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This is the forum to discuss the spectrum of views within Christianity on God's foreknowledge and election such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, Open Theism, Process Theism, Restrictivism, and Inclusivism, Christian Universalism and what these all are about anyway. Who is saved and when is/was their salvation certain? How does God exercise His sovereignty and how powerful is He? Is God timeless and immutable? Does a triune God help better understand God's love for mankind?

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Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 or General Theistics 101 forum without such restrictions. Theists who wish to discuss these issues outside the parameters of orthodox Christian doctrine are invited to Unorthodox Theology 201.

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Calvinism versus Molinism on the problem of evil

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  • Calvinism versus Molinism on the problem of evil

    Just finished listening to William Craig (Molinist) and James White (Calvinist) discuss their views with regard to the problem of evil. I agree with James White, though I think he missed a verse or two:

    "... this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men." (Acts 2:23)

    "Is a trumpet blown in a city,
    and the people are not afraid?
    Does disaster come to a city,
    unless the LORD has done it?" (Amos 3:6)



    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  • #2
    I would be more impressed, Lee, if you had posted in agreement with Craig; White merely confirms what you already believe. Does Craig make any good points, in your opinion? If so, what are they?
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    • #3
      I think Calvinism is just wrong and Molinism is unlikely, if unfalsifiable, so I didn't tune into the debate when it came out, but perhaps I should have; it's interesting to see how the respective traditions handle this thorny issue. (Sadly, the debate probably got more attention just from people curious to see if White would behave himself; he reportedly did.)
      It is interesting that they mentioned Amos 3:6 as it is one of the verses that tends to be overlooked by Arminians; I have even seen book length defenses of Arminianism ignore it all together.
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

      Comment


      • #4
        One day, we can just politely ask Jesus to explain it to us.
        If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
          One day, we can just politely ask Jesus to explain it to us.
          I doubt it'll even matter to us at that point.
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            It is interesting that they mentioned Amos 3:6 as it is one of the verses that tends to be overlooked by Arminians; I have even seen book length defenses of Arminianism ignore it all together.
            First thing to notice is that the logical flow from verse 6 into verse 7 is disrupted.
            Second - there is no "it" in the MT - it is added in translation.

            6 If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?
            7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.

            So what is "it"? The calamity, or the trumpet being blown? Should the translation show "done it" or "done so"?
            1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
            Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
            .
            "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

            "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
              I would be more impressed, Lee, if you had posted in agreement with Craig; White merely confirms what you already believe. Does Craig make any good points, in your opinion? If so, what are they?
              I resonated with Craig's comment that God takes into account our free-will decisions. Now I believe that only believers have free will, and that God takes into account their prayers (for example) within his will. Also, I agree that requiring a source for free-will decisions (the grounding objection to Molinism) is an unreasonable request.

              Blessings,
              Lee
              "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                First thing to notice is that the logical flow from verse 6 into verse 7 is disrupted.
                I think it flows quite well, "Has the Lord not done [it]? Surely the Lord does nothing without..."

                Second - there is no "it" in the MT - it is added in translation.

                6 If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?
                7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.

                So what is "it"? The calamity, or the trumpet being blown? Should the translation show "done it" or "done so"?
                This is clearly an example of Hebrew parallelism, where the first thought is echoed by the second. So I think the second question stands on its own, and does not refer specifically to the trumpet being blown. The natural referent of what the Lord has done would then be the calamity.

                And do we not have enough examples of the Lord bringing calamity? I might quote most of the prophets in this regard.

                "Therefore the LORD has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us," (Daniel 9:14)

                Blessings,
                Lee
                "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                  I think it flows quite well, "Has the Lord not done [it]? Surely the Lord does nothing without..."


                  This is clearly an example of Hebrew parallelism, where the first thought is echoed by the second. So I think the second question stands on its own, and does not refer specifically to the trumpet being blown. The natural referent of what the Lord has done would then be the calamity.

