What Does God “Fore-love” According to Calvinism?

Many Arminians see God’s election of individuals as based on God’s foreknowledge of faith.  They see that primary election passages make reference to foreknowledge and even suggest that election is based on foreknowledge.  They also see that faith is the primary condition for salvation found in the Bible.  One is saved, and therefore elected, by faith in Jesus Christ.  Therefore, Arminians see foreknowledge as prescience of the free will decision to trust in Christ.  Arminians also see foreknowledge as prescience because that is exactly what the word means, prior knowledge.

Calvinists object and see God’s foreknowledge with regards to salvation as fore-loving.  That is, Calvinists believe that when the Bible speaks of foreknowledge as it relates to salvation, it is speaking of God loving His elect before hand.  They argue that “know” equals “love.”  They find support for this in the use of the Hebrew word “know” in the OT since it is often used of very intimate, even sexual knowledge.

But there is more that the Calvinist objects to.  The Calvinist also believes that God cannot foreknow free will decisions.  That is, God can only foreknow what He has decreed to do.  God foreknows what He himself will make happen.  He knows His infallible plan and intentions and therefore has perfect knowledge of all that will come to pass.  Therefore, God’s foreknowledge is based on His eternal decree.  If this is the case then predestination comes before foreknowledge, which would seem to reverse the order given in the Bible.  Foreknowledge would then be “according to” predestined election instead of election being “according to foreknowledge” as the Bible declares (1 Peter 1:2).

It should also be noted that many Arminians, including Arminius himself, would not object to foreknowledge in certain passages as having reference to fore-loving.  In Rom. 8:29 for instance, they would say that God “foreknew/loved” believers.  In other words, God does not simply foreknow the act of faith, but rather foreknows and fore-loves “believers”, those who have come to be in union with Christ through faith in Him.  So the Calvinist insistence that foreknowledge refers not to faith but to individuals does not refute the Arminian understanding of salvation and election by faith in Jesus Christ according to foreknowledge.

There is another view that should be briefly mentioned.  Many Arminians hold to a primarily corporate view of election and do not see the need to appeal so strongly to foreknowledge in order to understand election as conditional (though foreknowledge does have a place in the corporate view).  This view maintains that Christ is the “elect One” and those who come to be in Him through faith are then “the elect.”  Election is primarily the electing of a corporate body “in Christ.”  There is much more that could be said about this view (which is the view of election that I hold), but it is not important for the purposes of this post.

Given the way that Calvinists understand foreknowledge I am led to wonder just how God “fore-loves” the elect as they claim.  It makes sense in Arminianism to say that God fore-loves believers in union with Christ, but does it makes sense to say such things in light of Calvinistic pre-suppositions regarding foreknowledge?  I wonder what exactly it is that God fore-loves if Calvinism is the Biblical theology?

I see this as a problem for two reasons.  First, if God only foreknows things because He first decrees them, then He does not fore-love actual people.  He only has a plan or intention of creating people to show love to.  These people do not exist except in the mind of God.  They are nothing more than a concept.  Therefore God does not fore-love the elect prior to creation, but only plans to love some of those that He plans to create.  This is not the case in Arminianism because God is not bound by time and can have perfect knowledge and love of believers in union with Christ as actual people who presently exist to Him, even if they have not yet actually been created.

Thomas R. Schreiner argues against a corporate view of election in Still Sovereign.  Unfortunately, Schreiner does not fully understand the view he sets out to criticize.  He thinks that advocates of corporate election believe that God elects an “abstract entity or a concept.”  But as stated earlier this is not what Arminian advocates of corporate election believe, unless Schreiner feels comfortable calling Christ an “abstract entity and a concept.”  However, Schreiner seems to find the notion that God would elect a “concept” as rather bothersome:

The problem with [the corporate] view, however, is that the church is not an abstract entity or a concept.  It is made up of people.  Indeed the biblical text makes it clear again and again that election involves the selection of people, not a concept. (Still Sovereign, pg. 102)

We would have to agree.  God elected people.  God elected “believers” for salvation.  He did not elect certain sinners to become believers as Calvinism asserts.  But I wonder how Schreiner’s view is much different than the view he misunderstands and criticizes.  Does not his view have God electing mere “concepts” in the mind of God?  Sure, they may not be “abstract” concepts, but they are still just concepts.  They are just a plan in the mind of God and have no existence outside of God’s intentions to bring them into existence at some point in history.

