Does man have a libertarian free will?

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Does man have a libertarian free will?

  • Yes, man has a libertarian free will

    Votes: 12 41.4%
  • No, man does not have a libertarian free will

    Votes: 16 55.2%
  • I don't know

    Votes: 1 3.4%

  • Total voters
    29

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
5,367
2,356
113
Particularly what Scripture are you using?

I have addressed many of your Scriptures.

For instance you claimed I did not address John 3:16 when in fact I addressed it TWICE. Same with John 12:32.

I have addressed both of those.

You use typical free-willer arguments which are meaningless. For instance, with regards to John 3:16, Reformed theology is not inconsistent with it. What causes the person to believe is the issue. For you, you claim it is something the person creates within themselves. For us, we understand that God regenerates the person in order to create belief and repentance. And, this position is contextually proveable because Christ covers regeneration (being born again) with Nicodemus prior to John 3:16.

With regards to John 12:32, I explained this as well. John 6:44 teaches that all those who are drawn are resurrected on the last day, which is speaking about the resurrection of the just. So, if you claim all men are drawn by God, then in effect you must believe universalism in order to be consistent.

However, our position is that "all men" refers to both Jew and Gentile. Again, this is a valid contextual argument because it is in the context of a number of Greek Christians which come to the Feast and want to speak to Christ.

Apparently he did not speak to them, but following this, he indicates that all men will be drawn once he is "lifted up".

We would place this in the context of the idea that only Jews would be saved. Christ was telling the disciples that "all men" would be drawn in the context of the Jew/Gentile distinction.

John 12:20-26 20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
(ESV Strong's)


John 12:32 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
(ESV Strong's)

Notice the context. Greeks come to see Jesus. He says when he is lifted up he will draw "all people" to himself. He is talking about the Jew/Gentile distinction. This will be eliminated after his resurrection.

If you deluge me with a ton of free-willer claims at once I am not going to be able to respond quickly. Like I have said, I believe you are trying to win the discussion by a "war of attrition"..simply tiring me out with answering the same questions over and over again.

If you want a good discussion, though, allow me to ask you questions, and you give me your responses. The first one I would have is this: what do you understand total depravity to teach, in regards to Reformed theology?

You claim it is a false doctrine. I wonder if you understand what it teaches accurately. So, present your understanding of what total depravity teaches, carefully avoiding straw mans, because you know that is what I am going to be looking for. That would be an interesting starting point.

And don't deluge me with multiple posts before I have responded to your previous post. This would be an orderly conversation that will help me to understand what you understand regarding Reformed theology.

By the way, your appreciation of philosophy is not limited to critical reasoning. What I am talking about is "humanism". I am not primarily talking about use of critical reasoning or logic. Maybe that is the word I should use, but that is somewhat cloudy as well, because humanism is used to describe the study of looking at original documents related to man's wisdom. In that sense, Erasmus was a humanist.

Here's a definition of humanism:

1) an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems. 2) a system of thought criticized as being centered on the notion of the rational, autonomous self and ignoring the unintegrated and conditioned nature of the individual.

If anyone claims to believe in libertarian free will, they are simply denying what the Bible teaches, and believing humanistic teachings. Scripture does not teach autonomous (libertarian) free will.
Particularly what Scripture are you using?

I have addressed many of your Scriptures.

For instance you claimed I did not address John 3:16 when in fact I addressed it TWICE. Same with John 12:32.
That is only 2. And you didn't address them very good other than retreating to the same scriptures you take out of context in Romans.

You always ignore the difference between human faith and gift faith.

If you truly want to look at all the scriptures. Do a topical search on choose, believe, abide, fall away, faith (pisteuo) , repent, and to hear.

All scriptures dont make sense in your theology.

Angel rebellion because how could something rebel without free will?

Made in God's likeness. God has free will.

For us, we understand that God regenerates the person in order to create belief and repentance.
I don't deny this. Where as you say it is forced.

I say it is relational

So, if you claim all men are drawn by God, then in effect you must believe universalism in order to be consistent.
Scripture says all are drawn. But people can refuse

John 5:39-40 New International Version (NIV)
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

John 6:44 and I will raise them up on the last day.

This is true but as other scriptures say if we abide and hold to our first love.

So in context you have all are drawn, and abide unto the end and not be one of the apostates then the promise is they will be raised up. You have to harmonize all scripture.

However, our position is that "all men" refers to both Jew and Gentile
Good because the other reformer wouldn't even admit that.

Apparently he did not speak to them, but following this, he indicates that all men will be drawn once he is "lifted up".
Romans 1 and 2 speaks how God spoke to them. By nature and conscience.

We would place this in the context of the idea that only Jews would be saved.
This is false because many times Jesus and prophecies would foretell of the grafting in Gentiles.

