Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Games Calvinists Play to Keep the System Breathing: Exhibit A - Foreknowledge

The Bible is plain.  If the five points of Calvin are taught by the Bible, that will be obvious.  If these are so important, which you can see they are to Calvinists, this should be easy.  And then you read what they write, looking for that smooth flow of biblical argument, the points fleshing right out from the text. You don't get that.  You won't get that.  It's not there.

Nothing illustrates this better to me than what a Calvinist will foist on you with the meaning of "foreknowledge."   What does foreknowledge sound like to you?  That's what it means.  No, for the system to work, foreknowledge can't be foreknowledge to a Calvinist, but it must be fore-action and fore-love and even predetermination.  So it is.  Not because it is, but in order to keep their system afloat.  For all the dots to connect, foreknowledge can't mean foreknowledge, but what they say it means instead.  So for whatever number of moments or eons you need to, you've got to blank out on the meaning of foreknowledge and replace it with a new definition that defies clarity and meaning and honesty.  It's no wonder that during and shortly after the reformation, Calvinists killed people for not accepting what they taught. Coercion was their best hope of persuading anyone.

OK.  I'll say it.  Foreknowledge means to know ahead of time.  I feel like I've just insulted your intelligence, because the word is one of the easiest to define in all the English language.  The word literally defines itself.  But I needed to give you the definition, because it's not what Calvinists say it means.  They contort it like Stretch Armstrong.

Calvinist:  "You've got to understand.  Um.  "Know" is intimacy, like Isaac knew Rebekkah, soooo, keep that in mind, foreknowledge, is to fore commit an intimate act with someone.  You just got to know that.  And now you do, so just replace that old definition in your head every time you get to this word. So there we go."

Give me the stupid pill.

The Greek word translated "foreknowledge," like the English translation, is a compound word -- prognosis -- and the verb form, proginisko.  Gnosis is "know" and pro is "before."  There is not one example or usage in the New Testament, the Greek Old Testament, or in secular Greek literature, that is, anywhere, where it means anything different, where it could be marked to mean what Calvinists read into the word.  That's why lexicons say it means "to know beforehand" or precognition.  It is nothing more than precognition. The lexicons say it means to know ahead of time because that is how it is used every time.  That would be to allow the evidence to lead you to the truth.  I hear the same Calvinists all the time say that's what they do.

Election can't be any bigger than what it is in the Bible.  Election is in the Bible, so it is big.  But, again, it can't be bigger than what it is in the Bible. In the Bible, it is choosing.  The doctrine of election is that God chooses.

Very, very big with the Calvinist, however, is "who is the deciding factor in salvation."  I'm going to say the answer is God, since the Bible says He chooses.  So, even if man chooses, man still doesn't get saved unless God chooses.  And man can't even choose God without God revealing Himself to man and convicting him, essentially enabling him to believe, so He gets the credit for all of it, all the glory. It's by grace that man is saved.

Calvinists though tell us that if God chooses ahead of time those who believe in Him, that makes man the decider (recent article on this) and not God, and that's no good.  Alright, I get it.  I get it.  But why is this "decider" issue a big issue?  Is this a biblical issue?  Does the Bible make an issue of "who is the decider?"  I see this as just a rhetorical flourish from Calvinists, and it does get your attention. "Hmmmmm, who is the decider?  Yes.  Good point."  But it's a red herring,because it isn't even a biblical issue.  All it does is box God into a Calvinist system.

What should matter is if someone believes in Jesus Christ.  That's what Jesus said (John 3).  Let's say that I believe in Jesus Christ, and I think I was the decider.  Am I now not saved, just for thinking I decided?  Does my being the decider nullify my salvation because it was my deciding and I've got to believe that I didn't decide in order to be saved?  This "decision" language is an addition to scripture, like adding intimacy to foreknowledge is an addition to scripture.  Scripture doesn't say anything like, "You can't even believe you decided, or it's a work!"  Calvinists do this in order to keep their system intact.  The Bible will not fall apart under scrutiny.  It is supernatural.  Calvinism falls apart under close (or less than close) examination and questioning.

