When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

25 February, 2013

Heresy of the Week: Molinism

By special request, this week's heresy was mentioned on the YouTube live recording of Table Talk Radio show #239 (where I got 2,000 TTR points, by the way).

Molinism is a 16th century protestant Semi-Pelagian heresy (of a largely Calvinist bent) that attempts to reconcile predestined action and free will. Molina taught that God has three sets of knowledge, obtained by God in this order: necessary truths, “middle” knowledge (or counterfactuals) and free knowledge (the ontology of the world). They believe that God uses His “middle” knowledge and foreknowledge to survey all possibilities (somewhat like multiple realities) and then actualize whichever one He wants to come to pass. Essentially, it was used to try and explain that while we still have free will (we can and do choose whatever action we want in some realm of existence) that God still has final control to make His predetermined outcome ultimately occur. Molina believed that one could learn about salvation by understanding this concept. This attempt was made to try bringing Arminianism (free will) and Calvinism (predestination) into harmony.


Paul said...

Congrats on the 2,000 points. Just be sure to give 1,000 to your baby when they grow up.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Molina was a Roman Catholic. Why would he be trying to reconcile Calvinism and Arminianism?

Sarah Marie Arnold said...

Correct--Calvinism (pure predestination) and Arminianism (pure free will) was my shorthand for what Molina was attempting to reconcile. You can read in much more detail here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10437a.htm.