God’s Sovereign Choice to Involve Man’s Will

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    To start off this thread, I will post an unanswered post to DHK on the thread now closed entitled “Can a Christian Sin?

    HP: I was always under the impression from Scripture that the unsaved had to do something to be forgiven, and that without which that being done no sins would be remitted?




    HP: Why is it that if I say a person has to do something in order to be saved you bring up salvation by works, but you can say the exact same thing and say it is by faith alone? If the reader will note, in my post I did not specify what it was a man must so, but only that a man must do something. Since DHK has now mentioned faith, let’s start with that action. Faith clearly involves an action of the will does it not? Is faith some nebulous gift that God grants to the elect or is faith something God calls upon man to exercise, man’s will being an intrinsic part of the faith process? If man’s will is not involved in faith, faith can be in support of nothing short of the false notion of limited atonement, faith only granted to a select few.

    How can ones ideas of faith not be clearly associated with irresistible grace, if in fact man’s will is not involved? If the granting of saving faith has nothing to do with man, it can only be the results of God’s will alone if some receive it. If that is the case, who can resist that which is a matter of God’s will and that alone, esablishing the notion that such faith is indeed irresistible.


    HP: I have certainly heard a lot of preachers telling the unsaved that they would have to do something to go to heaven. You don't suppose they all are in error do you?






    HP: Yet further evidence that the idea of faith held by DHK is nothing short of the results of a limited atonement and irresistible grace seeing that he claims man cannot be told there is something they must do to be saved without DHK crying they, by doing so, are in error. If faith is not something man must exercise, man’s will is not involved. If man’s will is not involved, saving faith is nothing short of the plans of an Omnipotent God bestowing what is His and His alone upon a preselected group of individuals known as 'the elect.' That is exactly the sentiments behind the doctrine of limited atonement, and establishes the validity of irresistible grace, for if man has nothing to do in order to receive saving faith, man can do nothing to do to resist saving faith.

    Tell us DHK that you do not hold to a limited atonement and irresisitble grace. If you do not hold to these well known doctrinal tenants, explain to us what it is that man must do to be saved. Remember, it was You DHK that clearly stated, without asking what it is that the things one must do, that all that state that there is something man must do, are in error. If you say faith, it is your duty to explain how faith does not involve man's will and by doing so swallow the two doctirnal positions well known by any student od theology as two tenants of Calvinism's TULIP.
     
  2. Andre

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    Two points. First, despite widespread belief to the contrary, Paul (and other New Testament writers) never deny "salvation by good works". What Paul (in particular) denies is salvation by doing the works of the Mosaic code - the Torah. Paul actually affirms that we are justified by the good deeds our lives manifests in that famous text from Romans 2 that so many argue is only a "hypothetical" route to salvation.

    But that aside, I agree with your implication that we need to have a better way to think about this whole "what counts as a human act as opposed to a divine act" issue. There is something wrong with the line of thinking that asserts that any act at all on the part of the human being counts as a "work" - even if it were true that the New Testament denies justification by "good works" which, I claim, it does not.
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Before going into any depth, could you verify this point for the list? Am I right in assuming that you ARE NOT saying that if one does good works that such works could atone for even one sin?
     
  4. TaliOrlando

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    I believe that God provides us all a choice. God doesnt want robots, he wants us to seek him because we want to. In the Garden of Eden, he gave Adam a Choice, follow me or eat of the tree. It was Adams decision to follow Eve and eat of the tree. If God wanted to make sure Adam didnt have a choice, he wouldnt have placed that tree in the middle of the Garden, but he didnt. God gave Adam a Choice, we have a choice to Follow God or Not Follow God, be obedient or not be obedient. We each have a choice.... Jesus paid the price on that Cross for all who are willing to Repent, Accept him as their Savior and Confess their Sins.... its our choice but saddly far too many dont accept him as their savior.

    On the Day of Judgement, God will judge all.... this is why I dont follow calvanism. Calvanism says those who are chosen will be chosen but those who are not are destined to hell. Well, how can God justly judge his creation without giving it a choice. Also, if there is no Choice then Why did he give Adam a choice of eating from the fruit or now eating from the fruit.
     
