In his book, Luis de Molina: The Life and Theology of the Founder of Middle Knowledge, Kirk R. MacGregor chronicles the tumultuous days of a brilliant Jesuit priest who attempts to reconcile the doctrines of God’s sovereignty and human “free will.” A contemporary of Luther and Calvin, Molina and his theology sparked controversy when he disagreed with the Catholic Church and the Council of Trent. But for his death, Molina would have been excommunicated by the Pope. However, he was later vindicated and his theological explanations are still being discussed and debated today.
Macgregor’s book is an academic but interesting read about a fascinating man. It is necessary to understand the differences between Catholic and Protestant theology as well as the Doctrines of Grace in order to grasp Molina’s argument. The book should be read deliberately as it is technical at times. His attempt to explain these thorny theological issues is intriguing and even admirable. However, it does not fully explore the biblical views of God’s power and human responsibility. Frankly, these two fundamental issues cannot be fully explained by human reason or completely understood this side of eternity.
Overall, Luis de Molina is an interesting read, but not an easy one. Had the author devoted as much time to Molina’s biography (as advertised) rather than advocating for Molina’s theological perspective, this would have been a stronger work. As it is, the theology dominates the entire narrative and leaves little room for Molina’s fascinating life.
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.