Let's try something different....

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Solo Christo, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. Solo Christo

    Solo Christo
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    The monergism/synergism debate has been aflame for centuries, and this Calvinism/Arminianism Debate forum serves as an ample effort to extend the dialogue. It seems to me though that nearly every scriptural avenue has been explored. Calvinists see the word of God in one light and Arminians in another. Without agreeing on the exact condition of man and the revealed character of God, one party will likely never reconcile with the other on any topic relating to salvation. So what I’d like to suggest is something different. Albeit, I am not exactly comfortable with the premise in and of itself, but I simply can think of nothing further to add to the debate.

    As "Sola Scriptura" as my conviction is, what I am proposing is to discuss the issue at hand without the aid of scripture references. We should all know by now where everyone stands on Romans 9. I’m hoping to humbly engage this debate on the steam of fallen human rationale alone. One quick disclaimer: this may very well backfire horribly. Eh, here goes anyway….

    I suppose now would be a good time to confess my bias. I believe firmly in the Doctrines of Grace and hold that there is no other truth outlining salvation. With that being said, I would like to present some rational assumptions behind the theology.

    At the core of the monergism/synergism conflict lies the buzz topic of “free will”. I will focus on this exclusively for my argument, but invite everyone to enlighten other areas of the debate. Free will just seems to me the most sensitive area to the average believer and unbeliever alike. After all, we all indeed have wills and we all make choices, many of which are clear and cognitive. We also all bear the responsibility of our decisions and live with the results, both good and bad. But why do we choose what we choose? We do so because we do what we please. We do what we want most. In fact, give all of the decisions to be made in life it is frankly startling to realize that never do we choose what we do not want most in life. There are plenty of times we do things when it would seem we would rather not, but even those choices are the better of the options available to us at the time. When it comes to cognitive decision-making, it is downright impossible for us to respond in the negative to our most desired stimulus.

    The argument, therefore, is that while we may indeed have the ability to choose whatever we want, we do not in fact have the ability to want what we want. Our seemingly “free” choices are very much weighted according to our nature and circumstances, things of which only God has perfect control. God renders our existence certain according to his good pleasure and divine purpose. This is a stark contrast to the rebuttal of mindless necessity required of fatalism that serves no such holy intention. For it is assuredly with mighty and holy intentions that God carries out everything under the sun, including the election, calling, salvation, and perseverance of his chosen people while simultaneously perfecting his justice in the righteous condemnation of evil. All the while, on the human level we live completely without coercion, doing well as we please and reaping so. If we are to be saved from our fallen state it is by God alone who supernaturally gives us a new want: salvation in Christ Jesus. Of this we cannot do ourselves, nor can we initiate the desire or dare to cast the decisive vote (thereby holding God as dependent upon our sovereign human choice), for that would be impossible in our fallen state.

    Now, for discussion on the strength of fallible wit. What say ye?
     
  2. whetstone

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    Holy Cow...very brilliantly put. Especially this part:

    "The argument, therefore, is that while we may indeed have the ability to choose whatever we want, we do not in fact have the ability to want what we want."

    Precisely the Calvinist position: Free will is not overridden, but new desires are given to guide the outcome of the will. Well said and I wholeheartedly agree! [​IMG]

    Dan
    spurgeon.us
     
  3. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Solochristo;
    Too late this is done all the time on the part of the Calvinist. There defense is all human reasoning
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us All;
    Mike
     
  4. MargoWriter

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    That's ridiculous, ILuv. If it was human reasoning, we'd be able to fully understand it. Does not being able to want what you want make sense by human reasoning? Doubt it.

    Good stuff, solo, whetstone.
     
  5. whetstone

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    The arminian position is more human reasoning than the calvinist position. The arminian says, "I know why God elects people" while the Calvinist says, "Who can understand the wisdom of God in election?!"
     
  6. MargoWriter

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  7. billwald

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    First, "Sola Scriptura" is a sham because every denomination which accepts it has a catechism, a statement of faith, or a canon. In other words, Bible plus an official interpretation.

    Second, there is no test for the existance of free will.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Incorrect understanding of the relationship between the Bible and creeds. For one with a creed or confession, the confession is simply a summary of what they believe the Bible teaches. It is not held over the Bible as authority (or under the Bible as a foundation ... depending on which perspective you like). It is rather drawn from the Bible as a summary. The autohrity is still in the Bible. A creed/confession is a summary of what a particular group thinks it teaches.

    Now, they may not hold to sola scriptura, but the existence of a confession has nothing to do with that.
     
  9. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Margowritter;
    I realize most don't understand but, I'm in awe that Calvinist would recognize that. Which is why I said, what I said "There defense is all human reasoning" I don't deny that I want what I want I just deny that I always choose what I want.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us All;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  10. Wes Outwest

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    May be brilliant, but not proveable!
     
