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August 31, 2011

Comments

"we were asked if it makes sense to pray for things since God has already sovereignly planned history from beginning to end."

What if your assumption is mistaken and God hasn't meticulously fixed in place every detail of history from beginning to end? If most of the future is open then prayer begins to make a lot of sense.

All the if/than statements God makes in the Bible only make sense if we have real choice. If we could actually go down either road.

Even though this bothers people with a preconceived concept of how God is, in much of the Bible God is depicted as reactive to people's choices.

"If my people will.....Then I will..."

Contrary to the howls of folks of a certain theological persuasion, this doesn't make God weaker or diminish His "glory" at all.

The key to understanding prayer as it relates to predestination is found in the verses such as Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

If what you are praying about is predestined by God to occur, He will give you faith concerning it.

We have to guard against faith counterfeits such as blind faith, positive thinking, self conjured faith as found it the Word of Faith movement and learn to discern when true faith is present however.

If the Bride has a Choice on how / if She interact with the Groom, then such intentional interaction with the Groom makes a difference, as, it takes two to dance/cosumate etc. If the Bride has no Choice, then Her End-Result will be unchanged whether she intentionally interact or not. If she is predestined to Marry, then the Groom will force her to consumate and will penetrate her against her will if need be. If however she is predestined to be cast aside, then no amount of Calling, Pleading, Trusting, Interacting (prayer etc) or Knocking will do any good in opening that Door.

Man is an Agent with Real Voice or He is not.

That question must be answered first to answer this question of Prayer, for Prayer is an Interaction between Two Parties, or, it is the act of a Wooden Puppit sitting on God's knee which His Hand (unseen to the audience) mouths the words of.

Seriously. What do we really believe about Man's Agency/Choice/etc?

I have been told by many that indeed Man will not Knock on His Door unless God force him to do so, and so the Man does not Choose this, God chooses it, AND then makes it happen (mouthing the words). And, so, Man is the Wooden Puppit, with no Choice to offer up to God. "Knock and Keep on Knocking, and it will be opened..." is not addressed to Man, but to God's own Hand, for Man will not do this unless God first make him want to knock AND make him actually mouth the words / do it.

I do not beleive that that is what prayer is........

I think prayer matters, and brings real change, perhaps to the [World Stage] (God's domain) but CERTAINLY to/into/unto YOU the Pray-er (the domain of the I-You which lives between God and You, the individual).


For those who will argue that people won't call out unless God first gives them the life/ressurection/ability to do so (we agree) AND ALSO unless God also causes them to do it (they have no choice, it can't be otherwise) (we disagree as Man is not a puppit for whom God mouths teh words) I will tell you that such is the opinion of one who lives perhaps in an office full of books. We have all known of many who have called out, and simply ended in either suicide or some other "non-saved" end etc.

Unless of course we offer that God creates/causes/forces yet a THIRD class of Slave:

1) Those who call out and are saved b/c they are predestined etc...they have no choice, it can't be otherwise.

2) Those who do not seek b/c they are predestined to be cast away etc....they have no choice, it can't be otherwise.

And 3) Those who call out in desperation but are not responded to b/c God needs/wants that class/group as a means/method for some other purpose, maybe to fill in the gaps etc....and they too have no choice, it can't be otherwise.


We all know people who have called out for help only to end in some un-found "place" and I think its disingenuous to think that we are to believe that "no one would even seek and call unless God made them to do so b/c they are the elect" when we all know some of those who called out yet ended badly.


Reality debunks out book-ish theology, despite its well written form.


Of course the usual reply is something like, "Well, one one hundreth of a second before the bullet took their life they confessed Jesus".

Perhaps. But whatever. We all know what that reply is.

Perhaps to whom little is given little is required and one one hundreth of a second AFTER the bullet took their life he TASTED Jesus and drank Him down whole, and lives yet again.

Perhaps.....


But, fortunately, God is Real and so too is His Love, and, we are not His Slaves, or Pawns, and we can call to Him, and seek Him, and we need not worry "But what if I am not one of the elect" b/c His invitation goes out to the whole world, or to "who-so-ever".


Pray to Him. Talk to Him. About whatever. It drives our Inner Man closer and further towards Life Himself and the closer we get to That-Life the more Growth and Change will transpire. The World Stage belongs to God, but you the individual Pray-er are not "a pawn on His stage" or a "puppit on His knee". You need not worry about the "Whole Unfixable World".... and whether or not you have a place saved for you in His Heart. You do. You need only draw near to Him, and, in that [I-You] birthed therein all that you need know/see will, day by day, inch by inch, come to light. Knock, and keep on knocking. And then knock some more. All that Prayer, all that Knocking, all that Trusting, all that Calling brings Real Change, perhaps to the World Stage, but certainly to/into YOU.


Prayer does matter. Because God matters. And because God has decreed that you matter too.

And, of course, for those of us who are Christians, we must know, or at least trust, that prayer matters b/c God actually tells us to engage in that "process" or "activity". And maybe here, while we cannot overtly "see" the "inner workings" of what that process is "doing" either in us or in the world or in/of God's Spirit, we can still trust that such matters simply b/c God has instructed us in so many ways to engage in prayer.


So, if we must start from the bottom and work up, we can simply say "prayer matters" simply because "God leads us into that activity". If we can see no further than that, I will tell you that, after a season in the dry sands just outside of Egypt, there comes a Fire by night....and a promise given.

"Prayer is a powerful thing, for God has bound and tied himself thereto. None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience." Martin Luther

Pascal was praying once:


"Pascal's Night of Fire"


"The year of grace 1654
Monday, 23 November, feast of Saint Clement, Pope and Martyr, and of others in the Martyrology.
Eve of Saint Chrysogonus, Martyr and others.

From about half past ten in the evening until half past midnight.


Fire


'God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,' not of philosophers and scholars.
Certainty, certainty, heartfelt, joy, peace.
God of Jesus Christ.
God of Jesus Christ.
My God and your God.
'Thy God shall be my God.'

The world forgotten, and everything except God.
He can only be found by the ways taught in the Gospels.
Greatness of the human soul.
'O righteous Father, the world had not known thee, but I have known thee.'

Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have cut myself off from him.
They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters.
'My God wilt thou forsake me?'
Let me not be cut off from him for ever!

