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Thread: One on One: BR X - A Calvinist's Response (Ask Mr. Religion vs. Enyart)

  1. #46
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    AMRA-BEQ43

    BEQ43: In SLA-BEQ13/20, you wrote, ďProphecies of the future dealing with free agents and without error do prove foreknowledge.Ē Please indicate how you could rule out divine foreknowledge for FDR, who declared from the bombing of Pearl Harbor that America would win WWII, asserting on December 8, 1941 that, ďthe American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. Öwe will gain the inevitable triumph,Ē even though the decisions and actions of millions of independent humans, including the nations of the world, were required for the eventual fulfillment of FDRís prophecy. (And Iím not sure if you can find an FDR prophecy which did not come to pass, like Ninevehís, but if so please indicate how you can know it was not conditional.)

    AMRA-BEQ43 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Please review my discussion of this matter in AMRA-BEQ13.
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  2. #47
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    AMRA-BEQ44

    BEQ44: Please answer BEQ32: Considering not verbal revelation, but actual divine historical intervention, can you indicate if this statement is true: When God intervenes in history, the actual intervention itself cannot be a figure of speech!

    AMRA-BEQ44 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Asked and answered. See AMRA-BEQ32.
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  3. #48
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    AMRA-BEQ45

    BEQ45: I am curious, when Sam re-claimed Isaiah 40-48 as indicating exhaustive foreknowledge in 6A and 7A, why would Sam do so without addressing my extensive rebuttal of that argument in 3B?

    AMRA-BEQ45 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Dr. Lamerson responded:

    ďSLA-BEQ45: I believe that you will find my answer above more than enough. As to why I waited, I was trying to get clash on specific passages of Scripture. I choose the New Testament passages. Bob choose not to reveal his passages to me until the debate was nearly over and in a post that is way, way overlong.Ē

    You are probably unhappy with the response, and will be unhappy with my own in previous questions, for your ďextensive rebuttalĒ is a meandering discussion of President Rooseveltís tenure during World War II. Please review my discussion in AMRA-BEQ13 to refocus thinking on the Scriptural.
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  4. #49
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    AMRA-BEQ46

    BEQ46: Using the very first definition for change from Webster.com, ďto make different in some particular,Ē please answer forthrightly, ďIs God able to change such that He can have true relationship?Ē

    AMRA-BEQ46 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Asked and answered numerous times. Please review AMRA-BEQ35 for a summary and references to other AMRA-BEQx responses.
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  5. #50
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    AMRA-BEQ47

    BEQ47: Which of the following sets of Godís attributes do the four Gospels give emphasis to (whether to all, or to a subset):
    A: Living, Personal, Relational, Good, Loving
    B: Omniscience, Omnipresence, Omnipotence, Impassibility, Immutability


    AMRA-BEQ47 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Please review AMRA-BEQ3 for a proper treatment of the attributes of God. For example, ďrelationalĒ is not an attribute, but a derivative of the attribute of ďpersonalityĒ. As I have argued in AMRA-BEQ3, unsettled theism should resist using the methods of the cultists by creating lexicons that are at odds with orthodoxy.

    All of the Gospels give emphasis to all of Godís attributes. As answered in AMRA-BEQ2, every positive attribute of God inheres in all positive attributes of God.

    Matthew: Christ is the Messiah
    Mark: Christ is the Son of God and the Son of Man
    Luke: Christ is the Savior of the elect
    John: Christ Incarnate, the theanthropic God-man
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  6. #51
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    AMRA-BEQ48

    BEQ48: Before the foundation of the earth, did God foresee how proteins would be assembled, and then take the credit for designing the process (Ps. 139:13-16), or was it Godís own creative genius and abilities that enabled Him to design and implement DNA apart from foreseeing how a protein would be formed?

    AMRA-BEQ48 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    As I have argued in many responses, God decree determined all that was, is, and shall be. His decision to create was not made with any foreknowledge, but only from within His own good counsel and will. When God spoke the opening words of the Scriptures all physical and temporal existence began.

    There is not a single charmed quark, much less DNA that is not under Godís direct providential control in the universe. If Godís will is not sustaining the very structures that are holding the double-helix together, they (and we) would simply not exist.
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  7. #52
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    AMR-BEQ49

    BEQ49: Did God the Son remain as immutable through the Incarnation and the Crucifixion as you believe that God generally is?

