by Bob DeWaay
“Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me. Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’” (Isaiah 46:9)
“[A]lso we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.” (Ephesians 1:11)
In recent years, some evangelicals have rekindled an old controversy by asserting that God does not have exhaustive foreknowledge. That is to say that He does not know everything that is going to happen. This is an old controversy. For example, Jonathan Edwards devoted many pages of his famous book, A Careful and Strict Inquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions of the Freedom of the Will, Which is Supposed to be Essential to Moral Agency, Virtue and Vice, Reward and Punishment, Praise and Blame (commonly known as Freedom of the Will for obvious reasons). Edwards wrote:
First, I am to prove, that God has an absolute and certain foreknowledge of the free actions of moral agents. One would think it should be wholly needless to enter on such an argument with any that profess themselves Christians: but so it is, God’s certain foreknowledge of the free acts of moral agents is denied by some that pretend to believe the Scriptures to be the Word of God; especially of late.
This was the situation in the eighteenth century. Edward’s work on this issue is profound and timeless. He supplies page after page of Scriptural proof that God foreknows the future choices of free moral agents.
In this article I shall respond to a recent challenge issued in the book God of the Possible by Gregory A. Boyd. He writes: “What is particularly sad about the current state of this debate is that Scripture seems to be playing a small role in it. Most published criticisms raised against the open view have largely ignored the biblical grounds on which open theists base their position.” If it is so that published criticisms do not interact with the specific Scriptures put forth to support the “open” position, then I shall make a contribution toward rectifying this. In this essay I will interact with several of Dr. Boyd’s key proof texts, though space does not permit dealing with all of them. I shall show that the passages cited, if taken in their Biblical context, do not prove Dr. Boyd’s assertion that God lacks knowledge of some of the future.
Continue reading The Foreknowledge of God here.