mercredi 4 avril 2012

Predestination: Human Freedom or Divine Determinism

Since my first encounter with the Brahnamist movement in 1996, i have had endless discussion about predestination with all sorts of persons. I noticed during my discussions on this issue in my earlier days that I had a difficulty to affirm at the same time predestination and human free-will. It seemed to me at that time that the concept of predestination could not be affirmed without at the same time betraying the concept of free-will in the process. However both concept seemed equally obvious from Scriptures and could be defended with almost equal ease. After reading Charles Surgeons' booklet in 1998 entitled:
"Esceque le libre arbitre est-il libre?"* My discomfort about predestination grew. The prince of preachers as he was known didn't convince me that free-will did not exist. Other good and orthodox preachers in the same line as Spurgeons who are recognized within mainstream Christianity unlike Brahnam, also affirmed predestination as a synonym of determinism.

But since i had been tentatively glancing at the literature on God sovereignty and human free-will over the years, i started noticing that 'predestination' should not necessarily entail 'determinism'. Below is a link from Dr. Craig at on an aspect of this topic and i recommend its total reading for those interested on this topic:
D. A. Carson identifies nine streams of texts affirming human freedom: (1) People face a multitude of divine exhortations and commands, (2) people are said to obey, believe, and choose God, (3) people sin and rebel against God, (4) people's sins are judged by God, (5) people are tested by God, (6) people receive divine rewards, (7) the elect are responsible to respond to God's initiative, (8) prayers are not mere showpieces scripted by God, and (9) God literally pleads with sinners to repent and be saved (Divine Sovereignty and
Human Responsibility: Biblical Perspectives in Tension, pp. 18-22). These passages rule out a deterministic understanding of divine providence, which would preclude human freedom.

Hope you'll find the link above informative as you keep thinking about this issue.

Have a nice day in Jesus name.
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* "Is the Free-will free?" by C. Spurgeons

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