• Peter Meney on Doctrinal Matters

    The Foreknowledge Of God

    Critics of sovereign grace reject that salvation is God’s gift to particular people whom He has chosen. They prefer the idea that man’s will, works and efforts in some way combine to determine who goes to heaven. For them the Biblical doctrine of election is an offence and they look for any opportunity to rob it of its force and meaning. Such critics cannot deny that election and predestination are taught in the Bible, the doctrines stand out from the pages of holy scripture like two supporting poles for the banner of God’s love. They must therefore explain these two key subjects in such a way as incorporates free-will and man’s own decision to trust in Jesus Christ or not. One way they try to…

  • Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

    45 Foreknowledge

    FOREKNOWLEDGE Is his foresight or knowledge of every thing that is to come to pass, Acts 2:23. This foreknowledge, says Charnock, was from eternity. Seeing he knows things possible in his power, and things future in his will, if his power and resolves were from eternity, his knowledge must be so too; or else we must make him ignorant of his own power, and ignorant of his own will from eternity, and consequently not from eternity blessed and perfect. His knowledge of possible things must run parallel with his will. If he willed from eternity, he knew from eternity what he willed; but that he did will from eternity we must grant, unless we would render his changeable, and conceive him to be made in…

  • Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

    44 Prescience Of God

    PRESCIENCE OF GOD Is his foreknowledge, or that knowledge which God has of things to come. The doctrine of predestination is founded on the prescience of God, and on the supposition of all futurity being present to him. Properly speaking, indeed, prescience follows that of predestination; for if we allow that God from all eternity foresaw all things, he must thus have foreseen them in consequence of his permitting or fore-appointing them. Hence events are not certain merely because foreknown; but foreknown because antecedently certain on account of pre-determining reasons.

  • Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

    43 Necessity

    NECESSITY Whatever is done by a cause or power that is irresistible, in which sense it is opposed to freedom. Man is a necessary agent, if all his actions be so determined by the causes preceding each action, that not one past action could possibly not have come to pass, or have been otherwise than it hath been, nor one future action can possibly not come to pass, or be otherwise than it shall be. On the other hand, it is asserted, that he is a free agent, if he be able at any time, under the causes and circumstances he then is, to do different things; or, in other words, if he be not unavoidably determined in every point of time by the circumstances…

  • Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

    42 Decrees Of God

    DECREES OF GOD Are his settled purposes, whereby he foreordains whatsoever comes to pass, Dan. 4:24. Acts 15:18. Eph. 1:11. This doctrine is the subject of one of the most perplexing controversies that has occurred among mankind; it is not, however, as some think, a novel doctrine. The opinion, that whatever occurs in the world at large, or in the lot of private individuals, is the result of a previous and unalterable arrangement by that Supreme Power which presides over Nature, has always been held by many of the vulgar, and has been believed by speculative men. The ancient stoics, Zeno and Chrysippus, whom the Jewish Essenes seem to have followed, asserted the existence of a Deity, that, acting wisely but necessarily, contrived the general…

  • Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

    41 Will Of God

    WILL OF GOD Is taken, 1. For that which he has from all eternity determined, which is unchangeable, and must certainly come to pass; this is called his secret will.--2. It is taken for what he has prescribed to us in his word as a rule of duty: this is called his revealed will. A question of very great importance respecting our duty deserves here to be considered. The question is this: "How may a person who is desirous of following the dictates of Providence in every respect, know the mind and will of God in any particular circumstance, whether temporal or spiritual? Now, in order to come at the knowledge of that which is proper and needful for us to be acquainted with, we…