Standpunkt: Menschliche Verantwortung und Freiheit

John Frame. The Doctrine of God. P & R: Philippsburg, 2002. S. 47-79.


Das Spannungsfeld von menschlicher Freiheit und Verantwortung haben Theologen und Philosophen Anlass zu intensiven Debatten gegeben. John Frame, der – wie auch ich – die reformierte Position vertritt, definiert wie folgt:

  • The term responsibility is not often found in English translations of the Bible, so if we are to use the term, we need to link it to some biblical concepts and teachings. Let us distinguish first between two concepts of responsibility: (l) accountability to a higher authority and (2) liability for the consequences of our actions.
  • Moral freedom: the freedom to do good.
  • Compatihilist freedom: the freedom to do what you want to do.
  • Libertarianist freedom: (T)he will is free from any necessary causation. In other words, it is autonomous from outside.

18 Argumente gegen den Libertarismus

Im 4. Kapitel „God’s Control, It’s Efficacy and Universality” führt John Frame Hunderte von Schriftbelegen an, auf die er im 8. Kapitel „Human Responsibility and Freedom“ Bezug nimmt und 18 Einwände gegen die „Libertanianist freedom“ formuliert:

  1. The biblical data … about God's sovereign control over human decisions, even human sins, are incompatible with libertarianism.
  2. Scripture makes clear that our choices are governed by God's eternal plan, even though we are fully responsible for them.
  3. Scripture does not explicitly teach the existence of libertarian freedom. There is no passage that can be construed to mean that the human will is independent of God's plan and of the rest of the human personality.
  4. Scripture never grounds human responsibility (in the sense of accountability) in libertarian freedom, or, for that matter, in any other kind of freedom. We are responsible because God has made us, owns us, and has a right to evaluate our conduct.
  5. Scripture never suggests that God honors causeless choice in any way or even recognizes its existence.
  6. Scripture teaches that in heaven, the consummate state of human existence, we will not be free to sin.
  7. Scripture never judges anyone's conduct by reference to his libertarian freedom.
  8. Scripture condemns some people for acts that clearly were not free in a libertarian sense.
  9. In civil courts, libertarian freedom is never assumed to be its condition of moral responsibility. … civil courts normally assume the opposite of libertarianism, namely, that the conduct of criminals arises from motives.
  10. God in Scripture often brings about the free actions, and even the sinful actions, of human beings, without in the least diminishing their responsibility.
  11. We are not independent of God, for he controls free human actions. Nor can we choose to act independently of our own character and desire.
  12. Scripture teaches that human hearts, and therefore our decisions, are wicked because of the Fall, but that the work of Christ and the regenerating power of the Spirit cleanse the heart so that our actions can be good.
  13. If libertarian freedom were necessary for moral responsibility, then God would not be morally responsible for his actions, since he does not have the freedom to act against his holy character.
  14. Libertarianism is essentially a highly abstract generalization of the principle that inability limits responsibility.
  15. Libertarianism is inconsistent, not only with God's foreordination of all things, but also with his knowledge of future events.
  16. Libertarians tend to make their view of free will a nonnegotiable, central truth, with which all other theological statements must be made consistent. Libertarian freedom thus takes on a kind of paradigmatic or presuppositional status.
  17. Philosophical defenses of libertarianism often appeal to intuition as the basis for believing in free will.
  18. If libertarianism is true, then God has somehow limited his sovereignty so that he does not bring all things to pass.

Was uns nicht gefällt

Wir Menschen neigen zur Autonomie.

  • Scripture is therefore not nearly as concerned as we are to promote our self-esteem. We would like to believe that the meaning and significance of our lives depend on what we do for ourselves, without any outside influences or constraints.
  • God does take human nature into account when he formulates his eternal plan for us. But that is only one perspective! The other perspective is that God's knowledge of our nature is itself dependent upon his plan.
  • God's sovereign plan includes a covenant commitment to every creature, to fulfill the role of that creature.


Human beings are free, not in the sense of being undetermined or free of divine control, but in the sense that they are (1) accountable to God, (2) able to act according to their nature and desires, and (3) able to act according to the integrity of their nature as beings distinct from God. Like God, they are able to choose among possible courses of action. Even evil and sin are under God's sovereignty. He controls evil in such a way as to bring from it its greater good, although that greater good is often mysterious to us in the present.