Thursday, November 8, 2007

Nelson Price and Fisher Humphreys Proved to be Erroneous - III

"In general Baptists believe God chose to save those who would of their own free will put their faith in Christ. They do not believe God in His sovereignty arbitrarily decided who would be saved and who damned. They believe God wants all people to be saved but will not override their free will given them by God."

The term 'Free Will', so beloved of those we call Free-willers (as Free Will is their great Diana of the Ephesians), is never used in Scripture in the manner that Nelson Price uses it here. The philosophical concept of free will as a freedom of indifference (or the freedom of contrary choice) is simply not Biblical at all, but a creation of man's imagination. Now, if free will is defined simply as the freedom to choose according to our own wills, we affirm it. If it is used to mean that we make real choices, again, we have no problem with it. It is this great idol of free-will that is exalted above God and made sovereign in the universe that we abhor. We know this is strong langauge, but feel it to be justified when this figment of 'Free Will has bound the very hands of the Omnipotent God Himself, so that man's 'own free will' is sovereign in salvation. That every man is able of his own free will to choose Christ we utterly deny, and would point our readers to Psalm 14 and Romans 3 for Scriptural confirmation.
Note that it is not the TERM free will that we reprobate, but the concept inserted into it by the Free-willers. The Rev. John Brown of Haddington notes: "Freedom of will is either NATURAL, when we are not invincibly determined in our choise towards this or that particular thing; or EXTERNAL, when no forcible restraint put on our body or mind hinders our choice; or PHILOSOPHICAL, when we have a prevalent disposition to act according to the dictates of our reason; or MORAL, when no superior, by his forbidding or commanding authority, interferes in the regulation of our acts." (Systematic Theology, P. 4). Freedom of choice we affirm, freedom to choose contrary to our nature, we deny, particularly as GOD HIMSELF cannot act contrary to His own nature.

So much for the great Diana of the Free-willers. Now to their figment of Prescient election, neatly defined by Dr. Price himself above. This false doctrine is based on such texts as 1 Peter 1.2 'Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father', and Romans 8.29, 'Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate.'
The relevant Greek words here are 'Proginosko' and 'Prognosis'. The Romans 8 passage is Proginosko and the I Peter 1 passage Prognosis. These two words occur only seven times in the New Testament, Proginosko five times and Prognosis twice (information Courtesy of Moulton and Geden's 'Concordance to the Greek New Testament', Third Edition [Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark, 1926] P. 851). The first occurence of Proginosko is in Acts 26.5, where it is translated 'knew from the beginning'. Paul is speaking of his friends and close acquaintances in Jerusalem who would be able to testify that he had lived 'after the most straitest sect of our religion.' The second occurance is in the Romans 8.29 passage, the third in Romans 11.2, 'God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew." Next we have I Peter 1.20, 'Who [Christ] was verily foreordained before the foundation of the world.', and finally 2 Peter 3.17, where it is simply rendered 'seeing ye know'.
Prognosis is found only in Acts 2.23 and 1 Peter 1.2. We have already given the 1 Peter 1.2 quotation. Acts 2.23 reads 'Him [Christ] being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and with wicked hands have crucified and slain.'
The Acts 26.5 and 2 Peter 3.17 passages refer to the knowledge of men, of course, and we should not construct a theory of God's knowledge based on ours. Some Free-willers have, and we call them open theists and heretics who have denied the faith.
That leaves us with, in addition to the two disputed passages, three (!!!) passages in which eith Proginosko or Prognosis is used. Acts 2.23 and 1 Peter 1.20 are most instructive in this connection. Surely the Free-willers do not say that the Father merely knew in advance that the Son would go to the cross? No, as the Open Theistic heretics have rightly realised, God's foreknowledge is never simply passive. In all of it there is an element of foreordination! God did not just passively know that Christ would be crucified, but He ordained that it would be so.
So yes, God's election is based on foreknowledge. But no-where is that foreknowledge said to be foreseen faith, rather 'WHOM He did foreknow, He also did predestinate.' It was the person He foreknew, not actions of that person.

Thus we see that Nelson Price's Arminian doctrine is not based on an unstable fondation, but on no foundation at all! General Baptists may believe such nonsense, but Particular Baptists do not and cannot.

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