Free Will and the Prophets

Prophets had to prophesy for God in the OT, correct? This is what they were bron to do, and even if they didn’t want to do it, like Jeremiah and Jonah, they had to do it, right?

But doesn’t that contradict free will, them being forced to prophecy? Especially in the case of Jonah, God MADE the Prophets prophecy. How do we reconcile this with the knowledge of free will that we have?

The story of Jonah does not contradict the idea of free-will. It is very clear that Jonah’s will was that he did not want to go to Nineveh.

It is clear that he took proactive decisions to not go to Nineveh.

The rest of the story tells the negotiations between God and Jonah to get him to Nineveh. Simply because the outcome is that God’s will rather than Jonah’s was accomplished, doesn’t mean that Jonah was a mindless robot.

A parent can make a child do his will against the will of the child. This does not mean that the child has no free will. Free will is not the ability to do what you want, but the ability to take action to attempt to do what you want. It is the ability to resist instinctive responses.

Ultimately Jonah chose to go to Nineveh. It was a conscious act at that point.

Christ wrestled with his own flesh which instinctively desired to preserve itself, against his purpose to face the cross. In the flesh he did not wish to die, He made a conscious choice to die on the cross. This is the meaning of the bruised heel of the seed of the woman and Jacob’s withered thigh.

We were predestined to have a choice. :wink:

Everything rcjones said, plus I’d like to add that Mary had a choice, as I recall. I suspect God knew the answer in advance, but that does not remove her free will.

Of course, if there is foreknowledge, is there truly free will? Hmmm


That is a nonsensical question. Someone must not be awake in Witchita :wink:

If there is foreknowledge of a CHOICE, then by definition it was a choice.

Zzzzzzzzzttt!! huh, whut?


Think of free will as a a random number generator. In a computer, you cannot program it to generate random numbers. The program itself makes the number sequence deterministic. To get a truly random number, you must seed the algorithm with a random seed number.

You can program the limits of the random numbers. So you cam make it such that the algorithm produces only numbers between 4 and 17.

We are predestined (programmed) such that God knows the limits of our choices. We are free to choose between 4 and 17. We do not have the capacity to choose outside of that range. Our free-will seed number fed into the genetic algorithm produces the choice. And God has all the contingencies covered.

God willed to give us the range of choices and permits us the free choice.

The wise parent says, “Do you wish to go to bed now with a hug, or after your swat.” The choice to not go to bed is not within the range of choices permitted the child.

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