Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Calvinists Only - Does Man Have Free Will?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Calvinists Only - Does Man Have Free Will?

    I'd like to pick the brain of my Calvinistic brothers and sisters in Christ concerning their position on free will. Do you believe man has free will - in the most general sense of the phrase? If so, how does you answer to that question relate to the question whether man has free will regarding salvation?

    I'm very eager to engage you in a conversation on the issue, understand your position better, and bounce my own thoughts off you in the process.

    Proceed!
    Who have I in heaven but You oh God? Besides You, I desire nothing here on earth. My heart and my flesh may fail me, but God will be the strength of my heart and my portion forever...as for me, the nearness of God is my good - Psalm 73:25-26, 28a

    Check out my new blog at pilgrimtozion.blogspot.com

  • #2
    I, as a believer in most of the teachings of John Calvin, believe that man has free will. However, i also believe that the "free will" that man has in enslaved to sin, hostile to God, and that the heart of man is wicked and stony. So i believe that man exercises free will under the bondage of sin. Christ sets us free from bondage. With a new heart, we can now exercise our free will to love and serve God, as it has been set free from slavery.

    Out of the heart comes our lives. We need new hearts, as God has said he will remove our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh.

    Adam and Eve had total free will. They were not sinful until they sinned. However they used their ability to do evil and therefore became enslaved. As the Bible declares, through one mans disobedience many were made sinners. Unlike Adam, we are not born in right relationship with God.

    So, in relationship to salvation, it is my belief that those who exercise free will to repent and believe have been given a new heart to do so. As Christ said, you did not choose me, but I chose you. Although the disciples did willfully choose Christ, it was Christ who initiated the relationship. He sought them out and called them by name. Many are called but few are chosen

    i think that saying that a person with a heart of stone and a mind hostile to God can repent and believe while at the same time having that heart of stone that is desperately wicked is a little off. It is my conviction currently that that would be against what Scripture teaches. Its not that the hard-hearted dont know about God or His ways however. They know the truth, but they supress it in unrighteousness. So those who do not choose God are rightly condemned. They used their own free will to do exactly what they wanted to, which was to gratify their sinful passions. It wasnt like they did not know what the right path was

    just my belief

    Comment


    • #3
      Man does have a free will (God did not create us as robots), but He has already chosen what our decisions will be. In the case of I in TULIP (Irresistible Grace), if God has chosen us, then we can do nothing to deny Him. However, if He did not choose us, then we can do nothing to choose Him by ourselves (Total Depravity). To us, it seems that we do have a free will to choose Him, but it is actually God that causes us to believe.

      I guess what I am trying to say is that while man does have a free will in most situations, God has already decided whether or not you will be saved.
      What I believe: Heidelberg Catechism | Canons of Dordt | Belgic Confession

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jrick View Post
        Man does have a free will (God did not create us as robots), but He has already chosen what our decisions will be. In the case of I in TULIP (Irresistible Grace), if God has chosen us, then we can do nothing to deny Him. However, if He did not choose us, then we can do nothing to choose Him by ourselves (Total Depravity). To us, it seems that we do have a free will to choose Him, but it is actually God that causes us to believe.

        I guess what I am trying to say is that while man does have a free will in most situations, God has already decided whether or not you will be saved.
        Which is another way of saying "I want to believe in free will, but I don't."

        I would not call myself a calvinist, although I am an eternal securist. I am probably more TULIP than Calvin was.

        With that said. No, no such thing as free will. It's a man made concept that sounds nice and all and keeps the blame on us as logical to us, but it isn't Scriptural.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Yukerboy View Post
          Which is another way of saying "I want to believe in free will, but I don't."

          I would not call myself a calvinist, although I am an eternal securist. I am probably more TULIP than Calvin was.

          With that said. No, no such thing as free will. It's a man made concept that sounds nice and all and keeps the blame on us as logical to us, but it isn't Scriptural.
          So who is to blame for our decisions if we are not ourselves?
          Who have I in heaven but You oh God? Besides You, I desire nothing here on earth. My heart and my flesh may fail me, but God will be the strength of my heart and my portion forever...as for me, the nearness of God is my good - Psalm 73:25-26, 28a

          Check out my new blog at pilgrimtozion.blogspot.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes. Man has a free will.
            If we doubt or do not believe that God is gracious to us and is pleased with us, or if we presumptuously expect to please Him only through and after our works, then it is all pure deception, outwardly honoring God, but inwardly setting up self as a false [savior].... (Part X. XI) Excerpts from Martin Luther, Treatise Concerning Good Works (1520).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Yukerboy View Post
              Which is another way of saying "I want to believe in free will, but I don't."

              I would not call myself a calvinist, although I am an eternal securist. I am probably more TULIP than Calvin was.

