Foreknow

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Robert Snow, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
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    It has been stated here on the BB:

    "For-know = intimate relationship of God from eternity past with ones He chose to show grace/love to"

    Yet there is no proof even though this has been questioned by many.

    How do you Calvinists know that this is not referring to the ones who will exercise their freewill and accept Christ?
     
  2. Johnv

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    The word "forknowlege" is our imperfect attempt explain how everything is fixed from time immemorial. God doesn't exist in a timeline, therefore concepts like "foreknowlege" do not apply to Him.

    The same thing apples to the idea of God imparting salvation based upon a person's action. Since God does not exist in a timeline, "cause and effect" does not apply to Him.

    This apparant inconsistency is so only because we humans are limited to an existence on a linear timeline, which we cannot escape while constrained to a mortal earthly existence.

    Mainline Calvinism does not absolve man's responsibility to accept the gift of salvation as offerred.
     
    #2 Johnv, Jan 14, 2010
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  3. The Archangel

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    Considering your rather snotty and unbecoming response to me yesterday, I considered not responding to your question. However, I recently replied to someone on another thread and that answer would be perfect here.

    Your above question, however, does deal with an inaccurate caricature of Calvinism. We do, without a doubt, claim that man must freely accept Christ. We believe God makes us free (through regeneration) to choose Him. We believe that God does not drag the unwilling into faith. Rather, God makes the unwilling willing and they freely and eagerly flee towards Him.

    Here's my answer to your question re-posted from here

    The meaning of the word is not finally determined by the lexicon. Rather, the lexicon helps us see what the author had in mind but context is the ultimate determiner of meaning.

    For example: I can say the word "Run" and ask you what I am meaning. You might guess that I'm thinking of running for exercise, running to the store to get dinner, scoring a run in a game of baseball, etc. However when I use the word run in a sentence you will know what I am intending to say: On the way to church Sunday, my wife got a run in her stockings.

    Greek (or any language, for that matter) is the same--how the author uses a word gives us the greatest clue to what he is intending to convey to us the reader.

    In the case of "foreknew," the Apostle Paul uses it in two passages in Romans

    Romans 8:29-30--29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

    Romans 11:2--God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.

    In both of these cases, Paul uses the same exact word in the same exact construction. In Romans 11:2 it is obvious that "foreknew" is an antonym to "rejected." Paul is using these words as opposite. After all, it makes absolutely no sense to say "God has not rejected his people who He saw would believe." If God saw they would believe, there would be no need to discuss a possible charge of rejection. To take Paul's use of "foreknew" in Romans 11 as "to see who would believe" is to create a non-sequitur in his line of argumentation. So, Paul's usage of this word means "choose."

    When we get to Romans 8:29-30 we have to employ Paul's same meaning--the word, again, means choose. Furthermore, the grammar of the passage speaks of people, not their actions. For example: The word can't mean "God saw their belief" or some other variation. Why? Because God is the subject (which isn't a problem) who acts on believers (which also isn't a problem). The problem comes with the 5 verbs--foreknew, predestined, called, justified, glorified. These verbs are the actions God does to us and these verbs are all Aorist (which is giving a "snapshot" of God's activity).

    It makes no sense to define foreknew as "seeing who would believe," because it is based on our actions, not God's and that goes against the simple grammar of the passage. Furthermore, those who hold that "foreknew" means "to see who would believe" cannot apply that type of passive action to God in the verbs predestine, called, justified, glorified. The action in the verbs predestine, called, justified, and glorified is active and it is God who is doing the action. Who is it that predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies? It is God and He does so actively, which is to say He justifies the ungodly...He doesn't merely see that they would someday be justified.

    What is more, all of these verbs--along with God being the subject and acting on believers--show an action on persons, not mere knowledge of their actions. In other words, Paul is not saying that God saw that people's actions were predestined, called, justified, or glorified. Rather, Paul is saying that people themselves are predestined, called, justified, and glorified. So it must be the case, then, that people are "foreknown," not their future believing actions. Therefore, it must be that the word cannot mean simply "knew beforehand."

