how does foreknowledge presuppose necessity?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by rembrandt, Mar 2, 2004.

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  1. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    According to the Arminian scheme, God is said to foreknow contingent events based on peering into the future.

    Now Calvinists (atleast to my knowledge) say that God foreknows events based on the evidence of necessary events. That God knows these are going to determinately happen, so he is said to "foreknow."

    [quote:d3edd46684] Loraine Boettner says
    Foreordination renders the events certain, [i:d3edd46684]while foreknowledge presupposes that they are certain.[/i:d3edd46684][/quote:d3edd46684]

    Because according to Edwards, there needs to be certain [i:d3edd46684]evidence[/i:d3edd46684] to have a certain knowledge of the future.

    Now my question is, couldn't God atleast merely know (not necessarily the full connation of biblical foreknowledge) what will happen in the contingent future (pretending it is contingent) just by peering into it?

    Does God really need the evidence of "chain of events" to "know" the future or could he "know" it by his omniscience (presupposing that "chain of events" is not taken into account" )

    Now Edwards would say no in Part 2 Sect. 12 of "FOTW." But why? I read it but I don't think he really did justice to my question.

    I know that the Arminian view does not do justice to the concept of foreknowledge in the Bible, but in what way could the above hypothetical situation be proved wrong?

    Is God really dependent on these things to know the future? I know that he does not foreknow in that sense, but supposing all that is invalid (as the Arminians think), could he still foreknow based on the evidence of his own omniscience?

    thanks,
    Rembrandt

    [Edited on 3-2-2004 by rembrandt]

    [Edited on 3-2-2004 by rembrandt]
     
  2. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    God forknows the future [i:da84b5e0e9]because[/i:da84b5e0e9] He planned and forordained it.
     
  3. Bladestunner316

    Bladestunner316 Puritan Board Doctor

    I agree with PS:)

    God planned everything :)

    blade


    p.s. hey theres a new college group leader who started my first day at northshore hes pretty cool.Jan is a good preacher he talked about the two adams but I know he;s alter call arminian ech you know I would go to OPC bothell but my friends are goin here and its not so bad for the time being.plus I dont have a car
     
  4. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:fb96efe5d4]God forknows the future because He planned and forordained it.[/quote:fb96efe5d4]

    Yes, but as the Arminians suppose, could God foreknow the future because he is just peering into it?
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Puritan Board Freshman

    I tend towards the idea of God ordaining all things. His actions are not an afterthought in response to looking into the future and seeing what we will do.

    But really, the question IS, in a sense what are you going to DO ? ?

    The existence of a moral system given to us by God in no way limits our responsibility and necessity to live our own lives with intelligence and volition.

    Theistic existentialism recognizes the chaotic and ferocity in man, and presents it to God for forgiveness, healing, and strength. This is not an abdication of responsibility. In fact, God requires that we make choices, and he honors them.

    Arminianism is trying to answer the same question we are but they are beginning from themselves and not God.
     
  6. dswatts

    dswatts Puritan Board Freshman

    That in my mind makes Him appear to be nothing more than a fortune teller rather than the Sovereign Almighty Lord God of Hosts that He in fact is.

    Grace,
    Dwayne
     
  7. FrozenChosen

    FrozenChosen Puritan Board Freshman

    [quote:565b7e1332][i:565b7e1332]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:565b7e1332]
    [quote:565b7e1332]God forknows the future because He planned and forordained it.[/quote:565b7e1332]

    Yes, but as the Arminians suppose, could God foreknow the future because he is just peering into it? [/quote:565b7e1332]

    I suppose he could, if he were bound by time. A weak, shaky plank of Arminian/Semi-arminian thought is that very concept. To them, while they pay lip service to God's inability to be bound by anything, though they certainly believe he is. They have to.
     
