Free Republic
Browse · Search
Smoky Backroom
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

On the Freedom of the Will: Part II: Section I (Refuting Arminian Free-Willism)
CCEL ^ | 1754 | Jonathan Edwards

Posted on 02/10/2004 10:46:05 AM PST by ksen

On the Freedom of the Will

PART II

Section I: Showing the manifest inconsistence of the Arminian notion of Liberty of Will, consisting in the Will's self-determining Power.

Having taken notice of those things which may be necessary to be observed, concerning the meaning of the principal terms and phrases made use of in controversies concerning human liberty, and particularly observed what Liberty is according to the common language and general apprehension of mankind, and what it is as understood and maintained by Arminians; I proceed to consider the Arminian notion of the Freedom. of the Will, and the supposed necessity of it in order to moral agency, or in order to any one's being capable of virtue or vice, and properly the subject of command or counsel, praise or blame, promises or threatenings, rewards or punishments; or whether that which has been described, as the thing meant by Liberty in common speech, be not sufficient, and the only Liberty, which make, or can make any one a moral agent, and so properly the subject of these things. In this Part, I shall consider whether any such thing be possible or conceivable, as that Freedom of Will which Arminians insist on; and shall inquire, whether any such sort of Liberty be necessary to moral agency, &c. in the next part. And first of all, I shall consider the notion of a self-determining Power in the Will: wherein, according to the Arminians, does most essentially consist the Will's freedom; and shall particularly inquire, whether it be not plainly absurd, and a manifest inconsistence, to suppose that the Will itself determines all the free acts of the will.

Here I shall not insist on the great impropriety of such ways of speaking as the Will determining itself; because actions are to be ascribed to agents, and not properly to the powers of agents; which improper way of speaking leads to many mistakes, and much confusion, as Mr. Locke observes. But I shall suppose that the Arminians, when they speak of the Will's determining itself, do by the Will mean the soul willing. I shall take it for granted, that when they speak of the will, as the determiner, they mean the soul in the exercise of a power of willing, or acting voluntarily. I shall suppose this to be their meaning, because nothing else can be meant, without the grossest and plainest absurdity. In all cases when we speak of the powers or principles of acting, or doing such things we mean that the agents which have these Powers of acting, do them, in the exercise of those Powers. So where we say, valor fights courageously, we mean, the man who is under the influence of valor fights courageously. Where we say, love seeks the object loved, we mean, the person loving seeks that object. When we say, the understanding discerns, we mean the soul in the exercise of that faculty So when it is said, the will decides or determines, this meaning must be, that the person, in the exercise of: Power of willing and choosing, or the soul, acting voluntarily, determines.

Therefore, if the Will determines all its own free acts the soul determines them in the exercise of a Power of willing and choosing; or, which is the same thing, it determines them of choice; it determines its own acts, by choosing its own acts. If the Will determines the Will then choice orders and determines the choice; and acts c choice are subject to the decision, and follow the conduct of other acts of choice. And therefore if the Will deter mines all its own free acts, then every free act of choice is determined by a preceding act of choice, choosing that act. And if that preceding act of the will be also a free act. then by these principles, in this act too, the will is self-determined: that is, this, in like manner, is an act that the soul voluntarily chooses; or, which is the same thing, it is an act determined still by a preceding act of the will, choosing that. Which brings us directly to a contradiction: for it supposes an act of the Will preceding the first act in the whole train, dieting and determining the rest; or a free act of the Will, before the first free act of the Will. Or else we must come at last to an act of the will, determining the consequent acts, wherein the Will is not self-determined, and so is not a free act, in this notion of freedom: but if the first act in the train, determining and fixing the rest, be not free, none of them all can be free; as is manifest at first view, but shall be demonstrated presently.