Greeks come to see Jesus. He says when he is lifted up he will draw "all people" to himself. He is talking about the Jew/Gentile distinction. This will be eliminated after his resurrection.
Sorry. I read the whole chapter and dont see your interpretation.
The word all in John 12:32 is
pas: all, every
Original Word: πᾶς, πᾶσα, πᾶν
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: pas
Phonetic Spelling: (pas)
Definition: all, every
Usage: all, the whole, every kind of.
HELPS Word-studies
3956 páseach, every; each "part(s) of a totality"


As for total depravity I believe you teach that mankind is completely unable to come to God. A
You say animal free will as basic instincts but not the will to respond to God. Many reformers dont add that part.

By the way, your appreciation of philosophy is not limited to critical reasoning
Do you mean teleological, epistemological, or moral, arguments then yes I do defend God with such as these.

Yes I know what humanism is. Definitely not what I believe and have never been compared to it except by you. More like everything is first filtered through the Word.

I gained my understanding which naturally included free will from first reading scripture. I didn't know the libertarian term, past teachers or other influences.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
5,367
2,356
113
Particularly what Scripture are you using?

I have addressed many of your Scriptures.

For instance you claimed I did not address John 3:16 when in fact I addressed it TWICE. Same with John 12:32.

I have addressed both of those.

You use typical free-willer arguments which are meaningless. For instance, with regards to John 3:16, Reformed theology is not inconsistent with it. What causes the person to believe is the issue. For you, you claim it is something the person creates within themselves. For us, we understand that God regenerates the person in order to create belief and repentance. And, this position is contextually proveable because Christ covers regeneration (being born again) with Nicodemus prior to John 3:16.

With regards to John 12:32, I explained this as well. John 6:44 teaches that all those who are drawn are resurrected on the last day, which is speaking about the resurrection of the just. So, if you claim all men are drawn by God, then in effect you must believe universalism in order to be consistent.

However, our position is that "all men" refers to both Jew and Gentile. Again, this is a valid contextual argument because it is in the context of a number of Greek Christians which come to the Feast and want to speak to Christ.

Apparently he did not speak to them, but following this, he indicates that all men will be drawn once he is "lifted up".

We would place this in the context of the idea that only Jews would be saved. Christ was telling the disciples that "all men" would be drawn in the context of the Jew/Gentile distinction.

John 12:20-26 20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
(ESV Strong's)


John 12:32 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
(ESV Strong's)

Notice the context. Greeks come to see Jesus. He says when he is lifted up he will draw "all people" to himself. He is talking about the Jew/Gentile distinction. This will be eliminated after his resurrection.

If you deluge me with a ton of free-willer claims at once I am not going to be able to respond quickly. Like I have said, I believe you are trying to win the discussion by a "war of attrition"..simply tiring me out with answering the same questions over and over again.

If you want a good discussion, though, allow me to ask you questions, and you give me your responses. The first one I would have is this: what do you understand total depravity to teach, in regards to Reformed theology?

You claim it is a false doctrine. I wonder if you understand what it teaches accurately. So, present your understanding of what total depravity teaches, carefully avoiding straw mans, because you know that is what I am going to be looking for. That would be an interesting starting point.

And don't deluge me with multiple posts before I have responded to your previous post. This would be an orderly conversation that will help me to understand what you understand regarding Reformed theology.

By the way, your appreciation of philosophy is not limited to critical reasoning. What I am talking about is "humanism". I am not primarily talking about use of critical reasoning or logic. Maybe that is the word I should use, but that is somewhat cloudy as well, because humanism is used to describe the study of looking at original documents related to man's wisdom. In that sense, Erasmus was a humanist.

Here's a definition of humanism:

1) an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems. 2) a system of thought criticized as being centered on the notion of the rational, autonomous self and ignoring the unintegrated and conditioned nature of the individual.

If anyone claims to believe in libertarian free will, they are simply denying what the Bible teaches, and believing humanistic teachings. Scripture does not teach autonomous (libertarian) free will.
This may be worth chewing on.

Let some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever occurs happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Now, if this is not so, but all things happen by fate, then neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it is predetermined that this man will be good, and this other man will be evil, neither is the first one meritorious nor the latter man to be blamed. And again, unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions.” -Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.)
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
5,367
2,356
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For the reader:

Where does determinism or total depravity gets its roots from? If many of the early church fathers or apologists defends free will then where did this idea come from?

John Calvin wrote, "Augustine is so wholly within me, that if I wished to write a confession of my faith, I could do so with all fullness and satisfaction to myself out of his writings."

