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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Dating the Pentateuch and Israel in Egypt



Is there good evidence and reason to believe in the early dating of the Pentateuch and for Israel in Egypt? Here I give some of the reasons to think so.

Enjoy the show!

Audio:


Video:

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Freedway Thinker #20 - More on Burden and Defeaters


In this quick reflection I talk again about burden of proof and defeaters, and if theists/Christians are rational when they ask atheists if they can prove God does not exist or that our beliefs are false.

Enjoy the show!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Molinism and Feasibility


In this episode I discuss Molinism and its problematic use of feasibility in its metaphysic.

Enjoy the show!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Syllogistic Objections to Libertarian Freewill and Open Theism from Isaiah 41 and 46.


Syllogistic Objection Against Libertarian Freewill (Based on Isa 41-46):

1. If a god is not a true god then they cannot declare the future as causally inferred from past events. (Isa. 41:21-23)
2. YHWH can declare the future as causally inferred from past events. (Isa. 46:9-10)
3. YHWH is a true god. (MT 1, 2)
4. All other gods cannot declare the future as causally inferred from past events. (Isa. 41:22)
5. All other gods are not true gods. (MP 1, 4)
6. YHWH is the only true God. (Imp. 3, 5)
7. If a future event can be known as causally inferred from past events, then Libertarian Freewill cannot be true.
8. Future events can be known as causally inferred from past events since God can do so. (Imp. 2, 7)
9. Libertarian Freewill cannot be true. (MP 7, 8)

THUS, the very test that YHWH established in the testing of the gods of Babylon assumes a metaphysics of causality that renders Libertarian Freewill impossible, and therefore false.


Syllogistic Objection Against Open Theism (Based on Isa 41-46):

1. If a god is not a true god, then they cannot declare the future as they can the past. (Isa. 41:21-23)
2. YHWH can declare the future as he can the past. (Isa. 46:9-10)
3. YHWH is a true god. (MT 1, 2)
4. All other gods cannot declare the future as they can the past. (Isa. 41:24)
5. All other gods are not true gods. (MP 1, 4)
6. YHWH is the only true God). (Imp. 3, 5)

THUS, the god of Open Theism would not pass the very test for a true god that YHWH established in testing the gods of Babylon, and therefore is a false concept of god, (i.e. an idol).


REFERENCE:
ISAIAH 41:21-24:
21 “Present your case,” the Lord says.
“Bring forward your strong arguments,”
The King of Jacob says.
22 Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place;
As for the former events, declare what they were,
That we may consider them and know their outcome.
Or announce to us what is coming;
23 Declare the things that are going to come afterward,
That we may know that you are gods;
Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together.
24 Behold, you are of no account,
And your work amounts to nothing;
He who chooses you is an abomination.

ISAIAH 46:9-10:
9 “Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’

Fore more of our resources on Reformed Theology, CLICK HERE.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Metaphysics and the Failure of Molinism - Part 12 (More Problems with Feasibility)

(This is an expansion on me previous article dealing with the problem of feasibility under Molinism - found here.)

MORE PROBLEMS WITH FEASIBILITY

A common statement among Molinists in attempting to defend their system, is that some world may not be “feasible” for God due to the facts of creaturely freedom. Let me first try to explain what they mean and then ask my questions for someone who may want to make such a defense.

For the Molinist, a major benefit of Molinism is their belief that it best handles the supposed problem of evil/suffering in the actual world, and/or that it explains why God did not make a universalist world where all humanity is saved (or never sins to not need saving in the first place). So when someone makes such a challenge to the Christian worldview, the Molinist will jump in and attempt to defend God’s having morally sufficient reasons (MSR) for creating this world because human freedom is of such a high value that God would want to create a world with creatures that possess it. This answer has one assumption and then the major application.

First, the assumption is that human freedom just is Libertarian Freewill (LFW). This limits the kind of answer that the Molinist feels that they can give. For them, that freedom allows for the possibility of people doing things contrary to what God would otherwise desire for them. They support this with certain readings of passages like 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 in which they think the Bible teaches that God desires every person without exception to be saved and not perish. So they need to explain exactly why God could desire none to perish and yet create a world in which vast untold numbers of people do perish. So they think LFW is the explanation for this – people do contrary to the thing that God would actually want to happen.

But this assumption leads to another question. If God is Omnipotent, couldn’t God just create a world where everyone then believes? This question appears to them to violate LFW such that those beings would not actually be free in a non-trivial sense. They think that God doing that would be too deterministic and would remove LFW from humanity. This then leads to the application of their view.