If the Will, which we find governs the members of the body, and determines their motions, does also govern itself, and determines its own actions, it doubtless determines them the same way, even by antecedent volitions. The Will determines which way the hands and feet shall move, by an act of choice: and there is no other way of the Will's determining, directing, or commanding any thing at all. Whatsoever the will commands, it commands by an act of the Will. And if it has itself under its command, and determines itself in its own actions, it doubtless does it the same way that it determines other things which are under its command. So that if the freedom of the will consists in this, that it has itself and its own actions under its command and direction, and its own volitions are determined by itself, it will follow, that every free volition arises from another antecedent volition, directing and commanding that: and if that directing volition be also free, in that also the will is determined; that is to say, that directing volition is determined by another going before that; and so on, till we come to the first volition in the whole series: and if that first volition be free, and the will self-determined in it, then that is determined by another volition preceding that. Which is a contradiction; because by the supposition, it can have none before it, to direct or determine it, being the first in the train. But if that first volition is not determined by any preceding act of the Will, then that act is not determined by the Will, and so is not free in the Arminian notion of freedom, which consists in the Will's self-determination. And if that first act of the will which determines and fixes the subsequent acts, be not free, none of the following acts which are determined by it can be free.-- If we suppose there are five acts in the train, the fifth and last determined by the fourth, and the fourth by the third, the third by the second, and the second by the first; if the first is not determined by the Will, and so not free, then none of them are truly determined by the Will: that is, that each of them are as they are, and not otherwise, is not first owing to the will, but to the determination of the erst in the series, which is not dependent on the will, and is that which the will has no hand in determining. And this being that which decides what the rest shall be, and determines their existence; therefore the first determination of their existence is not from the Will. The case is just the same, if instead of a chain of five acts of the Will, we should suppose a succession of ten, or an hundred, or ten thousand. If the first act he not free, being determined by something out of the will, and this determines the next to be agreeable to itself, and that the next, and so on; none of them are free, but all originally depend on, and are determined by, some cause out of the Will; and so all freedom in the case is excluded, and no act of the will can be free, according to this notion of freedom. If we should suppose a long chain of ten thousand links, so connected, that if the first link moves, it will move the next, and that the next; and so the whole chain must be determined to motion, and in the direction of its motion, by the motion of the first link; and that is moved by something else; in this case, though all the links, but one, are moved by other parts of the same chain, yet it appears that the motion of no one, nor the direction of its motion, is from any self-moving or self-determining power in the chain, any more than if every link were immediately moved by something that did not belong to the chain.-- If the Will be not free in the first act, which causes the next, then neither is it free in the next, which is caused by that first act; for though indeed the Will caused it, yet it did not cause it freely; because the preceding act, by which it was caused, was not free. And again, if the Will be not free in the second act, so neither can it be in the third, which is caused by that; because in like manner, that third was determined by an act of the Will that was not free. And so we may go on to the next act, and from that to the next; and how long soever the succession of acts is, it is all one: if the first on which the whole chain depends, and which determines all the rest, be not a free act, the Will is not free in causing or determining any one of those acts; because the act by which it determines them all is not a free act; and therefore the Will is no more free in determining them, than if it did not cause them at all.-- Thus, this Arminian notion of Liberty of the Will, consisting in the will's Self-determination, is repugnant to itself, and shuts itself wholly out of the world.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 1,151-1,186 next last
For your consideration....
1 posted on 02/10/2004 10:46:06 AM PST by ksen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: drstevej; OrthodoxPresbyterian; CCWoody; Wrigley; Gamecock; Jean Chauvin; jboot; jude24; ...

GRPL Ping!

2 posted on 02/10/2004 10:48:34 AM PST by ksen (This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ksen
A great lesson from one of our great preachers.

Thank you for the post.
3 posted on 02/10/2004 11:24:00 AM PST by Gamecock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ksen; xzins; Vernon; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; connectthedots
I honestly don't think Edwards knows what he is talking about. I know I have no idea what he is talking about. You posted it. It must have meant something to you. Perhaps you can explain what he is saying and why you felt the irresistible urge to post it.

Thanks

Marlowe
4 posted on 02/10/2004 11:27:06 AM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xzins; P-Marlowe; Corin Stormhands; Vernon

GAPL Ping! ;^)

5 posted on 02/10/2004 11:29:59 AM PST by ksen (This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ksen; P-Marlowe
You got a version of this in English?

