Jump to content
ElShaddai

Pedestination or Free Will

Recommended Posts

oh ok so your both I thought you were just pre-d =P

No, I believe in free will, too. I'm not a hard-determinist. As far as our salvation goes, I believe that God predestines who will freely choose Him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

God wouldn't have predestined man's rebellion against Him. That's absurd. He wouldn't have predestined something that caused mankind to fall away from Him. In my opinion He kind of took a roll of the dice when making man, letting man pick his own nature

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JAG
God wouldn't have predestined man's rebellion against Him. That's absurd. He wouldn't have predestined something that caused mankind to fall away from Him. In my opinion He kind of took a roll of the dice when making man, letting man pick his own nature

Well, let's practically work this out.

Do you believe God is all knowing? If so, do you believe He can see the future? Or, rather, do you believe He exists outside of time. Let me put it in simple terms:

Say I'm reading a story, perhaps Hamlet. I come to the part where Ophelia is about to fall out of the tree and die. I read the first part of the sentence, the part where Ophelia falls - and then I put the book down, do some chores, and come back to read the second part - the part about her dying. I have, essentially, asserted myself as one who exists outside of Ophelia's time line. For her, the action took place instantaneously - for me, I have infinite time between the first and second action.

In the same way, I could skip the chapter entirely and see what is happening to Hamlet in a later chapter. Although, Hamlet 50 pages prior would have no idea what was about to happen to him.

I believe God views time like this - from an outside perspective. That thing you did last week that you are proud of? He's watching you do it right now. That thing you are going to do tomorrow that you are ashamed of? He's watching you do that right now. And at this very moment He's watching you read my typing. God is all knowing in this sense.

So if God created man, He already knew, from infinity past, what man was going to do. Yes, He gave man free will to reject Him and to sin, but He knew that when He created us. Thus, even though He knew we'd fall, He created us anyways. So it wasn't a gamble, or tossing of the dice, as much as a calculated cost. For some reason, God deemed our present world worth all the pain.

- James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
God wouldn't have predestined man's rebellion against Him. That's absurd. He wouldn't have predestined something that caused mankind to fall away from Him. In my opinion He kind of took a roll of the dice when making man, letting man pick his own nature

Viewing God like this is essentially viewing Him as not sovereign. The reason God predestined man's rebellion against Him was that God's glory was best in a world where His justice could be displayed against sin. Due to the fact that people always act inline with their nature, it's the only way the fall could have happened. Prior to the fall man was perfect. There was no sin in him, and there was no way that he could have chosen to sin because he knew not was sin was and had no desire to sin. Thus, God had to cause Adam's sin to come about because there is no other possible explanation for Adam to go against his perfect nature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Say I'm reading a story, perhaps Hamlet. I come to the part where Ophelia is about to fall out of the tree and die. I read the first part of the sentence, the part where Ophelia falls - and then I put the book down, do some chores, and come back to read the second part - the part about her dying. I have, essentially, asserted myself as one who exists outside of Ophelia's time line. For her, the action took place instantaneously - for me, I have infinite time between the first and second action.

In the same way, I could skip the chapter entirely and see what is happening to Hamlet in a later chapter. Although, Hamlet 50 pages prior would have no idea what was about to happen to him.

I would have agreed with you if it were not for intense study on this subject which i believe is fundamentally flawed. This viewpoint, which I held at one time, puts God as a spectator of future events. A God who can see the future but didn't ordain it or have his hand involved in the actions therein. This type of reasoning makes random chance the protagonist of our great journey called life and God the antagonist. This does not stand the test of Biblical truth but is rather used as an apology for events that man can't explain. If we use this type of logic we must conclude that God is either sovereign, "supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe" and walk in those things which he as ordained for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10) or not sovereign at all.

If God caused the flood then it wasn't Him merely reading the life story of all those who had died but Him ordaining their destruction. It is not necessarily an idea to take lightly however the truth of the matter is that God was the one who had been the catalyst in that huge world-wide event.

God was also the one that hardened Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 9:7, 10:20) and that the reason God had raised Pharaoh up is that "I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth." (Romans 9:17-18). God's purpose in raising up Pharaoh was to show his power and to declare his name throughout the earth. That's amazing to me.