Probably this is why you often hear Augustinian Calvinism. Augustin once said," Adam and Eve in punishment for their sin “became a natural consequence in all their descendants”. Moreover, it is not just a corrupted physical nature that we have inherited from Adam, but our… “human nature was so changed and vitiated that it suffers from the recalcitrance of a rebellious concupiscence….” –City of God, xiii. pg. 3

Augustin was influenced by the philosophy of Neo-Platonism ( after plato's death his disciples branched off)

The Manichaeism a Gnostic religion and historical adversary to Christianity due to its Christian terminology even the top elite was called the elect. The Manichaeans represent the Persian branch of Gnosticism, and they taught both determinism and total depravity.

( Augustin was a participant for 10 years before being converted to Catholicism.) Gnostics denied free will and believed more in natural determinism.

In Catholic influences he was quoted saying,
"Moreover, the blessed Ambrose, when he was expounding the passage where the Evangelist Luke says, ‘It seemed good to me also,’ says, ‘What he declares to have seemed good to himself cannot have seemed good to him alone. For not alone by human will did it seem good, but as it pleased Him who speaks in me, Christ, who effects that that which is good may also seem good to us: for whom He has mercy on He also calls. And therefore he who follows Christ may answer, when he is asked why he wished to become a Christian, “It seemed good to me also.” And when he says this, he does not deny that it seemed good to God; for the will of men is prepared by God.
-A Treatise on the Gift of Preserverance
Chapter 49.—Further References to Cyprian and Ambrose.

Who was Ambrose?

Aurelius Ambrosius (c. 340–397), better known in English as Ambrose, an Archbishop of Milan. Western Christianity identified Ambrose as one of its four traditional Doctors of the Church, and as the patron saint of Milan. He had notable influence on Augustine of Hippo (354-430).

He was known for continuing the Stoic and Ciceronian training of his youth, enabled him to promulgate a lofty standard of Christian ethics.

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy which was founded by Zeno of Citium, in Athens, in the early 3rd century BC. Stoicism is a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world.

The Stoic ethic espouses a deterministic perspective; in regard to those who lack Stoic virtue, Cleanthes once opined that the wicked man is "like a dog tied to a cart, and compelled to go wherever it goes". A Stoic of virtue, by contrast, would amend his will to suit the world and remain, in the words of Epictetus, "sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy," thus positing a "completely autonomous" individual will, and at the same time a universe that is "a rigidly deterministic single whole".

Making if you will a stoic being the elect and the wicked as a dog who has no control over their own virtue.

The Early church fathers or disciples of the Apostles was defenders of free will and choice.
Evidence within their writings.
https://bjorkbloggen.com/2012/05/08...free-will-and-objecting-to-the-sinful-nature/

We see reformed theology is basically a soup. Bible mixed with Gnosticism, Stoicism, poor philosophy, and Catholicism.
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
3,679
1,906
113
This may be worth chewing on.

Let some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever occurs happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Now, if this is not so, but all things happen by fate, then neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it is predetermined that this man will be good, and this other man will be evil, neither is the first one meritorious nor the latter man to be blamed. And again, unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions.” -Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.)
Justin Martyr was a church father, but his judgments were not infallible. If you believe that, the Roman Catholics might have a place for you in their organization.

Besides that, I notice that Justin admitted that this doctrine was taught by others prior to him, and he is speaking in 100 - 165 AD. Therefore, he is very near to the Apostolic era. So, this quote would actually lend credence to the Reformed position, which I find it amusing that you brought this up to me :)

You can find remarks from a church father supporting one position, and remarks by the same church father supporting an opposing position. One reason is because their understanding changed over time.

I am not sure how you are using the phrase "fatal necessity". Regardless of what anyone says, unless you are an open theist/process theology guy, God has exhaustive foreknowledge. His knowledge of the future will never be proven wrong. Therefore, events in time will occur exactly according to his foreknowledge, even if I restrict the definition of "foreknowledge" to merely looking down the corridor of time and seeing what will occur without shaping these events.

Therefore, if someone is going to be lost, God already knows this and it is impossible that events could play out in a different manner. So, with this in mind, everyone God knows will be lost will be lost, and everyone God knows will be saved will be saved.

This is impossible to reject without compromising God's omniscience, foreknowledge, and claiming that he is a time-bound creature.

And, that is exactly the route that some liberal free-willer theologians like Clark Pinnock and Gregory Boyd have taken.

Regarding "free will", I don't know if Justin Martyr believed in libertarian (autonomous) free will like you do. I don't know if Justin Martyr had a proper understanding of compatibilism. It doesn't sound like it. As I have said, I believe in "creaturely free will". Man has a free will but it is enslaved to his fallen nature. He does not have an autonomous free will If you claim he has autonomous ree will, then you're in direct conflict with the Scriptures. John 8 and Romans 6 are clear on this. The state of the fallen man is one where he is enslaved to sin.

Romans 6:17-18 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (ESV Strong's)

John 8:31-38 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” (ESV Strong's)

In fact, it is worse than that...they belong to Satan.

