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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « TULIP DVD: Let John Piper Teach Your Small Group | Main | Understanding Romans 10:17 by Pastor John Samson »

    Mockery, Eisegesis and the Foreknowledge of God

    What does the word "foreknew" mean in the New Testament?

    To actually stop and research the matter to find the answer was a difficult process for me. That is because, quite frankly, I had assumed what the answer was for the first 20 years of my Christian life. Yet in taking the time to pray, study and research the matter, I finally came to see what was staring me in the face all along. My traditions had blinded me to it. The fact is, we all have traditions and as one man rightly said, those most blind to their traditions are those who do not think they have any.

    Coming to understand the clear biblical message of foreknowledge and God's Sovereign grace in election has blessed my life immensely. I often meet people who share the exact same experience. Once blinded, now they can see the truth, and they find themselves seeing it on almost every page of the Bible.

    I am not reformed because of allegiance to a theology, or because I seek to interpret the text through a man made theological system. No, I am reformed because of my allegiance to the biblical text. I believe reformed theology because I believe this is what the Bible teaches.

    I was deeply grieved with the sarcasm and mockery expressed by a young opponent of reformed theology on the video below, but feel it is still worthwhile to post this because of the sheer weight of the answers given to the claims made against it. This is what comes through loud and clear. As Dr. James White explains, for the Arminian, the phrase "those whom He foreknew He predestined" (Rom. 8:29 is translated to mean "those whose actions of faith God foresaw - on the basis of those actions of faith, He predestined".... reading that boat-load of theology into that verb (foreknew) is a classic example of eisegesis. It is importing a huge concept that you are not deriving from the context in any way, shape or form. My challenge (to the Arminian) is to demonstrate where God ever foreknows actively, as an active verb, the actions of people in the future in this way." The fact is, it is impossible to do so. The correct meaning of the term is clear and it does not support the Arminian concept. - JS

    Posted by John Samson on June 23, 2009 11:33 PM

    Comments

    R C Sproul also adds how the golden chain represents an elliptical grammar. When Paul says "those whom He foreknew, He also predestined... these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called..." he means that God has the same set of people in mind in all 5 instances of "and these". An Arminian, by his logic, essentially implies that God foreknew "all", and then based on His knowledge of their future actions of faith, he predestined only "some". If he remains consistent, he would have to read the rest of the text as: that out of these "some predestined" another subset of them will be called, and out of the "some called" another subset of them will be justified and another subset of them will be glorified and so on. Obviously this is shooting himself in the foot.

    Also, by all this Eisegesis, an Ariminian casts a shadow on God's omniscience. Does not God know ALL things for him to sit and determine who will and who will not accept him?

    It is interesting how you say "it means" while there is clear distinctive difference between word foreknow and predestinate.

    There is also a sequence:

    1st foreknew,
    2nd predestinated,
    3rd called,
    4th justified,
    5th glorified.

    You can't be 5th before 1st nor 4th before 3rd, etc.

    This is not interpretation (..i say it means...) this is what is written and how its written.

    The sequence pattern becomes more clear if you look at:

    1Pe 1:2
    "ELECT ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE..."

    1Ki 11:34
    "
    Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:
    "

    Again there is clear sequence of events:

    1st David kept commandments
    2nd God chose him because of what he did

    By your interpretation it should go like this: " David kept my commandments because I chose him to do that"

    But it clearly isn't so.

    Why is it so hard for you to realize that god knows things in advance, without being the initiator of those things.

    You want to tell us that god was the one who invented evil in the first place.

    The kid was right to laugh. Maybe more right to cry.

    Slafko,

    Of course, forekowing comes before predestination and this is true in both the Arminian scheme and the Reformed one. God does not predestinate people He doesn't first know. The question though is what does the biblical term "foreknew" actually mean? The answer, is not merely to know actions ahead of time (although God certainly does know all things in advance). The point is, that is not what the word means. God foreknew Christ - and this does not merely mean He knew Christ would make the right decisions. It speaks of a foreknowing in intimacy and love. See: http://www.reformationstudycenter.com/foreknowledge.html

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