22

First of all, Calvinists do believe in free will. This point is often mis-understood by non-Calvinists; but the position that men don't actually have free will and control over their own choices is not Calvinism but hyper-Calvinism -- a deterministic view that goes far beyond that of it's namesake Calvin and the general constituency. With that out of the ...


18

Even if we can't pray away someone else's free will or convince God to bend the rules regarding the requirements of salvation, there can still be merit in praying on behalf of others with a slightly different attitude. Perhaps "let them have experiences that will lead them to the truth," or "let their hearts be softened, that they may give heed to the Holy ...


17

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 ...


14

The point of the illustration is to reconcile God's sovereignty in salvation with man's free will to choose salvation. I believe it originated from H.A. Ironside: It has been pictured in this way. Here is a vast host of people hurrying down the broad road with their minds fixed upon their sins, and one stands calling attention to yonder door, the ...


13

I can only speak from a Wesleyan-Arminian perspective. A classical Arminian may have a slightly different understanding. God is both creator and ruler of the universe. As creator he has exercised complete sovereignty; God made all the decisions in setting everything up (Genesis 1), including setting up the means by which we could be saved (Romans 3:21-26). ...


10

In short, no. Pilate had a choice. In Jesus' conversation with him, He says this: Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” John 19:11 ESV The Jewish religious leaders--not all Jews--were guilty of a greater sin than Pilate, even ...


9

With all due respect to Mark Hausam, the logic just doesn't hold water. That sounds like a category error. Category Errors These fallacies occur because the author mistakenly assumes that the whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts. However, things joined together may have different properties as a whole than any of them do separately....


9

I'm not sure if the Church has an explicit doctrinal position on this question, but I can give you the view of classical philosophy, as originally expounded by Aristotle and then developed chiefly by St. Thomas Aquinas. This view undergirds the thinking of most orthodox Catholic theologians, historically speaking. In this way of thinking -- assuming you ...


9

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 ...


9

I'll try to answer from a Catholic perspective, so, for example, I'll take for granted that we actually do have free will. Now why is free will a good thing, even though it makes sin possible? The reason is that it also makes it possible for us to love God and to freely obey Him. The intention is not that we permanently remain undecided between sin and ...


8

Yes. Jesus' own words to Peter are relevant here: Matthew 26:52-54 (ESV) 52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be ...


8

I hope that I can help here. A couple months ago I got engaged. I prayed a lot about the decision and felt like it was a good move in my life. One that would be hard but would be worth it. Well, 2 weeks ago my fiancee broke up with me. That was one of the hardest days of my life. And it would of been so easy to say, "I prayed; it felt like a good choice, I ...


8

Genesis 3 answers this question pretty definitively: Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” Genesis 3:22 NASB Adam and Eve were not created with the knowledge of good and evil. They were innocent--...


8

Short Answer: No, John 6:44 does not imply that there is no free will when it comes to salvation. What the text itself implies (theology aside) is that a person can only come to Jesus if the Father draws him. It says nothing about whether free will plays a part in salvation, or (if so) how it does. (In fact, it doesn't even really say anything about ...


8

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 ...


8

The statement of "choosing to go to hell" is an over-simplification that really is an example of intellectual laziness, and is a great example of the difference between the "true theology" of a group and the type of pop-theology that springs up and causes great confusion. Looking at it from any side, saying that people choose to go to hell does not make ...


8

Although the Bible does contain a certain amount of direct, doctrinal teaching, much of its teaching comes in the form of stories. In the Old Testament, there are the various narratives of people and nations and their actions, both good and bad. In the New Testament, there is the story of the life of Jesus and of the people who surround him, who do things ...


7

Well, let's have a look at the actual text. Genesis 2: 16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Verse 17 is particularly interesting. ...


7

In John Piper's talks on Calvinism, he addresses this very point - why pray or even evangelise the non-saved since God has already elected who will be saved and who not. His answer is that our action is the means by which God often achieves His will. So if God has ordained that Bob will be saved through the witness of Jim, then Jim will witness and Bob will ...


7

Of course Pilate is not portrayed as a Christian, or even a good man, let alone a saint. However, nearly all bible commentators agree that Pilate was trying to avoid crucifying Christ. Undoubtedly it was political pressure from the Jewish leaders that forced his hand against his own will. First Pilate really did not care about the silly religious ...


7

Just because it was already prophesied, does not mean that Judas did not make a conscious choice. A man can most definitely choose to be used by Satan or by the Holy Spirit. Judas, by his actions, was already choosing, as he was choosing to steal from the purse.(John 12:6) This showed that even though he was with Jesus, the Holy Spirit was not working within ...


6

I would say that yes, through free will a man can accept God's offer of grace and salvation. I believe God gives us the freedom to choose so that when we do choose to accept His grace, it is a conscious, humble, obedient choice. That does not mean that God cannot force someone to accept his grace, but I'm not sure there is any evidence of God doing that. ...


6

I would say your argument is entirely backwards. If the Lord has total sovereignty, then he can choose to let humans decide for themselves whether to accept salvation if that is what He wishes. Saying that God cannot possibly let humans freely choose whether or not to accept salvation is saying that God does not have total sovereignty. The question is ...


6

In Calvinism, it's a paradox. God absolutely chooses whether a person can be saved, but a person is also responsible for his choice to serve and obey God. Obviously, it's crazy to deny any free will at all - Christian or Non-Christian, we make choices every day, some good and some bad. Total Depravity tells us that we will always (and effectively this means ...


6

The Christian position is this: The Old Testament is just as much God's Word as the New Testament is. There are differing Christian positions on how much we should consider the Old Testament to be history. The majority position would be that most of it is considered roughly historical. A substantial number would consider it all to be 100% historical, and a ...


6

Following the commandment "Going therefore, teach ye all nations" (cf. Matthew 28:19 Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version), part of the mission of the Church generally is to educate—not only in religion, but in other areas—and in service of this mission many universities around the world are specifically recognized as Catholic universities. Canon law ...


6

I see that this question has already accepted an answer, but the comments suggest that some concerns still remain, so I'll attempt to provide an answer that fills in these gaps. I would think that most Christians agree that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. The disagreement concerns what is considered to be loving. This would to come down to a ...


5

I would not call it punishment but rather, the RESULT or OUTCOME of freewill. Let's give an example. You tell your little son not to touch the hot iron on the table. But, out of curiosity, the boy touched it anyway and the little hands burned. The child exercised his own freewill even if a strict warning was given by you. This is a result of ...


5

I think this question can be answered without becoming lost in all the differing views of what is ‘exactly’ free will and what is ‘exactly’ predestination. From a high level the church is basically divided on this subject between the thinking of St Augustine (or what protestants think he believed) versus Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Assyrian church views. ...


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