Human Volition / Divine Sovereignty

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Alex Quackenbush, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    0
    For many people the contemporaneous existence of Divine Sovereignty and Human Volition in the plan of God in human history is baffling. So baffling is it that they opt for the imbalances of these two realities as seen in Calvinism and Pelaganism as well as a myriad of lesser known theological systems.

    The historical trends in doctrinal erring or enlightenment within the church is quite evident and today one of these trends is toward the imbalance of Calvinism with a misunderstanding of the function and nature of Divine Sovereignty and general lack of knowledge regarding the purpose of human volition (other theological trends exist today, along with Calvinism/Reformed Theology, that will eventually combine to historically mark either a lessening of enlightenment or increase of enlightenment during this period, of course we will be gone when our predecessors look back to make such evaluations).

    Realizing this is a message board and a posting I will focus primarily on one point that being human volition, with reference to the other as it relates.

    Job is the place to begin because it is in Job that the revelation of God to man provides a well documented case of the Satanic attack upon human volition.
    So we see Satan sought to attack Job, but why? The latter portion of Job demonstrates the point of this attack:

    What was Satan seeking to do with Job? Obviously, he attempted to get Job to charged God foolishly. Job made a choice and that choice involved his response to disaster. But why would Satan want Job to respond negatively toward God? Why would he want to induce Job to charge God foolishly? Obviously to support Satan’s position against God regarding his OWN case in eternity past.
    What does this have to do with human volition? Everything! What does Satan, Job and Job’s trial have to do with human volition? Everything!

    Humanity was created with the capacity to response, to decide…to exercise our volition. The crux of the trial, judgment and sentencing of Satan is based in and around VOLITION. Satan and a third of the angels made a choice and that choice was to rebel against God. The salvation offered to angels in eternity past as Hebrews records, was rejected by them, hence they were put on trial, found guilty and condemned. But they aren’t serving their sentence. Why? Because they are on appeal.

    In response to this event in eternity past God created man, “a little lower than the angels” but with one thing IDENTICAL…that being VOLITION. The capacity to choose.

    Satan’s attack on mankind from the Garden onward was centered on man’s volition. This gives us a strong clue as to the NATURE of Satan’s argument in the appeal of his case, that being a volitional issue. It is apparent that Satan believes that in some way, shape or form, volitionally, HE is not responsible for his decision to rebel but ultimately God is.

    So in giving human’s volitional capacity God is providing proof in the appeal case of Satan that the prosecution was not in fact wrong but right in giving Satan the capacity to choose in the way in which God did. Again, in response to the argument of Satan, God provides these lesser being, us humans, with volitional capacity. And what is Satan’s immediate focus of attack? Yes, our choice, our response…our volition is attacked. Satan sought to demonstrate that even in our innocency, in the absence of sin in ourselves, we lacked the capacity to exercise volition positive to God. And he probably imagined he won at that point. He did make a point, but that point was only that man can choose negatively AGAINST GOD, not that he is incapable of responding positively TO God.

    The attack is on volition because volition is the crux of personal responsibility and accountability. Remember, Satan is still arguing his case. He is still appealing his case. He even seeks to use God’s own Word against Him. But of course Satan always misrepresents what God says in an attempt to prove his point. Satan seeks to argue that he COULD NOT choose God because of some deficiency in design, particularly in volition. If he can demonstrate the wrongness of volition, its illegitimacy, he can prove God wrong.

    God in his wisdom responds by demonstrating that volition, even in humans, is legitimate and the justifiably the source of personal accountability. And this is why human volition is so attacked or misrepresented as well as the Divine Sovereignty.

    And the Scriptures are clear that while man can respond he cannot produce saving faith within himself nor can he, after exercising faith via God the Holy Spirit keep himself saved. This is the work of the Divinely Sovereign God who insures both our faith and our salvation without violating our volition.

    The idea that God chooses who will be saved is foreign to this and the idea that mankind can respond fully in faith without the enabling of the Holy Spirit and that man keeps himself saved through some form of obedience, is also foreign to this. Both are attempt take theological concepts and realities and over prescribe them in Scripture.

