How do you respond to Deuteronomy 30:16–23?
The Lord tells Moses of his impending death and then prophesies that “this people will begin to prostitute themselves to the foreign gods in their midst…breaking my covenant that I have made with them” (vs. 16). The Lord will have to judge them accordingly (vs. 17–18). He then inspires Joshua to write a song for them to sing when trials come upon them (vs. 22–23).
The omniscient Lord perfectly knows the hearts of humans, the long range effects of sin, and all the spiritual variables at work in the world (viz. the activity of evil spirits). This perfect knowledge of the present gives God the ability to anticipate the future in ways we can hardly imagine. For, at any given moment, a great deal of the future has already been decided by past and present circumstances.
This prophecy illustrates this truth. Given the rebellious character that this nation had already demonstrated despite the fact that they had a strong leader like Moses, the Lord discerns that things will only get worse when Moses dies. Such foresight doesn’t require a crystal ball perspective into the future. It simply illustrates God’s perfect knowledge of the present.
On the other hand, the prophecy could be read as a conditional prophecy of what the Lord suspects might happen if things don’t change. But (as evidenced by his subsequent struggles with Israel) he hopes it doesn’t come to pass and he does everything possible to prevent it.
Greg reflects on his interview with Thomas Jay Oord. Episode 503 http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0503.mp3
If a position is true, every avenue of reflection ought to point in its direction. What follows are two more “pointers” to the view that the future is at least partly open (indefinite, composed of possibilities). I’ll first consider an argument from quantum physics, followed by a pragmatic argument regarding what we ordinarily assume to…
Through Greg’s Facebook and Twitter, we’ve been getting some great feedback and questions regarding his cross-centered approach to Scripture. Several have voiced questions similar to the reader’s (below), so we thought it would be helpful to post Greg’s answer here on his blog.
The Lord tells Hezekiah “[Y]ou shall die: you shall not recover” (vs. 1). Hezekiah pleads with God and God says, “I will add fifteen years to your life” (vs. 6). If everything about the future was exhaustively settled and known by God as such, his prophecy to Hezekiah that he was going to die would…
Jessica Kelley spoke at Open2013 this morning, sharing her journey with tenderness and authority. Jessica began wrestling with her view of God a couple of years ago and embraced Open Theism prior to the diagnosis and eventual death of her four-year-old son, Henry. Everyone here at the conference was profoundly affected by her story and…