Just a moment back to the foreknowledge point.  For Calvinists, foreknowledge has to be an action other than in the mind or from the mind to fulfill this "decider" issue.  Yet, scripture says "elect according to foreknowledge" (1 Peter 1:2) and it keeps predetermination or predestination separate from the meaning of foreknowledge.  Foreknowledge is knowledge or knowing something ahead of time.  Foreknowledge and predestination are two separate issues. Calvinists say that elect according to foreknowledge means that God elected ahead of time by lovingly deciding for someone that He was going to be saved.  And then later in time when his life arrived, he had to believe because God had already decided He would.  The Calvinist will say that's necessary to ensure salvation is monergistic as opposed to synergistic.  Monergistic, good.  Synergistic, bad.   The implied degree of spoilage from synergism threatens absence or loss of salvation.

Just as an aside, I don't know who originated the "decider" language (that we read in the above linked article), but the first I read it was in John Piper's presentation of Calvinism, which I read very carefully so that I could better understand and represent Calvinism.  In many different instances, he has said or written something like this:

There was not, and is not, nor ever will be, a point where we become the decisive cause of our salvation.

I knew that Calvinists would say that I didn't understand their position or I was misrepresenting it, and so I could refer them to what version of Calvinism I was arguing against, I chose the contemporary figure most associated with it. While you are deciding, do you need to know that you are not deciding?  When we are encouraging someone to believe, do we need to inform them that they aren't doing what they think they're doing -- it just appears so?

One way I describe this is that Calvinists have become or make themselves to be sovereign over God's sovereignty.  Perhaps I could say that they decide what sovereignty is.  Sovereignty is a concept, like Trinity, that you don't read in the Bible.  Don't get me wrong. I believe God is sovereign, but I can't define sovereignty with meaning that conflicts with what the Bible says about God.  He's as sovereign as He can get in the Bible.  The sovereignty of Calvinism doesn't read like the God of the Bible.  They aren't the same Being.

In the Calvinistic sovereignty over sovereignty, if you think that God elects those who believe, you have attacked God's sovereignty.  Um.  Okay.  Let's think through this together.  God is sovereign. God wrote the Bible.  He says He elects those who believe.  Nowhere does the Bible say that God elects out of a pot of humanity, separating some unto destruction and others unto eternal life.  God doesn't elect unbelievers.

At this juncture, the Calvinist says that if God doesn't elect unbelievers to believe, then salvation is up to man and not God.  Wrong.  Just wrong.  It's not a valid conclusion to make.  It's a conclusion that clashes with actual Bible.  The Calvinist intimates and sometimes just states that if someone teaches or believes other than God electing unbelievers to believe, that he is teaching or believing that salvation is by works.  It's not by grace anymore, but by works.  And when the Calvinist says "grace," he often says "sovereign grace," terminology not in the Bible.

1 Peter 1:2 says "elect according to foreknowledge," because election is according to foreknowledge.  It isn't predetermination.  God knows ahead of time who is going to believe, and belief is not a work.  It isn't.  Why?  God says it isn't (Philip 1:29).   Foreknowledge doesn't have to be some work or act outside of the mind of God in order for faith to be by grace.  2 Thessalonians 2:12-13 is tell-tale here.

12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

Who are damned?  Those who believe not the truth.  In contrast to them -- "But" -- "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through . . . . belief of the truth."  People are damned because they don't believe.  People are saved because they believe the truth.  God chooses from the beginning through belief of the truth.  I've heard Calvinists use this verse and leave out, "and belief of the truth." It's a crusher for their system.  Individual election is based upon God's foreknowledge and not upon predetermination.  Does that make salvation synergistic?  I don't care.  It's what the Bible teaches. I would still choose to believe that salvation is of the Lord.  I do not initiate any part of my salvation and I get no credit for any of it.  It is all a gift.

I could go much further, taking your through scripture to show how that the Bible lines up with what I'm writing above.  And why wouldn't it?  What I have reported above is Bible.

I may write more about this, especially in light of the article by Bill Combs and a previous one by Mark Snoeberger.  According to my reading, the system is more important to them than the Bible. And their view of sovereignty is by far more important than God's actual sovereignty.  On top of that, I believe a kind reading of the two articles sees a contradiction between the two, a regular occurrence I've seen with Calvinists.


Ken Lengel said...


I find it quite interesting that in a evangelical and fundamentalist world that thrives on a multiplicity of biblical viewpoints as "orthodox", the debate over Calvinism vs Arminianism has to be binary. No other viewpoints need apply.


