Looper was a Molinist’s Action Movie

I watched the movie Looper on Netflix the other day. It was my first time seeing the 2012 film, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt.

The premise is that in the near future there are hitmen working for the mob who kill people who don’t exist. In the farther future, humans have developed time travel and have heavily regulated it. The future mob takes their enemies and sends them back in time at predetermined points prior to their birth. The hitman (Looper) immediately kills the future foe, who didn’t really exist in this time and the future mobsters didn’t really kill anyone. They just sent them back in time.

The soon to be dead mobster travels back in time with silver in their clothing and that silver is how they pay the looper. The looper is able to retire when the person they kill has gold bars instead of silver, but that person is actually the looper’s future self. The looper retires and enjoys the following 30 years until his turn to be eliminated comes up. That’s the loop, and killing your future self is “closing the loop.”

In the movie, a certain looper has lived out his 30 years and found happiness, true love, and essentially lived the life he always wanted. He had what he believed to be an ideal existence and then he was taken against his will to be sent back in time to be killed by his younger self. But then, spoiler alert, he manages to survive the encounter with his younger self and the mob is now hunting both his younger and his older self.

During this hunt, the two versions are foes of each other. The younger wants to kill the older so he can enjoy his 30-year retirement and the older wants to guide the younger toward the idyllic life that he loved so much in the yesterday-future. The younger one chances upon a woman who helps him hide from the mob, and at Hollywood speed they fall in love. Suddenly the younger version has a reason to defeat the mob and stay with this woman. The older wants him to abandon her and go to his preferred woman and the younger wants to stay with this preferred woman. The struggle becomes one of which man’s life will be realized.

That’s a totally Molinist worldview. Not perfectly, but the building blocks are right there! Oh, sorry. What is Molinism, you may wonder? Molinsm is an attempt to redefine God and Reality itself in order for humanity to accept both the sovereignty of God and also the free will of man. The Bible does speak of both as being true, but this dichotomy can be difficult for humans to harmonize. And when humans try to explain away things that must be accepted without being controlled by the understanding of humanity problems tend to result. How many heresies have resulted from our inability to accept the trinity as stated in the Bible, for just one example?

So in Molinism, the belief becomes one of a conceptual multiverse. No, really! The concept is that God had an unlimited amount of possible scenarios at the foundation of the world. He looked down the corridors of time and saw everything that would happen, within the free will of the people and all of the outcomes that would result. And then he sovereignty decided which of these multiverse options would be realized. There are verses that can be misconstrued to come to this conclusion, but you really have to stretch and massage the Bible to reach this understanding. Because the rest of the Bible doesn’t follow this logic, or lack thereof.

Molinism is a heretical doctrine of man. It is one that seeks to redefine God in ways that He has not revealed Himself. It is a way of bringing God down to a level that is within human understanding, ignoring the truth that the finite is incapable of fully comprehending the infinite. The correct response to the truths revealed about the infinite God is worship, not redefinition. Because God is known by His attributes. And one of this attributes is His preemenence.

Think about it. In Molinism, God is presented an incalculable number of scenarios and He selects one. Who put these scenarios together? Who set the table for God to interact with all of creation? If the Molinist says that God set the scenarios up, then it is God who is sovereign, which is one outcome that the Molinist rejects. If the Molinist says that any being or power other than God set up the scenarios, than God is not preeminent.

In other words, the god of the Molinist is an idol the Molinist has set up for himself.


Back to Looper. Neither of the versions of the main character are God. Neither are supposed to be God. But the retirement of the younger version does serve as the beginning point of the conflict and the older version has seen one scenario that worked out pretty well. And just like the god of the Molinist, this older version is incapable of bringing things into conformity with his will.

Looper is a fun movie if you don’t mind a few logical inconsistencies. Molinism is a damnable heresy that redefines the one you are worshiping into something other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

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Published by CoffeeSwirls