An Analysis of the Free Will & Determinism Debate

Free will and determinism; God’s sovereignty and human choice; election, predestination, foreknowledge, and more. Debates as to how these interplay with each other have surrounded the Church for hundreds of years. Countless books have been written, social media posts have been shared, debates have been had, yet many say that there is still no clear answer to the divine determinism and human free will.

This past Thursday, I was given the opportunity to address this issue at the campus ministry I help lead at my school, Christian Student Fellowship. We decided that for this semester, we would go through a series of tough topics that are relevant to college students whether they be theological, cultural, political, and more.

For this talk, I gave an overview of five different views of this issue which included looking at their core beliefs, as well as looking at some of the major strengths and weaknesses of each view. The five views were:

  • Libertarianism/mainstream Arminianism
  • Compatibilism/mainstream Calvinism
  • Hard determinism/hyper-Calvinism
  • Open theism/Christian deism
  • Molinism

After analyzing each of these five views, I then presented what I thought was the most likely view according to Scripture alone, and then closed with four practical takeaways. The audio is below. (Note: I forgot to start the recording until a few minutes into the talk, but it is mainly just missing my intro. The recording starts a few seconds into my covering of Libertarianism/mainstream Arminianism)

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