Voetius Contra Middle Knowledge

From the points which have been so far upheld against middle knowledge it is clear that the whole difficulty in the present controversy reduces to this one point: Could free conditioned things, from eternity indifferent by nature to futurition or nonfuturition, have passed over into the state of a future event otherwise than by the divine decree? This is the fundamental of fundamentals, on which the whole weight of the case rests. This is that postulate, which both we cannot concede to our adversaries and they cannot prove to us. …Middle knowledge is effective and congruous for any end by its nature. Upon it God is forced to wait in the wise framing of His decrees, which are bound to have a fixed result. The truth or falsity of future conditioned free ones is not known from their causes or from the divine decree, but from the actual occurrence of the thing. Before every act of His will God can see certainty in things quite uncertain by their nature. In short, there is an ens independent of the supreme ens.”

—Voetius in Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, 80ff.


  1. Is the Wikipedia article on Molinism an accurate account of what “Middle Knowledge” is?

    It would seem to me that the doctrine of total depravity is the sum total of such middle knowledge that exists, and, therefore, we need not “middle knowledge” as a separate doctrine. Have I got completely the wrong end of the stick?

    • John,

      Haven’t read it. Wouldn’t trust it. Wikipedia is not a reliable source for serious topics. It can be edited by anyone, anytime, for any reason.

      Molinism is a claim about God, that there are not two aspects of divine knowledge, but 3. Middle knowledge claims that God knows what we (free, contingent) creatures might do but not what we will do. It reduces him to a cosmic chess player with great reflexes.

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