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December 15, 2014

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The video is private and therefor can't be seen.

video is marked private ... guess it wasn't meant to be :)

It shows up just fine for me. Maybe only Calvinists can see it.

Matthew 15:13

13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.

The very notion that in the Parable of the Sower (to some, the Parable of the Four Soils [Mt. 13: 3-23]) the sower uses the method of broad-casting the seed (the seed is scattered, note verse 4). This seems to preclude any notion of predestination. The point of the parable is the possible receptions of the Word, from outright rejection to fruitful acceptance. I am intrigued with Greg's notion of fruitless reception (the weedy soil) so that "all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. (v. 22b)" This is more in keeping with the citation dave offered. Matt 15: 13 refers to the offense Jesus would have given the Pharisees, deemed "blind guides leading the blind" in the following verse.

Seems plausible that the "soil" is the character of the individuals, built by their libertarian free will choices.

Goat Head 5

A poorly reasoned comment "chirped" from the cheap seats!

1 John 5:4

4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Joshua 24:15

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Goat Head 5,

Do you really think that verse makes the case that we are in ultimate control of our salvation?

Someone please define these terms for me:

  • Predestination
  • Libertarian Free Will

Please also explain this claim:

Predestination is incompatible with Libertarian Free Will
Because I don't think that this claim is true.

KWM

It would depend on what you mean by "ultimate control".

goat head 5

Wisdomlover

The truth of your assertion will hang entirely on your definitions.

But I will throw this out:

If I arrange things so that you will perform a future action in such a way that you will certainly perform that action. And there is no way that you can do otherwise, you do not have free will in the matter. My predetermination of your action cannot coexist with your free will.

That's the way I see it. It is immaterial whether you want to perform the action or not. If you could not do otherwise you do not have free will.

Goat Head 5

Chirped, in a very poorly reasoned way, from the cheap seats!

WL,

Just for satisfying my curiosity:

>> Please also explain this claim:

Predestination is incompatible with Libertarian Free Will

Because I don't think that this claim is true.

In making this statement, are you implying that there is a degree of activity and choices ranging from a variety of appropriate-consequential to inappropriate-inconsequential while in a state of being saved (status salvae in my old theology lessons)?

If this is the case, this would explain GH5's Joshua citation. Joshua makes his choice to remain faithful to God only because he was in that faith throughout his life time. This was a time of wilderness wandering and campaigns of one victory after another (along with one instructive loss at Ai). GH5 would make his case only if Joshua would have made this statement at the beginning of campaigning. Joshua only pledged loyalty to God in light of God's loyalty to His covenant promise to Israel.

We believe on Jesus before any act of our will. If we must decide to believe, it is because he did not reveal himself to us as he did with the thief on the cross. And we turn salvation away from Divine revelation to works mimicking the Law.

If I arrange things so that you will perform a future action in such a way that you will certainly perform that action. And there is no way that you can do otherwise, you do not have free will in the matter.
What if I can do something about how you arrange things? Can't I do something about my behavior in that case? Even if your arrangement of things leads with inexorable logical necessity to my behavior, I may be as free as a bird.

DGF-

My question is one of pure philosophy. Is human freedom compatible with predestination? I think it is. Adam was free, but God was just as sovereign before the Fall as He was after. Insofar as human beings are not free, it is for reasons quite apart from predestination.

GH5-

If this is true

there is no way that you can do otherwise
then you do not have free will in the matter no matter why there is no way you can do otherwise. Right?

It seems that your definition of freedom is this: The ability to do otherwise than you in fact do.

I agree with that. I also think that's a basic definition of what people call 'Libertarian' freedom.

With that said, one must then prove that predestination really does preclude the ability to do otherwise than one in fact does.

I don't believe that predestination does preclude the ability to do otherwise than one in fact does.

Dave,

To believe in Jesus is an act of the will. It is a choice.

Goat Head 5

WL

If I determine your action,only one action will inevitably be performed. In reality, only one choice available is no choice at all.

Similar to "free" elections in Marxist countries. Only one candidate on the ballot. Would anyone not defending a philosophical call those elections free?

This seems elementary, self evident.

What would you have to give up in your philosophical system for there to be free choice without determinism?

Goat Head 5

Still chirping, respectfully, from the cheap seats!

Re; Goat Head 5;

Does it require an act of the will to believe the chair you are sitting in exists?

Of course not. And so it is when God makes himself known. We see this in the case of Peter who recognized Jesus as the Messiah when most did not. In Jesus' own words that unless a person is Born Again, they cannot discern the Kingdom of God, implying that those who are Born Again - do. The thief on the cross discerned Jesus and believed. If we have to decide to believe, it's because we don't.

Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. No act of the will there.


only one choice available...Only one candidate on the ballot
Who said anything about that?

I think I agreed with you that if you couldn't do otherwise than you in fact do, then you are not free. Yes, freedom (at least freedom that's metaphysically interesting) involves the ability to bring about alternate possibilities.

But let's look at it this way.

If I make it true that I mow my lawn, it follows logically that I mow my lawn. I am completely incapable of preventing the consequence that I mow my lawn, given that I make it true that I mow my lawn. That sounds so trivially true that it's almost stupid to say it, right? I mean, even the phrase "God can bring it about that I make it true that I mow my lawn, but I don't mow my lawn" is a kind of nonsense.

So there's a necessity of one thing following logically from another that no one, and certainly not I, can do anything about.

Now, to adapt your own words GH5, if I make it true that I mow my lawn, 'only one action will inevitably be performed' right? That action is me mowing my lawn.

So why am I not bound by fatalistic necessity to mow my lawn?

The answer here seems obvious:

Although my making it true that I mow my lawn logically necessitates that I mow my lawn, I may well have some control over whether I make it true that I mow my lawn.
This is all simple and straightforward. Right?

Now go up to the discussion above and wherever it says "I make it true that" put in "God makes it true that".

We get down to this final result:

Although God's making it true that I mow my lawn logically necessitates that I mow my lawn, I may well have some control over whether God makes it true that I mow my lawn.
It seems to me that if you want to say that predestination is incompatible with freedom, you're going to have to argue that humans can never have some control over what God makes true. And that's just what no one has done.

What would you have to give up in your philosophical system for there to be free choice without determinism?
Since, in 'my' philosophical system, there is free will, full-throated, alternate-possibility, 'libertarian' free will, and determinism, I don't think I'd have to give anything up.
Does it require an act of the will to believe the chair you are sitting in exists?
In fairness to GH5, he's going to say that it does require an act of the will to sit in it. And it's only the kind of belief that includes actually choosing to sit in the chair that will save you.

Yes, you may believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior apart from your will. The devils do so and tremble. But to believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? That requires some degree of choice. And the devils don't choose to do that.

WL

"Free will" with one predetermined outcome.

Doesn't make sense. Guess I am not understanding you.

Are you saying that we, by our free will actions, change God's mind? That He would have made one thing true, but because of our free will choices He makes another thing true? It would take quite a bit of "nuance" to shoehorn that into the Augustinian/Plato attributes of God.

Goat Head 5

"Free will" with one predetermined outcome.

Doesn't make sense.

I would imagine you're familiar with, and even endorse, the branching passages model of time.

According to the model, time is like a series of passages that we are travelling through. At various points the passages branch into two or more passages. Some people will make a big deal out of the claim that passages never merge back together. For our purposes, I don't think that matters.

Our freedom consists of the fact that there are multiple paths we could have taken through these passages. I agree with that.

But I want you to take notice of something else about the model: there is only one path through the system of passages that we actually do take.. And it is no insult to the most robust concept of freedom that this is so.

There is only one outcome, but we are free.

The reason we are free is that we had some choice about which one path would be the one we do take.

@ WL >"Yes, you may believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior apart from your will. The devils do so and tremble. But to believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? That requires some degree of choice. And the devils don't choose to do that."

>>I think you've got it backwards. You can only believe in Jesus as "your" Lord and Savior through Divine revelation. This is a major theme throughout the NT.

Mt 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Mt 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

As far as "Willing " and repentance;

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Ac 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Dave-

Giving the answer I thought GH5 would give. I don't think that, by nature, we have a "yes" for Jesus in us. We do have a "no" and we freely offer it to Him all the time. It's not because of Divine Sovereignty that this is so.

Sorry, the second sentence above is actually my view. The first was meant to repeat the qualification on what I had written earlier.

To extend the argument, I suppose GH5 might point out that what your passages prove is that we have no freedom to say "yes" to Jesus unless God gives us the power to do so. But this is also true of every other choice we ever face. I can't say yes to the cherry pie unless God gives me the power to do so.

Goat Head 5,

Let’s set aside salvation for a moment. I want to present a question / scenario to you:

Let’s say a couple’s child is tragically kidnapped. Let’s call the child Sara. Sara is kept, by her captors, in a pit in a very desolate forest. No one is within earshot of Sara’s cries.

The parents are broken. It’s dreadful.

They pray to God that Sara is found.

God answers this prayer and delivers Sara to her parents.

