Terminology Tuesday: Voluntarism

Voluntarism: A philosophical view that makes a choice of the will to be an essential aspect of the understanding of some phenomena. Thus voluntarism with respect to beliefs is the claim that beliefs are chosen or willed. Theological voluntarism holds that God’s will is in some way superior to or independent of his intellect. For example, a theological voluntarist might say that what is good is good because God wills it, and God’s understanding of goodness is thus dependent on his willing. A weak sense of voluntarism holds that human will is not determined by the intellect; thus a person does not necessarily choose what the understanding sees as the best option.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 121.

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Brian Auten is the founder emeritus of Apologetics315. He is also director of Reasonable Faith Belfast. Brian holds a Masters degree in Christian Apologetics and has interviewed over 150 Christian apologists. His background is in missions, media direction, graphic design, and administration. Brian started Apologetics315 in 2007 to be an apologetics hub to equip Christians to defend the faith.

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