[Milton-L] De Doctrina Christiana

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 12 16:27:11 EST 2009

Stephen Fallon writes:

"[T]he appearance of God as a speaking character generates the problems of level of consistency. It is one thing to say that God is omniscient; it is another to present God at a moment in time reacting to an event and predicting its consequences, including consequences arising from the operation of free will. In a doctrinal treatise, one can do things with God that one can't do as easily in a narrative."
I wonder if the doctrine of God's Middle Knowledge -- which was developed by the Spanish Jesuits and which stands behind Arminian views on free will and which Milton could have gotten in part from Arminius or in whole from Molina -- enables Milton to make this attempt at a narrative presentation of God's omniscience interacting with man's free will.
Not that the narrative strikes us as entirely consistent unless we know that theology . . . but Milton was looking for a "fit audience though few."
Jeffery Hodges
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