Saturday, May 2, 2009

Predestination, The Elect, Free Will...Contradiction?

The well-prolonged debate regarding the alleged conflict between predestination and free will is often examined while completely disregarding the foreknowledge of God (1 Peter 1:2). The Molinistic philosophy is plausibly one of the most accurate descriptions to date, which is most contemporarily advocated by philosopher William Lane Craig, logically explaining the compatibility of free will ("optional love") and preordination ("forced love") without contradicting the concept of a loving God.

The wisdom of God is both crafty and omniscient, thus retaining 3 types of knowledge: a natural, middle, and free knowledge. It is vital to remember that his wisdom is beyond time, and by this, he already knows, predetermines, and owns his elect before formation in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5); however, man remains "freely" accepting of the gift of salvation in a time-bound, contemporary sense. Philosophically, the 3 knowledges are commonly defined as:

1.) Natural knowledge - God's knowledge of all possible truths, logic, and moral truths.

2.) Middle knowledge - God's knowledge of counterfactuals, or what a person would do during any given situation.
3.) Free knowledge - God's knowledge of the creation itself.

Contrary to popular belief, there is a compatibility between predestination and free will when referring to a God with knowledge that is not governed by time or duration due to the idea that omniscience does not entail manipulation, rather it entails precise measurement.
"Theological fatalism" can at times seem to be counterproductive when not discussed among firm believers. This is not an implication that it is invalid, however, God is "too simple to be simplified" into philosophies that may spiritually exclude the potential of any individual accepting the gift of salvation. Regardless, divinity for the sake of the simple-minded is beautiful. One is bound to make doctrinal mistakes, and in like manner, even the greatest thinkers have and will be wrong at some points. Those theological assertions you write, say, or live by that you later feel foolish about, it means God still lives in you enough to tell you that they were indeed foolish. By mistakes you know you are alive.

I also want to make it clear that while no one should ever cease the will for understanding, when these controversies are continuously debated among great intellectuals for centuries no matter the supposed veracity of any given logic, the ultimate conclusion does not appear to be provable. The Bible thoroughly imparts what is necessary for salvation and to teach The Law of Faith - one is saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Kierkegaard once said, "If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe." A solid answer to everything is not necessary.
Blurry concepts influence one to focus, but postulated clarity influences arrogance. Hence, in the flesh we are not expected to precisely explain with absolute assurance the more seemingly complex ways of God without God-given revelations, nor can we take such authorities as to say who is not capable of salvation when all are simply instructed to confess and be saved.

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