The Doctrine of Creation (part 14)

November 29, 2008     Time: 00:44:32

Summary

Molinism. Molinism compared to Calvinism and Arminianism.

[Opening remarks and prayer]

You will remember last time we talked about a Calvinistic doctrine of providence which says that God’s sovereignty is so great over the affairs of humankind that God unilaterally determines everything that happens in the world. On this view human freedom, though affirmed, really reduces to a kind of voluntarism – human beings do voluntarily what God has predestined or predetermined them to do. But they don’t really have the power to do otherwise, and they don’t really make up their minds themselves. It is not as though it is up to them what happens since everything is predetermined by God.

On the other hand, so-called Arminianism (which I said really is not what Jacob Arminius himself actually believed) has come to be in our contemporary world to tend to interpret God’s sovereignty in terms of his foreknowledge. God looks into the future so to speak, sees what is going to happen, and therefore foreordains that it will happen. His foreordination is based upon his foreknowledge of what is going to take place. On this view, God’s sovereignty is emasculated. It becomes a kind of fifth wheel that really bears no weight whatsoever because the future is what is going to happen. So there is no point in foreordaining the future. If it is already going to happen then to foreordain it adds nothing to it. If he didn’t foreordain it, it would still happen. If you base foreordination on foreknowledge, foreordination really becomes just an empty word – it doesn’t amount to anything.

On both Calvinism and Arminianism, the affirmation of the one horn of the dilemma really, really weakens the affirmation of the other horn of the dilemma. It seems that the sovereignty of God and the freedom of man are at loggerheads with each other and play off against each other so that a genuine affirmation of them both doesn’t seem to be possible.

It was the attempt to craft a coherent doctrine of divine sovereignty and human freedom that motivated Luis Molina to develop his theory of providence.[1] Molina was a Catholic counter-Reformer of the late 16th and very early 17th century who unfortunately thought that the central teaching of the Protestant Reformation was basically the denial of human freedom – that God determines everything. In reaction to that Molina attempted to craft a doctrine of divine sovereignty and human freedom that would allow us to affirm both of these.

Molinism, named after Molina, has recently begun to experience a resurgence of interest in contemporary Christian philosophy. Molina himself was a Jesuit which is a Catholic order. The Jesuits, founded by Ignatius of Loyola as part of the counter-Reformation, is an order of priests which is highly intellectual with a strong emphasis on academics and with a strong missionary zeal. It was the Jesuits who carried Roman Catholicism, for example, into Latin American following the conquistadors and into Japan and so forth. But in time Molinism, though it at first dominated the so-called Society of Jesus (or the Jesuits), eventually died out among them. You don’t really find very many Jesuit proponents of Molinism today. Instead it has been rediscovered by certain evangelical Christian philosophers like Alvin Plantinga, whom I’ve mentioned in this class before, and has now become once again a topic of conversation.

Let me first give you the sort of simplified version of it before we look at it in more depth. I want to first give the simple version lest people be lost in the more complicated version. At root Molina’s theory is this: God knows what every person he could possibly create (what every possible person) would freely do in any possible circumstances God might place him in. Therefore, by choosing to create certain persons and place them in certain circumstances, he knows exactly what they will freely do. That provides the key to his providence. By creating the circumstances and the persons in them, knowing exactly how they will behave, God can so plan a world of free creatures so that they will do freely his ultimate will. So God’s purposes will be accomplished through the free decisions of creatures. On the one hand it affirms human freedom because these circumstances that we are talking about are freedom permitting circumstances – they are not determining circumstances. The persons in the circumstances can either do an action or they can refrain from that action. They are freedom permitting circumstances. On the other hand, because it is God who chooses whom to create and what circumstances to put him in, who is ultimately in control. Therefore, by having this kind of knowledge it affirms a very, very strong view of divine sovereignty but also affirms genuine libertarian freedom. That is the simplified version.

