My recent post [Struggling with Regrets] has caused quite a stir. Many have chimed in to attack the notion that man can have the God given power of self-determination. I am, quite honestly, surprised by the amount of interest this subject has generated. I am also surprised by the lack of answers to the questions posed in my post. Not a single advocate of determinism has yet to answer the question: How do you make sense of regrets in a deterministic world view? To be fair, one person made an attempt, but did not bother to defend his position when challenged.
It is one thing to attack libertarian freewill. It is quite another to defend determinism. JC and I have been defending our position against several attacks. I would now like to issue a bit of a challenge for those who are so convinced that libertarian free will is a myth, and that determinism is the Biblical doctrine. Until you answer the following questions, I would ask that you refrain from attacking the contrary position. To the determinist I ask:
1) How do you make sense of regrets if you do not have the power of contrary choice? Why does your conscience bother you when you sin, if you could not have avoided that sin?
2) If God causes all things, then how can you claim that God does not cause sin?
3) Where did the first impulse to sin come from in both Satan and Adam?
Note: Appeals to mystery are inadmissible. Appeals to “second” causes, etc. must be explained in such a way that they actually get God off the hook for causing sin. It does not help to say that we choose according to our desires, and therefore God is not responsible. If God causes all things, then He also causes our desires. If God is the only true actor in the universe, then all creatures are but passive instruments. If we are but passive creatures with no power of self-determination, then all our actions must be directly attributed to God.
Anyone commenting on Struggling With Regrets will be asked to address these questions before expecting any answers from either JC or myself.
Since it has become clear that this is such a sensitive issue, I will do a series on the difficulties of the determinist position. I will not be able to tackle this issue, however, until I complete my series on perseverance, which has been difficult due to the interaction generated by recent posts. In the meantime I direct any readers to Classical Arminianism where Billy is doing a series on how Arminius viewed free will.