Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JOTGES 6:2 (Spring 93) p. 87
“Divine Control and Human Freedom: Is Middle Knowledge the Answer?” David Basinger, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 1993, pp. 55–64.
This is an excellent article dealing with the issue of divine sovereignty and human responsibility.
Basinger presents the case for a view which preserves both human freedom and divine omnipotence. That view is called middle knowledge.
The author defines middle knowledge by citing the leading evangelical proponent of it, William Craig: “Since [a God with middle knowledge] knows what any free creature would do in any situation, he can, by creating the appropriate situations, bring it about that creatures will achieve his ends and purposes and that they will do so freely …In his infinite intelligence, God is able to plan a world in which his designs are achieved by creatures acting freely (p. 60).”
Basinger then illustrates the concept with a very understandable and preachable story about wishing to get his six-year-old daughter to choose freely to read ten pages of a Dr. Seuss book between the time she came home from school and the time she went to bed. He pointed out that if he were omniscient he would know exactly which approaches to his daughter (time, place, tone of voice, etc.) would lend to her freely choosing to obey and which would not.
He even pointed out that this approach has the weakness that it is conceivable that no approach to his daughter would result in her freely choosing to read the material!
Basinger points out the various other views of the problem (e.g., theological compatibilism, determinism, and paradox indeterminism).
I strongly recommend this article. It is a fine introduction to the question of God’s sovereignty and human freedom.
The reader should be wary, however, since the author doesn’t indicate his view of the Gospel in the article. As he is a professor at a Wesleyan college, it is quite likely that he holds erroneous views on the Gospel (e.g., most Wesleyans believe that loss of salvation is possible).
Robert N. Wilkin
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
JOTGES 6:2 (Spring 93) p. 88
“Romans 8:28–29 and the Assurance of the Believer,” D. Edmond Hiebert, Bibliotheca Sacra, April-June 1991, pp. 170–83.
Dr. Hiebert is a gracious and godly man who, over the years, has penned many expositions of NT passages. He is Professor Emeritus of NT for the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fr...
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