Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Clark Pinnock on Compatibalism

In an interview some time ago, the issue of Calvinist compatibalism came up and J.I. Packer's attempt to explain the mystery Calvinists face with absolute determinism and man's responsibility. Pinnock offered the following observation I thought was charming and right to the point in an accurate manner.

... We think that Packer is just pulling the covers over the incoherence of what he says. [laughter]. On the one hand God determines everything; on the other hand we also act and are responsible. If God controls it all, how can you hold people responsible for what you do? But he says it's compatible. He says it's a mystery. So Packer is trying have a libertarian view of freedom — we're responsible for what we do — without denying that God determines everything.

We're just saying, "You can't." It's just a contradiction. And there's no reason to think it isn't a contradiction for God. How does he know God can work it out? He's just stating it. We think it's a fallacy of his theology. We agree about mystery, but it shouldn't be used to cloak incoherence.

Clark Pinnock interview found here.