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The Nature And Relationship Of God And Creation


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So if Adam was capable of temptation before the fall, that means that his nature was already fallen.  He already had a propensity for sin.

 

OOPS there goes the fall.

 

Yes, he was created with the freedom to sin or not, however, this probably doesn't correspond to your idea of "already fallen" because he was in direct communion with God, since the fall didn't occur yet. 

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Blakes statement is absolutely correct.

 

A morally infallible being of free will DOES have the ability to turn from its creator, however, being morally infallible ... he or she simply chooses consistently not to.  The being has the honor, intelligence, wisdom and character to always make the right choices.  It is still a being with free will.

 

-Stephen

 

It's an oxymoronic statement. Morally infallible… 

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O.K. I am getting into the audio that Saemo provided here:

http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/29_lotr_fated-free.htm

Because he feels that perhaps this is a sufficient refutation for the arguments that I have presented thus far. Here we go,

Pertinent statements , prior to 9:20

He believes in "Free causality".

"The main reason that we believe in free will is that we experience it.... so we all know that there is free will from our experience."

Pertinent statements , prior to 12:30

"We may not know how destiny and freedom can both be true but we know that they both must be present in true to life stories because they are present in life."

Pertinent statements so far , prior to 17:38

Here we get a little more substance, whereby Peter Kreeft provides two arguments for how both free will and predestination can both be true. These are the two best philosophical arguments that he has found.

1) Because God is love and loves all of his creatures, therefore divine grace, in dealing with anything in the realm of nature and God's creatures, always perfects nature and works through it, rather than suppressing it or bypassing it, or rivaling it. And a good human author does exactly that with his characters. He loves all his characters, even his villains. He doesn't push them. He is all powerful, but from within the characters rather than from without. They are not pieces on the chess board. And therefore divine predestination must preserve free will because divine predestination invented and willed free will. We are free precisely because God wills us. Aquinas argues that we are free because God is omnipotent. He argues that human powers sometimes get anything they want but they seldom get everything they want in the way that they wanted; they have to make compromises. But God is so omnipotent that he not only gets everything he wants, but he gets everything He wills in the way that He wills, so that sub-human things happen unfreely and human things happen freely. Just as in a novel, the setting is not free and the characters are." - Peter Kreeft

2) Since God is not in time, destiny does not mean literally "pre-destination", like pushing dominos. ... Here is C.S. Lewis' explanation how predestination and free will fit: "Almost certainly God is not in time. His life does not consist of moments following one another. If a million people are praying tonight at 10:30, he may not need listen to them all in that little snippet we call 10:30. 10:30 and every other moment from the beginning of the world is always present with him. If you like to put it that way, He has all eternity to listen to a split second prayer of a pilot as his plane crashes in flames. Suppose I am writing a novel I write, "Mary lay down her work, the next moment there came a knock at the door." For Mary, who has to live in the imaginary time of my story there is no interval between laying down her work and hearing the knock. But I who am Mary's inventor, do not live in that imaginary time. Between writing that first half of the sentence and the second, I may sit down three hours and think steadily about Mary. God is not hurried along in the time stream of this Universe anymore than an author is hurried along in the imaginary time of his own novel. It is a pretty good refutation of process theology I think. He has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with him as if you were the only being He had ever created. ...

That's from Mere Christianity. A few pages later he adds one more point, "If God foresaw our acts, it would be very hard to understand how we could be free not to do the. But let us suppose that God is outside and above the timeline. In that case, what we call tomorrow is not forseen by God but seen. It is visible to Him in the same was as what we call today. All the days are now for him. He does not remember you doing things yesterday. He simply sees you doing them. Because though you have lost yesterday, He has not. He does not foresee you doing things tomorrow, He simply sees you doing them because though tomorrow is not yet there for you, it is for Him. You never suppose that your actions in the present are any less free because God knows what you are doing. Well, God knows your tomorrows actions in just the same way because He is already in tomorrow and can simply watch you. - Peter Kreeft

Now. Let's start with these. You can know that I was paying attention, because not only did I listen to it, but I transcribed this myself.