    It is uninformed at best and disingenuous at worst to suggest that this word means "know beforehand" because those who hold to that definition would not apply the same passive meaning to the remaining verbs in Romans 8:29-30. Therefore, it is those who take the word to mean "know beforehand" who are actually reading their presuppositions into the passage. The text is clear and the word means "choose."

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  4. annsni

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    That could absolutely work with God knowing all of those who will trust in Christ in the future.

    However, that doesn't work with "predestined". If it's the God knew who would come to Him in the future, that's not predestination. That's just foreknowledge.
     
  5. OldRegular

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    Excellent response Archangel, not that it will change anyones mind.
     
  6. zrs6v4

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    If foreknowledge only meant God looking into the future then...

    - predestination would mean that God ordains the destinies of people based on their decision to turn to Christ as His time plays out. This would contradict Romans 9:11 as it shows that God elects based on nothing but His own will. This is exactly what Paul says in Ephesians 1:1-14 namely verse 11 when Paul states that everything is orchestrated after God's will rather than man's will.

    So if foreknowledge meant that God destines people based on something they did, then Romans 9 and Ephesians 1 would be wrong, which is of course not possible.

    So obviously this debate comes to a doubled edged sword and we either fall off on defending man's will being determinant or God's will being determinant.
     
  7. Jon-Marc

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    God's foreknowledge is what allowed Him to know who would and who would not accept Him and His Son. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son." Romans 8:29a

    Some say that God predestinated some for heaven and some for hell, but that is only because He KNEW who would accept Him and who would reject Him. He did not randomly choose us or reject others. He KNEW we would accept Him, and He KNEW that others would reject Him.

    There is nothing hidden from God who knows all, sees all, and uses that foreknowledge to determine His plan. He loves everyone--but especially those He KNOWS will accept His love and forgiveness.
     
  8. kyredneck

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    That is the whole intent of distorting the truth of the meaning of the term by the synergists/free-willers/arminians-to deny the sovereign grace of God and make the sovereign will of man the determining factor with man's eternal destiny. Otherwise, their soteriology begins to crumble.

    The problem in a nutshell is that the synergists/free-willers/arminians simply cannot accept the right of the potter over the clay. They say to do so makes God a monster.
     
    #8 kyredneck, Jan 14, 2010
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  9. Skandelon

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    Augustine says: "There can be no predestination without foreknowledge; but there can be foreknowledge without predestination."

    I happen to agree with him on this point. God can foreknow a man's faith and even know that man intimately and thus love him intently, but not necessarily predestine his choice to be a disciple of Christ.
     
  10. Rippon

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    There are those that the Lord knows (going to Heaven) and those He has never known (those going to perdition).

    God knows no one intimately who will not spend eternity with Him.
     
  11. webdog

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    While I agree with your premise (we are on the same side of the fence in regards to God's omnipresence), I disagree that calvinism does not absolve a man's responsibility, as calvinism is a doctrine that is linear (like arminianism). That is why I can be neither.
     
  12. webdog

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    To quote rbell... PISH TOSH. What a bunch of bullhockey...
     
  13. webdog

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    I believe it is foreknowledge from man's perspective...simply knowledge from God's. He foreknew His own because He existed before we were born and at the moment of faith...AT THE SAME TIME. We don't understand that, and there is no word or phrase for that, so we must use linear language.
     
  14. Robert Snow

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    I apologize. :love2:
     
  15. Robert Snow

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    Is it not possible that the ones God has predestined are the ones who will accept the gift of salvation?

    Very well put! The order is first foreknowledge, God knew who would accept Him, then predestination, He sees that those, His elect, follow through to glorification.
     
    #15 Robert Snow, Jan 14, 2010
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  16. OldRegular

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    And their characterization of GOD, who died for them who redeemed them, as a MONSTER is perhaps the saddest thing about their response. Not only is it sad but it is blasphemous.
     
  17. Amy.G

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    That is not true. We do not characterize God as a monster. We believe the Calvinist doctrine characterizes God in that way. Big difference.
     
  18. OldRegular

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    :applause::applause::applause::applause:
     
  19. BaptistQuestioning

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    Hello,

    I'm new. Just reading through the discussions.

    Interesting comments.
     
  20. DHK

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    Perhaps I could say the same thing. But it doesn't make me God.
     

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