Free Will Debate Antony v. Windsor

Free Will Debate

Round 4

Antony’s Closing Arguments


I am thunderstruck by Mr. Windsor's overly confident assertion that I've failed to expose any kink in the armor of his libertarian free will (choosing God from ground zero),  or that his strict literalism regarding John 12:32 that, "I will draw all men unto me"  remains unanswerable.   I must reply that this is being doggedly impervious to reality and "willingly ignorant",  per 2 Pet 3:5.  No less than 50 verses were furnished in 2B alone, and my opponent has left 98% of them untouched!  There has not been one objection that hasn't been dealt with successfully, and that's because the Lord's word is like a hammer that breaks the rock of the Roman Catholic argument into pieces (Jer 23:29).  So let us review.  

Our complete powerlessness in choosing to seek after God (Rms 3:11) is metaphorically described in Jerusalem's nativity  (Ezekiel 16:4-6, in 3B).  God assumes the character of a traveler when He says He passed by and saw them thrown out like a newborn child exposed to the elements:  "In the day thou wast born, thy navel was not cut, neither was thou washed in water to supple thee; thou was not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.  No eye pitied thee, to do any of these things unto thee; but thou was cast out in the open field.  And when I passed by thee and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee, LIVE..."      This is precisely our condition when the Holy Spirit passes by US in the midst of our own helpless and hopeless  "pollution".

The grisly depiction of a filthy newborn (typifying our corrupted natures) fresh out of the womb with the umbilical cord still attached, is no more able to choose to help itself---any more than a leopard can choose to change the spots on his coat (Jer 13:23).   A leopard's spots are part of its nature;   likewise we, being fallen children of Adam & Eve, share that  corrupted nature.  Hence,  our own inability to choose Christ is on the same helpless level as the babe and the leopard choosing to change their  condition.   If we don't hear the divine call to LIVE!   ...or if the Holy Spirit doesn't choose to, "make those dead bones come together into living beings",  we will die in our sins (Ezek 37:1-14).  Christians are not, "born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."  (Jn 1:12-13).

Recalling Romans 8:29: "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate..."  Mr. Windsor attempted to short-curcuit the passage by forcing his philosophical presuppositions onto "foreknowledge" and "predestination", saying they relate merely to looking down through the corriders of time.  Nonsense!  First of all, "the major Greek lexicon (BAG) states that 'foresight' is not even a possible meaning for 'foreknowledge' in passages such as Romans 8:29"

first paragraph... http://christianstudy.homestead.com/files/classes/predestination/lesson5.htm

The verb "foreknow" speaks of a personal choice on the part of the subject.  And those He "predestined", He also effectually called.  Both action verbs are PAST TENSE!  They connote something that is a "done deal", not that He will be looking into the future via a crystal ball.  The "effectual" call of God will never be delinquent in drawing its intended object.  My opponent reminds us of the "general" call ("Many are called, but few chosen") and admits in 3B that, "men ARE ultimately chosen."    Still, he groans (without proof) that the "calling" is different than the "drawing", and that even the wicked are drawn to Christ.  This is nothing but wishful thinking based upon slipshod tradition, not exegesis. The word "church" means, "THE CALLED OUT ONES", (literally, "the called forth ones".....as in, "Lazarus, COME FORTH!").  
Ephesians 1:4-5 confirms the past action and certainty of the call of God to the elect, for, "In love, He chose US  before the foundation of the world and predestinated  US  to adoption as sons..."     To others, He chooses to leave blind  (Matt 13:11, Eph 4:17-18).   Therefore, His call to "sonship" is specific in setting us apart.  And why does He do this?  Because it is, "according to the good pleasure of His will" .  
HIS will.  Not our will.

If we're all born in such a wretched state of sin, my adversary wonders why we're not all murderous criminals.  The answer is that God has the ability to manipulate our free will and restrain our sin.  The Lord revealed to Abimelech that, "I kept you from sinning against me"  (Gen 20:6).  Furthermore, we all need not be murderers since our iniquities are multifarious, so this objection too is nothing but a pebble thrown at the edifice of Romans 9:11, that "the purpose of God according to election might stand."  Even the dictionary leads  inexorably to the truth of divine "election" by defining it as, "predestination to eternal life; the right; the power or privilege of making a choice."  

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/election

Previously, I asked why would God even bother  drawing all men to Christ if there's really no assurance that He will succeed?  This subjects the Creator to "risk"---and  "trying" to save as many as possible.  The whole idea is complete madness because the logical implication is that His "art of persuasion" fails--- every time a person nullifies His attempts by an act of their almighty "free will".  He may fail 24 hours a day, but we are to believe one thing He HAS succeeded in doing is giving man the power to resist  His will???
NO.

"Surely, as I have planned and as I have purposed, so it will stand"  (Isa 14:24-27).   

Mr. Windsor has no choice but to agree with my position because since he says everyone is drawn,  why then was Paul praying for the salvation of the Jews? (Rms 10:1).  The only answer must be what the Roman Catholic denies:

their free wills were  deaf  to the call to, "COME FORTH!",  unless ears FIRST be opened  (Mk 7:35).


Similar criticism may be levied against SW's use of 1 Tim 2:4, where God "desires that all men be saved", turning the Lord once again, into a "hopeful monster".   However, going back to verse 2:1, we see that prayers are to be made for "all men".   But does this mean every man on earth?  NO.  He follows with, "for kings, and all that are in authority".  Therefore, the  "all men"  in  2:4  (AND JOHN 12:32) is spoken of in a generic fashion referring to the elect  and cannot possibly mean God desires every man on earth to be saved.  See also when they accused Paul of preaching (generically) to "all men everywhere" (Acts 21:28). Consequently, the universal sense with which my opponent interprets God "drawing" and wanting all men on earth  to be saved, is biblically untenable.

While it may be mentally debilitating for Mr. Windsor  to discover that the Holy Spirit may censor his human freedom, he only ends up "kicking against the pricks" per Acts 9:5.  As Jesus told Paul that his mission was a waste of time, so do I say likewise to the Catholic apologist.  S.W. has opined that if man doesn't have free will, this makes the Lord
1) Unjust
2) Not a God of love
3) A tyrant

These unwarranted speculations impugn the character of God.  In 3B, I noted Isaiah 10:5-12.   There, God said He was going to use the Assyrians as the rod of His anger against Israel.  We are told point blank that Assyria's only purpose was to destroy many nations, but what they "do not intend, nor do they plan so in their heart" says God, is that they will be used for the good purpose of punishing His people.  And after that's done, God will proceed to punish the arrogant heart of the King of Assyria!  Does this make God an unjust tyrant?  No.  Unbeknownst to the Assyrians, their wills were being violated by the very Deity they didn't even believe in, and were accomplishing a goal that never even entered their hearts.   

In the final analysis, men DO believe and choose Christ....but only  by the  Divine Decision  to free the enslaved sinner and give them the ability to believe (Phil 1:29).  The correct view that must be upheld is the Holy Spirit being the only agent who effects the regeneration of the elect. This makes Christianity, monergistic.   The synergistic  view of Catholicism which advocates that dead men lying in their spiritual coffins, have the ability to COME FORTH!  from the grave and raise themselves from the dead by "free will",  must be rejected.  
"For as the Father raiseth the dead and quickeneth them, even so, the Son quickeneth WHOM HE WILL."  (Jn 5:21).

Word Count: 1502

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