1 John 3:9-10 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (ESV Strong's)

Additionally, I think you fail to acknowledge the effect of original sin. My guess is that with your libertarian free will view, you are skirting close to the Pelagian view of salvation. You may not be completely there, but you are likely holding Pelagian tendencies.

One of the Pelagian views is that Adam's sin did not, in effect, render Adam and all his descendants to be spiritually dead, but only spiritually sick. Somehow, if they muster up enough faith, they can recover and make their way back into a relationship with God. That would certainly not be my conviction. My conviction is that it requires a spiritual resurrection.

Ephesians 2:1-10 1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
(ESV Strong's)


Additionally, i suspect that you don't think it would be fair if God attributes Adam's sin to all mankind, but that is most assuredly what he has done.

Romans 5:12-21 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (ESV Strong's)

Therefore, Justin Martyr's views of fairness are not biblical. The fair thing is that God would have destroyed all mankind. Instead, he has decided to extend grace to some. But, all are equally condemned in Adam until they move from being 'in Adam" to "in Christ".

The concept that God condemns entire groups of people for the sins of some is not unbiblical. For instance, the families of Achan, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were destroyed for their sins against God. Additionally, many Israelites were killed by God when David sinned against God by numbering Israel. All of mankind was condemned through Adam's sin. The Reformed doctrine of federal headship, where Adam is a federal head of all men and Christ is the federal head of all redeemed men, is clearly biblical. In fact, if you don't believe this, you have no meaningful metanarrative of Scripture.

However, many free-willers would flatly deny this. In reality, though, whether they like it or not, they are accounted guilty due to Adam's sin. Of course, this translates into their own sin at the same time, because in their spiritual deadness, they sin too.

And that is why I am convicted that Reformed theology is solid and biblical. Free willers simply have no coherent metanarrative of Scripture.
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
3,679
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That is only 2. And you didn't address them very good other than retreating to the same scriptures you take out of context in Romans.

You always ignore the difference between human faith and gift faith.

If you truly want to look at all the scriptures. Do a topical search on choose, believe, abide, fall away, faith (pisteuo) , repent, and to hear.

All scriptures dont make sense in your theology.

Angel rebellion because how could something rebel without free will?

Made in God's likeness. God has free will.



I don't deny this. Where as you say it is forced.

I say it is relational



Scripture says all are drawn. But people can refuse

John 5:39-40 New International Version (NIV)
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

John 6:44 and I will raise them up on the last day.

This is true but as other scriptures say if we abide and hold to our first love.

So in context you have all are drawn, and abide unto the end and not be one of the apostates then the promise is they will be raised up. You have to harmonize all scripture.



Good because the other reformer wouldn't even admit that.



Romans 1 and 2 speaks how God spoke to them. By nature and conscience.



This is false because many times Jesus and prophecies would foretell of the grafting in Gentiles.



Sorry. I read the whole chapter and dont see your interpretation.
The word all in John 12:32 is
pas: all, every
Original Word: πᾶς, πᾶσα, πᾶν
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: pas
Phonetic Spelling: (pas)
Definition: all, every
Usage: all, the whole, every kind of.
HELPS Word-studies
3956 páseach, every; each "part(s) of a totality"


As for total depravity I believe you teach that mankind is completely unable to come to God. A
You say animal free will as basic instincts but not the will to respond to God. Many reformers dont add that part.



Do you mean teleological, epistemological, or moral, arguments then yes I do defend God with such as these.

Yes I know what humanism is. Definitely not what I believe and have never been compared to it except by you. More like everything is first filtered through the Word.

I gained my understanding which naturally included free will from first reading scripture. I didn't know the libertarian term, past teachers or other influences.
You do realize that if you cover multiple topics in a response like this, I cannot easily respond to them in one response?

For one thing, the number of characters is limited in each post.

That requires a lot of effort and time to parse out long replies like this. And, since you are complaining that I am not responding to all of your posts, I will let you know that this is one of the reasons. I am only willing to dedicate so much time per day to responses here. I suppose if you are a father with a son, as your picture indicates, that you must budget your time a little too. I have seen some folks in chat rooms spend all day chatting while their children are neglected, though.

Anyways if you have long responses to a post, don't go around claiming that I am not answering them because Reformed people don't have good answers, or that I am taking your questions to other Reformed people to get answers. You flatter yourself by such claims :) I might casually mention a particular claim on the forums with one of my Reformed friends to get his inputs, but it's pretty rare and I already have an idea on how I am going to respond anyways.

Of course I know that younger believers are subject to such pridefulness and believe that they are the valiant defenders of the true faith. Many of them think "Calvinists" belong to Satan, too. Which is pretty ironic because I don't think free-willers are God-honoring and are glory hogs.

