Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Murray on Foreknowledge: “Whence proceeds this faith which God foresees?”
I had the privilege of preaching on “The Golden Chain of Redemption” (Romans 8:29-30) last Sunday morning in our Romans 7-8 Series. It has also been a blessing to read John Murray’s commentary on Romans, passage by passage, as a study companion in this preaching series. Sunday, I cited Murray’s rebuttal of the typical Arminian interpretation of “foreknowledge” as merely “God’s foresight of faith.” Murray notes that this interpretation “is considered to obviate the doctrine of unconditional election, and so dogmatic interest is often apparent in those who espouse it” (p. 316). He then offers this rebuttal:
It needs to be emphasized that the rejection of this interpretation is not dictated by a predestinarian interest. Even if it were granted that “foreknew” means the foresight of faith, the biblical doctrine of sovereign election is not thereby eliminated or disproven. For it is certainly true that God foresees faith; he foresees all that comes to pass. The question then would simply be: whence proceeds this faith that God foresees? And the only Biblical answer is that the faith which God foresees is the faith he himself creates (cf. John 3:3-8; 6:44, 45; Eph 2:8; Phil 1:29; 2 Peter 1:2) [p. 316].