Open or relational theology as a model for the all-knowingness of God

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Posted by Ricky Grimsley in Pentecostal Theology on April 4 at 11:36am

If you are a calvinist, then God ordained everything to happen the way it happens. If you arminian then you believe that God knew exactly how everything was going to happen but still created you? Whats the practical difference? You both believe in an unchangeable future?

Corey Forsyth Are these our only 2 “choices?”

Ricky Grimsley There are other choices of what to believe but most people believe that God’s omniscience includes exhaustive foreknowledge from before creation?
Corey Forsyth Corey Forsyth These are the concepts that give me headaches. I have always thought in realm of paternal instinct. My dad radar tells me the likely outcome of a situation based on the applicable factors, however, my child can make a different choice than I assumed anSee More
Ricky Grimsley Ricky Grimsley I only posted this because this hits right at the heart of the truth. The future is either set or it isnt. In a reasonable discussion arminianism becomes an untenable position imo. If the future isnt set then that at some point requires God to learn neSee More
William Lance Huget William Lance Huget Calvinism impugns God’s character with causation/double predestination. Arminians would claim God is not responsible just because He knows what creatures will freely do. An omniscient God cannot forget the knowable past (this is not what forgiveness is…not divine amnesia) and He could not choose to not know the future if it was knowable. However, by creating free moral agents with libertarian free will necessary for love/relationship/moral responsibility/cogent theodicy, this reality makes exhaustive definite foreknowledge logically impossible, even for an omniscient God.  Open Theism is a more biblical, coherent free will theism than Arminianism.
a-christian-is-the-one-who-accepts-the-trinity-fatherRoger David Roger David Either way I don’t see how free will is an option without the possibility of an open future in at least some areas.
William Sterling William Sterling If I know you well enough to know which of two options you will choose, does that mean you didn’t have a choice? 
Doug Gibson Doug Gibson Excellent OP, Ricky! There is no difference.
Travis Brown Travis Brown Well the future is unchangeable for everything actually happened before the foundation of the world.
David Rollings David Rollings Even Reformed theology does not believe everything happened before the foundation of the world.
Kenneth J. Archer Kenneth J. Archer Reformed theology is diverse but Calvinism would affirm everything has been predetermined.
Doug Gibson This is incorrect, David Rollings. It says so in the WCOF quite clearly. You must have missed that.
Doug Gibson Doug Gibson Westminster Confession of Faith, the official creed of Reformed Theology falsely so-called.
David Rollings David Rollings Firstly there is not only one Reformed Creed there a number. Secondly, the WCCF does not say that everything has happened it says “God from all eternity, did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will ordain whatever comes to pass; yet so, as tSee More
William Lance Huget William Lance Huget This is compatibilistic contradiction. Even so, God ordaining does not mean it actually happened before it happened in real space-time.

god-will-make-a-wayDoug Gibson On the Reformed site with the WCOF, section 3 of God’s Eternal Decree, it states, “I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;”

David Rollings David Rollings ordination does not mean it has already happened but that it will happen

William Sterling But God dwells outside of time. From His perspective that may be true but it’s absolute nonsense from ours.

William Lance Huget William Lance Huget God does not dwell outside of time. That is Augustinian/Platonic, not biblical, not logical. He experiences an endless duration of time (sequence/succession). This has implications for foreknowledge.

Travis Brown Because it’s nonsense from our end doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It simply means we can comprehend

Doug Gibson Doug Gibson No, God does not dwell ‘outside of time’. If you have no time to do a particular thing, you cannot do it at all. We know this when we are late for something. Things can only be done IN time. This is a false assumption. Time is simply duration. If God has no duration, that is simply saying he does not exist.
William Sterling William Sterling No, It just means he’s not bound by our limitations.
William Lance Huget William Lance Huget God experiencing duration is not a limitation, but the nature of His personal experience from everlasting to everlasting. We have limited time and are finite. God has endless time and is not finite.

Doug Gibson continuance and duration are what time is.

Doug Gibson Doug Gibson Time is not ‘our limitations’. It is a quality of that which exists.
Travis Brown Travis Brown Wut? God exist eternally. That means God is still in yesterday the same to day and the same tomorrow.
William Lance Huget William Lance Huget The potential, anticipatory future becomes the fixed past (memory) through the present (actual). Time is not space. God is not in or outside of time. Time is not a created thing (but the unique measures of it are). God experiences the present. The past is no longer. The future is not yet. The past and present are known exhaustively by God. The future consists of possibilities, so God knows this reality.

William Sterling Does the book of Genesis not recount the creation of time? How did he exist before the creation of time?