    AMRA-BEQ49 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    Yes. Please see the extensive treatment of the Incarnate Christ in AMRA-BEQ16.
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  8. #53
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    AMRA-50

    BEQ50: Concerning the doctrine of immutability, give your definition of change, and explain how it is that God can change in relationship:
    A. within the Trinity, and
    B. with His creatures.


    AMRA-BEQ50 - Ask Mr. Religion Responds:
    God does not become different in some particular (i.e., change). He is eternally the same in all that He has revealed to us in His general and special revelations. God does not change in His relations to His creatures. Godís creatures change in relation to Him. We love God, He loves us with His unchanging love. We hate God, His wrath burns with an unchanging intensity. God the Father has eternally loved the Son and the Spirit with His unchanging love. Amen.
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  9. #54
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    Concluding Comments

    Well, this was fun and very hard work. These questions forced me to crisp up many things I had not thought much about in many years. For that I am grateful to have been given the opportunity and the forum by TOL.

    I hope the reader of this thread comes away with a greater appreciation for the doctrines of classical theism and the Reformed faith. If they do, then I count my labors as having been successful.

    For those wanting the reader's digest version of some of the key points of Reformed doctrines, see the three links in my signature below.
    Last edited by Ask Mr. Religion; October 1st, 2007 at 11:45 PM.
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  10. #55
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    AMR, Knight asked me for now to answer your one question...

    Thanks for going through all those 50 BR X questions AMR. I'll answer the one question you've asked for now (per Knight's request). On TOL we often discuss God and the future. We Open Thesists argue that God is a living Person, and that He therefore has a will, and therefore has the ability to decide, and that He remains eternally creative, and able to bring truly new things into existence (flowers, songs, books) and that therefore, because God has a will, and is eternally able, free and creative, the future is open because God is able.

    Before I answer your question, consider this personhood issue:

    To be a person means to possess a will. There is one God in three Persons, and each Person of the Godhead possesses a will. The primary way we can distinguish that God exists in a Trinity of three Persons (as opposed to a unitarian God) is by noticing in Scripture their respective wills, most explicitly portrayed in Gethsemane when God the Son said, ďnot as I will, but as You willĒ (Mat. 26:39).

    Greek words for will are thelo, boule, boulomai, etc. These words are used of the persons of the Trinity (John 5:30; 6:38, etc.), and basically of all other persons. As I glance very quickly at the New Testament I see these Greek words used: of the Gentiles (1 Pet. 4:3), of Josephís will (Mat. 1:19), of a plaintiffís will (Mat. 5:40), of a debtor (Mat. 5:42), of any man with self interest (Mat. 7:12), of Christís enemies (Mat. 12:38), of Herod (Mat. 14:5), of Joseph of Arimatheaís will (Luke 23:51), the majorityís will (Acts 27:12), the evil soldiersí will (Acts 27:42), the wills of evil men (1 Cor. 4:5), etc., etc., etc.

    Personhood requires a will. (Notice, by the way, how central this personhood thing is, and this made in Godís image thing, which must be admitted for a right understanding of most everything.) AMR, Iím taking it from memory that you asked me how it is, if the future is open, that I could trust that God will have the final victory. And here I pick up the dialogue from your post. I answered:

    BE: I have faith in God's wisdom, power, and love.

    AMR: Do you believe that God acts as a master chess player with wisdom, skill, and resourcefulness to bring about His purposes?

    (And then [I havenít looked up if anything transpired before the next quote]):

    BE: ...there is no such thing as overruling someone's will. That is a non sequitur. I'm not saying just that it is not possible, I am saying that it is not rational (it is illogical). Will is the ability to decide.

    AMR: I don't want to misunderstand you. Are you saying that you believe that God will always respect the free will of His creatures? Or are you saying that God cannot interfere with a person's free will--that it is an impossibility?

    Now fast-forward to the present. I try to not dodge questions, but to be direct and complete when I answer. So Iíll answer your question, as you put it, and then Iíll answer a few variations of your question, as I think you meant it.

    I am saying that God created creatures with a will, which is their ability to decide. Thus, when Gabriel loves God, it is not God deciding to love Himself through a zero-sum portal. It is Gabriel, this creature, exercising his will. There IS NO SUCH THING as God exercising Gabriel's will. That is a non sequitur. It is irrational. The very notion flows from a misunderstanding of fundamental personhood. There is no such thing as God exercising AMR's or Bob's wills, that is a non sequitur. (And I'm really glad that God is not the one who exercised my will in the godless ways that I have exercised it.) God created beings in His likeness, with a will (the ability to decide) and therefore, with the ability to love or hate, like Gabriel and Lucifer. God does not love Himself through Me, any more than He hates Himself through Lucifer. These are nonsense ideas.