How many wills will a willchuck will...
6 posted on 02/10/2004 11:37:18 AM PST by Corin Stormhands (www.wardsmythe.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands
You got a version of this in English?

Have you ever used that translation thing on Yahoo or google? I can't decide if its already been used, or if it needs to be used.

7 posted on 02/10/2004 11:49:02 AM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
Edwards wrote all that to say that the Will is not a free moral agent. It does not act on its own. It is bound by the person, who is the moral agent.
8 posted on 02/10/2004 11:54:55 AM PST by ksen (This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Revelation 911; ksen
do you guys have to demean and denigrate everyone to raise your self esteem ?

Not this one Rev. ksen is not flame baiting. We are friends in RL.

I think he would enjoy a serious discussion.

But this article, this afternoon, makes my brain hurt.

10 posted on 02/10/2004 12:01:04 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (www.wardsmythe.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
That's why Christendom is messed up- Theologians. They think they know best for everyone else.
11 posted on 02/10/2004 12:03:19 PM PST by Gotterdammerung
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: ksen; xzins; Vernon; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; connectthedots
Edwards wrote all that to say that the Will is not a free moral agent. It does not act on its own. It is bound by the person, who is the moral agent.

So he took that many words to create a straw man. Nobody has ever said that the will alone is a free moral agent or that the will acts wholly independent of extant circumstances and events and persuasions or that it is not bound in some way or the other by the creator.

That being said, why the rant against Arminians. Arminians don't even believe what Edwards is claiming they do.

12 posted on 02/10/2004 12:05:09 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands; ksen
with that - I will ask for my post to be pulled - apologies to ksen
13 posted on 02/10/2004 12:07:54 PM PST by Revelation 911
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
Okay, so if the Will itself is not free, by your own admission, what is the "free" agent that makes Will make its decision for Christ?
14 posted on 02/10/2004 12:08:36 PM PST by ksen (This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands
Yeah, my brain hurt a little too. Maybe when it fades we can discuss just what exactly is "Free" in Free-Will.
15 posted on 02/10/2004 12:10:15 PM PST by ksen (This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ksen
I'll read it again tonite.
16 posted on 02/10/2004 12:11:21 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (www.wardsmythe.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: ksen
I have to admit with our Arminian friends, unless you're into diagraming sentences this is a difficult read. I'm going to have to break it down.
17 posted on 02/10/2004 12:24:06 PM PST by HarleyD (READ Your Bible-STUDY to show yourself approved)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ksen; xzins; Vernon; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; connectthedots
Okay, so if the Will itself is not free, by your own admission, what is the "free" agent that makes Will make its decision for Christ?

I did not say that the will is not free. But as with all freedoms, it has its limitations. Being able to accept or reject the Gospel of Christ is not one of those limitations. God grants sufficient grace to men to make a knowing decision and allows them the free will to do it. It does not diminish God's sovereignty if he sovereignly grants to men that ability. He gives men the ability to do lots of things. How does that subtract from his sovereignty?

18 posted on 02/10/2004 12:24:15 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: HarleyD; ksen
...unless you're into diagraming sentences this is a difficult read...

You know, I was never taught to diagram sentences.

19 posted on 02/10/2004 12:34:47 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (www.wardsmythe.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe; ksen
Sorry, guys.

I read Vernon's Wesley sermon earlier today.

I have a vow not to read old english more than once on any given day! Ouch...it makes my head hurt....not the words but the patterns of speech and thought.

20 posted on 02/10/2004 12:35:22 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: HarleyD; xzins; Vernon; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; P-Marlowe
I have to admit with our Arminian friends, unless you're into diagramming sentences this is a difficult read. I'm going to have to break it down.

If a guy can't write so his message can be clearly understood by someone of reasonable intelligence without having to carefully parse the words it isn't worth reading.

