Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shill for al-Qaeda

Jamin Hubner is plugging "an insightful seminary thesis on Christian Zionism." And this may, indeed, give us some insight into Hubner's outlook.

One thing that caught my eye was Appendix F: YouTube Videos on Christian Zionism. Here's a sample:

"Sit Down!" The Power to Silence the Truth about 9/11 Part 1 
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed said the main motive of the 9/11 attack is the U.S. policy towards
"Sit Down!" The Power to Silence the Truth about 9/11 Part 2 
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed said the main motive of the 9/11 attack is the U.S. policy towards

So does Jamin take the position that Christian Zionism is wrong because KSM disapproves of America's pro-Israel policy? Is so, then that would explain why Hubner resents my suggestion that he's a shill for Hamas. A case of mistaken identity. For in that event, Hubner is actually a shill for al-Qaeda.

Perhaps, though, Hubner was alluding to some other insightful aspect of the thesis. The same appendix plugs this video:

If Americans Knew What Israel Is Doing! VIDEO WAS CENSORED!
"It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical
issue, and on our power -- and duty -- to bring a resolution." - 

But is the host organization (If Americans Knew) a reliable outlet? Here's an example of that organization's viewpoint:

Sadly, the left does not have an unblemished record on opposing antisemitism. In 2009, for example, the respected American leftist publication Counterpunch published an article by Alison Weir of the organisation If Americans Knew defending the unsubstantiated and implausible claims made by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet about Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinians in Gaza to harvest their organs.
Weir implied, with no evidence, that Israel is at the centre of international organ smuggling. She then explicitly argued that the medieval "blood libel" – that Jews kill Christian children – has a basis in fact. Elsewhere, more than 3 million people have watched on YouTube the antisemitic film Zeitgeist: the Movie, despite its recycling of paranoia about a Jewish plot for world domination.

If Americans Knew (IAK) spreads disinformation about the Palestinian jihad against Israel and Israel’s efforts to defend itself.

Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins

I suppose misotheists were expecting Christians to dance on the grave of Christopher Hitchens. Gloat over his demise. Pen gleeful obits.

After all, Christians are haters. That’s the stereotype.

Ironically, the truth is nearly opposite of that self-congratulatory cliché. For the Christian obits I read were respectful.

By contrast, if you want to find vindictive obits, just read what some of his fellow infidels have to say:

Atheism is terribly unforgiving. Remarkably intolerant. 

And that makes sense. If this life is all there is, then all that matters is what you did in this life. That’s indelible. Irrevocable.

And there’s no vicarious atonement or penal substitution. No one can expiate or propitiate your offenses in your place.

When Hitchens transgressed liberal pieties, that was unforgivable. And I say that literally, not hyperbolically. Infidels will never forgive him for his trespasses. There’s nothing he could ever do in this life to redeem himself. His record stands forever stained in their judgmental eyes.

Friday, December 16, 2011

His eye is on the sparrow

I'm going to post some comments I left over at Justin Taylor's blog:


“Not at all. I made a general statement. And it is quite true. Just about everybody knows there is a huge difference between allowing vs. unconditionally decreeing and ensuring that something happen.”

You keep substituting assertions for arguments. That’s a backdoor admission that you can’t make a reasoned case for your position. You recite your formulaic assertions ad nauseam as if that proves anything.

“Being able to find some exceptional circumstances in which there is not a big difference does not gainsay the point, nor does it apply to the instance at hand.”

Once again, I present an argument and you respond with an assertion.

“While your premise is debatable, it doesn’t matter because your conclusion begs the question, assuming determinism. Free will entails that circumstances do not do the rest. That’s just one aspect of your analogy that fails.”

Explain how my conclusion “assumes determinism”? How does allowing a baby to die by not feeding him “assume determinism”? Are you admitting that permission is indistinguishable from determinism?

Likewise, I also considered a situation in which leaving a baby in the woods carries a 50/50 chance of survival. How does that “assume determinism?”