START DISCUSSION

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: This is a good question. He says that it sounds like deism. Remember deism is the view that God created the world initially but then he doesn’t get involved in it. He doesn’t intervene in it. I think your impression is correct, namely, this view would allow God to have such sovereign control of history that he might not need to intervene miraculously in order to get people to do certain things. In order to get Pharaoh to not let the people of Israel go until the ten plagues have been visited upon Egypt, he didn’t have to intervene to do that. All he had to do was to create the right man in the right circumstances, then he would freely do it. So you are right in saying that this kind of sovereign control doesn’t necessitate a God who is constantly intervening in the world to do things.[2] But it doesn’t require that kind of a God. If God wants to intervene by sending the plagues upon Egypt miraculously, he is free to do so. And he knows how the people would respond if he were to do that. That would be part of his knowledge. He would know, for example, Pharaoh would harden his heart if God were to send the frogs and the flies and the other things upon Egypt. Or he knows the apostle Paul – Saul of Tarsus – if confronted with a miraculous vision of Jesus on the Damascus Road would repent and become a Christian apostle of his own free will. While this doesn’t require miraculous interventions, it doesn’t exclude them either. So it is not deism. But I think you are absolutely correct in seeing (and this will become important later on) that this gives God a sovereign control over history that doesn’t necessitate miraculous interventions all the time. I think that is an important aspect and advantage of the theory.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: All right. I don’t want to respond to that because I do think that takes us a little bit far afield. But you are suggesting a kind of combination view where some might be persons who he knew would freely respond to the Gospel if they heard it and so are saved; others might be those whom he unilaterally sort of zaps in a more Calvinistic mode, so you kind of have a combination view. Certainly this view doesn’t preclude that God does that, though I think Molina’s commitment to human freedom is such that he would not want to say in his view of providence and predestination that there are any people that God unilaterally zaps in the way you describe because I think he would say that that would be to treat them as less than persons if he were to override their free will. I don’t want to get into that now because that is more application. I want to find out first if there are any kind of general questions about this simplified version before we look at it in more detail.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: As a theory of providence, Molinism doesn’t take a stand on those kinds of questions. I think that what you will find is that if you adopt a Molinist perspective it can have all sorts of theological applications like the one that you are asking, or the one someone earlier was raising. But I see those as options. Those are optional theological applications of this theory of providence, but they are not obligatory for the Molinist to adopt those options. So for now, at least, I want to avoid talking about the applications of the doctrine and make sure that we understand the doctrine itself. How you apply it is a further question; maybe we can talk about that later on.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: The question was: does the Molinist think that God’s answers to our prayers are also things that are preordained, or (I think the way you put it was) are they genuine responses to our prayers. I think the Molinist would say that that is a false distinction. That is a false dichotomy. I think the Molinist would say they are genuine responses to your prayers, but it is not as though God was unaware of your prayer until the moment you prayed it. He didn’t have to wait around until he says, Oh! It’s Gabriel calling. I better respond. Rather, God knew that if you were in this set of circumstances – confronted with this trial or difficulty – you would turn to him in prayer, and therefore he would answer in just this way. So, yes it is all preordained. It is all set. But it is a genuine response because if you had not prayed in those circumstances then maybe God would not have answered or done what he did in response. To be a genuine response, the Molinist will insist it doesn’t have to be a temporal action that takes place right upon the spot when you prayed. The response can actually be pre-programmed. But it is a response because it wouldn’t have happened had not the trigger, so to speak, occurred.[3]

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: I think it would be in this way. This view would say that no one would come to Christ apart from God providing the sufficient grace for that person to come. Salvation is entirely of God in that sense. But it would just not see this grace as something that overrides the human will. Molina would say – this is his term for it – God’s grace is extrinsically efficacious. That is to say, God gives sufficient grace to every person to be saved. He wills that every person be saved. He gives sufficient grace for salvation to every person to be saved. But that grace is not intrinsically efficacious in the sense that it will meet with an affirmative response of the will in every case. It becomes efficacious only extrinsically when the creaturely will responds to it freely. Remember Bryant Wright’s example this morning where he talked about how there needed to be a kind of cooperation. That would be Molina’s doctrine of the extrinsic efficaciousness of grace. This would glorify God in the sense that it is God who sovereignly decrees who will be saved and who will not in terms of what circumstances people are in and what gifts of grace he gives to them. The circumstances include any gifts of grace God would want to give. Any working of the Holy Spirit. These circumstances are not just physical circumstances. These would include gifts of grace, wooing, convicting of the Holy Spirit. All of those sorts of things would be part of the circumstances. God knows who would respond and be saved given certain circumstances and gifts of grace accorded to that person. Everyone is given sufficient grace for salvation, but not everyone freely responds to it.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: I think it differs in that not only does the initiative come wholly from God’s side, but the human person doesn’t do anything meritorious. There is nothing that the human person does to merit or win or achieve salvation. But it does require a response from the human person. It is not something that is done unilaterally.

