The Myth of a Truly "Free" Will

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Does man have a free will?

    Here is Luther in his Bondage of the Will demonstrated the major propositions:

    1 A fallen sinner is totally unable to cooperate with divine grace.

    2 Salvation is exclusively the result of divine monergism

    3 God foreknows what he does and does what he foreknows

    4 To say that a fallen sinner has the power to cooperate with divine grace is a denial of the necessity of Christ’s work.

    5 The human will is in bondage to sin because of our union with Adam in his fall

    6 Everything happens according to the divine foreknowledge and will and therefore whatever occurs is, in this sense, ‘necessary’ but not ‘compulsory’.

    7 The regenerate and unregenerate act according to their respective wills

    8 Necessity does not destroy moral responsibility.

    9 God’s will is immutable

    10 Human free will is a denial of divine freedom

    11 ‘Free will’ an ‘empty term’ which should be discarded

    12 Predestination is the sine qua non of assurance

    13 God has predestined some to eternal life and others to eternal damnation

    14 Predestination is fundamentally paradoxical.

    15 Ought does not imply can (Nominalism over realism).

    16 ‘God preached’ must be distinguished from ‘God hidden’.

    17 Sola gratia, Sola fide denies free will

    18 Human inability disproves free will
     
  2. James_Newman

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    Exo 8:32 And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.

    Exo 9:12 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.

    I believe absolutely that God is in control of everything and every one on this planet. However, I also believe that we have free will. Its a paradox. This is God were dealing with and He has proven to me that He can do anything, even if I can't wrap my puny mind around it. I just take Him at His word. The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Regardless, Pharaoh's heart was hardened.
     
  3. Mark Bishop

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    Does man have a free will?

    why, yes... we do.

    mark
    <><
     
  4. gopchad

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    I just used my freewill and decided to post this reply! Now God knew I would do it, but that does not change the fact that I made the choice to do so.

    In Salvation God knows who will exercise their freewill and accept Him, so according to this foreknowledge, these are they whom God elects.

    (1 Peter 1:2) 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.


    In Christ

    Chad
     
  5. rufus

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    Does man have a free will?

    Man's will is "free" in its "falleness." To NOT seek, love, or worship God.

    Rufus
     
  6. Jensen

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    1 Peter 1:2 says nothing about God foreknowing who would choose Him.

    Romans chapter 8 says, "29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

    Those who God knew before the foundation of the world (His sheep), He predestined (predetermined) to become like Jesus. Those He predestined are the ones He has called (not everyone!). These who are called (elected) ARE justified and ARE glorified.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    These are Luther's points, not mine. Just clarifying.

    I have a will (like every human) but that will in governed by my nature. It is "free" only the extent that my nature allows.

    Unregenerate man's "free" will is governed by a fallen nature that does not allow him to make the right choices in spiritual matters. Even the "good" things he does (in the sight of fellow man, mind you) are filthy rags.

    Regenerate man's "free" will is now governed by a new spiritual nature. He can repent, call on the name of the Lord, believe, seek God, walk in the Light, etc.

    And in the eyes of God, he can never do wrong! The righteousness of Christ is so imputed to his account that God only sees "right" choices!
     
  8. StraightAndNarrow

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    I see this very much as described by Jesus in the Parable of the Prodical Son. The son, who had made the decision to leave his father (God) and squander his inheritance, came to his senses. He decided (free will) to return home, throw himself at his father's feet, and beg for forgiveness. The father, as God does, saw him coming from a long way off (distance and time in God's case) and ran to meet him. The father greeting him with love not vengeance. In fallen man's case, the decision to leave is in our nature given the fall of Adam but the decision to come home is ours.
     
  9. Scrapper

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    I am not a calvinist but I agree with this Bob. I read a book called "Not By Chance" can't remember the author (someone from Bob Jones) but it is clear that God uses man, animal, wheather, nature as He wishes. He changes the course of things and people so I think free will is really not possiable because ultimately God's will is done. I just think that God does allow man a choice in salvation. Scriptures lean way too much that way. Hence that is why most of christdom does not accept or is not calvinist.
     
  10. izzaksdad

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    Some good reading on this: Chosen But Free- Norm Geisler I believe.

    Also I believe lawrence vance has a couple of good books on the study, as well as samuel fisk.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Please read "The Potter's Choice" by James White which refutes the nonsense of Geisler's arminian thoughts.
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    But this has nothing to do with salvation. Remember, the prodigal was a SON before he wandered from the Father and was still a SON when he returned.

    We have a will as SONS, but we are talking about the issue of salvation which is another matter entirely.
     
  13. APuritanMindset

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    I like what I think it was George Whitefield said. He said, "Man doth have free will...free will to go to hell".

    I am a Calvinist, but even when I was an Arminian I had a hard time seeing how I could have a free will if I couldn't go outside and choose to fly from the ground by flapping my arms. I chose it, why didn't it work? Cuz my will is NOT free. It is only free within certain boundaries set up by God.

