De Moor IV:36: Answering Objections to God's Knowledge of Free and Contingent Futures, Part 3


Foreordination, not Fatalism

They Object, 3. that from this follows an Absolute Necessity in things and in God Himself: see what things HOORNBEECK cites out of Crellius, Socinianismo confutato, tome I, book II, chapter III, section III, page 351. But our Author Responds well to this Objection also, that it is a Necessity of Consequence with respect to the First Cause, but not of Coaction, nor Intrinsic in the matters. And in this manner is sufficiently preserved, α. the Contingency of things; if the Causes that God by His predetermination has adapted to each thing are not according to their own nature Necessary and immutable, and cohere of themselves by no certain connection with the effect. For, to feign any other Contingency that that which would come to be referred in toto to secondary Causes, the Necessity of the first Cause, and His Perfection in understanding, and His Independence in causing, do not permit. Much less, β. from God’s certain Foreknowledge of Contingent Future Things does an Absolute and Fatal Necessity in God Himself follow. The very Socinians do not hold all things as equally Contingent; they acknowledge that many things happen that are said to be Necessary. They also acknowledge that many things have been certainly determined by God’s Decree, which things He executes in accordance with the same. But if this sort of Fatal Necessity in God does not follow from the many things necessary and infallibly determined by the Decree of God; neither are the rightfully able to conclude a Necessity of this sort, even if we should declare nothing Contingent with respect to God, but all things certainly determined by His power. That is, God has most freely determined all things by His Decree, and also most freely and independently executes all things according to the same Decree; but, since this Decree stands at once Immutable, from this flows the certain and infallible Knowledge of Future Things: see HOORNBEECK, Socinianismo confutato, tome I, book II, chapter III, section I, pages 321-325, section III, pages 351-358.


Nicolaus Arnoldi

Compare with this paragraph ARNOLDI’S Refutationem Catecheseos Racovianæ, on chapter I, de Cognitione Dei, question 12, § 49-64, pages 99-105. Disputing against the Socinians and Remonstrants, in favor of Foreknowledge of Free and Contingent Future Things in God, VOGELSANG is also to be read, Exercitationibus XII, § 47, pages 325-334.

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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