William Lance Huget William Lance Huget It does not say time was created. It talks about material creation. The unique measures of time (stars, moon, sun, clocks) are created. Absolute time is philosophical and exists with or without creation (the triune God experiences endless duration in personal relations). Physical time is related to creation, but this just deals with measures and perceptions of time, not fundamental time (Einstein was wrong and relativity relates to physical vs philosophical time).

Doug Gibson Sure God exists eternally. I don’t agree with Plato’s definition of eternity.

Travis Brown Travis Brown Time only exist for created beings.
Doug Gibson Doug Gibson In fact, Genesis 1 fully affirms that God experiences reality sequentially in time. Does Moses not say that when God separated the light from the darkness that God SAW it (in sequence) and said ‘it is good’ (in sequence)?
William Lance Huget William Lance Huget Ps. 90:2; Rev. 1:4

Doug Gibson Says who? “Time only exist for created beings.” That’s Plato, not Bible.

Doug Gibson Doug Gibson show me a verse where it says God created time.
Doug Gibson Doug Gibson I wouldn’t be wasting my time here talking about it if there were.
William Sterling William Sterling What is day and night if not the measure of time? That’s right there at the beginning of the book….
William Lance Huget William Lance Huget Measures of time are not time itself. If you smashed every clock on the planet, duration/time marches on anyway.

Doug Gibson God told one of the kings ‘ I would have established your kingdom, but now …” it won’t be. This means that it was POSSIBLE for another outcome to have existed.

David Lewayne PorterDavid Lewayne PorterGod gave him the chance, it and he did not, it shows his had other intentions but man wanted differently. It does not mean God did not know in advance. 
(God knows from history beginning)
Yet he told Abraham now I know.
Knowledge is intuitively known and then known by experience. God knows intuitively.  He just gives us the chance to do what He already knows. Thus the relationship and daily walk with our without Him.
Doug GibsonClocks are not “time”. Day and night as you said, William are only the MEASURE of time. In the same way miles, feet, inches, meters, kilometers are not ‘space’.
Doug GibsonDoug GibsonNothing exists outside of time.
William SterlingWilliam SterlingSo “In the beginning” was the start of God, too?
William Lance HugetWilliam Lance HugetIt is the beginning of the universe and day 1 of our time. God is eternal and duration as a concept has always been eternal with Him (just like love; this does not mean it is greater than God).
Doug GibsonAnd whatever does not exist now does not exist at all. There is nothing existing presently in the past. Nothing exists in the future because it doesn’t ‘exist’ yet. Not as far as I know “So “In the beginning” was the start of God, too?”In the beginning God created. What did he create? Certainly not that which is incapable of having a beginning. Should we suggest as heretics do that there is not distinction between Creator and the Creation?Minutes and seconds are only measurements of continuance or duration. We must wrap our minds around the definition of time as being CONTINUANCE or DURATION. Eternal simply speaks of INFINITE DURATION. Plato messed things up and Augustine introduced the gnostic concept of Plato that eternity means ‘outside of time’. The phrase is itself nonsense.

Travis BrownSo the future “doesn’t exist” how was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world? Or does God exist out side of out timeline?

