Molinism What is it? Molinism • Craig’s Presentation on Molinism in Four Views on Divine Providence History • Named after: 16th Century Jesuit Theologian Luis de Molina Counterfactuals • What might have happened had things gone differently • Called counterfactuals as often the situations considered are contrary to what has actually happened – If John Howard had won the 2007 election then the 2013 Budget would be in surplus. – If I were rich I would buy a Mercedes. – If you were to ask her, she would say yes – If I pull out into traffic now I won’t make it Possible Worlds • The full range of options that worlds could be – e.g. God could have only created 27 people in one world • These are only the way things might have been had God made things differently. • They don’t all exist at once, or keep branching off Natural Knowledge • God knows what are logically possible worlds and what are logically possible choices of persons in those worlds – Square Triangle worlds are impossible – No logical impossibility in everyone accepting God – No logical impossibility in everyone rejecting God Middle Knowledge • Persons can freely choose in a given situation and hence place limits of feasibility on the worlds the God can create. • God however can look at all possible worlds and create the one that he chooses. Natural, Middle & Free Knowledge • Natural: God’s knowledge of all logically possible worlds • Middle : God’s knowledge of what free agents will do in any situation • Free : God’s knowledge of what will happen in the world that he as chosen to create. Human Freedom • It affords God a means of choosing which world of free creatures to create – People freely choose given certain points of decision in a world. – God chooses what world is created and hence what circumstances are present at each decision point. Uses of Molinism • • • • • • • Christian Particularism Perseverance of the saints Biblical inspiration Infallibility Christology The fall and natural evil Evolutionary theory Providence is different to Soteriology • Calvinism and Total Depravity (TD) – Given TD there are no possible circumstances where people will freely accept salvation. – So middle knowledge worlds contain no persons who freely accept the give of salvation – Hence God can’t actualise our particular world where people are saved.