Paul refers to four stages in God's plan of salvation (Rom. 8:29). First, God had foreknowledge of all the future and so chose the ‘elect’ (cf. Acts 4:28); then he ‘called’, when those chosen became aware of it; then they were ‘justified’ by their faith, and finally they would be ‘glorified’, the first-born of many brethren.
How God's foreknowledge can be reconciled with genuine human free will has not been easy for traditional Christian theology, and some recent thinkers hold that by his act of creating a temporal universe God was committed to a temporal relationship with it—there were elements in the future unknown to God.

Dictionary of the Bible.


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  • Foreknowledge — Fore*knowl edge, n. Knowledge of a thing before it happens, or of whatever is to happen; prescience. [1913 Webster] If I foreknew, Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • foreknowledge — index expectation, precognition, prognosis Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • foreknowledge — (n.) 1530s, from FORE (Cf. fore ) + KNOWLEDGE (Cf. knowledge). Cf. foreknow to know beforehand (late 14c.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • foreknowledge — ► NOUN ▪ awareness of something before it happens or exists …   English terms dictionary

  • foreknowledge — [fôr′näl΄ij, fôr näl′ij] n. knowledge of something before it happens or exists; prescience …   English World dictionary

  • foreknowledge — [[t]fɔː(r)nɒ̱lɪʤ[/t]] N UNCOUNT: oft N of n If you have foreknowledge of an event or situation, you have some knowledge of it before it actually happens. She has maintained that the General had foreknowledge of the plot …   English dictionary

  • foreknowledge — /fawr nol ij, fohr , fawr nol ij, fohr /, n. knowledge of something before it exists or happens; prescience: Did you have any foreknowledge of the scheme? [1525 35; FORE + KNOWLEDGE] Syn. presentiment, premonition; foresightedness. * * * …   Universalium

  • foreknowledge — The ability to predict events before they occur. Traditionally God s foreknowledge, apparently guaranteed by his omniscience, raises severe problems both about the fixedness of the future, and about whether it can co exist with our free will …   Philosophy dictionary

  • foreknowledge — noun (U) formal knowledge that something is going to happen before it actually does (+ of): The senator denied having any foreknowledge of the affair …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • foreknowledge — noun see foreknow …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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