Properly Defining “Free Will” In A Theological Discussion.

Sketo

Well-known member
Properly Defining “Free” Will

What is meant by free will, in a theological discussion, is your metaphysical relationship to God. When it comes to you making choices the reference point for “freedom” needs to be God!

This is the only reference point, for “freedom”, that matters. Is God determining what you do, yes or no?

If your answer is no, because you hold to this idea of “freewill”, then what you are putting forth is a claim that you are free from God when you make choices. He is not determining them. So free will is freedom from God.

If you reject that definition, and say that that's somehow a misrepresentation of “free will” then you have a very watered-down version of freewill which actually is not important in the long run, because if you're going to admit that God can determine what you do then your reference point for “freedom” is not “God”… it's been moved somewhere else. Probably to just the simple fact that you're doing what you “want”… and you “doing what you want” works perfectly fine in a Calvinistic worldview as well. God is determining ALL THINGS (Eph1:11), not just what you will do, but also the fact that you “want to do them” so "doing what you want ‘freely’", in the sense of just “acting upon your desires” has nothing at all to do with the actual discussion of “free will” (freedom from God) which is what matters.



Foundational Verses

The next foundation I would like to lay are the three foundational verses that I consider most important on these topics.

The most important verses in the entire bible, on the topic of God's metaphysical relationship to you "Can you or can you not have free will?", are Hebrews 1:3, Acts 17, and Colossians 1.

Hebrews 1:2-3
in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things consist/hold together.

Acts 17:24-28
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

Hebrews 1:3 says that God not only created the world, and the universe, but that he constantly upholds the universe by his power. So God upholds universe by his power and the verse is always true moment by moment by moment. God is exerting power and upholding the things that he created, and if you stop to think about it, this must be the case because whatever he creates is going to be less than him, less than eternal, less than self powered so it's going to be reliant upon him. So he must provide the sustaining power by which things, not just come into existence, but also are sustained in their existence.

Acts 17 says "in God we live and move and have our being". It's also mentioned in the context of creation. It says that “God who created the world... and "in God we live and move and have our being" so even us as creatures;
living (making choices),
moving (making choices taking actions)
and having our being in God.
The verse is always true that we live and move and have our being in God!

Colossians 1:17 says “In God all things consist/hold together”! So all three verses are saying the exact same thing that God not only created all things but continuously upholds them.

My point here is that these provide the foundation for the Calvinistic world view of God's absolute power over all things, and absolute control over all things, and our denial that you can even have free will to begin with!

My first question for the free will position is...

How can “free will” be true in light of the verses I just quoted?
How can you claim to be free from the God who upholds your existence at all times?
How can you claim to be free from the very power upon which you depend for your existence?

So the other question i would like to ask is...

How are you not stuck, as a free will proponent, promoting the idea of a “will free from God” in light of some Deistic Dualism in the sense that you actually believe God can create self-sustained things?

You believe that God can create you as a self-sustained, self-determined entity. How is that not committing to some form of Deism or Dualism, that there's more than one Ultimate Power at work in the universe? I don't bring up these terms to maliciously label people. I bring them up to be descriptive of your claims. You are claiming aspects of some sort of Deism that God can create self-sustaining things;

Your entire premise upon which God can “foreknow ‘free’ choices" is the assumption that God can foreknow the future of things that he has nothing to do with. And if he has nothing to do with those things then those things must be self-sustained, they must be self-powered, they must be self-caused, and self-moved as the free will position often says in their own definition of what free will is…

"we're our own first mover"
"we create our choices out of nothing"

How are you not committing some form of Deism or Dualism when you make those claims?

I also bring up these verses, instead of just launching into the standard Calvinistic proof texts such as "God works all things" or "God hardens hearts", because you have to have the right foundations in place. The three verses i quoted are FOUNDATIONAL… they are not proof texts! You can't look at those and say "you know you're reading your Calvinism into that". It's just plain, God upholds the universe, moment-by-moment-by-moment, at all times! There is no Calvinistic lens there! There is just Foundation, and I build the rest of my world view, and read other proof texts, like "God works all things" (Eph1:11), in light of that foundation.