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.'
Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
I have cut myself off from him, shunned him, denied him, crucified him.
Let me never be cut off from him!
He can only be kept by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Sweet and total renunciation.
Total submission to Jesus Christ and my director.
Everlasting joy in return for one day's effort on earth.
I will not forget thy word. Amen."


"Knock, and keep on knocking". Jesus Christ.


LHRM

"have been told by many that indeed Man will not Knock on His Door unless God force him to do so, and so the Man does not Choose this, God chooses it, AND then makes it happen (mouthing the words). "

I don't think this is actually accurate. A closer to the truth is that God works in a person's life in such a way as to change his desire toward Him. But it is the individual that acts on that desire out of his own free will to choose God. Thus, there is in fact a very real choice on the part of the individual. Does God know that one will respond that way? I think so and it is on this set of actions and reactions that election is based. Both God and man choose and in each case free will is exercised in the process.

Louis I would agree. I don't think we can "see the light" unless He opens it up to us. From that point, there comes an interaction between two real wills, that of God and that of Man; which is Choice on the part of God as well as Man etc.


God "knowing in advance" is very different then "causing" or "forcing" hence the key difference here vs. the proposition that God BOTH brings the light AND fashions inside the Chooser/Man that perfect balance of "stuff" to tip the man over into the choice God wills and thus forces the choice, as, therein, there really is no choice.


I think God could have done things that way, but, for whatever reason (well, real love is the reason) He has decreed that Choice will be a Real Thing in this Image He is building.

"Choice" could have been left out, or in otherwords, it "could have been otherwise", but, God chose this reality to create, and, so, Man is stuck with Choice: it can't be otherwise b/c Man does not create reality; God does.

Man's Will and Heart will therefore find itself somehow faced with that business of Self vs. Other and Thy Will / My Will in a hundred different ways.

LHRM

"Louis I would agree. I don't think we can "see the light" unless He opens it up to us. From that point, there comes an interaction between two real wills, that of God and that of Man; which is Choice on the part of God as well as Man etc."

I see where this is going, I think. It is an attempt at fitting the compatibalist form of free choice into the libertarian free will model and that just doesn't work. What occurs in the process is that God creates situations in a life that makes our wills compatible to the acceptance of God and desiring of him. However, simply because one makes a choice that is according to one's desires, does not make it any less a real choice owned by that individual. The only aspect of this whole process that is controlled by God is the introduction of a desire, not making the choice itself. Those may be connected, but they are distinct things.

"God "knowing in advance" is very different then "causing" or "forcing" hence the key difference here vs. the proposition that God BOTH brings the light AND fashions inside the Chooser/Man that perfect balance of "stuff" to tip the man over into the choice God wills and thus forces the choice, as, therein, there really is no choice. "

I don't think that the model I described does what you suggest. The choice is made and it is made by that individual and the reason that they make a particular choice is because they have been given the motivation to do so, but motivation is not the choice itself, though closely connected. I think that that distinction has to be made to understand that this is a real choice being made within the envelope of God's sovereign will.

Yes, but the Man can refuse and say "No thank you God" and move away from God only a moment after God gave him the motivation to move towards Him.


If this is so, then there is real choice.

Light, Motivation, Sight, etc... these are good things, and are not Choice. Choice is seperate, and stands alone on itself, or, it is not choice. Choice can refuse the Will of God.


Or, the simple way to address this it seems is to offer up that Man really could have eaten of the Tree of Life back in Eden, and take Scripture at its word there where God tells Man he may eat of all/any Tree but that one/knowledge Tree etc.

I am often told by compats/libs that the story of Eden is a story where Man had NO choice to eat of all/any tree but one....some offer that they may, some that they could not have...

But the response I get here from BOTH the Compt/Lib are not consistent, as some who go by the Comp title offer me opposite answers, and the same for many coming in from the Libit side.

So, I've essentially given up on ether side having an agreed upon take here even within their own camp.

Scripture tells me men choose, and that we could have eaten of tht Tree called Life in Eden, and, I have to settle for that I think. And, if he could have, then indeed God knew such and did infact set in place Two Realities which both lead it seems to the same Final End, but which Reality would be taken to travel to that Final End was clearly left to Man to choose in Eden.

Real Choice is here painful to swallow I think ;)


Eden is a good example of Man having NO Choice OTHER THAN those made available to him by God, and, God's word tells us Man had many, many choices and much freedom, and even some sort of assignment in building the world along with God (co-labor, as in the new creation I guess), and, man was forbiden SOMETHING. But Man's options were not infinite, nor were any of them beyond God's Planning, for God creates Reality. But, clearly, man had choices, and choice, including the Tree of Life. Here is where "it could not have been otherwise" means it could not have been an option unavialable or un-found within Eden (Man's reality), but, that WITHIN Eden lied many choices/options and God in fact created man as a Real Agent here, with Real Voice, and a Real Part to play in that Final End, that Marriage of some sort hinted at throughout prophecy.

The Compatibilist (I think) based on the confusing and contradicting responses I get from them, states that the phrase "it could not have been otherwise" means God set out to create Man and "put in him the motivation" toward falling b/c really man had NO choice: He WILL fall, as it were....God's Plan is that [one] thing/tree, rather than the [multiple] things/trees we see in scripture. And so man had no choice b/c he could not have taken another path WITHIN God's afforded Paths to him.


And, the Libertar side I think states that man had UNlimited choice, so as even to move beyond choices afforded to him by God, or it seems that is their take, but again I get contradicting statements from both camps here on Choice and "could not be otherwise" etc....


It can't be otherwise. That is a true statement. Man never could have eaten of a fruit which God did not set in the Garden, and man could never have taken a path not put in Eden by God. But it is clear many Fruits, and many Paths, were given to man by God, and the choice was his, and so, man never could have done otherwise except to take of one of God's afforded options created in Reality. Which option, though (there were many) was left to a Real Person with Real Agency (man) to choose.

Choice, it seems, is something God was intent on having in this Creation of His. Therefore, it never could have been otherwise: Real Choice would Exist.

Some say this: God's Plan had a ceiling, and it was that [ONE] thing/tree (the fall), rather than the [MULTIPLE] things/trees we [clearly] see in scripture. And so they say, based on that, that man had no choice b/c he could not have taken another path WITHIN God's afforded Paths to him.


