The impotent will and sovereign will

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by npetreley, Mar 25, 2003.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    A free-will advocate said in another thread that God's sovereign will cannot be thwarted (my paraphrase). I find this statement fascinating because arminianism essentially states the following:

    1. It is God's will that everyone be saved. (God is not willing that any person who ever lives should perish.)
    2. Man can override that will by refusing to be saved.

    So it occurred to me that, instead of the calvinist general call and effective call, arminian soteriology describes an impotent will and a sovereign will.

    1. His impotent will that everyone be saved.

    2. His powerful, sovereign will to leave the pivotal decision in the hands of those He has clearly described as having turned astray, never seek God, altogether useless, who never do good, no not one.
     
  2. William C

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    Well Nick since your quoting me I guess I need to respond.

    Even you have admitted that God has a permissive will.

    God desires for people not to sin. We all sin. This is a part of His permissive will.

    In the same way, God desires for all to repent. We all don't repent. This is a part of His permissive will.

    God Sovereignly willed that His Son would die for the sins of the world. He did.

    God Sovereignly willed that Israel would be hardened to ingraft the Gentiles. They were.

    There is an obvious difference in God's permissive will and His Sovereign will. Do you deny that there is a difference?
     
  3. AITB

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    No 1 is in the Bible:

    You can call it impotent if you want.

    Calvinists are also faced with the dilemma that God evidently doesn't act on this 'desire'. Calvinism doesn't resolve it, that I'm aware of. I've heard Calvinists say God has 'two wills' also. One is expressed in this verse. The other is the one by which God only chooses some for salvation.

    Helen/AITB
     
  4. npetreley

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    I wasn't quoting you. I hardly even read your posts anymore so I have no idea what you're referring to.
     
  5. Ray Berrian

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    npetreley,

    Your explanation of the wills makes me think that you have accepted a dogma/philosophy rather than studying 'sola Scriptura.' Stepping in darkness never brings clear illumination.

    God has sovereignly limited His autocratic ways in the matter of personal salvation. He gives men and women a choice. [John 3:16 & 18] {believe or believe not}

    People have refused grace. [Acts7:51]

    Faith is responded to by man as noted in Acts 3:16. Said man had faith in His Name (Christ) Who healed the 'lame man.' Notice there must have been some 'southerners' present because the author if Acts said that the healing was ministered ' . . .in the presence of you all.'
     
  6. npetreley

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    That may be a calvinist dilemma. IMO, the verse is being misinterpreted, so it is not a dilemma to me.

    However, there is an important difference, even if one wants to interpret that verse as God's will to save all mankind. In the calvinist view, God - who knows more than we could ever hope to know and is supremely wise and competent - chooses whom to save. In the arminian view, man - who is corrupt, wicked, deceitful, and a blithering idiot compared to God - chooses whether or not they want to be saved. IMO, it isn't very clever to trust the eternal destiny of a blithering idiot to a blithering idiot. ;)

    Since I'm one of those "men", I am incredibly thankful that God didn't leave the decision up to me. ;)
     
  7. npetreley

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    We've been over John 3:16 and what it takes to believe a gazillion times, so there's no point in rehashing that.

    But, IMO, you're the one who hasn't grasped scripture. God spends most of scripture demonstrating that no matter what He does, we betray Him. He hammers home the message over and over again that it is futile to depend on yourself for anything good. He proves time and again that that we are faithless, by (among other things) performing spectacular miracles - yet we simply turn around and whine afterward that we really wish we were back in Egypt. Even the heroes of the faith who are in constant direct communication with God consistently show that they are too weak and/or faithless to make right decisions all the time. Abraham can't decide to wait for Isaac and has Ishmael. David gets the hots for his neighbor's wife and murders his neighbor.

    Then - even when Jesus is right here among us in physical form - He teaches and demonstrates repeatedly that we can do nothing without Him. We can't repent and clean out our evil spirits, because they just come back with more and make is worse than we started. Heck, He even makes the point when it comes to catching fish.

    So -- after hammering home the message, chapter after chapter -- that we are desperately lost, impotent, and unable we are to trust our own judgement -- God somehow manages to conclude and communicate that the best thing to do is rely on us to make the right decision when it comes to our eternal destiny,

    If it weren't so pathetic, it would be hilarious.
     
  8. AITB

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    How do you interpret that verse?

    Helen/AITB
     
  9. William C

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    You may want to ask how he interprets Matt. 23:37 and 1 Tim. 2:4 while he is at it.

    Get ready to be entertained. [​IMG]

    His textual gymnastics are quite impressive. [​IMG]
     
  10. npetreley

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    The word translated "any" in "to us-ward, not willing that any should perish" means "certain" (as in certain people) or "some". So, IMO, he is talking about the elect.

    I recommend you do a word study for yourself. But beware that while the root word "tis" can mean "any", if you look at how this particular form is used everywhere else in the NT, you'll see that even on the very rare occasion when it is translated "any" it clearly refers to a certain subset of people. (I can't even remember where else it's translated "any", and I can't find that verse).

    Here are some examples (the word in bold is the word "tinaV" which is the same as in 2 Peter 3:9):

    Hebrews 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

    Acts 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

    Romans 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation my flesh, and might save some of them.

