The Nature of the Will

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    There is a clear and important difference that exists between Calvinistic philosophy and the philosophy of many others. It clearly affects the way one interprets Scripture. It is most commonly denoted as the doctrine of the will. It is not a doctrine necessarily taught in Scripture, yet Scripture most definitely assumes a doctrine of the will. Our objective is to find a true doctrine of the will, one that Scripture and reason affirms to be true.

    Biblicist has modeled one doctrine of the will that is commonly accepted in Calvinistic circles and those leaning hard towards Calvinism. In this model the will is NOT seen as a distinct separate quality or part of the inner man or ones self, but is seen as being at one with the sensibilities, acting in sync the one with the other. Here is a clear concise statement by Biblicist relating to this view that does not distinguish between the sensibilities and the will.

    HP: Is the view of Biblicist correct and does the intellect of man, as viewed by careful introspection demand that his view is correct, or does an introspect examination of the inner man reveal his theory is at antipodes to the truth?

    This is NOT simply a disagreement between myself and Biblicist, but rather lies at, and greatly affects, the very foundations of every ones theology and the manner in which interpretations are formulated. It is a most interesting and necessary element that needs to be clearly developed and understood, for it will indeed affect ones theological notions to the detriment or advantage of truth.

    Is the will a distinct part of the inner man, the 'self' as Biblicist calls it, distinct from the sensibilities or not? One might denote the sensibilities as simply belonging to the sense of feeling. Can or does the will operate in lock step with the feelings, or can it choose in agreement with or in opposition to them?
     
    #1 Heavenly Pilgrim, Dec 2, 2011
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  2. Jerry Shugart

    Jerry Shugart
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    Hi HP,

    I hope I am not taking this thread off subject but first I would like to examine in detail exactly what the Calvinists teach in regard to man's "will" and see if that teaching is affirmed by the Scriptures and reason:

    "They (Adam & Eve) being the root of mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by original generation. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions" (The Westminster Confession of Faith; VI./3-4).

    According to this our Maker has made us "opposite to all good" and "WHOLLY inclined to all evil."

    But when man does exactly what he was designed to do by God then He punishes him severely:

    "...the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds...unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil"
    (Ro.2:5-9).

    The Calvinists portray God as a tyrant who would punish the lame for limping and the blind for losing their way!
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Threads often meander to flesh out the real import of a discussion and get to the heart of the matter. No problem.

    What you say above I believe is a clear indication of what one, not afraid or offended to be called a Calvinist, would believe. I agree with your assessment of the ends of that logic (or the lack thereof). They start form a false premise of Augustinian original sin and proceed from there What amazes me that the Arminians start from the same basic notion of original sin, but inconsistently deny the guilt associated with the Calvinistic view. I find the Arminians closer to the truth in spite of their error. What truly amazes me is how close Arminians are aligned with the error of Augustine, yet due to logical inconsistencies in their view, arrive far closer to the truth. John Wesley stated that he knew full well that his views were 'far to close to Calvinism,' yet it is obvious from his own adopted views of original sin , failed to see what the connection really was. The church in his day was so steeped in Augustinian error that to disagree with that notion completely, or fail to afirm it in basic terms, would be paramount, at that time, to placing oneself outside of Christendom entirely.

    It was not till many years later that some did in fact publically stray from Augustinian original sin, and as a result the greatest revival of religion this nation has ever seen broke out across the NE portion of our nation. Those very truths spread even to England and beyond with movements of the Holy Spirit evident in changed lives and the greatest stick- to-itive percentages ever recorded. I fully believe such a revival of religion would have never taken place apart from the clear break from the long held views of so many churches concerning original sin. BUT, that again is off topic. See how it goes?
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    You quoted my statement correctly but then went on to define it incorrectly. I don't beleive the will acts separately from the intellect/mind or emotions. It always acts jointly with either the mind and/or emotions.

    I think you have me saying that I don't believe the will acts separately from the emotions.

    I believe I pointed out clearly there are two Greek terms translated "will"

    1. Boulomai - determinate decision (mind is prominent but not without emotions)

    2. Thelema - emotional decision (emotions is prominent but not without mind)


    I believe I pointed out that the heart is the seat of MENTAL and EMOTIONAL desires that directs the will or choices.

    1. "WITH THE HEART man believeth"

    2. "heart of unbeleif"

    The will or power of choice NEVER acts independent of the mental and/or emotional processes of the heart.
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Until we spell out specifically the parts that make up the 'intellect', and clearly distinguish them one from another, we will just talk past each other. Fire away at me first. I believe the mind has three distinct powers if you will, i.e., the intellect (or reasoning faculty), the will, the actual chooser of formed intents and means to carry out chosen ends, and the sensibilities or the power of feeling. I believe these are three distinct powers residing within the mind of man and that their distinct functions can be clearly demonstrated as separate one from another. Agree or disagree and why?
     
