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How does David Heddle have the time to constantly crank out such interesting posts?

Here's his posts on Predestination(Calvinism) and Free Will(Arminianism):
Predestination
Sovereignty of God

Some comments from:
Jeffrey Collins
Robert Bauer

Though I haven't thought as long and deeply as all these men have, my own position is that God is totally sovereign and also man has complete free will.

One key question in the debate is who makes the final decision on believing God? God or man? If it's God, then man never really made a choice in the matter. If it's man, then God did not predetermine for a person to be saved.

God has to be sovereign, or else He is not God. Since God created the universe, He also knows completely how it works, when things will happen, and can intervene and make things happen.

The reason that man needs to have free will is in order to have the ability to love. Love by definition is a choice to give your heart to someone. Without the freedom to choose, there cannot be love. The ultimate example is sex. When two lovers with mutual consent have sex, it is considered as one of the highest expressions of love. However, without mutual consent, it is considered one of the most heinous crimes. When people get married, what are they asked? "Do you, Oliver, take Shiow-Lih to be your lawful and wedded wife?" Out of my own choice, I answered yes. I didn't grow up with Shiow-Lih prearranged as my wife while we were both young by our parents.

And what God wants from us is to love Him. If we had absolutely no choice but to love God, it would not be love. It's like me writting a program that constantly spits out, "Oliver, I love you. Oliver, I love you." The program doesn't love me cause it can't choose not to love me.

So, is God's sovereignty and man's free choice in opposition to each other? I don't think so. God can, and does, at time override people's free choice to carry out God's plans. But I think this is rare (like God hardening Pharoah's heart).

Does God know who will choose to believe in Him before people actually make a choice? Sure. God is not limited by time. The past, present, and future is all the same to Him. He sees it all in one shot. Like if I'm sitting in my chair at home, I can't see the ocean. But if I raise my elevation a bit and sit in a spaceship, I can see the oceans.

There are some that say that free will leads to glorification of man rather than God. That man is more important than God. It could head that way. And that line of thinking is wrong, of course. Where free will should conclude at is loving God. And also a worship of God that He gave us the ability to freely choose. It is the highest bestowment of responsibility that God has given man. The responsibility of being able to choose our own future.

Another issue that David Heddle brought up is that in a pure Arminian theology, man would never pursue God. Here I believe that God's grace is needed for repentance, but not sufficient. God needs to extend His grace, but then man needs to respond to that grace with a choice of either to accept or reject that grace.

Who does God decide to give grace to? Only to those that He already chosen? Well, God is omnipotent. He can give grace to whoever He wants. But He also gives grace as a result of man's actions. Like to those who humble themselves, God responds with grace.

Lastly, there is no reason to strictly fall in one camp or the other. Both camps have valid arguments, and both to some degree have truth. We see many dualities in the Bible that we take for fact, but can't fully explain. For example, Jesus was fully God and man, we're to worship God in spirit and in truth, our salvation is by faith and works, and Jesus is a lion and a lamb.

Further Reading:
Calvinism Vs Arminian
Sovereignty and Free Will - Jack Cottrell
Predestination vs Free Will - Matthew Lynch
Doctrines of Grace: Answers to Arminian Arguments
Armenian - Sung Wook Chung
Jonathan Edwards on the Will
Calvinism, Arminianism, and Eternal Security
Essays for Arminians
Predestination, Free Will
The Sovereignty of God and the Responsibility of Man
Free Agency and the Will

Posted: 2002-06-28 10:20:26



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