END DISCUSSION

Again, we are kind of getting ahead of ourselves in talking about how this works out with regard to salvation. Let me give you the more detailed account which hopefully will shed even more light on this doctrine.

The key to Molina’s doctrine of providence lies in his theory of middle knowledge. Those of you who have been around this class for the last – gee, I don’t know – three or four years may remember we talked about middle knowledge back when we were studying the attributes of God and talked about divine omniscience. What is middle knowledge? Molina analyzes what God knows in terms of three explanatory moments. These are not temporal moments. These are not chronologically ordered. These are three explanatory tiers, if you will.

In the first explanatory tier, or level, is what Molina calls God’s natural knowledge. This would be knowledge that is essential to God. God could not have lacked this knowledge. It is essential to God. This would be God’s knowledge of all necessary truths. Things like 2+2=4, all bachelors are unmarried, the angles of a Euclidean triangle sum to 180 degrees, if it is raining then it is raining. All necessary truths would be known to God by means of his natural knowledge. In this first tier of knowledge, God has the knowledge of an infinite number of possible worlds that he could create. We’ll let these circles represent these possible worlds. By possible world, I don’t mean a planet, or even a universe. Rather, a possible world is a sort of maximal description of reality. It is a full description of the way everything is.[4] So, for example, in some possible world I have, say, one hair less on my head than I do in the actual world. Everything else could be the same. Or there are other possible worlds in which I was never born. There are other possible worlds in which Al Gore is the President of the United States in 2006. All of those would represent different possible worlds, and God would know these by his natural knowledge. All the possibilities. That is the first tier.

In the second tier comes God's middle knowledge. The reason it is called middle knowledge is because it is in the middle. It is not really a very descriptive term for this. It is just because it is in between these other two types of knowledge that it is called middle knowledge. In his middle knowledge God has not only knowledge of all necessary truths, but now he knows the truth of all subjunctive conditionals about how people would freely act in whatever circumstances God might place them in. This is hard for many of us to understand because many of us don't have a very good grasp of English grammar. We never learned the subjunctive mood and how to use it. But this is absolutely critical to understanding these kind of conditionals. These are not conditionals in the indicative mood which is a different mood in English grammar. These are no indicative conditionals; these are subjunctive conditionals. Let me try to illustrate the difference between them. Take the indicative conditional, “If Oswart did not shoot Kennedy, somebody else did.” That is an indicative conditional. It is in the indicative mood. That is very clearly true. Kennedy was assassinated, right? So if Oswalt didn’t shoot him, somebody else did. That is an indicative conditional. But now consider the subjunctive conditional which would be in the subjunctive mood: “If Oswalt hadn’t shot Kennedy, somebody else would have.” That is very different. That is not necessarily true unless you are some conspiracy theorist. If Oswalt hadn’t shot Kennedy, the motorcade probably would have gone on fine and he wouldn’t have been assassinated. That conditional is probably false that if Oswalt hadn’t shot Kennedy somebody else would have. What we are talking about here in his middle knowledge is God’s knowledge of all these subjunctive conditionals concerning any possible person he might create. These would be conditionals like this: “If Goldwater had won the 1964 election, the U.S. would have won the Vietnam War.” God knows whether that is true of false. If I were rich, I would buy a Mercedes. If I were to pull out into traffic now then I would make it. If I were to ask the boss for a raise he’d tear my head off. These are all subjunctive conditionals. They have the form “If it were” (and here this is not a past tense word, this is a subjunctive “were”) “the case that A” (then you fill in whatever you want for A – fill in the blank there) “then it would be the case” (there again the subjunctive mood) “that B.” In the middle knowledge God knows all of these subjunctive conditionals. If it were the case that A then it would be the case that B. He knows these for any particular person that he might create. He knows, for example, that if Peter were created in just these certain circumstances then he would deny Christ three times. If Judas were placed in these circumstances then he would betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. If Pilate were placed in these circumstances then he would deliver Jesus over to be crucified and meet the demands of the Jewish high priests.