Isaiah 48:3 says “I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.” Notice how the verse does not say "foreknew." The things that God speaks that He does. Proverbs 16:33 states "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD" and Proverbs 21:1 states "The king's heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will." The LORD is acting not as one watching a play in the blink of an eye but one sovereignly at work throughout the whole of the play from beginning to its intended foreordained end.

I do not claim to own all knowledge of this complex idea, however to say that God is just reading a play and knows the outcome is like saying that God has no hand in its outcome yet scripture would indicate just the opposite. That God had foreordained the coming Messiah who was "slain since before the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8) "who chose us in Him before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4) who by His will predestined us to adoption through His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5) and will ultimately, according to his will and plan return to bring us home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Viewing God like this is essentially viewing Him as not sovereign. The reason God predestined man's rebellion against Him was that God's glory was best in a world where His justice could be displayed against sin. Due to the fact that people always act inline with their nature, it's the only way the fall could have happened. Prior to the fall man was perfect. There was no sin in him, and there was no way that he could have chosen to sin because he knew not was sin was and had no desire to sin. Thus, God had to cause Adam's sin to come about because there is no other possible explanation for Adam to go against his perfect nature.

I see no logic in this. Lucifer promotes sin not God and just because Adam didnt know what sin was doesnt mean he cant commit sin we are not robots free will is always a factor to consider. Nevertheless this doesnt mean God has no control he has almighty power to intervene anyone mentally but doesnt mean Adam's sinning was justified from originating from God's will it has nothing to do with it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JAG
I would have agreed with you if it were not for intense study on this subject which i believe is fundamentally flawed. This viewpoint, which I held at one time, puts God as a spectator of future events. A God who can see the future but didn't ordain it or have his hand involved in the actions therein. This type of reasoning makes random chance the protagonist of our great journey called life and God the antagonist. This does not stand the test of Biblical truth but is rather used as an apology for events that man can't explain. If we use this type of logic we must conclude that God is either sovereign, "supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe" and walk in those things which he as ordained for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10) or not sovereign at all.

If God caused the flood then it wasn't Him merely reading the life story of all those who had died but Him ordaining their destruction. It is not necessarily an idea to take lightly however the truth of the matter is that God was the one who had been the catalyst in that huge world-wide event.

God was also the one that hardened Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 9:7, 10:20) and that the reason God had raised Pharaoh up is that "I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth." (Romans 9:17-18). God's purpose in raising up Pharaoh was to show his power and to declare his name throughout the earth. That's amazing to me.

Isaiah 48:3 says “I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.” Notice how the verse does not say "foreknew." The things that God speaks that He does. Proverbs 16:33 states "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD" and Proverbs 21:1 states "The king's heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will." The LORD is acting not as one watching a play in the blink of an eye but one sovereignly at work throughout the whole of the play from beginning to its intended foreordained end.

I do not claim to own all knowledge of this complex idea, however to say that God is just reading a play and knows the outcome is like saying that God has no hand in its outcome yet scripture would indicate just the opposite. That God had foreordained the coming Messiah who was "slain since before the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8) "who chose us in Him before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4) who by His will predestined us to adoption through His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5) and will ultimately, according to his will and plan return to bring us home.

Let me ask you this. Ophelia dies in the play obviously. Did she die because the limb broke and she fell? Or did she die because Shakespear wanted her to die, at that point, in the play?

I was not promoting deism. It doesn't impede on God's sovereignty anymore than allowing your pet to decide where it poops on the lawn impedes on yours. Merely because God allows free will doesn't mean He couldn't, if He chose, take it away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never said God wasn't Sovreign. I simply said that perhaps He allowed humans to flow on their own in the path of good and evil. Why would God purposefully allow evil in the world? I don't think He intended it. I think He's in control definitely but I think He's like a Parent who doesn't want to force His children one way or the other

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Let me ask you this. Ophelia dies in the play obviously. Did she die because the limb broke and she fell? Or did she die because Shakespear wanted her to die, at that point, in the play?

I was not promoting deism. It doesn't impede on God's sovereignty anymore than allowing your pet to decide where it poops on the lawn impedes on yours. Merely because God allows free will doesn't mean He couldn't, if He chose, take it away.

