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The Pelagian Captivity of the Church

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Good commentary. I take issue with the quotes above which is an quantitatively insignificant portion of the article. I usually (always?) come out battered and bruised when I disagree was Augustine and Calvin, but let's keep it interesting ... if nothing else you can smile at my ignorance.

 

I say the statements are not true for the following reasons and scriptures:

It denies the sovereignty of God. It says Adam / Eve had "free will". It is ironic that these titans of reform should advocate that men are able to act outside the will of God. If man is able to operate outside the will of God, I ask "where does this will come from"? Is it not God that created all things for His purpose alone? Does an all-wise God have no purpose/plan in many areas? To proceed without a complete plan does not seem all-wise. Is there a power outside of God's will and if so, what is it and who controls it? If someone is capable of doing something independent of God, how does God learn what they will do? If someone can do something independent of God's will, then God doesn't know what the person will do which implies God is not omniscient (or at least at one time He was until He found out what the future would be in these areas where man is independent of God.

 

@Fastfredy0,

 

I am going to rewind a bit. I have a couple of questions.

 

I say the statements are not true for the following reasons and scriptures:

It denies the sovereignty of God. It says Adam / Eve had "free will". It is ironic that these titans of reform should advocate that men are able to act outside the will of God.

 

I have no idea as to where you are gathering that any Reformed Titan suggested that Adam and Eve had an autonomous (free) will. I'm asking you to clarify because it appears to me that you built on a false statement.

 

These two quotes are what you were addressing. I find it difficult to know whether you took them in context. Just making sure so I am providing the context:

 

First Augustine:

 

So in the ensuing debate, Augustine made it clear that in creation, God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing. But once transgression entered and mankind became fallen, God’s law was not repealed nor did God adjust his holy requirements downward to accommodate the weakened, fallen condition of his creation. God did punish his creation by visiting upon them the judgment of original sin, so that everyone after Adam and Eve who was born into this world was born already dead in sin. Original sin is not the first sin. It’s the result of the first sin; it refers to our inherent corruption, by which we are born in sin, and in sin did our mothers conceive us. We are not born in a neutral state of innocence, but we are born in a sinful, fallen condition. Virtually every church in the historic World Council of Churches at some point in their history and in their creedal development articulates some doctrine of original sin. So clear is that to the biblical revelation that it would take a repudiation of the biblical view of mankind to deny original sin altogether.

 

"God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing." Seems you take issue with this, and I think I can understand why.

 

And then Calvin:

 

Do we have a will? Yes, of course we have a will. Calvin said, if you mean by a free will a faculty of choosing by which you have the power within yourself to choose what you desire, then we all have free will. If you mean by free will the ability for fallen human beings to incline themselves and exercise that will to choose the things of God without the prior monergistic work of regeneration then, said Calvin, free will is far too grandiose a term to apply to a human being.

 

My initial response questioned your definition of free will, because I reject mankind having autonomous or libertarian wills. I'll have to ask you to provide a source of any Reformed "titans" suggesting that Adam and Eve had an autonomous will.

 

Now I have a couple of questions for you on the subject of Adam and Eve.

 

When God made Adam and Eve He said that it was good. So, Adam was good.

  • "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them . . . And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." Gen. 1:27, 31.

The simple question I have was in what sense was Adam "good"? And had Adam the "ability" to not sin and carry out the commandment to not eat of the fruit thereof? I mean Augustine says at this point Adam and Eve were not commanded anything that they could not of done, after all, they lacked original sin at this point or a sin nature. Correct me if you think I am wrong? But I do not see how corruption and/or sin marred the image of God at this point?

 

Personally, I think Satan was an external influence of greater force than Adam's and/or Eve's ability to reject sin. That is, Adam was not tempted by a "sin nature" but rather by an outside influence as we are tempted by Satan and the World around us. I see no evidence that Adam and Eve were divine and lacked the ability to sin, and I see nothing said about Adam and Eve having a sin nature but were at this point simply good.

 

As to why Satan was even there, of course, I acknowledge Genesis 3:1:

  • Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Obviously, Satan is a master craftsman at his trade and quite capable of accomplishing his objective. Was he put in the garden intentionally? That is to tempt Adam and Eve?

 

Of course I believe Satan was in the garden intentionally, he was put there because God not only permitted Satan to be there but because He had a plan which is found in Genesis 3:15:

  • I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

The offspring of the woman will crush Satan.

  • Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
  • Hebrews 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

One aspect of God's plan in my view was for the crushing of Satan upon the cross by Christ Jesus.

 

God bless,

William

I have found over the years to make a subtle distinction between will and volition. Even though they are completely synonymous I use the terms to differentiate mans ability to make normal choices such as what job to work, what to wear what to eat etc. and will as the ability to choose God in and of oneself. It appears to work well for it seperates mans ability to choose things as opposed to mans inability to choose God on his own.

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@William Gee. This is getting complex. I am going to skip the comment of Calvin I alluded to, to clear the air a little.

 

The question to be addressed: I'll have to ask you to provide a source of any Reformed "titans" suggesting that Adam and Eve had an autonomous will.

My answer: Augustine implies that Adam had an autonomous will when he says “God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing.” I object to this statement because it gives the impression that Adam was capable of not sinning in regards to the eating of the tree of Knowledge. To be capable of (1) sinning or (2) not sinning indicates an autonomous will to me. If you do not agree, then I guess our minor disagreement simply boils down to our interpretation of Augustine’s statement. I think this is the crux of our discussion/disagreement?

During his time of “probation” in the garden, he had the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. He chose to exercise the ability to sin and thus plunged the race into ruin.

 

 

Your Questions

Agreed, Adam did not have a sin nature. Adam was good before the fall.

 

Correct me if you think I am wrong? But I do not see how corruption and/or sin marred the image of God at this point? Agreed

 

Agreed that: “Of course I believe Satan was in the garden intentionally, he was put there because God not only permitted Satan to be there but because He had a plan”

 

Thx for your patience.

If I may butt in with your dialogue with William. When Adam sinned- the image of God was not marred- but destroyed! Adam died spiritually and the process of physical death began.

 

Adam was trichotomous- body soul and spirit which correspond to the triune god. Man is born a dichotomous being, Just body and soul as Paul reminds us that unsaved man is not marred spiritually, but dead spiritually. Only saved man is trichotomous because his spirit is now made alive again and the ability to fellowship and serve God has been quickened in them.

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If I may interject a thought -- ever since Lucifer was thrown out of heaven as well as the other angels who followed him -- and cast down here to earth -- Lucifer, then becoming satan -- has been out to destroy everything that God puts into existence. God had given Adam and then Eve, One instruction -- only one thing that they were Not to do. God already knew that A/E would succomb to the serpent's disception. They tried to cover up their sin by their own 'leaves' , but God provided the first 'covering for sin' through the shed blood of an animal. Genesis 3:21.

 

God's provision through the cross -- will enable a future New Jerusalem to exist in the Future. This present earth will be destroyed -- evil will be in eternal torment in lake of fire -- and believers will Again be in a perfect world -- with God -- again -- with His people who started out being Adam and Eve.

 

There will Also be the 1,000 reign of Christ here on earth with satan being locked up in the Abyss. After he's released -- there will be the final war and God Will Be the Winner.

 

The 1,000 yrs. will take place Before 'this' happens.

 

And, it Does get a bit confusing.

Hi Sue:

 

Yes, Eschatology can be confusing because we fail to construct the whole picture from the whole of end time prophesy scattered through the pages of Scripture. HAving taught eschatology in bible college as well as bible institute, I am well area of how much "opinion" and private interpretation has not crept in, but flooded into the subject of end times.. though difficult- I am convinced one can become quite astute in knowing what the end time holds (not the minutiae of the hows the what s will come to pass). I have studied eschatology for several decades and have looked at many many "views" of end times, including cultic views. Once one learns from Scripture the "rules" for understanding prophesy, then all that is left is just doing the leg work of studying scripture.

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@William Gee. This is getting complex. I am going to skip the comment of Calvin I alluded to, to clear the air a little.

 

The question to be addressed: I'll have to ask you to provide a source of any Reformed "titans" suggesting that Adam and Eve had an autonomous will.

My answer: Augustine implies that Adam had an autonomous will when he says “God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing.” I object to this statement because it gives the impression that Adam was capable of not sinning in regards to the eating of the tree of Knowledge. To be capable of (1) sinning or (2) not sinning indicates an autonomous will to me. If you do not agree, then I guess our minor disagreement simply boils down to our interpretation of Augustine’s statement. I think this is the crux of our discussion/disagreement?