I will allow you to try to explain how the first argument stands up the my first two videos.

As for the second argument, IF you think that I am arguing that foreknowledge is the reason that we do not have free will with Ex Nihilo creation theology.... you have not been paying attention at all. I never said that God's foreknowledge is the reason that we don't have free will in Ex Nihilo theology.

-Stephen

Foreknowledge is used as a supporting premise for your argument. "If God knew..."

You build a false premise because of your false understanding. I shouldn't have to tell you that building arguments on false premises is a straw man tactic. I don't think you are dishonest, and purposely building straw men, but are ignorant of Christian understanding. Fix your premises. Until you can, and do, we are discussing what you believe about Christianity, and not what Christianity teaches.

Edited by saemo
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Where in the Bible does it say that Adam was "perfect"?  How did Adam demonstrate "perfect love"?

 

Where in the Bible does it say that God's "image" means "free will, ability to relate and love one another"?

 

Who created the being who tempted them and why were Adam and Eve created to be so weak in terms of their inability to resist temptation?

 

Who created the "lusts in man's heart"?

 

-Stephen

 

 

When God says that everything he created was "good" indicates Adam was perfect/complete, not lacking anything. 

 

There isn't enough detail to say how he demonstrated "perfect love" or not. 

 

A reflection or image is a description of something immaterial, we contain the image of God, and that immaterial part of God, that is shared with us, thus my statement -"free will, ability to relate and love one another"

 

The question of who created Satan isn't the question. The question is why did Satan also reject God? The answer exposes the error of the idea that a "Morally infallible" free willed being can exist. Consider, that these beings (angels were created perfect as well) with no "temptation" yet 1/3 of them reject God based on their free will. Your question is why not create them so they don't choose the wrong? Which is why the morally infallible idea appeals to you. But, if as the Creator, he controls their choices, then true love doesn't exist, and then the point of creating a free willed being is lost, because true love only exists when it's freely chosen. 

 

Your assumption is that Adam and Eve were created to be weak. You are comparing them to a hypothetical that doesn't exist. An unfair and unrealistic comparison, as your hypothetical not only doesn't exist, but actually can't exist because it wouldn't be free will anymore. 

 

James states, "each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed." (1:14) 

 

Your claim is that God created the evil desire or lusts in man's heart, if Ex Nihilo is true. The problem with this claim is it ignores the reality of creating a free-willed being. It doesn't matter who creates a free-willed being. If one is created, the potential for evil is created at that moment, otherwise free will doesn't actually exist. And without free will, true love also doesn't exist. 

 

So, God created the potential for evil, by creating a morally free willed being, but didn't cause or create evil himself. 

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So God is not morally infallible but either fallible or amoral?

Sorry if addressed earlier, not reading all the posts.

 

Good point, one that probably should be addressed. 

 

One could say that God is morally infallible, but the statement would be misleading.  We are not God, nor can we be. So, in my opinion, it isn't an accurate comparison. To put it simply, God's nature is the very basis of the morality we have, and his nature is immutable, that is it doesn't and can't change. So, while it is morally infallible it wasn't created that way, he always has been the I AM. 

 

Now, I can hear the question already, "Why can't God just create "little gods" like himself?" Two points. One is my theory that the infinitude of God limits or prohibits such a creation. In other words, if one "infinitely sized" being is all that fits, then another can't be created (reference creating a rock too big to lift). The second point is that God is actually doing this on a small scale. He has shared with us his communicable attributes, so we do have enough of his image/likeness to be like him in a small way. But, creating a "morally infallible" creature ultimately is creating a robot, which is the opposite of free will. 

Edited by danielwoods
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1) Adam made choices. 2) The choices he made is because of who is/was. 3) Who is he is/was is because of the way he was made by God. 5) Thus God is responsible, ultimately, for his actions.

 

Put it another way, why did God not make Adam with the personality, inclinations, tendencies to rebuff the temptations of Satan instead of yielding to them? Is it unfathomable to think that was not a possibility? And if it is possible for God to have done so, why did he not do so? His omniscience surely made him aware that his free willed creation did not possess the appropriate character to avoid the Fall. Why?

