Tag: free will

Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? On the failure of a popular apologetic response

Posted on 06/10/14 34 Comments

It is a well known problem. The book of Exodus describes God hardening Pharaoh’s heart on several occasions. For example, “But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses.” (Exodus 9:12) The problem is obvious: if God is perfectly good, why […]

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Why were we created here and not just directly into heaven?

Posted on 05/30/13 35 Comments

This is the question as posed by Counter Apologist. The question is basically this: if we will get to the point where we don’t sin any more as a precondition for entering heaven, then why didn’t God just create us at the point in our history where we would not sin and get heaven started thereby […]

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Can free will solve the problem of hell?

Posted on 04/07/13 13 Comments

I’d like to come back to my critique of Blanchette and Walls’ essay on hell in God and Evil. Let’s begin with a little indulgent self-quotation to set the stage: First Blanchette and Walls note that God could override human freedom that opts for hell, but he chooses not to because “Without genuine moral freedom, this […]

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Are we determined by our circumstance?

Posted on 12/21/12 22 Comments

The other day I was on the phone with my brother when we got into a “Say, I wonder what ever happened to…?” conversation. The name that popped up was Darren S., a neighborhood kid from my youth of thirty years ago with whom we’d spent countless hours playing manhunt in the orchards, having sleepovers, and […]

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Does God hate those he does not save?

Posted on 12/20/11 41 Comments

This article was originally published at The Christian Post in January, 2010. *** Many Christians assume that God loves all people. This is hardly surprising since scripture declares that God loves all creation (John 3:16-17) and desires to see all people saved (1 Tim.2:4; 2 Pe.3:9). Indeed, the notion that God is loving to all, […]

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Hell we go again

Posted on 07/29/11 40 Comments

Linda responds to my Calvinist critique as follows: “No matter how you slice it, the Bible is clear that many will go to Hell.  Is not the real problem is [sic] that many go to Hell, yet God could of made it where all go to Heaven?” Not according to the traditional Arminian free will response. On […]

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A Reformed voice brings clarity to free will, providence and election

Posted on 07/25/11 17 Comments

There is no shortage of confusion among the recent wave of “new Calvinists” on the Reformed understanding of free will, providence and election. This became very clear to me a couple years ago when my book Finding God in the Shack was critiqued by popular Reformed blogger Tim Challies for providing a correct outline of the […]

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Can we freely dispense with free will?

Posted on 06/20/11 72 Comments

Last week I made the claim that “Naturalism is inconsistent with free will.” The most surprising response came from The Atheist Missionary who replied: “Absolutely. I no more had the free choice to type this sentence than I did to take my next unconscious breath.” It would seem then that The Atheist Missionary is a […]

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Does God ‘rape the will’ to save people from hell?

Posted on 06/06/11 6 Comments

“Irresistible force used by God on his free creatures would be a violation of both the charity of God and the dignity of humans. God is love. True love never forces itself on anyone. Forced love is rape, and God is not a divine rapist!” (Norman Geisler, “God knows all Things,” Predestination and Free Will, […]

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Free will, hell, and reasonable appeals to emotion

Posted on 06/06/11 51 Comments

Many good conversations were had over my four days at Notre Dame University. One of the more interesting conversations occurred with one particular philosopher and concerned the topic of hell. (The philosopher will remain nameless since it is awkward to begin contacting people and asking for their permission to use their name in a blog post based […]

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