Mullins, Hobbs, others affirmed God's complete knowledge of future
GRACEVILLE, Fla. (BP)--Following are excerpts from various creeds, confessions, catechisms and books from the past four centuries that affirm God's exhaustive knowledge of the future:
-- "God hath before all time foreseen and foreknown all things, both good and evil, whether past, present, or to come." -- John Smyth, "A Short Confession of Faith" (1610).
-- "Every particle of being in heaven and earth leads us to the infinite being of beings, namely God, who is simplicity; who is the only eternal being, everlasting without time, whose immense presence is always everywhere present, having immutability without any alteration in being or will; in a word, God is infinite, of universal, unlimited, and incomprehensible perfection...." -- "The Orthodox Creed" (1679).
-- "His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent or uncertain...." -- "Philadelphia Confession of Faith" (1742).
-- "Question: What does God know? Answer: God knows all things; even the secrets of our hearts; God is omniscient." -- John Broadus, "A Catechism of Bible Teaching" (1892).
-- "God knows not only actually existing things, but also all future events.... We urge that God does know in advance the choices of His free creatures.... We cannot think of the infinite and perfect Spirit as devoid of knowledge of His creation in any respect. A God without a knowledge of all the choices of His free creatures would be without power to guide or control the universe." -- E. Y. Mullins, "The Christian Religion in Its Doctrinal Expression" (1917).
-- "God's knowledge is not limited by time.... There are no surprises that come to God out of the future.... God's knowledge is not the result of inference on His part.... He knows directly.... God foreknows also directly the free acts of men." -- W. T. Conner, "Christian Doctrine" (1937).
-- "God has all knowledge. He knows all things simultaneously. His knowledge is immediate, without the processes of thought, reason, or inference. His foreknowledge of events does not necessarily mean that He predetermined them. He knows the workings of His natural, physical, moral, and spiritual laws which work towards definite ends. Individuals are free to choose in the light of them, but are responsible for their choices. God knows these choices beforehand, but does not predetermine them." -- Hershel Hobbs, "Baptist Faith and Message, Revised Edition" (1996 commentary on 1963 edition of Baptist Faith and Message).
-- "Baptists affirm that God is limitless in power, knowledge, wisdom, love, and holiness. He suffers no limitations upon His power or His personality. He is not constrained by external force or internal contradiction. We reject any effort to redefine God as a limited deity." -- "Report of the Southern Baptist Convention Presidential Theological Study Committee" (1994).
-- "God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures." -- "Baptist Faith and Message" (2000).
Compiled by Mark Rathel. Used by permission of the Florida Baptist Witness, available online at www.floridabaptistwitness.com.