                  And do we not have enough examples of the Lord bringing calamity? I might quote most of the prophets in this regard.

                  "Therefore the LORD has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us," (Daniel 9:14)

                  Blessings,
                  Lee
                  Verse 8 says that the Lord will not act without making it known. The warning is transmitted by the prophets' voices, just as the warning of trouble is transmitted by the watch-men's trumpets (v7), so yes there is parallelism.

                  Your interpretation of 7b makes the Lord responsible for every calamity that occurs in a city, whether or not there is advance warning. Verse 8 denies the concept that God acts without warning.
                  1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                  Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                  .
                  "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

                  "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                    Your interpretation of 7b makes the Lord responsible for every calamity that occurs in a city, whether or not there is advance warning. Verse 8 denies the concept that God acts without warning.
                    But not everything that the Lord reveals to a prophet is to be spoken (re Rev. 10:4). But indeed, the Lord does usually warn before calamity strikes (Prov. 29:1), but not always (Luke 13:4). And are you conceding that God does send calamity?

                    Blessings,
                    Lee
                    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                      But not everything that the Lord reveals to a prophet is to be spoken (re Rev. 10:4). But indeed, the Lord does usually warn before calamity strikes (Prov. 29:1), but not always (Luke 13:4).
                      How are any of those red herrings related to the infliction of a disaster on a city by God?

                      And are you conceding that God does send calamity?
                      Never said otherwise. The fact is, Amos declares that when God sends calamity on a city, he gives an advance warning.




                      Your interpretation of 7b makes the Lord responsible for every calamity that occurs in a city, whether or not there is advance warning. Verse 8 denies the concept that God acts (in those circumstances) without warning.

                      After a destructive earthquake, someone says, "oh,oh - God has done this as a punishment." to which another replies, "Get off it. No-one gave any advance warning."

                      So - leaving aside the red herrings, you might perhaps consider the explanation for why "it" (which isn't in the source text anyway) does not refer to the disaster, but to the trumpet call.
                      Last edited by tabibito; 05-03-2022, 05:55 PM.
                      1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                      Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                      .
                      "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

                      "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Most of the time, natural disasters are a byproduct of a functioning biosphere. Stinks for the organisms affected, but it's necessary for life to exist as a whole. So, not necessarily a Judgement. Don't imply hurricanes exist to punish cities instead of mixing the oceans and providing rain.
                        If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                          Most of the time, natural disasters are a byproduct of a functioning biosphere. Stinks for the organisms affected, but it's necessary for life to exist as a whole. So, not necessarily a Judgement. Don't imply hurricanes exist to punish cities instead of mixing the oceans and providing rain.
                          The list of demonstrations would be all but endless. I don't believe that God acts without warning at any time, but am willing to admit I could be wrong. But this passage in Amos definitely states that God won't bring disaster to a city without giving prior warning.
                          1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                          Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                          .
                          "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

                          "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                            The list of demonstrations would be all but endless. I don't believe that God acts without warning at any time, but am willing to admit I could be wrong. But this passage in Amos definitely states that God won't bring disaster to a city without giving prior warning.
                            I think God is always passively warning people. Those that take the time to read and study the Bible can then look around at what's happening can see how much is and isn't in God's permissions. For me the question is, what would an active warning from God look like?
                            "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                            "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

                              I think God is always passively warning people. Those that take the time to read and study the Bible can then look around at what's happening can see how much is and isn't in God's permissions. For me the question is, what would an active warning from God look like?
                              Always keeping in mind we are dealing with a specific text in the Old Testament record, the active warning was to be issued through the agency of the accredited prophets; in the early church likewise, through the accredited prophets and perhaps the apostles, both groups being rather thin on the ground though not entirely absent this past millennium. Still, nothing would stop God from raising up prophets to perform the task even if there were none currently available.
                              1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                              Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                              .
                              "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

                              "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                              Comment

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