Using a poem as an example only goes so far. Whether Ophelia died as a result of natural causes or at the hand of Shakespear doesn't exactly matter. In the real world either could have been the means to Ophelia's death but at the end of the day God had ordained her death the moment she ceased to breathe and it is my belief that God had even planned it. Of course, the use of the poem is hypothetical but the principal still remains. If God has numbered our days and if God ordains our steps then it is He who had planned the end and is not just a spectator.

I was not promoting deism. It doesn't impede on God's sovereignty anymore than allowing your pet to decide where it poops on the lawn impedes on yours. Merely because God allows free will doesn't mean He couldn't, if He chose, take it away.

But then your will isn't technically "free." Freedom is an absolute, either you have it or you don't. You aren't a partial slave or half free, you are either fully in submission to the will of your master or have your freedom in its entirety. I'm not saying we're robots and I'm also not blaming God for sin. As I said earlier, this is a complex topic and I think there are both will and predestination present at the same time however I do not believe God is a spectator who merely knows our future by any means.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JAG

Using a poem as an example only goes so far. Whether Ophelia died as a result of natural causes or at the hand of Shakespear doesn't exactly matter. In the real world either could have been the means to Ophelia's death but at the end of the day God had ordained her death the moment she ceased to breathe and it is my belief that God had even planned it. Of course, the use of the poem is hypothetical but the principal still remains. If God has numbered our days and if God ordains our steps then it is He who had planned the end and is not just a spectator.

Well, don't knock my poem and then go and use it a few sentences later, haha. My point was - Shakespear created the limb in the play. It broke when he willed it to break. He could have let Ophelia continue without dying, but He chose not to. In the same way, God's sovereignty will always outweigh our sovereignty when He wills.

But then your will isn't technically "free." Freedom is an absolute, either you have it or you don't. You aren't a partial slave or half free, you are either fully in submission to the will of your master or have your freedom in its entirety. I'm not saying we're robots and I'm also not blaming God for sin. As I said earlier, this is a complex topic and I think there are both will and predestination present at the same time however I do not believe God is a spectator who merely knows our future by any means.

I don't think you thought about that enough. God will always be greater than humans, there is no doubt about that. Yet, God has the ability to, and it seems He does, allow us freedom. This is why He gives people over to their desires. He could, if He wanted impede their sovereignty and foce them to come to Him. He doesn't though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I see no logic in this. Lucifer promotes sin not God and just because Adam didnt know what sin was doesnt mean he cant commit sin we are not robots free will is always a factor to consider. Nevertheless this doesnt mean God has no control he has almighty power to intervene anyone mentally but doesnt mean Adam's sinning was justified from originating from God's will it has nothing to do with it

What I am stating is that the decisions we make are always inline with our nature. Thus, since we are sinful in nature, we are sinners in action. The same would have been true with Adam. He was perfect in nature, and thus would have made perfect actions. The only reason the fall happened is because God allowed Adam's will to be manipulated. How sovereign do you want the Lord to be? God does take his hands off the creation sometimes and put them back on at others. He doesn't let things go their own course one day and then control everything the next. He is always sustaining His creation. This means God even controls the sin and evil in the world. This means God controlled sin and evil entering into the world, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, don't knock my poem and then go and use it a few sentences later, haha. My point was - Shakespear created the limb in the play. It broke when he willed it to break. He could have let Ophelia continue without dying, but He chose not to. In the same way, God's sovereignty will always outweigh our sovereignty when He wills.

Definitely. I was only saying that you can use an example for so long. But I understand what you're saying.

I don't think you thought about that enough. God will always be greater than humans, there is no doubt about that. Yet, God has the ability to, and it seems He does, allow us freedom. This is why He gives people over to their desires. He could, if He wanted impede their sovereignty and force them to come to Him. He doesn't though.

As I said previously "I think there are both will and predestination present at the same time." I do not believe however that man's will is free. As I explained above, freedom is absolute. You either are or are not free, you either have or have not free will. I believe we do have the ability to make decisions and that God is in no way responsible for those decisions, such as David's to commit adultery.

