Simple Mistakes Need Simple Fixes: Free Will v. God’s Sovereignty 

A simple mistake can be fixed sometimes by a simple solution, especially when it comes to ideas.

One axiom in the debate of free will v. sovereignty is that we assume time is always linear. If it is always linear then how can you truly have free will if God already foresaw what you would choose. Thus, many make the conclusion that there is no true “free will” due to God’s Sovereignty. 

It goes like this:

Time is linear.

Two things cannot be both true and not true at the same time and in the same way.

Therefore, anything that is said to be not true and true at the same time is a contradiction.

If time is linear then you cannot have free will and have a sovereign God.

But, if God is outside of time, then there is no contradiction. 

C.S. Lewis talks about this in Mere Christianity (pg. 170-171). He explains that realizing that God is outside of time can solve a number of theological differences. God can see the beginning and the end as “now.” And so “in a sense, He does not know your action till you have done it: but then the moment at which you have done it is already ‘now’ for Him.” 

Not assuming time is always linear at all times and in all ways is the easiest way to solve this dilemma. It’s a simple mistaken assumption, and it can be solved by a simple fix: God is somehow outside of time itself and yet can act within it. It is only by our limited perspective that we see time as linear and constant.

If God is outside of time, then both free will and election can be both true. It just wouldn’t appear that way to those who are confined to time itself. 

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