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Free moral agency and the providence of God

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by reformedbeliever, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever New Member

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    When we look at God's omniscience, how can man's free moral agency be truly *free*? If God knows the future, then the future exists as God knows it, or He is not truly omniscient. If the future exists as God knows it, then our decisions can not be variable, in that they would change the future as God knows it. When we come to the point of decision, we will always choose in a manner that will be consistent with God's decreed will. How could it be different? I know that as far as man is concerned, we make free choices. But are they truly free? Not if God is omniscient.
     
  2. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    What a question for a Calvinist to be asking.

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  3. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever New Member

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    What an intelligent response. I didn't expect much more from you bob. If you have no more than that to add, save it, ok?
     
  4. Not_hard_to_find

    Not_hard_to_find New Member

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    Since you believe they are not, these have been previously addressed and your post does not end in a question, what responses were you expecting?
     
  5. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever New Member

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    Where were they previously addressed? Link? I was expecting a response to the OP? Maybe a rebuttal?
     
  6. jne1611

    jne1611 New Member

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    Most likely all your going to get is the spill about foreknowledge being mere prescience.
     
  7. av1611jim

    av1611jim New Member

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    Just because God knows how we will choose does not negate the fact that at the moment of decision WE are free to choose how we want to choose.

    That is the mystery of God.

    If we could figure Him out, then we would have made a god in our own image.

    (Did I hear an echo???)
     
  8. webdog

    webdog Active Member

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    Something is beginning to smell hyper to me...
     
  9. Blammo

    Blammo New Member

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    If you knew exactly what I was going to do tomorrow, would you need to make me do it? In order to know what I was going to do tomorrow, would you have to be the cause of it? It's hard to say, isn't it? You are not God. You don't have any idea what it means to know the beginning to the end.

    What if God wanted man to think, feel, and choose for himself. Is that not possible? Does that take away from His soveriengty? I think not. Obviously, in Scripture, you will find many cases where God is the cause of events. Do you have to take this to an extreme where God is the cause of every event? Absolutely not. In Scripture, you will also find many cases where man made choices; Choices that were made of his own free-will with or without the influence of God.

    When I say man has a free-will, that does not mean I believe man can do what he wants, when he wants, how he wants, and without any consequences. Also, as a free-willer, I do not believe anyone has or ever will be saved without the power of God. I do not believe man can save himself. I do believe man can choose to put his faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ and God will save him right at that moment. Even you Reformers believe that. You just believe that God saves first, and that enables you to put your faith in Him. But Scripture always puts faith before salvation.

    God did not force me to believe in Him. And He did not throw away the majority of mankind as some way of glorifying Himself. If a man believes in Christ for salvation, God did the work and He gets the glory. If a man rejects Christ for salvation, the man did the work, and it's that man's fault he is going to hell, and God gets the glory still.

    We agree that God foreknew all that would happen, including what He caused and what He allowed, but we do not agree on your extreme view that God is the cause of all things both good and evil.
     
  10. npetreley

    npetreley New Member

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    First, I don't think one can say we are free moral agents in the sense that we are morally neutral. We are free moral agents in that we are "free" to do as we desire, and our desire is sin as the result of the fall.

    As for how we could be free at all, it boils down to the difference between ultimate causes and temporal causes. To quote R.C. Sproul Jr.:

    From God's perspective, everything is predetermined. From our perspective, we make decisions according to our desires, but never outside God's will.

    This begs the question, "when we will evil, is it God's permissive will that allows us to do so"? Yes, but it isn't "permissive" in the sense that God watches us do something He doesn't want us to do, like a powerless spectator. That's why we see verses like "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good." God's didn't force Joseph's brothers to do evil like a bunch of puppets. But you can't get around the fact that it was God's purpose that Joseph's brothers would do evil, because God meant it for good.
     
  11. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    [​IMG] ...................Good answers!


    Calvinist [​IMG] Free-Willer
     
    #11 Brother Bob, Nov 5, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2006
  12. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

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    Reformed believer,
    You got the exact answer from Brother Bob you deserved.
     
  13. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    There's plenty of discussion of foreknowledge in the thread entitled "Freewiller's Shell Game Part 1."
     
  14. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever New Member

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    Which one? Seriously, he goes back and edits his post constantly.... you never know what he said unless you were there when he said it.:laugh:

    I deserved? I'm seriously interested in the idea of free moral agency and theodicy. I didn't want to hijack James' thread, so I started a new post. I've stated my position many times before, that I do not believe our choices are truly free in the libertarian free will sense. I am open to learn, and truly want to hear discussion on it. If I got what I deserve, what can I say? Do you have anything constructive to add Saturneptune? I get to go preach now.
     
  15. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    My keys stick on my keyboard all the time and don't type the letter and I have to go back and fix it. I got another keyboard but it does the same.
     
  16. jne1611

    jne1611 New Member

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    :type:[​IMG]





     
  17. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001 New Member

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    Others see this as another talk about foreknowing...but it is clear this is about freewill, which was next on my list of shell games freewillers play. My guess, is that you will get everything but a real answer. I hope you get at least one real answer from a freewiller.



    In Christ...James
     
  18. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001 New Member

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    No, but to be God you must have the power to change things. I do not have power, for I am man. Hold on...i do have more power then God in the freewill view. God cannot stop it...for He is bound. If I know you was going to jump from a building..i can try to stop you. Yet if God knows that this is the end..and it is based on your freewill....being that you place mans freewill over Gods will...God could not stop it...or God really did not know the end of things. right??

    Hello?

    This is called the freewill shell game. I'll just call it number 2..and you will know what i mean. :)
     
  19. Blammo

    Blammo New Member

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    You are taking things to the extreme. (again... as usual)

    If I made a decision to jump of a bridge, yes, I can make that decision all by myself. God did not have to make me decide to jump off the bridge, and He does not have to change my mind to stop me. God can stop me. God can change my mind. God can let me jump off the bridge. God can do what ever He wants to do. I have still made the decision. God allows me to do that. But glory be to God, when I make a good decision, it is because of Him, when I make a bad decision, it is because of me.
     
  20. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob New Member

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    Its Called Calvinism;

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