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How do you respond to Acts 4:27–28?

“[B]oth Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”

This passage is very close in content to Acts 2:23 (see How do you respond to Acts 2:23?). While it clearly teaches that the event of the crucifixion was predestined, it does not teach or suggest that the individuals who carried out this event were predestined to do so. God’s infinite intelligence and wise providence is demonstrated precisely in the ingenious way he balances his predetermined goals with the open-ended decisions of free agents. The magnitude of divine intelligence required to carry out this feat throughout history is incomprehensible. And this, I suggest, is one of the reasons why many find it easier to simply attribute exhaustively definite foreknowledge and/or an omni-controlling will to God. To preserve the unsurpassably exalted nature of God’s sovereignty, however, I believe we must resist this tendency and acknowledge that he faces a partly open future.

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