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free will

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Nanopants, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Nanopants

    Nanopants Guest

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    Well, as it's written it's "to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom 8:29), but, yes:

    "And a slave does not abide in the house forever, [but] a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" -Jhn 8:35,36

    But that doesn't mean we do not possess free will: if we do, and a man is put into prison, his freedom of will isn't eliminated, it's only limited.
     
  2. Nanopants

    Nanopants Guest

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    Slaves are coerced, not forced. There's a big difference. Only robots could be the kind of slave that lacks freedom of will. Btw, the word for "slave" as used in Romans 6 can also be translated as "servant".

    Those are the same verses I would use to show that God gave us free will, and that by His sovereignty, He limits our freedom. Also this:

    But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." -Luk 10:40-42
     
  3. Nanopants

    Nanopants Guest

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    Ok, I can agree in that predestination reflects our need of transforming Grace in order to be saved (iow, we aren't capable of doing it even if forced to do it).

    It was brought up as evidence against the existence of free will. Some may interpret it to mean we are predestined before we are chosen. I disagree in asserting that we are chosen and are therefore predestined to salvation as per Paul in Rom 8:29.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2012
  4. seeingeyes

    seeingeyes Newbie

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    True. And we could conceivably try to hash out precisely how much free will we have, and that would be an invigorating (for some, irritating) exercise. And we will get no farther then all of the brilliant people before us, but we'd have a lot of fun doing it and maybe even learn something about ourselves along the way. All fine and good. :)

    But consider this for a moment: Why is the idea that we might be puppets so revolting?

    If my dog had the gift of language, and I explained to her that the only reason she comes to me is not by the power of her reason, but on the off-chance that I'll be holding a piece of cheese, she would likely respond, "so do you have a piece of cheese?!" She would not be the least bit offended by the idea that she is not, in fact, the master of her choices.

    So why are we?

    Because we are made in the image of God. Thus we have no choice but to insist on our own sovereignty, no matter how small that kingdom might be. We were born to rule.

    Though I don't know if that's the particular rabbit hole you wanted to run down today. :)
     
  5. Nanopants

    Nanopants Guest

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    Because, if there is no free will, then ultimately God is the author of the evil in this world, and that can drastically change the way we see Him, although maybe not so much for those who live in a sheltered and censored environment. It also means that basically all of our teachings are a lie: there can only be one outcome, so, there's no need to warn people about the judgment they will receive for the malicious cruelty they inflict on others. Basically, if God is not love, and He is the one who has done everything that has ever been done, we'd be better off being destroyed in hell.
     
  6. seeingeyes

    seeingeyes Newbie

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    If we have free will, then it is God who gave it to us. If we live in a sinful world, it is God who created it. He doesn't seem very quick to pass the buck on that. We are the ones who try to 'pretty' Him up for company, and every time we do, we knock Him down a peg, and lift ourselves up.

    Did we truly ruin God's plan for creation 5 minutes after he made us? Were two completely unexperienced people who were naive enough to take advice from a reptile able to so badly dismantle what God had started that He had to send His son in as plan B to clean up the mess? And the mess still isn't clean?

    If so, He's hardly God. He's just a guy who is bigger than us, tinkering with this creation business.

    Now, how can we reconcile this world as it is with the God who is Love? Excellent question.

    First of all, we need a definition for love. Got one handy?
     
  7. Nanopants

    Nanopants Guest

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    If there is no such thing as a righteousness that is perfectly good, just, merciful and loving, then there is no salvation, and there is nothing better than what is already in this world. This is as good as it gets.

    I'm not trying to pretty up God, I'm searching for Him, because I don't love the way things presently are.

    This is how I personally reconcile it, but it's only conjecture:

    But I do believe that ultimately we will one day see that it was all for a good purpose, not that evil is itself good.

    Yes, as revealed by Christ on the cross:

    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
    -Jhn 15:13

    This is held in contrast with the rest of the world, showing that we are presently very much unlike Him.
     
  8. Jpark

    Jpark Well-Known Member

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    Absolute freedom.

    John 10:17-18 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

    Man's will is activated by God's will. It is ineffectual on it's own because God wants man to be dependent on Him.

    Proverbs 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man,
    But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

    Simply put, God can change His mind.