  11. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Wes;
    Nothing fasinates me more than the fact when some Calvinist can't argue against scripture they drag out the sayings of men as if that proves there point. There problem is they are just as wrong as there sayings.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us All;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  12. Solo Christo

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    Amen, Pastor Larry. No creed or confession is ever implied to be infallible. For example, the WCF can indeed be ammended if error is revealed. Scripture cannot because it is the holy and perfect word of God.

    Now back to the topic at hand....

    This is precisely the argument that I am making. There is a rational way to expose the fallacious idea that the human will is self-determining and completely free. As human beings, we simply do not choose what is contrary to our greatest want, and we have no ultimate or self-determining control of what that want was, is, or eventually will be. As it regards salvation, the point is that all men are born sinners and do not desire God's way (fighting urge of mass Scripture references). Men do not want to submit to God's righteousness. Only when given a new want and being reborn in Christ can man freely choose life from eternal death.

    Think of it this way. Imagine your favorite food or meal. I personally enjoy a good eggplant parmesan. Now imagine the most vile and disgusting thing that could possibly be consumed. Not that I have given it much thought, but I suppose sewer water would serve as a fine example. Now if both an appetizing eggplant parmesan and a bowl of sewer water were both placed before me, I would indeed have the freedom to choose between the two. I could very well dive right into that sewer water and nothing would stop me. I have the power of that choice. What I do not have the power of is the ability to want it, or desire it above the food that I love. In order for me to do something as revolting as choosing waste water over an inviting meal I would need a greater reason (perhaps to try and prove a point against reformed theology), but I would still succumb to the same principle that governs my decision.

    As sinners we do not want God until he grants us the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith. This he does by the pleasure of his good will and on his terms alone. This is the very essence of the term "omnipotent". Many people choose to be religious. Many people choose to perform sacrifices or observe austerities to become holy. Many people choose to attend church (which is wonderful and very important). But none of that, in and of itself, can produce a true want for Christ. None of that saves a soul. By faith alone, in Christ alone, and that by the grace of God alone are we bought from the slavery of sin and forever redeemed. We are paid for and given new life in which we finally become free.
     
  13. Solo Christo

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    Hello ILUVLIGHT,

    Could you please provide an example of when you chose what you did not want most?

    Thanks
     
  14. Solo Christo

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    In response to the suggested motives of this thread: this is simply an experiment. The entire Bible resonates from Genesis to Revelation with the glory of God's sovereignty and supremacy in all things. Nowhere in Scripture is the self-determining freedom of the human will preached.

    My humble intentions here are to expose theological errors with simple rationale. Of course it is only through God's revelation that we can really know anything at all of these matters, but I protest that the arguments can be proven with naked reason.

    For instance, we know from Scripture that all have sinned against God. However, we do not need to quote verses in order to prove the condition of sinful man. The truth is all around us. The same goes for "free will" as it is commonly understood today. Man succumbed to this concept as a result of the Fall. Scripture does not preach it and actually teaches emphatically against it. But, again, we don't need to hold lengthy expositions to see the truth all around us. It's obvious with only a little investigation.

    If anyone would like to discuss this issue sola scriptura, I would be happy to oblige. Perhaps someone could start a thread titled "Let's try this all over again..." ;)
     
  15. whetstone

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    um...if you choose something- you wanted it. Even if you claim you didn't want it- you proved you wanted it by choosing it. How can anyone not want something then chose it? While Christ didn't want to be separated from the Father (let this cup pass) he wanted more to obey. His will followed his want.

    Your will follows your want. Therefore if God can change your want he can change your will.

    See? :D
     
  16. here now

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    May be brilliant, but not proveable! </font>[/QUOTE]Wes,
    Sorry if you do not understand all of this, BUT, please take comfort in the fact that the Holy Ghost PROVES these things only to those whom He wishes.

    Sincerely,
    Here Now
     
  17. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Herenow;
    The Holy Spirit doesn't show the lies of men only the truth of God. You must mean something other than the Holy Ghost.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us All;
    Mike [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. Wes Outwest

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    May be brilliant, but not proveable! </font>[/QUOTE]Wes,
    Sorry if you do not understand all of this, BUT, please take comfort in the fact that the Holy Ghost PROVES these things only to those whom He wishes.

    Sincerely,
    Here Now
    </font>[/QUOTE]Nice insult Pope Dan!
     
  19. Wes Outwest

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    Hello ILUVLIGHT,

    Could you please provide an example of when you chose what you did not want most?

    Thanks
    </font>[/QUOTE]That's easy to do!

    I did not want to get out of bed this morning a come to work. I do have options that I like a whole lot better than doing so!
     
  20. rc

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    Amen Spurgeon...

    God doesn't force anybody... just gives them MORE freedom. And one will always choose the kingdom of God over the evil of hell... but one must be born again to see it!!
     

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