Event Title

Divine Foreknowledge, Predestination, and Plan in Light of the Cross of Christ—An Evaluation and Proposal Regarding Models of Salvation and Providence

Presenter Information

Timothy J. Arena, Andrews University

Location

Seminary Room N310

Start Date

10-2-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

10-2-2017 9:30 AM

Description

This paper examines the data of Scripture regarding the nature of divine foreknowledge, predestination, and plan through a crucicentric methodological prism. This data reveals that God’s foreknowledge includes middle knowledge and natural knowledge, and that He uses His middle knowledge for providential and salvific purposes. God predestined the cross of Christ to atone for all sinners, but predestined particular individuals to salvation whom He foreknew would respond to His invitation and remain in faith. God’s providence is revealed in the cross event to be meticulous but not unilaterally determinative. Using His middle knowledge, God can providentially weakly actualize states of affairs while incorporating creaturely freedom. Every possible world is thus a confluence of divine and creaturely interaction, and as such involves innumerable decrees rather than only one which settles all states of affairs. The biblical data and its theological implications are explored for the purpose of both critiquing and affirming various elements of three prominent models—Calvinism, Molinism/Arminianism (alike in core elements that distinguish them from the other two models, but also differing at significant points), and Open Theism. The model advocated here resembles the Molinist/Arminian scheme, but not without suggestions for significant refinement of the former where they diverge.

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Feb 10th, 9:00 AM Feb 10th, 9:30 AM

Divine Foreknowledge, Predestination, and Plan in Light of the Cross of Christ—An Evaluation and Proposal Regarding Models of Salvation and Providence

Seminary Room N310

This paper examines the data of Scripture regarding the nature of divine foreknowledge, predestination, and plan through a crucicentric methodological prism. This data reveals that God’s foreknowledge includes middle knowledge and natural knowledge, and that He uses His middle knowledge for providential and salvific purposes. God predestined the cross of Christ to atone for all sinners, but predestined particular individuals to salvation whom He foreknew would respond to His invitation and remain in faith. God’s providence is revealed in the cross event to be meticulous but not unilaterally determinative. Using His middle knowledge, God can providentially weakly actualize states of affairs while incorporating creaturely freedom. Every possible world is thus a confluence of divine and creaturely interaction, and as such involves innumerable decrees rather than only one which settles all states of affairs. The biblical data and its theological implications are explored for the purpose of both critiquing and affirming various elements of three prominent models—Calvinism, Molinism/Arminianism (alike in core elements that distinguish them from the other two models, but also differing at significant points), and Open Theism. The model advocated here resembles the Molinist/Arminian scheme, but not without suggestions for significant refinement of the former where they diverge.