    When you ask if God can ďinterfereĒ with a personís free will, perhaps you were imprecise. Interfere? Iíll answer your question with the word interfere, and then Iíll answer it with overrule, and some variations on overruling. If someone is counting to ten, and I spook them, Iíve interfered. If a Christian is deciding whether to marry an unbeliever, and I quote from Paulís epistle, Iíve interfered. God can rightly educate, urge, trick, etc., a person and thereby interfere with the exercise of his will, that is, to influence the outcome of the use of his will. That is a natural everyday process. But in the end, it is the manís will, deciding. But I think you wanted to ask something else, and something that is so irrational, that it is somewhat difficult to put into words. But Iíll try.

    If you were to ask, Can God overrule a manís free will? You might mean, Can He physically compel that man to take an action he otherwise would not take? For example, Can God levitate a gun into a manís hand, point it at someone, and force the manís muscles to pull the trigger? Of course. Yes. God has the raw power to pull the manís tendons. But is that overruling the manís will? No.

    Or, if you were to ask, Can God overrule a manís free will? You might mean, Can He psychologically manipulate a man to freely do something that he would never otherwise do? For example, Can God deceive a man into shooting someone he would never shoot of his own free will? Of course. Yes. God has the raw power to play such a trivial mind game, and give a person a delusion and make him think he is doing one thing, when he is actually doing another, or give him a delusion to make him think he must do a certain thing, for a very good reason, which reason doesnít actually exist. In some circumstances, administering drugs can do likewise. But is that overruling or overcoming the manís will? No.

    Or, if you were to ask, Can God overrule a manís free will? You might mean, Can He compel a man to freely do something that the man would never otherwise do, something the man is fully aware of, but something he would never do of his own independent will? For example, Herod willed to put John the Baptist to death. And although Herod willed (Greek thelo, will) to murder John, he feared the multitude, so he did not do what he willed (Mat. 14:5). A billion times a day Godís influence moves men to do otherwise than they would have done had His Spirit, His law, His Church, etc., not influenced them otherwise. But is that overruling or overcoming a manís will? No. Did the multitude overrule Herodís will? No.

    Or, if you were to ask, Can God overrule a manís free will? You might mean, Can HeÖ [ad infinitum]

    This is an exercise in nonsense. The best I can infer from your question AMR is that you mean to ask something like this: Can God overrule a manís free will in such a way that now the man actually wills something by his own free will that his own independent free will does not will. This is gibberish.

    Ask Mr. Religion, you donít realize this, but your question, Can God overrule a manís free will, is the same as asking, Can God unmake a person? Did God put eternity in a manís heart? That is, Is man created as necessarily an eternal creature? Or, Can God unmake a person? That is what you are asking.

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  11. #56
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    Thank you for your response. I appreciate the dissection of my question, but I don't think you keyed in on my actual words, to wit:

    AMR: I don't want to misunderstand you. Are you saying that you believe that God will always respect the free will of His creatures? Or are you saying that God cannot interfere with a person's free will--that it is an impossibility?

    Can you respond to the specific questions above? I believe you have answered the second item as "no, it is not impossible for God to do so, but it is absurd". Fair enough. But you have left the key item unanswered. Does God always respect the free will (by 'free will' I mean the libertarian free will assumed by the open theist) of His creatures?
    Last edited by Ask Mr. Religion; October 20th, 2007 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Clarified use of term 'free will'
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  12. #57
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    AMR, I'm done with your question of "will"

    AMR, I'm done with your question of will. I answered you directly.

    In December, Lord-willing, I plan on looking at your answers and making a reply. As for your answers to the BR X material, I hope you answered my questions directly and substantively. You just gave us an example of using obfuscation to ignore an answer to your own question. It would have been more instructive if you had actually addressed my answer, and then offered a follow up question.

    It is my observation, after many years of doing this (see BR X and our Bob Debates a Calvinist DVD), that Open Theists show more courage in answering questions directly, not because they are better debaters, but because we have truth on our side, and are therefore not afraid of any question. But thanks for participating here on TOL, so that various claims about truth and reality can be compared to Scripture and then weighed by so many others.

    The only regret I have in such debates is that a hardened Calvinist is far more of an insult to God than is a casual Calvinist. A studied Calvinist often disdains non-Calvinists, I believe, because they bring to his mind the severity of the charge, that the Calvinist falsely attributes all vulgar wickedness to the mind of God. To teach that from before the foundation of the world, God decreed all of mankind's sexual assault, cruelty, filth and rebellion is of course, blasphemy. Thankfully, God is rich in mercy even toward such Christians who insult His holiness.

