Free will and Omniscience

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#121

Post by DannyM » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:50 pm

Echoside wrote: This is the main point of contention.

"God still allows us to freely act on our sinful and worldly desires"

When you decide to sin, there is no other option than sinning?
That's not a choice, there's no free act. A choice assumes alternatives.
I said sinful and worldly. Not all desires are sinful, so I don’t really see your point. Man has a bountiful of choices. Do you dispute this?
Echoside wrote: "Yet we are still free to make all kinds of worldly choices"

So the only decisions we are allowed to make are the one's that don't matter? y#-o
There is a lot that matters in this world. Anyway, what do you mean by “decisions that don’t matter" ?
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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#122

Post by RickD » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:09 pm

August could probably help a lot of Calvinists out with what they think is Calvinsim
I think you're right, jlay. I think a lot of what people are arguing against, is hyper-Calvinism, or some kind of extreme Calvinism.
I'm starting to feel so bad about the misrepresentation of Calvinism, that I may start calling myself a 3 1/2 point Calvinist. :oops:
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#123

Post by zacchaeus » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:19 pm

I'm concerned this thread and the other one alike this one is doing more harm then good... I'm not even wanting to post anything I believe or my interpretation now because from what I first posted I'm no longer even sure of. Yet I want to leave and not read no more but I find this thread consuming a great part of my life lol. At this point I'm just not sure what to think and/or believe. Although I'd say this topic in particular is crucial to ones faith... its either really right or really wrong and may be condemning. I'm so lost...

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#124

Post by RickD » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:38 pm

zacchaeus wrote:I'm concerned this thread and the other one alike this one is doing more harm then good... I'm not even wanting to post anything I believe or my interpretation now because from what I first posted I'm no longer even sure of. Yet I want to leave and not read no more but I find this thread consuming a great part of my life lol. At this point I'm just not sure what to think and/or believe. Although I'd say this topic in particular is crucial to ones faith... its either really right or really wrong and may be condemning. I'm so lost...
Zacchaeus, post what you're having problems with. We can help you work through them. These issues we are dealing with here, are inside the faith, so to speak. They're not issues that are in and of themselves, essentials to salvation. Don't sweat the small stuff. ;)
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#125

Post by zacchaeus » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:05 pm

I've just never even questioned it to this degree... so my original post aside on a small scale here is what I'm concerned and having difficulty with.

1)Free will, would that not mean at times if its indeed absolute free will choice that GOD doesn't know everything?
2)Predestination, would that not mean we don't have free will?
3)Omniscience, does this mean God knows everything or has the ability if He so chooses and how would this work around one of the previous two and/or both?
4)Can 1 and 2 coincide?

How does the Trinity play a role in this... their jobs and abilities acting in unity as one? When God asked Adam and Eve why they were hiding after eating from the tree, was it because He didn't know, or just a test of obedience?

What about the circular knowledge of God creating knowledge proposing God before knowledge, there was no knowledge at all, which means that God was unable to possess knowledge prior to its creation?

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#126

Post by RickD » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:56 pm

1)Free will, would that not mean at times if its indeed absolute free will choice that GOD doesn't know everything?
I don't think there is such a thing as absolute free will. All our choices are influenced in some way. Especially the choice to accept the gospel.
2)Predestination, would that not mean we don't have free will?
3)Omniscience, does this mean God knows everything or has the ability if He so chooses and how would this work around one of the previous two and/or both?
4)Can 1 and 2 coincide?
I think they have to coincide. How far the scale tips, one way or the other, depends on who you ask.
How does the Trinity play a role in this... their jobs and abilities acting in unity as one?
this is as good of an explanation that I've found.
http://www.crossway.org/blog/2011/05/th ... alvation/#
When God asked Adam and Eve why they were hiding after eating from the tree, was it because He didn't know, or just a test of obedience?
I always took it as a rhetorical question.
Maybe someone else can chime in with a different perspective. I try to think in simple terms. And sometimes my answers aren't as detailed as some people like.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#127

Post by RickD » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:00 pm

Sorry, darn iPod. Couldn't fit it in one response. :lol:
What about the circular knowledge of God creating knowledge proposing God before knowledge, there was no knowledge at all, which means that God was unable to possess knowledge prior to its creation?
Isn't knowledge(omniscience) part of God's very nature?


Remember, zacchaeus, there's nothing wrong with questioning. Questioning can strengthen one's faith.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#128

Post by zacchaeus » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:17 pm

So is He all knowing or not... I'd say He is or at least that was my take from my first post in this thread... but if my freewill choice can and or has the ability to surprises God in the sense He doesn't truly know if I will accept His Son or Not than does He not know everything.

What about libertarian freedom does this assert man over God to be sovereign not the other way around. I wished I never even launched a study on this... I was fine with what I believed lol. Please read this over when you have the chance... http://withchrist.org/veracity.htm

Also I need help on some of the following scriptures, maybe a nice breakdown and or little commentary that is original not these mass publicized systematic man theology... I find myself believing them and their interpretation over scripture without two or more scriptures to back up their claims.

