Christian Interests > Arminianism

The Sovereignty of God and the Free Will of Man - Can they coexist?

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Gillian:

--- Quote from: spurly on March 02, 2008, 02:31:20 PM ---Many people in Christendom cling to either the sovereignty of God or the free will of man and they throw the other doctrine out with the trash.  Here is my question: can these two doctrines coexist in contemporary theology like they seemed to have coexisted in scripture?  Why are we so quick to throw one or the other out instead of living in the tension that these two doctrines present?

--- End quote ---
I believe man has free-will according to His nature. As God has a perfect will and a permissive will.

I believe someone dead in there sins cannot choose God on his own, I believe scripture supports this. I also believe a Christian can choose to sin. But God, is the only one who has absolute free will.

Can these two doctrines coexist? Absolutely, and they do. God does not have to make man stay in his sin, he does so by his own choice (free-will). For God's elect? I believe in divine providence, therefore when a man finally (genuinely) chooses Christ, it is entirely of his free will, he is not forced in any way. 

I believe scripture is pretty clear on these doctrines, if we study them without colored glasses. The reason many people "cling to either the sovereignty of God or the free will of man and they throw the other doctrine out with the trash." Is because they do not have a clear understanding of how this works, They believe if God is sovereign, then man, cannot have free will, I ask why? Or if man has free will then, how can God be sovereign? I ask, why not?  Yes God is Sovereign, and man has free will. It would be an error to throw either out into the trash. Many people are quick to throw one or the other out.
Free will is taught throughout scripture, it has not ended yet, You have a choice to either walk to the store or drive to the store, you have a choice to go to work this morning or stay home, the choices are yours, freely.
But for salvation? The scriptures teach differently. But, please, if you see teachings in scripture which shows man has free will, in his dead (fallen) state to choose Christ (all on his own) show me!?!

As of yet, all I have seen is mere words, no scripture. If free will according to salvation is in scripture, please, show me.

Terrence:
My very simple definitions:

Freewill Before the Fall: Like Adam and Eve "before" the fall. They could choose either good or bad, but because their wills/desires were incline by a prefect nature, they chose God.

Freewill after the Fall: Man's will/desires, nature, mind, heart, etc., is wicked and enslaved to sin. All of his choices are incline to his nature. He hates light and loves darkness. He freely chooses his will over His creator. He hates God and is a rebel against God. 

For man to be saved, he must first be regenerated/born again, before he can make a freewill choice for Christ. Left to his old nature, he will not, indeed he cannot, chose to love what he hates most - namely a Holy God who demands man's obedience.



Gracious:

--- Quote from: Gary on March 02, 2008, 02:35:40 PM ---"...I believe that there are some things we cannot possibly understand because we do not have the mind of God.  It would be easier to realize we cannot understand it and affirm both doctrines."
--- End quote ---

Yes &  ::amen!::Gary,

I agree.  Really liked the way you worded that! 

When it comes to the "ways" of our Deity, to understand Him "only" portionally down here, is a BLESSING!!!  Concerning our "free-will" agency ... As Christians we accept this delegation,  and we are constrained to surrender "our" will to HIM anyway.


Gracious

Ek Pyros:

--- Quote from: bvaug on March 02, 2008, 02:44:43 PM ---
--- Quote from: spurly on March 02, 2008, 02:31:20 PM ---Many people in Christendom cling to either the sovereignty of God or the free will of man and they throw the other doctrine out with the trash.  Here is my question: can these two doctrines coexist in contemporary theology like they seemed to have coexisted in scripture?  Why are we so quick to throw one or the other out instead of living in the tension that these two doctrines present?

--- End quote ---


To me they do but I can not explain how and haven't seen anyone else explain it one way or the other clearly without holes in their theory. I am more inclined to say as Gary we just don't know the mind of God and can not explain just how he works.

--- End quote ---
Check out R.C. Sproul's Chosen By God.  It's a great work on just that subject.

Alistair:
Its interesting how the phrase "free will" becomes so emotive in a debate like this one.  I think it goes back to the fall, we want to be free from God; that is what we inherited from Adam.  That's why we like to believe in evolution and free will.  But true worship of God is to acknowledge that He is God and He does as He wills and no man can stay His hand or say to Him, "What have you done?"

I think the fall had a huge impact on man's will, binding it in effect so that he cannot make a clear choice free from all interferences, that is beyond man now.

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