Here’s how it plays out:

A hunter decides to hunt in an area that he normally doesn’t hunt in. No one ever hunts this area. It’s very desolate and hard to hunt in. He hears the cries of Sara and rescues her.

Now my question:

Did the hunter have the free will (as you define it) to hunt in another area and not find Sara?

Dave and WL

To clarify, I believe that everyone has a "yes" to the offer of salvation in them. Whether through prevenient grace or some other agency of God, everyone has a chance to say yes.... or no.

That verse in Joshua clearly illustrates what I believe. A clear choice is presented, choose good or evil. We have obviously been given the capacity to choose.

Goat Head 5

Still chirping!

KWM

Your question : "Did the hunter have the free will (as you define it) to hunt in another area and not find Sara?"

My Answer: Of course! If not the hunter, God could have many other avenues to pursue to effect the rescue of Sara. Perhaps Sara finds a way to climb out of the pit. Maybe the kidnappers have a change of heart. Or a search party finds Sara. The captors could sell Sara into slavery and she is later reunited with her parents. A troupe of drunken traveling clowns could stumble upon the outlaws, confuse them with their antics, and rescue the child. Since we are making up stories, the possibilities are endless! I didn't even add any alien appearances into the mix! Or God could send an angel to rescue Sara. Or He could just transport her to her parents.

All levity aside, it's very complicated. There are entities and agencies that oppose God's action. There are the free will choices of all the human players involved. There is the nature of the world as God created it. Not simple at all. Lucky for us, God is very smart.

What was the question you would have asked me if you couldn't use this hypothetical story?

Goat Head 5
Still sitting in the cheap seats!

WL

In the discussion on determinism and free will earlier, you said, :The reason we are free is that we had some choice about which one path would be the one we do take."

How could this take place? How would that work? How could we have choice on what the predetermined path is? Could you provide some sort of illustration? I have not encountered this before.

Goat Head 5
A sincere inquiry, though poorly reasoned, chirped from the cheap seats.

Goat Head 5,

You didn’t answer my question at all.

Let’s summarize:

God answered the prayer using the hunter. Did the hunter have free will as you define it? In other words, could the hunter have chosen to hunt in another area and not find Sara, if in fact, God chose the hunter to find Sara?

(This was clear in my first comment. The hunter, by definition of God's work, wasn't arbitrary)

BTW, if Sara’s parents told the hunter, “We believe God used you to answer our prayer." You’d have to tell the them they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Goat Head 5,

It's very complicated

I wouldn’t deny this. Many Christians feel this subject is the most complicated. My rule of thumb is to put as much weight on God’s sovereignty as possible and maintain that God is 100% perfect and holy when difficulties arise.

In other words, I choose to be uncertain as it relates to my interpretation of what is holy, just, and good (submitting to the truth that God is all holy even if something is challenging to my tainted view of goodness) rather than to compromise God’s absolute total sovereignty in any way.

How could this take place? How would that work? How could we have choice on what the predetermined path is? Could you provide some sort of illustration? I have not encountered this before.
Just the way I described it, there is a series of forking passages that define an array of paths you could have taken, but there is only one path that you did take, are taking and will take.

Why is there only one path?

The law of contradiction.

Goat Head 5

For example:

Romans 9

Though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!

KWM,

Let me be clear,

"In other words, could the hunter have chosen to hunt in another area and not find Sara, if in fact, God chose the hunter to find Sara?"

Answer: An unqualified yes.

It is quite clear, from simple observation, that everything God wants to happen does not in fact happen.

Why?

Goat Head 5

Goat Head 5,

Let's try it this way: Do you think it's within God's power to compel a human being to do something apart from their will?

It is quite clear, from simple observation, that everything God wants to happen does not in fact happen.
Really?

How is that clear?

You have access to God's inner thoughts?

That was poorly stated.

To clarify: Do you think it's within God's power to remove choices?

WisdomLover beat me to it.

How in the world do you know that?

Goat Head 5,

If you pray, "Thy will be done", whatever do you mean?

@ Goat Head 5;>"To clarify, I believe that everyone has a "yes" to the offer of salvation in them. Whether through prevenient grace or some other agency of God, everyone has a chance to say yes.... or no."

>>How about all of the people who have never had an "offer" of salvation? The possible millions who perished in Noah's flood. The heathen far removed from Israel in OT times (remember salvation is of the Jews).

Even today, how about those including the Jews broken off to make room for the Gentiles in Romans 11; and others who are beyond the reach of this "offer".

As far as "free will" is concerned, it says, those who received Christ did so because they were born of God, and not by the "will" of the flesh John 1:13.

