Faith and Science

A Scientific Basis For Reconciling Divine Foreknowledge and Human Free Will


God's omniscience conflicts with human free will because God's foreknowledge determines all human choice and activity. Compatibility appears with recognition of free will's underlying order that is found in a uniqueness for everything God created. Existence is created from fundamental particles and forces, with each one having unique properties that are limited within boundaries. Uniqueness creates a nonequilibrium system where all of creation, from particles to people, can interact, have intelligence, and make choices. God controls and protects creation by constraints without needing to dictate every choice and action of particles and people. This also gives God a way to interact with creation.

For human existence to have any meaning our lives and what happens to us cannot be due to chance. Most humans believe in a supreme being who created the universe and many believe God also governs all its events. If God controls everything, He should or could know all future events; all history would be preordained and our lives would be predestined. If God controls everything, can humans influence their destiny and contribute to preordained history? We could because God created humans with free will, and we must contribute if our life is not due to chance. This question can be examined by reviewing theologians' and philosophers' beliefs about human free will and predestination ordained by an omniscient God. Examiation can also seek consistency between human free will and elements of free will in the universe's structure.

Omniscience and Free Will

Sovereign God's powers

People look to God as their creator, sustainer, and redeemer. God's accomplishments are convincing that He is sovereign over everything. God needs to be in control and rule with justice and mercy in order to protect His creation. God needs powerful attributes to be the ruling sovereign.
Unlimited power makes God omnipotent; God can do anything He wills. God is also omnipresent; He is everywhere at once. God is omniscient; He knows everything past, present, and future(Figure 1).The Bible reveals God's powers of omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. Human beings have some problems understanding two of these attributes.
Some people believe that God is not inclined or able to protect His creation against indiscriminate evil. An omnipotent God could control evil as well as good. Evil's presence suggests that God is either not omnipotent or elects to permit evil.
God's omniscience raises another problem. God knowing everything past and present poses few problems for our understanding, but knowing everything future confuses our understanding. With full knowledge of the future God knows everything we will do. We have no control over any aspect of life. Total omniscience thereby denies humans free will.

Importance of omniscience

In Isaiah 41:23 God says to evaluate other gods' powers by asking: "tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods." Isaiah's God says that a true god can tell the future. A true god must be omniscient and have infallible foreknowledge. Without foreknowledge and omniscience a powerful god can make mistakes about the future. People need a god who knows the future.1
The theistic God of the Bible guides and controls worldly events. With foreknowledge God knows all truths and future human actions, what He plans to happen, and how He will guide people in controlling and managing the world. God designed that before creation. For many people, limiting omniscience tarnishes God's perfection and diminishes trust in Him and in fulfillment of His purpose.

Importance of free will for human beings

Human beings must possess free will to have identity as individuals and a concept of moral responsibility.2 God created humans with abilities to perceive, think and choose so that each person could be unique and moral. Is it intelligible for omniscient God with complete foreknowledge to create human beings with unrestrained free will?

Compatibility of God's omniscience with humans' free will

Most believers accept both omniscience for God and free will for humans. Foreknowledge for God is incompatible with human free will, however. If God predetermines everything He leaves no room for human freedom. On the other hand, humans exercising complete freedom may seem to defy God's sovereign power. Biblically, human lives are predestined by God, but humans also have free will. How did God plan the universe so His purpose is fulfilled by people acting freely?
Philosophers and theologians address the incompatibility of foreknowledge and free will.3 St. Augustine and most theologians since assumed that God must foreknow all human actions, including every sin committed. If God knows this how can one choose to act differently? St. Augustine believed that God's foreknowledge did not threaten human free will, however. He maintained that God has foreknowledge and sees all future events, but they don't occur just because He foresees them. According to Augustine foreknowledge of sinning makes it necessary to sin, but the necessity to sin is not incompatible with free will; foreknowledge doesn't compel one to sin or to any action. Augustine believed that given foreknowledge, there is a certain order of causes according to which everything happens which does happen. Human free will is in the order of causes foreknown to God and free will causes human actions. Thus human free will is part of a deterministic order where God foreknows everything. But if free will permits an action different from what God foreknows, the premises of God's foreknowledge and humans' ability to freely choose are incompatible. God is not omniscient if something differs from what God foreknows. Thus free will directing human actions is incompatible with foreknowledge.
Augustine believed foreknowledge and free will are compatible because God is timelessly eternal and has timeless knowledge of temporal events. God as a timeless being does not distinguish between past, present, and future and so technically He has no foreknowledge.4 Thus, God foreknows nothing, yet is omniscient; incompatibility between foreknowledge and free will disappears.
God is timeless because he exists outside of the universe and its dimension of time. A being outside of time is eternal, unchanging, and indifferent to anything in time. God is eternal. He must be unchanging because changing beings must exist in time, something needed for temporal succession. Temporal substances and beings change and that can corrupt them. God is incorruptible, making it impossible for Him to exist in time. Timelessness for God is consistent with doctrines of divine simplicity and belief that permanence is better than change. If God is outside of time, is He indifferent to His creation because it is in time?
Most timelessness doctrines believe God should experience the universe timelessly rather than temporally.5 Timeless knowledge must be limited to timeless truths. If God cannot know temporal facts, He cannot be omniscient.6 Without temporal information God's plan must have the universe run like a clock wound at time's beginning. If God is timeless a way is needed for Him to be knowing, acting, and responding to lives of temporal beings. He must know temporal events to be more than a disinterested clock winder. God must be temporal to know and care for each of us, to preserve and protect His creation.
The doctrine of divine timelessness is intelligible and is consistent with someone who daily enters our lives and helps us to live a godly life.7 God sends the Holy Spirit to be with us and lead us to His ends. By that God can remain timeless by sending the Holy Spirit to act in temporal lives and events.

Harmony: God's knowledge and human free will

Compatibility of Christianity's tenets of divine omniscience and human free will can be evaluated on criteria of internal consistency, conceivability, and harmony with other areas of knowledge and experience.8 Internal consistency is lacking until the doctrines of divine omniscience and human free will are compatible.
Conceivability is based on understanding God's omniscience and human free will. Understanding is possible for free will but difficult for omniscience. Thomas Aquinas describing God's nature in Summa Theologiae was unable to say much except what He is not.9 There may be clearer and fuller conceptions of God's nature but humans still poorly comprehend His powers and attributes. People cannot conceive of God as a timeless Being outside our temporal world and simultaneously always in our lives to lead, counsel, and love us.
Harmony with other areas of knowledge and experience depends on agreement or general principles underlying divine omniscience, human free will and some fundamental areas of human endeavor. Divine simplicity doctrines support a consistency for God's design that can be discovered underlying all creation; harmony and consistency should be universal. Disharmony and inconsistency impede understanding and consensus within Christianity and between Christianity and secular knowledge. Within Christianity, an immutable God unrelated to His creation denies believers' experience of a living God who seeks personal relations with them. Disharmony also appears when Christian positions differ with what people know and feel from secular arts and science.
The Bible, and most importantly Jesus, tells us how to know God and His plans. Knowledge from the Bible and God's creation can be used to find harmony throughout God's design. Understanding the universe's design and underlying simplicity can reveal compatibility for God's omniscience and human free will.

Nature of God and omniscience

Based on God's being, powers and activities, design of His creation should show simplicity, harmony and consistency. God adopts certain strategies for implementing the design, and He follows certain strategies for protecting and maintaining His works.10 His strategies are for promoting the greatest good. Some result in losses that are often attributed to evil. What powers does God need to implement these strategies?
God has complete knowledge of everything past and present, and knows everything about each individual's make up, potentials, tendencies, weaknesses and powers. God also knows His own purposes and how they can be best achieved. His purposes will be done, but some believe that He does not know every detail how they will be done. Hartshorne believes that God

knows the future as future, that is, as partially indefinite and undetermined...this is the ideal of knowledge, since it alone completely and accurately reflects the unfolding of events in time.The fact that God does not have completely determinate knowledge of the future is not...an imperfection, for the free aspects of the future are in principle not knowable in advance.11
Incomplete omniscience is not an imperfection because absolute power limits God in interacting and sharing power with His creation.12 God exercising absolute power is less worthy of worship and love than if He interacts with his creation. Only with such interaction can God express His goodness, concern and love, something not possible while ruling with absolute power. God does not need complete foreknowledge to know His purposes and how to achieve them, or that they will be achieved.
Some purposes are achieved by a course of natural action dictated by human free will and action following a path that God may not have chosen if He determined all events.13 To achieve other goals God may need to directly intervene when human free will jeopardizes His plan and His creation's integrity.
In summary, there are strong arguments for God not having completely determinate knowledge of the future and that does not detract from His sovereignty. To be consistent, God used the same principles to create the physical universe.