What this means is that these subjunctive conditionals are not essential to God’s knowledge because they depend upon the free choices of the creatures. The creatures could freely choose to do something else. This knowledge is not essential to God in the way that natural knowledge is. These are not necessary truths. These are truths about how people would freely behave, and they could freely choose to do differently. For example, let’s say here’s a world with Peter in it and in this world Peter denies Christ in a certain set of circumstances.[5] But in this world Peter is in these circumstances and there he affirms Christ. Both of those are logical possible worlds. You have one world where Peter in these circumstances denies Christ and in another world Peter freely affirms Christ. What that means then is that there are certain of these worlds which, though they are possible in themselves, it is not feasible for God to create them because the creatures wouldn’t freely cooperate. For example, given that it is true that if Peter were in these circumstances he would deny Christ three times, then this world is not available for God to create. It is not feasible for him to create because if Peter were in those circumstances he wouldn’t affirm Christ three times – he would deny him three times. That world, though it is a possible world, isn’t feasible for God.

In the second tier of God’s knowledge what that means is that certain of these worlds drop out and are therefore no longer available options for God to create. These worlds are possible worlds, and these worlds would be feasible worlds. The ones that drop out would be infeasible worlds. They would be worlds that are infeasible for God to create given the way human creatures would freely act in those circumstances.

START DISCUSSION

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: The question is: what is the criterion for feasibility? It would be determined by the truth of these subjunctive conditionals. Those would determine which are feasible and infeasible for God. If Peter were in this set of circumstances then he would deny Christ three times. That would mean that the world in which Peter is in precisely those circumstances and affirms Christ isn’t feasible for God because these truths are not determined by God. He doesn’t determine the truths of these subjunctive conditionals. Of course, God could alter the circumstances and thereby bring about Peter’s affirmation, but then it wouldn’t be the same circumstances.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: No, I mean that they are not feasible. They are worlds that God is incapable of actualizing. Given that if Peter were in these circumstances he would deny Christ three times, it is not possible for God to create a world in which Peter is in those circumstances and freely affirms Christ because that would contradict . . . let me put it this way in response to the comment “why doesn’t he just pick this one?” Let’s imagine he does. He creates this world – the Roman Empire is set up, Pontius Pilate is the governor, he has chosen the twelve disciples, he has gone to Jerusalem, Peter is in those circumstances. And then God has to stand back and let him make the free choice, right? Because we are saying he has freedom. But then the problem is what would Peter do in those circumstances? He wouldn’t affirm him! He would deny him. So you see that is why it is not possible for God to create that world. He can do everything – bringing Peter up to those circumstances, but once Peter is in those circumstances then if Peter’s choice is to be free God has got to take hands off and let Peter make the choice. The question then is: how would Peter choose? We’ve already said he would deny him. Let me put it this way. It is logically impossible to make someone freely do something. That is as logically impossible as making a round triangle or a married bachelor. It is logically impossible to make someone freely do something.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: He says: the circumstances would be different. No! They are the same! Because they are both possible, so this includes all possible worlds. In fact, there would be all kinds of things that would be possible in those circumstances. Imagine Peter is in exactly those circumstances. In one he denies him three times, in another one he affirms him three times, in another one he drops dead of a heart attack, in another one a horse tramples him at that very moment before anything can happen, in another one he is struck dumb or something. Anything that is logically possible can happen at that moment. So there is an endless variety of worlds in which Peter is in those circumstances and various things happen or he chooses differently. Maybe he chooses to sing. That is logically possible. But what would he freely do in those circumstances? What he would freely do is he would freely deny him in those circumstances.[6]

