Is Calvinism Cosmic Determinism? Part 2


  1. That which regards the actions of men as caused directly by outward circumstances and occasions, under the same great law of necessity which governs the movements of all material agents.

The first is not true because we are simply conscious of our possessing the power to determine our own action. External may effect our decisions however they don’t have to because we are able to make decisions simply according to our desires. We are always aware that we could have chosen otherwise when we act.  

In a cause and effect universe we can observe a uniformity of nature. That is that when we act on matter in the same way it will invariably act the same way. However humanity is not simply material matter in motion. We are not “dancing to our DNA” this is a problem belonging to materialistic atheism and not one appropriately belonging to Christianity and especially not to Reformed theology. That is because it simply is spoken against by Reformed theologians and confessions monolithically.

We can observe that humanity are able to originate actions without having an external force acting upon them. And in each situation each person will not act the same. This is plainly obvious. We are not controlled by our circumstances like a material agent would be. We are personal agents that can control circumstances.

  1. That affected by the Arminians and others, which regards the will in man, or his bare faculty of volition, as possessing, mysterious capacity of self-determination, irrespective of all the judgments of the understanding and the affections of the heart and the entire state of the man’s soul it the time.

This must be false. God holds man responsible for their action and is held responsible also by their own conscience. This also could not be true if it were not freely by man himself. There would be no accountability if humanity were forced or coerced into action. To hold humanity liable it presupposes that there is a power to choose with respect to his judgment and decision.

  1. That which is taught in this section — namely, that the human soul, including all its instincts, ideas, judgments, affections, and tendencies, has the power of self-decision; that is, the soul decides in every case as, upon the whole, it pleases.

This is true. This supposes that humanity possesses an inalienable faculty of choosing as he desires and judges. Hodge rightly says “A man freely chooses what he wants to choose. He would not choose freely if he chose in any other way. But his desire in the premises is determined by his whole intellectual and emotional state at the time.”

Part 1