Does Free-Will or Divine Determination Extol God’s Greatness?

In discussions with brothers and sisters from the neo-Reformed, Calvinist camp one item of conversation that always seems to come up is their insistance that God must divinely determine every choice humans make because only in such a paradigm is God’s sovereignty elevated to its highest level of true power and glory.

But this simply isn’t true when one fleshes this thought out further. In a neo-Reformed, Calvinist world God has simply created creatures who are essentially “pre-programmed” through an exhaustive, divine determinism to think, desire, do and choose in accordance with God’s predestined directives. In this sense humans are akin to automatons that are not free to move or act in a manner outside the boundaries established by their prior programming. Thus all human actions are merely the effects in-time of God’s prior directives in eternity past.

It’s really not that different than a software engineer preprogramming the set movements of robotic arms on an auto assembly line. Nor is it much different than a stage director scripting his actors and then watching everything play out on cue. Does this paradigm reflect God’s power, glory and wisdom to a greater extent than a world infused with genuine indeterminacy and free-will? It is hard to see how. In fact the reverse is true.

It takes a greater God, a wiser God, and a  more powerful God to sovereignly manage a world of free agents than a world of pre-programmed automatons. In a world of opposition, spiritual war, rebellion and genuine indeterminacy, God’s sovereignty and power is glorified to a greater degree through overcoming all opposition and establishing his Kingdom and reign in spite of it. Far from diminishing God’s sovereign power, a world of genuine free agency raises the stature and glory of God’s power and sovereignty!

It must be understood that God did not universally predetermine every evil event just so he could have a grand story and stage to conveniently script himself into as redeemer. Not at all! God is principally a redeemer because at every turn he seeks to overcome evil and rebellion to establish righteousness and justice.

The divine result of overcoming a world of evil that God did not intend or desire– is glory. Yet it is an altogether different matter entirely to suggest that God universally predetermined all evil so as to have a platform to manifest his glory. Indeed such a view is the anti-thesis of divine glory, righteousness and holiness.

I long for the day that neo-Reformed Calvinists shed this twisted belief like dead snake skin. It is such a libel against the character of our God.

-Strider MTB

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 started my blog as an unmarried man who was blessed to oversee an orphanage of amazing children in South-East Asia. As of 2022, I am a happily married man to an amazing missionary wife serving together on the mission field. 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 apathetic church.
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