God’s Knowledge Requires Neither Passivity Nor Determinism

SBC Today | 10/9/2017 | Staff
catcrazy24 (Posted by) Level 4
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Calvinism teaches God knows what will happen in the future, including everything each person will do, because He has microscopically determined that humans perform such actions. He accomplishes this through decrees and endowing man with compatible moral freedom.[1] In very stark contrast, Extensivism teaches that God knows everything, including everything each person will do, but for different reasons.[2] Extensivists recognize Scripture presents the picture that God chose to create man in His image. This includes the ability to choose otherwise within the range of options God has established, also known as libertarian freedom, resulting in undetermined outcomes, which is ubiquitously evident in Scriptures reflective of choosing between accessible options. Given that God is omniscient and chose to so endow man, we can be assured that God has eternally known every choice that every individual will make; further, while libertarian freedom is a force, it is a force created by God, and therefore, an integral part of His creation/redemption plan and entirely under His sovereign rule.

His knowledge of such contingencies is not merely passive because He actively chose to create man thusly, always knowing every decision. This knowledge includes what He would permit and what he would contravene. He works in and through man carrying out His creative/redemptive plan which, at times, requires that He override the freedom of man. Consequently, God knows some things conditionally because He freely chose to know that way, but He also knows some things because He chose to cause certain events to happen by either contravening man’s freedom or causing them to transpire totally apart from man’s freedom. The former might be God doing something to stifle man’s freedom when it would otherwise thwart His comprehensive redemptive plan, like we see in His dealings with Pharaoh and King Nebuchadnezzar, whereas the latter could be exampled...
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