Are you actually making a good faith effort to engage the argument. Or do you just read off your Arminian cue cards?

“God upholding the created order and not taking someone’s life before they do something wicked, for example, is precisely part of allowing people to act freely, and hence to sin when they do. That’s completely different than causing them to sin. It’s completely different from Calvinism, in which he logically first had the idea for each evil act that ever takes place, including the Holocaust, conceived it in his own heart, and logically then decreed for it to take place without any influence from anything outside of himself.”

You confuse metaphysical distinctions with moral distinctions. How is your metaphysical distinction morally germane? According to Arminian theism, the Nazi couldn’t murder the Jew unless God assisted the Nazi. Empowered the Nazi. So how does your distinction exonerate the Arminian God from complicity in the evil deed? Isn’t your God a collaborator and coconspirator in the outcome?

 “But the point is that your a fortiori arguments here do not work because the analogy itself is invalid and does not match the target enough.”

That’s another one of your empty assertions, bereft of any supporting argument. Claiming that something is invalid fails to demonstrate its invalidity. Claiming that it doesn’t “match the target enough” is not a counterargument. Rather, that’s just a question-begging denial. You’re incapable of actually reasoning for your position.

“But your final statement is interesting, that the more control, the more responsibility someone has. That might suggest that if Calvinism is true, then God carries all the responsibility for sin and evil, whereas man would carry none, since in Calvinism God irresistibly controls all and man has no control.“

i) It would behoove you to master the elementary distinction between culpability and responsibility. That isn’t hard. Try it some time.

ii) Actually, I’m building on the Arminian presupposition that responsibility is proportional to ability. Since the Arminian God is far more capable than human beings, that makes him far more responsible for what happens on his watch.

steve hays December 16, 2011 at 9:01 am
Arminian December 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

“Of course, that passage is often understood much differently, as indicating God’s creation of the world, not the actions that people do. Indeed, that is far more likely on the face of it (that;s how the phrase of God creating all things is normally understood) and in the context of Revelation, where the only other use of the word is in 10:6, which refers to God as the one ‘who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it’ (ESV), while 14:7 refers to God as ‘him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the dsprings of water.” (ESV).”

i) “Arminian” hasn’t shown that it’s “often understood much differently.”

ii) There’s nothing unusual about my interpretation. In addition to Smalley, Mounce presents the same interpretation. Cf. The Book of Revelation (2nd ed.), 127.

iii) The passage refers to more than creation. For it also refers to God’s will.

iv) Likewise, the passage refers to more than creation due to the difference in verbal aspect between the two statements “they existed and were created”

In principle, there are two ways to distinguish them:

a) Between precreation (i.e. God’s plan) and creation

b) Between creation and postcreation (i.e. God’s providence)

If we opt for (a), that’s predestinarian, but if we opt for (b), then that extends to subsequent events. Either one is problematic for “Arminian’s” position.

“As another commentator states, “the Trisagion of the living creatures has attributed to God a holiness which cannot ultimately tolerate the presence of evil. Evil things derive their existence from God, but not their evil quality; for evil is the corruption of that which God made good (Caird, The Revelation of Saint John, 68). So your comments provide a striking contrast between the Calvinist view and the biblical and Arminian view.”

i) Actually, G. B. Caird oscillates between hopeful universalism and annihilationism. So, at most, that presents a striking contrast between Calvinism and universalism or annihilationism. Is that “Arminian’s” position?

ii) In addition, Calvinism also takes the position that evil is a corruption of the good. So “Arminian” fails to make good on his postulated contrast.

“So your comments provide a striking contrast between the Calvinist view and the biblical and Arminian view. And I hope other Calvinists take note of what you are actually saying, which would seem to be where Calvinism leads.”

i) If you were actually paying attention, you’d notice that I didn’t say it. Rather, I quoted a commentator. Is Smalley a Calvinist?

ii) So that’s not where “Calvinism” leads. That’s where Rev 4:11 leads. That’s exegetical theology.

