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[+] the sovereignty of God
Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:06 am
noir
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 32
Location: on the journey




ok, so some people have been discussing the sovereignty of God, what he knows and doesn't know, what he allows to happen and what he causes to happen. they've just been talking about it in the 'death' thread and i think it should be talked about somewhere else. their thoughts are related in way, but it is taking the 'death' thread in the totally wrong direction. so all the people who want to keep up with that stuff can struggle with these questions.

-does God know when i will die?

-did God plan out everthing that will ever happen in history?

-is God outside of time?

-does being omnipotent give God the power to 'choose not to know' our future? (ie. he chooses forget our iniquities and sins no more after we accept Jesus and repent. does he ever do it for other things.)

-God set a perfect plan into motion that man messed up, now what is God's role and how does he accomplish that goal?

-why do we as believers reject common sense and a little reason when it comes to things that happen in life. lots of people say "God led us to this" or "it was God's will." did God actually have his hand in it, or did the person just make their decision?

start with those questions. think of your own. go at it.

[+] If He doesn't know then He's not God
Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:20 pm
astrotoby
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 24
Location: earth




- ok, so some people have been discussing the sovereignty of God, what he knows and doesn't know, what he allows to happen and what he causes to happen. -

- does being omnipotent give God the power to 'choose not to know' our future? (ie. he chooses forget our iniquities and sins no more after we accept Jesus and repent. does he ever do it for other things.) -



When it says in Hebrews or somewhere that God will "remember their sins no more" etc. (which is what I think you meant to say), it means that he won't count the sins against them. It's not saying that he will purposefully delete one of his attributes and limit his own ability to know everything.

I think the truth is more like in Psalm 103 when it says that stuff about "as far as east is from the west, so far hath he removed our sins from us" etc.

There should be no debate about "what he knows and what he doesn't know". If he doesn't know something then he's not God. The second God ceases to know everything about everything, that's when he ceases to be God.

Even if , for the sake of arguement, God did delete one of his attributes so he could forget about our sins, he would have only done so after we sinned, right? So he would have still been omniscient when he created everything, wouldn't he?

The only possible way he wouldn't know everything that was going to happen when he created the world is if he zapped out his omniscience before he created, and if that's true then he's in control of nothing, he's just as much in the dark as we are.

I'm not going to try to have faith in a God who's just as in the dark as me, that's for sure.

[+] 
Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:30 pm
Guest
 




God can do whatever He wants
whenever He wants
wherever He wants
however He wants
with whoever He wants to do it with...

a def. of God's sovereignty

[+] pointless
Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 11:36 pm
astrotoby
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 24
Location: earth




He can't stop being God. Well I guess he probably could, but if he does then there's no point to anything.

[+] Big God
Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 9:36 am
Sam
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 12




As a recovering fundamentalist, I used to alot the utmost sovereignty to God, saying that God could do things like cause terrorists to fly planes into buildings. God could choose who would be saved, picking some for Heaven and some for Hell. God could make people suffer as well as construct beautiful sunsets.

But one summer, I realized the absolute horror of credos that attribute brash power and harsh judgement to God: they don't work in real life. When people ask hard questions about death, suffering, or faith, they don't want a God who causes these things, but a God who understands and loves them for being a broken human.

I believe in a big God. I believe in a God who can do anything, but I likewise thank this God for not doing what He or She wants or what we thing should happen. For me, a God who can do anything shows more of my helplessness and my need to cling to something bigger than myself and my world.

But, this big God who can do anything, can even act outside of our precious Bible, can save without sacrificing Jesus, can change as His or Her followers do, and can love those we deem unloveable. As you can tell, this big God can even be a She.

I choose not to use the word soveriegn. It's too churchy and too violent. My God is big. I leave it at that.

[+] BIG
Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 1:28 pm
astrotoby
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 24
Location: earth




Okay, I'm all up for staying away from coloquial church language, so we'll just go with "big", as you say, and not soveriegn. I wouldn't want to scare you.

The God is a she thing is of course neither here nor there, as God is neither he nor she. I guess you could say that I, as a recovering recovering fundamentalist, am less concerned these days with attempts at pc hippness as with the pursuit of truth. My God-is-a-she phase lasted a very short time and ended a very long time ago.


And now on to the point that I am quite obviously going to bring up next: If God contradicts the Bible at any point then the whole system falls apart. As I keep trying to point out, yes God can do anything, but there are several things that God won't do, two of those being: (1) contradict himself and (2) stop being God.

[+] 
Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:02 pm
lynnette
 
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 11
Location: miles from where i used to be




Quote:
The God is a she thing is of course neither here nor there, as God is neither he nor she. I guess you could say that I, as a recovering recovering fundamentalist, am less concerned these days with attempts at pc hippness as with the pursuit of truth. My God-is-a-she phase lasted a very short time and ended a very long time ago.


i think maybe this IS both a here and a there thing. because for so long God has been defined only in terms of that which is accepted as masculine. He. Father. King. Lord. Man. and on and on. this language and imagery shapes our view of God. it limits our view of God. realizing that God is as much of a She as God is a He is not so much a matter of pc hipness but a matter of opening ourselves to the possibility that God may be more than we think.

i read this once in a book by Elizabeth Shussler Fiorenza (sp?)...though she was quoting someone else. "i found God in myself - and i loved her deeply." i cannot express all that those 10 words have done for me.

i hope that all of our God-is-a-she phases are more than just phases. i hope they become a part of what we think and say and believe and live.

