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The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge & Human Freedom Paperback – January 13, 2000
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About the Author
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At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, I first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded my life to Christ. I pursued undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 I taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time we started our family. In 1987 we moved to Brussels, Belgium, where I pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming my position at Talbot in 1994.
I have authored or edited over thirty books, including The Kalam Cosmological Argument; Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity, as well as over a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology, including Philosophia Christi, The Journal of Philosophy, New Testament Studies, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science.
My CV can be read here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=curriculum_vitae
Publication list: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=publications_main
Top Customer Reviews
In addition, Craig also refutes logical and theological fatalism. Craig demonstrates that logical and theological fatalism have many aspects in common and the only factor that differentiates the two is that theological fatalists have thrown God into the equation. Some previous reviewers have chided Mr. Craig for interacting with D.A Carson's book, Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility because they feel Craig's arguments are inadequate. First, the book is very short in length, only 151 pages, and second the purpose is not to conduct a point by point refutation of Carson's work. The point is simply to show that in the Bible God's causation of good actions and evil actions are described differently, and that God is not directly the cause of sin.Read more ›
Chronologically, God knows ahead of time whether or not Jones will cut the grass on Saturday.
But logically, Jones chooses of his own free will whether or not he will cut the grass on Saturday, and God's foreknowledge is based on Jones's free choice. In other words, God didnt force Jones to cut the grass on Saturday. But He knew what Jones would freely choose, and based on Jones's choice, God writes this day in His book (Psalm 139:15-16).
By the way, if Jones decides to go golfing on Saturday, then this would prove that God foreknew something different than what we thought He foreknew!
The bottom line is this: Just because God knows what we're going to do ahead of time doesnt mean we MUST do it. We choose to do it of our own free will, and God acts based on what He knows of our free choices ahead of time.
Craig also shows how fatalism and determinism are flawed in their denials of free will. He stresses that God knows about all possible worlds and all possible humna decisions and what they would or wouldn't do in certain circumstances. Craig calls this middle knowledge. He references 1 Samuel 23 and Matthew 11:20-24 as examples of this.
He also deals with the question of why would God create a world where some people would use their free will to reject Christ? Why not create a world where no one could reject Christ?
Craig replies by noting that there is apparently no possible world in which all persons would freely choose Christ.Read more ›
To get a sense of the question one could take an argument such as the following:
1. God knew that you were going to read this review today
2. God's foreknowledge is infallible
3. You will read this review today
An implication of this argument, if true, is that divine omniscience and freedom may not be compatible. This conclusion is not particularly appealing from either theological or commonsense perspectives. From a theological vantage point it seems unlikely that the sense of individual responsibility inherent in most religious traditions could exist independent of individual freedom. Whereas from a commonsense perspective freedom appears to be an all too obvious brute fact - you could have chosen not to read this review.
Some theistic commentators have attempted to get out of this box by advocating a type of open-theism wherein does not know all future facts. From the Christian perspective, however, the majority position is that God does possess infallible foreknowledge - hence the original dilemma remains. Further complicating this is the related question as to the nature of time itself (is it tensed or tenseless) and God's relationship to time (is he in time or outside of it).
Craig takes a view of time known as presentism (only the present exists) and argues that divine foreknowledge and freedom are compatible. In doing so, he uses an approach credited to Luis de Molina known as middle knowledge.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't believe in middle knowledge, but this is the best defense of middle knowledge I've ever read.Published 5 months ago by Greg Bahnsen Burner
William Lane Craig redefines omnipotence to be less than having power over all creation, hence has a different God. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Walter
While I would lump my views of salvation and providence with the early reformers, I found Craig's views as a Molinist very interesting. Read morePublished 10 months ago by colby helms
This is an excellent work which almost works the mind as WLC's other work Time and Eternity which is great as well.Published 13 months ago by Danny
If God knows the future, and what he knows will infallibly come to pass, how can human beings have genuine free will? Read morePublished on November 4, 2012 by Tom Farr
If you are an intelligent layman, pastor, or even a professor reading outside his area of specialization, I recommend this book enthusiastically. Read morePublished on May 9, 2012 by Mark E. Deardorff