Originally Posted by armourbearer
I am wondering if Rev. Winzer and J. Dean are saying the same thing as relates to chance and contingency.
Originally Posted by J. Dean
In PRRD vol. 3, Muller writes (emphasis mine):
Since it is possible for something to arise necessarily as far as the occurrence is concerned (quoad eventum), but contingently according to its manner of being produced (quoad modum productionis), future contingents can therefore be necessary according to the immutability of the decree (immutabilitatem decreti) and the infallibility of foreknowledge (infallibilitatem praescientiae), while remaining genuinely contingent in the secondary causality on which they depend proximately and immediately—which secondary causes are, by themselves, indefinite (per se indefinitae).
The Reformed also argue that God’s natural faculty of knowing and his unconstrained knowledge of events and things comprise all knowables, given that entities cannot be multiplied without cause: there is nothing that falls outside of the realm of possible and future existents (nihil enim est, quod non sit possibile aut futurum), which is to say that the categories of the possible and the actual are exhaustive. Nor is uncertain or indeterminate knowledge ever rightly attributed to God. Inasmuch as “God eternally knows himself and all possible worlds, he therefore knows whatever is knowable” and, since he knows all possible worlds as possible worlds, namely, as systems or concatenations of things in their relation and distinction, “he therefore knows all things distinctly and nothing confusedly.”
Is contingency a matter of perspective alone? It would seem from the above, given the exhaustiveness of the possible and the actual, that no contingencies exist within God's necessary knowledge, but, as noted by J. above, only man experiences contingency.
In other words, from God's point of view, is it, "if AMR does this, I, God, will do that" or "AMR cannot fail to this, as I, God, have decreed this thusly"?
Again, Muller, objecting to Gomarus and Walaeus of a scientia hypothetica:
If David had remained the night at Keilah, he would have been betrayed
(1 Sam. 23:9
]). Response: The text does not deal with an action that might, hypothetically, have occurred (de actione ex hypothesi futura)
, but with the plan and intention of the people of Keilah to betray David.
In other words, the text does not point toward a hypothetical future in which David remained the night at Keilah and then claim to know that he actually would have been betrayed rather than somehow delivered from betrayal: the betrayal at Keliah is not a hypothetical future event, but no event at all and, prior to David’s decision not to remain there, a pure possibility (belonging, arguably, to the divine scientia necessaria). And, as a possibility, the betrayal of David, had he stayed the night, is nothing more or less than an unfulfilled intention in the minds of the inhabitants of the village, in fact, a false proposition of futurition, rendered false by the fact that its eventuality did not belong to the ultimate will or providence of God.There is nothing prior to the decree but pure possibility: God’s decree establishes the order of things—it does not proceed from foreknowledge of the order.