Thus, this Arminian notion of Liberty of the Will, consisting in the will's Self-determination, is repugnant to itself, and shuts itself wholly out of the world.

I love these kinds of conclusions. Kind of reminds me of a college philosophy instructor who said "Whenever an argument concludes the the phrase 'So, obviously..., you can be assured of one thing; there is nothing obvious about the conclusion."

21 posted on 02/10/2004 12:38:00 PM PST by connectthedots (Recognize that not all Calvinists will be Christians in glory.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: ksen; HarleyD; xzins; Vernon; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; P-Marlowe
My H.S. English teacher would rip this guy a new one with all the indefinite references.
22 posted on 02/10/2004 12:40:31 PM PST by connectthedots (Recognize that not all Calvinists will be Christians in glory.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: connectthedots
"If a guy can't write so his message can be clearly understood by someone of reasonable intelligence without having to carefully parse the words it isn't worth reading."

I wouldn't say just because you can't understand Shakespeare you shouldn't read it. This obviously is from a different era. Many of the early church fathers works are in very difficult prose but is worth figuring out. Heck, sometimes my pastor sounds like this. :O)

23 posted on 02/10/2004 12:44:31 PM PST by HarleyD (READ Your Bible-STUDY to show yourself approved)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: HarleyD
Many of the early church fathers works are in very difficult prose but is worth figuring out. Heck, sometimes my pastor sounds like this. :O)

You have my deepest sympathy. ;-)

there is an excellent book on preaching titled A Handful of Stars by Maurice Berquist and Gerald Marvel. Gerald is a retired pastor and a good friend of mine. Best preaching speaker I have ever heard. You could always give it to your pastor as a gift.

Pastor's, and their flocks would be better served by emulating the preaching of Christ rather than giving theology lectures.

Gerald Marvel would rarely preach for more than 30 minutes. He believed that if you can't get the point across in 30 minutes, you definitely can't do it in an hour. Prior to his retirement five years ago, he asked the congregation to submit requests of sermons people would like to hear again. Of the 12 or so he preached the last three months of his ministry, I distinctly remembered at least ten of them, some of them preached at least 5-19 years earlier. He also never preached from notes, but even if you were to listen to him preach in successive services, there ere only rare, and slight deviations in the words used.

BTW, he barely graduated from college, but he was a man of God. Far from being perfect, and he easily acknowledged it as well.

24 posted on 02/10/2004 12:58:09 PM PST by connectthedots (Recognize that not all Calvinists will be Christians in glory.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: ksen; P-Marlowe; connectthedots; xzins; Revelation 911; Vernon; The Grammarian
And therefore if the Will determines all its own free acts, then every free act of choice is determined by a preceding act of choice, choosing that act.

Is he really saying that if there is a choice made that all future choices can't be choices because of the first choice? That makes no sense.

It might be a valid thought if Arminians said there were no consequences for choices made. But we don't say that.

25 posted on 02/10/2004 1:57:10 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (www.wardsmythe.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands; ksen; xzins; P-Marlowe
I recently picked up a copy of Chosen But Free by Norman Geisler, which purports itself to be a "balanced" view of divine election. It posits that 5-point Calvinism is "extreme" Calvinism, and "moderate" Calvinism (Amyrauldian 4-point Calvinism) is the 'middle ground' between "extreme" Calvinism and Arminianism. (Insert eye-rolling gif here.) Of course, he manages to hide the statement that he is a 'moderate' Calvinist pretty well inside the book, but that's really beside the point. One of the appendices the man has in his book is on Edwards' "Freedom of the Will." Here's what he says:

