I have started hearing Calvinists use Ezekiel 36:27 now to defend their view because it says, "And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments and do them." The key word: "cause": this is what they view as proof that Calvinism is true. What say you? -- Jason Reichert (Atlanta)
Sure, "cause" could support either position, that there is free will or that there isn't. Many times the Bible speaks of people being influenced to do something. Yet though I may be tempted to sin, that does not mean I have no choice, or that I have a ready defense for my wrongdoing! The final decision is with the individual. Consider two possible senses of "cause":
1. Cause: overpower, make to act despite one's own intentions, override free will.
2. Cause: give one the motive or moral power to do what one intends to do.
For an easy analogy, consider gasoline. Does it cause cars to go? Not by itself. It enables them to run. (Envision spirit as "fuel," at the risk of reducing divinity to a substance.) It "makes cars go," but that is far from the whole story!