 

This is the only logical train of thought following from creatio ex nihilo. It is inescapable.

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1) Adam made choices. 2) The choices he made is because of who is/was. 3) Who is he is/was is because of the way he was made by God. 5) Thus God is responsible, ultimately, for his actions.

 

Put it another way, why did God not make Adam with the personality, inclinations, tendencies to rebuff the temptations of Satan instead of yielding to them? Is it unfathomable to think that was not a possibility? And if it is possible for God to have done so, why did he not do so? His omniscience surely made him aware that his free willed creation did not possess the appropriate character to avoid the Fall. Why?

 

This is the only logical train of thought following from creatio ex nihilo. It is inescapable.

 

What you are saying is that it's impossible for God to create (ex nihilo) a truly free willed being. Once you assume this as your premise, your logic then is sound. Ex Nihilo has to lead to determinism. 

 

What if your premise is false? 

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Yes, he was created with the freedom to sin or not, however, this probably doesn't correspond to your idea of "already fallen" because he was in direct communion with God, since the fall didn't occur yet.

Ah, so he was in "direct communication" with God but sinned anyway.

Pretty tricky. I don't think I could have pulled that off. I only sin when I am definitely NOT in "direct communication with God".

I can't imagine that at all. You are standing there essentially looking God in the face and you say- "Hey wait a minute- I want to offend you, so give me a minute while I commit a sin."

To God. Your creator.

Pretty tricky indeed.

I always thought that to do anything you had to have a disposition to do it in the first place. Like if I want to eat an apple, I WANT to eat the apple.

If I want to get up and go into the kitchen, I WANT to go into the kitchen, etc etc.

But sinning right in front of God without having a disposition or desire to do so- just doing it out of the blue without rhyme or reason- while God is watching?

Nope, I definitely could not pull that off.

Edited by mfbukowski
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Ah, so he was in "direct communication" with God but sinned anyway.

Pretty tricky. I don't think I could have pulled that off. I only sin when I am definitely NOT in "direct communication with God".

I can't imagine that at all. You are standing there essentially looking God in the face and you say- "Hey wait a minute- I want to offend you, so give me a minute while I commit a sin."

To God. Your creator.

Pretty tricky indeed.

I always thought that to do anything you had to have a disposition to do it in the first place. Like if I want to eat an apple, I WANT to eat the apple.

If I want to get up and go into the kitchen, I WANT to go into the kitchen, etc etc.

But sinning right in front of God without having a disposition or desire to do so- just doing it out of the blue without rhyme or reason- while God is watching?

Nope, I definitely could not pull that off.

 

It's interesting how changing one word can change the meaning of a statement or idea. Notice, I said, "direct communion" not "direct communication." 

 

The opposite of direct communion is what we live in today (as a result of the fall). Where God doesn't walk with us everyday (that we can see). Now, it appears you took this to indicate constant communication. Which I didn't say or mean to imply. 

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It's interesting how changing one word can change the meaning of a statement or idea. Notice, I said, "direct communion" not "direct communication." 

 

The opposite of direct communion is what we live in today (as a result of the fall). Where God doesn't walk with us everyday (that we can see). Now, it appears you took this to indicate constant communication. Which I didn't say or mean to imply. 

Fine.

 

That is worse

 

Let me write it your way

 

 

Ah, so he was in "direct communion" with God but sinned anyway.

Pretty tricky. I don't think I could have pulled that off. I only sin when I am definitely NOT in "direct communion with God".

I can't imagine that at all. You are standing there essentially looking God in the face and you say- "Hey wait a minute- I want to offend you, so give me a minute while I commit a sin."

To God. Your creator.

Pretty tricky indeed.

I always thought that to do anything you had to have a disposition to do it in the first place. Like if I want to eat an apple, I WANT to eat the apple.

If I want to get up and go into the kitchen, I WANT to go into the kitchen, etc etc.

But sinning right in front of God without having a disposition or desire to do so- just doing it out of the blue without rhyme or reason- while God is watching?

