Sea, but He did. So our logic gets in the way of faith at times and in a God who is well able to defy the so called laws of nature, because He made them. It is only His consistency that makes what we call laws, remain consistent. He proved it by defying gravity while walking on the water.

I do actually see where many here are coming from.  Whether I am liked, hated, persecuted, fed to the lions or whatever, I must stand on the Bible because it is God's revealed truth to man and the only way to salvation is found therein.  If I am fed to the lions, I will be in good company.  Many of God's prophets were murdered and after Jesus, so were many of His saints.  I do not long for such a thing, but it would be better to die for His name, than to just die.
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by:SStory
ID: 35162535
Tom,

>No, I don't think I'm an atheist. I've been close to it at times many years ago, primarily from not being >able to make sense of a number of things. But I don't think I ever went beyond agnostic. I never lost >the belief that sense existed even if it was beyond me. I am not a "Christian" though, not in any way >that most people seem to think that would be.
Well, thanks for clearing my memory on that. I think it is an admirable and honest comment to just say, basically, "I don't know," which sounds like your position to me.  I encourage you to keep looking...look at the evidence.

>...one of them had his eyes opened by God to see his terrible standing before the court of Heaven >and cried out for mercy. The other did not and freely chose to reject God.
>Something like that is practically contradictory. In the first case, "had his eyes opened by God" >implies a previous obstruction that could not be seen through. No amount of 'choice' would help. It >took an act of God.
Yes it does. However, the Bible teaches:
2 Cor 4:3-4 "3) ...our gospel is veiled...only to those who are perishing. 4)  In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
This refers to the "god" little "g" of this world system, a.k.a the devil, has blinded the minds of those who do not believe because he is going to hell for his rebellion and in a last stab at God wants to take as many with him as he can.  So yes there is an obstruction.  People are dead in sins and dead people don't know there's anything wrong...that they are missing life(this is spiritually dead). I'm saying that Adam and Eve were created perfect. They could freely choose anything.  After sinning, man became imperfect.  We say "well nobody's perfect." Adam and Eve were perfect--flawless and free to choose.  Because of sin, we are born with the bent away from God. We don't need information to choose God. We need a miracle, just like when He said, "Let there be light", or "Lazarus, come forth..." A person needs a miracle from God...God's intervention...before he can even see his terrible condition and need for God...otherwise because of his bent toward evil and self centeredness, though he is free to choose, he will only, always choose to reject God.  

It's like a man with a light pointing on his back, who falls in love with the shadow, but never turns around to see the light.

>It's that kind of example of 'how God works' that continually keeps me from accepting the label >"Christian". I simply disagree with the explanation.
Tom, you are definitely free to disagree and I don't fault you for sincerity.
I would be interested from what you have said, in knowing what you think about man's condition before God, his need of salvation and the way you think he will obtain it.
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by:SStory
ID: 35162619
Bigrat,

>You're not willing to let anything go by without condemning criticism if it does not fit entirely with your >views
I'm not trying to condemn just for the sake of condemning. I am merely quoting scripture because I believe the Bible to be absolute truth and to have the answers.  Sometimes when we mention the Bible, and verses a person feels condemned and convicted because the Holy Spirit takes that word and convicts.
I don't know your heart, but it sounds like your are very angry with some form of religion, and that you have probably been let down by religious people.  I'm only trying to share what the Bible does say about this question and the subsequent comments that have resulted. I'm not here to pick a fight with anyone, but I am also not going to back down from the word of God on which I stand.
I would also be curious if you have read the entire Bible? What version of it? What did you conclude?  What did you conclude the way to true salvation to be?  Why was it written? What is the overall theme?  I've told you what I see as the clear overall theme recurring throughout the Bible, and I have read it many times.  It would be hard for me to see how anyone could read the word and not see the issue of SIN as being major and the need for redemption being major as well...in fact THE theme.  Redemption was in the story of Ruth (Boaz the kinsmen redeemer, redeemed her). It was in Hosea, whom God told to marry a sinful loose woman. She was sold into slavery and yet he redeemed her--another picture of God redeeming sinners from the slavery of sin. It is in many of the Psalms. Joseph is a picture of Christ. He became nothing, to go ahead of his brother and prepare a way that they might be saved/rescued/redeemed from starvation/poverty and death.

