(Original post from my blog http://ping.fm/ZDqcW if the links & videos are not working)

An interesting article about a new four-year research project underway at Florida State University to determine if free-will exists or not.

Funded by a $4.4 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the project will gather together scientists, philosophers and theologians and try to determine what factors (free will, genetics, environment, God or something else) lead us to do all the things we do.

From a purely theological point of view this raises the issues of Arminianism vs Calvinism
Do humans, through their own freely chosen actions and decisions, determine whether they will go to heaven or hell? Does an omniscient God already know how things will turn out in the end? Does God given humans the free choice to turn away?
While it is perhaps difficult to reconcile concepts such as fate and destiny with free will, it is possible for an omniscient God to coexist with the idea of free will, said Kevin Timpe, an associate professor of philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

There is a difference between knowing what someone is going to do and causing them to do it, said Timpe, author of Free Will: Sourcehood and Its Alternatives. I know what my wife is going to order when I take her to certain restaurants just because I know her very well. But I also think my wife is freely choosing to order.

What if researchers discover free will does not exist? Two studies portend a troubled future, Mele said. One found its subjects cheated more when they believed they were not responsible for their own decisions; another found subjects’ behavior growing more aggressive when their belief in free will was suspended.

Norman Geisler, the author of 70 books including several on free will, said the idea that free will does not exist is incompatible with the Bible and the doctrine of original sin, which refers to the sin inherited from Adam and Eve’s transgressions in the Garden of Eden.

If Adam’s decision was not made freely, then that presumably makes God responsible for evil in the world.

The Bible constantly affirms that man is free, that he can choose his destiny, that he’s morally responsible, said Geisler, whose books include Chosen But Free. To say that we are pre-determined is to blame God for our choices. Secondly if all our actions are pre-determined, then why doesn’t God save everyone? Because if he can save everyone apart from their free will and he if really loves everyone then he would.”

Hmm that however leaves some questions because it means God is not an all powerful, all knowing omnipotent God.
If God is all powerful and all knowing then he knows the past, present and the future ( Christ was able to know his betrayer and know the cock would crow thrice etc etc) so if he knows what happens in the future then it is predetermined / predestined?????

A short clip by Pastor Mark Driscoll of Marshill Church in the USA about Predestination.

Pastor Mark Driscoll tackles the issue of predestination by answering question #7 of Religion Saves, and 9 Other Misconceptions by answering “Why does an all loving, all knowing, and all sovereign God will into creation people He foreknows will suffer eternal condemnation? Why does Romans 9:20 feel like a cop-out answer?”
A much more indepth series by the old time preacher AW Pink can be found on the Sermon Audio website 

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