About two or so years ago, I had created a worldcat list with reading material relating to Molinism. Some of the material counters it; some of it might touch on it accidentally as it were. I’ve been working through the list but with some recent additions, I think it’s at a point where I can share the contents for your own benefit. I’ve put them in publishing order but I personally started with the translation of Molina’s Concordia. Bold, as on other lists, means I’ve read it and crossed it off the list. Feel free to make suggestions. Also make sure to follow the reading list on worldcat since any updates are most likely to happen there than here.
An Honest Atonement That Worked
Just like how my faith was rescued by the resurrection of the Son of God, my theology was generally rescued by Christ’s crucifixion. But to see how that works, I have to give some general preliminaries of what others say. I’m not going into the detail of any of the systems. I’m just touching on them because these are where my personal questions arose, where they collided with the text, and where I had to leave those ideas. Their explanations of key texts made me nervous.
Narcissism. The web (a blog) is all about Me. Who cares about what I say? Who cares if I’ve gotten to a point with soteriology (that is the study of salvation) where I might tentatively define myself by a label again? No one cares. But I post it anyway. I’ve often said that I write for myself and you should feel free to read over my shoulder. So this is going to be more stream of consciousness than my usual writing.
Years ago, when I first became a believer and actually started to read Scriptures, I thought that everything that happened, everything that occurred, was predetermined and ultimately the cause for everything happening. Everything was inevitable and outside of anything to do with me. I very much believed that if I sinned, it was preordained; if I did good, it was preordained; If I preached, it was preordained; if I didn’t preach it was preordained. I was, quite literally, a fatalist.
It was a depressing place to be even if I only knew that in retrospect.
It is patently obvious that we have gotten the atonement wrong this whole time. We keep saying things like Christ died for all but the fact is that this is completely unscriptural and dangerous. Scripture is clear about the extent of the atonement: one man.
Note that Paul explicitly points out the particularity of the atonement (Gal 2:20):
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
At this stage in my life I have moved from a Calvinistic system (I didnt’ call it that) through an Arminian system (didn’t call it that either), back to a Calvinistic position (I still didn’t call it that though I knew I wasn’t Arminian which I didn’t call it that either) towards something else that I don’t know what to call but I know it’s not Calvinistic and some may even say it’s Arminian though I don’t know for sure at this point. I wanted to state with broad strokes what I think about TULIPPS (7 Point Calvinism) in particular without citing the verses (for now since they’re often the same verses that both Calvinists and Arminians cite but usually embedded in their broader context) while positively stating what I believe at this point of my development (I use the acronym DAFFODIL). This might make me a Big Hairy Tick but at this point this is what I think is generally closer to the teaching of Scripture. I will state the Calvinist position first, the Arminian position second and then my own position. I’ll reserve the WHY or the HOW for any discussion that might flow from this. I will also link to discussion threads where I’ve dealt with these issues as well.