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Debate over Compatibilism with Dr. James White with regard to God determining Homosexual desire

Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

Release Date: 02/11/2015

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Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

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Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

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Soteriology 101: Former Calvinistic Professor discusses Doctrines of Salvation

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Dr. James White, host of The Dividing Line, responds to my article confronting my accusation against his inconsistency.

Here is the article from www.soteriology101.com

Calvinists (compatibilists) deny that the Bible teaches that man has a free will. They believe, rather, that God ordains all things that come to pass, including the homosexual’s choices, yet the homosexual is still culpable for his choices.

Compatibilism, held to by most Calvinistic scholars, is a form of determinism and it should be noted that this position is no less deterministic than hard determinism (according to John Hendryx of monergism.com, Phil Johnson, and James White, to name a few).

This simply means that God’s predetermination and meticulous providence is “compatible” with voluntary choice. They do not believe homosexual’s choices are coerced …i.e. the gay man does not choose against what he wants or desires, yet no gay man ever makes choices contrary to God’s sovereign decree. What God determines will always come to pass according to this system, which would include the homosexual’s same sex desire and choice to act upon that desire.

According to compatibilism, a homosexual’s choices are exercised voluntarily but his desires, temptations and circumstances that bring about these sexual choices occur through divine determinism.

So, according to Calvinism (compatibilism) God determined and ordained that every homosexual activity will take place. Yet, homosexuals act voluntarily making the evil choice that brings it to pass, which means the sin is imputed to homosexuals for their wicked activities, and God remains blameless. In both of these cases, according to this view, it could be said that God ordains homosexual sin, sinlessly. No homosexual desire or act occurs apart from His sovereign good pleasure, according to the claims of this system.

Please understand that NEITHER compatibilism nor hard determinism affirms that any homosexual has a free will. Those who believe homosexuals have a free will are not compatibilists, but should, rather, be called “inconsistent.” The homosexual choices are their choices because they are voluntary, not coerced. Homosexuals do not choose sodomy contrary to their desires or natures, nor seperately from God’s meticulous providence.

Furthermore, compatibilism is directly contrary to contra-causal free will. Therefore, a voluntary choice does not mean the homosexual had the ability to choose otherwise. Voluntary does mean, however, the ability of the gay man to choose what he most wants or desires according to his inborn disposition or inclination (which are likewise ordained by God).

According to compatibilism, the homosexual’s will is never free, in any sense, from God’s eternal decree.  When compatibilists use such phrases as “compatibilistic freedom,” they are, more often than not, using it to mean ‘voluntary’ choice, but are not referring to freedom FROM God’s decree or absolute sovereignty.

James White claims to be compatibilistic, yet in this podcast exchange he affirms contra-causal (libertarian) choice.  He states,

“If I have a desire toward arrogance, if I have a desire toward boasting and I act upon those desires then I’m acting upon the desires of my heart and that is what I’m judged for! Since I am made in the image of God I do not have to act upon those things, that is what makes us human beings, over against just animals.” – James White

Thus, he fails to reply to Dr. Steven Gaines argument in consistent manner.  Dr. White affirms compatiblistic choice, as defined above, but then he makes a statement that affirms contra-causal choice (the ability to refrain or not refrain from any given moral action). He must explain his inconsistency here.

To listen to the podcast on this topic CLICK HERE!

(Attention Calvinists: before making accusations of misrepresentation please read the articlethat this report is directly modeled after.)

We do not affirm this view.  We believe mankind is response-able (able to respond) and thus able to refrain from sinful desires in response to God’s gracious truth.