    Mark 7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

    Galatians 2:12 For before that certain [people] came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

    Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
     
  11. Yelsew

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    Npetreley,
    You are made in the image of God. What is your strongest will for your children? Yes, that they too have eternal life through salvation. You realize however, that your children must also want for themselves what you want for them.

    It is God's will that none should perish but that all should be saved. He knows how he made us, and He therefore knows that our salvation is up to us to want as much as He wants if for us.
     
  12. Ray Berrian

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    npetreley,

    You jumped over Acts 7:51. Did the Israelites resisted the Holy Spirit under both covenants for the most part? Yes or No. Maybe my KJV is a misprint. Mine says that they always resist the Holy Ghost, a clear pointing to the fact that Arminian theology is correct. Sinner can and do resist the ministry of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Thus, "Resistible Grace" in contrast with "Irresistible Grace." Are we to watch for theological gymnastics?
     
  13. ScottEmerson

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    Correct. It is God's desire that all men are saved. It is also God's desire that men openly and freely respond to the gospel.

    Incorrect. God does not override man's will by forcing him to be saved.

    God clearly does not have an impotent will, and I challenge you to find any literature from the Arminian fathers that states as much.

    If you spent half the time actually reading what Arminians believe instead of posting these half-brained concoctions, you wouldn't come up with things like this.

    IN the Calvinist scheme of things, would you say that it is God's will that sin entered the world? Would you say that it is God's will that people go to Hell?

    If your answer to the second question is "yes," then what you are saying is that God elects people to Hell, since His will cannot be, what was the word, "Thwarted.' A strict interpretation of will as you define it forces you into hyper-Calvinism.
     
  14. AITB

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    The word translated "any" in "to us-ward, not willing that any should perish" means "certain" (as in certain people) or "some". So, IMO, he is talking about the elect. </font>[/QUOTE]Thanks for your response.

    Nevertheless, it seems like 'any' and '[the] elect' are two completely different words, to me.

    Why do you think Peter wrote 'any' if he meant 'the elect'?

    Helen/AITB
     
  15. Yelsew

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    Ray, Acts 7:51 does not say "they always resist the Holy Ghost" It says that those who were "hearing" Stephen could not believe what they were hearing, so they "plugged their ears" and charged Stephen with intent to do bodily harm. What they were hearing was the pronouncement of judgment upon them. No one wants to hear that they are guilty of a crime.

    If you have been paying attention to the reports of the situation in the middle east, you see living evidence of the situation described in this scripture.
     
  16. Frogman

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I Love this...can I use it sometime?

    The southern usage is 'yall' or in my geographic region it would be read as follows: ministered '...drectly y'uns.'

    Amen.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  17. npetreley

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    That was my point. He didn't write "any", he wrote "certain".
     
  18. Ray Berrian

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    The Israelites were rejecting the God of their Fathers as noted in Acts 7:49-51, the God who does not need 'rest.' vs. 49. They also rejected Jehovah God under the old covenant as noted in Isaiah 48:4.
     
  19. AITB

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    That was my point. He didn't write "any", he wrote "certain". </font>[/QUOTE]Actually I think we should be focusing on 'all' since that is who God wants to come to repentance, according to the verse:

    9 The Lord &lt;2962&gt; is not slow &lt;1019&gt; about His promise &lt;1860&gt;, as some &lt;5100&gt; count &lt;2233&gt; slowness &lt;1022&gt;, but is patient &lt;3114&gt; toward &lt;1519&gt; you, not wishing &lt;1014&gt; for any &lt;5100&gt; to perish &lt;622&gt; but for all &lt;3956&gt; to come &lt;5562&gt; to repentance &lt;3341&gt;.

    Are you going to tell me that 'all' doesn't mean 'all'?

    It's pretty clear in the Greek, I think.

    So, God wishes all to come to repentance.

    Explain how you get from 'all' to 'the elect' based on the wording of this verse.

    Helen/AITB
     
  20. Frogman

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    That was my point. He didn't write "any", he wrote "certain". </font>[/QUOTE]Actually I think we should be focusing on 'all' since that is who God wants to come to repentance, according to the verse:

    9 The Lord &lt;2962&gt; is not slow &lt;1019&gt; about His promise &lt;1860&gt;, as some &lt;5100&gt; count &lt;2233&gt; slowness &lt;1022&gt;, but is patient &lt;3114&gt; toward &lt;1519&gt; you, not wishing &lt;1014&gt; for any &lt;5100&gt; to perish &lt;622&gt; but for all &lt;3956&gt; to come &lt;5562&gt; to repentance &lt;3341&gt;.

    Are you going to tell me that 'all' doesn't mean 'all'?

    It's pretty clear in the Greek, I think.

    So, God wishes all to come to repentance.

    Explain how you get from 'all' to 'the elect' based on the wording of this verse.

    Helen/AITB
    </font>[/QUOTE]The attempt here is to deny the scripture is speaking the saints. Thus this scripture is addressing the perserverance of the saints. It is not saying God wishes all to be saved, if He wished this, then He has the power to make it so. And to deny the power of God in this capacity belittles the sacrifice of the Son of God at Calvary's Cross.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     

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