Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The gloves are off!

William Craig Lane recently removed his white gloves and offered his bare-knuckle opinion of Calvinism. I emailed him yesterday. Here's what I wrote:

Dear Dr. Craig,

I appreciate all the fine work you’ve done in the field of apologetics, both in theory and practice. However, I take issue with your recent answer in “Troubled by Calvinists.

It is this view, which affirms universal determinism and compatibilism, that runs into the problems you mention. Making God the author of evil is just one of the problems this neo-Reformed view faces.

i) “Author of evil” is a metaphor. In debates over Calvinism, it’s about as meaningful as an inkblot. So you need to (a) define your terms; (b) explain how Calvinism makes God the “author of sin” (as you define it), and (c) explain how that inculpates God.

ii) How does Molinism avoid making God the “author of evil”? If God knowingly chooses to instantiate a world in which evil occurs, then his action is a necessary precondition of the evil consequences. On a counterfactual theory of causation, that makes God a cause of evil. The evil outcome was avoidable had he refrained from choosing to instantiate that world.

At least five come immediately to mind:

1.Universal, divine, causal determinism cannot offer a coherent interpretation of Scripture. The classical Reformed divines recognized this. They acknowledge that the reconciliation of Scriptural texts affirming human freedom and contingency with Scriptural texts affirming divine sovereignty is inscrutable. D. A. Carson identifies nine streams of texts affirming human freedom: (1) People face a multitude of divine exhortations and commands, (2) people are said to obey, believe, and choose God, (3) people sin and rebel against God, (4) people’s sins are judged by God, (5) people are tested by God, (6) people receive divine rewards, (7) the elect are responsible to respond to God’s initiative, (8) prayers are not mere showpieces scripted by God, and (9) God literally pleads with sinners to repent and be saved (Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: Biblical Perspectives in Tension, pp. 18-22). These passages rule out a deterministic understanding of divine providence, which would preclude human freedom.

i) One basic problem with your objection is that your prooftexting is illusory. You don’t actually exegete libertarian freedom from the types of passages you cite. You don’t actually show that such phenomena are at odds with Scripture.

All you really do is to cite types of passages, then stipulate that what they describe is at variance with “universal, divine, casual determinism.”

Put another way, you’re not exegeting libertarian freedom from Scripture. Rather, that’s an extratextual presupposition which you bring to the text. These passages don’t make sense to you unless you take libertarian freedom for granted.

But that’s not an argument from Scripture. That’s not a teaching of Scripture, whether explicit or implicit. Rather, that represents your extrascriptural preconception. You may find that intuitively convincing, but don’t confuse that with what Scripture either says or implies.

ii) You need to explain what you mean by (8). If prayers were “scripted” by God, how would that make them “mere showpieces?”

Why should we pray? One reason is that prayer cultivates an awareness of our utter dependence on God. Another reason is that prayer cultivates a spirit of thanksgiving. Yet another reason is that prayer causes somethings to happen which would not have happened absent prayer.

Assuming that our prayers are scripted by God, how does that fact obviate the purpose of prayer?

iii) How does Molinism avoid the problem you see with (9)? Say there’s a possible world A in which Judas is saved, and another possible world B in which Judas is damned. If God instantiates world B, then it’s inevitable that Judas will be damned. So in what sense is God still pleading with Judas to repent and be saved? If God really wanted to save Judas, he could have saved him by instantiating a world in which Judas is saved. And if you say that there’s no possible world in which Judas is saved, yet God instantiates a world in which Judas is inevitably damned, then in what sense is God still pleading with Judas to repent and believe? How does your Molinist alterative avoid what you find so objectionable in Calvinism at this juncture?

Determinists reconcile universal, divine, causal determinism with human freedom by re-interpreting freedom in compatibilist terms.

To “reinterpret” freedom assumes a received interpretation of freedom. But any theory of freedom will be a philosophical construct. It’s not as if we have a ready-made definition of freedom which fell from the sky.

Compatibilism entails determinism, so there’s no mystery here. The problem is that adopting compatibilism achieves reconciliation only at the expense of denying what various Scriptural texts seem clearly to affirm: genuine indeterminacy and contingency.

i) You need to define what you mean by “contingency.” In Calvinism, there’s a teleological structure to the decree. Means and ends. One event presupposes another. So what makes you think that Calvinism can’t deal with the passages you cite?

ii) You also need to explain, from a Molinist perspective, the sense in which “genuine indeterminacy” inheres in the actual world, in contrast to possible worlds. Surely you don’t think the actual world combines contrary possibilities from different possible worlds.

2.Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one’s mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation.

i) I don’t see the logic of your objection. If your belief in determinism was determined by a mindless external factors, then determinism would undermine your belief in determinism. But if your belief in determinism was determined by a rational God, then how does that undermine the rationality of your belief in determinism?

ii) To say “the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so” is simplistic and equivocal. That confuses the reason he has for believing in determinism (i.e. the thing that makes determinism a persuasive idea to him) with the reason something happens to him.

The reason it rained today isn’t the same reason as the reason I think it rained today. Surely you can tell the difference.

iii) How is a determinate agent unable to weigh the arguments pro and con? To the contrary, a determinate agent would be predetermined to weigh the arguments pro and con. And why do you assume that a deterministic process can’t make use of good reasons to convince a determinate agent that determinism is true?

3. Universal, divine, determinism makes God the author of sin and precludes human responsibility.

Needless to say, you’re begging the question. I find it odd that a Christian philosopher and apologist would keep assuming what he needs to prove.

In contrast to the Molinist view, on the deterministic view even the movement of the human will is caused by God. God moves people to choose evil, and they cannot do otherwise. God determines their choices and makes them do wrong. If it is evil to make another person do wrong, then on this view God is not only the cause of sin and evil, but becomes evil Himself, which is absurd. By the same token, all human responsibility for sin has been removed. For our choices are not really up to us: God causes us to make them. We cannot be responsible for our actions, for nothing we think or do is up to us.

i) Once again, all we’re getting from you are question-begging assertions.

ii) To say that God “moves” people is another metaphor. What do you literally mean by that metaphor? It’s not as if Calvinism subscribes to any particular theory of causation.

iii) Let’s play along with your metaphor of God “scripting” the outcome. When a novelist contemplates a novel, he contemplates various characters who may populate his novel. Not only does he consider different characters, but variations on the same character. There’s a wide range of things which each character could do. What a character could possibility do is only limited by the imagination of the novelist, as well the relation of one character to other characters, and to his fictional environment.

