God's Sovereignty and Human Freedom

In a recent post we have been having a discusion on the nature of God's sovereignty. Over at Ref21 Andy Naselli has written a good post dealing with the intersection of God's sovereignty and human freedom.
1. The Bible never says that humans are free in the sense that they are autonomously able to make decisions that are not caused by anything. Libertarian free will is often merely assumed based on common-sense experience but not proved.

2. God is absolutely sovereign. He "works all things according to the counsel of his will" (Ephesians 1:11). He does whatever he wants, and no one can stop him (Psalm 115:3; Daniel 4:34-35).

3. Humans are morally responsible, which requires that they be free. There is no biblical reason that God cannot cause real human choices. The Bible grounds human accountability in God's authority as our creator and judge, not in libertarian free will.

4. Both (1) God's absolute sovereignty and (2) human freedom and responsibility are simultaneously true. Here are just a few of many passages in which both elements are present without any hint of contradiction. "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.... The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD" (Proverbs 16:9, 33). "This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men" (Acts 2:23). "For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place" (Acts 4:27- 28).

5. The Bible condemns some people for acts not done with a libertarian free will. For example, Judas Iscariot was destined to betray Jesus, which means that he did not have the ability either to do it or not...

6. God is omniscient (e.g., he predicts future events). John Feinberg observes, "If indeterminism is correct, I do not see how God can be said to foreknow the future. If God actually knows what will (not just might) occur in the future, the future must be set and some sense of determinism applies. God's foreknowledge is not the cause of the future, but it guarantees that what God knows must occur, regardless of how it is brought about" ("God Ordains All Things," in Predestination and Free Will: Four Views of Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom [ed. David Basinger and Randall Basinger; Downers Grove: IVP, 1986], 33- 34).

7. God breathed out Scripture through humans without violating their personalities. The way that God inspired the Bible requires compatibilism.

8. God enables Christians to persevere: Christians work because God works (cf. Philippians 2:12- 13). Indeterminism would mean that Christians can reject Christ and lose their salvation, but the Bible teaches that all genuine Christians are eternally secure and will persevere to the end by God's grace.

9. God himself does not have a free will in the libertarian sense. Can God sin? If not, then he does not have a libertarian free will, and thus a libertarian free will is not necessary for a person to be genuinely free.

10. God's people do not have free wills in heaven in the libertarian sense. Will God's people be able to sin in heaven? If not, then they will not have a libertarian free will, and thus a libertarian free will is not necessary for people to be genuinely free.

Read the entire post HERE.