Edwards argued that all actions are caused, since it is irrational to claim that things arise without a cause. But for him a self-caused action is impossible, since a cause is prior to an effect, and one cannot be prior to himself. Therefore, all actions are ultimately caused by a First Cause (God). "Free choice" for Edwards is doing what one desires--but God gives the desire to do good. Hence, all good human actions are determined by God. Evil actions are determined by the strongest desires of an evil nature left to itself. ...Jonathan Edwards saw a dilemma for all those who reject his view: Either there is an infinite regress of causes or else there is no motive to act....As we shall see, Edwards has posed a false dilemma, since the actions can be caused by the Self and not by another. True, every action is caused. But from this it does not follow that every actor is caused to act by another actor. This is not true of God's free actions; they are self-caused (i.e., caused by His Self). Likewise, creatures made in God's image have the God-given power to cause their own moral actions. This alternative is not only logically possible, but it is the only one that can explain how [Satan] and Adam were able to sin. On Edwards' view that God could not have given them the desire to sin, nor did they have a sinful nature to determine their actions, then they must have been the first cause of their own evil actions. But this is the very view of freedom that Edwards rejects.

Opponents to Edwards' determinism respond as follows. First, defining free choice as "doing what one desires" is contrary to experience. For people do not always do what they desire, nor do they always desire to do what they do (cf. Rom. 7:15-16).

Second, Edwards also misunderstands self-determinism as free acts caused by other free acts. Rather, it means simply that a self can cause something else to happen. That is, a free agent can cause a free action without that free action needing another cause ad infinitum.

Third, Edwards has a faulty, mechanistic view of human personhood. He likens human free choice to balancing scales in need of more pressure in order to tip the scales one way or the other. But humans are not machines; they are persons made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27).

Fourth, Edwards wrongly assumes that self-determinism is contrary to God's sovereignty. But God pre-determined things in accordance with free choice, rather than in contradiction to it. Even the Calvinistic Westminster Confession of Faith declares that "although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly, yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently" (V, ii).

As far as my own response, I would choose my terms more carefully. "Free will" is not a philosophical term, for literally, it means "free want," or the freedom to want. Thus, though Edwards is right, technically, he is right only because he is using the term 'free will' in a different sense (the proper sense) than what most Arminians do. When an Arminian says "free will," he really means "free agency," for that is the proper term for the ability to choose without internal or external coersion or necessitating influence between two or more choices. See also the threads here and here.

26 posted on 02/10/2004 2:43:33 PM PST by The Grammarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: connectthedots
Gerald Marvel would rarely preach for more than 30 minutes. He believed that if you can't get the point across in 30 minutes, you definitely can't do it in an hour.

"The age of short sermons is the age of shallow piety." --Bishop Warren Akin Candler, UMC, Giants Against The Sky. My personal opinion of sermonettes. ;)

27 posted on 02/10/2004 2:48:25 PM PST by The Grammarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian; P-Marlowe; Corin Stormhands
His point about "get the point across in 30 minutes" is totally insignificant to an expository preacher.

If one is preaching a bible passage, the text itself is the point. The beautiful thing, I think, about expository preaching/teaching is that the congregation is able to follow right along in their bibles.



28 posted on 02/10/2004 3:24:31 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: ksen
The fatal flaw in this is the fact that every thing has a begining, including free will. The only exception is God himself who has no begining or end. Satan exercise it(free will) when he fell out along with a third of the angel. Man exercise free will when he ate of the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And every one exercise free will to choose or not to choose Jesus Christ as Savior. God has given us free will even if the theologian don't like it. Every thing created has a begining, including free will. The Arminian are simple wrong on free will and have no proof in this life to show it. There bases on free will is asumption only and no proof.
29 posted on 02/10/2004 3:27:05 PM PST by Warlord David
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Warlord David
The Arminian are simple wrong on free will and have no proof in this life to show it. There bases on free will is asumption only and no proof.

Say what? None of this makes sense. (Incidentally, is English your first language?)

30 posted on 02/10/2004 3:32:38 PM PST by The Grammarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: xzins
If one is preaching a bible passage, the text itself is the point. The beautiful thing, I think, about expository preaching/teaching is that the congregation is able to follow right along in their bibles.

I've yet to figure out exactly what 'expository preaching' is, despite the fact that I've been told that the C&MA church I went to for a while, and the UMC church I go to presently have expository preachers. Is there some leeway with the term, or is it reading a passage and then offering comments on it, then repeating the process?