Kent Brandenburg said...


Good point. You've got to choose one or the other, and if you say you just believe the Bible, that's bad too.

Anonymous said...

Calvinism is destroying churches. I recently heard of a church in Colorado that lost half its congregation due to Calvinism. What a shame! These people are believing a lie and taking over good churches. It all leads back to Rome.

KJB1611 said...

I would actually also really like to see exegetical evidence that " foreknow" actually means "predetermine." I would be fine believing that if I actually saw it in Scripture, but I just don't see it, and so the Bible doesn't let me become a Calvinist.

Anonymous said...

How should one explain the connection between "foreknew" (Rom 8:28) and "foreordain" (1 Pet 1:20)? One is "to before know", the other "to before ordain". Both are the Greek verb proginōskō.


Larry said...


1. You say that the "lexicons say it means "to know beforehand" or precognition. It is nothing more than precognition. The lexicons say it means to know ahead of time because that is how it is used every time." Yet I am sure a guy like you has something like BAGD or TDNT. And I am sure you know that both give election as a meaning of proginosko. So why don't you mention that the lexicons say the one meaning of the word is choosing or election? You seem to mislead your readers here.

2. How do you interpret Rom 11:2, that God foreknew his people? In that verse, what does it mean, and how does it further Paul's argument?

3. Regarding 2 Thess 2:13, why do you connect the choosing to belief in the truth (apparently overlooking the setting apart of the Spirit) rather than connecting it to its actual object--salvation? Can you show the exegesis for that decision?

Not to Kent, but to Anonymous, what do you mean by "it all leads back to Rome"? Rome is not Calvinist. And you say that Calvinism is killing churches, yet surely you acknowledge that a great many growing churches (including ours) are fairly Calvinistic.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Theological works such as BDAG and Kittel are worthwhile reading, but they are theological and come with that bias. However, if you keep it to merely a Greek lexicon, where you get the unbiased understanding of words, the foremost is Liddell and Scott, who say it means to know ahead of time. Liddell-Scott hold themselves to the meanings of the word without the theological disposition -- the word means what it means. Even if you look at the theological works, you can tell where they are not inserting their interpretation or are doing so.

Louw-Nida says it means "to have foreknowledge of what is known beforehand, to know about something prior to some temporal reference point.

Thayer says in essence they are adding their interpretation when they say it means predestinate. He says foreknow.

I'm also saying look at the usages.

Why would Paul say, whom He foreknew, He also predestined, if foreknew meant predestined? Same thing in Acts 2:23? Foreknowledge, the word alone, does not mean predestinate or predetermine.

Rom 11:2. God foreknew His people Israel. His knowing ahead of time is assurance, as it is in all the foreknowledge passages. God doesn't have a plan for their destruction, as seen in all the prophecy about Israel.

2 Thess 2. I didn't leave out salvation. People perish for not believing and they are chosen to salvation through believing. I quoted vv. 12-13, so I couldn't leave it out. The sanctification of the Spirit part is important too, but as it relates to this subject, God chooses through belief. And in contrast with v. 12, that's a point Paul is making. God chooses those who believe from the beginning. The verse makes the point.


Nice talking to you.

Anonymous said...

I would urge more writing exposing Augustinism/Calvinism.

Anonymous said...

"2 Thess 2. I didn't leave out salvation. People perish for not believing and they are chosen to salvation through believing. I quoted vv. 12-13, so I couldn't leave it out. The sanctification of the Spirit part is important too, but as it relates to this subject, God chooses through belief. And in contrast with v. 12, that's a point Paul is making. God chooses those who believe from the beginning. The verse makes the point."

Well said. How could anyone miss the obvious unless he tries to privately interpret what is clearly written from the beginning of the bible to the end?

Calvinism is nothing less than a rank heresy because it undermines the truth about the scriptures and rejects repentance and salvation according to God's faith given to them that believe.

No one is saved "before the foundations of the world"! That is hypothetical nonsense and rejects all scriptural truth and verity.

Larry said...

Thanks, Kent.

I agree with your point about the lexicons. My point was only that the lexicons said something you said they didn't say. I was wondering why you omitted that.

ON Rom 11:2, the "foreknowledge" there seems clearly to be more than simply know beforehand. That makes no sense of the verse. God foreknew all nations in the sense of know beforehand. But Israel was special. It is assurance but not just because of knowing ahead of time; God knew all nations ahead of time. It is assurance because God chose them and that calling is without repentance.

