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De Moor VI:3: The Existence of the Decrees

The Existence of the Decrees, 1. the Scripture presupposes, so many times and in so many diverse terms making mention of this Act of the divine Will, as was seen in § 2. 2. It is proven:

α. A Priori, by consideration of various divine Perfections, for example, a. the Freedom of God; which requires that God not depend on anything outside of Himself, but all things depend on God; which would not hold, unless the futurition of those things had been determined by an altogether free Act of the divine Will. b. The consummate Perfection of God, which requires his eternal and independent Omniscience; but this in turn would be taken from God, unless the certain futurition of all things was known by God from eternity by Act of His determining Will. Likewise, the consummate Perfection of God requires that He work all things with perfect wisdom; to which it has regard, that He works all things according to the Counself of His Will, which He settled before the production of things: since it is not wise to do anything, without first settling definite reasons for it before beginning, and without forming the scope and order of the intention concerning it. c. The Immutability of God also comes into consideration: supposing that He, not decreeing from eternity concerning the futurition of things, must certainly undergo change, if He, being about to do anything in time, takes counsel in the arena: or if He finds it necessary to obtain a knowledge of things from another source, things He had not known from eternity by the force of His own Decree.

β. A Posteriori the Divine Decrees are proven, a. by the certain Futurition of Things, which with God’s Independence preserved is not possible, except it be by divine Decree. For, if you ascribe Futurition to something, this involves a connotation of some Causality, whereby what is not hitherto is going to be at some point. This requires us to ascend at last to the cause of causes; as future things depend upon it with respect to reason, so also with respect to knowledge and will. For, if you should be unwilling to admit an Act of a determining Will, which according to its good pleasure made a selection out of possible things, and of those determined some things for futurition instead of others; but you hold the very Omnisufficiency of God as the Cause of futurition: what then will be the reason why the full number of possible things do not also become future things? b. The Infallible Prescience of all future things from eternity by God is also especially worthy of being added, proven in Chapter IV, § 36. Now, if this Prescience is going to be worthy of God, it ought to know those future things of itself: but, if God knows of Himself what is going to be, He ought also to contain the very foundation of futurition in Himself: but no such foundation can be conceived in God, besides this good pleasure of the divine Will, by the force of which these or those things, which He knows to be future, He would know to be future because He knows that He ordained those things for futurition. But, if God did not of Himself by the force of His own Decree foreknow future things, but from another source; then by that very thing things outside of God and their destined nexus would be independent, but God would have to be thought dependent in His Knowledge: compare MARESIUS’[1]Decadem Assertionum theologicarum, § 7, in Sylloge Disputationum, part II, page 222.

[1] Maresius, or Samuel Desmarets (1599-1673), was a French Huguenot minister and polemist. He held various ministerial posts, and served as Professor of Theology at Sedan (1625-1636), and at Groningen (1643-1673).

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
17 feb 2022

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