Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chosen But Free

I read Norman L. Geisler's Chosen But Free on Sunday and found it to be a great read.  It addresses one of the most debated theological issues in Christianity, commonly known as 'Calvinism vs. Arminianism'.

The real issue behind the title is how God's sovereignty and man's free will work.  At the outset they seem like two incompatible ideas... how can God be in charge and direct humanity towards his intended destination without violating man's ability to freely choose?

When reading Scripture from cover to cover you discover many verses, passages, and examples that speak to God's sovereignty and providence.  Likewise you see many verses, passages, and examples that speak to the freedom of man to choose right and wrong.

When one is forced to choose between emphasizing God's sovereignty or man's free will it results in devastating results (theologically and practically).

Geisler does a great job of summarizing the devastation at both extremes (along with some variances in between) and articulates a way that both can work.  He responds to critics questions of his stance with solid answers.  I agree with Geisler that both can co-exist... while there's a layer of it that is a mystery (i.e. similar to how Jesus was both God and man), there is also a very grounded theological and practical argument for how both can and should co-exist.

It's not easy theology to navigate, so a book like Geisler's is a great place to start (after reading the Bible from cover to cover).

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