Additionally, when you dismiss my responses and criticize my position as illogical or whatever, I want you to realize that I really don't care what you think about it. I have been a Christian for about 35 years and I've been on both sides of the fence. I find free willer organizations to be pathetic in their exegesis and their worldview to be inferior. Whether it was the cult I belonged to, or Calvary Chapel, or Christian and Missionary Alliance, or Southern Baptist, or Evangelical Free (although I learned more from them than the others). The most consistent and blblical teachers in my life have been Reformed teachers.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
5,367
2,356
113
You do realize that if you cover multiple topics in a response like this, I cannot easily respond to them in one response?

For one thing, the number of characters is limited in each post.

That requires a lot of effort and time to parse out long replies like this. And, since you are complaining that I am not responding to all of your posts, I will let you know that this is one of the reasons. I am only willing to dedicate so much time per day to responses here. I suppose if you are a father with a son, as your picture indicates, that you must budget your time a little too. I have seen some folks in chat rooms spend all day chatting while their children are neglected, though.

Anyways if you have long responses to a post, don't go around claiming that I am not answering them because Reformed people don't have good answers, or that I am taking your questions to other Reformed people to get answers. You flatter yourself by such claims :) I might casually mention a particular claim on the forums with one of my Reformed friends to get his inputs, but it's pretty rare and I already have an idea on how I am going to respond anyways.

Of course I know that younger believers are subject to such pridefulness and believe that they are the valiant defenders of the true faith. Many of them think "Calvinists" belong to Satan, too. Which is pretty ironic because I don't think free-willers are God-honoring and are glory hogs.

Additionally, when you dismiss my responses and criticize my position as illogical or whatever, I want you to realize that I really don't care what you think about it. I have been a Christian for about 35 years and I've been on both sides of the fence. I find free willer organizations to be pathetic in their exegesis and their worldview to be inferior. Whether it was the cult I belonged to, or Calvary Chapel, or Christian and Missionary Alliance, or Southern Baptist, or Evangelical Free (although I learned more from them than the others). The most consistent and blblical teachers in my life have been Reformed teachers.
Same to you. If you post a long post with each sentence I have to correct then it is hard for me to address you as well.
 

Roughsoul1991

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Justin Martyr was a church father, but his judgments were not infallible. If you believe that, the Roman Catholics might have a place for you in their organization.



Ephesians 2:1-10 1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
(ESV Strong's)


Additionally, i suspect that you don't think it would be fair if God attributes Adam's sin to all mankind, but that is most assuredly what he has done.

Romans 5:12-21 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (ESV Strong's)

Therefore, Justin Martyr's views of fairness are not biblical. The fair thing is that God would have destroyed all mankind. Instead, he has decided to extend grace to some. But, all are equally condemned in Adam until they move from being 'in Adam" to "in Christ".

The concept that God condemns entire groups of people for the sins of some is not unbiblical. For instance, the families of Achan, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were destroyed for their sins against God. Additionally, many Israelites were killed by God when David sinned against God by numbering Israel. All of mankind was condemned through Adam's sin. The Reformed doctrine of federal headship, where Adam is a federal head of all men and Christ is the federal head of all redeemed men, is clearly biblical. In fact, if you don't believe this, you have no meaningful metanarrative of Scripture.

However, many free-willers would flatly deny this. In reality, though, whether they like it or not, they are accounted guilty due to Adam's sin. Of course, this translates into their own sin at the same time, because in their spiritual deadness, they sin too.

And that is why I am convicted that Reformed theology is solid and biblical. Free willers simply have no coherent metanarrative of Scripture.
Justin Martyr was a church father, but his judgments were not infallible.
Of course they was human but when you have many defending free will especially those right after the Apostles then you are just in denial. Determinism and total depravity of course was around earlier being taught by Gnostic groups. The Apostles in the NT was already fighting off false Gospels.

Therefore, if someone is going to be lost, God already knows this and it is impossible that events could play out in a different manner. So, with this in mind, everyone God knows will be lost will be lost, and everyone God knows will be saved will be saved.

Holy cow lol your getting it. Exactly! This is how God elects. He already saw who would respond. This doesn't hurt free will, election, predestined, etc.

Regarding "free will", I don't know if Justin Martyr believed in libertarian (autonomous) free will like you do.
I love apologetics and Justin Martyr was probably one of the first Christian apologist. His books are worth the time to study. Many modern apologists study his debates. To degree of free will doesn't matter but yet him and many others believed it to be crucial especially making man the responsible for sin.

In one of his debate with a stoic Justin writes against these ideas of fatalism and determinism and described his views on free will (First Apology chapter 43 (see also 44). The Stoics held such beliefs and was a outside influence on the early church. The gospel of Philip for example carries similarities with Gnostic religions. The Gnostic gospels was in circulation during those times. As to why the canon was a extremely important task to consider.

Man has a free will but it is enslaved to his fallen nature
Natural determinism which was a typical Gnostic belief.

