Dan 4:34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; Dan 4:35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"
I have been doing some studying on Molinism. It is a theological system that was developed by a Jesuit priest Luis de Molina in the 1500s to combat the doctrine of the Reformers concerning the sovereignty of God in salvation. That right there should be enough for us to dismiss it out of hand but it is in vogue among some Arminian evangelicals and evidently some so called Calvinist are said to embrace it so it would be good for us to understand it and why it is an unbiblical attack on the very person of God. It takes some time to really get one’s mind around what it teaches and I am no expert by any means but let me try to sum it up briefly and give just a few reasons why it fails.
It states that not only does God know all that happens and all that will happen but that he knows all that could happen by men who are considered to be free moral agents. In other words God knows all the choices free men will make and so he created a world that would lead to the best possible outcome based on the choices we make. Molina developed this to try to keep man’s free will intact even while God is sovereign. The problems are legion if one takes the Bible as God’s Word and the final truth.
The first obvious problem is that it assumes that God’s foreknowledge of all things that will happen is outside of his eternal decrees. That he is like some seer staring into a crystal ball and sees what we will do. But the Bible teaches that God knows the future because he has declared the beginning from the end. The future is not independent from him; it isn’t something that he knows about, it is what he has planned and only what he has planned.
Secondly this robs God of his sovereignty and makes man’s free will ultimately what determines the course of history and human existence. Based on what we would do God’s options are limited in what he can do with us; he only has so many options.
But there are two other things to consider that make the whole system collapse under its own weight; instead of defending and support man’s free will, this system actually ends up denying the very thing it is trying to keep intact. The idea is that God knows what free men will do under any and all circumstances. So he manipulates us and our environment and circumstances to get everything to his desired end. But if we will always choose to act a certain way under the same circumstances then we really have no option to change our minds. We are like Pavlov’s dogs that will always salivate when they think food is coming. In other words, our will is not free to choose if it must always act in a definite fashion under the same circumstances. If God knows what we will do before we do it then we really aren’t free to choose one thing or another; something else has already determined it.
But even worse than this is what seems to me to be something completely missed by those who believe this. If each one of us is completely free to do whatever we want but God knows what we will do in any situation; what makes us the people we are? If God knows that Nathan Ruble will always lose his temper when faced with certain things then not only am I not truly free in will but my next question is who make me to be like I am; to think like I do? Why are we like we are so that we do what we do? Who gave us our personalities and our likes and dislikes, etc. We can say it is in our genes but who gave us our genes?
What I am saying is that at the end of the day the Molinist must admit that God has determined all things from the beginning because he made us what we are. We can talk all we want to about man’s free will but who gave us a will and who gave us our personalities. There is only one answer to that and it is that Person who has necessarily determined all that will be and exactly how it will all turn out. And yet he did so keeping our responsibility intact for any decisions we make.
Can anyone explain how the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man work? I don’t think so but I do know what the Bible teaches about it and our responsibility is to believe it and not try to philosophize our way out of it. “Let God be true though every one were a liar”, Rom. 3:4