Thursday, December 15, 2011

Middle Knowledge in Scripture

One of the criticisms I repeatedly hear of middle knowledge is that it’s a philosophical system rather than scriptural. Now the two scriptural pillars of middle knowledge are the many passages saying men choose and the many passages saying God is in control. Middle knowledge reconciles the two.


However, there’s no shortage of the passages more directly supporting middle knowledge – those passages showing that God’s knows what we would choose under different settings. It’s not as if scripture limits middle knowledge to the famous examples of David in Keilah or the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon. Here’s a list of passages showing God does know what we would choose in various circumstances : Deuteronomy 28:51-57, 1 Samuel 23:6-10, Ezekiel 3:6-7, Jeremiah 49:9, Obadiah 1:5, Matthew 11:21-23, Matthew 12:7, Matthew 23:27-32, Matthew 24:43, Luke 16:30-31, Luke 22:67-68, John 8:39, John 8:42, John 14:28, John 15:19, John 18:36, 1 Corinthians 2:8, Galatians 4:15, and 1 John 2:19.

Some may still protest this fall short of a full-fledge systematic presentation. Well show me the scriptural full-fledge systematic presentation of supra or sub lapsarianism or the Trinity or your brand of eschatology.

10 comments:

Francis Turretin said...

A) Even William Lane Craig admits that these passages fall short.

B) But even if his authority were on their side, these all speak to God's knowledge after the decree - which is not middle knowledge.

Godismyjudge said...

Hey TF,

A) Yes, two of the passages (Ez 3:5-6 & Matt 11:21-23) seem to move against WCL's particular theory of trans-world damnation so he takes another (and in my opinion mistaken) view of those passages.

B) That assumes choice and voluntary actions are compatible with determinism. I don't assume that and see good reason to think that's false, implying the contradiction that we can and cannot do otherwise.

God be with you,
Dan

Francis Turretin said...

As to your (A), it is possible that such is his motivation. He does acknowledge that early advocates tried to use those passages. On the other hand, you almost make it sound like he's trying to remove unhelpful passages rather than trying to develop a Biblical doctrine.

As to your (B), no it doesn't assume that. God's knowledge after the decree is not middle knowledge under a simple foreknowledge view, for example.

Godismyjudge said...

A) people can arrive a locations via different via's. Just ask Hubner. When WCL defends trans-world damnation, he is going above and beyond defending middle knowledge. He might be referring to his whole system when he says it’s cannot be proven from scripture.

In any case, you certainly wouldn’t accept his whole point - that neither Calvinism nor his system can be established from scripture.

B) simple-foreknowledgeologians hold to 'the decree'?

God be with you,
Dan

Francis Turretin said...

Regarding (A), I would find it surprising if WLC would use MK to refer only to his specific version when denying that it is taught in Scripture.

I obviously don't accept his error that Calvinism isn't taught in Scripture. My reason for mentioning his position is that I'm surprised you are trying to step out beyond him and claim more than he does.

Regarding (B), "the decree" for each position means something different. Nevertheless, God's knowledge now is God's knowledge after the decree.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

One the one hand, I do think Calvinists jump the gun on just how decisive scripture is. On the other hand, I sometimes think WLC drags his foot on deciding what a passage means. I find the scripture quite clear on LFW, which implies counterfactual knowledge is middle knowledge.

God be with you,
Dan

Francis Turretin said...

One problem is that any time you see a choice, you read LFW into it. But what is the actual definition of LFW as contrasted with CFW?

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

Here are some links to my discussions with Paul and Steve on this topic.

http://www.arminianchronicles.com/2009/07/my-final-post-on-choicedeterminism.html

http://www.arminianchronicles.com/2009/02/capstone-on-choice-debate-with-paul.html

If you really want to get into it, I am game. We could debate via blogs or verbal or whatever.

God be with you,
Dan

Francis Turretin said...

Sounds good. I may be responding to something from WLC soon, which should provide some counter-point post from blog. If you would like to debate by Skype, we may be able to arrange that as well.

Godismyjudge said...

Good deal. Skype would be fine. The resolution: Libertarian Free Will is Biblical. Your call on the format (i.e. speach length, cross ex times...)

God be with you,
Dan