Debate on Calvinistic Compatibilism. Part 2 Matt Responds

Hi Derek, thanks for dropping by. You are right I won’t bother answering all your questions :) I think I counted 19. As the quotes highlight and basic logic dictats Calvinistic ordination collapses into causal determinism. A molinist like William Lane Craig in some sense can say God ordains events in the world in the sense that he chose to actualize the world we live out of an infinite number of possible worlds–each a product of genuine free-will. To not court confusion a classical Arminian will want to avoid using “ordain” as an explanatory term for his view unless it is being used as a synonym for “wills”–as in God wills that sinful events occur in virtue of permitting them to occur for the greater good of preserving his original, sovereign intention to create man free. However when the Calvinist uses the term “ordain” he is talking about causal determination or foreordination of all thought, desire and action through irresistible decrees–down to what you typed to me and what I typed earlier that prompted you to type. Yes? It all becomes confusing vertigo. Whether hard determinism or soft (compatibilism) the end result is the same–we are not truly free to think, desire or act contrary to God’s determination.

In Calvinism humans (even Satan) only do what they were determined or programmed to do in eternity past through God’s divine decrees–which cannot be resisted or overthrown. In that sense humans and the demonic are unable to think, desire or do contrary to God’s meticulous, causal decree. Do you deny this? As an Arminian I believe God has determined and ordained to create a world infused with genuine, moral freedom of the will–rather than beings who are little more than automatons with skin on. Have you ever had a thought, desire or action that God did not decree or determine for you Derek? If you think you have than welcome to Arminianism.

Arminians believe God’s ultimate sovereign governance over this universe does not require that he meticulously determine every one our sordid, sinful choices to accomplish his ultimate purposes. Thankfully God’s sovereignty is greater than that. God has a perfect will and accommodating will. He has sovereignly chosen to allow his perfect will to be challenged for the greater good of his glory and our genuine love, worship and obedience. If you can’t understand why the Calvinist scheme utterly diminishes and belittles God’s glory and holiness, than you won’t understand why the Arminian perspective preserves God’s glory and holy character. Lastly God has ordained certain events but he does not need to meticulously predetermine the means to reach a predetermined, ordained end. Again–his sovereignty is greater than that.

Lastly Derek you ask “if anything can exist can exist without God’s initial creative action to ordain its existence?” Yes– agent causation. We are the ultimate sources of our decisions. Our decisions are caused by ourselves and they do not need to be initiated by God’s will in order to occur/exist. Bottom line: God possesses libertarian freedom. God is not initiated or determined in his choices by something external to himself– and we also possess agent causation and libertarian freedom in virtue of being made in God’s image.

Have a blessed week.

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About StriderMTB

Hi, I'm Matt. "Strider" from Lord of the Rings is my favorite literary character of all time and for various reasons I write under the pseudonym "StriderMTB. As my blog suggests I seek to live out both the excitement and tension of a Christian walk with Christ in the 3rd world context of Asia. I am unmarried yet blessed to oversee an orphanage of amazing children in South-East Asia. I hate lima beans and love to pour milk over my ice-cream. I try to stay active in both reading and writing and this blog is a smattering of my many thoughts. I see the Kingdom of God as Jesus preached it and lived to be the only hope for a broken world and an even more broken and apathetic church.
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