I commented on SpiritualSoundingBoard.com today, and it was so long and I enjoyed it so much that I thought it prudent to post it as a new article. It concerns one of my all time favorite topics, which is “time”; more precisely, expressing rationally why time is nothing more than a human abstraction used to organize his environment. This is important, because as soon as we elevate abstract concepts to the place of existential reality, and even worse, causal power, we have destroyed the very self of man and God. Existence becomes an illusion, and understanding impossible. There can be no God or man or Jesus or salvation unless we determine that only what physically IS can ACTUALLY exist, and drive action.
Here is my post:
“Lydia – I do not believe that God forced Adam and Eve to sin. You admit that the fallen world was not a surprise to him. So He knew about it in advance, right? Could He have decided, then, to not create the world? I think the answer is yes. But He created it anyway, knowing about the fall. Forget for the moment about whether or not He ordained it. He had the knowledge that it would happen. Wouldn’t you say then that he was cruel to have created it? I think that if you are consistent, you would have to say yes. The bottom line is that a world was created that would undergo a fall, and that God knew it would happen.”
Jeff Brown said this to Lydia…and, you see, this is another one of those ideas that somehow we get about God and it never seems to shake loose, even though the idea changes the entire nature of God and man, even contrary to the biblical notion of God and man in a relationship.
Where do we get the idea, and why do we assume that God, in order to be a perfect God, must someone “know the future”? Jeff’s very comment illustrates the rational force fields which prevent forming a coherent understanding between God’s knowledge of things, His ordaining of things, and thus His moral culpability in such things. There is no way God cannot ultimately be responsible for “evil” that He knows before it happens but does nothing to prevent. Impossible. This is directly because we have a false understanding of time, and we make the false assumption that God functions in a way in which He always understands what “will happen” to some kind of infinite point.
Where in the bible, or in even common sense is this idea manifest as an absolute truth? Not only is God’s perfect wisdom and knowledge NOT predicated on any sort of absolute knowledge of the future, it is a rank logical fallacy to accept this. It destroys the concept of BOTH man and God as any sort of definable “selves” completely.
Listen, if God knows the future, and His knowledge is perfect, then everything that happens MUST be determined. Everything you do now is nothing more than an act that was already “seen” by God BEFORE it happened (and here is that logical fallacy again says that something can exists before it exists). And since God is the Creator of everything, then He must be directly responsible for whatever acts He sees you doing in the future, which you have not yet done. And if His knowledge is perfect and He sees you acting in the future, then you MUST act in the way God sees. Your actions are determined. Morality cannot exist. There can be no just reward and no just condemnation. Morality is a lie.
But worse than that is the blasphemy inherent in this idea of God absolutely knowing the future.
God cannot act FREELY in a future He already knows. This means that if He sees the future, and the future must include Him, then whatever actions He sees HIMSELF doing in the future are determined. God not only sees man absolutely in the future, but He also sees Himself, too. God, Himself, is determined.
But what determines God? It is a logical impossibility to say that God freely determines Himself. That makes no sense. Free will cannot choose to determine itself at the EXPENSE of that will. If you freely decided to determine your actions, you have utterly destroyed YOURSELF. If God determines Himself, then it is no longer He who is in control of His actions, but DETERMINISM. And God cannot cannot abdicate Himself in favor of another force. That is blasphemous.
Determinism is an absolute, period. It has no end to it. If man’s future is known then God’s must be, too. Both man and God exist at the mercy of actions that they both must inexorably must engage apart from any self volition. So, the problem with God knowing the future is that He condemns Himself to the same determined action man is condemned to. If God is said to have His own will, then He cannot know the future, cannot know what “will happen”, because what will happen must inexorably include His own actions.
So, no…God did not know the fall and yet create anyway. That is not rationally possible. The fall was NOT supposed to happen according to God’s purpose. It happened because individuals, act always in accordance with their own free and unfettered WILL.
Remember, if God knows the future, He is in no more control of His actions than man is of man’s actions. And this is why this concept is an insult to God’s very self. We MUST be more careful before ascribing what WE assume to be “perfection”. We are blaspheming God in doing this.