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nobody
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Joined: 2003/9/16
Posts: 64


 Re:

Amen brother David.

Although I am cautious about being too pragmatic and do not think that truth is determined by results, there may be something interesting about comparing the fruit that these two differing beliefs bring. I can accept the semi-Pelagian beliefs as plausible and Christian, although they seem less biblical to me than Augustinianism. It is what usually comes with the two that really makes me embrace the one and get angry with the other. The fruit of these beliefs is usually a view of God and a view of the church's role on earth.

While technically the Arminian has all the same reason to hold God high in wonder, amazement, and reverence it often seems the case that this isn't as true of them as it is of Calvinists. I know I'm generalizing and there are many cases in which this isn't true, but overall I think it is a fair statement based on my experience and reading. It has been historically more the case, from what I have read, that Calvinists endure more generations before their churches start to drift towards apostasy and have to be radically brought back on track.

The big issue that gets me going right now is that when Calvinists reach out to unbelievers they do it in a more biblical way. They realize that the dead man must be resurrected. There must be full repentance. We can preach the Gospel, but Jesus is in charge of building His church. We do our part and let Him do His. We do not need to soften the Gospel at all. Those who are drawn will see their condition and leave everything behind for salvation.

The Arminianists think they are just altering the course of lives. They will stoop to bringing a 3-ring circus into their service if they think it will pack more people in. They will pitch the NT model of the church in a second for what the modern "Church-Growth Experts" tell them will fill the seats. They don't require repentance for that can come later after they get your name recorded so they can up their number of millions served on the billboard out front. They don't want any radical spirit-filled people in their church because it will make the lawyers and doctors uncomfortable who give a thousand a week. Don't ask people to fast or they might leave. Don't teach them to count the cost because you already deluded them into thinking that grace is cheap. If you can't tell it really gets to me!

I guess it will just continue. The Calvinists think the Arminians are letting in too many unconverted and the Arminians think the Calvinists aren't spreading the Gospel. It just seems to me that in Acts we see the apostles taking care of the depth of the teaching while God adds the numbers and establishes the breadth of the ministry.

Maybe you all think this is unrelated to the issue being discussed, but I think it all boils down to this issue as the center of these differing views.

 2004/1/16 5:57Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi David
Thank you for this thorough response. However, I am still looking for a biblical definition of the will. ;-)

I sometimes feel as though I am at the zoo and on one of the cages it says 'The Will'. There are various notes posted close at hand which tell me how it operates and what has happened to it, and how free or bound it is. My problem is that I can't see anything in the cage.

I know how men behave. I know that by first birth we are dead in trespasses and sins. I know that Sin and Death have reached the whole race. I can think through the implications of different aspects of human-ness. I can study (I think I said this before) the spirit, the soul, the conscience, the imagination, the heart, even the 'reins'. I can examine the results of sin and regeneration on each. But when I try to study the will, biblically, I can't find an animal in the cage.

What I am really saying is that I don't think that reference to a 'faculty of the soul whereby I make moral choices' is the way the Bible explains the 'dead in sins and trespasses' and the total contagion of sin in the human race.

As a personal discipline I try to force my thinking into biblical language. My point here is, biblically, I have no idea what it meant by the will. Oh, I know how people use the concept but where in the bible is this concept to be found?

This is not just an idle curiosity and I am not an iconoclast just for the sake of it. I am perplexed that every Christian thinker I have read (with the possible exception of Oswald Chambers) presupposes the existence of the thing called 'the will'. I can't be the only person who has ever asked this question, can I? All I am asking is for someone to point to some passage(s) of scripture and say "see here is 'the will'"

We have the human condition in terrible clarity in the scriptures. I doubt we are going to find the right remedy unless we are making the right diagnosis. So what I want to do is to re-state the whole problem of 'congenital sin' etc in biblical terms.

I have this sneaking suspicion that all this concentration on freedom/bondage of the will has taken our eyes off the ball.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/1/16 11:16Profile
-David
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Joined: 2004/1/9
Posts: 27


 Re:

nobody said:
"I guess it will just continue. The Calvinists think the Arminians are letting in too many unconverted and the Arminians think the Calvinists aren't spreading the Gospel. It just seems to me that in Acts we see the apostles taking care of the depth of the teaching while God adds the numbers and establishes the breadth of the ministry."