Second, we might ask just what exactly God loved about the “elect?”  In Arminianism God fore-loves believers with electing love because they are in His “beloved one.”  They are loved and elected in Christ as “believers” in Him and for His sake.  God has a special love for those who trust in and rely on Him, those who are in special relationship with Him through the reconciliation of Christ’s blood and the obedience produced by faith:

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.  He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him…If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching.  My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him.  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching…As the Father has loved me so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  (John 14:21, 23-24; 15:9-10)

This is not the case in Calvinism.  Rather, God elects potential personal “concepts” to be put into Christ without any regard to anything in them or about them at all.  So just what is it that God loves about them prior to their union with Christ?  It cannot be that they bear His image or because they are a special and cherished creation, because God will create far more image bearers for the sole purpose of eternal destruction.  His love seems arbitrary and meaningless.  Why does God love one and not the other?  What makes them differ?  Nothing, according to Calvinism, so what does God love?  It seems to me that if what Calvinism asserts is true then God’s love is very hollow.  Our claim to be loved by God amounts to little more than the lucky draw of a divine lottery.  It is impersonal and carries very little meaning.  It is not tied into relationship with His Son or the desire to save all of His fallen creatures.  Rather, it is little more than a decision to favor and save a “concept” that will eventually be made real.

It is hard to understand how it is even a choice since there is nothing really to choose if the supposed choice was made only in the mind and plan of God prior to creation.  God did not “elect” anyone.  He merely planned to create some for hell and some for heaven, and this without respect to anything in them or about them.  In fact there was no “them” at all; just a plan or concept.  Is that truly the electing love that is described in the Bible?

So what does God love if Calvinistic predestination and election be true?  At the very least I think we can conclude that the Arminian view does not de-personalize election but rather emphasizes the personal aspects of foreknowledge and election.  We may further conclude that the Calvinistic conception of foreknowledge may actually serve to undermine any personal aspect of election and render God’s “love” for His “elect” as rather cold and empty.

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13 Responses

  1. Ben,

    I would agree with your assessments of “both” Calvinists and Arminians and their “errors” proffered by this article today.

    I am way too simple minded seeing I am not a scholar of either men to assert what you assert the errors are. I take you at your word hereon that this is what both Calvin and Arminius represented by their teachings.

    I have a little knowledge for why the “purpose” of the Council of Dordt and why that international group of ordained ministers and servants, elders and deacons and the like got together to go after now dearly departed “James”. Apparently, the present crowd want to go after him some more? 🙂

    Having said that, you wrote:::>

    Ben: “So what does God love if Calvinistic predestination and election be true? At the very least I think we can conclude that the Arminian view does not de-personalize election but rather emphasizes the personal aspects of foreknowledge and election. We may further conclude that the Calvinistic conception of foreknowledge may actually serve to undermine any personal aspect of election and render God’s “love” for His “elect” as rather cold and empty.”

    As you can see and I hope imagine, I read the whole article to pick your last paragraph to quote. I wanted to quote from the beginning about something I believe you “might” be in error on and I read it repeated throughout the article. Hmmmmm?

    At the beginning and throughout the article, as here at the end, I would like to touch on something repeated about “love”.

    Here is how I will do that. I would first “change” one word in the first sentence of the paragraph above, the quote.

    I would change the word you use, “what” and exchange it for the word “who”.

    “So who does God love if Calvinistic predestination and election be true?….”.

    Do you see the difference?

    Here is something I would like to find out about you? Do you agree with this assessment I will now make about a particular conversation Jesus had and the “fact” that He did not answer the question posed to Him by Pilate.

    Pilate asked Jesus: “What” is Truth. If you care to look see you will see Jesus does not answer the question. And the point is He cannot answer a “what’ question when it regards God the Father, the Holy Ghost and Himself. They simply are not “whats” here. They are “Whos”. God is Love!

