We have seen there is biblical support for both predestination and free will. So which is it? And how can we know? At this point in the conversation, I’ve seen four different responses offered as the best way forward. I don’t think any of them are right. After outlining these four paths, I’ll offer a fifth way that I think is more helpful in resolving this conflict.
Tag: History of Christianity
In trying to answer the question “Is our salvation the result of predestination or free will?” we have discovered that this is actually the wrong question to ask. It is not nuanced enough. This superficial question leads to confusion, disagreements, and conundrums. In Post #4, I clarified the question we should be asking. This week I’ll begin offering a helpful way to approach answering it.
The question of predestination or free will is one we all struggle with (sometimes without even realizing it!). Some passages of Scripture seem to indicate God predestines us to be His. Other passages give the impression that our salvation ultimately comes down to our free choice to accept Jesus’ offer of new life. Which is it? Or is it somehow both?
Over the past few months I’ve outlined a robust argument showing the Bible is inerrant, due to it being written by those commissioned by God to communicate His Word (prophets for the Old Testament and apostles for the New Testament). However, some alleged writings of apostles didn’t “make the cut” and are not included in the New Testament (such as the Gospel of Thomas). Some cry “foul” and accuse the early church of picking and choosing what they wanted to include in the Bible. Is this true? How did the early church come to conclude which books should be included in the New Testament?
We now have good reason to believe all the New Testament books written by Jesus’ twelve disciples and Paul are God’s inspired, inerrant Word. However, two other books were penned by authors who do not have these credentials: James and Jude. Why should we accept their writings as authoritative?
What about Paul? We have good reason to believe Jesus commissioned his twelve disciples to write the New Testament, in the same way God commissioned Old Testament prophets to communicate God’s Word in their time, without error. But Paul was not one of Jesus’ disciples. Yet he wrote over half the New Testament. Are his writings to be included in the inerrant Word of God?
We now come to the fifth and final premise to establish in showing the Bible is without error: Jesus promised the New Testament would be written by God through the apostles and would be without error. A careful reading of the historical record in the gospels makes this clear.
Currently many views of the Bible clamor for our attention. But we now have good reason to believe Jesus is God and therefore is the authoritative source to consult on this issue. What did Jesus think of the Bible? Does he take a stand? If so, what is his position? And why should anyone think he or she is a greater authority than Jesus on this (or any other) question? In this article, I will begin exploring Jesus’ view of the Bible.