So the problem is not who has a lens through which they read proof texts...
The question is…Whose lens is right? And Whose lens has a Biblical Foundation?
 

Chalcedon

Well-known member
I have a view that the only ones who had a free will were adam/eve( besides the angels who fell). They truly were able to make the free will choice to follow God, obey God and have a perfect relationship with God.

Once the fall happened and sin entered the picture man no longer had that same free will but they became as scripture says slaves to sin and sin became their master by nature not God.

Only a believer has a free will since Christ has set them free from sin so now a believer has the choice to sin or obey God. Now its our free choice to either obey God or the flesh, sin, world, devil etc.........

But as to your OP and verses about God ( Trinity ) holding all things together and that all things exist in Him you are spot on !
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
People get real confused about what free will means.

First, free will does not mean freedom from God. Free will is GIVEN by God and UPHELD by God and the IMAGE of God.

Second, free will does not mean freedom to choose all theoretical choices. Free will is always LIMITED to certain choices, limited by many different factors. One cannot choose to be God, or to have super powers.

Third, slavery does not disprove free will, it rather is a proof of free will, like evil is a proof of a moral God. Without free will THERE IS NOTHING TO ENSLAVE. It is the free will underneath that even gives slavery its meaning, otherwise there is nothing enslaved. A rock is not a slave to gravity, it is simply following a set of rules. Without underlying freedom, slavery is an incoherent concept.

The fourth mistake people make is omniscience meaning God's foreknowledge is determinative, confusing certainty with necessity.

But we can certainly prove free will from many passages, unlike certain Calvinist's mantra "free will is not in the Bible" which they seem to feel if they chant long enough it will magically go away:

3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, "Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife."
4 But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, "Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also?
5 "Did he not say to me,`She is my sister '? And she, even she herself said,`He is my brother.' In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this."
6 And God said to him in a dream, "Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.
7 "Now therefore, restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours." (Gen 20:3-7 NKJ)


Just as the Trinity can be deduced from certain specific passages in Scripture, so true autonomous decision can be.

At first God says to Abimelech that he is a dead man because he has sinned. Abimelech answers and implies that this is too harsh a judgment in the light of his current limitations of understanding the situation. Abimelech then declares he is innocent. In verse 6, God does not say Abimelech is wrong, but rather affirms that Abimelech is actually correct on this issue. He has done this "in the integrity" of his heart. Then God says he has somehow kept Abimelech from sinning so far as an act of mercy because of ignorance. This is God limited Abimelech's free will, but not removing it because of what follows. Since Abimelech is no longer considered ignorant, as he has been warned, we end with verse 7 in which God lays out two different outcomes that are both indicated to be a real possibility and determined by the choice Abimelech makes.

Honesty is an attribute of God, and honesty in communication is necessary if you want to be understood in the way you intend to say something. That is, in general, if you wish to convey information and not mislead someone, you actually have to mean what you say. We cannot claim Abimelech would understand this passage in any deterministic way, and if determinism were true it would not be beyond the capacity of God to phrase this in a deterministic way or even to explain that Abimelech actually has no choice in the matter and there are not two real, viable outcomes as God indicated, where Abimelech either "surely dies" or he will in fact "live" although he was declared dead already, which in this case would indicate he had a pending "death sentence," or ban, on him. When God uses the words "choose" instead of "I have already chosen," this is directly logically implying that the choice is the person's and not God's.

But the truth about how people argue for determinism is a sneaky one, because no matter how you phrase something to sound like autonomy, you can always just claim it only sounds that way as some kind of illusion. But the default position of any text should not to be take it as an illusion, but to take it as meaning what it actually says, unless we have direct contradictions with other truths. With proponents of determinism, a small percentage of Bible verses that could be interpreted as deterministic are used as an overriding lens to reinterpret a much, much larger percentage of passages that are made to sound deliberately as if choice were two actual outcomes decided by the individual, instead of pre-decided by God. And this becomes so second nature, that, in my interaction with determinists anyway, they almost seem to think it's the natural way to interpret choices in Scripture as necessarily deterministic when that's actually not the default way to understand them.

