Excerpt from the 1st Apology
Chapter XLIII.—Responsibility asserted.
But lest some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever happens, happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, and chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Since if it be not so, but all things happen by fate, neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it be fated that this man, e.g., be good, and this other evil, neither is the former meritorious nor the latter to be blamed. And again, unless the human race have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions, of whatever kind they be. But that it is by free choice they both walk uprightly and stumble, we thus demonstrate. We see the same man making a transition to opposite things. Now, if it had been fated that he were to be either good or bad, he could never have been capable of both the opposites, nor of so many transitions. But not even would some be good and others bad, since we thus make fate the cause of evil, and exhibit her as acting in opposition to herself; or that which has been already stated would seem to be true, that neither virtue nor vice is anything, but that things are only reckoned good or evil by opinion; which, as the true word shows, is the greatest impiety and wickedness. But this we assert is inevitable fate, that they who choose the good have worthy rewards, and they who choose the opposite have their merited awards. For not like other things, as trees and quadrupeds, which cannot act by choice, did God make man: for neither would he be worthy of reward or praise did he not of himself choose the good, but were created for this end; nor, if he were evil, would he be worthy of punishment, not being evil of himself, but being able to be nothing else than what he was made.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I have recently decided to finally buckle down and read through Calvin's institutes and see what Calvin really said. I will be doing a series of responses to each section here, with Gods help, as the book is quite large.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I figured since everybody is talking about this book lately I would go ahead and read it. To start off I think what is good about the book is that it does an excellent job of explaining free will in narative form. It tells the story of a man who had his 6 year old daughter abducted and murdered while on a camping trip. Several years later God invites him to come up to the same shack in the woods where the daughters bloodstained dress was found, for a conversation. Some of the topics discussed and exemplified were God's love, forgiveness, and relationship. What I find appaling about the book is its omission on the topic of eternal punishment. I am left with the impression that the books author is either blatently or unwittingly expousing universal salvation. Since it is nearly impossible to speak on the topic of the fate of those who do violence to young people without bringing up the idea of hell, I am pretty sure that the book is subtly yet blatently pro-universalism. The reason for the subtlety is obvious. The doctrine cannot survive scrutiny against the Word of God. While I like the book I could not recommend it for reading to anyone since it is impossible to say what other subtle false doctrines might also be lurking in the subtext of the book that I was not wise enough to pick up on.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
This post is intended to discuss the possibility that the orthodox view on hell, that hell is a place of eternal torment, is wrong. Note for my fellow church members the orthodox view is part of the Free Methodist constitution so you should ignore my heterodox view. The only reason I am even bringing this topic up is because it has relevence to the question of evil as discussed elsewhere. I will write a more comprehensive exposition of the conditionalist view as a response when I have more time later.