De Moor IV:39: Answering the Molinists, Part 2


Arguments from Reason

They Object, 2. Arguments; α. From the Knowledge of God extended to All Things; and so also to all Contradictories, of which one is always determinately True, the other false. But, since a matter of this sort, Future or Non-future, does not pertain to the class of Possible Things, to which the Knowledge of Simple Intelligence has regard; neither before the Decree was it able to be evident to God through the Knowledge of Vision: almost nothing else appears to remain, except that God knew the Truth of the Contradictory Futures or Non-futures before the Decree by a Middle Knowledge of this sort.


I Respond that, since all Futurition or Non-futurition flows from the divine Decree, it follows that no things are knowable as future or non-future before the Decree of God; but that before the Decree mere Possibility is applicable to those things: so that to this point all things are, and are known by God, only as such, concerning the positive or definite state of which, whether of Futurition or Non-futurition, nothing certain is or is able to be known yet.



β. From the Prudence of the Divine Decrees, which supposes an antecedent knowledge of sufficient Means: whence God before the Decree of Election through evident Middle and Condition Knowledge ought to have a Sufficiency of Means to persuade this or that one of the faith.


Responses: 1. The Sufficiency of the Means of Salvation depends upon the divine Power accompanying, which does not depend upon anything else: and so by the Knowledge of Simple Intelligence God from the inspection of His Omnisufficiency alone, before His Decree, knew to be possible by His own grace faith and the salvation of this or that one. 2. But God was not able to know the future or non-future faith and salvation of this one by these intervening Means, except with the Decree intervening concerning the granting of these Means to a man, and the adjoining of an efficacious blessing with them.


γ. Principally from the Liberty and Contingency of things, otherwise removed.



Responses: 1. By Middle Knowledge God does not remain Free: which is now better, that something be taken from human Freedom, or divine Freedom, if one or the other be necessary? 2. Through the certain Foresight of things without regard to Middle Knowledge, altogether removed is a Liberty of the creature that is conjoined with a certain absolute αὐτεξουσίᾳ, autonomous power, and an Indifference of this sort, whereby one, even with all things requiste to act posited on the part of the first Cause, is able to act or not to act. The dependent nature of creatures does not allow such a Liberty, and we readily confess that this Foreknowledge is destroyed by the Independence of the Creator. 3. If Middle Knowledge be certain Knowledge, it is not able to be reconciled with this omnimodal ἀδιαφορίᾳ/indifference of the human Will. 4. From the certain Knowledge of Vision of future human actions, which depends upon the determination of the divine Decree, the Necessity of the Consequent with respect to the first Cause follows, Hypothetical indeed; but no Internal Necessity of Consequence, or of Coaction, which sort alone hinders the Contingency and Liberty of the rational creature: compare below, Chapter VI, § 11, Chapter X, § 16, 17, Chapter XIII, § 13, in which the nature of Liberty and Contingency in created things will be treated at length, and it will be evident that the same ought not to be constituted in the absolute Indifference of the nations.



On § 38, 39, concerning Middle Knowledge, compare VOETIUS’ quadripartitam Disputationem concerning this argument, tome I, Disputationum Theologicarum, pages 264-399, compared with his Disputatione de Scientia Dei, § 6, 7, tome I, Disputationum Theologicarum, pages 254-258; likewise LEYDEKKER’S Dissertationem IV, after tome 2, Historia Ecclesiæ Africanæ, Section I, which is de Stoicorum Fato introducto in Christianismum per Scientiam Mediam, pages 643-666.

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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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