What I mean by this is, I think that the Compats often say that b/c God knew of man's choices, He therefore ONLY had that ONE "plan" (the fall) and then they put a period on the end of that statement. Done. Whereas, if we take God at His Word in Eden, we see that God DOES have "a plan", and His plan houses WITHIN it many paths/choices given to this thing called Man, and, the Final End involves, from what we can piece together from Genesis/Prophecy /Revelations, some sort of Marriage or God-In-Man or Man-In-God Union, but I won't guess on what "that" is.

But to say that man had choices in Eden in no way takes God out of the driver's seat, and here I think the Compat's think that it DOES take God out of the driver's seat if we say that God gave to man real choices in Eden.


But of course God's Eden had all options well in hand, and, the reason for choices-given is simple: God is making Man in HIS Image, which is Love, which is that Voluntary Movement Among and Between Real Selves, which involves Real Choice within the Triune My/Thy/Us or I/You/We, and, therein Choice lives UNcreated eternally.

Man having Choice in Eden, and different Roads, in no way removes God from the driver's seat, it merely affords man the very Nature of the Divine, which is yet one more element needed for his nature to have the capacity for Real-Love.


There is no such thing as a choice in Eden which God did not first place there. And, b/c God seems intent on having man be a Real Person with Real Agency and Real Choice, and ultimatley be in the Image of Love Himself, then, [It could not have ever been otherwise].... choice WOULD exist.

...I think that is where the Compats error.... as for the Libertars I think they error, from what I can gather, in that they have man making choices [OUTSIDE of] or [BEYOND] what God Himself affords to him by being the only creator of reality, and so they have God clearly out of the driver's seat..... or something like that from what I can gather.....


Neither view from what I can see takes Eden seriously, nor takes Love/Choice seriously. The Compats make of both God and Man mere mechanical Automatons without Choices/Choice [within thier very Natures] nor within [created reality], and so are ultimately without Real-Love, and, the Libs make of God a Non-God who's creation has gottten out of His control.

The Compats sacrifice the Triune's innate Real Love and Real Choice and Real Freedom within the Movement among and between Real Selves for the [Case For Sovereignty] while the Liberts sacrifice Sovereignty for the [Case for Free Choice]. And, neither takes Eden seriously, and both land outside of [what real love is] and outside of scripture.


God has Choices-Witin-Himself, yet He is limited/bound by His Nature.

Free. Bound.


Man too has Choices-Within-himself (witin his nature) as well as within the Reality he awakes to find himself within, but he too is bound/limited by God's sovereignty who has afforded to him many/varied choices, but not infinite/unlimited choices/capacities, and man could never pick a fruit which God has not first planted.


Free. Bound.

This is why I am not a Compatabilist nor a Libertarian, as neither one can stand the test of "free/bound" and be BOTH in a way that does not destroy EITHER God's Sovereignty or God's Innate Real-Love and what that Real-Love "is" within the Triune.

LHRM

"Light, Motivation, Sight, etc... these are good things, and are not Choice. Choice is seperate, and stands alone on itself, or, it is not choice. Choice can refuse the Will of God."

Yes it can, but when desire is in play, a person will make a choice based on desire. As I think I made clear before, God works in the life of the elect to change their desires in ways that resonate with their temperament and other features of their nature in a way that will lead them to the inevitable choice, that they freely make, to become the followers of Jesus. In other words, they respond positively to irresistible grace and the response is in the form of a free-will choice to become believers within the envelope of God's sovereign will.

Pretty standard answer there Louis....Compat's destruction of Love. I'll use the word "rape" here on purpose for the "inner process" you describe, not for spite, as I know it's a strong word.


I am sorry but, of course, that goes too far over into the creation of an Automaton. "inevitable" and "irresistible" amount to the Rape of a Soul, or, to the creation of a Yes-Man by God.


This is a Choice-less process at bottom, for inevitable and irresistible allow no refusal. God will just keep "manipulating the inner temperments and desires and other features" until He gets the Reaction He wants.

I think that is a standard Compatiblist view, and is a Choice-less Love ultimatley, as is discussed often on this blog.


And a Choiceless Love may work for you, but at bottom it is wholly alien to what we all know and taste real love to be, as we move between our children and wives/husbands and friends where there is that I-You which lives by Will, by Choice, and houses within it an intrinsic Open Door Out, thus avoiding slavery, or rape. And it is I think Un-Godly, for God has within Himself and in His Creation real choice.

Etc....

But then yours is one of the standard "rape" descriptions of God's Sovereignty etc...He comes to a life and manipulates the man's inner-stuff into an "inevitable choice" and He uses His "irresistable" pulls.


Such irresistable pulls leading to inevitable reactions in their Subject amount to a man raping a woman. There is no difference really that I can see. The woman needs to be able to refuse, to push away, otherwise, she is either an Automaton "designed to say yes" (temperment and features, as you say) or she is simply a Slave.


God has here either His designed Yes-Man who WILL say YES-SIR by the time God is through with him (manipulating as you say his inner temperments and features until His End is reached), or God has His Victim who cannot push Him away.


Both are void of love.
Which is why I mentioned this whole pattern in the compats' common view of things as being void of love, and, my reason for rejecting it.


God is Love. Once we lose that, we end in a Love-Less, and thereby God-Less arena.... Etc... which is the standard reaction from me here....


A reaction that is an "inevitable reaction" is not a chosen reaction, for it can't be otherwise. And, a Pull that is an Irristible Pull is a Pull which can't be refused. God is merely creating Yes-Men in your description of His acts inside their "temperment and features" which drive the man, "inevitably" and "irrisistably" into a motion. That is not Free Choice; it is simply an Automaton, a Choiceless Love, which, at the end of the day, is a Love-Less Reality.


Actually its a GOOD answer for the Compatibilist though....which of course I am not. For my view is that God gives us intrinsic Doors-Into and Doors-Out-Of Love's Embrace, and He does not Rape, but leaves this to be a very Real Choice by a very Real Agent with a very Real Voice. Scripture's Eden and Scripture's Pattern within the Triune and the [Necessary] process which must occur between an Un-Created-Self and a Created-Self lead us here.


I suppose if I get inside some girls head and manipulate some biochemistry with some pills, and a few electrical currents, and some more pills, until she actually ASKS ME to do it, then, well, she DESIRED ME, after all, so, it was her choice after all. This is what you have God doing to men and women everywhere. This is Rape.

LHRM

"But then yours is one of the standard "rape" descriptions of God's Sovereignty etc..."

