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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Objections Have Been Made to the Idea of God's Decrees?

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Don Stewart

Whenever the idea of God's decrees is brought up a number of objections occur. They include the following.

They Remove Free Will

It is often argued that God's decrees remove the free will of human beings. However this confuses the decrees with the execution of them. Although the Scripture is clear that God has decreed certain things it is equally clear that human beings have a choice as to whether follow God or reject Him.

It Is The Same As Fatalism

The decrees of God have been seen by some to be a kind of fatalism. If everything has already been decreed then why exert any effort? Yet the decrees of God are not fatalistic. Human beings have the responsibility and privilege of cooperation in the execution of the decrees.

God Becomes The Author Of Sin

If God has decreed everything does this not make Him the author of sin? While it is true that God has permitted sin to exist He certainly is not the one that has authored it. By giving His created beings a choice the possibility of sin existed. The fact that angels and humans chose to sin does not make God the instigator behind their sin. He did all that He could, without violating their freedom, to keep them from sinning. In the end they were the ones who chose to sin.


There have been a number of objections to the doctrine of God's decrees. First, the argument is made that it removes the free will from humans. It also seems fatalistic to people. They assume what will be, will be. There is no chance of changing it. There is also the charge that God is the author of sin.

These objections are without merit. The fact that God has decreed or declared certain things that will happen does not remove the free will from individual. People still make choices. In addition it does not mean that all events are pre-determined in a fatalistic way. Finally the biblical decrees do not God the author of sin. He has allowed for the entrance of sin without becoming its author.

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