A date with Molina... date #1

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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    Now that I have a better understanding of the differences between Classical Arminianism, Molinism and Open Theism, I've some questions for the Molinists (or those that believe they are able to fairly treat Molinism, yes, it's almost an all-skate). I started out with just two questions… but they quickly multiplied into 5 and I anticipate some more. So, I'm just going to ask one question on this date… maybe we'll all agree to pursue another after this one is over. Some of these questions may expose my ignorance of the view but please be patient (it is just a first date, afterall!), trusting that my goal is to understand:


    Is it the case that God only used his middle knowledge before he created or does he still use it on a daily basis? It is difficult for me to think that middle knowledge would be useful once he finished creating the first free creature.​
     
  2. HeirofSalvation

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    Only prior to the creative act....It is essentially pointless afterwards, after the creative act...It is His Free Knowledge that results in exhaustive foreknowledge.
     
  3. humblethinker

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    Gotcha, that's what I thought. As a followup regarding Molinism, what is the use of actualizing a world when the theoretical worlds are enough information and are certain enough? What is the benefit or why is it necessary for this world to actually exist?
     
  4. HeirofSalvation

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    The same reason anyone else might believe the purpose of creating the world is. To bring himself glory....to fellowship with beings created in his image, because he is love, and by nature he wants to share his love with beings who benefit from it et. al. A Molinist doesn't have any different belief about God's purpose in the creative act than anyone else would.
     
  5. humblethinker

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    Ok, I agree. To me, in a way this seems like a parachute answer if you know what I mean... some theories have to pull the rip-cord sooner than others.
     
  6. HeirofSalvation

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    I do not know what you mean....were you asking why this particular world? I don't understand how any soteriological theory has or must have a fundamentally different view about why God created the world.
     
  7. humblethinker

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    I'll make explicit the implicit in my statement:
    And maybe I should elaborate on this statement of mine a little more (see italicized letters again for modifications):

    I'm not saying that our soteriological theories have a fundamentally different view about why God created the world. But, since you brought that up (good question), I would ask why is it that Molinism requires that this world be actualized? (You do believe that this world is the only world that is actualized, correct?... You don't believe in concurrent multiverses actually existing, do you? Just checking...:smilewinkgrin:) Given middle knowledge, why not just actualize the last part of this world only so that all creaturely experiences are bypassed? This question could be put to more deterministic theories (calvinism) as well. I don't think this could be asked of Open Theism though...
     
  8. 12strings

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    Let's see if I can show off my ignorance here.

    Does molinism assert that God conceptualized in "middle knowledge" an infinite number of worlds, and the outcomes had he created those worlds, but only really create this one that we live in?

    If so, how is this any different than a calvinist saying God knows all possible things, including what would happen if he created things differently than he did?

    Also, how exactly is Molinism any less deterministic than calvinism?
     
  9. humblethinker

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    Lol... OK, no one answer his last question here! Answer it on my Date #2 thread I created.

    Just trying to keep these threads focused.
     
    #9 humblethinker, Apr 25, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2012
  10. 12strings

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    oops, your right. I just figured out the 2nd thread.
     
  11. HeirofSalvation

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    I think the average Molinist would say that God actualized this particular world because it was the one that best suited his purpose, that being it most likely had/has the maximal number...or more likely...ratio of those who would freely accept him: God, desiring that as few as possible would perish and the maximal number would accept him, this "world" is the one that is best suited to it. I would also add that this was also a world such that no one...who might believe in a different set of circumstances exists, or to put it differently, I would imagine that the damned of this world are those who would NOT under any set of circumstances accept Christ. I am not sure that is a majority view though.

    :laugh: NO, I think that multi-verse stuff is largely for your materialists/a-theists to explain the "fine-tuning" of the Universe for life:laugh:

    Why, I would say for precisely the same reason all systems of thought (within Orthodoxy) including Open Theism. This world is the Pilgrimage we are on in order to recognize our need for God, to become conformed to the image of his Son et. al. Molinism is really not so much a novel Soteriological point of view...I am basically Arminian, but I believe in individual election to salvation based upon the Sovereign decree of God...but so as the free will of man is not taken away but rather affirmed....in other words...actual Libertarian Free Will and Predestination. It is merely a way to explain it or how it might reasonably work without turning free will into compatibilism (which, despite the insistences of our Cal brethren) is NOT (in my view) free will. It is just a posit of a possible explanation.

    I think it could....either OT or Molinism requires sets of circumstances no? Indeed, I would almost say that sets of circumstances (that God decreed) are indeed the bread and butter of both!! In OT, unless I am wrong...This Earth and our lives in them bring us to the place where we MAY accept Christ, similarly, Molinism requires a foreknown set of circumstances whereby free creatures choose to accept/obey him, the main difference being....in Molinism, the deck is flawlessly stacked prior to God's ever having dealt out the cards....:smilewinkgrin: But you still have to play them.
     
  12. humblethinker

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    I think you are quite right that it would not be a majority view of Molinists. I find the view (that a ratio or maximal number of souls saved) flimsy, naive and sentimental, myself. I have heard Calvinists use this reasoning and it was equally unimpressuve to me. I appreciate you sharing your view though... We don't always have to have convincing arguements to justify having an opinion.
    I think what you meant to communicate was obscured by my confusion of words or phrasing that you've used. Is this close to what you meant: There is no person that would trust God in the other worlds that would not trust God in the actualized world.
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    is there even such things as "potential worlds" possible though, since God would have created all things by His power, and would have fixed the strat from the end?

    based yupon the truth/fact of sin would eneter the Creation, would this actually be the ONLY earth/salvation/Gospel way to have it done, as God would always do what is the best/only way to glorify himself and also the best way for His creation?
     
  14. HeirofSalvation

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    Oh, no, I think it very well might be a majority view....This Part:
    I meant to suggest that I would not claim that a majority of Molinists would assert my personal contention that:
    Or as you said:

    Yes, I would personally add that caveat

    WLC, seems to suggest this himself with this:


    But I have suggested that there is another possibility. Maybe God has so providentially ordered the world that all those who freely reject His grace and are lost are persons who would have freely rejected His grace under any circumstances and so been lost in any world feasible for God. We could say that such persons are transworldly damned. These would be incredibly reprobate people. If they do not appear so bad in this world, that may be because the actual world is one of the worlds in which they come closest to salvation, though in the end they freely thrust it from them. Thus, it’s possible that there just are no such people as “S,” as you’ve envisioned.


    Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/sovereignty-and-salvation#ixzz1tBsNHlwP


    I am not sure how the Calvinist view enters into it quite frankly....as far as I am concerned (and I think the average Molinist) God could (given Calvinism) ostensibly care less who is or is not damned....if he gave a hoot (given Calvinism) he could easily have bestowed his irresistibly efficatious grace on all....I still do not think you fully appreciate that Molinists believe in LFW in precisely the same way you would. To a Molinist, like OT's it is as impossible for God to give LFW to all his creatures and guarantee their salvation at the same time...unless, perhaps he created a grand total of the six people who would in all circumstances accept him. (so to speak)

    In a small way, I think you are still suffering some confusion about Molinism....don't allow Roger Olson's comparison of Molinism to some form of "closet Calvinism" dominate your thinking too much; he is a smart guy, but wrong about this I think. I would even contend that comparatively speaking...Molinism is far closer to Arminianism than Calvinism.
     
    #14 HeirofSalvation, Apr 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2012

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