              With that said. No, no such thing as free will. It's a man made concept that sounds nice and all and keeps the blame on us as logical to us, but it isn't Scriptural.
              Well, I do agree with reformedct. Adam and Eve, like us, did have a free will. How would it be pleasing to God for Him to create robots that did everything He told them to? It wouldn't, because they would only have the ability to "praise" Him. It would only be pleasing if God created man with a free will, able to serve perfectly, and then did so.
              Last edited by jrick; Jan 10th 2009, 08:50 PM. Reason: various fixes
              What I believe: Heidelberg Catechism | Canons of Dordt | Belgic Confession

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jrick View Post
                Well, I do agree with reformedct. Adam and Eve, like us, did have a free will. How would it be pleasing to God for Him to create robots that did everything He told them to? It wouldn't, because they would only have the ability to "praise" Him. It would only be pleasing if God created man with a free will, able to serve perfectly, and then did so.
                Yes. this is why those who go to hell are rightly condemned. They supress the truth in unrighteousness. If God doesnt save them, it is because He is giving them over to exactly what they have chosen. They have chosen to live apart from God and so God will allow them to do that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by reformedct View Post
                  Yes. this is why those who go to hell are rightly condemned. They supress the truth in unrighteousness. If God doesnt save them, it is because He is giving them over to exactly what they have chosen. They have chosen to live apart from God and so God will allow them to do that.
                  Now this is where things get interesting. To me, this sounds like a circular argument. People suppress the truth in unrighteousness and God gives them over to that which they have chosen. At the same time, they cannot choose life unless God actually chose them first and worked the choosing in them. So where is there any actual freedom of choice? How is the condemning of sinners 'right' if they had not other choice than to choose to sin because of their sinful nature?
                  Who have I in heaven but You oh God? Besides You, I desire nothing here on earth. My heart and my flesh may fail me, but God will be the strength of my heart and my portion forever...as for me, the nearness of God is my good - Psalm 73:25-26, 28a

                  Check out my new blog at pilgrimtozion.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pilgrimtozion View Post
                    I'd like to pick the brain of my Calvinistic brothers and sisters in Christ concerning their position on free will. Do you believe man has free will - in the most general sense of the phrase? If so, how does you answer to that question relate to the question whether man has free will regarding salvation?

                    I'm very eager to engage you in a conversation on the issue, understand your position better, and bounce my own thoughts off you in the process.

                    Proceed!
                    Man has free will to do whatever he wants to do but not what he ought to do.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am not Calvinist. But I don't believe in "free will" either. Man cannot will himself to grow wings. There are many ways in which man's will is bound.
                      Matt 9:13
                      13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                      NASU

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
                        I am not Calvinist. But I don't believe in "free will" either. Man cannot will himself to grow wings. There are many ways in which man's will is bound.
                        I think "free will" is more about things like... I can choose respond to this post or ignore it. Of course you can't "free will" to do something physically impossible.
                        What I believe: Heidelberg Catechism | Canons of Dordt | Belgic Confession

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jrick View Post
                          I think "free will" is more about things like... I can choose respond to this post or ignore it. Of course you can't "free will" to do something physically impossible.
                          Right. So our will is limited. But, I'll go a step further, if God doesn't draw a man, can man use his will to come to God? According to scripture, he can't. So God must enable man to come to Him. Man's will is not free to act towards God without God influencing him.

                          Jesus said it this way... that he came to set the captives free. Can a captive choose to set himself free or does he need Jesus to do it for him?
                          Matt 9:13
                          13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                          NASU

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
                            Right. So our will is limited. But, I'll go a step further, if God doesn't draw a man, can man use his will to come to God? According to scripture, he can't. So God must enable man to come to Him. Man's will is not free to act towards God without God influencing him.

                            Jesus said it this way... that he came to set the captives free. Can a captive choose to set himself free or does he need Jesus to do it for him?
                            Yep, I absolutely agree. We don't have a free will over everything. One of these things is salvation.

                            But, even though free will is limited, it still exists. I can choose (more or less) what time I want to go to bed tonight and what music I want to listen to.
                            What I believe: Heidelberg Catechism | Canons of Dordt | Belgic Confession

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jrick View Post
                              But, even though free will is limited, it still exists. I can choose (more or less) what time I want to go to bed tonight and what music I want to listen to.
                              Will is limited. That is true. And sometimes we do have freedom to choose some things. At other times, we lose that freedom. Many prisoners cannot choose when to go to bed. Some people are in such spiritual bondage they can't choose things either. Remember the man with Legion? He couldn't choose to be free. But Jesus set him free!

                              The man ran to Jesus and the demons rose up and threw him to the ground. The man ran to Jesus for help and Jesus helped him.

                              IMO, will that is limited is not free. But I understand what you are saying.
                              Matt 9:13
                              13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                              NASU

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X