Saturday, September 19, 2009
One of James White's Criticisms of Molinism
Often James White points out that Molinism came from the Jesuits, whose founder, Ignatius of Loyola, was on a mission to combat Protestantism in general and the denial of free will in particular. While Molinism has some roots in the church fathers and the scholastics of the middle ages, it certainly was was first articulated and systematized using the scholastic method by the Jesuits. So while White's intent seems to be 'poisoning the well', his claims seem to have some basis. Should this be a concern for Molinists? I don't think so; what's interesting here is not Ignatius' intention but rather his method. Ignatius attempted to strengthen Catholic countries via education, so he help found schools and universities. Molinism is the result of intense study and serious reflection upon the issues related the God's foreknowledge and human freedom. The three early Jesuits most commonly associated with Molinism, Molina, Bellarmine and Suarez, were all unquestionably highly educated and bright. While reading Suarez, it's hard to not get the impression that the man read everything and I haven't seen a painting of him, I picture him as having an enormous egg where most people have a head. So throwing out Molinism because of it's association with Jesuits is a mistake for those who take education seriously.