Compatibilism (also known as soft determinism), is the belief that God’s predetermination and meticulous providence is “compatible” with voluntary choice. In light of Scripture, human choices are believed to be exercised voluntarily but the desires and circumstances that bring about these choices about occur through divine determinism (see & 4:27-28). It should be noted that this position is no less deterministic than hard determinism – be clear that neither soft nor hard determinism believes man has a free will. Our choices are only our choices because they are voluntary, not coerced. We do not make choices contrary to our desires or natures. Compatibilism is directly contrary to libertarian free will. Therefore voluntary choice is not the freedom to choose otherwise, that is, without any influence, prior prejudice, inclination, or disposition. Voluntary does mean, however, the ability to choose what we want or desire most. The former view is known as contrary choice, the latter free agency. (Note: compatibilism denies that the will is free to choose otherwise, that is, not free from the bondage to the corruption nature, for the unregenerate, and denies that the will is free from God’s eternal decree.)
God controls man’s free decisions.
1. Choices are either caused or uncaused.
2. If a choice is uncaused, then it springs from nothing and is, therefore, morally irrelevant.
3. Choices are morally relevant.
4. Therefore, choices are caused (and therefore necessary).
5. The causes of choices are either chosen or not chosen.
6. If the causes of choices are chosen, then an infinite regress of choices and causes must precede any choice.
7. An infinite regress of causes and choices is impossible, therefore, the causes of choices are not chosen.
8. From 4 and 7 –> Choices are causally necessitated by something not chosen.
9. LFW contradicts 8, therefore, LFW is false.
23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (ESV)