During his time of “probation” in the garden, he had the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. He chose to exercise the ability to sin and thus plunged the race into ruin.

 

 

Your Questions

Agreed, Adam did not have a sin nature. Adam was good before the fall.

 

Correct me if you think I am wrong? But I do not see how corruption and/or sin marred the image of God at this point? Agreed

 

Agreed that: “Of course I believe Satan was in the garden intentionally, he was put there because God not only permitted Satan to be there but because He had a plan”

 

Thx for your patience.

If I may butt in with your dialogue with William.

Your 'butt' is always welcome. I agree with your comments. (well, I've read that there is no difference between "spirit and soul" so I am on the fence on that)

 

I believe the crux of the debate is whether Adam was "free" to decide to remain sinless. I do not believe Adam was able of remaining sinless and Augustine believes Adam was capable.

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@William Gee. This is getting complex. I am going to skip the comment of Calvin I alluded to, to clear the air a little.

 

The question to be addressed: I'll have to ask you to provide a source of any Reformed "titans" suggesting that Adam and Eve had an autonomous will.

My answer: Augustine implies that Adam had an autonomous will when he says “God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing.” I object to this statement because it gives the impression that Adam was capable of not sinning in regards to the eating of the tree of Knowledge. To be capable of (1) sinning or (2) not sinning indicates an autonomous will to me. If you do not agree, then I guess our minor disagreement simply boils down to our interpretation of Augustine’s statement. I think this is the crux of our discussion/disagreement?

During his time of “probation” in the garden, he had the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. He chose to exercise the ability to sin and thus plunged the race into ruin.

 

 

Your Questions

Agreed, Adam did not have a sin nature. Adam was good before the fall.

 

Correct me if you think I am wrong? But I do not see how corruption and/or sin marred the image of God at this point? Agreed

 

Agreed that: “Of course I believe Satan was in the garden intentionally, he was put there because God not only permitted Satan to be there but because He had a plan”

 

Thx for your patience.

Though I disagree with Augustine on manythings, here we agree totally. Adam could have passed teh test and confirm his creaturely holiness. God foreknew but did not predetermine Adam to fall. The rest of us are predetermined to fall for we inherit a nature of sin.

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@William Gee. This is getting complex. I am going to skip the comment of Calvin I alluded to, to clear the air a little.

 

The question to be addressed: I'll have to ask you to provide a source of any Reformed "titans" suggesting that Adam and Eve had an autonomous will.

My answer: Augustine implies that Adam had an autonomous will when he says “God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing.” I object to this statement because it gives the impression that Adam was capable of not sinning in regards to the eating of the tree of Knowledge. To be capable of (1) sinning or (2) not sinning indicates an autonomous will to me. If you do not agree, then I guess our minor disagreement simply boils down to our interpretation of Augustine’s statement. I think this is the crux of our discussion/disagreement?

During his time of “probation” in the garden, he had the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. He chose to exercise the ability to sin and thus plunged the race into ruin.

 

 

Your Questions

Agreed, Adam did not have a sin nature. Adam was good before the fall.

 

Correct me if you think I am wrong? But I do not see how corruption and/or sin marred the image of God at this point? Agreed

 

Agreed that: “Of course I believe Satan was in the garden intentionally, he was put there because God not only permitted Satan to be there but because He had a plan”

 

Thx for your patience.

Adam could have passed teh test and confirm his creaturely holiness.

@nolidad So, following through with that thought ... are you therefore saying that the plan (decree) of God to offer himself as the spotless lamb was a contingent plan? That the plan was based on Adam's independant (free will) decision? That all mankind's sin, eternal hell, etc. was left to the free will decision of Adam?

 

My other questions ...If man is able to operate outside the will of God, I ask "where does this will come from"? Is it not God that created all things for His purpose alone? Does an all-wise God have no purpose/plan in other areas? To proceed without a complete plan does not seem all-wise; agreed? Is there a power outside of God's will and if so, what is it and who controls it? If someone is capable of doing something independent of God, how does God learn what they will do? If someone can do something independent of God's will, then God doesn't know what the person will do which implies God is not omniscient (or at least at one time He was until He found out what the future would be in these areas where man is independent of God.)

