The Molinist Speculation


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

The Providence Problem

In thinking through God’s Foreknowledge there are three basic approaches. Actually, there are four but the view known as Middle knowledge will not be explored in this post.

Name Description Determinism     Fore knowledge Libertarian  Free Will
Determinism God determines all events prior to creation. The foreknowledge of all future actions that God has is based on what He has decreed will occur. God is providentially active but this activity is part of what is decreed. yes yes (based on the decrees and not on the actions of people) no (compatibilistic free will)
Open Theism God does not have foreknowledge of future contingent actions. God is providentially active and responds to future events as they occur. no no (the future is not knowable) yes
Simple Foreknowledge God has complete foreknowledge of future contingent actions prior to creation. God is providentially active and interacts with His creation. no yes (based on the actions of people in the future) yes

One of the challenges posed to those holding the Simple Foreknowledge view is that God can not use his foreknowledge to providentially interact with His creation. Continue reading