A possible character can do whatever a novelist can make him do, in the fictive sense of all the possible actions a novelist can think of. What is possible for the character comes down to what is possible for the novelist to contemplate. All of the possible actions or events which the mind of the novelist can imagine.

Out of the larger range of hypothetical possibilities, the novelist chooses one set of possibilities to commit to writing about. He instantiates one set of possibilities to the exclusion of others.

There is, however, no prior constraint on what a possible character could do. A merely possible character has no default setting. There is no particular course of action which he would have done. Rather, he could have done any number of things. He could have done whatever the novelist could conceive of him doing.

By contrast, an actual character will only do one thing. At a concrete level, he can only do one thing. In the actual story, the novelist selects one combination of serial possibilities to the exclusion of others. The novelist instantiates one combination to the exclusion of others.

Considered as a merely possible agent, there is nothing either in character or out of character. There is nothing in particular which a possible agent was or wasn’t going to do. There’s a sense in which God makes every creature do whatever it does, but not in the sense of making it do something contrary to what it would otherwise do, of its own accord. For there’s no one thing which a possible agent was going to do, or refrain from doing.

Creation selects for one of these possibilities. Creation causes that possibility to be realized. But it doesn’t cause the agent to do something in the sense of making him act other than how he’d act on his own. It’s not as if a possible agent was going to do one thing rather than another until God intervened. Rather, as a merely possible agent, he could do a number of different things. A possible agent doesn’t have a bias one way or the other in terms of what he’d do. There is no predisposition to do A rather than B, or B rather than A. At this juncture, his field of action is only delimited by what is logically compossible. By what the infinite mind of God is able to coherently “imagine” or conceive in relation to the same basic character.

If God chooses to instantiate that possibility, he does us no wrong. For it’s not as if there was something else we were going to do until he stepped in to thwart it.

4. Universal, divine, determinism nullifies human agency. Since our choices are not up to us but are caused by God, human beings cannot be said to be real agents. They are mere instruments by means of which God acts to produce some effect, much like a man using a stick to move a stone. Of course, secondary causes retain all their properties and powers as intermediate causes, as the Reformed divines remind us, just as a stick retains its properties and powers which make it suitable for the purposes of the one who uses it. Reformed thinkers need not be occasionalists like Nicholas Malebranche, who held that God is the only cause there is. But these intermediate causes are not agents themselves but mere instrumental causes, for they have no power to initiate action.

Well, human beings are creatures, so we have no power to initiate action in an ultimate sense. We are not self-subsistent. You seem to rankle at the very notion of your creaturely finitude.

Hence, it’s dubious that on divine determinism there really is more than one agent in the world, namely, God. This conclusion not only flies in the face of our knowledge of ourselves as agents but makes it inexplicable why God then treats us as agents, holding us responsible for what He caused us and used us to do.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that your rather tendentious description is accurate, how would determinism fly in the face of our experience as agents? If all our thoughts and actions are predetermined, then determinism would be indetectible. For we’d have no experience apart from determinism to compare it to. A determinate agent could not be mindful of causes his thoughts and actions, for his thoughts and actions are the end-result of determinism. Your objection tacitly assumes a viewpoint of conscious detachment–as if the determinate agent can retrace the process and peer behind the effect to the underlying cause. But a determinate agent would be in no position to discern the “external factor” as something external to himself. That’s a God’s-eye view of the transaction.

5. Universal, divine determinism makes reality into a farce. On the deterministic view, the whole world becomes a vain and empty spectacle. There are no free agents in rebellion against God, whom God seeks to win through His love, and no one who freely responds to that love and freely gives his love and praise to God in return. The whole spectacle is a charade whose only real actor is God Himself. Far from glorifying God, the deterministic view, I’m convinced, denigrates God for engaging in a such a farcical charade. It is deeply insulting to God to think that He would create beings which are in every respect causally determined by Him and then treat them as though they were free agents, punishing them for the wrong actions He made them do or loving them as though they were freely responding agents. God would be like a child who sets up his toy soldiers and moves them about his play world, pretending that they are real persons whose every motion is not in fact of his own doing and pretending that they merit praise or blame. I’m certain that Reformed determinists, in contrast to classical Reformed divines, will bristle at such a comparison. But why it’s inapt for the doctrine of universal, divine, causal determinism is a mystery to me.

i) You resort to the type of prejudicial, emotive, and incendiary invective which I ordinarily associate with men like Hitchens, Dawkins, and Ingersoll. And your emotionalism clouds your judgment.

ii) I don’t see that you operate with a Biblical view of love. In Scripture, human beings are fallen beings. Sick. Like a mental patients.

You can’t expect informed consent from somebody who’s clinically insane. Rather, he requires therapy to restore his sanity.

iii) Seems to me that in Molinism, God is like a child who decides which set of toy soldiers to take out of the toy box. The toy solider didn’t get to choose which possible play world would be the actual play world. If a toy soldier finds himself in the real play world, he didn’t choose to live in that world. He didn’t choose his fate. Rather, God made that choice for him.

iv) Evidently, you don’t trust God enough to write the story of your life. But in that event, you don’t trust God with your own life. You don’t seem to think God is wise and benevolent. You want to be your own novelist. You can’t stand to be a creature.