So by using the exact same "hermeneutics" we would use to come to a deduction of the Trinity, we come to a consistent and predominantly used method in the Bible as describing choices as multiple potential outcomes determined by the agent. If God wanted to convey a deterministic meaning of any kind to Abimelech it would have been easy, simple and clear to simply phrase what God says to Abimelech in a deterministic way, "I have chosen you to sin," or "You will go on and do what I have decided for you to do," or "you must fulfill your destiny and this is what it will be," or "God has decided you will be righteous." God does not choose any of those descriptive options which would be the honest and clear to communicate determinism, but instead chooses to phrase something deliberately in a way that sounds non-deterministic. If God really wanted to communicate determinism, this is simply not an honest way to communicate it, but rather a deceptive and misleading way.

So although we have verses where Jesus says "the only true God" in reference to his Father, we take the higher percentage of verses that show Jesus really is God, and reinterpret the lower percentage verses that look like he isn't, to justify our interpretation that Jesus himself is the only true God as well as the Father. In the same way Scripture actually ends up directly supporting the idea of libertarian freedom, instead of directly opposing the idea of libertarian freedom, because the higher percentage of verses support autonomous choice in the exact same way they support Christ's divinity.
 

His clay

Well-known member
Properly Defining “Free” Will

What is meant by free will, in a theological discussion, is your metaphysical relationship to God. When it comes to you making choices the reference point for “freedom” needs to be God!

This is the only reference point, for “freedom”, that matters. Is God determining what you do, yes or no?

If your answer is no, because you hold to this idea of “freewill”, then what you are putting forth is a claim that you are free from God when you make choices. He is not determining them. So free will is freedom from God.

If you reject that definition, and say that that's somehow a misrepresentation of “free will” then you have a very watered-down version of freewill which actually is not important in the long run, because if you're going to admit that God can determine what you do then your reference point for “freedom” is not “God”… it's been moved somewhere else. Probably to just the simple fact that you're doing what you “want”… and you “doing what you want” works perfectly fine in a Calvinistic worldview as well. God is determining ALL THINGS (Eph1:11), not just what you will do, but also the fact that you “want to do them” so "doing what you want ‘freely’", in the sense of just “acting upon your desires” has nothing at all to do with the actual discussion of “free will” (freedom from God) which is what matters.



Foundational Verses

The next foundation I would like to lay are the three foundational verses that I consider most important on these topics.

The most important verses in the entire bible, on the topic of God's metaphysical relationship to you "Can you or can you not have free will?", are Hebrews 1:3, Acts 17, and Colossians 1.

Hebrews 1:2-3
in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things consist/hold together.

Acts 17:24-28
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

Hebrews 1:3 says that God not only created the world, and the universe, but that he constantly upholds the universe by his power. So God upholds universe by his power and the verse is always true moment by moment by moment. God is exerting power and upholding the things that he created, and if you stop to think about it, this must be the case because whatever he creates is going to be less than him, less than eternal, less than self powered so it's going to be reliant upon him. So he must provide the sustaining power by which things, not just come into existence, but also are sustained in their existence.

Acts 17 says "in God we live and move and have our being". It's also mentioned in the context of creation. It says that “God who created the world... and "in God we live and move and have our being" so even us as creatures;
living (making choices),
moving (making choices taking actions)
and having our being in God.
The verse is always true that we live and move and have our being in God!

Colossians 1:17 says “In God all things consist/hold together”! So all three verses are saying the exact same thing that God not only created all things but continuously upholds them.

My point here is that these provide the foundation for the Calvinistic world view of God's absolute power over all things, and absolute control over all things, and our denial that you can even have free will to begin with!

My first question for the free will position is...

How can “free will” be true in light of the verses I just quoted?
How can you claim to be free from the God who upholds your existence at all times?
How can you claim to be free from the very power upon which you depend for your existence?

So the other question i would like to ask is...

How are you not stuck, as a free will proponent, promoting the idea of a “will free from God” in light of some Deistic Dualism in the sense that you actually believe God can create self-sustained things?

