Re: The die is cast...

Chuck Noren (
Wed, 10 Dec 1997 23:42:28 -0500

Dan, thanks for the reply.
-----Original Message-----
From: Berger, Dan <>
>However, certain theologian/scientists -- John Polkinghorne, for example --
>contend that quantum indeterminacy and chaos (the sensitive dependence of
>results on initial conditions -- which may couple with quantum
indeterminacy to
>produce results which are truly unpredictable-in-principle) result in the
>universe being truly free, and not merely free "as a character in a book is
>free." This would produce a basic epistemological indeterminacy which
>truly preclude God's total foreknowledge (as opposed to his infinitely
>reasonable planning).

While parts of the universe is in principle unknowable to us,
is this implied about God? For instance, Eph 1:4 ff and Romans
8: 29-30* speak of God's foreknowledge and predestination. How
is this reconciled to Polkinghorne's view? If God knew us before
the beginning of time, then would He not know all the circumstances
that brought about our individual existance, our parents' exisitance,
etc., all of which could be effected by quantum and sensitive chaotic
effects of nature?

>...God's love is shown by his kenotic limitation of his own omniscience
>in order to give freedom to his beloved creatures.

So in your definition of freedom, there must be an element
of unpredictability, even to God. Let me ask this question,
let us, for argument sake, say that God knew all the actions
He will take for the next 1000 years. Would that imply that God
is not free for those 1000 years? I suggest that there is another
feature to consider in freedom, the ability for creatures or beings to
do what they desire.

>I will admit to a prejudice in this matter; I find strict determinism in
>its forms (including the more rigorous doctrinal forms of Predestination)

I can understand this. I don't know what your reasons are, but for
me I did not like the idea that the only truely autonimous being is
God, and that I am not autonimous. That is why I said in another
post that I became a Calvinist reluctantly (although, I must quickly
add, there are significant benifits if this view is true).


Eph 1:4 ff.
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,
that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love ...
Rom 8:29-30
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become
conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the
firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined,
He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and
these whom He justified, He also glorified.