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Old 09-16-2001, 04:51 PM   #1
David M. Payne
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Cool Where did the religious doctrine of “Free Will” come from?

I have looked for the root of this doctrine “God gave us free will” and can’t find it in the bible or any other source I have available to me. I find lots of references to free will, but they are not specific as to where the doctrine came from. I suspect that it was created to counter the statement of Epicurus about God, (from Encarta) “that God can prevent evil and chooses not to (and therefore is not good) of chooses to prevent it and cannot (and therefore is not all-powerful.)” Any help from the Sec-Web regulars would be appreciated.
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Old 09-16-2001, 06:32 PM   #2
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But if people's futures aren't known by God then God isn't omniscient. If God does know people's futures then when before he created the world, he would have known that it would result in billions suffering eternally in hell, and he would knowingly be the cause of it all and therefore not be omnibenevolent.

But anyway, about the origin of the free will argument - I think there was someone called Calvin who supported the opposite - predestination - maybe Calvin was responding to an earlier idea of free will. Or the free will argument was a response to Calvin.
But I guess the argument of free will is very old. It is really about fate vs. free will and doesn't necessarily involve the Christian God.
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Old 09-16-2001, 08:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by David Payne:
<STRONG>I have looked for the root of this doctrine “God gave us free will” and can’t find it in the bible or any other source I have available to me. I find lots of references to free will, but they are not specific as to where the doctrine came from. I suspect that it was created to counter the statement of Epicurus about God, (from Encarta) “that God can prevent evil and chooses not to (and therefore is not good) of chooses to prevent it and cannot (and therefore is not all-powerful.)” Any help from the Sec-Web regulars would be appreciated.</STRONG>
God gave us a free will which allowed man to break and violate the first "thou shalt not" with the apple analogy. After this we lost our free will and our redemption will return our free will to us.

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Old 09-17-2001, 08:13 AM   #4
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David:
Go to the Search feature (also listed at the top of every page) and check out the Open Forums and the Archives. There are some lengthy threads on this topic.
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Old 09-17-2001, 04:08 PM   #5
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Considering the price God allegedly exacts for those who exercise their wills contrary to his wishes, I would hardly call it "free."
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Old 09-21-2001, 08:29 PM   #6
David M. Payne
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Quote:
Originally posted by gravitybow:
<STRONG>David:
Go to the Search feature (also listed at the top of every page) and check out the Open Forums and the Archives. There are some lengthy threads on this topic.</STRONG>
Thanks GB, I've done that and couldn't find a definitive quote as to who first said it. I'm looking for a single first source if there is one, and all I find are multiple possibilities for the doctrine’s origin. I may be looking for something that doesn’t exist.
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Old 09-22-2001, 03:19 AM   #7
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David

It seems to me that a 'natural' reading of the Bible - certainly the Old Testament - implies it throughout...

It is a more artificial theological construct to say that the existence of an omniscient outside-time God precludes human free-will...

It makes every invitation in the Bible a mockery or a sham if there is no such thing as free-will which really violates God's nature that He does not 'lie' imo.

But heck what do I know?

So anyway, a few verses...

This first one I think is even very timely, being related to the Jewish High Holidays...

Deaut 30:19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Was God (speaking through Moses ) lying??? Was He kidding??? If they really couldn't choose, then yes has to be the only answer...

Essentially the same invitation to choose is here...

Josh 24:14 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Skipping to the end of the Bible, the same thing...

Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Theologians have kind of wrapped the "But all our choice is motivated by God's choice of us" around this.

So you end up with theology that has little to do with human experience...because I can guarantee you that there is no-one who ever felt they had literally and experientially "no choice" to believe...there was an offer, experientially, and it was received, accepted by faith.

There was no coercion except in that sense of irresistible 'grace', in that it might have not been an offer that was able to be refused because it was too good to refuse...dare I say it was an infallible seduction, perhaps?

Some people will understand what I meant by that. Probably more will understand than will admit to it.

love
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Old 09-22-2001, 06:20 PM   #8
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Amos:
Quote:
God gave us a free will which allowed man to break and violate the first "thou shalt not" with the apple analogy. After this we lost our free will and our redemption will return our free will to us.
Principally, your statement fails to address the question, namely, is there a specific passage stating that we have free will? On a secondary note, if I follow, you are stating that as a result of the fall we have lost our free will, and that redemption (through Jesus?) will restore it. The inherent problem with this logic is that to be redeemeed we must make a conscious choice to follow biblical doctrine. To make a choice we need free will, or we are not really making a choice at all...

Or, have I misunderstood?
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Old 09-22-2001, 07:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Synthetik:
<STRONG>Amos:


Principally, your statement fails to address the question, namely, is there a specific passage stating that we have free will? On a secondary note, if I follow, you are stating that as a result of the fall we have lost our free will, and that redemption (through Jesus?) will restore it. The inherent problem with this logic is that to be redeemeed we must make a conscious choice to follow biblical doctrine. To make a choice we need free will, or we are not really making a choice at all...

Or, have I misunderstood? </STRONG>
Perhaps you misunderstood. Man lost his free will with the formation of his conscious mind wherefore he wa sno longer naked to wit and thus felt shame, hence the figleave. prior to this man was naked [to wit] and felt no shame (last line in Gen.2).

You are wrong in your idea of redemption which is not to be found in the bible nor in studying the bible (Jn.5:39-40). It is also not true that we must make a conscious choice to seek salvation by following religious doctrine because in fact the opposite is true (the cross of eternal salvation is for sinners only). All we have to do is stray from a certain flock under the right conditions. You are confused between salvation from carnal desire and salvation from God (Jn.1:13) which I hold is opposite to each other. One leads to eternal life and the other to eternal damnation.

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Old 09-22-2001, 08:31 PM   #10
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Amos:
Quote:
Perhaps you misunderstood. Man lost his free will with the formation of his conscious mind wherefore he wa sno longer naked to wit and thus felt shame, hence the figleave. prior to this man was naked [to wit] and felt no shame (last line in Gen.2).
This statement, particularly the phrase "Man lost his free will with the formation of his conscious mind", strikes me as absurd.

I think I'll back out of this discussion rather than anger myself over your doublethink. Good day.
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