Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Questions for Anti-Molinist Inerrantists

How do you explain how God knew the two divergent paths that God foresaw if Zedekiah either chose to surrender to the king of Babylon or not (Jeremiah 38:17-18)? Assuming this was a free choice, God told Jeremiah to tell Zedekiah that if he chose to submit to Babylon, he, his city, and his family would all live. But God also foresaw the other possibility; what would happen if Zedekiah did not surrender, namely his death and his city's destruction. God obviously knew what would happen, and which choice Zedekiah would make. But God also knew what would happen if Zedekiah made the other choice.

How did Jesus know what Sodom would have done IF His miracles had been performed there in Matthew 11:23?

How did Jesus know what would happen if the disciples cast their net to the opposite side of their boat (John 21:6)?

Oh, and those of you who reject Molinism because of James White's weak polemic, you really need to repudiate that ridiculous picture he has floating around the web with Craig and the Pope. That's a pretty blatant genetic fallacy if I ever saw one.


Mike Felker said...

I don't know if this makes me non-reformed in saying this, but I have no problem with the idea that God knows all possible outcomes of a particular set of circumstances. And thus the outcome that God decrees is the outcome that will bring God the most glory. It would seem that your questions are more geared toward the open theist perhaps?

Oh, and I completely agree with what you said about White's cartoons. Even if they are "true," I could never find biblical justification for making such characterizations of our Christian brothers and sisters. And aside from that, its childish.

bossmanham said...

Hey Mike! Thanks for coming by.

I suppose it depends on who's defining "reformed" as I believe Arminius clearly thought he was within the reformed tradition and he seemed to hold to a middle knowledge perspective.

If by reformed we mean Calvinist, then the typical Calvinist view of how God has knowledge about creation is because He knows what His eternal decrees are. He doesn't look into the future, so to speak, but He knows the future because He decrees it. As it applies to knowledge of counterfactuals, I'm really not sure what the determinist Calvinist would say. I've heard one say that God knows the counterfactuals by inferring from present conditions of nature and a person's personality. But it seems to me that God is saying with certainty what circumstances would be like if people did something differently, and is even warning someone so that they would make a choice. It seems to me that God actually has knowledge of what free creatures would do if in different situations.

On the cartoon, I thank you for your stance. While Molina was a counter-reformation Catholic, it's ridiculous to discount all of his ideas because of that. That is just a case of the genetic fallacy. I think Molina had one of the most brilliant and profound ideas in history.

bethyada said...

Okay, so I have sympathy with Arminianism, but I would still see this passage as conditional. Do this and you will live, if you refuse to do this then....

This is in the context of punishment. Not so much knowlede as intended outcome. Still God could prevent Zedekiah's captors from hurting him more than God allowed.

Further, there may have been practices that aggressors followed at that time. leniency for surrender.

You case is better with the Sodom example.

Rhology said...

There's a specific context to that graphic.
This is what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuCT0aQ-uPI#t=1m19s

I can think of a lot better answers than that. How about Eastern Orthodoxy or Romanism? It's not as if Hitchens knows very much about orthodoxy and heterodoxy - how about saying "Mormonism and JWs say they're Christians, but they're not"?

Marcus McElhaney said...

Thanks for the post, Brennon. I wrote a response at http://mmcelhaney.blogspot.com/2010/07/brennons-thoughts-questions-for-anti.html

The Seeking Disciple said...

Post that make one think. Excellent.

Marcus McElhaney said...

Hey, for Brennon or any one else, could someone point out what is wrong with James White's arguments against Molinism (Other than he is Calvinist).

bossmanham said...

I think Craig said he thought that some aspects of reformed theology were false, not that they're not Christians, though I think he could have chosen how he said it more carefully.