The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Does an omniscient, perfect, God forget?


#1

Scripture speaks of God forgetting. Is this to be taken literally, or as a figure of speech?


#2

I don’t think it can be taken literally. Omniscience means knowing everything that can be known, that is, every fact. If God at some point didn’t know a fact, he would cease to be omniscient.


#4

I agree, qaz, that God’s omniscience precludes Him from forgetting.

The fact that He does not know in advance what a free-will agent will choose, is another matter. For prior to a person making the choice, there is nothing to know.

If someone knows that you will eat an apple tomorrow, then how can you refrain from eating an apple tomorrow? For if you did refrain, then that person must not have known that you would eat an apple tomorrow.


#5

God can forget… :sunglasses:

Jer 31:34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”


#6

Ive been thinking about getting Bullingers “figures of speech used in the bible” to understand what literary devices are being used in these types of verses. Ive heard its a good resource when studying,along a bible dictionary.


#7

This is from Christianforums.com & addresses davo’s remark:

I posted:

If anyone was to - never - be remembered any more by anyone, is God going to lobotomize all those in heaven so they can’t remember all their lost loved ones, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters & friends? Will God then also lobotomize Himself so He cannot remember any more, either, & thereby lobotomize his omniscience so that it no longer exists forever & ever & ever?

Der Alter replied:

Do you take that literally that God will forget something? Do you also take all other Scriptures literally? Should we take it literally that God has “feathers” & “wings”? Or that people should pluck out their eyes that offend them? Will God literally cast sins into the depths of the sea? If God literally forgets something is He flawed or not omniscient anymore?

This commentary applies the passage to a nation, not individuals: “Shalt be no more remembered.—Ammon should be utterly destroyed, as fuel in the fire; the life-blood of the nation should be poured out, and her name vanish.” (biblehub)

The KJV has the word “more” in italics, indicating it does not exist in the Hebrew. NASB & NET have “You will not be remembered” & “you will no longer be remembered”. Which recalls Paul’s words to the saints that they would “no longer” or “no more” (Acts 20:25) see his face. Does that lead you to conclude the saints will - never - again see his face, even in the afterlife?

If anyone was to - never - be remembered any more by anyone, is God going to lobotomize all those in heaven so they can’t remember all their lost loved ones, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters & friends? Will God then also lobotomize Himself so He cannot remember any more, either, & thereby lobotomize his omniscience so that it no longer exists forever & ever & ever?

Ezek.16:53 But I will restore Sodom and her daughters from captivity, as well as Samaria and her daughters. And I will restore you along with them. 55 And your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to their former state. You and your daughters will also return to your former state.


#8

Obviously, it’s a figure of speech and yet still literally quite true… it is what it is and if God has removed sin as far as east is from west (another figure of speech) to where sin no longer exists in terms of a barrier to Him then He HAS indeed gladly forgotten such. God’s forgetfulness in this matter is NO flaw… it is however indicative of His gracious mercy!

As for asking IF I take things literally… too funny ** rotflmao ** given I’m the one pilloried for spiritualising everything — “hello pot…:thinking:


#9

Why should it be literally true? Would that imply God is flawed or lobotomizing His own omniscience or that He was no longer all knowing? Why do you consider it obvious that God forgets (or remembers no more) something is a figure of speech?


#10

No, it wouldn’t… you are simply flawed in grasping this by your very own literalist mindset.


#11

I’d suggest God forgets is an anthropomorphism comparable to the statement about Him having feathers & wings. To forget our sins, put them in the sea, & similar statements, may imply such things as not bringing them up again, or not holding them against us, or acting toward us as if they never were.


#12

I wonder if it’s free online somewhere.


#13

Phil 4: 7
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

If we cannot comprehend something like the peace of God, how can we hope to understand if and how He can forget anything?

I wish, daily, from the very depths of my being that I could forget all the sins I was, and still am, guilty of committing in thought, word and deed - BUT I CAN’T! :sob: I can only trust and thank my Lord and Saviour for the redemption He purchased.


#14

I remember scores of Bible verses because I sang choruses based on them whilst in my childhood. The following is perhaps pertinent to this discussion:

God has blotted them out, I’m happy and glad and free;
God has blotted them out; turn to Isaiah and see;
Chapter forty-four, twenty-two and three;
He’s blotted them out, and now I can shout,
For that means ME.

I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. (Is. 44:22).

It seems to me a fruitless exercise to ponder over whether or not sins that have been blotted out will be forgotten as well.

Don’t worry - I enjoy an esoteric debate as much as any of you.


#15

Norm, does your denomination teach salvation by faith alone?


#16

Yes. Is there any other way? We are presently studying the book of James in the bi-weekly bible study meeting. Luther did not want James to be included in the canon of scripture since he felt that James was suggesting that works can save a person. Luther was wrong. James was only stressing that a faith that does not produce good words and actions is a spurious faith. That’s what I believe.

But I’m wondering why you ask me the question. Have my past posts suggested otherwise to my answer above? Yes, I am questioning some of the doctrines held by my current denomination but I still worship there while I work through my current struggles over its teaching about ECT. As I said in the topic “Hast thou faith? Keep it to thyself”, I am very careful not to cause unnecessary offence. It is not easy being part of a minority of believers!


#17

I skimmed through it really quickly. Still seems like a great resource but I was hoping it would give more examples of these figures of speech used in the scripture :confused:


#18

Thanks Norm, Much wisdom there and I can relate brother.


#19

Even in our day, people sometimes say, “I won’t remember this against you” not meaning that they will forget the offence, but that they will not hold it against the offender.

Also, when someone irritates us, and then expresses regret that he did so, we might respond, “Forget it.” We are not asking them to literally forget the irritation that they caused; we are saying that it’s no big deal. We don’t hold it against him.


#20

Bertha, an eccentric elderly Catholic lady, told her priest: “Jesus speaks to me every day.” The priest decided to expose her naivitee; so he told her: “Next time you talk to Jesus, ask Him what sins I confessed this morning.” She agreed to do so. The next time the priest saw Bertha, he asked her: “So what did Jesus say?” Bertha replied dryly: “He said He can’t remember.”


#21

Isaiah 49:15. "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!