They want to affirm that God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent and that humanity has LFW. So the way they attempt to resolve the tension is to say this this is the best possible world that God could create, given LFW (usually they call it “creaturely freedom” but in concept, they just mean LFW). This should not be confused with Best Possible World semantics. They are not saying that the world is the best quantitatively – there could always be more palm trees, as William Lane Craig likes to point out. They mean that if God wants to have genuinely free creatures (sic. LFW) and if God wants a world where in the final analysis the most numbers of people are saved, then this world may be the best possible world that God could actualize.

Before I get to my critiques and questions, let me also add a feature of many Molinists beliefs as influenced by the world of Craig and Plantinga. That is the idea of Transworld Depravity – that there is the possibility of persons who would not believe in any possible world that God would put them in. Craig uses this to try and explain the problem of the unevangelized – the Mayans for example. There is an  objection that God would be unjust in damning these people to hell for their sin if they never had the gospel preached to them in order to be able to repent and believe. Craig says that it may be possible that God stacks the deck and all of these people may be people with Transworld Depravity, such that God knows that even if he did put them in the context where they would hear the gospel that they would never, in any context, believe and be saved.

From here let me move into my critiques and questions. I’ll try to flesh out some of the Molinist views and responses as this goes so as to not engage a strawman.

First, Craig, Stratton, and pretty much every Molinist I have heard address the issue, define Omnipotence as the ability to do any logically possible thing. Why can God not lie, not create a married-bachelor, or not create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it? Because those are all logically impossible (and thus propositionally meaningless) things. God cannot make a true contradiction without violating his own inviolable nature. Here we are all in agreement. We would all reject (to my knowledge) a kind of Voluntarism which would say that God could do any thing, logical possibility be damned.

Yet here is where I start to have several problems with the Molinistic metaphysic.

Let’s try to use these terms:
(p) = a specific possible world
(n) = number of people who freely believe
O = actualizable for an omnipotent being
(R) = the real world (this world)
G = foreknown by God
A = Actualized

Let me lay out several related arguments and why I think those poses a problem for the Molinistic metaphysic and concept of feasibility.

Symbolic:
1. ◊(p) ⊃ ◊O(p)
2. ◊(p)
3. ◊O(p)          
4. A(p) ⊃ (n)
5. (p) ⊃ G(n)
6. A(p) ⊃ G(n)
7. G│A(p) ⊃ (n)
8. A(p)
9. (p) ≡ (R)
10. (R) ⊨ (n)
11. G(n)      

Stated:
1. If (p) is possible, then it is possible for an omnipotent being to actualize it.
2. (p) is possible.
3. It is possible for an omnipotent being to actualize (p).
4. If (p) is actualized, then (n) people will freely believe in God.
5. If (n) people will freely believe, then (n) will be foreknown by God.
6. If (p) is actualized, then (n) will be foreknown by God.
7. God knows that if he were to actualize (p) then (n) will freely believe.
8. God actualizes (p).
9. (p) is identical to the actual world.
10. The actual world entails (n) freely believing.
11. God foreknew (n).

So far this argument should be rather trivial to the Molinist. Basically it argues that for any possible world, whatever number of people that will freely believe if God actualizes that world, that God would foreknow that, and that since the actual world is clearly a possible world (or else God couldn’t have actualized it) that given God’s actualization of it, God foreknows the number of people who freely believe in it. None of this is really debatable as far as I can tell. But there are implications of this that I think will plague the Molinist.

Let us now run some various scenarios and see what happens. Prior to God’s actualization of the actual world (R), God foreknows (n). For our purposes let us now set (n) to a specific number of individuals equal to 15% of all humans to ever exist in the actual world and let’s call this number (x).  This means:

Symbolic:
12. ◊(R)
13. (R) ⊃ (x)
14. G│A(w) ⊃ (x)

Stated:
12. The actual world is possible.
13. If the actual world exists, then (x) will freely believe.
14. God foreknows that if he actualizes this world, that (x) will freely believe.

This means that God has actualized (R) and therefore (x) number of specific individual people freely believe, and God foreknows who they are. Our human freedom is accounted for as a fact of (R) and thus God’s knowledge of (x) or our creaturely freedom does not alter (x). This means that the logical possibility of (x) given (R) is not altered by a later consideration that human freedom would exist. Human freedom is already a given as a fact of (x) given (R).