“You basically argue here that God is the creator of evil, when Scripture says that ‘God is light, and in him is no darkness at all’ (1 John 1:5; ESV) and ‘For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions–is not from the Father but is from the world’ (1 John 2:16; ESV).”

You fail to draw an elementary distinction between intrinsic evil and instrumental evil. That’s a Johannine distinction as well (e.g. Jn 9:1-3; 11:4).

steve hays December 16, 2011 at 8:21 am

“I’ve been reading this interchange where Calvinists seem to be proclaiming that every action of Tebow is predestined by God. Apparently, predestining professional football fits into the grand scheme of God’s plan to gain glory for Himself.”

i) I see. In Wayman’s Arminian theology, God can’t be bothered by the mundane things or little things in life. Only big important things.

By contrast, Calvinists believe God’s providence extends to falling sparrows (Mt 10:29). Even worse–Calvinists even believe God numbers the hairs on our head. How ludicrous can you get!

ii) BTW, God doesn’t “gain” glory for himself by what he predestines.

“I would suggest that you haven’t taken that far enough because Hays does. On his blog, Hays makes this simple but nonbiblical statement, “In biblical Calvinism, God predestines every event. That includes mental events.” So Hayes states that God not only predestines all events but He also predestines MENTAL events. This is interesting as he has to be consistent with his version of Calvinism to make such a bold, unsubstantiated, and impossible to prove with or without the Bible statement.”

Has Wayman even read the Bible? Let’s take some examples–beginning with events:

“I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jer 10:23).
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Prov 16:9).

Not only is God our creator, but he directs our every step. We do whatever we do because God was directing our steps.

This also extends to mental events. For instance:

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will” (Prov 21:1).

i) This is an a maiore ad minus argument, using the king as a synecdoche for men generally. The king is the most powerful man in Israel. He directs others below him. So if even the king is under God’s thumb, so is everyone else. The greater includes the lesser.

ii) God controls the king’s “heart.” That’s a stock metaphor for our intellectual and emotional life. Our thoughts, feelings, and deliberations.

iii) This is compared to another metaphor: a canal. Water goes wherever water is channeled. Water has no inner direction. External facts like topography and gravity dictate the course it takes.

I’ll have more to say, but let’s enough for the moment.

“I spent several years as an Involutary Commitment Officer. I encountered people who thought they were Jesus, David Copperfield, cut off parts of their body, etc. To say that God predestined these mental events is simply ludicrous.”

“Simply ludicrous” is not an argument.

“I have also encountered people who believe that God spoke to them when their body moved a certain way, when a plant fluttered on top of a microwave or the broadcaster on the TV had a special message for them. To believe the God predestined such thoughts is, by any stretch of the imagination, blasphemous to God’s impeccable character.”

Once again, that’s not an argument.

“Calvinism makes it so that a filter is not necessary on our thoughts. “God predestines every mental event.” Hence, if I get a thought that God told me to kill my daughter, it undoubtedly comes from God. It has nothing to do with my mental health. There is no need to ask for help because then I would be questioning the mental events that God predestined. In essence, I would be questioning God. And who am I, oh man, to question God?”

i) To begin with, Wayman acts is if it’s “ludicrous,” “blasphemous,” or “unimaginable” that God causes or decrees sinful attitudes or dispositions. Yet Scripture attributes sinful attitudes or dispositions to divine agency. For instance:

“But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the LORD your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done” (Deut 2:30).
“19 Except for the Hivites living in Gibeon, not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites, who took them all in battle. 20 For it was the LORD himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the LORD had commanded Moses” (Josh 11:19-20).
“24 The LORD made his people very fruitful; he made them too numerous for their foes, 25 whose hearts he turned to hate his people, to conspire against his servants” (Ps 105:24-25).
“For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled” (Rev 17:17).

a) Notice that God is controlling hearts and minds.

b) Moreover, this is in relation to sinful thoughts and attitudes.