A Complexity in God's Design

A design both determinate and random

A modern physicist states: "Modern man recognizes that nature's dice are only slightly but nonetheless purposefully loaded."14 Thereby the world is both determinate and random. Order makes the universe determinate. Unpredictable order makes it random or chaotic. Chaos is "what humans observe when they lack the information to perceive the underlying order."15
Nature's order is investigated by measuring time and space at both macroscopic and microscopic levels. Measuring devices are chaotic systems, however; they are not universal and perfect. Interaction between chaotic measuring devices and other systems of the universe ( also chaotic) produces uncontrollable, unpredictable and uncomputable effects.16 Efforts to improve accuracy produce less reliable measurements.
Chaos manifests a complexity that precludes determinate predictability. Complexity renders deterministic systems uncomputable, unpredictable, undefinable and random, and the calculus of probability is used for their description. Statistical regularities in chaos shows its determinate basis, but its complexity limits our understanding.17
The microscopic as well as the macroscopic world should be determinate and random, making for quantum chaos. Quantum chaos should show randomness reflected by uncomputable and uncontrollable noise levels. Measurements reveal small, irreducible noise levels implying a generalized uncertainty principle for each observation.18

Creating randomness within a determinate system

All observations, however random and uncertain, fall within limits or boundaries. The limits make systems determinate because limits represent "absorbing boundaries."19 Within the limits observations appear with a given probability. Randomness and uncertainty are not minor variations due to observations' inadequacies but reflect a system's freedom within limits. Deterministic equations describe a system but their solutions characterize its most probable state. Observed values differing from values computed by a system's deterministic equation are not necessarily aberrations due to the observation process. Observations can all be reliable values within boundaries.
The universe's systems are not in equilibrium. Most are far from equilibrium, the physics of which shows unstable motions, random choices and probabilistic behavior.20 But the systems also show nonequilibrium constraints which create the boundaries or limits. Both the freedom of randomness and the constraints of determinants contribute to self-organization and creativity within a system. Nonequilibrium constraint is the organizing factor by the limits it sets on the freedom of matter.

Randomness and freedom with constraint begin at the most basic level

The basis of randomness and nonequilibrium constraint should be found in fundamental particles and the forces controlling their interactions. Quarks, the constituents of protons and neutrons, and leptons, including electrons, neutrinos and their antiparticles are the two most fundamental particles.21
At the universe's creation all matter is thought to have been one fundamental particle,22 with quarks and leptons behaving identical in a symmetric state. Only one force is suggested at this time of symmetry. With the subsequent breaking of symmetry four fundamental forces of electromagnetism, gravitation, and weak and strong nuclear forces appeared.
Fields of particles and forces in states of symmetry and equilibrium appear identical when viewed from any point, making it impossible to develop an intrinsic conception of space.23 An equilibrium's stability also makes all instants identical, making it impossible to develop an intrinsic conception of time. In equilibrium, with no space-time, matter behaves in a "repetititve way" and is "blind;" it does not perceive and interact with its environment.24 But equilibrium does not exist in the real world, except in theory, so matter is not blind and does not act in a repetitive way.

Intelligence cannot develop without freedom

Matter possesses and exchanges information in nonequilibrium systems. Without information exchange such systems die, decompose and acquire symmetry or equilibrium.25 A particle's information affects interactions with others, giving it the possibility of intelligence. Intelligence develops and can evolve only if particles can freely choose among alternatives.26 When a particle's information is used only for determinate moves, intelligence is unnecessary and does not develop. Thus particles of matter were the first to exercise free will.