  8. Craig

    Craig Puritan Board Senior

    [quote:0dcd794d2a]
    Now my question is, couldn't God atleast merely know (not necessarily the full connation of biblical foreknowledge) what will happen in the contingent future (pretending it is contingent) just by peering into it?
    [/quote:0dcd794d2a]
    I don't think so...well, not an active, biblical form of theism could. Now, a detached, deistic form could say this (but, foreknowledge and omniscience don't really play a big part in detached, non involvment on the part of that deity).

    I haven't read anything but sermons by Jonathan Edwards, but when you said:
    [quote:0dcd794d2a]
    Now Calvinists (atleast to my knowledge) say that God foreknows events based on the evidence of necessary events. That God knows these are going to determinately happen, so he is said to "foreknow."
    [/quote:0dcd794d2a]
    did you get that from Freedom of the Will? I find God needing "evidence" troubling. As Puritansailor said, God knows because HE has foreordained, determined what will happen....in every single detail.
     
  9. Canadian Baptist

    Canadian Baptist Puritan Board Freshman

    Aw, this is just evangelicals with weak theological stomachs (and minds) trying to cover for God all the time. We wouldn't want God to be seen as anything but nice and "dying to save everybody."
    The reason He foreknows is because in the mind of God (I speak of that cautiously) all things are already completed.--e.g. Christ slain from the foundation of the world.
    Prophecy, for example, is not God peering into history then telling what will happen. Prophecy is God telling what is already done in His mind and what is sure because it is predestined to happen in time and history.

    Psalm 115:3
    But our God is in heaven;
    He does whatever He pleases.

    :cool::thumbup:
     
  10. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:b4315f87bc]I haven't read anything but sermons by Jonathan Edwards, but when you said:

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now Calvinists (atleast to my knowledge) say that God foreknows events based on the evidence of necessary events. That God knows these are going to determinately happen, so he is said to "foreknow."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    did you get that from Freedom of the Will? I find God needing "evidence" troubling. As Puritansailor said, God knows because HE has foreordained, determined what will happen....in every single detail.[/quote:b4315f87bc]

    Yes that is what Edwards said in Part 2 Sect. 12 of FOTW. In order to back up his arguement that foreknowledge presupposes necessity, he says that there must be certain knowledge of those events. And the only way one can certainly know is by certain evidence.

    [quote:b4315f87bc] Edwards says
    That no future event can be certainly foreknown, whose existence is contingent, and without all Necessity, may be proved by thus; it is impossible for a thing to be certainly known to any intellect without [i:b4315f87bc]evidence[/i:b4315f87bc][/quote:b4315f87bc]

    [quote:b4315f87bc] more Edwards
    But if there be any future event, whose existence is contingent, without all Necessity, the future existence of the event is absolutely [i:b4315f87bc]without evidence.[/i:b4315f87bc][/quote:b4315f87bc]

    I had trouble with this because it [i:b4315f87bc]could[/i:b4315f87bc] be possible that a Deistic God could look through a "crystal ball" (as Paul said) just like a fortune teller could (which is all the Arminian god is).

    Here is a link to the full arguement: http://www.ccel.org/e/edwards/will/home.html



    [Edited on 3-2-2004 by rembrandt]

    [Edited on 3-2-2004 by rembrandt]
     
  11. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Canadian Baptist, that is the Arminian arguement for how God foreknows.
     
  12. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:96614fbb16][i:96614fbb16]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:96614fbb16]Yes that is what Edwards said in Part 2 Sect. 12 of FOTW. In order to back up his arguement that foreknowledge presupposes necessity, he says that there must be certain knowledge of those events. And the only way one can certainly know is by certain evidence. [/quote:96614fbb16]
    I think you need to read it a little slower next time :)
    Edwards is confronting the Arminian with an inconsistency in the Arminian view of forknowledge. The Arminian (Dr. Whitby) argued that divine forknowledge of future moral actions of men didn't mean that something else couldn't happen. And so Edwards for the sake of argument assumes this Arminian view in order to refute it by showing the contradictions.

