• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

On Free Will

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Hammster, Jul 1, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

    +14,957
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Every time (and I mean every time) any discusion where Reformed theology is brought up, some sort of "but man has free will" argument arises, as if the secular humanistic view of free will is some sort of counter argument.

    So my question is this. Can the natural man do anything that's spiritually good? Or to ask another way, can the natural man do anything to glorify God?

    disclaimer: the questions may br modified if they aren't clear enough
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +19,885
    Anglican
    Married
    :oldthumbsup: This is an important question that usually doesn't get asked or answered in discussions of this topic.
     
  3. dogs4thewin

    dogs4thewin dog lover Supporter CF Ambassadors

    +3,655
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    US-Libertarian
    natural man?
     
  4. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

    +1,584
    Christian
    A natural man is an unspiritual man, who is in the flesh, not the Spirit, and is spiritually dead in their sins.
     
  5. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

    +14,957
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Libertarian
     
  6. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

    +1,964
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Yes the non christian can do something that honours/glorifies God.

    He can become a Christian.

    Otherwise no.
     
  7. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

    +486
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Secular Humanist? Really? I will post in two parts because Calvinism is non-existent in how the Apostles taught their immediate students as to how to understand these things. Predestination and free will are to be two aspects of ONE DOCTRINE...NOT an either or....


    JUSTIN MARTYR c.100-165 A.D.

    "But that you may not have a pretext for saying that Christ must have been crucified, and that those who transgressed must have been among your nation, and that the matter could not have been otherwise, I said briefly by anticipation, that God, wishing men and angels to follow His will, resolved to create them free to do righteousness; possessing reason, that they may know by whom they are created, and through whom they, not existing formerly, do now exist; and with a law that they should be judged by Him, if they do anything contrary to right reason: and of ourselves we, men and angels, shall be convicted of having acted sinfully, unless we repent beforehand.

    IRENAEUS of Gaul c.130-200. Against Heresies XXXVII

    "This expression, 'How often would I have gathered thy children together, and thou wouldst not,' set forth the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man a free (agent) from the beginning, possessing his own soul to obey the behests of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God. For there is no coercion with God, but a good will (toward us) is present with Him continually. And therefore does He give good counsel to all. And in man as well as in angels, He has placed the power of choice (for angels are rational beings), so that those who had yielded obedience might justly possess what is good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves . . ."


    ATHENAGORAS of Athens (2nd century). Embassy for Christians XXIV

    "Just as with men who have freedom of choice as to both virtue and vice (for you would not either honor the good or punish the bad; unless vice and virtue were in their own power, and some are diligent in the matters entrusted to them, and others faithless), so is it among the angels"

    THEOPHILUS of Antioch (2nd century). To Autolycus XXVII

    "For God made man free, and with power over himself . . . now God vouchsafes to him as a gift through His own philanthropy and pity, when men obey Him. For as man, disobeying, drew death on himself; so, obeying the will of God, he who desires is able to procure for himself life everlasting."

    Just for a few...there are many more....
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  8. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +19,885
    Anglican
    Married
    Who here said anything about *Secular Humanist?*
     
  9. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

    +14,957
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    How does he do that?
     
  10. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

    +14,957
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    That's cool. Care to address the question?
     
  11. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

    +14,957
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    I did. :)
     
  12. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +19,885
    Anglican
    Married
    Nuts. ;) Indeed you did. I thought I had carefully studied all the posts before asking that.
     
  13. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

    +486
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Now because Calvin misunderstood or did not include the WHOLE teaching of Augustine I will post the other half of the one coin here....

    Augustine, On Grace and Free Will

    Chapter 1

    With reference to those persons who so preach and defend man's free will, as boldly to deny, and endeavor to do away with, the grace of God which calls us to Him (like Pelagius), and delivers us from our evil deserts, and by which we obtain the good deserts which lead to everlasting life: we have already said a good deal in discussion, and committed it to writing, so far as the Lord has vouchsafed to enable us.

    But since there are SOME persons who so defend God's grace as to deny man's free will, or who suppose that free will is denied when grace is defended (like Calvin), I have determined to write somewhat on this point…

    Chapter 2

    Now He has revealed to us, through His Holy Scriptures, that there is in a man a free choice of will. But how He has revealed this I do not recount in human language, but in divine (meaning through scripture). There is, to begin with, the fact that God's precepts themselves would be of no use to a man unless he had free choice of will, so that by performing them he might obtain the promised rewards. For they are given that no one might be able to plead the excuse of ignorance, as the Lord says concerning the Jews in the gospel: If I had not come and spoken unto them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin

