God of the Possible by Mitch Metzger


Presentation Description

This is originally a teaching by Greg Boyd from a book by the same title that Mitch has been re-teaching over the years. It deals with many aspects of God's Nature and Character.


Presentation Transcript

God of the Possible : 

God of the Possible Presented by Mitch Metzger Youth With A Mission

God of the Possible : 

God of the Possible Does God know everything or does God know everything there is to know about reality right now? If God knows certain people will go to hell, why does he create them? Does God foreknow the outcome of every decision we will ever make?

Classical view of divine foreknowledge. : 

Classical view of divine foreknowledge. Most evangelical Christians take it for granted that God knows everything that is ever going to take place. They have been taught that the future is completely settled in God’s mind and has been from all eternity.

Predestining. : 

Predestining. Though there are many passages of Scripture, which depict God as foreknowing and/or predestining certain things about the future, what is not so often recognized is that there are also many passages which suggest that some of the future is open (not settled) and is known by God as such.

1. God’s Mind Changing : 

1. God’s Mind Changing The Lord frequently changes His mind in the light of changing circumstances or in the light of prayer (Exod. 32:14; Number 14:12-20; Deut. 9:13-14; 18-20, 25; 1 Sam. 2:27-36; 2 Kings 20:1-7; 1 Chron. 21:15; Jer. 26:19; Ezek. 20:5-22; Amos 7:1-6; Jonah 1:2; 3:2, 4-10)

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By definition, one cannot change what is permanently fixed. Hence, every time the Bible teaches us that God changes his mind it is teaching us that God’s mind is NOT permanently fixed. It means that some of what God knows regarding the future consists of things that may go one way or another. He adjusts His plans --changes His mind depending on what does or does not take place.

2. God’s Regret and Disappointment : 

2. God’s Regret and Disappointment A number of times He expresses regret and disappointment over how things have turned out - even over previous decisions He has made which went array because of human free will (Gen. 6:5-6; 1 Sam. 15:10-11, 35; Ezek. 22:29-31)

3. God’s Surprises : 

3. God’s Surprises Other times He tells us He’s surprised at how things turned out, for He expected a different outcome (Isaiah 5:3-7; Jer. 3:6-7; 19-20)

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If everything is certain to God, as the classical view of foreknowledge holds, how could the Lord twice say that he “expected” one thing to occur, only to have something different occur? How could the Lord expect, hope for, or even strive for something he knew from all eternity would never happen?

4. God’s Testing : 

4. God’s Testing The Lord frequently tests his people to find out whether or not they’ll remain faithful to him (Gen. 22:12; Exod. 16:4; Deut. 8:2, 13:1-3; Judg. 2:20, 3:5; 2 Chron. 32:3-1)

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The fact that God tested people “to know” their behavior suggests that he didn’t know what they’d choose ahead of time, and it was, from God’s vantage point, genuinely possible for these people to pass (or fail) the test. God made us self-determining agents, and prior to our determining ourselves in one direction or another, the only reality that exists for God to know concerning our future action is the possible directions we may take.

5. God’s Questions : 

5. God’s Questions The Lord sometimes asks non-rhetorical questions about the future (Num. 14:11; Hos. 8:5) and speaks to people in terms of what may or may not happen (Ex. 3:18-4:9-13:17; Jer. 38:17-18, 20-21, 23; Ezek 12:1-3)

“So what?” you may be asking. “What difference does it make if I think the future is exhaustively settled or only partially settled? This seems to be a minor point in the total scheme of things.” : 

“So what?” you may be asking. “What difference does it make if I think the future is exhaustively settled or only partially settled? This seems to be a minor point in the total scheme of things.”

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1. Rational Mind and Transformed Hearts.

Slide 15: 

2. Clarity of God’s Word.

Slide 16: 

3. Revolt versus Resignation.

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4. Urgency of Prayer.

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5. Resolving the Problem of Evil.

Rise up! : 

Rise up! If we then agree that the ultimate source for all evil is found in the will of free agents rather than in God. It motivates us to rise up aggressively against all evil with the mighty kingdom power of God’s Spirit that He has placed in us!

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Mitch Metzger www.gomitch2.com

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