Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Predetermination

Predetermination means.
1.The act of determining beforehand.

2.Something that has been decided in advance.


The debate surrounding the exegesis of the opposing concepts of predetermination and free-will are profuse and articulate. There have been many who have weighed in to the fray with profound arguments and persuasive rhetoric and as such have provided opportunity for many to form their own opinions and beliefs.  

 
I personally believe in free-will, at least with respect to a person being responsible and accountable for choice and decisions made in life. As was pointed out to me one day, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, free-will does not exist because nothing in life is free. Accountability negates life being free.
 
"If free will is an illusion and everything is predetermined, then the ultimate cause of  why a person believes that free will is an illusion and everything is predetermined is that they were predetermined to do so. But it’s hard to see how a belief can be considered “true” or “false” when it is, ultimately, simply a predetermined event."
 
To put it another way, if predetermination is a relevant option; Why would not all people be predetermined to believe in predetermination? In fact would there be a debate at all!
 
Would not all predetermination's be predetermined to accept only predetermination, in other words predetermination would preclude any belief in free-will. There would exist no true or false determinations, free-will would not only be an illusion but could not exist at all.
 
Many claim that God has predetermined and fore-ordained all events in human history.
I believe some need this belief system in order to account for human suffering in light of a God Who proclaims Himself as Love. This is understandable when viewed in the aspect of faith. The attempt is to assuage the view of God as a God of wrath and judgement with an all-consuming fire. After all it is clearly stated that God 'hardend Pharaoh's heart." Why would my faith not allow for a dual view of God as Love and Wrath?
The account of Job's life is another example portrayed as exemplary of predetermination.
 
I think there has to be a disjoint from what God knows and what God predetermines, assuming any predetermination exists beyond His desire and implementation of the salvation of all people.
 
God having fore-knowledge of outcomes is not an emphatic declaration that all prior circumstances were orchestrated. I think people who are bent towards believing in predetermination are focusing on God's omniscience and not recognizing, fully, God's omnipotence.
 
Fore-knowledge and omniscience co-habitat with omnipotence, and omnipotence actually trumps omniscience by enabling God to intersect, intervene and interact in any situation, at any given moment, regardless of any free-will decision made.
 
Rene Descartes stated, "I think, therefore I am." What a great gift it is that God gave us, to think, to equate, to express, to communicate,each and every one given the ability to discern and choose. I believe this is more representative of God's working in this world than a blanket of predetermination declaring every human endeavour fruitless, meaningless and trivialized by a puppet regime directed and micro-managed by God.
 
Free-will does not control the world, God does. Free-will is simply the causal determination of personal preference, having allowed for genetic, social, theological and behavioural inputs, resulting in choices being made. It begs the question, If? any or all of those factors were manipulated then Who would I be today? But What of God?
 
"On this basis I’d like to suggest that everyone who deliberates believes in free will, even if they think they do not, for its impossible to deliberate without acting on the conviction that the decision is up to you to resolve. ... I reveal a deep rooted conviction that I am free as I deliberate, and the same holds true for every deliberation anyone engages in. There simply is no other way to deliberate. People may sincerely think they believe in determinism, but they act otherwise, and must act otherwise, every time they deliberate. The great American philosopher Charles Pierce argued that a belief that cannot be consistently acted on cannot be true."


There is none who have excuse, all will be held accountable for What they believe about God, whether they be Muslim, Christian, Red-neck, Caucasian, Arminian, Calvinist, Lutheran, Anabaptist or whatever.
Free-will acknowledges that God will judge based on the merits of the decisions and choices made in this life as concerning His Son and the salvation offered at God's expense.

There are none who will be turned away from God's love and all have had opportunity to accept Jesus Christ God's Son as their Saviour.

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