31 posted on 02/10/2004 3:34:51 PM PST by The Grammarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: The Grammarian
There is some leeway.

Some will attempt to render a single point out of a broad passage and attempt to organize the elements of the passage and the story of the passage in making that point.

The best, though, in my opinion, is the systematic exposition of chapters and verses; the going in depth as the preacher walks the congregation through the bible.

Go here: http://www.calvarychapel.com/library/smith-chuck/index.htm

Some are transcripts and others are sound-filed. Check it out.
32 posted on 02/10/2004 3:50:01 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: HarleyD; ksen; xzins; Vernon; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; connectthedots
I challenge anyone to diagram the first sentence. Anyone.

Having taken notice of those things which may be necessary to be observed, concerning the meaning of the principal terms and phrases made use of in controversies concerning human liberty, and particularly observed what Liberty is according to the common language and general apprehension of mankind, and what it is as understood and maintained by Arminians; I proceed to consider the Arminian notion of the Freedom of the Will, and the supposed necessity of it in order to moral agency, or in order to any one's being capable of virtue or vice, and properly the subject of command or counsel, praise or blame, promises or threatenings, rewards or punishments; or whether that which has been described, as the thing meant by Liberty in common speech, be not sufficient, and the only Liberty, which make, or can make any one a moral agent, and so properly the subject of these things.

Any takers out there?

33 posted on 02/10/2004 3:54:54 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe; HarleyD; ksen; Vernon; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; connectthedots
Since this guy's style was to READ his sermons to his congregation, wouldn't you have just LOVED to sit through that first sentence?!?
34 posted on 02/10/2004 3:58:46 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: xzins; ksen; HarleyD; Vernon; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; The Grammarian
Was this a sermon or an essay?

His sermons are entirely readable. This is an abberation. Some of his sermons make perfect sense, like this one:

O thou poor distressed soul! whoever thou art, consider that Christ mentions thy very case when he calls to them who labor and are heavy laden! How he repeatedly promises you rest if you come to him! In the 28th verse he says, "I will give you rest." And in the 29th verse, "Ye shall find rest to your souls." This is what you want. This is the thing you have been so long in vain seeking after. O how sweet would rest be to you, if you could but obtain it! Come to Christ, and you shall obtain it. And hear how Christ, to encourage you, represents himself as a lamb! He tells you, that he is meek and lowly in heart, and are you afraid to come to such a one! And again, Rev. 3:20. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and I will sup with him and he with me." Christ condescends not only to call you to him, but he comes to you; he comes to your door, and there knocks. He might send an officer and seize you as a rebel and vile malefactor, but instead of that, he comes and knocks at your door, and seeks that you would receive him into your house, as your Friend and Savior. And he not only knocks at your door, but he stands there waiting, while you are backward and unwilling. And not only so, but he makes promises what he will do for you, if you will admit him, what privileges he will admit you to; he will sup with you, and you with him.

See what clarity of thought went into that snippet? And then, when he attacks Arminianism, its like he's writing in tounges.

35 posted on 02/10/2004 4:22:53 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
Arminian sermons make so much more sense.

Determinist sermons are so very, very ponderous....and sleepy....."poppies....poppies.....ahhh ha ha ha ha...I'll get you my pretty!"
36 posted on 02/10/2004 4:26:57 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
Must be the tongues of angels. :O) :O) :O)

JUST KIDDING!
37 posted on 02/10/2004 4:35:07 PM PST by HarleyD (READ Your Bible-STUDY to show yourself approved)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: HarleyD; xzins
Must be the tongues of angels. :O) :O) :O)

1Co 14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
1Co 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

Can I get an interpretation? Or shall we just insist on his silence?

38 posted on 02/10/2004 4:42:35 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: xzins; ksen; HarleyD; Vernon; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; The Grammarian
Here's another easily diagrammed passage by Jonathan Edwards:

By your choosing Christ for your friend and portion, you will obtain these two infinite benefits.

