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What is the significance of 2 Chronicles 32:31?
“God left [Hezekiah] to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.”
God tests his covenant partners to discover whether they will choose to remain faithful to him, an exercise that is absurd if God exhaustively foreknows exactly how faithful every person will choose to be. If the classical view of the future is correct, the biblical purpose for every “testing”—viz. “to know all that was in his heart”—is misleading at best.
Defenders of the classical view sometimes argue that verses such as this are meant to describe how things appear to us rather than how they truly are. But there are two problems with this interpretation.
First, the verse does not state or remotely suggest that it simply looked as though God tested Hezekiah to know his heart. It rather suggests that God was genuinely seeking to find this out.
Second, it is not at all clear how passages such as this which describe the motive behind God’s actions (viz. “in order to know”) can be explained away as an appearance. How does it appear to us (but not to God?) that God came to know Hezekiah’s heart through this testing? If God didn’t really come to know Hezekiah’s heart by the means which this verse says, the verse doesn’t seem to communicate much of anything.
However, once we accept that God is a God of the possible and not simply the God of eternally frozen facts, and once we accept that God can genuinely think and speak in terms of “maybes” and “ifs,” verses like this can be understood in a straightforward manner without extravagant theological explanations.
Doesn’t the open view demean God’s sovereignty?
The Open view demeans God’s sovereignty only if one assumes that “sovereignty” means “meticulous control.” By why think this is the way God wants to rule the world? The biblical narrative presents a God who gives humans (and apparently angels) free will, who is flexible and creative in running the world, and who relies at…
How do you respond to Job 1:21?
“…the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” This passage is often quoted as the proper attitude pious people should assume in the face of tragedy, with the implication that all tragedy is the Lord’s doing. This teaching lands hard on the ears of parents who have…
Free Will: What is a free agent?
What does it really mean to be a free agent? In this reflection, Greg offers some thoughts on free agents and how it can be that they are not exhaustively determined.
Is exhaustively settled foreknowledge essential to God’s identity
In this episode Greg discusses several passages in Isaiah that imply God’s foreknowledge is a primary differentiator between Isaiah’s God and all other gods. Links: Greg’s book: “God of the Possible“ http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0023.mp3
What is the significance of Exodus 3:18–4:9?
The Lord tells Moses that the elders of Israel will heed his voice (vs. 18). Moses says, “suppose they do not believe me or listen to me…” (4:1). God performs a miracle “so that they may believe that the Lord…has appeared to you” (vs. 5). Moses remains unconvinced so the Lord performs a second miracle…
Can a Christian be demonized?
I along with most evangelical scholars and pastors do not believe it possible for a Christian to be “possessed” by a demon or by Satan. Christ in principle defeated Satan, and all who are “in Christ” share in this victory (e.g., John 12:31; Col. 2:13–15; 2 Thess. 3:3; Heb. 2:14–15; 1 John 5:18). Colossians 1:13…