libertarian free will
A conception of freedom that “proposes that a moral agent is free so long as, for whatever choice he makes, he could have chosen differently; that is, given all the conditions that are true of the situation in which he makes his choice, the agent is free so long as he could have chosen differently within that identical situation in which he makes the choice”;1 “the ability to choose with equal ease between alternatives out of pure contingency and no necessity,”2 which, according to the proponents of libertarian freedom, is necessary for moral responsibility.
- Scripture that disproves libertarian free will:
…for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. (Acts 4:27-28 ESV)
And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. (Exodus 3:18-20 ESV)
- From the London Baptist Confession 1689:
Chapter 3: Of God’s Decree
1._____ God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.
Chapter 9: Of Free Will
3._____ Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
- From Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J. I. Packer, arguing that libertarian free will is not necessary for moral responsibility:
Scripture teaches that, as a King, [God] orders and controls all things, human actions among them, in accordance with His own eternal purpose. Scripture also teaches that, as Judge, He holds every man responsible for the choices he makes and the courses of action he pursues. … God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility are taught us side by side in the same Bible; sometimes, indeed, in the same text. Both are thus guaranteed to us by the same divine authority; both, therefore, are true. It follows that they must be held together, and not played off against each other, Man is a responsible moral agent, though he is also divinely controlled; man is divinely controlled, though he is also a responsible moral agent. God’s sovereignty is a reality, and man’s responsibility is is a reality, too…
To our finite minds, or course, the thing is inexplicable. It sounds like a contradiction, and our first reaction is to complain that it is absurd. Paul notices this complaint in Romans ix. “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why does he (God) yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? (Rom. ix.19).” If, as our Lord, God orders all our action, how can it be reasonable or right for Him to act also as our Judge, and condemn our shortcomings? Observe how Paul replies. He does not attempt to demonstrate the propriety of God’s action; instead, he rebukes the spirit of the question. ‘Nay but, O man, who art though that repliest against God?” … Our part, he would tell us, is to acknowledge these facts, and to adore God’s righteousness, both as King and Judge. … The Creator has told us that He is both a sovereign Lord and a righteous Judge, and that should be enough for us.
- GotQuestions.org: What Is Libertarian Free Will?
- John Byl: Free Will and Responsibility
- Scott Christensen: Comparing Libertarian and Compatibilistic Beliefs on the Human Will (pdf)
- Bob DeWaay: Free Will or the Bondage of the Will: Definitions are Critical
- John Hendryx: Eleven Reasons to Reject Libertarian Free Will
- Ronald W. Di Giacomo: Free Will - Confusion Abounds
1From God’s Lesser Glory by Bruce Ware
2From Free Will - Confusion Abounds by Ronald W. Di Giacomo
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