The early church often debated using these type of arguments that they felt was required for moral judgments.

  1. The moral judgment that X should not have been done implies that something else should have been done instead
  2. That something else should have been done instead implies that there was something else to do
  3. That there was something else to do implies that something else could have been done
  4. That something else could have been done implies that there is free will
  5. If there is no free will to have done other than X we cannot make the moral judgment that X should not have been done.
John 8 and Romans 6 are clear on this.
Sorry doesn't hurt free will. As I have said we are a slave to sin but not totally depraved in will. Our hearts just naturally lean towards the wicked as to why God must draw us. Begin to soften our hearts. But we can equally choose to harden our hearts until God can give us over to depravity and we are ripe for judgment.

Additionally, i suspect that you don't think it would be fair if God attributes Adam's sin to all mankind, but that is most assuredly what he has done.
Nope. Free will explains that better. God gave them one command. Remember if they was created by God and God called it good. They obviously being in your theology of the elect. A chosen couple to bring about God's plan of salvation. So how could a perfect God create imperfection? In less free will exists. In less they are accountable for their actions. God gave them 1 command and they disobeyed which was the original sin. Rebellion. Which is why God predestined a way of salvation.

One of the Pelagian views is that Adam's sin did not, in effect, render Adam and all his descendants to be spiritually dead, but only spiritually sick. Somehow, if they muster up enough faith, they can recover and make their way back into a relationship with God. That would certainly not be my conviction. My conviction is that it requires a spiritual resurrection.
Pelagianism is a heterodox Christian theological position which holds that the original sin did not taint human nature and that humans have the free will to achieve human perfection without divine grace.

It may have free will in common but nothing else.

Instead, he has decided to extend grace to some.
1 John 2:2 New International Version (NIV)
2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

God's grace is free which is the definition of grace a gift to all who would believe in the one and only sacrifice.

The concept that God condemns entire groups of people for the sins of some is not unbiblical
Never said is was. Life and death is in God's judgment. A righteous person can die with a unrightious person. So what? The rain falls on the just and unjust alike. Daniel was exiled with his people despite his lifestyle. Was almost killed too. Even he knew that it was God's choice to let him live or die.
 

Roughsoul1991

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You do realize that if you cover multiple topics in a response like this, I cannot easily respond to them in one response?

For one thing, the number of characters is limited in each post.

That requires a lot of effort and time to parse out long replies like this. And, since you are complaining that I am not responding to all of your posts, I will let you know that this is one of the reasons. I am only willing to dedicate so much time per day to responses here. I suppose if you are a father with a son, as your picture indicates, that you must budget your time a little too. I have seen some folks in chat rooms spend all day chatting while their children are neglected, though.

Anyways if you have long responses to a post, don't go around claiming that I am not answering them because Reformed people don't have good answers, or that I am taking your questions to other Reformed people to get answers. You flatter yourself by such claims :) I might casually mention a particular claim on the forums with one of my Reformed friends to get his inputs, but it's pretty rare and I already have an idea on how I am going to respond anyways.

Of course I know that younger believers are subject to such pridefulness and believe that they are the valiant defenders of the true faith. Many of them think "Calvinists" belong to Satan, too. Which is pretty ironic because I don't think free-willers are God-honoring and are glory hogs.

Additionally, when you dismiss my responses and criticize my position as illogical or whatever, I want you to realize that I really don't care what you think about it. I have been a Christian for about 35 years and I've been on both sides of the fence. I find free willer organizations to be pathetic in their exegesis and their worldview to be inferior. Whether it was the cult I belonged to, or Calvary Chapel, or Christian and Missionary Alliance, or Southern Baptist, or Evangelical Free (although I learned more from them than the others). The most consistent and blblical teachers in my life have been Reformed teachers.
Whether it was the cult I belonged to,
kinda odd since that is source of Calvinist concepts. Ancient cults and pagan beliefs.

As for everything else you said. Not interested in your personal thoughts. Just facts.
 

UnitedWithChrist

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kinda odd since that is source of Calvinist concepts. Ancient cults and pagan beliefs.

As for everything else you said. Not interested in your personal thoughts. Just facts.
This is a common claim. Ken Wilson, a very poor scholar, has made such claims.

My guess is you're one of Leighton's fanboys. Leighton and Ken Wilson have this mutual admiration society going on.

He claims Augustine continued to be a Manichaean.

Other guys like Jesse Morrell claim that Reformed theology is Gnostic.

These guys note a common characteristic, and then claim that there is a connection based on one common characteristic.

It's an ignorant claim. It is like saying if I have black hair, and you have black hair, we are brothers.

And, really what is going on is that they are anti-Reformed to start with, so they are simply slandering the position.

I am simply going to put you on ignore, though. I'm tired of your nonsense. Go play with someone else.

