Friday, June 10, 2011

God's Gracious Gift to Humanity is the "Capacity of Free Will"

Alan Kurschner has posted an interesting article. He recounts a discussion he's been having with an Arminian named Martin Glynn. The article revolves around this question Alan poses:

Since you believe that God is all-powerful and all-loving, why does God not cause everyone to be saved?
Good question. It's not just for the Arminian but also the Calvinist. Both agree that God is all-powerful and all-loving. I think Calvinism answers this question well, however I don't think Arminian salvific theology does as good a job. Kurschner is correct in writing:

Instead, the Bible affirms that the human ability to resist God's grace is grounded in our sinful rebellious nature. God's grace effects Man to live righteously---not to provide us some anthropological "neutral will."
I don't see how this can be argued against.

Glynn finally gets to answering my question: "Because He wants us to make a choice."

His answer demonstrates that the non-Calvinist couches the ultimate reason for their salvation in their own will.

“But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name–he has given the right to become God’s children –children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.” (John 1:12–13)

Next he writes: "This is the nature of love. If you love someone, do you force them to be with you, or do you want them to want to be with you? Hopefully the latter."
Glynn's answer doesn't really answer the question. The Bible is clear that without God we can't choose to love him. We are stuck in our hatred of God. And unable to come to Him on our own.
We love God because He first loved us - not because we thought it was a good idea at the time!

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. - Romans 8:5-8

44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. - John 6:44

18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. - 1 John 4: 18-20

I thought that this was a great article and I can't recommend it highly enough.

God's Gracious Gift to Humanity is the "Capacity of Free Will"
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