Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I don't even know how to title this one.

I recently (and by recently, I mean in the last five minutes) on another blog that essentially stated that God couldn't restore someone's faith by a miracle, because then the person could no longer have faith. Instead, the person would essentially have knowledge that God existed, which would've removed the person's free will ...

So, is the conclusion here that if God provides some sort of miracle in order to restore a person's faith, God has removed that person's free will?

Can I now argue that God removed the free will of the Apostles, since the biggest turning point in their faith was the miraculous resurrection of Jesus? And since Paul received a vision of Jesus -- also a miracle -- he also no longer had free will?

Because the faith of both Paul and the Apostles was jump-started by some sort of encounter with a resurrected Jesus. Which was a miracle. Their faith never would've happened, otherwise.

11 comments:

Temaskian said...

Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe. So cursed must be they who see and yet do not believe.

How many examples of those do we see in the bible? None?

Indeed it's a loss of free will when indisputable miracles occur before your very eyes. Free will is the gift of God. Therefore God would never take away our free will. Therefore God would never have caused miracles to happen.

But miracles happened.

Therefore God does not exist.

QED (Quite Easily Done)

DagoodS said...

If all those Christians who use Romans 1 tell me I secretly know there is a God already—isn’t my Free will already impinged?

Andrew said...

Good thoughts, and I think it speaks to the hobbled way we have framed belief in God and what purpose it serves. I will be mulling over this for a bit. :)

OneSmallStep said...

Temaskian,

**Indeed it's a loss of free will when indisputable miracles occur before your very eyes. Free will is the gift of God.**

But what kind of free will? Does it just come down to a belief that God exists? Because salvation is always presented as requiring more than that. It's faith in a certain set of beliefs, acknowledgment that one requires a Savior, and so forth. There are plenty of Biblical examples where people received proof, and still didn't have the right kind of faith.

And now that I think about it, is there any Bible verse at all that says the reason why God doesn't reveal Himself is because of a person's free will?

OneSmallStep said...

DagoodS,

That depends -- if you secretly know this because God performed a miracle, then most certainly your free will is impinged.

The thing is, if I take this whole impinging free will and stretch it as far as possible, shouldn't Jesus have refused to perform miracles? Shouldn't the resurrection have been a "no one allowed" event, and someone just describing it, and then saying, "We'd show you, but then God wouldn't be respecting your free will."

OneSmallStep said...

Andrew,

**I think it speaks to the hobbled way we have framed belief in God and what purpose it serves.**

I think it really does.

And I always get stuck on trying to reconcile the idea that the most important decision you can make is in terms of salvation ... and you're supposed to make it without God providing any sort of proof.

Temaskian said...

But if God appears as a booming voice in your head and speaks to you directly, I think there's very little to choose. As per what happened to Paul on the road to Damascus.

In the bible, God doesn't reveal himself because He's too holy, like, Moses could only see his back. Was it Moses or someone else? :-P

Some say God does not intervene directly because he gave us free will. Which is why evil persists.

Temaskian said...

And we seem to have so much more free will than the poor things in Jesus' day who actually witnessed the miracles. At least we modern atheists only have a subconscious belief in God as per Romans 1.

It's so unfair for them.

societyvs said...

"Instead, the person would essentially have knowledge that God existed, which would've removed the person's free will..." (OSS)

Doesn't this person know that some Christians believe that faith is a 'gift from God' - literally meaning one cannot come to God unless God wills that person has 'faith' (I don't believe this but I know people that do).

Meaning, God imparted that faith to the person (knowing there is a God) - a type of miracle - so they could have faith in the first place. This 'gifted faithism' idea doesn't jove with that person's conclusions...I wonder what they believe about faith - choice or imparted by God?

OneSmallStep said...

Temaskian,

Would this mean that God actually liked Paul less than the Christians who came after him? What about those who might've converted after watching Paul and Peter perform miracles?

OneSmallStep said...

Society,

I'm guessing this particular person didn't hold to that viewpoint, given that he felt that God restoring a person's faith didn't mesh with free will ... so it would have to be a choice made by the person without any interference from God.