I obviously am not a Calvinist nor Arminian so if I say the wrong thing here I'll probably catch it from both sides LOL. However, here I go... The main problems I find with Calvinism is double predestination and the idea that all can be known when it comes to understanding how God works in the life of man. I would lean more on the Calvinism side only when compared to Arminianism. The main problem I have with Arminianism is the concept of sinful man reaching up to a Holy God, I can not comprehend that since there is none righteous and righteousness would have to come after making such a righteous choice.

I am most comfortable in agreeing with Luther, some things are just not made known to us and we must be content with that unless we say we can not be content with faith. I do believe God elects unto salvation, I do not know any more than that. I think God left a lot of things unknown to us for two main reasons, one; unknown things require faith, two; if we knew all He does and why He does it then we would be tempted to question Him and be lost in philosophy without reason.



************************************************************


philologos said:
"I sometimes feel as though I am at the zoo and on one of the cages it says 'The Will'. There are various notes posted close at hand which tell me how it operates and what has happened to it, and how free or bound it is. My problem is that I can't see anything in the cage."



HAHAHA!!! That's a good analogy! But don't you think you're maybe focusing too much on the word "will" itself and not the content the word "will" is containing? Isn't the word "will" nothing more than a word we use to describe the desire(s) and choices of man. Much like "Trinity", the word is not in Scripture yet the definition certainly is.



philologos said:
"I can study (I think I said this before) the spirit, the soul, the conscience, the imagination, the heart, even the 'reins'. I can examine the results of sin and regeneration on each. But when I try to study the will, biblically, I can't find an animal in the cage."



Again, the will is not so much the word itself as it is the process it carries. In other words, the will is a small title for a big production. If I were to say my "uncle died without a will" would you hold the word "will" to the meaning we are currently discussing or would you look at the context in which the word "will" was being used? The word "will" in "uncle died without a will" without doubt carries a different meaning than "according to the will of God". One is stating "requests" and one is stating "demands", however both convey a "will". In the question of the "free will" of man we would have to assume that first; man can make choices based on some sort of reasoning, second; man is presented choice(s), third; man can freely decide between choices presented to him. I don't hold to the 100% libertarian free will of man being able to make a righteous choice when it comes to our salvation. If God did not at some point "invade or space" then we would absolutely have the fruits of our "free will" in the eternal separation from God we are naturally inclined for because of sin.



philologos said:
"but where in the bible is this concept to be found?"

Gen 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make {one} wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (NASB)

When you do something you could say you "will it" so in the above verse Eve and Adam did what they willed within the Sovereign will of God. I do not think the Bible teaches the will is a individual section of man, I think it teaches the will is the product or end result of our thought(s) leading to action(s).




philologos said:
"I have this sneaking suspicion that all this concentration on freedom/bondage of the will has taken our eyes off the ball."

I would agree in part. I would disagree in that looking at our nature and current position (i.e. sin) is helpful to understand why we need salvation and seeing what the "will" of man has brought us when compared to the "will" of God. I think it is far too easy to get caught up in human philosophy and leaning too much on our own understanding which will lead to a sense of pride.

If I were to define what I believe the word "will" conveys in the bible then I would say it is not a individual "part" of man such as the soul / body, I would say it is the product of our action(s) which were brought about by our thought(s). When we think, we act, which in turn leads us to try and bring about the reality of what we thought by the use of our action(s), all this is trying to "will" something or have it done our way.

Just as people refer to the "heart", the actual physical organ "heart" of man does not have a thought capacity or a capacity to love, hate or feel anything. Yet we still attribute all of those to the human physical organ called the heart. I think the same is done with the "will", we are so used to referring to our "thoughtful actions or deeds or desires" as the "will" that we actually begin to think of the will as a individual part of man separate from the heart, mind, soul, spirit whatever... There can after all be no "will" without a mind or heart, can there?


-David







 2004/1/16 22:31Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

David
you wrote Again, the will is not so much the word itself as it is the process it carries. In other words, the will is a small title for a big production. If I were to say my "uncle died without a will" would you hold the word "will" to the meaning we are currently discussing or would you look at the context in which the word "will" was being used? The word "will" in "uncle died without a will" without doubt carries a different meaning than "according to the will of God".

This touches on one of things that disturbs me in our fixation with 'the human will', namely that as far as I can see the Bible only every uses the phrase in the Last Will and Testament sense. I don't mean as a formal document but as a declaration of intention or the publishing of a decision. The word 'Decree' comes to mind but I think it has been hyjacked by another area of theology and I don't think we can rehabilitate it for my purposes.

