Monday, March 10, 2008

Free Will and Predestination

Last night I had the opportunity to discuss predestination and free will with David Hohne of Moore College on John Cleary's (at left) Sunday Night programme on 774 ABC Radio. You can download a podcast or listen online by clicking here. I love any opportunity to talk theology in the public square. We had what I thought was a very interesting discussion though I felt that David was hesitant to be drawn into a discussion of the substantial differences between Calvinists and others. Of course, we Wesleyans have to believe in free will - we have no choice; we're Arminians!


Sing Chee said...

I tuned in halfway - was a pretty interesting discussion I reckon. It did seem a bit rushed though - it would have been interesting to see where some conversations would have led (eg: the atheist commenting on the "first cause" argument). Great job glen!

Rhett said...

I listned to it; it was very interesting. I'm sure Mr Hohne is a lovely guy but he came across as quite unsure of how Calvinism actually worked. I'd think the neutral listener would have been much more convinced by your take on it all Mr O'Brien!

Glen O'Brien said...

Thanks Rhett. Good to hear from you. Yes, I really wish he had been more willing to come out and play.

Sing Chee said...

Heya glen - just wondering on your comment on the term "determine" being implicative of an initial acting agent, and one of the caller's replies that the first cause argument just leads to an infinite regression. Whats your take on it - do you think that the "first mover" argument still has a place today, after being around for so long? And how would you have replied to that caller (if you had the chance)?

Ross McPhee said...

Interesting discussion. I'll have to read the transcript.

K E Alexander said...

I'll have to listen! Wow!! A radio celebrity!

I guess Hohne was predestined not to do much debating. After all, what's there to debate? It's all there and it doesn't matter what you think about it or even what you might exegete in Scripture.

I know I was predestined to be an Arminian.

Wish you could have been at the SPS/WTS joint meeting last week-end.

James Garth said...

I finally downloaded this podcast last night and had a listen...

To be rather frank, I think you absolutely wiped the floor with David! I suspect the casual listener would have come away with a very, very positive picture of the Arminian perspective.

I found John Cleary somewhat frustrating; he talked and interrupted too much in my opinion.

This whole area fascinates me - I grew up not knowing anything at all about the debate and I guess I accepted 'free will' theology as a natural default. It was only when I encountered Christians from the Reformed tradition at Christian Uni that I learned about TULIP and other such beliefs.

I once had a rip-snorter of an argument with some quite intelligent Calvinists on this topic. Unlike David, they were not at all reticent in coming to the conclusion that, simply, 'God does not love all people'. They seemed alarmingly content with this, but I found it abhorrent, and unscriptural, and still do!

K E Alexander said...

Well, Glen, I was posting something on my HT blog, "when what to my wondering eyes should appear" but a notification of 6 comments which needed to be moderated! Had no idea! Sorry that I didn't get your comments earlier. I've never been to Australia, I guess Lee Grady has. Just trying to bring in some other than US perspectives...And thanks for the congrats on the 2nd Vice Presidency. It's a lot of extra work, a fairly high degree of honor and no extra pay! By the way...when is the Crucible issue to be published?

Anonymous said...

I think both theological views, although incompatible, has merits. One can't simplyfy too much. I think it would be good, as a start of the debate, to marker the "battle field" with a secular analysis of predestination vs free will. There are other good sources of reading, but one can start here:
It's a challenge, but persevere.
My background is Reformed, although in those years I haven't put much thoughts about this issue. But I am now a member of the Methodist Church. And one can't deny that there is Whitefield next to Wesley and both at the end agree to disagree. We must not become arrogant to judge "the other side", I think once one start reading, both views are at the end a matter of "taste".
Myself? I am inclined to err on the save side, ie giving full honour to our Lord. But it doesn't mean that I judge my Armenian friends. Who am I to do that? It is however true, that many Armenians are very combative about their views.

A Pastor one time siad it: At the end, let God be God.

In Christ,


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