Prolific Christian blogger Wintery Knight has a recent post commenting on a discussion-format debate featuring William Lane Craig and Paul Helm on Calvinism vs Molinism as rival ways to understand what the Bible teaches about predestination. Calvinism takes at face value biblical statements on God predestining; Molinism (at least as interpreted by Craig) speculates that God knows how each person would voluntarily behave in all possible situations and then God chose to create the unique world that maximizes the good that results from free choices. God solved, as it were, the Mother of All Optimization Problems.
Paul Helm supported the Calvinistic understanding of predestination
Wintery Knight is evidently an anti-Calvinist; replying to a reader comment he wrote
Yes I think it’s important for people to understand what Calvinism teaches. I’m sure there are nice Calvinists, but it’s gotta lot of trouble with the plain meaning of the Bible.
That phrase “the plain meaning of the Bible” inspired me to attempt to post the below comment. But it never went through. Possibly there was an electronic malfunction. Or else WK did not want to get into a discussion on the plain meaning of the Bible.
William Lane Craig claims to believe in predestination and to support Molinism because he believes it is the best way to affirm the biblical texts on predestination while acquitting God of the charge of causing evil. But most non-Cavinists simply reject predestination. What Wintery Knight’s exact position on predestination is, I don’t know. I just know he’s anti-Calvinist and he has no objection to Craig’s Molinism. For that reason my comment dealt not with Molinism (which is highly technical), but with the “plain meaning of the Bible” regarding predestination.
Here is my comment:
1 Timothy 2:3-4 “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Romans 9:18 “So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”
Ephesians 1:11 “In Him we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things in accordance with the plan of His will…”
So which is it? Does God want everyone to be saved, or does he plan it all in advance?
The Bible says both. So is the Bible contradicting itself, or is there a deeper meaning?
The Bible does not contradict itself. There is a deeper meaning. Or rather, more work is needed in order to understand what the Bible teaches on this topic. Continue reading