Middle Knowledge - Dr. William Craig

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Karen, Dec 16, 2001.

  1. Karen

    Karen
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    http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/middle1.html

    I posted this on the old BB and did not get very much response, but I think this is a good place to do it again. Dr. William Lane Craig is one of my favorite Christian apologists, although not light reading, at least for me.

    I hope you can access this link. It shows a middle knowledge (Molinist) perspective which is different than the Calvinist / Arminian dichotomy.

    Karen
     
  2. rlvaughn

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    Karen, thanks for posting this link. I am printing it out to make the reading a little easier on my eyes. You are certainly correct that it is not light reading! It makes my head hurt to have to think that much. :eek: But surely it's good for us. ;) It is a shame that the article is directed mostly to scholars and that Craig argues from a philosophical rather than scriptural standpoint. That is - I would like to see how Craig builds the scriptural foundation for his viewpoint.
     
  3. Karen

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    bump
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    Karen,

    It is interesting how, in the testimony threads you embrace Calvinism because it answered questions and the subsequently rejected it. Your contention seemed to be the logical problems with it--that Calvinists don't emphasize God's love enough, infra/supra problems (which I think you misrepresented), etc. Then you choose this "middle knowledge" view which is entirely based on logic. Middle knowledge is an idea that has several problems:

    Middle knowledge is essentially a form of the prescience view of foreknowledge, that God was looking through the corridors of time and seeing endless pure contingencies.

    However, the problem with middle knowledge is the text of Scripture. It involves a number of assertions that cannot be supported from the whole of biblical truth; it can be sustained only by exclusionary interpretation (interpreting some texts to the exclusion of others). The article you reference here contains only one verse of Scripture and a lot of "logical thinking" that does not submit itself to the revelation of God. I will be the first to admit that I cannot fully explain God's methods in salvation. That does not drive me away from biblical revelation. I simply accept that there are some things I don't understand and be faithful to what I do understand.
     
  5. Chris Temple

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    Pastor Larry:

    I agree. And Middle Knowledge (Molinism) is close to if not outright heresy, as it denies the omniscience of God. It is also Roman Catholic in origin:

    From Molinism :

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Molinism, named after Luis de Molina, is a theological system for reconciling human freedom with God's grace and providence. Presupposing a strongly libertarian account of freedom, Molinists assert against their rivals that the grace whereby God cooperates with supernaturally salvific acts is not intrinsically efficacious. To preserve divine providence and foreknowledge, they then posit "middle knowledge", through which God knows, prior to his own free decrees, how any possible rational agent would freely act in any possible situation. Beyond this, they differ among themselves regarding the ground for middle knowledge and the doctrines of efficacious grace and predestination.
    Molinism is an influential system within Catholic theology for reconciling human free choice with God's grace, providence, foreknowledge and predestination. Originating within the Society of Jesus in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, it encountered stiff opposition from Bañezian Thomists and from the self-styled Augustinian disciples of Michael Baius and Cornelius Jansen.

    Molinism's three distinguishing marks are a strongly libertarian account of human freedom; the consequent conviction that the grace whereby God cooperates with supernaturally salvific free acts is not intrinsically efficacious; and the postulation of divine middle knowledge (scientia media), by which God knows, before any of his free decrees regarding creatures, how any possible rational being would freely act in any possible situation (see MOLINA, LUIS DE §§ 2-3)....
    Molina himself claims that because God's cognitive power infinitely surpasses the natures of creatures, God is able to know those natures "in a more eminent way than that in which they are knowable in themselves." So God not only comprehends possible creatures but also "super-comprehends" them, as later Molinists put it, and in this way knows futuribilia involving them. One corollary, explicitly defended by Molina, is that God does not know futuribilia concerning his own free decrees, since his cognitive power does not infinitely surpass his own nature. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It is simply more humanistic rationalism rather than Biblical truth.
     
  6. Karen

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    Karen,

    It is interesting how, in the testimony threads you embrace Calvinism because it answered questions and the subsequently rejected it. Your contention seemed to be the logical problems with it--that Calvinists don't emphasize God's love enough, infra/supra problems (which I think you misrepresented), etc. Then you choose this "middle knowledge" view which is entirely based on logic....I will be the first to admit that I cannot fully explain God's methods in salvation....I simply accept that there are some things I don't understand and be faithful to what I do understand.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks for your response. Actually, I do not "choose" middle knowledge. Since this is a discussion board, I thought that this was an interesting article that displays other thought on the issues on this forum.
    I am not against logic and have not tried to turn from it. I simply see some logical problems that I do not know how to articulate very well and that I would be interested in your response too, though.
    I do see them as problems in your view.

    You and I agree that there are things we do not understand. But we disagree on the extent to which we carry some doctrines.

    Karen
     
  7. Karen

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    Chris,
    Thanks for your comments.
    As far as the article, I don't think that Dr.
    Craig corresponds exactly to what you have described.
    From other things I have read, it sounds to me like he does not believe in such an "open view" of God's knowledge. (I do not.)

    Karen
     
  8. rlvaughn

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    Karen, thanks again for posting. This definitely was an interesting article. I also looked at the one linked to it called "No Other Name". For me, that was a better starting place. I can find nothing better to say than to agree with what Pastor Larry said: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>However, the problem with middle knowledge is the text of Scripture. It involves a number of assertions that cannot be supported from the whole of biblical truth; it can be sustained only by exclusionary interpretation (interpreting some texts to the exclusion of others). The article you reference here contains only one verse of Scripture and a lot of "logical thinking" that does not submit itself to the revelation of God.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I can appreciate the attempt to deal with hard issues that seem to never be satisfactorily explained by either Calvinism or Arminianism; but I have a hard time keeping interest in a bunch of "philosophizing" without the use of scripture. To me, this seems more of an endless array of "what if's" and "maybe so's" strung together with the use of logic.
     

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