I really wanted to see Jason answer the question. I don’t know if the question is good conversation for football but it is a question that has come up in conversations I’ve had in recent years. Prior to coming to the knowledge of a totally sovereign God and the doctrines of grace this deep thinking occurred more times than I can remember. Can free will coexist with divine (what I think Jason really meant is) predestination? First of all what is meant by free will? Usually when people think of free will they think of individuals having their own independent will to control their own lives. If we answer that question biblically what would it be? How does it relate to salvation from our sins. The bible teaches that God has predestined those who would be saved (Rom. 8:29, Eph. 1:5) but has He also laid out our whole lives, what schools we will go to, who we will marry, how many children we will have etc. Has God predestined all of our perceived decisions? I would say yes, and no. I believe God does allow us to make decisions. We are like puppets controlled by a puppet master. If we look at this biblically I would also have to say yes, God has predestined those things. His will for our lives is already know and laid out bfore the foundation of the earth. As it says in Ephesians 1:10b, 11;
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.
If anyone knows of any other scripture to support or dispute my conclusion I would love for you to post a comment for discussion.
November 14, 2006 at 9:32 am
I hopped over here from Irish Calvinist 🙂
Not that I have an original answer to Jason’s question, but recently I did a post on several well-known Calvinist’s response to this, and was quite impressed with the fact that they didn’t throw free-will out with the Armininian bath water, so to speak. I REALLY liked the different perceptions!
Free Will and Calvinism
October 8, 2007 at 11:09 am
the question that i would like to ask, why is it that God allows bad things to happen to people,I know that he is a god of love and came to save the world and died for me, these are the kind of questions i get at my youth group and even from family,
April 1, 2008 at 4:25 pm
God allows bad things to happen so that we will lean on Him in our times of struggle. For when we are weak, we are strong (2 Corinthians 13:9) take the story of Job> God allowed the devil to take everything away from and against Job so that God might be glorified through Job’s faith and reliance/trust in God. and Paul’s sufferings and his thorn. Paul asked 3 times that the thorn be removed but God kept it in so that Paul will forver lean on Gods strength.
April 1, 2008 at 8:53 pm
I believe you hit the nail on the head. Job and Paul are great examples of God’s glory manifested through the faith of believers. Thanks for your comment.
May 24, 2009 at 8:09 am
God does not allow bad things to happen. No more than a general in a war allows bad things to happen to his troops. We are in a fallen world in spiritual warfare. This world is not our home or we would not be called amabassadors, the god of this world the bible says is the devil.
God responds to prayer don’t pray and you won’t see God’s help. He can only act as we connect He never overrides freewill or in this realm will he abuse his power.
We might grow in bad times but don’t put that on God. We might die in bad times to so what do you say to that.
Eph 4:11 and Timothy say the world is to perfect us or the gift ministries. Not that we can’t grow throught bad times but it is not the perferred way.
July 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm
I WILL HAVE TO DISAGREE . GOD DOESNT BLESS DISOBEDIENCE.
May 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm
Thanks for your comment. I love to dialog in theology. I have to point out that your analogy with generals does not hold water. I have read about many a battlefield strategy and have seen generals make life and death decisions for his troops. I wonder how many times the leadership at Normandy kept giving the orders to advance even though men were getting slaughtered by the hundreds.
Wow, does your God seem like a small God when you say “He can only act….., or He never overrides free will. We are His workmanship, His creation, He does what He pleases with us. We are ultimately created to glorify Him whatever that may be. Romans 9:20, 21 says:
20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, Why have you made me like this? 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
We have a fallen tenancy to think we are “all that” and in control of our lives. I believe God has other ideas according to His word.
September 7, 2011 at 12:06 am
Yes, God created us and certainly has the power to control our lives and define our destiny, however, He gave us free will for a reason. God wants to be served because people LOVE him and WANT to serve him and give up their lives for him out of love, just as Jesus gave up His life for us (although quite more literally) out of love. He wont FORCE people to serve him because then it wont be out of love that they do so. God is Love, and wants to be surrounded by such love. If He forced people to serve Him, He would be feared and possibly held in contempt, not loved. Therefore, God lets us make the choice. He gave us everything we need in order to get to heaven, it is up to us to follow those instructions. That way, when judgement day comes, no one has the excuse of inability (and at the same time no one is forced into anything-who knows? maybe someone doesn’t want to spend eternity with God?) What is meant by God having power to mold us refers to God’s power to work around our decisions and “mold” his ultimate will. He will use our decisions for His glory. He says, “If you don’t go, I’ll send someone else,” meaning: if you choose not to serve me that’s fine, ill find someone that will. And that someone, that allows God to mold him/her, will reap those benefits. However, you will not be forced to do it if you dont want to. You will simply be replaced. And if after a while, you bring no fruit, then you will lose your place in God’s vineyard, as Jesus’ parable goes. So, yes, God encourages people to serve Him, because He wants to see all of his creation in heaven with Him, but He will not force anyone. People’s uncooperation does not in any way threaten His unprecedented and ultimate power, therefore He has no reason to use force. so, although we cannot control every aspect of our lives, we are free to choose the life we live, because it boils down to only two options: God or the World.
July 11, 2009 at 5:17 am
Hi Christian friend,
The computor is way over my head. I get so frustrated I scratch the walls, pull my hair out, and kick the dog. If somebody could help me make sense of it, I would be greatful. I believe all is predestined from an omniscient God’s perspective but we do have alternative choice. Norm Geisler’s book “Chosen But Free” is my answer. I think he gives a good answer. God bless. In Christ.