Agonizomai: Sermon of the Week<br>Griswold on Free Will

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sermon of the Week
Griswold on Free Will

An often controversial subject within theological circles is the question of free will. Many great theologians have opined and differed upon this topic. I personally still believe that the definitive work was one of the earliest in the Reformation, namely, "The Bondage of the Will" by Martin Luther in response to Erasmus' critiques of his works. Luther admired the fact that at least Erasmus wasn't side tracked by the peripheral nonsense about Indulgences and Transubstantiation, or even Papal infallibility - but that he went right for the crux of the matter - the question of the operation of the human will in spiritual cases.

Whatever you personally think about the will, whether you feel, for example that you simply have to believe in free will because you have no choice (/smile) or whether you follow Edwards in believing that the will does as it pleases (though the fallen will only pleases to do fallen things) - whatever your state of understanding you should know that I most emphatically do not believe in that child of Satan known as the Libertarian Free Will (LFW). Not only is it patently obvious that our choices are limited by opportunity (which is God's Providence) and ability (which is God's creative sovereignty), but they are at all times governed by our dispositions. Are we disposed to evil or to good?

R.L. Dabney told his students that freedom was more properly predicated of persons than of their attributes. To the degree that a person is free, then his choices are free. But are we ever free in the fully libertarian sense? I think not. The lost are enslaved to evil by nature and the redeemed are bondservants of God. Only God is free - and even God's will (I speak reverently here) is bounded by His nature.

And, without further ado, I give you Ferrell Griswold, who went on to glory in 1982, preaching about free will. Enjoy...

The recording quality isn't great at first, but patient listening will be well rewarded.

The text: John 8:32-36 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


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