Actually, this is not an accurate assessment. Considering that the author of life is thus, by definition, the owner of life, cannot be accused of "rape" of that which he owns, it is a gross mischaracterization of reality.

I should also point out that

"suppose if I get inside some girls head and manipulate some biochemistry with some pills, and a few electrical currents, and some more pills, until she actually ASKS ME to do it, then, well, she DESIRED ME, after all, so, it was her choice after all. This is what you have God doing to men and women everywhere. This is Rape. "

This example is in no way parallel.

Perhaps but the choiceless result is the same.... I took the girl and created in her a "yes sir", an atomaton. She never could have refused my irresistible biochemical pull. If We are just property that god does these things to then so be it but it is a reality of love and free choice for the man.....

It is a reality of love and free choice for the man that is lost in your description or your process....

LHRM

What do you mean by love?

Was it possible for Man to have eaten from the Tree of Life in Eden?

Is it possible for a man to grow wings and fly? Is God then denying us the choice to fly to keep us tethered to the earth while he allows lesser creatures the luxury of flight? Why not complain about that?
Answer the question: What do you mean by love?

Oh: Love = Triune. Like God.

You should look at this blog's title of "God's Free Will" at the upper left corner here....it's still on the page as of now.... it's an entire exchange on the whole choice/love/ etc thing. And on Eden etc....

I'll copy/paste from there.....

So Man was not given permission to eat of the Tree of Life in Eden?

And, again, you simply have described to us a God who owns Property and goes about manipulating their inner biochemistry until a set of appetites arise which drive him to eat of God's chosen dinner, and, then, you call it free choice.

This is fine if one believes it. But clearly man has no Agency, nor Choice, here. He is at best an Automaton, or, at worst, God's created Yes-Man. For God now goes about creating (programming irresistable appetites until they bite) these Yes-Men and surounding Himself with them, and He then, I guess, tells them He loves them and tells Himself that they love Him. But of course He programmed them to love Him, and so He has His Puppits sitting on His knee, telling Him what His Hand moves their mouths to speak.

This is all very robotic/ lifeless/ loveless.

Even a bit silly.

But, if God is for you this Property Manager and Puppit Master, then that is what it is, but I think describing it in this manner as I have is accurate.

Could man have chosen the Tree of Life in Eden?

Can man choose on his own, of his own agency (given to him by God) refuse God's irresistible pull?

I know my definiton of Love has in it Real Choice between Real Selves, and an Open Door In/Out of its Embrace, lest one rape, or program, another. I think clearly your defintion does not.

Again, I use the word rape on purpose, as I know its strong. But it is the [PROCESS].

Another word would be [PROGRAM], I guess.......

You say "Not parallel"?


You are mistaking what I said for something "I" would do. In other words, the word "I" in this next paragraph does NOT refer to me, but to GOD:

"If I get inside some girls head and manipulate some biochemistry with some pills, and a few electrical currents, and some more pills, and another flux of photons, and create in her a set of irresistable appetites for Me until she bites, until she actually ASKS Me to do it, then, well, she DESIRED me, and she desired in such a way that she simply [could] [not] [RESIST] [(irresistable)], and acted on it, so, it was her choice after all."


This is what you have God doing to men and women everywhere.

I call it [RAPE] or [PROGRAMMING] and void of Real Choice and Real Agency and Real Love and Real Personhood.

I call it a Puppet Master and His Puppets.

I think this is a technically precise description of the [process] you are positing.

LHRM

"Could man have chosen the Tree of Life in Eden?"

This is the wrong question to ask. You should be asking: Would it have been good, for man to have chosen the Tree of Life in Eden? There are good choices and bad ones and each of them carry their corresponding rewards and punishments. I think that the focus is way too sharp on the freedom of choice and far too unbalanced away from the direction of goodness. Unbridled freedom is like a car without breaks...it's a bad thing and pity the one who claims that it gives him the freedom to go around the curves at 130 mph. and ignores the consequences of this "freedom".

LHRM

It really doesn't ultimately matter what we both hold as a definition of love. What matters is how God defines it and Jesus made that pretty clear in John 21:17.

So God did not give permission to eat of the tree of life in eden? How does allowing man 2 or 3 or 4 or 10 choices take god out of the drivers seat?? Man is still confined by god's created choices......

Typo:

how does allowing,.....

should read: How does God allowing (giving) man 2 or 3 or 4 or 10 choices take God out of the driver's seat?

------


I think this is the error of the compatibilist. They think that if I say that God gave Man, in Eden, 2 or 10 choices (you may eat of ANY Tree except that Tree of Knowledge) (and the Tree of Life was clearly there) then they seem to think that I am saying God no longer has total control and accuse this view of "more than one tree to choose from" as being an act which gives man "UNBRIDELED" freedom, as Louis says.

Yet, in Eden, Man had MANY Trees to eat of and choose from among, and was to avoid but one.


In otherwords, if God gives Man more than One Option (there were many) then God cannot be in control for some reason.


But, obviously, there are no Trees or Paths in Eden which God does not afford/create. Therefore, it is IMPOSSIBLE for Man to make a choice outside of God's domain. God creates Reality, not Man, and so the many Trees God gives to Man were b/c God insists on [actual choice].

God actually gives Man [Real Agency].

What an incredible gift: Choice.


Man is Free to Choose, but his choices are [limited] by his Parent, who gives him many choices, and man has no ability to escape that play-pen, for God is in total control. His choices allowed by God are many, yet limited by God as well. He is both Free and Bound.

Choice IS given to the child, for he is being made in the Image of Love Himself.


For reasons I do not know, the compatibilist refuse to accept the Scripture's account of Eden.

Man making choices scares them I think. Perhaps they really are hiding from any accountability by going inside their own psyche and leaning on the notion that "God made me do it so it's all okay and I had no part in this mess" or something. I'm guessing but I just don't know why the Genesis account of Eden and its Trees and God's "you may eat" and all of that is simply discounted by the statement of "man had no choice in Eden and could not have eaten of ANY Tree except the Tree of Knowledge b/c that was God's Plan".

(God by the way says the reverse....Man may eat of ANY tree BUT ONE etc)

Clearly God has [A Plan] but His Plan houses within it all options in Eden. God is no fool, and He gives to Man multiple Trees for a reason. There is no such thing as something outside of God's Plan, for Reality is generated by God and no other. But, clearly, in Eden, PART of God's Plan was/is to give Man Real Agency, and, after all, when He says "Let Us create Man in Our Image" we need not be surprised, or frightened, by this, for that Image is Love.

