Home > freewill, literature, sovereignty > >Free will and determinism, a parallel in literature?

>Free will and determinism, a parallel in literature?

>I have argued that God does not ordain evil and raised the question: How can God will a man to do an action and God be without sin, yet the man be with sin despite being obedient to God’s intention in his life?

Some have claimed that there is a parallel in fiction. The author is parallel to God and the characters are parallel to created persons.

The problem with this analogy is that it is back to front. Fictional characters are not real. They are constructs of the author that do not exist in reality. They have no will of their own. If a character is murdered in a novel we don’t think of book author as evil, even though the murder solely originated in the mind of the author, because no one actually dies. We think of the fictional murderer as evil because we carry the fictional back over to reality. Book characters are not truly evil, they are fictional. But their behaviour as it corresponds to reality is recognised as evil.

The book analogy fails because we have been created with choice. We can murder or not murder (characters do not have this choice). It may be argued that this response is begging the question and the counter claim put forward that the book analogy is exact, we do not have a choice. If we have no choice then none of our actions are sinful. We are all doing the will of our creator. We are neither righteous nor evil.

  1. Starwind
    2008 August 23 at 14:03

    The book analogy fails because we have been created with choice.
    Indeed.
    It may be argued that this response is begging the question and the counter claim put forward that the book analogy is exact, we do not have a choice.
    In which case the book analogy still fails, miserably.
    If we ‘Characters’ have no choice and our ‘Author’ is making all the choices (as Piper would argue via God’s two wills – one ‘Revealed’ as per scripture and the other ‘Sovereign’ and hidden as per Piper) then the Author is simultaneously commanding our obedience while directing our disobedience. And the ‘Author’ himself has stated that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
    The scriptural examples I’ve yet to see the hypercalvinist reconcile are:

    Act 9:1-6 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.”

    God did not first determine that Paul should persecute Christians and then God’s Son determined in opposition that Paul should not. Paul was exercising his own free will to persecute Christians.

    Act 16:6 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;

    God did not determine that Paul should speak the word in Asia and then God’s Holy Spirit determined in opposition that Paul should not. Paul was exercising his own free will to spread the gospel in Asia.

    Act 16:7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;

    God did not determine they should go to Bithynia and God’s Son determined in opposition they should not. Again, Paul was exercising his own free will to go to Bithnia.
    In the above passages, Paul was not God’s puppet. God is not a schizophrenic puppetmaster jerking the puppet strings in one direction and then another.
    God teaches that such self-contradictory behavior is evidence of a house divided against itself:

    Mat 12:25-26 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?

  2. michael
    2008 August 25 at 00:46

    BY
    care to comment on the “Truth” asserted by Christ in Matthew’s Gospel that if one just “thinks” about it, they are guilty?
    Starwind,
    I was going alone fine with your reasoning and logic until you rearranged the Scripture to suit your position and missed the point to what the Holy Ghost and Christ were doing in those days with those Apostles sent to do the work They placed on their shoulders to accomplish in the furtherance of the Gospel in their day and hour.
    Good try though! I was impressed, not with your attempt, but with it!
    If you care to learn something here about the verses you quoted, I will be happy to open up something for your consideration.
    The condition is that there is no disputes about it. I can give what I know to be and you can accept or deny it. If you would go further, well, then we would address it at that time.
    So, if you are willing to accept my will to proceed, as in my terms and conditions, I would show you something you missed?

  3. Starwind
    2008 August 25 at 02:25

    michael:
    Sincerely, you are not making yourself understood. Perhaps you have misunderstood the “book analogy” topic, and both my and bethyada’s arguments against it?
    I suggest you simply copy and paste whatever I’ve written with which you disagree, and then state why you disagree with it, and then perhaps also state what you think is correct. You certainly don’t need my acquiesence to your terms and conditions to present your argument. I can respond or not.

  4. michael
    2008 August 25 at 02:53

    Ah, Starwind, sensing contention, I will graciously pass for now. Maybe next time then.

  5. 2008 August 25 at 08:22

    care to comment on the “Truth” asserted by Christ in Matthew’s Gospel that if one just “thinks” about it, they are guilty?
    You need to be more specific with your challenges, it is not always clear what you are hinting at.
    I am not certain what you were saying to Starwind. Is your question to me implying this passage?
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5)

  6. michael
    2008 August 25 at 17:05

    BY,
    it has been said by some that if you are not totally depressed with yourself after reading the Gospel, you have not read it correctly and need help understanding what you read.
    In Matthew 5, 6 and 7, Jesus lays out His plans for our “end”.
    What can you say about that?
    Your analogy on the book above in this article is a weak reflection of what Jesus is getting at in the Believer. Care to comment on it and yes, it does include that passage on adultery.
    Paul picks up a “revelant” understanding of the Law and this idea of adultery from a legal point of view at Romans 7. What Paul is getting to is equally the same as Christ in His Work of Salvation and Church building.
    I would want to go further but to error on the side of prudence, developing a dialog with you that is edifying and not contentious, I will post this and wait and see your responses to it.

  7. 2008 August 25 at 20:21

    The revealed/secret will is a nice way to make the Bible teach anything the preacher wants to teach. Any inconvenient truth (like 2 Pet 3:9) can be put under the category of revealed will, and any doctrine that the preacher wants to teach can be put under the category of secret will.
    Other sects that want to promote their peculiar doctrines can learn to use this revealed/secret will distinction. A baptistmal regenerationist can put John 3:16 under the category of revealed willing, saying that God revealed that the Son’s sacrifice and our faith are the only requirements to attaining eternal life. He can then put the baptism as a requirement for salvation under the secret will, saying that the secret will is the one that will come to pass.

  8. michael
    2008 August 25 at 22:28

    True Hope,
    whether or not it is convenient for one to teach or preach demonic doctrines, “doctrines of demons”, is something Christ can handle seeing He is the Truth that sets the captives free.
    Can you?

  9. Starwind
    2008 August 26 at 01:22

    TrueHope:
    The revealed/secret will is a nice way to make the Bible teach anything the preacher wants to teach.
    Some go so far as to teach God’s ‘revealed’ will holds man responsible for the sinful acts man commits pursuant to God’s ‘sovereign’ will, but then incredulously teach God is not the cause or author of those sinful acts man had no choice in not committing. An extraordinary non-sequitur all born of fear that God loses sovereignty if God created man with free will and delegated responsibility.

  10. 2008 August 28 at 01:45

    Starwind,
    Indeed. Totally non-sequitur. Makes me wonder how these people know the secret will of God in the first place. It’s as though they think the secret things of God belong to both God and them (just not to us).
    The revealed/secret will distinction can explain away any inconsistencies between one’s system and the Bible. It can even explain away logical inconsistencies.
    It can even teach universal condemnation! As in, revealed will = 2 Pet 3:9. Secret will = all people will go to hell. (And if someone asks “Why then did Jesus die on the cross for our sins?”, the universal condemnation advocate can reply, “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?”)

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