You believe that God can create you as a self-sustained, self-determined entity. How is that not committing to some form of Deism or Dualism, that there's more than one Ultimate Power at work in the universe? I don't bring up these terms to maliciously label people. I bring them up to be descriptive of your claims. You are claiming aspects of some sort of Deism that God can create self-sustaining things;

Your entire premise upon which God can “foreknow ‘free’ choices" is the assumption that God can foreknow the future of things that he has nothing to do with. And if he has nothing to do with those things then those things must be self-sustained, they must be self-powered, they must be self-caused, and self-moved as the free will position often says in their own definition of what free will is…

"we're our own first mover"
"we create our choices out of nothing"

How are you not committing some form of Deism or Dualism when you make those claims?

I also bring up these verses, instead of just launching into the standard Calvinistic proof texts such as "God works all things" or "God hardens hearts", because you have to have the right foundations in place. The three verses i quoted are FOUNDATIONAL… they are not proof texts! You can't look at those and say "you know you're reading your Calvinism into that". It's just plain, God upholds the universe, moment-by-moment-by-moment, at all times! There is no Calvinistic lens there! There is just Foundation, and I build the rest of my world view, and read other proof texts, like "God works all things" (Eph1:11), in light of that foundation.

So the problem is not who has a lens through which they read proof texts...
The question is…Whose lens is right? And Whose lens has a Biblical Foundation?
I will continue to follow the discussion. I always appreciate this particular point.

I've noticed that one poster stated, "Free will is GIVEN by God and UPHELD by God and the IMAGE of God." We can note that free will here is not defined very well, which is actually important in stating it. If it is meant that it is an indeterminist view of the will such that it is not causally determined to be by God, then we have a very serious problem. For then the poster would be stating that something is causally determined to be in existence (upheld), but at the same time and in the same way it is not causally determined to be in existence (def of free will) due to the indeterminist element. This is a rather obvious violation of the law of non-contradiction.

Again, the whole issue revolves around two points, what is your definition of free will, and how does this definition relate to freedom from God. The poster I quoted ignored a clear definition in relation to the issue of "indeterminism," which he holds. Because of that omission, then the poster was able to use unclear language to say that free will is upheld. But again, what is meant by free will, and how does that relate to God?

It relates to God by virtue of being made in His image! Didn't you read the post? An objector "might" say this in response to me. And it would be completely missing the point. The point I'm making is that it wasn't related to God on the specific issue of the nature of one's existence as either an independent being or a dependent being.

Appealing to the imago dei fails because the text never sets forth the libertarian case for free will. It always has to be read into the passage. The imago dei speaks to 2 and potentially a third: (1) Unity amidst plurality, (2) dominion over creation as a subordinate authority, (3) potentially procreation. The idea of libertarian freedom has to be read into the passage, and unfortunately it is one of the more pervasive creation myths of our time. But it is only a non-biblical philosophical imposition on the text, and it is a fabricated philosophical narrative to gain traction.

Also, the post I quoted from has a lot of clarifying statements about what free will is not. This is certainly helpful, but it does not address the main issue raised above (and by the opening post).

My quick two cents.
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
Indeterminism is not a good description, for it implies even the agent is out of his own control. This introduces confusion to the definition as if free will were random.

What we mean is who or what determines... God, or the agent. Exhaustive divine determinism (EDD) is preferable, and it's alternative as human autonomous choice.

Please note that addressing certain logical objections was never intended to focus simply on the definition.
 

Jabez

Active member
Properly Defining “Free” Will

What is meant by free will, in a theological discussion, is your metaphysical relationship to God. When it comes to you making choices the reference point for “freedom” needs to be God!

This is the only reference point, for “freedom”, that matters. Is God determining what you do, yes or no?

If your answer is no, because you hold to this idea of “freewill”, then what you are putting forth is a claim that you are free from God when you make choices. He is not determining them. So free will is freedom from God.

