The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Contradictions: OT V OT

This below just doesn’t belong describing the pantelist position…

Consider already the definition that site gives: Conversion is the term used to describe the incursion of divine grace into human life and the transition from spiritual death to eternal life.

That from the pantelist perspective is what has occurred in the reconciliation wrought in Christ. The “saved” as used above in the definition quote typically just means getting to heaven… hence the errant claim towards universalism.

Generally speaking Pantelism views salvation as per these contexts…

1) the literal escape out of harm’s way relative to the tribulations of those last days of the OC era, and or…

2) the changing effect responding to the call of service to God brings.

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Y’all might find this interesting, I know I did…


Maybe i’m missing something but the Torah is not primarily about God’s self disclosure but about God’s law and whether the Israelites could obey it. Jesus really revealed God in a personal way.

Are you sure that Jonah was editoralizing presumptuously about God?
We human beings who have been created in the image of God, sometimes change our minds. Might not God change his mind too?

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

Again, I don’t think God changes his mind. It was always stated by him that if people do not repent, they will be destroyed. But if they repent, they will live. It’s the same thing with Jonah and the people of Nineveh. God warned them - they repented - God was happy. God was saying that if the Assyrian Empire in Nineveh (which were extremely wicked people) could change their ways, how much more could you do it.

My point was that Jonah wrongly assumed that God was threatening that He Himself would bring the disaster, because Jonah did not understand that God was actually warning that someone else was going to bring the disaster–unless the Ninevites repented and sought God’s merciful favor. (The reason I think Jonah assumed wrongly is because I don’t believe God ever kills.)

But regarding God changing His mind: no, I don’t think He actually ever does, since I believe He is omniscient.

Yes, God is omniscient. He knows everything that is possible to know. But it is impossible to know in advance what a free-will agent will choose. God’s complete knowledge of all things does not include the impossible.

It’s like saying that because God is omnipotent, He can create a stone so large that He can’t lift it.

Which is why I have argued that God isn’t as powerful as we think. From my vantage point:

A) God does not exist
B) God does exist, but is not omni-everything.
C) God does exist, but we are insignificant and just a cog in his creation.
D) God has a reason for all the suffering and his refusal to ease it… Perhaps a test if sorts.

To me, reason 4 is the weakest, because it is essentially giving God an out on a mere wish… Sure, it could be true, but is it true? To me, the first three reasons are equal in weight and the last reason is grasping at straws to remain in the faith that God is omni-everything, while not having to explain this world and it’s sufferings.

What appears to us as choice, random, is anything but. If God knows everything, he would what choice we would make. You think you are a free agent, but you are not. If I knew every neuron, deep desire and all your thoughts, I absolutely could know your choice. We can essentially do this now, albeit, in a more simplistic setup, which is a must, because we don’t know all the variables.

Take flipping a coin. To us, it is random. But it is not random in any way. The strength of the flip, the release, the weight, the wind. All of these things determine the result. We call it random because we simply can’t account for the variables. You are saying God can know all of those and yet, not know the result? Not possible. Free choice/will is not random nor unknowable if you know everything about everything.

If God does not know our choices, then he simply isn’t omniscient.

Paidion’s point is that the future is not something to know because it doesn’t exist yet so it’s not outside of “omniscient.” If this is true then God may know the probability of us making choices but not know with certainty.

There is no such thing as probability when you know all the variables and their inputs. An omniscient being would know every possible variable. Again, we use probability to mask the unknown variables. The sun solar flare at x point in time is not random in the true sense, it is just what we call it because we have no idea how to predict when it will happen. Nuclear fusion is not random.

Well put!
I wonder whether - and this is just a speculative question - God is AWARE at all times of each variable? In all ‘reality’ whether we call it the ‘cosmos’ or the ‘multi-verse’ or the ‘uni-verse’? From the energy-states and motions of particles in the farthest-flung Quasars to the vibrating of each superstring in the Universe?
God cannot be THAT ‘big’, can He - I mean, that blows the mind.

To piggy-back on what Gabe said, here is something from the SEP:
" Another question that arises about God’s knowledge is whether it is all occurrent knowledge or whether some of his knowledge is dispositional . Knowledge of a proposition is occurrent if the knower has that proposition in mind. And knowledge of a proposition is dispositional, roughly, if the person knows the proposition but is not currently thinking about it or entertaining it, that is, if the person has a dispositional belief (see entry on belief, §2.1) in that proposition. Philosophers have answered this question differently. Thomas Aquinas claimed that God’s knowledge was not “discursive” ( Summa Theologiae , I, 14, 7), by which he meant, in the first place, that God does not first think of one thing and then think of another, for “God sees all things together and not successively”. On the other hand, Hunt (1995) has argued that taking God’s knowledge of the future to be dispositional can provide a way of reconciling divine foreknowledge with human free action (see next section). It seems hard to understand, however, how someone with the vast ability to be omniscient could fail to be aware of any part of what they know."

Now whether omniscience entails foreknowledge is a different thing.

This objection appears to resemble the classic problem of evil, God can’t be all good and all powerful if there are sufferings. And I agree it is the ultimately tough problem for orthodox theodicies, and encourages considering other postures.

Of course, many traditionalists often argue that there could be a legitimate reason to allow evil and sufferings, often namely that the only way to preclude it would be to less desirously make us puppets whose moves are ultimately just controlled.

The apodosis does not follow from the protasis of this conditional sentence.
If people truly have the ability to choose, it is not possible to know in advance what they will choose.

The idea that God (or anyone else) knows (in the absolute sense of “knows”) what someone will choose, implies that that someone does not possess the ability to choose.

For example, suppose that at 11 A.M. Joe knows that Sam will raise his hand at 11:30 P.M. Then it would be impossible for Sam to keep his hand down at 11:30 A.M.

And… your point?

I am not opposed to that possibility, I just don’t find it convincing.


You have said that before and I have said this before: Your claim is not generally supported in philosophy.

Your claim seems to provide the following syllogism.

Premise 1: If God foreknows that S will do A, then it is a necessary truth that S will do A.

Premise 2: If it is a necessary truth that S will do A, then S is not free in doing A.

Conclusion: If God foreknows that S will do A, then S is not free in doing A.

But premise 1 is false, so the argument fails. Just because God knows a proposition, it does not follow that the proposition is necessarily true. (A necessarily true proposition could not possibly be false). God knows propositions that are contingently true as well. A contingent truth is a proposition that is not necessarily true or necessarily false. It is a true proposition that could have been false. A good example of a contingent truth is the choice of a human agent.

Thus, S is free to do other than A. But if S did other than A, God would have had different information upon which to base His foreknowledge so that He would have known S did other than A.

It’s not that God’s foreknowledge determines choices by humans. It’s that choices by humans determine God’s foreknowledge. That’s why such choices by humans can be free, even if they are foreknown.


What is a "possible false"hood in premise 1? My naivety is that if it’s already known that A will happen, then it is true that A will be done. You appear to add the word “necessarily” to deny this. I’m not sure this is Paidion’s language, or what you mean by claiming that it still won’t “necessarily” happen or be true.

The idea of knowing with certainty something that remains an optional choice sounds incoherent to me. You add that S could still do B instead, but that then God would have known S would do B. But if the premise is that God does know S will do A, I don’t see how you can insist that B is still 'free’ to happen.