When you say that God would not "impede their [man's] sovereignty" you are drawing a conclusion from ideas that don't exist. Man to begin with is not nor has nor will ever be sovereign. I don't think you meant to use that word so I won't build a mound out of a molehill. The fact still remains however that God will cause men to become His own. Look at Paul.

4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

7And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

8And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

9And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

10And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

11And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

12And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

13Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

14And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

16For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

17And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

There are multiple things at work here. First we see irresistible grace and God's irresistible power. Jesus spoke but a few words and Paul's reply gives us a picture of his total submission to the will of God not because Paul all of a sudden had an epiphany to serve the Lord and made a conscious decision but because of Christ irresistible power and grace.

Secondly Christ appears to Ananias and explains to him that Paul is a chosen vessel to bear Christ's name before not only kings and Jews but unto gentiles. Paul was chosen of by God to bear Christ's name. Paul did not choose this for himself but Christ did. Remember, Paul was on his way to arrest and persecute Christians but Christ Himself intervened against His will and plan to do so and rendered Him motionless and completely submitted to the will of Christ.

To that end, Christ had commanded Paul to a course different than what he had intended. Again, Paul was on his way to persecute Christians in Damascus but Christ commanded Paul when he said "go into the street which is called Straight." So not only do we see God's irresistible grace and power written out in the text but we also see Paul's complete submission against his personal will to the will of God which was ultimately his salvation and his predestined call to bring Christ's name to the world.

This is one example of how God will "impede" on one's sovereignty to do their own will, another I gave previously of Pharaoh who's heart was hardened by God Himself and raised up Pharaoh for the purpose of showing His power to the world. We also see that God raises up vessels for honor and dishonor. This would be a hard one to conceive coming from the perspective that God doesn't change man's plans for His own.

Hope this helps

Sky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JAG
As I said previously "I think there are both will and predestination present at the same time." I do not believe however that man's will is free. As I explained above, freedom is absolute. You either are or are not free, you either have or have not free will. I believe we do have the ability to make decisions and that God is in no way responsible for those decisions, such as David's to commit adultery.

Our freedom is absolute because God wills it so. That is why, in revelation, the wicked increase in wickedness. God doesn't force their hand to repentance, but allows them to continue down the path they started on. He loves to entice, and indeed He pursues us, but He doesn't force us. In this sense, we are free to choose. This is why Jesus said He longed to gather Israel like a hen gathers her chicks, but that Israel was unwilling - so it didn't happen. (Matthew 23:37). Even though it was God's will for Israel to come to repentance, He allowed them to reject Him. In the same way, God says in 2 Peter 3:9 that He longs for everyone to come to repentance. That is His will, but He doesn't force everyone to come to repentance, and indeed we are told that not everyone does.

There are multiple things at work here. First we see irresistible grace and God's irresistible power. Jesus spoke but a few words and Paul's reply gives us a picture of his total submission to the will of God not because Paul all of a sudden had an epiphany to serve the Lord and made a conscious decision but because of Christ irresistible power and grace.

Secondly Christ appears to Ananias and explains to him that Paul is a chosen vessel to bear Christ's name before not only kings and Jews but unto gentiles. Paul was chosen of by God to bear Christ's name. Paul did not choose this for himself but Christ did. Remember, Paul was on his way to arrest and persecute Christians but Christ Himself intervened against His will and plan to do so and rendered Him motionless and completely submitted to the will of Christ.

To that end, Christ had commanded Paul to a course different than what he had intended. Again, Paul was on his way to persecute Christians in Damascus but Christ commanded Paul when he said "go into the street which is called Straight." So not only do we see God's irresistible grace and power written out in the text but we also see Paul's complete submission against his personal will to the will of God which was ultimately his salvation and his predestined call to bring Christ's name to the world.

This is one example of how God will "impede" on one's sovereignty to do their own will, another I gave previously of Pharaoh who's heart was hardened by God Himself and raised up Pharaoh for the purpose of showing His power to the world. We also see that God raises up vessels for honor and dishonor. This would be a hard one to conceive coming from the perspective that God doesn't change man's plans for His own.

Paul had a run in with God. I find it hard to believe anyone could resist a run-in with God. Yet, they truly do. Take Jonah for example. He rejected God's plan for his life one time (by running from Nineveh) and again at the end when God provides the plant for shade.

