Hi PC....Not surprising. The English Calvinists brutally suppressed any Christian group that did not comply with their theology. In some ways they were as bad as the RCC in its persecution of dissenters, especially during Oliver Cromwell's time. It all has to do with power and control.
The OP's question was if freewill is Biblical or an invention of man?
I explored the different ways that freewill is considered.
Pelagian - total freewill and personal responsibility.
Arminian - (semi-Pelagian) A mixture of God's sovereignty and personal freewill
Calvinist - God's total sovereignty and no initial freewill.
All three can provide "proof texts" to support their positions. So determining which position is "Biblical" depends on which Scriptures are included and which are ignored. To say that freewill is an invention of man is too much of a generalized statement, and no one would be able to settle on a definitive position on that.
It is of no use accusing anyone's position of lying, because all three, as I have said, can produce Scriptures to show they are being consistent with the Bible.
What is shows me is that the balance between God's sovereignty and man's free will is a mystery. It comes under the "chicken and egg" question - which came first? Man's free will, or God's sovereign action? I think people will argue it until the end of time.
Makes good fodder for these forums though!
It makes good fodder....right.
BUT,,,,when we have an issue such as free will,,,wouldn't you say that it's a good idea to go back to the Early Church Father's and read what They believed? The Early theologians believed in free will and the responsibility of man in his salvation - with the help of the Holy Spirit. Pelagianism was a heretical belief. And by early fathers, I mean before 325 AD, the Council of Nicea.
Wouldn't you agree that there was no issue with free will until the 1500's and this due to some beliefs of Augustine from about 400 AD?
Also, Augustine absolutely did not believe in double predestination --- HOW, I cannot fathom.
But he did state that God will choose who is to be saved, but those lost are lost because of their own choosing.
(or words to that effect).
The following is from Brandon Peterson:
how is the barrier of sin broken and the gap bridged; who is active in traversing it? One of the formative teachers in the Christian tradition made it his life’s ambition to answer these questions, along with innumerable others. Saint Augustine, the great philosopher, theologian, and bishop of Hippo, is remembered as an authority concerning these two issues. Relatively early in his life, he approached the problem of evil from a Neo-Platonist perspective, famously asserting that evil is truly a lack of goodness and is a reality not on account of God, but on account of human free will. Later in his life, Augustine addressed the issue of reunification of God and mankind in the midst of the heated Pelagian controversy. While his opponents claimed that the very free will which Augustine earlier championed was the efficient lynchpin of our salvation, Augustine firmly declared that God’s grace was salvation’s source and eventually began to use the term “predestination” to describe the deliverance of man from his plight. While Augustine is acknowledged as a Church Doctor and one of the most respectable and influential thinkers to have ever written, it is difficult to comprehend how any intellectual could argue so fervently for concepts as dissimilar as free will and predestination. The two, it seems, are mutually exclusive. If a person is predestined, his free choice appears to be rendered rather illusory, or at best, trivial
Augustine: Advocate of Free Will, Defender of Predestination Brandon Peterson
Calvin, OTOH, did believe in double predestination and stated so.
By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death.
Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin
Book 3, Chapter 21, Paragraph 5: