Foreknowledge and Free Will

Jason Dulle


You said in Time, Eternity, and Predesination: "Knowing something will happen is not the same thing as making it happen. God has a priori knowledge (before experience) about everything that will occur, but He does not write the script. It is like a stoplight. As I approach a red light, I have foreknowledge that it will turn green soon, but I did not, and cannot make it turn green. Someone else was responsible for that. Gods foreknowledge of future events does not determine the course of events, rather the course of events that will be acted out in the future by freewill determines some of what God knows about the future."

This is simple nonsense. Where in the Bible does it say anything about free-will? Where does it say that we choose God and not Him that Chooses us? Did the Bible not say that God is all knowing?



Foreknowledge is different than predestination, both in definition and concept. What I was describing is foreknowledge. There is a difference between knowing something beforehand and making that something happen. Whether or not God predestines all things or if there is any such thing as free-will is part of the Calvinisim/Arminianism debate which has gone on for centuries—a debate of which I am not willing to get into via email because of its complexity and vastness. Whether or not everything is predestined and there is no free-will or not, it still stands that foreknowledge simply means to know something beforehand, and does not necessarily mean that the event is determined. That is the lexical meaning. The theological considerations derived from other Biblical texts is another issue.

I do not know your position on the Calvinism/Arminianism debate, but is seems that you believe there is no such thing as free-will in any sense of the word. My comments that follow are based on this presupposition. This position was not the perspective of the Reformers. This is the position of determinism. This position is full of Biblical and philosophical mistakes. If there is no free-will at all, God becomes the author of sin. If that is so, and there is no human responsiblilty, then God has no true basis to give a just judgment on the souls of men. We cannot be held accountable for things that God determines for us. The Calvinistic (Reformed) position says that God predestines who will be saved, and that they will ultimately endure to the end, but there is still freedom of choice and human responsibility. If everything that happens in this world is predetermined and there is no free will or human responsibility, most of the Scripture ceases to have meaning.

About us choosing God, I agree that the Bible does not say that we choose God—at least not in the sense that it is apart from God’s grace to us. No one musters up faith to be saved. Faith is a gift of God. I do believe, however, that the Biblical teaching is that all can be saved, and that God reaches for everyone, not just a certain number of people whom He has predetermined. I deny, however, that any of us come to God by our own initiative or decision; He comes to us.

I also agree that God is all-knowing. I don’t see what this has to do with the subject at hand, however. As I wrote in my article, knowing everything is not the same thing as determing everything that will ever happen. There is no logical connection between omniscience and predeterminism. Although the two could go together, there is no reason to demand that they do. Surely one who determined everything could also know everything, but it is also true that one could not determine everything and still know everything that will ever occur.

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