Tag Archives: theodicy

My compatibilist model: a response to some questions

John Johnson wrote a lengthy comment on my post responding to Jerry Walls and my compatibilist proposal. He raises some substantive questions and I think it better to deal with them in another post rather than to reply in a lengthy comment or a number of smaller comments. Because John’s questions are of a sort often raised to positions like mine, I think they deserve careful consideration. 1.  If God is meticulously in control, why … Continue reading

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Calvinist perspectives on Molinism

The Logos Reformed Blog, moderated by Jesse Myers, ran a series of 5 posts by Nathanael P. Taylor regarding Molinism. I was invited to write a response to that series and I did so, in two posts. I chose not to respond to each of Taylor’s posts separately, and I did not critique Taylor’s understanding of Molinism (the philosophical theology originated by Luis de Molina), since I am not an expert in it myself. Rather, … Continue reading

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God “weakly actualizes” evil

I have been reading a fine paper that Greg Welty presented at the annual ETS meeting in 2013, entitled “Molinist Gun Control: A Flawed Proposal?” In that paper, Welty expands on his earlier (ETS 2010) contention that the Molinist model of divine causation “inherits all of the alleged liabilities” attributed to Calvinism, “with respect to divine authorship of sin, responsibility and blame.” (Interestingly, Welty’s argument may be seen as supporting Roger Olson’s proposal that Molinism … Continue reading

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The contribution of hypothetical knowledge Calvinism to our understanding of evil in the world chosen by the almighty and perfectly good God

Thus far, I have responded to 4 criticisms leveled against hypothetical knowledge Calvinism in John Laing’s ETS paper in 2013: that it is vulnerable to the grounding objection that Calvinists and Open Theists bring against Molinism that it has an “odd notion of necessity/possibility” that it includes an “odd ontology of personhood,” and that it “flirts with fatalism.” In this post, I address his concern that what I call “hypothetical knowledge Calvinism” does not effectively … Continue reading

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DeYoung reviews Fischer’s “Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed”

              A few of the major Arminian bloggers whose posts I follow have spoken very favorably of Austin Fischer’s book, Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed. The book sounds very interesting but I don’t know when (or if) I’ll get to read it. So I was delighted to read an extensive review by Kevin DeYoung, a very fine Presbyterian pastor from whose writing I have benefited on previous occasions. Fischer’s … Continue reading

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Restorationist and Open Theist responses to a determinist model of providence

I have described and interacted with W. L. Craig’s Molinist response to Paul Helseth’s omnicausal (determinist) model, and now we’ll consider the other two responses presented in Four Views on Divine Providence. Ron Highfield’s response Ron Highfield, representing what Dennis Jowers calls a “Restorationist” position, notes that his view and Helseth’s view are closer to one another than to either of the other two positions. But Highfield attributes his “fundamental agreement with Helseth’s view,” not … Continue reading

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Must God maximize his own glory?

I believe that the Almighty Triune God, Creator of all that exists, naturally does all his works for his own glory. For him to do otherwise would be an unimaginable and impossible idolatry. This is why we are enjoined to do everything we do for God’s glory (1 Cor 10:31). I take this to be a confession common to Christians in all communions. Perhaps, however, Reformed theology has been particularly prone to emphasize the glory … Continue reading

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My compatibilist proposal

Incompatibilism: the core of Olson’s objection to Calvinism In our journey through Roger Olson’s Against Calvinism, I have drawn attention to the prominence of theodicy in Roger’s objections to Calvinism. In his view, God would be a moral monster if he were meticulously sovereign but deliberately rendered certain the horrific evils that have occurred in human history. Among those evils, the assignment of many human beings to hell ranks high. If the Calvinist account of … Continue reading

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A divine self-limitation model of providence – 1

Roger’s model of divine self-limitation In my last post in this series, I described Roger Olson’s objections to Calvinism’s model of meticulous divine providence. I am pleased that in that fourth chapter of Roger’s book, Against Calvinism, he briefly outlines his own understanding: divine self-limitation. God gave moral creatures libertarian freedom even though this would permit them to thwart his will, because “he loves and respects them enough not to control them” (100). In Roger’s … Continue reading

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Olson’s “No” to divine determinism

The Calvinist doctrine of meticulous providence In the fourth chapter of Roger Olson’s book, Against Calvinism, he addresses the Calvinistic doctrine of divine providence, drawing upon the writings of Zwingli, Calvin, Edwards, R. C. Sproul, Boettner, Helm, and Piper. He finds a common overall model in their works: God is meticulously sovereign in that “everything down to the minutest details of history and individual lives, including persons’ thoughts and actions, are foreordained and rendered certain … Continue reading

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