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Four Views of Divine Providence

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By bobbymacesq
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GOLDEN GATE BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CAMPUS

DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY AND HUMAN FREE WILL
IN REFORMED THEOLOGY, OPEN THEISM AND MOLINISM
AN EXAMINATION OF THE VIEWS OF
PAUL KJOSS HELSETH, GREGORY BOYD AND WILLIAM LANE CRAIG

A RESEARCH PAPER
PRESENTED TO PROFESSOR RODRICK K. DURST

IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY II, L-1212-11

BY
ROBERT MCNAIR
BOX # 685
MILL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
MAY 9, 2014

Contents

Introduction

1

Paul Kjoss Helseth and the Reformed (Calvinist) Position

3

Gregory Boyd and the Open Theism Position

7

William Lane Craig and the Molinist Position

12

Conclusion

17

Bibliography

22

DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY AND HUMAN FREE WILL

Introduction
Scripture presents two seemingly irreconcilable concepts that are both expressly affirmed in the Bible as co-existent and true: divine sovereignty and human free will. That Scripture teaches the doctrine of divine providence cannot be denied. The very act of creation was the result of God’s providence, as the created order resulted solely from His will and power. Simply, the world did not have to be; it came to be as a matter of divine choice. As a result, our world is contingent; it has no independent existence, but exists “moment to moment only in and through and unto God (Neh. 9:6; Ps. 104:30; Rom. 11:36; Heb. 1:3; Rev. 4:11).”1
In other words, the world and everything in it is entirely dependent on God for its being as God actively “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11 ESV). Hence, creato ex nihilo means our universe was freely created out of nothing as an entirely gratuitous act of a sovereign Deity. Further, Paul tell us that “. . . in him [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for...

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