Hey Derek, buddy… pal… You’re not wanting to give an actual answer to the 3 questions I posed because you intuitively know that from God’s decretive standpoint or perspective there are no genuine possibilities and there is no genuine freedom or capability to do otherwise than what we are determined to think, desire and do. Your only answer is essentially to say:
“I cannot imagine what things might look like from ‘God’s decretive perspective.’ I do not have access to this angle, and it is simply beyond my comprehension.”
But Derek you DO have access to God’s decretive standpoint/perspective and you admit it. In fact you wrote:
“From my perspective there are many possibilities and I make a perfectly free choice. From God’s standpoint, it is all pre-determined, but from mine it is open… God decreed that I should be presented with a range of possible choices and experience the freedom of choosing, and yet He also decreed the outcome.”
Here you are simply saying nothing more than: “From our human perspective we possess the ILLUSION of acting freely and having genuine possibilities of choice because our ignorance of God’s constraining decree gives choice the appearance and illusionary experience of being “open”– but in reality (from God’s standpoint) all is determined and we are not free to choose against God’s determinative decree.”
So Derek by your own admission from “God’s standpoint” there is only one determined choice and one determined outcome that will and MUST occur–the one outcome decreed by God. (“Will” is not sufficient Derek because God’s decrees are irresistible and MUST occur necessarily). God’s will of decree constrains all possibile outcomes down to ONE outcome and thus renders null and void all other alleged possibilities. I can’t help but think that you now want to feign ignorance over “what things look like from God’s perspective” because you intuitively know that to honestly answer my 3 follow up questions would be the total undoing of your own compatibilistic argument… and that is simply too difficult for you.
So I think my initial contention stands. Calvinistic compatibilism–even your own version– ultimately collapses into causal determinism that invalidates genuine freedom.
I will try to address some of your additional comments and questions (plus verses) in an upcoming post. I may be traveling out of Cambodia this weekend but hopefully can find the time soon.
Thanks again and have a great weekend! -Matt