Fw: Fw: Pharaoh and his hardened heart

From: Innovatia <dennis@innovatia.com>
Date: Thu May 20 2004 - 01:11:48 EDT

Sr. Siemens & Dick Fischer,

With a brief apology beforehand to those of you who do not parse Spanish, not that I do very well -

> Hola, Denisio,
> Escribiria en espanol pero no sale bien, siendo que no puedo deletrear con los acentos y tildes que son necesarios. So it will be English.

Con mucho gusto, platicare con Usted en Inglais y estoy seguro de que Usted lo habla perfectamente. So English it is.

> Your comment on nonlinear descriptions is correct, but does not exhaust the situation. If quanta are indeterministic, which is the dominant view, the problem remains. However, there is an interpretation of general relativity which holds that somewhen (the time element in space-time) has the same permanent characteristic as somewhere. God could then look on all space-time "points" from "without." This is obviously not imaginable, though it is conceivable. It certainly is difficult to communicate because of the restrictions of our total experience as they are reflected in language.

Yes, good point, and the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics in recent years seems to have become even better established with an empirical test for entanglement. However, the problem ultimately for us with either chaos theory or quantum mechanics is that God simply has not (nor might not even in the future) reveal to us how he relates in his hiddenness to the universe through what can be seen - i.e., these known theories. It would take the fulfillment of the aspirations of a Stephen Hawking (and then some) for us to be able to devise a theology of God's relationship to the creation that we can have assurance reflects the full picture.

Until then, the best we can do is to start by declaring certain assumptions, like what if God were a determinist, or had deterministic knowledge of the creation; what then? We can follow these assumptions through to their conclusions. What is novel to me about MacKay's line of argument is that it reveals the inadequacy of the previous kind of reasoning that concludes that determnism and free will are either/or, a position the Bible clearly does not take.

Unlike some of his later fans, I do not see in Calvin a reductionism that opts for divine determinism at the expense of human free will. A God who knows the future AND interacts with it is consequently a God who does not know the future, at least not in the person doing the interacting. As I dimly see it, trinitarian doctrine allows for God to both know the future from the reference-frame of eternity, seeing the whole of space-time before him as a given fact (as you intimate above), while God-in-time can interact with us in the incarnation and consequently not know what God-in-eternity knows, as the incarnate Son himself admitted in Yeshua/Jesus.

Relative to Dick's point, the incarnate God was personally involved in Jesus to bring about the necessary result (atonement) in history, while God-in-eternity, who knows the future, and his personal interaction (in eternity) not only is unnecessary but impossible. Hence the necessity of the incarnation for our salvation.

Subsequently, all of God-in-eternity's dealings with us are mediated through the Son. I don't claim to fully understand this but without this intermediation, God in eternity might well be the god of Deism, overlooking a deterministic world of hypercalvinism.

Vaya con Dios,

Dennis Feucht

Que le vaya bien,

On Tue, 18 May 2004 09:42:40 -0600 Innovatia <dennis@innovatia.com> writes:
  Dick Fischer wrote:

    It is not simply whether God can know what choices we will make in any given circumstances. He must virtually know the location and action of every molecule, every atom, every particle from the Big Bang to the Big Crunch! Is that knowable?

    If we assume the future is knowable, and God knows it, then His personal action in nature is unnecessary. If the future cannot be known, then only God's personal involvement can bring about a desired result. And I don't think Calvin had the answer to that.

  Yes, the universe has a mathematically chaotic quality to it and this would certainly require that God know his creation. Chaos theory (nonlinear dynamics) shows that qualitatively different outcomes can ocur from near-infinitessimal differences in initial conditions. That is, outcomes are very sensitive to past conditions, but chaos theory is - and this is the important point - deterministic. Consequently, even in a world described by chaos theory, the given argument would still apply.


  Dennis Feucht
Received on Fri May 21 13:52:55 2004

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