Molinism in Modern Philosophical Discussion

by Max Andrews

The task of a Molinist perspective of middle knowledge is to remove the perceived dilemma between human freedom and divine foreknowledge.  There are a minority of philosophers and theologians who hold to this Molinist doctrine.  On a promising note, middle knowledge is in modern philosophical debate and works advocated by some of the most prominent philosophers such as Thomas Flint, William Lane Craig, Ken Keathley, Kirk MacGregor, and perhaps one of America’s greatest philosophers, Alvin Plantinga.  These leading Molinists serve in prominent societies such as the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, the American Philosophical Association, and the American Academy of Religion, who serve as witnesses to middle knowledge amongst leading Calvinists, Openness Theologians, atheists, and philosophers of other schools of thought.  Middle knowledge, when implemented into modern discussion, serves as a defense to the many forms of the problems of evil (most notably the soteriological problem of evil), a plausible solution with explanatory scope and power for issues such as predestination, the doctrine of biblical inspiration and inerrancy, and is compatible with every other orthodox doctrine.

From a biblical perspective, there are numerous passages that affirm human libertarian freedom and illustrate God’s foreknowledge and hypothetical knowledge.  There are also good philosophical grounds for affirming human freedom and divine foreknowledge.  Upon accepting the truth to these control doctrines, the paradox is reconciled by affirming, philosophically and theologically, that God possesses such knowledge of creaturely counterfactuals and knows what the world would be like logically prior to the divine decree of creation.  Thus, middle knowledge is theologically necessary for a robust understanding of human freedom and divine providence.


2 Responses to “Molinism in Modern Philosophical Discussion”

  1. Hey Max,

    For myself, I’ve wrestled with the idea that the bible does describe libertarian freedom. While I do affirm this view of freedom (in the soft sense), the more I discuss this issue amongst my friends, as well as reading other theologians/philosophers, the more I’m inclined to except the position that Feinberg (or was it Helm? I can’t recall now) expressed that the biblical descriptions of freedom are vague; in other words, the scriptures say we are free ‘in some sense’ but is underdeterminative in what kind of freedom it is. Thus the matter of freedom must be fought on philosophical, not biblical, grounds. Having said that, I would rather want to say that bible does describe freedom in a libertarian sense but, at least to me, it does not seem that clear.

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