Thursday, January 8, 2015

What God Doesn't Know

Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose. -Isaiah 46:10

What interesting conversations we have! To see things through the lens of God's word and in the light of His reality leads us to share our faith with those who might not be Christian by sometimes simply sharing our joy in Christ.

But I think it is with brothers and sisters in Christ that I most enjoy conversing. Speaking with a friend of long-standing the other day, he expressed an astonishing opinion.

"I believe that God has laid out since before time what will come to pass, but He doesn't know exactly how it will happen. That is in our hands."

This is a variation of a notion called "Open Theism."  Here is a detailed explanation:

As I reminded my friend, there are more than a few passages that speak of God's ordaining knowledge of everything that will come to pass and the manner in which these things will occur.

None of which make God the author of sin (Psalms 5:4; James 1:13-14; 1 John 1:5).

The two most well-known are Joseph's reminder to his brothers that God had over-ridden their evil intent toward him to bring about good (Genesis 50:19-21) and Peter's Pentecost message that God in His sovereign foreknowledge turned the most heinous crime ever committed into His greatest gift to mankind (Acts 2:22-24).

Maybe the thought of God's gentlemanly sharing of His power and glory is appealing to some (in fact, who among us has not occasionally attempted to usurp these?). But God has given the lie to this notion (Isaiah 48:11).

Do you agree that we all share the common failing of thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought? We are tempted constantly to elevate the creature above the Creator. Even our worship services may tilt from the vertical to the horizontal if we are not careful.

I think my friend spoke without considering the implications of his words: that  a God without all power and all knowledge simply ceases to be God.

And that can never be.


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