  5. steaver

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    I'm not sure you proved anything, but you did explain your views.

    I am not disagreeing with you on all points, but I am not satisfied that what you posted reconciles John's proclamation.

    Jhn 1:13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Calvin's view is that regeneration comes before saving faith. I believe saving faith is what motivates God to regenerate the believer.

    But what this then does, is it seals the believer forever. If it did not there would be no point in the rebirth for it would not be needed for salvation. Faith alone (plus works for your view) would do the job.

    God Bless! :thumbs:
     
  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I like your post. :thumbs: If in fact you are right in God granting to men choices, including one to be saved or to reject His offer, does it not stand to reason that man’s will is involved in the salvation process, without which Calvinism reigns?

    If man is saved by faith, cannot it not be rightfully stated that man’s will is involved with a choice to either exercise faith or not in Christ and the offer granted to him? Does not the denial of man’s will being involved, even in faith or the lack thereof, land us in that trap of fatalism and determinism we all see as detestable and not in accordance to truth?
     
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: If saving faith motivates God to regenerate the believer, then a believer could not be regenerated prior to the exercising of saving faith. Is that what you mean?


    HP: Could you try and reword or restate this portion of your post? As written it makes no sense to me. Thanks.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Calvinism doesn't deny that man's will is involved. It affirms what the Bible affirms, that man's will without God is to refuse God, and when God sovereignly and unilaterally draws him and enables him, he willfully turns to God.

    This is the heresy of NT Wright that has been rejected for two millennia of church history by true believers.
     
  9. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Quote:
    If in fact you are right in God granting to men choices, including one to be saved or to reject His offer, does it not stand to reason that man’s will is involved in the salvation process, without which Calvinism reigns?


    HP: Your post highlights the Calvinistic view of choice or freedom which I believe is a complete sophism. It suggests that prior to salvation one only has one ‘choice’ and that is to sin and that continually. Choice must consist in the possibility of two or more consequents for any given antecedent, without which choice is a chimera. NO freedom can be predicated where choice does not exist. If man has only the ability to ‘refuse God’ as you indicate, no choice or freedom can be predicated. If Gods grace is as Calvinism presents it as, i.e. irresistible, all freedom is once again eliminated. In the system of Calvinism, the will is either bondage to sin or under bondage to believe that which has already been foreordained to happen. In either case their freedom of the will is no freedom at all.

    Yes, Calvinism does deny freedom of the will and does deny in reality that man’s will is involved. Freedom ‘to do as one wills,’ as the Calvinist states is no freedom at all. Freedom, if it exists, must lie antecedent to the doing, in the actual decision between two or more possible influences in the formation of the intents of the heart. The doing sustains to the will the relationship of necessity, not freedom. One can ‘only do as they will.’ If they 'do something different,' it is clear that their will has changed.

    Again, if there is only one possible consequent for a given antecedent, no freedom can be predicated of the outcome. Two or more possible consequents must be possible for a given antecedent before choice or freedom can be predicated. The Calvinist has us necessitated before salvation to evil, and necessitated, if one of the elect, to salvation. The Calvinistic system of thought destroys freedom and accountability and is one of fatalistic determination. Their freedom is no freedom at all.
     
  10. steaver

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    Right, but after that the Holy Spirit regeneration had been made availiable (post ressurrection) to those of faith the act of God to rebirth those of faith happens the moment of faith.

    The Father draws the person to Jesus, the Spirit convicts, the person believes and God regenerates or the person rejects. It is all in the same instance, but if you wish to break it down into minute detail, this is what it would look like.

    Why the rebirth?

    The OT saints did not have a rebirth while living their life towards God.

    What is God's point in recreating a person from the inside out?

    It seems to me that your view of salvation is the same as the OT brand which did not include any act of God regenerating the believer by the Holy Spirit. It seems to me that the regeneration in your view doesn't mean much, if anything at all, in the believers life for the believer must will himself to stay saved.

    So I asked, what is God's point in creating a new creature through regeneration? Is it just for kicks? Can you explain why and how your view of salvation includes the importance of the rebirth?
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    No, it suggests that man has two choices and he always choices to reject God. That is what the Scripture says.

    Speaking of sophism, that's all this is.