 

That's my thoughts. :)

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@William Gee. This is getting complex. I am going to skip the comment of Calvin I alluded to, to clear the air a little.

 

The question to be addressed: I'll have to ask you to provide a source of any Reformed "titans" suggesting that Adam and Eve had an autonomous will.

My answer: Augustine implies that Adam had an autonomous will when he says “God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing.” I object to this statement because it gives the impression that Adam was capable of not sinning in regards to the eating of the tree of Knowledge. To be capable of (1) sinning or (2) not sinning indicates an autonomous will to me. If you do not agree, then I guess our minor disagreement simply boils down to our interpretation of Augustine’s statement. I think this is the crux of our discussion/disagreement?

During his time of “probation” in the garden, he had the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. He chose to exercise the ability to sin and thus plunged the race into ruin.

 

 

Your Questions

Agreed, Adam did not have a sin nature. Adam was good before the fall.

 

Correct me if you think I am wrong? But I do not see how corruption and/or sin marred the image of God at this point? Agreed

 

Agreed that: “Of course I believe Satan was in the garden intentionally, he was put there because God not only permitted Satan to be there but because He had a plan”

 

Thx for your patience.

Hi Fastfredy, No Jesus' death was not a kind of plan B. Revelation 13:8 King James Version (KJV)

8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

all of this was foreknown by god- and though Jesus death occurred in time around 30A.D. His death was accounted from before creation.

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Good commentary. I take issue with the quotes above which is an quantitatively insignificant portion of the article. I usually (always?) come out battered and bruised when I disagree was Augustine and Calvin, but let's keep it interesting ... if nothing else you can smile at my ignorance.

 

I say the statements are not true for the following reasons and scriptures:

It denies the sovereignty of God. It says Adam / Eve had "free will". It is ironic that these titans of reform should advocate that men are able to act outside the will of God. If man is able to operate outside the will of God, I ask "where does this will come from"? Is it not God that created all things for His purpose alone? Does an all-wise God have no purpose/plan in many areas? To proceed without a complete plan does not seem all-wise. Is there a power outside of God's will and if so, what is it and who controls it? If someone is capable of doing something independent of God, how does God learn what they will do? If someone can do something independent of God's will, then God doesn't know what the person will do which implies God is not omniscient (or at least at one time He was until He found out what the future would be in these areas where man is independent of God.

 

@Fastfredy0,

 

I am going to rewind a bit. I have a couple of questions.

 

I say the statements are not true for the following reasons and scriptures:

It denies the sovereignty of God. It says Adam / Eve had "free will". It is ironic that these titans of reform should advocate that men are able to act outside the will of God.

 

I have no idea as to where you are gathering that any Reformed Titan suggested that Adam and Eve had an autonomous (free) will. I'm asking you to clarify because it appears to me that you built on a false statement.

 

These two quotes are what you were addressing. I find it difficult to know whether you took them in context. Just making sure so I am providing the context:

 

First Augustine:

 

So in the ensuing debate, Augustine made it clear that in creation, God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing. But once transgression entered and mankind became fallen, God’s law was not repealed nor did God adjust his holy requirements downward to accommodate the weakened, fallen condition of his creation. God did punish his creation by visiting upon them the judgment of original sin, so that everyone after Adam and Eve who was born into this world was born already dead in sin. Original sin is not the first sin. It’s the result of the first sin; it refers to our inherent corruption, by which we are born in sin, and in sin did our mothers conceive us. We are not born in a neutral state of innocence, but we are born in a sinful, fallen condition. Virtually every church in the historic World Council of Churches at some point in their history and in their creedal development articulates some doctrine of original sin. So clear is that to the biblical revelation that it would take a repudiation of the biblical view of mankind to deny original sin altogether.

 

"God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing." Seems you take issue with this, and I think I can understand why.

 

And then Calvin:

 

Do we have a will? Yes, of course we have a will. Calvin said, if you mean by a free will a faculty of choosing by which you have the power within yourself to choose what you desire, then we all have free will. If you mean by free will the ability for fallen human beings to incline themselves and exercise that will to choose the things of God without the prior monergistic work of regeneration then, said Calvin, free will is far too grandiose a term to apply to a human being.

 

My initial response questioned your definition of free will, because I reject mankind having autonomous or libertarian wills. I'll have to ask you to provide a source of any Reformed "titans" suggesting that Adam and Eve had an autonomous will.