KWM, GH5-

I know that GH5 is about to treat us to an array of Bible verses to the effect that it is God's will/desire/choice/etc. that P, but where P is either manifestly not the case or where it is a pretty clear teaching of Scripture that P is not the case.

For example, I Tim. 2:3,4:

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
But Scripture is also pretty clear about the falsehood of universalism. Apparently God wants Universalism to be true, but it isn't true. So God doesn't always get what He wants. Q.E.D.

So I know all about those sorts of passages.

But I call your attention to the fact that virtually every brand of Christianity makes a distinction of the two varieties of God's will. Evangelicals speak of God's perfect will and God's permissive will. Lutherans and Calvinists speak of God's concealed or hidden will and His revealed will. Other stripes of Christians make a similar distinction.

And it is only natural that they should do so. For it is a basic piece of psychology. There are those things we want without taking into account all the consequences of what it would mean for that want to be satisfied, and there are those things we want after we have, as much as we are able, considered the consequences. It seems to me that the best description of this distinction is to refer to the pre-analytic and post-analytic will.

For the record, although I am Lutheran, I find Luther and Calvin's terminology to be kind of misleading. The post-analytic will is no more hidden and no less revealed than the pre-analytic will. Scripture has plenty to say about it. What's hidden is all the reasons and calculations, all the analysis, God went through to come at the post-analytic will. With the pre-analytic will there was little analysis to be hidden in the first place.

The perfect will, the revealed will, the will that wants all men to be saved, is the pre-analytic will. But in the final analysis, the Omnipotent God sends some people to Hell. His post-analytic, permissive, hidden will, then, is quite obviously that some men be damned. If that weren't His will, then that's not what would happen. Because Omnipotence.

It does no good to say, well, God chooses not to exercise His omnipotence, but let's us have our own way, and that's why some go to Hell. Can it escape anyone's notice that that is an exercise of Omnipotence? Choosing to let us have our own way is choosing that it should be one way and not another.

KWM

"Do you think it's within God's power to compel a human being to do something apart from their will?" and "Do you think it's within God's power to remove choices?"

Yes to both. So?

Goat Head 5

KWM and WL

"You have access to God's inner thoughts?"

Why yes, I do. He gave us some of His thoughts in an ancient tome known as the Bible. Both of you have more than a passing familiarity with it.

Goat Head 5

KWM

"If you pray, "Thy will be done", whatever do you mean?"

Well, exactly that. Clearly, in the Lord's Prayer, we pray for God's will to be done of Earth. Because, obviously, it isn't always done. Otherwise why ask for it? We don't pray that 1+1=2. Elementary.

If you think God's will is always done, why would you pray for it? It will happen regardless.

Goat Head 5

KWM, WL, Dave

Ah yes! Now we get down to it! The multiple "wills" of God. A masterful theological sleight of hand. God says in the Bible that He wants something? Will # 5! That's not what He really, really wants. If we peel the layers back on His will onion the bottom layer is what actually happens, because in our theological/philosophical system whatever happens is by definition God's will.

Let's re visit something Jesus said.

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!"

Now let's re write it using the "will onion" theological/philosophical system.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! (because that is how I wanted it, planned it, and made sure it would happen that way, in my other will) How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,(only a little bit, but I wanted a lot more, in my other will, to damn you to hell) but you were not willing! (except what you willed really makes no difference because I predestined, planned, and made sure you would not be willing because of my other will)

Do you see how using the will onion makes Jesus statement mean the complete opposite of what He really said?

Hence, I reject will onion theology. Because God's goodness.

Goat Head 5

Chirped earnestly from my beloved cheap seats!

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! (who did so because I couldn't do anything to prevent it, being too weak, ignorant or stupid to protect my chosen spokesmen) How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, (but I just couldn't do it...you guys are waaay to strong for me), but you were not willing (And what you will is what decides how things will go in spite of what I will, because, after all, you are the most high).
And just for fun
Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt (JK about the cup passing though...We are one and we can't will opposite things, so what I will is automatically what you will, and vice versa)
If we have childish ideas about how language works we wind up in childish contradictions and impossibilities.

Language, every word in every language, is ambiguous, it is not sophistry to notice that, it's reality. The words "will", "want", "choose" and so on are no exception. When you can live with that, you may be able to intelligently discuss serious subjects.

Until then, I guess you'll have to content yourself with chirping from the cheap seats.

Another concept you might want to master, GH5, is the distinction between what is the case and what could have been the case, but isn't.

All of your silly remarks about our choices making no difference because they are predetermined turn on a confusion of those two ideas.

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