William Lance HugetWilliam Lance HugetThe potential plan of redemption was implemented in Gen. 3, but not actualized until the first century. Jesus did not incarnate, live, and die before the incarnation in real space-time history. He resurrected after His physical death, not in eternity past. The statement expresses certainty AFTER the Fall. The idiom ‘from the foundation of the world’ ties into the period of the Fall, not eternity past.
Ricky GrimsleyRicky Grimsley“Foundation” katabole in Gr. Can mean to throw down. Same root as catastrophe, catapult, cataclysm. Perhaps jesus was the lamb slain from the overthrow of the world or casting down “as in adams fall”. As in God satan sinned or adam sinned and God responded.
Doug GibsonDoug GibsonI like that. I have heard that one time but forgot it. Very good. It can be seen as God’s response to sin.
Doug GibsonDoug GibsonYes.  Greek < Greek kata-, combining form of katá down, through, against, according to, towards, during (alongside).
Karen LucasKaren LucasHmmm… That’s good Ricky Grimsley.
Doug GibsonTruthfully Travis, I haven’t looked enough at that phrase, but you won’t convince me that before the world existed that Jesus has been continually reliving over and over the crucifixion. Whatever the phrase means, it cannot mean all events To be specific, ‘slain before the foundation of the world’ does not mean that all events have been eternally occurring from before the foundation of the world, because it would also imply that Christ was not born yet, that he has not gone to the cross yet, and that the resurrection has not occurred yet and that these things will never occur, are occurring, and will occur.
Jimmy HumphreyJimmy HumphreyThere is little to no practical impact on either of these theologies in the everyday life of a believer.
William Lance HugetWilliam Lance HugetActually, there is pastoral or practical implications to these including barriers to belief in apologetics, counselling suffering people, prayer, etc. Truth matters and we should want a biblical, coherent view to honor God and His Word and to have credibility before a critically thinking world.
Doug GibsonWhat matters is that the gospel is practical so we should receive it so that it makes IMPACT on our lives. But the anti-christ dogma of the Greeks and Gnostics that the future is already fixed is destructive of morals and hope. The Roman Catholics rely on the Greek/platonic definition of eternity as ‘outside of time’ so they can claim they are not REPEATING the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross when they perform the ‘sacrifice of the mass’ which they hold to be the literal sacrSee More
Ricky GrimsleyRicky GrimsleyThese things impact everyday life because in what sense can you say “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” if the future is set. Your prayer is irrelevantIt impacts everyday life because how many times do you hear people counseling someone grieving and saying “this is just part of God’s plan.” Surely God says he will out all things for good to those that love him and are called….but are to believe and to say to someone that was born to a father that raped them their whole childhood that this was always what God had planned?
Doug Gibsonexactly! I heard one woman preaching on abortion and telling young people that if they were born out of wedlock or from rape that they are SOOO important that God used that method to bring them into the world. Sorry Ricky Grimsley for offending you with Prince in Pain. I’ll sell all my equipment. Thanks for the encouragement.
Ricky GrimsleyRicky GrimsleyLol its all about the message right?
Doug GibsonDoug GibsonThe message was the easy part. A couple months in the studio was the hard part. laying down all the tracks.
Nelson BanuchiIn the Calvinist view, God actualizes all things to the extent that he directly acts upon everything, including “secondary causes.” One can say say that even evil (although the Calvinist would deny it) is what God acts upon to actualize and insure it’
Ricky Grimsley
Ricky GrimsleyActually it does. If you say God is omniscient and include all future events then the future is set. If you dont then you have to say God learns.

Nelson Banuchi1. Maybe the future is set, but the point is, it is not set by God meticulously and exhaustively.

2. Also, regarding all things, even if the future is set, it is not set by virtue of divine foreknowledge.

3. That God foreknows does not mean there was no freedom in the choices that were air are to be made.

William Lance HugetWilliam Lance HugetWhat is the supposed mechanism of this? Calvinism-determinism, Molinism-middle knowledge, Arminianism-simple foreknowledge relying on wrong eternal now, or at least part of the future is known as possible vs certain/actual-Open Theism (hint…the latter is the winner).
Ricky GrimsleyMy conclusion about calvinism and arminianism is that the only difference is whether God knew the future perfectly and still created people knowing their “fate” or God specifically ordained every event.
Kenneth J. ArcherThe real question is how does God know what God knows? In Calvinism God does not know anything God predetermined everything thus knowing is grounded in God’s decrees. There is no forseeing in Calvinism. Arminianism, God simply sees the future and nowsthe actions people make. Both models assume a closed space time continuum. For Thomas Aquinas God simply sees everything from the advantage of the eternal now. Past, present and future simultaneously. That is God is outside of space-time continuum. Boethius before him expo used a similar view. This would be a classical theistic model. An open relational model affirms God knows everything past and present, but either limits foreknowledge or cannot know what is happening in tomorrow because it has not yet come into being. God is always the first to know. For Pentecostals I would suggest a more Wesleyan and relational model works best for our understanding of biblical narrative and intercessory prayer.
William Lance HugetThe Bible does not teach exhaustive definite/divine foreknowledge. This is an assumption from tradition.
Kenneth J. ArcherGod knows all that is possible to know
William Lance HugetYour thinking is commendable, but wrong assumptions lead to wrong conclusions. I do not think your view is explanatory and robust enough yet. The big fear for most is giving up exhaustive definite FK because they wrongly think this is a denial of omniscience (it is not if God knows all that is knowable…and He does).
Kenneth J. ArcherYou seem to be arguing for a presentism of some sort. God is in the space-time continuum experiencing it, although I am sure that you most likely would qualify this, sequentially. The issues raised now has to do with immanence and transcendence. The question of how God knows is tied into your explanation of explaining why God foreknew and what God can or cannot foreknow.
William Lance HugetYou sound like a quasi-Open Theist (everyone lives practically like it is true).
Ricky GrimsleyHere is an example of how i feel. John 19:28 KJVS
[28] After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
I believe that jesus did not do this because it was foreknown but he perfectly knew the scriptures and this had to be done as a sign. Jus like hey i can call legions of angels down but that isnt what is written. Matthew 26:53-54 KJVS
[53] Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? [54] But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