    He would have answered the question, “I Am” if Pilate had asked the “right” question of Truth, “Truth” standing there in front of him, “Who is Truth”? Of course, as all the world, by now is, Satan had blinded most of humanity then too to “Who” Truth Is. There are some exceptions. Two of them that I can think of are found at the beginning of the Gospel of Luke, Simeon and Anna, who, each having been given a “foreknowledge” of Christ so that the events Luke describes occurred and he recorded for us to read about.

    So, humbly I say, “your presupposition” is off because of one word, “Who”.

    What do you think about that?

    As for the other things you wrote about in the article, I believe some if not all of these things will clear up if you would refer to God by understanding “Who” is Love, not “what” is love and why God loves some of us and hates others.

    I go back to something Jesus said in connection with my own experiences over time here in the county I was born and raised in, schooled in until I went off to college in another place. I returned back to the land of my nativity and entered into the ministry here, was ordained here and sent out from here and now am back living here after all these years, having traveled to 30 plus countries on all continents at one time or another.

    Here is what He said and I will interpret its meaning afterwards.

    Cutting into the chapter and starting, posting a bit above the central focus I paste these Scriptures first:

    Joh 16:5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
    Joh 16:6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
    Joh 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
    Joh 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
    Joh 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
    Joh 16:10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;
    Joh 16:11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
    Joh 16:12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
    Joh 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
    Joh 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
    Joh 16:15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
    Joh 16:16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.”

    Now, my focus is on verse 9 and what that means.

    I have been summoned to the County Courthouse for jury duty over the years. Many times I wasn’t picked or there wasn’t a need to go ahead with my group and were dismissed. I have served on five juries though. In each case a murder was involved. One case was settled out of court so we were dismissed in the middle of the trial. The person pleaded guilty to lessers charges and was sentenced for his guilty plea.

    One time I served as an alternate jurist so when the jury received the evidence presented I was left outside the deliberations and the jurists came to an agreement finding the defendant guilty.

    On three other juries, I got to go behind closed doors and deliberate with my fellow citizens. Each time the defendant “pleaded” not guilty. Each time we found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. After finding the defendant guilty, they each appealed their sentence claiming they were “not guilty” as charged and the jury was in error “convicting” them of their sins.

    My point now about verse 9 is this. The Holy Ghost, Who equally is “Love”, God is Love and the Holy Ghost is God, is sent out to “convict” the world of sin. Why? As it says there, “because they do not believe”.

    I believe and so when I am charged “guilty” by God, by His Word and by the Holy Ghost, I do not disagree with the charges against me: “there is none righteous, no not one, all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God”. I agree. I then am “forgiven” of my sins. Why? Because I agree with God and do not dispute the charges against me nor do I disbelieve or misbelieve the charges against me. I believe Jesus is the Christ as the Gospel preaches about Him. He died on a Cross for my sins according to the Scriptures, He was buried and He rose again the third day and was seen by many before He ascended to Heaven itself and will soon return for the Salvation of those who believe.

    Heb 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
    Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

    The Gospel is accusing us of being sinners and in need of a Savior. Those who believe are saved, those who do not believe are condemned Mark wrote here:

    Mar 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
    Mar 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

    Why do some not believe? As I have said before I say again, the answer if found in Jesus’ explanation of the wheat and weeds/tares parable:

    Mat 13:36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.”
    Mat 13:37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
    Mat 13:38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,
    Mat 13:39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.

    Well, there. My charge against you as error is simple. You are using the word “what” instead of the correct word “who” when making references to God. God is Love. He is not a what. What He does is reveal Christ to those He chooses and “elects”. Who is loves are those He chose to bear His fruit so that their fruit will remain.

    If it were some other way we would not have read this:::>

    Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

  2. “Whom he did foreknow he also predestinated” says Paul in Rom. 8.

    It seems clear, God foreknew first, and then predestinated.

  3. Michael,

    I think you have misunderstood me. I agree that Christ is the truth but I was not speaking about that. I was speaking of the reasons why God “loves” some and not others when considering Calvinistic convictions concerning foreknowledge, unconditional election, and predestination. You think that all we need to do is shift the focus to “who” instead of “what.” I don’t think that solves anything. I agree that God loves us as persons. That was one of the main points of the post. But why does God love some persons and not others?

