Tom McCall and Keith D. Stanglin
“S. M. BAUGH AND THE MEANING OF FOREKNOWLEDGE: ANOTHER LOOK”

, posted by SEA

Click on the attachment to view Tom McCall and Keith D. Stanglin, “S. M. BAUGH AND THE MEANING OF FOREKNOWLEDGE: ANOTHER LOOK”, Trinity Journal 26 NS (2005) 19-31.This article has been posted with the permission of the authors and Trinity Journal.

Here is the authors’ conclusion:

Baugh claims that the meaning of προγινώσκω renders the Arminian view of predestination impossible and thus necessarily endorses Calvinism. Our less forceful claim is that the Arminian position has not been ruled out. It is our view that the use of προγινώσκω, especially in Rom 8:29, likely underdetermines the debate between Calviniste and Arminians. Although it is agreed that God foreknows everything, including certain individuals for the purpose of salvation, the verse does not specify which aspect of foreknowledge God is utilizing (cognitive or relational or-more likely-both). God predestines, but the verse does not specify the grounds for predestination; it does not directly address the focus of this debate. To say that God foreknows a person’s response of faith that results in mutual and deeply relational, committed love does not contradict the meaning of πρόγνωση, that is, God’s personal, eternal commitment to that person.

Determinist Calvinism finally may be true. But at this point the arguments adduced by Baugh on its behalf from the meaning of foreknowledge are far from persuasive. The meaning of προγινώσκω might support the Calvinist position. It does appear to give Calvinists some hermeneutical “wriggle room” in answering Arminian exegesis of these contested passages. It may even somehow yet render the Arminian position “impossible.” But if we are correct, then Baugh has not shown this to be the case. The meaning of foreknowledge in these disputed texts appears to be at least as amenable to an Arminian interpretation as to a Calvinist reading.