Calvinism & free will


#26

Yes, I believe that the accounts are correct in stating that Peter denied Christ 3 times. However, I think that in remembering that Peter did this, the “gospel” writers THOUGHT they remembered that Christ had said “3 times” in His prediction. But He may not have done so. I think that Jesus, knowing Peter’s character, was in a good position to correctly predict that he would deny Him. My theory is that Jesus actually said, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me.” This theory is consistent with my belief that future events cannot be known before they happen.

God Himself sometimes made predictions that did not occur. Here are two:

  1. Through Jonah, God prophesied, "“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” (Jonah 3:4). Nineveh was not overthrown in 40 days.

  2. God’s words in Jeremiah 3:7 “I thought, ‘After she [Israel] has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return…”
    What God thought would happen didn’t happen. Some translations have “I said” rather than “I thought” and that seems to be correct. However, that makes no difference. For if God said that Israel would return, then He thought that she would return. God does not lie. The point is that what God thought or said would happen did not happen. If God knows the future, how could He think something was going to happen, if it didn’t happen?


#27

In the link Zombie posted Matt Slick explains his position:

carm.org/if-god-knows-our-free- … -free-will

Slick asks: “If God knows our free will choices, do we still have free will?” His answer is, Yes.

Paidon says this is illogical.

Slick says, no, God can travel through time & see what we choose before we choose it.

Paidon would be in agreement with the Vulcan T’Pol who said “The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that time travel is impossible.”

Slick OTOH would agree with Captain Archer who did some time travelling himself.

chakoteya.net/Enterprise/26.htm

Is it logical that God always existed in eternity past? I find that idea mind boggling.


#28

Here is the end of the article by Matt Slick:

“1. This is called Libertarian free will, that a person is equally able to make choices between options independent of pressures or constraints from external or internal causes. Compatibilist free will holds that a person can choose only that which is consistent with his nature. Therefore, for example, a person who is a slave to sin (Rom. 6:14-20) and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14) would not be able to choose God of his own free will because his free will doesn’t have the capacity to contradict his nature. There is much debate on these issues and, depending on which side you lean, your interpretation of scripture will be affected.”

carm.org/if-god-knows-our-free- … -free-will

In Calvinism since a person cannot choose God, then why does God punish him for rejecting Him? How do Calvinists answer that?

Can the Calvinist God justly punish those who reject Christ if they could not do otherwise?

Or is there something about their “free will” choices that make them worthy of being damned?

In Calvinism what do these “freewill” choices allow a person to do? Choose between good & evil, but not God? Choose chocolate instead of vanilla?


#29

Here’s where I shared a personal, expanded perspective at [The physical resurrection and our five senses.)

Here’s also an article at Dialogue on Free Will & Determinism. It’s essentially a dialogue, between an Eastern Orthodox priest and some Calvinists - regarding free will and determinism. Very interesting. :exclamation:


#30
  1. This is called Libertarian free will, that a person is equally able to make choices between options independent of pressures or constraints from external or internal causes. Compatibilist free will holds that a person can choose only that which is consistent with his nature. Therefore, for example, a person who is a slave to sin (Rom. 6:14-20) and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14) would not be able to choose God of his own free will because his free will doesn’t have the capacity to contradict his nature. There is much debate on these issues and, depending on which side you lean, your interpretation of scripture will be affected."

Seems to me we tend to gravitate toward extremes so that Libertarian free will is a fantasy as we being human and not robots are influenced by many things yet although we tend to do things consistent with our natures we are not incapable of changing with enough motivation. Also the scriptures quoted while true i think have a bit of hyperbole in them to emphasize their points as Jesus used hyperbole too and Paul could have, it was and is a typical Middle Eastern method of speaking.


#31

Since this is a Calvinist thread, we should include a definition and critical response, from the Calvinists. Or since Steve is quoting Matt Slick - a Calvinist…Then see what other Calvinists (AKA Got Questions) - are saying. : :smiley:

What is libertarian free will?

And how does Matt define it - and respond?

What is libertarian free will?

Please note: I have to read Matt’s original context, on Libertarian free will. But in the article just cited, he has a section entitled Objections to Libertarian Free Will.