    The Arminian answer is that God loves us in Christ and loves us as His special creations. That is “what” and “who” we are and why God favors us (He favors all in the sense that He created us, and favors believers in union with Christ with a special electing love). So who does God love with electing love? Those who are found in His beloved One. That is the Arminian position.

    That cannot be the answer from the Calvinist side as God apparently loved some individuals as sinners prior to union with Christ and joined them to Christ unconditionally because He already loved them as His own. But why? Why did He love them as His own prior to union with Christ and destine them to believe and come to be in union with Christ? What was it about them that made them different from the ones God passed over? You say because of who they are, but to speak of who someone is entails speaking of things that make them who they are. That is why I ask what it was about them (about who they are if you prefer) that made them objects of God’s special love?

    And how did God love them before the world began when they were nothing but intentions in His mind? He didn’t choose them. Rather, He just created them as favored objects while creating others as objects of wrath. There could be no personal and intimate love of the elect prior to creation unless you want to say that God can love and have intimate relationship with a concept in His mind. I suppose we can love an idea, but to say we have a personal and intimate relationship with an idea seems a bit strange, wouldn’t you agree?

    So I really don’t see how focusing on “who” rather than “what” is really any different than what I was saying in the post. Also, I do not really agree with your interpretation of John 16:9 as I do not believe “convict” is being used in the sense that we might use it in a court today. It has reference to being “convinced” of something. The Spirit convinces us of the fact that we are unbelievers and need a Savior. He reveals this truth to us. That is the work of prevenient grace. If we yield to that truth we will believe and be saved. If we resist that truth we will continue in our unbelief and be condemned.

    Here is what Steve Witzki, contributor of Arminian Magazine, says concerning the word “convict” in John 16:9,

    “In John 16:8-11 we see that the ongoing ministry of the Spirit is to convict (elencho) the entire fallen world of mankind of their sin of unbelief. The Spirit’s motive for this work is to steer the guilty party toward redemption. Elencho means: “to show someone his sin and to summon him to repentance” [Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 2:474]. The ultimate goal of this conviction is to restore relationships between persons (Matt. 18:15; 1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:13; 2:15; cf. John 8:46) or between a person and God (e.g., John 16:8; Heb. 12:5) [The Complete Biblical Library, Greek-English Dictionary, 12:373]. People would never see their need for a Savior without the Spirit convicting them of their sin that separates them from a holy God.”

    Here is the link to the article:

    http://www.fwponline.cc/v18n2/v18n2witzki.html

    I also don’t see how your Matthew reference shed light on anything I said in the post but I will leave that alone for now as this comment is already too long.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  4. I would agree with your assessments of “both” Calvinists and Arminians and their “errors” proffered by this article today.

    Just to be clear, you may find error in Arminianism and there may indeed be error in Arminianism, but I was not charging Arminianism with error in this post. I was pointing out what seem to be errors in Calvinism.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  5. Hello Ben,

    You touch upon an interesting issue: why, in the deterministic/Calvinistic system God chooses one person for salvation (i.e., the elect) and another person for damnation (i.e., the reprobates/all unbelievers)?

    I think a good way to think about it is to imagine the author of a story thinking about and planning his story. The story will end up being exactly what the author wants, in all of its details. If the author wants there to be certain heroes, then certain characters will be those heroes (and vice versa with villains and EVERYTHING ELSE THAT MAKES UP THE STORY THE AUTHOR HAS IN MIND). Is the selection of an individual character to be say a hero, based upon what the hero does in the story? No, it is the reverse, the author first decides about a character that he wants in his story and then develops the character. So the actions and character of the character are thought of **first** and then that individual character is made to be that desired character. If we view it this way, then why does God (cf. the author of the story) choose one to be elect and one to be reprobate? It has nothing to do with them as individuals and has only to do with the story that he wants to create. If you have a story where some are elect and others are reprobates, then the choice of who is who has nothing to do with the individual persons, it just depends on what part you want them to play in the story.