Maybe not all of them I just have them on a list but def the ones pertaining to this thread posts
1 John 3:20
Ephesians 1:4-11
Acts 2:23, 4:28, 13:48
Romans 8:28-30, 9:11
Philippians 2:13, 3:21
Isaiah 14:24
Luke 22:22
1 Corinthians 2:7
2 Timothy 1:9
1 Peter 1:2

I have more but... well this should suffice

by the way thank you so much...

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#129

Post by Echoside » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:16 pm

DannyM wrote: There is a lot that matters in this world. Anyway, what do you mean by “decisions that don’t matter" ?

If I asked you what is the most important thing a human can do in this lifetime, what would your answer be? I would think it rather obvious, any decision you make before you die other than that outlined in John 3:16 is almost irrelevant.

If God predestines the only thing you can do in your life that impacts your afterlife, but leaves you to choose everything else that's hardly a kind gesture.

I'd like you to explain a bit more as to how God determines "the elect". I've said it before, congratulations to those who win the life lottery and don't get to spend eternity in torment.

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#130

Post by 1over137 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:41 am

RickD wrote:It seems there may be a HUGE misrepresentation of Calvinism, throughout Christendom.
This is what my old wise friend wrote when I asked him following:

me:
I have to react to your long mail about calling and choosing. I was thinking and want to ask whether you are a Calvinist?Calvinism says that God has already pre-destined how many will be saved, so those who are saved can't be lost and those who are lost can't be saved. In the end, there is a fixed number of people who will be saved. Some people say that Calvinism is unbiblical.
I am just a lost student still.

him:
Am I a Calvinist? Hmmmmm. Well, that depends. If I am because I learned it first from the Bible as I was reading it (and much later heard about someone named John Calvin) then ok, I guess I am a "Calvinist". If it means I am someone who is "unbiblical", well, I'm still a Calvinist but not the stereotypical "Calvinist" that others naïvly believe they understand. Most of what people think about Calvinisism reveals that they have never read his works personally, and only parrot what they have heard critics say about him. I believe it would amaze them to see the impact Calvin had on culture in his day, and ever since. It is amazing the institutions that Calvin conceived of first ( ). You might want to investigate this a bit. Unfortunately, Calvin was also a man of his times. There were abuses by both Catholics and Protestants in those days. Catholics were very strong and incredibly cruel (the Counter Reformation and Inquisitions). Calvin was very strict with non-Calvinists (having some put to death). There's no way I'm going to say that was "alright". It was wrong. But it's become like the person who lost their temper, then said or did something wrong, and thereafter all the good would ever do (or did) would never be noticed. That act of wrong is not going to fall into the background, but will remain in peoples minds most....and will overshadow all other good traits and deeds. Unfortunately, that has been the case with Calvin when he was mayor of Geneva, Switzerland. Calvin was indeed too harsh with those he opposed. But on the other hand, those who believed otherwise than he did were also capable of being very harsh. But compared to the Counter Reformation activities of the Catholic Church, and the horrible deeds done in the name of Christ by the Catholic Church in the Inquisitions, makes Calvin look like Santa Claus. But that is another email.

About "calling" and "choosing". I can only tell you what I read in the Bible. Those two words alone are all over the place. If language means anything, then words must stand, and they must have their impact upon us. The critics of "Calvinism" must deal with words that are indeed meaning-specific, plentiful, and thus, are indeed biblical. So no, I don't agree with those who say Calvinism is "unbiblical" (I mean, if they were right I wouldn't be able to find any of these words in the Bible would I?). The fact remains that those who criticize "Calvin" must bear the burden of showing why they think these "Calvinist" words are unbiblical! For it stands to reason that the words created the Calvin, not the other way around (what did we call Calvinists before Calvin?). And you don't achieve correcting Calvin or these words by saying you don't like what he (or the words) teach. Scientists do not accept that kind of logic. Neither should Christians who discuss these things. The burden of proof is upon those who disagree with Calvin to show what is incorrect with his explanations for these easily found words and teachings (and this is also not done by quoting verses that seem to contradict Calvin's interpretation, but rather to reply by explaining exactly how "calling", "election" "predestination" are really part of biblical teaching, and as such they must be understood in such a way as to seamlessly harmonize with all those "Armenian" verses, which are also in the Bible. Because both kinds of versese are easily found in the Scriptures, and because but you cannot have two radically opposed theologies existing simultaneously (unless you leave them as as two opposing systems of theological interpretation), I therefore choose to be a "Calvinist", because it seems to me that "Calvin's understandings for these verses remain the best way (and perhaps the only way) of harmonizing these two seemingly opposite systems in one seamless whole, as well as being the best explaination for the world I live in.

Yes, "some people" simply dislike "calling", "election", "predestination", etc., but cannot figure out what to do with the verses that clearly teach such things. And they usually commit intellectual dishonesty with linguistics and logic.

