Monday, April 9, 2012

Dan's Conclusion: The Bible Teaches Libertarian Free Will Debate (Part 11 of 12)

Thank you Jeff and Turretinfan.  This debate has been helpful for me, in that it gave me reason to dig deeper into God’s word.  And that’s a good thing.  I want to say I appreciate Jeff and Turretinfan’s time and efforts that went into this. 
That said, I do find turretinfan’s view monstrous.  Rodger Olson finds divine determinism monstrous because God is ultimately behind the fall, every sin after it and the losts’ being in hell.  I find it monstrous for another reason. The scriptural evidence for determinism is like the lock ness monster.  There’s plenty of fuzzy photo’s and doctored evidence but no hard proof to be found for divine determinism. 
Arguments that turretinfan used like the hardening are irrelevant, because it’s an exception rather than the rule. Is anyone going to say that all the sins ever committed are the result of God’s hardening?  No way. It’s also insufficient because as I pointed out, the passages say that Pharaoh will not let the people go, not that he cannot.  And it contradicts TF’s own views.  What is the point of turretinfan’s compatiblism?  That in some sense Pharaoh could let the Jews go.  What is the point of turretinfan’s bring up hardening?  That in some sense Pharoah could not let the Jews go.
Well I will let you decide if turretinfan’s views make sense, ultimately.  He keeps going back to that the dictionary definitions work with determinism.  I will let you guys decide whether it does or not but to me it’s very very clear that it doesn’t.  We have one versus two.  One does not equal two.  You can’t say one and two are compatible.  You have one possibility or two possibilities.  That’s it.  It’s dead simple.
As far as 1 Corinthians 10:13, no temptation has overtaken you than that which is common to man, I have known that verse for my whole Christian life and I have claimed it in my day to day walk. The context is talking about grumbling and other temptations that are not ultimate apostasy, so to claim it’s only ultimate apostasy, if you look it up in commentaries you will see that approach is not how most scholars approach the passage and it’s not the way most Christians approach the passage. But it’s absolutely devastating to turretinfan’s position because it says we are able to resist temptation and sometimes we don’t.  So that means we are able to choose otherwise.
Also Isaiah 5:4, to say it’s hyperbole, I don’t know what to tell you.  The bible couldn’t be more clear.  God says what more could I have done.  I will just leave it at that.
As for me not establishing my case.  The bible says we choose, choose means select from a number of possibilities (possibilities plural, 2 possibilities) , selecting from an number of possibilities is the core notion of  libertarian free will, so the bible teaches  libertarian free will.
If God's decrees are such that only one future is possible and all our actions are necessary such that we cannot choose otherwise, then we cannot choose (in the sense of selecting from possibilities or alternatives).  But the bible says we can select from possibilities.  So turretinfan is wrong about divine determinism.
This is a hard challenge to all of us to look into God’s word further.  If I have in any way convinced anyone to take another look at any of these passages, then they have a long, long road ahead of them.  Have the courage to face yourself when it comes to reworking things.  If I have convinced anyone that choose means select between a number of possibilities and that’s libertarian, then you have a lot of theology to rework and it’s a big job and it weighs heavy on your shoulders; but know that if you pray and trust in the Lord, that God will be with you.  Thank you very much.

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