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Ep. 330 An Interdisciplinary Commentary on the Gospel Accounts of Jesus Christ: Installment 3, Towards a Grand Unified Theology, the Case of John the Baptist

Bob covers John 1: 6-13 in his Bible commentary series. He likens the Arminian vs. Calvinist divide to General Relativity vs. quantum theory in physics, where both approaches are correct in their realm but–in their current versions–are incompatible.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


  1. Baus on 07/06/2024 at 6:34 PM

    Dear Bob,
    As a Reformed (Calvinist) Christian, I think the Reformed Faith (for example, as represented in the Reformed church statements of belief, such as the “Westminster Confession Of Faith” [WCF]) is itself the “unified” theology you’re looking for.

    We believe Scripture teaches that God not only predetermines the ends, but also the means. Such means include human’s free will. The only human free will that exists, is human free will predetermined by God. A “non-Reformed” view fundamentally misunderstands the metaphysics, let’s say, of human free will.

    Some statements that explain this view in WCF:
    “God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”
    “As God has appointed [some sinners] the elect unto glory [salvation], so has He, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto.”
    “Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause [or, Origin of all causality], all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, He orders them to fall out, according to the nature of second[ary] causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.”

    It’s only when one defines “human free will” in a way that is contrary to Scripture, namely, in a way that holds such “freedom” to be incompatible with God’s predetermination, that one runs into confusion.

    Here is a technical philosophical distinction that might help:

    • Robert Murphy on 07/06/2024 at 7:30 PM

      Thanks Greg. I definitely disagree with stuff I hear Leighton Flowers saying. And on the other hand, I usually agree with everything RC Sproul says. So I’m open to your take. Having said all of that, though, I think William Lane Craig when he’s talking about Molinism makes some subtle points that I don’t typically hear from a Reformed preacher. And I especially disagree when I hear James White ripping on Molinism.

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