    My friend Craig has something he calls his fishbowl theory that may make sense to some of you non-Calvinists here.

    A fish is in a fishbowl and is free to swim around all it wants inside that bowl. If I drop a castle in there, he is still free to swim anywhere he wants in the bowl, but he has less freedom cuz of the castle. And he is given more freedom when I remove the castle. But if I pick up the fishbowl and move it across the room, whose will is being done?

    Even with my free will, God's will for me will ultimately happen.

    Check this story out from Genesis...

    The two angels entered Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting at Sodom's gate. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them. He bowed with his face to the ground and said, "My lords, turn aside to your servant's house, wash your feet, and spend the night. Then you can get up early and go on your way."

    "No," they said. "We would rather spend the night in the square." But he urged them so strongly that they followed him and went into his house. He prepared a feast and baked unleavened bread for them, and they ate.

    Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house. They called out to Lot and said, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!"

    Lot went out to them at the entrance and shut the door behind him. He said, "Don't do this evil, my brothers. Look, I've got two daughters who haven't had sexual relations with a man. I'll bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want to them. However, don't do anything to these men, because they have come under the protection of my roof."

    "Get out of the way!" they said, adding, "This one came here as a foreigner, but he's acting like a judge! Now we'll do more harm to you than to them." They put pressure on Lot and came up to break down the door. But the angels reached out, brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. They struck the men who were at the door of the house, both young and old, with a blinding light so that they were unable to find the door.

    Then the angels said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here: a son-in-law, your sons and daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of this place, for we are about to destroy this place because the outcry against its people is great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it."

    So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were going to marry his daughters. "Get up," he said. "Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

    At the crack of dawn the angels urged Lot on: "Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city." But he hesitated, so because of the LORD's compassion for him, the men grabbed his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of his two daughters. And they brought him out and left him outside the city.

    As soon as the angels got them outside, one of them said, "Run for your lives! Don't look back and don't stop anywhere on the plain! Run to the mountains, or you will be swept away!"

    But Lot said to them, "No, Lord--please. Your servant has indeed found favor in Your sight, and You have shown me great kindness by saving my life. But I can't run to the mountains; the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. Look, this town is close enough for me to run to. It is a small place. Please let me go there--it's only a small place, isn't it?--so that I can survive."

    And he said to him, "All right, I'll grant your request about this matter too, and will not overthrow the town you mentioned. Hurry up! Run there, for I cannot do anything until you get there." Therefore the name of the city is Zoar.

    The sun had risen over the land when Lot reached Zoar. Then the LORD rained burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah from the LORD out of the sky. He overthrew these cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew on the ground. But his wife looked back and became a pillar of salt.

    Early in the morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood before the LORD. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the plain, and he saw that smoke was going up from the land like the smoke of a furnace. So it was, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, He remembered Abraham and brought Lot out of the middle of the upheaval when He overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.

    Lot departed from Zoar and lived in the mountains along with his two daughters, because he was afraid to live in Zoar. Instead, he and his two daughters lived in a cave.
    (Genesis 19:1-30 HCSB)

    Ya see. Lot was told to run to the mountains by God'smessengers. It was God's will for Lot to go to the mountains. And despite him not wanting to go there, he still ended up where God wanted him.

    hm...sounds like Lot had a pretty free will huh? :rolleyes:
     
  14. reformedbeliever

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    If God is all knowing and immutable... and He is... then the future is set and we will choose in a manner that will not change the future... therefore we will choose according to God's forordained plan. We are responsible for our choices. Any questions? [​IMG]
     
  15. Exile

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    The problem with discussing "free will" is that there many ways of defining the term. If "free will" means the ability to make uninfluenced choices, then we don't possess it. None of us lives in a vacuum, and our choices are always being influenced by outside forces. If "free will" means the capacity to make decisions for which we are responsible (even though we were influenced to make them), then, of course, we do possess it. I make such choices everyday. In my opinion, when I came to believe in Christ, it was as the result of God's irresistible influence over me. Yet, it was also a free choice on my part (even if the outcome was never in doubt from the Lord's perspective). So, if "free will" means having complete autonomy, or the ability to independently determine my own destiny, then it is a myth. Such freedom does not exist. But I do make decisions gladly and not under obvious coercion. That's good enough for me.
     
  16. izzaksdad

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    dr. bob,

    you know that norm is no arminiast- compatabilist maybe, but not an arminian. i will get the book shortly!
     
  17. HankD

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    Some do.

    John 8
    34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
    35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
    36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    HankD
     
  18. OldRegular

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    Dr. Bob

    Your explanation of man's free will are well put and, I believe, correct. However, how do you square your last point with Hebrews 12:6-8?

    6. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
    7. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
    8. But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
     
  19. izzaksdad

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    He is no son OldRegular. Plain and simple
     
  20. Rich_UK

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    The question I get asked is how are we responsible for our choices if God has already pre-planned everything. Whats the best concise explanation?
     

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