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  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Enyart View Post
    AMR, I'm done with your question of will. I answered you directly.

    In December, Lord-willing, I plan on looking at your answers and making a reply. As for your answers to the BR X material, I hope you answered my questions directly and substantively. You just gave us an example of using obfuscation to ignore an answer to your own question. It would have been more instructive if you had actually addressed my answer, and then offered a follow up question.
    I gave your response its just due. I read it and easily saw it for what it was--a transparent attempt to avoid directly answering a simple question. Perhaps you can learn a thing or two from some of the other TOL regulars who seem to have no problem directly answering the question: "Does God always respect the free will of His creatures?" After all, you have truth on your side, no?

    No matter, I will take your previous lumbering response as "yes, God always respects the liberty of indifference (libertarian free will) of the person". I assumed this would be your answer. It strengthens the orthodox position that any guaranteed hope for the eschaton is impossible for the unsettled theist. Such a hope rests with a probabilistically governing God who not only cannot fix the date of the eschaton with certainty, but cannot even know when to fix that date.

    It is my observation, after many years of doing this (see BR X and our Bob Debates a Calvinist DVD), that Open Theists show more courage in answering questions directly, not because they are better debaters, but because we have truth on our side, and are therefore not afraid of any question. But thanks for participating here on TOL, so that various claims about truth and reality can be compared to Scripture and then weighed by so many others.
    Polemics and marketing commercials notwithstanding, your previous response is a veritable model of obfuscation and exudes the fear of a direct answer you just claimed to not possess.

    The only regret I have in such debates is that a hardened Calvinist is far more of an insult to God than is a casual Calvinist. A studied Calvinist often disdains non-Calvinists, I believe, because they bring to his mind the severity of the charge, that the Calvinist falsely attributes all vulgar wickedness to the mind of God. To teach that from before the foundation of the world, God decreed all of mankind's sexual assault, cruelty, filth and rebellion is of course, blasphemy. Thankfully, God is rich in mercy even toward such Christians who insult His holiness.
    Well, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. Like many within these forums, you presume to tell me what I and Calvinists believe. Not that I would mind, if only you and others would take the time and effort to get things correctly. Loaded language may be currency of the fanatical, but you cannot spend it among the more reasoned for such misinformed rhetoric is the hallmark of the superficial and intellectually lazy.

    Lord willing, if you ever get around to offering rejoinders to my responses to your questions, I hope you do so directly and substantively. If your most recent response is typical of your intentions, I recommend you forego the effort in favor of spending the holidays with your family.
    Last edited by Ask Mr. Religion; October 21st, 2007 at 02:46 PM.
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  14. #59
    Gold level Subscriber Bob Enyart's Avatar
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    I think AMR may have proved his claim against me...

    AMR, you said that I did not directly answering your question, and I think youíve come very close to proving your accusation. I was going to dismiss your claim, since I tried to answer fully, not only your question, but variations of your question that came closer to what you really meant to ask. But with all that, you convinced me that I must have been unclear when you took my answer to be the opposite of what I had intended. You gave me a multiple choice question with suggested A or B answers. My answer utterly rejected A, and I MUST HAVE BEEN UNCLEAR to some extent because, after reading my answer, you assumed I had actually answered A.

    Wow.

    So, Iíll repost, and make my answer more clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMR asked Bob
    Are you saying that you believe that [A] God will always respect the free will of His creatures? Or are you saying that [B] God cannot interfere with a person's free will--that it is an impossibility?
    I did not answer A. By A, I believe you meant: Bob, Does your Open Theism lead you to conclude that God willingly chooses to not violate a manís free will? I definitely donít mean that. (I hope I am being clear.) Selecting A would imply that there is a choice to make, but there is no such choice. Here are examples of this: God does not refrain from making a duplicate God fully like Himself by choice. That is irrational. God cannot duplicate Himself; He cannot make a rock bigger than He could lift, and then lift it; He cannot make Himself wicked and remain righteous; He cannot undo His own existence. These are irrational concepts. And so, if you were to ask Me, Does God refrain from duplicating Himself because He respects monotheism?, I would answer: Your question betrays a confusion about reality. That is an irrationality; that is not something God could do. And that is how I was responding to you.

