As I reflect on the last twenty years of my life, I’m struck by how much my theological outlook has changed. This is especially the case regarding my view of Divine providence. For sixteen years, I was a theological determinist; that is to say, I believed that God causally determined everything that came to pass, … Continue reading Can We Sensibly Believe in Determinism and Deliberate?
Abstract: Paul Helm, a Calvinist theologian, has contributed an article to Ligonier.org in which he presents two noteworthy objections to Molinism. First, Helm presents an internal critique of Molinism purporting to show that Libertarian Free Will (LFW) undermines God’s providential control over the world. Second, Helm argues that Molinism is incompatible with the doctrine of … Continue reading Paul Helm Misses The Mark on Molinism: A Response to Ligonier.org’s “Molinism 101”
Every time I turn around I find someone else denying that humans have free will. From scientists to philosophers to theologians, it’s the cool new trend. We aren’t actually making free choices. We have been programmed either by God or our DNA to act in a certain way and have no choice but to follow … Continue reading The Price of Denying Free Will
Abstract: In my essay “Does 1 Peter 1:3 Refute Libertarian Free Will?” I defend the thesis that the relevant verse is underdeterminative with respect to whether it teaches Libertarian Free Will (LFW) or Divine Causal Determinism (DCD). One attempt that has been made to resolve this epistemic standoff has been through the employment of Ockham’s … Continue reading Does Ockham’s Razor Preclude Libertarian Interpretations of 1 Peter 1:3?
Calvinism has been one of the most popular theological traditions within the church for half a millennia. This reformed view is the tradition in which I was raised. In fact, I believed it, bought it, and taught it as a minister for over a decade. I was not alone in my pursuit to spread the teachings of … Continue reading Death of a Gunslinger
Recently a friend of mine — a philosophy professor who believes humans possess libertarian free will — posted a question on social media directed to Christians. He asked: “If you had to choose between the two, would you rather be a Calvinist (compatibilist version) or an open theist?” I quickly responded with the following: “The ironic thing … Continue reading Yoda & K-2: Semi-Compatibilism & Responsibility
Nothing fascinates me more than investigating evidence for the existence of God. I have spent the past seven years of my life devoting multiple hours every day examining this data and related issues. One of these related issues is that of free will. Though this has been the subject of debate for centuries — among Christians and … Continue reading Libertarian Freedom Fighters
What is “compatibilistic free will”? Years ago when I first heard of this doctrine it shocked me. Intuitively I thought it did not make sense. How can God determine (force) someone to freely do something? Little did I know that it is one of the most discussed doctrines in modern philosophy and theology. Roughly, compatibilism … Continue reading Fifty Shades of Compatibilism
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. . .” 1 Pet. 1:3 (ESV) For the Divine Causal Determinist, verses like these would seem to rebut … Continue reading Does 1 Peter 1:3 Refute Libertarian Freedom?
Tim Stratton’s two recent articles entitled, Confusing Bible Verses, Free Will, & Determinism (Part 1, and Part 2) have sparked much discussion among the theologically inclined on social media over the past couple of weeks. Here is a conversation I had providing further illumination: Calvinist: What about John 6:44 that specifically says that no one can … Continue reading Does “Draw” Only Mean “Irresistible Dragging”?