1) Christ will give himself to you, with all those various excellencies that meet in him, to your full and everlasting enjoyment. He will ever after treat you as his dear friend; and you shall ere long be where he is, and shall behold his glory, and dwell with him, in most free and intimate communion and enjoyment....

Notice the clairity of thought that Mr. Edwards displays when he is preaching LIKE an Arminian as opposed to when he is preaching AGAINST Arminianism.

Coinicidence? I don't think so.

39 posted on 02/10/2004 5:04:49 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
when he attacks Arminianism, its like he's writing in tounges.

Perhaps it is the kind of logic needed in an attack on Arminianism?

40 posted on 02/10/2004 5:25:26 PM PST by Vernon (Sir "Ol Vern" aka Brother Maynard, a child of the King!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
Free will preaching is so much more clear.

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

Pretty simple, huh?

As opposed to:

"Sit there and listen to this. If it suddenly dawns on you while I'm talking that God picked you to go to heaven and everyone else to go to hell, then you're one of the elect."
41 posted on 02/10/2004 5:25:37 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: ksen
I find it fascinating how all the Arminians whine and complain about how hard it is to read, and accuse him, Edwards, of lacking clarity of thought (when they haven't taken the trouble to learn what that thought is in the first place) except for sermons which they think sound Arminian. All it takes is a little discipline to apply yourself to the text, and they'd see that Edwards eviscerates libertarian free will.
42 posted on 02/10/2004 6:01:42 PM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
And then, when he attacks Arminianism, its like he's writing in tounges.

I heard that.

43 posted on 02/10/2004 6:13:48 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (www.wardsmythe.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: A.J.Armitage
Sorry A.J. we have been reading it. I'm sure it says what you want it to say.
44 posted on 02/10/2004 6:16:41 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (www.wardsmythe.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands
I heard that.

Yes, but do you have the interpretation?

45 posted on 02/10/2004 6:16:56 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
Yes, but do you have the interpretation?

Well, no. And you know what that means...

46 posted on 02/10/2004 6:18:12 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (www.wardsmythe.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: P-Marlowe
You've confused clarity of expression for clarity of thought. So I'll give you a link to a clear expression of Calvinism. God's Sovereignty in the Salvation of Men "Those who are in a state of salvation are to attribute it to sovereign grace alone, and to give all the praise to him, who maketh them to differ from others."
47 posted on 02/10/2004 6:18:23 PM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Corin Stormhands
You have? I guess between the time you asked for an English version and now you must've learned a foreign language.
48 posted on 02/10/2004 6:20:41 PM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: A.J.Armitage; P-Marlowe; xzins
Have I done an exhaustive study? No. Do I plan to do one? No.

But I have attempted to understand, or to clarify in part what he is saying.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1075320/posts?page=25#25

So, if it's so clear to you, either enlighten us, or be quiet.
49 posted on 02/10/2004 6:23:51 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (www.wardsmythe.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: A.J.Armitage; xzins; ksen; HarleyD; Vernon; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; The Grammarian
All it takes is a little discipline to apply yourself to the text, and they'd see that Edwards eviscerates libertarian free will.

OK Einstein. Why don't you explain, or translate, or paraphrase, or whatever, the first sentence of Mr. Edward's rant so that us stupid people can understand it.

Having taken notice of those things which may be necessary to be observed, concerning the meaning of the principal terms and phrases made use of in controversies concerning human liberty, and particularly observed what Liberty is according to the common language and general apprehension of mankind, and what it is as understood and maintained by Arminians; I proceed to consider the Arminian notion of the Freedom of the Will, and the supposed necessity of it in order to moral agency, or in order to any one's being capable of virtue or vice, and properly the subject of command or counsel, praise or blame, promises or threatenings, rewards or punishments; or whether that which has been described, as the thing meant by Liberty in common speech, be not sufficient, and the only Liberty, which make, or can make any one a moral agent, and so properly the subject of these things.

50 posted on 02/10/2004 6:28:02 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o* &AAGG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 1,151-1,186 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Smoky Backroom
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson