Don, you seem to put a lot of faith in the idea that we are who we are from the pre-mortal existence and that we are not likely to change. We seem to have much more doctrine supporting the idea that we have agency in this life and that we could go either way and that there are many righteous who have fallen. I’m not suggesting you’re wrong, but you’re leaning a lot on a HUGE assumption. (bullet-through-cardboard-analogies notwithstanding).
Rusty | Email | Homepage | 02.07.05 – 6:44 pm | #
I’m with Rusty, Don. I think we shouldn’t put too much into causal explanations of God’s foreknowledge (meaning He knows us from before and since a leopard can’t change its spots He knows our future). If God does have true foreknowledge — which is not universally accepted as evidenced by discussions here and here – causal determinism seems like an unlike source of that foreknowledge. Blake Ostler outlined an alternative to true foreknowledge in his book that I have found pretty compelling (I wrote a post trying to explain and defend it a couple of weeks ago). The benefit of this limited foreknowledge approach is that petitionary prayer really does matter a great deal if it is an accurate model. It also keeps us from ignoring or diminishing the probationary nature of our time on earth.
Geoff Johnston | Email | Homepage | 02.07.05 – 7:23 pm | #
Righteous who have fallen…I have to think on that. It seems that there are many examples, from King David to Apostle Lee. We are put here to “try” and “test” us, not because God doesn’t know what we’ll do, but because we don’t know and couldn’t be justly judged if we weren’t tested.
If one of these righteous guys weren’t tested to the point that they failed, then they would be justified in saying they deserved the Celestial Kingdom.
Which then says to me, what about all the people who have lived on the earth and weren’t tested, and get the Celestial Kingdom?
Where’s the justice in testing someone until they fail (if they don’t fail, great they get the Celestial Kingdom too) and or not testing others.
The only way I see it, from my myopic point of view, is God knows us so well from the pre-mortal existence that He can justifiable allow some to pass thru this earth life without the tests necessary for the rest of us.
Don | Email | Homepage | 02.07.05 – 7:36 pm | #
The theory you present (including the analogy) sounds a WHOLE lot like deist thought from the Enlightenment era. Like others have said, relationships need engagement. Just because God knows what is going to happen doesn’t mean He doesn’t need to intervene in what’s going to happen. (Don’t you remember the plot line in “12 Monkeys”?)
Plus, who are we to judge God’s “testing to someone’s fullest extent?” My trials are going to be different from yours because I find things difficult that you may find easy, or vice versa.
I think your paper bag theory has a lot of merit, but from what we know doctrinally, I think this life is a test of greater importance then some random one you take in class. This is like the ACT, Praxis, GRE or something.
Bret | Email | Homepage | 02.08.05 – 12:28 am | #
First off, the idea of foreknowledge and predestination is from Western Philosophy. It just doesnt work with the Scriptures. The OT Hebrew idea of the Lord is the One with the power to accomplish His will despite mankind’s unwillingness to do it. The OT Lord is the great social engineer, at both the macro and micro scales. And, if people work with Him instead of against Him, then all the better for those individuals. So, the OT Lord knows the future because He will bring it about regardless of whether or not humans will cooperate with Him.
Second, with respect to prayer, the act of prayer really isnt us telling God something or asking him for something. It is intended as a means of us discerning God’s will and reconciling ourselves to it, not the other way around. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. His will is done in heaven because angels understand and do His will. On earth, its a different story. The Hebrew word translated to the English “to pray” is a derivative of the Hebrew verb that would translate to the English “to instrospect”. The purpose of prayer is for us to discern God’s will for us.
Kurt | Email | Homepage | 02.09.05 – 10:31 am | #
Lee was a seventy.
Kim Siever | Email | Homepage | 02.09.05 – 1:38 pm | #
Your descriptions of God seems to have Him both immutable (ie unchanged and unmoved by our requests) and willing to override free agency and compel us to conform to His will. I don’t think either of these doctrines are easily defensible in the restored church (though they are popular in Hellenized Christianity).
Geoff Johnston | Email | Homepage | 02.13.05 – 11:15 pm | #
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