Q&A: Foreknowledge and Foreordination

Foreknowledge and Foreordination

Is foreordination conditioned by God's foreknowledge of human choices?

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Answer

It really is important to see that in the most crucial passage where foreknowledge is mentioned, namely Romans 8, the text does not say that God foreknows what will happen but foreknows us; he foreknows the people themselves. And most scholars who look at those things from within the Reformed heritage understand rightly, in my view, that this is akin to knowledge of human beings that you get between a husband and wife, between God and his people. God not only knows his people, he foreknows them because he's the God who actually is before all things and stands over time. He himself is outside the time, space continuum. So, he not only knows us but foreknows us. In that sense you cannot appeal, it seems to me, to the foreknowledge of God to ground for ordination in a kind of conditional dependence on human decision in which God has had no say.

Answer by Dr. D.A. Carson

D.A. Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL, and Co-founder of The Gospel Coalition