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Darby Livingston

"If there were an infinite number of perfect worlds from which to choose, an infinite number which guarantees God’s requirement for perfection is met, how is it God would choose to make a world wherein His desires were not fully realized, desires that none should perish?"

This is a good question Peter. It really gets to the heart of this whole issue. God created the world that is now the way he knew it would be when he created it. So how can God say he desires none should perish, and really mean it, if he created a world where he knew billions would perish? I suspect the answer lies somewhere in a necessary distinction between two wills in God or at least differing degrees of God's desires (he has a desire for all to be saved, but not as strong as his desire that his Son be glorified by saving some and judging others).

David R. Brumbelow

I agree Salvation and Sovereignty by Keathley is well worth the money. It and Whosoever Will by Allen & Lemke make a great combination.
David R. Brumbelow



Here is a site that will be of interest to you, I think:


peter lumpkins


Thanks. On p 52ff, Dr. Keathley deals extensively with the "two-wills" proposal engaging especially Piper in The Grace of God, the Bondage of the Will edited by Southern Baptists, T. Schriner & B. Ware. And, he offers several good reasons to reject it, though obviously the conversation continues between them. It's worth a lookie-lookie...


I agree. Keathley makes alot of sense. For several years now, however, I've just been very weary of "systems" which are supposed to conquer paradoxes or "tensions" created by varying biblical truths. And while I could not advocate known contradiction which obviously reduces to nonsense, I gave up being 'bent out of shape' so to speak if all my theological corners don't square off perfectly.

Anyways, your idea to couple SSM with WW is a grand idea. It shows credible, scholarly interaction takes place from the Non-Calvinist side of the aisle, something explicitly ridiculed by bloggers a few years back.

Grace to you brothers,
With that, I am...

peter lumpkins


Interesting link. Thank you!

With that, I am...

Wes Widner

"Third, and perhaps more significant to me, is the supposition that God chose from an infinite number of possible worlds from which to create"

Molinism does not posit that there is an infinite number of possible worlds. Mostly because it holds God as a necessary being in all possible worlds and because of that there are many things that are simply illogical or incoherent. For example, there is no possible world wherein a square circle exists simply because it is a violation of logic which, being grounded in the nature of God, is impossible.

Also, you ask "Is biblicism itself not enough?"

Well quite frankly, no. What does "biblicism" mean exactly? That we no longer have to employ our minds to understand what the Bible says? If that is the case then I would be very interested in meeting the person who has managed to shut off their mental facalties in order to process (mentally?) the message contained within scripture.

God has designed us in such a way that we must process all information we accumulate and posses through our minds. And our minds are well adapted to systems of through in order to assist as we reason through various subjects. In fact, dividing all the information in the universe into subjects is, itself, a system designed to help us divide up the whole of knowledge into more manageable pieces.

No, systems of thought are not infallible. But it would be a gross miscalculation to discount something merely because it is part of a system. If anything we should be more wary of ideas that do not fit into any larger system as such ideas are prone to be incompatible with other ideas we hold.

How would we know that we hold conflicting ideas without an overriding system (or meta-narrative) acting as a higher vantage point?

Yes, Scripture is our ultimate vantage point, but that does not mean intermediate systems of thought are invalid or unnecessary.

peter lumpkins


Thanks for logging on. You begin: "Molinism does not posit that there is an infinite number of possible worlds...For example, there is no possible world wherein a square circle exists..."

First, I was not referencing an infinite number of worlds which includes impossible worlds; instead I specifically referenced possible worlds above and later on "creatable" worlds, the only available options to the Holy Creator..

Second, Keathley writes, "“Molinism posits that an infinite number of feasible worlds were available [for God] to create…” (13, which I quoted above). Dr. Keathley also writes, "So to sum up: from the infinite set of possible worlds that could happen...there is an infinite subset of feasible worlds which would accomplish His will...God freely chooses one of the feasible worlds, and He perfectly knows what will happen in the actual world..." (18, italics original).

Hence, your assertion about what Molinism does not posit is confusing to me.

Second, after rejecting Biblicism, you ask if Biblicism means we no longer have to employ our minds to understand what the Bible says?

A) No, and for you to even spend time in your comment “debunking” such seems to me a bit premature unless you have some reason to believe I hold that Biblicism reduces to a mindless engagement with Scripture

B) Nor does Biblicism deny the way God designed our minds to operate, function, or even possess constructs of thought.

C) As for knowing “conflicting ideas” while we may all have to drink from the dipper of non-contradiction, such a swallow does not constitute a fully developed system as in Molinism, Calvinism, or any number of other isms, my brother.

D) From my standpoint, knowingly overlaying a philosophical grid onto the text of Scripture to mediate its meaning through technical categories and foreign terms imposed upon it could be the perfect descriptive antonym to what I would call, Biblicism.

Now, enough about my own philosophical musings, Wes. I can go no deeper, scrapping the bottom clean, I assure.  However, if you have more insight on Dr. Keathley’s Molinism, you are welcome to enlighten us.

With that, I am…


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