The roots of free will do not lie in the macroworld which is ruled by deterministic laws. They lie in the microworld, and quantum uncertainty points to it. Human intelligence is not the only product of free will. It is possible that earlier, the free will created some intelligence at the level of its roots, i.e. in microworld...27
The development of quantum physics was a step across the boundary between matter and ghost drawn by Descartes. Physicists felt it and spoke about the free will of electrons and ghost (spirit, consciousness, intelligence) in matter...28
With interaction, particles can change their strategy and move to different states. Change is possible because particles have intelligence, random generators, and freedom.29 A particle's freedom is reflected in random generators it chooses to generate random signals for randomizing choices. Thus, particle behavior is not determined; a particle can freely choose. The choice is unpredictable for intelligent matter.
Intelligence gives particles capacity for memory, allowing them to pass information during interactions with others. "To do this, they must have synchronized clocks, measure rules, and reference points for space and time..."30 What can explain a particle's intelligence and consciousness?
Uniform matter or particles showing no variation and governed by invariant forces show repetitive activity; they are in equilibrium.31 Such conditions prevent change, because nonequilibrium conditions don't exist, and the instabilities, diversification and evolution of far-from-equilibrium states can't happen. Randomness and irreversibility would not exist to transform equilibrium's symmetry into any nonequilibrium order of organization.

Acquiring intelligence and freedom

Systems change from equilibrium to nonequilibrium when particles and forces lose uniformity and gain intelligence for making choices. But total equilibrium is unreal except in theory. If equilibrium never existed, total uniformity never existed for particles and forces. Totally uniform particles are blind, lack consciousness, unable to possess intelligence or pass information, and unable to interact. Without possibility of consciousness and intelligence, how could changes at creation suddenly give particles an intellect? The earliest changes at creation are generalized:

According to the grand unified theories, matter above the first transition temperature was in a very symmetric state. Quarks, the constituents of protons and neutrons, and leptons, including electrons, neutrinos and their antiparticles, all behaved identically. Below the transition point, however the differences were made manifest through symmetry-breaking. Eventually these differentiated particles became the raw material that makes up stars, planets and living beings.32
All changes in particles and forces are explained by reductions in initial temperatures.
Change from equilibrium to nonequilibrium requires changes in properties of elementary particles. Before creation all particles may have been identical with only one fundamental force, and they changed at creation. Their properties may not have been identical, however, with that not becoming apparent until after the temperature reduction.
Creation was also the beginning of space-time. One explanation of space-time emerging from a symmetric system in complete equilibrium is:
If at the most fundamental level each particle comprising the universe has characteristics and properties not initially correlated with other particles then we might envision space and time in a Minkowski sense as being born of the correlations between individual particle properties.32
Particles change from being blind and dumb to interacting and intelligent. Space-time requires particles to interact and pass information.

Basis for intelligence, freedom and determinism

Physicists assume that fundamental properties of matter and interactions are invariable.34 A particle's mass is considered fixed.35 Precise measurements are given for physical properties of particles. Measurements are believed reliable because of the Newtonian dream that scientists can master controllable measurement processes and with the advance of science the measurements become more accurate.36 Any uncertainty is due to imperfect measuring devices. But varying properties of particles and forces reflect an uncertainty principle.37 The strengths of the weak, electromagnetic and gravitation forces are given relative to the strong force.38 They are approximations, not certainties.
A number of constants characterize matter's stability properties.39 They can be classified as universal, as constants of interactions, and constants as elementary constituents of matter. The value of some constants, such as the speed of light in a vacuum, is exact. Values for most constants such as gravity, Planck and elementary charge are not exact; they possess uncertainty.40 Scientists believe their variances are due to measurement's inadequacies rather than true variations. Constants is a misnomer if they varied. Precise constants support our need for a stable universe.
Scientists are pushed to "give up the arbitrary assumption that particle masses are constant in time."41 Forces and constants may also vary with time. Fundamental constants, particle masses and forces may also differ elsewhere in the universe, and so are affected by space.42 (Life may be possible on earth only because electrons with the right contributing properties are present and life is not found elsewhere because particles and forces have different properties(Figure 2). Thus, measurements showing variation can be reliable in showing variable properties for particles, forces and constants.
As mentioned above, constants characterize stability properties of matter. Some believe that physic's primary equations should contain no physical constants.

