Continuing on with my series summarizing the book Four Views of Divine Providence, this post will cover the the view of Molinism, defended by William Lane Craig. Previous posts in this series can be read here, here, and here.

Craig begins his section by noting that orthodox theologians have always agreed that God's omniscience includes his "hypothetical knowledge of conditional future contingents."1 This knowledge is called knowledge of counterfactuals, which are "conditional statements in a subjunctive mood."2 For example, God knows that if Austin owned a Nintendo 64 with Mario Kart, he would be playing it right now instead of typing a blog post.

 What Christian theologians have disagreed on for centuries, however, is "when" God has this knowledge.  Since God is timeless and eternal, I am not referring to some actual time when God obtained such knowledge. Rather, the question is where this knowledge falls logically relative to God's other knowledge: that is, his Natural Knowledge and his Free Knowledge. Theologians have always agreed that God's Natural Knowledge came logically prior to his creative decree. This includes knowledge of those propositions which are necessarily true, such as his knowledge of all possible worlds that he could create. His Free Knowledge, knowledge of contingent truths that obtain in the actual world that he created, is agreed to be logically subsequent to his creative decree. But what about his knowledge of counterfactuals? Traditionally, the Dominicans and Calvinists have argued that God's knowledge of counterfactuals is also subsequent to, and a result of, his creative decree. God knows what is because he created it as such, and he knows what would have been, because he could have created it as such. The Jesuits, influenced by Luis de Molina, argued that God's knowledge of counterfactuals is prior to his creative decree; this would put it in between his Natural and Free Knowledge, which is why it has been called God's Middle Knowledge. Under this view, instead of exhaustively determining a world which would bring about his ultimate purposes, God created a world in which he knows that his creatures will freely choose those actions that will bring about his ultimate purposes.

File:Poussin Nicolas - The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites copy.jpg

After a hiatus, we continue with our series on the book On the Reliability of the Old Testament by Kenneth Kitchen.

Before diving into everything about the time of Joshua, it is important to note one thing Kitchen stresses in the section bridging the time of Joshua and that of the judges.  With respect to overall archaeological background, Joshua's conquests were not a sweeping blitzkrieg wiping out all the inhabitants.  When this reality is kept in mind, there is no tension between Judges and Joshua, contrary to some claims that Judges is an alternative narrative of conquest or an outright contradiction.  Judges starts soon after Joshua's death with more campaigns to further consolidate the land given.  More detail on this will follow.
I will now summarize the objections to Paul Kjoss Helseth's view on divine providence, discussed in my previous post.

William Lane Craig (Molinism)

Before getting into the Reformed view as stated by Helseth in the chapter, Craig comments that he thinks AA Hodges' six point summary fails to give an adequate account of the "radical distinctives"1 of that view. The Molinist has no problems with any of the points, except maybe the last because it "punts to inscrutability rather than provides an account of the nature of divine action in the world."2 Helseth's own explanations, as well as his characterization of the view as "omnicausality," are preferable because they better describe the divine, causal determinism that the view entails. While God could causally determine all things, it is hard to see why we should think that God does do this. "Why should we think that our experience of indeterministic freedom is illusory?"3 After this introduction, Craig takes two different approaches to his criticism of the chapter. First, he argues against each of the reasons that Helseth gives for his view, and second he offers five arguments against the view itself.

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