Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Divine Pinocchio

It's interesting to note that some Arminians have taken a view of foreknowledge and freewill which, among other things, posits that our actions determine God's beliefs. One philosopher expresses this view of freedom and foreknowledge thus:

The answer, we think, is that it is indeed sometimes within our power to determine what God believes. We do not thereby cause any changes in God, nor limit His omniscience, for it is neither change nor limitation in God that some of His states count as beliefs of what we do in virtue of our doing those very things. 'A thing will not happen in the future because God knows it will happen, but because it is going to happen, therefore it is known by God before it does happen.' as Origen said. This is, perhaps, what God's foreknowledge is all about.
Widerker, David. Religious Studies, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 19-28 (emphasis mine).

So, if God determines some human beliefs, that makes those humans into puppets. Man must be libertarianly free, and so woe to those who would dare take man down from his exulted place and try and remove his powers of creating events ex nihilo. Libertatrian freedom is so valuable that some would make God into the puppet, just so long as they get to keep their powers of libertarian freedom. However, if God remains "unpuppeted" in this scenario, then Arminians are compatibilists about God freedom in some cases. Thus, they wouldn't believe compatibilism necessarily rules out freedom, losing the principle objection to Calvinism.


  1. "This is, perhaps, what God's foreknowledge is all about."

    I think it's all about intimacy, and affection, which is what the word "yada" [know, knew] in the Hebrew indicates at times.

    "I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord." Hosea 2:20

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    and before you were born I consecrated you;
    I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jer. 1:5

    "For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." Rom 8:29

    I tell my Arminian friends that the Lord loved you before the foundations of the world...personally. I say, "He loved you, Dave. Think of how you love your wife, your children, your Mom, or Dad. You love them by name. There name is important to you, and they are affectionately thought of. God knows us like this."

    What an incredble and unbelievable truth and promise! It truly humbles me. It blows me out of my spiritual socks!

    God sent His beloved Son, the incarnation, Immanuel; and Jesus lived on earth for His Father and took the cup of suffering and excruciting pain for our sins, so that His Father would be glorified, and also because He loved the Father, AND also because He loved us, His elect.

    Why did He die? For the glory of His amazing grace and mercy of His Father and Himself, AND because He loved us.

    Why did Christ love us? We'll never understand that. But we can believe it, and rejoice and be the happiest people on planet Earth; we should be hilariously happy.

    Have a joyful Lord's day in His love and truth.

  2. Donsands,

    I understand where your're coming from, but the sense of foreknowledge used in this particular context of dialog is broader.

  3. "this particular context of dialog is broader."

    It's a huge subject to be sure. I have a lot to learn, and it's great to come to Triablogue. You guys are good teachers, and you dig for the deep things of the Lord.

    God foreknows all that shall come to past, and we all agree on this, except Open Theists.

    Every bullet in every war strikes exactly where the Lord knows it will; and ordains it will.

    One bullet hits a soldier in his head, the soldier right next to him never gets shot. And on and on. Are these bullets randomly being fired, or are then going exactly where the Lord wants them to?
    Or does He simply become involved in certain bullets that He knows are going to be fired in a way He doesn't desire?

    Or it could be every cancer cell in this world, or every spider bite, or mosquito who transmits malaria?

    It will always be a deep truth that God is sovereign and our free will is not.

  4. Who is the quote attributed to?

  5. I forgot to put it in, sorry, it's in now.

  6. How did you determine Widerker was Arminian? I was under the impression he was Jewish although I am open to being shown otherwise.