Agonizomai: Talk of the Week<br>Deconstructing Molinism

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Talk of the Week
Deconstructing Molinism

Here is a two-part program from James White's Alpha and Omega Ministries "Dividing Line". It was originally aired in May 2009. Just as I sometimes publish "Blasts from the Past" for a change of pace, so Dr. White and the crew sometimes put on "Radio Free Geneva", which is a program specifically designed to answer the critics of Reformed Theology.

For me, the introduction alone is worth the price of admission. Aside from the music you will hear various anti-Calvinists running on emotion, absent exegetical accuracy as they try to put down Calvinism.

But there is also in these two recordings a very useful deconstruction of the Molinist teaching of D. William Lane Craig. Luis de Molina (hence Molinism) was a Jesuit priest tasked with finding an answer for Roman Catholicism to the Reformed teachings of God's sovereignty in election and predestination. Molina came up with the so-called answer of "Middle Knowledge" wherein God computed all the possibilities of all the choices of all the people in all the possible worlds He could have created, and then decided to create only that world in which those people He wanted to actually did what He wanted. (If this confuses you - join the club.) This supposedly preserved freedom of the human will and reconciled it to the decretive and elective will of God. Craig propagates the Molinist view, even though he is a Protestant, and the Catholics long ago had the sense to abandon it.

This stuff makes my head hurt but I liked listening to Dr. White show the exegetical fallacies and the logical errors and inconsistencies of the Molinist view. This turns out to be an overview of the differences between the understanding of an academic philosopher (Craig) and an Biblicist theologian (White). If you have the stomach for it, it's a good listen.


Blogger Derek Ashton said...


James White is at his best here. The commentary is very entertaining, but it's also terrifying to think that revived Molinism is actually being taught in a Protestant church. It's very telling that William Lane Craig won't even entertain the idea that there's a paradox involved in man's freedom, but White almost admits that there might possibly be an apparent paradox even though Calvinists have presented arguments to explain it. That's not enough to get him a THEOparadox t-shirt (and certainly not one with arms), but it's encouraging.


12:23 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:49 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...


Only yours truly should get arms with the T-shirt - so we agree on that!

It's nice to watch you squirm a little as you back-handedly complement James White. Now that alone is worth the price of admission!



6:29 pm  

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