Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by Cranmer
All choices made by man are not "free". They are determined by God. Calvin clearly denies that it is the "nature" of man that determines him to good or evil. Rather it is according to God's decree that man acts:
I disagree that man is not "free" to choose according to his nature, which is the established definition of "free agency". It is not "either/or" but BOTH that man is a free agent AND God has decreed everything without exception from eternity. This is what all the Reformed Confessions teach, but more importantly, this is what Scripture teaches, which the Confessions affirm. God decreed the fall of Adam, but both Adam and Eve made their respective choices of disobedience most freely. Of course, the caveat in this example and even more so with Satan, is that there was no prior predisposition to evil as there is with fallen mankind. And anyone who tries to offer an explanation as to how either Satan or the first parents sinned is guilty of sheer unwarranted speculation. Even Jonathan Edwards admitted that there is no answer to be found to that question. Why? Because it is not revealed.

However, what IS revealed is that men are free to choose and do choose that which is most important to them in all situations. But those choices are restricted according to their nature. Any and all sins which I commit have been foreordained by God according to His eternal counsel and good pleasure for His glory. But God's decree in no sense is the ultimate cause of my sinning, else would be guilty of being the Author of Sin, which all but a few individuals throughout history, even the staunchest supralapsarians, have categorically denied. Man is totally responsible for all his choices, AND all man's choices are made freely, AND all man's choices have been foreordained/decreed by God from eternity.

The idea that the cause of the fall is not revealed in Scripture is an outright lie:

Chapter 6: Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and the Punishment thereof

1. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit.1 This their sin, God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory.2

See also: WLC 21 | WSC 13


1 Gen. 3:13; 2 Cor. 11:3.

2 Rom. 11:32.

The cause of the fall is God's decree. The Confession affirms that God purposed the fall.

Chapter 3: Of God's Eternal Decree

1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:1 yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,2 nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.3

See also: WLC 12 | WSC 7


1 Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15,18.

2 James 1:13,17; 1 John 1:5.

3 Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27,28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33.

God ordained the fall and that is inescapable. Logic requires it since God is omnipotent. To say that the fall just happened apart from God's control and we don't know how it happened is simply pure Arminianism.

For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)