Where Has Tim Stratton and His Free-Thinking Argument Been Refuted

Published October 19, 2020 116 Views

Rumble I ask Eli Ayala of Reformed Apologetics where Tim Stratton's free-thinking argument has been refuted.

I was hoping for a specific line of argumentation that addressed each premise and the conclusion ~ something you don't find in the videos that Eli recommends. From Tim's website:

Self-Control: The Epitome of Libertarian Freedom
Tim Stratton (The FreeThinking Theist)

May 13, 2020

Does God cause and determine all things all the time? Do humans possess libertarian freedom? Christians have been debating these questions for centuries. What does the Bible teach? Before answering that question, another question must be answered: What is meant by libertarian freedom?

Self Control

A person possesses libertarian freedom if they are ever free to think or act apart from the causal deterministic forces of something or someone else. That is to say, if one is ever in control of the self (the thing one refers to as “I”), then one is free in a libertarian sense. The Bible contains many passages calling Christians to exercise self-control and self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7; Prov. 16:32; 2 Pet 1:5-7; Gal 5:22-23).

If self-control is the epitome of libertarian freedom, then the Bible clearly implies that humanity possesses libertarian freedom. If the “self” is in control, as opposed to something or someone else, then one is free in a libertarian sense.

Self-Examination

On a related note, the Bible also commands us to practice “self-examination” (1 Cor. 11:28-32; 2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 6:3-5; 1 John 4:1).

These passages show the absurdity of exhaustive divine determinism (EDD) which is commonly affirmed by Calvinists. For if God causally determines all things all the time (either directly or indirectly), then a human stands in no epistemic position to test or evaluate anything — including the ability to test if a spirit is from God or not. This is the case because God would ultimately cause and determine all of the human’s evaluations of such things.

Those who supposedly “tested” the spirits and evaluated them as “from God” and those who supposedly “tested” the spirits and evaluated them as “not from God” were all ultimately caused and determined to come to their conclusions by God if EDD is true. We would stand in no position to know who God has caused to evaluate correctly and who God has deceived. This is a good reason to evaluate EDD as false and reject this Calvinistic view.

With evaluations in mind, also consider the absurdity of “examinations” apart from libertarian freedom. The Berean Jews were praised as “noble” for exercising their God-given libertarian freedom to read and interpret Scriptures (Acts 17:110).
Similar commands are echoed throughout Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

Conclusion

These verses only make sense if humans are free to evaluate their own actions and thoughts. If the “self” is truly the one doing the testing, the examining, the evaluating, and the controlling (as the Bible commands) — as opposed to something or someone else — then one is free in a libertarian sense.

Stay reasonable (Isaiah 1:18),

Tim Stratton

Original Video Source: https://youtu.be/qOj_JacO0F8