What is omniscience?

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Skepti Que
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What is omniscience?

Post by Skepti Que » Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:02 pm

Here are several of perhaps dozens of passages that by natural reading indicate God does not know everything, especially where people's will is concerned.
Somehow free will and omniscience don't seem compatible. Can there be if-thens and God still know? If God knows then is there really freedom?
Care to comment?

Gen 4:7
7 "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."

Gen 18:19-21
20 And the LORD said, "The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know."

Ex 4:1,8-9
Then Moses answered and said, "What if they will not believe me, or listen to what I say? For they may say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.'"
. . . And it shall come about that if they will not believe you or heed the witness of the first sign, they may believe the witness of the last sign. 9 But it shall be that if they will not believe even these two signs or heed what you say, then you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water which you take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground."

Ex 8:1-2
2 But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite your whole territory with frogs.

Lev 26:2-4,14-16
3'If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, 4 then I shall give you rains in their season, . . .
4'But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments, 15 if, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, 16 I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you shall sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies shall eat it up.

2 Chron 7:13-18
13 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15 Now My eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17 And as for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked even to do according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 18 then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying,' You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.'

Isa 1:19-20
19 "If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;
20 "But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be devoured by the sword."
Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Jer 18:6-10
7 "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; 8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. 9 "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; 10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.

Ezek 18:21-28
if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 "All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. 23 "Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked," declares the Lord GOD, "rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?

24 "But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die. 25 "Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not right.' Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right? 26 "When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die. 27 "Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. 28 "Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

1 Sam 13:13-14
13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."

1 Sam 15:10-11
10 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, 11 "I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not carried out My commands."


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i don't know

Post by math-ay-tes » Wed Apr 09, 2003 2:43 am

greetings. i am just trying to resond to your post on omniscience. IF you are questioning whether or not God is omniscient because He gives...well...let's just say options. and in doing so if He already knowws the outcome. THEN i would have to guesstimate that it has nothing to do with His knowledge or as some may think His lack of. the most tangible explination i can think of (granted comparing the ways of man to the ways of God is ludicrous) but would be similar to a person stating that "IF you drink a gallon of hydrochloric acid...THEN you will die." if this is outlandish and absurd, i appologise, it is late...and...well...in any case, a situation such as this probably does not accurately relate to the Scrpiture references, however, does seem to point out that the speaker has knowledge of the material(HCL) and the outcome of the situation. he does not however violate the persons free will by informing them of the outcome...well i am just rambling now and as i said, it's late. i hope i made some sense, if not, i appologise.

Skepti Que
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2003 9:57 pm
Location: California, USA

Apology Accepted

Post by Skepti Que » Wed Apr 09, 2003 9:38 pm

Math ay tes said. " i hope i made some sense, if not, i appologise."

Since God made nature and natural consequences He knows all the possibilities and every consequence of each possibility once a choice has been made.
Furthermore, I think he knows the likely next choice and its consequences and the next, etc.
But He allows us to repent and when that happens it sets into motion a whole different set of possibilities and consequences.

During the 120 years the ark was a preparing could the flood have been prevented had many souls repented?

It repented God that He had made man. Does God make mistakes?


good grief

Post by xot » Fri May 02, 2003 11:28 pm

if something someone has done grieves them, does it necessarily imply that the original action was a mistake?

i suggest that in many cases it might, but not necessarily. however, in the flood account seems like God was correcting a mistake.

might another explanation as to what He was doing go back to free choice? doesn't all sin grieve God? If so, then the flood and other judgments in history are just foreshadowing the final judgment. if the flood reveals that God had made a mistake, then the mistake was to make man and give him free choice. then the ark and the cross were just afterthought solutions. this sort of explanation really paints a flawed picture of the God I believe to be perfect.

To me, another and better way of looking at it retains the perfection of God: God gave free choice knowing and accepting the risks (man might disobey) and setting the consequences beforehand (sin = death). while setting the consequences, He also set up a way out: repentance/the ark/the cross etc. He gave free choice because the potential for the good relationship between Himself and His creation was much greater than without it. Without free choice there is less pain but less gain. In a word, all the grief was worth it to God.

This may bring us back to the 120 years chance to repent question. From other Biblical accounts (e.g. Job & Ninevah) we can see that God often relented from threatened punishment when the people under judment repented. So, the flood very well may have been averted once the number of repentees became greater than the number of open seats on the ark.



Post by xot » Fri May 16, 2003 10:12 am

That should read:

Jonah & Ninevah, rather than Job & Ninevah.


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