William Lance HugetIs. 46 and 48. God can foreknow and predestine some things and bring it to pass by His ability, not a supposed prescience. The mistake is to extrapolate this from some to all. Open Theism talks about two motifs: some of the future is settled
Brian RodenOne of the things I enjoy about Doctor Who from a theological perspective is that it gets into the whole “what is fixed and what is variable” discussion.
Doug GibsonArminianism defenses of its view of absolute foreknowledge fall apart by failing to distinguish between what is predestined and what is fate. In showing that God is not responsible for all that happens, then it must happen by fate. Absolute foreknowledge does not have to be based on predestination, but it is dependent on inexorable fate nonetheless.
Douglas HollandI would have to say that you are wrong. Arminianism does not base foreknowledge on fate but is based out of the omnitiance of God. God knows everything. We know thing based from experience and reasoning from others. God knows everything based on Himself and the fact that he knows the future because he is already there. He exist outside the space-time-continuem. To say that God knows things based on fate is to reason God through a finite state. God is not responsible for all that happens because He allows His creation to make free choice. To go with the total depravity mindset, that means would be locked into a programed state with no freewill or the ability to reason. Even your reasoning would be the calculation of your program. We are not created that way. We are not quit living the matrix.
Margaret English de AlminanaI disagree. I would suggest that Armenian foreknowledge and Calvinist causation are very different. I believe foreknowledge is akin to watching a movie twice. One fully knows the outcome, but does not cause it, even when one is invested in one particular possibility. Where am I wrong here?
Douglas HollandGod chooses what to act on. Some things He does not act on. Whether He acts or does not act, that does not reflect predestination in any way. It’s like if an adolescent tries to do something that a parent knows will not be good for him or could even bring harm (mildly), the parent will at times allow the child to proceed that they may learn through experience. God allows us to learn through our free will. The end of our personal lives are not set in stone. We can potentially do great things in life or potentially be a total failure. God does predestine His covenant of the Kingdom but even that can be altered based on who mm akes the decision to be a part of that Kingdom.
Rob MccullenThey believe a lot of the same things but just love to argue. The Bible speaks of predestination in Romans 9 and Ephesians 1 but if you bring it up you will get attacked.
Douglas HollandI took a look at Eph. 1 after you said what you said. When I read that as a chapter context it seems that what is predestined in Eph. 1 is God’s plan for us. That, however, does seem to be spoken of in an absolute. Even though God has a plan for us He still gives us the option to walk in it. Paul said he pressed toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus. That’s what I see unless I missed something.
Rob Mccullen It in CONTEXT says and means He chose us in HIM BEFORE the foundation of the world. That means He chose us before the World began. Point blank. He created Pharoah to destroy him. He created His Chosen for worship. He knows they that are His. It’s deep because Ezekiel said if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity and God lays a stumbling block before that he die he will die for his sin and his righteousness will not be remembered. Therefore we must make our calling and election sure.
Ricky Grimsley Where are all the scripture that prove what you just said???

26 Comments

  • Reply April 16, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    CrossTheology Take time to read the whole discussions. Doug Gibson I too feel David Rollings is incorrect. WCOF is quite clear on many diverse stands within Reformed Theology! Reformed theology firmly believes everything happened before the foundation of the world. If not, what would be the point of a predetermined election?

    • Reply April 16, 2016

      CrossTheology

      later on, now I am studying on how to show that the god of islam is not the God of Christianity 🙂

  • Reply April 16, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Got to love what David Lewayne Porter said: “God gave him the chance, it and he did not, it shows his had other intentions but man wanted differently. It does not mean God did not know in advance” killing all open theism as heresy http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/is-open-theism-heretical/

  • Reply April 16, 2016

    Varnel WatsonEdwards

  • Reply April 16, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Other Troy, I am no open theist. God knows my name. He calls me “friend!”

    • Reply April 16, 2016

      Varnel WatsonEdwards

      Open theism has to do with the nature of the future. If the future is “set in stone” and f it was not God who set it in stone then who did? On the other hand, God is omniscient and knows all that can be known, including your name and the number of hairs on your head.

  • Reply April 16, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    So other Troy, how do we apply open or relational theology as a model for the all-knowingness of God in Pentecostalism?

    • Reply April 16, 2016

      Varnel WatsonEdwards

      I think this model fits Pentecostalism like a hand in a glove. For one thing, it will take the pressure off of us to stop trying to give prophetic words or tongues/interpretations to predict the future while often getting it wrong. It will take us back to what prophecy was actually meant to do which is to encourage, edify, build up and correct.