Steve Hays

39 comments:

  1. I appreciate WLC's work as a scholar and apologist. He has shut the mouths of many atheists in debates and is an encouragement to the Christian community. He has, however, made the charge in print and public speaking that in calvinism God is the author of evil. This is a true shame. Paul Helm responded to him in a counterpoint/views book a couple of years ago. I know Pastor James White has responded to WLC on his radio show, but if any interaction between WLC and a calvinist occurs, I hope it is with a philosopher of the calibur of a Paul Helm. "The gloves are off!" does a great job effectively and succinctly countering WLC's assertions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A friend of mine sent this article to me a few days ago. I thought it was sub-par by Craig's standards. His article was riddled with question-begging, emotive reasoning, and genetic fallacies.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not to mention that several of Craig's points could be turned around against his libertarian view of agency. (In what sense are our choices "up to us" in the Libertarian scheme, where it seems to in fact be up to luck?)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm disappointed in Craig. His apologetic debates are excellent; this is badly thought out and unoriginal. I'd be interested to read his response, if one ever comes...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am confused; Craig says that the bible has nine streams of evidence against causal determinism, but he cites Don Carson. Now, from what I have read of Carson he seems to be a pretty convinced Calvinist. Am I missing something?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Carnie:

    Craig states, "Universal, divine, causal determinism cannot offer a coherent interpretation of Scripture. The classical Reformed divines recognized this. They acknowledge that the reconciliation of Scriptural texts affirming human freedom and contingency with Scriptural texts affirming divine sovereignty is inscrutable."

    If he recognized Carson as a Calvinist, he would probably place him in this category.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Steve, I appreciate the time and effort you've taken to respond to WLC. The more I have learned about pre-suppositional apologetics, the more I appreciate its Biblical approach. A also now see the futility of a Mollinist or evidential approach. They seem to have an aroma of unbelief about them. Preconcieved predjudice can blind the eyes of even the most brilliant and gifted philosophers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The more I think about WLC's methodology, the more I am dismayed. Whatever happened to solid exegesis of the text?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Steve,

    ii) You also need to explain, from a Molinist perspective, the sense in which “genuine indeterminacy” inheres in the actual world, in contrast to possible worlds. Surely you don’t think the actual world combines contrary possibilities from different possible worlds.

    In Molinism, we can choose otherwise. This is not two say worlds A & B can both be actual at the same time. Rather, the agents in world A are able act such that were they do so, world B would be the actual world. Further, the whole world isn’t actual all at once; rather events unfold and become actual over time.

    God be with you,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  10. Steve,

    i) “Author of evil” is a metaphor. In debates over Calvinism, it’s about as meaningful as an inkblot. So you need to (a) define your terms; (b) explain how Calvinism makes God the “author of sin” (as you define it), and (c) explain how that inculpates God.

    Using the author analogy, the author of evil, would be the author that writes evil into the storyline. The author of something is the person ultimately responsible for it or in other words the agent that initiates the causal sequence that predetermines and necessitates evil’s occurrence.

    For me, the question isn’t so much being able to hold God accountable; rather it’s a question of what is God’s character. For example, a determinist system doesn’t seem to square with the idea that God hates sin. (Psalm 5:4, 45:7).

    ii) How does Molinism avoid making God the “author of evil”? If God knowingly chooses to instantiate a world in which evil occurs, then his action is a necessary precondition of the evil consequences. On a counterfactual theory of causation, that makes God a cause of evil. The evil outcome was avoidable had he refrained from choosing to instantiate that world.

    In Molinism, God is not ultimately responsible for evil, since He does not start a causal chain that predetermines evil will occur. Sure, God is a necessary cause of all things, including evil, but not a sufficient cause of all things.

    Using the author analogy, you said: “Evidently, you don’t trust God enough to write the story of your life. But in that event, you don’t trust God with your own life. You don’t seem to think God is wise and benevolent. You want to be your own novelist. You can’t stand to be a creature.” Seem like you are trying to have your cake and eat it too.

    God be with you,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  11. I do appreciate Dr. Craig's scholarship and his work as an apologist. I met a similar-minded colleague of his on the mission and evangelized side-by-side joyfully and effectively with him. This account is telling"

    Michael Horner sat across the supper table from me our first night together as we discussed the work ahead of us over the next couple of weeks. Apologetics is important in the kind of evangelism we were engaging in and the topic of helpful apologists to this people group came up, I didn't say much but caught a few key comments that gave me an idea of Michael's non-reformed thinking. It wasn't overt. I didn't know he was associated with Dr. Craig although he brought his name up tangentially.

    Later I came down to the lobby of the hotel to find Michael and several of our team. One fellow I knew piped up and said, "Hey, Jim, Michael's not reformed!"

    I smiled and said, "I know."

    With some astonishment Michael asked me, "How did you know that?"

    I replied, "It was obvious to me over supper in the manner of your discourse."

    I reassured him that we were all at least as serious as he was about ministering the gospel to the people we were there to evangelize and that I wouldn't hold his views against him. "After all," I said, "I have plenty of non-reformed brothers I love dearly and minister with."

    We got along famously the whole time and I'd share a street corner anytime with him.

    The reason this account is telling is because my experience is that non-reformed theologians tend to misunderstand the fundamental presuppositions of reformed theology where reformed theologians tend to nail the fundamental presuppositions of the non-reformed fairly quickly. That's why we see so many straw men walking out of the Arminian fields.

    ReplyDelete
  12. GODISMYJUDGE SAID:

    "In Molinism, we can choose otherwise."

    i) Of course, that's equivocal. We can choose otherwise in what setting? In possible worlds? Or the actual world?

    ii) And it's not as if the Molinist agent chooses which possible world will become the actual world. God makes that final decision in that regard.

    BTW, I once ran that question by Alfred Freddoso, and he agreed with me.

    iii) It's not as if, in Molinism, God shows possible Judas two different scenarios, then lets Judas choose one or the other. He doesn't say to possible Judas, Look, Judas, if I instantiate this possible world, you will betray Christ and go to hell, but if I instantiate that possible world, you will stay faithful to Christ (or repent) and go to heaven. So, Judas, which scenario would you like me to realize?

    There is no possible Judas who stands over and above his counterparts in different possible worlds, and gets to choose which scenario actually plays out. Rather, each possible Judas is a worldbound individual. He only knows one possible world at a time (so to speak).

    ReplyDelete
  13. Godismyjudge said...

    "Using the author analogy, you said...Seem like you are trying to have your cake and eat it too."

    Are you really that confused? There's an obvious equivocation.

    When the phrase "author of sin" is used in historical theology, is that being used as a literary metaphor? Or is that being used in the literal Latin (or Middle French) sense of "authorship"?