  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    What am trying to accomplish is to separate for a moment ones theological views from their philosophical notions. We need to look independently at them from both introspection apart from Scripture as well as utilizing the truths we discover there to see if in fact they line up with Scripture of not. We need to see if we are in error as theologians or philosophers. If start mingling terms like heart, intellect, soul, spirit, etc without first carrying out independent studies of both introspective means to truth and Scriptural means of truth, we will never come to face any error we have in either realm, philosophy or Scripture.
     
  7. The Biblicist

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    The way you have defined the mind is equal to what the Bible defines as the "heart." It is the seat of intellectual and emotional desires inclusive of will but manifested by the will. The two terms translated "will" (thelema; boulomai) prove the will simply serves to express the intellectual and emotional reasonings.

    The will always involves both the intellectual and emotional thoughts but in every decision one predominates over the other and that is why we have two different terms translated "will" which emphasis one over the other.
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Another closely related topic that needs to be discussed is the simple matter of what is the distinction between freedom and necessity, or between liberty and necessity. We need to ascertain to which of these two opposing notions is right and wrong determined. Can anything in reality be denoted as moral, blameworthy or praiseworthy, that lies solely in the realm of necessity? Does in fact issues of morality lie solely in the realm of liberty as opposed to necessity? Upon concluding for ourselves the truth of these matters, we can look introspectively at the workings of the mind and see to what power (s) the seat of morality lies, and to which powers morality is not and cannot be directly predicated of.
     
  9. The Biblicist

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    you better consider it in the light of INTERNAL versus EXTERNAL coercion. There is no liberty by EXTERNAL coercion but there is liberty by internal coercion as that is simply SELF-expression due to what you are by nature.

     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Before I respond to your last post, would you be so kind as to address the last post I made on the distinction between liberty and necessity? Can you define for us your understanding of the two, and are they at antipodes with each other? I want to see what powers we have that might be bound by necessity and or liberty, and see if that might help us ferret out clear distinctions in our inner man as we look introspectively at our inner man for evidence that might either prove your position right or in error.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Why this exercise? If one cannot look 'independently' at ones mind introspectively, what is left to judge if in fact the manner in which we are interpreting Scripture is related to truth? To try and act as if though one is developing their intellectual philosophy from Scripture, without going to the most clear and basic form of enlightenment on the subject, provided to us by God via consciousness, could be likened to a judge that refuses to allow the best evidence on a particular topic to be introduced into a court of law when deciding a matter. Our consciousness is the most clear and concise evidence we have concerning intellectual philosophy, and apart from careful examination of that God given evidence we will not fail to error as theologians. Scripture assumes an intellectual philosophy but does not define it in clear terms like consciousness does.
     
  12. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Biblicist, where is any dictionary of GK terms the standard for the real import of the words used? Everyone, including every cult, has GK 'scholars.' Building a case around a man made dictionary and GK terms as understood by some man may impress some but lacks any ability to convince a wayfaring man, though a fool, of the truth of anything. Talk to me about the things I know, not what some GK geek thinks some words meaning is or is limited to. Show us the clear distinctions between liberty and necessity for starters. Define those terms in your own words and illustrate them for us in ways a wayfaring man though a fool can and will relate to. The Scriptures are first and foremost a book writen by common men in common parlance, and is not of some private GK intepretation limiting the usage of the term 'will' to the understanding of a 'highly educated' ' highly indoctrinated' few . :thumbs:
     
    #12 Heavenly Pilgrim, Dec 2, 2011
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  13. The Biblicist

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    I know of nothing more messed up and misleading than modern pyschology!

     
  14. The Biblicist

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    Divine revelation is far more enlightening than philsophical speculation! When you ignore divine revelation you do so at your own risk. Humanism is all about you and what you think at its very core!


     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Who mentioned anything about modern psychology?? How about explaining to us the differences that exist between liberty and necessity?
     
  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Sorry, but the philosophy/theology/interpretations that I hear coming from some on this list is not from Divine revelation. Besides, I am not ignoring in the least Divine revelation. I simply know that God reveals truth via a variety of means, and all truth should be harmonized to the best of our abilities, and absurdities should be avoided at all costs.
     
    #16 Heavenly Pilgrim, Dec 2, 2011
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  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Give us some Divine revelation on the distinctions that exist between necessity and freedom. :thumbs:
     
  18. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Use your favorite GK dictionary to explain to us what parts of our inner self might be ruled by liberty and what parts might be ruled by necessity, so that we can properly determine the proper seat of morality within the heart of man. :thumbs:
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    No one has referred more often to their philosophy on this list than yourself Biblicist. Are you trying to tell us you are humanistic or what? Just kidding.:)


    I think I need to retire. I will await your explanation on liberty /freedom and necessity. I think that will give us some common ground to move forward with concerning the will. :thumbs:
     
  20. The Biblicist

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    No one is free from themselves. Liberty exists only by freedom from control by others.
     

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