Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor


Newcomb's Problem and Election
Gordon Brown
3150 Iris Avenue #205
Bolder CO 80301

From: JASA 36 (September 1984): 192.

I would like to express my appreciation to you for including Edward Davis's excellent article Newcomb's Problem and Divine Foreknowledge in the March issue of JASA. I found it to be a very stimulating and enjoyable treatment of a subject that is important to Christians.

By discussing Newcomb's Problem, Davis has very ably dealt with a formulation of the usual objection to the doctrine of divine foreknowledge. His footnotes, though go even further by mentioning another subject, the doctrine of election, whose discussion tends to touch on the topic of free will. It is unfortunate that for many centuries what the Bible calls election theologians have been refer ring to as predestination, for this tends to give many the impression that the relation between man's free will and God's foreknowledge is the central issue. Actually, in discussing election and the meaning of grace , it is the relationship between Man's nature and the freedom of his will which seems to be the pertinent area of debate. This gives further evidence that the subject of free will is a very slippery one to handle.