    You're confusing the lexical meaning of a word with the metaphorical meaning of a word. They are hardly synonymous.

    Try to think clearly.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Godismyjudge said...

    "In Molinism, God is not ultimately responsible for evil, since He does not start a causal chain that predetermines evil will occur. Sure, God is a necessary cause of all things, including evil, but not a sufficient cause of all things."

    How is that a morally salient distinction? How is that exculpatory?

    Suppose I see a toddler wander into a busy intersection. I didn't cause the intersection. I'm not even a necessary cause of the intersection, much less a sufficient cause.

    Does this let me off the hook if I allow the toddler to be run over? After all, I didn't start the causal chain leading to his death. I merely stood by as I saw a speeding car approach and mow him down–even though it lay within my power to rescue the child.

    Drawing metaphysical distinctions is not the same as drawing moral distinctions. Why don't you try to offer a serious response?

    Why is it that Arminians are so morally complacent? Why are they satisfied with such shallow, inadequate responses?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Steve,

    i) Of course, that's equivocal. We can choose otherwise in what setting? In possible worlds? Or the actual world?

    ii) And it's not as if the Molinist agent chooses which possible world will become the actual world. God makes that final decision in that regard.

    BTW, I once ran that question by Alfred Freddoso, and he agreed with me.


    Of course, I agree with that too. But you fail to either understand or take into account the difference between this and what I said.

    iii) It's not as if, in Molinism, God shows possible Judas two different scenarios, then lets Judas choose one or the other. He doesn't say to possible Judas, Look, Judas, if I instantiate this possible world, you will betray Christ and go to hell, but if I instantiate that possible world, you will stay faithful to Christ (or repent) and go to heaven. So, Judas, which scenario would you like me to realize?

    There is no possible Judas who stands over and above his counterparts in different possible worlds, and gets to choose which scenario actually plays out. Rather, each possible Judas is a worldbound individual. He only knows one possible world at a time (so to speak).


    Again, I agree. But this does not mean Judas' damnation is inevitable or Judas is unable to choose otherwise (in the sense I describe above).

    God be with you,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  16. When the phrase "author of sin" is used in historical theology, is that being used as a literary metaphor? Or is that being used in the literal Latin (or Middle French) sense of "authorship"?

    You said 'authorship of sin' is equivocal and asked for a definition. I provided one. Now you seem to think it's not equivocal and you have the one true historic sense of the phrase. By all means, provide the one and only understanding; noting that Edwards said God is the author of sin.

    God be with you,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  17. Steve,

    Suppose I see a toddler wander into a busy intersection. I didn't cause the intersection. I'm not even a necessary cause of the intersection, much less a sufficient cause.

    Does this let me off the hook if I allow the toddler to be run over? After all, I didn't start the causal chain leading to his death. I merely stood by as I saw a speeding car approach and mow him down–even though it lay within my power to rescue the child.


    A greater good would get you off the hook for not helping. But of course, not helping is an omission, not a comission and a greater good doesn't get you off the hook for comissions (we are not to do evil that good may come). Further, how did you wind up in that situtiation? IOW, how is sin even possible, if man isn't ultimately responsible?

    God be with you,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  18. GODISMYJUDGE SAID:

    "Of course, I agree with that too. But you fail to either understand or take into account the difference between this and what I said."

    To say I fail to understand doesn't begin to demonstrate that I fail to understand.

    "Again, I agree. But this does not mean Judas' damnation is inevitable or Judas is unable to choose otherwise (in the sense I describe above)."

    But if you agree, as you just admitted, that possible Judas doesn't get to decide which one of the possible worlds containing him will become the actual world, then he is unable to choose which outcome becomes the real outcome.

    His freedom to do otherwise is a freedom between one possible world and another possible world, not a freedom within the actual world, or a freedom to choose which possible world, with its attendant outcomes, is actualized.

    And, yes, if God instantiates the possible world in which Judas goes to hell, then his damnation is inevitable in the real world.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Godismyjudge said...

    "You said 'authorship of sin' is equivocal and asked for a definition. I provided one."

    It would help if you could follow your own usage. Try to pay attention to you just said. It saves time. You gave to different definitions back-to-back:

    i) "Using the author analogy, the author of evil, would be the author that writes evil into the storyline."

    That's a figurative definition.

    ii) "The author of something is the person The author of something is the person ultimately responsible for it or in other words the agent that initiates the causal sequence that predetermines and necessitates evil’s occurrence.

    That's a literal definition.

    Why can't you tell the difference between a figurative definition and a literal definition?

    "Now you seem to think it's not equivocal and you have the one true historic sense of the phrase."

    Did I say if I had the historic sense? No. I didn't say what I think it means, although I have discussed that in the past.

    When Arminians like you use a phrase from historical theology, you need to define the term in historical terms. Do you have any documentary evidence that when "authorship" is used in historical theology, it denotes "the person ultimately responsible for it or in other words the agent that initiates the causal sequence that predetermines and necessitates evil’s occurrence."?

    Or is this just your made-up definition?

    When Reformed confessions and theologians deny that God is the "author of sin," what definition do you think they are using? Or do you even care?

    If you're going to allege that, contrary to the denial of Reformed confessions and theologians, Calvinism makes God is the "author of sin," you first need to define the term the same way they did, then show that God is the author of sin on their own terms.

    "By all means, provide the one and only understanding; noting that Edwards said God is the author of sin."

    Gee, that's cute. If you're going to cite Edwards as an example of what you mean, then need to explain what you think he meant by that term.

    Keep in mind that Edwards' metaphysical outlook was pretty idiosyncratic. He was either an idealist or occasionalist. So that's hardly representative of mainstream Reformed metaphysics.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Godismyjudge said...

    "A greater good would get you off the hook for not helping."

    And Calvinism helps itself to the same consideration.

    "But of course, not helping is an omission, not a comission and a greater good doesn't get you off the hook for comissions (we are not to do evil that good may come)."

    Was the Molinist God doing evil by instantiating a world with evil agents?

    "Further, how did you wind up in that situtiation? IOW, how is sin even possible, if man isn't ultimately responsible?"

