Wednesday, November 3, 2010

God has nothing to do with anything in time?

James White recently spoke about middle knowledge and William Lane Craig on ‘Radio Free Geneva’. Some of the program repeated past mistakes James White has made about middle knowledge, but he provided some fresh mistakes as well; the most notable of which was his statement around 42 minutes in that “the best the Molinist can say is that God has nothing to do with anything that takes place in time because He is a huge divine cosmic computer that ran all the possible scenarios based upon what free creatures would do and actuated a scenario” and again two minutes latter, James White says “[per Molinism] the freedom of God’s choice is limited to one decision, that’s it.”

In Molinism, just as in Calvinism, God’s one decision is all comprehensive and has multiple aspects. His decision impacts (either directly or via permission) all points in time, so it’s fundamentally wrong to say God has nothing to do with anything that takes place in time. Just because God planned for the flood from eternity past does not mean He didn’t send it in time.

I think that one of the reasons why Calvinists dislike middle knowledge so much is that it’s too close to their own view. They would rather have their opponents be Open Theists and Pelagians, because this gives their own view some wiggle room. The contrast between Calvinism and middle knowledge focus our attention like a laser on causal determinism, which is an uncomfortable topic for many Calvinists who would rather just go back to championing God’s grace and omniscience against Open Theists and Pelagians.


bossmanham said...

White certainly isn't a philosopher and really isn't qualified to critique Molinism; namely because it's clear he hasn't spent much time figuring out what Molinists believe. I would wager that he hasn't gone beyond listening to WLC's recent podcast on the matter and maybe the wikipedia article.

Godismyjudge said...

Yes, James White doesn't examine his own philosophy much, which gives it that much more influence over his ideas.

God be with you,