One of the most fundamental properties of both Newton's mechanics and Maxwell electrodynamics is the absence of any physical constants in their basic equations. All necessary constants appear only at the stage of applications of these theories to specific phenomena. This is one of the reasons of universality and generality of these theories since physical constants always reflect our ignorance in formulation of physical laws. Therefore primary equations of physics should not contain physical constants at all, including the fundamental ones.43
Variations in constants reflect variations in properties of particles and forces. Physical laws governing their properties are invariable so constants' variability must indicate particle and force variability in time and space. Within one time and space, variation in particle and force properties should distribute in a normal distribution curve. The curve may differ in size and shift to the right or left in another time or space. Such distributions apply to the most fundamental or elementary particles and forces. Transition of particles and forces from apparent "order" to "chaos" changes the curve's location and distribution so that they appear and behave differently. Their distribution and plasticity are essential to our existence.
...the creative evolution of nature could never be conceived if the elements composing it were defined as permanent, individual entities that maintained their identity throughout all changes and interactions.44
This variability must be true for the most elementary entities.
Only the electron and its anti-particle possess the properties required for a truly elementary entity.45
...and it supports the hypothesis arrived at by a number of theorists that the many different types of quarks are not truly elementary particles but instead complex structural systems composed of more fundamental entities, namely relativistic electrons and positrons.46
Thus all particles are complex structures of electrons and their anti-particles. Symmetric electrons (appearing similar from any angle) could not support creative evolution. Symmetric electrons would have no ability to move, recognize and interact with other particles or have intelligent behavior. Electrons are asymmetric, however, since only asymmetric bodies can spin, and asymmetry is a characteristic of change and evolution.47 The asymmetry for creating spin can be that the center of charge differs from the center of mass (or field) for any particle. Rather than all electrons being identical the relative position of charge to mass could vary and be distributed in a normal distribution curve. Electrons may have no "mass" but fields of energy.48 In this case electrons may spin due to asymmetry of charge in a field. Fields imply no structure, and variations of charges and their positions in a field are specified in elementary particles (made of electrons) by mass, spin, electric charge, color, etc. The fact that electrons form so many different "less" elementary particles suggests variation in their electron building blocks.
Elementary building block variation should dictate variation in all matter, forces, and constants to which they contribute. Variability manifests as distributions of their random properties in normal distribution curves. This restriction within a curve's boundaries or nonequilibrium constraints makes for determinism. (Determinism as an essential feature of the universe appears as constraints, invariances, constancies and regularities.) Properties can appear invariable in very restricted or narrow curves.
Elementary particles having variable properties are intelligent, acquire information, and can interact. Interactions give particles possibility and potentiality that are determined and limited by boundaries or nonequilibrium constraints. Possibility and potentiality are not possible for particles or systems at equilibrium where there is no variation and no interaction. With possibility and potentiality, predictions are impossible except those describing probability within a certain domain bounded by nonequilibrium constraints. Precise predictions are possible only for particles or systems in static states of equilibrium.

God created the world to be both determinate and random (chaotic)

Chaos appears when information is lacking on underlying order. God has information to know any order, but without knowing every detail of future events. God does not choose to know all future actions of humans or fundamental particles. He gives both freedom to develop intelligence and choose actions, the basis for chaos that is necessary and constructive. Theologians know that chaos does not signify evil or disorder. They also know the limits God establishes through His laws. Chaos and order belong together.

Chaos need not be viewed as evil in opposition to God; rather, it may be seen as instrumental in God's continuing work of creation....
...the triumphant creator established boundaries for chaos.
...Despite persistent chaos, the cosmos is stable. There are regularities (we call them "laws" of nature) that express God's covenant faithfulness, upon which all creatures depend (Gen 8:22).49
God created the world to be both determinate and random by making each fundamental particle and force unique and different from all others(Figure 3). Variations are small for most so measurements show little or no differences. But differences are necessary for matter to interact, have intelligence and be creative. Variation in fundamental particles and forces is consistent with everything being unique in God's creation. God designed everything to interact and communicate so that matter can act independent of Him. Otherwise God must control everything, even every action of elementary particles. Interaction and communication are not necessary in a completely determinate universe. What need would we then have for communication and interaction with the Holy Spirit? If everything was predetermined why would God need to perform miracles?
If God makes fundamental particles and forces unique to give them intelligence, ability to interact and creativity, humans beings should be no less endowed. God upholds our integrity by freeing us to be human, and He will not violate our integrity by foreknowing all of our existence. He accomplishes that with laws to insure His final goals.

