Is God really sovereign if we make free choices?

I received a question from someone suggesting that God isn’t really sovereign if we have free will.  If God creates us, then doesn’t that mean he created our deeds?  He also suggested that if God is sovereign then that means he has created our wrong deeds and we can’t ever be doing something “good” by performing right deeds since we were programmed to do so.

My response is below:

I’m not sure that I would phrase the situation in the way that you have in your e-mail.  You asked if God is the “creator of man’s deeds.”  This seems to suggest that you think of one’s deeds as a sort of object that God might create, like a chair or a house.  I’m not sure we should think of deeds as being created but rather it seems that deeds are performed.  If we want to ask who is performing the deed, then it seems obvious that men perform deeds.

Some might argue that such thinking is opposed to God’s sovereignty, but this seems inappropriate.  Shouldn’t a sovereign God have the right to allow for free will?  Certainly an omnipotent God could override everyone’s free will all the time, but wouldn’t an omnipotent God also be able to refrain from doing so?

I’m not sure about a book addressing the subject, but if you look for Dr. Craig’s “Defenders Podcast” you will find an extensive series of podcasts dealing with the Doctrine of Man that you may find helpful.

Matt Bilyeu

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