  • Reply April 16, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Troy Day well, those 3 are not all of it. All through the Bible you have prophets prophesying the future. In NT too or you have to erase the whole Revelation and all prophetic words of Jesus, who knew the future. God knows ALL things!

    • Reply April 16, 2016

      Varnel WatsonEdwards

      True but they are prophesying what God SAIYS that He will do in the future. On the other hand, God has sometimes given a prophecy and changed His mind due to the reactions of people. Remember Hezekiah and Nehemiah? Prophecy is also very flexible and can be changed. See Jer. 18:5-7

    • Reply April 16, 2016

      Varnel WatsonEdwards

      I meant Jer. 18:7-10

    • Reply April 16, 2016

      David Lewayne Porter

      Exactly

  • Reply April 16, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Hey other Troy Edwards you’re jumping all over the Bible to prove a single NT verse about prophecy. Let’s stick to the NT – book of Revelation. It sure seems to me that in Revelation GOD knew all things in the future to the finest detail. I think Brody Pope and David Lewayne Porter will agree with that. There’s nothing GOD does not know!

    • Reply April 16, 2016

      Varnel WatsonEdwards

      Other-Troy, Are you a hyper dispensationalist? Now you know that God did not change from one testament to another, right? The OT is still the Word of God and is profitable (2 Tim. 3:16). However, Revelation is a book detailing how God will get the final triumph over evil. But it is a book dealing with past, present, and future events.

    • Reply April 16, 2016

      Varnel WatsonEdwards

      It would be hard for me to do a thorough discussion on Revelation in relation to the OV here on FB, but I do have a chapter dedicated for this alone in a book I am currenty writing.

  • Reply April 16, 2016

    Doug Gibson

    Last Few verses in Revelation give a conditional warning. The future is not fixed in all details otherwise there would be no need for a warning

    • Reply April 16, 2016

      Varnel WatsonEdwards

      Furthermore, there are warnings that people’s names can be removed from the Lamb’s book of life, showing even more that the future is open.

  • Reply April 16, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Last few words of Revelation are a prophetic eschaological prayer. Come quickly Lord Jesus. Very definite, very prophetic and very much in the future! Doug Gibson I read all you wrote in the discussion was impressed. A bit much toward the end if you ask me, but then again that’s a personal preference. @Troy I dont necessarily agree with your view, but I dont share open theism like Ricky Grimsley does. I believe God knows all things at all times!

    • Reply April 16, 2016

      Varnel WatsonEdwards

      Not a problem Troy Day. It resolves a whole lot of issues for me and removes unnecessary paradoxes. Furthermore, the Bible makes a whole lot more sense to me and I don’t have to find a way to reconcile certain things with the philosophical “eternal now” conumdrums. But everyone must be free to follow their conscious understanding of Scripture.

  • Reply April 17, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Here’s a question for open-theists: did God know a person would be born gay or did God make a mistake with them only to repent for it later? Ricky Grimsley

    • Reply April 17, 2016

      Varnel WatsonEdwards

      “They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, NEITHER CAME IT INTO MY MIND” (Jer. 19:5)

    • Reply April 18, 2016

      Ricky Grimsley

      First, i dont think God makes all people. Second, whatever desires i have that are sinful, i am requires to crucify my flesh. I dont see lusting after a man as any different than lusting after a woman that isnt my wife. I do not in anyway believe that God creates people to be gay but I know that God can certainly allow it and heal a person so that can empathize and minister to others. He allows things to be the way they are for us to choose him and to be glorified in our lives through our trust in him. Whatever happens his grace is sufficient if we will accept it and give grace to others so that we can grow in grace.

  • Reply April 17, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Great verse other Troy, but what exactly are you saying? – they were born gay and God did not know about it or allow it? Pls explain! Also: did God made a gay person or the person had a choice to become gay? David Rollings

    • Reply April 17, 2016

      David Lewayne Porter

      Person has the choice.
      Any short fall is a result of temptation leading to sin. Jesus said, “Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
      “1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
      Let’s not forget, “Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
      28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” That is how God created everything, multiply – replenish. I am so sorry but if they do not have the physical ability then they are not the way God created and designed them.
      And at the mouth of two to three witnesses
      Gen CHAPTER 5.
      1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
      2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
      3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

      I see no scripture anywhere, stating otherwise.
      James,1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
      13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
      14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
      15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
      16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
      17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

      Temptation is our end.
      All good and prefect is God’s provision.

  • Reply April 17, 2016

    David Rollings

    All si and sinful orientation is a result of the fall.

  • Reply April 17, 2016

    Varnel Watson

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