"all things are in His hand" John 3v35 yet the churches I have met seem to agree that human behaviour is not in His hand. So is there a part of the church which applies this without compromise?
As I am a Christian and a divine/hard determinist I reject man as the first cause of man's behaviour. For me there is only One first cause, see Romans 11v36 "of Him.. all things" and Rev 21v6 one "Alpha.. Beginning". The focus of this question is not to justify such thinking, but to inquire if there is an organised group [denomination] with similar thinking in this diverse world.

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    Scriptures like this must be taken in context (what "things" were the previous verses discussing?), because if you take its meaning to the complete absolute sense of the word you will arrive at nonsensical paradoxes like whether "God has the ability to create an immovable object." That aside, all the Christians I know of DO agree that God understands human behavior (even better than humans do).
    – user32540
    Jun 21, 2018 at 15:05
  • Considering there is a question about the biblical basis for free will, it may be interesting for you to ask a question about the biblical basis of hard-determinism.
    – JBH
    Jun 24, 2018 at 17:17
  • What do you mean by hard determinism? I consider hard determinism a philosophical position claiming that each event is determined by antecedent conditions and events. Now Calvin seemed to hold this view, and some followed him in this vein, but since it is a philosophical rather than a theological view it only has an indirect effect on the Calvinists, and I don't think Calvin understood his philosophical positions to be 'canonical' or needing to be espoused.
    – zippy2006
    Aug 1, 2018 at 2:45
  • Theological Fatalism is a different animal, and is explicitly espoused by some denominations. A basic difference between hard determinism and theological fatalism is that the former is caused by a belief about the natural world, while the latter is caused by a belief about God. The former is based on antecedent conditions in the world, while the latter is based on God's foreknowledge or causality. Although the two are often conflated, the differences are significant in my opinion.
    – zippy2006
    Aug 1, 2018 at 2:46
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    @zippy2006 By" hard determinism" I mean that which is determined in Luke 22v22 and Acts 17v26 is fully in God's control.
    – C. Stroud
    Aug 2, 2018 at 16:19

3 Answers 3


The closest answer I can think of to your question would be Reformed theology. (Calvinism being the one everyone knows). Teaching the Sovereignty of God in a serious manner. Where he is completely sovereign over all things especially with an eye towards saving sinners (by his will alone).

Here is a link to a teaching by R.C. Sproul, a well known Reformed teacher, on the topic of God's sovereignty Sproul link

But elsewise, I think you should really re-examine your interpretation of this particular scripture.

John 3:35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.

I think the idea of "giving all things into his hand" is much more along the lines of God placing Christ above all things, and giving "everything" to him. as the King of King's and Lord of Lords.

Ephesians 1:20-22 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,

  • The cross determined Luke 22v22. Human times and places determined Acts17. The church determined before creation John 17. I think everything is sustained and controlled by God. But the church is so mixed up with freewill.
    – C. Stroud
    Jun 23, 2018 at 21:43

John 3:35 says that God has placed everything in the hands of his Son. After his resurrection and before Jesus ascended into heaven to return to his Father, Jesus said that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to him (Matthew 28:18). If these verses prove that human behaviour is also in the hands of Jesus, or that he controls human behaviour, then we must all be robots, incapable of exercising any form of free will. Those verses do not support “hard determinism.”

“Hard determinism (or metaphysical determinism) is a view on free will which holds that determinism is true, and that it is incompatible with free will, and, therefore, that free will does not exist.” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_determinism

After spending a considerable amount of time looking for any denomination that supports “hard determinism” I drew a blank. However, I am aware that a few Protestants support a form of hyper-Calvinism:

“Hyper-Calvinism is the belief that God saves the elect through His sovereign will with little or no use of the methods of bringing about salvation (such as evangelism, preaching, and prayer for the lost). To an unbiblical fault, the hyper-Calvinist over-emphasizes God's sovereignty and under-emphasizes man's responsibility in the work of salvation... The gospel of the hyper-Calvinist is a declaration of God's salvation of the elect and His damnation of the lost... Hyper-Calvinism takes a biblical doctrine, God’s sovereignty, and pushes it to an unbiblical extreme. In doing so, the hyper-Calvinist downplays the love of God and the necessity of evangelism.” Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/hyper-calvinism.html

Please be aware that hyper-Calvinists are not a denomination, and that very few Christians take this radical position with regard to election and free will.

  • You say, Lesley, that these verses do not support hard determinism because then we would be incapable of free will. I believe the verses you mention do support hard determinism and that we are robots. We give back an account of the lives He gives us. And that judgement is having to live with the consequences of how He made, sustains and controls His creation.
    – C. Stroud
    Jun 22, 2018 at 16:45
  • @C. Stroud - It is my personal view that John 3:35 does not support the description of "hard determinism" as described in various documents I looked at. I am not going to dispute your view. However, at the risk of going off-topic, I agree with you that every person has to give an account for their actions. We shall be judged on the basis of acceptance or rejection of what God, in Jesus, did to atone for our sins. But Christians believe we only get ONE life in human form, according to Hebrews 9:27. However, that is another subject...
    – Lesley
    Jun 22, 2018 at 17:11
  • Lesley, I should have put We give back apodo an account of the life He gives us. He gives us a life and we give back an account of what that was. We openly confess what we were first given.
    – C. Stroud
    Jun 22, 2018 at 17:21
  • @C. Stroud - Appreciate the clarification.
    – Lesley
    Jun 23, 2018 at 7:19

I am aware of exactly one church in my town which strictly follows determinism, I do not know its denomination, but it is a Chinese church. My wife attended when she first came to the country because she wasn't very good at English, and this was the only Christian church she could understand.

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