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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jerome, Jun 10, 2011.
Free Will (And Why You Still Don’t Have It)
Genetic determinism is a growing issue that needs to addressed in Christian communities. It is ridiculous, but needs to be addressed.
All depends on just HOW one defines the term "free will"
One group sees it as being God choosing to allow us to have "full free will" in the sense it comes down to us being ultimate source /basis if salvation, as we will decide if heaven/hell, and God waiting on our response..
Another group says that God has given us "limited free will" in that we still have to exercise our faith in Christ in order to become saved, but he is ultimate basis of it, as he decreed to elect and save us based on his divine Will
Another group would say NO free will, as God is determining and causing ALL things that happen, so really God saves period!
It amazes me, that men would argue over whether or not men can resist God. When they can read in scripture that men do just that. Even those who claim freewill doesn't exist, use it everytime they sin. It takes your freewill to choose to sin. Especially when you know it's against God's will to sin. Calvinist cannot prove everyone has already been predetermined from scripture with out stumbling on the truth of man's rebellion and rejection of Christ.
Think the basic question might be better served by stating it as
"How MUCH Free Will Do You See God Allowing man?"
Good point. A while back I took a college class (state university) and had to write a paper on the genetic and environmental causes of human behavior. "Am I the product of my genes or my environment?"
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The link provided by Jerome is to a post about free will in a secular discussion--not a religious discussion. Although, it appears the author is probably not a Christian, when you look at his list of published books.
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And finally, instead of personally entering into the doctrinal quagmire that may take place in this thread, let me escape by providing a link to my current theological teachers--good Baptist folks that have discussed and articulated a nice simple statement about this topic, and other doctrinal topics, and they do it much better than I can ever hope to do.
A TREATISE of the Faith and Practices of the National Association of Free Will Baptists
Who was it that quoted this, "Much ado about nothing."? Was it Shakespeare?
All of this without even one measely bible verse.......
Would you not think that in the span of time man has been on the earth that at least ONE other than Jesus of Nazareth would have elected not to sin.
Think about the story of the Lord going to destroy Sodom and Abraham starts at fifty and works his way down to ten. From the story line I think would could say that if Abrahan had asked the Lord would you destroy it if their be one the Lord would have said I will not destroy it if their be one. However the city was destroyed after God removed Lot his wife and two daughters and from following the story a little further you could not say even one of them was righteous.
If Abraham himself had lived in Sodom the only righteousness that would have been there would have been the imputed righteousness of God.
Just enough to submit or ( in other words, ) give up to the righteousness of God or, reject the offer of Salvation. To say man cannot resist God cannot be true because, men have been doing it from the beginning. Every single time they sin, they are in rebellion against God. This is why it's called rebellion. The Law applies to everyone even the wicked and the obedience to the Law is with out doubt God's will.
Someone needs to tell the author that a myth is something that is no necessarily untrue by definition
That article was brilliant. However, the author's secularism did not allow him to embrace compatibilism, which IS the Christian view of those Christians that have thoroughly thought the matter through. Compatibilism ties secondary causes (human decisions) to primary causes (God's will). Raw determinism, such as the author endorses, allows for no secondary causes or exercise of human will beyond that which is blindly predetermined. In other words, the Christian doctrines of Election and Predestination are a blessing because they proceed from a benevolent Mind, that of God; whereas the secular determinist is forced to act in accordance with his bodies DNA and the fashions of the time of his existence for no ultimate purpose whatsoever.
Of course, the philosophers identified the problem of free will very early, and they for the most part correctly defined the futility of humanistic free will - one cannot not choose of free will when to be born, where to be born, what personality to be born with, what kind of parents were to birth you, what nation to live in, what station in life rich or poor, and on and on we could go. Therefore, people live and die completing the appointed vectors of their circumstances.
This is a pessimistic story indeed, but the God of Hope changes all that. He lifts up from the miry clay of pessimistic determinism and gives us hope for salvation, because He has promised to save His elect and will do so.
The common error of noncalvinists is to claim that calvinists believe in "fate", but nothing could be further from the truth. We are not subject to mindless forces, but to the Mind of our Loving God.
The author falls short of a biblical understanding of determinism also when he describes cause and effect. He seems to see cause and effect as simply a string of dominoes in a line being toppled one after another. But biblical calvinism's theory of cause and effect says that yes, there was a "First Cause" - that first tipping of a dominoe - but it was Adam that inserted a finger into the string of dominoes and tipped them in another direction. Therefore, Adam (representing mankind) is fully responsible for his free act, his willingness, his will to sin, although it was predestined to happen.
