Cheung: Man Has No Freedom Whatsoever

“This is Calvinism – it is a consistent application of divine sovereignty over everything. It is a denial of any form of dualism or deism.  Thus I affirm that God controls everything about everything that is anything, including every aspect of every detail of every human decision and action, in such a way that man has no freedom in any meaningful or relevant sense.”

– Vincent Cheung, The Author of Sin, p. 16

3 thoughts on “Cheung: Man Has No Freedom Whatsoever

  1. The Seeking Disciple October 25, 2012 / 8:08 am

    I have heard of Cheung before I believe in Olson’s book, Against Calvinism, in which he cites Cheung saying that God is the author of sin and we should just accept that.

    • ArminianTheology October 25, 2012 / 8:45 am

      Hi Roy,

      Yeah, Cheung is a real piece of work. He probably fits the mould of a hyper-Calvinist rather than a mainstream. Here is some of his handiwork:

      “When someone alleges that my view of divine sovereignty makes God the author of sin, my first reaction tends to be, “So what?” Even Christians who disagree with me stupidly chant, “But he makes God the author of sin, he makes God the author of sin….” However, a description does not amount to an argument or objection, and I have never come across a half-decent explanation as to what’s wrong with God being the author of sin in any theological or philosophical work written by anybody from any perspective. The truth is that, whether or not God is the author of sin, there is no biblical or rational problem with him being the author of sin.” (The Author of Sin., p. 5)

      “If God directly causes you to sin, it does make him the “author” of sin (at least in the sense that people usually use the expression), but the “sinner” or “wrongdoer” is still you. Since sin is the transgression of divine law, for God to be a sinner or wrongdoer in this case, he must decree a moral law that forbids himself to be the author of sin, and then when he acts as the author of sin anyway, he becomes a sinner or wrongdoer. But unless this happens, for God to be the author of sin does not make him a sinner or wrongdoer. The terms “author,” “sinner,” “wrongdoer,” and “tempter” are relatively precise – at least precise enough to be distinguished from one another, and for God to be the “author” of sin says nothing about whether he is also a “sinner,” “wrongdoer,” or a ”tempter.” And for one not to be a wrongdoer by definition means that he has not done wrong. Therefore, even if God is the author of sin, it does not automatically follow that there is anything wrong with it, or that he is a wrongdoer.” (Ibid., p. 6)

      “Although we should not focus on affirming or denying whether God is the author of sin (since this is not the Bible’s own focus), but should rather positively focus on the sovereignty and majesty of God, there is in fact nothing biblically or rationally wrong with saying that God is the author of sin.” (Ibid., p. 10)

      “We are not using the word “create” in the same sense as God’s original creation out of nothing, but we are referring to God’s control over things that he has already created. That is, although God must actively cause evil thoughts and inclinations in the creature, and then he must actively cause the corresponding evil actions, he does not create new material or substance when he does this, since he is controlling what he has already created. It is true that a person sins according to his evil nature, but as Luther writes, it is God who “creates” this evil nature in each newly conceived person after the pattern of fallen Adam, whose fall God also caused. And then, God must actively cause this evil nature to function and the person to act according to it.” (Ibid., p. 12)

      “Also, Calvinists often affirm that Adam was free before the Fall. But again, I always speak of freedom relative to God, and from this perspective, I would say that Adam had no freedom whatsoever even before the Fall. To be “free” from sin is irrelevant. The issue is whether Adam was free from God to choose to remain free from sin – he was not. In addition, I would not say that God permitted Adam to fall, but that God caused it.” (Ibid., p. 15)

      Here is a link to the online book:

      Click to access authorsin.pdf

  2. James S September 19, 2015 / 11:16 am

    Cheung’s God is worse than the devil. Cheung destroys the notion that God is Righteous. Wesley’s attack upon the Zanchian-Topladyian doctrine of reprobation does not perhaps always hit the mark, but it is absolutely spot-on as a critique of Cheung’s theodicy – though satanodicy might be a more accurate description. Such a doctrine makes God the worst of liars, and far, far more worthy of damnation than any of His creatures. Nice to know that God is the Author of genocide, murder, abortion, rape, and other such delights.

    If man has no freedom, he is no more worthy of blame than a dog-biscuit. Why preach the Gospel, if man no different from a dog-biscuit ? The exhortations in the Bible are meaningless, if man has no freedom in any way at all. Dogs and stones and trees are not bidden to repent, nor are vines reproached for holding false doctrines, nor is the Wrath of God denounced against pots or shoes.

    Cheung seems to overlook the point that if God does not sincerely desire the salvation of all men, even though the text suggests that He desires exactly that, then maybe He is equally insincere and deceitful in saying other equally clear things. The result this has on the usefulness of the Bible is obvious – it becomes absolutely unmeaning, and so, absolutely worthless. Maybe God the Devil inspired it for fun, in order to deceive Hyper-Calvinists into ventilating blasphemies against Him, so that He could damn them for the crime of having been compelled to blaspheme by Him.

    This “God” is not “the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ”, they have nothing in common.

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