This too is a metaphysically trivial for the Molinist. So far I am just describing basic modality and entails of logically possible worlds. But here is where the problem arises. Let us alter the settings a little bit from the previous scenario. Now let us suppose that prior to God’s actualization of a logically possible world (W), God foreknows (n). For our purposes let us now set (n) to a specific number of individuals equal to 100% of all humans to ever exist in the actual world and let’s call this number (x).

This means:
15. ◊(W)
16. (W) ⊃ (x)
17. G│A(w) ⊃ (x)

Or stated as,
15. (W) is possible.
16. If the actual world exists, then (x) will freely believe.
17. God foreknows that if he actualizes this world, that (x) will freely believe.

This means that God has actualized (W) and therefore (x) number of specific individual people freely believe, and God foreknows who they are. Our human freedom is accounted for as a fact of (W) and thus God’s knowledge of (x) or our creaturely freedom does not alter (x). This means that the logical possibility of (x) given (W) is not altered by a later consideration that human freedom would exist. Human freedom is already a given as a fact of (x) given (W).

Notice that nothing in the metaphysics of actualizing (W) has changed from the metaphysics of God’s actualization of (R), specifically in how human freedom is already an accounted for fact in God’s foreknowledge of (x) given (R) or (W).

Why is this important?

Well it means that if there is a logically possible world that God could have propositionally meaningful  foreknowledge about, then the freedom of the agents in that world is baked in already, so to speak, regardless of the number of people which are foreknown to believe. If this is true of the world which God chose to actualize, then this will be true of the worlds that God could have actualized. Yet this is a strong refutation of the concept that some worlds are logically possible for God to have actualized but are still yet infeasible for God to have actualized. And appeals to human freedom will no longer do it given the argument above because human freedom is already accounted for in God’s knowledge of the supposedly infeasible worlds. If (W) were actual, then 100% of humanity (equal to the number of people in the actual world) will use their freedom to believe. The Molinist wants to say that given human freedom, it may be that God could not actualize this world because no humans in that configuration would ever freely believe. This means that what they are trying to say is that (W) is not feasible because it may be the case that given (W), ~(x) would believe (or that (x) would not obtain). Yet that just seems a claim to far that merely moves the goal post. We would need good warrant to think that given that definitional to (W) just is that (x) is true given that (x) is just want propositionally demarcates (W) from all other possible worlds. The Molinist is therefore saying that if (W) then ~(W), that is, that (W) is logically impossible. But notice that no warrant is given for that. It is just that maybe people wont freely believe in that volume. But no reason is given and no demonstration of any logical incoherence is ever provided.

Therefore, if God’s omnipotence means that he can actualize any logically possible world, the Molinist must then show that (W) is actually somehow logically impossible and cannot merely state a “what if” or a “maybe” since (W) would follow the same metaphysical entailments with regard to God’s knowledge as there is in (R).

In fact we can push this further. On Molinism, Middle Knowledge (MK) is God’s knowledge of the counterfactuals in creaturely freedom (CCF), or what agents would freely choose in possible worlds that are not the actual world. Let’s consider the following question:

Does God’s MK include the CCF’s of (W)?

I’ve asked countless Molinists this question and always get the same question.  Of course it includes the CCF’s of (W). Why? Because they are logically coherent and meaningfully stated propositions of logical possibility – the Molinist needs to defend that God’s MK is exhaustive of all logically possible facts or else they would be biting the bullet and admitting that God’s MK is not exhaustive and does not include all logically coherent and meaningful possibilities. This means that they need to affirm that (W) is logically possible while also arguing that it is logically impossible (and thus infeasible).

Here the response will come that they think I am confusing strict logical possibility and broad possibility or feasibility. But I am not. For without some meaningful metaphysical difference between the two, we have been provided no meaningful reason to think that some strictly logically possible world is not feasible for an omnipotent God to actualize, despite the fact that he foreknows the CCF’s in that world in precisely the way that he does all other logically possible and even feasible worlds.

To sum up, when a Molinist argues that some logically possible world is not a feasible world, I simply ask them, based on what? What makes it infeasible for an omnipotent God to actualize given the metaphysics of freedom and MK would be identical to the actual world and all other feasible worlds?

