I read your answer on predestination and I appreciate your diligence! Is it true that God chooses those who will be saved before they are even born? Though I did not surmise this from your response, I would appreciate it if you could expand on this matter. If God does not predestine man to salvation, what exactly do you mean from your previous response to Q&A 0054 -- "God knows the future, though he does not determine it"? Can you explain what you mean by that? I have examined opposing views on this subject matter (Arminian and Calvinist ideas) and would like to know what your views are.

This is indeed a difficult topic to understand, first, and to explain, second. There is a brief study on the topic in Shining Like Stars, 4th edition (IPI, 2006). In addition, I have also recently recommended Robert Shank's books Elect in the Son and Life in the Son, for the more serious student. But to address your question: Does God's knowledge of the future mean that he has determined it? Not at all.

For an earthly analogy, does your knowledge of what happens in the final chapter of a book mean that you somehow are causing the characters to behave as they do? Is it not rather the case that your "foreknowledge" is independent of their actions and decisions?

For God, the future is not the future as we understand "future." So large is his omniscience that he knows all things, past, present and future. For God there is no "future," rather one eternal present. That means he has all eternity to view every aspect of his creation, every individual life, every free-will decision ever made.

You might counter, but if I decide to take the alternate fork in the road, am I changing God's foreknowledge? No, you are not. All you are changing is yourself, the course you are following. That means that, even if you change your mind, the Lord knew you would change your mind all along. You cannot "surprise" God. Nothing is new for him, only for us.

Again, if you want to go deeper, consider the recommended reading (above). For many of us, simple illustrations (the person reading the book) go a long way to bring our minds into line with God's way of looking at things. Even then, we may only slightly improve our very partial and imperfect knowledge. After all, his thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are our ways his ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

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