What choices were you given?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by npetreley, Jul 6, 2004.

?

What choices were you given?

  1. I chose of my own free will to be born, physically, into this world.

    10.0%
  2. I chose of my own free will to be born with a sinful nature.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. I chose of my own free will to be born "from below".

    10.0%
  4. I chose of my own free will to be born "from above".

    80.0%
  5. None of the above

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    What free-will choices were you given in these matters? For some people, depending on their views, some of the answers may be considered duplicates or supersets/subsets of other answers.
     
  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    None of the above.

    I chose eternal life in the free will and ability that God sovereignly chose to give as a supernatural gift to sinful mankind. I was "enabled' to choose by the John 12:32 supernatural act of God - as are all mankind.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have to agree with Bob. There is a common misunderstanding about what "free will" means. I believe in free will in that one is free to choose what one *wants* to choose. The problem is not in the ability to choose - the problem is in the desire. I have no *desire* to choose God on my own - I must be given the desire to do so. Until I am given that desire from above, I will never (or, if you like, not able) to choose against my sinful nature.

    Oddly enough, there is an Arminian preacher of all things that talks about this - he is fond of saying that you had about as much to do with your second birth as you did with your first ;) .
     
  4. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Stratiotes,

    Welcome to the board. Yes, we are all fimiliar with the ol' "they are able just not willing" game that Calvinists play. If you read your scholars you will see that they also believe that men are not able. The statement, "they are not able to be willing" affords the same complaints and objections as just plain "unable." Its just semantics, it answers nothing. It's just Calvinists way of trying to take the focus off the glaring inconsistancies of their system with that of divine justice.

    And as too your your quote from the Arminian preacher I would just say this: If God commanded us before we were born to be born with the expectation that we must respond and then held us accountable to that response then you might be able to compare the to, otherwise their is no link between to the two except for the biblical analogy, which you apparently take further than scripture.
     
  5. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skandelon,

    Thanks for the welcome and the response.

    I'm not sure which scholars to which you refer - I was referring to the works of probably the greatest philosopher/theologian in American history (and one of our greatest evangelists as an aside), Jonathan Edwards. ;)

    If you can excuse the sarcasm as a friendly teasing and not as disrespect - The ol' "[unnamed] bible scholars tell us" aka "referral to expert opinion" falacy is not new either. ;)
     
  6. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Stratiotes,

    I enjoy sarcasm and appreciate those who dish it out as well as they take it. [​IMG]

    I was refering primarily to the Canon of Dort where the original five points originated and to which many Calvinistic scholars refer when questioned. (Sproul, MacArther, Piper etc)

    It states:
    Article 3: Total Inability
    Therefore, all people are conceived in sin and are born children of wrath, unfit for any saving good, inclined to evil, dead in their sins, and slaves to sin; without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit they are neither willing nor able to return to God, to reform their distorted nature, or even to dispose themselves to such reform.

    As a former Calvinist myself Stratiotes I must say that you really can't get around the claim that men are "unable" within the Calvinistic system. Afterall, your most known proof text out of John 6 states "no one is able to come to me...."

    If it is not about "ability" then you can't use this text as a support for your views, can you?
     
  7. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skandelon,

    You make a good point and I concede to some extent. I think it is a bit of semantics because I would agree that we are not "able" when we are spiritually dead in our sins. It would also be true to say that we are not "able" to choose that which we do not want. In theory, we are "able" in the sense that we are volitional beings but our sin nature makes us unable in practice. And so, speaking as a former arminiun, I can agree that it may seem to be splitting hairs over semantics but it boils down to the same thing - no one comes to the Father unless the Spirit gives him life and draws him. And, so back to that preacher I referred to, it does have relevance because it is a question about life - we don't have it by our choice to begin with and we don't have it by our choice in the second birth (John 1:13).

    As for scholars - this is the same logic used by Augustine against Pelagius, Luther against Erasmus, Calvin, Zwingli, and Jonathan Edwards as I said before. My point was not to "drop names" but to demonstrate the falacy of appealing to scholars since either side could point to several wiser than ourselves that have debated this issue. I understand now that it was not yours either and that you were referring to my own "panel of experts" in a very skillful way to draw out what appears to be confusion to you...you are good at this ;) .

    The confusion in what we mean by "ability" and "free-will" can be seen in the two apparently contradictory works of Luther and Edwards:
    _Bondage of the Will_ and _Freedom of the Will_ both making the same argument that though the will is "free" in one respect, it is bound in aother.
    It is not so contradictory as it may seem on the surface.
     
  8. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    What shocked me was that Erasmus conceded (as does true Arminianism) that left to itself, the human will is UNABLE to do anything good. Yet Luther quotes Erasmus as contradicting himself repeatedly on this point in order to "prove" free will.

    Actually, most of the true Arminians here have the same problem, now that I think of it...
     
  9. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0

    You are very reasonable. I appeciate that in those with whom I discuss theology. [​IMG]

    I agree. I have called this argument "semantics" for a long time because it does boil down to the same thing. In MY opinion I believe it is just a tactic that Calvinists have employed to avoid the charges brought against them in regard to God holding men accountable for something they are unable to change, but I could be wrong.

    I see your point, but the verse could be understood as meaning that those who believe are born of God which is not determined by natural desent (Jew or Gentile), will of the flesh (no religious leader can make that determination as was common with circumsision etc, or just two people couldn't decide to "get together" and make this birth, it was from above) or will of the husband (a man was seen as the leader and often made choices for the family), but the birth had to come from above.

    But notice that verse 12 comes BEFORE verse 13 in which the person believes in order to be given the right to be born as a child. Belief comes before birth.


    Nick just thinks I use "deceptive debate tactics" and now he doesn't play with me anymore. :(

    Actually, he is the one always throwing out the names of different debate tactics, if not for that I wouldn't even know that they existed. Personally, I just think he doesn't know how to respond to my arguements so instead of being reasonable and seeking to understand, as you have done here, he gets very frustrated and angry. Then he resorts to name calling and unfounded accusations. Its pretty ugly sometimes. But you will see, if you hang around a while, that I am very reasonable and easy to get along with.... as long as you don't act like a baby. ;)

    You seem like the type of person that would be up for a challenging and profitable discussion on the issues without resorting to such immature tactics.

    I'm fimiliar with these works. However, if I correctly recall the "respect" in which we are dealing has to do with salvation and in that respect men are "unable" according to your soteriological premise.
     
  10. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the sense that we are *able* to choose whatever we desire to choose - we are able. But, the contrast is true as well - we are unable to choose that which we do not desire to choose. It is two sides of the same coin.

    By the way, I appreciate a good debate. I told myself I wasn't going to get into this one but, alas, fools rush in and all that ;) . I appreciate your kind words. Whether we ever agree on this issue or others should never affect our respect and love for one another as brothers and sisters. I hope we can remain on such terms.
     
  11. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, and Calvinists believe that men can't desire to believe the gospel and thus be saved, SO they believe men are "totally unable" with regard to being saved. Who cares about men's ability to diet or exercise, here we are talking about salvation and you believe men are born and will remain unable to respond in faith to the gospel unless God effectually changes the man's desires. Right?

    I could not agree more!
     

Share This Page

Loading...