Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Slicing baloney

Freewill theists typically contend that there's a crucial moral difference between God's involvement in evil vis-a-vis Reformed providence and his involvement in evil vis-a-vis Arminian providence or Molinist providence. All I'd say is that you have to slice the baloney pretty thin to draw a difference:

But in the theological sense divine concurrence is God’s active causal activity in producing everything that occurs. God does not simply let secondary causes in the world produce their effects. On the contrary, according to the doctrine of concurrence, unless God causally produces events in the world, the secondary causes would not produce their effects.  
If He fails to produce the effects, the secondary causes alone will not suffice to produce those effects. So you can see that divine concurrence, far from being passive acquiescence, involves active causation. 
Since concurrence involves God’s causal activity in producing the effects of sinful creaturely free choices, we do have the uncomfortable consequence that God causes, for example, the murderer’s knife to cut open the body of his victim. But I’m inclined to agree with Molina that since God does not will that the murderer do such a thing, He is not morally responsible for the action. William Lane Craig, "Divine Concurrence." 

Yes, God in His providence upholds the molecular structure of the murderer’s bullet as it leaves the gun and takes the victim’s life. 
To be sure, a person cannot carry out sinful intentions without Him. One cannot sin independently of God. As Thomas Oden has said, “One cannot even sin without providence.”29 Were it not for God’s providential upholding of one’s physical being, he or she could not pull the trigger to kill, could not utter blasphemy or a lie, could not look on the pornographer’s non-art. Robert E. Picirilli, "Toward a Non-Deterministic Theory of Divine Providence. 

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