Acutally, what was cited by Oregin, was a footnote of Matt - attributed to Open Theism. And he is right, as the article from the Internet Encyclopedia of philosophy on Open Theism mentions at iep.utm.edu/o-theism/

Well, I would hold both a “compatibilist” and a “libertarian” view, in conjunction with Open Theism.

And I further balance open theism and synergy, against the premise - that thoughts and feelings can influence reality. A position that folks like Mary Baker Eddy, Joel Goldsmith and Emmet Fox, have demonstrated in their lives. Or as health and prosperity Gospel evangelists - like Joel Osteen - elaborate on. I just don’t buy into their explanations.

But something is constricting it. Let’s look at a vision, by contemporary, Old Catholic Church mystic Tiffany Snow. See The Third Secret ‘The Secret’ Didn’t Tell You. It says this:

Now we have a constriction. Mind you, it’s a hypothesis. But a guardian angel, looking after our best interest, brings in a compatibilist view. Which might explain why things don’t work all the time, like the health and prosperity gospel preachers envision. Or folks like Mary Baker Eddy, Joel Goldsmith and Emmet Fox envision.

In case you think, I’m the only one - with these weird ideas. See:

The Link Between Open Theism and the Prosperity Gospel

There, instead of a guardian angel, the author looks at the devil - as the constricting factor. Hum :exclamation: Perhaps both the devil and the guardian angel - are constricting factors :question:

This is all so confusing :exclamation: :confused:


#32

Time travel is just as illogical as knowing in advance what a free-will agent will choose. Suppose I travel back in time 70 years. Will I meet my 9-year-old self? And which will be the real me? He or I?

The idea that God exists outside of time is unintelligible. If He exists outside of time, how could He do anything within time? Also “time” is not some sort of substance in which we all live, while God lives outside it. Time is the measure of the temporal “distance” between events.


#33

I assume that time was created when the universe was created.

God existed before both.

Therefore God existed apart from time or outside of time.

In fact we might say He existed for eternity and into eternity past before He created time.

So, after He created the universe & time, why couldn’t He exist both in time and outside of time?

Scripture tells us He is omnipresent. Does this mean only in the universe?

Is the universe endless? If not, then why couldn’t God also live beyond the universe as He did before time.

“How great is God–beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.” (Job 36:26)

"“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” Romans 11:33-36


#34

I assume that time was created when the universe was created.

God existed before both.

Therefore God existed apart from time or outside of time.

This is the question,was time created and if so then why would it exist only inside the universe? But the primary question is whether time is a created thing or just a theoretical mathematical measurement of some kind that has always existed.


#35

Time is discussed on Quora, which is where I follow threads like Linux, Quantum Mechanics and comics. You know, it’s all nerd and geek stuff. I won’t convert these to Google shortened URL. But I will list the Quora discussions:

What is time? quora.com/What-is-time
Does time exist? quora.com/Does-time-exist-5
What is the concept of time? quora.com/What-is-the-concept-of-time-2
In what sense does time NOT exist? quora.com/In-what-sense-does-time-NOT-exist
In physics, what is the definition of time? quora.com/In-physics-what-is-the-definition-of-time
What is the most precise definition of time? quora.com/What-is-the-most-precise-definition-of-time
What is time? How is time affected by gravity? quora.com/What-is-time-How-is-time-affected-by-gravity
Wiki discussion of time at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time

I don’t have time, to go through all these time discussions now. Did I just tell a joke :question: Anyway, sometimes you get an answer, by a noteworthy scientist, physicist or mathematician. If you find an answer you like, please share the link and author.


#36

I don’t think the sentence, “God existed BEFORE time” is intelligIble. How can anything or anyone exist BEFORE time? For if there is a beginning of time, then THERE IS NO “BEFORE”!

Here is the way, I see it. God’s first act (the begetting of His Son) marked the beginning of time. The first time span was the temporal “distance” between the begetting of the Son and the creation of the Universe (which God did through His Son). There was no necessity for “time” to be created (as if it were some king of substance). All that had to happen was for the two first events to take place and ipso facto! Time then existed!