Human Beings Creatively Contributing To A Preordained History

God's Caring Omnipotence

Omnipotence empowers God to create an incompletely determined world characterized by freedom within limits for everything. God's sovereignty is not for dominating and controlling, but is the source of human freedom and responsibility. God relinquishes power in giving us freedom, but He continues to have greater power than if everything is determined. God needs great power to rule an undetermined world where interaction and response are necessary to protect and sustain His creation. "It is the power to make agents who are creators in their own right and the power to continue to rule even when they work against God."50 God maintains His sovereignty despite the freedom given His creation.

Sovereignty does not mean that God controls everything, since God gives power to other agents. It means that God is omnicompetent in relation to any circumstance that arises and is unable to be defeated in any ultimate sense. God delights in an open creation precisely because God does not completely control it. The open model of sovereignty does not diminish but augments the glory of God's rule.51

Thus, God is not the benevolent dictator, heartless moralist or unmoved mover. God is love that neither rules nor is unmoved and morality moves him not to destroy but protect His creation.
God wills and preserves life, is self-giving, shows suffering love as well as victorious liberating love, and liberates oppressed people. God shares our human condition and we can share in creating and preserving His creation.

We are not given the impression that history is decided unilaterally by God but that our decisions also contribute to it. God is not responsible for everything that happens. Many outcomes are conditional upon human decisions, and the relationship between God and the creature is personal and interactive.52
To share in the process we must live a love that approaches love, God's essence revealed to us.

Freedom As A Necessity

Freedom is essential for God, humans, and all matter to interact. Relationships and love require interactions. Because love is an expression of freedom, God cannot predetermine love. Creation of humans is the ultimate expression of God's love, but our being loses splendor if we are predetermined to love God.
God calls us to share control of the universe, something we are free to choose. Creating us with freedom bears risk for evil. Why grant freedom if it bears this risk? God does not plan for good to come out of evil but for greater good to come from the goodness of His creation.53 God's presence alone does not represent goodness; goodness requires humans responding to His presence. Responding requires freedom that necessitates the risk of evil.
Giving humans freedom makes God vulnerable. God shows vulnerability in His expressions of pathos, in being open to human intercession, and in Jesus Christ's execution.54 Jesus Christ shows us that love is more convincingly demonstrated by one who is vulnerable to us than by one who is unaffected by us.55
God's power and freedom are learned from Jesus Christ in whom God's freedom is expressed. God affirmed humanity by sending Jesus to us. Jesus insisted that human decisions and actions contribute to our future. Jesus shows us that human beings are both receiving and contributing subjects in the divine-human relationship.

...God communicates that is in God's very nature to be affected by others, to desire fellowship with others, to love others, and to receive love from them.... love is integral to God's being.
Love desires fellowship with the other, and fellowship demands mutual participation. Human beings can contribute to the life of God...56 (--But each must know where the boundaries between them exist.)
God's sovereignty shown in Jesus Christ is freedom to be loving and just, a freedom to love all people always. God accepts and includes everyone in the invitation of His sovereign love.

Freedom Within Boundaries

God's justice insures everyone's inclusion in His invitation. Justice returns all to the protection of God's limiting boundaries, a loving act, not one of retribution or power. Justice is for redemption. God wants no loss for His creation; that would be inconsistent with His sovereignty. Restricting human activity within freedom's limiting boundaries restores health and wholeness for lost souls.
Limiting boundaries do not compromise our humanity and its freedom. Freedom has greater possibilities when we recognize and accept limiting boundaries. "Jesus revealing God shows us we should not be ashamed of the limitations of our humanity but should enjoy the possibilities of human existence inspired by these limitations."57
The oldest parts of the Bible attest to God's limiting boundaries.58 Chaos within limiting boundaries is usually constructive, and chaos outside of boundaries usually results in failed existence. Evil forces work to hold people outside God's boundaries. Limiting boundaries support God's presence and that we are destined to live as relational, responsible, and life-embracing individuals; we cannot exist under the destructive potential of limitless chaos. God gave us limiting boundaries in the Ten Commandments; they make survival possible.

When we do not have the choice to kill, to commit adultery, or to worship idols, we are free to live humanly and to enable others to live humanly--cultivating relationships, taking responsibility for the shape of the world, and enjoying day-to-day living.59

Justice in Boundaries

God cannot fail and He does not fail when humans live outside limiting boundaries. God works to correct our failures. He works for our redemption because of His love, a redemption that also requires justice.