On 2 Thes 2:13, I still wonder what your exegetical reason is for connecting chosen to belief rather than chosen to salvation and salvation to belief. In other words, the text says that God chose them to salvation. The salvation comes through setting apart of the Spirit (probably the effectual call) and belief in the truth.

But I won't belabor that.

Thanks for the response. I trust all is well for you.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Anonymous,

I believe the perfect tense of the verb proginosko explains the translation of the KJV in 1 Peter 1:20, while not establishing that proginosko really ever must mean something other than foreknow.

Anonymous said...

In answer to Luke (posting as Anonymous), Thomas Ross said this: "I believe the perfect tense of the verb proginosko explains the translation of the KJV in 1 Peter 1:20, while not establishing that proginosko really ever must mean something other than foreknow."

I'm afraid I still don't get it. The KJV rendered the Greek word as "foreordained" there, but as "foreknew" elsewhere. I don't understand what the perfect tense has to do with it. Was it a one-time, completed-action (perfect tense) prescience that is well rendered as "foreordained"? Why not "foreknew" then? Was it that the Father foreknew the Lamb in the sense of knowledge, or does proginosko mean the Lamb was appointed in advance? Or am I just missing something? I'm just trying to understand. From the surface, it appears that this is a case where the KJV translation would seem to promote a "more than prescience" view of proginosko. I'm learning from these exchanges. Thanks.

"Diakonos" (also posting as Anonymous)

Kent Brandenburg said...


Thanks again. For a lexicon to leave out the predetermination and fore-love seems to be curious if that's what it means, but this seems like an easy call. Foreknowledge being predetermination is like seeing the writing in the sand and saying it was caused by the waves, that easy to say it isn't. Knowing not being some kind of act is easy. In the context is there choosing? Yes. but the word doesn't mean that, unless it was choosing according to the choosing. And that makes me feel stupid even talking about it, but it's what we've got to do, I guess. That's the prognosis (I needed to work the word in somewhere).

On any of these verses, there was a word that could be used that shows predetermination, and it wasn't used. The reason is because it isn't predetermination and the word used is the most that it is, foreknowledge, and we should limit ourselves to the word.

I don't see belief tied into salvation as it is into chosen, and that is from reading the Greek NT all these years. However, the contrast with v. 12 is a clincher. You can read a lot of commentaries that say the same thing as I'm saying. I haven't read and old one that connects "belief" with salvation -- they connect it with chosen. Even the Calvinists say it is with election, but that it is not the cause of the choice but the effect of it. And then notice the next verse, He called you by the gospel. The call is through the gospel in real time, not before the foundation of the world.

You are welcome to comment here, Larry, and all the Detroit faculty, pastors, and alumni. If there were ever a time you couldn't or they couldn't, which I am not foreknowing, I would let you know and why. I just think that's the right way to do things in the spirit of Matthew 5:23-24. And if I believed in the universal church, I would have even greater reason in light of no schism in the body. So thanks!

Kent Brandenburg said...

Diakonos and Luke,

The difference in the one example given is that it is a perfect participle and so they chose to show that by translating it foreordained. You don't have it as a perfect tense in the other usages, so it is different. The perfect is past action with ongoing results. At the time of the writing by Peter, the results were still ongoing. It is a matter of then attempting to interpret what the KJV translators meant by foreordination, and since we see the perfect tense, we can understand. Modern translations render it "foreknow."

KJB1611 said...

Pastor Brandenburg is correct about the Greek perfect, Anonymous. I believe the idea of foreknown as a snapshot/past action with continuing results of that knowledge explains the KJV translation, although I think "foreknow" would also be a fine translation of the verse.

I would also note that a text such as 1 Peter 1:2 does not contain a perfect.

I don't think Romans 11:2 comes near to meeting the burden of proof for establishing that proginosko has a new sense that does not appear anywhere in the wide body of Koine Greek. The word is common enough in the Koine, and it simply does not mean "predestine."

Larry said...


