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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 14, Issue 1, January 1997

John Sanders
Pages 26-40

Why Simple Foreknowledge Offers No More Providential Control Than the Openness of God

This paper examines the question of whether the theory of simply foreknowledge (SF) provides God with greater providential control than does the theory of present knowledge (PK). It is claimed by the proponents of SF that a deity lacking such knowledge would not be able to provide the sort of providential aid commonly thought by theists to be given by God. To see whether this is the case I first distinguish two different versions of how God’s foreknowledge is accessed according to simple foreknowledge. These two versions are then utilized to examine seven different areas of divine providence to assess the utility of simple foreknowledge. I conclude that SF affords no greater providential control than PK.

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