LHRM

Imagine a world in which sin abounds and multiplies and man never dies. Would you want to live in a world with millions of Hitlers or Stalins? In such a world, hell might be a place to go to get some R&R.


LHRM

""Let Us create Man in Our Image" we need not be surprised, or frightened, by this, for that Image is Love. "

I don't think this is the case. If it were, then we know in what way we are like God. Since the bible explicitly denies this, it cannot be true. The image of God entails a lot more than Love and I think that the way we are like him entails more than that as well and I won't contradict the bible and pretend that I actually know in what way we are.

Louis,


We are not in God's image now, we will be later: after Man ate of the WRONG Tree, God put an Angel to block us from getting to the tree of life etc...and of course we are fallen/marred now so our "image" is very different than what it would be now if we had eaten of that other Tree. You ask me if I would want us to live forever in sin, but did you really not know that God blocked us from the Tree of Life once we fell??? I doubt you did not know that so I'm not sure why you would ask that. Did you think I did not know that perhaps? Well, we could have eaten of the Tree of Life in Eden (very clear in God's words to Adam) but, once we fell, well, that Tree was taken away from us.....but I find it hard to think you did not know this?????


And, God's Plan is, from the start: "Let Us make man in Our Image".


I doubt He will fail. After all, we DO find man eating of the Tree of Life ultimatley/finally (in Revelations). It's all housed within God's Plan, which has within it many parts, including many trees, and, Real Agency/Choice on the part of Man.

Image of God: "the bible explicitly denies this..."


Yes, and we are fallen/marred. And, in Revelations, God's Final Plan of "His Image" comes to its consumation, finally. So the Bible CONFIRMS that this is what things are heading towards, and are as of now not yet at. We will be in the Image of God who is Love, and who has Un-Created Choice within Himself, and a million other nuances to that Nature which, one day, we'll see, but which now, we do not see.

You DO seem to be denying the Eden account wherein Man was really given Several-Choices by God (many Trees) (but one).

That is the key point I think.

Why do you feel that God giving to Man many choices some how takes God out of the Driver's Seat?

It does not.

Man has no options but those given to him by God. God is in total control; it's just that PART of Eden's story is REAL/ACTUAL Choice/Agency given to Man by God. That is a key [part] of His Plan [also] and you seem to be uncomfortable with this, as if this somehow takes God out of the Driver's Seat.


Choice is a Good Thing, and a Thing clearly given to Man by God.

LHRM

"We are not in God's image now, we will be later"

I am utterly flabbergasted. Where do you get this stuff? The bible clearly states that God created man in his image. Where do you get the notion that the fall of man undid that creative act?

"You ask me if I would want us to live forever in sin, but did you really not know that God blocked us from the Tree of Life once we fell??? I doubt you did not know that so I'm not sure why you would ask that. "

You brought up the subject of God blocking man from the tree of life. I was simply responding to your comment by pointing out why God limited that option. As for the rest of the statement that Adam and Eve could have eaten from the tree of life prior to the fall, how do you know that God didn't know that they wouldn't or indeed how the whole thing with the tree of life worked in practice? There is so little about the topic to latch on to in the bible that it seems to me that giving it an inordinate amount of focus as you are doing, is straining at a gnat. The fact that it seems only to be mentioned in passing, should give you a clue to the level of importance God gives the topic. It seems to me that in his mind, it deserves but a passing mention and then we go on to more important stuff that deserves greater detail.
It seems to me that the Holy Spirit directs us toward Christ, not toward trees and this is a bit of a concern for me when it comes to your direction of thinking here. When I have conversations like this, I have to ask just what spirit is actually driving the conversation in this direction.

As you stated, we are fallen and indeed imperfect, but what makes you think that when Adam was created he was perfect, or Eve for that matter. Had they been, they would have been Gods and we know that didn't happen. Yet, clearly God created them in his image. What exactly that means is not yet clear. I think that Genesis 1:27 clearly states that he created man in his own image, though he clearly was not perfect in the same way that God is perfect and that is the standard of perfection that God demands. God said that his creation was good, not perfect after the creative act was accomplished. I think that is an important distinction that coupled with man being created in God's image gives a clear picture of what was what.

To be honest with you, I think you are over-complicating things.You almost sound like a programmer or an engineer in your approach and I don't think that the bible necessarily lends itself to that as being the best way to properly understand it.

Louis states:

"As I think I made clear before, God works in the life of the elect to change their desires in ways that resonate with their temperament and other features of their nature in a way that will lead them to the inevitable choice, that they freely make, to become the followers of Jesus. In other words, they respond positively to irresistible grace and the response is in the form of a free-will choice to become believers within the envelope of God's sovereign will."

What Louis is selling here is the form of determinism called "compatibilism". That is, that somehow we can make a free choice when that "choice" has already been determined by God. This only makes a strange kind of sense if the idea of a free choice is radically redefined. The "free choice" Louis is talking about is a choice with only one possible outcome.

Some choice.

Louis, I'm not buyin what you're sellin.

Jeff

I am not surprised you are not buying what I am selling. I am probably the only person in this whole country that is not a salesman. :)

You are free to do with what is offered as you see fit. But allow me to rephrase something you said in the way I would have put it.

"The "free choice" Louis is talking about is a choice with only one DESIRED outcome ON THE PART OF THE ONE MAKING THE CHOICE. THE OTHERS ARE DISCARDED BECAUSE THEY ARE UNWANTED BY THE ONE MAKING THE CHOICE."

So, other options are on the table as a very real option, but the nature of the individual dictates the only desirable/correct choice. It is the individual's nature that is always involved in free-will choice, be it a compatibilist or libertarian model and that is what marks it as such. The fact that God chooses his elect is clearly described in the bible as well. The alternative is that man remains in active rebellion against God and none are saved since our fallen nature deprives us of the ability to choose God and abandon our rebellion against him. A miraculous new birth must occur and we all know who is capable of miracles and it is not man.

Louis,

Your flabergasted:

You said: I don't think this is the case. If it were, then we know in what way we are like God. Since the bible explicitly denies this, it cannot be true.


I took this to mean that you were saying that my statement that we are to made into God's image was a false statement.....that is why I said we "will be" in His Image [without our current marred status]. Now we are marred etc...later we won't be, but of course we are made in His Image.


