Tag Archives: Molinism

Is “hypothetical knowledge Calvinism” vulnerable to the same grounding objection which makes Molinism problematic?

At the ETS meeting in Baltimore in November/13, John Laing read a paper entitled “Middle knowledge and the Assumption of Libertarian Freedom: A Response to Ware.” Though Bruce Ware and I have never collaborated, we reached similar conclusions about the usefulness of God’s knowledge of counterfactuals in his deciding what world he would create, and I appreciate the work he has done. In Providence and Prayer, I had called my model of providence “middle knowledge … Continue reading

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Why pray, if God’s will is going to be done whether we pray or not?: comparing Molinism and hypothetical knowledge Calvinism

Perhaps the most pressing question regarding prayer is whether it makes a difference. That is a question which synergists are particularly likely to put to monergists because, when God’s will is done in meticulous detail (not just as a general permission of libertarian freedom), it can look as though genuine petition is meaningless. In my book on models of divine providence I lay out the models in order of the degree to which moral creatures determine … Continue reading

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Calvinism, Molinism, Arminianism, and Open Theism: monergism/synergism at the macro and micro levels.

Last November, I linked to a post by Roger Olson in which he accepted Open Theism as an option within Arminianism but rejected Molinism because he viewed it as a form of determinism. Initially, I agreed with Roger about Open Theism, but I disagreed with him about Molinism. After further thought, I proposed a more nuanced understanding, in which Arminianism, Open Theism, and Molinism are all distinct forms of synergism. Earlier this week, I mentioned … Continue reading

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W. L. Craig’s understanding of freedom: Molinism or monergism?

 In December, I wrapped up my review of Four Views on Divine Providence, dealing with responses to Greg Boyd’s Open Theist proposal. In that post, I expressed my surprise concerning William Lane Craig’s redefinition of libertarian freedom, in which he denied that it entails the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), often described as the “power of contrary choice.” Craig proposed instead that a libertarian account of freedom requires only “the absence of causal constraints outside … Continue reading

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Responses to Boyd’s open theist model of providence

 The questions that expose the incoherence of the neo-Molinist account of divine providence . . . establish that the God of open theism is an ambivalent and arbitrary warrior who cannot be trusted to rule in every situation in a way that minimizes evil and maximizes good for his creatures. (Helseth, 222) Molinism [handles the problem of evil better than open theism] for God permits horrible evils only in view of morally sufficient reasons, whereas … Continue reading

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Boyd’s open theist model of providence

            We come now to the fourth model in Four Views on Divine Providence, as Gregory Boyd puts forward his understanding as an open theist.  Gregory A. Boyd’s model of providence Christocentric criteria proposed for assessing models of divine providence Boyd posits that Jesus is the key to understanding the nature of God’s governance in the world and so he identifies four christocentric criteria by which models of providence should … Continue reading

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Further thoughts concerning Molinism and Arminianism

A few days ago, I responded to Roger Olson’s opinion that Open Theism is a form of Arminianism but Molinism is not. I’ll wrap that conversation up with these citations of our further conversation in the comment thread of Roger’s post, particularly regarding Molinism. Roger wrote: Thanks, Terry. I don’t consider Greg Boyd a Molinist. His “might counterfactuals” are not at all what traditional Molinism/middle knowledge claims. His “neo-Molinism” is not, IMHO, any version of … Continue reading

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Are open theism and Molinism forms of Arminian theology?

Roger Olson has addressed an interesting question: are open theism and Molinism forms of Arminianism or not? He thinks that open theism is but Molinism is not. I agree with Roger Olson that open theism is a sub-category of Arminian theology but I disagree with his assessment that Molinism does not belong there. Here is the slightly edited comment I wrote on his blog post (though it has not yet been approved there).  I speak … Continue reading

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Responses to Craig’s Molinist model of God’s providence

Craig offers . . . a tendentious analysis that leaves the most difficult and important questions unaddressed (Paul Helseth, 101). The theory of middle knowledge was supposed to rid the world of fate and chance while preserving human freedom. To accomplish this task, however, it limits God’s freedom and subjects him to a kind of fate worse than the one from which it supposedly liberates human beings (Ron Highfield, 120). Ironically, while open theists are … Continue reading

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A Molinist model of God’s providence

              In Chapter 2 of  Four Views on Divine Providence, William Lane Craig presents a Molinist perspective. A restatement of William Lane Craig’s model of divine providence William Lane Craig begins his presentation by noting that Christian theology has traditionally affirmed God’s knowledge of conditional future contingents, what philosophers often call “counterfactuals.” Craig defines these as “conditional statements in the subjunctive mood, such as “If I were rich, I … Continue reading

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