    Since when does someone have to be ultimately responsible to be sinful? In the film Double Indemnity, which character is ultimately responsible for murdering the husband: the adulterous boyfriend or the adulterous wife?

    If a Mafia Don orders a hit, who is ultimately responsible: the trigger man or the Don?

    And if only one is ultimately responsible, then is the other one innocent?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Godismyjudge said...

    "You said 'authorship of sin' is equivocal and asked for a definition. I provided one."

    What you did was to take my *figurative* use of divine authorship, come up with your own *literal* definition, then impute *your* definition to my literary metaphor.

    Do you lack the critical detachment to see how fallacious that is?

    "The author of something is the person The author of something is the person ultimately responsible for it or in other words the agent that initiates the causal sequence that predetermines and necessitates evil’s occurrence."

    i) I don't treat responsibility and culpability as synonyms. One party to a transaction can be *ultimately* responsible without being either *solely* responsible or *blameworthy*.

    ii) You Arminians are the ones who keep recasting *predestination* or *foreordination* or the *decree* in *causal* and/or *determinist* categories.

    I'm not the only who constantly frames my theology in those terms, although I sometimes use that terminology in response to somebody else who frames the issue in those terms.

    iii) Apropos (ii), it is sufficient for my Calvinism to say that:

    a) God has a complete plan for the world.

    b) God's plan for the world doesn't derive from the world.

    c) God creates the world according to his plan.

    c) God's plan for the world doesn't derive from the world.

    d) Everything happens according to plan.

    e) Everything happens in the way it does on account of God's plan.

    f) There are no unplanned events.

    g) Nothing can happen contrary to God's plan.

    iv) If you're going to use "causal" categories, then you need to define your terms. For instance, on a counterfactual theory of causation, both God and Judas were causal factors in the Crucifixion. And that's true whether you're Calvinist, Molinist, or non-Molinist Arminian.

    If you think a different theory of causation is preferable, make your case.

    v) If you're using "predetermine" and "necessitate" as synonyms for the absence of libertarian freedom, and you deem that to make God culpable, then your definition is a tendentious definition which takes Arminian action theory for granted.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Steve,

    But if you agree, as you just admitted, that possible Judas doesn't get to decide which one of the possible worlds containing him will become the actual world, then he is unable to choose which outcome becomes the real outcome.

    That does not follow. I have already stated why it does not follow. If you understand Molinism, why not just apply what I said to answer this argument?

    God be with you,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  23. GODISMYJUDGE SAID:

    "That does not follow."

    Since you don't even attempt to say anything responsive to what I wrote, there's nothing I need to reply to.

    You also seem to suffer from an inability to distinguish between what this or that Molinist may claim, and whether his claims are internally consistent.

    I'm not merely dealing with the claims of Molinism, but the implications of Molinism, which may not be consistent with everything a Molinist would like to claim for his position–in the event that Molinism is incoherent in some respects.

    Unless and until you're prepared to deal with my arguments, instead of posing as some expert on Molinism, whose bare ipse dixit settles all disputes, there's nothing further to discuss.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Steve,

    The phrase author of sin is figurative and there's disagreement about what it represents. I took your statements as inviting WCL (for the sake of argument) to provide one to see how it plays out. If its defined in terms of ultimate responsibility, then there is material overlap between your author analogy and 'author of sin'.


    When Reformed confessions and theologians deny that God is the "author of sin," what definition do you think they are using? Or do you even care?

    Sure I do, but I suspect there's probably difference of oppinion within Calvinist circles on this. Some probably hold LFW in tention. Others hold to Molinist views (which seems to work with Dort, but not the WCF). For example, I have read (via secondary sources) that Gomorus held to MK with respect to the fall. Likewise, Hooker, Plantifare and more recently Plantinga held to Dort but not the WCF due to Molinism. Finnaly, most Calvinists are probably compatiblists of some sort. For them author of sin means 'efficient cause' or 'proximate cause' of sin. In terms of a causal sequence, the first cause that is outside of God's law is to blame.

    God be with you,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  25. Steve Hays quoted WLC:

    Hence, it’s dubious that on divine determinism there really is more than one agent in the world, namely, God. This conclusion not only flies in the face of our knowledge of ourselves as agents but makes it inexplicable why God then treats us as agents, holding us responsible for what He caused us and used us to do.

    WLC's words sound familiar:
    "One of you (namely WLC) will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" and "Why did you make me like this?" Romans 9:19,20b

    ReplyDelete
  26. Steve,

    And Calvinism helps itself to the same consideration.

    Sure, the greater good defense is available to Calvinism. On the other hand, in Calvinism, God does not simply omit preventing evil, He is ultimately responsible for it.

    Was the Molinist God doing evil by instantiating a world with evil agents?

    Using ultimate responsibility as a standard, no.

    If a Mafia Don orders a hit, who is ultimately responsible: the trigger man or the Don?

    The Don is ultimately responsible for ordering the hit and he is responsible (but not ultimately responsible) for the consequences of doing so, which includes the murder. The trigger man is ultimately responsible for the murder. If I throw a rock, I am responsible for the damage it does even after it leaves my hand. A drunk man is responsible for what he does while drunk, not just being drunk. On the other hand, a father isn’t responsible for his son’s sins. So one way to explain this phenomenon would be to say you are responsible for the downstream consequences for the bad stuff you do, but not the good stuff. Thus the Mafia Don is responsible (but not ultimately responsible) for the murder, but God is not responsible for the fall, even though He created the world.

    I'm not merely dealing with the claims of Molinism, but the implications of Molinism, which may not be consistent with everything a Molinist would like to claim for his position–in the event that Molinism is incoherent in some respects.

    Fair enough, but if you want to argue against the internal consistency of Molinism, you should at least present Molinism in a way recognizable and acceptable to Molinists.
    The object of Judas’s choice is to betray Christ or not, and his choice actualizes that specific aspect of history. Judas does not actualize the whole of human history with his choice. God’s choice of a world doesn’t actualize the whole world either; at lease not directly. God creates, knowing what Judas would do, and permitting Judas to actualize that aspect of history; because He wants to use Judas’s sin to bring about a greater good.

