If this is the first you’ve heard of Molinism …
If God knows the future, are we really free to make choices? Open theists answer “No” – but obviously we do make free choices so God must not know the future. Calvinists would also answer “No” – but they conclude that God determines every element of history. Molinists have a different tact, they say that God indeed knows exactly what’s going to happen but it’s not because he determined it, it’s because he foreknows what each person would choose. In fact, he knew every feasible course history could have taken.
Sounds simple? Just wait. This will become one of the most fascinating topics you’ve ever explored.
When I first encountered this I was stunned at the theological power of this idea. If you take this notion of middle knowledge and you apply it to various difficult theological conundrums you will find it to be a key to unlock the mystery to many of these difficult theological problems that folks have wrestled with for centuries. I daresay that this theory of middle knowledge is the most powerful theological concept that I have ever encountered in my life.William Lane Craig
Introduction to Molinism & Middle Knowledge
William Lane Craig | 11:09 | Basic
In this video Craig gives a basic overview of Molinism, giving examples of how it explains certain Bible verses, the problem of those who have never heard, and if there is a feasible world where everyone is saved. This is actually an extract from the radio talk show, “Unbelievable” which is a debate between Craig and Paul Helm. (Scroll down to listen to the full debate.)
William Lane Craig | 11:52 | Medium
Craig is interviewed by Robert Lawrence Kuhn. Kuhn is not a Christian but looks to understand just what it means for God to be omniscient. Craig ends up explaining Molinism.
Leading Contemporary Pro-Molonist Thinkers
William Lane Craig
Books On Molinism
Catholic theologian Thomas Flint defends Molinism. Although a leading thinker, he writes in an accessible way. He has received high praise from William Hasker (a fierce anti-molonist) for this work.
This is the controversial text that gave rise to the debate over God’s middle knowledge. It was written by Luis de Molina in 1588 (revised in 1592) as part of his larger work entitled, De liberi arbitrii cum gratiae donis, divina praescientia, praedestinatione et reprobation concordia (The Compatibility of Free Choice with the Gifts of Grace, Divine Foreknowledge, Providence, Predestination and Reprobation), translated by Alfred J. Freddoso, an expert in Molinism from the University of Notre Dame.
A clear and practical book searching to understand how the world works and how providence fits into the picture. He surveys 11 views asking penetrating questions like, “If this is the way the world works, how should we pray?
Molinism and Calvinism
William Lane Craig | Q & A | Technical
Craig explains where he feels Calvinists get it right (affirming sovereignty and freedom) but then identifies 5 problems with the way the Reformed view tries to explain itself (affirming universal determinism and compatibility).
Paul Helm vs William Lane Craig | 1:20:00 | Basic
William Lane Craig and Paul Helm engage in a friendly but pointed debate over the disagreements between the Calvinist and Molinist views of divine sovereignty and human freedom.
Molinism and Open Theism
William Lane Craig | Q & A | Acessible
Craig examine’s Boyd’s views on open theism and contrasts them to Molonism.
35 pages. By Dr. Alvin Plantinga
Plantinga examines the apparent problems that arise when we introduce divine foreknowledge. Does it really preclude free will? He addresses Newcombe’s paradox (with clear implications on prayer).
Thomas Flint | 8 Part Youtube | Academic
This paper was delivered by Thomas Flint at Alvin Plantinga’s retirement celebration. In it he explores the concepts of accidental necessity apparent in Fredosso’s works and in Alvin Plantinga’s essay ‘On Ockham’s Way Out.’ It is broken out into 9 parts on youtube. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9.
Dean Zimmerman | Article | Academic
He is the leading anti-molinist philosopher (though he admits that molinism is the most popular view among philosophers).
Alvin Plantinga | 180 pages | Book | Academic
Alvin Plantinga inadvertently exhumed Molonism. It was not until Anthony Kenny pointed out the connection that Plantinga had even heard of Molonism. This article made the belief relevant for this new generation.
William Lane Craig | Web Page | Article | Basic
Can we use middle knowledge as a way to understand inspiration as opposed to verbal, plenary inspiration?
- Accidental Necessity (Is it closed under entailment? How many types?)
- Grounding Objection
- Contrasting Views: Open Theism, Calvanism, Armenianism