God's justice cannot be an alternative to God's love; it must be an expression of God's love. ..It can only be justice that confronts, judges, condemns, and sometimes even punishes sinful people for their own good, to help rather than to hurt, to restore rather than to destroy, to give back the true humanity they have lost in their self-destructive, neighbor-hating, God-rebelling sinfulness...It is therefore a loving justice....seeking reconciliation rather than retaliation, renewal rather than destruction...60
God's justice is for keeping us within limiting boundaries where we have the possibility and potential for becoming Christ-like.

Divine-Human Relationships Preordain History

Jesus Christ's life shows that we both receive and contribute in the divine-human relationship; human decisions and actions do shape God's ongoing creation. God invites us to share control of His creation, but we must also respond to His presence. Goodness comes only from interaction, not only from God or humans. In interaction God affirms dignity for human capacities and experiences and shows God is willing to be affected by the world. The potential of humans sharing control can become all that God intended.

...when the world is understood as contributing to the life of God because the life of God includes the world, we can realize our freedom to embrace human existence in all its fullness with passion and with dignity.61
We have little freedom if God does not interact but reigns as an unaffected, independent and autonomous sovereign. If humans do not interact and witness the goodness of God they are also unaffected and autonomous and lose the possibility of power provided by limits and the rewards enabled by dependence.
God's humanity serves as a reference point for the truth that autonomous, self-sufficient power is evil. "Power in relation"--power that is conditioned by the presence of other--is freedom.62
God demonstrates power in the servanthood of Jesus Christ through whom His enemies are defeated by love, a power not of the autonomous and self-sufficient. It is a power of divine freedom and human freedom perfectly achieved. When we know that power, we can contribute to divine goodness because in our interaction with God we are in the divine reality.
In the divine reality we are not pawns of chance and we are not existing to fulfill a precisely predestined plan. We live with limiting boundaries that give us the greatest possibility for meaningful interactions with God and humanity. God gives us the power to join Him in the creation and preservation of His work.

1. Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski, The Dilemma Of Freedom And Foreknowledge (New York: Oxford University Press , 1991), 34.

2. Zagzebski, The Dilemma Of Freedom And Foreknowledge, 34.

3. See Zagzebski, The Dilemma Of Freedom And Foreknowledge; William Hasker, God, Time, and Knowledge (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989); Jonathan L. Kvanvig, The Possibility of an All-Knowing God (Hampshire, England: Macmillan Press, 1986); John C. Moskop, Divine Omniscience and Human Freedom (Mercer University Press, 1984); W. S. Anglin, Free Will and the Christian Faith (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990).

4. Kvanvig, The Possibility of an All-Knowing God, 166.

5. Hasker, God, Time, and Knowledge, 182.

6. Ibid., 159.

7. Ibid., 155.

8. Moskop, Divine Omniscience and Human Freedom, 95.

9. Paul Edwards, ed. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy Vol. 8 (New York: Macmillan Publ. Co., 1967), 111.

10. Hasker, God, Time, and Knowledge, 202.

11. Moskop, Divine Omniscience and Human Freedom, 28.

12. Ibid., 98.

13. Hasker, God, Time, and Knowledge, 192.

14. Joseph Ford, "What Is Chaos That We Should Be Mindful of it?" in The New Physics, ed. by Paul Davies, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 348.

15. Ibid., 351.

16. Ibid., 352.

17. Complexity for us now is shown to be simplicity (God's) when we understand it. For example, the structure of DNA was considered such a complexity that when it was uncovered it earned two scientists a Nobel Prize. Now that "complexity" is considered simple enough to be taught to school children.

18. Ibid., 370.

19. Gregoire Nicolis, "Physics of Far-From-Equilibrium Systems and Self-Organization", in The New Physics, ed. by Paul Davies, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 337.

20. Ibid., 341.

21. Frank Close, "The Quark Structure of Matter", in The New Physics, ed. by Paul Davies, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 396.

22. Nicolis, "Physics of Far-From-Equilibrium Systems and Self-Organization", in The New Physics, 329.

23. Ibid., 317.

24. Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers, Order Out of Chaos--Man's New Dialogue With Nature (New York: Bantam Books, 1984), 14.

25. Stavros T. Tassos, "An Evolutionary Earth Expansion Hypothesis", in Frontiers of Physics, ed. by Michele Barone and Franco Selleri, (New York: Plenum Press, 1994), 278.

