YOU THINK MAN’S FREE WILL CAN THWART GOD’S WILL?


The above is a reframing of the position of those who affirm free will, often a straw man reframing.

In order to demonstrate why I don’t find that reframing accurate, a short video by John Piper will be my aid: https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/why-does-christ-want-some-not-to-believe or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4FjhQJqtZE

John Piper doesn’t take the usual ‘God desires all KINDS of men to be saved’ Calvinist explanation for why 1 Timothy 2:4 doesn’t result in universal salvation. Instead, he gives the reason that God also has other concerns which conflict with the desire that all men be saved (namely, God’s desire to show His justice).

In the free will view there is similarly some other concern of God that conflicts with His desire that all men be saved – it is His desire that men themselves make the choice to accept God’s offer.

That is to say, I don’t think or claim that man’s free will can thwart God’s will. God is supremely sovereign over all, the only thing that can ‘thwart’ God’s will is… God. And God has desired that man as the Imago Dei make his own free will choice to accept or reject – even if this means that another of God’s desires, namely that all men DO accept, is ‘thwarted’.

So it’s not a matter of those who affirm free will having a ‘less sovereign’ view of God. It’s a matter of what the absolute sovereign God has decided He wants, which we can know from His word as revealed in the Bible.

And that’s the crux of the difference in views, different people who each affirm God’s word above all but coming to different interpretations of what God’s word means.

(NB: A situation which makes more sense under free will where each person has their ‘made up their own mind’, than determinism where God has made the conclusions for every person but this somehow results in a wide variety of views!)

 

And recently John Piper has brought it up again, God needs to damn people so that His justice & mercy will be ‘more fully manifest’ to the saved.

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