A Layman’s View of the Debate over Free Will between Calvinists and Evangelical Non-Calvinists

, posted by SEA

The following comment (now with a little editing) was left in the comment thread of Braxton Hunter’s reply defending his article in favor of the free will of man against the criticisms of Tom Hicks:

well…to be honest I struggle sometimes to follow these types of essays! Too many terms to define (and then argue over their definitions) for me. I will offer this from the pew, for what it’s worth. As I see it, the Calvinist will forever struggle to explain how saving faith can be both irresistible and voluntary. Those two terms are not “compatible”. They are opposites in their common usage. Calvinists struggle, in vain, for words to describe their concept. The problem is certainly not their weak vocabulary. The problem is the concept itself. There is no clear way to describe their system without exposing the naked fatalism. A good Calvinist says, “Regeneration precedes faith.” What they really mean is “irresistible regeneration precedes irresistible faith”, which is inescapably a kind of “Christian Fatalism” and really hard to prove from Scripture.