Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views
Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views
Book Details
  • Publisher : InterVarsity Press

Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views

Beilby, James K.

$25.00 MSRP

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Recent discussion of divine foreknowledge has been fueled by the “open theism” debate. Open theism denies God’s exhaustive foreknowledge of the future and denies that God foreordains “whatsoever comes to pass,” that is, God does not eternally and immutably foreordain all events. Moreover, open theists maintain that human beings possess “libertarian” freedom, so that human choice occurs independent of both the divine decree and human nature. In terms of the logic of open theism, God’s foreknowledge is inconsistent with “libertarian” freedom. Why? God cannot in the nature of the case foreknow the future actions of free creatures since agents who possess “libertarian” freedom act without a specifiable cause for their behavior. As such, free acts can be known only after they have been performed. The four views represented here are: the open theist view (Socinianism) advocated by Gregory Boyd; the simple foreknowledge view (classical Arminianism) represented by David Hunt; the middle knowledge view (Molinism) defended by William Lane Craig, and the Augustinian-Calvinst view articulated by Paul Helm. Perhaps the best way to sum up the differences between these views is to point out that the Socinian, Arminian, and Molinist positions all deny divine foreordination and affirm “libertarian” freedom, whereas the Augustinian-Calvinist view affirms divine foreordination and a view of human freedom that is compatible (hence the term “compatibilism”) with divine sovereignty, foreknowledge, and foreordination. The articles in this volume represent the various positions fairly and are worth reading. - Jeff Waddington - Westminster Bookstore Staff
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Publisher Review:

The question of the nature of God's foreknowledge and how that relates to human freedom has been pondered and debated by Christian theologians at least since the time of Augustine. And the issue will not go away.

More recently, the terms of the debate have shifted, and the issue has taken on new urgency with the theological proposal known as the openness of God. This view maintains that God's knowledge, while perfect, is limited regarding the future inasmuch as the future is "open" and not settled. Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views provides a venue for well-known proponents of four distinct views of divine foreknowledge to present their cases:

Gregory A. Boyd of Bethel College presents the open-theism view, David Hunt of Whittier College weighs in on the simple-foreknowledge view, William Lane Craig of Talbot School of Theology takes the middle-knowledge view, and Paul Helm of Regent College, Vancouver, presents the Augustinian-Calvinist view.

All four respond to each of the other essayists, noting points of agreement and disagreement. Editors James K. Beilby and Paul R. Eddy introduce the contemporary debate and also offer a conclusion that helps you evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of each view. The result is a unique opportunity to grapple with the issues and arguments and frame your own understanding of this important debate.