    For instance, if the divine forknowledge knows an event, then it is based on the fact that it must happen or else he couldn't know it. And as such, if the Arminian view were held, there would be evidence to the divine mind that something was going to take place in order for Him to actually forknow it. And if this evidence is there, then obviously nothing else could happen because there is no evidence to tell the divine forknowledge that anything else would happen, or else He would forknow it to. So Edwards is not arguing for himself what you allege. He is assuming the Arminian view to show it's impossibility and it's contradictions.

    If you want to know Edwards true position, look further forward on his remarks about the decrees or read his treatise's and sermons on the decrees of God. Hope this helps you out.
     
  13. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    In the quotes above, I don't think that Edwards was playing with the Arminian scheme to show their absurdity. I am entirely aware that he does this in many other places in the section, but I don't think he is doing that here.

    [quote:90cb3ed89c]the quote I listed above (in part)
    That no future event can be certainly foreknown, whose existence is contingent, and without all Necessity, may be proved by thus...[/quote:90cb3ed89c]

    that is clearly his arguement, as he starts out with his own premise. Even based on the title and the first couple paragraphs can prove that (it is his own premise).

    And this backs up his own arguement:
    [quote:90cb3ed89c]But if there be any future event, whose existence is contingent, without all Necessity, the future existence of the event is absolutely without evidence.[/quote:90cb3ed89c]

    In what way would the Arminian ever want to start out with the premise that "NO future event can be certainly forekown, whose existence is contingent?"

    Maybe I'm missing something here...

    Rembrandt
     
  14. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:3f7df51fd9][i:3f7df51fd9]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:3f7df51fd9]
    In what way would the Arminian ever want to start out with the premise that "NO future event can be certainly forekown, whose existence is contingent?"
    [/quote:3f7df51fd9]
    Because this is how the Arminian defends free will in light of God's forknowledge. If what God forknows is not certain, then man is still free to "change" the future by his own volition.
     
  15. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    I didn't mean what "consistent Arminian" (open-theists) would think that. I mean what Arminian who thinks God does foreknow all things would say that God doesn't know what will happen. They assert that even though things are contingent, God still knows.
     
  16. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:c9627679e7][i:c9627679e7]I said (in regards to conservative Arminians):[/i:c9627679e7]
    They assert that even though things are contingent, God still knows.[/quote:c9627679e7]

    And Edwards seeks to overthrow the idea that God could foreknow if things were contingent (or atleast he says that he doesn't foreknow in that way).

    Essentially, he is overthrowing their idea of foreknowledge.

    Atleast from my understanding...

    Rembrandt

    [Edited on 3-3-2004 by rembrandt]
     
  17. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    We really need to define foreknowledge in order to further the discussion here.

    To the arminian, and all those with a faulty view of God's decrees, foreknowledge is thought to be God looking through time to see [i:06524331e2]events[/i:06524331e2].

    However, the use of the term (Romans 8:29-30 for instance), is clearly not an informational term. Foreknowledge does not refer to God's knowledge of events or information. It is not factual knowledge.

    That is important, because that removes the discussion of foreknowledge from the arena of God's omniscience and disables any arguments that the open theist might pose.

    Foreknowledge is not an informational knowledge, it is a [i:06524331e2]relational[/i:06524331e2] knowledge. Romans 8 is the perfect text to explain what it is God foreknew. He foreknew those whom He predestined. He foreknew, relationally, PEOPLE - namely the elect.

    It is not about what they do (events, facts), but who they are (it is a relationship). God foreknows ( "knows before" ) [i:06524331e2]them[/i:06524331e2].

    So the wrong definition of foreknowledge would read tlike this:

    "God, before creation, looked through the corridors of time and saw all that would (or could) happen."

    The correct definition of foreknowledge reads:

    "God, before creation, initiated a personal relationship with those He had chosen to know."

    To sum up foreknowledge, and as a quick review, this is from am earlier post of mine on the same topic:

    [quote:06524331e2]The word "Foreknow" is a verb...an action of God. He actively foreknew PEOPLE, not actions. This is personal, experiential, active, and relational.

