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Featured "Free Will Is A Fiction"

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Tree of Life, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    This is what Martin Luther said to Erasmus in his work The Bondage of the Will. This famous book was written in response to Erasmus' The Freedom of the Will. Some might be surprised, however, by the nature of their debate.

    When Reformers like Luther denied the doctrine of free will, they were not denying that man needs to choose Christ in order to be saved. For the Reformers, the will was very important in salvation. Rather, the question that they concerned themselves with was this:

    Does fallen man have the freedom to live a virtuous life? It was really not a question of ontological ability, but moral ability.

    Erasmus and other semi-pelagians argued that fallen man maintains some spark of goodness and is able, all on his own, to recognize God, choose God, repent of his sin, and live a virtuous life. Luther, following Augustine, rather believed that man was entirely fallen and was morally unable to recognize God or to repent of his sin. In order for man to be saved, he needed for God to miraculously save him by reaching into his heart, regenerating him, and renewing his will. Only then could man freely choose God - his will being liberated by God.

    Free will is a fiction not because of God's election or predestination. Free will is a fiction because fallen, sinful man hates God and is unable to freely choose him unless God changes his heart.
     
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  2. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Could you define terms more specifically?

    For example what you mean by "free" and what you mean by "will".
     
  3. David Cabrera

    David Cabrera Well-Known Member

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    Why would God sent someone to hell if that person has no free will?
     
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  4. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    What the original framers of the debate meant by these terms -

    "Free" - not coerced or constrained.
    "Will" - Principles of action, desire.
     
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  5. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    I don't believe you read the OP.

    But the answer is because they freely chose wickedness.
     
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  6. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, imagine there is a hungry dog and I will put a bowl of hot meat to the left side of him. He will choose to go to the left, because of it.

    Would you say it was his free will?
     
  7. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    If he chose the food because he wanted to do it, and he was able to choose the food (not tied to a leash or otherwise constrained), then his action was free.
     
  8. David Cabrera

    David Cabrera Well-Known Member

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    How can they freely choose wickedness if "sinful man hates God and is unable to freely choose him unless God changes his heart"?
     
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  9. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Man chooses sin whole heartedly. When fallen man sins, he does it because he wants to do it. He is not coerced or constrained by any forces outside of himself. His sinful decisions are free.
     
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  10. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    And do you think we, humans, are forced to be for or against God?

    Or do we just go freely where our inclinations lead us?
     
  11. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    No. Those who sin do it because they want to. Those who repent do it because they want to.
     
  12. David Cabrera

    David Cabrera Well-Known Member

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    So you say they are free to sin but not to choose God?
     
  13. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Yes. And this is exactly what Luther meant in saying that free will is a fiction.
     
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  14. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Great. So they (we) have a free will :)
     
  15. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Indeed. But fallen man is not free to choose God because he hates God. He needs God to regenerate his heart in order to freely choose him.
     
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  16. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    So, muslims, Jews, some theist buddhists are not able to choose God? Why are they religious, then?

    And what about short-time Christians, they chose God too, for a time.
     
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  17. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi Myst33, I believe that our wills are free whenever we are able to choose what we desire the most at a given moment in time.

    As for the reasons that people choose to be "religious" (which certainly includes many who claim/believe themselves to be Christian), it seems to me that the principle reason they do is because they want all the blessings that God has to offer them (especially eternal life).

    The problem is, they don't want Him!

    Yours and His,
    David

    Romans 3
    9 We have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
    10 as it is written,
    THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
    11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
    THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
    12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
    THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
    THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.
    .
     
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  18. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Hi, while I understand what you mean, I think it would be very difficult to prove or to separate theists into two black and white groups...

    I think that many true Christians want what God is offering and many Jews or muslims want also God as such, not just His gifts.

    There must probably be something else what distinguishes between a true, born-again Christian and all other believers...
     
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  19. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi again Myst33, it seems to me that the difference between believers, and those who simply "claim" to be (but are not), begins with/principally involves "regeneration" (as Tree already mentioned above) .. Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 3:3, or the lack thereof. IOW, to truly be a Christian, it means that we have been quickened/regenerated/caused to be born again ("made alive" spiritually) by God, because only then can we come to "saving" faith in Him through the "gift" that He gives to all of those who are His .. e.g. Ephesians 2:8.

    Yours and His,
    David

    Ephesians 2
    1 You were dead in your trespasses and sins,
    2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
    3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
    4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
    5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
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  20. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    No they are not able to choose God. They are religious because man is essentially religious and can't live without God. Fallen man is simultaneously religious and desirous of worship, but he cannot stand to worship the true God. So he invents religions to devise ways of trying to control God or he creates false gods to worship. This explains all world religions.

    They never really understand him for who he is and so never truly choose him.
     
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