If by “free will” one means indeterminacy and the capacity to be swung either way, the answer is “No”. Predetermination is not consistent with free will if one thinks that the acts of free agents must be uncertain and indeterminate by definition. If free acts are uncertain, they cannot be foreseen as certain under any conditions. If it is true that men have absolute free will and actions are totally uncertain until they take place, then not even God can know about them.

If He knows something is to take place, then these actions are certain under various conditions. Jesus referred to some individuals as good ground, prepared by God, because they will be influenced by the Holy Spirit, irresistible grace will operate, and they will respond to truth. Some say this is coercion, but it is simply the influence of God’s grace that spontaneously carries someone’s will along with it to Jesus Christ.

From the human point of view, the individual who receives such grace freely responds as a free agent. This said, there is a difference between free will and the free agency of men. The question as to whether human responsibility and free will are in keeping with the sovereignty of God is already discussed above.


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