--------------------------------------------------
you also said If I were to define what I believe the word "will" conveys in the bible then I would say it is not a individual "part" of man such as the soul / body, I would say it is the product of our action(s) which were brought about by our thought(s). When we think, we act, which in turn leads us to try and bring about the reality of what we thought by the use of our action(s), all this is trying to "will" something or have it done our way.


Suppose we start again with a word that we have to define. Let's make one up; "the schlumpf". Now lets retell our story. Almost all Christians believe we have a schlumpf (if anyone stumbles onto this thread they will call out the men in the white coats :-D) and Christians believe that the schlumpf is where we make moral decisions. They don't think we make decisions about the colour of our socks with the schlumpf, they believe we make those decisions with our mind; they have lots of Bible verses about the mind. They don't believe we makes decisions about who we should love with the schlumpf, they believe we make those decisions with the heart; they have lots of Bible verses about the heart. Sometimes they say the conscience informs the schlumpf but the conscience itself doesn't make the decision; they have lots of verses about the conscience. They believe the schlumpf is part of the way the soul works, and they have lots of Bible verses about the soul. They believe we have a spirit which is the spiritual engine of all that their body or soul does; they have lots of verses about the body and the soul. They have no verses about the schlumpf but they have the most thoroughgoing discussions about it. The whole church is divided up into people who believe it can do something or nothing; but they have no Bible verses about the schlumpf. Some who are willing to give it some thought might say, the schlumpf is not so much the word itself as it is the process it carries. I want to say but where does this schlumpf process take place and what factors affect the process?

They believe that amazing things take place in regeneration. They believe that we are given a new heart and new spirit and that their consciences can be sprinkled clean. They believe that the mind can be constantly renewed in a new images. They have Bible verses for all these things. Often they may say the soul is redeemed and God's begins a process of total possession for its blessing; they have Bible verses... They believe they will have a new body; they have Bible verses.

I don't know what they think happens to the schlumpf in regenerationa because I'm not sure where they think it is, so I don't know if any of the changes that take place in regeneration affect it in any way. Whole theologies are based on whether the schlumpf is free to make those moral decisions, or not.

My problem is that if I stick to biblical concepts and expressions I have no idea what the schlumpf is.

David, I am not patronising you in this silly story, just trying to see how we got here, and whether or not there is any way out. I don't mean to offend but I am not ultimately concerned with what Calvin or Finney say about the schlumpf, I want to know what the Book says.

I think I can describe the Fall and its consequences and the results of regeneration without a single reference to the will; it shouldn't be difficult, after all the Bible achieves it. I think the 'will-less' description is much clearer but it requires tremendous patience in both teacher and listener, otherwise it is so easy to trigger those 'schlumpf: free/bound reactions.
---------------------------------------------------

you also said When you do something you could say you "will it" so in the above verse Eve and Adam did what they willed within the Sovereign will of God. I do not think the Bible teaches the will is a individual section of man, I think it teaches the will is the product or end result of our thought(s) leading to action(s).

Well, yes you could, but I think it would be much more natural to say 'I did it', 'I decided to do it' 'I weighed up the alternatives, and I chose it'. 'I found myself so strongly drawn to it that I was taken captive by the idea and could not resist doing it'.

...and to hint at a solution rather than keep telling you my problems, you will find it in the above paragraph, that often repeated word "I". I think that is where the whole issue lies. I think "I" am to blame, "I" am to be held accountable. "I" can be born-again, "I" can be filled with a new Spirit. "I" don't have to live as the person "I" was born. "I" can believe and be changed.

that was a long one, my apologies.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/1/17 11:19Profile
-David
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Joined: 2004/1/9
Posts: 27


 Re:

philologos said:
"Christians believe that the schlumpf is where we make moral decisions. They don't think we make decisions about the colour of our socks with the schlumpf, they believe we make those decisions with our mind; they have lots of Bible verses about the mind. They don't believe we makes decisions about who we should love with the schlumpf, they believe we make those decisions with the heart; they have lots of Bible verses about the heart. Sometimes they say the conscience informs the schlumpf but the conscience itself doesn't make the decision; they have lots of verses about the conscience. They believe the schlumpf is part of the way the soul works, and they have lots of Bible verses about the soul. They believe we have a spirit which is the spiritual engine of all that their body or soul does; they have lots of verses about the body and the soul. They have no verses about the schlumpf but they have the most thoroughgoing discussions about it."



I would say you made a very good point here, I think the thing which causes the most confusion about this is that people divide man into a whole list of individual parts and often times try to assign the same function(s) to more than just one part. I think we could go in circles on this topic since it will always come down to the definition of every single word used to define the word we wish to define! LOL In the simplest way I know how I will now try to show my example....