    God said ,"Before I formed you...I knew you" (Jer 1:5). And in Exodus 33:17 He says "I have known you by name." He is not referring to data - ie. your name - but is referring to personal knowledge - He knows you. In Amos 3:2 He says "you only have I chosen." The Hebrew there for chosen is "known" and refers to having entered into a relationship.

    So then, if we look at Romans 8 we see the "golden chain of redemption" and understand that the Biblical term "foreknow" refers to an active personal knowledge - not a passive glance through time - but God actively KNOWS us, before time even began. As a result of that personal relational knowledge, God predestined us, called us at a point in time, justified us, and will glorify us.

    So does God know events before they happen? Yes. Is it by foreknowledge? No.

    He knows what will happen because of His decree and His sovereignty. He does not have to look through time to see what will happen. He stands outside of time in eternity and knows what will happen because He determined it all before the world began.

    In fact, foreknowledge is irrelevant to the decrees of God. He does not decree because He foreknew. His decrees are unconditional for His glory alone. [/quote:06524331e2]

    Phillip
     
  18. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:4935c98ae3][i:4935c98ae3]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:4935c98ae3]
    I didn't mean what "consistent Arminian" (open-theists) would think that. I mean what Arminian who thinks God does foreknow all things would say that God doesn't know what will happen. They assert that even though things are contingent, God still knows. [/quote:4935c98ae3]
    I was not talking about open theists. I was talking about the Arminians like Whitby, whom Edwards is arguing.
     
  19. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks fellas. puritansailor, I think I see what you are saying now.
     
  20. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    pastorway, I agree with you on your post. But Edwards is using "foreknowledge" here to talk about knowing [i:6bca76cea8]events[/i:6bca76cea8]. His great chapter on foreknowledge (prior to the one I am refering to) will demonstrate that.

    [quote:6bca76cea8]I think you need to read it a little slower next time[/quote:6bca76cea8]

    Okay, I spent awhile in the text in the past couple days. And Edwards is saying that Foreknowledge presupposes necessity. And his arguement for that is: God CANNOT know that which is contingent. Then he goes on to speak of evidences that are necessary.

    The two times that I quoted from him, that was his own arguement and not having anything to do with the Dr. yet.

    Rembrandt
     
  21. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:11ae7bbc40][i:11ae7bbc40]Originally posted by rembrandt[/i:11ae7bbc40]
    pastorway, I agree with you on your post. But Edwards is using "foreknowledge" here to talk about knowing [i:11ae7bbc40]events[/i:11ae7bbc40]. His great chapter on foreknowledge (prior to the one I am refering to) will demonstrate that.

    [quote:11ae7bbc40]I think you need to read it a little slower next time[/quote:11ae7bbc40]

    Okay, I spent awhile in the text in the past couple days. And Edwards is saying that Foreknowledge presupposes necessity. And his arguement for that is: God CANNOT know that which is contingent. Then he goes on to speak of evidences that are necessary.

    The two times that I quoted from him, that was his own arguement and not having anything to do with the Dr. yet.

    Rembrandt [/quote:11ae7bbc40]
    I'll read it over too. Can't at the moment though. I'm not at home :)

    [Edited on 3-4-2004 by puritansailor]
     
  22. AnonymousRex

    AnonymousRex Puritan Board Freshman

    What does Romans 8:28 say?

    Those he did [i:3bba69a182]foreknow[/i:3bba69a182],

    ...he [i:3bba69a182]predestined[/i:3bba69a182]...

    Clearly there is a link between God's foreknowledge and predestination. A god with absolute sovereignty would know what would happen in the future and order it accordingly. It's like building one of those Lego models. You already know what the final product will look like, and you build it thusly. The only difference between the subject of this analogy and God is that God requires no instruction manual.

    There may be contingencies with us, because we don't know what the future will bring, but there are no contingencies with God.

    AnonRex
     
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