    If you're using "predetermine" and "necessitate" as synonyms for the absence of libertarian freedom, and you deem that to make God culpable, then your definition is a tendentious definition which takes Arminian action theory for granted.

    Right. In an Arminian schema of responsibility, if God were to predetermine sin, He would be culpable. In a Calvinists schema, he would not. But then the question is God’s character. Does He really hate sin?

    God be with you,
    Dan


    God be with you,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  27. Steve (and Godismyjudge)

    Do you mind if I interject a question here?

    Godismyjudge said:

    The Don is ultimately responsible for ordering the hit and he is responsible (but not ultimately responsible) for the consequences of doing so, which includes the murder. The trigger man is ultimately responsible for the murder. If I throw a rock, I am responsible for the damage it does even after it leaves my hand. A drunk man is responsible for what he does while drunk, not just being drunk. On the other hand, a father isn’t responsible for his son’s sins. So one way to explain this phenomenon would be to say you are responsible for the downstream consequences for the bad stuff you do, but not the good stuff. Thus the Mafia Don is responsible (but not ultimately responsible) for the murder, but God is not responsible for the fall, even though He created the world.

    I discussed a similar issue with an Arminian regarding Isaiah 10 where God says about the King of Assyria:

    "Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath! I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets. But this is not what he intends, this is not what he has in mind; his purpose is to destroy, to put an end to many nations."......God goes on to say...."When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, "I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes."

    The Arminian, who is a well known radio personality, said that the reason God punished him was because he went further and did more than God intended for him to do, which the text does not say at all. God used the King of Assyria for his own purposes even though it was the Assyrians own wicked intentions that drove him. This is the paradox that I see.

    Proberbs 21:1 says " The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases." If you have a hole in the sand filled with water and you begin to dig out a "watercourse," the water will flow exactly where the watercourse leads. You don't have to make water seek it's own level, it does that all by itself. In the same way, God does not have to put "fresh" evil into men's hearts to accomplish his purposes, man leans natrually toward wickedness apart from God working in our hearts.

    Although, since God uses the analogy of an axe and one who weilds the axe (God being the one who wields the axe and the axe being the instrument who does the evil deed!)......"Does the axe raise itself above him who swings it, or the saw boast against him who uses it? As if a rod were to wield him who lifts it up, or a club brandish him who is not wood! "Isaiah 10:15..........

    So ultimately who IS responsible? The axe or the one who wields it?

    ReplyDelete
  28. RolyD,

    The Arminian, who is a well known radio personality, said that the reason God punished him was because he went further and did more than God intended for him to do, which the text does not say at all.

    I am a Molinists, so my approach here may differ than other Arminians. But I generally like your flowing water analogy – Arminius himself used it. (i.e. you don’t have to push water along, just arrange a path for it and it will flow.) Molinism better fits this idea than determinism. God knows what a person would do under this or that circumstance and then He provides the circumstances. God isn’t causally predetermining what we do, rather He is planning and arranging our path. Not that the analogy doesn’t break down at points; we are not water.

    God used the king of Assyria’s intentions for His purposes. He didn’t put that intention there. So the king gets the blame for his own sins and God gets the credit for the overall good results brought about by His plan.

    God be with you,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  29. Godismyjudge said:

    "God used the king of Assyria’s intentions for His purposes. He didn’t put that intention there. So the king gets the blame for his own sins and God gets the credit for the overall good results brought about by His plan."

    I agree that God did not "put the intention" into the king's heart. God was just using a wicked man to to do what wicked men do. In the same way he uses the axe/club analogy. God was using an "axe" and "club" to do what axes and clubs are used to do!

    Again, you said "The Don is ultimately responsible for ordering the hit and he is responsible (but not ultimately responsible) for the consequences of doing so, which includes the murder.

    However, this analogy does not fit Isaiah 10. First God states clearly that HE is the one who wields the "axe." Second, God specifically states that he is punishing the king for the pride in his heart and taking credit for what GOD HAD DONE! Read verses 12 and 13 again.

    "When the Lord has finished..... ALL OF HIS WORK... against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, "I will punish the king of Assyria for the ....WILLFULL PRIDE OF HIS HEART....and the haughty look in his eyes. For he says: " ...BY THE STRENGTH OF MY HAND....I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued [fn] their kings."

    The king is saying "by the strength of MY hand" yet God is saying, "No,you are an axe in MY hand; I......am the one who has done this!"

    Of course, this would lead the king of Assyria to the same objection anticipated by the Apostle Paul. The king could say "then why does God still blame me, for who has resisted.....GOD'S WILL?"

    And what is Paul's answer? "Who are you oh man to talk back to God?" Ultimately, GOD, not man is in control of EVERYTHING!

    "Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?"
    Lamentations 3:37

    I would challenge anyone to take an axe or club and smash another person's property and then wait to see who gets blamed, the axe/club or the one who wielded the axe or club.

    "But we are not axes, we are humans with free will" some will say. Correct, but God likens us ultimately to "clay" who can be nothing than what he has made us to be; either objects of his wrath or objects of his mercy. Romans 9.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Jim Pemberton: "The reason this account is telling is because my experience is that non-reformed theologians tend to misunderstand the fundamental presuppositions of reformed theology where reformed theologians tend to nail the fundamental presuppositions of the non-reformed fairly quickly. That's why we see so many straw men walking out of the Arminian fields."

    I wonder if the non-Reformed, if they knew you believed this, think that you are being condescending to them.

    Or the other possibility is... they reverse it and believe that trot out strawmen walking out of Calvinist fields!

    Ha!

    ReplyDelete
  31. TUAD,
    That's an important point and I've considered it at length in more than this debate. That's why I've always endeavored to understand the rationale behind various and opposing positions even while determining the veracity and viability of them for my own devotion to one or the other. So I would be remiss to misrepresent those positions.

    In this case I didn't attack the Arminian position but only the methodology I see. And the methodology I see way too often is one I have vied to avoid.

    ReplyDelete
  32. GODISMYJUDGE SAID:

    "Right. In an Arminian schema of responsibility, if God were to predetermine sin, He would be culpable. In a Calvinists schema, he would not. But then the question is God’s character. Does He really hate sin?"