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: He can react in different ways, as I said. There is a myriad of worlds.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: You are correct. When I said, for example, that Peter could sing, that is logically possible, sure. But you are absolutely right, genuine human freedom doesn’t mean the ability to just do anything. We are free within limits. I am not free to begin speaking Vietnamese right now because I don’t know Vietnamese. But I could start speaking German if I wanted to do that. Obviously our freedom is circumscribed. I am not suggesting that Peter in those circumstances could just do anything. That is true. But nevertheless, whether he denies Christ or affirms him is going to be up to Peter. It is not preprogrammed by God what he does. In fact, if it were programmed by God then he wouldn’t do it freely.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: We will get to that in a minute. I want to first be sure we understand the theory before we apply it to salvation.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: The question was: at this point, does God perceive only one possible future or does he see different contingent futures dependent upon our decisions? If you’ve understood what I’ve said so far you should be able to answer that question yourself. What do you think? Right! Because there isn’t any future at this point, right? This is an explanatory hierarchy. We haven’t got yet to the knowledge of the future. All we’ve got so far is a variety of different futures, if you will, or a variety of different worlds. You are absolutely right. What God knows at this point is a bunch of different worlds that are feasible for him to create. In one of these Peter is in a certain set of circumstances where he would freely deny Christ three times. But there are other worlds where Peter doesn’t even exist, or where he exists but he isn’t chosen to be an apostle, or other things of that sort. Those are available, too. There isn’t any knowledge of the future at this point yet. He is still confronted with all these different possibilities – possible worlds – that are feasible for him given the way human persons would freely act in whatever circumstances they might be in. The key here is that God doesn’t determine himself the truth of those subjunctive conditionals. He finds himself confronted with these subjunctive conditionals that “if Jones were in these circumstances then he would act in this way.”

END DISCUSSION

What God will do now is he will work with these subjunctive conditionals to fashion various possible worlds, if you will – I am speaking anthropomorphically here – and to see which worlds are possible or feasible for him.

What follows that then is the divine decree to create or actualize one of these possible worlds. That will then lead to what Molina called God’s free knowledge. This is called free knowledge because it is not essential to God, he didn’t have to decree which world to create that he did decree; this knowledge isn’t essential to him, it is based upon his own decree as to what he wanted to bring about. Therefore this knowledge is completely contingent. This will include knowledge of everything that will happen. This is where knowledge of the future comes in. This would be knowledge of the actual world. The other feasible worlds will drop out, and this will be the knowledge of the actual world – past, present, and future.

We can summarize by saying God’s natural knowledge gives him knowledge of everything that could be, his middle knowledge gives him knowledge of everything that would be, and his free knowledge gives him knowledge of everything that will be. Here he knows all the possibilities, here he knows what would be the case given that certain circumstances and persons were to exist, and then here he decrees which circumstances and which persons to create, and therefore he knows everything that will be.[7]