    My answer to your A or B question included:
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob
    There IS NO SUCH THING as God exercising Gabriel's will. That is a non sequitur. It is irrational. The very notion flows from a misunderstanding of fundamental personhood. There is no such thing as God exercising AMR's or Bob's willsÖ
    Rejecting A as the answer, I went on to address B separately, because they were two different questions. And it seemed to me that your terminology was too loose to get to your actual question. I stated that ďinterfereĒ is perhaps too broad a word for what you meant to ask, because we all commonly ďinterfereĒ or, influence one another in the exercise of our wills, and this has nothing to do with your notion of ďrespecting someoneís free will.Ē Of course, God can and does interfere, i.e., influence us, in the exercise of our wills.

    But you interpreted all this as:
    Quote Originally Posted by AMR
    I will take your previous lumbering response as "yes, God always respects the liberty of indifference (libertarian free will) of the person".
    Boy! I must have been unclear for you to think I was selecting A as an answer. I had just utterly rejected A as irrelevant. But your confusion is reasonable evidence that I must have been unclear. Hence, this postÖ

    And not wanting to be unresponsive to the deeper question that you meant to ask, I went on to answer your question restated to: Can God overrule a manís free will? And I answered four versions of that question: physical, psychological, compel against his free will, compel with his free will.

    So, with your question restated, to Can God overrule a manís free will?, for all four versions of this question, I answered, ďNo.Ē (For the first three, I actually wrote the word, ďNo,Ē and for the fourth version, I used an idiom: gibberish which means ďNo!!Ē.)

    And even with all that clarification (I hope I am being clear), I still think it will be easy for AMR and others to misunderstand my answer, because people have a hard time separating the meaning of ďwill,Ē which is the ability to decide, from the figures of speech that grew out of that word, which are matters of achievability, instances, and valuations. Let me explain this, and then Iíll re-answer your question. ConsiderÖ

    Definition: Will is the ability to decide.

    Implications: Will can only be free. The Father wills to love the Son. Love requires will, meaning that it cannot exist apart from the ability to not love (hate). Oneís will is commonly confused with:
    * being able to achieve what we will (what we call ability or power)
    * an instance of the exercise of the will (a choice, decision, selection)
    * sets of values that the will prioritizes and decides between (preferences, principles)

    People confuse these figures for the original all the time! And for my TOL friends who have debated the meaning of will, consider that this pattern of confusion is not unexpected. For words have spheres of meaning, and words commonly become figures of speech taking on the above relationships. For example, to breathe means to inhale and exhale, which should not be confused with:
    * achieving the goal of each inhale (to be breathing, i.e., to be alive)
    * an instance of breathing (a breath)
    * sets of instances of easy respiration (take a breath, catch your breath, he needs a breather)

    On the next line, Iíve typed a word, followed by three related figures of speech:
    will, will, will, will.

    This word has an original meaning, and popular usage replicated it creating secondary figures related to the original.

    This happens with the word will, and people have a hard time distinguishing the ability to decide from achievability, instances, and valuations. For the remainder of this post, please keep these uses distinctly separate in your mind, and realize we are not talking about the common figures of will but will in its original meaning, which is, the ability to decide. Now to answer AMRís question again:

    To be a person means to possess a will. [And for Nangís sake, Iíll clarify: I did not intend that to be a definition; personhood means a lot of things, with a primary attribute being the possession of a will.] There is one God in three Persons, and each Person of the Godhead possesses a will. The primary way we can distinguish that God exists in a Trinity of three Persons (as opposed to a unitarian God) is by noticing in Scripture their respective wills, most explicitly portrayed in Gethsemane when God the Son said, ďnot as I will, but as You willĒ (Mat. 26:39).

    Greek words for will are thelo, boule, boulomai, etc. These words are used of the persons of the Trinity (John 5:30; 6:38, etc.), and basically of all other persons. As I glance very quickly at the New Testament I see these Greek words used: of the Gentiles (1 Pet. 4:3), of Josephís will (Mat. 1:19), of a plaintiffís will (Mat. 5:40), of a debtor (Mat. 5:42), of any man with self interest (Mat. 7:12), of Christís enemies (Mat. 12:38), of Herod (Mat. 14:5), of Joseph of Arimatheaís will (Luke 23:51), the majorityís will (Acts 27:12), the evil soldiersí will (Acts 27:42), the wills of evil men (1 Cor. 4:5), etc., etc., etc.