    Now the issue of whether or not God would do this kind of thing becomes an issue of His character. God is sovereign, meaning that He does as He pleases. But this doing as He pleases is not done in a vacuum, but is shaped or constrained by his character. This is where we get into issues such as whether or not a good and loving and merciful person, would author a story where most people are damned from the start with no chance to be saved (we could call these the reprobate characters of the story), people who are intended to live a life where they do certain actions and then die and then are judged for those actions and then eternally punished for doing the actions the author wanted them to do? I do not believe the God who reveals Himself in scripture would do this to human persons as it would manifest a very sadistic and cruel character. Only a sadist who enjoys playing with and torturing human persons would do such a thing (like a person holding a spider by a slim thread over a fire and playing with the spider: in fact an actual illustration by a famous determinist of how God deals with human persons: see Jonathan Edwards: “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God”). Aside from God’s character as revealed in scripture, there are also statements in scripture which if true, show that God is not like an author who has prewritten a script where most are reprobate “characters” as just described. Instead, he sets parameters, he fixes certain things, but he also creates genuine persons capable of, and who do in fact experience genuine choices (both to accept what God says when it is revealed to them and also to reject what God says and to keep rejecting God their whole lives) and He desires for all of them to be saved. Exhaustive determinism is not taught by the bible and is contradicted by both the character of God and what He himself has revealed in the bible (unless the things spoken of in the bible are intentional lies and misrepresentations, which goes back to suggesting a malicious and sadistic person rather than the God of the bible is behind it all).

    I think that sometimes when thinking about the determinist’s view of election and reprobation we imagine God considering some individual and then considering whether or not he will elect or damn that person. We then wonder why he would elect one and damn another. But that is not what is going on if the determinists are right. God does not consider people who will eventually exist and then choose to elect or reprobate them as individuals. Rather, He has a certain total plan, a certain specific and meticulously detailed story, first, and then everything is made to conform to that story. And if in that story there will be certain elect persons and certain reprobate persons, then some will be elect and some will be reprobate, not based on anything they will do in the story, but simply so that God gets to create and bring about the story that He wants. It’s like a director doing a casting call first, he has characters in mind first and then finds actors to play the roles later (except that the actors in this story have no choice as to what character they play or whether or not they even want to audition for the parts, they just play the role predetermined for them, and its just the luck of the draw, you get to be a big winner or a big loser).

    When you see that this is the story the determinists believe in, you can see why most of their churches are so small and inward focused and why their story is rejected by most Christians throughout church history. This story that they are telling is not good news for most people, it is not the gospel, not something to be excited about and want to share with the world, and it is not true.

    Robert

  6. Ben,

    I posted this on CARM, but wanted to post it here for your readers who don’t frequent that forum.

    You continually assert throughout your article that God foreknows someTHING rather than someONE which the text in Romans and the doctrine of Calvinism both make quite clear.

    Quote:
    I wonder what exactly it is that God fore-loves if Calvinism is the Biblical theology

    First, if God only foreknows things because He first decrees them, then He does not fore-love actual people

    Why does God love one and not the other? What makes them differ? Nothing, according to Calvinism, so what does God love?

    Second, we might ask just what exactly God loved about the “elect?” In Arminianism God fore-loves believers with electing love because they are in His “beloved one.” They are loved and elected in Christ as “believers” in Him and for His sake.
    /quote

    Not only to you continue to assert the incorrect intent of the phrase, but you end quite heavily on legalism. The last sentence above is the epitome of legalism. That there must be something within or done by the creature to MAKE God love him/her. You’ve missed the whole concept of grace in your article, Ben. I’m afraid your article is precisely what I anticipated. Arminian eisegesis. To say nothing about your views on Calvinism (mainly incorrect, but I don’t feel the need to go into it nor do I have the inclination to).

    Blessings

  7. John,

    Thanks for your comments. I think I already addressed your objections above with someone who made the same point. Have you read those comments yet?