You practice the same ignorant stuff. For instance, claiming that Reformed theology teaches God forces people to believe. He changes the nature (which is regeneration) so that the person can respond freely in faith and repentance.

Until then, they are slaves to sin and need to be set free. Why do you think Christ pointed to this need in John 8?

You are simply throwing out a common straw man argument, and I'm guessing it is one you already know is a straw man and you use it deceptively to discredit Reformed theology to anyone who may not be aware that it is a straw man.

So, I am not going to bother dealing with deceivers like you. If you use straw men intentionally to deceive, that shows you aren't worthy of my efforts. Once someone starts that, they have revealed they are really not seeking to interact in a constructive way, and are simply a hater who is seeking to argue.

I encourage folks to study Scripture. Libertarian free will like this guy supports is simply a humanistic assertion. It does not exist, and those who claim it does are simply ignoring Scripture. They do not realize the tremendous corruption that was caused by the Fall.

Because that is really what total depravity is...it is talking about the radical corruption that occurred due to the Fall.

And, I do need to say that I think the reason that some deny this radical corruption is that they are still caught up in it. They haven't experienced regeneration so they cannot understand the state of the corrupted nature. It is likely they are still dwelling in this corrupt nature, therefore they don't think that the unsaved man has a corrupted nature.

Also, I will note that John 6:44 is in the context of an entire book, including the verses in John 6 and 10. Jesus said that those who are his will never perish. Therefore they will not fail to experience the resurrection of the last day.

Anyways, talking to you is not worthy of my time. I'm not going to dedicate 2 hours a day to responding to you.
 

Roughsoul1991

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This is a common claim. Ken Wilson, a very poor scholar, has made such claims.

My guess is you're one of Leighton's fanboys. Leighton and Ken Wilson have this mutual admiration society going on.

He claims Augustine continued to be a Manichaean.

Other guys like Jesse Morrell claim that Reformed theology is Gnostic.

These guys note a common characteristic, and then claim that there is a connection based on one common characteristic.

It's an ignorant claim. It is like saying if I have black hair, and you have black hair, we are brothers.

And, really what is going on is that they are anti-Reformed to start with, so they are simply slandering the position.

I am simply going to put you on ignore, though. I'm tired of your nonsense. Go play with someone else.

You practice the same ignorant stuff. For instance, claiming that Reformed theology teaches God forces people to believe. He changes the nature (which is regeneration) so that the person can respond freely in faith and repentance.

Until then, they are slaves to sin and need to be set free. Why do you think Christ pointed to this need in John 8?

You are simply throwing out a common straw man argument, and I'm guessing it is one you already know is a straw man and you use it deceptively to discredit Reformed theology to anyone who may not be aware that it is a straw man.

So, I am not going to bother dealing with deceivers like you. If you use straw men intentionally to deceive, that shows you aren't worthy of my efforts. Once someone starts that, they have revealed they are really not seeking to interact in a constructive way, and are simply a hater who is seeking to argue.

I encourage folks to study Scripture. Libertarian free will like this guy supports is simply a humanistic assertion. It does not exist, and those who claim it does are simply ignoring Scripture. They do not realize the tremendous corruption that was caused by the Fall.

Because that is really what total depravity is...it is talking about the radical corruption that occurred due to the Fall.

And, I do need to say that I think the reason that some deny this radical corruption is that they are still caught up in it. They haven't experienced regeneration so they cannot understand the state of the corrupted nature. It is likely they are still dwelling in this corrupt nature, therefore they don't think that the unsaved man has a corrupted nature.

Also, I will note that John 6:44 is in the context of an entire book, including the verses in John 6 and 10. Jesus said that those who are his will never perish. Therefore they will not fail to experience the resurrection of the last day.

Anyways, talking to you is not worthy of my time. I'm not going to dedicate 2 hours a day to responding to you.

Yep typical instead of actually proving something false you revert to the Ad Hominem and attack the claim instead of disputing it. I listed evidence. But the truth does tend to sting. I hope you come to truth if not well I still think you are a saved individual and really only because of your attitude I took the time to refute you.
 

UnitedWithChrist

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Attached is a good article on misrepresentations of Reformed (Calvinist) theology that are commonly employed by free-willers.

It seems like Christians would be more conscientious about representing others' beliefs even if they disagree with them. But, unfortunately, I've found that some Christians are not conscientious in this regard and deliberately misrepresent the theology of their opponents in some cases. In other cases, it's a matter of ignorance and repeating the claims of other ignorant men. Dave Hunt would be an example of one such individual.
 

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UnitedWithChrist

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Here's a very handy chart of Scriptural proof texts to the doctrines of grace (TULIP) related to Reformed (Calvinist) doctrine. I don't agree with every single reference, but the majority are decent.
 

