« Do GCR Opponents Talk To Each Other? Howell Scott Thinks So by Peter Lumpkins | Main | Thabiti Anyabwile on The Economist by Peter Lumpkins »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Hi Peter,

It might be good for understanding to look at 'Thomism' as well as 'Molinism' as the two approaches play off of each other.

Also, I did find some 'background' on the 'middle knowledge' expressed in this post:

"The idea of the scientia media ('middle knowledge') Molina had borrowed from his celebrated professor, Pedro da Fonseca, S.J.
("Commentar. in Metaphys. Aristotelis", Cologne, 1615, III),
who called it scientia mixta. The justification for this name Molina found in the consideration that, in addition to the Divine knowledge of the purely possible (scientia simplicis intelligentiœ)
and the knowledge of the actually existing (scientia visionis), there must be a third kind of "intermediate knowledge",
which embraces all objects that are found neither in the region of pure possibility nor strictly in that of actuality, but partake equally of both extremes and in some sort belong to both kinds of knowledge. In this class are numbered especially those free actions, which, though never destined to be realized in historical fact, would come into existence if certain conditions were fulfilled."

New Advent Catholic Encylopedia

I can't imagine Southern Baptists embracing Molinism, Peter. But, if they see it as a 'defense' against Calvinism, without considering how it plays off of 'Thomism', then they are in very deep waters indeed. I would suggest a consideration of Molinism AND Thomism, and how THEY CONNECT together at the center of a very old debate in the Church.

peter lumpkins


Thanks for your interaction. A couple of things if I may. First, I don't quite know to what your referring when you suggest, "'Thomism' as well as 'Molinism'... play off of each other" and again later, "how THEY [i.e. Molinism and Thomism] CONNECT together..." Exactly what do you mean by these very different schools of thought "playing off" one another and/or "connecting together" with each other?

Second, I assure you, Dr. Keathley does not embrace Molinism "as a 'defense' against Calvinism"; rather he embraces Molinism because he's convinced, when the evidence is spread out before him, he sees Molinism as the obvious result.

In his own words, he writes:

Scripture never states explicitly that God utilizes middle knowledge to accomplish His will. But when all the disparate components of the biblical witness are brought together it becomes clear that Molinism is a reasonable proposal...When one does just that--takes into account all the biblical witness on the subject of divine sovereignty and human choice--Molinism, or something close to it, is where one arrives" (p.41)

While there appears more and more challenges to historic Calvinism being made public, such does not mean non-Calvinists are grasping for any defense they can assemble to offer a counter-point. And, certainly Keathley is not among them.

With that, I am...

The comments to this entry are closed.