Soul = Mind, Heart, Personality


The problem here is that people always divide each of the above parts into even more words! They will refer to the Mind, Brain, Soul and Will all in one sentence! What they don't understand is that when you refer to the mind and soul separately within on sentence you are causing a division between the two words. Saying they cannot mean one in the same. I do not think the Bible teaches the mind is some entirely separate individual part of man not related to the soul. I think the Bible uses "all inclusive sweeping statements" for example:

Matt 22:37 And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'

Christ is not so much saying "each part individually" as He is saying "With everything you are" no matter what you call it or label it. A ship can be a boat and a boat can be a yacht and a yacht can be a boat and a boat can be a toy in the bath. You can increase and decrease the meaning of a word within a sentence without knowing it or intending to and it will either still contain some resemblance of the authors intent or lower the understanding of the intention to a level not intended. This is why I think Christ just made a broad sweeping statement in Matt 22:37, because if you notice in Luke 10:25 the Lawyer who repeats this commandment to Christ does so like:

Luke 10:27 And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."


He adds "strength" where Jesus did not. I think we waste a lot of time trying to overly-define a word which in turn leads us to divide the word into even more meanings than originally intended. It's like teaching your child what the word "dog" means, every single time he sees a different breed of dog he could logically ask a good question by saying "Is that a dog?" We assign too many breeds to our words and then try to narrow each breed down to make it fit within one single breed.


James 1:26 ¶ If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his {own} heart, this man's religion is worthless..


The above verse attributes thought to the heart, most people attribute thoughts to the mind, brain, whatever... The human organ the heart does not posses the capacity to think or feel anything. It is a muscle, so the word "heart" as used in scripture is not attributing all these processes to a human organ. Same with the mind and it's relation or non-relation to the physical organ of the brain. So why go further and separate the "will" and try to fit it within a single location when it is not a "single function" of a individual part within a specific location? The Bible tells us to have "the mind of God" does that mean we should need a new brain? The word "mind" must then mean something other than the actual "part", it must mean a want or desire or "will"...


___________________________________________________________________



philologos said:
"I want to say but where does this schlumpf process take place and what factors affect the process?"

The problem is that the schlumpf does not require a certain actual physical location, it isn't a "part" as much as it is a "desire"... When God says He gives you a "new heart" do you demand to see the old one just to be sure? The "will" or "schlumpf" is without location, if the will had a location then it would not be a "will" anymore, it would be a "willer" with the process of "willing".


___________________________________________________________________



philologos said:
"I don't know what they think happens to the schlumpf in regenerationa because I'm not sure where they think it is, so I don't know if any of the changes that take place in regeneration affect it in any way. Whole theologies are based on whether the schlumpf is free to make those moral decisions, or not."

I honestly do think you're making it harder than it needs be, you answered your own question. You have your mind and heart which before regeneration do what? They do what YOU reason to do based on YOUR reasoning. The end process of that reasoning once acted upon or conceived is your "will". After regeneration you do what? Do you still desire to only do what you always did? Or do you now desire to do what you would normally have never wanted? What happened??? You now want to do what God desires and you want to do the best for others instead of yourself. You still have times when you want to do what you used to do but there is something there now which wasn't before. What is it? It is the "will" of God, you no longer obey only you without guilt. The things you do that you no longer want to do is "your will", the things you want to do that you find difficult to do is His "will".

Matt 26:39 ¶ And He went a little beyond {them,} and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."

How can the will of Christ "seem" to be wanting something other than the will of God? Exchange the word "will" with the word "desire", or exchange it with "want". Christ was 100% man and 100% God, yet He never obeyed what we would assume to be the natural instinctive will of man when facing a horrible death which possibly could have been avoidable if He DESIRED. The whole "free will" teaching has caused a HUGE mess I think because if that teaching is held to strictly then Christ did NOT have to have the will of the Father necessarily and could have went a different way.


___________________________________________________________________



philologos said:
"My problem is that if I stick to biblical concepts and expressions I have no idea what the schlumpf is."

Ok, here's a question... If you don't know what the will is then what words would you use to describe the things you do which you do not want to do and the things you want to do which you do not do?


___________________________________________________________________



philologos said:
"David, I am not patronising you in this silly story, just trying to see how we got here, and whether or not there is any way out. I don't mean to offend but I am not ultimately concerned with what Calvin or Finney say about the schlumpf, I want to know what the Book says.

