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Determinism, Compatibilism, Libertarian Free Will

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Apologetic_Warrior, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    From what I understand, Dr. Luther was not fond of the book of James either, though both are considered part of the Protestant canon. So I am uncertain about the angle or approach described, and both letters, considered as Scripture fall under the "all Scripture" of 2 Tim 3:16, no?

    On promises, if God is capable of lying, on what basis do we trust Him? Assuming He is omnipotent, it is more than possible He could easily deceive or trick us no? I am only asking the questions and framing them as such to follow a fallacious line of...reasoning. There are so many angles one could take on the thought of a God capable of lying, I do not see anything good that could possibly come out of it, and we agree that God is good.

    Right right Reformed believers acknowledge mystery in theology as well. As to Dr. Luther's theological method, maybe I should be quoting from Dr. Luther's "On the Bondage of the Will" then. It's a beloved work among Calvinists.

    If it's of any comfort, I've never read Aquinas, however I've listened to Dr. Sproul for many hours, and his view of Aquinas, is quite generous, favorable even. Perhaps some of Sproul rubbed off on me, it's quite possible. Scotus? Never heard of him, sorry.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  2. YouAreAwesome

    YouAreAwesome ☝✌

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    This naturally leads to the question, why doesn't He impose Himself whenever someone is about to sin?

    I find the "permissive/prescriptive" view difficult to reconcile with His love because if we see evil occur, we are responsible to either stop it or alert an authority. For example, I see someone being bashed in the street -- do I simply "allow" it and walk away? No, I will yell at the perpetrator and call the police. The "permissive" view of God seems to undermine His love and care for His creation, how do you reconcile these?
     
  3. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I trust God because of his history of faithful covenants with humanity and his people Israel, culminating in the sending of his promised Messiah, who overcame sin, death, and the devil through his sacrificial death and resurrection. He has baptized me and gives me the forgiveness of sins every Sunday.

    But I also recognize that God, as he has not chosen to reveal himself, is incomprehensible. He is the mysterium tremedum. He is the Divine Majesty, as we say. It is appropriate to approach God, in that context, with fear, even terror. There is a reason Old Testament saints are terrified when they see a vision of God or angels. He is "Totally Other".

    In that sense, the genre of fiction known as horror has alot in common with that aspect of God, what theologian Rudolf Otto called "the Numinous".
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  4. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    God is omnipotent in the sense that he can do all that he pleases. Our children's catechism puts it like this:

    Q - Can God do all things?
    A - God can do all his holy will.

    God does not desire to lie and to lie would contradict his very person and character because he is truth. The devil is the father of lies. So God cannot lie because he does not want to lie. If this contradicts our notion of "omnipotence" then we need to discard it in favor of a more biblical notion of "omnipotence".
     
  5. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    For meditation:

    Isa 64:6 "But we are all like an unclean thing,
    And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
    We all fade as a leaf,
    And our iniquities, like the wind,
    Have taken us away."

    Rom 14:23 "But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin."

    Better?
     
  6. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ToL, that sounds like a better explanation, thanks, and takes this discussion out of philosophy and into the realm of revelation. It would be closer to how we could reconcile what we as Lutherans know about God. God wills not to lie, this is true.

    I am just objecting to this notion that somehow a person cannot act contrary to their nature. It is not logically impossible to conceive of that.
     
  7. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    God's power as presented in Scripture is never in the abstract philosophical realm. It's always in relation to human power and the power of creation. And the point is that God is always more powerful than anything in creation, any human army, any human ruler, any human person, any demonic force. Just think of Jesus casting out demons with a word! God is more powerful. He is SO more powerful that we might as well call him ALL powerful. I can't think of a single thing that God desires to do which he cannot accomplish.
     
  8. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Those messages are for people who are already believers.
    And they do not mention Jesus. So while you are claiming
    all the unchurched are doomed, your passages are refining
    believers in their faith, not screening out non-Christians
    in the least.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  9. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I do not deny that the Reformed have a high view of God's power. What I am questioning are statements about God's nature in a philosophical sense. How do we as Christians know about God, ultimately? I would argue it is through the character of Jesus Christ and what he testifies to.

    The further we get from revelation, which in my church, is believed to be present in its fullness only in Jesus Christ, the further we are getting away from God as we could understand him, anyways.
     