ii) In addition, God can direct human behavior at a subliminal level. For instance:

“A man’s steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way?” (Prov 20:24).
“6Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7But he does not so intend, and his heart does not so think” (Isa 10:6-7).

a) The first passage uses the metaphor of life as a journey. Because God is ultimately directing our steps, we don’t know, from one day to the next, where our steps will take us. We may make plans, but we end up going wherever God plans.

b) In the second passage, there’s a contrast between what the human agent consciously intends to achieve, and the underlying fact that he’s subconsciously achieving what God’s intends, despite what he (the human agent) consciously intends.

So Wayman’s counterexamples, involving mentally ill patients, operates at the wrong level.

“These mental events that Hayes alludes to in regard to Olsen were predestined by God. Hence, why does Hayes get so upset and comes to God’s defense when Olsen says (or maybe even thinks) things with which Hays disagrees?”

How does Wayman know I’m “so upset”? Is Wayman in the habit of diagnosing people he’s never met? That’s pretty unprofessional, if you ask me.

“Does that mean that Hayes should take up his case with God rather than Olsen, Arminian, or even you, Robert? After all, even Hayes thoughts (mental events) are not unique or even clever because they are predestined by God.”

Needless to say, that’s a false dilemma, for my response to Robert and Olson is also predestined. Therefore, my response is entirely consistent with predestination.

“So, what we have is God arguing with Himself and simply using Hayes as a foil.”

What we have is God using Arminians to illustrate human folly.

steve hays December 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm
Imagine if we applied Wayman’s dismissive reasoning to the following Biblical attributions:

“And if the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet” (Ezk 14:9).

Wayman: I spent several years as an Involutary Commitment Officer. I encountered cultists who thought God spoke to them. To say that God deceived them is simply ludicrous.

“Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false” (2 Thes 2:11).

Wayman: I have also encountered psychics who believe that God spoke to them when their body moved a certain way, when a plant fluttered on top of a microwave or the broadcaster on the TV had a special message for them. To believe the God deluded them is, by any stretch of the imagination, blasphemous to God’s impeccable character.

“19And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; 20and the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. 21Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ 22And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ 23Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for you” (1 Kgs 22:19-23).”

Wayman: Scripture makes it so that a filter is not necessary on our thoughts. Hence, if my patient believes that God spoke to him, it undoubtedly comes from God. There is no need to ask if God put a lying spirit in the mouth of a mental patient. In essence, I would be questioning God. And who am I, oh man, to question God?

What might have been

I don’t think omnipotence (i.e. God’s capabilities) is enough to account for these passages. Imaging God creates Santa (which of course He could do). God could have Santa deliver toys this year or He could have Santa occupy Wall Street instead. How does He know which would happen if Santa existed? God must not only be able to do either, but He must choose one.

One of the problems with responding to Dan is that he doesn’t spell out what he means. There’s no argument. Rather, he drops these elliptical, enigmatic statements or questions, then expects his opponent to respond. Well, respond to what, exactly?

Why does he think God wouldn’t be in a position to know the outcome, given my stated views? Dan doesn’t say. Why does he think God couldn’t choose one over the other, given my stated views? Dan doesn’t say.

The Dominicans (early opponents of the Molinists) said God decrees not only what will happen, but also what would happen under every possible scenario. If you believe in God’s decree about what would happen in every hypothetical world, then you could use that view to account for these texts. And they accuse me of imposing speculative philosophy on scripture. James White once said middle knowledge reminded him of the Star Trek episode when Spock had a beard. Welcome to the club.

Once again, he doesn’t explain why that’s “speculative.” Where’s the argument?

In Calvinism you have the generic principle that nothing will happen unless God decrees it. And Calvinists think that’s a scriptural principle, which they’ve established on exegetical grounds. You may disagree, but that’s not speculative.

All we’re doing is to apply the very same principle to what might have happened. How is that “speculative”? And how is that “speculative” compared to the permutations of Molinism?