    I don’t discount grace nor do I advocate legalism. We are not saved by law keeping. We are saved by faith. Faith is simple trust in Christ to save us. Rom. 4 explains the difference between faith and works quite nicely and that is the definition I work with. Paul says that salvation by faith is what makes it gracious in that same chapter (Rom. 4:16). Faith is not working for salvation nor earning it. It is rather receiving it as a free non-merited gift from God (Rom. 4:5, 6). Nowhere in the post do I talk about salvation being earned by works so your comments are simply not accurate with regards to that subject.

    If you read the article carefully you will see that I said that God loves us because of “who” we are in Christ. He loves us as persons who are believers and as persons who are in union with His beloved One. That we are believers in union with Christ speaks to who we are and what makes us who we are.

    I will just repeat what I wrote to another commenter just in case you don’t bother to read that response:

    The Arminian answer is that God loves us in Christ and loves us as His special creations. That is “what” and “who” we are and why God favors us (He favors all in the sense that He created us, and favors believers in union with Christ with a special electing love). So who does God love with electing love? Those who are found in His beloved One. That is the Arminian position.

    That cannot be the answer from the Calvinist side as God apparently loved some individuals as sinners prior to union with Christ and joined them to Christ unconditionally because He already loved them as His own. But why? Why did He love them as His own prior to union with Christ and destine them to believe and come to be in union with Christ? What was it about them that made them different from the ones God passed over? You say because of who they are, but to speak of who someone is entails speaking of things that make them who they are. That is why I ask what it was about them (about who they are if you prefer) that made them objects of God’s special love?

    And how did God love them before the world began when they were nothing but intentions in His mind? He didn’t choose them. Rather, He just created them as favored objects while creating others as objects of wrath. There could be no personal and intimate love of the elect prior to creation unless you want to say that God can love and have intimate relationship with a concept in His mind. I suppose we can love an idea, but to say we have a personal and intimate relationship with an idea seems a bit strange, wouldn’t you agree?

    So I really don’t see how focusing on “who” rather than “what” is really any different than what I was saying in the post.

    It seems to me that the only alternative is to make God’s election completely arbitrary. That is why I wrote this in the post:

    It seems to me that if what Calvinism asserts is true then God’s love is very hollow. Our claim to be loved by God amounts to little more than the lucky draw of a divine lottery. It is impersonal and carries very little meaning. It is not tied into relationship with His Son or the desire to save all of His fallen creatures.

    If you believe I have misrepresented Calvinism then feel free to carefully point out how that is the case. I have no desire to misrepresent Calvinism.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  8. Very good post.

  9. Great post Ben. You correctly point out that the Calvinist understanding of foreknowledge is clearly not based on an accurate reading of the passages at hand.

  10. I’d also add Ben, that while there is a love with which God loves the unsaved and saved alike (John 3:16, 1 John 4:19), God’s saving love towards people being dependent upon them being in Christ, far from being ‘legalism,’ is the very essence of what Christ Himself taught:

    “…for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.” (John 16:27)

  11. J.C.

    Great Scripture reference. Exactly.

  12. Hi,

    Why does the CEV Bible translate proginosko removing completely the idea of “knowing something before hand” in the following case?:

    Acts 2:23: “God had already planned and decided that Jesus would be handed over to you. So you took him and had evil men put him to death on a cross.”

    Simply a poor translation of the American Bible Society?

    It seems to take the secondary meaning proginosko = prearrangement = foreordenation, which is showed also in 1 Peter 1:20 (same word of 1 Peter 1:2 of course).

    Regards

  13. Patrick,

    @Simply a poor translation of the American Bible Society?

    Likely an attempt at making it more readable. Exegetically irrelevant.

    @It seems to take the secondary meaning proginosko = prearrangement = foreordenation, which is showed also in 1 Peter 1:20 (same word of 1 Peter 1:2 of course).

    The wording in 1:20 could go more than one way, e.g. “[Christ] was known of before [by God] before the world began, but revealed now in these last times for you;” notably, the two meanings (foreknown/foreordained) aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive here since the former may be heavily employed and therefore closely associated with the latter as I strongly suspect is implied in Acts 2. The use of “foreknowledge” is 1:2 is not the same word. “Proginosko” in 1:20 is a verb, 1:2 employs the noun “prognosis.”

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