My previous case for “middle knowledge Calvinism” (WTJ, 2007)

A draft of “Why Calvinists Should Believe in Divine Middle Knowledge, Although They Reject Molinism” (eventually published in WTJ 69 [2007]: 349-66) can now be read online at my web site.

Since I now believe that God knows counterfactuals naturally or necessarily (cf. my later conversation with Paul Helm), it might seem counterproductive for me to be publishing this earlier material now. But I still affirm a great deal that I said in this article, which acknowledged frankly that my primary interest was never in defending a middle “moment” in God’s knowledge, but was in demonstrating the immense usefulness to God of his knowledge of counterfactuals. This still needs to be said because major classic objections to the Calvinist appropriation of the concept of middle knowledge were actually objections to God’s use of his knowledge of counterfactuals in deciding which possible world to actualize. It also continues to be necessary to demonstrate that God’s knowledge of counterfactuals is not part of his free knowledge, logically following his decree, as Aquinas and some  Calvinists assert (see Part III of this paper).

Some of the serious objections which Calvinists raised with regard to the concept of divine middle knowledge will continue to trouble them with reference to my present model of providence (“hypothetical knowledge Calvinism”). These include: (1) the concerns that it makes God contingent upon the creature, (2) that the concept of future conditionals entails a measure of uncertainty in God’s knowledge, (3) that God cannot know an act certainly unless its certainty derives from God’s will, and (4) that God reasons discursively in reaching the decision of his eternal purpose. I believe that what I said in this article, concerning these perceived problems, can still be beneficial.

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