Tag Archives: William Lane Craig

Of what did the Son of God empty himself in becoming human?

The mystery of the incarnation Christmas 2016 is now over, and once again we have joyously celebrated one of the great moments of redemptive history, the incarnation. In the memorable words of the apostle John, “the Word became flesh and lived among us” (Jn 1:14 NRSV). The baby born in Bethlehem was no mere man; he was God (Jn 1:1), and he had always existed “with God” (Jn 1:2). But he became one of us, … Continue reading

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How would Molinism work without the affirmation of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities?

Source incompatibilism A few years ago, I became aware that William Lane Craig no longer affirmed the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), although he continued to work within the framework of Molinism. That prompted me to write a blog post asking: “W. L. Craig’s understanding of freedom: Molinism or monergism?” A few people contributed helpful comments on that post and it is obvious that some others share my interest in this area of theology. Since … Continue reading

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Is the theory of evolution compatible with theism?

  At Reasonable Faith, in the Defenders podcasts, William Lane Craig did a series on creation and evolution, as an excursus in his treatment of the biblical doctrine of creation. This is a subject about which I feel woefully ignorant, and I have done very little of the reading I would like to. So I found these lectures very helpful. Craig proposes that, if one works with a philosophical pre-commitment to methodological naturalism, then Neo-Darwinism … 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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Is God timeless or temporal apart from creation?

One of the factors that makes up a person’s model of providence is their understanding of God’s relationship to time. Accordingly, when I constructed a comparative chart of the eleven models of divine providence which I had unpacked in Providence and Prayer, I included a line for “God’s experience of time” (363-64). When I  wrote that book I was convinced that, when God created, he enters into time, though he experiences it differently than we … Continue reading

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William Lane Craig affirms universal revelation accessibilism

“Salvation is truly available to all persons at all times. It all depends upon our free response.” W. L. Craig For years, I have been aware of a gospel exclusivist approach to the salvation of the unevangelized, formulated within a Molinist framework, and enunciated very clearly by William Lane Craig. In a number of publications, I have seen him argue that God has chosen a world in which everyone who would have believed the gospel, if … 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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Responses to Highfield’s model of providence

I wonder if his reluctance to address the “how” of God’s providential relationship to the world that he has made fosters a measure of confusion that, in the end, is largely unnecessary.” (P. K. Helseth, 167) It is hard not to detect here a certain distrust of logical analysis and philosophical reflection, which is both unfortunate and naïve: unfortunate because it would deprive us of the insights such reflection might bring and naïve because such … 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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