Friday, May 07, 2010

Predestination / Free Will (2a)

We have seen God’s consistency between His nature and will. Now, we will look at that relationship within man, and how sin affects that relationship.

Augustine tackled the issue of the human nature in battle with Pelagius (early fifth century):
• Pre-Fall – agreement that Adam had both the ability to sin and the ability to not sin
• Post-Fall – disagreement
o Pelagius said there was no change in Adam’s offspring. They likewise have both
the ability to sin and the ability to not sin.
o Augustine said humanity was forever changed by the sin of Adam. Adam’s
offspring have the inability to not sin.

THE RESULT: The Doctrine of Original Sin – We sin because we are sinners; we are not sinners because we sin.

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5)
“Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies.” (Psalm 58:3)

Church Councils rejected Pelagius’ view and upheld Augustine’s view to conclude:
HUMAN NATURE IS SINFUL!

SIN in relation to the Human Will:

We have seen the correlation of God’s nature and God’s will, so we must ask: What affect does original sin (the sin nature) have on the human will? Several views of philosophy and theological soteriology will help us understand the orthodox position.

1) Fatalism
a. philosophy logically tied to atheistic evolution (chemicals and random chance)
b. no God or at best an impersonal deity
c. neither sin nor choices matter for the individual, though these matter for the species

2) Hyper-Calvinism
a. unorthodox Christian view
b. God is personal
c. sin corrupts all of man; choices do not matter (ie, evangelism, prayer, etc.)

3) Calvinism (John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Al Mohler) – GRACE ALONE
a. orthodox Christian view (usually associated with Reformed or Covenant Theology)
b. God is personal
c. sin corrupts all of man; choices matter (ie, evangelism, prayer, etc.)
d. grace is required to regenerate fallen man, to quicken the spiritually dead

4) Arminianism (Billy Graham, John Wesley, Bob Russell) – GRACE + MAN
a. orthodox Christian view
b. God is personal
c. sin corrupts all of man; choices matter
d. Prevenient grace is required to persuade fallen man to believe, to woo the sick to health

5) Semi-Pelagianism (Cassian) – MAN + GRACE
a. borders on unorthodox / orthodox Christian view
b. God is personal
c. Sin partially corrupts man, choices matter
d. grace is required to aid man spiritually after man first believes or desires to believe

6) Pelagianism (Pelagius) – MAN ALONE
a. unorthodox Christian view
b. God is personal
c. Sin does not corrupt man, choices matter
d. grace is NOT necessary to believe or even obey God. Grace makes it easier to obey

7) Open / Process Theism
a. growing in popularity, but considered by many to be an unorthodox Christian view
b. God is personal, to the point of learning and growing along with the world He made.
c. Sin affects man, but does not corrupt him, choices not only matter, but force God to react in ways which He may not have expected, because He does not know the future.
d. Two views:
i. Clark Pinnock, God’s foreknowledge is incomplete, because the future is uncertain.
ii. Greg Boyd, God’s foreknowledge is complete. He knows all of the future that is
certain. But parts of it do not exist; even God cannot know what does not exist.

3 comments:

Atif said...

Thanks for a good job of explaining things, some of which should be obvious, but none-the-less a nice summary. So, what's your position (as of today) regarding salvation?
Is it all God's choice, or does man have a choice in this matter?
Initially, man must specifically be chosen, right? But, can man finally and irrevocably choose to refuse this grace and lose his salvation?

Atif said...

Thanks for a good job of explaining things, some of which should be obvious, but none-the-less a nice summary. So, what's your position (as of today) regarding salvation?
Is it all God's choice, or does man have a choice in this matter?
Initially, man must specifically be chosen, right? But, can man finally and irrevocably choose to refuse this grace and lose his salvation?

Chip Crush said...

I'll continue to post excerpts from the study, and see if you can tell where I stand. Thanks!