providence and free will, but it also reconciles soteriological teachings like predestination and
resistible grace, and it reconciles eternal security with the various apostasy-warning texts as I’ve argued elsewhere on this blog.
Richard does not agree with any of the arguments given for free will or
against determinism. He dismisses both the philosophical arguments as
well as the biblical arguments. And he argues tenaciously that God does not want all people to be saved and that God’s grace is irresistible. But my point is that if you agree with
the essential premises that both divine determinism and simple
foreknowledge-+-free will are untenable views, I don’t think you’d be unjustified in becoming a Molinist. Also, if one is not completely satisfied with regular old Arminian or regular old Calvinist soteriology, why not fuse the apparently contradictory beliefs from the 2 camps in a coherent way? The only debate should lie in
whether the reasons to reject all of the competing views are good
reasons. I would say they are, but Richard would say no. For example, Richard might argue that the texts that appear to support free will don’t really teach free will. Richard might argue that in that case, only the determinism scriptures need be considered. That’s ok, but I would hope that Richard realizes that we’re not trying to impose things onto the text, but that we’re trying to harmonize apparently contradictory texts. Richard may, like a lot of Arminians and Calvinists, not think there’s anything there to be harmonized. Again, that’s fine, but the point is that no one is saying the scriptures teach Molinism, but that they teach things that can be best explained by Molinism. This is why I often tell people “The Bible doesn’t teach Molinism, but The Bible is best explained by Molinism.”
of the premises of the trinity are exegeted from Scripture. The other
passages are interpreted in light of that exegesis. But in the case of
Molinism, there just are no passages upon which one can base their
interpretation.” he’s really just denying that there’s anything in tension to be explained and that ergo, there’s no need to jump to Molinism to ease said tension, just like how Modalists, Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormons, Arians etc. reject “the premises of the trinity [that] are exegeted from Scripture.” and they therefore don’t believe God is 3 persons in 1 divine essence.
Molinism is not an exercise is eiesegesis. Molinism is a conclusion we come to after we’ve already exegeted the scriptures. It’s a conclusion of how to coherently explain exegeted parts of scripture that, sans Molinism, appear to be at odds.
William Hasker (an open theist, and no friend of Molinism) once wrote
“If you are committed to a strong’ view of providence, according to which, down to the smallest detail, “things are as they are because God knowingly decided to create such a world,” and yet you also wish to maintain a libertarian conception of free will—if this is what you want, then Molinism is the only game in town.”
That is what I want because I think that’s what scripture tells us. That’s why I’m a Molinist. Scripture tells us that God meticulously orchestrates what goes on in the world, yet is also presupposes in many places and explicitly states in some that we are free and morally responsible agents. This is what scripture tells us. What scripture doesn’t tell us is how both of these can be true at the same time. This is where I believe Molinism comes to the rescue.