    I think most would disagree with you, but nevertheless, isn't this a good thing? Wouldn't you hate to be left to your own will? I would. My will was turned against God, hating God, rejecting all that was good, and God in his mercy chose not to leave me that way.

    But let's turn it around: You are affirming man's choice by denying God's. Simply put, if man requests salvation from God, can God refuse to save him? Of course not. Yet it immediately becomes clear that God (given your position) has no freedom because he has no choice.

    So your sophistry and intelligent sounding words are not adequate to deal with the biblical revelation or the philosophical problems you have introduced.

    And what Scripture are you basing this on? In fact, can you give any Scripture that speaks of man having a free will as you define it here?

    I don't know about you, but I changed my view when I could no longer argue with the Scriptures. "God chose you from the beginning for salvation" was simply too overwhelming for me to continue in my arrogance and rejection of Scripture to maintain the illusion of "human freedom" that you suggest that the Bible gives no indication of that I know about.

    Only in your view. I think for those who understand the Scriptures, it is no issue at all.
     
  12. Andre

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    I am not sure I understand your question. I certainly do not believe that doing good works atone for sin. The work of Jesus on the cross fully atones for sin. But it is nevertheless true that at the final judgement, eternal life will be granted on the basis of the evidence of an entire life - that is, on the basis of the good works that are manifested in one's life. Paul is clear about that in Romans 2.

    I do not see any contradiction in the above position. Do you?
     
  13. Andre

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    You are correct. It is wordplay to say something like "sure man has choice, he just always chooses evil". Its fine to hold that man is born with an irresistable urge to sin - I myself believe this is what the Bible teaches. But we need to be fair in our use of language and the concepts it points to. If I am irresististably drawn to commit sin, then it is simply improper use of language to assert that I have "choice" in respect to the matter of committing sin.

    Of course, one can indeed claim that I have choice in respect to which sin I am going to commit.

    It appears that there is a strain in the church that, on the one hand, uses the true and correct freewill implications of the concept of "choice" to support arguments for judgement while, on the other hand, denying real choice in other statements they make. We need to be consistent: if you are going to use the "he chose to sin" argument to support the legitimate application of punishment, you cannot then deny the freedom of that person to have "chosen" not to sin.

    If Fred does not have the power of contrary action, he does not have "choice" - so please use another term if that is indeed your position.
     
  14. Hayley

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    What about Luther's position on this in The Bondage of the Will?
    I skimmed all the posts and I don't think any one mentioned that.
    I had a difficult time with that book. It ruined my life! :-/ lol no it was good for me though I think. It made me think. :)

    Oh and Hi I am Hayley!
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I have that book and have read it, although it has been some time ago. I can think of no book in my library further from the truth than that book. It reveals in vivid detail the error of Calvinistic determinism.

    If the will is indeed in bondage to the point that it can do nothing other than it does, choice is impossible for an honest seeker of truth to perceive of. When choice is eliminated, all morality and accountability is destroyed, and a horrible blight is painted upon the character of God.
     
  16. Reformer

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    First [​IMG]

    And be warned it gets hot around here sometimes

    As for Luther's book it is a great work that MANY people can't stand because it puts God in control and shows how depraved we really are
     
  17. Hayley

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    Why would a horrible blight be painted upon the character of God? I think knowing that God is in control of everything including our choice is wonderful... It just is difficult to wrap one's mind around sometimes.
     
  18. Hayley

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    Thank you! :)

    Thank you for the warning also. I shall be brave. ;-)
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: One of the dark sides of Calvinism is double predestination, something it cannot escape. Calvin openly admitted to it as an unavoidable reality of his system of theology. It makes sin the product of God’s own doing, and then paints God as punishing the sinner, one that was destined that way by God’s own choice, to an eternal hell, when in reality they could have done nothing other than what they did, God having predestined them to that fate. If that is not a horrible blight upon the character of a Loving, Fair, and Just God, the Pope is not a Catholic.
     
    #19 Heavenly Pilgrim, Aug 26, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2008
  20. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: The truth is that if in fact Luther’s book is the truth, depravity is nothing more than the handiwork of God Himself. Again, what a horrible blight upon the Character of our Holy, Fair and Just God.
     

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