Nope, I definitely could not pull that off.

 

How could you possibly be in "DIRECT COMMUNION" with God and sin?

 

Clearly that is impossible

 

We are walking with God every day, in his presence, and while he is personally watching us, we sin right in front of him.

 

And you think that is better?

 

Holy Toledo!

Edited by mfbukowski
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What other monotheistic religions follow the same doctrines that are in chapter II of the Westminster Confession? The Westminster Confession you quoted and misquoted is an article of faith about the Triune God. As far as I kmow, all Trinitarians understand God is the Creator of ALL things.

Of course it matters. But as I said, these threads go nowhere and this why, You want to define what Christians believe but are not open to understanding our belief. I'm not interested in tearing down your straw men.

I'm out.

-Rebecca

 

I specifically describe the Trinitarian God further in the video titled, the Solitary problem.  I describe the "three persons" viewpoint and why it is still a problem. 

 

With the first two videos, I was simply illustrating the idea that, with Ex Nihilo, Monotheistic religions believe that God was the only being/substance in existence that was eternal, and that everything else in existence (creation) came entirely from God's own mind (ie Ex Nihilo).  Then the points I make move on from there.

 

There is no "straw man" involved here, so, you are clearly over reacting.

 

-Stephen

Edited by stephenpurdy
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Foreknowledge is used as a supporting premise for your argument. "If God knew..."

You build a false premise because of your false understanding. I shouldn't have to tell you that building arguments on false premises is a straw man tactic. I don't think you are dishonest, and purposely building straw men, but are ignorant of Christian understanding. Fix your premises. Until you can, and do, we are discussing what you believe about Christianity, and not what Christianity teaches.

 

If you would have paid attention the actual arguments I presented, you will find that in LDS theology, God can still have perfect foreknowledge, but not determine outcomes.  So clearly, it is not foreknowledge, in and of itself, that is the problem. 

 

In the Ex Nihilo free will supplement video, I use six sided cubes as representing possible beings of free will, who make choices.  If you listen carefully, I make a contrast.

 

1) Creation "out of nothing" whereby the "cubes" are created out of nothing, and God can decide which cubes to create and which cubes NOT to create.

 

2) Creation "out of something" the cubes represent free wills that also existed from eternity.  Since God did not create them out of nothing, he cannot decide which ones to create and which ones not to create. 

 

Foreknowledge by God can be present in both of these scenarios, but it is the creation out of nothing that has God himself determining outcomes.

 

But that is only the first half of the problem.  The second half of the problem emerges from the idea that each created being has characteristics, that are intricately designed by God in every detail.  Every aspect of our being was created by God according to Ex Nihilo creation theology.  At the end of the supplement video, I liken it to substances on the periodic table.  Science oriented people will understand that electrons in the electron cloud of any element have the "freedom" to be in different "locations" around the nucleus.  However, the other sub-nuclear characteristics of the substance make that substance's behaviors predictable.  Thus, it is not lead's fault because it sinks in water, and it is not Helium's fault that it floats in air.

 

Likewise, if God creates a being out of nothing that is ignorant, easily deceived, disobedient, etc., then any peripheral "choices" are inconsequential because that being is going to head in the fallen direction.  On the other hand, if God creates a being out of nothing that is all loving, wise, intelligent, obedient, etc.... it would be a different story.

 

-Stephen

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Stephen wrote:  Blakes statement is absolutely correct.

 

A morally infallible being of free will DOES have the ability to turn from its creator, however, being morally infallible ... he or she simply chooses consistently not to.  The being has the honor, intelligence, wisdom and character to always make the right choices.  It is still a being with free will.

 

It's an oxymoronic statement. Morally infallible… 

 

I can play word games if you want.

 

"Blakes statement is absolutely correct.

 

A being of perfect love with free will DOES have the ability to turn from its creator, however, having perfect love ... he or she simply chooses consistently not to.  The being has the love, honor, intelligence, wisdom and character to always make the right choices.  It is still a being with free will."

