How can you believe in Free Will and Predestination?

How can you believe in Free Will and Predestination?

A common objection to Reformed and Calvinist theology is that it is fatalist, doesn’t allow for man to have free will. If God predestines man “before the foundation of the world” to salvation or damnation (e.g. ), then how can man have free will?

A good question. Calvin’s answer is somewhat counter intuitive. Man is not free when they are in sin. They are slaves to sin (, ). Or, as Luther would say, sinful man’s will is in bondage. Calvin says that “without the Spirit man’s will is not free, since it has been laid under by shackling and conquering desires.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2.2.8) Calvin likewise affirms that only the regenerate man is truly free. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit makes man free, as his will is no longer in bondage and slavery to sin.

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even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.