"God Blames us when we Don't use our Abilities for Him"

Jeremiah 5:21"Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.

This passage implies the Israelites were able to see and hear but refused to do so. God gave them the ability but they didn’t use it. Not only could they do otherwise, but they should have. We are accountable to God for how we use the freedom and ability He gave us.

Let's grant Dan's inference for the sake of argument. How does that mesh with Molinism? Libertarian free agents have the freedom to pursue alternate possibilities in different possible worlds. But this passage is addressed to agents residing in just one world–the actual world. They lack the freedom to do otherwise in the actual world, for the actual world instantiates one possibility to the exclusion of others. These are not compossible possibilities in the actual world.

Blessed are they that die in the Lord

A quarter million people died yesterday. One of them was famous. The rest are known only to God and to a tiny circle of friends and relatives. You never heard of them. You never will.

Many eulogies will be written for the famous man. The rest will do well to garner a single obituary. Some die alone–forgotten while they live. 

The famous man will be remembered by many who never knew him while the other quarter million will be forgotten when their friends and relatives die.

Ecclesiastes 9:13-16

 13I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me. 14There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. 15But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.

Revelation 14:13

 13And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"

R.C. Sproul Jr's wife has entered hospice care

R. C. Sproul Jr posted this notice on his Facebook page yesterday. I don't think this is a secret. I friended R.C. through a network of Reformed associates; I friended his wife, Denise, when I learned that she had a form of leukemia (more aggressive than what Beth has) that had returned. Denise had already been through a bone marrow transplant, while she had expressed some hope that she might get a second one, it didn't happen. Please pray for R.C. and his family.

Beth’s transplant and initial complications are past; now we need to watch and pray

Beth received her transplant, from 9:45-10:30 on Wednesday evening, December 14th. She received a very high number of stem cells (the range is 4 million to 8 million cells per Kg of body weight) -- she had a young, strong donor, and she got the 8 million.

She had a somewhat violent reaction to the infusion of cells, which lasted most of the night and the next day. Her fever went up to 103. Everyone’s initial response (all the medical folks) was that she was having an infection, and that is an appropriate place to look. Beth’s response was not common, but it happens. She seems to have settled down from that. They are continuing to give her two different antibiotics, Vancomycin, for staph infections, and Cefapime, which is good for pneumonia.

The next challenge will be that the effects of the chemotherapy (and I’m guessing they mean the Busulfan) really kick in on days 7-10. So we should be entering that phase now.

The purpose of the chemo was to destroy Beth’s existing bone marrow. This doesn’t happen all at once, but it happens over these 7-10 days. One of the doctors said that the existing marrow, while not yet “destroyed”, has been affected by the chemo and is not able to reproduce itself. And that’s where the new cells came in.

The new cells will begin to grow into new bone marrow. In the next couple of weeks, doctors will be looking for signs of engraftment, which occur probably during days 7-10 after the transplant. (These 7-10 days are different from the days 7-10 of chemo.)

30 days down the road, they will do another bone marrow biopsy and Chimerism testing to make certain that existing bone marrow is 100% donor and 0% Beth. If it's something other than that, it would be a bad sign.

So we are not yet out of the woods. There is a 35% chance of relapse. But we know, too, that during the conditioning phase and afterward (by tweaking the response to the graft-vs-host effect – the effect by which the new tissues perceive Beth’s old marrow as enemy and continue to destroy it), the hope is that we achieve that 100% cure. But it’ll be a year or two before we know that.

For more details on the transplant, and ongoing real-time updates, visit  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An invented Palestinian people

"Newt Challenges the Myth of Palestinian Nationalism"

Do permissible options imply libertarian freedom?

Dan Chapa has done a couple of oddball posts:

Do Permissible Options Imply LFW?
Numbers 30:13 Every vow and every binding oath to afflict her soul, her husband may confirm it, or her husband may make it void. (NKJV)
This passage teaches that both options were permissible, neither option being a sin. Calvinists would probably respond by saying permissible options do not imply that the man can choose either option but why it does not is beyond me.