 

And if God is creating any kind of possible being from God's own mind,  ... well ... it would be like a world full of Jesuses.

 

-Stephen

Edited by stephenpurdy
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Stephen wrote:  Blakes statement is absolutely correct.

 

A morally infallible being of free will DOES have the ability to turn from its creator, however, being morally infallible ... he or she simply chooses consistently not to.  The being has the honor, intelligence, wisdom and character to always make the right choices.  It is still a being with free will.

 

 

I can play word games if you want.

 

"Blakes statement is absolutely correct.

 

A being of perfect love with free will DOES have the ability to turn from its creator, however, having perfect love ... he or she simply chooses consistently not to.  The being has the love, honor, intelligence, wisdom and character to always make the right choices.  It is still a being with free will."

 

And if God is creating any kind of possible being from God's own mind,  ... well ... it would be like a world full of Jesuses.

 

-Stephen

 

Indeed God is creating a Heaven full of Jesuses. 

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Stephen wrote: Blakes statement is absolutely correct.

A morally infallible being of free will DOES have the ability to turn from its creator, however, being morally infallible ... he or she simply chooses consistently not to. The being has the honor, intelligence, wisdom and character to always make the right choices. It is still a being with free will.

I can play word games if you want.

"Blakes statement is absolutely correct.

A being of perfect love with free will DOES have the ability to turn from its creator, however, having perfect love ... he or she simply chooses consistently not to. The being has the love, honor, intelligence, wisdom and character to always make the right choices. It is still a being with free will."

And if God is creating any kind of possible being from God's own mind, ... well ... it would be like a world full of Jesuses.

-Stephen

I believe one of the greatest revelations of Mormonism is that God is good because he is a Man of the highest moral character who chooses to be good because he loves and honors goodness for its own sake. This makes God the greatest of all possible heroes -- someome to shout out the most exultant praises of honor because he's good because he loves being good. He's not good because, like some sort of passionless machine, he has no choice but to be good. The same holds true for Christ. He too is good because, as a free agent, he loves being good because it makes him happy to be that way. This gives the human race the greatest cause for hope because, with his help and the input of his experience, we can learn how to love being good for goodness' sake as well.

Edited by Bobbieaware
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Clearly scripture must be in error. 

Yep,

 

Sounds ok to me. Scripture is not inerrant.

 

But I think it is just your interpretation

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I believe one of the greatest revelations of Mormonism is that God is good because he is a Man of the highest moral character who chooses to be good because he loves and honors goodness for its own sake. This makes God the greatest of all possible heroes -- someome to shout out the most exultant praises of honor to because he's good because he loves being good. He's not good because, like some sort of passionless machine, he has no choice but to be good. The same holds true for Christ. He too is good because, as a free agent, he loves being good because it makes him happy to be that way. This gives the human race the greatest cause for hope because, with his help and the input of his experience, we can learn how to love being good for goodness' sake as well.

Dang that's good stuff!

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And that is the premise upon which the LDS doctrine of theosis is based. Latter-day Saints take upon themselves the very name of Jesus Christ for that reason.

Who are even now "saviors on Mt Zion.

And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.

 

Obadiah 1:21

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One could say that God is morally infallible, but the statement would be misleading.  We are not God, nor can we be. ..... He has shared with us his communicable attributes, so we do have enough of his image/likeness to be like him in a small way. But, creating a "morally infallible" creature ultimately is creating a robot, which is the opposite of free will. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the reason that God cannot create "other Gods" is because those creations would be created rather than uncreated, they would be contingent, they would not be omnipotent, would not be omnipresent nor omniscient.   However, none of those "non-communicable attributes" are necessary in order to be "morally infallible". 

 

Furthermore, being "morally infallible" is no more like being a robot than being "morally fallible" is like being a robot.

 

Your argument on this matter has no logical backing.

 

Also if/when we get to heaven, do you think that we will be sinning in Heaven.  Will we have free will in Heaven?

 

-Stephen

Edited by stephenpurdy
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the reason that God cannot create "other Gods" is because those creations would be created rather than uncreated, they would be contingent, they would not be omnipotent, would not be omnipresent nor omniscient.   However, none of those "non-communicable attributes" are necessary in order to be "morally infallible". 

 

Furthermore, being "morally infallible" is no more like being a robot than being "morally fallible" is like being a robot.

 

Your argument on this matter has no logical backing.

 

-Stephen

 

Depends. Show me a morally infallible creature. It seems to me that there is only one. 

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If you would have paid attention the actual arguments I presented, you will find that in LDS theology, God can still have perfect foreknowledge, but not determine outcomes. So clearly, it is not foreknowledge, in and of itself, that is the problem.

In the Ex Nihilo free will supplement video, I use six sided cubes as representing possible beings of free will, who make choices. If you listen carefully, I make a contrast.

1) Creation "out of nothing" whereby the "cubes" are created out of nothing, and God can decide which cubes to create and which cubes NOT to create.

2) Creation "out of something" the cubes represent free wills that also existed from eternity. Since God did not create them out of nothing, he cannot decide which ones to create and which ones not to create.

Foreknowledge by God can be present in both of these scenarios, but it is the creation out of nothing that has God himself determining outcomes.

But that is only the first half of the problem. The second half of the problem emerges from the idea that each created being has characteristics, that are intricately designed by God in every detail. Every aspect of our being was created by God according to Ex Nihilo creation theology. At the end of the supplement video, I liken it to substances on the periodic table. Science oriented people will understand that electrons in the electron cloud of any element have the "freedom" to be in different "locations" around the nucleus. However, the other sub-nuclear characteristics of the substance make that substance's behaviors predictable. Thus, it is not lead's fault because it sinks in water, and it is not Helium's fault that it floats in air.

Likewise, if God creates a being out of nothing that is ignorant, easily deceived, disobedient, etc., then any peripheral "choices" are inconsequential because that being is going to head in the fallen direction. On the other hand, if God creates a being out of nothing that is all loving, wise, intelligent, obedient, etc.... it would be a different story.

-Stephen

Well, Mormonism solves your perceived problem by giving everyone the title "God". Woohoo and high five! Oh, wait, self-determination is the temptation that Satan presented to Adam and Eve in the Garden.

I don't see a problem with God being involved in my very being, as I trust God. There is a distinct lack of trust in your views. An indication that ex nihilo is how you are created, according to yourself?

I already said, you lean very hard towards fate when presenting what you think about Christian teachings, and leave out the free part. You still are. But you carefully keep enough fate intact in your idyllic view of Mormon teaching so as to not have to take no-fate to its logical conclusion, nihilism.

Other than that, you have a depressing view of creation and of God. Our premise is, God loves us, created us in love, and is not going to force us to do anything. God loves you, get over it.

God didn't program us with a personality. I think you know personality is much more organic than that. Also, creation is a grace, not something to mourn as needing an excuse but something to celebrate, including all our differences.

You also leave out or are ignoring the center of Christian faith, which is Jesus Christ. He is God's solution to your perceived problem, not ourselves with viewing ourselves as punky little gods that are self sufficient and not in Need of God. Christians understand we have a Need, and understand who fulfills that Need. It is not ourselves.

We believe in Christ, or not, without coercion including God creating us to only believe. I think it obvious we are free, and we are also fated. Christians see ourselves as fated for God. Our destiny is Him, and the reason for our creation is that same destiny, but God does not force that destination on us. He does everything possible, without violence to our free will, to bring us to Himself. The greatest thing of all is the Cross. It is you who seek to impose bondage where God has not, while simultaneous seeking to distort our destiny to something other than God,

Honestly, I don't know why you bother to believe in God at all. You certainly don't need God in the false self sufficient view of yourself.

Edited by saemo
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What you are saying is that it's impossible for God to create (ex nihilo) a truly free willed being. Once you assume this as your premise, your logic then is sound. Ex Nihilo has to lead to determinism. 

 

What if your premise is false? 

 

The premise isn't reliant on determinism being factual. While I do hold that true free will requires indeterminism, it is also not sufficient (simple indeterminism doesn't yield free will).

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