Friday, June 7, 2013

Origen on Divine Foreknowledge

When God planned the creation of the world, inasmuch as there is nothing without a cause, His thoughts traversed the whole course of the future, and He saw that when a certain thing takes place another follows, and if this occurs it will have its fitting result, and this supposed, something is its consequence.  And going on thus to the end of all things He knows what will be, but is not at all the cause of the occurrence of any particular event.  For as when we see a man reckless through ignorance, and in his recklessness foolishly venturing on a slippery path, we are not the causes of the man's finding the path slippery, because we realize that the man will slip and fall.  In the same way, we must understand that God having foreseen what every one will be like, also perceives the causes of his being what he is, and that he will commit these sins or do these righteous deeds.  And if we are bound to admit that the foreknowledge is not the cause of the occurrences (for though God knows before that a man will sin, He does not put a finger on him when he does sin), we shall make a still stronger statement, nevertheless true, that the future event is the cause of God's peculiar knowledge concerning it.  For it does not happen because it is foreknown, but it is foreknown because it will happen.

Origen, Philokalia 23.8


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

And yet Calvinists claim that God's foreknowledge is based on his fore-ordination, that he must ordain something to happen in order to know about it. Which is why we can say they make God the origin of sin. They then say we just don't understand.

Steve Bricker said...

Which begs the question: who is the one that really does not understand?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Augustine, who is the origin of Calvin's theology. He did a lot to bring bad teaching into the church, and can be said to be the father of Roman Catholicism.