The fact that two (or more) hypothetical options are morally permissible doesn’t mean those are both live options. It doesn’t even mean that either one is a live option.

For instance, let’s say it’s morally permissible for me to study at either Wheaton or Caltech. But suppose I can’t afford to study at Wheaton? Suppose I don’t have the test scores to be admitted to Caltech? Either is permissible but neither is viable.

One of the criticisms I repeatedly hear of middle knowledge is that it’s a philosophical system rather than scriptural. Now the two scriptural pillars of middle knowledge are the many passages saying men choose and the many passages saying God is in control. Middle knowledge reconciles the two.
However, there’s no shortage of the passages more directly supporting middle knowledge – those passages showing that God’s knows what we would choose under different settings. It’s not as if scripture limits middle knowledge to the famous examples of David in Keilah or the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon. Here’s a list of passages showing God does know what we would choose in various circumstances : Deuteronomy 28:51-57, 1 Samuel 23:6-10, Ezekiel 3:6-7, Jeremiah 49:9, Obadiah 1:5, Matthew 11:21-23, Matthew 12:7, Matthew 23:27-32, Matthew 24:43, Luke 16:30-31, Luke 22:67-68, John 8:39, John 8:42, John 14:28, John 15:19, John 18:36, 1 Corinthians 2:8, Galatians 4:15, and 1 John 2:19.

Dan must really be slipping:

i) Dan is illicitly acting as if counterfactual knowledge is interchangeable with middle knowledge, but even Craig denies that:

I think it is plain, then, that the God of the Bible exhibits counterfactual knowledge…Unfortunately, this does not answer the question of whether God has middle knowledge. For the scriptural passages show only that God possesses counterfactual knowledge, and, as I have said, until modern times all theologians agreed that God possesses counterfactual knowledge. The dispute among them concerned when in logical order of things this knowledge comes: is it before or after the divine decree. Since Scripture does not reflect upon this question, no amount of proof-texting can prove that God’s counterfactual knowledge is possessed logically prior to his creative decree. This is a matter for theological-philosophical reflection, not biblical exegesis. Thus, while it is clearly unbiblical to deny that God has simple foreknowledge and even counterfactual knowledge, those who deny middle knowledge cannot be accused of being unbiblical, J. Beilby & P. Eddy ed., Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views (IVP 2001), 124-25.

ii) Assuming (arguendo) that Dan’s prooftexts successfully attest counterfactual knowledge, that doesn’t single out Molinism rather than Calvinism.

Middle knowledge is a more specific claim than counterfactual knowledge. According to middle knowledge, God knows the counterfactuals of creaturely freedom. Not just that God knows counterfactuals, but counterfactuals which are (said to be) indexed to the libertarian freedom of human (or angelic) agents.

Put another way, middle knowledge is God’s prevolitional knowledge of what libertarian agents would do in various situations. But that’s not equivalent to counterfactual knowledge. Rather, that builds libertarian freedom into the definition.

This is further complicated by the fact that there’s more than one model of libertarian freedom. Does libertarian freedom require alternative possibilities, ultimate sourcehood, or both? Libertarian philosophers differ.

So Dan is overinterpreting his prooftexts by trying to extract a far more specific construct than his prooftexts will yield.

iii) Counterfactual knowledge is perfectly consonant with Reformed theism. God knows what might have happened because he knows how things would turn out had he decreed that alternative.

And that’s also consistent with God as the final source of every alternate possibility. What’s possible is a measure of divine omnipotence. God knows what God is capable of doing.  Divine omnipotence is the engine generating those possibilities.

iv) Finally, although I’m not opposed to the counterfactual interpretation of certain scriptures, that’s not the only plausible interpretation. And you don’t have to be a Calvinist to present a different interpretation. Here’s how a Catholic philosopher fields some Molinist prooftexts: