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Thread: God's prescriptive will and His decretive will

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    Never, never, never give up. Knight's Avatar
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    God's prescriptive will and His decretive will

    This is a continuation from the Open Theism thread. I wanted to separate it out so we could focus in on it.

    Let me set it up...

    On the other thread I asked Jim... "Does God's "prescriptive will" obey/follow His "decretive will" in every and all cases?"

    To which Jim responded...
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilston
    No. In fact, rarely does God's prescriptive will line up with His decretive will. For example, God prescription is that each and every man repent and submit to His law. But God's decree is that most men are unrepentant and reject His law. And all of it is for God's good purposes (i.e. His decretive will).

    Thanks for your questions,
    AATGD, OC.
    TITR,
    :j
    Thanks Jim. I wonder why God would intentionally decree things that go against His will? That seems to be my biggest stumbling block regarding your position.

    Let me try to explain how I view God's will. (then you can mock my position)

    (keep in mind this is just an analogy it will have flaws and break down in parts, so humor me)

    Imagine a dirt path leading through a forest. The path has boundaries (say like a fence). You cannot go outside the path (the fence keeps you on the path). You also cannot go backwards on the path, you must keep moving forward.

    So, you keep moving forward and you cannot leave the path.

    Yet as you move along the path you can freely choose how you move down the path. You can walk on the right side or you might choose to walk on the left side. You might trip and fall! You might skip down the path. Maybe you will sing or hum or whistle as you walk down the path. The way you walk down the path is almost completely up to you.

    The path is like God's decretive will (as you call it). God has set a boundary that keeps our wills limited. Our will is free but not unlimited. It's constrained to the path i.e., God has set how wide the path is and God knows when the path will turn or when the path will end. We cannot thwart the overall layout of the path.

    Now...
    God doesn't want us to trip and scratch our knee. He doesn't want us to walk on the left side of the path, He wants us to walk on the right side of the path. God knows the best way to walk down the path and He tells us all sorts of principles that help us to know the best way to walk down the path. He doesn't want us hurting others on the path along the way etc. etc. etc., all of this stuff within the boundary of the path is God's prescriptive will (as you call it). God doesn't use His decretive will to make us fall and hurt ourselves or hurt others on the path, He only uses His decretive will as a boundary for the path.

    That's the way I see God's prescriptive will and His decretive will.

    It seems to me that you believe that God's decretive will not only defines the path but also every detail of how we walk down the path, i.e., how we hurt others on the path, how and when we fall, and even how the dust kicks up when we hit the ground etc. etc. etc. I have a hard time understanding how God's prescriptive will comes into play in any real way under your view. But I fully admit I could just be misunderstanding your position and I don't want to do that.

    Maybe you could use my analogy (about the path of life) and tell me how you think your belief about God's will(s) fit into my analogy.

    Again, thanks for all your effort on TOL, I really do appreciate you and all the thought and compassion you display on TOL.
    Last edited by Knight; September 19th, 2006 at 03:33 PM.
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    Over 750 post club Agape4Robin's Avatar
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    Are there really such words as "prescriptive will" and "decretive will"?:squint:
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    Never, never, never give up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agape4Robin
    Are there really such words as "prescriptive will" and "decretive will"?:squint:
    I don't know... but if there isn't, there should be.

    "prescriptive will" and "decretive will" are Jim's terms, that's why I am using them, not to mention that off the top of my head I can't think of any better terms so I am thankful Jim thought of them.
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    Over 750 post club Agape4Robin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    I don't know... but if there isn't, there should be.

    "prescriptive will" and "decretive will" are Jim's terms, that's why I am using them, not to mention that off the top of my head I can't think of any better terms so I am thankful Jim thought of them.
    Thanks Knight!

    And where would I find the description of these terms?
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    Never, never, never give up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agape4Robin
    Thanks Knight!

    And where would I find the description of these terms?
    Well... you could read my opening post in this thread where I expalin how I view the terms.

    Here are a couple quotes from Jim that might help you understand how he views the terms...
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilston
    Disobedience to God's prescriptive will is true disobedience. There's no such thing as "obeying" or "disobeying" God's decretive will. It is inexorable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilston
    No. In fact, rarely does God's prescriptive will line up with His decretive will. For example, God prescription is that each and every man repent and submit to His law. But God's decree is that most men are unrepentant and reject His law. And all of it is for God's good purposes (i.e. His decretive will).

    Thanks for your questions,
    AATGD, OC.
    TITR,
    :j
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    A decretal system and a 'two wills' concept are deductive attempts to prop up a flawed theology. They are not inductive or based on sound exegesis. The mental gymnastics reminds me of Molinism's confusing ideas (that do not resolve the problematic issues).
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    Never, never, never give up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godrulz
    A decretal system and a 'two wills' concept are deductive attempts to prop up a flawed theology. They are not inductive or based on sound exegesis. The mental gymnastics reminds me of Molinism's confusing ideas (that do not resolve the problematic issues).
    I think I disagree.

    Even from the OV perspective an argument can be made that God has more than one type of will.

    After all... God wills that we do not hurt one another yet He also wills to give us a will of our own in which we often hurt one another.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    I think I disagree.

    Even from the OV perspective an argument can be made that God has more than one type of will.

    After all... God wills that we do not hurt one another yet He also wills to give us a will of our own in which we often hurt one another.

    I think I need to be more precise. I also talk about a sovereign will, moral will, will of men, permissive will, etc. Different Greek words are used for 'will'.

    What I object to is that God has a secret, hidden, mysterious will that is contrary to His revealed will (they are in conflict or man cannot understand His higher ways...evil is not God's will....saying that He wanted or caused evil for a higher purpose contrary to His revealed will makes God schizo and acting contrary to His character).
    Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agape4Robin
    Thanks Knight!

    And where would I find the description of these terms?

    If you find a "Hilston" post, it will most likley have a link in his signature or at the bottom to an article he wrote on this. That will get you up to speed on what they mean.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agape4Robin
    Thanks Knight!

    And where would I find the description of these terms?
    Check out one of the links in Jim's signiture, I think one of them leads to his website which goes into great lengths on the topic.

    EDIT: Oh, I didn't see V45 already said this.
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    Never, never, never give up. Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuySmiley
    Check out one of the links in Jim's signiture, I think one of them leads to his website which goes into great lengths on the topic.

    EDIT: Oh, I didn't see V45 already said this.
    Actually that link is one of the reasons I created this thread.

    Jim's article does explain his position some, but still leaves me saying.... hmmmm I just don't get it.

    Hopefully this thread will shed new light.
    Last edited by Knight; September 19th, 2006 at 04:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    Jim's article does explain his position some, but till leaves me saying.... hmmmm I just don't get it.
    I read it, and I'm with ya!
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    I have a reply in the works. I haven't forgotten about this thread.

    All according to God's decrees, of course.
    Jim

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    In other words, Plan A and Plan B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight
    I think I disagree.

    Even from the OV perspective an argument can be made that God has more than one type of will.

    After all... God wills that we do not hurt one another yet He also wills to give us a will of our own in which we often hurt one another.
    But those actions aren't HIS will, they're OURS.

    And God's purpose in giving us a free will wasn't for the purpose of hurting one another.

    Thus, God isn't decreeing the sin of man. Man sins against God's decree.

    Muz
    I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

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