LSJ is not a NT lexicon (as BAGD or TDNT is), and so I think it probably omits the theological usages that developed in the NT, particularly as words draw on OT backgrounds. That's probably one reason why it isn't there. As for the word for predestination, my guess in Rom 11:2 is that Paul is specifically calling to mind the OT and the idea that God knew Israel above all other nations on earth. "Predestined" doesn't have the same theological sense as "foreknew." Paul was making a specific point, namely, that God had loving chosen them above all other nations and the idea that he would cast them off is unthinkable. God had "foreknown" all nations, in your sense, but that is not the point of Rom 11:2. It is a more significant knowledge.

On 2 Thess 2:13, I just took a quick look at three commentaries (NAC, NIGTC, and PNTC), and they all connect belief to salvation, not to election.

I think the contrast with v. 12 is instructive.
Belief in a lie=condemnation
Belief in the truth=salvation (not election).

God's election is the reason why they are saved (chosen to salvation), and that salvation comes through the setting apart of the Spirit and belief in the truth. V. 14 gives another aspect of salvation (not election). This salvation came through God's call (not election) through our gospel.

So this gives an ordo salutis:
1. Election to salvation from the beginning (not from belief)
2. Gospel preaching
3. setting apart by the Spirit (call)
4. Belief in the truth
5. Salvation

One of your sentences seems to confuse election with the call. I agree that the call is through the gospel in real time, not before the foundation of the world. Election, however, is "from the beginning" or "from before the foundation of the world." If you recognize that election and calling are two different things (as you say, there was a word for calling and it isn't used in v. 14).

I have always felt free to post here.But I will leave this one here.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I don't want to waste your time with my redundancy, but foreknowledge looks like it must mean something more than knowing ahead of time for there to be the five points. I don't see it as exegetical, taking the meaning from the text. It is a stretch. I've given reasons here, but, again, I have to say, it seems obvious to me, that it is a major force from purveyors of the five points. The truth should flow right out of the text. When you study gnosis or ginosko, why isn't that an act? Why does the addition of "pro" make it an act? I'm saying with LSJ that you get unbiased view of this. Certain lexicons don't have it be predestination or predetermination.

I said 'old' commentaries. I know there are new ones. I didn't look at those you mentioned, but I've looked at a few newer ones in the past and said "old" because of that. The fact that they are new looks like an adjustment over time.

You say more significant knowledge, but you are actually making it more than knowledge but some kind of action or love or determination. I know others say this, so its not you making it that, but agreeing with what others have said about it.

I understand your ordo salutis. I believe 'through belief in the truth' attaches to or modifies chosen, the verb eileto and not the noun soterian. That's how it reads.

The position that it means more than foreknowledge doesn't make sense to me. At all, really. It comes across as so contrived that it is suspect, except that I get it -- it's needed for the system to stay together.

Thanks again.

Terry Basham, II said...


I enjoyed this article. I exactly agree but I enjoyed it.

I met Bobby Mitchell in South Dakota last week, maybe one day I'll meet you somewhere too.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Terry,

It sounds like you may have meant, "I don't exactly agree," but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Kent Brandenburg said...

One more thing, Terry,

Thanks for coming over and reading, and I'm glad to hear you were able to spend time with Bobby Mitchell in SD. Hope all is well in OK.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I was scanning this comment section again, because of writing part two to this now series, and I noticed I didn't say anything relating to Larry's comment about my confusing the "call" in 2 Thess 2:14 with the "choosing" of 2 Thess 2:13. kaleo in 2:14 is aorist tense, so completed action in past time. When "called" is used like that in the NT, it is speaking about completed salvation, not the process of calling (cf. Eph 4:1). A lot of people get that wrong. To God, a person is "the called" even before the foundation of the world, so that does fit with election.

The way a person is saved, called, is by means of the gospel. It isn't by means of predetermination. This fits with v. 13, which says that someone is elected to salvation through belief in the truth. And that contrasts with the person in v. 12 that perishes because he does not believe the truth, because he loves unrighteousness. And that fits with the rest of the Bible -- I think of Rom 1, which says that people aren't saved because they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. This teaching flows out of the text, unlike the points of Calvinism.

d4v34x said...

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate ... Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

According to this passage, aren't those who are foreknown the only called, since all called here are justified and will be glorified?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi d4 and thanks.

I noticed you added "only." It does say that he foreknew whom he called, but not only whom he called. We know God foreknew who he called, justified, and predestinated, but it doesn't say that He foreknew no one else. Am I wrong?

Joe Cassada said...

