Roger E. Olson, “Coming Here Soon: Critiques of Molinism”

, posted by Steven Wolf

[Please Note that SEA does not take an official stance on Molinism. Members can hold to Molinism or reject it. We do have some members who hold to Molinism and many who do not. Our site has articles from Molinist and non-Molinist perspectives.]

Please watch for a coming series about Molinism and Arminianism. I have written about that subject here before, but now respected Arminian theologian Robert Picirilli is publishing a two-part series on the subject. I’ve read part one and it is just excellent. I will post links to his essays.

The tragedy is that many self-identified Arminians are adopting Molinism (not just “middle knowledge”) to “explain” how God’s absolute, meticulous sovereignty is compatible with libertarian free will. This plays right into the hands of our Calvinist brothers and sisters who will and can then say there is no real difference between their divine determinism/meticulous providence/double predestination and Arminianism. I have to agree with them–insofar as Arminianism includes or relies on Molinism.

*I do not speak for anyone but myself*

Now, one big “fly in the ointment” here is that there is some evidence that Arminius himself toyed with Molinism; he mentions God’s middle knowledge in two or three places in his corpus of writings. However, I am convinced (as are other Arminianism) that he was confused. Molinism absolutely contrasts with Arminius’s basic commitments to God’s character as loving and just. Whatever Arminius may have thought of Molinism, it is a foreign, alien “body” within Arminian theology.

What is Molinism? you ask. In a nutshell it is the idea that God uses his “middle knowledge”–knowledge of what any possible free creature will do in any particular set of circumstances and then creates that creature and places him or her in the exact circumstances where he or she will decide and act exactly as God wants.

Please stand by and watch for this series by Robert Picirilli and my commentaries on the two parts.

 

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