    Does the Arminian/Molinist God really hate sin? Sin was avoidable? Was he forced to make a world in which sin occurs? Do you think a fallen world is necessitated?

    If no, then it what sense does God hate sin if he makes a fallen world, even though that sinful consequence was divinely foreseeable and avoidable?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Godismyjudge said...

    "Fair enough, but if you want to argue against the internal consistency of Molinism, you should at least present Molinism in a way recognizable and acceptable to Molinists."

    You keep falling back on that intellectual shortcut. Why is that? Surely you don't think that's convincing, do you?

    Since you're evidently impervious to the obvious, I guess I will have to spell it out to you: people who are deeply invested in a given position have a disincentive to "recognize" a critical statement of their position.

    The mere fact that they claim that a critical statement of their position is "unrecognizable" is not a serious response. Indeed, it's frequently an evasive maneuver. They don't ever have to deal with a challenge to their position because they can always claim that so-and-so's statement of their position is "unrecognizable."

    Are you capable of having a serious debate? Or will you continue to fall back on these "you-just-don't-understand" cop-outs?

    You're not the world authority on Molinism, Dan. I've corresponded with Alfred Freddoso and Thomas Flint. Learn a little humility.

    "The object of Judas’s choice is to betray Christ or not, and his choice actualizes that specific aspect of history."

    Really? How does that work, exactly? After all, his choice is intertwined with other parties as well, such as members of the Sanhedrin. Does his choice actualize the Sanhedrin? Is the existence of the complicit members of the Sanhedrin contingent on his choice?

    You keep asserting that Judas had the freedom to do otherwise. In what sense did possible Judas have the freedom to do otherwise? Is possible Judas a conscious agent? Did God present possible Judas with a range of possible timelines, then ask him which one he'd like to see realized?

    Is possible Judas privy to all the possible worlds in which possible Judas exists? Did Judas give informed consent?

    "But this does not mean Judas' damnation is inevitable or Judas is unable to choose otherwise (in the sense I describe above)."

    Sure about that? As a friend of my recently said, "It's hard for Molinism to avoid making God the author of evil. But the reason, I think, is that 'God's decree
    to actualize a world plus his knowledge of what would ensue if he were to do so' is both necessary and sufficient for evil to come to pass. It's necessary, because the evil can't come to pass unless God decrees
    to actualize the feasible world in which it would come to pass. It's sufficient, because the decree embraces all the means to the chosen end. (In addition, deciding to actualize a feasible world, while
    knowing infallibly what would happen if that world gets actualized, *is* sufficient for the evil to come to pass. After all, it's
    sufficient for the free choice to be actually made, and that's sufficient for the evil itself.)"

    ReplyDelete
  34. Steve,

    Does the Arminian/Molinist God really hate sin? Sin was avoidable? Was he forced to make a world in which sin occurs? Do you think a fallen world is necessitated?

    Yes, God hates sin. I doubt that evil was necessary; that seems to imply God had to create.

    If no, then it what sense does God hate sin if he makes a fallen world, even though that sinful consequence was divinely foreseeable and avoidable?

    Certainly in the sense that He is not ultimately responsible for sin. It seems that the greater good God is able to bring out of sin in this world, makes the world we live in at least as desirable to God as not creating, dispite His hatred of sin.

    The mere fact that they claim that a critical statement of their position is "unrecognizable" is not a serious response.

    In reducto ad absurdum argument, both the minor and major premise must be acceptable your opponent. It’s the conclusion that they should be unable to accept.

    Really? How does that work, exactly? After all, his choice is intertwined with other parties as well, such as members of the Sanhedrin. Does his choice actualize the Sanhedrin? Is the existence of the complicit members of the Sanhedrin contingent on his choice?

    I consider choices as mental resolutions, to they can’t physically bump into each other.

    You keep asserting that Judas had the freedom to do otherwise. In what sense did possible Judas have the freedom to do otherwise?

    Causally possible and logically, in a divided sense.

    Is possible Judas a conscious agent?

    Possible Judas is possible conscious agent; of course, he is not an actual conscious agent. God’s power to make Judas and make Judas such that Judas can do A or B, underwrites possible worlds with Judas doing A and Judas doing B.

    Did God present possible Judas with a range of possible timelines, then ask him which one he'd like to see realized?

    Not timelines or whole worlds, but in some sense God ran hypothetical Judas (not to be confused with his ugly stepfather possible Judas) through a hypothetical senario.
    It’s as if God created multiple actual worlds in multiple dimensions and sees how things turn out, except, God doesn’t actually have create those worlds and yet His knowledge corresponds to what they would have been if He had.

    Sure about that? As a friend of my recently said, "It's hard for Molinism to avoid making God the author of evil. But the reason, I think, is that 'God's decree to actualize a world plus his knowledge of what would ensue if he were to do so' is both necessary and sufficient for evil to come to pass. It's necessary, because the evil can't come to pass unless God decrees
    to actualize the feasible world in which it would come to pass. It's sufficient, because the decree embraces all the means to the chosen end. (In addition, deciding to actualize a feasible world, while knowing infallibly what would happen if that world gets actualized, *is* sufficient for the evil to come to pass. After all, it's sufficient for the free choice to be actually made, and that's sufficient for the evil itself.)"


    While the decree embraces all the means it does so in nuanced ways; some things directly, other indirectly via permission.

    In Molinism, the decree (in conditions with MK and FK) are sufficient conditions for our choices but not sufficient causes for our choices. The combination of ‘God decreed I do A at T”and ‘I will do B at T’ both being true is logically incompossible. So in that sense I agree with your friend; except I define author of sin in terms of causal possibilities rather than logical incompossibilities.

    Of course, reasoning from a logical incompossibility to a logical impossibility or a causal impossibility commits a division fallacy.

    God be with you,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  35. GODISMYJUDGE SAID:

    “Yes, God hates sin. I doubt that evil was necessary; that seems to imply God had to create.”

    So the Molinist God instantiates a sinful world even though he hates sin, and sin is unnecessary.

    Doesn’t sound very coherent to me. Much less a promising theodicy.