    Chapter 3

    There are, however, persons who attempt to find excuse for themselves even from God (saying all they do or did is God’s will). The Apostle James says to such: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. James 1:13-15 Solomon, too, in his book of Proverbs, has this answer for such as wish to find an excuse for themselves from God Himself: The folly of a man spoils his ways; but he blames God in his heart (we see this in militant Islam where even if they kill and torture or rape they say it was the will of Allah). Proverbs 19:3 And in the book of Ecclesiasticus we read: Say not, It is through the Lord that I fell away; for you ought not to do the things that He hates: nor say, He has caused me to err; for He has no need of the sinful man… The Lord hates all abomination, and they that fear God love it not. He Himself made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of His counsel. If you be willing, you shall keep His commandments, and perform true fidelity. He has set fire and water before you: stretch forth your hand unto whether you will….

    Chapter 4

    What is the import of the fact that in so many passages God requires all His commandments to be kept and fulfilled? How does He make this requisition, if there is no free will? What means the happy man, of whom the Psalmist says that his will has been the law of the Lord? Does he not clearly enough show that a man by his own will takes his stand in the law of God?

    Then again, there are so many commandments which in some way are expressly adapted to the human will; for instance, there is, Be not overcome of evil, Romans 12:1 and others of similar import, such as, Be not like a horse or a mule, which have no understanding; and, Reject not the counsels of your mother; Proverbs 1:8 and, Be not wise in your own conceit; Proverbs 3:7 and, Despise not the chastening of the Lord; Proverbs 3:11 and, Forget not my law; Proverbs 3:1 and, Forbear not to do good to the poor; Proverbs 3:27 and, Devise not evil against your friend; Proverbs 3:29 and, Give no heed to a worthless woman; Proverbs 5:2 and, He is not inclined to understand how to do good; and, They refused to attend to my counsel; Proverbs 1:30 with numberless other passages of the inspired Scriptures of the Old Testament. And what do they all show us but the free choice of the human will? So, again, in the evangelical and apostolic books of the New Testament what other lesson is taught us? As when it is said, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth; Matthew 6:19 and, Fear not them which kill the body; Matthew 10:28 and, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself; Matthew 16:24 and again, Peace on earth to men of good will. Luke 2:14 So also that the Apostle Paul says: Let him do what he wills; he sins not if he marry. Nevertheless, he that stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, does well. 1 Corinthians 7:36-37 And so again, If I do this willingly, I have a reward; 1 Corinthians 9:17 while in another passage he says, Be sober and righteous, and sin not; 1 Corinthians 15:34 and again, As you have a readiness to will, so also let there be a prompt performance; 2 Corinthians 8:11 then he remarks to Timothy about the younger widows, When they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they choose to marry. So in another passage, All that will to live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution; 2 Timothy 3:12 while to Timothy himself he says, Neglect not the gift that is in you. 1 Timothy 4:14 Then to Philemon he addresses this explanation: That your benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but of your own will. Servants also he advises to obey their masters with a good will. Ephesians 6:7 In strict accordance with this, James says: Do not err, my beloved brethren . . . and have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect to persons; and, Do not speak evil one of another. James 4:11 So also John in his Epistle writes, Do not love the world, 1 John 2:15and other things of the same import. Now wherever it is said, Do not do this, and Do not do that, and wherever there is any requirement in the divine admonitions for the work of the will to do anything, or to refrain from doing anything, there is at once a sufficient proof of free will. No man, therefore, when he sins, can in his heart blame God for it, but every man must impute the fault to himself. Nor does it detract at all from a man's own will when he performs any act in accordance with God. Indeed, a work is then to be pronounced a good one when a person does it willingly; then, too, may the reward of a good work be hoped for from Him concerning whom it is written, He shall reward every man according to his works. Matthew 16:27
     
  14. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

    +5,438
    United States
    Presbyterian
    Married
    Here we go again!

    "But, but, but, it's a choice." "Choose this day. . ." "John 3:16". . .
     
  15. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

    +14,957
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Can you highlight the part where it starts to answer the question?
     
  16. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

    +1,964
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    I based that answer on Heb 11 v6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

    So he must seek God, or a sympathetic Christian to talk to.
     
  17. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

    +14,957
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Thank for that.

    Is seeking God pleasing to Him? Is it spiritual? Does it glorify God?
     
  18. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +19,885
    Anglican
    Married
    John, does *comes to him* there necessarily mean *decides to choose God?*

    Or does it simply refer to those who DO accept Christ, period?
     
  19. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

    +1,964
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    As God is delaying the final judgement untill the complete number of those who are saved is made up thenit must please and gloify God.
     
  20. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

    +14,957
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    I'm really sorry, but I'm not sure I understand your post as it relates to my question.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...