    Human volition is not a by-product but a deliberate design by God in humanity in response to the appeal of Satan in his case. It has a specific design and purpose, far more relevant than many imagine.
     
    #1 Alex Quackenbush, Sep 2, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2007
  2. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    very scholarly sounding. I got just one thing to say:

    Job was already a quickened soul before God, somebody born from above by the will of God, not a lost soul, and therefore, capable of responding with praise to his God even in the face of calamities, as only a quickened soul can do that, one who knows God, and whom God knows. The lost, those whom the god of this world has blinded, are incapable of coming to God bowing to His supremacy and sovereignty in all things.

    Secondly, you forget that moving forward, Job did feel, and voiced out, self-pity, and questions his circumstances and so a change of pace occurs in Job when the Bible says in Job 32:1 "and so these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes".
     
  3. swaimj

    swaimj
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can you offer proof for this?
     
  4. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Remember, whether someone is born again or not is not relevant to the issue of volition and the satanic assault on it from the beginning of human history. Nor is the Job passage or the OP focused on the response of a believer or non-believer but that of a volitional being. The argument of those influenced by the imbalance of one or the other schools of theology will be a distortion of the unique and proper function of volition in humanity. One school will trap themselves with the erroneous belief that an unsaved/unregenerate person has no capacity to respond in any manner to things divinely true and the other will disregard the work of God in man in that process.

    In the case of Job who was a believer, the attempt will be to reduce the argument to..."He was saved, hence he was able to respond" ... totally abandoning any and all other considerations and aspects of the argument and doctrine of human volition. They completely miss in saying "He was saved, hence he was able to respond" that even being ABLE to respond, if one accepts this premise (I don't, at least not in the way it is presented and promoted by Calvinists), still required was Job's VOLITIONAL exercise.
     
    #4 Alex Quackenbush, Sep 2, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2007
  5. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    NO OT saint was "born again"/regenerate/quickened. Job WAS justified before God. Scripture says he had no sin. He was apparently "innocent as the day he was born." He believed God and had NOT eaten the "forbidden fruit" yet according to the account in Job. I would suggest that the only sin Job had was the "unknown [to him] fault" of pride which he discovers at the end whereupon God restores him 7 fold.

    So what Satan had to work with was very similar to Adam and Eve. And apparently God is showing to Satan His mercy had Satan repented in due season.

    I hope I'm not adding to the story, Alex. It seems you have a good handle on this lesson in Job.

    I never have liked what this insinuates -- that man has no responsibility in his own "rebirth." It describes utter "hands off" conversion of a person who then has such radical changes in behavior and attitude that one would have to consider that he/she was newly "brainwashed," not saved. or under the influence of drugs as they accused those at Pentecost --- but not reborn.

    And then you not being able to describe it but in "mystical" terms only makes one wish it could happen to them. But indeed, volition was involved in your case as well.

    skypair
     
  6. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can you offer a counter argument with proof that an unregenerate soul is able to praise God in the midst of tribulations and sufferings ?

    Perhaps there are no direct Scriptures that names Job as a born-again soul, or regenerate, but certainly there are plenty of Scriptures that point to the truth that only children of God, those in whom dwell God, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, are able to praise God in the midst of trials and tribulations, scriptures that lead you to such a doctrinal conclusion.

    The book of psalms and proverbs alone has nearly a hundred verses with the word "praise" in relation to God, and not one of them comes from the lips of the unrighteous and the wicked, exceptin' if you want to say that
    Psalms 74:10 is one.

    Even the book of Job tells you that Job is a child of God, not simply a creation like the rest of mankind.

    First, God calls him His servant, not in the context of Darius being God's servant in fulfilling God's plan for Israel, but as one who serves God in the way he lives his life: one who fears God, and escheweth evil. Hardly can be said of many "Christians" today.

    Now, do you have Scriptures that say an unregenerate soul can fear God in the proper sense (and not as the devils do), and serve God, and eschew evil ?
     
