Jesus Creed

Myth #8: Arminians do not believe in predestination. Not so, says Roger Olson in Arminian Theology. Predestination, because it is in the Bible, is believed by Arminians. Here’s his point: predestination is God’s sovereign decree to elect believers in Jesus Christ, and it includes God’s foreknowledge of those believers’ faith.
The basic Bible verse for Arminians is Romans 8:29 (with 8:28):

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Now, what this text says is that God predestines according to foreknowledge; and 1 Peter 1:1-2 says the same. Most Calvinists know that Arminians do believe in predestination, but it hasn’t stopped the general popular comment that Calvinists do and Arminians don’t when it comes to predestination.
Essentially, Arminians believe God knows what humans will do and predestination is rooted in, or related to, that foreknowledge. Election, for the Arminian, is corporate: God chooses Christ; all in Christ are chosen. There is an individual meaning (foreknowledge of individual choices) and collective meaning (election of a people). The individual then is conditional; the collective is unconditional.
Arminians have remonstrated with Calvinists for centuries on this singular point: if God chooses some to be reprobate (double predestination/elective sense), then God’s gracious love and justice are threatened. Olson again goes through the same list to show the [in]consistency of Arminian thinking in a similar way] — while both think they are consistent.] {bracketed material added later due to the mistake of saying “consistency”; thanks Kipp]
Two issues arise: middle knowledge and open theism.
Middle knowledge asks this: If God knows all, how can individuals be free (liberatarian free will)? If they are, then God knows all possibilities resulting from all permutations of decisions throughout all of history! Molinism resolves, according to some (e.g, Wm Lane Craig), the problem. Olson relies on Witt here and contends with him that Molinism is ultimately another form of determinism. (Terry Tiessen: Do you agree?) That is, counterfactuals of freedom are illogical.
Open theism:God does not, according to open theism, know the future exhaustively or infallibly. God’s knowledge is limited because God has chosen it to be so. Not all Arminians believe this; in fact, most don’t.
Thus, Olson concludes, Arminians are in a paradox: God’s exhaustive foreknowledge and belief in libertarian free will. As Calvinists believe in unconditional foreordination of sin and human responsibility for sin, so Arminians have the paradox of libertarian free will and God’s foreknowledge.

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