Arius wrote that the Son had a beginning, and that therefore there must have been a time at which the Son did not exist. I don’t think that follows.
I agree that the Son had a beginning (when the Father begat Him), but there was never a TIME at which He did not exist, since His very begetting marked the beginning of time. There was NO time before that, because there was no “before.”

That there was no “before” is a difficult concept to fathom. Surely God existed before the beginning of time; how else could He have begotten His Son? As a mere human being who was begotten 80 years ago, I cannot conceive of an answer to that question. But in my opinion, a far greater difficulty is posed, if it is assumed that there is an infinite regression of time into the past. For in that case what was God doing during that infinite period of time before the begetting of the Son and the creation of the Universe? Was He just existing and doing nothing?


#37

Let’s return to this:

Wiki discussion of time at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time

Steve eluded to this, when he said:

But I think we can all agree with this - from the Wiki article: :laughing:

What does Dr. Who say :question: :laughing:


#38

Steve eluded to this, when he said:
But the primary question is whether time is a created thing or just a theoretical mathematical measurement of some kind that has always existed.

I’m starting to lean toward time not being created but just a method of using math to describe how many units exist between event A and event B. The God of the bible does not come across as a Buddha type god who just sits and contemplates but as a God who creates and does things so i think as long as God has existed, most likely time has existed.


#39

" All that had to happen was for the two first events to take place and ipso facto! Time then existed!"

This was what i had in mind re a theory of the creation of the universe & time, i.e. all that had to happen was the universe to be created & ipso facto, time then existed. Your theory which involves the Son being begotten just takes it back one step. If i understood you.

“That there was no “before” is a difficult concept to fathom.”

This recalls scripture passages that speak of “before times eonian” (aionion, 2Tim.1:9 & Titus 1:2). It seems that Scripture may be implying there is a “before”. Before times eternal would make no sense, at least in regards to past time. Evidently these “times eonian” had a beginning, otherwise one would not speak of what was before them. But what was before the “times eonian”? Time, but not “eonian times”? Timeless past eternity? How could time go back endlessly into eternity & have no beginning? What are these “times aionios” & do they have an end? If they do, then how could aionios punishment (Mt.25:46) be endless? The Early Church Father, Origen, spoke of when there would no longer be an aion, an end of all aions, when God would be “All in all” (1 Cor.15:28).


#40

προ χρονων αἰωνιον (or in Latin characters) “pro chronōn aiōnion”

First let’s be clear that αἰωνιος (aiōnios) does not mean “eternal” but rather “lasting”

“Lasting times” may refer to the ages that followed creation, and so there could indeed be events prior to those ages. Indeed, the English Standard Version actually translates the passages in a way that brings this thought out:

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began… (2 Timothy 1:8,9 ESV)

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began (Titus 1:1,2 ESV)

The ages had a beginning. However, this does not imply that there wasn’t time before the beginning of the ages. I suggest that the beginning of time did not coincide with the beginning of the ages.


#41

Well it wasn’t… such punishment was relative of or to the age in tow i.e., the end of their old covenant age (world).


#42

Today, I introduce a couple of articles - that bridge Calvinism and Universalism:

Calvinism leads to universalism…
Meet a Calvinist who is also a Universalist


#43

Interesting articles. Thanks HFPZ.


#44

John Calvin’s Institutes are quite a read. But John also was a good lawyer and took /stole from many before him.

I would also say that Calvin’s views and those who say they are Calvinist’s are not necessarily the same. :open_mouth:

It really all comes back to the understanding of ‘Salvation.’ The evangelical use of the word salvation verses the idea of redemption, and atonement. Much of the bible is talking about a redeemer! Christ the redeemer of Israel vs the evangelical idea of Jesus as a personal savior to the masses who choose to believe the story. The problem is that the story gets confusing.

We have been fed many years of fodder. Maybe we can figure this out with open minds and open hearts. :smiley:


#45

Today, I introduce a couple of articles - that bridge Calvinism and Universalism:

Calvinism leads to universalism…
Meet a Calvinist who is also a Universalist

I have actually thought this for some time, which is that God reveals that it’s his will that everyone s/b saved and in Calvinism , God’s will is always accomplished.