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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Does God's will always infallibly come to pass? | Main | God Regularly Interferes with Human Wills by Robert Bernecker »

    The Extra-Biblical Logic of Molinism

    Regarding salvation "...middle knowledge claims that God's perfect, infinite knowledge must be able to know not only what sentient creatures will freely choose in all situations in their lives but what everyone would do in every possible situation that they could confront." - Craig Blomberg

    Response: Where is Christ in all of this? The problem with this statement should be obvious to any serious student of Scripture: It doesn't matter what situation people are put in, they will always, always reject Christ apart from regenerating grace. Natural men need the gospel precisely because they are not free but in bondage to their corruptions...and are unable to see the beauty of Christ in the gospel... Men, therefore, do not "freely choose" but instead need to have their heart of stone made into a heart of flesh. Men do not have the natural power to change our own hearts ... and so the gospel's power is that it not only justifies a man when he comes to faith but also raises him from the death of sin (renewing our heart) in order that he might bring men to faith (John 6:63-65, 37). Salvation is by Christ alone.

    The end we should all be more persuaded by arguments from actual texts of Scripture then from the apparent logic of entailments. While we should never embrace anything that has internal contradictions, yet Molinism's fatal error is that it has created an extra-biblical system which may be logical within its own system but does not even attempt to justify itself from Scripture.

    Posted by John on September 28, 2013 01:11 AM

    Comments

    Those who follow Molinism or middle knowledge follow a Calvinistic line of thought that assumes God has selected some to be saved, and some not. They would say that only some have been so selected as objects of Christ’s intent to save when he went to the cross. Along with this, Calvinism asserts that no person is able to believe apart from a prior regenerating action by God the Holy Spirit which action makes belief, and therefore justification, possible. This is, of course, a model under which Calvinists operate. The very thought that the gospel offer of eternal life through faith in Christ alone, which offer has been initiated by God’s grace is anathema to the reformed position. In order to support their idea of “sovereign grace” they must insist that man is unable to believe the gospel message and, by that means, be regenerated (born again, justified in God’s sight).
    When a person chooses something, he does something. What a person does something is called a deed. A deed is a work. Scriptures exclude any human work as a cause for being justified. It is by faith alone. Faith, on the other hand, is passive. It is not a deed or a work. It occurs when a person recognizes that he does not have everlasting life and realizes that Christ offers it to him freely. Faith is the reception of God’s promise is true which reception accrues to everlasting life. Whoever believes in him shall have everlasting life. When the author of this response argues about being able to freely choose, he is entering a strawman-type argument, i.e., He is misrepresenting what the Scriptures say, and even assume, about one’s ability to believe. The author of this “response” equates believing in Christ for eternal life with changing one’s heart. Changing one’s heart is possible only after one receives eternal life faith alone. This author puts the proverbial cart in front of the horse, i.e. regeneration before faith. This is an error of extreme magnitude and is as on biblical as one can be.
    Further, there is no need for the Molinist to propose a remedy for the erroneous model of Calvinism since error does not require a remedy or a further explanation. It just needs to be pointed out.
    Men do not need to have their heart changed; they need to believe in Christ for everlasting life. Men do not need to hope God chose them for eternal life and receive “regenerating grace”; they need to understand the phrase “whosoever believes in Him has everlasting life.” Molinist’s do not need to argue their position; they need to abstain from Calvinistic thought altogether. Calvinists do not need to criticize Molinist’s; they need to come to full terms with what the Scripture teaches about how to have eternal life and not confuse the issue with their own extra-biblical system.
    One more point: On the same basis Arminians do not need to argue for prevenient into grace, either. Such doctrine is also derived from a recognition of the Calvinist insistence that total depravity means the inability to believe rather than the biblical idea of complete or total separation from God due to sin.
    My book, Confronting Calvinism: A Free Grace Refutation and Biblical Resolution to Radical Reformed Soteriology, demonstrates that not one single point of Dortian Calvinism is supported by not one single passage of Scripture in the entire Bible. In doing so, it also answers many misgivings of Arminianism.
    Anthony B. Badger, Th.D. [email protected]

    Those who follow Molinism or middle knowledge follow a Calvinistic line of thought that assumes God has selected some to be saved, and some not. They would say that only some have been so selected as objects of Christ’s intent to save when he went to the cross. Along with this, Calvinism asserts that no person is able to believe apart from a prior regenerating action by God the Holy Spirit which action makes belief, and therefore justification, possible. This is, of course, a model under which Calvinists operate. The very thought that the gospel offer of eternal life through faith in Christ alone, which offer has been initiated by God’s grace is anathema to the reformed position. In order to support their idea of “sovereign grace” they must insist that man is unable to believe the gospel message and, by that means, be regenerated (born again, justified in God’s sight).
    When a person chooses something, he does something. What a person does something is called a deed. A deed is a work. Scriptures exclude any human work as a cause for being justified. It is by faith alone. Faith, on the other hand, is passive. It is not a deed or a work. It occurs when a person recognizes that he does not have everlasting life and realizes that Christ offers it to him freely. Faith is the reception of God’s promise is true which reception accrues to everlasting life. Whoever believes in him shall have everlasting life. When the author of this response argues about being able to freely choose, he is entering a strawman-type argument, i.e., He is misrepresenting what the Scriptures say, and even assume, about one’s ability to believe. The author of this “response” equates believing in Christ for eternal life with changing one’s heart. Changing one’s heart is possible only after one receives eternal life faith alone. This author puts the proverbial cart in front of the horse, i.e. regeneration before faith. This is an error of extreme magnitude and is as on biblical as one can be.
    Further, there is no need for the Molinist to propose a remedy for the erroneous model of Calvinism since error does not require a remedy or a further explanation. It just needs to be pointed out.
    Men do not need to have their heart changed; they need to believe in Christ for everlasting life. Men do not need to hope God chose them for eternal life and receive “regenerating grace”; they need to understand the phrase “whosoever believes in Him has everlasting life.” Molinist’s do not need to argue their position; they need to abstain from Calvinistic thought altogether. Calvinists do not need to criticize Molinist’s; they need to come to full terms with what the Scripture teaches about how to have eternal life and not confuse the issue with their own extra-biblical system.
    One more point: On the same basis Arminians do not need to argue for prevenient into grace, either. Such doctrine is also derived from a recognition of the Calvinist insistence that total depravity means the inability to believe rather than the biblical idea of complete or total separation from God due to sin.
    My book, Confronting Calvinism: A Free Grace Refutation and Biblical Resolution to Radical Reformed Soteriology, demonstrates that not one single point of Dortian Calvinism is supported by not one single passage of Scripture in the entire Bible. In doing so, it also answers many misgivings of Arminianism.
    Anthony B. Badger, Th.D. [email protected]

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