Friday, November 30, 2007

Supra, Infralapsarianism and Molinism - guess which I am for!

Started at the Founders blog which lead me to start reading about the Building Bridges conference this blog post from the Baptist Press:

The primary weakness of both supralapsarian Calvinism (God decreed to save some men before the fall) and infralapsarian Calvinism (God decreed to save some men after the fall) lies in their inability to explain sin and evil without stipulating God as the cause of them, Keathley said. Molinism better reconciles God and the so-called "problem of evil," he said, and eliminates the charge of God having caused evil.

"God controls all things but He does not cause all things," Keathley said. "We must embrace God's permission to avoid having God causing evil."

I guess I don't really understand the seems like the proposition is that unless God somehow did not know that Man was going to sin, He is the author of sin - that is - if He knew Man would sin and did nothing to stop it, He was the cause of sin.

I think it goes something like this.

P1 God knew Man would sin

P2 Man sinned

C1 God caused sin

This, to me, is a false dilemma - God created Man (and Angel) to have free will - it is obvious (or strongly evidential) that free will not bound/regulated by the will of God is corrupting and that makes sense. God is God and has the capability to exist with the potential of absolute libertarian free will, yet freely chooses goodness and freely chooses to humble Himself to save some of Mankind. Man (and Angel), when given libertarian free will, chose to exalt themselves and grasp equality with God. Now, since we are not God and God is not a puppet master, we fail and are responsible - not God. The fact is that God is glorified through our inability without being culpable for causing it.

Now, I do not know the circumstances of Angelic free will, except to know that they have been through a first judgment with no mercy as a result of some of their freewill rebellion (led by Satan) against God, since they were immediately judged and cast out (although one might propose that they are currently experiencing some mercy until the final judgment). I believe the Angels that did not rebel are now glorified and are incapable of rebelling (non posse peccare), just as we will be, post-judgment. In other words, I think the Angelic beings were judged under works-righteousness criteria, since they do not have a Savior, yet are in the presence of God.

Now clearly Satan is the ultimate author of sin, both in the Angelic and Mankind realms, since we know he is the prince of the Fallen, but we (and they!) were willing (free willing!) accomplices - the primary difference is that our (Man's) sin ultimately worked to the good, since through Man's sin, Christ was glorified as Savior. Some of the guilty are saved! None of the rebelling Angels were given mercy - on purpose, I am sure and to the glory of God and the fulfillment of His purpose.

So...God's foreknowledge - and I really think that the concept of foreknowledge is a limitation of the language, not a limitation of God - is perfect and complete because He is not required to be bound by time or the rules of time, since, well, I hate to point out the obvious here, but He created time. He is also not bound by this "middle knowledge" scenario, since creation (including Time) from the initial BANG to the final judgment is a tapestry he has woven and ordained/decreed to be. And just as I have exhaustive knowledge of a tapestry I have woven does not detract from the pleasure I receive by putting it to its decreed purpose; in this instance - God glorifying Himself, saving some of His creatures, thus displaying his loving Mercy as well as glorifying Himself through the exercise of His divine Justice. Justice without Mercy is not true Justice. Love without Justice is worthless.

That is the current state of my 2 cents on this matter.



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