Edwards, Jonathan

Is the High Priest doing His job? – Christ’s Death and Intercession (Part 3/5)

, posted by Godismyjudge

This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ.

Here is Owen’s primary argument:

P1: A High Priest wouldn’t be fulfilling his duties if he offers a sacrifice on someone’s behalf, but didn’t intercede for them
P2: Christ is a faithful High Priest, fulfilling His duties
C1: therefore, Christ does not make an offering for someone without also interceding for them.

Scripture support for P1:

“If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 2:1-2

In support of his argument, he makes another:

P3: Christ offered His blood to God at the entrance of the holy place
P4: Christ entered the holy place by His blood to intercede for the elect

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Critique of Edwards

, posted by Godismyjudge

This article is a brief critique of Jonathan Edwards’ views on the will and freedom. I won’t be presenting the alternative view, LFW, nor will I attempt to demonstrate the logical outcomes of Edwards’ view (i.e. God is the author of sin, God’s offer is insincere…). Instead I will just be looking at the internal consistency of Edwards’ view. I really think that the more people understand Edwards, the less they will agree with him.

Brief Outline of Edwards’ view of Freedom

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Causeless Cause or Infinite Regression of Causes

, posted by Godismyjudge

Brief Outline of Edwards’ Arguments in Part II of Freedom of the Will
Edwards attacks LFW in two broad categories: causation and divine foreknowledge. Under causation, Edwards argues that LFW either leads to an infinite regression of causes or is an action without a cause. Edwards then argues that actions without causes are absurd because: 1) they would violate the common sense idea that nothing ever comes to pass without a cause, 2) then we wouldn’t be able to reason from cause to effect, 3) all proof of God’s existence is taken away, and 4) actions produced by a causeless cause would be both random and irrational, and therefore not a basis of moral accountability.

Infinite Regression of Causes or Causeless

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Edwards’ Arguments against Libertarian Free Will Based on Divine Foreknowledge

, posted by Godismyjudge

In part 2 section 12, Edwards attempts three demonstrations of the incompatibility of LFW and God’s foreknowledge: 1) based on the connection between foreknowledge and the event, 2) based on the impossibility of knowing things without evidence and 3) based on knowing a contingent event with certainty.

The Connection between Foreknowledge and the Event
Edwards’ Argument:
P1: Things in the past are now necessary
P2: In the past, God infallibly foreknew our future choices
C1: therefore, God’s foreknowledge of our future choices is now necessary
P3: if something necessary is infallibly connected with something else, that something else is also necessary
P4: God’s necessary foreknowledge is infallibly connected with our future choices
C2: therefore, our future choices are necessary

My Response

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Commands and Invitations for the Impossible

, posted by Godismyjudge

Outline of Edwards’ Arguments in Part III.IV Commands inconsistent with LFW God commands the acts of the will, not the acts of the body executing the will’s commands. If there’s a sequence of acts of…

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Desire Isn’t Good Enough

, posted by Godismyjudge

Outline of Edwards’ arguments in part III.V Some falsely argue we can’t perform our spiritual duties, but desire these things, so they are excusable. This entails the contradiction that we are inclined and disinclined to…

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Edwards on Responsibility

, posted by Godismyjudge

Outline of Edwards Arguments in part V.I Arminians say if something causally predetermines our choices, we are not responsible. But responsibility is not the cause of choices, it’s in the nature of choices If responsibility…

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Edwards on Action

, posted by Godismyjudge

Outline of Edwards’ arguments in part V.II

  1. Arminians say that without self-determining power, we have no power of action, acts are not our own, and we must be passive.
  2. This isn’t the way people use “action” in common speech.
  3. Used this way action is either causeless or an infinite regression of causes.
  4. When we speak of a first cause, if nothing causes something, nothing could prevent it, so therefore it is necessary.
  5. The common notion of action is the effects of the will.
  6. Arminians think of action as self-determination, because the motion of our bodies is caused by our wills – so they assume the same applies to the motion of our wills.
  7. Read Post →

Edwards on Common and Philosophical Necessity

, posted by Godismyjudge

Edwards’ arguments in part V.III and part V.IV Edwards splits necessity into two categories: natural and moral. Natural necessity relates to our actions, moral necessity relates to our wills. If an act is naturally necessary,…

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What is Libertarian Free Will?

, posted by Godismyjudge

Libertarian Free Will (LFW) is the idea that man is able to choose otherwise than he will choose. It’s contrasted with Compatiblism Free Will (CFW), the idea that free will and determinism are compatible. These…

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Necessity of the Divine Will

, posted by Godismyjudge

Everything is about God in one way shape or form. So my biggest problem with Edwards’ arguments regards the nature of God. Outline of Edwards’ Arguments About the Necessity of God’s Will – Part IV.VII…

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Thomas Ralston on Freedom of the Will Part 7: Is the Doctrine of Free Agency Absurd?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Thomas Ralston now begins to examine and respond to various objections posed by “necessitarians” against the Arminian view of self-determinism. My comments are in bold print.

WE propose in this chapter, to examine some of the principal objections which have been urged against the view taken in the preceding chapter of the freedom of the will. Those most worthy of notice are the following, viz.:

I. It is said to be absurd in itself.

II. It is said to be irreconcilable with the Scripture account of the divine prescience.

III. It is said to conflict with the doctrine of motives.

We propose a respectful attention to each of these grand objections.

I. It is alleged that the view we have taken of the proper freedom of the will is absurd in itself.

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