The biblical doctrine of predestination should be a comforting message to the believer, for it tells us that our Father is in control and we can rest safely in His care; for He has mapped out our salvation,and without fail He will deliver us into his presence.
The blogger is wrong.
Libertarian Free Will is a myth.
The only free will that makes sense is that which is defined as: the mind choosing or the ability for a man to do what he pleases.
All of us agree with that notion.
I bet the blogger was criticizing the absurd idea of libertarian free will.
Not really. If you place a good apple in a barrle of rotten apples all you will have is rotten apples. We are born in sin not born to sin. We can't expect men to come into a sin filled world and not sin. Everyone is eventually effected by sin. Even the saved are effected by it. That's why we are told to run from it. If the only people you know are lost even though you are saved you will eventually do the same things as the friends you hang around with.
True if Abraham had lived there. Lot was just like the other residents of Sodom. He couldn't help him self because everyone he knew were sinful. So lot and his family were sinfull. God spared Lot because of Abraham, no other reason.
Wrong my friend. Free will does not mean always choosing what I would like most to do. There are often times that I choose to do what I would not like best to do. How so? Because sometimes following God's will means I do not do what I would do if I did not know and choose to follow him.
Like so many "so called" brilliant articles, it presents nonsense cloaked in psychobabble.
Our minds function through our brains. If our brains are damaged, our minds work less well.
One simple fact is that our memory is the basis of our cognitive skill. Some of us like to think we "connect the dots" with average or better skill. But say you have old timers disease, where you cannot make new memories that stick and your ability to retrieve older memories starts decreasing. At first you remain a rational person, just more easily confused than you used to be. But as the disease continues, you continue to connect far fewer dots and your conclusions tread further from the conclusions of others. In summary, over time you lose you mind.
Here is a sad example. You set a glass down in the kitchen. Later you return and the glass is not there. You have no memory of coming back and washing the glass and putting it away. So fear grabs you when you see that the glass is missing, someone has entered your house and stolen the glass. They may still be lurking. And on it goes.
But if we think about what this common condition teaches us about our minds, you see plainly that we are not free to think of things not in our memory, but we are free to associate things in our memory in various ways. Some times we add it up and get the "right" answer, i.e it meshes with subsequent experience, and sometimes we add it up and get a wrong answer, our choices result in unintended consequences such as pain, suffering and death.
Now lets review some of the nonsense:
The conscious mind is not the source of its own thoughts and intentions. This discloses the real mystery of free will: if our moment to moment experience is compatible with its utter absence, how can we say that we see any evidence for it in the first place?
Our conscious mind is not its own source, its source is our accessible memory. Our ability to retrieve information and base an action upon what we retrieve, is the exercise of our will, and if we can choose more than one action or response, our will is "free" to that extent. It you kill us, we have no free will, if our memory is killed, we have no free will, if we are allowed to only choose one option, we have no free will. But other than that, we have a will that is free to pick and choose options based on what seems best to us at the moment. And we can reverse course based on new data, such as repent, the kingdom of God is at hand.
You may want to eat a piece of cake and choose not to eat it because you want to lose weight more.
But every man chooses what he most wants to do in every instance that said choice is available.
If you want to be unfaithful to your wife with a flirtatious woman but you choose rather to be faithful and shun the woman you have chosen to do what you MOST want to do.
It may have been you MOST wanted to honor your vows to your wife.
It may be you MOST wanted to please God.
It may be a number of things you that altogether caused you to MOST want the choice you made- but regardless you still chose to do what you MOST wanted to do.
It is indeed amazing.
I know. I guess they rationalize that since they dont have free will, then...."God made me do it!"...which would mean that God actually commited the sin.
Of course it does.
Circular logic. What you most desire is a free will choice itself. You may reason that you can exercise later to work off those extra calories from the chocolate cake. In so doing you could satisfy both desires that you enjoy the cake AND lose weight.
I have the choice of wearing a short sleeve, or long sleeve shirt. It is going to be cool and I know I would be more comfortable in the long sleeve shirt. But the short sleeve shirt is more attractive. I desire to be both warm and appear attractive. I weigh these options and choose the short sleeve. You will say I chose what I most desired, but the fact that I CHOSE it is itself evidence that I have free will. My greatest desire itself was a free will choice.
I agree with you however do we sin by our freewill choice? When God created the first man Adam, did he create his as a perfect finished product or did he create him as he did that through him as the figure of one to come, the Word made flesh, he could be made complete?
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead;