Friday, September 19, 2014

A New Flower in the Calvinism/Arminianism Debate

Francisco Marín-Sola advances an innovative alternative in the free will/determinism debate in the book, Do Not Resist the Spirit's Call: Francisco Marín-Sola on Sufficient Grace.  He claims his view is Thomism, and I certainly don’t deny that it could be a type of Thomism, though other Thomists like Lagrange are far more determinist than Marín-Sola.  In the spectrum, I would place it here:

Since many theological systems have a flower acronym (TULIP, ROSES, DAISY, POINSETTIA…) I figured I would give Marín-Sola’s system the LOTUS.


Laps of Man Foreknown but not Caused by God.  God foreknows the fall, but He does not cause it.  Man is the first cause of all sins. -  While all but Open Theists would agree the fall was foreknown, likely Calvinists and Thomists would object to the idea that man is the first cause of sin or anything else for that matter.

Only by Grace.  God provides sufficient grace for all, which is a physical pre-motion always directed to good and that produces good if not resisted.  This sufficient grace not only enables good acts, but starts them, though it does not actually complete them or produce final perseverance.  So this fallible decree is God's will antecedent to man's resistance or non-resistance, and it's the first cause of all good.  – Open Theists, Arminians and Molinists would likely object to the idea that sufficient grace stops short of final perseverance or that it doesn’t see people all the way through to heaven.  Thomists and Calvinist on the other hand, would object to the idea that given the same grace, one man would resist and another not resist.  Likewise they would object to fallible decrees.  Also Calvinists would object to the idea of the non-elect being brought to true repentance and saving faith. 

Timeless knowledge of who would and wouldn't resist.  God, the eternal now, foreknows if man would freely resist or not resist this sufficient grace.  – All but Molinists would object to this idea, though Thomists and Calvinists might grant it, but not if man is the first cause of resistance and not if the knowledge is prior to God’s decree. 

Unconditional Election.  God unconditionally elects some sinners to glory.  -  All Open Theists and Arminians would reject this, while all Calvinists and Thomists would accept it.  Molinists would be split, with Congruists accepting it and others rejecting it. 

Securing of the Elect.  Via a consequent will, God infallibly decrees to provide efficient grace for the elect to remove resistance, which secures final perseverance.  – While many others could agree with the ethos behind this statement, this view is unique to Marín-Sola, given the way he has configured the other elements.  Calvinists and Thomists would object to the idea that God could find in us a resistance for which we are the first cause.  Molinists would object that were God to remove such resistance, He would destroy the freedom He gave us.

While I enjoyed reading Marin-Sola’s views, and I really like his point on non-resistance, I’m not sure I’m ready to sign up.


pak gendoet said...
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THEOparadox said...


Thanks for this post. Very interesting and informative stuff!