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Journal of Reformed Theology


The present essay addresses Paul Helm's most recent attempt to assimilate the thought of such Reformed scholastics as Francis Turretin to the 'compatibilism' of Jonathan Edwards. Helm has misunderstood a series of important scholastic distinctions concerning the relationship of intellect and will in the older faculty psychology, and the relationship of foundational or, as I identified it, 'root' indifference in the will to its multiple potencies. He has, accordingly, failed to register how Reformed orthodox understandings of free choice outlined in recent scholarship affirm both a simultaneity or synchronicity of potencies or capacities of the will and a diachronicity of actual effects and events. The Reformed orthodox writers certainly thought that human freedom was not incompatible with the divine determination of all things-their resolution of the issue does not, however, coincide with modern compatibilism.

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