Double Talk of Compatibilism

, posted by Martin Glynn

Compatibilism is the desperate attempt of Calvinists to have their cake and eat it too. It is the claim that humans are still responsible for their sins because they wanted to commit them, but that God still predetermined their actions because He shaped the person’s will by molding the internal motives of that person. This way, God has determined sin without being responsible for it, and humans are responsible without possessing any level of causation.

But this doesn’t really work. Let us consider a person. We shall call him Quincy. And let us start with a sin. Let us say that Quincy stole a cookie. Now according to Compatibilism, the sequence of events are as follows:

  1. God had decreed before the foundation of the world that Quincy would steal the cookie.
  2. God shaped Quincy’s life up to that moment to build in him a temptation to steal that cookie in that moment.
  3. In that moment, God planted a particular desire in Quincy to steal that cookie that would overpower his other desires.
  4. Quincy then decides to steal the cookie based on his inner desires.
  5. The cookie is stolen.

Now we may say that God isn’t really absolved from the actions above since He did so much to cause them, but that’s not my point. My point is this, according to Compatibilism, Quincy is 100% responsible for the above action and God is 0% because of the way in which he was motivated to steal.

Now let us consider the moment of salvation.

  1. God had decreed before the foundation of the world that Quincy would come to saving faith of our Lord Jesus.
  2. God shaped Quincy’s life up to that moment to build in him a willingness to commit to the Lord.
  3. In that moment, God planted a particular desire in Quincy to accept Jesus Christ that would overpower his other desires.
  4. Quincy then decides to believe.
  5. Quincy accepts Christ has his Lord and Savior.

The important thing to note here is that according to Compatibilism, God is 100% responsible for the above and that Quincy is 0% responsible.

So what is the difference between the two modes of action? NOTHING!!! The only difference is that one resulted in evil and one resulted in good but the process of causation was EXACTLY the same. Which means that all Compatibilism does is it makes God responsible when Calvinists want Him to be, and makes the human responsible when they want him to be. However, it is completely inconsistent and resolves nothing.

Please post any comments at my site.