I would agree! I don't care what Calvin or Finney say either, I'm not a Calvinist just incase you thought I was. I never once thought you were patronizing! This is fun stuff for me!


___________________________________________________________________



philologos said:
"I think I can describe the Fall and its consequences and the results of regeneration without a single reference to the will; it shouldn't be difficult, after all the Bible achieves it. I think the 'will-less' description is much clearer but it requires tremendous patience in both teacher and listener, otherwise it is so easy to trigger those 'schlumpf: free/bound reactions."

I would say you're dead-on! I know you don't want man's opinion on this but.... Have you ever read "The Bondage Of The Will" by Martin Luther? Here is a quote of his:

"Wherefore, the prescience and Omnipotence of God, are diametrically opposite to our "Free-will." And it must be, that either God is deceived in His prescience and errs in His action, (which is impossible) or we act, and are acted upon, according to His prescience and action.—But by the Omnipotence of God, I mean, not that power by which He does not many things that He could do, but that actual power by which He powerfully works all in all, in which sense the Scripture calls Him Omnipotent. This Omnipotence and prescience of God, I say, utterly abolishes the doctrine of "Free-will." No pretext can here be framed about the obscurity of the Scripture, or the difficulty of the subject-point: the words are most clear, and known to every school-boy; and the point is plain and easy and stands proved by judgment of common sense; so that the series of ages, of times, or of persons, either writing or teaching to the contrary, be it as great as it may, amounts to nothing at all."


-David

PS,
I need to put my hands on ice, I haven't typed this much in a looooooooooooong time...

 2004/1/17 17:49Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

David wrote lots and lots but I will just comment on this bit "Wherefore, the prescience and Omnipotence of God, are diametrically opposite to our "Free-will."

I have my own copy of Luther's The Bondage of the Will, and Edwards 'The Freedom of the Will' by which he seems to have meant what Luther meant by the 'Bondage of the Will'.

I disagree with the logic of the above quote in that prescience and omnipotence are not necessarily diametrically opposite to our 'free will'. The fact of God's omnipotence does not mean He has to use it all the time, and ominscience is not the same as predetermination.

Secondly, if by 'free-will' Luther means 'ability to choose', what can be the purpose of God saying "choose you this day whom you will serve" or "I set before you life and death, choose life" if I have no ability to choose?

How can God measure either sin or virtue if we have no ability to choose? I am not denying here the fact that God must initiate every moment of faith; it comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If God does not speak we cannot believe, but I am absolutely sure that if God does speak we can believe, otherwise what does the rebuke 'o ye of little faith' mean?

He blames me for disobeying and commends me for obeying. His commendation will not puff me up, I know it was His enabling. Every crown He gives will be cast at His feet. There is a passage of scripture which helped me to understand this a long time ago. [1 Chr 29:14,17]
all things come of thee and of thine own have we given thee
I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart

Everything comes from God, but God will hold me accountable for what I do with it. When God commands all men everywhere to repent, He enables all men everywhere to repent; His word always comes with enabling power. If I don't use the faith that He gives I am doubly blameworthy, for my sins against the light and for my conscious disobedience to His enabling command.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/1/18 13:36Profile
Clutch
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Joined: 2003/11/10
Posts: 202
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

 Re:

Hi Ron,
You know where I stand too on, this all IMPORTANT issue. :-o
You know how I've continued through the raging debate to maintain a RIGID flexibility about the whole matter. :-D
So, I'd just like to point out at this CRITICAL juncture; that just as there is no "schlumph" in the Bible; neither is there an "I" in Supralapsayreeun. :-D
Clutch :-P


_________________
Howard McNeill

 2004/1/19 7:27Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi Clutch
Good to see you're keeping up with the plot. ;-) If it gets too hot just ask the nurse to wheel you out of the sun. :-P


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/1/19 8:45Profile
-David
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Joined: 2004/1/9
Posts: 27


 Re:

philologos said:
"Secondly, if by 'free-will' Luther means 'ability to choose', what can be the purpose of God saying "choose you this day whom you will serve" or "I set before you life and death, choose life" if I have no ability to choose?"