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Washed

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...It seems like Christians would be more conscientious about representing others' beliefs even if they disagree with them. But, unfortunately, I've found that some Christians are not conscientious in this regard and deliberately misrepresent the theology of their opponents in some cases. In other cases, it's a matter of ignorance and repeating the claims of other ignorant men.
Have you considered that is precisely what you frequently do when stating your issues with people who believe in free will, or charismatics? For example, read your sig...
 

UnitedWithChrist

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Have you considered that is precisely what you frequently do when stating your issues with people who believe in free will, or charismatics? For example, read your sig...
How am I misrepresenting free-willers or charismatics?

I may not be expressing the beliefs of every single free-willer or charismatic, but I am exposing a general claim by many of them.

I know you love to call me a hypocrite. Not that I really care what you think, but I will ask the question.
 

UnitedWithChrist

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Have you considered that is precisely what you frequently do when stating your issues with people who believe in free will, or charismatics? For example, read your sig...
By the way, I won't be intimidated by free-willers, in particular.

I realize that because they are the majority, they are used to intimidating Reformed people. However, I think it is appropriate to engage them in a commensurate manner.

Why? Because failure to engage makes them wise in their own eyes.
 

Washed

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How am I misrepresenting free-willers or charismatics?

I may not be expressing the beliefs of every single free-willer or charismatic, but I am exposing a general claim by many of them.

I know you love to call me a hypocrite. Not that I really care what you think, but I will ask the question.
In essence, the free-willer claims that he caused his own spiritual birth. Their view is incoherent and gives occasion for man to boast about his salvation.
The freewiller's view of man's salvation fails to give God his proper glory, and does not provide the elect with the full assurance that God intends for them to experience.
In the final analysis, free-willers hold a man-centered view of salvation, while Reformed people hold a God-centered view of salvation.
The above are points from your sig. All are false.
 

UnitedWithChrist

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The above are points from your sig. All are false.

No..

I invite others to go back and view the email.

The words in bold are my claims, and I defend them in a little more detail below.

In essence, the free-willer claims that he caused his own spiritual birth. Their view is incoherent and gives occasion for man to boast about his salvation.

Free-willers believe in resistible grace. They believe that the ultimate determining factor in their regeneration is their decision to be regenerated. Therefore, the ultimate cause of their regeneration is themselves and their free-will decision. Without their free-will decision regeneration does not occur, so they caused their own regeneration through their faith decision. Reformed theology teaches that this is not true. God regenerates the person, resulting in the faith/repentance response. He gives the person a heart of flesh to replace the unresponsive heart of stone he has as a son of Adam.

The freewiller's view of man's salvation fails to give God his proper glory, and does not provide the elect with the full assurance that God intends for them to experience.

The freewiller doesn't think that salvation was totally God's work. They believe that their free-will decision was the cause of their salvation contributed to their salvation. Their situation is very much what Ephesians 2:8-10 is addressing. They are assuming glory for the faith-response, which God reveals that he causes.

Ephesians 2:8-10 . 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Concerning assurance, if God is sovereign over their salvation, and has planned it out since the foundation of the world, this gives tremendous encouragement for the believer. If the person's free-will brought them into salvation, it can certainly take them out again, therefore no consistent free-willer has assurance. There are some antinomians who believe that they can find their own way into salvation, but they can't be lost after they enter into salvation, regardless of what they do. But, they are not consistent.

In the final analysis, free-willers hold a man-centered view of salvation, while Reformed people hold a God-centered view of salvation.

This is true. Man is his own co-savior in the free-willer worldview. His free-will response is the ultimate factor in his salvation, not God and his sovereign will. The Reformed person constantly has a God-centered view on all of his theology. The free-willer constantly focuses on man and his free-will. In fact, that is one of their favorite phrases....free will, free will, free will.

This is an appropriate meme for the conversation.
FREEWILLER BABY.jpg
 

Blade

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What do we know that someone else didn't already say? :) Libertarian freedom is, therefore, the freedom to act contrary to one's nature, predisposition and greatest desires.... just another wording. Or "Libertarian Free Will (LFW) is the view that peoples' choices are free from prior cause and that our fallen, sinful nature does not constrain moral choices. In other words, human free will is completely free to choose to receive or reject Christ as well as to choose to do anything among options and that such choices are in no way determined by circumstances or our nature or our desires. Therefore, Libertarian Freedom is the ability to choose to act contrary to circumstances, prior causes, one's desires, and one's fallen nature. "

How I got here.. I had not choice. What I was born into I had not choice. I do believe I am free to make my own choices yet only to a certain degree. Were in a time bubble. There is NO middle ground. If I do not choose Christ.. I can not say I don't want Satan either. I have no choice there. On and on.. to live forever .. we all are.. WHERE we live it.. we do infact get a choice.

Man look at what the fallen angels did. They made a choice and even GOD did not stop them. There are some in chains that GOD can not control. We are no puppets.. we are His friends