decreed, and he foreknows it because he has decreed it. His decrees are eternal, and nothing that is eternal can be the object of foreknowledge. G.
F. Wright, in Bib Sac., 1877:723 ? ?The knowledge of God comprehended the details and incidents of every possible plan. The choice of a plan made his knowledge determinate as foreknowledge. ?
There are therefore two kinds of divine knowledge:
(1) knowledge of what may be ? of the possible ( scientia simplicis intelligentice); and
(2) knowledge of what is, and is to be, because God has decreed it (scientia visionis). Between these two Molina, the Spanish Jesuit wrongly conceived that there was
(3) a middle knowledge of things, which were to be, although God had not decreed them (scientia media). This would of course be a knowledge, which God derived, not from himself, but from his creatures! See Dick, Theology, 1:351. A. S. Carman: ?It is difficult to see how God?s knowledge can be caused from eternity by something that has no existence until a definite point of time.? If it be said that what is to be will be ?in the nature of things,? we reply that there is no ?nature of things? apart from God and that the ground of the objective certainty, as well as of the subjective certitude corresponding to it, is to be found only in God himself.
But God?s decreeing to create, when he foresees that certain free acts of men will follow, is a decreeing of those free acts, in the only sense in which we use the word decreeing, viz., a rendering certain, or embracing in his plan. No Arminian who believes in God?s foreknowledge of free human acts has good reason for denying God?s decrees as thus explained. Surely God did not foreknow that Adam would exist and sin, whether God determined to create him or not. Omniscience, then, becomes foreknowledge only on condition of God?s decree. That God?s foreknowledge of free acts is intuitive does not affect this conclusion. We grant that, while man can predict free action only so far as it is rational (i.e., in the line of previously dominant motive), God can predict free action whether it is rational or not. But even God cannot predict what is not certain to be. God can have intuitive foreknowledge of free human acts only upon condition of his own decree to create; and this decree to create, in foresight of all that will follow, is a decree of what follows. For the Arminian view, see ?Watson, Institutes, 2:375-398, 422-448. Per contra, see Hill, Divinity, 512-532; Fiske, in Bibliotheca Sacra, April, 1862; Bennett Tyler, Memoir and Lectures, 214-254; Edwards the younger, 1:398-420; A. H. Strong, Philosophy and Religion, 98-101.
Was this article helpful?