Therefore, allow me first to suggest that it is helpful Calvinist if you are not a precisionist. You must be rigorously concerned with accuracy and coherency. This kind of care for details will guard your intellectual integrity, keep you biblical, and allow you to be relevant to a very desperate and cynical world. Just to dislike something without careful reasoning is useless. So, let me be clear and precise with what you wrote:

[Calvinism says that God has already pre-destined how many will be saved]. This lacks something. And what it lacks makes it sound like God is a heartless quota machine: Cold, calculated and final. I don't think this describes the biblical view of God or the historical position of Calvin. . What it lacks is the serious complexity which the biblical (and Calvin's) teaching has on this subject. Some of the complexities involved in this one item alone include: "What did God know about the future, and how does it affect how he devised his plan (or how it did not influence his plans) for determining who or how one is saved. Some, for example, see God looking down into the future and see who will choose him, and they are the ones he therefore "elects", "chooses" etc. (which sounds more like God is licking his finger and trying to find out which way the wind is blowing). Some say that God knows that after the Fall, no one would come to him, so the intervention of Christ's work of grace for a sinner must be sovereignly applied (e.g., Ezekiel 36: 25-27), so that even Christ's death was predetermined to insure that some would be really be saved. The conclusion is that if God did not choose some, no one would be saved.

[those who are saved can't be lost] The emphasis in this statement must be on "saved" (as in actually, truly, converted by God's power). From God's point of view, this is absolutely a true statement. It was Jesus' teaching certainly (John 6: 37-40). But the logic behind it is that people are saved because of a decision by God to save them, not on their own will alone. Therefore, "saved" is a result of God's sovereign decree, and once that is set in motion and the actual blood of Christ is applied to a sinner, then nothing can undo that. Why? Because when Christ was on the cross, he was actually atoning for the real guilt of real actual sins with a definite group of people in mind "the elect". God was executing justice for sins committed against him--but not on the guilty, but on the innocent: his perfect Son Jesus. Jesus was "'the Lamb of God' to take away the sins of the world." Again, his death did actually accomplish salvation. It is impossible for the elect to lose the effectiveness of Christ's work on their behalf. Therefore his death was "sufficient" for all and "efficient for some."

[those who are lost can't be saved]. No Christian would agree with this statement. We know and believe that all were once lost, but now found (saved). A 16th. Century Poet wrote, "Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future."

[there is a fixed number of people who will be saved]. On the surface, it sounds like a "loaded question" (that word "fixed"). But in truth, as there is not an infinite number of people from creation to the end of the world, it is a true statement. But the question is really asking if Christ died specifically for a definite group of people (not a specific race of people, but the "fixed number" of people). The answer to that of course is "yes". Christ died to really save people, effectively save them. Calvin taught the efficacy of the atoning work of Christ (Big words, but very important). Not understanding this has caused most of today's religious to not know for certain that they are saved. Without a definite atonement on the cross, it becomes necessary to somehow try to influence God to be favorable to us, to pursuade him to be merciful. That's why so many of the world's religions are "works-based". For most of the world's religions God did not accomplish salvation, but only makes it possible if we do something to earn his graces. In actuality, these understanding of God's dealings with fallen man no one can be certain they are or will be actually saved. The burden is on appeasing God with our efforts to include us, to make us his choice. The Bible is not so cruel.

[Some people say] Some people do not say.

[Calvinism is unbiblical]. Let them prove it. But again, the statement as you put it is true: "Some people do say Calvinism is unbiblical."
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#131

Post by 1over137 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:15 am

RickD wrote:Remember, zacchaeus, there's nothing wrong with questioning. Questioning can strengthen one's faith.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NASB95)
21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
zacchaeus wrote:Philippians 2:13 (NASB95)
13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Let me see if I can reconcile problematic verses.
As I wrote above, the only solution to the problem of free will I momentally can see is that God chooses people who choose Him. But what about the verses like Philippians 2:13 above? What do they mean? I think they speak about the calling. God must first call us (work in us) so that we could see that we are being given the choice.
Is my explanation biblical?
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#132

Post by DannyM » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:22 am

Good work above, Hana :thumbsup:

I'm with my baby boy today. But there's lots to come back to tonight :D
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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#133

Post by CeT-To » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:52 am

DannyM wrote:
CeT-To wrote:
DannyM wrote:
CeT-To wrote:Yeah... i'm not so sure about absolute free will either. Though one wonders what the essence of the sinful nature is..
It's man's inherent need to act on all his desires.
Where does this inherent need come from?
The Fall :lol:
no i didnt mean where it began but where in us did it come from. lol
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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#134

Post by zacchaeus » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:15 am

Just sharing a link... I started reading through this today, this will take a while, lots and lots of info... maybe some would like to read through with me as well...

http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/calvinismrefuted.htm

a few more links I'm going to read through for the other side

http://bible-truth.org/election.htm

http://www.prca.org/pamphlets/pamphlet_31.html

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Re: Free will and Omniscience

#135

Post by August » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:00 am

zacchaeus wrote:Just sharing a link... I started reading through this today, this will take a while, lots and lots of info... maybe some would like to read through with me as well...
http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/calvinismrefuted.htm
Dan Corner is not someone I would recommend reading, he is somewhat of a nut.

Maybe someone like Roger Olson gives a more fair critique of Calvinism without the rhetoric. I just don't know how much of his writing is online, but his book "Against Calvinism" is available on the Kindle.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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