Compatibilism is the belief that God's predetermination is "compatible" with voluntary choice. In light of Scripture, human choices are believed to be exercised voluntarily but the desires and circumstances that bring about these choices that occur through divine determinism (see Acts 2:23 & 4:27-28). Our choices are also determined by our greatest inclinations. Compatibilism affirms that we make choices for a reason, that the will is not independent of the person and we will always choose what we want (Deut 30:16,17,19; Matt 17:12; James 1:14). It means God has granted us the ability to act freely (that is, voluntarily without coercion), but not independent from God nor free from our desires, but to act according to our desires and nature. In other words, voluntary choice (to chose to act as we please) is compatible with determinism. The Scripture itself testifies that
“…no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:42-45)
Figtrees, of necessity, grow figs, not thorns. According to Jesus, then, nature produces a necessary result or fruit at the exclusion of something else. One cannot produce a result that is contrary to nature. While libertarians uphold the philosophy that “choice without sufficient cause” is what makes one responsible, the compatibilist, on the other hand, looks to Scripture which testifies that it is because our choices have motives and desires that moral responsibility is actually established. Responsibility requires that our acts, of necessity, be intentional!
by John W. Hendryx