March 1st, 2003 08:38 pm (UTC)
Existence of an omniscient or omnipotent God denies Human free will
Then Jesus said "There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, 'father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.' So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be your son; treat me like one of your hired hands." So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' but the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly, bring out a robe-the best one-and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!' And they began to celebrate.(luke15:11-24)
This is an example of how God gives us free will and is still omniscient. In this parable the father represents God and the younger son represents someone who has sinned and moved away from God-there is an older son in the parable too, but he's not important in this discussion. Anyways, the younger son asks the father for his share of the inheritance. No one in the story, father included, forces the son to ask for the inheritance, he ask of his own free will. Also, no one in the story forces the youngest son to leave and take up residence in a foreign land, he does it of his own free will.
In the end of the story the son returns and is welcomed back by the father, who is quite prepared for his return, having the best robe, a ring, and sandals setting out somewhere upon his return. Also, the father interrupts the son and does not allow him to finish speaking, the son is never allowed to say "treat me like one of your hired servants." The father knows what the son will say before he says it.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation1:8)
This is another way of showing how God is both omniscient but allows us to have free will. God is the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the beginning and the end. Hence, God created-along with everything else-time. God controls time, he's seen the beginning, he's seen the end, he's seen everything in between. Of course, to be omniscient-all knowing-and omnipresent-in all places at once-he'd have to be in all times at once, also-but you knew that, right! Anyways, we all have free will, and have the power to choose what we do, but God knows what we will do, because he's been there. God hasn't just seen the future, he's been there. Knowing what one will do, is not the same as controlling what one will do.