CERTAINTY VERSUS NECESSITY
An event can be certainly known without necessarily being determined by the one who certainly knows. To suggest otherwise is a modal fallacy which conflates certainty with necessity. (William Lane Craig explains more here.)
You and I may know for a certainty that I posted this very article at Soteriology101.com on September 17, 2017, but only one of us determined to do that. Knowledge of the event does not necessarily have a causal link to the determination of that event.
But what about events known in the future by an omnipotent Creator? Are all events that God foreknows only foreknown because He Himself has determined them to come to pass, as many Calvinistic scholars imply in their argumentation? I do not believe so. Allow me to explain why.
Consider this passage as just one of many examples:
“David knew that Saul was plotting harm against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” Then David said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Lord, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.” Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the expedition.” -1 Samuel 23:9-13 ESV
The passage above proves that God foreknew of an expedition that did NOT come to pass, therefore demonstrating that exhaustive divine foreknowledge of all things does not equal exhaustive divine predetermination of all things.
A Calvinist may rebut by saying, “But God also foreknew David would ask these questions and leave the city after being told Saul was coming.”
I would respond by saying, “so what?” The fact is that God foreknew an event that did not come to pass. That is all that is needed to establish that foreknowledge doesn’t necessitate determinism. Plus, the point of our contention is not over whether or not God foreknew of David’s questions and his response, the real contention is over whether the knowledge itself necessitated or determined David’s choices. There is nothing logically or biblically to suggest that it did. After all, God foreknew of Saul’s expedition and that never came to pass.
Biblical translator for Logos Bible Software and Phd in ancient near east languages, Dr. Michael S Heiser, teaches more on this point for those who are interested: CLICK HERE.