A Molinism Question

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Jul 21 2020 8:28 AM

Ok, this is being asked for instruction, not debate. If any of the admins think it violates the rules, I have no objections to it being deleted.

Ive been getting a number of email notifications about Protestantism and Molinism. Since I thought Molinism was a Catholic school of thought, I was wondering what the non-Catholic interest was about. Can somebody enlighten me?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 21 2020 9:11 AM

from Wikipedia:

Prominent contemporary Molinists are William Lane Craig, Alfred Freddoso, Thomas Flint, Kenneth Keathley,[1] and Dave Armstrong

William Lane Craig is a Protestant as is  Kenneth Keathley

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 21 2020 9:28 AM

Thank you both Smile

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 21 2020 9:32 AM

Kevin:

Ah, I wish we had that on Logos

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Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 21 2020 9:50 AM

Here is another one into that theology

https://freethinkingministries.com/ 

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 21 2020 10:55 AM

Not wanting to to take this into off topic discussion, but as a Lutheran who has often spoken about Grace and the Will with both Calvinist and Arminianist Reformed Christians, I want to warn you that it is very easy to misunderstand what exactly someone is saying about those topics if you disagree significantly on how God can work with the world in the Sacraments. And so while I personally rejoice that there are significant Protestant figures who have been enriched by thought like this, I would be cautious about using them as spokespeople for historical Molinism.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 21 2020 11:05 AM

This is all speculative. It's a way of trying to make sense of the evidence on hand, both textual and experiential. I don't have a problem with the concept of Molinism, but there are certain scientific theories that may render the "need" for middle knowledge moot. According to Brian Greene, there are reasons to think that the future is already set (like a loaf of bread, in his analogy) and each moment that passes another tiny slice is experienced. If this idea is accurate, then it helps explain prophecy. It can be "predicted" because it isn't a prediction at all...it's an already established inevitability. But this "solves" one side of the equation only to tangle the other side irrationally. Where does choice fit in? The biggest conundrum of the Bible is the "balance" of predeterminism against choice. I've never found any solution of my own nor in anything anyone else says. It is the fundamental paradox, and as both sides approach the other, they disappear into a fog that gives every indication of being enduringly inscrutable. They both appear to be true, like the standard model and quantum mechanics, but they don't play well together and seem to contradict each other the closer they get to one another.

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 21 2020 11:22 AM

Ken McGuire:

Not wanting to to take this into off topic discussion, but as a Lutheran who has often spoken about Grace and the Will with both Calvinist and Arminianist Reformed Christians, I want to warn you that it is very easy to misunderstand what exactly someone is saying about those topics if you disagree significantly on how God can work with the world in the Sacraments. And so while I personally rejoice that there are significant Protestant figures who have been enriched by thought like this, I would be cautious about using them as spokespeople for historical Molinism.

Well, I don’t see this as a derailment.  Molinism is close to a position I reasoned out when I first moved from cultural to committed so hopefully I won’t have that issue. I do act under the assumption that Catholics and non-Catholics will sometimes use the same term but mean different things.

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J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 22 2020 8:10 AM

David Wanat:
Ive been getting a number of email notifications about Protestantism and Molinism. Since I thought Molinism was a Catholic school of thought, I was wondering what the non-Catholic interest was about. Can somebody enlighten me?

Aside from the name being derived from someone who was a Catholic, there is nothing distinctively Catholic about Molinism just as such. It has become very popular among Protestants who are into philosophy and apologetics because, they believe, it provides a nice solution to reconciling a strong view of God's sovereignty and foreknowledge with libertarian human free will.

Lots of criticisms have been raised of Molinism, and not just from the Calvinist/Reformed community (e.g., Nicholas Wolterstorf). The philosopher John Martin Fischer has a good article that surveys the position and discusses why the "were S to x, God would have..." type of statements simply beg the question. (I've seen Fischer's article simply titled "Molinism" and elsewhere "On Molinism".) Probably the most accessible interaction with Molinism would be in the book Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views. In that book, William Lane Craig defends Molinism Dave Hunt (the philosopher, not the "What Love is This?" guy) critiques it from a non-Reformed perspective and Paul Helm from the Reformed perspective. 

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Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 22 2020 10:31 AM

J. Remington Bowling:

David Wanat:
Ive been getting a number of email notifications about Protestantism and Molinism. Since I thought Molinism was a Catholic school of thought, I was wondering what the non-Catholic interest was about. Can somebody enlighten me?

Aside from the name being derived from someone who was a Catholic, there is nothing distinctively Catholic about Molinism just as such. It has become very popular among Protestants who are into philosophy and apologetics because, they believe, it provides a nice solution to reconciling a strong view of God's sovereignty and foreknowledge with libertarian human free will.

Lots of criticisms have been raised of Molinism, and not just from the Calvinist/Reformed community (e.g., Nicholas Wolterstorf). The philosopher John Martin Fischer has a good article that surveys the position and discusses why the "were S to x, God would have..." type of statements simply beg the question. (I've seen Fischer's article simply titled "Molinism" and elsewhere "On Molinism".) Probably the most accessible interaction with Molinism would be in the book Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views. In that book, William Lane Craig defends Molinism Dave Hunt (the philosopher, not the "What Love is This?" guy) critiques it from a non-Reformed perspective and Paul Helm from the Reformed perspective. 

I would think this resource would touch on it as well: https://www.logos.com/product/26705/four-views-on-divine-providence 

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 22 2020 12:32 PM

David Wanat:

Ok, this is being asked for instruction, not debate. If any of the admins think it violates the rules, I have no objections to it being deleted.

Ive been getting a number of email notifications about Protestantism and Molinism. Since I thought Molinism was a Catholic school of thought, I was wondering what the non-Catholic interest was about. Can somebody enlighten me?

You might also be interested in Greg Boyd's work. He calls his view of open theism "neo-molinism". It is pretty interesting.

He has a book on this topic in Logos: God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God

Here is an article from his webpage: Neo-Molinism and the Infinite Intelligence of God. 

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 22 2020 6:54 PM

David Wanat:
I do act under the assumption that Catholics and non-Catholics will sometimes use the same term but mean different things.

Only sometimes?

On the subject of Catholic understandings of free will, etc., that also attend to others' ideas, I offer https://verbum.com/product/17125/grace-actual-and-habitual-a-dogmatic-treatise.

“God watches over the affairs of those who truly love him without their worrying about them.” - St. John of the Cross

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