- James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Our freedom is absolute because God wills it so. That is why, in revelation, the wicked increase in wickedness. God doesn't force their hand to repentance, but allows them to continue down the path they started on. He loves to entice, and indeed He pursues us, but He doesn't force us. In this sense, we are free to choose. This is why Jesus said He longed to gather Israel like a hen gathers her chicks, but that Israel was unwilling - so it didn't happen. (Matthew 23:37). Even though it was God's will for Israel to come to repentance, He allowed them to reject Him. In the same way, God says in 2 Peter 3:9 that He longs for everyone to come to repentance. That is His will, but He doesn't force everyone to come to repentance, and indeed we are told that not everyone does.

James, I have a question for you. When you say that man lives a free life, I assume you mean that he's free to make his choices regardless of nature and the world around him. I assume you're arguing libertarian free will (I apologize if you don't believe in it, but any compatiblist idea on here requires predestination being the active work of God). Taking that idea and extrapolation a little, wouldn't it be possible for a man to live a completely sinless life if he had libertarian free will? Wouldn't man have the freedom to potentially do that? If that is the case, you're working in a fundamentally flawed philosophical system because we all know that no man can live without Christ and sin. That is a biblical truth that can not be denied.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Taking that idea and extrapolation a little, wouldn't it be possible for a man to live a completely sinless life if he had libertarian free will? Wouldn't man have the freedom to potentially do that? If that is the case, you're working in a fundamentally flawed philosophical system because we all know that no man can live without Christ and sin. That is a biblical truth that can not be denied.

Booooooooooom. I have trained you well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Our freedom is absolute because God wills it so. That is why, in revelation, the wicked increase in wickedness. God doesn't force their hand to repentance, but allows them to continue down the path they started on. He loves to entice, and indeed He pursues us, but He doesn't force us. In this sense, we are free to choose. This is why Jesus said He longed to gather Israel like a hen gathers her chicks, but that Israel was unwilling - so it didn't happen. (Matthew 23:37). Even though it was God's will for Israel to come to repentance, He allowed them to reject Him. In the same way, God says in 2 Peter 3:9 that He longs for everyone to come to repentance. That is His will, but He doesn't force everyone to come to repentance, and indeed we are told that not everyone does.

I completely understand what you're saying but you didn't address any of the many scriptures I gave you describing how God was the one who either hardened the subject's heart or was the cause and catalyst to one's destruction or is the one who ordains and plans man's steps or how God turns the king's heart whichever way He chooses, etc.

Secondly your last sentence is slightly different than what you've actually been saying since the beginning of this thread. You mentioned God not "impeding" on man's sovereignty and that He won't do it but here you are saying that "He doesn't force everyone" to come to repentance. If man's will is absolutely free then how can God force that man, against His will (i.e. Paul) to come to the true knowledge of the true God and accept that true knowledge resulting in the belief that Jesus is the Christ, or that He died on a cross, or that He is the Son of God?

Either man has free will or he doesn't. As I said before, man has a will but I do not believe it is completely free.

Paul had a run in with God. I find it hard to believe anyone could resist a run-in with God. Yet, they truly do. Take Jonah for example. He rejected God's plan for his life one time (by running from Nineveh) and again at the end when God provides the plant for shade.

I completely agree with you/ However, as I explained before, God hardened Pharaoh's heart. God was the one who did that on purpose. It's hard to grasp but I do believe that God is sovereign even over our unbelief.

