A thirteenth shift in thinking that came about during the Enlightenment has surfaced many times in my posts. In fact, a day does not go by that we do not see this new way of thinking bubble up in conversations, news reports, editorials, books, and everywhere else we turn. I am speaking of the way we now assume there is a difference between “facts” and “values” and between “reason” and “faith.” But this has not always been the case.
We all desire to become better people. And so we work toward this goal. This includes choosing the beliefs and desires we will embrace and act upon. These choices in turn form our character. This common experience must fit our view of freedom. Yet, this reality doesn’t fit well with the soft determinist’s understanding of freedom. This is another external conceptual problem for soft determinism, and therefore, for Calvinism, which depends on soft determinism’s definition of freedom being true.
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.
In my last post I identified the common ground existing among all involved in the LGBTQ+ conversation—the desire to see all people live full, rich, and meaningful lives. However, this also surfaced the ultimate point of tension: two views of how to reach this shared goal of human flourishing. Only one of these views can be correct. And we must choose wisely, in order to help everyone experience life to the fullest and foster the common good.
So many holding various views on the LGBTQ+ question seem to believe there is no common ground to rally around. Therefore, the conversation devolves into a shouting match, or worse, a power play. I believe that if cooler heads prevail, we can find common ground and move the conversation forward. By listening well to both sides, the areas of common ground will begin to surface.