Human reason in defense of free will

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by npetreley, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    I was rereading Bondage of the Will when I came across this passage. IMO it describes very accurately the problem with the arguments one sees so often here that are offered in favor of free will. Keep in mind that Luther was responding to a Diatribe by Erasmus on free will. Emphasis and text in [] brackets are mine.

    I should stop there with this quote because IMO it has made the point, but I hate to leave the part about Genesis unaddressed, so here's the rest of the passage:

     
  2. Ray Berrian

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    Acts 13:46 is the perfect Scripture to portray 'the freedom of the will' and counter-distinction to 'the bondage of the will.' The Jews as a nation had turned aside Jesus so the Gospel was opened to the rest of the world, namely the Gentile. Alford, the Greek scholar suggests that verse 46 indicates 'human agency' meaning the Jews as a nation turned aside Jesus Christ. Our Lord did not turn them down.

    Acts 13:48 in my KJV says, ' . . . and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.' I love the KJV but in isolated places it comes up wanting. This error has been handed down to us Protestants and other Christians from the Latin Vulgate which was the Bible of choice for St. Augustine. Augustine never studied one semester of Greek but was versed in Latin. The RCC passed down his high handed view of theology. Most English versions including the RSV still perpetuate the RCC errors.

    One of the reasons why seminarians have to study Greek is so they can penetrate the error and teach the Word of God correctly to their congregations. Greek scholars like Robertson, Meyer, Rotherham, and Alford indicate that the verse actually reads like this. 'and as many as were disposed to eternal life, believed.'

    Chrysostom suggests that the Greek word does not speak of necessity or compulsion. God in His sovereignty has allowed people to decide their fate, if you will, especially after hearing the saving message of the Gospel.

    Bloomfield asserts, as do other scholars, that {tasso} often conveys the 'middle sense and should be thought of as being in the passive voice.' This simply means that no outer person or thing has determined the choice of these people. In other words, God did not intervene and choose or ordain these people to everlasting life.

    Again, ' . . . as many as were disposed to eternal life, believed.'
     
  3. npetreley

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    Chrysostom was also an author of the abominable ideas that became replacement theology. So this was not his only massive error.

    Bloomfield and the other scholars to which you refer are providing a classic example of the above argument by Luther. They feel justified in twisting the plain meaning of a passage because their human reason drives them to come to a different conclusion. Yet they think nothing of the fact that their conclusion contradicts other scripture.

    tasso: New Testament Greek for 'ordained'

    5021 tasso {tas'-so}
    a prolonged form of a primary verb (which latter appears only in certain tenses); TDNT - 8:27,1156; v

    AV - appoint 3, ordain 2, set 1, determine 1, addict 1; 8 1) to put in order, to station
    (strong's number 5021)

    Here's another example of tasso (tetagmenoi in Acts 13:48, tetagmenai in Rom 13:1):

    And in case you're tempted to point to the suffix as indicative of the difference in tense, here is the word again as taxamenoi:

    Finally, can you name one person on earth in their right mind who is not "disposed" to eternal life? What manner of blindness would cause anyone to suggest that the verse is saying, "As many as felt like eternal life would be a good thing were saved, but those who thought dying was a better idea weren't saved."
     
  4. Yelsew

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    I don't know Greek at all, but in context this passage says to me what Robertson, Meyer, Rotherham, and Alford indicated it says. To Wit: "Those who hear the word, and are thusly exposed to eternal life, and Believe in the author of life, are those who are disposed to receive eternal life. No one is forced to, and no one is pre-marked, for Eternal life. All must come to Jesus in the same manner...through belief! Who can believe but those who hear? And how can they hear lest they have a messenger? That pastors is your mission, but not you alone; all who hear and believe, "the Grass Roots Missionaries", must tell others!

    If everything is pre-ordained, there is no reason for a Church! God simply does not need a stumbling, disorganized, monolithic organization to tell those who are for-ordained. All God needs do is "quicken the spirits of the elect".

    That, by the way, is the purpose of the Word, except the Word is not limited to some unidentified "elect". It is for all who have an ear to hear. Those who hear the Word and believe are just as saved as any who are elect. Virtually any human can be "of the elect" by responding to the Word of God!

    If "fore-ordained", or "elect" persons exist, God already placed in them the mechanism by which God calls them at their appointed time. There is no reason for a Church or a Bible or Pastors, missionaries, etc., and certainly no reason for seminaries.

    By believing that there is a core group called the elect, one negates all rationale for Jesus to become incarnate, live among men, and sacrifice himself on a cruel Roman cross. That simply was not needed for "the Elect", because if they are elected, they are already sanctified (set apart) from the non elect. God does not neglect those he separates!

    It also negates "building a church". It laughs in the face of seminaries around the world. After all, what value are they if the fore-ordained exists? All they do is perpetuate a myth, that of teaching people how to build churches, and how to control a huge segment of the population of the world through mind games.

    On the other hand, if there is no elect, God's call is for any who will (human choice) come to Him through faith (sustained belief). We are all equal in God's eyes. We are all equal in that we are all in the image of God. An image, by the way, does not have all the attributes of the original thing or person being reflected as an image. We humans cannot be God, but we certainly can use those attributes God gave to us in the Creation. None of our God given attributes were lost in "the fall" except the virtue of sinlessness (holiness). In fact, in "the fall" man gained the knowledge of good and evil before he lost His sinlessness because that knowledge revealed to man that he had indeed sinned before God! So in addition to all that God willingly gave to man, knowledge of good and evil was added at the expense of innocence and holiness.
     
  5. npetreley

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    Once again, a clear example of precisely the error referred to by Luther. One wonders why the possibility does not occur to you that Churches, Bibles, Pastors and missionaries are the very foreordained mechanisms by which God accomplishes some plan that is either in place of or in addition to what you've personally decided they must be for?

