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What Arminians Do With The Foreknowledge of God…and The Way It Really Is

The prescience or foreknowledge of God hath not hitherto, in express terms, been denied by the Arminians, but only questioned and overthrown by consequence, inasmuch as they deny the certainty and unchangeableness of his decrees, on which it is founded. It is not a foreknowledge of all or any thing which they oppose, but only of things free and contingent, and that only to comply with their formerly-exploded error, that the purposes of God concerning such things are temporal and mutable; which obstacle being once removed, the way is open how to ascribe the presidentship of all human actions to omnipotent contingency, and her sire free-will.

Now, we call that contingent which, in regard of its next and immediate cause, before it come to pass, may be done or may be not done; as, that a man shall do such a thing tomorrow, or any time hereafter, which he may choose whether ever he will do or no. Such things as these are free and changeable, in respect of men, their immediate and second causes; but if we, as we ought to do, look up unto Him who foreseeth and hath ordained the event of them or their omission, they may be said necessarily to come to pass or to be omitted. It could not be but as it was. Christians hitherto, yea, and heathens, in all things of this nature, have usually, upon their event, reflected on God as one whose determination was passed on them from eternity, and who knew them long before; as the killng of men by the fall of a house, who might, in respect of the freedom of their own wills, have not been there. Or if a man fall into the hands of thieves, we presently conclude it was the will of God. It must be so; he knew it before.

~John Owen

from A Display of Arminianismvolume 10 of Works, page 22-23

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