[+] 
Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:55 pm
Sam
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 12




For me, limiting God to the words of the Bible takes away much of the value people find in Her throughout the world, throughout time. For me, if God can only do what is in the Bible, the Bible becomes my God because it becomes the exclusive holder of what God can do; it gives God Her power. For me, a book, no matter how many truths it may hold, is not able to hold the complete picture of the truth that is God.

The Bible is a great place to discover God, just not all of Her. Clearly, I am also resigned to believe that we will never understand this mystery before us. I have no system that can fall apart; I have done apologetic aerobics for too long trying to keep one together. That is why I journey.

When I got rid of my desire to have to know, I saw more of God than ever before.[/quote]

[+] neccessary evil
Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:32 am
astrotoby
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 24
Location: earth




Look if calling God a she makes you feel better that's great. It's nice that you're doing your part to balance out the conventional gender specific anthropomorphisms (thought I'd throw in a couple bigass words).

Whatever. God is a she not a he. God is big rather than soveriegn. Just make sure you don't get so bugged by semantics that you start creating your own. Seems to me your idealisms are getting dangerously close to backfiring.

In an attempt to get back on track I'm going to apply a valuable lesson I learned from our fiesty little friend noir and take this opportunity to remind you that certain answers work for some and not others. As noir and indie pointed out, sometimes a concept that completely dispells confusion for one individual can seem like a cop out to another.

Analytical minds are not easily persuaded to abandon their "desire to know". Vague talk about our inability to "understand this mystery before us" does nothing to stop certain questions from swiriling around inside inquiring minds. And the very idea of having "no system that can fall apart" is just plain bewildering to a person who's mind thinks in systematic ways.

Why do you think apologetics exists as a discipline anyway? Why do you think all of these brilliant writers and theologians and philosophers grapple desperately with these concepts until their dying breath (not that I think I'm one of these people, or, sadly, that I've even read what many of these people have written)?

Unfortunately for people like me apologetic acrobatics are a neccessary evil. And as for your beloved quote about finding God in myself and loving her deeply, let me in turn quote the immortal Jack Nicholson: "I tell ya buddy, I'd be the luckiest guy in the world if that did it for me."

[+] 
Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 6:21 am
Sam
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 12




astrotoby-

Good luck on your journey. May God bless you as you seek after Him/Her with what works best for you.

[+] 
Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:18 pm
Indie
 
Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 18
Location: lost and confused




This is off topic, but I'm wondering which one of you glued the "God is not a he" phrase up on the collage several Sundays ago. A couple of people were surprised to find out that it wasn't me.

_________________
Joel 2:16
"Sanctify the congregation, assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast."

[+] blessing
Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 6:51 pm
astrotoby
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 24
Location: earth




I'm glad I have your blessing Sam, but does this mean goodbye? I'm sort of wondering why you chose to pronounce a blessing upon me at this point in the conversation. Just seemed a little out of the blue.

Good luck on your journey too by the way. May you prosper and have long life and many children.

[+] 
Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 10:17 pm
noir
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 32
Location: on the journey




Quote:
if God can only do what is in the Bible, the Bible becomes my God because it becomes the exclusive holder of what God can do; it gives God Her power. For me, a book, no matter how many truths it may hold, is not able to hold the complete picture of the truth that is God.



sam, you bring up a very interesting point about the bible. how much do people worship the bible instead of God. many people will accept nothing other than what they read from the bible. we can learn a lot about God from the bible. but if God is "I AM", then God will not be contained.

obviously the bible is important. it was given to us by God. (although that should be a whole other topic to get into--how the books contained in the bible came to be "scripture").

but back to the point: how often to we limit our view of God, how often to we determine what we should and should not do, according to the bible? there's a lot that goes on in the world today that the bible speaks nothing about. are we to "speak when the bible speaks and be silent when the bible is silent?" i've heard this line thousands of times in church before. anybody have any thoughts on that?

[+] 
Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:07 am
Sam
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 12




For me, the Bible is a great place to begin, but not somewhere we need to end. I do not see the Bible as the complete or final revelation as it was written, edited, redacted and put together by humans. Clearly, this means I do not view the Bible as inerrant, infallible, or perfect. But I do hold the Bible in high regard as it has many stories of the workings of God throughout history. It shows where we fit into the story of God and has great ideas about how to change ourselves and society so that others may expereince the love of God the Bible talks about.

So much has happened throughout history to shape the Bible into what it is today that I don't see it as magical or given from God. I will concede its inspiriation to be God-given, but not all of its content. I love the Bible; I read it everyday. But I do not use it as a science book, a rule book, a textbook, or a law book. It is a beautiful story of God interacting in our lives.

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