You still have not answered if you think God told man he is permitted to eat of every tree but one, and, in Revelations, Mankind is brought, finally, to that Tree of Life which in that book is celebrated as a kind of Final-Good or End to this amazing chapter and is a wonderful seen, yet you yourself tell us all to simply dismiss the Tree of Life and pass over it b/c it is of no consequence. It seems the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelations aims at getting us to that "point", and so I cannot as you say just "pass over it".

And, again, could man have eaten of it before the fall?

I know your usual hard determinism etc, but, I offer that Man had choices in Eden, and you do not, I guess.

"You may freely eat of any..." (except one...) coupled with what the Bible makes of the tree of life ultimately (HUGE CELEBRATION) I think debunk your analysis.

As for Hard Determinism where Man has no choice except for the Puppit you described:

Many hold that God set out to create Evil, and that God forces people to go to Heaven/Hell with no involvement of the created-person’s Will at all. Man has no choice, and, shockingly, God has no choices either. This is a kind of “Hard Determinism” and teaches that God planned on, and set out to induce/cause both the Fall of Man (Man had no REAL choice in Eden, he could not have eaten of the tree of life, it could not have been otherwise) and also that God does this because He is innately “Will” and has no ability in Himself to Choose what to do or say or create or etc. and so “it could not have been otherwise” (the fall of man, hell, everything). Whereas, others agree that “it can’t be otherwise” but use that phrase to mean Man has no options OTHER THAN what God gives to Him (two trees in Eden, not twenty) and these also hold that God ALSO has Real Choices within the Triune among My/Thy/Us as well as between God’s inner attributes. These also hold that the story of Eden in Scripture is actually true, and God gave His Created-Others (Lucifer/Adam) actual Choice. Both hold that “it could not be otherwise” but the latter group holds that God has Choices within Himself (Mercy vs. Justice) and so it can be otherwise based on His choices (bound by His Nature) and, that Man in Eden has choices, and so it can be otherwise based on Man’s choices as well (limited by what God makes available in creating reality). God is bound by His Nature, but within His Nature are many Good and Perfect Acts/Persons for Him to Choose/Honor, and, Man has options, but there is no such thing as an Option available to Man which God has not first Given, because Man does not make Reality, God does.


Many hold that God's Choice/Plan is to create, not Lucifer, but Satan, not Eden, but Fallen-Man, and, therein, Lucifer and Man had/have no Choice/Part in the matter, b/c God makes our Choices for us, rather than giving us Choice. He does not make Created-Others with Choice, rather, He makes Slaves for whom He makes Choices, although He Himself is unable to make Choices within Himself, for it "can't be otherwise".


Many hold this view. I do not. Many do not. Many, many, who know/taste Him, and who are not naive to scripture, see, find, a wholly different God.


Many hold to that [Choice-less Hard Determinism] of God/Scripture. Of course many others do not. We simply disagree. Hence the “spectrum” of beliefs. Some hold that God is unable, within Himself, to choose between Mercy and Justice, or any other choice between any of His innate attributes (Hard Determinism) while others hold that God is bound by His Nature, even limited by it, but, that within an unsearchable and Perfect Variety within his Nature, lives a whole collection of Perfect Options (and Persons/Triune) among which He Chooses/Moves Freely. He can move in Mercy, or Justice, and the Choice is His, for He rules them, they do not rule Him. He Has Choice, a Freedom to Act/Choose, and does this freely, and, also, He is bound by His Nature and cannot act against it.


The problem with all of this is that this spills over into how we view God interacting with you and I and all of His Created-Others in very significant ways.

God gives to Man in Eden Two Trees and tells Man to eat of the one called Life / of any tree whatsoever, but not of the Tree called Knowledge.


That is unmistakable in scripture.


Hence, we take God at His Word.

Man could have eaten of Life, then, rather than in Revelations. Either way Man WILL eat of that Tree called Life, for God's Plan will not fail. [God’s Plan will not fail, it can’t be otherwise, but, in Eden, are two roads for Man to choose from].


It could have been otherwise in Eden. Man could have chosen Other and not Self.


It could not have been outside of God's Plan, but it could have been, WITHIN God's Plan, otherwise. VERY otherwise.


But, once This-Now is chosen, then the entire Bible/History of God’s Infinite Plan in Christ becomes The-Real, and, one day, Man will again find himself in Eden, eating from a Tree called Life [God’s Plan will not fail].

Man again, in This-Now, before that New-Creation comes, finds himself in Eden between two trees, two choices. Christ restores him, frees him, creates him anew, and offers Himself again to him, His Beloved.


Back there in Eden we see God giving Choices. Real Choices, with different outcomes in The-Now, but not in The-Final-Good, to the Created-Other. God provides Choice because He makes Man in His Image, which houses a Voluntary Love Moving Among and Between Real Selves, within the Triune I, You, We/Us housed within Love/Him. God’s Love among His Thy/My/Us has Choice, Delight, Honor, Worth, and Real Voice, and so His Created-Other who will be created in That-Image has from the start this very Self/Other Movement.

Here we see God creating, not Satan, but Lucifer, not Fallen-Man, but Man, and, ultimately, either way, we see His Final-Good, Man eating of that Tree called Life. He rescues Man from both his own sin and from Satan, that rapist, and it is God who refuses to play the part of the rapist, for He is bound by His Nature and does not act against it. God is building Love, not Theater.

And, along side of Him, we find His Created-Others by His Design, by His Plan (and it cannot be otherwise than God’s Design) actually taking part, choosing, doing, even against His Will, which He permits, but does not force. God does not rape us. God is making Someone/Man in His Image even here, in This-Now, by This-Tree called Knowledge, for God’s Plan will not Fail. It cannot be otherwise. God is no fool; His Eden has all the bases well in Hand. God’s Plan. It will not be otherwise. He WILL build/create Man in His Image. Hell, Jesus states, was made for Satan and his angels. Man, God tells Adam, is to eat of that Tree called Life.

This approach takes more than one scripture and all in context, whereas, the Hard Determinist uses the one verse of "By Him all things that are made are made" and proceeds in building an entire theology on that one verse "at the expense of other scriptures" and ignores "God ceased from creating" and “hell is prepared for Satan” and incredibly the entire story of Eden and a host of context on Man's Choices and God's Will and a whole, huge, collection of other scriptures which paint wider, more full, pictures when all taken together. One-Verse theology creates a Choice-less, Mechanical Automaton God who rapes His Created-Others.


