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The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge & Human Freedom Paperback – January 13, 2000
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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.
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. God has in fact created a world with an optimal balance between saved and unsaved - and those who reject Christ would have never accepted Him under any circumstances.
My head and my heart were greatly affected by this book. I love Dr. Craig's writings! His book "Hard Questions - Real Answers" is another favorite.