26. Raoul Nakhmanson, "The Ghostly Solution of the Quantum Paradoxes and its Experimental Verification", in Frontiers of Physics, ed. by Michele Barone and Franco Selleri, (New York: Plenum Press, 1994), 592.

27. Ibid.

28. Ibid., 593.

29. Ibid., 595.

30. Ibid.

31. Prigogine, Order Out of Chaos--Man's New Dialogue With Nature, 13.

32. Nicolis, "Physics of Far-From-Equilibrium Systems and Self-Organization", in The New Physics, 329.

33. C. Wolf, "Discrete Time Realizations of Quantum Mechanics and Their Possible Experimental Tests", in Frontiers of Physics, ed. by Michele Barone and Franco Selleri, (New York: Plenum Press, 1994), 449.

34. Andrei Linde, Cosmological Constant, "Quantum Cosmology and Anthropic Principle," in Gravitation and Modern Cosmology, ed. by Antonial Zichichi, Venzo de Sabbata and Norma Sanchez (New York: Plenum Press, 1991), 108.

35. James Gleick, Chaos--Making A New Science (New York: Viking Penguin Inc.), 1987,. 161.

36. Ford, "What Is Chaos That We Should Be Mindful of it?" in The New Physics, 354.

37. E. Richard Cohen, The Physics Quick Reference Guide (Woodbury, New York: American Institute of Physics, 1996).

38. S. B. Fadeev, V. D. Ivashchuk and V. N. Melnikov, "Variations of Constants and Exact Solutions in Multidimensional Gravity", in Gravitation and Modern Cosmology, ed. by Antonio Zichichi, Venzo de Sabbata and Norma Sanchez (New York: Plenum Press, 1991), 37.

39. Ibid.

40. Ibid.

41. Hatton Arp, "Empirical Evidence on the Creation of Galaxies and Quasars", in Frontiers of Physics, ed. by Michele Barone and Franco Selleri, (New York: Plenum Press, 1994), 10.

42. Fadeev, "Variations of Constants and Exact Solutions in Multidimensional Gravity", in Gravitation and Modern Cosmology, 39.

43. Edward Kapuscik, "Physics Without Physical Constants", in Frontiers of Physics, ed. by Michele Barone and Franco Selleri, (New York: Plenum Press, 1994), 387.

44. Prigogine, Order Out of Chaos--Man's New Dialogue With Nature, 95.

45. Ernest J. Sternglass, "The Relativistic Electron Pair Theory of Matter and its Implications for Cosmology", in Frontiers of Physics, ed. by Michele Barone and Franco Selleri, (New York: Plenum Press, 1994), 59.

46. Ibid., 61.

47. Tassos, "An Evolutionary Earth Expansion Hypothesis", in Frontiers of Physics, 276.

48. Sternglass, "The Relativistic Electron Pair Theory of Matter and its Implications for Cosmology", in Frontiers of Physics, 61.

49. Bernhard W. Anderson, "The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: The Sovereignty of God in the Bible," Theology Today, 53 (April, 1996): 6-7.

50. Clark H. Pinnock, "God's Sovereignty in Today's World," Theology Today, 53 (April, 1996): 20.

51. Ibid., 21.

52. Ibid., 17.

53. Anglin, Free Will and the Christian Faith, 120.

54. Patrick D. Miller, "Editorial Hallelujah! The Lord God Omnipotent Reigns," Theology Today, 53 (April, 1996): 3.

55. Cynthia L. Rigby, "Free to be Human Limits, Possibilities, and the Sovereignty of God," Theology Today, 53 (April, 1996): 57.

56. Ibid., 59.

57. Ibid., 55.

58. Bernhard W. Anderson, "The Persistence of Chaos in God's Creation," Bible Review, 12 (February, 1996): 19.

59. Rigby, "Free to be Human Limits, Possibilities, and the Sovereignty of God," Theology Today, 61-62.

60. Shirley C. Guthrie, "Human Suffering, Human Liberation, and the Sovereignty of God," Theology Today, 53 (April, 1996): 28-29.

61. Rigby, "Free to be Human Limits, Possibilities, and the Sovereignty of God," Theology Today, 60.

62. Ibid., 61.

Paper presented at 1998 American Scientific Affiliation meeting at Cambridge University, Great Britain




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