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
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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.