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St Thomas Aquinas asks in Summa Theologica 3.1.3, "If man had not sinned, would God nevertheless have become incarnate?" (Latin: Si homo non peccasset, nihilominus Deus incarnatum fuisset?). His answer is "no", while acknowledging that God could have still chosen to become incarnate for other reasons; although he recognizes a diversity of thought on the ...


8

That is a great question, and sometimes I have pondered that myself. Through study of the scriptures and church resources I have come to this conclusion: What is Agency? Basically, agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves. Agency is essential to God's Plan of Salvation. Without it, we could not make the choices ...


5

Because some things cannot be accomplished by the application of power. Suppose I asked you to draw a 4-sided triangle. You would presumably reply that this is impossible, because a triangle by definition has only 3 sides. Suppose I then say, Well, what if you had 10 really strong men to help? Then could you do it? Of course the logical reply is that it ...


5

The quote is from C.S.Lewis in "Mere christianity", book 4, chapter 3 "Time And Beyond Time".


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The doctrine of Prevenient Grace is seen by those who adhere to it as a natural outcome of sound Biblical exegesis. In one respect it's akin to the doctrine of the Trinity in that it resolves apparent discrepancies. With the Trinity, we have clear teachings in Scripture that there is only one God, other clear teachings that Jesus is God, and others ...


4

When you say: “when people get to heaven they are no longer capable of sinning” not all Christians would agree with this response. There is no evidence that any “free will” creature who has been reborn and experienced the wholeness of God’s love, would then rebel against that love. Can’t and won’t are two different things. Romans 4:16 Therefore it is ...


4

God did not create man with an evil nature, He created us as children, innocent and not knowing the good from evil, this knowledge was gained when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge. By partaking of the fruit, it allowed Adam and Eve to know what is good and bad, what is virtue and vise, and what is pleasure and pain, which is why, in Genesis 3 of ...


3

I haven't personally read Alvin Plantinga, but I've read that he tried to answer question of "natural evil" in a very interesting way. See some short description here http://www.iep.utm.edu/evil-log/#H6 and more in his books: "The Nature of Necessary", "God, Freedom, and Evil". What I personally think is that there is a great problem of perception. I think ...


3

A friend of mine who has been reading a great deal of John Calvin's Institutes said something to me a couple months ago which has been resonating within me ever since. At this point (as of today, that is) I'm beginning to think that what my friend had to say--thanks, in part, to Calvin--is probably closer to the truth than what I believed previously. What ...


3

Here are some potentially relevant passages: Proverbs 16:9 (NASB) The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Jeremiah 10:23 (NASB) I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. These two passages suggest than humans have the power of choice, though not the power to ...


3

I'm going to take the middle of the road and say that free will (or agency) is the ability to choose between good and evil; those who consistently choose the former will, in the end, be saved. Choosing, like you said, requires knowledge of good and evil options. It seems that different opinions on the meaning of agency stem from opinions of whether ...


3

I am understanding your use of the word prevenient grace to be not only God's influence upon men before actual justification but also joined with the assumption that his intended influence upon men to draw them to salvation by the Holy Spirit can be rejected and is resistible. In this sense the grace you imagine is something opposed to Calvinism. To answer ...


3

You are not the first thoughtful person ever to have thought what you think about the "free will of man" and the sovereignty of God. (I put the free will of man in quotation marks, because I think it more accurate to say "man's ability to decide," or "man's ability to make decisions." The only will which is truly free belongs to God, and He alone is free to ...


3

God did not create us with a sinful nature. God created Adam and Eve with freedom of choice, and put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden to test their obedience and loyalty to Him. There had to be a choice in order to show true free will. His character had been put into question by Lucifer in the rebellion in heaven. So God gave them a ...


3

The idea that God draws and offers salvation to all men, not only a chosen elect, comes from passages such as John 3:16-21 (emphasis mine (note that this passage can just as easily support a Calvinist view)) - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send ...


3

From your question, and the comments I have read, there seems to be a basic misunderstanding as to what existing outside of time means, So before we get to the free will part, let's take up that first. Existing outside of time does not mean that things stand still nor that things outside of time are not sequential. Time was invented by God in Genesis, as a ...


2

First Answering Q. According to Catholic Tradition - Was Jesus' experience on Earth scripted? No it wasn't, but it followed a known 'script'. Q. Or did human actors shape it? Yes they did. Q. Specifically: According to Catholic Tradition - Were the people who came into contact with Jesus acting of their own free will? Yes they were. Q. Specifically: Or ...


2

Free-willed and self-willed are not generally the same thing. A free will is free to choose, where as a self-will has already chosen (self). Adam was created with a “free will” in that he was at liberty to determine the target of his faith. Faith in the "word of God" would have dismissed the wiles of the serpent. However, he elected to trust the words of ...


2

This is an issue with the translation. See eg the NIV: Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Furthermore, the word the KJV translates as selfwilled can mean: self-pleasing, self-willed, arrogant "Self-willed" would ...


2

I had to research this more before answering. I had never heard of the term before. Really what you are looking for then is "Do you believe that God draws us to him with Holy spirit?". I am no expert on the matter, but with my knowledge of the scriptures my answer is an emphatic yes! God is known to draw those who have qualities he desires. He opens their ...


1

There are some basics which you need to consider here; that change the whole precept of the question. All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation. God is omniscient! God knew from before he created the Angels; exactly how all things would unfold for Eternity. God is Omnipotent! God is all powerful, he has the power to ...


1

Some older puritan writers used to talk about a sinner being awakened (not saved, just awakened). This would involve conviction of sin. It is pertinent to the discussion on pre-venient grace (as in the question) as this was the term used by the Puritans for it. e.g. from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (emphasis mine): 'This miry Slough is such a place as ...


1

Read Luke 15:11-31. The younger son did not seek to leave because he was evil. He sought to leave because he had not yet learned to appreciate what he had on the farm. The father might have been able to physically prevent the younger son from leaving, but he could not have made the younger son happy on the farm. It was only after the younger son had ...


1

Some of the old testament had to be written by word of mouth. the first 5 books of the old testament were written by Moses. Adam was created around 4000 B.C.E. Moses wrote Genesis in 1513 B.C.E. The other 4 books he was present for, but everything up to then he must have learned from word of mouth. Table of the Books of the Bible The problem with the whole ...


1

The Latter-Day Saints believe that free-will, or "free-agency" as they call it, existed before the creation of the Earth, and will exist in the afterlife. I'll state now that the teachings below are unique to LDS doctrine, and the Church has been attacked by other denominations for such teachings. The scripture below is from the Book of Mormon, and helps ...



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