Going back to Craigs use of Transworld Depraved Persons (TWDP), we could also ask other questions of the Molinist who thinks that this is a meaningful concept and answer to the problem of the unevangelized. There seems to be a potentially infinite number of different and distinct persons that God could have logically actualized. This entails that if TWDP is a meaningful concept, that there is a potentially infinite number of persons with TWDPs. Yet this opens the question to Transworld Righteous Persons (TWRP) who would freely believe in those same worlds, such that if TWDP is meaningful and helpful, then surely TWRP is as well. And yet this would mean that there is a potentially infinite number of TWRPs that God could have populated any world with and thus could rather easily actualize any number of worlds like (W). Yet many Molinists say that the probability of this is extremely low.

Yet, if there is a potentially infinite amount of them (a number incalculably greater than the actual number of humans today) why would a world full of them be "extremely low"? Based on what? A hunch? What is the metaphysically meaningful difference that precludes the possibility of the flip side of the same coin that they want to use.

Now, I'm not trying to be condescending, really. I have great respect for Craig and Stratton and other but I honestly just never hear any actual support for any of the "feasibility" assertions made by Molinists. I not only dont see why any logically possible world is infeasible for an omnipotent God to actualize (infeasible becomes a synonym for impossible at that point) but beyond that, even if the odds are low, can God not actualize states of affairs with low probabilities?

Finally, it seems that this strategy of arbitrarily saying that these other worlds us universal salvation are not feasible, proves far too much and may provide all the rope needed to hang the usefulness of Molinism itself. For a long time I posed this objection and would get vehement opposition from Molinists but recently I have been vindicated as Molinist par excellence Kirk MacGregor has bit the bullet ad admitted my conclusion.

Remember that Molinism is applied as an answer the problem of evil and suffer – that given LFW, a world with as much suffering as ours may be the best God could do given his goals of saving the most amount of people. Well it seems to me that the atheist and skeptic could use their very argument against them for maybe, given LFW, the world with the most saved freely may also have unavoidable gratuitous evil and suffering in it. In the same way that God desires all to be saved but all are not, it could be possible that God secondarily desires that all evil and suffering in the world would be redemptive (part of his plan, purpose, used for an ultimate good, have a MSR for God allowing, etc) and yet, given LFW, maybe such a world is not feasible for God to actualize and so God is dealt a deck of cards where all feasible worlds just are worlds with gratuitous (outside of God’s plan and purpose) evil and suffering. What rejoinder would the Molinist have for this that would not also be a response to their own feasibility argument? MacGregor seems to have accepted this and recently has been defending that there really is gratuitous evil and suffering in the world (despite the Biblical claims to God’s sovereignty over all things and his working of all things for the good of those who love him).

We could even push this envelope further to a kind of grounding problem based on feasibility. Maybe it be possible that the only worlds feasible for God to actualize given LFW, are free actions of humans unknowable to God. Without appealing to simply brute tautological reason (“God knows it in virtue of him knowing all things so that cannot be”), how would the Molinist avoid the Open Theist using Molinism itself as a defense of their view?

Remember, these are only some of the questions and challenges that I raise against Molinists. I have argued elsewhere against the notion that LFW even would suffice as a MSR to allow the victimization of evil and suffering, that it causes problems for a Biblical concept of personhood, of anthropology, that it may entail Open Theism, etc., and so I think before we can even consider Molinism feasible, they must show that it is even logically possible. So far, I just do not see how that could be achieved given these and other objections.



FOR THE MAIN DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES ON MOLINISM, CLICK HERE.

Metaphysics and the Failure of Molinism - Part 11 (Molinism and the Presumption of Libertarian Incompatibilism)

MOLINISM AND THE PRESUMPTION OF LIBERTARIAN INCOMPATIBILISM

Here I would simply observe than in my countless conversations, that when push comes to shove, many Molinists will show their true underlying theological commitments and fall back on the preservation of man’s freedom as priority and the affirmation of the “that’s not fair” interlocutor of Romans 9. I do not claim or even think that this is indicative of all Molinists or is somehow a sine qua non of Molinism or me kind of official Molinistic strategy, but rather it simply does constitute a large contingent of those Molinists who are vocal in debates. They will more often than not, in my experience, come from a position where they view any form of determinism, compatiblism or otherwise, to be “unfair” and thus are seeking to find a way to justify a pre-commitment to specifically Libertarian Freedom and find what they are looking for in Molinism. This, I admit, does not count Molinism and right or wrong, reasonable or irrational, but rather it should not be ignored that often a certain level of bias drives exegetical, philosophical, and theological methodology. I am one of the furthest from those who disparage philosophy, or even that philosophy does not in many ways necessarily constitute the boundaries for how all theology and thought progresses and forms. Yet, I would say that in instances like this one,it does appear that a certain philosophical prejudice and belief is used as a controlling factor in how the Molinist does their Biblical theology. That is, rather than allowing their Biblical theology to inform their view of the human will and moral responsibility, they will take purely philosophical considersations of the human will and moral responsibility and then go to the text to find the best reading to fit within that paradigm.