If you reject that definition, and say that that's somehow a misrepresentation of “free will” then you have a very watered-down version of freewill which actually is not important in the long run, because if you're going to admit that God can determine what you do then your reference point for “freedom” is not “God”… it's been moved somewhere else. Probably to just the simple fact that you're doing what you “want”… and you “doing what you want” works perfectly fine in a Calvinistic worldview as well. God is determining ALL THINGS (Eph1:11), not just what you will do, but also the fact that you “want to do them” so "doing what you want ‘freely’", in the sense of just “acting upon your desires” has nothing at all to do with the actual discussion of “free will” (freedom from God) which is what matters.



Foundational Verses

The next foundation I would like to lay are the three foundational verses that I consider most important on these topics.

The most important verses in the entire bible, on the topic of God's metaphysical relationship to you "Can you or can you not have free will?", are Hebrews 1:3, Acts 17, and Colossians 1.

Hebrews 1:2-3
in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things consist/hold together.

Acts 17:24-28
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

Hebrews 1:3 says that God not only created the world, and the universe, but that he constantly upholds the universe by his power. So God upholds universe by his power and the verse is always true moment by moment by moment. God is exerting power and upholding the things that he created, and if you stop to think about it, this must be the case because whatever he creates is going to be less than him, less than eternal, less than self powered so it's going to be reliant upon him. So he must provide the sustaining power by which things, not just come into existence, but also are sustained in their existence.

Acts 17 says "in God we live and move and have our being". It's also mentioned in the context of creation. It says that “God who created the world... and "in God we live and move and have our being" so even us as creatures;
living (making choices),
moving (making choices taking actions)
and having our being in God.
The verse is always true that we live and move and have our being in God!

Colossians 1:17 says “In God all things consist/hold together”! So all three verses are saying the exact same thing that God not only created all things but continuously upholds them.

My point here is that these provide the foundation for the Calvinistic world view of God's absolute power over all things, and absolute control over all things, and our denial that you can even have free will to begin with!

My first question for the free will position is...

How can “free will” be true in light of the verses I just quoted?
How can you claim to be free from the God who upholds your existence at all times?
How can you claim to be free from the very power upon which you depend for your existence?

So the other question i would like to ask is...

How are you not stuck, as a free will proponent, promoting the idea of a “will free from God” in light of some Deistic Dualism in the sense that you actually believe God can create self-sustained things?

You believe that God can create you as a self-sustained, self-determined entity. How is that not committing to some form of Deism or Dualism, that there's more than one Ultimate Power at work in the universe? I don't bring up these terms to maliciously label people. I bring them up to be descriptive of your claims. You are claiming aspects of some sort of Deism that God can create self-sustaining things;

Your entire premise upon which God can “foreknow ‘free’ choices" is the assumption that God can foreknow the future of things that he has nothing to do with. And if he has nothing to do with those things then those things must be self-sustained, they must be self-powered, they must be self-caused, and self-moved as the free will position often says in their own definition of what free will is…

"we're our own first mover"
"we create our choices out of nothing"

How are you not committing some form of Deism or Dualism when you make those claims?

I also bring up these verses, instead of just launching into the standard Calvinistic proof texts such as "God works all things" or "God hardens hearts", because you have to have the right foundations in place. The three verses i quoted are FOUNDATIONAL… they are not proof texts! You can't look at those and say "you know you're reading your Calvinism into that". It's just plain, God upholds the universe, moment-by-moment-by-moment, at all times! There is no Calvinistic lens there! There is just Foundation, and I build the rest of my world view, and read other proof texts, like "God works all things" (Eph1:11), in light of that foundation.

So the problem is not who has a lens through which they read proof texts...
The question is…Whose lens is right? And Whose lens has a Biblical Foundation?
The unfortunate aspect of citing various parts of God's Word out of context is to equate the human heart with inanimate "things" which have no sentient life. God does not control us like He controls the weather and cosmos. Praise His Glorious Love for this Truth in His Word.
 

Jabez

Active member
Indeterminism is not a good description, for it implies even the agent is out of his own control. This introduces confusion to the definition as if free will were random.

What we mean is who or what determines... God, or the agent. Exhaustive divine determinism (EDD) is preferable, and it's alternative as human autonomous choice.

Please note that addressing certain logical objections was never intended to focus simply on the definition.
Thankfully, God places His Omnipotence upon Him being the Alpha and the Omega, while bestowing human free will in between. He controls all creation and all outcomes, allowing humans freedom of will before The Final Judgement.

Only The Father thru Christ could come up with such an arrangement to place both Divine Determinism and Human Free Will at the same time.
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
Thankfully, God places His Omnipotence upon Him being the Alpha and the Omega, while bestowing human free will in between. He controls all creation and all outcomes, allowing humans freedom of will before The Final Judgement.

Only The Father thru Christ could come up with such an arrangement to place both Divine Determinism and Human Free Will at the same time.

I avoid the word Determinism as many people mean "Exhaustive Divine Determinism" eliminating all free will.
 

Sketo

Well-known member
What if “free” will simply means doing what you “want” without being forced…

 

Dizerner

Well-known member
You should know it's not a valid argument that if God forces some choices he therefore forces all choices.

Realize too that many free willers myself included are not arguing on the ground it would be immoral of God to eliminate free will.
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
Can you give an specific example. I would like to reply but I want to make sure I understand your point.

That was addressed to Sketo, your post kind of came in between.

His video was trying to argue basically that if it's not immoral for God to force one choice, than it's not immoral for him to force all choices.
 

fltom

Well-known member
Thanks. I disagree entirely.

Some have more choices than others. All have a choice.

God limits are clear....

Heb 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Seems contrary to divine meticulous determination of all things
 

Sketo

Well-known member
“How are you not stuck, as a free will proponent, promoting the idea of a “will free from God” in light of some Deistic Dualism in the sense that you actually believe God can create self-sustained things?

You believe that God can create you as a self-sustained, self-determined entity. How is that not committing to some form of Deism or Dualism, that there's more than one Ultimate Power at work in the universe? I don't bring up these terms to maliciously label people. I bring them up to be descriptive of your claims. You are claiming aspects of some sort of Deism that God can create self-sustaining things;

Your entire premise upon which God can “foreknow ‘free’ choices" is the assumptionthat God can foreknow the future of things that he has nothing to do with. And if he has nothing to do with those things then those things must be self-sustained, they must be self-powered, they must be self-caused, and self-moved as the free will position often says in their own definition of what free will is…

"we're our own first mover"
"we create our choices out of nothing"

How are you not committing some form of Deism or Dualism when you make those claims?”
 

Sketo

Well-known member
People get real confused about what free will means.

First, free will does not mean freedom from God. Free will is GIVEN by God and UPHELD by God and the IMAGE of God…

It’s unjustifiable, and illogical, to claim the God who 100% perfectly knows what you will certainly do tomorrow can also be the exact same God that can “GIVE” you the ability to freely do other than what HE knows for 100% certain!

It’s also unjustifiable, and illogical, to claim that a created being has the ability to determine an Omniscient Gods knowledge before that being is created!
 

His clay

Well-known member
It’s unjustifiable, and illogical, to claim the God who 100% perfectly knows what you will certainly do tomorrow can also be the exact same God that can “GIVE” you the ability to freely do other than what HE knows for 100% certain!

It’s also unjustifiable, and illogical, to claim that a created being has the ability to determine an Omniscient Gods knowledge before that being is created!
A key word in your argument is the word "certain." When a Calvinist uses it, it is often used in the following sense. This is definition #4 from Merriam-webster dictionary website. 4a: Inevitable 4b: incapable of failing: destined.

However, those that critique the Calvinist point often utilize a different definition. Note post 219 at the following link.

The poster says, "Certainty is the lack of any doubt about something." All of a sudden, the term is about a subjective sense of not being doubtful of something. I write this because this is a rather clear shift in meaning, and posters will talk past each-other if this difference of definition is not addressed. When the poster critiques by saying that certainty is not necessity, it is extremely important to get the meaning of both "certainty" and "necessity" in that poster's vocabulary. What is clear is that the critique in the prior sentence isn't actually addressing the Calvinistic point due to the difference of definition. (equivocation fallacy)

@Simpletruther @TibiasDad
I'm tagging Simpletruther and TibiasDad because this touches upon their discussion in the linked thread.
 

