Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

Where a recovering ex-atheist skewers things with a sharp two-edged sword

Constructive criticism of The Unseen Realm #4: predestination and foreknowledge

In which I offer a friendly critique of some elements of Michael Heiser’s The Unseen Realm—in this instance, his comments in chapter 9 on how God foreknows without predestining.

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If God wants to save everyone, why did he only choose Israel?

If you want all people to be part of your kingdom, you don’t disinherit them and then pick just one family.

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Is there a relevant difference between causing and permitting evil?

An exchange with Arminian theologian Roger Olson.

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Unreflective assumptions about free will

Suppose everyone automatically assumes they have the power of contrary choice. What follows?

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Thorny problems with Molinism #4: the internal contradiction between CCFs & PAP

Molinism tries to eat its cake, and still have it too, by incorporating both CCFs and PAP. But if counterfactuals of creaturely freedom are true, then the principle of alternate possibility is necessarily false, and vice versa.

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Thorny problems with Molinism #3: the theological grounding objection

Molinism removes the metaphysical machinery that underwrites God’s knowledge of free actions (i.e., his knowing what he will cause), but does not replace it with anything. Thus, middle knowledge is a just-so story; an assertion we are supposed to accept “because reasons.” Only…there are no reasons.

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Thorny problems with Molinism #2: the demonstrable falsehood of its governing intuition

The Molinist’s governing intuition is that people can’t be responsible for choices which (i) do not ultimately originate in their own wills or (ii) where they could not have done otherwise. This intuition is flatly contradicted by Jesus in John 6:44; so Molinism should be rejected as false.

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Thorny problems with Molinism #1: doing theology backwards

Molinism as a system begins with human intuitions about responsibility, and then reads these back into God’s word; rather than beginning with God’s word, and conforming our intuitions to it. In this regard it is no different than any other man-made religion.

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Thorny problems with Calvinism #3: double predestination makes God a moral monster

In which I defend the most despised doctrine in Christianity.

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Why Molinist/Arminian intuitions about God and evil must be false

A simple parallel argument to clarify my previous posts.

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Why can’t God interfere with our free will?

After all, we do it all the time.

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Why do some people exercise faith and others not?

In a synergistic framework, what is the explanation for some people responding affirmatively to prevenient grace, while others do not? If it is because of the grace they receive, then God shows partiality; if it is because of their character, then they have reason to boast; if it is neither, then salvation is down to luck.

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Determinism and the authorship of sin in Calvinism and Arminianism

Arminians object to determinism because it makes God the “author of evil”—but does their own system avoid it? In this post, I argue that although they disagree with Calvinists about the nature of God’s sovereignty, their own theology commits them to an equally deterministic view.

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