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As an example of human behaviour: "and he ate" Genesis 3:6. ESV.

A. Adam acted out of freewill.

B. Adam's action was determined by God positively withholding from Adam the grace to obey Him and refrain from eating. God did this because He wanted to make the point that grace to obey would come through the 2nd Adam, and therefore God withheld it from the 1st Adam. 1st and 2nd Adam are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:45-47.

"And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." John 1:16 ESV

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  • Questions should ask "if any"... ask for the Biblical basis for a teaching, and then if you want you can ask in another question for the Biblical basis against that teaching.
    – curiousdannii
    May 23, 2022 at 12:07
  • @curiousdannii Should I change my question at this stage? i.e. delete "if any" or any other change you suggest?
    – C. Stroud
    May 23, 2022 at 12:39

3 Answers 3

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You have not considered the possibility (and I suggest it is the truth) that God created humanity already aware that the creation (any created creation, the best of all possible created creations) will fail of the Creator who created it.

The liability is in the creature, not in the Creator . . .

And not in the determination of the Creator who is only good, continually and eternally.

God did not create 'programmed' robots : he created humanity in order for them to love him and worship him.

And they failed.

Hence - redemption was determined (in and through the Divine Redeemer) 'from before the foundation of the world', Ephesians 1:4.

(Which is the only 'biblical proof' needed to answer this question.)

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Ephesians 1:4 KJV]

The answer to the liability inherent within the creature (of all kind and every kind) is the Divinity of the Creator : in his grace, his love, his utter goodness in the sending of his only begotten Son into the world, in a new birth and . . . . . in a New Creation, wrought in the manifested Deity.

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  • Agreed. Election is according to foreknowledge and predestination is only of conformity to Christ for those who are born again. +1 May 23, 2022 at 12:19
  • @Nigel You say "God did not create programmed robots". Do you have a verse to back this? To me God determinating all things is the only logical outcome of His having all authority in heaven and earth as Matthew 28:18 says. To me freewill is the freedom to express who we are which is absolutely tied to how we were made/programmed.
    – C. Stroud
    May 23, 2022 at 13:03
  • @C.Stroud To use the word 'programmed' implies inhumanity. Sentient beings are not 'programmed' : they have independent life. God breathed the breath of life into the nostrils of Adam - and he became a living soul. That is not 'programming'.
    – Nigel J
    May 23, 2022 at 22:38
  • @ Nigel J I have added to my answer making mention of "programmed". I understand that most Christians I have met are compatibilists and the hard-determinist perspective is very much a minority view. However if it exists perhaps one should look at it.
    – C. Stroud
    May 25, 2022 at 12:55
  • @Nigel It appears to me that: God knew Adam was going to fail because God determined Adam to fail. This was "very good" because God made Adam to fail that Jesus, and only Jesus, might have the victory through absolute obedience to glory.
    – C. Stroud
    May 25, 2022 at 13:55
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Nobody forced either Adam or Eve to disobey God's clear command.

The Bible is also clear that no temptation befalls people beyond what they can endure, for God gives grace sufficient to endure it. That's in 1 Corinthians 10:13. There is always a way out of temptation, that God enables, which is why Adam didn't have a leg to stand on when he first tried to blame the woman, then God. God never withheld grace from Adam. There is no part of the Bible anywhere that even suggests God was being less than gracious to the couple, right from creating them, to providing protective clothing for them, for facing the chill winds and thorns outside of Eden.

Since the intrusion of sin into God's good creation, we have a whole Bible-full of evidence as to what determines disobedient behaviour in humans. It is our own selfish desires that give rise to lies, violence, evil and warfare. Even Christians have been warned that they are not immune to succumbing to selfish desires, for they were told by the apostle James:

"Let no man say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted of God', for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." (James 1:13-15)

The couple lusted after something beyond the immense gifts God had already graciously gifted them with. Eve began to desire something she had been deceitfully told that God was holding back, that could be obtained simply by disobeying God. When Adam was presented with the opportunity to join his wife in her disobedience, he was not deceived but chose to throw in his lot with her, rather than with God. Nobody forced either of them.

The example given here, in this question, does not deal with God determining their behaviour.

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    Sorry, but I don't see how this answers the question? You don't seem to be arguing for determinism
    – curiousdannii
    May 22, 2022 at 23:55
  • While I agree with the view expressed in this answer, I downvoted as it is directly opposing the premise of the question May 23, 2022 at 4:51
  • @curiousdannii The OP qualified the question by inserting "if any" in the middle of it. Therefore, the Q is not necessarily asking for reasons to support determinism because it is acknowledged that there might not be any. Hence my answer, though I could simply have said, "There is no biblical basis" and left it at that - given the precise wording of the Q.
    – Anne
    May 23, 2022 at 11:31
  • @Isaac Middlemiss The OP qualified the question by inserting "if any" in the middle of it. Therefore, the Q is not necessarily asking for reasons to support determinism because it is acknowledged that there might not be any. Hence my answer, though I could simply have said, "There is no biblical basis" and left it at that - given the precise wording of the Q.
    – Anne
    May 23, 2022 at 11:32
  • @Anne Hmm, the question shouldn't be doing that as it opens it up to answers from both sides.
    – curiousdannii
    May 23, 2022 at 11:58
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A Biblical basis:

1 Peter 4:5

"but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead". ESV

They [of the flood of debauchery 1 Peter 4v4] will give back an account of the lives He first gave them. "Apodo" comes, I think, 47 times in the N.T. and always with the sense of "give back".

In the KJB "Render therefore to Caesar". Biblical rendering is to give back.

Hebrews 1:3

"and he upholds the universe by the word of his power".

Which includes those parts of the universe that are "futile in their thinking". Romans 1:21.

Revelation 21:6

"the Alpha" [the beginning].

However long and convoluted any causal chain is in the end there is only one ultimate beginning. Whether or not we have freewill, and what we do with it if we do have it, go back by cause and effect to some beginning. "he who was seated on the throne said,.....I am the Alpha..".

Luke 22:22

"For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined". "this Jesus...you killed by the hands of lawless men" Acts 2:23

God determined that lawless men would kill Jesus. Lawless men are lawless because they do evil and God determined their actions.

Galatians 5:22

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love...".

Love does not need freewill to start growing; the seed is in the fruit. The Spirit does not wait on the approval or permission of man; the wind blows where it wills. God is preeminent in all things. Colossians 1:18.

John 17:2

"..since you have given him authority over all flesh,.."

I think this means life is programmed. e.g. Birds are created birds and consequently behave as birds. And people born in 1300 A.D. in Paris behave according to those circumstances. God exercises His authority over all flesh through such instruments as time and place. [Acts 17:26 "having determined alloted periods and boundaries of their dwelling place.]

We are given our nature, given our nurture and what grace we have. These all come from outside ourselves. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17. How we are made determines who we are. The interaction of who we are and our God given circumstances is our behaviour.

Judgement, for the hard-determinist, is living with the consequences of how we were made. The sheep go one way and the goats another not because they made themselves but because of what they are.

We choose. We choose on the basis of who we are. We do not choose who we are. By the time we exist it is too late to choose who we are, we are already.

1 Timothy 2:1

"...I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,".

If God is absolutely in charge then can we sit back and do nothing? "Yes", we enter God's day of rest when we cease from our works. But when we stop the Holy Spirit starts. [Hebrews 4:10 "for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his own works as God did from his].

An example of God's work: Christians pray for all people as God determines not only the ends, but the means by involving us.

So Christians are urged to give thanks for all people, [even hard-determinists].

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