Christians believe that God has a ultimate plan for humanity. Certain things must happen before Gods plan comes to fruition. A one world government, ruled by the Antichrist, is one example. And, in fact, there are many rich and powerful people aiming to set up a one world government. It won't be long before this happens. Probably in our lifetime. Free will is what individuals do. No one forces them to do it. Free will can bring about Gods plan, because Gods will is sovereign. In other words, God rules over the Grand Design, while humans are able to exercise free will within that design. There is no contradiction.
I believe that approximately 80% of life is predetermined and 20% is free will. I don't have any hard evidence but I remember reading it in a few places. And it makes sense to me because my environment was here when I got here and I had no say in the who, what, where, when and why. And now that I'm here, I can only effect some of my environment and circumstances. So clearly there are things beyond my control like who my parents are, where I'm born, when I'm born, how the world works when I'm born, why I was conceived/born. Now that I'm here I can control some things like if I will work hard or stay home and get drunk instead. So I think there can be different degrees of each.
One could believe that certain incidents will inevitably happen to certain people, but when those events occur, we use our free will to make the best decisions concerning it. This is somewhat true except the incidents are unlikely meaningful or random, just complex to calculate it's many causes and likely out of our control to stop.
Not everything can be determined by free will because not everything is a controllable variable. And not everything can be fate because people use their choices to determine the course of their life all of the time. Fate gives, or takes, opportunities, free will let's you choose between them.
Christians are always talking about their soul mate and how everything happens for gods reasoning while if we have free will we choose our life partner and things happen for our reasons and not gods. To say everything happens for gods reasons is to say he is in control of everything otherwise not everything happens for his reasons because other beings with their own reasons or randomness caused things to happen the way they did. If we are in control then many things happen for our reason and not god. To say things happen for our reasons and gods means we are both in control and somehow never disagree which is impossible because all people contradict each other and oppose each other. Come on folks start using your noggin.
Just read the title, that explains my view on it. But seriously, where in the scriptures does it read "Oh yeah, thought I should mention, that free will stuff is over rated, I'm actually making every decision of yours be fate!" Christians have seriously got to treat the bible like a moral guide, not an encyclopedia. People who take the bible 100% literally, despite all the things about science it contradicts, just make Christianity look dumb.
If a Christian feels like something was destined to be, and that they have free will, that's fine. Likewise if a christian feels like something was a display of free will but that most things are destined, that's fine. If a Christian, however, feels like everything was destined to be, and yet everything is free will, that can't be true.
I personally don't believe in fate at all.
Some examples of fate in the bible are referred to as prophesies. For a prophesy to occur, the events that lead to it must also occur, and so do the events that caused them and so on from the time of the prophesy. Example: I claim that my great grandson Alex will rule the planet Mars. For this prophesy to come true, assuming I already have a son or daughter, they must have offspring and one of that offspring must name a son Alex. Not only so specific choices have to be made by my descendants but others must also make specific choices. For instance all the choices that have to do with landing on and settling Mars, choices made to send my descendant to Mars and of course choices that make him the ruler. Clearly this would involve hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of people making specific choices that they HAVE TO make.
I believe we only have the illusion of free will. Not that some supernatural being is forcing us but that everything that will happen was an inevitable event. Many compare a decision to a crossroads, much like the picture. Though the existence of other roads make it look like we have a choice, the fact that only one road will take us where we feel we need to go means that we would never have taken those other roads. If we would never have taken those other roads, does it matter if they exist or not?
For now I will just leave it there.