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April 09, 2005



There is just one thing I don't get, why would you choose Coke over Pepsi?


The devil made me do it.


My nature wouldn't allow me to.


Maybe you need a new nature.:P



A good defense of soft determinism. Let me offer some thoughts. In your definition of human freedom, you said that freedom is the ability to act according to your strongest desire. A crack cocaine addict is free according to this definition, and yet I would hardly call this freedom.

In the case of Adam, we must remember that he had no sinful desires. He was not predisposed toward sin. He must have had a geniunely free will. This means that he must have been free even in his desires. He could desire to obey God or he could desire to disobey God.

You wrote,"God does not sin when he ordains that the sinful actions of man take place because even though people have sinful motives behind their actions, God does everything for the ultimate purpose of glorifying himself."

This seems to beg the question to me. I'm responsible for what I cause others to do. Shouldn't God also be responsible for what He ordains for us to do?

Let me illustrate this. If we have a 20 cars parked in a row and one car came up from behind and hit the car in the very back causing each of cars to hit each other like dominos, which car's fault is it? I would say that it was the first car's fault.


This is where definitions are necessary because there are several things people mean when they say "free will." I believe free will is the ability to choose what you want; to make choices according to your desires. A crack addict chooses to smoke crack because he desires crack. We are free to choose what we want but we are not free to want what we ought apart from regeneration. If free will means the ability to self-create our own desires without any prior inclination in a complete state of indifference in order to our choices being virtuous then I don't know what that means. It would mean virtue is ultimately the product of random chance or a coin flip because there was no prior inclination for good or evil that was not self-created by the individual. If the individual self-created a good desire, what was his motive for doing so? And where did this motive come from?

We can speculate all we want on why exactly Adam chose evil instead of good, but ultimately it was God's decretive will that the fall took place (Rom. 8:20); it was not plan B.

If there were twenty cars parked in a row and the car in front had a baby in the front seat and was sitting on the railroad tracks about to be smashed by a train and the only way I could get it off was to smash into the back of the row of cars to knock it forward, my actions would be judged by the motive. I would not be held guilty because my motive was pure--to save the life of the baby in the first car. So it is with God. It is right to value most that which is most valuable and so God does all that he does, including the decreeing of the sinful actions of man, for the ultimate purpose of glorifying himself which is perfectly in accordance with righteousness. Again, the worst sin that ever occurred was the murder of the Son of God and yet, we see very plainly from Scripture that God ordained it to take place for his purpose and his glory.


Wow, Micah - well said, well written! (How did I miss this?)


Are you saying that the "end justifies the means?" God is righteous in causing evil if it brings something good?


Genesis 50:20

Joe DePrisco


My comments:

"No sin was ever commited that was as horrible as the murder of the Son of God and yet we know that God predestined it to take place"

In one sense, yes, but in another, remember, they knew not what they were doing. They honestly thought that Jesus was a blasphemer. The sin against the Holy Spirit is actually worse since in that case the sinner does know what he is doing. That sin cannot be forgiven, yet the sin of the Jews crucifying Christ was forgiven. "Forgive them for they know not what they do." Also, Christ said no man takes His life, but he freely lays it down. He has the power to lay it down and the power to take it back up again. Predestination is not as easy as in how you use the word. God knew the crucifixion would happen, but did not force them to crucify Him. So when Acts says, "This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain." The determinate counsel of God refers to the "delivered up" not the "crucified and slain." Who delivered Him up? Jesus delivered Himself up as a lamb.

Also, one more question for you, if God wills all sins, then does He will it when a true believer (member of the Elect) sins? For example, when an Elect commits fornication? What about 1 Thess 4:3?

I would appreciate your thoughts.


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