The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Free will, no middle knowledge- soteriological implications


This isn’t a scriptural challenge to universalism per se, but a philosophical one.

IIRC Talbott does not believe in middle knowledge. I too happen to find the idea incoherent. This thread is a question for universalists who believe (1) in free will and (2) that God does not have middle knowledge.

Premise 1: God would never create a person unless he knew that that person would be saved
Premise 2: Every person has free will
Premise 3: The idea that even an omnipotent being could know what would happen in circumstances that never come about, is incoherent

If we accept all three premises, do the odds of universal salvation happening, just as God wants, become virtually impossible?

Choice 1 (C1): create man
Choice 2 (C2): do not create man

If God has middle knowledge, then prior to creating man (Adam), God could have known the number of people who would be saved and damned in the event that he chose to create man, and based his decision on whether or not to create man on this knowledge; if C1 would lead to a single person not being saved, God would choose C2. But what if man has have free will and God doesn’t have middle knowledge?


‘God would never create a person unless he knew that that person would be saved’…that’s the answer.


Pretty profound and to the point! :smiley: :smiley:



But how could that be if God does not have middle knowledge, but simple foreknowledge?

Right now I’m reading God’s Final Victory. The authors seem to believe that rational creatures are naturally ordered to union with God. I’m not quite sure what that means (I’ll definitely do some re-reading before I write my review), but is it the idea that God imbedded something that yearns for God in the souls of all rational creatures that allows you to believe God could create man and be sure that each descendant would be saved?


thanks ! :smiley:


well, partly…with me :slight_smile: it’s mostly the fact that all humans have ‘some’ good in them which is redeemable…after all, God promised not to destroy Sodom if He found even a little good there.



I don’t know if all creatures are naturally ordered for union with Christ or not. I go along with the Catholic view of union in my book “The Evidential Power Of Beauty”


God is love (agape love). So it’s basically falling in love with love or coming into union with love. This is done through prayer, meditation, contemplation, charity, and the Holy Eucharist. The blood of Christ is His love poured out. When we drink the wine we are drinking love and coming into union with Christ. Hence, falling in love with love. We worship what we love the most. I use to love alcohol the most. My life revolved around it. Now I’m obsessed and crazy in love with Christ. As such I am His bride in holy union.


I started reading Parry’s The Evangelical Universalist and it’s dealing exactly with the issue I raised in the OP!


I finished the chapter and Parry never said which view on divine knowledge he takes. :angry: Does anyone know if he’s a molinist, open theist, or simple foreknowledge believer?


There’s one other view of divine foreknowledge—the Calvinist view. In that view, God knows everything in advance because He causes every event to occur.


Good point paidion. Though I think I can rule out the possibility that Parry is a Calvinist. :laughing:


Perhaps you have been predestined to never know? :laughing:


Why don’t you ask him? He’s a member of the Evangelical Universalist forum.


Could you “tag” him so that he’s alerted to this thread?


The correct answer is either yes or no. :exclamation: :laughing:


Paidion has contacted Parry on my behalf. Thanks, Paidion! I wanted to reply to your PM but I can’t send you PMs.


thanks !