The Bondage of The Will

Martin Luther

Abridged

1525 A.D.

Since God's foreknowledge is not uncertain, "free-will" is non-existent

It is fundamentally necessary and healthy for Christians to acknowledge that God foreknows nothing uncertainly, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His own immutable, eternal and infallible will. This bombshell knocks "free-will" flat, and utterly shatters it; so that those who want to assert it must either deny my bombshell, or pretend not to notice it, or find some other way of dodging it. Surely it was you, my good Erasmus, who a moment ago asserted that God is by nature just, and kindness itself? If this is true, does it not follow that He is immutably just and kind? that, as His nature remains unchanged to all eternity, so do His justice and kindness? And what is said of His justice and kindness must be said also of His knowledge, His wisdom, His goodness, His will, and the other Divine attributes. But if it is religious, godly and wholesome, to affirm these things of God, as you do, what has come over you, that now you should contradict yourself by affirming that it is irreligious, idle and vain to say that God foreknows by necessity? You insist that we should learn the immutability of God's will, while forbidding us to know the immutably of His foreknowledge! Do you suppose that He does not will what He foreknows, or that He does not foreknow what He wills? If he wills what He foreknows, His will is eternal and changeless, because His nature is so. From which it follows, by resistless logic, that all we do, however it may appear to us to be done freely and optionally, is in reality done necessarily and immutably in respect of God's will. For the will of God is effective and cannot be impeded, since power belongs to God's nature; and His wisdom is such that He cannot be deceived. Since, then His will is not impeded, what is done cannot but be done where, when, how, as far as, and by whom, He foresees and wills...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JAG
James, I have a question for you. When you say that man lives a free life, I assume you mean that he's free to make his choices regardless of nature and the world around him. I assume you're arguing libertarian free will (I apologize if you don't believe in it, but any compatiblist idea on here requires predestination being the active work of God). Taking that idea and extrapolation a little, wouldn't it be possible for a man to live a completely sinless life if he had libertarian free will? Wouldn't man have the freedom to potentially do that? If that is the case, you're working in a fundamentally flawed philosophical system because we all know that no man can live without Christ and sin. That is a biblical truth that can not be denied.

On the contrary, free will dictates we will fall because we are free to follow our desires. I do not believe free will cancels out total depravity. Indeed, both Arminians and Calvinists believe in total depravity. Had Adam not been given the "choice" (because free will is the only system which allows choice) to sin, he would not have sinned. It was obviously God's will that He not sin for God told him not to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On the contrary, free will dictates we will fall because we are free to follow our desires. I do not believe free will cancels out total depravity. Indeed, both Arminians and Calvinists believe in total depravity. Had Adam not been given the "choice" (because free will is the only system which allows choice) to sin, he would not have sinned. It was obviously God's will that He not sin for God told him not to do it.

Arminians do not believe in total depravity. They believe in "total depravity" which is ultimately canceled out by universal prevenient grace, which is an unbiblical notion. Also, to say that we are free to follow our desires is to agree with the compatibalist. The reason libertarian free-will is an unbiblical notion as well is it allows for, even theoretically, man to live his life without sinning because in every instance he could have chosen the opposite of that which he chose. Meaning it was possible for him to not sin in every instance that he sinned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JAG
Arminians do not believe in total depravity. They believe in "total depravity" which is ultimately canceled out by universal prevenient grace, which is an unbiblical notion. Also, to say that we are free to follow our desires is to agree with the compatibalist. The reason libertarian free-will is an unbiblical notion as well is it allows for, even theoretically, man to live his life without sinning because in every instance he could have chosen the opposite of that which he chose. Meaning it was possible for him to not sin in every instance that he sinned.

They do believe in total depravity...

Arminius states "In this [fallen] state, the free will of man towards the true good is not only wounded, infirm, bent, and weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed, and lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, but it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace."

What on Earth is libertarian free-will? Libertarianism has to do with governing, not salvation.

Yes, it is possible to not sin when you've sinned. Yesterday I lusted after a girl. I didn't have to, I could of resisted the temptation to do, but I chose to anyways. The reason I did was because of my fleshly desires, I let them over-run my God given spiritual desires. This isn't something you can argue against...and yet you are?

- James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James, you sound like someone who believes compatibilist, not libertarian free will.

Libertarian free will means that our choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any predetermination by God. All "free will theists" hold that libertarian freedom is essential for moral responsibility' date=' for if our choice is determined or caused by anything, including our own desires, they reason, it cannot properly be called a free choice. Libertarian freedom is, therefore, the freedom to act contrary to one's nature, predisposition and greatest desires. Responsibility, in this view, always means that one could have done otherwise. [/quote']

Under the idea of Compatibilism, man follows his desires. You sinned because your desire to sin was greater than your desire to serve God. You had the freedom to choose in that moment, but your choice was still bound to your desires. It's not completely free (and the definition of free in this context is uncaused). This is what people who believe in predestination accept. We don't say that you're a robot walking around and God has every choice you'll ever make mapped out. It's all about our will, but the thing is that we can't will God unless He changes our hearts and lets us will Him. Honestly, you're understanding of free will is closer to a Calvinistic view then an Armenian.

