One Does Not Simply Fall Into a Tale: a Reformed Theologian’s take on the Script Analogy

In his essay on predestination, appearing in Grace for All, I. Howard Marshall compared divine determinism (see this post) to an author writing a script. A concept that was explored in this post using the Star Wars movies (link). At the end of the post, I asked readers, both proponents and opponents of meticulous sovereignty, if they thought Marshall’s analogy is accurate? A member of the Reformed Pub Facebook group affirmed the analogy was useful for understanding the idea, pointing me to a paper by Dr. James N. Anderson. Anderson (blog) is the Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy (link) at Reformed Theological Seminary.

The article is entitled “Calvinism and the First Sin”, (available for download until it is published) and it explains the Reformed view of divine determinism and its relationship to theodicy (why God permits evil). It also compares it to other views (Molinism, Simple Foreknowledge, and Open Theism), before advocating it as the best option. A conclusion I would not agree with.

LOTR_ScriptHere is how Dr. Anderson describes divine determinism (emphasis added): Continue reading

If Star Wars characters were theologians…

With the anticipation of The Force Awakens now that the trailer is out and Colbert defending the new light saber, I thought it would be fun to see what views various Star Wars characters might hold.

Inspired by a Facebook discussion and having blogged a bit on various approaches to foreknowledge, here are the theological views these characters might hold. Continue reading

The Molinist Speculation

WhatIfSpiderManMarried

Spider -Man marries Mary Jane

If you were a fan of super-heroes and comic books (and who isn’t) then you might remember the What If series (here is a list of them). For the few of you who don’t know what these are. They explore alternate versions of the Marvel Universe.

Our favorite web-slinger married Mary Jane. But what if Mary Jane had rejected Peter Parker’s proposal? Or what if Parker decided to cancel the wedding to protect Mary Jane? The What If story line tackles just these kinds of questions.

The philosophical idea of “middle knowledge” is credited to Luis de Molina. In this view God not only has foreknowledge of the actual future but also of all possible futures. It is similar to the Marvel What If comic series. Continue reading