I haven't read all the comments above, so feel free to delete mine if I am saying/asking what has already been covered.

Foreknowledge means to know before hand. This is obvious, but I think it helps to point out that it is not only information that is known, but people.

People are foreknown in Romans 8:29 - "For whom he did foreknow..."

Israel is foreknown in Romans 11:2

Paul is foreknown (known before hand) by the Pharisees in Acts 26:5

Christ was foreknown (foreordained) in 1 Pet. 1:20.

However, it is information that is foreknown in 2 Pet. 3:17. And the noun foreknowledge refers to information in Acts 2:23. I think 1 Pet. 1:2 could go either way (foreknowing people or information).

You are right about foreknowledge not being forelove, especially since Paul used the words to describe how the Pharisees knew him before his trial. although I'm sure they were compatriots at one time, I doubt foreloving is exactly the idea Paul was wanting to convey.

Yet, "know" is a word used often describe a deep, personal relationship. Even after many years as a believer, Paul's desire was that "I may know him and the power of his resurrection." (Phi. 3:10) here he refers to a deeper understanding, a deeper intimacy. In addition, we are all aware of the biblical usages of "know" or "knew" as a reference to sexual union - the most intimate of all relational connections.

Doesn't Jesus say that he will announce to the unbelievers "I never knew you"? Surely he knew about them, but he didn't know them relationally.

My question is, if "know" can have relational meanings, then why can't "foreknow?"

KJB1611 said...

Dear Joe,

You are correct that "know" can have a relational sense in the Bible. However, "foreknow," both as a noun and a verb, is a different (although related) word that appears often enough in the NT and Koine to establish its meaning from its own uses. It is fallacious to assume that every meaning of "know" transfers to the different word "foreknow." In a comparable example, bapto can mean "dye" (a garment, etc.) as well as "immerse," but it is not legitimate to extrapolate from this fact that baptidzo also can mean "dye" as well as "immerse." Baptidzo is a common enough word that we can look at its own uses to figure out what it means. In the same way, proginosko/prognosis are both common enough words in Koine Greek that we can figure out what they mean from their own uses. There is not even one conclusive, definitive text where the words MUST mean something other than precognition; therefore, sound principles of interpretation require that we do not impose such a meaning on the word.

Thanks for the comment.

Joe Cassada said...

KJB1611 (Thomas Ross?),

Thanks for the response. As far as "one conclusive, definitive text where the words MUST mean something other than precognition" I think all the passages that describe a person being foreknown are exactly that. When the object of foreknowledge is data, it is obviously precognition; when the object of foreknowledge is a person, it (at least to me) is obviously relational. I don't see how informational foreknowledge about Israel, Christ, and believers is somehow special when God has such precognition about all things in every person's life. But if foreknowledge is relational, then the comfort and majesty of God is plain to see.

Additionally, such an understanding does not demand a Calvinistic position. God could foreknow (relationally; i.e., set his heart upon before time) believers not out of some capricious choice but because he knew they would have future faith. That is, God could choose to foreknow relationally believers because he foreknew informationally their future faith - just as God foreknew Israel relationally, and such a relationship was applied to whom God foreknew informationally would be born a Jew.

So God chooses to set his heart upon these groups out of his sovereign right, but his choice to foreknow relationally does not necessarily negate any involvement of his precognition. I think if you wanted to say God relationally foreknew Christians because he informationally foreknew about their future faith, then you could make the case without requiring proginosko to always mean precognition of data.

I'm rambling now, but folks on both sides of this Calvinism debate can share the same understanding of the meaning of foreknow without endangering their positions on election and free will. The Calvinist says God foreknows relationally based on sovereign choice and the Arminian (or non-Calvinist, if you prefer) says God foreknew relationally based on precognition.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Joe,

Ac 26:5* Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Did "all the Jews" (v. 4) fore-relate to Paul the apostle? A lot of them who knew of him, since he was a famous person, had doubtless never even spoken to him. After all, don't the verses where a person is said to be foreknown show that the word simply cannot mean precognition, so that a new sense of the word proginosko that does not clearly exist in Koine Greek needs to be invented?

What you said about "fore-relate" not requiring TULIP theology is worth considering, but I believe Acts 26:4-5 clearly overthrows your affirmation that foreknowledge of a person must be relational.

Thanks for the comment.