---------- Post added at 05:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:29 PM ----------

Had Adam not been given the "choice" (because free will is the only system which allows choice) to sin, he would not have sinned. It was obviously God's will that He not sin for God told him not to do it.

Honestly, I don't think it's possible under either the libertarian or Compatibilist version of free will for it to be possible for Adam to fall without God at least intending it. How can a perfect being that only has the desire for Good and to please God ever sin?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was obviously God's will that He not sin for God told him not to do it.

The question of whether God endorses and even does sin isn't the point of the conversation (I know you're not turning that, but I'm prefacing my next statement with that in mind). God told Pharaoh through Aaron and Moses to "let My people go" but God gave testimony that He hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he would not let the people go. This would be in direct contradiction to what you just said. We know however from scripture that God had purposefully done this because it was His plan the whole time to show His power to the whole world.

I do not think the subject of Arminianism versus Calvinism should be taken to such extremes as to induce sectarianism. That would be going against the Bible. In light of that, please understand James that although I disagree with you I do not necessarily view this as a matter of salvation wears there are factions within the reformed movement that can generate this feeling.

It is however important to come to a clear understanding of God's sovereign work in bringing about His purpose in all things be it the death of someone close, the act of adultery or the growing of a new tree. Questions I have for those in opposition to God's complete sovereignty over man's perceived freewill are these:

1. Do you believe you had a choice in being born?

2. Do you believe every breath from you have comes from God as a gift not by your good works but by grace?

3. Do you believe that God actually sustains the world?

Had Adam not been given the "choice" (because free will is the only system which allows choice) to sin, he would not have sinned. It was obviously God's will that He not sin for God told him not to do it.

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." -Revelation 13:8

This is what people who believe in predestination accept. We don't say that you're a robot walking around and God has every choice you'll ever make mapped out. It's all about our will, but the thing is that we can't will God unless He changes our hearts and lets us will Him.

You said this very well Zabby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JAG

Alright guys, enough with the big words, you're making my head hurt. I don't care too much for labels like "compatibilist", "libertarian free will", or "sectarianism." When I say free will, I mean simply that...free will. To boil it down even further, I mean "ability to choose."

The only reason I think we don't have much an ability to choose God before He chooses us is because of our nature - we are pretty anti God from the get go (depraved). Otherwise, if our nature was pro-God from the get go I'd say we could choose God first. That's just not how the world is set up though.

In the same way, we choose to sin in light of the ability to choose to not sin. It's not that someone, if they really wanted to, couldn't be sinless by not following temptation. It's the fact that no one wants to be sinless before knowing God.

As for Adam, he sinned because he was given free will. The ability to chose automatically gives one the ability to choose incorrectly. God knew this, and yet He gave man free will anyways. It must have been a hard decision. He knew He'd eventually have to judge and **** people to an eternity separate from His goodness. He knew Adam was going to make the wrong choice. Yet, He allowed it to happen anyways? Why? In order to bring glory to His name, in order to make sons and daughters out of us instead of mere creation, in order to allow true love to prosper and to keep from creating a world of autonoma.

1. Do you believe you had a choice in being born?

No.

2. Do you believe every breath from you have comes from God as a gift not by your good works but by grace?

Yes.

3. Do you believe that God actually sustains the world?

Certainly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"As for Adam, he sinned because he was given free will. The ability to chose automatically gives one the ability to choose incorrectly. God knew this, and yet He gave man free will anyways. It must have been a hard decision. He knew He'd eventually have to judge and **** people to an eternity separate from His goodness. He knew Adam was going to make the wrong choice. Yet, He allowed it to happen anyways? Why? In order to bring glory to His name, in order to make sons and daughters out of us instead of mere creation, in order to allow true love to prosper and to keep from creating a world of autonoma. "

True people need to stop saying God intentionally made A&E sin he just let it be without doing anything in his power to prevent it and it was Satan who manifested sin hellooo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×