indetermination, never acts without motive, or contrary to all motives; there is always a reason why he acts, and herein is his rationality.
Now, so far as man acts according to previously dominant motive ? see
(b) above ? we may by knowing his motive predict his action, and our certainty what that action will be in no way affects his freedom. We may even bring motives to bear upon others, the influence of which we foresee, yet those who act upon them may act in perfect freedom. But if man, influenced by man, may still be free, then man, influenced by divinely foreseen motives, may still be free, and the divine decrees, which simply render certain man?s actions, may also be perfectly consistent with man?s freedom.
We must not assume that decreed ends can be secured only by compulsion. Eternal purposes do not necessitate efficient causation on the part of the purposer. Freedom may be the very means of fulfilling the purpose. E. G. Robinson, Christian Theology, 74 ? ?Absolute certainty of events, which is all that omniscience determines respecting them, is not identical with their necessitation.? John Milton, Christian Doctrine: ?Future events which God has foreseen will happen certainly, but not of necessity. They will happen certainly, because the divine prescience will not be deceived; but they will not happen necessarily, because prescience can have no influence on the object foreknown, inasmuch as it is only an intransitive action.?
There is, however, a smaller class of human actions by which character is changed, rather than expressed, and in which the man acts according to a motive different from that which has previously been dominant ? see (a) above. These actions also are foreknown by God although man cannot predict them. Man?s freedom in them would be inconsistent with God?s decrees, if the previous certainty of their occurrence were not certainty but necessity; or, in other words, if God?s decrees were in all cases decrees efficiently to produce the acts of his creatures. But this is not the case. God?s decrees may be executed by man?s free causation, as easily as by God?s. God?s decreeing this free causation, in decreeing to create a universe of which he foresees that this causation will be a part, in no way interferes with the freedom of such causation, but rather secures and establishes it. Both consciousness and conscience witness that God?s decrees are not executed by laying compulsion upon the free wills of men.
The farmer, who after hearing a sermon on God?s decrees, took the breakneck road instead of the safe one to his home, broke his wagon in
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