Saturday, April 30, 2016

A PhD Update

As many of you know, I have been applying to several (in fact, 11) PhD programs for philosophy. While I do plan on writing a “what not to do” style advice post, my purpose right now is just to explain where I am in the process and what may happen next.

I was rejected from the first five programs I heard from. This was a little deflating, though I knew I only needed one “yes” to move forward. Since then, I have received three acceptances and one more rejection (I have yet to hear from two programs). The three acceptances are: University of Liverpool (UK), University of Birmingham (UK), and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (listed in order of received acceptances).

My current plan is to see if I can obtain funding for one of the UK programs. This will be quite expensive, and I don’t mind telling you that unless God works in providentially providing these funds, we won’t be going! Nonetheless, it is something we are praying about. So what’s my next step? Well, I need either to have the money for the UK or at least know where it is coming from no later than June 1 (for a variety of reasons).

I would be happy to continue my studies at SEBTS, with wonderful professors and challenging seminars. I would also love to study in the UK, having visited there last year. Above all, pray that I am truly open to God’s leading and that I would be content in whatever state I find myself.

Monday, April 25, 2016

New Apologetics Class!

Trinity Baptist College students, are you looking for an elective credit online course this summer? The Intro to Apologetics class might be for you! It’s eight weeks, online, and involves watching brief lectures, discussion forums, reading, and a couple of writing assignments. The assignments and videos are all designed to help you understand how to defend the faith, and offer positive arguments both for God’s existence and Christianity as a whole.
We are also going to look at various ways the Christian can do apologetics, and practical ways you can engage in culture and the public square. The class starts May 9th, so you’ll want to act fast!

There may be a possibility of auditing the course as well, even if you are not currently a TBC student. For that possibility, you’ll want to check with TBC’s website can be found at I look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Molinism, Middle Knowledge, and Free Will

On the Molinism Facebook group, I recently answered a question about Molinism. The question will appear in italics, and my answer follows. Enjoy!

On Molinism, Libertarian free will is possible because God's Middle Knowledge is located logically prior to His divine decrees. If God's counterfactual knowledge is located logically posterior to His divine decrees, then this removes the possibility of libertarian freedom, since, God's knowledge of counterfactuals are subsumed into His free knowledge given that God has already decreed the world he desired to actualize. Thus, what would be counterfactually known by God is known because He has already decreed that it should be the case.

If God's counterfactual knowledge is logically located posterior to His creative decree, libertarian freedom is out of the question since man must choose what he does since God has ordained that he does without taking into consideration libertarian free will decisions logically prior to His creative decrees.

As I am processing the above points, I guess my question is: How does having God's counterfactual knowledge logically prior to His creative decree preserve libertarian freedom...I think I know the answer, but perhaps you can clarify any missteps I have made.

I think I might be able to help (depending on any more specific questions you may have or that might arise). You write, "On Molinism, Libertarian free will is possible because God's Middle Knowledge is located logically prior to His divine decrees."

However, this is not precisely the case. If any aspect of God's knowledge were to be the cause of man's choice (or entail that God caused it), then libertarian freedom is destroyed. Instead, libertarian freedom is possible, and God knows the counterfactual choices that free creatures would make in any possible set of circumstances; on Molinism, God knows these truths pre-volitionally, but they are not necessary, either.

The content of God's middle knowledge, then, depends on the content of creaturely free choices, and not the other way around. This is crucially what distinguishes Molinism from other full-omniscience* libertarian views, like classical Thomism.

*I'm using "full-omniscience" as a really rough placeholder for a detailed description of views that take it to be the case that God knows counterfactuals of creaturely freedom.