De Moor IV:36: God's Knowledge of Free and Contingent Futures



7. That God knows Free and Contingent Future Things is proven, α. From the passages and reasons whereby it was proven above that God knows All Things, from which general rule these things are in no wise excepted. β. Not only are these things not excepted, but the Knowledge of the same is expressly claimed for God in Psalm 139:2-4. Nothing is Freer and more Contingent than the actions of men, their words and thoughts; but God knows all things things beforehand from afar off, before they are: not their external actions only, although quite contingent, as to sit, to stand; but also the speeches of their mouth, indeed even the thoughts of their heart. Nay more, God claims this glory for Himself, even as a distinguishing mark, whereby He might be differentiated from Idols, Isaiah 41:22, 23, in which passage God’s argumentation ought to be founded on All and whatever Future things, which He foreknows and knows in order to foretell, even especially on Things Contingently Future; and thus at length He will conclude, and confound the Gods of the Gentiles, which in whatever way predict some things, yet do not know and are certainly not able to predict all things, much less all Contingent Things. But if you remove this Knowledge from God, you attribute to Him a knowledge no more perfect than the Socinians do; the argument, of which God here makes use on His own behalf against the Idols, will be quite weak: indeed, for this reason it will fail in this His conflict with the Idols. γ. And, that Free and Contingent Future Things are most certainly known to God, is irresistibly proven from the multifarious Predictions of the same. The vast number of Predictions of this sort, which without doubt have regard to Free and Contingent Future Things, could be exhibited: take, for example, Genesis 15:13, 14; 18:9-14, 17-19; 1 Kings 13:2; 22:17, 28; and what number of Prophecies regarding the Messiah are not of this sort, and similarly in the New Testament those that touch upon Anti-Christ? compare EPISCOPIUS’ Institutiones Theologicas, book IV, section II, chapter XVII, pages 299b-301a, opera, tome I. δ. In the Event those things are not able at length to become known to God without dependence, mutation, and successive augmentation both of His Knowledge, and consequently also of His Perfection and Essence. ε. Finally, since Free and Contingent Future Things were also determined by the Eternal Providence of God, they are not able to escape His Knowledge, who is intimately aware of His own actions. Certainly what is future is a thing that, although it is not yet, is nevertheless ordained to this, that it is going exist sometime; without which ordination it is no more able to be said that it is going to be, than it is not going to be. But now it is able to be no cause of its own futurition, since every future thing before its actual existence is a mere nothing. Therefore, every future thing requires some cause of its futurition beyond itself; divine Independence admits no other cause than the eternal Will of the eternal Being. Without which eternal Providence, whereby the divine mind, conscious of itself, already previously arranged the series of things, neither would any certain and wisely ordered connection of Existing things be able to be: compare HOORNBEECK, Socinianismo confutato, book II, chapter III, section II, pages 331-350; SPANHEIM, Decadum Theologicarum VI, § 9, number IV, opera, tome 3, columns 1232, 1233.


Hoornbeeck

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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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