Tag Archives: human freedom

Why is God’s knowledge of counterfactuals valuable to a compatibilist doctrine of providence?

Yesterday, I was asked: “how important is it to your theology to add the hypothetical knowledge into the mix, since, in omniscience, isn’t knowledge of all possible things presupposed? That is an excellent question, so I want to post my response here as well. For me, God’s knowledge of counterfactuals, that is, of what free creatures would  have done in hypothetical situations (and hence, in possible worlds) is extremely important to compatibilism (i.e., the compatibility … Continue reading

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When you make a decision, what do you actually change?

A former student’s question Recently, a former student of mine raised a question. Here it is: You asked a question in Sys Theo once that was something like “when you make a decision what do you actually change?” I have pondered this question for years now. Was your point that the decision of the will is insufficient to actually bring what you will into reality? I have argued many times that will and the ability … Continue reading

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How would Molinism work without the affirmation of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities?

Source incompatibilism A few years ago, I became aware that William Lane Craig no longer affirmed the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), although he continued to work within the framework of Molinism. That prompted me to write a blog post asking: “W. L. Craig’s understanding of freedom: Molinism or monergism?” A few people contributed helpful comments on that post and it is obvious that some others share my interest in this area of theology. Since … Continue reading

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“Mysterian compatibilism”: a third category

I have been in the practice of distinguishing two forms of compatibilism, hard and soft. Both are forms of soft-determinism, and they both assert that God’s meticulous control is compatible with creaturely moral culpability. They differ, however, in their account of how that compatibilism works. Thomism offers a version of hard compatibilism, which I call “hard” because it asserts that creatures are libertarianly free, but that this does not diminish God’s ability to meticulously control … Continue reading

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Hypothetical knowledge Calvinism and libertarian freedom

Thus far, I have responded to 5 criticisms leveled against hypothetical knowledge Calvinism in John Laing’s ETS paper in 2013: that it is vulnerable to the grounding objection that Calvinists and Open Theists bring against Molinism that it has an “odd notion of necessity/possibility” that it includes an “odd ontology of personhood” that it “flirts with fatalism,” and that its theodicy is less effective than that of Molinism or Arminianism In this final post of … Continue reading

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The contribution of hypothetical knowledge Calvinism to our understanding of evil in the world chosen by the almighty and perfectly good God

Thus far, I have responded to 4 criticisms leveled against hypothetical knowledge Calvinism in John Laing’s ETS paper in 2013: that it is vulnerable to the grounding objection that Calvinists and Open Theists bring against Molinism that it has an “odd notion of necessity/possibility” that it includes an “odd ontology of personhood,” and that it “flirts with fatalism.” In this post, I address his concern that what I call “hypothetical knowledge Calvinism” does not effectively … Continue reading

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Does hypothetical knowledge Calvinism flirt with fatalism?

Thus far, I have responded to 3 criticisms leveled against hypothetical knowledge Calvinism in John Laing’s ETS paper in 2013: that it is vulnerable to the grounding objection that Calvinists and Open Theists bring against Molinism that it has an “odd notion of necessity/possibility,” and that it includes an “odd ontology of personhood.” In this post, I will consider his concern that what I call “hypothetical knowledge Calvinism” flirts with fatalism (pp. 17-23). Laing observes … Continue reading

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Does hypothetical knowledge Calvinism have an odd ontology of personhood?

In an ETS paper in 2013, John Laing critiqued Bruce Ware’s model of providence which is very much like my own “hypothetical knowledge Calvinist” model. In a long post on March 10, I explained why John Laing is wrong to think that hypothetical knowledge Calvinism is vulnerable to the grounding objection that Calvinists and Open Theists bring against Molinism. Next, I responded to his second criticism, that it has an “odd notion of necessity/possibility” (pp. … Continue reading

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Does hypothetical knowledge Calvinism have an odd notion of necessity or possibility?

In a long post on March 10, I explained why John Laing is wrong to think that hypothetical knowledge Calvinism is vulnerable to the same grounding objection that Calvinists and Open Theists bring against Molinism. The second criticism Laing made of hypothetical knowledge Calvinism (in his Nov/13 ETS paper) was that it has an “odd notion of necessity/possibility” (pp. 8-11). Laing agrees with me that hypothetical knowledge Calvinism’s idea of constraints upon God in his … Continue reading

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Is “hypothetical knowledge Calvinism” vulnerable to the same grounding objection which makes Molinism problematic?

At the ETS meeting in Baltimore in November/13, John Laing read a paper entitled “Middle knowledge and the Assumption of Libertarian Freedom: A Response to Ware.” Though Bruce Ware and I have never collaborated, we reached similar conclusions about the usefulness of God’s knowledge of counterfactuals in his deciding what world he would create, and I appreciate the work he has done. In Providence and Prayer, I had called my model of providence “middle knowledge … Continue reading

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