 

Now I have a couple of questions for you on the subject of Adam and Eve.

 

When God made Adam and Eve He said that it was good. So, Adam was good.

  • "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them . . . And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." Gen. 1:27, 31.

The simple question I have was in what sense was Adam "good"? And had Adam the "ability" to not sin and carry out the commandment to not eat of the fruit thereof? I mean Augustine says at this point Adam and Eve were not commanded anything that they could not of done, after all, they lacked original sin at this point or a sin nature. Correct me if you think I am wrong? But I do not see how corruption and/or sin marred the image of God at this point?

 

Personally, I think Satan was an external influence of greater force than Adam's and/or Eve's ability to reject sin. That is, Adam was not tempted by a "sin nature" but rather by an outside influence as we are tempted by Satan and the World around us. I see no evidence that Adam and Eve were divine and lacked the ability to sin, and I see nothing said about Adam and Eve having a sin nature but were at this point simply good.

 

As to why Satan was even there, of course, I acknowledge Genesis 3:1:

  • Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Obviously, Satan is a master craftsman at his trade and quite capable of accomplishing his objective. Was he put in the garden intentionally? That is to tempt Adam and Eve?

 

Of course I believe Satan was in the garden intentionally, he was put there because God not only permitted Satan to be there but because He had a plan which is found in Genesis 3:15:

  • I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

The offspring of the woman will crush Satan.

  • Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
  • Hebrews 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

One aspect of God's plan in my view was for the crushing of Satan upon the cross by Christ Jesus.

 

God bless,

William

I think Augustine's contribution is greatly being misunderstood in this thread. "It was St. Augustine who gave the church a close analysis of the state of freedom that Adam enjoyed before the Fall. Augustine’s classic concept of freedom distinguished four possibilities. In Latin, they are:

 

1. posse pecarre—referring to the ability to sin.

2. posse non-pecarre—referring to the ability not to sin, or to remain free from sin.

3. non-posse pecarre—referring to the inability to sin.

4. non-posse, non-pecarre—referring to the inability not to sin."

 

It's a long but fascinating read: https://www.christforums.org/forum/christian-community/reformed-theology/63402-the-meaning-of-man%E2%80%99s-will

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If I may interject a thought -- ever since Lucifer was thrown out of heaven as well as the other angels who followed him -- and cast down here to earth -- Lucifer, then becoming satan -- has been out to destroy everything that God puts into existence. God had given Adam and then Eve, One instruction -- only one thing that they were Not to do. God already knew that A/E would succomb to the serpent's disception. They tried to cover up their sin by their own 'leaves' , but God provided the first 'covering for sin' through the shed blood of an animal. Genesis 3:21.

 

God's provision through the cross -- will enable a future New Jerusalem to exist in the Future. This present earth will be destroyed -- evil will be in eternal torment in lake of fire -- and believers will Again be in a perfect world -- with God -- again -- with His people who started out being Adam and Eve.

 

There will Also be the 1,000 reign of Christ here on earth with satan being locked up in the Abyss. After he's released -- there will be the final war and God Will Be the Winner.

 

The 1,000 yrs. will take place Before 'this' happens.

 

And, it Does get a bit confusing.

Thanks for sharing your background -- quite interesting. I've grown up in a large conservative Baptist church in Iowa -- went to Bible college in Pa and then in Iowa - FBBC. My husband has an M.A. in Theology and one year of seminary. We led a small church for a few years. I was referring to some of Wm's comments getting a bit confusing at times.

 

Some years ago I went to a Precepts' class -- we took two years going through the book of Revelation. The teacher went through every viewpoint that's ever been presented -- Pre / Mid / Post Trib Rapture views. with Scriptures backing up each of them. Did a time-line of end time events. Was fascinating.

 

The fact that there Will be a 7-yr trib. period after the rapture of the Church.

 

And studying Scripture does take time and is worth the time and effort. Sharing insights is interesting.

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@William Gee. This is getting complex. I am going to skip the comment of Calvin I alluded to, to clear the air a little.

 

The question to be addressed: I'll have to ask you to provide a source of any Reformed "titans" suggesting that Adam and Eve had an autonomous will.