Well sort of, Luther was arguing against the idea of a totally "free will". I'm not sure but it sounds like the questions you have about the "will" would be better directed towards one who holds to Arminianism since they hold to the strict freedom of the will. Or maybe even a Hyper-Calvinist who holds to practically no will. When I read the questions I get the idea you may think I am on the Hyper-Calvinist side when that is not true at all. My exact stance on the predestination and free will is that I believe God elects UNTO salvation but not unto reprobation. I believe Christ died for ALL sins and not a just limited atonement. I do not believe in the 100% freedom of the will.


philologos said:
"How can God measure either sin or virtue if we have no ability to choose? I am not denying here the fact that God must initiate every moment of faith; it comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If God does not speak we cannot believe, but I am absolutely sure that if God does speak we can believe, otherwise what does the rebuke 'o ye of little faith' mean?"


What I was arguing was that man on his OWN is not able to come to God apart from God. The Bible is clear about election unto salvation. I do not believe man can come to God apart from God and initiate the beginning of salvation. Unless God does it, we have no hope. ALL Glory goes to God, nothing righteous is in man. I do not hold to the view where God can change His mind because we do something so good that He questions His originial judgment.



philologos said:
"Everything comes from God, but God will hold me accountable for what I do with it. When God commands all men everywhere to repent, He enables all men everywhere to repent; His word always comes with enabling power. If I don't use the faith that He gives I am doubly blameworthy, for my sins against the light and for my conscious disobedience to His enabling command."



Now here is where we would disagree. I do not think that simply because God makes known to us the "whys" of our sinfulness that' that indicates our own ability to correct that sinfulness. The Ten Commandments are a list of what is wrong with us, could you keep them all even with your faith? By saying we of our own goodness can do anything righteous at all goes directly against Scriptures teaching of "There is none righteous, NO NOT ONE". If I could make one righteous choice (and choosing God apart from God would be a righteous choice) then I would become righteous because I made a righteous choice. God WILL hold you accountable for what you do, but does He hold you accountable for the bad as well? Why would He judge only the righteousness of those He calls "Unrighteous"? It would appear that judgment has been made when saying "there is none righteous" would God second guess His original judgment?


-David

 2004/1/19 10:29Profile
almondBranch
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Joined: 2003/10/6
Posts: 91
Tralee, Ireland

 Re:

Quote:
This touches on one of things that disturbs me in our fixation with 'the human will', namely that as far as I can see the Bible only every uses the phrase in the Last Will and Testament sense. I don't mean as a formal document but as a declaration of intention or the publishing of a decision.



I was always told emphaticaly that the soul IS 1)the mind 2)the will 3)& the emotions

Often wondered about that, these concepts do certainly seem to take root and too often we forget to ask where they came from. Some of the people I have felowshiped with in the past would often say "you are a spirit, you have a soul and you live in a body" If anything the bible calls us "souls" not spirits. Anyway on to the issue of the will...

A couple of verses spring to mind immediatly:

luke 22:42[i]Saying, Father, if thou be [b]willing[/b], remove this cup from me: nevertheless not [b]my will[/b], but thine, be done.[/i]

The first willing is 'boulomai' from the same word used in philipians 1:12 (and many other places)"But I [b]would[/b] ye should understand, brethren,"

described as:
1) to will deliberately, have a purpose, be minded
2) of willing as an affection, to desire

When Jesus used the word "not my [b]will[/b]" the greek is thelema. it is used in "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the [b]will[/b] of my Father which is in heaven."

Also in "thy kingdom come, thy [b]will[/b] be done"

"he that does the will of the father" Obviously isn't someone that excercises a faculty of God's known as "the will" it is those who do the Father's desire. This is the only will that I can see in the bible...a desire or intention. In Ph 1:12 Paul is telling the believers what he would like, what his desire is, what his will is.

How do I arrive at a plave of final decision? I don't really know. I could say at times "my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak" yet at times I may decide to go against the desires of my flesh and perservere, who made that decision? My spirit, my soul, or my body? I dont know how all the pieces fit together but I know that God says that it was I, Stuart, who made the decison. Certainly I was aided by God's grace but it was "I" who ate the fruit, and "I" who chose it, can't blame that woman he gave me. It is "I" whom He asked to repent and it was "I" who bowed the knee and so that His life could come in and replace this sinful "I" that I was. I stand amazed at the love of a creator who could fashion people in his own image with a very real personality that has the ability to think and make choices.

People speak of the will as if it were a part of a car engine. Get the will reved up and into gear and off you go. Its as if there were some seperate part of you called "the will". But what then do people mean when they say "I chose to excersise my will to do such and such".

chose? with what, your will ?

Don't know how much of this makes sense, I am putting it together as I go along, haven't got the willpower to sit down and think it through properly.:-)


_________________
Stuart

 2004/1/19 10:34Profile





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