Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by via_dolorosa
Free will is interwoven throughout the Bible. The problem isn't Calvinists denying free will, the problem is in how they define it.
1. It has not been established that free-will is interwoven throughout the Bible. It is assumed but not proven.

Using that standard, it has similarly not been established that Calvinism is interwoven throughout the Bible. It is, after all, a matter of perspective. I don't see the unfettered free will of man as a threat to the sovereignty of God. Calvinists do.

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
2. Calvinists define free-will as the ability to choose that which is contrary to one's nature. This has been established with myriad passages from Scripture.
People choose what is contrary to their nature given the right circumstances. A juror may, by nature, abhor capital punishment, but because of the special and aggravating circumstances of a crime, vote for death. Along the same school of thought, someone's "come to Jesus" moment is often preceded by a devastating loss, going to jail, guilt over sin, or a myriad of other circumstances that make them vulnerable and ready to receive the gospel. Though our nature is to reject God, God orchestrates the events of our lives to change our perspective and finally see our desperate need to be saved. The convertee never has his free will violated and is never dragooned into his decision. At the decision point, fashioned by God, a man can choose to reject still, small voice...and many do. For Calvinism to make sense, God would not go to this effort for somebody to reject his overtures. The very fact that people reject God after such a great effort to woo them undoes Limited Atonement and the rest of the TULIP with it.

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by via_dolorosa
Unfortunately these arguments with Calvinists go in circles because they are thinking along a different paradigm. From the outside looking in, Calvinists believe man cannot have complete, unfettered free will outside of what has been preordained for him because that would subtract from God's sovereignty. Man is free to ride the train, but the tracks only go in one direction. Man is free to cast his vote, but his ballot only has one candidate. So in the Calvinist mindset, man freely chooses what has already been predetermined for him. It's an oddly hilarious circular paradox, but it makes perfect sense to them.

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
1. As explained elsewhere, IF man has this Pelagian/semi-Pelagian 'free-will', then if held consistently, which some do, then you end up with "Open Theism/Middle Knowledge" where God is not Omnipotent. Why? Because God cannot know the future, regardless if God is 'outside of time' or not, due to the fact that He cannot know what any individual will do until that individual decides to exercise this free-will.
Or God knows the beginning from the end without interfering with the choice of individuals who bring the future about. The slippery slope argument doesn't quite fit here.

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
2. IF free-will is true, then prophecy is impossible, for there is an infinite number of possibilities concerning the creation, which could take place that would thwart its fulfillment. Only if God has foreordained all things and providentially governs all things to their appointed ends is prophecy possible.
Or both free-will and prophesy are true. Though the Calvinist proclaims God's sovereignty, t's a meager view that the Calvinists hold of God's sovereignty that requires cohersion at every level in order to bring about God's plan. A far more mysterious and grander view has God's plan being brought about to the tiniest detail while never violating the will of man. This calls for a level of control would certainly boggle the mind of man.

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
3. The epitome of the biblical, Calvinist system is marvelously displayed in the crucifixion of Christ. No one was forced against their will to crucify Him. Each individual did exactly and most freely what they wanted to do... YET, all was done in complete conformity to God's eternal foreordination.
I'm failing to connect the dots here. Yes, nobody was compelled. Yes, people did what they wanted to do. Yes, God's plan was brought to fruition. How does this prove Calvinism?

Acts 2:22-24 (ASV) "Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."

Acts 3:17-18 (ASV) "And now, brethren, I know that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But the things which God foreshowed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled."

Acts 4:26-28 (ASV) "The kings of the earth set themselves in array, And the rulers were gathered together, Against the Lord, and against his Anointed: for of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy council foreordained to come to pass."

Perhaps one more passage to be quoted is Joseph, executor of Egypt's, words to his brothers that what they meant for evil, God meant for good. God's plan to save his people from famine would have been accomplished through the brothers' good deeds or evil. They were completely free to choose, and yet completely helpless to thwart God's plans, regardless of their choice. That's sovereignty worthy of the greatest wonder.

Liberalism -- Ideas so good, they have to be mandated.