    It isn't just towards believers (2 Chronicles 7:13-14, Jeremiah 29:11), but extends to all of creation;

    Job 34:14-15 (undoing creation)
    2 Timothy 2:25, Psalm 102:19-20 (saving the damned)
     
  9. seeingeyes

    seeingeyes Newbie

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    Yep. God forbid.

    I shouldn't have worded that so sharply. I didn't intend it as an accusation. Sorry.

    I think you and I are walking down the same road, here. :)

    Great definition. Very concise.

    Now, remove everything that is painful from that verse and you are left with:

    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man for his friends.

    Nothin'.

    Sacrifice is a necessary component of love, and pain is a necessary component of sacrifice.
     
  10. Nanopants

    Nanopants Guest

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    Well I'm glad we're on the same road, but I'm not equating pain or catastrophes like natural disasters with moral evil. It's something I would prefer to not talk about, but if forced to the point, then my point is that there are people in this world who love to murder and love to torture and we cannot reconcile these things with God's nature without losing sight of what is good and right. Evil is exercised by the free will of those who love evil, not God.

    Furthermore, this is what happens when we found a theology on philosophy and/or science instead of drawing it out from the experience of faith given to us by the Son. We can end up with systems of thought which, if followed with absolute trust, can lead us into a pit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2012
  11. seeingeyes

    seeingeyes Newbie

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    You're right this is another thread entirely. But thanks for heading down the rabbit hole with me. :)
     
  12. Rick Otto

    Rick Otto The Dude Abides

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    Only in a certain sense. It would be nonsensical to have a will totaly free - for example,... free of self restraint? I don't think so.


    The problem with this question is the negative bias on the word "force".
    Is not love the greatest force there is? Is God loving or not? Do loving parents "force" their immature toddlers to stay in a playpen? Stay out of traffic, etc.?


    It is a useless question to ask until the terms are defined, & then it will be a needless question to ask.
     
  13. Rick Otto

    Rick Otto The Dude Abides

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    Predestination puts the relative term "free" in proper perspective.
    No, it depends upon definition of terms.

    If God is omniscient & omnipotent, nothing happens unless He caused it.
    The usual reaction to that is shock because usualy people judge perpetrators by their actions alone without any regard (except bias) for motive.
    Isaiah 45:7 plainly has God explicitly stating He created evil. Motive disregarders want to take the edge of that by minimizing "evil" down to "calamity" like insurance agents in an "act of God" claim.

    But the fact is, without the evil of pain, there is no gain.
    If one cannot lose, winning is unrewarding.

    Generaly, as I think I remember someone mentioning already, this topic is approached from a perspective that includes eternal punishment as a consequence. I think that belief too, is problematic.
     
  14. Rick Otto

    Rick Otto The Dude Abides

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    The difference is we still have a will, and for all intents & purposes, it is more relatively ours than anyone else's.

    But it is directly created by God, even tho the conditions it exists in includes circumstances that are not directly created, but are consequential.

    Free is a relative word. "Absolutely free" is therefor oxymoronic.
     
  15. Rick Otto

    Rick Otto The Dude Abides

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    Defined terms can reduce speculation & expedite certainty.

    If I were God's puppet, it would mean I do His will by His hand inside me.
    Isn't that what we want - to be indwelt & performing His will?
    Remember, God is good. All things work for the good of those He chose to have love Him. Do you love Him?... Then not to worry.
    Care about somebody who doesn't? Evangelize.

    Think about it this way... when you do something out of bad motivation (even something "good"), it is you. When you do something out of good motivation (even something "bad" - like stealing something to save a life), He did it thru you.

    Do you recall the account of God asking for volunteers to prophesy a lie of victory (to I think it was Solomon's son) in both Kings & Chronicles?
    Bad deed from good motive.
     
  16. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I'd say "no."

    Having him with me and me doing what he wants is one thing. Being a puppet without any will of my own is another. There's nothing appealing about that.
     
  17. Jipsah

    Jipsah Blood Drinker

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    Thank you.
     
  18. Jipsah

    Jipsah Blood Drinker

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    Hard to do; we prove that we have "free will" every time we sin. The problem is with he belief that the operation of free will can bring us to salvation. There is no Scriptural basis for such a belief.
     
  19. Jipsah

    Jipsah Blood Drinker

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    Then why do we need a Savior, if all that salvation requires is a bit of "will power"?
     
  20. Jipsah

    Jipsah Blood Drinker

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    I know of no one who believes such a thing.
     
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