Finally! Yesterday I finished The Woman Who Named God by Charlotte Gordon. I enjoyed some things about this book while others raised red flags and made me kind of iffy on this author. I guess any time a book causes me to have harder feelings against God or a man of faith such as Abraham the author gets categorized this way in my mind. Maybe that's my own immaturity and lack of wanting to see things differently. Do I want to view God and Abraham with rose-colored glasses instead of seeing them as they (possibly) more likely are?
Anyway, what do you think of the idea that God's "foreknowledge of events is not always complete"? At least twice the author presented God in this way. First in the situation of Sodom where it seemed God wasn't sure if He could find 50 - or even 10 - righteous people. And then again when he tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac. In the case of the latter event and based on Genesis 22:12,
12He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me," (emphasis mine)
Ms. Gordon writes,
"God underwent His own suspenseful ordeal: Would Abraham obey Him? Was He a worthy partner in their joint enterprise? Second, God needed to test Abraham's loyalties, exhibiting a strange insecurity as though He were a jealous lover doubting His beloved." (pg. 258)
In the chapter where she talks about the angels coming to visit Abraham with news that Sarah would have a son, the author says God misquoted or twisted Sarah's words although when I read the words from Genesis 18, I don't see that God's words were a twist at all. (pages 185+) Ms. Gordon said God lied, and while not everyone thinks small lies are necessarily bad, the Bible declares God cannot lie. At least Paul writes this to Titus (1:2). Or maybe Paul means only when God promises or makes an oath such as the writer of Hebrews declares in 6:18.
So what you do think? Is God limited in His knowledge of future events? Are there some aspects where He doesn't know what His creation will do because He offers them freedom to make choices (e.g. Abraham: to sacrifice or not to sacrifice). Does God lie on occasion? Are the New Testament verses about God not lying dependent upon whether or not He made an oath or promise?
To read more from this book, please see the following posts. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your opinion of things!
Abraham, Hagar, Ishmael & Marriage Choices
Abraham, Sarah, Canaanites & Ancient Egypt
"Rape in the Palace" -- Abraham & Sarah in Egypt
Relating Hagar to Jesus' Birth