Katherine asked:

Did God take away pharaoh's free will when he repeatedly hardened his heart in the book of Exodus?

Patrick Madrid replied:

"...Saint Thomas Aquinas, he treats of that issue when he describes this as not that God proactively turned pharaoh against him, because that would make God the author of evil ... The verse can not mean that God did something that is contrary to his own nature ... rather as Saint Thomas points out, that is God withdrawing his grace from pharaoh.

If you think of it this way, imagine that all of ... our hearts would just be cold if the fire or the warmth of God's love by virtue of his grace, if it were not in us, or at the very least near us ... So if you think of it in terms of temperature, and then imagine that God pulls back from pharaoh to whatever distance, if we want to think in those terms, so that the warmth that was animating his heart is sort of receding and dissipating ... so the natural effect that would have is that the heart grows cold. That's what he's referring to. This is not that God is actively causing something to happen, but by him withdrawing that presence or that grace then the inevitable follows."


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Show air date: November 26, 2013

Question appeared in show: 43:30

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