Divine foreknowledge and human freedom
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- The problem
- If God knows what we are going to do before we do it, then we are not free. If we had a real choice, God could not know what we would choose until we choose it, and therefore God would have no foreknowledge.
- Therefore, either God is not omniscient or we are not free.
- The solution
- God is not in time as we are. When we use the phrases "before we choose," "when we choose," or "after we choose," we are speaking from our time-bound standpoint. God is a pure spirit and is therefore not part of the material world in which we experience the flow of time. All of creation is "now" to God. What is foreknowledge to us is just knowledge to God. It is He who gave us the spiritual powers of intellect and will by which we make up our own minds about who we are and what we will become. God observes the choices we make within the circumstances that He gives us.
- God is omniscient. He does know all things directly and perfectly from within, without needing witnesses, arguments, or inferences. He knows what choices He gives us, and He observes us as we make those choices of our own volition. From our standpoint, we may say that God knows what we will choose, but that is because from God's standpoint, He knows what we do freely choose when we freely choose it. This kind of "foreknowledge" does not imply "predestination."
- From my time-bound framework, God knows what I am going to do before I know what I am going to do.
- From His eternal framework, God only knows what I am doing as I am doing it.
- God's observation of my choice does not determine my choice.
- The sin of Adam and Eve.
- The sin of Judas.
- Our sins.
- Great public sinners: Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, abusive priests, careless bishops, etc.
- The sins of the nation: abortion, euthanasia.