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Reformed Faith


God's Foreknowledge

by Loraine Boettner

The evangelical Arminian acknowledges that God has foreknowledge, and that He therefore is able to predict future events. But if God foreknows any future event, then that event is as fixed and certain as if foreordained. For foreknowledge implies certainty, and certainly implies foreordination. The evangelical Arminian does not deny that there is such a thing as election to salvation, for he cannot get rid of the words "elect" and "election," which occur some twenty-five times in the New Testament. But he tries to destroy the force of these words by saying that election is based on foreknowledge, that God looks down the broad avenue of the future and sees those who will respond to His gracious offer, and so elects them.

But in acknowledging foreknowledge, the Arminian makes a fatal concession. Figuratively speaking, he cuts his own throat, for the simple reason that as God foresees those who will be saved, He also sees those who will be lost! Why, then, does He create those who will be lost? Certainly, He is not under any obligation to create them. There is no power outside Himself forcing Him to do so. If He wants all men to be saved and is earnestly trying to save all men, He could at least refrain from creating those who, if created, certainly will be lost.

The Arminian cannot consistently hold to the foreknowledge of God and yet deny the doctrines of election and predestination. The question persists: Why does God create those who He knows will go to hell? It would be mere foolishness for Him to wish to save or try to save those who He knows will be lost. That would be for Him to work at cross purposes with Himself. Even a man has better sense than to try to do what he knows he will not do or cannot do. The Arminian has no alternative but to deny the foreknowledge of God - and then he has only a limited, ignorant, finite God who in reality is not God at all in the true sense of that word. If election is based on foreknowledge, that makes it so meaningless that it becomes more confusing than enlightening. For even as regards the elect, what sense is there for God to elect those who He knows are going to elect themselves? That would be just plain nonsense.