By building a whole theology on one verse, while ignoring others which balance it, which add to it, we see the reality that God is both Free/Bound within Himself to be at the end of the day sacrificed, and so the Blind, Choice-less Force of the Atheist's Gravity and the Hard-Determinism of a Choice-less God and a Choice-less Personhood are born and foisted upon us.

We agree that [it cannot be otherwise], but we disagree on the entire nature of that statement.


Many, many who are not naive to scripture, and who know/taste the Living God whose Name is Love, see, find, a wholly different God than the Mechanically Deterministic and Choice-less God who creates, not Lucifer, but Satan, not Eden, but Fallen-Man. Rather than that God, we find a God who does not rape, and whose name is Love, and whose Final-Good will not fail, who creates Man in the Image of Love, wherein the Voluntary Motion Among and Between Real Selves Freely takes place by/with Real Choice, Real Personhood, and Real Love. And we think these take a more balanced, more collective, view of the whole body of scripture. And, plainly, we think this reflects the Real-World and the Real-God we find before us.


God Is-Love.


Louis,

Allow me to re phrase what you say in a way I would say it....

"It is the individual's nature that is always involved in free-will choice ALTHOUGH IT ISN'T THE SOLE FACTOR IN THE CHOICE AND ISN'T DETERMINED BEFOREHAND BY GOD, and that is what marks it as such. The fact that God chooses his elect is clearly described in the bible as well, ALTHOUGH THE NOTION THAT GOD'S CHOICE CANNOT BE RESISTED IS NOT CLEARLY DESCRIBED, OR ACCEPTED BY ALL CHRISTIANS."

Everyone is a salesman, Louis.


Since you seem to think that God has libertarian freedom, can God choose to do evil?

I have already pointed out the inappropriate use of the word "rape" in this scenario as it is an abuse/misuse of the word when applied to God, but it keeps cropping up in the conversation.


BTW-One of the attributes of God is love and he has others.

Jeff

"Everyone is a salesman, Louis."

Hehe...Then you've never met anyone like me. :)
This is what comes with being brought up in a society such as this. As you say, everyone is a salesman made from the same cookie cutter. Sadly, you are sooo right.

The real question that we are tackling here is if salvation of an individual falls under the sovereign will of God or his moral will. It seems obvious to me that the bible teaches that we cannot save ourselves and therefore, it is not something that God expects us to do(salvation is not by works). This being the case and unless I am offered another viable alternative, I must conclude that it falls under God's sovereign will and from what I understand of the nature of God's sovereign will, it cannot be thwarted.

The real question that we are tackling here is if salvation of an individual falls under the sovereign will of God or his moral will. It seems obvious to me that the bible teaches that we cannot save ourselves and therefore, it is not something that God expects us to do(salvation is not by works). This being the case and unless I am offered another viable alternative, I must conclude that it falls under God's sovereign will and from what I understand of the nature of God's sovereign will, it cannot be thwarted.

I think I see the problem, and it is your definition of libertarian, which both of us feel is simply wrong/bad theology.

I probably more than you, beleive it or not, for such a view makes of God a Non-God.


I can I paint this....hhhmmm.... maybe this:

You seem to think that if God gives man choices, and lets man choose, then this is libertarain.

But it isn't. Because God is still in total control here. My child in his play pen has many options which I give him, and none which I do not give him. I'm in total control, and, I allow choice in that play pen.

The real question we are talking about is did God give Man choice in Eden?

Are you afraid of Choice in Eden as far as its effect on your image of what God is?

Can God give choice, and Real Agency, to His Created-Other and still be [GOD] in your view?


Is the idea of God giving His Created-Others Real Agency disturbing?


**Could Man have eaten of the Tree of Life before he fell?

**God told Man he could have.

**You tell us man could not have (I think).

**The case is settled.


You are not looking at two things:

1) Did man have choices given to him by God in Eden?

2) If so, how is this libertarian or how does this remove God from the Driver's seat when it is God and no other who creates those very choices and chooses to give them to man for His (God's) own designs/purposes?


You simply deny the account of Eden in Genesis, and you call that very account guilty of somehow removing God from the Drive's Seat, but of course you are wrong, for God is in total control, even though you seem to think He is not based on Eden's very clear account. You seem to think God's Choice to give Man Choice (which is clear in Eden's story) somehow gets God kicked out of the Driver's Seat and strips Him of total control.


But you have no basis to say this, and, clearly, God is in total control, and so your view of Eden's story is wrong. God DID give man choices in Eden, AND, that did NOT get God kicked out of the Driver's Seat.


You keep insisting that [IF] God gave man actual choice in Eden [THEN] God is not in total control (libertarian accusation by you). When, clearly, Eden shows us that God gives man real choices, and, God stays in total control.


Therefore you are wrong to equate the following set of equal-signs:

[God gives choices to man and lets him choose] = [God looses control] = [libertarian].


We agree that libertarian is wrong, but you define libertarian as God loosing control merely by giving man a set of real options and allowing man to choose.


That is not libertarian, Louis, b/c it is God who defines and controls the options, so ALL choices which a man can make are choices He (God) either wants/desires, or which He simply permits for His own designs. You MUST know that though?


Any Determinism which discounts the story of Eden, and God's actual words to Mankind giving Man the Freedom to eat of the Tree of Life (all/any trees) EXCEPT that one Tree called Knowledge, is a Determinism which denies Scripture.

God can [Cause/Force] is clearly allowed in Reality, as God is the source of All. Yet, God creates Man, not The-Fall, and God creates Lucifer, not Satan, and, He did not set out do create those monsters, but gave each their choice in the matter. We are actual Agents here. Shocking to some, I know. And, it appears, from Scripture, that He has [caused/forced] the existence of [Real Choice] among Real Personhoods who have Real Worth and Real Voice, wherein Real Love is birthed in the Voluntary Movement Among and Between Real Selves as is found within His Triune I-You and Singular-We.


Man does not have infinite freedom, but, based on Eden, he does have some options/freedom given to him, rather than just ONE-option. In otherwords, Causal-Determinism need not violate Man's Free Choice, and, in Eden, it could have been otherwise.


I simply believe Scripture/Eden account and therefore accomidate it into my theology.


Further, inside God, we there too find Choice among the My/Thy/We.


