In the second episode of a two-part series, former Calvinist Tim Stratton helps us understand Molinism, which seeks to resolve the apparent tension between the theological ideas of predestination and human free-will. In this week's podcast, we learn more about Tim's journey out of Calvinism, the three different views of God's knowledge, and a bit more about the history behind Calvinism, Arminianism, and Molinism.
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11/15/2017 09:29:23 am
This isn't really a challenge to you Alisa, but Tim didn't really defend a biblical case for Molinism. He pointed to a situation in which God tells David waht will happen if he acts in a given instance versus what would happen if he acted differently. Biblically, this would really fall under God's sovereign decree as seen in Is. 37:26. The Calvinist position is not that God does not act in history but that nothing happens that is not secured by His decree. In the case of David, God's intervention into his decision serves that exact purpose.
11/15/2017 09:52:22 am
Hi Clark! Thanks so much for your comments.
11/15/2017 10:04:44 am
You're welcome. I think I saw that you're presenting at the women in apologetics conference, so I'll be prayingfor you.
11/15/2017 10:01:24 pm
12/16/2017 09:12:19 am
This is the first time I'd heard of Molinism, and it was informative, but it left me frustrated. I heard the word Calvinism used many times, but didn't at all recognize what I believe it to mean. I don't really even like the word because I'm sure Calvin himself wouldn't even recognize what many people believe Calvinism to be, both its adherents and detractors.
5/20/2019 06:54:06 pm
I just started listening to your podcasts. This is the first that I've heard of Molinism. I found myself wishing Tim would define his terms better. I did not recognize the Calvinism that he was describing. Calvinism affirms truly volitional choices. At the same time it recognizes the impairment of the will caused by Adam's fall. Tim recounts how influential William Lane Craig was in the development of his ideas. So I went over to reasonablefaith.org (https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/molinism-and-the-soteriological-problem-of-evil-once-more) to read some of what he had to say. I found this particular statement troubling: "...you haven’t yet grasped the theory of middle knowledge, for God doesn’t create such a choice for Himself. The counterfactuals of creaturely freedom which confront Him are outside His control. He has to play with the hand He has been dealt."
7/6/2019 05:32:38 pm
Hi, Greg. I've been saving your comment in my e-mail meaning to respond. I'd never heard of Molinism before, which is why I listened to the podcast. The Calvinism I heard discussed was a caricature that claimed Calvinism is determinism, and then rejected determinism as if it were Calvinism. There were a lot of straw men mowed down during that conversation! I believe what we heard tells us more about Tim Stratton than it tells us about Calvinism. I think very intelligent people, like Tim obviously is, as is Mr. Brain himself, Dr. Craig, get into trouble is when they try to explain and figure out what finite human beings simply can't explain or figure out. Such is God's sovereignty and human free will.
2/24/2020 09:03:28 pm
Tim Stratton did a great job. Calvinism is indeed a commitment to theological determinism. Compatibilism still collapses into determinism because they must concede God predetermined what desires and motives will act “strongest” upon our wills to secure his prior decree/determinism. As such people are not free to choose contrary to God’s prior decree of what they will choose. Stratton is correct that Calvinism equals determinism. Calvinists, as wonderful as they are, will always trot out tired and worn out charges of “mischaracterizing” and “strawman” whenever someone rightly follows Calvinism to its logical end. Good interview.
5/14/2021 04:14:48 am
I am curious Alisa how you would define yourself from a soteriological position? Arminian? Provisionist? Apparently, not a Calvinist,
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