of knowing. On the assumption of ?a real time, it is hard to find a way out of this difficulty? The doctrine of the ideality of time helps us by suggesting the possibility of an all embracing present, or an eternal now, for God. In that case the problem vanishes with time, its condition.?
Against the doctrine of the divine nescience we urge not only our fundamental conviction of God?s perfection, but also the constant testimony of Scripture. In <234121>Isaiah 41:21, 22, God makes his foreknowledge the test of his Godhead in the controversy with idols. If God cannot foreknow free human acts, then ?the Lamb that hath been slain from the foundation of the world? ( <661308>Revelation 13:8) was only a sacrifice to be offered in case Adam should fall, God not knowing whether he would or not, and in case Judas should betray Christ, God not knowing whether he would or not. Indeed, since the course of nature is changed by man?s will when he burns towns and fells forests, God cannot on this theory predict even the course of nature. All prophecy is therefore a protest against this view.
How God foreknows free human decisions we may not be able to say but then the method of God?s knowledge in many other respects is unknown to us. The following explanations have been proposed. God may foreknow free acts:
1. Mediately, by foreknowing the motives of these acts, and this either because these motives induce the acts, (1) necessarily, or (2) certainly. This last ?certainly? is to be accepted, if either: since motives are never causes, but are only occasions, of action. The cause is the will, or the man himself. But it may be said that foreknowing acts through their motives is not foreknowing at all, but is reasoning or inference rather. Moreover, although intelligent beings commonly act according to motives previously dominant, they also at critical epochs, as at the fall of Satan and of Adam, choose between motives, and in such eases knowledge of the motives which have hitherto actuated them gives no clue to their next decisions. Another statement is therefore proposed to meet these difficulties, namely, that God may foreknow free acts: ?
2. Immediately, by pure intuition, inexplicable to us. Julius Muller, Doctrine of Sin, 2:203, 225 ? ?If God can know a future event as certain only by a calculation of causes it must be allowed that he cannot with certainty foreknow any free act of man; for his foreknowledge would then be proof that the act in question was the necessary consequence of certain causes, and was not in itself free. If, on the contrary, the divine knowledge be regarded as intuitive, we see that it stands in the same immediate
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