START DISCUSSION

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: The question here was: what about Scriptures that seem to suggest that God doesn’t know certain things until they happen like when he tests Abraham and he says, seeing his willingness to sacrifice Isaac, “Now I know your heart is true.” I think anybody who holds to a doctrine of divine omniscience has to say that those passages represent just anthropomorphic ways of telling the story. They represent the human perspective on these sorts of things, but in fact God really does know all along.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: That is what the open theist would say. The open theist is the person who denies God has knowledge of the future, particularly of future free acts. We did deal with that back when we talked about the attributes of God where I argued then that it is both unscriptural to think that God doesn’t know what is going to happen in the future and that the philosophical arguments given against divine foreknowledge aren’t any good. I don’t want to retrace that ground now, but if you are interested in looking at it, I’d suggest a little booklet I wrote for RZIM called What Does God Know? It is a tiny 60 page booklet that Ravi Zacharias publishes – What Does God Know? It rehearses all of this, I think, very effectively. Let’s stick with making sure we understand this at this point.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: Right. There is the story of Saul and David at Keilah which is in 2 Samuel. That is a classic proof text where David asks the ephod (this divining device), Will Saul come down and attack the city? And the ephod says, Yes, he will. Then he says, If Saul comes down will the men of Keilah turn me over to Saul? And the ephod says, Yes, they will. So David flees the city, and as a result Saul doesn’t attack. So they don’t turn him over. The Molinists said this is a clear example of middle knowledge. God was not giving David foreknowledge of what will happen; he was giving him knowledge of what would happen if David were to stay. If David were to stay then Saul would come down. If he were to come down then the men would turn him over. That was one of the classic proof texts for middle knowledge. But there are lots of example in Scripture if you do a Bible study of these kind of subjunctive conditionals. For example, one of my favorites is, I think it is 2 Corinthians 2:8 where Paul says, None of the rulers of this age understood this (that is God’s plan of salvation) for if they had they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. There is a subjunctive conditional right in Scripture where it says if they had understood this then they would not have crucified Christ. It seems to me that the Scriptures do affirm these sort of subjunctive conditionals. The real question is: when does God know them? The Molinist says God knows them prior to the divine decree. His opponents said, no, these are part of his free knowledge. He knows them after the divine decree. In other words, it is God who decrees how people would act under various circumstances. You can see that leads right into the more Calvinistic, deterministic view. It is God who decrees how you would act under these various circumstances. Everybody in the debate agreed that God has knowledge of these subjunctive conditionals. The whole debate was: are they prior to the decree or are they posterior to the decree? Molina maintained that the only way you can preserve human freedom is by making them prior to the decree, because then it is not God who determines how people would freely choose.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: The dots on either side of this is meant to indicate that there is an indefinite number of these feasible worlds. There is not a finite number of these. This would require that God has infinite knowledge in the sense that he would have to have an unlimited knowledge of all of these feasible worlds in order to pick which one to create.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: I don’t think it requires him to go through them one at a time. He could know them all simultaneously. Remember, on this view this is an explanatory kind of priority.[8] God, in the same way, in his natural knowledge he just knows all the possibilities. He doesn’t have to go through them one at a time and examine them. For example, if you have two dice you know all the possible combinations that a roll might produce, but you don’t have to go through them one at a time in order to know that. I don’t think that there is any problem there by going through an infinite.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: There were anticipations of Molina’s doctrine, but nobody clearly enunciated it until he did. I don’t remember the exact date of his great work on divine foreknowledge – it was in the late 1500s. I want to say 1596 or something like that. I think he died in 1604. That gives you the general whereabouts.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: Yes, Calvinism and Lutheranism.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: Yes, it was a very explicit response to what he saw as the determinism of Calvin and Luther which turned human beings into puppets on his view. Yes, that is correct.

Student: [inaudible]

Dr. Craig: I think that the presupposition of the question is wrong. The question was: when the Gospel of John says “In the beginning was the Word” this is referring to the Bible as the Word of God. I think that is mistaken. If you read the context “The Word” refers to the second person of the Trinity. It goes on to say “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” It doesn’t say the Word became book. In a sense that is a contrast between Islam and Christianity. Islam believes that the preexistent Word of God became book – it became the Qur’an. Christians believe that the preexistent Word of God became Jesus of Nazareth. This is referring to the second person of the Trinity in John’s prologue.

END DISCUSSION

Let me try to draw this together here a little bit so as to bring some synthesis to it. The idea is that it is up to us how we choose in any circumstances that God places us in. We have freedom of the will to choose this way or that in any set of freedom permitting circumstances God has placed us in. But it is up to God whether or not we exist and what circumstances we find ourselves in. Because he is the one who sovereignly decrees what circumstances will be there and whether or not you are in them. It is up to you how you react in those circumstances but his sovereignty is displayed in choosing whom to create and what circumstances to place him in. Of course many of those circumstances will themselves be the result of prior free choices by other human agents. God has to factor in how they will freely choose in order to produce the circumstances in which you will freely choose. Once you begin to see how that works, you soon begin to realize such a providential planning of a world of free creatures could only be the result of an omniscient infinite mind because the complexity would be so great.

How this applies to salvation, I think can be captured by an aphorism that I once read in a French Molinist. He put it this way. He said, “It is up to God whether we find ourselves in a world in which we are predestined, but it is up to us whether we are predestined in the world in which we find ourselves.” That sounds paradoxical but it is true once you think about it. It is up to God whether we find ourselves in a world in which we are predestined. That is divine sovereignty. But it is up to us whether we are predestined in the world in which we find ourselves. That is human freedom. Molinism affirms both sides of that equation.

I’ve laid out the theory of middle knowledge. What we will do next week is I’ll try to apply this then in more detail to God’s providential control over human history, though I’ve already hinted at how this might look.[9]



[1] 5:04

[2] 10:10

[3] 15:04

[4] 20:00

[5] 25:06

[6] 30:14

[7] 35:07

[8] 40:01

[9] Total Running Time: 44:33 (Copyright © 2008 William Lane Craig)