My answer: Augustine implies that Adam had an autonomous will when he says “God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing.” I object to this statement because it gives the impression that Adam was capable of not sinning in regards to the eating of the tree of Knowledge. To be capable of (1) sinning or (2) not sinning indicates an autonomous will to me. If you do not agree, then I guess our minor disagreement simply boils down to our interpretation of Augustine’s statement. I think this is the crux of our discussion/disagreement?

During his time of “probation” in the garden, he had the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. He chose to exercise the ability to sin and thus plunged the race into ruin.

 

 

Your Questions

Agreed, Adam did not have a sin nature. Adam was good before the fall.

 

Correct me if you think I am wrong? But I do not see how corruption and/or sin marred the image of God at this point? Agreed

 

Agreed that: “Of course I believe Satan was in the garden intentionally, he was put there because God not only permitted Satan to be there but because He had a plan”

 

Thx for your patience.

Hey nolidad

all of this was foreknown by god
I agree that God had the answer before the foundation of the earth.

 

So, you contend that Adam made a decision to disobey God and the decision was independent of God's control. This makes Adam's decision FIRST CAUSE and the effect is the crucifixion of God.

Your thoughts?

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@William Gee. This is getting complex. I am going to skip the comment of Calvin I alluded to, to clear the air a little.

 

The question to be addressed: I'll have to ask you to provide a source of any Reformed "titans" suggesting that Adam and Eve had an autonomous will.

My answer: Augustine implies that Adam had an autonomous will when he says “God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing.” I object to this statement because it gives the impression that Adam was capable of not sinning in regards to the eating of the tree of Knowledge. To be capable of (1) sinning or (2) not sinning indicates an autonomous will to me. If you do not agree, then I guess our minor disagreement simply boils down to our interpretation of Augustine’s statement. I think this is the crux of our discussion/disagreement?

During his time of “probation” in the garden, he had the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. He chose to exercise the ability to sin and thus plunged the race into ruin.

 

 

Your Questions

Agreed, Adam did not have a sin nature. Adam was good before the fall.

 

Correct me if you think I am wrong? But I do not see how corruption and/or sin marred the image of God at this point? Agreed

 

Agreed that: “Of course I believe Satan was in the garden intentionally, he was put there because God not only permitted Satan to be there but because He had a plan”

 

Thx for your patience.

@Fastfredy0

How do you come up with "the decision was out of God's control"? God put the serpent there, and he made man lower than the angels, and pitted Adam up against Satan.

 

You stated also that "To be capable of (1) sinning or (2) not sinning indicates an autonomous will to me." By your definition is God autonomous? Can God sin? I'm curious, but... . Lemme invite you into another thread where Jonathan Edwards helps clarifies Augustine's position. I think it a long read but fascinating: https://www.christforums.org/forum/christian-community/reformed-theology/63402-the-meaning-of-man%E2%80%99s-will

 

God bless,

William

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@William Gee. This is getting complex. I am going to skip the comment of Calvin I alluded to, to clear the air a little.

 

The question to be addressed: I'll have to ask you to provide a source of any Reformed "titans" suggesting that Adam and Eve had an autonomous will.

My answer: Augustine implies that Adam had an autonomous will when he says “God commanded nothing from Adam or Eve that they were incapable of performing.” I object to this statement because it gives the impression that Adam was capable of not sinning in regards to the eating of the tree of Knowledge. To be capable of (1) sinning or (2) not sinning indicates an autonomous will to me. If you do not agree, then I guess our minor disagreement simply boils down to our interpretation of Augustine’s statement. I think this is the crux of our discussion/disagreement?

During his time of “probation” in the garden, he had the ability to sin and the ability not to sin. He chose to exercise the ability to sin and thus plunged the race into ruin.

 

 

Your Questions

Agreed, Adam did not have a sin nature. Adam was good before the fall.

 

Correct me if you think I am wrong? But I do not see how corruption and/or sin marred the image of God at this point? Agreed

 

Agreed that: “Of course I believe Satan was in the garden intentionally, he was put there because God not only permitted Satan to be there but because He had a plan”

 

Thx for your patience.

Hi fastfredy:

 

Even when full liberty is granted by God for a creature to act- He does not lose control. The actions may be out of Gods perfect will- but He still remains fully on the throne. It is simply that we do not understand with our finite minds Take the laws of nature. Even when tornadoes, hurricanes and tidal waves strike- they do not strike unless god allows it to happen.

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