  10. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Both "all scripture" and "God breathed" are undefinable phrases.
    Especially "God-Breathed" a one-off term that has no history.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  11. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Only Revelation - special and general. But especially special.
     
  12. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    That's not correct. Any person can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and act accordingly.
    If they act accordingly, they are listening to God's Holy Spirit.
    Even scripture is secondary to God's Truth and Law.
     
  13. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    This would contradict Deu 12:31, if I recall. I mean doesn't that rule out that way of construing Jer 7:31? It seems it would have to make it impossible to construe the original wording that way, but I will go ahead and read through that chapter to check more.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  14. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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  15. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Ok, I checked out the chapter (Jer 7) more carefully now. Don't miss verses 6, 9, and 18. And 30. See? They are worshiping idols. It turns out that the normal idol worship included sacrifice of their own children to the idols, burning them in fire. That's the reference, as in Deuteronomy 12:31 and many other places.

    See? So, with those 4 verses (Jer 7:6,9,18, 30 and Deu 12:31) , now you should see Jer 7:31 with the wording "...nor did it come into my mind" to mean that this sacrificing their children to idols God did not expect them to do at that point in time. (note that 'high places' are typically places to worship/sacrifice to idols, and this is why you'll see over and over again in the OT various good kings tearing down the high places, such as for instance Asa in 2 Chron 14, only one instance of very many.)

    People don't always know that the specific evil of sacrificing children to idols was not only another abomination, but it was "even the abomination", meaning the worst of them all, the greatest of the abominations. The most extreme evil. Consider the warning in Bible Gateway passage: Malachi 4:6 - English Standard Version. The punishment -- total destruction of the land -- is so extreme, because that evil is so extreme. God wants not only the end of the greatest evil, but also He wants us to turn fully to the opposite, and truly love our children. This was even one key part of the mission of John the Baptist(!) -- as told in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verse 17. Once you read Bible Gateway passage: Malachi 4 - English Standard Version you see the high stakes. If we failed to respond to John and to Christ and increase our love-one-another, including to our children, we could even have been under Bible Gateway passage: Malachi 4:6 - English Standard Version it seems. See....? We really do have freedom of will.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  16. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    Of course we have limitations, that should be obvious to anyone. I'm not free to choose to fly or to live on saturn. The question is how free is our will within the limitations we are under.

    Sure, I understand. Do we have the ability to choose against our desires? What about choices in mundane things where our desires are neutral?
     
  17. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

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    Is that the only thing Christians have freedom in, to not choose sin? Do non Christians have any freedom at all? What about everyday stuff like what color tie I'm going to wear today?

    I would like to understand the compatabilist view a little better, as I haven't really explored the topic much. I think you need a more specific definition of free will and then demonstrate how that is compatible with determinism. We can make just about anything compatible if we keep our definitions vague.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  18. Neal of Zebulun

    Neal of Zebulun Active Member

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    @Halbhh
    I hope you don't think all those verses with the firstborn son in Exodus and Numbers are about them killing children on the altar! That's not the case!

    If you read the context carefully in those chapters, you'll see that Yahweh is talking about redeeming the children, and that it was part of the ritual worship, and not like the animal sacrifices!

    But that's what I'm suggesting may have been perverted into the idol worship they were practicing during Jeremiah's time, when they were actually killing their children.

    What they were doing was explicitly outlawed in Deuteronomy 12:31 like you point out, and also in Leviticus 18:21, perhaps elsewhere also.

    The point I was making is this: the fact that He outlawed such an activity hundreds of years before Jeremiah, shows us that it's not a surprise to Him that they would end up doing this. So it did enter His mind that they could do such a thing.

    What He's saying in Jeremiah is that it never entered His mind to command them to do such a thing, even though they perhaps may have thought He did, somehow or another, by misreading the text, or simply because they were apostate.

    The verse really doesn't relate in this discussion one way or another imho.
     
  19. GingerBeer

    GingerBeer Cool and refreshing with a kick!

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    It's obvious that people make choices and among the choices that people make is deciding to follow Jesus or not. It's true that scripture says that God desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. So why do you want all the complex web weaving and fanciful technical philosophical definitions to decide if people choose to follow Jesus or not and if God wants all men to be saved or not?
     
  20. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Rom 1:19
    For what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
    20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse.
     
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