Freedom of the Will in an All-Knowing and Sovereign God’s World

cri-blog-hanegraaff-hank-divine-sovereignty-human-responsibilityHow can God be sovereign when humans have freewill?

I think the fact that God can work out His sovereign plan using genuinely free creatures really shows how sovereign God really is. We have genuine freewill. This is against the idea that we fatalistically determined or determined by God in some way, which is not biblical.

The fact that we have freewill and that God knows what we are going to do is biblical. Even we can see this by way of human analogy. We can look backwards on our lives and see things in our past and know them exhaustively and recognize at the same time the fact that we know them exhaustively did not mean that we determined them. We cannot think about our future being fatalistically determined, but we can know that God who is omniscience knows the beginning from the end, and yet works through genuinely free creatures to accomplish His purposes.

There is no real philosophical problem in saying that God is sovereign and omniscient yet we are genuinely free with the ability to act or act otherwise.

Without choice, love would be rendered meaningless. God is neither a cosmic rapist who forces his love on people, nor is he a cosmic puppeteer who forces people to love him. Instead, God, the personification of love, grants us the freedom of choice. This freedom provides a persuasive polemic for the existence of hell (Hank Hanegraaff, Resurrection [Nashville: Word Publishing, 2000], 79.)

The fact that God knows the outcome does not mean that the outcome is fatalistically determined. Once you go down that road you can start saying, “Well, God knows if my hands will be clean tomorrow, and therefore, they’ll be clean whether or not I wash them!” God ordains the means as well as the ends, so you have to pick up the bar of soap and wash your hands.

For further related study:

Why pray if God already knows what we need? (Hank Hanegraaff)

How Could Pharaoh Be Morally Responsible If God Hardened His Heart? (Hank Hanegraaff)

How Should Christians Approach the Problem of Evil? (E. Calvin Beisner and Chad Meister)

Reformed Theology Resurgence: New Calvinists and the Future of Evangelicalism (Warren Nozaki)

The Divine Sovereignty/Human Responsibility debate: Part 1 (James White and George Bryson)

The Divine Sovereignty/Human Responsibility debate: Part 2 (James White and George Bryson)

Between Radical Freedom and Total Determinism (John S. Hammett)


What Does Calvinism Teach? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Blog adapted from “How can we be genuinely free if God is sovereign?