Further, inside God, we there too find Choice among His inner attributes wherein an unsearchable array of Perfect Actions lie and from among these He chooses (Mercy/Justice/etc) for He rules them and they do not rule Him; He is not a Blind Choicless Force, but rather is an Acutal Person with Actual Choice, and, therein, we see the "Why" of why He creates Man in That-Image (choice/love/ personhood/I/You /We/etc).


And, too, God is limited by His Nature. He cannot Sin. Etc.


Free. Bound. Both. Man and God are both Free/Bound.


There is no such thing as a choice in Eden which God did not first place there. And, b/c God seems intent on having man be a Real Person with Real Agency and Real Choice, and ultimatley be in the Image of Love Himself, then, [It could not have ever been otherwise].... choice WOULD exist.


It can't be otherwise. That is a true statement. Man never could have eaten of a fruit which God did not set in the Garden, and man could never have taken a path not put in Eden by God. But it is clear many Fruits, and many Paths, were given to man by God, and the choice was his, and so, man never could have done otherwise except to take of one of God's afforded options created in Reality. Which option, though (there were many) was left to a Real Person with Real Agency (man) to choose.

***Could Man have eaten of the Tree of Life before he fell?

***God told Man he could have.

***Some humans tell us man could not have.

****I think the case is settled.

Choice, it seems, is something God was intent on having in this Creation of His. Therefore, it never could have been otherwise: Real Choice would Exist.

Louis,

"it cannot be thwarted".

This is I think the honest description of what the Compatibilists [Determinists] seem to really believe..... God Programs. We are Programmed. We can't refuse.


*** We can't Thwart and shout, "NO!" [unless He programs us to do so]. There is no choice in this direction.

*** We can't Thwart and shout "YES!" [unless He programs us to do so]. There is no choice in this direction either.


God creates and programs His Yes-Men and His No-Men.


The Puppet Master and His Puppets.


Agent-less.
Personhood-les.
Love-less.
Robotic.
Programmed.
Automaton.


But the odd thing is you JUST spent a lot of energy telling me it "really really was free choice and not God forcing His automaton", so to speak.


But of course, we know that really is not the case in a Determistic framework, at bottom.

And, now, you settle for the real core of your theology: "It cannot be thwarted".

"If I get inside some girls head and manipulate some biochemistry with some pills, and a few electrical currents, and some more pills, and another flux of photons, and create in her a set of irresistable appetites for Me until she bites, until she actually ASKS Me to do it, then, well, she DESIRED me, and she desired in such a way that she simply [could] [not] [RESIST] [(irresistable)], and acted on it, so, it was her choice after all. So you see your Honor, I really did not do this to her against her will."


This is horrible, really. So loveless, so programmed, so robotic, so lifeless, so choiceless. So unlike what we know of the real God and of His real Creation, of even simply of love itself.

This is not love.

The other view, which I hold, and I must resign that you do not, is that the God who is Love is [BOTH] in total control [AND] also gives to His Created-Others a very Real Agency, and a very Real Worth, with a very Real Voice, with a very Real Choice, and moves such elements towards a very Real Love.

At the end of the day Man will be, finally, fully in the Image of Love Himself.

***Could Man have eaten of the Tree of Life before he fell?

***God told Man he could have.

***Some humans tell us man could not have.

****I think the case is settled.

Just skimming through the conversation, i wanted to comment on LHRM's statement that "We are not in God's image now, we will be later"

In Genesis 1:27 it is written:

"So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them." (emphasis added)

In His own image God created us--past tense. If, as LRHM claims, we are not in God's image now, then when did God revoke his image?

I have a few more question to throw in the mix:

Did Jesus choose freely to obey the Father?

Was Jesus constrained by his nature to obey the Father?

If Jesus had no choice in the matter, could he really have been tempted? (Hebrews 4)

Jesse I addressed that up above somewhere, in that we are made in God's Image, but we are obviously marred or fallen etc....

Or, the question is: We are in God's Image, yet we sin, and He "can't" sin. So, there is a difference (fallen/marred) etc. This does not revoke the creation, it merely marrs/falls the initial creation etc....[I've not arrived at the Image of Christ yet....have you or I?? Paul said he had not arrived at yet etc....work in progress etc....]

On the temptation of Jesus being either a Placebo Choice (can't say no) vs a Real Choice, there is about a 50 response/reply discussion of that whole topic on this STR site from me/others......let me go find it and I'll let you know where it is.

Jesse its over in a topic called "Gentiles Saved Before Christ" (a video) and it has I think a few hundred responses....part of which deal with Where and When God actually chooses to accept the pain of the Cross (before He even Creates). If you have time you can look through there.

If we offer that God has no ability to Choose within Himself from among His own inner array of Perfect Attributes (Mercy vs. Justice etc) then that is also addressed in that Topic AND in the Topic called "God's Free Will".

Jesus (God) can Accept/Refuse the Cross. It's His choice and no others, and within Him is no Sin, and therein the My-Will/Thy-Will/ Our-Will move without Sin, but, once He makes a Choice, the Choice is made, and it is settled in Him and is thus Reality. The manifestion of that to Man is down inside of Time, where Man lives, and God does not.

Was the Lamb slain from the foundation?

Or, was that choice/move made AFTER Gethsemane?

God tells us it was made [BEFORE] Gethsemane.


If you lookk at that fact, and then look at God's inner three My/Thy/Us you'll see that God actually chooses the Cross when He could have chosen otherwise.

But the Hard Determinism which says God is a Choiceless Entity who cannot choose within His own Self/Selves to show Mercy (which aborts Justice) or to show Justice (which aborts Mercy) and etc etc and so does one or the other without choice, as a blind force, like Gravity, that has great force, but cannot direct itself, etc. It think all of that / this is in those two topics: [Gentiles saved before Christ], and, [God's Free Will]......I'll copy and paste here if need be, but, really, a thousand words or more need not be RE typed LOL! =)

But, those are awesome nuances about God and Reality to look into. He is simply amazing.....Love Himself....

Typo:

Or, was that choice/move made AFTER Gethsemane

should read [IN] Gethsemane etc.

Jesus is with God before the world is (John 17)

Jesus is Word/God (John 1)

The Lamb is slain from the foundation [before Gethesemane].

Choice/Move/Act of Jesus/Go is back there, up there, when in the unsearchable Mind of the Divine such Acts are Known, Felt, Tasted, and Chosen from before Time. Not in Gethsemane.

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