History of Free Will

Published Date: 
May 22, 2006

John M. Frame, in "The Doctrine of God" (p.138), calls the doctrine of human freewill by the name libertarianism (a doctrine he rejects). Then, he admits that "it has a long history in Christian theology. Most of the church fathers more or less held this position until Augustine, during the Pelagian controversy, called it into question." He adds in a note, "Those Calvinists who place great weight on antiquity and tradition will have to concede, that the oldest extracanonical traditions do not favor their position." That is, early believers did not believe in the predeterminism that was established as a primary part of the theology of Augustine, the man who also declared the necessity of infant baptism and the obtaining of salvation only through the church (meaning the Roman Catholic Church). Free will is not the blank check that some presently hold it to be, but neither is it the fatalism that is the logical conclusion of Calvinism.

David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 25:23

The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.