    If? If?

    If the elect do not exist, then Jesus is misquoted or lying (and if the latter, therefore not who He says he is), Paul and Peter are deceived, and Yelsew's reasoning is the light to guide our paths. On the other hand, if the scripture is right and Yelsew wrong, then the elect do exist and predestination does exist. AND yet there are Bibles, pastors, churches, missions and Jesus did come and die on a cross.

    In the latter case, one can only conclude that there is a reason why in God's plan, predestination, election, the Bible, pastors, churches, missions, and the finished work of Jesus somehow coexist, a reason that does not occur to Yelsew! Is such a thing possible?

    [ January 19, 2003, 04:33 PM: Message edited by: npetreley ]
     
  6. Ray Berrian

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    Yelsew,

    I enjoyed your sermonette. You understand the thrust of Biblical teaching and God's mission for a lost people.

    I'm always amazed how angry Calvinists become when they realize their theological mind set comes out of Roman Catholicism and that they bought the message, 'hook, line and sinker.' They are too sure their views are right without checking out the influence of the Latin Vulgate on their present understanding of the Word of God. Acts 13:48 in the R.SV. and KJV still has the thoughts of Augustine and John Calvin's teachings. The Greek text says, ' . . . and as many as were disposed to eternal life, believed.' Get used to the facts.

    In Acts 13:46 God did not turn the Jews away from His Gospel truth, the rebellious hears of the Israelites accomplished it all by themselves. Don't blame a predestinarian God.

    My wife used to believe Catholic theology having been brought up in a Catholic family. What I am saying is I am not against people who are involved in this branch of the church, but do, of course, disagree with much of their views.
     
  7. Yelsew

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    It seems the burden of proof regarding the existence of some mysterious group called "the elect" is on you sir.

    I know that scripture speaks of them but there is no agreement among the learned clergy on who they are, or what they may be.

    Scripure verses having nothing to do with the elect are used to confirm an opinion that they exist.

    So if they exist produce the evidence.
     
  8. Yelsew

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    A search for the word "elect" resulted in this scriptures.
    King James Version
    Word or phrase: ELECT

    (Isaiah 42:1)
    1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
    (Isaiah 45:4)
    4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
    (Isaiah 65:9)
    9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
    (Isaiah 65:22)
    22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
    (Matthew 24:22)
    22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
    (Matthew 24:24)
    24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
    (Matthew 24:31)
    31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
    (Mark 13:20)
    20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
    (Mark 13:22)
    22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
    (Mark 13:27)
    27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
    (Luke 18:7)
    7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
    (Romans 8:33)
    33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
    (Colossians 3:12)
    12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
    (1 Timothy 5:21)
    21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
    (2 Timothy 2:10)
    10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
    (Titus 1:1)
    1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
    (1 Peter 1:2)
    2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
    (1 Peter 2:6)
    6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
    (2 John 1:1)
    1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;
    (2 John 1:13)
    13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.
     
  9. npetreley

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    I'm speechless. How does one respond to such self-contradictory and confused statements?
     
  10. Yelsew

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    In the old testament, the Elect is clearly defined as certain individuals, and the family of Israel. In the New Testament it is not clear who the elect could be, and that is the reason for so very much confusion among men today.

    So do you have proof of who the elect are? OR that they even Exist?
     
  11. TomMann

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    It is very clear to the elect.....
     
  12. Yelsew

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    How can you be sure?

    There are several meanings for "the elect" in the new testament, including that the elect is the 144 thousand out of the tribes of Israel. I know I'm not part of that "elect". I do however know that I am a part of the Bride of Christ. That is truth that I rely on.
     
  13. Eric B

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    So Hell, evil, error even, etc. are just as much "the works of God" ("the very best", at that) execrated by the world as Christ and the Gospel. This is the error I have mentioned elsewhere of making Hell a desired goal of God rather than simply reaction to sin (originally for angels, not man). And of course the old standby of "known only to God".
    But the Bible does not say those things. God allows evil, and sometimes may do things that may seem evil to us, especially if we did it (killing a man, for instance), and yes, for His own reasons. This would be the "evil" (Heb. "adversity", "affliction") that He "creates" (Is.45:7), but not on the universal scale Luther is referring to, which would make God the author of sin (in order to have someone to damn, because His "glory" is incomplete without that).

    [ January 20, 2003, 04:52 PM: Message edited by: Eric B ]
     
  14. npetreley

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    You are the one making the error of assigning it the status of "a desired goal" as if you know what God's motivation must be under the circumstances. It could certainly be a desired goal. It could also be an undesired but inevitable consequence of some of God's other desired goals. Either way, it is a work of God. Now who are we to say that it's an inferior work of God or a great one?
     
  15. Eric B

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    We may be nobody, but the God's own Word never calls Hell a "great work of God", and to place it next to Christ Himself... :eek:
    This "who are we" business can only go but so far when ridiculous hypotheses are ascribed to God or read into the scriptures. (Who are we to add such speculation to God's revelation?)
     
  16. npetreley

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    Well, you'll have to complain to Luther about that if that's what you think he was doing.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I think you're finally getting it!! It is a grievous error to add speculation to scripture such as, "Why would Jesus/God command something unless we had the ability to comply?" Or "A loving God would never do this or that..."
     
  17. Eric B

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    But that's not scripture (as it pertains to blocking people from repenting unto salvation ever in their lives. yes, I know that He commanded the Law and people couldn't keep it, but then He provided a way for people to be redeemed despite that, so that's different)
    Moving that line of reasoning over to eternal preterition is people's interpretation, and this we can challenge.
     

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