This is likely to be one of the most contentious issues because it does drive at motivations, albeit more likely subconscious than overt or intentional, and so I left it to the end almost as an endnote. Whether or not this is true does not validate or invalidate my arguments above nor does it prove or disprove Molinism. It merely is a cautionary note to those who seek to wade into these often contentious debates.

FOR THE MAIN DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES ON MOLINISM, CLICK HERE.

Metaphysics and the Failure of Molinism - Part 10 (Supposed Biblical Support for Molinism)

SUPPOSED BIBLICAL SUPPORT FOR MOLINISM

There are a set of supposed “proof texts” of Molinism from statements of mere counterfactuals that the Molinists will often attempt to claim demonstrate, or at least support, a Molinistic view of God’s MK. I think that rarther than supporting Molinism, these texts go to show a glaring example of eisegesis and that historic Protestant and Reformed views of God’s Free Knowledge explain them just as well, without the need for the invention of a third species of knowledge or the advancement of the problematic system shown above. The three major texts are Matthew 11:21-24, 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, and 1 Samuel 23:11-13 where each text expresses some form of a piece of counterfactual knowledge. The strongest example appears to the narrative of David and the men from Keilah in 1 Samuel 23. Without going into a full summary of the passage, here David seeks counsel from the Lord of what would happen if he chooses to go to one city compared to what would happen if he does not. God tells him what would happen and this informs David’s decision. I do not think that a full exegetical response is even necessary here to show the problem with the view that this demonstrates or specially supports Molinism in any particular way. The absolute most that this shows is that God has counterfactual knowledge. Yet this knowledge, as shown above, is not only extant in historic Protestant and Reformed understandings of the Omniscience of God, but if the above arguments hold, is better explained on those views. Like the countless passages used to try and show Libertarian freedom by pointing to substantive free choice (a position affirmed by Compatiblists, Calvinists, and Libertarians alike) so too, these three passages cannot go to specially support Molinism any more than any view which holds to the Omniscience of God.

Even that is the most it could do. In fact, the mere statement of counterfactuals hardly can be used to demonstrate conclusively anything more than the usage of counterfactual language in rhetoric. Not only can we as limited humans have true counterfactual knowledge without MK be attributed to us (I can know that all things being equal, if I never consume any more food or water, that I would not live another 5 years), but the proclamations in Matthew and 1 Corinthians seems to be rhetorical flourishes more so than attempts to make nuanced and theologically robust statements of metaphysically veridical CCFs. I could think of examples where, in exasperation, one might say, “If my dog could speak English they would understand this better than you!” Should we envisage that person as consciously attempting to make veridical statements of what really would happen? Counterfactuals of this sort are a kind of hyperbolic rhetoric used to draw extreme contrast. Attempts to shoehorn Molinism or Middle Knowledge into such statements as found in Matthew and 1 Corinthians seems quite the stretch.

FOR THE MAIN DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES ON MOLINISM, CLICK HERE.

Metaphysics and the Failure of Molinism - Part 9 (Compatibilism Through and Through)

COMPATIBILISM THROUGH AND THROUGH

Here, I will obviously not have enough space to fully develop the issue, but I argue that in order to make MM work, MMi’s such as Stratton have had to abandon pure LFW and adopted LLF, which is hardly distinguishable from Compatiblism. When one looks at how Stratton has defined LLF, it is almost perfectly in line with most conceptions of substantive freedom within Compatiblistic schemas. For theistic Compatiblism, typically, the idea is that the personal agent is sufficiently free if they have the ability to choose otherwise but that in God giving them their nature, dispositions, desires, (i.e. their natures) that they will always choose in line with their greatest desire. Thus, God, the author of their nature, determines the outcome but the personal agent is sufficiently free and, more importantly, morally responsible, given that they choose by their own volition what they truly desire to do.

