Tuesday, June 21, 2011

God Predestines. Man is Responsible. Can both be true?

My answer is, ABSOLUTELY!  The Bible consistently teaches both.   Do you have trouble reconciling how these two statements can both be true?  Well, Charles H. Spurgeon believed every Word he read in Scripture, even if it "appeared" to contradict what he read elsewhere in Scripture.  Consider the following from Spurgeon:
"That God predestines, and that man is responsible, are two things that few can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is just the fault of our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one place that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find in another place that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other. These two truths, I do not believe, can ever be welded into one upon any human anvil, but one they shall be in eternity: they are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the mind that shall pursue them farthest, will never discover that they converge; but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring." (Charles H. Spurgeon, New Park Street Pulpit, 4:337)
Well spoken, Pastor Spurgeon!

And as Randy Alcorn (who currently holds to 4 points of Calvinism) stated:
"...our theology should be a reflection of Scripture itself, and wherever Scripture teaches apparently contradictory ideas, our theology should embrace those same ideas, rather than resort to a consistency which rejects part of God’s revealed Word."
Alcorn goes on to state:
"My Greek professor liked to say, “I would rather be comfortable with my Bible and uncomfortable with my theology, than comfortable with my theology and uncomfortable with the Bible.”
For Alcorn's excellent webpage where these quotes were taken from, click below.


  1. I have never had such a struggle than to explain WHY Pre-destination and Free Will are BOTH true. It seems to me we have too small a view of God when we refuse to accept what is so clearly written, but TIME is our clue, our remedy.
    God is ETERNALLY Divinely Present Perfect and only HE holds this existence. To attempt to explain God's perspective is to appear to explain all things as predetermined. But really the perception is that of being present at every moment of time, at the SAME TIME, ALWAYS. That may explain WHY Free Will is SO much more easily understood by man: It's OUR perception of Time.
    But, regardless, both are clear, and even to be perceived in the very same verses! That both are True and Doctrine cannot be denied without ulterior motives in play.

    Patrick Burwell, OnlyJesusSaves.com

    February 05, 2014

  2. Thanks for the comments, Patrick!

    When Spurgeon and I speak of "human responsibility" and you speak of "free will" I believe we are speaking of 2 different things...please define your meaning of "free will"...

    Everyone's will is in bondage, either to sin in the natural state, or after the new birth, to God...yet we still make choices every day, and will be held accountable for those choices...

    Is it safe to assume that your view of the "predestine, predestination, elect, election, etc." passages is based on an Arminian or even Pelagian view of "foreknowledge"; i.e. God's sees who would in time choose Him, then chooses us because we chose Him? If so, seems like that would be "of works" rather than by Grace through faith. Or did He, as Scripture teaches, "choose us-

    Ephesians 1:11 (ESV) In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of HIS WILL...

    I enjoy the dialogue, thanks for stopping by!