Sunday, January 4, 2009

The nature of Free Will

The nature of Free Will: why does one person choose one way, and not another? Calvinism has the answer. Calvinism tells us that one person chooses one way, and another person, another way, because God predetermined their choices. However, it's not really "Free Will" to say that someone has the freedom to do that which is scripted of them, but that's not the point. The point is that the Calvinist argument ultimately broke down for Calvinist, R.C. Sproul, when dealing with Adam & Eve, and you might add Lucifer and the fallen angels for that matter:

Calvinist. R.C. Sproul, states: “But Adam and Eve were not created fallen. They had no sin nature. They were good creatures with a free will. Yet they chose to sin. Why? I don’t know. Nor have I found anyone yet who does know.” (Chosen By God, p.31)

This is problematic for the Calvinist argument, because their argument against Prevenient Grace is that it fails to determine action, by merely enabling a person to render a free choice, whether to accept what is put to them by God, or to reject it, and therefore it fails to answer the fundamental answer of why a person chooses what he does. And now you know, that the very same question also applies to Adam & Eve, which R.C. Sproul admits that he has never found anyone who can explain it. However, realize that Sproul could have stated that God determined their fall (due to sovereignty principles), and that's why they freely chose what they did, but he refused to go that far. Why?


Troy said...

Because that is more blatantly obviously really not free will, whereas to make everyone move according to irresistible grace after being totally deprave, somehow they convince themselves by subterfuge and doubletalk it is still free will after that act of irresistible force and no grace given to those who are preteritioned.

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Richard:

It depends on how we define "free," and how we define "will," and how we define "free will."

If "free" means "independent of," then how can man's will be "independent of" of God and his providence?

If a man is "free," does that mean in every respect, or only in relation to a specific thing? Is it possible for me to be "free to sin" and "free to righteousness" at the same time? My being free of Satan does not free me of Christ but enslaves me to him.



Preston N said...

Great post. This is typical thinking of most Calvinist and that is they either refuse to address the 600lbs gorilla that's in the room or they will present an illogical response. Again, a scripted choice is no choice at all. God Bless You for your willingness to search for Truth.

Richard Coords said...

Thanks for all of the responses.

I think that the issue ultimately boils down to the “power of contrary choice,” which is in logical opposition to Determinism. For if Adam & Eve didn’t have it, then any “freedom” that they might otherwise have had, to do the opposite or “contrary” of what they actually ended up doing, would logically have to be eliminated, in order to safeguard conformity with whatever predetermined choice that was sovereignly designated for them. One explanation that was given to me was that Adam & Eve simply "lacked experience," and that still does not eliminate the fact that it was their own free choice.

Consider 1st Corinthians 10:13. By God’s providence, God excludes any temptation that is beyond our means to handle, but for that which He does permit us to face, He provides the “way of escape.” So our choices are not completely independent of God, by any means, insomuch that God limits our range of free choice, but where I would disagree is that within the choices that are put to us, we have the power of contrary choice, that is, to take the way of escape or not. If we do not have the power of contrary choice, I simply would not know how to explain 1st Corinthians 10:13.

I'm at work right now, I'll post back later today.

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