"...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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    The Foreknowledge of God - Events or People?

    To know someone in the Bible is to have intimate personal knowledge of. This is a consistent way of expression all through the text of the OT and NT. So God is speaking of foreknowing a PERSON or PEOPLE, not foreknowing EVENTS. THOSE he foreknew. So its meaning in Rom 8 is pointing to those persons He first set his affection on ... "in love, he predestined them" as it also declares in Eph 1:4,5. In Romans 8 it also says "those he called, he justified." How many of those that he called did he justify, according to this text? ALL those he called, he it follows that all those he foreknew were justified.

    Second, the Scripture also uses this language to describe Jesus. "He was foreknown before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20). Does this passage allude to the idea that God knew beforehand what Jesus would do? It is much more personal than this. In the case of Christ, God’s foreknowledge was more than merely a prediction of what he will do. It would be rather strange and awkward to say the Father merely foreknew the coming of Christ. The Bible declares that Jesus was appointed to the office of Christ. And all circumstances relating to His coming were arranged in advance. History was made for Christ, not Christ for history. So it obviously does not have the same meaning synergists seem to think it does.

    Lastly, the meaning of foreknowledge used as "foreknow free decisions" only begs the question .. if God only foreknows people's acts and then chooses them based on them, and since his foreknowledge of future events is exhaustive even before they take place, then their decision could not be otherwise. It is set in stone. If God knows with certainty who will come and who won't before creating them, then why did he create them that way? This is a kind of impersonal fatalism rather than the personal determinism or a loving God. It must be true that all Christians recognize (1) that God foreknows the future exhaustively, and (2) that He has created the world knowing what the future will bring. For example, before the foundation of the world, God knew that Amy would make a free decision to become a Christian. Somehow, then, before Amy was born, God knew of his free decision. So even at that time, Amy's free decision must have been inevitable. Why was it inevitable? Not because of Amy's free will, for Amy was not yet born. Not because of God's predestination, because the synergist denies that possibility as a matter of theological conviction.. It would seem that the inevitability in question had some source other than either Amy or God. Something impersonal or worse.

    Posted by John on December 19, 2012 04:28 PM

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