Author analogies for different models of providence (somewhat tongue-in-cheek):
- Theistic Determinism: God as sole author – God writes the whole story without any outside input. He writes only for His own enjoyment, which He calls “glory” for some reason. Creatures are merely characters in the novel.
- Molinism: God as sole author, but with outside “inspiration” – God weaves a coherent story from a bunch of random counterfactual snippets of text that He found lying around. Creatures aren’t mere characters and are supposedly free, but for some odd reason they never act otherwise than the counterfactual snippets describe.
- Open Theism: God as primary, but not sole, author – God invites contributions from others (His creatures) and skillfully incorporates them into a larger story intended for the enjoyment of all.
- Simple Foreknowledge: Like Open Theism except that somehow, no one knows how, the entire story has already been finished and even includes contributions from creatures who don’t exist yet(!). God and creatures are reading it and just now finding out what they already wrote.
- Process Theism: God as focus group coordinator – God throws out lots of ideas and suggestions and gradually builds a novel based entirely on how others respond to those suggestions. He skillfully adjusts His suggestions based on creaturely responses and hopes that the emerging story will be coherent and enjoyable for all.