TibiasDad

Well-known member
A key word in your argument is the word "certain." When a Calvinist uses it, it is often used in the following sense. This is definition #4 from Merriam-webster dictionary website. 4a: Inevitable 4b: incapable of failing: destined.
And definition 3 of the same source says:

3a: DEPENDABLE, RELIABLE
a certain remedy for the disease
b: known or proved to be true : INDISPUTABLE
it is certain that we exist

Is there any doubt that we exist?


However, those that critique the Calvinist point often utilize a different definition. Note post 219 at the following link.
But that doesn't mean that a) it is the correct definition for the context of discussion, or b) that my definition is not equally valid or explicitly more valid.


The poster says, "Certainty is the lack of any doubt about something."
Be careful, Clay, Theo may call you on the carpet for depersonalizing me by referring to me as "the poster"! 😋


All of a sudden, the term is about a subjective sense of not being doubtful of something. I write this because this is a rather clear shift in meaning, and posters will talk past each-other if this difference of definition is not addressed. When the poster critiques by saying that certainty is not necessity, it is extremely important to get the meaning of both "certainty" and "necessity" in that poster's vocabulary. What is clear is that the critique in the prior sentence isn't actually addressing the Calvinistic point due to the difference of definition. (equivocation fallacy)

@Simpletruther @TibiasDad
I'm tagging Simpletruther and TibiasDad because this touches upon their discussion in the linked thread.
You had asked me and Tom and Simpletruther's to define our takes on certainty and necessity, and I said my personal, and thus necessarily subjective definition of "certainty" is "the lack of any doubt about something", be that that I exist, or that something is inevitable. I see a small, but distinctive difference between the certainty of something and the necessity that this must be certain. Consider these two statements:

A) I am certain that God can and does save men, but it is not necessary that God saves men.

B) It is, however, necessary that God saves men if it is certain that God saves men.

In A, the subjective certainty that God saves men does not necessitate that God is obligated to save, thus there is a difference between " certainty " and "necessity". That God does save doesn't necessitate that he had to save.

But in example B) the necessity of God saving men is because of the certainty that that I know without doubt that God saves men. In other words, it is necessary that God has saved, because of the certainty that I am saved.

Both definition 3 and 4 are equally true in one sense, but not in the other.


Doug
 

Simpletruther

Well-known member
And definition 3 of the same source says:

3a: DEPENDABLE, RELIABLE
a certain remedy for the disease
b: known or proved to be true : INDISPUTABLE
it is certain that we exist

Is there any doubt that we exist?



But that doesn't mean that a) it is the correct definition for the context of discussion, or b) that my definition is not equally valid or explicitly more valid.



Be careful, Clay, Theo may call you on the carpet for depersonalizing me by referring to me as "the poster"! 😋



You had asked me and Tom and Simpletruther's to define our takes on certainty and necessity, and I said my personal, and thus necessarily subjective definition of "certainty" is "the lack of any doubt about something", be that that I exist, or that something is inevitable. I see a small, but distinctive difference between the certainty of something and the necessity that this must be certain. Consider these two statements:

A) I am certain that God can and does save men, but it is not necessary that God saves men.

B) It is, however, necessary that God saves men if it is certain that God saves men.

In A, the subjective certainty that God saves men does not necessitate that God is obligated to save, thus there is a difference between " certainty " and "necessity". That God does save doesn't necessitate that he had to save.

But in example B) the necessity of God saving men is because of the certainty that that I know without doubt that God saves men. In other words, it is necessary that God has saved, because of the certainty that I am saved.

Both definition 3 and 4 are equally true in one sense, but not in the other.


Doug
A speaks of moral obligation Right?

I would argue that
God is indeed morally obligated to save men, since He has eternally chosen to and promised to.

In every aspect of the word necessary, what comes to pass necessarily comes to pass.
 

Reformedguy

Well-known member
Thankfully, God places His Omnipotence upon Him being the Alpha and the Omega, while bestowing human free will in between. He controls all creation and all outcomes, allowing humans freedom of will before The Final Judgement.

Only The Father thru Christ could come up with such an arrangement to place both Divine Determinism and Human Free Will at the same time.
It's called compatibilism
 
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