    Personhood requires a willÖ God created creatures with a will, which is their ability to decide. Thus, when Gabriel loves God, it is not God deciding to love Himself through a zero-sum portal. It is Gabriel, this creature, exercising his will. There IS NO SUCH THING as God exercising Gabriel's will. That is a non sequitur. It is irrational. The very notion flows from a misunderstanding of fundamental personhood. There is no such thing as God exercising AMR's or Bob's wills, that is a non sequitur. (And I'm really glad that God is not the one who exercised my will in the godless ways that I have exercised it.) God created beings in His likeness, with a will (the ability to decide) and therefore, with the ability to love or hate, like Gabriel and Lucifer. God does not love Himself through Me, any more than He hates Himself through Lucifer. These are nonsense ideas.

    When you ask if God can ďinterfereĒ with a personís free will, perhaps you were imprecise. Interfere? Iíll answer your question with the word interfere, and then Iíll answer it with overrule, and some variations on overruling. If someone is counting to ten, and I spook them, Iíve interfered. If a Christian is deciding whether to marry an unbeliever, and I quote Paul, Iíve interfered. God can rightly educate, urge, trick, etc., a person and thereby interfere with the exercise of his will, that is, to influence the outcome of the use of his will. That is a natural everyday process. But in the end, it is the manís will, deciding. But I think you wanted to ask something else, and something that is so irrational, that it is somewhat difficult to put into words. But Iíll try.

    If you were to ask, Can God overrule a manís free will? You might mean, Can He physically compel that man to take an action he otherwise would not take? For example, Can God levitate a gun into a manís hand, point it at someone, and force the manís muscles to pull the trigger? Of course. Yes. God has the raw power to pull the manís tendons. But is that overruling the manís will? No.

    Or, if you were to ask, Can God overrule a manís free will? You might mean, Can He psychologically manipulate a man to freely do something that he would never otherwise do? For example, Can God deceive a man into shooting someone he would never shoot of his own free will? Of course. Yes. God has the raw power to play such a trivial mind game, and give a person a delusion and make him think he is doing one thing, when he is actually doing another, or give him a delusion to make him think he must do a certain thing, for a very good reason, which reason doesnít actually exist. In some circumstances, administering drugs can do likewise. But is that overruling or overcoming the manís will? No.

    Or, if you were to ask, Can God overrule a manís free will? You might mean, Can He compel a man to freely do something that the man would never otherwise do, something the man is fully aware of, but something he would never do of his own independent will? For example, Herod willed to put John the Baptist to death. And although Herod willed (Greek thelo, will) to murder John, he feared the multitude, so he did not do what he willed (Mat. 14:5). A billion times a day Godís influence moves men to do otherwise than they would have done had His Spirit, His law, His Church, etc., not influenced them otherwise. But is that overruling or overcoming a manís will? No. Did the multitude overrule Herodís will? No.

    Or, if you were to ask, Can God overrule a manís free will? You might mean, Can HeÖ [ad infinitum]

    This is an exercise in nonsense. The best I can infer from your question AMR is that you mean to ask something like this: Can God overrule a manís free will in such a way that now the man actually wills something by his own free will that his own independent free will does not will. This is gibberish [which being translated, is: No].

    Ask Mr. Religion, you donít realize this, but your question, Can God overrule a manís free will, is the same as asking, Can God unmake a person? Did God put eternity in a manís heart? That is, Is man created as necessarily an eternal creature? Or, Can God unmake a person? That is what you are asking.

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  15. #60
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    Thank you for taking the time to elaborate more completely. It is appreciated. I am acknowledging I have seen your post and will respond, but before I do I think some clarifications are in order.

    Your argument is focused on assuming a definition of 'will' as the "ability to decide". It is a definition that I can agree with only in part and will so discuss in my forthcoming response. By making "the ability to decide" synonymous with 'will' as the linchpin of your response, you have moved the discussion dangerously close to the realm of philosophy, thus we will have to reach agreement or disagreement on what 'will' really means in a world full of living creatures. As you have written elsewhere I am forced to conclude that your notion of 'will' is not as simple as you would have me assume. Moreover, in a response to Lamerson's SLQ-3, you wrote "will is the ability to decide otherwise", yet your reply to me has omitted the key libertarian free will (the liberty of indifference) distinction, 'otherwise'. Am I to assume you have omitted this word intentionally or that your response to me defining 'will' should actually have included the word 'otherwise'? I am not trying to obfuscate here. I just need a very clear understanding of your definition of the word, 'will', given the different way you have so defined 'will' elsewhere.

    I assume that you will want to offer some clarification in light of these observations, especially since you are keen enough to understand why I am making a big deal about these two variants of the definition in light of our discussion, so I will await them before responding in full.
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