I’ve wrestled a lot with God’s sovereignty, especially how it relates to questions of election and purpose and free will. And to be honest, I’ve yet to find an explanation that clearly and substantively deliver’s both God’s sovereign authority and man’s evident free will in one, concise argument.
For a while I found myself arguing for a form of Arminianism as the best way to capture both elements, but as I consider scripture, I find myself listing more toward Calvinism, but I still am unable to adequately capture those elements without excising free will. Evidence points you to some middle road. How, as a man, am I able to adequately accept, much less explain, how God can be sovereign and man be free (whatever that means)?
When this matter blew up at my denomination’s level and I could hear my brothers and sisters demonizing each other over it, it broke my heart, but while the bruh-ha-ha is still just beneath the surface waiting to explode, again. Can I, a lone man put a stop to this? No, but maybe I can reach out and bring an idea that sustains a measure of peace.
The thought process that brought it about was sitting in a philosophy of religion class listening to the discussion between classmates about God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. I was scribbling a thought, and I kept noticing two distinctives: God’s sovereign will and our accountability to it. How could these two seeming disconnected ideas come from the same position. Then it hit me, and I’m completely willing to be off base, but it seemed pretty clear to me at the time, and got my admittedly Calvinist professor thinking too:
God, being a perfect sovereign, delegated to his creation; with that delegation came responsibility; with responsibility comes accountability.
That one sentence seemed to stop the debate in that class, but it will definitely only cause more when one begins to really think about it. Free will fits perfectly because at every step it is required from both parties. It allows for man to be free to choose (whatever that might mean) and for God to be free to elect. Maybe it will need more work, what I’m starting here, but it definitely bears consideration.