Our latest live discussion centers around a Christian doctrine called Molinism. In short, it’s the view that God knows what people would freely do in any given situation. So, for example, God knew prior to creating the world that Peter would freely deny Jesus three times. It’s a doctrine that unifies human freedom and divine providence. Today we are exploring whether this doctrine is actually true. John argues yes, Andrew no (more on them below).
The discussion goes live at 3pm Central (1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern) on Friday, August 24, 2018. Here’s the link to view live and watch later:
Writer to three ministries, Free Thinking Ministries, The Art of Rigor, and Faithful Apologetics, John A. Limanto is a local Christian apologist in Indonesia. Having resided for 7 years in Borneo, he now lives in Jakarta where he is pursuing his researches on Molinism and studies at Pelita Harapan.
Andrew lives in Auckland New Zealand. He is a self described career student. He has an undergraduate and two postgraduate degrees in Philosophy from the University of Auckland, and is nearing the completion of his fourth degree: an LL.B in Law.
More on Molinism
All Christians agree that, in virtue of His omniscience, God knows what could happen (Natural Knowledge) and what will happen (Free Knowledge). Molinism postulates a kind of knowledge between what could happen and what will happen. In the “middle” there’s knowledge of what would happen. It’s termed “Middle Knowledge.” This view says that God knows what people would freely do in any situation.
Here’s another way of thinking about it. God knows what will happen. That’s just Divine Foreknowledge. But does God have hypothetical knowledge? Does He know what people would hypothetically do if put in various situations? Did He know prior to creating the world that Pontius Pilate would freely condemn Jesus to death?
William Lane Craig likes to use Scrooge as an example of hypothetical knowledge. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge what would happen if he didn’t change his ways. Since we know the ending, we know that Scrooge actually does change, so these various scenarios that were shown him were purely hypothetical.
The question we’re asking is whether God has this kind of hypothetical, “Middle” knowledge.
The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge & Human Freedom – William Lane Craig
Molinism: The Contemporary Debate – Ken Perszyk (Editor)
Luis de Molina: The Life and Theology of the Founder of Middle Knowledge – Kirk R. MacGregor