Monday, September 10, 2007

Calvinism and God's Omniscience

I recently ran across a post by an Arminian who believes that God's omniscience is a reason to reject Calvinism. He writes, "If the only way for God to know the future is to foreordain the choices and actions of his creatures, then God is not omniscient nor has the ability to be." There appears to be a hint of logic in that statement, but it falls apart under close examination.

As Creator of all things, God is, by definition, the Creator of everything that has been known, is known, and will be known. And as Creator, he is either sovereign over all creation or he isn't. I believe he is, and herein lies the nature of God's omniscience.

If something is foreknown to take place, then it must be foreordained. Otherwise there is the possibility that it might not happen. Put simply, God sees not just a particular future event, but everything leading up to that event. We can logically conclude that if the path is not already determined for a particular event to take place, then it cannot be foreseen, and there would exist the possibility that God could be wrong -- and that is an impossibility.

The only way around this dilemma is to admit that God does "foreordain the choices and actions of his creatures" in such a way that he is able to bring about all that he foresees. But that cannot be reconciled with Arminian free will.

If anything, God's omniscience is yet another reason to embrace Calvinism!


Anonymous said...

Justin says...

I like to put it in algebraic terms:

If God perfectly knows that I will do X instead of Y before I do X, is there any possibility in my disrupting God's perfect knowledge? If no, then how am I equally free to choose Y instead of X?

Anonymous said...


Your free will cannot be more sovereign than God's free will. Also you can only choose that which your nature is capable of choosing.

Let me illustrate: I frequently go to fast food restaurants and ask for something that they do not sell, asking for Tacos at KFC. I get strange looks, and am told nicely that they don't sell Tacos.

It is similar with human nature. We can only choose what is on the human nature menu, but we are free to choose anything on that menu.

John 3:16 states that whoever believes in Him, can be saved. The issue is that natural man cannot believe as it is not on his menu.

Anonymous said...

Justin says...

Canjamerican, I totally agree with you. I am sorry if I gave the impression that I hold less than all five points of Calvinism as laid out in the Bible.

You are free to see for yourself, just visit me at my blog

In His grace,

Anonymous said...

It is known as indeterminate foreknowledge. God can have absolute knowledge of the future, while not determining the future. We can discuss this further if you wish.

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