Here are some more verses on redemption:
Psa_111:9; Psa_130:7; Mat_20:28; Mar_10:45; Luk_2:38; Act_20:28; Rom_3:24-26; 1Co_1:30; 1Co_6:20; 1Co_7:23; Gal_1:4; Gal_2:20; Gal_4:4-5; Eph_1:7; Eph_5:2; Col_1:14; Col_1:20-22; 1Ti_2:6; Tit_2:14; Heb_9:12; Heb_9:15; 1Pe_1:18-19; Rev_5:9-10

Reconciliation between God and man:
Lev_8:15; Eze_45:15; Dan_9:24; Rom_5:1; Rom_5:10; Rom_11:15; 2Co_5:18-21; Eph_2:15-18; Col_1:20-22; Heb_2:17

About SIN--the depravity of man without Christ
Gen_6:5-7; Gen_6:11-13; Gen_8:21; Deu_32:10; Job_4:17-19; Job_9:2-3; Job_9:29-31; Job_11:12; Job_14:4; Job_15:14-16; Job_25:4-6; Psa_5:9; Psa_14:1-3; Psa_53:1-3; Psa_51:5; Psa_58:1-5; Psa_94:11; Psa_130:3; Psa_143:2; Pro_10:20; Pro_20:6; Pro_20:9; Pro_21:8; Ecc_7:20; Ecc_7:29; 2Ch_6:36; Ecc_8:11; Ecc_9:3; Isa_1:5-6; Isa_42:6-7; Isa_43:8; Isa_48:8; Isa_51:1; Isa_53:6; Isa_64:6; Jer_2:22; Jer_2:29; Jer_6:7; Jer_13:23; Jer_16:12; Jer_17:9; Eze_16:6; Eze_37:1-3; Eze_36:25-26; Hos_6:7; Hos_14:9; Mic_7:2-4; Mat_7:17; Mat_12:34-35; Mat_15:19; Mar_7:21-23; Luk_1:79; Joh_1:10-11; Joh_3:19; Joh_8:23; Joh_14:17; Act_8:23; Rom_2:1; Rom_3:9-19; Rom_3:23; Rom_5:6; Rom_5:12-14; Rom_6:6; Rom_6:19-20; Rom_6:17; Rom_7:5; Rom_7:11; Rom_7:13-15; Rom_7:18-21; Rom_7:23; Rom_7:25; Rom_8:5-8; Rom_8:13; Rom_11:32; 1Co_2:14; 1Co_3:3; 1Co_5:9-10; 2Co_3:4-5; 2Co_5:14; Gal_3:10-11; Gal_3:22; Gal_5:17; Gal_5:19-21; Eph_2:1-3; Eph_2:11-12; Eph_4:17-19; Eph_4:22; Eph_5:8; Eph_5:14; Col_1:13; Col_1:21; Col_2:13; Col_3:5; Col_3:7; 2Ti_2:26; Tit_3:3; Jam_3:2; Jam_4:5; 1Pe_1:18; 1Pe_2:9; 1Pe_2:25; 1Jo_1:8; 1Jo_1:10; 1Jo_2:16; 1Jo_3:10; 1Jo_5:19; Rev_3:17

Of course I could go on for hours with references from the Bible. Now if you say you'd don't believe the Bible or accept it as God's truth then I can see where you don't care about what it says, but if you claim any of it or argue about it, it should be because you believe it is God's word and truth and are seeking to find the truth and willing to submit to its authority as you understand the truth therein.

May God bless you tonight.  He is omniscient. He does know what we are thinking and believe. Nothing is hidden that will not be made known.
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by:SStory
ID: 35162644
Tom,

Pro 16:33  "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD." This is the old equivalent to flipping a coin to make a decision.

Unlike the Deist's view, the Bible teaches that God is far more involved than what we might suppose.
Things that we may consider chance or coincidence are really Him working behind the scenes in often such a subtle way, so that one could even miss the fact that it was His work. Why He does things that way, instead of with pomp and flair as we would do, is known to Him. He said His ways are not our ways. Jesus came on a donkey instead of a stallion.. Who ever heard of a King coming on a humble donkey, but that was His way--it is often God's way.

I just thought I'd throw this verse out there for you to ponder...after reading one of your other comments above.

Good night!

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by:hidrau
ID: 35179894
thanks everybody
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