  7. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well, then, to simplify things, why don't you look for a Biblical example of an unarguably unregenerate individual, and see if he has volitional responses that clearly shows he is able to choose good from evil without any particular influence from God.
     
  8. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    0
    The issue isn't whether God influences you me or anyone else, again it is volition. God does NOT decide for you. This is the argument of Satan. That volition is defective in its construct or the Sovereignty of God trumps it, neither is true and both arguments of Satan based on a misunderstanding of the design and function of volition and the nature and function of Divine Sovereignty.
     
  9. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    posted in error
     
    #9 saturneptune, Sep 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2007
  10. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    Okay, since you clearly have no Scriptures to back up your heavenly and saintly argument versus our satanic argument, then why don't you begin with explaining to us mouthpieces of Satan how to understand the "design and function of volition and the nature and function of Divine Sovereignty."

    Lecture us, professor.
     
  11. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    pinoy,
    I think this guy is a set up, troll, baiter, whatever you want to call it. Look at the name, and the date of birth. This is either a troublemaker or a joker, not a serious debater.
     
  12. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    okay, thanks for the heads up, SN, 'preciate it.
     
  13. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yup. It's pretty obvious. It only took a few posts before I dusted off my feet with this guy.
     
  14. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm just curious how you can label a guy a troll on his screen name and birthday and 20 posts :confused:

    His delivery may need to be toned down, but I haven't read anything that would suggest he's a troll yet.
     
  15. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    posted in error
     
    #15 saturneptune, Sep 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2007
  16. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, I am of course not a troll and I won't hold my breath in anticipation of any moderator or administrator to discipline the false accusers. But I do appreciate your noticing what you did and mentioning it.

    Hmmm, I wonder what is worse, having a tone that might seem a bit unpleasant to a select few or falsely accusing someone, yes my birthday is Dec. 25, and so are a lot of people's.

    Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness. But again, I won't hold my breath for anyone here with any authority to be concerned with someone falsely accusing me, that's okay for some it appears. But whoa to the man or woman with an unpleasant tone.
     
  17. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,517
    Likes Received:
    1
    "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?"

    Job 1:8
     
  18. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,137
    Likes Received:
    320
    I usually don't respond to threads which appear to be going downhill but...
    In answer to Pinoy's challenge (though he did not ask me in particular)...

    This is an academic response.

    While the human participant in this conversation is clearly unregenerate God fully treats him as having the ability to respond to a choice.

    Genesis 4
    6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
    7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

    It seems out of character of God to me that He should even be having this conversation with Cain and giving Cain His expectation of him if He had not the desire or at least the inclination to kindle that desire through the power of the Spirit to do the right thing. Why bother with Cain if God knows he is not elect?

    Also BTW and FWIW this unregenerate indivdual later makes an oblique request of God and He honors it.

    Genesis 4
    13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
    14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
    15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.​

    In the NT we aslo have the account of Ananias and Sapphira:​

    Acts 5
    1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
    2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
    3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
    4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.​

    I agree with the person who said that it really doesn't matter whether there is regeneration or not.​

    Are we saying that a regenerate man now has the ability to overturn the Sovereignty of God with His "volition" (to use the argument of some of the reformed folks)?​

    Again this is an academic answer. In reality I am one of the baffled ones mentioned in the OP and I think in this case I'd rather be baffled than in error one way or the other (but that maybe a desire of my flesh).​

    Anyway, I thought I would respond to Pinoy. These are the best Scriptures I could come up with brother, what do you think?​

    HankD​
     
  19. swaimj

    swaimj
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, Job was an unregenerate soul who praised God in the midst of trials. I refer to him as unregenerate because the promise of regeneration is not given in scripture until THOUSANDS of years after Job died, and the fulfillment of that promise did not occur for THOUSANDS of years after that. You are simply reading your theological presupposition into Job's life. The best proof that you are doing this is that you did not answer my question, but responded to me with a question.
     

Share This Page

Loading...