I am not sure what more I could add to what others have stated in their posts in answer to your's in regards to Adam before the fall. I believe it is improper, let alone unbiblical, to try and equate our existence wtih that of Adam before his fall.
Be that as it may, I want to try and respond to at least two of your posts specifically addressed to me with just this one, because they are similar in content and argumentation.
This one paragraph is taken from the other post:
you write:Lets look at Adam again. Adam's first sin was a very important event in God's sovereign plan for the universe. His sovereign plan was not based on His foreknowledge of Adam's free choice, but His sovereign plan was in agreement with His foreknowledge of Adam's free choice. That's not a contradiction. That's a paradox. God did decree the circumstances that influenced Adam's choice, but God did not directly cause Adam's choice. Thus, God is not the author of sin. God did not entrap Adam. Adam was held fully responsible for generating a sinful bias from a position of equipoise. No one forced him to commit the first sin.
(Fred) You still do not escape the problem of first cause with God and sin with this solution. God could still be charged as the author of Adam's sin in that he decreed the circumstances that brought Adam to sinning. If you acknowledge God's absolute exhaustive foreknowledge, Adam had to fall, there would be no choice about it, or God is proven to be mistaken. If your idea of "equipoise" is correct, then your scenerio would have to envision the potentiality that Eve could had rejected Satan's offer, Adam could had slapped the fruit out of Eve's hand, or any other number of reactions other than choosing to rebel. Yet, he did fall, and contrary to your last sentence, in your system God did force him to commit the first sin if he in deed decreed the circumstances that led to it. If your solution is correct, that God decreed the circumstances and knew full well how Adam would react, then God can rigthly be accused of being an accesory to the crime of Adam's sin. Your solution neither establishes equipoise or man's freedom.
Equipoise for Adam and Satan was necessary to preserve their responsibility for sin and to prevent God from being the author of sin. If both of them had been inclined toward good, there would have been nothing in their natures that would cause them to sin.
(Fred) Both of these ideas about Adam and Satan are speculative at best. We know that Satan and Adam fell, but we do not know the nature of their will and how it would react to influences or how it is inclined. You are just assuming that they were opposite of being totally depraved as the Bible teaches how all men exist now post fall.
A second problem to your objection is your notion that their responsibility must be preserved. Why? Gordon Clark in his excellent little book Religion, Reason, and Revelation
points out that many authors assert something like, "If we don't have free will we cannot be responsible for our actions," but no one bothers to prove it. Responsibility simply means answerability
and it is not dependent upon a libertarian will or in the case of your position, moral and spiritual equipoise. Robert Reymond explains it as,
"[A] reference to the obligation to give a response or an account of one's actions to a lawgiver...Whether or not he has a free will in the Arminian sense of theat term is irrelevant to the question of responsibility. To insist that without free will a man cannot lawfully be held responsible for his sin completely fails to appreciate the meaning of the word. Freewill has nothing to do with the establishment of responsibility
. What makes a person "responsible" is whether there is a lawgiver over him who has declared that he will require that a person to give an account to him for his thoughts, words and actions. Hence, if the lawgiver determined that he would require every human being to give a personal account to him for his thoughts, words and actions, then every human being is a "responsible" agent whether free in the Arminian sense or not. In other words, far from God's sovereignty making human responsibility impossible, it is just because God is their absolute Sovereign that men are accountable to him
Further more, quoting from RK McGregor-Wright once more, he shows how the Bible grounds responsibility, not in man's freewill (or equipoise), but in four other areas:
1) God is our creator and we are his creatures.
2) God is our moral reference point for right and wrong, and not we ourselves.
3) We are answerable to God for the knowledge
4) The purpose of creation is the glory of God, and we are responsible as stewards of God's blessings to fulfill the end or purpose of God in creating us in the world.
Now, you may detract from those points, but the burden is upon you to show us where in scrpture is responsibility dependent upon man's freewill or equipoise, and explain why such a position on man's part is necessary for him to be answerable to God. I would also ask why is it necessary for conversion as you insist. This was Pelagius's dilemma. He refused to acknowledge a sovereign and insisted that man cannot be charged with, and held guilty for, his sin unless he had this freedom. To do so would be unjust, argued Pelagius. The Bible knows nothing of this make believe problem.
I think solid exegesis does bear this out. Solid exegesis done by two people, however, does not always mean that the two people will agree in their interpretation of a passage. Of course, there is only one correct interpretation, so the one person's correct exegesis will be more solid than other person's incorrect exegesis. Let's use MacArthur's conclusions about Hebrews 6 as an example and contrast his views with yours.
(Fred) If you believe solid exegesis bears this out, then why have you failed to provide any? You have listed several passages that you think support your position, but in all honesty, I see you reading more into those passages before you "exegete" them, rather than allowing the exegesis form your position. You presuppose that it is necessary for men to have this notion of "equipoise" in order for them to be held responsible and to be converted. You then pick passages that you believe proves your conclusion. What is even more annoying is that you have not provided reasonable answers to those who have shot holes in your overall argumentation. This is pretty serious.
True exegesis involves the breaking apart the passage grammatical and syntatically (that involves more than quoting a few Greek words in your post), making sure it is being interpreted according to the author's original intent, conforms to the overall context of what is being discusssed by the original author, and takes into consideration the whole of the Bible. The last point is significant, because you insist that faith/repentance preceeds any regeneration, but regeneration is consistenly taught through out all of the NT as a spiritual work by God that begets faith and repentance in the heart of the receipient. Your apologetic for what really is the Arminian/Weslyan notion of prevenient grace that brings a person into spiritual equipoise that then leads them to a place of being able to choose, then that belief is followed up with regeneration, is built upon verses that are stripped from the normal rules of exegesis I listed above.
On top of that, you have the bad habit of doing this with the quotes you provide from historic theologians. Your citation from MacArthur is a good example of this. Originally, when you mentioned Hebrews 6, you were claiming that it is an example of individuals brought into this equipoise you keep talking about. I stated that it is not, and I would argue that it is not even dealing specifically with the work of salvation, particularly in the sense regarding a man's will. That is not even being addressed or is even the overall point of the passage.
You then follow up by quoting from John's commentary on Hebrews. Hopefully you do not think he is supporting your position? If you read that chapter in its entirety, John is not arguing for this equipoise nonsense you are arguing for. In fact, he concludes quite the opposite. In sum, John holds to one of the main understanding of this passage, that being how there are lost people who have a knowledge of Christ, but are not saved. I believe your intention is to you use his comments as an example of how two Christians can do exegesis on a passage and come to opposite interpretations (though I do not believe John's and my conclusions are "that opposite" of each other, only only add one other factor to draw the conclusion I do), however, no solid exegesis is going to conclude that the author of Hebrews is speaking to moral equipoise. That is a belief absolutely foreign to the context and is being brought to the text to force it to support it. If you sincerely believe this passage is an illustration for what you are claiming, you are unique and alone in your take on Hebrews 6. Who else can you list that comes to the same conclusions about what you are saying that this passage represents?