Info

relation to the act itself as to its antecedents, and thus the difficulty is removed.? Even upon this view there still remains the difficulty of perceiving how there can be in God?s mind a subjective certitude with regard to acts in respect to which there is no assignable objective ground of certainty. Yet, in spite of this difficulty, we feel bound both by Scripture and by our fundamental idea of God?s perfection to maintain God?s perfect knowledge of the future free acts of his creatures. With President Pepper we say: ?Knowledge of contingency is not necessarily contingent knowledge.? With Whedon: ?It is not calculation, but pure knowledge.? See Dorner, System of Doct., 1:332-337; 2:58-62; Jahrbuch fur deutsche Theologie. 1858:601-605; Charnock, Attributes. 1:429-446; Solly, The Will, 240-254. For a valuable article on the whole subject, though advocating the view that God foreknows acts by foreknowing motives, see Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct. 1883:655-694. See also Hill, Divinity, 517.

(e) Prescience is not itself causative. lit is not to be confounded with the predetermining will of God. Free actions do not take place because they are foreseen, but they are foreseen because they are to take place.

Seeing a thing in the future does not cause it to be, more than seeing a thing in the past causes it to be. As to future events, we may say with Whedon: ?Knowledge takes them, not makes them.? Foreknowledge may, and does, presuppose predetermination. but it is not itself predetermination. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa, 1:38:1:1, says that ?the knowledge of God is the cause of things ?; but he is obliged to add: ?God is not the cause of all things that are known by God, since evil things that are known by God are not from him.? John Milton, Paradise lost, book 3 ? ?Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault, Which had no less proved certain unforeknown.?

(f) Omniscience embraces the actual and the possible, but it does not embrace the self-contradictory and the impossible, because these are not objects of knowledge.

God does not know what the result would be if two and two made five, nor does he know ?whether a chimera ruminating in a vacuum devoureth second intentions?; and that, simply for the reason that he cannot know self-contradiction and nonsense. These things are not objects of knowledge. Clarke, Christian Theology, 80 ? ?Can God make an old man in a minute? Could he make it well with the wicked while they remained wicked? Could he create a world in which 2+ 2 = 5?? Royce, Spirit of Modern Philosophy, 366 ? ?Does God know the whole number

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment