The Openness of God - Predestination or Free Will?

Written by Aleck Cartwright

Continued from page 1

Isaiah 46:9-10 "Rememberrepparttar former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me, declaringrepparttar 127002 end fromrepparttar 127003 beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, "My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure."

Nowrepparttar 127004 argument could be made that God knows His purposes but does not knowrepparttar 127005 purposes of man or demons. But this assumes that there are two classes of future events, those that God predestines and foreknows and those that He cannot know are coming, those that arise from human and demonic choice. But if this were true then why does Isaiah not separate what God is planning to do and what man or demon will choose to do.Virtually all of God's judgements and deliverance's involve choices that humans would make as instruments of God's plan, seerepparttar 127006 examples above regarding Peter and Judas.

This is also whererepparttar 127007 first chapter of Matthew comes into play. The genealogy of Christ is proof that God has foreordainedrepparttar 127008 birth of Christ and is directly involved in every aspect of it throughout allrepparttar 127009 world and every generation. One wrong choice in any of these generations and Jesus could never have fulfilledrepparttar 127010 prophecies ofrepparttar 127011 Old Testament. Evenrepparttar 127012 prophecies ofrepparttar 127013 Old Testament show God's knowledge and foresight to be conclusive.

Within God's plan there is still free-will and moral accountability. Jesus' absolute knowledge that Peter would deny Him, how often he would do it, where he would do it and that he would repent never removes Peter's moral responsibility inrepparttar 127014 least, which is made plain byrepparttar 127015 fact that Peter weeps bitterly WHEN he remembersrepparttar 127016 words of Jesus' prediction. Peter didn't say,"Well you predicted this sin, so it had to take place, and so it can't have been an act of my free will, so I am not responsible for it!!" Instead he wept bitterly. He was guilty and he knew it. Jesus was glorious inrepparttar 127017 prediction, and Peter was guilty. This is why Jesus said before in John 13:19, "I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am." This was His glory, and therefore a denial of Christ's foreknowledge would also be a denial of His deity.

The other belief held inrepparttar 127018 openness of God is that God did not foreknowrepparttar 127019 fall of man, or of angels and so could not knowrepparttar 127020 great things which would coincide as a result of these events, such as His sending His son to die forrepparttar 127021 sins ofrepparttar 127022 world. Neither did God know that Jesus' incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, nevermindrepparttar 127023 meticulous four thousand years before Christ came in whichrepparttar 127024 world's stage was arranged in preparation for His coming. Neither would God foreknow Christ's second coming andrepparttar 127025 end ofrepparttar 127026 age to be able to allow John to write downrepparttar 127027 Revelation for God's chosen people.

This cannot be chance, God knew it all along. God must have foreknownrepparttar 127028 fall of Adam and it's terrible moral effect on mankind. Paul says,"[God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity." When you add this torepparttar 127029 teaching of Paul in Ephesians 1:4-6, we can see that God's glory is linked to His foreknowledge and His deity. "[God] chose us in [Christ] beforerepparttar 127030 foundation ofrepparttar 127031 world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according torepparttar 127032 kind intention of His will, torepparttar 127033 praise ofrepparttar 127034 glory of His grace."

It is of course ironic thatrepparttar 127035 desire of openness theology is to have a God who can relate to us in time and space and haverepparttar 127036 same limitations as we do. Indeed, if all we knew about God was what he had revealed of himself to Moses andrepparttar 127037 prophets, we would be astonished byrepparttar 127038 very suggestion thatrepparttar 127039 transcendent God that could not be looked upon had somehow taken human form and begun to live among us. According torepparttar 127040 traditional Christian understanding of God, it is precisely inrepparttar 127041 person of Christ thatrepparttar 127042 impassible, immutable, eternal God becomes passable, mutable, and temporal. We do not need to invent an 'open' conception ofrepparttar 127043 divine nature in order to marvel atrepparttar 127044 "folly" of a risk taking, passible God; all we need to do is to contemplate Christ crucified.

So if God does not know our future, or our present (for that is where we actively bring our unknown choices from conceptualisation intorepparttar 127045 past) or what decisions we or demons make, He is actually very limited indeed. He is in effect confined torepparttar 127046 past, His own plans and musings and calculation ofrepparttar 127047 probability of future events. This leaves God in a somewhat dire state. I would almost feel sorry for a God like that. Would He inspire awe and entice me to worship Him? I doubt it.

So how much does that leave to God? What percentage ofrepparttar 127048 world andrepparttar 127049 future does God really know. If we were to talk of percentages, how much does that leave to God, 30%? This isrepparttar 127050 problem for any person who believes that God is limited to time. Sorepparttar 127051 problem, then, is that God is cut out ofrepparttar 127052 future entirely and only has what is old to work with, as one man said, all He has is fossils. It would be as foolish as us studying dinosaur bones to try and discoverrepparttar 127053 future of our world. So He is confined to possibilities and probabilities, but He doesn't know actualities nor future certainties.

I do not think that that is a God I would like to love and serve.To do that would be to love only 30% of Him!.

"Prayer does not change God, but changes him who prays." Kierkegaard

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Intelligent Design - Has God turned the tables on Evolution?

Written by Aleck Cartwright

Continued from page 1

The scientific community has had a lack of openmindedness toward allrepparttar factors and possibilities of an intelligent agent acting to create and intervene in man's creation and well-being.

The intelligent design movement is an affront to evolutionary theories in two ways. Philosophically, it argues that because of this closed attitude toward anything other than natural explanations for life andrepparttar 127001 universe, it is therefore biased against any (even remote) posibility for divine intervention. And secondly, it argues against evolutionary evidence through natural processes.

The drive forward has left itself very broad and encompasses scientists who take many views and perspectives on man's origin but having intelligent design that strings all of them together. Onrepparttar 127002 one hand we have scientists who believe thatrepparttar 127003 earth is several thousand years old, and that man came from one common ancestor to any number of other concepts from God's deelopement ofrepparttar 127004 human raace through an evolutionary process. Regardless all agree that there is a supernatural force, which many believe to be God, active inrepparttar 127005 development of human life.

Much research is being undertaken to establish academic credibility for intelligent design by publishing their findings. Their argument is that science should at least teachrepparttar 127006 controversy, giving another option torepparttar 127007 flawed and unproven theory of evolution. As more and more people become sceptical overrepparttar 127008 ability of random mutation and natural selection to account forrepparttar 127009 complexity of life, and wary of believing that biological systems can advance fromrepparttar 127010 simple torepparttar 127011 complex, they realise that if these were true their lives would be void and empty, with no reason for laws, or in fact for any precedent for moral behaviour.

Many intelligent design sicentists have no problem with microevolution,repparttar 127012 small changes within species over time. Many do find problems believing in macroevolution,repparttar 127013 transformation of reptiles to birds for example, as being full of assumptions and speculation.

It is an intriguing argument and many will find it necessary to discussrepparttar 127014 options available to human beings to seek out their origins, either in divine action or natural selection. After all if we don't start right we won't end right.

Man today is faced with two incredible choices, to believe that life's complexity can be explained through chance and natural selection, which is in itself a form of faith,repparttar 127015 religion of naturalism. Or to believe thatrepparttar 127016 diversity and complexity of life is a result of a divine God who createdrepparttar 127017 world in seven days and is consistantly and constantly involved in it's development and redemption,repparttar 127018 Christian faith.

I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed inrepparttar 127019 monkey. - Mark Twain

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