Free Will and Predestination

Free Will and Predestination

A theological conundrum is the concept of free will versus predestination. While the Bible teaches that we have the ability to make our own choices (we have free will), it also says that things are predetermined (predestined). Which is it?

It is both, presenting us with a delightful paradox. Though my mind somewhat grasps this as a holistic, unified truth, I am woefully unable to articulate it.

It helps a little to consider that one understanding of “predestined” is to “foreknow.” Another helpful consideration is to realize that God —who created time-space, exists outside of time—likely seeing the past, present, and future as a singular reality.

However, it is the book of Daniel that gives me the most help.

A prophecy is given about evil king Nebuchadnezzar. Because of his prideful arrogance, he will be struck with insanity until he acknowledges God (free will) and for seven years (predestination).

Free will and predestination are not mutually exclusive concepts, but opposite sides of the same coin.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Daniel 4-6, and today’s post is on Daniel 4:25.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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