When Stratton thus defines LLF as the ability to choose consistent with one’s nature, the only thing missing is that one’s nature is a the contextual cocktail from which the greatest desire is poured and acted upon. Effectively, in Stratton’s attempt to distill Molinism down to MM to make it more palatable to the Reformed,  he effectively must abandon the view of the will as having Libertarian Freedom, which is one of the core things that makes Molinism distinctive and potentially useful.

The real problem however, as already shown above but more expressly stated now, is not that Stratton must abandon the historic defense of Libertarian freedom advocated by Molinists, but that he likely sees the writing on the wall – Molinism, when taken to its logical end, entails a form of Compatiblism anyway. As I already argued above, in a more fully articulated form of Molinism, the result of God’s actualization of the world and the determinative nature of it mentioned in #7 where for God to actualize a world is a causal determining of all true facts of that world, results in the need for some form of Compatiblism. This again entails that one of the supposed unique benefits of Molinism to theology and apologetics, that it protects Libertarian Freedom and provides a unique synthesis of God’s sovereignty and human freedom/responsibility, becomes effectively nil. It ends up in the same place as other systems but does so then via a convoluted metaphysic and the potential abandonment of Biblical orthodoxy with respect to the Aseity of God, the Omniscience of God, and the nature of man, and the plan of salvation (if it steps into the discussions of the ordo salutis and the ability to possess or exhibit faith apart from the providential regenerative act of the Holy Spirit).

FOR THE MAIN DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES ON MOLINISM, CLICK HERE.

Metaphysics and the Failure of Molinism - Part 8 (The Unevangelized, Transworld Depravity and the Nature of Man)

THE UNEVANGELIZED, TRANSWORLD DEPRAVITY AND THE NATURE OF MAN

On strategy common among Molinists is to affirm the hybridization of Plantinga’s hypothetical transworld depravity employed by WLC to answer the supposed problem of the unevagelized. Briefly, the problem of the unevangelized is a specific issue for those who hold to Libertarian views of human freedom as well as the belief that God’s only desire regarding the eternal state of humanity is for universal salvation. That is, that God is a hopeful universalist. This however generates a problem – why would God create a world where so many are apparently damned by accidents of time and geography? That is, why create a world where so many millions of persons lived in times and places in the world completely absent of the message of the gospel of Jesus, if God’s overriding desire is for the salvation of all humanity? Such a world seems wasteful of humanity.

The answer given by WLC and others is that it may be the case (WLC and others are by no means dogmatic about it) that those humans that lived outside of the scope of salvation so to speak, could be those humans that are “transworld depraved,” that is, that there is no possible world in which those persons would ever freely choose God and be saved.

Before answering, I should preface that this view is not universal or necessary to Molinists, however due to his influence, WLC’s argument does seem to have become pervasive in Molinistic thinking and as such, benefit #9 above concerning the problem of the unevangelized is often attributed to Molinism proper. Yet, I would not want those Molinists who know that it is not an inextricable tenet of Molinism to object thinking that I believe this topic to be attributable to all Molinists or even the core propositions of Molinism. However, since it is so popular as already stated, a response ought to be given, of which I have two (besides positive arguments for a more Reformed response).

Firstly, this response to the unevangelized, seems to view human persons as static beings – that “I” could be born anywhere at any time in history. The argument seems to rely on the idea that we humans are like pieces on a board that God could pick up and move whenever and wherever he would like in creation without substantively altering and changing one person into another. I do not understand how this would be possible such that there is even an “I” if I was born at a different time and place. Surely I would be a completely different person, with different genetics, different worldview, and different upbringing and experiences – different in both nature and nurture. My first objection is that I fundamentally have a hard time even conceptualizing the metaphysics of the anthropology on this view.

My second objection is that it also assumes that God was constrained by a specific and certain set of static humans. This position raises the natural question, if it was the case that those static humans wouldn’t believe in any context, why create them at all? Once again, surely there is a logically possible near infinite number of both transworld depraved and transworld righteous humans that God could have created if they can be merely shifted around on the board. In fact, if the objections I presented to the feasibility argument above are sound, then it could be possible for God to create only transworld righteous humans who would believe in any context. Thus we see the breaking through of those objections here – why not simply create [G] and have no problem of the unevagelized to begin with? It seems the failure of the feasibility argument is compounded when taken out of the abstract and examined in a kind of applied scrutiny.

FOR THE MAIN DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES ON MOLINISM, CLICK HERE.