    “Certainly in the sense that He is not ultimately responsible for sin.”

    What’s the theodicean value of the adjective (“ultimately”) in relation to the noun (“sin”)? How does the adjective magically exculpate God on Molinist grounds?

    You don’t have to be “ultimately” responsible to be partially responsible. You don’t have to be “ultimately” responsible to be culpable. So how does your distinction automatically exonerate the Molinist God?

    “It seems that the greater good God is able to bring out of sin in this world, makes the world we live in at least as desirable to God as not creating, dispite His hatred of sin.”

    If that’s your argument, then sin is a necessary means to a second-order good. Felix culpa. Very supralapsarian of you.

    “In reducto ad absurdum argument, both the minor and major premise must be acceptable your opponent.”

    Really? Says who? You’re confusing the soundness of an argument with person-variable persuasion.

    “I consider choices as mental resolutions, to they can’t physically bump into each other.”

    i) Well, when I defined choice as a mental resolution (quoting Kane), you took exception.

    ii) How is “physically bumping into each other” the least bit responsive to what I said? This is what I said: “After all, his choice is intertwined with other parties as well, such as members of the Sanhedrin. Does his choice actualize the Sanhedrin? Is the existence of the complicit members of the Sanhedrin contingent on his choice?”

    How did you manage to miss the point? The libertarian choices of Judas have real world consequences for the existence and choices of other libertarian agents. So do his libertarian choices actualize other agents in the transaction? Do his choices instantiate the network of consequences, including all of the other parties to the same transaction?

    Try again.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Cont.

    “Causally possible and logically, in a divided sense.”

    What is “causally” possible for merely possible Judas? Does Judas cause things to happen in a possible world? In what sense? Aren’t possible worlds timeless objects? So there is no actual cause/effect sequence in play. Do you simply mean “cause” in the sense that one fictional character causes something to happen in the narrative?

    “Possible Judas is possible conscious agent; of course, he is not an actual conscious agent.”

    So possible Judas didn’t consciously choose to be instantiated in a world where he betrays Christ. If so, then in what sense is his choice a “real” choice? Do merely possible, unconscious agents make “real” choices?

    “Not timelines or whole worlds, but in some sense God ran hypothetical Judas (not to be confused with his ugly stepfather possible Judas) through a hypothetical senario.”

    That’s not responsive to my question. The question is not whether the Molinist God ran hypothetical Judas through a battery of hypothetical scenarios.

    The question, rather, is whether the Molinist God ran a battery of hypothetical scenarios past hypothetical Judas so that Judas had a say as to which possible world God would instantiate. Unless hypothetical Judas was shown the options, how was he in any position to give informed consent?

    But, of course, you’re forced to admit that this isn’t tenable, for a merely possible agent is not a conscious agent. Therefore, Judas didn’t get to vote on which real world he’d find himself in. It was the luck of the draw (as Arminian critics of Calvinism are wont to say), and he had the ill-fortune to wind up on a world where he betrays Christ and presumably goes to hell. Not his lucky day.

    Explain how that’s an improvement over what Arminians and Molinists find so odious in Calvinism.

    “It’s as if God created multiple actual worlds in multiple dimensions and sees how things turn out, except, God doesn’t actually have create those worlds and yet His knowledge corresponds to what they would have been if He had.”

    i) And how is the Molinist God in a position to see how things turn out? Is he just a spectator who watches what nonexistent agents would do in any given situation? Why is there anything at all, much less anything in particular, that a nonexistent agent would do? Where do you think possible agents come from in Molinism? You act as if they preexist in some static modality, like a DVD, with all of their choices in place. And God simply decides which DVD to put into the player.

    ii) Even if Molinism were coherent, why should we believe it? Molinism is not a revealed truth. At most, the Bible reveals that God has counterfactual knowledge, not middle knowledge.

    So what evidence do you have that Molinism is true? It’s not a truth of reason. It’s not entailed by a truth of reason. It’s not an empirical fact.

    “While the decree embraces all the means it does so in nuanced ways; some things directly, other indirectly via permission.”

    Traditionally, Calvinism also “nuances” the decree the same way.

    “In Molinism, the decree (in conditions with MK and FK) are sufficient conditions for our choices but not sufficient causes for our choices.”

    i) How do you define a “cause”? What’s your theory of causation?

    ii) Even if your metaphysical distinction were tenable, how is that morally germane? How does your metaphysical distinction between sufficient conditionality and sufficient causality ipso facto exonerate the Molinist God?

    iii) How does that stand in contrast to Calvinism? What theory of causation do you attribute to Calvinism?

    iv) Apropos (iii), why is Molinism able to distinguish between sufficient conditionality and sufficient causality, but Calvinism is not?

    ReplyDelete
  37. "Seems to me that in Molinism, God is like a child who decides which set of toy soldiers to take out of the toy box"

    And if its true? Brother you dont get to tell God what he is and you certainly dont get to insult Him.

    I say the same thing to people who call the God of calvin a monster. The issue is NOT clear. If it was people wouldnt lust day in day out trying to one up their brothers. If its NOT clear--its not clear for a reason--possibly so we can demonstrate faith?

    In my experience though, Calvinsists are the atheists of this argument. Being the significant minority-- They roam forums looking for fights, pretending they are doing God's holy work when its all just LUST. Exactly what the atheists do.

    Even Paul didnt know or he would have spelled it out in no uncertain terms. He only had glimpses and we are just suppose to accept the paradox.

    One thing I know for sure..God is not pleased with this lusting for argument

    ReplyDelete
  38. John Burger: "In my experience though, Calvinsists are the atheists of this argument. Being the significant minority-- They roam forums looking for fights, pretending they are doing God's holy work when its all just LUST. Exactly what the atheists do."

    I don't know about your experience, but in my experience Calvinists are not lusting for arguments.

    Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, your antagonistic comment shows that it's actually YOU who is lusting for argument.

    Hypocrite, look in the mirror.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I also responded to Dr. Craig's thoughts from a divine determinist perspective, demonstrating, among other things, that God does cause sin according to the scriptures, and that this is not in any sense immoral:

    http://www.godcontention.org/index.php?qid=287

    ReplyDelete