This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Does God Foreknow Who Will Be Saved?

QUESTION: Does God foreknow who will be saved and who will be lost?

ANSWER: There are two answers, [1.] yes, but this foreknowledge in no way causes this ultimate fact. There is nothing causative in knowledge of things present, past or future. These divisions of time are an eternal now with God. The second answer is [2.] no; God knows only what is knowable. The non-existent is not knowable. The future free moral choices of men in probation are non-existent. This is the doctrine of the late Professor McCabe, who published a book on the Divine Nescience. Bishop Taylor and some others had the same opinion. It seems difficult to reconcile it with the prediction of future events which are decided by free agents. Moreover it greatly circumscribes omniscience and seemingly detracts from God's infinitude. For these reasons most theologians reject it, preferring the first answer.

Steele's Answers pp. 92, 93. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: The more things change the more they stay the same. Astute readers will recognize the first of these answers as Molinism, and the second answer as Open Theism — still the alternatives in Arminian Christian theology to this day — though Open Theism has gained increasing support. It is interesting to me that Steele can cite, even in his day, supporters of the Open Theist view.

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