45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
A great primer on middle knowledge,
This review is from: The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge & Human Freedom (Paperback)
William Lane Craig is one of Christianity's brightest philosopher and apologist. In The Only Wise God, Craig tackles the confounding and apprarent contradiction between freedom and God's foreknowledge. So, if God always knew that I was going to read The Only Wise God, then I could not do otherwise since God's foreknowledge necessitated my action. Yet, Craig argues that this isn't the case. Just because God knows I will do something, doesn't make that action inevitable. Craig argues that I could have exercised my ability to refrain from reading his book, and that if I had done such a thing God would have known this. Moreover, Craig deals with the three primary objections to the idea of God's foreknowledge and shows how all three of them are inadequate or deficient. For the serious student who wants to uphold the truths taught in the Bible, one must believe in God's infallible foreknowledge of the future.
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. Yet, the theological fatalist must grant that if God is totally sovereign and controlling every event in history that He is equally responsible for both the good and bad, and in the exact same way. Furthermore, there is no way to get around the oft mentioned notion that God is the author of sin since He is the first cause of everything and second causes only do what the first cause impels them to do.
Finally, Craig deals with the subject of how God can possess knowledge of all true events. Craig believes that God possesses this knowledge innately and that He knows all truthful propositions simply because He is God. In the last chapter, Craig explains the idea of middle knowledge which positis that God has knowledge of all counterfactual situations. Therefore, God knows what any individual will freely choose in any set of circumstances. Craig mentions the two biblical proofs(I Kings 23:6-13, Matthew 11) examined by the Jesuit theologians to prove that God has middle knowledge. Also, Craig shows how this concept grants God a wide degree of providential control over creation while allowing creaturely freedom at the same time. To prove that God does not possess middle knowledge, but only natural and free knowledge, opponents are going to have to refute Craig's arguments and show how the biblical passages do not apply to middle knowledge but to something else. The refutations offered by the likes of Reformed Baptist, A.H. Strong, and Francois Turretin are inadequate and do not stand up to Scripture. Turretin actually says that God does not know how individuals would have reacted in different circumstances, when in Matthew 11 Jesus obviously alludes to the fact that He does know just how they would have acted given a different situation. Overall, this is a strong work and one that will not be easily refuted since Craig's argumentation is very sound.
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Initial post: Dec 20, 2010 9:13:16 PM PST
Yuchen Zhuo says:
Great review, really appreciate it!
However, I just wanted to point out on thing: you say that one of the Biblical proofs is I Kings 23:6-13. I believe that this is an error. 1 Kings only goes to 22. I believe the two Biblical proofs are Matthew 11 and 1 Samuel 23:6-13.
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